Haiti was a disaster well before the earthquake destroyed what little there was on the island was destroyed by the earthquake.
All efforts at the moment are centered on getting aid to the island. I think at some point serious thought needs to be given to the idea of getting as much of the population off the island as possible.
Other than that, a serious rethink of what to do about Haiti is needed. Perhaps the US should take control of the country. The Government was and is broken and the population pays the price for that, without any ability to fix it and improve their fate. Making the country a colony of the US is probably better for the population than trying to prop back up the current Government there.
Throwing money at the country is not going to make the population less poor or improve their quality of life much. If this had happened in the US, we would work hard to get evacuated. Given that we call them our neighbors, why should the people of Haiti receive any less compassion?
Yes, making these comments are easy. Turning them into action is a whole other issue. That said, someone has to throw the ideas out there first. Evacuation might not be a practical answer, but importing US control very well might be.
Update: 15 January 2010
Drudge is now reporting that Haitians are being told that they can't evacuate.
This is just plain stupid. You can't evacuate everyone, but every plane and ship coming to aid the country is arriving full and departing empty. How about filling them up with those who need medical aid as well as families with children. Yes this will cause problems where they are dropped off, but they can be distributed and it will surely help relieve the pressure in Haiti itself.
Update: 16 January 2010
Seems that some voices of sanity are starting to be heard. This is a good step:
This is a good start. However, measures should be taken to drastically improve the quality of life for all Haitians. Hugh Hewitt is another one calling to bring Haitians to the US, having the same idea of airlifting those most in need to the US:
"Operation Pierre Pan," as its being called, is an effort to relocate the thousands of children likely orphaned by the natural disaster in Port-au-Prince. Many of the children could already have relatives in Miami and around the U.S.
A similar effort occurred decades ago when "Operation Pedro Pan" was launched to help the children of Cuba during the political upheaval in that island neighbor. Some 14,000 children were relocated to the United States, many of them settling in South Florida.
While advocates mobilize for a push to help find the children new families if not reunite them with stateside relatives, there are several hurdles that need to be overcome.
The movement would need the approval of the U.S. government to at the very least grant the orphans temporary status in the country. - NBC Miami
The idea I put forward below of an immediate, ongoing and large airlift of injured Haitians to hospitals across the U.S. has generated some negative responses. But it still seems much more sensible to me than trying to airlift in all the medical supplies and professionals necessary to save lives in the country. Rather than trying to take a functioning, modern medical system to the Haitians who need it, why not simply stabilize and bring the seriously hurt Haitians to the functioning, modern medical system we already have a relatively short plane ride away.Send a C-130 full of patients to New York, then one to Boston, then one to Cleveland, then to Detroit etc. The local medical communities could figure out how to distribute the patients and the efficient use of the relief assistance would be guaranteed. - Hugh Hewitt
One thing that you can do is donate a couple bucks to the Red Cross. It takes only a couple minutes and the nice thing is that most everyone can find an amount that they are not going to miss. Really, you are not going to miss $10, maybe $25 or even more. Using this reasoning we ended up donating twice as much as we initially planned.