Haiti gives a chance to America and the rest of the world

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Moscow. (RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev) - A three-minute tremor in Haiti was sufficient to create a new international situation for the United States and the rest of the world. By adopting a smart policy towards Haiti America can win back its positions, compensate for all its failures (Iraq and Afghanistan), reverse the anti-American attitudes, and regain its status of a superpower.

Moscow. (RIA Novosti political commentator Dmitry Kosyrev) - A three-minute tremor in Haiti was sufficient to create a new international situation for the United States and the rest of the world. By adopting a smart policy towards Haiti America can win back its positions, compensate for all its failures (Iraq and Afghanistan), reverse the anti-American attitudes, and regain its status of a superpower.

Washington is obviously aware of this. Last week U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton interrupted her Pacific trip and returned home. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and two former presidents from different parties - Bill Clinton and George W. Bush - have joined the efforts to save Haiti. Apparently, these efforts will not be limited to rescue flights to the disaster area. President Barack Obama got it right. If America saves not only a thousand lives but a de facto destroyed country, it will restore its international reputation.

This is a huge task. Haiti is like Afghanistan or Somalia. As a state it exists only formally and governs a limited territory. Strictly speaking, nobody knows what to do with such failure states. Europeans, for instance, are doing all they can to avoid military involvement in Afghan affairs. As for Somalia, the outside world has imposed maritime quarantine there, albeit not very successfully, but does not want to interfere in its affairs beyond the coastal line.

Now imagine if Afghanistan or Somalia are struck by a natural disaster, which will kill about 100,000 people and five times more in a week. It is not possible to stay away. This is what the situation in Haiti is like. There are no authorities (its government is located on a semi-destroyed police station on the airport's outskirts), no communications, no fuel... The country has virtually ceased to exist even in its former shape.

There are no precedents with a possible exception of the tsunami in December 2004, which took 160,000 lives in Indonesia's Aceh province. Indonesia and its authorities are not the most effective in the world but a multi-national rescue operation was a success. It even put an end to the local separatist movement.

This is what Haiti needs today - not only help with saving lives but also complete resetting of its deadlocked state and society. This would be a good example for Somalia, Afghanistan and some other countries.

But how can this be done in a country with 7.8 million people? Democratic elections will not work in this case. The UN Trusteeship Council, which has done almost nothing in the past few years, could suspend Haiti's sovereignty for two or three years.

However, judging by the first signs, America is losing its chance. Everything started out well. Like in Indonesia in 2004, American warships were the first to act. In Russia almost everyone has quoted Fox News, which was flushed with America's grandeur and lashed out at Russia and China for not helping as much as the United States. But this is only natural because the earthquake took place 700 miles off America's shores. When Spitak in Armenia was hit by an earthquake, Russia was the first to help and America followed suit.

Now the problem is how to prevent new refugees from Haiti from arriving in the United States? Washington at least decided not to deport 100,000 or 200,000 illegal immigrants from Haiti who have been in the United States for a long time and were ready for deportation.

A conflict has already flared up with France. Ostensibly the American military have occupied the airport in Port-au-Prince and do not allow aircraft from other countries to land in the capital. The U.S. favorite "special force" style, which is quite appropriate under the circumstances, is creating problems for the United States, all the more so since Americans have long fallen out of favor in Haiti.

Will it come to shootouts in the streets? Maybe the United States should let France take the lead in helping the French-speaking population of Haiti? There are numerous issues and resolving any of them may become a major precedent in the future.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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