Haiti: WTF?

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So it looks like the US is about to help remove another democratically elected figure from a third world country and, as usual, nobody seems to be giving a sweet shit about any of it.

Discuss.

maypang (maypang), Sunday, 22 February 2004 06:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Some essential background reading.

@d@ml (nordicskilla), Sunday, 22 February 2004 07:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

maypang - do you have any basis for your statement above or are you woefully misinformed? Some background...

Aristide was elected President in a landslide in December 1990 in the first election following the collapse of the dictatorial Duvalier regime, which had ruled from at least 1964 (since 1957 more democratically) to 1986. He was the only viable candidate, having developed a large personality cult through years of political dissent and preaching liberation theology. His rule was democratic compared to what preceded him. In September 1991, he was overthrown in a coup and replaced by a military junta that ruled until 1994. In the interim, Aristide lived in the US and 40,000 Haitian refugees escaped to the US. In 1994, the US helped restore Aristide to power by threatening to invade and overthrow the junta after the UN approved intervention. On retaking office, he purged the military of opponents (and graduates of the School of the Americas). In 1996, he stepped down, barred from serving a second consecutive term. He was replaced by an ally. In the interim, he formed a new party that won legislative elections in 2000 in which the vote-counting methods were objected to by the opposition. He was elected President again in 2000 with 92% of the vote. The election was boycotted by most opposition parties who claimed they had no fair chance. The largest of the opposition parties formed a shadow government. When the opposition rejected Aristide's governmental reform proposal that did not include opposition members in the vote-counting body, Aristide tried to arrest the head of the shadow government. The parties continued to negotiate unsuccessfully through 2001 and 2002, while the economy declined. This apparently prevented legislative elections from being held in late 2003, such that the legislature essentially became inoperative and Aristide, still in office, began to rule by decree.The US, with the EU, France, Canada and a number of other countries and organizations have attempted to negotiate peace between Aristide and the opposition, coming up with a plan that establishes new political institutions and broadens rights of dissent. Aristide promises to hold elections within the next several months. But the opposition rejects the international peace plan and Aristide's election proposal, demanding that he step down before the end of his term. The rebels launched a major offensive at the beginning of February, taking the country's fourth-largest city. The US sent troops to observe the situation and protect the 20,000 US citizens in Haiti. At this moment, the rebels are reportedly attempting to take the second-largest city in the nation, taking the airport and attempting to commandeer a plane.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 17:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I could conceive a possibility that we're aiding the rebels, but do you have any evidence of this? If it were true, what would the motive be? While Aristide may be democratically-elected, there is clearly violent popular opposition to him. And perhaps with good reason.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 17:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

While Aristide may be democratically-elected, there is clearly violent popular opposition to him. And perhaps with good reason.

But who is going to take over if Aristide is deposed? The Cannibal Army? Aristide has been a huge disapointment, but there's no one in position to replace him. He's agreed to make a number of compromises, but the rebels have refused to accept them.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 22 February 2004 18:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm the misinformed one here, it seems. Apologies to maypang. Apparently, Republicans fund the opposition parties.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 18:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If the Repubs are involved, it may be that it's not just "anti-communism" but also Florida electoral politics.

But again, many of us prefer that the actions of the Bush administration not be referred to as actions of the U.S.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 19:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

i remember being really impressed with aristide back in 1994. i find all of this REALLY funny, timing and all.

Eisbär (llamasfur), Sunday, 22 February 2004 20:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If it were true, what would the motive be? While Aristide may be democratically-elected, there is clearly violent popular opposition to him.

there is violent oppostition to Aristide, but I don't think it can be readily demonstrated that the opposition is *popular*, in the sense of being supported by a majority of Haitians. That's not to say it isn't, necessarily.

Presidential political systems SuXoR.

DV (dirtyvicar), Sunday, 22 February 2004 20:59 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think it can be readily demonstrated that the opposition is *popular*, in the sense of being supported by a majority of Haitians

which is why I didn't use the word "majoritarian" but rather the word "popular," referring to the people.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 21:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Did the US (administration) really want Aristide in power in the first place? I dunno.. I can't remember what exactly happened back then, but it from what I recall it seemed as though the US was quite opposed to the idea of having him in power, and as per usual would prefered to have had a military junta calling the shots down there instead of some priest. The fact that these people involved in this current "uprising" are now being called "rebels" and not "terrorists" should tell us something too, shouldn't it? And yes, I probably should research this more, but the whole thing appears rather dodgy to me-- another case of "regime change" that probably has more to do with securing US interests in the region than giving the people what they want/need.

maypang (maypang), Sunday, 22 February 2004 22:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Why does America feel that it is morally justified to interfere in the internal politics of foreign countries? Yanks go home!

run it off (run it off), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Who is "the US (administration)" and whose side, if any, are they on now? When Bush 1 was in power, "the US (administration)" practiced benign neglect (maybe more, though i haven't read about it) with respect to the coup. when Clinton became President, "the US (administration)" restored Aristide to power, although this was arguably motivated by the refugee situation. now that Bush 2 is the President, republican-financed rebels (Aristide is calling them terrorists, as US media sources are reporting) are building upon at least some popular discontent with Aristide to try to force him to step down, while the US as a matter of formal policy is trying to negotiate, with other members of the international community, between Aristide and the rebels to keep Aristide in power. Perhaps you could work from the facts rather than from apparent anti-Americanism?

xpost: I dunno, why does France feel the same way in this case?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

France has had a pretty awful Imperialist attitude for centuries. I'd send them home too!

run it off (run it off), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I had some Haitian kids at my highschool, and they were crazy. Sometimes someone would pick on them or something, and they'd promptly beat their ass. Those Haitians can throw hands.

