Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The U.S. Military Lands In Sri Lanka

The American Military is being complimented on French TV, via Last Of The Famous International Playboys:

The expeditious and professional deployment of US troops on humanitarian assistance missions to areas devastated by the Boxing Day Tsunami has quite publicly embarrassed the French government — on live television, no less. Yet another reason to thank the US Armed Forces. To see what is sure to be one of the most exceptional moments broadcast on the French evening news all year long, make sure that you click here to watch this evening's news. (Latest version of Windows Media Player required. Before 2 PM Eastern time to-morrow, it'll be the first displayed. After that, click on the one labeled 10/01/2005 - JT 20h.)
For days now, the US military has been getting favorable coverage on the French nightly news due to its response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. But tonight's broadcast was simply astounding. At 8 minutes into the broadcast, anchor David Pujadas begins a discussion of the disaster response and introduced a report on the American deployment:

First off, here is the powerful American machinery in action. For 24 hours now, there has been a landing ["débarquement"] taking place — there is no other word — while helicopters continue the distribution [of humanitarian aid].
The report begins with an improvised helipad and then shows US airmen distributing "survival packages" of food, clothes and demountable shelters. In addition to showing those in need that they have not been forgotten, these supplies will allow their recipients to live for another day, says the narrator.
Cut to shot of a Sri Lankan beach where amphibious vehicles are disembarking from landing craft — unmistakably reminiscent of the D-Day landings. Note that above Pujadas used the word "débarquement" ("there is no other word"), which is the word most often used to refer to the D-Day landings. Footage of thousands of US marines offloading equipment. None of them are armed, points out the narrator, as this is a reconstruction mission. An interview with Juan Quijada, a US marine whose rank is not given. "Just here to help them as best I can," he says. 13,000 soldiers, we're told, and so far 200 metric tons of supplies.

France 2 TV then goes on to compare the overwhelming success of the American debarquement, with the futility of France's attempts at helping:

We learn that 100 French firefighters as well as rescue and response workers have been sent to Meulaboh to establish a field hospital but that 8 days after their deployment and 15 days after the disaster, only 25% of their supplies have been delivered "because France has no helicopters [to deliver them]." (NB: during the Afghanistan war, France had to rent ALL of its helicopters from the Russian army.)
"The good will of the rescuers is not in question," says Pujadas. "This is well and truly a foul up." Yes, those were his words. Watch the damn video if you don't believe me.

I include this part of the article not to put down France (for once), because they are truly trying to help. Giving it their best shot. The point is, contrary to what some French people think, if it weren't for the evil American military nothing much would be being done.