Should the U.S. Annex Haiti? And Make Bill Clinton Governor?

by Julian Ku

Interesting discussion of innovative ways to deal with Haiti’s long-term problems.  Haiti is very close to a failed state. So it’s time to think big. Here are four out of the box choices:  1) A New Haitian Constitution; 2) UN Trusteeship; 3) U.S. Protectorate; 4) U.S. annexation and status as a territory.  Read the whole article. I actually think that in a free and fair election, options 3 and 4 might prevail.  And I think option 4 might achieve the best results long term for Haiti.  But getting the U.S. Congress to agree, that’s another matter. In any event, I assume instead we’ll go with option 5): an almost-failed state propped up by tons of outside aid with no long term prospects of stability or growth.

http://opiniojuris.org/2010/04/01/should-the-us-annex-haiti-and-make-bill-clinton-governor/

8 Responses

  1. US Congress voting in favor of Haitians becoming Americans – i.e. more black people becoming part of the United States – sorry, but I really doubt that will happen!  Haiti’s long twisted history with the United States and France serves as a backdrop.  Also, I doubt that Haitians would be interested in becoming a vassal of the United States.  So foreign aid and support over the long term would appear to be the way to go.
    Best,
    Ben

  2. Since the original article is out of Canada, why not make Haiti a CANADIAN trusteeship or territory?  The US has played “nanny” for too long.

  3. This proposal is outrageous, what makes the US a saviour to the Haitian people? And getting Congress to agree? how is this about the US Congress? how about getting the international community, France, Brazil, the rest of Latin America, etc. to agree??

    I agree that a UN Transitional Administration of Haiti could be quite helpful, but it seems outright arrogant to suggest that the best way to help Haiti is to annex it to the US… if at all, wouldn’t it make much more sense to give it to France?

    Just look at the overall message: “We’re the US, we will always neglect our latin america policy until one of you becomes a failed state, after that, we’ll just annex you”…. priceless!

  4. Ah, another day at the OJ, where everything is always the USA’s fault.  Anywho, that UN idea might not seem so good anymore in light of today’s complaints by Karzai re the UN in Afghanistan.  It seems nobody is capable of governing anybody anymore!

  5. I thought the US was supposed to be against colonialism.

    Anyway, they effectively annexed Iraq and that hasn’t been the glorious success that was expected in 2003.

  6. Annex Haiti? Who comes up with this nonsense?

    Contrary to popular opinion, the problems of the world are not all caused by the United States and the Haitian Government does need to take some responsibility for the failures. Exhibit A would be the absence of something as basic as a building code that if enacted and enforced might have actually saved some of the buildings that collapsed.

    UN Trusteeship is an interestig idea, but rather disturbing to be considered for a country that is the second in the Western Hemisphere after the U.S. to have won its independence. There are billions of dollars being pledged to this country. I assume that the Government of Haiti employs some people with technical knowledge to plan for the future? That of the many people who have returned or gone to Haiti to help with the relief effort have been asked to provide their assistance?

    Haiti has experienced a terrible tragedy, but that does not change the fact that its problems were not caused by the United States, were not caused by this earthquake. The government needs to take responsibility and start acting the job that it has to plan, police and educate eliminating corruption and waste. Some other part taking it over is not going to help. The world wants to give it a blank check, sure why not? But the Haitian government and population need some tough love and to understand that if they blow through that money there will not be one dollar more unless strict conditions are accepted.

  7. The Haitians might have a different view on the proposal. They might view the history more like in the following quotes:
     
    “A US military occupation (1915-34) brought back corvée labour and introduced bombing from the air, while officials in Washington created the institutions that Haitians would have to live with: the army, above all, which now claims to have the country ‘in its hands’, was created by an act of the US Congress. Demobilised by Aristide in 1995, it never knew a non-Haitian enemy. It had plenty of internal enemies, however. Military-backed governments, dictatorships, chronic instability, repression, the heavy hand of Washington over all: this state of affairs continued throughout the 20th century.”
     
    “The United States might not have been able to prevent Aristide’s landslide victory, but there was plenty they could do to undermine him. The most effective method, adopted by the first Bush administration, was to fund both the opposition – their poor showing at the polls was no reason, it appears, to cut off aid to them – and the military. Declassified records now make it clear that the CIA and other US groups helped to create and fund a paramilitary group called FRAPH, which rose to prominence after a military coup that ousted Aristide in September 1991. Thousands of civilians were killed and hundreds of thousands fled overseas or across the border into the Dominican Republic. For the next three years Haiti was run by military-civilian juntas as ruthless as the Duvaliers.” – Paul Farmer, “Who Removed Aristide?”, http://www.zcommunications.org/who-removed-aristide-by-paul-farmer
     
    And more quotes like this in Farmer’s piece suggest that the Haitians might see the U.S. as a rogue state bringing all kinds of havoc on their country, rather than democracy, freedom and wellbeing.

  8. Response… Another take: the New York Times, with great fanfare, ran a story yesterday on the Haiti “declaration of independence” – the one and only original copy found at the British Library. As for a “declaration” it reads more like the first in a long line of South/Latin American military pronunciamentos “in the name of the people”, of course. But the interesting bit is: “we renounce France for ever” (in French…). How will that sit with rumbles that France should help? But it will sit well with making Haiti a US territory.

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