Patterico's Pontifications

5/10/2008

Myanmar Exports Rice as Citizens Starve (Updated)

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:37 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, sustained devastating damage from Tropical Cyclone Nargis that may have killed over 100,000 people. Myanmar leaders have refused to allow aid from the US and today’s LA Times reports that Myanmar is continuing to export rice while it feeds its citizens the remnants of spoiled food products.

The government also confiscated initial UN aid shipments, causing the UN to suspend further shipments although it now says the shipments will resume.

This is a horrible situation and, given the antipathy at home and abroad to U.S. military intervention, there’s nothing we can do.

UPDATE 1: The Pentagon has announced that one aid shipment will be allowed. A US spokesman hopes it will lead to permission for more assistance.

UPDATE 2: Myanmar’s junta is now distributing aid with generals’ names plastered on the boxes in an effort to turn the relief effort into propaganda for the junta. Elections scheduled for today went forward in all but the hardest hit areas, and pictures of the leaders handing out aid packages is running continuously on state-run television.

— DRJ

19 Responses to “Myanmar Exports Rice as Citizens Starve (Updated)”

  1. Back in 2003, when I was arguing with people about the Iraq War, one of the questions I kept asking was, if the primary goal is to spread democracy around the world, why are we overthrowing Iraq and not Myanmar?

    I don’t think military intervention in Myanmar would have been effective then, and I don’t think it would be now, but … I wish there were some way to make this government go away.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  2. It might be worth recalling that Great Britain exported corn from Ireland at the depth of the Irish famines of the 1840s.

    J. A. Anderson (9c6163)

  3. Has the NYT taken back its attack on the US for requiring oversight of its contributions?

    Still waiting…

    Patricia (f56a97)

  4. J.A. Anderson, that is partially true, because the British government had a laissez faire policy in place with respect to the actions of absentee landords, but the British government at the same time organized relief efforts to supply relief food to the irish. BTW, in Britain at the time “corn” meant grains like wheat.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  5. I don’t think military intervention in Myanmar would have been effective then, and I don’t think it would be now, but … I wish there were some way to make this government go away.

    I’m with you. There are a few other nasty governments similar to Myanmar’s I’d like to see go away also.

    Paul (cf2458)

  6. aphrael,

    I wish we could make them go away, too, but I don’t see a way to do that at this time.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  7. Whose rice is it? just because people are starving is no reason to be a socialist.

    smithf (339068)

  8. And you think that Myanmar isn’t socialist, smithf? Perhaps you need to review the history of the nation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  9. A US spokesman hopes it will lead to permission for more assistance.

    ?

    nk (8f20b5)

  10. As I understand it, they need permission for US planes to land or ships to dock.

    DRJ (baa25b)

  11. Permission for more aid flights to land.

    Though I suspect they are starting to hear “We’re delivering food and aid WITH your permission, or WITHOUT it. Take your pick…”

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  12. Well … I was thinking more along the lines of, “Do we have your permission to give you our food so you won’t die?”

    nk (8f20b5)

  13. nk, the military officers and junta members are not going to miss any meals.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. I know, SPQR. But this is aggressive panhandling. Maybe we should, sometime, let some people know “You got the government you deserved. We’re not going to do anything about it. Live free, or die”.

    nk (8f20b5)

  15. Joe Stalin(called uncle joe by FDR)EXPORTED all the food to the people of russia and the UCRAINE and thousand starved

    krazy kagu (40bcdd)

  16. What kind of place would this Bush have had in history if he invaded Myanmar like he did Iraq and deposed this evil dictatorship, liberating this poor perishing people. Establishing or supporting democracy and the rule of law. History would have been different. Just wondering.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  17. #15 I thought it was millions of Ukrainians that starved. Can’t recall, but maybe 5 million died or so and one asshat reporter Walter Durante won a Pulitzer Prize by lying about the forced famine. And the NY Times knows it and won’t refute the award.

    How many millions in Africa and Asia have the liberals condemned to death from malaria because of the bogus lies about DDT outlined in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring?

    How many additional millions will die because of corn being shifted to ethanol usage because of the BS propaganda of the greens and the religion of the goracle?

    madmax333 (f48861)

  18. But Max… Those deaths don’t matter… They were doing something.

    Results don’t matter, it’s the effort…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  19. let ’em starve!

    assistant devil's advocate (981c98)


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