captaink
Posts: 3987
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:43 am

The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:15 pm

Many n the world try to hate the US. Many people have many bad things to say about America. But let me say this: maybe America tries to plice the world a bit, but I suppose that if any other country had it's power, they would have been doing the same thing. World Powers have always been like that, whether we are talking about England or Rome or Greece.

But this is where America shines, when there is a problem in the world, like this natural disaster. America does what it does best, help. In all previous natural disaster America has been in the forefront of aid for the people. Here in NY, you would think it is an American city that got destroyed, as Port au Prince is on the news constantly. I am looking at the press conference with Obama, Bush and Clinton, and I feel proud to see these three leaders up there, planning and trying to work together.

Haiti, stay put, America has got you back. This is what America is all about.
There is something special about planes....
 
JRadier
Posts: 3943
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:36 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:27 pm

Don't get me wrong, the US is doing one heck of a deal in Haiti right now!

Quoting Captaink (Thread starter):
Haiti, stay put, America has got you back.

The question is, why only now, and for how long? Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time, even without the quake, but the US shows up only now. And for how long will they stay before it's left to it's own?

That said, this is true for almost every country, and certainly for mine. Why are we only really doing something in conditions like these, but not when it is really bad, but 'hanging on'?
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
captaink
Posts: 3987
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:43 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:39 pm



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
The question is, why only now, and for how long? Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time, even without the quake, but the US shows up only now. And for how long will they stay before it's left to it's own?

At the end of the day, each country has to run itself, it is not the US job to run Haiti indefinitely. As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” It is the receiving country's responsibility to learn. When Clinton was in power he helped restore democracy there. Haiti has to hold it's own reins. In Haiti there were a lot of non profit organizations helping on a day to day basis before this disaster. That is great. But that is not the government of the US job to do. IMHO.

But now they have had an unforeseen terrible natural disaster, and need the extra help and that is where America has been doing a great job in spearheading the relief work.
There is something special about planes....
 
User avatar
bwest
Posts: 1119
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:54 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:41 pm

Well, it's not just like it's just the US that is sending in aid right now is it? Even small and relative poor countries like Serbia are sending over whatever they can.

And maybe it's my pessimistic nature and rather grim trust in humankind, but I have this feeling that in a few weeks or months, delegates from all the countries that were so keen to send help now, will go to Haïti's government and say "you know what would really help you guys now? Companies from our country setting up businesses in yours..."
I love my Airport Job! :)
 
captaink
Posts: 3987
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 10:43 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:03 pm



Quoting Bwest (Reply 3):
Well, it's not just like it's just the US that is sending in aid right now is it? Even small and relative poor countries like Serbia are sending over whatever they can.

Well I used a key word, "spearheading." So yes it is a work being carried out by many countries, but without a doubt being led by the US.

As a non American, I reflected on the bad press the US seems to get, and I seemed to me that many forget the world of good the country also does for the world.
There is something special about planes....
 
User avatar
AirPacific747
Posts: 9275
Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 9:52 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:31 pm



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
That said, this is true for almost every country, and certainly for mine. Why are we only really doing something in conditions like these, but not when it is really bad, but 'hanging on'?

Well there are limits for how much of a difference we can do anyway. We can't save the whole world, but of course we can do our bit to help. Countries need to pull themselves out of poverty like countries in the West have done, but we can give a helping hand when asked to do so.
 
User avatar
HAWK21M
Posts: 29867
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:50 pm

Its true of most Developed countries....as there is a responsibility on them to get things in order.
Apart from the US,there are other countries chipping in as well.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
ACDC8
Posts: 7184
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:56 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 pm

I'm failing to see what the US is doing compared to other countries in this natural disaster and others in the past?
A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:46 pm



Quoting Bwest (Reply 3):
And maybe it's my pessimistic nature and rather grim trust in humankind, but I have this feeling that in a few weeks or months, delegates from all the countries that were so keen to send help now, will go to Haïti's government and say "you know what would really help you guys now? Companies from our country setting up businesses in yours..."

Which wouldn´t even be too bad. The main thing Haiti needs is jobs. Haiti doesn´t have many natural resources, the only resource they have is manpower. Unfortunately the country hasn´t been very stable for the last 200 years and for many companies the risk of losing all investments to either crime or a military coup is too big. This also led to the population being relatively uneducated, a vicious circle. IMO, the only way Haiti can go forward is by stabilizing and then offering ítself for manpower intensive production, even if wages at the beginning will be very low. Later, with a higher level of education they can branch out into more brains requiring industries, which will bring more income.
An additional option would be tourism, but again for this the country needs to become stable and to have a decent system of law and order.


Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
BMI727
Posts: 11112
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:25 pm



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time

The last time we tried to fix a shithole, they dragged our soldiers' bodies through the streets. You can't do longer term, large scale, aid operations without using force as well. That is something that many Americans (and perhaps the rest of the world) is skittish about right now.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
aviationmaster
Posts: 2151
Joined: Thu Oct 28, 1999 3:47 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:14 am



Quoting Captaink (Thread starter):
But let me say this: maybe America tries to plice the world a bit, but I suppose that if any other country had it's power, they would have been doing the same thing. World Powers have always been like that, whether we are talking about England or Rome or Greece.

While the US deserves some of the criticism it gets from time to time, in the end, I'd rather have them police the world than China or Russia.
 
DeltaMD11
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:56 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:36 am

This is why I love America and more importantly being able to call myself an American. Even here, being deployed almost 7000 miles from home, all you see on TV is coverage of the Haiti disaster and more and more pleas for Americans rich and poor alike to donate their money and their time to help. This does not mitigate the fact that American foreign policy sometimes poses grave questions, but I think that the rest of the world is all too quick to forget what America has done for so many people around the world and instead tend to focus on more tenuous and timely moments. I'm very happy that we have stepped up like we have to help in the aid/recovery process, I know many friends who have already donated to the cause and it was heartwarming to see videos of the USS Carl Vinson and Hospital Ship Comfort being loaded with supplies and preparing to steam off to the rescue.

The Haitians are in my thoughts, the TV coverage paints a picture of utter destruction and extreme sorrow and pain. May the global community continue to respond to this disaster and work together to help these people in a great time of need.
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
User avatar
Mortyman
Posts: 4124
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:06 pm

It is only natural that the USA spearheads the aid operations in Haiti. Compared to Europe, the USA is a much closer neighbour and has better possibilities of providing aid quickly with its manpower and logistical apparatus. Especially since the airport facilites are limited and aid has to be brought in by ship.

Just like Australia and New Zealand are natural neigbours to rely on qucik help for islands in the Pacific. Such as the recent Samoa earthquacke.

-----


Right now, most countries around the world is giving aid to Haiti. Many much less than the USA and some more than the USA ( moneywise compared to population ).


When there is an aid crisis around the world, most countries chip in with money, hospitals, search and rescue workers, doctors and surgons.

This was the case during the sunami in Asia, earthquacke in Middle East, famin in africa etc. It would also have been the case with Katrina, had the US asked for international help.
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:09 pm



Quoting Captaink (Reply 2):
But now they have had an unforeseen terrible natural disaster,

Terrible it might be, but unforeseen  redflag   redflag   redflag  . Go to:
http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/neic_rja6_h.html
you know one of those Federal agencies of the US that many Americans love to hate. While much of the rest of the world applauds what an excellent job THEY do. And if more folk took note of what they say, disasters like this would at the least be slightly less disastrous. This was foreseeable, and by and large was foreseen.

Does not stop it being a tragedy. But a bit less of the hand wringing and more of the "why was not something done"?
 
Elite
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:12 pm

The United States has been contributing aid to countries like Haiti for a long time, but only during times of particular hardship - like the earthquake in Haiti - that this fact makes the news. The US sends billions of dollars of aids to many, many different countries around the world.

And the Americans were more than willing to respond. For example, just yesterday at a Philadelphia 76ers game, the 76ers starting center and Haiti-native Samuel Dalembert donated $100,000 to UNICEF. The fans attending the game that night in Philadelphia gave an additional $35,000, and Dalembert matched that by donating another $35,000. So in just a regular season basketball game in Philadelphia, $175,000 was raised for Haitian victims. Truly amazing.
 
User avatar
kc135topboom
Posts: 11002
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:42 pm



Quoting Baroque (Reply 13):
This was foreseeable, and by and large was foreseen.

I agree with that. Haiti is just the latest example. There are hundreds of potential future disasters we know about, we just don't know when they will happen. Examples are the new Krakatoa volcano, the brewing Yellowstone super volcano and many know tectonic plates that appear to have massives amounts of pressure building to a future earthquake. These are all around the world. The local authorities should be preparing for these events, but sadly some are but most are not.

Even hurricanes can be prepared for. Katrina is an example where a major US city ignored the infastructure problems for decades, and the results was some 2000 Americans died. This example showed that NewOorleans learned nothing from the 1903 Galveston Hurricane that killed some 8000 people.

America, and the rest of the world have a long way to go to save future lives from disasters.

The answer is not totally the response after the disaster, but some of it is also to prepare for it before it happens with plans, prepositioned supplies, established evacuation routes, better construction of buildings, etc.
 
Elite
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:51 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
There are hundreds of potential future disasters we know about

Like the "big one" in California, where a huge earthquake is supposedly going to rock the state some time in the future... scary to think about.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5573
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:03 pm



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
The question is, why only now, and for how long? Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time, even without the quake, but the US shows up only now. And for how long will they stay before it's left to it's own?

