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Clinton’s Iraq — and Clinton’s Haiti

Middle East
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You may have seen Hillary Clinton repeatedly referring to her Iraq war vote as a “mistake” during Saturday night’s debate; and Bernie Sanders pointing out that the decision was the worst judgment in modern American history. Our colleague James North has a piece up at the Nation questioning the former secretary of state’s judgment in the Caribbean, too.

Bill and Hillary Clinton played a large role in promoting a Haitian government that has proved to be corrupt. The country’s unpopular president Michel Martelly lately rigged an election to assure his succession by Jovenel Moise, but the people are rising up against the results. Our government put $30 million into the now-widely-doubted election, and Bill and Hillary Clinton built up Martelly, but they are now nowhere to be found.

The Clintons formed a bond with Haiti after their marriage in 1975 — as they formed a special bond with Israel on their first trip there in 1981. (“On that first trip, Bill and I fell in love with Jerusalem as we walked the ancient streets of the Old City,” Hillary wrote lately.)

Though he doesn’t blame the Clintons alone for the corruption of the Haitian government, North describes the rebuilding of the Haitian government as the couple’s “signature foreign initiative, leaving behind a nation sinking into corruption and violence.” Here are some excerpts:

These days, Bill and Hillary Clinton are nowhere to be seen in Haiti, but it was not always so. The couple claimed to have a special attraction to the country after spending their honeymoon there, and even before the 2010 earthquake, Bill Clinton had already been appointed the United Nations special envoy. ..

The writer and veteran Haiti-watcher Jonathan Katz also points out that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled to Haiti four times, the same number of visits she made to Russia or Afghanistan…

Haiti is more dominated than ever by a small upper class, practiced at diverting outside aid to themselves. (Some Haitian critics call this group MREs—Morally Repugnant Elites—a name inspired by the Meals Ready to Eat that were part of the US military emergency relief effort right after the earthquake.)…

Then the runup election took place in October, and the people are rising up against the announced results, human rights groups are alleging fraud, and the leading presidential candidates besides Moise have rejected the results and demanded an inquiry before stage 2 of the election next month.

Bill Clinton could have used his explaining ability to point out publicly what went wrong, and Hillary Clinton could have taken advantage of her prominence as a presidential candidate to tell some important truths. Instead, the Clintons just skulked away from Haiti…



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2 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    a blah chick
    November 16, 2015, 2:30 pm

    You would think she’d go to Haiti if only to see little baby Israel.

  2. InTruth
    November 19, 2015, 2:52 am

    Curiously, neither this article nor the linked one at The Nation mentions the 2004 coup orchestrated by the U.S., Canada and France. While it and the 1991 U.S.-executed coup were carried out under Bush presidencies, Hillary Clinton made no criticism as Secretary of State or since, as far as I know.

    In fact, there is every reason to believe she and the rest of the Washington establishment continued to support the suppression of democracy in Haiti. It suffices to point out that ever since the 2004 coup, Haiti’s largest and most popular political party, Lavalas, has been barred from running for office. This alone makes a farce of any election purported to be democratic. It also explains the usually abysmal voter turnouts.

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