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6524: Re 6480: Driver replies to Brown on "simplification of history" (fwd)

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

Stephen Brown chides me for citing a Bob Herbert Op-Ed piece as
historical "evidence."   I'd like to point out that I did not cite the
Herbert column as evidence of historical fact but rather as part of my
demonstration that the NY Times itself had in previous years published
views and allegations similar to the one they did not want me to state
in December, 2000.

Dr. Brown avers that "US policy in April '94 was oriented toward
isolating (albeit not terribly effectively) the de facto government in
Haiti."  Although this may describe U.S. official or publicly stated
policy at the time, there were certainly other, quite opposite, aims
being pursued by parts of the U.S. executive and legislative branches.

Dr. Brown adds that "US policy in September and October 1994 was
oriented toward containing the military's freedom of action, eliminating
human rights violators, establishing an interim civilian police force,
and shutting down FRAPH operations."

I was in Haiti in October of '94 when Aristide returned and again in the
following January.  Although it was not widely known at that time, the
U.S. Army had already (in September '94) secretly stolen both FADH and
FRAPH documents in order to conceal U.S. involvement in the work of
those two hated institutions.  What WAS widely known was that U.S.
troops in Haiti were treating FRAPH people as a legitimate "opposition"
force, and that there was no strong resolve on the part of the U.S. to
round up the weapons that the Haitian army had dispersed to its friends
on the eve of the U.S. invasion.

Now that the people of Haiti have once again voted Aristide into office,
it is vitally important that Haiti's true friends remember accurately
what his enemies, both domestic and foreign, did against him when he was
in office twice before.

Tom Driver

Tom F. Driver
New York City