Okay--before the right wing nut jobs blow a gasket, I acknowledge that a) giving aid is good, and b) yes, a country can condition aid on anything it likes.
But, let's see: The ruling junta of Burma (and no, I'm not calling it Myanmar. You have your freedom fries, I get my Burma) are notoriously paranoid about outside organizations coming into the country. George Bush is notoriously famous for meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. If Dubya really wanted to give aid, maybe he could just shut up about the "freedom freedom freedom" thing, for once.
Update--Laura's good at it too. From Dan Froomkin:
When a country run by a despotic and isolationist regime is laid low by a massive natural disaster, the diplomatic thing to do is to respond with a show of compassion. Not kick 'em when they're down.Well done, Laura!
More than 22,000 people have died in the staggering devastation caused by this weekend's cyclone in Burma. But when First Lady Laura Bush made her first-ever visit to the White House briefing room yesterday, to talk about what's going on in that country, it was not to deliver a message of goodwill.
Rather than announce the launch of a massive relief effort that could take advantage of a rare diplomatic opening, the first lady instead tossed insults at Burma's leaders, blamed them for the high death toll, and lashed out at their decision to move forward with a constitutional referendum scheduled for this Saturday.