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6224: Re: 6218: Re: 6213: Caricom, Dorce comments, Belfort , comments (fwd)

From: Sarah Belfort <sbelfort@haitiworld.com>

Dorce wrote:
> So if the Republicans or Democrats win the presidency and most of the
> in Congress, this would constitute a "de facto" one party state?  We are
> the middle of a constitutional travesty in this country and have no room
> besmirch Haiti's election...
> I would rather hear support or nothing at all.  I want the US out of
Haiti's affairs...
> US aid is nothing more than bribe/blackmail money anyway...

First of all, yes, the US would be a de facto one-party state if the
presidency, 96 Senate seats (the % equivalent of Haiti's 27 out of 28
seats), and 80% of the House of Representatives were controlled by one
party.  In fact both houses of the U.S. Congress are almost equally split
between the Republicans and Democrats, so it would be more accurate to say
that the US is a de facto two-party state.  In this case, the news report on
Haiti is stating a fact, not giving an opinion.  You are free to support of
oppose the de facto one-party state or any other political situation.

Secondly, I think you are confusing journalism and politics.  Ideally,
journalists should provide objective reporting on ANY regime-- in Haiti, or
in the US, or as regards the World Bank and other international
institutions, or capitalism, or anything.  They should NOT provide "support
or nothing at all".  The extent to which journalists actually succeed in
objectively portraying the world is of course highly debatable, but I hope
we can agree on what their role should be.

As regards US aid and US government policy, I can understand the arguments
on all sides and the only conclusion I've been able to reach on the subject
so far is that the Haitian government itself will have to decide whether or
not it wants the aid and whether or not it is willing to agree to the terms.
I really don't have an opinion on what the US should or shouldn't do in this

Returning to your "support or nothing at all" point:  this sounds
suspiciously close to "Love it or leave it".  I have participated in
demonstrations in the US and criticized the American government.  To the
"Love it or leave it" attitude, I respond, "I do love it, but there's lots
of room for improvement; I want it to be better."  I think my attitude
applies just about anywhere.  While I would agree in principle that, as an
American citizen raised in the US, I have more right to criticize the US
than I do to criticize other countries, I also believe that knowledge and
experience in a given area or subject gives one the right to hold opinions
on that subject and participate in critical discussion.  And I don't think
anything in the world can improve without free and open debate and a
diversity of opinions.

Sarah Belfort