In the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake disaster we are going to be hearing quite a bit about the efforts of the so-called "international community." Every time I hear or read that phrase it makes me laugh. The word "community" tends to conjure up a vision of people bound by common interests and goals, working side-by-side for the greater good. You might think of a town, where leaders and other townspeople come together and try to work out problems, maybe at a townhall meeting. Sure there are disagreements, factions, and sharply different views of policy, but everyone is in the same boat more or less. The overall goal is to improve the town.
But the international community is sort of like a town where half the people at the townhall meeting are murders, rapists, thieves, gang members and beggars. But for some reason the good citizens pretend that these criminals are equal members of the community who should be listened to, placed on town committees, and treated with respect. The very idea of an international community is a bad joke.