Sunday, January 17, 2010

Red tape

Dan Senor, New York Times:

If we are going to have American military units deployed in Haiti — and we should — it would be invaluable for the unit commanders to have access to the Commanders’ Emergency Response Fund that was established for Iraq. This is a discretionary fund that American officers can dip into for development projects and crisis response without constantly looking over their shoulders at monitors in Washington.

Really! If the American military isn't accountable to the Haitian government, why should it be constrained by ours? Generally speaking, money was handled very responsibly in Iraq: You almost never have to worry about corruption in any post-calamity reconstruction scenario.

And who better to carry it out than our dedicated combat forces, whose relevant training far exceeds anything on offer from any of these woefully unarmed "relief agencies?" In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, I know I would have preferred to see foreign military units deployed in New Orleans, rather than the Red Cross, et al. As an American, I understand instinctively that the presence of foreign troops in disaster-struck US cities is always in the best interest of the local population -- which is precisely why they are always welcome.

So let's get practical. If history teaches us anything, it's that the less oversight there is of state intervention in foreign lands, the better off everyone is in the long run.


Ben There said...

Yeah - all that constant looking over of the shoulders is for pussies...

JRB said...

Better summary, fewer words: nice!

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, it's worse than that:

"The US military has taken control of Port-au-Prince airport as a key hub of its military buildup, blocking access by humanitarian flights. Humanitarian flights from France, Brazil, and Italy were refused permission to land, and the Red Cross reported one of its planes was diverted to Santo Domingo, the capital of the neighboring Dominican Republic.....US officials have made clear that treating Haitian victims of the earthquake is not a US priority. Medical facilities on the US aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, steaming off Haiti’s shores, will not treat Haitians. The senior medical officer on board, Commander Alfred Shwayhat, told the Wall Street Journal he had plans to “treat 1,000 Haitians if necessary,” but said that he had received no orders to do so. He continued, “If the captain authorizes it, I will take anyone ... [the Vinson’s facility] exceeds anything in the civilian sector, bar none.'"

d.mantis said...

Just when I thought that there was no other possible way to fuck Haiti...We may make the God-damned earthquake their second biggest problem.

America: Never let a good disaster go to waste!

I guess I can take solace in the fact that at least we did not cause fucking plate tectonics.