is done. Haiti has been raped. The act was sanctioned by the United
States, Canada and France.” – Editorial, Jamaica Observer
is “the most powerful and damaging black to rise to influence
in the world in my lifetime.” – TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson
the people that supported [Aristide] will be dead in three months.''
– Haiti government attorney Ira Kurzban
new order congeals like blood on the streets of Port-au-Prince.
Haiti’s dance of death begins anew, a convergence of low-life
assassins, high-living compradors, preening French imperialists
and global American pirates – an unspeakable bacchanal.
The Big Foot of Corporate America
to view entire cartoon
“I am the
chief,” declares Guy Philippe, the 36-year-old, Green Beret-trained,
three-time coup-meister and sometime police chief. “The country
is in my hands.”
Haiti is in the same American and French hands that snatched President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the Central African Republic – an involuntary
destination on its face, where a French-approved military dictator
sits in a palace that he seized from an elected President precisely
one year ago. Pleased with the finesse of the "perfect coordination"
between Paris and Washington, French Foreign Minister Dominique
de Villepin no doubt savors the grotesque, near-symmetric poetry
of this joint venture in international piracy, in which Aristide
is transported from the site of one coup to another.
“The niceties of democracy
were thrown out the window, and the matters of principle so vigorously
defended by President Chirac and Foreign Minister de Villepin
over Iraq were quickly shunted aside,” said the Jamaica Observer
in a March 1 editorial. “And new Canadians went with the flow.” The
Caribbean Community must understand, “if they thought otherwise,” that “democratically-elected
leaders are easily expendable if they, at a particular time,
do not fit the profile in favor with those who are strong and
In the shadow
Guy Philippe’s assignment is to liquidate Aristide’s grassroots supporters.
In that sense, he is “the chief.” Even so, Philippe overreached
on Tuesday when his troops were prevented by U.S. Marines from
arresting Prime Minister Yvon Neptune. Earlier that day, Associate
Editor Kevin Pina and Andrea Nicastro of the Italian daily Corriere
della Sera, interviewed Neptune in his office. With Philippe’s
troops massed nearby, Pina and Nicastro worked in haste to elicit
the following responses from the Prime Minister:
though I am the legal Prime Minister I am a prisoner in my
2. "The President
called me a few hours before he was taken out of the country
and told me, 'Where I am now, I am like a prisoner.'
3. "Whoever has
allowed those armed bandits in the opposition to get into Haiti
and to sow violence and death, they should be in the position
to control them." Asked whether he was referring to the
Bush administration the Prime Minister answered: "Statements
were made asking the Haitian government to meet certain requirements
so that the armed gangs would not be allowed to come into
the capital. That statement was made. They wanted us to quiet
the demonstrators asking for President Aristide to finish his
term. They wanted us to force the to stand down and stop demanding
new elections. They wanted that vast majority to remain quiet.
They wanted us to tell them to sit down quietly and allow the
coup machine to crush them."
in the international community don't want Haiti to become a
where the majority of the poor have a voice."
coup machine is in motion because the opposition knows they
cannot win elections
with President Aristide in the country."
resignation of the president is not constitutional because
he did that under
duress and threat."
chief of the Supreme Court [Boniface Alexander] was brought
my office by representatives of the international community.
I was not invited or present when he was sworn in [as President]."
Notes from Haiti's
The corporate media
are in no danger from Guy Philippe, having acted as international
public relations agents for the “opposition” during the entire
coup-building process. But such immunities do not apply to
Kevin Pina – a people’s reporter – who filed this dispatch,
Every night I get
frantic calls from friends and contacts I have met and interviewed
in the past. In the background I hear the thunder of heavy
automatic weapons and the screams of terror as they describe
to me the carnage being met upon them. The calls come from
places like Bel Air, Cite Soleil, La Saline and Martissaint.
The poorest of the poor who supported President Aristide
and democracy are being slaughtered by the former military
and FRAPH. There is a 6 p.m. curfew imposed by the international
forces but it does not seem to apply to these killers.
the Haitian press remains silent along with their buddies in
the corporate media who are more enamored of the romantic notion
of the former killers returning than of the killing itself.
