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Tuesday, Sep. 23, 2014

Our good deeds bring no thanks

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Italians are blaming the United States for a "poor" response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti. The French are accusing the United States of using the earthquake as an "excuse to occupy" Haiti. Venezuela is blaming the United States of...well it's Venezuela so they blame us for everything.

In short, the U.S. response to the tragedy in Haiti is generating something short of praise.

So we can ignore the sniping of other nations and simply focus on the humanitarian efforts mounted in this country. Or, we can fold up our tent, cancel the telethons, remove the military and medical personnel, take back our water and food and allow the Italians, French and others to take control.

No good deed goes unpunished or so the saying goes. Well, this is yet another prime example that proves the saying correct.

You could easily make the argument that we have enough problems in this country that we lack the resources to mount this humanitarian effort in Haiti. But as a Christian nation - despite the pronouncements of our President - we rush to the side of those in need regardless of their location, their politics or their history.

If we have a health care crisis in America - as we are told - then should the medical assistance flowing to Haiti be put to use here? If we have hunger in this nation - once again, as we are told - then should we not feed our own before we try to feed others?

The answer, of course, is simple. Our medical and hunger needs - even in the worst of times - pale by comparison to the pressing and urgent needs in Haiti. So we respond with resources and pledges of millions upon millions to assist those in need. I don't know if you've noticed, but that's what this great nation does to assist others in times of crisis.

I can only assume that when you are the most free country on this Earth, when you are the richest and most diverse, when you seek to help others even at your own expense, then for some odd reason you have a target on your back.

We find ourselves in that unique position of lending assistance with the knowledge that some will say it was too little, too late. And yet we do what we have done countless times in the past.

To the best of my knowledge, we ask nothing in return. And let's be very specific about this. All of that food and relief, all of that military equipment and personnel were sent using the tax dollars generated by working Americans. Our government didn't just flip a switch and print more money (I pray not). It came from your pockets and mine.

So the criticism coming from others is directed squarely at you and me. We funded the efforts now under criticism.

But let me tell you where I draw the line. Though I recognize that Haiti is the definition of a third-world country, I will resist all efforts to relocate massive refuges in this land. We are a melting pot, not a dumping ground. (Are you listening Mexico?)

I know the Emma Lazarus poem about the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. So when a half million or so Haitians seek asylum on humanitarian grounds, I hear Italy and France are beautiful this time of year.



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