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Food Not Troops for Haiti! End the Military Occupation!

World  (tags: Haiti, USA, u.s., coup, coup d'etat, imperialism, UnitedNations, unitednations, capitalism, oppression, exploitation, sweatshops, impoverishment, poverty, natural disaster, earthquake, Refugees&Relief, emergency, relief, President Aristide, democracy )

- 3407 days ago -
PETITION: Haiti's airport must be devoted to humanitarian relief flights. Haiti needs food, water and medical aid, not a U.S. military occupation. Haiti's sovereignty and democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide must be restored!


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Veronica P (67)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:09 am
Thanks! Signed and noted.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:20 am

Good on you for posting this, Simon!

Laurie W (189)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:36 am
While I agree this has got to be a humanitarian mission ONLY..what would the outcry be if children,woman,elderly are wounded or killed by those attaching with machettes,clubs etc. There is always an element that rears it's ugly head and brings this factor out and from most reports I've seen there is not enough to control these acts.Crowd control only in this desperate scenario. We've seen people trampled for the midnight sales in stores in order to obtain a "good" that's not even a life Haiti it's a matter of survival.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:37 am
The myth of Haiti's lawless streets
"Of all the disasters I've covered in recent years, the response to this has perhaps been the most perplexing, and disastrous in itself. From the Haitian perspective, if anyone is dragging their feet it's the aid agencies. One thing is clear: if aid agencies do not quickly roll out a coordinated and comprehensive response, then not only will many more die, but the deteriorating security situation, which is being talked up so much, may perhaps become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

. (0)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:44 am
Thannxxx Carole.. just wanted to mentioned, I was on a mission into Mozambique and we were swamped by thousands of starving kids.. it is wuite scaey, one could of falledn and gotten trampled underfoot... and perhaps the army is not such a bad thing if done correctly and that they do not hold up the humanitarian side.. will gladly sgn.. thannxx my dear

Fred Hoekstra (6772)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:50 am
Haitian ministers suffer losses too


LAWLESS TIMES: A Brazilian UN peacekeeper looks at the bodies of two men lying on the street with their hands tied up after being shot by unidentified men that accused them of looting in the Delmas area of Port-au-Prince, yesterday. UN peacekeepers said popular anger is rising and warned authorities and aid organisations to increase security to guard against looting after Tuesday's earthquake. -Photo: AP

Haiti’s cabinet met yesterday. On a bench and some plastic chairs in an open-air yard.

Grieving for their own losses and those of a nation, the exhausted and overwhelmed officials sat in a circle on a concrete slab outside a police station, seeking to put some order into their response to a catastrophic earthquake.

Loosely-speaking, the United Nations is leading the relief effort, while the US military is in charge of air-traffic after Tuesday’s disaster that Haitian officials say killed between 100,000-200,000 people. But in line with diplomatic propriety, Haitian leaders are being consulted, and are giving approval, at every step.

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive led yesterday’s cabinet meeting. President Rene Preval raised a hand of greeting to the team as he entered the police station that has become his home and office since the presidential palace partially collapsed.

Foreign ambassadors and heads of UN and other international agencies joined the ministers in what officials said would now be a twice-daily meeting to try to coordinate the world’s rush to help Haiti.

’They say the government is not fast, but we are doing our best,’ Information Minister Marie Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue told a Reuters correspondent who simply pulled up a chair to listen in to the cabinet meeting.

’All the ministries have fallen down. Everything in Haiti is broken. There is not one person in this country without a friend or relative dead. The minister of finance lost his girl of 12. The minister of tourism lost his father and mother. The chief of police ... lost two of his three children.’

Lassegue, who hunted in vain for a working radio station in the hours after the earthquake to broadcast information to Haitians, said their priority was to coordinate the mass of aid arriving from abroad.

. (0)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:51 am
Haiti Petition Thanks

Katz R (54)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:54 am
you cannot distribute food and water without some type of security now. The gangs [including individuals withing government and police agencies] have before this already been terrorizing the people one can only imagine the horrors of it now. We need to insure that the people as a whole are getting aid instead of it being grabbed and stockpiled b y criminal groups there

Mari 's (1356)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:58 am


Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:00 am
Another US Military occupation is not wanted anywhere!
Now we must stand with the People of Haiti, they have been let down for 200 years...DAMMIT!!!

"Thank you for telling Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Clinton, Congressional leaders, U.N. leaders and members of the media that Haiti needs Food Water and Medicine, Not Military Occupation!"

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:06 am
"Dear friends,
Avaaz members have surged to the help of Haiti raising over $1 million in just a few days!
Every dollar/euro/yen donated is immediately being sent to empower trustworthy local partner organizations to scale up their efforts, but the devastation is staggering and the needs remain massive!"

Pamylle G (458)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:33 am
Again, of course some security is warranted - but the military presence is such that supplies are not getting through fast enough, at least according to a couple of Doctors Without Borders personnel.

Meanwhile, the ONE American independent news program, DN, reports that there is much more sharing & cooperation between Haitians than not. And yes, this could change as things get desperate...

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:39 am

Exactly, Pamylle. With the troops tying up the airport, and medical supplies and food being delayed for days, as the article I noted above says:

"One thing is clear: if aid agencies do not quickly roll out a coordinated and comprehensive response, then not only will many more die, but the deteriorating security situation, which is being talked up so much, may perhaps become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

Karen S (106)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:42 am
Signed....Thanks Ben, Carol and Simon------what a team.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:53 am

As most of us are already aware, much of the MSM is government-controlled. Therefore, of course, they will print articles justifying the need for U.S. military presence. No one (I hope) is saying that there is no need for security -- BUT, food and medical supplies should be a priority!

Alba has posted some very insightful articles regarding the perception of "survivors," desperate for food and water, vs. "looters." Here, in fact, is one of them:

Open Letter to Anderson Cooper: You Know the Difference Between “Looter” and “Survivor”
Open Letter to Anderson Cooper: You Know the Difference Between "Looter" and "Survivor"
This article demonstrates the distorted news promoted during the Katrina debacle.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:05 am
A quote from the above-mentioned article (written by Tracie L. Washington, an attorney and Co-Director of Louisiana Justice Institute,, which I STRONGLY encourage readers here to visit:
"Unbelievably, your report was sympathetic of Tony Bennett, the Miami ‘businessman’ who has armed himself and two (2) Haitian police with glocks and automatic weapons, and barricaded a Port-au-Prince street in order to keep these starving earthquake victims from taking food and water from his store. (To see the report, click here)
What’s wrong with you Anderson?
A responsible journalist would have been questioning the sanity and humanity of Tony Bennett, this Spawn of Satan, for ever contemplating closing his business and denying basic survival means to these victims. Here are a few questions you might have asked him:
“Why are you treating these victims this way? Is there some big market the rest of the world doesn’t know about for food recovered during a natural disaster? Where, exactly, are you going to sell this water?”
“Sir, instead of arming what is now your own private militia, why don’t you ask these Haitian police officers to help you distribute these perishables so that these mothers won’t have to pay for water, and food, and baby formula?”
“Excuse me, Mr. Bennett, I’m just curious. How are you going to sleep tonight, knowing you’ve denied food and water to hungry children?”

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:12 am
Please read the petition and other information BEFORE you talk as if you know what is going on.

And I mean please get informaton that is NOT from the corporate media - whose agenda is to maximise corporate exploitation of the people of Haiti - paying less than $2 per day to Haitian workers in sweatshop factories. It seems that alot of people here come to write stuff after watching stereotyped images of Black people and Thid World people and poor people on corporate TV, and/or reading and listening to capitalist/imperialist-minded "experts" and U.S. government spokespeople.

The corporate media's agenda is corporate exploitation. Please THINK ABOUT IT, and look past the propaganda, to learn something new, from non-capitalist information sources.

E.g. the information that Just Carole has provided, as well as the above petition (please READ IT), and the other articles that I have posted:

Karen S (106)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:13 am
Just some rhetorical questions and it doesn't really help the immediate problems at hand, but.....Why is it that we more advantaged nations have been in Haiti for decades and witnessed disasters here before and not learned something from it? In corporate Canada (and America) in order to comply with accreditation or quality standards we conduct a risk-assessment review. After that we consult with people within the organization and outside the organization and draw up an emergency plan that empowesr inside individuals, (or agencies) to carry out the plan. When businesses have to call in outside expertise in the event of a disaster, they do not relinquish their authority to act on behalf of the organization.....My question is this....Given the number of decades we have been in Haiti and our ability to foresee disasters like this, why has none of the outside agencies (US, Canada, etc) moved before this to help organize to mitigate the human suffering from the fallout that often accompanies disasters like this? Is is advantageous to keep the Haitians dependent on our aid or do we really want to empower them to help themselves and provide assistance when they need it? I don't know the numbers, but there has been a lot of money pouring into Haiti over the decades and I'm just wondering if it could have been spent in a more appropriate way.

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:17 am
I reckon rich men like that Bennett fellow will feel sorry for themselves because they might lose some business, and fear people looting their stock in the future, Just Carole. I reckon that is how they will sleep at night after denying food and water to hungry children.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:19 am

Thank you, Simon!

If I hear ONE more person describe the Haitians as "machete carrying" . . . (How's that for a stereotype?)


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:25 am

Excellent question, Karen!

Simon? (I'm deferring to someone who, I'll admit, has vaster knowledge than my own.)

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:27 am
Good on you everyone who signed or noted this petition! : )

And good on you everyone who wrote comments in support of this petition, and comments challenging the tiny U.S. aid (40 tons - compared with Venezuela which gave 732 tons, for example), and the U.S. deployment of huge numbers of U.S. troops (11,200 troops) who are there...

to protect exploitative U.S. corporations in Haiti (that pay less than $2 per day to Haitian workers)...

U.S. troops who are there to enforce the continuation of the oppressive, pro-corporate-exploitation Preval regime, and prevent free and fair elections, to prevent the return of democratically-elected, egalitarian President Aristide and to prevent the participation of his very popular Lavalas party in elections.

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:44 am
Hi Karen.

The first world capitalist propaganda machine (capitalist politicians in capitalist countries, and the first world capitalist media) makes a big fuss about "helping Third World countries to develop". But that is a load of rubbish!

The reality is that the first world takes much much more than it gives!!!

The first world gives about U.S.$50 billion to the Third World each year. But the first world TAKES about U.S.$550 billion FROM the people of the Third World each year! This results in a net flow of about U.S.$500 billion per year FROM the Third World TO the first world.

I am 100% sure that this is true of first world economic relations with Haiti - I mean that the first world takes much more from Haiti than it gives to Haiti. I am so sure that I would bet everything I own to back my claim.

The first world was NOT helping the people of Haiti by supporting the coup against their very popular, egalitarian democratically-elected President Aristide and his government.

Nor has the first world been helping the people of Haiti by militarily occupying Haiti to enforce the rule of Preval, whose government reversed any egalitarian reforms that Aristide's government made... Preval's government which enables the first world's multinational corporations to exploit the workers of Haiti, paying extreme poverty wages of less than $2 per day.

Preval - whose government banned the return of President Aristide (the most popular politician for Haitians) from South Africa, and banned his Lavalas party (the most popular party in Haiti) from participating in elections in Haiti.

The first world is NOT helping the people of Haiti when the first world's multinational corporations exploit and impoverish the people of Haiti.

Those multinational corporations are there to extract wealth, not to help the people of Haiti!!! And the first world's intereference in Haiti's politics, and the first world's military occupation of Haiti, are to enforce that status quo of extreme exploitation and impoverishment.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:47 am

Well said, Simon!

We many American citizens who are awakening to the fact that this government is controlled by corporate interests.

Now that you're awake, don't delude yourselves into thinking those interests are limited only to the United States.

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:51 am
Hint: "aid money" is often LOANS, which take more than they give!!!

Hint: capitalist "investment" is when corporations put in wealth, in order to GET BACK MORE THAN THEY PUT IN!!!

Those acts of what the capitalist media calls "pouring money into Haiti" are SELFISH ACTS, which take more than they give. In general, the people of Third World countries do not benefit from those "acts of generosity". Only a few local elites benefit and foreign elites benefit - at the expense of the Third World's working class - those who do the work to create the wealth that goes to profits for corproate shareholders and to pay off the perpetual interest payments on foreign debt loaded onto Third World countries as "aid".

In more honest terminology, it is called "wage slavery" and "debt slavery".

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:52 am

Should read: We (have) many American citizens . . .

Simon Wood (207)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:52 am
Thankyou for your kind words, Just Carole : )

Well, I finally posted this petition, eh, amiga? ; )

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 10:59 am

(Slow, you're a bit slow . . . but still admirable! hehehehehe)

From the Hunger Site:

Rebuild Right - Forgive Haiti's Debt
It's time to drop Haiti's debt. All of it!
We must make sure that the Haitian government isn't pouring money into repaying staggering loans instead of rebuilding homes and hospitals stronger and better. Rebuilding and strengthening Haiti's infrastructure will ensure that if disaster strikes again, Haitians will stand a much stronger chance of survival.
Tell U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to urge the IMF, World Bank, and other global creditors to cancel the remainder of Haiti's $890 million debt. Take action now.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:16 am

Think about it, folks. If corporations could take over America -- third-world countries are a cinch!

Let's stop it.

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:22 am
Thanks Carole,
I was just about to post "Rebuild Right - Forgive Haiti's Debt", but my PC is old, tired, and slow today...
"To date, we have raised a total of $207,000"

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:23 am
...Just like me BTW; old, tired, and slow... :~ /

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:24 am

"Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Those are words that, as a schoolgirl, I was once proud to learn were inscribed on our Statue of Liberty.

Let's make them real again.


LucyKaleido S (82)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:24 am
Signed, thanks to Carole's link on her post about an MSF medical equipment cargo plane being turned away or diverted.

As for violence, last night on French national news, we saw how a French chef (who usually cooks in a swanky Port-au-Prince place) has teamed up with a pizzeria owner who has offered his restaurant kitchen & any & all food from his freezer, plus any more they both can scrounge up -- the chef is cooking for hundreds of people everyday and since word has got out, people begin lining up early and wait peacefully and patiently for the meal to come. When it's ready, the adults get all the children to line up at the front to get served first - the adults agree that the children should get priority. The evening the French reporter filmed for last night's news, there were a thousand people - A THOUSAND!- waiting -- & there was no chaos, no pushing, no violence.

I wonder, though, where the emergency food distributions are, when you have so many people coming to this private initiative to help the survivors.

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!) is now reporting direct from Haiti & reports today, "In the airport in Port-au-Prince, huge pallets of aid, including medical supplies, food and water, sit in fields around the tarmac," but "hundreds of cases of bottled water are being delivered to the US embassy."
( )

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:26 am

I love you, Jill!

Beatrice B (112)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:36 am
Knee-jerk anti-Americanism is as predictable as it is depressing.
By Telegraph View
President Obama's ambition to improve the global image of the United States has some way to go if the response to America's aid operation in Haiti is anything to go by. Washington acted quickly and decisively within hours of the earthquake, mobilising its armed forces on a scale that no country in the world can match. "We have to be there for them in their hour of need," the President said.
This generous act of altruism has been greeted with extraordinary churlishness. America has been pilloried for not getting assistance to Haiti's people more quickly, as though the staggering logistical challenges posed by the disaster did not exist. It has been criticised for pouring in troops, yet without a strong security presence there was a danger of a descent into anarchy. And it has been vilified for daring to take a lead, in a country whose government is barely functioning, with Alain Joyandet, France's minister for "co-operation", levelling the ludicrous accusation that the US was "occupying" Haiti.
Such knee-jerk anti-Americanism is as predictable as it is depressing. Would the critics have preferred it if Washington had turned a blind eye? Of course not. It is to America's great credit that it is prepared to do the heavy lifting in Haiti, just as it has in Iraq and Afghanistan, in the knowledge that it will not only be unappreciated, but positively denigrated.
Compare this with the response to the disaster in the Arab states, where the US is so routinely reviled. Some of the poorest among them, such as Jordan and Lebanon, have sent assistance, as have the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. But Saudi Arabia, one of the world's wealthiest nations, has managed to send just a letter of condolence. As for Syria, which never misses an opportunity to denounce the iniquities of the Great Satan, it appears to have sent nothing at all.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:39 am

Oh, so wrong, Beatrice.

I am not "anti" American.

I am "pro" American, as it should be!

(Psssssst. Dissent is patriotic.)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:45 am

Those who appreciate, and wish to preserve, the rights afforded to Americans have a responsibility to challenge any leadership that would strip them of the provisions of the Bill of Rights. That includes any legislation, Congress, or member of the same, you would strip these citizens of the rights under which this country was born.

Please, instead of your own "knee-jerk" reactions, do some research!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:46 am

I'm appalled (constantly) by those who challenge intelligent discourse, based upon media bias.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:54 am

Further, we could make "this world a kinder, more tolerant place, by encouraging KNOWLEDGE!"

Instead of perpetuating ignorant propaganda, paid for by corporations, who have no interest in anything other than the "bottom line," knowing that it will be "bought" by insipid, self-indulgent people, who have NO real interest in challenging their "convenient" lives with ugly facts.

Beatrice B (112)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 11:55 am
The point is that the US is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.

I am not American, only anti-Saudi Arabia and Syria,

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:00 pm

Yup . . .

That's much smarter, Beatrice.

(BTW, keep your rainhat.)

Hector Bracero (9)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:19 pm
Nobody is sending troops to overthrow the government, instead to make sure that the people working there from other nations are safe,remember USA alone is sending over 100 million dollars, plus,plus,plus,what would happen if the food arrives and riots start do you think people from other nations would stay there?I feel the outcry is illogical and makes no sense

Teresa W (782)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:23 pm
Signed, noted and forwarded. Please, do the same.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:28 pm

Such magnanimous proclamation, without any history to back it up.

Hector? YOU (and your corporated-deluded ilk) are WHY countries, such as Haiti, are prime targets for slave-masters.

You have NO proof to back up your rhetoric. You are a virtual unknown on this network (and, as such have built no credibilty).

And yet, without challenging, point for point, the arguments made here with facts . . . YOU (without even as much credibility as a REAL avatar) want to discount factual testimony.

You, and your ilk, disgust me.

Christoffer B (18)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:29 pm
Another "lets bash America" piece, ohh how surprising.

So now the US is doing something, and guess what, it is getting bashed for that, what a shocker. That the troops are there to secure the aid deliveries is not relevant of course, they are there to occupy Haiti, could anybody tell me why the US would want to to occupy Haiti?

lilliam a (7)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:33 pm
Although I am distrustful of any military invasion, the current situation in Haiti does call for some sort of policing agency and our troops are there in that capacity not as an occupying force. How can aid be distributed and help be dispursed and people protected from (in many cases) understandably chaotic behaviour on the part of desperate people. Some agency needs to ensure the safety of volunteers as well as native hatians.

Yvonne Mendes Siblini (218)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:33 pm
I understand we have to be compassionate for what happens in the world, but dont you see that there is so much of hate going on along with it instead of compassion?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:34 pm

Well, don't "bash" America, Christoffer.

And don't fight for the rights afforded under the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

YUP, you're a smart one!

Sean S (0)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:35 pm
uhmmm, not so sure this is a great idea. Pull them out and how many people are left there to help? Fear, chaos, anger, depression, violence. I hear what you are saying about the political possibility, however, they need as many hands as possible NOW and will for quite some time.
Should Canada tell it's ships to come home? not drop off food, supplies, medical? Should ships with make shift surgery rooms be told to hit the road?
I just am not sure about this.

Jonathan B (14)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:36 pm
The tricky problem with using military troops for peace keeping rather than distribution of food and supplies is that nation building and mission creep can come in, and the military industrial complex can start making American tax dollars from "helping" maintain security.

One word. Somalia. Started out as a humanitarian effort and ended up with rebel fighting U.S. troops and bringing down a helicopter with a missile.


Tonya B (120)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:41 pm
Signed and noted.

Andreia Mello (35)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:44 pm
There is a lot of brasilian there, we are sad! I pray and do what I can! Thank you all from care2 and AVAAZ that is a very serious org that I support.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:47 pm

Okay, students (dragging out my pointer) . . .

Courtesy (and intelligent discourse) demands that you read (and, to the best of your ability, understand) referenced articles supporting arguments presented).

Once you've done that, please present your educated discourse. (Or go to a group represented by Fred, Beatrice, Christoffer or Sean)

But still . . . PULEEZ continue to entertain us at this forum with your well-thought-out, independent rationalizations for world peace, wherein you propose continued miltary control over already-subjugated countries -- and, while the airstrips deny humanitarian aid -- justify the deaths of already traumatized victims from starvation, and mortal wounds.


(Disgusting, how those who are CLUELESS want to control those in most need!)

(Perplexing, but still amusing.)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 12:58 pm

(And while all the rainhat people sleep in perfect peace, leaving the "other problems in those other parts of the world" to the Americans . . . Haitians have no access to water and food, nearby -- but prevented from being dispersed because U.S. military was a priority -- and NO, they're not getting angry, as they see their children in pain from hunger ... The GOOD Americans will (eventually) allow the doctors to help them, and the food to reach them, and they will have water!


Beatrice B (112)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:06 pm
Haitian authorities conceded they had lost their battle to maintain order in Port-au-Prince after the leaders of the city's crime gangs reclaimed their old turf since being freed when the national prison collapsed last week.
The morale and strength of Haiti's police has been severely reduced by the loss of experienced officers, killed or injured, leaving recently trained recruits to hold the line.
"We do not have the capacity to fix this situation. Haiti needs help. The Americans are welcome here. But where are they? We need them here on the street with us," said Dorsainvil Robenson, a police officer.
Police officers, whose limited success against slum gang lords has been based on the support of armoured UN troops, have now effectively given up by appealing to local vigilantes to take the law into their own hands.
Residents say that people have been killed and several women raped in a turf war between gangsters nicknamed "Belony" and "Bled" in the six days following the earthquake which destroyed the prison.



Patricia Herrick (54)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:07 pm
From the beginning people were asking for food, water, and medicine, they were not that much in need of 'security. There's so much security there now that the needed supplies are too slow in moving on to where they are so desperately needed. I've been watching Amy Goodman every day. as well as Mosaic and Al Jazeera. (And say what you want, they are the ones showing the truth.) How many of you saw the desperate man who was so convinced that his wife (buried in the rubble of the Super Market) was still alive. He pleaded with the UN troops who were standing guard, against looters, to not only let him dig, but to help him dig her out. They refused to listen. Three or four days later the team from FRANCE 'Rescuers Without Borders' did dig her out alive. It took then 12 hours to get her out, once they were able to touch her.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:11 pm
You will not even allow member feedback in a Garden Group!
(Yeah, right, I value your opinion on democratic rights for Haitians!)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:14 pm

Thank you, Patricia.

I encourage ALL enlightened readers to support REAL help for Haiti!

Mark G (36)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:17 pm
You have a wrecked airport with no air traffic control. You have a wrecked road system to transport the goods. You have no infrastructure to deliver the food, water, and medical treatment. No trucks. No government to organize the distribution. Fortunately the US military has mobile air traffic control, mobile hospitals, medical personnel, transport planes, transport vehicles, manpower, security, a spare aircraft carrier which it is loading with helicopter transports, a hospital ship, etc, etc.
Now what organization on this earth can provide aid to these desperate people quicker and more efficiently? Maybe Santa Clause, but he's on vacation until next fall.

Fred Hoekstra (6772)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:20 pm
Just Carole,

If you go Online and find Gardening Groups, how many offer an area to make Comments? Hardly any. I do offer a Discussion Forum though.....

I'm sorry that you do not value my opinion, but if you will notice, this Article comes from a Trinidad Newspaper, not from either a Conservative, or Liberal Paper. So, they are unbiased.

Fred Hoekstra (6772)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:21 pm

You are very correct!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:23 pm

What can I say to such intelligence espoused by Mark, but . . .



Tell Santa I already gave him cookies.

(and, just between us, Mark, he was disappointing!)


We are dealing with real lives (many being lost).

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:31 pm


Please entertain, at least, comments from your members.

I fail to understand why a differing opinion -- which may be correct -- should not at least -- be entertained. But, that said, I am quitting the group.

