Friday, 16 May 2008
Posted by Dave
With a little over 47m people and nearly three times the landmass of the UK, Burma is not a small country. For years it has operated in near isolation - ruled over by a military Junta who probably consider Roland Joffe's The Killing Fields as something of a near perfect training tool, and as they have done so, we've watched from afar.
Of course, since there is little in the way of natural resources worth a plunder and it is surrounded by some fairly major Asian nations (India & China) "The West" has pretty much left it alone - occasionally popping up to issue a useless resolution decrying the abuses the Burmese suffer at the hands of their regime, but thats pretty much it. Dictatorial barbarism and abuse of power is legion in Burma, yet I expect reruns of Fu-Man Chu would cause more interest.
We now see of course that Burma is seriously in the shit, with tens of thousands dead and millions more seriously affected by Mother Nature. What we also see is just how desperately ineffective and positively disinterested anyone is unless there are riches and rewards to be had.
The Burmese Junta have virtually refused entry to specialist rescue workers who, under UN mandates various are deployed around the world ready to assist in the event of a large scale disaster. This is (logically speaking) inexplicable; the Burmese are unable to help themselves, and bodies are simply piling high. Medium to long term management of such an event (with respect rehabilitation, diseases, food & water, etc) will also be out of scope for the Junta - all of whom are the epitomy of selfish, ruthless, mind-numbingly idiotic moronism.
It has already been mentioned on various media outlets that the (in)actions of the Junta are tantamount to genocide; indeed, the United Nations (a more useless and self obsessed organisation I could not hope to Google) has powers to raise, debate and ratify unilateral action in situations very very similar to what we're seeing now. They don't of course.
The Burmese Junta should be ignored, and aid specialists and equipment deployed into Burma, protected by armed escorts. If the Burmese Junta interfere, they should be removed... this level of disaster is way beyond politics and polite memorandums when it becomes so terribly clear that those responsible for the safeguarding of their own people are so utterly incapable of timely, useful action.
Contrast the situation in Burma to the recent earthquake in China; yes the cynics may say that the reason for such a massive response in such a quick time is linked with the forthcoming Olympics, but I suspect not - I suspect this is China doing what it does best; looking after it's own people (of course, the definition of "looking after" is historically subject to interpretation).
Maybe if someone suddenly discovers oil underneath Rangoon, we'd sort this stuff out.