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#4220: Aristide: Chamberlain replies to Driver (fwd)
From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>
Tom Driver wrote:
> Your point about not divinizing Aristide
> would be very well taken if we also heard
> from you about the dangers of diabolizing
> him. Of the latter, we recently had a prime
> example from Olivier Nadal posted here,
> but I don't recall your chastising him for
> what he said.
Unfair. Nadal's rant was so over the top
that it didn't bear commenting on textually,
except in the terms that I did, as follows:
"the kind of garbage Olivier Nadal wrote"
(June 5 post)
"As for Nadal, he reminds me of an even
more extreme MRE (a millionaire who lived
many years in the US) who told me in all
seriousness that Aristide was killing dozens
of people every day and that maybe it was true
what he heard, that Aristide actually _ate_
people. Not too many of the MREs are like
this, of course, but just to note that there
_are_ some guys with an awful lot of money
whose minds are deranged and are no
"better" than some of the superstitious
pèp-la they like to sneer at."
This conveniently dodges the whole question:
how to establish and maintain a simple, robust
right to dissent, whether with outside help or not.
It isn't easy and few members of the political
class seem interested in it -- any more than the
hated MREs, Nadals etc. are.
I've also excoriated Jesse Helms as a "lunatic"
and an "ape-man."
> What shocked me most during my visit to Haiti
> in early May was the way in which his political
> opponents accused him of the most heinous
> crimes without adducing any evidence at all.
> On the other hand, there are those who seem
> to worship him. It seems to me that Haiti would
> be better off if people began to regard Aristide
> as a human being.
I couldn't agree more. I and others like Guy
Antoine have consistently called here in this
forum for those accusing Aristide of being a
millionaire or whatever, of controlling banks
and other businesses etc. to produce evidence.
In every instance, such calls have been followed
by dead silence.
I and others have also suggested giving a
(possible) hand by drawing up a list of
priorities that might be followed, of positive
aspects that could be encouraged amid
a generally rotten system. There too there
has been silence.
I know this forum naturally attracts critics and
armchair whoevers (and I'm sure I could be
called one of them, along with my dear friends
Kim Ives and Daniel Simidor), but we should
work to make the pragmatists and optimists
the clear and working majority in Corbettland.