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Originally posted by ZindoDoone
WOW,THE US REALY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING TO CAUSE THIS PROBLEM!!!!
Heres a link of the history of the country and the crimials who have ben running it. The people don't deserve this but they sure are the victims. It looks like military dictatorship is the rule of the day. The reformers in the resistance are the reasons the Military Hunta don't want the aid. They fear that the resistance will get the food and be able to keep the resistance moving forward. Not sure of the politics of both sides but this is typical of these third world countries. Most unfortunate.
The new sanctions prevent U.S. humanitarian organizations and individuals from donating money directly to causes within impoverished Myanmar. U.S. aid organizations, such as the American Red Cross, found they could provide only supplies—not personnel or money—to the relief effort under the sanctions rules. While the U.S. corporate media have carried hundreds of reports arrogantly lecturing Myanmar on what is not being done, they are not even mentioning the impact of the new U.S. sanctions that were imposed as the storm barreled toward the country.
Burma (which changed its name to Myanmar in 1989) was a colony of British imperialism for over 60 years. In fact the commercial production of oil in Myanmar dates back to 1871 when British colonialists set up the Rangoon Oil Company.
Since formal independence in 1948, different imperialist powers have exploited the country’s people and plundered its resources. It is beyond the scope of this article to review this history. But an example of imperialist control and development of Myanmar’s energy resources provides a picture of the country’s relationship to the world capitalist system.
Myanmar has the world's tenth largest gas reserves. It has been producing natural gas since the 1970s. Today, gas exports are Myanmar's most important source of national income.
In the 1990s Myanmar granted gas concessions to foreign companies from France and Great Britain. Later Texaco and Unocal (now absorbed into ChevronTexaco) gained rights to Myanmar’s gas as well.
In 2005 other countries in the region, including China, Thailand, and South Korea invested in Myanmar’s oil and gas industry.
What did this mean for the masses of people in Myanmar?
In 1996 a human rights suit was filed against the American-based Unocal Corp. A group of villagers accused Unocal of using forced labor conscripted by Myanmar soldiers. Villagers were raped, murdered, and brutally relocated during the construction of a $1.2 billion gas pipeline to Thailand, started in 1990.
The suit, which Unocal settled in 2004, brought to light the kind of horrible crimes that were being committed by a consortium of foreign companies, including Unocal, all of which were receiving support and protection from the military regime.
One woman testified how soldiers came to her home, shot her husband, and killed her baby. Other villagers recounted how their neighbors were executed because they refused to leave the area Unocal wanted. Two girls said soldiers raped them at knifepoint (The Nation, June 30, 2003). Human Rights Watch interviewed hundreds of villagers who were driven from their homes and farms, many forced to work at gunpoint and beaten by guards.
The UN issued warnings of serious human rights abuses in 1995. After such embarrassing evidence came out, Texaco left the country in 1997. But Unocal retained 28 percent interest in the pipeline.
The U.S. government expresses outrage that Myanmar, while it accepts aid, will not allow foreign personnel to oversee its distribution. The government-run newspaper New Light of Myanmar on May 9 explained why this is so: “The Pentagon is desperate to station their military bases in our country.”
Many countries even in the midst of a disaster fear U.S. and Western assistance because it so often comes with strings attached, including onerous debt conditions and demands to reorganize their economy and privatize nationally owned resources.
The reality is: The US criticism of the Myanmar government has nothing to do with concern for the victims of the cyclone. It has everything to do with cold calculations about how to use this disaster to further U.S. interests—to pry open the country, to weaken the military regime, and to create more favorable conditions for a full-out regime change. The U.S. wants to bring to power a government in Myanmar that more fully serves U.S. economic and political interests, including in relationship to U.S. contention with other capitalist powers. To understand this, we need to first of all look at the geostrategic interests the U.S. is pursuing in Myanmar.
Three great regions of Asia come together where Myanmar sits on the planet—China in the north, Southeast Asia in the south, and India in the west. Looking at a map, it becomes clear how Myanmar is key to establishing land-links between Central Asia in the west, Japan in the east and Russia in the north.
Off the coast of Myanmar is the Strait of Malacca. This waterway between Malaysia and Indonesia is one of the world’s most strategic water passages. It links the Indian and Pacific Oceans and is the shortest sea route between the Persian Gulf and China. Each and every day, supertankers carrying more than 12 million barrels of oil pass through this strait. More than 80% of all China's oil imports are shipped through this waterway.