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It Didn’t Help Stalin — Why Now?
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It Didn’t Help Stalin

The BBC reports that Burma ‘wants aid not foreigners’

Burma wants supplies but not foreign aid workers, its foreign ministry says, hours after the UN chief urged military leaders to prioritise relief work.

Burma was “making strenuous efforts” to get aid to affected areas by itself and was not ready for foreign teams, a statement in a state daily said.

“Currently Myanmar (Burma) has prioritised receiving emergency relief provisions and is making strenuous efforts to transport those provisions without delay by its own labours to the affected areas,” it said.

“As such, Myanmar is not ready to receive search and rescue teams as well as media teams from foreign countries.”

An aid team and journalists who arrived on a flight from Qatar had been deported, it said.

A BBC correspondent in the storm-hit region says Burmese troops have begun distributing significantly more aid.

The junta really got carried away with their attempt to disguise the source of the aid as CNN reports, U.N. halts Myanmar flights after aid ‘seized’

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) — Authorities in cyclone-ravaged Myanmar have seized United Nations aid intended for victims of the disaster, prompting the organization to halt future relief flights, a U.N. World Food Program official said.

The organization, which insists on distributing its own relief supplies, says two aircraft-loads of food, medicine and equipment, were seized by the army in Myanmar’s main city Yangon.

“This is another example of them actively getting in the way of relief getting to the victims,” said Tony Banbury, Asia director of the World Food Program.

Asked whether the move would jeopardize future U.N. aid flights, he said, “absolutely, from our perspective, it shuts them down.”

Meanwhile, Paul Risley, a spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program, told CNN the agency has never encountered such resistance to offers of help in such a mushrooming humanitarian crisis.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the military junta in Myanmar has behaved “appallingly” by declining to grant more visas to relief workers.

“This has never happened before,” he told CNN on Friday.

To complicate matters, Myanmar’s embassy in Bangkok, Thailand — where aid groups have been waiting for days for entry permission — was closed on Friday for a holiday.

During World War II the Allies sent aid to the Soviet Union, but the Soviets relabeled much of it to hide its origin, and it was distributed by Stalin’s government in a manner to strengthen his control. The junta is doing the same thing – if you want to eat you have to vote for their “new constitution” [they are actually holding a referendum on this constitution during the middle of this disaster], and if you oppose them you starve. It can also be almost guaranteed that non-Burmese ethnic groups will not receive aid.

The flaw in Stalin’s program is that the aid included many things that were obviously US in origin, like American brand name products that were inside the repackaged outer containers.