Is Washington bullying Haitians?

Is Washington bullying Haitians?

Is Washington bullying Haitians?

What the foreign papers are saying.
March 9 2004 8:30 PM

Big Bad Uncle Sam

The press piles on Washington for its role in deposing Aristide.

More than a week after the ouster of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the world's press continues to whale on the United States for its role in events.

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According to a commentator in Britain's Guardian, "The principal message to the Haitian people from Aristide's ouster is that force works. If you do not like the elected leader of the country, start a rebellion and refuse to negotiate. If it is strong enough, and its politics amenable enough, the Americans will come and finish the job for you." Washington has anointed itself with too much power, claimed an op-ed in Canada's Globe and Mail, "Insisting it will not support 'failed elected leaders,' the U.S. has arrogated to itself the right to choose which democracies deserve support—and which will perish."

The Sydney Morning Herald said that John Kerry's statement that President Bush should've sent troops to support President Aristide "has not helped" the U.S.-led operation. Still, it continued, "There is some force ... in his declaration that Washington had sent the wrong message to the region by failing to defend a besieged, democratically elected leader, no matter how discredited or unpopular." Nonsense, thundered Mark Steyn in Britain's Daily Telegraph. Yes, Aristide was "democratically elected," but so what?

Charles Taylor, the recently retired head wacko of Liberia, was also democratically elected. The tinpot thugs of the world have got very good at being just democratic enough to pass muster: they kill a lot of people, they hold an election for the benefit of the IMF, and then, when the international observers are gone, they pick up the machetes and resume where they left off.

June Thomas is managing producer of Slate podcasts.