January 13th, 2010
01:45 PM ET

Should U.S. lead international response to Haiti earthquake?


Haitians pass destroyed buildings in Port-au-Prince. (PHOTO CREDIT: THONY BELIZAIRE/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With Haiti facing a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions - the U.S. is in the crosshairs of a massive relief effort.

President Obama says the U.S. government will lead a "swift, coordinated and aggressive effort to save lives" following the deadly earthquake.

He says the U.S. has already mobilized military flights over the country to assess the damage... and that civilian disaster assistance teams are on their way.

The president points to the "heart-wrenching" images from Haiti and adds that the tragedy "seems especially cruel and incomprehensible" in a country that's already accustomed to hardships.

Mr. Obama says Haiti will have the unwavering support of the U.S.; although he hasn't pledged a specific amount of aid. Officials say they're still trying to figure out what is needed. Meanwhile the president is also calling on Americans to help and to donate money. He says the Haitians are our neighbors; and that Americans need to be there for them "in their hour of need."

Of course it's not just the U.S. helping here. Aid agencies and governments from around the world are springing into action - mobilizing search and rescue teams and sending money, aid and food.

The scope of the death and destruction isn't known yet - but it's clear that Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, has been devastated. Some officials fear the death toll could reach 500,000 - with millions of others displaced.

Haiti needs a lot of help.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. lead the international response to the Haiti earthquake?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 4pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Global matters • Haiti earthquake
soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. walt

    In a word – NO! US should certainly help in initial effort to save lives but it will be days or weeks before kinds of heavy equipment needed for that will arrive in sufficient quantity. Sadly, probably too late.
    The Organization of American States should lead effort with UN assistance and generous contributions of money and supplies from oil and natural resources rich neighbors like Venezula and Brazil. Let Cuba send its underutilized military and police forces to demonstrate a little civility and compassion for Hatians in need.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  2. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The United States Military should sustain democracy until the governement of Haiti can sustain. Charity on the other hand is the responsibility of Church donation ,not taxpayers obligations.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  3. Barry

    The right thing for the U.S. to do at this time is to get to Haiti as fast as possible with as much real help as possible. The question regarding leadership of the aide effort can be be sorted out in the next sevaral days. Leadership of these kinds of efforts is what we pay the United Nations to do. I think we should expect the U.N. to do its job.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  4. Brent

    I say we don't help them Cafferty. For one, we cannot afford it. Two, we have people in the US that are homeless and could use are help. Lets stop this madness of helping every country out there when we need to help the people in our own country first. Honestly, it seems the help we have given other countries in the last 50 years or so seem to be not appreciated.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  5. Sal

    The richest country on the planet is only a few hours away from the Island nation. Haiti has had a brutal history from slavery to wars and poverty. This is what our military and tax dollars should be used for. Thousands of people are dying under rubble right now a few hours off our coast while we are here drinking our smoothies and starbucks. We must act fast! Lets not turn this into a Katrina type response! – Sal San Jose, CA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  6. Ryan

    I don't think anyone needs to necessarily be leading anyone else. I think every country should just send whoever they can and form a joint coalition with all the other countries' helpers.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  7. Matt

    Yes, absolutely the U.S. should help out and lead the effort.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  8. Rayshaun H.- New York

    Clearly yes, the United States is the leading super power of the world so yes we have a responsibility to lead this effort in hatti, and we are in the best position to do so.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  9. Eric R

    I can't believe this is even a question; they are people who have nothing and are trapped on an island. I am not saying we need to give an enormous amount of cash but, we do need to lend a hand.

    Eric R.
    Washington, D.C

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  10. Fred Dunn

    As the nation with the most resources immediately available, the US must take the lead but at the same time we must exclude the Haitian Government and its proven corrupt officials from any influence over actions taken or funds distributed and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should one cent of American aid be allowed to be distributed or controlled by any member of the Haitian Government. They must be entirely excluded from all aid efforts!
    Palm Bay, FL

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  11. Mickey

    Geez Jack – how nice of you to acknowledge the aid flowing from other countries!!! France already has a disaster team in the air, so does China and numerous other nations. Why not let the UN take the lead on this – the nations of the world can supply whatever the UN team needs.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  12. RichM

    What kind of question is that? Does anyone suggest that we should sit back and let the rest of the world help from far away while we are close? It's a rediculous question.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  13. JD

    Yes we should as a neighbor and it would help our image.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  14. Lisa

    Absolutely NOT!! How is it that we can't even fix what's broken here in the United States, but we can rush right over there and offer millions of dollars in aid, people and resources? No wonder we are in such a financial crisis!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  15. Forrest

    No, France and the EU should be providing the most support to Haiti at this time. They were most responsible for the dire situation in Haiti before the quake, AND they are doing better than the U.S. economically. They have more resources to spare and have most the blame for the tragedy that is Haiti. That isn't to say that the U.S. shouldn't be doing all we can, just that we had best not be providing the lion's share of aid here.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  16. Dick

    This effort is worth more than that which we have in Iraq, so we should lead the efforts. We spend a trillion dollar building the infrastructure of a country that don't want us there.


    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  17. Seth

    Yes, we should. Our actions in times like these show why the U.S. is still the greatest nation in the world regardless of our financial and military arrogance.

    Bloomington, IL

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  18. Rick

    Of course. If we can can led them into war, why cant we lead them in relief?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  19. Mark Wardell

    Yes of course...

    January 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  20. Smag , Munhall , Pa.

    HELL NO !!!! Let the catholic church and all the evangelicals do something for a change !!!! They're 'supposed to care " about what happens to the people. They take BILLIONS from people supposedly for when such disasters occur but do they ever really use that money when such a need arises ??? NO !!!! They just ask their people to donate more and then use 10% (if that) on the disaster and 90% on new cars,jets,more elaborate church"s,political campaings and more expensive homes. We can't afford to be everyone's hero anymore. Go ask the Vatican to open their vaults for help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  21. ken wallingford ct

    Absolutely!! I totally agree with President Obama that the U.S. government lead a "swift, coordinated and agressive effort to save lives". Haiti are our neighbors and we as a nation should do everything in our power to help this nation. Because of the scope of this tragety, the world should come together to offer what they can to help a nation in need!! I believe the U.S. should lead that effort to maximize the effort for aid and relief to Haiti. We should all pray for the people of Haiti, and that, as quickly as possible, relief will come!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  22. Paul Higgins, East Greenwich, RI

    Yes, of course we should lead the efforts to assist our neighbors in Haiti, as well as most of the world. Why? Because we can. As rough as we think we have it sometimes, we are incredibly fortunate. We can certainly dig a little deeper to find the money to help millions of human beings who are trapped, living in terrible conditions, every day, through absolutely of fault of their own.
    And if those aren't good enough reasons, we should continue showing our enemies how much we care for people, no matter what their religion or skin color. Christian, Moslem, Hindu, it doesn't matter. Our message to our enemies is, for every misguided suicide bomber, we will help one million people. That really pisses them off.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  23. Sandra

    Of course, Jack! We're still the most powerful nation on this planet. We have a moral obligation to help our fellow human beings when they are in most of need, especially when they are our neighbors.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  24. Sue from Redwood City

    Although our country should help, we should NOT be the leader this time. For once, the Vatican needs to step up to the plate since their teachings are responsible for the absolutely horrid overpopulation in this 80% Catholic country which has caused the massive poverty and hunger in the first place. These people are so crowded they are practically standing on each other's shoulders. They have denuded 98% of the forests which is why the buildings are made of concrete and cinder block – and still they breed unchecked! We can't keep bailing people out who will do nothing to help themselves: i.e. get the population within a sustainable level for that country and hold the Vatican accountable for the mess!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  25. Montana Steve

    Jack, there is no question that the US should lead the humanitarian effort in Haiti. This is our hemisphere and if there is anything worth our tax payer money, it's a natural disaster.

    If we're stretched so thin that helping Haiti isn't possible – then Obama better finally change the Bush direction and get us the hell out of the TWO wars and get us the hell out of Japan and Western Europe.

    He also better get going on balancing the budget and yes – spreading the wealth around. When our Top 1% own over 60% of the nation's wealth, it's time to do something to revive the middle and lower class. Even during the gilded age, the railroad and bank barons weren't as greedy as our current crop of rich-greedy crooks. Tax all income over $ 500 K at 98%......correcting the gilded age taxed income over $ 100 K at 98% and we didn't end up in the socialism trash heap...in fact, it led to the revival of the middle class – up until the arrival of Reagonmics (the greed of the super rich....supply side....trickle down).

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  26. Marian Atkinson

    Canada's Governor General is of Haitian descent and has provided a very emotional statement to the Canadian media. Canada has been very active in Haiti and having a Governor General of Haitian descent brings the matter closer to home for Canadians. Every country has to send all the help they can to Haiti be it the US, Canada, whomever. It doesn't matter which country takes the lead - just get it there and get some relief to those many hundreds of thousands of people who need medical, financial, infrastructure assistance, and perhaps even evacuation to other countries for some period of tiem.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  27. Jack M

    It's a French speaking country. How about the French leading the rescue effort?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  28. Jim, Cranford NJ

    If not the U.S., who? Do we let the Haitian people suffer while Hugo Chavez and others in the region gloat over our inaction. If we fail to act the problems in Haiti will only wash up on our shores, in this case literally, with boats full of refugees. Haiti has suffered for decades with with the ill effects of poverty and poltical corruption. While our own nation struggles with the recession, I'm sure we can find enough resources to provide relief.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  29. Satyan Nair

    Definitely United States should take the lead towards humanitarian aid and also get their allies to support the aid effort. President Obama did the right thing to take this initiative and he will have the support of the american people. Haiti needs everything right now to get back to its feet and everybody should do whatever small or big they can do to help the quake affected children and families.
    North Brunswick, NJ

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Cesar Baez

    I believe the US should lead the international response to the Haitian crisis. The country needs to show the international comunity we are as dedicate at bringing relief, as previous administration were about raging war an distruction, you can catch more bees with honey, we have an opportunity to shine, and show we are a compasionate nation.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  31. Elizabeth Luzier in Colorado

    Why would you even ask that? We're neighbors and the people of Haiti need the whole planet's help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  32. Rich

    Guess we should. Were the only ones that ever seem to have anything to give that will give. might try passing the hat in front of some of those drug kingpins who seem to virtually own South America.


