Haiti and the Mouse that Roared

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Haiti and the Mouse that Roared

Do you remem­ber the movie The Mouse that Roared? It was about a coun­try that decided that the best way to get itself into shape was to be taken over by the US after being defeated in “war” (unfor­tu­nately things get mucked for them as they acci­den­tally win).

Appar­ently they haven’t much left in Haiti but they know real­ity when they see it

The needs are extra­or­di­nary, and the com­mon refrain is that the Amer­i­cans will provide.

I want the Amer­i­cans to take over the coun­try. The Hait­ian gov­ern­ment can’t do any­thing for us,” said Jean-​Louis Gef­frard, a laborer who lives under a tarp in the crowded square. “When we tell the gov­ern­ment we’re hun­gry, the gov­ern­ment says, ‘We’re hun­gry, too.’ ”

Code pink, Inter­na­tional Answer, Hugo Chavez and the late Howard Zinn not with­stand­ing peo­ple under­stand what Amer­ica is and what it means. They haven’t read Eject-​Eject-​Eject but they know when they are starv­ing and hun­gry and des­per­ate who will help them and who exploits them. As C.S. Lewis said (and as I’ve quoted before)

The char­ac­ter­is­tic of Pains and Plea­sures is that they are unmis­tak­ably real, and there­fore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touch­stone of real­ity. Thus if you had been try­ing to damn your man by the Roman­tic method — by mak­ing him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther sub­merged in self-​pity for imag­i­nary dis­tresses — you would try to pro­tect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five min­utes’ gen­uine toothache would reveal the roman­tic sor­rows for the non­sense they were

Rhetoric doesn’t trump real­ity when you are starving.

Update: Amer­i­can Glob reminds us that the HuffPo should be on that list too.

Update 2: Add voodoo priests to the doubter list above.

Do you remember the movie The Mouse that Roared? It was about a country that decided that the best way to get itself into shape was to be taken over by the US after being defeated in “war” (unfortunately things get mucked for them as they accidentally win).

Apparently they haven’t much left in Haiti but they know reality when they see it

The needs are extraordinary, and the common refrain is that the Americans will provide.

“I want the Americans to take over the country. The Haitian government can’t do anything for us,” said Jean-Louis Geffrard, a laborer who lives under a tarp in the crowded square. “When we tell the government we’re hungry, the government says, ‘We’re hungry, too.’ ”

Code pink, International Answer, Hugo Chavez and the late Howard Zinn not withstanding people understand what America is and what it means. They haven’t read Eject-Eject-Eject but they know when they are starving and hungry and desperate who will help them and who exploits them. As C.S. Lewis said (and as I’ve quoted before)

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method—by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses—you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were

Rhetoric doesn’t trump reality when you are starving.

Update: American Glob reminds us that the HuffPo should be on that list too.

Update 2: Add voodoo priests to the doubter list above.