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25835: Lemieux: The Dissident Voice: Betrayal in Haiti (fwd)
From: JD Lemieux <email@example.com>
Executive Blackmail: The Betrayal of Democracy in
by Jack Random
July 25, 2005
?The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of
the Middle East will be a crushing defeat to the
forces of tyranny and terror, and a watershed
event in the global democratic revolution.?
-- George W. Bush, April 12, 2005.
The American civil war has been well chronicled
for its blood and gore, for the honor and dignity
of opposing Generals, for heroic deeds and heroic
characters in the face of unimaginable hardship,
and for christening the end of state sanctioned
slavery on the North American continent.
A direct and inevitable consequence of our
founders? failings, half a million Americans
perished in that fabled conflict, yet the darkest
chapters of history often have a silver lining.
Aside from the end of slavery (and therefore, the
beginning of a civilized nation), for five years
there was a moratorium on the campaign to kill
Indians in the west. The tribes of many nations
(Apache, Comanche, Cheyenne, Lakota, Navaho,
Paiute, Shoshone, Crow) gave thanks to the Great
Spirit for the War of the Great White Fathers.
As I contemplate the horrors of our current wars
in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere (London,
Madrid, the Philippines, Egypt, Casa Blanca,
Turkey, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia), a direct if not
inevitable result of our failures in foreign
policy (arming Al Qaeda, financing Islamic
fundamentalist militants, supporting Middle East
dictators such as the Shah of Iran and Saddam
Hussein, and supporting Israel?s oppression of
Palestine), it occurs to me that there has been a
relative moratorium on America?s nefarious
activities elsewhere in world -- specifically in
The analogy is not pure for, just as Native
Americans would pay dearly for the militarization
of the American nation, events in Haiti,
Venezuela and throughout Latin America remind us
that neglect is a two-edged sword. While
America?s efforts are necessarily focused on
Iraq, covert operations remain in place in Latin
America and the operatives are acutely aware that
their activities are unlikely to draw the
attention of mass media.
To a large extent, America?s interventions in
Latin America may be perceived as an extension of
the Indian wars for they invariably target
indigenous peoples and their allies.
* * * *
In a city of desperate poverty -- without jobs,
without electricity, without security, without
drinkable water, without medical facilities, with
little food and less hope -- several hundred
well-armed soldiers in armored vehicles laid
siege, blocking escape routes, and opened fire.
Indiscriminate bullets found the bodies of men,
women, children, infants and the elderly.
This was not Fallujah. It was not Ramadi, Baghdad
or some obscure community in the Anbar province
of Iraq. It was Cite Soleil in Haiti where
families frequently adorn the bodies of the dead
with photographs of deposed President
In diplomatic and intellectual circles, there is
a heated debate over whether Hezbollah is a
terrorist organization. In Cite Soleil, that
designation belongs to the United Nations for it
was their soldiers, the Peace Keepers that
carried out this horrendous deed.
In the effort to stop the war in Iraq before it
began, many of us applauded the efforts of France
and the United Nations for speaking truth to
power. In Haiti, in Cite Soleil and countless
other communities, that former light is shrouded
Why is it so easy for the world to turn its back
on Haiti, a slave nation that rose up against its
masters, a shining example of the triumph of
liberty and democracy?
It was the United States of America that deposed
the lawfully elected president of Haiti. It was
former president Bill Clinton who blackmailed
him, promising American support if only President
Aristide would betray his own people. It was
America that sealed his fate, punishing the
Haitian people by withholding hundreds of
millions of dollars of desperately needed aid
when Aristide refused to cooperate. It was
America that contracted thugs, mercenaries and
assassins to overthrow his government.
It is Haiti that cries out above all others that
America?s praise for a ?global democratic
revolution? is a lie. The opposition of France (a
conspirator in this endeavor) to global
imperialism is a lie. The United Nations as a
voice for the oppressed and powerless is a lie.
Haiti is not alone. President Hugo Chavez of
Venezuela has withstood two American-sponsored
coups. He has rightfully claimed leadership in
the Bolivarian liberation movement. We remember
Simon Bolivar for even in our own horribly biased
history books, where genocide is masked as
Manifest Destiny, Simon Bolivar is the father of
Latin American democracy and Chavez is his
Argentina, Uruguay and Cuba (whom we pray will
soon embrace democratic ideals) have embraced the
cause of Hugo Chavez. Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador,
Peru, Brazil and Chile are leaning in his
direction. All have recognized that America?s New
World Order is a prescription for the enslavement
of their people and the usurpation of their
resources. They are struggling to find the
courage to resist.
Let them find their courage for there may never
be a more opportune time. Let them find it in
their hearts and minds. Slavery is not an option.
Subjugation is not the natural order of the
world. America is powerful by she is not
preeminent. She does not possess the power to
bend an unwilling world to its knees.
America?s power is waning because she has lost
hold of her moral grounding. The greatest power
on earth is, always has been, and always will be
the universal values of humankind: Justice,
equality, freedom and harmony.
Hugo Chavez has shown the way. He has challenged
the beast and survived. He has demonstrated that
the power of the people united in a just cause
cannot be denied. Join him and you will find the
courage of conviction. Join him and you will
unleash the undeniable force of history. Join him
and you will prevail.
Let it begin in Haiti.
Let it begin with the restoration of the
presidency of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
Jack Random is the author of Ghost Dance
Insurrection (Dry Bones Press) the Jazzman
Chronicles, Volumes I and II (City Lights Books).
The Chronicles have been published by
CounterPunch, the Albion Monitor, Buzzle,
Dissident Voice and others. Visit his website:
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