- May 12, 2005: "Within a week a Diageo supplier began sending the equivalent of eight 20ft shipping containers of drinking water to survivors in Indonesia's Aceh province, the area hit hardest by the disaster. Almost five months later, that water has yet to reach Aceh or survivors. It is still sitting on the docks in the North Sumatran port city of Medan. The water is part of a daunting pile of international relief supplies from aid groups, rotary clubs and companies such as Dupont and The Body Shop, lying idle as those struggling to make new lives in Aceh continue to clamour for help. 'We understood there might be some difficulty in getting the water out there. But it's a bit of a disappointment when we learn it's still sitting on the docks,' says Ron Ainsbury, Diageo's director of corporate affairs in Sydney."
- 12 May 2005: "Five months after the Asian tsunami disaster, many hundreds of containers of aid are stranded at ports in Indonesia and Sri Lanka because of bureaucratic bungling and missing paperwork. As many as 500 containers, a quarter of all aid shipped to Sri Lanka after the Boxing Day disaster, are on the dockside in Colombo."
- 14 May 2005: "As of yesterday morning the equivalent of 1,500 20ft containers of aid - almost a third of those that had arrived since the December 26 disaster - remained stuck at the port of Medan, the main hub for supplies heading to Aceh, the hardest hit province."
Bolton would have no problem getting nominated as U.N. ambassador if he were more like Paul Martin. Who? Well, he's prime minister of Canada. And in January, after the tsunami hit, he flew into Sri Lanka to pledge millions and millions and millions in aid. Not like that heartless George W. Bush back at the ranch in Texas. Why, Prime Minister Martin walked along the ravaged coast of Kalumnai and was, reported Canada's CTV network, "visibly shaken." President Bush might well have been shaken, but he wasn't visible, and in the international compassion league, that's what counts. So Martin boldly committed Canada to giving $425 million to tsunami relief. "Mr. Paul Martin Has Set A Great Example For The Rest Of The World Leaders!" raved the LankaWeb news service. You know how much of that $425 million has been spent so far? Fifty thousand dollars -- Canadian. That's about 40 grand in U.S. dollars. The rest isn't tied up in Indonesian bureaucracy, it's back in Ottawa. But, unlike horrible "unilateralist" America, Canada enjoys a reputation as the perfect global citizen, renowned for its commitment to the U.N. and multilateralism. And on the beaches of Sri Lanka, that and a buck'll get you a strawberry daiquiri. Canada's contribution to tsunami relief is objectively useless and rhetorically fraudulent.I've noted a couple of weirdnesses with the tsunami relief but, if this is true, this will be explosive and, as Jay says, worth one or more Question Periods in Ottawa before, say, Thursday. I know Mark Styne is a poster boy for a certain class of crank so I will take his allegations right now with a grain or two of salt - but it is certainly time to show the accounting.