Intervention in Haiti Is Still the Wrong Answer

The U.S. needs to break the pattern of constantly interfering in foreign crises in the misguided belief that our intervention can “help."

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The Washington Post is still banging the drum for foreign intervention in Haiti:

Those who called for international intervention following Mr. Moïse’s killing, including this page, have been criticized for overlooking the checkered history of such attempts in the past, including the US Marine Corps’s 19-year occupation of Haiti a century ago, and the United Nations-authorized insertion of US troops by the Clinton administration in the mid-1990s. In this century, a U.N. stabilization force was deployed in Haiti for 13 years, until 2017.

Those interventions were problematic [bold mine-DL]. In the most recent instance, UN soldiers sent to Haiti from Nepal were the conduit for what became one of the world’s most severe cholera epidemics, and other UN troops fathered hundreds or more babies born to penniless local women and girls, amid credible allegations of rape and sexual exploitation.

Yet for all its unintended consequences, outside intervention could also establish a modicum of stability and order that would represent a major humanitarian improvement on the status quo, and with it, the prospect of lives saved and livelihoods enabled. In the cost-benefit analysis that would attend any fresh intervention, policymakers must be alert to the risks, but also to the enormous peril of continuing to do nothing.

Like their previous editorials calling for military intervention in Haiti, this one waves away the destructive consequences of previous interventions as if they don’t matter. They were “problematic”! I suppose that’s one way to describe an occupation that violently suppressed rebellions by committing atrocities against the civilian population and imposed a system of forced labor on the country, but it shows that the Post editors are so fixated on this idea of intervening in Haiti that they don’t mind minimizing and whitewashing one of the most shameful chapters in U.S.-Haitian relations. Even if we allow that a military intervention today would would not be as harmful as that one was, that doesn’t mean it would do much good or that it would be welcomed by the Haitian people.

Read the rest of the article at Eunomia

Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Intervention in Haiti Is Still the Wrong Answer”

  1. The US hasn’t learned anything from the past except to make the same mistake over again and expect different results. Intervention in Haiti will not transform the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere into a long lasting prosperous democracy.

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