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McCain and Myanmar

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Senator John McCain told Katie Couric on May 8 that Myanmar has "a very bad government" and that the United States should "ask the other countries in the region as well as China" to "really put some pressure on the junta" to accept humanitarian aid for cyclone victims.

"Very bad"?

The Burmese junta is worse than "very bad" -- in its response to the disaster it is murderous of its own people. According to a story in the May 12 NY Times by a reporter from Burma whose name is not disclosed for obvious reasons,
- the junta is accepting only one-tenth the humanitarian aid that is being offered to cyclone victims,
- an estimated 1.5 million Burmese are at risk of death from starvation or disease,
- Burmese residents are forbidden to offer help, and
- one volunteer even had her car confiscated along with rice she was carrying to victims.

"Ask the other countries... to really put some pressure on the junta"?

McCain's first major appointment upon winning the Republican nomination for president was Doug Goodyear, an Arizona PR consultant with just one foreign client... Myanmar.

Picked by McCain to manage the GOP convention, Goodyear heads up a firm that in 2002 collected $348,000 -- more than 10 percent of the firm's reported annual revenues -- to really put some pressure on the United States to "begin a dialogue of political reconciliation" with the junta. Goodyear's firm attacked Bush administration reports of "deplorable" human rights abuses in Myanmar, describing them as "falsehoods".

Within hours of the Newsweek scoop on Saturday, Goodyear wisely resigned from his McCain assignment.

A YouTube post summarizes the story and concludes with a photo of McCain and the voiceover:

"It's about a lack of judgment."

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