Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Haiti and Tunisia--The Illusion of Control

It is interesting how the US continues to pretend that demographics will not dictate history in some countires. Increased mortality and morbidity in Haiti as part of demographics certainly are beginning to generate pressures that the US cannot control. The recent arrival of Baby Doc back in Haiti cannot bring a smile to the face of a State Department that seems almost totally at a loss when dealing with the Western Hemisphere, from Canada and Mexico to further south. And Tunisia of course has alerted the entire Arab world to the fact that if a large element of the population is willing to assert itself--sometimes called a revolution--then there is little that the government and security services can do except commit mass murder to try and control the streets. After all that did work for Napoleon as he was the only artillery commander willing to turn the French cannon on those street protestors. But hey it is always of interest to me how little studied revolutionary impulses are by the academic community. The fascination of those who do study with the victors and outcomes ususally far overshadows why.
Which perhaps brings us back to FEMA and DHS and whether after 32 years for FEMA and closing on a decade for DHS outside events will dominate their future or internal reorganizations. It always fascinates me how those who interface with the American public and other organizations involved in the same mission are such a miniscule part of federal organizations.
Well perhaps, Congressman Issa can get the details from the Executive Branch about how exactly and who in each federal organization interacts and deals with the public. Director James Lee Witt labeled this interface customer service but somehow that simile falls short of the critical trust nod that is the US government dealing with its own citizens and residents.
And before there is one, why not have Congressional oversight of the role of DHS and FEMA in any US domestic riot and civil disorder, whatever the cause?