A Bit of Realism Please?

While I imagine the headlines will be filled with tales of Haiti, from some individual tidbits to get your attention to tales of woe about its unlucky history, perhaps blaming outsiders, it’s time for a bit of realism. First of all, let me be clear that I see the problem from two different perspectives, both of which, by their nature, will lead to different solutions. First is the human or small picture perspective. The earthquake devastated a country already in the 7th level of hell. The human cost is horrifying. Based on on a more human focused and sympathetic understanding, one would want to immediately send aid in the form of money, material and people.

However, the second more big picture perspective, acknowledges that somethign truly awful did occur but widens its view to more than the last two days. Haiti has consistently been the worst place in the Western Hemisphere in every way for decades, if not longer. While the earthquake did do unparalleled damage, one has to honestly admit it won’t make that much of a difference in the long run. The country’s only period of relative success was in the early 1900s when it was run by the US Marines Corps. Before and after, it has remained in squalor and rife with horrific violence.

While I’m certain it’s politically unfeasible at the moment, the government should seriously consider how much taxpayer money and taxpayer funded services (in the form of material, military help) it should give. We have far more pressing problems at the moment and the government has no business wasting Americans’ money on a tiny country of no value to us that has essentially no chance of recovery. Private charity should be encouraged and commended, but the USG simply has nothing to gain from expending resources in Haiti, especially relative to our other interests at home and abroad.

I’m well aware this idea will be met with disagreement and even outrage by some. However, I believe that if we have learned anything from the past year, then it is to start crafting and carrying out US policy with the realization that we have limited resources and should begin to act like it. Too many people operate on the assumption that every world event somehow involves or needs to involve the US. But that’s something I’ll be addressing soon.

About Chirol

Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (1852 - 1929) was a journalist, prolific author, world historian, and British diplomat. He began his career as a foreign correspondent and later became editor of the London Times. After two decades as a journalist he joined Her Majesty's Foreign Ministry as a diplomat and was subsequently knighted for his distinguished service as a foreign affairs advisor. Additionally, he wrote a dozen books on foreign affairs including The Far Eastern Question (1896), Serbia and the Serbs (1914), The End of the Ottoman Empire (1920) and The Egyptian Problem (1921). He is generally credited with popularizing "Middle East" in reference to the Arabian Peninsula with his book The Middle Eastern Question (1903). "Chirol" is a US citizen and graduate student studying Defense and Strategic Studies and government contractor. As with the historical Chirol, he has traveled to over two dozen countries and lived abroad for many years. Chirol speaks English and German fluently with basic knowledge of manyl of others.
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48 Responses to A Bit of Realism Please?

  1. Younghusband says:

    This is where the Navy could gain another PR coup like it did in the Sumatra tsunami. Send in hospital ships, coordinate with private NGO’s on the ground etc. From a realist perspective this is an opportunity for the US military and Mr. Obama to score points at relatively little cost. Haiti is only 1.5 hrs flight from Miami. I mean that both in the sense that it is close enough to help for cheap, and also that it is (and always has been) a “gap” country on the border of the US — a hole in the barb-wired fence that they should be monitoring to a degree anyways.

    Lastly, if I can put the hard-nosed realpolitik aside for a moment, the reason Haiti is a shambles is the leadership, not the people. The people are the victims of this earthquake. They should be helped.

  2. Chirol says:

    I’d agree it is the opportunity for a PR coup. However, I truly wonder how much difference it would make. Even our help of Indonesia and Pakistan after their respective disasters has not made much of a difference, at least as far as I know. These things are of course very difficult to measure. Secondly, I just don’t see the need for good PR with regard to Haiti because we have no real interests in Haiti. The people are indeed the victim of bad government but the US has intervened before to help which has always been a short term fix, and something we have always been criticized for. At some point it is the people’s job to oust their leaders, although I recognize it is easier said t han done. If anything, its more their duty than ours.

    As for the hole in the fence argument, I agree with that characterization and that it is a threat however short of the US occupying and administering the country, Haiti has no future and will not be fixed by aid, whether foreign aid in general or relief aid. My feeling is it’s better to concentrate our resources on defending against the threat than trying to fix the conditions in the case of Haiti.

  3. VIKING3 says:


  4. Eddie says:


    We have several significant interests in Haiti:

    - They are next door to us, not half the world away. If Haitians start streaming in boats en masse to Florida, we’re in deep trouble, not only for the terrible optics of us having to turn them back in full view of the world, but the problem of what to do about the ones who do get here, especially those with family members on the ground. Galrahn at ID explains this in more detail below (1).

