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March 1, 2004 12:34 PM   Subscribe

US helps terrorists overthrow elected government of Haiti. Sometimes you see something you ache to respond to on one of the popular blogs that don't do comment threads. Here's one, from Danny Yee. This may get me a meta callout; I'm prepared and watching. More inside (gimmie a minute to post it, it's long and there's lots of links to previre and test)
posted by jfuller (14 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: worst. post. ever.



 
jfuller : get all your stuff ready before posting (say, in notepad or some other editor) and then post all at once. And you might want to link to the actual article and then put a [via Danny Yee] link to the blog you got it from.
posted by psychotic_venom at 12:39 PM on March 1, 2004


Yeah, I always set everything up in notepad for the c & p. That way you avoid comments like these.
posted by crazy finger at 12:40 PM on March 1, 2004


What does Danny Yee have to do with anything? That's the barest blog ever.
posted by smackfu at 12:41 PM on March 1, 2004


"...the elected government..." forsooth.

Danny Yee's own link is to a Toronto Star article by Gordon Barthos. Money quote #1: Aristide is undeniably a divisive, imperious figure who relies on violent gangs of supporters, having disbanded the coup-prone army. He has failed dismally to bring Haiti the peace and prosperity he promised. But he also represents Haiti's democratic breakthrough, having been freely elected in 1990 and again in 2000. [Emphasis added by jf.] Money quote #2: "We're not plotting a coup," [rebel leader Louis-Jodel] Chamblain insisted this week. "We're plotting to liberate the people." Sure they are. By ousting Aristide, a populist who Haiti's tiny rich class has never stopped demonizing. (Id est, presumably, demonizing by claiming he rules via gangs of thugs -- though that's clearly OK with the Star, which would never stoop to demonizing a populist.)


Here's an expansion of that "freely elected."

First, from the Kennedy School of Government at harvard.

When Aristide, a Jesuit-trained priest with enormous charisma and populist appeal, swept to an overwhelming victory in the 1990 elections, his long impoverished and politically jaundiced countrymen expected Haiti's long years of dictatorship and misgovernment finally to end. But Aristide's attempts to curb the military-business complex that had been filling the pockets of privileged leaders at the expense of Haiti's poor led to a military coup and three years in exile.

The Clinton administration intervened militarily to restore Aristide, expecting good results. Aristide, however, soon fell into a hallowed Haitian mode, behaving more and more autocratically and using paramilitary forces to bully opponents, rig parliamentary elections, and limit human rights and free speech.



Jimmy Carter was a prominent supporter of the Clinton military intervention that restored Aristide to the Presidency. The Carter Center sent poll-watchers to the Haitian municipal and Parlimentary elections of June 25, 1995, and issued a report (note, .pdf file). From the report:

The most serious problem was in the count. In violation of the law, election officials did not complete the count at the voting site or sign and seal the proces-verbaux - the summary of the results - and the ballot boxes. Of 13 elections that I have observed, the June 25th Haitian elections were the most disastrous technically with the most insecure count. I personally witnessed the tainting of about one-third of all ballots in Port-au-Prince.

Some in the international community would close their eyes to this travesty, but that would be unfair to the Haitian people, who together with the political parties, are the ultimate judges of the election. Thus far, 21 parties - nearly all but Lavalas - condemned the election and called for its annulment even before the results showed that Lavalas had won so many of the elections.



There were more local/Parliamentary elections on May21, 2000. According to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2001:

The most glaringly fraudulent aspect of the deeply flawed May elections was the method used to calculate the results of the first-round Senate races. Bypassing the country's constitution and electoral law, which required first-round winners to have an absolute majority of votes cast, the Provisional Electoral Council (Conseil Electorale Provisoire, CEP) dramatically shrunk the pool of votes counted, eliminating all but those accruing to the four or six leading candidates in each province. As a result, all nineteen Senate seats at issue in the elections were won in the first round, eighteen of them by Fanmi Lavalas. When Léon Manus, the seventy-eight-year-old president of the council, objected to the calculation method, Préval and Aristide pressured him to accept it, making veiled threats that led Manus to flee the country. The government's refusal to reconsider the skewed results led the Electoral Monitoring Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS-EOM) to quit Haiti before the second-round balloting, labeling the elections "fundamentally flawed." Fanmi Lavalas then cemented control of local and national government, ending up with seventy-two of eighty-three seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and two-thirds of some 7,500 local posts.


Now then, concerning Aristide's "free, democratic election" to the Presidency in 2000:

Human Rights Watch again:

The year 2000 in Haiti was dominated by elections: local and parliamentary polls on May 21, second-round and rescheduled voting through August, and presidential and partial senatorial contests in November. Haiti had been without a functioning parliament since President René Préval dissolved it in January 1999, following eighteen months without a prime minister. By 2000, this political impasse had led to the suspension of some U.S. $500 million in multilateral assistance, creating enormous international pressure for the Préval government to hold legislative elections. The elections were, however, deeply flawed, with their most glaring problem being the fraudulent method used to calculate the results of the first-round Senate races.

The government's refusal to reconsider the skewed results led the Electoral Monitoring Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) to quit Haiti before the second-round balloting, labeling the elections "fundamentally flawed." The country's many small opposition parties also refused to continue to participate in what they perceived as an electoral charade. Fanmi Lavalas then cemented control of local and national government, ending up with seventy-two of eighty-three seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and two-thirds of some 7,500 local posts.

