First Lady Prods UN Head on Burma Policy

Laura Bush urges tougher stance on crackdown on protests
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 7:35 PM CDT
First lady Laura Bush, center, accompanied by Senate Women's Caucus on Burma members Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., left, and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, right, takes part in a meeting on Capitol...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – As part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness about strife in military-led Burma, Laura Bush called on the UN to condemn recent arrests of political dissidents. The first lady made her passion clear with a phone call to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last week, in which she called the junta's arrests a "brutal crackdown," the Washington Post reports.

Bush pointed to China and especially Russia as potential problems on the road to a tougher UN resolution. "I don't know about Russia," she told reporters yesterday. "You know, they seem that whatever we're for, they're against." Usually more politically mild-mannered, her remarks were interpreted as a criticism by the UN envoy on Burma, who said, "the tone was surprising."