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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saving Haiti

What’s necessary?

For Haiti currently we need a massive relief effort on the order of magnitude only possible through the might and determination of our military.

This is from someone who has taken part in a U.S. military humanitarian relief effort – and regardless of the difficulties involved, that is what I believe is required here. Those people need assistance now. That assistance needs to be total and complete to prevent the range of disasters, which will continue to heap on the population.

The 23rd Tactical Brigade has landed today at the airport, and 2,000 Marines are allegedly on their way – and perhaps that’s a start. But destroyed infrastructure, collapsed neighborhoods, no communications and a barely functioning airport is just the edges of the problem. Soon security issues and disease will set in. At that point, the scope of death will be measured in the hundreds of thousands or millions.

How much should we do to help Haiti?

Everything we damned well can! I don’t care how much money or how much effort we have provided in the past and I don’t care what it takes. We must assist and we must assist in a very direct and total manner.

We are spread thin in military commitments, but I for one, as a former military person many years ago, and a veteran of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia, would gladly volunteer for any kind of recall to assist in any way the military or the government would have me. I would gladly go right now.

Those are people out there in the dark, trapped under the rubble, and those are people standing amidst the shattered concrete, digging furiously by hand, themselves being cut to ribbons in the debris, trying to get to friends and family, who may be alive now, but are buried in a place that will likely become their grave.

Those are children out there in the street at night, lost and crying – unable to find any member of their family. Others are walking injured, hungry, thirsty, trying to find their wives, their husbands – their children.

Those are the lost, the scared, the tired and the hungry. Those people are you and I, just removed by circumstance, and their tenuous hold on any semblance of life has been dealt a blow they may not be able to recover from on their own.

We have to help them. It is within our ability to do so, and we have got to do everything we can.

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