Aristide Kidnapping

Carmen Gentile, UPI’s Latin America Correspondent, thinks Aristide’s tale of kidnapping is true.

Though Aristide will likely never gather enough evidence to force the Bush the administration to admit to any undiplomatic meddling, there does seem to be enough proof out there to fuel his conspiracy theory for years to come.

In addition to the eyewitness testimonies, there is the fact that some 50 Marines were deployed to Port-au-Prince a couple weeks before Aristide left. While officially there to protect the embassy and other U.S. interests, a force that size would also serve well to surround the Haitian leader and convince him to board the U.S. charted plane bound for Africa — no questions asked.


Suspicion in Washington has prompted some Capitol Hill lawmakers to call for an investigation into precisely what role the United States played in Aristide’s departure. Any investigation won’t likely get very far, particularly in the coming months as lawmakers will be busying themselves working to get re-elected. Coupled with the war on terror, the question of whether Aristide was yanked from power on the orders of Bush will likely fall by the wayside.

In the meantime, keep in mind that only a few months ago the world watched as a bearded Saddam Hussein was deloused and inspected by a military physician after his regime was forcibly overthrown by a U.S.-led coalition force.

Is it really so implausible that a Bush administration that never really liked Aristide decided to flex its muscle in its own backyard and frog-march Aristide right out of town?

I seem to vaguely recall them actually admitting to deposing Hussein. . . .

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Hey Carmen, I gotta nice tinfoil hat for you.

  2. R Gardner says:

    Right, the FAST folks job is to deploy to protect Embassies and such, since we no longer have Marines at most embassies for protection (shock, truth). So a few 18-20 year old Americans (under 50 of them, including those protecting the US Embassy) were able to take over a country. If so, that government is not capable of governing.

    Was Aristide stupid or clueless (er, useless), you decide?

  3. bryan says:

    The alternative explanation that I’ve read is that the Marines basically saved Aristide’s bacon, since he was facing sure overthrow and probable death at the hands of insurgents. The Marines would have been able to get him out of the situation alive, at least.

    Ungrateful is what I’d call him.

  4. Eddie Thomas says:

    Even if true, I’m not sure I see the force of the claim. To remove a leader from a stable regime would need a compelling reason (as with Saddam), but to do so in the midst of revolutionary activity isn’t obviously wrong to me.