Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html en-gb 30 Thu 24 Jul 2014 08:55:58 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=99#comment159 vgerrard, yes, stupid of me, awful, of course. Today resquers are rolling up work, looks like they don't hope to find live people tomorrow any more. Though one lady was found today, I think leaving too soon, why not to do work several days more, double-check, just in case. Anyway Russia rolled up today, Spain and Norway and the USA resque team.I know only about neighbours on the sides, in the resquers' campus by the airport. Other teams and other countries might still stay.Rusian hospital stayed, for 15 days more they said. Was fortified by more staff and medications yesterday, and a special doctors specialising in kids trauma/amputations' team is already in Dominican, as a call is now made for child doctors especially. I don't know may be they'll stay in Dominican, a centre is being set up as I understood, int'l, for children limbs and hands and legs and all :o( Fri 22 Jan 2010 22:21:01 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=98#comment158 And how can you compare Haiti and Cuba. In Haiti one half can't write their name. In Cuba literacy is 98% for a long long time. That friend of yours, MA, who ran away from Cuba with "10 cents to his pocket" or how it is called, and now drives ? forgot what (never knew, rather :o)))), could have well been the excellent Cuba uni graduate. Lacking only environment where he can apply his skills. _______________________:o)A beautiful girl in Cuba is dancing in the street and crying. Weeps, stops for a second, then dances more . :o)- Why do you cry, what has happened?- My uncle has died.- So why do you dance then?- Ah. It's the music - is so good!:o)))) Thu 21 Jan 2010 16:55:53 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=98#comment157 I back up Leo Naphta on Cuba, though just by gut feeling :o) as I've never been there, and he has travelled extensivly. A close friend of mine, no, actually, two, lived in Cuba for several years each. From what I heard it is not a "prizon" or a scary place where they grab you for violations of something. Back in USSR times they were 10 times more free than us, to say nothing about now. Basically, it sounded to me like a very care-free place, poor but very cheerful. Even Russians never understood how Cubans can be so cheerful about their life but they are. They dance and sing at every possible occasion and enjoy life to full extent.To poor Russians Cuba back in USSR times seemed a total paradise. For exactly this , how to say, that they manage to be somehow happy, even not having those small things that we had back then.Another attitude to life.And Mavrelius is wrong that we have spoiled them. Cuba was never fully-hearted "pro-USSR", they were always in half-heart about us. Like Tito and Jugoslavia, they didn't want to be bossed around by Moscow, valued their independence higher, and were, how to say, 1/3 allies at max. It's a parallel world, not ours, have never been. It's the Cuban crisis MA that blocked your eyes and made you thinking that we are two peas alike, nothing of the kind. Back then simply Castro's and Khurschev's interests co-insided for a while, Castro cataleptical about US invasion onto Cuba, that's only why he allowed for our rockets to be positioned, wanted them badly - otherwise - he'd never. And anyway we topped it up by sugar contract for USSR for decades onwards, and that was a lumpy contract sum, and against own interests, because USSR is used to beet-root sugar, not that? those? long high green shoots? bamboo? whatever. Ukraine and Belarus in abundance of beet-root, there was no reason whatsoever to cut their fields to keep up Cuba. And Russian doctors screamed that that bamboo is un-usual for our microbes' mould up, living genetically, by fact, in USSR digestive systems in digestive systems, as all thrive best on local product to which local intestines are tuned to, for centuries. All stomuck's and intestines inhabitants :o))) lacto-bifido bacteria I mean :o)))) love digesting local things, not alien from far away. Scared Russians did not want Cuban sugar, but were fed it up! :o)))))))Anyway Cuba tore away with us completely during Gorbachyov, it was their call, not ours, they didn't approve of perestroyka, "predating old ideals" and all, called us predators of the socialist campus. And about education Leo Nafta is right, it's FOC there all stages incl. higher education - one of their strong points, the other one being doctors, medical system. Thu 21 Jan 2010 16:19:29 GMT+1 iknowsbest http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=97#comment156 To MaudDib…I have done & do much charity work all year round with the “Niall Mellon Irish Township Trust” for Africa & with the “African Children’s Choir” in my time, still do, but I am not a doctor & that is what they now need in Haiti, Doctor’s. That’s also why I am so angry like the doctor’s who are there that this shamble’s of a rescue aid plan cost many lives…all for the want of antibiotic’s, antiseptic’s, & painkiller’s, & medical instruments. So, don't think everyone who is angry here at this truly unprofessional effort is a good for nothing. When did...if ever have you left your computer to do a bit of Charity work? So take the "Plank out of your own eye, First"!PS. BBC… Well, not everyone, gerard, cheer up, 40,000 people a day are fed from distribution points in an organised manner, and many more in un-organised. WebAliceinronderlandCheer up, you say…while 20.000 people are dying per day (now in the ninth day) because there is no amputation saw, no medicine for pre-ops..after-ops or for infection’s etc & no painkiller’s…as well as the millions lying out in the open & with the rains about to come down on them…& disabled old people in a Nursing Home that have had no aid what so ever till yesterday a couldn't move with their medical condition's to get some until some(Haitian) doctor was told about their predicament. PS. BBC, could you put out a call for more doctors’ for Haiti…as there is not nearly enough for the tragedy therein? A friend in a congregation of nun’s in my neighbourhood lost two of their sister’s working in an orphanage there. This sad news I heard yesterday…& the nun's told me their biggest hurdle is the not having enough medicine's & doctor's.Thank you. Thu 21 Jan 2010 15:52:41 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=96#comment155 AT2 wrote: "As I said, many tyrants throughout history have been interested in a united Europe through force. :)"Ah yes, the tyrants that made up the international (european) pacifist movement. Are you kidding me? Actually, no, you just don't have a clue what I'm talking about. I'll give you a hint, look up the recepients of the Nobel Peace prize before 1914. Which is why I said that you shouldn't talk about history if you don't actually know what you're talking about.AT2: "It isn't the "totality" but it is certainly the most important."It's only the most important part if you can actually live decently. Of course, you have never even tried to put that into perspective. I find it ironic that you doubt my Latin American experience, but it's exactly there that I found that out. There's a reason why Torijos is still revered in Panama, and there's a reason while you can find a lot of people from the older generations that will claim that life was better under Noriega and Torijos (people that were not connected to the regime in a formal sense, by the way). Ever heard of Brecht's adagium 'First comes food, then morals?'It's very important to be able to speak your mind, agreed, but freedom of speech is hardly on anybody's mind when they can't make ends meet. AT2: "If by "unhindered" you mean without any reasonable oversight and regulation then you are wrong. Stick to what I have said and try not to twist it into something you can then attack more easily."I like how you infer something from a statement, put words in my mouth and then accuse me of twisting your phrases. I'm not talking about just 'reasonable oversight and regulation'. AT2: "It must really upset many Europeans that in socialist Europe there is actually much more egalitarianism in America. :)"First of all, Europe isn't socialist, and the EU is quite a neo-liberal construct. Secondly, I see you still believe in the American dream. Good for you, of course, it must burn that just about every study points out that social mobility is actually lower in the USA. Best not to think about it, am I right?AT2: "As I said, lose the drama and the emotive words and try to respond to what I am actually writing."Try actually understanding what I'm writing. Your language is not neutral.AT2: "No, but I grew up knowing many Cubans who have and I have some in my own family, something most Europeans would have no concept of, so it isn't too hard to be convinced of the realities of communist Cuba. Even the pictures say it all."There you go again, anecdotal evidence. Ever thought about the fact that your 'sample' of Cubans, is not actually representative of 'Cuba' but that you probably met a whole lot of very anti-Castro Cubans (what did they think of Batista, ever ask them that?)I could respond that I know Cubans as well (actually, there are pro-Castro Cuban bars here, but shhh, that couldn't possibly happen outside of Cuba!) but apparently, I'm supposed to accept your anecdotal evidence while you'll dismiss mine as lies.AT2: "Face it, it is a dump where most Cubans just scrape by where people are persecuted, imprisoned or murdered for simply expressing opinions. Even if it were as industrialized as China it would be, along with China, a horrible place to live in compared to a free and democratic country."It's time that you try to understand the argument I'm making. I'm not saying Cuba is perfect. I'm not saying that the Castro regime is a love filled regime, I'm not even saying I support it. I'm saying that Cuba is not as badly off as Haiti. I'm saying that the idea that Cuba went down the drain from 1958 is ridicilous. Castro's done a lot of bad things, he's also done some good things. There are people who prefer to live there. Did you know they offer university schooling to a lot of people from other Latin American countries that wouldn't be able to pay for a good education? Of course, you don't believe I actually lived there, so how can I have met those people, right? AT2: "Yeah, sure you have.Sorry, but I've run into so many Europeans claiming to have intimate or firsthand experience of things either in America or in this part of the world that ended up as BS. The worse, and most amusing, being those that try to tell me what life is really like in my own country. :)"I've not tried to tell you how life in the USA is. I'm saying I've lived in Latin America. I can't prove this over the internet, so if you don't feel like believing this, I can hardly make you. I do think it's ironic that you expect me to believe you do have this 'first hand knowledge' but don't want to accept that I've seen it too. You know, I'll try, here's some fun extra info, how's this: In Panamanian dialect, 'fren' means 'friend', 'que xopa' is the inversion of 'que paso' which obviously means 'what's up'. A gun is 'un cañon'. They use 'guial' for 'girl' (from Jamaican English which is mainly spoken in Colon and some poorer neighbourhoods in the Capital), they also used 'man' instead of 'hombre' there. 'buco' means a lot, and it comes from French. It entered the dialect, probably because of the first attempt at the construction of the Canal by the French company that also did the Suez canal. The current president is Martinelli (who took over from Martin Torijos, illegitimate son of former military dictator Omar Torijos), he's a millionaire and owns the local '99 supermarket store chain. The other big chain there is 'El Rey', who are open 24/24. Seco with milk is touted by tourist guides as the local drink, but in reality it's only drunk by old people while playing domino's. A corner store is called a 'chino' because they're mainly run by chinese immigrants. Gang fights are common in the Capital and Colon, in San Miguelito, the gang for example, is called 'Los Perros the San Miguelito'. I'd say the worst neighbourhood is Chorillo, who's towers are called 'multis'. The bus is cheaper, but are called 'diablos rojos', red devils, because they are known for the reckless behavior, which is why locals also refer to them as 'borradores', whipers, because they whipe you out. This being in the capital region, as bus colors actually different from province to province. You can see one of these busses in the latest James Bond movie, because the part where they are supposedly in Bolivia was actually filmed in Colon, which I noticed because at one point when it's dark they pass a bus, which because of the exhorbitant decoration, are quite distinct to the country. The part in Prison Break where they get to Panama, does not actually even resemble Panama, and aside from the between cuts, was probably never even filmed there. Why should I believe anything anybody writes on here anyway? Besides, do you think that people like Chavez, Morales, Correa, Lulu etc. came out of nowhere? Do you think it might have had something to do with the IMF's restructuring of Latin American economies in the 80s? AT2: "Why would it be "petty?" That remark has significance. Try thinking about it."There's actually no real significance to it, but believe what you want to.AT2: "No, it is a valid question based on your response. Your emotive language and drama in regards to previous remarks of mine were not."No it's not, it's a low play on something I wasn't refering to. AT2 "How is that a valid and logical follow up question based on what I have said so far??"It isn't is it? So why do you insist on making such idiotic statements in reference to what I said? That phrase was the inversion of what you said to me. AT2: "Besides, I have no problem offering them food or medical aid, especially in emergencies. Beyond that, America is under no obligation to trade with such a country or to subsidize its development beyond that, nor should it.Besides, you Europeans are always harping on them having universal health care and everyone supposedly getting enough to eat so what else do they need in their utopia that requires America to trade with them?"'You Europeans' ?See, that's the whole problem, you persist on doing this dialogue in some sort of a geographic/nationalist classification, it'll get us nowhere. If you can't understand the interplay of economics in the global market, that statement wouldn't make sense I suppose. I'll tell you what, try reading a book by André Gunder Frank, it'll make more sense after that.AT2:" Because I disagree with your views on something I am now "craving for dictatorships??" You sure you want to go with that kind of logic?"Are you being daft on purpose there? My point was that you apparently seem bent on placing me into a corner with 'dictators' because I don't agree with you, and then harp on about freedom of speech. Not the opposite. You claim freedom of speech is so important, but when I contradict you, you take it to mean I want to silence you, which is ridicilous.AT2: "So because I say I am in an obviously much better position to know my country and fellow Americans better than you will ever even begin to that somehow means I am not in favor of other Americans speaking for themselves and that I am now acting like a "Marxist??" Is that a joke?I'll ask you again, you sure you want to go with that kind of logic?"Firstly, you don't know what all your countrymen think, and I know there are quite a few who would disagree with your assesments of situations. You can only speak for yourself, so please keep it to that. This is exactly why this argument always devolves into caricatures debating eachother. Secondly, do you even know what I refer to when I say 'superstructure'? Look that up, then you'll get what I mean, and maybe then you'll figure out it was meant in jest. You know, in the way that apparently, if I say 'Cuba is slightly more nuanced' some of you take it to mean 'I love Fidel!'MAII: You're funny.Especially the materialist part, good show! He drove a Lincoln to work! My God, how can other people go without that! Hey, did you guys read how Cuba restored the eyesight of the guy that killed Che Guevara? ;) Thu 21 Jan 2010 15:26:09 GMT+1 Jan_Keeskop http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=96#comment154 kathystephen: Regarding post 15, that has been the tragic history of Haiti for over two centuries, and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.Jean Carlos: On post 63, I was able to find a copy of José de Córdoba’s 2004 story from the Wall Street Journalhere, but I have to disagree with Tunku Varadarajan — it does not include a full account of the calculation of this odious debt. For one, de Córdoba correctly noted that the original amount of 150 million gold francs was subsequently reduced to a total of 90 million gold francs (still a considerable millstone upon generations of Haitians) — about 840,000 ounces of gold, or £575 million in today’s money, excluding interest (as it was paid off by borrowing). Mr de Córdoba also wrote that Haiti paid off this debt in 1883, rather than in 1947, according to Mr Varadarajan; however, I’ve seen several different dates in different sources for when the final payment was, so I’m not sure which of them is correct.Maria Ashot: In post 149, sadly, it won’t, and it wasn’t. The more the money that will be needed to do the repairs, the more the profit that the lenders will rake in. Thu 21 Jan 2010 09:20:07 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=95#comment153 I have always believed average people in the USSR didn't know how close the world had come to total nuclear war in 1962. It was literally only a matter of hours. The emplacement of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba was unacceptable to the US military and to the civilian government. The generals favored a pre-emptive stike on Cuba and expected immediate escalation to WWIII. At the time the ICBM had not been perfected yet and both sides relied mainly on manned bombers. Both the US and USSR kept the Soviet Union's weakness a secret from the public for entirely different reasons. The USSR wanted to appear to be America's equal. The US government wanted to justify huge military expenditures "to catch up to the Russians." During the presidential campaign of 1960, the Democrats invented the myth of a "missile gap" in which the US was supposedly behind the USSR. I read one analysis that claimed that the USSR had only four nuclear weapons capable of being delivered on American targets and that two were expecte to get through. It was assumed New York City where I lived and Washington DC would be destroyed. It was estimated that about 200 American nuclear weapons would reach targets in Eastern Europe, the USSR, and China. Kennedy learned to his horror during the crisis that the US military had only one nuclear war fighting strategy, burn down everything from the Danube River to the Pacific Ocean. We are certain without doubt now that such a war would have brought about the extinction of the human race.Now you can enjoy Boris and Natasha our favorite cartoon nogoodnicks in the 1960s. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUiCYAE2DYI don't know what happened, there used to be tons of these on Youtube. Thu 21 Jan 2010 04:29:44 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=95#comment152 This post has been Removed Thu 21 Jan 2010 03:32:25 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=94#comment151 Of those 60-ones, generation of those who came of age in 1960-s, children of war, one founded the amateur children theatre, that I was part of. Still thrives and the biggest amateur theatre in Russia I think, for kids age 8-18, called T-Yu-T, Theatre of Youthful Creativity.Of which I am a graduate :o) as you see. Excellent place, and all beyond state, private initiative, un-heard of before thing in the USSR. All volunteers, un-paid first 20 years of theatre work. At some point the place got institutionalised, became part of the Pioneer's Palace of Leningrad, but the theatre was one of the first if not the first one, who had the very idea to grabatise from the state the Palace, palace of the mother of the last tsar, right on Nevsky prospekt, and let kids ramble in it, in various groupings, "dance" and choir, and chess (I think Karpov graduated from that chess group) and "young future cosmonauts" :o))))) (several became) and tecnical radio dit dit dit dah dah dah lovers and what not. The theatre took the ground floor. I was often sneaking up upstaires, to alien quarters, or nobody's in particlular quarters, and will never forget my impressions of the Royal Library and one other room I don't know still what it was.The library was a rich place, as you can guess :o))) and all in oak, or anyway may be nut wood, don't know, all wooden place, with those stairs running up, creaky old stairs, and the second layer, like a ballustrade running around the hall, with more books up abbove. And various creaky stairs to climb up to volumes high above. And all books in leather covers, I was deeply impressed and snifffed around. Funny to think now, nobody guarded it from kids, I think it was not posssible to take books home but on the place - read as much as you like. The other room was my favourite, nothing happened there, it was always dark, but not locked, simply very heavy large doors, to turn the knob and get in. It was lined in heavy carpets, high thick woolen carpets, old and very soft, and, like, 10cm high the brush. I was simply sitting there on the floor, in the darkness, on the carpet. That's all :o)))) Or looking down at the street in snow and street lamps, through the large window. The chief attraction for me in that room were 2 big frogs. :o))) By the door, huge, my size, made of some green glass, and with other stones set into their eyes. Don't know their puprose, just "empresses' frogs". Guarding the room? don't know what for. They were my companions, with their strange eyes, in that heavy carpet room. And what New Year parties were arranged in that palace aaah. You would go through don't know how many seemed to me 30 rooms, and in every room there were some attractions for kids. Some games or Christmas trees or presents or games arranged live or competition, and you walked 50 rooms, one to another, until you dropped dead from happiness.Excellent memoirs, and again, one 60-generation chap made it happen, broke it through, for Soviet children. Out of own enthusiasm to make a fairy-tale true. Thu 21 Jan 2010 03:12:01 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=93#comment150 Hello, Maria Ashot. Thu 21 Jan 2010 02:31:23 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=93#comment149 Looked up links at 145, 146. (Pity Part 2 isn't voiced over, closed for authorship rights.) Well what to say. If it consoles you in any way, Russians always found most of what Khruschev did rather stupid :o))) and right back then when he was doing it, and during Perestroyka, and in our new neo-marxism :o))) mode - no change. And playing with fire with you (most here were not of Khruschev's opinion that it is an innocent joke :o))) - rather, had another idea of your how to say, mould, - and planting corn beyond the Polar circle - and bulldozing art exhibition as sure quick way "to close it up" - and awarding half of modern Ukraine to Republic of Ukraine, by cutting a chunk off Russia. On the other hand, we cosnsistently give him credit for closing up Gulags, opening prizons' doors letting all go, and for the melt-down the so-called thaw that gave enormous impulse for country's development and resulted as a by-pass part product in the whole generation of "shestidesyatniki" - 60-years' ones, the generation of the 60-s. Which is a quality mark here still, most worthy intellectual forces and philosophers and writers and poets and musicians and film directors and composers a whole crop grew up out of cold ground out of nowhere immediately shooted through the asphalt.Right, later on they were pressed down rolled into asphalt again :o) but still we had a breath of air and the next one was decades after so we fondly remember Khrushev for that, for letting reinMavrelius, by the way you are inconsistent, you are supposed to dislike Khruschev and what he did, right? Then why do you think the Cuban crisis was characteristic of his mental abilities while awarding Crimea to his native Ukraine was not? For you are going to protect this Khruschev's decision by full NATO force in case Russia wants her property back. Very inconsistent, one year you think he was stupid the other year - a total genius? Thu 21 Jan 2010 02:30:06 GMT+1 Maria Ashot http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=92#comment148 vgerrard, No. 137: "How long will it take to get to that 'Yet'?"... indeed.As Gavin Hewitt points out, it is often the same. More of this, a little less of this (mostly more, though). The difference this time? A greater proportion of the people watching have had little to no personal visual contact with in-your-face disasters & tragedies, such as wars.When Iraq was overrun -- a man-made tragedy -- there were crude amputations without anesthetic, there were people crushed in bombed buildings, there were wailing orphans and people parched & disoriented...I am not trying to minimise at all the significance or very real trauma of the suffering of Haitians today. Far from it. The outpouring of concern, compassion, horror, strikes me as altogether healthy: a sign of true intelligence. We can make the connection between "that poor suffering person" and "myself": that is a step forward, out of cynicism, narcissism & indifference. But let us for one moment remember the great European wars of the 20th century. Our parents -- mine, certainly -- lived through every bit the same kind of horror as what now convulses Haiti. They witnessed this exact kind of living hell. The ones who survived to tell the tale were also the ones who exerted themselves to prevent any repetition of such madness ever again across the Eurasian supercontinent.We cannot yet predict earthquakes with enough accuracy to implement preventive policies -- although the evidence is in that a clear warning, a Genuine Prediction, if you will, of this devastating earthquake, was provided in explicit terms by scientists just two years ago. That would have been enough time to take some steps that would have not only saved lives in 2010, but also reduced the stress on resources in this frenzied rescue effort. But even while we cannot yet predict or avert natural disasters, we should lose no further time in formulating better strategies for improving conditions in the most marginalised communities on the planet. We should not be waiting for a repeat of the tragedy in Haiti -- or the worst dramas of the African conflict of recent decades -- before we intervene with effective constructive support & encouragement for struggling governments overwhelmed by masses of destitute, undernourished, underemployed citizens who need more than slogans, hugs and music videos to advance.It should not have taken an earthquake of this magnitude to mobilise the powers of this world to lift up eight or nine million Haitians before their land had been reduced to rubble -- and even well before 97% of their forest had been annihilated for cheap fuel. Of course, it is praiseworthy and appropriate of the EU to offer help, relief & expertise. But the superpower of the hemisphere -- that would be the USA -- also needs to face up to the fact that a resolute refusal to do the timely simple things that help the region -- simple things like lifting the ridiculously protracted, vindictive & ultimately petty embargo on US trade with Cuba -- have spread misery & reinforced dysfunctionality in this beautiful, fragile zone of the planet. Maybe the terrible, regrettable sacrifice that has been exacted of Haitians over the past week will actually force the issue at last, and lead to a lasting transformation not only of Haiti, but of all its neighbouring states as well, as the wealthy & powerful ones of this world are finally moved to rediscover their shared humanity with the destitute whose destinies they (unfortunately) do indeed control. Let us hope this earthquake was big enough to shatter even the hardest hearts of those that have it taken upon themselves to make decisions for all the world. Because we will not find a way out of any of the troubles that blight our lives, until the powerful wealthy ones unclench those fists, and let the needed funding finally trickle forth... The longer they take to do so, the more money becomes necessary to do the repairs. Just ask Paul Krugman. He seems to know the score. Thu 21 Jan 2010 01:31:57 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=91#comment147 Stupid of course, playing with fire. One relief it was still a Ukrainian man :o)))) looking for troubles, onto own head. Not a Ukr. girl. :o)))If it were, say, Julie Timoshenko, not Khruschev - then I think LOL she wouldn't limit up the reach by Cuba Thu 21 Jan 2010 00:54:18 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=91#comment146 MA, I will look up the links, but I am afraid we were less scared than you were, as min. not so much how to say hair raising up on head memoirs around. I only know we sneaked rockets out onto Cuba hidden at the ships because Khruschev was silly, risking to let it out known to the USA that USSR still doesn't have rockets able to reach it from home, no long-flying ones, so if Russian rockets on Cuba were discovered, USA would know we are weak. Which is exactly what has happened. Then so you discovered got angry about a rocket base materialised up out of nowhere by your side, from which site you could be attacked, then put 2 and 2 together understood USSR still can't attack you from afar, then - what? So, you were angry, understandable, Cuba is close to you, like we are angry when you position things around us now or intend to. But its shouldn't mean the end of the world necessarily? A site to attack from is not the attack itself, likewise a site in Europe to attack us from is not the attack itself either. Shouldn't necessarily mean the end of the world - unless one side does want to attack. It's you are full of preventive strikes ideas you were the only real danger. And rightly then you are scared of yourselves more :o))) you simply knew yourselves better! :o)))))) Thu 21 Jan 2010 00:45:41 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=90#comment145 WA;The full movie for which I gave a link to the trailer in my previous posting is a dramatization of the events by actors. It is not necessarily 100% accurate insofar as the drama is concerned but tries to be historically accurate in its major points. We call that a "docu-drama." A more accurate documentary account that tries to be entirely factual is presented by a news organization. Here's a link to part 1 of such an account.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZYmCQu5oyk&feature=related You can follow this through from part to part to the end. Another near miss occurred in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. I was living in France at the time. The US was on worldwide nuclear war alert and the French were very frightened by events. We can only guess that during the initial phases of the war when Isreal appeared to be losing and might be defeated, the Israeli government told the US government that it would launch a nuclear counterattack against the Arabs. If this in fact happened then it is likely the US feared this would escalate to full fledged total thermonuclear war between thge US and the USSR. Nixon who was no friend of Israel suddenly sent them massive quantities of Arms and everything else they needed to defeat the Arabs using conventional weapons. If you think the effort in Haiti is remarkable, imagine what the US armed forces did when avoiding the end of the world depended on the outcome. Wed 20 Jan 2010 23:50:42 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=90#comment144 WAThe world almost came to an end in October 1962. You may not know how close it actually came. During that time I was in high school. There were days we thought we would not live to the end of the day, any of us.Here's the official trailer for a dramatization movie called "The Missiles of October." It may seem fictional but it is proabably a fairly accurate account of what actually happened. You can look at the other links. I think there are some ways to see some excellent documentaries. One called just "The Cuban Missile Crisis" is in multiple parts. It appears to have been prepared by CBS News because the narrator is Mike Wallace who worked for them as a regular. Networks like CBS and NBC routinely produced documentaries of this type in those days, usually one hour long.