Monday, May 05, 2008

Laura Bush Leads the Way. Again.

A devastating cyclone hit Yangon, Myanmar (also known as Burma) and thousands are dead. Cyclone Nargis hit as the military junta controlling Burma is less than one week out from a vote on a referendum for a new constitution. The heavily criticized response to the cyclone is not good news for a junta already blamed for ruining the country's economy and abolishing democracy.

From an AP story, "Where are all those uniformed people who are always ready to beat civilians?" said a trishaw driver who refused to be identified fro fear of retribution. "They should come out in full force and help clean up the areas and restore electricity."

The new constitution is to be followed in 2010 by a general election.

Today First Lady Laura Bush held a news conference, a rare occurrence. The First Lady has been an active advocate for the country of Burma and was encouraging the American press, the White House Press Corps, to keep the story alive in their publications and stories. She wants the regime to understand it will be held accountable by the International community. "The response to the cyclone is the most recent failure of the regime to meet its people's basic needs," Bush told reporters.

Unsure how much foreign assistance the junta will allow into the country, she asked them to admit U.S. State department disaster response teams. As of today, they were being denied entrance into the country. The regime has, however, accepted $250,000 in cash assistance from the U.S. embassy in Yangon.

Laura Bush was visibly angered by the actions of the junta and the suffering of the people of Burma. She criticized the failure of the state-run media to sound the alarm system as the cyclone approached.

Tomorrow, President Bush will sign the legislation approving the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize winning democracy advocate who has been held under house arrest, even though her party was elected into power in 1990. Laura Bush has followed the story of this woman for quite some time and her story is what led the First Lady to become such a strong voice for Burma.

Last year when the Dalai Lama was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, an angry response from the Chinese government occurred. Unlike the Dalai Lama, Mrs. Bush doesn't think that Aung San Suu Kyi will travel to D.C. to personally accept the award. There is much doubt that she would be allowed to go back.

Once again, Laura Bush leads with quiet dignity. Just last week, I read an opinion piece in the LA Times that criticized her. The lunatic bellowing about the wasted years of the First Lady in the White House was way off base. Another case of Bush Derangement misplaced. This First Lady has led the way for Afghan women and children to be educated and live lives in freedom, she has led the way for unprecedented attention to the AIDS/HIV problem in Africa and the problem of rampant malaria. She led the charge for breast cancer education in Saudi Arabia and its neighboring Arab countries. In our country she has been a strong advocate for literacy and continues on her personal mission to encourage graduating students to pursue a career in education. She's written books for children.

No absence of substance there. Lots of absence of character in her critics though.


Paul is a Hermit said...

She trying. Never one to aggrandize herself. What's wrong with her?

If the U.N. weren't tied up building a new headquarters, I know they'd be willing to handle the donations. Uhhh..., they always find time for that.
I guess we're chipping in about $400 million, maybe, it's what is expected. For the building, I mean. Which is better spent there, than giving it to the Burmese authorities, unless we find a way to put aid directly into the hands of those in need.
Such a cynic, sorry.

Nikki said...

Great piece Karen, Laura Bush is going to be sorely missed and this is the first I have heard about this. The President and first lady never toot their own horns unlike the Clintons who were constantly reading their accomplishments out loud for the world to hear. The Bush's seem to to quiet acts of humanitarian efforts and republicans complain and democrats are ignorant. nice job. :)N

Z said...

The LA Times, something I and most of my friends and family don't get anymore, is negative, very liberal, and a waste of even the small amount of money it costs.
To slam Laura Bush for, what, not having an affair? not trying to fix health care? not blowing her own horn?, is typical of their character, you're right, Karen.
I have a feeling we'll miss Laura Bush in the White House. Her quiet concern and activism is a template for how First Lady's ought to act, it doesn't deserve derision. I hope the wedding this weekend goes well...they deserve a break from the constant barrage of insults.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Very nice piece. Maybe the left does not like the fact that Mrs. Bush won't run for Senate and the POTUS in 6-8 years like Billary did.

And it's BDS again, the female variant this time. Much rarer than normal BDS but just as ugly...

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Laura Bush is a real Lady. Politics aside - she's done a lot for Amrica and for girls around the world and ppl everywhere.

Heckfire - just going to Saudiland and using up precious state controlled prime time media (unhijabed too)to discuss the most womanly subject of Breast Cancer in the worlds original he man women hating kingdom was awesome!

LA Times was totally off the mark and had an air of not knowing what the heck they were talking about.

1st Lady Bush also has the distinction of earning Great Satan's Hootchie of the Year 2007 Award at GsGf.

AC said...

I'm reminded of Amy Tan's book set in Burma, Saving Fish from Drowning. Now it is a peculiar read, and not all that...factual? realistic? her books always are a little mystical, but there is some excellent description of the changes made in Burma and its oppression and the danger.

I'll miss Laura Bush, very much.

Beverly said...

Go, Laura. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We probably never would have known otherwise.

Incognito said...

I think it was France that broached the subject, at the UN, of forcing aid on the Burmese, and it was rejected, of course, by the usual suspects claiming we have no right to inject ourselves into the internal affairs of another country.