INTERNATIONAL PRESS REVIEW (Tuesday, 19th January 2010): The US has a history of either political domination or neglect in its backyard, says the International Herald Tribune. Washington is now mulling over its role in the Haiti crisis.
The US has been involved in coup d’état and has supported free trade policies in the country which haven’t always been so beneficial for the masses. Will their help over the medium- and long-term be sought in Haïti? Will it be provided?
The International Herald Tribune looks at this question. Obama has pledged that the US is in Haiti for the long haul. There are 10,000 on the ground now. Even though Obama has stepped up troop numbers in Afghanistan from 30,000 to 100,000, the Haiti commitment shouldn’t overstretch the US too much.
Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat Representative from Illinois and regular visitor to Haiti told the paper,
“There is no question about it straining our capacities at home. This is a tiny country. It’s close and it’s not going to be our job alone to rebuild.”
The US also believes that Renée Préval, unlike his predecessor Aristide, is someone with whom they can deal.
In Libération, there is an interview with a former Haitian Prime Minister, Michelle Pierre-Louis. She explains how the government is not up to the task of dealing with the crisis and effectively rebuilding the country. Pierre-Louis describes a meeting of the government in the Police headquarters of Port-au-Prince in the days following the quake. Préval asked the government what they were going to do now. Pierre-Louis is critical of Préval, saying it’s up to him to tell them what to do not vice-versa.
Asked if this would mean Haiti will be under the guardianship of the US as a sort of “trust territory”, she said she didn’t like that term, the Haitians don’t either but our government is simply not capable of doing enough to salvage this situation.
Other stories in the international papers:
There is significant coverage of today’s senatorial election in Massachussets. The Republican candidate Scott Brown is ahead in the polls and should the GOP win, it will deny the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate which means healthcare reform could be blocked.
The Boston Globe
“Pulling out all the stops”
Wall Street Journal
“The message of Massachusetts”
Elsewhere in the news, Mehmet Ali Agca was released from prison yesterday after trying to assassinate John Paul II in 1981. He’s looking for a book deal…with Dan Brown!
“Pope’s attacker says; I want Dan Brown to tell my story!”
And to finish…
“Start jogging and watch your brain grow”