Sunday, February 28, 2010

Was the US Earthquake Weapon Used on Haiti?

The writer of this blog has long contended that the earthquake in Haiti may not have been a natural event. There is substantial evidence that the 7.0 quake that struck Haiti, killing over 300,000 and wounding many, many more, was a military action, some say by the United States. The Japanese, who have a avid interest in watching out for such acts, having been victimized themselves, detected the signal from the HAARP array in Alaska which may have triggered the Haiti quake 2 days later. What about the Chile quake of 8.8 magnitude? Was it man-made too? Are we now in the era of earthquake warfare? If so, who are the players and what are the stakes? Below is an interview of former Secretary of Defense William Cohen who talks about the reality of such things. Enjoy. Learn. Share.

1997 DoD Briefing: 'Others' can set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely using electromagnetic waves --By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 28 Feb 2010

DoD News Briefing

Presenter: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen April 28, 1997 8:45 AM EDT

DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen

Q: Let me ask you specifically about last week's scare here in Washington, and what we might have learned from how prepared we are to deal with that (inaudible), at B'nai Brith.

A: Well, it points out the nature of the threat. It turned out to be a false threat under the circumstances. But as we've learned in the intelligence community, we had something called -- and we have James Woolsey here [*puke*] to perhaps even address this question about phantom moles. The mere fear that there is a mole within an agency can set off a chain reaction and a hunt for that particular mole which can paralyze the agency for weeks and months and years even, in a search. The same thing is true about just the false scare of a threat of using some kind of a chemical weapon or a biological one. There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus [OMG! Who would do such a thing?], and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others [LOL] are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco- type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves.'

Just switch 'yours,' 'others' and 'they' with 'U.S.,' 'U.S.' and 'U.S.' This was in 1997. Imagine, after eight years of George W. Bush turbo-funding these lunatics, with no end to funding in sight... what they can do now. Oh, BTW. See, also, the list of dead scientists.

The most fascinating might be the Harvard scientist, Dr. Don C Wiley, 'one of the foremost infectious disease researchers' in the United States, who 'got dizzy' and his car fell off a bridge in Memphis, TN.

The bridge where his car was found is only a five-minute drive away and in the wrong direction from where he was staying, leaving authorities with a four-hour, unexplained gap until his vehicle was found. Now Memphis police are exploring several theories involving suicide, robbery and murder.

That's just a 'we-know-we're-f*cking-with-you-and-there's-not-a-damned-thing-you-can-do-about-it' assassination that any detective on 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent' could wrap up in the first half-hour of the episode.

High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program 27 Feb 2010 The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) is an ionospheric research program jointly funded by the US Air Force, the US Navy, the University of Alaska and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Its purpose is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio communications and surveillance purposes (such as missile detection). The HAARP program operates a major Arctic facility, known as the HAARP Research Station, on an Air Force owned site near Gakona, Alaska. The most outstanding instrument at the HAARP Station is the Ionospheric Research Instrument (IRI), a high power transmitter facility operating in the high frequency range. The IRI is used to temporarily excite a limited area of the ionosphere... As of 2008, HAARP had incurred around $250 million in tax-funded construction and operating costs.

Click here for full DoD News Transcript.
Credit to Samantha G. on Faceboook for unearthing this briefing.

Permanent URL for this article: http://legitgov.org/DoD_1997_set_off_earthquakes_280210.html

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Utter and Total Destruction in Haiti

In this short video is revealed the devastating damage done to the heart of Port au Prince in Haiti. It partially answers why the Haitian government did not respond quickly to the disaster as many expected. It shows the total destruction that can not be overcome through mere relief aid by NGO's. It shows clearly that a massive international effort of rebuilding over a prolonged period of time is required. Otherwise many more people will die. The fate of Haiti hangs now in the balance of what the world community decides to do. We have the power and the means in our hands to save. Or we can choose to add the tragedy of human indifference to the destructive nature of the 7.0 earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Muslims In Haiti

Here is a fascinating account of the largely untold story of muslims playing decisive roles in the history of the Haitian Republic. The article is based on the book,
'Servants of Allah': African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas.




The Muslim Factor in the Haitian Revolution: The Untold History
A reading from Sylvaine Diouf's well received book, "Servants of Allah": African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas. Pg. 150-153.

The Muslim Factor in the Haitian Revolution



'What the French did not realize was that their most profitable colony, Saint-Dominique (now Haiti), was fertile ground for Muslim maroons and rebels. The island had always had numerous maroon communities, and an average of a thousand runaways were advertised every year. The notices posted by the plantation owners, who listed the disappeared give a measure of the place of the Muslims among the maroons. Although large numbers of Muslims had been forcibly baptized, some had retained their original names, such as Ayouba, Tamerlan, Aly, Soliman, Lamine, Thisiman, Yaya, Belaly, and Salomon who appear in the notices. Female runaways, such as Fatme, Fatima, and Hayda, are also mentioned.

The Africans fled individually and, more usually, in groups. For instance, twelve Mandingo men, aged twenty-two to twenty-six, fled one night in 1783 from their owner’s house in Port-au-Prince. They were all professionals—masons, carpenters, and bakers.



