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Rossier Pulls His Punches
on November 30, 2009
I had to go back and watch this documentary by Nicolas Rossier a second time because I realized that he wasn't telling the whole story about the February 29, 2004 U.S. coup and kidnapping of Aristide. What about the story of the U.S. State Department removing Aristide's private guards, who were employees of the Steel Foundation, a San Francisco based contractor? What about the story of U.S. Ambassador James Foley and his deputy Lewis Moreno meeting with Aristide after his guards were gone and telling him that he was unprotected and had to resign immediately or he would be killed? We get a brief comment from Colin Powell denying any wrong-doing, but not the real story.
What about flying Aristide to the Central African Republic, a virtual subsidiary of France, without his knowledge or consent? Congresswoman Maxine Waters is interviewed by Rossier. She flew with Aristide on the plane along with Randall Robinson and jounalists Amy Goodman and Peter Eisner. She knows that it was a coup and kidnapping, but that story is not told by Rossier.
To hear Aristide's account of the coup read Robinson's book "An Unbroken Agony: Haiti From Revolution to the Kidnapping of a President" (2007) and "Getting Haiti Right This Time (The U.S. and the Coup, 2004)" by Noam Chomsky, Paul Farmer and Amy Goodman.
I think Rossier is sympathetic to Aristide's case, but he pulls his punches and leaves out Aristide's strongest arguments. You would never see 60 Minutes do this. It is as if Rossier is trying so hard not to offend either side that the documentary turns into a "he says, he says, pick 'em" story.