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Clinton says critics of U.S. relief effort in Haiti misguided

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Are there Oil Reserves in Haitai? What about U.N.? Ineffective or working under U.S. command?

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I agree with Hillary Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi.

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It's easy to criticize. Everybody can sit back and say what they'd do or call fault.

That being said, who could have put down the footprint of aid that the US did in the time frame that we did?

Nobody. < :-)

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Looks like it's time to rename them Freedom Fries again.

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It’s too easy for Clinton and others to hide behind all the good that has come out of the US. But that was never the issue. Only a fool could have missed the heart-felt generosity that many Americans have shown. For that we can all only feel respect toward the people of the US and it is something that any American can feel proud of. But what we saw was America ineffectually swamp the country and cherry pick who would be allowed to help, they took over not in a pragmatic way but out of self-interest. No right thinking person was critical of the aid and help the US gave; they were critical of how that aid and help was given and the treatment given to other aid givers. If the US had been successful there might now be some argument for it, but they were not.

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Haitians have complained that food, medicine and water have been woefully slow in reaching them. The aid group Doctors Without Borders has complained of skewed priorities and a supply bottleneck at the airport in Port-au-Prince. And French, Brazilian and other officials have complained about the airport’s refusal to let their aid planes land, forcing many flights to end up in the neighboring Dominican Republic, a day’s drive away.

You mean things aren't going "swimmingly" in a completely destroyed country with 200,000+ dead?

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On Sunday, Italy’s civil protection chief blasted the U.S. military intervention as inefficient and out of touch with reality on the ground. In an interview with state-run RAI television, Guido Bertolaso said the overall relief effort was a “pathetic” failure

C'mon now folks, we should listen, I mean the French and the Italians have a lot of success to speak of when it comes to military operations.

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I really resent countries that wont, don't or can't do as much for other countries as we do criticise the U.S.

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It's one airstrip with no taxi way. Do these others expect miracles? Be lucky that the US is there making the airport run properly.

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I can't believe the criticism against the US effort. Everyone in the military gets medical training and they are organized and efficient and they make the perfect relief helpers. The US uses them on their own disasters why wouldn't they send their best to other countries?

To just drop off the aid and leave would be ridiculous because the people would take whatever they want and there would be people without stuff. Someone needs to organize it, the US military does that and then hands it off to people when they are no longer needed, they are not taking over.. that is just dumb.

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Agree with the majority of the comments. Just how was the U.S. supposed to better handle a situation of such proportions? 11 out of 13 buildings housing the Haitian government were destroyed, so there was no functioning government for several days. The airport and main port were severly damaged. And virtually all infastructure -- electricity, telephone, water, roads, bridges, etc.-- was wiped out. Respectfully, the French and Italians are entitled to their opinions, but the Haitians would be in much more dire straights right now if they had had to wait for them to put boots on the ground. Much less the pathetic response from the Japanese. And, yes, I am a bit defensive on this subject. Not because I am staunchly pro-U.S., but because a member of my immediate family is there in Haiti as part of the State Department's relief team. And he was sent on 24 hours notice the day after the disaster struck.

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My only complaint is that the useless politicians should stay out of the way, instead of flying there for photo-ops. Even John Edwards has been there. Why?!?

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Power is nothing without control. -How long will it take the Federal Reserve to turn Haiti into a concrete paradise with a f(x) airport and start taxing the populace.

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I can't believe the criticism against the US effort.

Why? I expected as much, especially from the countries crying the loudest. It happens everytime the US helps anybody. First the accusations of trying to invade and then the criticism of response time and scope of effort.

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spot on comment grafton. And great job done by Clinton to confuse the issue and avoid answering the criticism, which is of course what she was trying to do. First she plays the poor, misunderstood, "nobody appreciates all the good we do" American card. True or not true, that has nothing to do with anything. Second, she pins the "Green Zone" line on the cartoon villains of Al-Jazeera to try and discredit it, even though it is being used by all world media, including the American media. Third, she says that the criticism is coming from people who don't understand that a military response was necessary. Wrong, it is coming from people who say the balance between civilian and military was out of whack, and if it was, are asking why. And she is not going to answer that, probably because she knows the answer (actually the change in the air drop policy pretty much answers it right there). Personally, as someone who has lived almost all their life in major earthquake zones, I think those are pretty important questions to be asking.

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Hey US!!! Cut off all aid to countries who criticize you, and see if they don't sing a different tune...

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Much less the pathetic response from the Japanese.

USD 70 million and medical team and troops on he ground for an island of absolutely no economic, political or trade value that nobody gave a crap about until the earthquake on the other side of the planet is "pathetic"?

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Civilian and military balance out of whack? Um, if the president wants to mobilize disaster relief in a foreign country whom is he going to call? FEMA? Nope, it's going to be the armed forces. They are set up to move large amounts of material quickly, tend to the wounded and restore order. The Peace Corps can't do it.

And Haiti's infrastructure was barely at a third world level before the earthquake. The place is a logistics nightmare now. You might expect some problems as things are pieced back together.

Finally, you are going to work with the people you are most familiar with and whose capabilities you know. Got some Brasilian guy that you've never heard of who wants a landing slot? But here comes a plane from the US with something you know you need. Guess who gets priority.

I have to agree that Edwards has no business being in Haiti. Travolta at least had the sense to bring supplies with his scientologist freeloaders. At least the French are trying to help. What are the Italians griping about?

No good deed goes unpunished.

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'Dailleult' sounds French. Where are the Canadians, eh DJ ?