It is not known if some maroon communities were entirely composed of Muslims, but major communities had Muslim leaders. Yaya, also called Gillot, was a devastating presence in the parishes of Trou and Terrier Rouge, before he was executed in September 1787. In Cul-de-Sac, an African Muslim named Halaou led a veritable army of thousands of maroons.


Part II


These Muslims were well known and feared, but the most famous of the pre-
Revolution maroon leaders was without a doubt Francois Macandal. Macandal was a field hand, employed on a sugar plantation. One day, as he was working the sugar mill, one of his hands got caught on the wheel and had to be severed. As he could no longer cut the cane, he became a cattleman, later running away. For eighteen years Macandal was at large, living in the mountains but making frequent incursions on the plantations to deliver death. He organized a network of devoted followers and taught the slaves how to make poison, which they used against their owners or against other slaves in order to ruin the slaveholders. His reputation was such that a French document of 1758 estimates—with much exaggeration, no doubt—the number of deaths he provoked at 6,000 over three years. In eighteenth-century Saint-Domingue, poison was called macandal.

An African born in “Guinea,” Francois Macandal was in all probability a Mandingo. He came from an illustrious family and had been sold to the Europeans as a war captive. He was a Muslim who “had instruction and possessed the Arabic language very well,” emphasized nineteenth-century Haitian historian Thomas Madiou, who gathered information through the veterans of the Haitian Revolution. Macandal was most likely a marabout, for French official documents describe him as being able to predict the future and as having revelations. He was also well known for his skills in amulet making—so much so that gris-gris were called macandals. In addition, he was said to be a prophet, which indicates that he was perceived as having a direct connection to God. Thus besides being a marabout he may have been a sharif, a descendant of the Prophet Muhammed; but this is only speculation, as no evidence exists exists to confirm or inform this hypothesis.

Part III

Francois Macandal was much more than simply a maroon leader. He had a long-term plan for the island and saw the maroons as the “center of an organized resistance of the blacks against the whites,” stressed an eighteenth-century French document. He used practical symbolism to explain his vision for Saint-Domingue, Here are the first inhabitants of Saint -Domingue, they were yellow. “Here are the present inhabitants”—and he showed the white handkerchief—“here, at last, are those who will remain the masters of the island; it is the black handkerchief.”

To turn this prophecy into reality, Macandal planned to poison the wells of the city of Cap-Français. Once the slaveholders were dead or in the middle of convulsions, the “old mand from the mountain,” as Macandal was sometimes called, followed by his captains and lieutenants, whould attack the city and kill the remaining whites. Before he could launch his assault, however, a slave betrayed him and he was caught. Tied up in a room with two guards, he somehow managed to escape. If he had killed the men with the pistol that lay on a table between them, Macandal may have been able to remain at large. But he had not. The guards gave the alarm, and he was caught again, this time by dogs.


Part IV


On January 20, 1758, Macandal was burned at the stake. The pole he was tied to collapsed, and the crowd saw this incident as a sign of his immortality. He had told his followers that as he was put to death, he would turn into a fly and fly away. The executioner asked to kill him with a sword as the coup de grâce, but his request was denied by the attorney general. Macandal was tied to a plank and thrown into the fire again.

The maroon leader Macandal can best be described as a marabout-warrior. He used his occult knowledge and his charisma to gain allies to wage war against his enemy, and he participated in the action personally.


Part V


Another popular leader who attained quasi-mythical status in Haitian history was Boukman. Very little is known about him. He was not born in Saint-Domingue but came from Jamaica, smuggled by a British slaver. As a slave, he became professional and rose to the rank of driver, later becoming a coachman. Using a position that allowed him to travel from plantation to plantation, as well as his charismatic personality, he had built a network of followers in the north. He definitely entered Haitian history when he galvanized a large assembly of slaves gathered on the night of August 14, 1791, in a clearing in the forest of Bois-Caiman. During this voodoo ceremony, Boukman launched the general revolt of the slaves with a speech in Creole that has remained famous. He denounced the God of the whites, who asked for crime, whereas the God of the Slaves wanted only good. “But this God who is so good, orders you to seek revenge,” he pounded. “He will direct our arms, he will assist us. Throw away the image of the God of the whites who is thirsty for our tears and listen to freedom which talks to our hearts.”

A week later, two hundred sugar estates and eighteen hundred coffee plantations were destroyed by the slaves, who were said to have cut the throats of a thousand slaveholders. At the beginning of November, Boukman was shot dead by an officer as he was fighting a detachment of the French army with a group of maroons. His severed head was fixed on a pole and exposed on a public square in Cap-Français.

There are indications that Boukman was a Muslim. Coming from Jamaica, he had an English name that was rendered phonetically in French by Boukman or Boukmann; in English, however, it was Bookman. Boukman was a “man of the book,” as the Muslims were referred to even in Africa—in Sierra Leone, for example, explained an English lieutenant, the Mandingo were “Prime Ministers” of every town, and they went “by the name bookman.” It is likely that Boukman was a Jamaican Muslim who had a Koran, and that he got his nickname from this.

