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somebody PLEASE tell me I didn't just see this on KO: people were being required to sign documents

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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:05 PM
Original message
somebody PLEASE tell me I didn't just see this on KO: people were being required to sign documents
at one relief truck before they could get food--and a fair number of those people are not completely literate. and, because there was anger and confusion, the military decided that a crush was forming, and LEFT, after taking the food back????

PLEASE tell me our military did not do this, the UN did not do this.

if this is true, those people should rot in hell.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes your eyes saw it and it did happen!
The UN troops are apparantly not too bright. Instead of setting up the distribution area in a coordinated fasion they drove the truck into the mass of people, asked them to sign documents (most if not all are illiterate) and then the troops got freaked out, took back the few boxes that were distributed and then left. Absolutely pathetic.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. the first thing that struck me was the demand for documents, in this horrific emergency.
how completely f***** up is that?
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. It wasn't our military.
It was the UN.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, you saw it and so did many of us. Shameful.
What a clusterfuck. Why can't we do things right any more? We were the country who saved war torn Europe and Japan with the Marshall Plan. Where have we gone wrong?
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I wish I knew--UN or US military--somebody intelligent should have been in charge.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Even if UN, they are pretty much ruled by us. n/t
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. It's the UN troops that are screwed up. Our Marines would
have done this with order, I have no doubt about it.
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Ildem09 Donating Member (472 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:27 PM
Response to Original message
5. Blue Helemets
are very limited by their mandate. like i mean to the point of not being able to fire back in a lot of circumstances, so it doesn't surprise me that they did that, was probably in their mandate
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. to demand that people sign documents--in an illiterate population??? to decide that these desperate
people were a threat--to TAKE THE FOOD BACK????

I want to see that damned mandate then.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
10. If there is ONE good argument for having a large US military presence
it's because the UN military is cruel and obtuse. Every video I have
watched where they are interacting with Haitian citizens, they are
abusive and demeaning. This disaster has really given some insight
into how the UN functions in a crisis. I for one am underwhelmed.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I am horrified. there was absolutely no excuse for what I saw.
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EmeraldCityGrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. It's a really helpless feeling watching this take place.n/t
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. What did the documents say?
And for what possible reason would the UN require documents in order to distribute food to starving people?
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. I have no idea--and like you--what possible reason could the UN have for demanding documents to give
aid and food to people who have survived a disaster, are hungry, thirsty, scared, injured-- beyond belief.
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Shanti Mama Donating Member (625 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
34. Black market, I imagine.
Certainly, a black market for essentials will thrive in this environment.
I'm not condoning the behavior. I'm just saying that some 'manager' probably thought it would be good to begin identification of recipients.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. The UN doesn't have a regular 'military wing.'
What they have are volunteer units. Usually from small dirt-poor countries that can't afford to pay their people, and use the UN as a money-pot, and a training agency.

Because of this, the UN has no standard functional command structure, no agreed-upon language, no training in how to behave in countries they are sent to, and they vary all the time depending on what countries volunteer people.

The 'UN' on one mission can be a completely different mixture than the 'UN' that was on the last mission.

It's pot-luck.

Until the UN is allowed a standard blue-helmet 'military', that is strictly UN and with standardized training, this will continue.

Since NATO is out of a job in their original function, and got tossed into Afghanistan...something their original countries aren't keen on...I'd recommend that NATO be renamed, and become the UN's functioning army. Permanently.

They at least have a command structure, equipment, standard ranks and experience
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That wouldn't go over well with the Russians and others.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. They could become part of it.
It would have to be a globally-constructed military...not just limited to the countries it is now.

Point is, we'd have better people than what the UN is able to scrape up now.
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. I agree with your premise.
That a better quality and better trained military force would do the UN well. However, the execution of the idea would be problematic.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Thank you.
Oh yeah, it would have problems for sure, but then what doesn't?

I just want something better for the UN than what they have now....troops-pulled-out-of-a-hat...and NATO was at such a loss for purpose it got tossed willy-nilly into Afghanistan, when all their previous training was for protecting Europe from the evil Soviets.
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. I have a book published back in the 1930's titled 'Union Now".
It promoted the idea of an organization made up initially of nations that were part of the British Empire (Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and others). Member nations would elect representatives and a president that made up a central government that controlled trade, military affairs and international relations.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Hmmm never read that one.
Good idea, but it would never fly now. At least based on the 'British Empire' premise.
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Kaleva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. The book can be read on line. Here's a link:
http://www.constitution.org/aun/union_now.htm

I have a hard copy that I bought in a used book store in Philadelphia 30 some years ago.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Ooh thank you very much!
I see I have some catching-up to do.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:12 PM
Response to Original message
17. If the UN or the US
really wanted to get the food/water/supplies to the people of Haiti, they would enlist the able-bodied to help.

Seriously, young men should be involved in helping their fellow citizens. Why aren't they at the airport helping to unload the supplies? Instead they are hanging out in the city getting pissed.

The UN and the US treat them like children.

It's so inefficient and so UNNATURAL to have the people who have been devastated not helping.

