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January 6, 2005
We Made Our Point (Update: Maybe Not Enough)

Colin Powell announced today that the tsunami relief "core group" of India, Japan, Australia, and the US would disband and fold itself into the UN effort -- now that the world body finally met to organize its relief efforts:

"The core group helped to catalyze the international response," Powell told a tsunami relief conference in Jakarta according to a prepared text released by the State Department. "Having served its purpose, it will ... now fold itself into the broader coordination efforts of the United Nations."

The analysis by Reuters' Arshad Mohammed credits formation of the group to criticism that George Bush and the US were slow to respond. However, the four nations formed the core group and began distributing aid before the UN even called its meeting to discuss it -- which, coincidentally, occurred today. The UN proved itself to be little more than a lumbering roadblock. Had we waited for the UN's schedule, our ships and our aid would have waited until today to be deployed and properly managed.

That is the difference between talking about a response and actually responding. Critics, like those at Reuters, continue to ankle-bite Bush for not feeling the pain in public for three days. Bush, however, was working to alleviate the pain instead.

UPDATE: It appears that the UN hasn't done much good up to now, according to the New Zealand Business Review (via Instapundit). They reference an oustanding blog, The Diplomad, in their reporting:

The blog says: "Just today the city's Embassies got a letter from the local UN representative requesting a meeting for 'Ms. Margareeta Wahlstrom, United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Secretary-General's Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance in Tsunami-afected countries'" -- an astonishing title that seems to hold great administrative power. But, the blog says, what Ms Wahlstrom wanted from her short (January 4-5) visit was to arrange "high-level consultations with the concerned governments in order to facilitate the delivery of international assistance" and to thereby "provide leadership and support to the international relief effort."

Just who is Ms Wahlstrom and what has she accomplished on her mission?

According to one news source, Ms Wahlstrom is the bringer of very blurry news.

In Sri Lanka, when asked when UN reconstruction aid would be raised and, eventually, arrive, she told reporters: "The period and timing is not fixed. It could be few months down the line."

She then went on to say psychiatric assistance for survivors was "the key thing as people have lost everything."

Again, the UN shows that feeling the victims' pain has a much higher priority than solving their problems. The notion that people who have no potable water and no food supplies, living in sewage and at extreme risk for fatal diseases such as dysentry, need psychiatric assistance before food, water, and shelter only proves that the UN needs a couple of headshrinkers for themselves.

If this is the best that the UN can do, we should continue to bypass them.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 6, 2005 6:26 AM

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» UN Fails in Delivering Aid from Pdq's Views
The UN has utterly failed to generate any kind of meaningful response to the recent tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean. Why then do they consistently get a pass from the major players in the world media? From The Diplomad... [Read More]

Tracked on January 6, 2005 12:51 PM

» The UN And The Vultures from Flopping Aces
But wait a minute, the left say's these guys are the savior's of the poor, the people who will protect the third world countries....yeah, they did such a wonderful job in the Sudan and the Congo. I can just picture those mercedes driving down the str... [Read More]

Tracked on January 7, 2005 8:14 PM

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