    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  33. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I'd say we're best suited to lead the response seeing as how we're the only country touching the Caribbean with the man power, resources, and financial aid necessary to get the job done. The rest of world should join in of course and send over as much aid as they can. Once the initial operation is complete and we've got the country stabilized, the UN should take over and handle the long term rebuilding. And you can bet the rebuilding will be a very long process. I have no idea how you recover from losing 5% of your population in a single disaster. Completely unpredictable disaster of devastating proportions; scary stuff.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  34. John

    No. Let China lead the way. Or the Russians. Heck, even the Europeans or the South Americans. We're already the World's Policeman. Let somebody else be the World's Paramedic.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  35. Lou Rehkamp

    Yes, I do think that the United states should lead everyone in aiding the Haitian people. The United States is almost always expected to lead and set the example for the world. Haiti deserves to have help for this disaster. I would be very disappointed in the United States if we didn't help and lead the aid to Haiti people. In such a tragedy as this, there should only be one question and that is: How fast can we get there and start helping the Haitain people?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  36. frankie

    Of course, we are closest. I was totally shocked to learn that in Haiti, mothers feed their children mud cakes to keep them from being hungry. People actually make and sell and buy these flat cakes made out of mud and water and sometimes oil. And that's before the earthquake. Yes we should help them.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  37. Daniel Alter

    Yes!! With all of our economic setbacks over the last few years, we still have so much compared to the people of Haiti. We have it so good here, even when we are at our worse. These people had little or nothing to lose, and they've lost it. They have nowhere to sleep, no food to eat, no water to drink, and their hospitals and relief workers can not even scratch the surface of what is a catastrophe of epic proportions. I'd prefer that my tax dollar goes to help a humanitarian disaster rather than see it go to help the governement pay interest to the Fed and line the pockets of the handful of bankers that already own our country.
    Daniel Alter Port Chester, NY

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  38. donde72

    These poor people have just experienced devastation on a massive scale. I think we should help, but should not overextend ourselves. Many will argue that we are already way overextended. I don't like the idea of a blank check approach, there has to be limits. I certainly hope other nations help as well.

    NJ, USA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  39. David Ferdinand

    I Think this is a stupid question? Here is a better question. Should your neighbor help you if you need their help?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  40. Paul Ryan

    In any recovery there has to be a leader, and the US is likely blessed with more people qualified to lead than any other country. So I would say that the US should lead the international response.

    But the term leader does not mean that the US has to shoulder the entire financial burden. The US is currently faced with more financial challenges than ever before in it"s history, and should not be expected to take on this all alone.

    All of the G20 countries should be asked to step up with financial contributions... perhaps based on their GDP or some other reasonable metric

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  41. RWD

    If we don't lead who will. China, Europe Russia it seems like the US is always first on the scene. OH wait sorry were broke this time call back after 2012 maybe we can do something then.

    Here a thought how about the Big bank and Hedge funds that have speculated billions out of our pockets in oil and gas foot the bill.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  42. cheryl

    we are blessed because we are a blessing to so many!better to give than recieve

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  43. Keith

    While lacking in compassion, I would really rather see all of this excess money being used for relief to other countries kept within our own confines and be used towards our own.

    We constantly help everyone else in the world. Let's take care of our own backyard.

    We have to cut funding for health, education, infastructure, etc...but yet money is available for other countries? I for one am tired of it.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  44. Todd

    Although we are seemingly fatigued by the prolonged recession and several somewhat recent subtantial tragedies; Katrina, the Indonesian tsunami – to name a few, I believe that as Americans we have a sacred duty to come to the aid of those less fortunate than us and especially in a time of dire crisis when our aid would be most beneficial. It is simply the right thing to do.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  45. Mike N

    Yes, the U.S. is the most capable and resourceful nation of its size on this side of the world. The U.S. needs to lead the effort. Not only the government, but regular citizens as well.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  46. Tim Rigney

    "Should the U.S. lead the international response to the Haiti earthquake?"

    No, absolutely not. We should wait until "the big one" hits in the United States, and THEN ask the rest of the world to help US out.
    Until then, let's just bury our head in the sand and ignore people in crisis even though we're the richest country in the world, occaisonally sticking our heads out of the sand to shout "WE'RE THE MORAL AND FINANCIAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD" to anyone who will listen. Anyone not listening can easily be shouted down, so it's not as if there's a problem or anything. After "the big one" DOES hit us, we can simply change our shouting to screaming for help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  47. Gary Bonner

    Jack. We are the United States of America. Our problems not-withstanding, we are the "strong;" and at this hour the strong MUST bear the infirmities of the weak. I pray that my fellow Americans can put down their iPhones and X-Boxes long enough to send some money to the Internation Red Cross to help these people. Anything less would be unthinkable.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  48. Jim

    So lets do it, the money is needed and better spent here then in the Middle East.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  49. Gary Bonner

    Jack. We are the United States of America. Our problems not-withstanding, we are the "strong;" and at this hour the strong MUST bear the infirmities of the weak. I pray that my fellow Americans can put down their iPhones and X-Boxes long enough to send some money to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help these people. Anything less would be unthinkable

    January 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  50. judith wenger

    yes, we should lead the international response to this terrible tragedy. although we have our own problems, they pale by comparison to those in haiti. we are still the richest country in the world, and with great wealth comes great responsibility

    further, in some way, it may provide our government the opportunity to make up for the shameful response to hurricane katrina and the subsequent levee breaches that drowned our city.

    new orleans, louisiana

    January 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  51. Sheila Chatman

    The United States should lead the international response to the Haiti earthquake. Haiti is our neighbor and we should take the lead in assisting Haiti and its people in the efforts to rebuild their country. With the help of other nations around the globe, maybe, just maybe, Haiti and its people will emerge much stronger.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  52. Stacey - Atlanta, GA

    Whether we lead it or not, we need to be a very big presence with the UN and other countries. We have the ability to do more than most countries as an organized, affluent, technologically-advanced country. Therefore, we have a responsibility to other countries to offer help/aid/relief when we can. Helping comes along with being a citizen of humanity – a citizen of the world. To turn away when you are in a position to do some good would be inhumane.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  53. JacklynD

    Yes. Absolutely,because we can and our ideals encompass the globe not just these United States.

    From a purely selfish point of view to dispel the bad taste of Katrina, it will do our souls good to see our country deliver the goods (aid, food, medical) they way we know how. Our generosity is already being poured into Haiti and our love and compassion is going with it.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  54. Harry Herrera

    Absolutely, the US should lead the humanitarian effort to help one of the most impoverished countries in the world. It is the closest developed nation and it has sustained an historically important relation with Haiti since the 19th century.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  55. Mary

    US should definitely contribute, but not lead.. that's why we have UN.. this is directly their responsibility. As for how much to contribute - we are definitely one of the richest countries.. but at the moment we have millions of our own people on the streets or living in abhorent conditions... How about helping them?

    Los Angeles, CA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  56. Brandon G


    I think we should, America is always there to help. But we need to be realistic. We have an surffering economy and we should be mindful of our spending regardless of the situation. We are givers, but America has its own crisis as well.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  57. Joe Santacroce

    Sorry to say emphaticaly "NO"...i have seen the U.S. leading the way to all types of catastrophies, or starving countries, or medicine for aids or whatever here comes the USA....this country cannot afford to spend money we do not have running to the aid of these countries...do we get it back from them?..The money needs to be spent here like in New Orleans.(that still hasn't recovered or been rebuilt) or how about the homeless, or the less finacially fortunate...how many countries came running to our aide for Katrina or 9/11/01? Or better still how many sent help? Forget the money,how about man power or supplies...sorry to be babbling but the USA needs to take care of the USA first

    January 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  58. Rick

    Yes, the U.S. needs to lead the aid effort. No matter what our politics are we are a good people and this will help remind the rest of the world who we are.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  59. Gigi Laudisio

    I live in Miami and Haiti is basically in our backyard. As the nation with the most resources in the area, I believe it is our moral obligation to assist them. At this point their needs are overwhelming and we can't be weak in our response. Americans will be watching their suffering daily anyway - on CNN and other cable news channels - can we observe it and not feel it's our problem also?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  60. Kenya Stewart

    The United States get in everybody's business. Why not help Haiti?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  61. Mike

    Absolutely. It is situations like this that can really help improve our reputation. Then all we'd have to do is stop invading other countries and causing similar carnage.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  62. Niki

    The U.S. like all countries should do all that they can to help. No matter what country this was in need, if we have the resources to help then we should. Just as in the case of the Tsunami, people are suffering and it is the responsibility of all countries to help where they can. The U.S. has always taken a leadership position, now should not be the exception. The only time the U.S. ever dropped the ball was in helping our own in New Orleans after the Katrina disaster. Thank goodness we have a President in office now that won't drop the ball. People are all created in God's image, if we are really the Christians we claim to be then there is no doubt that the U.S. should lead the way in assisting those in need.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  63. vern-anaheim,ca

    we should help hati in this terrible disaster,the american people are the most generous people in the world and have always came to the aid of people and cointries who need help

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  64. Fred Manhartsberger

    Of course! We are capable of, and near enough to do it. We should also immediately call on France and the rest of the EU to join this effort. Once stabilization is reached, we should use this situation as the springboard for dramatic and lasting reform of a historically corrupt and inept political system – Haiti's, not ours or the EU's – once-and-for-all! Aid and assistance must be provided to mitigate this human tragedy. But, we must not – again – simply throw money at the problem and then walk way. As the Haitian authorities remind us in their time of need, they are our neighbors and we should help. Yes, but this time let us also provide some "tough love" for the long term.
    Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |

    Yes, it is the humane thing to do.
    Maybe some of the executives on Wall Street would also want to donate. Rightttttttt !

    Jerry Swinson

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  66. Henry

    There's an expression in Haiti, when theb U.S. sneeses, Haiti catches a cold. Haitians depend greatly on the financial support of their relatives abroard for survival. The U.S. and its people are generous and caring group of people that have always taken a leading role in establishing humatarian aids to countries in time of natural disasters.
    This time is no different. Presently, the U.S. is going through its own economic hardships. However, in time of needs, Americans have always band together to offer support in multitude of ways. This is who we are, it's part of our fabric-our make-up. I don't expect this time to be any different. For this reason, God will continue to bless our nation, the greatest on earth.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  67. Tricia

    We absolutely should help, and we should help right now. We have the resources to help save lives and improve the living situation of the survivors, and we should deploy those resources immediately. I know Haiti isn't in America, but Haitian lives are as valuable as American lives. Surely we learned some lessons with Katrina that we can deploy during this epic crisis.

    State College, PA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  68. Alexis

    There is no doubt that this tragedy and our reaction to it will ultimately be used as political fodder on both sides. But the bottom line is that the devastation and horror Haitians are coping with right now is not an issue of politics; it is one of humanity. Someone needs to lead the way. Why shouldn't it be us?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  69. Rob

    No we should not, for two reasons. Number one, we can't afford it, we have poverty and a class war here in the us to deal with. And number two, are we even capable or will it be help ala New Orleans, which is still not fixed.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  70. Faye in Nevada

    Good grief !!! If we can lead the effort in "wars," then we sure as heck should lead in the efforts to help people in "catastropic circumstances." War is an "option," catastropic earthquakes are not. Perhaps we ought to "opt out" on wars. Makes more sense to me.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  71. James

    Yes, the U.S. should lead the humanitarian efforts. This is a question of humanity, and everyone that can should step up to help. I disagree with a number of Obama's policies but agree 100% with his statements here.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  72. Richard Morton

    I believe we should help, but not be the only ones. Doesn't the U.N. coordinate these kinds of things? Why do we always have to be out front? We can't be the world's big brother.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  73. M. J.

