Rebuilding Haiti

Letters to the editor

San Francisco Chronicle – Friday, January 22, 2010

Prayer in Port-au-Prince.

Let’s do it right

Given the long history of U.S. domination of Haiti and support of its corrupt dictators (described in detail by Dr. Paul Farmer in “The Uses of Haiti”) and its more recent direct involvement in the 2004 overthrow of its democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide (documented by Naomi Klein’s August 2005 article in The Nation and author Peter Hallward’s carefully researched “Damming the Flood”), it is important that U.S. involvement in the relief effort not appear to be an occupation.

The Haiti tragedy represents an opportunity for President Obama to show how an inclusive foreign policy can result in the rebuilding of Haiti in the right way through international cooperation and, most important, with local, grassroots participation.