The news from Burma gets ever more dire, not that anyone with any understanding of the bastards that run the place should be surprised.
Returning from a semi-work function last night we were listening to the radio with some unidentified UN official giving a series of increasingly bureaucratic (there are the reasons we can't do anything) responses to the question about intervention. Such as this letter:
The time has come for the world to call the Burma "regime", "junta", whatever you wish to call it, to account. The deliberate repression of your own people following a massive natural disaster may not be genocide, but it has the same results.
UN's lip service.
While governments and the United Nations posture and send messages "in the strongest possible terms", Burma's junta stockpiles aid and the people die in vast numbers. It is almost impossible to think of a more appropriate scenario for the use of the UN's "responsibility to protect" provision ("Criminal inaction a call to arms", May 16). As the refusal of Burma's generals to allow the entry of aid is directly causing unnecessary loss of life, a crime against humanity is being committed and thus the provision's criteria are fulfilled. As a regional power, the Australian Government must pressure the UN for immediate action in Burma in whatever form is necessary to ensure that assistance reaches those who need it now.
Dr Andrew Clift
Siem Reap (Cambodia)
Oh, look at this. Let's watch closely. The China factor is pivotal - what about those Olympics and international recognition (as well as their own earthquake disaster)? We can intervene for good purposes, yes?
Time to start splitting hairs.
Meanwhile, the media is full of the new scourge of cyber-bullying, particularly following the suicide of a young girl in the US after an (adult!!) neighbour set up a fake MySpace page to lure the girl into a virtual relationship with a boy, then ending it.
The colour magazine in today's Courier-Mail (can't find the article on-line, sorry) carries an extensive article with a similar story from NZ at its heart. In this case, the girls who allegedly perpetrated the bullying hung around the funeral, giggling and pointing.
I'm getting very wobbly on capital punishment after stories like these. I think a couple of public executions might get some results (apart from the inevitable TV series - "Teenage Executions Unlocked").
Interesting point, there.
In fact, we'd say that there's a pretty direct link between cyber-bullying, with attendant doctored videos, photos and "facts", and these types of TV series.
What is becoming of our society?
Sometime earlier in the week there must have been a comment about how awful Adelaide is, which provoked a response from one Alexander Downer, a currently irrelevant backbencher in the Parliament. Mr Downer's letter elicited a number of spot-on responses, such as :
Some of us have tried living in Adelaide, Alexander Downer, and the experience was far from pleasant. There are summers of dry, 40-degree-plus heat, and freezing winters, with little in between. Adelaide has the worst water problem of any state capital. A good percentage of the population are religious bigots, self-righteous and suspicious of outsiders. Are we to believe that if Mr Downer were offered an ambassadorial posting to Paris or New York he would turn it down because Adelaide is such a great place to live? I don't think so.
Allan Hondow Ballina
Yes, Alexander Downer, we could all move to Adelaide, but it would be moving the traffic jam from one city to another. And we would have to put up with the likes of you.
Carmel Woods Hurstville
Such a wonderful juxtaposition of opinion from two former foreign affairs ministers: Alexander Downer grappling with the sauvignon blanc delights of the verdant Adelaide Hills and Gareth Evans with the complexities of the humanitarian crisis in Burma. Says it all.
Anne Garvan Chatswood West
Oh yes. Mr Relevance Deprivation Syndrome himself shows he's over it and well back in harness. As for Mr Recently Deposed...