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Monday, October 10, 2005

Tragedy repeats itself as farce... 
...except when farce repeats itself as tragedy.

From CNN.com:

Kashmiris slam tardy aid response

As the death toll from Saturday's magnitude-7.6 earthquake rose to at least 650 in India, the relief delivery, carried out mainly by the Indian army, was mired in logistical difficulties and bad weather.

Collapsed homes and shops lined the streets in the worst hit areas of Tangdar, Uri, Punch and Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital. Some 900 people were injured.

"Here, in our village, we are only a few hundred people who need help ... water, tents, blankets," said Rayaz Ahmad Mir, a teacher in Jabla village on Sunday. "But we have not seen one single soldier."

Indian officials, however, insisted they were doing everything they could -- Sonia Gandhi, the head of India's ruling alliance, even flew to Uri to reassure Kashmiris on Sunday.

The military -- which has between 500,000 and 700,000 troops in Kashmir to quell a Muslim separatist insurgency -- said it had flown in planeloads of medicine, food and drinking water. More than 1,000 tents were also being distributed in remote villages, said military officials.

But one Indian civilian official said the military, though assisting some victims, was focused on caring for its own -- 54 of whom died when their bunkers collapsed in Saturday's quake.


http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/10/09/quake.india.aid.ap/index.html

Yes. Large scale aid originating outside the disaster area is going to appear tardy to the ignorant no matter who is in charge. And didn't I tell you that moving too many soldiers in before the logistics are in place to support them simply contributes to the problem, as the military begins to compete with the local populace for scarce resources.

The distribution, of course, is further hampered by the fact that all Indian Army convoys and aid distribution centers have to consider themselves targets of the Kashmiri Islamist insurgency.

If reports of shooting at aid workers slowed down operations in New Orleans, then how much more so will a full-fledged guerrilla war slow down efforts in Kashmir?

Think of it. You can't just roll a truck. You have to roll several trucks, and spend half the day trying to arrange for the security of the convoy, mouning weapons, checking comms, etc.

And how do you send one truck by itself to support a village that doesn't need more than one truck? You can't. You either have to send four or five trucks and security to a one-truck village, or you simply have to send them all to the city, where they can provide mutual support and the populace can absorb the supplies.

We also see the pattern here of large urban areas getting more attention sooner than rural areas. This is just part of an ugly but neccessary logistical calculus.

I don't know to what level they're actually doing that, and sometimes an ad hoc cease fire can be arranged, as was the case in post-tsunami Tamil. But you still have to assume the Islamofacists are lying. The aid relief is a tempting target for any insurgency.

Kashmir's Finance Minister, Muzaffar Hussain Baig, said the government was doing its best, explaining that the quake had cut off roads and communication networks.


Yes. And that's going to have an effect.

Sorry, moonbats. You can't blame Bush for this one.

Splash, out

Jason

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