Obama Asks Clinton and GW Bush to Lead Haiti Effort

President Obama has named former presidents Bill Clinton and GW Bush to lead the Haiti relief efforts.

While Clinton and GW's father, H.W. Bush, did an admirable job during the 2004 Tsunami, one has to question the selection of GW Bush, given his dismal performance during Katrina, and his administration's unfair, punitive policies on Haitian immigrants, which included keeping them locked up in detention facilities even after immigration judges ordered them released pending hearings. [More...]

Last December, President Bush signed an Executive Order declaring a new policy that all immigrants arriving in the U.S. illegally by ship would be detained pending final decisions on their asylum claims. All except Cubans, who under a law passed in 1966, are allowed to remain in the community, with relatives or sponsors. The Executive Order allows the INS to continue to detain the Haitians even after an immigration judge has ordered them released on bail. The Government says it detains Haitians as a deterrent to others in Haitai trying to make the journey to the U.S. Critics attack the discriminatory treatment, asking why Haitians must remain in jail while Cubans are allowed to remain at liberty.

The New York Times in 2006 noted that under Bush, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans were granted temporary protected status but Haitians were kept locked up.

Will Bush make an effort to get his Republican friends in Congress to grant TPS to the Haitians now? He should. They need it.

Who's next? Brownie? Cheney to implement a plan to expand Guantanamo and move the Haitians there?

At a Pentagon briefing today, Gen. Douglas Fraser, who heads the U.S. Southern Command, said Guantanamo is “a resource that’s available if we need to take advantage of it for various reasons. So we’re looking across the region to just understand what the possibilities are there.”

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    I think (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by jbindc on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:07:53 PM EST
    We should look at this in a positive light and take away the politics. I hope (and I think they will) do an admirable job with this effort.

    Feck, fecking $#*&@&#@^$ (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:07:56 PM EST
    Yes....let us send Bill Clinton and largest mass murder that New Orleans ever experienced to Haiti, to help those people in need in my name.  I am so sick of Obama insanity today

    oops, meant to type (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:09:33 PM EST
    LARGEST MASS MURDERER.   Don't know why I had such a hard with that.

    And next year Dick Cheney (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:12:16 PM EST
    will be the White House Santa Claus, be sure to bring your kiddos to sit on his old gentle lap.

    LOL (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:18:46 PM EST
    Nothing would surprise me between now and 2012.

    FORGIVE ME (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:13:06 PM EST
    I am the one who added the H....in my wildest dreams I would never have expected anyone to tap Dubya for anything humanitarian. Though, Bill Clinton did say he was going to recruit him for this kind of work after he left the WH.

    Think of it as his "Community Service" sentence, as it doesn't go down so poorly. :)


    That is exactly what will happen (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:14:34 PM EST
    Everyone is going to read that and simply know that Babs is going to be a little lonely for awhile.  Nobody can fathom that Dubya would be sent for this.

    I think you may have (none / 0) (#5)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:10:24 PM EST
    missed the H in the name :) When he works with Bill Clinton, he does a compassionate job of helping. I'm not aware of anything bad he did in NOLA, just his wife's extremely cold comments.

    It's not GHW but (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:12:29 PM EST
    W who's been tapped . . . .

    No baby (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:13:10 PM EST
    HW was not appointed to go to Haiti, Dubya was.

    :) I apologized above :) (none / 0) (#13)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:16:00 PM EST
    Let's hope they make him bring a shovel and do some of the real work involved and not just stick his face into some photo ops.

    Him? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:21:57 PM EST
    Sweat for the dying?  He's going to spend the whole of his time there running around looking for AkalineDave and his friends.  Then when he finds them he's going to stand around pretending to look at stuff praying that one of them will approach him wanting a photo with him.  The Mission Accomplished Commander in Chief.

    Insanity..... (none / 0) (#105)
    by Rojas on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:25:55 AM EST
    Blame Bush and scapegoat Brown for not pullin people out of the fishbowl fast enough...Hold harmless the folks who knew the train was a commin down the tracks and did nothing... Reelect them or put 'em on a pedestal... Expect a different result... Lunatics runnin the asylum....

    Reactionary rot... along with the rest of our infrastructure.


