Ten years ago, the U.S. invaded Haiti and installed a priest named Jean-Bertrand Aristide in power. Our press has paid very little attention to subsequent events in Haiti. Not that it should report developments on this irrelevant island the way it covers, say, post-war Afghanistan. But I don’t recall seeing even the equivalent of the “problems in Panama” stories that appeared periodically in the years following the first President Bush’s invasion of that country.
The press has hardly missed a success story. Aristide, portrayed as almost saintly by President Clinton and the Congressional Black Caucus, turned out (as some conservatives warned) to be a corrupt petty tyrant in the Duvalier tradition. In 2000, he held elections that were widely perceived as rigged. Shortly thereafter, a rebellion broke out, and the country now is in the midst of a civil war.
The BBC reports that France is considering intervening in its former (if you go back 200 years) colony. France apparently does not contemplate working through the U.N. At most, it seems to have in mind a coalition of the willing. As an aside, note the BBC’s delicate reference to the U.S. role when it calls Aristide “a former priest who was restored to power with foreign help in 1994.” (Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan).
For more on the situation in Haiti, check out Haiti Pundit.
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