Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Haiti's problems solved by Haitans, not US help

Regarding Randall Robinson's Jan. 23 Opinion piece "Haiti at brink again - US owes help": I was a former foreign service officer at the United States Embassy in Haiti for two years beginning in the summer of 1989, and I assure you the embassy and our Washington colleagues made every reasonable effort to cooperate with Jean- Bertrand Aristide after the December 1990 election.

Within days of Aristide's victory and until my departure two months before the military coup that sent Aristide into exile, we worked closely with him and his staff to untie previously blocked US assistance and promote investment in Haiti.

The "economic elite" whom Mr. Robinson lumps into a monolithic opponent of "the broader masses" was in fact a collection of different factions that included a strong, progressive democratic one. Robinson uses the term "US-trained Army" in connection with the overthrow of Aristide as if it had been trained to do just that. The fact is our military attache worked to persuade the Army to guarantee the security of the elections that brought Aristide to power.

An embassy officer somewhat impertinently cautioned Ambassador Al Adams when he arrived in Port-au-Prince that Americans would not be able to fix Haiti - only the Haitians could do that. Robinson still seems to maintain the opposite illusion. Eugene P. Tuttle Vienna

UN should return to Iraq

Regarding Daniel Schorr's Jan. 23 opinion piece "US, hat in hand, back at UN": A United Nations role in the establishment of a free and democratic Iraq would help to create peace in a notoriously unstable area. UN-supervised elections - seemingly the wish of Iraqis, if not of the US - would contribute a sense of fairness and of freedom after a year-long military occupation. Paul Kellogg New York

Promote job skills, not just marriage

Regarding your Jan. 23 editorial "Marriage Skills, Federal Style": Rather than spending $1.5 billion to promote marriage, our response should be to educate, train, and support poor women so that they can earn sufficient salaries and become independent and financially secure. …

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