Saturday, May 10, 2008

Today in the "Not Helping" Department...

In case you were wondering why the ruling junta in Burma might be so resistant to letting large numbers of Americans into their country with ships, planes, helicopters and equipment, this TIME headline might shed some light on their thinking:

Is it Time to Invade Burma?


Ok, so the article starts off by going through some slightly less horrific options, like bringing aid workers in without government consent - somehow, or bringing the influence of China to bear, or freezing Burma's assets. But yeah, they're serious:

And if that fails? "It's important for the rulers to know the world has other options," Egeland says. "If there were, say, the threat of a cholera epidemic that could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and the government was incapable of preventing it, then maybe yes — you would intervene unilaterally." But by then, it could be too late. The cold truth is that states rarely undertake military action unless their national interests are at stake; and the world has yet to reach a consensus about when, and under what circumstances, coercive interventions in the name of averting humanitarian disasters are permissible. As the response to the 2004 tsunami proved, the world's capacity for mercy is limitless. But we still haven't figured out when to give war a chance.

Great. Just great. Aside from the utter insanity of such a scheme given Burma's relationship with China, just the fact that someone is saying this out loud is appalling, and can only give credence to the junta's paranoia about the U.S. and western aid.

Let's just hope they don't read TIME in Burma.

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