The devastation in Iran is awful:
Relatives and rescuers used everything from bare hands to bulldozers Saturday to retrieve victims of a powerful earthquake that crumbled vast swaths of this city of mud-brick buildings into powder and frost-chilled rubble, killing thousands of people.
The destruction was so all-encompassing that a reliable death toll in the city of 80,000 was still unavailable. Most people were asleep when the earthquake, which the U.S. Geological Survey measured at magnitude 6.6, struck at 5:28 a.m. Friday. The Interior Ministry estimated the death toll at 20,000 but officials in the region said it could be double that amount.
“An unbelievable human disaster has occurred,” said Akbar Alavi, the governor Kerman, the provincial capital. “As more bodies are pulled out, we fear that the death toll may reach as high as 40,000.”
I lived in Dubai, due south of Iran across the Persian Gulf, in 1990 when the last great earthquate happened in Iran.
Just up the street from my house was the Iranian Hospital. People lined the street to give blood, much like they did during the Iran-Iraq war. A lot of the injured were flown to Dubai. Relatives would line the street and sometimes bodies would too.
There was a crematorium on the hospital grounds. The smoke billowed out of it without end. This is a time when being the world’s only superpower gives us the ability to help in ways others can’t. Our help may also help us in the War on Terror. I hope that the President acts appropriately. I’m sure he will.