Spinktron 2000 (El Spinktor), Sunday, 22 February 2004 23:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And yes, I probably should research this more, but the whole thing appears rather dodgy to me-- another case of "regime change" that probably has more to do with securing US interests in the region than giving the people what they want/need.

But how would the U.S. benefit by losing Aristide? The Haitian embargo is based on refusing to allow Haitian government to evovle slowly and stubbornly demanding immedate democracy, which is stupid and shortsighted, but even the Bush administration understands that, right now, there is no one to replace Aristide.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that the US will negotiate to help prevent the opposition they've been funding from removing Aristide.

And quit being so touchy. I don't hate americans. I just hate the people that govern it. Duh. (x-post)

maypang (maypang), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The official position of the Bush administration is to keep Aristide in power if he complies with the changes sugested by Caricom, the U.S., the OAS and the UN, which he has agreed to.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense that the US will negotiate to help prevent the opposition they've been funding from removing Aristide.

as Colin just said, that's exactly what the negotiating position of the US is. the only funding going on is by an independent organization in the US associated with people who are Republicans, some of whom have been in government.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Monday, 23 February 2004 00:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and you think America restricts itself to official policy. The secret service is busy destabilising and undermining Haiti while the govenment makes overt demands. American interests will be enforced overtly or covertly.

run it off (run it off), Monday, 23 February 2004 10:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

which is why I didn't use the word "majoritarian" but rather the word "popular," referring to the people.

THE PEOPLE is a dangerous term. All you really mean is some of the people.

DV (dirtyvicar), Monday, 23 February 2004 13:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The people = the minority who support American interests

The majority = those who American interests will ignore in order to promote the minority

run it off (run it off), Monday, 23 February 2004 13:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

this is all so sad because haiti was been the poorest country in the western hemisphere for a long time, throughout all these changes in government

even from the early 1990s i always had the sense that aristide was a sketchy would-be autocrat, which is not to say that his opposition is right in what they're doing

amateur!st (amateurist), Friday, 27 February 2004 12:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So much for diplomacy.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&e=2&u=/ap/20040227/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_haiti

maypang (maypang), Friday, 27 February 2004 21:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The secret service is busy destabilising and undermining Haiti while the govenment makes overt demands.

The Secret Service? Um, no. Maybe the CIA. The Secret Service handles security for politicians, visiting heads of state and carries out Treasury Department enforcement (i.e. anti-counterfeit measures, etc.). They don't destabilize countries.

hstencil, Friday, 27 February 2004 23:05 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

THE PEOPLE is a dangerous term. All you really mean is some of the people.

Yes, I should have said "people". "some" is also arguably a "dangerous" term. Neither of us know how many. My point still stands.

The people = the minority who support American interests
The majority = those who American interests will ignore in order to promote the minority

What "American interests"? How do you know? The foreign press suggests that there is popular discontent with Aristide. What incentive would Haitians have to "support American interests"?

I'll admit that with Powell saying that it may be time for Aristide to step down, at least some people in the US may be involved here.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Friday, 27 February 2004 23:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the us does have a strategic interest in haiti, it wouldn't be likely for them not to have an opinion

amateur!st (amateurist), Saturday, 28 February 2004 13:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

but what do haitians care about it? there are probably some who are being paid off, but the news articles suggest that they are building upon popular discontent with aristide, who, though perhaps better than any alternative, has not done much about poverty and has his own gang of thugs

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 28 February 2004 15:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So it looks like the US is about to help remove another democratically elected figure from a third world country and, as usual, ...
-- maypang

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 15:52 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'gang of thugs' is propaganda

Ask yourself where all this 'information' is coming from and why this, rather than other information, is being fed to the American public.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 15:55 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Whoops! Pushed enter too quickly...

The tone of this opening question demands a comparison to all U.S. incursions into other nations, but, I'm afraid, that's so general as to be meaningless.

1. Haiti is in the U.S.'s backyard. The U.S. has an interest in what happens there.
2. There's no oil or anything else in Haiti that the U.S. is trying to commandeer.
3. Is it more appropriate to adopt the (recent) European stance? That is, watch idly as second or third world citizens kill one another plunging their society into anarchy, but do nothing to help. Oh, of course, criticize the U.S. in a kneejerk fashion when action is taken, no matter what it is.