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I don't think France sent their military b/c if someone were to threaten them they wouldn't know how to defend themselves anyhow.

But seriously, I agree with sharky1. Cut off all aid and then see what happens. We are one of the few countries in this world who jump to provide aid in such situations. Despite our tough economic situation Americans have donated millions of dollars out of their own pocket to help the Haitian people. Clinton is absolutely right. You have to have Soldiers on the ground to help control the situaion. When people get in desperate situations they do desperate things. The aid workers distributing food, water, and supplies deserve to be kept safe. To caveat off of another comment, as a member of the military myself, we are trained in supporting humanitarian efforts. Our military is not only providing security and distributing goods, but our military doctor's and nurses are there treating thousands of patients daily. In a country almost completely destroyed, with tens of thousands dead, and virtually no government in place, one cannot expect control of the entire situation overnight. That is not realistic. We have committed millions of dollars, 22 ships including an aircraft carrier, hospital ships, and cargo ships; 66 military and Coast Guard helicopters to deliver aid. Italy and France have some nerve. What have they done? Nothing we ever do is good enough.

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Maybe Chavez was right and that we used our super secret weapon the Earth Shaker Machine, in order to take control of one of the most richest and safest places in the world. Cut the garbage. Only America can help those poor people.

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Put Guido Bertolaso in charge and let him show the U.S. Military how things should be done.

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“I have absolutely no argument with anyone lodging a legitimate criticism against our country,” she said. “I think we can learn from that, and we are foolish if we keep our head in the sand and pretend that we can’t.”

In my opinion, that is exactly what Bertolaso's comments were. Reading the above article does sound like Bertolaso is whining loser. But if one reads his actual comments, he does seem to appreciate the American effort and is offering constructive criticism. Clinton should consider his actual statements, but then again, she probably wants to let her husband finish what he started years ago.

original comments give a com

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Ooops, ignore that last line!

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I never thought I would agree with a Clinton.

But I do agree (on this point and this point alone).

Anyway, we oughta just tell the rest of the world not to meddle in our affairs like that PRC boilerplate comment.

But we dont ignore the rest of the world and try respond anyway even though it dont help nothing.

People dont like you they dont like you, Bru.

And you can take that to the bank.

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Anyway, we oughta just tell the rest of the world not to meddle in our affairs

I see you have much in common with the Clintons, you view Haiti as YOUR affair.

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"Looks like it's time to rename them Freedom Fries again."

Yeah, call them Idiot Fries. Good idea bushlover!

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Comments such as the Italian one's aren't really helping matters, but the article doesn't really give a clue as to the details of the origins of people complaints:

"And French, Brazilian and other officials have complained about the airport’s refusal to let their aid planes land"

I thought this was a single incident in the aftermath of the crisis? If it's ongoing then I guess you can understand some people's frustration.

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Maybe if you read the history of US mistreatment of Haiti, the criticism might be more clear. The USAnian people are to be commended on their generosity but the suspicion that the Gov't might have an agenda down the road is justified. The US military ALWAYD has to have control, neh? The US supported the coup that ousted Pres. Aristide into exile, a despicable political act consistent with other screwups and interference by the US in order to expand Empire in the vulnerable Latin and Caribbean countries. BTW--I see there are 66 CG helicopters distributing supplies but why aren't there 166? It seems they are needed to bypass the bottlenecks!

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Odogma

'Dailleult' sounds French. Where are the Canadians, eh DJ ?

What is the point of your question?? There is absolutely no context to what you are asking.

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Whaaaaaaa, grow up Hillary.

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It doesn't sound like there's really all that much criticism.

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Once the dust settles and the Haitians' needs are met for survival, we'll see if the US does the right thing--debt forgiveness, rebuilding help without strings attached. Given the history of exploitation, I fear that the Haitian people will be exploited again. The US corporations pay them slave wages ($1.25/hr) to make shoes, etc, right now.

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I am a bit surprised by criticism from France and Italy but not from Aljazeera the spoke piece for Alqaeda! Haiti has been a mess with or without American intervention, just ask their neighbors in the Dominican Republic! We have now found a new great place to make up for Guantanamo! We can help out the Haitians by sending all the terrorist thugs to be locked and tortured in Haiti instead of Guantanamo!

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US supported the coup that ousted Pres. Aristide into exile..

So did the UN. Aristide had set himself up as a dictator and nobody was going to allow that while the UN was trying to rebuild Haiti.

In fact in all recent respects - say the last 30 years at least - the US has worked with the UN in Haiti. The results haven't been good but the corruption and thuggery left over from the dictatorship started during the 60s - what was the name, Papa Doc? - has left a mess. Plus Haiti has no natural resources other than beaches and tourists don't like to vacation in a mess of a country when Barbados is quite pleasant.

Regarding "slave wages" perhaps you would perfer Chinese wages? The US corporations don't have the kind of influence there that they might in Haiti. But the results seem to be the same. Assuming that your statements are accurate.

As far as the Italians are concerned, remember Churchill's comment when he found out Mussolini had declared war in support of Germany: "It's only fair, they were on our side last time."

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The civilian coordination by the UN would be much better?

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[Given the history of exploitation, I fear that the Haitian people will be exploited again. The US corporations pay them slave wages ($1.25/hr) to make shoes, etc, right now.]

Exploitation? Exactly how were they "exploited"? As slaves? Well Haiti wasn't alone. And would they rather a US company pay them what their local economy would or not at all? Go in and pay them high wages and guess what will happen to the economy. Things will start getting more expensive and the gap between rich and poor will get bigger and bigger.

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