In case it isn’t obvious, I’ve had some trouble writing about Haiti. Much of what I could possibly say goes without saying, and I don’t feel the urge to add my own version of what everyone is feeling while reading and watching the coverage of this terrible, unfolding tragedy. The scale of the human suffering is staggering. As always, I’m struck by how this natural disaster is exacerbated by so many man-made disasters. And as always, I’m struck by the range of human reactions — from the solidarity and heroism of the rescuers, to the violence and predatory behavior that seem to be making their first appearances.

Something tells me this is but the opening chapter — or, perhaps more accurately, the re-opening chapter — of what will prove to be a long episode in the history of America’s involvement with Haiti. And I can’t help but think that Haiti might have had a more functional infrastructure with which to respond to this disaster, had it only had the foresight to threaten America with a terrorist attack or two sometime in the past 10 years.