U.S. should stay out of Haiti fight

Posted: Monday, February 23, 2004

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said (last) week, "There is frankly no enthusiasm right now to send in military or police forces to put down the violence" in Haiti.

Let's hope the Bush administration does not change its mind. The United States is right to stay out of what may shape up to be a civil war in that troubled land.

Our intervention 10 years ago clearly did nothing to bring peace and justice to Haiti, so let's not make the same mistake again.

Moreover, back then there were good guys and bad guys. The "good guys" were led by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, an elected president whom American liberals held up as the greatest South American reformer since Chile's Marxist President Salvador Allende whose corrupt leadership got him bounced out of office and killed by a military junta in 1973. It was the best thing that ever happened to Chile, which today is truly democratic.

Like Allende, Aristide has proven to be a big disappointment too. After U.S. troops overcame a tyrannical junta to restore Aristide to power in Port-au-Prince in '94, he became just as mean and corrupt as his predecessors.

Not even the Left makes excuses for Aristide anymore. Most nations, including the United States, have cut off all except humanitarian aid.

Aristide's re-election in 2000 was a sham, triggering widespread opposition that has been spreading and growing more violent by the month. The problem is, the opposition is no better than Aristide. In fact, the rebels are basically remnants of the old military regime U.S. forces subdued in 1994.

In short, America has no dog in the Haitian fight. We're out of it now, and we should stay out.

Augusta Chronicle

Feb. 20

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