Today the French government accused the United States of occupying Haiti with military forces. While I certainly wouldn’t trust the French government any more than I would the United States government, I find it hard to believe Bob Gates’ defense of the US presence within Haiti.
See, this isn’t the first time that the United States was sent into a third world country to “provide security” for international operations. It happened in Somalia 20 years ago. Then the UN was sending humanitarian aid in light of the Somali Civil War. The US sent in Army Rangers to provide protection for the UN’s aid packages. Somehow that mission transformed into Delta Force being sent in to take out the leader of the country and UN forces attempting to occupy the nation. Many men and women died on both sides.
Haiti is in a strikingly similar state as Somalia was. The government is largely insolvent; gangs of men march the streets; food is short. Is it too hard to imagine that our government would make the same mistake again? I sincerely hope that somehow in the midst of this incredible incompetence the people of Haiti do get some help, but I’m not holding my breath for the government to get something right.Published in