I can't blame them though, as the groundwork had already been
laid by the Haitian and Washington elites. Haiti’s poor had
already been dehumanized in the eyes of the international audience.
They are just "chimeres" or violent gangs allied
with the president, so we can ignore when they are killed en
mass. They deserve it, after all, as payback for having thought
they had a place in Haiti's political life. They are only good
for two things now, to make money off of or to kill – and who
will really know the difference?
No one in these poor neighborhoods believes that President Aristide resigned
of his own freewill. The very first day of the coup (let's call it what it
really is) they had already begun spreading the rumor that he had been kidnapped.
Poor they may be, but stupid they ain't. Now they must suffer for that same
intelligence as the world stands by, ignoring their screams of terror.
men chased former Aristide officials to the airport on Wednesday,
but were blocked from entering the terminal by U.S. Marines who
say their orders now include protecting Haitians from “reprisal”
attacks. However, these are the lucky notables with money for
a ticket out. The Marines will not protect “Bel Air, Cite Soleil,
La Saline and Martissaint.”
mad dogs unleashed by (the even madder) George Bush and Colin
Powell have methodically
burned buildings erected to serve the poor. Kevin Pina is a
supporter of a school for poor children in Petionville, a relatively
rich Port-au-Prince neighborhood – but the poor are everywhere
in Haiti. On March 1 Pina wrote:
have just received word that the SOPUDEP school, which provides
a free education and hot lunch program for over 400 of the
poorest children in the community, is being threatened. Opposition
thugs and former military have spread word through the neighborhood
that they are planning to attack and burn the school very soon.
The administration and staff take this threat very seriously
and many of them have already gone into hiding until the situation
changes. My own ability to help protect the school is very
limited given the current situation.”
school was organized under Aristide’s National Literacy Project,
one of hundreds erected since Aristide’s return from exile in
1994. Like the Haitian folk art gleefully cast into bonfires by
Philippe’s men, every vestige of popular initiative and grassroots
political expression is marked for destruction. Every man and
woman who stands up will be cut down. "Pinochet made Chile
what it is,'' Philippe “gushed” when asked his favorite historical
figure. “Number 2 on Philippe's list is former US President Ronald
Reagan,” the Miami Herald reported.
The executioners plotted
for ten years at their U.S.-furnished bases in the Dominican
Republic in anticipation of the day when the Haitian nation
would be wiped clean of Aristide and his Lavalas movement.
History will be rewritten, they vowed; the Gangster-in-Chief
will make it so. And he did.
the beginning of a new chapter in” in Haiti’s history, said Bush,
as Aristide sat on the plane to Bangui.
Foreign Minister de Villepin once again exhibited "perfect
coordination" with his imperial partner: "Everyone sees
quite well that a new page must be opened in Haiti's history."
in particular must now face squarely the horrific nature of
the current regime in Washington. For reasons of race, proximity,
culture and common history, the Haiti atrocity wounds Black
America directly. African American leadership has been grievously
and cavalierly insulted at every stage of the rolling conspiracy
against Haitian democracy.
has given its finger and simultaneously showed its ass to the
Black nations of the Caribbean, whom the Bush men hold in no higher
regard than bellhops. Colin Powell pretended to embrace a Caricom
plan that envisioned President Aristide remaining in power until
the end of his constitutional term in 2006; replacement of the
prime minister, to be selected by the Haitian government, opposition
and the international community; new elections for parliament,
whose members’ mandates have expired. Nothing remains of this
plan, because it was a monstrous scam from the beginning – Colin
Powell’s personal deceit.
was unequivocal: "I accept the plan, publicly and entirely...
In one word, yes." It was the right answer; but Powell
wasn’t asking an honest question. He is a professional prevaricator – please,
let us no longer call him a diplomat.
Donald Rumsfeld’s closely held Iraq operation, the rape of Haiti
was Powell’s hands-on criminal enterprise. On Monday, February
23, Powell caused his spokesman to assure concerned Black lawmakers
and world opinion that the Secretary was standing firm against
opposition demands for Aristide’s physical removal; that the U.S.
supported the Caricom agreement. "We went back at them,”
said Gonzalo Gallegos. Powell “emphasized how good this was. He
made clear to them that this was the best thing they had going."
