digest: WHY HAITI IS ALWAYS IN A STATE OF DESPAIR? scream huge Seattle Times 1/14/10 headline of a nauseating propaganda piece. The real story of horror, terror, lies and 'sympathy', Obama's pick of GWB & B. Clinton to lead the 'recovery' - after more thousands who could have been saved within the estimated 48-78 hour max. time limit - all grotesquely mirrors other recent 'natural disasters', in Haiti, Indonesia and New Orleans, all genocidal wars serving U.S. geopolitical plans
Not Everyone Surprised by Haiti Earthquake: Geologists Have Sounded Alarm for Years
By Jane Musgrave
For years, scientists have warned it was only a matter of time before another major earthquake hit Haiti... In 2006, a group of scientists, predicted it's strength: magnitude 7.2.
"Hurricaine Katrina" Exercise
"Hurricane Pam" Projected by 2004 Studies and computer exercises were "anticipated" and not made public
Massively attended by all govt. levels it projected detailed results of a hurricane, especially the deadly impact on low-lying, poor, predominantly Black working class areas...both a planning workshop and a scenario-based exercise.... The 300+ workshop participants at the Hurricane Pam workshop July 2004 were provided with a catastrophic hurricane scenario, a set of consequences that would result from that scenario, and assumptions designed to stress the emergency management system and force thinking on critical planning topics...[and]a copy of Louisiana’s Emergency Operations Plan, 12 parish emergency operations plans, the City of New Orleans’ Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, emergency plans and related documents from Louisiana Department of Transportation, Louisiana State Police, the US Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA Region VI....
Drowning New Orleans
By Mark Fischetti, Scientific American Magazine
A major hurricane could swamp New Orleans under 20 feet of water, killing thousands. Human activities along the Mississippi River have dramatically increased the risk, and now only massive reengineering of southeastern Louisiana can save the city...www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&articleID=00060286-CB58-1315-8B5883414B7F0000&pageNumber=1&catID=2
50 critical hours later...echoing U.S. in 2004 and GWB forever after Katrina
President Obama promised Haiti the “unwavering support” of the United States.. aid agencies moving swiftly to get help to Haiti and search-and-rescue teams were en route.
digest: 1/14/10 ABC's Diane Sawyer, walking through the horrors, almost hysterical about the total absence of any 'outside' aid or aid workers -- after over 50 hours -- no heavy machinery to dig for possibly hundreds of thousands of buried, injured, clinging to life as their also desperate neighbors tried to pull them from under collapsed buildings, with no food, no water to drink, no doctors, medicines, shelter or any desperately urgent assistance at all -- which as BBC reporter sat stacked up 2 mins. away at the airport ['secured' by US military B. Clinton boasted] from China and other nations. Meanwhile on PBS UN 'special envoy' B. Clinton salivated about starting back on 'the plan' for long term development to “... not just to restore Haiti but to assist it in becoming the strong, secure nation its people have always desired and deserved.”
Up to half a million people feared dead in earthquake that shattered Haiti's capital, thousands more left injured, homeless and reeling from the nightmare....
... Bill Clinton grips US long-term agenda reins: "building back better," slogan for the rebuilding effort...
"The desire to move fast and "do something" must be matched to what is a bitter opportunity to secure a more consistent and lasting commitment to Haiti's political and social stability."
Tragedy and Opportunity for Haiti
Kara C. McDonald, International Affairs Fellow in Residence
January 14, 2010
[all emphases by the digest]
A History of Aid Futility
From potential refugee flows to political instability to the potential for an outbreak of disease or street violence and crime, the international response must take into account not only immediate needs--reducing suffering and saving lives--but the quake's impact on the longer-term trajectory of the country. To that end, the United States must coordinate closely with the UN and other donors to identify a coherent division of labor and to leverage what can be salvaged of ongoing international operations there. As the largest donor country and a neighbor, the United States will be looked to for leadership in the response...
The desire to move fast and "do something" must be matched to what is a bitter opportunity to secure a more consistent and lasting commitment to Haiti's political and social stability... the disaster also provides an opportunity... less than one week ago, UN Special Representative Annabi spoke of the logistical hurdles of presidential and legislative elections set to begin February 28 and their importance for the country's stability. The political process, so vital to Haiti's stability, will undoubtedly be disrupted, and U.S. officials should be watching for the quake's impact on Haiti's political landscape. Annabi last reported to the UN Security Council that Haiti is at a critical moment of opportunity and that now more than ever the support of the international community is needed to consolidate Haiti's nascent stability... Inconsistencies and gaps across multiple international interventions have been one cause of ineffectiveness in past operations in Haiti. The fragility of Haiti's economic, social, and political stability begs for a response that blends relief, development, and stabilization efforts. Much will depend on the ability to coordinate and move assets across these pillars. Emergency response in Port-au-Prince will be incomplete and unsuccessful without this full-spectrum approach. Disasters in conflict-prone settings can easily exacerbate political fault lines over the months of recovery--all the more reason emergency responders, development experts, and policymakers be linked up in their efforts...
