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2 1/2 weeks - Observations etc on foreign aid, humanitarianism, and relief coordination.

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Juana La Loca

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a 9.0 earthquake. 1000 time stronger than Haiti. 500 times stronger than Izmit, the quake I am most familiar with, having worked stateside disaster relief logistics on it. Earthquake measurement is on a magnitus calculation so a 9.0 is 103 in comparison with a 7.0 (Hait) abd 102.7 compared with Izmit 7.7 in 1999.

COE-DMHA has the rundown of where Japan is at in the recover process. Already building temp housing (hard sided with floors, walls, roofs etc). This time in the Izmit quake we'd just finished moving 4800 tents, light/gen sets, water storage bladders (collapsible), porta-squats, and porta-showers in from Durres on 3 cargo ferries.

Considering the logistics of that, what Japan has done is remarkable and a testament to what solid governance, preparedness, community, and prudence can do. When Izmit hit we had the tents etc stored in Durres as result of breaking down refugee camps post Clinton Doctrine bombing of Serbia and Serbian Kosovo. Durres port is semi functional even with bakshish. So it was trucking everything to Piraeus which meant our fixer in Athens had to make a run for the border with his trunk full of cigarettes and whiskey.- because corrupt fourth world border customs don't particularly care about humanitarian assistance, even from putative allies.

Allies, that's a laugh in that case. Clinton Doctrine pushed us into bed with Al Quaeda financed KLA and a gov't that turns a blind eye to human trafficking.

Also, you gotta wonder in the case of Haiti, where all the $ is going. 3.5 Billion Enough to lay drainage pipes, raise hard sided temp housing, and provide JOBS for lots of construction workers who could be trained on the job. Instead we get tents and cholara and uneven food aid distribution in an outdated, uncoordinated, and earmarked funds utter mess that does in no way foster unity among the survivors or lay a foundation for stronger communities in the future.

Have you ever wondered where the useless Loser forgetterabilia from the Superbowl and other championships goes? Inquiring minds want to know??

Ever wonder why one might rethink donating to Japan rather than elsewhere like Côte d'Ivoire read this, or Libyan refugees, or the ongoing hell of the Pakistant floods... now with added Polio ? Read the COE-DMHA report and know that Japan is doing a hell of a lot better than any of these because they do have organization and planning and a gov3ernment that is putting peoiple rather than their own enrichment first.

And they are issuing Thank You press releases on each and every country from whom they have received aid.

ReliefWeb should be bookmark for anyone tracking humanitarian situuations. Good Intentions are not enough is a fascinating blog about aid, what works, what doesnt, and what is just plain stupid.

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I agree. Japan's response to the disaster has been significantly more efficient than the other countries you mentioned.

But that's to be expected from a first-world country. First-world countries, Haiti and Turkey are not.

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I'm sure we've all heard this before but I'm saying it again:

If the Japs had spent more time building high-tech coastal defences rather than sitting around messing with robots and eating sushi, the casualty toll would have been down by thousands. Thousands.

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I agree. Japan's response to the disaster has been significantly more efficient than the other countries you mentioned.

But that's to be expected from a first-world country. First-world countries, Haiti and Turkey are not.

But given the amount of foreign aid poured into those countries previous to their respective disasters, they had to funding and opportunities to advance and improve. The "powers that be" however, chose rather to line their own pockets as opposed to being Public Servants. Call me naive if you wish, but I do believe in the perfectibility of human beings. We Eastern Orthodox call that Theosis in religious terms.

It's free will, the choice a public servant has to either ignore building codes for a little bakshish or enforce building codes for the safety of the populace, to promote business that provide a living wage to citizens or to promote debt slavery and line their own pockets with the extra profits, to live off the labor of others or to labor for the betterment of others, to espouse education for all or to keep people unlettered and ignorant of their rights and the greater world.

Sadly the "developed" first world in cahoots with the elites of third world nations, does little to encourage the positive path, preferring to keep a cheap offshore labor force at the ready and providing food but not farming tools, clothes but not looms and sewing machines, medical disaster missions rather than ongoing training in preventative medicine. ,

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I'm sure we've all heard this before but I'm saying it again:

If the Japs had spent more time building high-tech coastal defences rather than sitting around messing with robots and eating sushi, the casualty toll would have been down by thousands. Thousands.

You are an engineer, yes? Thing is that Japan has the most advanced tsunami protection found anywhere., An the good old USofA could have put their resources towards building the bestest perfect high-tech levees at New Orleans rather than messing around in other nations' civil conflicts and eating fully loaded nachos with bacon.

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