Sunday, May 11, 2008

Outrage and dead-ends

McCain lobbyist Doug Goodyear, whose firm once represented Burma's repressive regime.I have not said anything about the disaster in Burma, because I haven't had anything to say beyond "It's a disaster." And, that people should call the country Burma -- as the Bush Administration, Senators Clinton, McCain*, and Obama, and the Washington Post do -- rather than Myanmar, the term chosen by its junta and now accepted by CNN, NPR, and the New York Times.
Unfortunately, saying that the regime is evil doesn't automatically indicate how to help its unfortunate people. Invasions -- even for humanitarian purposes -- should be a very last resort. And without spelling out the whole reasoning, the U.S. is not in a great position now to be organizing an international invasion force, no matter how noble the cause. As the international frustrations of the last week have suggested, the main option is the unsatisfying one of putting together as much pressure from as many sources as possible, including China**, to force the regime away from its outrageous refusal to allow aid workers in.

(*About McCain: if
it really is true that he has given a major convention role to a lobbyist who represented the Burmese junta, McCain needs to dump that person forthwith -- or be pilloried for not doing so every day between now and the election. Update: I see that the lobbyist, Doug Goodyear, has just quit the convention job. Next, maybe giving back the $300,000+ the generals paid him, to a human rights group? **About China: the latest outrage by the Burmese generals should not become the latest reason to threaten China with an Olympic boycott or disruption. The Chinese government has some influence over the Burmese regime -- but just some. It is better to make China part of the solution to this problem, by pointing out that a regime's refusal to save its own people is the strongest possible reason for an exception in China's "non-interference with other sovereign states" doctrine.)

A year ago, during the time of riots and crackdowns, I posted several pictures of
what Rangoon looked like just before the fighting began. Here and after the jump, a few other pictures from that time.
More at Evil in Burma

Evil Burmese Junta


Ogg the Caveman said...


It's terrible, but I think very little can be done by outsiders.

Do You wanna Hold Me? said...

Wasn't that chick in Bow Wow Wow from Burma?

Akubi said...

Yes, it's frustrating, but I think's idea of routing funds via the monks could be effective.