A Bush Constitution for Haiti
Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2004 2:08 pm
A Bush Constitution for Haiti
Guy S. Antoine
March 23, 2004
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. Glad to know that George W. Bush is so well-informed about the Haitian Constitution. Hopefully Powell handed him a newer version than the one drafted by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, in 1915, to provide a foundation for the U.S. Marines occupation of Haiti. Ominously, while President Aristide was roundly criticized for paying scant attention to the 1987 Constitution, every action so far taken by the U.S. sponsored de facto government has been deemed constitutional, because only they k
now the amendments, inserted perhaps by Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, in the Haitian Constitution so righteously hailed by none other than the President of the United States.
Ever since September 11, 2001the 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 classified" 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 Americans 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 Bush / Powell / Rice / Reich / Noriega / Curran / Foley, or a Villepin / Gaudeul (the lesser partners) to set for us the date of our liberation and the manner of our governance.
Those luminaries have informed us that the U.S.'s involvement in the coup is justified due to the failed governance of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. One might think of comparable bad governance in the U.S. as well. If such is the case, then which military power will suggest that Bush leave office to avoid rebels taking over Washington, D.C.? Pray, tell.
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 demonst
rated in 1987, then what is the rush? When the last hand in Site 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".
This should not preclude American soldiers in any way from their obligation to protect themselves from injury, because they too, have fath
ers and mothers, wives and children waiting back for their safe return. It certainly does not preclude Haitian citizens from exercising their rights to self-defense either. The rules of engagement are dicey. It behooves the occupying forces to justify their presence in Haiti against all odds, and hopefully for the shortest duration administratively possible.
Guy S. Antoine
Windows on Haiti