Remember the Berlin Airlift? Why can’t we do that for Puerto Rico?

I know it’s probably naive and presumptuous of me to assume that America’s leaders haven’t thought of this already and dismissed it for good reason. But why haven’t we done something like the Berlin Airlift for Puerto Rico?

We kept Berlin going for 11 months after the Soviet Union blockaded the city at the start of the Cold War. Planes were landing every 38 seconds 24/7! We sent EVERYTHING that city needed to keep going, including gasoline and coal.

It has been weeks now since the hurricane. Why do we continue to see news reports of such heartbreaking human misery coming out of Puerto Rico?



About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
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6 Responses to Remember the Berlin Airlift? Why can’t we do that for Puerto Rico?

  1. But Trump gives their effort a “10”


  2. Paul Waibel says:

    That is a good question. The Berlin Airlift was at the start of the Cold War. It was an issue all Americans could agree on. We live in a world today where most are interested only in personal peace and affluence. Life is cheap, especially when one is asked to contribute to the cost. Many would rather buy more armament than food, fresh water, or help rebuild a territory that most Americans do not think of as part of the USA, or think of its inhabitants as Americans.


    • I think you’ve said it very well. And yet I also think Americans yearn to be better than that. Everyone derides the whole #MAGA thing as nationalist bigotry, etc, but when I show my students video clips of how Detroit became the arsenal of democracy and the Ford factory was rolling bombers off the assembly line like they were cars, they are astonished and wonder if America could do something like that now. I think we could. And I think it would be really good for us to pull together and realize that we still have what it takes.


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