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Between the Lines

March 01, 2004

Haiti: Was it another ‘regime change?’

Effectively, yes, though some of the details are still in dispute. Jean Bertrand Aristede, the former Haitian president, is telling friends in the U.S. that he and family members were forced onto an American plane against his will and flown to the Central African Republic.

"They used the word 'kidnap' and 'coup d'etat' and they said that they were told that if they did not leave he would be killed, a lot of Haitians would be killed and that he had to go and he had to go now," U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, a Democrat from L.A., says.

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld insisted at a Pentagon briefing that U.S. troops were not involved in removing Aristide from power.

Regardless of whether Aristide was handcuffed and forced onto a plane, as one report had it, there’s no doubt that the U.S. wanted Aristide out, so the end result is the same. But the U.S. is explicitly denying reports that it "kidnapped" the ex-president.

Newsweek has a timely report on the chaotic situation in Port-au-Prince.

The one faintly hopeful sign in this mess is that the U.S. and France are cooperating to try to restore order in Haiti after months of bickering over Iraq. French troops are moving in along side Americans as part of an international force that could reach perhaps 5,000.

Posted by tbrown at 02:18 PM


Oscar revisionism

The Oscars. Sheesh. I mean, eleven Oscars to one too long movie with a too diffuse ending? And a movie about Hobbits at that? (Not that I have anything against Hobbits, you understand; this is a diverse blog).

Let's get real, though. Here are some alternative nominations. You'll note that it was a big night for "Weapons of Mass Destruction." But even it didn't win eleven. Not even close.

Best Movie: "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

Best Director: Donald Rumsfeld, "Shock and Awe"

Best Actor: George Bush, "Mission Accomplished"

Best Actress: Condoleezza Rice, "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

Best Supporting Actor: Colin Powell, "Weapons of Mass Destruction"

Foreign Film: "The Weasels," France and Germany

Best Special Effects: "Shock and Awe"

Adapted Screenplay: Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, "In Another Country"

Original Screenplay: Kenneth Adelman, "Cakewalk"

Sound Editing: Al-Qaida, “The Bin Laden Tapes”

Sound Mixing: Howard Dean, "Anger Management"

Costume: "Mission Accomplished"

Makeup: Saddam Hussein, "Monster"

Award of Merit (catering): House of Representatives cafeteria, Freedom Fries.

Award of Merit (best diet): The one Charlize Theron was on

If you have others, please send them in.

Update: Wonkette! doesn't give her an Oscar, but says Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times turned in the worst performance in a presidential debate "since Nixon sweated through his makeup."

Posted by tbrown at 12:32 PM




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