.
January 15th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why can't Haiti catch a break?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

There's an old saying that goes "If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any luck at all." It's an expression that certainly seems to apply to the people of Haiti, as theirs is a long history of things going from bad to worse.

A girl rests at a makeshift outdoor recovery ward outside the morgue and main hospital in Port-au-Prince.
A girl rests at a makeshift outdoor recovery ward outside the morgue and main hospital in Port-au-Prince.

If it's not the poverty - the majority of Haitians make less than one dollar a day, and 75-percent of them are unemployed - it's political repression.

The nearly 30-year regime of the Duvalier family, beginning in the late 1950s, is seen as one of the most corrupt and repressive in modern history. Their personal militia killed tens of thousands of Haitians and tortured and raped countless others.

The Haitians also have a checkered history that includes slavery, debt, revolution, exploitation.

And when those poor people aren't trying to survive their own government and economy, Mother Nature periodically slams them with hurricanes, earthquakes, you name it... Yet for some reason the Haitians remain for the most part a peaceful, optimistic, even good-natured people.

We could all take a lesson from them. Most of the people in Haiti will survive, and the country will manage to go on in some form. The problem is the people there never seem to be able to enjoy a run of good fortune: An improving economy that elevates their standing of living, honest government that makes a legitimate effort to provide for the general welfare.

Things like education, infrastructure, shelter, medical care, etc. seem to be forever beyond the country's grasp.

Here’s my question to you: Why can't a country like Haiti catch a break?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Cheryl in Arizona writes:
Haiti can't 'catch' a break, as you say it, because in recent history (the last 600 years) they were first colonized and then enslaved. When you take away a people's language and culture and repress them, it's amazing how long it takes for the culture and people to rebound – if they ever do.

Charles writes:
Except for the people killed and severely injured, I would say that Haiti just caught the biggest break they've had in years. This country has an opportunity to completely rebuild; hundreds of millions of dollars are going to pour into the place where $1,000 has been a fortune. If the usual collection of idiots and thieves running things has any trace of morality and intelligence, there is a phenomenal opportunity to take the lemons created by this tragedy and turn it into a big, beautiful glass of lemonade.

Paul writes:
Why aren't we asking this question about Bangladesh? Or the Philippines? Or any other number of countries that seem constantly under attack by natural disasters? We are all in horror over what is happening in Haiti, but mostly we are in horror because it happened in our backyard.

Joel writes:
Lack of good leadership. Haiti never had a chance. Haiti's birth as a country was through violence brought about by a slave revolt which devastated the economy. The new rulers had little education and no nation building skills. Its future was sold out to France in the form of a debt to France it couldn't afford to pay. If anything good can come of this disaster, I hope it is the emergence of a good leader to bring Haiti into the 21st century.

Gilbert writes:
As one who was born there and was part of the ruling class: It is a fact that Haiti's rich do not pay taxes and that they carry two passports and have one foot in, one foot out and that they take monies out of the country routinely.

It is also a fact that the government is corrupt. With little tax revenue, little remaining fiscal assets and precious little in aid money that survives pillage by the government, it is no wonder that the majority suffers beyond comprehension.


Filed under: Haiti earthquake
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Jeff in Covington, KY

    Jack, how far back do you want to go? US and French involvement, then abandonment? Lack of widespread education? Corrupt leadership? Poor oversight of money sent as aid? Bad luck with the weather? Lousy building codes? Man, it's a just atough country, how's that?

    January 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
  2. george charles paree

    we need to help this poor people we a christian nation and need to show the world .

    January 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm |
  3. Lenny Beaulieu, Carbondale, CO

    For the same reason the U.S. does. Power and money concentrated in the hands of the few and corrupt.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:26 pm |
  4. Mike Anderson

    I read this morning that among the rubble of flattened buildings and even the Presidential Palace, stood the U.S. Embassy apparently unscathed. I can only assume that non-existent building codes allowed for those buildings to fall under the 7.0 shaking, while the embassy, built with U.S. building codes was able to withstand it.

    That, and the lawlessness and corruption, facilitate the never ending devastation of Haiti.

    Mike, Katy, TX

    January 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm |
  5. Randy from Salt Lake City

    You might want to ask a few multi-national fruit and manufacturing corporations that sicked the IMF on Haiti years ago.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  6. David in Raleigh, NC

    Haiti has had a history of governments that have stolen all of the country's money over and over. The country is too unstable for businesses to make long term investments there.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  7. Kenny in Pinon Hills California

    The answer is quite simple, they don’t have important natural resources, and they don’t make things of any consequence. Maybe we should have given Haiti some of our manufacturing in America’s give away frenzy.
    May I suggest that doesn’t bode well for us, a nation that used to make most things, but gave those things to other countries to make. Have we created our own disaster in the making?

    January 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  8. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    As for disaster their location in the world puts them right in the path of major tropical storms. Remaining poor is because their largest industry is tourist and so few jobs available to support that industry. It you have a job working for just tips you are better off than your friends who do not have a job at all or a job that they pretend to pay you by paying you $2.00 a month.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  9. Terry Gnsbg,IN

    Likethey're the only country or nation that has a problem???????????

    January 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    That's rather simple. The aid goes elsewhere, rather than to the people and infrastructure. That's true of almost all US aid to all countries aid is provided to.

    This country is simply wasting billions trying to buy friends, with the result that most of it, winds up in the bank accounts of the countries' leaders.

    The US must stop throwing cash at these countries, and start throwing development at them, instead. Otherwise, the waste will continue.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  11. Clifford Leon-Paul

    Jack the reason simply is the administrations in Haiti for decades past have been corrupt from Papa Doc to the current Preval Administration. Their main and only concerned is to fill their pockets with the monetary contributions from the US and the world for their personal growth while they watch and allow the Haitan people to suffer. If the Obama administration and the rest of the world is truly concerned about Haiti,they must take charge of the rebuilding process themselves. Bring engineers from the respective interested country(ies) to do the job. Haiti doesnt lack the manpower, just honest people who will truly do the job.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  12. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    Jack ,you are almost as old as I am so I know you recall the famous duo- Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier-among other "leaders" of Haiti.With such a government,stealing from the masses while enriching themselves, ( in this particular case with tacit support from the U.S. because of the dictators 'opposition to Communism), what else happens to any Third World country?Let's hope this is a wake-up call and that Pres. Clinton's and others' passionate work for the UN will finally help turn Haiti around after this horrid crisis is over.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  13. Clifford Leon-Paul

    Jack Haiti is a strong country, the people are resilient. The problem is the Government in Haiti (From Duvalier to the current Preval Administration) for the past decades have been concerened with filling their own pockets with aid (money) from the US and the rest of the world. This earthquake is for the country to start anew, however for it to do that, Engineers must be brought in from the countries who are interested in rebuilding to get it done. The Peole(the men) in haiti are ready and able to work, we just need good hearted, strong people to do the job and not rely on the Haitian government to do the job.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, Haiti hasn't suffered more from events beyond their control than many others. However, since independence in the 1700's, they have been governed by a string of dictators who have done nothing but enrich themselves. They have never 'grown up' to be a mature, well balanced society, so every problem is magnified in it's effects.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  15. cynccook

    Hmmm.....let's see....what could it be? How about its pervasive and systematic CORRUPTION? (For further reference please see also the collective governments of sub-Saharan Africa and South America.)

    January 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  16. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    What do you mean, "Haiti?"

    We're the ones afflicted with boneheads like Dobson and Limpbough. When are we going to catch a break!

    January 15, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  17. Paul

    Why aren't we asking this question about Bangladesh? Or the Phillipines? Or any other number of countries that seem constantly under attack by natural disasters? We are all in horror over what is happening in Haiti, but mostly we are in horror because it happened in our backyard. This kind of suffering should not happen anywhere, but it does. And it is sad beyond understanding, but it is the way our crazy world works.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  18. Tom

    Too many handouts without any accountability similar to Entitlement Programs here in the US (Welfare). It is no coincidence either that most of the worst performing states in the Recession are Democrat run...."he who helps themselves....."

    January 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  19. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    A lot of the third world countries do not have the technology or means to build homes, etc. safely. They are open to the extremes of the weather and environment. They are also run by dictators who do not care enough about their people to make sure they are safe or make enough wages to sustain themselves and afford better housing.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  20. Tina Tx

    Leader who are greedy and corrupt that will not let money trickle down to the people of the island. We may be in the same boat soon if we keep allowing the big banks, insurance companies to keep raking in big bucks and they keep snubbing us by raising their fees.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  21. Albert K., Los Angeles

    Sadly Jack, never because Haiti breaks all three rules of real estate – location, location, location.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  22. Joanne B

    So sad to see these poor countries unable to improve. The stronger countries could do more, however it appears when money is sent to these poor countries the Leaders pilfer the money.
    Haiti is located on a major fault and there has been warnings since 2004 and as late as two months ago. However, what does a country like that do about the warnings as they have no money.
    Joannne B
    Mn

    January 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  23. Leif Madsen

    Jack,

    Greed is the only answer. I listened to NPR on my way to work (7:00 AM MST – All Things Considered) and the commentator summed it up well – "leadership in Haiti has been entirely inneffective because they are more interested in lining their own pockets than leading / helping people. Without good governance, nothing gets done (failed infrastructure, etc.)

    Finding a benevolent, enlightened leadership group to heal such a place is extremely difficult but not impossible. Wondering what will happen next as they do, in effect, have a clean slate (everything must be rebuilt / replaced) to work with...

    January 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  24. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    It has a history of oppression; fiest by colonization by France(from which aid is noticably abscent) and then by decades of dictatorships, supported by foreign governments(including the U.S.); the people have never had much of a chance, have they?

    January 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
  25. ran utah

    Government corruption most certainly plays the biggest part. The government of Haiti has received billions of dollars from countries, charities and private donations throughout its existence. As it can be seen by the current disaster the infrastructure of the country virtually does not exist. It would seem with the payload of money sent to this country in a given year there should have been enough to" at least " have emergency equipment of a basic nature(i.e. generators, sawsalls,electric skilsaws etc.) with distribution centers scattered throughout its cities for easy access by would be rescuers. If you look close you will see no uniformed police nor firemen or even a rescue team with so much as a hammer in their hand. Where are these people and tools? Although the presidents palace was destroyed, as well as most every other building. It seems relatively easy to see who was the real recipient to the lions share of funds. Most of the people, who weren't already, are now homeless as the $2's a day they earned ,on an average, built them a $2 home, which definately could not withstand even a minor earthquake.Aithough scientist had predicted a large earthquake for this region, based on the fault and the pressure building up around it, they could not predict the time frame at which it would happen. It certainly was not there fault it occurred. A lot could be said for all the "hand outs", if you will,that the government has received. It's sort of like welfare in our country. People got use to doing virtually nothing for a check each month to stay at home and take care of their families. The check was generally based on how many children you had in the household. If the recipient desired a raise to this income they would choose to have another child. It wasn't until the mid 80's that the government decided to close the loopholes, somewhat. The point at hand is the Haitian people have no safe-guards on those billion dollar donations each year. There government has become so dependent on these donations and have been misappropriating them and getting away with it, knowing all the while another checks in the mail. Although private companies(charities) and governments ear marked the funds for a certain causes, the funds were used elsewhere. It would not be a surprise to find out that the funds that were given to" private" organizations throughout Haiti did not escape the governments tax laws (strong arm, I'm sure). It would seem that the "welfare" unmonitored is also to blame as it is expected anually and misused. In affect we have led the horse to water but we couldn't make it drink. One thing is for sure, Haiti is not "cursed" by god, they are merely trapped by a government that has a bigger agenda than caring for its country and its people. Hmmm...... sounds like another country on a larger scale with not so dire consequences, yet.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
  26. chaney, La.

    Cell Phone donations is the best thing since sliced bread, the average person can afford $10, on the cell phone bill, and all!!!! of it goes to the charity, I am boycotting CC companies who are mercenaries without the guns.....all the social media technology is absolutely fabulous.....

    January 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  27. Ann Vhay

    Is it just me or does anyone notice that the world seems to have forgotten greedy bankers, desperate politicians, rising costs of living etc )the usual USA gripes) , stepped back and realized what true pain and suffering is all about? Do they FINALLY see how we were created to help and care for one another, not just in times like thesse but ALL the time? The world seems to have stopped for a moment and come together to save these people. Haiti has given us, albeit in a horrific way, the opportunity to step back with them and be the people we were meant to be. Life is not about "breaks"; it about opportunities freely given but opportunies all too often passed by. No country, this one included, is based on "breaks" but opportunites for using the blessings given in the service of others.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  28. Nicole

    Unfortunately I think people equate poverty with black people. We know that the majority of the worlds poorest countries are dominantly populated by black people and are ridden with debt to world banking institutions. We are all to an extent no longer sensitive to the issues. Haiti for one is lacking infrastructure and its often too easy for leaders to decline to pass on power and that's where the issues arise. Poor countries, where the people have little to no capital, are breeding grounds for vicious dictatorships and nightmarish acts against the people. Look at the US. An elected official will just about sell his soul to the devil to remain in office. No wonder we can't get a single payer healthcare system.
    De-sensitivity against the poor is the issue. And Haiti being a country that gained their independence from the European (like Ethiopia) is littered with debt. Feels like an eternal punishment to me.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  29. Brian from Denver

    Jack,

    Haiti can't catch a break for two reasons: Greedy and corrupt investors/powerbrokers in other countries who have always seen Haiti as ripe for the picking; and the fact that Haiti sits on a major tectonic plate fault line.

    Guys like Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh, who claim Haiti's problems stem from deals with the devil or Obama's political maneuvering, should be committed for spouting such drivel.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
  30. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    God knows and he's not going to tell.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  31. Kev, Fl

    Jack, what do you mean a break? Constantly other Countries in the Third World are given some very Big Breaks when it comes to Outsourcing Income from OUR shores, Never having to repay the Billions of "Immigration" Dollars our system is overburdened with, never having to repay us Financially for damage done during Terror attacks (while we spent over a Billion rebuilding Iraq) ..................I for one say they have had alot of favorable breaks. Dont get me wrong , my prayers go out to those people, but again I am a Citizen of America, not the World.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  32. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    think it is because they have a corrupt government and no products to export. Plus the fact that the live in a hurricane an earthquake prone area makes it that much harder to make a decent living. It has nothing to do with any devil worshipping and god's desire to punish them. Like Pat Robertson would have you believe.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  33. Chuck - Newark, Delaware

    Like most improversished countries Haiti needs a major restructuring, whether or not this can be accomplished is anyones guess. With a population growth rate of 1.838% (70th in world) they are in serious trouble. 50% practice Voodoo. The effort to get the Haitians to support change will be an incredible challenge.
    I certainly feel the U.S. had/has to take the lead in the rescure effort.
    I'm just concerned the U.S. Govt will go into bail-out mode and throw good money after bad, and as usual they're not going to ask us!

