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6961: Re: 6959: A Rational Foreign Policy Toward Haiti (fwd)

From: Greg Bryant <gregandsusan@rainbowtel.net>

I was heartened to read "A Rational Foreign Policy Toward Haiti," by Ira
Kurzban, general counsel in the US for the Aristide and Preval

I know little about the IRI and was wondering where they came from. I had
assumed they were basically the same entities as the so-called "Democratic
Convergence" -- i.e., a pseudo-grassroots assemby of representatives of the
minority which has always enjoyed elite power and wealth in Haiti. If the
following is a true statement:

>...this past year, our government overtly provided to the
>International Republican Institute $3,000,000 in funds not simply
>to help opposition parties in Haiti but to ?develop? opposition

...it reinforces that impression, and it looks to me like US policy is
trying to repeat 1991 all over again. Is it true about the $3 million? What
department of the government provided it?

I'd like to see a list of the persons and groups that comprise the CD, and
a similar list for the IRI. Can anyone tell me where this information might
already be assembled?

I second this observation:

>Our efforts to curb Aristide?s authority
>or popularity; to support the opposition thereby forcing some
>type of coalition government; and to put pressure on him to make
>various concessions is unproductive, will not create greater
>stability in Haiti and is likely to embitter the masses of people
>against the United States who see these efforts as an attempt to
>re-establish the elite?s control over the political as well as
>the economic life of the country.

I've never been able to make sense of US foreign policy, which seems to me
to be based on the mutually contradictory assertions that a strong
opposition challenge promotes stability and has to be encouraged (when the
party holding power is democratically elected), but that a strong
opposition challenge is disruptive and must be put down (when the party
holding power is a dictator).

The only thing I see that reconciles these positions is the presumption of
a transcendent ideological prejudice against anything that smacks of
socialism. In other words, when the US is presented with the dilemma of
supporting democracy over totalitarianism on the one hand, and supporting
US corporate interests over everything else on the other hand, we pick the
US corporate interest every time, and democracy has to take a back seat. I
think that's what this "regional stability" is all about.

I'm sure there are those on the list who are willing to explain all this to
me again, but I'm going to need a lot more persuasive arguments than I've
received so far.

Greg Bryant