Policing and rule of law in the aftermath of the crisis, a lesson from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and 2005 Hurricane Katrina responses, could also become a priority in the response. MINUSTAH's principal focus prior to the quake, providing security and training Haitian police, will undoubtedly turn in immediate days toward emergency response, even while it may be called upon to provide much-needed security over coming months. The United States should be prepared to assist MINUSTAH in its mandate, especially in the event of an uptick in violence and crime in the aftermath of the quake.
The crisis will test the Obama administration's ability to respond across this humanitarian and developmental context. That security can be threatened by natural disasters, political instability, or poverty is a mantra in twenty-first century development circles, but in Haiti, it's all of the above.
1/14/2010 The Southern Command is leading Department of Defense's quake response.
14 Jan 2010 ... United States Department of Defense -179th Airlift Wing to provide immediate assistance to quake victims in Haiti. ...preparing to provide humanitarian relief... the commander of U.S. Southern Command reported today. ... www.defense.gov/home/features/2010/0110_haiti/
Like Katrina, racist 'rumors' of street violence, 'young men with machetes' -- PBS reporter tonight hadn't seen any such 'tension' --- will prove to be untrue but now --- when there is NO fucking amerikan 'aid', why it will overwhelmingly be military ...
Tensions Mount in Devastated Capital as Nations Step Up Aid Pledges to Haiti
...The distance between life and death narrowed in this flattened city on Thursday, with survival two days after the huge earthquake struck depending increasingly on the luck of being freed from under rubble, on treating the thousands of wounded and on speeding the halting flow of emergency food and water.... Once the machines come in to lift large blocks of concrete both there and around the city, the toll is expected to mount sharply... Dr. Irwin Redlener, professor of pediatrics at Columbia University’s medical school, also the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness and president of the Children’s Health Fund, said “Something like 40 to 50 percent of the population of Port-au-Prince is kids...Kids are much more fragile — a 30-pound block of a wall that would only seriously injure an adult will kill a child. They die much more rapidly of dehydration, of loss of blood, of shock. An infection will cause explosive diarrhea, which can kill a trapped child. Everything about this is devastatingly worse for kids than for adults. There’s a 72-hour window for getting people out of rubble before you have a huge increase in fatalities,” he said. “We’re already at 48 hours, and I’m seeing on TV locals with a shovel trying to free a child debating whether they would have to amputate the leg themselves. Where are the search-and-rescue workers? Where are the medical teams?”...
“Where’s the response?” asked Eduardo A. Fierro, a structural engineer from California who had arrived earlier in the day to inspect quake-damaged buildings. “You can’t do anything about the dead bodies, but inside many of these buildings people may still be alive. And their time is running out.” United Nations officials said that Haitians were growing hopeless — and beginning to run out of patience... Residents through the city said the cries they heard emanating from many collapsed buildings in the initial hours after the quake had begun to soften, if not quiet completely. “There’s no more life here,” said a grandmother, who nonetheless rapped a broom against concrete in hopes that her four missing relatives believed to be buried inside might somehow respond... “They are slowly getting more angry,” said David Winhurst, the spokesman for the United Nations mission in Haiti, speaking by video link from the Port-au-Prince airport. “We are all aware of the fact that the situation is getting more tense.”With reports of looting and scuffles over water and food, President Obama promised $100 million in aid, as the first wave of a projected 5,000 American troops began arriving to provide security and the infrastructure for the expected flood of aid from around the world. “You will not be forsaken, you will not be forgotten...In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you.”...
state mouthpieces cover its back
Haiti Relief Effort Faces ‘Major Challenge’
...the first large cargo shipment, of water and medical supplies, was not scheduled to arrive until Friday at the earliest, according to the humanitarian arm of the shipping company DHL. But logistical challenges — no fuel for planes to leave, only one warehouse to hold the expected influx of materials and no clear plan of how to distribute supplies from the airport once it arrives — put the aid effort at risk.... Gilberto Castro, DHL’s disaster response manager, said in a telephone interview with reporters that his team of six relief workers, who had arrived in the late morning Thursday, would be helping the United States military take the freight off the planes, and then storing it in one of three hangars. But how the aid would be distributed remained a question.“To know where to take it and to know where to hand it over safely, that’s one of the big issues that humanitarian agencies have,” he said. “If we’re not going to be getting the aid out in a hurry, it has to be taken out of the aircraft, and it needs to be stored.” Mr. Castro said that although the United States Army was controlling the ground operations, he was concerned about security. “Security is going to be an issue over the next few days,” he said. In addition to soldiers from the United States, France and other countries milling around on the tarmac, there were police rescue teams, diplomats, members of aid groups and anxious Haitian families trying to flee. A fortunate handful of Haitians secured seats on small charter planes...
