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What would be #1 priority of the entire US if a relief worker was shot and body left for all to see?

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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:59 AM
Original message
What would be #1 priority of the entire US if a relief worker was shot and body left for all to see?
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 05:01 AM by Leopolds Ghost
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What would be #1 priority of the entire US if a relief worker was shot and body left for all to see?

1. Respectful retrieval disposal (by helicopter) of the non-Haitian body.

2. Dump them on a pile outside the morgue with all the other bodies.

3. Find and apprehend the "looters"

4. Retreat behind a fictitious security cordon guarded by South African mercs and interrupt aid-giving.

5. Continue giving out aid and the surviving relief workers step up to the plate.

6. Realize that search and rescue period is over and the relief campaign has unfortunately failed in the #1 and #2 task beside search and rescue, proper infiltration of the most distressed areas and proper and respectful handling of the bodies.

7. Start treating the bodies of Haitian victims as if their life means something (it's already too late to assume that most people care about the survivors, they don't -- us folks here on DU do. Small reference pools.)
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:15 AM
Response to Original message
1. What do you do with thousands of corpses rotting in
90F heat under a tropical sun? The concern now is for the living and the prevention of disease. This is a huge disaster and not a pile up on I-90. There is no infrastructure in place to handle this. No morgue big enough even in more advanced nations. How many of those dead are whole families?

I don't think people working there are being callous. Just practical in a horrific situation.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. If the concern is for the living, how come they are not worried about the feelings of relatives
of the deceased as to whether they want their bodies picture taken and put on display like that?

They would be if the victims were white, o let me assure you.

No, there is little concern for the living except in the abstract sense, outside of pockets of sympathy such as DU. Most people regard it as "another tragedy afflicting some black people", give money to assuage feelings of white guilt, and go back to eating their dinners.

As for the relief workers themselves, they are too busy establishing perimiters to enter all areas on foot, organize the survivors into teams to ensure proper disposal of the bodies.

Why, that just CAN'T BE DONE, there are too many of em!

Bullshit.

They don't trust the survivors and are not willing to rely on them for assistance in an ORGANIZED rescue and disposal effort.

This is fucked up and ridiculous, they are sticking to their own teams behind their own security cordons and not relying on the locals for help.

People HERE ON DU keep saying "The people might crowd around the relief trucks and attack us, what if we have to shoot?"
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thunder rising Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. Ok...where would YOU put the bodies? Let's hear it. I'm sure you have a solution.
How about respectful burial at sea ... by the truck load?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Haiti has plenty of open fields. It's a completely deforested country, hence the poverty.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:43 AM by Leopolds Ghost
There's an aircraft carrier offshore that can easily airdrop an advance team to secure an outdoor morgue site,

airdrop 100,000 "disposable grade" Tyvek body bags,

the military does have access to those for mass casualty situations, or else there's no point in having these guys even exist if they're stupid enough not to.

You take the bulldozers currently being used to push bodies back INTO the rubble to obscure them in landfills,

You dig trenches.

You fill the trenches with lime.

You lay out the corpses in rows.

You lay out the corpses in regional outdoor morgues, one per neighborhood, give people a brief chance to identify them like they have done in numerous other mass casualty disasters of similar magnitude.

You can use the roofs of pancaked buildings for these, if space is otherwise unavailable.

You bulldoze major corridors leading out of the city for body removal.

Alternatively, you use the regional distribution centers for body removal as hovering pads for cargo helicopters.

You airdrop pallets to each regional outdoor morgue.

The cargo helicopters drop a line and hoist up the latest set of bodies on pallets.

This way you're not burning bodies in random piles of corpses thruout the city like some medieval town disposing of plague victims under siege.

You transport the corpses to the open field and dispose as stated above.

You burn them in the trenches if necessary, which it probably isn't.

