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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Stand Up for Haiti

This will be one of the great humanitarian disasters of our time. I knew to expect the worst when I heard the news yesterday, but the grief and desperation we are seeing today is just beginning. Even in well organized societies a disaster on this scale unfolds over weeks and months. Even on a good day, Haiti is a mess. The loss of life will likely rival the Asian tsunami a few years past. I expect what passes for civil order will crumble quickly in the face of fear, hunger and desperation. Natural disaster will be compounded by civil breakdown and we will see it broadcast 24/7. It won't be pretty and an adequate response to a disaster on this scale will take time, time that victims do not have. I expect the U.S military will be needed to restore order and provide the infrastructure for recovery. I hope we are not shy about doing so. To borrow from Tolkien, I think this will be a time for Obama to show his quality. Haiti is on our doorstep and we need to step show our quality, something I think he and we are capable of. This may be a chance to heal this benighted country. These are tough, creative people. Given the chance, they will prosper. I think they deserve the chance.

You have probably heard by now that cash is desperately needed and one easy way to donate is to text Haiti to 90999. Simple works for me. $10 will go to the Red Cross for disaster relief. There's probably a dozen other ways to help, so pick wisely and contribute in anyway you can, then step back and look at your own troubles a bit differently. In most cases they don't amount to much. Take a desperate situation and make some good come from it. Maybe we can learn something in the process.

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