The bad news first. The natural disaster in Haiti is perhaps the worst natural disaster to befall the Western hemisphere in modern times. It happenned to a people least prepared to respond to it. That’s the bad news. Now for the good news.
The good news is that the “first responders” on-scene were wearing American uniforms. The U.S. Coast Guard–motto: “Semper Paratus” (Latin for “Always Ready”)– was “firstest with the mostest” and began providing emergency assistance within hours of the Tuesday night quake.
The White House quickly ordered reinforcements. A veritable armada — consisting of U.S. Navy ships and aircraft, Air Force cargo and aeromedical flights, a brigade of the 82nd Airborne and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit — was dispatched for rescue, relief and security operations. In an era when the so-called mainstream media make much of how our armed forces are “overstretched” by commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Aden, the U.S. military’s rapid reaction to the catastrophe in Haiti is a lesson for the potentates of the press — and tinhorn despots, such as Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.