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6706: Re: 6699: army- Dorce to Young (fwd)

From: LAKAT47@aol.com

In a message dated 01/20/2001 2:12:17 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
frelgo@rcn.com (david x young) writes:

<< The traditional function of the army in Haiti was really to insure the
 change of Presidents when the time came for it. That was the great power
 of the army. Papa Doc feared that and so created his own counter-army,
 the Macoutes. Aristide went one step further and abolished it altogether
 thus insuring his  selfish monastical tenure. All very well, perhaps,
 but the army also kept down the zenglendos which are now the frightening
 and loose social cannons killing the great spirit of this country.
 Duvalier's solution---from the same fear as Aristides, was the more
 sensible idea even though Macoutes eventually got out of hand. Aristides
 gesture has plunged this wonderful society into raw chaos while
 celebrating his ego trip and the general wreckage of a fine collective
 national soul. >>
This is misguided thinking, in my opinion.  The army was bad for Haiti.  
Severe repression of the population usually translates into low crime rate 
but all it means is that there is institutionalized crime against the people 
(meaning the army AND the makouts can take what they want from the people 
with impunity, as long as they aren't the privileged people).  If you had 
money and were apolitical or openly Duvalierist you enjoyed a peaceful, 
prosperous life.  If not, Haiti was hardly crime free for you.  It is WRONG 
to have an armed forces for the express purpose of killing one's own people.  
Armies are to protect the country from outside attacks.  Not to protect the 
wealthy from those they exploit.

The USArmy does not protect the government against the people.  Nor is it 
used to change presidents if the elites so deign it.  We have police to keep 
the order, and they answer to the people.  That is what Aristide is 
attempting to do, but people, remember he is not doing this in a benign 
setting.  He is engaged in a war designed to destroy him, his party and to 
keep the people of Haiti where they are....destitute and harmless.  As for 
Zenglendos....they exist because the army, the makouts, FRAPH et al, were not 
disarmed.  Some people are without conscience and once they had permission to 
kill and take, they couldn't give it up.  If some of those are Lavalas, they 
need to be weeded out and sent to prison.  Aristide did not make Zenglendos, 
but he should get rid of them.  

It is not a simple matter to transit from a totally corrupt system to a 
non-corrupt one.  While leaders might share the new values, getting all the 
smaller players on the same wavelength is going to take a lot of re-education 
and probably will have to involve jailing those who insist on continuing 
corrupt practices.  Disbanding the Haitian Army was Aristide's single most 
important gift to Haiti, and a heroic act, as he did it while Haiti was 
occupied by US military.  

Kathy Dorce~