    The U.S. has always led this effort and up until now, I think it's high time other countries come forward. What about China ? (oops I forgot they just loan) What about Switzerland, they have plenty of Rich American's dollars in their banks. Oh yes and let's not forget the rich bank exec's, pharmaceutical companies and our wonderfully greedy Health Insurance Industry.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  74. William Barbeau

    Really Jack – your first dumb question? What would Jesus Do?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  75. Sandy Mazzola

    Of course we should lead the international response to the Haiti earthquake
    we are the USA and these people need our help

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  76. Indynj, Hillsborough, NJ

    Of course! Who else can or will do it. We should mobilize our military assets immediately. There is no air traffic control at the airport. Our miltary has the assets to take over control of the air traffic with our controllers and equipment. Of course we must do it. There is not other choice.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  77. D. Gabsy

    Yes, we should absolutely go all out to lead this effort. This is a catastrophe of epic proportions right in our own backyard. No matter what, or how much, it takes, our moral obligation is to help our fellow human beings who are suffering so terribly right now. We must not waste a minute!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  78. frankie

    Greed ran wild because the country was made to feel that for the government to enforce banking and finance and insurance rules would certainly mean we had become socialists. The wealthy have thrived on this lapse of government oversight, and they never quite got around to trickling anything down.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  79. MikeFu

    Clearly, this is a tragedy of epic scale and I would expect the US to be involved in aid. However, is leading such relief and support efforts something that is in the UN's charter? Seems like it's one of the reasons for its existence.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  80. Steve

    I know we have out own issues right now with our own economy and fighting two wars around the global .. We have to help out its what WE do and Haiti needs our help and the people of Haiti need our help. We would be foolish to turn a blind eye with what seems to be a huge loss of life in one of the poorest nation in our hemisphere.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  81. Chris Vreeland

    We're one of the richest nations on Earth. Haiti, a stone's throw across the Caribbean, is one of the poorest already, before this tragedy. I think it speaks volumes about America's self-centeredness and sense of entitlement that you feel this question even need be asked. I've already donated to Doctor Without Borders and the Red Cross International Relief Fund. Whatever we don't do will rest on our collective conscience.

    Austin, Texas.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  82. JC Tripp

    If we can wage war half way around the world, surely we can save Haiti. Maybe for once we can build instead of destroy.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  83. Mark Marlow, Shepherdsville KY

    I hope the American people answer this question with a resounding YES, by giving more donations than any other country by far. I sincerely hope all the world responds in an unprecedented positive way. Even though we are in an economic crisis of our own we are still the most blessed country with the largest economy. Our government needs to reach out as a reflection of the American people and our values. We as Americans have shown a capacity to unite in a time of crisis throughout our history to help other countries. I think that we need to continue doing so and I believe we will.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  84. Vince

    Hi Jack,

    The US should lead the international response to Haiti. Haiti does not have insfracture to deal with this disaster. We also need to pray for Haiti as a nation. Pray for those who lost their loves one.

    Boston, MA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  85. Julie from Swansea, Massachusetts

    "Should the U.S. lead the international response to the Haiti earthquake?"

    YES. With possibly 500,000 of our neighbors feared dead and millions of others displaced, I think the answer is so obvious, it really doesn't need an eloquently-worded justification.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  86. Lynn Ladner

    I do not think the U.S. should lead in the Haiti earthquake response. President Obama will have hundred of thousands of Haitians in our already overcrowded hospitals. He will want to them here after treatment because their homes were destroyed. Then, the majority of Haitians are HIV/AIDS infected and will need very expensive cocktail drugs which will be a very expensive and prolonged treatment plan. The French should step in because they have the greatest debt to Haiti.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  87. olu


    I absolutely think that the US should lead in all efforts to the Haiti earthquake because we are God's children and Americans are at best in any disaster and may God continue to bless America.

    Please help!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  88. Jim Kling

    The worst American depression in decades still leaves us better off than the best off Haitians. We fret that our portfolio is sagging as we drive our SUVs and chatter on iPhones about whether to order sushi. The average Haitian earns less than $2 a day, and one in eight children there grows up an orphan.

    You're damned right America should lead the charge, if we still hold any claim to being the beacon of what is right in this world.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  89. Jeff Sutterfield

    Of course we should help Haiti in a big way, and fast. These are our backyard neighbors and deserving of the best in US benevolence. Git 'r done, USA!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  90. Leo in Kansas City

    I think that innocent victims need help from compassionate people, wherever they may be. That's not in question, as far as I'm concerned. MY observation, however, is that we'll probably get help to these folks faster than we got help to our own citizens in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Just food for thought.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  91. jesus

    Yes, Absolutely.
    We should always look out for our neighbors.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  92. Denis Duffy

    Sure, Jack. Lets allow Obama to pay millions on his no limit credit card to "look good". For humanitarian reasons, we need to help out. Why not allow other countries to step up and not be so penurious. When will we learn that we can't buy our way to Obama's feel good policies.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  93. Andrew Newman

    Absolutely! The US should lead the international response to the disaster in Haiti. Logistically, our proximity to Haiti allows for a swift and steady stream of aid. Militarily we are strong. Financially we can afford it. Of high importance: it allows us to continue to confirm our onwavering leadership globally. It will also be the catalyst we (Americans) need to rebuild our confidence in our leadership. But most importantly, Haiti and all its citizens need as much help now as humans can muster and Americans have proven over-and-over our unselfishness when it comes to helping others. We need to lead the response!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  94. Carol Wills

    Yes, of course, the United States should lead the effort to relieve the suffering in Haiti. We are still the richest nation in the world, and we are also capable of being the most generous. It would be good for our souls for us to give and give to these desperately needy people. We can show the world what America really stands for.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  95. Sandy Staehlin

    Yes, we are closest to Haiti and we have many resources. We have air, sea, and technical support. We could start a command system and help coordinate all the generous help I've read about that's already coming from around the world. We would learn valuable information for organizing in future disasters.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  96. Nate

    If we don't, who the hell else will?

    Venezuela might go in for the show, but no one has given a crap about haiti for a LONG time.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  97. KC

    Why does the US always have to lead in an international crisis? Who ever helps us?

    We just had a 6.5 quake over the weekend in Northern California. I don't see hordes of people flocking in from around the world to help with the cleanup efforts.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  98. Barbara Doyle

    In the greatest of all American Traditions, we should do everything possible to help these people. God knows the Haitian people have suffered enough.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  99. Thomas Hendricks

    The U.S. should absolutely lead the effort. With our recent, unteachable experience from 9/11 and Hurricanes Katrina & Rita, we have the most real-life experience dealing with such rescue missions. Also, as the closest major world power, it is our 'hemispherical' neighborly duty to assist in EVERY way possible, just as if you were one of those neighbors helping pull bodies from a house down the street.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  100. Gary Straub

    Since we are responsible for untold thousands of deaths around the world, the least we can do is lend a helping hand to our neighbors who have suffered so much.

    Columbia, Missouri

    January 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  101. Ron

    Not to be hard hearted, but should we perhaps finish cleaning up our own messes before helping others? How do we expect to come up with billions in aid given the current economic situation, for example?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  102. JM

    ABSOLOUTLY!!! It is times like this, when the situation is dire, that I'm most proud to be an American. Our nation was founded on the ideals that all life has value and worth. It is incumbent on the USA to lead. This effort should be viewed in a positive light by all in our political houses, we must do whatever it takes. The whole world is watching what this nation is going to do, and it will see that those of our people who will have boots on the ground will be Americam soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines!!! I know in my heart we, as a Nation will not fail them in their hour of need.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  103. Samuel

    No matter what country leads the rescue – this is a All Hands on Deck humanity situation.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  104. TJ Just

    The pictures the news media have shown of the nation of Haiti is devestating. The earthquake has literally left these people with nothing but destruction and death.

    Neighbors do need to help one another in any way, shape or form they can. Hopefully we can help with manpower and suppiles, but can we give them anything interms of monetary help? With our own economic crisis can we afford to dish out money to help the country clean up and rebuild? Man powerand supplies may be the only way we can be of assitance. But, this is better than nothing.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  105. David, Rochester NY

    With out a doubt. There is no excuse anyone can provide to not send aid without painting themselves as either incapable (and the US is certainly capable) or uncaring.

    However, it's important to note that individual contributions (by any population) will have a more direct and immediate impact (as there won't be legal red tape for government officials to have to cut through before delivering aid).

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  106. Paula

    HELL NO--------Their government hasn't taken care of its own for decades and all of a sudden the USA has to rescue them? NO! We have homeless people and hungry and cold people out in out own streets. Let another country (that Haiti might be friendlier to) bail out the country. Some aid and help, sure. America needs to take care of its own before forking over millions to a country with a track record such as Haiti. And what do we get in return? A feel good feeling and another kick in the pants in a year or two to come. LET OTHER COUNTRIES TAKE CARE OF THEIR OWN. And if they can't they need a change in the governing body there. How many millions of dollars does this government leaders have socked away?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  107. Debbie

    absolutely not! As much conflict as America is in nationally & internationally we have our own problems to deal with first and foremost

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  108. Cruddyl

    Absolutely. Why is this even a question?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  109. Umar Moulta-Ali (Washington DC)

    The world always looks to the U.S. to take a leadership role in global disasters and geographic proximity makes the us the logical choice. While I'm sure some would be apprehensive about the U.S. extending its already taxed resources, I would ask them to consider this:
    1. Maintaining stability now, will help prevent the total collapse of Haiti's already fragile democracy, and
    2. The people of Haiti are our friends. We have a moral obligation to ensure their welfare. If we don't, who will? Surely not the French.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  110. Donnie

    Yes we should lead the effort. This has taken place in our backyard so to speak and if it were us or one of our territories we would want people to be helping us. Even with our recent economic decline we still have more than the people of Haiti and we have the moral responsibility to help.
    Knightdale, NC

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  111. Elmer Sams

    How much did Haiti send in the way of support for New Orleans?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  112. Phil

    If we don't lead who will? China? Iran?

    Canton, Ohio

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  113. TJ Just

    The pictures the news media have shown of the nation of Haiti is devestating. The earthquake has literally left these people with nothing but destruction and death.

    Neighbors do need to help one another in any way, shape or form they can. Hopefully we can help with manpower and suppiles, but can we give them anything interms of monetary help? With our own economic crisis can we afford to dish out money to help the country clean up and rebuild? Man powerand supplies may be the only way we can be of assitance. But, this is better than nothing.

    Sisseton, SD

    January 13, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  114. maryanne

    Absolutely because it's the right thing to do.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  115. Nancy, Delaware

    The word "should" bothers me. I don't care whether or not we 'should,' bit we can and we will, because this is the kind of people we are. My heart goes out to the people of Haiti, and my hope is that all of the international community will provide immediate resources to this impoverished nation. My eyes are red and swollen from tears.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  116. Tyler in Sherman Oaks

    With 45,000 US citizens in Haiti, we absolutely must go help. Not to mention we are the closest neighbor with the ability. Who else is going to step in – Mexico? Venezuela? It is our duty.

    And Rob – where is this class war you speak of? I know of a drug war in Mexico... And yes, we are quite capable, because Bush is not running the operation. If we don't go help and restore order, it could become a haven for all types (read as: terrorists, etc), not to mention giving credence to those who say we only step in when it is about war.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  117. Robert Mayberry


    We pay for everything worldwide and all it ever gets us is animosity in return. Turn off the US taxpayer spigot! If our President and Congress are inclined to send aid let them endorse their paychecks and forward them to the applicable, and no doubt corrupt, aid agency in Haiti and be done with it.

    I have a family of my own to support. When is the last time any money flowed in my direction? Never! And it never will.

    End of story.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  118. David Winter

    We should, help them not just by giving them money, but sending them volunters, of all trades people to help them to build housing, and buildings to withstand future earthquakes and hurricanes. We need to stand up help our brothers in need.

