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Old 01-18-2010   #41
Rex Brynen
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Default OCHA Haiti sitrep, 17 January

Haiti: Earthquake Situation Report #6

Source: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Date: 17 Jan 2010

Quote:
I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES

- Search and rescue teams extracted 13 more live rescues on 16 January bringing the total by these teams to 71 people, a record amount. A small number of additional rescues were reported today.

- Fuel remains an issue for humanitarian operations. Fuel restrictions are now in place. Some 10,000 gallons were trucked in from Santo Domingo on 17 January.

- The port remains unusable; incoming vessels are being re-directed to Cap-Haitien. The Portau-Prince airport is heavily congested.

- Four distribution sites will be established at Petionville Club, two soccer fields in Delmas, and on Place Dessaline on Champ de Mars.

- Tents and shelter material will be required for temporary shelter sites in the coming week. At least 20,000 tents will be needed with only 3-4,000 tents already in country.

- The Secretary-General, the Emergency Relief Coordinator and other UN senior officials, visited the disaster affected areas and met with Government and UN counterparts.
full report here
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Old 01-18-2010   #42
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Default What do the images show?

I've not looked far for imagery of the disaster, but this website has a series: http://cryptome.org/info/haiti-quake/haiti-quake-01.htm and three other sets of photos.

What I did note was the aerial imagery of residential areas, which suggests homes were intact; others taken from the ground suggest homes have collapsed downwards onto the ground floor.

Anyone able to interpret better than this "armchair"? Calling Entropy!
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Old 01-18-2010   #43
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Both MSNBC and FOX news are reporting that the Air Force is preparing C-17's to begin Air Dropping food,water,etc.
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Old 01-19-2010   #44
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Both MSNBC and FOX news are reporting that the Air Force is preparing C-17's to begin Air Dropping food,water,etc.
Air-dropping pallets (or even even loose bags of some foodstuffs) into secured drop zones can work fine--this is sometimes done by the WFP, for example.

Air-dropping supplies directly onto disaster-affected populations can be a disaster: people get crushed, mobs form, violence can erupt.

Hopefully they are thinking of doing the former (as a way of getting around the airport capacity bottleneck) and not the latter.
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Old 01-19-2010   #45
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
I've not looked far for imagery of the disaster, but this website has a series: http://cryptome.org/info/haiti-quake/haiti-quake-01.htm and three other sets of photos.

What I did note was the aerial imagery of residential areas, which suggests homes were intact; others taken from the ground suggest homes have collapsed downwards onto the ground floor.

Anyone able to interpret better than this "armchair"? Calling Entropy!
Presumably part of the problem occurs when buildings pancake downwards, leaving a semi-intact roof but several crushed floors below.

UNOSAT has some imagery on the diasaster (most notably, identification of IDP concentrations and route obstructions) available here.
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Old 01-20-2010   #46
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Default Haiti - The New Small War for Canada?

While not technically being a war per se, the way I see this shaping up at the moment is that the current humanitarian disaster in Hati is going to provide a springboard for Canada to further justify pulling out of Afghanistan in 2011 and return to "peacekeeping" rather than warfighting.

It is my belief that the Canadian public is sick of the war, wants to be out of it and helping Haiti might seem a better alternative mission for us to be engaged in. With the deployment of 1000 additional troops from Valcartier, the 500 on the ships, and the 200 man DART we have a commitment of 1700 personnel going to Haiti, if you count government workers in addition to this, our commitment approaches 2000. We have a little less than our current commitment in Afghanistan in Haiti to put it in focus.

I am interested in getting others thoughts regarding this, Will Haiti be Canada's new Afghanistan?

Edit: Fixed the title
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Old 01-20-2010   #47
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Default All politics is local - Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill

The former US Speaker of the House said that many years ago and it clearly applies to Canada's role in Haiti, not only during this humanitarian disaster, but in the crises of 1994 and 2004. As Glen Milne argues in his chapter in my edited book, Capacity Building for Peacekeeping: The Case of Haiti (pp. 53, 56) the Haitian - Canadian population of Montreal is critical to any referendum on the status of Quebec w/in the Canadian confederation. The last referendum was won by pro-Canada forces by less than 1% of the vote - much of the margin of victory provided by Haitian-Canadians.

