Another of Lil’ Billy’s foreign policy “successes” is unraveling. This time, it’s the Aristide government of Haiti. The last time we heard of Aristide and Co. was when Mr. Clinton insisted that — despite the predations of his party — Mr. Aristide was the elected ruler and had to be restored to power, three years after the sorta-coup that had tossed him out in 1991. Now, with over 80% of Haiti’s people still living in abject poverty, civil unrest may unseat Aristide again.
Traditionally, American troops are sent to Haiti to quell the violence and restore order under one bunch of incompetents or another. Now, American troops are pretty busy elsewhere. Never wishing to see any opportunity pass that can demean America or lessen its influence, France is suggesting it could send troops from nearby Martinique to restore order in Haiti. Because Haiti is so completely messed up — any of those who served in the past few decades would say Haiti defines the term “FUBAR” — it’s tempting to say that the French should go ahead. It’s hard to imagine how even they could screw it up worse. But they could, which means we need to say, “No thanks, Clouseau.”
Haiti is ripe for all sorts of political and internecine warfare. But it’s not likely to be a base for terrorists, given the fact that some 80% of its people are Catholic, and another 16% or so Protestant. Not many Islamists among them, but there could be. France has had too cozy a relationship with nations such as Syria, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia for us to trust them with anything in the Western Hemisphere. Anybody remember the Monroe Doctrine? There’s a modern and perfectly valid reason to maintain it.
TEDAC — the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center — is under the FBI’s umbrella but combines several agencies’ efforts with the FBI’s awesome lab to search for connections between terrorist acts. And it’s found plenty. According to the New York Times (which actually is capable of getting it right, if not on the editorial or op-ed pages), TEDAC had found commonality of bomb design in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Richard Reid’s shoe bomb. Connections between terrorist groups are not uncommon, and where the opportunity for safe haven presents itself, terrorists are sure to be there.
All too close to Haiti is Cuba, which harbors heaven only knows how many terrorists. Part of the IRA’s Cuba delegation was caught training FARC narco-terrorists in Colombia how to make better bombs, even land mines. If France rules Haiti — even for a while — terrorism may have a chance to sprout there. The people are so poor that money might buy silence and support, and we can be quite confident that France would turn a blind eye to their Cuban pals’ activities. For the same reason we can’t have the French there, we don’t need the UN either. The UN — and its pet kangaroo court, the International Court of Justice — are making enough trouble right now. As usual, the UN’s target is Israel.
KOFI AND THE KUPCAKES are at it again. This time, at the behest of the Palestinians, the General Assembly passed a resolution asking the ICJ for an opinion on the legality of the Israeli terrorist barrier known as the Fence. The Fence — a tall barrier festooned with sensors and guard posts — is being built generally along the cease-fire line from the 1967 war to prevent terrorist incursions from the West Bank into Israel. The cease-fire line — called the “Green Line” — has no legal status as a boundary or border. The Palestinians want to keep it open, so they can smuggle suicide bombers into Israel as they did yesterday, killing at least seven and wounding 59 people riding on a commuter bus in Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — part of Arafat’s terror network — were the perps.
Israel has wisely decided to sit on the sidelines and let the ICJ play its games. There is no possibility of a decision favoring Israel. One of the ICJ judges, who are picked by the General Assembly, Nabil Elaraby, is an Egyptian, formerly a legal adviser to his government and one of the staff who worked on the Camp David peace accords. Israel asked that Elaraby be barred from participating in the case, and of course the ICJ declined. Of the remaining fourteen judges, only half come from nations that have an independent judiciary. The rest are accustomed to following orders from their governments. And those governments — China, Russia, Jordan, Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Slovakia, and Venezuela — are all enemies of Israel.
The U.S. and even the EU have asked the ICJ to refuse to take the case. Fat chance. The ICJ has already decided to let the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference participate. The whole thing is a sham, another device to pressure Israel to leave its cities and towns vulnerable to terrorist attacks. If the UN were capable of feeling shame — which it perforce is not — this would be one thing to be ashamed of. And speaking of those who are shameless, there’s another burp from Jean-Pierre Kerry.
This time Kerry — whose only campaign slogan so far is “I served in Vietnam and Bush didn’t” — wrote a letter to the president accusing him of unfair campaign tactics in raising the issue of Kerry’s outrageous anti-military conduct after he returned from Vietnam. Kerry served well, but became a prime mover in the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. According to one report, Kerry’s letter says, “As you well know, Vietnam was a very difficult and painful period in our nation’s history, and the struggle for our veterans continues. So, it has been hard to believe that you would choose to reopen these wounds for your personal political gain. But, that is what you have chosen to do.”
For the past month, the media has been bombarding us with unfair slanders of President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. Why is it fair to smear Bush falsely and unfair to raise the facts about Kerry’s despicable statements calling soldiers who served in Vietnam murderers, rapists and every other kind of war criminal? It ain’t, Jean-Pierre. We’re on the trail of the facts. And they will all get published as soon as we can gather them into something readable.
TAS Contributing editor Jed Babbin was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the first Bush administration, and now often appears as a talking warhead on radio and television.
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