But, I want you to think about a few things.

A gardening group is not, exactly, consequential, or pivotably radical.

Yet, you restrict discussion.

(The biggest question I had to ask was about the traversing of cucumbers. And I was precluded from even posing that.)

I am leaving your group. If I wanted to be "lectured" by a host, without possibility of questioning. I'd quit. (and now I have.)


Ray W (10)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:31 pm
Come on people. The U.S. Military is there for humanitarian purposes, not to occupy the country.
Can you imagine the issues that the Haitian government, which has been rendered to an inoperable state, face with trying to gain some resemblance of control and safety for it's people.
We all know what people do when they are in these kinds of situations. Survival, at all cost is the primary instinct. With that, people will do all kinds of things that they wouldn't normally do.
I would, you would, everyone would.
With chaos, order has to somehow be initiated and the U. S. Military is doing a fantastic job, considering the circumstances.
Look at the differences between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
They sit side by side but the differences are as night and day.
Maybe now, with the worlds help in the rebuilding process, Haiti will be able to create a better and substantial environment for it's citizens
However, what I don't want to see is the "colonization" of Haiti by outsiders as was done to Africa decades ago.
They need to keep their traditions, dress, languages and all that makes them Haitians.
You know, I hear some say they don't see color in their attempts to not appear racist or prejudice.II hear and see this tactic by many well meaning people.
here's the way I see this issue.
I see color when I see color.
I see Black, yellow, brown, and all the other shades of color of people.
But, I see them as who they are. I don't see past or ignore their color.
I appreciate them, and admire their culture and traditions.
Many need to get back to their traditions and cultural ways and kick out all outsiders who's only motives are to rape their countries for whatever they can get.

Pamela Salomon (255)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:33 pm
Wow this seems to be a heated topic. Thanks and noted.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:41 pm

And -- So you say, Ray!


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:42 pm

Ya know, I started to trust Ray . . .

But I'm smelling PROPAGANDA!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:48 pm
Protect your rights, America!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 1:58 pm

And, Fred, For your own good, you may want to re-valuate your obvious insecurity . . . to the point that you can't even entertain questioning your omnipotence regarding "plants"?????


Kit B (276)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:08 pm
I could print every article that contradicts all the hysteria here and not only would it not be read but the facts would be disregarded. I know many people who have posted here I respect each of them. I also think we are all old enough to know the difference between occupation and aid, it's disappointing to see that is not true. One thing American troops do very well when allowed to do their jobs is to get the aid to the people in need, basic logic should dictate to any intellect that a vast number of things must be done in coordinated manner, and many at the same time - no military -- who then will bury all the dead(?) to say it's a health risk is putting it mildly. Who will coordinate the traffic in the air, land and sea? Who will bring the cargo off the ships and planes and be sure it's distributed quickly and efficiently, who will provide security to the thousands of aid workers, who provides security to the citizens of Haiti? It's difficult to actually tell what is exaggerated and what is happening on the ground, if things are running smoothly as I do hope then that would be because the troops from different countries and the UN are working together to be sure the people in need are taken care of as soon as possible.

If you haven't lived in a state or country that is subject to natural disaster then maybe you don't get to see the very positive attributes of having the military (and National Guard for each state) being able to quickly move to manage the many problems of rescue, aid and security. It may seem that in this climate of anger over Iraq and Afghanistan that they have no other purpose but invasion, that would be an incorrect assumption.

Special Report

Tsunami lessons applied in Haiti
The effort to help Haiti recover from its devastating earthquake can draw on lessons learned in other large-scale tragedies, particularly the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed at least 230 000 people.

Haiti: 500 000 living outdoors
Aftershocks shake Haiti again
Elderly suffer 1km from help
'I never completely lost hope'

3-week-old baby found alive
French rescuers found the baby in a hollow beneath the ruins of a house, after spending five hours trying the get through to her...

Port-au-Prince - The UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti said on Thursday that security in the Caribbean nation was "under control" despite scenes of looting since the devastating earthquake nine days ago.

"The situation is under control in the capital and in the rest of the country, apart from isolated cases of looting," said Vincenzo Paguese, a spokesperson for the UN Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

In the capital Port-au-Prince, which was left devastated by the 7.0-magnitude quake on January 12, police have been impotent to stop the looting of houses, official buildings, banks and businesses.

International aid groups have also had to suspend some relief missions in Port-au-Prince and Leogane, a badly hit town west of the capital, as desperately hungry and thirsty survivors fight over supplies.

However, according to MINUSTAH, the security situation has not deteriorated since the quake, which killed at least 75 000 people, according to preliminary figures. Tens of thousands more dead could still lie in the rubble.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday voted to send 3 500 more security personnel to Haiti to maintain order and protect aid convoys.

Thousands of US troops have also poured into Haiti since the quake and other nations have pledged security forces to help distribute aid, provide medical treatment and try to keep the streets secure from looters and gangs.

Brazil has military command of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti, which is currently 9 000-strong and has been in Haiti since 2004, initially charged with trying to maintain the rule of law in the anarchic state.

The force currently counts 7 000 soldiers from various nations and 2 000 police.

To get this information all that is needed is to type in "security in Haiti" into google.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:23 pm

I'm disappointed (but not surprised.)

It's like speaking to a propaganda mouthpiece.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:26 pm

I have nothing further to say on this article. (and I'm disheartened . . . but not enough to discontinue -- but certainly, enough to reconsider the people I trust.)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:41 pm

There is NO ONE on my friends list that is more important than my values. In fact, anyone who would ask me to choose, is an automatic elimination.

Tsk . . . Tsk . . . Tsk!

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:52 pm
Holy Moses, smell the roses!
Now I have spent 3 hours with fixing my damned PC...

I don't think I have anything to add, but this:
Contry profile on Haiti:
Doctors Without Borders, Online donation:
The International Red Cross:
Avaaz.Org; More than one million US Dollars donated so far!

If we don't stand with the People of Haiti NOW - then WHEN???

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:55 pm



So much creepy propaganda!

I'm so disappointed in you that I'm ceasing comments here.


Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 2:57 pm
...And this from BBC (40 minutes ago):
"What is delaying Haiti's aid?

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:00 pm
"Haiti: Roots of Liberty--Roots of Disaster" (Huffington Post)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:01 pm

It's not about any others who don't get the real point.!

Are YOU in Haiti? Are YOU without clean water? Are YOU being blocked from necessities because the U.S. wants to clear the airstrip for a photo op for Hillary -- without considering that those days they blocked humanitarian aid, victims had to do without water,food and warmth?

(What is it with all this, "It's all about me" crap???

I think I need to take a break from this site!

Agnes H (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:06 pm
Noted, but as they want the area code and telephone number as well for the petition I'm sorry to the both of you for all your hard work and good work, but I won't sign as I refuse to give my phone number. I'd love to sign the petition and I spent all the butterflies I had on water for Haiti. Thus not many butterflies left, but that's worth more to me than keeping on to them and as long as they have this going I'll send my butterflies in for fresh water for Haiti and maybe some extra things that don't need that many butterflies

To me the water is essential to life and I wish they would be able to give food for Haiti as well. Must have a look in the free clicks in Care2 as well see what the Haiti was for as I've forgotten but I remember doing that yesterday. Must bookmark that page today so that I can find it easier.

Please excuse me but I'm wary about giving my phone number out after what happened to me in the last few weeks and won't have the same thing happen again. So I hope you understand why I can't sign this one Just C and Simon. I'd sign straight away you know that Just C, but I'm more careful right now, I hope you understand that as well. I do hope you'll get plenty of signatures.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:08 pm

Oh, for heaven's sake, Agnes -- give a FAKE phone number!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:09 pm

Here's one -- (555) 288-5049

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:18 pm
Here's another one: (666) 355-6094 (It's my personal, secret number) :~ /
No, seriously; Dear Carole, don't waste Your time with this nonsense...please!

Now, for something completely different:
"US to increase troops in Haiti by a third as rescue teams pull back"
I think that is what this was all about from the beginning...???
Correct me if I'm wrong...

Carol Anne Knapp (123)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:18 pm
Just Carole, can't agree with you on this one , the only large scale organizations with the equipment to move in are the military, that it is a military hospital ship that is providing emergency operating facilities. Don't get me wrong I am all for peace, but I don't think it is peaceful to limit available resources in a crisis...and subject a vulnerable populace to lawlessness, which has already been very prevalent..xo you know I am about love and peace but, I am about get her done in an emergency...

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:26 pm
It's about the simple reality that this is not an occupation and the supplies must be delivered. Certainly we can agree that the way this has always been done is with the military - one of the few ways they do act in a humanitarian capacity. I don't excuse abuses but I hope that if someone knows another way to get the material to the people they could some how make those suggestions. I don't believe I asked any one to abandon their principles only to think how we can accomplish the mission of attending to those in need with out a military presence. As I said, trying to tie this to something I have been around - relief to victims of hurricanes and tornadoes nearly every year because I do live in tornado alley, and Texas like Florida has hurricanes very often. No this is not about ME, it's simply about how to actually be helpful to people in need. I wonder how many women have NOT be brutalized because Haiti does have some order on the ground. We aren't bombing them - we are trying to help them. To me this seems so simple and clear, but then I don't see the military as an enemy but rather those who order them to carry out political agenda could be seen as suc. The military on the ground is primarily comprised of young people - idealistic young people who feel very good about being able to assist people - for a change.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:29 pm

Here we go, Kit . . . DON'T prioritize the airstrip for American politics in a time when humanitarian aid (food, water, medical) is necessary -- and there's no immediate need for military intervention -- NOR Hilary Clinton Photo Ops!



Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:32 pm

Re-routing/detouring Doctors Without Borders for 3 DAYS, and prioritizing an airstrip for American militarization (and Hilary politicization) is a disgustingly bourgeouis disregard for human rights.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:41 pm

What a bunch of self-serving, militaristic, fascist crap!

AND YOU are the people they depend on to save them?


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:43 pm

Tell me how *simple* that reality would be if it were YOU or your relatives, and you discovered that aid was detoured from you and your family so that military aid (unnecessary) could deploy!

In the U.S., that's the stuff lawsuits are made of!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:49 pm

Yes, Kit, I see how "simple" propaganda is to those who choose to swallow it.

But, then, I'm not looking at life through your privileged eyes. I'm doing my best to focus on being devastated; and needing water, food, shelter and health care. And through my eyes, I could not give a F**K about anything more than SAVE MY CHILD AND MY FAMILY!

In my eyes? I don't care if the local stores get looted! I know that I'd loot them myself if it meant saving my family's lives, and the U.S. had re-diverted aid from me.


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:55 pm

Do you understand that the most predominant surgical procedure right now is amputations?

How many hours separates saving a limb and amputating it?

Care was diverted to these people for DAYS because the U.S. military comandeered the airstrips and delayed food and medical supplies.


If that were me (and my children and family) DAMNED STRAIGHT I'd be a force to be reckoned with!

What "reality" are you speaking of?

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:57 pm
It might be all you say is true, but the articles I have read, only say the the planes were re-routed to DR and not blocked from supplies being delivered, though I have no doubt that as a result of the rerouting many delays did result. As I understand it the problem with landing the planes is more because of the size of the cargo planes coming in - the lack of facilities to handled them, the amount of air traffic and the size of the air strips.

As to the situation with Hillary Clinton she is not the first and will not be the last Secretary of State to go the country we are attempts to help. That is in fact her job, to find out what the leadership of that country wants or needs and to report to the president what she has learned.

Perhaps you're correct, and I'm a horrible, crude, bourgeois knuckle head, but I don't believe anyone wants harm to come to these people or this country - only to do the best with what is there. I'm sure there will be more delays more problems and even more reasons to be angry, but I haven't seen an intentional abuse of power for some malicious reason.
I personally have said that I don't know any other way to have things quickly organized and cargo moved to where it is needed, and that's just a part of the huge job of the US and UN troops are attempting to do. I don't see this as supporting war mongering or occupation which I do not, I have said as have others how else do we get the huge task done? Should this ever become an effort to change the mission to one of occupation then certainly I would be against that. Again - with out the military HOW do you get all the needed tasks accomplished?

Yes, Ben I do believe that article is exactly what it is all about.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 3:59 pm

That's MY vent . . . and I'm NOWHERE near done!

I'm PISSED (and someone SHOULD be).

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:01 pm

Wanting harm means NOTHING once the harm has been done!

WHO CARES what the uninformed American public thought? Would YOU (if it were your loved ones)?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:02 pm

What REAL purpose (other than a photo op) did Hillary Clinton serve by being there in person, and halting humanitarian aid as a result?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:06 pm

When I hear of a crisis, such as this, as a REAL humanitarian, I put myself in the place of a victim.

NO, I don't want Hillary -- I need food, water and medical aid.

And if Hillary's gonna tie up the airstrip, stopping Doctors Without Borders for days, she can keep her A** to home!

Kit B (276)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:08 pm
Carole while indeed you might be force to be reckoned with in such an emergency - in doing so you are saying that nothing would prevent you from doing what ever you needed to do to save your children - all parents feel the same way -- and that is why there must be a strong police effort on the ground. Each person will do what they can for their own survival that's basic instinct and why the military is always used in these situations, whether here or another country. Perhaps we should look back on Katrina and the nightmare of having troops come in late and begin struggle with improper orders from the leadership.

"But, then, I'm not looking at life through your privileged eyes. I'm doing my best to focus on being devastated; and needing water, food, shelter and health care. And through my eyes, I could not give a F**K about anything more than SAVE MY CHILD AND MY FAMILY!"

I'm guessing that shot was for me. Thanks - think I'll just hang on to a response. This situation has and will continue to bring out emotions from all watching and feeling helpless as well as those working on the ground in country.

You really are not the only one who cares - who will continue to care even though not everyone agrees with the best method of aid, everyone seems to agree that aid is an uncompromising necessity.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:09 pm

Please sign the petition!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:11 pm

And anyone who wants to flag me -- SO BE IT!

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:13 pm
CIA Contractor Now Flying Spy Drone Over Haiti

A controversial CIA contractor has found new work in Haiti, flying drones on disaster recovery duty.

When last we heard from Evergreen International Aviation, the Oregon-based firm was offering to post sentries at local voting centers during the 2008 election, "detaining troublemakers" and making sure voters "do not get out of control."

Now, company vice president Sam White tells Aviation Week that the firm is flying at least one ScanEagle surveillance drone over Haiti. "The company has a fleet of 747s and a fleet of large and small choppers, and has begun ferrying in supplies to Port au Prince," the magazine's Paul McLeary notes. "White wouldn't say who the company is moving cargo for, saying only that ‘we're working with different agencies, and we have one plane coming in tomorrow full of humanitarian supplies.'"

Over the years, Evergreen has had all sorts of interesting clients over its five-plus decades in operation. Back in the late '80s, the company "acknowledged one agreement under which his companies provide occasional jobs and cover to foreign nationals the CIA wants taken out of other countries or brought into the United States." In 2006, Evergreen's parent company flew Bill O'Reilly into Kuwait in 2006, according toSourceWatch. Last April, the company won a $158 million contract to supply the Air Force with helicopters in Afghanistan.

Haiti wouldn't be Evergreen's first disaster-response mission, however. In September, the State of California chartered Evergreen's 747 supertanker, to help put out forest fires there.

UPDATE: Brian Whiteside, executive vice president of Evergreen Unmanned Systems, denied that his company is flying drones for the earthquake recovery operation. "We have no UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] in Haiti - nothing currently in Haiti, and nothing in the region,"he tells Danger Room. Whiteside acknowledged that "we do have teams over there that are trying to help." But Whiteside isn't sure what, exactly, they've been able to accomplish. "We don't have very good comms with them." And when I asked him which government agency or charity Evergreen was trying to support, he ducked the question, and referred me to his spokesperson.

UPDATE 2: McLeary went back and posted the quotes he got from Evergreen's Sam White. "We also have some UAVs here that we're bringing in to, uh, probably work with the press to help out downloading live video links and aerial shots of the devastation," he said. "We also have 747 cargo airplanes, and so we're working with different agencies there and uh, we have a plane landing here tomorrow to bring in a lot of humanitarian supplies. So we'll be here for quite some time."

So which Evergreen exec is telling the truth?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:15 pm

Kit, I hardly think I'm "the only one who cares."

Many (informed) others are seeing the tragedy that is being exacerbated by U.S. false priorities.

Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:21 pm
signed petition

I also believe that without miltary or police being involved in delivering the food and supplies the common poeple will not recievce them. there is too much corruption in the world. and just the poeple being desperate to get supplies they would be over running the supply trucks and taking what they wanted.
what i dont understand is why this country doesnt have thier own police or miltary to hand out this food and supplies. yes they are devasted but dont they have thier own crowd control ?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:21 pm

Ironic? Many of the people commenting here are the same ones who agree that the U.S. Government is being controlled by corporations.

And you think this is different?

Kari D (192)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:27 pm

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:28 pm
I signed the petition, because must do everything we can in how ever we can to help the Hatian people.

However, I question the notion that in order for Hatians to restore democracy, Aristide must return to Haiti to govern for the following reasons:

I have reservations about Aristide because of his known associations with drug lord and drug dealing in Haiti. "Aristide ''is a drug lord. He controlled the drug trade in Haiti,'' said Ketant, 42. ``He turned the country into a narco-country.'' If he does return, that is if the United States facilitates his return, we may as well kiss off any possibility of a new Haiti, a healthy Hait, devoid of drug dealing at the level which Aristide took the country.

Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:44 pm
i dont know what the answer is to haiti's problems but i was curious about haiti after seeing this site and did some research on Haiti. this country is a mess. it is totally screwed up. it has gangs, crime, drugs, poeple shooting each other. it is totally out of control before this earthquake. now it is even worse. no i dont think going in and taking over the country is rlight. but they need some serious poeple control and someone to lead this country who is strong and not only will but can do something about thier horrible problems. just sending food and supplies isnt going to solve thier problems. they need aide now, but once they start to recover from this earthquake they need some serious government reforms

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:48 pm
"U.S. troops in Haiti to prevent Aristide’s return" (Online Journal)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:48 pm

You have a wrecked airport with no air traffic control. You have a wrecked road system to transport the goods. You have no infrastructure to deliver the food, water, and medical treatment. No trucks. No government to organize the distribution. Fortunately the US military has mobile air traffic control, mobile hospitals, medical personnel, transport planes, transport vehicles, manpower, security, a spare aircraft carrier which it is loading with helicopter transports, a hospital ship, etc, etc.
Now what organization on this earth can provide aid to these desperate people quicker and more efficiently? Maybe Santa Clause, but he's on vacation until next fall.


Mark, the American troops tied up the airstrips and sent Doctors Without Borders out to sea THREE TIMES.

In the meantime, people who might have been able to save limbs have had no choice but to amputate them!

And YOU try going three days without food or water!


Kit B (276)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:57 pm
Unfortunately, you're taking the stand that any one (apparently especially me) that disagrees with the method has no right to address this. Sure many of the things you're saying are true Carole, but so are others correct. We simply want to see people get aid, the UN and Haiti ASKED for our help. And yes, under the best circumstance medicine in Haiti is more like battlefield medicine.

Some can listen to others opinions and disagree and yet still respect their right to have and speak those opinions.

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:58 pm
"...As Cuban and Venezuelan field hospitals were already rendering first aid and trauma care to Haitians injured in the mega-quake, Obama was gathered at a White House photo op with Vice President Joe Biden and other Cabinet officers to state that U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft would fly over Haiti to assess the situation from the air. A U.S. P-3 Orion spy plane from Comalapa air base in El Salvador was dispatched to conduct the surveillance operation, an act that was already being accomplished by earth satellites, the images of which were available on Google Maps.

As Obama was garnering praise from such sycophantic White House outlets as the largely-discredited Washington Post, a 37-person Icelandic search-and-rescue team was pulling trapped earthquake victims from the rubble of collapsed buildings in Port-au-Prince. Iceland, a nation bankrupted by Obama’s banker pals on Wall Street and in the City of London, was able to react in a way that the slumbering and oafish dying super-power, the United States, could not -- with action aimed at providing immediate assistance to the Haitian people.

Obama’s generals and admirals, who are mostly more concerned about their appearance than in taking charge and moving out, were still scratching their heads about where to land the U.S. Marines and 82nd Airborne. In fact, military aircraft carrying weapons and other war supplies crowded the airport aprons at Port-au-Prince airport that could be used by planes from other countries carrying much needed food, water, and medical supplies. Argentine doctors already on the scene in Haiti complained that they were running out of simple sewing kits being used as stitches for the injured who had undergone surgery.

When U.S. Special Operations forces hit the ground at Port-au-Prince airport they pointed their weapons at desperate Haitians at the airport perimeter who wanted help not a gun pointed in their faces. Russia, Spain, Mexico, Chile, and Guatemala were rushing in food and water for Haiti..."
(Online Journal)

Erin R (181)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 4:58 pm
Thanks! Important petition!!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:00 pm

Thank you, Bengt.

(So much for the U.S. and Israel being "first on the scene," eh?)

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:13 pm
Yeah, right...

I just saw this
"Haitian Radio Helps Keep a Country Afloat"
"...When most people are asked what stands out in their mind in the first days following the quake, they mention the piles of dead bodies, the wounded and the smashed up city. But Viau has a different answer.
"It is the solidarity," he says. "I saw so many people helping each other. That is what I remember most."


Sally Ann G (256)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:22 pm
Sadly I do believe it is a case damned if you do and damned if you don't. I also believe the US media reporters are not helping things with their cynical reporting

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:25 pm
The U.S. military controlling the airports, has control over WHO gets the aid, and HOW MUCH aid gets thru - and {they hope!} leads to the perception that "the aid is coming from the United States", even when it ISN'T.
Yes, it's all about CONTROL.
How about the Clintons {ex-Pres and Chelsea} with "bags full of TEDDY BEARS"???!!! Now THAT'S what the Haitians REALLY NEED!!!!!!!!! {"Cute" photo-op, too!}
Or those "TALKING BIBLES" a group is flying in??? {Bibles solar-activated to "talk" to "groups of illiterate people".}


Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:29 pm
So, they can't eat them teddy bears???
And talking bibles can come in very handy!

Ben O (131)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:32 pm
...I mean, if you are in desperate need of medicine, food, and water...
it must be such a relief to hear comforting words from the

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:35 pm

I'm just sittin' here (glad not to be the only one talkin' truth) and bitin' my tongue.

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:36 pm
" It's about the simple reality that this is not an occupation and the supplies must be delivered. Certainly we can agree that the way this has always been done is with the military - one of the few ways they do act in a humanitarian capacity. "

To Kit:

I'm with you Kit. Although I am concerned as to who will ultimately govern Haiti. Haitians for too long have been used as cheap labor, discarded like old news, and left out to dry . Having said this, now as we speak, the issue is about delivering all possible help. It is indeed true that the military is trained for the job. My hope is for expediency and compassion.

Personally, I hope the Haitian people are not left to mire in the same the hole they've been for much to long because of US policy of of Imperialism and hegemony in Latin America and the Caribbean Region.

This is the ideal time to help rebuilt Haiti and turn it into a healthy and productive society.

To Ben:

Thank your for excellent urls to very illuminating articles . At good to know the U.S. is not going to allow Aristide to return. And if this is the case, why are we asked to sign a petition to return Artistide to power?

Two things are going on in this discussion. One and the most important one, is to help the Hatian people with all we have and more. The other issue is the question of who should be placed in power? Will it be another puppet of the United States?

The question remains, will the U.S. have a significant role in rebuilding Haiti? And how?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:40 pm

How did "Who should be placed in power?" become our decision?

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 5:56 pm
Carol: "How did "Who should be placed in power?" become our decision? "

Perhaps you misunderstand my statement, but if you read through my comments you can see my position is clear. It's time the United States stop placing puppet governments in Latin American and the Caribbean Region. By the looks of things, this may well be the direction Haiti is taking. Especially with petitioning for Artistide to return to govern. Although based on the article posted by Ben Oscarito, at least in the case of Aristide it doesn't look like this will not happen.

