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Old 02-27-2004, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Crisis in Haiti! The U.S. is Involved.

I know many of you are probably only vaguely aware of what's happening in Haiti right now, but you should really want to know more because the United States is playing a large part in the overthrow of their democratically elected leader, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Democracy Now! has just got done interviewing Haitian First Lady, Mildred Aristide, from inside the Presidential palace in the capital city of Port Au Prince today (Friday). They also interviewed independent reporter Kevin Pina, U.S. Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Maxine Waters (D-CA) and attorney Michael Ratner. Please, I urge everyone to download and listen to this interview here:

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid...4/02/28/0133217

Expose this salutation for what is. Everyone needs to write letters and emails to your congressmen to get them to stop this coup from happening!

The U.S. corporate media are hiding the facts. Make yourself aware to what is going on. Here are a few links for reference.

Counter Spin had a quick, but good overview on the situation last week.
http://www.fair.org/counterspin/022004.html

Democracy Now! has been tracking it almost daily here:
http://www.democracynow.org/static/haiti.shtml

More links here:
http://www.haitiaction.net/
http://tinyurl.com/2nmsh
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=...tnG=Search+News
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 02-27-2004, 10:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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People seem mad wicked pissed at this dude, I say if they so desire give the dude the 86.
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Old 02-27-2004, 11:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That darned evil US is at it again.

Last week I hear it beat up some kid for his lunch money.
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Old 02-28-2004, 12:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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"The graetest enemy of knowledge isn't the ignorance of knowledge but the illusion of it." -- Stephen Hawking
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Old 02-28-2004, 12:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The response has been pretty interesting. The money quote in my local paper from the President was a reassurance that we will stop haitian refugees from entering the country. Kinda wierd.

From what I hear, Aristide, despite being popularly elected, is now being semi-popularly overthrown. Unfortunately, insurgent leaders are often shady characters. It remains to be seen what will happen in this case.
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Old 02-28-2004, 12:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammer4all
"The graetest enemy of knowledge isn't the ignorance of knowledge but the illusion of it." -- Stephen Hawking
I love Stephen Hawking.

Here's another quote (not his, however)

Quote:
To be a persecuted genius you not only have to be persecuted, but you have to be right.
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Old 02-28-2004, 03:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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'i don't matter if your the braniest guy on earth, if that dude is stupid but wise, your still screwed' - my mate bob before he collapsed onto the pub floor, doesn't quite have the same effect without the drunken sluring, but i still think it's a good quote.
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Old 02-28-2004, 07:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Didn't the us go out of its way to put down a military coup a few years ago? Maybe this aristide fella really is a fuckup.
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Old 02-28-2004, 01:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by filtherton
Didn't the us go out of its way to put down a military coup a few years ago?
Yes, a coup that the CIA backed opposition started. Some of the same people who ran that coup are now running this coup.
Quote:
Many of the men leading the armed insurrection in Haiti right now are well known to veteran Haiti observers and, for that matter, the US intelligence agencies that worked closely with the paramilitary death squads which terrorized Haiti in the early 1990s. People like Louis Jodel Chamblain, the former number 2 man in FRAPH, Guy Philippe, a former police chief who was trained by US Special forces in Ecuador and Jean Tatun, another leader of FRAPH.
link

It is not like this is unprecedented guys... I could give you many examples, even a more recent example. These covert operations often have tragic consequences for both us and the countries involved and should not be taken lightly.
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Old 02-28-2004, 05:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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*waves goodbye to Aristide*

Hopefully Haitians will be better off without him. From what I've read about corruption in the current political setup in Haiti, a good ol' fashioned revolution is what they need to weed out the corrupt politicians.
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Old 02-29-2004, 01:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
Insane
 
Here is a great Op-Ed that was published in The New York Times, which addresses the media's distortion of the facts and our government's "rather brazen attempts to undermine [Aristide's] presidency."

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0226-03.htm

Also, here are some more links:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ha...ign_Haiti.html
http://dominionpaper.ca/haiti/
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ch...ian_Haiti.html
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/nation...orld-headlines
http://www.blackcommentator.com/79/79_haiti_dogs.html
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Old 02-29-2004, 03:49 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Finally, the truth comes out!

Quote:
Cap-Haitien, Haiti -- In just three weeks, the National Resistance Front, the rebel group that is threatening to topple the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has swept through northern Haiti with ease.

