Tuesday, January 19

Haiti Crisis: This is how you save

Email in response to my Cowardly Lion post:

"Pundita, I made the point days ago that all the money in the world could not solve this problem. There is no solution to this problem short of relocating everyone in the disaster area. As for who is to blame for not taking charge perhaps we need to look to the UN for those guidelines. There are some aren't they?"

Here is my reply:

The UN has guidelines coming out of its ass. It's not a matter of guidelines. It's a matter of heart, it's the determination to save. It's very simple, very direct, which is why I mentioned the tale of Gurdjieff and the Three Disciples.

I've been thrown into the Give Up All Hope Holocaust situation -- so had Gurdjieff, by the way; he led a band of Russian artists and intellectuals straight through the middle of the Russian revolution in order to get them to safety in France.

How is it done? How do you save anyone while hell is unleashed all around you? You fight, you forget everything else; you become cunning, cruel, vicious, you become more evil than evil. You do anything, anything, to save, anything.

But instead we have the "White Toyota" phenomenon that international aid worker Hugo Slim talked about -- thousands of aid workers converge, and their top priority during the early critical hours unravels from saving to sorting things out with each other, and politicians and international agencies trying not to step on each other's toes.

I understand there has to be a compromise between the Lone Wolf approach and the White Toyota one when you're aiming to distribute aid to millions of people within a short time. But the compromise shouldn't fall on the side of timidity, on the side of politics, should it?

While hell was unleashed the U.S. government lost time getting authorization from Haiti's President so the United States had the right to take over the airport. So now they can wave the piece of paper signed and sealed at the French Cooperation Minister, al Jazeera, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, and everyone else who charges that the U.S. is trying to take over Haiti. So I want to know are they happy now? Are you happy now? Is this what you wanted? Is it? Because you got it.

The President of Haiti was wandering the streets, a shell-shocked, homeless survivor; the President of the Dominican Republic was frantically trying to contact him in the hours after the quake. You don't go by the book in such situations; understand? You don't look at the guidelines.

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