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From: The Financial Times, posted on Drudge today ....

Bush quake aid group to be dissolved
By Victor Mallet in Jakarta, Hugh Williamson in Berlin, Dan Dombey in Brussels
Published: January 5 2005 11:13 | Last updated: January 6 2005 02:44

The ?core group? of nations announced by US President George W. Bush to channel aid to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami will be dissolved on Thursday after only eight days as the United Nations takes control of the international relief effort, delegates to a donors summit said on Wednesday.



Mr Bush?s initiative on December 29 - which at first included only the US, India, Japan and Australia - appeared to have been prompted by an accusation by Jan Egeland, the UN?s emergency relief coordinator, that the US was ?stingy?. The UN was included the next day after Mr Bush was criticised for sidelining the UN in a rescue operation involving dozens of countries.

Kofi Annan, UN secretary-general, will take centre stage on Thursday at the hastily convened meeting in Jakarta when he appeals for aid to cover the next six months. Among those attending are Colin Powell, US secretary of state; Junichiro Koizumi, Japanese prime minister; Wen Jiabao, Chinese premier; and other leaders from Asia and Europe.


Top 20 tsunami aid donors

Country/entity
Pledged amount ($m)

Australia
765

Germany
665

Japan
500

US
350

World Bank
250

Norway
182

UK
96

Italy
93

Canada
80

Sweden
75

Spain
66

China
60

France
56

South Korea
50

Taiwan
50

EU
41

Netherlands
36

Saudi Arabia
30

Switzerland
23

U.A.E
20

Source:Bloomberg/Reuters

Governments and individuals from around the world have already pledged over $2bn in assistance to help survivors of the December 26 tsunamis, which were triggered by an undersea earthquake off the island of Sumatra and killed 150,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and as far away as the east coast of Africa.

Koji Tsuruoka, a senior official at the Japanese foreign ministry, said the core group would ?cease to exist? following the Jakarta summit. ?Having accomplished the task they imposed on themselves, it will just evaporate and become part of the overall international effort,? he said.

UN officials and Washington?s allies have tried to avoid public criticism of the core group during its short life, and Mr Tsuruoka insisted the group had been ?innovative? and ?very effective? in mobilising aid.

Thursday?s one-day summit is expected to focus on the short-term needs of the region for emergency aid and on plans to set up a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean similar to the one already working in the Pacific.

On Wednesday, donors continued to announce aid pledges. Germany linked its pledge of EUROS 500m ($664.5m, ?352m) for victims of the Asian tsunamis to the ending of rebel insurgencies in Sri Lanka and in the Aceh region in of Indonesia.

Joschka Fischer, foreign minister, said he would use a trip to the region starting tomorrow to press the governments of the two countries to prioritise ?national reconciliation? as relief efforts are stepped up in the disaster-hit districts.

He noted that government leaders in the two countries could not ignore the ?political context? in which the disaster took place.

But Andrew Tan, a Singapore official, warned against complicating the relief and reconstruction drives by ?tying them to insurgency problems such as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka?.

Debt relief for affected nations, or at least a moratorium on repayments, is also likely to be discussed in Jakarta.

Unusually for such a disaster, no one has suggested there is an immediate shortage of funds, and diplomats say the challenge over the next few months will be to coordinate the delivery of aid rather than to raise more money.

Louis Michel, the EU?s development Commissioner, who is touring the affected area, said there was too much emphasis on money and not enough on longer term projects.
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:rant:

The Stupid Party and the One-Worlders strike again!

New Mercedes for all U.N execs.

American taxpayers raped one more time!

Swiss Banker are delighted!

:rant:
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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It is a shame that dealing with a serious human disaster is no doubt also turning into a sham.
 

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Friend of MCMXI
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Kofi Annan = :bull:....................................Any Questions?
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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This is the very reason I'm opposed to taking money earned by US workers and giving it away. It's always a big farce. If I want to donate money, I'll more carefully select what organization I'll donate thru.
 

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Anyone surprised by this???
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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DorGunR said:
Anyone surprised by this???
I'm not suprised at all.
 

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I'm surprised that the US is fourth in the amount of money pledged, after Australia, Germany, and Japan - from what you hear and from what you read on these forums, you'd think that the US was by far the greatest contributor.

