Hillary to the Rescue

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Unless she plans to personally handout water, food, and medicine, please tell why Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveling to the earthquake-ravaged city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti? I realize the Clintons never miss a chance for a photo-op but Hillary, please. The Port-au-Prince airport only has one runway and limited tarmac space to park twelve airplanes.

The massive 7.0 earthquake in Haiti crushed the country’s fragile infrastructure for health care and clean water and may trigger widespread outbreaks of life-threatening diseases like diarrhea, cholera and E. coli, measles and malaria. Access to clean water, antibiotics and basic health supplies are top concerns, and recovery operations are already hampered by limited space at the airport.

At this critical point in the emergency response effort, what purpose is served by tying up one of the twelve airport tarmac spaces for Hillary Clinton’s airplane other than to provide the Secretary of State with much needed facetime? Sorry Hillary, but you need to remain in Washington DC and out of the way of the military and relief agencies.

Editor Update: Apparently, Hillary Clinton felt the heat for using Haiti as just another photo-op. At the 11th hour, she switched from jetting to Port-au-Prince in a Federal government 757 and arrived in a military cargo plane carrying relief supplies. We need to always be vigilant and pressure these politicians to keep them honest and accountable.

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16 Responses to Hillary to the Rescue

  1. Walk on Socks says:

    USAID is under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State and is woefully underfunded.

    I agreed with Hillary’s January 6th, 2010 speech in which she called for more funding just precisely for the type of humanitarian response currently underway in Haiti.

    But I also agree with you about the need for politicians to stay away from Port au Prince until the myriad relief groups and agencies get a handle on the disaster the Haitians are facing.

    The politicians for the most part, stayed away from the tsunami-ravaged Asian nations until food and medicine reached the people who were suffering the most. Haiti, I fear, is becoming a place where the media and politicians are trying to score points.

  2. retahyajyajav says:

    Christopher — You’re one brave guy.

    You know the Hillbots aren’t going to like this one iota.

  3. Peace Nick says:

    There are only 12 parking places at the Port au Prince airport? I didn’t know this.

    I agree. Every inch of the airport needs to be used by the military and the relief airplanes and not politicians who love the camera.

  4. Mets Fan says:

    As far as I’m concerned, until the humanitarian crisis in Haiti turns around, the media and the politicians need to butt out.

    I am so tired of seeing Katie Couric and Anderson Cooper shoving their microphone in the face of some poor man who just realized his wife and children were crushed under 10 tons of cement.

    This isn’t “news,” it’s ghoul news.

  5. Matteo says:

    Good point. To that end, did you see this?

    Haiti airport chaos thwarts NY rescue teams

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/island_airport_chaos_thwarts_ny_QpyENHm4fbGjQMRRvNrWiO

    Instead of sifting through rubble in Haiti’s destroyed capital, an elite rescue team of New York City police officers and firefighters was stuck at an upstate hotel yesterday because of complications and chaos at Haiti’s hectic airport.

    A backlog of military and relief-agency aircraft forced frustrated members of the New York City Urban Search and Rescue Task Force to cool their heels at the Hilton Garden Inn near Stewart Airport in Newburgh.

    “It’s out of our hands,” said James Murray, 41, an FDNY captain from Staten Island. “We would have liked to have been there 24 hours ago. The last thing we want is to be stuck in a hotel.”

  6. DMason says:

    They will have to close the Port-au-Prince Airport for security reasons while Hillary and her posse are in Haiti. I don’t see the purpose of her visit either. What I do see is the need for basics to reach a city that is suffering terribly and who have nothing.

  7. JollyRoger says:

    Honestly, just about any SoS would have done this. While it may be aggravating, it’s business as usual in DC.

  8. No matter who the SOS is, I think they would have gone to Haiti at some point anyway.

    Christopher, that picture of Broomstick One is freakin’ fabulous. I don’t think the Hillary zealots are going to like it much but it made me laugh my a** off.

  9. Bill Hussein O'Reilly says:

    A 747 for the Borg Queen?