This ain't rocket science.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. Clearly not rocket science -Its stupid given the situation on the ground
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #3
23. "worried about the feelings of relatives" they are putting saving lives first, and you criticise it
"worried about the feelings of relatives" has to be a lesser priority than saving and feeding people. what a reciculous post!
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Outdoor Morgue procedures do exist for mass death situations.
It's just we aren't bothering to use them because the victims are not White Westerners.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. wow. good to know we have the supreme expert in you, dearie.
oh yeah, I'm unreccing your thread for the sheer stupidity and arrogance you exhibit.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Thanks for admitting that the bodies are being treated horrendously.
Regardless of who's doing it.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to say that procedures exist to prevent a space disaster.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:41 AM
Response to Original message
2. Might depend
on whether they were black or white. :sarcasm:
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Why do threads like this get unreced? I can see folks disagreeing with our skepticism
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 05:57 AM by Leopolds Ghost
But do the majority of DUers seriously get angered by any inference
that the bodies are being treated improperly / disposal, rescue and organizing locals not being done?

It's almost like they feel personally attacked for inadequacy of our personal feelings on the subject or something.

Fuck that, the pictures speak for themselves. I'm talking about post-body removal pictures here showing HOW the bodies are being treated, HOW the locals are being organized and treated, HOW many Western or well-supplied in general relief workers are on the ground (if any).
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. OK, tell me this, folks: Who among the relief agencies is in charge of body disposal?
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
18. I think I probably see more of it than you do
because our UK tv news coverage doesn't hold back.

It fascinates me that they have yet to even provide the locals with some proper stretchers - all you ever see are bodies carried on wooden doors.

Hopefully some of the aid holed up at the airport will get out today to where its needed.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:01 AM
Response to Original message
7. After Katrina, my job was originally to rescue people. Then, it became the job of recovering bodies.
I was with the Red Cross in those days. Many bodies were left out in the open for days before anybody did anything. Other bodies were in trees, homes, and the attics of homes. We fetched the bodies as fast as we could discover them, but there was a tremendous manpower shortage, and we made saving the survivors the primary responsibility above recovering bodies. If it were a choice to move a dead body to a morgue and locating somebody in a home that was knocked over by the storm surge who could still be alive, we left the body. The National Guard in my state was short entire units because of the war. There was no real direction from FEMA, and the local police units were not up to the task of dealing with something so monumental as Katrina. We're talking about total infrastructure failure.

It's hard to say what Americans would do as a group. You see all kinds, and I saw all kinds during Katrina. I like to think people are good at heart, but there was always somebody trying to take advantage be they gas station price gougers or looters stealing goods that aren't food and water or things that help immediate survival.

The best advice I can give to anybody here reading who will be in a future disaster:

Save the living people first. Worry about the dead after the living have been swept to safety. Trying to do both will eat up resources. The Red Cross knew what it was doing when it was setting up volunteer search/rescue units first before search/recovery units. They had just recently come out of the hell that followed the South Asian Tsunami that killed 250,000+. If you are just a civilian in a disaster area, just concentrate on rescuing the living members of your family. Don't worry about anything else including dead friends and family. After your family is secured, then concentrate on your immediate friends and move out from there. Hopefully, the government will step in and handle the situation before it gets to that point, but if it doesn't, like Katrina redux, you look after family and friends first who are still alive. Worry about the dead later, even if that means having the dead littering the streets for days before anybody is available to move them.

You're not going to come out of it mentally all right, but it beats dying.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. Selatius, thank you for your input. I cannot begin to imagine the heart ache caused by such work
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:20 AM by Leopolds Ghost
I was in New Orleans long after that period had ended.

Then again, when death is all around you as in the Haiti case, I am sure it becomes the obvious and necessary grunt work.

I do not disagree with you at all,

I am simply feeling that they need to organize people into teams,

because the search and rescue period is almost over

before our teams were able to figure out a way onto the island,

and the only people still trapped are the ones in good shape who have access to people on the outside.

