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March 16, 2010

US Military Not Allowed To Fly Flag Over Compound In Haiti

Wouldn't want to offend the people who asses we are saving.

The many nations helping Haiti recover from the devastating earthquake that struck there have set up their own military compounds and fly their flags at the entrances.

France's tricolor, Britain's Union Jack and even Croatia's coat of arms flap in the breeze.

But the country whose contributions dwarf the rest of the world's — the United States — has no flag at its main installation near the Port-au-Prince airport.

The lack of the Stars and Stripes does not sit well with some veterans and servicemembers who say the U.S. government should be proud to fly the flag in Haiti, given the amount of money and manpower the U.S. is donating to help the country recover from the Jan. 12 quake.

The Obama administration says flying the flag could give Haiti the wrong idea.

"We are not here as an occupation force, but as an international partner committed to supporting the government of Haiti on the road to recovery," the U.S. government's Haiti Joint Information Center said in response to a query about the flag.

..."Our commanders are smart and intuitively understand their mission here in Haiti, and clearly the sensitivities that come with supporting the mission," Buckner said.A U.S. flag went up at a temporary consular station set up in the first few days on the airport tarmac, according to Charles Luoma-Overstreet, a State Department spokesman in Haiti.

"Apparently, the prime minister (Jean-Max Bellerive) saw this" and thought it appeared as if the United States were taking over the airport, Luoma-Overstreet said.

Hey Mr. "Prime Minister"...we can leave your little hell hole anytime you like if you are so worried about appearances of a take over. Last I checked, not a single American will die if the US leaves Haiti by 5pm today. Can you say the same for your people?

I get that there's history for the US in Haiti but you know, if you are going to accept our charity to keep your people alive, perhaps you could accept the fact that we a not their as invaders. What the hell would we want want to occupy Haiti for?

I'm proud that the US can and does help people in need. I'll be damned if we have to be embarrassed or ashamed of who we are while doing it.

I don't know how high up the decision not to fly the flag went but now that it's becoming a story, if the situation doesn't change I hold Obama personally responsible for this insult to our nation and the men and women serving her in Haiti.

Thanks to William Amos who pointed this out in the comments last night.

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posted by DrewM. at 02:52 PM

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