While Kerry opposed funding for Iraq?s burgeoning democracy, he promised recently that if he had been president, he would have risked American lives to prop up a tyrant. As Haiti was starting to pull itself out of the chaos created by now-ousted despot Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Kerry last week told the New York Times that he have sent troops to protect Aristide from the rebels. ?I would have been prepared to send troops immediately, period,? Kerry stated unequivocally.
The presumptive Democratic nominee conceded that Aristide was ?no picnic,? but said Bush was ?shortsighted? for not stopping the rebels? march. The evidence shows, however, that Kerry was ?shortsighted? for thinking that Haiti?s former oppressor was merely ?no picnic? and worthy of protection provided by American men and women.
After being reinstated in 1994 with the political muscle of 20,000 Marines (sent by President Clinton) behind him, Aristide turned from democrat to despot. To short-circuit the Haitian constitution?s one-term limit, Aristide had a puppet, Rene Preval, keep the seat warm for him from 1995 to 2000. In lieu of legislative elections in 1999, Preval dissolved the legislature. With corruption rampant, most Haitians boycotted the sham 2000 presidential elections, and Aristide was ?elected? with less than ten percent of the population actually going to the polls.
Things in Haiti only got worse from there, with murderous thugs roaming the streets, eliminating Aristide?s political enemies. ?No picnic,? indeed.
None of this is to say that Kerry ?likes? despicable despots. It could just be he has goofy elitist notions about evil. The New York Post reports that in his 1997 book, Kerry wrote that terrorists could be ?encouraged? to become good guys ?by Yasser Arafat?s transformation from outlaw to statesman.?
It seems that Kerry the candidate has shifted on Arafat, but why? Arafat hasn?t changed.
Then again, given the Democrat?s pledge to make friends with tyrants the world over, neither has Kerry.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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