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Shame on them expats who believe in Preval et al. - By : Ray H. Killick

dimanche 14 mars 2010 par William Toussaint

Samuel Pierre et al. can’t condemn poor leadership and, at the same time, collaborate with the same leadership that thinks that it can outsmart the forces that demand results and wear them out in a protracted and subtle make-believe-we’ll-walk-the-talk.

Shame on them, expats, who believe naively they can collaborate with Preval et al. and rebuild Haiti ! Some people just never learn. They’ve been there, done that, though.

My revised piece follows.

Dear readers,

I commend Jean H. Charles for his excellent and quite interesting piece. However, the claim "As goes Haiti, so goes the world !" isn’t true because of the very core of his piece, i.e., leadership. 1804 was supposed to set yet a third course as one of the 3 greatest revolutions of all time. A third course as the undeniable example that black slaves could erect a true republic socioeconomically and politically successful that would have remained a beacon of hope, a fallback, for all the oppressed of the world. You blaze a trail when you lead by examples that others adopt and follow. Where is the example in the two hundred years that followed 1804 ?

Our fortunes changed even before 1804 when the most capable and clever leader of all, Toussaint Louverture, was trapped and deported by the French. Our chances of establishing a great republic vanished when the leader who understood the name of the game of the time failed to control Haiti while demonstrating what we were capable of becoming (1807-1820/North Haiti). Christophe understood the hostility that Haiti was facing. Thus, he built a society based on law and order, mandatory education, fiscal responsibility, and infrastructure, etc., while preparing to confront a hostile return of colonial France.

Leadership, as Jean Charles puts it, makes all the difference among leaders. Systemic corruption is not the ingredient used to establish modern states. Leadership is like a tree whose roots and trunk constitute the character of the leader. The branches are the capacities that the leader brings to bear on the achievements that he or she is contemplating. The branches bear the fruits that are the results. The stronger the branches, the more fruits they can bear. And the more potent the sap the roots can supply, the richer, healthier, and more sustainable the fruits. The sap is the political will of leadership. No leadership stands the test of time without it.

Dear readers, do you know of a rootless tree (integrity), which can be kept alive, let alone produce fruits ? Do you know of a tree whose trunk is completely rotten (intent of the leader) that can grow branches (capacities) and new roots, and bloom (results) ? I am sure the answer is a resounding NO, N-O. However, isn’t the international community investing in and trusting a leadership rotten to the core ?

This week I listened to actor Sean Penn telling CNN’s Anderson Cooper how trusted the current leaders of Haiti are. Trusted by whom, damn it ? Sean Penn, please continue to help the Haitian people, but educate yourself before doing political analysis in front of millions of viewers. You credibility has been tarnished. Where does Penn get his information from ? I hope it isn’t from the White House, the State Department, the EU, etc.?

Investing trust in a government, which received, prior to the earthquake of January 12, only 1% of international aid to Haïti and for cause, is like suddenly recalling Bernard Madoff from jail and entrusting him with 50 billion fresh dollars from the same naive investors who’d believe again suddenly in the same man that had betrayed their original trust. This is foolish. Only people who are getting ready to rip off the Haitian people anew can be so shortsighted.

We’ll see which forces prevail in the end. Will it be the Preval camp, which counts the international mafia within its ranks or will it be the true forces of change, which counts an important ally in the person of Barrack Obama ? Will the Obama camp be so naive as to entrust Preval and his heir with another mandate to rip off the Haitian people and prevent them from erecting a state which cares and creates opportunities for their betterment ?

Regardless of the outcome of this sequel, Haitians have a duty to organize themselves for Haiti’s rebirth. However, I deplore the attitude of those with a reputation of excellence that keep lending their support to a leadership that has no vision, no mission, no values, and no credibility whatsoever. A leadership that thinks that it can outsmart the forces that demand results and wear them out in a protracted and subtle make-believe-we’ll-walk-the-talk.

When the Haitian government organizes a conference in Montreal on Haiti’s reconstruction with Haitian scholars, university professors, and professionals, it is scary. I don’t blame the Haitian government, which is trying to survive and hold on to the privileges of its tribe, for taking such initiative. I blame the Haitians in the diaspora who never learn.

You’ve got to draw a line in the sand. A political culture doesn’t vanish because Samuel Pierre exhorts political leaders to do the right thing. Samuel Pierre ought to get out of his polytechnic chair and get a job in corporate Canada or corporate America to see how cultural change happens. I am not talking theory here. I am talking practical experience that does away with naiveté and helps cultivate realism.

I am the advocate of being clever, pragmatic, and consistent. Samuel Pierre et al. can’t criticize a political culture and embrace those who embody it at the same time. Samuel Pierre et al. can’t condemn poor leadership and collaborate with the same leadership that thinks that it can outsmart the forces that demand results and wear them out in a protracted and subtle make-believe-we’ll-walk-the-talk.

Shame on them, expats, who believe naively they can successfully collaborate with Preval et al. and rebuild Haiti ! Some people just never learn. They’ve been there, though, and done that. I guess such lessons are more difficult to grasp than Nyquist theorem or Claude Shannon’s Mathematical Theory of Communication that Samuel Pierre masters.

Ray H. Killick









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