Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/public/wp-config.php on line 27
This Is Criminal — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

This Is Criminal

When you look at the report I’m linking to you will see a gray USAF C-130 being unloaded by hand! In a hot LZ, even if you don’t use a parachute to pull it out, the entire load can be pulled off while the aircraft is taxiing, so the crew can turn around and return to the supply base without taking up aircraft parking space at the destination. With an Air Force crew at the destination the aircraft can be unloaded with a forklift and the cargo put directly on the back of trucks for distribution. In Rangoon, they are having to break the pallets while human chains form to unload the cargo by hand. This is stupid, as well as expensive and inefficient.

The BBC reports on the international frustration and the UN calls for Burma aid corridor

The United Nations has called for an air or sea corridor to be opened to channel large amounts of aid to the victims of Cyclone Nargis in Burma.

The UN’s humanitarian agency said there was a risk of a “second catastrophe” unless a massive operation began.

The UN said it had only been able to reach 270,000 of the 1.5m survivors.

European nations have meanwhile called for the UN principle of “responsibility to protect” to be applied, allowing aid deliveries without Burma’s consent.

Earlier, the military government in Burma said it remained opposed to granting visas to foreign aid workers to help co-ordinate the relief operation.

Vice-Admiral Soe Thein said it was grateful for the aid shipment from the United States that arrived on Monday but insisted that “skilful humanitarian workers are not necessary”.

The BBC’s South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head says much of the aid that has arrived in the country has sat at Rangoon’s airport for days.

He adds that after more heavy rain, the survivors are living in wretched conditions and the fear of a further wave of deaths from disease is a real one.

The food is going to rot at the airport in the rain and heat while people starve. People will be sleeping in the open while mildew grows on tents in boxes at the airport. Cholera will spread while millions of liters of bottled water sit on the airport tarmac.

China was the best hope of making changes, and they are tied up with the earthquake.


1 andante { 05.14.08 at 7:28 am }

China appears to be making a superhuman effort to save their own citizens from natural disaster. The Burmese leadership is teetering on the edge of deliberate genocide.

2 Michael { 05.14.08 at 8:19 am }

It gets better (by which I mean worse). According to Le Monde and NPR, there’s a possibility that another cyclone may form within the next 24 hours and strike the Irrawaddy delta.

3 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 05.14.08 at 10:05 am }

…a related story in the sidebar, “No access” to Burma cyclone zone, goes even a bit deeper in its description of how hard the Burmese government is making things on their own people by increasing roadblocks to keep foreign aid workers out and confiscating relief supplies that their own citizens are trying to distribute privately. The collective psychopathy of this military junta is breathtaking…

4 Bryan { 05.14.08 at 11:44 am }

The “leadership” is closeted in their new capital, well away from the problems and couldn’t care less about the people who make their personal wealth possible. They buried the warnings about the approach of the storm in the back of official newspapers to avoid disrupting the vote on their pet referendum project, so people didn’t leave the low-lying areas that were hit, despite a solid 48-hour warning on the track and power of the approaching cyclone from forecasters.

The current tropical disturbance in the area appears to passing by and dumping rain, but will probably strengthen once it gets into the open water. No good guesses as to what it will do at that point, but it is passing South of Rangoon at moment and not over affected by the flooded landscape.

Amazing how they have personnel and vehicles for checkpoints, but can’t move supplies because of a lack of both. It looks like premeditated murder of thousands to me.

Even if they wanted to, because of the weather, they can’t make airdrops to those affected. It’s the same problem as China, except there are amphibious vehicles quite capable of reaching people sitting in US Navy ships off the coast of Burma right now.