Wednesday, January 05, 2005

U. S. Soldiers and Relief Work

Look at those faces as the United States Marines lower food and water to children on Sumatra. Sure, we've seen griping about the Bush effort, which took maybe three times as long to crank into gear as the Clinton efforts vis a vis the Turkish earthquakes of 1999. We've seen the public pressure brought to bear to make the Bush estimate expenditures go from $15 Million to $35 Million and then to $350 Million. Yeah, they are slow on the uptake, all right -- this Administration supposedly informed, if not ruled, by the Christian right, makes all Christians look bad. But let's focus on the soldiers. They are doing good work, and they are a HELL OF A LOT HAPPIER doing it in response to the Tsunami than they are doing their soldiering in Iraq:

U.S. military crews are launching more than 100 helicopter flights a day from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln ferrying food, water and medicine to tsunami victims, a task they say is far more satisfactory than the Iraq war that seems only to destroy.

"Oh yeah, no doubt," said U.S. Navy helicopter pilot Rachel Brainard. "Here we're helping people, not destroying things."

"It's the greatest thing to see all the smiling faces when we're taking off," she said on Tuesday.

"They were so happy and grateful because they had nothing," said Airman Emily Aleiwe...

War supporters predicted Iraqis would be so happy to get rid of Saddam they would greet U.S. soldiers as conquering heroes, but instead violent Iraqi resistance has bogged down the U.S.-led effort.

"At least here we know it's for a good cause. In Iraq we don't know what the outcome is going to be," said Airman Kimberly Kolar.

"I don't feel like I've done anything this meaningful in my life," said Airman Carlos Lobo after a day working onshore in Indonesia to deliver aid.

I'm amazed that these soldiers spoke on the record, but not at the content of what they say. Let's not forget, we've got damned fine men and women in the field. They're just led by a bunch of power-hungry scumbags.