The HUGE difference between EU and USA in response to Haiti.

Or the mouse that whined.

Five years ago when the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster happened, EU called for a three-minute silence (three times longer than is customary to remember the millions who died in two world wars) and proposed a ”donors’ conference” in Jakarta nearly two weeks later to discuss what might be done.”

In contrast, within hours the US took the lead in forming an alliance with Australia, India and Japan, and sent in two battle groups fully equipped to deal with such an emergency.

Now in Haiti the same pattern repeats itself again.

“Within hours of Port-au-Prince crumbling into ruins, the US had sent in an aircraft carrier with 19 helicopters, hospital and assault ships, the 82nd Airborne Division with 3,500 troops and hundreds of medical personnel. They put the country’s small airport back on an operational footing, and President Obama pledged an initial $100 million dollars in emergency aid.”

And what did EU do?  It acted as usually “very forceful” and hold a press conference. Yes, a boring press conference!

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the European Union geared itself up with a Brussels press conference led by Commission Vice-President Baroness Ashton, now the EU’s High Representative – our new foreign minister. A scattering of bored-looking journalists in the Commission’s lavishly appointed press room heard the former head of Hertfordshire Health Authority stumbling through a prepared statement, in which she said that she had conveyed her ”condolences” to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and pledged three million euros in aid.”

The people of Haiti MUST BEE VERY REASSURED AND COMFORTED BY THE THOUGHT THAT EU:s foreign minster had a press conference and sent her ”condolences” , NOT TO HAITI OR THE PEOPLE AFFECTED BUT TO  the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon.

This is the same EU that pride itself of being a dominant world power. And the bureaucrats in Brussels have even bigger ambitions that that.

In fact, the EU have had a ”Rapid Reaction Mechanism” since 2001 (Council Regulation (EC) No 381/2001of 26 February 2001)

http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32001R0381:EN:HTML

AS WE HAVE SEEN AGAIN AND AGAIN – It’s NEITHER RAPID NOR REACTING!

And to top it off EU (the usual suspects) criticised USA for ”occupying” Haiti.

That’s how you gain respect and trust – You talk loud, do nothing and harshly criticise the ones that actually do anything.

EU in a nutshell.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7005887/Haiti-response-shows-the-difference-between-the-EU-and-a-superpower.html

Haiti response shows the difference between the EU and a superpower

The earthquake in Haiti provoked prompt and effective action from the US, and waffle from the EU, says Christopher Booker

By Christopher Booker

Published: 6:49PM GMT 16 Jan 2010

Compare and contrast the initial responses of two ”major world powers” to the Haitian earthquake disaster. Within hours of Port-au-Prince crumbling into ruins, the US had sent in an aircraft carrier with 19 helicopters, hospital and assault ships, the 82nd Airborne Division with 3,500 troops and hundreds of medical personnel. They put the country’s small airport back on an operational footing, and President Obama pledged an initial $100 million dollars in emergency aid.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the European Union geared itself up with a Brussels press conference led by Commission Vice-President Baroness Ashton, now the EU’s High Representative – our new foreign minister. A scattering of bored-looking journalists in the Commission’s lavishly appointed press room heard the former head of Hertfordshire Health Authority stumbling through a prepared statement, in which she said that she had conveyed her ”condolences” to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and pledged three million euros in aid.

A gaggle of other Commision spokesmen followed, to report offers of help from individual member states, such as a few search and rescue teams, tents and water purification units. We were also told that an official EU representative would be trying to reach Haiti from the Dominican Republic, to stay for a few hours before returning to report what he had found.

Memories might have gone back to December 2004, which saw similarly contrasting responses to the Indian Ocean tsunami catastrophe which cost nearly 300,000 lives. Again, within hours the US took the lead in forming an alliance with Australia, India and Japan, and had sent in two battle groups fully equipped to deal with such an emergency, including 20 ships led by two carriers with 90 helicopters. President Bush immediately pledged $35 million, later rising to $350 million. Because they were self-sufficient, the US forces pulled off a stupendously successful life-saving operation, almost entirely ignored by the British media, notably the BBC (whose journalists on the spot were nevertheless quite happy to hitch lifts from US helicopters).

The EU, by contrast, pledged three million euros for the tsunami victims, called for a three-minute silence (three times longer than is customary to remember the millions who died in two world wars) and proposed a ”donors’ conference” in Jakarta nearly two weeks later to discuss what might be done.