12-24-04 INDONESIA TSUNAMI
1/2/05 U.S. MILITARY BEGINS AID DELIVERY IN SUMATRA
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Jan. 1 --The first U.S. Navy helicopters fluttered in from an offshore carrier group Saturday and ferried aid to flattened towns along the western coast of Sumatra island ...For the first time since the tsunami struck, heavy equipment such as front-end loaders was seen pushing away debris and mud from Aceh's destroyed city center...soldiers continued to pick up bodies from the streets and most of the city remained without utilities and a working government...Navy relief deliveries, carried out by a dozen specially fitted SH-60 Bravo helicopters from the USS Abraham Lincoln, marked the start of a large-scale international relief operation that residents of devastated Aceh province have been awaiting for nearly a week...
Secretary of State Colin Powell defended the Bush administration's response to the tsunami against criticism from U.N. officials and members of Congress who said the United States was slow to respond with financial aid."The American response has been appropriate. It has been scaled up as the scale of the disaster became more widely known," Powell said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It's been seven days and in seven days, we have launched a carrier battle group. We have launched an amphibious battle group. We have contributed $350 million. We have assessment teams all over. We have energized the private sector. We have put together a core group that has assisted these nations. The nations involved are very pleased"....
Despite the quickening flow of international aid, supplies were still slow in reaching the millions of people who need them, officials acknowledged. Piles of boxes were stacked up at the airport in Aceh, for example, and Rizal Nordin, governor of Northern Sumatra province south of here, said hundreds of tons were piling up at a staging area in Medan... a spokesman for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, told reporters. "We can bring in the aid, food, but we need manpower to distribute them."...
Banda Aceh, Washington Post - January 2, 2005
Obama appointed GWB & B. Clinton to lead the 2010 'mission'
Bush gets brickbats for slow response
US president George W Bush’s slow response to the tsunami disaster that has killed hundreds of thousands in Asia ...The Times Of India
Official Death toll in Asian tsunami disaster at 287,534
JAKARTA AFP — The number of people believed killed in December's tsunami disaster has risen to 287,534, more than six weeks after the catastrophe, as Indonesia increased its toll by nearly 600. Indonesia was hardest-hit by the December 26 quake and tsunamis, with a total of 234,271 people listed... resources.bnet.com/topic/catastrophe+and+indonesia.html
12-28-04 Aceh tsunami victims await aid.
... Aceh, 1,700 km north-west of Jakarta, is under civilian emergency rule as part of efforts to quell the separatist insurgency.
The United Nations has offered to send disaster response teams and a Government official says Aceh would be open to aid workers from Wednesday and has also rushed aid to the region. That effort may be aided by the fact that Sweden-based leaders of the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) have declared a unilateral cease-fire with government forces...
illustrating again how 'humanitarian aid' combines hard & soft power in US war for global hegemony
Wall St. Journal January 14, 2010
U.S. airlines suspended flights at the Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince following the earthquake, and limited communications with the airport caused hesitation among some to resume flights. On the ground, blocked roads, a lack of supplies and equipment...water and electricity, and other problems slowed efforts to rescue people and to treat the wounded...
The International Red Cross planned to deliver 40 tons of medical supplies and body bags to Port-au-Prince Thursday morning. Unicef had a supply-filled plane en route to Haiti Wednesday with 4,600 water containers, more than five million water-purification tablets and 10,000 tent-like structures, said spokesman Patrick McCormick. He said he was concerned about potential violence when supplies are delivered to the devastated areas...
ed: no problem, US shipping in massive military 'aid' to mop up for 'development'
The Southern Command leading Department of Defense's quake response.
"This is one of those moments that calls out for American leadership," he said at the White House. "One of the largest relief efforts in our recent history" is now en route to Haiti. Obama said he had "made it clear" to his national security team that Haitian relief efforts must be "a top priority for their departments and agencies right now."
Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the coming 24 hours "critical to save those lives that can be saved" and said on CNN's "American Morning" that "we're moving as quickly as possible." "Once we can get communications up so we can tell people where to go, what kind of help they can expect, we'll be able to better manage the crisis... The United States is providing a communications network to shore up the battered Haitian infrastructure" Clinton said. ... Clinton said the United States is providing security help to the United Nations [ed: which, along with the Haitian government, husband Bill said on PBS 'U.S. is reconstituting'] which was "equally devastated by the collapse of its headquarters" for its peacekeeping force in Haiti. As many as 150 of its personnel are missing. She said a contingent of 2,000 Marines, under the Southern Command, will help the international peacekeepers [ed: for u.s. occupation]
At the White House news conference, a reporter asked spokesman Robert Gibbs if President Barack Obama was pleased with the pace of the U.S. response in Haiti. "I think the president is pleased, but took the beginning of the meeting last night to remind all of us that precious lives were at stake; that time was of the essence; that he expected the team to continue to work around the clock as they - honestly - as they've done literally since we first got word of this many hours ago," Gibbs said. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley defended the pace of the rescue...
