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Reply #44: I've got some really grave criticisms of the U.S. gov't re Haiti and Latin America, but [View All]

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:59 PM
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44. I've got some really grave criticisms of the U.S. gov't re Haiti and Latin America, but
I'd say just stow it for a couple of days. And you couldn't get any lefter than me.

I like Greg Palast--a lot. But this one is out of focus and not helpful. How does he know that the U.S. didn't know that an Iceland team was on its with such and such equipment and supplies? They could tick that off their list. Maybe true, maybe not. But I don't think Greg Palast knows. He's just jumping to conclusions. (Not duplicating efforts I think is no. 1 on everybody's lists at the Red Cross, Oxfam, the UN, Doctors Without Borders, every aid group, really, including the U.S. military...).

They've got at least a hundred thousand bodies to bury. Tens of thousands injured, some still buried in the rubble. They have to create infrastructure as they go, and erect a city--some kind of tent city, I guess--for 2-3 million people. There is no hospital standing. All crumbled to the ground, on top of patients, doctors and nurses. There are no churches. There are no schools. There is likely not a safe standing building in the entire city. They have no electricity, no water, no food, no communications, no shelter. And what do you do with the thousands of personnel you are bringing in? They, too, will need water, food, shelter--just to stay at their tasks. Where do you put them? There is nowhere to go. The existing aid structure in the country collapsed with the earthquake--in the case of the UN, on top of their head of mission and some one 100 personnel. In-coming aid givers have to create their destinations. And somebody has to be thinking long term. You can feed people today--can you feed them tomorrow? Where? They have nowhere to go either.

Critics, I think, have also not considered the one-strip airport, also damaged! If they wanted to get any aid into the country--let alone water, food, medical supplies, doctors, tents, etc., for 2-3 million people!--they had to fix the airport. It, too, was damaged. There is no fuel. There was no way to get fuel from here to there. The USAF got the airport up and running--that's probably the single most important thing that had to happen--and it's still a very dicey situation that requires top air traffic experts and strong command, or there are going to collisions and other accidents. The Carl Vincent was two days out when the quake hit, and got there as soon as it could, and immediately started generating potable water (converted from sea water with their nuclear power generation--something i just learned) and put their 19 helicopters into the air to deliver the water directly to people in Port-au-Prince. They had the problem of what to put the water in--containers--and had to improvise.

It appears to me that the U.S. military has been doing some big infrastructure tasks, while maybe other countries are attending to other tasks--getting rescue teams in the air and on the way, getting doctors and nurses assembled, inventorying all the food and supplies from dozens of different countries (what do they have? where is it? what do they need?). Somebody was complaining that he hadn't seen any U.S. soldiers on the ground. They did get delayed, apparently. Not enough troop carriers at their base (or at least that's what the report said). But I've seen footage of Bolivian soldiers on the ground, and Brazilian soldiers and others. The UN, though its office building collapsed, and its warehouse was damaged, and it lost at least a hundred people, has some 7,000 troops in Haiti from 17 different countries. Maybe U.S. soldiers are their relief. I don't know the logistics of this--and neither does Palast, I'm pretty sure.

As I said, I have A LOT of criticisms of my country, for past crimes against Haiti and Latin America. I am furious with our political establishment for what they have done to our own resources and our infrastructure and our ability to help others and what they have used our military for. They totally disgust me. But this is not the time to air it--at least not until the 100,000+ dead are buried and the situation is stabilized. Until then, we should be, a) donating money, if we have it, b) helping aid organizations any way we can; and c) praying for, or sending positive vibes to, the victims, the dying, the hurt, and those on the ground, or on their way to Haiti, to help, in the worst natural disaster we will probably ever witness, in conditions that can only be described as "Dante's Inferno."

They have to re-create an entire city--for 2-3 million people and their aid workers--and they have to do it in a matter of days. Jeez, give them a break and criticize the politicians and the corporadoes and the U.S. military later.
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