Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I wonder if any of the people accusing us of 'occupying' Haiti

have actually volunteered to take over the duties. Has France formally demanded to take over air traffic control duties, for instance? Has the UN- well, hell, I really don't care much about the UN.
During a visit to Haiti on Sunday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon conceded that international search-and-rescue teams needed to be "more balanced" in looking for victims of all nationalities and not just their own. He also suggested too few teams had been sent—even though on Friday, the U.N. had appealed to nations not to send any more rescue squads.

On Monday, he asked the U.N. Security Council to authorize 2,000 more peacekeepers and 1,500 more U.N. police for Haiti. "The heartbreaking scenes I saw yesterday [in Haiti] compel us to act quickly," Mr. Ban said. "I saw mass destruction and mass need."

Let's review: we're being told about the wonderful UN system to 'organize' relief; from an organization that didn't even get people on the scene in Aceh(as I recall) for more than a week, and then their first concerns were getting hotel rooms and catering for the teams that would show up to 'evaluate and prepare response plans'. Us, the Aussies and Japan had people on the ground within, what less than 48 hours? And a big effort underway before the UN clowns even arrived. But we're supposed to consider what's going on as organized as it is primarily because of the UN? Uh huh.

Let's see, Haiti is a third-world craphole that had a Presidential Palace but no real disaster setup of its own before the quake hit. Severe damage to the port(so you can't move stuff in by ship as fast), only one runway operating, severe damage to roads and bridges, most of the roads were crap in the first place... It doesn't matter who's in charge, getting this mess organized(as much as can) and relief getting out is going to take time. And that means people are going to suffer, some are going to die before help gets to them. Which sucks. If you know of any way to make it work better, please pass it on to the people working on this; they'd love to hear it.

I tend to whack on the UN a lot. Be it said, there are a lot of people in that organization who really do want to help others; they seem to be far outnumbered, at least in the control levels, by people who want to take over. The world, preferably, they think will be better off with someone like themselves running it. The level of corruption could make politicians in Chicago envious, the inefficiency is incredible, and the scapegoating is disgusting. Being an honest guy at the UN has to be like being an honest cop in New Orleans: hard as hell to keep going and stay straight.

By the way, a guy over at Insty wrote him and had this:
I read the other day that Bill Clinton arrived in a 757, and that Hilary’s arrival crowded out an aid plane.
Wouldn't surprise me at all. High-ranking politicians and hangers-on have a bad habit of thinking everything else should stop while Their Highnesses fly in or whatever; think of being the ATC in the tower having to clear traffic for some idiot like this to land(I can imagine some colonel saying something like "Lieutenant, I don't like it either, now carry out the damned order!") when the flights you have to divert have relief supplies or rescue workers and such; be frustrating as hell. Politicians flying in should find a place on one of the aid flights, or if they can't do that come in by the least disruptive method possible. Of course, if they did that they wouldn't be on their private 737 or whatever, and then how would people know how important they are?

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