Tuesday Cartoon Fun: Talk Me Down* Edition

Today's cartoon comes with a concern:

I am very moved by the Haiti disaster. New reports say as many as 200,000 have died.  Many survivors still need medical attention, like amputation of their crushed, gangrened limbs.  Not to mention food, water and shelter.  And toothpaste for the stench.

I am unable to do anything except donate very little money and encourage you to do the same. Of course, if you are an orthopedic surgeon or an OR nurse, you should drop everything and get yourself to Haiti.  Bring scalpels and saws and alcohol.

There is something bothering me about the aid effort, and I think most of us are bothered by it--the slow movement of actual stuff getting to those who need it.

I have read reports of Israel's medical team arriving, with mobile hospital, staff and equipment in tow and getting down to medical business almost immediately.

I have read about the smaller NGOs getting moving much faster than the big ones. And the reports of stalls due to leadership arguments are simply amazing and disheartening.

I have seen WWII coverage. We had amphibious landers. Right now we have giant hovercrafts that can transport frickin' tanks.  I think we have the ability to drive over rubble, or move it.  And I think we don't need a working port.  But what the hell do I know.

The giant hospital ship (USNS Comfort) will arrive tomorrow. Tomorrow! 1 week and 1 day after the quake.

Am I being unrealistic, or has our response, even given the horrible infrastructure issues, been too slow and too careful? 

I think maybe, just maybe, we should hand off coordination of the effort to a nation with some fucking balls, like Israel. Can you imagine an Israeli leader on the ground recalling doctors because there might be unrest, like the Belgian (?) leadership did when they left Sanjay Gupta to staff the facility alone? No. Israel would not do that. They would send in more doctors if they could.  They are tough sons-o-bitches, as Patton might say.

I think our soldiers, if left to their own devices, would find ways to get the relief out but are hindered by leadership.  We often have our soldiers led by foreign officers when working in alliances.  This time, when there is no war involved, we should maybe look to others for leadership.

I am not saying we are not doing our best. I am saying our best is clearly not good enough. Thoughts?

*A Maddowism

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