    January 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  34. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    It looks like places like Indonesia and Africa are on God's bad list. Everytime I turn around, one of those places was hit with a natural disaster resulting in thousands dead and injured.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  35. JM

    Don't know the answer to that Mr. cafferty, I do know that I'm proud of our response to our neibors in their hour of need. I told you that our folks in uniform would be there first to restore order and start the process of aid. Didn't I? Count on our Military you can when the situation is dire, bless them all. Alb NM

    January 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  36. Richard Texas

    Jack Haiti is a small country with few resources and more people on its land than it can support. When an act of nature comes along like a hurricane or earth quake there are far more people then resources to care for them. The reproductive rate of Haiti is 3.8 children per woman. A rate of two children per woman is considered the replacement rate for a population. Haiti is simply over populating it's own country and can not survive without outside help on an ongoing basis.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  37. JENNA

    Why can't a country like Haiti catch a break?

    Well if you listen to that Christian Pat Robertson he's tell you it is because he made a deal with the devil.. and he should know because he was there! If you listen to Rush Limbaugh, president Obama had no right to respond as quickly as he did because he responded to the "panty" bomber attack 4 days faster than GW Bush responded to the "shoe" bomber – but hey according to Rush Limbaugh a Major Earthquake with thousands of trapped people is exactly the same as a single attempted bombing of a airplane by a lone individual with possible terror ties.

    The Hatian people Democratically elected a leader that president Bush didn't like and he was ushered out fo the country in the middle of the night. Did Bush give the puppet government aid for doing this? No. Sound familiar, Bush demanded a Democratically held election of the Palestinian people and he didn't like the results so that government was replaced by a puppet government and given no aid as well.

    I think Haiti is over populated, it's people exploited, and the government is corrupt. And even though they have suffered this massive event, they will emerge a stronger nation with the worlds help.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    January 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  38. Dennis North Carolina

    the world over looks poor countries who have no resources of value and the main race of the country is black. shame on the world which includes us.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  39. Linda in Arizona

    It's a history of colonial and then imperialistic exploitation, most of it by the USA. Ask George HW Bush and Clinton. Ask Clinton about the takeover of the Haitian rice farms by Arkansas agribusiness, who then replaced the nutritious rice which Haiti was able to EXPORT with genetically modified pasty white nutrition-free agribusiness rice. Haiti is nothing but our slave state. Disney is so graciously paying their Haitian employees 28 cents an hour. If they get a popularly elected president like Aristide the US deposes them. The current one, Preval, is another US lackey. It's not their bad luck, it's their bad neighbors who keep Haiti repressed and in poverty.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  40. Lucy

    Bad karma; it is called HATE-I, afterall.
    Sorry, I apologize, I know that was terrible, but had to get it out of me.
    It's an island, so geographically, is vulnerable to things like hurricanes, etc.
    And all those things like employment, prosperity, government, education, infrastructure, etc. etc. are inter-related, so if one sucks, the rest of them are likely to suck too.
    I'd blame the government.
    Laura

    January 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  41. Laura

    Oh yeah, I took a class on the Haitian Revolution, and apparently it was all about LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. Politically and georgraphically, it's in a terrible location.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  42. J Atlanta

    Haiti is no different than anyplace else....including America. After the reign of George W. Bush, I would contend that America can never enjoy the same level of living standard as before him. As fortune favors the prepared, the future belongs to the wise.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  43. Roy

    Hey I checked with the voice of reason, our own country's dynamic duo the "Robertson and Limbaugh show" and come to find out it's the Haitians fault for EVERYTHING so I would assume that those soulless millions just don't have anything coming according to "those two". I think we should challenge each one of them, however, to shut their yaps and fly down to Haiti roll up their sleeves and experience what it means to be human.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  44. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    Haiti is a sad story. Their biggest problem is that they really don't have anything to sell to the rest of the world. They have few natural resources, lack an educated and skilled work force, and have a government that no one trusts. It is not exactly a tourist attraction, either. The nation is over-populated, and needs to import nearly half its food supply, which it cannot afford without the generosity of foreign aid. It will require a massive investment in infrastructure for these people to have even a chance to improve their lot.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    January 15, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  45. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    It's really a trajedy but they have a long way to go. They had a long way to go before the earthquake flattened their country. They need liberty. As long as it has the oppressive government which shirks its obligations to the people they will never catch a good break.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  46. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Because, Jack, no one really cares about Haiti! Sad isn't it? But true. Just look at the mansion the President there occupied before the quake. Unbelievable. Kind of like the Pope who sits in splendor and robes, while people are starving and dying. Praying won't solve this situation. And it will not feed the hungry. But like the Pope, we will continue to feed our fat faces and worry about our non-existent health care! How small are we?

    January 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  47. Dan

    Isn't this the United States fault?

    January 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  48. Satya

    Some nations are cursed for centuries. Over population is great reason all of the evils that happening now. I think every body in the world need to realize globe can't take any more people.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  49. Donna S Caesar

    I am sorry for the people in Haiti. I am a foreigner from Trinindad and Tobago, and since I was a young person, Haiti has a history of worshipping witchcraft and voodoo. They use satanic forces to control their lives. I firmly believe that Haitian has turned there backs on God. Since they follow and worship the devil the devil has brought havoc in there lives. It doesn't matter if they are Roman Cartholic, Methodist or Bapitist. They think worshipping voodoo is part of their culture.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  50. Pat Robertson

    Don't you know they made a deal with the devil to get rid of the French

    January 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  51. John from Alabama

    Jack: Haven't you heard, Rev. Pat Roberson stated that God was punishing Haitai because they kick the French out of their country. The
    Haitians live in the direct path of most of the hurricanes that come through, and Haitai is on an active fault line for earthquakes. They are poor, uneducated, and they are God's children just like you and I. "To much is given, much is expected" I believe God puts problems and crisis in our lives to see what we are going to do. Well, America what will you do? I gave this morning. I wonder, if Pat Roberson is going to help or just talk.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  52. Meg from Troy

    Jack–
    When a repressive family regime is allowed to continue its oppression–what do we expect? It's like saying nothing about spousal or child abuse when you live in a thin-walled apartment and know exactly what violence is going on next door. The world family has stood silent for years–what outcome did we expect?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  53. John in AZ

    Well, it isn't just more recent events like the ones you list Jack. It is also a direct consequence of how the French colonized this particular country, deforestation for the creation of plantations left the country with very limited resources. Repression usually follows such despair. However, it is also the way the international community treated Haiti after its independence. France and the U.S. especially. Corruption usually follows that.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
  54. Eric - Houston

    A pervasive culture among the country's "elite", be they land owners, business owners and even intellectuals of selfishness and corruption. This has prevented anything approaching good government from lasting more than a few days or weeks. Combine this with very bad geographical luck and we have the disaster that is Haiti. It is a place that cries out for some paternal power to take over, however politically incorrect that may be. I just don't want it to be us. We were not all that impressive at in the early 1900's and we didn't stay long enough during the 1990's. We would not stay anywhere near long enough this time around either. Thank god we are a poor colonial power. That said, I fear that Haiti needs some form of powerful external guidance as well as help for long enough to build a culture of respect for Haitian institutions good government which could support tourism and other long term economic engines.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  55. mikewritesfiction

    maybe Haiti can't catch a break because of the alleged Deal With Satan that was fashioned over 200 years ago. Considering what Haiti has been up against it kind of makes you wonder.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  56. anthony.....Glassboro, NJ

    Haiti has always been ruled by despots who have stolen millions of unaccounted for dollars from US aid. I can't believe this country has no mechanism to follow its foreign aid. Billions have been squandered in Africa and Haiti among many others. Why do we spends billions without any accountability?
    Send our contribution over to the country and secure it in a vault and let our emissaries distribute it. Screw the country's so-called sovereignty!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  57. chaney, La.

    Poverty Jack, when people are poor and under resourced, they are exploited by those who have more, and want more and dont care what means they use to get more, you know Jack like the big US banks.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  58. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, you already answered your question. They are peaceful, optimistic, , even good natured, which says to me that they are prefectly happy to be living the way they are. There are 10 million people in Haiti, and when/if they get tired of being the ghetto of the western hemisphere, THEY will change their state. Until they do, they will continue to live in squallor, as the poorest country in the west. Anything anyone else does FOR them, will be a waste of time and money, as history has shown so many times, so many places, in the past.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  59. Hector

    Didn't you listen to Pat Robertson? It's because they made a deal with the devil some centuries ago to free themselves from the French. Pat seems to have been there when the deal was made, so you should ask him. He can fill you in on all the details of the deal.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  60. james S

    I dont support colonolism at all but in this case, lets face it. Haiti needs somebody to take control. That whole system has to be broken down an re-built. No economy can start or function without law and orer and a supportive responsible government which has not been the case there in years. Billions have gone there but still no infrastructure, decent housing, availability of goods and services and order." Where there is no order ,there is Chaos"

    January 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  61. Rachel

    I think a better question is, why hasn't the rest of the world stepped in to help before now?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  62. Bhama

    The tsunami that hit us a few years ago and this earthquake has made it abundantly clear that there isn't a structured and organized plan on the part of the UN or the world community on how to respond to such events. You would have thought that we would have learned enough from the tsunami incident to put something in place with volunteers from the global community to respond to such massive catastrophes. Hopefully, we can learn from this incident.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  63. Leo Marshall

    Over the 24 years I spent in the military, I have seen vast misery throughout the world. It is all about the corruption from those in power. And when there is no corruption, there is a weakness in leadership.

    It will take a revolution to start fresh, and when the revolution is over, strong and dedicated leadership, with patience of the people. This is when you shall see the "break being caught".

    This is a formula for any country looking to unshackle itself from the bondage of its' oppressor. Revolution, and strong/just leadership afterwards.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  64. darly joseph

    All they need to do is reject Voodoo and turn to God. thy should realize by now that is going against them, the devil gives you a little then takes a lot including their lives.

    Darly duchange Joseph, Haitian

    January 15, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  65. Ted Chan

    I am not an hardcore environmentalist, but I feel Jared Diamond gave the best answer in his book, Collapse. Haiti is an environmental wasteland that has led to its economic weakness, which makes it susceptible any time a natural disaster occurs, as well as unable to fund institutions such as schools, hospitals and infrastructure. Furthermore, good environmental management provides protection from landslides and flooding.

    In rebuilding Haiti, improving its ecological management is essential.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  66. Erin J.

    Why are babies born with inoperable brain tumors?

    Sometimes tragic things just happen, and it is beyond any of us to try to explain it.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  67. Stan S

    Jack; Obviously you haven't been keeping up with the pronouncements of "Brother Pat" Robertson - it's because of their "pact with the devil".

    January 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  68. Al

    A very short answer Jack,,,,,,,GREED, GREED,GREED. Look what Greed is doing to America. To the south of us, Mexico,,,,,more greed. How many countries has greed destroyed, not just countries, whole civilizations undoubtedly.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  69. D/st Louis

    None of us (humans) get a break, for a man born of a woman days are short and full of suffering. The USA has a history of hidding it's suffering, e.g. Slavery, Jim Crow, the suffering of the indigenous people, women sufferage, and OH YES: KATRINA.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  70. Desmond Sequeira, Canada

    I believe the answer is in our hearts: in the heart of our collective, historical, community conscience as a human race and in the heart of that same community TODAY. This is a question that can be answered and acted upon by the leaders of North America and Europe in particular and by each of us who elect them and who can act on our own too. Am I my brother's keeper? The story of Haiti has been told hundreds of times before and will be told again. We can make it a different story.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  71. Esther Bennett

    The country does not have any raw materials that would interest other nations therefore they are on their own when it comes to development and without an education they are lost.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  72. J

    They're a poor country, they're in a hurricane zone, and apparently an earthquake zone. Like many poor countries, the people are under educated with little prospects for more than subsistence living.

    In my opinion, immediate help can come from the outside, but the real effort for change and improvement for their living conditions has to come from the Haitians themselves.

    It's been my experience that if you give people fish, they'll expect you to provide them fish forever, but if you leave them to their own devices, they either figure out how to take care of themselves or die. Life has a tenacious tendency to want to survive and will go to great lengths and put up with horrendous conditions in order to do so. The Haitians will either choose to live and make whatever efforts they need to do so or they won't. The International community can provide relief aid but in the end it's up to the Haitians.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  73. William Day

    Its simple Jack: corruption, and lack of a viable government for decades now. A country without a workable government is doomed to failure!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  74. Tammie Brown

    Spring Arbor, MI

    You answered your own question in your commentary. They will never catch a break until the corrupt regime of the Duvalier family is dissolved.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  75. Ryan, CT

    It comes down to the basic principles and moral values that their country’s government bestows on their people.

    In most democratic states, we hold a strong opinion and moral obligation on those we elect into office.

