The Los Angeles Times editorial page says we must help the people of Myanmar, but it isn’t sure how. “The world must act quickly to keep the death toll from mounting and to stop the beatings and torture that have been well-documented in Myanmar’s prisons and that are surely taking place today,” its editorial says. “Yet the ‘international community’ appears as impotent as ever to stop the repression.”

The editorial also states, “The demonstrators in Myanmar, also known as Burma, surely know by now that they can count on no more than rhetorical support.”

The Washington Post editorial says Russia and China “will have Burma’s blood on their hands” after a crackdown:

The problem is that the “whole world” is not yet prepared to prevent a massacre of monks. Several countries that like to think of themselves as strategic partners of the West — in particular, Russia and China — are blocking concerted international action against the regime. China, which has taken advantage of Burma’s pariah status to turn it into a virtual economic colony, came out against U.N. sanctions yesterday. Russia’s foreign ministry issued a statement rejecting “interference in the domestic affairs” of Burma and predicting that “the situation will be back to normal soon” — chilling words considering what the troops in Rangoon would have to do to return the situation to “normal.”

Yesterday, Russia and China prevented the Security Council even from condemning the violence against protesters. In effect, they are giving the regime a green light for brutal repression. We can hope that the generals will be deterred by the warnings about the war crimes trials that could await them, or that their officers and conscripts will refuse to carry out their orders. If the repression proceeds, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao will have Burma’s blood on their hands.