CNN, Shocked: There Are No US Troops in Haiti!

It wasn’t 15 minutes into the coverage of this afternoon’s massive and certainly disastrous earthquake just 10 miles from Port-au-Prince on CNN, when Wolf Blitzer cut off the weeping Haitian ambassador to the US to go to a CNN staffer who spent another 2-3 minutes blathering about the lack — surprising, apparently — of United States troops on Haitian soil. But not to worry, he assures, Southcom, the US military’s bureaucracy for meddling in the internal affairs of our Latin American neighbors, could wrangle some firepower to help out our Haitian friends in their hour of need. More evidence of our society’s cultural embrace of military solutions to every problem.

70 thoughts on “CNN, Shocked: There Are No US Troops in Haiti!”

  1. where, arent u taking this a little far??
    Just because is an action made by the military, in not of a militaristic nature
    U can use ur hand to stab someone or help him stand up

    1. No, I am not taking it too far. The US military has no business steeping foot for one second, in any capacity, in another country. Let there be a flood of volunteers and donations and most of all, help for fundamental societal reform of this dysfunctional country. Realize US intervention in Haiti is part of the reason it is so hideously poor and desperate.

      1. I also agree. US military interventionism is exactly what is behind Haiti's problems in the first place. The United States uses the military as a force-protection for corporate control, political control and puppet governments all over the world. Asking the US military to go "help" is asinine, it is the same thing as asking abusers to now become our protectors.

    1. That's not so surprising – considering the USA has its troops deployed all around the world, everywhere but at home. Where were the jets that could have shot down even one of the planes on 9/11? There were probably hundreds of them overseas. What use was the vaunted U.S. military to its citizens burning to death in the twin towers? What good were all those French troops scattered from Algeria to Indo-China when the Panzers closed in on Paris in 1940? Empires make a country weaker, not stronger.

    1. Yeah, I suppose it does. But that is absolutely nothing to be proud of you blithering idiot. You should be ashamed of your country and it's long history of oppression and bloodshed.

  2. The U.S. has to keep an eye on its nearby interests. We have embassy personnel there. This is now a very humanitarian issue. Some order will need to be established to avoid major problems. This is not the time to criticize any efforts we make to help the people of Haiti.

    1. With all due respect to the people of Haiti, and the many Haitian people I have known and lived among throughout my life, their country has zero national interest for the United States. I do have a personal humanitarian interest, I will be donating a bit of my own money to reconstruction efforts, but I fail to see what any of this has to do with the US military or the US government.

      1. I agree it has nothing to do with the U.S. military. What does a baseball game have to do with the U.S. military? Why do we have to endure nerve-shattering, eardrum-popping flyovers from the airforce when all you want is to enjoy a few idle hours of sport?

  3. I understand as an anti-war blog you are going to be anti-military, but are you aware of the non-violent, humanitarian aid the US military is capable of undertaking? Do you really think we're looking to send in troops so we can stage a coup while we're at it? This is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, the US pledges aid, and you claim, what, that this is a "military solution?" Think about it. Who is better equipped to render aid to those that need it than the US military? The Red Cross? Who else? CONCACAF? No one has the resources. The military will go in with materiel and manpower, something the Haitians don't have. Maybe you should head down to Haiti and see first hand what the military is capable of in PEACETIME action. This has nothing to do with Afganistan or Al-queda. This is POTUS telling a neighboring country we will do all we can to help. Bashing the military when they go into Iraq without a plan is fine. Blasting the US for "meddling" by offering assistance is an insult. Ask a resident of Port-au-Prince if they would like some assistance burying their family. Ask some of the governmental authorities in Haiti if they want or need some personnel and cash to help bulldoze the rubble that makes up over a third of their capital city. Critiquing CNN for their boorish and callous news reporting is fine. Bashing the US for offering aid is arrogant and ignorant. Pray for the souls of those lost, and those souls forced to live in abject poverty, and pray they receive help fast.

    1. The Haitian government, a corrupt, violent, kleptocratic, oligarchic tyranny, no matter who has been in power, has had just about as much American help and money to solidify their power to secure several tinpot African countries. The government of this place is like a giant central vacuum that sucks the wealth of the common citizens up into a central tank to be redistributed among the elite families who have ruled it for centuries. This is why in the 2000s, despite hundreds of millions in remittances, they are eating mud. This is why in 2010 an earthquake that would make Hong Kong, a place with many times the population density, yawn in boredom, may have killed more thousands of people than I can even guess at this juncture.