So, let me make it very clear to you, I DO NOT ESPOUSE the United States meddling in the political affairs of other countries as has been the history and relationship of U.S. Latin American relations. Are we clear?

comes to setting up a government. The

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:02 pm

Since it's clear to you, perhaps you could explain to me why the democratically elected President Aristide is in exile.

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:10 pm
"There is a lot of brasilian there, we are sad! I pray and do what I can!"

Andreia, I understand the Brrasilian rescue mission has been doing a great work!!!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:11 pm


Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:15 pm

Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide attributes his falling-out with Washington to a disagreement over privatization.

In other words, the U.S. send him packing.

This article should be helpful for your understanding the issues surrounding Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his relationship to the United States with some detail.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:18 pm

I knew that already, M. Luisa F., and now that you've acknowledged that you do and you "DO NOT ESPOUSE the United States meddling in the political affairs of other countries, I return to my original question:

"How did "Who should be placed in power?" become our decision?"

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:24 pm

You see, it's this "stepping beyond just offering aid" and taking for granted that it's a U.S. decision to decide who should govern other countries that makes countries in crisis nervous when we send in troops.

Mark G (36)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:25 pm
Had the US decided to NOT send our military down to Haiti to help, those who are complaining about it now would have been the ones complaining the loudest that we didn't.

Had we wanted to occupy Haiti, it would have been a whole lot easier and a heck of a lot cheaper to do it before the earthquake.
While the US is managing the main airport, the UN is prioritizing which aircraft land. There is only one runway in Port-au-Prince and a damaged control tower. Without US military assistance they wouldn't have the equipment to safely land more than a few planes an hour. We have the airport landing 130 a day now. The Canadian military is clearing another runway south of the city in Jacmel for them to use for additional support.
But keep on believing we're just there to conquer this paradise. Maybe we'll split it with Canada?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:26 pm

You're right, Mark.

Luisa Fox (144)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:26 pm
"I knew that already, M. Luisa F., and now that you've acknowledged that you do and you "DO NOT ESPOUSE the United States meddling in the political affairs of other countries, I return to my original question:

"How did "Who should be placed in power?" become our decision?"

Listen lady, I am not interested in twisiing words and playing games. o.k?

Maybe you should go bark at the moon or something.

I have no patience for this type of confrontational baloney.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:27 pm

Well, thanks for clarifying that, M Luisa F.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:29 pm

I'm probably just jealous because I don't have your expertise on diplomatic relations. (My bad.)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 6:34 pm

And, Andreia? Welcome, my new friend!

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:01 pm
Just Carole, Simon, others, you are enduring lots of flack from people who WANT to believe the MYTH that "America is ALWAYS Right, Just, and Good"; "America ALWAYS does the Right Thing with Good Intentions".
Just because THEY have Good Intentions and try always to do the Right Thing, themselves, as individuals; they PROJECT this onto their COUNTRY.

Some people are in the position of the "Good Germans"; their self-esteem, their own self-image, does not PERMIT them to see their country acting as International Bully and International DE-stabilizer.
That is because Our Country, whatever the Good Intentions of the Founders may have been, is NOW, JUST AN EXTENSION OF CORPORATIONS EXISTING SOLELY TO RAPE RESOURCES AND MAKE MONEY. The "Military-Industrial Complex" rules; and it also provides a SMOKE-SCREEN OF PROPAGANDA for those NOT WILLING TO CONFRONT THE ACTUAL, HORRIBLE, UNBEARABLE TRUTH.
The people living in the self-imposed dark, will either WAKE UP someday, or -- not.

I just read an article, was it Naomi Klein, or who, I don't remember.... but, from actual cross-cultural research she did, people in disasters UNLIKE THE STEREOTYPE EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE, actually REMAIN CALM AND HELP EACH OTHER, FAR MORE than would be expected from "popular wisdom". In fact, she said {whoever the author who did this RESEARCH was}, there is a COMMON, UPLIFTING SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY THAT DRAWS PEOPLE TOGETHER.
This was based on pre-Haiti research; for example, using the San Francisco Earthquake and similar more recent examples.
People CAN ORGANIZE THEMSELVES. Duh, it's something people DO, it's NATURAL to our species, we do it all the time!!!
So when government is non-existent, people TAKE OVER NECESSARY FUNCTIONS THEMSELVES.
People have asked, well, without the U.S. Army to "distribute supplies", who would? Supplies wouldn't get distributed, would they?

There is this AWFUL STEREOTYPE, about the "Lower Classes" being "like Wild Animals, out of control". And this STEREOTYPE, is COMPOUNDED, when members of that Lower Class are BLACK. Conscious, or unconscious, racism, and CERTAINLY, "classism".

A Black Person carrying needed supplies from a wrecked store, in Haiti or in New Orleans, is "looting". {A White Person is just "surviving".}

Yes, I do believe the American Troops are there MAINLY TO KEEP ARISTIDE FROM COMING BACK.
Aristide WAS THE HAITIAN PEOPLE'S CHOICE; but, alas! NOT the American's choice -- so he had to go! HIS SUPPORTERS, THE HAITIAN MAJORITY, STILL WANT HIM BACK. In a country allowed by its neighbors to ABIDE BY THE RESULTS OF DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS, ARISTIDE WOULD BE THE PRESIDENT TODAY -- and undoubtedly DOING A FAR FAR BETTER JOB THAN THE HAND-PICKED U.S. CORPORATIONS' PUPPET GOVERNMENT IS DOING. Basically, the U.S. puppets are now HIDING {maybe rightly fearing their people's retribution!}.

Aristide may-or-may-not have been up to his eyeballs in drugs, nevertheless HE WAS AND STILL IS, THE PEOPLE'S LEGITIMATE CHOICE. And the personal prejudices of the U.S. military-industrial complex should have NOTHING to do with it!!! If the Haitians WANT a "drug lord"....
Altho, I think this "drug lord" stuff is SHEER ANTI-ARISTIDE PROPAGANDA used as JUSTIFICATION for its ILLEGAL ACTS by the U.S. Knowing that it would have a knee-jerk reaction with the American public, true or totally-not-true.....
Oh, but but but, the U.S. NEVER does wrong, NEVER LIES, NEVER NEVER NEVER NOT EVER, we CAN'T.....!!!!!!!!!


[Supposing CUBA sent ITS Military! How would we, and the Haitians, feel about THAT!!!!!! Instead, Cuba was among the VERY FIRST TO SEND AID; in the form of TEAMS OF DOCTORS THAT IT HAD READY TO GO TO DISASTERS AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE. But you DIDN'T HEAR ABOUT THAT, DID YOU, IN THE U.S. MEDIA???!!!]
Just THINK about that for a moment!!!!!!!!!!!

Even if some of these supplies are EVENTUALLY, MAYBE, handed out to the people of Haiti -- they may JUST BE FOR U.S. EMBASSY STAFF -- but even if a few did get handed out, they will appear to come "thru the kindness of" the U.S. But, THAT WOULD FOOL ABSOLUTELY NO-ONE. The distribution of needed supplies, DAYS LATE, and THRU THE U.S. EMBASSY AND U.S. MILITARY, inevitably ADDS TO ANTI-AMERICAN HATRED. And RIGHTFULLY, JUSTLY SO.
As was said before, if it was MY KID had to WAIT FOR DAYS FOR HELP because of the U.S. BOTTLENECK of other countries' aid....

That is an INESCAPABLE CONCLUSION, once you are aware of the FACTS.
This is not "prejudice" or "irrational".
It should NEVER have been deployed there.

Even if the SOLDIERS THEMSELVES are not being told the TRUTH of why they are there.... and see themselves as "Good Guys". They are being USED.
And all those "glowing reports" in the Corporate Media.....

"American Aid: when Photo-op TEDDY BEARS get distributed BEFORE WATER REACHES PEOPLE?????"

The Good People in my country are being FOOLED. The People of Haiti, and of Cuba, Venezuela, France, Iceland, Lebanon, and NUMEROUS other countries that have sent aid, ARE NOT FOR ONE SINGLE MOMENT, BEING FOOLED.

EXPOSE THE TRUTH, and DON'T let yourself be fooled any longer by "Cute Teddy Bears"!!!!!


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:06 pm

Oh, THANK YOU, Barbara! (Not that I doubted myself, but it IS good to know others are not deluded. I wasn't getting much support here. hehehehe)


Matloob ul Hasan (81)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:08 pm
thanks, noted.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:09 pm

And thank YOU, my dear Bengt!


Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:51 pm
To the extent that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has earth-moving equipment, etc., that other entities don't have nearby; to that extent, I would be willing to concede that there could be a MUCH SMALLER contingent of U.S. Military, and other countries' Militaries, trained in clearing things and building things. That would actually be a HELP.

With this massive U.S. deployment, however, it STILL looks like an invasion not an Aid Mission; with the Aid added on just to make it "look good".
[This is in response to Mark's post.]
I've read about the Port-au-Prince harbors being blocked by debris, etc.
IF this were a REAL Rescue Mission with that as its PRIMARY GOAL, it would LOOK QUITE DIFFERENT.

The Talking Bibles: they are in hopes of transforming Haiti from a Catholic country, which it is now, to an Evangelical Protestant country.... Another example of "SHOCK THERAPY", taking ADVANTAGE.....

There are Private Companies, the protection of whose members {and property!} is of paramount importance to them..... This is probably what "Contractors" such as Blackwater, and EIA, are doing in Haiti. [I read about this in the NY Times.] This is a kind of "insurance" that is contracted for in advance. Some tourists and business travelers have this form of "insurance", too. They get "protected" and evacuated by private helicopter.... No doubt, the CIA takes care of ITS own, in similar fashion!!!
The U.S. controlling air space and access, would help these guys if needed... on the sly, of course, with no publicity!!!
Another reason for the U.S. military to have such a huge presence.... so this sneaky stuff won't be noticed in the confusion!

Again according to the NY Times, the present puppet govt installed by the U.S. when it ousted Aristide, is TOTALLY DOING NOTHING AND USELESS in this Emergency Situation.
This doesn't mean that HAITIANS are incompetent! {The people who KICKED OUT NAPOLEON aren't a bunch of dummies!}
But it sure means that THE RICH FAT CATS INSTALLED BY THE U.S. never thot they'd be in a position where they actually needed to DO SOMETHING.....

Haitians are quite as capable of self-government, as anyone else.
The U.S. Corporations would RATHER HAVE INCOMPETENTS RUNNING THE HAITIAN GOVT; so they could have a free hand to rape the country all they wanted to, with no interference.....
Aristide was run out by the Corporations, because he wanted to PRIVATIZE... that should TELL YOU SOMETHING.
Yup, pick out rich idiots to run the country, then when disaster hits, omigod, they "need" us to run things properly.....

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 7:57 pm

Bless your heart, Barbara!

LOL for your breath of fresh honesty!

Past Member (0)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:46 pm
It is sad that all of what one person here is doing is feeding from their emotions and insulting everyone who disagrees with them... Sad to think that they want help, but when the help gets there they are not happy because it is not being handled in the fashion of which they think is proper.

As it was said, America is damn if it does and damned if it don't.

I saw just today on you tube that part of the air port and part of a pier was fixed by the US military, that food was dropped off by the US military, but it took the Haiti government AND the UN 5 hour to get the food to those who needed it because their men wanted a lunch brake.

I just wanted to give my view on this, I don't think it shows the best example of the US sending out 13,000 troops, but who else are they to send? Is the person who posted this news story willing to go there and help if they were asked, what about the rest of you?

My husband and I are so frustrated and a bit angry right now, we wanted to sign up and adopt a child who lost their parents, we have been wanting to adopt children since we have had all the kids biologically as possible, but we are being told we are not going to be able to do such, I don't know who's more devastated, me or my husband thinking how we can care for another child, have the means, but each time we try we are turned away and seeing all them children without family and parents is just to much for both of us. But here we are on a list again... waiting........

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 8:57 pm



Just because YOU are a Kind and Generous person, doesn't mean that the Corporations running this country, reflect YOUR Good Qualities on any large scale!
Nor are the soldiers on this "mission", reflecting "Kindness and Generosity" IN THE EYES OF THE RECEIVERS. The American soldiers on this "mission", in the eyes of the receivers, reflect TYRANNY AND AMERICAN CONTROL.
The soldiers, like the news media, and like YOUR innate Kindness and Generous Human Feelings, they are ALL BEING USED, USED, USED in the MOST HYPOCRITICAL WAY POSSIBLE.


'According to news reports, the Pentagon has been given complete control over the Port Au Prince airport and is responsible for all air traffic control. There are increasing reports that aid organizations have accused the U.S. military "of focusing their efforts on getting their people and troops installed and lifting their citizens out." (New York Times, Jan. 17)

Under the pretext of stopping alleged looting, the U.S. has now forced the government of President Rene Preval to pass emergency measures that would delegate all security to the Pentagon.

The U.S. military presence has expanded from 3,500 soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division, 2,200 U.S. Marines, to an estimated 10,000 troops. It is outrageous that the Haitian people are being forced to endure even greater hardship so that the U.S. can expand their military occupation.

Haiti's airport must be devoted to humanitarian relief flights. Haiti needs food water and medical aid, not a U.S. military occupation. Haiti's sovereignty and democratically elected President Jean Bertrand Aristide must be restored!'
What the Haitian people are getting, is a mere "token"; AND THEY DARNED WELL KNOW IT.
How much food and water does it take, to support TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TROOPS safely and healthily in a hot climate? {Besides drinking, there needs to be clean water for showers, dishwashing, laundry, etc.... and medical help FOR THE TROOPS.....}
A relative HANDFUL of Aid workers, could bring in TONS of supplies. {And actually need to consume only a tiny fraction of them for their own support!}

This could be happening to Aid YOU, or I, or citizens of another country, paid for!!!!!!!!!!!!!

'It is outrageous that the Haitian people are being forced to endure even greater hardship so that the U.S. can expand their military occupation.'

Don't you yet realize, American people, that it's ALL EMPTY ADVERTISING designed, DESIGNED ON PURPOSE, to APPEAL TO YOUR GOOD IMAGE OF YOURSELF AS A "GOOD PERSON"???


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:24 pm

I know, Barbara, it's unbelievable the control that was granted to the U.S.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:32 pm

And even now, when human suffering is climaxing, and we are at fault for delaying food, water and medical supplies -- in order to position unnecessary military aid -- the presence of American forces has only served to bottleneck life-saving aid!

(Honestly? I could scream about this. I am so angry!)

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:34 pm

For those readers I lashed out at, I'm sorry (somewhat).

This travesty and abuse of control/power in a time of desperation is unconscionable!

Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:35 pm
Thanks! One important thing to note:

We should restore our constitutional republic! Then other countries should create their own constitutional republic. Forget democracy! In a democracy "majority rules". In a constitutional republic every living breathing human being has rights they were born with. In a democracy no one has individual rights............all of us should learn the differences between a constitutional republic and realize the government started using the word democracy as just another word game so we would forget what America is supposed to be. I would love to see a sign that says "we want a constitutional republic"........

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Thursday January 21, 2010, 9:39 pm

Thanks, Eleda!

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 5:51 am
We aren't "occupying" Haiti. Our military has been there for a matter of, what - two weeks or so? And is there at the request of the Haitian government. And is there to assist in the relief effort. And will leave when the relief effort is over or at the request of the Haitian government, whichever occurs first.

The previous comments are correct - when you have a starving, thirsty, injured, and frightened populace, serious security is needed, especially when distributing aid supplies. It is, at least, if you don't want the aid workers trampled and the aid supplies to only be taken by the strongest (who would also be trampling their weaker brethren, of course, to get to the food and water.)

And, since so many don't want a U.S. military presence in Haiti, I suppose we really should turn the military hospital ships around and tell them to go home, shouldn't we?

Amazing (and disgusting) - how even a humanitarian effort is going to have a certain portion of the population denouncing the United States - just on general principle, of course.

It must be a miserable life when you're so constantly and wholeheartedly ashamed of your own nationality. I wouldn't know from firsthand experience, of course.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 6:32 am
"Our military has been there for a matter of, what - two weeks or so? And is there at the request of the Haitian government. And is there to assist in the relief effort. And will leave when the relief effort is over or at the request of the Haitian government, whichever occurs first. "

Personally, I don't think the U.S. is occupying Haiti. Yet!
If we can make a buck, we will, no matter. A lot of American independent contractors are flooding the country to "help".

Perhaps the clamor over the U.S. and whether the US has their eye on Haiti harks back to the history of gunboat diplomacy by the United States, gunboat diplomacy and Latin America and the Caribbean Region, and not to the present disaster in Haiti.

There is no denying the the U.S. military is most prepared to help, but let us not forget other very competent disaster relief help equally as competent like Brasil for example.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 6:34 am
I take issue with the petition to retore Jean Bertrand Aristide to power for reasons a cited previously.

Marion Y (322)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:07 am
Gladly signed. Much thanks, Simon!

Carole ~ I'm with you on this one. While the US people are sincere in our efforts to donate and help, our government's role in helping is two-sided and must be carefully watched. Haiti's natural disaster was exacerbated by the US efforts to break Haiti for over 200 years. On the one hand, Obama needed to get help into Haiti immediately. It is not just the US. There is no mention of the help from Cuba and Venezuela who hit the ground running and were there to help before the US arrived. The Israeli government who I detest for their horrid activities with Palestine, gets credit for having an outstanding medical team that came prepared, fully self-contained and set up shop outside the president's palace where they've greatly helped the Haitians.

I can understand the need to get the airport functioning again, but why total control? Why the photo-ops? Why the need to give an image that the Haitians are savages and ready to attack the helpers? After 3 or more days of no food or water, I'd be ready to steal and attack too. If this were Denmark where the tragedy struck, would the US and media act this way, given similar circumstances?

All the US needed to do was get helicopters in there immediately, set a few troops on the ground and hand out food, water and medical supplies in strategic locations. If the US really wanted to help, they would have started building a 2nd or even a 3rd runway that would have been dried in the hot sun and ready to land many aircraft within a week or two. They would have begun work on the broken port right away too. We knew what the infrastructure was before landing...why wasn't this thought out beforehand? It would have taken no more than 1-2 hours of thought.

Why did the US focus on Port Au Prince that first tragic week, rather than spread out to the towns nearest the epicenter of the quake where the devastation was near 80-90%? What is Hillary and John Edwards doing there? What are all the tents and supplies doing on the runway taking up space? If any large tents should be set up, they should be filled with medical teams and equipment.

Why are security contractors like Black Water circling Haiti assessing and analyzing the situation? This whole situation smells like an OPPORTUNITY to me. The US has used Haiti as an opportunity for hundreds of years. There's a tendency to "get something" from any help we give.

The actor, Danny Glover, is quite upset over the donations given to the Red Cross and wants a full accounting of all donations to ensure they go to Haiti and not the organizations.

While I commend the US' efforts to help, we need to ensure the Haitians best interests are at heart.

Why the US Owes Haiti Billions

Brigitte T (69)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:35 am
Haiti - The Price of Freedom

By Carolyn Cooper

The US refused to recognise the new Haitian republic and imposed an embargo that lasted until 1862. In 1915, the US invaded Haiti to protect its economic interests and remained in occupation until 1934. Local Haitian leaders were no less predatory than foreign forces, as demonstrated in the truly terrifying reign of Papa and Baby Doc.


Haiti earthquake: 70,000 buried in mass graves:

It is feared the death toll from the Haitian earthquake could reach 200,000, but aid groups have warned that if more medical supplies do not arrive soon, thousands more will die from their injuries.


Elderly and abandoned, 84 Haitians await death:

The old lady crawls in the dirt, wailing for her pills. The elderly man lies motionless as rats pick at his overflowing diaper.


Frustration mounts over Haiti aid:

Little help has reached the many people waiting for help in makeshift camps on streets strewn with debris and decomposing bodies.


Doctors Without Borders Cargo Plane With Full Hospital and Staff Blocked From Landing in Port-au-Prince:

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges that its cargo planes carrying essential medical and surgical material be allowed to land in Port-au-Prince in order to treat thousands of wounded waiting for vital surgical operations.


Caricom Blocked: :

THE CARIBBEAN Community's emergency aid mission to Haiti, comprising Heads of Government and leading technical officials, failed to secure permission Friday to land at that devasted country's aiport, now under the control of the United States.


US doctors beg their government to admit critically injured children from Haiti:

American Government allows one baby girl to be airlifted to hospital in Florida.


Witness to a nightmare:

ON SATURDAY, Hillary Clinton flew into Haiti to oversee the relief effort--supposedly. But I think her trip to Haiti tells you all you need to know: They had to shut down the airport for three hours so she could land, which meant that no actual aid flights could come in.


US accused of annexing airport as squabbling hinders aid effort in Haiti:

Brazil and France lodged an official ­protest with Washington after US military aircraft were given priority at Port-au-Prince's congested airport, forcing many non-US flights to divert to the Dominican Republic.


Chavez: US uses earthquake to occupy Haiti:

"There is not a shortage of guns there, my God. Doctors, medicine, fuel, field hospitals, that's what the United States should send," Chavez said on his weekly television show. "They are occupying Haiti undercover," he warned.§ionid=351020706


Haiti's elite spared from much of the devastation:

Search-and-rescue operations have been intensely focused on buildings with international aid workers, such as the crushed U.N. headquarters, and on large hotels with international clientele. Some international rescue workers said they are being sent to find foreign nationals first.


Disgusting War Criminals Peddle "Humanitarian" Aid for Haiti:

On Sunday, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush mounted the corporate media propaganda platform and complained about the politicization of the Haitian relief effort.



Brigitte T (69)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:37 am
Haiti's mass graves swell; doctors fear more death:

Workers are carving out mass graves on a hillside north of Haiti's capital, using earth-movers to bury 10,000 earthquake victims in a single day while relief workers warn the death toll could increase.


Aid 'piled up' as Haiti stays hungry:

I am sitting a couple of hundred metres away from the runway of Port au Prince airport and I am frustrated. I wonder if I am allowed to say that as a journalist. But, having been in Haiti for the past few days, I realise normal rules no longer apply.


Too big a task - Medics worry they can't 'heal' Haiti:

The horrifying fact is there are Haitians dying from cuts that were left unattended. There are others who had no choice but to settle with the gaping holes in their bodies


Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations plane with relief aid for Haiti stranded in Caracas:

Russia's Charges d'Affaires in Venezuela Vladimir Tokmakov told Itar-Tass that the IL-76 plane was being grounded in Caracas because the U.S. air traffic controllers, who are in control of the Port -au-Prince airport, were constantly delaying permission to fly into the Haitian capital.


The myth of Haiti's lawless streets:

To withhold aid because of the 'security situation' is a miserable excuse for agencies' failure to deliver desperately needed help


Haiti needs water, not occupation:

The US has never wanted Haitian self-rule, and its focus on 'security concerns' has hampered the earthquake aid response


A Haiti Disaster Relief Scenario Was Envisaged by the US Military One Day Before the Earthquake:

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DoD), was involved in organizing these scenarios on behalf of US Southern Command.(SOUTHCOM).


Chavez says US 'weapon' caused Haiti quake:

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez Wednesday accused the United States of causing the destruction in Haiti by testing a 'tectonic weapon' to induce the catastrophic earthquake that hit the country last week.§ionid=351020704


CIA Contractor Now Flying Spy Drone Over Haiti :

When last we heard from Evergreen International Aviation, the Oregon-based firm was offering to post sentries at local voting centers during the 2008 election, "detaining troublemakers" and making sure voters "do not get out of control." - Now, company vice president Sam White tells Aviation Week that the firm is flying at least one ScanEagle surveillance drone over Haiti. "


Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:46 am

Wow, Brigitte . . . You REALLY did your homework!

Great information.

Patricia Herrick (54)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:51 am
From someone there:

From a friend of a friend.. CA

An inspiring story, ---especially her statement that it is "the kindness and not the horror that can break the numbness that we are all lost in right now."

Kouraj cherie = courage, cherie = i wish you strength, or may you be brave, darling

Bonswa cherie = bonsoir = good evening, dear,, or darling

Update from Haiti

To: Susan Zeeman Rogers
Sent: Tue, January 19, 2010 11:12:04 AM
Subject: "Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)" sent you a message on Facebook...

Sasha Kramer sent a message to the members of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL).

Subject: Kouraj cherie: Update from Port au Prince

January 19, 2010

This afternoon, feeling helpless, we decided to take a van down to Champs Mars (the area around the palace) to look for people needing medical care to bring to Matthew 25, the guesthouse where we are staying which has been transformed into a field hospital. Since we arrived in Port au Prince everyone has told us that you cannot go into the area around the palace because of violence and insecurity. I was in awe as we walked into downtown, among the flattened buildings , in the shadow of the fallen palace, amongst the swarms of displaced people there was calm and solidarity. We wound our way through the camp asking for injured people who needed to get to the hospital. Despite everyone telling us that as soon as we did this we would be mobbed by people, I was amazed as we approached each tent people gently pointed us towards their neighbors, guiding us to those who were suffering the most. We picked up 5 badly injured people and drove towards an area where Ellie and Berto had passed a woman earlier. When they saw her she was lying on the side of the road with a broken leg screaming for help, as they were on foot they could not help her at the time so we went back to try to find her. Incredibly we found her relatively quickly at the top of a hill of shattered houses. The sun was setting and the community helped to carry her down the hill on a refrigerator door, tough looking guys smiled in our direction calling out “bonswa Cherie” and “kouraj”.

When we got back to Matthew 25 it was dark and we carried the patients back into the soccer field/tent village/hospital where the team of doctors had been working tirelessly all day. Although they had officially closed down for the evening, they agreed to see the patients we had brought. Once our patients were settled in we came back into the house to find the doctors amputating a foot on the dining room table. The patient lay calmly, awake but far away under the fog of ketamine. Half way through the surgery we heard a clamor outside and ran out to see what it was. A large yellow truck was parked in front of the gate and rapidly unloading hundreds of bags of food over our fence, the hungry crowd had already begun to gather and in the dark it was hard to decide how to best distribute the food. Knowing that we could not sleep in the house with all of this food and so many starving people in the neighborhood, our friend Amber (who is experienced in food distribution) snapped into action and began to get everyone in the crowd into a line that stretched down the road. We braced ourselves for the fighting that we had heard would come but in a miraculous display of restraint and compassion people lined up to get the food and one by one the bags were handed out without a single serious incident.

During the food distribution the doctors called to see if anyone could help to bury the amputated leg in the backyard. As I have no experience with food distribution I offered to help with the leg. I went into the back with Ellie and Berto and we dug a hole and placed the leg in it, covering it with soil and cement rubble. By the time we got back into the house the food had all been distributed and the patient Anderson was waking up. The doctors asked for a translator so I went and sat by his stretcher explaining to him that the surgery had gone well and he was going to live. His family had gone home so he was alone so Ellie and I took turns sitting with him as he came out from under the drugs. I sat and talked to Anderson for hours as he drifted in and out of consciousness. At one point one of the Haitian men working at the hospital came in and leaned over Anderson and said to him in kreyol “listen man even if your family could not be here tonight we want you to know that everyone here loves you, we are all your brothers and sisters”. Cat and I have barely shed a tear through all of this, the sky could fall and we would not bat an eye, but when I told her this story this morning the tears just began rolling down her face, as they are mine as I am writing this. Sometimes it is the kindness and not the horror that can break the numbness that we are all lost in right now.

So, don’t believe Anderson Cooper when he says that Haiti is a hotbed for violence and riots, it is just not the case. In the darkest of times, Haiti has proven to be a country of brave, resilient and kind people and it is that behavior that is far more prevalent than the isolated incidents of violence. Please pass this on to as many people as you can so that they can see the light of Haiti, cutting through the darkness, the light that will heal this nation.

We are safe. We love you all and I will write again when I can. Thank you for your generosity and compassion.

With love from Port au Prince,

To reply to this message, follow the link below:


Patricia Herrick (54)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:53 am
Oh Yeah Brigitte, best part of that story is that Oregon votes by mail!

Marion Y (322)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:58 am
Well documented, Brigitte.

Why was Clinton and Bush assigned to head up the relief effort? Both of them were instrumental in crushing Haiti and leaving them in this vulnerable position with no decent buildings, jobs and means to support the country. Why was Jimmy Carter given the assignment? He is a much better humanitarian. However, Carter has exposed the criminality of the government and might run his mouth in a photo op.

Yep, I smell an opportunity for the US...again.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:00 am

That's so touching. Thanks for sharing it, Patricia!

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:05 am

You've got that right. Mr. Carter is dismissed as irrelevant in a sense, yet he is the only one of our Presidents in my lifetime who have spoken out against imperialist aggression. Not to forget his position with respect to Palestine and Israel.

I don't look at the issue as to what president is more humanitarian then another, but rather from the perspective of foreign policy and real politik.

The conclusion is, we need a serious makeover.

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:28 am
For those decrying what they believe to be criminality in American government, I sincerely hope they are also decrying this news item's call to reinstate Aristede as Haiti's president.

"....when he came back to power in 1994, and during his second term from 2000, accusations surfaced regularly of his government's corruption, particularly with regards to taking drugs money.

The most recent of these come from Beaudoin Ketant, a former close confidant of Mr Aristide's, and his daughter's godfather. When he was convicted on drugs charges in a Florida court at the end of February 2004, he directly attacked Mr Aristide.

"He controlled the drug trade in Haiti. He turned the country into a narco-country. It's a one-man show. You either pay (Aristide) or you die," Mr Ketant told the court."

"An probe of former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide's administration turned up evidence of embezzlement and other irregularities, according to a report by the country's central economic and financial investigation agency.

The agency demanded that Aristide, currently in exile in South Africa, and his former government ministers be called to testify about "assets stemming from drug trafficking and other serious offenses, the extraction of public funds, abuse of authority, misappropriation of funds and corruption involving government officials."

The investigation found that nearly 127 million dollars were spent by the administration between 2001 and 2004, above and beyond the budget, and there were irregularities in spending in the presidential accounts.

In July, another probe also found evidence of corruption and embezzlement within Aristide's administration, noting that nearly 20 million dollars in public funds had been diverted to private accounts in Haiti and the United States between February 2001 and February 2004."

Among so much more.

Sweet Dissident (36)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:29 am
Amen, Simon!!!!! Thanks for posting!! Hey Fred, great to see you here, too. (BTW Fred certainly allows comments in the Gardening group; might need to look again~there's a gardening "crisis" help thread, and responses are helpful and quick!). We may have our disagreements in comments, but let's be respectful if possible. Fred's a hell of a guy, trust me; and I may disagree on some viewpoints; but I can do so respectfully, and it's good to see folks of all political stripes chiming in on such important issues. We can all learn from each other, don't you think?

While I agree that U.N. and U.S. troops can be helpful mobilizers of aid during a crisis, I think we should look at some facts. When a nation is under a humanitarian crisis, our first response should not be a military occupation, or to "militarize" the place, but a response of aid; water, medical help, etc. Why are Doctors Without Borders planes turned away? Ask yourself that. And in the past, the U.N fired on innocent Haitians, . . . Haiti has long been a victim of disaster capitalism and colonialism, just two factors which cause something like the recent earthquake to be many times as devastating as it otherwise would have been.

In other words, they don't need a military "invasion," they need medical help, humanitarian aid, food, water, shelter, etc. I highly recommend looking into the history of disaster capitalism and the Shock Doctrine. This has happened over and over again in the past.

Also, we delayed our response (U.S.) resulting in further death. I love my country; but let's be critical thinkers and not ignore facts. Journalists, independent journalists who witnessed the aftermath did not see wide-scale crime and looting; they simply saw people trying to help each other, lots of people in need; people trying to dig loved ones out of rubble, etc.

Please be aware of the propaganda in the mainstream media, which seeks to undermine and villainize the victims themselves.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:42 am
n other words, they don't need a military "invasion," they need medical help, humanitarian aid, food, water, shelter, etc. I highly recommend looking into the history of disaster capitalism and the Shock Doctrine. This has happened over and over again in the past."

KUDOS to you Sweet - Great post!

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 8:50 am
We can certainly hope that the dire situation in many parts of Haiti affected by the earthquake will not result in widespread looting and violence. But historically when people are desperate for food, water, shelter, and medical aid, such things can and do happen, sometimes on a very large scale.

Even when the situation is less dire, people can die in riots (such as the food riots in Haiti itself in 2008 over rising food prices). Therefore, military security (since Haiti's government is incapable right now of providing the security needed) is obviously a viable option.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 9:00 am
"Therefore, military security (since Haiti's government is incapable right now of providing the security needed) is obviously a viable option.'

Absolutely. It is more then a viable option, it is a necessary response. As indicated before, we are looking at two different questions here.

One, is to provide immediate aid and security to everyone in Haiti.

Second, the possibility that the United States has designed for Haiti. That is, of establishing ties of permanent residence foregoing transparency.

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 9:52 am
Unfortunately, the title of this news item was not, "End the POTENTIAL FUTURE military occupation." Perhaps the individual who posted this news item merely overlooked typing in those two missing words......

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 9:58 am
Unfortunately, the title of this news item was not, "End the POTENTIAL FUTURE military occupation." Perhaps the individual who posted this news item merely overlooked typing in those two missing words...... send green star | flag as inappropriate
The thread itself leads to a few winding roads. In other words, the subject is Haiti at present, it's peril, it's pain, it's political realities. They are part of the whole.

Ben O (131)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:17 am
As far as Port au Prince is concerned:
there are thousands american soldiers, and many more to come.
That's what I call an occupation.
Is there any other name for it?
This should be a matter for the United Nations, and I hope they will set up an organization, functioning from day one the next time a disaster/catasrophe will occur.

Kit B (276)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:19 am
Like it or not - when the US invades a country we have something to GAIN, it may be resources, or military positional advantage. Since its inception, the very few resources that Haiti once had were bartered away by corrupt leadership and the seduction of that leadership by both the US and France. Still no occupation of Haiti has occurred, historically a few times we have tried to help out, but that has been for only the reason of attempting to stave off the atrocities of the Tonton Macoutes which continues beyond the Duvaliers.

Currently both Carter and Clinton are attempting to sway those who have the ability to invest in Haiti so some actual jobs can be created, also Habitat for Humanity has plans to continue to build homes there, particularly as they too have an increase in money for Haiti.

The question of who decides who will be the leadership of Haiti belongs only to the Haitian people, should it be positive or negative - they are the citizens it is their decision. Each of us may have opinions about that leadership, but we don't live there, it's not our country.

Currently many countries are trying to bring aid and comfort - once this immediate crisis is resolved what happens next? Are the efforts and ideas of our ex-presidents going to have a positive or negative affect on this nation? I don't pretend to have those answers, or trust the corporations that go in "help" nations roiling in desperate poverty, then again I do believe that this very poor country needs help. So while I do support and advocate the use of the military to control and direct the most immediate needs of a crisis--even with the mistakes already made and those that will most certainly be made. I do not support a continued or long term "stay" in Haiti. Crisis management is one thing, something that is needed and something we actually do very well. Beyond that I believe it should not be in the realm of any one country beyond Haiti to decide.

Yeah, I know - so let me have it.....

Ben O (131)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:25 am
"The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history"
(Friedrich Hegel)

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:35 am
Reasonable comments, Kit.

And Ben - you say, "This should be a matter for the U.N." Well, as of January 13, there were at least 7,000 U.N. troops in Haiti helping with the relief effort.

And the "other name for it"? The same 'name' that we would use for our National Guard troops sent in to help after any U.S. disaster - our troops helping those in need of help. It's only an 'occupation' when it's done without the request and wishes of the local government.

But, believe me, I would far rather allow the U.N. to handle this without American taxpayer involvement through financing our military aid there - I'm perfectly willing to let foreign taxpayers pick up the tab for this relief effort (and garner the criticism, as well)!


Kit B (276)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:41 am
There is more truth in that statement then any one should be comfortable with, and no I still don't think this is an occupation. I do hope the fears of that will be heedless, but I have no crystal ball - no absolute insight to the future. What I see now is people in need - that should come before politics then again that's just my opinion. We have all seen the horrible situations when in the past food or aid was dumped on a runway left for only the locals to distribute. Then only those with position or influence get the help, I fear that would true in this sad county. So the combination of Troops from America, and the UN plus a few other countries are endeavouring to equalize that - I don't believe that the hospital ships in port or temporary hospitals on land are checking out who is who - only who needs what.

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 10:43 am
It just occurred to me, Ben - if thousands of U.S. troops on Haitian soil (for whatever reason) constitutes an "occupation", why do the 7,000 U.N. troops that have been on Haitian soil for much longer not also constitute an "occupation"? Their mission began there in 1993, 17 years ago. And not only are you not complaining about the U.N. occupation of Haiti, you seem to want to INCREASE their presence and authority in that country.

Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 11:10 am
FYI: Morales deplores US 'occupation' of Hai
The Associated Press

Wednesday, January 20, 2010; 5:20 PM
LA PAZ, Bolivia -- President Evo Morales said Wednesday that Bolivia would seek U.N. condemnation of what he called the U.S. military occupation of earthquake-stricken Haiti.

"The United States cannot use a natural disaster to militarily occupy Haiti," he told reporters at the presidential palace.

"Haiti doesn't need more blood," Morales added, implying that the militarized U.S. humanitarian mission could lead to bloodshed.

His criticism echoed that of fellow leftist, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who said Sunday that "it appears the gringos are militarily occupying Haiti."

Washington has dispatched some 11,500 troops to the poor Caribbean nation since the Jan. 12 quake and says the number could reach 16,000 by the weekend.

It says their primary mission is to speed distribution of aid, in part by providing security at distribution points and escorting aid convoys.

When asked Wednesday about the possibility of the U.N. General Assembly condemning the U.S., assembly spokesman Jean Viktor Nkolo pointed to previous U.N. statements expressing gratitude for U.S. help in Haiti.

The United Nations will soon sign an agreement with the U.S. stipulating the U.N. as the lead organization for security in Haiti, Edmond Mulet, acting U.N. special envoy to Haiti, said Tuesday.

The U.N. also resolved to add 3,500 international military and police peacekeepers to the 8,100-strong contingent already in Haiti, which includes Bolivians.


Associated Press Writer Edith Lederer at the United Nations contributed to this report.

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 11:21 am
I am absolutely astounded by the amount of vitriol expressed on this thread. I have been a staunch critic of many of the US moves throughout the world, because I considered them self-serving and motivated by Corporate America, but what I am seeing here is an unwillingess to admit that the US, its people and its government, are ever capable of doing something generous for a people that have been flattened by catastrophe. I do not believe that our government could have done anything that would have met with general approval here.

For those of you who feel that Aristide was a hero is Haiti, you must know that the Haitian people do not agree with you. Only 10% of the population voted in the last election in which he regained office and Haitians regard him as a very corrupt man who resorted to torture and dealing with drug dealers. They were glad to see him gone. There are plenty of resources on the Internet that you can check out to back up that claim, as Lindsey has done, but I also have verification of this from my many Haitian friends.

The underdog isn't always right.

Elderberry T (201)
Friday January 22, 2010, 11:28 am large aid groups from effectively distributing aid

Haiti's Riches...

Oil in Haiti - Economic Reasons for the UN/US Occupation

Thanx Simon for posting and Carole, Bmutiny, Ben and Bridgitte for speaking out and valuable links. I share your concerns.

Ben O (131)
Friday January 22, 2010, 12:08 pm
Thanks Elederberry!
"Security “Red Zones” in Haiti Preventing Large Aid Groups from Effectively Distributing Aid.
(Democracy Now)
As thousands of well-equipped US soldiers pour into Haiti, there is an increasing concern about the militarization of the country, supporting the soldiers and not the people. Or, as one doctor put it, “people need gauze, not guns.” We take a look at aid distribution in Haiti and the effect on Haitians fighting to survive in the aftermath of the earthquake..."

Ben O (131)
Friday January 22, 2010, 12:24 pm

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 12:36 pm
There is no security situation in Haiti. This a myth manufactured by right-wing think tanks to justify what has become the occupation of a foreign sovereign state by US forces. This is a coup d'etat. You are being led by the nose if you think hospitals, etc need security. 20,000 people are dying every day from lack of aid. ITN has shown an interview with the Commander of the airport, de facto Lord of Haiti, who was asked why people 200 meters from the gates have had no water or food. These supplies are for the permanent US occupation, The sheople will lose interest in a month, and the Haitians will again lose their country to a US coup d'etat. The cruelty is staggering, and I wonder how the US troops, who must know what's happening, can stand it. They always say "we are here to help", but in this case they are manifestly not. Carole is so right. Don't let them get away with this "blame the victims" of US imperialism strategy. Learn about the history of Haiti, especially in the past 30 years. There is much to be ashamed of. I believe the build-up is with an eye also to regime change in Cuba after the Castros die.

. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 12:38 pm
Thousands of Haitians are dying every day for lack of medical care and supplies, according to a leading humanitarian aid group. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced that it is expanding the US military presence in the country, maintaining Washington’s priority of troops over humanitarian aid.

The US-based medical aid group Partners in Health has warned that as many as 20,000 Haitians may be dying daily due to infections such as gangrene and sepsis that have set in, as the majority of the injured receive no medical care or are treated in facilities that lack the most basic supplies.

“Tens of thousands of earthquake victims need emergency surgical care now!!!,” the organization said in a statement posted on its web site. “The death toll and the incidence of gangrene and other deadly infections will continue to rise unless a massive effort is made to open and staff more operating rooms and to deliver essential equipment and supplies.”

Partners in Health has worked in Haiti for more than 20 years. Its co-founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, is the deputy United Nations envoy to Haiti and a senior professor of public health at Harvard University.

While Haitian officials and other organizations have claimed the Partners in Health figure is too high, it is indisputable that Haiti confronts a disaster that could equal or even eclipse that of the quake itself because of the delays in the provision of health care to hundreds of thousands of sick and injured people.

The New York Times Thursday quoted Dr. Eduardo de Marchena, a University of Miami cardiologist overseeing one field hospital in Haiti, who provided a similarly grim prognosis. “There are still thousands of patients with major fractures, major wounds, that have not been treated yet,” he said. “There are people, many people, who are going to die unless they’re treated.”

As the Times reported, “In the squatter camps now scattered across this capital, there are still people writhing in pain, their injuries bound up by relatives but not yet seen by a doctor eight days after the quake struck. On top of that, the many bodies still in the wreckage increase the risk of diseases spreading, especially, experts say, if there is rain.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Port-au-Prince General Hospital is continuously besieged by more than 1,000 patients waiting for surgery. “Armed guards in tanks kept out mobs,” the newspaper reported. It added, “At any given moment, thousands of injured, some grievously, wait outside virtually any hospital or clinic, pleading for treatment.”

CNN’s Karl Penhaul reported from Port-au-Prince General Hospital, where US paratroopers have taken up positions. He said that Haitians questioned why so many US troops were pouring into the country. “They say they need more food and water and fewer guys with guns,” he reported.

He also indicated that American doctors at the hospital seemed mystified by the military presence. “They say there has never been a security problem here at the hospital, but there is a problem of getting supplies in.” He added, “They can get nine helicopters of troops in, but some of the doctors here say if they can do that, then why can’t they also bring with them IV fluids and other much needed supplies.”

The Spanish daily El País quoted one of these American doctors, Jim Warsinguer: “We lack a lot of things, too many for so much time having passed since the earthquake: betadine, bandages, gloves. And, above all, morphine. We have to do amputations without anesthesia. You see them suffer, and it is terrible. The Haitians are very brave, but they are suffering a lot.”

The desperate conditions and lack of sanitation for the estimated 2 million Haitians left homeless by the earthquake threaten to trigger a public health disaster. “The next health risk could include outbreaks of diarrhea, respiratory tract infections and other diseases among hundreds of thousands of Haitians living in overcrowded camps with poor or non-existent sanitation,” said Doctors Without Borders deputy operations manager Greg Elder.

While media reports claim that ever-growing amounts of material aid are coming into the country, reporters on the ground have said that there is still no sign that it is getting into the hands of the overwhelming majority of those who need it.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported Thursday, “Correspondents say the aid that has thus far arrived at the port is being driven for 45 minutes across the city to the airport, where it is piling up and not being distributed to those who need it.”

The BBC continued, “The US and UN World Food Programme insist the distribution of food and water is well under way, but the BBC’s Adam Mynott in Port-au-Prince says many people have still seen no international relief at all.”

Aid organizations have charged that since establishing its unilateral control over the Port-au-Prince airport and the city’s port facilities, and assuming essential governmental powers in Haiti, the US military has given the beefing up of its presence in the country priority over the provision of aid. Doctors Without Borders, for example, has protested that military air traffic controllers have since January 14 refused permission to land to five of its planes carrying 85 tons of medical supplies.

With the Haitian catastrophe now in its 10th day, it is becoming increasingly clear that the response of the Obama administration and the Pentagon, which have made military occupation of the Caribbean nation its first objective, has deepened the immense suffering of millions of injured, homeless and hungry people.

The Pentagon has announced that it is sending 4,000 more troops to Haiti, which will boost the US military occupation force to 16,000. For the first time, a unit that had been slated for deployment by the US Central Command, which oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is being diverted to the Caribbean nation.

Meanwhile, a naval encirclement of Haiti’s coastline is growing. The Miami Herald reported Thursday that the US military has also prepared a detention camp at the Guantánamo Bay Navy Base in Cuba—site of the infamous prison where detainees were tortured—to hold up to 1,000 Haitians should they manage to elude the US warships.

By using Guantánamo as a holding pen for refugees fleeing the horrific conditions of Haiti, the US government will insist that they have no legal rights and cannot appeal their deportation back to their homeland. This same procedure was used in 1991, when thousands of Haitians fled the country following a violent military coup.

The claim that this military “surge” into Haiti is an indispensable prerequisite for delivering aid to the Haitian people is a lie. Relief agencies operating in the country insist that they have not been threatened by the Haitian people, but rather hindered by the attempt to impose war zone-style security over their efforts.

The US media never so much as hints that there could be anything but the sincerest humanitarian motives behind Washington’s assertion of control over Haiti. It makes no reference to the country’s history, which includes a two-decade US occupation at the beginning of the twentieth century, the deployment of US troops twice in the last 20 years, and Washington’s orchestration of a 2004 coup that ousted and exiled Haiti’s elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In publications reflecting the views of the military-intelligence apparatus, however, there are franker assessments of Washington’s objectives and the real mission. The American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Defense Studies issued a “crisis update” on Haiti, warning: “Conducting a ‘humanitarian relief’ mission in a poor country stricken by a natural disaster can quickly embroil the United States in local politics. And desperate people can easily become violent people.”

The statement continued by affirming, “Beyond delivering relief, US soldiers and Marines will inevitably find themselves securing the peace.” Part of this mission, it added, would be “to ensure that Haiti’s gangs—particularly those loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide—are suppressed.”

Similarly, William Kristol and Thomas Donnelly, writing in the Weekly Standard, argued that beyond the humanitarian pretext for intervening in Haiti, “the strategic case is also compelling.”

“With a transition looming in Cuba and challenges in Central America among others, there is a political reason to be—and to be seen to be—a good and strong neighbor.”

In other words, Washington is exploiting the tragedy that has been inflicted upon the people of Haiti to assert colonial-style control over the country. Its aim is to reaffirm US imperialist hegemony in the broader region and to suppress any social revolt by the Haitian masses.

It is only a matter of time before the horrendous death toll caused by the January 12 earthquake will be augmented by victims shot to death by US occupation forces.


. (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 1:56 pm
From a story today on CNN:
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (CNN) -- In the middle of the street lies a young man who appears to be dead, a pool of blood beneath his head. A large concrete block is next to his shoulder, with shattered pieces of it around him. Blood trickles down the road.

Witnesses say he was a thief trying to steal people's money Friday amid the chaos from last week's earthquake.

"This is robbery. He went to rob the people. He went to steal money -- American dollars," said a man at the scene who identified himself as Frederic Mano, a Haitian sportswriter.

"The people kill him with the blocks, because the people are angry. They are not hungry, they are angry," Mano told CNN's Lisa Desjardins.

