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#4362: Something rotten.. Paryski comments(fwd)


The tragic story of "boat people"and the forces that push them to take such 
enormous risks and, in many cases, chose to ignore these risks, i.e. "bon 
Dieu bon" certainly deserves to be told.  But I totally agree with Lisa that 
this type of journalism that exploits this tragedy and, in a very real sense, 
encourages it using money, is immoral.  

There is certainly an ambiguity in the article about the use of the rescue 
signal device.  Finkel states that the first time that he was tempted to use 
it, he desisted, but after that avoids the subject.  I am not saying that he 
was wrong to use it if he did, since, if that were the case, lives, perhaps 
his own and that of the photographer were saved.  But to hide the device and 
his other safeguards from the other passengers, especially David, is 

It would have been better to have given David a waterproof camera, a 
waterproof tape recorder and safety  devices and let him tell his story if he 
could survive.  Finkel could have woven David's story into an article on the 
whole "boat people" syndrome.  

Paul Paryski

When I worked for the UN in Haiti (left Haiti a month ago with a few tears in 
my eyes), I often visited l'Ile de la Tortue and saw dozens of wooden boats 
being built.  When I asked the local people why they were building the boats, 
they admitted that it was for refugees.  The islanders said that new US 
regulations forbid small wooden boats to land in US ports, thus depriving 
them of their livelihood as small trade freighters.  Therefore they built 
boats to sell to those taking refugees to the US.    Unfortunately, the 
construction of boats on Tortue has resulted in its almost total 
deforestation.  The islanders now import wood from the mainland.

It would probably cost the US less to let Haitians immigrate legally to the 
US than all the funding spent on patrolling, detention camps, and misused and 
often ineffectual assistance projects