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What Do Haiti and Iraq Have in Common?-Chaos and the US

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poe Donating Member (554 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 10:01 PM
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What Do Haiti and Iraq Have in Common?-Chaos and the US
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 10:09 PM by poe
All around us is the mark of chaos. In Iraq, somebody is setting off bombs in large crowds and killing hundreds. Nobody claims responsibility and nobody knows who finances the unknown bombers. In Haiti, mysterious factions and individuals are taking over cities, killing their enemies, and overthrowing governments. In Colombia, Palestine, and elsewhere throughout the world, confusion and death continue to make their mark on the daily lives of citizens in those lands. The common hand in all this is the United States. It is their military and sanctions regime that destroyed Iraq. It is their heavy hand alternating with malignant neglect that laid Haiti to waste. It is their funds that support the agents of death in the rest of the world.

Not only have they made devastation and called it peace; they have created chaos and called it liberation. In Iraq, the electricity still is not working dependably except on the US bases and most people are still without work or income. Hospitals are operating with minimal supplies and staff. Various ethnic and religious tensions threaten to explode at any given time. Yet the US continues to issue rosy reports with the latest being a story about Iraqi children joining the Boy and Girl Scouts. Now, I don't pretend to know who engineered the explosions in Kirkuk, Karbala and Baghdad that killed hundreds of Kurds and Shias, but I do know that the standard suspects-Al Queda-have denied involvement in either. Furthermore, I seriously question the theory that the perpetrators were members of the Iraqi resistance. After all, why would a movement that hoped to unite Iraqis against their occupiers kill a bunch of Iraqis? After all, these weren't Iraqis who were collaborating with the US and its hollow governing council. They were just regular folks celebrating their religious rites.
On to Haiti. Now, I've never believed that the US had any intention of helping out the Haitian people. They weren't trying to help them out in 1992 when they invaded and they aren't trying to help them out now. In fact, the only party being helped in either of these endeavors and the time between them (and preceding them) looks to be the band of thugs currently masquerading as the rebel heroes. As any student of Haitian history knows, these elements have been present in Haitian society for decades-as the Ton Macoutes, the army, and FRAPH-and have always had a certain amount of support from various elements in the US intelligence community. This support has appeared to wax and wane according to the administration in power in DC, but has always been a constant. Because of this consistency, these elements have never been truly out of power, although the Aristide years did force them out of the official government. Now, with their new US made guns in hand, they seem to be ready to reinstate the economic and political dynamic of the Papa Doc years: years in which the greatest benefactors were US corporations looking for the cheapest labor force in the world.


When looking at these situations, one has to ask who benefits from them. If that can be pinpointed, then perhaps one can discover the perpetrators. If the perpetrators can't be found, then at least the financial backers can be. When one applies this approach to the aforementioned operations, do things become clearer? The United States does benefit from the current chaos in Iraq. Despite being blamed for not providing appropriate security in that country, the deteriorating situation there provides Washington with a very good excuse to remain in that country until it establishes a compliant oil ministry and regime there. In the short term, it also provides the defense industry with an endless source of profits. After all, the military has to be re-supplied, as do the security forces made and paid for by the US. Indeed, the longer this war goes on, the more troops and agents it will require. As if further evidence of this is needed, the Washington Post reported on March 4, 2004 that the current CIA station in Iraq is the largest since Saigon, with over five hundred agents in country. This is a cash cow for the Pentagon, the intelligence services, and all of those corporations that exist solely to supply those two wings of government with people and supplies.
www.counterpunch.org/jacobs03052004.html
It is assumed that we have the right to meddle in the affairs of countries less powerful than us and punish them when they disobey our commands, as President Aristide was guilty of. Sadly, this shameful disrespect for national sovereignty cuts across party lines. A report in a 1995 issue of Haiti Progres describes a not-so-cordial visit Al Gore made with President Aristide:

"Gore read the riot act to Aristide on adhering to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) ... Gore went beyond diplomatic niceties, and forcefully insisted that Aristide implement the SAP, leave office in February, and retain Prime Minister Smarck Michel. 'We discussed the need for continuing international assistance to meet the developmental requirements of Haiti and the steps the government of Haiti and its people need to take in order to ensure the continued flow of these funds,' Gore smoothly threatened."

Philippe, a known human rights abuser and drug trafficker, has been described by the New York Times as a "gentleman" who is "personable." He and his armed gangs have refused to give up their weapons and continue to kill and intimidate pro-democracy activists, many of whom are in hiding. Philippe claims they need to keep their guns in order to maintain "security." Aristide backers in the slums of Port-au-Prince, on the other hand, have voluntarily turned in many of their weapons after urging from the occupying forces. Aristide backers who have refused to turn over their arms are being forcibly disarmed by the occupying forces whereas zero effort is being made to disarm Philippe's gangs.

When a country is as dependent on aid as Haiti is, a threat to cut off aid amounts to nothing short of a death threat to hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent Haitians, especially children. This is why President Aristide referred to the cutting off of aid as "economic terrorism.
www.zmag.org/content/print_article.cfm?itemID=5207§...
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