Originally posted by samfashow
Ok right now in Haiti rebels are overthrowing the government, which is corrupt, and running into little resistance from outside governments. What is
the ethics behind the U.S. then...? How in hell can we sit there and choose which country to take over and change to our liking?? WTF!!! Is this
not as plain to everyone else. We can sit there like a bunch of French people and say it does not concern us... well then either does Iraq. I am
sorry but these are some screwed up ideals. I can not stand hypocrites.
First off, US foreign policy is currently very cautious concerning Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Coarsely put the US does not
want to crap in it's own backyard unless drug interdiction or national security are the issues.
One may ask, why? The US has never been squeamish about manhandling the smaller countries to the south before?
The fact is, we now have a president who is courting Mexico and other neighbors to the south and he is very mindful of how America has been viewed in
the past and how he would like to improve that less than stellar view.
Bear in mind that the perception south of the border is negative no matter what the US president does. It is in fact a damned if you do - damned if
you don't senario.
If the US intervenes in the affairs of Haiti then there will be a rash of anti-American sentiment, "There they go, interfering in our affairs
On the other hand, if the US does not intervene there will be a similar backlash from the south, "They don't care about us, they are content to see
blood on the streets in Haiti!"
It is important to see that the US has more at stake with unrest in Fidel-friendly, oil-rich Venezuela, but the US has stayed out of the foray... why?
A changing foreign policy towards the south.
To further understand, you need to realize that the difficult, eroding situation in Haiti presents the United States with two classic problems already
The first is basic to advocating democracy across the world. What do you do when the people of a country elect a president who then rules the country
badly, to the point of provoking revolt? Does the United States resist intervening because he was chosen democratically? Or does it support forces in
the country who are seeking to remove him, with the idea of replacing him with someone more apt to rule?
That is the problem now presented by the former Roman Catholic priest President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, elected in 1990, thrown out by undemocratic
forces, then installed as president by the U.S. military in 1994. Mr. Aristide was re-elected in 2000.
The second problem for the United States is how to deal with the growing disorder in the country. Unrest has grown to the point that armed rebels
control significant parts of the country. The specter of boatloads of illegal Haitian immigrants heading for South Florida lurks in the background.
The Bush administration resists the idea of putting American troops into Haiti again, repeating the action the Clinton administration took in 1994,
for a range of good reasons. It is better in general if regional problems are dealt with by regional authorities or a combination of international
organizations and neighboring countries.
So far, however, efforts to resolve the Haiti problem through the good offices of the Caribbean Community, the Organization of American States and the
United Nations have been unsuccessful.
America also definitely does not have extra troops on hand at the moment for use in Haiti, given heavy commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea,
Germany, Japan, Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Yet there is an argument that if Haiti is eventually going to require an insertion of American troops to put the lid back on, perhaps it is better to
do so now rather than let the situation deteriorate further, which might then require a larger troop contingent.
At the very least, the Bush administration should take whatever pains are necessary to see that if American troops go in, they work beside forces from
other countries in the region, to share responsibility and to put a regional stamp on the intervention. That will require the administration to share
authority in a way that it was reluctant to in Iraq, but that it has done with NATO in Afghanistan.
The Rand Corporation - Caribbean in Crisis
Hoover Institution - Essays in Public Policy
Thanks to Intelgirl for your technical help !