Gruesome photos from the scene show the man facing up, with his arms out to the side. He is wearing socks but no shoes.

A second concrete block is a few feet away from him.
Video: Haitians turn to radio
The people kill him with the blocks, because the people are angry. They are not hungry, they are angry.
--Frederic Mano, Haitian sportswriter

* Disaster Relief
* Haiti
* Port-au-Prince

Mano said the young man was one of several thousand prisoners who escaped after the earthquake struck.

He did not deserve to be killed, Mano says, "but anyway, he's dead. That is destiny."

Other witnesses gave a similar account. They said they believed the man was a thief and might have been a prisoner who escaped.

In Haiti at this time, there is no immediate way to confirm the man's identity.

CNN learned of the situation when a Haitian approached a CNN crew. "Do you want to see an example of citizen justice?" the man asked.

He said a man had been stoned to death by an angry mob.

By the time CNN arrived on the scene, the crowd had mostly dispersed. Some people stood on the side, looking at the young man in the middle of John Brown Avenue, which is usually one of the busiest streets in the capital city.

Patricia Herrick (54)
Friday January 22, 2010, 2:05 pm
I only can hope that the people of Haiti will soon be getting the aid they need, and not as Amy reported on Democracy Now, today by tossing bags of bread out of a chopper a few feet off the ground. This after they had landed once and encouraged the people on. As one Haitian in the group stated: "Degrading." I have seen loads of aid being passed out to the people who have lined up for it. No pushing, no shoving, but that does happen when the food is tossed from a chopper. Oh yeah Sasha Kramer was also interviewed by Amy today.

Past Member (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 2:42 pm
really interesting, thanks :).

Rhea P (103)
Friday January 22, 2010, 3:10 pm
The people of Haiti need food, medical supplies and medical aid NOW!!! Thank you for the post Simone. Peace.

Van Fleener (0)
Friday January 22, 2010, 4:26 pm
Okay I have not been to Haiti, but i have a committed friend Dan who has been there for 25 years. I don't care who governed it has never been a equal oppurtunity goverment. Next the presence of troops is needed. Dan's brother Mike watched as he went to the capital to find a college student from the outlying area, he witnessed a persons hand chopped off with a machete.I personally want that person protected, this is not going to happen with a petition. These thugs have exisited longer than the goverment. so get freakin real its a jungle there and we need an army to get hte help in. The USCG was the first there with food and medicine while you were still waking up that morning in your comfortable bed. Earthquakes and thugs don't give a damn what your color,race or religon is. Geeze, let the people do their job. Peace, Van

David Gould (155)
Friday January 22, 2010, 5:01 pm
I find it amazing that while french hospitals are prevented three times from flying in operating rooms to treat the injured that The USA has to send in armed troops first...we all know the first need is for water...them clearing equipment then medical aid...but meanwhile the only air corridor was closed twice while those two useless lumps called the Clintons were shipped in and out again achieving absolutely nothing for those on the ground...Come on USA get a grip...the gun is not the only tool of aid...and there has been no reports of violence except against the invading forces of Us get your facts right...and learn about might just change your life.

Sweet Dissident (36)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:35 pm
Channa, you are WAY off. "I am absolutely astounded by the amount of vitriol expressed on this thread."

What vitriol? Since when is it "vitriol" to state facts? To make observations based on verifiable history?

". . .what I am seeing here is an unwillingess to admit that the US, its people and its government, are ever capable of doing something generous for a people that have been flattened by catastrophe."

Bullshite. No one is denying the generous, giving, loving, caring spirit of the American PEOPLE. What is being criticized is the policy of our government. QUITE a difference. There is NOTHING anti-American about criticizing our government when it acts in ways we dislike or do not approve of. In fact, it is very American to do so.

And you might need to do a bit more research, not just on Aristede, but the many, many democratic leaders the U.S. has backed coups against, the globe over.

Nancy L (141)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:39 pm
Kit and Lindsey I agree 100% with each of your comments.


Luisa Fox (144)
Friday January 22, 2010, 7:43 pm
"Bullshite. No one is denying the generous, giving, loving, caring spirit of the American PEOPLE. What is being criticized is the policy of our government. QUITE a difference. There is NOTHING anti-American about criticizing our government when it acts in ways we dislike or do not approve of. In fact, it is very American to do so. "

Hey Sweet. I'll drink to that. Cheers! ;-)

Simon Wood (207)
Friday January 22, 2010, 9:27 pm
"Bullshite. No one is denying the generous, giving, loving, caring spirit of the American PEOPLE. What is being criticized is the policy of our government. QUITE a difference. There is NOTHING anti-American about criticizing our government when it acts in ways we dislike or do not approve of. In fact, it is very American to do so. "

I agree : ) The people of THE USA have given to the people of Haiti voluntarily.

However, many U.S. voters are fooled by the U.S. capitalist media, to support governments that enact the agenda of U.S.-based multinational corporations in Haiti, to the detriment of the people of Haiti- because it is whitewashed with "we are helping Haiti" propaganda.

The same is true of capitalist politics in general: corporations dominate politics in capitalism, by using their ownership of the media and economic power in the media and by pressuring governments. They basically trick voters into supporting capitalist politicians, and then those politicians do what the corporations want, to the detriment of everyone else, and to the detriment of nature.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 12:17 am
In fact the Icelanders were the first to arrive with aid, not the USCG. The Cubans had been there for years with their doctor and clinics. I wouldn't believe anything that CNN or any of the major networks report, since they are variously owned by arms manufacturers or are allied with right-wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, who are crying "violent unrest" from the safety of Washington while doctors on the ground report no violence, no need for guns or more US violence, but for food, water and medical supplies. Nobody questions that individual acts of assault or worse take place. It is racist to assert that this would happen in Haiti, and that the Haitians are somehow prone to violence. The only violence they have known is from US, UN and Canadian troops, and death squads financed and encouraged by the US. Pap Doc and his Tonton Macoutes are not so far in the recent past. I've been to Haiti during Papa Docs regime, and saw how terrified and poor the people were. The US owes the Haitians so much reparations for the damage and destruction it has inflicted on the Haitian people. Go learn some Haitian history Van, then come back and tell me you're proud of your country's record in Haiti. I'd hoped all the military nuts would stay over on Youtube salivating over Special Forces and guns, and leave this site to civilized people. I get so sick of the warrior mentality, so full of reckless violence and half-formed ideas, myths and delusions. They almost killed us all during the Cold War. They might yet!

Sweet Dissident (36)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 12:28 am
Thanks, Colin!! Hey all, re: what Colin said up there ^, go see what Bill Quigley says in his recent appearance on Democracy Now! and his latest article on ZNet.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 12:30 am
„There are no security issues,says Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health, reporting from the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince in Haiti, where 1,000 people are in need of operations. Lyon said the reports of violence in the city have been overblown by the media and have affected the delivery of aid and medical services.

LucyKaleido S (82)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:03 am
Author of 'An Unbroken Agony: Haiti, from Revolution to Kidnapping of a President,' Randall Robinson on Obama choice of Clinton & Bush to co-chair Haiti relief efforts, says "Bush Responsible for Destroying Haitian Democracy" & "Clinton has largely sponsored program of economic development that supports sweatshops" : "Of course, President Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracy in 2004, when he and American forces abducted President Aristide and his wife, taking them off to Africa, and they are now in South Africa. President Clinton has largely sponsored a program of economic development that supports the idea of sweatshops. Haitians in Haiti today make 38 cents an hour. They don’t make a high enough wage to pay for their lunch and transportation to and from work. But this is the kind of economic program that President Clinton has supported. I think that is sad, that these two should be joined in this kind of effort. It sends, I think, the wrong kind of signal. But that is not what we should focus on now. We should focus on saving lives."

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:04 am
Colin, there is nothing 'racist' in being concerned over the possibility of violence in the Haitian chaos. After all, when we sent in the National Guard after Hurricane Katrina hit in the U.S., it wasn't only to assist the people through rescues, food aid, etc. - it was also to help keep order. To help stop looters or rioters or anyone who would take advantage of the chaos to commit criminal acts. And while the U.S. Gulf states do have many black citizens, they also have many white ones as well (me included.)

Sometimes otherwise decent people (whether Haitian, American, British, Chinese, or any other nationality) do become violent when they get desperate enough in such situations. And criminals exist everywhere.

Not everything in life has to do with the color of one's skin or the "racial" group to which one belongs.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:07 am
And, Alba - by all means we should stop sending work to those Haitian "sweatshops". With so many Americans out of work we certainly can't justify providing desperately needed income for the poor of Haiti (at hourly rates higher than they could find elsewhere in their poor economy - or they wouldn't be accepting the sweatshop jobs in any case.)

LucyKaleido S (82)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:09 am
This is not a matter of knee-jerk anti-Americanism, but facts.

On the role of the UN -in Haiti since 2004, simply to replace US Marines (who had been there to impose regime change -otherwise called the overthrow of the government), the following Guardian article makes interesting & factual points:

Much of the devastation wreaked by this latest and most calamitous disaster to befall Haiti is best understood as another thoroughly manmade outcome of a long and ugly historical sequence.

The country has faced more than its fair share of catastrophes. Hundreds died in Port-au-Prince in an earthquake back in June 1770, and the huge earthquake of 7 May 1842 may have killed 10,000 in the northern city of Cap ­Haitien alone. Hurricanes batter the island on a regular basis, mostly recently in 2004 and again in 2008; the storms of September 2008 flooded the town of Gonaïves and swept away much of its flimsy infrastructure, killing more than a thousand people and destroying many thousands of homes. The full scale of the destruction resulting from this earthquake may not become clear for several weeks. Even minimal repairs will take years to complete, and the long-term impact is incalculable.

What is already all too clear, ­however, is the fact that this impact will be the result of an even longer-term history of deliberate impoverishment and disempowerment. Haiti is routinely described as the "poorest country in the western hemisphere". This poverty is the direct legacy of perhaps the most brutal system of colonial exploitation in world history, compounded by decades of systematic postcolonial oppression.

The noble "international community" which is currently scrambling to send its "humanitarian aid" to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce. Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti's people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide's phrase) "from absolute misery to a dignified poverty" has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.

Aristide's own government (elected by some 75% of the electorate) was the latest victim of such interference, when it was overthrown by an internationally sponsored coup in 2004 that killed several thousand people and left much of the population smouldering in resentment. The UN has subsequently maintained a large and enormously expensive stabilisation and pacification force in the country.

Haiti is now a country where, according to the best available study, around 75% of the population "lives on less than $2 per day, and 56% – four and a half million people – live on less than $1 per day". Decades of neoliberal "adjustment" and neo-imperial intervention have robbed its government of any significant capacity to invest in its people or to regulate its economy. Punitive international trade and financial arrangements ensure that such destitution and impotence will remain a structural fact of Haitian life for the foreseeable future.

It is this poverty and powerlessness that account for the full scale of the horror in Port-au-Prince today. Since the late 1970s, relentless neoliberal assault on Haiti's agrarian economy has forced tens of thousands of small farmers into overcrowded urban slums. Although there are no reliable statistics, hundreds of thousands of Port-au-Prince residents now live in desperately sub-standard informal housing, often perched precariously on the side of deforested ravines. The selection of the people living in such places and conditions is itself no more "natural" or accidental than the extent of the injuries they have suffered.

As Brian Concannon, the director of the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, points out: "Those people got there because they or their parents were intentionally pushed out of the countryside by aid and trade policies specifically designed to create a large captive and therefore exploitable labour force in the cities; by definition they are people who would not be able to afford to build earthquake resistant houses." Meanwhile the city's basic infrastructure – running water, electricity, roads, etc – remains woefully inadequate, often non-existent. The government's ability to mobilise any sort of disaster relief is next to nil.

The international community has been effectively ruling Haiti since the 2004 coup. The same countries scrambling to send emergency help to Haiti now, however, have during the last five years consistently voted against any extension of the UN mission's mandate beyond its immediate military purpose. Proposals to divert some of this "investment" towards poverty reduction or agrarian development have been blocked, in keeping with the long-term patterns that continue to shape the ­distribution of international "aid".

The same storms that killed so many in 2008 hit Cuba just as hard but killed only four people. Cuba has escaped the worst effects of neoliberal "reform", and its government retains a capacity to defend its people from disaster. If we are serious about helping Haiti through this latest crisis then we should take this comparative point on board. Along with sending emergency relief, we should ask what we can do to facilitate the self-empowerment of Haiti's people and public institutions. If we are serious about helping we need to stop ­trying to control Haiti's government, to pacify its citizens, and to exploit its economy. And then we need to start paying for at least some of the damage we've already done

(Our Role in Haiti's Plight (by Peter Hallward, the Guardian, Wed. 13 Jan)

LucyKaleido S (82)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:12 am
In case you missed one of the most important facts : "The same countries scrambling to send emergency help to Haiti now, however, have during the last five years consistently voted against any extension of the UN mission's mandate beyond its immediate military purpose. Proposals to divert some of this "investment" towards poverty reduction or agrarian development have been blocked, in keeping with the long-term patterns that continue to shape the ­distribution of international "aid". "

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 4:22 am
"....elected by some 75% of the electorate...."?

No - elected by a percentage of the 25% of the Haitian electorate who actually voted in one election. And ""In the 2000 presidential and parliamentary elections, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas party claimed victory with a turnout that hardly rose above 10 per cent of the voters. The opposition, as well as members of the international community, contested the results and accused the government of manipulating them."

Let's not glamorize M. Aristide - he was a politician who was, by all accounts, heavily involved in the drug trade and in serious financial peculations, embezzlement, and corruption against his own people. But, if Haiti wants him - let them have him, of course. Like everyone else they certainly have the right to elect a corrupt politician.

Sweet Dissident (36)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:27 am
UN forces open fire on poor Haitian neighborhood:

(August 31, 2006)

9 Killed in UN attack on Haitian neighborhood:

(December 26, 2006)

Thanks for the "aid," UN:

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:37 am
In case anyone thinks from the headlines presented that Sweet's articles about the U.N. forces firing on Haitians concern the present crisis - they don't. As the dates also given by Sweet show, the stores are from 2006.


Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:44 am

Worry not, most of us can think critically.

Sweet's article speaks to past and brings to present the history istory of abuse the Hatian people have endoured mostly from U.S. clutches for far too long.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:49 am
Unfortunately, Luisa - critical thinking is not a noted hallmark in the majority of humans.

Sweet Dissident (36)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:55 am
Actually, the articles I linked to do show what is happening in Haiti now in an historic light, thanks so much, Luisa! I think it is quite telling indeed, the dates I give; I am trying to show an existing pattern here. BTW, here are more recent ones, not that I and others haven't posted endless links already to current articles, but oh well.

On re-visiting disaster capitalism:

Red Zones preventing aid from getting in:

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:36 am
And I thoroughly agree that criticizing our own government is a grand American tradition and is essential to the preservation of our republic (or restoration, as the case may be, since our republic bears little resemblance to that originally contemplated by Dr. Franklin and his contemporaries).

My concern is over those who reflexively and automatically assume that our government, in any given situation, has evil designs on others. Who assume that merely because the U.S. government or military is involved that there MUST be shadowy and unpleasant ulterior motives of which the 'good and generous' American people would disapprove. Who automatically think that just because something COULD be true, it MUST be true. Who actually beleve that Press TV is bringing them unbiased news coverage......

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:38 am
"My concern is over those who reflexively and automatically assume that our government, in any given situation, has evil designs on others. Who assume that merely because the U.S. government or military is involved that there MUST be shadowy and unpleasant ulterior motives of which the 'good and generous' American people would disapprove. Who automatically think that just because something COULD be true, it MUST be true."

Now, now, settle down Lindsey. You're coming unglued.

Carry on!!!

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:49 am
It is certainly racist to assume that black Haitians or residents of New Orleans are prone to violence and need soldiers with guns to maintain order. The amount of violence in both Haiti and New Orleans was negligible given the scale of the historical repression, poverty, the catastrophe which overcame them and the immediate indifference of the authorities in both places. The looting in New Orleans was against the corporate elite, out of need and as an act of defiance and emotional release. The electronic goods were an insurance write-off anyway. Ironically, there are parallels, bodies were left out on the streets of New Orleans for 10 days while strutting warriors with their guns "erect" passed by. We see the same military indifference to life in Haiti. By delaying aid because of the "assumption" and "anticipation" of violence they will provoke a violent desperation. The soldiers add nothing, intimidate people, and consume food and water which is needed by locals. In an emergency they are a liability, as was shown in New Orleans. What is needed is aid and rescue workers and medical specialists. I never see the soldiers put down their guns and pitch in. And Americans have little credibility where corruption and rigged elections are concerned. It's a mindset....the assumed right to interfere in the affairs of a sovereign state. Hence the 700-1,000 US bases in probably 130 countries around the world protecting US 'interests'. The military have only one purpose, to kill people and destroy property. That's what they train for. A civilized society would have no place for the military and would be ashamed of its capacity to kill and destroy. Costa Rica got rid of its military, and so did Aristide in Haiti, both because they were a threat to democracy. It s being said in some quarters that the Pentagon now runs the USA. The USA could be a paradise where everyone is safe, healthy and at peace, were it not for the massive drain of $1 trillion a year spent on wars, intelligence, CIA, and foreign destabilization. Right now it is a war economy, and has been since Truman decided not to reduce military spending after WW2.

Poor Haiti. So close to the United States. So far from God!

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 7:11 am
Luisa, Governments are ethically neutral and express the will and values of the ruling elite who own them, not the people. From history we know that whoever controls the army stays in power. I.F.Stone said that "All Governments Lie", referring to governments so far in history. Lawrence Korb, a Reagan civil servant, said that if the Middle East grew carrots nobody would be interested. Bill Clinton confessed that the reason the US did nothing about Rwanda was because the US had no interests there. So governments are not innately bad, they are bad because of who's interests and values they express. They are theoretically and idealistically capable of acting with humanity and altruism. Imperial powers, from Rome to the US, never do. They express the values of the ruling elite. Mostly, there is always an ulterior motivation of gain or influence, no matter how slight. I wish it were not so.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 7:16 am
Colin, any small country which either gives up its military or has no military is able to do so because larger countries exist who DO have militaries - and who those smaller countries will call out to for help should the need arise. Rather like an individual who owns no guns being able to call 911 and gain police assistance when needed.

The exitence of militaries in this world will cease to be necessary when we manage to conquer human nature. And I don't see that happening anytime in the near future....

Marion Y (322)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 7:33 am
Colin ~ Outstanding posts and great lessons that seem to elude the blind, and go over the head of the sell outs. You hit the nail solid in pointing out the racism in the Haiti disaster, and how these people are being pushed to act as any human would under similar circumstances. Actually, the Haitians acted more civil and humanely during the first week of the crisis than I would expect from Americans of any color in almost any major city of this nation. The Haitians don't have the racism, most of the elitism, arrogance and sense of privilege as we do. Since we are a gun-toting, medicated, addicted, lying, hypocritical, selfish, cynical, sex-addicted society, I can only imagine that the military and local police would have their work truly cut out for them. A major catastrophe that covered much of this nation would be disastrous because the people in the US have too many "isms," fears and psychological problems to move us forward for years to come.

For those reasons, trying to justify the actions of the military "maintaining order" in Haiti are highly questionable. They've already started shooting civilians who are stealing food and goods from damaged buildings. During Katrina, I recall Walmart allowing victims to take whatever they needed from the stores.

Having to make posts like yours tells me how far from God so many of us are.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 7:43 am
As a Canadian of course I hear the "US military umbrella" argument all the time. It is pure nonsense. I always remember how the DEW line was touted as an example. Of course Soviet missiles shot down before they land on US soil would come down on Canada, which is OK for the US. Canada in any case is a satellite or colony of the US. The Free Trade Agreement provides that the US should get the first 1.6 million barrels of oil produced in Canada every day, regardless of Canadian needs. If there's none left for us, well tough! Also Canada doesn't have, until Afghanistan, any enemies because it's not an imperial power. When the Canadian people resisted the FTA our Prime Minister was summoned to New York and told by a meeting of businessmen that he "will" sign the agreement. He signed. I have no illusion that if Canada did not do it's bidding the US would invade tomorrow. We too are part of the US empire, and our military does it's bidding. (We have a little wriggle-room, as when we refused to participate in the illegal war against Iraq, and also the Vietnam fiasco. But our JTF-2 special forces were involved in the 2004 overthrow of the democratically-elected government of President Aristide.) All they really have to do, and have done, is wage economic war against Canada, a country with a tenth of it's population. They already count the Alberta Tar Sands as part of their energy reserves, covet our water, own our resources, and would never let an NDP government come to power.

This silly argument is part and parcel of the "we're good guys trying to spread the benefits of freedom and democracy to the world" sentimental delusion that I hear so much from my US friends. In a heavily propagandized society it is hard to see clearly what effect your country is having upon the world, and why. When the US broke international law and committed a war crime by attacking Iraq without provocation, a friend in Mississippi told me "We should stop helping these people......" Give me strength!

Ben O (131)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 8:09 am
Now we must stand with the People of Haiti!
With medicine, health care, food, drinking water, homes for orphans, and everything they need.
Anything but american soldiers, dammit!
Avaaz.Org: $1,2 million donated so far!
The Hunger Site: $214,000 donated to date!
Doctors Without Borders, Online Donation:
Red Cross International:

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 8:18 am
Thank You Marion. The social control mechanisms in the USA are very strong. Patriotism is a religion (can you imagine being Un-Bulgarian or Un-Italian?), the church is very powerful, education is also replete with patriotic rituals, the military is a sacred obsession, hatred of government ( which should stand between the rich elite and the people) is repeatedly dinned into the people against their own interest (Chomsky called it "public subsidy for private profit"), and the media reflects the values of the elite. Family is vaunted at the expense of community (a dangerous level of organization) and the American dream is a material illusion. I observed a long time ago that a frontier culture like the US produces strong women and weak men, and the further South you go the stronger the women and the weaker the men. Hence the macho posturing and love of guns amongst Southern men. They are power compensators. Only very powerful social controls could convince the American people to accept and defend their current abysmal health care system for at least 60 years. There is no significant opposition in the US. There is one party of business with two wings. I think it would be an easy society to control and oppress.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 9:54 am
Colin, you seem to be the only one that is assuming that rioting be tied in to skin color. In fact, rioting or other disorderly behavior is tied in with desperation when one's physical needs are not being met. All people, white, black or Asian are subject to desperation.

The logic of some people on this thread is faulty. You cannot assume that because Haiti has been exploited in the past that all acts now are acts of exploitation. You also cannot assume that because Aristide was elected fairly once, that he is the president that Haitians want or need now. In the second election, which was widely considered to be fraudulent and which was boycotted by most Haitians, only 10% of the voters turned out. Haitians felt that he was extremely corrupt, tied in to drug traffickers. and that his regime was guilty of torturing those that criticized and opposed him. You have your westerner's view of the situation in Haiti, but it might surprise you to know that a lot of Haitians actually still feel positively about Papa Doc. We may not understand that in the West, but it's their country and their leaders, not ours, to judge.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:17 am
Chana, hard to believe.

"You have your westerner's view of the situation in Haiti, but it might surprise you to know that a lot of Haitians actually still feel positively about Papa Doc. We may not understand that in the West, but it's their country and their leaders, not ours, to judge."

Incredible. Hard to believe a lot of Hatians feel positive about Papa Doc.

Not to appear confrontational, but do you have a citation?

Here is the Duvaliers "killer file". Incredible...

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:26 am
Chana. Read it again. I say quite clearly that the propensity for violence is not predicated by race. That is the assumption that I was attacking as racist. "It is certainly racist to assume that black Haitians or residents of New Orleans are prone to violence and need soldiers with guns to maintain order." I agree entirely with the rest of your first paragraph.

