Haiti is forever convulsed by political or natural disasters. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where four out of five people live in poverty and more than half in abject poverty (NYT), was struck by a massive, magnitude-7.0 earthquake, on Tuesday afternoon.
The rescuers, spokespersons, geological surveyors and geophysicists; the missionaries, medicine- and military men and women; the aid-deliverers—most are Westerners. Western countries prop up their Third-World creations. That’s how it is.
In the aftermath of the Asian tsunami, the gravest danger was an epidemic; the greatest danger in the wake of the Haiti disaster is a crime wave worse than before.
The Big O is promising to devote—and divert—all the resources he has no right to toward the rescue effort in Haiti.
I say “YES TO US AID, NO TO USAID”:
Americans are the most generous people on earth. “The extent and the depth of charitable giving” in the US is such that “the average donation in the U.S. is three-and-a-half times more than in Canada.” As a percentage of their aggregate income, Americans give more to charity than citizens of any other country. BO will go ahead and “pledge” a puny few hundred million to Haiti on behalf of a people that gave $241 billion to charity in 2003.
American largess makes the United States Agency for International Development, and other the compassionate pickpockets, as unnecessary as it is unethical.
Update I (Jan. 14): Since Haitians are now refugees and candidates for Minute-Maid immigration, it takes an immigration hawk to highlight the following: Haitians, by and large, speak Creole. Their faith is more Black Magic than Roman Catholic. Thoroughly schooled in violence, Haitians are, at the same time, utterly uneducated, although not in the ways of the world – they’ve been ravaged by AIDS-HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Update II: “The liberal West honestly believes that bad leaders are what shackle backward peoples.” In this context, how often have you heard that Haiti is what it is because of bad leadership; a deficit in democracy, on and on? Lo: a veteran disaster relief specialist told CNN that the current “serious crime problem” was less of an issue under Papa Doc’s “nasty dictatorship,” when “lots of people were killed. But infrastructure and services worked better then than they do now.”
“It was safer to use public transport then than it was last year, certainly in terms of crime,” he said. “Over the last 10, 15, 20 years, the gangs and the drug culture have taken hold of Haiti …”
Is it possible that a dictatorship—preferably a benevolent one, but never-the-less an authoritarian regime—might work better in certain cultures than a tyranny of the majority? Perish the thought.
Update III: Barbarism. “ANGRY Haitians set up roadblocks with corpses in Port-au-Prince to protest at the delay in emergency aid reaching them after a devastating earthquake.” Shaul Schwarz, a photographer for TIME magazine, is understanding:
“It’s getting ugly out there, people are fed up with getting no help.” [news.com.au]