Part VI

As many Muslims had done, and would continue to do, he had climbed the echelons of the slaves’ power structure and had reached the top. He was trusted, professional slave. He was also at the top of the slaves’ hierarchy in another way: he was recognized as a priest. He had passed down in history as a voodoo priest, but this does not mean that he was such. Because the Muslim factor largely has been ignored, any religious leader of African origin in the Caribbean has been linked to voodoo or orbeah.


Part VII


There is thus compelling evidence that two major leaders in Haitian history—Macandal and Boukman—were not only Muslims, they did not embark on a jihad, but they were the leaders of the slave population, irrespective of religion. What they provided was military expertise coupled with spiritual and occult assurance that the outcome of the fight would be positive. Both skills were of extreme value, each in its own way; but put together, they conferred on these leaders the aura of mythical figures. Because of their marabout knowledge they could galvanize the masses, push them to action and to surpass themselves.

Other marabouts, and the Muslims in general, played a crucial role in the Haitian revolts and ultimately in the Haitian Revolution through their occult skills, literacy, and military traditions. The marabouts provided protections to the insurgents in the form of gris-gris, as Colonel Malenfant recorded, and the Muslims used Arabic to communicate during uprisings. Through their role and contribution have not been acknowledged, the Muslims were essential in the success of the Haitian Revolution.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HAITI: The Man Made Disaster


Haiti Is No Natural Disaster
February 23, 2010 (LPAC)-


-The following article was published in the recently published issue of Nuevo Federalista.
Haiti Is No Natural Disaster
by Carlos Wesley
In October 1989, the U.S. city of San Francisco and its surroundings were slammed by an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale. The quake left 63 dead, more than 3,000 wounded, and as many as 12,000 homeless.
Compare this with what happened in Haiti last January 12, when an earthquake of similar magnitude hit that Caribbean island-nation: a quarter of a million dead, the destruction of virtually every building in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and in a large part of the country, and some 2 million people left without shelter or food.
Clearly, what caused the destruction of Haiti was not the earthquake, but the lack of infrastructure and a solid foundation.
A real reconstruction program
There are two alternatives facing Haiti. One is that proposed by economist Lyndon LaRouche, who on Jan. 30 told a webcast that the U.S. government should sign a treaty with Haiti which, while fully respecting its sovereignty, would rebuild its economy in a manner which would allow it to go forward as a viable nation. "This is a small nation of people which has been subjected to a terrible history, which has been promised and betrayed, promised and betrayed. Never delivered."
Rebuilding Haiti would take a quarter century, at least, said LaRouche. "Many things have to be changed, but the most important thing is the prevailing attitude called fix-it, or patch-it." The U.S. should tell the Haitians, "Okay, you're a small country. We can absorb the burden. We are going to work with you to make sure that you come out of this successfully, as a country that can maintain itself, and survive," he said.
Days earlier, LaRouche had said that the U.S. "has a moral responsibility to respond to this crisis." Further, such assistance would give the United States the added benefit of developing "an improved capacity to address other crises, both abroad" as well as at home in cases like that of Hurricane Katrina. Such an aid program would also give useful jobs to many U.S. youth, who "could function as a complementary labor force to be trained" for emergency situations, and could be the basis for a new Civil Conservation Corps."
A Historical Account
What led Haiti to a state of misery, even before the earthquake hit, was the imposition of increasingly more lethal policies, culminating with globalization, which made Haiti the poorest country in America. Haiti has been the victim of these policies virtually from the moment it won its independence on January 1, 1804—the first country in America to do so, after the United States-and proclaimed itself the first modern republic ruled by blacks. This was achieved after the only successful rebellion of slaves in all of history was carried out under the leadership of Toussaint L'Ouverture, and the three great powers in the region—Spain, England and Napoleon's France—were dealt military defeats.
Haiti was never forgiven for this, nor were Haitians forgiven for their decisive support for the American Revolution, nor for their alliance with the best forefathers of the U.S., especially Alexander Hamilton, nor for the fact that their own war of independence made it possible for the United States to obtain Louisiana, doubling its territory in one blow. Nor for the fact that it was thanks to material support provided by Haitians that Simon Bolivar was able to return to the battle for independence of the countries of what was then known as Greater Colombia, after suffering two previous defeats.
Haiti was punished with blockades and quarantines, not only by the imperial powers, but by the ungrateful Bolivarian countries and by the United States itself.
This changed when Abraham Lincoln took over the U.S. presidency in the 1860s, when the U.S. finally extended diplomatic recognition to Haiti, and continued a few years later with the naming of U.S. leader Frederick Douglass as plenipotentiary to that country.
At the end of the 19th century, Haiti was a country which, if not prospering, at least was self-sufficient, and which enjoyed the respect of the concert of nations.
Unfortunately, the negative side of U.S.-Haitian relations resurfaced under racist President Woodrow Wilson, who invaded the country on behalf of Wall Street and City of London interests in 1915, seizing control of customs and launching an occupation, at times brutal, which lasted until 1934, during which hordes of anthropologists arrived to brainwash Haitians into believing that voodoo was their true religion.
But that was not the only problem the Haitians faced. In the Dominican Republic, which shared the island of Hispanola with Haiti, another dictator ruled—Rafael Trujillo. Trujillo, installed through a U.S. occupation, carried out "ethnic cleansing" in 1937 along the border between the two countries, massacring tens of thousands of Haitians.
The U.S. occupation ended when Franklin Delano Roosevelt took over the U.S. presidency. Roosevelt, who was the first U.S. president to ever visit Haiti, launched a "Good Neighbor" era which helped Haiti retake the path toward prosperity.
But upon his death, things worsened once again. With the support of certain factions inside the U.S., Francois Duvalier, a doctor recruited by those same anthropologists and ethnologists and sent to the U.S. for training, imposed a fierce dictatorship, and ruled as the High Priest of Voodoo. At his death, his son Jean-Claude Duvalier succeeded him.
Despite this, Haiti continued to be self-sufficient, at least as far as the production of rice, the main staple of the population. But with the fall of Duvalier, the IMF arrived and, in exchange for a small loan of $24.6 million that the country desperately needed to survive the depredations of Duvalier, forced Haiti to lower its protectionist tariffs on rice and other foodstuff. The result was that Haiti was inundated with rice from the U.S., which bankrupted local producers, according to lawyer and scholar Bill Quigly.
In 1991, the former priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide took over the Haitian presidency, but was overthrown by the military because of his own lunacy. This served as the pretext for George Bush, Sr. to impose another international embargo against the Haitian people, who were forced to eat even the seeds and bushes of certain exotic plants slated for export, just to avoid starving to death.
The embargo ended when the U.S. once again invaded Haiti in 1994, this time without firing a shot, under Bill Clinton. The bayonets of the U.S. and its allies not only brought Aristide back, but also the demand to privatize everything: electricity, water, the airport, the ports, and even education. And of course, economic sanctions were once again imposed which pauperized the already impoverished Haitian population.
Aristide opposed this, leading—among other things—to a decision by the U.S. government, this time under Bush, Jr. to overthrow him a second time, in 2004. Added to this, the U.S. Coast Guard has maintained a blockade for years to prevent Haitians from fleeing to U.S. refuge.
The Genocidal Alternative
The alternative to LaRouche's plan is the genocidal proposal of British "economist" Paul Collier, who has the support of financier and drug legalizer George Soros. Collier explicitly opposes the development of infrastructure in Haiti, and proposes instead "arranging" for Haiti to be turned into a free-trade manufacturing emporium for the controlled export of the multinationals, using Haitian labor even cheaper than that available in the U.S. In other words, reimposing slavery!
In fact, except for a visit from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the latest crisis in Haiti, the Haitian government has been virtually bypassed by international donors. And, shamelessly, Collier is now in charge of elaborating the United Nation's so-called recovery plans for Haiti.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Relocate One Million Haitians Before the Rains

