[also: Haiti: How &Why this Horror is So Sickeningly Familiar http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/263]
2008 U.S. scientists warned a catastrophic Haiti Quake was coming
"The GPS data allows these type of predictions of where these large earthquakes might occur," said Paul Mann of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Until detection technology improves, preparation is still the best defense.
Earlier Warning Unheeded
...Writing in Haiti's Le Matin on September 25, 2008, Phoenix Delacroix quoted geologist Patrick Charles of Havana's Geological Institute saying:"conditions are ripe for major seismic activity in Port-au-Prince. The inhabitants of the Haitian capital need to prepare themselves for an event which will inevitably occur...." Citing a real danger, he added: "Thank God that science has provided instruments that help predict these type of events and show how we have arrived at these conclusions."He explained that the dangerous Enriquillo Fault Zone extends across Port-au-Prince, starting in Petionville, traversing the Southern Peninsula to Tiburon. Noting earlier tremors in the area, he said a larger earthquake usually follows. Nonetheless, no precautions were taken, leaving Haitians vulnerable to what's now all too apparent... Hundreds of thousands around the country are still coping with the damage that summer 2008 storms caused leaving them without food, clean water, other essentials, and around 70,000 homes destroyed. Gonaives, Haiti's third largest city became uninhabitable. Most of Haiti's livestock and food crops were destroyed as well as farm tools and seeds for replanting. Irrigation systems were demolished, and buildings throughout the country collapsed or were damaged, many severely. Now this... a text book example of oppressive rule, exploitation, extreme poverty, widespread unemployment, and overwhelming human misery - largely because of US dominance since the 19th century...
It's reminiscent of New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city on August 29, 2005. Warned in advance, the city was unprepared even though it's shaped like a bowl, lies below sea level, and its Gulf coast location is hazardous. What was called inevitable, happened leaving catastrophic destruction for the city's most vulnerable, the majority poor black population targeted for removal, needing only an excuse to do it....from The Big One Devastates Haiti by Stephen Lendman, http://www.uruknet.de/?s1=1&p=62226&s2=17
filth called news a major part of U.S. agenda...
STEPS TOWARD NORMALCY
Damien Cave reports some order is returning to Port-au-Prince as some aid reaches survivors.. Violence and looting, unheard of after the earthquake, seemed to be spreading. Several reports of the police catching thieves and shooting them on the spot moved across the city..
NO, MISTER! YOU CANNOT SHARE MY PAIN!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
If you shared my pain you would not continue to make me suffer, to torture me, to deny me my dignity and my rights, especially my rights to self-determination and self-expression.
Six years ago you sent your Ambassador Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to perform an action illegal under the laws of your country, my country and of the international community of nations.
About 90 years ago when Professor Woodrow Wilson was president of the USA, his secretary of state was a fundamentalist lawyer named William Jennings Bryan who had three times run unsuccessfully for president.The Americans had decided to invade Haiti to collect debts owed by Haiti to Citibank.
General Smedley Butler, the only American soldier to have twice won the Congressional Medal of Honour, described his role in the US Army:
"I helped make Mexico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half-a-dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long.General Butler said: "I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. ... My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical in the military service." Butler compared himself unfavourably to Al Capone. He said his official racketeering made Capone look like an amateur.
Secretary Bryan was dumbfounded by the Haitians. "Imagine," he said, "Niggers speaking French!"
Smedley Butler and Bryan were involved in Haiti because of something that happened nearly a hundred years before. The French slave-masters, expelled from Haiti and defeated again when they tried to re-enslave the Haitians, connived with the Americans to starve them into submission by a trade embargo. With no sale for Haitian sugar, the country was weak and run-down when a French fleet arrived bearing a demand for reparations. Having bought their freedom in blood, the Haitians were to purchase it again in gold.
The French demanded, essentially, that the Haitians pay France an amount equivalent to 90 per cent of the entire Haitian budget for the foreseeable future. When this commitment proved too arduous to honour, the City Bank offered the Haitians a 'debt exchange", paying off the French in exchange for a lower-interest, longer-term debt. The terms may have seemed better but were just as usurious and it was not paid off until 1947.
Because of the debt the Americans invaded Haiti, seized the Treasury, exiled the president, their Jim Crow policies were used to divide the society, to harass the poor and finally provoked a second struggle for freedom which was one of the most brutal episodes in colonial history.Long before Franco bombed Guernica, exciting the horror and revulsion of civilised people, the Americans perfected their dive-bombing techniques against unarmed Haitian peasants, many of whom had never seen aircraft before.