    I appreciate the irony but I'm not surprised that (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by esmense on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:19:16 PM EST
    our Reagan-admiring president is anxious to help rehabilitate W. Plus, Poppy is getting way too old for this type of assignment -- and the media would totally trash any decision to put Clinton in charge of this on his own.

    Kanye isn't going to like this. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by coast on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:19:39 PM EST
    Please someone get a mic infront of him.  I would love to hear his reaction.

    Finally Kanye will have (none / 0) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:24:24 PM EST
    a healthy place to focus that pent up rage and hostility.  I guess the universe provides.

    I'm perfectly OK with this (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:25:46 PM EST
    My guess is that HW is getting a little frail to be doing this things, and that Obama probably went to him first.

    Supposedly, the Obama Administration (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:27:50 PM EST
    understood how deeply damaged our image was around the world because of George W. Bush.  Supposedly, they understood that.

    I think maybe it is time (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:33:48 PM EST
    we saw how many brown skinned people Dubya can keep alive, we've all already seen how many he can easily kill, neglect, lie about, blow completely to hell.  I think about what he did to Fallujah TWICE, and once spraying white phosphorus all over it and melting people...and now he goes to help Haiti.  It's all very sweet.

    FWIW (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by CST on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:40:22 PM EST
    W had a very high approval rating in Africa, like 80%.

    He did a lot for humanitarian causes there.


    Well, the Caribbean is another story (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by inclusiveheart on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:53:07 PM EST
    and FWIW, I'm basically ashamed the guy isn't in jail given what he did while he was President.

    Haiti is such a screwed up country with such a terrible political history.  All we're doing by inserting him into this effort is to show Hatians that bad guys do prevail - not that they don't know that based on the state of their own political situaton for however many decades.


    So let's send the same guy (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by cenobite on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:48:03 PM EST
    Who had the duly-elected president of Haiti (Aristide) kidnapped at gunpoint and flown to exile in Africa? Isn't that a little like throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out?

    Tell The World It Is A Coup


    Lipstick that pig (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:45:22 PM EST
    Can we take a senseless survey in Fallujah?  How about anywhere in Iraq?  How about New Orleans or even the whole United States?  That is what I want.  Before we send that POS to Haiti I want every brown person to vote whether or not they want that disgusting freak representing them.  Oh by the way....I want a survey of all the children who have HIV positive parents in Africa too because Dubya cut the funding and started talking about abstinence for preventing HIV.  Condoms are the devil.

    I didn't (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by CST on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    try to defend Fallujah, or even W. in general.

    But the fact is, he did have a record of doing a lot to keep "brown" people alive in Africa.

    He did NOT cut funding for Africa.  From the article:

    "Total US government development aid to Africa alone has quadrupled from $1.3 billion in 2001 to more than $5 billion in 2008, and is scheduled to go to $8.7 billion in 2010, principally for education (primary school enrollment in Africa is up 36 percent since 1999), healthcare, building civil society, and protecting fragile environments."

    Do I agree with the abstinence only stuff?  Of course not.  But he also funded a lot of the drug treatment and other AIDS prevention sources.

    In fact, some who work on AIDS support in Africa think Obama is not living up to W's standard there.

    I do not like the man, I vehemently dislike him.  But he did do a few things right and that was one of them.  I think we should be honest about that.


    Need a link (none / 0) (#55)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:53:53 PM EST
    for Bush's funding cut to africa for aids, please.

    I consider funding for AIDS (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:47:50 PM EST
    something that needs to be reality based, you actually need to fund people getting what they need to live....not being taught abstinence.  You didn't get any funds in Africa unless it came with abstinence being the method of prevention.  And here's your link Wiley.  The man is and was effing insane!

    See quote below (none / 0) (#80)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:08:09 PM EST
    You are dead wrong on AIDS.

    Bush did more then any president in history to help give medicine to AIDS victims.  See NYT's article below.

    Waiting for you to admit error.


    Here's my link (none / 0) (#96)
    by Wile ECoyote on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 07:46:09 PM EST
    President Bush Has Significantly Increased Aid To Africa, Including Funding For HIV/AIDS, Malaria, According To New Statistics

    Here's one from the Washington Post: Bush Has Quietly Tripled Aid to Africa

    Mine is from medical news today, not a lefty site. Where in your link did it mention funding was cut?  I think your hate is getting in the way.  A need to fit in with the rest of the frothers in this thread.  