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M19tgYuwVWc Wed 20 Jan 2010 23:40:05 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=89#comment143 And, the main thing, MA, if you are ever going to save us - please check 10 times with others in the knowing, are we actually perishing or not, beforehand. Because by your standards I am afraid we are fit to be saved on any given day of the week, and then we won't understand the joke, and you might be offended in your best intentions. :o)))))For example last week beyond Urals is minus 45, and to St. Petersburg they promise me tomorrow - 30. LOL. Emeregency? Sure thing. Whole 3 planes were cancelled last week pan-Russia, because of "cold weather", TV said "aj jai iaj" airports forgot how to handle, spoiled by warm winters of the past decade.So, ask me, beforehand. For example :o)))))The doctors without limits plane I think should have simply landed, permission or no permission. What can airport do when a plane lands? Put cars on the line? :o))))) Wed 20 Jan 2010 22:54:26 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=88#comment142 MA I read your link @132, thank you, interesting. For the justification, "why not UN but why we heave to head it?" - "UN head in Haiti died so that's why, they are be-headed" and " we have to head it because we have to head it, right, Jim? " Yes, right" such talk is, how to say, enough for home consumption only. I don't know why they felt they have to bother going into self-explanations at all, what MaudDib said, the attitude "just do it" I think is a better explanation why. I'll mentally keep it on the side of "just do it" national character attitude, if you permit :o))))), because I'm not convinced that was the last man available to govern int'l resque efforts from the UN side. Or, if so, aaaah. I am glad you have no troops to invade us currently :o))), I understand what you wanted to say, that 2 wars on hands as it were plus now to find troops for Haiti was not easy. Where did you get additional 13.5 thousand by the way:o)) You seem to have secret stocks. Well, I think, if you find more for Haiti, say, later on ... :o))) simply give me a whistle when there is no one left at home, OK? :o)))))Yes, MaudDib, I think seriously, what you wrote is correct. That as min. we can be proud we didn't cause the 3rd WW.Especially given your attitiude :o)))))) as described above :o))))))"we are impatient and task oriented, if there's something that needs to be done then by God we're going to get it done" aj jai iaj .one actually wonders, how we both survived the Cold War for so long time, on nerves.Apparently there are yet undiscovered character resources, somewhere. Wed 20 Jan 2010 22:42:35 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=88#comment141 100,000 fed.40,000 was yesterday Wed 20 Jan 2010 19:58:16 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=87#comment140 MaudDib, now, this is cruel, vgerrard is genuiniley concerned don't you see.vgerrard, yes, organisation leaves much to be desired, but the place is also un-usual, normally when you are helping someone you are not scared of them, and have their help on the ground, instead of having to guard the doctors and guard the resquers and guard the supplies. And normally you don't stop work "until it gets light again", for security considerations.When Armenia had an earth quake don't remember the int'l resque teams having to mind Armenians, like, that they will jump at you at night, if you continue work, not even a fleeting thought.But then, I am thinking, I understand that any hand-out, in any - normal conditions, is a dangerous exercise. I was once handing out soda - in Moscow - out of a track - in day light - town centre. Simply a promo campaign, and was silly, thought that a truck with an open back door and several girls and boys are alright to step down onto the ground and hand out cans.Three ha ha!In 2 min we had to lift up the latch door of the trcuk and barricade up inside! There gathered an absolutely mad crowd out of nowhere at once and staff on the ground was nearly sqeezed out and pushed around (though mind it - no one there was hungry. just a free mass hand out. we packed up and left and returned back with the local police squad - gave them several boxes and they stood by the truck, cooling down the hot heads by their very presence. So hand-outs are a problem, in any circumstances, I remembered forever. To say nothing in a damaged city where everyone is hungry.Well, not everyone, gerard, cheer up, 40,000 people a day are fed from distribution points in an organised manner, and many more in un-organised manner. Wed 20 Jan 2010 19:36:22 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=86#comment139 vgerrardWhy don't you get on a plane and fly your gripping ass over there. If the great Great Satan won't let you land then jump out tha plane. I'm sure you will be welcomed by all. Wed 20 Jan 2010 17:11:37 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=86#comment138 MaudDib, @129"The thing with Americans is that we are impatient and task oriented and maybe bull headed. If there's something that needs to be done then by God we're going to get it done. ...To repeat MA it's "Lead, follow or get out of the way, but do something."Aha. :o) So , you see, it is possible to get some true things, not general common-places only, about "Americano vere" :o) Like "Italiano vere" in that song. Only for that one needs to pinch you and bite on the sides, first :o), to get you more open about yourselves :o)))))))What we in Russia call "to do reconnaissance by battle" I had a vague anticipation, probed MA @ 38 :o)))) only he was more thick-skinned, or preferred not to reply. :o))))))_____________:o))))) Wed 20 Jan 2010 15:45:41 GMT+1 iknowsbest http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=85#comment137 I am ashamed of this page...I had a read while waiting for the moderator's to do a detective eye prowl over my words & God...thousand's are dying & homeless & in outside makeshift hospital's in Haiti crying out for food, water, medicine & tablet's...& all that's going on here is warring "Tablature" between the tit for tat Blogger's! Wed 20 Jan 2010 15:03:29 GMT+1 iknowsbest http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=85#comment136 Dear BBC I sent this large comment to Christine Amanpour just after she interviewed Ban Ki moon 2 night's ago. January 19th, 2010 118 GMTDear Christine,I'm mad at this stage of this supposedly rescue;I saw you interviewing Ban Ki moon tonight & as I watched & after I felt so despondent. Is this man the right man for the job of General Secretary of the UN? He told you he said yesterday when he visited that country that he said to the people we will do everything possible to get the aid to them (or something to that effect) but I quite remember that yesterday (& it is on film) he asked the people to be patient. Now if that's not a horrible thing to say, I don't know what is, especially when there's enough food & supplies at the airport to feed the US & British army for a year or two in Iraq & Afghanistan. So I say, if this is not sorted out soon then after this operation the UN should be flattened to the ground & do away with all the bureaucrats that are working there & build a new organization with a new name up from the ground and put in charge some down to earth person that is for the victim's at all times, & not for bureaucratic ends at the expense of victim's caught up in such tragedy's & disarray. & not trying to be offensive...I think his lack of English is a hindrance.Today also, on the British C4 I saw a report that Israel, yes Israel, has a fantastic field hospital up & running with all the modern technology, medicine & medical staff while down the road American doctor's are running round & having to use, well nothing, because they have nothing. Seeing it's all at the airport on the ground there, while the lady doctor was telling Sarah Brown that she has a tent full of people dying from blood poisoning all for the want of antiseptic's & antibiotic's & painkiller tablets for their pain. But no, she's in a tent (& crying & saying she ashamed to be an American) which will soon be a graveyard because who ever is supposed to be in charge of coordinating this whole (I won't call it a rescue mission, yet, because that is not what it is) exercise is probably in the airport stuck in a box of Plastic of Paris & has enrolled himself up in same mixed with water & gone solid.Then there's former President Clinton on the steps of a plane after he arrived for a photo-shoot handling over boxes of aid to those below him to put on the ground, so slow, that if I was waiting for aid I would just rather lie down & die. What is the point of starting up this business if they don't know how to do it right...I mean they had plenty of practice with the Tsunami 2004 & Katrina, (RIP to all it's victim's) & although the lay of the land is different in Haiti...& more damaged, have they not got someone with an ounce of intelligence that should be able to have a better result than what's on the ground by now. Nearly a week since the Earthquake" & just 5%/10% at most of the people have been given the basic's of water & some nutritional food. God forbid if there was ever a nuclear war started, I mean you wouldn't have to think twice that we would have no chance of surviving it, because we wouldn't. I suggest to you, that Mr Obama should fly out to Haiti straight away roll up his sleeves & get dug in with his people there on the ground to really give this a push, even if just for a day. Because if left till the day after tomorrow there isn't a chance in hell for the Haitian's at least not on this earth to survive this...maybe their place is in "Heaven" with God coordinating the peace of their souls & happiness for eternity. I hope tomorrow I can feel better about things…but I said the same yesterday & the day before, seems we can send men to the moon & rocket's to Mars in no time...& yet we are having a hard terrible slog feeding & aiding people on Earth…these past six now nearly seven days in Haiti!I wrote this next piece to an Irish paper today;This kind of tragedy always throws up two sides of the story;The few things that are good & the many things that are "Gory"!Haiti...may God help you & give you peaceFor the world even though it tried; can't!Well, at least not “Yet”! How long more will it take to get to that "Yet"? Wed 20 Jan 2010 14:43:08 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=84#comment135 AT2;My neighbor two doors down fled Cuba and came to America with his wife, two small children and ten cents to his name in 1958. By the time I met him in 1985 he was the President of the Hispanic MacDonald owners of America, had several very successful MacDonalds restaurants, was retired, lead a very affluent life. He also had a home in Florida, always drove a brand new Lincoln Town car, ran all over the world such as to soccer matches in Mexico City and on shopping junkets in Italy, and spent a lot of his time on tennis courts and golf courses. His story is hardly unique. Now what do you suppose would have become of him had he stayed in Castro's worker's paradise. In one way Cuba is fortunate. When they finally get rid of their tyrannical Communist regime there are millions of wealthy Cuban ex-pats who have the money, skill, and desire to return to devote at least part of their lives to rebuild Cuba into a modern society and undo the horrific damage the Castro regime and the USSR did there. Wed 20 Jan 2010 12:05:51 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=83#comment134 Leo_Naphta wrote: "Actually, I was also referring to the EU, and the roots for that project can be found as early as 1869." As I said, many tyrants throughout history have been interested in a united Europe through force. :)"That's the narrow definition of freedom I'm talking about. It's a good thing that you're allowed to voice opinions, but it's hardly the totality of freedom."It isn't the "totality" but it is certainly the most important."The fact that you think 'economic freedom' comes from allowing 'buisness' to operate unhindered is a laugh."If by "unhindered" you mean without any reasonable oversight and regulation then you are wrong. Stick to what I have said and try not to twist it into something you can then attack more easily."Tell me, how much freedom to be 'heard' do you have any way. America is a class-ridden society that fools itself into thinking it's not."It must really upset many Europeans that in socialist Europe there is actually much more egalitarianism in America. :)"If you would actually read some French newspapers from say ... 1954 to 1962, you'd know what I'm referring to. You think this whole 'we're here to save the world schtick' is a new invention? Oh, I'm sure the US bourgeoisie is completely sincere about it, completely opposite to the way the European empires used the terms."As I said, lose the drama and the emotive words and try to respond to what I am actually writing."Ah, you've travelled extensively through Cuba as well?"No, but I grew up knowing many Cubans who have and I have some in my own family, something most Europeans would have no concept of, so it isn't too hard to be convinced of the realities of communist Cuba. Even the pictures say it all. Face it, it is a dump where most Cubans just scrape by where people are persecuted, imprisoned or murdered for simply expressing opinions. Even if it were as industrialized as China it would be, along with China, a horrible place to live in compared to a free and democratic country. "I, by the way, also have family and friends in Latin America, so the anecdotal evidence won't fly. I've seen the dark side too."Yeah, sure you have. Sorry, but I've run into so many Europeans claiming to have intimate or firsthand experience of things either in America or in this part of the world that ended up as BS. The worse, and most amusing, being those that try to tell me what life is really like in my own country. :)"Petty remark, doesn't actually disprove my point."Why would it be "petty?" That remark has significance. Try thinking about it."And you accuse me of employing dramatic language? I'm not defending the Cuban government, nor the ex-Soviet Union or the Chinese bureaucrats. No, it is a valid question based on your response. Your emotive language and drama in regards to previous remarks of mine were not."Is the chronic underdevelopment of the 'third world' amusing to you?"How is that a valid and logical follow up question based on what I have said so far?? Besides, I have no problem offering them food or medical aid, especially in emergencies. Beyond that, America is under no obligation to trade with such a country or to subsidize its development beyond that, nor should it. Besides, you Europeans are always harping on them having universal health care and everyone supposedly getting enough to eat so what else do they need in their utopia that requires America to trade with them? "I didn't know you knew me that intimately. Aside from a little bombastic speech about the USA, it's really nothing you're saying there."I'm not surprised you feel that way. "Although it is quite interesting that at the slightest hint of criticism need to put me in the same corner as dictators & others. Freedom of speech, and if you disagree, you're craving for dictatorships?"Because I disagree with your views on something I am now "craving for dictatorships??" You sure you want to go with that kind of logic?"What's that even for an argument. How do you, by the way, know what 'Americans' think. I thought you people weren't a 'collective'. Speak for yourself. I like the Marxist 'superstructure' idea you're employing though, watch out ... before you know it, you'll wake up sing the 'International'."So because I say I am in an obviously much better position to know my country and fellow Americans better than you will ever even begin to that somehow means I am not in favor of other Americans speaking for themselves and that I am now acting like a "Marxist??" Is that a joke?I'll ask you again, you sure you want to go with that kind of logic? Wed 20 Jan 2010 09:05:16 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=83#comment133 MAIIRe#124I fear you are right on course with 'man the lifeboats' and the prospects for the 27 Crew of the Sailing Ship European Union.It is a monument to the trust in faith and blind hunger for gold of epic Columbus proportions - - if they sail far enough they will reach far-off mythical, bounteous, fabled Cathay - - and so, the EU27 using full canvas of muddle-headed ideals, unreliable charts and wholly unsupported hearsay ploughs forth to oblivion on San Salvador...Almost water-less, unyielding island of very limited resources: Thus we get the 'west' Indies and Columbus sails home in triumph proclaiming the voyage to China was a success!In fact it sounds so much like a Brussels-EU brochure of fanciful expectations further squadron of ships are even now bringing aboard stores for another look at the 'east'! Wed 20 Jan 2010 08:47:35 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=82#comment132 MaudDib,I think you are spot on about the US/Russian relationship and accomplishments...both peoples are peoples and are kind and both are generous :) Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:59:01 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=81#comment131 WA;Don't worry, the US doesn't have any troops to send to Russia. Those who are not in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea, Somalia, Germany, Okinawa, are already in or on their way to Haiti. There may be a cook or two left still in the US but you wouldn't want to deprive a two star general of his manservant would you? Besides what do you need an American Army cook for anyway, you have MacDonalds we sent you :-) They get the potatoes already peeled and cut, all their cooks have to do is open the bag and drop them into the hot fat. When the timer rings they take the basket out, dump the fries into a pan, salt them and then you eat them. Here's an interview with two top former US officials on how the military interacts with the relief organizations to keep order and facilitate the rescue and relief.http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/weather/jan-june10/haiti4_01-19.html Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:42:33 GMT+1 David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=81#comment130 Rob, I think (for dt and leonaptha) "gettin' laid" was so nice a suggestion from you, but ...well, you know... Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:41:17 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=80#comment129 WAps Regarding the Tom Lehrer clip. He didn't mention that you get a couple of chances to get it right. If not then we send in the Marines. Unless of course the decision is made that there's no chance your going to get it right no matter how many times you try.Actually I'm a bigger fan of Jim Lehrer. He doesn't play the piano though. Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:28:13 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=80#comment128 WAYou and I are a lot alike in many ways. Heck we're all alike in many ways. You are a Russian and proud of it. I'm an American and proud of it. You, like myself, know that everything isn't perfect in our respective countries, never has been, never will be. Like a family, we might have a sibling who gets out of line from time to time and might even have some bad things to say about that person, but don't let an outsider talk trash.The thing with Americans is that we are impatient and task oriented and maybe bull headed. If there's something that needs to be done then by God we're going to get it done. Back when your country launched the first Sputnik and put Yuri in space, JFK came out and told the nation "By God we're going to beat those Ruskies to the moon" (loose translation). To repeat MA it's "Lead, follow or get out of the way, but do something". This attitude is a good thing at times and a bad thing a other times. The Chinese on the other hand are patient very patient. I guess that comes with having a civilization that goes way back. They got the people, they got the time. They figure that eventually things will come to them. Like a constant dripping of water on a rock. Eventually it will eat it away.To be honest, I'd just as soon we didn't try to be the world's policeman. Since WWII it seems our mindset has been "We can pay now, or we can pay a whole lot later". I wish the UN or somebody could solve all the world's problems but it ain't happening. I would like to say I take pride in the fact that America and/or Russia haven't destroyed the world...........yet. That's a good thing. Right? Wed 20 Jan 2010 04:01:10 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=79#comment127 Some local details from "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (since most here missed the USSR fun of their reports; your last chance :o))))1.5 litre bottle of water in Port-au-Prince - 3 US dollarsa bottle of beer - 5 dollars, given you return glass bottle back at once to the sellerGreen bananas - nobody buysNothing much else, seemingly.Posters on buildings: "Dear marines of USA! We welcome you to our country! Please help us"car & local driver rental "for the light day" - 400 to 600 US dollarsgets dark at 6Mon morn 2,000 locals gathered by the airport gates and tried to storm as supplies are in. An armed jeep was driven by US from inside to the gates with machine-gun and positioned as a hint, but the locals didn't wink. And stormed. Russian correspondent was on the storming crowd, as was negotiating a motoroller, and got carried in. UN "blue helmets" opened the gates from inside and began throwing eyes-weeping gas grenades at the storming gang and succeeded. On saw the white correspondents face the last sec. and luckily for the chap threw the grenade above his head not right into his face.Later on one of the locals dashed at the correspondent and began terrorising :o) him very aggressively with the speech and fists :I've lost home family haven't eaten am thirsty why do you foreigners throw grenades at me where is the logic?" :o)The chap says he saved himself only by switching on the video-cam and asking "Please say it all again - it's very important for the international attention" :o)))The Haitian cooled down and repeated the speech but taking time and no fists and gestures. So they parted peacefully.US resquers refused to take Russian correspondent into their 10 cars but said if he'll find own transport he can follow them up if he wishes. So he got himself a car and followed. Said had 2 dogs with charming girls-instructors, went to the places according to locals' calls, who are dragging resquers of all countries to the houses "where there are live", same as Russian resquers (all seem to follow locals to places), that American resquers are very well equipped, they rely on tecniqal things entirely, install hearing devices and put under into the holes videocams to check if there is a movement or a sound. If not - leave the ruins, drawing on the side a circle, divided into 4 squares, two upper - date and time, below - L-O, D-20. Correspondent says Americans technical reliance approach seems to work better as they fished out in 2 days 15 live people - twice more than Russian without listening device and cameras. Russian teams rely on German Shepherd dogs (proved to be better than labradors for us in Haiti) - in the morning, when they can still sniff something, and on "chuika" - gut feeling.German shepherd "Fortune" saved two women in the house marked all dead. Sat upon the pile and insisted there are live. American resque team called us "crazy Russians" :o)))))) But overall it is friendly. Only locals do not respond when neither resque team pleads them for a 5 minute silence but continue shouting immensely standing around in agitated circle. On the coats of some un-identified from what country resque team it is written "Where we pass - there is no second chance, no coming back". Cicterns with water appeared on the streets on the 4th day. There is a line of 300-400 people to each. When there passes a truck with bags of food, Haitians jump on the trcuk and throw bags off away on the go. To this react no local policemen, neither "Blue helmets", got used to, and when that's all it is not dangerous.The rest of commentary was how locals explained Russians "wudu" which seems to be official religion? Wed 20 Jan 2010 03:58:57 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=78#comment126 MA, @124Yes, Tom Lehrer thanks to you, I'm a quick learner :o))))Classic "Polundra!" though is followed by "Save yourself who can!" :o))))) but "man the lifeboats" I guess will also do. more technical :o))) Wed 20 Jan 2010 02:02:01 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=78#comment125 MaudDib and other Americans, don't worry you do everything correct. From now on, or say, from two days later on, I am sure, will be correct.All understand that strategical change is possible only when the place becomes controlled, for which you need lots of armed men, be they peace-keepers reporting to the UN, int'l policement (from all countries) reporting to the UN or US soldiers and marines reporting to the USA.Provided they are armed - all men armed will do, given current situation of 3,000 bandits escaped from prizons out in the streets / vs 2,000 own Haiti local police forces demoralised, earth-quaked and looking for own relatives, who were able to re-catch back only 50 and not sure if from the q-ty of 3,000 old bandits or it's the new ones. Plus thge past haiti record. Plus the disaster. Surely armed men to patrol are needed there who'd dispute a sec.Still, if we save god have an earth-quake - please don't control Russian airport. I'll be happier the first week with everyone any one arriving independently as they can and doing what they can - ASAP.Even if wonders will start next week as a direct result of an airport control - the problem is to survive the first, and then - somehow.But then that's me. USA has a great chance to restore its int'l reputation as int'l saviour, which got shattered of recently (with which you may agree or disagree).It is a bad beginning, if you wish - a political mistake, to start closing airport for 8 hrs daily "only military flights". You began with that on Thursday - a very hot arrivals day. "On the request of the Haitian government". OK. But that governemnet as all understand will stay a government only if agreeing with the USA. They are on paper now, the "government". And Haiti was heavily dependable on you before the quake, 25% ? 30% ? of their yearly budget US money support.France wasn't the only one who complained, all media says "several organisations". Must be the only country, but not the only NGO.That France has changed the tune - I don't think it's because they realised their mistake and wrong assessment of the situation, as one of the bloggers wrote above, simply - don't want to quarrel with you and backed off. Also, may be they complained formally because they didn't want to be criticised as your TV criticised Russia, for "un-sufficient help to Haiti". If you didn't visit this blog you might still wonder why Russia is so heartless does not help :o))))) I saw some CNN blogs, people echoed - "Where is Russia? Why we are doing it alone? Where is China? Where are all these emerging economies?"Aha. The legs grow from your Fox News, so rest assured, not only France can offend you - you yourself is quite able to offend anybody :o)))))))Hillary Clinton I heard with own ears, and I am afraid several more Russians who understand English did as well, was asked when in Haiti, again - "Where is Russia? Where is everyone? Why we are doing it alone?"Hillary must give her credit replied very diplomatically, type "all help as they can" and all. but I wasn't very convinced :o))))))))So may be France didn't want to be asked of later "Where is France"?Because definietely that'll be your Fox News next question :o)))))))The correct answer to the joirnalist, by the way, would be - turn around - operating behind your back, for 2 days already, but Hillary didn't know. We are so "insufficient", may be. I think not worse than others. And didn't burden anyone with worries about us, as min., brought own vehicles and helicopter, to get the hospital out of airport to the site, and distribute help, autonomous energy sources for far ahead, own fuel, things. The only thing we diverted away were 20 peace-keepers, to guard distribution and hospital, both, but that's out of 3,5000 UN peace-keepers on the ground.I think it is a wrong idea that US military are the only armed men on the ground there at the moment - USA brought in 3,500, UN had already 3,500 peace-keepers plus 2,000 int'l policemen - imported there back in spring 2004 to prevent civil war. So per today it's 9,000 combined, and 10,000 more US men will arrive shortly, will make 19,000 - a substantial figure.Anyway the long-term Haiti will be American burden, you are there in far higher quantities, 100 times more than any other single country, and determined, by all looks of it, and facing an interesting task how to fix a country, not just an earth-quake, and resquers will cool down next week, nobody live to save left much, all will be leaving gradually.The decision to start clearing away rubble by bull-dozers is not taken yet, the hard decision, hoping for the live still, but in several days surely the heavy clean-up will begin. In this hard task nothing but good luck can be wished to the USA, I have a feeling that is when there is a good chance you will "stay alone". But regarding the first week - this is simply not true. Wed 20 Jan 2010 01:58:07 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=77#comment124 I understand two Canadian warships have been sent to towns south of Port au Prince. I think that given Haiti's current problems, in any naval engagement the Canadians will probably win (although you can never be completely sure.) The Hatians would do well to surrender to Canada. Canadians have a reputation for being very nice people, I'm sure they will treat their Hatian captives well :-) Wed 20 Jan 2010 01:48:05 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=76#comment123 cbw;""All hands on deck!" Sounds like the ideal catch-phrase for my new EU with a purpose.Yes, and what invariably comes next is; "Man the lifeboats" quickly followed by "Abandon Ship!"WA;I see you have become a fan of Tom Lehrer too. I think he must have at least 40 different songs. Wed 20 Jan 2010 01:38:48 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=76#comment122 cool brush work @120 :o)))I looked up etimology of sea phrases. This POLUNDRA!!!! or PALUNDRA!!!by the way, seems to be absolutely European in origin, it is Russian Navy corrupted Dutch sea-men. on hearing them loading heavy weights down into the hold, and shouting "attention, beware! those, under! danger from above!" - Thus Dutch "van onderen!" became Russian "Polundra!" :o)))) "POLUNDRA - EUDRRA!" seems to me an excellent motto as well.By the way saw there "Admiral" for the first time as well. An Arab word, "Amir al-Bahr" - master of the seas. Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:14:01 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=75#comment121 MaudDib, :o)Tom Lehrer (when in doubt - send the marines) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHhZF66C1Dc&feature=related Tue 19 Jan 2010 23:02:52 GMT+1 MaudDib http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=75#comment120 I must admit this is a pretty good pissing contest. Tue 19 Jan 2010 22:13:19 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=74#comment119 WebAlice"All hands on deck!" Sounds like the ideal catch-phrase for my new EU with a purpose.I can see it on advertsing boards now:'EUDRAA! For whenever there's a PULUNDRRA!'It has that ring of centralised-committee absurdity which makes it an EU certainty, don't you think? Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:13:59 GMT+1 chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=73#comment118 Its funny how you "anglocrats" will find just about any reason to complain about the EU without actually providing any evidence or rational explanation to explain your arguments. It is built upon the four freedeoms: the freedom of movement of goods, services, capital and persons. This is what it is and this is what it does. AND THIS IS HOW IT CREATES WEALTH:First, It has abolished all customs duties, direct and indirect, and created a single market between all its member states. And it has a single customs duty to all third countries. This had the effect of a rocketing trade within the block which has eventually lead to the creation of somewhere in the region of 100 million jobs over 50 years. A company in any member state can sell its products to all 500 million people without any duties. This internal trade is what built its industry and those who capitalised on it, France and Germany and now countries like CEE, have built up the some of the largest industrial sectors in the world.Secondly, it part finances "investments." These investments are very well specified and must meet very strict criteria. It is this part financing that forces national governments to create "investment cycles" that will absorb this money whilst forcing nation states to provide the rest of the money for the investment; i.e. governments must use their own internal tax revenue to set up investments to be able to get the remaining funds; generally if they dont the government will be booted out by its citizens. The result of this policy is that Europe now has the best infrastructure in the world, much better than the USA. This has created probably about another 10 to 30 million jobs directly and indirectly.Thirdly, every expansion makes the EU internationally more competative on price, which in business is the most important factor. How? Because manufacturers set up their factories in low wage countries (such as Poland, Slovakia) instead of offshoring to China. This has created hundreds of thousands of jobs and kept industry "within the EU" rather than outsourcing to the third world.Fourt, you may dislike this but CAP (the much disputed and subsadised Common Agricultural Policy) has created millions of jobs in Europe because it blocks the import of dirt cheap food from third world countries.There are many other examples: Longest peace in Europe in history. Citizens can work live and study in any member state. It is EU regulations that have forced all member states to cut bureaucracy by 25% with strict penalties if they dont. Giant companies that were created to keep Europe self sufficient in even the most technologically advanced sectors such as manufacture of Airplanes and satellites. And all this at a cost of 0.86% of GDP, in comparison the Westminster parliament consumes 50% of GDP. In fact, the EU is now so well developed that it is virtually completely self sufficient, has a much larger economy than the USA, and it makes everything.The USA on the other hand is different. What Europeans spend on healthcare, education, assisting the poor, pensions for the old and training for the unemployed, the USA goes out and spends all this on its military and then goes around telling everybody what to do. And this is the problem. WE, TRUE EUROPEANS, DONT WANT TO BE TOLD BY THEM WHAT TO DO OR HOW TO DO IT and certainly we are not going to suck up to them, why should we? And this is really where all the roads end. We want complete independence of them.P.s just to illustrate: i am from Poland, grew up in the UK, my wife is Chinese and we live in the south of France. So dont try to tell me i dont know anything about the EU. Tue 19 Jan 2010 21:12:41 GMT+1 US airspace http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=73#comment117 I agree with NomDePlume, the first news we got from Haiti was that the streets were impassable and infrastructure completely destroyed, it would make sense to clear the streets off first to reach the wounded. Nevertheless I think France, jumped into a quick conclusion when they attacked US and after they realised the situation on the ground, they took it back and praised american efforts. However, it is indicative of the French atitude, that Americans are very arrogant and always try to snub the French at any chance they get, which is funny cause Americans feel the same way about the French.I am also reminded about Chavez statement, which everyone ignored. He said "that US is using this crisis to invade Haiti" and sending military when its not needed. With his condoscending speech he said "why send soldiers and not doctors, the people need doctors'. Now based on previous records I can safely say Chavez is the biggest idiot of the planet, but then again he is scoring political points, attack US and people will love you. I am talking about Chavez because I feel that the French work the same way. Could this attack be Sarkozy's way to score political point??? It has worked in the past for EU. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:39:10 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=72#comment116 cool-brush, "EUDRRA" is no good an acronym. :o)) It sounds too much like Russian "Polundrra!" which means "aaah! all hands on the deck! we got water in the hold/are on fire/fired upon by unknown vessel" a cry in the marines on board any ship. Origins of the word are unclear even in Russsian. We don't know what it means, a mysterious word. Nobody does. It's just a call, an un-official exchange of sailors, what they say to each other (shout, to wake up friends) in case of troubles on board the ship. :o))))) Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:24:28 GMT+1 Nom DePlume http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=71#comment115 Playing Devil's Advocate for just a moment. Is it possible the plane being diverted really was a lower priority? I understand it carried a hospital and clearly saving lives should be everyone's first priority, but what if the plane ahead of it carries vital infrastructure equipment? Wouldn't it be better if when the hospital arrives 'on site' there was access to clean water, power, etc.? Remember the old saying 'don't put the cart before the horse'. As far as the role of the EU. Let a doctor practice medicine and a lawyer practice law. The EU simply isn't structured to be much help in this situation in the immediate need. Instead I agree that a longer term view of investment in local businesses would help create jobs and income which is going to do far more for Haitians long term fundamental well-being than a pile of cash aid will year after year. Tue 19 Jan 2010 20:15:08 GMT+1 cool_brush_work http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=71#comment114 No doubt, as Mr Hewitt alludes there are tensions between States and Emergency Care groups as the race to offer aid to Haiti gets underway: National Armed Forces, Charitable organisations with the publicly funded NGOs all have a role to play.There should be no surprise in the first days there is confusion (particularly given the devastation of the Haiti UNO centre) among all these good-will efforts. The petty strop of the France contingent against the USA should be seen in that light; a minor structural-coordination blip in a massive international aid package. Much as I enjoy to prick the France bubble on many matters there is no doubt more than a grain of truth in their annpoyance at the high-handed American 'take-over' as France sees it: That said, they are all there to Aid the Haitians and I am quite sure such dedicated, able people can overcome these local difficulties and work alongside each other to mutual benefit of the Haitian Population.Haiti's earthquake is an enormous tragedy for all concerned in an already impoverished, backward nation.The efforts of the USA, Canada, Brazil, UK, France and the whole international community is laudable. For how long that effort and support of the ruined (and already lamentably weak) Haitian infrastructure and rebuilding programmes can carry on is surely an issue given the parlous state of international/national finances-economies at the present time?Therefore, much as I dislike the EU at the UK-European level, any additional support that can be provided to Haiti by the EU is also to be welcomed.All of that said I must comment on another portion of Mr Hewitt's article: "..Certainly the EU, as an institution, is not essential for 'rescue work' to be effective..." and "..The question is more where the EU should put its energy..".The 2 sentences just about encapsulate the nonsense that is the European Union that has emerged since Maastricht as a supra-National organisation.In my opinion to substitute 'rescue work' with any of the following would be wholly accurate for the EU's present unmandated intervention and circumvention of National Governments' policies in: 'Judicial work' / 'Manufacturing-Industrial-Employee work' / 'Social Services work' / 'Police work' / 'Military work' / 'Foreign affairs work' and so the list goes on.The EU is expending 'energy' on issues that were never accepted by the Citizens as in its remit and the EU continues to develop these so-called areas of competence when at every turn it demonstrates incompetence on a grand international scale (see every Budget etc. - - including the few to have been passed). Indeed, as Mr Hewitt suggests, maybe the best remit for the EU is ".. most effective coordinating medium and longterm development.." of European-UK Trade/Tariff-Transport-People Movement and, as it is in place and relatively stable, the EUro-zone Fiscal policies. Quite why any individual sovereign State would want an over-arching supra-National entity like that imposed by the Lisbon Treaty on all the 'competence' areas listed earlier eludes me and many other Citizens?I can understand the fit of pique of the French 'aid' workers in Haiti - - to be first in and seen to be the ones doing the business of saving lives must be very gratifying - - surely that is an area of pan-UK-European policy development the EU could also effectively manage at medium and longterm levels? What an excellent and visionary piece of UK-European UNIFICATION, COOPERATION and INTEGRATION - - the EU27 Disaster Response & Relief Agency ('EUDRRA', it just runs off the tongue). Pan-European teams of Search/Rescue-Medics-Logistical Suppliers-Administrators-Funding-Appeals, ALL under the aegis of 'EUDRRA': I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing in passion for such a supra-National commitment!All those Brussels EUrocrats dedicated to emergency action on behalf of relieving the distress of those in dire need of assistance anywhere in the world.Oh wait!There's no truly huge 'profit' (except helping Humanity - - yaaaaaaawn), no 'political advantage', no world stage of 'recognition', no chance of avaricious 'gain' - - well, that excludes the EU27 representatives in Brussels from any such noble cause!Back to... EU 'Foreign' minister Baroness Ashton cordinating things.. hmm... Where's the nearest OXFAM shop? I think I had better make a second donation! Tue 19 Jan 2010 19:14:12 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=70#comment113 Rob, there is much more anti-European speech here than anti-American -> your fellow countryman MarcusAureliusII etc Tue 19 Jan 2010 18:21:06 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=70#comment112 And anyway, Rob Drake, be positive :o) isn't it enough that you like yourself? I wouldn't count on others, but then, of course, Russia is in peculiar situation :o))) Well, in fact, in absolutely the same shoes as all around; who exactly likes whom?Sorry, it happens that countries like countries, just so. Admire for some character traits that are admirable, compared with "at home".I just received an e-mail, a joke on "terrosrism alert levels; an equal offnese opportunity", :o)))) that made me think who exactly likes whom?"The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have raised their security level from ".." to ".." (I am not sure I know what this means in English so just in case I omitted it :o)Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out.Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666. The Scots raised their threat level from ".. Off" to "Let's get the Bastards". They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the frontline in the British army for the last 300 years. The French government announced yesterday oh no, that's clearly an Anglo-Saxon origin e-mail :o)))))The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose". Sorry :o) as a Russian, can't skip :o)))))Belgians; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.The Spanish are excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy. Dear Britain :o))))Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes, on all of their allies, just in case. :o))))))))))))))And at a local level ... New Zealand has also raised its security levels - from "baaa" to "BAAAA!". New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is "xxx, I hope Australia will come and rescue us". Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, mate". Three more escalation levels remain, "Crikey!', "I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend" and "The barbie is cancelled". So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level." Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:37:05 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=69#comment111 Rob,I'm not quite sure how you deduce a 'hate for the USA' from my posts. I tried to frame my posts in a class dialectic, 'cause I'm tired of being forced into arguments that pit 'nations' against eachother, as if they're viable analytical units. Why do you have to harp on those constructs anyway. I love baseball by the way, it's one of the only sports I'll watch if I have the chance. :) Tue 19 Jan 2010 17:01:11 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=68#comment110 Rob Drake, you don't know democracythreat, he doesn't like all "state" things getting credit in by-pass of all "people" things, so, unless you are State Department - don't take it personally. And anyway no worship of the states does not equal "hate" of America. Though, for Americans, LOL, it must be felt all the same :o)))))) Tue 19 Jan 2010 16:57:49 GMT+1 Rob Drake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=68#comment109 democracythreat and Leo_Naphta You raise some interesting (and hate filled, anti-american) points. However, can you please address the Real Issue - Italian Boobies on TV, Yes or No?Seriously now, why do you hate America so much? Were you hit in the face by a baseball when you were a child? I think you need to get over this. You should try to look around the world, with clear eyes and take a moment to appreciate the beauty of life and the joy of each new day.Or get laid. Whichever works for you. Tue 19 Jan 2010 16:31:05 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=67#comment108 Yep please leave Stalin in grave, he didn't influence nothing for half a century soon 60 yrs. Though of course left us an odd map legacy, that one gets puzzled looking at, fancy borders - and all offended nations around positioned-re-positioned piled together at mad combinations this is still felt. Tue 19 Jan 2010 16:23:06 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=66#comment107 "People WANT to worship"Considering it is a brutal, unfair and horribly hostile universe out there...can you blame them? ;) Tue 19 Jan 2010 15:26:49 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=66#comment106 This thread is a remarkable piece of evidence demonstrating the way in which governments obtain power from sycophants.I do not wish to reject every argument that has been made in favour of governments, or in favour of the nations whose governments are implicitly endorsed by ardent nationalism. I am just commenting in broad terms about how different folks see virtue and cost.Take the usual "america invented freedom" argument. America only goes to war for freedom, and freedom creates wealth, so American governments should be credited with every bit of wealth created after its wars. That is a great argument. As long as you ignore the evidence of the poverty American wars have created, it has a fantastic ring to it. It EXPLAINS the world, much like the story of god creating the earth.Then there is the pro EU argument, that the EU "creates wealth" by distributing it and enforcing its laws. Also a fantastic argument, as long as you ignore the masses of folks with no jobs who grind out an existence away from the view of the corporate mass media, and as long as you fail to give any credit for economic growth to anyone else. Again, this argument EXPLAINS how the current world came to be. "The EU created it."But just like the belief in a creator, a belief in "government/nation the creator of all goodness" requires a massive leap of faith. To get involved in this sort of thinking, you need to have faith that governments drive human behaviour, and reject the common observation that government employees and party members are parasites who feed from human behaviour.Note the way Marcus cites Germany and Japan as economic miracles created by the largess of US big business. He does not mention central and south America, the Middle eastern or african countries, even though US foreign policy has been cultivating regimes in those places for just as long as it has in German and Japan. Furthermore, Marcus rejects the influence of the people of these nations. He rejects the idea that it was the germans who rebuilt germany with hard work and technical know how. He rejects the idea that a very highly ordered and productive Japanese culture was what drove the people of that culture to rebuild their country and living standards. He places all the credit for good things upon American business, and the policy of American governments.We see the same selective attribution of credit for good results with chris commenting on the EU. If Europe is wealthy, it is not because governments have merely refrained from going to war and let the people get on with living their lives, but rather it is because the EU government MADE THIS HAPPEN. Government receives the credit, and the people are the inert and grateful recipients of government actions.I find this thought process fascinating, and very much akin to the process of attributing good fortune and the hard work of others to god. Government is a classic rainmaker, just like the priesthood and the shamans before them: it promises rain, and when it rains the government takes all the credit. If it doesn't rain, government actors blame the people, and promise rain again. Eventually, it rains.What fascinates me about this cycle of claiming credit and issuing blame is that most people seem to demand it. It is not a trick, a scheme set down from a conspiracy of exploiters. Instead, we see Marcus and AT2 and chris and Mathiasen all