The news out of Haiti seems to be getting worse rather than better. The situation there is made worse of course, because the infrastructure before the earthquake was tenuous at best. The buildings, such as they were, were poorly constructed. The airport in Port au Prince has one runway, which quickly became clogged with planes flying in relief supplies. The supplies in turn have been stranded at the airport because the roads across the country are a shambles.
The sad coincidence for me is that I wrote about Haiti the day before the earthquake hit, in a post I titled “Why do we go to war?” As I pointed out in that post, we’ve never helped this struggling country in al those righteous patriotic ways we do for oil-laden nations. And now here it is come back to haunt us. Rather than help Haiti, we backed an overthrow of its democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004. (Thank you for yet another bold move, George.)
This week we have a powerful and tragic reminder that we are indeed global citizens. Who can look at the pictures from Haiti and not feel pain? The US has sent troops in to help get the relief efforts organized and moving. They’ll do a good job — they’re the best in the world at this kind of thing. Too bad the US military is stretched around the world fighting for oil. Just think how quickly we could help the Haitians if we cold give them out full logistical and strategical attention …
Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to give what you can to help with the relief efforts. No amount is too small $5 here and $5 there all adds up to help. One organization that I have given to is Doctors Without Borders. I’m sure you’re getting hit with requests for donations from every angle. There are a lot of good people going to Haiti and a lot of good people who have been in Haiti for some time. You have lots of choices for helping. What’s important is that you do something.
UPDATE: One of the things that Doctors Without Borders uses donations for are “inflatable hospitals.” Click here to see a video of the inflatable hospitals in use in Pakistan in 2005.