Day 16 since the Tsunami and the UN has distributed ZERO on the ground

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by 7_V, Jan 10, 2005.

  1. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    michaelab desafinado

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    Honestly Steve, I don't really know what your agenda is. Why should anyone read what is clearly a load of anti-UN propaganda :mad: ?

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Jan 10, 2005
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  3. 7_V

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    Hi Steve.

    Id have to concur its not the best link. The article seems to have a chip on its shoulder that reminds me of an ant carrying a pringle.

    Are there any more 'broadsheet' criticisms of the UN in this regard?

    I rarely have time to read the papers, so I wouldnt know.
     
    bottleneck, Jan 10, 2005
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  4. 7_V

    Paul Ranson

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    Michael, you have contrary information? The UN has actually begun to distribute on the ground? Or to fund the in place NGOs? To actually do anything?

    Paul
     
    Paul Ranson, Jan 11, 2005
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  5. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    Well Michael,

    I feel that the UN gets an all too easy ride in the British media. Everything they do or say is rubber-stamped and their actions seem never to be questioned, particularly by the BBC.

    This was brought sharply into focus for me by Claire Short's recent remarks when she criticized the USA's Tsunami aid effort and described the UN as the only organization to have the 'moral authority' for the job. This was despite the fact that Australia and the USA were the only countries (other than Israel) that had actually done anything to help (at that time). The first plane load of aid from the UK didn't arrive until several days later.

    Now I would have thought that after the UN oversaw massacres in Rwanda and Dafur (amongst others), the Iraq 'Oil for Food' corruption, the rapes and abuse by UN 'Peace-Keeping Forces' and countless other incidents of incompetence, including appointing Libya to chair the UN Human Rights Commission, there really wouldn't be much 'moral authority' left.

    But I assumed that in the area of saving lives and coordinating aid efforts after a disaster of the scale of the Tsunami the UN would finally come into its own and justify its costly existence. Apparently not.

    So Michael, in view of this discrepancy between the actions of the UN and how they get reported, I thought I'd post something that might make forum members look a little closer at the actions and reporting of the UN. Perhaps people could start to ask questions.

    Because if the UN really doesn't have true moral authority and if they are also both corrupt and incompetent, then it makes a huge difference to how we should judge all sorts of other issues on the world political stage. And that's rather important, don't you think?

    So that's my 'agenda' - to encourage people to think more critically about the UN.

    Does that clarify?
     
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    7_V, Jan 11, 2005
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  6. 7_V

    joel Shaman of Signals

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    bah

    From the UNICEF website:
    From Indonesia: First UNICEF relief arrives in Indonesia

    JAKARTA, 31 December 2004 - Emergency medical kits for 200,000 victims of the Boxing Day Earthquake and tsunami arrived in Jakarta airport today on route to Sumatra tomorrow.

    The kits contain basic medicines and first aid gear to supply an individual for about two weeks.

    This is the first wave of relief from UNICEF. Another $10 million dollars worth of supplies are on their way over the next few weeks. More than 4.5 million people have been affected by the disaster with at least half a million homeless.

    The health kits include anti malaria tables, water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts to combat dehydration in children suffering diarrhea, and a first aid kit.

    Indonesia’s logistic network is being stretched to breaking point with bottlenecks in Jakarta, Medan, a major centre south of Aceh undamaged by the earthquake, and at the airport in Banda Aceh.

    In Aceh basic infrastructure has broken down. There is no fuel, water or sanitation, little transport or power supplies and the health system virtually destroyed.

    A UNICEF team is on the ground coordinating activities and other UNICEF staff and equipment will arrive within 48 hours.

    ****
    Sadly, I couldn't find a UNICEF blog.
    Oh, and don't forget that UNICEF is also on the ground in *all* the countries affected by the tsunami. Not just the ones it is politically expedient to be seen to be helping.
     
    joel, Jan 11, 2005
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    Stuart

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    Here's an extract from a UNHCR update I received on the 29th...

