In willful ignorance
and with every bad intention, the U.S. corporate media ask the
ridiculous question, Should the US intervene in Haiti, or not?
The bloody answer screams back from the Haitian mountains and
cities: Washington has already intervened militarily
in Haiti, through its surrogates’ armed invasion from the Dominican
Americans set loose the dogs of war, and can rein them back
in – if Washington chooses.
Any discussion that fails to acknowledge the U.S. role in nurturing
the several-hundred-man force that has systematically overrun
much of the country, is a conversation divorced from reality.
cannot be built on lies – especially lies told by those who initiated the war.
It is fully within the Bush men’s power to stabilize the situation
in Haiti today, right now. It is obscene that Colin Powell
feigns frustration in the current crisis, as if it is a conflict
between forces beyond his control. Men who nominally work for
the Secretary of State – most notably Assistant Secretary for
Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega – have cultivated the
closest of ties with the soldiers and secret police of the old
Haitian regime, and with the flabbier but no less vicious “political” opposition
to Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s popularly elected government. In
13 article, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs noted that “the
president’s Latin American team headed by the State Department’s
Roger Noriega and Dan Fisk, along with the White House’s Otto
Reich, all but openly support the unseating of an Aristide government.”
The Americans are on
intimate terms with the thugs that have brought war to Haiti.
As reported in Hidden
from the Headlines: The U.S. War Against Haiti, published
by the San Francisco-based Haiti
Action Committee, “Groups of former Haitian military have
received arms, training and shelter within the Dominican Republic
with the clear knowledge of U.S. authorities.” These heavily
armed bands have attacked police, infrastructure targets and
Aristide supporters along the border areas and deep inside Haiti
since the beginning of the Bush Administration, with not a peep
from the U.S. State Department.
The Dominican Republic
has been a safe haven for the disbanded Haitian army and secret
police since 1994. Under the Bush regime, these contra sanctuaries
have operated as military bases – unthinkable absent the permission
of the American-armed Dominican military. This month’s invasion – the
final putsch – was launched from these bases. The U.S.-backed
units are “very, very well-armed, some of them are equipped with
grenade launchers,” says the Haiti Action Committee’s Pierre
Labossiere, who maintains contact with grassroots organizations
inside the country. “This is the strategy that was in preparation
all this time in the Dominican Republic.”
The International Republican
Institute, whose website proclaims
a mission of “party building” in Haiti, oversaw and financed
the creation of both the armed “Democratic Convergence” contras and
the conspicuously rich and light-skinned civilian opposition
umbrella Group 184. The key Republican-opposition meetings that
led to these formations took place in the Dominican Republic.
Ambassador to Haiti James B. Foley is more an advisor to the
opposition than an envoy
to the government. Colin Powell praises Foley as an “old hand
at building coalitions for freedom" – a euphemism that,
in the U.S. view, does not include President Aristide. It is
possible that Powell is truly frustrated at his purported inability
to persuade the lilliputian opposition in Port-au-Prince to graciously
accept what the Americans are prepared to offer: an unearned
place in the government. Whether the pull and tug between superpower
and servant is a charade or not, one thing is perfectly clear:
The U.S. and their Dominican friends have the power to call back
or neutralize the relatively small bands of Haitian ex-military,
at will. Such action would avert “bloodbath” and “exodus by sea” scenarios
almost instantaneously. The paramount demand of every peace-seeking
party should be: Americans, call off your dogs.
Jesse Jackson and Rep. Maxine Waters have acted righteously. "It is my belief
that [Group 184 leader] André Apaid is attempting to instigate
a bloodbath in Haiti and then blame the government for the resulting
disaster in the belief that the United States will aid the so-called
protestors against President Aristide and his government," said
Waters, on February 11. The California Congresswoman this
week urged Secretary Powell “to correct the record and tell
the press and the public the truth, namely, that Andre Apaid's
intransigence is the reason that negotiations have not gone forward.”
16 remarks were more pointed:
Haiti this week
started to look a lot like the Congo in 1960.
That was when the
U.S. and Belgium, the Congo's colonial master until June
1960, fomented a rebellion against newly elected Prime Minister
Patrice Lumumba. The rebellion, which not coincidentally
flared in the oil and mineral rich Katanga province, was
led by Moise Tshombe, a wealthy plantation owner who was
backed by 10,000 Belgian troops.
unwisely invited in United Nations "peace-keepers" to
fend off the attack. Instead of helping him, the UN forces
disarmed Lumumba's troops, thus aiding Tshombe's rebellion.
Meanwhile, the CIA helped Col. Mobutu Sese Seko seize power
in a September 1960 coup d'état. Mobuto then arrested Lumumba
and turned him over to Tshombe, who had him murdered. Could
this scenario be repeating itself in Haiti today?