3 posts • Page 1 of 1
"If, Aristide is not the duly elected President, as the U.S. sponsored government claims, is the new executive not bound by the frame work of the Haitian constitution?," wrote a concerned party someone recently.
In Haiti there is a saying: "Konstitisyon se papye, bayonèt se fè" (Constitution is made of paper, bayonets are made of iron). The anointed President of the U.S. has declared for all of us to hear: "THE HAITIAN CONSTITUTION IS WORKING," after having strong-armed President Aristide into leaving office, a fact readily acknowledged even by those who think that Haitians should be kissing American butt forever.
Glad to know that George W. Bush has read the Haitian Constitution. Hopefully Powell handed him a newer version than the draft by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since it is working, we should rightfully expect new elections in short
order. Little problem: How to sell it to the Haitian voter. Will it be 1 year out of 5, 3 years out of 5, 10 years out of 5, or perpetuity? And they will need observers: CARICOM has just been voted out, but a suitable replacement will be found; security (no problem, U.S. and France just happen to be there); and consultants: bring on Kathleen Harris and James Baker (if they are not needed full time in Florida), and the incomparable Cruella Deville from the Orlando Democracy Project.
Ever since September 11, 2001 the world has been living under the wrath of a U.S. government that until that fateful day, had a very hard time establishing its own legitimacy, since it had not received a majority of the votes cast by U.S. voters across the nation, and whose pivotal "Florida victory" will be forever tainted in the history books, since investigative reporters have established that, quite aside the faulty polling machines, thousands of "black people" were deemed ineligible to vote due to records "erroneously c
lassified" as "serving time in jail" and therefore ineligible to vote.
Yes, folks, here's a future Ripley's "believe it or not": Even when, according to lore, Haitian journalists "all across" the country "objectively" and "independently" reported (using the most modern statistical techniques known to mankind, with a sampling error rate of less than 100%) that only 10% of Haiti's eligible voters bothered at all to vote, it remains that a majority of those Haitian voters, who had absolutely nothing better to do on a Sunday morning but to go and vote, did in fact vote for Aristide, whereas G.W. Bush would not at all have become president, if not for his majority black constituency on the U.S. Supreme Court, among other dubiously democratic and democratically dubious factors.
Today, I have a son in the U.S. Army who is willing to give his life to protect the Constitution of the United States of America and his father's freedom to speak his mind, without having to kiss the butt of his fellow Amer
icans who have "bent over backwards to help the miserable Haitian people". Today, I speak to you as an American citizen of Haitian origins, who is fed up with the notion that Haitian people should not be COUNTED when choosing (or throwing out) their leaders and that we need the paternalistic benevolence of a Brian Goodman or a Bush/Powell/Rice/Reich, a Noriega/Curran/Foley, or a Villepin/Gaudeul to set for us the date of our liberation and the manner of our governance.
The U.S. President tells us that "THE HAITIAN CONSTITUTION IS WORKING," forgetting to add "as it has ALWAYS worked: one takes from it whatever lines fit your particular agenda, and discard whatever else." If it means regime change through an armed rebellion, so be it! If it means elections when enough time will have passed for the return of the Haitian Army, which is the usual GUARANTOR of U.S. interests in Haiti and the PROTECTOR of the electoral process, as ably demonstrated in 1987, then what is the rush? When the last hand in Si
te Solèy will have been raised to mimic the number 5, then a U.S. backed army will deem it safe for Haitians to vote again, and this will be done in at least 45 days but no more than 90 days of a wink from the U.S. government.
In the meantime, I am not "begging", I am demanding that MY federal governor keep U.S. soldiers busy distributing potable water, food, medicine, seed, technical knowledge to the Haitian population each and every day that Washington deems it necessary for them to stay there. That is the price of redemption for occupying a country. Do it each and every day and the Haitian people may come to appreciate your presence, but continue to "disappear" them and see if you will not end up radicalizing a peace-loving people. As though that's what we need today in "America's backyard".
If I were to beg the Emperor, it would only be for sending my son to Haiti in lieu of Iraq, if He deems it essential to put him in harm's way for the greater security of the United States of America.
Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti
I did read your message, in spite of the risk of corrupting me (What's that all about?). I can symathize with some of your points, but you come on too strong. ("butt-kissing"?)