The obvious failings of the mid-year elections radicalized the opposition, which condemned the new parliament as illegitimate. Despite a series of talks brokered by the Organization of American States, the two sides were unable to reach any compromise prior to the November 26 presidential elections. In the end, Aristide faced no serious challengers in the voting, which the OAS and other international observers refused to monitor.


On the same point, Findlaw contributor Joanne Mariner writes on cnn.com:

(FindLaw) -- In some perverse way, the history of election fraud is also a story of human creativity. We are all familiar with certain tried and true methods of rigging elections: intimidating voters, stuffing ballot boxes or instigating a mass turnout of the dead. But there is always room for innovation -- as Haiti's controversial recent elections show.

The senate races were perhaps the most problematic aspect of these profoundly flawed elections. In a dramatic sweep, 18 of the 19 senate seats at stake in the elections went to candidates of the Lavalas family, the political party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Indeed, one lucky candidate received an astounding -- and improbable -- 92 percent of the vote.


Even The People's Daily got it right:

The 15 opposition parties didn't present candidates as part of a boycott to Sunday's presidential elections to protest what they considered a massive fraud in legislative and municipal elections in May, when the Lavalas party won 17 of 18 seats at stake in the Senate and 80 percent of the House Assembly. The Lavalas party was expected to grab all the nine Senate seats contested on Sunday to form a 27-seat Senate. Aristide expressed Monday his willingness to dialog with Haiti's opposition and affirmed that he would reactivate his contacts abroad. Questioning the outcome of the parliamentary elections in May, Haiti's traditional allies -- the United States, Canada and the 15-nation European Union -- refused to monitor the Sunday elections.


Executive summary by fuller: freely elected, my ass.

----------

Oh yeah, one last thing. How is the US "helping terrorists?" By, according to the Star (linked above), not invading Haiti.

Aristide pleaded back on Feb. 16 for help against the "terrorists." Aid agencies warned of "civil war." Prime Minister Yvon Neptune saw a "coup d'état machine in motion."

Still, we abandoned them.

...Bush should have despatched troops to stop the madness.

They could have quelled the rebellion in hours, saved democracy, saved lives. And signalled that Bush is serious about thwarting terror.


At least I'm pleased to see that the Star's opinionator agrees with me in thinking the U.S. should -- indeed is morally obligated to -- send the Marines to stop bloodshed, whenever and wherever, at the drop of a (stars'n'stripes top) hat. On this particular occation, since Haiti is French-speaking and was a French colony, I do feel it's France that should be in there cleaning up the postcolonial mess. But I suppose the U.S. ought to do it, faute d'autre, heh. I'd just point out that, in the interest of perfect fairness, Mr. Barthos now has 190 other columns he can write, excoriating Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia (Hrvatska), Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (North), Korea (South), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tibet, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, The Vatican, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, none of which have invaded Haiti to stop the bloodshed. Since we all want multilateralism and nobody wants the U.S. to be the world's policeman, B'rer James expects to see these columns forthfoming right away. And B'rer James expect Mr. Yee to link 'em. (B'rer James is not, of course, holding his breath. )

posted by jfuller at 12:43 PM on March 1, 2004


Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, ... Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Wow, did you discover what atlases are or something?
posted by smcniven at 12:46 PM on March 1, 2004


You fail it.
posted by angry modem at 12:46 PM on March 1, 2004


Aristide forcefully removed. This is from a congresswoman who spoke on the phone with Aristide.

Bush's father tried the same thing in 94, why not try again?
posted by destro at 12:48 PM on March 1, 2004


Bush's father tried the same thing in 94

Clinton and Bush are father and son?
posted by crazy finger at 12:49 PM on March 1, 2004


> get all your stuff ready before posting

Indeed I did that very thing, but you can't test the links exactly they will appear in your post until you're previewing. So much for asking for folks' forebearance.

Oh, still didn't get it perfect. Here's correct link to the Carter Center report .pdf.
posted by jfuller at 12:50 PM on March 1, 2004


What the hell are you doing here? Responding to another blog w/ a MeFi thread? Posting something and then tearing yourself a new one in a comment?

What a miserable job of a post, this one.
posted by xmutex at 12:52 PM on March 1, 2004


Get a blog, jfuller. MeFi isn't your personal op-ed page.
posted by mkultra at 12:53 PM on March 1, 2004


OVERVIEW OF U.S. POLICY TOWARD THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2003
(ed: No, not 2004, this is from last year Feb, 2003)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES;
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE:
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Haiti
The presidential determination listed nine specific counterdrug actions that Haiti failed to take after being asked to do so by the United States, among them introduc- tion of anti-corruption legislation, prosecution of drug-related public corruption, and enforcement of the Haitian Central Bank’s existing anti-money laundering guide- lines. It called Haiti ‘‘a significant transshipment point for drugs, primarily cocaine, moving through the Caribbean from South America to the United States.’’ Haiti con- tinued to have massive politicization of the national police force, failed to commit additional resources to their coast guard, and did not increase the numbers of sei- zures and arrests over those of prior years. In the case of Haiti, a vital national interest waiver was provided to enable assistance to continue in order to alleviate hunger, increase access to education, combat environmental degradation, fight the spread of HIV/AIDS, and foster the development of civil society in Haiti.
posted by specialk420 at 12:57 PM on March 1, 2004


Oh and what's with the whole "bring on the MeTa beeznatch" thing? Is a MeTa thread some sort of badge of street cred now?
posted by xmutex at 12:57 PM on March 1, 2004


Jeffrey Sachs on Haiti.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on March 1, 2004


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