Skip to comments.Tsunami Relief: The Real Story
Posted on 01/01/2005 9:05:12 AM PST by chiller
Tsunami Relief: The Real Story
Several months ago, we linked to a new blog by a group of career Foreign Service officers, called Diplomad. Diplomad provides sharp, knowledgeable commentary. It turns out that one of the site's contributors is stationed in one of the countries hit by the tsunami (I don't think he's said which one). His regard for the U.N. disaster relief effort is, shall we say, muted:
Well, we're heading into Day 7 of the Asian quake/tsunami crisis. And the UN relief effort? Nowhere to be seen except at some meetings and on CNN and BBC as talking heads. In this corner of the Far Abroad, it's Yanks and Aussies doing the hard, sweaty work of saving lives. Check out this interview (on the UN's official website) with SecGen Annan and Under SecGen Egeland shows,
Mr. Egeland: Our main problems now are in northern Sumatra and Aceh. <...> In Aceh, today 50 trucks of relief supplies are arriving. <...> Tomorrow, we will have eight full airplanes arriving. I discussed today with Washington whether we can draw on some assets on their side, after consultations with the Indonesian Government, to set up what we call an air-freight handling centre in Aceh.
Tomorrow, we will have to set up a camp for relief workers 90 of them which is fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything, because they have nowhere to stay and we don't want them to be an additional burden on the people there.
I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN air-freight handling centre in Aceh? Bull! It's the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off. We have no fancy aid workers' retreat -- notice the priorities of the UN? People are dying and what's the first thing the UN wants to do? Set up "a camp for relief workers" one that would be "fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything."
The UN is a sham.
There's lots more; check it out, and return to Diplomad for ongoing coverage. It will be interesting to see what happens when the U.N. people actually show up.
It continues to amaze me that people give any credibility to the UN. The UN is loving watching the numbers of donations add up because they are figuring out how they can get new houses, cars, boats, etc. out of this deal.
President Bush didn't, hence the coalition. ;)
Just going to New Year's brunch, but BTT. This story needs to get out through all the blogs.
We have over and over again! Its the State Department and Bush himself that want to keep the UN alive!
The more the spotlight illuminates the U.N. the greater the disgust for it that will be forthcoming from the American people. Note that the $350millions the U.S. will donate will not be finding its way into U.N. hands. Thank goodness for that.
How about the story regarding the Sri Lankans not allowing a medical team made up of Israeli personnel not being allowed into the country to help the dying citizens of that country. It must be very difficult to be a Muslin.
Why do I want to know where those "airplanes" came from? Are we talking 141s? single-engine pipers? what? Who's providing them?
I don't trust this leech as far as I can throw the U.N. building.
Can anyone name a SINGLE instance where the U.N. delivered any kind of relief efficiently and corruption-free? Since its creation? Just one?
bump for tracking
***Note that the $350millions the U.S. will donate will not be finding its way into U.N. hands. Thank goodness for that. ***
In a story yesterday, Annan counted that $350 million as part of what the UN has collected. Do you know something more about this? I'm not saying you're wrong; I just want more information.
Sounds like a job in there for the revered Jesse Jackson -- as special envoy to the UN.
Clinton or Carter would have appointed him by now.
A brilliant move, too, is this coalition. It's a tweak in the nose of the U.N. It speaks volumes; puts them on notice that we're watching them very closely, and obviously don't trust the POS organization.
I agree completely. On some of my other posts, for which I have gotten crucified, I have said that the US has the world's worst PR. The US apparently does not care about this. This would be so easy to change but we don't. For example, what would happen if the first relief flight into Thailand had Michael Jordan on board? Yes, it would have created a temporary media circus, but would have done wonders getting the word out that we are there and helping. It wouldn't have to be Jordan. Any big name hollywood star would do. Even Arnold. The boost in PR we would get would easily dwarf the trouble it would take to do it.
And every President since the UN's inception. .....and nearly every congresscritter.
Too much interia, unfortunately.
Does anyone have an up to date list on which nation is giving what? Curious to see how much Islamic nations are giving.
I hope we give them about $1.98, and the rest we administer through the military and USAID.
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