desperate to pin down a large group and make it holier than themselves.People WANT to worship, they create their gods out of nothing. It seems to be the human condition to pick a rain maker and sacrifice a sinner before the gods.Perhaps this is why democracy, real democracy, is such an effective form of government. When the people are sovereign, and when the common people are promoted in the culture as "those responsible for laws", then the people are the rainmakers.Direct democracy is a neat trick indeed, if it can get folks to worship themselves instead of idols and shamans. Tue 19 Jan 2010 15:16:09 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=65#comment105 Marcus, baby, Europe and Japan were already capitalist and economic powers before WOII (Why do we always have to bring that up, it's not the source of most of the problems we face today). The reason rebuilding there worked, was not because of the magical power of American big business, but because of a complex interaction of social, economical and cultural causes that permitted a rebuilding in the sense to take place. What you're suggesting is what the IMF tried to do in the '80s, it worked so splendidly, that it bankrupted half the third world. You can't formulate a single, sweeping 'development policy' for the 'underdeveloped of the world' because it's not an equal situation in any of them. The Third World constitutes are wide variety of different historical, social, economical and cultural components that act together in varying degrees. Latin America is not Africa, and Africa itself is very different if we're going to compare Somalia to Zimbabwe to South Africa to Morroco. Same with Asia, which constitutes a huge jumble of countries with very different histories (1 point question, what makes Thailand's history so special ;) ). The injection of capitalist capital and companies in much of the third world has created a complete dependency relation that sustains a chronic underdevelopment. This obviously in interplay with local factors and classes. Where do you think the surge in 'leftist Latin American leaders' like Chavez, Morales or Correa (or Lulu) comes from? Out of nowhere? Oh, and Chavez - for all his faults (not sarcasm, because I feel some will take this comment as such) - has actually reduced poverty levels in Venezuela by quite a lot. The idea that Venezuela has gone down the drain since 1998 is slightly overrated, what was so great about the previous administrations there? Or did you only start caring about the country when Chavez came to power?By the way, you mentioned those protection tariffs for American industry, now pray tell me, what has been the policy of the 'developed world' vis à vis protectionism of internal industrial growth in the developing world? Economic development is not a teleological proces in which we all start from the same situation and will all end up at the same place. Which is precisely what I feel is wrong with liberal economics to begin with. We are not all rational, self-sufficient, individual atoms that only make decisions based on our economic self-interest. We aren't all where we are because of the 'work' we did. The idea that society is self correcting and meriocratic enough to make sure the 'best' are at the 'right place' is in itself a pipedream. Hans Blokland wrote a couple of interesting articles on it recently. I'd also recommend you look into Lindblom's work, who explains rather lucidely the fact that business has a disproportionate influence in public decisionmaking.Oh, and please, will we for once let the Soviet references slide, I'm not some sort of Stalinist. I don't see why a critism of 'liberal economics' automatically makes me a fan of assorted dictators like Mao, Castro, Stalin or Nuyerere. They're quite besides the point, and it doesn't help to argue against what I'm not proposing. Please make the effort of stepping outside of your pre-conceived notions, and look at some of the issues without having your mind made up already. Can we please talk about these issues without devolving into fighting historical conflict x for the umpteenth time? Thanks! Tue 19 Jan 2010 15:12:23 GMT+1 Rob Drake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=65#comment104 @100I agree, it's a little insensitive for these tourists to Cruise around the Island at this time.However, look at it from the poor tourist's point of view. Their holiday photos are going to be so depressing. Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:47:51 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=64#comment103 Even this Haiti time, bloggers in Russian blogs exchange web addresses where to donate abroad, because "what's the point to give money here, will be stolen anyway". I think that's a bit too radical a belief :o))) but then it's true as min in the respect that donations in Russia are TAXED, not exempt of VAT or whatever, no special rules for charity in Russia NIL. So "why to sponsor the state I want my money go to Haiti".Folks might be of too high ideas of Western charity organisations, that "there it is all honest and all gets to the destination without loss" but then I don't know, anyway that's beliefs on the ground. Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:45:18 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=63#comment102 Mavrelius, Russia remains poor to this day because the old rule 70/80 to 20/30 is still here.During Cold War times 70/80 were perecentage of GDP spent on cold war with you, the rest of 15 republics of USSR, plus a good chunk of Eastern Europe, plus Cuba places surviving on the remaining 20% of Russia's GDP :o)))These days we've got all money to ourselves, but the old 70/80 versus 20/30 rule creeped back again! That is 70/80 is cleptocracy - and we again live on 20% left over!That's why Russians see no difference between "back then" and "now" and didn't feel, how to say, the "radical change" :o))))) that we are supposed to be happpy about. Simply one drain got re-placed by another. Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:40:15 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=63#comment101 Do not assume I support the British members of the new aristocracy any more than their continental versions. Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:38:12 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=62#comment100 Ghery "Anyone smell hypocrisy?"Are you accusing me of being a crook? Response: UnprintableOr were you going for that standard mistake/misrepresentation that decrying one thing is the same as support for another? Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:35:21 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=61#comment99 Cheryando and ChrisArta, and meanwhile - there is another cruise! liner docked at Haiti, getting to the shore at the small guarded piece of beach; ordinary cruise-liner, that sees no point to change the schedule, because of minor troubles on the shore. :o( Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:34:20 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=61#comment98 @97,Haiti would be a sad place if the rescue effort does not include the above mentioned highly skilled and very valuable rescource. I hope our government get over their petty politics of who can send what aircraft and sniffer dogs faster were and make sure the rescue effort get under way the proper way this time :)) I vote for your proposal :)) Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:22:56 GMT+1 chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=60#comment97 It is so funny to listen to all you "anglocrats" complaining about Europe. On the one hand you vote against the creation of a single European army and than complain that the EU doesnt have any military power. You claim that Europe is somehow trying to underline nations sovereignty yet the UK is the biggest coloniser the world has ever seen. You claim that it is undemocratic and yet its leaders are selected by the leaders that you democratically elect. You claim that the EU is a waste of money and yet it costs less than 0.86% of GDP to run, thats very very cheap bearing in mind the Westminster parliament consumes nearly 50% of GDP. You claim it doesnt have any uses and yet it has been the single largest driver of economic growth in Europe for the last 50 years, and thats despite how cheap it is to run. If you don't believe me do some research: just research how European money has been part paying for the construction of thousands of miles of motorways, thousands of miles of train tracks, development of roads, bridges, stadions, shchools, education, innovation, international coroperation, building of factories and even the building of satellite navigation just to name a few. Its effect has been to create and distribute wealth to nearly 500 million people in 27 countries.There is an old saying "the biggest untruth is a truth that is partially distorted." Having read so many mainly English papers I can tell you most of what you read about the EU is not true. It is actually a very good thing.I actually am one of those people who would like to see a single European army and the events in Haiti show why there should be one (whether with or without the UK). The reason why there isnt one and in the US there is, is because what in the USA is spend on the army, in Europe is spend on healthcare, education and assisting the poor. Tue 19 Jan 2010 14:22:11 GMT+1 Rob Drake http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=60#comment96 I love these forums. The item about an earthquake and the discussion, as always, gives a chance for the usual anti-american loonies to vent their anger and try to blame all the world's problems on the US. That just isn't fair. Without the US, the world would have fallen into the hands of either Hitler or Stalin, both of whom would have turned the whole carribean into an acid bath full of man-eating pirahnas, where they can execute public enemies like poets and musicians, in the most entertaining way possible.There was also some French bashing, but being British, I was enjoying it too much to complain.I hope the rescuers in Haiti don't argue as much. Can we at least all agree here and now that Italian, topless women on TV is a good thing and should be made available to the rescue effort? Tue 19 Jan 2010 13:59:59 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=59#comment95 Freeman wrote:"Looks like Bulgarian nominee Rumiana Jeleva is out of the Commission. Strange. With those financial issues I would have thought she would fit right in."Anyone smell hypocrisy? Tue 19 Jan 2010 13:23:06 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=58#comment94 @89The "scantily" clothed people part of the show will good for morale boost in Haiti, as the people that will be watching them will not feel inferior compared to the clothes that they have left to wear, It would be good if Berlusconi would join the cruise, it would help his sun tan :) Tue 19 Jan 2010 13:18:18 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=58#comment93 @93,No people with financial issues like hers are only good for national level politcs. The EU parliament checks people to see if they are fit to and they reject them if they are not. Unlike us here in the UK with the MP allowences, or the Bulgarians and Greeks by the looks of things :) Tue 19 Jan 2010 13:13:29 GMT+1 Freeman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=57#comment92 Looks like Bulgarian nominee Rumiana Jeleva is out of the Commission. Strange. With those financial issues I would have thought she would fit right in. Tue 19 Jan 2010 12:32:25 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=56#comment91 AT2;"When it comes to America many French, and other Europeans, are very insecure, power hungry and jealous. Those are the primary reasons for a federated Europe." This alone is sufficent reason for it to fail. A Union whose only purpose is so negative and which imposes itself with so much force because it must overcome the resistance of so many of its subjects who are leery of it at best, more often repelled by it because it robs whatever little local control they have over their lives cannot but be ultimately doomed. And when it fails, the disaster will be far worse than Haiti. All the hospital ships in the world won't be able to put that Humpty Dumpty back together again.Napthalene;"Your very 'narrow' definition of freedom also is quite funny. The USA, apart from 'spreading freedom' has mostly spread it's business interests."After WWII, the US government recognized that it didn't have the power to rebuild Europe or Japan in any reasonable time frame, the job was far too big, too expensive, too complex. That is why it enlisted the greatest engine of wealth creation in the history of the world, American big business. It did this by creating incentives for business to invest there. These included tax incentives in the US related to keeping profits from foreign investments and very favorable one way tarrifs that allowed goods produced in those countries to freely enter what was then by far the largest and richest single market in the world, the United States while keeping their own high protective tarrifs to protect their domestic markets from foreign competition. The rapid rebuilding of Western Europe and Japan after the devastating war is proof that this theory was correct. Europe and Japan ultimately owe their prosperity to the contribution made by the injection of American big business. The contrast between places where this investment is permitted and where it is discouraged by one reason or another such as widespread demands for bribes or outright nationalization of industry is telling. China benefitted from allowing it, Eastern Europe, Cuba, and Russia during the cold war did not and they remain poor to this day. India may be changing its mind, we'll see. American corporations bring much more than money and jobs, they bring technology, managerial skills, and a culture that for many countries for the first time brings the reality of promotion for performance instead of just politics and nepotism, meritocracy and of respect for fellow workers at all levels who contribute to the profit of the corporation. The ridicule of the power of American big business is the ridicule of the one way out of poverty most nations have. And by rejecting it even after it has started to establish itself such as in Russia and Venezuela have demonstrated is a sure road backwards into widespread poverty. Haiti has not made itself attractive to investment by large American corporations and look at the result. If it continues to resist, no amount of government or NGO help will change it. Tue 19 Jan 2010 12:11:47 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=56#comment90 ------There have been many tyrants throughout history working on a "European project" but obviously I was addressing the EU. Ultimately it's all about power and influence. That's what the Europhiles want and that is what America as a single country has."------Actually, I was also referring to the EU, and the roots for that project can be found as early as 1869. Of course, if you want to insist that in 1869, Europeans were all incredibly concerned with attaining the 'same power the US as a single nation has', you're free to do so. It's only a bit of an illusion. ------I would define "freedom" as being able to voice your opinion in your own country without having to be persecuted, imprisoned or murdered. What would you define it as?A country that allows "business" to operate unhindered by threats like the above is expressing that freedom perfectly. That's a good thing.------That's the narrow definition of freedom I'm talking about. It's a good thing that you're allowed to voice opinions, but it's hardly the totality of freedom. The fact that you think 'economic freedom' comes from allowing 'buisness' to operate unhindered is a laugh. It has never worked that way in the US or Europe, and it won't work that way in any underdeveloped country. Haïti is living proof of it. That fact that you are so caught up in the 'neo-liberal' mode of mind, that you consider those one and the same is great. Tell me, how much freedom to be 'heard' do you have any way. America is a class-ridden society that fools itself into thinking it's not. ------No, that is your interpretation of what I have said. If you lose the drama and emotive language like "holy mission" you will understand what it is I have clearly written.------If you would actually read some French newspapers from say ... 