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 Burma Disaster

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PostSubject: Burma Disaster   Tue May 06, 2008 8:38 pm

22,000 dead according to the latest BBC report. The country was already facing a rice crisis. Now there are thousands dead and more homeless. The military is making things difficult for aid agencies, very few are allowed in the country. They're either reluctant to accept the scale of the calamity or just don't care.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7385662.stm
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Tue May 06, 2008 11:47 pm

Some speculation on the BBC website about Burma being an ecological disaster...

Quote :
Mangrove loss 'left Burma exposed'

Destruction of mangrove forests in Burma left coastal areas exposed to the devastating force of the weekend's cyclone, a top politician suggests.

ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said coastal developments had resulted in mangroves, which act as a natural defence against storms, being lost.

Quote :

The plants' root systems have been shown to dissipate wave energy

Quote :
Lowering defences

A recent global assessment found that 3.6 million hectares of mangrove forests had disappeared since 1980.

The study carried out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that Asia had suffered the greatest loss, with 1.9 million hectares being destroyed, primarily as a result of land use change.



It found that large-scale conversion of mangroves into shrimp and fish farms were among the main destructive drivers.

Other pressures included new development to accommodate the growth in the tourism sector and rising populations.

1.9 million hectares is 7335 square miles - Ireland is 27137 square miles so in Asia they've taken away the equivalent of one of our provinces worth of mangrove...

I won't be here Sunday night for the Collapse book club - could we move it to Monday?
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Tue May 06, 2008 11:48 pm

God rest the souls of all those who have lost their lives and God be with those whose lives are in danger. It is a terrible tragedy.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Wed May 07, 2008 12:19 am

It is an absolutely awful tragedy. Let's hope and pray that the UN and other agencies manage to get a proper plan in place to alleviate as much suffering as they can.

On a slightly more crude, political, front - I wonder if this and other events are going to be the final straw to break the dictatorship in Burma.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Wed May 07, 2008 12:26 am

johnfás wrote:

On a slightly more crude, political, front - I wonder if this and other events are going to be the final straw to break the dictatorship in Burma.

It might be the only good to come of this awful disaster. Let's hope so. Burma needs democracy.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 08, 2008 1:15 am

They fear up to 100,000 have died now.

China and South Africa this evening blocked an exploratory move by the French at the UN Security Council to compel Burma to accept aid, citing the plight of the victims as an internal matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 08, 2008 1:33 am

johnfás wrote:
They fear up to 100,000 have died now.

China and South Africa this evening blocked an exploratory move by the French at the UN Security Council to compel Burma to accept aid, citing the plight of the victims as an internal matter.

They are saying beware of Franks bearing gifts.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 08, 2008 1:36 am

Not a bad policy. The French have about the most cynical foreign policy going.

I don't think compelling the regime to allow entry is going to work. They're going to have to bring them around to the idea and unfortunately that will result in delay and more lost lives. There is never a perfect solution in these circumstances.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Fri May 16, 2008 2:16 am

Breaking News Link

Interesting news from Burma from our breaking news link.
People are helping each other. The Regime won't like that: it may be a sign of the times.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Fri May 16, 2008 2:54 am

that is at least some heartening news from Burma cf.
Johnfas absolutely correct re French foreign policy - think Rwanda for just one instance.

Have posted these links on the Chinese thread but will also put them here, as Naomi Klein spoke more about Burma than China anyway - using her Disaster Capitalism / Shock Doctrine template to illustrate how govts. can use disaster situations to their own advantage. She alleges that people are being given money by the govt towards rebuilding only if they vote "correctly" in the referendum. Also, that govt. contracts are being handed out already to cronies for the rebuilding of devastated areas.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/




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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Sat May 17, 2008 10:28 pm

mangrove loss is similar to the sand bank loss of katrina, naomi klein was on newsnight a few nights ago, i saw that, paxman as usual tried to give her a hard time,but she made her point, it allows increased tyranny, interesting comparison with mexico and the earthquake highlighting the lack of building regulation leading to a democratic revolt.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Sat May 17, 2008 11:01 pm

The Shah of Iran was brought down after a badly handled earthquake.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Mon May 19, 2008 5:34 pm

The situation in Burma seems appalling, even leaving out the storm. The economy in rag order, hundreds of thousands of people working as slave labourers (possibly for US and French oil companies) and there are hundreds of political prisoners. The Wikipedia entry is extensive.

http://www.fbppn.net/

Wikipedia
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Mon May 19, 2008 7:26 pm

We all knew the story in Burma was pretty bad; the whole affair was brought to attention by the monks last year. But we decided not to rock the boat. I think now is not the time to start thinking about overthrowing the military, that ship sailed long ago.

Atticus mentioned Naomi Klein and her 'shock doctrine'. I feel I should point out that it works both ways, that now could be the perfect time for the UN to move in sort thingfs out. But I've already made my feelings on that course of action clear.
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 22, 2008 4:56 pm

what's the white stuff on the kids faces (muck?)
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 22, 2008 5:03 pm

905 wrote:
We all knew the story in Burma was pretty bad; the whole affair was brought to attention by the monks last year. But we decided not to rock the boat. I think now is not the time to start thinking about overthrowing the military, that ship sailed long ago.

Atticus mentioned Naomi Klein and her 'shock doctrine'. I feel I should point out that it works both ways, that now could be the perfect time for the UN to move in sort thingfs out. But I've already made my feelings on that course of action clear.

And on 905's line of thinking, Tim Garton Ash today mentions something called the R2P ( "Responsibility to Protect" as opposed to "Right to Invade" ) as developed by a Canadian-backed commission a few years ago. Was not familiar with this. Was an attempt to update Just War thinking.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/may/22/burma.cyclonenargis


Last edited by Atticus on Thu May 22, 2008 7:20 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Burma Disaster   Thu May 22, 2008 7:14 pm

koucher is neocon isn't he, even if he was head of dwb
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