February 25, 2004
HAITI ON VERGE OF 'ANARCHY' IN DESPERATE NEED OF
Haiti's "only hope" is a foreign intervention with an
"even-handed," sustained approach.
Critics reproach the U.S. for its reluctance to act and its "hands
off Haiti" response.
is once again "submerged in chaos"; the threat of mass exodus and
civil war looms.
Aristide is a "tragedy"; though "duly elected" he
has "miserably betrayed" his supporters.
It's 'high time' the international community
'remembers its responsibility'-- Writers in the Americas
and Europe agreed that a solution to Haiti's "desperate" situation
can only come from the outside, but voiced frustration that "no one knows
how to face this disaster." The conservative Ottawa Sun warned that
the commitment must not be a "charade" as in 1994, but a
"sustained occupation by forces from the OAS and, hopefully,
France." Latin papers groused that
the diplomatic efforts thus far show "a lack of knowledge" about
Haiti's problems. "What Haiti
needs," asserted Argentina's leading Clarin, is a "prolonged
commitment instead of the long oblivion to which it has been
subjected." Leading Colombian and
Chilean dailies also held that Haiti "calls for long-term
supervision" to enable a "culture of civic democracy" to take
Washington is being 'cautious,' but a political
solution may not be enough-- World
media predicted that President Bush "will not be able to ignore this kind
of lawlessness in his own back yard."
European leftists claimed the U.S. was "washing its hands of this
catastrophe," because "the callous reality" is that "Haiti
does not matter to the U.S." After
contributing to "creating this monster," as Rome's center-left Il
Messaggero put it, the U.S. "now doesn’t know how to neutralize
it.” UAE and Filipino papers were
equally dismayed that "Haiti has still not made too many alarm bells
ring." Jamaican editorials,
meanwhile, accused the U.S. of "double speak" and being
"wishy-washy," which the centrist Observer argued would only
encourage the Haitian thugs and political opposition, "on the wrong side
of the law, logic and morality," to grab power.
Haiti is a 'nightmare'; a 'crater rather than a country'-- Global editorialists have all but written off
Haiti as a “hopeless situation” spiraling out of control. Given the ingredients for “a rapid descent
into murderous anarchy,” according to London's conservative Times, it
“could be worse even than a coup.” Many
anticipated “a new wave of desperate refugees” and boat people heading for U.S.
coasts. Dominican papers, like their
government “on maximum alert to avoid a possible avalanche of refugees,”
expressed fatalism that there "is nothing we can do but observe from afar”
and “pray to God to intervene” to avoid a bloodbath.
Aristide's democratic credentials 'debased'-- Many blamed President Aristide for the crisis,
chagrined that the former “courageous reformer” and Haiti’s “best hope” had
fallen back on the "same thuggish forces and fear” as the country's past
despots. Haitian opposition radio flatly
declared that Aristide "does not control anything." The liberal Buenos Aires Herald,
however, reasoned that as “bad as Aristide might be,” the rebel alternative is
"even worse." Downplaying
Aristide’s “imperfect” tenure, Jamaican writers faulted the international
community for focusing only on Mr. Aristide's "shortcomings, real and
otherwise," rather than the "broad reality of Haiti."
This analysis is based on 58 reports from 19 countries, February
10-25. Editorial excerpts from each
country are listed from the most recent date.
Haitian radio broadcasting processed by FBIS was the only available
source of Haitian media.
"Haitian Opposition To Give its Last Word At 1700 Today"
Port-au-Prince Radio Kiskeya in Creole carried a
special newscast stating (2/23):
"For the first time, international mediators are considering the
possibility of Jean-Bertrand Aristide stepping down before the end of his term.
At the same time, we know that the international community was expecting the
Haitian opposition to give its last word today at 1700 on the international
community's proposal. Another important report is that France has called on all
its nationals to leave the country as soon as possible. For its part, the government
gave a report on its meetings with the international community. It took the
opportunity to explain that Aristide agrees to implement totally the plan
proposed by the international community.
We are going to develop these headlines and others in a moment
during this special bulletin that we are presenting this morning on the
occasion of the special situation we are living in Haiti. We are explaining
that this is a special 'Alternative' news program that will not be a newscast
and will not last an hour. It is a special information bulletin. During this
news bulletin, we will try to get in touch with Cap-Haitien for the latest
information. By the way, we talked this morning with people in Cap-Haitien who
told us that the [insurgents] actually came back last night and that they spent
the entire night in Cap-Haitien. This morning, the people heard shooting but
since they have not gone out yet they do not know whether the shooting is from
the insurgents, whether it is a confrontation between the insurgents and
government forces, or whether the shooting is from Lavalas members in the
"What Is Gospel Is The Position Of The
Haitian People That Say Aristide Must Go"
A statement by Convention for Democratic Unity
[KID] leader Paul in the Creole Gazette newscast on independent, centrist
commercial Port-au-Prince Radio Vision stated (2/20): "All other people who are fighting today
for Aristide's departure say the same thing in their own manner.... So, whether
some people are leading a strategy of peaceful struggle like the Democratic
Platform, whether others are leading the same fight as Aristide, that is the
fight of violence based on weapons, so far, I have not yet heard anybody saying
that he is going to enter the palace with weapons and that he will stand behind
his machine gun to lead the country....
What I think must be fundamental is that even if the U.S. secretary of
state says so, it is not what we should take as gospel. What is gospel is the
position of the Haitian people in the various organized sectors that say
Aristide must go. What is fundamental today is that Aristide must be reasonable
enough to realize that he does not control anything.... Today, I do not know if
Aristide controls one-third or one-quarter of the territory of the country or
what percentage of the people he controls. In this particular context, I
believe the Democratic Platform has to take a political responsibility so we
can reach a solution that is compatible with the line the U.S. secretary of
state just developed and in accordance with all the factions that have stood up
for Aristide's departure without ignoring the political party called the
Lavalas Family [FL]. I believe that I have heard many people talking the same
way. The FL people must participate in concerted actions quickly so that armed
people do not have to enter Port-au-Prince to force Aristide to leave the
"All Haitians Have A Responsibility"
Pointing out that the political opposition has
taken further steps in setting up a climate of violence in the country by
asking for the destruction of public offices in the provinces, Paul Raymond
commented in the "Share the News" newscast in government-owned
Port-au-Prince Radio Nationale (2/19):
"All Haitians without distinction have responsibility in what is
going on today in the country. This is the reason why we say: All the people
who knew how FRAPH and the Haitian Army caused pigs to eat people's cadavers on
piles of trash, these men who were committing acts of kidnapping and rape, all
these people should rise up today. All the people who do not agree with the
apartheid system in South Africa should rise up. All the people who believe in
freedom should rise up. All the people who believe in security for all should
rise up, everybody without distinction....
