Faulty U.S. foreign policy dictates repetition of the past
There is a tremendous problem with the direction American policy has taken, and things do not seem to be turning themselves around. Last week, Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutsch confirmed reports that 10,000 U.S. troops are to be deployed to Haiti as soon as their training exercise in the Caribbean is over.
The purpose of the exercise, of course, will be to overthrow the violent military regime of General Raoul C?dras and his cronies, and to restore former Haitian President Jean Paul Aristide and his democratic entourage to power. It almost seems like d?j? vu by this time - the United States acting as the international robocop, marching in poised, aimed and ready every time an ugly visage threatening an American ideal crops up somewhere on the globe. Over the past 50-plus years, the United States has managed to carve itself a mold by committing itself militarily time and time again to any and every national crisis on which it can pin a legitimate label. From Korea to Vietnam, the United States has continually designated itself the international savior and protector of human rights and democracy no matter what the cost. And now it seems that another demon is beckoning its taunting claw - this time in the name of Haiti.
Now, it is an irrefutable fact that the C?dras regime in Haiti is a deplorable one in all respects - from its violent ascent to power to its brutal disregard for the life and well-being of its population. At the same time, though, it is crucial that we learn from our mistakes. The reigns of Kim Il Sung and Ho Chi Minh seemed every bit as morally and politically reprehensible at the time, and just look at what happened when we tried to tango with each of them - over 50,000 casualties each time. The bottom line is that the U.S. has little if any national interest in Haiti no matter what type of government it has. If we intervene there, we are just stepping into the same trap all over again. And if C?dras and his men are willing to slaughter their own in the streets, then what kind of reserve will they exhibit upon U.S. soldiers coming to drive them from their posts? Somehow they don't seem like the type to restrain themselves for PR reasons.
The bottom line is this: The United States should avoid interference in the domestic or multinational affairs of other countries at all costs - regardless of how flagrant its democratic or human rights violations - unless either direct American interests or international peace are at stake. In true retrospect, do we really want to relive the last three wars of the century - with all their mayhem and bloodshed? I'm sorry, but it really isn't worth all that.
Steph Lewis is campus editor of The Eagle and a sophomore in the School of Communication.