Today is presidential election day in Haiti, but President Bush doesn’t seem to have taken notice. The last time Bush even mentioned Haiti was three months ago. In his State of the Union address, Bush said:
Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal — we seek the end of tyranny in our world. Some dismiss that goal as misguided idealism. In reality, the future security of America depends on it. … Every step toward freedom in the world makes our country safer — so we will act boldly in freedom’s cause.
But for the 8 million Haitians who live a mere 600 miles from the U.S. shore, Bush’s words ring hollow. Former Sen. Tom Daschle argues that the administration’s mishandling of Haiti “threatens further instability in a country not far from America’s shores.”
As just one example of the administration’s neglect of Haiti, simply compare the experiences of the Iraqi and Haitian elections.
Voting has got off to a rough start in volatile Haiti as angry mobs stormed voting centers that failed to open on time, with one person dying of a heart attack and another of asphyxia. Several more people were injured or fainted as they were trampled or shoved by crowds that rushed voting offices on Tuesday.
By increasing American troop strength in Iraq, banning all civilian car traffic and ordering a host of other security measures American and Iraqi forces widely thwarted insurgents who had threatened to wash the streets with blood on election day.