Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Well Looky Here!

I generally ignore the antics of politicians' relatives and children unless they participate in politics. So Vanessa Kerry, welcome to the party!

Kerry's Daughter Campaigns on Long Island
Taking a page from her father's campaign playbook, a daughter of Democratic presidential front-runner John Kerry on Monday criticized the Bush administration for its handling of the crisis in Haiti.

"I believe this administration just helped overthrow, basically overthrow, a democratically elected president," Vanessa Kerry, 27, said during a campaign stop at Stony Brook University. "We basically, in our silence, allowed him to be deposed."
"Basically", she wouldn't a know a thug if one beat her up. But it's a common trait as Rich Lowry describes in the The Left's favorite thug.
If there was one moment when recent U.S. Haitian policy went wrong, it might have been in 1993 when Bill Clinton was considering whether or not to restore the exiled former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide by force of American arms. Aristide had a well-earned reputation for thuggish tactics and emotional instability. Huddled with top aide George Stephanopoulos, Clinton briefly considered and then dismissed a CIA report that Aristide is a manic depressive. "You know," Clinton said, "you can make too much of normalcy."
Hmmm, that says a lot!
Well, as Aristide again heads into exile having left his country in shambles thanks to his erratic behavior and anti-democratic rule, it is time to value normalcy in Haitian leaders again. Clinton deployed troops to Haiti on Aristide's behalf because he was a darling of the American left, which he remains despite a disastrous interlude in power. President Bush is being assailed as a betrayer of democracy and Colin Powell as a betrayer of blacks ("an immoral traitor to his race," according to activist Randall Robinson) for giving Aristide a shove out the door.
I don't want to know what Randy thinks of Bobby Mugabe.
Aristide made his own mess. The Organization of American States pronounced his 2000 re-election fraudulent, a judgment accepted by nearly everyone. Aristide repeatedly refused to follow through on commitments to reform, working to consolidate his power instead. As the Haitian National Police dissolved under the pressure of its own corruption, Aristide began to rely on gangs to work his will. Hence, a seed of the current rebellion.
Sounds like old Vanessa has a "flexible" definition of democratically elected.
Former Aristide gangs, outraged that he allegedly ordered the assassination of one of their leaders, rose up against him. They were joined by right-wing gangs, as the country steadily slipped out of the unpopular Aristide's control. The democratic opposition got caught in the middle. The situation was intolerable so long as Aristide remained in power.

This wasn't a "unilateral" determination by the Bush administration. None of the important international players wanted to commit troops to Haiti with Aristide in office. "Everyone said we're not going to send a dollar or person to save this crumbling regime," says Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who has been active in Haitian diplomacy. It's no accident that a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing troops passed the same day Aristide left with a one-way ticket to the Central African Republic.
Unilateral versus multilateral was a bogus issue from the start.
Bush critics complain that Aristide wasn't given enough aid. By the end almost all assistance to Haiti was being funneled through nongovernmental groups, because no one trusted the government. The OAS and the European Union, especially the French, didn't want to hand aid over to a corrupt regime. The United States withheld certain aid, but didn't cut it off entirely ($71 million in bilateral aid last year), continuing a stream of assistance that has been generous by any standard.
Maybe Vanessa would like to help 'em handle the cash!

Nah, that can't be it. She's the daughter of Lurch and his first wife, Julia Thorne. Julia was the one worth only $300 million that Lurch dumped after she started suffering from depression. Even more depressing, Julia continued to support Lurch financially between their separation and divorce while he lived the "shagadelic" lifestyle (hard as it may be to imagine). Best line:
"There were times at dinner parties when John would be very pompous, unable to control his impulse to make a speech," one acquaintance told the writer. "It was all slightly laughable, and Julia was one of those who laughed. She'd say things like, 'What the f--k did you just say?'"
A common reaction. And their marriage was the one Lurch attempted to annul which would have left Vanessa a bastard.

But that's OK with Vanessa:
Vanessa Kerry grew up discussing politics and social injustice with her father, a lawmaker and Vietnam veteran.

“It was never any one lesson. We’d take what we saw in life and talk about it,” said Vanessa Kerry, the younger daughter of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. “Lessons were always coming up.”
Like the best brand of private jet?

But there is a downside to being the spawn of Lurch:
Vanessa Kerry, a blonde who bears some of her father’s distinctive features
describes the problem politely. That must be the reason for snaps like this. But she can't always keep her back to the camera. This one is good too.