In the afternoon, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that Haiti had suspended flights into the Port-au-Prince airport because ramp space - where aircraft are parked, unloaded, loaded, refueled or boarded - was too crowded. There also was no fuel, said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown.
Several military units planned to leave during the day, but it was unclear whether all were able to. Among those apparently delayed was a battalion of more than 100 soldiers from the XVIII Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.They had planned to fly out Thursday afternoon. Paratroopers from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division, also based at Fort Bragg, were on their way to Haiti, said Rajiv Shah, coordinator for U.S. assistance to the stricken area. He also is administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The 82nd was deployed to New Orleans, Louisiana, in the aftermath of Katrina. The first of about 3,500 paratroopers were to board C-17 aircraft from Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina and were expected to arrive in Haiti before nightfall. On Friday, another 800 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne are to deploy. A liaison team of Airborne personnel arrived at the U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami Wednesday night to help with the planning effort. More soldiers from Fort Bragg are prepared to leave if called upon to prevent looting and control crowds....
There are about 1000 US personnel assigned to the US Embassy compound, at the time the fifth largest US Embassy in the world - after those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany and China. was opened 2-years ago in Haiti...built after the 2004 Haiti Bush Regime change ...
Marguerite Laurent, Esq.
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Rescue & Recovery assistance blocked as 'Assessment Aid' managed to get in...
1-13-10 U.S. Military Responds to Haiti Crisis
As Many as 5,500 U.S. Troops May Be Deployed in Massive Relief Effort
Like all military operations, this one began with reconnaissance missions. A Coast Guard flyover showed hundreds of people in the street, apparently trying to get away from the threat of collapsing buildings. A Coast Guard helicopter had already MedEvaced badly injured Americans...
Two C-130 transport planes flew in with military engineers and communications specialists. A Coast Guard cutter arrived in Port-au-Prince this morning. An aircraft carrier - the USS Carl Vinson - should get there by Friday. And as many as 5,500 U.S. troops are expected within days, as CBS News correspondent David Martin reports...
By afternoon Wednesday C-130s were bringing in teams to make ground level assessments of the damage and set up a control tower and satellite communications - the first steps in piercing the fog of an epic disaster. "The bottom line is we don't have a clear assessment, right now, of what the situation on the ground is, what the needs within Port-au-Prince are, how extensive the situation is," said Gen. Douglas Fraser, head of the U.S. southern command... The first of them could be on the ground as early as tomorrow.
Defense Secretary Robert gates told Gen. Fraser late Wednesday that this operation has the highest priority and he should not hesitate to ask for anything he wants.
The Destabilization of Haiti
by Michel Chossudovsky
Feb 20, 2004... the U.S. Southern Command, based in Miami mandate was "to assess threats to the embassy and its personnel." (Seattle Times, 20 Feb 2004). US Special Forces are already in the country. Washington had announced that three US naval vessels "have been put on standby to go to Haiti as a precautionary measure". The Saipan is equipped with Vertical takeoff Harrier fighters and attack helicopters. The other two vessels are the Oak Hill and Trenton. Some 2,200 U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, at Camp Lejeune, N.C. could be deployed to Haiti at short notice, according to Washington...The worsening economic and social situation [in Haiti] is largely attributable to the devastating economic reforms imposed by the IMF since the 1980s. The restoration of Constitutional government in 1994 was conditional upon the acceptance of the IMF's deadly economic therapy, which in turn foreclosed the possibility of a meaningful democracy. High ranking government officials respectively within the Andre Preval and Jean Bertrand Aristide governments were indeed compliant with IMF diktats. Despite this compliance, Aristide had been "blacklisted" and demonized by Washington.
The IMF and the World Bank are key players in the process of economic and political destabilization... IMF reforms support US strategic and foreign policy objectives. Based on the so-called "Washington consensus", IMF austerity and restructuring reforms often precipitate the downfall of elected governments.... the IMF's bitter economic medicine has contributed to the destabilization of entire countries, as in Somalia, Rwanda and Yugoslavia. (See Michel Chossudovsky, The globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, 2003, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/GofP.html )
The IMF program is a consistent instrument of economic dislocation. The IMF's reforms contribute to reshaping and downsizing State institutions through drastic austerity measures. The latter are implemented alongside other forms of intervention and political interference, including CIA covert activities in support of rebel paramilitary groups and opposition political parties.... so-called "Emergency Recovery" and "Post-conflict" reforms introduced under IMF guidance in the wake of a civil war, a regime change or "a national emergency".
