This report, by seasoned investigative journalist Danny Schechter, summarizes the bizarre and shockingly impotent response of the world -- particulary American aid organizations -- to the worst human catastrophe in the history of the Western Hemisphere, the Haiti quake.
As Haiti bleeds horrifically, we have looked away to fuss over comparatively trivial events in our own country, failing to grasp that Haiti is warning of what lies ahead for America's next great catastrophe.
The Haiti earthquake has killed more people than the death toll of America's 20 worst tornadoes, and 5 worst hurricanes, and 3 greatest terror attacks on American soil -- combined -- a death toll exceeding the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima.
Yet our aid agencies respond, sluggishly, as if it were nothing more than a large tornado or small hurricane.
Even our main aid agency, the American Red Cross, has responded to a catastrophe of hundreds of deaths, when its actually hundreds of THOUSANDS dead, and millions more injured, displaced or otherwise affected.
And as the dying goes on, day after day -- for lack of any truly effective disaster response -- the U.S. "aid" organizations crow endlessly in their websites, press releases and TV ads about how they're helping, while collecting vast sums that mostly seem to be helping only the aid agencies themselves. The watchdogs -- journalists -- have mostly gone back home, to simply regurgitate the press releases fed them by those all-too-trusted "helping" organizations, when they can find any time to even cover the ongoing lethal horror of Haiti, amidst America's latest hysteria over defective cars and errant pop stars.
It is a scandal inside a catastrophe. We blame Haiti for its misery, while the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the world stands by and lets its poorest, weakest, most desperate neighbor die.
This investigative journalist has summarized the situation precisely (and shrewdly) -- apparently from years of real experience reporting on catastrophe -- accurately critiquing the chronic superficiality of American response to catastrophe abroad, and pointing to a vital (ultimately self-destructive) weakness in American foreign policy.
What Schechter stops short of pointing out, though, is how that dearly costs us, later, in our dealings with the wider world -- a world that sees us as we are (and not as we fantasize ourselves to be), dealing with us accordingly.