    London Ontario Canada

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  119. sine

    Absolutely......the global community should realize that as much a hand the US has in wars...politics in the middle east etc... US always leads the way for good as well especially humanatarian aid. The US should be applauded for their efforts.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  120. V Saxena | Ral, NC

    We should wholeheartedly lead international efforts to aid Haiti. The old phrase goes: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." By extending our arms in love, charity, and compassion to those in dire need, we're guaranteeing our own future through good karma. And in the long run, what goes around comes around. I realize that my viewpoint may seem simple-minded and even selfish to some, but I stand by what I said.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  121. Indynj, Hillsborough, NJ

    Of course! Who else can or will do it? We should mobilize our military assets immediately. There is no air traffic control at the airport. Our miltary has the assets to take over control of the air traffic with our controllers and equipment. Of course we must do it. There is no other choice.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  122. Sergio in Seattle

    Well, I don't thing the US should lead the international response to Haiti, because if something goes wrong we are going to be blamed for it. With that in mind I think that the US should contribute the most aid in comparison to other nations, but I don't think that we should go down there and start bossing people around. Yes, give the most aid possible but don't lead anything, leave it for the UN.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  123. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    It does not matter who leads or who follows. Compassion and human spirit knows no boundaries nor pride.

    It is all of us, the entire world, coming together and helping one another regardless of religion, politics, or ideology. It will be this coming together that will heal our differences and fears in the light of all suffering, whether nature caused or in our wars against one other.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  124. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    Haiti is like a Katrina New Orleans writ large.
    Lets get it RIGHT this time and provide aide before it's too late for millions!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  125. Donnie

    Yea, and while we're at it we can send some help to New Orleans (remember them?) as well and help get that city back together. I'm "all in" when it comes to assisting other nations in times of disaster, but why should we help them as much if not more than we help ourselves? We have our own cities that need some serious help – let's use some of our priceless resources there as well. We seem to jump at a moment's notice to help nations around the world (and I'm not disagreeing with that) so why not spend some of our own taxpayers money to help the taxpayers...?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  126. Wayne

    Yes the US should lead the response, but mainly as a rallying leader to make sure that all the world's governments pledge and then deliver anything & everything they can as soon as possible.

    And then publicly call out anyone & everyone who does not deliver what they promised ! Hold EVERYONE on the planet accountable if they don't help out and demand public answers as to why they failed to help their neighbors and fellow human beings in this time of need !

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  127. Sam

    This is not the time to ask: Should the US lead International response to the Haiti earthquake? This is not a popularity contest. Just go and help anyway we can.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  128. Don Spillman

    Jack,Yes we should help.If we help save one life,it will be wroth it for the entire world to see we care...Don in Flint,Mi

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  129. john

    After Katrina the U.S.A. was offered help. Our federal government turned down the offers of assistance. The Washington politicos are both arrogant and ignorant. The U.S.A. will lead the world as a "superpower" until we are super poor.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  130. Conrad from Laurel Md

    This is one of those defining moments in history when America can again show the true nature of it's people and government. We can have all sorts of internal conflicts, but when something like this happens, we have a chance to show that this is truly a great nation. with great people, and great leaders. It's also a time to be very thankful for how blessed we are. Lead the way America! Let our greatness shine.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  131. Mystery

    Yes. I think we should lead the aid effort, but only wonder why it takes such a disaster to motivate well to do countries to help our fellow beings in less fortunate sitiutations?
    We need to start treating the ENTIRE WORLD and ALL BEINGS in it as though we are all from the same community, after all aren't we?

    Brainard, N.Y.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  132. Justin

    I think the U.S. should help Haiti as I don't believe that we should just standby while millions of people suffer from a natural disaster; however, I sincerely hope that the President will take a step back for second and carefully evaluate what the U.S. can afford to give as well as what will be the most effective ways of giving.

    After seeing how so many resources were wasted in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, it's apparent that we as a country can ill afford to blindly send money and resources to any area even inside the U.S.. We also need to remember that our country has a 10% unemployment rate and are in the infancy of recovering from a devastating financial crisis.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  133. Marguerite

    Of course we should.However, thanks to the big spending ways and pork barrel projects of our current Congress, I doubt we have the the money to do so. Kansas

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  134. Mark

    Absolutely! Now is not the time to question the money, etc. Just do it and figure it out later.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  135. Amy in Iowa

    It is the moral obligation of every country to do as much as they can.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  136. Matt from TX

    As much as I feel for the Haitians, I think aid needs to come from those willing and able to help–such as charities (I'll save my jokes about our wellfare state for another time) and individuals–but not out of the general tax payers' pocket. Just like the airlines tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping any children or disabled people, we need to get our economic footing before we can spend the type of money necessary for such a relief effort. Again, my heart goes out to those who have lost so much, but I just don't think the nation can afford that kind of help right now.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  137. Richard, Syracuse

    Why should this time be any different than all the other times. As much as some in this world bash the US we are always the first in and the last out in anywhere in the world that there is a disaster.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  138. Chris

    We should fully expect the US to lead the aid effort in Haiti given the resources available and willingness to move quickly. I just hope we will also see significant contributions from other countries in the region (ie. Mexico, Cuba and Venezuela) as one would expect they also have the means to help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  139. Gary

    The Western Hemisphere's poorest country is closer to Miami, Fla. than Atlanta is. Who else is there with the resources and the technical know how to lead the humanitarian effort in Haiti other than the world's richest and most powerful country? Anyone familiar with the work performed by American marines and sailors after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami knows what an excellent job they did in that relief effort.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  140. Chris_VA

    Yes, Jack... Simply because American is best positioned to provide critical support infrastructure that NGO's and the Haitian people will need firstly to funnel emergency response personnel and equipment and secondly relief supplies. We've already begun by taking over ATC at the airport. The UN appears to have suffered huge losses and will take time to get organized and ramped up on the ground again. I'm sure other nations and organizations will want to provide supplies and expertise. NGO's can contribute mightily in distributing emergency services and supplies. But the leadership has to be the logician and coordinator. That's us.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  141. Anne Ross Lyon

    Boulder CO
    Indeed we should. We have been relatively successful at leading war initiative. Perhaps this is an opportunity for some level of redemption.
    We have the resources, the capabilities, and the relationships to muster the forces of the world's richest nations to help the poorest of the poor. Floating hospitals, infrastructure repair to reach those currently out of reach, and communication with regional countries (why not use Cuba for a staging area nearby) as well as the global community....all within our power to provide. Add to that our Christian heritage ("as you do to the least of these, you do to me"), we have the moral imperative to lead this cause.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  142. Allison, Freeville NY

    I would be deeply ashamed and completely disgusted if we did not.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  143. Wes Overvold

    The United States government is not an international relief organization. And where in the world would the funds come from? We need to come to a realization that we cannot afford dishing money out to other countries when we have a hard time paying for things here at home. Let private organizations take care of what they want to take care of and leave the US government to deal with United States affairs, not Haitian.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  144. Ed

    I think the US should definitely aid Haiti, but lead in the efforts, storm in with helicopters, C-5 Galaxies full of supplies and cargo ships park off the coast, no.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  145. cznola

    Yes, the United States should lead the world in responding to this disaster because we are geographically close to Haiti and possess the necessary means to make a difference quickly, hopefully by saving lives. As a resident of New Orleans, I know firsthand what delay and inefficiency will mean for these people – death and despair.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  146. Helen

    Of course we should! Who else is going to come to the aid of these poor souls? The US Should do SOMETHING! I can't understand how we can aid others, yet before the quake, these people were feeding their children mudcakes to try to give them some kind of substanance. They started with Nothing. When they've tried to escape the poverty, we've sent them floating back home on the rickety rafts they tried to escape on. Yes...with all our riches....in spite of our condition, we should help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  147. choux ("shoe") stultz

    The US is a leader during war and peace..and earthquakes. Yes, we should offer aid but where is the EU?? And the UN?? China? India?
    This is a global tragedy and the entire world should respond with aid.
    Our country is suffering its worst recession in decades and no US citizen should be hungry, homeless or ill. Our country should take care of others during tragedy but we should not be the only or main country offering aid.

    Charlotte, N.C.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  148. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Yes, the US should take THE leading role in the relief in Hati. Why wouldn't we? Not doing so would basically say: "You're on your own." This is hardly the answer for a world leader.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  149. Steve

    If we don't, Venezuala will.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |

    If You have chance and power You have to help the people of disasters.When samething happen to Us in the future wouldn`t We aspect the same thing?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  151. Mona

    Jack, who cares who leads the effort as long as someone does something to help other humans that need help. I am a first responder and I would love to go to Haiti to assist in any way possible. It's the humane thing to do!

    I was living in San Francisco in 1989 during one of the biggest earthquake in their history since 1902 and assisted with the relief efforts there. No one asked the question of other countries that assisted us if they should have been first.

    I've been unemployed since 11/2008, and I would give up the little I have to go help people who have 10 times less than I do to help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  152. TGus

    I can't believe this is even a question...we should lead and help to the best of our abilities...many of us Americans will also provide aid if we are able!
    St. Paul, MN

    January 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  153. Dex, Houston TX

    Yes of course the US should lead the relief efforts for Haiti. President Obama is stepping up and doing what all people are meant to do. It’s called “moral obligation” to mankind. Not for oil, not for riches, but because it is the right thing to do.

    Houston TX

    January 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  154. RustyShunt

    Sadly, we will probably be more helpful to Haiti than we were for Hurricane Katrina victims, where we barely lifted a finger.

    We ALWAYS help other countries in need, and we get bashed when things don't run smoothly. Helping them won't help the U.S. at all, but that doesn't mean you don't do it

    January 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  155. Ted Azriel Marietta, GA

    I don't see how we can't.
    Having said that, There are plenty of other Countries that can partner with the US in helping with this massive effort to rebuild Port Aux Prince. The people of Haiti have suffered so much.
    Its sad to see what has happened.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  156. BuckN

    Well, of course! Any more silly questions?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  157. Evian in Austin

    That depends.. it took us 3 days to send aid to New Orleans.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  158. Barry

    Jack you might as well go home . Wolf isn't going to let you read anything again today although there is nothing new to report in Haiti.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  159. Al Silvestri

    Unfortunately NO. In case no one has noticed, we are broke – BIG TIME. I think it is time for China to take the lead. This is a terrible situation and unfortunately they never taught economics/finance/accounting to President Obama @ Harvard. It would be nice if he recognized we are not in a financial position to run all over the planet throwing borrowed money around. Of course, in his world, he can probably dream up another tax to invent ( or put everything off balance sheet – the Barney Frank model ).

    January 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  160. DeeBee

    Yes, we should help! Thank God we have the ability to help–yes, yes, yes!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  161. Steve - Houston Texas

    Absolutely! We should have committed to help rebuild even before the quake. We got one third of our land as a result of their independance revolt in 1803 via the Louisana Purchase. We crushed their terms of trade in the following 60 years because we would not recognize them as a independant country. We occupied them for 20 years in the early 1900's, supported the Duvalier dictatorship who killed thousands, and crushed Aristide twice leaving the rubble to the UN all because we didn't want to allow them to exercise workers rights. Great obligation and opportunity for the Obama Administration.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  162. Bill from Chicago

    Of course we should ... of course we can ... and of course we will.

