We Weep For Our Beloved Country


is happening in the streets of Haiti is more than a tragedy and a travesty
of supposed American support for Democracy. We are seeing
a death struggle between an immoral gang of thugs,
killers and dope dealers
and a well-intentioned but misguided
and unrealistic regime trying to end centuries of neglect, social decay
and external exploitation. And
once again, improbably, the United States seems to be on the wrong side.

Not long ago President Aristide in a way was our Poster Boy for benevolent intervention
and support for Democracy. Now he is just in the way. Although the State Department admits to “encouraging” him to leave office, the reality seems to have been a bit more emphatic. From today’s
Boston Globe

But questions lingered over whether Aristide left office voluntarily.
Ira Kurzban, Aristide’s Miami-based lawyer, said yesterday that the
50-year-old Haitian leader was “kidnapped” by US troops and
taken forcibly from the National Palace. Kurzban said he was not able
to contact Aristide
and feared for his safety.

As to exactly how the US intelligence community could have aided the
rebels, there are rumors that a mysterious (even to the DR) “security
exercise” on the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic last
year was designed to funnel thousands of assault rifles to the rebels,
arms which are even now pouring into Port au Prince in the hands of drug-crazed

A senior US military official acknowledged that some American weapons
sold to the neighboring Dominican Republic last year may have ended up
in the hands of opposition forces in Haiti, but stressed that they were
not provided as part of some covert US activity and could have been acquired
from the Dominican military.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to respond to questions yesterday
whether it had any role in Haiti.

According to news reports at the time, the exercise apparently came
as a surprise to the country’s foreign minister, who publicly denounced
the operation. The US official said 20,000 M-16s were provided to the
Dominican forces to help the country guard its border with Haiti and
that all the weapons could not be accounted for.

Dowbrigade has been getting a lot of Vietnam flashbacks lately, although
we have
we are currently suffocating under a blanket impression that our
beloved country, which
used to stand for Truth, Justice and the universal human aspirations
for dignity, security and moral values, is being used to ends that,
although perhaps in our commercial or geo-political interests,
completely ignore the values on which our country was built.

The Vietnam war in the 60’s and 70’s was a shocking, eye-opening experience
for the young baby boomers. We had been brought up believing that
our country was ALWAYS on the right, winning side. The US was the
beacon of truth and justice in a backward world still clinging to the
totalitarian traditions of the past. The Dowbrigade, for one, truly believed
this down to the depths of his soul. But how were we supposed to reconcile
these core beliefs with what we were seeing on the TV sets in our kitchens
and living rooms? The incessant carpet bombing of cities and villages
not only in North Vietnam but also Laos and Cambodia? The naked napalmed
children running screaming down the roads? The towns and hamlets razed
as euphemistic “pacification”? The drained and haunted returning veterans
offering first-hand testimonials to the moral
bankrupcy of the war effort and confessing to atrocities in the name
of America?

Could it be possible, we began to wonder, after growing up steeped in
the Audie Murphy and
John Wayne iconography of won wars, evil Nazis and Japs and heroic GI’s,
that this time WE were the bad guys? What a world view shakeup that was!
Is it any wonder an entire generation went off the deep end?

Now its all coming back like a bad acid flashback. Once again we feel
unclean, ashamed, unable to explain or elucidate exactly how
got onto
the wrong
but instinctually
has gone horribly, horribly wrong. It is not only in Haiti that it
seems the US is allied with shadowy forces of darkness.

In Iraq, it is becoming increasingly clear that American foreign policy
has been hijacked in the name of some dark 19th century inter-family
blood vendetta between the Bushes and the Husseins. Although no fan of
the latter, the Dowbrigade sincerely believes that there are more serious
and immediate threats to our person and nation, and that the diversion
and waste of so much money, effort and accumulated goodwill, not to mention
an ever-expanding list of American boys and girls who can never come home except in a box, on such a petty,
personal, embarrassingly transparent revenge scenario amounts to a criminal
abuse of power.

To make matters worse, we are in the embarrassing position of being
OPPOSED to holding elections for a new Iraqi government. Didn’t
we “liberate” these people in order to allow them to freely choose their
own leaders? Now, the Dowbrigade is NOT an expert in Middle Eastern Foreign
Policy, and there may very well be good reasons why we can’t hold fair
and safe elections there yet. After all, even after we kicked out the
British, it took a few years before we had a functioning constitution
and an elected president in place.

But it just LOOKS bad to have the news full of Iraqi’s demonstrating
in FAVOR of elections and the occupying army of the United States saying
“No way.” It’s bad enough that we are the occupying army, without seeming
to be holding down the legitimate democratic aspirations of the local

And in Saudi Arabia, it definitely looks to us that we are backing the
wrong guys. We are deeply committed to supporting a completely
non-Democratic feudal family dynasty which constantly trashes the human
rights of more than half their population (the women) and encourages
an virulent anti-Americanism in the disenfranchised population which
led directly to the 9/11 tragedy. In what amounts to America’s foremost
Venal Sin, we do it because we need their oil as much as any junkie needs
a fix, because the withdrawal pains of even cutting back our consumption
would be so terrible regimes would fall and millions could die.

We will forego casting aspersions on US policy vis a vis Israel and
the Palestinians because it seems to the Dowbrigade that there is no
“right side” in that one, no “good guys” at all, just a tragic and deadly
dance between death-besotted fanatics on all sides.

we are engaging in a bit of old-fogeyism here, pining for a clearer world
that never was, but we don’t think so. There was a time
when there was a clear-cut line between
and wrong,
our country at least tried to be on the right side of it at
all times. When we were friends with Democracies and enemies of dictatorships,
and in those dictatorships offered moral and financial support for authentic
resistance and liberation movements (South Africa, for example).

The central principal of a democracy is that if you don’t like your
government, you don’t need to kill anybody, just wait until the next
election and vote the bums out. Despite the smoke and mirrors from the
White House and the State Department, it looks
we had more
a little
do with
the premature
of Haiti’s democratically elected President, who, according to AP, “fled
the country under heavy American guard”.

The Dowbrigade weeps for what
America has become. We long to feel again the
its position
affairs. Not
as an invader or occupying army or even as “peace keeping” troops, but
simply as a moral example and as a beacon of liberty to oppressed and
freedom-loving people the world over.

quotes from the Boston Globe

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