However, aid providers are unlikely to pursue unilateral deliveries like airdrops [to rural Myanmar regions] because of the diplomatic firestorm that it could set off.
Officials have said only one out of 10 people who are homeless, injured or threatened by disease and hunger have received some kind of aid since the cyclone hit May 3.
The government's abilities are limited. It has only a few dozen helicopters, most of which are small and old. It also has about 15 transport planes, primarily small jets unable to carry hundreds of tons of supplies.
"Not only don't they have the capacity to deliver assistance, they don't have experience," said Farmaner, the British aid worker. "It's already too late for many people. Every day of delays is costing thousands of lives."
WTF?? Look, I'm sorry, but I think this is one of those times that diplomatic feelings should be told to piss off. Is the Myanmar regime actually a military threat to anyone (other than it's own populace)? Or is this about not pissing them off so they won't cut off access to their natural resources for the foreign governments that prop them up?
Not doing aid drops is tantamount to actively participating in ethnic cleansing. There are a large portion of the people not being given aid (with the propaganda that this foreign aid is a "gift" of the ruling regime) even as the country goes ahead and participates in a national referendum to continue the military junta's power. Ie, those they don't want to vote aren't, and oh by the way, they'll probably be dead by month's end.
Look, foricibly involving your country in another's affairs (*cough*Iraq*cough*) is bad. Ignoring what's happening for the sake of diplomacy or the idea that interfering in a civil war is not only criminal, it's immoral. (see Rwanda, Uganda, Darfur, Bosnia, etc). We've seen that sometimes, interference actually improves the situation (Liberia, anyone? Of course, I'm refering to the latest interference that helped allow peaceful elections and not all the crap that came before). Yes, it's a fine damn line. However, when there's 100,000 lives at stake that are just being ignored, it's not that hard.
The events and aftermath of Katrina were horrible. One wonders if the Myanmar junta took lessons from Brownie's FEMA or if this is the way things would have gone anyways.
One thing is for certain, Myanmar learned well from the popular protests earlier this year about how to control the media. The few journalists in the area must avoid the army and the lack of electricity hampers much real reporting. In a few years, Myanmar may join N. Korea in being a black hole for news.
MotherJones has an account of the price gouging and other scenes of desperation