A friend sends along a link to an article by Alex von Tunzelmann in the TimesOnline that leads the reader through the slums of Haiti prior to the earthquake. We feel like we're being led by Virgil on a tour of Hell.
Short of a miracle Haiti seems like a land without hope, the problems are so severe. There are lots of villains in the story (the big one may surprise you) and not least are the Haitians themselves. The worst part of reading this essay is that implicit in every paragraph is the sense that there's just nothing that can be done. Americans do not recieve that message with equanimity, of course. We tend to believe that if we have the will we can make any place different, but I confess, short of taking over the country and imposing martial law for several generations, I haven't the faintest idea how Haiti can be rescued.
At one point a senior American foreign policy expert tells von Tunzelmann that the only solution to the problems which plague that island is mass emigration, but who really thinks that any nation will open it's doors to millions of poor, uneducated, unskilled believers in voodoo?
One might easily conclude from von Tunzelmann's column that Haiti is a cursed land. That may be unfair, but it's certainly a terribly tragic place. Read the column, count your blessings, and pray for these wretched people.RLC