Crisis brings out the best and the worst
Nations are squabbling and fussing with each other like young school children competing for a toy. There is massive confusion at the only available airport in Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of millions of dollars of aid is pouring into the country and that is a good thing. But distributing the aid has proven to be a logistical nightmare. Even before the earthquake Haitians were greatly dependent on foreign aid. After the mess is cleaned up and the bodies buried and the injuries treated, who will assist the Haitians in rebuilding their economy and weaning them off of international aid? The old proverb comes to mind about giving a man a fish to feed him for a day but teaching a man to fish will feed him for a lifetime. The Haitians need more than just change in their pocket, they need to learn how to be independent and how to be creative in establishing economic opportunities for their people. Giving them lots of money only delays the final and total collapse of their society unless it is followed up with humanitarian efforts to teach them how to develop a working economy.
Obama pledged several hundred million in aid to the Haitians. How can our nation, trillions of dollars in debt, offer hundreds of millions that we don’t have? Will we borrow that money from the Chinese or will we just fire up the printing presses?
The criticism the U.S. is getting from certain countries seems undeserved. We have taken the initiative in helping these poor people because we are geographically positioned to help them and we have the means to administer aid. Food and medical supplies have accumulated at the airport and they remain undelivered while people suffer and some die. But, how can the supplies be delivered before security is established? To deliver before securing would invite massive social unrest.
An official in the French government has accused the U.S. of using the crisis as an excuse to militarily occupy the nation. Why would we want to occupy the weakest, poorest nation in the western hemisphere? What can Haiti do for us besides siphon more and more of our resources. If we’re going to occupy a nation in the Western hemisphere lets go for the gusto, how about Venezuela, or Canada or maybe Brazil, but certainly not Haiti.
Why can’t we all just get along? This isn’t a competition for international recognition. This shouldn’t be about a power grab by the U.S. or the U.N. This shouldn’t be about criticizing those who have the will to take the initiative. This is about helping the poor, the destitute, the widow, the orphan, the injured, the hopeless.