Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

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Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

<http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/01/14-13>

Published on Thursday, January 14, 2010 by CommonDreams.org
Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Why the Blood Is on Our Hands
by Ted Rall

As grim accounts of the earthquake in Haiti came in, the accounts in U.S.-controlled state media all carried the same descriptive sentence: "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere..."

Gee, I wonder how that happened?

You'd think Haiti would be loaded. After all, it made a lot of people rich.

How did Haiti get so poor? Despite a century of American colonialism, occupation, and propping up corrupt dictators? Even though the CIA staged coups d'état against every democratically elected president they ever had?

It's an important question. An earthquake isn't just an earthquake. The same 7.0 tremor hitting San Francisco wouldn't kill nearly as many people as in Port-au-Prince. "Looking at the pictures, essentially it looks as if (the buildings are of) breezeblock or cinderblock construction, and what you need in an earthquake zone is metal bars that connect the blocks so that they stay together when they get shaken," notes Sandy Steacey, director of the Environmental Science Research Institute at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. "In a wealthy country with good seismic building codes that are enforced, you would have some damage, but not very much."

When a pile of cinderblocks falls on you, your odds of survival are long. Even if you miraculously survive, a poor country like Haiti doesn't have the equipment, communications infrastructure or emergency service personnel to pull you out of the rubble in time. And if your neighbors get you out, there's no ambulance to take you to the hospital--or doctor to treat you once you get there.

Earthquakes are random events. How many people they kill is predetermined. In Haiti this week, don't blame tectonic plates. Ninety-nine percent of the death toll is attributable to poverty.

So the question is relevant. How'd Haiti become so poor?

The story begins in 1910, when a U.S. State Department-National City Bank of New York (now called Citibank) consortium bought the Banque National d'Haïti--Haiti's only commercial bank and its national treasury--in effect transferring Haiti's debts to the Americans. Five years later, President Woodrow Wilson ordered troops to occupy the country in order to keep tabs on "our" investment.

From 1915 to 1934, the U.S. Marines imposed harsh military occupation, murdered Haitians patriots and diverted 40 percent of Haiti's gross domestic product to U.S. bankers. Haitians were banned from government jobs. Ambitious Haitians were hunted into the puppet military, setting the stage for a half-century of U.S.-backed military dictatorship.

The U.S. kept control of Haiti's finances until 1947.

Still--why should Haitians complain? Sure, we stole 40 percent of Haiti's national wealth for 32 years. But we let them keep 60 percent.

Whiners.

Despite having been bled dry by American bankers and generals, civil disorder prevailed until 1957, when the CIA installed President-for-Life François "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Duvalier's brutal Tonton Macoutes paramilitary goon squads murdered at least 30,000 Haitians and drove educated people to flee into exile. But think of the cup as half-full: fewer people in the population means fewer people competing for the same jobs!

Upon Papa Doc's death in 1971, the torch passed to his even more dissolute 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. The U.S., cool to Papa Doc in his later years, quickly warmed back up to his kleptomaniacal playboy heir. As the U.S. poured in arms and trained his army as a supposed anti-communist bulwark against Castro's Cuba, Baby Doc stole an estimated $300 to $800 million from the national treasury, according to Transparency International. The money was placed in personal accounts in Switzerland and elsewhere.

Under U.S. influence, Baby Doc virtually eliminated import tariffs for U.S. goods. Soon Haiti was awash with predatory agricultural imports dumped by American firms. Domestic rice farmers went bankrupt. A nation that had been agriculturally self-sustaining collapsed. Farms were abandoned. Hundreds of thousands of farmers migrated to the teeming slums of Port-au-Prince.

The Duvalier era, 29 years in all, came to an end in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan ordered U.S. forces to whisk Baby Doc to exile in France, saving him from a popular uprising.

Once again, Haitians should thank Americans. Duvalierism was "tough love." Forcing Haitians to make do without their national treasury was our nice way or encouraging them to work harder, to lift themselves up by their bootstraps. Or, in this case, flipflops. Anyway.

The U.S. has been all about tough love ever since. We twice deposed the populist and popular democratically-elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The second time, in 2004, we even gave him a free flight to the Central African Republic! (He says the CIA kidnapped him, but whatever.) Hey, he needed a rest. And it was kind of us to support a new government formed by former Tonton Macoutes.

Yet, despite everything we've done for Haiti, they're still a fourth-world failed state on a fault line.

And still, we haven't given up. American companies like Disney generously pay wages to their sweatshop workers of 28 cents an hour.

What more do these ingrates want?