In Haiti, the IMF sponsored "free market" reforms have been carried out consistently since the Duvalier era...The 1991 military coup, 8 months following Jean Bertrand Aristide's accession to the presidency, was in part intended to reverse the Aristide government's progressive reforms and reinstate the [U.S.] neoliberal policy agenda of the Duvalier era... They have been applied in several stages since the first election of president Aristide in 1990...part of the IMF-World Bank framework since the 1980s...sweatshop conditions in the assembly industries (in a totally unregulated labor market) and forced labor conditions in Haiti's agricultural plantations are considered by the IMF as a key to achieving economic prosperity, because they "attract foreign investment." ...
NED, (National Endowment for Democracy, overseas the IRI), not formally part of the CIA, performs an important intelligence function within civilian political parties and NGOs...According to Allen Weinstein, responsible for setting up the NED during the Reagan Administration: "A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA." ('Washington Post', Sept. 21, 1991). http://www.iri.org/history.asp )... a division of tasks between the CIA and the NED. While CIA provides covert support to armed paramilitary rebel groups and death squadrons, NED and its constituent organizations finance "civilian" political parties and non governmental organizations with a view to instating American "democracy" around the World. The NED constitutes the CIA's "civilian arm". CIA-NED interventions in different part of the World are characterized by a consistent pattern [ed: "color revolutions"]...
NYT acknowledged the "non violent" civil society opposition is in fact collaborating with U.S. death squadrons, "accused of killing thousands", but all this is described as "accidental". No historical understanding is provided. Who are these death squadron leaders? All we are told is that they have established an "alliance" with the "non-violent" good guys who belong to the "political opposition".... all for a good and worthy cause, which is to remove the elected president and "restore democracy":
"As Haiti's crisis lurches toward civil war, a tangled web of alliances, some of them accidental, has emerged. It has linked the interests of a political opposition movement that has embraced nonviolence to a group of insurgents that includes a former leader of death squads accused of killing thousands, a former police chief accused of plotting a coup and a ruthless gang once aligned with Mr. Aristide that has now turned against him. Given their varied origins, those arrayed against Mr. Aristide are hardly unified, though they all share an ardent wish to see him removed from power." (New York Times, 26 Feb 2004)
There is nothing spontaneous or "accidental" in the rebel attacks or in the "alliance" between the leader of the death squadrons Guy Philippe and Andy Apaid, leader of the G-184. The armed rebellion was part of a carefully planned military-intelligence operation. The Armed Forces of the Dominican Republic had detected guerilla training camps inside the Dominican Republic on the Northeast Haitian-Dominican border. ( El ejército dominicano informó a Aristide sobre los entrenamientos rebeldes en la frontera, El Caribe, 27 Feb. 2004, http://www.elcaribe.com.do/articulo_multimedios.aspx?id=2645&guid=AB3814... ) Both the armed rebels and their civilian "non-violent" counterparts were involved in the plot to unseat the president. G-184 leader Andre Apaid was in touch with Colin Powell in the weeks leading up to the overthrow of Aristide; Guy Philippe and "Toto" Emmanuel Constant have links to the CIA; there are indications that Rebel Commander Guy Philippe and the political leader of the Revolutionary Artibonite Resistance Front Winter Etienne were in liaison with US officials. (See BBC, 27 Feb 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3496690.stm )...
The objective is to impose a puppet regime in Port-au-Prince, establish a permanent US military presence in Haiti... militarize the Caribbean basin. The island of Hispaniola is a gateway to the Caribbean basin, strategically located between Cuba to the North West and Venezuela to the South....
Meeting Geopolitical and Transnational Challenges in the vital Caribbean Waters
The mission of Southern Command and a forward-looking interagency, military-civilian strategy is to use a mix of "soft" and "hard" power to meet these 21st century threats.
Putin's Navy, Chávez's Ambition, and the Caribbean Adventure
by Ray Walser, Ph.D. and Mackenzie Eagle
Almost half a century after the Cuban missile crisis, the Russian navy is coming to the Americas. While the mood in Washington is far from panicked, neither is it mirthful. There is a sense of discomfort and dissatisfaction with the voyage of the Russian flotilla and concern about where U.S.-Russian and hemispheric relations are headed.
In the coming weeks, media attention will focus on the passage of the Russian squadron into Caribbean waters, where in November it will conduct joint exercises with the Venezuelan navy. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez extols growing military ties with Russia as a means to escape from under the thumb of U.S. hegemony and to build a multi-polar world. Subsequently, one can count on Chávez to maximize the publicity value of the Russian fleet's presence in American waters and to continue flaunting his anti-American agenda and growing connections with Russia. Incidentally, state and municipal elections will take place on November 23 in Venezuela. For the Russians, the naval maneuvers appear to be a form of payback for U.S. support for the democratic nation of Georgia and for the presence of U.S. warships in the Black Sea....
