Palin: "Haiti needs a military airlift"
“Fundamental changes, including job creation are needed in Haiti, amid a myriad of very challenging economic, political and environmental conditions under which most Haitians live,” explained Sarah Palin.
Palin’s visit to Haiti was to see firsthand relief operations in several cholera clinics. More than 100,000 Haitians have been infected with cholera and most recent estimates put the death toll from this largely preventable disease at some 2000.
Children, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly are at particularly risk.
“Do not forget Haiti,” Palin urged Americans at a briefing for reporters.
The former vice presidential candidate and governor of Alaska acknowledged that Haiti experienced a host of vexing problems before the devastating earthquake that struck in January 2010.
Palin called for job creation in both agriculture and tourism. Although Palin did not mention it, perhaps because of the rather apparent and massive scale of the physical damage one sees everywhere, nonetheless construction and other infrastructure projects offer the possibility of making relief to Haiti a part of an overall development plan and the immediate creation of work for many unemployed Haitians.
“The current outbreak of cholera should remind those involved in relief to Haiti that safe drinking water, the sanitary disposal of wastes and public health are linked to the provision of basic public services,” Eric LaMont Gregory wrote in a recent letter to President Barak Obama on the housing situation in Haiti. Gregory is a candidate for the US Senate from Ohio in the 2012 election.
Gregory agrees with Palin’s call for a military airlift. “Using the military in relief operations makes sense,” Gregory states. “All military units have security embedded within them, its part and parcel of the service our troops can provide. It shows our determination to serve the many, and this is an important message now given the recent violence on that damaged island following marred elections.”
Gregory working with a team of architects, engineers, and health practitioners devised a plan to house 500,000 internally displaced Haitians over a nine to ten month period. “It is envisioned that the Marine Corps of Engineers will help jump-start the housing project and gradually enlist locals to complete the process.” The proposal sent to President Obama describes housing that is both earthquake and hurricane resistant.
When asked if he (Gregory) had sent a copy of the housing plan to Sarah Palin, Gregory remarked, “Whereas that is a very good idea.” He plans to give President Obama ample time to consider the proposal, before publishing details of the housing plan on his campaign website.
Gregory, a clinical physiologist, graduated from the Faculty Board of Clinical Medicine, Green College, Oxford University in 1988. “I bring a wealth of experience to crisis situations,” he said.
Gregory was involved in the aftermath of a number of crises during his more than two-decades at Oxford in England, including Bosnia, Rwanda, the Kurdish Uprising, the hurricane disaster in Honduras.
In 2002 Gregory went on mission to Afghanistan which included talks in the presidential palace on post-conflict reconstruction. Colin Powell was then Secretary of State.
“Sarah Palin brings much needed attention to the ongoing crisis in Haiti,” Gregory states. “And, attention to the situation on the ground is crucial if progress is to be made.”