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The Wind That Shakes the Barley — British barbarism & Irish resistance

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Thanks to Irishviews.com for the barley image.

Is there any end to the toxic effects of British imperialism and capitalist exploitation?  One look at the Gulf of Mexico disaster provides the answer. Britain’s cruelty and barbarism toward its “subjects” is horrifying. The Irish have suffered from British oppression for centuries. The Irish have resisted with incredible courage and persistence — and with beautiful lyrics and songs about their struggle for dignity and freedom.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley” is one such ballad, by poet Robert Dwyer Joyce.. It’s a traditional Irish ballad in format but is based on true events that transpired during the 1798 Irish Rebellion against British rule. I won’t go into the entire narrative of the uprising but one event stands out: The 29th of May massacre by Britain — which should never be forgotten — or forgiven.The British Army captured, shot and killed 300-5oo Irish prisoners of war at Gibbet Rath, in the Curragh grasslands of County Kildare. Executed. Assassinated. So much for British “nobility”  This massacre exemplifies the vicious savagery that’s characterized British imperialism for centuries. By the way, these were rebels about to surrender…. — from Wikipedia

According to YouTube commenter  anthonyjanetireph:  “The references to barley in the song derive from the fact that the rebels often carried barley oats in their pockets as provisions for when on the march. This gave rise to the post-rebellion phenomenon of barley growing and marking the “croppy-holes,” mass unmarked graves which slain rebels were thrown into, symbolising the regenerative nature of Irish resistance to British rule.”  Three comments.

1) Irish rebels lived on subsistence farming and were near starvation. Imagine trying to survive as by chewing raw barley grains or functioning as a soldier with such meager nourishment. The British used starvation to control the Irish population.

2) The death of each Irish patriot ensured a continuance of the barley harvest (their agrarian way of life)  and ensured future generation of Irish resistance.

3) The shaking of the barley is a visual reminder of  the desire to “live free or die” — free from the ongoing British occupation of Ireland.

I am reminded of the resolution of Seven Samurais. The peasants of the town go back to work in the rice fields, singing. For now, the strife has ended. But at some point, invaders may return to terrorize, kill and steal. It may once more be necessary to summon the help of itinerant samurais to defend the town….

With those concepts in mind, here is a beautiful version of the ballad by Dead Can Dance vocalist Lisa Gerrard:

I sat within a valley green
I sat me with my true love
My sad heart strove to choose between
The old love and the new love
The old for her, the new that made
Me think on Ireland dearly
While soft the wind blew down the glade
And shook the golden barley
Twas hard the woeful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us
But harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said, “The mountain glen
I’ll seek at morning early
And join the bold United Men
While soft winds shake the barley”
While sad I kissed away her tears
My fond arms ’round her flinging
The foeman’s shot burst on our ears
From out the wildwood ringing
A bullet pierced my true love’s side
In life’s young spring so early
And on my breast in blood she died
While soft winds shook the barley
I bore her to some mountain stream
And many’s the summer blossom
I placed with branches soft and green
About her gore-stained bosom
I wept and kissed her clay-cold corpse
Then rushed o’er vale and valley
My vengeance on the foe to wreak
While soft winds shook the barley
But blood for blood without remorse
I’ve taken at Oulart Hollow
And laid my true love’s clay-cold corpse
Where I full soon may follow
As ’round her grave I wander drear
Noon, night and morning early
With breaking heart when e’er I hear
The wind that shakes the barley

Fast forward to 1921 and the continuing struggle for Irish Independence… Nothing has changed. Still horrific poverty, oppression and hunger in Ireland. But the Irish are ready fight to the death for their freedom. Ken Loach created an exceptional film on the subject. It won the Cannes 2006 Palm D’Or.

Lastly, here is an early esponse from a proud British subject on the issue of Irish poverty, hunger and overpopulation. If only the Irish had listened and the liberals hadn’t objected to his plan. All he sought to do was to limit the suffering of the broods of children produced by Irish welfare mommas who seek to embarrass Her Majesty the Queen. Here’s how to solve “The Irish Queston”:

A Modest  Proposal” by Jonathan Swift, 1729

For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to their Parents

or Country and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public

 


The Ruling Class’ Murder-Suicide of the Human Race

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Does the Ruling Class Really Want to Commit Suicide?

by Charles M Young, This Can’t Be Happening

G20 Pandemonium: Crash the Meeting Toronto 2010

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ONE BILLION DOLLARS FOR SECURITY to PROTECT THE KINGS & PRINCES OF THE EARTH, AS THEY DETERMINE FURTHER STRATEGIES TO RAPE, ROB, PLUNDER, MURDER, EXTORT & EXPLOIT THE ENTIRE WORLD & MAKE THEMSELVES APPEAR TO BE BENEFACTORS INSTEAD OF OF DEVILS.
Check out this passage from the Gospels. Jesus’ true followers are not authorities and not elitists. They are servants. It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for Rockefeller, Roosevelt, Rothschild or Obama (or their minions) to enter the kingdom of heaven… This is  classic biblical peripateia [i.e., revolutionary thinking]
24A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. 27Forwho is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.    Luke 22:24-27

Pandemonium, the Congress of Demons, in Paradise Lost by John Milton
Meanwhile the winged Heralds, by command

