Michael van der Galien

On Haiti and Self-Reliance

Posted on January 21 2010 7:30 am
Michael van der Galien was born in the Dutch city of Leeuwarden in 1984. For as long as he can remember, he has been obsessed with the United States. When he was 17 years old, he started blogging - of course about America. His articles have been published at Big Hollywood, Pajamas Media, Hot Air (the GreenRoom) and Right Across The Atlantic. He's also an editor for the Dutch conservative blog, De Dagelijkse Standaard.
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by Glenn Reynolds

Haiti’s earthquake has produced extreme devastation, both in the capital city and in the surrounding countryside. The current wave of reporting is examining problems in getting relief to where it’s needed, and the tone of the coverage is often hostile: Why are things taking so long?

For starters, Haiti is a poor country. The Port-au-Prince airport has a single runway and not much room on the tarmac. There’s room for a single wide-body jet, four narrow-body jets and a few smaller aircraft at any one time. Then the supplies have to be delivered on ground, moving over damaged, often blocked roads under dubious security conditions. When U.S. forces arrived, the entire airport had only one forklift. The seaport, meanwhile, was wrecked by the earthquake, and although repair crews and temporary port structures are on the way, setting them up takes time, too. Aid shipped overland from the Dominican Republic faces an 18-hour drive over miserable roads, made even worse by earthquake damage. In short, the situation in Haiti is a mess.

Read the full column at Popular Mechanics h/t Hot Air

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