Sunday, January 31, 2010

Standard Imperialist Operations

Even before the 12 January 2010 earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, with 80% of its nine million people living below the poverty line.
Jean-Max Bellerive, the Haitian Prime Minister, told delegates at an international conference in Montreal that it will take Haiti four to five years just to climb back to its pre-earthquake status.

A report originally in The Guardian newspaper warns:
US "Security Concerns" Could Cost Lives

An article originally in The Nation denotes the same old colonialism for corporate interests is at work in Haiti.

The corporate media attempts to portray Haitians as looting, stealing, killing, pushing, fighting and rioting. Always the story is about how security is needed, never about the remarkable order that the Haitians have conducted themselves with for the most part. They have helped each other, shared food, policed themselves, and conducted themselves with remarkable dignity. Crime is less now than it was before the earthquake.
The racist portrayal of violent, unruly Haitians, is, I would guess, necessary to justify all the foreign troops, US and Canadian landing there. I guess we're not about to let this peaceful behavior get out of hand. Wouldn't want to let the Haitian people get a better political and economic system out of this.

Meanwhile, the colonialist program aims to destabilize Haitian society.

Women Only Food Sites

The oligarchic oppressors and their colonialist cronies want to keep the men of Haiti in a weak condition in order to prevent uprising against the Occupation.
That is why they only pay subsistence wages in the corporate-socialist sweatshops.
They want to keep people down, keep people weak, keep people under control for
By constraining the supply of food and water, US colonialist Occupation forces want to provoke an uprising so they can massacre Haitians who refuse to be starved into submission
File it all under standard imperialist operations.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tony Blair and his Calculus of Risk

Tony Blair had a lot to say at the Chilcot Inquiry on Iraq.
But he stayed away from the truth and proffered his stock excuses and dissimulations.
Blair said the September 11, 2001 attack on the United States changed everything because it showed that religious fanatics were determined to inflict mass casualties. It was too dangerous to leave Saddam in power, he said, because Saddam's Iraq – or other rogue states, like North Korea or Iran – could form links to terror groups and attack the West.
Blair conceded there were no known ties between Saddam and the al-Qaida architects of the 9/11 attack, but said he feared such links could have developed if Saddam Hussein remained in power.
Blair also insisted the US-led invasion would have been called off had Saddam changed course and proved to UN inspectors that he had destroyed his arsenal.
One panel member, renowned historian Sir Lawrence Freedman, pointed out that it would have been difficult for Saddam to prove he had dismantled weapons he did not have in the first place.

In the past, Tony has twisted and turned with his grab bag of falsehoods.
He joined Bush in war crimes . . . because Saddam was linked to 9/11. No, that story has been discarded as without substantiation and wrong. The US invaders of Iraq could find no WMDs and so Tony has to admit that he joined the Iraq war with the US because he believed their evidence of connection.
Okay, Tony, so you were a fool. Admit it, and apologize for the mistake.
It would be possible to accord Blair some respect if he conceded that he erred.
Tony, however, never admits a mistake.

So now at the Chilcott Inquiry, Tony is trying to justify going to Iraq yet again by using 9/11, the pretext even he had abandoned. But to strengthen his stew he has added some obscure "calculus of risk."
He does not explain the calculus but he implies that he and Bush and their dupes were so panicky about the calculus that they had to take action.
His excuses are without merit.
There was no justification for invasion.
Not liking a country, not liking its leaders or what they do within their own nations is irrelevant in the calculus of international law.
Sovereign nations do not have to answer to Bush, Blair or any other fanatical idiots.
By the international system of law in which the US and UK supposedly operate, there is no justification for attacking another country except in defense.
US and UK had no justifiable reason for invading Iraq except to depose the leadership and impose a puppet government.
If Blair and Bush held any sense of dignity and respect for themselves and for everyone else in the world, they would come clean and admit that what they did was wrong and they would accept punishment for their actions.
They will not, of course, because being honest is not what war criminals do.
It is no wonder that so many people have no respect for politicians.