Of sovereign power, with awful ceremony

And trumpet's sound, throughout the host proclaim

A solemn council forthwith to be held

At Pandemonium, the high capital

Of Satan and his peers.  Their summons called

From every band and squared regiment

By place or choice the worthiest: they anon

With hundreds and with thousands trooping came

Attended.  All access was thronged; the gates

And porches wide, but chief the spacious hall

(Though like a covered field, where champions bold

Wont ride in armed, and at the Soldan's chair

Defied the best of Paynim chivalry

To mortal combat, or career with lance),

Thick swarmed, both on the ground and in the air,

Brushed with the hiss of rustling wings...
But far within,

And in their own dimensions like themselves,

The great Seraphic Lords and Cherubim

In close recess and secret conclave sat,

A thousand demi-gods on golden seats,

Frequent and full...
...we now return

To claim our just inheritance of old,

Surer to prosper than prosperity

Could have assured us; and by what best way,

Whether of open war or covert guile,

We now debate.

[A debate ensues between Moloch (war), Belial (deceit), Mammon (greed), Beelzebub (false gods) and Satan himself…]

Re Moloch: from Howl, by Alan Ginsburg

Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!

Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!

Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgement! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!

Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!

Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovas! Moloch whose factories dream and choke in the fog! Moloch whose smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!

Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!

Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!

Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisable suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!

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Outrage over Israeli attack – Middle East – Al Jazeera English

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Outrage over Israeli attack – Middle East – Al Jazeera English.

At least 20 peace activists murdered by Israeli goons in International Waters while delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. Names unknown. Location of cargo unknown. Injured are being treated in an Israeli hospital.

PIRACY MURDER MAYHEM IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS!

WHEN  WILL the WORLD STAND UP TO ISRAEL’s  EGREGIOUS AND PERSISTENT CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY?

More on HAARP and Haiti from Jerry Mazza

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HAARP, Haiti, Brzezinski and the NWO

By Jerry Mazza

Online Journal Associate Editor

22nd January 2010

On October 25, 2005, I wrote an article for Online Journal, headlined Is it the weather or government terror, detailing government manipulation of weather, including earthquakes, for terror and destruction, mentioning that “your local weatherman was surely not up to pointing this out,” and adding “let me help with the forecast, past, present and long-range. Well, déjà vu all over again seems to have struck in Haiti on January 12.

When I wrote that article, I was disturbed over the effects of Katrina, on August 25, 2005, not to mention the Indonesian tsunami preceding it on December 26, 2004. It seemed to me it would take a helluva lot more than the weatherman to explain such cosmic events within a year, four months and a day. Today, I ask you to read my first article to familiarize yourself with HAARP, the acronym for the government’s High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program, which is about more than weather, but rather US Weapons of Meteorological Mass Destruction.

As I write that, I can hear the sirens of “conspiracy theory” going off on the airwaves as if a thief had broken into the dark hole of the Pentagon and was filling his pockets with all the secrets of these darker ops. Well, perhaps.

HAARP, as you will read in more detail, can shock the upper atmosphere with both a focused and navigable electromagnetic bolt. The ionosphere is the electrically charged sphere that surrounds the earth’s upper atmosphere, about 40 to 60 miles above the earth’s surface. Take a look also at the excellent Haiti Earthquake Raises HAARP Controversy at the phoenixaquua.blogspot, so you don’t think it’s just me thinking this. In fact, you can see filmed examples of how HAARP works, and how it has worked on Haiti.

You will particularly enjoy this article’s film clip of Pat Robertson’s analysis of the Haitian earthquake. Pat believes it’s due to the victory of the Haitians in their rebellion over Napoleon and the French in 1801. Their victory, he claims, was due to a pact the Haitians made with the Devil. And this pact, Pat iterates, haunts them to this day. This is a man who ran for president of the US, is the owner of a chain of TV and radio stations, and a leader of the Machiavellian Dominionists sect of Conservative Christianity. But I digress and I’m dizzy from this one.

HAARP has always been referred to by the US government as a tool for researching weather, but in fact has been developed and used by the military for Department of Defense purposes. This dark side of HAARP has been played down for obvious reasons, but Dr. Nick Begich and Jeane Manning have done an excellent expose of this “Military Pandora’s Box” in their book, Angel’s Don’t Play This Harp. There as an excellent summary of the book at this site. It debunks the notion that HAARP is no different than other ionospheric heaters operating safely through the world in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, Tromso, Norway, and the former Soviet Union.

Yet a 1990 government document claims that the radio frequency (RF) power bolt can drive the ionosphere to “unnatural” activities. Quoting the authors . . .”at the highest HF powers available in the West, the instabilities commonly studied are approaching their maximum RF energy dissipative capability, beyond which the plasma process will ‘runaway’ until the next limiting factor is reached.” The program operates out the University of Alaska Fairbanks (in Sarah Palin-land), providing a ground-based “Star Wars” technology, offering a relatively inexpensive defense shield.

But the University also boasts about the most mind-boggling geophysical manipulations since nuclear bombs of which HAARP is capable. It’s based on the work of electrical genius Nicholas Tesla and the work and patents of Texas’ physicist Bernard Eastlund. The military has deliberately underestimated the deadly possibilities of this uber technology, most pointedly in this case to create earthquakes with the generation of bolts of electrical power aimed at specific targets.