There are thousands of US aid workers and missionaries in Haiti - have been there for decades and will be there after this disaster is off the headlines. Several of them died or were injured in the earthquake.

The US government also contributes substantially to anti-poverty efforts, hospitals, drinking water projects, etc in Haiti.

However, like most nations Haiti does not want the US, or any other nation, to come into their country and 'run the show'. We have to work through the local government.

Things like customs officials in the Cape Haitian airport insisting non-government relief flights pay import duty for earthquake relief supplies coming into the country yesterday. Things like the use of non-uniformed private security groups armed with machetes, Things like charges of corruption. Obvious lack of building code standards, lack of an efficient clean drinking water distribution system after tens of millions of dollars in US aid spent on 'research' and no pipe laid.

Haiti has its problems like any country. The biggest being they have a population which greatly exceeds the capacity of the land to support/ feed. And the working age population greatly exceeds any reasonable level of economic activity ability to provide jobs. And the lack of consistent education of their population to qualify them for jobs.

The US and many other nations seek to help, but there is only so much that can be done. The sum is that only the Haitian people can make a real change to their nation. Many choose to leave Haiti and work from overseas to help their families and home towns.

Remember there is a United Nations mission in Haiti, and an armed United Nations Security Force to provide security - both of which had members killed in the quake.
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21043
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:08 pm



Quoting Bwest (Reply 3):
Well, it's not just like it's just the US that is sending in aid right now is it? Even small and relative poor countries like Serbia are sending over whatever they can.

Very true. Although credit has to go to the American administration as they acted quickly and I cant help notice that it has alot to do with the new Administration and Obama himself. Long may it last. One wonders how New Orleans would have been handled if only Obama had have been in power at the time.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5573
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:19 pm

Actually I think the initial Obama administration response was amatuerish and rather stupid.

The US Air Force was ready to launch a airport security / ATC team the evening of the quake. The team was delayed when the State Department/ White House found out about the flight. Eventually the Dash-8 have to fly to DC, pick up political appointees from US AID and then fly down.

Several USAF, USCG and USN C-130's which were loaded by their squadron and base commanders were held, not allowed to fly. Some of the cargo had to be flown to DC, where it was transferred to a civilian version of the C-130 - because the Obama Administration wanted the first US relief to be civilian, not military.

The US Navy proposed recalling the crew of the USNS Comfort and preparing it for sailing about 2 hours after the quake hit. That approval was delayed in the White House for 36 hours. Amazingly the crew got their ship out almost 24 hours under schedule - so they made up most of the time wasted.

I'm not criticizing the Obama administration per se. Every new administration makes the same mistakes when they have their first disaster. The Bush II administration had some of the same stumbles with the Christmas Tsunami.

Katrina is a completely different animal. The federal government responsed quickly and accurately. Remember, the federal government and the military were NEVER in charge of anything in the New Orleans area. Everything they did had to be approved by the City Mayor and the local parish (county) governments. That is our way - the feds cannot take over a civilian city.

The breakdown occured in the city, parish and state governments - not the federal level.
 
futurepilot16
Posts: 1756
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:20 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:34 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Katrina is a completely different animal. The federal government responsed quickly and accurately.

Try asking some people who were actually there, i'm sure they'll tell you something completely different.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Actually I think the initial Obama administration response was amatuerish and rather stupid.

I think there were things that should have been done better. At one point, the director of the DHS was saying that the reason why US, aid was taking so long is because they had to coordinate. Well, that seemed like a good idea at the time, but now it's looking like a major fail because things STILL aren't coordinated.

But in terms of the abundance of help sent to Haiti, I thought it was really good. However, the condition of the roads in Haiti is making things beyond difficult.

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 17):

However, like most nations Haiti does not want the US, or any other nation, to come into their country and 'run the show'.

I've seen Haitians on T.V. who are singing to a different song. They say their gov't is unreliable, i've spoken to several American Haitians, who say they wouldn't mind if the U.S. played a bigger role in Haiti. And which Haitian wouldn't? They're so poor and have such low morale that at some point, there patriotism goes out the door, and their need for assistance and survival kicks in.
"The brave don't live forever, but the cautious don't live at all."
 
baroque
Posts: 12302
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:23 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
There are hundreds of potential future disasters we know about

Like the "big one" in California, where a huge earthquake is supposedly going to rock the state some time in the future... scary to think about.

While it is probably that the preparation for the big one in California could be better, it is streets ahead of most places for most disasters. There is a question of how much you WANT to spend before the disaster. But if not being willing to spend enough is a major cause of the extent of the disaster when it comes, then sympathy levels should perhaps be at the least restrained.

There are endless places where one can point to building problems. And they all get worse as more and more population is packed into megacities the world over.
 
Qantasistheway
Posts: 280
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 12:30 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:47 pm



Quoting Mortyman (Reply 12):
This was the case during the sunami in Asia, earthquacke in Middle East, famin in africa etc. It would also have been the case with Katrina, had the US asked for international help.

