Posted on | March 11, 2011 | 24 Comments
Few things are more predictable in modern discourse than the instinctive opportunism of those who, as soon as tragic news makes headlines, seek to turn it to some narrow political advantage.
And yet . . .
Decent people are appalled by such posturing. What comes next: The Great Compassion Rodeo, in which liberals display their moral superiority by claiming to care more about Japanese tsunami victims than the rest of us. But you know who’s actually helping tsunami survivors? The United States Navy, that’s who:
Eight warships are headed to Japan to render disaster relief in the wake of a catastrophic magnitude 8.9 earthquake that left hundreds dead Friday. The quake unleashed a tsunami that is tearing across the Pacific. . . .
“Our deepest sympathies go out to our close friends in Japan as they deal with this tragedy,” Adm. Patrick Walsh, Pacific Fleet commander, said statement posted on his Facebook page. “U.S. Pacific Fleet is making preparations and posturing our naval assets to provide assistance when directed. We stand ready to support those in need. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.”
None of the 38,000 military personnel assigned to Japan are dead, Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan said Friday. He said six ships are headed to Japan to render aid, if called upon: the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan; amphibious assault ship Essex; dock landing ships Germantown, Tortuga and Harpers Ferry; and amphibious command ship Blue Ridge.
In addition, cruiser Chancellorsville and destroyer Preble, along with Reagan, have been ordered to “proceed at best safe speed toward Japan,” Pacific Fleet said on its Facebook page at noon Eastern time.
My co-blogger is a career Navy man, of course, but he’s deployed ashore in landlocked Kabul, and we have no reason to suspect they’ll send him to provide emergency IT support in Japan. Each of us must do what we can where we are, and all of us can give to the Red Cross. I just did.
UPDATE: Now, back to the news . . . Earlier today, I was watching TV and they reported that, despite warnings, surfers were trying to get onto Southern California beaches and ride the tsunami-enhanced waves. Further north, a reminder of the dangerous reality: “A 25-year-old man was declared dead Friday afternoon after being swept out to sea off a northern California beach while trying to photograph a tsunami launched by the massive earthquake near Japan, according to a Del Norte County, California.”
In Japan, meanwhile, the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station remains a source of concern.
UPDATE II: Instapundit finds a news story about those tsunami-loving surfers. If anybody finds a story with names and/or photos of those dudes, please link it in the comments. There is something distinctly American about guys who are willing to risk their lives for a super-gnarly wave. They deserve their 15 minutes of fame.
UPDATE III: Loren Burke Is a Great American!