Monday, January 18, 2010

It Takes a Lot of Gaul

The United States was accused of supplying an “occupation” force on the island of Haiti by a French minister in charge of humanitarian relief. Not to take light the tragedy on that island in the wake of the devastating earthquake but one must question the sanity of anyone who could see a possible advantage in taking over the island. Apparently miffed over landing procedures put in place by American air traffic controllers which reduced priorities for Geneva based Medicins sans Frontieres, Alain Joyandet voiced the complaint.

With over a third of the population directly affected by the earthquake our military has responded with in excess of 10,000 trained personnel on the ground to take up the slack in Haitian services busy elsewhere. The French minister was convinced that his medical aid took priority over every other aid relief effort in progress from any other country or the UN to provide food, water, shelter and rescue equipment. Although he may have been correct, the thought of calling our relief efforts an “occupation” is well past ridiculous.

That designation, “an occupation”, implies some foreign force to take over a country. Who in their right mind would wish to occupy one of the poorest countries on the face of the earth with no commercial or military value which had just suffered the greatest calamity in their history? Part of his complaint is probably because our people are armed. That may well be because they are SOLDIERS! I seriously doubt that if you are thirsty, hungry, out in the open, or trapped under a pile of rubble that you would be terribly concerned if your rescuer was armed or not. On the other hand, if a looter showed up to take your miserable cache of provisions, you might appreciate having gun-toting protectors on the scene. It’s possible he sees us prosecuting a “War for Bananas.”

I would suggest that rather than consume valuable air, he and his UN buddies take their little spat elsewhere and let the men and women of our armed forces do their work to restore vital services, food, water, sanitation and infrastructure to these unfortunate people. How French!

In short—take your egos and go home.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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