We all know how RAMICOS [Assembly of Staunch Militants of the Commune of
Saint-Marc] in Saint-Marc killed a lot of our partisans. The motherless and
criminal army that is under the control of the opposition, the Convergence, and
the G-184 [Group of 184 Civil Society Organizations] that is torturing and
killing people has now taken a new step. Apparently, they have said that since
it is the population as a whole who is against democracy and freedom then they
will need to kill at least 1,500,000 people.... The Haitian people should
revolt and say: Want it or not Haiti should be free."
"Lavalas Regime Threatens Necklacing"
An announcer for independent, private
French-language Tele Haiti TV asserted (2/18):
"The leaders of Lavalas people's organizations [OP] call for
violence against the bourgeoisie. While giving a press conference yesterday
Paul Raymond and Rene Civil invited the poor people of the shantytowns of
Port-au-Prince to loot the property of the people who are economically well
off. The partisans of the Lavalas regime have threatened to return with the
burning-tire-round-the-neck system against people in case of a possible attack
by the Gonaives rebels. It should be reminded that a former leader of the
Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti [FRAPH] as well
as former military members have now joined the Artibonite Resistance Front.
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's partisans declare that they are ready to
face any attack from the Artibonite rebels against Port-au-Prince."
"Haiti's Only Hope Is Foreign Intervention"
Foreign affairs analyst Eric Margolis commented in the
conservative tabloid Ottawa Sun (2/22): "In three centuries, Haiti
went from the richest nation in the Western Hemisphere to the poorest. Haitians, once renowned as the most artistic,
gracious and cultured of all West Indians, have been reduced to being beggars.
Haiti is too ruined to govern itself. The only solution is foreign
intervention. Not a charade, like Clinton's 'democracy' invasion, but sustained
occupation by forces from the Organization of American States and, hopefully,
France, which may lead the rescue mission. The U.S. is too busy trying to
colonize Iraq to help Haiti. A multinational force should stay until Haiti is
reforested, and its basic institutions--courts, police, civil service,
schools--made to function. This tutelage will take a decade and cost millions.
But there is no other choice for desperate Haiti, except more agony, or a
Castro-style Marxist revolution."
"Aristide Under Trusteeship"
Editorialist Serge Truffaut wrote in the liberal Le Devoir
(2/21): "The assessment of the
Haitian file made by Secretary of State Colin Powell twenty four hours ago is
slightly different than the one made until then. Before there was no question of making any
move that would directly or indirectly facilitate the departure of President
Jean-Baptiste Aristide. In the eyes of
the Bush administration he was an untouchable.
That is no longer quite the case....
So far the plan drawn up by the Caribbean countries (Caricom) does not
include Aristide's departure. Now, if at
the end of the negotiations which begin today, 'an agreement is reached to go
in another direction, that's fine,' said Powell.... All things considered, the days of Aristide
are numbered. At the very least he is
The leading Globe and Mail editorialized (Internet version,
2/17): "Haiti is again sliding into
anarchy while its neighbors wring their hands and hope the latest crisis to
grip the impoverished country can be resolved without their intervention. That seems increasingly unlikely.... The current crisis can be traced to the 2000
election, which was swept by Mr. Aristide and his ruling party amid widespread
accusations of fraud.... Mr. Aristide
had earlier promised to disarm the gangs loyal to him, allow peaceful
demonstrations and appoint a prime minister acceptable to the opposition, in a
process leading to new elections. But he
is not known for keeping his promises.
In fact, he has been a bitter disappointment to supporters, including
the U.S. and other governments, which restored him to power after a coup and
have propped him up through the years as Haiti's best hope for democratic
reform. Canada sent soldiers and police
to Haiti in 1996 as part of a United Nations multinational force... Sadly, eight years later, democracy still
hasn't taken root, and the police appear helpless to maintain order. Mr. Aristide must be persuaded to hold new,
fair elections before his current term expires in 2006 and to disarm the
organized gangs who give their loyalty in exchange for the freedom to pursue
their criminal activities. And Haiti's
neighbors and friends, including Canada, should prepare once again to intervene
for the sake of stability and order."
"U.S. Invasion Of Haiti Was Ideological Self-Indulgence"
Columnist George Jonas observed in the nationalist Ottawa
Citizen (2/16): "Comparing America's 1994 intervention in Haiti with
the Bush-administration's intervention in Iraq is instructive. The similarities
are self-evident. Both military operations were designed to bring about a
regime-change. Both were aimed at getting rid of a ruling strongman: Saddam
Hussein in Iraq, and Gen. Raoul Cedras in Haiti. Both operations aimed to bring
democracy to the people. There were also obvious differences. Cedras never
invaded any of his neighbours. Cedras never developed, tried to develop, or
pretended to try to develop, weapons of mass destruction.... A sliding scale of
murderous dictatorships, with, say, Hitler being a 10, would show Saddam a
solid eight. Cedras would barely make it to a three.... For the Clinton crowd
and the black congressional caucus, it was no contest. Aristide was their boy,
and on Sept. 19, 1994, they sent in the Marines. Operation Restore (Uphold)
Democracy - it went under both names - did everything but restore (or uphold)
democracy in Haiti. In fairness, it would have been difficult to restore or
uphold something that never existed.... The Bush administration's invasion of
Iraq was at least arguably based on national (and international) self-interest.
The Clinton administration's 1994 invasion of Haiti was a demonstration of
using military power solely for ideological reasons. The two incursions are
textbook illustrations of the words utile and futile. Yet guess which of the
two invasions had the UN's blessing, utile Iraq or futile Haiti? And guess
which of the two resulted in a controversy that may yet cost a president his
"Mugging Haiti's High Hopes"
Gordon Barthos wrote in the liberal Toronto Star (Internet
version, 2/12): "This growing chaos
has diminished Aristide's stature. But
no figure has arisen to rival his popularity with the poor who make up the
great majority.... Haiti's elite...has never accepted Aristide. But many of Haiti's 8 million poor...regard
him as their hero. And if Aristide were
ousted, his foes would soon be at each others' throats.... This violence serves notice that Haiti will
need more than a few short years to rid itself of a predatory political culture
that encourages a small political elite to chase power, privilege and wealth by
winning public office, and to hang on by rewarding cronies. If Aristide hopes to survive this crisis, he
should agree to share more power by appointing a new prime minister who
commands the confidence of opposition groups.