As discussed on a previous related thread, I think US aid should be administered directly through the US military, and not through anyone else (whether the UN or not) to maximize the propaganda value of providing aid to Muslims. Hard for aid to counter our image as the Great Satan if folks don't know that the food they're eating came from us.

But, again, what is most surprising is that we're 4th. Had other folks already known that?
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Dzerzhinsky said:
I'm surprised that the US is fourth in the amount of money pledged, after Australia, Germany, and Japan - from what you hear and from what you read on these forums, you'd think that the US was by far the greatest contributor.
Nope, we just contributed $350 million too much. :thankyou:
 

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I saw Powell saying the aid will go into teh billions as we will stay on for years to come when other nations walk away.

The UN guy also said that many nations pledge and then never pay. Very interesting stories on both accounts.

Either way as the oil scandal at the UN gorws this is not good.
 

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Who in the Administration is responsible for this decision? Would this be the doings of Bush, of Powell, of the ghost of Bill Clinton?
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Dzerzhinsky said:
Who in the Administration is responsible for this decision? Would this be the doings of Bush, of Powell, of the ghost of Bill Clinton?
If it was Klintoon responsible for wasting my tax money they'e taken from me I'd be giving him heck for it, so I won't cut Bush any slack for it either.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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Dzerzhinsky said:
I'm surprised that the US is fourth in the amount of money pledged, after Australia, Germany, and Japan - from what you hear and from what you read on these forums, you'd think that the US was by far the greatest contributor.

As discussed on a previous related thread, I think US aid should be administered directly through the US military, and not through anyone else (whether the UN or not) to maximize the propaganda value of providing aid to Muslims. Hard for aid to counter our image as the Great Satan if folks don't know that the food they're eating came from us.

But, again, what is most surprising is that we're 4th. Had other folks already known that?
There's a big difference between monies pledged and monies actually given. And if you count the money it cost to keep a carrier group there, and how much it will cost just to fuel and maintain those helicoptors, then I'd wager we are a bit higher than the list suggest. And now that the U.N. is involved I wish we'd pledge less!!!!
Lastly, these numbers change as the situation on the ground becomes clearer. When we pledged 35 million (and were criticized as being stingy) they were only estimating 14,000 dead and the extent of the damage wasn't known. As the info came in from people on the ground in these areas and reports of the devastation started to become clear, then the promise of aid rose significally. I know we are a good hearted country and we will do the right thing, even if we have to hold our nose now because of the U.N. becoming involved.
But I do agree though that U.S. money and aid should be distributed by Americans
 

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:confused: Doesn't anyone remember the UN's "Oil for Food" program?
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Kofi follows the money
by Klaus Rohrich

January 6, 2005

At a press conference held last Monday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan claimed that the $2 billion pledged to assist south Asian tsunami victims by Western democracies is not likely to materialize. "If we go by past history," the Secretary General intoned, ?"it is quite likely that at the end of the day we will not receive all of it."


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As evidence, Annan pointed to the earthquake that devastated Bam, Iran last year, where pledges for aid were made in the amount of $1.1 billion, but according to Annan, only $17.5 million actually materialized.

It appears that all the heads of the various bureaucracies run by the UN are reading from the same page of talking points. Robert Smith, of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), indicated that they took pledges for disaster relief with a grain of salt. "Let?s put it this way," Smith told The Guardian, a British newspaper, "large scale disasters tend to result in mammoth pledges?The figures look much higher than they really are. What will end up on the ground will be much less."

Jan Egeland, UN Undersecretary for Human Services, who famously claimed that Americans were "stingy" because of their low taxes, complained that not nearly enough is being done in support of victims of other disasters. "We have 20 parallel catastrophes unfolding," he said, referring specifically to the genocide in Darfur and the ongoing violence plaguing the Democratic Republic of Congo as just two examples. "Couldn?t we wake up to the forgotten emergencies as we have woken up to the tsunami?" he pleaded.

The difference between what?s happening in Darfur or the Congo and a tsunami is somewhat akin to the difference between being mugged and losing your wallet. The former is a deliberate act perpetrated through aggression, while the latter is an inadvertant event. The UN figures very prominently in the continuing genocide now taking place in Darfur in that they have caved to the Arab/African/Muslim bloc at the UN to allow Sudan to get its house in order under its own steam, rather than have the UN impose peace by force. My guess is that the violence in the Sudan will end when the last living Christian inhabitant is killed or displaced.

