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Bolton's sin is telling truth about system (STEYN TAKES THEM TO THE WOODSHED!!)
Chicago Sun Times ^ | May 15, 2005 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 05/15/2005 3:24:38 AM PDT by finnigan2

Remember the tsunami? Big story, 300,000 dead; America and other rich countries too "stingy" in their response; government ministers from every capital on earth announcing on CNN every 10 minutes more and more millions and gazillions. It was in all the papers for a week or two, but not a lot of water under the bridge since then, and as a result this interesting statistic may not have caught your eye:

Five hundred containers, representing one-quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, are still sitting on the dock in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed.

At the Indonesian port of Medan, 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.

Four months ago, did you chip in to the tsunami relief effort? Did your company? A Scottish subsidiary of the Body Shop donated a 40-foot container of "Lemon Squidgit" and other premium soap, which arrived at Medan in January and has languished there ever since because of "incomplete paperwork,'' according to Indonesian customs officials.

Well, those soapy Scots were winging it -- like so many of us, eager to help but too naive to understand that, no matter the scale of devastation visited upon a hapless developing nation, its obstructionist bureaucracy will emerge from the rubble unscathed. Yet, among the exhaustive examples of wasted Western generosity unearthed by the Financial Times, what struck me was not the free-lancers but the permanent floating crap game of international high-rollers who couldn't penetrate the labyrinth of Indonesian paperwork.

Diageo sent eight 20-foot containers of drinking water via the Red Cross. "We sent it directly to the Red Cross in order to get around the red tape," explained its Sydney office. It arrived in Medan in January and it's still there. The Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork.

UNICEF, the U.N. children's agency, sent 14 ambulances to Indonesia, and they took two months to clear customs. Terrible as it was in its awesome fury, the tsunami was in the end transnational business as usual.

Which brings me to the John Bolton nomination process, which is taking so long you'd think the U.S. Senate was run by Indonesian customs inspectors. Writing of near-Ambassador Bolton's difficulty getting his paperwork stamped by the Foreign Relations Committee, National Review's Cliff May observed that "the real debate is between those who think the U.N. needs reform -- and those who think the U.S. needs reform.''

Very true. Sen. George Voinovich, one of those "maverick Republicans" the press goes goo-goo over, seems to believe, as Cliff May puts it, "that the problem is more American 'unilateralism' than U.N. corruption, immorality, anti-Americanism and ineptitude."

On the face of it, this shouldn't be a difficult choice, even for as uncurious a squish as Voinovich. Whatever one feels about it, the United States manages to function. The U.N. apparatus doesn't. Indeed, the United States does the U.N.'s job better than the U.N. does. The part of the tsunami aid operation that worked was the first few days, when America, Australia and a handful of other nations improvised instant and effective emergency relief operations that did things like, you know, save lives, rescue people, restore water supply, etc. Then the poseurs of the transnational bureaucracy took over, held press conferences demanding that stingy Westerners needed to give more and more and more, and the usual incompetence and corruption followed.

But none of that matters. As the grotesque charade Voinovich and his Democrat chums have inflicted on us demonstrates, all that the so-called "multilateralists" require is that we be polite and deferential to the transnational establishment regardless of how useless it is. What matters in global diplomacy is that you pledge support rather than give any. Thus, Bolton would have no problem getting nominated as U.N. ambassador if he were more like Paul Martin.

Who? Well, he's prime minister of Canada. And in January, after the tsunami hit, he flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada's CTV network, "visibly shaken." President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn't visible, and in the international compassion league, that's what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service.

You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.

This is the way the transnational jet-set works when the entire world is in complete agreement and acting in perfect harmony. Unlike more "controversial" issues like the mass slaughter in Sudan, no Security Council member is pro-tsunami. And yet even when the entire planet is on the same side, the 24/7 lavishly funded U.N. humanitarian infrastructure can't get its act together.

When rent-a-quote senators claim to be pro-U.N. or multilateralist, the tsunami operation is what they have in mind -- that when something bad happens the United States should commit to working through the approved transnational bureaucracies and throw even more "resources" at them, even though nothing will happen (Sri Lanka), millions will be stolen (Oil for Food), children will get raped (U.N. peacekeeping operations) and hundreds of thousands will die (Sudan).

John Bolton's sin is to have spoken the truth about the international system rather than the myths to which photo-oppers like the Canadian prime minister defer. As a consequence, he's being treated like a container of Western aid being processed by Indonesian customs. Customs Inspector Joe Biden and Junior Clerk Voinovich spent two months trying to come up with reasons why Bolton's paperwork is inadequate and demanding to know why he hasn't filled out his RU1-2. An RU1-2 is the official international bureaucrat's form reassuring the global community that he'll continue to peddle all the polite fictions, no matter how self-evidently risible they are. John Bolton isn't one, too. That's why we need him.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: bolton; georgevoinovich; marksteyn; steyn; un; voinovich
The last two paragraphs of this column are typical of Steyn's best writing - insightful, sardonic, amusing and absolutely correct in his interpretation of events.
1 posted on 05/15/2005 3:24:38 AM PDT by finnigan2
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To: finnigan2

WOW


2 posted on 05/15/2005 3:28:04 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: finnigan2
RU1-2

IM-1. RU1-2? ICU8-1-2.

