Syria Genocide War Crimes

Thursday, January 14, 2010

U.S. takes charge in Haiti — with troops, aid

Obama orders relief effort of historic proportions despite domestic strains.

Associated Press

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and the U.S. moved to take charge in earthquake-ravaged Haiti on Thursday, dispatching thousands of troops along with tons of aid to try to keep order as well as rescue the suffering in a country dysfunctional in the best of times.

Tested with the first large-scale humanitarian disaster of his presidency, Obama ordered a relief effort of historic proportions despite the deep strains it was sure to put on both the U.S. budget and on military forces who are already fighting two wars. He pledged an initial $100 million — with the likelihood of more later.

"The United States is providing a lot of the glue that is keeping people communicating and working together as we try to assert authority, reinstate the government and begin to do what governments have to do to rebuild," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Fox News Channel.

Aware of the deep political cost George W. Bush paid for an ineffective response to Hurricane Katrina, the White House has labored to show Obama has been intensely engaged since immediately after the 7.0-magnitude quake late Tuesday afternoon. Details of evening Situation Room meetings, phone calls with world leaders and canceled events were being released almost hourly.

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