It's more of what Naomi Klein writes about...SHOCK and then fuck 'em.

I sure hope George Clooney oversees the $57 million going to Haiti....and the procedures for getting the supplies to the people.

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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:16 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Seriously, these 'able-bodied young men'
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 09:20 PM by HeresyLives
could high-jack the entire convoy.

Haitians ARE helping. The govt has hired them at $3 a day to remove bodies and debris.

Edited to add: In some places the young men are trampling the kids, pregnant women and elderly to grab all the food for themselves.

'Women and children first' isn't a universal value, it's an old British saying from the 1800's.
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Shanti Mama Donating Member (625 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #19
35. You beat me to it.
How many DU posters have ever been in a situation as desperate as this, felt the anger and fear from the crowd surging in on them, felt their own fear swell up into their throats?

It is easy for us to be armchair coaches. Try being there.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Read my answer to the above....
It was a suggestion to engage those who might be trouble and remove them from those waiting for supplies. Unloading planes would be efficient so more planes could land. They would be surrounded by military.

And I was in the 7.2 quake in SF but of course building codes are much better....just no electricity overnight.

What are your suggestions for running the Relief Effort more efficiently? Many countries have complained that they cannot land their planes at the airport...I thought having males help unload would dampen that complaint and more planes and relief supplies could arrive in a timely fashion.

I did not say that the local males would be driving convoys into areas of need.

I give up. Every one is a critic.

A little article from 2 French dudes about a year ago:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=...



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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. I was envisioning the able bodied
unloading the planes at the airport so they planes could get out of there quicker and other planes could land.

Instead of one line unloading, there could be 2 or 3.

I don't see them hijacking a convoy since they wouldn't be taking the supplies in the city. Simply unloading and away from those waiting for supplies.

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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
40. "In some places the young men are trampling the kids pregnant women and elderly to grab all the food
Edited on Tue Jan-26-10 12:27 PM by peacetalksforall
for themselves."

We don't know that it is for themselves, it could be their child, neice, wife, pregnant wife, mother, uncle that they are taking it for. They may be desparate for themselves as well as someone who is dying. But, they could also be taking to to sell.

If everyone is hungry, then it is and has always been a free-for-all, except when heroes are involved.

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Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Umm.... No.
That would be a terrible idea. Really, you should think about it.

1. There is a strong culture of corruption in Haiti, and it's possible that these "young able-bodied men" (what about women, why are only men suitable to handing out supplies?) could potentially horde the food and water for their own benefit. We saw examples of this in Haiti when gas stations were not letting people get gas for their vehicles to get out of the city. They were holding out to make the prices go up. We want to make sure food gets to people, not that it's horded by profiteers.

2. There is a strong possibility that individuals who do actually hand out food could be lynched and mugged by starving and thirsty people.

When it comes to handing out necessities for life, it's best to do so in an orderly fashion. That's why the military should do it, to prevent riots and people from killing each other in an attempt to be first to the food and water.

The people should be engaged in the rebuilding efforts, and once some semblance of government order is restored in their country I anticipate more and more power to be handed back to the Haitian people.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #24
38. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Meldread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
20. The UN "troops" (Blue Hats) are normally feckless and worthless.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 09:26 PM by Meldread
This is par for the course for the UN; the only redeeming quality of the entire institution is that it provides a civil ground for nations to talk over their differences rather than going to war. In other words, they're mediators.

Outside of that, the UN is pretty much worthless, especially the blue hats. If you want more evidence just read up on how shitty they've been in Congo. From issues of corruption to sexual abuse of the people all the way to arming the rebels - it's all there.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. No, they are not.
Many of them have died in the cause of peace since WWII, so don't tar everyone with the same brush.

Nor have we had WWIII.

They serve a vital and life-saving purpose...even if it's own security council often works against those purposes.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
25. There has been more than one scandal about blue helmets abusing Haitians. n/t
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Yes, we know.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 09:45 PM by HeresyLives
That is precisely what I'm saying.

Edited to add: I'm sure you don't mean Haitians, at least that we know of as yet. but abuses have occurred in other places.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. Yes, Haitians before the earthquake.
But as you say, the UN forces don't seem to have the structure they need.
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HeresyLives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Ahh, well they shouldn't even have been there.
But the UN can't decide anything as the 'UN', it can only do what it's Security Council orders it to do. And that often gives me a 'facepalm' reaction. Noooooooo!

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I know, me too. n/t
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chrisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
39. I'm not defending them, but
Edited on Tue Jan-26-10 12:25 PM by chrisa
Every military in Haiti right now is so afraid of starting an international incident by even being fired upon, that they'll wimp out and leave rather than give out aid if there is even the slightest indicator that something is wrong. They're probably ordered to do so by those in charge. It's why, if marauders started stealing food supplies, they can do nothing but helplessly look on.

The signing of papers is really stupid, though. Just give them the food. Red tape is costing lives.
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niyad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-26-10 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. that whole signing documents thing reminded me of katrina--instead of getting people into shelter
and THEN taking information--making those people wait outside in line for hours while the bureaucrats got their precious paperwork--and we STILL don't have a decent accounting of the people.
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