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7583: Re: 7544: Re: 7499: President Aristide interview on Jean Dominique (fwd)

From: Greg and Susan Bryant <gregandsusan@rainbowtel.net>

Responding to Sandra Mignot's reading of the excerpts from JBA's speech, I
didn't see anything as sinister in it. However, I read with an American ear
and perhaps you have a better sense of his language and what is behind it.

Yet to me, on the surface, the second quote sounded like an executive who
is troubled by a trend of lawlessness that the police alone cannot stop. He
seems to be pleading for law and order, for the people to show courage so
the police don't have to feel alone in facing criminals. This is a
reasonable thing to wish for, if you want an orderly society. Any orderly
society is doomed if the citizens only hide and call the police to stand up
against criminals alone. Police are only human. They are not often paid
well. If they are to resist the temptations of corruption, they must
frequently see the faces of the people whose lives and livelihoods they are
expected to protect. They must feel that they have the support of the people.

In the first quote he seems to be appealing to the intelligence and sense
of civic responsibility of the Haitian people... again, asking them not to
hide and expect the officials to do their jobs without oversight, but
instead to become involved, participate in government. This is a basic
democratic concept and it does not frighten me. In fact, democracy cannot
exist without it. In my way of thinking, participation in government *is*
democracy, and it is the way to keep government transparent.

But it is true I am unable to read the interview with a Haitian sensibility
as others can. Can you give me background that would help me understand why
these quotes are frightening to some people?

Perhaps I should go back and read the whole interview to appreciate the

Greg Bryant