Ted Rall is the author of the new book "Silk Road to Ruin: Is Central Asia the New Middle East?," an in-depth prose and graphic novel analysis of America's next big foreign policy challenge.

© Copyrighted 1997-2009
www.commondreams.org

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Hello Mike, thanks for posting this important piece.  Haiti has never been on my radar screen and it was good to get some background.

While I agree that it looks like Haiti has been ransacked financially, I think the article is wrong in identifying "America" as the culprit.  Like the rest of the West, we are a client state to the international banking cartel.

John Perkin's book "Economic Hitman" offers an insiders view of how the IMF shakes down third world countries.  Of course, the IMF and BIS owners, also own the central banks in your country and mine.  The important distinction is that America is more victim than culpable.

Larry

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

I was part (a very small part) of the UN mission to Haiti (UNMIH) in 1995, following the removal of the military coup that had displaced Aristide, and the reinstatement of Aristide. I was a general surgeon in the US Army at the time, and an extremely poor soldier, so I don't possess any particularly useful inside information regarding the politics in play then, before, or since. Our contingent, a US Army hospital, spent most of our time confined to a secure compound within Port-Au-Prince. The perception at the time was that Aristide was likely no better than his predecessors, and that corruption through all ranks of the government was rampant. The citizens were very pleasant, in our experience, but our interactions with the populace were fairly minimal. We did get a little time outside of our compound, during which the poverty of the country was quite evident. I visited a couple of communities outside of Port-Au-Prince, where conditions were somewhat better, but still decidedly "third-world".

I spent 10 days on a mission trip to Bolivia a couple of years ago. Bolivia is often ranked the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, behind Haiti. Based upon my brief experiences in both places, I would place Bolivia a distant second to Haiti. The infrastructure in Haiti, the perpetual lack of an effective government, makes this earthquake all the more devastating.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Certainly poverty played a huge role in the devastation Haiti has been faced with and will continue to face for years to come.  6.5 earthquake in Cali and a few people get bumps, cuts and bruises.  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/damage-from-65-california-earthquake-now-at-219-million.html

I'm sick and tired of the corruption taking place in our nation, but at the same time I caught myself today being extremely thankful to still be living in the US.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Certainly poverty played a huge role in the devastation Haiti has been faced with and will continue to face for years to come.  6.5 earthquake in Cali and a few people get bumps, cuts and bruises.  http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/01/damage-from-65-california-earthquake-now-at-219-million.html

I'm sick and tired of the corruption taking place in our nation, but at the same time I caught myself today being extremely thankful to still be living in the US.  By third world standards, a majority of us live like kings and queens.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

   We  have heard from the orphanage we help  support/build and are sending medical supplies and nurse right now .  Sending many prayers also . The men will go in Feb . to help with buildings .    

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Why am I not surprised you'd come up with this gem, Mike.  Read some history, which I've copied and pasted off Wikipedia below for your convenience, and you might learn that Haiti's 200+ yr history of chaos overlaps any US involvement.

Haitian Revolution

Main article: Haitian Revolution

Jean Jacques Dessalines, leader of the Haitian Revolution and the first ruler of an independent Haiti.

Inspired by the French Revolution and principles of the rights of men, free people of color and slaves in Saint-Domingue and the French and West Indies pressed for freedom and more civil rights. Most important was the revolution of the slaves in Saint-Domingue, starting in the heavily African-majority northern plains in 1791. In 1792 the French government sent three commissioners with troops to try to reestablish control. They began to build an alliance with the free people of color who wanted more civil rights. In 1793, France and Great Britain went to war, and British troops invaded Saint-Domingue. The execution of Louis XVI heightened tensions in the colony. To build an alliance with the gens de couleur and slaves, the French commissioners Sonthonax and Polverel abolished slavery in the colony. Six months later, the National Convention led by the Jacobins endorsed abolition and extended it to all of the French colonies.[11]

Toussaint L'Ouverture, a former slave and leader in the slave revolt who rose in importance as a military commander because of his many skills, achieved peace in Saint-Domingue after years of war against both external invaders and internal dissension. He had established a disciplined, flexible army and drove out both the Spaniards and the British invaders who threatened the colony. He restored stability and prosperity by daring measures, including inviting the return of planters and insisting that freed men work on plantations to renew revenues for the island. He also renewed trading ties with Great Britain and the United States. In the uncertain years of revolution, the United States played both sides, with traders supplying both the French and the rebels.[12]

