Readers familiar with me know, hopefully, that I try to phrase my thoughts so as not to directly offend those with differing viewpoints. But every once in a while it’s necessary to throw caution to the winds and let it rip.
One aspect of the Haitian relief effort has gotten on my last nerve. I suspected, from the first moment of American involvement, that it would be only a matter of time before unfounded criticism from around the world was aimed at us. Sure enough, last Thursday, French Foreign Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet accused the USA of attempting to take over Haiti.
Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s leftist ruler, quickly agreed that the United States presence was a cover-up to an invasion.
These birdbrains should know that back when I was a kid, America became pretty doggone good at conducting subversive, covert operations. Living under the threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War will do that for you. We had to know what the Communists were up to, as the Cold War wasn’t a video game.
Even so, I fail to discern how the Pentagon, under the current "transparent" administration, could have possibly orchestrated a plan simulating a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, replete with enormous aftershocks.
This is from the same White House whose social secretary, Desiree G. Rogers, cannot competently check the guest list for a State Dinner? Why, this American President, after a year in office, has still not filled his Cabinet. This President bowed to a Middle East sheik. Is it possible that this same President, who ludicrously hosted a "beer summit" on the White House lawn to patch up having incorrectly accused police officers of acting stupidly, has now orchestrated a covert invasion of Haiti? After having verbally crucified his predecessor for invading Iraq?
Fortunately, French President Nicolas Sarkozy calmed his minister down and thanked America for leading the Haitian relief effort. Sarkozy remembers that no Frenchmen protested as Americans went ashore to render aid at Omaha Beach in 1944.
America has a nuclear aircraft carrier, a hospital ship, and three amphibious support ships anchored off Port-Au-Prince. These ships provide operating rooms, generate electrical power and provide pure drinking water for Haitians, while serving as a base for troops dispersed to maintain law and order.
Oh, yes, the troops. We currently have 15,000 of them either already on the ground, or about to be, in Haiti. That’s because Haitian police admitted candidly that they could not maintain the rule of law. Thus, despite President Obama’s having earmarked 30,000 additional troops to bulwark efforts against Al-Quaeda and the Taliban, fully half of the troops he designated in a 2009 West Point speech are now establishing order and providing security for Haiti instead of supporting Americans engaged in the AfPak War.
Hey, that’s not my only issue today. Out in southern California, where the wildfires of last summer laid bare the hillsides, torrential storms have caused mud slides which threaten entire communities. Has even one foreign nation offered assistance as Californians evacuate? Has France?
Meanwhile, the former United States senator from North Carolina, John Edwards, finally admitted to fathering a 2-year-old daughter of his former mistress. Edwards says he’s sorry, hoping to someday qualify as a good person again.
Well, isn’t that warm and fuzzy? In actuality, the former 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful is attempting to resurrect his political career. His strategists have apparently realized that the 44th president’s term in office is likely to be "one and done."
And speaking of infidelity, golf’s great Tiger Woods was spotted last week at a "sex addiction clinic" in Hattiesburg, Miss. This proves that anyone with enough money and a good lawyer can find an excuse for lewd, lascivious, morally corrupt behavior. The belief is, apparently, that jumping through enough hoops will make one’s improprieties vanish.
Hey, just ask Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant. His wife forgave his publicized infidelity; coincidentally, it was just after he gave her a diamond reportedly worth $2 million.
Finally, how about last week’s U.S. senatorial election in Massachusetts? With President Obama’s attempted federal takeover of healthcare already on life support, Massachusetts changed state law to fill the vacant seat of the late Edward Kennedy. But, guess what? A Republican won! Kennedy’s crucial seat, assuring a "super majority" for the Democrats, was denied.
One late night TV comic wondered if seismographs registering aftershocks were correctly aligned, or if the rumbling near Capitol Hill was actually Ted Kennedy spinning in his grave.
Well, who knows? If I were guessing, though, I’d say the epicenter was on Chappaquiddick Island, and that tremors from 1969 have finally come full circle.
But, hey! That’s just me, letting it rip today.
Nat Harwell is a long-time resident of Newton County. His columns appear regularly on Sundays.