Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bill Clinton and Haiti

One of the first campaign promises Bill Clinton broke was his pledge to reverse George H.W. Bush's inhumane treatment of the Haitian refugees fleeing to the U.S. To make matters worse, the refugees were escaping a misery the U.S. helped to create.

In 1994 I attended a workshop on Haiti where I was dismayed to hear about a document showing that the U.S. had trained Haitian military personnel after the coup ousting the elected government of President Aristide. As Noam Chomsky reported at the time, "That Haitian army officers received training in the U.S. after the coup was confirmed in an internal Pentagon document, including eight officers who started courses in early 1992."

After thousands of Haitians died at the hands of the CIA-backed paramilitary FRAPH, President Clinton sent U.S. combat troops to "restore democracy." The reinstated Aristide was forced to sacrifice the social agenda that built the grass-roots movement responsible for electing him and adopt the World Bank model.

Now in 2009 Clinton is poised to become the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's special UN envoy to Haiti.

Here's analysis by reporter Jeremy Scahill:


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