Independence

When the French government changed, new members of the national legislature, lobbied by planters, began to rethink its decisions on colonial slavery. After Toussaint L'Ouverture created a separatist constitution, Napoleon Bonaparte sent an expedition of 20,000 men under the command of his brother-in-law, General Charles Leclerc, to retake the island. Leclerc's mission was to oust L'Ouverture and restore slavery. The French achieved some victories, but within a few months, yellow fever had killed most of the French soldiers.[13] Leclerc invited Toussaint L'Ouverture to a parley, kidnapped him and sent him to France, where he was imprisoned at Fort de Joux. He died there in 1803 of exposure and tuberculosis[10] or malnutrition and pneumonia. In its attempt to retake the colony, France had lost more than 50,000 soldiers, including 18 generals.[14]

Battle between Polish troops in French service and the Haitian rebels. Some Polish soldiers became sympathetic to the natives' cause and joined the Haitian rebels.[15]

The native leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines, long an ally of Toussaint L'Ouverture, defeated the French troops led by Donatien-Marie-Joseph de Vimeur, vicomte de Rochambeau at the Battle of Vertières. At the end of the double battle for emancipation and independence, former slaves proclaimed the independence of Saint-Domingue on 1 January 1804, declaring the new nation as Haiti, honoring one of the indigenous Taíno names for the island. It is the only nation born of a slave revolt.[10] It is estimated that the slave rebellion resulted in the death of 100,000 blacks and 24,000 of the 40,000 white colonists.[16]

Dessalines was proclaimed Emperor for life by his troops.[17] He exiled or killed the remaining whites and ruled as a despot.[18] He was assassinated on 17 October 1806. The country was divided then between a kingdom in the north directed by Henri I, and a republic in the south directed by a gens de couleur Alexandre Pétion. Henri I is best known for constructing the Citadelle Laferriere, the largest fortress in the Western Hemisphere, to defend the island against the French. President Jean Pierre Boyer, also a gens de couleur, managed to reunify the two halves and extend control again over the western part of the island.[19] Dominican historians have portrayed the period of the Haitian occupation (1822–42) as cruel and barbarous, but Boyer also freed the slaves.[20]

In July 1825, the king of France Charles X sent a fleet of fourteen vessels and troops to reconquer the island. To maintain independence, President Boyer agreed to a treaty by which France recognized the independence of the country in exchange for a payment of 150 million francs (the sum was reduced in 1838 to 90 million francs) – an indemnity for profits lost from the slave trade. The French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher wrote "Imposing an indemnity on the victorious slaves was equivalent to making them pay with money that which they had already paid with their blood."

A long succession of coups followed the departure of Jean-Pierre Boyer. In its 200-year history, Haiti has seen 32 coups.[21] National authority was disputed by factions of the army, the elite class and the growing commercial class, now made up of numerous immigrants: Germans, Americans, French and English.

On more than one occasion U.S., French, German and British forces claimed large sums of money from the vaults of the National Bank of Haiti.[22]

Expatriates bankrolled and armed opposing groups. In 1888 U.S. Marines supported a military revolt against the government. In 1892 the German government supported suppression of the movement of Anténor Firmin. In 1912 Syrians residing in Haiti participated in a plot in which the presidential palace was destroyed. In January 1914, British, German and United States forces entered Haiti ostensibly to protect their citizens.[22]

Since 1915

The United States occupied the island from 1915 to 1934. The Haitian administration dismantled the constitutional system, built roads, and established the National Guards that ran the country after the Marines left.

In 1937 Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo,[23] in an event known as the Parsley Massacre, ordered his Army to kill Haitians living on the Dominican side of the border.[24] He developed a uniquely Dominican policy of racial discrimination, Antihaitianismo ("anti-Haitianism"), targeting the mostly-black inhabitants of his neighboring country.

Within the country, François "Papa Doc" Duvalier used both political murder and expulsion to suppress his opponents; estimates of those killed are as high as 30,000.[25]

1957–1986

From 1957 to 1986, the Duvalier family reigned as dictators, turning the country into a hermit kingdom with a personality cult and corruption. They created the private army and terrorist death squads known as Tonton Macoutes. Many Haitians fled to exile in the United States and Canada, especially French-speaking Quebec. In the 1970s the United States funded major efforts to establish assembly plants for U.S. manufacturers. In the mid 1980s the US continued military and economic aid to the regime.[26]

In 1986 protests against "Baby Doc" led the U.S. to arrange for Duvalier and his family to be exiled to France. Army leader General Henri Namphy headed a new National Governing Council.[26]

In March 1987 a new Constitution was overwhelmingly approved by the population. General elections in November were aborted hours after dozens were shot by soldiers and the Tonton Macoute in the capital and scores more around the country.

