than having those nasty US troops handing out food to whoever they can get it to...
It is a tale of two cities. One has ice-cold beers, internet access, thousands of men and billions of dollars’ worth of gleaming machinery, together with piles of food, blankets, generators and other aid relief from around the globe.
This is the heavily fortified US-controlled Port-au-Prince airport and neighbouring United Nations compound.
The other is the devastated city of Port-au-Prince, where the stench of death fills the air and starving people are in utter despair, still in need of the basic necessities of food, water, shelter and medical care.
Never, in more than 20 years of covering disasters, has the void between the might and power of the Westernised world and the penniless and pitiful people they have been mobilised to ‘save’ been so glaringly obvious to me.
Remember during the tsunami relief efforts when the dickless UN bigshot was whining that "Only the UN has the moral authority to run this effort"? While he and the other UN assholes were playing games and asking for money? While US and Australian and Japanese military forces were working their collective ass off and saving lives?
Well, obviously the UN hasn't changed; apparently having 'moral authority' has something to do with having no brain.
‘It was chaos for the first few days. The airport closed down because they couldn’t handle the flights wanting to come in. There was no organisation until the US military got involved.
‘But it has become more difficult to actually move the stuff out of here and get it to the people who need it. There is so much red tape and bureaucracy.’
Because getting all the forms filled out is FAR more important than, oh, actually feeding people.
Oh, and you have to make yourself known as a Proper Concerned Celebrity, too:
Late on Friday, the World Food Programme offered to take me to see one of the orphanages they are providing supplies to.
A gleaming white four-wheel-drive vehicle arrived in which we waited...and waited. I was told it was because we were expecting ‘a VIP guest’. In the end, the trip was cancelled. The VIP and her handlers had vetoed it.
I later learned the VIP was Princess Haya of Jordan. She flew in with supplies in her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, met her country’s troops then flew back to the Dominican Republic ‘for safety reasons’ – all in the comfort of a private 747.
Next time somebody tells me what a wonderful organization the UN is, I may kick them somewhere sensitive; they just keep doing this crap.