What is now perfectly clear is that there was never any U.S. intention
for Aristide to remain on Haitian soil. Powell assured the Haitian
elite of this fact, and prepped them to reject the Caricom plan,
thus presenting the planet with the farce that a gaggle of Third
World businessmen were thwarting the will of the United States.
and his confederates lied in the faces of massed Black congressional
in the days leading up to Aristide’s departure (see “US House
Members to Bush, Powell: Don’t Usurp Aristide’s Power,” February
26), with assurances from the President that, "We
still hope to be able to achieve a political settlement between
the current government and the rebels." We now know that
the Bush men and France were even then seeking "perfect
coordination" in removing Aristide. Colin Powell and Condoleezza
Rice sat like bookmarks at Bush’s side as he lied to nineteen
Black members of Congress.
Are these two conspirators
fit to speak at any Black gathering, ever again in life?
Who in the Black community will debase their organizations
with the presence of such “role models?” An invitation to Powell
or Rice should be viewed as proof of a moral deficit on the
part of the inviter.
‘Nonsense’ and ‘conspiracy
constitution is the guarantee for life and peace. The constitution
should not sink in the blood of the Haitian people. That's
why, if tonight my resignation is the decision that can avoid
a bloodbath, I consent to leave with hope there will be life,
not death." – President Aristide’s purported letter of
resignation, alleged to have been written sometime Saturday
night, February 28.
multi-racial Bush lie-machine and its agents in mass media
had only just begun
to heap vicious calumnies on Black leadership. The world’s
most famous liars – the fantasists of phantom Weapons of Mass
Destruction – would call into question the veracity of Black
America’s most outspoken and respected voices. Dutifully, the
corporate media took their cues from the liars and embellished
on these signals, in a brazen effort to make it appear that
African Americans had gone crazy.
the Monday morning following Aristide’s purported voluntary
exile, Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters called Democracy
Now! to report that the Haitian leader had not resigned,
but had been kidnapped. “He is in the Central Republic of Africa
at a place called the Palace of the Renaissance, and he’s not
sure if that’s a house or a hotel or what it is and he is surrounded
by military,” Waters told host Amy Goodman.
“It’s like in jail,
he said. He said that he was kidnapped; he said that he was
forced to leave Haiti. He said that the American embassy
sent the diplomats; he referred to them as, to his home where
they was lead by Mr. Moreno. And I believe that Mr. Moreno
is a deputy chief of staff at the embassy in Haiti and other
diplomats, and they ordered him to leave. They said you must
have no choice, you must go and if you don’t you will be killed
and many Haitians will be killed. We are planning with Mr.
De filliped to come into Puerto Rico. He will not be alone
he will come with American military and you will not survive,
you will be killed. You’ve got to go now!”
founder Randall Robinson, now living in the Caribbean
British Commonwealth nation of St. Kitts, is a familiar voice
to the Aristide household. Robinson
spoke with the Aristides as often as ten times a day as the
U.S.-backed bands tightened their noose on the capital. However,
Robinson was unable to reach the President or his wife, Mildred,
on Saturday evening and night. Something was amiss, he thought.
Then Robinson got the call from Bangui. “He did not resign.
He did not resign,” Robinson told Amy Goodman, confirming Rep.
Water’s earlier account.
was kidnapped and all of the circumstances seem to support
his assertion. Had he resigned, we wouldn't need blacked
out windows and blocked communications and military taking
away at gunpoint. Had he resigned, he would have been happy
to leave the country. He was not.”
reported that he had worked the phones to find out the State
story and been told that South Africa had refused Aristide
asylum. Robinson spoke with South Africa’s foreign minister,
who said that Aristide had not asked for asylum. (Of course
he hadn’t – he had not planned to be leaving the country!)
you see the State Department is telling an interested public,
including members of the congress, that South Africa refused
asylum. The State Department knows better. They know that President
Aristide was not allowed to request asylum from South Africa
or anybody else because he was not allowed to make any phone
calls before they left Haiti, during the flight, and beyond.”
