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Agree or disagree?: The United States Should assume Primary Responsibility of the rebuilding of Haiti
what about chile?
QUOTE(Beenly @ Mar 7 2010, 06:38 PM) *
what about chile?

They said they didn't need help
plus Chile's buildings were more built for the earthquake compared to haiti
Haiti needs to take care of their own shit. The only nation we should be rebuilding is our own crumbling country. Not the victims of a natural disaster in Haiti, nor the victims of our man made disaster in Iraq.
Why would we try to rebuild Haiti? The government there is so corrupt that they would just pocket any money we donate and wouldn't put any towards future rebuilding. If anything we should evacuate their country.
There is a point where it's nice for U.S to help
But like you two said, Haiti is also corrupt and they might not even be using our money to help rebuild themselves
and we are also already corrupt and have many problems
We should destroy and conquer. Like in the oldin days.
We should move to U.S. Version 2.0, where the water is cleaner, the economy is better, the jobs are cooler, and all the people that live there are of every ethnicity.
US should take an active role but shouldn't be the sole participant. Right now the US is backed in a 1 trillion 600 billion dollar deficit with a potential to grow with the current debate over healthcare legislation. Also, we just moved into a recovery period for the US from the recession of 2008 the last thing we want to do is increase spending and foreign nation building. The prime reason for the failure of the Bush administration was the nation building in IRAQ. We have the UNDP and the IMF to be the major forerunners for this issue. It would be a positive thing if the United States could bring some influence over Haiti but their government is the least of concerns compared to their natural inhabitance of some of the worst environmental conditions which is a major reason why foreign direct investment is very subtle. However on the positive note, at least France is doing something about it, they recently cutback a $90 million interest from the time Haiti was still colonized because of Haiti's recent earthquakes.
That's so nice.
To spice things up a bit:

Do you all feel as though the U.S. has some level of a moral obligation to Haiti, being as though we once inhabited Haiti in the early 1900s for personal gains, and we have also been like their 'big brother' for a while, being their top financial supporter for the past decades. If we leave now, it seems like we're leaving in the time they need us most. Not to mention the proximity of Haiti to the U.S.
we're not going to leave though, every american in haiti helping isn't going to just up and leave all at one time. i think we have a moral obligation to help haiti as humans who empathize with other humans, but not as a country. it should be individual charity. if bill clinton or any other individual wants to go all out and help then they should, i'm all for it. but the US as a country shouldn't assume "primary responsibility" for any country other than our own imo regardless of circumstances. i'm for us helping, just not having to take on the primary responsibility title. especially since it's not like we are sitting around tapping our feet wishing we had something to be doing, our plate is pretty full.
QUOTE(BamBamBoogie @ Mar 7 2010, 07:33 PM) *
Agree or disagree?: The United States Should assume Primary Responsibility of the rebuilding of Haiti

DISAGREE! why should we have to take on that kind of responsibility? isnt our economy failing? isnt our nation in crisis from things too? people dont run to our rescue like we run to everyone else's its crazy to expect the us to do that for Haiti, WHO, might it add, had some crap with us not to long ago. just saying.
QUOTE(SoleShine @ Jun 15 2010, 03:16 PM) *
isnt our economy failing? isnt our nation in crisis from things too? people dont run to our rescue like we run to everyone else's its crazy to expect the us to do that for Haiti

Haiti is one of the poorest nations on earth. Despite our own economic problems, Haiti is a whole new level of poor. No one runs to our rescue because the US is one of the richest nations on earth, so we really don't need anyone else's help.
Yes we do have an obligation because we f*cked them up.

Before I begin, keep in mind that Haiti, before the country started dwindling down in the 1990s, they were living a sustainable life. Right after they achieved independence from colonization of the French? The large scale agriculture was diminished and all the lands were distributed to the Haitian people. And they stopped exporting goods, instead they grew their own food. They didn't have a commerce economy but they were able to sustain life because they grew their own food. And also some tourism supplemented their economy.

In the 1990s, I believe, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank (their objective is to supposedly help countries advance their economy) offered Haiti a loan. Than loan was going to be used I guess to do whatever Haiti on some infrastructures, industrialization, etc. It's basically like a stimulus package.

On return, Haiti not only has to pay the money AND the interest back, they have to abide some laws. It's called the Structural Adjustment Plan (or SAPS). Under that law it states that

1. Cutting in spending for health, education, and all forms of social welfare
2. Privatizing of all state-owned enterprises
3. Opening the economy to foreign competitors and direct foreign investment
4. Allowing the market TO DETERMINE INTEREST RATE
5. Managing currency exchange rates to keep them stable
6. State gov. having to broaden the tax base in order to collect more revenue, deregulate labor markets, and stop using public monies to subsidize commodities


Then they started doing large scale agriculture, and grew commodities. The lands that were domestically owned were put into the market. And then a series of chain reactions occur.

Remember that since 1970s we started SUBSIDIZING for corn, soybeans, wheat, rice. So when we started subsidizing them, the prices of of those commodities went absolutely down.

SO basically what happened was under the SAP policies, import tariff was LOWERED from 35% to 3% when the agreement policies took into place in 1995


On top of that, they have to follow some capitalistic agendas with little to almost no welfare programs (those welfare programs are incentives for people to work) AND REPAY the loans with interest CONSIDERING, the commodities they were growing were worth a dime.

I believe they still have some money the owe to those monopolizing/globalizing banks, while they clean up the debris from the earthquake.

WE have help them. WE issued them those loans.