Yes, I can accept that Aristide, like leaders anywhere, was susceptible to corruption. As for elections, well, Lavalas still represents 75% of the Haitian population. There's always somebody who profits from or identifies emotionally with past brutal dictators. Spanish Falangists, Marcos's Filipinos, and Russian Communists.In my travels I've met and debated them all. The important question is Why? None of these despots has ever been voted into power, they have seized it my main force. I don't see your point. I was in Haiti during the Duvalier reign of terror. I saw how the Tanton Macoutes terrorized the people. The important point is that it is up to the Haitian people to decide whether they want a corrupt leader. Westerners can't get it into their heads that they don't have a right to dictate who should or should not be in power. It's an arrogant, mostly (white) elitist and old imperialist attitude, that the 'fuzzy-wuzzy's' can't think for themselves and need the enlightened advice of a Western Christian colonial elite to bring them Civilization. I'm a Brit Canadian, and I'm old enough to have seen what the British Empire did and will continue to do to the world.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:29 am
I don't have a citation, Luisa, because these are first hand reports. My area has a large Haitian population. I work in health care and have had a lot of clients who are Haitian and a lot of health care workers are also Haitian. I had a hard time believing it initially, too, but it's true. It's also true that Arisitide is not viewed as much as a hero as he is by Americans.

BTW, Colin says that racism doesn't exist in Haiti. Technically, that may be true as almost 100% of the population is black, but there is a very strong class prejudice, with those who speak French viewing themselves as superior to those who only speak Creole.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:39 am
"I don't have a citation, Luisa, because these are first hand reports. My area has a large Haitian population. I work in health care and have had a lot of clients who are Haitian and a lot of health care workers are also Haitian".

First hand knowledge is good enough for me. Hard to believe.

Are Hatians who speak French on a higher economic statum then those who speak Creole?

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:45 am
Yes, they are absolutely on a higher economic plane. They are the educated class, Luisa.

And, Colin, I am also against colonialism. I do not, however, believe that every single act of powerful nations is an act of colonialism. I believe that the US, under Obama's leadership, was sincere in it's desire to help the people of Haiti from this devastation. What follows this I am less certain of - especially in light of the Supreme Court's outrageous decision to allow corporations the same rights as people - an act that will lead to widespread corruption and the buying of presidencies and congressional seats.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 11:10 am

"I believe that the US, under Obama's leadership, was sincere in it's desire to help the people of Haiti from this devastation. "

I do too Chana. In effect, the administration's response was swift but not efficient.

However, much to my chagrin, Obama foreign policy as it regards to the Middle East and other troubled areas, is Bush/Cheney reincarnate. The United States sends it's terrorists to dark holes (prisons) in europe where they are tortured, Guantanamo is still staring us in the face, etc.

Why should Obama's policy be any different in Haiti then previous administrations based on his record thus far?

Mind you, I am not Republican, conservative, right wing reactionary. I am so far to the left sometimes I am to the right. lol

Therefore, as much as we would like to, we cannot but be weary of the bigger picture in Haiti.

Marion Y (322)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 11:13 am
"I believe that the US, under Obama's leadership, was sincere in it's desire to help the people of Haiti from this devastation. "

Chana ~ While I voted for Obama (change), I also am aware he reaped some of the largest contributions from corporations. He may have the best of intentions, but those corporations expect something in return for the money given to him which helped elect him. This means his hands are not fully clean. Also, presidencies and congressional seats are already being bought...this supreme court decision just seals the practice across the board.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 11:20 am
Colin, on behalf of all Southern women - I thank you, sir. Although you may have overlooked the fact that we Southern women love our guns every bit as much as our menfolk do!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 2:12 pm

Being a woman, raised in the Midwest (Ohio), but who lived most of her adult life in California (and now resides in Tennessee) -- I can attest to the fact that, women who love guns live all over this country.

(Yup, you got it . . . I'm a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment.)

Eleanor B (909)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:05 pm
Signed, Carole. The emergency agencies need money to help Haiti. Haiti does not need American soldiers. If they are not occupying Haiti, what else are they doing? The Dominican Republic had an invasion by American soldiers too some decades ago - correct me if I am wrong it was because the people voted for the wrong government. There is an interesting article in the New Statesman about the US and Haiti and if it is online I will post it. You are a superstar, Carole.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:12 pm
Off topic: I just couldn't resist. Apologies in advance.

"I can attest to the fact that, women who love guns live all over this country. "
They sure do.

Even in Alaska, just ask Sarah Palin how much she loves to load up her rifle and kill wolves, moose, and probably turkey's on Thanksgiving day. Imagine that.

(sarc/). LOL

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:22 pm

I, personally, have NEVER killed an animal (nor a human) but, I am not deluded enough not to realize that, if I were confronted by a hostile assailant (and, yes, that happens in this country daily), he/she would, most likely, be carrying a deadly weapon.

Not all of us devote our entire attentions to the smear campaigns and tabloids devoted to ONE woman in Alaska. The rest of us actually deal in reality.

Nancy L (141)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:23 pm
While I would also like to thank Colin as I myself am a strong southern woman and know many strong women, I also have to disagree with him about southern men. In my experience (I was married to a man from NJ) I see men in the complete opposite way.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:24 pm
:Not all of us devote our entire attentions to the smear campaigns and tabloids devoted to ONE woman in Alaska. The rest of us actually deal in reality."

Now, now, brown cow. LOLOLOL

Eleanor B (909)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:26 pm I will forward to my friends tomorrow. And off topic too - I loathe guns. I am glad that I live in a country where it is now illegal to have them. I just live for the day when their production is illegal and all the other means of destruction that this species, humankind, has invented. The right to bear arms in America sprang from the fear of a government using arms against its people but unfortunately for the rest of the world it seems ok for Americans that its government and its lackeys can use arms against anyone it pleases. So it seems to me.

Nancy L (141)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:30 pm
The right to bear arms didn't spring out of fear. It is common sense. I have the right to protect myself and my family from whatever may try to harm us.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:33 pm
Chana, please don't misquote and misrepresent me. Of course I don't believe there's no racism in Haiti.

All you other ladies, no more! My last romantic illusion gone! Now what can I believe in? Not only do those delicate, fragile Southern Belles tote guns, but now it's everywhere. American womankind is armed to the teeth, not because they need to, but because one half of a clause in a document signed by a bunch of men 250 years ago says they can. Never mind that statistically you're liable to shoot yourself rather than an intruder. Now that's what I call rational behaviour. How sick is it to love something that is designed and sold solely to kill?

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:37 pm

"Now, now, brown cow."


I'm not even gonna TRY to figure out what THAT is supposed to mean. (But I did think there was a minimum age here of 13.)

Nancy L (141)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 3:41 pm
===Never mind that statistically you're liable to shoot yourself rather than an intruder. ====

I have to ask for your source for that statement Colin. You must not know many armed women.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:18 pm
These figures were jotted down by me from a documentary about gun use in the USA on one of the cable channels about a month ago.I'm pretty sure it was National Geographics "Guns in America" I've known this for a long time about gun ownership. I'm just glad there's some controls up here in Canada. I've worked with gun freaks at sea(defined as those who are obsessed by and can't stop talking about them) and they've always worried me. Nowhere to run to. In the UK growing up I never saw a gun except behind glass in museums. Nobody seemed deprived. The first gun I saw in the open was on the hip of a French policeman on a day-trip to Dieppe. The gun fetish was one of the reasons I never took a job in the US. I saw guns drwan for the most trivial reasons.

1 person killed by guns every hour in the US.
500,000 gun crimes every year.
You are 22 times more likely to kill a family member than an intruder if you have a gun in your home.
1 child is killed every two days in an accidental shooting.
Over half the people who pull the trigger of a gun in the home kill themselves.
There are approximately 250 million guns in the US.
80 million own guns, so much multiple gun ownership.
28,000 gun deaths every year.
Almost all guns are initially bought legally. Illegal gun ownership for crime results from theft of legally-owned guns.

Demographic patterns. In 1994 gun ownership was far from uniformly distributed across the population.
Most striking is the gender gap: 42 percent of men but just 9 percent of women owned guns at the time of NSPOF. (The gap is even wider when the focus is on whether the respondent ever owned a gun.) With respect to race, whites were substantially more likely to own guns than blacks (27 versus 16 percent), and blacks more likely than Hispanics (16 versus 11 percent). But for handguns alone, the ownership rates among
blacks and whites were nearly equal (13.1 versus 16.5 percent).
A disproportionate share of gun carriers resided in the South, where the prevalence of carrying guns was almost double that of the rest of the Nation.(

Knowing how passionate people are pro and con gun ownership it would be unfair to engage in a prolonged debate under this topic heading, so I'll respectfully curtail any further comment on guns. My bad for mentioning it.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:30 pm
"(CNN) -- Haiti's orphanages have become targets for people desperate for food, water and medical supplies in the aftermath of the devastating magnitude 7.0 earthquake.

On Wednesday night, Maison de Lumiere, an orphanage caring for 50 orphans, came under attack from a group of 20 armed men, aid workers told the Joint Council on International Children's Services.

A neighboring orphanage sheltering about 135 children has been robbed several times over the past few days, they said.

Meanwhile, aid workers said a third orphanage caring for 17 orphans reported that townspeople are trespassing and tapping into the water supply that is reserved for the children.

"It was calm at first, but the situation is getting more desperate," said David Beck, pastor at Child Hope International, the nonprofit that oversees Maison de Lumiere. No shots were fired in the attack on the orphanage, and security guards were able to drive off the marauders, he said. But one orphanage worker was hit in the head with a rock, he said.

"If people think you have food, then they will come after it," Beck said. The orphanage is rationing what food and water it does have, he said."

It seems that some Haitians do indeed need more than food - they need the physical protection to hold onto the food and water they already have.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:40 pm
""Now, now, brown cow." ...
I'm not even gonna TRY to figure out what THAT is supposed to mean. (But I did think there was a minimum age here of 13.) '
The comment was made in jest, a play on words --- "How now, brown cow" is a phrase used in teaching elocution to demonstrate rounded vowel sounds. In contemporary parlance, "How now brown cow" means something to the effect of "what's next".

In this case bringing the issue of the right to bear arms in a discussion about food and not troops for Haiti! Was rather ironic. In retrospect, understandable because people who praise the right to bear arms are usually but not always, the same people who have no problem with the occupation of other countries.

No need to deride by implying immature behavior, just mere sarcastic linguistic play. You know, like mine and your 1st amendment right to free speech.

No harm intended. A mere play on words.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:47 pm
Colin, a study out of Harvard put the number of gun deaths even higher - over 30,000 each year. I don't feel I need a gun.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 5:56 pm
What few people seem to take into account when considering "statistics" are the number of people saved by having a gun with which to protect themselves.

Of course, the statisticians don't seem terribly interested in those numbers since no one bothers to keep track of them.

Moreover, just the threat of gun ownership can protect people:

"In March 1982, 25 years ago, the small town of Kennesaw, Georgia, responding to a handgun ban in Morton Grove, Ill., unanimously passed an ordinance requiring each head of household to own and maintain a gun. Since then, despite dire predictions of "Wild West" showdowns and increased violence and accidents, not a single resident has been involved in a fatal shooting as a victim, attacker or defender.

The crime rate initially plummeted for several years after the passage of the ordinance, with the 2005 per capita crime rate actually significantly lower than it was in 1981, the year before passage of the law.

Prior to enactment of the law, Kennesaw had a population of just 5,242 but a crime rate significantly higher (4,332 per 100,000) than the national average (3,899 per 100,000). The latest statistics available for the year 2005 show the rate at 2,027 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the population has skyrocketed to 28,189."

Criminals don't like it when law abiding people arm themselves.

Marion Y (322)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:26 pm
"Criminals don't like it when law abiding people arm themselves. "

Criminals come well armed too. That is the problem...let's see who has the bigger gun or who can shoot never ends...violence begets violence.

I wonder how many times these gun-toting people have had to defend themselves with their guns?

There are other means of self-defense without having to prop up one's fragile ego and fear of...everything.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:29 pm
"There are other means of self-defense without having to prop up one's fragile ego and fear of...every thing"

Ditto! The culture of fear has is now mainstream. Sad.

Marion Y (322)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:40 pm
I am compelled to add that I grew up in a part of Los Angeles where we had shoot outs almost every weekend on my block - Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Mom would have us lie low in a back bedroom for fear bullets might hit us. Occasionally, I would find myself in the midst of a gun fight going down. Guns, criminal activity, murders, poverty and a constant need to look over my back and learn to survive in "the jungle" was a way of life for me. For those of you with guns, I wonder if you could survive in that environment for years on end with "your guns?"

I learned to handle a gun in the military and took self-defense courses. But "the jungle" taught me that survival in my neighborhood is more about social skills and community behavior than taking up arms. I agree that people with guns are more prone to support wars with their aggressive, warmongering mentality. Not always, but the propensity is there.

Yes, we have a right to bear arms, but if everyone is armed...we become a dangerous society.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 6:58 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Marion because you have done so within the last week.

Luisa Fox (144)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 7:11 pm
Since this discussion is about Haiti and not the right to bear arms, I want to express one more thought regarding the culture of guns and fear in the US.

Briefly, this country was founded on violence, occupation, and Manifest Destiny. The culture of violence is part of the American experience. Challenging this very unique yet questionable American experience is generally not looked upon very favorable by those who support packing heat. The bottom line is the right to bear arms is protected under the 2nd Amendment second only to apple pie and baseball and those who do not question the problems inherent in so much violence frankly can't see the forest for the trees.

I am being sarcastic and hope you bear with me and not misunderstand my words.

Note how throughout the Old Wild West shoot-em cowboys reigned supreme. We really haven't left that shoot-em up mentality, only now it's cloaked under the guise of self-protection. As Marion wrote and I paraphrase, violence begets' violence. It is incumbent for every one of us who oppose this culture of violence and fear to speak up and call it what it is.

This the long and the short of it folks.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:05 pm
Well said Luisa! Also we mustn't forget the real purpose of the Second Amendment........

There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with slight capitalization and punctuation differences, found in the official documents surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights. One such version was passed by the Congress, which reads:
“ A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

or in another version:
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

The militias were replaced by the National Guards. There's no longer a necessity for a militia, and therefore the right is equally unnecessary and should be infringed.

. (0)
Saturday January 23, 2010, 10:29 pm
To bring this back to the original topic, I remember 23 years ago when some awful rednecks started a movement to bring the death penalty back to Canada, and I was a roving DP speaker on the East Coast for Amnesty International, my research uncovered the interesting fact that during the brief period of the Swedish Empire, the homicide rate increased alarmingly, only to fall when the empire ended. The thesis was that there is a connection between external and internal violence, and that the violence the empire inflicted upon it's victims was reflected in /caused by/ caused the violence of the central power. Could this explain the current expansionist phase of the US Empire and does Haiti therefore have a lot more to fear? Just thought I'd tie it all together.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 4:02 am
Using that criterion, Colin, the U.S. should have committed the most violence upon the rest of the world in the 1800's than the 1900's and today. Because our society was much more internally violent then than now (in fact, our government was busily trying to commit genocide against an entire people within our own borders as well as allowing legalized slavery with all the violence which went along with it, entering into the civil war which killed more Americans than all other wars put together, allowing legal lynchings, legal violence against other minorities, and so much more.) And yet from what I've read that period hardly contained the largest amount of meddling American activity in the world at large, let alone the most internationally "violent" activity. And, of course, back then I doubt that there was much in the way of any form of gun control in much of any jurisdiction!

LucyKaleido S (82)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 4:44 am
Be that as it may (all of it), if the presence of so many US & UN troops are necessary support & protection for the efficient & effective distribution of emergency relief aid - food, water, tents, medecine & medical equipment, etc- why has it & is it taking so long? Why have some survivors not seen the shadow of any aid of any sort in over a week? Why is overseas aid piling up at the airport instead of being distributed?

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 7:54 am
Alba ~ I recall the delays of getting help to the Katrina victims. The entire world was shocked to see the suffering and deaths before their eyes on TV as the Bush Administration let it the crisis worsen. However, experts pointed out that a recent hurricane disaster in Florida prior to Katrina - where predominantly white citizens live - the people were evacuated, provided food/water/shelter in a swift, orderly, RESPECTFUL, DIGNIFIED fashion. I mean, the local and federal government were Johnny on the spot to aid Florida right away.

Granted, the logistical problems in Haiti and the sheer enormity of the devastation is far beyond anyone's imagination. However, focusing on just Port Au Prince, this should not be happening. From the time the US landed at the airport, engineers should have built another 2 or 3 runways where they'd be dry by now. The port should be repaired by now.

Logistical problems. I see CNN had no problem providing exceptionally clear, detailed viewing, interviews and analyses of the devastation - getting into nooks and crannies with their equipment and staff in tow. I'm grateful to CNN for their coverage. I want to know what the government and UN couldn't get there in time.

When it comes to people of color and the poor, it seems we have another standard.


. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 8:05 am
So the government looks after its white citizens well in Florida (and, of course, other areas) after disasters?

"Rarely had the failure of the federal government been so apparent and so acute. On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew leveled a 50-mile swath across southern Florida, leaving nearly 200,000 residents homeless and 1.3 million without electricity. Food, clean water, shelter, and medical assistance were scarce. Yet, for the first three days, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which is responsible for coordinating federal disaster relief, was nowhere to be found. And when FEMA did finally arrive, its incompetence further delayed relief efforts. Food and water distribution centers couldn't meet the overwhelming need; lines literally stretched for miles. Mobile hospitals arrived late. In everything it did, FEMA appeared to live up to the description once given to it by South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings: "the sorriest bunch of bureaucratic jackasses I've ever known."

"Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was criticized for its lack of preparation in responding to Hurricane Hugo and the earthquake in Northern California three years ago."

The incompetence displayed by government at times is hardly, and obviously, not only apparent when dealing with areas which are majority black.....

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 8:09 am
And, in case anyone has forgotten, New Orleans wasn't the only area devastated by Katrina. The Gulf Coast was left in shambles in large parts. My own state of Alabama had tremendous damage and loss along the coast. Among white people as well as black. And the response of the government was just as inadequate - perhaps even worse than in New Orleans, because New Orleans is a prominent city of high population.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 9:24 am
Yes, Lindsay. Compare that with Cuba. where they are very organized and have civil defence plans that move everyone up into high ground and shelter. Where the rest of the Caribbean, especially Haiti, lose hundreds dead, Cuba seems to lose few or none. Whatever may be said about the government there, it at least has the welfare of it's citizens as a priority.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 9:35 am
Cuba does indeed do some things right (they seem to have an excellent healthcare system in many ways, especially with regard to the success of their vaccination programs.) But "welfare of its citizens" means more than just getting them to high ground when weather threatens or giving them good medical care.

It also encompasses freedom. Of speech. Of assembly. Of travel. When a people are in nearly all cases prevented from crossing their own borders, when criticism of the government results in long prison sentences, when dissent is forcefully crushed - that does not constitute having the 'welfare' of the citizens as a priority.

If you, Colin, were a Cuban citizen making the same statements about Cuba as you have made about other nations on this forum - you would be arrested.

In fact, this forum would not exist were we all in Cuba. It would be shut down, the owners of Care2 would be imprisoned, and most of us who posted on the forum would be nervously awaiting our fate.....

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:00 am
Ah, Marion, you ask why can CNN get in to all the afflicted and the care organizations or government teams cannot. Assuming that you are correct, and I'm not sure that you are, it might be because of competition. News organizations are ruthless in getting their stories and compete with others to be the first.They even walk past the wounded or just take pictures and make comments without offering to help, reminding themselves that they are there for the story, not to intervene. There isn't this same kind of competitiveness in those who are there do good. A pity regarding the competitiveness, but glad they stop and help.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:01 am
I think outsiders and skeptical thinkers have hit a raw nerve here, which is love of country, or patriotism, or the belief that a place is better because one was born there or moved there. It's a social control mechanism not accessible to rational inquiry. In the US, patriotism has been elevated to the status of a religion (can you imagine anyone being accused of being Un-Bulgarian or Un-Italian?) There is nothing exceptionally benign about the US. It is just another country of many I have visited. People who believe in American exceptionalism believe America can do no wrong. History is not so kind to them. Think of the teams sent into Hiroshima after they dropped the world's first WND on it. This medical team examined over 150,000 victims of the bomb and gave no medical treatment at all. The people came from far and wide hoping for treatment for their hideous burns and radiation sickness, but were merely examined, documented and turned away. The purpose was to collect data on the effect of the atomic bomb on the human body, for the US military (Yes, the same military that is re-asserting control of Haiti and, I think, deliberately subordinating humanitarian relief to it's imperialist ambitions.)

Further, after WW2 Eisenhower, who hated the Germans, ordered and allowed almost 800,000 German PoW's to die of hunger and exposure in open-air camps in Germany. (Other Losses by James Bacque, Little, Brown). Patton, a more civilized and compassionate man, turned them loose to find their own way home, but Eisenhower ordered him to round them up and send them into the 'death camps'.

It will be interesting to see who steps forward to justify or deny these two well-documented acts of inhumanity. As a seaman visiting countries for most of my life I have never understood patriotism. It's such an irrational emotion, but as the Jesuits say, "give me the child, and I've got the man". A transient political entity called a nation-state is morally neutral, and only does what those who own and control it make it do. 150 years ago I would have been fulminating against the British Empire, 2,000 ago the Roman Empire. I am not anti-American, whatever that means. I'm just opposed to the US Empire's treatment of it's own and other peoples, the cruelty and violence it inflicts. The elite who control it have not changed, and neither has their behaviour, so it is irrational to expect the US to be benign where Haiti is concerned, but oppressive where the rest of the world is concerned. Now I will stand well back and await the response.

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:06 am
"leaving nearly 200,000 residents homeless and 1.3 million without electricity. Food, clean water, shelter, and medical assistance were scarce."

How many died?

"If you, Colin, were a Cuban citizen making the same statements about Cuba as you have made about other nations on this forum - you would be arrested. "

That's the propaganda you've been told. Cuba has been blacklisted in the US so don't hear the truth from the mainstream media sources.

"Assuming that you are correct, and I'm not sure that you are, it might be because of competition. "

You are correct. I was being critical of the US and UN that a news organization can get where they cannot seem to get to right away. Granted, it takes heavy equipment to move the rubble, but water, food and antibiotics could have been dropped and walked in right away.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:15 am
That's the problem, Marion, they couldn't be dropped. That's been demonstrated to cause violence and more disruption as people scramble to get some. It has to be brought in and distributed in an orderly way and that takes more time, more people, more organization - and, unfortunately, more delay. But this way, there's a decent chance that even the weak will get some. It's easy for us to sit back here in our comfortable homes and criticize the people who have left their families and couches and warm beds to join those who are braving the elements. If anyone here thinks he or she could do it better, then why don't you just go out, collect the goods and get down to Haiti and distribute them? Other individuals are doing it. What's keeping you?

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:15 am
"As a seaman visiting countries for most of my life I have never understood patriotism."

Good point. My experience too has been that those who have traveled and been around various cultures have a more well-rounded understanding of people, systems and the world. I've met people I worked with who had never been to school with, lived near or worked with blacks. I've been told that I "act different from other blacks."

My question to them is "what's been your exposure?"

People tend to understand only what they been exposed to. We seem to learn better from experience.

I got over patriotism when I joined the military and traveled overseas. Being retired with time to study history tells me patriotism is a you say, for the elites.

The Russians, Romans and other European empires that failed would warn us of patriotism...and they have.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:19 am
The death toll in Andrew was much less than Katrina - 65 lives lost or so.

But the issue is not the number of lives lost (no one can know the number of lives lost in advance - it's only afterwards that the body count can be taken) - the issue is federal response from the BEGINNING and throughout the days of the disaster, which was just as lousy in Andrew and other disasters as it was in Katrina. And, as has been clearly shown, federal response is not dependent on the ethnicity of the citizens involved.

And, had the number of lives lost in Andrew been higher than Katrina's (which it just as easily could have been were it not for the fact that each and every disaster has its own individual characteristics), I don't believe anyone would be shouting that the federal government deliberately did not respond properly because the people were majority white.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:26 am
Lindsay, does that include the freedom to starve, to be poor, to die from lack of decent health care (45,000 per year in the US), to lose those very political rights and freedoms that Bush took away with the Patriot Act, to be evicted from your home onto the streets, to be homeless, to,etc. I qualified my comments , but you ignored it. Because the rich control and own the US they are only interested in "freedom to" rights, property, profit, etc, while "freedom from" rights, hunger, illness, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, insecurity, etc are the purview of states such as Cuba and the Soviet Union. This is the genesis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each faction brought it's rights to the table. You will see this in the Conventions each had signed, inasmuch as the US signed any.

