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Oppostion to air drops for burma

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posted on May, 8 2008 @ 07:40 PM

Briefing on U.S. Preparations for Relief Efforts for Burma

QUESTION: There's been some talk about -- I mean, I know this is more of a political decision, but in terms of, like, what you can do in terms of getting aid in, there's been some talk about just kind of forcing the aid through, doing airlifts, you know, if the government won’t give the visas and let you get on the ground. Would that help you in any way, like, even if you could do, like, targeted kind of pin-drop food drops, things like that? Is that something that’s being considered? Would that help you, or it’s really not the kind of infrastructure that you would need to get the aid where it needs to be?

MR. LUU: Anything that might have a positive impact is being looked at and is being discussed. Air drops -- again, here you have to have the in-country infrastructure in order to be able to distribute the supplies. You have to be able to communicate to beneficiaries that air drops are occurring. And therefore, it’s not the most efficient manner in terms of providing relief assistance and, in the end, it may create more harm than anything else. So our point is that, yes, we’re looking at it, but the immediate needs are for open access for the current existing operational partners and for the regime in order to open up to provide for additional relief workers to get on the ground.

QUESTION: Just a quick follow-up. What is -- what do they -- is the regime telling you in terms of why they’re not letting you in?

MR. LUU: I’d have to defer that to my State Department colleagues. What I do know is that, you know, on the humanitarian side, this is what we’re planning on in our discussions with our NGO partners and our UN colleagues.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 8-5-2008 by star in a jar]

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 07:40 PM
It appears that there is an overwhelming, stubborn insistence on open visas and on thousands of outsiders entering the country unfettered, -an 'invasion' if you will- There is total opposition to air drops.

The reasoning and answer of Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Ky Luu is odd.

I mean, why not air drops? What's next for Burma? I just pray the people won't be exploited.

UPDATE: looking at the replies below I realize that maybe the UN and US simply doesn't want to prop up the regime in Myanmar or get its c-130's shot down so they're denying people airdrops.

I realize that the Junta might collect those airdrop and do whatever it wants to do with it...

Oh well, you know what they say: A hungry man is an angry man.
(visit the link for the full news article)

[edit on 9-5-2008 by star in a jar]

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 08:29 PM
Circumventing the military of any country is scary enough, but with the Burmese military, it could be really scary.

From your link, some highlighted text;

there's been some talk about just kind of forcing the aid through, doing airlifts, you know, if the government won’t give the visas and let you get on the ground.


MR. LUU: Anything that might have a positive impact is being looked at and is being discussed.


So our point is that, yes, we’re looking at it, but the immediate needs are for open access

(bolding mine)

Suppose it gets to the point where it's decided to go ahead with air drops regardless of the resistance by the Burmese government to allow them. What would happen if an aid plane got shot down?

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense to circumvent, but there are international laws about these types of incursions, aid or not.

I wish they WOULD just go ahead, but there could be some deadly serious repercussions if they tried.

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 08:32 PM
How would the USA have reacted, post hurricane Katrina, if Cuba had air dropped food and medicine randomly around NOLA?

Considering the amount of aid that the USA refused as "politically motivated" - doctors and medicine from Cuba, a few million barrels of free oil from Iran, and hundreds of millions of dollars in food, supplies, personnel and cash from nations that the USA just didn't want to have any kind of perceived "debt" to, it's not an unfair question.

Given Laura Bush's comments earlier this week, I'd say that their government is rightfully wary of any assistance from the USA - further compounded by the insistence that any American aid be conditional upon it being distributed by American personnel.

If the USA wants to provide Aid on a purely altruistic, humanitarian basis, why not just hand it over to Thailand - who has been providing assistance since it was safe to land in the area, or to India, or China, or Malaysia, all of whom have been getting in and out with relief supplies since early this week, or arrange for it to be distributed through one of the many NGOs that are already there and operational?

Makes more sense to me than playing politics - which is all the USA is doing at the moment.

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 08:52 PM
It may be that at some level, certain factions would welcome other nations being on the ground there. If American/UN relief efforts were "in country" when new conflict "happened to occur" as it did during the rioting a while back.

Naturally, these aid workers would have to be protected, which might mean ousting the current government. I would imagine this idea has crossed the minds of more than a small number of those now in power in Burma.

This insistance on "open access" smells of a whiff of conspiracy; invading on the grounds of helping. Then accusing the government of corruption in dispensing of aid, and you have a reason to remove the current power structure.

Just a thought.

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 09:29 PM
Apparently the post-Cyclone status of Myanmar was discussed briefly at the UNSC meeting on Wednesday. Did that make any western press?

Indonesia's representative had a very interesting comment - and coming from him, given the experience that Indonesia has had with natural disasters, it carries quite a bit of weight, IMO:

However, the UNSC meeting failed to discuss the Myanmar issue because of opposition from some countries including Indonesia.

"We opposed the suggestion. The UNSC is not the appropriate forum to discuss the disaster issue," Indonesian Representative to the UNSC Marty Natalegawa said.

Based on Indonesia`s past experiences in dealing with disasters, especially the 2004 deadly tsunami, Natalegawa said that most probably the aid delivery efforts were hampered by conditions in the field.

"It`s quite possible that the obstacles hampering the relief assistance delivery are not caused by things political but by the complexity of conditions in the field... Please, don`t assume that the technical problems occurred because Myanmar is not serious," he said.

"It should not be politicized," he stated.


posted on May, 8 2008 @ 09:38 PM
reply to post by masqua

i for one dont think planes will get shot down. i feel that it will just be one more thing for the government to take away form their people and make money off of. much like in africa.

that to me is reason enough not to let people on the ground thus encourageing air drops.

posted on May, 8 2008 @ 11:56 PM
My personal Opinion

I'm glad somebody knew the name of the country had changed to Myanmar.

My opinion

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 12:23 AM
Ummm, my personal opinion points to not proceeding with those air drops when ‘help’ by the current Burmese government would not be allowed. It doesn’t make sense to provide aide in this manner. Gosh, I sure would hate to get hit over the head with one of those things falling from the skies and out of nowhere. Surely, there are other options that could be taken by the international community as a whole.

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 01:06 AM
reply to post by Miishgoos

It was Burma for most of my life, only fairly recently did it change its name.

This refusal, so far, to allow humanitarian aid in strikes me as odd. Though airdrops are a little overrated as a way to get aid in, sometimes it may indeed be the only way. But the planes have to be safe in order to do so. Unfortunately, that means waiting for the gov't. of Myanmar/Burma to grant the permission.

[edit on 5/9/2008 by seagull]

posted on May, 9 2008 @ 01:53 AM
There is a very small timeline involved before disease and many more additional deaths result from dysentary and starvation. I don't know what the problem is with the government. I'd be taking any aid from anywhere and be hugely grateful. I know 'Katrina'. It's a frustrating situation.

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