Diaspora

Haiti on the Brink – The Dispatch

Rocked by unrest since the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, Haiti has requested foreign military intervention to quell gang violence and public protests against the government.
Happy Tuesday! The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported this week that more than a dozen bald eagles were hospitalized at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center after they poisoned themselves by “eating carcasses of animals that were chemically euthanized and dumped at [a] landfill.” Nearly all of the birds are expected to recover.
There’s probably a metaphor for the United States in there somewhere, but it’s likely too depressing to contemplate.
Fifteen-year-old Lelianne was out with her mom getting something to eat when she was shot in the stomach, apparently the victim of a stray bullet from another gun battle on the streets of Haiti.
“While we were ordering I felt something,” the teen told the BBC, doing a crossword to pass the time in the hospital. “That’s when I fell and screamed in agony. I didn’t expect to survive.”
I’ve come to believe that “nation-building” failed in Iraq and Afghanistan because we didn’t take charge at the top. In Germany and Japan, we ran the country for several years before giving way to carefully monitored local leadership. Germany didn’t resume full sovereignty until 1990, for example.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, we tried to work through local elites. They were just as self-interested and corrupt as you might expect.
So, I think we cannot succeed in Haiti unless we go in with the idea that we’re going to run the place, possibly for two decades, while we put an enormous amount of money and effort into building physical, social, and political infrastructure.
In one sense, this seems like it might be worth attempting. But I don’t see any way we could pull it off. The entire world, not to mention our own elites, would rise against “colonialism.” With our current dysfunctional society and politics, there’s no chance we would stay the course. Put another way: we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves to do this.
I’m “so much more older than 20,” and I can’t remember when Haiti has not been in some kind of conflict or had good governance for long. It’s very sad.

If there was some way to vet those who want to leave and airlift them out, not unlike what the US did with Hmong and Vietnamese, blockade the island and let those remaining fight each other to the death seems like a fanciful but maybe realistic solution.
Are we talking about Haiti or Baltimore?
Chicago and New Orleans
What’s alarming is you can change the names and the article would apply to some American cities. (Although at least Haiti’s govt admits the situation is out of control.)
Given the record at home it’s questionable if we could do more good than harm in Haiti.
Sure, a military occupation could settle things down but the level of force required will not be for the squeamish. And there will be innocents in the line of fire.
Sooner or later the troops have to come home and a respected functioning civil authority has to be in place. Unlikely …
Unrelated to QOTD, but I wish the media & government would stop referring to Paul Whelan as an ex-Marine. Factually, he is an ex-Marine, but what is not said is that he was court-martialed and given a dishonorable discharge nearly 15 years ago. Paul Whalen was born in Canada and apparently, as a result of familial relationships, holds Irish and British citizenship as well as American. I have not heard of any of those other countries doing anything to help obtain his release.
His reported personal history before his military life is sketchy with references to a law enforcement career and education that don’t jive with discoverable records, and his post-military life also seems vague. He was in the Marine Corps Reserves from 2003-2008, serving 1 tour in Iraq.
How he ended up as director of global security and investigations for BorgWarner is unclear, but when he was arrested in 2018 he was purportedly in town for a relative’s wedding but had gone off on his own and when detained, had $80K in cash.
Your speculation about why he is in jail as a spy is as good as mine. I don’t know all the facts and likely never will. If he was working on behalf of some western government, then we should do what we can to free him. I just don’t like the constant reference to him as an ex-Marine, given his military criminality and a dishonorable discharge.
By the way, all of this comes from that impeccable source (mild sarcasm) Wikipedia, but most of it rings true to my ear.
That isn’t the only source. I saw a the actual court martial. The link was on Facebook.
I think any military intervention in Haiti is going to look a lot like the door-to-door fighting in Falluja. If the UN is willing to bring in peacekeeping forces that are NOT predominantly made up of U.S. troops*, then I’d be hesitantly willing to entertain armed intervention. Life isn’t an afterschool special; goodwill and pep talks will not stop murderous, powerful gangs like that. “Gang” is really a misleading term; these are gangs in the sense the Islamic militias that dominate parts of the African countryside are gangs.

*The United States is a wicked, violent, and avaricious empire that must be held in contempt for its endless crimes—that is, until someone really needs our highly disciplined, legally constrained professional military to eradicate the actual horrors of the world.
I’m not sure even can be done in Haiti. The problems there are long-standing, multifaceted, and deeply rooted. Sure, the US or UN or whoever could come in and get everyone to stop shooting for a couple months but it won’t leave Haiti any better off in the long run.

Also, I find this quote in favor of armed intervention darkly humorous: “‘The international community needs to be more responsible,’ he told the Financial Times. ‘If it’s really concerned about Haiti, it needs to go and help there'”. Yes, be more responsible and go ahead and invade a poor island nation. That’s always been considered the sign of a very responsible Western power.

Serious question: does anyone know of any governments set up by an outside power that actually functioned? The only one that comes to mind is Japan after WWII, but that was an already highly ordered society. I can’t think of one building a government from the ground up successfully
Germany and Italy.
England in India.
LUK: No, but nearby countries should take a hand in fixing things. First, the current guy needs to know that when help arrives he is gone. What ever the basis for him being in the position he has, he isn’t up to it. Whoever goes in, their job should be to help get the Haitian government back in line with whatever constitution it has, and establishing some sort of order. Opening up immigration to other countries would undoubtedly help. Then, when the help leaves, there needs to be some sort of training wheels left behind to try to establish a couple of decades of good government and order. We in the US do tend to leave messes here and there around the world; it is good from time to time to commit to helping clean them up.
QOTD: Haiti seems like an intractable problem. Short of the United States invading and turning it into a colony under our rule, I don’t see a solution.
The pope should use his vast resources to clean up Haiti.

