31 January, 2010

Militarization ADDENDUM - Indiscriminate Shooting International

The tally for Hurricane Katrina waste could top
$2 billion next year because half of lucrative government contracts
valued at $500,000 or greater for cleanup work being awarded
with little or no competition. (sounds like Iraq)

Federal investigators have already determined the Bush Admin.  
squandered $1 billion on fraudulent disaster aid to individuals
after the 2005 storm. Now they are shifting their attention to the
multi-million dollar contracts to politically connected firms that
critics have long said are a prime area for abuse.

In January, investigators will release the first of several audits
examining more than $12 billion in Katrina contracts (PDF). The
charges range from political favoritism to limited opportunities
for small and minority-owned firms, which initially got only 1.5
percent of the total work."

"Based on their track record, it wouldn.t surprise me if we saw
another billion more in waste," said Clark Kent Ervin, the
Homeland Security Department.s inspector general from 2003-
2004. "I don.t think sufficient progress has been made."

"He called it inexcusable that the Bush administration would still
have so many no-bid contracts. Under pressure last year, Federal
Emergency Management Agency director David Paulison pledged to
rebid many of the agreements, only to backtrack months later and
reopen only a portion.

.Laziness, ineptitude ... nefarious. Investigators are now
examining whether some of the agreements -- which in some
cases were extended without warning rather than rebid -- are
still unfairly benefiting large firms."

"It.s a combination of laziness, ineptitude and it may well be
nefarious," Ervin said.

FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said the agency was working
to fix its mistakes by awarding contracts for future disasters
through competitive bidding.   Paulison has said he welcomes
additional oversight but cautioned against investigations that aren.t
based on "new evidence and allegations."

"As always, FEMA will work with Congress in all aspects to ensure that
we are carrying out the agency.s responsibilities," McIntyre said.

"The Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane swept ashore in southern Louisiana,
Mississippi and Alabama, leveling homes and businesses along the Gulf
Coast. Its storm surge breached levees in New Orleans, unleashing a
flood that left more than 1,300 people dead, hundreds of
thousands homeless and tens of billions of dollars worth of
damage.

A series of government investigations in the storm.s wake
faulted the Bush administration for underestimating the threat
and failing to prepare by pre-negotiating contracts for basic
supplies in what has become the nation.s costliest disaster.

$1B estimate .likely understated. Earlier this month, the Government
Accountability Office said its initial estimate of $1 billion in disaster aid
waste was "likely understated," citing continuing problems in which
FEMA doled out tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent housing
assistance.

Democrats in Congress called for more accountability. When
they take over in January, at least seven committees plan
hearings or other oversight -- from housing to disaster loans --
on how the $88 billion approved for Katrina relief is being spent.

Among the current investigations: The propriety of four no-bid contracts
together worth $400 million to Shaw Group Inc., Bechtel Group Inc.,
CH2M Hill Companies Ltd., and Fluor Corp. that were awarded
without competition.  Then there were the Private Mercenary
Forces like Blackwater, Dynacorp, Intercon, American Security
Group and Instinctive Shooting Intl (Israeli ISI) with their M-16's
in hand and ready for the kill!  These Private Mercenary Forces
like Blackwater were there under Bush Government Contracts
while others were hired by the private "wealthy elite" to protect
their multi-million dollar estates and businesses!

The contracts drew immediate criticism because of the companies.
extensive political and government ties, prompting a promise last year
from Paulison to rebid them. Instead, FEMA rebid only a portion and
then extended their contracts once, if not twice -- to $3.4 billion total --
so the firms could finish their remaining Katrina work.

The four companies, which have denied that connections played a
factor, were among six that also won new contracts after open bidding
in August. The latest contracts are worth up to $250 million each for
future disaster work.

The propriety of 36 trailer contract awards designated for small and
local businesses as part of Paulison.s promise to rebid large contracts.

Homeland Security Inspector General Richard Skinner is
reviewing whether some small and local businesses were
unfairly shut out in favor of winners such as joint venture PRI-
DJI. DJI stands for Del-Jen Inc., a subsidiary of Fluor, which has
donated more than $930,000 to mostly Republican candidates
since 2000."

.It.s who you know. "  It.s not what you know, what your
expertise is. I don.t even believe it.s got much to do with price. It.s who
you know," contends Ken Edmonds, owner of River Parish RV Inc. in
Louisiana, a company of 9 people whose application was rejected.

PRI, a minority-owned firm based in San Diego, said it is the "majority
partner" with Del-Jen as part of a federal mentoring program offered by
the Small Business Administration. The joint venture received four
Katrina contracts worth up to $100 million each based on price and
"knowledge of work with the federal government," president Frank
Loscavio said.

Whether small and minority-owned businesses were unfairly hurt after
the Bush administration initially waived competition requirements.

For many weeks after the storm, minority firms received 1.5
percent of the total work -- less than one-third of the 5 percent
normally required -- because they weren.t allowed to bid for
many of the emergency contracts.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce called the figure
appalling because of the disproportionate number of poor,
black people in the stricken Gulf Coast, prompting Sen. Olympia
Snowe, R-Maine, and Rep. Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., to request
GAO to investigate.

FEMA has since restored many of its competition rules, and the
number of contracts given to minority firms is now about 8.8
percent, according to the agency."   YES ... Restore Rules after
all the Corporate Plundering is Already Done - K-Males at work
again!

===========

Safety equipment in harris county texas


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ISI is a security company specializing in deploying security forces to disaster
areas The company provides made-to-scale protection and private law enforcement solutions in multiple countries. Nearly all of the personnel ISI provides have comnpleted compulsory military service in the Israeli Security Forces, frequently in more-prestigious units, such as counter-terrorist forces and the General Security Services.

ISI has been mentioned as providing armed guards on contract to the Department of Homeland Security, and to wealthy private homeowners, for use in the Hurricane Katrina relief area.

Sources

*[1] Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater Down, The Nation, October 10, 2005.
*[2] Kevin Johnson, Mansions Spared on Uptown's High Ground, USA Today, September 11, 2005.

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, January 31, 2010 0 comments links to this post

Militarisation Of The Planet and Sanctity of Military Spending

Militarisation Of The Planet and Sanctity of Military Spending

Bases, Missiles, Wars: U.S. Consolidates Global Military Network

by Rick Rozoff

Afghanistan is occupying center stage at the moment, but in the wings are complementary maneuvers to expand a string of new military bases and missile shield facilities throughout Eurasia and the Middle East.

The advanced Patriot theater anti-ballistic missile batteries in place or soon to be in Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates describe an arc stretching from the Baltic Sea through Southeast Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus and beyond to East Asia. A semicircle that begins on Russia's northwest and ends on China's northeast.

Over the past decade the United States has steadily (though to much of the world imperceptibly) extended its military reach to most all parts of the world. From subordinating almost all of Europe to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation through the latter's expansion into Eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union, to arbitrarily setting up a regional command that takes in the African continent (and all but one of its 53 nations). From invading and establishing military bases in the Middle East and Central and South Asia to operating a satellite surveillance base in Australia and taking charge of seven military installations in South America.
In the vacuum left in much of the world by the demise of the Cold War and the former bipolar world, the U.S. rushed in to insert its military in various parts of the world that had been off limits to it before.

And this while Washington cannot even credibly pretend that it is threatened by any other nation on earth.

It has employed a series of tactics to accomplish its objective of unchallenged international armed superiority, using an expanding NATO to build military partnerships not only throughout Europe but in the Caucasus, the Middle East, North and West Africa, Asia and Oceania as well as employing numerous bilateral and regional arrangements.

The pattern that has emerged is that of the U.S. shifting larger concentrations of troops from post-World War II bases in Europe and Japan to smaller, more dispersed forward basing locations south and east of Europe and progressively closer to Russia, Iran and China.

The ever-growing number of nations throughout the world being pulled into Washington's military network serve three main purposes.

First, they provide air, troop and weapons transit and bases for wars like those against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, for naval operations that are in fact blockades by other names, and for regional surveillance.

Second, they supply troops and military equipment for deployments to war and post-conflict zones whenever and wherever required.

Last, allies and client states are incorporated into U.S. plans for an international missile shield that will put NATO nations and select allies under an impenetrable canopy of interceptors while other nations are susceptible to attack and deprived of the deterrent effect of being able to retaliate.  

The degree to which these three components are being integrated is advancing rapidly. The war in Afghanistan is the major mechanism for forging a global U.S. military nexus and one which in turn provides the Pentagon the opportunity to obtain and operate bases from Southeast Europe to Central Asia.

One example that illustrates this global trend is Colombia. In early August the nation's vice president announced that the first contingent of Colombian troops were to be deployed to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan. Armed forces from South America will be assigned to the North Atlantic bloc to fight a war in Asia. The announcement of the Colombian deployment came shortly after another: That the Pentagon would acquire seven new military bases in Colombia.

When the U.S. deploys Patriot missile batteries to that nation - on its borders with Venezuela and Ecuador - the triad will be complete.

Afghanistan is occupying center stage at the moment, but in the wings are complementary maneuvers to expand a string of new military bases and missile shield facilities throughout Eurasia and the Middle East.

On January 28 the British government will host a conference in London on Afghanistan that, in the words of what is identified as the UK Government's Afghanistan website, will be co-hosted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Afghanistan's President Karzai and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and co-chaired by British Foreign Minister David Miliband, his outgoing Afghan counterpart Rangin Spanta, and UN Special Representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide. 

The site announces that "The international community are [sic] coming together to fully align military and civilian resources behind an Afghan-led political strategy." [1] 

The conference will also be attended by "foreign ministers from International Security Assistance Force partners, Afghanistan.s immediate neighbours and key regional player [sic]." 

Public relations requirements dictate that concerns about the well-being of the Afghan people, "a stable and secure Afghanistan" and "regional cooperation" be mentioned, but the meeting will in effect be a war council, one that will be attended by the foreign ministers of scores of NATO and NATO partner states.

In the two days preceding the conference NATO's Military Committee will meet at the Alliance's headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. "Together with the Chiefs of Defence of all 28 NATO member states, 35 Chiefs of Defence of Partner countries and Troop Contributing Nations will also be present." [2]

That is, top military commanders from 63 nations - almost a third of the world's 192 countries - will gather at NATO Headquarters to discuss the next phase of the expanding war in South Asia and the bloc's new Strategic Concept. Among those who will attend the two-day Military Committee meeting are General Stanley McChrystal, in charge of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan; Admiral James Stavridis, chief U.S. military commander in Europe and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander; Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Israeli Chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. 

Former American secretary of state Madeleine Albright has been invited to speak about the Strategic Concept on behalf of the twelve-member Group of Experts she heads, whose task it is to promote NATO's 21st century global doctrine.

The Brussels meeting and London conference highlight the centrality that the war in Afghanistan has for the West and for its international military enforcement mechanism, NATO.
   
During the past few months Washington has been assiduously recruiting troops from assorted NATO partnership program nations for the war in Afghanistan, including from Armenia, Bahrain, Bosnia, Colombia, Jordan, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Ukraine and other nations that had not previously provided contingents to serve under NATO in the South Asian war theater. Added to forces from all 28 NATO member states and from Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Adriatic Charter and Contact Country programs, the Pentagon and NATO are assembling a coalition of over fifty nations for combat operations in Afghanistan.

Almost as many NATO partner nations as full member states have committed troops for the Afghanistan-Pakistan war: Afghanistan itself, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Jordan, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates.

The Afghan war zone is a colossal training ground for troops from around the world to gain wartime experience, to integrate armed forces from six continents under a unified command, and to test new weapons and weapons systems in real-life combat conditions.

Not only candidates for NATO membership but all nations in the world the U.S. has diplomatic and economic leverage over are being pressured to support the war in Afghanistan.