He ought to head a broad coalition, not the biggest gang. He must rein in his armed supporters and hold
internationally supervised elections.
This time, the opposition should contest them. Most importantly, a line must be drawn
against anarchy. Aristide was elected by
all Haitians. His forced removal by armed foes would be a tragic step
Aristide Nor Rebels Will Survive Civil War "
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst of
leading Clarin, opined (2/25) "The resolution of the Haitian
crisis...may not be so far away as suggested by the tragedy being lived right
now... The U.S. has made the kind of proposal that should be very hard, but not
impossible, to reject. According to the initiative, Aristide would maintain the
presidency until the end of his term, in 2006, although his government would be
a symbolic one, and confronting factions would attempt to live together in a
transition government... The U.S., France... and the OAS have approved the
scheme. Neither Aristide nor those who can succeed him are in a position to
survive civil war regardless of who wins. Haiti is now a beggar and any
government emerging from chaos will have to resort to the big world donors in
order to survive.... Money and
democratic institutions will be the renewed key to any rational future for
Haiti... The U.S. is not only the most powerful nation of the region but also
the one having the most to lose as a consequence of the crisis. Only 800
kilometers away from Haiti, the U.S. coasts closest to it could again attract
desperate migration. It is not the best
time for this to happen. Determined as Washington is in the Middle East and
Asia, its ability to develop efforts in Haiti is in doubt. Also, the U.S. does
not have a good reputation in democratic reconstruction out of its
"Still Too Far From Bush's Priorities"
Jorge Rosales, Washington-based correspondent
for daily-of-record La Nacion, commented (2/24): "The Bush
administration's priorities are today thousands of kilometers away from
Haiti.... In contrast to what happened
in 1994...this time the U.S. will only limit itself to seek a political
solution, which is becoming a failure at the moment. It is a euphemism that
means that there will not be any military solution... Not everyone agrees in
the Bush administration on how to act vis-ŕ-vis the crisis.... Colin Powell believes that democracy should
be respected and he opposes any military intervention. The search for a way out
of the tragedy in Haiti is in hands of Canada, France, the U.S. and the
Caribbean countries. France is in favor of military intervention, but this
should be in the hands of the U.S. or a multinational force. Canada rejects the
military choice.... At the moment,
Washington does not know what to do with Haiti... The search for a solution of the Haitian
crisis leaves Latin American countries in the role of observers rather than
central players. However, all of them defend democracy at the OAS."
"Haiti's Hell Heightens"
Michael Soltys, executive editor of liberal,
English-language Buenos Aires Herald wrote (2/24): "The outcome in Haiti will depend on the
rather feeble firepower of the two sides unless either the Haitian people as a
whole or the international community decide to take a decisive part in events.
And as things now stand, there is scant prospect of either. Bad as Aristide might be with his broken
promises since a suspect election in 2000, most Haitians probably suspect that
the rebel alternative is even worse.... The international community is
suffering from Haiti fatigue and has yet to come up with an effective
response.... Aristide would be more than
willing to accept a peacekeeping force and Haiti's old colonial master
France...shows interest in the idea but has yet to find any backing. The OAS is
nowhere to be seen. But the international community (or at least the U.S.) may
be forced to do something if it wishes to avoid a repetition of the refugee
wave of 1994."
"Everything Can Be Little And Too Late"
Marcelo Cantelmi wrote in leading Clarin
(2/23): "The only thing that allows president Aristide to survive is the
lack of anyone who could possibly replace him. There are no figures among
opponents having the background required to lead the transition process. The
big reason why powers protect Aristide is the threat of waves of refugees
seeking U.S. coasts as happened ten years ago. But everything can be little and
too late to stop a national rebellion and for which Aristide himself is to be
blamed. Haiti is today a crater rather than a country, a social hole on the
verge of explosion."
"A Small Africa At The Doors Of The
Oscar Raul Cardoso, international analyst for
leading Clarin, commented (2/21):
"Haiti seems to be on the verge of civil war under the first
popularly elected government in its two centuries of existence.... No wonder
why last week U.S. State Secretary Colin Powell candidly said there is not too
much enthusiasm in Washington about the idea of another international military
intervention to pacify the Caribbean country.... The risk of unleashing a new wave of
desperate refugees toward U.S. coasts is present. As French experts explained, the U.S. has
reasons to 'fear a new Liberia'... Foreign political...or
military...intervention is highly likely due to bad reasons such as fear of
refugees.... Nevertheless, it is sure
that any action only aimed at putting a brake to imminent chaos will end up
leading to another failure in the mid-term. What Haiti needs is what it has not
obtained so far--a prolonged commitment from the international community
instead of the long oblivion to which it has been subject, just like
"Haiti: Fewer Chances
For A Solution"
Pablo Biffi remarked in leading Clarin (2/13): "The deterioration of Aristide's
government is so big that chances of reaching a solution to the crisis are
narrowing considerably. Unable to give a
real answer to protest rallies and armed rebels who call for his resignation,
repression by state forces or its armed followers may lead the country to a
bloodbath. The U.S. doesn't seem willing
to support Aristide, although it does endorse a political and institutional
'solution'--which is an euphemism for his 'resignation--that will pacify a country
in flames. A wave of Haitian 'boat
people' going to Florida in an election year is not good news for the Bush
administration. All in all, Aristide is
now the shadow of that 'reverend of the poor' who over a decade ago offered to
take his country out of poverty."
"Brazil Is Against Intervention"
Sandra Lefcovich noted in pro-government Correio
Braziliense (Internet Version-WWW, 2/19):
"Minister Celso Amorim rejects sending troops to contain the
rebellion that could overthrow President Aristide, but indicates that he would
accept a humanitarian mission. Foreign
Minister Celso Amorim yesterday defended an international community action in
relation to the crisis in Haiti, as long as it focuses on maintaining the peace
and dialogue. Amorim does not agree with a foreign intervention in the
Caribbean nation unless it has a humanitarian and peacekeeping purpose — and
the clear consent of the Haitians....
