Not happy, jan

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:29 am

Via Diplomad, some comments from the UN’s Jan Egeland:

In Aceh, today 50 trucks of relief supplies are arriving. <…> Tomorrow, we will have eight full airplanes arriving. I discussed today with Washington whether we can draw on some assets on their side, after consultations with the Indonesian Government, to set up what we call an “air-freight handling centre” in Aceh.

Tomorrow, we will have to set up a camp for relief workers – 90 of them – which is fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything, because they have nowhere to stay and we don’t want them to be an additional burden on the people there.

Diplomad’s response:

I provided this to some USAID colleagues working in Indonesia and their heads nearly exploded. The first paragraph is quite simply a lie. The UN is taking credit for things that hard-working, street savvy USAID folks have done. It was USAID working with their amazing network of local contacts who scrounged up trucks, drivers, and fuel; organized the convoy and sent it off to deliver critical supplies. A UN “air-freight handling centre”? In Aceh? Bull! It’s the Aussies and the Yanks who are running the air ops into Aceh. We have people working and sleeping on the tarmac in Aceh, surrounded by bugs, mud, stench and death, who every day bring in the US and Aussie C-130s and the US choppers; unload, load, send them off. We have no fancy aid workers’ retreat—notice the priorities of the UN? People are dying and what’s the first thing the UN wants to do? Set up “a camp for relief workers” one that would be “fully self-contained, with kitchen, food, lodging, everything.”

Belmont Club has more to say on this. Meanwhile, here’s recent news on Australian achievements in Aceh:

The RAAF staged an emotional mercy mission today, taking scores of tsunami survivors out of Indonesia’s disaster-struck Aceh province.

Having lost loved ones and almost all their possessions, they burst into smiles when they were finally crammed inside the RAAF C-130 Hercules at Banda Aceh airport. This was the first piece of good luck after a week of hell.

“Thank you Australia. Thank you,” Nita said as she walked up the ramp into the plane’s cavernous hull and sat down on the floor.

“With Australia’s help we can start again.”

That airlift rescued more than than 170 people. Sergeant Brett Louis, who returned from four months in Iraq just before Christmas, is supervising operations. On the way to Aceh: an Australian medical team who’ll establish a field hospital to treat survivors over the next three months.

In other tsunami news:

* The Russian town of Beslan, scene of September’s child hostage murders, has donated $45,000.

* Hong Kong blogger ADfx compiles a useful list of tsunami-related websites and blogs (via Instapundit).

* The latest aid pledges worldwide.

* Keep an eye on this if you have O- blood; Thailand reports a major shortage, and international requests may follow.

Posted by Tim B. on 01/02/2005 at 03:45 PM
    1. Hm. I have O+ blood. I will keep an ear out. Tim—if you hear anything about this feel free to email me.

      Posted by Andrea Harris on 01/02 at 04:01 PM • permalink


    1. Back in WWII, Tito used to have agents in the Aegen ports whose job was to obliterate the national stencils on British supply shipments and replace them with Soviet markings.  You just can’t beat the classics.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/02 at 04:46 PM • permalink


    1. Interesting call Richard. They are hard to beat but we can expose them and hope that young folk in future will not be as silly as people like our millionair socialist Phillip Adams who joined the communist party in the 1950s. Has anyone heard him say sorry yet?

      Posted by Rafe on 01/02 at 05:07 PM • permalink


    1. That news of donations from Beslan breaks my heart.

      I’ll be donating blood this week, if they’ll take the polluted stuff that runs in my veins.

      Posted by Evil Pundit on 01/02 at 05:21 PM • permalink


    1. Thailand also always has a shortage of Rh negative blood but a disaster like this obviously makes the concequences far worse. A lot of europeans are Rh negative and basically no thai. thus injured tourists with Rh negitive blood are in trouble.

      Posted by GeniusNZ on 01/02 at 06:35 PM • permalink



      Even under normal circumstances Rh- people have been told to “find the blood themselves”.

      Posted by GeniusNZ on 01/02 at 06:58 PM • permalink


    1. Egeland in Bludgeland. This is the guy who accused the yanks of being stingy, right?
      I noticed some media reports saying that he only backpedalled because of “pressure” from high political levels. It would be too much to expect him to backpedal due to realising he was being completely wrong and a prick to boot.
      If this is what we get from the UN, what are we going to hear from the Film Actors Guild (F.A.G)? Send in the hybrid vehicles!