The American Forces Press Service featured a story last month about the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force's Regional Command East which revealed: "In addition to...French forces, Polish forces are in charge of battle space, and the Czech Republic, Turkey and New Zealand manage provincial reconstruction teams. In addition, servicemembers and civilians from Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates work with the command, and South Korea runs a hospital in the region."

With the acknowledgment that Egyptian forces are assigned to NATO's Afghan war, it is now known that troops from all six populated continents are subordinated to NATO in one war theater. [3]

How commitment to the Alliance's first ground war relates to the Pentagon securing bases and a military presence spreading out in all directions from Afghanistan and how worldwide interceptor missile plans are synchronised with both developments can be shown region by region.

Central And South Asia

After the U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom attacks on and subjugation of Afghanistan began in October of 2001 Washington and its NATO allies acquired the indefinite use of air and other military bases in Afghanistan, including Soviet-built airfields. The West also moved into bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and with less fanfare in Pakistan and Turkmenistan. It has also gained transit rights from Kazakhstan and NATO conducted its first military exercise in that nation, Zhetysu 2009, last September.

The U.S. has lobbied the Kazakh government to supply troops for NATO in Afghanistan (as it had earlier in Iraq) under the bloc's Partnership for Peace provisions.

The Black Sea    

The year after Romania was brought into NATO as a full member in 2004 the U.S. signed an agreement to gain control over four bases in Romania, including the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base. The next year a similar pact was signed with Bulgaria for the use of three military installations, two of them air bases. The Pentagon's Joint Task Force-East (which operates from the above-named base) conducted nearly three-month-long joint military exercises last summer in Bulgaria and Romania in preparation for deployment to Afghanistan.

On January 24 eight Romanian and Bulgaria soldiers were wounded in a rocket attack on a NATO base in Southern Afghanistan. Three days earlier Romania announced that it would deploy 600 more troops to that nation, bringing its numbers to over 1,600. Bulgaria has also pledged to increase its troop strength there and is considering consolidating all its forces in the country in Kandahar, one of the deadliest provinces in the war zone.

Late last November Foreign Minister Rumyana Zheleva of Bulgaria was in Washington, D.C. to "hear the ideas of US President Barack Obama's administration on the strategy of the anti-missile defense in Europe." [4]

During the same month Bogdan Aurescu, State Secretary for Strategic Affairs in the Romanian Foreign Ministry, stated that "The new variant of the US anti-missile shield could cover Romania." [5] A local newspaper at the time commented on Washington's new "stronger, smarter, and swifter" missile shield plans that "A strong and modern surveillance system located in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey could monitor three hot areas at once: the Black Sea, the Caucasus and the Caspian and relevant zones in the Middle East." [6]

Also last November a Russian news source wrote that "Anonymous sources in the Russian intelligence community say that the United States plans to supply weapons, including a Patriot-3 air defense system and shoulder-launched Stinger missiles, worth a total of $100 million, to Georgia." [7] In October the U.S. led the two-week Immediate Response 2009 war games to prepare the first of an estimated 1,000 Georgian troops for counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan, prompting neighboring Abkhazia - which knew who the military training was also aimed against - to stage its own exercises at the same time.

American Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor missiles in Georgia would be deployed against Russia, as they will be 35 miles from its border in Poland.

Former head of the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency Lt. Gen. Henry Obering stated two years ago that Georgia and even Ukraine were potential locations for American missile shield deployments.

Middle East

Last October and November the U.S. and Israel held their largest-ever joint military exercise, Operation Juniper Cobra 10, which established another precedent in addition to the number of troops and warships involved: The simultaneous testing of five missile defense systems. An American military official present at the war games was one of several sources acknowledging that the exercises were in preparation for the Barack Obama administration's more extensive, NATO-wide and broader, missile interception system. Juniper Cobra was the initiation of the U.S. X-Band radar station opened in 2008 in Israel's Negev Desert.
Over 100 American service members are based there for the foreseeable future, the first U.S. troops formally deployed in that nation.

In December the Jerusalem Post quoted an unnamed Israeli defense official as saying "The expansion of the war in Afghanistan opens a door for us." 

The same source wrote "the NATO-U.S. plan to deploy a cross-continent missile shield in Europe also represents an opportunity for the Jewish state to market its military platforms...." [8] 

"Meanwhile, recent months have seen several senior NATO officials travel to Israel for discussions that reportedly focused on, among other things, how
Israel could help NATO troops fight in Afghanistan." [9]

Last June Israeli President Shimon Peres led a 60-member delegation that included Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, on opposite ends of the Caspian Sea. A year ago "Kazakhstan's defense ministry said...it had asked Israel to help it modernize its military and produce weapons that comply with NATO standards." [10]

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the first Arab country to provide troops to NATO for Afghanistan. It has a partnership arrangement with NATO under provisions of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members. 

Early this month a local newspaper announced that "the UAE became the largest foreign purchaser of US defence equipment with sales of $7.9bn, ahead of Afghanistan ($5.4bn), Saudi Arabia ($3.3bn) and Taiwan ($3.2bn).

"The spending included orders for munitions for the UAE's F-16 fighter jets as well as a new Patriot defensive missile system and a fleet of corvettes for the navy." [11]

Nine days later the same newspaper reported on a visit by Lt. Gen. Michael Hostage, commander of the U.S. Air Force Central Command, to discuss "the possibility of setting up a shared early warning system and enhancing the
region's ballistic-missile deterrence."

Hostage was quoted as saying "I am attempting to organize a regional integrated air and missile defense capability with our GCC partners." [12]

An Emirati general added, "The GCC needs a national and multinational ballistic missile defence (BMD) to counter long-range proliferating regional ballistic missile threats." [13]

The missile shield is aimed against Iran.

Last September Pentagon chief Robert Gates said, "The reality is we are working both on a bilateral and a multilateral basis in the Gulf to establish the same kind of regional missile defense [as envisioned for Europe] that would protect our facilities out there as well as our friends and allies." [14]

"In a September 17 briefing, Gates said...the United States has already formed a Gulf missile defense network that consisted of PAC-3 and the Aegis sea-based systems." The exact system soon to be deployed in the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean and afterwards the Black Sea.

In addition, the "UAE has ordered the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, designed to destroy nuclear missiles in the exoatmosphere.

"Over the last two years, the Pentagon has been meeting GCC military chiefs to discuss regional and national missile defense programs....At the same time, the U.S. military has been operating PAC-3 in Kuwait and Qatar. The U.S. Army has also been helping Saudi Arabia upgrade its PAC-2 fleet." [15]

Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported at the end of last year that "Turkey is set to make crucial defense decisions in 2010 as the U.S. offer to join a missile shield program and multibillion-dollar contracts are looming over the country's agenda.

"If a joint NATO missile shield is developed, such a move may force Ankara to join the mechanism despite the possible Iranian reaction....U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has invited Ankara to join a Western missile shield system...." [16] 

An account of the broader strategy adds:

"U.S. officials are also urging Turkey to choose the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) against Russian and Chinese rivals competing for a Turkish contract for the purchase of high-altitude and long-range antimissile defense systems....[A] new plan calls for the creation of a regional system in southeastern Europe, the Mediterranean and part of the Middle East. 

"In phase one of the new Obama plan, the U.S. will deploy SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar surveillance systems on sea-based Aegis weapons systems by 2011. In phase two and by 2015, a more capable version of the SM-3 interceptor and more advanced sensors will be used in both sea-and land-based configurations. In later phases three and four, intercepting and detecting capabilities further will be developed." [17]

One of Russia's main news agencies reported on U.S. plans to incorporate Turkey into its new missile designs, with Turkey as the only NATO state bordering Iran serving as the bridge between a continent-wide system in Europe and its extension into the Middle East: "According to the Milliyet daily, U.S. President Barack Obama last week proposed placing a 'missile shield' on Turkish soil....Both Russia and Iran will perceive that [deployment] as a threat,' a Turkish military source was quoted as saying." [18]

A broader description of the interceptor missile project in progress includes: "Obama's team has...sought to 'NATO-ise' the US plan by involving other allies more closely in its development and deployment. The idea is to create a NATO chain of command similar to that long used for allied air defences. That would involve a NATO 'backbone' for command-and-control jointly funded by the allies, into which the US sea-based defences and other national assets, such as short-range Patriot missile interceptors purchased by European nations including Germany, the Netherlands and Greece, could be 'plugged in' to the NATO system creating a multi-layered defence shield." [19]

The advanced Patriot theater anti-ballistic missile batteries in place or soon to be in Egypt, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates describe an arc stretching from the Baltic Sea through Southeast Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Caucasus and beyond to East Asia. A semicircle that begins on Russia's northwest and ends on China's northeast.

Baltic Sea

Poland's Defense Ministry revealed on January 20 that the U.S. will deploy a Patriot Advanced Capability anti-ballistic missile battery and 100 troops to a Baltic Sea location 35 miles from Russian territory.

The country's foreign minister - former investment adviser to Rupert Murdoch and resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. -Radek Sikorski, recently pledged to increase Polish troop numbers in Afghanistan from the current 1,955. "We will be at 2,600 by April and 400 additional troops on standby, which we will deploy if there is a need to strengthen security." [20]

Fellow Baltic littoral states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania combined have almost 500 troops in Afghanistan, a number likely to rise. The Lithuanian Siauliai Air Base was ceded to NATO in 2004 after the three Baltic states became full members. The Alliance has flown regular air patrols in the region, with U.S. warplanes participating in six-month rotations, ever since. Within a few minutes flight from Russia.

The three nations will be probable docking sites for U.S. Aegis-class warships and their Standard Missile-3 interceptors under new Pentagon-NATO missile shield deployments.

Far East Asia

South Korea pledged 350 troops for NATO's Afghan war last year and in late December Seoul announced that it would send a ranking officer for the first time "to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) conference to seek ways to strengthen cooperation with other nations in dispatching troops to Afghanistan and coordinate military operations there," [21] likely a reference to the January 26-27 Military Committee meeting.

In the middle of January the U.S. conducted Beverly Bulldog 10-01 exercises in South Korea which "involved more than 7,200 U.S. airmen at Osan and Kunsan air bases and other points around the peninsula in an air war exercise" and "about 125 soldiers of the U.S. Army's Patriot missile unit in South Korea...." [22]

On January 14 the new government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ended Japan's naval refuelling mission carried out in support of the U.S. war in Afghanistan since 2001. However, pressure will be exerted on Tokyo at the January 28 conference in London, particularly by Hillary Clinton, to reengage in some capacity.

On last year's anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, the U.S. and Japan held joint war games, Yama Sakura (Mountain Cherry Blossom), on the island of Hokkaido in northernmost Japan, that part of the country nearest Russia on the Sea of Japan. North Korea was the probable alleged belligerent. 

Over 5,000 troops participated in drills that included "battling a regional threat that includes missile defenses, air defense and ground-forces operations...."

"Japan's military has been actively developing its anti-missile defenses in cooperation with the United States. It currently has deployed Patriot PAC-3 missile defenses at several locations and also has two sea-based Aegis-equipped Kongo-class warships with anti-missile interceptors," [23] the latter having engaged in joint SM-3 missile interceptions with the U.S. off Hawaii.

If support for the war in Afghanistan is linked with deployment of tactical missile shield installations in Israel and Poland, in the first case aimed at Iran and in the second at Russia, the case of Taiwan is even more overt.

Almost immediately after announcements that the U.S. would provide it with over 200 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles and double the amount of frigates it had earlier supplied, with Taiwan planning to use the warships for Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System upgrades, the nation's China Times newspaper wrote that "Following a recent US-Taiwan military deal, the Obama administration has demanded that Taiwan provide non-military aid for troops in Afghanistan....The US wants Taiwan to provide medical or engineering assistance to US troops in Afghanistan that will be increased...." [24]
Dispatching troops to Afghanistan would be too gratuitous an incitement against China (which shares a narrow border with the South Asian nation), but Taiwan will nevertheless be levied to support the war effort there.

