Remember this symbol

by lestro

Something tells me we are going to be seeing a lot of it in the next few weeks…

A student carries a sign board reading disaster after she took part in the Mianyang leg of Beijing Olympic torch relay outside the Jiuzhou stadium on Monday in Mianyang of Sichuan Province, China. The three-day Beijing Olympic torch relay held in the quake-hit Sichuan province, the last relay leg before Beijing.

(August 04, 2008) Getty Images via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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Burma on fire

by twit

Another day, another outrage, another reason for war.

From the BBC on May 30, 2008, there are reports from Myanmar indicating:

Burma’s military government had begun to evict homeless families from some government-run emergency camps.

It has given them bamboo poles and tarpaulins and told them to go and rebuild their lives, say reports.

An estimated 2.4m people remain homeless and hungry following Cyclone Nargis, which struck on 2 May.

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The Battle for Burma

by twit

While the current scope of government-facilitated death and destruction fails to move the world to further action than what the Burma junta permits, the situation is predicted as about to change dramatically for the worse.

From the Guardian on May 14, 2008:

Weather experts said there was a good chance the tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal could develop into a “significant” cyclone within the next 24 hours.

There is no doubt at this point that Burma is contributing the scope of the crisis:

Gordon Brown today described the crisis as having touched “the whole conscience of the world”.

He said that, while more relief planes had been allowed into the country, the situation was still “not good enough”.

“A natural disaster in Burma, by the actions of a despicable regime, has been turned into a … manmade catastrophe,” he said.

China is currently responding to its own natural disaster, demonstrating what a military can do to reach survivors in devastated areas.

From the Associated Press on May 13, 2008:

Soldiers hiking over landslide-blocked roads reached the epicenter of China’s devastating earthquake Tuesday, pulling bodies and a few survivors from collapsed buildings.

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Going to war with Burma

by twit

https://i1.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44631000/jpg/_44631625_un_cyclone22670.jpgIt is a heady consequence of the Bush doctrine of preemptive warfare that it even feels tangible to think about invading a country like Burma, so I proceed with caution here. Ultimately, my point is similar to what lestro said, after finding the satellite images of the original coastline and the new shape of the country:

Why can’t we use the military to deliver aid the same way we do death?

Why is it we only need to be allowed in to help but it’s ok to just go in when we want to destroy something?

Click on the picture to toggle between the two images, via the Washington Post:

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Between fits of giggles,

by twit

President Bush says he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details about how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to an exclusive interview with ABC News Friday.

From ABC News, everything you already knew, now thrown in your face.

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Should the US boycott the Olympics?

vs.

Previously, in response to a report that hundreds of Tibetans have been killed since March 10, 2008, lestro wondered, “what if they hosted an Olympics and no one came?”

The conversation continues…

https://i0.wp.com/i.infoplease.com/images/blackpower.jpg

Bush: Politics not a factor in Olympics

WASHINGTON – China’s crackdown in Tibet will not cause President Bush to cancel his planned trip to the Beijing Olympics, the White House said Thursday.

… Presidential spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush’s position is that the Olympics “should be about the athletes and not necessarily about politics.”

She said that Bush, in accepting the invitation last year from Chinese President Hu Jintao to attend the Olympics, told him the games would “shine a spotlight on all things Chinese.”

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Perino added.

Bush agreed to go to the Olympics during a meeting with Hu in Australia last September during the Asia Pacific Economic Council meeting. A White House spokesman said at the time that Bush was going to the games for the sports and not for any political statement.

(image via infoplease.com via www.attytood.com)

Should the US boycott the 2008 Olympics?

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welcome to the future

by twit

Yesterday, in response to a report that hundreds of Tibetans have been killed since March 10, 2008, lestro wondered, “what if they hosted an Olympics and no one came?” and that made a lot of sense when we were just looking at the reports collected by Boing Boing, including this:

It was impossible not to notice that the United States removed China from its list of top 10 human rights violators just as the biggest anti-China protests in 20 years erupted in Tibet.

[…] China had a chance to shine for its Olympic coming-out party and is blowing it. Its leaders will continue to have to battle protests and unrest — and endure international reproach — until they ensure more freedom for all their citizens, including greater religious tolerance and freedom for Tibet.

from the New York Times Editorial Board, that maybe missed a bit of news before going to print with the phrase ‘international reproach,’ because it turns out that when it comes to the Olympics, it is exactly the opposite:

The European Union is not in favor of a growing call for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics to express disapproval over China’s crackdown on pro-independent movements in Tibet.

[…] Russia even supported the Chinese government. In a statement, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, “Russia has repeatedly declared that it views Tibet as an inalienable part of China, and considers the resolution of relations with the Dalai Lama to be an internal matter of the People’s Republic of China.”

Even the Dalai Lama, although he condemned China for its rule of terror and cultural genocide, stopped short of calling for a boycott of the Olympic games.

[…] [Thomas Bach, German vice president of the International Olympic Committee] stressed sports organizations are not world governments and cannot solve problems that decades of international leaders and head of governments had tried, but likewise failed.

The Olympics are an international gesture of goodwill and an economic boom for the country hosting it. Historically, it has not been immune from being drawn into the fray of international conflicts. Fundamentally, it is a diplomatic exercise whether it wants to be or not.

I thought diplomacy was exactly how we are supposed to approach violations of international law. Especially when China sits as a permanent member of the Security Council. What else can be done?

Martin Luther King, Jr. sums it up well:

The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.

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