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Old 01-20-2010   #48
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Although I find the possibility of withdrawing Canadian troops from Afghanistan in the foreseeable future to be somewhat foolhardy, I concur that the impending Canadian mission in Haiti has rekindled the spirit of Canadian Humanitarian Mission abroad that was long presumed to have faded into oblivion (at least under the auspicies of Harper's government). Whilst the support for the Afghan mission was not socially rooted (perhaps due to the controversy surrounding it), the Haitian mission bears an intense social support (propped by the enormity of the crisis along with the stupendous media campaign launched by different outlets in Canada). Moreover, what is also instructive is the fact that Québec society has had well-established cultural links with that of Haiti (It's indubitable that language and religion have played a crucial role in reinforcing these links whereas in the case of Afghanistan, such links were absent). Lysiane Gagnon, a Globe and Mail columnist, has very cogently expatiated on this link:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1433167/
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Old 01-20-2010   #49
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Originally Posted by Xivvx View Post
While not technically being a war per se, the way I see this shaping up at the moment is that the current humanitarian disaster in Hati is going to provide a springboard for Canada to further justify pulling out of Afghanistan in 2011 and return to "peacekeeping" rather than warfighting.
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Originally Posted by Vahid View Post
Although I find the possibility of withdrawing Canadian troops from Afghanistan in the foreseeable future to be somewhat foolhardy, I concur that the impending Canadian mission in Haiti has rekindled the spirit of Canadian Humanitarian Mission abroad that was long presumed to have faded into oblivion (at least under the auspicies of Harper's government). Whilst the support for the Afghan mission was not socially rooted (perhaps due to the controversy surrounding it), the Haitian mission bears an intense social support (propped by the enormity of the crisis along with the stupendous media campaign launched by different outlets in Canada).
I'm not sure that we needed a justification to pull out of Afghanistan, per se. And, while we may be pulling out our active combat component, the door is still open for FID, SFA, police training, etc. which we have been doing a fair amount of.

Having said that, I have no doubt that the Haiti "crisis" will be used as a justification to "demand" a return to our "traditional" role as peacekeepers (some people have no knowledge of Canadian history ). BTW, the reason why I put crisis in quotation marks is simple: when has Haiti not been in a crisis situation? In my cynical and jaded moments, I have to wonder if the current response isn't just another example of reinforcing the dependence of Haiti on the rest of the world while, at the same time, providing "us" with an opportunity to feel good about ourselves: a post-Westphalian form of "Save the Children", complete with the full range of Cosmo propaganda and emotional blackmail.
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Old 01-20-2010   #50
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In my cynical and jaded moments, I have to wonder if the current response isn't just another example of reinforcing the dependence of Haiti on the rest of the world while, at the same time, providing "us" with an opportunity to feel good about ourselves: a post-Westphalian form of "Save the Children", complete with the full range of Cosmo propaganda and emotional blackmail.
Hmmm ... what would a proper response be, sans "Cosmo propaganda and emotional blackmail"? Also, what is Cosmo propaganda?
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Old 01-20-2010   #51
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Exclamation 'Harsh in Haiti: a light discussion'

Opening Thread explanation:

Moderators Note

Created to house some recent postings on another thread, which discussed the Haiti-Canada linkage: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=9534

This thread was created as some have suggested that a solution to the problems of Haiti is to be harsh.

Posts here will be moderated if their tone verges on what can be perceived inside and outside SWC as advocating lynching (taken from Rex).

Back to the thread below


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Originally Posted by marct View Post
In my cynical and jaded moments, I have to wonder if the current response isn't just another example of reinforcing the dependence of Haiti on the rest of the world while, at the same time, providing "us" with an opportunity to feel good about ourselves: a post-Westphalian form of "Save the Children", complete with the full range of Cosmo propaganda and emotional blackmail.
Perhaps a little too cynical, Marc? It is not as if Haiti has any other options at the moment, and periodic outbreaks of Western altruism are probably better than no altruism at all.

The Haiti crisis does raise some real question about the limits of our understanding and capacity to transform highly unequal, corrupt, and poorly governed social and political systems into something that is more just and better governed. For all the "we must leave Haiti better off than before" rhetoric (a sentiment that I fully agree with), I'm not sure we've yet adequately examined why we've failed in the past, and how (and the extent to which) we can do better in the future.

As to the broader issue of Afghanistan--we're pulling our combat forces out of Afghanistan, and that decision was pretty much set in stone long before the Haiti crisis.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-24-2010 at 09:22 PM. Reason: Add Moderators Note as explanation
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Old 01-20-2010   #52
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Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Hmmm ... what would a proper response be, sans "Cosmo propaganda and emotional blackmail"? Also, what is Cosmo propaganda?
I should let Tom Kratman answer that one !
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Old 01-20-2010   #53
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Default Having worked on Haiti

issues since 1994, I was especially pessimistic about the capability of Haiti and the will of the international community to do what was needed to develop both a Haitian state and nation. (I said so several times in print) In the present emergency, however, I am beginning to wonder about my previous judgment. First, the Haitian people have responded far better than I expected to the emergency based on my experience on the ground in 1995 and research of the 2004 crisis. Second, I have seen some very positive things coming out of one of the important health NGOs involved in the relief effort. Third, former Pres Bill Clinton has spoken of the economic and governance strides that Haiti was making before the earthquake hit. Finally, the skills and responses of the Haitian diaspora give rise to some hope. So, if the international community maintains its will, there may be reason to be cautiously optimistic about Haiti's mid-range future.