Wars: Stepping Stones For New Bases, Future Conflicts

The 78-day U.S. and NATO air war against Yugoslavia in 1999, Operation Allied Force, allowed the Pentagon to construct the mammoth Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and within ten years to incorporate five Balkans nations into NATO. It also prepared the groundwork for U.S. Navy warships to dock at ports in Albania, Croatia and Montenegro.

Two years later the attack on Afghanistan led to the deployment of U.S. and NATO troops, armor and warplanes to five nations in Central and South Asia. The war in Afghanistan and Pakistan has also contributed to the Pentagon's penetration of the world's second most populous nation, India, which is being pulled into the American military orbit and integrated into global NATO. The U.S. and Israel are supplanting Russia as India's main arms supplier and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently returned from India where his mission included "lifting bilateral military relations from a policy-alignment plane to a commercial platform that will translate into larger contracts for American companies." [25]

With the quickly developing expansion of the Afghanistan-Pakistan war into an Afghanistan-Pakistan-Yemen-Somalia theater, NATO warships are in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and the U.S. has stationed Reaper drones, aircraft and troops in Seychelles. [On the same day as the London conference on Afghanistan a parallel meeting on Yemen will be held in the same city.]

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq the Pentagon gained air and other bases in that nation as well as what it euphemistically calls forward operating sites and base camps in Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. 

In less than a decade the Pentagon and NATO have acquired strategic air bases and ones that can be upgraded to that status in Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Romania.

Global NATO And Militarisation Of The Planet

The January 26 Chief of Defense session of NATO's Military Committee with top military leaders of 63 countries attending - while the bloc is waging and escalating the world's largest and lengthiest war thousands of miles away from the Atlantic Ocean - is indicative of the pass that the post-Cold War world has arrived at. Never in any context other than meetings of NATO's Military Committee do the military chiefs of so many nations (including at least five of the world's eight nuclear powers), practically a third of the world's, gather together. 

That the current meeting is dedicated to NATO operations on three continents and in particular to the world's only military bloc's new Strategic Concept for the 21st century - and for the planet - would have been deemed impossible twenty or even ten years ago. As would have been the U.S. and its NATO allies invading and occupying a Middle Eastern and a South Asian nation. And the elaboration of plans for an international interceptor missile system with land, air, sea and space components. In fact, though, all have occurred or are underway and all are integrated facets of a concerted drive for global military superiority.


Notes

1) http://afghanistan.hmg.gov.uk/en/conference
2) NATO, Allied Command Transformation, January 22, 2010
3) http://www.isaf.nato.int/en/article/news/u.s.-chairman-of-the-joint-chiefs-of-staff-tours-bases-outposts.html
4) Standart News, November 25, 2009
5) ACT Media, November 16, 2009
6) The Diplomat, November, 2009
7) RosBusinessConsulting/Komsomolskaya Pravda, November 10, 2009
8) Jerusalem Post, December 3, 2009
9) Xinhua News Agency, December 3, 2009
10) Agence France-Presse, January 22, 2009
11) The National, January 2, 2010
12) The National, January 11, 2010
13) Gulf News, January 12, 2010
14) World Tribune, September 30, 2009
15) Ibid
16) Hurriyet Daily News, December 30, 2009
17) Ibid
18) Russian Information Agency Novosti, December 16, 2009
19) Europolitics, January 20, 2010
20) Sunday Telegraph, January 17, 2010
21) Xinhua News Agency, December 22, 2009
22) Stars and Stripes, January 16, 2010
23) Washington Times, December 3, 2009
24) China Times, December 27, 2009
25) The Telegraph (Calcutta), January 2, 2009

======================

The Sanctity of Military Spending

by Glenn Greenwald

Global Research, January 27, 2010 - Salon - 2010-01-26

Administration officials announced last night that the President, in tomorrow's State of the Union address, will propose a multi-year freeze on certain domestic discretionary spending programs.  This is an "initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit," officials told The New York Times.  

But the freeze is more notable for what it excludes than what it includes.  For now, it does not include the largest domestic spending programs:  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.  And all "security-related programs" are also exempted from the freeze, which means it does not apply to military spending, the intelligence budget, the Surveillance State, or foreign military aid.  As always, the notion of decreasing the deficit and national debt through reductions in military spending is one of the most absolute Washington taboos.  What possible rationale is there for that?

The facts about America's bloated, excessive, always-increasing military spending are now well-known.  The U.S. spends almost as much on military spending as the entire rest of the world combined, and spends roughly six times more than the second-largest spender, China.  Even as the U.S. sunk under increasingly crippling levels of debt over the last decade, defense spending rose steadily, sometimes precipitously.  That explosion occurred even as overall military spending in the rest of the world decreased, thus expanding the already-vast gap between our expenditures and the world's. 
As one "defense" spending watchdog group put it:  "The US military budget was almost 29 times as large as the combined spending of the six 'rogue' states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) who spent $14.65 billion."  To get a sense for how thoroughly military spending dominates our national budget, consider this chart showing where Americans' tax revenue goes:

Since much of that overall spending is mandatory, military spending -- all of which is discretionary -- accounts for over 50% of discretionary government spending. Yet it's absolutely forbidden to even contemplate reducing it as a means of reducing our debt or deficit.  To the contrary, Obama ran on a platform of increasing military spending, and that is one of the few pledges he is faithfully and enthusiastically filling (while violating his pledge not to use deceitful budgetary tricks to fund our wars):

President Barack Obama will ask Congress for an additional $33 billion to fight unpopular wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on top of a record $708 billion for the Defense Department next year, The Associated Press has learned.

In sum, as we cite our debtor status to freeze funding for things such as "air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks" -- all programs included in Obama's spending freeze -- our military and other "security-related" spending habits become more bloated every year, completely shielded from any constraints or reality.  This, despite the fact that it is virtually impossible for the U.S. to make meaningful progress in debt reduction without serious reductions in our military programs.
Public opinion is not a legitimate excuse for this utterly irrational conduct, as large percentages of Americans are receptive to reducing -- or at least freezing -- defense spending.  A June, 2009 Pew Research poll asked Americans what they would do about defense spending, and 55% said they would either decrease it (18%) or keep it the same (37%); only 40% wanted it to increase.  Even more notably, a 2007 Gallup pollfound that "the public's view that the federal government is spending too much on the military has increased substantially this year, to its highest level in more than 15 years."  
In that poll, 58% of Democrats and 47% of Independents said that military spending "is too high" -- and the percentages who believe that increased steadily over the last decade for every group.

The clear fact is that, no matter how severe are our budgetary constraints, military spending and all so-called "security-related programs" are off-limits for any freezes, let alone decreases.  Moreover, the modest spending freeze to be announced by Obama tomorrow is just the start; the Washington consensus has solidified and is clearly gearing up for major cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, with the dirty work to be done by an independent "deficit commission." 
It's time for "everyone" to sacrifice and suffer some more -- as long as "everyone" excludes our vast military industry, the permanent power factions inside the Pentagon and intelligence community, our Surveillance and National Security State, and the imperial policies of perpetual war which feed them while further draining the lifeblood out of the country.

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posted by u2r2h at Sunday, January 31, 2010 0 comments links to this post

26 January, 2010

US vs Haiti - Imperial Blockade

WEBLINKwww.thestar.com/news/world/haiti/article/754997

Another American annexation?


Raffique Shah


Sunday, January 24th 2010


WHAT surprised me about my column last week was the number of people, mostly local, who knew little or nothing about Haiti"s history. But what should I have expected in a country and an education system in which history has been deemed irrelevant? Or when students study the subject, the focus is on lands and civilisations afar? Let"s face it: we know more about America and Europe than we do of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

Teachers and students alike were emailing or telephoning me to seek wider knowledge of the devastated country, to explain why slaves who fought for and won their freedom were made to pay huge indemnities to their defeated French masters. I pointed them to an incisive article written by UWI pro-vice-chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles, to an in-depth analysis of Haiti by Noam Chomsky, and asked that they read Black Jacobins by our own CLR James. Of course many argued that "Black people cannot govern themselves", citing the many failed states in Africa that, coincidentally, have similar colonial histories to Haiti. One friend who is involved in a billion-dollar project, and whose business partners are all black, had the audacity to tell me: "Raf, you know black people can"t run business!" I almost asked him why, then, was he (of mixed race) involved in that particular project. But I held my tongue. But this column is not about black or white or brown people. It"s about a Caribbean country that has long borne the dubious title of the "poorest nation in the Western hemisphere". Last week I showed where, after 200-odd years of "freedom", with which went ostracism from the developed world and a death-dealing trade and recognition embargo, Haiti"s government was forced to sign an "IOU" to France for 90 million gold francs. That amounted to some 70 per cent of the value of its exports, and it took Haiti almost 125 years to clear that dubious debt! The money was paid in tranches to France. But the US was complicit in its capitulation-in-victory because the US"s revered "founding fathers", all slave owners, did not want the "bad example" set by Toussaint and Dessalines to spread to its territory. Indeed, in exchange for the revered Thomas Jefferson"s assistance in securing this humongous reparation, France sold two American states that it owned-New Orleans and Louisiana-to the newly independent US. That secured for the US all territories west of the Mississippi that Napoleon coveted.

According the Eduardo Galeano (author of Open Veins of Latin America), the first country to abolish African slavery became a "new country born with a rope wrapped tightly around its neck: the equivalent of US$21.7 billion in today"s dollars, or forty-four times Haiti"s current yearly budget." And whereas France licked its wounds and took its money, the last tranche paid in 1947, America also imposed its will and its might on the hapless nation, repeatedly invading it, raping it, stealing its wealth and up to this day imposing its leader-of-choice on the Haitian people.

Here I quote from Galeano again: "In 1915, the Marines landed in Haiti. They stayed nineteen years. The first thing they did was occupy the customs house and duty collection facilities. The occupying army suspended the salary of the Haitian president until he agreed to sign off on the liquidation of the Bank of the Nation, which became a branch of City Bank of New York. The president and other blacks were barred entry into the private hotels, restaurants, and clubs of the foreign occupying power. The occupiers didn"t dare re-establish slavery, but they did impose forced labour for the building of public works. And they killed a lot of people. It wasn"t easy to quell the fires of resistance." I have already stated that the US and its "agencies of death" (the World Bank and the IMF) must be made to share in reparations to Haiti, which, if we add interest and subtract what they have already loaned or given to that country, would amount to around US$40 billion-not the $20 billion that I mentioned last week. I heard Prime Minister Patrick Manning say it would take around US$2 billion a year to rebuild that broken country. Manning has to be joking. Little wonder Caricom has so little influence in one of its member-states where its delegation was disallowed landing rights-by the occupying Americans. I agree that only the US has the manpower and other resources to deal with the kind of catastrophe that has struck Haiti. But does that give them the right to deny entry to CARICOM leaders, to Cuban doctors, to disaster-trained medical personnel from Médecins Sans Frontières? We saw the mess the Americans made after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. It took days for drinking water to reach victims, weeks for them to be fed and years later some victims still live in temporary shelters. Will Haitians fare any better with American troops instead of American humanitarian help? Already we see the additional pain that victims have borne. Amputations are done with rusted hacksaws. Field hospitals are few, medicines are in short supply and medical personnel even fewer.

