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749: Dystopia and ROE (fwd)
<Dr. Brown's concluding statement regarding what he calls Haiti's current
state of "dystopia" (I think he meant "dystrophia" since there is no such
word as "dystopia" in my several dictionaries), is in itself somewhat
>From the dictionary.com webpage
An imaginary place or state in which the condition of life is extremely bad,
as from deprivation, oppression, or terror.
A work describing such a place or state: “dystopias such as Brave New World”
(Times Literary Supplement).
<The highjackers, zenglendos, thugs, gangs, et. al. are not only
the result of the military and police not being fully disarmed before, but
the result of arms being brought into Haiti by those who wish to see the
suffering and dystrophia continue. Those groups are not Lavalas-related,
The committee to defend democracy in Haiti has a different take on things.
<Thus, while "the Americans" protect Mr. Aristide, thugs tied to his regime
have hacked journalist Brignol Lindor to death, burned down the homes and
offices of opposition figure and are kidnapping citizens, even Americans,
who are held for ransom.>
<Even Le Monde of Paris, France, a daily that was a strong defender of Mr.
Aristide, published a damaging piece about him on January 30, in which
influential French personalities, including Mrs. Danielle Mitterrand, have
denounced the former priest now turned a corrupt tyrant.>
President Aristide now has hired the guns of former US Special Forces
Finally, archim's allegation that the rules of engagement (ROE) were not
changed is erroneous. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) report on
Operation Uphold Democracy has this passage about ROE.
"An incident occurred where a Haitian woman was killed in a crowd
directly in front of members of the division. Under the ROE, they were not
allowed to interfere. Due to this incident the CJTF (Combined Joint Task
Force) modified the ROE so that soldiers could use both non-lethal and deadly
force to prevent the loss of human life. A fifth set of ROE cards was
published and effective on 21 September (D+2)."
The CALL, however, reveals that a major complaint about the ROE cards was
that they "contained too much information for a soldier to comprehend. Clear,
concise, simple language explaining how to use force and treat persons was
requested throughout the command. . . . The other major area of confusion was
the use of legal terms for acts of crimes. Most soldiers understand the words
homicide, rape, and arson but do not understand the difference between
burglary, robbery, larceny and aggravated assauls. Two of these crimes
(robbery and aggravated assault) can be stopped using the minimal amount of
force necessary up to and including deadly force. However, burglary and
larceny can only be stopped with non-lethal force."
Thus, if there were imperfect renderings of street justice carried out by JTF
soldiers, as archim alleges, the ROE confusion could have played a role here.
The CALL report recommended that ROE cards "be written for the soldier to
understand and without using legal language. They should be incorporated into
unit training exercises."
Finally, it should be recognized that a combination of the changed ROE, the
shooting incident in Cap Haitien on Sept. 24, and the dismantling of the
army's heavy weapons were not lost on the population. The result was the
recognition that they could trash police stations with impunity to exact
popular justice and the consequent marronage of many policemen.
Steve Brown, email@example.com