Global Research, January 19, 2010 Selected Articles: The Crisis in Haiti and the Militarization of Aid

19 January, 2010 — Global Research

Links to nearly one hundred articles covering the period 12-19 January, 2010

OTTAWA: Public Lecture on “War and the Economic Crisis” by Michel Chossudovsky University of Ottawa, January 27, 2010

The Crisis in Haiti Global Research Dossier of 50+ articles and reports – 2010-01-23

VISIT THE GLOBAL RESEARCH ARCHIVE 10,000+ articles – 2010-01-20

Subscribe to the Global Research E-Newsletter – 2010-01-20

President Faced With Defeat in Ukraine Polls – by Vladimir Radyuhin – 2010-01-19

VIDEO: Airport Security, Body Scans, Strip Search, Flights to the US Message from Transport Canada, a Division of the Dept. of Homeland Security – by Rick Mercer – 2010-01-19

Disillusion among Liberal Supporters: Obama’s Foreign / Military Policy – by Jack A. Smith – 2010-01-19

Haiti: An Unwelcome Katrina Redux – by Cynthia McKinney – 2010-01-19

“Winning Hearts and Minds”: America’s Holy Crusade Continues in Iraq – by Washington’s Blog – 2010-01-19

CIA Crimes Panetta Turns a Blind Eye – by Sherwood Ross – 2010-01-19

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Haiti’s Robespierre: The Tragedy of Toussaint L’Ouverture By BJÖRN KUMM

19 January, 2010

Toussaint.jpgWhile the mass graves are being filled up in Haiti and international opinion devotes some fleeting moments of attention to this unhappy nation, all we hear about is misery, poverty, corruption, chaos. This of course was to be expected. Haiti is seen as simply another “failed state” one can only feel sorry for and which will need international intervention. Few people remember – if they ever knew – that Haiti has a glorious past. It was the people of Haiti who two hundred years ago made the first serious attempt to turn the lofty principles of the French into palpable reality.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century, Haiti, in those days Saint Domingue, was France’s richest colony. Haiti’s sugar-plantations and Haiti’s African slaves provided the economic backbone also of revolutionary France. After the fall of the Bastille, both Haiti’s white slave-owners and emancipated Haitian mulattoes sent representatives to the revolutionary convention in Paris. Haiti’s slave and plantation owners were relieved that the French monarchy and French commercial controls had collapsed which opened up an interesting new market in neighboring United States. Haiti’s mulattoes were enthralled by French revolutionary principles. A Haitian mulatto leader, Lacombe, insisted that freedom, brotherhood and equality were principles which ought to be observed also in Haiti. He was immediately hanged by irate French slave owners.

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Earthquake victims relief not a US priority. US repairing prisons at Krome for potential Haitian earthquake refugees

19 January, 2010 — HLLN

Haiti needs: Conscious Disaster relief with human rights and dignity

Please pass on that message to the white house. All your representatives. Help the earthquake victims.

Object to the US occupation and militarization of Haiti on the backs of perhaps up to 200,000 dead Haitians and 3million suffering Haitians. This is ATROCIOUS. repugnant. odious. This is not emergency relief but opportunistic disaster capitalism – purposely, diabolically letting the poor die so to make Haiti a pristine tourist haven for foreigners as was done elsewhere after the tsunami… Stop the shock doctrine in Haiti. Please.

As HLLN indicated at outset – This is a tragedy of EPIC proportions and Haiti needs Conscious relief with dignity and human rights. If we are to rule ourselves, alter the old imperialistic profit-over-people paradigm that contains Haiti in poverty, this is the time for US government to let first responders from all around the world IN to treat the people. Stop blocking aid, please. There are 100 Haitian doctors in New York trying to get into Haiti unsuccessfull and another 200 doctors we are told in DC trying to fly in with CRITICALLY needed medical supplies and expertise.

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The Disaster Within The Disaster: Its Time To Investigate the Aid Fiasco By Danny Schechter

19 January, 2010 — Media Channel

Haiti remains a death trap, with an aid program that has sat by and watched thousands die without relief. The International Red Cross describes the situation there as a catastrophe while the American Red Cross reports raising more than $100 million dollars thanks to texting technologies and backing from the White House.

Raising money is their specialty; delivering aid is not.

The New York Times noted: “The contributions come despite well-publicized controversies over the Red Cross’s performance and financial accountability after other major disasters.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for example, representatives from the British, German, Colombian, Dutch and other international Red Cross organizations criticized their American counterpart for inadequate planning, poor management of supplies and faulty record-keeping and logistics. And after the Sept. 11 attacks the organization struggled to deploy some $1 billion in donations.”