WEBLINKtrinidadexpress.com/index.pl/article_opinion?id=161586159


Dismal forecasts on Haiti's future

With U.S. dominance of relief efforts, a reporter who covered Haiti for 25 years, sees some ominous signs

By Linda Diebel National Affairs Writer
2010/01/24 04:30:00

As Haitians fled the capital Jan. 22, 2010, an 84-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble 10 days after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shortly after the earthquake, Haitian President Rene Préval told reporters at the darkened Port-au-Prince airport he had nowhere to go. The National Palace was badly damaged and his house unlivable. Anyone would feel sympathy for a president whose country was so ravaged, admiration even, as he pluckily set up what government he could on the grounds of the city's police academy. It's worth remembering, however, this is the man who, during an earlier incarnation as president in 1997, treated 140 Canadian soldiers on guard duty at the palace with contempt, ordering up helicopters for his pals on a whim and keeping the Canadians so in the dark they felt their own lives in jeopardy. Préval would go on two years later to airly dismiss the Haitian legislature and rule by executive decree, continuing the presidential custom of looking out for his friends as death squads, the revamped Tontons Macoute, kept opponents and grassroots movements in line.

Unfortunately, the experience of these soldiers serves to encapsulate Canada's role in Haiti over almost two decades. Préval was America's man, not Canada's, and the U.S. government (or rather its intelligence service) has always appeared to have the upper hand. It deals with a few elite Haitian families who, for the most part, parcel out aid monies to their own agencies, while Canada remains a lapdog.

Not surprisingly, the palace soldiers were removed from their posts for talking to a journalist, despite having been directed to do so by their superiors. Mustn't offend.

I've witnessed this sad spectacle over almost 25 years of reporting from Haiti, seeing first-hand the demoralizing effect on well-meaning Canadians and, more importantly, the crushing of democracy in Haiti.

It appears to be happening again. The U.S. has assumed the post-earthquake leadership role, choosing priorities and setting the timetable. Canada plays a bit part in this American drama, ignoring what should have been learned from the example of hundreds of Mounties and soldiers. If that is indeed true, then what of the ultimate effectiveness of millions of dollars donated by Canadians who grieve with Haiti? The U.S. military rapidly took over control at the Port-au-Prince airport, giving preference to its own military flights and turning away other rescue and food missions in early critical days, brushing off concerns of governments and aid agencies that food should be as important as guns. On Day 2, CNN reported security was the priority for the U.S. but that Marines would not land for at least a week. And before they arrived last Tuesday, no significant aid reached frantic Haitians. As it has before, the Pentagon moved quickly to set up a massive air, sea and land blockade â.. "Vigilant Sentry" â.. to ensure no desperate Haitians would make it a thousand kilometres to the U.S. As Noam Chomsky, U.S. policy critic and author, told the Star Thursday: "Unfortunately, the new blockade is not illegal since the refugees are not fleeing from persecution â.. just fleeing for survival which doesn't seem to be covered by international law. But it's grotesque."

He sees the "monstrosity" of the earthquake as a "class-based disaster and the result largely of driving the rural populaton into miserable urban slums" after a deliberate destruction of the farming system to suit foreign interests.

Meanwhile last week, Ottawa watched Dutch and American planes airlift orphans out of Haiti, while failing to offer similar flights for Canadian adoptive parents. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said he needed approval from the Haitian government. But with the Haitian government virtually non-existant it appeared more likely Ottawa waited for clearance from the U.S. Meanwhile, it took precious days for Canada to get its marching orders to provide relief and support to the south, in Jacmel, and west in Léogâne.

Haitian political scientist Gabriel Nicolas summed up the pattern a decade ago when he told me: "We know that when you want to know what the American ambassador is really thinking, you listen to the Canadian ambassador.

"It's about time Canada stepped up to play their own game and take advantage of the great affinity Haitians have for Canada."

Canadians know something is wrong. In a letter to the Star last week, retired Toronto contractor Kevin Kelly expressed disgust with Defence Minister Peter MacKay's early comment about having 150 people on the ground, "Enough for crowd control at a rock concert," he wrote.

Added Kelly: "By following the American lead, once again we look hapless."

Dr. Paul Farmer, deputy UN special envoy to Haiti under former president Bill Clinton, has been a caustic critic of U.S. policy. "What then is to be done?," he wrote in his 1994 book The Uses of Haiti. Then, Farmer was a Harvard medical professor who had practised in rural Haiti for a decade. "The first order of business might be a candid and careful assessment of our ruinous polices towards Haiti. The Haitian people are asking not for charity, but for justice."

Conventional wisdom portrays the U.S. as Haitian benefactor, notably during the 19-year occupation by Marines, ending in 1934, that left a partial road system and some schools. In reality, the Marines created an army whose top officers would be trained at the infamous U.S. Army School of the Americas, with its documented record of teaching torture to despots and army generals.

Haiti's poor struggled through the savagery of dictators Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his son, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc," until the latter was exiled to France in 1986. What followed was more butchery by the Tontons Macoute, a groundswell for democratic elections and the victory in 1991 of new president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a slight Liberation Theology priest from the slums of La Saline, as president.

Washington, not to mention the Haitian elites, were apoplectic. Aristide wanted land reform, a higher minimum wage (to $3 a day), an end to low-wage foreign-owned factories controlled by outsiders and an end to privitization that turned government assets over to a privileged few.

"(Aristide) did not please the U.S. Agency for International Development which had invested millions in keeping Haitian wages low," wrote Farmer. USAID is in charge of relief and political education internationally. Ariside lasted until an army coup, backed by the CIA, in September 1991. A few days later, I walked into army headquarters in Port-au-Prince to find the CIA station chief â.. who'd been with the generals during the coup itself â.. laughing with the colonel in charge. They gave me a so-called top secret dossier on Aristide, an amateurish job put together by a mysterious Canadian. Aristide was supposedly a drug-addled communist intent on slitting the throats of the upper classes. Later that week, while the U.S. publicly condemned the coup, the American ambassador hosted select journalists at his residence to hand out copies of the file. It shifted public opinion against Aristide in the U.S.; there was a three-year delay before his return in 1994, when his term had essentially expired. By then, and during a later stint as president, Aristide was a changed man, no longer the champion of systemic reform.


U.S. policy towards Haiti has always been complicated, with the White House, state department, Pentagon and intelligence agencies often fighting for different interests. As president, Clinton worked with the UN to restore Aristide but was repeatedly thwarted by a Pentagon concerned with control of the hemisphere. These clashes came to bear on Aristide's future, not to mention Canada's, in Haiti. In 1993, the USS Harlan County, sent by the Clinton Administration and full of soldiers to help restore Aristide, turned away from Haiti because of what appeared to be an anti-American protest on the docks. But it was led by the nefarious Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, leader of a new Macoute, who turned out to be on the CIA payroll at $500 a month. The next day, Canadian Mounties, in the country to train Haitian police, left with tears in their eyes. They knew the protest wasn't real but Ottawa, listening to Washington, shut down the mission. Long efforts by Canadian troops to impose order also failed; Haiti continued to be ruled by guns that, despite Canadian pleas, the United States' military had refused to round up. More than 15,000 U.S. soldiers did land in Haiti to pave the way for Aristide's return in 1994. When they pulled out two years later, Canadians shouldered the lead UN peacekeeping role. It was Washington's idea. Former prime minister Jean Chrétien revealed to an open mike at a Madrid conference: "(Clinton) goes to Haiti with soldiers. The next year Congress doesn't allow him to go back. So he phones me. Okay, I send my soldiers and thereafter, I ask for something in exchange." What Canada got remains unclear.

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, January 26, 2010 0 comments links to this post

19 January, 2010

BBC report that CIA did bombings in Europe

AMAZING!! BBC claims that CIA killed hundred of innocents
under the guise of left wing terrorism!!


Read this:

Bizarre story of Pope's failed assassin

By Jonathan Head
BBC News, Istanbul

It is one of the abiding images of the last century.

Late in the afternoon of 13 May 1981, the most charismatic pope of modern times was touring St Peter's Square in his Popemobile before giving his weekly address. In those days, it was an open-top vehicle offering little protection. But at the time, few thought any protection was needed. Pope John Paul II was reaching out to the crowd, picking up small children and kissing them.

Agca's motive for shooting the Pope remains a mystery
Several shots rang out. The Pope stood, looking stunned, for a moment, then collapsed into the arms of his personal secretary, blood seeping from his abdomen.

He was rushed to hospital, where, after five hours of surgery and losing three quarters of his blood, he narrowly survived. A photograph captured the moment, a hand holding a gun seen clearly pointing out from the crowd. The would-be assassin was quickly caught at the scene. He was a young, good-looking Turkish man named Mehmet Ali Agca. Twenty-nine years later, a now grey-haired Agca was driven away from the high-security prison outside Ankara where he has spent the past four years. Aside from some military bureaucracy - he is still technically liable for Turkish military service - he is a free man. But his motive for shooting the Pope remains a mystery. Ultra-nationalist

Initial investigations by the Italian police revealed he was a member of an ultra-nationalist group, the Grey Wolves, which was involved in a violent confrontation in Turkey with leftist groups in the late 1970s, which left thousands dead.

MEHMET ALI AGCA


Escaped from Turkish prison while awaiting trial for murder of newspaper editor in 1979

In July 1981, sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for attempting to kill Pope John Paul

Pardoned at Pope's request in June 2000, extradited to Turkey

Convicted for murder, robberies and prison escape, served time in Turkish jail

Released on parole in January 2006

Ruled "unfit for military service" because of "advanced anti-social personality disorder"

Returned to jail after eight days after court ruled jail term miscalculated

He had escaped from prison in Istanbul in November 1979 while on trial for the murder of a liberal newspaper editor, and was later sentenced to death in absentia.

He had wandered through several European countries before arriving in Italy three days before the shooting. But that is where the facts run dry, and the conspiracy theories begin. Under questioning, he, at first, said he was linked to a militant Palestinian group. Later, he blamed the Bulgarian secret service and the Soviet KGB for organising the assassination attempt. It was a plausible enough hypothesis. Pope John Paul was an outspoken opponent of communism, and had become an inspiration to the dissident Solidarity movement in his native Poland. This led to the prosecution of three Bulgarians and four Turkish nationals. But Agca's increasingly wild testimony, in which he claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, undermined the case, and all the defendants were acquitted in 1986. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981. Papal forgiveness

The Pope was quick to forgive his assailant, visiting him in prison in 1983 and talking to him for 20 minutes. But he insisted their conversation would remain secret. The Pope later described Agca as a trained assassin who could not have been acting alone; but he also believed that both the attempt on his life and his survival were due to divine intervention.

This, together with the many bizarre claims made by Agca, mean his real story will probably never be known. For a man who may still have many dangerous enemies, that could be his best protection

He donated the bullet recovered from his abdomen to the shrine in Fatima, Portugal, where he believed the shooting had been foretold by the Virgin Mary to three local children in 1917.

Agca had also referred to that prophesy during his trial. The Pope's intervention led to Agca being pardoned in 2000, and sent back to Turkey, where his death sentence had been commuted to 10 years in prison. He served the rest of the sentence, despite a moment of confusion in 2006 when he was briefly released, and then imprisoned again on the orders of the Turkish Supreme Court. He has continued to issue outlandish statements right up to his release, claiming to be a new messiah and predicting the end of the world. 'Deep-state' networks

So is he delusional? Not according to those who have spent any time with him. Journalist Mehmet Ali Birand met him three times in his Italian jail cell. "He's a balanced guy, he was in control of the situation, in control of himself, but full of conspiracy theories. "The impression I got was he was doing this deliberately. He liked playing with the media. He wants to cash in - he believes that if it had not been the Pope, he would not have stayed in prison so long." Cashing in is certainly a possibility. Agca's lawyers say he has been offered up to $3m (2.1m euros, £1.8m) by publishers for exclusive rights to his story. But it is still unclear whether that story will have any credibility. The other mystery surrounds his Turkish connections. The Grey Wolves group, with which he was associated at the time of the shooting, was linked to an underground network known as Gladio. This was set up with CIA support in a number of European countries during the Cold War to prepare resistance to a possible Soviet invasion. In both Italy and Turkey, Gladio networks are believed to have been behind numerous bombings and assassinations. In Italy, the networks have been exposed and dismantled; in Turkey, they are still widely believed to exist as a so-called "deep state", with support from elements of the military. There are ongoing trials of dozens of people accused of involvement in illegal, deep-state activities. Agca was certainly helped to escape from prison in 1979 by his guards and some well-known underground right-wing figures. He was given false passports and enough funds to enable him to travel around Europe for several months before the attempted assassination. The period of Turkey's history just prior to the 1980 military coup is still shrouded in confusion. At the time, the country was in chaos. Groups, both left and right, fought each other, with the alleged involvement of mafia groups and the security forces. This, together with the many bizarre claims made by Agca, mean his real story will probably never be known. For a man who may still have many dangerous enemies, that could be his best protection.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8465527.stm

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, January 19, 2010 0 comments links to this post

Foreigners Guilty of causing US finance crisis...