The reference to the US 2000 election isn't helpful in my opinion. M. Bush WAS elected according to our constitution, (Read about the electoral college, etc.; results of the later probe into the alleged racial denial of voting...), but many actions taken recently in Haiti by rebels, chimeres, and Lavalas groups violated the most basic human rights, including life and limb, not to mention destruction of much needed productive assets. Let's get this in perspective. The preceding suggests a failure in governance.
Also, the recommendation that American marines should "limit themselves to distributing potable water, food, medicine, seed, technical knowledge, etc..." sounds fine until on
e asks what they should do if shot at.
In some of the other posts read here, it is encouraging that people address constructively the current needs of the Haitian people and their many problems. Let's give the new governing authority a chance and let the old hatreds and wounds heal.
From: Guy S. Antoine
[quote]I can sympathize with some of your points, but you come on too strong. ("butt-kissing"?)[/quote]
I may come "too strong" with my words, but I carry no weapons, so please send that advice to the American GI's patrolling the poor neighborhhods in Haiti. That's where "coming on too strong" can truly make the difference between the life and death of an innocent bystander, unless you would believe that only American casualties matter when it comes to securing peace in Haiti. Do not worry about my radicalization. Do worry about the consequences of radicalizing the Haitian people.
My references to "butt-kissing", sorry about offending your sensibilities, was in reference to some posts on the list, basically stating: "What's wrong with the Haitian people? You asked us to get rid of Aristide. We did, and now you a
re complaining! Can't you just say thank you for once?" I am sorry, David, but again, I am not going to butt-kiss Americans who come and tell us that there must be something wrong with our genetic make up, that they acted in our interest and not theirs, and that we should simply shut up and not "bite the hand that feeds us" (exact quote). Sorry if I offended anyone, but that is exactly my response, and I do not pretend to speak for all Haitians, but what I have said, I will say it again: No butt-kissing of Tarzan-minded Americans, period.
[quote]The reference to the US 2000 election isn't helpful in my opinion. M. Bush WAS elected according to our constitution...[/quote]
Suffice to say, electoral college or not (and yes, sir, I had to learn all about it in order to become an American citizen like most of you on this list), I am sure that in November 2000, at least 50% + 1 American voters did not agree with your assessm
ent. If I can make one generalized statement about Americans, it is that their national discourse has been FAR MORE pragmatic in terms of moving on than the Haitian (or Friends of Haiti) international discourse that has been mired in evaluating electoral percentages from 4 years ago, and 4 years during. The only election that matters in the States is the one coming up in November 2004, as established by the Constitution of the United States of America. And, make no mistake about it, I will be voting, as long as I am able. I wish that my Haitian brothers could do the same and that their votes could be counted for something.
[quote]Let's get this in perspective. The preceding suggests a failure in governance.[/quote]
And so what? Who is defending the governance of J.B. Aristide? Who is defending the governance of Georges W. Bush, Our Federal Governor? Which military power will suggest that He leaves office to avoid r
ebels taking over Washington, D.C.? Pray, tell.
[quote]Also, the recommendation that American marines should "limit themselves to distributing potable water, food, medicine, seed, technical knowledge, etc..." sounds fine until one asks what they should do if shot at.[/quote]
Thanks, David, for supposedly quoting me, but in my dictionary, "keep ... busy" IS NOT SYNONYMOUS with "limit themselves to". As you see, I can speak for myself, and I do appreciate it when people do not put words in my mouth. In my defense, I will simply restate, verbatim, what I said in my post to the Corbett list:
"I am demanding that MY federal governor keep U.S. soldiers busy distributing potable water, food, medicine, seed, technical knowledge to the Haitian population each and every day that Washington deems it necessary for them to stay there. That is the price of redemption for occupying a country. Do it each and every day and the Haitian people may come to appreciate your p
resence, but continue to "disappear" them and see if you will not end up radicalizing a peace-loving people. As though that's what we need today in "America's backyard".
I don't see how what I have written precludes American soldiers in any way from their obligation to protect themselves from injury, because they too, have fathers and mothers, wives and children waiting back for their safe return in the United States. I believe that I have made it clear that I am just as interested in their welfare as you are, David. And I do not say that, hypocritically.
[quote]In some of the other posts read here, it is encouraging that people address constructively the current needs of the Haitian people and their many problems.[/quote]
Sorry if I fail the mark in your point of view! But I do believe that I have dedicated myself to address constructively the current needs of the Haitian people and their many problems (to my
limited abilities... that's for sure. Men se pa yon sèl dwèt ki manje kalalou.)
Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti