The U.S. government response should be bold and decisive. It must mobilize U.S. civilian and military capabilities for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform. President Obama should tap high-level, bipartisan leadership. Clearly former President Clinton, who was already named as the U.N. envoy on Haiti, is a logical choice. President Obama should also reach out to a senior Republican figure, perhaps former President George W. Bush, to lead the bipartisan effort for the Republicans.Because Bush did such a heckuva job the last time he managed a relief and rescue effort during a natural disaster, right? And because relief & rescue efforts need to be represented by Dems and Republicans or else they won't be, what, fair?
Oh and while we're there being all humanitarian and shit, we should totally stick it to Chavez, watch out for
While on the ground in Haiti, the U.S. military can also interrupt the nightly flights of cocaine to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter the ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola. This U.S. military presence, which should also include a large contingent of U.S. Coast Guard assets, can also prevent any large-scale movement by Haitians to take to the sea in dangerous and rickety watercraft to try to enter the U.S. illegally.But remember:
Meanwhile, the U.S. must be prepared to insist that the Haiti government work closely with the U.S. to insure that corruption does not infect the humanitarian assistance flowing to Haiti. Long-term reforms for Haitian democracy and its economy are also badly overdue. Congress should immediately begin work on a package of assistance, trade, and reconstruction efforts needed to put Haiti on its feet and open the way for deep and lasting democratic reforms.
The U.S. should implement a strong and vigorous public diplomacy effort to counter the negative propaganda certain to emanate from the Castro-Chavez camp. Such an effort will also demonstrate that the U.S.’s involvement in the Caribbean remains a powerful force for good in the Americas and around the globe.Just in case you forgot to use this rescue and relief mission to really stick it to Chavez. Gee, I can't imagine why would the Foundation would be so certain that "negative propaganda" will come from Chavez's camp after reading this heartwarming directive so full of concern for the Haitian people.
[UPDATE] The AFP is reporting that the White House did, in fact, ask Bush to co-lead:
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Former US president George W. Bush will join former president Bill Clinton to help lead the US relief effort in response to the earthquake that devastated Haiti, an official close to Bush said Thursday.Head.Desk.
Bush, President Barack Obama's predecessor, "will join president Clinton in helping with disaster relief" after the catastrophe, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
The official announcement was expected to come from the White House.
[...]The White House declined to comment on the request to Bush and Clinton, but said that Obama would make a new statement on the unfolding US relief effort for Haiti later on Thursday.
Obama is due to speak from the Diplomatic Room of the White House at 10:05 am (1505 GMT).