The boy who knew too much: a child prodigy

This is the true story of scientific child prodigy, and former baby genius, Ainan Celeste Cawley, written by his father. It is the true story, too, of his gifted brothers and of all the Cawley family. I write also of child prodigy and genius in general: what it is, and how it is so often neglected in the modern world. As a society, we so often fail those we should most hope to see succeed: our gifted children and the gifted adults they become. Site Copyright: Valentine Cawley, 2006 +

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who is international aid to Myanmar feeding?

The callous imagination of the Myanmar junta goes beyond one's cruellest imagination. Latest reports suggest that food aid to Myanmar is being confiscated by the junta, with some, at least, confirmed to have been sent to a military warehouse.

The high-grade nutritional biscuits that were sent, were kept for the military - and instead, low-grade "tasteless" biscuits made in Myanmar were distributed. Thus, the good food that is sent is ending up in military bellies (or intended to end up there) - and bad, even "rotting food", as witnesses described the rice that was being given out, is being distributed instead.

So, now the international community has an even bigger moral dilemma. Should food aid be sent at all if it is not going to reach the needy? To send food aid and have it feed the military is to do nothing for the endangered and will only serve to strengthen their oppressors. Here we have a situation in which the international will to help the hungry and threatened, is being perverted by their ruling regime to become an effort which will only bolster those who oppress them.

France, Britain and Germany are of the opinion that aid should be forced on the junta. That is, the international community has a moral imperative to ensure that the endangered are saved - even if this means going against the will of the ruling military junta.

I tend to agree with them: logic bids me so. If our mission is to save the 2 million now in danger from an unfortunate death, they must receive food and medical aid. The junta will not give them either food or medicine and will, in fact, confiscate both, for its own purposes. Therefore neither food nor aid should be given to the junta to distribute, nor allowed to fall into their hands. The only way these 2 million people are going to be saved is if the international community ignores the junta and goes in directly. Unless this intervention consists solely of air drops (which might be confiscated), any aid workers would have to be accompanied by armed escort, lest this effort leads to violent confrontation.

So, the options in the situation are limited. To continue to deliver aid without workers to distribute it is only to ensure that nothing gets done for the afflicted - and that the regime have fuller bellies. To continue to stand by and wait for the junta to wake up and grow a conscience is to ensure that people will continue to die by the thousand. There is, therefore, only one logical answer: to go in with aid irrespective of the wishes of the ruling morons, oops, elite. That latter option could lead to confrontation but given the backward nature of the society, I am sure that advanced powers would have little difficulty managing the junta's response.

It is interesting to note who favours forced aid: Britain, France and Germany - among the most advanced humanitarian democracies in the world. It is even more telling who opposes it: Russia and China - two countries most like Myanmar. Indeed, on a footnote, China is now opposing foreign aid workers who wish to assist in their earthquake disaster - the exact same response as Myanmar. It seems that repressive regimes the world over, simply don't want their people to learn that foreigners are a much kinder bunch than they have been painted. If they ever learn the equation that democracy=concern for others, their repressive regimes are doomed. They would rather their people die by the millions than that they should ever learn what free countries are really like.

I dearly hope that someone has the strength to take the strong decisions that need to be made, if 2 million people in Myanmar are not to fall to hunger, lack of shelter and rampant disease.

(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and five months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, four years and ten months, and Tiarnan, twenty-seven months, please go to: I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind, niño, gênio criança, gifted adults and gifted children in general. Thanks.)

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posted by Valentine Cawley @ 10:34 AM 


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