Where do these poor people begin?

We’re all terrified for the Japanese people while simultaneously being fascinated by the scope of the disaster. That’s human nature – it’s compelling and it’s riveting.

Sendai airport

So we watch and listen to the minute by minute updates on the radiation danger. But at the same time, and getting less attention, there are more very serious problems afflicting the country. (I don’t mean to minimize the nuclear threat – radiation is a real and present danger and could even force the eventual long term evacuation of large areas.) 

They’re running out of food and water in shelters. It’s freezing in the north – there was a blizzard of snow yesterday. The Japanese have an enormous elderly population and some of them have found themselves left with only one coat and no way to get out of where they are.  Shelters may not have heat. Some countries have suspended air service to Tokyo. And even there, food supplies are perilously low.

Few governments have ever faced such a multiplicity of crises outside of wartime.

And my government is considering dedicating air power to Libya. Elvis help me, but these failures of the human heart are killing me.

7 responses to “Where do these poor people begin?

  1. No dying on account of other people’s stupidity, Moe. You don’t get to do that.

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    • Actually, I’m encouraged to have just heard HIllary say we won’t take any action re Libya except as a ‘junior’ partner (EGypt, Arab League should take the lead) and under cover of international agreement. So maybe not so bad .. .

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  2. And my government is considering dedicating air power to Libya. Elvis help me, but these failures of the human heart are killing me.

    I suspect you wanted this man to be President.

    I tried, I really REALLY tried, to tell people that he couldn’t manage. He has no concept of team. Of prioritizing competing issues, of setting goals, identifying milestone and achieving results.

    He is a man of words and ideas. He can talk on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on……about how “there will be consequences” and “those responsible will be held accountable” but after awhile…..people learn.

    And the rebels are getting mowed down. And Japanese people are dying.

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    • pino, I’ve got my problems with this president I supported and still support. But I also believe that we cannot solve the horrors of the world. When Gaddaffi mows down his people – as governments in other places have done in recent decades – it’s not our job to stop him. There are many things we can and should do short of military action. I was further encouraged tongiht to hear on the BBC that Egypt is stepping up with more troops. That’s where the leadership needs to come from. We really can’t be flying the stars and stripes in a third Muslim country. It would be unimaginable to me and if Obama involves us in Libya I will damn him for it.

      Meanwhile though, what in the world is the President supposed to be doing for Japan that we aren’t doing?

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      • <iI also believe that we cannot solve the horrors of the world. When Gaddaffi mows down his people – as governments in other places have done in recent decades – it’s not our job to stop him.

        Fair enough. However, I would ask that our President refrain from the populist rhetoric that claims “he’ll be held accountable.”

        I’m good either way. Either we ARE the world’s police and act to correct wrongs without interference. Or we stand aside and watch as ruthless dictators slaughter their own people as we …. well, as wee watch The Daily Show.

        what in the world is the President supposed to be doing for Japan that we aren’t doing?

        It depends on what you think the Japanese people need.

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        • My question re Japan was serious – I do know that the Japanese resisted early efforts to help. It’s in their DNA I think. But after about five days they began to allow as how they could use it – I think we were flying coolant over there before they asked because we have satelittes and even from our ships had a good idea of what was going on.

          I think the US does everything it can and is allowed to do in situations like this – every president does it. I honestly don’t see any failure on our part here.

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        • Also – a lot of the US help is on automatic – specially trained rescue teams etc are usually mobilized immediately and odn’t need any presidential order. Ditto of course the NGO’s like Amer Red Cross.

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