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Archive for January, 2010

From my good friends Chuck Spinney and COL (USMC ret.) G.I. Wilson.  A bottom up solution to disaster relief, leaders on the ground making things happen without all the overhead.

Attached is an important eyewitness assessment of the current situation in Haiti. It was written by William McNulty, William McNulty is a Sgt in the Marine Corps Reserve and when he was a Cpl he already had a MA in John Hopkins…..William has no burning desire to be an officer let alone a LtCol…William likes being accountable, responsible, and getting things done without a whole of PC and fanfare. I am very blessed to know him and like most Marine enlisted I would go with William anywhere… long live the Irish !.  S/F  Col. GI Wilson USMC Ret

William is a volunteer member of Team Rubicon, a self-financed and self-deployed group of former Marines, soldiers and health care professionals currently providing emergency relief in Haiti. (see web site at http://blog.teamrubiconhaiti.org). McNulty paints a grim picture of condition in Haiti and especially, as he puts it, “… the impotence of western power to deal with disasters/emergencies;for either out of lack of compassion, political correctness, or because the institutions set up to take care of emergencies are so overburdened with layers of bureaucracy that they are ineffective.”

Haiti Reality Check

William McNulty Former Asst Team Lead Team Rubicon January 24, 2010 http://blog.teamrubiconhaiti.org/2010/01/deputy-tl-mcnulty-aar-pulls-no-punches.html

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The not so reverend Pat Robertson recently claimed that the disastrous Haiti earthquake is God’s payback for a pact Haitian revolutionaries made with the Devil in order to get his help in evicting their French masters early in the 19th Century. Thank you Pat, it is indeed comforting to know that God works in mysterious ways that could be misconstrued as racism by lessor minds … but before invoking the comforting morality derived from Pat’s self-referencing ability to commune with the Almighty, it might be useful to consider the possibility of some not-so-comforting albeit less mysterious reasons for Haiti’s unending misery, including the more prosaic motives of naked greed and the exploitation of mankind’s better angels. Here is Patrick Cockburn’s take on one set of secular possibilities.

Weekend Edition January 15-17, 2010

When Haitian Ministers Take a 50 Percent Cut of Aide Money It’s Called “Corruption,” When NGOs Skim 50 Percent It’s Called “Overhead”

Crushing Haiti, Now as Always

By PATRICK COCKBURN Counterpunch http://www.counterpunch.org/patrick01152010.html

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FEBRUARY 01, 2010 ISSUE THE AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE http://amconmag.com/article/2010/feb/01/00006/

No Exit America has an impressive record of starting wars but a dismal one of ending them well.

BY ANDREW J. BACEVICH

President Obama’s decision to escalate U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan earned him at most two muted cheers from Washington’s warrior-pundits. Sure, the president had acceded to Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops. Already in its ninth year, Operation Enduring Freedom was therefore guaranteed to endure for years to come. The Long War begun on George W. Bush’s watch with expectations of transforming the Greater Middle East gained a new lease on life, its purpose reduced to the generic one of “keeping America safe.”

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