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8627: Letter to Wall St Journal (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

I have sent this letter to the editor of the Wall St Journal:


Dear WSJ:

As a long-standing subscriber to WSJ Interactive and admirer of your
consistently good in-depth reporting, I was disappointed to read Mary
O'Grady's column (July 6) about Haiti.

Having closely followed events in Haiti for over 30 years, I found the
piece strikingly inaccurate and simplistic.  Take the "t" out of her
fanciful description of Haiti as an "inferno of terror" and you get what
many would call a fair description of her article.

The OAS has not been "negotiating with Mr Aristide... to end the violent
government repression."  It wants him to correct relatively minor electoral
fraud which, when done, is most unlikely to change the original result.

It isn't seeking to persuade him to accept "toleration of political
dissent."  The OAS knows Haiti's many radio stations (its most important
media) freely express themselves on political events, though it is true
journalists are threatened and sometimes physically attacked by government
supporters.  Anti-Aristide politicians nevertheless get a hearing whenever
they want. 

The "six people burned alive in the streets" weren't anti-Aristide people,
as the article implies.  They were people suspected of being common

Both sides in the Haitian mess present a disgraceful spectacle.  The
"opposition alliance" is no more than a squabbling group of individuals
nominally at the head of "parties" that do not exist in any serious form
and have minimal support.  For his part, President Aristide needs to stop
covertly supporting thugs acting in his name.  He has so far failed to lead
Haiti towards changing its culture of political theft and violence to
achieve a semblance of organisation comparable with most of Haiti's friends
and neighbours, who are embarrassed by its political disease of
"zero-options" and "alternative presidents."

        Greg Chamberlain