    Fine Wiley, you are correct (none / 0) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:51:28 PM EST
    Having your funding cut for not preaching Jesus Crap is not cutting funding.

    Lining big Pharma's pockets with only (none / 0) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:53:44 PM EST
    brand name HIV drugs until you get busted for it and finally allowing taxpayer money to go toward purchasing and using "generics" from the same big Pharma wasn't anything disgustingly underhanded either.  Bush never helped anyone in his life simply to help them, it always involved using someone's need in order to rip the taxpayers off.

    Facts cannot penetrate your wall of hate (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:08:07 AM EST
    Nobody is saying you have to like Bush.

    All you have to admit is he didn't do everything wrong.

    He screwed up in Iraq, the economy etc.. etc.. and I'm a republican.

    But he did great work with AIDS and to hold him to some impossible standard that you wouldn't hold any other person too is a little ridiculous IMHO.


    Isn't this (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by CST on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:30:49 PM EST
    Standard operating procedure?

    Don't former presidents do this type of stuff regardless of party?

    Yes. Ding. Ding. Ding. SOP... (none / 0) (#68)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:46:12 PM EST
    Limited number of ex-presidents (none / 0) (#78)
    by caseyOR on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:05:08 PM EST
    We have Clinton, Carter and Bush I and II. Seems clear to me that it all works out better if Obama picks from both parties.

     Clinton is the  obvious choice-- UN Special Envoy to Haiti, Clinton Foundation, great work on Tsunami Relief a few years back,great work on Katrina relief, etc.

    Poppy Bush was, by all accounts, an excellent partner with Clinton on both the tsunami and Katrina. Poppy is getting on in years, though. He has appeared frail of late. Quite possibly he just is not physically up to the task at hand in Haiti.

    So, Dubya gets the call. Personally, I think he is the laziest son of a gun to ever reside in the WH, but optics do count. If nothing else, maybe his mere presence can  deflect some of the vitriol toward Haiti coming from the right and provide some cover to Republicans who are willing to join the effort.

    At this point I am willing to throw my support behind anything that helps the Haitians. Their obvious and tragic needs outrank whatever distaste I might harbor for any politician right now.


    whatever works (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by souvarine on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:31:05 PM EST
    I'm fine with anything that will prevent the Republicans from interfering with the rescue of as many Haitians as possible.

    It is unfortunate that the Republicans put partisanship above human lives, and that we have to stoop to giving the worst living president a symbolic role to buy them off, but I would be willing to bend over further if it meant saving more people.

    Like the Republicans could (none / 0) (#30)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:35:42 PM EST
    This is all Obama's call, they can't say anything meaningful and the last thing they are going to do is get out of a chair and stand in the way of anything right now.

    Perhaps one can think of this as W's penance and (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:41:42 PM EST
    pro-active sackcloth and ashes.....for the redemption of his sins.

    Does anyone who wants to (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:46:53 PM EST
    get to throw a rock at him while he is there?  If that is allowed I think I could do this.

    Only if you are without sin yourself :) (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:55:23 PM EST
    so sayeth the born again

    Like, for example, (none / 0) (#43)
    by JDM in NYC on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:07:25 PM EST
    I think that (none / 0) (#49)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:27:34 PM EST
    Bush is in a special category of sinners. The select group that has killed over a million people.

    In my opinion, relatively minor sinners, which is just about everybody else, should be granted a waver which allows them to cast as many stones as they can find.


    I'm a Buddhist (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:49:28 PM EST
    I need a rock.

    I (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:25:03 PM EST
    understand that there will be a concessionaire on hand who will rent shoes that are suitable for throwing. Only a minimal deposit is required.

    Purchase throwing shoes (none / 0) (#58)
    by DFLer on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:22:57 PM EST
    here for soul searching soles

    Good news on Haitian immigrants.. (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:52:58 PM EST
    in the US...Obama has halted all deportations of undocumented Haitians back to the disaster zone.

    You might thing no-brainer, I normally would...but these days there are few no-brainers when it comes to government.