    Countries that have leadership which is corrupt, abusive, and immoral, will never provide its citizens with an equal opportunity to grow and prosper.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  76. Junior R Dorce

    You this is a good question, why can't haiti catch a break? my answer is I don't know. But I am hopping whatever money the united states are sending doesn't go straight to the haitian government because none of the peoples will get help. They are nothing but corrupt government down there. Thank you.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  77. Wrighteous

    They can't catch a break because the country does not produce anything that anyone wants. If oil or a precious metal was found in Haiti, their economic situation would change overnight. In addition, they do not look like the mulattos of the Dominican Republic or Brazil, so people are afraid of the Haitians. And, it has been widely reported that Haiti is a country ravaged by AIDS. As a black American, I have to admint that I do not want them in my country either.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
  78. cheryl

    i feel so sad for the haitian people.the thing that gets me is, there is no food or water but when people go into stores that are destroyed to get food, they are called "looters". what else are people supposed to do? in a situation like this i would eat and feed my family however i could. that is not looting. that is survival. really, give people a break.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  79. barbara

    Haitians cannot catch a break because most are uneducated, thanks to the despots and dictators that have ruled the country. Hopefully this lack of education is being eradicated thanks to many people dedicated to making life better in Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:11 pm |
  80. deb upstate ny

    Jack,
    Haiti finished paying off a decades-old debt in 1947, and then got hit by Papa and Baby Doc for the next four decades. The Duvaliers couldn't wait to borrow from the IMF and there's your answer. The IMF – with the full support of the US – has systematically raped Haiti, destroying its rain forests (now 2% of what they were in 1950,) its subsistence farming, its right to maintain Haitian land for Haitians, its right to impose tariffs, its educational system...the list is endless. Earthquakes and hurricanes happen; IMF loans are a terminal illness

    January 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  81. Raymond

    Because they're black. You can pour all the money in the world into Haiti, but unless you really care about what happens there (holding those in charge accountable), it makes no difference...

    January 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  82. Sue from Redwood City

    Haiti will not "catch a break" until they learn about sustainable population levels. This current tragedy would not have been anywhere nearly as horrific if the population was not so out of control. Overpopulation causes poverty and hunger, not the other way around. They need to tell the Catholic church and all these evangelicals to stick it where the sun doesn't shine and start using birth control to bring the population back down to a level where everyone isn't going hungry and the environment isn't raped beyond recognition. Short of using physical birth control, there is always abstinence. There are plenty of ways to enjoy sex that doesn't involve risk of conception. This country is 80% Catholic and because of that there is very little access to birth control for those who want it. The teachings of the Vatican are largely responsible for the out of control population. I heard they made a donation to the recovery effort. – I would like to know how much. I would be willing to bet it's so little it's insulting!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  83. Allan Jones

    Jack, you ask a very interesting question! The US has led many humanitairian efforts throughout the world in which we have been successful, at the same time some not so. However, it seems that our reputation as a giving nation is not internationally recognized, point in case is that of the Palistinians. We give a tremendous amount of aid to the Palistinians but we are casticated by the general public of Palistien. We should lead and at the same time ensure that those in receipt of our generosity are aware of who is giving.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  84. Joel

    Lack of good leadership. Haiti never had a chance. Haiti's birth as a country was through violence brought about by a slave revolt which devastated the economy. The new rulers had little education and no nation building skills. Its future was soldout to France in the form of a debt to France it couldn't afford to pay.

    If anything good can come of this disaster, I hope it is the emergence of a good leader to bring Haiti into the 21st century.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  85. Mickey

    Quick. Name five countries whose "checkered history" doesn't include "slavery, debt, revolution, exploitation." Name one, for heaven's sake.

    It's true that Haiti has had worse luck, if we must call it that, than a number of countries. But this commentary, for lack of a better world, doesn't offer any insight into the complicated relationships between the developed and the developing world that account, in part, for the ongoing poverty in many countries.

    Nor does this "commentary" do any actual reporting of real information regarding the catastrophe that Haiti has just suffered. This is just more of the bland and empty verbiage that fills the space since corporate media has instituted the 24-hour news cycle.

    And the "shucks, those poor folks sure are cheerful" part borders on racism, invoking the same sentiments sometimes used to condescend to poor minorities in the United States. Shame on you.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  86. gabriel

    So just a few days ago you said we shouldn't be helpling these poor people. The US had it's own troubles....and now you're wondering
    Why can't a country like Haiti catch a break?"
    Make up your mind, please and just take the higher ground and ask everyone to help out these poor people. After all it's the right thing to do!!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  87. karl bell

    i was always told you make your own breaks and reap what you sow why don't the haitians stand up for themselves they never have before so man up now quit whinning and get up and dig and help out don't sit there like they always have.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  88. Ibrahim

    Jack :
    Either pay now or later. I believe the Haitians along with others are paying now. Who do you think will pay later ? Take a guess.

    Thanks

    January 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  89. John

    Haiti = Africa West

    End of story.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  90. Jay Green

    Hey, Jack!
    The problem seems now that a world wide level coordinated effort needs to be exercised. Why dont we send Bill Clinton to work as an emergency "President of Haiti" with the Prime Minister of Haiti , to insure the effort is being monitored and executed swiftly properly.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  91. Allan Jones

    Jack in regards to why cant Haiti catch a break. Nature does not discriminate so we have to rule that out. However, the local governments and polititians in general are just like ours, they are out for themselves and the public suffer. When you know that your term in office is limited you make sure that you get what you can while you are in. San jose Cal.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  92. susan

    because despite some humanitarian aid in the past several years and well-intentioned but insufficient efforts to build schools, bring in corporate investors, etc., it has not been enough. Haiti basically has been in need of the type of aid that is currently pouring in for a long time. they need to build safe structures, schools, better roads, and in general, improve the standard of living in the ENTIRE country if there is any hope of them surviving future disasters. for example, Katrina devastated Louisianna but it wasn't a catastrophe of this proportion because of the money that was available to them and the quality of their living conditions prior to the hurricane.

    Keeping a UN peacekeeping delegation there is a great idea - they need to remain, unfortunately, for many years. But Money and lots of it is the only thing that has the slightest hope of changing their fortunes.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  93. Karen - Merced, CA

    You're an educated man. You know the history of Haiti. You tell us. Hmm, could the US be involved?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  94. Esther Tubis

    I believe the roads should have been attended to first so that the aid, food and water could have been given to the Hairtians. Also the Heavy Machinery sent in immediately might have helped save thousands who were traplped under debris.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  95. MILTON SIERRA-FT MYERS, FL

    Dear Jack,
    Aside from them being in a geographically bad spot, I think the reason why places like Haiti, Somalia, Darfur, etc. can't catch a break is because they have nothing that other people in the world can exploit. If they had oil, diamonds, ores and the like, governments would be tripping over themselves to help these people. It doesn't help that we have here in the US, people (and I use that term loosely)like Rush & Pat perpetuating myths and spewing their prejudices to anyone who will listen.

    I have an idea! Let's drop them both into Haiti with food and money crazyglued to their bodies. That way we can get rid of 2 dodo birds with one stone.(my apologies to the bird)

    January 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  96. Phillip Turman

    After years of US support of Haiti, most all of which ends up in the hands of "crooks" and dictators we owe the people something better. Make Haiti a US Territory. Anything is better than than what it has been. We might at least provide some safety and begin to create an economy.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Tim from Chicago

    Why does the US oust corrupt governments in the middle east and not the western Caribbean? I guess Haiti just doesn't have enough terrorists to get the attention they deserve.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  98. peter bekendam

    ironically, this may actually be their break. All of a sudden, everybody (or most everybody) actually cares about them.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  99. OBDAG in Appleton, WI

    Unfortunately Haiti can't catch a break because they only resource they have to offer is peple and even they never get a change to get ahead. What the country needs is at least one generation that is able to live life in a stable environment (neaning a life-time iunder a stable honest and just government while the people get a chance to go to school until completion. Then with some imagination they might be able to think of a way to develop an economy that could be successful in the country. Maybe the future of Haiti lies in having the country become the intellectual capital of the caribbean where most people come to get to school and learn because they have a lot of good schools In that scenario Haiti could develop it's own break for itself by using their brain power as a natural resource in a country that is lacking in natural resources to sell to get a viable economy going.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  100. Alvin

    One thing I have learned about the Hiatian people watching the news over the last few days is that they are a very spiritual people. And it is their faith, and the strength that comes from it, that will sustain them in the days and years ahead.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  101. susie

    The world must continue to show compassion to all things and people in the world in good times and bad. We love to contribute to "save the dolphins and animal cruelty" and those types of good causes, but Haiti is an even greater need–a Human crisis and we must show Jesus Christ our empathy in this time of need.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  102. hermann tambeau

    very simple: Nothing much can be done about natural disasters, however many so called democratic government and more specific the USA, because of the fact that these countries gave millions $ to the Haitian government in the pass providing they agreed with the USA's ideologies consequently benefiting the few greedy ones in power who only took care of themselves; all of this leading to shaudy construction, miss management of the economy, etc. and you know the rest – no more need be said!
    Hermann Tambeau
    Montreal Canada

    January 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  103. Kendra Washington, DC

    It is unfortunate but this is what happens when we fail to pay attention to global poverty. A place like Haiti is also dealing with massive deforestation, HIV/AIDS and a whole host of other issues that are the result of increasing poverty. while the earthquake could not be avoided, the ability of the Haitian people to deal with this issues has been severely compromised. Unless we all recognize that global poverty is not good for any of us, we will continue to see countries like Haiti remain unable to dig themselves out of such terrible misfortune. My heart goes out to th people of Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  104. Kathy Walker

    Only God Knows!

    K.W. Seattle, WA

    January 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Dana Spratt

    As long as a country like haiti don't have any oil, diamonds or anything of value to people with money then only the mean people that live there are going to control things, because noone else cares.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  106. Ben

    Jack,

    I've personally been to Haiti twice. I can say from personal experience that you statement that they are a good natured and peaceful people could not be more accurate. My heart breaks to see them suffer again. I believe that their inability to catch a break is in part due to their lack of education and 50% plus illiteracy rate. Also the fact that they have lived in poverty for so many generations means that for most of them they do not know any other form of existence. My prayers are with them.

    Ben

    January 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  107. David

    Why me has always been a question with no answers. But, if they have an available labor market that could be trained & competitive with China, India etc.& so close to the Americas, then there could be a great future if countries choose to invest . Of course they would have to have a government that was stable & not corupt. The Haitian people deserve a chance. David, Las Vegas

    January 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  108. J. P. Lockwood

    One word describes the fundamental problem: OVERPOPULATION – the number of people living in Haiti far exceeds the carrying capacity of the land...

    January 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  109. M Gillis

    Like you said Jack, Haiti has a long history of totally corrupt government ruling at the point of a gun and pillaged the country and people for their personal gain. For the most part, other western hemisphere countries ignored the poor Haitians and their plight.
    Didn't G W Bush want to remove Saddam becasue he was a bad man? Why not "bad men" in our own back yard? Maybe because Haiti has little natural resources others could then exploit but Iraq has lots of oil. I know this may be typical cynicism but it seems to be in play here. Maybe now we have a chance and a reason to make it right for these poor innocent people after decades of neglect by many presidents both Republican and Democrat. Putting their country on the right economic footing with the help of many nations is the only moral thing to do.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  110. E.J

    Jack,
    Good question I wish I knew the answer, but one thing I do know though we are a resilient people, hard working, family oriented, kind, caring and respectful. Despite the picture that is often painted of us in the media abroad and the misconceptions we still managed to live. For once we were the most prosperous nation in the carribean, we have a rich history of bravery, and courage. We were punished with embargos for getting our independence, we were charged by the French for gaining our freedom from the grape of slavery but for some reason we still survived. Haitians are not violent people, brave yes, courageous yes and polite but it seems as though the misrepresentation of us hunts us where ever we go. Haitians have a rich history, we faught along side and for the U.S during the war of independence, we were the first to settled in Chicago, we helped countless other countries gained their independence but yet we never really got ours the right way. One thing that make me hopeful during this crisis is how positive the international community responded to this human crisis in Haiti, I commend and thank the American people and the world and CNN for their relentless help, and now we know you are with us and we're gonna continue to work hard to recover from this. God Bless America and CNN.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  111. Bill

    I agree, Jack.
    What saddens me about Haiti is that the earthquake only exacerbates a situation that already is dire. Countless people, including myself, and organizations have tried to help Haitians for generations. Now everyone is on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, I believe it will be a couple of months and it will be business as usual down there. It will change if Haitians force the change. That probably will result in civil war. What other options are there, really.

    Bill
    Mount Vernon, WA

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  112. Nate

    Because Haiti doesnt have a government to protect and serve the people. The American people need to take a good hard look at this disaster because this is the road America's government is taking us down. pretty scary.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  113. Dan

    Well, Bill, I guess it all depends. If you're a religious person then you'll take the, "It is God's will" attitude...unless of course you're Pat Robertson, then it's the fault of the Devil.

    If you're cut from the scientific cloth, then you will say it's because the country sits on top of a fault line and it was only a matter of time.

    I think the better question to ask would be this: How come more people of the world cannot be more like them...for the most part a peaceful, optimistic, and even good-natured people?
    Dan in Va

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  114. Paul H

    Why can't Haiti catch a break? You already said it............"The nearly 30-year regime of the Duvalier family" An oppressive government. Mother nature is something that we all have to deal with, but if there was a fair, and caring government these kinds of things would be more manageable! As it stands it's going to take out side help to overthrow this government. But that wouldn't be a politically nice thing to do would it?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  115. Kamel Tlemsani

    We look at earthquakes as one of human natural enemies, they are certainly deadly and cause death and damage. I do not want to sound insensitive to the loss of life in Haiti, but if we look at this natural phenomena from a different prospective, its existence is important and play a big role in how the planet was shaped.

    What we call natural disasters sometimes happen to ensure the continuity of life on earth. It is an ambiguous way how to put it, because it does cost human life, but I believe it is the balance that it provides to allow life to thrive and have been thriving for millions of years.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  116. Duncan

    Since the original source of their poverty was the deforestation, maybe re-forestation could help stave off some of the ecological problems; i.e. mudslides, floods, lack of grazing land, etc.

    Haiti is so downtrodden, compared to Dominican Republic with whom they share an island. If they could get ahead just a little bit, without most of the country being in a daily state of desperation for food and fuel to cook with, then education will start to have an impact all over the country.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  117. I K

    No one knows Jack, this is one of the few times you ask a silly question, but I will give you a silly asnwer:

    If you listen to the crazy coons like televangelist Pat Robertson or Limbaugh, it's due to the fac that when Haiti was still a french colony its leaders"swore a pact to the devil" to get out from under the heel of the french. The same devil that is now helping with the search and rescue operations in the aftermath of this disaster..

    January 15, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  118. Steve

    Give them time... Remember, "The meek shall inherit the Earth." Let's hope there will be some Haitians left to claim their reward for enduring so many miseries with grace and humility.

