Tsunami Aid Fiasco and John Bolton

Did you contribute tsunami aid? It seems a lot of good people and companies did. Here is a view as to what has happened.

[quote]Bolton’s sin is telling truth about system
May 15, 2005,

Remember the tsunami? Big story, 300,000 dead; America and other rich countries too “stingy” in their response; government ministers from every capital on earth announcing on CNN every 10 minutes more and more millions and gazillions. It was in all the papers for a week or two, but not a lot of water under the bridge since then, and as a result this interesting statistic may not have caught your eye:

Five hundred containers, representing one-quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, are still sitting on the dock in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed.

At the Indonesian port of Medan, 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.

Four months ago, did you chip in to the tsunami relief effort? Did your company? A Scottish subsidiary of the Body Shop donated a 40-foot container of “Lemon Squidgit” and other premium soap, which arrived at Medan in January and has languished there ever since because of "incomplete paperwork,’’ according to Indonesian customs officials.

Well, those soapy Scots were winging it – like so many of us, eager to help but too naive to understand that, no matter the scale of devastation visited upon a hapless developing nation, its obstructionist bureaucracy will emerge from the rubble unscathed. Yet, among the exhaustive examples of wasted Western generosity unearthed by the Financial Times, what struck me was not the free-lancers but the permanent floating crap game of international high-rollers who couldn’t penetrate the labyrinth of Indonesian paperwork.

Diageo sent eight 20-foot containers of drinking water via the Red Cross. “We sent it directly to the Red Cross in order to get around the red tape,” explained its Sydney office. It arrived in Medan in January and it’s still there. The Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork.

UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, sent 14 ambulances to Indonesia, and they took two months to clear customs. Terrible as it was in its awesome fury, the tsunami was in the end transnational business as usual.

Which brings me to the John Bolton nomination process, which is taking so long you’d think the U.S. Senate was run by Indonesian customs inspectors. Writing of near-Ambassador Bolton’s difficulty getting his paperwork stamped by the Foreign Relations Committee, National Review’s Cliff May observed that "the real debate is between those who think the U.N. needs reform – and those who think the U.S. needs reform.’’ b[/b]
suntimes.com/output/steyn/cs … eyn15.html[/quote]
Oh…and this article has an interesting anecdote about Canadian PM Paul Martin and his “Canadian Committment.”

[i]Thus, Bolton would have no problem getting nominated as U.N. ambassador if he were more like Paul Martin.

Who? Well, he’s prime minister of Canada. And in January, after the tsunami hit, he flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada’s CTV network, “visibly shaken.” President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn’t visible, and in the international compassion league, that’s what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. “Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!” raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars – Canadian. That’s about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn’t tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it’s back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible “unilateralist” America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck’ll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada’s contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.[/i]

With Martin’s background in shipping you’d expect logistics to be his strong point. Then again, I always suspected he was made CEO of Canada Steam Ships Ltd. in his corporate years because daddy was a Federal Liberal politician . In Canada, being a statist (and a hypocrite to boot) is profitable. Martin used Liberian flags to circumvent shipping laws. He is style over substance. What else should we expect from a Liberal and from the east? Hopefully, not for long though. Everything that is sick about the eastern Liberal establishment is coming crashing down, and I’ll make sure I pull my pecker out to urinate on our flag :smiling_imp: when the Liberals lose. Cuz the end of eastern-based federalism (resurgent Bloc, PQ at the provincial level, and Western Canadian power) is coming. Que Sera Sera. I just hope the western cowboys can get their shit together to actually change the system so it won’t be changed back for generations.

I’d like to see this gent run for elected office (was won an election for Senate but the results were ignored by Ottawa) in Alberta or enter the Federal scene. He, like Bolton, would be “fresh air” in a very foul environment.


Speaking of fiascos and John Bolton:

[quote]But if the NPT needed so much fixing under U.S. leadership, why was the United States so shockingly unprepared when the treaty came up for its five-year review at a major conference in New York this month, in the view of many delegates? And why has the United States been losing control of the conference

Would that be the same Newsweek reporter that retracted the story on the desecration of the Quran?

Just checking…