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  • Obama to Send Bipartisan Delegation to Assist Recovery Efforts in Haiti

    According to (confirmed) reports this morning, President Obama will send a bipartisan delegation led by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to assist recovery efforts in Haiti. The United States has already launched a robust aid operation including Coast Guard and Naval ships and deployed Marines.  The U.S. also has floating military hospitals, doctors and medical supplies on the way.  President Obama has ordered a “swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives” and by all accounts, that is what is occurring.  Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have both cancelled their regular schedules and devoted their full attention to this crisis.  USAID has already begun shipment of over 14,550 tons of food aid “which will help feed 1.2 million people for two weeks.”

    It is heartening to see that the Obama administration has responded so immediately to this epic disaster.  This is the response that is expected of the most humanitarian nation on the planet.  The United States is the world’s largest donor of development assistance, and that doesn’t even count the tens of billions of dollars that Americans privately donate to humanitarian missions every year.  In 2003 for example, the U.S. government spent nearly $2.5 billion in emergency and disaster relief aid. All other countries combined gave $3.4 billion. The generosity of America is often overlooked, even domestically.

    Yesterday, The Heritage Foundation suggested that Presidents Clinton and Bush lead these efforts.  Some on the left were unwilling to put aside partisan politics and attacked Heritage for even suggesting the idea.  It’s not even a new idea.  The world was united behind former Presidents Clinton and George H.W. Bush during the relief efforts that followed the devastating Tsunami in the Indian Ocean. They were a great team, and did a great job. MSNBC’s leftist commentator Rachel Maddow went as far as to inappropriately make jokes about fly-overs and Bush’s ability to help lead such an effort.  This simply isn’t the time for such trivial sniping, whether its from Maddow, DailyKos or NPR.

    Once recovery efforts are underway, the Obama administration needs to keep in mind the long term effects of this disaster.  Clearly President Obama is already doing so, as he spoke to the American public this morning flanked by his national security team.  The recommendations he is getting surely include the appropriate ways to respond to a refugee crisis or a destabalized government in an already fragile Haitian democracy.

    Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, and America is the most generous.  The generosity and compassion of millions of Americans will be on full display over the next few months and beyond.  Doctors will take personal time and spend personal savings to volunteer their time.  Red Cross volunteers will deploy in and out endlessly, ensuring a consistent helping hand.  All across our nation, businesses large and small will donate services, goods and money to the cause.  Churches and faith based organizations will lead massive humanitarian efforts. We must ensure this generosity is not corrupted, and we must ensure that Haiti can rebuild itself into a stronger, and safer nation.

    Many in the U.S. and in the region have become concerned about the Administration’s policies toward nations like Honduras, Cuba, and Venezuela. Now, however, is the time to put aside our differences and concentrate upon rescue and recovery in Haiti. Into this terrible crisis, the United States brings unapologetically a unique combination of capacity and compassion. Thankfully, President Obama recognizes this vital fact about our magnificent nation. Haiti will recover. And America will help.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama to Send Bipartisan Delegation to Assist Recovery Efforts in Haiti

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      This tragedy is much too heartbreaking to make comment. My only hope is the victims will soon receive the needed relief that's been promised.

    2. Timothy McGovern Harry M says:

      Agreed!

    3. Timothy McGovern Bill G says:

      Well said.

    4. Randy Smith, Georgia says:

      I am a small business owner. President Obama is right to call on Americans to be giving, generous, and compassionate to those caught in this unimaginable tragedy. However, I could give more to relief efforts if the economic policies followed by this President and Congressional Leaders had not so negatively effected my customers' businesses and, thus, my own. I am a conservative American, therefore, I try to be personally compassionate with my own resources and money.

