February 23, 2004

50 marines going to Haiti

The US is sending 50 Marines down to Port Au Prince to protect the embassy in the event that the rebels capture the capital city. Don't expect folks to forget that it was the USA that put Aristide back in power in 1994 after these same folks (or at least many of the same people) threw him out.

I hope that the incoming government, whatever that looks like, has more to their 5-year plan than just ousting Aristide.

Posted by rbowen at February 23, 2004 02:22 PM | TrackBack

Other than protecting our embassy, why would the US care?

I'm not saying that we shouldn't care about people dieing... I'm not asking from any kind of humanitarian perspective. I'm asking from a strictly political stance.

"What is in it for us?"


Posted by: Moose on February 24, 2004 02:19 AM

I think we've had this discussion a number of times, and, for the most part, my answers are all the same ones that they are the other times. Which is to say, I'm not claiming that we have a responsibility to be the world's policemen. I'm merely noting an event, and suggesting that people be aware of history, and be aware that people outside of our "what-was-on-TV-last-night" view of reality tend to be much more aware of history than we are.

The only thing that I'd add here is that we caused this situation by putting this man in power when his people clearly didn't want him. We sent in troops in 1994 to install him in office. We then assisted in giving credibility to his "re-election", which most observers called fraudulent. So, to an overwhelming degree, it is our fault that this is happening.

Furthermore, I reject the notion that a question can be asked from a "strictly political stance" neglecting humanitarian considerations. That variety of politics is morally bankrupt. "The purpose of government is to secure the maximum amount of happiness for the largest possible number of people." (John Adams)

I think that your question ignores another reality. If all we care about is protecting our embassy, then why even have an embassy?

Posted by: DrBacchus on February 24, 2004 08:10 AM

The scary thing is that they don't seem to have anything in mind except ousting him, and causing all the havoc they can, along with getting all the loot that can be garnered.

Posted by: Aunt Pat on February 24, 2004 09:19 AM

I've posted a longer, but still very incomplete, response to Moose's question at http://www.drbacchus.com/journal/archives/000446.html
It's a very difficult question, and I don't presume to have good answers, but it's something that I've thought about a lot over the last 20 years or so.

Posted by: DrBacchus on February 25, 2004 10:31 AM

Isn't it in our political interest to help preserve democracy in a country so near to us? If we don't like Castro, how would we like a bunch gangsters in power in Haiti?

Doesn't the Monroe doctrine mean anything? I thought we took a special interest in political matters in the Western Hemisphere.

And how can you so easily separate political and moral interests? It's important to keep church and state separate, but U.S. policy should have something to do with what is right. If we want to be the leader of the free world, we need to stand up for freedom even in the poorest nation in our hemisphere.

If we don't care about democracy in Haiti, who can ever believe that we went into Iraq to protect democracy? Not that I believe that we did anyway, but standing by and watching an army of thugs and convicts attack a duly-elected President in Haiti, makes us look really opportunistic in Iraq, not to mention stupid.

Posted by: Nancy Hendrix on February 28, 2004 08:38 PM

50 Marines? Port Au Prince has over 665,000 people alone. Rest assured the 50 Marines will be there to protect their embassy only.

Posted by: deah on February 29, 2004 06:20 PM
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