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5403: Re: The Coup Rumors & Aristide; Simidor Responds to Driver and Perrier (fwd)
Tom F. Driver wrote:
> My interviews with members of the opposition before the
> elections last May led me to think that what kept them from
> serious campaigning was their lack of anything serious to say.
I wonder if Tom Driver talked to any Fanmi Lavalas candidates and if they had
anything serious to say. I'd guess not since nobody, neither FL nor the
opposition, has anything seriously resembling a program. I also wonder how
many FL candidates seriously read the fanciful program unveiled last year by
Aristide at the Kinam Hotel. What kept the opposition from seriously
campaigning? Fear, a serious lack of resources and organization are more
likely answers. Dr. Driver can lampoon the opposition if he likes, but he
should also take a serious look at the party in power.
>> it's conceivable that one arm of the US ruling class would stage
>> a coup against Aristide/Preval, and for another arm to forewarn
> Fantasy is always conceivable, but this scenario is not very
> plausible. Think again what happened in September, 1991.
By Tom Driver's logic, the recent "coup attempt" is also a fantasy since it
is predicated on an alleged plot involving US military or CIA personnel on
the one hand, and advance warning from the US State Department on the other.
At least that's the fantasy circulated by Preval and the Lavalas
propagandists. Of course stranger things have happened. Like Ronald Reagan
conspiring with the Revolutionary Guards in Teheran at the time of the
hostage crisis in 1980. Like the same Reagan selling weapons to the evil
Ayatollahs in the Iran-Contra scandal. Or like the Harlan County affair,
with Clinton officially sending troops to Haiti while a shadow government
conspired with the paramilitary FRAPH against the troops' landing.
>> Clinton and Gore are still willing to cut Aristide some slack
>> even though he doesn't always do what he's told, and that's
>> because he remains an asset in their political portfolio.
> But he doesn't. Clinton and Gore are vulnerable with the electorate
> on the subject of Haiti, and Jesse Helms knows it. Their problem is
> that they put him back there and can't repudiate him outright
> without acknowledging the failure of their Haiti project.
Maybe Titid is more liability than asset. Either way, it's too late for
Clinton/Gore to ditch him without major embarrassment. Perhaps a key
objective of the current crisis is to delegitimize Aristide before he even
gets elected, to make him more pliable to US dictates. In other words,
Aristide will have to make good on the neoliberal package if he wants Wash to
forget his recent electoral transgressions. If not, the election frauds will
be the ideal pretext to destabilize his new government and further cripple
the country. The people caught in the middle will be the poor and the fragile
middle-class, victims so to speak of a double mugging.
> Finally, Daniel comes to the matter of Aristide's greatest
> achievement during his first term of office -- the dismantling
> of the army. But Daniel is so determined to attack Aristide
> that he credits the US with this move:
Is Daniel Simidor against Aristide or on some personal vendetta against him?
I give Aristide some credit for restoring relations with Cuba, even though
I'm totally ignorant of the factual politics behind that. Also, as I wrote
in a previous post, I don't blame Lavalas for every outrageous act committed
by the chimères; I realize there are other forces at play. By the same
token, I cannot ignore that chimère Ronald Cadavre and "Senator" Dany
Toussaint are irrefutable proof that Lavalas (the party in power) is a major
contributor to the general lawlessness, and that the chimères are indeed
Lavalas' shock troops, even if they screw up at times or hire out to other
Is Aristide really the democrat and the anti-imperialist that some list
members portray him to be? When the grassroots movement, the democratic
opposition and progressive intellectuals in any given country say that there
is something fundamentally wrong with the regime in place, that it is moving
dangerously toward fascism (a "totalitarian drift," some of them say), I
think the solidarity movement ought to listen. The cry of 193 Haitian
intellectuals and activists last August is the writing on the wall that
Lavalas populism is going down the wrong road.
> I think the record shows that the US did oppose getting rid
> of the army this last time around. Aristide wanted to abolish
> it completely. The US objected. So he just fired all the senior
> officers, and that was that.
If all it took to dismantle the Haitian army was to fire all the senior
officers with one presidential decree, why didn't Aristide do the same thing
on the eve of the 1991 coup? In Haiti, presidential decrees aren't worth the
paper they're printed on, when confronted with military might. Like the
proverb says: "Konstitisyon se papye, bayonèt se fè." Did Aristide really
dismantle the Haitian army all by his lonesome self? The very gracious Mr.
Driver does not believe in fantasies but I fear he may be somewhat partial to
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Greg Perrier wrote:
> Daniel, who do you want to see as president? I do not see that plethora
> of choices that you speak of.
I frankly don't recall speaking of any such thing. I did write that Lavalas'
popularity is not what it used to be, and that it no longer suffices for
Aristide to line up a bunch of cronies to get them elected. Maybe I should
have said that Aristide has no serious contender, and is potentially the best
man to lead a strong democratic government based on political pluralism and
the rule of law. But that would be not counting on Aristide's apparent
ambition for absolute power. At any other level, I indeed think that there
could and should have been a plethora of candidates – businessmen, local
leaders, activists, independents and party affiliates of all stripes –
running on a variety of platforms ranging from economic development and
social justice to education, law and order, etc. But with the chimères
unleashing their fury at every serious contender to the Fanmi Lavalas
candidates, we'll never know what the results would have been for one of the
most important elections in recent Haitian history.