Friday, October 19, 2007

United Nations Was Never the Point

If a country has been ruled by a military junta since 1962 and is currently engaged in a 'crackdown' against citizens they deem problematic, what possible relevance does forming a committee to develop a constitution possess? If 15 or 20 years have gone by with no measurable progress on implementing reforms announced, the answer to this question is simple. The military bullies are simply posturing for the international media, the United Nations and anyone else silly enough to view this latest report as meaningful.

The UN and at least one NGO have indicated millions of people are or may be starving within Burma. This is beyond the number of victims produced in the military regime's current abuse of the Burmese people. The response by the international community has been the typical sanction threats or actions, the usual suspects dissenting on any action against the ruling thugs of Burma and almost everyone else largely ignoring the entire situation. At least that is how it appears with no solution provided and the UN doing the usual kabuki dance.

You can take all the ideologies on the planet and throw them out. If every country was forced to survive only with what is available within their own geopolitical boundaries we would soon learn that from a practical standpoint we need each other. While the Jihadists inflict upon the innocent their crude, barbaric and self-centered retribution and the recognized nations of the world continue business as usual as a more subtle approach to the same end, targeting other human beings as one's prey for personal gain will fuel the unrest and bitterness throughout this planet ad infinitum.

It is not really a matter of the United Nations being flawed or incompetent. The organization and the members it represents never sincerely intended to achieve the goals contained in any mission statement. It was merely a convenient method to appear concerned and open another channel for pursuing their original objectives; to rise above the competing nations for a superior position in the world. And the game continues unabated.

Burma's Military Government Appoints Commission to Draft Constitution
By VOA News
18 October 2007

Burma's military government says it has appointed a committee tasked with drafting the country's constitution.

State media Thursday report the 54-member committee will be chaired by Chief Justice Aung Toe.

The move is another step in the military government's so-called "road map" to democracy that it says will lead to elections in the future.

The guidelines for a new charter were decided during 14 years of talks that ended in September. The party of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was not a participant in those talks and the guidelines bar her from holding office.

The U.S. State Department Thursday reproached the Burmese government for failing to halt its crackdown, release political prisoners, or open a dialogue with its political opponents.

Burmese state media claim the government is still holding nearly 380 people arrested in the crackdown on protesters.

Separately, the U.N. World Food Program reports that an estimated five million people in Burma, or roughly 10 percent of its population, are on the verge of starvation.

Earlier today, the United Nations envoy to Burma, Ibrahim Gambari, suggested that international powers give Burma incentives to let it know that the world is not just there to punish its military rulers.

Gambari is in Jakarta as part of an Asian tour aimed at increasing pressure on Burma's government after its bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests last month.

Gambari says he will make his next trip to Burma around mid-November, or earlier, if possible.

He hopes to meet with Burma's top military leader, General Than Shwe, and detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during the visit.

Stanford Matthews


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