World Toes Junta's Line as Burmese Die

Dictators don't want you to think about the victims, and media is helping
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2008 2:47 PM CDT
In this Burma News Agency photo taken on Wednesday, May 7, 2008 and released by China's Xinhua News Agency on May 8, houses destroyed by Cyclone Nargis are seen in a village in the Irrawaddy delta.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The leaders of the Burmese junta don’t want you to think about the victims of Cyclone Nargis, writes Tom Jenkins for the Guardian, and the world and the media are only too happy to oblige. The Chinese government’s heroics in Asia's other natural disaster focuses attention on victims receiving help, while the Burmese who desperately need outside intervention die off-camera.

Rampant disease and starvation from the junta’s continued callousness will result in a second, avoidable disaster. Yet the world’s most powerful governments toe the weakened dictators' line, held captive by the improbable threat of armed resistance to air-dropped aid—while the media stokes our complicity by focusing on incremental, improbable “breakthroughs” such as the recent ASEAN deal. Enough is enough, writes Jenkins.