Rev. Jesse Jackson calls for independent investigation
Over the past decade since President Aristide's rightful return to Haiti as the democratically elected President, right wing conservative leaders in the Bush administration withheld aid and did everything they could do undermine the democratic and economic development of Haiti. Then, when so-called "rebels" unleashed a wave of violence and threatened Aristide this year, the President and Secretary of State stood idly by and failed to intervene to defend President Aristide and Haiti's democracy.
Instead, US officials maintained direct communications with the coup leaders as they overthrew President Aristide, using weapons furnished, directly and indirectly, by the US.
Secretary of State Powell's reasoning for not defending democracy is that Haiti's democracy is "flawed." By these public statements and alliances, the Bush administration supported, aided and abetted the overthrow of President Aristide. The Bush policy of "regime change" was implemented in Haiti, as they removed President Aristide from Haiti and then exiled him to Central Africa.
The credibility of Latortue government is so damaged that the Bush administration is now appealing to this new regime not to put gangsters and drug dealers, formerly associated with Haiti's former dictators, in the cabinet. The "rebels" have brazenly reneged on their "promise" to disarm and are now engaged in searching, seizing, and killing of innocent civilians on a daily basis. We also call on the U.S. and the international community to provide protection and a safe haven for Aristide supporters.
Today, Secretary Powell goes to Haiti to bless and give credibility to the new regime. His trip violates everything decent about international law, human rights and democracy.
There is a sinking pattern to the Bush administration's exploits in foreign affairs. Former administration officials-from O'Neill to Clarke-now openly admit that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was founded upon "flawed intelligence" and lack of evidence. They have found no weapons of mass destruction; no links to Al Qeda; no evidence of Iraq's imminent threat to US or anybody. Even Secretary Powell now admits that "flawed intelligence" was a factor driving the invasion of Iraq.
We support the 15 nation Caribbean Community's call for an inquiry into the role of the U.S. and others in the overthrow of the Aristide government.
It seems that the Bush administration is waging a war on truth, accountability and integrity, rather than a war on terrorism. Their foreign policy starts with a conclusion: "regime change," "preemptive strike," and exercising unilateral US military action to justify and execute the overthrow of Aristide in Haiti, and the invasion and occupation in Iraq.
Thus, the Bush administration is headed down a slippery slope, an escalating quagmire resulting in the daily loss of American lives and the killing of innocent Iraqis, with no end in sight. Secretary Powell visits a Haiti that is poised to return, with Bush administration backing, the gangsters, drug dealers and thugs from the previous Haiti dictatorship to power and unleash chaos in that country.
In each case, the Bush administration credibility rating and moral authority in the world is sinking deeper and deeper. The war of terror and Al Qeda has been diverted to the Bush administration's reckless and ill-advised military actions aimed at destroying governments. They will be held accountable by the American people and family of nations, as we seek peace, democracy and justice.