    - We now have nearly a million Haitians in America. They are becoming a legitimate ethnic lobby like the Armenians, Indians, etc. That’s why you have Republican Congressmen in Florida, NJ and Georgia joining their Democratic counterparts in calling for suspensions in deportation of Haitians and other forms of support for Haitian interests.

    - We have largely ignored Haiti and pursued disastrous half-measures when we have engaged with them in the past 100 years, besides our somewhat successful Marine occupation. We don’t know yet what actual long-term FDI from us and elsewhere would do for the island, nor what the impact of a growing and more successful diaspora in America and Canada will do for the long-term development of the island. We should be interested in closing the Gap in the Caribbean, especially considering the mischief that can be stirred up by expansionist and drug-lord related elements in the Marxist slice of the hemisphere.

    - We are to blame in a sense for the immigration at sea snafu, because we told one people (the Cubans) they could be above the law and everyone else that they were SOL, even though at times in the 70′s, 80′s and even 90′s there seemed to be no interest by us in deporting most of the Haitians who did get here. An inconsistent message on the law and unequal treatment (Cuba is not nearly the nightmarish place its made out to be, and never was, Haiti is and has been much worse than its been made out to be) has helped lead to this potential human disaster at sea.

    Most of all, this is a disaster happening in our backyard. We have largely ignored our backyard or engaged it unsuccessfully for the last 16 years (the great tragedy of the Bush era especially, for a president who before 9/11 had grand yet realistic plans for America’s relations with its southern neighbors). We can start getting it right here, by helping to bail out our Brazilian partners (who essentially ran the UN Mission in Haiti , were less disastrous at it than we were in the mid-90′s, and have apparently taken grievous losses in the quake) and providing massive short-term assistance (as you rightly call for) that is realistic in its application. We can’t afford horrific disease outbreaks or unspeakable human suffering on our front porch in front of the world, especially when we have to increasingly push and prod other nations around the world to take care of their neighborhoods because we can’t do everything.

    Btw, while our efforts in Pakistan were a rare “win” for us in the people’s eyes, our efforts in Indonesia were largely successful, not only in helping to establish and sustain peace in Aceh, but in supporting and stabilizing an allied Indonesian government at a time when it likely would have collapsed under the sheer weight of cascading disasters related to the tsunami.

    “The annual immigration season from Haiti to Florida by sea usually begins in February every year. If it has historically been easy for Haitians to choose the risks of sea immigration when they have a home and family, how much easier is it for a Haitian to risk the dangerous journey when their home is destroyed or family is dead? This is a critical point, because the US is in big trouble if 100,000 people, or potentially a lot more, attempt a massive migration at sea following this catastrophe. The Obama administration is going to have to spend money – potentially many billion dollars – to keep three million homeless people in Haiti.”

  5. Eddie says:

    Two other thoughts as well if I may:

    - Pat Robertson notwithstanding, Haiti is a Christian country and an increasingly major destination for American missionary groups and evangelical relief missions. There have already been substantial increases in the attention paid to the island disaster area (before the quake dropped it into the 8th level of Hell) by GOP congressmen, humanitarian groups, etc. because of this growing identification with the island by evangelicals. It has more cache and appeal than the average Fourth World hellhole.

    - This relief effort in a sense is a “Perfect Storm” of problems to be identified and addressed, from an urban area with little infrastructure left ravaged to armed gangs that are threats to the relief effort. With 3/4 of the Gap living in major quake threat zones and other natural disaster high vulnerability sectors, this relief effort will make for great practice for the US and its partners for potentially even worse disasters in urban cores around the world. Its the greatest training exercise ever… because we know there will be many more like it in the next 50-75 years.

  6. Chirol says:

    Eddie: I appreciate your well written response and the time you took to write it. However, I still disagree. I simply don’t see any vital US interests presented in your arguments. I also see no issue in turning people around. We already have a huge illegal immigration problem and I don’t think many AMericans who already are upset by our failed border controls, would have a problem turning Hatians around. Moreover, any Haitian lobby is irrelevant to me because they are lobbying on behalf of a foreign government and foreign nationals, which is not in the interest of the USG anyway.

