In Burma, where bloated corpses still line the banks of swollen rivers and the cries of orphaned children for food go unheeded, the efforts of the civilized community to bring relief on an organized basis to a cyclone ravaged people continue to be rebuffed by that country’s paranoid military regime. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has mustered all the leadership skills of Michael (you’re doing a heck of a job) Brown during his feeble response to Hurricane Katrina. Only France, at this point, seems to have shown the courage to say that humanitarian duties trump national sovereignty when it comes to dealing with the corrupt powers at Nay Pyi Taw.
When the West, or any larger community of nations that aspires to call itself civilized, fails to act to relieve the suffering of people made worse by a corrupt junta, it is an indictment that history and human conscience cannot ignore. The major nations of the world have shown themselves to be unwilling to deal with this humanitarian emergency and confront the rulers of Burma, even though that country continues to be a member in good standing of the United Nations. It is an assault on moral standards that offends humanity.