The "calculus of risk" sounds more like the title to a James Bond movie than a moral or legal argument to defend the murder of tens of thousands of people and the destruction of one of humanity's oldest cultures.
The true "calculus" involves the prospect of stealing the wealth of other countries.
The UK and US governments committed crimes against humanity, and perjured themselves in defending their actions. The evidence for these crimes is inescapable, and the reasons clear.
First element in the "calculus," of course is the oil and US dollar hegemony that the usurpation of Iraq's oil enables.
If Tony's excuse about rogue states were genuine, then why did the US and UK not attack North Korea? The NK regime has nuclear weapons and the US refuses to sign a peace treaty ending the war that began in 1951.
North Korea, though, does not have oil.
In addition, there is a factor in the "calculus" that the US make billions of $$$ selling weapons around the world, including countries that are "at risk."
Going to war is just a way to support the industry!
It's about billions of $$$!!!

The only "calculus" that changed for Tony Blair on 9/11 was that he figured it would be easier to drive the herd in panic by disseminating lies about Saddam Hussein and Iraq, by pretending that the US regime was not committing crimes against humanity, by covertly arranging that there would profitable loot for the US and UK corporate accomplices, and Tony calculated that the lives of one million innocent Iraqi civilians were worthless.

There is a butcher bill to pay, Tony. Count on it.

World Economy Must Disengage from USA

In a vote which had been widely anticipated, the US Senate today approved additional sanctions against companies that provide gasoline to Iran, as well as against some companies that provide communications technology to the nation.
The sanctions are seen as doing particular harm to Swiss company Vitol, as well as France’s Total S.A. and Britain’s BP. Major cellphone company Nokia could also be affected if the communications clause is included in the compromise bill with the House.
The vote was a companion bill to a House of Representatives bill which passed 412-12 in mid-December. The Senate vote was a voice vote, meaning individual Senators did not have to record their vote publicly.
The sanctions in the Senate bill would extend to companies that build oil and gas pipelines in Iran and provide tankers to move Iran's petroleum.
The measure also prohibits the US government from purchasing goods from foreign companies that do business in Iran's energy sector.
In his State of the Union address on Wednesday, Obama warned Tehran faced "growing consequences" over its nuclear program. The administration has been working with several other major powers to build a consensus on new sanctions to be imposed jointly.
US business groups have warned the White House that the lawmakers' approach threatens to undercut this joint strategy. The critics say broad-based sanctions sought by lawmakers would upset US allies whose companies would be affected, and frustrate joint action with other countries against Iran.

The self-destructive political spasms of the USA must not be allowed to disrupt world business.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Haiti President Puppet in Protective Custody

Haitian President Rene Preval has remained hunkered inside the government's temporary headquarters, at a police station in the relatively affluent suburb of Petionville.

Mr. Preval's wife has become involved in her husband's image rehab.
Addressing questions about why the president has been so invisible to the people in homeless camps, Elizabeth Preval said "he's constantly in meetings" with the US military.

The meetings probably involve Preval being told what to do.

The US newsweekly magazine Time described the real situation, referring to the top US military commander in the country, US Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, as "the de facto king of Haiti."

For the first week following the earthquake, the US military held Preval at the Port-au-Prince airport. No way he could be allowed the opportunity to actually govern. He might have got some ideas about independence. He had to be kept under control. And he will continue to be kept under control.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Montreal Meeting Aftershock of Haiti Earthquake

An international conference on Haiti scheduled for Monday in Montreal will lay the groundwork for the long-term reconstruction of the earthquake-ravaged nation,Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Sunday.

Cannon will serve as host of the Ministerial Preparatory Conference of the Group of Friends of Haiti.
The meeting was organized this past week and will occur less than two weeks after the 7.0-magnitude quake struck.

The confirmed death toll from Haiti's devastating earthquake has risen above 150,000 in the Port-au-Prince area alone, a government minister has said. The Haitian government estimates that hundreds of thousands more have been left homeless and in dire need of food, water and medical attention. Communications minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said the count was based on bodies collected in and around the capital by state company CNE that has been collecting corpses from around the capital and burying them in a mass grave north of Port-au-Prince. Many more remain uncounted under rubble in the capital and elsewhere, including the towns of Jacmel and Leogane.

Cannon told reporters in Ottawa that the meeting "is an initial, albeit critical, step on the long road to recovery."

Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive is scheduled to attend Monday's meeting, along with representatives from the Group of Friends of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the European Union, Spain and Japan.

"Together with the government of Haiti we need to roll up our sleeves and begin to lay the groundwork for the enormous task ahead," Cannon said.

Also attending are officials with Organization of American States, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the UN, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, among other organizations. Several non-governmental organizations will also have representatives in attendance.

