AMERICA NEEDS TO STOP INVADING HAITI

A New Intervention By America Or It’s Puppet Regimes Would Be Just As Disastrous As The Previous Ones.

What to do about Haiti?

Its government barely exists, lacking both legitimacy and authority. Gangs have taken over the streets. Food and fuel are in short supply: gas stations only just reopened, two months after criminals seized a critical fuel terminal. The country is suffering from a cholera epidemic. A desperate driver told ABC News: “You don’t have anyone to turn to.”

Once the richest colony in the Western Hemisphere, the brutally oppressed slave population won both freedom and independence in 1804, just a couple decades after the American colonies became a nation. The United States, embarrassed by former slaves ruling themselves, recognized Haiti only in 1862, when slavery was literally under fire in America.

The only other country where slavery was overthrown violently, Haiti found neither peace nor stability. America didn’t help. In 1914 American troops arrived to empty the national bank and returned a year later after the Haitian president was assassinated. American troops finally left in 1934, after having “dissolved Haiti’s parliament at gunpoint, killed thousands of people, controlled its finances for more than 30 years, shipped a big portion of its earnings to bankers in New York and left behind a country so poor that the farmers who helped generate the profits often lived on a diet ‘close to starvation level’.”

In 1994 the Clinton administration went retro, again playing colonial hegemon. America invaded, ousting the ruling junta and reinstating the demagogic president, who had encouraged his followers to “necklace” opponents with flaming tires filled with gasoline. Such was the restoration of “democracy,” with American control giving way to the United Nations, which ended its peacekeeping mission in 2000. Under Amerian and French pressure to step down, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in another coup in 2004, which a former French ambassador indicated was effectively orchestrated by Washington and Paris. (The new government conveniently dropped Aristide’s claims for reparations from France.)

A U.N. mission was established, which ran until 2017. Interrupted by a terrible earthquake in 2010, the occupation was supposed to establish law and order, but instead the outside forces added to the Haitians’ hardships. The occupiers caused a cholera epidemic that killed more than 10,000 people. Sexual abuse, including that of children, also was pervasive.

In July 2021 Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated. The country was left almost leaderless, with four claimants to his job, including two competing prime ministers, two different constitutions, a largely empty legislature for which elections were long overdue, and a supreme court whose head had recently died.

The interim (and wholly illegitimate) government is pushing for allied intervention in some form. U.N. Secretary General António Guterres advocated an international force to back the Haitian National Police. In October America’s U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced American support for a U.N. resolution proposing “a limited, carefully scoped, non-UN mission led by a partner country.” The administration, she added, “will work with partners and other Council members to set defined and specific parameters for the mission, and the United States will consider the most effective means to directly support, enable, and resource it.”

Apparently, it would be an unofficial project of the willing, authorized but not managed by the U.N. Who would contribute? America’s role in developing such a resolution suggests the willingness to back it with force. The usual foreign policy suspects in Washington want to send in the American military. In an editorial published the day of Moise’s murder, the Washington Post insisted: “Swift and muscular intervention is needed.”

The editorialists admitted that the previous peacekeeping mission “was a far cry from perfect.” But at least the U.N. brought “a modicum of stability to Haiti…. At this perilous moment, a modicum of stability would be preferable to most other plausible scenarios.”

Only hinted at by the safely P.C. publication was the requirement that such a mission be staffed by…well, you know…people from, uh, countries…whose troops could be trusted. The earlier mission “involved forces from Brazil, Uruguay and other nations,” including the Nepalese, the Post curiously specified, and we know how that turned out. So just make sure the next mission is made up of Americans, French, and Canadians, whom the Post named as obligated to push for such a force. Indeed, the Biden administration reportedly wants Ottawa to take the lead; Canada’s prime minister declared that intervention is necessary “in one way or another.”

Recognizing there is likely to be little public support for the idea, the Post offered an argument of last resort. Sending U.N. troops to Haiti would be worrying, admitted the paper, “But does anyone have a better idea?” A profound and persuasive argument for forcibly occupying another nation, whether its people like it or not.