I have worked on countless Amnesty campaigns on Cuba, and been there several times. Perhaps if the US raised it's spiteful and vindictive 50 year embargo on Cuba the excuse for political repression may be weakened. Don't forget there were 638 plots to kill Castro by the USA, and the Bay of Pigs, poisoning of pig stocks etc. Is the US not complicit in this tyranny, and will it not wind the clock back to Batista and render Cuba more like Haiti as soon as the Castro's successors relax control?

The debate over which is more important, and which comes first, economic or political rights, is endless, but I believe that it is difficult if not impossible to participate in political rights if you are starving, homeless or sick. Ask any mother which she would first want for her child.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:36 am
Everything in life has a cost - including freedom. With individual rights come individual responsibilities.

Some citizens in free, capitalistic countries will not have housing, except through charity. Some will not have medical care, except through charity. Some will not have food, except through charity. And that is one of the costs of a free and capitalistic society.

Of course, those are also attributes in various other types of societies throughout history, including some communistic and socialist ones. Capitalism didn't create hunger or poverty. Nor did free societies. Those things have been part of the human condition since our beginnings.

Anyone who prefers a society in which it is believed, "From each according to his ability to each according to his need" are free to go and join those societies which still believe in that concept.

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:37 am
Chana ~ If I could, I would physically help Haiti. What I think should be done is drop several troops from one helicopter on the ground with the shipments. Have these troops distribute the goods, then get back on the helicopter and reload to do the same elsewhere. The terrain isn't that difficult. It's been done before and can be done in Haiti. The troops could also get to know the people they are distributing too. There's usually one or two people who are familiar with the group and can be used as team leaders for a drop. Instruct these team leaders to identify who needs help. This is a teaching system, but can only be used by people unafraid to approach and take time with the people.

Each helicopter tracks the location of the drops, tracks the team leaders, assesses the needs of that location, and repeats the a report to be tracked at the command center. Being retired military, I know this is already in the plan. How it's being implemented to slowly and unorganized seems highly irresponsible and suspect.

I'm a retired educator and community activist. I have turned around apathetic communities in California with people who have less than a high school education. I understand the dynamics of poverty, community and teaching. It can be done by those who sincerely care to want to help. It requires coordination, organization and communication skills. It also requires compassion, empathy and courage. It means accepting humans as having the same needs and desires as the next person, regardless of culture, race or status. It means treating people with dignity and respect, and the team leaders will emerge. Soldiers can be trained in this area, but it starts at the command centers. Matter of fact, many of the soldiers helped the Haitians in this way without instruction. They are the ones who understand human dynamics.

We can quibble all day over what is going right or wrong with the Haiti situation. Looking at the severe problems in the government system and near collapse of the US with Congress locking down progress for the people and the corporations running the show for the benefit of the elites who comprise 1-2% of the population, it's easy to see those running the show in Haiti holding up progress and getting help to the people as needed.

No matter which way you look at it, we've lost our way by neglecting humanity's needs. There are those with pure hearts and the means to help the Haitians. There are also those who are opportunistic and using this to their advantage. Not all Haitians will get help that is available, and the majority will suffer.

Same story...different location.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 10:43 am
Lindsey said, "Anyone who prefers a society in which it is believed, "From each according to his ability to each according to his need" are free to go and join those societies which still believe in that concept."

Or, as I prefer, we can try to change this society into one that believes that. We don't have to leave; we can transform.


. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 11:02 am
I've observed that two conflicting theories of human behaviour dominate people's thinking.

The first is what I call the "bad animal" theory, which simply states that human beings are irrational Hobbesian beasts who, without the threat of violence and repression, cannot be expected to behave in an orderly fashion and whose society would quickly subside into chaos and ruin. This is the credo of the right-wing, dictators,capitalism, the controlling professions (police, military, prison wardens,etc), the Catholic Church, fundamentalist Christianity, and power in general, and the Old testament God, and of course, gun aficianados.

The other is the "fallen angel" theory, which basically states that people are largely victims of their environment, but are inherently kind,cooperative, compassionate, highly-socialized, constructive, creative and loving; and given the right environment, will flourish and behave rationally. This is the credo of egalitarian socialism and democracy, theoretical communism, and the New Testament God.

It is also my credo, and the fruits of decades of observing human nature in different environments, observing political and religious systems, and wondering why we do what we do to each other, why fellow human beings are treated so cruelly, and also of a lifetime of reading undisturbed at sea.

So who among my correspondents belongs to which category. Well, Chana has put herself in the first category by election, reading her most recent post. I would house Alba Nuovo in there with her. Lindsay I'm not sure of. The blessed Marion is solidly in the "angels" camp with me. Luisa might be but for the guns.

Now i will stand well, well back and await your response. In fact I think I'll take cover.


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Sunday January 24, 2010, 11:06 am
Where you go wrong, Colin, is assuming that people see things in black and white. I don't and so I don't fall into either of your categories.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 11:26 am
I once asked a Catholic nun whether she thought poverty could ever be eradicated. She said "No". Ah, I said. Then you are a conservative. (After all, if you did away with it, how would they be able to build up Grace in heaven?). I asked a Fabian socialist, and the answer was a resounding "Yes!". There is enough food in the world to feed every one, and the capability to produce a surplus, but human institutions obstruct distribution. So while Canada burned surplus wheat, the EU had a butter mountain and a wine lake, millions died from hunger. But this can be changed. It is not a fact of nature but a perversity of social organization, and can be remedied when the "fallen angel" believers wrest control from the "bad animal" devotees. It is man-made and can be man-remade.

My particular hero, George Bernard Shaw, said that "Some people see things as they are, and ask Why? I see things as they could be, and ask Why Not?" My ideal would be to first ask the one question, then the other.

As for the dehumanizing effects of modern society, I need only mention George Orwell, who said "We sell our souls in public, and buy them back from our friends in private". This explains the almost reckless, desperate generosity I have experienced as a visiting British seaman in the US. So harsh and competitive is US market capitalism that I think ordinary Americans are desperate to show generosity and trust to whomever they can. One couple offered us their home for a weekend while they were away. I said "But you don't even know us!". It explains the sentimental preoccupation with rescues and heroes and saving that you see around 9/11 and other disasters that have not yet been taken over by the military. It is a wonderful and moving sight! It restores my faith in human nature in the very belly of the beast, the corporate heartland.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 11:43 am
No, Chana, but people make choices, and the choices they make reflect their predisposition. You choose to believe that control and threats are necessary and that therefore the military should supervise distribution of relief. I choose to believe that the Haitian people are capable of working cooperatively together to solve this crisis, and left to do so, many thousands of lives would have been saved. I choose to believe the doctors and aid workers on the ground, you perhaps choose to believe CNN. Underneath it all, like a deep subterranean river, is the conditioned responses from your childhood, your class-bias, the segment of society you identify with,your religion, which dictates where you go for your information. I never listen to the mainstream media because I know it's corrupt, but you may think it's just fine that corporations own and control it, and order a subscription.

Of course the other problem is the fact-situation. The unvarnished truth. But as Daniel Patrick Moynihan said. "You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts". In the absence of empirical data, it's a matter of where you go for your information/facts.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:00 pm
"You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts" Exactly, Colin, and when, following the earthquake, they tried dropping supplies, there were swarms of people who grabbed up the goods, other people got hurt in the melee, and it was not distributed according to need.

Not my predisposition, but facts based on events.

BTW, please don't make assumptions about where people get their information. You'll find that very often you are wrong.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:08 pm
Chana is right, Colin - you're merely presenting a black/white scenario with no shades of gray.

And life is filled with shades of gray. When disaster strikes some people will behave rationally, decently, and honorably, even under horrific circumstances. Other people will behave like savages, even under mild circumstances. In Haiti, there have been so many people acting with courage and decency. And there have been people stealing from others, harming others, and even attacking orphanages to steal from the children.

Things aren't as cut-and-dried as you'd like them to be. People are individuals - some good, some bad, and most just ordinary. And they behave in a bewildering variety of often contradictory ways in differing circumstances.

Which is why we try to mitigate any potential problems by having tight security. Because historically we know how some people CAN and HAVE behaved in similar circumstances in the past, both in Haiti and elsewhere. Just common sense.

We don't live in Shangri-La. We live on Planet Earth, which is populated by falliable human beings who, as you say, "make choices". And sometimes they make the wrong choices and choose (whether selfishly or desperately) violence.

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Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:25 pm
Interestingly, Lindsey, many years ago I was a flight attendant. Most of our training was in regards to safety. One of the facts that always stuck in my mind was that in an emergency you have the the 5-5-90 rule. 5% of the people will panic in a negative way, screaming, paralyzed by fear, hysterical, difficult to calm down and unable to follow directions. 5% will panic in a "positive" way in that they will focus only on their own survival, but will do so in a way that actually promotes their survival. The remaining 90% will listen to directions, cooperate and help one another to survive as a group.

It would not surprise me at all to find the same breakdown when dealing with a crisis like an earthquake.

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:25 pm
Colin ~ Many thanks for your assessment of me. When I was approached to teach in the local college because of my community work, the administration assessed me just as you have. Yes, I believe we are a product of our environment considering other variables...and can rise above our circumstances given the right and care from our fellow men.

To do so takes unselfish time. Serious time and labor to help others...on a continuous basis to see the results. We can see many Americans don't have the time to give in the moral breakdown of their own families. They don't have time for their children, and many don't really know how to raise them. As each (selfish, ignorant) generation comes about, the situation worsens and we think throwing money at the disaster is all that is needed.

We are humans and need human interaction. Talk, touch, understanding, acceptance, education, empowerment. The Haitians understand this better than we do. One Haitian man said, "Why do they throw water and food on the ground like we are dogs? We deserve respect and dignity." The repercussions of this will be devastating to future relations with the US and whoever is doing this.

If your neighbor asks you for bread, do you send him away, then drop the bread in the middle of his yard the next day without handing it to him?

Respect and dignity.

Colin ~ Thanks for being a light in the tunnel. You used your time wisely by reading at sea. Others might have dreamed of being on land again during that time. Choices.

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:38 pm
Chana ~ The 5-5-90 rule is true. Rather than bring in the military to control the 5%, I believe the other 95% can calm down the 5% and teach them what they know about letting fear take over. The military is trained in an efficient, cold manner. On an already devastated people, this can have disastrous effects if not handled with care. Guns should be nowhere in sight.

Whenever a patient goes in for heart surgery or some serious, life-threatening condition, the staff ALWAYS encourages family or loved ones to be there waiting for the patient when they recover. The staff knows recovery has a better chance when the patient is surrounded by those who care.

The US military should be seen in a serving role to assist only. I would take it a step further and have them wear civilian clothing rather than military uniforms.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:52 pm
But it doesn't always happen that way, Marion. You may "believe the other 95% can calm down the 5% and teach them what they know about letting fear take over....", but often that isn't the way it works out.

"United Nations peacekeepers fired rubber bullets and used tear gas to control mobs rioting over rising food prices in Haiti yesterday [from 2008].

Angry protesters tried to break into the presidential palace in the capital, Port au Prince, and demanded that President Rene Preval step down.

Preval was inside the palace at the time, aides said. The president has made no public statements since riots broke out on the island last week. Five people have died in a week of protests, Reuters reported.

Yesterday, protesters smashed windows and looted shops. The city's streets were blocked by burnt-out cars and concrete barricades, while violence forced the US embassy to suspend visa services and routine operations.

Food prices have risen 40% on average since the middle of last year, causing unrest around the world, with riots seen in countries such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Egypt."

When people are afraid, when they are desperate, when they want what they haven't got - sometimes they WILL take violent action (how many people on this forum have said the same thing about Palestinians in justifying why they send rockets and suicide bombers into Israel?)

All your "beliefs" won't change the facts.

You're talking about the world as you want it to be - instead of the way that it is. And when disaster strikes isn't the time to try social experiments in trusting that frightened people will do the sane thing. Because we already know that in so many cases they don't. And by the time that we realize they are out of control, people are going to be hurt. And die. And the situation will be that much harder to control.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 12:53 pm
Apparently, Marion, either you didn't read what I actually wrote or I was unclear in saying it. Let me try again. 5% react with hysteria and cannot be calmed down or directed. 5% react in a way that assures their safety but is destructive to the well being of the others and they cannot be directed. The remaining 90% can be directed - but they need people with expertise to direct them. They are followers. The military is there in basically the same role that the flight attendants had: to direct those who can follow directions and to minimize the effect of the other 10% on the whole. A major difference, of course, is that the military are armed. So far I have not heard of the military attacking the civilians, but I have heard of some civilians attacking others - some to get resources they wanted that others had and some to punish those who were stealing from others.

Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:22 pm
You both miss the point.

What did communities (tribes) do before there were organized police groups? They policed themselves.

Parents today think they need psychiatrists and police to handle their unruly teenagers. There are creative ways for parents and the community to handle these people without doing harm. When a community comes across an uncontrollable member, they can talk to them, restrain them or, if all else fails, slap them silly. We don't have to be politically correct in a chaotic environment. But it is better to be slapped by someone who loves you and cares, than by a stranger who may not.

I'm done with this conversation between you, so have at it. There comes a point where we stop wasting time with those we cannot communicate with.

I understand your point quite well...and it is diabolically opposed to mine.

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly that what is essential is invisible to the eye"

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:45 pm
Sorry this may have been addressed (stopped reading when I saw that) but really aggravated me. No, damn it we do not shoot ourselves. Though I have no doubt you can find some BS link that will say that. I have worked with teaching people gun safety for years, that statement is NOT a FACT. Particularly those who do actually have and use our guns, can be frightened by such generalized statements of crap. I would openly dare any one to attempt to disarm me. If I pull on gun on you - you have threaten my family, my life and/or my safety. So BACK-OFF Canada. As usual you Canadians have this sense of superiority about America - when in actuality the only thing you have is a dependence on America.

Also go look up all the many countries we have sent aide for - we use the military for security and if you haven't been there when a natural crisis occurs and people react in a very human way - panic, then you have no idea why security is needed. If the US wanted to take Haiti we could have done so at any damn time. What do you think we have to gain? What does Haiti have to offer any power? Exactly, nothing but a mass of deforestation, over population that has lead to massive and horrible poverty and now - some sugar cane. When super powers decide to take a country they do so for a either a strategic advantage or for natural resources. Though I have asked those questions - no one seems to have an answer.

Here's what America or any other country can gain by a "take over" of Haiti, huge financial dependency and hatred by the local population.

Do you people think beyond the emotion of generally pissing on the US? Doubtful - VERY doubtful. What incredible loathing and done so without any real knowledge just reading the articles that WILL support what you want to believe. We are not a perfect country, we screw-up, we make mistakes, our government does things in the name of all of us - some will agree with that concept others will not, check out Faux news. Still for all the faults - I do believe this is a mission to relive suffering, which can not be done without security. I have been there, when the security is late on arrival. The saddest thing here is those Americans so filled with self loathing will not offer an apology when the military leaves Haiti. I do know of a number of young people preparing to ship out in the next few days - all are part of the medical corps. Bet they are being sent to kill some more Haitians - yet another sneaky American plot. Duh!!!!


Marion Y (322)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:45 pm
"it is diabolically opposed to mine. "

Correction: It is diametrically opposed to mine.

But I like diabolically better... ;)

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:51 pm
Marion you can help Haiti - I sure have. This month alone I have donated some heavy money - at least for me. So everyone can help. Now I can't buy those heels I wanted - plus the flat screen for the bedroom - well darn that money is helping to feed some children in Haiti. Everyone has money that is used for selfish things or just wasted each month. Even those living in poverty can donate through many ways that cost nothing ("click to donate"). Want something real to bitch about - check out those organizations that go to make a profit on human suffering - now that is real and it sucks!

Kit B (276)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 1:54 pm
Since we are a gun-toting, medicated, addicted, lying, hypocritical, selfish, cynical, sex-addicted society, I can only imagine that the military and local police would have their work truly cut out for them. A major catastrophe that covered much of this nation would be disastrous because the people in the US have too many "isms," fears and psychological problems to move us forward for years to come.

Wow!! Now that is some self-loathing. Do those problems exist? Sure for some but by NO means does that fairly or properly describe our society.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:06 pm
My head is still reeling from "When a community comes across an uncontrollable member, they can talk to them, restrain them or, if all else fails, slap them silly. We don't have to be politically correct in a chaotic environment. But it is better to be slapped by someone who loves you and cares, than by a stranger who may not. "

Has anyone else noticed that Haiti's infrastructure is also damaged by the earthquake?

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 2:46 pm
Is it really, Chana??? Well, who'd have thought it? An earthquake that wrecks infrastructure!! Chana is definitely a "bad animal" theorist, since she also believes we're infantile. Kit, waving her gun around, joins Chana in the same box. They are not my stats, and I told you where I got them from. Take it up with National Geographic. Freud said "the most inferior people in the world are those with inferiority complexes", in a moment of levity. Canadians have every reason to feel superior to Americans. We are vastly better off in all the major social measures than the USA, we have a stable parliamentary democracy, openly fair elections, we are governable, we don't worship guns or money, we have gun control of a sort, but not far enough, with the exception of the pro-US lackeys we have in power today we don't historically bomb, ionise, vapourise, and steal land from other people, we don't support dictators, we don't have have an empire with 700-1,000 bases in over 130 countries around the world, we have our own oil and we didn't piss it away at 15 cents a gallon in huge ugly chrome monsters, we don't have 1% of the world's population and like spoilt children consume 40% of the world's resources, and produce the bulk of the greenhouse gases, we have a far fairer distribution of wealth, better unionization rate, negligible neo-nazi freaks, we are officially bi-lingual and nobody cares, we don't have tea-baggers and their ilk, we are not controlled by AIPAC, we have a national TV and radio broadcasting service......Oh why go on. We're just plain better off up here, and we know it. To most Canadians (and Europeans) you're health care debate is laughable if it wasn't so sad. You're prepared to see 45,000 people die every year rather than introduce universal single-payer health care like the civilized world.

Chana I have commanded and safety-inspected large passenger vessels which can carry up to 2200 passengers, and I can tell you , after a number of fires, groundings, etc that what you were taught is nonsense. I never heard of any panic in any of the incidents I witnessed or investigated as a TSB investigator.It is not data we use anywhere in the marine arm of government. It just isn't true, although you may well be taught it.

In the UK when the military turns out to help in disaster relief they leave their guns in the barracks and join in the dirty work. I didn't see that in New Orleans. I saw a lot of men in uniforms strutting around with their guns"erect".

I understand your frustration Marion. I'm having fun. This is like taking the dog for a walk. Stick around.

. (0)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 3:11 pm
Oh, I forgot. The reasons for occupying Haiti. Probably the same ones that encouraged the US to invade and occupy it for 19 years almost 100 years ago, send in the marines 4 times in it's history, and overthrow it's governments. Minerals...I used to haul bauxite out of Miragoane for Reynolds (Wrap) to their aluminum plants on the US East and Gulf Coasts, copper concentrate..out of Gonaives also to US ports, oil(new discoveries), sweatshops (Gap, Nike and the usual criminals) (Aristide was overthrown for wanting to raise the minimum wage to $1.70 a day) a dumping ground for surplus agricultural products, which destroyed the indigent farmers, historically sugar, but since Big Sugar in Florida, also a dumping ground, militarily, to effect regime change in Cuba....that's for starters. The poverty is so abysmal that, as I left the ship in Gonaives, a small boy offered me his sister for a bar of soap. That's what US imperialism does to you under the puppet dictator Papa Doc Duvalier. Shame on you America. And shame on those, especially in the consuming middle class, who let it happen and knows it still goes on today. I worked the Caribbean islands, and it's going on everywhere. I visited new sweat shops on St.Kitts, and dined with it's New York owner. Go there, Kit and Chana, and tell me you think it's right.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 3:17 pm

Colin -- True!

One question: If you (and your family) had gone through this nightmare, and were hungry and devastated . . . how rational would you be (knowing that thousands of armed troops were guarding the needs for your survival on a tarmac, but not delivering them)?

Sounds like (as the article I referenced said) a "self-fulfilling promise" for violence.

Luisa Fox (144)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 4:19 pm
Colin, this is in response to yours saturday, January 23, 2010, 7:11 am---
"Luisa, Governments are ethically neutral and express the will and values of the ruling elite who own them, not the people."

I would beg to differ with the logic of your argument that governments are ethically neutral because they cannot be neutral and express the values of anyone. By the mere fact that they express any values they are not neutral.

Having said this, governments are controlled by elite, the money changers, wall street, while main street pays the bill as in the case of bailouts. Governments are in no way like Plato's theory of "ideas" or "forms." This is real, live flesh and blood people, and it is people who can bring down tyranny.

Now, to bring this to the discussion of Haiti. It's up to people who are willing to dissent from the status quo to raise enough hell not to let elites who govern know we are intolerant to any notion of occupying Haiti.

It is up to those who care about people in peril, as are Haitians' today, to demand our country do the best for them in terms immediate aid such as shelter, water, food, medical assistance to begin with. And to criticize the effort if they don't.

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 9:36 pm
"Has anyone else noticed that Haiti's infrastructure is also damaged by the earthquake?"

Yes, all the more reason to cancel the Haitian people's debt.

All the more reason for multinational corporations that are based in the USA, Canada and France, to stop plundering Haiti,and start paying decent wages and enabling technology transfer, and show some social conscience, by giving extra help to the people in their communities in this time of crisis.

All the more reason for the USA, Canada and France to end the military occupation, end support for the oppressive Preval regime, and allow the people of Haiti to have free and fair elections... so that the peopleof Haiti can re-elect the most popular politician, Aristide (who was kidnapped by a U.S./Canadian/French-supported coup), and the most popular party, Aristide's Lavalas party: that government would rebuild Haiti's infrastructure much more than the current undemocratic, oppressive, pro-corporate-exploitation government, which does not care about its people, and so only does the bare minimum to stay in power, for its rich people's agenda.

Simon Wood (207)
Sunday January 24, 2010, 9:53 pm
Kit B,
the USA does more than "make mistakes". U.S. foreign policy is well-planned, and consistent, with systematic results of harm to the people of the world, in order to enrich the capitalist class of the USA, and ensure U.S. domination over the world.

The USA is the world's only remaining superpower. The USA is the global hegemon.

The USA spends almost as much on military as the rest of the world COMBINED.

The USA is more aggressive than any other country: the USA has attacked more than 30 countries since the end of WW2, causing tens of millions of deaths, as a direct and indirect result of U.S. aggression.

The USA supports dozens of oppressive regimes and has hundreds of military bases in dozens of countries, in order to enforce U.S. corporate exploitation of the workers and resources of those countries.

This enables the USA to continue plundering hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth from the Third World each year, impoverishing billions of people, and also preventing egalitarian development and causing plenty of pollution, thus causing the deaths of millions of children each year by poverty, and causing suffering to billions more people, who are forced to struggle to survive on less than U.S.$2.50 per day.

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 12:48 am
Right on, Simon. Well said! I take my hat off to you. Perhaps you could help me out with a source. I read somewhere, but didn't write it down, that the US has been directly or indirectly responsible for 20 million deaths since WW2. I asked Bill Blum, who wrote "Rogue State" and "Killing Hope" if he'd heard of it, and he said no. I know I read it.I kick myself for not noting the source at the time. Do you have a source for a figure of that scale? If you add up Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, all the Latin American dictators, Indonesia and now Iraq, it must be near that figure. Just thought I'd ask. It irritates me when I lose an important citation.

