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Haiti Commentary: Want to Get your Nation Rebuilt? Export a LittleTerror.

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Haiti. A tragic, profoundly unlucky nation, poster child of colonial brutality and exploitation – right on America’s doorstep.

Every few years or so, Haiti pings the heartstrings of the world’s wealthy nations and donations flood in – along with every journalist worth his or her salt.

The scale and magnitude of this latest catastrophe is truly appalling, but its hard to imagine that its going to be any different this time. The Presidential Palace will be rebuilt and its new found glory will no doubt be photographed as a symbol of Haiti’s resurgence. But the photographers will be less present when the shanties are rebuilt too on the same hillsides they once stood on.

It’s possible that this time it will be different, that Haiti will be rebuilt by the world community, but it’s far more likely that Haiti’s misery will likely continue when we go back to business as usual, with our own jobs and futures on the line too.

It’s all just a tad ironic. I mean, nation building is something that we’ve been getting pretty good at recently. Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of miles away are works in progress, to put it kindly, with literally tens of billions of dollars frittered away on projects that are blown up, mismanaged, or simply abandoned as soon as the US contractors have cut their corners and pocketed their profits and then left.

What made Iraq a go-to destination for that special brand of US imperialism? Yellow cake, even if there wasn’t any. It helped that Baghdad was home to the world’s most quintessential dictator, and this his country is second to Saudi Arabia in oil reserves.

What makes the Afghans so much more deserving than the Haitians? One thing and one thing only. Terror. Afghanistan has been home to a massive attack on the US homeland, and Haiti has not. Afghanistan is a political game, played at the very highest levels, with a very special brand of lies and misinformation, Haiti is just a disaster area, no questions asked.

To put it mildly, Haiti is not strategically important. It has nothing to offer us except cheap labor, which on a global basis, let’s face it, is not in short supply. State Department policy wonks who want to move up in the world do not specialize in Haitian political machinations. It’s in the news, occasionally, not daily.

It’s easy to lob over the occasional peace-keeping mission, and get UN support for this or that move, because when a country is not strategically important to any of the permanent members of the Security Council, unanimity is suprisingly easy to come by. Politically, there are no domestic points to score by helping Haiti – except in New York. There are only downsides. In short it doesn’t rate high on the must-do list.

That could change. America could decide to get its nation-building groove on and fix Haiti once and for all. Clean water, better housing, hospitals and all that jazz, as long as the American people are happy to provide a nationalized charitable donation – at our own expense of course.  So it’s not likely.

The truth is that Haiti is not a threat. Not in the least.

If it was, Congress and the President would have an easier time fixing the place.

If only it had Jihadists, like Afghanistan, bent on laying ruin to Miami or Orlando. Why, then Republicans and Democrats would demand a force be sent to knock off the terrorists and clean out the shanties because they’re “breeding ground for Haitian terrorists”.  No such luck.

If only the Chinese were busy colonizing the place as a staging point for new waves of cheap crap to be sold throughout America, then we could at least justify going down there to ‘compete’ with the Chinese. Not gonna happen.

If only the latest Pandemic was known to be sourced in the fetid water of those self-same shanties, so in the name of humanity we could send down some guys in white suits and clean the place up. Highly unlikely.

No, for all our talk of solidarity, as sad as it is to say, Haiti, desparate, poor, tragic Haiti – is on its own.

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Written by coolrebel

January 14, 2010 at 6:52 am

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