Cannon said the meeting has two objectives: to establish a commitment from the attending nations and organizations on "responsibility, accountability and long-term engagement," and to identify key priorities for aid in the weeks and months ahead.

He said Monday's meeting will also lay the foundation for an international conference on Haitian reconstruction.

"I look forward to a successful outcome of the Montreal meeting," Cannon said. "I trust it will provide a clear sense of the next steps ahead, restoring the lives and livelihoods of the Haitian people and, as Prime Minister Bellerive put it, building a new Haiti will be foremost on our minds."

The real story will involve corporate disaster-profiteers grabbing the richest share of relief and reconstruction funding.
The interests of US-based capitalists are far removed from the interests of the population of Haiti.

Participants at this meeting will include foreign ministers and delegates from the following countries and organizations:
Group of Friends of Haiti: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, France, Mexico, Peru, United States, Uruguay.
Other major donors and key regional and multilateral partners engaged in Haiti: Japan, Spain, European Union.
Neighbouring Caribbean country: Dominican Republic.
International organizations: United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Caribbean Development Bank, Organization of American States, CARICOM, International Monetary Fund, and Inter-American Development Bank.

And where is Cuba at this conference about Haiti?
About 150 kilometers of sea separate the two countries, and Cuba has been the largest supplier of medical support for Haiti for the past two decades, with 400 doctors on the ground on the day of the quake. The fact that Cuba has not been invited shows that this conference is about politics, pure and simple.

And by the way, "Friends of Haiti"?
Countries don't have friends, they have interests.
Actions by the US, France, the UN, the World Bank and the IMF contributed to the pre-quake conditions in Haiti and now they are going to save it.
They will allow the Haitian Prime Minister to attend even though he did not provide much leadership during the greatest disaster in the history of his country.
The President of Haiti must still be sequestered at the Port-au-Prince airport under US military control.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Activities Incompatible with Diplomatic Status

A newspaper report says the Canadian diplomat praised for sheltering Americans during the Iranian Revolution was a CIA spy.
The Globe and Mail quotes former ambassador Ken Taylor as telling the newspaper that he was made "de facto CIA station chief" in a secret deal between US President Jimmy Carter and Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark.
The report says the move followed the seizure of the US Embassy by Iranian students November 4, 1979, when 63 Americans, including the four-member Central Intelligence Agency contingent, were taken hostage.
The Globe and Mail newspaper says that Taylor, who was ambassador to Iran from 1977 to 1980, actively spied for the Americans and helped them plan an armed incursion into the country.
It says that details of Taylor's role are revealed in a new book being released today, "Our Man in Tehran," by Trent University historian Robert Wright.
The newspaper says the phrase "de facto CIA station chief" appears in Wright's book, the manuscript of which Taylor saw and approved in advance of publication.

Canadians should be interested to know if other Foreign Affairs staff are acting as agents of foreign powers.
And to whom would those diplomats owe their loyalty?
They might also wonder how much damage dual-loyalty diplomats have caused to Canada's foreign policy implementation and national standing in the world community.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Occupation of Haiti Condemns Haitians to Death

Haitians are suspicious of the influx of US troops, claiming that the US has been looking for excuses, for a long-time, to regain US military control of their country.
In 2004, the US Marines outed the democratically elected Haiti President Jean-Bertrand Aristide who was serving his second term. He was abducted by US forces and taken by a US military aircraft to Europe. President Boniface Alexandre was than installed by the US as President of Haiti.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010:
Haiti's former secretary of state for national defence and human rights activists has warned against the militarization of quake relief efforts as Washington confirmed that it had 12,000 US troops deployed in or around Haiti.
But ex-Haitian secretary of state for national defence Patrick Elie questioned whether the US military was the best organization to lead relief efforts.
Mr Elie said: "There is no war here. We don't need soldiers as such."

Friday, 22 January 2010:
The Wall Street Journal reported that 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."

US command class exploiters do not want Haiti to prosper as an independent country.
US will want minimal stability, just enough to insure economic viability for Haiti to continue serving as a cheap-labor resource for US corporations.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Aid to Haiti Constrained

There are reports of growing anger at the US puppet regime led by President René Préval, who was installed by a coup against elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
The Times of London wrote: “Haitians complain that their government has been silent. President Préval is himself camped out at the airport ... and aid distribution has been either totally absent or at best haphazard.” It noted that water bottles sell for $6 on the black market in Port-au-Prince.

