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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:03 PM
Original message
Blackwater before drinking water by Greg Palast
1.
Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States promised, "The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged country within the next few days." "In a few days," Mr. Obama?

2.
There's no such thing as a 'natural' disaster. 200,000 Haitians have been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF "austerity" plans.

3.
A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, "My sister, she's under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?" Should I tell her, "Obama will have Marines there in 'a few days'"?

4.
China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.

5.
Obama's Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "I don't know how this government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has." We know Gates doesn't know.

6.
From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It's all still there. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honor, who served as the task force commander for emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science Monitor, I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and water and start evacuating people." Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.

7.
Send in the Marines. That's America's response. That's what we're good at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up after three days. With what? It was dramatically deployed without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.

8.
But don't worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully equipped and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field, deployed immediately with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three tons of water, tents, advanced communication equipment and water purifying capability. They're from Iceland.

9.
Gates wouldn't send in food and water because, he said, there was no "structure ... to provide security." For Gates, appointed by Bush and allowed to hang around by Obama, it's security first. That was his lesson from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.

http://www.gregpalast.com/the-right-testicle-of-hell-hi...
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leftstreet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Ouch
K&R
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. Palast doesn't seem to realize that there is ONE runway in Port of Prince. No sideways, nothing.
Every plane that lands has to taxi to the end of the runway and turn around and taxi to where they will unload. The runway is overcrowded. Everyone is an armchair quarterback right now but I'm certain that the people who are there are doing every single thing within their power to get as many supplies and people in as possible as quickly as possible. It's easy to sit in a cushy little office and complain.

The U.S. also has to deal with the "Haitian Government" who is still trying to run the show even though they've been devastated. And as for sending troops first, troops are going to be needed immediately to do the ugly jobs like picking up bodies, protecting the population and protecting those supplies that are coming in. I does not good to bring in supplies if the thugs are going to steal them.

I'm already sick of all the complaining. These folks down there are doing the best they can under the most horrific circumstances imaginable and we should be supporting them, not criticizing them.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Who gives a fuck about reality, it's just fun to blast Obama!
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. It's not Obama...it's that asshole Gates.
Obama gave a dictate no one was to screw this up. Well, Gates has screwed up...fire him.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. I am expecting a comprehensive plan
on the President's desk by tomorrow from you...
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Like you're really in a position to request that...
in your dreams.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. You know better than the exerts than you despise
so go ahead and write it and submit it.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #11
35. Might want to tell that to Greg Palast
He seems to have missed the memo.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #2
19. You don't need a runway for a SuperHook (SkyCrane) or a Chinook loaded with gear. First
send in a security team, then bring in the supplies.

I'm trying not to crack on the Administration on this one, but it seems that there was not much "out of the box" thinking AGAIN. It's certainly not the President's fault since he relies upon his Sec Def and Commanders for the straight skinny.

Palast's points about the water and other FEMA supplies seem legit to me.

One possibility is that they would have had to use airborne combat groups to jump in and secure some of these areas. But since our troops are stretched so thin, they may be worried about someone EVIL taking advantage of the situation to do something somewhere else that would require us to send the standby groups that had to go to Haiti.

Hey, I'm trying to put a good face on this thing.


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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
4. "there is no such thing as a natural disaster". now that's an idiot claim.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. True, but the sentiment was well placed
Natural and disaster go together like milk and honey. Still, the systematic milking of the the third world and knowing that if the world build to Japan's standards all would be better has to be mentioned somehow.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. I am not sure that a quake of this intensity with the exact same
characteristics (nature thankfully never ever does that)... I am not sure it would not do a lot of damage to oh Tokyo or LA.

We are talking of a surface quake... right under the city, with a very narrow P-Wave. I should add that Port Au Prince also is mostly on sandy terrain... and was looking at the damage map and some areas of the city actually had light damage.

I learned this after asking myself why Mexico City was so bad.

The Richter scale is just part of the why a quake does that much damage. Where is just as important as how deep, as to how intense, and how long it takes and the substrate.

