Call me a bitter and twisted old socialist curmudgeon if you like, but as I follow the unfolding of a humanitarian tragedy in Burma I get angry with the hypocrisy of western governments. Many times more people will die as a result of the intransigence and self interest of the fascist military rulers than were killed by the original natural disaster. Homeless, starving and sick with infections picked up from drinking foul water, they will die miserable, lingering deaths, denied any comfort or compassion.
Still, two weeks after the typhoon hit, the military government continues to block the delivery of aid from the west and from more democratic regional powers.
We have known about the Burmese regime for a long time. Their suppression of all opponents and dissenters, rigid control of the media, appalling human rights record and utter disregard for the wellbeing of the people they rule adds up to a level of tyranny that makes Saddam Husseins regime look like a bunch of incompetent amateurs.
The Burmese rulers knew which side their bread was buttered though, they were always careful to be friendly to western financial interests.
Now the lies about Saddams WMD have all been exposed and the ogre of his nuclear weapons program exposed as a myth all that is left to justify the costly and destructive war in Iraq is the lame excuse that it was waged to depose a brutal tyrant.
As thousands die in Burma for want of a bowl of rice, a drink of clean water and a shot of penicillin, all these vital supplies lie uselessly in the holds of aid ships refused permission to dock and unload their life-saving cargo.
We expect to hear at any moment strident rhetoric calling for a coalition of the willing to organise a military occupation and depose the dictators who have controlled Burma for decades.
The silence is eerie, dont you think, possums?
TODAY WE COMMENTED ON:
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Burma Are the aid agencies doing ennough? asks Barbara Stocking. Not while the Junta is in power, says Little Nicky Machiavelli.
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