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#513: Delegations to Haiti: Chamberlain comments on Driver (fwd)




From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

Tom Driver wrote:

> The political crisis in Haiti is not merely 
> about personalities and power-plays, 
> as the press usually depicts it.  Large
> issues of development are at stake.


Quite right.  Of course development issues 
are the most important and most urgent ones.
But the the press shouldn't be blamed for 
reflecting the only thing the Haitian political 
class seems to be interested in -- "personalities
and power-plays."  The press didn't invent that.

I'm sure when the politicians stop squabbling
and stealing, the media will be happy to report
they've got more serious.  It'll be sensational
news...  But at the moment, the sad reality of 
political life in Haiti _is_ pettiness and egotism 
and it should be reported, whether Tom likes it 
or not, because it's so damaging.  

What material progress there has been in recent
times (some institutions, some infrastructure) 
is sometimes sneered at as "imperialism."  
Should we not ask ordinary people whether they 
share the view of certain vocal white foreigners 
and foreign-based Haitian Úlite (none of whom
are materially suffering) that having such 
improvements (amid all the bad things that 
continue -- hunger, crime) is politically incorrect 
and therefore to be rejected?

Good luck to Tom and his delegation if they can
get influential people to be more patriotic, but 
I'm afraid no-one and nothing will be helped if they
let such people off the hook by assuring them 
that it's All America's Fault.  The almost-taboo
question of local responsibility has to be 
addressed.


Greg Chamberlain