All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke
U.S. ships bobbing idly in the Gulf of Mottama with thousands of tons of relief supplies will not be permitted entrance into Burma, the Burmese government announced today, according to reports from the region. Instead, the World Food Program will be permitted to bring in 10 helicopters allowing relief workers to fly supplies to far-flung spots that have yet to be reached.
That’s progress, but it hardly compensates for the criminality of Burma’s ruling generals, who waited 19 days after Cyclone Nargis to make even that small concession.
No one knows how many have died from the storm that struck May 2 - 3, but everyone agrees the number will rise rapidly if relief doesn’t arrive quickly. Meanwhile, the military is arresting reporters trying to cover the crisis.
The international community has been walking a fine line, trying to cajole the generals, who only care about staying in power, into cooperating. That hasn’t worked, and more lives are lost every day. If the junta does not quickly open up its ports and airports, the United States and France must begin airdropping aid to victims.
That might sound like an extreme measure, but it’s hardly so extreme as allowing tens of thousands of deaths by doing nothing at all. Burke, in this case, might just be spot-on.
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