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Tom's Take:

January 21st, 2010
01:05 PM ET

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/09/art.amanpour.writer.jpg caption="Sr. Writer Tom Evans"]

On AMANPOUR. today, we again focus on Haiti. Christiane talks to Ambassador James Dobbins, U.S. envoy to Haiti in the Clinton administration. He is urging the international community not to rebuild Haiti’s institutions, “on the old inefficient and corrupt foundations,” but to reform them so they are accountable to the needs of the Haitian people. And we continue our look at President Obama, one year on.

Is the intelligence community better equipped now to track and prevent future terrorist attacks than it was before 9/11? And how do we assess the true threat of al Qaeda when its members seem to regroup wherever a hospitable environment presents itself? Haiti and the war against al Qaeda and the Taliban are among the stories in the news today. Here are some perspectives on the latest headlines.

Tom Evans
Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

HAITI – Are there enough medical supplies in Haiti to help the tens of thousands who have been injured, especially those with crush injuries?

– Hopes fading of finding any more survivors. Some rescue teams pulling out of Haiti as international effort focuses more on looking after the homeless, hungry, and injured

– Medecins Sans Frontieres saying there are 10 to 12 day backlogs of injured Haitians at some of its locations, and some of the patients’ wounds are getting infected

– European Commission says 2 million Haitians are homeless, with 250,000 people in need of urgent assistance

QUESTION: Is the world mobilizing the right people and equipment quickly enough to help the many Haitians who are injured and have lost their homes?

AL QAEDA/TALIBAN – How close are relations between the U.S. and Pakistan?

– U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in Pakistan on an unannounced visit, his first to the country since President Obama took office, with the intention of forging closer relations with the Pakistani government and people

– Gates trying to convince Pakistanis that Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, along with al Qaeda, are all part of the same problem and should be confronted simultaneously

– Pakistani Army though says it won’t launch any new offensives against militants for six to 12 months so it can have time to consolidate its existing gains

QUESTION: How much leverage does the U.S. have in Pakistan as it seeks to press Islamabad to step up its action against the Taliban and al Qaeda?

CHINA – How robust is China’s economy?

– China reports annual growth of 8.7% for the whole of 2009, more than the government initially expected, with a spurt of 10.7% growth in the final three months of the year

– Chinese economy now on track to exceed size of Japanese economy later this year, which would make it the world’s second largest economy after the U.S.

– Some economists say the current growth rate is unsustainable, because of growing asset bubbles in China and the risk of inflation, both of which could sharply curtail the country’s growth rate if not addressed

QUESTION: Will China become the world’s biggest economy – larger than even the U.S. – by 2030 as many analysts have predicted? Or will it suffer an economic slump like Japan which in the 1980’s was viewed as the world’s emerging economic giant?


Filed under:  1 • Tom's Take
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Wadinga A

    Haiti needs a marshal plan, economically and politically to rise up from its knees, and the US has the moral responsibility to lead the crusade.

    The 15,000 US troops on ground should be used to ensure security, transparency and compliance in the process of rebuilding Haiti.

    Haiti is a small country decapitated by the force of nature. With good leadership in Haiti, the rest of the world can help get the country rebuilt to the glorious memory of all those that lost their lives.

    January 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  2. erning

    Dear Christian,
    The tragedy and misery in Haiti, international terrorism, the hungry one billion, irreparable environment and other scores of human woes have a simple solution – but very hard to accept. As Becky puts it, they have to be CONNECTED to the right point. That point is the PURPOSE of human life. If there is no purpose, then no one should ever bother whether humans get extinct. If there is, then all human activity should be connected to that. It is evident no one knows the purpose because no one ever attempt to let everybody agree on that. Recognizing that there is indeed a purpose and accepting the process how to attain it is the only solution to all our problems. Very truly yours, erning.

    January 21, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  3. Gerard Mc Ardle, Drogheda & Belfast, Ireland

    There a ton of medicine at the airport for the past week but as Anderson Cooper said last night...the packer's were A.W.O.L upstairs & mixed up everything.. so the US official that got in touch. Who knows if this is the truth or not? I mean President Obama said Haiti could rely on America to do everything in their power to help. But has anyone told him in the last week that like the people were trapped in the rubble that medicines of all sorts were trapped at the airport...under the nose of the military. Sanjay Gupta was able to walk into the airport today (Thursday) at ease and bring out a big bag of medicine of all-sort's. If he can do that...why can't the military?

    Re; Pakistan...that country will be as big a headache as Iran this next few year or two...there too much of a genie out of the lamp to quell it...& I don't think the Pakistan Army are that good at defending themselve's never mind having to keep their people in order. It's a tinderbox I tell you...& must be addressed by America, China, & Russia...before it gets out of complete control.

    & China's economy is like a yo-yo...either way it could go!

    January 22, 2010 at 3:04 am | Reply
  4. Patricia Madhusudanan

    While the Governements are having "meetings" to think what they should do....the ordinary Human Being is doing all the work.
    Let's not go so far...let's take a very close example..Dr. Sanjay Gupta (as well as many other we don't even come to know). He was there as a journalist...but he didn't think twice to start helping people...this is Human Being...in the sense of the word...just doing what has to be done.
    In the same way I'm felling proud of these people, I'm very disapointed with the US Government. I expected much more from President Obama. News from Brazil comes to me telling that so many Brazilian doctors, donation of food and so on were not able to land because US is controlling the airport. Brazilian Minister had to call Mrs. Clinton to beg a solution. Is a shame!

    January 22, 2010 at 10:28 am | Reply

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