1954 to 1962, you'd know what I'm referring to. You think this whole 'we're here to save the world schtick' is a new invention? Oh, I'm sure the US bourgeoisie is completely sincere about it, completely opposite to the way the European empires used the terms. --------I have traveled extensively throughout Puerto Rico, especially considering that I have friends and family there, and Marcus is right on the mark in saying that Puerto Ricans as a whole live in luxury compared to most Cubans. --------Ah, you've travelled extensively through Cuba as well? I was, by the way, not contesting the fact that Puerto Rico has a higher developped economic system - although who benefits is another question -, I was pointing out that Cuba is not in any way on par with a country like Haïti and that it's a complete caricature. I, by the way, also have family and friends in Latin America, so the anecdotal evidence won't fly. I've seen the dark side too.------Must be all the socialist and communist tourists out of Europe. ------Petty remark, doesn't actually disprove my point.------Are the deaths of millions of freedom seekers in such countries as the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba "amusing" to you?------And you accuse me of employing dramatic language? I'm not defending the Cuban government, nor the ex-Soviet Union or the Chinese bureaucrats. Is the chronic underdevelopment of the 'third world' amusing to you? -----Here in America we value freedom of thought and we don't see ourselves as some part of a collective that discourages dissent as so many leftists in your part of the world would like us to be. Oddly enough, that freedom makes us much more united than such people will ever be. That's a good lesson for the EU to learn.America is what it is, including things that you may admire or like, because of ways of thinking and acting that you probably will never be able to understand or appreciate. Something to think about.------I didn't know you knew me that intimately. Aside from a little bombastic speech about the USA, it's really nothing you're saying there. Although it is quite interesting that at the slightest hint of criticism need to put me in the same corner as dictators & others. Freedom of speech, and if you disagree, you're craving for dictatorships? What's that even for an argument. How do you, by the way, know what 'Americans' think. I thought you people weren't a 'collective'. Speak for yourself. I like the Marxist 'superstructure' idea you're employing though, watch out ... before you know it, you'll wake up sing the 'International'. Tue 19 Jan 2010 11:24:43 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=55#comment89 Leo_Naphta wrote: "AllenT2, the 'European project' was not thought up with the US at the back of everybody's mind. It's quite an old project too, way older than US dominance in world affairs. If you're going to mention 'history' in any context, make sure you know it."There have been many tyrants throughout history working on a "European project" but obviously I was addressing the EU. Ultimately it's all about power and influence. That's what the Europhiles want and that is what America as a single country has."Your very 'narrow' definition of freedom also is quite funny. The USA, apart from 'spreading freedom' has mostly spread it's business interests."I would define "freedom" as being able to voice your opinion in your own country without having to be persecuted, imprisoned or murdered. What would you define it as?A country that allows "business" to operate unhindered by threats like the above is expressing that freedom perfectly. That's a good thing."I'm not saying the US is a 'bad' nation, but saying it's on some sort of holy mission is what makes you exactly the same as 'the French'."No, that is your interpretation of what I have said. If you lose the drama and emotive language like "holy mission" you will understand what it is I have clearly written."Marcus, baby, you really think Puerto Ricans live in those 'luxury' hotels? The USA uses very 'generous' poverty calculations to begin with."I have traveled extensively throughout Puerto Rico, especially considering that I have friends and family there, and Marcus is right on the mark in saying that Puerto Ricans as a whole live in luxury compared to most Cubans. "Cuba fell quite a lot with the fall of the USSR, but the 'growth' numbers, are quite on par with those of Puerto Rico." Must be all the socialist and communist tourists out of Europe. "Ah, never mind, continue with the "evil empire - shining city on the hills" rants. They're quite amusing."Are the deaths of millions of freedom seekers in such countries as the Soviet Union, China, and Cuba "amusing" to you?"I must say, I'm happy to have travelled a bit and to have met so many wonderful American citizens, because some on this blog are really not leaving their countrymen in the best of light."Here in America we value freedom of thought and we don't see ourselves as some part of a collective that discourages dissent as so many leftists in your part of the world would like us to be. Oddly enough, that freedom makes us much more united than such people will ever be. That's a good lesson for the EU to learn.America is what it is, including things that you may admire or like, because of ways of thinking and acting that you probably will never be able to understand or appreciate. Something to think about. Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:58:34 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=55#comment88 @88, Yup, thats it. I think George Clooney might be on there, too, with his local girlfriend. The rest are scantily clothed "veline". Berlusconi is still thinking whether he will join the cruise. Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:24:38 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=54#comment87 @86,I hope the personel on board the ship are the stars of TV shows like "tutti frutti" or some other great show like it, it would made the poor Haitians lifes so much better. with hours sitting around doing nothing because they have brocken legs and arms watching Italian TV shows would make time pass so much easier. Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:16:56 GMT+1 Chris http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=53#comment86 Ohh, a question to the French here and MAII have you come to an agreement now that after you fix Haiti, you'll have to go and fix New Orleans also after two hundred years or neglect? :)) or will the French leave that up to the Americans also? :)) What next the French may ask the Americans to go and fix Vietnan also, oops, they already done that! Thanks god the Americans fixed it :)) Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:11:36 GMT+1 Gheryando http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=53#comment85 Italy is sending an aircraft carrier with thousands of personnel that will arrive next week. Tue 19 Jan 2010 10:02:30 GMT+1 I am not a number http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=52#comment84 83. "America helped win the war because they were masters of supplying their advancing troops with ammunition and food. "I think you're read up on Jean Monnet wikipedia article, notably his contribution to the Allies in both World Wars. Tue 19 Jan 2010 09:46:22 GMT+1 Leo_Naphta http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=51#comment83 AllenT2, the 'European project' was not thought up with the US at the back of everybody's mind. It's quite an old project too, way older than US dominance in world affairs. If you're going to mention 'history' in any context, make sure you know it. Your very 'narrow' definition of freedom also is quite funny. The USA, apart from 'spreading freedom' has mostly spread it's business interests. I'm not saying the US is a 'bad' nation, but saying it's on some sort of holy mission is what makes you exactly the same as 'the French'. They also fought in Algeria for human rights, what does that tell you? Just as the British and the French did with de Rosas or Balmaceda, so did the US with Arbenz, Allende and Torijos. It's incredible how dominant the status-quo has become, the end of ideology as the prime ideology and neo-liberalism has cemented itself from being a 'choice' to being objective reality. Marcus, baby, you really think Puerto Ricans live in those 'luxury' hotels? The USA uses very 'generous' poverty calculations to begin with. Besides, I thought we were talking about the economy and human development, not political freedom? You should check the GDP lists that were posted, Cuba fell quite a lot with the fall of the USSR, but the 'growth' numbers, are quite on par with those of Puerto Rico. You ought to, if you're going to be a bit honest in your argument, add the American embargo alongside the Soviet subsidies, shouldn't you? Ah, never mind, continue with the "evil empire - shining city on the hills" rants. They're quite amusing. I must say, I'm happy to have travelled a bit and to have met so many wonderful American citizens, because some on this blog are really not leaving their countrymen in the best of light.Jean Carlos,monetary reparations like that is the equivalent of amputating a leg and then putting a bandaid on it. Useless. Are you familiar with the debt levels that the entire 'developing' world has suffered under? Just throwing money at the problem won't work. Fanon quite got that in this work about decolonisation. The Haitians don't control their own economy, and as long as they are in a subjugated position, it's merely, to coin a phrase "development of underdevelopment'.You didn't really answer my question though (I'm not even sure what part of my post you were referring to), the population of French Guiana, are they anything to you? Or do they need to get hit by an earthquake first? Tue 19 Jan 2010 09:10:34 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=51#comment82 EUprisoner209456731 wrote: "I take that to be a criticism of the Americans. My experience of American organisation is that it is superb."I agree. That would also explain why huge logistical operations such as super stores like WalMart, KMart, Target, warehouse stores such as Costco and shipping companies such as Fed EX, UPS, DHL and Airborne Express originated in America. As for their military, just look at the logistical accomplishments of the first and second Gulf Wars and Afghanistan, not to mention the best example of WWII. America helped win the war because they were masters of supplying their advancing troops with ammunition and food. That was why they were always able to lay down so much firepower in any battle. Tue 19 Jan 2010 08:51:01 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=50#comment81 democracythreat wrote: "Uncle Sam helps with the man made disasters, too."America has done more than any other country to provide freedom for much of the world's population. Such things are worth going to war for, although I am starting to wonder if it was worth it when it comes to Europe. I think many Nazis from WWII had more respect for America than many Europeans of today. Go figure. Tue 19 Jan 2010 08:40:47 GMT+1 AllenT2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=50#comment80 roma2010 wrote: "As for French and American relations, they bicker constantly and I doubt it will ever change."The huge chips rest on French shoulders, not American. When it comes to America many French, and other Europeans, are very insecure, power hungry and jealous. Those are the primary reasons for a federated Europe. It isn't a coincidence that when reasons and motivations for so-called Euro projects are put forward you often hear America being mentioned, and often not in the nicest ways.More and more the Europhiles are sounding like the Soviets. That's some allies. Tue 19 Jan 2010 08:35:21 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=49#comment79 "I can tell you that one thing I expect every time from this government is that when a natural disaster occurs, that they help in any way they can."Uncle Sam helps with the man made disasters, too. Tue 19 Jan 2010 07:55:36 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=48#comment78 Mathiasen wrote:#75. EUprisoner209456731"Technisches Hilfswerk" is a national organisation in Germany.Its international name is „German Federal Agency For Technical Relief" and it assists by major technical emergencies in and outside Germany. It is a technical backup to firefighters, rescue teams, and assists by earthquakes, and floods etc.I do not think it has any organisational equivalent in the rest of the world."Nobody likes playing with toys quite as much as the germans, that is for certain. I remember leaving Friedsrichshafen airport some years ago, and as I waited in the queue to have my passport checked, I noticed the advertisements on the wall. One was for a museum of airships, and the picture was a cut away of the engineering involved. The second poster was for a company that made gearboxes. There was a cut away diagram of a gear box. Clean and precise. The third poster advertisement was for a telecommunications firm. And, you guessed it, there was a cut away diagram of some kind of wiring and circuit board, showing the internal workings of some commercial communications unit.Then after that there was a poster advertising tractors, and that also had the drawing of how it worked inside.I remember it clearly, because it was one after another, and each was so abnormally detailed. At the end of the queue I realized that every single add in the airport, or at least along that corridor, was festooned with technical drawings. Clean and precise. "This is how it works!"Sort of the opposite of Haiti, in a lot of ways.German culture is a strange beast. I still don't understand the swiss german philosophy on cleaning. Things here are not made clean and precise because that makes money, nor because the bible says to make everything clean and precise.As far as I can tell, it is purely cultural amongst the german speaking people, which sort of includes the Swiss. That is to say, I think the mania about cleanliness and precision comes from the language.Whatever it is, it stops at the language boundary. I can travel two hours over the hill and down the road, and I'm in Milano. Dirty as heck, and stuff flying everywhere. Nothing works properly, and a policeman is putting his cigarette out on a baby stroller.To the west lies france. The frenchman knows enough to sell his farm produce to the italian and then buy tools from the german. This makes him superior to the british, by some odd logic I have yet to decipher.Anyways, I'm glad I live in Switzerland. Sometimes I have the illusion that all these folks are cleaning up after me, especially since I can't understand the insults thrown my way in thick dialect. There is nothing like making the locals feel superior, and giving them something to do. Tue 19 Jan 2010 07:54:49 GMT+1 roma2010 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=48#comment77 I have actually never commented on an article anywhere before but for some reason was drawn to this one.I must be a very naive American because I have never viewed the European nations as "weaker" than the United States. I have no illusions that the United States is perfect and that they haven't made mistakes. I have not agreed with all the decisions that this country has made. I can tell you that one thing I expect every time from this government is that when a natural disaster occurs, that they help in any way they can.I have been proud and happy with how they have responded and I have also been proud and happy with they way so many countries around the world have responded. There is no way that one country can go in a make the difference that all of these countries and organizations working together can do. I have seen examples of it several times on CNN where rescue crews from 2 or 3 different nations are working together to free people. As for the airport situation, there are going to be planes diverted. The first couple of days they could only get maybe 50 flights a day and even now can only do 100 flights. When you stop and consider how many countries and aid agencies are trying to get supplies into the country I'm not surprised people are frustrated. Everybody wants to help and I don't believe it's for political reasons by anybody. People have good hearts and want to help in a disaster like this.I have been proud of countries around the world whenever a natural disaster has happened anywhere in the world, even when it has been in the United States. I know when Katrina happened several countries around the world mobilized search and rescue teams and offered humitarian aid. It was appreciated.As for French and American relations, they bicker constantly and I doubt it will ever change. Tue 19 Jan 2010 06:24:46 GMT+1 Mathiasen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=47#comment76 #75. EUprisoner209456731"Technisches Hilfswerk" is a national organisation in Germany.Its international name is „German Federal Agency For Technical Relief" and it assists by major technical emergencies in and outside Germany. It is a technical backup to firefighters, rescue teams, and assists by earthquakes, and floods etc.I do not think it has any organisational equivalent in the rest of the world. Tue 19 Jan 2010 06:16:10 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=46#comment75 15. At 3:51pm on 18 Jan 2010, kathystephen wrote:2 ... And in the immediate future, it would be nice if someone who could organize a p*ssup in a brewery would get out there and start handing out aid, and not just line up the jeeps."I take that to be a criticism of the Americans. My experience of American organisation is that it is superb. Tue 19 Jan 2010 05:11:32 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=46#comment74 57. At 9:12pm on 18 Jan 2010, Mathiasen wrote:" ... One of Germany's assets are moveable waterworks, and our technical aid organisation takes care of that issue now. ..."EUpris: As far as I am aware, Germany's Technisches Hilfswerk*, a sort of technical army, is superb and something many other countries could copy. I has nothing to do with the "EU" or it didn't used to have.