Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Don't blame me, I voted for...who the heck did I vote for again?

Some of the creeps currently poised to take power in Haiti were protected by the US, which refused to extradite death squad leaders back to Haiti, showing a sympathy for them they didn’t show any refugees from the civil war in the last week.

Let me quote myself on this subject, from June 1996: “The US frees Haitian death squad leader Emmanuel Constant without deporting him back to Haiti, citing concern for the overburdened Haitian courts and prison system, and not having anything to do with his CIA links at all, no sirree bob.” A search also turns up a News of the Weird piece that one Haitian colonel granted residency despite being wanted to serve out a homicide/torture conviction won $3.2m in the Florida lottery in 1997.

Good Haiti article.

The Central African Republic is telling Aristide to shut up about being kidnapped.

Now about the kidnapping thing: the Bushies are trying to reduce this to a single moment, when Aristide left. Were there US Marines with guns pointed at his head? If not, it doesn’t count as kidnapping and the US is exonerated. But Aristide being driven out does not come down to that single moment, but resulted from a series of decisions in which the US was involved. Not sending troops, obviously; visibly not backing up the elected president, which made the insurrectionists understand that no consequences would follow if there were no negotiations, which the US pretended to call for but its actions undermined; and the thing I come to back to, in part because while other facts are contested this one is not: the US demanded that Aristide sign a letter of resignation, so he could not be a president-in-exile, as he was after 1991. The US, its policy being run by long-time Aristide-haters like Otto Reich and that Noriega guy, created a situation where Aristide could either die or leave. Which is close enough to kidnapping in my book.

Florida is so progressive that not only can they teach evolution, they can give practical examples (or would have been had the classroom been higher).

As I write, there are 2 more hours before the polls close and CNN is announcing that Edwards is pulling out. Remember how the networks and news channels promised they wouldn’t broadcast exit poll results and so forth before the polls closed? Jackasses.

And Howard Dean wins Vermont, which you have to sorta admire.

Robert Fisk has a slightly incoherent article that might turn out to be important, questioning all the talk about a Sunni-Shiite civil war in Iraq.

From the Telegraph: “A Benedictine nun could lose her driving licence after hitting a car parked outside her convent at Krzeszow, Poland, while drunk at the wheel of a tractor.”

Alastair Cooke, 95, retires from broadcasting Letter from America on BBC (and NPR) after 58 years, the quitter.

The prime minister-designate of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, is talking about partitioning Kosovo. Here we fucking go again.

Baby Doc Duvalier wants to be allowed to return to Haiti. “This is my country. I'm ready to put myself at the disposal of the Haitian people.” And disposal is just what he deserves.

Coca Cola has started marketing bottled water in Britain. Turns out it comes out of a tap.

The British Tory party chooses its first openly lesbian candidate for Parliament. Labour has at least one that I can think of off the top of my head, one of a pair of identical twins who are both MPs, the other of whom is straight, which still sounds like a wacky sitcom to me.

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