Steymenian genius on display.

3 posted on 05/15/2005 3:35:55 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (What's 17% of 155 words?)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

"Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent. "

That's the Liberals in a nutshell.


4 posted on 05/15/2005 3:37:48 AM PDT by KateatRFM
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To: finnigan2

I suspect a whole lot of money is sitting in pockets where it doesn't belong.


5 posted on 05/15/2005 3:41:15 AM PDT by tkathy (Tyranny breeds terrorism. Freedom breeds peace.)
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To: KateatRFM

Are the liberals the nut, or the empty shell? hehehe.

Does your username mean Cat eats Radio Frequency Modulation? It's pretty original.


6 posted on 05/15/2005 3:41:42 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: 1FASTGLOCK45

I'm glad Steyn is highlighting the pathetic response of the international aid community to the Tsumani. This should be an explosive issue, Worldwide. Millions of people gave out of care and compassion, and the transnational busybody class hoovered up the money and is using it for what they will. Meanwhile, the victims of the Tsunami are left to put their lives back together as best they can, ignored except for photo ops for the international elite.


7 posted on 05/15/2005 3:42:47 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: finnigan2
As usual, I keep reading the truth. You keep reading the truth and the Leftist scum (All Democrats, one Independent and many Republicans) don't read anything but the Marxist playbook.

Let the cleansing begin.

8 posted on 05/15/2005 3:43:40 AM PDT by G.Mason ( Save the Republic from the shallow, demagogic sectarians.)
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To: Pokey78

Pingo!


9 posted on 05/15/2005 3:44:07 AM PDT by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: finnigan2

Bravo!


10 posted on 05/15/2005 3:48:52 AM PDT by jaime1959
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To: gridlock

"Meanwhile, the victims of the Tsunami are left to put their lives back together as best they can, ignored except for photo ops for the international elite."

- I suspect that the real reason that containers of water, medicines, soap, tents and even ambulances sit on Indonesian docks is not due to official incompetence but rather they are awaiting the day when world attention shifts away and they can quietly disappear onto the black market. After all, in Indonesia as in all parts of the far east, massive corruption is not only tolerated but accepted.


11 posted on 05/15/2005 3:51:22 AM PDT by finnigan2
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To: finnigan2
Steyn is speaking the truth here.

When US, British, and American C-130s were deemed "too effective" in the eyes of the Muslim Indonesian government during the opening days of the Tsunami disaster--the government acted, and acted quickly.

The immediately denied all diplomatic clearances to the relief aircraft flying in medicine, doctors, rescue equipment, water, food, and shelter and reissued the aircraft on those slot times during nighttime operations.

The west had committed the "sin" of showing up their Muslim betters. Al Jazera reporters even complained to high ranking Indonesian officials that the infidels were appearing on Internationale television with their aircraft, and it had to stop.

No, I am not making this up.

12 posted on 05/15/2005 3:52:11 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: finnigan2

Nice!


13 posted on 05/15/2005 3:52:29 AM PDT by Archidamus (We are wise because we are not so highly educated as to look down on our laws and customs)
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To: SkyPilot

I meant to say US, British, and Australian aircraft above. The Aussies were amazing.


14 posted on 05/15/2005 3:52:52 AM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: finnigan2
Wasn't Bill Clinton appointed by the UN to expedite aid to the tsunami victims? I'll bet much of the money is in a Swiss bank account in his name.

Carolyn

15 posted on 05/15/2005 4:16:05 AM PDT by CDHart (The world has become a lunatic asylum and the lunatics are in charge.)
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To: CDHart

But his "RU1-2" is filled out!


16 posted on 05/15/2005 4:20:11 AM PDT by livius
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To: finnigan2

bttt


17 posted on 05/15/2005 4:23:29 AM PDT by aberaussie
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To: finnigan2

I believe most Americans realised after watching the Red Cross and their actions during 911 that a lot of what they charitably donated would be stolen or wasted. However I had no idea of thescope of theft and just plain waste in the Tsunami donations. Amazing thet containersaare still being held up. We all know most of that will be stolen. Of course even the Charities involved will not admit this is happening as it would surely slow donations in future disasters. I know for me , count me out .


18 posted on 05/15/2005 4:40:37 AM PDT by sgtbono2002
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To: finnigan2

Bolton is accused of doing what the Democrats accuse Bush of not doing before 9/11. Demanding better intelligence.

With democrats your damned if you do and damned if you don't.


19 posted on 05/15/2005 4:52:17 AM PDT by chainsaw
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To: finnigan2

Just unbelievable about Canada! I wonder when the mainstream media will report this story.


20 posted on 05/15/2005 4:57:14 AM PDT by Tripleplay
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To: finnigan2
Diageo sent eight 20-foot containers of drinking water via the Red Cross. "We sent it directly to the Red Cross in order to get around the red tape," explained its Sydney office. It arrived in Medan in January and it's still there. The Indonesian Red Cross lost the paperwork.

