View Poll Results: What should the US do?

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  • Feed them for a while, but leave if they don't step up soon

    12 60.00%
  • Expand relief operations to include rebuilding and upgrading

    6 30.00%
  • Option 2, then hold a plebiscite afterwards to determine their future

    2 10.00%
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Thread: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by spud_meister View Post
    my god, you want the french to do it?
    I believe the French should be responsible to pay for the bulk of Haiti's rebuilding. After all, they are the ones who "broke" Haiti. They are financially and morally obligated to fix Haiti.

    For the record, we did not break Haiti, and thus, our culpability in Haiti's woes is minimal. I think that we ought to help, certainly, because it is the duty of all humans to relieve suffering when they can. However, I don't believe that we are responsible to take the lead in Haiti.

    America has, for far too long, taken on the burden of fixing problems created by other nations.

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Let them sort out their own mess....
    Although, if they haven't been able to do it in 200 years, I doubt they ever will......
    Let nature take it's course & return the population to a sustainable level....

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    This is supposed to be humanitarian aid, we can help the people, but ultimately, it needs to be the people who step up and fix their country. We can do things to help them but we should not do it for them. Low-interest loans, private industry loans, etc. are all options. Going in and doing it for them is not.
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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    This is supposed to be humanitarian aid, we can help the people, but ultimately, it needs to be the people who step up and fix their country. We can do things to help them but we should not do it for them. Low-interest loans, private industry loans, etc. are all options. Going in and doing it for them is not.
    The problem with this equation is that in order for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they require bootstraps.

    Haiti was so decimated of all resources, and the former slaves who put themselves into leadership were so ill-prepared for that role (thanks to their French owners), that the likelihood of Haiti salvaging itself is minimal.

    This is like requiring an illiterate woman who got pregnant at 12 and has zero skills to get off of welfare and take care of her kids. She may get off welfare, but she's always going to struggle with the limitations of her situation. In the case of families like this, literacy skills, financial skills, hell--even cooking and cleaning and childcare skills--have to be taught.

    Haiti was so impoverished, corrupt, and hopeless BEFORE the quake that to presume that they have the capacity to rebuild, even if we wrote them a blank check, is ridiculous. It's not just money they need, but EVERYTHING.

    Haiti literally needs to be dismantled and reconstructed from the ground up. I look at Haiti the way I look at dismal failing schools that have to be taken over by a state agency and reformed.

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Who colonized Haiti, destroyed their national resources, and brought hundreds of thousands of Africans there to work as agricultural and household slaves?

    That's who should pay to fix Haiti.

    In my opinion, we should start holding the European powers responsible for the destruction their colonialism caused in the 1700s-1900s around the world. This mess in Haiti was not caused by the U.S., and we are not ethically or morally responsible to solve it.

    France and Spain are. France and Spain should ante up, financially, to rebuild Haiti's infrastructure and teach the leaders of Haiti to govern democratically.

    If you look at UK colonialism, at least the brits left their former colonies with the ability to self-govern. The French and Spanish, almost never. They raped, pillaged, stole, and destroyed, and when they were done leeching away a land's resources, they gave it back to the natives who'd been kept illiterate and in bondage for generations.
    I dont know where your getting this idea from. We left Cyprus India Palestine and Zimbabwe in one hell of a mess (not that we didn't try to redeem ourselves in the case of the last one). I agree about France and Spain but America also shares some of the responsibility for backing the Duvalier dictatorships (sometimes by sending in troops).The first thing they could do is cancel some of the debt acquired under Duvalier. Why should the Haitians pay debts built up by a government installed and sustained by foreigners?

    That said they were still paying money to France for the money it lost from the abolition of slavery until 1946 so again you make a fair point.
    Last edited by Red_Dave; 02-03-10 at 01:34 PM.

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    The problem with this equation is that in order for people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, they require bootstraps.

    Haiti was so decimated of all resources, and the former slaves who put themselves into leadership were so ill-prepared for that role (thanks to their French owners), that the likelihood of Haiti salvaging itself is minimal.