1990s

In December 1990, the former priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide won the election by more than two thirds of the vote. His mandate began on 7 February 1991. In August 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government faced a non-confidence vote within the Haitian Chamber of Deputies and Senate. Eighty three voted against him, while only 11 members voted in support of Aristide's government. Following a coup d'etat in September 1991, President Aristide was flown into exile. In accordance with Article 149 of Haiti's Constitution of 1987, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Nerette was named Provisional President and elections were called for December 1991. These were blocked by the international community and the resulting chaos extended into 1994.

In 1994, Haitian General Raoul Cédras asked former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to help avoid a U.S. military invasion of Haiti.[27] President Carter relayed this information to President Clinton, who asked Carter, in his role as founder of The Carter Center, to undertake a mission to Haiti with Senator Sam Nunn, D-GA, and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell.[27] The team successfully negotiated the departure of Haiti's military leaders and the peaceful entry of U.S. forces under Operation Uphold Democracy, paving the way for the restoration of Jean-Bertrand Aristide as president.[27] Aristide left the presidency in 1995.

2000s

Aristide was re-elected in 2000. His second term was marked by accusations of corruption. In 2004 a paramilitary coup ousted Aristide a second time. (See 2004 Haitian rebellion) Aristide was removed by U.S. Marines from his home in what he described as a "kidnapping", and briefly held by the government of the Central African Republic to which the U.S. had decided to fly him. Aristide obtained his release and returned to the hemisphere shortly afterwards, although he has not returned to Haiti.

Boniface Alexandre assumed interim authority. In February 2006, following elections marked by uncertainties and popular demonstrations, René Préval (close to the still-popular Aristide and former president of the Republic of Haiti between 1995 and 2000) was elected president.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (also known as MINUSTAH) has been in the country since the 2004 Haiti Rebellion.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Farmer Brown, Nowhere in the Wikipedia entry do I see CIA highlighted, so I just skipped it. Leaving the invisible hand of the CIA out of the recent history of Haiti, is like describing  myth without acknowledging the trickster.

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Nutrience For Farming - A Divolvement of Effluent ...

Damnthematrix,

thankyou for putting up this article. Spot on!

Something for your residing thread incumbent :-

Face to Face with Jack Etkin

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8570486602320982353&ei=mvpQS9Cb...

... and if I have to put this interview up another time, I'm sure it won't be the last :-

John Perkins

Best,

Paul

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Damnthematrix,

Currently am in Europe, and the MSM here is filled with the 'Haiti story' and how the US government has exploded in humanitarian benevolence to send aid. I'd like to say thanks to you, for providing a historical overview to another side of their story, of which I was unaware.

Further, Globalresearch.ca has just posted a good article:

The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17000

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

In view of the facts that New Orleans is still not rebuilt, and the debt crisis hitting all first world nations, could Haiti be facing its terminal demise?  I mean where will the money come from to totally rebuild a city for 1.5 million people with no money?

And you haveto love this.....:

"US President Barack Obama, who says the tragedy in Haiti "defies comprehension", has enlisted former US presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton to spearhead private fundraising efforts."

Like...... Bush is actually competent at this sort of stuff?

Mike

Violence descends on shattered Haiti

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/17/2794066.htm?section=justin

Looting has turned violent in Haiti's shattered capital Port-au-Prince, with a mob of about 1,000 people fighting for goods in a central street, according to a journalist.

The United Nations says the earthquake, which officials say has killed at least 50,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless, is the worst is it has ever confronted.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has now arrived in the country, which was again rocked by a strong 4.5-magnitude aftershock overnight.

Photographer Carlos Barria says men with stones, knives and hammers are now battling to grab T-shirts, bags, toys and any other items they can find in destroyed houses and shops.

Police present earlier were nowhere to be seen.

"It's anarchy there now, total chaos. The police have gone away," Mr Barria said.

"They are fighting, hitting each other, throwing stones at each other."

Looting was sporadic in the first few days after Wednesday's earthquake, but now appears to be spreading.

Witnesses are reporting chaos in areas across the city, as authorities fail to take control of the streets and the desperation of refugees still waiting for aid spills over.

The United Nations has confirmed its chief in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, has been found dead among rubble.

Mr Annabi, from Tunisia, was believed to be 65.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon has also confirmed the death of Mr Annabi's deputy, Brazilian Luiz Carlos da Costa.

Water crisis

CARE Australia worker Paul Shanahan, a water sanitation and hygiene specialist, is flying out to Port-au-Prince this morning.

He says the disaster response will be even harder to operate than in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.

"You've got an area of high-density population, with buildings not built to earthquake-proof standards," Mr Shanahan said.

"So although the death toll probably wouldn't reach the tsunami, it will still be quite high.

