Since 1994, the United States has spent $850 million on Haiti. If you count money spent on U.S. troops in the country and on repatriation of refugees, the figure is roughly $3 billion. "If that's not a commitment to a country, I don't know what is," says a senior administration official.
With Aristide gone and the rebellion subsiding, the United States will try to restore constitutional government in Haiti. The chief justice of the supreme court has stepped into the presidency, as stipulated in the constitution. The international community will work to find a consensus choice for prime minister and then set a timetable for elections.
So, the Bush administration has helped depose a corrupt autocrat, avoided a refugee crisis, and forged international agreement on a path for the post-Aristide future. Bush critics shouldn't let their affection for the twice-former Haitian strongman cloud their appreciation of these accomplishments. Alas, love affairs with thugs apparently die hard.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Rich Lowry dissolves some of the myths that are growing up around Aristide and Haiti.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 12:53 PM