The Brazilian Government is in direct contact with the French
Government, studying the sending of a humanitarian mission that will 'perhaps'
involve troops.... The United States has
already warned that it does not agree with the French proposal. U.S. Secretary
of State Colin Powell said that the Haitian Government and opposition must
negotiate, and that then a mission to monitor compliance with an eventual
accord would be sent.... The UNSC
yesterday condemned the conflicts that have already killed at least 56 people
and asked President Aristide and opposition leaders to resume talks to
reestablish order. The Mercosur [Common Market of the South] countries
(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), and their associates, Chile and
Bolivia, have also emphasized their support for democracy in Haiti, and asked
for the parties involved to remain calm."
CHILE: “The international Community Must Take
Conservative daily-of-record El Mercurio asserted
(2/21): “The effort of the international
community to take democracy to Haiti has failed several times. Perhaps those efforts failed because of the
lack of political will to finish the job.
Perhaps the situation calls for long-term supervision, until the Haitian
society can become saturated with the culture of civic democracy, until
political institutions consolidate, and until the economy can provide some
guarantees for eight million impoverished Haitians.”
COLOMBIA: "Haiti And Backwardness"
An editorial in Cali-based, Conservative Party-oriented El Pais
stated (2/23): "The efforts of the
OAS to reach a solution to the conflict are necessary. But the intervention must be deeper and
obtain some semblance of stability and some hope for cultural development in a
country that has never been able to pull itself and is in the advanced stages
of social deterioration, with obvious risks to its people and neighboring
"Haiti: Sequestered Truth"
Joaquin Milanes A. reported in leading
government-run Havana Radio Rebelde (2/18):
"Once again, those who control the airwaves, as well as printed and
digital press, have launched one of their fashionable media campaigns to
distort the truth. This time it is against the very humble republic of
Haiti. Dr. Marie Andrine Constant,
Haitian ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Cuba has revealed in
Havana the sequestered truth of what is actually happening in her
country.... The Haitian diplomat
revealed that her country's current crisis is the result of the battle the
Haitian people have been waging for a measure of political control over the
nation's affairs, which is currently in the hands of elite groups that
represent barely one percent of the population and are refusing to share it
with majority sectors. The ambassador
supplied hitherto unseen pictures of recent demonstrations of support for
constitutional President Jean-Bertrand Aristide that mass media have not shown
to the world.... Adrine Constant
recalled that her country has the bitter experience of 30-plus bloody coup
d'etats and that President Aristide has called for dialogue with the opposition
in an effort to avert the current political and social crisis and reasserted
that he will not resign and will serve in full his constitutional term in
office through February 2006.... When queried
by Radio Rebelde, the ambassador pledged on behalf of the Haitian Government to
guarantee the security of 500-plus Cubans, mainly health workers, who are
providing a vast array of cost-free cooperation services throughout the
neighboring country and eliciting nothing but affection and gratitude from the
Haitian people, according to the ambassador.
My country opposes any kind of foreign military intervention that may be
prompted by the current worldwide disinformation campaign based on the lies and
slander disseminated by rightwing and opposition news media," the Haitian
ambassador to Havana told this radio station."
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: "God Help Haiti"
pro-business Listin Diario warned (2/24): “As days and hours pass,
violence increases and makes Haiti more dangerous each day.... It is not only
the offensive operations of a rebel irregular army, but also of the news
reports about popular strikes supporting [it], shouting against President
Aristide. This is very significant, since the Haitian constitutional president
has always been considered a leader with a lot of popular support. In light of
this, Dominican Armed Forces have been put on maximum alert to avoid a possible
avalanche of Haitians looking fo refuge
in our country.... We Dominicans only
have to pray to God to intervene and avoid a bloodbath that would only serve to
aggravate the prevailing injustices and increase resentments. That is the only
thing we can do, because this small country, affected by an economic crisis that
we are only starting to overcome slowly, is not in any condition to give
Haitians material help no matter how powerful our feelings are in that regard,
and no matter how supportive we want to be with that fellow country.”
independent morning tabloid El Dia held (2/24): “Haiti is going through tough times. Without
taking sides...we can’t but worry about the luck of that poor country as well
as the consequences that its crisis can generate on this side of the border. Special attention should be paid to the
intentions of certain developed countries or international organizations, that
our country, due to its proximity, be used as safe haven for refugees fleeing
that country for political or economic reasons. The dilemma is a very serious
one. On one side, there are humanitarian reasons...but on the other side, there
is the cruel reality: if we Dominicans cannot cope with our own needs, how can
we take care of somebody else’s? We simply can’t. We fully endorse the opinions
of the Secretary of the Armed Forces that if the international organizations
want to offer assistance and help Haiti’s critical situation, they must do so
within the [geographic] limits of that country. Or better yet, we add, within
the geographic borders of countries better developed than ours. But, as for us,
"Haiti Is For Haitians"
Establishment, leading morning tabloid Diario Libre
editorialized (2/20): “We Dominicans
have nothing to do with [Haiti’s] crisis, except to observe from afar and let
Haitians solve their conflicts. If the
international community takes some action, then we have to support those
efforts...we are interested in a democratic and calm Haiti, but without the
intervention of Dominican hands.
"Effects Of Haitian Crisis On The Dominican
Leading Listin Diario carried an
editorial stating (2/18): "A sense
of lawlessness that has ruled over Haiti has given liberty to drug and arms
traffickers, and now the Dominican Republic is full of drugs.... Given the economic situation in Haiti,
Dominican cities all have Haitian neighborhoods now. These are like ghettos
which, it claims, are breeding grounds for more problems in the future.... Now the violence in Haiti could be like a
spark when added to the current economic and social despair that the Dominican
Republic is experiencing.... The Haitian situation has not been given the
attention that it deserves, but soon the country will feel the negative effects
of not having dealt with the situation in time."
GUATEMALA: "Crucial Time
Business-oriented Siglo Veintiuno held
(2/15): "Aristide did not know how
to interpret the importance of having moved international public opinion in his
favor, and instead of establishing a democratic government; he established a
repressive and corrupt regime. The
institutions became stagnant and the economy did not generate the appropriate
conditions to free Haitians from poverty.
