Valentine: We're doing our fair share in Haiti

Friday, January 22, 2010

The left seems preoccupied in portraying the United States as the devil incarnate, even in the face of a massive relief effort in Haiti. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused the U.S. of using the earthquake as a pretext to occupy the small island country. But, he's not alone and many who feel the same way are right here in America.

The disaster in Haiti is one of unimaginable horror. We've seen earthquakes before but seldom with this kind of devastation. Third-world construction has left flattened houses, hotels and hospitals for as far as the eye can see. It will be weeks -- perhaps months -- before the last bodies can be pulled from the rubble. In the meantime, hundreds of thousands go without electricity or adequate food and water.

Disaster relief is exactly what the United States does well. We've sent thousands of volunteers overseas along with billions of dollars to aid the least among us in the world. Ours is the most caring, most giving society on Earth yet people like Chavez seize the opportunity to try and score political points.

The United States sent $2.8 billion to help the victims of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. How much did Chavez and oil-rich Venezuela contribute? Nada. Chavez talks a big game but when it comes time to step up it's always the United States that leads the way. Meantime, he hams it up for the cameras with people like Danny Glover who think he hung the moon.

Speaking of Danny Glover, he gets the Idiot of the Month award for his comments on Haiti. He was on GRITtv and made this leap of logic: "What happened in Haiti could happen to anywhere in the Caribbean because all these island nations are in peril because of global warming," Glover said. "When we see what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens, you know what I'm sayin'?" No, Danny, I don't know what you're saying. It sounds like you're saying that because we didn't ratify the Copenhagen Treaty it caused an earthquake in Haiti. To be sure the dirt people haven't become that desperate.

Instead of being grateful to a world that's scrambling to deploy the resources needed, some survivors spent precious time and resources trying to make a gruesome statement. Less than 48 hours after the quake some Haitians blocked relief trucks with stacked up corpses to protest the delay in emergency aid. Roadblocks were formed with bodies and rocks. Some people, it seems, are almost impossible to help. One would think they would be thrilled at any help that might come their way. Apparently, not.

And this is the place that Chavez, et al think tops the list of American imperialism.

Disasters like this bring out the very best in people and the very worst. Looters descended on a Port-au-Prince supermarket carrying off bags of rice and electronics. One can understand the need for food in a time like this but stereos?

The United States sent 5,000 soldiers and marines along with 300 medical personnel and an aircraft carrier to use as a floating airport for aid supplies. That will, most likely, not be nearly enough to satisfy the anti-Americans who take every opportunity to criticize our country and its efforts.

Some in this country have demanded that we rebuild Haiti with state-of-the-art apartments built to California earthquake specifications. That would be a colossal waste of money. We need to help make Haiti whole but it's not the U.S. taxpayers' responsibility to rebuild it better than it was.

Call me an evil American.