Myanmar Junta: Eviler And Eviler
The U.N. World food Program has suspended aid shipments to Myanmar after the country's military government seized all the food and equipment that had been flown into the country for cyclone victims.The Left has convinced itself that evil (although it doesn't use the word, preferring "racism") was at work in Bush's response to Katrina. But that was just multi-tiered government incompetence. The Myanmar junta -- now that is evil personified. Will the Left get it?
WFP spokesman Paul Risley said Friday that all "the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated." The shipment included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits. He said the WFP "has no choice" but to suspend further aid shipments until the matter is resolved.
Mr. Risley said it isn't clear why the material was seized. It also wasn't clear if the shipment seized was the one that was flown in Thursday or another one.
Earlier, the U.N. blasted Myanmar's military government, saying its refusal to let in foreign aid workers to help victims of a devastating cyclone was "unprecedented" in the history of humanitarian work, as the organization said it is putting together an urgent funding appeal to help victims. (WSJ)
One diarist at Kos, a guy who fled Myanmar 14 years ago, did have something interesting to say (although I don't know why someone who fled to freedom would be hanging out at Kos):
As a Burmese being in the States for 14 years, I believe I have a better understanding of what is happening. As is the case of 2005 tsunami, the military government is extremely weary of outsiders, regardless of the purpose of the visit. It (the ruthless regime machine) is also afraid of any single reporter that would return home and plaster a couple of pictures on the front page of Newsweek or Time magazine.He goes on to promote his wife's charity, if you're interested. World Vision is probably be a better bet.
In short, if you are thinking about donating, the traditional way of giving might be slow and less effective. The last time I check the news, the UN aid is still blocked or being hindered and so is the case for a lot of other "western" countries and agencies. The reason is the junta is going to try to wrestle control of all the aid materials saying it will hand everything out: in the news about it already. But, what will happen after everybody leaves is that all the generals and military personnels will grab a significant portion of the aid and the victims will end up with a tiny percentage of the aid, if at all. If you have seen the initial food distribution scene of Black Hawk Down, it's kind of like that.