To now chide the West for not offering to help pay for relief efforts there is a supreme display of cohones, to put it mildly. It seems to me that the UN cares a lot more about controlling the relief money, whatever the amount is, than it is about how much is given. In fact with a solid track record of misadministration and misappropriation, giving relief money to the UN is the same as using it for kindling. Past disasters have demonstrated that much of the so-called relief money donated winds up in places other than for which they were intended.

Much of the money donated to the starving masses of Ethiopia was used to buy single malt scotch whiskey and fine cigars for Haile Mariam Mengistu and his cohorts. Much of the aid money sent to Somalia was used to buy weapons for the Mogadishu warlord, Mohammed Farah Aidid. Most recently, the "Oil for food" program administered by the UN was found to have over $20 billion inexplicably missing.

Even with the current relief efforts, there is ample evidence that the fraudsters are out in full force. Reports from Sri Lanka, where Canada plans to send its Disaster Assistance Response Team, already indicate that food, clothing and building materials are winding up in the hands of terrorist groups, rather than the victims.

"Almost every truck gets stopped and held, sometimes for several days," an unnamed UN official is quoted in The Globe and Mail, one of Canada?s national newspapers. "So far we have been able to persuade them (the Tamil Tigers Terrorist Group) to let us distribute most of it, usually after several hours of negotiations, but there are still many shipments being held at the checkpoints."

Listening to the UN bureaucrats talk about money leaves one with the distinct impression that money means very little to them, oher than to be another tool for wielding control. The victims of the tsunami will be much better off if the aid money goes directly to them without first being laundered by the UN. When Shakespeare wrote "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war," he might well have been writing with the UN in mind.
 

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Egeland says, " "I have been misinterpreted when I yesterday said that my belief that rich countries in general can be more generous," he added. "This has nothing to do with any particular country or the response to this emergency in the early days. The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive."

(full article at: http://washingtontimes.com/national/20041229-121821-3403r.htm)

Does anyone have access to a link of his original statements? I've read secondary sources that purport that he said that the US was stingy, or that he said that the US and other Western nations were stingy, but I can't find what he actually said.
I am beginning to wonder if, in fact, he was misinterpreted/misquoted.
 

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Gunco Irregular
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Here is the most I'be been able to find. http://mediamatters.org/items/200501040002

From Egeland's December 27 briefing:

QUESTION (off-mike): -- tsunami and dealing with tsunami may eclipse or even undercut, both in terms of money and personnel U.N. relief efforts elsewhere in the world, such as Sudan, for example?

EGELAND: It is really a problem that for too many rich countries, the pie is finite. You take out a slice and there is less for the rest.

And I think an unprecedented disaster like this one should lead to unprecedented generosity from countries that should be new and additional funds, because I wouldn't want to see many of our friends, the donor countries, depleting their natural disaster coffers the first two weeks of January and have nothing more when we come to other disasters.

Some others have the same sum for all disasters in the world, and I'm afraid for the coming year because there are several donors who are actually less generous than before in a growing world economy.

[...]

We were more generous when we were less rich, many of the rich countries. And it is beyond me why are we so stingy, really, when we are -- and even Christmas time should remind many Western countries at least how rich we have become. And if actually the foreign assistance of many countries now is 0.1 or 0.2 percent of their gross national income, I think that is stingy, really. I don't think that is very generous.
 

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Thanks, Grendeljaeger. Sure looks like contending that he said the US is stingy is a distortion and misquote. I hate it when I see stuff like this happen - whether to folks on the left or on the right, whether with the UN or anyone else: The spinmeisters twist what is said to whatever will sell. "UN Official Says US is Stingy" would sure sell a lot more newspapers than an accurate representation of what was said.
 

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Koji Tsuruoka, a senior official at the Japanese foreign ministry, said the core group would ?cease to exist? following the Jakarta summit. ?Having accomplished the task they imposed on themselves, it will just evaporate and become part of the overall international effort,? he said.

"Having accomplished the task they imposed on themselves"


They are going to finish their work first.
 
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