Other than government officials and commercial elites, most Haitians are skeptical of the proposal. NPR’s Eyder Peralta wrote that “many Haitians express deep distrust of an international troop presence after a history of troubled foreign intervention.” In contrast to the enthusiasm of Post editorial writers, leading Haitians oppose another foreign intervention. Writer and blogger Daniel Larison pointed to an “umbrella coalition of Haitian organizations, The Commission for a Haitian Solution to the Crisis, also known as the Montana Accord, [which] rejected the government’s call for outside military assistance.”

Haitian writer Monique Clesca said, “We do not want U.S. troops, U.S. boots, U.S. uniforms, none of that.” This view is shared by many Haitians who lived through the last foreign deployment and have less than fond memories of the experience. Two Post reporters concluded that the proposal for another foreign intervention “is a divisive and delicate subject here, where the shadow of a long history of destabilizing foreign interventions, including the U.N. mission that introduced cholera, looms large.”

A new peacekeeping mission would not likely be peaceful. Conditions in Port-au-Prince, especially, are shocking. For instance, Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations labeled Haiti “a Hobbesian state of nature—Somalia in the Caribbean.” Even as it advocated military intervention, the Post acknowledged: “With gun battles raging in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and cutting off main roads to provincial towns, relief groups have often been stymied in their distribution efforts. Meanwhile, thousands of people, terrified by the gang warfare and an epidemic of kidnappings for ransom, have fled their homes to the countryside.”

Violent but irregular resistance from criminal gangs and other disaffected groups would be likely. Several analysts from Just Security warned: “The gangs are heavily armed and have been fighting street battles in Port-au-Prince neighborhoods regularly for four years. If they decide to engage, they will be doing so on terrain they know, and while they almost certainly will be outgunned in the long run, they can inflict tremendous damage on intervening forces and civilians.”

Indeed, the previous U.N. force engaged gang members, causing substantial civilian casualties. Former human rights lawyer Pooja Bhatia, who investigated the U.N. mission, observed: “We concluded that rather than promoting peace and justice, UN troops helped the police terrorize the poorest quartiers of the capital Port-au-Prince, bastions of support for Aristide. Many civilians alleged that [UN] troops, many of them Brazilian soldiers with experience in ‘cleaning operations’ in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, perpetrated the atrocities themselves.”

Another occupation looks good only compared to the country’s current chaos. Haitians judge proposals by the results of past interventions, though. Last time the U.N. stayed for 13 years, yet four years later public order had entirely dissolved.

Observed Larison:

The long history of failed and destructive outside interference in Haitian affairs shows that neither the United States nor the UN has the solution to Haiti’s political problems. Each time that outside forces have meddled in the name of helping Haiti, they have reliably made things worse.” In September 2021 the Biden administration’s Special Envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned in frustration. His critique of U.S. policy was devastating, contending that “our Haitian friends” need “the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates.”

Indeed, outside intervention bears much of the blame for current circumstances. Explained Larison: “The current crisis is itself the product of ongoing interference on the part of the U.S. government, which backed former President Jovenel Moïse when he was alive and has been instrumental in keeping Henry in power despite his lack of democratic legitimacy and the broad coalition of Haitians opposed to his continued rule.”

Bhatia related that Henry “has never had any sort of constitutional authority and indeed is implicated in Moïse’s assassination. The people he claims to speak for revile him. His only constituency is outside the country. Over the past 15 months, America has insisted that the opposition, a remarkably broad-based coalition of civil society leaders, activists and popular organizations, negotiate with him.”

The civic group coalition wrote the Biden administration earlier this month:

We encourage your administration to reflect on the long history of international interventions in Haiti, and how those actions have served to undermine state institutions, democratic norms, and the rule of law. Previous interventions have had a costly human toll, including through rape, sexual exploitation, and extrajudicial killings. As Doctors Without Borders has warned, such an intervention would mean “more bullets, more injuries and more patients”.

Journalist Jonathan M. Katz also highlighted the “vacuum that a century of U.S. invasions, occupations, and interference has left in its wake. Sending an armed force to do battle with one Haitian gang and its sponsors…will do nothing to make Haiti a safer or more stable place for its people to live in the medium or long term.”