    As for GDub and Bill heading up relief efforts...I say lets not politicize this one and wish them both luck and give our support in providing relief...maybe keep an eye on any potential crony profiteering is all.  Times like this are when we can put our greatness on display without controversy...lets hope thats what both former presidents help us to do and we come up big.

    Awesome (none / 0) (#63)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 03:52:59 PM EST
    Obama has halted all deportations of undocumented Haitians back to the disaster zone.

    "Give me your tired, your poor,/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"... Well, some of your tired and poor... we're full up.

    After things settle down, we can resume the deportations.


    Not all good news (none / 0) (#73)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:00:31 PM EST
    They're halting deportation but not detention.

    Now I really.... (none / 0) (#92)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 06:15:40 PM EST
    got the blues.  It is that bad isn't it.

    You Gotta Move


    Obama's top priority.... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by trillian on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:58:23 PM EST
    ...appears to be resurrecting the Republican party  image and in particular GWB.



    The last thing I care about (5.00 / 10) (#42)
    by Steve M on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:03:46 PM EST
    is whether this is good for Bush or the Republicans or whatever.

    If GWB can help do some good by, for example, convincing Republican financiers to open up their wallets for the people of Haiti, that's an unmitigated good.

    What he did as President is in the past and can't be changed now.  History will judge his terrible record.  But if he's now in a position to do some good for the world in retirement, I see no reason to complain about that.  It's not going to change the past but that's not the point.

    What is the point (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kmblue on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:14:27 PM EST
    of tapping W?  The man who let people in one of the greatest cities in the U.S. drown?  Like Military Tracy, W is a reminder to me of an American tragedy.  He's one of the last people Obama should have selected.  Anyone but W.
    Let W. find redemption on his own time and in his own way.  Humbly and quietly--not with Obama as an enabler.  Then I might buy it.

    This reeks of politics.

    And if fat cat Republicans won't open their wallets without an appeal from W, they wouldn't have given a cent anyway.


    I think the objections (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:40:03 PM EST
    are understood, but I really do believe that Bill Clinton is the one who chose him to help out.

    There was the meeting of the former Presidents, and the president elect last year where Clinton said he would be recruiting GWB for humanitarian work.


    The (2.00 / 1) (#47)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:20:35 PM EST
    selection of Bush is stomach turning - but it is another example of Obama stroking his true base.

    You really feel that way? (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:33:13 PM EST
    I'm surprised lentinel...I mean I got no love for the f*ckin' guy either, but what turns my stomach is people sleeping on the street with nowhere to go, no water to drink, no food to eat.  Or worse, all of the above under a ton of rubble with no way to get out.

    If the devil himself could help I'd cheer him on.  And I believe in redemption...here's a chance for GDub to get some...hope he seizes the opportunity like his life depended on it.

    And if he screws the pooch again, we'll have plenty of time to rip him once conditions in Haiti improve....but right now I think we should be saying to the two previous presidents is go kick some arse and put our best on display!


    Yes , (none / 0) (#56)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:55:03 PM EST
    I do really feel that way.

    I don't think that Bush wants redemption. He doesn't think he has done anything that needs redemption. He's happy he got Saddam killed - along with his children and grandchildren. The million Iragis and the thousands of Americans killed and wounded don't make him lose one minute of sleep.

    This is not about helping GW Bush resolve a troubled conscience.
    He hasn't got one.
    It is about Obama using this occasion to boost his sagging standing by appealing to the same freaks who thought highly of his selection of Rick Warren to stink up the inaugural.

    What good do you think that Bush can do?
    How would you define "kicking arse"?
    Do you think he is going to send an appeal to his base - the haves and the have mores - to send money to people for whom they have consistently demonstrated contempt?

    How is putting our worst on display equivalent to putting our best on display?

    I too want the people of Haiti to get food, water, medical assistance and shelter. When I think that Obama is spending 750 million dollars a day prolonging Bush's "dumb" war in Iraq, this gesture appears to me to be part of a drama created by a lunatic.


    To answer your questions... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:47:28 PM EST
    I don't think Bush personally can tie his own damn shoes...but he is a recent face of America (unfortunately)...and as hard as it is for you and me to believe, the right-wing of America is probably more likely to follw him than Bill or Barack.  The Haitians need everybody's help right now.