    In Sri Lanka which is one of the worst hit countries UNHCR is already
    providing plastic sheeting, (18,000), plastic mats (17,000), rope, and
    non-food relief packages for 2,000 families. Those packages include cooking
    sets, plastic jerry cans, mosquito nets and clothing. These relief items
    were already prepositioned in Sri Lanka as part of UNHCR's ongoing support
    for displaced people in the country. It is now being used to bridge the gap
    in assistance until more international aid arrives.


    ...which suggests aid/assistance was being distributed in some fashion early on. The question for me is how effective have they been in getting new supplies into the impacted countries and distributed to (the many) people in need?

    The other thing to consider is how well placed are the different aid organisations to provide longer term relief in the region? This may well be where the the UN agencies come into their own?
     
    Stuart, Jan 11, 2005
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  8. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    Joel, Stuart,

    Thanks for your postings. I have posted two comments on the Diplomad blog under the item Tsunami Relief: Some More Good Guys (dated: Tuesday, January 11, 2005). It will be interesting to see if and how they respond.
     
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    7_V, Jan 11, 2005
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    michaelab desafinado

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    Read the posts by Joel and Stuart above, both taken from the UN's own websites. The information about what they're doing on the ground isn't exactly hard to find.

    Steve, in response to your post I can only repeat what Joel said in response to a similar rant on a different thread: this ignorant ranting about the UN is, well, ignorant.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Jan 11, 2005
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    lAmBoY Lothario and Libertine

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    Sorry - why do you consider it ignorant?
     
    lAmBoY, Jan 11, 2005
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  11. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    That's pitifully weak, Michael.

    The information about what they're doing on the ground isn't exactly hard to find.

    - and yet, you haven't bothered to try and find it; you've just relied on Joel and Stuart's postings where they quote from the UN's own PR. This may be true or it may just be propaganda. We need other sources to get a better picture.

    Steve, in response to your post I can only repeat what Joel said in response to a similar rant on a different thread: this ignorant ranting about the UN is, well, ignorant.

    - no Michael, you could do more than repeat what Joel said. You could actually come up with something substantive. To say that "ignorant ranting is, well, ignorant" is, frankly, feeble. How about some analysis or comment on the specific criticisms that I made?
     
    7_V, Jan 11, 2005
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    joel Shaman of Signals

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    The above is a LIE.
    Perhaps these guys should spend less time blogging and more time saving lives, or is it *all* simply vacuous braggadocio.
     
    joel, Jan 11, 2005
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  13. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    Clearly someone's lying, Joel. Both sides cannot be telling the truth.

    Do you have independent verification from a third party that leads you to believe that there has been significant distribution of aid by UN organizations themselves?
     
    7_V, Jan 11, 2005
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  14. 7_V

    Dev Moderator

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    Steve,

    I simply cannot believe that UN have done nothing for 16 days. To me it does seem like anti-UN propaganda and I'm not in the least bit surprised by it. What does surprise me is that you always seem to criticise UN at every opportunity. I believe that all of UN's problem are due to the US not supporting it. Instead they always try to undermine every UN effort for their political gains. I expect this sort of crap from pro Bush mob but not you, even though you are a self confessed Bush supporter).

    Rant over (I'll probably delete this post when I've calmed down)
     
    Dev, Jan 11, 2005
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    joel Shaman of Signals

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    The company I work for is delivering aid (mostly bottled water) in the region. Said deliveries are being coordinated by UNHCR I believe. You might also ask British Airways who ahve been delivering aid, or Garuda Indonesian Airlines.
    If you want independent verification, why not ask MSF. They do not lie.
    I'm sure you wouldn't bother asking the BBC or CNN, as they are commie/alien 5th columnists who don't report UFOs or the Black Helicopters either.
     
    joel, Jan 11, 2005
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  16. 7_V

    7_V I want a Linn - in a DB9

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    You can't blame the US for the UN's performance in Rwanda, Bosnia or Dafur. It wasn't US 'Peace Keepers' abusing 13 year old girls and it wasn't the US who were responsible for the mismanagement of Iraq's oil-for-food programme.

