I was reading the news during lunch today and see an article titled “Italy’s Disaster Chief Blasts ‘Pathetic’ U.S. Aid Work in Haiti” and I must say I was a bit shocked. Guido Bertolaso, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Agency, told Italian television on Sunday the U.S.-led relief effort in Haiti was a “pathetic” failure that is turning a national tragedy into a “vanity show for the television cameras.”
Mr. Bertolaso goes on to say the USA “tends to confuse military intervention with emergency intervention,” and that despite the presence of 13,000 U.S. troops there, “no one is giving orders.”
I am not in Haiti helping, but I know thousands of US citizens, military men and woman are there doing their best to help a country devastated by the recent earthquake. In times of disaster, no matter were in the world the USA is always the first country to stand up and volunteer to help in anyway possible.
Though I did not watch the entire Hope for Haiti show I can honestly say it was all for a good cause, which reportly raised $58M and still growing. Without the telethon the numbers raised would be much, much smaller.
I also read further in the article and see that the USA donated $184M. Can someone tell me what other country donated that much? NONE! The reality is when it comes to natural disasters there is no other country in the world that offers more assistance then the USA.
I am connected to hundreds of people via social networking and I often see people say we should focus on our own country’s devastating issues (i.e. homeless, rebuild New Orleans, fight cancer, fight heart disease, etc.) and not be so involved with Haiti. Yes, we should work those issues as hard as we possibly can, but the issue in Haiti is affecting an entire country. Over 100,000 people have died with more unaccounted for. We, the USA, need to stand up and help. If we were to turn the other way we would be foolish.
Our fast response to the earth quake and volunteering shows the true blood line of the USA and shows what makes us a great country. We HELP when it is needed no matter who or where you are. That is one of the many reasons why millions of people around the world would do anything to live here.
Mr. Bertolaso should think before he speaks. I am not knocking Italy for only donating $9M to Haiti. Maybe that is what they can afford. We cannot expect more as we do not know what they can or cannot donate. Heck, in Haiti, the $9M can rebuild a significant portion of what was destroyed.
Let’s spend less time knocking each other and focus on the problem at hand. Remember it is all about HELPING each other.