Friday, January 15, 2010

What might have been

Very glad to see all these relief workers arriving in Haiti. The Chinese especially sent a large delegation, and you know they are experienced dealing with earthquakes in densely-populated areas.

Can't help wondering, as a survivor of Hurricane Katrina, how much different the suffering and outcome of that disaster could have been had we been afforded some of the same kind of help that is hastening towards Haiti, instead of what we got: President Bush flying over in his executive jet and his cronies making insincere speeches while sending little help.

Cow glad to see President Obama's encouraging speech and his putting his muscle behind getting resources to them. Victims of disasters should be helped and glad to see these nations coming in.

Moo!

18 Comments:

Blogger R. Jacob said...

You are correct all the way around with your comments. What is fortunate, that as tragic as this is, it is one major event at a time. Imagine a volcano irruption, hurricane, tsunami, and earthquake acting in concert, and the scramble to help all the victims at once. Hopelessness would be world wide.

7:42 AM  
Blogger I Hate to Weight said...

couldn't have said it better myself.

i wish we'd all behave more like this all the time, instead of making so much war with each other.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Karen ^..^ said...

And of course a few crotchety idiots of the extreme right wing persuasion have opened their idiotic mouths and said that the only reason help was delegated so quickly was because the victims were "black" like out president. Some people should just get permanent laryngitis.

I agree with this post 100%

Very well put, as always.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

It's interesting to see that President Obama's team is mobilising as if this were a domestic tragedy, which must count as the first really positive application of the Monroe Doctrine for a long time.

And dispriting to see that some of the TV evangelists are saying that the Haitians brought it upon themselves.

I think I'll hang onto the positive: it's hope we need, not spite.

9:53 AM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

RJ: thank you for your comments. You are right, that resources are limited, and disasters when widespread or in multiples, could quickly exhaust resources.

Weight: Agreed. Still bristling that they militarized Katrina relief with armed soldiers instead of medical, search and rescue.

Karen: It was interesting today that Pres. O brought in both former Presidents to help--he truly seems to have a collaborative soul.

Probably there is no argument that would stand against the extremists--they will find fault no matter what. What's sad is they are afforded their soap boxes.

Kevin: yes, agreed. Of course the religious right also blamed New Orleans for bringing on Katrina because of their lifestyle--conveniently ignoring the fact that conservative Christians on the Mississippi Coast were hit just as hard by Katrina as their free-wheeling neighbors in the Big Easy.

Hadn't thought of the Monroe Doctrine, your comments are always very astute.

Moo!

12:38 PM  
Blogger R. Jacob said...

After some research on the Monroe Doctrine, I am not seeing the relevance here. I must be missing something here.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Kevin Musgrove said...

R.J.: Too often, to people outside the U.S., the Doctrine's been seen as a lever for vested military and/or commercial interests' asserting 'this is my back yard and what I say goes' without any taking of responsibilty for the consequences. (This isn't a party political thing: there are examples on both sides of the line over the years.)

In contrast, the response to Haiti has been an immediate adoption of 'this is my back yard, what can we do to help with this problem?' This is closer to the generosity of spirit of real Americans in my experience and it's something that needs to come across more often in foreign policy.

[apologies for a Brit's view of politics!]

1:27 PM  
Blogger R. Jacob said...

kevin
The Monroe Doctrine was used to pump up our rise to the top as a global power and to put a line in the sand what we thought was ours and not to mess with us. This was done against Spain at the time. This is about 200 years worth of intervention.

On the other hand, the U.S. people have always been more generous with other countries in need on an individual basis or with government assistance. But we tend not to look after our own people in the same way. That has always been troubling.

Your view is most welcomed.

3:10 PM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

RJ: Yes, just can't help contrasting the efforts for Haiti compared to the lack of response here after katrina.

Also, just read a book on a survivor of a tornado in North Carolina and despite applying for every government program available the guy (whose house was leveled) never received a dime of government assistance.

Kevin:
Cow does think it's weird that all of a sudden Haiti IS considered in our back yard, was there as much done for the Tsunami victims, or to help China with their earthquake?

Cow feeling that maybe it's just a difference in Presidential style--Obama wants to immediately meet needs, other presidents did not feel it was as urgent?

Agree that the US tends to "adopt" back yards, use them for their own purposes then decamp.

Moo!

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