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 15:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

The tone of this opening question demands a comparison to all U.S. incursions into other nations, but, I'm afraid, that's so general as to be meaningless

Such a comparison would not be meaningless, it would be relevant. Every single incursion into other nations by the US should be seen in terms of the totality of incursions by the US. If nothing else, such a comparison - even if incomplete - shows that these events are not singular and unique but are part of a pattern of activity and the result of a global strategy by the US.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:06 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

'gang of thugs' is propaganda

what on this thread isn't "propaganda"? how would you describe the people that Aristide pays who beat, burn or shoot Haitian civilians?

Ask yourself where all this 'information' is coming from and why this, rather than other information, is being fed to the American public.

Uh, the Associated Press? National Public Radio? Oh no, I am the naive ugly American! I must believe only that which is ideologically consistent with my political beliefs and reject the potential truthfulness of everything else! When you can come up with some contrary information, I'll pay attention to it.

by the US

a strategy that has completely reversed direction in ten years. i suppose we did the wrong thing when we restored Aristide to power in 94?

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Sorry, Mr. Conspiracy Theorist, I disagree. For that to make sense, it would require the U.S. to have a global strategy. The U.S. doesn't have a strategy at all. That's the problem.

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

When you can come up with some contrary information, I'll pay attention to it.

and until then, you will simply believe all the propaganda you get in favour of American intervention?

i suppose we did the wrong thing when we restored Aristide to power in 94?

the US did what the US always does: it did what it thought was in American interests and when things don't turn out as planned, send in the army (preceded by special forces) in order to intervene again.

So yes, I do suppose you did the wrong thing when you supported and armed Saddam and then did the wrong thing again by going to war to get rid of Saddam. And Haiti follows the same pattern.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:13 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If you think the American government and the Pentagon don't think strategically about foreign affairs - planning invasions long in advance before the 'acceptable conditions' come about, then you are not just naive, you don't understand how modern defence works. Actually, a government that didn't do this would be stupid and vulnerable.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Iraq is clearly different from Haiti. That's been much discussed already. What, however, in your view, is the appropriate way to deal with Haiti?

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Leave the democratically elected government alone.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Until all the Haitain, Rwandan, Bosnian, German democrats are dead. Brilliant.

If you think the American government and the Pentagon don't think strategically about foreign affairs

If the "American Government" is an entity that acts on the world stage with a coherent objective over a long period of time, then discussions about what Bush would do vs. what Gore would have done or what Clinton did are rendered invalid.

Even the Pentagon, while entrenched and isolated to a certain degree from the executive branch, is an extremely transient place. Generals with enough power to make long-term "strategic" policy don't stay around long enough to implement it. They spend a lot of money thinking about things, maybe, but, no I don't think there's a nefarious strategy.

If we had a consistent, long-term strategy, we'd be better at running the world.

Nike and Coca-cola, on the other hand, DO have long-term strategies. And they do pretty well.

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If the "American Government" is an entity that acts on the world stage with a coherent objective over a long period of time, then discussions about what Bush would do vs. what Gore would have done or what Clinton did are rendered invalid.

No it doesn't, it means that they will respond to the same research, data, prognosis, planning, advice etc differently.

I don't think there's a nefarious strategy.

Consider this from the CIA archive:

"It is firm and continuing policy that Allende [Chilean leader] be overthrown by a coup... We are to continue to generate maximum pressures toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that United States Government and American hand be well hidden."

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm going to treat critically all information that I receive, seek out additional information, and remain open to more than one point of view. I don't see you being willing to do any of these things.

It's arguable that the US acted in 94 firstly out of American interests in dealing with the refugee problem, sure. I'm glad that you effectively concede my point that we did the right thing, whatever our motive. You seek to elide that concession by monolithically - and offensively - using "the US" to suggest that our motives remained the same but changed merely because of the facts, suggesting that the Clinton administration approached world affairs in exactly the same way and with the same motives as either of the Bush administrations, the latter of which no longer has the popular opinion support of even half of the country.

Maybe I should say this instead:

Britain did what Britain always does: it did what it thought was in British interests - imperialism - and when things didn't turn out as planned, it sent in the army in order to intervene again. Both in Iraq and in the Falklands.

But because I'm free from kneejerk anti-Americanism (and anti-interventionism and pacifism), I can admit that once in a while Britain does something simply because it's right.

Actually, a government that didn't do this would be stupid and vulnerable.

Yes. Quite, as y'all say. It sounds like you're justifying it.


"It is firm and continuing policy that Allende [Chilean leader] be overthrown by a coup... We are to continue to generate maximum pressures toward this end utilizing every appropriate resource. It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that United States Government and American hand be well hidden."

And what does the Nixon administration have to do with the Clinton administration, more than 20 years later?

Leave the democratically elected government alone.

Provide some evidence that the elections were fair and not rigged.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:37 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't think that's proof of strategic policy. It's more tactical, and of course, naive. The American hand is never hidden, not for long.

Tactical: overthrow Allende via coup
Strategic: formulate policy to foster x-type of political structure in Latin America overall. With the resulting goal of ____.

Good longterm policy, political, corporate, whatever, also includes an exit strategy. We never have one. Reagan's goal, end the Soviet Union. Okay, it happens, what replaces it? Anarchy. Ditto virtually everywhere else we've had a hand.

Also, there's little distinction in the American policy of intervention between big goals and little goals.

Soviet Union/Iraq - high stakes
Haiti/Chile/Grenada/Panama - no stakes at all

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Consider this from the CIA archive:

That we can consider something from the CIA archives is telling.

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm glad that you effectively concede my point that we did the right thing, whatever our motive.

I did not. I simply said that you were wrong to intervene in the first place and continue to be wrong to intervene now.

If you think that various administrations start from scratch with their military and foreign policies, consider this chain of events:

Colin Powell had laid military contingency plans to deal with Iraq prior to the first Gulf War. Regime change was argued for by Bush's Deputy Secretary of Defense as early as 1992. Regime change in Iraq was policy in the Clinton administration. And in a report written in 1999 by a group including Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Perle, it was stated that American military intervention in Iraq for regime change could not get popular support in the States unless there was "a catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor". They got one and then all their planning came into action.

Provide some evidence that the elections were fair and not rigged.

America has no right to such evidence after the way that Bush got in. But either way, this is typical muscular American foreign policy: find a minority group who dispute the government of a foreign state that isn't towing the US line and back them. If the minority claim that the elections weren't fair then all the better. It is just an excuse for American muscle.

By the way, I'm not a knee-jerk anti-American. I agree with you about Britain's imperialist policies. My points are never against America as such. However, when I think that America is wrong, I will say so. By calling this knee-jerk you are either trying to ridicule opposition or you actually believe, slavishly, that opposition to American good sense is always ridiculous. That's quite sad.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That we can consider something from the CIA archives is telling.

Oh, I like this one. Pure ideology!

The argument - if there was one, rather than this assertion - would be something like this: America is an open society and here is the proof, the CIA opens its archive so that we can see what awful things it got up to destabilising countries all over the world. Forget about what the CIA were doing in these countries. If only the societies that the CIA is fucking up were as open as the US then the CIA would not need to covertly undermine them.

A bullying open society is justified in bullying the world because it is open, is it? It is the bullying that is the problem and using the open society to justify it is to fail to justify it. Basically, there is no justification for imperial bullying, so what imperial powers do is defend it by referring to the superiority of their culture instead.

run it off (run it off), Saturday, 28 February 2004 16:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Let's take into account that when Aristide was brought back into power (post junta), he had to agree with all sorts of liberalized economic changes....devaluing currency, increasing interest rates....imports became much cheaper and, in particular, the domestic market for rice (one of Haiti's major products) was nearly eliminated due to a rise in imported rice. Aristide slapped a tax on imported rice and the US reacted by cutting off aid. Hence, Aristide couldn't hope to fulfill any of his promises. Granted, I don't think the guy's a saint--he's got his own gang of thugs--but US interests have played a major role in Haiti since the fall of Duvalier. Don't forget that Haiti was supposed to be a shining light of the new globalized economic system as proclaimed by the IMF.

cybele (cybele), Saturday, 28 February 2004 17:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

If you think that various administrations start from scratch with their military and foreign policies, consider this chain of events:

Scales falling from eyes! Well yes, of course. And?

By the way, I'm not a knee-jerk anti-American. I agree with you about Britain's imperialist policies. My points are never against America as such. However, when I think that America is wrong, I will say so. By calling this knee-jerk you are either trying to ridicule opposition or you actually believe, slavishly, that opposition to American good sense is always ridiculous. That's quite sad.

Cute closing note of moral superiority. Very Joe Lieberman.

I do believe that you are a knee-jerk anti-American at least in the sense that you are unwilling to regard "America" as anything other than an entity that acts outside its borders, whether or not it acts with the support or even knowledge of its people, or to distinguish between different American administrations or between administrations and America's people.

I don't think we can talk about whether American intervention here is justified, because there is no American intervention here. I am readily willing to concede that Haitian expatriates in the US, the CIA, Republicans outside of government, Republicans in government, or any combination of these, may be involved in what's going on now. The US is not, as a matter of formal policy, although concededly it is officially taking at least a hands-off approach and may be well aware of what's really happening.

Suppose for the sake of argument that the Bush administration, and/or some other part of the government is involved at least indirectly. I am arguing against your opposition to such involvement (even if I might agree with such opposition; I'm not informed enough to take a position one way or the other) because I perceive the opposition to be based simply on the fact of American involvement, as well as on the assumption - not necessarily wrong, but without evidence that you have examined the facts - that Aristide is good or popular and that an American-approved alternative would be bad or unpopular. I don't necessarily assume the opposite, and having looked around more I am more skeptical about the stories of Aristide's undemocratic tendencies (though, as is always true in attempting to prove a negative, I haven't seen hard evidence either). But if I have bought into "propaganda" about Aristide, so has Isabel Hilton.

