Myanmar's military junta has appropriated the UN's first shipments of relief supplies which were destined to feed the survivors of a cyclone that has killed over 60,000 and which could kill more than 100,000 due to disease and starvation--issues that are sure to be exacerbated by the seizure.
The U.N. said the aid included 38 tons of high-energy biscuits and arrived in Myanmar on Friday on two flights from Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates.Additionally, the government won't let the US--whose relief aid resources are second to none (and spare me the Katrina myths and memes)--anywhere near the country. UN officials euphemistically characterized such decision-making steps as "unprecedented." No they're not--we've seen this before.
"All of the food aid and equipment that we managed to get in has been confiscated," U.N. World Food Program spokesman Paul Risley said. "For the time being, we have no choice but to end further efforts to bring critical needed food aid into Myanmar at this time."
Myanmar's government acknowledged taking control of the shipments and said it plans to distribute the aid itself to the affected areas.
It's pretty easy to see why Myanmar's government wouldn't want the UN and especially the US coming to the aid of its suffering citizens. The relationship between dictators and their subject population is like that of an abusive marriage. Dictators can't be seen as impotent or powerless under any circumstances and are insanely jealous--they would rather see their people die that allow them to realize that other forms of government are infinitely better equipped to assist them in their time of dire need. And dictators have behaved this way from time immemorial.
The junta said in a statement Friday it was grateful to the international community for its assistance - which has included 11 chartered planes loaded with aid supplies - but the best way to help was just to send in material rather than personnel.Several other countries and private agencies have been allowed to assist with supplies, but, as indicated, people are another story.
Can't have "daddy's" image ruined and dead "children" tell no tales.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
UPDATE: Welcome to Ace, Gabriel and my fellow 'Morons!'