Ignoring the Tragedy is a Tragedy

Every day I scan news sources for “News Bits” to put on the site I manage, WinnsboroToday.com, and I am always dismayed to read yet another instance of some Third World government committing an atrocity against the people they are supposed care enough about to govern.

The most recent is the government of Myanmar, which is really Burma, taking so long to allow aid to reach the victims of the cyclone that ravaged part of the country on May 4th. Millions of people have been displaced without the basics of shelter food, and water and the government took ten days to decide to let one American plane bring food and medical supplies in. Whether more planes will be allowed to bring in supplies is still being debated.

Official government reports from the country are also downplaying the number of people who were killed in the storm, as well as the casualties from disease and starvation since then. Do they think we will not consider them heartless if only 22,000 died instead of 100,000?

That political ends play such a significant role in the response to this kind of tragedy is a tragedy in itself. And I do recall that a similar scenario played out after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast of the United States. Political maneuvering between city, state and federal governments held up aid response for over 24 hours, and in the ensuing public outcry, each entity was busy blaming the other.

It is beyond my comprehension that the leader of a country would not respond immediately to people in need and to hell with politics. To be bound by political rules or advantages would be like me not rushing to my neighbor’s to help put out a fire because I am not part of the volunteer fire department in this area. Sorry. Can’t step on someone’s toes, so I guess your barn will just have to burn down.

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