    I'd define kickin' arse as delivering as much humanitarian aid as possible as quickly as possible to as many people in need as possible...thats what I'm rooting for.

    I don't know what he's gonna do to get people who normally wouldn't give 2 sh*ts about Haiti to give...I just hope he can pull it off and they do give...sometimes a natural disaster wakes people up where everyday impoverishment is easy to ignore.

    Believe you me, if I had my way I wouldn't have let any of these pols near public office, especially George...but you go to an humanitarian emergency with the leaders you got my friend.  Like I said, we'll have all the time in the world 6 months from now to evaluate the performance of our humanitarian effort.


    I (none / 0) (#61)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 03:41:47 PM EST
    can't believe that you're paraphrasing Rumsfeld to justify the anointing of Shrub as a co-face of Haitian relief efforts...

    Of course, I hope you're right and Shrub gets his creepy devotees to cough up millions. And that those millions actually find their way to people in need.

    But, as someone said above, to me this just reeks.
    And, ultimately, I don't think this has anything to do with Haitian relief. It just smells of domestic politics.

    But I like your optimism.


    Normally I'd love your skepticism... (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 03:57:04 PM EST
    its very healthy...but the pictures I've been trying to ignore in my head all day of Haiti and the devastation have put me in the mood to believe the bastards ain't all bad...I just gotta believe it.

    We shall see I guess...its unsusual to hope I am right, I'm usually in your boat hoping I'm wrong.


    Bush free zone (none / 0) (#67)
    by mmc9431 on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:40:55 PM EST
    The comments that I heard and read from the right don't bode well for Bush, if he's going to try and raise money for Haiti. From what I've seen and read they seem to be of the opinion that Haiti would best serve the planet by sinking in the ocean. Limbough was in rare form about the tax dollars that we've "wasted" there.

    I would prefer that Bush not be the American face of anything in the international community. He's done more to harm the image of America than any president in history. (That doesn't even take in the fact that he ousted their president).


    Yes, I envision miles of Republican (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:11:53 PM EST
    donors for Haiti...NOT

    Actually, MTracy, I would really LOVE to see (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:31:06 PM EST
    a list of the donations from ALL our elected politicians....every. last. one. of. them.

    MT, you probably should take a break. (none / 0) (#88)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:34:16 PM EST
    from this thread.

    kdog...you really think both of those fools (none / 0) (#81)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:09:43 PM EST
    are needed?  This is nothing but a photo op for them.  Clinton will probably actually end up doing something meaningful because he is a self starter....but Dubya?  All he did coming here the night of the tornado was do more damage because then there was a curfew to make sure his A$$ was safe.  They aren't going to be doing any grunt work.  Too bad you never have anything decent to say about people in uniform because that is who is going to be DOING this, and they'd do it no matter what come hell or high water.  They don't need photo ops, they don't need a place to sleep with sheets, they are their own protection, they'll hand out their own meals to people until they are too hungry themselves and have to eat one.  Clinton is no where near the filthy murderer that Dubya is, but neither one is needed to "save" Haitians and sadly these fools come with such entourages and security details and precautions that they actually impede real progress being made in the middle of disasters.

    You make good points... (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by kdog on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:43:52 PM EST
    especially about the big shots usually just getting in the way of the people actually breaking a sweat.

    ps...I think I've said decent things about people in uniform, particularly firefighters and soldiers.  Cops?  Guilty as charged:)  

    To be clear I salute anybody who gives the thirsty a drink, the hungry some grub, the tired a bed.  That's why I was buggin' on all the GDub bashing, normally its my kinda party but not today.  Lets hope his stopped clock is on time right now.


    Yeah, you haven't been too mean to (none / 0) (#93)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 06:28:10 PM EST
    the military.  And I think a cop and donut is a bad marriage but it happens daily, even hourly, around here  :) I just can't believe that I will have to put up with Dubya in this.  It is a vomitable thought for me.

    are they actually (none / 0) (#83)
    by CST on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:12:59 PM EST
    going to Haiti to help or just leading the fundraising efforts?

    I am asking because I don't actually know.

    I thought they were just leading the fundraising.