The Americans set up a Haitian Army in the image of their Jim Crow Marines, and it was these people, the alien and alienated Élite who, with some conscripted blacks like the Duvaliers, have ruled Haiti for most of the last century.
When I flew over Haiti for the first time in 1959 en route from New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico, I saw for the first time the border between the green Dominican Republic and brown Haiti.
First-world journalists interpret the absence of trees on the Haitian side to the predations of the poor, disregarding the fact that Western religion and American capitalism were mainly responsible.
Why is it that nowhere else in the Caribbean is there similar deforestation?
Haiti's Dessalines constitution offered sanctuary to every escaped slave of any colour. All such people of whatever colour were deemed 'black' and entitled to citizenship. Only officially certified 'blacks' could own land in Haiti. The American occupation, anticipating Hayek, Freedman and Greenspan, decided that such a rule was a hindrance to development. The assistant secretary of the US Navy, one Franklin D Roosevelt, was given the job of writing a new, modern constitution for Haiti. This constitution meant foreigners could own land. Within a very short time the lumberjacks were busy, felling old growth Mahogany and Caribbean Pine for carved doors for the rich and mahogany speedboats, boardroom tables seating 40, etc. The devastated land was put to produce rubber, sisal for ropes and all sorts of pie in the sky plantations. When President Paul Magloire came to Jamaica 50 years ago Haitians were still speaking of an Artibonite dam for electricity and irrigation. But the ravages of the recent past were too much to recover.
As Marguerite Laurent (EziliDanto) writes: Don't expect to learn how a people with a Vodun culture that reveres nature and especially the Mapou (oak-like or ceiba pendantra/bombax) trees, and other such big trees as the abode of living entities and therefore as sacred things, were forced to watch the Catholic Church, during Rejete - the violent anti-Vodun crusade - gather whole communities at gunpoint into public squares, and forced them to watch their agents burn Haitian trees in order to teach Haitians their Vodun Gods were not in nature, that the trees were the "houses of Satan".In partnership with the US, the mulatto President Elie Lescot (1941-45) summarily expelled peasants from more than 100,000 hectares of land, razing their homes and destroying more than a million fruit trees in the vain effort to cultivate rubber on a large plantation scale. Also, under the pretext of the Rejete campaign, thousands of acres of peasant lands were cleared of sacred trees so that the US could take their lands for agribusiness.
After the Flood
Norman Manley used to say "River Come Down" when his party seemed likely to prevail. The Kreyol word Lavalas conveys the same meaning.
the survivors of Tuesday's devastating earthquake in Haiti.It was an act so outrageous, so bestially vile and wicked that your journalists and news agencies, your diplomats and politicians to this day cannot bring themselves to truthfully describe or own up to the crime that was committed when US Ambassador James Foley, a career diplomat, arrived at the house of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide with a bunch of CIA thugs and US Marines to kidnap the president of Haiti and his wife.The Aristides were stowed aboard a CIA plane normally used for 'renditions' of suspected terrorists to the worldwide US gulag of dungeons and torture chambers. The plane, on which the Aristides are listed as "cargo", flew to Antigua - an hour away - and remained on the ground in Antigua while Colin Powell's State Department and the CIA tried to blackmail and bribe various African countries to accept ("give asylum to") the kidnapped president and his wife.The Central African Republic - one of George W Bush's 'Dark Corners of the World' - agreed for an undisclosed sum, to give the Aristides temporary asylum.Before any credible plot can be designed and paid for - for the disappearance of the Aristides - they are rescued by friends, flown to temporary asylum in Jamaica where the Government cravenly yielded to the blackmail of Condoleezza Rice to deny them the permanent asylum to which they were entitled and which most Jamaicans had hoped for.
Meanwhile, in Haiti, the US Marines protected an undisciplined ragbag of rapists and murderers to allow them entry to the capital. The Marines chased the medical students out of the new Medical School established by Aristide with Cuban help and teachers. The Marines bivouac in the school, going out on nightly raids, trailed by fleets of ambulances with body bags, hunting down Fanmi Lavalas activists described as 'chimeres' - terrorists.
The real terrorists, led by two convicted murderers, Chamblain and Philippe, assisted the Marines in the eradication of 'chimeres' until the Marines were replaced by foreign troops, paid by the United Nations, who took up the hunt on behalf of the civilised world - France, Canada, the US and Brazil.