    Boston, MA

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  119. EBJ in metro Houston

    well isn't it obvious Jack..these people made a deal with Satan years ago and now he's coming back to collect and God is punishing them..that is of course if you listen to certain members of the religious right and on top of that if you choose to help these poor folks you are only making President Obama look good and may wind up on his mailing list. These poor folks there have enough to deal with without such awful accusations. Perhaps if they had a little lighter complexion and spoke with a different accent they would have better fortunes.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  120. Steve

    Well, if you believe Pat Robertson it's because they made a pact with the devil to overthrow the French. I guess that's possible. But it's more likely that a decades-long despotic rule, a perennially slack economy, and general world-wide perception of Haitians as less-than-ambitious are at the root of things.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  121. Bruce Hall

    Why aren't people demanding that the president demonize Pat Robertson the way they made him demonize his own pastor. It's time for Pat's racist political influence to end.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  122. Ron

    Having spent a week on a medical mission in Haiti, the one major thing that stood out for me is they are happy with what they have. Which is nothing compared to us. I believe another old saying applys to them "You don't miss what you never had". They live for their faith, and that they have much of. Bless them all.
    Ron
    Sabattus, Maine

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  123. Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    An old and wise saying, "You make your own breaks".

    Haiti is just another prime example of useless governments!!
    Socialism doesn't work.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  124. Tom From The Working Part of NM

    Haiti is no different than inner city Detroit or pre-Katrina New Orleans. As long as people can 'get-along' without working they will. Look how well dressed and well-fed most Haitians look. The Salvation Army alone has 40 officers and 400 volunteers over there doing hand-outs!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  125. Jay Kay

    Talk to Pat Robertson about that.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  126. Micaela Browning

    Mismanagement by the colonizing French, massive amounts of deforestation, brain drain, a raging AIDS epidemic that has only recently provoked global concern, the ousting of Aristide, lying on a fault line and in the path of tropical systems that ravage what little tenable land is left with flooding rains and mudslides, the fact that any beneficial rains that fall run off to the Dominican side of the border due to the island's geography, international cruise ships that dock on the island and lie to their passengers about their location (some tell their tourists they are on "Hispanola" or "Paradise Island) thereby not serving to promote tourism, the fact that the vast majority of the country can't communicate in English or Spanish to engage in dialog with their CARICOM neighbors, the list goes on forever....

    January 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm |
  127. Tom

    why can't they catch a break? Easy, because most of them believe in VooDoo, wherein values like hard work, integrity, loyalty, freedom and the like are overruled by casting spells, incantations, drinking various potions, torturing animals, etc etc. They condemn themselves to lives of poverty and hopelessness.

    IOW, more or less, Pat Robertson was right. ugh.

    This is and has been obvious. The Haitians have created Hell out of what should be paradise. It's not going to change till they do.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  128. William Courtland

    Haiti in some ways is worse off than those desert nations of third world truth.

    In those nations the land does not provide: and this limits the total number of populous the land can support. When bad times strike them: they still have the ability to cross a border and escape to places less stricken. On Haiti, it is an island: no escape is found permitted. And being an island nation this makes recovery and rehabilitation efforts more unmanageable and impossible.

    Living in ignorance of the troubles of modern life comes with natural blessings to a common folk of such nature.

    Drop sites must be re-established from all over the shore line: to task work teams to ferry goods from many ports of call, and even private docks along the shore lines: and set up places of secure storage and distribution fast inland.

    A few good and purchased beasts of burden from second world nations would go a long way to aide in their future.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  129. Gwyn Leder

    I wish I knew why Haiti can't catch break!

    GWyn Leder
    Minneapolis, MN

    January 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  130. Vic of New York

    When you have Christian extremists like Pat Robertson claiming Haitians "made a pact with the devil", and right-wing racists like Rush Limbaugh claiming our President's only responded quickly so he could "burnish his credentials with light-skinned and dark-skinned blacks", ...it's small wonder Haitians can't get a break – anywhere.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  131. Christopher From New York

    I don’t have a definitive answer to that question Jack. The only thing I can think of is that probably some nations for whatever the reason are just meant to have it hard. This earthquake is a wakeup call for the country as a whole. In the process of rebuilding the first agenda should be a new government, it pains my heart to see the images of those people suffering on the streets with no sort of first responder help. After the recovery process is completed, the question will then be who is going to be stuck with the economic responsibility of rebuilding the country ,clearly the government in place or whatever is left of it was not and cannot do it by themselves.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  132. Joe

    Haiti can't catch a break with getting help following the earthquake, because the US hasn't figured out that we can ship US aid first to Puerto Rico as a staging area, and then helicoptering it into Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  133. dan

    because we feel guilty that we built that fine country with our Slaver past...

    January 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  134. Joe

    Bad randomized chance affected by several factors. Perplexing, I see, read, hear about so much praying. If God exists why doesn’t he intervene with so much suffering? Answer: The fairytale isn’t true. Free your minds people.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  135. Jack Mace

    I cn't answer that question because I don't know all the history. I do no that they are poor and with the latest catastrophe they need all the help they can get. I do indeed have a suggestion that could help the cause and might take some of the heat off all the Wall Street Bankers and their "earned" bonuses. Why don't they donate their bonus money to the relief effort. I am sure that would help make their bonuses more palatable with the American public and it might just save some of the people in Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  136. Greg Krino

    Because the socialistic French Revolution influenced their culture, individualism and free-markets never really took hold. Compare their experience with the Dominican Republic's: same island, different outcome.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  137. Denis Duffy

    Why can't WE catch a break from corrupt politicians? Perhaps it is because the press is in bed with the politicians. When will a reporter ask Obama why he lied to the American people about broadcasting the health care debates. Obama is now running the most corrupt White House in generations. You hammered Obama on openness, Jack, why just not tell him he is a liar. Pardon the expression, but let's call a spade a spade. American press reporting is in the sewer, along with the politicians.

    Denis
    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  138. Jim in Appleton, WI

    The reasons Haitians remain peaceful and optimistic are simple.

    When it takes every ounce of energy you have just to survive, you don't waste resources on aggression.

    You must remain optimistic, because you can't imagine things getting worse.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  139. Abe

    Haiti is the poster child for what Cuba would also have become without Castro's socialism and complete separation from US domination– desperately poor. Haiti was never strong enough to break away from our control, Cuba was, with the help of the USSR.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  140. KEN MEREDITH

    According to Rev. Pat Robertson, it is because the Haitians "signed a pact with the devil" – so much for fundamentist christian compassion.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  141. Marv Goodman

    Your point is well taken, but consider this. Haiti has been a totally independent country for approximately 200 years! Second oldest independent in the western hemisphere (after the US). And what has this totally independent country accomplished in that time? Not much!!
    Nobody deserves earthquakes or other natural disasters, and we must do all we can to assist these people in their time of need. But it's
    really hard to understand why they have done so little to assist themselves in two whole centuries!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  142. MG Arizona

    Countries like Haiti are just out of luck in getting a rational, clean and efficient leadership.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  143. William Courtland

    In the end, in clusters of islands: it takes a central power and presence of force and command to allow those islands impoverished the ability to grow.

    While sail craft is proper, the general police and central authority of the Antilles chains, using old colonial government to offer foreign consultation appointment, while the U.S. assists those colonial powers in local security and government, and the local governments themselves combine to agency strength, maintaining independance from each other but increasing benefits of conglomerate trade, commerse, government, industry and relief work, the islands need an independant council government forged and supported of the old colonies to grant benefit to tourism and special foodstuffs: the foreign council only offers a reasonable footing for union without true confederacy. likened to a parent company with shared or bonded ownership in unetheral and none binding kind.

    Haiti can not catch a break because it is independant and found alone most times as an island onto itself.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  144. Tracy-Oakley

    When it seems that a family member, or friend, or a Country (Haiti) can't find a break it's because the misfotunes are designed to see how the people or Country around them reacts. Most tragedies brings unmeasureable good things too. It is up to us to help and not give up on Haiti and to lift them up so that good fortune can find them.
    Thanks.
    Tracy Turner

    January 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  145. G.G.

    Technology has indeed come a long way and is a tremendous help in situations such as the Haiti disaster, but we'll be better off when we figure out how to keep the "hackers" out of getting into our personal business. With respect to credit cards making it easy to send money to those who so deperately need it, my hesitation comes from the fear that the "identity thieves" might get my card number. Call me old fashioned, but is all this really "safe"?

    January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  146. T. Jeanty

    People need to be honest with themselves. For some time now, there has always been tension between the United States and Haiti. Haitians are treated unfairly. Why is that people from Cuba can come here by boat and Haitians are always turned away? I am an American, but my family is from Haiti, and the crap irritates me. People are so quick to criticize a country that they have never stepped foot on. I have visited Haiti PLENTY of times, and I love it. The media is always sensationalizing the negatives and the poverty. You don't TRULY know something until you have experienced it first hand. Although America is my home, Haiti is my home as well. The people there need help. I don't understand how a nation that was the FIRST independent nation is in the state that it is now. You see, the U.S. likes to say that Haiti was the second...revisit history. I might catch hell for saying this, but it would be a great thing if the U.S. took control of Haiti/Government. The Haitian Government is corrupt, and funds are definitely misappropriated. Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and we have the U.S. Virgin Islands, so although it may cost trillions of dollars, that is the only solution I see. Haiti cannot get through this alone; I definitely don't see how. But one thing I do know is that we are a strong people–one day, Haitians will prevail.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  147. Chris

    Jack,

    Haiti can't catch a break because the Haitians haven't demanded a better plight. Freedom isn't free. We have many ethnic enclaves in the US of which only a handful couldn't do anything about their plight, and those would be the Viet Namese, Laosian, and Cambodian refugees. Everybody else that is here in the US of A could have fought to get their country back.

    Of course history has an adverse impact on Haiti, being Black, the country was prevented from trading with other nations outside of the caribbean by embargoes set up by the United States, France, England, and the Netherlands.

    That stymied the potential of Haiti.

    Then there is the dictatorships in Haiti which compounded an already bad economic situation. Each government Haiti has had, even today, is corrupt and full of graft.

    To move on Haiti needs a new constitution , written such in which public corruption is made a capital crime punishable by execution. Then all the foreign aid and investments can be made so that the people of Haiti, no the power brokers, will benefit.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  148. Jennifer in Vegas

    Jack,

    Ask Pat Roberston. He seems to have an answer, albeit a vile, irresponsible, malicious answer. Just disgusting.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  149. Charles Slesinger

    Except for the people killed and severely injured, I would say that Haiti just caught the biggest break they've had in years. This country has an opportunity to completely rebuild; hundreds of millions of dollars are going to pour into the place where $1,000 has been a fortune. If the usual collection of idiots and thieves running things have any trace of morality and intelligence, there is a phenomenal opportunity to take the lemons created by this tragedy and turn it into a big, beautiful glass of lemonade.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  150. Chris

    This is a perfect opportunity for the Hatians to rise up, shake off the cobwebs of oppression, and start with a clean slate. For starters, don't give in to corruption; power is derived from the consent of the people. Obviously, if 75% of them are unemployed, there's a lot of idle hands standing by to rebuild their nation.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  151. John Cooney

    Based solely on the reporting regarding all the aid agencies including the UN that have been providing help to Haitians for over a decade, one must conclude that Haitians are either not receiving the aid or it is being misspent. There are only 2 million people there in Haiti. Something is terribly wrong and aid and assistance doesn't seem to be the answer.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  152. Timothy Woolsey

    Well according to Pat Robertson, it's because they angered God by throwing off French rule. I think the other 99% of us who are sane would say that it is a combination of terrible government and living in a hurricane prone and earthquake prone part of the world. I agree with Bill Clinton, that after this tragedy, there may be more serious efforts to address the long term chronic problems of the country and Haiti may emerge stronger in the end. I think God is on their side.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  153. Doc in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    my Ph.D. tells me that Haiti's on going problems are chiefly due to a long history of corrupt and paranoid civil leadership sitting atop an ever growing population steeped in ignorance and superstition.
    The only solution is for the UN to declare Haiti a protectorate, take full civilian and military control, and completely rehabilitate and re-educate the country literally from the ground up. I whould estimate 30 to 50 years should be almost long enough to give Haiti a chance to become a stable, fully functioning democracy. Anything less will be a waste of time, money, lives and resources..
    Doc

    January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  154. Keenan

    I don't think it's about "catching a break" I think it's about the country dealing with things that, for better or worse, they've known would happen. The country was established in financial ruin with all their debt to the French, and in that alone, they paved the way for poverty and struggle, which has only been amplified by the selfishness of their leaders over time. Also, it's difficult to "catch a break" from mother nature when you're land is resting on top of a major fault line. The real question is why was it so easy for the world to turn a blind eye until disaster struck, and how quickly will we all forget about them? This might be optimistic of me to estimate, but it can't be that expensive, in the grand scheme of things, to help haiti get off it's feet from this disaster, and help them to establish a functioning society with leaders who care. They're a spirited people, imagine if we helped to give them a little hope, all the changes that could occour.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  155. Undergraduate

    Jack, be serious. "Lack of good fortune?" You mean we, here in the US, are just "more fortunate" than the Haitians. If you really believe that you should leave for Haiti immediately and transfer some of your great good luck onto those poor people.

    But you know better. Our culture, mores, entrepreneurial spirit, traditions and optimistic ambition are NOWHERE to be found among the majority of Hatians, as well as the majority of third world residents. Their culture is one of fatalism, with no idea of a better future, and certainly no concept of individual self determination. They're poor, pathetic and at the mercy of whatever tyrant –human or natural– that comes their way.

    I have NO INTENTION of taking any lesson from the Haitians, except to teach my children to be NOTHING like them at all.

    Best regards.

    By the way, your opinion on Haiti is like about 98.6% of the rest of your opinions. STUPID.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  156. Michael Hsu

    Haiti sort of had it coming on account of their voodoo worshippers.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  157. S Balami

    That is a darn good question

    January 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  158. Terry Hale

    Jack,
    Their problem is the same as ours. A government that constantly seeks to increase it's own wealth, power and control, and has long ago, ceased to even seek solutions to problems. The US remains way ahead of them only due to fact that Obama has only been in a year. He will bankrupt our country in a very short time, discourage the growth of business, and destroy our previously successful capitalistic system – all the while claiming that his war agaist capitalism is designed to "level the playing field." You can't give money to the Haitian government because they will steal it, just like they did in New Orleans. In terms of change you can believe in,
    their government is an embarrasement, just like ours.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  159. Lynne in CA

    Corruption and greed in government come to mind. Solve those problems and the solutions will follow.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  160. Gene

    Basically because the country relies on handouts rather than ever trying to stand on its own feet. As a consequence it never will be a sustainable country and never will "catch a break".

