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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 5-Jun-2008
American aid ships are ordered to leave Burma's (Myanmar's) waters

Web Log - June, 2008

American aid ships are ordered to leave Burma's (Myanmar's) waters

Military junta is using cyclone devastation as cover for violent campaign against Karen minority.

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American aid ships are ordered to leave Burma's (Myanmar's) waters: Military junta is using cyclone devastation as cover for violent campaign against Karen minority.... (5-Jun-2008)
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Burma (Myanmar) junta is turning a natural disaster into a criminal catastrophe: Could it affect the Beijing summer Olympics?... (11-May-2008)
Cyclone Nargis could trigger violence in Burma (Myanmar): Burmese generals are placing obstacles in the way of international aid.... (8-May-2008)
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Burma (Myanmar) demonstrations fizzle after violent government response: Thousands of troops are exerting a massive stranglehold on the streets of Rangoon... (2-Oct-07)
Burma: Growing demonstrations by the "88 Generation" raise fears of new slaughter: At the UN, President Bush announced new sanctions on Burma (Myanmar),... (26-Sep-07)

After more than one month after Cyclone Nargis struck Burma, the U.S. has given up trying to provide aid. The American aid ships, loaded with food, medicines, blankets, tents, and other supplies, have been ordered to sail away from Burma, after repeated failures to gain permission to deliver the aid to cyclone victims.

In a letter from Nobel laureates sent two weeks ago, the Myanmar junta is accused of crimes against humanity. The letter also called on the West to provide aid by force, without waiting any longer for permission:

"By refusing aid, the Burmese regime has effectively declared war on its own population and is committing crimes against humanity. The UK, United States, and France have the capacity to respond immediately. Please use your ships, helicopters, and all other tools within your capacity to immediately deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Burma. We must wait no longer for permission from China and Burma's military regime. The time to save 1.5 million lives is now."

Now there are new charges of crimes against humanity for a different reason: The military junta is conducting a violent and brutal campaign, including killing and torture against the Karen ethnic group, according to Amnesty International. The junta has forcibly relocated almost 150,000 Karen people after burning their villages and destroying their crops.

This apparently answers the question of why the junta has been refusing to allow foreign aid workers to enter the country. The after-effects of Cyclone Nargis are being used as a cover-up for the violence against the Karens.

Unfortunately, the situation in Burma is going to get even worse.

Burma's Irrawady Delta - satellite view prior to Cyclone Nargis <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Burma's Irrawady Delta - satellite view prior to Cyclone Nargis (Source: CNN)

The adjacent map shows the Irrawady delta as it appeared in a satellite shot prior to the arrival of Cyclone Nargis. The region indicated by the weatherperson shows large near-white areas. These were the rice paddies, the rice bowl, where the nation's food was grown. These areas were all flooded and washed away by the cyclone.

Burma has been running a rice surplus for two years, and was planning to export rice this year. That's in the past. The rice harvest has been lost. In addition, the livestock and equipment that were used to plant and harvest rice have also been lost.

Food used to be plentiful in Burma, but now people are going to starve, with little relief in sight.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is going to have a HUGE impact on Burma, something that will be a great shock to the military junta, who have completely misread the situation.

As I wrote last September in "Burma: Growing demonstrations by the '88 Generation' raise fears of new slaughter," Burma is in a generational Unraveling era, its last Crisis war having been an ethnic civil war climaxing in 1958. Large demonstrations are typical in Unraveling Eras, but they fizzle out quickly, as happened last September. I said at that time that a new crisis war would not occur at that time, but would probably occur within ten years or so, as the survivors of the previous crisis war disappear.

However, from the point of view of generational theory, the most significant question is whether all of these psychotic actions by the junta will speed up the timeline. This might happen, for example, if the cyclone disproportionately killed older people, in the generation of survivors of the civil war that ended in 1958.

The junta fears a repeat of the bloody, genocidal crisis civil war of the 1950s. What they don't understand is that the actions they're taking might actually speed up the schedule for a new crisis civil war.

What is certain is that the Burmese people are infuriated by what's happening. They are fully aware of the crimes that the junta has committed, including the fact that aid ships from Europe and the U.S. are leaving, taking away all the supplies they brought with them. Whenever the civil war returns, as it must, the junta will learn that their use of violence and torture to suppress rebellion has failed, and that there will be a great deal of revenge-taking against the junta and their supporters. (5-Jun-2008) Permanent Link
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