A recent article in the Daily Beast caught my eye: “What if Haiti can’t be saved?”
I do not believe that we have the luxury of saying
“what if Haiti can’t be saved”.
I don’t hold out any hope for the current generation of Haiti’s citizens to remake their troubled nation into a well employed island paradise replete with a morally sound police force, solid government and civil infrastructure and negligible crime with a Burger King on every corner and Chevy pickups blazing John Mellencamp or JayZ tunes out the windows.
Haiti’s people suffer a sort of battered wife syndrome, after two or three generations of bloody dictatorial leadership and it will take a century or more before the lasting scars of that history fade from the national psyche. I say a century because the earthquake has accelerated the wounds from a thousand cuts to trillions of lashes and a wholesale flogging against a concrete wall.
Haiti’s people will never forget this, even after the last body is buried and the last street is cleared of the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings.
Truly, the fastest and most humane solution is to give each family a quonset hut on poles and tell them to hunker down with the stacks of MRE’s and get through the coming hurricane season while the Army Corps of Engineers installs several hundred solar powered desalination plants along the shoreline.
But that still won’t ease the core reasons for Haiti’s troubles, which live on a cellular level within Haitian society itself.
Sounds like a grim assessment.
Now hear this:
It’s nothing compared to what will happen if we give up on our neighbor 700 miles to the southeast of us.
Al-Qaeda is surely watching and waiting, and biding its time.
Faith in the Christian God is waning to an all time low, and if that is combined with the perception that America is once again ignoring the plight of Haiti, AQ will almost be welcomed as liberators, and liberators they might be for they might waltz in flush with oil money, lavish aid and a new message, lips smacking at the notion of implanting a newly minted outpost within easy striking distance of our shores.
A jihadist Haiti is a nightmare that could never be extinguished and it would spill over into the Dominican Republic either by sudden force or by slow attrition.
Nope, we’d better accept the fact that Haiti is our new ward now and forever, an adopted child. It’s a problem child to be sure, but it’s ours and it’s our responsibility, unless we like the idea of another long emergency added to the ones already looming on the horizon.