LaRouche Calls For Emergency Measures To Relocate A Million Haitians Before The Rainy Season Hits
Lyndon LaRouche
2-23-10

(LPAC)-Lyndon LaRouche issued an urgent call for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to work with the Haitian government to help relocate up to a million Haitians, now homeless and living amid the rubble of shattered Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed some 300,000 Haitians.

The immediate emergency, LaRouche noted, is that the rainy season is upon us, and under current conditions, Port-au-Prince within a month or two will be subjected to floods, hit by mudslides, and become inundated in deadly sewage from the 1.5 million people who are now homeless and destitute in that city. These people have been forced to live in the streets and slums under ramshackle pieces of plastic, and amid human excrement that is not being removed-because there is no ability to do so, nor even a place to take it.

Even before the earthquake, Haiti-long the victim of the globalization and free trade policies of London-centered financial predators-did not have a single sewage treatment plant.

If we do not act, LaRouche stressed, Haiti will soon face conditions in which dengue, cholera, malaria, typhoid and other epidemics will spread, with devastating consequences. Haiti is the image of what awaits all of humanity under the current, bankrupt British-imperial international financial system: it is the face of the New Dark Age. We must stop it in Haiti, if we are to have the moral fitness to survive on this planet.

To prevent another wave of mass deaths and total national disintegration, a bilateral treaty agreement between the United States and Haiti should be promptly reached to evacuate up to a million people from this potentially deadly situation into the United States on an interim basis, and possibly into inland parts of Haiti as well. Under a reasonable Presidency, the U.S. can mobilize the capacity to do that, and we can further use our military capacity, through the Army Corps of Engineers, to either rebuild semi-permanent housing, or reopen military bases with barracks, including those shut down under the BRAC commission.

Full reconstruction in Haiti will take up to 25 years, LaRouche has pointed out, but in the short term it is possible to build new relocation camps and even cities outside of Port-au-Prince, where the essentials of life can be provided: food, water, sanitation, a roof over their heads, and sufficient energy and electricity to make all this possible. Even under a dysfunctional, impeachable President Obama, the United States must act, and act quickly, LaRouche stated.

In his Jan. 30 international webcast, LaRouche responded to a question about Haiti, saying that the United States has to take the kind of approach that Presidents like Lincoln and Roosevelt did:

"You cannot apply a band-aid to Haiti. And you can not bring in many other countries, because the objective is, if the country is going to be viable, coming out of this mess, you have to have a sovereign Haiti. So, the contract has to be essentially, a United States treaty agreement, a treaty agreement to re-establish the efficient sovereignty of the nation of Haiti, after the destructive effect of this and preceding difficulties...