    To do otherwise would be to foresake what being Americans is all about. Those who want to use this issue as an opportunity to make a political point about our nation's economic leadership and policies, or our current economic problems, should be ashamed of themselves.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  163. Big Bob

    Yes, we should lend a helping hand to our poor neighbor to the south,
    as we've done in all parts of the world after such events throughout our
    modern history.

    Who else would do it? The highly regarded, sacred cow of....
    "World opinion"? I think not.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  164. RG in NJ

    A better quesion is – can we afford not to? Not for geo-political reasons and not even for reasons of perception, but purely on moral grounds. As some people always like to point out, we have a lot of problems in the USA that go unaddressed for lack of resources and funding. But think about it – is there any comparison between the suffering going on in Haiti and the problems we have here? Yes, we are in a recession and there is a lot of anxiety out there with a lot of people having lost jobs. But, those of us that tend to be isolationists really don't have a clue what "real" poverty means. If, as proud Americans, if we don't step up and help a desperate population in our own backyard, how morally bankrupt are we? How can we live with ourselves?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  165. William Cochrane


    The United States, along with Canada, have a moral responsibility to head-up the aid required for Haiti at this time of crisis. As the two “developed” countries of the hemisphere we have the best resources to lend, be they medical, search and rescue or financial assistance, to aid our fellow “North Americans”. This is a time for leadership in our own backyard.
    William Cochrane
    Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  166. Steve, High Point, NC

    Absolutely!! We must help generously as much as possible.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  167. JT from Missouri

    I think that we should help them out; Haiti is full of people who are in dire need of help right now, and they were not to well off to begin with. This only makes the situation worse off than before. I am also seeing that this incident in Haiti is being used as a political point scorer for certain individuals in our very country, and that is sad. When did someone's life ended by a natural disaster become a political, partisan issue? It is almost as bad as someone's health, if you know what I mean, being taken for profit; that, in my view, is a moral sin that we humans need to get over. Even in the face of disaster, we are still fighting amongst one another on how this will benefit us politically; that is a slap in the face to human life in itself. We all should remember this quote:
    “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
    Leo F. Buscaglia
    I am only 19 years old, and I at least know that we all need to pull together as one America if we are to ever help others and ourselves.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  168. BJ Blinston

    This is a difficult question given our current economic and governmental budget state. However, if we don't provide support then we are hypocrites of our culture and history. That said, the government should organize the private groups who are already and will offer aid to Haiti so that these groups can get in and do what they do best without being hampered by red tape.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  169. Pedro Lazaro

    Pedro from San Juan, Pto. Rico.

    Yes they should, and A.S.A..P. The Red Cross had run out of supplies and the images are as horrible and alarming as those of Katrina.
    We could make up for the Katrina that failure by asisting with EVERYTHING the U.S. has to help save as much lives as we possibly can.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  170. Dick Lepre

    We should do everything we possibly can regardless of who is leading. The question is foolish. Why pay attention to who is leading? What difference does that make?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  171. rand california

    Pesonally I don't think that the united states can lead the response. The Katrina debacle has given me the sense that we are not capable of such under taking. Perhaps the citizens of New Orleans should handle it . At least they will cut the red tape and get the rescue under way.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  172. jessica

    I can't even believe this is a question Jack.

    Honestly, I cant.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  173. Terri Verdone

    The United States touts itself as being a first world nation as such it is our responsibility to lead others in aid to Haiti. I have seen pictures of our rescue teams in route with support staff and K-nines. No matter how bad our own economic situation is here, it is indescribably worse in Haiti.

    Let's lead by example!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  174. robert

    wow...now there's an idea....the USofA finally doing something to build up humanity instead of tear it down like we've been doing for almost 7yrs...of course we should help the least among us.....its the christian thing to do...

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  175. Alan

    Yes! We are long overdue in helping our Haitian neighbors. Most people on this planet would die to have to shoulder our "problems" as a nation. Let's be real, very few us can even imagine what it's like to live in a place like Haiti. And now, they are in severe crisis, just off our shore. We have to step up to the plate.

    My heart sank when I heard about the earthquake. Few places in the world are in such awful shape. This is the last thing Haiti needs.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  176. Melanie, Algonquin, il

    Of course, no question. Haiti is our neighbor and we're a rich country despite the many issues we are facing right now. We are extremely lucky to live where we do and have what we have.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  177. Alan Sill

    Um, yes!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  178. Manny

    The answer is yes. But the real question is: Who are we going to trust to administer all this money (assuming the US aides the Haitians)?

    Haitians [Politics, leaders, etc.] are accustomed to take resources and not spread them down and it’s intended.

    Just a thought.... I pray God blesses their nation and forgives them for their sins.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  179. Randy, Reno

    Of course we should. For a good 200 years we've been invoking the Monroe Doctrine to tell the rest of the world to keep the hell out of the western hemisphere. If we're going to keep saying that this is our backyard, then we better be prepared to lead the effort when help is needed.

    I keep seeing responses, here and on other boards, that question why we should help anyone who doesn't otherwise support our policies in the world. The simple answer is that to help others in their time of need is what civilized countries do to help out the rest of humanity, not as a crass political bribe.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  180. Raul

    This is a non-question. If your neighbor's house burns down and he/she is sitting on the curb with just the shirt on his/her back, what would you do? I thought so...Get a real question will you? Please???

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  181. Mystery

    I was also wondering how the rest of the world feels about us,,does anyone know if the rest of the world came to our aid in after the Katrina hurricane?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  182. Michel

    We have to and we must, after all this is what makes us The Greatest Country in the face of the earth.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  183. B.

    Definitely! We are the great USA! Helping others in their time of need should always be our goal. Help those who now have absolutely nothing and nowhere to go! The American Way is about sowing seeds of promise and hope.....for *all* people in great need of assistance.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  184. Birddog in Mississippi

    Yes. If we can afford to provide our pets with pet psychologists then we can afford to help out people who just had building fall down on top of them. This country needs to get its priorities straight.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  185. Tim

    Because the rest of the world hates the US (or so we were told for the past eight years), maybe we should just sit this one out and see how the world gets by without us.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  186. RogerPenna

    @TimRigney: remember that a big part of the world, including so called 3rd world countries, sent money, relief efforts and all other sorts of aid to New Orleans, after the city was devastated by Katrina.

    Its obvious that the US leads the efforts, after all, it has the largest economy in the world (still far larger than China) and also one of the largest GDP per Capita.

    I think how much countries do help other countries in such situations should be analized in terms of their GDP Per Capitas

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  187. Paul

    Yes of course we should because we alone have capability to help but it would be nice if some other countries with resources (that is MONEY) would contribute more... e.g. China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  188. Andy G.

    Are you kidding me? OF COURSE WE SHOULD! They should've been getting more aid from the U.S. for the last 40 years! Unfortunately, the U.S has no strategic interest in Haiti. A strarving population isn't enough to rouse a care from the hegemon that is the United States.

    Maybe we should give $3B+ of unrestricted, unconditional aid to them like we do Israel. I mean, Haiti doesn't kill civilians with U.S.-made weapons, do they? Maybe they just need the Haiti version of AIPAC on there side. Sadly, that will never happen.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  189. Sandra

    Jack- those who say no have no humanitarian spirit! These are sad times we live in when people aren't able to reach out and help those in need. Glad to see that most people aren't like!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  190. The better Rob

    Of course we should! No question about it!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  191. Charlie

    This is the next Katrina. How many billions will we spend to build all these people new homes? Amazing that we can respond at moments notice to a place where people basically live in mud huts, but it will take years to figure out how to put the peope of America back to work.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  192. Kyle Bowman

    Should America as a country lead the way? No. That's not within the scope of our national government according to the Constitution nor is it financially an option. Should we as Americans lead the way? Yes. Our compassion for others and extremely well-to-do lifestyle affords us the opportunity as private citizens to lead the world in helping those who are suffering. But let's do it the old-fashioned way, the way it was meant to be done. Let's send our money to the Red Cross, to our churches that have missions in Haiti as PRIVATE CITIZENS. Our government cannot afford this but we can. And for all those who say they have "nothing" and are writing into this blog....how does not having high speed internet for your computer connection compare to not having a house that was crap to begin with like they face in Haiti? Let's have compassion as humans. Leave government out and let God in.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  193. Bill Schmitt

    It is simply the moral and ethical thing to do. We must help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  194. Carol

    Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, etc traveled to Denmark for the Global Warming Conference on tax payer money. If the US chose not to help the Haitian people, we are a country of elite with no morals for the improvished.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  195. Rachael Harralson

    Definitely, we need to help immediately. The Haitian are our neighbors and many US citizens have Haitian roots. I would like to see Haiti rebuilt with thought and high quality materials – so that this doesnt happen again. It could be a opportunity to end people living in shanty towns and substandard structures. Brad Pitt should extend his Pink project to Haiti and replace the destroyed shacks with well built green energy homes.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  196. Julian

    No doubt about that !

    January 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  197. Tbru191022

    For people that are saying this is a stupid question it isn't. We know why it is being asked. For as much as I want to say send that money to NEW ORLEANS who STILL need help we need to do the right thing and help. And we know all you other countries will sit back and let us help. Then criticize us for being in Iraq and Afghan.

    Hey any other country want to step up? Didn't think so, so be quiet!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  198. leonard shapiro

    The USA is the only country or entity capable of quick help. the UN is a mess and would take to long, south America wont do it (they never have) the Muslim world won't do it ,either would Europe. We the children of every Nation Have to do it. We have relatives and friends there like we do in every county on earth. We have the skill, money, hardware to help, plus we are close.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  199. Joe Broke

    Just wondering ... how many outside sources / countries assisted in Katrina aid ??? We seem to rush to throw our money all over, but never to our own people. I guess we need to rebuild up this country because Obonehead can spend his next vacation there next month.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  200. paul

    Joe Santacroce,

    You seem to forget that other countries did offer help but the U.S. kindly rejected most of it saying it didn't need it and could handle the situation alone. They, in this case especially the European countries, offered help after 9-11 and Katrina.

    That said, yes the U.S. should help as should other countries as well.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  201. Shaun, NY

    Who else will do it? No one. We are the only nation on Earth that can provide relief to every corner of the globe, whenever there is need.

    I'd rather my tax dollars go towards something with a tangible result rather than all the garbage both parties in Washington usually spend it on.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  202. MichiganJay

    This is still a majority christian nation.

    The bible says if your brother asks you to walk with him a mile; go with him twain.

    Meaning not only should we help, but we should be leading the way. Haiti has a very large population here in the US as a minority, and deep roots to american communities.

    Help and help now!!!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  203. fwalker

    I bet the President of Haiti is headed to a Miami Hotel suite. He has nothing to organize into rescue. He needs to stay away and the USA reorganize the government. Just don't let him return.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  204. Dr. Ron Meek

    I think President Chavez should lead the effort.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  205. KiKi Naroni

    Simply put, NO! We can help, but why put more of our resources into there than other countries? Isn't there anybody else? Put it this way-if you are always calling on me only when you need help then I would think that you are using me. The United States is being used because the U.S. is so afraid of being put into the politically incorrect category. If Haiti, was not predominately black then I'm sure our government wouldn't care because it wouldn't be able to demonstrate how politically correct, moral, and wonderful it is. By the way, the insults are always coming, so what's a few more from Venezuela and such!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  206. Emily Clark

    Although we are in a recession, we still have the resources to help Haiti. For those of you who say otherwise, I feel sorry for you. Don't be hatin' Haiti. This was a natural disaster and it isn't anyone's fault. It is not only the US that is willing to help Haiti. America has a long history of helping those in need. Now is not the time to be selfish. We would want help if we were in a disaster.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  207. BigD GottaGoTell It, Minnesota

    YES, YES YES! If We Don't, Someone Else Might or Might Not Step In.

