Monday, January 18, 2010

Iraq Inquiry

The Iraq inquiry is partly a story about the clash between the political class and the mandarin class. There are five members of the inquiry and two of them are former civil servants (Sir John Chilcot and Sir Roderic Lyne), one is a former first civil service commissioner (Lady Prashar) and Sir Lawrence Freedman and Sir Martin Gilbert have both written "official" histories or biographies (of the Falklands war and Winston Churchill respectively) which suggests they may have both absorbed some civil service DNA.
When they take evidence from fellow members of the Whitehall establishment, they tend to give them a sympathetic hearing. Judging by the way they reacted to Alastair Campbell, they are less impressed by people immersed in party politics.
Today's witness, Jonathan Powell, is interesting because he has had a foot in both camps. He started his career as a Foreign Office diplomat. But he then defected to "politics" when he went to work for Tony Blair as his chief of staff.

The above is from Andrew Sparrow's live blogging of today's hearing of the Iraq Inquiry for the Guardian. BBC News (link has text and video) adds that Powell insisted there was no 'oath in blood' sealed in Crawford between Bully Boy Bush and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. CNN notes Tony Blair is scheduled to testify January 29th.

Mike's "In Massachusetts, the view's far different than in NYC" has gone up refuting claims made by a New Yorker who is not in Mass but feels the need to tea leaf read. Once upon a time when the Sam Nunns and the Cokie Roberts did that, we on the left would object loudly. But the reality is that the gas bags on the left are no different than the ones in the MSM. In fact, they're actually far worse because while they finger point and demand disclosure, they never provide any. Refer to Panhandle Media and grasp that while KPFA and Larry Bensky had an obligation to reveal to the listeners that every 'expert' brought on that two hour broadcast to offer 'analysis' had endorsed Barack Obama, every 'expert' also had an obligation to disclose that on air. They refused to. They failed. And remember that the next time any of those lying Whores wants to point to the MSM and hector the MSM.

Disclosure, I support (donate money to) the work of the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. The Red Cross was earlier denied landing in Haiti by the US military. The US military also denied to allow Doctors Without Borders to land. The following press release is from Doctors Without Borders:

Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince
Demands Deployment of Lifesaving Medical Equipment Given Priority

UPDATE: January 18, 2010

The Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) plane filled with supplies needed to establish an inflatable tent field hospital landed at approximately 11 am local time, Sunday, January 17, in Port-au-Prince.

However, another MSF cargo plane carrying vital medical supplies to replenish stocks for Choscal hospital, where an MSF team is working on a backlog of patients needing surgery, was not allowed to land in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, January 17, and was forced to re-route to the Dominican Republic, where it landed. Choscal hospital will run out of medical supplies in less than 24 hours and its cold chain system for preserving medicines and vaccines at the proper temperatures could be compromised if this cargo plane is not able to fly into Port-au-Prince immediately.

More than 500 patients in need of surgery have been transferred from Martissant to Choscal hospital in Cite Soleil. MSF teams are focusing on lifesaving surgery (open wounds, fractures, burns, amputations, and emergency obstetrics). They’ve been working around the clock and have done more than 90 surgeries since the operating theater became functional. Priority is given to lifesaving interventions, such as amputations carried out on patients with gangrene triggered by infected wounds.

How many cargo flights has MSF successfully flown into Port-au-Prince? 4

What is their total tonnage? 135

How many cargo flights has MSF successfully flown into the Dominican Republic? 2

What is their total tonnage? 65

How many cargo flights are planned for the rest of this week? 6

What is their total tonnage? 195

Port-au-Prince/Paris /New York, 17 January 2009—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges that its cargo planes carrying essential medical and surgical material be allowed to land in Port-au-Prince in order to treat thousands of wounded waiting for vital surgical operations. Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying lifesaving equipment and medical personnel.

Despite guarantees, given by the United Nations and the US Defense Department, an MSF cargo plane carrying an inflatable surgical hospital was blocked from landing in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, and was re-routed to Samana, in Dominican Republic. All material from the cargo is now being sent by truck from Samana, but this has added a 24-hour delay for the arrival of the hospital.

A second MSF plane is currently on its way and scheduled to land today in Port- au-Prince at around 10 am local time with additional lifesaving medical material and the rest of the equipment for the hospital. If this plane is also rerouted then the installation of the hospital will be further delayed, in a situation where thousands of wounded are still in need of life saving treatment.

The inflatable hospital includes 2 operating theaters, an intensive care unit, 100-bed hospitalization capacity, an emergency room and all the necessary equipment needed for sterilizing material.

MSF teams are currently working around the clock in 5 different hospitals in Port-au-Prince, but only 2 operating theaters are fully functional, while a third operating theater has been improvised for minor surgery due to the massive influx of wounded and lack of functional referral structures.

So one was allowed to land and another denied. The US military does not belong in Haiti and, as we noted in the editorial at Third ("Editorial: The Haiti Distraction"), "Reality: US troops on the ground in Haiti? Not a good thing. Not a great thing. In fact, the less involvement the US government has in Haiti, the better (as anyone who knows the history of Haiti should grasp)."

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