Did Foreigners Cause America's Financial Crisis?

By Stephen Gandel Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

Blame China, Saudi Arabia and, yes, Canada.

Much of the fault of the financial crisis has been heaped on Wall Streeters, unscrupulous mortgage lenders and weak regulators. But in a new research paper, economist Ricardo Caballero says there is another major group of contributors to America's monetary mess who are not getting the blame they deserve: foreigners.

"There is no doubt that the pressure on the U.S. financial system [that led to the financial crisis] came from abroad," says Caballero, who is the head of MIT's economics department. "Foreign investors created a demand for assets that was difficult for the U.S. financial sector to produce. All they wanted were safe assets, and [their ensuing purchases] made the U.S. unsafe."

...

China, contending with a huge trade surplus with the U.S., bought more and more Treasury bonds, pushing down yields and making Treasuries less attractive to other foreign investors. As a result, the rising demand for higher yielding U.S. debt opened the door for Wall Street investment bankers to spin out new classes of fixed-income securities, most notably collateralized debt obligations or CDOs. Much of the money raised by those investments was funneled in the mortgage market. That gave lenders the ability to make more loans, allowing more people to buy houses and push up real estate prices. Many of those loans, it turns out, were made to people who couldn't afford to pay. What happened next . real estate bust, foreclosures and Wall Street mayhem . is well known.

How to prevent a similar crisis from happening again is the question that Caballero thinks we are getting wrong. He believes reforming the U.S. financial system is only part of the answer. Foreign investors, he says, need to change their behavior as well.

....

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, January 19, 2010 0 comments links to this post

18 January, 2010

Cuban View of HAITI catastrophe

Far from the US-hypocrit grandstanding - the evil empire's
mendaciousness ... hokeyness...

January 14, 2009
8:25 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

The lesson of Haiti

TWO days ago, at almost six o.clock in the evening Cuban time and when, given its geographical location, night had already fallen in Haiti, television stations began to broadcast the news that a violent earthquake . measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale . had severely struck Port-au-Prince. The seismic phenomenon originated from a tectonic fault located in the sea just 15 kilometers from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population inhabit fragile homes built of adobe and mud.

The news continued almost without interruption for hours. There was no footage, but it was confirmed that many public buildings, hospitals, schools and more solidly-constructed facilities were reported collapsed. I have read that an earthquake of the magnitude of 7.3 is equivalent to the energy released by an explosion of 400,000 tons of TNT.

Tragic descriptions were transmitted. Wounded people in the streets were crying out for medical help, surrounded by ruins under which their relatives were buried. No one, however, was able to broadcast a single image for several hours.

The news took all of us by surprise. Many of us have frequently heard about hurricanes and severe flooding in Haiti, but were not aware of the fact that this neighboring country ran the risk of a massive earthquake. It has come to light on this occasion that 200 years ago, a massive earthquake similarly affected this city, which would have been the home of just a few thousand inhabitants at that time.

At midnight, there was still no mention of an approximate figure in terms of victims. High-ranking United Nations officials and several heads of government discussed the moving events and announced that they would send emergency brigades to help. Given that MINUSTAH (United Stabilization Mission in Haiti) troops are deployed there . UN forces from various countries . some defense ministers were talking about possible casualties among their personnel.

It was only yesterday, Wednesday morning, when the sad news began to arrive of enormous human losses among the population, and even institutions such as the United Nations mentioned that some of their buildings in that country had collapsed, a word that does not say anything in itself but could mean a lot.

For hours, increasingly more traumatic news continued to arrive about the situation in this sister nation. Figures related to the number of fatal victims were discussed, which fluctuated, according to various versions, between 30,000 and 100,000. The images are devastating; it is evident that the catastrophic event has been given widespread coverage around the world, and many governments, sincerely moved by the disaster, are making efforts to cooperate according to their resources.

The tragedy has genuinely moved a significant number of people, particularly those in which that quality is innate. But perhaps very few of them have stopped to consider why Haiti is such a poor country. Why does almost 50% of its population depend on family remittances sent from abroad? Why not analyze the realities that led Haiti to its current situation and this enormous suffering as well?

The most curious aspect of this story is that no one has said a single word to recall the fact that Haiti was the first country in which 400,000 Africans, enslaved and trafficked by Europeans, rose up against 30,000 white slave masters on the sugar and coffee plantations, thus undertaking the first great social revolution in our hemisphere. Pages of insurmountable glory were written there. Napoleon.s most eminent general was defeated there. Haiti is the net product of colonialism and imperialism, of more than one century of the employment of its human resources in the toughest forms of work, of military interventions and the extraction of its natural resources.

This historic oversight would not be so serious if it were not for the real fact that Haiti constitutes the disgrace of our era, in a world where the exploitation and pillage of the vast majority of the planet.s inhabitants prevails.

Billions of people in Latin American, Africa and Asia are suffering similar shortages although perhaps not to such a degree as in the case of Haiti.

Situations like that of that country should not exist in any part of the planet, where tens of thousands of cities and towns abound in similar or worse conditions, by virtue of an unjust international economic and political order imposed on the world. The world population is not only threatened by natural disasters such as that of Haiti, which is a just a pallid shadow of what could take place in the planet as a result of climate change, which really was the object of ridicule, derision, and deception in Copenhagen.

It is only just to say to all the countries and institutions that have lost citizens or personnel because of the natural disaster in Haiti: we do not doubt that in this case, the greatest effort will be made to save human lives and alleviate the pain of this long-suffering people. We cannot blame them for the natural phenomenon that has taken place there, even if we do not agree with the policy adopted with Haiti.

But I have to express the opinion that it is now time to look for real and lasting solutions for that sister nation.

In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba . despite being a poor and blockaded country . has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country.s 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. They will now work with the reinforcement brigade which traveled there yesterday to save lives in this critical situation. Thus, without any special effort being made, up to 1,000 doctors and healthcare experts can be mobilized, almost all of whom are already there willing to cooperate with any other state that wishes to save the lives of the Haitian people and rehabilitate the injured.

Another significant number of young Haitians are currently studying medicine in Cuba.

We are also cooperating with the Haitian people in other areas within our reach. However, there can be no other form of cooperation worthy of being described as such than fighting in the field of ideas and political action in order to put an end to the limitless tragedy suffered by a large number of nations such as Haiti.

The head of our medical brigade reported: "The situation is difficult, but we have already started saving lives." He made that statement in a succinct message hours after his arrival yesterday in Port-au-Prince with additional medical reinforcements.

Later that night, he reported that Cuban doctors and ELAM.s Haitian graduates were being deployed throughout the country. They had already seen more than 1,000 patients in Port-au-Prince, immediately establishing and putting into operation a hospital that had not collapsed and using field hospitals where necessary. They were preparing to swiftly set up other centers for emergency care.

We feel a wholesome pride for the cooperation that, in these tragic instances, Cuba doctors and young Haitian doctors who trained in Cuba are offering our brothers and sisters in Haiti!

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, January 18, 2010 0 comments links to this post

Haiti's elite spared from much of the devastation

Haiti's elite spared from much of the devastation


By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, January 18, 2010

PETIONVILLE, HAITI -- Through decades of coups, hurricanes, embargoes and economic collapse, the wily and powerful business elite of Haiti have learned the art of survival in one of the most chaotic countries on Earth -- and they might come out on top again.

Although Tuesday's 7.0 magnitude earthquake destroyed many buildings in Port-au-Prince, it mostly spared homes and businesses up the mountain in the cool, green suburb of Petionville, home to former presidents and senators.

A palace built atop a mountain by the man who runs one of Haiti's biggest lottery games is still standing. New-car dealers, the big importers, the families that control the port -- they all drove through town with their drivers and security men this past weekend. Only a few homes here were destroyed. "All the nation is feeling this earthquake -- the poor, the middle class and the richest ones," said Erwin Berthold, owner of the Big Star Market in Petionville. "But we did okay here. We have everything cleaned up inside. We are ready to open. We just need some security. So send in the Marines, okay?" As Berthold stood outside his two-story market, stocked with fine wines and imported food from Miami and Paris, his customers cruised by and asked when he would reopen. "Maybe Monday!" he shouted, then held up his hand to his ear, for his customers to call his cellphone. So little aid has been distributed that there is not much difference between what the rich have received and what the poor have received. The poor started with little and now have less; the elites simply have supplies to last. But search-and-rescue operations have been intensely focused on buildings with international aid workers, such as the crushed U.N. headquarters, and on large hotels with international clientele. Some international rescue workers said they are being sent to find foreign nationals first. There is an extreme, almost feudal divide between rich and poor in Haiti. In Port-au-Prince, up in the mountains, the gated and privately guarded neighborhoods resemble a Haitian version of Beverly Hills, but with razor wire. Elias Abraham opened the door of his pretty walled compound, a semiautomatic pistol on his right hip and his family's passports in his back pocket. His extended family's fleet of four-wheel-drive sport-utility vehicles are filled with gas. He has a generator big enough to power a small hotel. And even if his kids are sleeping in the courtyard because they are afraid of the continuing aftershocks, his maids are dressed in crisp, blue uniforms and his hospitable wife is able to welcome visitors with fresh-brewed coffee. Abraham has not been unaffected by the quake. His Twins Market grocery store collapsed Tuesday and fell prey to looters Wednesday. "They took everything," said Abraham, the Haitian-born son of a Syrian Christian merchant family. "I don't care. God bless them. If they need the food, take it. Just don't take it and sell it for a hundred times what it is worth.

"This is not the time to think about making money," he added. "We need security. We need calm."


Up in the mountains, there are flower vendors selling day-old roses across the street from refugees in tents. There are beauty salons, fitness gyms and French restaurants. All of them shuttered but mostly undamaged.

Few buildings collapsed in Petionville and the surrounding area, but a drive through the hillsides found only three or four spilling into ravines. "Thank God for the mountain," said Wesley Belizaire, who escaped to the hills above Petionville with 15 friends and family members to camp out in a sprawling stucco. "It is so safe, safe, safe." The house belongs to his boss, the owner of a travel agency, who was visiting the Bahamas when the quake struck. The police are operating out of a well-supplied station in Petionville, where the parking lot was filled with idle police trucks. There have been few reports of looting here, even though the town has banks on every corner. Hervé Delorme, executive marketing director of Sogebank, stood outside a branch and said the building was safe and sound. "Only because of the electricity and communications we do not have the technology available to open," he said. Across the street, one of the few pharmacies in the area was open. It was guarded by three Haitian police officers with rifles who let one customer in at a time. Down at the General Hospital, families wandered through the courtyard filled with patients with amputated limbs and open wounds, begging foreigners for medicine. For better or worse, it will likely be the residents of Petionville who through their government connections, trading companies and interconnected family businesses will receive a large portion of U.S. and international aid and reconstruction money. After a service at St. Louis Catholic Church in Port-au-Prince early Sunday, Yva Souriac was warning her fellow parishioners of what would come next with international assistance. "They only give the aid money to the same big families, over and over. So I ask, what is the point? They have given money to these families to help Haiti for 50 years, and look at Haiti. I say the Americans need to make up a new list."

