Oxfam to Bill Clinton: You're Failing Haiti

A year after an earthquake shook the small island-nation of Haiti, a mere 5 percent of the rubble has been cleared. Not even half of the donor money pledged has arrived. The government has failed to show leadership, and international NGOs are not helping -- circumventing the Haitian authorities to write their own rules. Perhaps most biting, the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) chaired by Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive has so far "failed" to deliver its mandate for reconstruction, plagued instead by "contradictory policies and priorities."

These are the findings of a new report released today by the British-based charity Oxfam International.  It's a damning read out on the last year of reconstruction -- or as the paper makes clear, lack thereof. While the emergency response is lauded for saving millions of people with vital supplies, services, and shelters, "neither the Haitian state nor the international community is making significant progress in reconstruction."

What went wrong? The report paints a picture of an international effort entirely divorced from the needs and wishes of the Haitian people -- not to mention the Haitian government. The original Action Plan meant to be put into place by the IHRC was favored by a mere 17.5 percent of Haitians, according to an Oxfam poll cited in the report. In implementation, the commission failed to include government ministers, for example consulting them in a tardy fashion -- and providing documents for review often only in English (the Haitian government operates in French). Individual NGOs and aid organizations actually carrying out the relief effort have done no better. "Many aid agencies continue to bypass local and national authorities in the delivery of assistanc," the report claims.

Ok, so the international community has been ignoring the Haitian government and just plowing ahead according to their own plan. Maybe that sounds like a good idea -- indeed, the government lacks much of the capacity to run the country's services and infrastructure today. It's incredibly tempting as an aid operation to want to cut corners, forget to do a bit of paperwork, or just fail to consult the local government -- so that your program can start helping people a few days or hours sooner. But the fact that Haiti's government is seen as inept is precisely the point. The Haitian authorities will never have that capacity to run Haiti if the international community cuts them out. So unless the international community plans on staying and running Haiti forever (something that Haitians would never -- and should never -- stand for), this is a disaster of an approach.

Ironically, these are the very same principles that the IHRC itself recognizes and has nominally committed to. One of its founding precepts was to empower Haitian authorities and help build up expertise in the local ministries. But like rebuilding a country, it seems this is easier said than done. 



CPAC: Agent of Sharia

Turns out that the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual right-wing gathering which will take place in Washington next month, hasn't just been infiltrated by the gay agenda,  it's unwittingly furthering the Islamist takeover of the United States as well. WorldNetDaily writes:

...Frank Gaffney, a leader of the conservative movement for the last 30 years, charges that CPAC has come under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is working to bring America under Saudi-style Shariah law.

Gaffney, deputy assistant secretary of defense under Ronald Reagan, is founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and co-author of the new book "Shariah: The Threat to America." He told WND that Islamism has infiltrated the American Conservative Union, the host of CPAC, in the person of Washington attorney and political activist Suhail Khan and a group called Muslims for America.

Khan is a member of the ACU board and, according to Muslims for America, will assist the group's presence at CPAC during the 2011 meeting Feb. 10-12.

Gaffney also accuses another ACU board member, leading conservative political organizer Grover Norquist, of helping the Muslim Brotherhood spread its influence in the nation's capital.

I feel like things might get a little awkward after the gays and the Muslim fundamentalists jointly take over the conservative movement.

If you're interested in finding out what Khan actually thinks, I recommend checking out his great piece for FP from last August in which he jokingly refers to George W. Bush as "America's first Muslim president" and laments the Republican Party's ongoing alienation of what should naturally be a culturally and economically conservative voting bloc -- American Muslims. This self-destructive trend seems likely to be on full display at CPAC.

Of course, using Gaffney's ironclad logic, George W. Bush is actually a Muslim

Update: Khan fires back in an interview with Politico's Ben Smith:

"It’s because I’m Muslim. It’s as simple as that," said Khan. "There’s no truth to it. It’s the latest iteration of anti-Muslim hysteria."

"His own diminished capacity -- not only in CPAC, but in Washington politics in general -- has really marginalized him. He’s looking for conspiracy," said Khan about Gaffney. "It’s anti-Muslim hystyeria. This is not new. This is something that we’ll deal with. The Sharia canard is the latest iteration of that.