    Again, I recognize my thoughts are far from mainstream and will not be implemented. Perhaps we have learned nothing from the recent financial crisis and ongoing problems in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Aid to Haiti is incredibly unlikely to accomplish any valuable long term goals, merely short term good will or relief. Our money and efforts would be better spent either at home or supporting our military operations overseas where critical national interests are at stake.

  7. Eddie says:


    Its not as easy as it sounds. We’d have to spend a lot of money and use a lot of resources for months to interdict the boat people. It would be messy on so many levels its not something worth attempting unless we literally had no choice (end of times type scenario I suppose). While I absolutely agree with you on the illegal immigration issue at large, I am just proposing this is not as easy it may seem. (Its not so much our failed border controls but the employers and wealthy citizens here who knowingly break the law and pay illegals half an American’s wages… I don’t blame an illegal for wanting to make it in America as much as I blame the American who thinks he’s above the law and can screw the American worker).

    Ethnic/religious lobbies are a fact of life. There is little to counter them because increasingly they follow the Israeli/Armenian example, who are the worst offenders of working for a foreign gov’t in opposition to America’s interests. Their fundraising and donations to politicians will continue unabated and they will continue to corrupt our policy process (much as the Armenian lobby has done to harm US-Turkish relations).

    As far as the efficiency of aid to Haiti, that depends on how that aid is spent and utilized, which given the track record of the USG and its private partners, is not very promising.

  8. Eddie says:

    And as far as vital national interests, what exactly are they? That argument has been corrupted by the dishonesty in the run-up to the arguably unnecessary war with Iraq and the questionable goal of the Bush/Obama Admins in Afghanistan of creating a vibrant democracy in a place where none existed and the sufficient resources to even attempt such an exercise were never deployed.

    Indeed, given vital national interests, have we deployed US forces properly in line with them more than once in the past 60 years (I’m willing to go along with Desert Storm along those lines but nothing else back to WW2).

  9. Chirol says:

    Believe me, I realize it’s not easy. However, investing in better border controls for example is something that would benefit the US in many ways helping to stop immigration, smuggling and organized crime etc. Aid directly to Haiti, it could be argued, may indirectly do that to some small extend. My argument is the money would be more effective elsewhere.

    I also agree that Americans are also to blame when it comes to illegal immigration and completely understand the motivations for people trying to come here. I don’t fault them for it, but we can’t take everyone and after all, the USG answers to America, not the international community (though not sure about Obama). Hence, we can turn back and deport who we like regardless of any manufactured outrage.

    I do admit that the lobbies are a fact of life, I’m simply choosing to ignore them. It may indeed be unrealistic, but I just don’t see it as an important argument.

  10. Chirol says:

    Looks like we posted at about the same time. Let me address your most recent one.

    I think part of your argument misses the point. I’m very happy to debate the utility and value of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the issue here is not arguing about that, but rather accepting the fact that for better or worse Americans, or at least the USG is comitted to both those countries. It’s current and past government policy for better or for worse. And specifically in Afghanistan, it is clear that dealing with the Taliban, al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremists is more important than helping Haitians who were already poor, starving and living in hell before this event.

    My argument accepts the reality that Iraq, Afghanistan and above all the US are current vital interests. One can debate whether they SHOULD be, but I don’t think anyone can argue that they are not at the moment. Hence, I believe our resources should rather be allocated to those things rather than Haiti.

  11. spandrell says:


  12. Adrian says:

    Eddie and Younghusband make good points. But one more point about our “limited resources” – we are the richest and most powerful society in human history. And while there’s obviously a limit to how much we can help, it seems to me that helping rebuild Haiti would be worth much more than a few more F-22s.

  13. Ralph Hitchens says:

    We should never refrain from providing relief whenever and wherever we can. For those realists out there, console yourselves that this is another unparalleled opportunity to exercise America’s “soft power.”

  14. Thomas says:

    In the broadest principle I agree.

    However, given that the US contributes a smaller percentage of it’s GDP to foreign aid and disaster relief than any other industrialized nation, I can’t really justify giving help to just about anyone who really needs it.

  15. Chirol says:

    Adrian: We are the richest but also the country with the highest national debt. Just because we have means does not automatically imply we have to share them.

    Ralph H: But to what end? I’m not against soft power or aid when it helps pursue/achieve US interests/goals.

    Thomas: Your comment states a fact without making an argument. How much the US contributes compared to others is not an argument itself. The second problem is almost the entire world could be categorized as needing help and yet nobody would suggest doing so as it’s simply not possible. My problem is that the sudden barrage of media attention has given people the automatic assumption that something must be done, before asking whether it should be done.