"The logistical difficulties and just the practical difficulties of getting a response operating will be much, much harder."

He says providing clean water will be crucial over the coming days.

"You can only last a few days without a clean water supply and disease is a threat that's going to take vulnerable people off fairly quickly," Mr Shanahan said.

On a Port-au-Prince soccer field that is now a refuge for the homeless, young medical student Gilbert Wilkins is doing his best with any medical supplies he can scrounge.

But he says there has seen no signs of aid delivery and he has been forced to stitch open wounds together without aesthetic or antibiotics.

"You can imagine putting stitches in someone without any aesthetic. You just try to do it without anything, so you can imagine how it's hard," he said.

He says he is worried about the threat of infection and the people relying on him are desperate.

Aid arrives

About 10 US helicopters have flown over Port-au-Prince, landing in open spaces to throw out boxes of water-bottles and ready-to-eat meals.

However most Haitians appeared clueless about what to do with the food packages, witnesses said.

US President Barack Obama, who says the tragedy in Haiti "defies comprehension", has enlisted former US presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton to spearhead private fundraising efforts.

Mr Bush says the best way for individuals to help is to send money.

"I know a lot of people want to send blankets, or water - just send your cash," he said.

"That money will go to organisations on the ground who will be able to effectively spend it."

The US Government has already contributed $US100 million, but Mr Clinton says the need more money is urgent.

"Right now all we need to do is get food and medicine and water and a secure place for them to be," he said.

"We want to do what I did with the president's father in the tsunami area. We want to be a place where people can know their money will be well spent."

- ABC/Reuters

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Mike,

What? When was the last time you were in NOLA? I was there in 2006, and it's pretty well rebuilt bud.

Granted, it's not pristine, but it never was. 
Now, the ultimate problem here is that people "expect" help. It's not any federal Governments job to take care of any national disaster. It's the states responsibility, starting with the county. This "cry to mommy" mentality is ridiculous, especially in the case of NOLA, because they failed to properly secure their levies against the advisement of the Corps of Engineers! 

Then it breaks and it's someone else's responsibility to fix it.
Haiti might be different, I'm still working my way through Patrick's post on the history, but New Orleans is a great example of a natural disaster mismanaged at every imaginable level.

Cheers!

Aaron 

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Damnthematrix wrote:

In view of the facts that New Orleans is still not rebuilt, and the debt crisis hitting all first world nations, could Haiti be facing its terminal demise?  I mean where will the money come from to totally rebuild a city for 1.5 million people with no money?

And you haveto love this.....:

"US President Barack Obama, who says the tragedy in Haiti "defies comprehension", has enlisted former US presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton to spearhead private fundraising efforts."

Like...... Bush is actually competent at this sort of stuff?

Mike

Whatever the personal failings and flaws of Bush and Clinton, both are standing with Pres. Obama and all are engaged in a mission to bring relief to people who are suffering immensely. To denigrate their competence or effort or to blame the U.S. for what is a tragegy of nature is simply sick. The U.S. has already done more and will continue to do more for the people of Haiti than the rest of the world combined.

Stan

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Poppy and W; the Bush Boyz in New Orleans - The President arrived quickly, as soon as his extended vacation was over.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

For gawdsake Stan....  you believe all that propaganda?  If you actually read this thread you'd see that the USA is ;largely responsible for the poverty in Haiti, and it's that poverty that has allowed so much death and destruction to happen.  Had this earthquake, YES A NATURAL DISASTER, occured in LA, then do you really think 50 to 200 thousand people would have been killed?  Even though LA has what, five times the population?

Of course not, Amerika is effluent enough that it can build buildings to withstand earthquakes of probably even greater magnitudes....

And to Aaron, I don't doubt parts of NO have been rebuilt, but there are still many areas left untouched, which a quick google search uncovered immediately.....     http://americanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/volunteers_still_needed_... for instance.

I know it always seems to be me who constantly has a crack at you lot (and there are quite a few of you who do support me, thank you...) but I feel strongly that some of you need to wake up to the fact the USA is not necessarily all that it's cracked up to be.  As is Australia before anyone jumps on THAT bandwagon!

Mike

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Larry - CLEARLY a photoshop job.

I'm not saying the guy's a saint, but lets keep it honest, or we're playing their game by their rules.

Mike,

Crack away all you like. The USA is like a F***'d up sibling. You don't always like what it does, you don't always agree with it, and more often than not you expect it to just make bad situations worse, but the times that we *don't* need to be kicked are when we're doing something right... as we are with the situation in Haiti. 

