Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti: "The humanitarian myth"

Yours truly in Socialist Worker (US) on the myth of humanitarian intervention in Haiti:

The paternalistic assumptions behind the calls for 'humanitarian intervention' have sometimes been starkly expressed. Thus, the conservative columnist Eric Margolis lauds the history of American colonial rule in Haiti: "[T]he U.S. occupation is looked back on by many Haitians as their "golden age." The Marine Corps proved a fair, efficient, honest administrator and builder. This era was the only time when things worked in Haiti."

Purporting to oppose imperialism, Margolis insists that "genuine humanitarian intervention" is "different," and calls for Haiti to be "temporarily administered by a great power like the U.S. or France." He writes: "U.S. administration of Haiti may be necessary and the only recourse for this benighted nation that cannot seem to govern itself."