Oh, I like this one. Pure ideology!

The argument - if there was one, rather than this assertion - would be something like this: America is an open society and here is the proof, the CIA opens its archive so that we can see what awful things it got up to destabilising countries all over the world. Forget about what the CIA were doing in these countries.

I'm not going to back up Skottie's point here, but I don't think that you understood it.

gabbneb (gabbneb), Saturday, 28 February 2004 17:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't claim that the operations of the CIA are "open" but the ability to have a debate on the issue at all is something. Maybe not much.

I can't tell if you're kneejerk anti-american or not, doesn't matter. You do seem to be kneejerk anti-interventionist, however. And a touch paranoid. The problem with government conspiracy theories are many, not least among them, governments can't keep secrets, and there isn't longterm continuity among the players powerful enough to try. There just isn't.

It seems unlikely that the vast, vast revenues generated by Haitian purchases of American rice would justify military intervention. What are the components of the Haitian "market" anyway. They buy rice from the U.S. with IMF loans financed by the U.S.? Or with direct aid grants from the U.S.? Come on.

Leave Haiti alone to work out its problems until there are no more Haitians standing. Then there won't be any more problems. That was the European policy in the Balkans, of course.

Skottie, Saturday, 28 February 2004 18:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Note to Runitoff: all the subtextual cynicism about American interests in Haiti might be more convincing if you could tell us more about precisely what you think those interests are. So far as I know Haiti lacks any key natural resources; as an economic market it's not hugely significant; in geopolitical terms it's unlikely to pose any particular problem to us. I could very well be wrong, but it seems to me that our main "interests" there are -- if we wrap them up in one package -- to prevent refugee situations (and keep Haitian-American voters non-angry) by ensuring stability. If there's any central thread to U.S. policy over the past few administrations, that's basically it: we don't bother much with Haiti until things get chaotic. Apart from the small set of Americans with ideological concerns there, the standard posture seems to be to support anyone who seems likely to keep things politically calm; the actual policy and ideology seem to come second to that. The old posture toward Aristide fits into this, and the current posture toward Aristide -- i.e., "howsabout you make enough concessions to settle things back down" -- seems compatible as well.

Which is not to say I think you're hugely misguided or anything, and for the record it's not like I know loads and loads about Haiti -- it's just that I think the traditional U.S.-interests analysis you're pushing isn't particularly effective here. Because the U.S. interest is, in this case, quite likely very simple: the goal, as always, is to sort of screw the ideological specifics and just get this county to a state where we can safely mostly-ignore it.

And there are perfectly good reasons to criticize that, which is the one place where i can semi-agree with you. As in, let's go over a list of reasons why we wouldn't take a hand-off approach to Haiti -- reasons I'm not necessarily advancing or defending but just offering up as surely the ones in operation: (a) refugees, (b) Haitian-American voters, (c) even worse chaos and violence that eventually shames the "uncaring" U.S. into stepping in anyway, eventually, plus of course (d) inclination to stabilize the thing you know and can live with rather than open the door to something even non-ideologues couldn't stomach. And it's that last point, sensible as it is, that I think you're trying to hammer at, right? Because it's Not Our Place to be stomaching or not-stomaching the government of another nation, right? And I semi-agree with you on that one, but not universally, because that logic, carried to its extreme, means abandoning even our more worthwhile principles.

And you'd have to say more than you're currently saying to convince me that Haiti is a situation that deserves that kind of neglect.

nabiscothingy, Sunday, 29 February 2004 00:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think Nabsico is OTM apart from this:
"The old posture toward Aristide fits into this, and the current posture toward Aristide -- i.e., "howsabout you make enough concessions to settle things back down" -- seems compatible as well."

American interest in keeping Aristide in power isn't necessarily due to apathy or just an interest in keeping things calm. Right now there is no one to fill the Aristide's position if he's deposed. However ineffectual Aristide is, The Cannibal Army (I'm sorry, "The Gonaives Resistance Front") is a lot less prepared (and less willing) to try and rebuiled Haiti.

Colin Beckett (Colin Beckett), Sunday, 29 February 2004 00:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

xp what they fired him?

k3vin k., Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's on the HuffPo link.

struck through in my prime (HI DERE), Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

good on them

k3vin k., Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

the part of me that feeds on my own indignant rage is perversely hoping that some conservative idiots take up paul shirley as some kind of str8 talkin folk hero, just so i can see him (and the view he represents) excoriated in a more public sphere

his power told him (about the fish) (gbx), Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

dear jon stewart pls make an example of this tool

his power told him (about the fish) (gbx), Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

honestly he's not even worth it. dude had a column on literally the worst part of espn.com that no one ever goes to, and i think only serious nba fans even know who he is.

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 18:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah the views are worth condemning but shirley is a nobody who just deserved to lose his freelance job

k3vin k., Wednesday, 27 January 2010 18:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Shirley had some of the worst music reviews in that ESPN slot as well, the guy was the worst kind of tool: the kind that thinks he's a genius. The Haiti article he wrote sounds like someone losing his mind.