Last week, it captured several more towns without facing down a single bullet and is now within miles of the capital, Port-au-Prince. As word of the rebel approach reaches towns, Haitian police officers are simply shedding their uniforms and disappearing into the hills.

Yet the insurgents' swift victories and rising popularity may have more to do with their bravado and the reputations of their leaders than with military prowess. Western diplomatic sources estimate their numbers at no more than a few hundred men, even with the new volunteers in Cap-Haitien and in villages, but the rebel commanders have well-known checkered pasts as army and police officers, drug traffickers and death squad leaders.

"The people are happy," the Front's nominal leader, Guy Philippe, told reporters last week as he listened from the balcony of a plush hillside hotel headquarters in Cap-Haitien to a group of people in the shantytowns below singing. "Here in Cap-Haitien, we have more than 100 young people ready to die for the cause, ready to die for the country."

Philippe is a former army lieutenant and police captain. The front's second in command, Gilberto Dragon, is a former military officer and police major. They trained in Ecuador together and both are cited in numerous Haitian government and diplomatic reports for their involvement in drug trafficking and racketeering.

The Front's strongman, Louis Jodel Chamblain, is a former army officer who later headed the Front for the Advancement of the Haitian People or FRAPH, a paramilitary organization responsible for thousands of murders of Aristide followers in the early 1990s.

Other former FRAPH members, including Jean-Pierre Baptiste, alias Jean Tatoune, have also joined the insurgency. Baptiste and Chamblain were convicted in absentia for massacring 25 Aristide supporters in a seaside slum known as Raboteau in the northern city of Gonaives in 1994. In 1995, Chamblain fled the country and has been residing in the neighboring Dominican Republic ever since. Baptiste was sent to prison for life for his role in the murder of Aristide supporters. He joined the revolt after former Aristide loyalists broke him out of a Gonaives jail in 2002.


Early on Saturday, the capital remained relatively calm, despite a burst of bloody chaos the previous day. Aristide, appearing on national television, called for an end to the bedlam, saying "looting is bad." He also urged the government's 46,000 employees to go back to work on Monday and called for schools to reopen.

Pro-Aristide armed gangs were still out in force in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, but so were more police, although their numbers were still small.

Cap-Haitien, the country's second largest city, fell into rebel hands in a matter of hours last Sunday. Philippe is promising the capital will be next, although he said Saturday that his troops would hold off for now, in response to U.S. Ambassador James Foley's appeal for peace.

"We always give peace a chance here, so we'll wait to see for one or two days," Philippe said in Cap-Haitien. "We will keep on sending troops, but we won't attack Port-au-Prince until we understand what the U.S. means."

So far, about 100 people, about half of them from the poorly equipped police force that is the government's only defense, have died in the insurgency against Aristide, a former priest who became Haiti's first freely elected president in 1990.

As they approach the National Palace, the rebels say they don't intend to govern Haiti. "We don't have any political platform," Philippe said. "We are fighting for a better country. As soon as Aristide leaves, we are ready to give our weapons to, I don't know, the new government."

Philippe, Dragon and Chamblain all said they were fighting for the restitution of the army, which Aristide disbanded in 1994.

"The army was demobilized. Now the army has been remobilized and is a constitutional army," said Chamblain, a husky, serene man. "Aristide has two choices: prison or execution by firing squad."

Chamblain's fight with Aristide is personal as well as political. After the military ousted Aristide following just seven months in office, violence ensued, during which, Chamblain said, pro-Aristide militias clubbed his pregnant wife to death in their home. "It's very hard," he said of the memory. "It gives me more (incentive) to fight."

Chamblain helped form FRAPH, which he claims was a political organization. But rights groups say the paramilitary group employed systematic rape and torture against its enemies.

"Given the horrendous human rights records of some of the leaders of the armed rebellion, we are extremely concerned that the rebel forces will take advantage of the opportunity to settle scores," said Joanne Mariner, deputy director of Human Rights Watch's Americas Division.

"These men, notorious for killings and other abuses during the military government, must not be allowed to take violent reprisals against government loyalists."


The repression of civil society sparked an exodus of refugees, and the United Nations authorized intervention, but the military stepped down before U. S. troops occupied the country. Once back in office, Aristide disbanded the army and replaced it with a small police force -- a force now filled with no- show officers, commanded by the president's cronies and corrupted by cocaine, according to a recent State Department report.

Both Philippe and Dragon were part this new police force. They and 10 other officers soon took on the name "Latinos," because they'd trained together in Ecuador, spoke Spanish and stuck together. "We lived in the same house for years," Dragon explained in the rebels' Cap-Haitien hotel headquarters. "And we were loyal to the military institution."