      Haiti needs ground-up help, not yet another bailout for its indirectly genocidal government. That said, if the US military wanted to restrict itself to delivering rice to disaster areas, this site probably wouldn't exist.

    2. It all depends on what you mean by "help". Where was the U.S. military when help was needed in AMERICA for Katrina? I still say the only job of the U.S. military is to defend American soil, nothing else.

      1. Uh Andy, the military was there 3 days ahead of the first landfall setting up relief. The U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps had a station set up at LSU prior to landfall.

        Had Kathleen Blanco (Governor at the time) authorized the military to come in sooner – it would have. As it happened Blanco didn't call her own National Guard to Active Duty until almost an hour after landfall.

        Had the previous 50 years of Welfare State political local administrators not diverted funds from the Corp of Engineers to other projects the levees could have held up better. It was later determined that incorrect construction led to undermining of the levees – not over topping as the main cause of flooding from Lake Pontchartrain into the 17th st canal inundating the downtown area. Local malfeasance.

        Had Nagin (Mayor of New Orleans) or Blanco administered the existing local Emergency Evacuation plans correctly school buses could have transported the majority of people out before they along with everything else were under 3 feet of water. Amtrak offered to take hundreds out as it moved empty trains to places they wouldn't get flooded – Nagin declined. Instead he had people go to the Astrodome. Food and water was sent by the Feds to the Astrodome – enough for 15,000 people for 3 days. Nagin did not declare a mandatory evacuation until 20 hours before landfall the existing plan called for a 48 hour evacuation period.

        Local authorities are expected to manage emergencies for the first 72 hours.

        The storm was 3 days out when it crossed over Florida and was gathering strength in the Gulf heading for New Orleans.They were asleep at the switch and they had fore warning.

        They were warned 13 months before – July 23, 2004 – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) conducts "Hurricane Pam" exercise to assess results of a theoretical Category 3 hurricane. It assumes that a storm with 120-mph winds would force Lake Pontchartrain's waters over the tops of the New Orleans' 17.5-foot levees and through a gap in the levee system would flood major portions of the city and would damage up to 87 percent of the city's homes. The Times-Picayune reports that officials expect up to half the city's residents won't evacuate and that many will be trapped in attics, on rooftops, and in makeshift shelters for days.

  4. People have Commented that Government help after Katrina had made things worse…(blocking volunteers aid)….I know if I am in a disaster like situation, I would tend to rely on myself, and avoid (often bumbling) government programs….

  5. Wow, I’m not cool with sitting around while these people suffer from this natural disaster. Nobody should be left to die. All this hate I am seeing scares me. It just shows how much the right-wing agenda, with all of its fear and hate, is turning people into monsters. People like Richard suffer from a serious lack of empathy.. what if YOU had been born a Haitian in poverty?

  6. Jeremy…..to the very best of your knowledge, what is the best way to get some money to an organization that will do the most direct and immediate good in financing aid to the injured, hungry, etc? Also, do you believe the presence of an able bodied US civilian on the ground is a long shot at being effective, or worth the effort and risk of just getting in the way. Thanks.

    1. I'm not Jeremy, but I've got something to say. You'd probably get mobbed and robbed, maybe even necklaced…by government goons. And just what do you think you, as an individual could do down there? Man a shovel? The only outside help they really need right now is in the form of medical supplies and trained personnel (other than the military). Vaccines and the like to prevent outbreaks of cholera, etc. There are international aid organizations that solely exist for that very reason. The US military is not a humanitarian force and shouldn't be used as one.

  7. No U.S. troops in Haiti? Good grief! Everyone knows that it is the responsibility of the U.S. Empire to police the world. How can the Empire fulfill its duty unless U.S. soldiers are garrisoned in every nation of the world? The Empire must correct this error immediately!

  8. Why can't the Haitians just get on down to their building supply store and charge up what they need to fix the damage. They'll never get ahead until they learn to stand up on their own.

    Send in the Marines to stop the criminals from preying on those who want to rebuild in peace.

  9. Scratch the Marines idea…. get friendly members of OAS to deploy their grads of the US Army's 'School of Freedom and Democratic Tactics' to police Haiti as they should and stop the criminals from preying on those who want to rebuild in peace.

