THE DOUBLE EDGED SWORD OF US AID TO HAITI
It has been truly amazing to witness the heartfelt and sincere sympathy the American people have shown to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. For the past week, it has dominated our (oh so many) forms of communication. We’ve had tons of newspaper articles, TV / Cable NewsNetwork reports, YouTube videos, Twitter comments, etc. Everywhere people are genuinely concerned about the fragile situation in Haiti.
And it’s shown in financial contributions. According to London’s Guardian newspaper, US donations have accounted for 65% of all worldwide contributions to Haiti. This includes US government, charities and…most surprisingly…from private citizens. It’s even become a bit of a contest amongst Hollywood celebs to see who can give (and promise) the most. One of the Jonas Brothers even said he was “thinking” of flying down to help out!
It is also interesting how the rest of the world is reacting to our actions in Haiti. While our allies in Europe and Asia are encouraging, coverage in other parts of the world is becoming unsettling. Some news agencies have even gone as far as to question if we are invading yet another nation for political gain. Defense spokespeople insist our military is in control of the airport and main highways to ONLY to insure that aid reaches the victims. Unfortunately, these comments will never reach many parts of the world, where state-controlled news networks will show scenes of US tanks rolling through Port-au-Prince. The news-casters will say whatever they want about what is the US is doing in Haiti.
Any American who has traveled overseas in the last decade knows how the rest of the world feels about US foreign policy: “I like Americans, I don’t like their government.” It’s true, our military has a pretty big presence overseas: We currently occupy two foreign capitals, Baghdad and Kabul. So when our military takes over Port-au-Prince, even if only for purely humanitarian reasons, many around the world will end up viewing our intentions incorrectly.
Let’s just hope the next time someone gets ready to burn a US flag in Venezuela, Iran or the Gaza strip, they might think twice. Maybe we aren’t so bad after all! American response to the earthquake in Haiti has been amazing…what have YOU done to help, Mr. Ademijhad?