Nearly ten years ago, the towns in Indonesia were called Banda Aceh and Pangadaran. Now they’re Philippine towns named Guiuan and Tacloban. Odd-sounding names of far-away places that we never hear about unless something terrible has happened there. They have almost nothing to do with America.
But the 600,000 homeless and the millions affected by Typhoon Haiyan are enormously fortunate because Americans want to have something to do with them. And our armed forces are not only the first on the scene after the Filipinos themselves, but they are doing things no one else can do, with speed and effectiveness.
When a disaster like Typhoon Haiyan hits, the big dogs come running and provide the help that only our military can with the speed that only they can achieve.
When Indonesia was nearly destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami nearly ten years ago, Americans stepped up to provide disaster relief as only we can. The UN relief chief at the time, some punk named Jan Egeland, said that the U.S.’s response was stingy. I recall doing a radio interview the following day with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who didn’t take kindly to Egeland’s comment.