Critiquing America is acceptable.
Anti-Americanism for the sake of Anti-Americanism is just silly and counterproductive. We are all adults and (should) realize that a nation is more a measure of the citizenry than it's government.

The "Ugly American" thing is a sensationalized bunch of nonsense. Most of the people in this country are accepting, kind and honestly good natured. Naive and spoiled maybe, by the standards of the rest of the world, but hey - we reaped what we'd sewn.

The last laugh won't be ours, because we're sewing our own destruction these days.

Sorry... Rambling.

Cheers,

Aaron 

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Damnthematrix wrote:

For gawdsake Stan....  you believe all that propaganda? 

Mike, you can have your own opinions, but not your own facts. I have been watching the news all week. Who is there to help in Hiati? Whose troops restored their elected president Aristede in 1994? And just why are we responsible for their poverty? States can fail without our help. Ours might even be one of them if we can't wrest control from the banksters.

Stan

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Here's what's being written in Australia about this.....
Obama has very generously given $100 million to the reconstruction effort. Since the US doesn't actually have any money, this means
he has given someone else's money to US corporations so that they can give their highly marked-up goods and medicines to the relief effort, and will make a tidy profit on the deal.
 
Google "disaster relief CIA"
 
Dave
I can't help but feel despair over this....  no way will Haiti be rebuilt to even the past standards.  More, all the help the US is giving poor Haiti are just more nails in the US coffin.....  TS HAS HTF in Haiti.  That's it.  100M$ is three orders of magnitude too small an amount, but you just can't expect any more than that in the current situation.....  the long emergency has started.
How long before your country is swamped with refugees?  Haiti is a classic case of exponential overpopulation, exponential economic collapse, finished off with a natural disaster.
Haiti may only be a small nation, but the impact of this disaster will have more profound repercussions worldwide because the rest of the world is so fragile already......  could be a tipping point even.
Mike
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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

 

"We live in the United States of Amnesia.

No one remembers anything before monday morning.

Everything is a blank.

We have no history."

Gore Vidal

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Stan Robertson wrote:
Damnthematrix wrote:

For gawdsake Stan....  you believe all that propaganda? 

Mike, you can have your own opinions, but not your own facts. I have been watching the news all week. Who is there to help in Hiati? Whose troops restored their elected president Aristede in 1994? And just why are we responsible for their poverty? States can fail without our help. Ours might even be one of them if we can't wrest control from the banksters.

Stan

Stan, I don't know whose "own facts" you use....  but Aristide was twice deposed....  by the CIA!

Now of course it makes sense that the USA should help Haiti first, you're closest. Oh wait...  Cuba's closer! Oh but its economy's screwed too, thanks to the US 50 year embargo.....

Fuggedaboudit mate.....  Haiti's [email protected]#$%d.  You're next.

Mike

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Damnthematrix wrote:


How long before your country is swamped with refugees?  Haiti is a classic case of exponential overpopulation, exponential economic collapse, finished off with a natural disaster.
Haiti may only be a small nation, but the impact of this disaster will have more profound repercussions worldwide because the rest of the world is so fragile already......  could be a tipping point even.
Mike

 

Darn, I was hoping the enlightened and colorblind Australians would take a couple hundred thousand Haitian refugees.  You guys have plenty of room over there.

DamnTheMatrix = US fault

Danny Glover says it is global warming and the lack of US support in Copenhagen.

Pat Robertson says the Haitians made a pact with the Devil.

I find all these theories strangely similar.

Doc Mims theory is: shit happens no matter what you do or how nice you are.

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA
Damnthematrix wrote:

[

Now of course it makes sense that the USA should help Haiti first, you're closest. Oh wait...  Cuba's closer! Oh but its economy's screwed too, thanks to the US 50 year embargo.....

Fuggedaboudit mate.....  Haiti's [email protected]#$%d.  You're next.

Mike

We seemed to be closer to Indonesia too, mate.  We carried the load there as well.

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The United States Of Amnesia

Utterly amazing thread, full to the absolute brim of ...

Hey, American. 'YOU', individually, do not own a standing army. 'You' do not invade other countries, set embargo's or drop nuclear weapons, 'YOUR' F^cking politicians and corporations do!!! 'YOU' are the canon fodder who fights on behalf of 'THEM' and pay the taxes that makes 'THEM'. In that process, 'YOU', as an individual, are fully culpapble ...

 

Watch and learn :-

THINK!!!!!!! You're on one of the very best forums, designed and built by a visionary. With the findings of the Crash Course, the results are of skewed capitalism and a flag waving unelected democracy, smashing your way of life into bits. It'll continue while you perpetuate blindspots as wide as the Pananma Canal!

