Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has made relief and reconstruction for Haiti a major cause for his government, will travel to the earthquake-ravaged nation on Monday to see the recovery efforts firsthand.
His visit comes as international efforts to aid Haiti, still struggling to provide basics like food and shelter and sweep rubble from roads, increasingly look ahead to the task of rebuilding the poorest nation in the Americas almost from scratch.
The KEY line:
Mr. Harper will not be the first foreign leader to visit Haiti since the earthquake
Why will Harper be the first? Probably because this human tragedy doesn't lend itself to taking PEOPLE from the field to CO-ORDINATE and PROTECT a foreign delegation of this scale. I'm curious how many soldiers have spent the last few days wasting time preparing for Harper's visit? I'd like to know the cost of said visit, and WONDER ALOUD if this money isn't better allocated? I'm watching with interest to see how many ground commanders and personnel are removed from their important work so Harper can express his concern and TOUR the devastation?
This is the kind of trip that nobody in the media dares question, we are supposed to just assume the best and the coverage will be mild to overtly positive. That sentiment doesn't detract from the inherent truth surrounding this trip- it's a political calculation, that sees opportunity in the face of tragedy.
The rest of the world's politicos aren't rushing to Haiti, everybody appreciates the challenge, there is no need for "first hand" viewing. Nobody needs to see Harper lavishing praise on the "brave men and women", speaking to a few token refugees, basically being his awkward, socially challenged self, trying to look the concerned world citizen. I'm sure he'll be humbled, sobered, somber, patriotic and resolute. I'm also sure that the true reason for his visit will have nothing to do with anything presented while there. That's a fact jack.