Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Haiti: How To Start/End a Civil War

UPDATE: I am pleased the election day seems to have turned out well. The real test though, will be when the results are announced. Maybe I was too harsh with my initial rage - at the time polls still had not opened. Maybe Preval can bring peace.

You encourage and assist an opposition that disavows dialogue and instead rampages over the country in the name of democracy. Then rather than truly defend democracy you kidnap their twice elected leader, slum hero President Aristide as the rebels advance. Then you install a leader who does not have the support of 10% of the population and occupy the country with foreign forces for 2 years, while the soldiers and Haitian police kill many hundreds with their wild gunfire in the poor neighborhoods.

Then finally, as election day draws near, you fail to get 300,000 people their voting cards, though most registered properly months in advance. Then you really enrage the slum dwellers, by taking the voting booths OUT of their neighborhoods, where ½ million live, to make them walk miles to the poll. You encourage them to vote early, so they do, walking to the designated polls in far away places. Then, when you get to the polls at 6:00 AM, when they are supposed to be open, you find them closed. You wait in line for 2-3 hours to still find them closed. Lines of thousands of people form. You know the rich arenÂ’t having this problem voting in the hills. You begin to wonder if the widely predicted victory by your man (and Aristide's close ally) Rene Preval can perhaps be stolen with all the trickery you've encoutered thus far.


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