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Food security collapses in Haiti as machete-wielding gangs fight in the streets  - complete article link

Overnight, Haiti has gone from an organized, civil nation to a scenario of total chaos with gangs running wild through the streets, ransacking shops and fighting over food with machetes.

Learning this, many an ignorant westerner might naively say, "That could only happen in Haiti. It's because those people are so poor, so uncivilized. It could never happen here..."

Oh but it could.

Haiti isn't so different from wherever you live -- a city in America, Canada, Australia, the UK or anywhere else. Everywhere in the world, people will fight for survival when the situation becomes desperate. The only reason the streets in your town aren't overrun with firearms and machetes right now is because food is plentiful. The electricity works. The water supply is functioning and police keep the relatively few criminals under control.

And you know why? Because people aren't prepared for disasters. Come to think of it, most people aren't even prepared for a disruption in food and electricity lasting more than 48 hours. Almost nobody has spare food, water, emergency first aid supplies or the ability to physically defend themselves against aggressors. They are betting their lives on the bizarre idea that their government will save them if something goes wrong.

Law and order is a fragile thing

When disruptions occur -- whether through natural disasters, radical weather events, war or civil unrest -- governments and city police organizations can break down within hours.  Do you have the means to procure clean water if the water system breaks down? Do you have a way to provide shelter for yourself and your family if there's no electricity or heating fuel available? Can you physical defend yourself and your family against aggressive marauders desperately searching for food?

Most people aren't prepared for the unknown. They live lives that are entirely dependent on the continued successful operation of public infrastructure, law and order. And if that infrastructure is ever interrupted, they are completely unable to fend for themselves.

Be prepared

This article, though, isn't a doom-and-gloom assessment of our modern society. Rather, it is a reminder to all of us to get real about personal preparedness.

If you don't have a portable water filter, some storable food, a warm sleeping bag and all sorts of other preparedness items all ready to go in a "go bag," then you may find yourself in the same situation millions of Haitians find themselves in right now.

You can afford water storage containers. You can afford sprouting seeds and some simple sprouting trays. You can afford an emergency LED flashlight, a high-quality multifunction knife tool and an emergency tent. Most likely, you have the financial means to get prepared starting right now. So if you haven't already done it, get to it!

You can find all sorts of preparedness products at www.BePrepared.com and even retailers like www.Vitacost.com sell water filters and other preparedness items. Camping outlets like www.REI.com are also great sources for preparedness gear.

Protect your health

Right now, Haiti is in a health crisis. The hellish conditions, lack of clean water and lack of medical assistance is leading to rapidly deteriorating health conditions there.  So what do you really need to protect your health in a crisis?

Clean water is a priority. You'll need five gallons per day per person to cover hydration, cooking and rudimentary bathing needs. You'll need a portable water filter (like a Katadyn ceramic filter) to remove parasites and other "germs" in water that you might find through other sources (rivers, streams, etc.).

You'll need a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial herbal tincture. Herbs can save your life against infectious disease. You'll also need a serious first-aid kit that includes bandages and some western medical supplies such as antibacterial creams, emergency sutures (with needles), gauze and medical iodine.

Don't forget a supply of high-potency nutrition. Some spirulina or chlorella tablets can provide crucial nutrition. Chia seeds, nuts or even peanut butter can give you essential calories. If you have time and space, sprouting seeds can give you the all-important living foods that will enhance your immune function and help you deal with the tremendous stresses of a crisis.

Or figure out what you need in this way: Shut off ALL your infrastructure for a weekend and see how you do. Live without water, electricity, heat, grocery store food, fuel and phone service and see how prepared you really are!

This is the best test of all. And if you really want to see if you're ready for a Haiti-style crisis, assume that your house has collapsed from an earthquake and you have to survive outside, in your yard, without anything from your house. Where is your stuff now? How will you survive the next 48 hours in your yard, with no help from anyone else and your house in a pile of rubble?

Fortunately, we have regulars in this forum who can help you prepare for such a catastrophe.  One thing that I have learned here is that preparation is both physical and mental (H/T Aaron).  It is not enough to stockpile supplies and ammunition; you need to plan for various scenarios and practice the new skills that may be needed.  

Larry    

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Larry,

 you know my respect for you runs deep over this past year and, that respect has continued throughout this damnedable Haiti thread. I just wanted to clarify the difference between what people percieve as 'America' and 'American', which is seriously hard work when the American masses choose to consider the USA as 'good' or 'bad' in terms of nationalistic fervour, simply when it suits?

