On Tuesday, there was a major earthquake in Haiti. They're estimating the death toll at anywhere from 50,000-200,000. They'll never have an accurate count because, out of necessity, the bodies are being buried in mass graves without ever being identified. A lot of citizens are doing this on their own without the help of their own government (most of the government buildings collapsed and many of the officials are believed dead) and without the help of the so-called rescuers.
To be fair, the vast majority of people who are there to help with the rescue are brave and caring and eager to go above and beyond the call of duty to do anything they can to help. The problem is, the people in charge (one of the problems they're having is that nobody seems to be in charge) are holding up rescue efforts. Tons of food, water and medical supplies have been delivered to the airport. It's almost five days since the first disaster struck and the supplies are still not getting out to the people who need them.
One of the doctors who was commenting for CNN said that now they're having a lot of "stupid deaths." People who were pulled out of the rubble are dying from injuries that are survivable if they were getting treatment. The supplies are there, the medical personnel are chomping at the bit trying to get into the city to help, and the people in charge are holding them back because of "security concerns."
Last night, Anderson Cooper had a follow up on one such case. A 13 year old girl had survived three days in a collapsed building with her leg trapped under concrete. Rescue workers spent hours digging her out. CNN filmed it all with a reporter on the scene. She needed surgery on her crushed leg, which could have been done in a field hospital. The tents, the equipment, the medical supplies and the doctors are all on the ground at the airport and have been there for days. But nothing's been set up. The girl died.
People who should survive are dying from dehydration and lack of medical care. And the "authorities" (Haitian, American and UN) are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses debating what to do. Just like FEMA in New Orleans.
And we have the same Bushian ineptness from our leaders here. Kathleen Sebelius, Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services, has been on TV talking about how each body will be carefully photographed and DNA samples will be taken so they can all be identified and it's a slow process so families have to be patient. She was saying this even after all the news networks had shown bodies being scooped up from the street, tossed in the backs of trucks and dumped in mass graves. Heckuva job, Kathy.
General Honore, the guy who finally went into New Orleans and kicked ass to get things going, is providing commentary for CNN. On Tuesday, he started talking about what needs to be done in Port-au-Prince, how to organize, how set up medical facilities, how to distribute food, how to help. The first night I saw him, I thought Obama should call this guy and put him in charge. You could tell Honore was itching to get down there, and every day, you can see his frustration growing because the job's not getting done.
MSNBC - the ones who are supposed to be liberal - keep going on and on about security problems and "riots." The only "riots" any of the reporters have seen is when a truck drives up to a site with food and water and hungry, thirsty, desperate people rush forward trying to get some. That's not a riot - that's people trying to help themselves because no one else will help them.
The longer the assholes withhold supplies, the more desperate survivors get. The "security concerns" and "fears of rioting" are self-fulfilling prophecies.
I've barely wasted my time on Fox. It seems like every time I flip through the news channels, they're rerunning clips from Glenn Beck's interview with Sarah Palin before the earthquake.
CNN seems to be doing the best job covering the story. Yesterday one of their anchors, Don Lemon, who happens to be black, made a lot of sense. He pointed out that people are not "rioting" - they're trying to survive.
Last night on CNN, you could see Anderson Cooper's frustration - he was saying the same things I am but a little more eloquently. He and one of the reporters were talking about something that I've heard a couple of survivors say - the international search and rescue crews have focused most of their efforts trying to find people trapped under the collapsed UN headquarters and fancy hotels where the rich, white foreigners were staying instead of going into the neighborhoods to help the Haitians.
This is change we can believe in?