Lie was unraveling – and now it emerged that the Secretary
of State had taken upon himself the role of Godfather. Ron
Dellums, the distinguished former Congressman from the San
Francisco Bay area who worked as a lobbyist for Aristide’s
government, got a call from the Head-Negro-In-Charge on Saturday,
warning in no uncertain terms that gunmen were coming to kill
Aristide on Sunday morning. The U.S., said Powell, would not
lift a finger to stop them. When the Americans come to call,
Aristide must leave with them.
is a mind-boggling measure of the Bush Pirates’ ferocious
lawlessness that Powell would personally initiate the overt,
criminally culpable act
in the kidnapping of a head of state. This aspect of the crime
alone should send him to The Hague.
news had a disorienting effect on corporate newsrooms. How
could they bury such accusations,
now circling the globe via the Internet? Just as Maxine Waters
was telling CNN of another call from the Central African Republic,
this time from the Haitian First Lady, Donald Rumsfeld stepped
to the microphone at the Pentagon. The Defense Secretary feigned
surprise, actually chuckling at the very idea of a presidential
kidnapping. "I don't believe that's true that he is claiming
that. I just don't know that that's the case. I'd be absolutely
amazed if that were the case."
House spokesman Scott McClellan derided Waters and Robinson: "That's
nonsense. Conspiracy theories do nothing to help the Haitian
forward to a better, more free and more prosperous future."
That’s all the corporate
newsreaders and wisecrackers needed to hear. A CNN anchor speculated
that Aristide was “fabricating revisionist history on the fly,” with
the transparent inference that Rep. Waters was a dupe or liar,
herself. “Do you think we would make that up?” the Congresswoman
asked, shocked and offended.
same trained corporate seal then presented clumsily leading
questions to one of the
usual “security experts” that bounce around branded newsrooms
spouting nonsense all day. Waters’ tale of diplomats accompanying
U.S. troops to take Aristide away was – ludicrous on its face. “You
wouldn’t have diplomats side by side with the military, right?” said
the faux newsperson. It couldn’t have happened that way, the “expert” assured
the White House and Rumsfeld had spoken, the conversations
with Aristide became “alleged
phone calls,” and remained so until Aristide confirmed the
events in his own voice. Aristide had asked Waters and Robinson
to “tell the world it was a coup!” Corporate media tried their
best to discredit the messengers and the victim.
Bush men’s incessant
rampages against reality are bringing their corporate media
partners into disrepute right along with them. As we wrote
in ’s January
29 Cover Story, “The Awesome Destructive Power of the Corporate
past year we have seen consciousness-shaking evidence of the corporate
media’s implacable hostility to any manifestation of resistance
to the current order. Media rushed to embed themselves in the
US war machine’s Iraq invasion, and collaborated to actively suppress
public awareness of a full-blown movement against the war. Hundreds
of thousands of protestors were made to disappear in plain sight.
Corporate media conspired – which is what businessmen in boardrooms
do as a matter of daily routine – not only to shield the public
from dissenting opinions (their usual assignment), but to drastically
diminish, distort and even erase huge gatherings that were profoundly
newsworthy by any rational standard.
the case of Aristide’s
kidnapping – and that is the objective name of the crime, since
he left in the coercive custody of the U.S. under threat of
death from none other than the Secretary of State – the media
collaborated with the perpetrators to justify the “disappearing” of
a head of state. What shall we call such media? “Lackey” and “stooge” don’t
work. The terms connote subservient status, and a kind of haplessness.
But there is nothing hapless or subservient about Big Media,
who are, through their interlocking ownerships and financial
and directorship ties “full members of the presiding corporate
“Agents” is the most
accurate term we can think of, although we invite other suggestions.
