QUESTIONS

Is America Moving Slowly in Haiti?

Despite President Obama’s mandate that authorities move quickly to send aid to Haiti and utilize American civilians already stationed there, some “civilian units with dogs and specialized equipment” constituting only a “handful of Americans” have landed in Haiti, notes Conde Nast Traveler’s senior editor Clive Irving. China, on the other hand, landed a hundred “specially trained people,” and France has already sent three transport planes. The Pentagon, however, has focused on “making assessments,” flying over the country to check out conditions on the ground. While it’s true that a massive aid effort must begin with a proper plan, it’s also painfully evident that time is short, Irving writes. He also notes that “anyone watching CNN for half an hour can make an assessment… the time to save lives is running out, fast.” Still more disappointing is the passing of blame for the delays, with a Pentagon representative pointing to USAID (part of the State Department). Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has canceled her Asia trip in the wake of the earthquake, which the Red Cross says has claimed at least 50,000 lives so far.