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BTL:U.S. Focus on Military Force Hinders Arrival of Haitian Quake Aid
by Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions http Friday, Jan. 22, 2010 at 10:29 AM
betweenthelines@snet.net (email address validated) BETWEEN THE LINES c/o WPKN Radio 89.5 FM Bridgeport, Connecticut

BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine

U.S. Focus on Military Force Hinders Arrival of Haitian Quake Aid

Interview with Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, interview conducted by Scott Harris

A week after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti, the enormous loss of life and destruction of the already desperately poor nation was difficult to comprehend. The European Commission, citing Haitian government figures, estimated that the death toll in Haiti could reach 200,000, with another 1.5 million people left homeless. As disaster relief from across the world poured into Haiti's small airport, rescue workers from Los Angeles and Turkey worked side by side to dig through the rubble of destroyed buildings hoping to locate survivors before they perished of injuries or lack of water.

Blocked roads, inadequate infrastructure and concerns over security delayed the transport of food, water and emergency medical care to the hundreds of thousands of destitute citizens of Haiti's capital city and surrounding towns. President Obama has committed $100 million in aid and 10,000 U.S. troops to aid Haiti, while the U.N. approved sending 3,500 soldiers and police to bolster its force of over 9,000 already in the country. Reports of violence and looting in Haiti's earthquake-ravaged streets appear to have been exaggerated by media outlets that have provided 24-hour coverage of the disaster.

Medical aid groups have complained that priority given to U.S. military aircraft landing at the Port-au-Prince airport has resulted in a 48-hour delay in the arrival of urgently needed doctors and supplies. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Brian Concannon, director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, who talks about the scope of the catastrophe, delays in the distribution of aid and the huge task of rebuilding the nation after the crisis.

Visit the Institute for Justice and Democracy's website at http://www.haitijustice.org. Information on how to support the Haitian people during this crisis can be found on the website of the group Partners in Health at http://www.standwithhaiti.org

Related Links:

* Doctors Without Borders at http://doctorswithoutborders.org/
* Oxfam at http://oxfam.org/
* United Nations World Food Program at http://wfp.org/

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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: http://www.btlonline.org

Scott Harris is executive producer of Between The Lines, which can be heard on more than 45 radio stations and in RealAudio and MP3 on our website at http://www.btlonline.org. This interview excerpt was featured on the award-winning, syndicated weekly radio newsmagazine.
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