These are the people we are trusting with our money!

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18 January, 2010 — Media Channel

Every disaster plan is built to some degree around the idea of triage—deciding who can and cannot be saved. The worst cases are often separated and allowed to perish so that others who are considered more survivable can be treated.

There is a tragic triage underway in Haiti thanks to screw-ups on the part of the US and western response, and in part because of the objectively tough conditions in Haiti that blocked access and made the delivery of food, water and services difficult. But the planners should have known that!

Look at the TV coverage. “Saving Haiti” is the title CNN has given to its coverage. It shows us all the planes landing, and donations coming in and celebrity response on one hand, and then the problems/failures to actually deliver aid on the other.

Much of the coverage focuses on the upbeat–people being saved, although despite the frame which is about a compassionate America’s response, the  Haitian reality is only barelygetting through. It’s not pretty.

Everyone wants to believe in the best intentions of all involved but five days after the quake, with so few being helped, we have to ask, how did this get so badly done?

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Haiti: And on the Eighth Day… By William Bowles

19 January, 2010

The Americans have landed, or as they used to say of the GIs in the UK during WWII, ‘they’re overfed, over sexed and over here’. So now, in spite of protestations that air-dropping supplies would cause a riot, on the eighth day of this catastrophe (one that the BBC still continues to call a “humanitarian catastrophe”) the US has decided to act.

Four days ago I came across this email reproduced in the excellent Military Resistance:

15 January, 2010 — From: Mike Howells [New Orleans] via Military Resistance

“The White House Ruled Out Direct Air Drops Today In An Announcement Because ‘It Would Cause Riots And Looting’”

Dwelling upon the horror now unfolding in Haiti I feel compelled to ask the question of why those forces in a position to do so refrain from conducting mass air drops of food, water and basic medicines in the most devastated areas of the country?

It’s abundantly clear that the devastation wrought by the earthquake has produced many obstacles to providing emergency supplies by way of truck, car or foot.

So, why not airdrop emergency supplies en masse in areas of Haiti rendered largely inaccessible except by air? True some supplies would be damaged falling to the ground and some supplies would be monopolized by unscrupulous hoarders.

Still I can’t help but feel that many earthquake survivors would benefit enormously from food and medicine airdrops.

As a Katrina Survivor in New Orleans after the storm I often wondered why authorities refused to conduct food and air drops here at the height of the crisis.

Air drops of food and water would have given me and surely many other survivors on the ground a boost both materially and emotionally.

But then again the welfare of those in crisis zones doesn’t seem to be a matter of much concern to the people who run this country.

So what’s changed? Well nothing, the US would like us to believe that it’s purely for safety reasons and the media has slavishly echoed the ‘line’, that it’s all about ‘security’, or in this benighted land, what they choose to call Health and Safety:

“Parachuting bundles of food and water into Haiti became viable for the first time Monday in part because there are enough troops there to identify a safe place to drop them, according to Air Force officers involved in planning the mission.” — ‘U.S. airdrops 14,000 meals into Haiti’, USA Today, 19 January, 2010

Identify places to land supplies without flattening someone? Gimme a break, what a ludicrous idea! So for eight days, the US held back the biggest and handiest source of aid the world possessed for want of a flat field with nobody on it.

It’s Katrina all over again! It was clear from the first day that the earthquake affected Haiti unlike any other country including those that had experienced even bigger earthquakes. To start with it destroyed an already ineffectual state, so it had no means to mobilize what resources were left to it. Moreover, with literally one-third of its entire population of ten million directly affected, concentrated as they are in one location, it was as if the entire country, including its port, had been wiped out. The image comes to mind of three million people in an instant finding themselves surrounded by rubble and corpses, everything wiped out in the blink of an eye. Horrific.

It doesn’t take eight days to figure this out.

It’s clear from day one that Western concerns have been almost fanatically and single-mindedly occupied with ‘security’. This means getting bodies on the ground (not up in the air looking for a field), and now they’ve got that, the Marines have landed and not for the first time. It’s ludicrous to suggest that the US military don’t know their way around as the USA Today suggests.

And the US are very conscious of not wanting to present the appearance of being an armed invasion (what? with an enormous aircraft carrier, the Vinson anchored off the coast and all kinds of helicopters buzzing around?), but that’s what they are. It echoes the US government’s response to Katrina, where its first act was to send in the troops, not aid.

