Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time is running out for Haiti

Crisis in Haiti:  An analysis of the earthquake aftermath

by Mike Marcellino

Mike Marcellino is a two-time national award winning journalist and served as a US Army combat correspondent in the Vietnam War.  He also worked as a Congressional staff member focusing on international human rights, community issues and veterans health care.

Is Haiti on the edge of collapse? 

Does anyone know the true extent of the disaster and the threats it imposes?

Based on the latest news reports, it appears some capable organization must take control of Haiti to avoid catastrophe. 

Conditions are chaotic.  Time is running out to save people in the rubble, provide medical supplies and personnel to treat victims and prevent lawlessness to go out of control.

The U. S. military would seem to be the only organization capable of addressing the situation in time to avoid unnecessary death and a total collapse of the society in Haiti.   Perhaps, the Haitian government could allow the U. S. military temporary authority for a period of time to allow stability and some improvement in conditions.

Yet, President Obama doesn't appear to be moving in that direction.  Perhaps he will after Secretary of State Clinton reports on conditions on the ground in Haiti.   

This story filed an hour ago by James Reinl, foreign correspondent for The National (United Arab Emirates) with AP and Agence France Press best captures the urgency of the situation in Haiti, and the chaos on the ground there.

Here are some excerpts -

“We have now used up all of the medical supplies from NGOs based in Haiti. We haven’t yet received anything from the internationals. I know they are at the airport, but there is no distribution yet." (director, Port au Prince General Hospital)

“This is chaos. I’ve been to all the disasters in the world: Myanmar, Pakistan, Iran, India. They were organised much better – there is no organisation here,” said Luc Beaucourt, part of a field medics’ team from the Belgian charity V-Med. “Everything is destroyed. The government. There is no military.”  

“This is a historic disaster. We have never been confronted with such a disaster in the UN memory. It is like no other,” Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told AFP in Geneva.

To read the entire story posted on the Internet by The National click the link below.

Battle for life amid stench of death

Copyright Mike Marcellino 2010