A Haitian Perspective on Military Intervention in Haiti

In the article "Haiti Could Become a Pawn in US Politics," March 3, the author asks the question, "Can the president withstand demands from Congress, segments of the Republican Party, and the Haitian immigrant community in the US for a multinational invasion if Aristide remains frozen in exile?" As members of the Haitian immigrant community, we want to make it clear that those in favor of such an invasion do not speak for all Haitians living in the United States.

We openly supported the candidacy of Fr. Aristide when he was chosen to run for president of Haiti. We condem the military coup that overthrew him. But we strongly feel that he should not return to power on the wings of foreign troops, whatever their composition. The recent examples of Grenada, Panama, and Iraq say enough about the disastrous consequences of military intervention: more human lives and more infrastructure destroyed in the target country, with little or no compensation afterward.

Those who advocate military intervention in the name of democracy seem to overlook all that the Haitian masses have achieved by themselves, in the recent past as well as throughout the history of Haiti. The elitist point of view that Haiti needs a foreign intervention does not take into account the fact that the masses were successful in overthrowing the Duvalier regime in 1986, after the upper and middle classes had failed to achieve those results for about 30 years. The grass-roots succeeded as they ca me to the forefront of the struggle only after the elites and the so-called intelligentsia had curtailed their own attempts, thus leaving the initiative to the masses.

We are confident that given enough time and the opportunity to take charge of their own affairs, the people of Haiti will overcome the current crisis. They can do it without foreign intervention and even without the ineffective leadership of the Haitian elites, old and new. Teddy Thomas, Alexandria, Va. Marie-Thse Labossiere Thomas Voting in Europe

Regarding the article "Motivating Americans to Vote - Some Look to European Solutions," March 12: If you're going to run headlines about "European solutions" to the current US electoral system, then talk about proportional representation (PR). This article doesn't even mention it.

As practiced in Germany, PR allows voting both for individual candidates (top vote-getter wins, like here) and for party lists of candidates, who are then seated in the legislature according to the proportion of the total vote their party won. The result is that small parties and their constituents aren't shut out, and around 90 percent of voters vote in national elections.

To tackle the "voters' will" problem, give the people a system in which their third-party vote will count as more than a futile protest. Philip H. Beard, Santa Rosa, Calif. The accuser and the accused

The editorial "Sexual Abuse of Power," March 9, mentions that more victims of sexual abuse must be ready to step forward. In the author's words, "society and the law - while protecting the rights of accused men - must make it less fearsome and costly for female victims to speak up."

It takes a lot of courage for women to confront such a menacing problem. But let's remember that the blue dot in the William Smith and Mike Tyson trials was over the faces of the alleged victims, and not the accused. The system is fairly well equipped to protect the accusers, while the real lack of protection is with the accused, the "innocent until proven guilty." Jason Romrell, Rexburg, Idaho

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