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#3399: Karshan on destabilization and its sources (fwd) ANONYMOUS, PLEASE (fwd)

Dear Bob,
I trust you to post the following anonymously not because of me but out of
serious concerns for some people in Haiti. Still, the point needs to be made.


Karshan's post and Dupuy's press conference only increase concerns that
violence will not stop soon in Haiti and that Aristide will be blamed for
it whether or not he is reponsible.

There is no doubt that some individuals and agencies in the U.S. government
would do anything to stop Aristide for getting back in the National Palace.
There is no doubt that some right-wingers in Haiti would do the same.

Still, the human rights organizations, including the National Coalition for
Haitian Rights are to be praised for their lucid and extremely courageous
statement of last week and their calling on  Aristide to use his tremendous
popular appeal to call for an end to violence. His silence in these
circumstances cannot be explained away. 

First, let us assume that most of vthe violence does NOT come from
Aristide's supporters. By taking a public stance against it, he would at
least make it more difficult for his detractors to blame it on him. They
may accuse him of hypocrisy. They may accuse him of being innefective, but
at the very least he would go on record as expressing disapproval. Sorry,
but Yvon Neptune's voice is not enough: it does not carry the same weight.
Further, Neptune's comments have not been specific. A call from Aristide on
public radio or television, specifically asking supporters of the Lafanmi
to resist violence, deploring the murder or kidnapping of opposition
leaders and explaining why the violence is politically and morally
unjustifiable could make a difference. 

Second, how do we know that many of Aristide's supporters do not assume
that he authorizes the violence? Let us assume, as many of us are willing
to do, that Aristide himself is against the violence. Not all his
lieutenants are. There is reliable information, for instance, that some
business people in Haiti -- especially mid-level merchants -- have been
asked to contribute to the Lavalas campaign with innuendos that such
contributions might protect them from the anger of the crowd. If the high
command of Lavalas is against those practices, again, Aristide should come
out and say so.

Third, we cannot actually assume that ALL or even MOST of the violence
comes from a single corner. Thus, whatever violence might come from
Aristide's supporters, however minimal, would decrease if he makes such an

Things are muddled enough in Haiti. Let's not muddle them further and start
accusing the Human Rights organizations -- most of which are working in
extremely hard circustances -- of being pawns of the CIA. Most of these
organizations and their leaders have rightly supported the democracy
movement -- and Lavalas's contribution to it. They are only doing their job
in showing concern and not taking a partisan stance. All of us whose main
concern remains a democratic order in haiti should join them and contribute
to pressure Mr. Aristide in taking a very public stance against random
violence by making a clear call to his supporters that they should not
engage in it.