This post isn’t about the disaster itself, there’s enough out there by other people, and I could give no added value. I just wanted to report about some of the smaller things related to this mess that got published on local papers, and that may be relevant to the Israeli angle on the thing. So as a list of brief tidbits:
Most coverage and media attention here goes to the Israelis that were, almost were, and weren’t, involved in this. Everyone seems really shook up about the number of dead and missing Israelis, which on last count amounted together to about twenty something people. That’s compared to the more than one hundred twenty five thousand people dead and missing total. Less than meaningless statistical noise, except to the people themselves and the families. On the other hand, I’ll be surprised if things are different on other countries that had tourists in the disaster areas.
The search and rescue operations and assistance by our authorities seem impressive. In a rather short order we had people looking on the scene, and everyone that was found could get a quick transport home. According to today’s morning papers the Swedes were also impressed by the Israeli response, and annoyed at their government for seeming to do less.
Idiots kept complaining that not enough effort was being done to help their children and relatives. Finding and rescuing a small number of Israelis in a huge disaster area is not easy. The complaints that were most galling were those by people whose children were vacationing on areas that were outside the area and unhurt. How much can you bloody complain that nobody rescued a person that was in no bloody danger and didn’t know there was a problem ?!
I heard some radio interview with someone worried about a person that recently embarked on a month-long trek in India. The family was very worried about not hearing from him. Why is this news?! He’s on a trek, possibly inland, and let them know in advance that he won’t be in contact for a few more weeks at least. Stop wasting everyone’s time.
There was one news article about a jerk that only agreed to come back on business class, and then complained that he was forced to pay a lot of money in order to be rescued… Apparently he think someone owes him to rescue him on his own terms, and by his own conditions. Words such as "ingrate" or "self absorbed prick" don’t begin to describe this (All insults of course assuming that the news reports were accurate).
Sri Lanka refused the Israeli offer for a rescue mission and personal. Responses in the media immediately started claiming that they’re worried about the fact that most rescue personal are military, or other claims to similar effect. Nobody noticed that our relations with Sri Lanka are good enough for them to actually buy lots of military gear from us, which doesn’t really fit this profile. Nobody also waited enough to notice that they refused help from nearly everyone else as well, and claimed the reason is that the damages are in terrorist (insurgents, freedom fighters, rebels, whatever) area and they can’t vouch for the safety of the rescue workers. Makes sense, but a much less sensational story. Sometime it can be unsafe for the rescue workers as well.
Of all the possible international news reports passed by Routers and Associated Press, what did our local papers had to get and publish? That bloody stupid article about how animals must have sixth sense since no animal bodies were found… Never mind that nobody had time to bloody look for animal corpses with all the human dead around. Never mind that small animals would have been carried away in the floods. Never mind that the places rescue people came to, the heavily populated beaches, don’t have much wildlife. Never mind that birds can bloody fly away. No, animals must have sixth sense and sensed the tidal wave in advance. This is stupid, and the fact that papers everywhere pick up on this story instead of dropping it is sad
One of the stupidest responses to the thing I heard from a real live person: "If it’s not Osama, it’s… Tsunma… Tsonama, something like that… You notice how close are the names are? Terrible, just terrible. All those deaths by things with these strange names". I agree, this linguistic idea is indeed terrible.
I’m still waiting to see how long it is before someone blames the earthquake, and resulting tidal waves, on some clandestine Israeli underwater atomic bomb testing…