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posted by u2r2h at Monday, January 18, 2010 0 comments links to this post

15 January, 2010

Haiti - Limbaughh Pat RObertson - CUBA? who said Cuba?

Rush Limbaugh has said that Americans shouldn.t help out with cash because .we.ve already donated to Haiti. It.s called the U.S. income tax," while Christian TV leader Pat Robertson, appearing on The 700 Club, told the millions of Christian Broadcasting Network viewers that Haiti.s woes in the past couple of hundred years can be traced back to a pact with the devil made by its early 19th-century leaders.
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about," Robertson said Tuesday. "They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third [sic] and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said .We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.. True story. And so the devil said, .Ok it.s a deal.. And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another, desperately poor."

The damage is devastating, but in many ways, Haiti was in shambles far before the quake hit. So how did Haiti become so poor?

"Greedy dictators" and "a long line of Western imperial powers that have maldeveloped, purposely maldeveloped Haiti," said April Knutson, a senior lecturer in French who teaches the history of Haiti at the University of Minnesota. Knutson has been to Haiti five times doing research and humanitarian work.

She said the history of Haiti is one of unrest, obstacles and repression.

"Haiti was a colony of France. There was a slave uprising in 1791, and they beat the French," she said.

That's the uprising evangelist Pat Robertson was talking about on Jan. 13's "700 Club" broadcast, when he suggested that the earthquake was the work of the devil, because of what happened in 1791.

"And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French,'" Robertson said.

According to Knutson, there's a tiny glimmer of fact in what Robertson said.

"There was a voodoo ceremony just before the uprising, on the night before, led by a hero of Haiti," she said.

Some accounts say that the voodoo priests sacrificed the blood of a pig. But voodoo has been the religion in Haiti, and this ceremony wasn't at all out of the ordinary.

"I don't consider voodoo a pact with the devil at all," Knutson said. Rather than voodoo being associated with darkness and evil, "I think of light, strength and beauty," she said.

At any rate, the slaves had a real battle on their hands in 1802, when Napoleon send 20,000 French military forces to try to reclaim Haiti.

"These self-emancipated slaves defeated Napoleon's army in 1804. January 1, 1804. It's a glorious moment in the history of Haiti and the history of the world," Knutson said.

But victory came at a tremendous cost. In 1802, most countries still held slaves. Seeing them rise up and gain independence, freaked out the Western World, and they got even.

"They cut (Haiti) off from trade and development," Knutson said. "This lasted through most of the 19th century, a total blockade."

The economic destruction came after decades of French rule where the French stripped Haiti of its mahogany forest, and removed much of its natural resources. Shocking, because in the mid-1700's, more than three-fourths of the world's sugar came from Haiti (which was then called Saint-Domingue).

In the 1900s, peasant uprisings led to United States fears over Caribbean instability. So the United States Marines came into Haiti and occupied the country.

"The U.S. occupied Haiti for 19 years and put down any attempts of the Haitian people to reassert their independence to become a self-sustaining country," Knutson said.

Some reports indicate that as many as 10,000 political leaders and organizers were killed by U.S. troops during the first stages of the invasion and occupation.

After the U.S. left, the 20th Century was a time of tremendous political unrest, and poverty for Haitians. The U.S., France and Canada supported dictators, like Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. Papa Doc Duvalier murdered and terrorized his people, killing tens of thousands of political opponents. He had support because he was "anti-communist" and there were fears that Cuba would spread communism to the rest of the Caribbean.

When he died in 1971, his son "Baby Doc" was even more ruthless.

A glimmer of hope came in 1990, when Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected with 67 percent of the vote. Aristide said he wanted to double the minimum wage, redistribute the agricultural land, and get the educational system in order.

He was overthrown the next year in a military coup. In 1994, the U.S. military restored Aristide to power. In 1995, an Aristide-chosen candidate was elected president. Aristide was elected again in 2004, but was tossed out by another coup in 2004.

"The greed seems unbelievable," Knutson said.

Most Haitians live on $1 a day, those working in the garment industry get paid $2 a day.

"We want cheap consumer goods and we don't think about the lives of people who make them," she said.

"Haiti's a country the rest of the world ignores. Governmentally, I think the great powers want to contain Haiti, they want to keep it poor," she said.

Haiti Earthquake USA France exploitation Catastrophe CUBA

Did anyone sat Cuba?

Why Is Haiti So Poor?

Because Haiti agreed to make reparations to French slaveholders in 1825 in the amount of 150 million francs, reduced in 1838 to 60 million francs, in exchange for French recognition of its independence and to achieve freedom from French aggression. This indemnity bankrupted the Haitian treasury and mortgaged Haiti's future to the French banks providing the funds for the large first installment, permanently affecting Haiti's ability to be prosperous.


Rush Limbaugh has said that Americans shouldn.t help out with cash because .we.ve already donated to Haiti. It.s called the U.S. income tax," while Christian TV leader Pat Robertson, appearing on The 700 Club, told the millions of Christian Broadcasting Network viewers that Haiti.s woes in the past couple of hundred years can be traced back to a pact with the devil made by its early 19th-century leaders.
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about," Robertson said Tuesday. "They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third [sic] and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said .We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.. True story. And so the devil said, .Ok it.s a deal.. And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another, desperately poor."

Those who have any concern for Haiti will naturally want to understand how its most recent tragedy has been unfolding. And for those who have had the privilege of any contact with the people of this tortured land, it is not just natural but inescapable. Nevertheless, we make a serious error if we focus too narrowly on the events of the recent past, or even on Haiti alone. The crucial issue for us is what we should be doing about what is taking place. That would be true even if our options and our responsibility were limited; far more so when they are immense and decisive, as in the case of Haiti . And even more so because the course of the terrible story was predictable years ago -- if we failed to act to prevent it. And fail we did. The lessons are clear, and so important that they would be the topic of daily front-page articles in a free press.
Reviewing what was taking place in Haiti shortly after Clinton "restored democracy" in 1994, I was compelled to conclude, unhappily, in Z Magazine that "It would not be very surprising, then, if the Haitian operations become another catastrophe," and if so, "It is not a difficult chore to trot out the familiar phrases that will explain the failure of our mission of benevolence in this failed society." The reasons were evident to anyone who chose to look. And the familiar phrases again resound, sadly and predictably.

There is much solemn discussion today explaining, correctly, that democracy means more than flipping a lever every few years. Functioning democracy has preconditions. One is that the population should have some way to learn what is happening in the world. The real world, not the self-serving portrait offered by the "establishment press," which is disfigured by its "subservience to state power" and "the usual hostility to popular movements" - the accurate words of Paul Farmer, whose work on Haiti is, in its own way, perhaps even as remarkable as what he has accomplished within the country. Farmer was writing in 1993, reviewing mainstream commentary and reporting on Haiti, a disgraceful record that goes back to the days of Wilson's vicious and destructive invasion in 1915, and on to the present. The facts are extensively documented, appalling, and shameful. And they are deemed irrelevant for the usual reasons: they do not conform to the required self-image, and so are efficiently dispatched deep into the memory hole, though they can be unearthed by those who have some interest in the real world.

They will rarely be found, however, in the "establishment press." Keeping to the more liberal and knowledgeable end of the spectrum, the standard version is that in "failed states" like Haiti and Iraq the US must become engaged in benevolent "nation-building" to "enhance democracy," a "noble goal" but one that may be beyond our means because of the inadequacies of the objects of our solicitude. In Haiti , despite Washington 's dedicated efforts from Wilson to FDR while the country was under Marine occupation, "the new dawn of Haitian democracy never came." And "not all America 's good wishes, nor all its Marines, can achieve [democracy today] until the Haitians do it themselves" (H.D.S. Greenway, Boston Globe). As New York Times correspondent R.W. Apple recounted two centuries of history in 1994, reflecting on the prospects for Clinton's endeavor to "restore democracy" then underway, "Like the French in the 19th century, like the Marines who occupied Haiti from 1915 to 1934, the American forces who are trying to impose a new order will confront a complex and violent society with no history of democracy."

Apple does appear to go a bit beyond the norm in his reference to Napoleon's savage assault on Haiti , leaving it in ruins, in order to prevent the crime of liberation in the world's richest colony, the source of much of France 's wealth. But perhaps that undertaking too satisfies the fundamental criterion of benevolence: it was supported by the United States , which was naturally outraged and frightened by "the first nation in the world to argue the case of universal freedom for all humankind, revealing the limited definition of freedom adopted by the French and American revolutions." So Haitian historian Patrick Bellegarde-Smith writes, accurately describing the terror in the slave state next door, which was not relieved even when Haiti 's successful liberation struggle, at enormous cost, opened the way to the expansion to the West by compelling Napoleon to accept the Louisiana Purchase . The US continued to do what it could to strangle Haiti, even supporting France's insistence that Haiti pay a huge indemnity for the crime of liberating itself, a burden it has never escaped - and France, of course, dismisses with elegant disdain Haiti's request, recently under Aristide, that it at least repay the indemnity, forgetting the responsibilities that a civilized society would accept.

The basic contours of what led to the current tragedy are pretty clear. Just beginning with the 1990 election of Aristide (far too narrow a time frame), Washington was appalled by the election of a populist candidate with a grass-roots constituency just as it had been appalled by the prospect of the hemisphere's first free country on its doorstep two centuries earlier. Washington 's traditional allies in Haiti naturally agreed. "The fear of democracy exists, by definitional necessity, in elite groups who monopolize economic and political power," Bellegarde-Smith observes in his perceptive history of Haiti ; whether in Haiti or the US or anywhere else.

The threat of democracy in Haiti in 1991 was even more ominous because of the favorable reaction of the international financial institutions (World Bank, IADB) to Aristide's programs, which awakened traditional concerns over the "virus" effect of successful independent development. These are familiar themes in international affairs: American independence aroused similar concerns among European leaders. The dangers are commonly perceived to be particularly grave in a country like Haiti , which had been ravaged by France and then reduced to utter misery by a century of US intervention. If even people in such dire circumstances can take their fate into their own hands, who knows what might happen elsewhere as the "contagion spreads."

The Bush I administration reacted to the disaster of democracy by shifting aid from the democratically elected government to what are called "democratic forces": the wealthy elites and the business sectors, who, along with the murderers and torturers of the military and paramilitaries, had been lauded by the current incumbents in Washington, in their Reaganite phase, for their progress in "democratic development," justifying lavish new aid. "The praise came in response to ratification by the Haitian people of a law granting Washington 's client killer and torturer Baby Doc Duvalier the authority to suspend the rights of any political party without reasons. The referendum passed by a majority of 99.98%." It therefore marked a positive step towards democracy as compared with the 99% approval of a 1918 law granting US corporations the right to turn the country into a US plantation, passed by 5% of the population after the Haitian Parliament was disbanded at gunpoint by Wilson's Marines when it refused to accept this "progressive measure," essential for "economic development." Their reaction to Baby Doc's encouraging progress towards democracy was characteristic - worldwide -- on the part of the visionaries who are now entrancing educated opinion with their dedication to bringing democracy to a suffering world - although, to be sure, their actual exploits are being tastefully rewritten to satisfy current needs.

Refugees fleeing to the US from the terror of the US-backed dictatorships were forcefully returned, in gross violation of international humanitarian law. The policy was reversed when a democratically elected government took office. Though the flow of refugees reduced to a trickle, they were mostly granted political asylum. Policy returned to normal when a military junta overthrew the Aristide government after seven months, and state terrorist atrocities rose to new heights. The perpetrators were the army - the inheritors of the National Guard left by Wilson 's invaders to control the population - and its paramilitary forces. The most important of these, FRAPH, was founded by CIA asset Emmanuel Constant, who now lives happily in Queens, Clinton and Bush II having dismissed extradition requests -- because he would reveal US ties to the murderous junta, it is widely assumed. Constant's contributions to state terror were, after all, meager; merely prime responsibility for the murder of 4-5000 poor blacks.