Well actually Kuwait donated 500 million USD and U.A.E. and Qatar donated 300 million each! I wonder why.......

Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Katrina is a completely different animal. The federal government responsed quickly and accurately. Remember, the federal government and the military were NEVER in charge of anything in the New Orleans area. Everything they did had to be approved by the City Mayor and the local parish (county) governments. That is our way - the feds cannot take over a civilian city.

It wasn't exactly handled "quickly and accurately" there are still roads and roads of destroyed houses and therefore many people still homeless. The initial response wasn't the greatest considering the US is the richest country in the world. It took quite some time for things to get moving and the fact that there were food riots and people were stuck in their houses for days supports this. After all if it had been delt with properly, maybe the national guard would not have to have been deployed.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:06 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 19):
Katrina is a completely different animal. The federal government responsed quickly and accurately. Remember, the federal government and the military were NEVER in charge of anything in the New Orleans area. Everything they did had to be approved by the City Mayor and the local parish (county) governments. That is our way - the feds cannot take over a civilian city.

This is a big problem during disasters. Every smalltown fire chief thinks that he is in command of everything and that it is now the hour he´s been waiting all his life to stand in the limelight.
We had similar issues in Germany in 1976, when a wildfire devastated several counties in Lower Saxony. Each local fire chief or mayor insisted that he would be in charge. The result was a total chaos, which caused the federal government to step in. They brought the army, which not only used combat engineer tanks to bulldoze fire clearing in the affected forests and CH-53G helicopters to dump water on the fires, but also took over signals and the coordination. From this moment on the fire got under control.

Also during the surge flood in Hamburg in 1961, it took later chancellor Schmidt (at this time minister of interior of Hamburg State) to break the constitution to order the military to provide helicopters to evacuate people trapped on top of their houses (this led to a change in the constitution, which from then on allowed the military to operate inside Germany for disaster relief only).

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5573
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:18 pm

The federal government response was quick and accurate - except for one problem - the press conference by the political idiot in charge.

But he was actually very smart for a political appointee. He understood he knew nothing about the FEMA job and disaster relief operations - so he let the professionals on the staff run the operations. Unlike a great many political appointees he did not try to run the organization, just wanted to be the front man.

Yes, it takes time to get things moving. The city government of New Orleans, the parish governments and the state government all knew they had to have plans and people in place to support the first 48-72 hours of relief work. Those plans were not executed and the people to implement them were evacuated before the people they were supposed to support.

By that point - FEMA will start having supplies pouring in. That is FEMA's job - bring in supplies and provide assistance to the state, county and city officials. Especially to provide experience in how to deal with problems.

Two states suffered critical damage in Katrina - one responded to the plan and got people help, got them housed, got the damage repaired where possible - Mississippi. Remember Katrina hit Mississipp harder than Camile hit Mississippi.

Louisiana dropped the ball - and even today several years later, the Louisiana and New Orleans politicians are fighting against sound relief plans and efforts.

Also the Governor of Louisiana should have called up and deployed the National Guard to help evacuate New Orleans. The city has a fair evac plan using city and school busses. Unfortunately that plan was never implemented, nor were the drivers of the busses told that it would be their job to carry people out. By the time someone tried to get it organized (with the Mayor already out of town) - the bus drivers were found to almost all have evacuated with their families in private vehicles.

Quoting Qantasistheway (Reply 22):
the fact that there were food riots and people were stuck in their houses for days supports this.

Unfortunately we have a set of laws in the US which prevent the city, county or state government from removing people from their homes in these situations. With Hurricane Ike in Galveston in 2008, many of the 100+ killed in Texas and the over 200 still missing were those who refused to evacuate. After the storm, the several thousand others who were left in badly damaged homes had the same problems as the stay-behinds in New Orleans. No food, no water, no electricity, no reliable shelter from the elements.

Just like New Orleans, after the storm many of the people on Galveston Island told rescue teams they would not leave - for the rescuers to bring them food, water and shelter. But they were not going to leave their homes. There were some nasty incidents as people 'scavenged' for food while shop owners and police tried to stop 'looting'. Things were not as bad on the Bolivar Peninsula because the storm basically wiped the area clean.

[Edited 2010-01-17 09:30:20]
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5573
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:29 pm

The sad truth is that in any wide spread disaster - getting relief to the impacted people quickly is impossible.

Normally tornado's are small enough that the damage pockets do not distrupt large areas of transportation. Now the immediate area looks terrible. I've been to war - seen three. Xenia, Ohio looked worse the morning after the storm when we were bussed in to help. But it was a relatively small area.

Hurricanes especially and many earthquakes spread the destruction across such wide areas that it can be impossible to get to the area most in need for days. Even helicopters cannot always reach the worst areas due to weather.