"[Haiti] is a small nation, of people who have been subjected to all kinds of terrible history; who have been promised this, and betrayed, and promised that, and betrayed, and promised and betrayed. Never delivered. It's in a group of national territories which has also tended to be somewhat of a mess, in one way or the other. So, therefore, it's a model approach: We make a contract with the government, as a treaty agreement, between the United States and Haiti, to assure the rebuilding of their country, in a form in which it will actually be a functioning country which can survive."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Tetanus Clinic in Haiti

While visiting a make-shift orphanage called 'future' to do intake examinations, I discovered an urgent need. 83 mostly barefoot children running around on a field of stones, metal shards and broken glass that had once been a junk yard but was now where they lived and played. These 83 were the survivors of the collapse of three other orphanages in the earthquake that once housed between 300 and 400 orphans. Only these 83 survived the quake. They were being housed in a few tents and on this day they were having their first hot meal in weeks. So I set up a tetanus clinic right on the spot to see to it that tetanus does not become one of their problems in the future.
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Haiti: A Vultures' Feast

The article below is an eye-opener. Beyond the abject misery in the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake that many believe may have been the detonation of a weapon of mass destruction from the HAARP installations in Alaska and Puerto Rico, lies the cold-blooded exploitation of Haiti's people and resources. This is a long tale of unbounded greed and crafty skill at sucking dry the bones of the already destitute that stretches through nearly 5 centuries of agonizing suffering and pain that is unambiguously recorded in the history of the Americas. This latest chapter in that searingly evil history will top all the rest. Right now Haiti is a vulture's banquet table, spread full with all the carrion any fiendish scavenger could hope for. The question must be asked: Was Haiti destroyed by earthquake and now by deliberate genocide in order to secure her confirmed deposits of oil, natural gas, gold, iridium, copper and most valuable of all, slavishly cheap and abundant labor? Is it true that the Marines, the UN Peacekeepers, the corrupt Haitian military and police and more than 10,000 NGO's and other 'aid' organizations are all in league together for the total plunder of Haiti in order to enrich themselves and their controllers? Are they cynically playing 'aid card' to shield the greatest heist in modern history, laughing all the way to the bank over the cries of misery from the Haitian slums? Is that what is going on? Is that the real deal?
Read the article below and decide for yourself.

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Haiti Is Open For Business
By Stephen Lendman2-15-10

In December 1984, Canada's conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney, told the New York Economic Club that "Canada is open for business," meaning US companies were welcome, the two countries would work for greater economic integration, America's sovereignty took precedence of his own, and corporate interests from both countries could operate freely at the expense of most Canadians.

That's always been Haiti's curse, now more than ever. Under American militarized control, Haiti is occupied for profit, its pseudo government largely invisible, and predators aim to cash in to the fullest. On January 21, in his article titled, "Securing disaster in Haiti," Peter Hallward explained, saying:

"....the US-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island's recent history. It has adopted military priorities and strategies. It has sidelined Haiti's own leaders and government, and ignored the needs of the majority of its people. And it has proceeded in ways that reinforce the already harrowing gap between rich and poor. All three tendencies aren't just connected, they are mutually reinforcing. (They'll also) govern the imminent reconstruction effort as well, unless determined political action is taken to counteract them."

Post-quake, conditions on the ground are horrific. Three million or more Haitians are affected. Most are displaced and struggling. Essential aid is obstructed and limited. Hundreds of thousands are being removed from the capital, not to help them, to "cleanse" the area for development. The official estimated death toll tops 230,000, over 300,000 are injured, and AP reported (on February 9) that the "Health crisis in Haiti enter(ed) a deadly new phase," the result of "a half-million (or more) people jammed into germ-breeding makeshift camps" where a health emergency is already apparent in the form of malnutrition, diarrheal illnesses, acute respiratory (and other) infections, at least one reported typhoid case, and fears of possible outbreaks of tetanus, measles, TB, malaria, dengue fever, diphtheria, acute flaccid paralysis, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, and other infectious diseases, including water-borne ones, particularly threatening children.

Independent reports cite outbreaks of tetanus, TB, diarrhea, scabies, ringworm and growing depravation, misery and anger, mostly unreported in the mainstream that instead focuses on disease containment and improving conditions. Daily, conditions are worse, not better, threatening a far greater disaster ahead.

Given the widespread depravation, the obstruction of food, clean water, and temporary shelter, and lack of proper sanitation, infectious disease outbreaks may cause biblical levels of more deaths ahead, perhaps raising the toll to from 500,000 - one million Haitians, a scale definable as genocide.

The Genocide Convention defines it as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (including) causing serious bodily or mental harm (and) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part...."

US forces control everything - Haiti's airport, port facilities, the Presidential Palace, and other strategic locations. They patrol Port-au-Prince streets menacingly with heavy weapons. In late January, police beat people, and UN Blue Helmets fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray at hungry Haitians wanting food, a likely precursor to graver confrontations ahead as desperate people seek it to survive. One Haitian told a reporter: "They treat us like animals, they beat us, but we are hungry people."