    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  161. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    apart from its history, it is surprising that 51% of the population is under 21 year old! Not only do we have to learn a lot from the Haiti people but can we finally accept we have a lot to learn from young people!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  162. Stefan

    A satanic pact took place at Bois-Caïman near Cap-Haïtien on August 14, 1791 during a meeting organized by several slave leaders, under Dutty Boukman’s leadership, before launching what would become Haiti’s Independence War. Since then Haiti had more than 70 coups.

    Although the recent disasters that hit Haiti cannot be directly attributed to this you cannot not wonder ....

    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  163. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Well Jack, when a nation procreates with abandon and there is little space, LOW employment and corruption to the max, is there little hope of catching a break ?? !!
    IMHO, the dead should be cremated and all those buried should be disinterred and cremated as well !! All the nations should do this as there is no logic to cemeteries as they are a waste of space. In Haiti, in particular, the population could use the space for food production, housing etc. !!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  164. Rayshaun H.- New York

    I'm not sure Jack, but I do think that this tragedy might have finally convinced other nations and especially the U.S to support the nation for the long term, beyond the immediate relief efforts. That would be the first break they have received probably ever.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  165. Tom From The Working Part of NM

    Haiti is no different than inner city Detroit or pre-Katrina New Orleans. As long as people can 'get-along' without working they will. Look how well dressed and well-fed most Haitians look. The Salvation Army alone has 40 officers and 400 volunteers over there doing hand-outs!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  166. dan mcnally

    Dear Jack,

    I'm sure you've seen the answer to your question given by Pat Robertson, that religious icon of the Right. He has said publicly that Haiti's bad luck stems from a pact the people there made with the devil a century or more ago. And he's serious! Apparently, my God and Pat Robertson's god have differing views on what it means to be a good Christian.

    Dan NY

    January 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  167. noah (Haitian American)

    Hello Jack,

    As a Haitian American in Houston, Texas, I am asking you as a CNN official to please pass this around as this is a major issue that needs to be addressed on the media. The Haitian government is extremely corrupt which is a major catalyst to the lack of infrastructure and building codes which have ultimately led to more deaths. For years millions upon millions of dollars have been poured to Haiti but the government officials just hoard the money for themselves and don't use the money for the country like job creation, education, better hospitals, etc. So you have two extremes- the really rich and the dirt poor, it's terrible. Where has the government been in this crisis? You can see they are nowhere to be found. The Haitian people must hold their government accountable. Haiti should be just like any other Caribbean nation, it's a very beautiful country. Instead, the government officials just prefer to live lavish lives while the common people suffer. Please please please report about the corrupted government; I am begging you. I really do fear after a few weeks when the media isn't talking about Haiti that things will be just like how it was- I don't want that. Like Obama, we all need change. If the corruption is talked about all over the media this will cause more transparency and thus long term growth for the country. I just hope that one day in my lifetime, I can see a tourist commercial for Haiti and one day take my future family to enjoy the country as it should be. Thanks so much Jack and God Bless.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  168. The General from Apopka

    An earthquake's a terrible thing; no doubt. Additionally, there's a ton of suffering that's going on. However, your title of "....catch a break..." Well, just by watching the news, it seems that the country's uncivilized. Imagine if this happened in a midwestern white town...yeah, I know, this sounds racist. But, doesn't this remind you of Katrina? What's the common element? Now, everyone's on pins and needles because they're going to become "violent,' unless we tend to their needs soon. So, what do we do? We scoop them up by the tens of thousands and bring them here, to infest our country with this "anger and rage....and propensity to commit violence," if not soothed? I say keep them all there, provide adequate aid via the millions pouring in from around the globe, and do not bring them into our country, espeically my home state of Florida. God only knows we're suffering enough from the Cuban invasion, and the existing Haitians that we already have here....with the current state of our economy, we cannot even take care of our own citizens, and we want to bring thousands more to leech off the social services ? Great!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  169. Carmen Vazquez

    The people of Haiti need the financial aid of able and willing countries from around the world. These same countries need to avail the people of Haii their expertise to rebuild their hospitals, schools, homes. The financial aid this poor country is receiving from stronger countries should not be expected to be paid back as this is an unrealistic expectation. Financial experts need to come together and design a realistic plan to rebuild this country from the ground up. Nothing makeshift. Quality workmanship needs to be employed because this most likely will not be the last earthquake, flood, etc. to befall this island. We can never forget what has happened here. The headlines may fade, but the human misery resulting from this travesty is enough for several lifetimes. God help Haiti and give our world leaders the wisdom to assist Haiti equitably and with compassion.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  170. christa

    I am all for helping Haiti to the fullest. But that means the we have to control what we do over there, because as we know that the Haitian Government is very corrupt and just a few will become rich, the rest of them have to live than in even poorer conditions.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  171. hooverguide

    Unfortunately, Haiti has not been part of our social conscious. We know it is there; we know most of the people have lives we cannot quite imagine; but, we have no idea how to make it different, so we ignore it. A disaster of this magnitude cannot be ignored. Perhaps this crisis will do more bring more than just the necessities to a people who have longed for more. Let us hope and pray this is true.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  172. JohnDonson

    Break from what? From US manufacturing corporations exploiting the poor conditions in poverty-stricken countries like Haiti so we can continue to buy our cheap creature comforts and bask in our consumerist lifestyle? These companies have huge incentives to keep living conditions down in these countries so they can maximize profit. After all, a capitalist economy requires the exploitation of the poor in order to keep the cycle going. And what keeps the economy down? Oppression! That's where the US gov't and the CIA come in. From the CIA's covert efforts to launch "democracy projects" which led to further destabilization and corruption, and from the trafficking of cocaine (Haiti was/is one of the major transit points for cocaine trafficking from the Dominican Rep. and Columbia into the US) that took place during the late 80s/early 90s with the full knowledge and cooperation of the CIA and DEA...well, I would say sure, that's some bad luck there.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  173. Jack

    Despite its long run of hard luck, Haiti may some day become a stronger, richer and safer country, provided it can form a government that tries to promote the general welfare, not provide it.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  174. gina alexis

    could you please let the autorities know to not give the haitian government the money, because they not going to do nothing for the population. Instead rebuild the hospitals, schools, roads, houses I think all haitians will agree. thank you.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  175. troubadoura

    because of the legacy of slavery and racism for most part. The French and British made sure they did not thrive after independence and then they just let Haiti deteriorate. Read the history, they kidnapped and beheaded the leaders of this independent nation. Haitians are an amazing people despite all odds. They are a very vibrant, colorful, fun loving, musical and very religious people. Did you know Haitian creole is the most prolific on Earth. ANd their cuisine is amazing, their art and music. They will get through this as well. THey restart button has definitely been pressed in Haiti, they can now start afresh.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  176. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    This is truly heartwrenching to see from afar what has happened in Haiti and what is still taking place but at the same time I' truly greatful to see how so many professionals in different work are there to come to the aid of other human beings in need. We are seeing our best side of our humanity at work! God Bless you all! Diane Dagenais Turbide

    January 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  177. clyde

    Maybe if we would let the people of Haiti out from under the thumb of their debt to the world bank,crushing debt repayments,and give them a fair shot things would change
    Clyde
    Canada

    January 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  178. Rob

    This is what happens when you have an abrupt transformation from colonization to independence. Although achieving independence from France was optimal, the transition must be smooth. Any haste to this change will cause political factions to surface, where one small and powerful group will emerge and dominate, most of the time for their personal gain only.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  179. trouba

    because of the legacy of slavery and racism for most part. The French and British made sure they did not thrive after independence and then they just let Haiti deteriorate. Read the history, they kidnapped and beheaded the leaders of this independent nation. Haitians are an amazing people despite all odds. They are a very vibrant, colorful, fun loving, musical and very religious people. Did you know Haitian creole is the most prolific on Earth. ANd their cuisine is amazing, their art and music. They will get through this as well. THey restart button has definitely been pressed in Haiti, they can now start afresh.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  180. Mike Palevo

    I've been there in Haiti, and can say from experience that any country that is delved deep in Superstition and Witchcraft will implode sooner or later. Even the police didn't want us taking pictures because of their witchcraft belief. It's appears not just to be Haiti, but almost every African nation is a disaster with Rape, Violence, Killing, Slaves, Starvation, Famine, pestilence,etc. Haiti is not an isolated case.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  181. todd

    Seeing how this isn't a forum to rip a certain televangelist, I'll make a more legitimate guess:

    The problem is systematic corruption in the infrastructure of the country. The most recent catastrophe was in part because there were no building code standards whatsoever. If even the palace can't survive a magnitude 7 quake, then what hope do everyday people have?

    We've had quakes of that size in California, but the affected cities are still there, and so were most of the pre-quake buildings.

    The Hatian government makes its own luck in large part. Unfortunately, it's the citizens who suffer the most.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  182. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Jack:

    It would be a great research project. Find the population on earth that has gotten a break. Let me know. The description of the Hatian ruling family tells the story. One makes one's own "breaks" even at the peril of death or extorsion for life, under those conditions people everywhere seem to accept extorsion over extinction. One can be hardened to the former but not to the latter. Sadly they do not have a Second Amendment like us, yeah that will work !

    January 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  183. Gordon

    From Pennsylvania:

    One must distinguish Haiti's situation from other countries in the region, which are also subject to the same weather conditions, such as the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Bahamas.

    Haiti has a weak central government, which can't prosecute offenders. Corruption is rampant. With half the country practicing voodoo, people's sense of fear and superstition is unmatched in the region. Decades of corrupt dictatorships have beaten down the people, and justice looks only like street thuggery.

    Decades of dependence on foreigners to prop up their economy has enslaved the country to others; this disaster is no different.

    Haiti could be a thriving country if its people could throw off the yoke of voodoo, and be willing to spill their own blood to embrace freedom, and accept less – not more – foreign help.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  184. Richard

    Jack, I have been asking that myself. Some say it is because of the way they slaughtered all the white colons after their independence in 1804. some say it is because it is a country that started with the devil associated with Vodoo instead of God like in the US. Some say it is because of a conspiration of the colonial powers against Haiti as the first black slave population to take their independence. Well maybe be it is a combination of all of those, but whatever it is Haiti now has a chance to catch a break this time if they take this disaster as an opportunity.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  185. Mathew

    Haiti can't catch a break because it has already been destroyed. They have destroyed their environment and resources while being hugely overpopulated. As long as you have this huge population fighting over the tiny scraps that are left of the land nothing will improve. The only solution would be to take those people out of that environment entirely and help the land to heal so that it might be able to sustain a smaller population. Haiti is a prime example of what happens when people do not live in a sustainable responsible manner, and should serve as a warning to other countries throughout the world, including our own, about the dangers that we face unless we reign in our exploding population and endless thirst for resources.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  186. Dwayne

    The world looks to throw money at the Haitians rather than actually taking the time to "help" them. If doctors and politicians would go teach for a couple of years, it would help much more than giving a dollar that ends up stolen by a corrupt agent of destruction. It goes back to a proverb I would hear my father say, "You can feed a man fish for a day, but if you teach him how to fish, he will be hungry no more."

    January 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  187. Lauren D - Columbus, Ohio

    Haiti has been forgotten or no one wanted to get their hands dirty because the job of helping them would be too big.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  188. Enough

    Everyone knows that the problem with Haiti is their government. I am so worried regarding the relief money that will be entering the country. Who is going to get that money? The government ? For example, a country that can vote friends, relatives, into office, or let the rich do whatever they want in the country has no future. If you think about it ,millions of dollars of aid has gone to Haiti from relief organizations and other countries and still some hundreds of years after Haiti's independence nothing!! Who is holding Haiti's government accountable? The Haitians can't

    January 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  189. Jason

    Why can't they catch a break? Because they won't stand up to those who repress them. Instead of a democratic revolution they seem to sink into a communist/socilaist mind set where the 'government' will fix it and not themselves.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  190. wbn

    Nature's ravages are beyond anyone's control (or explanation)–think "tsunami!" When a nation is blessed, it needs to help others; when it is crushed by circumstances, it needs help from others. America has been known as the land of blessing, due to its moderate climate overall. Many of us would think God may have done that because He knew we would be of help to many other nations–not perfect, by any means, but caring overall. Undoubtedly, we must maintain our constitution, system of government as designed by our founders, and free market system; we must also seek to influence (and even help, to some degree) other nations in this direction. But we must dare not lose our own way, or we will cease to be able to help others!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  191. Mic

    Who knows but God. often remined of 70's song "Nature's Way" of telling you something's wrong.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  192. Gonzales

    No one particular reason Jack! But one can start by looking at Haiti's history. Especially her birth as a nation. Unlike America Haiti was founded by uneducated slaves and for a long time was not welcome into the sister hood of nations. The world at the time was ran on a slave economy. Haiti was looked down upon and for the longest was ignored but she went about her business and managed best she could given her limited education. When the outside world did decide to deal with her it was only to rape her. Dont believe me ask the World Bank!.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  193. KAR

    Very sad situation for those people

    January 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  194. hubert pincon

    We all perfectly understand the political history and the poor legacy left by the succeding dictatorial regimes of the country, be it the Duvaliers or the likes. All this could not have happened without the complicity of the rest of the World which turned a blind eye while Haiti was descending into Hell . It is one thing to display from time to time some compassion towards the Haitians and their country but a long term commitment to developping the country once for all is quite another. Haiti and its people need more than a ponctual compassion . What they need is a long term commitment from the West and the rich countries to finance once for good the long-term development of this poor country. In that sense we welcome the french proposal of an International Conference on Hati, with the objective to reconstruct this country and insure its long term development. That is what is needed not the never-ended United Nations presence nor the compassion which the world displays vevery time when the country is hit by a natural disaster.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  195. Sean

    Take a look at the positive side. This earthquake let us learn that we should not channel funds directly to their government which is corrupted and doesn't care of its citizens.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  196. Adrian

    Is the U.S. Department of Defense going to send U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Navy Seabees to Haiti? The Army and Navy can use their manpower, skills, and their earth moving or heavy equiptment to clear roads and move away rubble so aid can start flowing. I think transportation of aids is vital right now.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  197. Lesley Palmer

    Los Alamitos, California

    Haiti does not have any oil. Haiti has no natural resources that developed countries want, aside from cheap labor. The Duvaliers, with the blessing of the French and the Swiss, gutted their economy decades ago. Subsequent administrations have continued in the same corrupt vein. There are no public services to speak of. The U.N. has been in the region since 2003 (?) to preserve the peace. Haiti is Somalia waiting to happen in the Caribbean.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  198. Luci - Illinois

    It seems like the poorer the people the less that they expect out of life.
    I sure do not believe that it is the reason that Pat Robison gave.
    He has to be senile to make a statement like that.
    They are God's children just like Robison and everyone else is.
    He needs to get right with God as he isn't getting any younger.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  199. Jeff , Douglass, KS

    Jack,
    We need to help these people out. They don't have anything left, which in the case of their government, may be a better thing. I heard someone suggest a temporary protectorate of the U.N. , and that may have some merit.
    But, with all of our own troubles, we are so far better off than these people, we just need to give our brothers a hand back up to their feet.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  200. Anna

    I donated via text to the Red Cross earlier today. It was very easy and I think it's a great idea. I just wonder how many parents are going to be shocked when they get their kid's cell phone bills reflecting unauthorized donations! It was so easy to do and you don't need a credit card or cash so I think somebody out there will rack up a huge bill for their parents to pay!