Focus on (respectful) recovery and removal,

and if they're lucky they'll turn up a live body or two

(but the search and rescue teams have been mostly focusing on key facilities
such as the embassy hotel and the UN -- there are a bunch of trapped people
that the media has gotten to and no teams are helping extricate them, why?)

We should be able to get a lot of teams down there without worrying about advance "security precautions".
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:01 AM
Response to Original message
8. you are mind bogglingly clueless.
rotting bodies are a huge threat to the Haitians trying to survive. period. duh. And btw, genius, the Haitians themselves have been the ones doing much of the horrendous job of dealing with the dead.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. And btw, genius, your post directly contradicts what Selatius described.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:11 AM by Leopolds Ghost
* "The Haitians themselves have been the ones doing much of the horrendous job of dealing with the dead."

** Translation: There is no organized international-relief effort or jurisdiction yet over body disposal that you or I know about.

That's what I wanted to know.

* "rotting bodies are a huge threat to the Haitians trying to survive. period. duh."

** I was not there immediately after the storm and have never handled dead bodies, but Selatius just said
that the first priority due to manpower and priority was search and rescue, NOT disturbing or attempting
to collect the corpses of the dead.

Match point.

And then there is this: One of the points I am making (and that Honore made, whether he is hypocritical
or not) is that in a disaster this scale, you have to organize the survivors into teams. The people
doing the organizing should be whoever has most experience in a given area. That includes body disposal
teams. It should not be handled in an ad-hoc manner.

Nor should it be done before search and rescue. But as we've seen (and I don't disagree with Selatius)

the search and rescue period appears to be over -- and it barely had the chance to even begin.

So body disposal and recovery is now priority #1.

Organizing people into teams makes that possible.

If relief workers were doing the body disposal, would they simply shovel the remains into dump trucks
and haul them off to a landfill? Hmm, that ended up happening after 9/11 but they made a valiant effort
to prevent it from going down that way.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. In NO there were perhaps a thousand bodies around the city
In Port-au-Prince there are 50,000 to 100,000. Unlike NO, Port-au-Prince was not evacuated. there are some 3 million or in the environs. See the difference?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. How come you ignored the question in the OP? Because you know what the answer would be.
We'd be doing rescue and recovery double-time if it were white American citizen. The lines would be much more clear cut. Procedures would be put in place to know when the search and rescue effort was over and when to begin proper disposal of the bodies, as at least existed when Selatius was working in NOLA. Instead of merely leaving that part up to the locals as has been done so far. And with 100,000 bodies you're looking at the #1 task right there in terms of manpower. But we don't even have enough guys on the ground to search and rescue the few trapped who are still alive, instead they're hopping from place to place looking for easily extricable victims because they don't have time to stay in any one place and extract people still alive like the Vicar -- not enough people. I agree with Anderson Cooper.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. It's simple. I disagree. And in case you've forgotten, dearie, the prez is
African American. Are you saying he favors whites in a disaster situation?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Obama is not a magic worker. The relief effort will proceed however it would have proceeded
Even if Bush had been in office, it being an international effort, the institutions involved and the people involved are the same as they would have been, the same experts, aid workers, large institutions, etc. for better or worse.

Any problems with how the relief is handled will take years to correct, mostly as people on the front lines of less than stellar relief efforts get promoted and correct the mistakes of their predecessors.
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:40 AM
Original message
this
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
24. this
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bettyellen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
25. this
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
20. Respect for the dead is more important than saving the living or trapped in your opinion?
It is better to leave the dead to rot while we set up mortuarys to collect DNA to identify the people as best we can and then wait for the family to pick them up and do a proper burial?

Lets save those we can save first.
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stray cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:32 AM
Response to Original message
21. If the US concentrated first on dead Americans and proper burial before helping others
there would be mass condemnation. I would rather safe 100 then properly bury one.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
26. You're obsessing over dead bodies. Interesting. nt
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