In Ecuador, Philippe became the undisputed leader of the group. And in Haiti, he kept in close contact with his team, even as they rose through the ranks in different parts of the country. Philippe became the police chief of Cap-Haitien; Dragon, the commisaire of an important area in Port-au-Prince. Throughout, they maintained their esprit de corps. "We're not former military; we are military," Philippe said. "We are soldiers."

They also began collecting bribes for the drugs that easily pass through this nation of 8 million people. Internal reports from foreign observers found that the "Latinos" routinely gave gifts to politicians and once squeezed the government into exiling its inspector general after the seizure of more than three-quarters of a ton of cocaine implicated the men. Philippe, who trained with U.S. Secret Service in 1995, fled Haiti in 2000, after he and the "Latinos" were tied to a coup plot.
He denied that he or the insurgent group he now leads had anything to do with coup attempts or drugs. "I'm an open book, " he declared.

Philippe studied medicine in Puebla, Mexico, before joining the military. While he was in Ecuador he met and married a woman from Wisconsin. His heroes include U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. "I like tough guys. The guys that protect their country," he said.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NG485ATLK1.DTL
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Old 02-29-2004, 04:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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More tidbits... This time from The New York Times.

Quote:
That past is entwined with American history. United States forces occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934. They created the modern Haitian Army, dissolved Parliament and imposed martial law in those years. In the 1980's and early 1990's, the United States Central Intelligence Agency had important senior Haitian Army officers and Fraph members on its payroll, according to American officials.

[skipped a bunch]

"There is no such thing as the former Haitian Army," said Mr. Ravix, a bull-necked, barrel-chested man, still bitter about the army's dissolution. "Aristide made a big mistake sending us home with our guns."

If this is indeed "the new Haitian army," as Mr. Ravix says, it represents the revival of a force that has always served Haiti's tiny elite, less than two percent of the people holding at least half the nation's wealth.

The armed rebels are not a large force. They may number as few as 500 trained fighters, American officials believe. It is an open question whether a force that size could seize this sprawling capital. But it has proved capable of creating fear and havoc.

Their assault weapons and crisp camouflage uniforms suggest the rebels have outside support.
Mr. Philippe said his force was receiving donations from Haitian exiles in the United States and Canada. In a country where drug money flows freely, government officials have accused the rebels of financing their assault with money from Colombian cocaine cartels.

From the 1980's into the early 1990's, the Haitian Army and its National Intelligence Service — an agency created and financed by the C.I.A. — committed acts of terror and trafficked in cocaine, according to American officials.
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/in...partner=GOOGLE
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Old 02-29-2004, 08:26 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Hmmmm, let's see...

Aristide has been in power for how long? And Haiti has improved in what way(s)? Still the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. 70% unemployment, the nation has been stripped of trees for fuel, the removal of trees has allowed the topsoil to run off into the streams and ocean. The nation as a whole is completely reliant on international aid.

Despite US/UN intervention which kept Arisitide in power less than 10 years ago, he's being overthrown again. I can't say I blame the "insurgents".
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Old 02-29-2004, 09:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I think people in the developed world have no idea how bad things in these countries can get. Aristide has done nothing good for Haiti, he rigged elections to get into power. The US is not trying to ouster him. They are not even very much involved (probably to the dislike of most Hatians). If the guy has managed to get the country into the mess its in, he should resing.
Please think about these issues critically before listening and believing everything one organization or other has writen.

That said I really hate it when people don't know about the situations in these countries, read something and then go on to critizese everything the US does. This topic is very personal to me, because I come from a country where there is one of "democratically elected" presidents, who have completely lost support of the people and turn to violence against regular citizens. The United States is not trying to overthrow the government in Haiti, I doubt they really care that much, Aristide will have to go because he has failed
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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News sources are reporting today that Aristide has stepped down, his constitutional successor (the Chief Justice) has stepped up, and that all this was facilitated by the US.
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Old 02-29-2004, 12:36 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
News sources are reporting today that Aristide has stepped down, his constitutional successor (the Chief Justice) has stepped up, and that all this was facilitated by the US.
Aristide did not step down... A contingent of US troops (and possibly some Frenchies and Canadians) stormed the national palace and told him he had to vacate the country.