      Posted by blogstrop on 01/02 at 07:27 PM • permalink


    1. And the hover bikes!

      Posted by blogstrop on 01/02 at 07:28 PM • permalink


    1. Why is this all so predictable? The left has used this disaster to take cheap pot shots at the Australian and US governments, whereas the right has decided this is a great opportunity to exercise its anti-UN fetish. Still Tim, for all your sanctimonious drivel (which on occasions rivals even the worst offenders on the left) I reckon your site has done a great job during this period. Keep up the good work.

      Posted by Leverington on 01/02 at 07:46 PM • permalink


    1. Leverington: The difference is that Tim is factually correct.

      Posted by Aaron – Free Will on 01/02 at 08:06 PM • permalink


    1. hey lev, this is ‘all so predictable’ because george W. B. is back for FOUR MORE YEARS and john W. H. is back for THREE MORE YEARS. clear now?

      Posted by Deo Vindice on 01/02 at 08:20 PM • permalink


    1. Leverington,
      Wrong, Margo Kingston’s left wing blog hasn’t once taken a cheap shot at GWB or JH. I think she should keep up this new found charity, permanently.

      Posted by gubbaboy on 01/02 at 09:04 PM • permalink


    1. One of the posters to Diplomad’s site provided a link to this story in Al Jazeera:

      US military aid role a first in Indonesia

      The article talks about aid being provided by the US&Australia. However, it probably wouldn’t do to paint too nice a picture of the US or Australia, so we get some comments that have nothing to do with providing aid. Plus, we get the local Muslim reaction that is not all positive (but some is).

      Some quotes from the article:

      “The presence of foreign troops on Indonesian soil is a sensitive issue.”

      “Post-9/11 American foreign policy in the Middle East has been a lightning rod for criticism around the Muslim world and Indonesia is no exception.”

      “Frequently rocky relations with Australia reached a new low when Indonesia’s southern neighbour lead a UN peacekeeping mission in the former Indonesian province of East Timor…”

      “The Americans have to understand our culture here…”

      Posted by CJosephson on 01/02 at 09:14 PM • permalink


    1. Just one question about Egeland.  So far, how many days has he spent in Indonesia?  Or, in Sri Lanka?  Or, in India?  Or, in Thailand?

      If he has not spent any days in any of those countries, then how the hell does he know who is doing what?

      I get the impression that, whenever a senior U.N. official talks about a “co-ordination” meeting, they mean a meeting in order to co-ordinate their press campaign so that the U.N. can claim the credit for work that others are doing.

      And, of course, the Guardian, and the NYT, and the SMH, and the French media will all happily spread the U.N.’s propaganda.  Hell, the U.N. can feed the world-wide left-wing media turd-burgers all day long, and the left-wing media will happily exclaim that they taste better than any filet magnon they’ve ever had.

      Posted by David Crawford on 01/02 at 09:19 PM • permalink


    1. Conspicuously missing from the list of donor countries: Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Greece, Russia, Belgium…and so on. Further, no obvious support from Muslim countries for Malaysia.

      Posted by walterplinge on 01/02 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. Wow – a dastardly plot to spread Howard -Hitler -Nazi right wing blood around.The bleeding hearts won’t have any to spare for a REAL crisis. Interesting Margosummary on Crikey.–On Tsunami – I have to admit to tears when a young Thai lady sobbed and begged OUR forgiveness that Thais didn’t protect visitors from Oz from the catastrophe. ( on last night”s news) As if anyone cold have.As if we don’t feel devastated for THEM. And they are feeling guilty? We feel ambivalent about being so lucky at this time…

      Posted by crash on 01/02 at 09:48 PM • permalink


    1. If you go and check the transcript of what Egeland actually said, you will discover that Diplomad has taken Egeland’s remarks out of context to make it appear that he is saying that the UN is running the air ops into Aceh when, in fact, Egeland did not say that the UN was running them.  It is shame that Diplomad would exploit such a terrible tragedy to indulge in some UN bashing.

      Posted by Tim Lambert on 01/03 at 12:07 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, I had checked Egeland’s words, and it certainly does seem he is passing the work off as a UN co-ordinated venture.

