As soon as the scope of the devastation caused by Haitian earthquake was evident, the president spoke and pledged $100 million. My first thought was, “What are they going to do with it? Burn it for heat?”
At this moment in time, money does not matter. What matters is clean water, doctors, hospitals, food, and to a lesser extent, shelter.
The time for worrying about the monetary side of it, at least from the government, can come later. I have zero problem with the private charities raising money immediately. But for the various governments and institutions like the United Nations, which are the only organizations capable of delivering what the Haitians need right now, promises of money seem trite compared to the immediate needs.
Here’s a classic example of what I mean:
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) — Critically injured earthquake victims watched doctors and nurses walk away from a field hospital Friday night after United Nations officials ordered a medical team to evacuate the area out of security concerns.
Saturday morning the U.N. allowed the medical personnel to return, said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent.
Gupta was the only doctor left on Friday night with the 25 earthquake victims — some of them critically ill. He said he assessed their needs, but with no supplies, he said there was little he could do to treat them.
Now, compare that to this:
In Haiti, the UN has been reporting that it has some personnel working on the ground, and is preparing to mobilize more. But the basic picture so far is that once again the American military is shouldering the chief burden of immediate relief. The UN’s clearest activity to date has been to call for money to start pouring into the UN — with a “flash appeal” today for $562 million.
Ban Ki-moon is now planning to visit Haiti on Sunday to show “solidarity” with the Haitian people.
Good grief. Ban Ki-moom is an idiot. This jet-set clown spouts off about the need for money when private charities are raising and getting ready to raise millions, if not billions. But that’s not good enough for this money-grubber who lets reporters treat the injured.
Here’s the real message the U.N. and Ban Ki-moon are delivering with these two stories:
“Even though the Haitians have no need for me to be there, and would probably rather have my plane filled with food and water, I am going to take my carbon-emitting jet to Haiti for a photo op.
“And even though the Haitians don’t need cash at the moment, I want the world to give me money right now. [As far as all that money you gave us after the Christmas Tsunami, I have no idea what happened to most of it.]
“Regarding the photo op, you U.S. soldiers, sailors and Marines, get this area secure so that CNN reporters aren’t the only ones treating the injured. I want the U.N. to get credit for what the U.S. is doing.
“Speaking of the U.S., I almost forgot to mention this. The entire world hates you for ruining our climate, and we hate your military for oppressing the rest of us. Ironic, isn’t it …
“Did I ask for that money yet?”