It is probable that things will develop rapidly, according to recent
reports. But in any case, the best outcome
will be that democracy triumphs...with as few casualties as possible."
JAMAICA: "The Crisis Is In Part The Fault
Of The International Community"
The editorial of the business-oriented, centrist Observer
asserted (2/23): "That it has come
to this is in part the fault of the international community, who focused only
on the shortcomings, real and otherwise, of Mr. Aristide rather the broad
reality of Haiti. Sanctions were bound to break the country and lay the basis
for today's instability which has been so cynically exploited by those who
claim democracy as their agenda. But it need not have come to this had there
been clear and definitive declarations by those who have the muscle to make
their voices really count--the United States, Canada, the European Union--that
there will be no rewards for violence and undemocratic actions to achieve
political ends. They at times, mostly late in the day, admonished against
violence as a political tool. But there was always a sense that these
statements were delivered in a language full of double-speak that left the
impression that the remarks also contained something of a nod and a wink. It
was a policy based on personality rather than what is right and what is moral."
"Get A Coalition Of The Willing For
The editorial of the business-oriented, centrist
Observer stressed (2/19):
"There is little doubt that the Haitian Opposition is on the wrong
side of law, logic and morality.
Imperfect though Mr. Aristide’s tenure has been, Jamaica and its
partners in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) must remain firm that they will
not tolerate in the community any member where the government seizes power via
extra-constitutional meansWe suggest that [CARICOM] engages the United Nations
to put together a peace-keeping and humanitarian mission for Haiti, whose
immediate mandate must be to help the legitimate government restore order and
to disarm the private militias that have taken over Gonaives and other towns.
We hope that the United States would support the mounting of such a mission,
including contributing peacekeepers, for a job on its third border to help out
friends. But even if the United States is not particularly inclined towards
such a mission, it cannot be too difficult a process for CARICOM to get
Security Council blessing to establish a coalition of the willing to ensure
peace, stability and democracy in the community's front yard."
The centrist Observer opined (2/15): "What the U.S. should be doing is not
sending signals that replacing Mr. Aristide might not be too bad a
development. Rather, Secretary of State
Powell should be sending a clear message to the opposition that the chosen
route to power should be through the ballot box in legislative elections. He should also be telling [Assistant
Secretary of State] Noriega that America will join sponsorship on the Kingston
Accord which President Aristide arrived at with CARICOM leaders. Should the U.S. fail to take the moral high
road it could find itself, even in this post-Cold War world, 'losing' the
"Don’t Reward Haitian Opposition For Violence"
The business-oriented, centrist Observer editorialized
(2/13): "[The U.S. should] tell the
Haitian opposition that it will tolerate nothing less than democratic
behavior. After today’s meeting between
Foreign Minister Knight and the CARICOM delegation with Assistant Secretary
Noriega, we expect to hear that Washington has made it clear to the opposition
that they can expect no reward from America for violence.”
PANAMA: "As Of
Government critic La Prensa commented (2/22): “The efforts in the diplomatic sphere to
overcome the current institutional crisis are not enough and show a lack of
knowledge of the problems of the Haitians.
They are mistaken in thinking that Haiti needs only a cosmetic
makeover.... What is needed is a
commitment from the international community.”
BRITAIN: "Throttled By History"
Under the sub-head, Haiti’s political class has failed it,
but the first black republic has also been squeezed dry by a vengeful west,” an
editorial in the far-left Guardian asserted (2/23): "The most urgent issue to stem the
descent into gang warfare and political anarchy. In this the Haitians have been let down by
poor domestic political leadership on all sides...in return for political
freedom, Aristide was compelled to accept economic enslavement, bound by terms
imposed by the IMF and the World Bank.
Post-colonial military aggression gave way to the brutal forces of
globalisation. Before Aristide had even
considered fixing the elections, the west had already rigged the markets....
None of this excuses the shortcomings of either the current administration of
its detractors. But it helps explain why
the roots of the current crisis are so deep, and spread so far. Aristide has been dealt few cards, and those
he had he has played badly. He has
tainted a nascent democratic culture.
But to allow him to be deposed at the hands of former dictators will
destroy it altogether. Aristide could do
far better for Haiti. Haiti could do far
worse than Aristide."
The conservative Times judged (2/18): "This could be worse even than a
coup. The weakness of the police, the
violence of the gangs and the return to Haiti of sinister figures from Haiti's
past could produce a rapid descent into murderous anarchy. In the name of democracy, the president has
appealed for outside help--but it is in the name of order and humanitarian
concern that he will get it. His
credentials as a democrat have been debased....
Washington is disinclined to intervene directly. The UN is grimly preparing for a massive
exodus of starving refugees. France
appears to have taken Washington's reluctance to get involved as a challenge to
demonstrate French leadership. Were it
to deploy a peacekeeping force...it has 4,000 troops available in the
Caribbean. Against gangs of a few dozen
men, a small well-armed force could be effective.... Disaster can probably be averted in Haiti,
but only if it is clear that this crisis is the beginning of the end for
"The Caribbean Nightmare"
The conservative Daily Telegraph remarked
(Internet version, 2/14): "Haiti
has long been a thorn in the Americans' side.... In 1994...to reverse the overthrow of an
elected government by coup d'etat, they led a multinational force into the
country. The ousted president,
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was duly restored and completed his mandate.... The rebellion puts the Americans in an
awkward position. They are critical of
Mr. Aristide's rule, in particular his use of thugs to intimidate political
opponents. However, they recognize that
he was duly elected four years ago and that his immediate departure could
create a power vacuum inviting even greater chaos than at present.... Haiti is the poorest country in the western
hemisphere and for nearly half a century has been a byword for violence.... This... has marked the subsequent faltering
attempts at democratic governance. The
Americans may not wish again to intervene directly but they cannot but be
concerned by the prospect of a failed state on their doorstep, particularly in
an age of global terrorism. Miserable
and murderous, the western half of the island of Hispaniola stubbornly resists
a superpower's attempt to bring stability."