A large scale disaster means that thousands of tons of supplies are needed, they have to be moved, delivered and distributed. Specialized equipment has to be brought in. Key infrastructure like sewer, water and electricity often has to be rebuilt with temporary systems created on scene.

These are manpower intensive tasks and it takes time to get those accomplished.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:47 pm

I´ve been serving for almost 20 years in a German civil defense heavy rescue platoon as a voluteer (we all were volunteers) and got trained in locating and digging out people from under collapsed buildings.
Most of this work is manual labour with bare hands or basic hand tools (Picks, shovels, crow bars, manually operated hydraulc bottle jacks, come-along-winches, bolt cutters, wood and metal saws, hammer and chisel and maybe a cutting torch and a jackhammer to break through a slab of reinforced concrete). You can´t use heavy machines (diggers, bulldozers) until several days after the disaster, when the chances of still finding survivors is very low, because of the danger of crushing survivors.
Often also are access roads blocked by rubble, which has to be cleared by hand because people might be buried beneath it, or bridges have collapsed.
An estimate we used was that one rescue platoon could reasonably clear the rubble of one apartment building with maybe 20-30 apartments in reasonable time to find survivors.

Jan

[Edited 2010-01-17 09:50:43]

[Edited 2010-01-17 09:51:38]
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
pilotsmoe
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 5:21 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:17 pm

I just have to wonder how much of this aid money is going to end up in some corrupt politician's pocket. Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.
 
DeltaMD11
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:56 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:13 am



Quoting Pilotsmoe (Reply 27):
I just have to wonder how much of this aid money is going to end up in some corrupt politician's pocket. Haiti is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

That is the exact reason why I dont donate money or blood to the Red Cross, they always take a bit off the top. Always look for other alternative NON-PROFIT organizations to donate to that will redistribute 100% of my contribution freely.

I think it's awesome that we also have two former Presidents who have begun to spearhead the US relief process. www.clintonbushhaitifund.org
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
pilotsmoe
Posts: 241
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 5:21 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:26 am



Quoting DeltaMD11 (Reply 28):
I think it's awesome that we also have two former Presidents who have begun to spearhead the US relief process. www.clintonbushhaitifund.org

What happened to Bush senior? Bill Clinton was his best friend, lol
 
DeltaMD11
Posts: 1678
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:56 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:48 am



Quoting Pilotsmoe (Reply 29):
What happened to Bush senior? Bill Clinton was his best friend, lol

Hah I know I had the same thought, but I think that it actually is a very good statement to have Clinton and W. working on it given the vast foreign policy differences between the two. Really a good show of bipartisanship. That and H.W. has been having some health trouble over the past couple of years which I think has been keeping him out of the spotlight and more in the private sphere (sort of like how Gerald Ford was in the last 10 years or so).
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
texan
Posts: 4059
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:23 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:57 am



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
The question is, why only now, and for how long? Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time, even without the quake, but the US shows up only now.



Quoting Elite (Reply 14):
The United States has been contributing aid to countries like Haiti for a long time, but only during times of particular hardship - like the earthquake in Haiti - that this fact makes the news. The US sends billions of dollars of aids to many, many different countries around the world.

As Elite said, we have actually been actively involved in Haiti for quite some time. We send many millions every year, and have for at least the two decades I've been following politics. We have been attempting to support Haitian democracy since its infancy and invested a lot in infrastructure to attempt to bring Haiti into the present. We even intervened at the request of the Haitian government to help prevent civil war in the 1990s.

But we, smartly, do not try to dictate how they run their government and spend their money. That is best left up to the individual government since a) the government theoretically knows how to best invest the money for its people, at least when compared to a foreign country; and b) it prevents a country from meddling too much in another country's affairs.

Most of our foreign aid is unheralded, even though we do invest billions of dollars each year in foreign aid (to the chagrin of many Republicans and some Democrats).

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
TheCol
Posts: 1857
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:30 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:53 am



Quoting ACDC8 (Reply 7):

 checkmark 

The US is not the only country involved. Norway probably responded the quickest with their field hospital, which was invaluable to the Red Cross. Canada had the first DART team on the ground within 24 hours, as well as two ships loaded and underway.

Quoting Captaink (Reply 4):
Well I used a key word, "spearheading."

Incorrect, there is a number of nations that are working together within the UN framework:

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/SNAA-7ZT7PQ?OpenDocument
No matter how random things may appear, there's always a plan.
 
Elite
Posts: 2296
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 6:31 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 7:57 am

The United States has just announced that it will send 3,500 troops over to Haiti to help with the deteriorating situation. It's northern neighbor, Canada, will also be committing 1,000 troops to Haiti in what it calls a "historic" humanitarian situation in Haiti.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N17144290.htm
http://www.torontosun.com/news/haiti/2010/01/17/12500811-qmi.html
 
rwsea
Posts: 2423
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:23 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:34 am



Quoting JRadier (Reply 1):
The question is, why only now, and for how long? Haiti has been a shithole for a very long time, even without the quake, but the US shows up only now. And for how long will they stay before it's left to it's own?

