Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 17, 2004
POLITICS: Arrogant Interventionism?

Looks like The Great Diplomat needs to work on his diplomatic skills:

The commander of the UN peacekeepers in Haiti has linked a recent upsurge in violence there to comments made by the US presidential candidate, John Kerry.

Earlier this year Mr Kerry said that as president he would have sent American troops to protect Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was ousted from power in February.

The Brazilian UN general, Augusto Heleno, said Mr Kerry's comments had offered "hope" to Aristide supporters. Much of the recent unrest has centred on areas loyal to Mr Aristide.

More than 50 people have died over the past fortnight.

In fairness, blaming American politicians for chaos in Haiti is like blaming them for the sun being hot. There are far deeper problems to blame. Of course, were the situations reversed (i.e. were this Dole challenging Clinton in 1996), would the challenger be held to a higher standard?

Posted by The Mad Hibernian at 11:35 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

This is silly. To begin with, the general has recanted his comments.

Kerry made the statement more than seven months ago. His statement was also in keeping with what Colin Powell said here:

Mr. Powell called on Mr. Aristide to help defuse the situation by putting in place a political agreement, brokered with other Caribbean nations, to disarm his loyalists, reform the police and welcome political opponents into a new governing council.

Mr. Powell said the United States would not support Mr. Aristide's removal in a coup.

"We cannot buy into a proposition that says the elected president must be forced out of office by thugs," the secretary said. [my emphasis]

That's essentially what happened.

Haiti has a literacy rate of just over 50% according to the CIA Factbook. The language is French and Haitian Creole. The communications infrastructure is devastated.

That dog won't hunt.

Posted by: Randy Paul at October 21, 2004 01:02 PM

Yeah, fair enough. As my comments indicated, I wasn't so much buying the substance of the critique as the fact that it would be given much more credence if leveled against someone like Bush (i.e. some UN guy trying to blame American meddling for what is essentially someone else's bad government).

I'm no expert on Haiti but it seems to me like (a) there weren't any good options here and (b) Artistide is almost as much of a thug as the people replacing him. Thus, I don't see why we should've fought to keep him in power.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at October 21, 2004 05:34 PM
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