Monday, October 18, 2004
Kerry Remarks Spark Violence in Haiti
The BBC reports that the commander of U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti is complaining that remarks by John Kerry have contributed to the recent upsurge in violence there. Kerry has said that he would have sent American troops to protect Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was ousted from power in February. The U.N. commander, Augusto Helena of Brazil, contends that Kerry's words in support of Aristide, coupled with the viabililty of Kerry's candidacy, have offered "hope" to Aristide's supporters, thus helping to spark violence in areas loyal to the ousted tyrant.
Notwithstanding his criticism of the U.N. officer, Kerry's position with respect to Haiti flows from his "global test" for determining when U.S. military intervention is appropriate. When the U.S. intervenes for reasons having nothing to do with protecting its national security, that's good because it proves to the world that we are selfless. When the U.S. intervenes to promote its national security interests, that's bad (unless we can prove, in lawyer-like fashion, that we face an imminent threat) because the rest of the world will see us selfish and arrogant.