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View Full Version : Bush Hides White House's Complicity in Haiti



Balloonknot
11th March 04, 03:42 PM
President Bush and his Administration this week "denied [they] encouraged rebel Haitian forces and helped push President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power." However, while Bush said we need a "renewed commitment to democracy and freedom in this hemisphere," a careful look at the White House's behavior shows that the Administration actively took the side of an armed band of "death-squad veterans and convicted murderers" against a government that had been democratically elected three times.

While Secretary of State Colin Powell initially rebuked the rebels and rejected "a proposition that says the elected president [of Haiti] must be forced out of office by thugs," the Administration soon said a solution in Haiti "could indeed involve changes in Aristide's position." Then the White House issued a "harsh statement that placed much of the blame on the Haitian president for the deadly crisis" and refused to help defend the presidential palace, effectively forcing Aristide out.

Militarily, the Administration's complicity in the coup was even more obvious. As armed gangs surrounded the Haitian capital, Powell made clear that "there is frankly no enthusiasm" for "sending in military or police forces to put down the violence" - a signal to the rebels to continue their insurgency. This alone might not have been proof of complicity considering it was a reiteration of the president's clear position that intervention in Haiti was not a "worthwhile" mission because it was "a nation-building mission" that "cost us billions." But then, at almost the moment Aristide was deposed, the President reversed his hands-off Haiti policy and ordered 2,000 U.S. Marines to secure the island.

Now, with exiled Haitian dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc'' Duvalier planning a return to the island, the Administration is facing questions about why it supported the overthrow of a government that even Vice President Cheney admitted yesterday was "democratically elected." Though Aristide certainly had a problematic record, the Administration's policies could result in the restoration of an exiled dictator "accused of human rights violations, mass killings and stealing at least $120 million from Haiti's national treasury."