  16. Nick Ottens says:

    I, too, agree with what you’re saying. Whenever a disaster happens, all of the Western world teams up to drop massive aid and money supplies in the country struck only to saddle up and head home again within weeks or a few months at best.

    Whatever one may think of development aid in principle, this is certainly not the way to do it.

  17. Eddie says:


    Thank you for the response!

    I would argue promoting economic development would be a much better way for us to reduce our problem with illegal immigration. If we took seriously the development of Mexico City, Paup, and other major cities in our backyard, we would have less stress on our borders. As a rational assessment of interests, this should begin to take priority over rebuilding Africa, Asia, and other troubled parts of the world.
    Further, the 200-300 billion we will likely waste in Afghanistan over the next 5 years to try to buy off tribes and promote dubious development schemes could be far better spent in this neighborhood to much greater effect. We don’t have to commit such great funds to these countries (especially to Pakistan)… we can choose to eliminate our enemies and support our friends within reason, especially given our debts (indeed there is a growing element in this country on the right and left to start thinking hard about this). Instead, we get Bush III visions of thriving market democracies in places where there is almost nothing viable to that ever happening from Obama/Gates/Clinton so the military can exercise its ego to try to replicate the same partially illusory success from Iraq in Af-Pak.

  18. Chirol says:

    Eddie: I would agree that operating on the assumption you begin with, our money would indeed be better spent closer to home as you discuss. I am also in agreement about the folly of spreading democracy and nation building. It’s exactly part of that realism that makes me think Haiti is a waste of time.

  19. Eddie says:

    Back to Haiti only… isn’t what has happened here strikingly similar to what Kaplan has warned about for years? We have an eviscerated urban center within a collapsed country (1) on our borders. Now is the time to at the least treat the worst of the emergency (since in reality, we are at least going to do that, whether we had a President Palin or a President Buchannan even) so we can get off the hook for the rest internationally if possible.

    That will entail bullying the UN into supporting the Haitian gov’t with whatever they need to get back on their feet, testing China’s resolve to be a “great power” by testing them to see if they’ll pony up cash to help pay for it, and trying to buy Brazil’s continued, and perhaps deepened, cooperation in restoring and upholding security in Haiti as they have done as the proverbial leader of the UN mission there for years.

    As the primate city of Haiti, Puap must be reconstituted to some extent (itself viewed by the Haitian ambassador as a glorious opportunity to bring the capital’s layout and infrastructure into the first half of the 20th century at least). That will likely fall to America, simply because few else can do it. I am certain we’ll be left holding the bag on that one, but private charities and businesses can achieve much of that after the first four to eight weeks of disaster response.

    Now would be a great opportunity (especially with energy prices considered to be rising over the next two-three years again) for Obama to push for American businesses to follow through on their reconsideration of continuing manufacturing operations in China or bringing them back to the Western Hemisphere. Use tax credits to pull them towards establishing a presence in Haiti. The workforce has the lowest wages in the hemisphere and much of the mfrg. skills can be easily picked up within weeks by the locals. As TPMB observes often, “jobs” are our exit strategy, and it would be a win-win for the US and Haiti.

    (1) http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2010/01/geopolitical-speculations-about-haiti.html (very sobering set of questions asked by noted economist Tyler Cowen about Haiti’s future…)

  20. Roy Berman says:

    There is a HUGE difference between long-term aid and disaster relief. Even rich countries may be overwhelmed when a huge natural disaster strikes and require help in recovering from the immediate aftermath, so to say that a poor country should be asked to take care of themselves is extremely myopic. Take a look at the list of international disaster relief sent in the wake of Katrina. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_response_to_Hurricane_Katrina) Even leaving aside Bush/Brown/FEMA incompetence, the richest country in the world still needed help in rescuing its citizenry and keeping them alive. To say that Haiti should be left out in the cold in a similar – but worse – situation goes beyond callous.

    Whatever you may feel about the merits of long-term aid (not a discussion I feel like being dragged into now), there are thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people who will quite literally be dead tomorrow or the day after, because they are trapped under rubble, or within a couple of weeks, because whatever clean water there was is now ruined. Discussions about what to do with Haiti in the long term are worth having, but those discussions should be concerned with the period AFTER the immediate recovery. This sort of disaster relief should be unconditional, free from political concerns, and automatic. It is a completely different matter from long term development aid.