Russian officials claim the joint maneuvers were planned at least a month before the Russian invasion of Georgia and have only defensive and deterrent missions. Yet to drive home the point of tighter Russian-Venezuelan military relations, Chávez met with Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev September 25–26 in Russia, winning a promise of a $1 billion credit for arms purchases, deepened energy cooperation, and, potentially, "peaceful" nuclear cooperation. This new deal comes on top of multi-billion-dollar arms commitments agreed to in July.
The Russian naval exercises in Caribbean waters come on the heels of the recent deployment of two TU-160 Russian strategic bombers—escorted by NATO fighter jets—to Venezuela. While the temporary presence of this naval force in the Caribbean constitutes a symbolic challenge to the U.S. traditional naval hegemony in the region, the Pentagon understands that the effort to fly the Russian flag in the Caribbean is more gesture than strategy, more symbolism than substance. However, Russia is likely to pursue a permanent naval base in Venezuela and revive an electronic intelligence collection facility at Lourdes, Cuba.
U.S. military leaders, notably Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have tried to downplay tensions between the U.S. and Russian militaries. Admiral Mullen told the Los Angeles Times editorial board on September 22 that it is in the best long-term interest of both countries to eventually resume military exercises and visits. The dispatch of the Russian fleet, however, is not being interpreted as a conciliatory gesture.
U.S. Southern Command, the Fourth Fleet, and the Caribbean
Current U.S. maritime strategy looks to working with international partners as the basis for global maritime security. It is employing naval forces to build confidence and trust among nations through collective maritime security efforts that focus on common threats and mutual interests. Toward these ends, in July, the U.S. re-established the Fourth Fleet. The establishment of the Fourth Fleet highlights the importance of the Caribbean region to the U.S. and is contributing to security and stability through humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Southern Command's focus on engagement, investment, and partnership with countries underscores the United States' shared interests and lasting commitment to the region.
For the past six months, however, Chávez, Fidel Castro, and others have equated this minor realignment of U.S. naval forces in the Caribbean—the standing up of the Fourth Fleet—with a renewed plan for Latin American interventions; even land-locked Bolivia's Evo Morales railed against "the fourth fleet of intervention." Chávez and his ilk obtain nationalist mileage and unflagging media coverage when they warn about U.S. efforts to destabilize or invade their countries. Gringo-bashing remains a crudely transparent tool for personal aggrandizement and creating polarized, fear-ridden societies like in Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, or Venezuela...
Chávez and others continue to cling to old geopolitical expressions rarely used in Washington. For instance, Admiral James Stavridis, commander of U.S. Southern Command, notes that the Caribbean, along with the Gulf of Mexico, is not our "back yard" but a "shared home." Indeed, the Caribbean is an international maritime space vital to the economic health and vitality of the U.S. and 23 other sovereign nations, large and small, that border it. Over its waters flow the life substances of modern global economies: manufactures, energy products, food stuffs, and tourists valued in the trillions of dollars. Approximately 6 million barrels of oil enter the U.S. through the Gulf of Mexico every day. The security challenges are significant but have not—at least until now—involved confrontations between rival navies. The real security challenges include:
1. Preventing illicit maritime activity;
2. Combating narcotics trafficking;
3. Preventing transnational terrorism;
4. Dealing with illegal mass migration; and
5. Developing responses to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
Meeting Geopolitical and Transnational Challenges
The mission of Southern Command and a forward-looking interagency, military-civilian strategy is to use a mix of "soft" and "hard" power to meet these 21st century threats.
The approach of the Russian squadron is not a cause for undue concern. It is, nonetheless, emblematic of the growing complexity of the challenges—both geopolitical and transnational—the U.S. faces closer to home in vital Caribbean waters.
Netherlands Antilles' Break Up Continues as Its Geopolitical Importance Mounts
...Key Point: Washington's Interests
Washington has maintained a military presence at Curaçao's Hato airport in order to service multinational counter-drug missions operating in the Caribbean...DEA agents are also based in the airport's facilities. There's a smaller US military presence at Aruba's airport as well. Both bases, as well as the American facility in Manta, Ecuador, are categorized as Forward Operations Locations (FOL).... The American presence has largely been accepted by the local population, though the question remains if these planes are solely used to monitor anti-drug operations, or to spy on Venezuela and engage in other operations such as like aerial fumigation in Colombia....