On February 7, the 19th anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide first inauguration, his supporters commemorated the event as they do every year, calling for his return, denouncing the occupation, condemning the lack of food and other aid, and the corruption exacerbating the problem along with America's obstruction to let desperate people suffer and expire.

A month after the quake, inadequate amounts of everything are being distributed. Residents in poor areas like Cite Soleil have gotten virtually nothing and were in desperate straits pre-disaster. On February 8, thousands marched through Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, denouncing what's occurring throughout stricken areas - mayors and other officials hoarding food and selling it at inflated black market prices, not distributing it to starving Haitians.

One protestor said: "I am hungry, I am dying of hunger. (Mayor) Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn't give us anything."

Haitian-truth.org said Haitian customs agents are charging people arriving with aid fees to deliver it. Otherwise, their supplies will be held indefinitely.

AlJazeera and other sources reported fake coupons being used for free food, to be sold on the black market at inflated prices.

On February 10, AP reported that public and private hospitals are charging patients, UN officials warning free medications won't be sent to ones that do. Christophe Rerat of the UN's Pan American Health Organization said they got about $1 million worth of free drugs, supplied by donations, and all medical care is to be provided without charge. Donated funds are also paying staff.

On February 11, rain and growing frustration sparked spontaneous street protests denouncing President Rene Preval's inaction, calling for Aristide's return, and demanding food, clean water and tents for shelter. Club wielding police met marchers. Scuffles followed. Minor injuries were reported. A sign read: "The rain has soaked us. The MINUSTAH must go. We need help. We need aid."

Shelter from the elements is needed as the rainy season approaches, and with it the greater threat of disease. Reportedly 10,000 tents have arrived, not the 200,000 the government requested and hundreds of thousands more needed.

OCHA reports that 90% of affected Haitians need emergency shelter, over 1.2 million are in "spontaneous settlements," and nearly half a million "have left Port-au-Prince for outlying" areas. Most of them, in fact, have been forced into permanent displacement, the same fate planned for hundreds of thousands more.

Sanitation is a major concern. At most, 5% of needed latrines are available, and the lack of dumping sites for waste is also a huge problem. With the arrival of thousands of people along the Dominican Republic border, "the food security situation, which was already precarious prior to the earthquake, is getting worse...."

The Nutrition Cluster expects the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate to soar given conditions on the ground throughout the country. In addition, months of rain "will increase morbidity rates for childhood diseases while hunger is expected to be especially severe....Delays in incoming stock pipelines must be addressed to ensure a steady influx of needed items."

The problem is relief supplies are warehoused at Haiti's airport, ports and other facilities, not adequately distributed, so willful obstruction is exacerbating the crisis. People are starving. Diseases are becoming epidemics. Everything is in short supply, and OCHA reports only 10% of trauma injuries have been treated.

Yet the web site reliefweb.int shows $569.8 million in relief already donated (as of February 14), or 99% of the appeal's goal and certain to way exceed it. Where has the money gone? Who's getting it, and why hasn't an amount this great delivered significant aid? Disturbing questions demand answers. Why aren't they forthcoming? It's because Haiti is being prepared for plunder, and NGOs, including charities, will get their fair share.

NGOs Defined

The web site ngo.org defines them as follows:

"A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian policies and encourage political participation through provision of information. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations system differs depending on their goals, their venue and the mandate of a particular institution."

A paper prepared by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's L. David Brown and Mark H. Moore titled, "Accountability, Strategy, and International Non-Governmental Organizations" quotes Anna Vakil's five NGO "functional categories: welfare, develop (in the sense of capacity-building), advocacy, development education, and networking or research."

Various other definitions include the following characteristics:

-- local, national or international in scope;

-- non-governmental;

-- non-profit;

-- staffed by unpaid volunteers;

-- non-political; and

-- advancing social, humanitarian objectives.

Some NGOs do. Most don't as James Petras explained on The Lendman News Hour saying most skim 90% of donations for themselves. Some genuinely enhance welfare, support human and civil rights, and mitigate the ravages of disease and repression. The large majority, however, are ideologically biased think tanks or lobby groups, serving a political agenda for profit. They're predators, not humanitarians.

In his December 1997 Monthly Review article titled, "Imperialism and NGOs in Latin America," Petras discussed their early 1970s history under military dictatorships when they actively supported their victims and denounced human rights abuses. Even then, however, their limitations were evident as "they rarely denounced the US and European patrons who financed" them. Nor did they "link the neoliberal economic policies and human rights violations to the new turn in the imperialist system. Obviously" their funding limits their ability to criticize.

Yet as neoliberal regimes "devastat(ed) communities (through) cheap imports, extracting external debt payments, abolishing labor legislation, and creating a" reserve army of cheap labor, NGOs were well funded "to be their 'community face'....intimately related to those at the top and complementing their destructive work with local projects." In other words, NGOs are profiteers with a friendly face acting as predatory capitalism's agents. When they take over, social movements decline, and that's the whole idea for their presence.

Nearly all have entrenched bureaucracies, highly paid officials, secret operational rules, and undisclosed financing sources and amounts, mostly from domestic or foreign nations whose interests they serve, including for PR, intelligence, or population control, not providing humanitarian services.