In fact, HAARP’s potential for havoc drew the attention of none other than Zbigniew Brzezinski, former NSA adviser to Jimmy Carter, science advisor to President Johnson, and political advisor to President Obama.

More than 25 years ago, when Brzezinski was a professor at Columbia University, he wrote, “Political strategists are tempted to exploit research on the brain and human behavior [another strange purpose HAARP can be put to]. Geophysicist Gordon J.F. MacDonald, a specialist in problems of warfare, says accurately-timed, artificially-excited electronic strokes could lead to a pattern of oscillations that produce relatively high power levels over certain legions of the earth . . . in this way one could develop a system that would seriously impair the brain performance of very large populations in selected regions over an extended period.”

He capped this statement with “no matter how deeply disturbing the thought of using the environment to manipulate behavior for national advantages, to some, the technology permitting such use will very probably develop within the next few decades.” Let me tell you, dear readers, it’s here.

As of 1970, Brzezinski predicted HAARP could be used for “a more controlled and directed society” linked to technology. This society would be dominated by an elite group which impresses voters by allegedly superior scientific know-how.” Furthermore, Dr. Strangelove states, “Unhindered by the restrains of traditional liberal values, this elite [the New World Order of today] would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Technical and scientific momentum would then feed on the situation it exploits.”

And thus spake Brzezinski, who also predicted that it would take an inciting incident like Pearl Harbor (i.e., 9/11) to engage the normally peaceful American population to go to war on a march for world hegemony (i.e., The War on Terror). And he was spot on.

Zbig is not afraid, in fact, is lauded for thinking down avenues that would make most of us shiver with disgust. Regrettably, his forecasts tend to prove accurate, because they inspire the worst people to do the worst things. And so, these “tools for the elite” and their temptation to use them increases incredibly. The policies to use them are in place. As to the “stepping stones” that could be used to reach this highly controlled techno-society, Brezinski expected them to be “persisting social crisis” and the use of mass media to gain the public’s confidence. Again, he’s spot on.

Way back in 1966, Professor Gordon J.F. MacDonald, then associate director of the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at UC, Los Angeles, was a member of President Johnson’s Science Advisory Committee and later a member of the President’s Council on Environmental Quality. He actually wrote a chapter called “How to Wreck the Environment” in his book, Unless Peace Comes. Of course, this came at the height of the Vietnam brutality. Given the aura of violence similar to today’s, Gordon described in his chapter, among other things, “polar ice cap melting or destabilization, ozone depletion techniques, earthquake engineering [italics mine], ocean wave control and brain wave manipulation using the planet’s energy fields.”

The outstanding peculiarity of the Haitian earthquake is that it devastated Haiti, which is the western part of the larger island of Hispaniola, while the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, suffered some aftershocks but remained relatively unscathed, hotels operating, business booming, flights coming in and out. If this isn’t pinpoint targeting of an earthquake, it is a very strange, yet to be explained phenomena. [China Rose has wondered why there was complete silence nearly everywhere re the earthquake’s effects or lack of effects on the Dominican Republic [predominantly controlled by corporate interests and a playground for the elites]. In fact, it was immediately labelled the “Haiti earthquake”, as if Haiti itself was an island, and Dominican Republic did not even exist. Perhaps it was a result of the well-documented extreme geographic and cartographic ignorance of most US residents].

For the “official” statistics of the event, see the Tectonics of the Haitian earthquake by Chris Rowan at scienceblogs.com. Despite the fact that Rowan sees this as a “strike-slip in the Caribbean Plate with the crust on each side of the fault moving horizontally relative to the other side,” and so on, I still feel that the pinpointing of Haiti is not just another predictable earthquake. But read Chris’s full explanation. A bolt of HAARP energy could have caused that “strike-slip.”

What is far more interesting to note is an article from nextgov.com (Technology And The Business of Government), Defense launches online system to coordinate Haiti relief efforts , which was published last Friday but refers to a disaster relief drill that took place on Monday, January 11, a day before the earthquake. I quote, “As personnel representing hundreds of government and nongovernment agencies from around the world rush to the aid of earthquake-devastated Haiti, the Defense Information Systems Agency has launched a Web portal with multiple social networking tools to aid in coordinating their efforts.

“On Monday, [January 11, before the earthquake] Jean Demay, DISA’s technical manager for the agency’s Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, happened to be at the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami preparing for a test of the system in a scenario that involved providing relief to Haiti in the wake of a hurricane. After the earthquake hit on Tuesday, Demay said SOUTHCOM decided to go live with the system [itlaics mine]. On Wednesday [the day after the earthquake], DISA opened up its All Partners Access Network, supported by the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project, to any organization supporting Haiti relief efforts.

“The information sharing project, developed with backing from both SOUTHCOM and the Defense Department’s European Command, has been in development for three years. It is designed to facilitate multilateral collaboration between federal and nongovernmental agencies . . .”

You’ll pardon my paranoia, but this is identical to drills being set up the day before 9/11/01 by FEMA in NYC on 9/10/01 and NORAD.

The political truth is that Haiti has historically been a thorn in the side of those from the US and Europe, who would exploit its natural resources and dare to genocide its people. See Wiki’s History of Haiti, which opens by with the tale of Christopher Columbus, colonizer extraordinaire, naming the entire island, Hispaniola.

From the very beginning, Wiki notes, “Following the arrival of Europeans, Haiti’s indigenous population suffered near-extinction, in possibly the worst case of depopulation in the Americas. A commonly accepted hypothesis attributes the high mortality of this colony in part to Old World diseases to which the natives had no immunity. The colonists also killed a considerable number of the natives both directly and indirectly by enslavement and murder.” And so the die was cast.

And, as Wayne Madsen reports, U.S. troops in Haiti to prevent Aristide’s return, “President Obama, in keeping with his CIA lineage, has permitted the Pentagon under Robert Gates to take charge of the humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti.

“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 . . .” Read the full article for all the details.

Madsen was not the only one to comment that in the middle of this havoc the US seems more set on occupying Haiti with its Army than delivering relief aid. Press TV reports that Nicaraguan President Ortega warns of US deployment in Haiti. He stated, “What is happening in Haiti seriously concerns me as US troops have already taken control of the airport,” Ortega said on Saturday ”The Pentagon says it has deployed more than 10,000 soldiers in Haiti to help victims of Tuesday’s earthquake.

”This is while US paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division took control of the main airport in the capital Port-au-Prince on Friday three days after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake brought death and misery to the impoverished nation.”

Said Press TV, ”The leftist Nicaraguan president denounced Washington’s move in deploying military forces in Haiti, saying ‘It seems that the bases (on Latin America) are not sufficient.’

”’There is no logic that US troops landed in Haiti. Haiti seeks humanitarian aid, not troops. It would be madness if we all began to send troops to Haiti,’ said Ortega.”

Given Nicaragua’s horrific experiences with the US and the Contras, his doubts, as Madsen’s, are to be seriously considered. Back then, we had Reagan and Bush I pulling the strings, which eventually exploded into the Iran-Contra debacle, which attempted to continue New World Order advancement from Central America to the Middle East. So what has changed?

Bottom line, am I asking you to blame anyone slipping on a banana peel to be the result of HAARP’s cataclysmic power? No, I’m not. But I am asking you to pursue the given links and seriously consider the possibility of HAARP’s ability to produce this highly targeted mega-earthquake. It is one more weapon in the US arsenal. And the more you know, the better to discern the big picture. All you have you to lose are your political chains and the specter of Zbigniew Brzezinski and his clones.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer and life-long resident of New York City. Reach him at gvmaz @ verizon.net. His new book, “State Of Shock: Poems from 9/11 on” is available at JerryMazza.com Amazon or Barnesandnoble.com.

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal

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NO SHOCK DOCTRINE for HAITI! The US owes Haiti Billions of $$$ in Reparations

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Haiti: A Creditor, Not a Debtor

By Naomi Klein, The Nation, February 11, 2010

If we are to believe the G-7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full “forgiveness” of its foreign debt. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told Al Jazeera English, but “It’s time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt.” In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor—and it is we, in the West, who are deeply in arrears.

Our debt to Haiti stems from four main sources: slavery, the US occupation, dictatorship and climate change. These claims are not fantastical, nor are they merely rhetorical. They rest on multiple violations of legal norms and agreements. Here, far too briefly, are highlights of the Haiti case.

§ The Slavery Debt. When Haitians won their independence from France in 1804, they would have had every right to claim reparations from the powers that had profited from three centuries of stolen labor. France, however, was convinced that it was Haitians who had stolen the property of slave owners by refusing to work for free. So in 1825, with a flotilla of war ships stationed off the Haitian coast threatening to re-enslave the former colony, King Charles X came to collect: 90 million gold francs–ten times Haiti’s annual revenue at the time. With no way to refuse, and no way to pay, the young nation was shackled to a debt that would take 122 years to pay off.

In 2003, Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, facing a crippling economic embargo, announced that Haiti would sue the French government over that long-ago heist. “Our argument,” Aristide’s former lawyer Ira Kurzban told me, “was that the contract was an invalid agreement because it was based on the threat of re-enslavement at a time when the international community regarded slavery as an evil.” The French government was sufficiently concerned that it sent a mediator to Port-au-Prince to keep the case out of court. In the end, however, its problem was eliminated: while trial preparations were under way, Aristide was toppled from power. The lawsuit disappeared, but for many Haitians the reparations claim lives on.

§ The Dictatorship Debt. From 1957 to 1986, Haiti was ruled by the defiantly kleptocratic Duvalier regime. Unlike the French debt, the case against the Duvaliers made it into several courts, which traced Haitian funds to an elaborate network of Swiss bank accounts and lavish properties. In 1988 Kurzban won a landmark suit against Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier when a US District Court in Miami found that the deposed ruler had “misappropriated more than $504,000,000 from public monies.”

Haitians, of course, are still waiting for their payback–but that was only the beginning of their losses. For more than two decades, the country’s creditors insisted that Haitians honor the huge debts incurred by the Duvaliers, estimated at $844 million, much of it owed to institutions like the IMF and the World Bank. In debt service alone, Haitians have paid out tens of millions every year.

