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oh so NOW the UN is usefull...
September 4, 2005 6:31 PM   Subscribe

Oh, the irony... The Bush administration, long critical of the United Nations, has accepted a U.N. offer of help in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and a U.N. team has gone to Washington to see how it can complement American efforts.
posted by saketini99 (36 comments total)

 
The UN could provide much-needed expertise in the area of caring for refugees, which America now has around a million or two of. So I am very glad the Bush administration could bring itself to do this.
posted by teece at 6:40 PM on September 4, 2005


Alternate headline: Bolton who?
posted by klangklangston at 6:59 PM on September 4, 2005


They should get that Dutch UNHCR dude involved.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:00 PM on September 4, 2005


I'm glad as well, not only for the assistance the UN can provide for the American refugees but because it's an unexpectedly refreshing instance of the Bush administration letting reality in through the wall of rigid ideology it usually erects around itself. Also, it's just nice to see Bush and Co. eat a little crow once in awhile and act with a little humility.
posted by saketini99 at 7:02 PM on September 4, 2005


It would have looked bad if the administration declined the offer. Does this mean we'll be seeing United Nations personnel from around the world helping out in the U.S.?
posted by longsleeves at 7:04 PM on September 4, 2005


Ironic, perhaps... but most welcome. This is a good thing, let's be happy about it.
posted by zoogleplex at 7:07 PM on September 4, 2005


Also, it's just nice to see Bush and Co. eat a little crow once in awhile and act with a little humility.

They were already being accused, and criticized, of refusing aid from other countries. I'm sure that had more to do with it than humility.

This is good for the gulf coast, but if bush had refused help we would have a thread with a hundred comments condemning him. Instead we have this thread. No win situation really.
posted by justgary at 7:09 PM on September 4, 2005


Much credit to the Bush administration on this-- this cuts against all their instincts, and is the right thing to do.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:16 PM on September 4, 2005


This is good for the gulf coast, but if bush had refused help we would have a thread with a hundred comments condemning him. Instead we have this thread. No win situation really.

Right. Because it's all about how this crisis effects MeFi, that's the main thing.

And yes... I know you were attempting to be wry, jg... just had to comment.

Seriously, though, having grown up in NYC, and living there during 911, I would have been relieved to see some blue helmets there in the aftermath of that... was a little bit nervous in the days immediately following to see what would happen. In this instance, yes, a very good thing.
posted by psmealey at 7:18 PM on September 4, 2005


Well, why not try to get some return for our investment in the UN? Wonder is Sevan's understudy knows there's knows there's no room for Gulf of Mexico for Food deal potential.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:30 PM on September 4, 2005


(Gulf of Mexico Oil for Food deal potential)
posted by ParisParamus at 7:31 PM on September 4, 2005


I don't care about irony, or egos, or political capital, or anything else. There are people dying. Fix it. (shouldn't end in New Orleans, either...)
posted by sdrawkcab at 7:32 PM on September 4, 2005


This is very good news, and a good decision from the Whitehouse.
posted by Stuart_R at 7:39 PM on September 4, 2005


On top of pure humanitarian reasons, we should certainly be taking the offered aid from Venezuela and Cuba. It would drive everybody nuts.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:43 PM on September 4, 2005


Right. Because it's all about how this crisis effects MeFi, that's the main thing.

Hey now, I said good for the gulf coast =)

But you're right, I meant his critics on mefi. Even when he did the right thing, it was spun in a negative way by saketini99.

Which is, in a way, ironic.

(in the alanis morissette kinda way)
posted by justgary at 7:45 PM on September 4, 2005


What I don't understand is why the president hasn't decided to open up his Crawford ranch to house refugees.
posted by Balisong at 7:48 PM on September 4, 2005


fuck irony. we need help.
Chavez' offer should be accepted too.
posted by Busithoth at 7:56 PM on September 4, 2005


Even when he did the right thing, it was spun in a negative way by saketini99.

Well there are good decisions and good intentions and the two don't always have much to do with each other. (stopped clock twice a day and all that)
posted by dreamsign at 8:02 PM on September 4, 2005



posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:04 PM on September 4, 2005


sorry, but I don't think it's negative spin to point out that this administration is recieving help from an institution it has gone out of it's way to belittle at every opportunity. it IS however ironic that they do so now.

I think it's great that the people in the Gulf area will recieve additional help. But I think it's a shame that it took a catastrophe of this magnitude to put a dent in the ideological armor of the Empire, y'know... our way or the highway, you're with us or a'gin us.
posted by saketini99 at 8:24 PM on September 4, 2005


Much credit to the Bush administration on this-- this cuts against all their instincts, and is the right thing to do.