Bill Magill, Wednesday, 27 January 2010 21:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

sorry history of Major League Baseball in Haiti:

http://www.counterpunch.org/damu01222010.html

Rage, Resentment, Spleen (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 28 January 2010 16:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

Words fail:

According to E! Online, Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie are spearheading a 25th anniversary re-recording of the star-speckled, Michael Jackson- and Lionel Richie-penned hit “We Are The World,” with proceeds going toward Haiti relief. In what's presumably an accidental echo of Pat Robertson, Jones is quoted in the piece saying, “It's the 25th anniversary and it's perfect timing … It's not an accident, man. That's God. It will be 'We Are The World' for Haiti."

The report says writer and director Paul Haggis will most likely film a recording session of the song on Monday. And the Showbiz blog at The Hollywood Reporter says the recording of the song was pushed to Monday to capitalize on the star talent lingering in Los Angeles the day after the Grammy Awards. Originally, the planned anniversary recording was to take place today.

The talent list so far includes Usher, Natalie Cole, and John Legend, yet Jones was hesitant to reveal more until names are set in stone. But you can bet the “Hope For Haiti Now” performers are invited.

what of the fuck you talkie bout (Pancakes Hackman), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

~barf~

his power told him (about the fish) (gbx), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

So will Prince show up?

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

haiti at this point doesn't really need more $$$, it needs people caring about the actual structural issues that created the situation there in the first place, and which will continue to shape its future for the foreseeable future. celebrity fundraisers and the like are great for raising awareness and cash, but unless they somehow convince the american public that we should

a) forgive haiti's debt
b) allow a massive influx of immigrants
c)...other stuff

then most of what we do from now on (now that PIH and MSF et al have received loads of cash) isn't going to help ~that~ much

his power told him (about the fish) (gbx), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

(sorry, HAITI needs money, but most of the aid orgs are in pretty good shape)

his power told him (about the fish) (gbx), Thursday, 28 January 2010 20:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh god the segment anderson cooper just did on childhood servitude & the earthquake was so, so heartbreaking

wtf lebron, that chick doesn't need a gatorade bath (k3vin k.), Monday, 1 February 2010 04:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

What is going on with dying patients not being able to come to US hospitals because the Florida Republican governor want the feds to pay for the expenses and according to him the feds won't.

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 February 2010 06:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

hadn't heard about that---was under the impression that pts weren't allowed to come up to the states due to immigration issues

avatar 2: the na'vi ending story (gbx), Monday, 1 February 2010 13:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

in other news: my friend B's Haitian boyfriend is back in the states safe and sound. i had really thought he was gonna be there for months, so this was a happy turn of events

avatar 2: the na'vi ending story (gbx), Monday, 1 February 2010 13:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

How about them Christian baby stealers eh?

what kind of present your naked body (Upt0eleven), Monday, 1 February 2010 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

was under the impression that pts weren't allowed to come up to the states due to immigration issues

― avatar 2: the na'vi ending story (gbx), Monday, February 1, 2010

That's what I had first heard also. But then they seemed to bend the rules slightly and allowed some patients (whose info they were carefully keeping track of, so they can send 'em back) to go to Florida hospitals. I wish the Feds would just step up and pay for it---they can carefully monitor the folks and then send 'em back when they have recovered (since politically they have to do that to prevent a mass exodus that's not conducted legally via immigration rules). The problem is that in some Haitian hospitals there's not enough room for both surgery, incoming patients, and recovering patients. Germ and disease-wise, it's not good to have all these groups together.

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 February 2010 14:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

They seem to have worked things out:

from the NYT article-

The White House said patients were being identified for transfer and evaluated by doctors to ensure that they can handle the flights. In addition, the White House said that the government was arranging for in-flight care for children in need, and that Florida was designating which hospitals could receive the influx of patients. Mr. Vietor said the flights would probably evacuate “a couple hundred of the most severely injured patients.”

Ultimately, though, evacuations are not a long-term solution to the problem. Dr. Barth A. Green, co-founder of Project Medishare for Haiti, a nonprofit group that has been evacuating patients, said the American government has decided to create “a world-class trauma hospital” at the Port-au-Prince airport along with private relief groups. At the same time, a 250-bed hospital for post-operative care and rehabilitation will be completed, and after that a second 250-bed facility for rehabilitation.

“Things are the way they should be again,” he said. “We’re in sync. We are going to show Haiti what we are capable of.”

curmudgeon, Monday, 1 February 2010 17:33 (nine years ago) Permalink

i've avoided the rush limbaugh-type comments on the haiti situation. until now, when my sister-in-law had a five-minute meltdown:

  • we need to help haiti now, but we've helped them enough;
  • we've been pouring money into haiti since before 1900, and it's never helped;
  • the courty's leaders are corrupt;
  • they killed all the white people after slavery was abolished;
  • there was a shameful media frenzy when pres. clinton visited;
  • the capital is a "s--thole," all b/c of the people's innate characteristics/behaviors.
ugh. . .

