The New York Times ran a long article today on Haiti and the Biden administration’s push for a foreign intervention force. The article leans heavily to the pro-intervention side in the debate and makes it seem as if it is the only option, and in the process it makes some remarkable omissions. All in all, it reads much more like an interventionist advocacy piece than a straight report of what is happening. This is the sort of “do somethingist” coverage that has often preceded unwise and unnecessary interventions in the past.
One of the most significant omissions concerns the former U.S. special envoy to Haiti, Daniel Foote, who is quoted just once near the start of the piece and whose vocal opposition to the proposed military intervention in Haiti is never mentioned. Foote has publicly spoken out against the idea of an intervention, and has warned against sending troops to Haiti in the strongest terms. He has said that he fears an intervention could provoke a popular uprising, and in another interview he warned that it could lead to a “bloodbath.” It would have also been worth mentioning that Foote resigned in protest over Biden administration policy in Haiti. That seems like a relevant piece of information to include about someone that is being quoted in an article about the Biden administration and Haiti, but it is not there.
The article briefly mentions Haitian opposition to foreign intervention, but does so almost in passing and tries to paint a picture of broad support for the introduction of a foreign force. This stands in sharp contrast to a report from NPR that ran just a few weeks ago that finds the prospect of a new intervention to be deeply unpopular:
But talk to people in the streets of Haiti, and the overwhelming response is emphatic against another foreign intervention.
There are almost daily protests calling for Prime Minister Henry to resign. And there’s a new chant: "Down with the prime minister! Down with the occupation!"
Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com 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.