France Claims US Is “Occupying” Haiti
Or at least the French minister in charge of humanitarian relief, Alain Joyandet is making that claim:
“This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying Haiti,” Mr Joyandet said.
Well, yeah, but it’s also about coordinating the flow of traffic in and out of a single runway airport, something which is bound to get a few hackles up. And that’s caused Joyandet’s outburst. He’d apparently been in a scuffle in the control tower of the airfield with the US commander there over a French evacuation flight. It seems he came out on the short end of the confrontation, thus the outburst.
But he’s not the only one complaining:
Geneva-based charity Medecins Sans Frontieres backed his calls saying hundreds of lives were being put at risk as planes carrying vital medical supplies were being turned away by American air traffic controllers.
See previous commentary about the one runway airport. Perhaps a little coordination with those at the airport concerning the arrival of such flights might help integrate them into the landing plan vs. just showing up and demanding a priority for landing?
Just a thought. Of course, my bet is had we relied on the UN, the airport still wouldn’t be functioning. And had the French taken over the aiport, the same criticisms leveled against the US would be leveled against them. In this case, given the situation, they’re just inevitable.
And someone else is having his usual say about the US:
Speaking on his weekly television show, [Hugo] Chavez opined that the U.S. mission in Haiti was a ruse to initiate military occupation.
“I read that 3,000 soldiers are arriving, Marines armed as if they were going to war,” Chavez said. “They are occupying Haiti undercover.”
President Obama signed an executive order to send 7,000 U.S. troops to the ravaged country as aid organizations attempt to distribute food and water to the survivors.
Chavez, a frequent critic of American intervention, praised the humanitarian effort in Haiti but questioned the need for so many troops.
“Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals – that’s what the United States should send,” Chavez said.
Of course the US has sent doctors, medicine, fuel and field hospitals. But there has to be security as you push these assets out into the community to ensure the lawlessness which has been seen in various areas doesn’t effect the efficiency of the rescue operation. 7,000 troops to provide that sort of security is not a large force (about 1 BCT plus).
Haiti, however, has provided Baby Hugo with another opportunity to break out the anti-Amerianism.
I’ve got to tell you, with the reaction of France and Venezuela to a freakin’ humanitarian rescue mission, it doesn’t seem as if the Obama global, bowing, scraping and apologizing tour produced much goodwill. This doesn’t sound any different than the carping heard when that other guy was around.
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