How can I not blog when–

140 of our neighbors in Haiti have now certifiedly died of cholera, and hundreds of thousands of Haitians also badly affected by last December’s earthquakes are also threatened by it.
And it is not the case that cholera has been “endemic” in Haiti at all, any time in recallable history. This is the first cholera epidemic in the country for a century, the specialists are saying. This is the revisitation of a scourge of the distant past.
I ache for Haiti’s people, and for what the return of this scourge tells us about the broader backward-marching trajectory their country has been taking throughout all the recent decades– decades in which the U.S. has been economically and politically dominant throughout the whole of this region (except in Cuba.)
Haiti is a tragic society in its own right. But for us U.S. citizens it is also a mirror in which we can look, and that tells us a lot about ourselves and our country’s often woefully misguided priorities.
The map accessible through this page on Reliefnet indicates that St. Marc, the epicenter of the epidemic, is some way away from the vast tent encampments that have proliferated around the capital, Port-au-Prince, since the earthquake. But who knows where it will travel to next? The physical and political infrastructure of the whole country has still done little to recover from the quake.
I don’t like to point fingers at a time like this. But Bill Clinton is supposed to be a special U.N envoy for Haitian reconstruction. Maybe he should have been spending more time doing that more effectively and less time running around the U.S. making snarky political comments about Pres. Obama?
Main point, though. Everyone needs to work hard to save lives in Haiti, now. By and large this does not mean shipping a few photogenic Haitian babies out of the country to be adopted by U.S. families. It means rebuilding Haitian families and their livelihoods and social-political infrastructure.