And Haiti was not the only country that had been issued loans by those bitches. They're all over the world. If Haiti was located just right below America, most Haitians would probably have immigrated.

The same shit happened to Mexico.
I've been to Haiti. It's a crumbled country. Corruption is everywhere. Any help we send them would be stolen and taken into the hands of the already very wealthy.

Building infrastructure would be a better idea. Haiti needs roads, not a new White House.
I want to add too, that based on what I had seen, the Haitians no longer believe in the legitimacy of their own government. You have unmotivated and apathetic peoples who are still in the process of living hand-to-mouth. These people squat in lines with their back to the wall (literally), waiting for the next handout from the U.N.

The U.N itself is in shambles over there. You'll frequently see U.N bases with the words "U.N" spray painted on the building reminiscent of some half-assed gerry-rigged attempt to differentiate itself from the broken shambles of the gov't on the other side of the street.

I would say that these foreign actors and institutions are to the Haitian people, alien ideas and far away concepts to which the Haitians have no care or interest for. They take what they can and get on with their lives.

I had the fortunate opportunity to stay in a hotel occupied by the likes of Mr. Bill Clinton i.e "Hotel Karibe" which was, like I mentioned, fabulous and obviously far beyond the means of the average Haitian. It was an interesting sight to see; sitting in my hotel room, looking through the window across the valley one could see a mass of make-shift homes put together with scraps of paper, metal and plastic similar to the Brazilian Favelas. It was painfully obvious one side of the valley was vastly different from the other. I think in America we call that the "wealth-income disparity".

And afterwards I went to a well known beach-resort some where down the country. It was interesting to see Haitian workers there who humbly served us but with distaste and apathy in their eyes. Based on the interactions I had with these people I couldn't help but feel that these people found us to be not a human being but some sort of money-dispenser. The Haitian people are kind folks. But they will take advantage of your naivety and take everything they can from you. This is because the Haitians are quietly desperate people.

Anyways, while I was at the beach I found myself becoming more and more angry and bored so to entertain myself I starting asking inappropriate questions to our Haitian guide who brought us to this beach;

"Your family would never be able to come here, right?"

Our guide was a gentle man who kept his head low in all of his interactions with us. But I claim now that I saw a flash of anger in his eyes. I don't remember his reply because I had gotten what I wanted. His emotions told the truth and that was all I needed to know.

The amount of help these people need is staggering. There are poor everywhere. After a while I found myself only able to take a sick sort of amusement at all of the suffering I had seen. There was no way I could humanely process or take care of these people or even to empathize with all of these people in any sort of meaningful way.

On my last day there I finally was able to pick up a sample of the famous Haitian mud-cake. I had been hearing rumors of these delicacies and had decided for myself to try a hand at it. These pies were an innovation born from the desperation of the 2010 earthquake and subsequent famine. The crumbled roads you see are in some ways a result of this earthquake. (That's how famine happens. Food can't get from point A to point B if the roads are closed off) Essentially these cakes are made from drips of butter and mud, baked in the hot sun of the Haitian country. They're still somewhat consumed by the ultra-poor but the majority of the mud-cakes are sold as novelties to the tourists passing by.

It's said that other countries view Americans as a kind of an ignorant, loud mouthed cowboy. I can verify that this is true in Haiti. It's just not verbally expressed since these same cowboys funnel money into the country in one way or another. But I was given no respect in this country unless I was handing over the "all mighty dollar".

Finally, when I happened to be passing by the Haitian white-house, I stopped to take pictures of the broken building. I had my DSLR so some young Haitians stopped to interrupt me. Based on the tone of the initial conversation I assumed I was about to be mugged or threatened. A few young men had asked if I was a journalist to which I said that I was not. They told me that they didn't appreciate me taking pictures of their building. My guide had recommended me to not stick around too long so I tried to make the best of the situation so when they told me that they thought it was "a sad state" I agreed and I made out of there as fast as I could. I know I said more than that, something glamorous or idealistic about how they had the power to make change and that one day things could be better if they were willing to put in the hours to do so and that was the end of that.

I found one lasting legacy that Haiti left in my heart was the distaste of NGOs generally. I can't really go into detail about what I saw but my claim is that these people who run the various NGOs in Haiti were only using the Haitians as a stepping stone that they would have a greater state of influence in the eyes of the U.N. They weren't there to help the people of Haiti. They may have convinced themselves of that but they were there for their own means. And of course I met a few young girls who volunteered at these organizations. They were full of themselves, naively idealistic, and had no sense of how the world actually worked. I was shocked and dismayed at what I had seen from these people.

But there was one young Haitian girl who was developing a sense of attraction to me. She was a beautiful young girl, slim with long legs but with a hard face. Obviously she had experienced more hardship than I have ever faced before. But I was cheerful, sly, and mischievous and so I think she was attracted to that in me. I wonder if I would have stayed in Haiti forever I would have married her. We never really talked though, but the attraction between us was there. On the final day when we all took a group picture, I had kneeled down behind another fellow, placing my hand upon his shoulder, this girl had mysteriously placed her hand on top of my hand. I was shocked and excited at her boldness but I kept still and pretended like I wasn't aware of her action.

I still think about her sometimes or the Haitian people in general. I don't know what they'll need but I do know generally that these people need a revival in their hearts. Apathy leads to the death of a civilization; it'll certainly kill the Haitian people if they do not choose to move forward once again. You can throw money at a situation but that does not guarantee anything at all. The people themselves must find a reason to move in a positive light.
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