    This is like requiring an illiterate woman who got pregnant at 12 and has zero skills to get off of welfare and take care of her kids. She may get off welfare, but she's always going to struggle with the limitations of her situation. In the case of families like this, literacy skills, financial skills, hell--even cooking and cleaning and childcare skills--have to be taught.

    Haiti was so impoverished, corrupt, and hopeless BEFORE the quake that to presume that they have the capacity to rebuild, even if we wrote them a blank check, is ridiculous. It's not just money they need, but EVERYTHING.

    Haiti literally needs to be dismantled and reconstructed from the ground up. I look at Haiti the way I look at dismal failing schools that have to be taken over by a state agency and reformed.
    I hate to sound callous, but if that's the case, maybe they don't DESERVE to survive as an independent nation. The whole point of becoming independent is to actually act independently. If you need constant help to get anything done, then you obviously cannot handle your independence. If not for the worldwide economic meltdown, I'm sure someone would have been happy to make them a colony. Maybe that's what they need.
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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Dave View Post
    I dont know where your getting this idea from. We left Cyprus India Palestine and Zimbabwe in one hell of a mess (not that we didn't try to redeem ourselves in the case of the last one).
    India and most of the British colonies have remained fairly stable in comparison to those that were literally destroyed by the French and Spanish. The French, in particular, were really bad about raping countries and then abandoning them.

    I agree about France and Spain but America also shares some of the responsibility for backing the Duvalier dictatorships (sometimes by sending in troops).
    I agree. However, the U.S. was responding to an unstable situation right on our doorstep, the instability was created by the French/Spanish. They bear the bulk of the responsibility, morally and financially.

    The first thing they could do is cancel some of the debt acquired under Duvalier. Why should the Haitians pay debts built up by a government installed and sustained by foreigners?
    I have zero problems with this. In fact, I think Haiti needs a blank slate.
    Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 02-03-10 at 01:36 PM.

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    I hate to sound callous, but if that's the case, maybe they don't DESERVE to survive as an independent nation. The whole point of becoming independent is to actually act independently. If you need constant help to get anything done, then you obviously cannot handle your independence. If not for the worldwide economic meltdown, I'm sure someone would have been happy to make them a colony. Maybe that's what they need.
    Have you actually read ANYTHING about the history of Haiti? The French killed off the natives, brought in millions of African slaves, and pillaged the natural resources. When the Haitian slave revolution ended, the French left, and the former slaves ended up running things. Never mind that these former slaves were completely illiterate, had almost zero family structure thanks to the way the plantations functioned, and were completely out of their league.

    It would be like putting a 6-year-old into office as president and then blaming him when he f'ed up.

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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Catz Part Deux View Post
    Have you actually read ANYTHING about the history of Haiti? The French killed off the natives, brought in millions of African slaves, and pillaged the natural resources. When the Haitian slave revolution ended, the French left, and the former slaves ended up running things. Never mind that these former slaves were completely illiterate, had almost zero family structure thanks to the way the plantations functioned, and were completely out of their league.

    It would be like putting a 6-year-old into office as president and then blaming him when he f'ed up.
    Yes, I know all about it. That doesn't change anything I said though and in fact reinforces it. No matter what horrors or tragedies have happened in the past, right this minute, Haiti isn't capable of governing itself, it's people are not qualified and any "aid" that is offered is going to be extremely long-term, if not permanent because they cannot, at least for generations, take on the responsibility themselves.

    Therefore, the idea of keeping their independence seems absurd, they can't handle it. Someone else should take over the land, someone with the knowledge, education, money and skill needed.
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    Re: What should the future of the US in Haiti be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Haiti isn't capable of governing itself, it's people are not qualified and any "aid" that is offered is going to be extremely long-term, if not permanent because they cannot, at least for generations, take on the responsibility themselves.
    I agree, but I think that the goal of taking over Haiti should be to CREATE self-governance, and then eventually turn over the reins.

    And, I think France and Spain should be responsible for doing this, since their empire-building created the problem. They have a moral obligation to engage in "nation building."

    Ironic, don't you think?

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