"America's Position On Haiti Is, Frankly,
The center-left Independent editorialized (2/19): "The poorest country in the western
hemisphere is collapsing, its people living in fear once again. But America washes its hands of this
catastrophe, even though it is happening in its own backyard.... To rule out intervention so swiftly is ill
judged, to say nothing of being morally indefensible.... Washington could use its influence, and the
threat of military might, to force Aristide, whose term expires in 2006, to
devolve power to a consensus Prime Minister; to withdraw his armed gangs, after
which international aid, cancelled in 2000, could begin to flow again. The callous reality is that economically and
strategically, Haiti does not matter to the U.S. The only concern is that Haiti's collapse
could spark what one senator called an exodus of refugees 'in rickety
"The Opposition Or Disaster"
Yves Therard wrote in right-of-center Le Figaro
(2/24): “The crisis in Haiti is raising
once again the question of when to intervene in order to free a people from a
dictator. The other question that it
raises is why the U.S., which asked no one’s permission to get rid of Saddam
Hussein, is not banging on the table....
Part of the answer may lie in the fact that this Caribbean island is
worth very little to the U.S. The island
has lost its strategic role since the end of the Cold War.... Another reason why no one is eager to
intervene is because no one seems to believe there is hope for Haiti. Neither player seems to promise a successful
outcome, not Aristide, who built his power on treason.... Not the opposition, which is divided and
whose leader lacks charisma.... And
finally not the armed rebels who want Aristide out but will hardly compromise
with the opposition. Without a firm
involvement of the international community, chaos is a certainty.... Either the West decides to help the
opposition or it continues to squabble, leaving the door open to the lawless
rebels and to disaster. Intervention in
Haiti is a necessity that must overcome the West’s soul-searching.”
Patrick Sabatier judged in left-of-center Liberation
(2/24): “Two hundred years after the
birth of the first black republic, Haiti is plunging into anarchy.... Aristide’s despotism is the cause of the
impending chaos. His departure will most
probably be the condition for a resolution of the crisis.... On the ground, the situation is in such
disarray that one can hardly understand why the U.S., the dominant presence in
Haiti for the past one hundred years, still refuses to send a UN-led
international force, as it did ten years ago and as France has suggested. This option appears to be the only way to put
a stop to the anarchy that is fast turning into a massacre and a humanitarian
"Aristide's Salvation Depends On The
Romeo Langlois and Pascale Mariani observed in
center-right Le Figaro (2/20):
"At the current rate, not many people bet on the chances of the
authoritarian regime of defrocked priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Unless a
foreign intervention force intervenes. 'That is the only thing that could save
the president,' a Haitian journalist feels....
The United States, hostile to intervention to restore order in Haiti,
yesterday [19 February] indicated it intends to suggest a series of measures
starting today [20 February].... Yet according to some observers, only a
voluntary departure by Aristide could avert an attack on Port-au-Prince
announced by the rebels.... But for now,
the Americans are trying to deal with first things first: the protection of
their fellow citizens. The Pentagon announced yesterday [19 February] that it
was going to send a small team to the scene to evaluate the security of its
embassy in Port-au-Prince, where the United States has already reduced its
presence. And the State Department has 'strongly
advised American citizens to leave the country while commercial flights are
still in operation.' Aristide, for his
part, is hanging on. He has repeated his desire to stay to the end of his term,
meaning until 2006, and has even said he is 'prepared to die' to defend his
country. Yesterday [19 February]
evening, he was still calling his troops to arms, appealing to the police to
fight the insurgents and describing as a 'bluff' their threatening statements about
an imminent seizure of Port-au-Prince."
"The Question Of Haiti"
Left-of-center Le Monde in its editorial (2/19): “When to
implement the right to intervene? What is the level of a people’s suffering
that determines when the international community must act? How does one
reconcile humanitarian ‘law’ with international law?… The question will soon
arise for Haiti. It will concern France for historical reasons, the U.S. for
geographical reasons, and the Organization of American States, because there is
very little chance that things will improve. On the contrary.… Nothing good is
to be expected from either side.… The population is in danger. An intervention has become a must. But President Aristide was democratically
elected.… He can claim legitimacy.”
"Haiti Will Not Make It Alone"
Jacques Amalric in left-of-center Liberation (2/19): “To
speak of a ‘political solution’ in the face of the Haitian chaos as the U.S. is
doing is akin to accepting the disaster that is in the making. The solution, if
indeed there is one, can only come from the outside. Because we cannot expect
anything from the U.S., which is concentrated on Iraq and the presidential
elections, and if multilateralism and the UN still mean something, it behooves
nations like France, Canada, Mexico and Brazil to take the initiative.
"Intervention And Its Traps"
Renaud Girard commented in right-of-center Le Figaro
(2/18): “FM de Villepin suggested
deploying an international peace force in Haiti, but he did it with much
caution. In the past ten years history
has shown that sending western troops into a foreign land in the grips of
disturbances did not necessarily lead to peace and democracy.... The right to intervene is a weapon that
demands extreme caution.... The military
phase is the easy part.... The delicate
one is always the post-war phase. There
is nothing as easy as defeating an old army in a foreign territory. But there is nothing as complicated as being
successful in what the Americans call ‘nation-building’ in a foreign
land.... Because President Bush did not
ask himself all the proper preliminary questions about Iraq a year ago, he
finds himself in a difficult position with regard to America’s voters. When Kofi Annan made his suggestions for
reforming the UN, he suggested rehabilitating the old system of
trusteeship. Here is an issue that could
serve as a foundation for rebuilding the Franco-American dialogue.”
"France Ready To Intervene In Haitian
Veronique Soule remarked in left-of-center Liberation
(2/18): "In face of the risk of
chaos in Haiti, France intervened yesterday, mentioning the sending of an
international force.... Since the beginning of the troubles on 5 February, the
international community has remained relatively passive, while the parties --
President Aristide, the armed rebels demanding his departure, and the peaceful
opposition -- have remained intransigent....
By proposing a peace force, France, absent from the Washington meeting,
is taking the initiative. In face of the possibility of seeing the Americans
take charge of seeking a solution, Villepin, a believer in diplomatic activism,
is apparently seeking to open the process and get back to the multilateralism
so dear to France. At the Quay d'Orsay, they indicated that Paris was working
in consultation with Washington, but also with Germany as well as Mexico and
Brazil, two countries against U.S. hegemony."
Business daily Handelsblatt of
Duesseldorf concluded (2/24): "The
rebels plan to control the country in about two weeks. But what then?... Haiti is a sad example of a small developing
nation that succeeded in getting rid of its despots, but this should not be
mixed up with the term 'liberation.'...