  10. Wolf Blitzer is a good example of a naive, arrogant American “booster”.Several weeks ago on CNN, he was visibly upset to announce that the Iraquis were not awarding oil franchises to American corporations even “after all the investments Americans had made to give Iraquis their freedom”.
    Why don’t we have troops in Haiti? What is there for American corporations? Once, Wilson and Spalding had baseballs made there. Very cheap clothes also came from there. No more – Haiti with its extreme poverty, is just too unpleasant for American managers to live there.
    And American troops? Why do you think we still have troops in Germany and Japan? Other than the fact that Germany and Japan can afford to contribute to the costs of having our troops there, these are pleasant places to be billeted – one can can travel Europe, ski in Switzerland, etc. If there were only hellholes for bases, a military career would be bleak indeed. How could we possibly maintain troop levels to keep a world empire?

  11. What Hiati needs is a govenment founded on the rule of law and controlled by members of the white race. This also applies to every single country in black Africa. This is a racist statement, but it is also a true statement. Just show me a single black run country in the entire world (past or present) that is not racked by lawlessness, disease, genocide and abject poverty.

    1. Africans themselves are to blame for the problems of Africa. As for Haiti, other then AIDS, Voodoo and endless boatloads of economic migrants (wrongly called "refugees"), I can't think of anything it has given the world. That having been said there should be no "takeover" of any of these countries. Nor do I have any objection with providing humanitarian aid or relief to Haiti. My only concern is with whether or not this is an appropriate job for the military of the USA. And all of this is outside the scope of this website. This is about ending America's interventionist, foolish, disastrous foreign polices.

  12. Yes, there is no problem that cannot be solved by sending in young men & women with guns. How stupid are we? A friend of mine was recently at Guantanamo observing their travesty of pre-trial hearings. A navy ship docked at Gitmo, which caused all the regulars to immediately get out of the one bar on base. Why? Several hundred postadolescent men cutting loose a little is rarely a pretty sight, whether at Berkeley, Ohio State or on a military base. The Gitmo bar, I'm told, quickly turns into a rowdy, drunken punch-up, and the brig fills up fast. In other words, even our own military bases have a hard time dealing with a huge influx of our own troops. Why do we expect other countries to embrace foreign occupation?

    1. Camilo, before you continue with your US military-hating rants, have you ever served your nation in defense of freedom and democracy not just at home, but around the world?
      I guess the answer is a resounding NO, judging by your ignorant, ungrateful, spoiled and un-American statements. I am of Latino heritage, like you, but unlike you, I have done many valuable things for humanity across the world. I have participated in the liberation of numerous countries that are now democracies.
      What have you done for freedom, liberty and justice??? NADA, I suppose!

  13. Oh for god's sake. Troops sent to Haiti to provide humanitarian aid are not "foreign occupation" and are not going to engage in "rowdy drunken punch-ups". They are going to provide food, water, and medical assistance to people who need it DESPERATELY. What are you doing, right now, to help the Haitians, besides writing misguided blather about how wrong it is for the military to do it? In 2005, the US Navy got to the tsunami victims long before anybody else did and was rescuing people and providing food, water and medical assistance while the UN was still deciding where to locate its offices. You people have let your hatred of the military deform your minds to such an extent that you are no longer able to think at all. Would you really rather let people in Haiti suffer and die than admit that the military might sometimes be capable of doing good things?

    1. Your framing the argument in the wrong way. Cops do good things too. But I would rather have the fire department show up when my house is burning. By the way, nobody here "hates" the military. Look at all the guys who wouldn't have been killed and maimed had Iraq not been invaded. Please take your strawman arguments elsewhere.

      1. The military is not necessarily the wrong organization to send to help provide humanitarian assistance. I agree that before jumping to who the U.S. should send, we should first look at who we can send. Obviously we have various non-government (ex. Red Cross) and government organizations (ex. the State Department and its associated USAID) that can provide at least some humanitarian assistance. But our military provides capabilities for a deployable security force, transport of equipment and supplies, and the ability to establish command and control — which definitely is a challenge for any organization trying to operate in a disaster area with countless independent organizations involved! — so the military is going to continue to be considered for some type of invovlement in these types of situations. Department of Defense Directive 5100.46, Foreign Disaster Relief, actually instructs the military to conduct foreign disaster relief operations when directed.
        MAJ Karl Hatala, Student, Command and General Staff College, US Army Combined Arms Center, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas
        The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense or the US Government.

        1. Here's the problem Karl, (if I can call you Karl) as I see it. It never STAYS a humanitarian assistance matter. It always escalates into "nation-building" which always escalates into internal political interference which always escalates into violence or a long -term military presence. Look at what happened in Somalia for example.

