Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 18, 2008

Myanmar - The Junta Was Mostly Right

You will remember the 'outrage' in the media about Myanmar denying access by 'westerners' to the people hit by cyclone Nargis.

Today a U.S. government paid guy from RAND builds on that to attack China in the WaPo op-ed pages: China's Responsibility to Protect

The responsibility to protect is being tested today by the Myanmar military junta's refusal to allow massive aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis, just as it has been tested by the Sudanese government's support for genocide against the people of Darfur.
Now the world is blocked by Myanmar's junta from getting aid to those caught in Nargis's path. The United States and its allies have little sway with the junta, except for force, which they seem disinclined to use. Once again, the country with the greatest leverage is China.
China obviously is big enough to be a world leader. But it is it principled enough? It is time -- high time -- for China to accept the code of conduct that befits a great power in an era of globalization. Nargis gives the Chinese a golden opportunity to do their fellow humans and themselves some good.

What this guy actually wants is China to join the U.S. in raping the rest of the world. (China will not do so.)

To that gain he is peddling false information about Myanmar, the help it did accept and the kind of additional economic help that is needed.

But, oh wonder, today we also get a mainstream media piece that actually reports the realities on the ground in Myanmar. It confirms to me that the junta was mostly right when it said that more 'western' helpers were unneeded.   

Now doctors and aid workers returning from remote areas of the delta are offering a less pessimistic picture of the human cost of the delay in reaching survivors.

They say they have seen no signs of starvation or widespread outbreaks of disease.
Most of the people killed by the cyclone, which struck on May 2-3, drowned. But those who survived were not likely to need urgent medical attention, doctors say.

“We saw very, very few serious injuries,” said Frank Smithuis, manager of the substantial mission of Doctors Without Borders in Myanmar. “You were dead or you were in O.K. shape.”
But relief workers say the debate over access for foreigners and the refusal of the government to allow in military helicopters and ships from the United States, France and Britain overshadowed a substantial relief operation carried out mainly by Burmese citizens and monks.

They organized convoys of trucks filled with drinking water, clothing, food and construction materials that poured into the delta.

“It’s been overwhelmingly impressive what local organizations, medical groups and some businessmen have done,” said Ruth Bradley Jones, second secretary in the British Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. “They are the true heroes of the relief effort.”

That statement leaves out the Myanmar army which was also deployed and helped the people.

Anyway - we see that Myanmar was well able to handle the catastrophe and all the calls for intervention were the re-colonization efforts we suspected them to be.

Earlier MoA pieces on Myanmar:
Myanmar - Politics, Media Manipulation and Help, May 17, 2008
False Weather Warning by U.S. Military to Press Myanmar May 15, 2008
False Intervention, May 10, 2008
Myanmar Asks For Help May 6, 2008 by Debs is dead
Darfur, Myanmar and Masturbation October 9, 2007
Fatuity of Do-Gooders, September 30, 2007
Myanmar Protests September 26, 2007

Posted by b on June 18, 2008 at 11:26 UTC | Permalink


After the python coils itself around its victim, it waits for it to breathe - out, then in. On the in breath, the snake takes advantage of the collapsing diaphragm to tighten its coils, making each following breath that much harder. By repeating this process, it soon becomes impossible for the victim to breathe at all.

Disaster capitalism, or 'shock economics' similarly waits for disaster or distress. It can be inflation, unemployment, strikes, floods, earthquakes, war, asteroids, recession, whatever. Then the capitalists and their military institutions move in, and in exchange for their assistance demand certain adjustments of their victims. Some changes to domestic economic policy, some loans from the WTO, some commitments to trade policies that are better for the West than for the victim nation.

The snake never lets go once it has its coils in place.

Moral: if you're cold and wet, don't let a snake get you warm and dry.

Posted by: Antifa | Jun 18 2008 13:30 utc | 1

and if the unneeded foreign assistance had been allowed in, the Western media would faithfully ensure that it over-shadows local efforts and worse, local efforts would have been ridiculed accordingly.

the part of the story thats frightening is why the foreigners always assume the locals will steal the foods & aid rather than get it to those in need. Unless of course there are foreigners on hand to watch & count the boxes.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jun 18 2008 13:34 utc | 2

sovereinty right applies only to uncle sham and his buddies.
during the asian tsnami, uncle's buddies had a free hand in dealing with their "internal affairs" -- including the denial of aids to rebels territories. while in burma, the junta's alleged incompetence is cited as justification for "humanitarian" [sic] intervention.

if even the tni [our kind of guys] had misgivings allowing us marines into their country, is it any wonder that the junta isnt too keen to let in these "humanitarian" warriors ?

Posted by: denk | Jun 19 2008 17:15 utc | 3

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