As a bystander in history, watching the world unravel in real time and, with all of the horrors that are rit large under every upturned rock we've uncovered. To find hidden agenda after hidden agenda, ulteria motive piled upon ulteria motive by the American government and the governments of the world, as far as I am concerned, I am sickened deeply by the results of Haiti, right to the very core of me ...

Paul

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

 

It will be interesting to watch the corporate elite manage this crisis over the next decade. Their mastery of manipulating the perceptions of the unwashed masses will require an even more cynical and cutthroat approach. For a taste of this, I just had to look at the 2010/11 proposed budget cuts for Arizona. There will be blood: 

The Governor’s budget proposal calls for the elimination of funding for non-formula programs such as: AIMS Intervention, Adult Education and GED, Chemical Abuse, Gifted Support, Early Education Block Grant, Vocational Education Block Grant, and Teacher Training.

Some of what it also proposes: • Closing the Department of Juvenile Corrections and shifting responsibility to the counties; • Closing 21 of 31 state parks; • Reducing state employee pay by 5%; • Shift of lottery funds; • Reduces services for 17,000 seriously mentally ill adults – approximately half of that population; • Eliminating Social Services Block Grant planning funds; • Eliminates cash assistance for 10,000 families;  • Eliminating free health care for more than 300,000 low-income people  • Eliminating County Attorney Immigration Enforcement; and, • Executive authority to reduce appropriations.

Despite the massive budget cuts, the State government will still have to borrow and defer $1.5 billion.

 

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Mike/Paul,

Guys, I realize that you hate America with a sort of blind ambition, eager to use whatever event might arise to "blame" the U.S. for the problem.
Hell, the CIA might have actually triggered that earthquake!

But hey - why don't we try this approach:
Humans are flawed and the magnitude of the flaws are proportional to their level of influence. It doesn't matter where they're from, which organization they work for, which corporation owns their ability to work.

No one notices when Australia F***'s up.
You know why? No one cares what Australia is doing.
You're a smaller player on the world scene. This isn't derrogatory, but it's the truth. The lens through we view your moves is a lot less powerful than the lens we're judged through.

One day, we will be unimportant has-beens - but the nature of people and power will not change.
What will you do when America is no longer here to hate? Sit back and smile? Will you be satisfied?
Will this in some way gratify you - the suffering of others?

I urge you guys to take a look at your mantra and ask yourselves: "What is it I really want to accomplish when I say this stuff?"

Because quite often, it's just agitating.
Especially considering even for all our faults, we are still trying to help as 'people'.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Aaron, I see the comments as directed toward the American government and power structures, not against 'the people', and we have a lot of company in this regard. I see governments around the world corrupted by financial power and viable solutions most generally threaten the status quo. Those proposing the solutions are marginalized and made to look fools, irrational dreamers.

People will have to rely on each other when the chaos begins to take over. JMO

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

CB,

Completely agree. Governments, by nature, are inefficient.
It sounds coarse, but if you look at "recovery" speed, it's largely proportional to the (granted, subjective) general decency of the people.

For example, Biloxi, Mississippi had almost ZERO problems with looting. They recovered quicker, even though the place stayed trashed for a long while because the population was more civic minded.
Anyone who's spent any time in NOLA knows it's the kind of place you can't leave your bag, and you don't keep your wallet in your back pocket.
It's a seedy place with seedy people.

When I hear them crying and moaning because the response isn't fast enough, I can't help but think: "Why are you incapable of picking up your own mess? Do you not have a PUD? Road Crews? Construction outfits?"

What we need is less government interference.
Haiti was in bad shape before this earthquake, and it will likely be in bad shape regardless how many billions of dollars are pumped into their recovery/economy - If Nozick and Von Mises are correct.

Cheers,

Aaron

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

     if you truely wanted to make a difference you could adopt a few  orphans bet there are a few there   .  Then there would not be any We to it  and you would have a precious  jewel in your crown and one in your arms .

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Re: Haitian Earthquake: Made in the USA

Full Moon,

Do you mind elaborating?
For example: Who are you talking to?

Second, How would adopting Orphans "make a difference"?
I'm not saying it wouldn't have a positive effect, but irresponsible breeding habits can't be cured by adoption.

80% poverty rates are not the problem of low adoption rates, and even if you're improving the standards for "a" child, the aggregate is still living in and subject to, abject poverty. High birth rates are probably not helping the problem, so taking children out of Haiti is a short term solution at best, as the void you create via adoption is going to filled rapidly.

"Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime".

What's needed is infrastructure and opportunity.

R.I.P. Molly Hightower, by the way. She was a friend of my family's, and a very generous young woman who truly was making a difference.

Cheers,

Aaron

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