Should the U.S. Military Go to Haiti?

Posted: 01/17/2010 by Lynn Dartez in 2011

By Laurence M. Vance

There is no doubt that the death toll from the earthquake in Haiti will be horrendous. There is no disagreement about the destruction from the earthquake being catastrophic. There is also no disputing that the situation in Haiti is very grave. One thing that must, however, be challenged is the notion that the U.S. military should go to Haiti.

A military assessment team has already landed in Haiti from the U.S. Southern Command. The Secretary of Defense has made it clear that “he will help provide ‘anything and everything’ the military command needs to aid the mission.” But should the U.S. military go to Haiti?

The short answer is simply: of course not. The long answer is what follows.

If the U.S. military goes to Haiti it would not be the first time. The American military occupied the country from 1915—1934 and intervened in Haitian affairs other times before and since this occupation. The most recent intervention was in 2004 after a coup ousted the president of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

But, it is argued, U.S. military intervention in Haiti this time would be for purely humanitarian reasons. I agree. However, I still believe the U.S. military has no business going to Haiti.

The main reason the U.S. military has no business going to Haiti is simply that the purpose of the military should be to defend the United States against attack or invasion. Nothing more (like invading other countries), and nothing less (like failing to defend its own headquarters on 9/11). Using the military to establish democracy, spread goodwill, change regimes, train foreign armies, open foreign markets, enforce no-fly zones, protect U.S. commercial interests, serve as peacekeepers, furnish security in other countries, contain communism, and provide disaster relief and humanitarian aid perverts the purpose of the military.

There are some other reasons as well for the U.S. military not going to Haiti.

First, private U.S. and international relief agencies exist for things like this. It is a myth that nothing will be done soon enough and good enough without the help of the U.S. military. An even greater myth is that without the help of governments there would not be enough money, supplies, and personnel to help the people in areas hit by natural disasters. The American people especially are a generous people. They donate millions of dollars for relief efforts whenever and wherever a disaster strikes and would probably give even more if they knew their government was not getting involved.

Second, disaster relief and humanitarian aid, whether provided by the state department or the defense department, is still a form of foreign aid. This is funded by taking money out of the pockets of American taxpayers and giving it to countries that most Americans can’t locate on map. How many Americans have any idea that the country of Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the country of the Dominican Republic? No American should be forced to “contribute” to the aid of another country. If foreign aid is wrong in principle then foreign aid is still wrong when a country is hit by a famine, a flood, a cyclone, a tsunami, or an earthquake. So, just like the United States shouldn’t have given foreign aid to Myanmar under the guise of disaster relief, so the United States shouldn’t give foreign aid to Haiti.

And third, U.S. military relief efforts in Haiti are a PR bonanza for the military. It is certain to counter, at least for a few weeks, the fact that we are engaged in two unpopular wars. And it certainly will help to quash the news that our Predator drone attacks have killed more civilians than militants. Humanitarian intervention by the U.S. military fosters the illusion that the military is somehow benevolent and praiseworthy instead of aggressive and contemptible.

There is one good thing I can say about U.S. military intervention in Haiti. At least for a change the military would be saving life instead of taking it, rebuilding property instead of destroying it, restoring basic services instead of wrecking them, spreading goodwill instead of terror, and making friends instead of terrorists.

As much as I deplore U.S. military interventions for any reason, I would love to see all U.S. forces leave Iraq and Afghanistan and deploy to Haiti instead.

  1. longknife21 says:

    Did you know that Haiti has 2 ‘State Religions’? – Roman Catholic and Voodoo! How in all the pits of Hell can anyone be so corrupt to rationalize that?!! But that is Haiti, a good point to start understanding the character of their gov’t and the general character of the people and their “civilization”.
    It is so disgusting it is scary!

  2. Lynn Dartez says:

    It’s a very sad day indeed. Sicko Washington Clowns. If anyone should be brought to justice it’s the Washington Serpents for treason.

  3. longknife21 says:

    Where do I start?!! Haiti is the oldest Black Nation on Earth. Independent from France in 1804 (I think). I was there many times in the 70’s. At the time the per capita Annual income was about $100. But about 400 families had incomes of over $1 million, but were still in the average. Corrected for inflation and if you subtract all the Aid that goes there, I doubt it is better today. All of the P-C Liberals should be required to live ther for a month, on the local economy, not the Tourist, or UN, or aid-givers economy. The gov’t is totally corrupt, it has been corrupt for generations, going all the back to Le Rio Christofe. It is so corrupt,it is in their DNA! The general population are the most ignorant, cruel, and morally corrupt people imaginable. Yes, a few have escaped this degredation, but mostly by conversion to Protestant Christianity. It is simply indescibable to civilized people that haven’t at least seen it, much less lived it. A friend and I hiking in the mountains once bought a couple of beers at the village store. It took an hour, most of the ‘businesses’ in the village,and a couple more beers to get change for a $10 bill. You can imagine some of the things were offered instead of change. The ‘Middle-class’ are so busy making money off tourists and Aid workers, trying to buy some advantage from the gov’t, and exploiting everyone poorer than they, that they are not the stabilizing influence like in most countries. It was the “Asshole of the Western Hemisphere”, and I doubt if the status has improved. It is a money-pit, the Gov’t, the political class, the police, the remains of the Ton-ton Mackou, and the ‘middle-class’ will disappear any amount of money poured in.
    Papa Doc and the Ton-ton could make it a pretty nice place for visitors as long as you wore dark glasses and didn’t look where you weren’t supposed to. Other than that it is an open sewer!
    Sorry, P-C freaks, but the truth is sometimes indescribably ugly.

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