  21. Richard says:

    I agree with Roy Berman. People not too far away are in dire straights. We, through our governments, have a duty to help.

  22. Peter says:

    “Aid to Haiti is incredibly unlikely to accomplish any valuable long term goals, merely short term good will or relief. Our money and efforts would be better spent either at home or supporting our military operations overseas where critical national interests are at stake.”

    So if the earthquake had happened in Japan (which, 15 years ago one big one did), a major trading partner, the USG would have more of a “reason” to give disaster relief money?

    Are there conditions where the USG should give money for disaster relief?

  23. Younghusband says:

    There is this fear: Will Haiti Katrina-ize the Obama Administration? The political expectations are too big to ignore.

  24. Adamu says:

    Your idea of “realism” is extremely cold-hearted and self-serving. Can we at least wait until it’s too late to save those trapped under the rubble before washing our hands of the situation?

  25. Younghusband says:

    One quick point, which by the look of Chirol’s last sentence in his post he will be approaching later: political realism and isolationism are different things. Chirol is advocating isolationism.

  26. Sejo says:

    Mmmh. Ok, I agree with Chirol’s thesis. It makes perfectly sense: if a crisis does not affect me and my country interests, my country’s government should not be interested in solving it.
    I can truly see the point and, while it is difficult to explain it morally, it is a clear example of realism. But as I see the point, I fear it’s just a starting point for which I cannot see the end. Which part of the world is of USG interest? Will come a day when Japan and Europe will no longer be considered worthy allies because the post-modern empire will have withdrawn itself back to its home shores?

    And what if a random Supreme Leader goes on tv and says he’s got the Bomb and claims his regime can hit Tel Aviv, Athens, Rome, Berlin? Will, in this random case, the special forces of, say, the IDF be left alone doing some kind of operation to undermine the random Supreme Leader’s arsenal?

    And what for the day in which the Europeans and all the others who understand they are not anymore in the USG interests and leave Afghanistan without even making their beds?

    I fear that isolationism – for this is the name for these policies, not realism – is not the correct choice for this era. In this highly interdependent world, democracies should stick together more and more. Which isn’t exactly what Obama is doing, perhaps the opposite, and even if I tend to dislike the idea of spreading democracy, well, the existing democracies should feel the time has come to get rid – or simply reduce its importance – of the UN and for the creation of a global organization for democratic countries and democracy itself. Exactly to overcome any crisis, economical, political or humanitarian should they be.
    I therefore suppose that the choice for this era of shrinking power and wealth is cooperation: at least between the neighbours, both geographical and ideological.

  27. UNRR says:

    This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 1/15/2010, at The Unreligious Right

  28. Chirol says:

    To be clear, I don’t advocate isolationism. I simply think more and more now that moving from our unstated assumption of global hegemony to selective engagement may be in our long term interest, domestically and internationally. Eddie, I must admit, makes very convincing arguments in his most recent comment, to which I am not opposed if events can be influenced to play out in the manner in which he describes.

    What I am interested in is having this very conversation. My feeling is that a growing number of Americans support selective engagement and those who support hegemony and isolationism are dwindling, or at least their support is. I’ll be posting in the next few days on this.

    And for the record, I’m not absolutely opposed to any help for Haiti. What I do want to see is some real discussion on the assumptions underlying our actions.

  29. Peter says:

    I’m with Adamu on this.

    “While the earthquake did do unparalleled damage, one has to honestly admit it won’t make that much of a difference in the long run.”

    Did you really mean to word it like that?

    I mean, let the Francisco d’Anconias of the world worry about the “long run” later.

  30. Eddie says:

    I agree with Chirol that selective engagement (as well as a more realistic, non-ideological approach to how we spend our non military-aid) is gaining increased support (to an extent even Obama would love to do this, especially with regards to the expensive aid we provide to countries that do little for us, like Egypt, Israel, Pakistan).

    We do on the other hand have to “speak Victorian, think Pagan.” Here is an excellent chance to do that by not abandoning an incredible mass of people at our proverbial borders in front of the entire world while developing and deepening the disaster relief capabilities of our government and its private partners. This is the sort of real-life training scenario we need to carry forward the lessons of ’04 and ’06, because sadly more important US allies and perhaps our own cities will one day face similar grave challenges in the face of natural/man-made disasters.

