You have to wonder why the poor Haitian people have been singled out for so much tribulation over the centuries.
There's their history of slavery, the yoke of which they threw off in revolution. More recently they have been the victims of the brutal kleptocracy of the Docs--Papa and Baby--in which many thousands died at the hands of their own brothers.
Because there is not enough fuel, they denude their land of forests for charcoal, which opens the country up to the depredations of another, more capricious scourge--periodic hurricanes that result in fatal mudslides because there is no vegetation left to hold the soil in place.
Hunger, poverty, crime, lack of education--these are but some of the problems that the Haitians must live with on a daily basis. These alone would be more than any American would be willing to bear as an abiding reality of life, but then along comes an earthquake that would be devastating even for a place like California, with its strict building codes.
Haiti is the recipient of humanitarian aid, but it is never enough. The world community, in spite of its economic turmoil, can and must do more than corral and return Haitians who attempt to escape their blighted land in boats. Until we do enough to finally provide this star-crossed country with a solid foundation, Haitians will never have a chance to improve their own lot.
Maybe this earthquake will be the catalyst for such an effort.