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#4281: Driver responds to Morse on criticism of Lavalas (fwd)

From: Tom F. Driver <tfd3@columbia.edu>

Commenting on an exchange between myself and Greg Chamberlain, 
Richard Morse asks:  "Is the Lavalas camp permitted to criticize itself?"

I certainly hope so.  I'm enough of a believer in "original sin" to be convinced 
that nobody's perfect and that without criticism, especially self-criticism, we 
humans are even more prone to error (including moral error) than we are 

But one of the truths about criticism is that it's useless if it doesn't come at 
the right time, and at the wrong time it may be very damaging.  When you're 
fighting for your life, criticism is not well taken.

A usually intelligent member of Lavalas' opposition told me in early May in 
Port-au-Prince that Lavalas has all the power in Haiti today.  The history of 
the last decade (if not longer) suggests to me that this is not true.  I think it's 
still an open question whether Lavalas is going to have enough power to 
implement any significant change in Haiti's social structure.  It has strong 
enemies both at home and in the international community.

In this situation, anyone wanting to see Lavalas given a chance to set Haiti 
upon a new path should be very circumspect with criticism.  I'm not saying 
Lavals should be given a blank check.  I'm saying we should not rush to 
judgment and should be very careful not to give amunition to those who 
intend to destroy Aristide and all he stands for.

With regard to detentions (arrests) of political figures since May 21, and with 
regard to the method the CEP used to tally the votes, it seems to me there's 
been quite a lot of rushing to judgment.

Tom F. Driver
Sheffield, MA