Initially he tried to negociate certain conditions for his departures--conditions to which the US initially accepted. However, when he stopped by his mansion to pick up some belongings he reneged on his agreements (as he has done repeatedly in the past) and claimed he was here to stay. Word has it that they roughed him up a little, put handcuffs on him, and carried him off to the airport where he was put in a small unmarked business jet and flown off to the Dominican Republic awaiting acceptance from a country to take him into exile.

Apparently Taiwan, Panama, and Morocco have refused to grant him exile....so it is likely he might end up in South Africa since Thabo Mbeki seems to be buddy-buddy with him.


I just wish the US troops had kept him in Haiti long enough for the Haitian people to judge and execute him for his crimes.
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Old 02-29-2004, 01:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What crimes has he committed?

If anyone would like to read this man's achievements and work toward democracy and human rights in a ravaged nation, here is a biography from haiti.org:

Quote:
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was born on July 15, 1953 in the coastal town of Port-Salut, Haiti. At an early age he, his sister and mother moved to the capital city of Port-au-Prince. He attended schools run by the Salesian Fathers of Haiti and graduated from College Notre Dame in the historic town of Cap-Haitian in 1974.

Aristide went to do novitiate studies at the Salesian seminary in La Vega in the neighboring Dominican Republic. A year later Aristide returned to Haiti to continue post graduate studies in philosophy at the Grand Seminaire Notre Dame and post graduate studies in psychology at the State University of Haiti. After completing his studies in Haiti in 1979 Aristide traveled to Rome and then to Israel where he spent two years studying biblical theology.

On July 3, 1983 Aristide returned home for his ordination by Haitian Bishop Willy Romélus. He was appointed curate of St. Joseph's church, a poor parish on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. As a parish priest, Aristide shared in the lives and struggles of his parishioners and quickly became their spokesperson.

He later moved to St. Jean Bosco, a church on the edge of La Saline, one of the largest slums of Port-au-Prince. Aristide known affectionately as "Titid" to his parishioners quickly became a leading spokesperson of "ti legliz," the progressive wing of the Catholic church in Haiti. Aristide's message of hope, his unique ability to communicate with the Haitian people in Creole, and his affirmation of the human dignity of each person - summed up in the Haitian proverb he often cited "tout moun se moun," every human being is a human being, regularly attracted thousands of participants to mass. Aristide was an outspoken critic of the Duvalier regime, and of the social system which condemned 85% of the population to abject poverty. He rose to national prominence through the broadcasts of his sermons on the Catholic station, Radio Soleil.

Shortly after Duvalier's fall in April of 1986 Aristide led a memorial march to notorious Fort Dimanche prison in memory of the 30,000 Haitians who lost their lives there under Duvalier. The Haitian military opened fire on the crowd of praying demonstrators but Aristide continued a live broadcast on Radio Soleil during the massacre, confirming his reputation as a fearless opponent of the regime.

Aristide became a target of repression by the military governments that held power after Duvalier's fall. He survived at least 9 attempts on his life. On September 11, 1988 St. Jean Bosco was attacked by a group of armed thugs while Aristide was giving mass. Dozens of congregants were murdered and the church was burned to the ground, destroying the symbolic heart of the ti legliz movement. A week later, partly due to the general revulsion at this act of brutality, the military junta fell. Aristide was expelled from the Salesian order on the grounds that he had crossed the border between religion and politics.

Though his church had been burned down Aristide's popularity among the Haitian poor only grew. He continued to play a leading role in the movement for democracy through the difficult and dangerous years of 1989 and 1990. He also dedicated more of his time to La Fanmi Selavi (the Family is life), a home for street children he founded in 1986.

In the fall of 1990 Haiti prepared for presidential elections that many feared would end in violence as they did in 1987 when voters were massacred at the voting poles. On the final day of registration Aristide announced his candidacy for the presidency. The announcement electrified the country and after a six week campaign that Aristide dubbed "Lavalas" or a cleansing flood, he was elected president in Haiti's first free and fair election with an overwhelming 67% of the vote. On the eve of his inauguration violence struck again as arsonists set fire to La Fanmi Selavi, killing four children.

During Aristide's seven months in office his government pursued a program of change based of the principles of participation, transparence and justice.

The Lavalas government began the difficult tasks of cleaning out a corrupt civil service, enforcing tax codes, fighting drug trafficking, and delivering services to its citizens. There was relative security, with military violence and criminal activity sharply reduced. Human rights organizations reported a dramatic drop in violations, the flow of refugees came to a halt, and not a single extrajudicial execution was attributed to the government during this period. The international community applauded the numerous reforms undertaken and donors pledged funds to the new government.

