Help for Haiti might be a better investment than war on terror…

January 20, 2010

Just read that a 5.9 aftershock has hit the capital of Haiti, where there are already thousands  dead and thousands (hundreds of thousands?) homeless, sending people fleeing into the streets, with many more buildings and other parts of what’s left if its infrastructure crumbling.

For the sake of the people of Haiti I hope that the political story — Democrats suffering defeat in Massachusetts in what is seen as a referendum on President Obama — does not bump their tragic story off the news cycle.

While I have little use for the United Nations, it would seem to me that if ever there were a job for that body, this is it. But I also think the reality is that the United States will be saddled with the bulk of the responsibility, and maybe that is as it should be.

In general, charity begins at home, but the United States, as the world’s superpower and standard bearer for freedom, has a special responsibility. I’d rather see billions for Haiti than billions for Afghanistan or Iraq, much of which will likely be ultimately used right back against us (yes awkward English, but this is a blog). 

I have to think that the war on terror is money (not to mention lives)  poorly spent. We must protect ourselves against terror the best way we can, but waging a war against a concept is turning out to be difficult, to say the least.

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Unnecessary security concerns hampering Haiti disaster relief???

January 16, 2010

Been on the road and have not been able to keep up on the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake as much as I would want to, but I caught something  on Anderson Cooper on CNN about a glitch in humanitarian aid with doctors being shooed out (reportedly not the doctors’  idea) amid security concerns.  That retired general of Katrina fame Russel Honore` said it seems absurd that the security concerns would trump humanitarian aid. And meanwhile, although I thought I heard some reports of chaos or rampaging prisoners or something, for the most part what I have heard and read about is poor Haitians attempting to rescue their fellow countrymen  and own kin by digging with their hands into the rubble.

I think major relief efforts, to include U.S. ships and personnel, are under way, but it seems that in some respects things are not moving as fast as they should. The good general said he thought the 82nd Airborne ought to be dropped into the disaster zone. Actually, as I understand it, a contingent of the 82nd has been committed, but I think the general was calling for the whole thing.

And that is what I thought even back in Katrina, and by the way, the general said the same unnecessary security roadblocks were encountered in that Donnybrook.

And I must say this Haiti disaster appears to be the worst natural disaster in my lifetime of 60 years. I have read that the death toll may be in the tens of thousands or even 200,000 or 300,000, with millions being affected.

Hopefully our president Obama can show that the U.S. government can martial its forces to do great good in this incredible disaster, but time is running out .

P.s. I did not mean to suggest there are no security problems, or course there are, but both security and relief efforts must move forward.

p.s p.s. I had noted in an earlier post that Fox News was quick on the news of the California northwest coast earthquake last weekend, but ironically I note now that Fox is giving coverage of the Haiti quake short shrift (at Fox it really is all about low brow entertainment and money — important news takes a back seat).