Friday, January 15, 2010

The Haitian Earthquake Response

I have been very pleased with President Obama's fast, effective response to the earthquake in Haiti. Yes, there are many, many obstacles getting aid to an area that has been completely devastated. Think about it: Roads blocked by wreckage, no buildings to shelter food or people, no electricity to keep medicine cold, airport closed, seaport wrecked, inadequate heavy equipment (and fuel to keep the equipment running), and (according to news reports) escaped criminals beating up people for food. A catastrophe on an immense scale. Effective aid, sized to the magnitude of the disaster, cannot be organized and delivered in six hours. The (unfortunately, growing) number of people complaining about the relief effort have obviously never been involved in anything like this.

The people of Haiti need our financial donations and our prayers. For now, we need to stop criticizing the rescue effort and allow the brave rescuers to do their jobs. And, yes, it takes courage to go into a region like this under these circumstances.

Knuckleheads like Danny Glover who blame the earthquake on global warming (video here) and the failure of Copenhagen need to learn seismology 101.  'Global warming' and earthquakes have nothing to do with each other.

If there have been mistakes made, there will be plenty of time to analyze what went wrong and to learn from it.  Right now, 100% of our focus should be on getting aid to and caring for the victims.

UPDATE:  "Emergency aid is important. But, Americans can make the task of recovery in Haiti easier and faster if we consider long-term requirements and start planning now how to help Haitians rebuild their own country."
UPDATE II, Sunday Evening:  This is what I mean about courage.

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