All of this ended on September 30, 1991, when the Haitian military violently overthrew the democratic government. Aristide was forced into exile, and the military unleashed an unprecedented campaign of terror and violence taking the lives of more than 5000 Haitian over the next three years, hundreds of thousands were forced into hiding, and tens of thousands more fled their homeland by boat. The coup targeted peasant organizations, members of the ti legliz, journalists, students, political activists, and neighborhoods that were strongholds of support for Aristide. Despite this repression the majority of Haitians continued to support Aristide and to nonviolently resist the military regime.

President Aristide first went to Venezuela and then spent two and half years of exile in Washington DC. Throughout his 1,111 days in exile he was recognized internationally as the legitimate President of Haiti. President Aristide worked nonstop, pursuing numerous diplomatic initiatives aimed at resolving the crisis and challenging the international community to work with the Haitian people to restore democracy to Haiti. Traveling throughout Europe, Latin America, Africa, and the United States speaking against the violence and repression that reigned in Haiti he urged international support for Haiti's cause and maintained close contact with the large Haitian diaspora.

On October 15, 1994, President Aristide triumphantly returned to Haiti where he completed the last sixteen months of his presidential term. He returned to a country traumatized by the violence of the coup period and economically devastated. His commitment to justice, and his calls for peaceful rebuilding of the nation enabled the country to regain political stability and take the first steps towards economic recovery. His most significant act as President was to dismantle the Haitian military. His government created Haiti's first civilian police force. With the support of the United Nations legislative elections were held and in February 1996 Haiti witnessed its first peaceful transition from one democratically elected president to the next.

After completing his five year term as President, Aristide founded the Aristide Foundation for Democracy. Under Aristide's leadership the Foundation is dedicated to deepening the roots of Haiti's democracy by opening avenues of participation to all Haitians. The foundation has three major program areas: sponsoring forums and public dialogues on issues such as justice, land reform, and the economic future of the nation; supporting literacy programs in Haiti; and fostering community-based economic initiatives.

President Aristide has been honored and recognized worldwide for his commitment to nonviolence, peace and justice. A partial list of awards he has received includes the Oscar Romero Award, the Martin Luther King International Statesman and Ecumenical Award, and the Aix-la-Chappelle Peace Prize.

In January 1996 Aristide married Mildred Trouillot, a Haitian-American lawyer who served as a legal advisor to the government of Haiti while Aristide was in exile and after his return to Haiti in 1994. They have two daughters.

President Aristide has authored several books including: Why (1978); Raise the Table (1986); 100 Verses of Dechoukaj (1986); The Truth in Truth (1989); In the Parish of the Poor (1990); Aristide: An Autobiography (1992); Theology and and Politics (1993); Dignity (1995); and Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization (2000). He is fluent in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hebrew, English and in his native Creole and French. Aristide is an accomplished musician and composer, he plays the guitar, saxophone, organ, drums, clarinet and piano.
http://www.haiti.org/aristide-bio.htm
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Old 02-29-2004, 02:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
HAITIAN leader Jean Bertrand Aristide was taken away from his home by US soldiers, it was claimed today.

A man who said he was a caretaker for the now exiled president told France's RTL radio station the troops forced Aristide out.

"The American army came to take him away at two in the morning," the man said.

"The Americans forced him out with weapons.

"It was American soldiers. They came with a helicopter and they took the security guards.

"(Aristide) was not happy. He did not want to be taken away. He did not want to leave. He was not able to fight against the Americans."
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0...55E1702,00.html
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Old 02-29-2004, 02:49 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
HAITI IN CRISIS: Democracy Now! / Pacifica Radio Special on the Haiti Crisis Tonight 7-9 p.m.

On Sunday night Democracy Now! and Pacifica Radio will broadcast a two-hour special national broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. on the departure of President Aristide, the involvement of the US government, and the latest reports on the ground in Haiti. Join Democracy Now's Amy Goodman and Flashpoints' Dennis Bernstein.
http://www.democracynow.org/

I think that is 7:00pm eastern time.

Democracy Now! was the only U.S. news show that correctly reported it from the beginning.
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:18 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammer4all
http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0...55E1702,00.html
It was all a front....

Maybe in the beginning he was truly trying to bring democracy back into Haitian politics, but he got corrupted by lust for money and power.

