Friday, January 15, 2010

On Haiti

Poor Haiti. Literally and figuratively.

Haiti is the poorest nation in our hemisphere, in the shadow (literally and figuratively) of the hemisphere's and the planet's richest nation.

It thrills me and relieves me and puzzles me to learn of the millions of dollars and euros pledged to help Haiti. The world is mobilizing, and in a peaceful and (mostly) nonpartisan way. It's amazing how quickly the richer nations opened their checkbooks, so to speak. That's the thrill and relief.

Now the puzzle. How far will the rich nations go to make Haiti whole?

When there is order in the streets? When there is running water? When the port is restored? When the prison is fixed and the prisoners rounded up? When the UN and government ministries are rebuilt? When there is enough infrastructure to allow the citizens of Haiti the rights in the UN's universal declaration?

or just when the rubble is cleared?

And how will each nation decide when to stop? I think public opinion is part of the answer.

I want my nation to help make Haiti whole.

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