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Jan-14-2010 20:35printcommentsVideo

Game On: Is the U.S. Doing Enough for Haiti?

It is our apparent job to kill for the benefit of the world, isn't it also an obligation to save lives?

13 January 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti UN Photo/Logan Abassi
13 January 2010 Port-au-Prince, Haiti UN Photo/Logan Abassi

(SALEM, Ore.) - Military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will not be interrupted by the mass human disaster in Haiti. Sound familiar?

History shows us that the U.S. government failed to help its own people adequately after Hurricane Katrina struck the residents of Louisiana, Mississippi and several other states.

Impoverished, homeless people, mostly black, who didn't in many cases have anything to their names to begin with; plunged into the depths of natural catastrophic madness.

So why would this country that can't helps its own poor and disaster stricken masses, be able to adequately address the needs of people on an island nation of again, mostly black, very poor people?

Especially when a so-called American spiritual leader feels compelled to remind right leaning Americans that their ancestors "made a pact with the devil" and somehow possibly deserve this tragedy?

I'm sure glad President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela didn't bat an eye in his decision to send immediate aid.

The Haitians are still laying under tons of crushed rubble. The casualties include Americans and people from all over the world who were visiting when the quake struck.

I hate to wonder how much worse their plight will be because of the remarks made yesterday by Pat Robertson. How many otherwise generous American people, will turn away because Robertson makes Haitians seem deserving of their fate?

It's the real life American Christian version of "turning the other cheek". While there are those whose morals and values come close, far too many members of the U.S. Christian community do not consider the teachings of Christ in their inherent values.

Instead gun rights, anti-gay politics, anti-immigration, anti-poor sentiments and pro big business motivations dominate their conversations. They also largely stand against freedom, especially when it comes to abortion and education.

That after all is the way they roll - those fake Christians like Robertson and Falwell and Roberts, with their tough guys like Limbaugh, Beck and O'Reilly carrying the first row of torches, with stakes in companies like Haliburton and XE-Blackwater. There isn't a thing about them that is Christlike, and they are far from harmless.

Robertson's warped and wrinkled brain has the capacity to do damage, and he proves once again why actual Christians feel like breaking the TV set at any sign of the 700 Club, if they have one on at all.

Fakes, liars, devils, that is what they are. I don't know of a single public representative of any stature from their side of life who even served their country at war. Maybe Bob Dole, and he doesn't count, he did serve and I respect him, see how easy that is? It isn't that our leaders all need military service as a prerequisite to politics, the point is that only the warmongers lack it.

Yet they wave the flag the way they wave their crosses around for all to see, cashing in all the while. More lies. There is no patriotism in promoting and following evil politics, only small mindedness.

But the grandest sin of all, is using the name of a figure in history like Christ in context with hateful death drives and calls for the destruction of humanity. They will be instrumental in the deaths of us all.

Citizens of the world need to pressure their governments to act, and not let the people of Haiti fall into further despair.

Slow Progress

There are serious problems on Haiti's only functioning airfield and problems with air traffic control. U.S. officials say they need to get a team of military engineers on the ground, as well as operational planners, a command and control group and also communication specialists.

They are tasked with figuring out how to make Haiti's only large airfield ready for a huge influx of military and commercial aircraft that will bring in help and supplies.

Maj. General Mark Solo, who heads the 618th Tanker Airlift Control Center at Scott Air Force Base, runs the agency overseeing flight operations. He says U.S. search and rescue teams are in place, and medical personnel and relief supplies are arriving.

A temporary field hospital is under construction. Solo says people with more serious injuries will be aeroevacuated to a hospital that can provide the necessary care.

KATU Channel 2 News in Portland, Oregon reported tonight that 120 aircraft arrived in Haiti today, 800 miles from the coast of Florida. If the international aid continues there might be hope for the survivors, let's hope so.

The video above was originally recorded by The Skids way back in the late 1970's. This version is performed by U2 and Green Day. It very much applies to the current situation.

