January 26, 2010
Obama's failure in Haiti?
Bertolaso, head of Italy’s civil protection service, was personally sent to Haiti by Silvio Berlusconi because of his expertise—he received international acclaim for his handling of the rescue efforts after the earthquake last April at L’Aquila in Abruzzo, which killed nearly 300 people and left 40,000 homeless—and arrived in Port au Prince on Friday. After two days of observations he described the international aid effort in Haiti as “a pathetic situation which could have been much better organised” and told Italian television that the aid organisations, including United Nations bodies, wrongly thought Haiti was “another humanitarian catastrophe like Cambodia or Rwanda. They thought they could bring something to eat and drink and the problem would be resolved.”
Among many other “compliments” he added that the US military effort was “inefficient” and that troops were not trained to run an aid or disaster relief operation. “The Americans are extraordinary,” he said, “but when you are facing a situation in chaos, they tend to confuse military intervention with emergency aid, which cannot be entrusted to the armed forces.”
Last but not least, he accused many of the organisations involved in the Haiti operation of “putting on a vanity show for the television cameras instead of rolling up their sleeves,” singling out Bill Clinton, the US Special envoy to Haiti, who made a show of helping with water supplies during his time in Haiti, “but went back after a day.” Which earned Bertolaso the gratitude of the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who called Bertolaso’s swipes “Monday morning quarterbacking.” Though, she must have already realized that it is not a matter of family, nor of the US Military or of America (may God always bless America and the US Army!): it’s a matter of failure of leadership—de te, Obama, fabula narratur…