I have been following the news from Chile mostly from an inability to look away. This morning, the official number of displaced persons went up a half-million just in the time it took me to refresh the New York Times homepage. There are times when I wish I were the type who prays, since then I would have something better to do than comb human tragedy for teachable moments.
But I cannot resist. I wonder, for example, if Pat Buchanan is going to blame this quake on Chile having made a pact with Satan. I’m curious: will American religious zealots try to smuggle some Chilean not-orphans into Argentina? Are media images from Chile going to show us only helpless children and dangerous, looting men, with nothing in between? And is Oxford mega-academic Paul Collier going to call for reconstruction in Chile to be led by an outside dictatorship with Bill Clinton at the helm? I can’t say I’ll be holding my breath.
A magnitude 8.8 terramoto in Chile kills hundreds; a magnitude 7.0 quake in Haiti kills hundreds of thousands. And we still actually call these things natural disasters?
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Jukebox: Propagandhi – Natural Disasters