Guido Bertolaso, pondering a bigger cheese platter............................
Y’know, I’m really starting to get tired of hearing the rest of the world bitch about our efforts in Haiti. If it weren’t for the dire need of the people there for our help, I’d just say to Hell with it and say we should just pack up, head home, and let the rest of the world handle it and pay for it.
I refer to the asshole-ish comments by Italy’s top disaster official, Guido Bertolaso, who whined that the U.S.-led effort in Haiti was a pathetic failure turning into a “vanity show for the television cameras”.
Maybe he’s referring to the $60 million raised by Clooney’s telethon?
The head of Italy's Civil Protection Agency, Bertolaso told Italian television on Sunday that the U.S. military "tends to confuse military intervention with emergency intervention," and that despite the presence of 13,000 U.S. troops there, "no one is giving orders.". He said there is a danger that aid will be lost by the "inefficient" operation.
Maybe he wants to be in charge?
However, the Italian government was pretty quick to distance itself from its Cabinet-level official. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini quickly said Bertolaso was not speaking in any official capacity when he lit into the U.S.. "We have lamented from the first day that there has been a lack of adequate coordination," Frattini told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. "But this doesn't mean that Italy has any intention of criticizing the U.S. efforts."
A clearly embarrassed Frattini, who is headed to Montreal for talks with Hillary Clinton and other foreign representatives about rebuilding Haiti, said that Bertolaso had not gone to Haiti as "world coordinator" of aid and reiterated that had not been speaking in an official capacity. “Bertolaso ... has attacked American and international organizations head on. The Italian government does not share these statements,” Frattini said.
One report I heard today said that with donations from private citizens, combined with donations from various celebrities and telethons and government aid, over half a billion dollars had been raised from the USA, despite our crap economy and over 10% unemployment.
This compares to Italy’s donations of some $9 million dollars, which is very generous, and the sending of Italy’s brand new small aircraft carrier Cavour to assist. Barely six months old, the Cavour is comparable to one of our amphibious assault helicopter carriers.
Dude, you seem to lack perspective as to the scale of things here. Last year you did an admirable job of dealing with a quake in Italy at L'Aquila, which killed over 300 people, and your country has sent money and equipment. But this quake has killed nearly 200,000 people and left over a million homeless. We’ve sent 13,000 people, not including civilian disaster experts, and a flotilla of ships. Nice carrier, but it ain’t the Carl Vinson. Quit bitching about our efforts, which as usual dwarf the rest of the world’s, as it makes you just sound like a jealous neighbor who’s pissed that someone brought a bigger cheese platter to the party.
Roberto Dormino, an Italian UN aid official in Haiti, said Bertolaso had not understood that "Haiti is not L'Aquila". He said: "The government does not exist and there is nothing to requisition, not a single lorry, not a car, not even a taxi. Bertolaso cannot throw mud at us like this, many in the UN mission have died, we who are left are doing what we can."
We’re making the best we can out of chaos and trying to get as much materiel into an airport that used to get a maximum of 13 flights a day, and as usual someone has to say we’re theones in the wrong. Thankfully, the rest of the world gets it and the detractors are getting called out.