Not to say that the IMF is despicable... but I am almost betting the same quake under certain zones of LA, like the LA River Basin... you'd be amazed how much damage even with construction codes.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Mr Palast needs a map
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:32 PM by nadinbrzezinski
you cannot move those marines any faster, nor the comfort any faster

And the US had a team on the ground 9 hours or so after it hit... so Iceland beat us by three.

Oh wait... he joins the chorus of clueless lefties on this subject.

Oh and Rusell Honore lied his ass off. You'd think Mr. Palast would catch the whiff of politics induced memory failure.

Oh and I forgot... what does Mr. Palast think the USS Vinson is busy making RIGHT NOW? WATER... which brings me back to one General Honore who sould know better,
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. +100
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:45 PM
Original message
General Honore does know better.
He's earned the title of authority on the subject when he showed up in New Orleans. He has no reason to lie, he was offering
his honest assessment of the situation. I'll take his word over some self-proclaimed expert on a message board.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
16. LEt me see he penetrated the zone
four days into it, with the 101st and the 82nd

Now I don't know about you, but that is a pretty damn good security team.

Yes he does have a reason to lie... mark my word, he is running for office soon, and he is establishing bona fides.

And I got it why he could not move faster, the purposeful failure of government under bush... but I despise liars.
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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. he has one
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. Then he needs a calcultor and
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:21 PM by nadinbrzezinski
to be able to tell how long it takes from a port to a port, on WATER... since he is bitching about the Marines

If they were just over the horizon and this happened he'd be bitching that they were over the horizon and took them three hours to land after the locals agreement to let them land, otherwise it is an act of war.

He also need to realize Fairfax was on the ground the SAME FUCKING DAY, three hours behind the fast response team

But don't worry, this agrees with a world view that in this particular case (insofar as the response is concerned) is divorced from reality.
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
8. this is terribly wrong.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
9. The truth hurts.
Expect to get smacked around for posting that here.

Problem is, we are so fixated on the bureaucratic bullshit we can't see the forest for the trees.
I'm watching the Marines getting ready to ship out and they have probably 50# of gear on. WTF!
How long does it take to pack all that shit. Your on a ship for christ sakes, it's not like you have
to bring food and water for the next few weeks. And then to ship out without food or water for
the survivors is inexcusable. If this is how Gates is running the wars god help us all.

Now to inflame the situation more, the US has refused several other aircraft from other nations to
land. LOGISTICS they say, that's the excuse for everything.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You ARE bringing your own food and water
you are just loading it on the ship....

Thank us for telling us how much you think this is a movie.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
21. Then that would be part of the problem.
Let's see according to you before a Marine ships out, he has to stop at Safeway and do his grocery shopping.
Oh yeah, that makes perfect sense...TO YOU.

And the movie remark, whatever.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. No a logistics officer wiht the command
bought that food through a process called a requisition and then they had to load it onto the ship. The logistics officer got that food from base stores, where they took it from local warehouse and LOADED IT ON BOARD. Chances are, MREs that way they can bring MORE food on board.

Ever taken a cruise? Same theory, they have to be SELF supporting.

You really have no clue how this works...

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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Maybe. But I have a clue how it DOESN'T work.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. So what about that plan?
I know it is far easier to speak of what you do not know.

And to tell us how much you hate the military... yes it is hate... no other explanation.

So here is an idea, since you KNOW how to do it... seat down and send that plan to the President, I am damn serious.
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. The marines are taking everything they will need for several days with them since they don't know
where they will be deployed. And as for refusing aircraft, again, get a clue. There is ONE runway. It is full. There are no sideways to park planes while they are unloaded. They ALL have to taxi to the end and back to the terminal and they are crowding the runway.

The marines are going to be removing bodies and working on crowd control. There have already been shootings and looting. The prisons were damaged and all the prisoners escaped. There had to have been some nasty people in those prisons.

It seems many here will do anything to criticize the government. People seem to ignore that this is not the United States. This is not our country but we are sending as much aid and help as possible right now. Why should people be angry with us for trying to help or are you just looking for a reason to hate Obama?
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. France has already filed a formal complaint with the State Dept.
Yesterday the argument was, this isn't the US's burden to bear alone. We are equal partners with the rest of the world
providing relief to the Haitians, yet, we deny access to other countries that just might be better prepared than we are
to provide that relief.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. Here is a clue
the airport is handling 70 air frames a day from around the world, not just the US.

