Jan 19, 2010
Sending in the Marines
Sending In The Marines
New York Post
January 19, 2010
The massive Haitian earthquake has prompted a huge humanitarian response. Now Haitians can only pray that the world -- America, in particular -- makes sure the aid reaches those who need it.
As usual, leave it to the Marines.
Sure, Venezuela's crackpot strongman, Hugo Chavez, accuses the thousands of US troops sent to help victims of actually "occupying" Haiti.
America is dispatching "Marines armed as if they were going to war," fumed El Loco. "There is not a shortage of guns there, my God."
Actually, there is a shortage of guns -- in the right hands, at least.
Haitian President René Préval made that clear: "We have 2,000 police in Port-au-Prince, and 3,000 bandits escaped from prison [in the quake]. This gives you an idea of how bad the situation is."
Reports of looting and roadblocks manned by murderous gangs abound.
Obviously, order is vital for aid to reach those who need it, yet Haiti's police are in no position to handle the crisis alone; Uncle Sam can - and must - help.
US troops already control Port-au-Prince's main airport, while fresh arrivals yesterday put the total American military presence at around 10,000 -- most on ships anchored outside the capital. It remains to be seen whether that's enough. But, again, their help in restoring order and safeguarding the distribution of aid are top priorities.
To be sure, the last thing America needs is another lengthy entanglement -- and, indeed, morphing US relief efforts into an attempt at nation-building would be a mistake.
But today, some jobs can only be done by the swift application of force -- or, at least, the threat of it.
Anyway, the moral duties are clear: US forces can't stand by while Haitians die in the streets for lack of aid.
It's up to the US to step in, restore a semblance of order and save lives.