    To my knowledge (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:29:39 PM EST
    leading relief efforts usually requires a tour of the carnage and interfacing with the various groups on the ground and understanding who is doing what and who needs what.  A tour is the very least in the way of what is usually done.

    He seriously needs to face such a tour (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:33:43 PM EST
    Then, he needs a guided tour of Afghanistan.

    He'd go to Iraq, but he would sneak in, run to the mess hall in the safe zone, and sneak back out before anyone knew he had left the USA.


    I could go for this plan (none / 0) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:34:42 PM EST
    I thought Clinton prefered not to go (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 08:09:46 PM EST
    and get in the way of disasters? He prob will go down and view at some point, but doubtful he would go do a 'get in the way, photo op trip'. GW would prob prefer not to go and just do a few appearance pleas with Clinton.

    I have to wonder if anyone will go down for awhile. The airport couldn't handle planes with aid today. Wouldn't be to cool to go down and bump flights with needed aid . . .


    The point... (none / 0) (#57)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:11:35 PM EST
    It's not going to change the past but that's not the point.

    It doesn't change the past - but it puts a spin on it.
    Let bygones be bygones...

    The point of that is that it enables future (and present) presidents to do the same thing. Then they write their memoirs. They express how troubled they were making these "difficult decisions". Then they are forgiven and they get an airport named after them.

    I think Bush was as evil as it gets.
    As callous as it gets.
    He used the phrase, "he gassed his own people" to justify invading Iraq and killing Saddam along with a million others.
    Bush let his own people drown.
    He sent thousands of young Americans to their doom.
    He deserves to be incarcerated at a minimum.
    He deserves no compassion. No resurrection.
    The American people deserve to be relieved of the burden of ever seeing his face or hearing his name ever again.


    wow (5.00 / 7) (#62)
    by Jlvngstn on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 03:51:04 PM EST
    every time i think the right has lost it, i read some comments here and realize that some of ours are just as looney.

    GWB and WJC are wonderful selections as the primary goal is to help and bring attention to the matter.  Both expresidents have tons of followers and big money networks.

    I hope they are wildly successful.....

    Thank you (none / 0) (#75)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:02:22 PM EST
    What a ridiculous double standard.

    I applaud Obama's efforts to help Haiti even though he's a lousey president in my view.

    Sometimes people need to put the partisanship aside for just a moment.

    One forgets that GW gave Iran of all people massive aid after an earthquake as well as the tital wave victims etc... etc...


    Jimmy Carter and George HW Bush (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:12:20 PM EST
    would have been better choices.  While up in years, both former presidents enlist senior bipartisan statesmanship to our humanitarian efforts. Jimmy Carter has, in the past, effectively negotiated on behalf of President Clinton, the removal of the Haitian despot, Raol Cedras.  As for GHWB, 41 is, at least, marginally better than 43 and has the advantage of time out of office to numb our memories.  As for his frailty, perhaps all we need from him is his title on letterheads.   The choice of President Clinton is just fine, but since it seems to bring with it George W, I would go with a Jimmy/GHWB pairing and staff up with secondary political "stars"  and some real workhorses.

    First place for a real solution (none / 0) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:00:27 PM EST
    to the insanity goes to you.  And I'm fine if HW wants to send someone in his stead but it can't be Dubya or Cheney or Rumsfeld.  He can send who he always sends, Warren Christopher....who actually knows something about how to conduct himself and how to carry out international affairs.

    It is a sick and sad day ... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 01:02:14 AM EST
    ... when I am forced to agree with Slado.

    A lot of you all should be ashamed.  This has been the most embarrassing comment thread I've seen here.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:17:05 AM EST
    i guess?

    I have had to eat a lot of crow when it comes to Bush.  He was a pretty terrible president but so was Carter and so where a lot of presidents.  Obama is off to a pretty terrible start but in 10 years if the then president wants him to help with natural disaster relief we should be thrilled to have him.

    The fact that he was president is what's important and not everyone hates him.

    To get so worked up that he can't even raise money to help people displaced by an earthquake is childish.

    The perverse partisan moral standards is just shocking really.  


    More crap bipartisanship (4.00 / 3) (#22)
    by kmblue on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:26:14 PM EST
    we are doomed.