The US has dumped billions into that shithole over the last decades, with nothing to show for it. Even as a person who is appalled by the situation in Haiti over the last several years (not just now), I don't think Haiti deserves another penny unless it's strict humanitarian aid.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
Even hurricanes can be prepared for. Katrina is an example where a major US city ignored the infastructure problems for decades, and the results was some 2000 Americans died. This example showed that NewOorleans learned nothing from the 1903 Galveston Hurricane that killed some 8000 people.

America, and the rest of the world have a long way to go to save future lives from disasters.

The United States does not care about investing in its infrastructure. Plain and simple. Highways are crumbling, airports are overloaded, and the rail network is a joke. What about the levees? The power grid (remember the summer of blackouts in California?). I think one of the biggest risks to America's livelihood over the next 50 years is the stubborn refusal to look more than 20 years in advance and anticipate infrastructure needs. But, in usual fashion, I suppose any sort of tax increase for such a purpose, regardless of amount, would cause a revolt. Typical shortsightedness.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:19 am



Quoting Texan (Reply 31):
But we, smartly, do not try to dictate how they run their government and spend their money. That is best left up to the individual government since a) the government theoretically knows how to best invest the money for its people, at least when compared to a foreign country; and b) it prevents a country from meddling too much in another country's affairs.

Actually the US occupied Haiti back in the 1920s under a "Good Neighborhood" program and tried to forcibly develop the country. Unfortunately they wanted to make it a mini US state, with complete disregard of the different cultural background, so the whole thing failed and the US withdrew after a few years.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Mudboy
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:33 am



Quoting OA260 (Reply 18):
Very true. Although credit has to go to the American administration as they acted quickly and I cant help notice that it has alot to do with the new Administration and Obama himself. Long may it last. One wonders how New Orleans would have been handled if only Obama had have been in power at the time.

This is coming from someone that has no idea how Gov works in the US.
If you want to cast blame, you should start first with the Mayor, then with the Parish Gov, then the Gov of Louisiana, and last Federal Gov. I was on a FEMA team during Katrina and was in New Orleans and on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I was staged in Jackson as Katrina hit and passed over Central MS and was still a Cat 1. I also remember Medics from Acadian EMS, and other rescue workers, being shot at while they were in boats, trying to rescue people. New Orleans was a big mess, but as was stated, the blame starts the local Gov, not Federal. It used to take at least 72 hrs for FEMA to respond in most disasters, back then. In that time, it is up to the local and state Gov to handle things. Was it up to the US Gov to evacuate people ahead of time or the city of New Orleans? Another thing, my best friend is a MP in 113th MS NG, and every time a hurricane is forcasted to hit MS, they are sent to the coast beforehand, not after.
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21043
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 10:46 am



Quoting Mudboy (Reply 36):
This is coming from someone that has no idea how Gov works in the US.

I gained my knowledge from people from New Orleans who were on the ground. Also a few Anetters who were also caught up in it. Various documentaries and non biased news articles. Not from government agencies or those with ''personal'' interests.
 
Mudboy
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:19 am



Quoting OA260 (Reply 37):
I gained my knowledge from people from New Orleans who were on the ground. Also a few Anetters who were also caught up in it. Various documentaries and non biased news articles. Not from government agencies or those with ''personal'' interests.

And exactly what was the knowledge you gained from these people on the ground? Because if they are still trying to blame GWB and not the Mayor of NO, or the Gov of Louisiana, then I can see why you think the way you do.
As for your statement regarding someone from a Gov agency or personal interests, again if knew how things worked here, you would know that people on FEMA response teams are not employed or paid by the Gov. we are health care workers, Fireman, people that are trained in rescue, etc that volunteer to be on teams to go help when disasters happen.

I would think that your initial statements about how Obama would have handled things, better than the former Admin, would show bias on your part, by your overtones. The current Admin has the benefit of learning from the trail and error of the past.
 
JJJ
Posts: 2245
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:37 am

Quoting TheCol (Reply 32):
The US is not the only country involved. Norway probably responded the quickest with their field hospital, which was invaluable to the Red Cross. Canada had the first DART team on the ground within 24 hours, as well as two ships loaded and underway.

Spain's were some of the first boots on the ground as well.

The Spanish International Cooperation Agency keeps a disaster relief logistics base in Panama, which has proven to be a very valuable asset.

[Edited 2010-01-18 03:40:25]
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 21043
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:38 am



Quoting Mudboy (Reply 38):
The current Admin has the benefit of learning from the trail and error of the past.

You could say that about every administration but you have had enough presidents now to have learnt.

