Friday, January 15, 2010

The Security Situation II


By Roger Annis

January 15--Evidence of monstrous neglect of the Haitian people is mounting following the catastrophic earthquake three days ago. As life-saving medical supplies, food, water purification chemicals and vehicles pile up at the airport in Port au Prince, and as news networks report a massive international effort to deliver emergency aid, the people in the shattered city are wondering when they will see help.

BBC World Service reports that Haitian officials now fear the death toll could rise to 140,000. Three million people are homeless.

BBC reporter Andy Gallagher told an 8 pm (Pacific Time) broadcast tonight that he had traveled “extensively” in Port au Prince during the day and saw little sign of aid delivery. He said he was shown nothing but courtesy by the Haitians he encountered. Everywhere he went he was taken by residents to see what had happened to their neighbourhood, their homes and their lives. Then they asked, “Where is the help?”

“When the Rescue teams arrive,” Gallagher said, “they will be welcomed with open arms.”

CBC Radio One’s As It Happens broadcast an interview this evening with a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross. He said he spent the morning touring one of the hardest hit areas of the city (the district was not named), in the hills that rise from the flat plain on which sits historic Port au Prince. “In three hours, I didn’t see a single rescue team.”

The BBC report contrasts starkly with warnings of looting and violence that fill the airwaves of news channels such as CNN and are being voiced by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. He was asked by media in Washington why relief supplies were not being delivered by air. He answered, “It seems to me that air drops will simply lead to riots.”

Gates says that “security” concerns are impeding the delivery of aid.

So the US military has gone in, got control of all the aid supplies, and is witholding them to maximise the death toll and suffering, and hoping to provoke something that will provide 5 seconds of film that looks like "unrest". The White House pursues this tactic unabashedly despite widespread awareness - this time, unlike in New Orleans or Iraq - of their chicanery, their pre-meditated machinations and their aims.


BBC Headline: Security fears stalk Haiti as quake survivors await aid:

There are mounting security concerns in Haiti's earthquake-hit capital as distribution problems continue to hamper getting aid to survivors.

Days after the quake devastated Port-au-Prince, killing tens of thousands, there are some reports of gangs preying on residents and looting.

Official say thousands of prisoners are unaccounted for after the main prison was destroyed.

Relief has been arriving, but little has moved beyond the jammed airport.

In a highlight box on the BBC website it says:

Andy Gallacher, Port-au-Prince

The airport here in Haiti has now become the central hub for the huge aid operation that is now finally under way.

The Haitian government has handed over control of the entire facility to the American military, who are here in large numbers.

US soldiers have started the tricky operation of controlling the massive amount of air traffic that is now flooding in, and aid agencies from across the globe are arriving minute by minute.

But the fact remains that much of the aid - tents, blankets and medical supplies - is still sitting on the runway in Port-Au-Prince.

Well you know how "institutions" are, not very competent...

A link directs to the story, with the headline Chaos in Haiti as aid arrives...

Despite concerns about security Haitians are showing incredible patience but it is now being severely tested as the hours pass.

Chaos, fear, stalking. Patience waning. Tricky operation of controlling massive air traffic? Someone wrote that with a straight face. The assumption is that the audience is brain damaged from the barrage of film and television and has no longer any sense of plausibility.

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