“…Catholicism remained the official state-sanctioned religion…” https://digitalchicagohistory.org/exhibits/show/spaces-and-stories-haiti/haitian-religious-traditions

American Evangelicals should help clean up their mess also.
Yes leaders should play a more active role in Haiti. It could be a Caribbean paradise if managed properly. Otherwise it is another Cuban disaster.
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I’ve come to believe that “nation-building” failed in Iraq and Afghanistan because we didn’t take charge at the top. In Germany and Japan, we ran the country for several years before giving way to carefully monitored local leadership. Germany didn’t resume full sovereignty until 1990, for example.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, we tried to work through local elites. They were just as self-interested and corrupt as you might expect.
So, I think we cannot succeed in Haiti unless we go in with the idea that we’re going to run the place, possibly for two decades, while we put an enormous amount of money and effort into building physical, social, and political infrastructure.
In one sense, this seems like it might be worth attempting. But I don’t see any way we could pull it off. The entire world, not to mention our own elites, would rise against “colonialism.” With our current dysfunctional society and politics, there’s no chance we would stay the course. Put another way: we don’t have enough confidence in ourselves to do this.
I’m “so much more older than 20,” and I can’t remember when Haiti has not been in some kind of conflict or had good governance for long. It’s very sad.

If there was some way to vet those who want to leave and airlift them out, not unlike what the US did with Hmong and Vietnamese, blockade the island and let those remaining fight each other to the death seems like a fanciful but maybe realistic solution.
Are we talking about Haiti or Baltimore?
Chicago and New Orleans
What’s alarming is you can change the names and the article would apply to some American cities. (Although at least Haiti’s govt admits the situation is out of control.)
Given the record at home it’s questionable if we could do more good than harm in Haiti.
Sure, a military occupation could settle things down but the level of force required will not be for the squeamish. And there will be innocents in the line of fire.
Sooner or later the troops have to come home and a respected functioning civil authority has to be in place. Unlikely …
Unrelated to QOTD, but I wish the media & government would stop referring to Paul Whelan as an ex-Marine. Factually, he is an ex-Marine, but what is not said is that he was court-martialed and given a dishonorable discharge nearly 15 years ago. Paul Whalen was born in Canada and apparently, as a result of familial relationships, holds Irish and British citizenship as well as American. I have not heard of any of those other countries doing anything to help obtain his release.
His reported personal history before his military life is sketchy with references to a law enforcement career and education that don’t jive with discoverable records, and his post-military life also seems vague. He was in the Marine Corps Reserves from 2003-2008, serving 1 tour in Iraq.
How he ended up as director of global security and investigations for BorgWarner is unclear, but when he was arrested in 2018 he was purportedly in town for a relative’s wedding but had gone off on his own and when detained, had $80K in cash.
Your speculation about why he is in jail as a spy is as good as mine. I don’t know all the facts and likely never will. If he was working on behalf of some western government, then we should do what we can to free him. I just don’t like the constant reference to him as an ex-Marine, given his military criminality and a dishonorable discharge.
By the way, all of this comes from that impeccable source (mild sarcasm) Wikipedia, but most of it rings true to my ear.
That isn’t the only source. I saw a the actual court martial. The link was on Facebook.
I think any military intervention in Haiti is going to look a lot like the door-to-door fighting in Falluja. If the UN is willing to bring in peacekeeping forces that are NOT predominantly made up of U.S. troops*, then I’d be hesitantly willing to entertain armed intervention. Life isn’t an afterschool special; goodwill and pep talks will not stop murderous, powerful gangs like that. “Gang” is really a misleading term; these are gangs in the sense the Islamic militias that dominate parts of the African countryside are gangs.

*The United States is a wicked, violent, and avaricious empire that must be held in contempt for its endless crimes—that is, until someone really needs our highly disciplined, legally constrained professional military to eradicate the actual horrors of the world.
I’m not sure even can be done in Haiti. The problems there are long-standing, multifaceted, and deeply rooted. Sure, the US or UN or whoever could come in and get everyone to stop shooting for a couple months but it won’t leave Haiti any better off in the long run.

Also, I find this quote in favor of armed intervention darkly humorous: “‘The international community needs to be more responsible,’ he told the Financial Times. ‘If it’s really concerned about Haiti, it needs to go and help there'”. Yes, be more responsible and go ahead and invade a poor island nation. That’s always been considered the sign of a very responsible Western power.

Serious question: does anyone know of any governments set up by an outside power that actually functioned? The only one that comes to mind is Japan after WWII, but that was an already highly ordered society. I can’t think of one building a government from the ground up successfully
Germany and Italy.
England in India.
LUK: No, but nearby countries should take a hand in fixing things. First, the current guy needs to know that when help arrives he is gone. What ever the basis for him being in the position he has, he isn’t up to it. Whoever goes in, their job should be to help get the Haitian government back in line with whatever constitution it has, and establishing some sort of order. Opening up immigration to other countries would undoubtedly help. Then, when the help leaves, there needs to be some sort of training wheels left behind to try to establish a couple of decades of good government and order. We in the US do tend to leave messes here and there around the world; it is good from time to time to commit to helping clean them up.
QOTD: Haiti seems like an intractable problem. Short of the United States invading and turning it into a colony under our rule, I don’t see a solution.
The pope should use his vast resources to clean up Haiti.

“…Catholicism remained the official state-sanctioned religion…” https://digitalchicagohistory.org/exhibits/show/spaces-and-stories-haiti/haitian-religious-traditions

American Evangelicals should help clean up their mess also.
Yes leaders should play a more active role in Haiti. It could be a Caribbean paradise if managed properly. Otherwise it is another Cuban disaster.

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