Haiti: God and the Big Battalions


  • W. H. Locke Anderson






Around the time of Clinton's inauguration, the New York Times published an op-ed article by Anna Husarska, a staff writer for the New Yorker. This piece seemed to represent an attempt on the part of the Times to achieve some sort of "editorial balance." The preceding article by Haiti's exiled President jean-Bertrand Aristide had stated the case for speedy restoration of lawful government in his country. Ms. Husarska, who appears to be against lawful government if that means Aristide, advanced the strange proposal that Clinton should make a "pact" with the freely-elected head of the Haitian state, "permitting" him to return to his country, but only long enough to pardon the officers who drove him into exile in 1991. After the amnesty, according to her script, Aristide would resign the presidency as soon as a replacement could be elected in the manner specified by the constitution. Her claim was that this was the only way to restore lawfulness to the country and to get rid of the ruling junta without a "bloodbath." She was probably right, if not about the lawfulness, then at least about the bloodbath. Since Haiti is among the poorest and cruelest of nations, blood flows more predictably than water.