Foote concluded: “The hubris that makes us believe we should pick the winner—again—is impressive. This cycle of international political interventions in Haiti has consistently produced catastrophic results. More negative impacts to Haiti will have calamitous consequences not only in Haiti, but in the U.S. and our neighbors in the hemisphere.”

Of course, failing to act comes with a cost. The focus of American foreign policy, however, is not just whether Haiti would be better off. It is whether Americans would be better off. The solution for neither is another occupation, even if motivated by the best of intentions. In fact, Haiti’s civil society organizations offered the administration a list of measures to “support peacebuilding and equitable development.” That would be a much better approach than continuing to treat Haiti as another social engineering experiment for the American military.

LEARN WHAT THE HAITIAN PEOPLE REALLY WANT

The People Of Haiti Do Not Want Outside Intervention. This Is What Their Corrupt Political Elites Want For Their Own Reasons.

A group of more than 90 nonprofit, human rights, antiwar, and Haitian diaspora organizations has sent a letter to the president calling on him to reject military intervention in Haiti:

We write to once again encourage your administration to listen to Haitian civil society; respect the fundamental rights of the Haitian people to shape Haitian solutions; and reevaluate American support to the de facto Prime Minister Henry, as that unconditional support has removed any incentive for him to negotiate with opponents in good faith. We are deeply worried that the deployment of a military force now will only perpetuate and strengthen Henry’s grasp on power, while doing little to ameliorate the root causes of today’s crisis.

We encourage your administration to reflect on the long history of international interventions in Haiti, and how those actions have served to undermine state institutions, democratic norms, and the rule of law. Previous interventions have had a costly human toll, including through rape, sexual exploitation, and extrajudicial killings. As Doctors Without Borders has warned, such an intervention would mean “more bullets, more injuries and more patients.”

The letter hits all the important points. Military intervention in Haiti will likely make conditions there worse, and if it happens it will be against the wishes of most of the Haitian people. Past interventions have led to human rights abuses and the spread of disease without delivering the promised security and stability that they were supposed to provide. The crucial point is that the people in Haiti calling for outside intervention are holding on to power without any legitimate mandate from the people. The de facto prime minister Ariel Henry does not speak for the people of his country. The people of Haiti do not want outside intervention. This is what their corrupt political elites want for their own reasons.

Jonathan Katz wrote about this yesterday:

This will, in effect, just bolster another gang: the clique that Henry currently represents, its allied elites, and whatever loyal faction they favor within the Haitian National Police. In other words, outside force may give a different group access to the fuel port and keep the current clique in relative power a little longer. But it will do nothing to prevent the violence and inequality that rive Haitian society. Only forcing the unpopular and manifestly undemocratic Henry government to share or cede power, preparing the ground for eventual elections and a return to Haitian democracy, and ending a century of destructive U.S. interference in their affairs, will give ordinary Haitians a shot at survival.”

As David Larison said in a column last month, “Military intervention would be a risky proposition even if it enjoyed broad popular support, but to pursue it when there is so much vocal opposition to it inside the country is inexcusable arrogance.” It might be a different story if most Haitians were clamoring for outside help, but they most definitely are not doing that. They have seen what that “help” looks like many times before, and they understandably don’t want more of it. America should not be part of any intervention in Haiti, and it should not support an intervention carried out by other governments. It is remarkable that this even has to be said, but such is the bias in favor of “doing something” in our debates that we have to keep saying it.

America has been wrong in providing support to the current de facto leadership, and that is one of the things that needs to change. Beyond that, America has to break with its long habit of interfering in Haitian affairs, whether that comes in the form of direct intervention or providing support for the latest would-be strongman. America has to learn to respect Haitian sovereignty and independence, and the beginning of that is to refrain from backing an unwanted military mission in their country. This is an extremely low bar, and it is not obvious that America is capable of clearing it, but it is the bare minimum America can do after all the damage it has caused and enabled over the decades.

HAITI AND ECUADOR: TWO PLAYS, ONE PLOT

Their Long Histories Of Wishing America Would Leave Them Alone And Of Trying To Assert Their Own Democratic Voice Are Uniquely Their Own.

The recent story of American interference in Haiti and Ecuador both seem to be following the same basic plot.