    I thought she traveled riding a broom? I guess she’s moved on up! LMAO!

  10. the media also needs to get out – at least a chunk of them – the story needs to be reported but by 500 of them? on another note, fox news barely talks about it – figures

  11. Kate says:

    How is this any different from any other disaster at which a politician appears (all stupid). Seems someone has a little Hillary peeve.

  12. feminazi says:

    Finally, a Hillbot. It took Kate to arrive with the 11th post to this blog entry. Kate, the situation in Haiti is very different from other disasters that attract media ready politicians to camera time. If you can’t see this, then I have nothing more to say to you.

  13. Brigadoon says:

    Actually Kate, the American people have a “peeve” with Lady Hillary. Other than her election to the US senate in New York, most people don’t like her. She had her pantsuit handed to her in the primary and her time as First Lady was marked by an endless litany of controversies. I don’t like her because of her slippery replies to repealing DOMA.

  14. Jonny says:

    I don’t dispute anything in this article — and please don’t call me a Hillbot (*shudder*) — but I think this is a little more complicated than a politically advantageous photo-op.

    In a crisis like this, who we send, when we send them, and whether or not they land or just do a fly over matters to public opinion. Similarly, while I too think there is too much press in Haiti, I also think that ground reporting keeps the truth of the tragedy alive in our collective consciousness. And while I don’t want to reduce others suffering to spectacle and political theatre, we have to keep in mind that right now (before so-called “disaster fatigue” sets in), keeping this tragedy “alive” in public awareness increases public support and keeps donation streams flowing.

    So yes, if there is a benefit to the SoS going to Haiti right now, let it be on a supply plane. And yes, by all means, let’s put some reasonable limits on the media circus. But let’s not imagine that any of these issues are so cleanly black and white and clear cut. Reducing complex issues to such polarizing binaries is, after all, the all too frequent strategy and moral/intellectual flaw of conservibots.

  15. deepseas says:

    I’m no fan of Hillary. And I agree that under normal circumstances, she should have stayed home because Haiti sorely needs the airspace.

    However, I believe she needed to meet privately with President Preval on running his country. Preval appears to be hiding from his people without the means to keep them informed. Most likely Hillary is giving Preval valuable instructions sent from Obama on how to get the social structure up and running…because it is on the brink of breaking down.

    Hillary did not come empty-handed and leave alone. She brought a load of needed supplies and took many civilians back with her to the US. I think she knew the imposition her presence caused, which is why her stay was shortened to one day.

    Frankly, with the exposure of her and Bill’s shortcomings, I think Hillary would rather have not gone to Haiti. She was instructed to do so to represent Obama. Obama could not be there as he is trying to save that 60th democratic vote in MA for the election in Tuesday, which could spell the success or failure of Health Care Reform and rule by the Democrats.

    We must remember that Hillary is under the direct instruction of Obama…and she will not be flying here and there without his explicit demands and what he wants her to say. If Hillary didn’t make this trip, Obama probably would have himself.

  16. Scott Dancer says:

    I heard a report on BBC (yeah, I’m prefers getting much of my news from BBC versus the corporate owned news organizations in the US) that a C-130 filled with relief supplies was prevented from landing for an hour in Port au Prince until Hillary Clinton’s plane landed and was safely parked and the passengers deplaned.

    As Haitians are dying not by the day or hour but by the minute from basics like water and food, I do have a huge problem with the Secretary of State traveling to Port au Prince Saturday. Whatever she hoped or needed to accomplish could’ve been best handled by telephone until the humanitarian needs are at least being partially met.

    But Hillary’s rushed and hurried visit will look smashing on her CV should she decide to run for president in 2012 or 2016. After all, for many who saw her on TV, it is Hillary Clinton and not Barack Obama who is the face of the American relief effort.

    At the end of the day, I have to wonder how many unfortunate Haitians died stupid deaths from lack of water or food or medicine so that Hillary Clinton and her plane blocked that one C-130 from setting down on the runway in Port au Prince?

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