My Townhall.com column points to the connections between America’s massive dispatch of help to Haiti and the vote Tuesday in Massachusetts. Tens of millions of Americans want a country strong enough to bring order out of chaos, rich enough to fund such avast project, and compassionate enough to do so without a thought, Hundreds of thousands of Americans voted for Scott Brown on Tuesday because his the sort of common sense confidence in democratic capitalism that support those three deeply interconnected desires. No vibrant, private sector capitalism, no wealth from which great relief projects can flow. No wealth, no tax base on which to fund the Navy to carry and the Army and Marines to distribute the aid and establish the order.
Which brings me to the president’s need for another czar –this one to direct Haitian relief, the assistance given to the Haitians to re-establish civilian order, and to oversee and ok when necessary and right the transfer of Haitians to the United States, as in the case of Haitian orphans, especially those in need of urgent medical assistance. Presidents Bush and Clinton are leading the global effort to raise money, but a day-to-day authority is needed, one often on the island, and one with the courage to take actions like allowing for large numbers of Haitian children to be brought to the U.S. for quick adoption.
It would help if the president reached across the aisle on such an appointment, say to former Florida governor Jeb Bush or former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. Without an advocate who demands and receives broad authority to act to alleviate suffering and to assist the re-emergence of Haitian authority, the impact of all of America’s aid will be misdirected and the Haitians who ought to get to the U.S, will not.
This is the sort of role that Peter Uebberoth played in Los Angeles after the Los Angeles riots of 1992, but he never received the authority he needed to fully accomplish the job, which ought to have included czar-like authority with regards to land use and transportation rebuilding. It is the sort of authority that Paul Bremer had in the first year of the Iraq occupation, but the insurgency destroyed the ability to build on the ruins of Saddam’s tyranny.
A good hearted, thoroughly ethical, charismatic leader with ample authority on aid for rebuilding and over immigration from the island to the U.S. is urgently needed. The president has been quick to name czars –far too many of them in fact. This is the opportunity to appoint one with bipartisan support.
On the subject of Haitian relief, The USNS Comfort has begun to use Twitter to alert the world of its mission. Just search out @usnscomfort via search.twitter.com or check its thread here. I will ask the users of #hhrs to publicize the ship’s tweets as well.