Too Little Too Late for Haiti? Six Sobering Points

Point One: $100 Million – Are You Kidding Me?

President Obama promised $100 million in aid to Haiti on January 14, 2009. A Kentucky couple won $128 million in a Powerball lottery on December 24, 2009. The richest nation in the history of the world is giving Powerball money to a neighbor with tens of thousands of deaths already?

Point Two: Have You Ever Been Without Water?

Hundreds of thousands of people in Haiti have had no access to clean water since the quake hit. Have you ever been in a place that has no water? Have you ever felt the raw fear in the gut when you are not sure where your next drink of water is going to come from? People can live without food for a long time. Without water? A very short time. In hot conditions people can become dehydrated in an hour. Lack of water puts you into shock and starts breaking down the body right away. People can die within hours if they are exposed to heat without water.

Point Three: Half the People in Haiti are Kids and They Were Hungry Before the Quake

Over half the population of Haiti is 15 years old or younger. And they were hungry before the quake. A great friend, Pere Jean-Juste, explained to me that most of the people of Haiti wake every day not knowing how they will eat dinner that day. So there are no reserves, no soup kitchens, no pantries, nothing for most. Hunger started immediately.

Point Four: A Toxic Stew of Death is Brewing

Take hundreds of thousands of people. Shock them with a major earthquake and dozens of aftershocks. Take away their homes and put them out in the open. Take away all water and food and medical care. Sit them out in the open for days with scorching temperatures. Surround them with tens of thousands of decaying bodies. People have to drink. So they are drinking bad water. They are getting sick. There is no place to go. What happens next?

Point Five: Aid is Sitting at the Airport

While millions suffer, humanitarian aid is sitting at the Port au Prince airport. Why? People are afraid to give it out for fear of provoking riots. Which is worse?

Point Six: Haiti is Facing A Crisis Beyond Our Worst Nightmares

“I think it is going to be worse than anyone still understands,” Richard Dubin, vice president of Haiti shipping lines told the New York Times. He is so right. Unless there is a major urgent change in the global response, the world may look back and envy those tens of thousands who died in the quake.

Wake up world!

Bill teaches law at Loyola University New Orleans. He can be reached at Read other articles by Bill.

8 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Danny Ray said on January 16th, 2010 at 2:50pm #

    I find it both indicative and interesting that one of the most horrifying human disasters in the last 50 years has occurred in Haiti . Moreover, Mr. Quigley has written two excellent articles about what needs to be done, but the left on this web site would rather spend their time practicing their anti-Semitism and blogging about how the Jews rule the world than read and comment on these two items. It should not be a wonder that no one takes the far left seriously. And I believe that it will remain this way for at least one week until you people can start flogging America because you thing we have not done enough to help or that we have ulterior motives.

  2. bpeterson1931 said on January 17th, 2010 at 12:28pm #

    Haiti disaster relief and the hills of Afghanistan/Pakistan may represent the most common type of military operations required in the 21st Century. In cases like these normal methods of delivering personnel and equipment are of little use, and what is required is a huge supply of helicopters and other vertical lift aircraft. It is interesting that the first ship we could supply was a $5 billion dollar nuclear powered aircraft carrier with 19 helicopters on board (normal complement of aircraft is about 90). 8 to 10 helicopter support ships complete with hospitals could be built for the same price. We are now in the process of acquiring some 2,500 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) for $340 billion (and rising), while the only recent significant vertical lift development being the questionable V22 Osprey program. The JSF is of no use in operations like Haiti and the hills of Afghanistan, and the V22 may be of only marginal value.

  3. Danny Ray said on January 17th, 2010 at 1:09pm #

    Bpeterson, The buisness of the US navy is power projection and that is best done with nuc Aircraft carriers. Landing ships just do not project power.

    I agree that the v22 is crap and always be.

    Most of my pilot friends are not happy with the JSF, but as one said to me what are you going to do.

  4. Deadbeat said on January 17th, 2010 at 3:05pm #

    but the left on this web site would rather spend their time practicing their anti-Semitism and blogging about how the Jews rule the world than read and comment on these two items

    Where was Danny Ray when Clinton & Bush overthrew Aristide? The Left has been pointing about Haiti for years but the Right never really cared about poor Black folks whether Haiti or Harlem.

  5. Danny Ray said on January 17th, 2010 at 3:33pm #

    Me, personally? As a matter of fact I was wearing a blue hat at a hole in the wall called Santos and spending my days trying to keep the Tonton’s from stealing everything not nailed down. Not very Successfully I will add. where were you? My guess would be grad school.

  6. Maryb said on January 18th, 2010 at 1:54am #

    Your Emperors should be proud of you.

  7. Danny Ray said on January 18th, 2010 at 6:15am #

    we fed a ot of peple, we healed a lot of people, we built a number of water treatment plants and kept a lot of people safe during that mission, it was much better than sitting on your ass and complaining.

  8. jon s said on January 18th, 2010 at 8:37am #

    Maryb, Yes there are moments of pride: