Why In Haiti
It never ceases to amaze me concerning the intelligence
of the U.S. Government-Military when it comes to saving
lives in a major catastrophic event like the earthquake in
Haiti four days ago.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has the nerve to tell
the world that dropping food, water and medical supplies
by air would have been a big mistake.
Does he think we are all stupid?
Does he think we are all stupid?
Gates makes a statement that doing so would do nothing
but cause riots.
Does he think the Haitian people are little children,
or African descendants of people who wouldn't know
cotton from a corn stalk?
Here we go again.
New Orleans!!
One more time the U.S. Government acts like poor
people are stupid.
In reality, the Haitian people are very intelligent people.
If emergency supplies had been dropped by air early,
I am absolutely sure the people there would know how
to share those life saving goods.
That's because they know how to love their families
and neighbors.
It is kind of a universal thing that people do all over the world.
I believe the issue here is CONTROL.
I realize the earthquake hit an hour before dark,
but these supplies should have been flown in the
following morning.
You do this early in a disaster to prevent panic.
Getting heavy equipment in immediately to dig for survivors
may be another thing.
But, flying in First Aid Equipment, and Food and Water is a must.
As a medic in Vietnam,
who saw supplies flown in by a Chinook Helicopter,
I know this can be done.
Dropping supplies by parachute is no different.
It's a No Brainer.
It's a done deal.
When people are dying by the tens of thousands,
and you only have a small window of time to save their lives,
you get very aggressive.
You drop mass quantities of supplies to save mass
quantities of people.
Do not underestimate the sensibilities of people on the ground.
Most people can act with profound decency.
I wonder what our rich politicians in Washington, D.C. would
have done if all those people in Port-au-Prince had been
their relatives dying in those first few hours?
Mike Hastie
U.S. Army Medic
Vietnam 1970-71
Jan. 16, 2010
Photograph by Mike Hastie
Medevac helicopter in my military unit in An Khe, Vietnam 1970.

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