Peter Hallward's column at the Guardian is worth reading. It explains how Haiti has been damaged by more than natural disasters in the last two hundred years.

US military occupation forces are constraining relief efforts by other nations and aid groups.
They claim that security must be established.
Cuban doctors have traveled to Haiti and are treating earthquake victims without armed guards.

Fidel Castro, on his website, explains what Cuba has been doing for Haiti.

Fidel Castro writes:
"Haiti was the first country in which 400,000 Africans, enslaved and trafficked by Europeans, rose up against 30,000 white slave masters on the sugar and coffee plantations, thus undertaking the first great social revolution in our hemisphere. Pages of insurmountable glory were written there. Napoleon's most eminent general was defeated there. Haiti is the net product of colonialism and imperialism, of more than one century of the employment of its human resources in the toughest forms of work, of military interventions and the extraction of its natural resources."
Further, Castro reminds the world:
"In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba - despite being a poor and blockaded country - has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country's 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. They will now work with the reinforcement brigade which traveled there yesterday to save lives in this critical situation. Thus, without any special effort being made, up to 1,000 doctors and health-care experts can be mobilized, almost all of whom are already there willing to cooperate with any other state that wishes to save the lives of the Haitian people and rehabilitate the injured."

Other countries complain that their efforts to assist Haiti have been hampered.

Russian aid for Haiti blocked by US

Why? Because the US does not want Haiti to recover from the earthquake disaster except as a US colony.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Eight Days of Suffering Imposed by Mandate Power

It's been eight days since the earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter scale of magnitude struck Haiti.

The number of the dead is still unknown. Haitian officials estimate the death toll between 100,000 and 200,000 people.

Eight days since Haiti suffered the worst earthquake in over 200 years.

A strong aftershock hit on the morning of January 20. Initial reports said it measured 6.1 on the Richter scale.

While tens of thousands of the wounded await medical help, the survivors are burying the dead.
Some three million Haitians—a third of the country’s population—have been directly affected by the earthquake, with one-and-a-half million now homeless.

It's been eight days.

US officials, who had previously refused to make airdrops in case they led to fighting for food on the ground, have changed policy due to congestion at airports hampering food deliveries.

"Parachuting bundles of food and water into Haiti became viable for the first time Monday in part because there are enough troops there to identify a safe place to drop them, according to Air Force officers involved in planning the mission." — 'U.S. airdrops 14,000 meals into Haiti’, USA Today, 19 January, 2010

The excuse for delaying EIGHT DAYS is that the US, having twisted mandate authority from the UN, could not manage to find a flat field in which to drop relief supplies.

Of course, as usual, the corporate media push the line that dropping emergency supplies was not safe. That is what they would like you to believe. Dying of thirst or starvation or untended wounds was not safe either.

It is an emergency. They could have dropped supplies anywhere and everywhere. Maybe some would have been lost, damaged, or snatched by unscrupulous profiteers. But plenty would have got to the people in need.

There was no need to wait for 11,000 US troops to hit the beach. UN has troops in Haiti.
Brazil was in charge of the UN forces in Haiti and could have continued doing a good job of distributing aid. The emergency supplies could have been dropped to those UN forces. But the UN surrendered to US demands for mandate authority, probably to avoid more delays due to US playing vicious political games.

The US games have the usual profit motive determining objectives.

Naomi Klein reported that within 24 hours of the earthquake, the influential right-wing think tank the Heritage Foundation was already seeking to use the disaster as an attempt at further privatization of the country's economy.

It is the neo-liberal pillaging of Haiti that established conditions making the disaster even worse than it would have been. There would not have been so many impoverished people living in Port-au-Prince if they had not been driven from their agricultural communities into the urban concentrations.

The real looting in Haiti is not the desperate people scavenging for food and water to survive.

The real looting of Haiti is the economic policies of the US, as well as institutions such as the IMF and World Bank, that use disaster-profiteering capitalism to exploit and exacerbate suffering.

Canadian soldiers in Haiti number about 2,000, and are deploying in the devastated towns of Leogane and Jacmel, close to the epicenter of the earthquake southwest of Port-au-Prince. Canada has sent two warships, which will be joined by naval vessels from Italy, Spain, and Venezuela in the coming days.

Unless, that is, the US military has orders to interfere as part of the corporate exploitation of disaster.