reply to post by Monts
I have a relative in a DMAT
team. I've spoken with her extensively about the situation, and I'll relay some of her
opinions on the matter.
Her overall reaction to everything I've read about and described to her is basically, "yeah, that's pretty normal." When I described reports of
food relief trucks with an armed escort unloading food, and then loading it back up and driving away without giving any away, her response was "Oh,
yeah, that can happen if they're concerned about looting." When I described the US military turning away Doctors without Boarders and refusing to
allow their supply planes to land, her response was "Yes, I'm familiar with DwB. Turning away supply planes is not uncommon. Probably just a
logistics problem. Too many planes already, and they couldn't accomodate more." When I described the US military completely occupying all sea and
air ports, her reaction was "yes, ths US comes in and gives order to these things. If they don't like it, then maybe we should just leave and let
everyone else deal with it." At one point, she even volunteered
discussion about burying people in mass graves, because apparently that's
also "fairly normal."
These are the words of a DMAT nurse. How do we react to this? I'm not sure. Some of it seems very practical. I mean...if you have hundreds of
thousands of dead bodies laying around...yes, it makes a lot of sense to bury them as quickly and efficiently as possible to prevent the spread of
disease. As to the military occupation and supply train issues...to me it seems like the people in charge are simply doing a bad job. But from talking
to her I get the impression that it's completely typical
of relief efforts that the people in charge to do a really bad job. But she doesn't
seem to perceive it as "doing a bad job" so much as "hey, we're in the trenches here, you people don't know what you're talking about. You're
quick to point out that an extra 100,000 people died because our relief efforts were too slow, but what about the 100,000 people who didn't die
because our relief efforts were fast enough? Remember, we didn't have to go at all."
If the US military were occupying Haiti with intent to stay, I suspect she would see that as a good thing. Her attitude seems to be that the US is the
only group capable of dealing with this sort of thing, and however bad at it we might be, US help is better than no help at all.
These are her thoughts, not mine.