They all claim non-profit status, yet operate unethically, collude with governments or business interests, profit handsomely, own unrelated businesses, and exploit people they claim to serve. In many countries, they're the preferred choice for Western aid and emergency relief, providing cover for an imperial agenda and cashing in handsomely, especially after disasters like wars and their aftermath, floods, famines and earthquakes.

Haiti is called "the Republic of NGOs," with over 10,000 operating (according to World Bank estimates) for its nine million people, the highest per capita presence worldwide in all sectors of activity and society, many with sizable budgets. Yet their numbers beg the question. With that abundant firepower, why is Haiti the poorest country in the hemisphere, one of the poorest in the world, and one of the most oppressed? Why were so many Haitians starving pre-quake? Why now are conditions catastrophic and worsening?

NGO proliferation mirrored the atrophy of Haiti's government, providing cover for imperial interests with UN paramilitary and now US combat troop occupiers for enforcement, Haitians, of course, suffering as they have for over 500 years.

Profiteering from Misery

In his book titled, "Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking," Timothy Schwartz recounts an "anthropologist's personal story of working with foreign aid agencies (the NGO network) and discovering that fraud, greed, corruption, apathy, and political agendas permeate the industry," part of the reason behind Haiti's institutionalized oppression, poverty and misery.

According to Haitian lawyer/activist Marguerite Laurent:

"It's laughably idealistic to wish for accountability, honesty, grace and dignity from the folks at USAID, World Bank, the Christian missions and those 'doing good' in Haiti for more than a-half century now," when, in fact, most come to exploit, seeking profits, not a desire to provide humanitarian services.

"Schwartz's book unveils paradoxes and lots of critical data on foreign aid, mission schools, orphanages, and the world's major multinational charities working in Haiti." He reveals a nation "you'll not read about in current mainstream books and papers on Haiti." Nor through the major media that ignore over 500 years of enslavement, colonization, serfdom, severe exploitation and oppression, and brutalizing misery, the last two centuries under US domination.

The book is an "inside story," said Schwartz, about "fraud, greed, corruption, and apathy, and political agendas (as well as a) story of failed agriculture, health and credit projects; violent struggles for control over aid money; corrupt orphanage owners, pastors, and missionaries; the nepotistic manipulation of research funds; economically counterproductive food relief programs that undermine the Haitian agricultural economy; and the disastrous effects of economic engineering by foreign governments and international aid organizations (like USAID, World Bank and others), and the multinational corporate charities....in their service (like CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and many others) that have programs spread across the globe, moving in response not only to disasters and need, but political agendas and economic opportunity."

He saw it for over 10 years, researching and living in Haiti. He stresses not wanting to damage charity providers, just those in it for personal gain, not people they profess to help.

"At the level of individuals and NGOS, the lack of fiscal accountability is manifest in the enrichment of the custodians of the money - pastors and directors of NGOs, schools and orphanages - and the redirection of charity toward middle and upper class Haitians," the very ones who don't need it. At governmental levels, "Charity is manipulated to serve political ends."

Without accountability, corruption gets embedded, aid is distorted, and ends up doing more harm than good, precisely according to plan. For example, Haiti's School for Jesus Christ of America "was a nest of elites (disdaining) and spurn(ing) the impoverished peasants, fishermen, and slum dwellers, (calling) them ignorant and uncivilized, as subhuman, who called them dan wouj (red teeth) and pye pete (cracked fee)...."

"The impoverished children in the Hamlet could not get medical care," and what they got was poor quality for exorbitant fees. At the same time, elite children were treated free and their education paid for, using funds meant for the poor. Visiting missionaries called the school administrators "dedicated spreaders of biblical truth, somehow holier than ordinary Christians, closer to God, better than the rest of us." In fact, they're predators, profiteering from Haiti's poor and living lavishly at their expense. Their mission, in fact, is bogus. "Helping the poor? The hell they were!"

CARE is no different, "a perversion of American charitable ideals with its false claims to be aiding the 'poorest of the poor' when what it was really doing was throwing exquisite banquets at plush hotels while carrying out US political policy in the interest of international venture capitalists and industrialists."

Child Trafficking in Haiti

This section deals with abducted children for profit, not Haiti's century-long Restavek system covered in an earlier article titled, "Child Slavery in Haiti." Under it, impoverished families send one or more of their children to live with wealthier or less poor ones in return for food, shelter, education, and a better life in return for performing tasks as servants. They, in fact, become de facto slaves subjected to verbal and physical abuse.

Trafficking children for profit is another matter, another scam. Operatives representing orphanages or adoption agencies approach poor families, offer money, promise their children will be well cared for and educated, then disappear them. None are ever heard from again.

According to Schwartz:

"Not one of the families ever received a single letter from the agency or from any of the adoptive parents. An SOS (Enfants Without Frontiers) employee obtained the address of (one) parent organization in Paris but, when they called, the person who answered the phone said that the agency had moved and left no forwarding address."

Schwartz visited "every single orphanage in the Province as well as Gonaives. They all look like scams to (him. He didn't want to) write a report saying the orphanages are all scams," but, in fact, they are, preying on impoverished families.

