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a469: a408: Re: a379: nation-building gone awry (fwd)

From: SBrown8670@aol.com

Greg Chamberlain successfully analyzes how Phil Knowles comment  "I was there
when the so-called multi-national force came in fall 1994 and DID NOT disarm
the Haitian army"  oversimplifies what did and what didn't happen in the area
of disarmament.  That is, the US Army's dismantling of the FAd'H's heavy
weapons and armored vehicles used for repression and coup play was far more
significant than the search for weapons.  These were two distinct components
of reining in potential violence.

The so-called "weapons for arms" program encouraged Haitians (not the FAd'H
because they and the police were constitutionally authorized to bear arms) to
turn in various weapons--guns, bullets, grenades, blunderbusses (and believe
me, there were some antiques out there), etc. at different collection points
at different times in various cities. It also encouraged Haitians to tell the
military where weapons caches were stored, rather than bring a horde in. This
second option produced better results not only because multiple weapons were
recovered, but because it was more risk-free. The risk? People who brought
weapons to the collection sites were occasionally relieved of their reward
money by thieves. In all about 12-15,000 weapons were recovered using these
two processes.

The second part of this disarmament (which Chamberlain brings up), happened
during the first week of the US deployment, and was a complete success. This
was eliminating the armored vehicles and heavy weapons from the FAd'H
inventory.  These weapons, mainly the cannon/machine-gun mounted vehicles,
provided the backbone of the army's capability to terrorize and wreak havoc
on the populace. By removing them to a holding area at the airfield and
scrapping them, the US army eliminated the FAd'H's most significant weaponry
and curtailed their mobility.

However, Kathy Dorce has added her own heat, as opposed to light, on the
subject with the following observation.

<Maybe that statement is an oversimplification but the US Army was given
orders not to intervene when they saw Haitian on Haitian violence.  They
stayed behind their fences and watched as makouts and ex-army soldiers
terrorized the people.>

As usual a half truth from her about the operation.  In the first two days of
the operation, the army's rules of engagement precluded intervening in
Haitian-on-Haitian violence. However, after police beat up on people gathered
near the port entrance, the rules of engagement were changed to prevent
police harassment and incidents such as Ms. Dorce bathotically alleges did
not occur.

<That is when the people of Haiti lost their faith in
who they THOUGHT were their saviors.>

In reality more people have lost faith in Lavalas as their saviors since the
last of the US troops left in 1999 (the US Support Group which had no
security role but which was credited with keeping a lid on the violence) than
ever put their faith in the US military as their saviors.  Admittedly, in
September 1994, many people believed that the US soldiers were saviors
because their presence would automatically produce jobs, visas, and money.

<Many US soldiers were as disillusioned
with their mission (which was not as Clinton imagined) as the people of Haiti
were.  Of course, many US soldiers relished their mission......much to my
disgust.  I see no merits on the side of the US military other than replacing
the rightful president to his office.  Everything after that was a travesty.>

Her concluding screed contains only one element approaching truth--the last
sentence.  What she unwittlingly confirms, however, is that it has taken
until now for the travesty to reach its fullest flowering.

If anyone out there thinks that Haiti's current state of dystopia featuring
exceedingly well armed "popular organizations", gangs, thugs, chimeres,
carjackers, highjackers, and zenglendos is the result of failure to disarm
the country in 1994-95, they are severely delusional.  And we now have the
Haitian police, who are to security what Arthur Anderson is to honest
accounting of Enron's books.

Steve Brown

Dr. Stephen D. Brown
501 Thorncliff Drive
Fayetteville, NC 28303
e-mail: sbrown8670@aol.com