Current President Aristide also gave in to the exhilaration of power and
money. Business as usual and this is all
the more true for the U.S. backyard. And
it has also become usual that international mediators appear on the stage trying
to save what can be saved.... There is
no lack of noble peace plans. But not on
the agenda is how they can be implemented.
Everybody knows that a great deal of the insurgents come from the army,
which Aristide dissolved, but nobody is thinking about protecting the
Haitians. Instead other countries do
their duty and warn against trips to the downtrodden island."
"Haiti's Opposition Should Give In"
Roland Heine said in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(2/23): "The attitude of leaders of
the politically diverse opposition is very comprehensible. Given all the experience they have little
reason to believe in Aristide's assurances.
The fear seems to be that giving in to their demands at the moment would
give rebels a fresh impetus, leading to their domination of the entire
country. One can only assume what this
would mean because several former militias from the time of the dictatorship
already joined the rebels. A solution can
only be found if the rebels a willing to make comprises. They are the only armed force in the country
at the moment. Thus, only an
international peace mission or an alliance between Aristide supporters and the
political opposition would have a chance to avoid the worst. Also Aristide must fear the rebels more than
anything else. That could be the way to
force him to comply with an agreement."
Erik-Michael Bader opined in center-right Frankfurter
Allgemeine (2/21): "Despite all
the allegations against Aristide, forcing him to resign would be rather destructive
for the chance to establish democracy after two hundred years of mostly
heroic-theatrical-violent Haitian history.
It is also dubious whether, in the long run, he will be positive for
human rights in Haiti. But that would be
even more the case if rebels violently toppled him. On the other side, it would also be a
catastrophe if Aristide continued to rule in the same way. Consequently, the Washington plan, which was
agreed with other countries, does not mean that Aristide must resign; but it
opens the option of his resignation in the context of negotiations. Given his missionary self-confidence, it is
unlikely that Aristide will agree to such a solution, but less than that will
not satisfy the opposition.... It looks
impossible that the armed rebels agree to a negotiated solution that excludes
Aristide's fall and includes their disarmament.
It will require a lot of pressure from Washington on all participants to
pacify the trouble spot Haiti."
John Hehn asserted in right-of-center Die Welt
(Internet Version-WWW, 2/19): "There is no shortage of good reasons for
the great caution being displayed by both the United States and France over the
escalating crisis in Haiti.... There are examples aplenty of this, ranging from
Somalia, via Kosovo, to Iraq, where even the U.S. superpower appears to have
reached the limits of its potential....
Washington should not dismiss out of hand the French offer to act
'jointly,' for example within the framework of the UNSC l in seeking a solution
to the crisis. For what is at stake is
not just Haiti, on the Americans' doorstep, but the fundamental issue of crisis
resolution as a whole. Joint action
would offer the possibility of considering not only ways of achieving a rapid
solution to this crisis, but also the potential scope for ensuring long-term
civil and political reconstruction, so as to enable Haiti to break out of its
vicious circle of abuse of power, corruption, and violence. Haiti would provide a good opportunity to
learn from the errors of past ventures.
If the Americans and French were able to achieve this together, then
future crisis interventions could be anticipated with less concern."
"High Time For Haiti"
Rudoph Chimelli noted in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche
Zeitung of Munich (2/18): "With
every day of confusion in Haiti it is becoming more obvious that nobody is able
to stop the chaos on the island.... But
apart from preparing Guantánamo Bay for the acceptance of tens of thousands of
boat people, the United States is currently doing nothing. French rule over the island dates back two
centuries...but France has forces in neighboring Guadeloupe and Martinique and
Cayenne. They could...be quickly
mobilized to preserve peace and to offer humanitarian assistance. It is not very likely that the French could
become active on their own or without Aristide's approval. The Haitian president in turn only wants to
accept 'technical assistance' from the OAS.
Haiti's best chance would be a UN decision."
"Customs Of The Country"
Klaus Ehringfeld commented in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung
(2/12): "President Aristide has
lost touch with the realities of his destitute country. Being surrounded by apple-polishers and
protected by dozens of bodyguards from the U.S., he doesn't see that Haiti is
plunging into a civil war and that his days are numbered. His insistence on staying in power till 2006
is wishful thinking because there is nothing Haitians know better than toppling
"Haiti Without Hopes"
Rudolph Chimelli judged in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung
of Munich (2/10): "One thing is
certain: there can be no longer a
solution which is based on reconciliation of the legitimate opposition with the
president. His opponents demand that
Aristide must go. The term of the
elected president ends in two years. If
he gives in to the pressure of the streets, if he is ousted, displaced or
killed, then this would correspond exactly to the things Haiti has experienced
over the past 200 years. The democratic
alternative looks different. Emergency
assistance is necessary: the
organization of Caribbean and American States, the UN, the United States, the
ITALY: "Fear In Haiti,
The Rebels Ready To March On The Capital"
Center-left daily Il Messaggero noted
(2/24): “The international community continues to repeat that it will not
accept a military solution to the crisis under way in the Caribbean island. The
U.S., EU, the OAS and CARICOM have refused to send a military contingent to
Haiti until the government and the opposition has reached a political
agreement.… Faced with the refusal on the part of the opposition, international
mediators have for the first time made it understood that they are ready to
examine the possibility of Aristide’s immediate exit. Fearing an imminent rebel
attack on Port-au-Prince, France and Germany are asking their citizens to leave
"Haiti, The Rebels Conquer The North"
Omero Ciai reported in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica
(2/23): “The fall of Cap Haitien makes
Aristide’s position even more precarious and the peace plan unfeasible. Roger Noriega, Bush’s Assistant Secretary of
the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, heading an international delegation, presented
it to the government and to the opposition the day before last. The plan, which was drafted by the U.S.,
France and Canada, calls for an agreement between the President, who still has
two years of mandate and the non-violent moderate opposition that unites all
the parties.… Haiti is surviving thanks to international donations and to 248
non-governmental organizations that are dividing up the pie of aid
distribution. No one knows how to face
this disaster. The Americans, who are willing to move only in the diplomatic
sphere for fear of a new wave of refugees on the coast of Florida, don’t know
what to do. The French don’t know what
to do either as they would like to return to this ex-colony as the leaders of
an international contingent.”
Help Me Stop the Rebels’"
Paolo Mastrolilli commented in centrist, influential daily La
Stampa (2/18): "The rebels are
moving toward the center of the country.