    You Have to GIVE in Order to Receive!

    Americans Have to Live Up to Who & What We Say We Are!

    If America Gives, It Will Come Back to YOU, JACK!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  208. Jesse

    Hey , coming to the aid of a country thats been struck by natural disaster sits just fine with me. What makes me puke is when turn full-blown humanitarian on some place we spent billions destroying in the first place ..... yeah, thats us. . Helping Haiti is a good thing , believe me.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  209. John

    As much as we want to help in Haiti, how can we when we can't even provide medical care/coverage for our own people? Our Republican representatives have been telling us for months that we can't afford to reform our broken health care system, so how can we invest money in rebuilding Haiti? In a time when we have cut social services, educational resources, and other important programs to the bone, I don't feel that it's our place to provide unlimited support to the rest of the world at a moment's notice. There are other countries who are currently in a much better position to do that. Certainly, what's happened in Haiti is a tragedy, and we should provide emergency services to relieve the immediate suffering, but propping up the country after that cannot be our responsibility at this time.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  210. Charlie

    I think that any American citizen that wants to donate money or time to the relief effort should go ahead. However, since this country is running on printing presses going 24/7 making new dollar bills, we as a country cannot commit to rebuilding another 3rd world country just so the rich can have a vacation resort.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  211. angel

    Yes and yes.
    These are one of the most poor people living on Earth, and right now they may be the poorest.
    However, the USA must coordinate this effort and help so the needed gets help and the aid doesn't start to disappear before it is even distributed.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  212. Susan

    i am continually amazed that we still bear the title of the richest country in the world when we have one of the most staggering national debts in the world now. maybe we should pass that title to those coutries who hold our massive loans.

    yes we should help. still in a dream world i would wish that we could bleed the pocket books of the paris hiltons of the world before asking for money from the lower and what's left of the middle class.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  213. Mickey

    Jack, please tell Joe Santacroce, that yes the world responded to your crisis on 9/11 (where was he? Hiding under a rock?) and Katrina (your government turned the help offered down). It is precisely this attitude that makes the world's response to the US so negative. The world is responding to Haiti!!! The French are on their way, the Canadians, the Chinese..... The US happens to be closest.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  214. Diane - Post Falls, ID

    By all means we need to be the leader in the assistance of this nation. These are human beings that are suffering something that most of us in the United States could not even begin to think of. Lets forget about the politics, lets just think of what we can do to help, that in the long run is what we are the best at.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  215. Tim

    I say we do the work because we are probably the only Nation that can deal with something of this magnitude..... but we should (literally) bill China, France, et al. for the lions share of the cost.

    Just getting tired of loosing out on our infrastructure budgets, then footing the bill via manpower, expertise, and equipment for these massively unfortunate catastrophes.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  216. David Little

    Why can't the news outlets get together and have a consolidated crew in Haiti? There are too many interviews going on interfering with the needed work. The President (of Haiti) gets interviewed every few minutes by someone else; he needs to be out with his people. Even our officials are spending too much time on camera. Let's put the victims first instead of "we're first and exclusive"with news from the devastation".

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  217. Fred Manhartsberger

    The variety of commentary is interesting and only minimally enlightening. Mostly predictable – and proper – emotionalism, to socialist nonsense "Tax all income over $ 500 K at 98%" which has nothing whatever to do with the plight of the Haitians and would, in fact, put an end to non-governmental charity.
    Unfortunately, very little practical and sensible discussion of what to do in future to preclude the rebuilding of Port au Prince based on the corrupt, unsustainable practices of the past.
    Hilton Head Island, SC, USA

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  218. Laura G

    Jack, seriously! Do you even need to ask that question. That's like asking if a bear...well you know the rest. Of course we should lead! Case closed. Next question!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  219. David

    Connecticut – Yes, the US has had a conflicted history with Haiti, both repressive and supportive since the beginning of the 20th century. Since the island of Hispaniola is relatively close to the US and a short distance from Puerto Rico the US is in a position to do the most good.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  220. Casey

    To Elmer who wrote:

    "How much did Haiti send in the way of support for New Orleans?"

    I almost laughed out loud at the tragic ignorance of this statement – what were they supposed to send, their mud cakes? The bodies of their children who died of common diarrhea? This is the poorest and most afflicted nation in the Western Hemisphere, yes the US should and will help, both with federal money and more importantly private donations. If everyone donated what they pay for a pepperoni pizza and soda there would be millions upon millions in aid. I am like many people having some financial difficulties, but I have donated $100 to Red Cross and urge others to donate any amount they see fit. This is an epic catastrophe.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  221. dave

    D'oh, as Homer Simpson would say.
    The question assumes that maybe we should not lead in this rescue / rehab effort. Haiti is a close neighbor. Our Monroe Doctrine says we'll take care of our hemisphere. Of course we should lead. If the earthquake had happened in Cuba we should lead. We're the most able, the closest, with the most resources, we need to do our part well.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  222. Don

    Is this really up for debate? Rob are you really serious? I'll assume you are just trying to get some attention, so here you got it. Remember who we are people! I spent 8.5 months in Combat and I'll do it again on a moments notice. That's who we are? Well help the less fortunate! Come on Rob kill the ignorance!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  223. Scott

    Hey Jack !!

    I wish Bin Laden would show up to help in Haiti..... I bet there are a number of Military men/women that would love to have him in their sites !! lol Other than him...... I guess that what goes with being a Superpower!!

    Berkley, Michigan

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  224. Rod Barken

    Without question, the United States should lead and provide, by example and compassionate effort, any and all relief to those suffering in Haiti; of this calling there is no doubt. If ever a people in tragic straits cried out for help, these are those people, and this is that time. As a nation whose eminence is founded on unselfish and charitable altruism, we must do whatever we can in the fullest measure of compassion. It would be to our eternal shame to abandon the Haitian people to such as the Fates have thrust upon them. To do less would not only weaken our own great people in the eyes of mankind, but in the eyes of our Maker, as well.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  225. Michael

    Of course we should lead the effort. They are our neighbors and need help. One of the main reasons that we are a great nation is our tradition of reaching out and helping those with less. We should provide aid through both our government,our corporations, and our NGOs immediately. What better image to send to the world than our providing medical care, search teams, food, and shelter to our neighbors? Our actions around natural disaters can and should go a long way to repair the damage that has been done to our national image over the last 9 years.

    Joe Santacroce is compeltely wrong and should actually try to remember what happend in the past before he spouts off. Many nations offered to help us after Katrina and after 9/11. The Mexican Army offered to go into New Orleans to provide aid well before FEMA and "Way to go Bronwie" could get their act together. We just declined that offer because the administration was obviosuly so completely prepared to handle it.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  226. R Frusha

    Of course we should. The US has the skill and timely wherewithal to get it done. I assume and would hope that the military, SouthCom to be specific and US Army South (USARSO) to be exact, would have already been alerted and preparing to execute this humanitanian mission in our backyard. All the US elements of power will be needed to address this short-term rescue and long-term recovery mission. Our proximity to the area and affects the situation could have on Hispanola and surrounding islands mandate our rapid participation.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  227. angel

    The USA would like to start thinking very hard how to reforest Haiti, otherwise, those people are going to live in hell for the rest of their natural live and for generations to come.
    It is really sad but it is the truth.
    Those people don't have nothing, zip, nada, zero!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  228. Raymond Cottengaim

    Of course the US should led the on this terrible human tragedy. Its the right thing to do.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  229. Jack

    Jack! Jack!Jack!

    I have always given you the benefit of the doubt in your opinions. Biut boy you have just blown it for me. For he who is given most most is expected..
    It is the very essence of humanity. I forgive you this moment of inhumanity.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  230. sylvie

    What kind of question is that? How can a human being not think of helping 2,000,000 people in a country's capital city when they have no water, no food, and no more place to live?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  231. Rod

    I know we should as it relates to Christian (and other faith's) ideals. I feel tapped out though. In the end, we'll probably feel better for leading the effort, but should be more thoughtful about how and when we involve ourselves supporting the various crises around the world. Seems like Darfur and other African "disasters" were equally dire, but received a different priority. I think having a consistent gameplan is the next move.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  232. russ

    HIs question is not "should the use provide aid" his question is should we lead the aid effort.

    Absolutely we shoud provide aid. That's not worth discussing. So if we take that for granted....

    We should certainly lead the effort. American image has been torn down the last decade. It's time to rebuild our image. Leading a humanitarian aid effort is something a great country like the USA can and should do.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  233. John McNamara

    Without a doubt we should help, but in no way should we be the leaders in the effort. Let's recap – 9/11 happened, did we get any foreign help? Hurricane Rita happened...Anything? Hurricane Katrina happened...did anybody from any foreign country step in to help out in a significant way, or did they just sit on the sidelines and snickered at FEMA's incompetence? I think latter.
    So should we help? Absolutely. Should we continue to be the first ones everyone looks for help? No way. Especially in this day and age. Somebody commented above – Hey, they're a French speaking country, let Sarkozy and their mother France lead the humanitarian efforts

    January 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  234. Linda in Florida

    Yes, we should and it does my heart good to see that President Obama is not "asleep at the switch" for this as W was for Hurricane Katrina!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  235. Stuart

    As of 3:46 ET

    Aid pledges to Haiti

    Canada $5 million
    European Commission $4.52 million
    Spain $4.52 million
    The Netherlands $3 million
    Germany $2.3 million
    China $1.03 million

    A lot of Americans on here saying they are the only ones who ever help in these situations yet I do not see them on the list.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  236. Jason

    I would love to say Yes, we should be leading the charge in aid relief.....but some how I can't.

    Our country is in a recession, the dollar diminshes in comparison the Euro. China contuinues economic prosperity while we reach out to under fund vital programs, lay off teachers or cut the salaries of those in the civil service who protect us. Should we ask the men and women of our military, after mulitple tours overseas, to spend thier must deserved time at home to be called back to duty to assist in humanitarian relief? Are we really the only ones in the World stage capable of humnaity and compassion? Its time for roll call, China? France? Canada?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  237. stan turecki

    I find it borderline offensive that such a question should even be asked. the United States is in the best position to offer large, immediate critical support to Hati. There are an unknown but huge number of people in immediate peril right now, and hours minutes let alone days can be the difference between life and death. of course we should help. when it comes to long term assistance we can let the politicians haggle that over at their leisure. right now – when it counts most – we should be doing all we are physically able to.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  238. Derek

    Maybe we could shut off the tap on those stupid wasteful wars for about 10 minutes and we'll have enough money and resources to rebuild Haiti.

    We're the first to drop a damn bomb. We should be the first to help. I would much rather see our tax money go helping than killing. It's the perfect peacetime industry. How could you (the U.S.) not come out of that a hero? Imagine, people would actually like us. What a concept. Not pushing our companies in their faces trying to get rich in their countries after we destroy them.

