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Sunday, March 07, 2004

A week late, a holler short
The "good" news: John Kerry says he would have stepped in to keep Aristide in Haiti.

"I would have been prepared to send troops immediately, period," Mr. Kerry said on Friday, expressing astonishment that President Bush, who talks of supporting democratically elected leaders, withheld any aid and then helped spirit Mr. Aristide into exile after saying the United States could not protect him.

"Look, Aristide was no picnic, and did a lot of things wrong," Mr. Kerry said. But Washington "had understandings in the region about the right of a democratic regime to ask for help. And we contravened all of that. I think it's a terrible message to the region, democracies, and it's shortsighted."
-- NY Times, which throws its own gratuitous comment into the article by referring to Aristide as "Haiti's widely disliked elected leader," in the first paragraph, no less. (Of course, we all know who the most widely disliked world leader is. But he wasn't elected.)

Of course, if anyone is tempted to believe Kerry, I would suggest that you re-read Mr. Kerry's disgusting little foreign policy speech from a week ago Friday, less than two days before Aristide was kidnapped by Americans and exiled to Africa. Try to find any reference to Haiti or Aristide. Not there. No recommendations from the leading Democratic presidential candidate for dealing with an immediate crisis; not until a week too late. Oh well, at least he's disagreeing with Bush on this one.

And then there's this from the Times article:

But the core of Mr. Kerry's argument in the interview was that divisions within Mr. Bush's foreign policy team have frozen the art of preventative diplomacy and kept Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from doing his job.

"I think simply Powell, who I know, like and admire, has been never permitted to be fully a secretary of state in the way that I envision the secretary of state," he said, describing how he believes that Mr. Powell has been regularly undercut by the administration's more hawkish members, led by Vice President Dick Cheney. "I think Powell I'm not sure they didn't lock the keys to the airplane up sometimes."

Two years ago Kerry would have had some sympathy for that position from me. But Powell has proved, again and again, that he is willing to do anything for Bush, including lie repeatedly. Others have offered him the out that Kerry did, but he has repeatedly refused to take it, instead vigorously defending his lies and those of the rest of the Bushies. I hoped for months that Powell would take a principled stand and resign in a huff, until I realized that he is a lying Bushie through and through. He has no principles on which to take a stand. And if Kerry still likes and admires Powell, then Kerry has no standards either.

One other thing: While complaining, a week too late, about Bush's Haitian policy of supporting the overthrow of a democratically-elected government, Kerry says nothing about Bush's support for similar efforts in Venezuela to overthrow Hugo Chavez. There's nothing in the NY Times article. The only references to Chavez on Kerry's web site are to UFW founder Cesar Chavez, and Venezuela only appears as a country choice on the contribution page! (Hmm...I didn't think Venezuelans could contribute to U.S. political campaigns.) Kerry should take a stand, NOW. Stop by Washington, if he remembers where it is, and introduce a resolution in the Senate opposing U.S. meddling in Venezuela, before the National Endowment for Democracy, which he admired so much in his speech, overthrows another demcratic government.