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#2972: Understanding Chirac's statement: Poincy comments

From: Jean Poincy <caineve@idt.net>

In recognizing the necessity to understand Chirac's statement we are
giving the issue a very satisfying tone. Indeed, we are saying no to our
impulse. We are becoming scientific in matters regarding Ayiti; that's a
good sign. Thanks to Greg Chamberlain for warning the list from quick
judgment without knowing the context of what was said, and to Guy
Antoine for leading the pack in his pledge to unveil Chirac's statement.

At the onset, I was against the tide. As I said Chirac is no fool and
must have some reasons to say what he said.  You all know by now that I
love swimming in ideas, crazy as they may sound. Rather than waiting for
some clarification from Chirac, I delved in speculation. I went from a
political redefinition of the term colony to the legal status of the
country's name before and after independence. My intent is not to find
the truth, but to understand why Mr. Chirac contradicts what the world
history has been teaching everyone.

My first impression was that it was too wrong to be true, hence there
must be a reason behind it considering Chirac's caliber. My big question
was WHY.  After some reflections and my brain began to go wild, I tip my
hat before Chirac. I came to the conclusion that what he said was not
born on the spot. He must have given the idea some consuming thoughts to
come up with this statement. He wanted to send a message. Maybe the
question was arranged for that purpose. The question itself was weird. 

For the third time after the uproar, I want to keep going wild. Please
bear with me and assume that the question was not arranged. A very long
question beginning with a discourse on the dilemma between Dominican
Republic and Ayiti to end with two segments which are two distinct

1)	"Que pense faire la France, la France pays riche qui a eu une de ces
2)	 Que feront d'autres pays pour participer véritablement au
développement de Haïti, merci?" 

A translation

1)	"What does France think of doing, France a rich country that owned
one of these colonies? 
2)	What will do other countries to really partake in the development of

Let's look at the structure of the first one and make some analysis:
"France that owned one of these colonies." "One of these" excludes all
except one.  Since it was about DR and Ayiti, it would have to be one of
the two. Chirac has before him two different entities upon which he had
to decide.  The question not being specific totally excludes one entity.
Which one of the two? Chirac had to decide on this ambiguity. 

Left wandering in the world of assumptions, Chirac is grateful to the
second segment which invites other countries including France to partake
in Ayiti's development. It was his savior as it refers to Ayiti
specifically that needs the help and not DR.   He assumes strongly that
the  "one of these" has to be Ayiti.  This is where I tip my hat before
Chirac.  Knowing that the whole island was a French colony and the
question implied that only Ayiti was a French colony while dismissing DR
as one, Chirac could have not answered any better.

That "strictly speaking" probably is telling the reporter that he must
check his history books again and the whole island whose name was
St-Domingue which included DR then was a French colony. If he had to
answer in the way the reporter wished, "strictly speaking must be
incorporated". That way he falls on the same line of thinking with the
reporter. The reporter would either have to come up with a follow-up
question requesting Chirac to elaborate on his contradiction or go home
and think on Chirac's answer.

Now if the question was arranged, it was done for Chirac to send a
message that France wanted to send. Allow me to continue on going wild.
The message could be geared toward those who feel that France owes Ayiti
something due to their past history. The meaning is that France owes
Ayiti nothing and no one should use the guilt trip on France to help
Ayiti. Once and for all, he tells them what's in between Ayiti and
France and don't expect France to treat Ayiti like it treats Guadeloupe
and Martinique. 

Folks don't delude yourself: an honest answer will never come your way
from the French government. Which government really tells the thing for
what it really is? Yes, you'll get the most appropriate answer. It is up
to you to know how to decode the message that is sent. Whichever way you
decode it, make sure that it suits you regardless its true original
meaning. That's why we must speculate on an open-ended statement such as
that of Chirac.

For that matter, I think it's a blessing that France wants to break this
colonial tie with Ayiti. If they could erase this fact in every history
book so it becomes a forgotten issue and the next generation will not
have to learn about it, it would be one the best things that ever
happens to Ayiti.  With all the psychological damages brought on people
by colonization, who in their right mind would want to trail behind them
the pride of being a former colony.  Look at Martinique, Guadeloupe and
others; these have nothing to be proud of. As second-class citizens even
on their own land, people from these colonies are worse off than
Ayitians, "strictly speaking". 

We folks should thank Chirac for saying what he said, rather than crying
because he rejected Ayiti as a former colony. Forget about what history
said. It's a matter of pride here. There is no reason to storm at
Chirac, because he does not want to associate Ayiti with France's past
colonial history. We sound like a child whose farther decides to disown
or refuses to take care of. For we don't know what we should accuse him

At any rate, what's the take? Is it sheer historical correctness, regret
of being disowned by a country that Ayitians cherished so much? What is
it exactly that prevents us from accepting Chirac's statement? Would
correcting the statement bring an advantage to Ayiti? I forget that
Ayitians do take pride in repeating very loud that Ayiti used to be a
French colony? I forget that Ayitians do take pride in embracing the
western culture as a heritage from France. Ayiti should thank Petion's
clique for that.

Whenever, Ayiti is being denied, it should be a reality check for all
Ayitians. Rather than jumping around and start throwing jabs, ask the
question why, just for the sake of understanding. In understanding,
major faults within Ayiti and Ayitians will be discovered and many ways
will be brought to light to fix them. As long as we are spending energy
on getting angry and accusing someone of the wrongs that are done to
Ayiti, the country will never get anywhere. Live the problem, identify
its cause and find ways to resolve it is the key to a better Ayiti.

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live