    Since the UN has recently come under increasing criticism it's supporters have taken to blaming the US for shortcomings in the UN. The US is of course the biggest contributor to the UN and it's headquarters are in New York (on an 18 acre plot donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr.).

    In Freedom House's latest tables of the Comparitive Measures of Freedom throughout the world, Libya achieves maximum scores (least free) for both 'Political Rights' and 'Civil Liberties'. The UN saw fit to appoint them as chair of its Human Rights Commission, not the US. How could this give any credibility whatsoever to the organization?

    In general I haven't been a fan of US foreign policy. I have particularly disliked much of their policy in Central America and their past insistence on propping up corrupt regimes. However I dislike the rampant anti-Americanism and anti-Bushism so present on the political left. I tend to believe that credit should be given where credit is due and blame where blame is due.

    And if I'm critical of the UN, it's simply because I get this overwhelming sense that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.
     
    7_V, Jan 11, 2005
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    michaelab desafinado

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    Joel and Stuart had already posted so why repeat it? Do you really believe the UN is lying in giving out specific details of what has been done where?

    No we don't. We certainly don't need the rants of a Republican abroad with neo-con blinkers on.

    Would you try to enter into serious debate with someone who suggested that the Nazi holocaust never happened and had what appeared to be "plausible" arguments in their favour?

    Didn't think so.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Jan 11, 2005
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    Will The Lucky One

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    The first paragraph is fair enough, you may discount other sources as being Republican biased and as such beyond reasonable consideration, but to blanketly state that we don't need other sources is daft - would you consider using Fox News as being sufficient to not need any other sources? Of course not, since what it says disagrees with your own agenda :)

    Your last comment (the holocaust) etc is to my mind somewhat typical of the liberal and 'caring' left's attempts to claim the moral high ground through whatever daft and exxagerative analogy they can attach to a particular issue though.
     
    Will, Jan 11, 2005
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    michaelab desafinado

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    Will - if the UN says:

    In Sri Lanka which is one of the worst hit countries UNHCR is already
    providing plastic sheeting, (18,000), plastic mats (17,000), rope, and
    non-food relief packages for 2,000 families. Those packages include cooking
    sets, plastic jerry cans, mosquito nets and clothing. These relief items
    were already prepositioned in Sri Lanka as part of UNHCR's ongoing support
    for displaced people in the country. It is now being used to bridge the gap
    in assistance until more international aid arrives.


    Then IMO we can take their word for it and we don't need other sources. In any case, there are bound to be thousands of people on the ground who could corroborate this info but they certainly have more important things to be doing than trying to discredit a politically motivated blogger.

    I chose my analogy deliberately. To me the suggestion that the UN is doing nothing to help the tsunami victims is as absurd as suggesting the holocaust never happened and, in many ways, just as offensive.

    Michael.
     
    michaelab, Jan 11, 2005
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    Will The Lucky One

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    Basically you're saying 'The UN says it is so, so it must be true', which is hardly the strongest factual basis upon which to discount Steve's argument is it? :)

    Why is it acceptable to take at face value the communiques of an NGO such as the UN, yet anything the US government (for example) does must be viewed with extreme scepticism? Are we to assume that nobody within the UN is serving their own ends, rather than the 'greater good'? Nobody working for the UN is corrupt or seeking to gain credit for the organisation? To think as such is to me somewhat naive, and I find it sad that I'm sceptical - the UN should be beyond reproach, but facts and events on the ground have shown otherwise IMHO.

    The UN has been implicated in corruption (oil for food) and violent acts commited under its banner during peacekeeping missions as Steve keeps saying, yet you seem to accept its word as being beyond reproach :confused:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 11, 2005
    Will, Jan 11, 2005
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