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 14 February 2010 02:52 (nine years ago) Permalink

barf

werewolf bar mitzvah of the xx (gbx), Sunday, 14 February 2010 03:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

now i'm looking for material online to investigate her "points." i'm sure i won't bother discussing it with her, but now i'm motivated to read up on the subject. any tips/links to useful websites appreciated.

Daniel, Esq., Sunday, 14 February 2010 03:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh no, they killed their oppressors! truly unheard-of levels of savagery.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 14 February 2010 17:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

Daniel

I read Ned Sublette's e-mail newsletter. He wrote books including Cuba and Its Music(which also discusses Haiti)and the Year Before the Flood (one of 2 books about New Orleans he has written) and he just mentioned "Laurent Dubois's book Avengers of the New World, which besides presenting the clearest explanation of the twists and turns of the Haitian Revolution is a model of how to write history for a general reader" . Dubois also teaches at Duke and his syllabus might be online. There are several other books out about Haiti.

Here's a recent op-ed that summarizes some of Haiti's history

http://interact.stltoday.com/blogzone/civil-religion/economy/2010/01/haitian-history-beyond-robertson-and-limbaugh/

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 04:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

thanks! finally stopped fuming about my sister-in-law's comments. read a few articles, which led me to two books about haiti that i'm buying. the article you linked to is fascinating. i'm especially curious about the link between IMF loans -- and the opening of markets they force as consideration for the loan -- and the damage done to haiti's agricultural system. the video link embedded in the article hopefully will provide more detail on that topic.

Daniel, Esq., Tuesday, 16 February 2010 04:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

As I understand it, some blame the economic policies forced on Haiti to get them out of debt with messing up the local economy and sending farmers and others out of rural areas into P o P. Forests and such got stripped and destroyed by desperate Haitians and environmental and economic problems accelerated.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

^^^^haven't read the article yet (thanks!), but my impression has been that IMF/WB bailouts have generally lead to devastating economic policies.

this is a vague and probably inaccurate take, but from what i understand: Haiti (and other poor countries) get loan money, with heavy strings attached. generally those involve a) conversion to an export economy and b) lowering of tariffs on foreign imports. if a country doesn't have much in the way of exportable resources, it will "export" its labor by allowing foreign companies to manufacture in-country. the situation can then get so lop-sided to the point where imported food is considerably cheaper than what is produced locally, and arable land is devoted to either commercial products (tobacco, cotton, sugar) or the meanest subsistence. export/service economies produce the trade that is necessary to pay down loan balances, but not at a rate or amplitude to make any progress. superimpose gov't corruption and mismanagement, and the debt gets even larger.

...but i'm cribbing that from, like, naomi klein and other lefties, so ymmv

werewolf bar mitzvah of the xx (gbx), Tuesday, 16 February 2010 18:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

Yep, just saw that Ned Sublette forwarded Naomi's latest Haiti piece from the Nation, I think.

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 17 February 2010 13:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DtwkTS9mq8

James Mitchell, Wednesday, 24 March 2010 18:46 (eight years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Sean Penn (who has done a hell of a lot there, it seems) on the cosmetic nature of NGO work in Haiti:

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11127

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 24 July 2010 08:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

http://www.tvsquad.com/2010/08/06/wyclef-jean-announces-presidential-bid-sean-penn-reacts-on-lar/

wyclef jean runs for pres, sean penn oh snap

pies. (gbx), Friday, 6 August 2010 18:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

like how is it possible that he won't win, is what i want to know

pies. (gbx), Friday, 6 August 2010 18:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

this is going to be trainwreck

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 August 2010 18:53 (eight years ago) Permalink

has a pop star ever become a dictator before?

iatee, Friday, 6 August 2010 18:55 (eight years ago) Permalink

bono had a secret ceremony at the UN like five years ago iirc

pies. (gbx), Friday, 6 August 2010 18:59 (eight years ago) Permalink

has a pop star ever become a dictator before?

Michael Jackson almost

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 August 2010 19:00 (eight years ago) Permalink

lol

Party Car! (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 6 August 2010 21:47 (eight years ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/07/opinion/07blow.html?hp

symsymsym, Saturday, 7 August 2010 23:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

If you haven't heard, there's a cholera epidemic, if you want to contribute to your favorite relevant charity.

http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti.html

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 27 October 2010 18:52 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Baby Doc back in Haiti

hmm

Alba, Monday, 17 January 2011 00:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Mesdames et messieurs, the new president of Haiti:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEgcP1_fMzg

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Tuesday, 5 April 2011 10:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

from the BBC: "On Sunday, President Michel Martelly said he had reached a deal with the opposition to hold long-delayed elections . . . But the left-wing Fanmi Lavalas, which has been at the forefront of anti-government protests, was not part of the agreement."

http://otherworldsarepossible.org/five-years-after-earthquake-haiti-sad-state-democracy-and-human-rights

curmudgeon, Monday, 12 January 2015 17:13 (four years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

http://www.thenation.com/article/can-haitis-corrupt-president-hold-on-to-power/

Michel Martelly is trying to impose a successor amid widespread public anger at government repression and failure to rebuild after the earthquake.....

