We talked about the cyclone in Myanmar a few months back, so I thought it would be useful to our listeners/readers to check out this op-ed in the WaPo, written by a humanitarian aid official. There was a lot of talk at the time about whether or not Myanmar justified military intervention in the face of the government’s intransigence. John Holmes says no:
From the first, the aid operation in Myanmar — as is true everywhere we work — had to be about helping vulnerable people in need, not about politics. In this post-Iraq age, I am concerned that humanitarians are often pressured to choose between the hammer of forced intervention and the anvil of perceived inaction. Was there a realistic alternative to the approach of persistent negotiation and dialogue that we pursued? I do not believe so. Nor have I met anyone engaged in the operations who believes that a different approach would have brought more aid to more people more quickly.