The terrorists and the remains of the Duvalier tontons and the CIA-bred FRAPF declared open season on the remnants of Aristide's programmes to build democracy. They burnt down the new museum of Haitian culture, destroyed the children's television station and generally laid waste to anything and everything which could remind Haitians of their glorious history.
Since the Haitian people's decisive rejection of the Duvalier dictatorships in the early 90s, their spark and leader has been Jean-Bertrand Aristide whose bona fides may be assessed from the fact that the CIA and conservative Americans have been trying to discredit him almost from the word go.
As he put it in one of his books, his intention has been to build a paradise on the garbage heap bequeathed to Haiti by the US and the Elite.
The bill of particulars is too long to go into here, but the destruction of the new museum of Culture, the breaking up of the medical school, the destruction of the children's television station gives you the flavour. But the essence is captured in the brutal attempt to obliterate the spirit of Haitian community; the attempt to destroy Lavalas by murdering its men and raping its women, the American-directed subversion of a real police force, the attacks on education and the obliteration of the community self-help systems which meant that when Hurricane Jeanne and all the other weather systems since have struck Haiti, many more have died than in any other country similarly stricken. In an earthquake, totally unpredictable, every bad factor is multiplied.
The American blocking of international aid means that there is no modern water supply anywhere, no town planning, no safe roads, none of the ordinary infrastructure of any other Caribbean state. There are no building standards, no emergency shelters, no parks.
So, when I write about mothers unwittingly walking on dead babies in the mud, when I write about people so poor they must eat patties made of clay and shortening, when I write about people with their faces 'chopped off' or about any of eight million horror stories from the crime scene that is Haiti, please don't tell me you share their pain or mine.
Tell me, where is Lovinsky Pierre Antoine and ten thousand like him?
If you share my pain and their pain, why don't you stop causing it? Why don't you stop the torture?
If you want to understand me, look at the woman in the picture (above), and the children half-buried with her. You cannot hear their screams because they know there is no point in screaming. It will do no more good than voting.
What is she thinking: perhaps something like this - No, mister! You cannot share my pain! Some time... people will return to dig us out with their bare hands. But not you.
"One of the intentions of corporate-controlled media is to instill in people a sense of disempowerment, of immobilization and paralysis... to keep people isolated, to feel that there is no possibility for social change."
David Barsamian, journalist and publisher
Ugly truths behind smug media celebration of our “generosity”
The history that “binds” the US and Haiti
The Greanville Post Patrice Greanville Editor
Our guarantee: You won’t hear this from Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer
In a cynical and dishonest editorial, the New York Times Thursday began, “Once again the world weeps with Haiti,” a country which it goes on to describe as characterized by “poverty, despair and dysfunction that would be a disaster anywhere else but in Haiti are the norm.” The editorial continues: “Look at Haiti and you will see what generations of misrule, poverty and political strife will do to a country.” In a background article on the Haitian disaster, the Times adds that the country “is known for its many man-made woes—its dire poverty, political infighting and proclivity for insurrection.”
In his statement on the Haitian earthquake Wednesday, President Barack Obama referred to the “long history that binds us together.” Neither he nor the US media, however, have shown any inclination to probe the history of US-Haiti relations and its bearing on present catastrophe confronting the Haitian people. Rather, the backwardness and poverty that have played a substantial role in driving the death toll into the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands are presented as a natural state of affairs, if not the fault of the Haitians themselves.
The United States is portrayed as selfless benefactor, ready to come to the aid of Haiti with donations, rescue teams, warships and Marines.In a cynical and dishonest editorial, the New York Times Thursday began, “Once again the world weeps with Haiti,” a country which it goes on to describe as characterized by “poverty, despair and dysfunction that would be a disaster anywhere else but in Haiti are the norm.”The editorial continues: “Look at Haiti and you will see what generations of misrule, poverty and political strife will do to a country.”In a background article on the Haitian disaster, the Times adds that the country “is known for its many man-made woes—its dire poverty, political infighting and proclivity for insurrection.”In a shorter and even more dismissive editorial, the Wall Street Journal celebrates the fact that the US military will play the leading role in Washington’s response to the earthquake as “a fresh reminder that the reach of America’s power coincides with the reach of its goodness.”It goes on to draw an obscene comparison between the Haitian earthquake and the one that struck southern California in 1994, in which 72 people died. “The difference,” the Journal declares, “is a function of a wealth-generating and law-abiding society that can afford, among other things, the expense of proper building codes.”The message is clear. The Haitians have only themselves to blame for the hundreds of thousands of dead and injured, because they failed to create sufficient wealth and lacked respect for law and order. What is deliberately obscured by this comparison is the real relationship, which has evolved over more than a century, between “wealth generation” in the United States and poverty in Haiti. It is a relationship built on the use of force to pursue US imperialism’s predatory interests in a historically oppressed country.
