Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Sunday, February 29, 2004
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US Commitment To Democracy

I've been avoiding the Haiti issue because I really don't have a lot of information about what's really happening. Seems that President Aristide, who has been democractically elected twice and now overthrown twice, is getting a raw deal, though he reportedly has run a pretty corrupt government.

I can sorta understand some of the logic behind France and the US encouraging him to step down, so the Supreme Court Chief Justice could take over in a constitutional manner, rather than the rebels installing an illegal government. But really, is forcing a legitimately elected leader from power in the best interests of democracy? What guarantees can we expect when Boniface Alexandre is in charge? Will the rebels really stop?

It seems to me that the folks pushing the issue will likely continue their rebellion no matter what. They aren't the most democratically-oriented people:

They are men like Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean-Pierre Baptiste — two leaders of Fraph, the Haitian Front for Advancement and Progress. Fraph was an instrument of terror wielded by the military junta that overthrew Haiti's embattled president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 1991. It killed thousands over the next three years.

Mr. Chamblain, a former Haitian Army officer, was sentenced in absentia to life in prison for the 1993 murder of Antoine Izméry, an important Aristide supporter. Before the trial, he fled to the neighboring Dominican Republic, returning to Haiti in recent months to seek power.

Mr. Baptiste, also known as Jean Tatoune, was serving a life sentence for murder, in connection with a 1994 massacre of Aristide supporters, when he was freed in a jailbreak in August.

Is the message we really want to send to the world that if you're violent enough, we'll help you push your leaders out of power? First we hang Hugo Chavez in Venezuela out to dry, and now Aristide. It seems our commitment to democracy is wanting. Should I hold my breath about our little experiment in Iraq?


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A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.

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