They diverted, for example, a team from Spain to the DR, and two planes from the Mexican AF, with personnel and supplies. It is not being mean, it is capacity... they also held at station US planes that could simply not land.

Is this that complex?

The French quite frankly are playing politics... and no it is not the French... it happens EVERY TIME by about this time in the response, NO MATTER who takes default command.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. Here's a pictoral analysis of what you're trying to do
->
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. Children...
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Hey, I'm on your side
I just think you're wasting your effort trying to inform certain people about reality. They won't listen.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. I know certain people live in a fantasy world
sad...

:hi:
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. So you think EVERYONE should be in charge of the airport? That would lead to utter disaster.
The U.S. took control of air traffic control because there was NO equipment working. They brought in their own equipment. Pilots had been landing on a wing and a prayer with no communications, just looking out the window and hoping no other flight was coming in on top of them. So someone had to take control and we were the first on the ground with equipment. I'm sorry if the French got their feelings hurt. It is a disaster and total chaos and if the French couldn't land because the runway was full, so be it.

People seem to be looking for any reason to criticize what's going on down there. This is NOT about politics, it's about trying to get in there an save lives. If people's feelings get hurt, tough shit. I know the people speak French and the French believe it's one of their colonies but for Christ's sake, get real. They need our people and yes, they need our troops. Things are gonna get uglier as time goes by and the Haitian people will not be safe without protection.

Just stop trying to blame someone. This is not Obama's fault. It's not America's fault. It's no ones fault. Can't we all just pull for the Haitian people and our people who are there trying to help.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
14. Palast is talking out of his ass.
There are two kinds of search and rescue. I have some experience in this, albeit a lifetime ago.

Quick response teams help a few people quickly. Iceland.

Larger (and slower) response teams help a lot of people over a longer term. Us.

Conflating the two leads to chaos in the short term and death in the long term.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. +1 and quick response teams
travel light. That said they were able to get the first US team within nine... which was damn impressive, but Fairfax has things packed and ready to go at all times...

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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. Wow, you nailed it. We have the capacity to help more people over a longer time.
Iceland was quick but brings less equipment. Both countries (and really all the countries there) are doing the best they can to help people. Why play politics with this? It is not a Katrina and yet some want to turn it into one.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
42. As I pointed earlier in the day
politics starts about this time in the response when things are getting better on the ground. On the other hand they start much earlier when it is a true mess.

So as frustrating as it is... when the children start bickering about this point in the response it is actually a good sign.

Now the French are playing politics... wanna bet that tomorrow they will come to play at the UN Security Council meeting?
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
22. What would happen if a 7.0 earthquake struck Ankara, Turkey? Would we blame the IMF
austerity plans for the city falling flat and thousands dying?

Greg seems to think that every nation on the globe should have building codes and inspectors who enforce them. Hell, we don't even have them in a lot of OUR states.

We have plenty to answer for in Haiti, but that's a bit overboard IMO.



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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. I think what he is stressing is the fact that
so much aid has been poured into Haiti over the years and yet the people are living in abject poverty
with cardboard and oil can tin homes.

What he doesn't mention unfortunately is that the IMF has already extended a $1,000,000 loan to Haiti.
Just what they need, more oppressive debt. France charged them reparations of $67,000,000,000 when
they won their independence. It wasn't paid off until sometime in the early part of the last century and
contributed to their many years of hell.
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Seems to me Palast just counldn't wait to get in there and criticize someone. Now is not the time.
It's a desperate situation and we should be pulling together, not trying to sow seeds of hate. Palast's comments are unwelcome right now. There will be plenty of time for him to Hate later.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. I don't consider it sowing seeds of hate, OregonBlue. You have to remember that Greg Palast has
been digging into these systemic failures brought on by bureaucratic idiocy and political malintent for decades. He sees it up close and personal through the eyes of the victims, so he's much more aware of their plight and what "might" have been done to ease that plight if we didn't have to do everything through the seemingly slow-mo gummint/military bureaucracy.

