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November 2, 2015 11:03 am

In Newly Revealed Emails, Hillary Asks Why US Can’t Set Up Field Hospital Like Israel in Haiti

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Hillary Clinton. Photo Facebook.

Hillary Clinton. Photo Facebook.

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton wondered why the US was not setting up a field hospital in Haiti as Israel had done following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, one of Clinton’s emails released by the State Department last Friday revealed.

In a message dated Jan. 18, 2010 to State Department officials , including her then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Clinton pondered a few “questions arising from press reports.”

One such question Clinton asked was: “Why can Israel set up a full field hospital w [sic] operating rooms and the US military can’t/won’t and only offers surgery on the Carl Vinson which has to fly patients over and even flew Sanjay Gupta there to do an operation since they did not have a neurosurgeon?”

Clinton — who visited Haiti just a few days prior to sending the email — was referring to the rapid deployment of on-the-ground aid sent by Israel following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck near the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010, killing tens of thousands.

While Israel set up the field hospital to treat thousands of victims, the US was providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations on board the USS Carl Vinson, which had anchored off the coast of Port-au-Prince on January 15. CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta, who is also a practicing neurosurgeon, briefly became a part of the story unfolding in disaster-stricken Haiti when he was flown to the Carl Vinson to perform surgery.

Ultimately, the efforts of the Israel Defense Forces aid mission in Haiti were widely recognized. Intel called the field hospital and other aid efforts a “model for crisis care.”

A 2010 company report by Intel said: “By combining medical equipment, mobile technology and Electronic Records Management (EMR) the IDF succeeded in: Responding early to the critical medical needs of earthquake victims; establishing efficient medical pathways to ensure the best use of limited resources; ensuring that essential patient information was available where it was needed and that it could be shared with experts wherever they were located.”

Israel again provided extensive aid relief to Nepal following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck near the capital of Kathmandu on April 25 this year.

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  • shloime

    the release of this “tidbit” is obviously intended to polish clinton’s image among pro-israel voters, but it also begs the question of her insight, as secretary of state, into american ways of doing things.

    the american military is notorious for “going in heavy” – it takes months of preparation to plan a deployment, move supplies into position, and coordinate between branches of the service. when they don’t do it that way, such as jimmy carter’s failed attempt to rescue the hostages from tehran, or the raid to kill osama bin laden, things can go very wrong.

    israel, on the other hand, has neither the equipment nor the strategic depth to do things “the american way”. the lessons learned from her wars, such as 1973, include the need to be ready to go on a moment’s notice, and from raids such as osiraq, that you have to make it work, first time, every time.

    maybe the smartest thing she could have said, in 2010, was “why don’t we hire the israelis to do those things that we’re too big and bureaucratic to do well?”

    • Questioner

      Fortunately, with the raid to kill Osama bin Laden, the USA did accomplish its goal. But your point is taken; when our operations don’t have a huge bureaucratic project planning load, sometimes things can go wrong.

  • Go, Israel!

  • steven L

    You need resourceful & intelligent people, This shows what we knew long ago. America is a wasteful country.
    Look at the millions if not billions wasted at UNRWA.