I don't know if you're Haitian and if you've lived in Haiti under Aristide, but I have seen what it's like to live under that bastard, and I can guarantee you that his goals were far from democratic.
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Old 02-29-2004, 11:26 PM   #23 (permalink)
Insane
 
No, I am not Haitian nor do I personally know any, but there are evidently quite a few who still have a more positive opinion of Mr. Aristide.



I myself have similar feelings as you, only about President Bush, but I don't support his ouster by a group of militant thugs financed and supported by a foreign nation. I think there are better, more democratic means for regime change in a democratic society.

Last edited by hammer4all; 02-29-2004 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 03-01-2004, 02:45 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
The departure of Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a victory for a Bush administration hard-liner who has been long dedicated to Aristide's ouster, U.S. foreign policy analysts say.

That official is Roger Noriega, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, whose influence over U.S. policy toward Haiti has increased during the past decade as he climbed the diplomatic ladder in Washington.

"Roger Noriega has been dedicated to ousting Aristide for many, many years, and now he's in a singularly powerful position to accomplish it," Robert White, a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador and Paraguay, said last week.

White, now president of the Center for International Policy, a think tank in Washington, said Noriega's ascent largely has been attributed to his ties to North Carolina Republican Jesse Helms, an arch-conservative foe of Aristide who had behind-the-scenes influence over policy toward Latin America and the Caribbean before retiring from the Senate two years ago.

"Helms didn't just dislike Aristide, Helms loathed Aristide because he saw in Aristide another Castro," said Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which has been strongly critical of the Bush administration's policy on Haiti.

Working hand in hand with Noriega on Haiti has been National Security Council envoy Otto Reich, who, like Noriega, is ardently opposed to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, say analysts such as Birns. Washington diplomats have seen Aristide as a leftist who is often fierce in his denunciations of the business class and slow to make recommended changes such as privatizing state-run industries.

"On a day-to-day basis, Roger Noriega [has been] making policy, but with a very strong role played by Otto Reich," Birns said.

Reich is a controversial Cuban-American criticized by some who have lingering concerns about his contacts with opposition figures who plotted a short-lived coup against Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chávez, two years ago. Reich also is linked to the Iran-contra scandal of two decades ago that was part of President Ronald Reagan's policy of defeating Marxists in Central America.

Noriega's involvement with Haiti dates back more than a decade. In the early 1990s he was an adviser at the U.S. mission to the Organization of American States. Between 1994 and 1997, he served as a senior staff member on the House of Representatives' Committee on International Relations. Then, in 1997, he went to work for the Senate's Committee on Foreign Relations as a top aide to Helms.

Helms was passionate in his dislike of Aristide and tried mightily to stop President Bill Clinton from sending troops to restore Aristide to power in 1994 after his violent ouster three years previously. In an attempt to forestall that military action, Helms released a now-discredited CIA report purporting to show Aristide was "psychotic."

Helms found a like-minded official in Noriega, who fed the senator's hostility toward Aristide, said Robert Maguire of Trinity College in Washington.

"Roger Noriega always sought to have a long leash when it came to Haiti, and Helms was more than happy to accommodate anti-Aristide feelings," Maguire said.

In 2001, with Helms' strong backing, Noriega, a Kansas native of Mexican descent, was appointed U.S. permanent representative to the Organization of American States.

In their various foreign policy postings during the past several years, Noriega and Reich became behind-the-scenes leaders of "a relatively small group of people" who developed strategies toward Haiti, Maguire said.

Reich and Noriega had no comment. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said Noriega "likes to stick to the business of the department," and requests for comments from Reich made by fax to Fred Jones, a National Security Council official, were not answered.
http://www.nynewsday.com/news/nation...news-headlines

Democracy Now! reported late Sunday that Aristide was seen by two different sources (one an ABC camera man?) who said they saw Aristide being escorted out of his Palace in handcuffs by 10 U.S. Marines... You can listen here:

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../02/29/2053220

Last edited by hammer4all; 03-01-2004 at 02:50 AM..
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:06 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Well of course. It's Bush's fault. The all knowing all powerful Wizard of US. For all those that claim he's such an idiot, he sure seems to be able to control everything.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:07 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by onetime2
Well of course. It's Bush's fault. The all knowing all powerful Wizard of US. For all those that claim he's such an idiot, he sure seems to be able to control everything.
Dorothy from Oz called, she would like her straw man back.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:52 AM   #27 (permalink)
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US involvement aside, I don't appreciate this Democracy Now group trying to stop a coup in a country where the majority of the citizens believe that the coup is necessary AND where there is evidence of crimes against humanity on the part of the leader being ousted. Many of my Haitian friends are making plans to fly back and fight the revolution - to die for this when they could remain comfortably here at college in the States. This sure makes me question all of the activist groups that tell me to write a letter to somebody in charge in order to tell them that I feel strongly about something that I just learned about by reading one-sided propaganda.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:40 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Supple Cow
US involvement aside, I don't appreciate this Democracy Now group trying to stop a coup in a country where the majority of the citizens believe that the coup is necessary AND where there is evidence of crimes against humanity on the part of the leader being ousted. Many of my Haitian friends are making plans to fly back and fight the revolution - to die for this when they could remain comfortably here at college in the States. This sure makes me question all of the activist groups that tell me to write a letter to somebody in charge in order to tell them that I feel strongly about something that I just learned about by reading one-sided propaganda.
I don't know why our Haitan acquantances have such different opinions on these current events, but let us know if yours actually go back and fight in this military coup.

I'd like to know which side they're going to fight on, it might be that the "revolution" refers to a multi-sided grab for power--not just between the "people" and "Aristide."

I am not surprised that impoverished people might inaccurately lay the blame for their financial woes on their current president, when it might be otherwise more accurately placed on foreign loans and centuries of being shit upon by foreign nations.

As for human rights violations: When foreign agents, funded by the KGB or Taliban or any other foreign nation's special agency, attempt to overthrow our government structure, what would we call them? If our president put the screws to them to crush the terrorist and/or treasonist opposition (which is what we did and do call it), we didn't (communist insurection groups in the 50s), don't (elements in Guantonamo Bay currently), and wouldn't (whatever the future holds for whomever we might brand terrorists) call it human rights violations. We call it protecting our interests and democracy. Yet, when the CIA funds groups to stir up trouble in Cuba and Haiti (among other places), and Castro an Aristide respond by cracking down, our population just eats up the media's representation of the current events without regard for historical context.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:21 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
Dorothy from Oz called, she would like her straw man back.
Perhaps Bush invaded Iraq to oil the tin man then?

This line of reasoning might work out. Perhaps US politics IS driven by the Wizard of Oz.
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Last edited by onetime2; 03-01-2004 at 10:34 AM..
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:49 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Somebody on TV said we wouldn't get involved in Haiti because they didn't have the two commodities we care about: oil and white people.

Seriously though, I've heard from several sources now that Aristide's "abdication" was "helped" by the US. Most say we forced him out.

My realist side tells me that we had been talking to Aristide, asking him to resign. Resignation would have a number of positive upshots. One, it would prevent the rebels from sacking Port-au-prince. Second, the chief justice seems to be well liked, and he could succeed the president in the interim, thus maintaining political stability. Third, it would circumvent any effort by a rebel leader to seize power if Aristide was removed by force. Fourth, it might very well protect the young Haitian democracy. It seems, if these sources are true, that Aristide refused to resign. Seeing the inevitable, we chose to go through back channels, and ultimately resorted to more aggressive methods to see Aristide leave. An ugly solution to an uglier situation.

I still think it's a rather big if. It wouldn't surprise me if Aristide left in an American plane under marine escort. Who's to say?

The link above isn't quite the one. I think you meant these:

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/01/1521216

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/01/1921235

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/01/1929215

Then again, you might want to check out this one:

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...i_18&printer=1
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Old 03-01-2004, 04:35 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Aristide has now told the AP he was kidnapped.
Quote:
When asked if he left Haiti on his own, Aristide quickly answered: "No. I was forced to leave."

"Agents were telling me that if I don't leave they would start shooting and killing in a matter of time," Aristide said during the brief phone interview that was interrupted at times by static.

When asked who the agents were, he responded: "White American, white military."

"They came at night ... There were too many, I couldn't count them," he added.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2...nterview_x.htm

The AP failed to even ask the most important question: Did he resign? Answer: No. Therefore he is still, legally, the President of Haiti. This is an outrage.

I hope everyone here has listened to this show in particular:

http://www.democracynow.org/article..../03/01/1521216


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Old 03-01-2004, 06:31 PM   #32 (permalink)
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From what it sounds like the guy was a douche. And on those grounds I could care less if he was forcefully removed, its obvious his people didn't want him there. Sure this man might not a Saddam or Milosevic but I think this quote holds true "All evil needs to succeed is for good men to do nothing."
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Old 03-01-2004, 06:47 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by hammer4all
The AP failed to even ask the most important question: Did he resign? Answer: No. Therefore he is still, legally, the President of Haiti. This is an outrage.