    5. Rudy, TX says:

      Oh yes, I am so heartened by Obama's QUICK response to SOMEONE ELSE'S crisis. I don't wish anything harmful or bad to the Haitians, but I wish that Obama was THEIR govt leader and NOT OURS. He is so quick to pledge money to anything and everything that does nothing to promote OUR general welfare. If WE have a devastating situation HERE, who is going to come to OUR aid? No one. Resoundingly, no one. WE ARE IT. And we are drowning in a sea that just gets more and more dangerous as Obama and his cronies play the shell game faster and faster to destroy us and our nation. He is no one's friend, and I would be VERY interested to see just how much of that hundred million dollars really and truly goes to the aid of those who are so stricken, instead of just changing pockets to get it out of OUR economy that is still suffering badly. Just because WE are not laying under rubble at this given minute does not mean we are out of danger. To repeat the statement of the illustrious Rahm Emanuel, "…never waste a good crisis…" and this to me is just another opportunity for them to play the shell game again while people are distracted by something sensational. Obama does nothing for THIS country, but he is quick to send money OUT of the country at any given excuse. Here is is a hundred million. HUNDRED MILLION. Dollars. How about throwing some of that money back into OUR economy, and stop sending it out when we are in desperate need here? How about having industry RESTARTED HERE, instead of all the outsourcing that became so popular, and returns goods that are shoddy and over priced. They could care less who they are cheating, as long as they are making obscene profits in the face of the rest of us losing more and more. And what about the TENS and HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars to the fraud "climate change" issue? BILLIONS. But nothing for us. (?) Doesn't anyone notice a pattern here? Please, wake up people and stop this. I repeat, I don't wish ill to the Haitians. I just am more interested in the welfare of the United States FIRST. YOU should be too – not carried away by emotionalism that is being promoted to weaken your rational thought processes. Obama couldn't care less about Haiti or anyone else. As I said, big money, shell game. Pay attention. You will find out that the pea is not under the shell, it is still in the hand of the charlatan who is controlling the game.

    6. Larry , Elk Grove Vi says:

      Regarding Heritage's support of the US effort to help Haiti: don't you folks realize that charity is not an enumerated power of the Federal Government, for Katrina or Haiti, or anyone else or group? It is outrageous that a Conservative Think Tank would continually support (Prescription Drug Program, Part D; No Child Left Behind, etc) the unconstitutional use of power by the Federal Government and the subsequent decline of liberty. What are you? Brookings Institutte II? I would bet my last dollar that Cato will not come out in support of the Haiti Federal Efforts, but, they are always mindfull of the Constitution. You would be a stronger Organization if you shared that ideology. Bush II was no Obama, but he also was no Warren G. Harding or Grover Cleveland: two Presidents who did far better at holding to the Constitution. Get out your Constitutions and the Declaration of Independence, and learn what they say. If you're not for the Constitution, you are allowing the decline of liberty and our Republic to the desires of Big Government and majoritarianism.

    7. Sean Pennsylvania says:

      "Obama does nothing for THIS country, but he is quick to send money OUT of the country at any given excuse. Here is is a hundred million. HUNDRED MILLION. Dollars. How about throwing some of that money back into OUR economy, and stop sending it out when we are in desperate need here? How about having industry RESTARTED HERE"

      Brilliant idea guy, we could call it a bailout, but instead of a HUNDRED MLLION, lets make it NINE HUNDRED BILLION…oh wait they already did that.

      "I repeat, I don’t wish ill to the Haitians."

      You are wishing them ill, without Foreign Aid many more will literally die.

    8. Zack says:

      "Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation."

      BUT ONLY IF YOUR EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE MINDED. WHAT A JOKE!

    9. Zack says:

      is this website fair?

    10. John Bently says:

      I have had enough of all the reports and news coming out of Haiti. This country was in crises before the earthquake, now all they want is US dollars and how many of the victims will have their houses rebuilt how many will get the medical aid they require? All the fuss and media frenzy this is not the only country that has had so much damage and lives lost due to natural disasters but it is the only one that the President of the United States has publicly supported, yet again at the taxpayers cost. Well I feel enough is enough; No more there is other news in the world and the USA I would like to see some of that too.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

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