Natural disasters are no one's fault (except insofar as they may be exacerbated by global climate change). Some governments don't do a very good job of preparing for them or providing relief afterwards. Hurricane Katrina, anyone? But even the Bush administration's incompetence and callousness pales in comparison with the out-and-out evil of the Burmese junta:
The United Nations' top World Food Program official says he is "furious" over the Myanmar's government's refusal to allow the organization to distribute aid that was flown in for cyclone disaster victims.
Future flights have been suspended.
Two planes that landed Friday morning in Rangon carrying 38 tons of high-energy biscuits, medical kits and other items were seized by officials at Yangon International Airport, said Tony Banbury.
The cargo is enough to feed 95,000 people, he said.
"We off-loaded the food, and then the authorities refused us permission to take that food away.
"We were told we needed a special letter from the Minister of Social Welfare. We hand-delivered a request to him. The answer back was 'No, you can't have the food.'
"That food is now sitting on the tarmac doing no good."
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Paul Risley, a spokesman for the U.N. World Food Program, told CNN the agency has never encountered such resistance to offers of help in such a mushrooming humanitarian crisis.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the military junta in Myanmar has behaved "appallingly" by declining to grant more visas to relief workers.
"This has never happened before," he said Friday.
To complicate matters, Myanmar's embassy in Bangkok, Thailand -- where aid groups have been waiting for days for entry permission -- was closed Friday for a holiday.
How nice that the junta respects holidays while hundreds of thousands of people are dying. With some observers speculating that the death toll could rise to 500,000 if relief efforts are not successful, the actions of the Burmese government constitute a crime against humanity. The military there is declaring war on its own people. Perhaps they figure that a decimated populace will be easier to control.