Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Deux choses about Haiti right now...

First of all, I think the U.S. military should have immediately taken 10,000+ troops each from Afghanistan and Iraq to Haiti, including as many medics and doctors and nurses as possible, on aircraft, bringing medical supplies, search and rescue teams, sniffing dogs, the whole bit. They could be there now, pulling trapped victims from rubble, and setting up triage, field hospitals, and - sadly - morgues. They could coordinate with the Red Cross, other agencies and other countries that have also sent help. This is an immediate need and would help the hospitals that have crumbled, or have no power to operate, or are too crowded and overwhelmed, or all three. Why not have thousands of deployed U.S. citizens do something good instead of continuing to be destructive?

Second, I'm intrigued by the offhand comments people make about praying for Haiti. I mean, on some level, it's just whatever. People always say that stuff -"my thoughts and prayers are with them," "I'll pray for your loved ones," etc. It's mindless, but mostly harmless. But just a few minutes ago I saw where one acquaintance had posted online an almost lecturing kind of comment: "Prayer works, so please pray for the people of Haiti." It struck me as weird. Instead of just "please pray for the people of Haiti," expressing one's own opinion, it was prefaced with "Prayer works." Why? I mean, is anyone really going to read that and go, "Oh!! Oh, prayer works, OK. I wasn't going to pray but now that this online comment told me it works so I'll go ahead and do it"? So weird. I guess it doesn't strike people as weird when they all feel the same way - i.e., that prayer "works" - so they don't even question such a statement, but then they're just preaching to one another. I wonder if it will ever dawn on them that anyone to whom they say that either already thinks like them or is unlikely to be swayed by a comment. I guess it's maybe meant to be a testimony, not really a lecture or piece of advice. Well, in that case I will testify that international aid works (war, however, doesn't). I definitely am hoping for supplies, action, coordination, and workers to show up in Port-au-Prince. I kinda feel like Haitians need those things just a wee bit more than prayer right now, eh.

I've been watching Anderson Cooper live on the scene. He's interesting and good; it reminds me of what CNN used to do and be good at, before they started playing the same two-minute nonsense over and over 24-7.

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