    You've got to be kidding me (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by andgarden on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:34:43 PM EST
    Nah, Bush will just do a flyover (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Cream City on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:54:15 PM EST
    as in NOLA, then return to raise money from Repubs.  That's why this stuff always is bipartisan works for me -- less money for them to put into politics.

    Bill Clinton, of course, will put feet on the ground.  He's gotta connect with the people as much as he's gotta breathe.


    Nothing is sacred (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:29:16 PM EST
    Certainly not the pain and suffering of New Orleans.

    I'm pretty sure Bill Clinton and (none / 0) (#3)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:08:10 PM EST
    G H W Bush were going to do all they could in this effort whether Obama touched his wand to their heads or not. They're like that. Humanitarians and champions for people in need around the world.

    That was my initial thought, as well, until (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Anne on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:14:53 PM EST
    I realized that Obama had asked George W. Bush - New Orleans' best friend - to partner with Clinton, and then I had a WTF moment.

    Still having it, as a matter of fact.

    Haven't got a clue why he picked W - maybe someone else knows.


    I guesss... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by desertswine on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:19:03 PM EST
    Krusty the Clown was already booked.

    He can clear rubble (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by nycstray on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:20:22 PM EST
    as well as he clears shrub?

    He picked him to shame him (none / 0) (#66)
    by oldpro on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:40:21 PM EST
    into helping...and helping at this point means raising money.  Bill will challenge him to a 'fund-off' (OK...wierd choice of words, I admit) or some such $-raising challenge...a competetition neither could resist and few could raise more $$$ than those two.  And Dubya's dad will lean on him to produce...or else.

    That's what's needed now.  $$$  Send Dubya to Wall Street and start chalking up those numbers.  Otherwise, tax it out of them and send THAT to Haiti.


    Of course... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jtaylorr on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:47:38 PM EST
    unless you were a resident of Rwanda under Clinton or a resident of Iraq under either. Then you were pretty much screwed.

    Oooops - wrong bush (none / 0) (#10)
    by Inspector Gadget on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:13:59 PM EST
    I'll put on my glasses.

    W's brand needs some polishing, (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 12:26:55 PM EST
    O is obliging him.

    H is 85 y/o, same age as my dad. Not the easiest age to be. Also, H never seemed as energetic and driven as some others. Witness the '92 presidential campaign.

    It's possible H may have turned down an offer from O.

    Obama has lost his mind. (none / 0) (#45)
    by lentinel on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:17:23 PM EST
    Appointing the king of compassion and competence: GW Bush.
    The slaughterer of millions.

    But - on the bright side - Obama has pledged an amount that is equal to 13% of what we spend in one day for the war in Iraq.

    But - let's not forget that he is throwing in a generous helping of prayers.

    "This reeks of politics." (none / 0) (#46)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:19:30 PM EST
    Comment of the year.

    Of course it is only 1/14...

    An insult to the Haitian people (none / 0) (#53)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:52:29 PM EST
    Not because of Katrina, but because of the treatment Haiti has received by both Bushes and, to a lesser extent, Clinton and now Obama.  Actually, given the U.S. history towards Cuba, it's hard to see how any U.S. help won't be eyed suspiciously by Haitians.

    Still, Bush is a particular slap in the face to Haitians, making the Obama administration either incredibly ignorant of Haitian history or making it clear that the earthquake will be used as cover for further exploitation of Haiti.  

    D'oh (none / 0) (#54)
    by BDB on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 01:53:00 PM EST
    It's Haiti and not Cuba.  I really do know the difference.

    Compare and contrast (none / 0) (#60)
    by goldberry on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 02:52:07 PM EST
    Here's what I see when I picture these two in Haiti:

    Bill Clinton- dedicated public servant, serving the world's poor
    George Bush - dedicated capitalist, looking for business opportunities

    Sorry, them's the optics.  

    Everyone isn't perfect (none / 0) (#71)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 04:58:36 PM EST
    Including team Obama...

    As a Southern Indianan I can tell you first hand the response last winter by team Obama to the Ice storm that ravaged much of KY was just as pitiful but because CNN wasn't there showing that the relief effort was pitiful nobody cares.

    Bush also did great work with Aids but nobody cares.

    What a ridiculous partisan hangup by liberals.

    Grow up.

