Troops to Haiti

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AtlantaWalter, Feb 23, 2004.

  1. AtlantaWalter

    AtlantaWalter Member

    Nov 8, 2003
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    small cave outside Atlanta
    Do we need to send troops into this hellhole, other than to guard our embassy? What purpose would it serve other than to cost the lives of our soldiers?

    Marines Arrive in Haiti to Guard Embassy
    By MICHAEL NORTON, Associated Press Writer

    PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Fifty U.S. Marines streamed into the capital Monday to protect the U.S. Embassy and its staff, while government loyalists set flaming barricades to block the road from rebels threatening to move on Port-au-Prince.

    Frightened Cabinet ministers were asking friends for places to hide, senior government sources said, a day after the rebels attacked two police stations outside the capital and seized Haiti's second-largest city, Cap-Haitien, with little resistance.

    In Cap-Haitien, rebels hunted down militants loyal to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, accusing them of terrorizing the population in the days before the fall of the northern port city of 500,000.

    "I am a brick mason, I didn't do anything wrong," Jean-Bernard Prevalis, 33, pleaded as he was dragged away, head bleeding.

    "We're going to clean the city of all 'chimeres,'" said rebel Dieusauver Magustin, 26. Chimere, which means ghost, is used to describe hardcore Aristide militants.

    It was not clear what would happen to those detained. One rebel said they were saving them from lynching. But another, Claudy Philippe, said "The people show us the (chimere) houses. If they are there, we execute them."

    Thousands of people in Cap-Haitien demonstrated in favor of the rebellion Monday, chanting "Aristide get out!" and "Goodbye Aristide."

    Residents went on a rampage of reprisals and looting that began after the insurgents seized the city. Looters stole the 800 tons of food from the U.N. World Food Program warehouse, according to the agency's Andrea Bagnoli, and people torched the colonial mansion of Mayor Wilmar Innocent, who supports Aristide.

    Rebel leader Guy Philippe said his men could do nothing to stop the looting, and blamed Aristide's government for leaving most of Haiti's 8 million people hungry and desperate. However, some rebels later fired shots into the air to scatter looters at Cap-Haitien's seaport. At least two looters were hit by rebel gunfire and taken to a hospital.

    Philippe said more than 30 residents have volunteered to fight with the rebels, who have started to replace officials in Cap-Haitien with rebel sympathizers. He said in an interview Monday that he hopes to take Port-au-Prince by Sunday, his 36th birthday.

    Remissainthe Ravix, another rebel leader, told The Associated Press there was no turning back.

    "We have the weapons and the expertise to take the country," he said. "Nothing can stop us."

    The rebels cut cellular telephone service in the city, saying they wanted no communication with Port-au-Prince.

    Cap-Haitien is just 90 miles north of Port-au-Prince, but is a grueling seven-hour drive over potholed roads sometimes reduced to bedrock.

    Aid agencies have warned a humanitarian catastrophe is brewing, with 268,000 people who depended on food aid in northern Haiti being the most vulnerable. The International Committee of the Red Cross sent medical supplies and a four-person team.

    Aristide's Premier Yvon Neptune said the international community must help save Haiti from "terrorists that are sowing violence and death," but he did not go so far as to ask for peacekeepers.

    Neptune appealed to the political opposition coalition to agree to a U.S.-backed international peace plan.

    The opposition had said it would formally respond by Monday afternoon to the plan, but leaders later indicated they would not agree to any proposal that does not require Aristide to step down.

    Evans Paul, a leading opposition politician once allied with Aristide, said Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) telephoned opposition politicians Monday, asking them to wait another 24 hours before announcing their official position on the peace plan.

    But Paul said the coalition remained firm in its demand, describing "Mr. Aristide's departure as an essential part to resolving this crisis."

    Aristide on Saturday accepted the plan, which would allow him to remain president with diminished powers, sharing with political rivals a government that would organize elections.

    With violence rising both from Aristide supporters and the insurgents, France urged its citizens Monday to leave its former colony. The United States and Mexico told their citizens to get out last week. There are about 30,000 foreigners in Haiti, including about 20,000 Americans, 2,000 French and 1,000 Canadians.

    Rifles at the ready, about 24 Marines in combat gear and helmets rushed off the U.S. Air Force transport plane at Toussaint Louverture International Airport on Monday and ran to make a secure a perimeter around the aircraft before another 30 Marines got off a second plane. Some Haitians stood on cars or high walls to peer at the Marines at the airport.

    Western diplomats and a Defense Department official said the Marines would protect the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince and its staff.

    Sunday's victory means more than half of Haiti now is beyond the control of the central government. The takeover of Cap-Haitien by only some 200 fighters was the most significant victory since the uprising began on Feb. 5. At least 17 were killed in Sunday's fighting, raising the toll to about 70 dead and dozens wounded in the revolt.

    In Port-au-Prince, hundreds of armed Aristide supporters set up more than a dozen barricades on the road leading north, near the international airport. Their tension was evident as they banged on a car with rifle butts and waved shotguns and pistols at vehicles to force them to stop.

    "We are ready to resist, with anything we have — rocks, machetes," said a teacher guarding one roadblock, who gave his name only as Rincher.

    Aristide was wildly popular when he became Haiti's first freely elected leader in 1990 but he has lost support since flawed legislative elections in 2000 led international donors to freeze millions of dollars in aid.

    Opponents accuse the former priest of failing to help those in need in the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, allowing corruption and masterminding attacks on opponents by armed gangs. Aristide denies the charges.

    Philippe was an officer in the army when it ousted Aristide in 1991 and instigated a reign of terror that ended in 1994 when the United States sent 20,000 troops to end the military dictatorship.
  2. superfreak

    superfreak Guest

    IF you study international political theory and security, you will discover that based on historical trends the U.S. will most likely intervene in Haiti if the crisis escalates. There are a few purposes it will serve.

    Since the 1823 Monroe Doctrine (no international power other than the U.S. shall interfere in the western hemisphere-it's our backyard) and the 1904 Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (along with many other alliances/treaties etc.), the United states has peacefully and millitantly resolved conflicts in the western hemisphere. Intervention occured in: 1898 Cuban revolt against Spain to gain its independence; 1903 Panama independence drive against Columbia (we got Panama Canal); 1905 seized Dominican Repulic's custom house to avoid European powers from intervening to collect unpaid debts; throughout 1920's in Panama, Mexico, and Nicaragua to promote stability; 1953 Guatamala;1961 Cuba bay of pigs; 1965 Dominican Republic; 1983 Grenada; 1980-1985 Nicaragua; 1989 Panama; 1991-1994 Haiti

    It is in our interest to see this crisis managed properly because we (and Prez Bush) don't want thousands of Haitian refugees showing up in Miami and other southern ports which is likely if the rebels begin mass killings.

    It is also important in the international arena. Haiti was colonized by France. France has historically intervened in any crisis in any of the countries that were initially its colonies. The catch is that it ussually will only intervene in Africa and Asia. The French, balance of power advocates, do not like the overwhelming strength of U.S. superpower. Their recent attempts in the U.N. security council and on the world media stage to foil U.S. efforts in Iraq show their desire to rise in power Since balance of power is a zero sum game a French rise in power would necessitate a U.S. fall in power. Right now France is drawying up plans to send forces to Haiti.

    Washington knows this and we are developing plans of our own. the U.S. may seek France's help (a possible Historical first) in stabalizing Haiti, but if the international community intervenes count on a U.S. presence. IT WILL BE NEEDED

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