ACT I: THE COUP

In Haiti, this act has been repeated a number of times. When the people of Haiti longed to elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power, the CIA, with the authorization of President Reagan, funded candidates to oppose him, according to William Blum in Killing Hope. When the people of Haiti surmounted American obstructions and elected Aristide, America took him out: twice!

In 1989, the American undermined the Aristide government, according to Noam Chomsky in Hegemony or Survival, and, immediately following the coup, supported the junta and increased trade to Haiti in violation of international sanctions. CIA expert John Prados says that the “chief thug” among the groups of thugs and militia behind the coup was a CIA asset. Tim Weiner, the author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA, agrees. Weiner says that several of the leaders of the junta that took out Aristide “had been on the CIA’s payroll for years.”

When the people of Haiti got the chance again, and again elected Aristide in 2004, America, with the help of Canada and France, crushed their choice, kidnapped Aristide and sent him to exile in Africa.

In Ecuador, the coup is less clear. Rafael Correa served as president of Ecuador from 2007-2017, bringing in the socialist Citizen’s Revolution for the people of Ecuador. In 2017, Correa’s vice president, Lenín Moreno, was elected president. The people elected him, trusting the promise that he would continue his predecessor’s policies. However, with American backing, Moreno underwent a sudden conversion to the right, engaging in a policy of privatization and the elimination of social programs. His popularity plummeted to 8%. With American support, Moreno committed a self-coup, and the people did not get the government they wanted.

ACT II: BAR THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE FROM RUNNING

Aristide and his party have won every election they were allowed to compete legitimately in. The Haitians clearly wanted him; the Americans clearly did not. So, to ensure that America, and not the Haitians, got their way, Aristide’s party has been barred from elections, including the 2010-2011 election.

The same script was followed in Ecuador. With Moreno giving the people the government they didn’t want, the people who did want him numbered only 8%. When the people once again got the chance to choose, they, once again, wanted to choose Correa. To put an end to that, as in Haiti, Correa was simply barred from running. And, just to be sure, he was also banned from running for vice president. To be doubly sure, his supporters were even banned from using Correa’s image or voice in their campaign.

Broader attempts were also made to prevent his party from running. So, his movement tried to form a new party. Guillaume Long, the former Ecuadorian foreign minister, said in a personal correspondence that the attempt to compete as a new party was barred six times before another party allowed Correa’s movement to join them.

This pattern of the preemptive coup has recently played out in other Latin American countries as well. If the polls clearly show that the people are going to re-elect the person you don’t want to be elected, prevent him from running in the election. This form of the preemptive coup that is so impatient, it can’t even wait for the election to happen, was infamously deployed against Brazil’s Lula de Silva and Bolivia’s Evo Morales. Less famously, it may also have been carried out in Guatemala, where several candidates who were running against the right wing candidate Alejandro Giammattei were barred from running mid-campaign. The throwing out of Thelma Aldana, who fought government corruption as the attorney general, was “widely considered politically motivated,” according to reporting by The Washington Post.

ACT III: SUPPORT YOUR CHOICE AGAINST THE PEOPLE

The people of Haiti didn’t get the President they wanted. America did. So, when the people turned against their president, America firmly backed him. The backing has taken two forms for two presidents.

Haitian president Jovenal Moïse had become enormously unpopular. At the end of his term, rather than put the choice back in the hands of the people, Moïse attempted to hold onto power for another year, claiming it was owed to him because disputes over the 2018 election cut into his term. Moïse had always been the American backed candidate, and now, rather than let the people speak, America backed him again. Even though the Haitian judiciary refuted his claim, America State Department backed it. State Department spokesman Ned Price supported Moïse, declaring that “a new elected president should succeed President Moïse when his term ends on February 7th, 2022.”

And that promised election was also disguised American support for the president the people didn’t want. As democrat members of congress tried to explain to Secretary of State Blinken, “While elections will clearly be needed in the near future to restore democratic order, we remain deeply concerned that any electoral process held under the current administration will fail to be free, fair or credible….” So, supporting the elections in Haiti was supporting Moïse’s attempt to hold on to power. But America continued to support the elections.

