Monday, December 6, 2010


Like most of the world, I've been doing a little Wikileaks dabbling. Most of the leaked documents won't tell anyone who pays reasonable attention to the world anything she doesn't already know. Karzai's government is corrupt, for instance. Noo. Really. Who could've known? Russia is a criminal enterprise. Been paying attention for the last 20 years? You'd think after all this time that we'd have figured out that "unfettered" capitalism is likely to become, yes, a criminal enterprise.

But one cable interested me just because it confirmed something I'd suspected for awhile. That is that Rene Preval, the Haitian president, has become entirely uninvolved in the problems of his country, and entirely ineffective, simply because he doesn't want to follow President Aristide to house arrest in South Africa. Well, we now have the cable confirming just that (see bullet 15). Sometimes I am sooo smart.

The problem for Preval is that anyone who wanted to solve the problems of Haiti would have to do things that the Western powers wouldn't like--expropriating land, forcing higher wages, demanding that the French pay back all the money that Haiti paid France (under an agreement with Charles X) to compensate French owners for their slaves--with interest--and the like. And the last person who made proposals like that ended up...

If you want to keep up on Haitian issues on a regular basis, read this. I check in about once a week; it's too depressing to read it more often.

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