Want a true good news story on human endurance against all but insurmountable odds? Try this for size:
More than six weeks have passed since Cyclone Nargis swept through the Irrawaddy Delta in southern Myanmar, leaving a trail of flattened villages and broken lives and arousing international sympathy that turned to anguish as the military government obstructed foreign aid.
Now doctors and aid workers who have gained access to remote areas of the delta are returning with a less pessimistic picture of the human cost of the delay in reaching survivors.
They say there have been no signs of starvation or widespread outbreaks of disease, and the number of lives lost because of the military government’s slow response to the disaster appears to have been very few.
Relief workers here continue to criticize the government’s secretive posture and obsession with security, its restrictions on foreign aid experts and the weeks of dawdling that left bloated bodies befouling waterways and survivors marooned with little food and supplies. But the specific character of Cyclone Nargis, the hardiness of villagers and efforts by private citizens to offer assistance mitigated against further death and sickness, aid workers say.
So let me get this straight: the Burmese survived without the Marines???
Philip Cunningham sifts through the coverage of one big American newspaper and finds it lacking.
My tirade is here.