Recall the core element of the Bush doctrine, which has "already become a de facto rule of international relations," Harvard's Graham Allison writes in Foreign Affairs: "those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves," in the President's words, and must be treated accordingly, by large-scale bombing and invasion.

When Aristide was overthrown by the 1991 military coup, the Organization of American States declared an embargo. Bush I announced that the US would violate it by exempting US firms. He was thus "fine tuning" the embargo for the benefit of the suffering population, the New York Times reported. Clinton authorized even more extreme violations of the embargo: US trade with the junta and its wealthy supporters sharply increased. The crucial element of the embargo was, of course, oil. While the CIA solemnly testified to Congress that the junta "probably will be out of fuel and power very shortly" and "Our intelligence efforts are focused on detecting attempts to circumvent the embargo and monitoring its impact," Clinton secretly authorized the Texaco Oil Company to ship oil to the junta illegally, in violation of presidential directives. This remarkable revelation was the lead story on the AP wires the day before Clinton sent the Marines to "restore democracy," impossible to miss - I happened to be monitoring AP wires that day and saw it repeated prominently over and over -- and obviously of enormous significance for anyone who wanted to understand what was happening. It was suppressed with truly impressive discipline, though reported in industry journals along with scant mention buried in the business press.

Also efficiently suppressed were the crucial conditions that Clinton imposed for Aristide's return: that he adopt the program of the defeated US candidate in the 1990 elections, a former World Bank official who had received 14% of the vote. We call this "restoring democracy," a prime illustration of how US foreign policy has entered a "noble phase" with a "saintly glow," the national press explained. The harsh neoliberal program that Aristide was compelled to adopt was virtually guaranteed to demolish the remaining shreds of economic sovereignty, extending Wilson 's progressive legislation and similar US-imposed measures since.

As democracy was thereby restored, the World Bank announced that "The renovated state must focus on an economic strategy centered on the energy and initiative of Civil Society, especially the private sector, both national and foreign." That has the merit of honesty: Haitian Civil Society includes the tiny rich elite and US corporations, but not the vast majority of the population, the peasants and slum-dwellers who had committed the grave sin of organizing to elect their own president. World Bank officers explained that the neoliberal program would benefit the "more open, enlightened, business class" and foreign investors, but assured us that the program "is not going to hurt the poor to the extent it has in other countries" subjected to structural adjustment, because the Haitian poor already lacked minimal protection from proper economic policy, such as subsidies for basic goods. Aristide's Minister in charge of rural development and agrarian reform was not notified of the plans to be imposed on this largely peasant society, to be returned by " America 's good wishes" to the track from which it veered briefly after the regrettable democratic election in 1990.

Matters then proceeded in their predictable course. A 1995 USAID report explained that the "export-driven trade and investment policy" that Washington imposed will "relentlessly squeeze the domestic rice farmer," who will be forced to turn to agroexport, with incidental benefits to US agribusiness and investors. Despite their extreme poverty, Haitian rice farmers are quite efficient, but cannot possibly compete with US agribusiness, even if it did not receive 40% of its profits from government subsidies, sharply increased under the Reaganites who are again in power, still producing enlightened rhetoric about the miracles of the market. We now read that Haiti cannot feed itself, another sign of a "failed state."

A few small industries were still able to function, for example, making chicken parts. But US conglomerates have a large surplus of dark meat, and therefore demanded the right to dump their excess products in Haiti . They tried to do the same in Canada and Mexico too, but there illegal dumping could be barred. Not in Haiti , compelled to submit to efficient market principles by the US government and the corporations it serves.

One might note that the Pentagon's proconsul in Iraq , Paul Bremer, ordered a very similar program to be instituted there, with the same beneficiaries in mind. That's also called "enhancing democracy." In fact, the record, highly revealing and important, goes back to the 18th century. Similar programs had a large role in creating today's third world. Meanwhile the powerful ignored the rules, except when they could benefit from them, and were able to become rich developed societies; dramatically the US, which led the way in modern protectionism and, particularly since World War II, has relied crucially on the dynamic state sector for innovation and development, socializing risk and cost.

The punishment of Haiti became much more severe under Bush II -- there are differences within the narrow spectrum of cruelty and greed. Aid was cut and international institutions were pressured to do likewise, under pretexts too outlandish to merit discussion. They are extensively reviewed in Paul Farmer's Uses of Haiti, and in some current press commentary, notably by Jeffrey Sachs (Financial Times) and Tracy Kidder (New York Times).

Putting details aside, what has happened since is eerily similar to the overthrow of Haiti 's first democratic government in 1991. The Aristide government, once again, was undermined by US planners, who understood, under Clinton , that the threat of democracy can be overcome if economic sovereignty is eliminated, and presumably also understood that economic development will also be a faint hope under such conditions, one of the best-confirmed lessons of economic history. Bush II planners are even more dedicated to undermining democracy and independence, and despised Aristide and the popular organizations that swept him to power with perhaps even more passion than their predecessors. The forces that reconquered the country are mostly inheritors of the US-installed army and paramilitary terrorists.

Those who are intent on diverting attention from the US role will object that the situation is more complex -- as is always true -- and that Aristide too was guilty of many crimes. Correct, but if he had been a saint the situation would hardly have developed very differently, as was evident in 1994, when the only real hope was that a democratic revolution in the US would make it possible to shift policy in a more civilized direction.

What is happening now is awful, maybe beyond repair. And there is plenty of short-term responsibility on all sides. But the right way for the US and France to proceed is very clear. They should begin with payment of enormous reparations to Haiti ( France is perhaps even more hypocritical and disgraceful in this regard than the US ). That, however, requires construction of functioning democratic societies in which, at the very least, people have a prayer of knowing what's going on. Commentary on Haiti , Iraq , and other "failed societies" is quite right in stressing the importance of overcoming the "democratic deficit" that substantially reduces the significance of elections. It does not, however, draw the obvious corollary: the lesson applies in spades to a country where "politics is the shadow cast on society by big business," in the words of America's leading social philosopher, John Dewey, describing his own country in days when the blight had spread nowhere near as far as it has today.

For those who are concerned with the substance of democracy and human rights, the basic tasks at home are also clear enough. They have been carried out before, with no slight success, and under incomparably harsher conditions elsewhere, including the slums and hills of Haiti . We do not have to submit, voluntarily, to living in a failed state suffering from an enormous democratic deficit.


Guillaume Raynal attacked slavery in the 1780 edition of his history of European colonization. He also predicted a general slave revolt in the colonies, saying that there were signs of .the impending storm..[13] One such sign was the action of the French Revolutionary government to grant citizenship to wealthy, free people of color in May of 1791. However, white plantation owners refused to comply with this decision and within two months isolated fighting broke out between former slaves and the whites. This contributed to the tense climate between slaves and grands blancs.[14]
Raynal.s prediction came true on 22 August 1791, when the slaves of Saint Domingue rose in revolt and plunged the colony into civil war. The signal to begin the revolt was given by Dutty Boukman, a high priest of vodou and leader of the Maroon slaves, during a nocturnal religious ceremony at Bois Caïman.[15] Within the next ten days, slaves had taken control of the entire Northern Province in an unprecedented slave revolt that left the whites in control of only a few isolated, fortified camps. The slaves sought revenge on their masters through .pillage, rape, torture, mutilation, and death..[16] Because the plantation owners long feared a revolt like this, they were well armed and prepared to defend themselves. They retaliated by massacring black prisoners as they were being escorted back to town by soldiers. Within weeks, the number of slaves that joined the revolt was approximately 100,000, and within the next two months, as the violence escalated, the slaves killed 2,000 whites and burned or destroyed 180 sugar plantations and hundreds of coffee and indigo plantations.[16]
By 1792, slaves controlled a third of the island. The success of the slave rebellion caused the newly elected Legislative Assembly in France to realize it was facing an ominous situation. In order to protect France.s economic interests, the Legislative Assembly needed to grant civil and political rights to free men of color in the colonies. In March 1792, the Legislative Assembly did just that.[16] Countries throughout Europe as well as the United States were shocked by the decision of the Legislative Assembly. Members of the Assembly were determined to stop the revolt, so apart from granting these rights, they dispatched 6,000 Frenchmen to the island. Meanwhile, in 1793, France declared war on Great Britain. The white planters and slave owners in Saint Domingue made agreements with Great Britain to declare British sovereignty over the islands. Spain, who controlled the rest of the island of Hispaniola, would also join the conflict and fight with Great Britain against France. The Spanish forces invaded Saint Domingue and were joined by the slave forces. By August 1793, there were only 3,500 French soldiers on the island. To prevent military disaster, a French commissioner freed the slaves in his jurisdiction. The decision was confirmed and extended by the National Convention in 1794 when they formally abolished slavery and granted civil and political rights to all black men in the colonies. It is estimated that the slave rebellion resulted in the death of 100,000 blacks and 24,000 whites. [17]
The author Thomas Carlyle described these events dramatically:
"[describes disorders and shortages in France] ... not so much as Sugar can be had; for good reasons ... With factions, suspicions, want of bread and sugar, it is verily what they call déchiré, torn asunder this poor country: France and all that is French. For, over seas too come bad news. In black Saint-Domingo, before that variegated Glitter in the Champs Elysées was lit for an Accepted Constitution, there had risen, and was burning contemporary with it, quite another variegated Glitter and nocturnal Fulgor, had we known it: of molasses and ardent-spirits; of sugar-boileries, plantations, furniture, cattle and men: skyhigh; the Plain of Cap Français one huge whirl of smoke and flame! What a change here, in these two years; since that first 'Box of Tricolor Cockades' got through the Custom-house, and atrabiliar Creoles too rejoiced that there was a levelling of Bastilles! Levelling is comfortable, as we often say: levelling, yet only down to oneself. Your pale-white Creoles, have their grievances: . and your yellow Quarteroons? And your dark-yellow Mulattoes? And your Slaves soot-black? Quarteroon Ogé, Friend of our Parisian Brissotin Friends of the Blacks, felt, for his share too, that Insurrection was the most sacred of duties. So the tricolor Cockades had fluttered and swashed only some three months on the Creole hat, when Ogé's signal-conflagrations went aloft; with the voice of rage and terror. Repressed, doomed to die, he took black powder or seedgrains in the hollow of his hand, this Ogé; sprinkled a film of white ones on the top, and said to his Judges, "Behold they are white;" . then shook his hand, and said "Where are the Whites, Ou sont les Blancs?" ... Before the fire was an insurrection by the oppressed mixed-race minority. So now, in the Autumn of 1791, looking from the sky-windows of Cap Français, thick clouds of smoke girdle our horizon, smoke in the day, in the night fire; preceded by fugitive shrieking white women, by Terror and Rumour. ..."[18]
[edit]Leadership of Toussaint

