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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Monday, January 31, 2005

Tsunami-aid workers a 'traveling circus'

In a London Telegraph article cited by World Net Daily, a United States navy officer serving on the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier blasts the UN and a "travelling circus of aid workers" for hindering the tsunami relief effort in Indonesia.

This couldn't possibly be, could it? (Tongue in cheek)

Finding fault with their behavior and requests, the officer made it known that his warship "has been transformed into a floating hotel for a bunch of trifling do-gooders." He said that the carrier's combat-readiness and the pilots' safety had been put at risk by the limitations imposed upon them by the Indonesian military as they tried to carry out their relief operations.

He stated, "It has been a frustrating and needlessly dangerous exercise" and adding: "Mixed in were a bunch of reporters, cameramen and Indonesian military officers looking like tourists on their way to Disneyland." His remarks, of course, were pooh-poohed by UN officials in Banda Aceh. But yet, some aid workers also voiced their displeasures about the UN and its bureaucracy, while Acehnese complained that aid workers were not performing very effectively.

One of his complaints was that the navy's Seahawk helicopters were compelled to spend too much of their time "ferrying" relief workers around before bringing them back to their "guest bedrooms". Relief aid teams, he said, "threw themselves at the mercy" of the US Navy "because there were no five-star hotels" and declined to pay for meals. UN officials, however, said they and relief workers receive meal money, and therefore found it hard to believe that some would refuse to pay.

Uh, huh.

He was equally scathing of television crews. "We had to dedicate two helos [helicopters] and a C-2 cargo plane for Dan Rather and his entourage of door-holders and briefcase-carriers from CBS News," he claimed. In their defence, journalists said that the helicopters were also carrying relief supplies.

Yea, like what? A couple cases of Don Perion ?

He felt that the Indonesian officers that were on board apparently thought their job was to "encourage our leaving as soon as possible. They want our money and help but they don't want their population to see that the Americans are doing far more for them in two weeks than their own government has ever done for them".

As a consequence, the officer wrote that the pilots were not meeting safety regulations because they were not able to get enough training and practice time. "The longer we stay here helping these people, the more dangerous it gets to operate," he said. "It is time to give this mission to somebody other than the US Navy." Due to the apparent hypersensitivities of the Indonesian authorities, the Lincoln, it seems, has moved farther offshore.

They said it was true that UN officials had carried out "assessments" but rejected suggestions that they hampered operations.

No, that would be just tooooo unbelievable.

They also said that it had taken time to get to positions "in country" but they had now reached remote places. "No one is living off caviar. Conditions are hard but people are motivated by the idea of being part of this historic mission."

Damn. You're not kidding are ya? Only 3 weeks of preparation for the UN and to "assess" the situation. Meetings to plan meetings. But, what the hell, there was no real emergency.

Evidently a Spanish aid agency worker in Banda Aceh, however, was less than impressed with UN officials and said that some UN officials had appeared arrogant, and suggested that the UN was hindered by bureaucracy. "It is a huge machine and it moves very slowly," he said. "It takes 50 pages of bureaucratic work just to move one nail. This can be a problem and that is why some Americans are probably upset. They like to just get on with it."

Yup. I learned this years ago. Ya got talkers and then ya got "doers"


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