Was it legal for foreign lenders to collect on the Duvalier debts when so much of it was never spent in Haiti? Very likely not. As Cephas Lumina, the United Nations Independent Expert on foreign debt, put it to me, “the case of Haiti is one of the best examples of odious debt in the world. On that basis alone the debt should be unconditionally canceled.”

But even if Haiti does see full debt cancellation (a big if), that does not extinguish its right to be compensated for illegal debts already collected.

§ The Climate Debt. Championed by several developing countries at the climate summit in Copenhagen, the case for climate debt is straightforward. Wealthy countries that have so spectacularly failed to address the climate crisis they caused owe a debt to the developing countries that have done little to cause the crisis but are disproportionately facing its effects. In short: the polluter pays. Haiti has a particularly compelling claim. Its contribution to climate change has been negligible; Haiti’s per capita CO2 emissions are just 1 percent of US emissions. Yet Haiti is among the hardest hit countries—according to one index, only Somalia is more vulnerable to climate change.

Haiti’s vulnerability to climate change is not only—or even mostly—because of geography. Yes, it faces increasingly heavy storms. But it is Haiti’s weak infrastructure that turns challenges into disasters and disasters into full-fledged catastrophes. The earthquake, though not linked to climate change, is a prime example. And this is where all those illegal debt payments may yet extract their most devastating cost. Each payment to a foreign creditor was money not spent on a road, a school, an electrical line. And that same illegitimate debt empowered the IMF and World Bank to attach onerous conditions to each new loan, requiring Haiti to deregulate its economy and slash its public sector still further. Failure to comply was met with a punishing aid embargo from 2001 to ’04, the death knell to Haiti’s public sphere.

This history needs to be confronted now, because it threatens to repeat itself. Haiti’s creditors are already using the desperate need for earthquake aid to push for a fivefold increase in garment-sector production, some of the most exploitative jobs in the country. Haitians have no status in these talks, because they are regarded as passive recipients of aid, not full and dignified participants in a process of redress and restitution.

A reckoning with the debts the world owes to Haiti would radically change this poisonous dynamic. This is where the real road to repair begins: by recognizing the right of Haitians to reparations.

[And we’re not even mentioning HAARP here…]

Haiti: The Politics of Rebuilding

See also: “Asking Bush and Clinton to ‘Help Haiti’ is Cruel Mockery”

and

US Toxic Waste Poisons Haiti: Clinton, The Dems & Duvalier Dump on Haiti

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US Imperialist Hubris – Asking Bush & Clinton to “Help Haiti” is Cruel Mockery

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Bush, Clinton and the crimes of US imperialism in Haiti

18 January 2010

The Obama administration has announced that former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will head the fundraising for relief efforts in the wake of the Haiti earthquake. In his radio speech Saturday, Obama declared: “These two leaders send an unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and the world. In a moment of need, the United States stands united.”

The message of the Clinton-Bush appointment is indeed significant, but hardly what the White House and the American media have suggested. In selecting his two immediate predecessors, those who have set US policy in the Caribbean since 1993, Obama demonstrates that the devastating human tragedy in Haiti will not bring any alteration in the rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.

For eight years apiece, Clinton and Bush were directly and deeply involved in a series of political machinations and military interventions that have played a major role in perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti that have vastly compounded by the disaster that struck that country last Tuesday. Both men have the blood of Haitian workers and peasants on their hands.

Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haiti’s first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bush’s father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.

The new Democratic Party administration undertook a tactical shift in policy. Clinton imposed economic sanctions on the Haitian junta, which destroyed Haiti’s fledgling export industries, then dispatched the Marines to Haiti—for the third time in the 20th century—to compel Gen. Raoul Cedras, the junta leader, to depart. The US restored Aristide to the presidency, after he had given assurances that he would do nothing to challenge the domination of either Washington or the native Haitian elite, and that he would leave office in 1996 without seeking reelection.

After Aristide obediently left office on schedule, he was succeeded by René Préval, who served the first of his two terms as president from 1996 to 2001, carrying out the dictates of an International Monetary Fund “structural adjustment” program that slashed employment, cut public services, and ruined domestic rice farmers.

When Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas party won a clear victory in May 2000 legislative elections, the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress refused to accept the election and cut off US aid. Aristide himself returned to the presidency after winning a landslide election victory in November 2000, only to face an implacable enemy in the incoming Bush administration.

For three years, Haiti was systematically starved by the US aid cutoff and measures taken by the Bush administration to block international aid and isolate the Aristide government. Finally, in February 2004, amid protests fomented by the Haitian ruling elite with covert American backing, the US military again intervened in the country, seizing Aristide and shipping him out of the country to exile.

The Marines turned over effective control of the country to a United Nations peacekeeping force, with Brazil providing the biggest troop contingent, propping up a series of unelected Haitian prime ministers until elections in 2006, from which candidates of Fanmi Lavalas were largely excluded. René Préval was elected president for the second time, in a term scheduled to end late this year. Once a supporter and professed political “twin” of Aristide, Préval has long since made his peace with both Washington and the Haitian ruling elite, and his second term has been characterized by slavish subservience to the economic prescriptions of Wall Street and the International Monetary Fund.

