[News] The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Sun Jan 17 13:30:47 EST 2010


January 17, 2010

The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust

By Greg Palast

Blackwater before drinking water

by Greg Palast for The Huffington Post
Sunday 17 January 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 
<http://www.opednews.com/populum/mailto:haiti@gregpalast.com>Haiti at GregPalast.com 

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.

Author's Website: http://www.gregpalast.com

Author's Bio: Greg Palast, winner of the George 
Orwell Courage-In-Journalism Prize, is the author 
of the New York Times bestsellers The Best 
Democracy Money Can Buy and 
MADHOUSE: Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China 
Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No 
Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the 
Front Lines of the Class War."

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