January 28, 2010

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(1994 Marines landing in Port au Prince - GREAT photo op!)

When C&L colleague Jason Sigger wrote earlier this week about our previous military excursions into Haiti, he reminded me of a few times in our most recent past where good intentions went somewhat askew. Although the recent horrific situation in Haiti is by no means anything remotely resembling a military intervention of a political situation, it no doubt conjures images such as those reported by NPR on September 20, 1994 and the removal of Military dictator General Raoul Cedras and the re-installation of the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide:

Lt. Gen. Henry Shelton: “We have expressed from the very beginning that we are not an occupation force, we are here to assist the Haitian, the legitimate Government of Haiti, in restoring Democracy and in restoring the country of Haiti back to a . . into a position where it can take care of itself.”

Oh, and we were back in 2004 to remove Aristide. But again, the earthquake and our relief efforts are not a military intervention in the overthrow of governments. But I can imagine a certain nervousness on the parts of Haitians seeing Marines patrolling the streets. You probably would too.

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