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This paranoid ...
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, May 10, 2008

Yesterday I asked "how paranoid is Myanmar's junta"?

Today they answered - this paranoid:
Myanmar's military regime distributed international aid Saturday but plastered the boxes with the names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the relief effort for last week's devastating cyclone into a propaganda exercise.
Apparently it took a couple of days to print up the necessary labels to plaster all over the aid boxes from other countries.
"We have already seen regional commanders putting their names on the side of aid shipments from Asia, saying this was a gift from them and then distributing it in their region," said Mark Farmaner, director of Burma Campaign UK, which campaigns for human rights and democracy in the country.

"It is not going to areas where it is most in need," he said in London.
From 1.5 to 2 million people are severely effected by the devastation the cyclone brought.
"It's a race against the clock," Byrs said. "If the humanitarian aid does not get into the country on a larger scale, there's the risk of a second catastrophe," she said, adding that people could die from hunger and diseases.

Health experts have warned there was a great risk of diarrhea and cholera spreading because of the lack of clean drinking water and sanitation.

Farmaner suggested that aid be delivered to the country, also known as Burma, even if the regime does not give its permission.

"We have had a week to convince the regime to behave reasonably, and they are still blocking aid," he said. "So the international community needs to wake up and take bolder steps."

However, aid providers are unlikely to pursue unilateral deliveries like airdrops because of the diplomatic firestorm that it could set off.
I know it is hard for much of the West to fathom such paranoia, but this is really no different than when the Khemer Rouge ran Cambodia. Despotic regimes, regardless of their ideology, prefer, in fact, demand total control of every aspect of life in their country. It is the only way they can maintain their regime.

A catastrophe such as this throws them completely off their game as the instant and overwhelming need the storm generated is far beyond their capacity to address. But they are far more fearful of others coming into their country than they are of letting their own citizens sicken and die. It is an amazing and consistent ideology-free trait of totalitarian regimes.
The government's abilities are limited. It has only a few dozen helicopters, most of which are small and old. It also has about 15 transport planes, primarily small jets unable to carry hundreds of tons of supplies.

"Not only don't they have the capacity to deliver assistance, they don't have experience," said Farmaner, the British aid worker. "It's already too late for many people. Every day of delays is costing thousands of lives."
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I wonder if the Dems will start saying ’we need to send in the marines...’
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Who would be stupid enough to think .. Is It Time to Invade Burma?
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Just the Dems Joel?

Why extclude Republcians from that Joel?

After all America will be paying for the Republicans $2-3 TRILLION dollar Grand Social Experiment in Iraq for some time Joel.

For sure your kids will be paying for Iraq AND my Social Security, so they need to get cracking Joel.
Written By: David
URL: http://
"It is not going to areas where it is most in need"
It’s going to the "right people" I bet. The generals and their families first, then the citizens get left with the scraps.
Written By: jows
URL: http://
"However, aid providers are unlikely to pursue unilateral deliveries like airdrops because of the diplomatic firestorm that it could set off. "

Ooohhh we will tick off a 4th world dictator whose number 1 problem right now is he has about 2 million people that may die from starvation so we dont do anything.

Next thing you know Obama will be saying they all deserve health care and we should pay for it.

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