Some events have occurred recently that have caused me to write this politically incorrect essay concerning Haiti. The first event was a commercial featuring Pres. G. W. Bush and Pres. Clinton asking for money for Haiti because of their devastating earthquake. Clinton, in this ad said we need to give money to Haiti not for them to return to their former status, but instead for them to build a new Haiti that would be better than the one they are replacing. Haiti could become what they want it to be rather than what it was. Apparently the former Haiti was not good enough for the Haitians and they need money so they can have a new country.
The second event was an item I read in today's paper. The article said that Haiti needs latrines because soon the rains will come and disease will overtake the Haitian people and they will die by the thousands. Now for you who don't have the benefit of a military background, a latrine is a toilet. It is usually just a ditch dug to be used as a toilet and then covered up with yet another ditch dug to replace it. When I was in the military latrines were commonly used when our unit went to the field for maneuvers. Digging latrines required nothing more than a few men with shovels and a little bit of labor. They didn't cost anything but labor.
Okay Ron, so what is your problem? What is wrong with a little charity? What is wrong with giving money to these devastated people to rebuild? My answer is, nothing is wrong. I believe in charity. I believe in helping people out. But I have a few questions. Let's say for example that we and the rest of the world give Haiti billions of dollars. Who is going to get the money? Will it be divided up among the Haitians? Haiti has never had any infra-structure and they certainly don't now. Will the money go to contractors who will rebuild the cities and hospitals and homes? Who will supervise the distribution of that money? Where will the money be deposited while waiting for its distribution? How are we going to keep greedy government officials away from it?
I know I sound like a skeptic, but I believe when the smoke clears, regardless of how much money is sent to Haiti, it will still just be a poor country controlled by greedy government types and criminals. The state of living for the Haitian people will be the same or worse in ten years than it is today. You see, it isn't about the money. It's about the people. What Haiti needs and what all these third world countries need is self determination and initiative. They need to take control of their own lives and their futures and build a country that will survive. They need to establish law and order. They need to round up the thugs and criminals and put them in cages. They need to deal with their drug problems. The last thing they need is to be the dependent of any other country or people.
Let's face it. Haiti is a beautiful Caribbean Island with great natural attraction and resources. They could be another Aruba or Dominican Republic. They could prosper with tourist dollars. They are close enough to wealthy countries to be a vacation destination extraordinaire. But they have to get busy and take charge of their own destiny. If they are willing to be wards of the US or any other wealthy nation, they will never be anything but what they have been. We might just as well add them to the role of statehood. Then they could be just another welfare recipient. I know this isn't very politically correct but then I never have been known as such. Haiti, this is your last chance to be anything. Take advantage of it and dig your own latrines.
Ron Scarbro March 7, 2010
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