      When the press ask what “logistical problems you’re facing” to Egeland at a UN press conference, I think it is fair to assume all the usage of “you” relates to the UN. And, that within Egeland’s answer, all the usage of “we” is meant to represent the UN.

      Posted by Madison on 01/03 at 02:00 AM • permalink


    1. The word “we” in his answer could refer to the UN or to the relief effort.  And no it is not by the remotest stretc of the imagination “fair” to interpret it a way to make his statement dishonest.

      Posted by Tim Lambert on 01/03 at 02:24 AM • permalink


    1. Diplomad’s point was that people in USAID where upset with Egeland’s comments, if you actually read his post.

      Egeland clearly states that he is GOING to set up an air-freight handling centre, when it’s clear someone else has already done it.

      Later in the article, Egeland states that he welcomes the military contribution of the U.S. and Australia (and others), in what appears to be an implied future tense, as though it wasn’t there yet.

      Read the original journalist’s question:
      “Can you just flesh out in a little more detail the kinds of logistical problems you’re facing?”

      This is addressed directly to Egeland and the Secretary General. A journo (same one, possibly) then asks after Egeland’s comment:
      “My question is about the support of the United States and their core group in the United Nations effort. Can you be more specific about the efforts of the core group and how they will complement the United Nations?”

      The journo had no doubts, I think, about what just got said.

      Posted by Wilbur on 01/03 at 03:04 AM • permalink


    1. Tim Lambert and “Leverington,” starting arguments and insulting people can get your account suspended. Take your posturing and territorial pissings elsewhere. [/ADMIN]

      I’ve also emailed both of you.

      Posted by Andrea Harris on 01/03 at 03:56 AM • permalink


    1. I’ve given some money already, but I’d be willing to give blood if needed – is there any chance of further updates on this subject?

      Posted by Steve on 01/03 at 04:32 AM • permalink


    1. Gubbaboy � That’s just because Margo can’t spell “Presnidet”…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/03 at 05:43 AM • permalink


    1. I think there is no confusion in the UN’s mind who is running the entire show; they are.

      Q: Could you give us an indication: there is a core group, there is the United Nations, there is a whole bunch of different groups coordinating – who is taking the leadership role on the humanitarian side of this? ….

      SG: Thank you for the question…. The core group will support the United Nations effort.

      Posted by rog on 01/03 at 08:20 AM • permalink


    1. Looks as if the reason that the UN is without a credible defence force is down to Tim Blair et al

      Posted by rog on 01/03 at 08:26 AM • permalink


    1. Core clarified with diplomacy.
      “QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, yesterday the Secretary General said that he believed the United Nations was the lead agency in the relief effort and that the core group that he spoke with yesterday by videoconference was acting in support of that leadership.  Is that your understanding?

      SECRETARY POWELL: Yes.  We created the core group earlier in the week because we saw a need for a coordination mechanism to be created rather quickly and rested on countries that were nearby in the region with assets, experience and capability that could be brought to bear right away, and we wanted to make sure they were coordinated.

      The Indians had already dispatched military units and relief elements and supplies to Sri Lanka. The Thais were responding. So we thought, let’s bring this core group together. It might expand slightly, but in due course we hope the core group will work itself out of business because we will have brought all of the international organizations into play under the overall supervision and leadership of the United Nations.

      Posted by rog on 01/03 at 08:51 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, if Mr Egeland’s statement is read as dishonest then at best it is because of his own lack of clarity.  It is just a question of whether his lack of clarity is intentional. Whether it is a disingenuous attempt at maintaining an air of authority.

      There is that illusion of authority: He has reports on what the other groups are doing, which he can then refer to in a statement as if the other groups are following UN direction. Heh… globalisation of office politics.

      Posted by Madison on 01/03 at 09:00 AM • permalink


    1. It’s nice that Mr. Powell is so considerate of the UN’s feelings.  Of course, that’s probably why he’s out of a job in about a week.

      I’ll be perfectly happy to be civil to the UN when and if they show up and do some meaningful work.  In the meantime, the grownups are busy…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 01/03 at 09:24 AM • permalink


  1. Powell/Annan interview shows the US cleverly drawing the UN into Iraq.

    Posted by rog on 01/03 at 11:06 AM • permalink