In July 2021, Jovenal Moïse was assassinated. A power struggle followed. Initially, interim prime minister Claude Joseph assumed power. But Joseph lost out to Ariel Henry, who was anointed by the Core Group. The Core Group is led by America and includes ambassadors to Haiti from Canada, Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, the EU, the UN and the Organization of American States but is devoid of Haitians. Once again, the people of Haiti had no say in who their prime minister was with other countries’ ambassadors to Haiti, instead of Haiti, deciding.

Brian Concannon argues that Henry is no more legitimate than American installed Claude Joseph who came before him nor the American supported Jovenal Moïse who came before him. But America has continued to support their candidate. On September 22, the American Special Envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned in protest. He called the government of Ariel Henry “corrupt” and the country he runs a “collapsed state.” What the people of Haiti “really want, and need,” he said, “is the opportunity to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates.” Foote said that Haiti cannot “enjoy stability until her citizens have the dignity of truly choosing their own leaders fairly and acceptably.” America continues to block that enjoyment by supporting the candidate of its choice. They did that again in September by issuing “another public statement of support for the unelected, de facto Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry.” Foote points out that America is continuing to support the party of Ariel Henry over the desires of civil society.

As in Haiti, America has used public statements of support to maintain their unpopular candidate in Ecuador. The beneficiary of all the election interference in Ecuador was Guillermo Lasso. Lasso’s economic policies, especially his austerity policies, are deeply unpopular. His approval rating is in free fall, currently sitting at 34%. As the people of Ecuador began to mobilize and take to the streets in protest, Lasso declared a state of emergency.

Under the state of emergency, the constitutional rights of the people of Ecuador were suspended. The streets were filled, not with the protesting people of Ecuador, but with armed soldiers.

According to reporting by Vijay Prashad and Taroa Zúñiga Silva, the justification given for the state of emergency was the killing of a child who got caught in the crossfire between police and an armed robber. Lasso explained that the state of emergency was necessary to combat Ecuador’s drug gangs. While tragic, the child’s death does not justify the militarization of Ecuador and the suspension of constitutional rights.

Nonetheless, the very next day after the state of emergency was declared, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken jetted into Ecuador to support Lasso. Shockingly, he said in his press statement that “we know that in democracies there are times when, with exceptional circumstances, measures are necessary to deal with urgencies and urgent situations like the one Ecuador is experiencing now. And as I discussed with President Lasso, we understand that, support that. . . .”

As in Haiti just weeks before, a public statement of support under shocking conditions, provided American backing for a leader America wants but the people of that country don’t.

In both Haiti and Ecuador, a similar plot has been followed. In act one, you eliminate or turn the leader you do not want. In act two, you bar their return by banning them from running in future elections. In act three, you prop up the unpopular leader you are imposing on the country through very public statements of support for their undemocratic behavior.

HAITI AND WASHINGTON’S BRAIN DEAD INTERVENTIONISTS

Their Only Solution To Any Problem Is To Invade. Can’t They Find Someone Who Has A Better Idea?

It’s been just another day at the office in Port-au-Prince.

President Jovenel Moise was assassinated. The murder might have been organized by Haitian expatriates. It could have been an inside job. Perhaps it was criminal gangs. Or, suggest the conspiracy-minded, the CIA was back to its old tricks.

Amid two constitutions, desiccated institutions, and multiple factions, at least four men claimed to be Moise’s successor. The lower house of the legislature is empty, with elections long overdue. Only a third of the members of the upper house remain in office. The head of the country’s supreme court died of COVID-19.

Haiti’s imbroglio trumps any drama in Washington, D.C., even during the Trump years. Unfortunately, Haiti has suffered through similarly unnerving events throughout its history.

Originally a French colony which implemented a particularly brutal and deadly form of slavery, the country of Haiti emerged from an extended slave revolution. Over the years, decades, and centuries there have been dictators, populists, crooks, coups, elections, murders, revolts, demonstrations, and poverty, always terrible, overwhelming, grinding poverty. Throughout the country’s history, outsiders—including France, Dominican Republic, America, and United Nations—have added to Haiti’s misery.

