He Said, She Said.
Bubba and Billary: More Clueless Than Ever
The headline of this AFP story says it all: 'We built back better' after tsunami: Bill Clinton. Which is odd considering that just three days ago, according to another AFP story, a corruption watchdog group named Transparency International released a report saying that $1.1 billion of the $2.2 billion raised in tsunami aid for Sri Lanka never got spent on the victims. In fact, the audit revealed that $603.4 million never got spent on reconstruction and almost half a billion more simply went missing.
That means, statistically speaking, a full $5 million of the ten million Bubba raised with HW never reached the victims of the December 2004 tsunami. But you wouldn't know it to hear Bubba's glowing reports about how well we rebuilt Indonesia. If you close your eyes and ears to sounds of 30,000 people in Sri Lanka drowning, you can almost hear George W. Bush at his final presser positively bursting with pride about how quickly we rescued another 30,000 off their roofs.
To be fair, Bubba did say, "Though some tsunami-affected areas have not fully recovered, the recovery process continues, and governments, communities, and people around the region are better prepared for the future."
Well, wouldn't you think that after over five years since the disaster, more progress would've been made considering the rest of the world threw $13 billion at the damage, $2.2 billion of it to Sri Lanka alone?
Consider this: It took less than three years from the sinking of the first caisson to the opening of the Trump International Hotel and Tower. Consider, also, that the Trump Tower is currently the second-tallest building in the world and is a modern marvel of engineering multi-tasking. We live in a day and age when you can have pre-fab offices and even homes delivered to you with no construction involved. Prefab steel buildings, which would have the best chance of withstanding another tsnunami, can be bought for as little $16 per square foot.
So how can Slick Willie afford to back-pedal from what's an obvious case of corruption that's keeping Sri Lanka as far from reaching its potential as New Orleans? And how can Bill Clinton say that people in Indonesia "are better prepared for the future" when human corruption and unaccountability is eternal?
Sri Lanka is just one of 11 Indonesian nations that was hit by the tsunami. It would be interesting if Transparency International were to demand audits from the other ten governments to see how much of the other $11 billion was wasted, misappropriated or simply disappeared.