Tuesday, 19 January 2010

The ghost ships off Haiti

The airport is a clogged up bottleneck.

So where in heaven's name are the hospital ships°! Poet-in-Residence demands to know.

The answer is that two cruise liners have docked in Haiti at Labadee Beach. The 4,370 berth Independence of the Seas and the 3,100 berth Navigator of the Seas will drop some aid supplies, according to a report at the Guardian website (www.guardian.co.uk) on the 17th. Meanwhile passengers can enjoy jet-ski rides, para-sailing and have rum cocktails brought to their hammocks. One passenger described the whole cynical business as sickening.

The Royal Caribbean Lines private dock at Labadee Beach is on the north coast of Haiti. Find Cap-Haitien on the map. It's just to the west of there.

Meanwhile on YouTube the Royal Caribbean Lines CEO Adam Goldstein is talking about making assessments, learning lessons and so on. In practical terms, very little, if anything at all is happening.

Doctors arriving in Haiti find there is no medical equipment available, according to a report from the scene by CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Amputations are being carried out using primitive tools such as hacksaw blades and bottles of vodka. It appears that a United Nations red tape policy - they need to make an assessment! is responsible for the failure to deliver the urgently needed medical supplies and equipment.

Here's my assessment: People are dying. Everything the doctors ask for - get it sent!

But the main point here is this: Where are the hospital ships? Why are they all cruising around the Caribbean with the dance bands playing on in the ballrooms and the croupiers shoveling their chips?

Shame on the UN's pedantic bureaucrats! Shame on the luxury cruise liner bosses!

image: courtesy of free colouring pictures

Song from Labadee Beach

in the dead cities
of our nightmares
the ghosts walk
through the rubble

death and devils
walk hand in hand
in the dead cities

in the dead cities
of our nightmares

in the dead cities

the dead cities

the dead dead dead dead dead ...

and broken cities

°refers to the post immediately below


  1. One feels totally helpless every time one puts on a news bulletin. The reports are all well-dressed, clean and sparkly - planes stand on the runway and piles of supplies stand there too- yet we hear that many people have died, not from the earthquake but literally from not being rescued in time. There is a word for how I feel each time I watch it - but for the life of me I can't think of it.

  2. I have edited the post. Two cruise ships have arrived. The passengers are enjoying jet-ski rides and rum cocktails. Cruise liner boss, Adam Goldstein, is waffling on YouTube.

  3. Nice to be given information we didn't already have, rather than a repetition of what we do know. The poem was very moving, I thought. More so, probably, because of the context, but my guess is that it would have been anyway. An excellent post. Thank you.

  4. Just read your poem, Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke, on Catapult to Mars. Lovely tribute, and I enjoyed seeing the references to other scifi writers. Thank you for sharing it. I like what I see on your blog. I'll be back to visit again.

  5. Dave King, mayn thanks.

    Yousei Hime, much appreciated, have replied at 'Catapult to Mars'.

  6. A sad poem. And what makes me sadder is that one of the most mobile and efficient armies in the world is busy fighting two losing wars when it could be deployed to give Haiti a fighting chance.

  7. John, Dianne and Annotated, thanks for your visits here.
    Odd you mentioned what you mentioned AM, because yesterday I as you were commenting I was finishing my reading of the Pulitzer winner 'The Looming Tower' (a fine Christmas present) - the insider story of how easily America was sucked into Afghanistan and neatly tied-up there by the man in Tora Bora.


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