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6706: Re: 6699: army- Dorce to Young (fwd)
In a message dated 01/20/2001 2:12:17 AM Pacific Standard Time,
email@example.com (david x young) writes:
<< The traditional function of the army in Haiti was really to insure the
change of Presidents when the time came for it. That was the great power
of the army. Papa Doc feared that and so created his own counter-army,
the Macoutes. Aristide went one step further and abolished it altogether
thus insuring his selfish monastical tenure. All very well, perhaps,
but the army also kept down the zenglendos which are now the frightening
and loose social cannons killing the great spirit of this country.
Duvalier's solution---from the same fear as Aristides, was the more
sensible idea even though Macoutes eventually got out of hand. Aristides
gesture has plunged this wonderful society into raw chaos while
celebrating his ego trip and the general wreckage of a fine collective
national soul. >>
This is misguided thinking, in my opinion. The army was bad for Haiti.
Severe repression of the population usually translates into low crime rate
but all it means is that there is institutionalized crime against the people
(meaning the army AND the makouts can take what they want from the people
with impunity, as long as they aren't the privileged people). If you had
money and were apolitical or openly Duvalierist you enjoyed a peaceful,
prosperous life. If not, Haiti was hardly crime free for you. It is WRONG
to have an armed forces for the express purpose of killing one's own people.
Armies are to protect the country from outside attacks. Not to protect the
wealthy from those they exploit.
The USArmy does not protect the government against the people. Nor is it
used to change presidents if the elites so deign it. We have police to keep
the order, and they answer to the people. That is what Aristide is
attempting to do, but people, remember he is not doing this in a benign
setting. He is engaged in a war designed to destroy him, his party and to
keep the people of Haiti where they are....destitute and harmless. As for
Zenglendos....they exist because the army, the makouts, FRAPH et al, were not
disarmed. Some people are without conscience and once they had permission to
kill and take, they couldn't give it up. If some of those are Lavalas, they
need to be weeded out and sent to prison. Aristide did not make Zenglendos,
but he should get rid of them.
It is not a simple matter to transit from a totally corrupt system to a
non-corrupt one. While leaders might share the new values, getting all the
smaller players on the same wavelength is going to take a lot of re-education
and probably will have to involve jailing those who insist on continuing
corrupt practices. Disbanding the Haitian Army was Aristide's single most
important gift to Haiti, and a heroic act, as he did it while Haiti was
occupied by US military.