    Besides, I know some lazy government civilians that could use the exercise too. They'd actually have to earn their pay. Imagine that. It'd be win-win. You would then thin out the idiots rather quickly.

    All puns aside, of course help them. When the chips are down, you have to believe there would be someone coming to help.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  239. Frank

    With all the problems we have here in our own country I say no. We should certainly still help but it's time other nations stepped up to the plate.

    Charlotte, NC

    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  240. Gary Garrison

    What a truly dumb question.! Anyone who says no should be given a one way ticket to Haiti.

    Of course we should, and we will!


    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  241. Robert

    You're damned right the United States should lead. It's in our backyard. Haitians are our neighbors. True, they are the poor neighbor that we try to ignore most of time, but they are our neighbor nonetheless. the idea of "letting the UN take the lead" is idiotic at best. The UN couldn't find its collective ass with a million hands and a map.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  242. Nathaniel From Atlanta

    If this were Israel would you ask this question?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  243. KJ

    Americans should help. The American government is not in a position to do so. Everybody who answered yes to this question – get out your check books and make a donation to relief.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  244. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes. It is the right thing to do. My heart goes out to each and every Haitian and I do plan on making a donation to help the cause.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  245. matthew

    We should help in every (REALISTIC) way shape and form.
    No military involvement!!!
    I am a active duty Sergeant in the Army and deployed 3 times. People DO NOT LIKE IT WHEN YOU TRY AND HELP THEM WHEN YOU HAVE A RIFLE IN YOUR HANDS!!!!!
    Send money, send food, send moral support
    The homeless and poor in America need help too.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  246. Jimmie in SD

    Yes we should, this is humanitarian issue, and this country is is within our reach. I have been part of 3 Humanitarian operations during my time in the service, Pakistan Quake, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka after the Tsunami and I can tell you that was some of the most rewarding missions helping to bring goodwill to countries when they are in their darkest hours. And for people that don't thing providing humanitarian aid to countries in need, you must be crazy. The reason why are some of the people in this country suffer are do to a few things. Laziness, under educated, creed, and the fact that Americans care more about ME, instead of WE. And I know what I am talking about, now that I have been to some third world dumps. I appreciate what I have alot more, and anytime I can help someone in need I do so.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  247. Conor in Chicago

    Let's look at this from a strategic point of view: What happens if we don't help? The most likely outcome would be tens if not hundreds of thousands of refugees flooding the shores of Florida in life rafts. Even for those of you out there saying we should do nothing and take care of our own I can assure you that by helping them out now we our helping ourselves. We don't need 50,000 Haitian refugees in south Florida right now, ya know?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  248. Rich K.

    By – all means, let us lead as we have done so often.

    Our proximity and transport resources and Puerto Rico's are key to immediate and on-going assistance and recovery.

    Humanity trumps all other objections/considerations in this situation.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  249. Skipper

    Hey Jack...To be honest with you...It is sad to say but we have enough of our own problems to deal with...Between unemployeement, healthcare, foreclosure, crooked government and "New Orleans"...Oh that's right, that's the 800 pound gorilla in the room we forgot about...But what do I know!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  250. Russ Campise

    I think the U.S. should be involved in the recovery of possible survivors, aside from that I dont believe any foreign aide should be given. Until we can find a way to help our own citizens I dont believe we should be spending money helping others. Let other nations step to the plate for once and be fiscally responsible.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  251. Ben Allen

    Of course, the USA should provide aid and assistance to our hemisphere brothers and sisters. Our assistance should be combined with the world's aid. We certainly would expect the same if the situation was reverse. Finally, this will be a long commitment of aid and assistance. With our unemployment situation as bleak as it is, this unfortunate event could create some jobs for Americans though the UN or State Department associations. I am trying to put a positive spend on this catastrophe. Finally, I applaud President Obama who is saying and doing all the right things in directing our American response to this horrific event.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  252. anon

    of course we give aid – plus, we're always first in line to do it – not to mention, we don't need to go and apologize to the world for our generosity and aid the US has always given.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  253. Dennis Taylor from Connecticut

    I am simply amazed and appalled at some of the unbeleivable HEARTLESS comments from some of the readership here. Jack,Elizabeth from Colorado asked "why would you even have to ask"?
    There is no question that the US must lead and be a presence in this effort, to a country, not only poor, but mere miles from our coastline. We cannot turn away from this. The moronic statement from Jack M thay says "they are french speaking, let France help", you have got to be kidding. Jack, we've helped many countries in need that are not "American" speaking.
    Jack, we have the means to help, maybe not as much as we have done in the past, but what we cannot afford to do is stand on the sidelines and watch the human suffering that unfold in this tragedy.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  254. HH

    I'm pretty sure many countries are and will help. The thing is in US we only talk about what we do so looks always that only USA are the only one helping.
    Many year ago USA declare the rest of the Americas as "their influence zone" as a warning to the rest of the world. When the Haitian people revolted against the French, they ask for help to USA to help them in their development. USA turns his back. (After war II when Vietnam declare their independence from France and ask US to be recognized USA turn their back). If USA don't lead in their so call influence zone Venezuela will to embarrass USA.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  255. Eric

    No. We're broke. We're not just broke we're more catastrophically in debt than any other country in the world is or has ever been. More than one in ten Americans are out of work. This is The Great Depression v 2.0 folks. Many of us can barely keep our heads above water while watching our despicable leaders/bankers/elites run our country into the ground. Bush fiddled while Rome burned and now Obama ineffectually hurls cubic miles of money at the criminal buffoons who put us here. And yet we the little people who make the wheels go 'round get no help at all ... as usual.

    And you want to know if we should help Haiti??!!! Are you all insane? Not one single penny of aid of any form (military or humanitarian) should flow from this country into the outside world for the next decade or two. Not until there is some marginal scrap of hope restored to middle class Americans that the "American Dream" still exists for them.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  256. Peter

    Yes! Even though I am out of work and near broke these people need us BAD! If we do it I would become a proud American again. I don't feel that way now after all that we have done to the world.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  257. Ron

    Hell No...let the other countries do it...they havent done a damn thing with other disasters, and the French will just screw it up.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  258. Phil

    Jack, I think that is one of the most idiotic question that you have ever proposed; and believe me , I watched and liked your program. However, this is not something to be discussed. We impress as the world leader. We are not afraid to travel thousands of miles to fight wars to create peace and solidarity in regions around the world. This is a "MAJOR CATASTROPHY" for crying out loud. We need to be on the ground in Haiti saving and preserving lives pronto..

    January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  259. Jeff in Covington, KY

    I challenge the super-rich of this country to pitch in with a percentage of their discretionary income on par with my own. I'm unemployed, but yet donated 'till it hurt."

    January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  260. Nicholas

    I think that the US should respond initially but that we should pressure China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and Bolivia to get off their rhetorical high horse and pony up some money and or resources. China, in particular, is sitting on a pile of cash and could easily part with 100 billion or so.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  261. Jesse

    Al S., you are broke , I am broke, yes. The U.S. , however , lol, is far from broke. The biggest muscle is never broke. When we need, we take and when we owe, well, big deal , they can wait. Thats how every one outside of its residents views the U.S. Not cool, huh?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |

    NO! We cannot afford it. Is that not what the UN; Red Cross; Unicef and churches are for?

    January 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  263. LJ

    This is a pointless question ... when the rest of the world drags it's feet and has that "deer in the headlights" look, we Americans take action. We're good at it and we should be proud of it. We do what we can and we'll give far more than rest of the world. The rest of the world may not like our politics at times, but when push comes to shove ... we show up with the shovels, the manpower, the water, the money. Regardless of what we believe is wrong or going wrong in the U.S., we don't idly stand by and watch. We come together like no other country and we'll move mountains to help the innocent. That's just who we are.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  264. Fred Hearn

    The right thing for the United States to do is send aid, military equipment and some support personnel, station the hospital ship off the port, and help a western hemisphere country rebuild. We all are neighbors, and beside we do not need to give Al Queda a luanching pad close to the states.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  265. Neil Umali

    As much as we go to war and protect our country from terrorism, our aid to Haiti is far more sustainable to our security in a way that it sends a positive view of our country–USA do care!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  266. Justin

    Of course we can and of course we will. We're America. This is what it means to be America. Can we afford it? No. Will it help our struggling economy and create lots of jobs for us? No. But America is the greatest country in the world because even with all our own troubles, we'll be there to help our neighbors in need. It's why I salute the flag and it's why I wore the uniform.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  267. Joe Schmoe

    When 9-11 happened, how many countries offered to help us?

    Many many countries answered the call when we were down.

    Today and now...This is a country that is at its weakest hour.

    This should not be about politics, or the economy.

    This is about human lives. About people who are suffering the unimaginable.

    To not help them would be a crime against our own conscience, our own humanity.

    Could you really be so cold as to allow children to suffer? Were a child struck down by a car on your street, would you allow them to slowly die?

    Put aside the politics, put away the petty bickering, stop the debating it is time to show the world that we are above all this.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  268. Sabassi

    I have a better idea. How about we help the people of New Orleans rebuild their houses first!!!!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  269. Fred

    Where's Brownie...we need to send him to run this...

    Maybe we should annex Haiti as the 51st state...may as well make Cuba the 52nd ...

    To the person who said we should because we can shift funding from Iraq or the middle east...as if this were an either or situation...

    ... or maybe we should as a group of nations support the UN and ALL aid for all such situations should be coordinated outside of individual countries...I'm all for helping them, just not all for always being the heavy lifter.

    We have millions who live hungry every day in this country. Why is it we only see the need when it is beyond our own borders.

    Maybe people should MATCH what they give to Haiti with a gift directed at feeding the hungry and providing shelter to the homeless here - let this raise your overall consciousness for giving.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  270. Victoria in NC

    Yes, we lead in war we can lead in relief!

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  271. Mitch

    I cannot believe some of these comments. Just sit back and allow deaths to continue to total up. How can some of you write or even feel the way you do. Money is not the issue human life is. Some of you sound like those in WWII.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  272. capnmike

    Absolutely not! The Haitians have done practically nothing for years to help themselves. They blew their only source of income, the tourist industry, through crime, corruption and filth. We are neither the world's policeman nor the world's sugar-daddy. We keep using up our resources in other countries around the globe, who turn on us afterwards. Enough! We have no obligation to "rebuild" anybody else's country.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  273. lala

    Of course, they are human beings just like us...We were helped
    during september, 11 era.If no one WANTS to help, i personally
    will do my part and provide them any resources at my disposal.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  274. justin

    I say the Congress convene and quickly pass a 20% help Haiti tax on everyone making more than 5 dollars and hour. Of course, they need to do this quickly and behind closed doors.

