Cyclone Nargis

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  • #1
lisab
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Wow, the number of fatalities in Myanmar (Burma) caused by Cyclone Nargis may be over 100,000:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24497236/

It seems the military leaders can't get their act together to get help to the survivors.

What a horrific loss of life...so sad.
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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There is lots of aid standing by that the ruling regime won't let into the country. Terrible.
 
  • #3
Astronuc
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I agree with Russ. This is one repressive regime. I even agree with Bush on his criticism of Myanmar's regime.

But what to do? Hopefully, the world's leaders ( :rolleyes: ) will make things happen - ASAP.
 
  • #4
Moonbear
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Yes, it's really quite sad. If they don't let in medical aid, the fatalities will just continue to rise as the injured develop infections, and the other survivors are sickened from the contaminated water and diseases from the corpses.

I don't know if it's so much not being able to get their act together as not wanting to.
 
  • #5
turbo
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Myanmar's junta wants the aid - they just don't want to let anyone in to administer the aid, including people with satellite uplinks, camera-phones, just plain journalists, etc. They certainly don't want to let in "aid workers" whose ranks could be infiltrated with intelligence agents from other countries. Their paranoia and lack of openness will doom a lot of innocent people.
 
  • #6
Moonbear
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Myanmar's junta wants the aid - they just don't want to let anyone in to administer the aid, including people with satellite uplinks, camera-phones, just plain journalists, etc. They certainly don't want to let in "aid workers" whose ranks could be infiltrated with intelligence agents from other countries. Their paranoia and lack of openness will doom a lot of innocent people.
You can call me cynical or paranoid for this opinion, but these sorts of regimes seem highly likely to simply take the money given as aid and never distribute any of it (or only a very small amount...enough for a few photo ops to show the rest of the world they're using it and need more). It seems the journalists are already there since the news stories are getting out complete with photos.
 
  • #7
turbo
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Well, much of the world is ready to air-lift in things that they cannot buy readily in the short term, like clean water, rice, tents, etc. I would never advocate dumping money into a military junta because it would never get where it is needed in time to do any good - the fact is that the junta will not accept controls on the aid in the form of administrators who are trained to organize its distribution. Maybe I'm the cynical one, but I'll bet when aid arrives, the soldiers enforcing martial law will be well-fed and well-supplied with clean water ... and civilians will die for lack of either.
 
  • #8
Moonbear
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Well, much of the world is ready to air-lift in things that they cannot buy readily in the short term, like clean water, rice, tents, etc. I would never advocate dumping money into a military junta because it would never get where it is needed in time to do any good - the fact is that the junta will not accept controls on the aid in the form of administrators who are trained to organize its distribution. Maybe I'm the cynical one, but I'll bet when aid arrives, the soldiers enforcing martial law will be well-fed and well-supplied with clean water ... and civilians will die for lack of either.
Ah, I thought you were making a different point from that. The articles I'm reading seem to be indicating the junta is more than willing to take money, just not aid workers, which is where I was coming from, but yes, I agree if supplies were just airlifted in without some sort of support to ensure its distribution, they would not make it to the people either.

It's a tough situation. There's no way they're going to want to allow in armed support for the aid workers, but it's hard to consider sending aid workers in without it having the same suspicions you do about the junta's willingness to allow the aid to actually get to those who need it.
 
  • #9
lisab
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France has suggested invoking a U.N. "responsibility to protect" clause and delivering aid directly to Myanmar without waiting for approval from the military in Yangon.
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=50f33e64-c430-4037-b8d8-3fd319e49b85&k=87333 [Broken]

I can understand France's impatience with the mooks running the government there, but going in without their approval would probably just confirm their paranoid suspicions of the West.
 
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Moonbear
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http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=50f33e64-c430-4037-b8d8-3fd319e49b85&k=87333 [Broken]

I can understand France's impatience with the mooks running the government there, but going in without their approval would probably just confirm their paranoid suspicions of the West.
I agree...it's pretty much a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.
 
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  • #11
russ_watters
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http://www.canada.com/topics/news/world/story.html?id=50f33e64-c430-4037-b8d8-3fd319e49b85&k=87333 [Broken]

I can understand France's impatience with the mooks running the government there, but going in without their approval would probably just confirm their paranoid suspicions of the West.
Surprising (but welcome) to hear coming from France. So it begs the question: at what point does a regime forfeit the right to sovereignty? How many people have to die? And does it have to be due to murder (genocide) or is oppression-caused malignant gross neglegence enough?
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband warned that "malign neglect" by the isolated nation's military rulers was creating a "humanitarian catastrophe of genuinely epic proportions."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-05-11-burma-aid_N.htm
 
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  • #12
russ_watters
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Still a lot of uncertainty in the numbers, but they are still going up:
Burma's government issued a revised casualty toll Wednesday night, saying 38,491 were known dead and 27,838 were missing....

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, however, said its estimate put the number of dead between 68,833 and 127,990. The Geneva-based body said the range came from a compilation based on other estimates from 22 different organizations, including the Burma Red Cross Society, and on media reports.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-05-14-burma-deathtoll_N.htm
 

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