    January 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm |
  201. Lisa, San Jose CA

    What are you talking about, Jack?

    Haiti is a tropical Ayn Rand-ian paradise, where every decision has always been friendly to business and any rules imposed upon the little people are easily unenforced upon the John Galts of the world with the slightest application of capital.

    What's wrong with you?

    (this, if you cannot tell, is a wee bit sarcastic...)

    January 15, 2010 at 5:54 pm |
  202. Steve In Canada

    The saying, "Those that know hunger won't leave it for fear of starvation." applies here. I've lived in various Caribbean Islands over the years and this fatalistic acceptance of things is common. Indeed it's common everywhere in one form or another (think battered wives or drug addicts). Education and the benevolent support from the rest of us is the only way out. It's an old idea; it's even covered in the bible – remember the thing about teaching a man to fish... I hold out hope that the proliferation of the internet with its huge educational potential may help change things in a big way one day.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  203. Guyrlene Priyen

    Perhaps, the reason we can't take a break is because the majority of us possesses the exact traits that you stated "Yet for some reason the Haitians remain for the most part a peaceful, optimistic, even good-natured people", and more. We tend to be vulnerable and naive, thus, victims by others, sometimes our own fellow citizens over and over again. In addition to that, it is high time that Haitians, those who practice voodooism to face the reality, and assess that it is not the solution to their problem. They must say no more, and embrace education instead. Hopefully, this earthquake would be the last straw, and the Lord, our creator will have mercy on us.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
  204. Gene Wright

    It is pretty simple to define the problem. There is limited contol by the UN and major world governments to control how the money given to third world nations is used. These countries are controled by corrupt governments, dictators, crime syndicates and the like. Aid will never flow to the people and the nations will remain in squalor while secret bank accounts around the world grow

    January 15, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  205. Bill

    If you believe Pat Robertson, it is all of there own doing by making a pact with the devil. God is simply punishing them.

    Of course Pat Robertson thinks that he is relevant. Intelligent, free-thinking people know he is not.

    Without a strong, U.S. backed government, Haiti will continue to be a marginal, developing nation with no real future.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  206. JM

    I think countries like ours seem to invest heavily in every country but Haiti. They share our hemisphere. We contributed to their woes. It's past time that we helped them. The images are so sad and depressing. These people had little to nothing before and now what many of them had has been taken away. My heart breaks for them.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  207. Warren in Ohio

    Jack, you sound an awful lot like that nut Robertson who said Haiti is cursed because it made a pact with the Devil. The truth of the matter is that Haiti is crucified and God is always on the side of the crucified. The problem lies with the crucifiers and that includes us.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  208. Jack Hadder

    For nations to prosper, they need to produce a product or service that has commercial value. Given it's location, you would think it would make a good tourist destination, like the Dominican Republic.

    But political and social instability prevents the accumulation of investment capital necessary for development. Until that problem can be fixed, I'm afraid things will only continue to get worse there.

    Jack Hadder
    Destin, FL

    January 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  209. Matt

    You say Haitians might even be good-natured as if this is something strange or unlikely! I beg to differ, all peoples are good-natured despite the attempts of some to exploit and oppress them.

    And that's the answer to your second question – if only you'd care to consult the reams of research available to bring it to light. Two centuries of animosity directed towards the Haitian people by the governments of countries like France and yes, the United States, in the form of onerous debt repayments, military occupations, support for dictatorial regimes like the Duvaliers, and more recently in the coups against Aristide have ensured that the people were not able to "catch a break". Perhaps if Aristide had been able to implement his agenda, Port-au-Prince's poorest areas might have seen much needed infrastructure upgrades that might have lessened the devastating impact of this earthquake.

    There is nothing mystical about the "luck" of Haiti. The histories of both the country and the people are rooted in the actions that despots supported by foreign powers have perpetrated ever since the 1804 Revolution, and the struggles of good-natured people trying to deal with them.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  210. Anthony

    Probably because Haiti doesn't have any oil, there's no interest to dismantle their oppressive government,

    City: Ogden
    State: Utah

    January 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  211. Nelson

    I don't know but Pat Robertson certainly doesn't have the answer.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  212. Paul "Been there"

    Jack, Why? Let me illustrate with a first hand testimony: Two years ago we listened with incredulity as an upper class Haitian man stood up in our upper class American/Creole church in Port-au-Prince. He described the terrifying home break in that his family had experienced that week in the middle of the night by a group of thugs. He concluded saying: "We praise God for his protection, they only gang raped our maid". My wife and I looked at each other wondering if the maid was also "Praising God". Yes, we can rebuild Port-au-Prince, but the people are what they are.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  213. A. Smith, Oregon

    Does the Haitian people look like any of them actually received the $208 BILLION taxpayer dollars in economic relief a mere 3 years ago from the infamous Bush-Cheney administration? HELL NO!

    Where is the indignation and utter lack of accountability on the Bush-Cheney administration that is on record of giving $208 Billion taxpayer dollars to the Haitian people!

    There is no stockpile of emergency medical supplys, there is no stockpile of emergency medicine. It entirely appears that Bush-Cheney gave $208 BILLION US taxpayer dollars to a handful of Bush jr's. friends in Haiti.

    The Obama Administration should demand accountability for that large amount of taxpayer dollars given a mere 3 years ago that is entirely missing in Haiti at this time of great need.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  214. Shane in Boston

    Thomas Jefferson said that, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." You don't catch a break lying down. You catch a break by making it happen. This could be the best thing that has happened to this country, because finally, they will have to stand on their own to rebuild it and it will be their country...not some farce of a presidents country. Or, they'll continue to look for handouts and nothing will change. Only time will tell.

    January 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  215. Camille

    Only God knows the answer to your question, but some Americans are trying to give Haitians a break–$10 at at time. Maybe it's our memory of Katrina that has prompted us to give $8 million in $10 text-message donations in only a matter of days. If our gov't responded so badly to Katrina, how can Haitians even have a prayer when they have virtually no gov't, no infrastructure–hence the lack of building codes and the piles of rubble. As the song goes, we are the world. So, let's start giving–even if it's only $10 added to your cell phone bill!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm |
  216. andre L

    in my beliefs it is because we were the first black country that sed NO! to slavery..

    January 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  217. MIRLENE DUPERVIL

    Jack, I think Haiti will take a break when we are occupied or turn over the country to the United States because Haitains government is too corrupted to run the country. I love my country and the haitian people very much but it's time to face the truth so we can get a break. Mirlene Dupervil from Loganville, GA

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  218. Edwin Pereyra-Gross, Dominican Republic

    Haiti never got the opportunity to establish the proper institutions before it got its freedom, so since then its been fight after fight against nature, other countries, but mainly with themselves which has not allowed them to become the great country it could be!!! The great thing is that even though they have gone through the worst things possible, if you meassure by any other country's standard they should be hopeless, but they are not and I am confident that some day even now in their darkest moments I strongly believe they will get through and have a better life!!!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  219. john

    we cant afford to take care of ourself let alone haitti beside we would have to take out another loan from chine..........we are BROKE

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  220. Stephen in Vancouver Canada

    Like the phoenix rising from the ashes, Haiti will overcome its recent challenge. From great tragedy comes a worldwide opportunity. This country is now poised to become the template for the worlds greenest infastructure. Wind, solar, and geothermal power and water treatment can now be built giving them the independance that they need to transfer funds from energy to health and education. Come on Wyclef, Clinton, Gore, Bono, Oprah, and most important, Obama. It is time to take advantage of this blank canvas

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  221. Eli

    Shane, that's sort of a knee-jerk response. How much Haitian history do you actually know?

    I don't claim to be an expert, but some of Haiti's woes can be laid directly at our door. When Haiti emerged as a nation, a black republic made up of successfully rebelious slaves scared the crap out of the then slave-owning United States. We shunned, boycotted and otherwise sought to make Haiti miserable for decades. Finally, we invaded and occupied it, setting up commercial relationships much to the benefit of our own companies and much to the Haitians' detriment.
    In recent decades, of course, our influence has been much more positive. Haitians themselves obviously have a role in their own nation's difficulties, but Haitians are far from being lazy people. I live in Miami. I know.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  222. Caroline, Los Angeles, CA

    I truly hate it when people claim they are lucky or unlucky. I hate it for nations too. The nation of Haiti has been abused, maligned, spit on, neglected, used and abused by so many in power for so long. That is its "luck".

    It is strategically located next to Communist Cuba so many democracies in the area, including ours, were happy to pay off any leaders in order to keep the Hatians from turning into Castroites.

    Mission accomplished. Then our leaders sort of figured out that it might not be good to have a 3rd world country so close by and neglect it since that makes America look bad, so they decided to do a bit more to help out Haiti in the past couple of decades. But not too much. People have to stand on their own two feet, right?

    The nations who have been "lucky" in history have been the nations that have encouraged and provided education for their people.

    If Haiti wants to get "lucky" then its gov't. has to choose to send every man, woman and child to school for free. We have a lot of unemployed teachers here in CA. Maybe some of them would be happy to go teach there for a year while we wait for jobs to come back to CA?

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  223. Noela

    Haiti will catch a break when Americans takes over the government, Bottom line! The people are not the problem, its the so called-GOVERNMENT who are stealing, killing, raping and lying to the people!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  224. Joanne M. Edmonton, Alberta

    Before the earthquake, I knew Haiti was a poor country, but that's all I knew. I don't think people like to talk about problems they don't know how to solve. I am truly embarrased that a country in the Western hemisphere could be that poor and repressed and I didn't know a thing about it and I am ashamed that we have done nothing to help them before this. I sincerely hope that once the rubble is cleared people continue to pledge support to help these people lead happier, more prosperous lives.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  225. Gord

    Jack:
    For the few negative "cretons" complaining about all the supplies stored in Haiti "on the ground", please remind them that those charged with distributing those supplies are mostly under collapsed buildings(the UN Headquarters, for example) as are most of the supplies.

    Perhaps we should suggest emergency supplies should all be suspended from "skyhooks" above the country. Then a remote detonator could blow the hooks, dropping the supplies (on the rubble).

    Geeesh!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  226. raysamson petion

    its simple,haiti cant catch a break because it was the first country to revolt slavery and become a black republic, i guess that doesn't win any brownie points. i wish the rich history would be told as much as the title" one of the poorest countries", as you can see by the chanting you cant count haiti out hopeful they will get the much over due respect and help thats needed, it may be one of the poorest but its one of the strongest

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  227. Anna

    We were studying haiti at school this week,the poor country can't catch a break because of the corruption and the lack of care its past leadership has displayed , they need economic and political reform that's the only way they can grow ,the incidence of natural disaster and other factors leads me to one conclusion , they have some bad luck

    January 15, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  228. Craig - NYC

    I was deployed to Haiti with the XVIII Airborne Corps in the mid-90's for Operation Uphold Democracy and saw first-hand how those people lived during "better times." It became clear to me during that deployment that their corrupt government was the root cause of most of their other problems: unemployment, poverty, hunger, fear, etc. Even the deforestation problems can be directly connected with the corruption and lack of policing. It's really a testament to the human spirit that they've survived for so long under such impossible circumstances.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  229. tom bayner

    I think it has to do with government corruption within Haiti and lack of coordination by the outside donors of services to the people of Haiti..too many people reinventing the wheel, the NGO's need to work togetther.
    tom, Oakland, CA

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  230. Joe Palen

    Not a pact with Satan, as proposed by Rev. Roberston, I think it is corruption that directs all benefits to the top instead of to the people. Come to think of it that IS kind of Satanic. Also, in this case they built the the city on a massive earthquate fault – like LA. (?)

