Monday, January 18, 2010

The Haitian Disaster and the Lunatic Fringe

In the wake of the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, the government and people of the United States responded just as we always do when a natural or manmade disaster strikes anywhere in the world: we summoned every resource at our disposal to render aid and comfort to those in need. Within hours of the quake – which has killed as many as 200,000 souls and left tens of thousands more in shock, wounded and homeless – aid in the form of food, water, blankets, clothing, equipment and perhaps most critically, manpower, went forth from the United States to the relentlessly beleaguered island nation.

Almost as quickly as the aid started flowing, however, lunatics on the extreme right and extreme left came out of the woodwork to assign blame to what is by definition, a blameless occurrence. On the fringe right, Pat Robertson shamelessly declared that the people of Haiti were being punished by G-d because they’d made a deal with the Devil when they were trying to expel the French from their country. Robertson, a scriptural literalist, found it necessary to make this highly inappropriate statement in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, just as he did following Hurricane Katrina’s path of destruction of the Gulf Coast of the United States.

On the fringe left, Hugo Chavez-hugging, washed-up actor Danny Glover declared that America and the West were somehow at fault for the Haitian earthquake. This moron, whom Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld described as “nuttier than elephant poop”, also tried to tie the “failure” of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit to the disaster. Perhaps most absurdly, he further claimed that nations like Venezuela – who’d contributed a whopping one planeload of aid – or China – who’d committed a paltry five million dollars to Haiti – were somehow on an even keel with the United States in terms of humanitarian relief.

The USA has poured billions of dollars into Haiti in the past and will likely funnel another billion into the impoverished island nation before all recovery and rebuilding efforts are through. And that’s not even counting the tremendous amount of private donations streaming out of the wallets and bank accounts of hardworking, generous Americans. Ours is an exceptional nation that has done more good and helped more people than any other in the history of the world. Of course, these days you’d never know that listening to our current president, most of Hollywood or the lame-stream media. Nevertheless, it is true – and we prove it every time there’s a tragedy or disaster anywhere on Earth.