- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy
Invoking the United Nations’ "Responsibility to Protect" clause, the EU’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana joined French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner in calling for the international community to aid the population of Burma, even without the consent of their government.
"We have to use all the means to help those people," Javier Solana said before an emergency meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. "The United Nations charter opens some avenues if things cannot be resolved in order to get the humanitarian aid to arrive."
China’s veto pretty much precludes a Security Council resolution which is why some, like journalist (and top public intellectual) Anne Applebaum are calling for a new "coalition of the willing" to deliver aid without the junta’s cooperation. Applebaum acknowledges that the phrase has been "tainted forever" by its association with the war in Iraq, but she isn’t the only one drawing that parrallel. The Christian Science Monitor quoted one Burmese merchant who wondered why his country didn’t meet the criteria for humanitarian intervention:
"I want to talk to Mr. George Bush. What are you doing? United Nations, what are you doing? We have no food, no water. This is the worst government in the world. Same as Saddam Hussein. Why you cannot help us?"