Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Whoa! Powerline echoes Dirkworld!!! (re: the UN and vacation smears)

Those mack daddies over at Powerline got grudging props from Time in the MotY (screw P.C.!) issue, but taking a glance at the latest news got me some serious deja vu from a WEEK ago!

First, I'd laid the smack down on the UN in "F*ck the F*cking UN!!! (Episode 3,475,486)", so I was naturally sympathetic to PL's "Action Vs. Talk In Indonesia" which includes these tidbits:

Well, dear friends, we're now into the tenth day of the tsunami crisis and in this battered corner of Asia, the UN is nowhere to be seen -- unless you count at meetings, in five-star hotels, and holding press conferences.

Aussies and Yanks continue to carry the overwhelming bulk of the burden,

The UN continues to send its best product, bureaucrats.

Most interesting to me was this memo written by Dutch diplomats and circulated at an EU meeting in Indonesia:

The US military has arrived and is clearly establishing its presence everywhere in Banda Aceh. They completely have taken over the military hospital, which was a mess until yesterday but is now completely up and running. They brought big stocks of medicines, materials for the operation room, teams of doctors, water and food. Most of the patients who were lying in the hospital untreated for a week have undergone medical treatment by the US teams by this afternoon. US military have unloaded lots of heavy vehicles and organize the logistics with Indonesian military near the airport. A big camp is being set up at a major square in the town. Huge generators are ready to provide electricity. US helicopters fly to places which haven't been reached for the whole week and drop food. The impression it makes on the people is also highly positive; finally something happens in the city of Banda Aceh and finally it seems some people are in control and are doing something. No talking but action. European countries are until now invisible on the ground.

The UN not doing anything? No surprise to anyone not watching CBS for news. So, when are we getting that East River view real estate back?

Next, I'd spotted the WaPo's leading the smear charge about stingy America and commented in "Are you still on vacation in this dire time of crisis?" and what do I see on Powerline today? My Pet Goat Redux!

Howard Kurtz has a roundup of "Tsunami Politics" in this morning's Washington Post. Echoing various newspapers from which he quotes, Kurtz dutifully recites the criticism that President Bush was "slow" to react to the Indian Ocean disaster:
Like it or not, Bush fostered the impression that he was painfully slow to react to the post-Christmas disaster while at the ranch. Three full days with no appearance before the cameras? What else did he have to do that was more important?

Oh, I don't know. I supposed he could have ordered an aircraft carrier and a Marine strike group to the disaster scene. That would be more important than giving a useless press conference, which would have done nothing at all to help anyone. These press complaints are typical of the elevation of symbolism over substance that permeates newspaper coverage of many issues.

There is, of course, a subtext to press complaints that President Bush was slow to give a press conference. As Kurtz notes, the Los Angeles Times, one of the country's most left-wing newspapers, made the subtext explicit:

President Bush's initial, halting response to the Indian Ocean tsunami catastrophe, followed within days by strong expressions of concern and decisive action, spotlighted a governing style that sometimes finds its stride only after stumbling at the gate. This seems especially true when Bush is confronted with a cataclysmic event and must improvise quickly -- as with the Dec. 26 tsunami or the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. . . .

Michael Moore remains a powerful influence on the Democratic Party.

So, keep reading Dirkworld and *occasionally*, you may actually get ahead of the cutting edge! Neat! :)

(Where's my cable TV news show shot?!? If that Wonkette chippie can get her airhead on air, I demand my 15 seconds!!!!)


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