So what is the solution to Haiti’s latest offense against good governance? Foreign occupation, of course! The Washington Post pushed “swift and muscular international intervention.”

Sure, “sending U.N. troops is worrying,” admitted the Post a little later. “But does anyone have a better idea?”

Now there’s a convincing argument for forcibly occupying another nation!

Bombing other nations is worrying—it might kill innocent civilians. But does anyone have a better idea?

Sanctioning other nations is worrying—it might starve innocent civilians. But does anyone have a better idea?

Invading other nations is worrying—it might get America entangled in an endless war. But does anyone have a better idea?

Using nuclear weapons is worrying—it might destroy the planet. But does anyone have a better idea?

The first problem with the U.N. option is: been there, done that. Washington took over in 1915 and stayed two decades. America went back in 1994, after threatening war if the ruling junta did not vacate. Whatever values America supposedly intended to impart apparently didn’t take in either case.

The United Nations arrived in 2004 and left only four years ago. The mission was intended to impose law and order. Which obviously didn’t work, since that is precisely what is lacking today. To call the UN’s record “mixed” is an understatement, given the deaths of some 10,000 Haitians from a cholera epidemic caused by the international force’s negligence, as well as multiple rapes by foreign troops.

However, this experience didn’t deter the Post. Indeed, the unfortunate history of outside interference goes unmentioned by those who set forth their agenda on behalf of humanity. And the newspaper expects U.N. troops to perform miracles.

They would first have to be peacemakers, to get a grip on the gang violence that has impeded delivery of food, medical supplies and other assistance. With gun battles raging in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and cutting off main roads to provincial towns, relief groups have often been stymied in their distribution efforts. Meanwhile, thousands of people, terrified by the gang warfare and an epidemic of kidnappings for ransom, have fled their homes to the countryside, where basic health services and food supplies are inadequate.

This pessimistic assessment is widely shared. Government officials worry about “urban terrorists” who might be used to attack infrastructure and “create chaos.” Robenson Geffrard, a reporter with the Nouvelliste, feared the “shadow of violence” over Port-au-Prince. Economist Tyler Cowen argued that “These days the risk of kidnapping is so high that a visit is unthinkable.” Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations called Haiti “a Hobbesian state of nature—Somalia in the Caribbean.”

Thus, peace would have to be made before it could be kept. Would America or U.N. patrol the streets? Send soldiers door-to-door to make arrests? Set up courts to try miscreants? Establish official American or U.N. prisons? And enforce authority throughout the country? Americans would be particularly vulnerable targets.

Of course, that’s not all. Admitted the Post:

in addition to an absence of basic security, Haiti is faced with a power vacuum in which at least four men have staked a claim to its government; no constitutional road map exists for installing an interim president; and the national police and army, which have proved powerless or complicit in the rising gang violence, report to no one. No agreed-upon blueprint has emerged in Haiti to extricate the nation from its mayhem.”

Heck, it sounds like a nascent paradise that should be easy for the U.N. to fix! The international organization could just ask everyone to let their better angels take over, accept the occupiers’ good intentions, yield authority to others unknown, trust their fate to an international process which has consistently failed, and enjoy the bounty sure to flow.

What could possibly go wrong? Boot concluded that “the world still needs and wants America for lack of any better alternative.” Alas, Washington’s recent Mideast misadventures not just failed to improve the situation. They made it worse, prolonging and even intensifying conflict without compensating benefits.

Boot worried that “Life in a lot of places will become more nasty, brutish and short if we permanently lose the will to act as a liberal hegemony.” That sounds like a lot of places after America sent troops.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians died in the sectarian struggle triggered by America invasion of Iraq. Tens of thousands of civilians died in Afghanistan, a conflict Washington could not win despite the presence of some 140,000 American and allied troops. Thousands of civilians died in Libya in the various iterations of civil war over the past decade.

At least there is no active combat in Haiti. However, with an American or U.N. occupation local forces would vie for advantage. Already “the international community” has raised local hackles by playing favorites among those vying to succeed Moises. Violence likely would result. Certainly, the stage would be set for clashes once any foreign troops eventually left.