I can't believe that FEMA does not have a huge stockpile of supplies of essentials that are air-lift ready at all times. If they do have that materiel available then it's reasonable to question why a quicker first response could not have been implemented for this horrible disaster. I fully understand why it takes so long to get a full-bore military-style relief effort underway.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be lots to debate when this situation begins to come under some semblance of control.

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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. FEMA does, for the IN country relief efforts
remember, FEMA was tapped by USAID a few days into this. FEMA works inside the country, USAID is the civilian organization in charge of this.

And yes, those stores are now and were tapped for this. Those MREs that you've been seeing them hand out, are out of the strategic supplies.
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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. They do have supplies ready but if the airport is too clogged and the port is down, how in hell are
they supposed to get them to the people who need it. Until they get troops and equipment in to man the airport and the ports and clear the roads, nothing is going to go anywhere. There are already gangs looting, how long before they attack the stockpiles of goods that were brought in. Palast was way to quick off the mark to try to find someone to blame.

This is not our country. Why is he now trying to make it our fault. I believe the U.S. is doing everything they can to try to bring some order to what is complete chaos and all he can find to do is criticize? Seems to me he's too busy grandstanding. There will be a time and a place to look at what went wrong but THIS IS NOT THE TIME. The world needs to be united right now to deal with this horrible tragedy.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:17 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. They ARE already getting food and water to the people
it started the day before yesterday, accelerated yesterday and accelerated again today, and will accelerate again tomorrow

More troops mean better ability to secure more areas

But there are already eight water\good distribution centers in strategic points in the city. And helos have been flying missions already for three days.

After that, what you said...
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #30
45. The oil can tin homes and cardboard would have done a helluva lot less damage than those
unreinforced concrete structures that are lying on top of Haitians all over Port-au-Prince right now.

I get your drift, EmeraldCityGrl. There have been a lot of financial burdens on Haiti, and still are.
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Garbo 2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
27. US search & rescue teams began arriving in Haiti less than 24 hrs. S&R teams among first US aid in.
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:34 PM by Garbo 2004
For example: Fairfax County Team, Wednesday:

Michael Schaff: Hi, Michale Schaff here. Our team is currently on thier way to Haiti and will arrive early afternoon. They expect to go to work as soon as they land. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion...


Los Angeles County team, left LA late Wednesday:
The California Task Force 2 team includes firefighters, paramedics, rescue specialists, emergency room physicians, structural engineers, heavy equipment specialists, search dogs and handlers, hazardous material technicians, communications specialists and logistics experts.

The rescue team will bring with it 55,000 pounds of prepackaged tools and medical equipment to conduct around-the-clock search-and-rescue operations. http://cbs2.com/local/Los.Angeles.County.2.1422155.html


Other US S&R teams also deployed to Haiti. FL, more CA, etc. From reading Palast, one wouldn't know this had happened.
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The Gunslinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
33. The bashing of Obama on Haiti response is ridiculous.
The response is way better than Katrina. And the last I checked, Haiti is a whole other country farther away than New Orleans, It takes some time, and will not be perfect. Also this is one of the worst disasters in recorded history, far worse than Katrina. No response is going to stop suffering. I'll be the first to offer my negative opinions about his desire for the health insurance bailout plan and mandates, but I stand with him on the disaster relief effort.



















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happy_liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #33
39. I see no bashing of Obama
Palast seems to be focusing on Gates, Bush's guy.(that he should have gotten rid of)
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Tippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
38. Looks to me like response was darn good
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:49 PM by Tippy
Very good time lines.....

< crisiscommons.org/wiki/index.php?title=The_Haiti_Timeli >

< en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_rescue_efforts_after_ >

We all know when there is an emergency of this magnitude, and when we realize we can't be there to help, we sit in front our TV's watching the media walking around taking pictures I know I become angry, Ive caught myself screaming at the TV even, but it's easy to do that when you are so many miles away. I am however surprised by Greg's response to Haiti. He sounds like a man with a some issues. Then again maybe it's a build up of a lot of things, I know I feel angry a lot more quickly today than I did back in 2000.

Sorry about the links it seems I can never get them to work any more....

Use search type in "Time line for Haiti response"
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
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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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #44
50. I agree. There have been past sins but NOW IS NOT THE TIME. Too many people's lives depend on us
right now. The politics and infighting can come later.
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