Tuesday, October 2, 2012

As If The Poor Bastards Haven't Been Through Enough...



... Antony Loewenstein has been to Haiti

"I travelled around Haiti to investigate the role of the American government, NGOs, foreign corporations and the Haitian authorities in keeping the country deliberately on its knees, dependent on outside forces, economically weak and politically insecure.

"After seeing Papua New Guinea, Pakistan and Afghanistan this year, Haiti defines the toxic reality of disaster capitalism. It’s an ideology that operates largely out of the public eye and with stunning efficiency. The political and media elites sell it as "development", a helping hand for poor nations that just happens to enrich multinationals.
"What I saw in Haiti I also witnessed in the other places: the uncanny ability of NGOs to exaggerate a situation to ensure a never-ending flow of donor aid and weak, local politicians who are still adjusting to a quasi-democratic reality after decades of US-backed dictatorship."     [my bold]

The toxic reality of disaster capitalism? 
It may be he is talking about those speculative bio-med start-ups I bought in a few years back.

My comment:

Oddly, Antony has missed an opportunity to celebrate a great example of the better angels of our nature that always shows at times of horrible disaster even though he is uniquely placed to do this.
He has to I suppose so as the portray the simple human urge to lend a neighbour a hand at a terrible time as something sinister. At least US AID was and is there. At least Clinton was and is there.
None of Loewenstein’s friends were there when the people badly needed help on the ground and it is not a good sign if they are showing up now.
For one little country, not even a particularly close neighbour, the relief effort was huge and stout. Israel was among the first to respond on a scale big enough to make a difference.
Within days the IDF and civilian agencies were able to deploy:
A field hospital, the only hospital in operation, with 40 doctors, 25 nurses, paramedics, a pharmacy, a children’s ward, a radiology department, an intensive care unit, an emergency room, two operating rooms, a surgical department, an internal department and a maternity ward. The hospital can treat approximately 500 patients each day
A search-and-rescue team, which has rescued people from under the rubble
Dozens of truckloads of medical and logistical equipment

220 personnel in total
For this, the Israelis were libelled in the usual racist ways by the usual racists. This is largely because of the culture of hate and dumb pointless grievance that so many have devoted meaningless careers to spreading.
I suppose it pays the rent and apparently the travel is good for those who like travel. 

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