  14. I hate to break this to you all, but the only purpose of a military is, and should be, to defend your country. Nothing more. The only job of the Mexican military is to defend Mexico. The only job of the Swiss military is to defend Switzerland. The only job of the Brazilian military is to defend Brazil. The only legitimate job of the U.S. military is to protect the territory of the United States, not to be garrisoned all around the world in an empire of bases maintaining American imperial hegemony. Nothing else. Some of you have the fuzziest ideas of what the military is for.

    1. This claim initially seems to be supported by the Preamble to the Constitution which refers to the common defense of the states. I guess some of the debating starts right here with how people interpret the term "defense". Does that mean we simply stay within our borders and fend off attackers if they cross into our territory? Obviously that is not how our elected leaders have interpreted it throughout our history. I'm sure there could be some good discussions regarding what the motivations were for each deployment of military forces. But given the environment we live in today (globalized interests, globalized reach, havens, mutual defense of nations, massive disasters, etc.) it seems that the question whether the military should ever be deployed is a moot point. But this doesn't mean that each individual decision regarding the deployment of the military should not be subjected to critical analysis. MAJ Karl Hatala, Student, Command and General Staff College, US Army Combined Arms Center, Ft Leavenworth, Kansas The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense or the US Government.

      1. Karl: With all due respect a five year old child understands "defense". Did Serbia attack America? Did it threaten to do so? Did Panama attack America? Did Iraq attack America? Did Vietnam attack America? (Please don't mention that bull**** Gulf Of Tonkin non-incident).

      2. "Does that mean we simply stay within our borders and fend off attackers if they cross into our territory"…….

        Uh yeah, Karl. That would be a pretty good definition of defense to me.

  15. If anyone is wondering why China has made no commitments to Haiti, just remember that without China loaning us the money, we would be unable to help either. Go China!

    1. From Wikipedia:
      "China: P.R. China sent a 60-member rescue team (National Earthquake Disaster Emergency Rescue Team) following the quake. The team consists of rescuers, medical personnel, experts, and three search dogs. The team left the following day from Beijing. Red Cross Society of China will also offer assistance to Haiti. Liu Xiangyang is the Vice Leader of Chinese Int'l Search & Rescue Team. according to Xinhua News Agency. China will also donate $1 million to Haiti."

      A lot of countries sending assistance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Haiti_earthquak

  16. Please remember OPSEC people. Do not give people sensitive information as to the whereabouts of our us troops. I’m stationed out of ft Bragg and yes we have orders to help. When we leave is not anybody’s business. I joined the service to help those in need not only help fight foreign and domestic wars. I have deployed to Yugoslavia when that was it’s name not Kosovo to help innocent people. I am sick and tired of ignorant one sided people are. Think about it you hippie, most of the men and women in the armed forces come from poor backgrounds and their only shot at a decent living is through the military. Of course the majority of us have a sincere and genuine need to help the less fortunate and innocent. I was in the initial surge in Iraq as well and the majority of the native people loved us at first. Don’t blame the service members, blame the people at top who have money interests at hand. I knew Iraq was not all about helping the people out, it was about contractor money before the president left office. My line of work is WMD and I knew all of it was bogus. The biggest threat is untouchable. Back on track now, seriously people, let’s help these poor innocent people and think about the animals as well. Let’s be humans and do what comes naturally and help one another out. Do unto others as you would like others do u to you.

    1. Both American interventions in Yugoslavia and Iraq were evil, immoral, wrong and illegal under international law. How would you like it if Serbia dropped bombs on America for 78 days like we did to them? What would you do if an Arab army invaded America under false pretences like we invaded Iraq? You are engaging in rationalization and self-deception Bobby.

  17. Yes yes, they arrive to "help", with a few boxes of Pampers and Dry Milk(in an area that chronically lacks clean drinking water), and several 100 or 1,000 armed troops that immediately turn a disaster area into a war zone(Somalia 1990's). The US Military has already "helped" Haiti enough in the past, assisting the overthrow of governments and then sending in troops to solidify the new pro-US government. US Military intervention in the past has not helped Haiti. Haiti needs doctors and rescuers, not armed American troops. Only the UN has the right to use neutral forces.

    1. Do you mean those same UN forces that raped and pillaged their way through the Congo and Sudan? Sure, that will end the Haitian suffering.

      1. Ray

        Obviously I mean French speaking Police officers serving as part of a UN effort. Hopefully from countries with an enforced moral code.

  18. come on we are on our way do the want us to just come over there unprepared and with no supplys then we are no better off then they are dont worry the united states will come rescue haiti

Comments are closed.