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Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Thomas January 15, 2010 8:01 am (Pacific time)

The Katrina disaster sure shows how people can take a horrible event and pursue an agenda with it. If anything Katrina demonstrates how some people have become so dependent on government services that they are unable to do anything for themselves. There have been countless Americans who have been wiped out since Katrina, homes and towns flattened, but they came back because of their independent self-reliance. Katrina was nearly 5 years ago and still we have thousands of people who continue to complain how little help they receive. Here in Oregon, talk to flood victims in Vernonia and compare who got what services and for how long. I am sure the people in Haiti will be getting considerable relief. How many of you have made a donation or helped other disaster victims in the past? We have given billions to Haiti and have literally accepted millions of Haitian immigrants here, so we will probably absorp thousands more from this event. Name any other country that comes to the aid of disaster victims around the world on the level as we do?


Gabriel January 15, 2010 7:01 am (Pacific time)

BTW: great article...


Jeff Kaye~ January 15, 2010 6:45 am (Pacific time)

Great choice of video, Tim. That gave me chills...reflections of Katrina's damage to New Orleans and surrounds' parallels to Haiti's current struggle to literally dig out from under this different yet similar catastrophe. I think we're doing more than the rest of the world to help, (nod to JB for that timely input) but you'd think we could put the wars on hold for awhile, call a truce - if ever there was a time for that, it's now... Haitians are no less human for their poverty, no less deserving of assistance for their skin color, religious practices or any ranting televangelist's insulting, skewed perspective. There is such a thing as taking "free speech" too far, and Pat Robertson has done it. If there's any justice in the afterlife, his wretched soul will surely burn in hell for his perversions of the peaceful, loving teachings of Christ. I urge those readers (like me) who cannot go themselves and lend a hand, to pray in earnest for the missing in Haiti to be found alive, the wounded to be healed and Godspeed to the USNS Comfort. Comfort is exactly what the people of Haiti need.


Gabriel January 15, 2010 6:28 am (Pacific time)

...BTW, the Argentine hospital there is the only one in operation right after the quake. Thanks.

EDITOR: Gabriel, thanks for the correction- it has been made!


JB January 14, 2010 9:11 pm (Pacific time)

FACTBOX-U.S. military mobilizes thousands for Haiti relief 15 Jan 2010 00:44:20 GMT
Source: Reuters
Jan 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. military is mobilizing thousands of soldiers, sailors and Marines along with members of the Air Force and Coast Guard for relief efforts in Haiti. Here are the main military components announced so far:

WHO'S THERE ALREADY?

* The vast majority of the forces announced for Haiti have not yet arrived, but the military has flown in hundreds of rescuers and has advance teams and assessment teams on the ground. Air Force special forces were among the first military relief workers to arrive. The Coast Guard has deployed four ships as well as air support for evacuation efforts. The Navy destroyer USS Higgins, with about 320 sailors on board, arrived on Thursday.

MORE THAN 5,000 MARINES, SOLDIERS

* Up to 3,500 soldiers from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg will be deployed in Haiti by Sunday. An advance group of about 125 troops were due to arrive on Thursday and 800 more will arrive on Friday.

* Another 2,200 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune, N.C., may arrive this weekend or on Monday for what initially is expected to be about a 90-day deployment.

AMPHIBIOUS GROUP, FLOATING HOSPITAL

* An amphibious readiness group with three ships -- the USS Bataan, the USS Fort McHenry and USS Carter Hall -- will take the Marines to Haiti. This group can produce its own purified water.

* A U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Carl Vinson, with a crew of between 4,000-5,000 sailors on board, is on the way and will arrive in the area by Friday, with 19 helicopters on board. It has three operating rooms, several dozen hospital beds and can produce fresh water.

* The much-anticipated hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, will not arrive until around Jan. 22. It has 12 operating rooms and 250 hospital beds. The Pentagon says the Comfort is a slow-moving vessel and will need a week to arrive in Haiti.

* Two additional ships, the USS Underwood and the USS Normandy, with 400 and 250 personnel, are expected to arrive on Jan 16.

Editor: Thanks JB for the great information.

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