Throughout the Clinton and Bush administrations, US demands for adherence to IMF austerity policies were combined with a vicious program of repression against Haitians fleeing the country of their birth to seek refuge and a better life in the United States. In his first campaign for the presidency, in 1992, Clinton criticized the persecution and forced repatriation of Haitian refugees, only to reverse himself and continue those policies unaltered. For the next 17 years—and continuing with no change from Obama—hundreds of refugees have died in small boats seeking to evade the US Coast Guard blockade.

Most recently, Clinton has been the official UN envoy for Haiti, backing the corrupt Préval regime and seeking to develop Haiti as a base for a profitable US-run garment industry founded on near-starvation wages. Food riots swept the country in April 2008, but that did not stop Préval from blocking legislation that would have raised the minimum wage of $1.72 a day for workers in the garment factories.

As for George W. Bush, his selection as co-leader of a supposed humanitarian campaign is an insult to the people of both Haiti and the United States. His appointment by Obama is in keeping with the Democratic president’s unflagging efforts since his election, the result of popular hatred of Bush and his party, to rehabilitate the Republicans.

An unapologetic war criminal who is responsible for the slaughter of a million Iraqis, Bush’s signature domestic “achievement” was the abject failure of the US government either to prevent the devastation of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in Hurricane Katrina, or to mount an effective relief and recovery effort afterwards.

This is the record of the two men whom Barack Obama has selected as the public face of the latest US initiative in Haiti. Bush and Clinton made a series of media appearances over the weekend, including interviews on all five Sunday television news programs, during which they emphasized the need to restore “stability” to Haiti, and the important role that the United States would have to play in that effort.

Bush and Clinton personify the pernicious and reactionary role that American imperialism has played in Haiti for the last century. It is no exaggeration to say that the policies of their administrations have caused as much death and devastation in that country as last Tuesday’s earthquake.

Patrick Martin

NO RED CROSS: Reliable & Effective Haiti Emergency Aid Providers

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The World’s One Hope


“When a child steps out in front of a moving car, someone will snatch the child back to the sidewalk. It’s not only a kind person who’d do that, not only the kind of person they honor with statues, and memorial plaques. Anyone would pull a child out of the path of the car. But here, many people have been run down, and many pass by, doing nothing. Is that because there are so many suffering people? Shouldn’t there be more help when there’s more suffering? There’s less help. Even kind people walk past, doing nothing, and they’re just as kind as they were before.”

–from The World’s One Hope, a poem by Bertolt Brecht translated by Tony Kushner

*****


It is very important to keep the disaster of Haiti in context of the 200 years of colonial and neo-liberal oppression and military occupation that has reduced the entire country to destitution. The organizations that are aware of this context are those who are best equipped to administer relief. They know what people are facing every day and what they need to recover.

Some Haiti relief agencies have demonstrated their commitment to the people of Haiti and to their struggle for survival long before the earthquake. They are there not to proselytize, preach, control or dictate. They didn’t go to Haiti with guns or Bibles. They are comprised of Haitians and others who realize that the long-term catastrophes of economic exploitation, hunger, disease, poverty, lack of housing and coping with successive military dictatorships have already devastated an entire nation.

DON’T GIVE to RED CROSS. It’s a quick conscience-salve, but your donation will not benefit Haitians in need.

Please consider giving to the following worthy emergency relief efforts. They are all rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator:

  • Partners in Health
  • Action Against Hunger
  • Haiti Action
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • The Lambi Fund

  • Where is Frandy?

    Slideshow: People of Haiti (under occupation), 2009

    Live from Haiti (blog)


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    Charity Navigator: Tips For Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief Efforts

    Avoid Newly-Formed Charities and Give To An Established Charity That Has Worked In Haiti – Establishing a new charity is hard enough, but in a crisis, the odds of succeeding are slim to none. Think of it this way: would you entrust all your savings in a financial firm that just opened, doesn’t even have stationery, and whose employees have no experience in investing money? Doubtful. Find a charity with a proven track record of success in providing disaster relief and one that has worked in Haiti. Start with the list of charities on the right and if a group you are considering supporting isn’t there, then take the time to thoroughly research it before making a gift.

    Do Not Give To The Haitian Government – Haiti is known to be a corrupt country. And news reports post earthquake indicate that the government is pretty much not functioning. If that isn’t enough reason not to give directly to the Haiti government, then consider the fact that contributions to foreign governments are not tax deductible.

    Designate Your Investment – Generally, it is best to trust your chosen charity to spend your donation as it sees fit. But with disaster related giving, you should specify that you want your donation only used to respond to this particular crisis.

    Do Not Send Supplies – Knowing that millions of people are desperately in need of food and water, it is hard not to want to pack up a box of supplies and send it to Haiti. But this type of philanthropy is simply not practical or efficient. Even if mail could get to Haiti, no one is set up to receive these goods, much less organize and distribute them to the victims. Furthermore, charities are often able to partner with companies to acquire large amounts of in-kind donations such as bottled water and new clothing. Instead of boxing up and sending your old clothing, have a garage sale and turn your used goods into cash and donate that to a worthy charity.

    Be Careful Of Email Solicitations

    • Be Leery Of People That Contact You Online Claiming To Be A Victim – Unless you personally know someone in Haiti, anyone alleging to be in this position is most likely part of a scam. Obviously, people affected by the earthquake are in no position to contact you directly for assistance.
    • Delete Unsolicited Emails With Attachments – Never respond to unsolicited emails. Do not open any attachments to these emails even if they claim to contain pictures from Haiti. These attachments are probably viruses.

    Seek Out The Charity’s Authorized Website – Refer to our blog from yesterday as to why this is important.

    Is it safe to make a text donation? – So long as you do your homework, yes. Please visit our blog for a longer explanation.

    Consider The Nature Of The Charity’s Work – Not every charity is responding in the same way. Some are providing medical assistance, some shelter, some food and water. Others will be more focused on either short term or long term rebuilding efforts. And some are just helping to fundraise for other nonprofits. Think about what it is you want your philanthropic investment to accomplish and then take the time to find the charities doing that work. At Charity Navigator we link to each charity’s website so that you can quickly learn more about their plans to help in Haiti.

    Be Inspired By Social Media, But Still Do Your Homework – Social networking tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs are delivering heart-wrenching images and information about Haiti to our computers and phones. Many of them include pleas to donate. While these tools can be a powerful tool to inspire your desire to help, you should not blindly give via these vehicles. You must take the time to investigate the groups behind such pleas for help to ensure that it comes from a legitimate nonprofit. For example, you can donate $10 to the American Red Cross by texting “Haiti” to 90999. As of today, this tool has raised $3 million for the Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

    Avoid Telemarketers – As always, hang up the phone do your homework and give directly to a charity.

    Do Not Expect Immediate Results, But Do Keep Tabs On What Your Donation Accomplishes– It takes time for charities to mobilize, to assess the problems that need to be addressed and to develop effective solutions. Donors need to be patient so charities will not feel pressured to plunge in and offer ineffective aid, simply to placate impatient donors. That doesn’t mean donors shouldn’t hold the charities accountable for delivering on their promises! Be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out (a) how your donation was put to use and (b) if the organization needs additional support to complete the recovery effort.

    Crocodile Tears: The Haiti Earthquake – in Context

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    Hundreds of thousands feared dead in Haiti

    By Bill Van Auken
    14 January 2010

    Officials warned Wednesday that the earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince may have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands, as the city’s residents piled corpses in the street and dug through the rubble for survivors.

    Measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, the earthquake was the most devastating to hit the impoverished Caribbean island nation in 240 years. With its epicenter barely 9 miles from Port-au-Prince, a city of 2 million, and its source relatively close to the surface, the earthquake inflicted immense damage.

    Thousands of buildings, ranging from shantytown dwellings and schools to the Presidential Palace, government ministries and the five-story Hotel Christoph, headquarters of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the country, collapsed, many with occupants inside them. According to some estimates, 75 percent of the city’s structures were reduced to rubble.

    “More than 100,000 are dead,” Felix Augustin, Haiti’s consul general at the United Nations, told reporters Wednesday.

    Haiti’s prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, told CNN that “several hundred thousand may have died,” the cable news network reported.

    “Because we have so [many] people on the streets right now, we don’t know exactly where they were living. But so many, so many buildings, so many neighborhoods totally destroyed, and some neighborhoods we don’t even see people,” CNN quoted Bellerive as saying.

    CNN’s Gary Tuchman, one of the first US reporters on the scene, reported seeing corpses covered with sheets lining the streets and “truckloads of bodies.”

    “There are absolutely no police, fire, emergency authorities on the scene, as the search for survivors continues,” he said. Haitian civilians frantically dug through the rubble with their bare hands in areas that they believed people could be trapped.

    Reuters news agency described the scene in Port-au-Prince: “Sobbing and dazed people wandered the streets of Port-au-Prince, and voices cried out from the rubble. ‘Please take me out, I am dying. I have two children with me,’ a woman told a Reuters journalist from under a collapsed kindergarten in the Canape-Vert area of the capital.”

    Among the cruelest effects of the earthquake was the destruction of all of the city’s hospitals. The humanitarian aid group Doctors Without Borders reported that all three of the facilities to which it normally refers patients are so severely damaged that they are unusable.

    “The level of care we can now provide without that infrastructure is very limited,” said the group’s spokesman in Toronto. “The best we can offer them at the moment is first-aid care and stabilization. The reality of what we’re seeing is severe traumas—head wounds, crushed limbs—severe problems that cannot be dealt with at the level of care we currently have available with no infrastructure really to support it.”

    The Red Cross in Haiti reports that it has run out of medicine. The agency estimates that some 3 million Haitians have been affected by the tragedy.

    Meanwhile, aftershocks have continued to shake the city and the surrounding areas.

    “Experts fear the worst could still be to come in Haiti,” reported the Financial Times of London. “ ‘There will be aftershocks for many weeks,’ said David Kerridge, head of earth hazards at the British Geological Survey; ‘there is a strong possibility of landslides, which may have caused many causalities in more remote parts of the island.’ ”

    The earthquake is the latest and the most severe in a series of natural disasters that have struck Haiti. The country has still not recovered from four hurricanes and tropical storms that swept through the island in 2008.

    These natural disasters come on top of, and their effects are brutally amplified by, the disaster created by capitalism and more than a century of imperialist oppression in this, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

    Haiti’s gross domestic product stood at $7 billion in 2008, roughly one third the amount that the Wall Street finance house Goldman Sachs set aside for 2009 year-end bonuses. According to World Bank figures, more than half of the population barely survives on less than $1 a day, while over two thirds of the Haitian people subsist on less than $2.

    Life expectancy for Haitian men is little over 50.

    Blackouts were daily occurrences in the Haitian capital before the earthquake. And, according to the World Health Organization, not a single Haitian city has a public sewage system and half the population lacks access to clean drinking water.

    Now there is no electricity and no phone communication, water is running out in many areas, and the threat of infectious disease could produce many more victims.

    In 2004, the United Nations secretariat that focuses on disaster relief pointed to this combined effect of natural and socio-economic disasters:

    “The impact of the hazards is much greater in Haiti because the vulnerability of people there is higher. Rapid urbanization, lack of land management, the exploitation of charcoal and consequent deforestation make Haitian people more vulnerable to mudslides.”

    The head of the secretariat, Salvano Briceño, said at the time: “What is happening in Haiti is an illustration of a combination of vulnerabilities that was bound to happen. Vulnerabilities have been allowed to grow in Haiti in proportions such that any natural hazard would lead to great disaster.”

    He urged international agencies and the world’s governments to invest in aiding Haiti to build up its infrastructure so that it could be prepared to deal with disasters, rather than relying only on relief after the fact.

    Instead, the United Nations sent thousands of troops, led by the Brazilian army, to occupy the impoverished nation and impose “law and order” in the wake of a US-backed coup that overthrew the elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. An estimated 8,000 Haitians were killed in the period of the coup, many at the hands of right-wing gunmen, some of them trained by the CIA.

    This was only the latest in a long series of US interventions aimed at maintaining Washington’s domination of the country and suppressing any movement of the masses to transform the oppressive social and economic conditions.

    The US militarily occupied the country from 1915 to 1934, withdrawing its troops only after creating a Haitian army that kept a repressive grip on the political life of the country for decades to come. Washington likewise backed the 30-year dictatorship of the Duvaliers—Papa Doc and Baby Doc—whose victims number in the tens of thousands.

    The US media has no interest in this history. Haiti’s poverty is presented merely as a fact of life, with the implication that it is the fault of the Haitians themselves. (Televangelist Pat Robertson, the founder of the Christian Coalition and a leading figure in the US Christian Right, offered his own explanation. The Haitians, he affirmed, had succeeded in overthrowing French rule, freeing themselves from slavery and establishing the first black republic only thanks to a “pact with the devil,” and they have been punished for it ever since.)

    US President Barack Obama issued a sanctimonious statement on the Haitian catastrophe Wednesday.

    “The reports and images that we’ve seen of collapsed hospitals, crumbled homes, and men and women carrying their injured neighbors through the streets are truly heart-wrenching,” he said. “Indeed, for a country and a people who are no strangers to hardship and suffering, this tragedy seems especially cruel and incomprehensible.” With the Haitian disaster, he added, “we are reminded of the common humanity that we all share.”

    If Obama wanted to be moved by such images to a feeling of “common humanity,” he needn’t have waited until the magnitude 7 quake hit Port-au-Prince. He could have viewed similar images from the homes and villages hit by Predator missiles in Pakistan, or those bombed by US warplanes in Afghanistan and Yemen, not to mention the massive death and destruction that the US military visited upon Iraq.

    The US government’s response to the Haitian catastrophe is largely military, the first elements on the scene being Coast Guard ships that are normally deployed to catch Haitian migrants seeking to flee the oppressive conditions in their country.

    They are to be followed by the USS Vinson, an aircraft carrier, and other warships. And the deployment of US troops in the country—once again—is in the planning stages.

    The chief of the US Southern Command, General Douglas Fraser, told reporters Wednesday that the Pentagon had “put various forces around the armed forces on alert,” adding that the military may send “a large-deck amphibious ship that will have a Marine expeditionary unit embarked on that.” CBS News reported that the deployment was being planned “for security purposes.”

    In the first decade of the last century, during the heyday of imperialism, the German revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg called attention to the stark contrast between the humanitarian pretensions of the imperialist powers in the face of natural disasters and their brutality in suppressing any opposition to their domination.

    The disaster then was the eruption of Mt. Pelee on the island of Martinique, which killed some 40,000 people.

    Citing the massacre of Africans by the British, Filipinos by the Americans, and colonial peoples in other lands by all the major powers, Luxemburg wrote:

    “And now they have all turned to Martinique, all one heart and one mind again; they help, rescue, dry the tears and curse the havoc-wreaking volcano. Mt. Pelee, great-hearted giant, you can laugh; you can look down in loathing at these benevolent murderers, at these weeping carnivores, at these beasts in Samaritan’s clothing. But a day will come when another volcano lifts its voice of thunder: a volcano that is seething and boiling, whether you need it or not, and will sweep the whole sanctimonious, blood-splattered culture from the face of the earth.”


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    Galloway: Gaza in Desperate Situation

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