/ western / interventions / diversity /
A very multilateral coup. Franco-American harmony and unanimous blessings from the Security Council for the overthrow of a constitutional government and crushing of popular hope, in the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation-state.
As his advisors ponder the ever more troubling consequences of regime change in Iraq, Bush is entitled to take some comfort from the far more successful operation just completed in Haiti.  No brusque pre-emptive strikes, domestic carping or splintering coalitions have marred the scene; objections from caricom and the African Union have carried no threats of reprisal. In overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Jean Bertrand Aristide, Washington could hardly have provided a more exemplary show of multilateral courtesy. Allies were consulted, the UN Security Council’s blessing sought and immediately received. The signal sent to Chávez, Castro and other hemispheric opponents was unambiguous—yet it was not a bullying Uncle Sam but France that made the first call for international intervention in Haiti’s domestic affairs.