In a November 2008 Christian Science Monitor article, US Southern Command spokesman Jose Ruiz is quoted as saying that "Curaçao is strategically located to be able to monitor the Caribbean basin […] it's an effective position with which to conduct monitor flights and to track traffic that we suspect may have contraband. As the US will soon be forced to withdraw from the military facilities it now leases from Ecuador at Manta, and Caracas-Washington relations continue to be strained, Washington and SOUTHCOM are looking to alternative locations to continue operations. Maintaining a presence in Curaçao and Aruba would provide Washington with friendly ports and airports (specially as plans for the reconstituted Fourth Fleet are advanced) as well as an operations base to monitor both drug trafficking activity as well as, if necessary, carry on operations involving Venezuela. Recent news that Russia may consider using Cuban and Venezuelan airports as landing pads for their strategic bombers carrying out long-distance patrols only heighten the importance for Washington to be able to have a continuous presence in different quadrants of the Caribbean basin. In September 2008, the USS Farragut, a guided-missile destroyer, visited Curaçao on a humanitarian mission. "The Americans are keen on making sure their community outreach projects are publicized to maintain a good image,"
MEDIA ALERT: BRINGING HELL TO HAITI – PART 2
Jean-Bertrand Aristide told the Associated Press yesterday that he was forced to leave Haiti by US military forces. Asked if he left on his own, Aristide answered: “No. I was forced to leave. Agents were telling me that if I don’t leave they would start shooting and killing in a matter of time.” (Eliott C. McLaughlin, Associated Press, March 1, 2004)
“Haiti, again, is ablaze”, Jeffrey Sachs, professor of economics at Columbia University, writes: “Almost nobody, however, understands that today’s chaos was made in Washington - deliberately, cynically, and steadfastly. History will bear this out.” (Sachs, ‘Fanning the flames of political chaos in Haiti’, The Nation, February 28, 2004) http://www.MediaLens.org/alerts/index.html
"God, war, the World Bank, the IMF, free trade agreements, NATO, the war on terrorism, the war on drugs, "anti-war" candidates, and Nobel Peace Prizes can be seen as simply different instruments for the advancement of US imperialism."
William Blum's Anti-Empire Report
"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda
Things to Remember While Helping Haiti
The Heritage Foundation
January 13th, 2010
Today, the United States began surveying the damage inflicted by a devastating earthquake in Haiti this week. In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake should address long-held concerns over the fragile political environment that exists in the region. The U.S. government response should be bold and decisive. It must mobilize U.S. civilian and military capabilities for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform. President Obama should tap high-level, bipartisan leadership. Clearly former President Clinton, who was already named as the U.N. envoy on Haiti, is a logical choice. President Obama should also reach out to a senior Republican figure, perhaps former President George W. Bush, to lead the bipartisan effort for the Republicans. While on the ground in Haiti, the U.S. military can also interrupt the nightly flights of cocaine to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from the Venezuelan coast and counter the ongoing efforts of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to destabilize the island of Hispaniola. This U.S. military presence, which should also include a large contingent of U.S. Coast Guard assets, can also prevent any large-scale movement by Haitians to take to the sea in dangerous and rickety watercraft to try to enter the U.S. illegally. Meanwhile, the U.S. must be prepared to insist that the Haiti government work closely with the U.S. to insure that corruption does not infect the humanitarian assistance flowing to Haiti. Long-term reforms for Haitian democracy and its economy are also badly overdue. Congress should immediately begin work on a package of assistance, trade, and reconstruction efforts needed to put Haiti on its feet and open the way for deep and lasting democratic reforms.
The U.S. should implement a strong and vigorous public diplomacy effort to counter the negative propaganda certain to emanate from the Castro-Chavez camp. Such an effort will also demonstrate that the U.S.’s involvement in the Caribbean remains a powerful force for good in the Americas and around the globe. To assist Red Cross Relief Efforts, go to www.redcross.org
“…There are only two possible ways in which a world of 10 billion people can be averted. Either the current birth rates must come down more quickly. Or the current death rates must go up. There is no other way. There are, of course, many ways in which the death rates can go up. In a thermonuclear age, war can accomplish it very quickly and decisively. Famine and disease are nature’s ancient checks on population growth, and neither one has disappeared from the scene … To put it simply: Excessive population growth is the greatest single obstacle to the economic and social advancement of most of the societies in the developing world.”
Speech to the Club of Rome by Robert McNamara, Oct. 2, 1979
“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”
Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests”
Henry Kissinger, National Security Study Memo 200, 04//24/74
The New Population Bomb
The Four Megatrends That Will Change the World
CFR, Foreign Affairs Magazine, Jack A. Goldstone
The United Nations Population Division now projects that global population growth will nearly halt by 2050. By that date, the world's population will have stabilized at 9.15 billion people, according to the "medium growth" variant of the UN's authoritative population database World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision. (Today's global population is 6.83 billion.) Barring a cataclysmic climate crisis or a complete failure to recover from the current economic malaise, global economic output is expected to increase by two to three percent per year, meaning that global income will increase far more than population over the next four decades. But twenty-first-century international security will depend less on how many people inhabit the world than on how the global population is composed and distributed: where populations are declining and where they are growing, which countries are relatively older and which are more youthful, and how demographics will influence population movements across regions...