Well,

You better be outraged at several European nations as well as the UN in general, because apparently France is sending troops and the UN voted to create a peace-keeping mission.
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Old 03-01-2004, 06:50 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Conspiracy theories are fun.

The question of course is WHY?

Haiti has nothing we could want and is only a threat to itself, so WHY would be bother to overthrow the government?

Mind you I don't believe a damn thing Aristidie says, but the whole thing is quite laughable.

Buh-bye.
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:14 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Nonsense. We want democracy in other countries, and not only is Haiti another country, but it's in our backyard. I'm willing to dismiss Aristide's comments as mere demagoguery, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that our government played hardball in resolving this crisis (meaning I'm awaiting possible confirmation of Aristide's comments. Just because he said it doesn't mean it's not true).
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Old 03-01-2004, 08:41 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
Nonsense. We want democracy in other countries, and not only is Haiti another country, but it's in our backyard. I'm willing to dismiss Aristide's comments as mere demagoguery, but I'm not ruling out the possibility that our government played hardball in resolving this crisis (meaning I'm awaiting possible confirmation of Aristide's comments. Just because he said it doesn't mean it's not true).
Yes but I don't hear democracy as a motive from the conspiracy guys.

Why would they complain if that were the goal?
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:32 PM   #37 (permalink)
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As I said earlier, it's an ugly situation, and removing an elected president from power is an ugly thing to do. Granted, there was some ballot stuffing going on in the 2000 elections, and Aristide doesn't seem that well liked, but he did have some legitimacy, and we trampled all over it. The US isn't a country that forces presidents to resign at gunpoint in the middle of the night.

The outcome might be good, but I still find that distasteful.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:57 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
The question of course is WHY?

Haiti has nothing we could want and is only a threat to itself, so WHY would be bother to overthrow the government?
Indeed, a legitamate question. These two links along with my post above propose some answers:

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ha...ign_Haiti.html

http://dominionpaper.ca/weblog/2004/...haiti_why.html

Quote:
Originally posted by Scipio
Granted, there was some ballot stuffing going on in the 2000 elections, ...
Actually, this is incorrect.

Quote:
What happened in the 2000 elections?

Two elections took place in 2000. The first elections, in May, saw full participation by a range of political parties, including the Lavalas party of now-president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In the May elections of legislators and municipal government authorities, Lavalas won by a landslide. Observers from the Organization of American States did not fault the conduct of the elections. However, in eight cases, the electoral council seated Senators who had won by a plurality of the votes, not by an absolute majority. Because these eight Senators were Lavalas party candidates, the opposition immediately cried fraud.

Knowing they would lose the presidential election in November 2000, the opposition Democratic Convergence refused to participate. They cited the eight contested senatorial elections as "proof" that the presidential vote would be rigged. In November, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected.

The OAS tried, in more than 20 missions, to arrange new elections or compromise between the Democratic Convergence and the government. President Aristide persuaded seven of the eight senators to resign, clearing the way for new elections. Aristide agreed to OAS proposals for new elections. The Democratic Convergence did not.

In January, the terms of all legislators elected in 2000 expired. The opposition refused to allow new legislative elections, so now there is no legislature.

The opposition has consistently demanded-and continues to demand-that Aristide immediately leave the presidency, without completing his elected term of office, and they be put in charge of a non-elected "transition" government. They will accept nothing less. They want power, but not elections. They know they could not win elections, as they never have had anywhere near majority support.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0224-09.htm

Last edited by hammer4all; 03-02-2004 at 02:03 AM..
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Old 03-02-2004, 02:08 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Why can't the U.S. just take over the world and get it over with?
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Old 03-02-2004, 04:55 AM   #40 (permalink)
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He maybe a kook and a flake but Kucinich did say something yesterday that had truth to it. "I suppose if they were to find oil in Haiti we'd be there in full force tomorrow."

Anyone else see the hypocrisy between this and Iraq. Granted we had been in Iraq under 2 LIES before Bush decided to use the raison du jour. That of course is "humanitarian need to get rid of a mass murderer and all round nasty fellow". Yep, no oil we don't give a damn about your country unless you have a revolt and we're going to be getting your refugees, or you're a country in Europe, or you're a country in Africa and the black leadership wants us to prove we aren't racist.

"Gotta love Bush. He is our savior," so sayeth the man living on top of the hill while in the valley the peasants starve but have a war to keep thier minds off the truth.
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