Monday, March 01, 2004

Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted as Haitian president on Sunday, told U.S. lawmakers and other contacts by telephone on Monday that he was abducted by U.S. soldiers and left his homeland against his will.

Washington immediately denied this, saying Aristide had agreed to step down and leave his country. "It's complete nonsense," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

"We took steps to protect Mr. Aristide, we took steps to protect his family and they departed Haiti. It was Mr Aristide's decision to resign," he said.

U.S. officials said that after intensive consultation between U.S. officials and Aristide on Saturday, he had signed a letter of resignation.

Rep. Charles Rangel and Randall Robinson, the former head of the black lobbying group TransAfrica, said in separate interviews with CNN that Aristide called them from the Central African Republic, where he is in temporary exile.

Robinson, speaking from the Caribbean island of St Kitts, said Aristide had telephoned him on a cell phone on Monday morning from a room in the Central African Republic, where he said he was being guarded by African and French soldiers.

"The president said to me that he had been abducted from his home by about 20 American soldiers in full battle gear with automatic weapons and put on a plane" on Sunday morning, Robertson said.
I'm sure that if I kidnapped a head of state about the first thing I'd do is allow him to make phone calls to these three nut cases.

If I'm Aristide and I want the world to believe this load of mularkey...are these the folks I'm going to call in order to gain credence? Not a chance, if I'm anything other than an outright idiot. Why not call Sharpton...he has the microphone these days? Why not call Clarence Thomas? A sitting supreme court justice carries quite a bit of credibility. While we're on the subject, why call only black people? Does Aristide not have a single white, asian, hispanic or American indian friend in the whole of the United States?

Consider...which would appear to be worse to the world at large...we kidnap him, or he dies at the hands of his own people. If those are the choices, and we're worried about the press on this gig...he dies. Simple as that. We have no NEED to kidnap him. There is no national interest for the United States to do so. Hell, if we were going to kidnap leaders of Caribbean island nations don't you reckon Castro would have disappeared years ago?

But I suspect there are elements of the truth here.

Did he get any help from Washington to remain in power? No.

Did the US Ambassador to Haiti tell Aristide that Haiti would be better off without him? Yes...when Aristide asked.

Did the USA send a plane for him? Yes. Did the USA outfit military personnel to accompany the plane? Probably...757s don't come with missiles and machine guns with which to protect a fleeing deposed head of state that a whole bunch of folks want to see dead since they say he rigged the election back in 2000 and has never owned up to it.

Once safely out of the country and no longer afraid for his life, did Mr. Aristide figure out that to the rest of the world he looked like a man who got run out of his own country and perhaps that looks like an admission that perhaps they were right and he is corrupt and did rig the elections in 2000? Yeah, that'd be my guess.

In a pique of "resigner's remorse" and in order then to save face, did he then look back on the sequence of events above and determine that if he tweaked a point here and fudged a little there, he could blame all of this on the USA? Well, bingo.

UPDATE: Well, this was predictable. Like a shark is drawn to blood, whenever a minority shouts "Help Help, I'm being repressed" Jesse Jackson has arrived.
Jackson said Congress should investigate whether the United States, specifically the CIA, had a role in the rebellion that led to Aristide's exile.

Jackson encouraged reporters to question where the rebels in Haiti got their guns and uniforms.

"Why would we immediately support an armed overthrow and not support a constitutionally elected government?" Jackson said.
Precisely the point, Mr. Jackson, we wouldn't. (UPDATE: It would appear there is more than just some question over the "constitutionally elected" part there Jesse)
Aristide made his own mess. The Organization of American States pronounced his 2000 reelection fraudulent, a judgment accepted by nearly everyone. Aristide repeatedly refused to follow through on commitments to reform, working to consolidate his power instead. As the Haitian National Police dissolved under the pressure of its own corruption, Aristide began to rely on gangs to work his will. Hence, a seed of the current rebellion.
You know what, Jesse...I started to boil at your appearance in this farce, but I've decided to laugh. If this sort of fantasy is what you believe your name and "reputation" to be worth...then you are welcome to show the entire world what you truly are.

Can anyone give me one good reason, one motive demonstrating why anyone in the administration would risk a single penny of political capitol to depose a two bit head of state from half-an-island?

Has it come to this? Have those who seek power in our country become so blinded by their ambitions they will support the absurd claims of a failed lunatic and themselves heap scorn upon their nation?

Such cheap, race-bating opportunism is absolutely disgusting. And Jackson has the nerve to use a title indicating he is a man of the cloth. Pathetic.

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