( – promoted by buhdydharma )
I had intended this as a comment, but it grew . . . .!
This picture drums it ALL into your psyche!
Pakistani flood affected people look towards an army helicopter which was dropping
relief supplies at the heavily flooded area of Rajanpur, in central Pakistan Sunday,
Aug. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Khalid Tanveer)
Apparently, it really got to this one Sun-Times regular columnist.
August 17, 2010
BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist
I’m 66 years old and, as they say, I’ve been around.
Traveling to the world’s broken places is not unusual for a general assignment reporter, which is basically what I am.
Only Monday morning, I didn’t have to smell it, hear it, or see it on television . . . or even be there — in order to feel the story.
It was the extraordinary power of one photograph — a black-and-white still photo, an AP pix by Khalid Tanveer — which transported me into the world of 20 million homeless people affected by a flood in Pakistan of biblical proportions.
This extraordinary still life of a scrap of land, surrounded by water, occupied by goats, cows, baskets, and strewn with the detritus of desperate people, was the cradle of life in harm’s way.
And it was the majesty of a hand-held newspaper; a chance flip of a page controlled by whim; and the profundity of silence — that made me take notice.
I have chosen to devote column space today to this stunningly provocative piece of film. Study it. Place yourself in it. Imagine the nightmare and the need.
And then be what we were born to be: Americans whose pride of place should always be standing next to someone in need.
And, the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was overwhelmed by what he saw:
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP)
– U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday he has never seen anything like the flood disaster in Pakistan after surveying the devastation and urged foreign donors to speed up assistance to the 20 million people affected. . . . .
“This has been a heart-wrenching day for me,” Ban said after flying over the hard-hit areas with President Asif Ali Zardari. “I will never forget the destruction and suffering I have witnessed today. In the past I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.” . . . . (emphasis mine)
This totally blows me away:
“Health relief operations are not possible in the flood-affected areas of Jacobabad because the airbase is with the United States,” Mr Lashari said while answering a question asked by Senator Semeen Yusuf Siddiqui of PML-Q.
Dr Jahanzeb Aurakzai, coordinator of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Centre, said: “Foreign health teams could not start relief operations in remote areas because there are no airstrips close to several areas, including Jacobabad.”
(h/t to ARC)
How is it that we seem to control so many airbases, no matter where in the world? Just incredible.
You mean to say that our Ambassador to Pakistan could not instantaneously effectuate an order that health aid be immediately allowed to land at that airbase? All too reminiscent of Haiti.
This, on top of our measly offer of $150 million in aid? Remember the outpouring of aid to us for “Katrina?”
Let’s see now, NOLA, Haiti, Peru, Chili, Pakistan and . . . ? Yep, the poorest . . . . . !!!!!
Finally, we should give whatever we can spare to reputable selections of charities by Charity Navigator:
-Concern Worldwide US
-Direct Relief International
-United States Fund for UNICEF
-Islamic Relief USA
also, should be added is Doctors Without Borders.