* I hope I got that right. Tue 19 Jan 2010 05:06:05 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=45#comment73 "The question is more where the EU should best put its energy. The EU may be most effective at coordinating medium and long-term development."EUpris: The "EU" is most effective in wasting money and being a damn nuisance. Tue 19 Jan 2010 05:00:36 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=45#comment72 'I suspect a dilemma here for the EU. There is a current obsession to be seen as a "player" on the world stage. This need, in part, lay behind the Lisbon Treat'EUpris: "need" ???? Imagined , wanted "NEED"!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:58:21 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=44#comment71 " ... Delivery of aid is difficult without security. That lies at the heart of the tension between France and the United States ... "When it comes to the USA, the French have a chip on their shoulder the size of a redwood tree. I suggest that that is the real problem.I suggest it the main driving force behind "EU" megalomania and the attempt to create a Greater European Reich. Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:55:52 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=43#comment70 2. At 11:35am on 18 Jan 2010, Nikolas wrote:"The need for Europe to be an important player in the world scene is clear in the rest of the EU. ..."EUpris: It appears to be more difficult to get criticism of the "EU" published on other "EU" countries. Te stats I have seen indicate that the Austrians hate the "EU" just about as much as the Brits do. Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:51:45 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=43#comment69 2. At 11:35am on 18 Jan 2010, Nikolas wrote:"The need for Europe to be an important player in the world scene is clear in the rest of the EU. ..."EUpris: By its despicable behaviour in the matter of the Lisbon Treaty the "EU" has shown that it is not worthy to have any power at all. Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:45:56 GMT+1 EUprisoner209456731 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=42#comment68 2. At 11:35am on 18 Jan 2010, Nikolas wrote:"The need for Europe to be an important player in the world scene is clear in the rest of the EU. ..."EUpris: Prove it!PROVE IT! Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:44:08 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=41#comment67 Rather be cycling, yes, heard of the fine Israeli hospital, for 500 patients, while even the UN own is only for 200. Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:41:23 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=41#comment66 MA, "Americans don't want to govern". a pity, really, and I hoped you got yourself an excellent own Abkhasia and will now focus on it leaving our alone :o) Tue 19 Jan 2010 04:38:27 GMT+1 democracythreat http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=40#comment65 Mathiasen wrote:"Maybe I should have guessed, what the angle would be here on BBC. it really is an obsession..."If it were more personal, I'd say you are right to call it an obsession.As it is a state funded journalist banging on like a loose door in the wind about a member of the ruling party who pays his wages, I'd prefer to call it sycophantic propaganda.It is bad enough that a "Europe" journalist ignores the Ukrainian election in order to talk about a topic that is being covered by everyone else. That is just straight up pathetic.But to go on and on and on and on and on about Ashton.... PLEASE!She didn't do anything. About something that has nothing to do with her.THAT is Hewitts' story. Tue 19 Jan 2010 03:22:56 GMT+1 Rather_Be_Cycling http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=40#comment64 Yes everyone is pulling together. The Israelis are performing minor miracles with their field hospital which was in action before any other country's, including the USA. But where, pray tell, are the teams, the relief workers, the aid, the donations from... Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Queda, Iran... all those organisations who say (and many contributors to Have Your Say believe) are really out for the poor, the disadvantaged, the needy and the worthy. Where are they in Haiti? Tue 19 Jan 2010 03:15:47 GMT+1 MarcusAureliusII http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=39#comment63 WA;"It also makes them [Americans}, on the whole, poor administrators on foreign soil. They find it almost impossible to believe that poorer peoples, far from the Statue of Liberty, should not want in their heart of hearts to become Americans. Actually what Americans find on foreign soil is that so many people in foreign countries whether rich or poor are so petty, so stupid. They will argue over the most meaningless trifles in life. For example Ireland was at war for 400 years with Britain over the fact that Henry VIII renounced Catholicism because a French politician through an influential friend convinced the pope not to grant him an anullment to his marriage in which he could not produce a male heir. So he quit Catholicism, formed his own church and Anglicans and Protestants fought to the death ever since. It ended in Ireland with that nation's independence in the 20th century but not in Northern Ireland until about a decade ago. It is sobering to think that when America declared independence from Britain this war had been going on for nearly two hundred years already. It's just one of countless examples you see around the world.BTW, a lot of people around the world do want to go to America, live in America, work in America, and become Americans. People from all over the world in a tide that has kept growing for over 400 years.Jean Carlos;Speaking of countless examples, the barbaric crimes France perpetrated against Haiti is only one of countless examples of European pettiness, stupidity and vindictiveness. It was the same mindset that penned the Treaty of Versailles that lead straight the rise of Hitler, to WWII, and to the occupation of France. Have the French ever learned their lesson? Of course not. Look at their anger over their plane being delayed landing in Port au Prince for a day or so. Just who the hell do they think they are? Have other Europeans learned? Not on your life. From the disaster which is the EU to most of its member states it has hardly altered its view of itself or the world. Racist, xenophobic, arrogant, and provincial they think they are the center of the world and of civilization when in fact they are a fading souvenir stuffed in the pages of an old history book. Lilliputians with their pompousness squeaking and screeching, more of an annoyance than even a nuissance. WA;'The E-Who? is Europe's last gasp effort (actually France's and Germany's) to be a major player in the politics of the world. They have only made peace with each other because each finally realized they couldn't do it alone, especially France. You can see how effective they've been by the way President Obama and the other real players snubbed them at Copenhagen and how the US just brushed France aside. Their protests fall on deaf ears in Washington DC where President Obama has far more important issues to worry about...such as who will win Senator Kennedy's seat in the United State Senate in the special election tomorrow. This could decide the fate of his health care legislation."If it should happen that America, in its new period of world power, comes to do what every other world power has done: if Americans should have to govern large numbers of foreigners, you must expect that Americans will be well hated before they are admired for themselves."Americans don't want to govern anyone but themselves. From time to time in places like the Phillipines, Japan, Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, and now Haiti, American may have to temporarily govern for a few years or decades until democratic local rule or the closest practical substitute can be installed and secured. Tue 19 Jan 2010 02:59:58 GMT+1 Jean Carlos http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=38#comment62 47. At 8:40pm on 18 Jan 2010, Leo_Naphta wrote:52. At 8:51pm on 18 Jan 2010, Jukka Rohila wrote:Barbados never had it has bad as Haiti. That's not to say that there have been many Haitians who also bear responsibility for Haiti's plight. But please consider the following points:Barbados has a population of about 281,968 Haiti has almost 10,000,000 people. 35x more.Haiti witnessed the greatest exploitative slave-based system in all of the Caribbean region. No people experienced the degradation and debasement as much as the Haitian slaves. Their output was so productive that for a period of time this small piece of land out produced all the other islands in the Caribbean, and provided France with some 40% of its empire's coffers. Also, read the following article:Earthquake Is France's Problemby Tunku Varadarajan When it came to Haiti, France was first a brutal colonizer, and then a usurious bully. Tunku Varadarajan on why it’s time for reparations.As Haitians lurch destitute in the rubble, and as governments, churches, and NGOs do the best they can to bring succor to Haiti's hell, a vivid solution to the country's needs presents itself, one so obvious and irrefutable—so resonantly just—that it must be advocated with the greatest of energy: France must repay its colonialist debt to Haiti by paying for much of the island country’s reconstruction.Haiti's chronic impoverishment began at its birth in 1804, when, having overthrown its French rulers in a bloody, 12-year slave revolt, the newborn nation was subjected to crippling blockades and embargoes. This economic strangulation continued until 1825, when France offered to lift embargoes and recognize the Haitian Republic if the latter would pay restitution to France—for loss of property in Haiti, including slaves—of 150 million gold francs. The sum, about five times Haiti's export revenue for 1825, was brutal, but Haiti had no choice: Pay up or perish over many more years of economic embargo, not to mention face French threats of invasion and reconquest. To pay, Haiti borrowed money at usurious rates from France, and did not finish paying off its debt until 1947, by which time its fate as the Western Hemisphere's poorest country had been well and truly sealed.In this era of multibillion-dollar bailouts of private banking institutions, $22 billion should scarcely raise a Gallic eyebrow. But to Haiti, the sum would be a godsend.France must now return every last cent of this money to Haiti. In 2004, at the time of the 200th anniversary of Haiti's independence, the Haitian government put together a legal brief in support of a formal demand for "restitution" from France. The sum sought was nearly $22 billion, a number arrived at by calculations that included a notionally equitable annual interest rate. (For a full account of the calculation, read Jose de Cordoba's excellent news story in The Wall Street Journal, published on Jan. 2, 2004.) The demand was made by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a firebrand ex-preacher who was forced out of office by a violent uprising that February. His successors, Boniface Alexandre and Gerard Latortue, controversially chose to renounce Haiti's claim for restitution/reparations. (There was, of course, much pressure exerted on them by France, which had found Aristide's demand politically disconcerting.)• Plus: Mark Leon Goldberg on Haiti’s recent history, and why the country deserves our support. This last act of renunciation weakens Haiti's legal case against France, notwithstanding the fact that the treaty under which France gouged 150 million gold francs from Haiti was clearly unconscionable and executed under duress. But this story is not one of law and legality alone, nor even one of wealth and poverty. (France's GDP is $2.85 trillion, while Haiti's is a mere $6.95 billion.) It is, rather, one of historical justice and political morality: No one can dispute that an extortionate and bullying treaty, concluded at a time when France was an imperial hyper-puissance and Haiti a friendless fledgling, is an ugly stain on France's national conscience.The money involved is not a sum that will give sleepless nights to Christine Lagarde (France's finance minister) or Bernard Kouchner (its foreign minister) or President Nicolas Sarkozy. In this era of multibillion-dollar bailouts of private banking institutions, $22 billion should scarcely raise a Gallic eyebrow. But to Haiti, the sum would be a godsend.More than that, however, this is money that is Haiti's own. As Haitians lie prostrate, buried under the rubble of their nation, France must do the moral thing, the just thing, the civilized thing: France must write Haiti a reparations check for $22 billion.Tunku Varadarajan is a national affairs correspondent and writer at large for The Daily Beast. He is also a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and a professor at NYU’s Stern Business School. (Follow him on Twitter here.) Tue 19 Jan 2010 02:23:29 GMT+1 WebAliceinwonderland http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=38#comment61 Mavrelius, I opened the first page of a book I got for Christmas. It goes: .."I am, after all, a professional student of a rare species of goldfish - the goldfish being, you will guess, the American people. If you are a goldfish, or if you swim with them long enough, it is impossible to say what are the characteristics of goldfish. But if someone drops a mackarel into the goldfish bowl, you can see at once all sorts of things that goldfish have and the other things they lack."(imagine :o) "lack" ? "if you feel baffled and alarmed at the prospect of differentiating one American type from another, you can take heart.( we aren't baffled. we can confidently tell as min. 4 our "types", even when all become U-boat numbers)You have more hope of success than Americans, who shuffle through every stereotype of every foreign culture as confidently as the handle the family's pack of cards. Americans are not particularly good at sensing elements of another people's culture :o) It helps them to approach foreigners with carefree warmth and an animated lack of misgiving. :o))))) It also makes them, on the whole, poor administrators on foreign soil. They find it almost impossible to believe that poorer peoples, far from the Statue of Liberty, should not want in their heart of hearts to become Americans. If it should happen that America, in its new period of world power, comes to do what every other world power has done: if Americans should have to govern large numbers of foreigners, you must expect that Americans will be well hated before they are admired for themselves."Alistair Cooke, written, let me see, in 2004.If this answers your concerns in any way, relieves your worries ? :o))))If not, well, your old friend Pozner spoke today, pointing out that not earth-quakes of 7 Richter scale should necessarily bring such devastation, brought forward you as a good example, that in San Franciscoin the same magnitude. ? strength quake 68 people died. Unlike Haiti.And the difference seems to be house building standards. Tue 19 Jan 2010 02:10:57 GMT+1 wang http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2010/01/haiti_tests_european_response.html?page=37#comment60 Veet good article, I agree with most of it (sadly, a rarity with BBC output nowadays). Concerning the comments: I find all this "politicking" (mine is bigger than yours etc.) a bit pathetic, only a few days after a huge human tragedy. Some of the comments truly belong to the "idiotic" column. Shame on you... Tue 19 Jan 2010 00:39:29 GMT+1