Here’s the clearest, best statement in a long time about why it’s wrong to send “humanitarian assistance” to dictatorships:

Interestingly, the [aid] “strategies” being considered appear to bypass the government in finding ways to “provide humanitarian and development support” to Haiti. But Dr. Robert Rodney, a politically active physician in New York, asserts that “the Haitian problem is essentially political and any plan that would attempt to deal with the people’s suffering while leaving Aristide in power is doomed to failure.” He says that Mr. Aristide will invent ways to siphon off any aid to the people by his “chimeras” or thugs and by blocking what his organizations can’t control. [Raymond Joseph, New York Sun, 3/14/03]

What Dr. Rodney doesn’t say, but implies, is that the sending of “humanitarian assistance” is essentially an evasion. It allows Western bleeding hearts to feel like they’re “doing something” and so assuage their altruistic guilt, without actually identifying and doing something about the cause of the problem. Identifying causes requires abstract thinking, moral judgment, and a repudiation of the idea that good things come by wishing them into existence. Following that path leads to abandoning the politics of collectivism and its underlying code of altruism. But our humanitarians are hardly willing to do that.

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