January 16, 2010
Follow me on Twitter


TPM was the first to say it: whether we like it or not, Haiti is now an American protectorate.

As of today, for all practical purposes, Haiti is an American Protectorate. Its own government, to the extent it ever functioned, has now collapsed. Its major city has been leveled, along with most of the institutions of the state and of civil society. Other states and international institutions will contribute aid and resources. Perhaps the UN will expand its current mission in the nation, and assume formal responsibility. But the only nation capable of keeping Haiti from absolute collapse is the United States. Irrespective of the bodies through which we choose to work, the responsibility is ultimately ours.

We might assume the responsibility informally, we might assume it under the guise of a UN mandate, we might do any number of things. But we’re responsible: we can do it, and it needs to be done, and there’s nobody else. Time to get to work. Bear any burden, pay any price. It’s already begun:

“Prime Minister (Jean-Max) Bellerive signed a memorandum of understanding granting airport control to the United States,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told a briefing.