“Haiti earthquake: US paratroopers sensitive of phrases like ‘occupying force’

“Wear your guns on your back not your front, the American paratroopers waiting around at Port-au-Prince airport said they had been told.” — Daily Telegraph, 19 January, 2010

The United Nations too has been directly complicit in criminal neglect, not only because it has gone along with all the excuses being peddled by the US and others, as to why it has taken so long to mobilize aid, they too, have thousands of troops already occupying the place.

If there was ever country better placed to receive aid, it’s Haiti. But of course those in charge of supplying aid are not interested in how things are on the ground.

The reality is that there is food and water available on the ground, but nobody has any money to buy it. So for want of some cash, people whose lives are now even more shattered than they were before are faced with exactly the same problem, how to stay alive?

Thus wouldn’t it have made sense to shower the place with money if the West is so concerned with the ‘plight’ of the Haitian people?

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that what those who’ve been exploiting the island and its people, and left them in such dire straights, the same people allegedly coming to its rescue, should care anymore about the people of Haiti now than they did before.

Cooperation Spirit Is Put To The Test In Haiti By Fidel Castro

18 January, 2010 —

The news reported from Haiti describe a great chaos that was to be expected, given the exceptional situation created in the aftermath of the catastrophe.

At first, a feeling of surprise, astonishment and commotion set in. A desire to offer immediate assistance came up in the farthest places of the Earth. What assistance should be sent –and how- to a Caribbean nation from China, India, Vietnam and other countries that are tens of thousands of kilometers away? The magnitude of the earthquake and the poverty that exists in that country generated at first some ideas about probable needs, which gave rise to all types of promises that are possible in terms of resources that later on are tried to be conveyed through every possible way.

We Cubans understood that the most important thing at that moment was to save lives, and we are trained not only to cope with catastrophes like that, but also to cope with other natural catastrophes related to human health.

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US Military Tightens Grip On Haiti By Alex Lantier

18 January, 2010 —

Amid the humanitarian tragedy following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Washington has concentrated on establishing indefinite military control of the country. Fearing mass protests and riots by desperate Haitians against inadequate rescue efforts, US logistical efforts are focused on massing tens of thousands of troops for use against the population.

Speaking yesterday on ABC television’s ‘This Week’ program, US General Ken Keen, who commands the military task force in Haiti, said US troops would ‘be here as long as needed.’ He confirmed there were roughly 4,200 US troops in Haiti, largely in cutters patrolling offshore, and that by today there would be 12,000 US troops in the country.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Port-au-Prince at the invitation of Haitian President René Préval. She argued for the imposition of an emergency decree in Haiti, allowing for the imposition of curfews and martial-law conditions by US forces. Clinton explained: ‘The decree would give the government an enormous amount of authority, which in practice they would delegate to us.’

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Haiti Newslinks 18-19 January, 2010

19 January, 2010

Haiti Aid Picks Up, Doctors Fear Disease Risk
New York Times
By REUTERS PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – The pace of food and medical aid deliveries picked up in earthquake-shattered Haiti, providing some hope to desperate …

Haiti provides new test for Obama administration
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s promise to build a new Haiti out of the ruins of the earthquake could prove politically risky if the United …

US cellphone users donate $22 million to Haiti earthquake relief via text
Washington Post
By Thomas Heath The American Red Cross has received more than $22 million in US text-message donations for Haiti earthquake relief efforts, far outpacing …

US airdrops 14000 meals into Haiti
USA Today
By Joe Raedle, Getty Images Parachuting bundles of food and water into Haiti became viable for the first time Monday in part because there are enough troops …

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The Birth of a New Global Movement By Jonathan Neale

18 January, 2010 — Climate and CapitalismSWP Online

Some people will be hopeless after Copenhagen. Some NGO leaders will be whipped into line. But many will be enraged, and moved to action.

Copenhagen saw the birth of a new global movement.

The first reason was the demonstration on Saturday. The official police estimate was that there were 100,000 marchers.

The march was long, loud, cold, bouncy, and energetic, about half Danes and half foreigners. I moved up and down the line, and everywhere people were chanting. This time the slogans were about climate, not some other issue, and they sounded and felt organic, rising up from the movement.

Every type of person was there. I marched with the Belgian unions, who kneeled and banged their green hard hats on the road and then rose and ran shouting, again and again. With the Swedish communists and their red flags. With the British campaign and our greenhouse, chanting, ‘Leave the Oil in the Soil, Leave the Coal in the Hole.’ The Danish WWF chanted that with us, and then taught us ‘Wa, Wa, Wa, PANDA!’

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