Obama and the Pentagon... reported plans to deploy a Marine expeditionary force in Haiti, it will mark the fourth time in the past 95 years that the US armed forces have occupied the impoverished Caribbean nation.... as in the past, rather than aiding the Haitian people, the essential purpose of such a military action will be to defend US interests and guard against what the Times refers to as the “proclivity for insurrection.”
The roots of this relationship go back to the birth of Haiti as the first independent black republic in 1804, the product of a successful slave revolution led by Toussaint Louverture, and the subsequent defeat of a French army sent by Napoleon.The ruling classes of the world never forgave Haiti for its revolutionary victory. It was subjected to a worldwide embargo that was led by the United States, which feared the Haitian example could inspire a similar revolt in the southern slave states. It was only with southern secession and the outbreak of the Civil War that the North recognized Haiti—nearly 60 years after its independence.
From the dawn of the 20th century, Haiti fell under the domination of Washington and US banks, whose interests were defended by sending Marines to carry out an occupation that continued for nearly 20 years, maintained through the bloody suppression of Haitian resistance. The Marines left only after carrying out the “Haitianization”—as the New York Times referred to it at the time—of the war against the Haitian people by building an army dedicated to internal repression. Subsequently, Washington backed the 30-year dictatorship of the Duvaliers, which began with the coming to power of Papa Doc in 1957. While tens of thousands of Haitians died at the hands of the military and the dreaded Tontons Macoute, US imperialism saw the murderous dictatorship as a bulwark against communism and revolution in the Caribbean. Since the mass upheavals that brought down the Duvaliers in 1986, successive US governments, Democratic and Republican alike, have sought to reconstruct a reliable client state... preventing any challenge to a socio-economic order that keeps 80 percent of the population in dire poverty.
This effort continues today under the tutelage of Bill and Hillary Clinton—respectively the UN’s special representative to Haiti and the US Secretary of State—who together have Haitian blood on their hands. Washington has backed two coups and sent US troops back into Haiti twice in the past 20 years. Both coups were organized to overthrow Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the first Haitian president to be elected by popular vote and without Washington’s approval. Together, the coups of 1991 and 2004 claimed the lives of at least 13,000 more Haitians. In the 2004 overthrow, Aristide was forcibly transported out of the country by US operatives. Needing them in Iraq, the US withdrew its troops in 2004, contracting the job of repression out to a United Nations peacekeeping force of 9,000 under the leadership of the Brazilian army.
Despite Aristide’s capitulation to the demands of the International Monetary Fund and his willingness to compromise with Washington, the mass support he attracted with his anti-imperialist rhetoric made him anathema to the ruling elites in both Washington and Port-au-Prince. On the orders of the Obama administration, he is barred from returning to Haiti and his political party, Fanmi Lavalas, remains effectively outlawed. This is the continuing history that, as Obama put it, binds Haiti to US imperialism, which bears overwhelming responsibility for the desperate conditions that have compounded the carnage inflicted by the earthquake.
There are, however, other ties that bind and are deeply felt... are over half a million Haitian Americans officially counted in the US and undoubtedly hundreds of thousands more who are undocumented. Their presence concretizes the class interests and solidarity that unite Haitian and American workers. Together, it is their task to sweep away the conditions of poverty and devastation in both countries, along with the capitalist profit system that has created them.
Bill Van Auken, WSWS
History of a Haitian Holocaust
Blackwater before drinking water
By Greg Palast
January 17, 2010, The Huffington Post
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...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." ...
6.... 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." ...
7.Send in the Marines. That's America's response. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson showed up after three days. With what? ... without any emergency relief supplies. It has sidewinder missiles and 19 helicopters.
8.Iceland's 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.
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.US presidents have acted more swiftly 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 - 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... 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.
Urgently recommended reading: The Black Jacobins by Toussaint L'Ouverture, and the San Domingo Revolution, by CLR James,.history of the successful slave uprising in Hispaniola