Although some leading Haitians favor American intervention, there is no groundswell of popular support for foreigners to take over the country. Outside intervention is usually manipulated to benefit selfish interests. MIT’s Malick Ghachem argued: “Time and again, foreign powers have placed economic and political pressures on the Haitian state that have exacerbated domestic political conflicts, often by favoring the interests of the country’s export-oriented commercial elite with ties to North America and Europe. (Jovenel Moise himself emerged from this same elite.)”

Previous interventions left significant scars. Ghachem pointed to “The 1915 U.S. military occupation of Haiti—justified as an effort to stabilize the country following the last assassination of a Haitian president (Vilbrun Sam), while advancing the interests of American businessmen looking to establish plantations there.” Valerie Jean-Charles of Woy Magazine said following that occupation were “years of weakening of Haitian institutions and senseless killings of many Haitians.” As for the recently ended U.N. mission, Haitian writer Monique Clesca said its “nickname is ‘cholera’ or ‘Minustah’ [the operation’s French acronym] babies.”

Understandably, many Haitians strongly oppose any foreign occupation. Clesca declared: “We do not want U.S. troops, U.S. boots, U.S. uniforms, none of that.” She believed “the international community” to be “complicit” in Haiti’s events, contending that “Because in Haiti, Haitians have been traumatized by the occupation of the country during 34 years by the United States, we do not want U.S. intervention or troops or anything.”

Although President Joe Biden sent officials, a “technical team” in administration parlance, to the island to assess the problems and brief him on their return, he doesn’t seem inclined to deploy American troops to patrol Port-au-Prince and the rest of the country. “The idea of sending American forces into Haiti is not on the agenda at this moment,” he said last week.

However, Haitian officials have not given up. “This is not a closed door. The evolution of the situation will determine the outcome,” argued elections minister Mathias Pierre. True, but it is hard to imagine a circumstance in which a foreign occupation, at least one dependent on America, would be appropriate. Military intervention requires an affirmative case. Contra the Washington Post, not knowing what else to do does not count as a reason, let alone a serious one.

All nations have difficulties. Haiti’s troubles have been extraordinary. Especially striking is the government’s veritable disintegration: with too many presidential claimants and too few legislators, what can be done? No wonder the Post warned: “Without international intervention, the country’s ordeal will deepen.”

However, outsiders have consistently failed to put the country right. People of good will should do all they can to assist. Especially helpful would be aid from individuals and organizations outside of politics. In the case of Haiti over-politicized states at home and abroad have been the greatest enemy of the Haitian people. Making politics work for, rather than against them is necessary to have any chance of success.

AMERICAN NEEDS TO LISTEN TO THE HAITIANS OPPOSED TO OUTSIDE INTERVENTION

When There Is Such Strong Opposition From Haitian Civil Society, The Case For Intervention Completely Collapses.

The Haitian interim prime minister recently requested American military assistance following the assassination of the president, but there is significant popular opposition to having American forces in Haiti:

Intellectuals and members of Haiti’s civil society quickly criticized a call by Haitian officials for the United States to send in troops, citing earlier interventions by foreign powers and international organizations that further destabilized Haiti and left a trail of abuses.

We do not want any US troops on Haiti’s soil,” Monique Clesca, a Haitian pro-democracy activist and former United Nations official, said in a post Friday on Twitter. “The de facto prime minister Claude Joseph does not have any legitimacy to make such a request in our name. No, No & No.”

American intervention in Haiti would be a bad idea even if there were broader popular support for it. When there is such strong opposition from Haitian civil society, the case for intervention completely collapses. The American regime supported Moïse before his death, so it is unlikely that American forces would be welcomed by the people that protested against his rule. That could make an American military presence in Haiti a cause of more instability. Because Joseph is not seen as legitimate by many of his countrymen, they will not recognize his authority to invite foreign forces into the country. American forces would be and would be perceived as invaders and occupiers. There is no point to such intervention other than as a means to increase America’s imperialist authority over the people of Haiti – which they strongly oppose.

HAITI NAMES AN AMERICAN CITIZEN – JAMES SOLAGES AS A SUSPECT IN THE ASSASSINATION

Was This Actually Just Another Murder And Government Overthrow By The American Deep State?

