Fri Oct 21 20:41:13 CAT 2016

US newspaper's dangerous view

By unknown | Jan 22, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

AS THE tragedy of earthquake in Haiti was deepening and more people perishing, theWashington Times had the audacity to publish an insensitive editorial on January 15 2010. It essentially sought to discourage the mobilisation of financial resources for the desperate rescue missions in Haiti.

This it did by making a weak but dangerous analysis of Haiti's complex political dynamics with regards to issues of poverty, poor governance and corruption. It pointed accusatory fingers at the ruling elite: "They are treating poor people worse than animals while embezzling donated funds."

And its punchline: "Rushing large sums of money to a location (Haiti) with a history of corruption and few mechanisms for accountability invites massive waste and fraud."

For the newspaper to blatantly seek to demoralise and cripple noble international relief and desperate rescue efforts for political expediency is extremely tasteless and borders on unethical journalism.

All over the world, international relief money and donor funding is rarely put in the hands of troubled host governments. Funds are managed entirely by international aid organisations including the UN, to ensure that it is used strictly for the purposes it was intended.

I'm not denying governance problems , but the editorial is opportunistic and insensitive in using a horrific tragedy to play blame-game and make sweeping accusations that are devoid of the political context of Haiti's domestic challenges.

Thami Dickson, Port Elizabeth


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