Saturday, February 28, 2004

Haiti Problem

I was watching Geraldo's "At Large" program this evening and to my horror both he and Col. David Hunt hypothesized that the only reason we aren't intervening in this third world mess in Haiti is racial prejudice from the White House. Huh?

The United States has already sent troops to Haiti once, and it achieved no long lasting results, nor was it going to given the nature of our motivation and mission. Haiti posed no threat, we merely wanted to "stabalize" the country so that refugees wouldn't flee to the United States (amusing they don't run to Cuba). No one called President Clinton a racist for his use of the military to keep black refugees from getting here.

Personally, I could care less if people flee Haiti to come to the United States, good for them. It shows that they at least know their country stinks and that they will have a chance for a better life in the United States. However, what is the point of using troops, who are in short supply, to prop up a democratically elected (this is irrelevent, democratically elected leaders can by tyrants as well, i.e. Nazi Party) and very unpopular leader? Haitian rebellions and coups don't threaten the United States unless there is some sort of property confiscation or killing/kidnapping of American citizens.

Plus, it has been proven that these interventions merely delay the two sides from fighting it out. Our coming in in 1994 has only put off the unrest for a decade, it was a complete waste of time and money. Not to mention, what good is stability if that stability comes at the price of individual rights? Would we have appreciated a foreign power coming to put down the American rebellion in 1776 in the name of world stability? Of course that would not have happened back then, and I'm in no equating our rebellion to Mr. Phillip's cause in Haiti. The point is, the Haitians have plenty of examples around them for what not to do and what they should do, they will have to battle it out and create a better life for themselves, not us.

I blame this bluster for intervention on the way the United States sold the Iraq War to the world, calling it Operation Iraqi Freedom, as if we had no selfish cause and were only fighting to free the people of Iraq. We fought to get rid of a dictator who showed himself perfectly willing to be an aggressor (shooting at our planes almost daily, itself perfect provocation for war) and who was thought by the entire world, not just the United States, to have deadly chemical and biological weapons which he could easily give to terrorists, like Abu Nidal (a deadly terrorist who resided in Iraq for years before his mysterious death, probably at the hands of Saddam). Granted it would have made more sense to attack Iran, but Iraq would have been in the way of our march to Syria and would have had to go anyway.

When engaged in a real war that is directly related to the country's survival we should have even less patience for these Roosevelt Corollary wars than normal. Haiti will either remain a basket case or will gain some real leadership that has eyes and can look at the United States for inspiration. This will be the case whether we go in or not, so we should save our money for more important things.

Besides, if you accept that country A should be interfering in rebellions in country B because A has a past link or tie to B then you must ask yourself, if Haiti is B, what country is properly A? It is none other than international pain-in-the-ass (and nuclear power) France! They colonized Haiti and imported the African slaves whose descendents are the current inhabitants. They were also kicked out in a slave rebellion and have since washed their hands of the place, why aren't they racists? Because, in a passing moment of genius, the French government realized it was no longer their concern and that it was much cheaper to not hold onto Haiti as colony or interfere in Haitian internal affairs (not to mention France had numerous internal problems during the nineteenth centuries).

Hopefully, Bush will keep out of this mess, but ships are already being deployed to the region and pressure from Democrats (most of whom reject selfish wars to preserve the country) could push the president into sending troops. I hope not, but I hope the president will not do a lot of things that he ends up doing anyway.

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