Administrivia

Coup Coup Ca Choo. So, a few years back, after an oppressive military coup, the US
re-installed Aristide (when almost no time was left in his
“constitutionally defined” term). Aristide, naturally, disbanded
the army that had kicked him out.

Aristide was a hero of the downtrodden. He turned the military into
the downtrodden in the process of trying to turn Haiti into a civil
society. He sat out one term as president, and was re-elected to
another 5-year term. But he was never the darling of American
interests–just a symbol of how America would do “the right thing.”

Now, Aristide is out again — and the “rebels” who created this
uprising in Haiti are, surprise, the same people who overthrew him as
soldiers. And, another surprise, they want to reinstate the
army–most likely to prevent Aristide supporters from doing the same
thing to them in a few months when things don't get any better. Their
leader, the news media reports almost paranthetically, has been tied
to past human rights abuses.

Aristide is no saint. He used many of the tools his predecessors
used, wittingly or not, to maintain his authority. He was another
case of “meet the new boss, (substantially the) same as the old
boss.” But he sure didn't get any help from the Bush administration
in his attempts to create a rule of law. Those “national police”
that rolled over in front of the coup–they were trained by the US
military in policing, and included (surprise!) members of the former
military.
How are we supposed to foster democracy in Iraq when we can't even do
it in our own literal backyard? Bush said he's going to prevent the
flight of refugees from Haiti to the US (ignoring the UN convention on
refugees). And then there's this wrinkle:
Haiti's
former president says the US forced him into exile
– but the UN
appears to back Washington's strong denials.”[BBC
News
]

What are we supposed to think? Did George Bush steal another
presidency?

Maybe when we're done with him, he can go run things in Haiti, Baby
Doc style.

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