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Desolation In Myanmar

By Brian McAfee

03 June, 2008

In the aftermath of a major natural disaster, the ongoing tragedy that is playing out in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is unnecessary and criminal in nature. The military junta, that had initially withheld relief aid from reaching the majority of the population most negatively impacted by the May 2-3 cyclone, have reportedly stolen many of the goods and have blocked some people's access to them.

Even today, a month after the cyclone struck, over two million are still homeless and hundreds of children have become orphans without steady caretakers. Early on, a peculiar relationship between the junta, U.S. political figures and business interests became quickly evident. Most notably Senator John McCain's political adviser, Douglas Goodyear, and Doug Davenport, another lobbyist linked to McCain and Myanmar, have played major roles in seedy dealings.

Another disturbing connection to the regime is UnoCal, representing another outrageous wrong wherein human rights and social justice represent secondary concerns relative to wealth extraction, civilian exploitation and overall profit motives. Yet, few people outside of Myanmar seem aware of this association and the general populous in the country dares not contest the arrangement for fear of backlash.

Meanwhile food, drinkable water, clothing and shelter remain acutely needed, along with medicine and health care provision. All considered, the Buddhist's have been doing their best under extremely difficult conditions involving desperate people and a paucity of lifesaving supplies. However, their attempts are being greatly curbed by the junta, which just this past weekend forced large numbers out of the refugee camps. These inhumane and imprudent maneuvers display an extreme disregard for humanity and in its stead a total indifference towards ethics even at a most basic level.

At the same time, U.S. ties to the military junta in Myanmar have gone mostly unreported or underreported by global mainstream media. In a similar vein, another "popular culture" icon has emerged to further blur fact from fiction and this is compliments of Hollywood. As such, a totally fictionalized version of this little ravaged country emerges in which "Indian Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" depicts Harrison Ford saving the land from a supposed Soviet threat.

As far as any Russian derived menace existing, we need to look no further than the North American continent and the capitalistic adventurism provided by such interlopers as Unocal, Douglas Goodyear, and Doug Davenport if we want to cite real dangers posed to the country by treacherous outsiders. All considered, the real "saviors" of Burma have yet to emerge.

Brian McAfee can be reached at


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