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Grim news from Haiti

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By William Roger Jones

I have been keeping up with the discouraging news about Haiti. There is continuing sadness and sorrow for the people there. One wishes to ignore and forget about the situation there and leave it in the hands of amorphous others. However, dwelling upon only happier things in the world would not be facing reality or responsibility.

The violent and destructive acts committed by groups in order to intimidate the population or remaining government officials into granting their demands may be insurrection and revolutionary, but the little groups of willful men reflecting no opinion but their own have rendered Haiti helpless with worldly murmurs of commiseration. The exclamations, tears and words of comfort arrive with great delay in terms of help.

What confounds me is that the very groups demanding positions in the principal political executive offices and a say-so in any newly established government of the nation are doing the opposite of what a government civil servant is responsible for doing. That is, to give authoritative direction to and supervision of public affairs for the good of the people, including creating and building infrastructure, social services and community centers, health support systems, provision of supplies, employment and not least, law and order.

So, the ruin of public buildings, sabotage of water and electrical power plants, commandeering of transport systems, break-ins and the pillaging of warehouses, general lawlessness, et cetera, only make things worse for everyone in the country. They achieved this by force, and I think force will be necessary to stop them from the extreme bad they do. "The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor." It is self-appointed, well-armed, defying rogue groups wreaking the havoc.

The remnants of Haiti's military and police need reinforcement. The hesitating, wavering, vacillating and faltering incumbent bureaucrats, functionaries, delegates and representatives must back the call for the use of force on ethical precepts. Now is not the time to be pleasantly tactful and well-mannered; like in first aid administered, one stops the bleeding first. Then, advocate for progress and reform, rebuilding of infrastructure and the gaining of help.

The more than one million people of Haitian ancestry in the United States must somehow continue to send money abroad to support their families and friends in Haiti. The Haitian diaspora must collectively raise their voices and immediate concern for the security and safety of their loved ones remaining in Haiti.

The S&H Global factory, a subsidiary of Sae-A Trading Company, Ltd., a South Korean clothing manufacturer on the coast of the northeast province in the Caracol Industrial Park, created thousands of permanent jobs and built thousands of houses in the surrounding area for its workers. It must not be dismantled by a failed state and chaos throughout the country. It must continue to supply Walmart, Target, Kohl's, Gap Inc., Old Navy and other U.S. department stores with apparel.

The solid people of capital of the international community must not be complicit in what is going on in Haiti. It must, especially the United Nations and the World Food Program, take appropriate action. I think for the present time that there should be no hesitation to put boots on the ground in Haiti until the restoration of law and order is achieved.

By the way, in my home state of Virginia, we have a count of 8,502 Haitians. The two Haitians in my English as a Second Language class have not returned since the first week of March. My heart goes out to them.

The author ( published the novella "Beyond Harvard" and teaches English as a second language.

Kim Ji-soo


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