22,000 dead


That’s the latest death toll — now expected to grow higher as more than 30,000 are still missing — from the cyclone that hit Burma.
This is really horrible — and despite the bias in the western media against the ruling junta and the hope that this catastrophe will shake the political hold of Burma’s generals, I don’t think that democracy grows from massive natural disasters. In fact, I think the opposite usually occurs.
— Steve Clemons


6 comments on “22,000 dead

  1. bob h says:

    Amusing that the callous mishandlers of Katrina were so
    immediate and vociferous in their condemnation of the Burmese
    junta response.


  2. Beth in VA says:

    This is so sad–what a huge tragedy.
    Laura Bush in her statement used the older term “Burma” for the country, instead of Myanmar. Was that to make a statement, I wonder? Is that politically astute? politically correct? I don’t know, it just stood out to my ear.


  3. KC Bill 13 says:

    I would agree with you on nothing positive coming from this.
    But I was disgusted that Laura Bush is criticising the junta for not informing and working for it’s people, when the bushies completely failed the people with Katrina…


  4. quihana says:

    Steve Clemens:
    Thanks for clarifying that. I certainly agree that nothing good is
    likely to result from this disaster. The SPDC has shown so little
    regard for anyone not themselves that one can’t imagine the
    pressures of catastrophe would somehow produce a more
    enlightened policy. I just wanted to be sure that I wasn’t missing
    your point.
    Thanks also for the blog btw, it’s on my short list for daily reading.


  5. Steve Clemons says:

    quihana —
    No. I think that the bias is justified, but I think that many in the Western press tend to write to deterministically that the crisis today will weaken the junta and give protestors and opposition an opening. I hope I’m wrong, and I may be. But I tend to think that these kinds of disasters produce martial law, crackdowns, and a worsening of political conditions — not improvement.
    Perhaps this should be written differently as the bias is really about the tendency to think democracy will take root if the generals are thrown off balance…rather than a bias against the junta, which I share.
    best, steve


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