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  231. Eric

    Haiti can't catch a break because it has always been suppressed by, invaded by, and controlled by outside powers. Haiti's right to self-determination, founded in it's historical place as the world's first nation of slaves to free themselves, has been attacked for centuries by first the French and later the US imperial machine. Recently, US policies have crippled Haiti's infrastructure, agriculture, and democratically elected governments. To call Haiti's tragedy a purely "natural" disaster is only half the story.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  232. ARNEADER

    When the Haitians won their freedom from the French and were left without any trade from the British or French of course left them economically oppressed and a undeveloped nation under dictatorship, in fact contributed to poor housing and infrastructure to substain act of God.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  233. Solmarie Wright from Fort Irwin

    I think the people of Haiti for decades seen so much corruption, and really no hope in their country. Many have migrated to the U.S. to find a better life for themselves and for their families. I think they can not push foward to the future until their country is set in the right direction. The U.S. has spent millions of dollars on Haiti in relief aid, and on trying to get the country in the right track. The people of Haiti have yet to see the money. The country has no government to lead their people, they have no representation. Haiti is a beautiful country. I think now that Haiti is in desperate need, I hope the people realize that they need to fight for their country. They need to fight for a better government. Oppression should no longer be an excuse. Many countries are pitching in, and have pledge to help rebuild Haiti. This is the time know to make things happen for themselves as the people of the country. If not know it will never happen. Haiti can be better.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  234. Elsa

    Jack
    I choose to believe that God is using Haiti to teach us about our own humanity and remind us how connected we are as human beings. No, Haiti is not been punish by God, but God had to use extreme measures to wake us all up to give that country a break. Obviously nothing worked because of all the previous bad managers that chose to line their pockets rather caring for the people's needs. I think this is one last attempt by God to put all of us (including the Haitian people) on notice.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  235. Bibi

    Hey Jack I have a good onefor you. Have you ever seen an old French colonie prospering in this 21st century? I'm originaly from one of them

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  236. andre L

    on behalf of all the haitian community .. i would like to say THANK YOU! to CNN.staff for the reports and updates on my country news ..YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST ..shout out to haiti ..SAK PASE!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  237. Michael H. of Albuquerque, NM

    Haiti is forever being treate as a slave colony by wealthier, more powerful nations and their corporate interests. I must ask, where are the free market entrepenuers? Why aren't the voids of need being supplied to the demands of the Haitian market? Where is the hidden hand of the free market? I will tell you: They are exploiting and robbing the Haitian people through the combination of force and laissez faire economics. Haiti is exactly the result you can expect from the libertarian ideal of corporate rule.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  238. MIRLENE DUPERVIL

    As for Pat Robertson, I think he is the Devil himself, not the Haitian people. Mirlene from GA

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  239. janet pappas

    Haiti was the first black democracy in the in this area. Until recently, we have not paid positive atterntion to them attention to them until recently.. I think that was because of slavery in the US. The only time we stepped in was when Woodrow Woilson sent the Marines to Haiti because he thooght that the president. Rosalvo Bobo, was sympathetic to the Germans. Theystayed until 1935. I think that it was in our county's best interest to have a dictator there. Noone has ever helped them.

    PS Send your donations to doctorswithoutboarders.com/ I have been to Haiti and they do wonderful work,

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  240. Tantoo Cardinal

    whether anyone reads this or not, I must say –
    Haiti carries a Truth. God is not HE. God gave us Free Will. We exude an energy that creates a reality. The truth is – poor people are beyond oppressed in this world society we have created. It is not God who did this. It is We by our overall energy. It tells me we have a surplus of oppressive energy in the overall consciousness of our planet. It has to show somewhere.
    Churchianity has been a player. By severing our connection with Creator so that we could be herded easier, we have been weakened as entities. These events brings our essential being forward. – pushes beyond the blocks designed by man/mind and we feel our connection to God once more. She smiles with gratitude that we come to know ourselves in naked truth and beauty.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  241. JAMES SAINTILIEN Pembroke Pines, FL

    Honestly Jack this may be their break. It forces Haitian Americans like my self to come together and help in the reconstruction of our native homeland. There are many Haitian American professionals that have to use the skills and abilities we learned here in the states to help the people of Haiti who are lacking in education.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  242. Patrick Ohonsi

    This is an opportunity for Haiti to develop. ALL the funds contributed should not be handed over to the government. A UN committee should take over the fund and map out developmental projects-short/long term. Haitians should use this opportunity.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  243. Rita Martinez

    I hope this is Haiti's break when all the world helps them rebuild. Why don't we ask the CEO"s who just recieved their big bonuses to donate their money to Haiti. They can't need the millions on top of the millions they already have.

    Rita
    Las Vegas
    Unemployed

    January 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  244. Carolyn in Memphis Tennessee

    Why don't you start with the Slave trade (French and American) borrowed money to pay French reparations after the revolt. Then you can start with the 60 year embargo imposed on them by the US. Oh yeah don't forget the American slave trade that didn't end until 1865. I sorta agree with Pat Robertson – the Devil is in the details.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  245. Carol Lucas

    If you believe Pat Robertson, sleeze that he is, it is because the Haitians have a direct pipeline to the devil. Why can't Pat Robertson catch a break?...of the right or left arm...just to shut him up!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  246. Harold J McDaniel

    They can't get a break because they are black. It's well known that all other races look down on those of african decent.If they flee to america on boats, rafts, tires or what ever they are sent back, unlike cubans. They have nothing to offer the rest of the world. No oil, no gold, no diamonds.If haiti was full of whites the world would have treated them better. Thank God that George Bush is not in office.He would have said that mother nature was doing a wonderful job.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  247. Jerry

    Haiti can’t catch a break because they are a former French colony. Look at any north African or middle eastern country that the French were removed from during or after World War II. Very few if any ever prospered again. Someone seems to want it that way.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  248. RobertOfEuclid

    Haiti's problems are manmade. Horrible leadership combined with the U.S.'s racist policies toward them and you have the perfect storm. We need more trade with Haiti and we need to hold their leaders more accountable for being a good neighbor. Allowing a country to be run into abject poverty this close to the U.S. is not a display of American exceptionalism.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  249. dennis g

    maybe this is their chance at a clean slate

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  250. Aluah

    We all know why Haiti can't catch a break, on January 1, 1804 they broke from the French Colony. the french made it so no other country would help them becasue they would not conform to there christian beliefs.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  251. SandraCorsi

    Maybe the "FAT CATS" should send the bonuses !! I'm sure the American people would be happy to pay for this.The people of Haiti need help,now
    Sandi,california

    January 15, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  252. The only liberal in Cave Creek AZ

    "Catch a Break?" This is applying trivial analysis to an unimaginable catastrophe.

    "The farce of a presidents country" [SIC] has had a lot of help getting where it is from the US manipulating their government – not the devil

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  253. Andrea Anderson

    I believe that the people of Haiti, are like the people of the Bible, The children that have suffered so terribly, I know in my heart that God knows exactally what needs to be done, and for the people of Haiti to finally get the help that they so much deserve, the World had to know what situation they were really in. They were considered the lowest of the low and GOD says so the last shall be made first. And their humility in this time of trial is nothing more of the strong spirit of GOD that lives in them. Haiti it is now your time.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  254. Nick from Vancouver British Columbia Canada

    Because the most powerful wealthy country in the world, the U.S.A., chooses to spend billions of dollars a month, being in places where they are not wanted, like Iraq,and Aphganistan. The Americans are trying to change governments and populations that hate them and their ideals, who do not want their help, rather than helping people and a country who would welcome U.S. influence in order to get them on their feet. Who would forever be grateful and give back whatever they could. It is maddening!

    Nick

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  255. Alix Tercius

    The answer is simple...Should we all blame the victim (The people of Haiti) for being rapped over and over or the rapists (The masters) for rapping the victim over and over.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  256. Marie

    Jack,
    Finally the world will see the fraud Aristide was and as for the Black Caucus who used him to their gain- where are they now? Where is Charles Rangel and all of them in helping the people- didn't they convince the world that Aristide was the one who was going to change it all? The break Haiti needs is to finally have a foreign policy doctrine from industrialized nation who understand that returning democracy looks good on paper- no one ever followed up to hold anyone accountable for what was suppose to happen- Haiti has always been treated like a wound- put a little peroxide and make sure no big infection develops- now we have to manage a major crisis of monumental proportion- the break is to make sure Aristide and his crooks never step foot ever again in Haiti.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  257. Ronald Holst

    Jack After hearing What Lush Limbaugh Said yesterday The Question I have Is how come some so undeserving Such As Lush Limbaugh get so many breaks . I guess the answer that's fit both is unfortunately That Is just life, No one said life is fair , But Dose that mean we can fell lucky pat ourselves on the back and turn a blind eye to those in need why because we are so lucky to be born hear in stead of Haiti , I donated 500. 00 To doctors without borders . i am not say that Because I expect a pat on the back or even a thank you , But When i see some one like Limbaugh make a mockery of people trying or wanting to reach out to help others , especially when they like to Brag about how much they have it make me sick . I know this answer went a long way out side of your question asked butt any one in Rush Limbaugh's Status that tell people not to donate to help out the people of Haiti because he is afraid it might help out this President , Has any one ever told him That Obama Live in the White House In Washington . and Not In Haiti this man I use to thinmk was a joke has proved me wrong He is no longer just a joak but Evil through and through Rush but There For The Grase of God Go You .
    Remember that .

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  258. Marie

    Jack,

    Haiti can not catch a break because of the close ties to the Roman Catholic church prevents Haitians from receiving proper information about contraception, which leads to over population. Over-population leads to scarce resources, which leads to competition for those resources which causes severe conflict not only among the citizens, but those in power. Also money being fed to the hands of greedy politicians from the American government indicates approval of the way things are run so politicians feel they are justified in ruling as a dictator and abusing their power. With all of this you have the fact that being black but specifically of African descent means you already don't have a chance in this world.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  259. Marie

    Is Haiti government really honest? What really happened to all those support that they got from those other countries way before the quake? They can't get a break because they don't have rules to follow, no rules to reinforce, no justice. When a parent want a baby to walk, they hold the baby's hand, they don't only tell that baby "walk", they push that baby, they cheer that baby on, they encourage the baby. Sometimes you need to cross your limit if it is for a country's own good. That's what Haiti need so they can get a break. Haiti needs enforcement in a good way. Don't only provide them with the materials, help them.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  260. JeVonte

    Why can't Haiti catch a break? Believe you me, I know the feeling; maybe not to the Haitian extreme, but it has indeed been very difficult for here in these United States; however I would have to lean toward the leadership in Haiti or the lack thereof. The people of a country can only follow where they are led and without a good shepherd the sheep just wander aimlessly. There is no bonding together for a just cause. The Haitian people have been left in an impoverished state due to the lack of real concerned leadership. It is my prayer that something really remarkable comes out of this devastating circumstance for the people of Haiti for their good toward economic empowerment and away from their impoverished hell.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  261. Jean Derissaint

    Pat, The answers is, Haiti, the first country in the western hemisphere to win their independence, was and is ignored by the the great nations especially the USA. Its kind a sad we are 90 miles from the coast of the US. The USA can go to all corners of the world to nation build, but the nation that really needs help being rebuilt is at the foot steps of supposedly the greatest country in the world.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  262. steve from pa

    jack its simple,most of the people there are involved with some form of witch craft and the real God continues to send them warnings like this,but they refused to take heed.America used to have god in their system and we continue to ween him out,look at our jobs,economy,etc going the opposite way,we took him out of schools,off government property,allowing gay marriage we should look at haiti and change.thanks jack i love your show

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  263. Carolyn M. Carnell

    Island Countries like Haiti go unnoticed since it doesn't have resources for other Countries to trade with. My heart goes out to all in Haiti!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  264. Joseph Davids

    What country does not have government corruption? Sweden, Switzerland? Haiti is a perfect example of end stage over population -9 million people on land that would support one million living in dignity. Trees cut for fuel so the soil runs into the ocean. What they have needed is birth control but it is not pc to mention that or that the 100 million we are giving id being borrowed from Chinese communists.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  265. Sherry

    BTW JAck, Has any of the big banking boys donated any bonus money to help in this time of need? NOT-we will see.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  266. dea

    Shane in Boston! These people have work harder in a week than you would in a lifetime!

    The had a corrupt government for decades. they never had a chance.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  267. Alex Jean-Marie

    Jack we can take all the wealth of the US and transfer it to Haiti, but until education become a basic instrument for the nation at large, there won't be a break . Thank you jack

    January 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  268. Matt Simecek

    Why can't Haiti catch a break?...maybe the real question is...does Haitian culture promote education, discipline and a strong commitment to family structure? with these it's only a matter of time until stability takes root and without it, in the global market, they haven't got a chance.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  269. Carl

    The haitians is the only black slave in the world to have a sucessful revolt, and free themselves for the french, their have been punished for that ever since then by the great white power of the world.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  270. Quansa

    People are forgetting this world belongs to a deity with clearly greater powers than mankind can invent until we accept this Haiti nor any other country on Gods Planet will catch a break!

    January 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  271. harvey

    Jack
    My suggestion on the Haiti help from the US. Tell Obama to get general Honoree's boots on the ground. And get the food and water to the people while they still have some resonable control.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  272. Doreen Wright

    The main problem is 200 years of unstable government and being ignored by the world community. This, although very tragic may be the turnaround that Haiti needs. My heart goes out to the people particularly the children.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  273. Alice. NJ

    lack of education. corrupt government. lack of communication. poor living conditions. bad luck? but most importanty. lack of education

    January 15, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  274. Sandra Graves

    Why can't Haiti get a Break? Haiti has been abandoned economically by the Western World since the days of Touisannt L'Overture and the Haitian revolt for independence. No natural resources to steal; no Communism to fight. You can blame Papa Doc but the World let him do it. We go after Fidel, and Adolf, and Osama; why didn't anyone do anything about Papa? The Domincan Republic shares the same island, yet their economy is decades ahead of Haiti; why Sugar. Most of it bought by U.S. candy companies. The disaster in Haiti has been centuries in the making.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  275. Val

    The Haitian people who marched in their streets praising God with their songs have now set the standard for Christians worldwide

    January 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  276. Alex

    The situation in Haiti and many African nations goes to show the failure of all third world development models that have been suggested by World Bank, IMF and other organisations. Illiteracy and lack of basic education are the plague that making it impossible for these country to develop. The hundreds of millions of dollars wasted in different programs should be invested in large scale education programs. That's the only way democracy will stick and development will therefore occur.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  277. Kendra

    The hatian people needs to stop practising voodism and put Jesus Christ first. Voodism is the number one religion in that country, as long as they continue to worship other Gods and not Jesus Christ Haiti will forever be faced with turmoil,

    January 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  278. Joe

    For the the same reason that you can't write an article. Somethings are just not meant to be...

    Nice one Jack... What an important question to ask in the middle of this disaster.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  279. Dinath Rose

    Dear Mr. Caferty

    ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY

    Thank you for your heartfelt-and entirely NAIVE question.
    Why won't the downtrodden HaItian ever catch a break? Just look at our bank "Fat Cats" that testified in Washington, that even after taking trillions of American tax-payers dollars, they still persist in handing out huge bonus to their already wealthy fat cats.