One of the most successful black commanders was Toussaint L'Ouverture, a self-educated former domestic slave. Like Jean François and Biassou, he initially fought for the Spanish crown. After the British had invaded Saint-Domingue, he decided to fight for the French if they would agree to free all the slaves. Sonthonax had proclaimed an end to slavery on 29 August 1793. Toussaint L'Ouverture worked with a French general, Étienne Laveaux, to ensure all slaves would be freed. He brought his forces over to the French side in May 1794 and began to fight for the French Republic. Many enslaved Africans were attracted to Toussaint's forces. He insisted on discipline and restricted wholesale slaughter.
Under the military leadership of Toussaint, the forces made up mostly of former slaves succeeded in winning concessions from the English and expelling the Spanish forces. In the end, he essentially restored control of Saint-Domingue to France. Having made himself master of the island, however, Toussaint did not wish to surrender too much power to France. He began to rule the country effectively as an autonomous entity. L'Ouverture overcame a succession of local rivals (including the Commissioner Sonthonax, André Rigaud, who fought to keep control of the South, and Comte d'Hédouville). Hédouville forced a fatal wedge between Rigaud and Toussaint before he escaped back to France.[19] Toussaint defeated a British expeditionary force in 1798, and even led an invasion of neighboring Santo Domingo, freeing the slaves there by 1801.
In 1801, L'Ouverture issued a constitution for Saint-Domingue which provided for autonomy and decreed that he would be governor-for-life. In retaliation, Napoleon Bonaparte dispatched a large expeditionary force of French soldiers and warships to the island, led by Bonaparte's brother-in-law Charles Leclerc, to restore French rule, and under secret instructions to later restore slavery [needs citation]. The numerous French soldiers were accompanied by mulatto troops led by Alexandre Pétion and André Rigaud, mulatto leaders who had been defeated by Toussaint three years earlier. During the struggles, some of Toussaint's closest allies, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, defected to Leclerc.
L'Ouverture was promised his freedom, if he agreed to integrate his remaining troops into the French Army. L'Ouverture agreed to this in May 1802 but was later deceived, seized, and shipped off to France. He died months later while imprisoned at Fort-de-Joux in the Jura region.[6]


Jean Jacques Dessalines
[edit]Resistance to slavery

For a few months the island was quiet under Napoleonic rule. But when it became apparent that the French intended to re-establish slavery (because they did so on Guadeloupe), Dessalines and Pétion switched sides again, in October 1802, and fought against the French. In November, Leclerc died of yellow fever, like much of his army, and his successor, the Vicomte de Rochambeau, fought an even more brutal campaign. His atrocities helped rally many former French loyalists to the rebel cause. The French were further weakened by a British naval blockade, and by the unwillingness of Napoleon to send the requested massive reinforcements. Napoleon had sold the Louisiana Territory to the United States in April 1803, and had begun to lose interest in his ventures in the Western Hemisphere. Dessalines led the rebellion until its completion when the French forces were finally defeated in 1803.[6]
The last battle of the Haitian Revolution, the Battle of Vertières, occurred on 18 November 1803, near Cap-Haitien and was fought between Haitian rebels led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines and the French colonial army under the Viscount of Rochambeau. On 1 January 1804, from the city of Gonaïves, Dessalines officially declared the former colony's independence, renaming it "Haiti" after the indigenous Arawak name. This major loss was a decisive blow to France and its colonial empire.
[edit]Free republic

On 1 January 1804, Dessalines, the new leader under the dictatorial 1801 constitution, declared Haiti a free republic. Haiti was the first independent nation in Latin America, the first post-colonial independent black-led nation in the world, and the only nation whose independence was gained as part of a successful slave rebellion. The country was crippled by years of war, its agriculture devastated, its formal commerce nonexistent, and the people uneducated and mostly unskilled.[20][1]
Haiti agreed to make reparations to French slaveholders in 1825 in the amount of 150 million francs, reduced in 1838 to 60 million francs, in exchange for French recognition of its independence and to achieve freedom from French aggression. This indemnity bankrupted the Haitian treasury and mortgaged Haiti's future to the French banks providing the funds for the large first installment, permanently affecting Haiti's ability to be prosperous.[21]
The end of the Haitian Revolution in 1804 marked the end of colonialism in Haiti, but the social conflict cultivated under slavery continued to affect the population. The revolution left in power an affranchi élite as well as the formidable Haitian army. France continued the slavery system in Martinique and Guadeloupe. Great Britain was able to abolish its slave trade in 1807 and in 1833 abolished slavery completely in the British West Indies. France formally recognized Haiti as an independent nation in 1834, as did the United States in 1862.[9]
[edit]Impact

The Haitian Revolution was influential in slave rebellions in America and British colonies. The loss of a major source of western revenue shook Napoleon's faith in the promise of the western world, encouraging him to unload other French assets in the region including the territory known as Louisiana. In the early 1800s, many refugees, including free people of color and white planters, of whom some in both categories had owned slaves, settled in New Orleans, adding many new members to both its French-speaking mixed-race population and African population.[citation needed]
In 1807 Britain became the first major power to permanently abolish the slave trade. However, slavery was not fully abolished in the British West Indies until 1833, and it continued in the French colonies until 1848. The Haitian Revolution stood as a model for achieving emancipation for slaves in the United States who attempted to mimic Toussaint L'Ouverture's actions. L'Ouverture remains a popular figure to this day. In 2004, Haiti celebrated the bicentennial of its independence from France.


The Haitian Revolution (1791.1804) is the period of violent conflict in the French colony of Saint-Domingue, leading to the elimination of slavery and the establishment of Haiti as the first republic ruled by people of African ancestry. Although hundreds of rebellions occurred in the New World during the centuries of slavery, only the revolt on Saint-Domingue, which began in 1791, was successful in achieving permanent freedom. The Haitian Revolution is regarded as a defining moment in the history of Africans in the new world.
Although an independent government was created in Haiti, its society continued to be deeply affected by the patterns established under French colonial rule. The French established a system of minority rule over the illiterate poor by using violence and threats. The racial prejudice created by colonialism and slavery outlived them both. The post-rebellion racial elite (referred to as mulattoes) were descended from both Africans and white planters. Some had received an education, served in the French military, and even acquired land and wealth. Lighter complected than most Haitians, who were descendants only of enslaved Africans, the mulattoes dominated politics and economics.[1]
Historians traditionally identify the catalyst for revolution as a Vodou ceremony in August 1791 performed at Bois Caïman by Dutty Boukman, a Voudo pries

The riches of the Caribbean depended on Europeans' taste for sugar, which plantation owners traded for provisions from North America and manufactured goods from European countries. Starting in the 1730s, French engineers constructed complex irrigation systems to increase sugarcane production. By the 1740s Saint-Domingue, together with Jamaica, had become the main supplier of the world's sugar. Sugar production depended on extensive manual labor provided by enslaved Africans in the harsh Saint-Domingue colonial plantation economy. The white planters who derived their wealth from the sale of sugar knew they were outnumbered by slaves by a factor of more than ten and lived in fear of slave rebellion.[3]
In 1758, the white landowners began passing legislation that set restrictions on the rights of other groups of people until a rigid caste system was defined. Most historians have classified the people of the era into three groups. One was the white colonists, or blancs. A second was the free blacks (usually mixed-race, known as mulattoes or gens de couleur, free people of color). These tended to be educated, literate and often served in the army or as administrators on plantations. Many were children of white planters and slave mothers. The males often received education or artisan training, sometimes received property from their fathers, and freedom. The third group, outnumbering the others by a ratio of ten to one, was made up of mostly African-born slaves. A high rate of mortality among them meant that new slaves were being continually imported. They spoke a patois of French and West African languages known as Creole, which was also used by native mulattoes and whites for communication with the workers.[4]
White colonists and black slaves frequently had violent conflicts. Gangs of runaway slaves, known as maroons, lived in the woods away from control. They often conducted violent raids on the island's sugar and coffee plantations. The success of these attacks established a black Haitian martial tradition of violence and brutality to effect political ends.[5] Although the numbers in these bands grew large (sometimes into the thousands), they generally lacked the leadership and strategy to accomplish large-scale objectives. The first effective maroon leader to emerge was the charismatic François Mackandal, who succeeded in unifying the black resistance. A Vodou priest, Mackandal inspired his people by drawing on African traditions and religions. He united the maroon bands and also established a network of secret organizations among plantation slaves, leading a rebellion from 1751 through 1757. Although Mackandal was captured by the French and burned at the stake in 1758, large armed maroon bands persisted in raids and harassment after his death.[3][6]
[edit]Situation in 1789

In 1789 Saint-Domingue, producer of 40 percent of the world's sugar, was the most profitable colony the French owned and in fact the wealthiest and most flourishing of the slave colonies in the Caribbean. The lowest class of society was enslaved blacks, who outnumbered whites and people of color by eight to one.[3] The slave population on the island totaled almost half of the one million slaves in the Caribbean by 1789.[7] They were mostly African-born. The death rate in the Caribbean exceeded the birth rate, so imports of enslaved Africans continued. The slave population declined at an annual rate of two to five percent, due to overwork; inadequate food, shelter, clothing and medical care; and an imbalance between the sexes, with more men than women.[8] Some slaves were of a creole elite class of urban slaves and domestics, who worked as cooks, personal servants and artisans around the plantation house. This relatively privileged class was chiefly born in the Americas, while the under-class born in Africa labored hard under abusive conditions.
The Plaine du Nord on the northern shore of Saint-Domingue was the most fertile area with the largest sugar plantations. It was the area of most economic importance. Here enslaved Africans lived in large groups of workers in relative isolation, separated from the rest of the colony by the high mountain range known as the Massif. This area was the seat of power of the grand blancs, the rich white colonists who wanted greater autonomy for the colony, especially economically.[9]
Among Saint-Domingue.s 40,000 white colonials in 1789, European-born Frenchmen monopolized administrative posts. The sugar planters, the grand blancs, were chiefly minor aristocrats. Most returned to France as soon as possible, hoping to avoid the dreaded yellow fever, which regularly swept the colony.[10] The lower class whites, petit blancs, included artisans, shopkeepers, slave dealers, overseers, and day laborers. Saint-Domingue.s free people of color, the gens de couleur, numbered more than 28,000 by 1789. Many of them were also artisans and overseers, or domestic servants in the big houses. [11]
In addition to class and racial tension between whites, free people of color, and enslaved blacks, the country was polarized by regional rivalries between the North, South, and West. There were also conflicts between proponents of independence, those loyal to France, allies of Spain, and allies of Great Britain - who coveted control of the valuable colony.
[edit]Impact of French Revolution

Further information: French Revolution
In France, the majority of the Estates General, an advisory body to the King, constituted itself as the National Assembly, made radical changes in French laws, and on 26 August 1789, published the Declaration of the Rights of Man, declaring all men free and equal. The French Revolution shaped the course of the conflict in Saint-Dominque and was at first widely welcomed in the island. So many were the twists and turns in the leadership in France, and so complex were events in Saint-Domingue, that various classes and parties changed their alignments many times.[citation needed]
The African population on the island began to hear of the agitation for independence by the rich European planters, the grands blancs, who had resented France's limitations on the island's foreign trade. The Africans mostly allied with the royalists and the British, as they understood that if Saint-Domingue's independence were to be led by white slave masters, it would probably mean even harsher treatment and increased injustice for the African population as the plantation owners would be free to inflict slavery as they pleased without even minimal accountability to their French peers.[9]
Saint-Dominque's free people of color, most notably Julien Raimond, had been actively appealing to France for full civil equality with whites since the 1780s. Raimond used the French Revolution to make this the major colonial issue before the French National Assembly. In October 1790, Vincent Ogé, another wealthy free man of color from the colony, returned home from Paris, where he had been working with Raimond. Convinced that a law passed by the French Constituent Assembly gave full civil rights to wealthy men of color, Ogé demanded the right to vote. When the colonial governor refused, Ogé led a brief insurgency in the area around Cap Francais. He was captured in early 1791, and brutally executed by being broken on the wheel.[6] Ogé was not fighting against slavery, but his treatment was cited by later slave rebels as one of the factors in their decision to rise up in August 1791 and resist treaties with the colonists. The conflict up to this point was between factions of whites, and between whites and free coloreds. Enslaved blacks watched from the sidelines.[3]
Leading French writer Count Mirabeau had once said the Saint-Domingue whites "slept at the foot of Vesuvius",[12] an indication of the grave threat they faced should the majority of slaves launch a sustained major uprising.

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