At a news conference at National Police Headquarters with the interim prime minister, the American men were described as being of Haitian descent and were identified as Joseph Vincent and James Solages. Haitian security officials had earlier described Mr. Solages as a resident of South Florida who had been apprehended on Wednesday during the manhunt for the assailants.

At least eight more suspects were on the run, authorities said.

We are pursuing them. We are asking the public to help us,” said Haiti’s police chief, Léon Charles, before a phalanx of politicians and police.

Columbia’s defense minister, Diego Molano, said the government was cooperating with an official request from Interpol, the global police agency, for information about the detained suspects. He added that initial information suggested that they were retired members of the Columbian military.

The detainees were lined up at the news conference Thursday night in handcuffs, some showing signs of physical injuries. A table displayed at least 10 Colombian passports, along with automatic weapons, sledgehammers and saws.

The country’s interim prime minister Claude Joseph said a group of foreigners had entered the country to kill the president “in a cowardly fashion.”“They forgot something,” he said. “You may kill the president, but you cannot kill his dreams, you cannot kill his ideology, and you cannot kill what he was fighting for. That’s why I’m determined for President Jovenel Moïse’s family, friends and allies, and the Haitian population, to get justice.”

Angry civilians have also joined in the hunt, capturing some suspects themselves and setting afire vehicles thought to have been used in the attack. Haiti is now basically under martial law after Mr. Joseph declared an “état de siège” — a state of siege — that allows the police and members of security forces to enter homes, control traffic and take special security measures. It also forbids meetings meant to excite or prepare for disorder.

The rapidly evolving crisis deepened the turmoil and violence that has gripped Haiti for months, threatening to tip one of the world’s most troubled nations further into lawlessness. Questions swirled about who might have been behind such a brazen attack and how they eluded the president’s security detail to carry it out.

There were reports of fighting between suspects and security forces throughout the day. Earlier Thursday, Helen La Lime, the top U.N. official in Haiti, told reporters that a group of suspects had “taken refuge in two buildings in the city and are now surrounded by police.” She spoke via teleconference from Port-au-Prince, after briefing the United Nations Security Council on the Haitian crisis in a private meeting. It was unclear if the situation had been resolved.

Haiti’s ambassador to the United States, Bocchit Edmond, has described the assailants as “well-trained professionals, killers, commandos.”

On Wednesday, security forces engaged in a chaotic shootout with a group of what they described as suspected assailants, though they offered no evidence linking them to the attack. Officers killed several in the group and took others into custody, authorities said.

Chief Charles said Thursday that five vehicles that might have been used in the attack had been seized and that three of them had been burned by civilians. He said it was impossible for the police to gather evidence from inside the charred vehicles.

Social media was full of reports of civilians parading men with their arms tied behind their backs and men in the back of a police pickup truck.

A large crowd of people gathered in front of the police station in the Pétionville area of Port-au-Prince on Thursday morning, before Chief Charles spoke, some demanding vigilante justice for the suspects they believed to be inside. “Burn them,” some cried.

Carl Henry Destin, a Haitian justice of the peace, said the president’s home had been peppered with holes and littered with bullet casings, and he had found the body of the president lying on the floor at the foot of his bed, “bathed in blood.”

There were 12 holes visible in the body of the president that I could see,” he told The New York Times. “He was riddled with bullets.”

President Moïse had been dressed in a white shirt and jeans, he said, both of which were torn and covered in blood. Bullet holes perforated his arms, hip, backside and left ear.

There was evidence of different caliber weapons being used, he said.

The president’s house had been ransacked, said Mr. Destin. “Drawers were pulled out, papers were all over the ground, bags were open,” he said. Two servants had been tied up, he said.

The president’s wife, Martine Moïse, was injured in the assault and was rushed by air ambulance to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where Mr. Joseph, the interim prime minister, said she was “out of danger” and in stable condition. Representative Frederica Wilson of Florida said at a news conference in Miami that Ms. Moïse was not the target of the attack and that, according to the American State Department, “she was caught in a crossfire.”

Ms. Wilson said the couple’s three children are in protective custody. Mr. Destin said that two of the children had been present during the attack, and that they had hidden together in a bathroom.