In another week or so, Haiti could explode, and the disastrous American policy of supporting the country’s violent and corrupt president will be a big part of the reason. Michel Martelly, prevented from continuing in office by term limits, is trying to impose a successor, and the United States has not spoken out against his ruthless, undemocratic strategy. On or after November 3, Haiti will announce the top two finishers in the first election round, held on October 25, and if Martelly’s man is one of them, thousands of enraged citizens will surge into the streets.


The United States is already widely blamed here for supporting Martelly, and the ambassador until recently, Pamela White, is singled out bitterly and publicly for her alleged closeness to him.

The mainstream US press, which was here en masse after the January 2010 earthquake, is ignoring this latest acute crisis. With few exceptions, the American media have also not reported on the nearly complete failure of the international rebuilding effort, a shameful record for which Bill and Hillary Clinton have considerable responsibility.

curmudgeon, Friday, 30 October 2015 16:50 (three years ago) Permalink

Michel Martelly

He was kinda entertaining as Haitian pop performer Lil Mickey, when I saw him near W. DC years ago

curmudgeon, Friday, 30 October 2015 17:00 (three years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

From 2011... crimes of our fave Foundation:

It is hard to imagine a better case study of the very opposite approach than the Clinton trailers. In response to questions about what due diligence the foundation did to ensure the safety of the trailers it purchased for use as hurricane shelters, the Clinton Foundation initially insisted that the most appropriate person to speak to was a Haitian employee of Clinton’s UN Office. When Graham, the foundation’s COO, finally agreed to talk about the project on the record, she denied that the foundation had been responsible for any due diligence regarding its own project, claiming that those responsible were a "panel of experts," including one point person from the foundation, Greg Milne, and representatives of other organizations. (Milne referred all questions to the foundation’s press office.) The Clinton Foundation agreed to furnish documentation of who was on this panel but by press time had not done so.

Graham said that the staff of the Clinton Foundation—which has for more than a year publicized the "hurricane shelters" that "President Clinton" built in Léogâne—are "not experts" in hurricane shelter construction. She claimed the same "panel of experts" would have been responsible for due diligence to ensure air quality of the shelters whose secondary purpose was as classrooms.

Explaining Bill Clinton’s rationale for the trailers, which were installed at the tail end of the 2010 hurricane season, Conille said, "It was not meant to be sustainable. It was meant because we didn’t want to have dead people in September." According to Conille, Clinton was deeply troubled by what would happen to the women and children in case of a serious storm—and as the former president felt that "no one" was doing anything about the issue, he took the lead himself. Moreover, Clinton didn’t want to have his new "hurricane shelters" sitting empty while schoolchildren had classes in tents, Conille added.

Yet according to Maddalena, given the high rate of formaldehyde found in one of the classrooms, and the children’s headaches, "they’d be better off studying outside under a tarp."

Wall, the former OCHA spokeswoman, responded by e-mail, "We all knew that that project was misconceived from the start, a classic example of aid designed from a distance with no understanding of ground level realities or needs. It has had a predictably long and unhappy history from the start."

https://www.thenation.com/article/shelters-clinton-built/

The Hon. J. Piedmont Mumblethunder (Dr Morbius), Friday, 7 October 2016 11:24 (two years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Detail on the indictment of Guy Philippe:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl/pr/haitian-national-charged-international-narcotics-and-money-laundering-conspiracy

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-38525651

Will be interesting, if it comes to trial, to see what he says about his relationship with the US at the time of the coup - which also overlaps with the time of some of the alleged drug trade activity.

Bubba H.O.T.A.P.E (ShariVari), Saturday, 7 January 2017 00:48 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

https://www.apnews.com/2dba9cf693594bfc8fd2f432e7207704

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Protesters have stoned the Haitian president’s home and clashed with police, leaving at least one demonstrator dead in the third straight day of demonstrations against economic mismanagement and corruption.

Organizers pledged more protests for Sunday, increasing pressure on President Jovenel Moise, who is calling for negotiations with his opposition.

A crowd of thousands protested in downtown Port-au-Prince Saturday, and an Associated Press journalist saw at least one fatally shot, apparently by nearby police. Protesters in the Petionville neighborhood blocked the road to Moise’s house and stoned his property after guards protecting a Moise ally hit a woman’s car and beat her near the president’s house.

Protesters are angry about skyrocketing inflation and the government’s failure to prosecute embezzlement from a multi-billion Venezuelan program that sent discounted oil to Haiti.

Another camera angle of protests in Port au Prince, #Haiti today. pic.twitter.com/8dIsEUjXmL

— HaitiInfoProject 📡 (@HaitiInfoProj) February 7, 2019

Karl Malone, Sunday, 10 February 2019 04:51 (one week ago) Permalink


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