Haiti: Bibles and Burning Bodies

A large proportion of the earthquake damage in Haiti could have been prevented if they were not a corrupt and bankrupt society that can't afford solid construction. (Google 7.0 earthquakes recently in Seattle, Japan and other places, the damage and loss of life were orders of magnitude lower than in Haiti.)

A similarly large proportion of the suffering after the earthquake would be preventable with realistic government preparedness plans, robust infrastructure and a culture of individual responsibility.

None of this is meant to criticize the ordinary and powerless citizens of Haiti, or to stop us from doing our utmost to save them in the name of decency and human compassion; but it certainly is a crucial warning to Americans. Our current administration and congress are different only in degree from the vile predations, criminal ineffectiveness and compulsive fixation on glamour of the Haitian "government."

Compare any city in Texas to Detroit. We could, and with Obama's policies, we WOULD, move further down that scale until everyplace in America was another Port Au Prince. Under the jackboots of socialist thuggery, America would no more be able to help itself than Haiti can today.

Posted by Askmom at January 16, 2010 9:47 AM

Haiti will always be around for us to exercise our concience at a safe distance. Imagine America with a population of three billion six hundred million and growing faster than anyplace on earth, with an IQ below Detroit.

And our most clever populations for their part would rather undergo this angst periodically than address ucomfortable and deadly truths, especially those which point back to them.

Much unhappiness has come into the world from things left unsaid--Dostoevsky

Posted by james wilson at January 16, 2010 10:37 AM


Living in So. Cal. since '67, I've been through a few earthquakes, some pretty bad, but never have I seen such looks of total despair and agony as on the faces of those in the pictures.

Posted by Sara (Pal2Pal) at January 16, 2010 12:54 PM

Maybe. Maybe someday someone could actually help these gentle people. The only graceless mercy in the wake of this tragedy is perhaps there will be nothing left for others to exploit.

Posted by Joan of Argghh! at January 16, 2010 2:18 PM

In the picture shown, it appears there is a woman without a shirt on. I know they are a third world but I'm astounded.

I think that's important because money will not make things better there. A mind set of poverty and backwardness will need to be changed to make a difference there. That can't be done in even one generation...20 years.

I understand that the immediate needs are for food, water and medical supplies/care. After that the whole country needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. I hope we aren't planning on trying that.

Posted by mare at January 16, 2010 3:46 PM

There are so many chronic problems in Haiti that well intended foreign efforts seem to have no effect. That is not true, but it can seem to be.

It is a little like dealing with a completely worn-out car.

i.e. You might be tempted to overhaul the engine but the transmission is ruined or will fail soon. The battery is shot - or more likely in this case it was stolen. The tires and wheels must be replaced, the alternator and electrical wiring does not function. You don't know it yet but the differential and brakes must be rebuilt. Some windows are shattered and the upholstery has seen better days.

And you know that nine-of-ten of your local mechanics are inept or dishonest. Or both.

I don't see the answer. The governments and agencies of the world obviously don't have one. Why would I?

The quake itself is not a chronic problem. But its effect was greatly magnified by the poverty.

It has been nearly a week since the quake. Delivering adequate aid has not been possible although much good has been done. Those trapped will die rapidly now - a few days w/o water is difficult, a week is nearly impossible.

Many seriously injured but untreated also face death. Again, to survive a few days is one thing, to survive indefinitely is quite another. Infection and sanitation problems will increase in the near term.

Expect another terrible week before increasing aid begins to overcome the quake effects.

Posted by K at January 16, 2010 8:44 PM

God bless them all.

Posted by monkeyfan at January 16, 2010 8:54 PM

If your tears are simply idle tears, weep for yourself. Let us do what we can to alleviate some suffering.

When people, already beaten down, are then crushed by fist or fire, or mindless brick or wave, I wonder what God expects of us or of Itself.

Posted by FamouslyUnknown at January 17, 2010 12:19 PM

What are the three most important things in your life? Why those three? What are you doing about them? To what extent do 'external tragedies' affect them?

Do you have children or grandchildren? If so, will they graciously contribute a few pennies to help suffering Haitians, once the situation there is explained to them and they understand that their pennies can help?

Posted by FamouslyUnknown at January 17, 2010 12:30 PM

One fundamental, serious problem in Haiti that seldom is mentioned is the state of their natural resources. The country is approximately 98% deforested, which means reduced rainfall and little or no watershed protection. Compare to the Dominican Republic, which has considerable natural forests, thanks in part to the otherwise reviled tyrant Trujillo. Without having and protecting these resources no country can function properly.

God bless the people of Haiti and let us lend them a hand. What develops in the future is in their hands.

Posted by Hannon at January 18, 2010 12:32 AM

The title should have been 'Bibles, Burning Bodies and BOOBS!'.

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