The only real difference between these two episodes is that, in the five years which have elapsed since 2004, the EU has even more noisily laid claim to its status as what Tony Blair liked to call ”a world superpower”, capable of standing on the world stage as an equal of the US. Anyone who witnessed the dismal showing at Thursday’s press conference of the High Representative, which would scarcely have passed muster at a board meeting of the Hertfordshire Health Authority, might well cringe at the thought.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/haiti/7054716/Haiti-earthquake-Lady-Ashton-under-fire-over-EU-visibility.html

Haiti earthquake: Lady Ashton under fire over EU ‘visibility’

Baroness Ashton, the European Union’s foreign minister, has come under fire for failing to visit Haiti and letting America take command of the international aid response.

By Bruno Waterfield

Published: 5:22PM GMT 22 Jan 2010

Lady Ashton, who had little or no diplomatic experience when she took the High Representative of Foreign Affairs job last year, is in charge of the EU’s crisis and humanitarian aid response.

France, which accused the United States of ”occupying” Haiti earlier this week, has been dismayed by the EU’s lack of ”visibility” during international relief efforts over the last 10 days.

Michel Barnier, the French internal market commissioner, is said to have briefed against Lady Ashton by pointing out France’s foreign minister was ”immediately available” on the ground following the Asian Tsunami in 2004.

He denied the claim and insisted ”she can count on me to work with her on strengthening Europe’s foreign and defence policy – an area of work I have always been interested in”. But French press reports have described Mr Barnier as ”seething” and ”enraged” that EU had not acted on his ideas, a failing emphasised by US control of the Haiti relief operation.

Following the tsunami, Mr Barnier wrote an influential report calling for the creation of an EU civil protection force called ”Europe Aid”.

Joseph Daul, a senior centre-right MEP and a close ally of Nicolas Sarkozy, expressed regret that Lady Ashton was absent when Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, visited Haiti at the weekend.

Just about everybody was in Haiti at the moment when these people are suffering, and Europe was not present,” he said. ”If it would have been in our hands, we would have sent someone.”

Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP, the former French student radical and leader of the European Greens also attacked her.

”I am very sceptical about Lady Ashton,” he said.

A spokesman for Lady Ashton said she had organised an emergency meeting of EU aid ministers that raised over £350 million in pledges for Haiti.

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/talk-talk.html

Talk, talk

Posted by Richard Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The EU should consider forming a rapid reaction force to deal with future emergencies like the Haiti earthquake. This is according to ”the EU’s new president,” retailed to us by the ever diligent BBC.

”We have to reflect about a better instrument for reaction,” says Herman Van Rompuy. After providing emergency aid to Haiti the EU should consider a ”humanitarian rapid reaction force”, he said.

In fact, the EU set up a ”Rapid Reaction Mechanism” in 2001, under Council Regulation (EC) No 381/2001 – with the intention of dealing with precisely the eventualities that Rompuy is setting out, and which so lamentably failed in the 2004 Tsunami and again in Haiti.

In fact, the initiative goes way back to the European Council meeting in Helsinki on 10 and 11 December 1999, when the member state leaders gathered to discuss the European Union’s ”non-military crisis-management capability.”

More than ten years on and we are no further forward than we were then – countless reports and study groups have been commissioned, there have been countless meetings, working groups and conferences, with millions of euros having been spent. Yet, when the chips are down, the EU is nowhere to be seen.

It was ever thus, and will always be so. All the EU is ever good for, when it comes to action on its own part, is talk. But this is not ”victimless” state of affairs. Because the issue is being dealt with at a ”European level”, member states are actively discouraged from making their own plans and arrangements.

Thereby, national capabilities are wound down yet, in the lethargic, inept grip of the EU institutions, nothing is done to replace those capabilities – still less to enhance the overall effort. And, when there is a crisis, because the EU claims the lead role in responding, no member state can step forward to fill the vacuum created by the EU’s painfully obvious inadequacies.

Thus, once again we get clarion calls (if anything Rompuy says could be called ”clarion”), dusting off ancient press releases to demand yet again a ”humanitarian rapid reaction force”. In ten years time, no doubt, they will be recycling the same press releases, demonstrating, once again, that using ”EU” and the word ”rapid” in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

Yet, despite its ongoing inadequacies, the one thing the EU will never do is recognise its own uselessness and walk away from its grand pretensions, leaving the heavy lifting to national agencies.

As in all things to do with the EU, its ambitions of glory outstrip any practical considerations. Even the lives of disaster victims are of little consequence when it comes to promoting the European agenda.

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/01/tsunami-all-over-again.html

The tsunami all over again

Posted by Richard Monday, January 18, 2010

As the full horror of the disaster in Haiti begins to emerge, we seem to be going through a cycle which is all too familiar – most notable from December 2004 when the tsunami struck south Asia.