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  275. pete at the beach

    yes yes yes ...maybe we can gain back a bit of our reputation around the world (and at home) that the repubbies destroyed

    January 13, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  276. Bob

    Of course we should. We are still the leader of the free world. It would be good to help people instead of killing them–for a change.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  277. Danielle Mutone-Smith

    The US should do what it can to lead the response effort in coordination with the UN and other nations. We spend billions of dollars a year on war and this is our opportunity to spread help and aid. Other countries look to us for leadership and admire the generosity of our people. We must remember that the majority of people in Haiti are not responsible for the failures of its government, who cannot take care of its own people. I've been to Haiti and the people are hard working and compassionate and want to build a strong and successful country but are hit with one natural disaster after another and political unrest that always puts them 3 steps behind any progress they've managed to make. We are so blessed to be US citizens and the benefits we have most of us didn't work for- someone else did it for us and paved the way- and I wasn't born here because I'm more special but by luck. We're not entitled to more because we're from the US but we're required to do more because we've been given so much. It is also what God would have us do because our neighbors are not bound by the boundaries humankind has drawn.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  278. Andrea J from DC

    I am very surprised this is even a question. They are the poorest country in our hemisphere and and we are the richest. It is about not just common decency but doing what is right for the human race.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  279. OH - New York City, New York

    Jack, this is America the land of the free and America stands for more than wealth.

    When there is need such as this; right here in our back yard, Americans lead. From the man in the street to the government; America takes the lead.

    No country on Earth has earn this mantle than America and if we remember the Tsuami a few years ago, we mostly lead that rescue.

    This is what makes this country great and every blog I have read today; there is an out pouring of help from the average American.

    You asked; should America lead? The answer is YES, YES and YES indeed!

    January 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  280. Art

    Of course yes. If the USA was quick on taking the leadership in Irak and Afghanistan, it should be at the front of the relief efforts in Haiti. It is the minimum that we expect from you Americans. Americans should be careful, if no help is provided the situation will explode in your own faces: boat loads will arrive to Miami in the months to come.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  281. Peace

    What kind of question is this? We lead the war-fronts everywhere – why not spend some money for helping others. What kind of message would we be sending to the world and what kind of leaders would we be, if we dont act swiftly here?

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  282. Brad

    I think the US should take the lead in providing money and resources through the donations of our people, but it's definitely not our place to go into Haiti and say "hey, this is how you should respond to this." We should be there to support the people of Haiti, not lead or command them.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  283. VAZ

    To those who displayed a lack of compassion for others: I recommend reading Jon Don's, "No man is an island". America has never turned her back on those who need help- no matter their faith, political belief or hue.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  284. Dave

    Sadly the question is asked because in America the predominant worldview is less and less based on a Christain moral basis. If you don't believe in Jesus then there's no need to apply the golden rule especially when doing could potentially interrupt your episode of "who wants to sleep with the rock star" or "LA housewives".

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  285. Sawber


    Atheists are constantly saying how the church never does anything for anyone but the church. So this is their opportunity to stand up and show how charitable they are.

    OK, since that will never happen, we should participate and help, but not lead. Canada can lead this one.

    And we all know the church will help out even without being asked.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  286. Jim Miterko

    We are the policemen to the world and the international rescuers in times of disasters. We are struggling with the needs of our own people and once again we are being asked to spend our money for someone else. How about this, have the usless UN lead the efforts and have our international "allies" foot the bill. Enough is enough.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  287. Sonson

    Yes! Yes! Yes. Despite the recession the US is still the richest nation in the world and remain a leader. Furthermore, if the affected Haitians are waiting for the UN most of them might die by the time the UN work its way through its bureaucracy.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  288. Terry in Illinois

    Most Americans realize that America is financially strapped with 2 wars, no jobs, no medical coverage for laid-off workers and unemployment being extended 2 or 3 times past the normal 26 weeks. Not sure why China, India , European Nations and the rest don't lead in Haiti. America will help because THAT IS America...

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  289. Sawber


    Atheists are constantly saying how the church never does anything for anyone but the church. So this is their opportunity to stand up and show how charitable they are.

    OK, since that will never happen, we should participate and help, but not lead. Canada can lead this one.

    And we all know the church will help out even without being asked.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  290. john burkley

    the US couldn't save its own citizens in 2005 so maybe they should let someone else take the lead this time

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  291. jon

    It amazes me that anyone would even think we shouldn't help. We're Americans. We help people in need. Period. It's when things are at their worst that we are at our best. So, of course we help, and we lead the way. That's what defines us.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  292. Cassie

    Should we help? Absolutely. Should we lead the operations? No. That is a job for the UN. Hasn't our perceived arrogance and butting into other people's business under the banner of justice and humanitarian efforts caused us enough grief on the world stage? Not to mention the second something goes wrong, it will all be the fault of the stupid Americans who like to throw their weight around under the pretense of helping people.

    China, France, and other nations have already mobilized relief efforts, but you don't see them claiming leadership (read: credit) for the campaign. Being a world power means being a team player. There is no need for the US to take any sort of leadership role in this event.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  293. Andrew

    You bet we should lead the relief effort at least until the UN is in a position to take over the effort long term. The whole world is looking to see how the US will respond and the benefits are so great . Not only is It is our moral and human right to help our fellow man but we can learn skills so we don't repeat another Katrina and know what to do when the big one hits in California. Some say we cant afford to help I say we can't afford not to.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  294. Mike

    When DOESN'T the U.S. lead in relief efforts? Give me a freaking break, Jack.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  295. Karl

    Yes. They are our neighbors. Besides, we have come to the aid of so many around this world. Why should we question our moral authority now, simply for the reason the country is destitute and resides in our hemisphere?

    January 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  296. Ed

    No, i think the Haitian People should lead the relief and rescue effort. using all the help that they get, neighbor Dominican Republic should also play a big role in helping Haitians...!!!(in case they cannot do it them self, but not always has the US to be 'hero', it can help of course, but let the people of Haiti lead in their country.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  297. John Roseville, MI

    I dont think they should help what about all of us here. Piss poor insurance, no jobs, loosing our houses, cant even afford grocery's and what do we get. NOTHING. But let something happen in another country or let some illegal person enter our country. They get it all.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  298. Kendall

    I would like to see the Vatican step in, perhaps tap the U.S. Conference of Bishops to coordinate a multi-lateral/interfaith relief effort. Let the U.S. and other governments support their effort...these groups are 1,000 times better, more affective, and efficient with the resources anyway.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  299. Streamertail

    We don't need a nation that leads, we need a body that can coordinate the helping nations – the UN

    January 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  300. Paul M. Cohan

    Dumb question Jack! It's going to have to whether it wants to or not. Who else will?

    January 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  301. David

    Yes, because we are a Christian Nation!! I don't want to hear the right wing of the GOP say that we should not help because of the costs and it is socialism.
    I ask what would Jesus do? I know the answer as a Christian.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  302. Scott Stodden

    This is such a tradgedy that nobody can afford especially in these times and days that we live in now in 2010, but whenever a tradgedy like this occurs or happens no matter what is going, what kind of wars are being fought, or how much mudslinging in politics is going on whenever something like this happens we must be there for all our brothers and sisters because we would being the United States would want and ask for help from other countries if a tradgedy of some sort would occur like this. The Hatians are good people and they have always been there and if anybody can do anything for these people then we should all reach and help and assist these people in there time of need. So many lives have been lost and so many injured and we must all do as much as we can, May God watch overr and protect all these people!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    January 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  303. Bill M

    Yes, let us lead the help efforts.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  304. Rick McDaniel

    With a 388 billion dollar deficit........no. Let another country who is on more sound financial footing, make the leading contribution.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
  305. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Yess we should help.. we don't have to far back, Katrina many countries helped us.. During katrina anybody know who were the first responders on site? ""The Royal Canadian Mounted Police""

    Lets help the ones in need today..

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  306. american citizen in SC

    Absolutely....but let's do it in a smart way. Immediate humanitarian needs must be taken care of first, but when it comes time to rebuild, how about it occurs with basic standards in place that will prevent lousy construction. It seems to me that the low quality construction and overall deforestation is responsible for much of the death toll and misery. If we, or others, are going to be rebuilding, we should make sure our money is spent in the effort to do it right; these buildings should be both earthquake and hurricane resistant. We have the knowledge, the technology and the skills in our country along with plenty of labor both in the US and in Haiti.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  307. James

    I wanna know where in the hell is China, South Korea, North Korea, Iran, and Japan in all this? It seems like the US, Britian, France etc. are always the ones stuck helping. We need to be part of the assistance cause it the right thing to do but we dont need to be leading the operation, we got enough problems right now.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  308. tim joy

    What a stupid question. where is the compassion. everything is politicized anymore to the point we forget about helping those most in need. by all means, lets sit around with our thumbs up our ass and "build a coalition of the willing " while people starve, get sick and sleep on the streets. I'm so over such stupidity.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  309. serge dormeus

    some of the comments are very scary, like paula`s comment. Does she knows anything about the bible, if not i would advise you to go take a look, it will definitely change your mind. God bless you all let us all pray for those people in haiti. God bless them

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  310. Tim

    We should, of course, without hesitation. I am saddened and sickened by the comments to the contrary–many of which are from so-called Christians. Help now, and keep helping. With the pervasive interference the US has been involved with in this and many other countries, it's the least we can do.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  311. Todd

    Absolutely not!!! We need to stop being the world caregiven and police. How about some of the other powerful countries step up and take the lead. It's time for America to start taking better care of Americans, not the rest of the world. Sorry.

    They have been warned this may happen and have for years built with sub-standard buildings. Let their government take care of this with the help of other countries.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  312. AUSWarrior

    How could we (the U.S.) not help? It's the moral thing to do and even as overextended as we are, we still have the capability and resources to help. Let the world take notice, that's who we are.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  313. Adam

    I don't care who leads the effort. These people need immediate help. We know Haiti is the poorest country on this side of the globe. Therefore, we need to help them ASAP, we nee dot send help and co-ordinate so these people don't suffer more than they need to.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  314. My Van Nguyen, San Jose CA

    No! China should be the leading nation for the earthquake relief. After all, China has received enormous benefits from trade and globalization from the last century and this one. After the Revolution, China provided aid to Communist insurgency in the Far East, and in Southeast Asia. People will be surprised about how much more effective China aid to Haiti will be, if given a chance.

    The US must preserve its last dying strength to protect itself and its people. Ironically, before the Haiti earthquake, Northern California experienced consecutive small earthquakes in the Bay Area. These are the clear warnings of bigger things to come.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  315. Joe Broke

    Jack – Lets use the Bankers bonuses for this.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  316. Ken in Boston

    We should lead for three reasons:

    1. We have the resources to do so and it's the humane thing to do
    2. "Help thy Neighbor" comes to mind
    3. We need to restore our image around the world from the debacle years of george w bush ...

    January 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  317. Hollywood Liberal

    We can't even help ourselves, sadly. We don't seem to want to grant healthcare to our OWN citizens. I'm not saying we shouldn't help....but what i am saying is we can't even seem to help ourselves, so how much of a difference can we make there? Or maybe we will help them, since there won't be any lobbyists and corporate bottom lines at stake.......

    January 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  318. Winston


    The Haiti catastrophe is unspeakable, but why must U.S. taxpayers foot the bill for every humanitarian crisis in the world? Where is France? The E.U.? Russia? China?

    Winston in Raleigh, N.C.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  319. Sonia

    YES..The key word is "lead" the effort, not be the only country utilizing its resources. The other countries in the Western Hemisphere will look to us to lead, and will donate whatever resources they can to help. There are many rich resource countries in the Americas and wealthy people living in the Caribbean, but not one is capable of leading an effort of this magnitude. Starting wars does not make us the most powerful country in the world; leading by example to aid those less fortunate does.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
  320. Lou

    We should at the very least match the aid Haiti sent to the US during 911 or Hurricane Katrina.

    January 13, 2010 at 6:12 pm |