  31. Chirol says:

    Eddie: I think we aren’t too far apart on this. In fact, I agree that one major benefit of involvement is real life training for our personnel. I have no argument at all with that advantage. I’d also be totally for using US personnel and capacity and having others foot the bill (like in the Gulf War I)

    My growing problem are the unstated and often unrecognized assumptions behind many of our actions. Moreover, I find it rather sad that so many critics of our involvement in Afghanistan rightly point out the prospect of basic stability and governance , much less democracy, is absurd there AND then go and support involvement in Haiti which is arguably just as hopeless a situation.

  32. Eddie says:


    I agree.

    Yet, at this point, most people seem unsure of what exactly we are to do in Haiti beyond the first three weeks (if anything beyond a limited support role for the UN). I too look forward to seeing if certain critics and analysts who have harped on Afghanistan suddenly take a different tone on Haiti. As of yet, I have not observed it.

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  34. Adrian says:

    According to James Fallows’ blog, China is committing $1 million and 50 dudes on an Air China plane. Miami-Dade County alone is helping more.

  35. SJPONeill says:

    Maybe there was a point to ‘manifest destiny’ after all…?

  36. spandrell says:

    Stop aid to those people and mine the sea around Florida.

  37. Roy Berman says:

    @Adrian: Haiti is one of the few countries left that is still an official diplomatic ally of Taiwan rather than the People’s Republic of China.

  38. Roy Berman says:

    And Taiwan has pledged at least US$5 million worth of aid to Haiti so far, in addition to supplies of food and medicine, and medical personnel.


  39. VIKING3 says:


    What could Haiti possibly bring to the table should Taiwan be attacked? Haiti is a parasitic nation with no national defense capability or economic leverage….Haiti is a non entitiy on the world stage.

  40. Roy Berman says:

    Viking3: Clearly you don’t know anything about the international politics of Taiwan and China. National defense has nothing whatsoever to do with it: the issue is about recognition. Since both China and Taiwan officially claim to be the legitimate government of the “one China” no country can have formal diplomatic relations with both, and China has managed to win over most countries in the world. Only a handful of countries remain official diplomatic allies of Taiwan (which is different from being an ally in practical terms, which the US and Japan, among others, are). Since Taiwan is not a member of the UN and most other international bodies, due to Chinese veto, they have no ability to introduce or vote on measures. By paying what seems to be outrageous amounts to tiny, traditionally insignificant countries, Taiwan has a handful of countries with full voting rights in organizations like the UN, who can act as their proxies for introducing and voting on measures. Before 2009, Taiwan applied for re-admittance to the UN every year for 17 straight years, with the backing of their diplomatic allies. Sure, it’s been a fruitless campaign, but without formal allies such as Haiti, they would not even be able to get the application filed.

  41. von Moltke says:

    Chirol, your argument is succinct and excellent. Haiti is a glimpse into the coming anarchy. We have a responsibility to defend ourselves and our society and values from the dangers of influence from abjectly failed societies. Haiti will never exist in a state that is acceptable to the Western charity-minded and multiculturalists, precisely because it is blighted by Haitian culture. A little imperialism would do Haiti good, but the modern world cannot stomach the hand of nature in humanity. Extinction, my friends, is a part of the very nature that our global warming worshipers fail to acknowledge can occur without us.

  42. VIKING3 says:


    Friends paid for with money are the WORST friends possible. China has sent more $$ and support to haiti than Tiawan can hope to muster. Perhaps the game is about to change?

    Also, when push comes to shove Tiawan will regret monies wasted supporting “Allies” like Haiti that have no pressure or force for support other than meaningless UN declarations, supported by hollow nations.

  43. von Kaufman-Turkestansky says:

    Von Moltke: Agree with your heard-headed analysis. Chirol’s position is too bleeding-heart. Charity begins at home, with AIG! Better to let China give Haiti the leg up. If they get cocky we can level ‘em down again, and it will be China out of pocket. Let the multiculturalists chew on that.

  44. Roy Berman says:

    Viking3: Taiwan has in fact sent more than China, as of today. Check the most recent articles.

    You can argue that buying allies is a waste of time, which is a reasonable argument that plenty have made in the past, but you can’t deny that this IS the strategy of both Taiwan AND China.

  45. I have no qualms with being cautious in helping Haiti; I think we have to have it in our minds, first and foremost, that this is a Search and Rescue operation, and when it is in that stage, you go all out.

    When you enter a later phase, that is when you are careful with the purse strings and mindful of government corruption.

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