The UN is preparing to facilitate the refugees’ exodus. President Aristide is appealing to the
international community to intervene.
France is considering sending a peace force. The U.S. is cautious. These stories have all been heard before in
Haiti’s recent past and they demonstrate how the Caribbean country risks
slipping into chaos."
"The Rebels Advance, Haiti In Chaos"
Riccardo De Palo noted in Rome's center-left Il Messaggero (2/18): “Haiti.
Eight million inhabitants, seven million of which live in total
poverty.... The president, Aristide, a
former priest, who was placed in power by 20,000 marines...was seen at the time
as a hope for democracy and peace, but proved unable to avoid the errors made
by all his predecessors. This country is
in utter chaos. The U.S., which
contributed to creating this ‘monster,’ now doesn’t know how to neutralize it.”
"Washington Pressures Aristide To Step Down"
Elite, classical liberal Il Foglio observed (2/11): “The U.S. is facing a dramatic
emergency. Haiti is ungovernable. Aristide must be removed from power. An expeditionary force must go in to save
what is salvageable and to ward off a devastating humanitarian crisis, like in
Sierra Leone or Liberia. CARICOM
[Caribbean Community]...and the group that opposes Aristide, which is tied to
the U.S. and to international institutions, are pressuring Foggy
Bottom.... The only foreseeable solution
is to pressure Aristide so that he may be convinced to step down. Once the president has been removed from
office, a rapid military intervention made up of American troops plus others
from Caribbean countries, and then OAS can guarantee law and order and
establish a government of ‘good people,’ as they say at Foggy Bottom. The U.S. doesn’t want a Somalia in the
"U.S. To Carry The U.N.’s Burden”
Center-right Jyllands-Posten editorialized (2/16): “As
usual, there are only two certain losers (in Haiti), the population and
democracy. The U.N. will probably cast a
glance at the problem before gallantly passing the operation on to the United
States. Just like Clinton before him,
Bush will not be able to ignore this kind of lawlessness in his own back
yard. The U.S. may hesitate, but it
looks like it will have to act - on behalf of the United Nations.”
FINLAND: "No Peacemaker Found For Haiti"
Leading, centrist Helsingin Sanomat editorialized (Internet
version, 2/17): "The U.S. is
emphasizing that the current president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who is battling
rebels, is a democratically elected head of state. This is true.
It is equally true that this former Catholic priest and former favorite
of Haitians is today an extremely unpopular and corrupt leader. He is defending his shaky hold on power with
violence inflicted by, besides the official police, also unofficial, armed
groups.... Aristide has miserably
betrayed the hopes that were attached to him when the military dictatorship was
toppled one decade ago. Surely he
deserves to be toppled, if there would then be realistic hopes of something
better.... Haiti's chaotic political history does not, however, encourage one
to optimism. The U.S. is suggesting to
Canada and the countries in the Caribbean region that they should send police
to Haiti to help in preserving order.
Such officers could not, however, enter the country uninvited. They would be useful as guardians of the
peace for society there only after the crisis is defused. The only power that is capable of entering
the country is the U.S., which does not, however, want to bear all the
responsibility for pacifying Haiti.
After all, the U.S. intervened there a decade ago, and the result was
nothing other than the Aristide regime and the current miserable chaos."
SPAIN: "Fear in
Left-of-center El Pais editorialized (Internet version,
2/17): "Almost 10 years after U.S.
troops invaded Haiti to prop up democracy, the poor Caribbean half-island is
once again submerged in chaos, violence and fear.... The 1994 intervention has
been of no use, because the effort was not maintained. One of the poorest
countries on earth was abandoned to its terrible fate once more. Aristide, the populist leader who had awakened
so many hopes, managed only to increase the poverty of the eight million
inhabitants of this afflicted nation....
The violence, with a death toll of more than 50 so far, is threatening
to destabilize the whole country, which is experiencing serious difficulties
distributing food. The international
community, starting with Caricom [Caribbean Community] and the Organization of
American States [OAS], must take urgent measures to ensure the viability of a
democracy which, fundamentally, requires economic development and the means to
achieve this. Haiti gives the lie to the
current talk of 'nation building.'"
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: "Hait Unrest Calls For Speedy
The English language, expat-oriented Gulf
News (Internet Version-WWW) stated (2/18): "Growing unrest in Haiti
has still not made too many alarm bells ring. It should. With the growing
rebellion against the Jean-Bertrand Aristide regime drawing in exiled
paramilitary troops, the nature and extent of violence could become more
severe. There are examples of such conflicts spiralling out of control,
confining a lumbering international community to, at best, partial damage
control. Witness Rwanda. Whether it is ethnic cleansing or civil war, the
extent of potential carnage is too painful to comtemplate. Which begs the
question, where is the UN? Particularly following US Secretary of State Colin
Powell's statement that Washington will accept no outcome that attempts to
remove Aristide. What the U.S. should
focus on is not the outcome but the chaos that would send tens of millions of
refugees streaming into the neighbouring Dominican Republic. A proactive UN
might be able to enlist American support for a speedy resolution to the
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
Leandro V. Coronel observed in the independent Manila Times
(Internet version, 2/23): "George
Bush won’t touch Haiti. That shows he’s
not serious about maintaining peace in the world.... Hungry and angry Haitians, disapproving of
Aristide’s rule, are pouring daily into the streets, calling for his
resignation. Violence and anarchy
reign.... Life is constant misery for
many Haitians. The dissidents are out to
get Aristide, through resignation or less passive means.... U.S. President Bush has essentially told
Haiti to solve its own problems. U.S.
Secretary of State Colin Powell has said there’s 'no enthusiasm' in the United States
to get involved in Haiti.... The U.S.’s
refusal to help Haiti points out that the Americans aren’t really interested in
making the world peaceful, only in protecting their own interests. It shows that Bush’s preemptive policy of
intervening in nations where peace and public welfare are in peril as
selective.... Bush would rather send
American troops in harm’s way to a distant venue like Iraq than send them to a
not-too-distant neighbor like Haiti.
Haiti lies southeast of the U.S. backdoor. The island of Hispaniola is
geographically aligned with Cuba, whose northern tip is only 90 miles away from
the southern tip of the United States....
The fate of Haiti has potentially direct ramifications for the United
States because of its relative proximity to America. But Bush isn’t interested in Haiti. After all, unlike Iraq, Haiti has no oil,