Then – as we were to observe many times – the world was split into two main categories: those who did something about it, and those who talked about doing something about it.

In the former category fell the United States which took the lead in forming an alliance with Australia, India and Japan, and within hours had despatched two battle groups fully equipped to deal with such an emergency, including 20 ships led by two carriers with 90 helicopters.

The EU, in the meantime, took nine days to launch a ”donors’ conference”, the start of grotesque bidding process which had different nations vying with each other to be seen as the most generous.

In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, president Bush pledged $35 million and then, under pressure from the media and other nations – to say nothing of the United Nations, which accused the US of being ”stingy” – increased contributions to $350 million.

But, as was already becoming apparent, money was the lesser of the problems. What was really needed was immediate, practical assistance, and it was that which the US-led alliance was best able to give.

We remarked at the time that the collective value of the hardware that the US alone deployed was well in excess of $2 billion, yet the provision of this form of direct aid did not figure in the cash sums offered by the US government.

However, the EU sought to learn from the experience and has since attempted to enhance its capabilities. But, despite multiple initiatives to reinforce the EU’s ”emergency and crisis response capacities”, all the EU could manage this time by way of immediate response was to hold a Brussels press conference led by Commission Vice-President Baroness Ashton, now the EU’s High Representative – our new foreign minister.

This lacklustre response was noted by Booker in his column yesterday, who recorded how a scattering of bored-looking journalists in the Commission’s lavishly appointed press room heard the former head of Hertfordshire Health Authority stumbling through a prepared statement, in which she said that she had conveyed her ”condolences” to the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and pledged three million euros in aid.

Despite the pretentions of the EU in building a rapid reaction force to deal with disasters, that was never going to come to much. But in its development aid – alongside the UN – the EU prides itself in being the world’s leading contributor and a champion of third world development, standing in the forefront of fund-raising efforts.

Thus, again we see the same dynamic, with Claudia Rosett reporting that the tranzies are passing round the begging bowl, and it is left to the US, once again, to make the running.

Within hours of Port-au-Prince crumbling into ruins, the US had sent in an aircraft carrier with 19 helicopters, hospital and assault ships, the 82nd Airborne Division with 3,500 troops and hundreds of medical personnel. They put the country’s small airport back on an operational footing, and President Obama pledged an initial $100 million dollars in emergency aid.

Yet, despite the tranzie’s enthusiasm for collecting huge sums of money, very little seems to have been learned from the tsunami experience. A year after disaster struck – with $13 billion of aid pledged – much of it was unspent. Two years later, the situation was much the same, in what amounted to a running scandal. By 2007, there were calls to re-allocate the unspent funds.

Despite all this, the most ”constructive” idea the EU has had to date is to call for an international conference. Yet Haiti has already had its fair share of such conferences, the latest being a donor conference, held in April 2009.

This was organised in the aftermath of four devastating tropical storms. At the time, there were peldges of $324 million over the next two years, short of the $900 million Haiti’s prime minister said he needed, but the sum later increased to $760 million. However, by November 2009, only $21 million had actually been disbursed.

Some of the problem has been that much of the UN’s efforts have been devoted to climate change – even in the context of disaster relief. And such is the obsession of the EU with the issue that its efforts on disaster relief have been similarly focused.

Yet, surveying the disaster that is Haiti, few will dispute that the high casualty rate and the ensuing chaos stems from the lack of effective governance over a very long period of time.

Thus, while US forces – aided by small aid contingents from other countries – are engaged in a desperate race against time to rescue trapped people and care for the immediate needs of the survivors, the real tragedy is that so little has been achieved before the event that would have better prepared Haiti for the disaster that has just struck.

On both counts, therefore – in terms of immediate relief and long-term aid, the tranzie nexus of the EU-UN has failed once again. And once again it has been left to nation states such as the US to pick up the pieces. One day the world will re-learn the lesson that trans-national agencies are an evolutionary dead-end and that the core or civilisation is and will remain the nation state.

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10 svar to “The HUGE difference between EU and USA in response to Haiti.”

  1. The HUGE difference between EU and USA in response to Haiti. « UD … | Study Abroad Education Links Says:

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  2. EU itself a disaster Says:

    Thank you for the information about all that the US made. Have not seen in Swedish media anything about all that massive quick aid that USA gave to Haiti. I feel ashamed to be an European being represented by such a ”disaster” as Ashton and Rumpuy. A terribly sloppy organisation that EU. Again they were as bad as during the Tsunami catastrophe. And we are paying billions and billions to all those eurocrats. It’s not acceptable. If we could we should have voted them out of office but it’s not a democratic organisation.

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