According to USA Today, this is essentially the statement made by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive to our fearless leader. Obama being the patriotic, full of American pride President he is, immediately
folded like a cheap suit and agreed and demanded that the American Flag be removed from our bases in Haiti to portray the image that "we are not an occupation force, but an international partner committed to support the government of Haiti on the road to recovery". Yet, even as as our flags are removed, the British Union Jack, the French Flag, even the flag of Croatia and other countries, fly merrily in the breeze.
To me, this is a direct slap in the face to the more than 12,000 American Soldiers who are now separated from their families providing aid to this country. It is disrespectful to the millions of taxpayers who are
being forced by the Obama administration to provide(ing) over $179M in financial aid to help rebuild the region. Apparently the Haitian Prime Minister finds our flag offensive, but our open checkbook suits them just fine. Even as our country suffers, as more and more of our citizens find themselves out of a job, as our economy tanks, we find it necessary to provide more financial aid than all other countries combined, but yet the flying of our flag offends them? Even as the French flag flies high, a country that once occupied and colonized Haiti, the American flag, the flag of the country that has diverted more than $10B (that's billion) in aid to Haiti since 2005, is ordered to be removed.
It seems that amid all the controversy that surrounds our humanitarian aid in Haiti, we should remove our flag, permanently! The French Cooperation Minister Alain Joyandet claimed that the US was interfering in Haiti internal affairs when we first sent troops in to help rebuild. Latin American countries of Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua have claimed that the US is using the relief effort as a cover up for a military take over. Venezuelan
dictator President Hugo Chavez even went so far as to state that the US military detonated a weapon that was the cause of the earthquake. While I find it humorous that Chavez thinks we have the power of God and can cause such a natural disaster, I find it insulting that our President caves to these thugs and orders our symbol of national pride removed in light of all the support and aid that we are providing. Again, I see this as another example of where the leader of our country believes that America has something to be ashamed of, something to apologize for, rather than being proud of the fact that we are offering more help and support than any other nation in the world.
Jim Hanson, former soldier in the 1st Special Forces Group, said it best when he stated:
If the Haitian prime minister is unhappy with having the U.S. flag on his soil, we certainly can remove it. We can fold it nicely and place it in one of those giant containers full of food and medical supplies we brought, take one of the many pieces of construction equipment we brought, load it on one of the many planes and ships full of more of the same, and take them all back to the United States.
I couldn't agree more Jim! If our help, our hard earned dollars, the sacrifice of our soldiers is not appreciated, if they are not allowed to show their national pride in their efforts to rebuild your country, to ease the suffering of your people, then we should fold the flag up with all the respect that it deserves and simply leave the region to fend for itself. First we were criticized for not responding with aid fast enough,now we are being told that we should not be allowed to let people know we are there. How much aid and effort do you think the region would get if America was not present. We are helping your country at the detriment of our own! How about you show a bit of damned respect and decorum and welcome our flag with open arms? If that is to much for you, then we should pull all our resources out completely!
As Jim states in his article, "We may or may not be the world's policemen, but we are certainly its first responders." When will we, as a country, learn that our humanitarian efforts are not respected, they are expected? When will our leaders have the fortitude to stand up and say, "If you don't welcome our help, if you don't give us the respect deserved for our giving nature, then we will no longer provide in your times of need." When will the taxpayer demand that our leaders bear the burdens of our own country first, before turning it's attentions to those of another? When the world, as a whole, is in need, is the Red, White, and Blue that they first come running to with an open hand, but once given, they turn their backs on us and accuse us of occupation.
As the statement goes, "Never bite the hand that feeds you", but not only have they bitten that hand, our President has offered up fingers of the other hand as a snack. President Obama, your actions are disgraceful and those of a coward. You have offered up the checkbook of this country to any and all who are undeserving, and rather than demanding respect, you cower in fear before the statements and opinions of dictators and thugs. You see the American Flag, not as a symbol of security and hope, but as something to be ashamed of and to be hidden, discarded even. Your very role as Commander in Chief of our armed forces is a disrespectful slight to all of those who have, or are currently, serving in the service of this great country. I can not wait until 2012 when we are able to remove you from office and offer the job to someone deserving of such a privilege.