Ok, first of all, thoughts and prayers to everyone over there. It’s horrible the number of people who’ve died, and it’s horrible the destruction to the country, and it’s horrible the number of people who are homeless. That all said, I’m concerned here. I’ve been watching a lot of the Haiti coverage and thinking about this, and really it comes down to Iraq and Afghanistan. We’re stuck in two shit-hole countries already. I’m afraid of getting stuck in another.
I want to re-state that last sentence. First is an admitted of fear. The second is the concern isn’t helping them, which is good, but getting stuck over there. It’s a bad country. It’s a very very bad country. The people don’t hate us, but most of the people in Afghanistan don’t hate us either. It only takes a few hundred Haitians pissed off at America’s ten thousand troops. Yes, we have 10,000 troops in that country. The difference between this occupation and any other is semantics. We are now occupying that country.
If this goes that route of Japan circa 1945, then America will be ok. Little known fact: After Japan surrendered, not a single US soldier died in combat on the mainland. Not one. After the official surrender, the fighting completely stopped. We rebuilt that country, and now, they’re a really good stable country and reliable ally. If we can do that, then America walks out of this really good. Yes, it will cost money, and that sucks because we don’t have much to spare right now. But long-term, this is good for us.
However, we haven’t been able to do this lately. We can afford to help rebuild Haiti. We can’t afford to get stuck in a third country. We can’t afford to become their government. We can’t afford to become their long-term security teams and police officers.
Additionally, that country is not a healthy country. They’re extremely impoverished with an extremely corrupt government. Any money we put into them will have to be watched to avoid theft, and we’re going to be emotionally driven to lift them up to a level above what they had before. Already liberals are calling or a whole new way of nation building that country, as if we have some sort of moral responsibility to them because we live in the same hemisphere.
Is it a bad idea to help them? No. It’s good what we’re doing. But at the same time, we have to have realistic expectations of what we can accomplish over there. If we go in thinking we can through pure brute force and heavy wallet turn that country around, we will wind up getting stuck over there for a very long time.