On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Not A Surprise

Another Associated Press report about the inevitable result of the stonewalling by the Burmese junta: Gates could withdraw Navy ships after Myanmar ‘neglect’

SINGAPORE (AP) — Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday he will make a decision within “a matter of days” to withdraw U.S. Navy ships from the coast of Myanmar, because “it’s becoming pretty clear the regime is not going to let us help.”

As a result, he said many more people will die, particularly those in areas that can only be reached by helicopters, such as those sitting idle on the U.S. ships.

Asked if the military junta there is guilty of genocide, Gates said, “I tend to see genocide more as a purposeful elimination of people, this is more akin, in my view, to criminal neglect.”

Speaking to reporters at the close of an international security conference here, Gates said the Myanmar representative at the forum did not seem interested in speaking with him.

But he said “it was interesting to watch as minister after minister described their respective unhappiness at their inability to get assistance in to Burma.”

It was particularly pointed, he said, because Chinese officials thanked other countries for the help provided after the earthquake in China.

Those ships can’t stay on station forever. The fuel to operate the ships is certainly not getting any cheaper, and they’ll need to port as they were on a training mission when the cyclone struck. You can’t force people to accept help, and China would block any UN move to “do something” about the situation.

This has to be frustrating to the Essex strike force, and most of the world community.