    And this is at the heart of what ails Haiti. For all the trillions of dollars pumped into Haiti, there hasn't been an even slight move upward in the perCentage of the starving, uneducated and sick populace. They have their own "fat-cats" that have been robbing their own people into the abyss. Now this great natural tragedy has pushed the Haitians deeper into the abyss.

    Until there is a coordinated, consistent accounting required for EVERY DOLLAR that a generous world sends to Haiti, the only signs of hope for those tragic people will be their amazing grace in the face of horrific adversity. Their only hope is the sound of sweet voices singing along the devastated avenues.

    Thank you for yours and CNN's hard work. I'm off to my small congregation tonight, and we will send our healing prayers out to the poorest of poor; our neighbors, the Haitians.

    Sincerely,
    Dinath H. Rose

    January 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  280. Al

    I was thinking the same thing, so I did some research on their faith. What I found was that while they have a strong Christian influence, they continue to focus on Voodoo. Our God is a jealous God. God punished his chosen people (the Jews) relentlessly for doing just the same thing. In the end, only He knows, but they sure are getting more than there share of natural disasters. The U.S. could learn a lot from the Haitians. I pray that we do.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  281. Reggie

    Jack, that's good question. It's not about catching a break, if you set yourself for faillure, you will see nothing but faillure. But, if you look how much money the international community gave to haiti, back in the days, and nothing has been done by the government. We should held the goverment accountable. if they were using the money for good purposes, trying to help the people of haiti, and not filling up their pockets, Haiti could have been stronger and somehow, able to survive under this terrible circumstances. If you look right now, the government is no where to be found, and only appeared only once on tv. We should have, other companies, from other country, rebuilt Haiti, and not leave the money in the goverment hands, because they are selfish and too greedy.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  282. nish

    i will tell u why haiti does not get a break, did u see what CNN aired yesterday that and Indian Guru with good looking eye glasses and one woman (haiting american) were saying that EVEN OUR PAST US GOVTS' have been spporting and Aiding the one of the most corrupt Hatian govt!!!?? Instead of WORKING WITH haiting govt and engage in their development we have WORKED FOR them and given them blank checks of billions of dollars that have not reached the people!!! Of coursee these forreign govts do not like to be 2nd to US no matter how dire any situation is when we try to dominate the development OR ANY process. thats where we have to COMPROMISE (where are our deal makers?? ) and build up partnership for the larger common good of all the people!! One Love Jack! u got the best attitude and tone of delivery. keep it up!
    nish pitigala
    American Sri Lankan

    January 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  283. Calvin Osborne

    The Haitians cannot catch a break because they are the only republic in the western hemisphere to win their freedom through slave revolt. Other surrounding nations did not want to deal with them for fear that their slaves would follow suit. The culture of ignoring them has stood for more than 2 centuries now. Hopefully this will change something.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  284. Matt Robertsw

    Corruption in the Haitian government limits the progression of the countries development. In an aria prone to natural disasters Haiti should have a well organization, funded, and adequately equipped emergency response system. However, when a country is a state of political chaos, the outcome of a natural disaster tends to be far more severe. It is sad to see the corruption by a few have such a terrible impact on the many.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  285. Sue Brooke

    Until enough people are educated and STAY in Haiti, the infrastructure will never be able to withstand some of these disasters. Right now people are apparently getting ready to riot. Maybe more educated people would realize how difficult it is to provide aid. Of course the world is in sympathy. There would be more local doctors if more people were educated. Just providing food forever will not change a nation.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  286. Michael, Key West

    As strange as it may seem I think Haiti just got it's first real break.
    This tragedy has the whole world reacting in a positive way. We will finally see president Clinton's program that he was just getting implemented take off. Unlike Bush with Darfur and even Clinton with Rowanda Obama is not just talking about helping Haiti but he's putting his (our) money where his mouth is and committing $100 million to this effort.
    On top of this the American people are sending millions more. I think that this should have been done in New Orleans with Katrina but some how it never happened.
    In spite of the current economics in the US, Americans are pouring their hearts out to the Haitians. It makes me proud that our president is showing the leadership and guts to make this commitment .
    With $100 monthly cell phone bills and $100 monthly cable bills we Americans are so wealthy it seems crazy and selfish not to help our neighbors.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  287. DRod

    the majority of the country is steeped in voodoo
    maybe that's due to the horrible conditions, don't know
    hopefully they will turn to God and start honoring Him

    January 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  288. P.C

    The reason Hati doesnt get a break is because they have no bargining chips. No natural resources, No army, No infastructer, No goverment No industry, No law....I could keep going on with the No's but Jack you can finish it up for me .

    January 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  289. Ken Allen

    I think that the main reason that Haiti can't catch a break is because of widespread corruption within their country. It is apparently one of the top 10 most corrupt countries on the planet. If corruption wasn't so wide spread there then perhaps all of the foreign aid that has been pumped into the country over the years would have made some significant improvement in their situation and made them better able to deal with this catastrophe. However, even if conditions had been significantly better in Haiti before this earthquake struck, an earthquake of this magnitude in a major metropolitan area would require an international response to deal with it. It is heart warming to see the level of response from all around the world.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  290. Ramon

    What Haiti needs is a spiritual revival. The Bible says that: there is a path that seem right but it leads to destruction. The world continues to help Haiti with monetary and all kinds of aid, but the country will continue to suffer from lack. The Word of the Lord has one simple and uplifting good news for us, it says - 'if my people will turn to me, I will save them.' Now is time for the people of Haiti to allow God to save them.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  291. carline from miami

    the government is so manipulative all they do is messed up the mind of the people by using their money for they own purpose and they make them beleive that the U.S just want to take their country away from them and they don't want to help. As a citizen of haiti i know what i'm talking about and i know what happend is a catastrophy but i also beleive its God's way of helping he's people. I don't trust the government at any point. they don't introduce education to the minorities because they know that they eyes might be open some day.As for the former president Aristide or Preval someone needs to question them and make sure they pay for all this non human act.... please President Obama help my country and the people the Lord will bless you and this nation even more and someday we will have someone like you in our country that feels for its people. As of right now we got hope may the name of the Almighty be praise among all country and among all race.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  292. David

    Simple answer – because the Haitians have failed to take responsibility for their own future and plot in life. No amount of foreign aid will make up for this fault. It's a safe bet that the US will poor hundreds of millions (probably billions) in aid into Haiti in the coming months and an equally safe bet that after a few years of this kind of attention, the average Haitian will still be living at the same level of poverty they are in right now. I challenge anyone to disprove this during the next 5 years. Ways out? Education, hardwork, stop waiting on a hand-out – government is not the answer. Smaller things that will help? Stop having so many babies – follow China's one child rule.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  293. Diann Smith

    My daughter, Jessica, was a volunteer at New Testament Mission north of Port-au-Prince when the quake hit. She is now safe in the Dominican but tells how her 'Haitian friends' were comforting her and concerned for her safety when they had no word on their own loved ones in Port-au-Prince. Although the Haitians live in extreme poverty, they are filled with love and compassion for others and the smallest things bring smiles to their faces. We, the more fortunate, all need to help. We cannot forgot these people even a year from now.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  294. Nancy McMahon

    Re:Haiti-Break. . . What has happened (earthquake, aftershocks), is devastating. Nothing can take that away. Yet, to borrow (and, possibly paraphrase) a phrase, "The meek shall inherit the earth". By their obvious great faith, in spite of their circumstances of daily life, God is helping them now by the abundant resources of the rest of the world. . . .

    January 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  295. Justin, Concord, NC

    Because, their past has put them in such dire conditions, and without a stable, honest government, breaks will be hard to come by these days. But GOD is good, and he'll turn a mess into a "miracle". Watch and see Jack.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  296. RUBEN

    As a haitian living in US i have nothing to say but praising the american people for being so compasionate.I am so grateful to cnn team for bringing our misery to world.Our country will never get better until country like USA don't pressure on weak ledership which being establish.The haitian leaders are wicked and sometimes incompetent.They do not want haitians to be educated, so they can always mislead them.Taking a break that we all wish,but when?

    January 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  297. Pascale

    I don't know why Haiti can't catch a break, but no matter how resilient, persevering, dogged and eternally wanting the people are, the fact of the matter is that most of the problems Haiti has are man-made. Education of the masses seems to be the missing factor in the building of this particular nation. Those with education have either left, been persecuted or use what they know to the detriment of the country. Those who are left behind can't afford the education and fall further behind the curve. No one knows when Mother Nature will wax vengeful on Haiti (again), but if the people were not amidst those who are corrupt, greedy and seem to find the means to rise to power and thus further bring the country down, then maybe Haiti would have a fighting chance, be more organized and use what they know to build up the country rather than to live in squalor at the lowest denominator, earning the moniker of being "the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere" when it used to be the Pearl of the Antilles.

    Pascale
    Brooklyn. NY

    January 15, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  298. Marvin Lee-Arcadia, California

    Haiti experienced political corruption for many years. Therefore, money is not being directed to the well-deserving Haitian society that can fix weathering roads, build schools and hospitals, and provide a bureaucratic structure with the ability to retain records. With poor infrastructure already in place, there was no way for Haiti to recuperate from hurricanes in the past and without foreign aid, recuperation will be very difficult after this earthquake rescue operation.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  299. mike

    i was just watching a report on CNN when i heard that they needed to move the temporary hosipal tents from an area because of possible rioting. why can't they just secure the area with the troops that are on the ground, If someone tries to breach the area just shoot them. end of story. i think the people and rescue workers have more important things to worry about then a few criminals trying to disrupt the most trying times of the countries existance.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  300. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    If we knew the answer to that, Jack, maybe we could change it. I think it's complicated on many levels.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
  301. Rudy Garcia

    why can't they catch a break?......I do not know...awful things always
    seem to happen to poor people all over the world. Is foreign aid the
    answer ?....I do not think so...can you think of any country that we give
    foreign aid to that does not have a corrupt government? AND WE
    CAN'T AFFORD HEALTHCARE???????

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  302. Ruben

    I think the government system of Haiti should be eliminated and an international team including some Haitians should be established to care for and rebuild the country. During that time, the people will learn how to lead and care for their country.

    Ruben

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  303. Richard

    The reason they cant catch a break is because they have never been forced to stand on their own. Some country has always been there to support them. Until they learn to survive on their own they will be the worlds largest welfare state.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  304. Christine

    I have been to Haiti 3 times. The people were warm and gentle. There was a 12 year lapse between my 2nd and 3rd visits. I have great compassion for the people of Haiti. However, on my last visit I was astounded by the population growth. It seemed that the population had doubled in 12 years. In truth I do not believe that any amount of aid can reduce the poverty in the country unless the population growth rate can be reduced to equal the level of job creation in the country.

    Despite our compassion and well meaning efforts, we must help the Haitian people develop a realistic plan to move them out of poverty.

    Chris

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  305. Jackimo

    Why Cnt Haiti Ctch a Brk? Now it the time for the Break...this is the wake up call for those few who want to move the country forward. Look around the capital and see what type of building went down; the palace where lots of malefic stuff happen, the ministry where a bunch of corrupted officials just fill their pocket instead of helping the people, the tax office(contribution) where all the money collected end up in the officials pockets , the cathedral where those men of god were just as corrupted as the laymans. This is the sign to renew Haiti to make it again (La perle des Antilles) Hopefully thoses corrupted are gone .

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  306. mondo

    Im reading a lot about this being Haiti's fault. Although I do beleive in personal responsibility and people have to be able to help themselves first, I have to mention the country has been playing from a disadvantage since its independence. Haiti was forced to pay France for it freedom in the 1700s. At that time the nation was very young and could not afford it so it borrowed money from the France and the United States as well as other countries at high interst rates. By the the 1900s 80% of its national budget was going to paying off these loans. In fact they didnt finish paying off the debt until the 1940s. That coupled with corrupt leaders is a recipe for disaster. Maybe they dont have a modernized infrastructure because they were too busy helping fund ours.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  307. Dig

    Eureka California suffered a 6.9 earthquake over the weekend and hardly got
    any attention.

    Haiti hit's 7.0 and all the houses collapse.

    Why can't they catch a break? THEY DON"T USE REBAR

    January 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  308. chris from maryland

    It's unfortunate for the innocent ones to suffer and die like this but Haitians needs to let go of vodoism and depend on god almighty to take care of them.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  309. Terry

    please obama dont give a currupt government like haiti 100 million dollars we will have too get a new government in haiti. the people have been tru alot of pain over the years of that currupt place. obama like u said it is time for change and the time for the haitian is now.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  310. Lenny

    It's not about catching a break. No one, no one should have to go through what Haiti is going through. The issue is preparedness. If the United States had trouble with Hurricane Katrina how could a country like Haiti, with the poor government they have, possibly have any hope of helping it's own citizens. Haiti is not alone, it is the same with all third world countries where government leaders are more concerned with their own wealth and power than the good of the people.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  311. Robert

    The third world corruption is the main problem in Haiti, not natural disasters. Sad, but their own people don't have a system in place to save their own people.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  312. Bernie Skeen

    Interesting to me that it takes a crises like this in Haiti to shake people up, and they immediately start sending money for assistance. Wouldn't it be nice if we would send money and assistance to these types of peoples BEFORE tragedies strike. Maybe if this were the case, it would save some lives.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  313. Phil

    Haiti will never catch a break. It's too far gone and has been for decades. Let's be honest; Haiti is hopeless.

    January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  314. Mary Armesto

    Jack,
    This should be a wake up call for the world. We should rethink our stance on putting so much money into war and putting more money into peace. We continue to battle against Mother Nature and Mother Nature has no prejudices, shows no racism, and shows no mercy.

    If we spent more money into a National Guard that stands ready to provide relief for disaster assistance not only in our own nation but also internationally, wouldn't it be uplifting and hopeful to see them show up within 24 hours of a disaster? I would be happy to PAY to see that.

    Mary from Austin, Texas

    January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  315. Robyn

    Haiti is a god fearing nation and their faith is being tested as will all of ours one day. The thing that really gets me is that the States is offering help but with terms. Everyone keeps saying that the Haitain Government is corrupt, but isn't the states government just as corrupt when they seek to gain from others horrors?

    January 15, 2010 at 6:56 pm |