"The civilized have created the wretched, quite coldly and deliberately, and do not intend to change the status quo; are responsible for their slaughter and enslavement; rain down bombs on defenseless children whenever and wherever they decide that their 'vital interests' are menaced, and think nothing of torturing a man to death: these people are not to be taken seriously when they speak of the 'sanctity' of human life, or the 'conscience' of the civilized world". -- James Baldwin
"The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia."
KATRINA -- 'A WAR'
The Secret History of Hurricane Katrina
by Sharon Philip for Mother Jones magazine
Aug 31, 2009
What took place in this devastated American city was no less than a war, in which victims whose only crimes were poverty and blackness were treated as enemies of the state.
">http://www.daily.pk/author/sharon-philip/> World www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/9/5/105538/7048
FEMA turns back Wal-Mart supply trucks
FEMA prevents Coast Guard from delivering diesel fuel
FEMA won't let Red Cross deliver food
FEMA bars morticians from entering New Orleans
FEMA blocks 500-boat citizen flotilla from delivering aid
FEMA fails to utilize Navy ship with 600-bed hospital on board
FEMA to Chicago: Send just one truck
FEMA turns away generators
FEMA: "First Responders Urged Not To Respond"
FEMA officials order doctor to stop giving aid to dying people
from History & Katrina by Patricia Goldsmith, 10-10-05 www.dissidentvoice.org
Genocide in New Orleans Continues: "Like 911 But Add Water"
by liz burbank
[edited version originally published 9/3/05 "A Catastrophic Success"...]
Katrina was not an accident, not a surprise, not an act of 'mother nature', 'gods' , not the result of 'bureaucratic incompetence' and 'poor communication'. As this report proves. The human and environmental and impact on New Orleans of a hurricane of this magnitude had been scientifically calculated. Rescue and recovery were deliberately withheld by the government, New Orleans was militarily occupied, working class Black people imprisoned, forcibly dispersed and murdered by state violence... under the pretext of "rescue, relief and recovery” from a "major casualty-producing event" called a “natural disaster.”
Katrina and the brutal aftermath was engineered to serve the capitalist agenda in two interrelated ways: by uprooting, dispersing and destroying the U.S. Black Nation, while simultaneously inflaming reliable American racism and support for the consolidation of a fascist mode of state capitalism [...]
The Disneyfication of New Orleans
By Anna Hartnell
Three years after Hurricane Katrina, a more glamorous image of black America is presenting itself to the world in the person of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, America's story of black urban poverty is still unfolding, largely beneath the radar of the global media.
In August and September 2005, areas like the largely black Lower Ninth ward, almost entirely invisible to the hordes of tourists who flock to New Orleans every year, attracted worldwide sympathy as the levees broke. Now they have been all but forgotten. While tourists long ago repopulated the French Quarter, 57% of New Orleans' black population – against 36% of whites – have yet to return to the city. Many never will. This is because since Katrina, developers have clubbed together with the authorities to complete New Orleans' makeover into a playground for wealthy tourists. As house prices soar and homelessness rises, the authorities are quietly doing away with the city's remaining stocks of affordable housing in moves that the UN has recently claimed constitute human rights violations. The fact that these demolitions will overwhelmingly affect black people has led some to call this ethnic cleansing....
As residents evacuated the city, and before the floodwaters had even receded, the future of New Orleans and its residents was being spoken about in no uncertain terms. "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans", declared congressman Richard Baker soon after the storm. "We couldn't do it. But God did." Alphonso Jackson, the then US secretary of housing and urban development, made the racial implications of the gentrification process perfectly clear when he predicted that the reconstructed New Orleans would be a whiter city.
In the three years since, race and class stereotypes have paved the way for New Orleans' so-called "revitalisation". "We don't need soap opera-watchers right now", claimed the city council president, Oliver Thomas – perpetuating the view that New Orleans' high unemployment rate can be tracked to individual laziness as opposed to the systemic discrimination affecting most of America's inner cities. At the same time, those same forces that demonise poor and particularly black families – for their apparent "dysfunction" – are actively preventing the regrouping of some of the most close-knit black communities in the US.
The city is now in the process of phasing out the low-cost housing, public transportation system, and public health facilities that have supported the existence of low-income residents in New Orleans for decades. The US department of housing and urban development and the housing authority of New Orleans say that they wish to de-concentrate poverty in areas that were previously hotbeds for crime and drug abuse.... there are only plans to replace one-third of the units available for low-income renters. Audrey Stewart of the Loyola Law Clinic explains the result is:
" ... thousands and thousands of homeless people camping out, under bridges... staying with relatives and friends... all over my neighbourhood, five, six, seven, eight people living in these tiny houses. We have people getting kicked out of Fema [Federal Emergency Management Agency] trailers with nowhere to go."...
This time last year Obama...told residents, "I can promise you I will be a president who wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night with the future of this city on my mind.... racial discord, poverty, the old divisions of black and white, rich and poor, it's time to leave that to yesterday." http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20650.htm firstname.lastname@example.org