    Bush's work with AIDS was teaching (none / 0) (#74)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:01:37 PM EST
    abstinence....come on

    Look past the talking points (none / 0) (#76)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:03:44 PM EST
    for just a moment.



    Link (none / 0) (#77)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:04:02 PM EST
    this quote was interesting (none / 0) (#79)
    by Slado on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:06:15 PM EST
    In Haiti, about 13,000 patients are now receiving anti-retroviral drugs. That is only half the estimated 26,000 who need them, but far more than the 100 being treated five years ago. "A huge success story," Dr. Pape says, "beyond my imagination.

    We could spend all day talking about (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:33:17 PM EST
    how PEPFAR was initially supposed to be nothing more than a giant handout to big pharma that got better as each "scandal" was exposed.  Bush is no saint, never did anything worth being sainted for but I guess he could be herded into appearing to do something decent for the world.  And one third of PEPFAR funding going to abstinence teaching?

    I'm not an expert and (none / 0) (#102)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:11:43 AM EST
    neither are you (I assume).

    the people who are experts and work in this field praise Bush as helping.

    Whatever his internal motives who cares?   He helped millions of people get drugs to combat AIDS.  Who else would provide them?

    You really need to move on to something that you can actually criticize Bush about like Iraq etc.. etc.. it's not a short list.  


    If we're talking... (none / 0) (#91)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 05:54:28 PM EST
    ...about slaughtering people (especially brown people), Clinton and Dubya and Obama -- who's worse? Sure, Dubya started our two pointless wars in the ME but remember, Clinton had sanctions on Iraq that caused enormous death and suffering, and Obama is happily and eagerly continuing both pointless wars and has killed huge numbers of people in his first few months in office (or don't Pakistanis count)?

    Not to mention our own, shall we say, less than savory history of intervention in that poor benighted country.

    So if it's a race to "worst murderer/president," well, none of these guys has wholly clean hands.

    So I say, if Dubya can do some good, let him do it. If he sees this as a chance to redeem himself, or as someone suggested, a way to get the tea party brigade on board, let him go to it. We're not going to find any group of American politicians who qualify for sainthood.

    As someone who knows all too (none / 0) (#94)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 06:37:56 PM EST
    well what the excepted rules of engagement and goals of both Obama and Dubya are and were, you cannot put Obama in the Dubya boat no way no how.  Your worst nightmares happened with Bush as president, you still don't have the whole story on most things.  There will be lots of books someday written by veterans dealing with their PTSD.  Obama is no hippy's dream, but he doesn't open fire on some town and melt the people because they Pi$$ him off.  A lot of people feel that Clinton could have and should have done better with the sanctions.  I don't know enough about it though to be any kind of fair judge.  There isn't a snowball's chance in hell though that you can equate anything that Obama does militarily to anything that Dubya did or was fine doing.  Things have changed so much under Obama, let me put it to you this way.  When my spouse is done with mission planning every day, he spends the rest of the day writing procedure follow ons for how everything is supposed to be done by the guys replacing them when they rotate out.  The way the military conducts itself in almost every single aspect has been changed by this President, needed to be changed, was changed.  Now if he would just do something that profound and meaningful in some other area of our trials and tribulations.

    BDS (none / 0) (#103)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 07:13:41 AM EST
    You have it bad.

    Obama kills civilians daily with predator drones.  Why no one is outraged about this is beyond me.  I'm not saying it's the wrong policy but it seems hypocritical to get worked up about Gitmo while thousands have been killed with no trial or jury because they didn't look right on a black and white camera.

    Obama just upped the anti in Afghanistan and it's business as usual in Iraq.

    I fail to see the difference.


    Some people always will (none / 0) (#106)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 15, 2010 at 11:45:44 PM EST
    until someone shows up and offs their family members in some sort of terrorist strike...oops wrong, they won't see the difference even then. They will just blame the same people they always blame, calling those people either baby killers or essentially worthless and pathetic at their job. And such people never once look in the mirror and see themselves and their outlandishness or their own failure to be accountable for the safety of the society they live in in any fashion.

    Oops "accepted rules of engagement" (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 14, 2010 at 06:39:11 PM EST
    I suppose "excepted" rules of engagement also apply in Dubya's case...seemed to apply quite a few times.