Im not biased at all. If a decent President with half a brain has taken office finally then I salute them. Nothing biased just common sense.
 
Mudboy
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:45 am



Quoting OA260 (Reply 40):
You could say that about every administration but you have had enough presidents now to have learnt.

Yes, but subject at hand was about the US Government's response to Katrina, and although we have had 40+ Presidents, we have had only one Katrina.
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:17 pm



Quoting Mudboy (Reply 38):
Quoting OA260 (Reply 37):
I gained my knowledge from people from New Orleans who were on the ground. Also a few Anetters who were also caught up in it. Various documentaries and non biased news articles. Not from government agencies or those with ''personal'' interests.

And exactly what was the knowledge you gained from these people on the ground? Because if they are still trying to blame GWB and not the Mayor of NO, or the Gov of Louisiana, then I can see why you think the way you do.
As for your statement regarding someone from a Gov agency or personal interests, again if knew how things worked here, you would know that people on FEMA response teams are not employed or paid by the Gov. we are health care workers, Fireman, people that are trained in rescue, etc that volunteer to be on teams to go help when disasters happen.

I would think that your initial statements about how Obama would have handled things, better than the former Admin, would show bias on your part, by your overtones. The current Admin has the benefit of learning from the trail and error of the past.

What happens in the US if a city, county or state government proves to be grossly incompetent following a major disaster or emergency or gets incapacitated? Can the next higher level of government override them for the duration of the emergency?

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
Mudboy
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:39 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 42):
What happens in the US if a city, county or state government proves to be grossly incompetent following a major disaster or emergency or gets incapacitated? Can the next higher level of government override them for the duration of the emergency?

It would depend on what state it was.
Example- Law Enforcement A County Sheriff, can take over an investigation from a city's Police Department that is within his county. The State Police can step in and take over an investigation from a County or City, as for the FBI coming in and taking over, unless Federal Crimes were committed, they would normally not just come in and take over, unless asked to do so.

As far as a disaster, in most states it would work in a similar way. But Federal Agencies are not going to just barge in and take over, they are normally there to provide Federal Relief, and respond to assist when asked?
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5573
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:17 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 42):
What happens in the US if a city, county or state government proves to be grossly incompetent following a major disaster or emergency or gets incapacitated? Can the next higher level of government override them for the duration of the emergency?

Most states have laws and the state constitution which prohibit the state government or the county government from overruling the city government on matters such as housing standards, infrastructure standards, evacuation plans, evacuation orders.

The county and state to have very limited police jurisdiction to enforce order in a disaster situation.

Our US consitution is focused on preventing the federal government from imposing itself on state governments (yes I know there are tons of exceptions - but let's focus on disasters in this discussion).

The US federal government has no power to force state, county or city governments to do anything which would make a city safer from a diaster except through witholding of federal funds if there are not being spent according to the law.

After the disaster hits - the US federal government has no police force. The federal officers in the FBI and such agencies are not street level cops.

The US federal government has ADVISORY agencies - like FEMA - which only has about 6,700 employees - fewer than the number of UN troops in Haiti when the earthquake hit.

There is one trump card - the President can declare martial law. I cannot remember the last time that was done. Not in Katrina.

These things always end up as political shouting matches - and Katrina was among the worst.

The city, county and state government were all in the hands of the Democratic party. The state of Louisiana actually tried to avoid having the Republican federal government provide any federal employees or troops in the state.

Only when the scope of the disaster became visible did they accept limited aid. But always insisted everything be under the state, county, city control.

Why did everyone go to the Super Dome? Because the City government told them to gather there for evacuation. The same city government which sold off the stockpiles of food and water provided by federal civil defense programs in years past. The same city government which abandoned New Orleans and the people who elected them.
 
Mudboy
Posts: 962
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 6:51 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:47 pm

Excellent Post RFields!!
 
dxing
Posts: 5859
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:14 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:07 pm



Quoting Pilotsmoe (Reply 29):
What happened to Bush senior? Bill Clinton was his best friend, lol

Age takes it's toll not only on him but Barbra as well. I think they may have decided to scale back their public appearances and projects to spend some quality time together in their twilight years. Can't say they haven't earned it.

The United States and what it does best?

Invention and Re-invention. Just when you think the nation is down, it springs back in an unexpected way.

Humanitarian missions such as Haiti.

I would say space exploration but I fear we are slipping in that regard.  sorry 
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
User avatar
fca767
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 7:29 pm

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:14 pm

Quoting Captaink (Thread starter):
Port au Prince is on the news constantly. I am looking at the press conference with Obama, Bush and Clinton, and I feel proud to see these three leaders up there, planning and trying to work together.

