Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Palast on Haiti, Rich: Quote of the Day

Hi, Doctors Without Borders report that six of their planes, filled with
medical teams, equipment and supplies have been refused landing
at the now US military controlled airport in Haiti. The same from a
Mexican team, another from Venezuela, and others. Also a first hand
report from an independent journalist group stating they've been in
Haiti since the earthquake, going out at all hours and encountering
absolutely no marauding, yet American helicopters refusing to land
supplies, stating they won't do so without US military ok, which hasn't
come. Just about NONE of this is being reported by corporate media.
Painful as it apparently is, these and much more are available on the
Democracy Now reports from ground zero. I can't strongly enough
recommend listening to it. If you have differing information, I'll be
happy to pass on anything sent to me, short of rantings.


Quote of the Day

'The window for change is rapidly closing. Health care, Afghanistan and the
terrorism panic may have exhausted Washington's already limited capacity for
heavy lifting, especially in an election year. The White House's chief
economic hand, Lawrence Summers, has repeatedly announced that "everybody
agrees that the recession is over" - which is technically true from an
economist's perspective and certainly true on Wall Street, where bailed-out
banks are reporting record profits and bonuses. The contrary voices of
Americans who have lost pay, jobs, homes and savings are either patronized
or drowned out entirely by a political system where the banking lobby rules
in both parties and the revolving door between finance and government never
stops spinning.'

Columnist Frank Rich
New York Times
January 10, 2010



Blackwater before drinking water

The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust

by Greg Palast
The Huffington Post: Sunday, January 17, 2010

1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost
immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On Wednesday,
the AP reported that the President of the United States promised, "The
initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged
country within the next few days." "In a few days," Mr. Obama?

2. There's no such thing as a 'natural' disaster. 200,000 Haitians have been
slaughtered by slum housing and IMF "austerity" plans.

3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine to
her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, "My sister,
she's under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?" Should I tell
her, "Obama will have Marines there in 'a few days'"?

4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr.
President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in
Puerto Rico: right there.

5. Obama's Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, "I don't know how this
government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has."
We know Gates doesn't know.

6. From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to ready-to-go
potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and more for hurricane
relief on the Gulf Coast. It's all still there. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré,
who served as the task force commander for emergency response after
Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science Monitor, "I thought we had
learned that from Katrina, take food and water and start evacuating people."
Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed
school that day.

7. Send in the Marines. That's America's response. That's what we're good
at. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson finally showed up after three days.
With what? It was dramatically deployed - without any emergency relief
supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.

8. But don't worry, the International Search and Rescue Team, fully equipped
and self-sufficient for up to seven days in the field, deployed immediately
with ten metric tons of tools and equipment, three tons of water, tents,
advanced communication equipment and water purifying capability. They're
from Iceland.

9. Gates wouldn't send in food and water because, he said, there was no
"structure ... to provide security." For Gates, appointed by Bush and
allowed to hang around by Obama, it's security first. That was his lesson
from Hurricane Katrina. Blackwater before drinking water.

10. Previous US presidents have acted far more swiftly in getting troops on
the ground on that island. Haiti is the right half of the island of
Hispaniola. It's treated like the right testicle of Hell. The Dominican
Republic the left. In 1965, when Dominicans demanded the return of Juan
Bosch, their elected President, deposed by a junta, Lyndon Johnson reacted
to this crisis rapidly, landing 45,000 US Marines on the beaches to prevent
the return of the elected president.

11. How did Haiti end up so economically weakened, with infrastructure, from
hospitals to water systems, busted or non-existent - there are two fire
stations in the entire nation - and infrastructure so frail that the nation
was simply waiting for "nature" to finish it off?

Don't blame Mother Nature for all this death and destruction. That dishonor
goes to Papa Doc and Baby Doc, the Duvalier dictatorship, which looted the
nation for 28 years. Papa and his Baby put an estimated 80% of world aid
into their own pockets - with the complicity of the US government happy to
have the Duvaliers and their voodoo militia, Tonton Macoutes, as allies in
the Cold War. (The war was easily won: the Duvaliers' death squads murdered
as many as 60,000 opponents of the regime.)

12. What Papa and Baby didn't run off with, the IMF finished off through its
"austerity" plans. An austerity plan is a form of voodoo orchestrated by
economists zomby-fied by an irrational belief that cutting government
services will somehow help a nation prosper.

13. In 1991, five years after the murderous Baby fled, Haitians elected a
priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who resisted the IMF's austerity diktats.
Within months, the military, to the applause of Papa George HW Bush, deposed
him. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. The farce was
George W. Bush. In 2004, after the priest Aristide was re-elected President,
he was kidnapped and removed again, to the applause of Baby Bush.

14. Haiti was once a wealthy nation, the wealthiest in the hemisphere, worth
more, wrote Voltaire in the 18th century, than that rocky, cold colony known
as New England. Haiti's wealth was in black gold: slaves. But then the
slaves rebelled - and have been paying for it ever since.

From 1825 to 1947, France forced Haiti to pay an annual fee to reimburse the
profits lost by French slaveholders caused by their slaves' successful
uprising. Rather than enslave individual Haitians, France thought it more
efficient to simply enslave the entire nation.

15. Secretary Gates tells us, "There are just some certain facts of life
that affect how quickly you can do some of these things." The Navy's
hospital boat will be there in, oh, a week or so. Heckuva job, Brownie!

16. Note just received from my friend. Her sister was found, dead; and her
other sister had to bury her. Her father needs his anti-seizure medicines.
That's a fact of life too, Mr. President.

*** Through our journalism network, we are trying to get my friend's
medicines to her father. If any reader does have someone getting into or
near Port-au-Prince, please contact Haiti@GregPalast.com immediately.
Urgently recommended reading - The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and
the San Domingo Revolution, the history of the successful slave uprising in
Hispaniola by the brilliant CLR James.

Support the alternative online news service FreshInk.
Forward this article and subscribe link below to a friend.
To view previous postings or to subscribe:

Rad-Green mailing list
To change your options or unsubscribe go to:

No comments:

Post a Comment