Cheers

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Old 01-20-2010   #54
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Hi Rex,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
Perhaps a little too cynical, Marc? It is not as if Haiti has any other options at the moment, and periodic outbreaks of Western altruism are probably better than no altruism at all.
Probably, but I'm in that sort of mood right now . Is it even altruism I have to ask myself? Probably, at least on the part of most people - I'm just in a very weird headspace right now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
The Haiti crisis does raise some real question about the limits of our understanding and capacity to transform highly unequal, corrupt, and poorly governed social and political systems into something that is more just and better governed. For all the "we must leave Haiti better off than before" rhetoric (a sentiment that I fully agree with), I'm not sure we've yet adequately examined why we've failed in the past, and how (and the extent to which) we can do better in the future.
Agreed which, in part, is a (miniscule) part of where my cynicism comes from. We are, however, engaged in a Peacock Effect type of mission (cf. Dawkins, The God Delusion, p.163); if we actually solved the problem, "we" would just have to create another opportunity to display our altruism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
As to the broader issue of Afghanistan--we're pulling our combat forces out of Afghanistan, and that decision was pretty much set in stone long before the Haiti crisis.
Yup, I totally agree, which is why I said we don't "need" Haiti as a justification. Having said that, I'm sure that Jack Layton will, however, use it as a justification for pushing us to get out of combat missions entirely .
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Old 01-20-2010   #55
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Default Examples of the peacock Effect in the travel industry

Travel weekly just posted a list of members of the Travel Industry and what they are doing to help. The full list is available here. I find the range of activities interesting going from what appears to be fairly pure altruism (e.g. El Al), through to what appears to be a pure "feel good" promo (e.g. the Maho Group).
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Old 01-20-2010   #56
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Default Canada affected by kith & kin

Quote:
Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
As Glen Milne argues in his chapter in my edited book, Capacity Building for Peacekeeping: The Case of Haiti (pp. 53, 56) the Haitian - Canadian population of Montreal is critical to any referendum on the status of Quebec within the Canadian confederation. The last referendum was won by pro-Canada forces by less than 1% of the vote - much of the margin of victory provided by Haitian-Canadians.

Cheers

JohnT
John,

An interesting quirk in Canadian and international politics - which takes me back to raising the 'Kith & Kin' issue on this thread: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=8829
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Old 01-20-2010   #57
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Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
issues since 1994, I was especially pessimistic about the capability of Haiti and the will of the international community to do what was needed to develop both a Haitian state and nation. (I said so several times in print) In the present emergency, however, I am beginning to wonder about my previous judgment. First, the Haitian people have responded far better than I expected to the emergency based on my experience on the ground in 1995 and research of the 2004 crisis. Second, I have seen some very positive things coming out of one of the important health NGOs involved in the relief effort. Third, former Pres Bill Clinton has spoken of the economic and governance strides that Haiti was making before the earthquake hit. Finally, the skills and responses of the Haitian diaspora give rise to some hope. So, if the international community maintains its will, there may be reason to be cautiously optimistic about Haiti's mid-range future.

Cheers

JohnT
Hey John,
I decided to remain pessimistic following our relief team's last this morning.

Quote:
We managed to save 21 today despite the local resistance and the cops going home at 1630. A shame the looters, that keep trying to steal our medical supplies, don't quit at five sharp too!
Relatively speaking this reminds me of a money hole in Africa that just never manages to get full and we move on. It never really mattered that some cataclysmic event occurred, the end was the same decades later.

Just exactly how did this become a Canadian problem?
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Old 01-20-2010   #58
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Default Gee Stan

I hope you're wrong! Unfortunately, you are probably right and I will have to return to my normal pessimistic state.

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Old 01-20-2010   #59
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I hope you're wrong! Unfortunately, you are probably right and I will have to return to my normal pessimistic state.
Hey, John, I thought we had agreed that I would be the pessimist for this thread !
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Old 01-21-2010   #60
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As to the broader issue of Afghanistan--we're pulling our combat forces out of Afghanistan, and that decision was pretty much set in stone long before the Haiti crisis.
I agree completely, there has been a firm commitment to pull out combat troops in 2011, but I'm seeing this as setting up the next long term mission for us.
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