Quite right! I've started listening to New York Radio online back in UK and I hear it alot, I think alot of people do care over there, even though sometimes I think, who's this person talking loudly and one asking me in this australian youth hostel about the Air Con and not saying thanks lol..but on the whole, and online, I seem to have a lot more american friends, and on the flikr website, alot are american and have good outlooks on life  

[Edited 2010-01-18 07:14:42]
 
texan
Posts: 4059
Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:23 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:23 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 35):
Actually the US occupied Haiti back in the 1920s under a "Good Neighborhood" program and tried to forcibly develop the country. Unfortunately they wanted to make it a mini US state, with complete disregard of the different cultural background, so the whole thing failed and the US withdrew after a few years.

Yep, from 1915-1934 I think. Not the smartest of ideas. In the past two decades, though, we've done a pretty good job of simply trying to invest in infrastructure. In the 1980s we encouraged factory growth there as well (although we failed miserably). Not trying to sugarcoat the past, but in the more recent past we have done a pretty decent job of trying to allow Haiti and the majority of countries to whom we give money to make their own decisions for their people.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
MD11Engineer
Posts: 13916
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 5:25 am

RE: The United States Of America And What It Does Best

Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:04 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 44):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 42):
What happens in the US if a city, county or state government proves to be grossly incompetent following a major disaster or emergency or gets incapacitated? Can the next higher level of government override them for the duration of the emergency?

Most states have laws and the state constitution which prohibit the state government or the county government from overruling the city government on matters such as housing standards, infrastructure standards, evacuation plans, evacuation orders.

The county and state to have very limited police jurisdiction to enforce order in a disaster situation.

Our US consitution is focused on preventing the federal government from imposing itself on state governments (yes I know there are tons of exceptions - but let's focus on disasters in this discussion).

The US federal government has no power to force state, county or city governments to do anything which would make a city safer from a diaster except through witholding of federal funds if there are not being spent according to the law.

After the disaster hits - the US federal government has no police force. The federal officers in the FBI and such agencies are not street level cops.

The US federal government has ADVISORY agencies - like FEMA - which only has about 6,700 employees - fewer than the number of UN troops in Haiti when the earthquake hit.

There is one trump card - the President can declare martial law. I cannot remember the last time that was done. Not in Katrina.

These things always end up as political shouting matches - and Katrina was among the worst.

The city, county and state government were all in the hands of the Democratic party. The state of Louisiana actually tried to avoid having the Republican federal government provide any federal employees or troops in the state.

Only when the scope of the disaster became visible did they accept limited aid. But always insisted everything be under the state, county, city control.

Why did everyone go to the Super Dome? Because the City government told them to gather there for evacuation. The same city government which sold off the stockpiles of food and water provided by federal civil defense programs in years past. The same city government which abandoned New Orleans and the people who elected them.

THis reminds me of the mess we had during the wildfires, which affected several counties (Landkreise) in 1976. Each county firechief thought that he was the boss of everything and tried to hog resources. The federal government had to step in an let the army run the affairs (there exists a special clause in the German constitution, which allows the military to carry out disater relief operations. Normally the German military are not allowed to operate within the country).
In Germany there exist several layers of disaster response. at the bottom there exist the communities (cities, villages) who run and operate the fire services (in big cities professional fulltime services, in smalltowns and villages voluntary fire brigades, e.g. the village of 800 inhabitants I live in, has one converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter as a fire engine and some trailers for equipment, which will be simply hitched behind a farm tractor. The firehouse is located on the groundfloor of trhe community hall).
Then there exist non-government organisations, like the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, the St. John´s Ambulance service and the Worker´s Samaritian Service (which was started around 1900 by unionised construction workers as selfhelp for accidents at work).
Finally there exists the Technical Aid Service, a federal organisation specialised in heavy rescue and emergency infrastructure repair run by volunteers (this is the organisation I was in).
This organisation is under control of the federal minister of the interior via the department for disaster relief and civil protection and has units based all over the country.
The size of the individual units ranges from a minimum of one platoon to up to company level (depends on the size of the community, a smalltown might have one platoon, while a big city like Berlin might have several companies). Except for a few fulltime employees in administration and equipment maintenance, all members are unpaid volunteers, who spend a day or two each month training. The equipment (barracks, trucks, tools etc.) is provided by the federal government. Total membership is about 50,000 men and women.
The volunteers get compensated for their expenses (and their boss as well, because he has to let them go if there is a call out), but receive no profit.
Normally the local fire service is the first to reach the site of the disaster. If the firechief realizes that he can´t handle the situation with his own units, he can call in additional support from neighbouring counties. At a certain level a state emergency response staff gets activate, who can coordinate relief units statewide. Both the firechief and the state staff can also call in the federal units. If it is a really big disaster (affecting several states) the federal disaster response staff gets activated and can also call in the military for help.

Usually the local fire service has the fastest response time, the Technical Aid Service needs about an hour to get the unit rolling, but we used to stay longer at the site of a disaster.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: VonRichtofen and 17 guests