The corporate media act as agents for the corporate consensus
on the way the world should work. Far from being “stooges” or “lackeys,” corporate
media frame reality in ways that leave the people few options
but to accept the corporate consensus. Like an army, they dominate
and overwhelm the national conversation. In addition, as a
social force – possibly the most important social force in
the American cultural “bubble” – corporate media are profoundly
racist, upholding collective white privilege as well as corporate
useful to compare Big Media’s framing of contemporary Haitian
realities with their journalistic forbearer’s treatment of a previous
U.S. occupation, 1915 – 1934. In “The Tragedy of Haiti” chapter
of Noam Chomsky’s 1993 book, The Year 501, the scholar
draws upon the work of renowned historian John Blassingame, editor
of the Papers of Frederick Douglass.
the bloodiest years of the occupation, the media were silent
The New York Times index has no entries for Haiti for 1917-1918.
In a press survey, John Blassingame found "widespread
editorial support" for the repeated interventions in
Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 1904 to 1919, until
major atrocity stories surfaced in 1920, setting off congressional
inquiry. Haitians and Dominicans were described as "coons," "mongrels," "unwholesome," "a
horde of naked niggers," the Haitians even more "retrograde" than
the Dominicans. They needed "energetic Anglo-Saxon influence." "We
are simply going in there...to help our black brother put
his disorderly house in order," one journal wrote. Furthermore,
The US had a right to intervene to protect "our peace
and safety" (New York Times).
editors lauded the "unselfish and helpful" attitude
that the US had always shown, now once again as it responded "in
a fatherly way" as Haiti "sought help here." Our "unselfish
intervention has been moved almost exclusively by a desire
to give the benefits of peace to people tormented by repeated
revolutions," with no thought of "preferential advantages,
commercial or otherwise," for ourselves. "The people
of the island should realize that [the US government] is their
best friend." The US sought only to ensure that "the
people were cured of the habit of insurrection and taught how
to work and live"; they "would have to be reformed,
guided and educated," and this "duty was undertaken
by the United States." There is a further benefit for
our "black brother": "To wean these peoples
away from their shot-gun habit of government is to safeguard
them against our own exasperation," which might lead to
further intervention. "The good-will and unselfish purposes
of our own government" are demonstrated by the consequences,
the editors wrote in 1922, when they were all too apparent
and the Marine atrocities had already aroused a storm of protest.
is estimated that 15,000 Haitians were slaughtered during
the 19-year occupation.
The New York Times and its fellows blamed the carnage on the
innate barbarity of the Haitians. Today, the corporate media
blather about “cycles of violence” in Haiti – as if the victims
were both cause and effect of the phenomenon. Not a single
member of the corporate media questions the “unselfish purposes
of our own government,” which could not possibly be guilty
of crimes against humanity and world order.
corporate media employ a very simple yet devastatingly effective
trick when “fabricating” their
own “revisionist history on the fly” – they “forget” every
previously reported fact and occurrence that does not jibe
with the official line. Thus, most of what we know about
disbanded Haitian army and secret police activities in the
Dominican Republic during the post-1994 decade is derived from
the corporate media, themselves – yet these same outlets uniformly
excised these facts from the record once the contra invasion
began in early February.
For nearly a year
there had been a steady stream of U.S. press reports of frenetic
activity among exiled Haitian killers in the Dominican Republic.
These reports appeared in the most influential American newspapers.
For example, on May 15, 2003, soon after began
its collaboration with Haiti-based reporter Kevin Pina, an
AP story served as the bases for the following item in our
Issues section titled, “US
Plots Regime Change in Haiti.”
A May 10 Associated
Press report tends to confirm that Haiti's armed opposition
operates with near-impunity in the Dominican Republic. Under
pressure from the Haitian government, authorities on the
Dominican side of the border arrested and then released five
men in connection with the attack on the hydroelectric plant:
The man Haitian
authorities have accused of plotting to overthrow Jean-Bertrand
Aristide's government says he supports a coup but isn't planning
Guy Philippe told
The Associated Press that he wasn't plotting Aristide's
ouster but that the time for a peaceful solution has passed.