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 3:02 am
Hi Colin : ) I didn't have an exact figure, so I did a quick websearch, and this is the most useful article I found:
"Deaths In Other Nations Since WW II Due To Us Interventions"

By the way, to paraphrase the anarchists in the film "Libertarias" ("Juegos de Guerra"), "there are many ways to kill - you don't need to use weapons to kill". And the USA kills millions of people EACH YEAR by such indirect means: selling or simply GIVING away arms to oppressive regimes and supporting those regimes in other ways, and also exploiting and impoverishing the people of the Third World - using corporations, high-interest loans, unfair global trade (e.g. by protectionist measures which make it impossible for Third World farmers to compete with first world farmers EVEN IN THE THIRD WORLD FARMERS' OWN COUNTRY), and also simply preventing development, in order to maintain U.S. power and exploitation.

A major part of the $500 billion net that the first world takes from the people of the Third World each year goes to the USA, because the U.S.A. is so rich and powerful (rich enough to subsidise its own uncompetitive industries - such as farming - and thus outcompete Third World farmers in ocal and internaitonal markets, rich enough to loan alot of money to Third World nations, and able to use military force to impose economic regimes that favour the USA), and because most of the world's major multionational corporations are based in the USA. Etc., etc..

Mark G (36)
Monday January 25, 2010, 6:15 am
Interesting that I saw Sean Penn, well known actor and progressive activist, being interviewed from Haiti this morning where he is on the ground helping with the disaster. Perhaps surprising to some he could not have been more complimentary of the US military and their efforts in Haiti. He even said, and I paraphrase, "after working with the Airborne troops I am truly inspired by their dedication." Or something to that effect.

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 6:26 am
Yes, Sean Penn is indeed a well-known liberal activist. So many 'ultra-liberals' reflexively and automatically dismiss any fact stated by a 'conservative' speaker if it disagrees with the agenda being promoted by the Left. Wonder if they're going to accuse Mr. Penn of lying to promote the imperialist, fascist, American agenda in Haiti......?

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 7:33 am
So what, Mark G?

First of all, you have shown no evidence of your claim. For all we know, you simply made it all up.

Secondly, the capitalist media is always making soundbites to promote its agenda of corporate exploitation, while eliminating pretty much anything that would harm its agenda. So Sean Penn might have said something like that, and it was cherry-picked out of alot of anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist stuff he said.

Thirdly, if he did say something like that, well, Sean Penn is human like anyone and so could make mistakes of ideology... and on top of that, he could have been tricked by national chauvinist indoctrination in U.S. schools, media and society in general (people in the USA sure are bombarded with it form every direction, everyday)....

...and on top of that, he could have been tricked by military P.R....

...and on top of that, he is of a privileged, wealthy class in the USA, who may well have been corrupted by money and adopted some of the bourgeoisie's pro-corporation, anti-worker, class consciouness.

I don't believe the capitalist media and the unquestioning people who repeat its propaganda.

I prefer to believe the FACTS (e.g. the fact that Haiti has ~50% unemployment, and the fact that those who do worked are exploited in sweatshop factories that pay less than $2 per day), and I prefer to listen to what the people of Haiti want (they want free and fair elections, and their egalitarian and elected president Aristide and his Lavalas party in government again, so they can get decent living standards).

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:06 am
Lindsey O wrote: "Yes, Sean Penn is indeed a well-known liberal activist. So many 'ultra-liberals' reflexively and automatically dismiss any fact stated by a 'conservative' speaker if it disagrees with the agenda being promoted by the Left. Wonder if they're going to accuse Mr. Penn of lying to promote the imperialist, fascist, American agenda in Haiti......?"

Well, if Sean Penn is a LIBERAL, then his support of capitalism, the U.S. military and U.S. imperialism are all quite understandable: liberalism and conservativism are merely 2 side of a narrow spectrum of politics within capitalism and imperialism - and liberalism means supporting one's own naiton's capitalist military.

If, on the other hand, Sean Penn had said what Mark G claims he said, but also said he was an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, proletarian internationist or socialist, then he would be a very confused or dishonest one, because to support a first world capitalist military occupying a Third World country is to support imperialism.

By the way, of course anyone who is knowledgeable and compassionate will be against what conservative people say. Why? Because NO knowledgeable and compassionate people want to keep the world the way it is: with first world governments supporting brutal, corrupt and oppressive regimes that are pro-corporate-exploitation and that wage wars on their own people in order to stay in power, enabling the first world to plunder U.S.$500 billion net wealth from the Third World each year, 3 billion people struggling to survive on less than $2.50 per day, 1.5 billion people without access to clean water, 1 billion people malnourished, and more than 11 million children dying each year from poverty!!! Etc., etc....

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:23 am
Just as I said - reflexively and automatically dismissing anything that doesn't conform to his personal agenda and concept of the situation. Of course, if Sean Penn had said that the military WASN'T doing a good job, Simon would have jumped on Mr. Penn's bandwagon instantly and praised him for getting the truth out of Haiti.

And as for what some Haitians want (which is what you, Simon, said we should listen to) - from Time Magazine:

"On Monday, the U.S. is sending troops in to help restore order — and far from resenting the intervention, many Haitians are anxious for the American colossus to arrive quickly and to completely take over the running of their country.

"We want American soldiers to be swarming all over this place," says Joel Auguste, 33, a barber who is staying in a refugee camp thrown up in the national soccer stadium. "They shouldn't give one dollar of aid to my politicians because they will just steal it. Let the white man come and hand it out." Auguste once lived in the U.S. himself, selling tickets at Madison Square Garden. While living in America, he had the misfortune of being caught up in Hurricane Katrina. But he says the much criticized U.S. response to that catastrophe is practically a role model compared to the Haitian government's collapse now. "They evacuated me straight out of Alabama," he recalls of the 2005 hurricane. "Here it is every man for himself. There are escaped criminals all over the place and people are trying to rob whatever you have."

Such calls for Washington to take the direct reins of Haiti — a state founded in 1804 after the world's first successful black slave revolution — may seem bizarre. But the opinions are loudly voiced by residents scavenging for supplies in the postapocalyptic Port-au-Prince. "Haiti is part of America," says English teacher Franz Dejean, whose home was reduced to dust. "We need Obama to take over." Dejean, like many Haitians, is encouraged by a country being run by its first black President. "He seems to be a good person inside. It is not about color. It is about what you feel.",28804,1953379_1953494_1954393,00.html?iid=tsmodule

And, a video of Mr. Penn actually giving the interview in which he talks about the military doing its best in Haiti is at:

But the issue isn't what Mr. Penn said - or whether he was duped - or whether he is a lying, fascist, imperialist pig - the issue is that there are some who will believe nothing (or will PRETEND to believe nothing) which does not fall into line with their preconceived notions. Instead, it MUST be because the speaker was duped, was lying, or has somehow overnight become corrupted by money.

Instead of just accepting that sometimes what we believe to be true may not be true - or may only be partially true.


Nancy L (141)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:26 am
Thanks Lindsey.

Nancy L (141)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:27 am
My very low opinion of Penn just improved slightly.

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:49 am
First of all, Lindsey O totally ignored my explanation for WHY many of us socialists don't believe what conservatives and other capitalists say. This was my explanation:

"By the way, of course anyone who is knowledgeable and compassionate will be against what conservative people say. Why? Because NO knowledgeable and compassionate people want to keep the world the way it is: with first world governments supporting brutal, corrupt and oppressive regimes that are pro-corporate-exploitation and that wage wars on their own people in order to stay in power, enabling the first world to plunder U.S.$500 billion net wealth from the Third World each year, 3 billion people struggling to survive on less than $2.50 per day, 1.5 billion people without access to clean water, 1 billion people malnourished, and more than 11 million children dying each year from poverty!!! Etc., etc...."

That argument I made is so compelling, that the only way that conservatives and other capitalists cannot disprove it, and their only option is to ignore it. If they actually tackled it, their support of this system and its horrific consequences would be made clear.

As for what the capitalist media (such as Time magazine and the Washington Post) say about anything, well, they are owned and controlled by mega-rich shareholders (who own shares in other corporations), and receive the majority of their funding from corporate advertising, so it is only natural that they show whatever promotes their pro-corporate, pro-exploitation, anti-worker, anti-egalitarian agenda.

Therefore, the capitalist media are not credible sources of information - except on the extremely rare occasions when they go against their own agenda by mistake (because editors accidentally let through an article that challenges capitalism or imperialism). On such occasions, we can use the capitalist media against the capitalist system. Otherwise, the capitalist media is worse than useless for us working class people, and merely distracts and deceives us, to indoctrinate us into capitalist beliefs.

I believe what NON-capitalist information sources (e.g. the non-captalist media) say about Haiti and other issues. And they give us the voices of the Haitian majority - instead of the capitalist media's cherry-picked minority of privileged or capitalist-media-indoctrinated, pro-imperialist, pro-corporate-exploitation Haitians, and the capitalist media's outright lies about what the people of Haiti want.

Simon Wood (207)
Monday January 25, 2010, 8:53 am
Oops, I made I mistake. I meant to say:

"That argument I made is so compelling, that conservatives and other capitalists cannot disprove it, and their only option is to ignore it. If they actually tackled it, their support of this system and its horrific consequences would be made clear."


. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 9:14 am
No, Simon - I didn't ignore your argument. I just find it irrelevant.

Because anyone who makes "blanket" statements about any large group of people, such as 'conservatives', 'capitalists', etc., and makes blanket assumptions without taking into account the fact that there are enormous variations within those populations, should not be taken seriously.

George Bush is a Republican and a capitalist. Ron Paul is a Republican (though with strong libertarian sensibilities) and a capitalist. Bush promoted the war. Paul decries it. Among their many other differences.

You see the world in black and white. Your side vs. everyone else. Capitalism vs. everyone else. And anyone who doesn't toe your own ideological line is misinformed, unintelligent, fascist, or otherwise wrongheaded.

And you either are too blind to see, or cannot bear to admit, that there are gradients to everything. That no 'side' on virtually any matter is ever 100% right or 100% wrong.

That sometimes the U.S. Military does bad things. And sometimes it does good things. And a lot of very ordinary things. And that acknowledging the good it does doesn't weaken your arguments against it when you feel it has overstepped its bounds.

You don't have to try to convince everyone that an entity (or a person, for that matter) is entirely evil in order to legitimately criticize some of their actions. And when you try to do that you only make yourself look ridiculous and weaken your overall arguments.

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 9:18 am
An example: I dislike Communist governments. But although there is much wrong (very wrong) with the Cuban government, it does have it's bright points. Cuba has an excellent healthcare system for its people and has an outstanding vaccination program (and has had that for decades).

And the fact that I admire Cuba's vaccination program doesn't mean that I can't also legitimately criticize its government for its abuses against civil rights and freedoms for its people.

Nancy L (141)
Monday January 25, 2010, 9:40 am
Excellent posts Lindsey

Marion Y (322)
Monday January 25, 2010, 10:38 am
Colin ~ I'm not going anywhere. I just know when it's time for me to break away from the usual suspects who cling to bones thrown them and won't let go when the meat is long gone. ;)

"All the more reason for the USA, Canada and France to end the military occupation, end support for the oppressive Preval regime, and allow the people of Haiti to have free and fair elections... so that the peopleof Haiti can re-elect the most popular politician, Aristide (who was kidnapped by a U.S./Canadian/French-supported coup), and the most popular party, Aristide's Lavalas party: that government would rebuild Haiti's infrastructure much more than the current undemocratic, oppressive, pro-corporate-exploitation government, which does not care about its people, and so only does the bare minimum to stay in power, for its rich people's agenda."

Simon ~ I agree. I noticed Preval immediately headed for the airport when the earthquake struck, had the guiltiest of looks on his face when interviewed, and maintained a low profile until Clinton arrived representing US support of his regime. He talked with a barely audible voice that was disjointed and vague. I thought to myself, Preval looks like nothing more than a small time, capitalistic businessman, rather than a leader. I like to study body language in the overall scenario. Preval's stance tells me he has done a gross disservice to his people. I suspect he ran to the airport and was ready to leave his people because (1) he lacks the ability to deal with this crisis, (2) he lacks the humanitarian mindset to do right by his people, (3) his comfort and well-being are his first priority and the devastation means years of discomfort for him to stay, and (4) this is most important: he fears the people will turn on him. I also suspect he was detained at the airport by his people and told he could not leave. Thus, he had to face the media and request help from the US to protect him.

The US is directly responsible for much of the situation Haiti has and continues to finds itself in. We MUST come to their rescue. However, as is usually the case with this corrupt nation, many fear (including me) the US will try to exploit this humanitarian assistance and capitalize on it. Already, the Blackwater-type contractors are circling Haiti like vultures.

I find it appalling that anyone would criticize the leadership of these other nations when the US has suffered under the WORST leadership and fascism for the past 10 years that has impacted the entire world and dropped our country to its knees. Capitalism has failed - it was merely an experiment - and the entire system is breaking down rapidly under its own faulty weight. Socialism? Communism? The US needs to STFU because our system has failed miserably. These other systems are still long as they keep the US out.

The ONLY reason Chavez, Castro and Saddam (and others) have been vilified and numerous assassination attempts made on their lives (they succeeded with Saddam), is because these leaders refused to allow the US of Israel to scam their resources through usury and dependence, and work their way in to control their nations.

As has been stated, things are never black and white. And so, the US has done many things right. But so have other nations. But to deny the wrongs -- gross wrongs -- of the US and their crimes against humanity is to withhold the truth and progress...and is a grave disservice to the people.

When will the US of Israel ever give from the heart to other peoples without expecting something in return?

The road to hell is paved with good intentions...

Kit B (276)
Monday January 25, 2010, 10:43 am
Simon you're from another country, whose hands are far from clean. You HATE the US and bitterly HATE Israel - and write long mostly inaccurate monologues on what should be but are not historical perspectives of the hows and whys of the situations that so frustrate you. Instead of learning history you are constantly lost in the rhetoric - you can't change what you don't understand. Unfortunately you have a gap between knowledge and anger. As you get older you'll find some of things you believe are factual some are not. That the US and ALL western countries have blood on their hands from many past aggressions and those that are yet to come is not changed by being indignant, but by learning that like it or not there is a balance, most important a power to digging in to all sides of any argument. This is the real world and no government hands are clean hands - NO government acts only defensively. So while you think you have offered some deep insight - sorry but I have read and reread that rhetoric thousands of times, big deal you can spout as well as you can copy and paste. Now what do you offer as real world - considering all the opinions and realities of the world - solutions... an option, a realistic alternative. I doubt Americans are going to kill everyone in the government and even if they did the moment the next group of HUMANS that gained power - it would all begin again. I have learned that the only way I can change things is to work on the little things and work my way up - my lifetime is not relevant in the long march of history, but perhaps some or maybe one of my thoughts - if fair and reasonable will be understood, written better and reach some of the people. One thing I have noticed - at Care 2 people read only those who already agree with them. So obviously it's a place to complain and vent not a place to make a least not with venom. Those who spend time to learning facts, to truly and deeply understand history one must come to certain unavoidable conclusions, nothing ever really changes, humans have not changed their behaviors in thousands of years - ultimately they live the lives they have created. Humans allow and even encourage war, once again their is something to be gained and both sides of any war are guilty of avarice.

Simon - sorry but socialism - communism and even capitalism are nothing more then Utopian ideas. They are as they have been economic theories, they must (as they always have) come to fruition by the act of a government, a republic seems to nurture (since the late 1800s) a loose combination of capitalism and socialism, totalitarian governments have used the ideas of communism as a front. Unfortunately humans are not loving, giving or nuturing beyond a family unit so other then very small groups communism in it's pure form will not suddenly appear. A generalized observation and not meant to discredit the very compassionate, generous and honest good works of some. Sadly the few not the many. How much MONEY did you give to Haiti? Natural disasters are apt to happen any day, therefore do you any of you put aside even $5.00 a week for these expected horrors or just say - that's why I pay taxes...not very compassionate but very human.

You once again missed the point of every word I wrote. Your response inaccurate and too full hyperbole to have any depth of meaning. All Americans are not evil, figure out the basics, if you can stand beyond this unrealistic sense of injustice. Humans always - beyond borders or languages, religions or governments have one thing in common - we are human beings - with all the good and bad that entails.


. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 10:46 am
Why is there almost a knee-jerk need to defend the US military? It's a facet of US society I wonder at. "Support our Troops"? When? When they're dying? Committing atrocities? Fleeing to Canada to avoid becoming war criminals? Nowhere does the military enjoy such a mythic, heroic status than in the USA. It is untouchable. You will never hear anyone on Air America condemn it. And most commentators, even Randi Rhodes, have been in the military and ends her phone calls with "Thank you for your service." Like Israel, it is sacrosanct. In a highly militarized society under a war economy, everybody has either been in the military or knows or is related to someone who has. In Canada I don't even know anyone in the military, even in a garrison city like Victoria. I've no doubt that, once allowed outside the airport gates, the natural decency of the average soldier, who is not rich but more likely a product of the poverty and benefits draft, will respond to the need and throw themselves into helping the Haitians. But when the French government, Medicins sans Frontieres, and a host of other agencies accuse the US of a military intervention, of turning away aid flights to give priority to military landings, then there is obviously something wrong. Somebody is giving those orders, and that can only stem from the Pentagon. Sending flights with surgeries and medical aid on board to Santo Domingo is quite blatant and calculated. Keeping them circling for hours is quite blatant. The US military, who now own the airport in Haiti, know what they are doing. To not agree to supply food and water to people 200 metres from the airport gates (as reported by ITN) is worse than blatant. They only had to carry the supplies 600 feet. This is almost impossible to explain away, even by the most ardent devotee of "our boys and girls" ("thank you for your service to US imperialism"). It is this sentimental, blind and uncritical love of the military, allied with a mostly male admiration for the violence it can inflict with all it's weapons, that scares me the most. These are the contours of a fascist state. I believe that after the French and MSN complaints there was some back-tracking and eventually, way, way too late for some Haitians, the aid started to move. Why didn't the helicopters that visibly and on camera flew in Marines to "secure" the broken-down palace, also bring some water and food with them for the people massing outside the palace gates? Where was the "security for aid distribution" aspect to that manoeuvre, since they took right off again? Why was the airport closed to humanitarian flights for 3 hours while the Clintons, no lovers of Haiti(remember Bill's restoration of Aristide provided he agreed to neo-conservative IMF SAP's that rolled back and privatized what little public sector there was to serve the people, and, further afield, Hilary/Obama's refusal to reverse the military coup in Honduras?) did a tour. Why enlist the chronically indifferent and lazy 'Baby' Bush to "help" when his 'Papa' ordered the landing of Marines and overthrow of Aristide the first time he tried to do something for his people in 1991. I was able to monitor this from the magnificent Pacifica Radio when I was in California at the time. Had the American people heard those broadcasts, instead CNN, Fox and the other corporate networks, they might have understood the anguish of the Haitian people at US intervention in their affairs. And if all the accusations against the US military and government are wrong-headed, what happened to the much-vaunted "can-do" US military that fills TV and movie theatre screens around the world with it's bragging?

Time magazine is the house magazine of the business elite. Everything is filtered. Read John Pilger, Noam Chomsky if you want to understand the US record on Haiti. There's enough impartial comment out there such that only sheer laziness or obduracy prevents you from finding it. Even in the UK, Bush's poodle, the media is critical and suspicious.

Finally, the "straw man" arguments. Accuse the people you disagree with with "black and white thinking", then blow it down by arguing against it. If I say I think in 'black and white' terms you're entitled to argue against it. But if you accuse me of "black and white thinking" and then magnificently demolish it without checking with me to see that that's how I see things, then that's a conversation you're having with yourself, and you should seek help. Lastly still, a libertarian is a long way from a liberal, who is a long way from a progressive.

Meanwhile.....back at the ranch..

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 10:58 am
Marion, you stated, "The ONLY reason Chavez, Castro and Saddam (and others) have been vilified and numerous assassination attempts made on their lives (they succeeded with Saddam), is because these leaders refused to allow the US of Israel to scam their resources through usury and dependence, and work their way in to control their nations."

Really? So there are no OTHER reasons to vilify, say, Saddam?

I thought you didn't approve of leaders who invaded other nations, especially over oil. And yet Saddam invaded and annexed tiny Kuwait (and invaded Iran as well, of course). And used chemical weapons in his attacks against Iran, which I seem to recall you also disapprove of. Torture of his own people, suppression of human rights.....

And yet you say the ONLY reason he is vilified is that he wouldn't allow the U.S. to control his resources. A very odd position to hold.

From Amnesty International:

"[1996]Hundreds of suspected government opponents and their relatives were detained and tens of thousands arrested in previous years continued to be held. Among them were prisoners of conscience. Torture remained widespread. The judicial punishments of amputation and branding were widely imposed. The fate of thousands of people who had ''disappeared'' in previous years remained unknown. Numerous judicial and extrajudicial executions were reportedly carried out. Human rights abuses were committed in areas of Iraqi Kurdistan under Kurdish control, including arbitrary arrests, torture and deliberate and arbitrary killings."

"Iraqi civilians who had longed feared speaking out about the alleged atrocities for fear of government retribution are revealing in detail what the Iraqi dictator and his regime inflicted on some of the country's 26 million people.

They paint a picture of arrests, killings and torture that have led human rights groups to condemn the Iraqi leader in the strongest terms. The groups have charged that tens of thousands of Iraqis, from Kurds in the north to Shiites in the south, were tortured and killed after Saddam seized power in 1979.

Most were arrested on charges ranging from criticizing the Iraqi leader to cooperating with the United States.

Only a few walked out of the jails alive.

Some Iraqis are already coming forward with tales of atrocities. Many allegedly were carried out here at the Military Intelligence Directorate.

"I was beaten, refrigerated naked and put underground for one year because I was a Shiite and Saddam is a Sunni," said Ali Kaddam Kardom, 37. He said he was arrested in the central city of Karbala on March 10, 2000. He returned to the facility in Baghdad this weekend, he said, to help rescue any Iraqis who still might be imprisoned there....."


. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 11:14 am
And Colin - if you (or anyone else) don't want to be considered a "black-and-white" thinker, then you should cease making public statements that showcase such an attitude. Because that's all anyone can know of you here on this forum - what you choose to reveal of your thought processes in your postings. And they are indeed revealing - as are Simon's.

How absurd to argue that others should not judge your thought processes when you showcase them regularly in print. The fact that you don't recognize them as arbitrarily rigid is a very common phenomenon - we often are incapable of seeing the beam in our own eye.

Marion Y (322)
Monday January 25, 2010, 11:17 am
"Lastly still, a libertarian is a long way from a liberal, who is a long way from a progressive."

Colin ~ Yep, I've noticed several of these same folks here have changed their political leanings. Now that the system is crumbling, I guess Liberal is the safest leaning. Like you, I see these people are really Libertarians and don't know it or don't want us to know it.

And Libertarian is nothing more than a disgruntled Republican who wants to distance themselves from ever supporting Bush. Sorry folks, but your writings betray your true colors.

But I understand. I realize you and your families are losing jobs and homes, healthcare premiums are unaffordable, the wars are unsustainable and now a nuisance, and the greatest insult is the recent Supreme Court decision stripping Americans of any rights they thought they had. I can only imagine the influx of new "Liberal" voters we will see in the next elections.

Frankly, I don't like labels on myself. Liberal doesn't cut it enough for me. I'm a humanitarian first and foremost, with a major concern for the environment (our home). Every aspect of our leadership and governing must consider people and living organisms as the end result of their actions. If we want to end wars, we must lay down our own guns. If we want honest, humanitarian leadership, we need to be honest with ourselves and others first before voting...otherwise we won't make the right decisions. If we want to truly help poor nations, we need to look at how we help our own poor first, and require our leaders to stop hurting these nations and set a positive example to follow.

. (0)
Monday January 25, 2010, 11:26 am
Some may choose to change their political leanings - I personally prefer to remain happily Libertarian. That philosophy has served me well for thirty years and counting (and even it isn't perfect, of course - but it comes so much closer than others.)

And, BTW Marion - "Socialism? Communism? The US needs to STFU because our system has failed miserably. These other systems are still long as they keep the US out."

Exactly where were you when the Berlin Wall came down? And the Soviet Union threw off communism and broke up into the various republics? And the fall of communism throughout Eastern Europe? Yes, some communist and socialist regimes still exist - but most have fallen. Just as many democracies still exist in the world.

Perhaps you missed all that - blinders do tend to obscure one's view of the world.