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#4220: Aristide: Chamberlain replies to Driver (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Tom Driver wrote:

> Your point about not divinizing Aristide 
> would be very well taken if we also heard 
> from you about the dangers of diabolizing 
> him.  Of the latter, we recently had a prime
> example from Olivier Nadal posted here, 
> but I don't recall your chastising him for 
> what he said.

Unfair.  Nadal's rant was so over the top 
that it didn't bear commenting on textually, 
except in the terms that I did, as follows:

"the kind of garbage Olivier Nadal wrote"
(June 5 post)


"As for Nadal, he reminds me of an even 
more extreme MRE (a millionaire who lived
many years in the US) who told me in all 
seriousness that  Aristide was killing dozens 
of people every day and that maybe it was true 
what he heard, that Aristide actually _ate_ 
people.  Not too many of the MREs are like 
this, of course, but just to note that there 
_are_ some guys with an awful lot of money
 whose minds are deranged and are no 
"better" than some of the superstitious 
pèp-la they like to sneer at."
(June 6)


This conveniently dodges the whole question: 
how to establish and maintain a simple, robust 
right to dissent, whether with outside help or not.  
It isn't easy and few members of the political 
class seem interested in it -- any more than the 
hated MREs, Nadals etc. are.
(June 3)

I've also excoriated Jesse Helms as a "lunatic"
and an "ape-man."

> What shocked me most during my visit to Haiti 
> in early May was the way in which his political 
> opponents accused him of the most heinous 
> crimes without adducing any evidence at all.  
> On the other hand, there are those who seem 
> to worship him.  It seems to me that Haiti would 
> be better off if people began to regard Aristide 
> as a human being.

I couldn't agree more.  I and others like Guy 
Antoine have consistently called here in this 
forum for those accusing Aristide of being a 
millionaire or whatever, of controlling banks 
and other businesses etc. to produce evidence.
In every instance, such calls have been followed
by dead silence.

I and others have also suggested giving a 
(possible) hand by drawing up a list of 
priorities that might be followed, of positive 
aspects that could be encouraged amid 
a generally rotten system.  There too there
has been silence.

I know this forum naturally attracts critics and 
armchair whoevers (and I'm sure I could be
called one of them, along with my dear friends
Kim Ives and Daniel Simidor), but we should
work to make the pragmatists and optimists
the clear and working  majority in Corbettland.

        Greg Chamberlain