He wouldn't say, however, whether he would take up arms
in the future. Dominican authorities released Philippe,
a 35-year-old former Haitian police chief known for his
flashy cars, expensive taste and strong-armed tactics to
battle crime in the impoverished Caribbean nation, Thursday
after finding no evidence he and four others were conspiring
against the Haitian government. Haitian authorities told
their Dominican counterparts Philippe and others were plotting
against the Haitian government from neighboring Dominican
support a coup," Philippe said in Spanish during an
interview in a Santo Domingo hotel. "We have to get
rid of the dictator." ...
to say how he makes a living or what he does to spend his
time in the Dominican Republic, Philippe said the international
community needed to do more to push Aristide from power,
but he said he would not support an armed invasion.
the day Philippe was detained on the Dominican side of the
border, police raided the house of Port-au-Prince mayoral candidate
Judith Roy of the Convergence opposition. They claimed to have "found
assault weapons, ammunitions, and plans to attack the National
Palace and Aristide's suburban residence," said the Associated
Press. Haitian authorities say Roy is close to Philippe, the
former police chief of Cap Haitian.
pace of the Haitian contra buildup escalated as the year
progressed, as did the
very public meetings between the International Republican Institute,
Bush administration officials and Haitian ex-military in the
Dominican Republic. “Chief” Guy Philippe and his cohorts’ invasion
preparations were common knowledge, and certainly well-known
to the American press on both sides of the island of Hispaniola.
armed attacks began against police stations in the north
of Haiti, the U.S.
press noted that the fighters were a mix of gang members and
former soldiers that had relocated to the Dominican Republic
after President Aristide returned in 1994. On February 15,
newspapers across the U.S. carried Associated Press reports
that “reinforcements” had arrived to bolster the “rebels” in Gonaives.
In fact, the new guys included elements of the exile army’s
rebels seeking to topple the president brought in reinforcements
from the neighboring Dominican Republic, including the
exiled former leader of 1980s death squads and a former
police chief accused of fomenting a coup, witnesses said,
as police fled two more northern towns.
commandos arrived Saturday, led by Louis-Jodel Chamblain,
a former Haitian soldier who headed army death squads in
1987 and a militia known as the Front for the Advancement
and Progress of Haiti, or FRAPH, which killed and maimed
scores of people in the early 1990s.
police chief” is Guy Philippe.
the origins of the “rebel” army were no secret to the corporate
media. Yet on Sunday, as Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s flying
prison made its way across the Atlantic Ocean, the major
media all ran political obituaries, “fact” pages and timelines
that made no mention whatever of the Dominican roots of the
month-long fighting. It was as if the “insurgency” sprang
from the soil, or was a natural expression of the fratricidal
proclivities of the Haitian people.
purpose of the sudden, universal corporate media amnesia
is simple: to exclude from public debate facts that would
implicate the United States and its Dominican allies in the
overthrow of Aristide. Reality was “disappeared.” The Americans
were once again on a reluctant “rescue mission.” There was
to be no questioning of the “unselfish purposes of
our own government.”
corporate media will doubtless “forget” that they acted as
agents for a discredited CIA disinformation campaign against
Aristide during the deposed
President’s U.S. exile, 1991 – 94. Leila McDowell-Head’s
Washington, D.C. public relations firm represented Aristide
during that period. “They clearly launched a campaign to paint
him as psychologically unbalanced,” she told . “An
investigation showed the charges were specious and baseless,
but not before the corporate media had a field day with it.
But I think we’ll see a reprise of this disinformation campaign.”
already begun. The toad-like Deputy Secretary of State, Roger
week appeared on Ted Koppel’s ABC Nightline to slander Aristide
as an “erratic and unreliable” personality who made up the
kidnapping story. “He’s demonstrated within the last few hours
that he’s not a responsible person,” said Jesse Helms’ former
chief of staff. Having somehow failed to kill Aristide, they
will assassinate his sanity.
and Condoleezza Rice have been saying the same things for years
about Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, another president whose constituency
is based among the poor. Anti-government demonstrators have begun
carrying signs reading, “Bye bye Aristide, Chavez you're next.”
Unlike the former priest, Chavez answers his critics in kind.
Commenting on the advisors that urged Bush to instigate the 2002
coup attempt against his government, Chavez told a roaring crowd:
“He was an asshole to believe them.”