If they really wanted to get around all the red tape, they should have just sent it directly to Hamas.

21 posted on 05/15/2005 5:03:20 AM PDT by thoughtomator (A government-funded artist is an incompetent whore)
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To: finnigan2

Homerun, even on the Steyn scale.


22 posted on 05/15/2005 5:06:20 AM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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I think it's good that all the free stuff isn't flowing in to the tsunami stricken areas. The economic devastation caused by that could be worse than the initial disaster, and longer lasting.


23 posted on 05/15/2005 5:08:44 AM PDT by vollmond (Head back to base for debriefing and cocktails.)
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To: finnigan2

The article is on its way to Senator Voinovich.

Ironically, the Senator's web site would not let me submit the message with out supplying the very vital and relevant prefix, Mr., Mrs., etc. This fits in very nicely with the points Steyn makes in the article.


24 posted on 05/15/2005 5:08:54 AM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: finnigan2

Sounds like the military did the only real work.


25 posted on 05/15/2005 5:17:47 AM PDT by mathluv
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To: chainsaw

I'm amazed that people are still willing to be known as democrats. A situation only made possible by the willing accomplices in the media. If there was a large enough Steyn on being democrat, there wouldn't be very many of them.


26 posted on 05/15/2005 5:30:04 AM PDT by wita (truthspeaks@freerepublic.com)
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To: Temple Owl

ping


27 posted on 05/15/2005 5:35:49 AM PDT by Tribune7
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To: sgtbono2002

It is the International Red Cross and RED CRESCENT society. Thus, do you think that Indonesia, a self-proclaimed Muslim nation, is going to allow the Red Cross to take any credit in tsunami relief in their misbegotten excuse of a nation?


28 posted on 05/15/2005 5:55:17 AM PDT by gaspar
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To: sgtbono2002
"And when your goal is nearest, your hope for others sought,

Watch sloth and heathen folly, bring all your works to naught." - Kipling knew a thing or two.

Regards,

29 posted on 05/15/2005 6:03:14 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine (DemocRATS - when they speak, they lie; when they are silent, they are stealing the American Dream)
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To: Howlin; tiredoflaundry

Great stuff.

Bolton's sin is telling truth about system

Chicago Sun Times ^ | May 15, 2005 | Mark Steyn


30 posted on 05/15/2005 6:07:11 AM PDT by maggief
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To: maggiefluffs
Excellent piece!
31 posted on 05/15/2005 6:10:09 AM PDT by tiredoflaundry ("Harry Reid in stripes, I kinda like that image." -Tagline courtesy of DFU. Thanks!)
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To: dead

Your comment nails it.


32 posted on 05/15/2005 6:12:05 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Hillary's Chappaquiddick. Check it out at: www.Hillcap.org)
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To: finnigan2

The Indonesian "inspectors" were just expecting a 100 percent kickback on the value of these donations. Its pretty common in this part of the world.


33 posted on 05/15/2005 6:31:26 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: finnigan2

To all the people here in FR who I've argued with about the ineffectuality and spinelessness of the RNC (I didn't keep track of the names, but you know who you are):

We can't expect the RNC to make this connection (between tsunami-relief-mismanagement and anti-Bolton-obstructionism), but once the connection has been made, they should pick up on it (I don't think Steyn would mind) and go public with it, in a big way.

But does anybody here seriously believe the RNC will murmur a word about this?

I just got a fund-raising letter from the RNC and I sent them back a long letter, the upshot of which is this:

Not one more dime, until you grow a spine.

(What the heck did we win the election for, if the RATS get their way on everything???????)


34 posted on 05/15/2005 6:49:00 AM PDT by samtheman
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To: finnigan2
Five hundred containers, representing one-quarter of all aid sent to Sri Lanka since the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, are still sitting on the dock in Colombo, unclaimed or unprocessed.

If it's true that 500 containers represent a fourth of all aid, then the rest of the aid amounts to 1,500 containers.

At the Indonesian port of Medan, 1,500 containers of aid are still sitting on the dock.

Incredible.

35 posted on 05/15/2005 9:24:19 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: finnigan2

I work for a major corporation and there are still idiots in my office trying to 'raise money for the tsunami victims' every Wednesday. Nobody pays attention to them anymore.

I want to start a fund to raise money for the 'victims of liberalism.' Anybody have a good slogan in mind that I could use?


36 posted on 05/15/2005 12:47:04 PM PDT by GianniV
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To: finnigan2

Glad I didn't waste my money giving 'aid' to the Tsunami victims.


37 posted on 05/15/2005 2:58:46 PM PDT by Chewbacca (My car gets 40 rods to the hogshead, and thats the way I like it!)
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To: tkathy
I suspect a whole lot of money is sitting in pockets where it doesn't belong.

That is the main reason I don't blindly give money to mega-charities. My biggest charity contribution is to Friends of MS, and that's old clothes and household items that they sell in their thrift shop. Something tells me that my small, consistent, non-monetary charity contributions go further to help folks than a healthy monthly check to a mega-charity.

38 posted on 05/17/2005 8:16:04 AM PDT by randog (What the....?!)
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