I'm terribly sorry, but the Bush admin. doesn't get credit for acting against their instincts here. The fact that this is noteworthy rather than expected speaks volumes about how little anyone expects from them anymore.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:34 PM on September 4, 2005


My only comment would be... I wish they had done it sooner. Even late, it's still the right decision.

I don't understand, though, why they chartered cruise ships instead of accepting the temporary housing from Russia; another thread here claimed the Russians had offered 100,000 temporary shelters. Seems like that would be cheaper than cruise ships? I don't mean 'take the stuff for free', I think we should pay for the use of the shelters... but even so, wouldn't that be cheaper?

(and yes, I realize the cruise ships are probably fairly reasonably-priced housing, I'm just wondering if we could have done better still.)
posted by Malor at 9:48 PM on September 4, 2005


Maybe once the UN folks establish a beachhead in the United States, they can also help monitor the next elections.

I just hope this doesn't mean they're going to start demanding dues from the United States.
posted by cloudscratcher at 9:49 PM on September 4, 2005


New World Order! Blue helmeted troops operating inside our borders! Soverignity in tatters, Clinton Bush is turning over control to the UN! The Trilateral Commission is taking over*


*this is sarcasm of course, just wanted to see what it felt like to be a nutjob for a few minutes. I for one welcome our Blue Helmeted Assistors
posted by m@ at 9:49 PM on September 4, 2005


Iran to help US storm victims if necessary: Asefi

Iran will help US victims of Hurricane Katrina if there is a need to do so and regards such help as a humanitarian measure, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hamid-Reza Asefi said, according to IRNA.


They do have a little experience in large natural disasters, after all.
posted by cenoxo at 10:33 PM on September 4, 2005


So....are we going back to the paranoid mindset that the U.N. is going to invade us and take over or is that only under the Democrats?


Good decision.

About. Fucking. Time.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:46 PM on September 4, 2005


They should get that Dutch UNHCR dude involved.

Ruud Lubbers quit. Besides, the UN definition of refugee doesn't cover internally displaced persons without grounded fear of persecution.

I'm not sure what to make of this. At one level it's a PR move, at the other it may be something that Condi pushed (the article does cite her), and she may have been influenced by counterparts in, say, Britain. It may also be that the UN involvement eases certain aid processes, and it may also be a way to save face accepting aid from certain nations rather than directly.
posted by dhartung at 11:37 PM on September 4, 2005


> fuck irony. we need help.

Good grief. When US citizens FINALLY appreciate how wasteful they are on resources, then they can come begging to the rest of the world for help.
posted by catchmurray at 1:46 AM on September 5, 2005


catchmurray : "When US citizens FINALLY appreciate how wasteful they are on resources, then they can come begging to the rest of the world for help."

I somehow doubt you have the power to enforce that ultimatum.
posted by Bugbread at 4:06 AM on September 5, 2005


I'm glad it's happening.

But to make the best of it, I hope the UN shows up in black helicopters and speaking cartoonish French-English for the horrification of local paranoids. "First, to reclaim ze French quarter..."
posted by pracowity at 4:35 AM on September 5, 2005


bugbread... I don't need the power do I? A sodding great big hurricane did it for me.
posted by catchmurray at 6:24 AM on September 5, 2005


How is it commentworthy that the US is accepting UN aid while at the same time criticizing the UN? Providing such support is what the UN is supposed to do. Nothing noteworthy there. Criticizing an organization for corruption is also appropriate and is noteworthy as a separate thread. Trying to frame acceptance of UN aid as a heapin' helpin' of crow on the part of the Bush administration is just fatuous.

To draw an analogy - imagine there is someone at work who is supposed to handle shipping. This person is constantly stealing other people's lunches from the fridge, shows up for work late and hungover and is regualrly criticized for it. Suddenly there's a huge order and this shipping person is asked to put in a full day's work and does so. Does this mean the boss is now eating crow?
posted by gregor-e at 9:26 AM on September 5, 2005


"First, to reclaim ze French quarter..."

Typical UN. Go straight for the light duty.

(I like the image, though.)
posted by IndigoJones at 12:50 PM on September 5, 2005


It's interesting that you put the US (or maybe just the president) as "the boss" and the UN as an employee in your analogy gregor-e.
posted by betaray at 6:26 PM on September 5, 2005


Well, the UN is an international treaty organization more akin to a very complicated Red Cross with a lot more functions that states made to assist in the diplomatic and world wide aid process. As such, it is subservient to the state's interests, so each state is the boss and the UN is the subservient organization.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 7:33 PM on September 5, 2005


catchmurray writes "bugbread... I don't need the power do I? A sodding great big hurricane did it for me."

A sodding big hurricane prevented Americans from begging to the rest of the world for help? I thought a sodding big hurricane in fact caused that.
posted by Bugbread at 4:17 AM on September 7, 2005


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