The problem, however, is far greater. World Vision and Compassion International sponsor 58,500 Haitian children. Christian Aid Missions (CAM) 10,000, the Haiti Baptist Mission 57,800, and many other NGOs run similar operations, trafficking children for profit or diverting funds for the poor to elite ones or their pockets. "....think about all the money that must be collected and never even gets there....So many people at these orphanages are outright lying. Most of the children are not orphans."

Schwartz's "dismay with charity and development was growing. (His) job wasn't over." He investigated further and found other alarming surprises, "shatter(ing) any remaining faith (he) had in foreign aid to Haiti." Under militarized control, perhaps much worse is underway, with hundreds of millions of donor aid likely stolen and thousands of predatory NGOs and other profiteers grabbing it.

The recent report about 10 Americans detained (likely to be released pending further investigation and perhaps absolved altogether) for illegally trying to spirit 33 children from Haiti is just the tip of a global problem, one very much affecting Haiti. This longstanding practice is now way accelerated with thousands of children separated from parents, enabling abductors to pass them off as orphans and sell them for profit.

Overall, UNICEF calls human trafficking "one of the most lucrative and fastest growing transnational crimes, generat(ing) approximately up to $10 billion per year," affecting many millions of victims, mostly women and children. In 2005, the International Labour Organization estimated from 980,000 - 1.25 million children trafficked annually, mostly for:

"domestic labour, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural work, drug couriering, organized begging, child soldiering and exploitative or slavery-like practices in the informal economy."

The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (called the Palermo Protocol or Trafficking Protocol) defines the practice as follows in Article 3:

"Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs...."

Under this definition, abductions for sale or transfer to prospective parents are criminal acts - "illicit adoptions" according to UNICEF stating:

"An increase in demand for adoption has helped to propel the unlawful trafficking of babies and young children. Sometimes (parents) from developing countries sell their baby or young child, at other times" infants are stolen.

UNICEF conservatively estimates at least 2,000 Haitian children are trafficked annually to the Dominican Republic alone, and, post-quake, confirmed that 15 or more disappeared from area hospitals, likely victims of abductors. In addition, adoption applications soared, from 10 a month earlier to dozens daily, one agency saying it's gotten over 1,000 requests to adopt Haitian children.

With many thousands alone and vulnerable, they're easy pickings for traffickers - for non-Haitian prospective parents, forced labor, commercial sex, or other illicit purposes.

On January 27, Time.com writers Tim Padgett and Bobby Ghosh highlighted the problem in their article titled, "Human Predators Stalk Haiit's Vulnerable Kids."

They cited one instance of a "Toyota pickup truck cruising the debris-cluttered streets of Leogane," offering children food, getting them in the pickup and disappearing, all of them abduction victims. According to UNICEF, "Traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability, and we've rarely if ever seen one like this."

Haiti is now occupied. Under Fourth Geneva, its children, including orphans, are protected persons and can't be moved for any reason. According to international law expert Francis Boyle, doing so "is a serious war crime," yet America may be aiding and abetting the guilty, even though it's (nominally) committed to combatting the practice, and the US 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act calls "trafficking in persons....a transnational crime with national implications."

The law enhanced earlier penalties, added new protections, and provided victims various benefits and services. It also established a cabinet-level federal interagency task force and federal program to provide them. Under US and international law, Washington recognizes the grievousness of this crime. In practice perhaps it's another matter given America's global lawlessness, including illegally occupying Haiti and stealing its sovereignty.

Private Military Contractors (PMCs) See a Bonanza in Haiti

They're mercenaries, paramilitaries, hired guns, unprincipled, in it for the money, and go anywhere to find it. They're unregulated, unchecked, free from criminal or civil accountability, and are licensed to kill and get away with it. Wherever they're deployed, they're feared for good reason, and they're heading to Haiti. Xe Services (formerly Blackwater USA) is already there. Jeremy Scahil, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army calls them a:

"shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world (accustomed) to operating with worry or legal consequences (with) remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus...."

Many PMCs belong to the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA). Immediately after the quake, its web site (ipoaworld.org) announced:

"In the wake of the tragic events in Haiti, a number of IPOA's member companies are available and prepared to provide a wide variety of critical relief services to the earthquake's victims. If you would like more information about IPOA and its member companies, you can read more here."

A list of services and member companies followed. Unexplained was their dark side.

In his January 19 Nation magazine article titled, "US Mercenaries Set Sights on Haiti," Scahill said to expect "a lot of (disaster profiteering) in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. (It's) kicking into full gear in Haiti," and arrivals signal the kinds of terrorizing common wherever these professional killers are deployed.

Exploiting Haiti's Resources

In October 2009, Marguerite Laurent, exposed the key reason for exploiting Haiti, easier under occupation and hundreds of thousands of Haitians removed from where huge oil deposits likely exist and other development is planned. In 2008, an estimated 20 billion barrels were found in deep water off Cuba. Haitian resources are believed to be far greater, and they've been known about for decades.

In a 2004 article titled, "Oil in Haiti," George Michel explained that:

"Since time immemorial, it has been no secret that deep in the earthy bowels of the two states that share the island of (Hispaniola - Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the surrounding waters that there are significant, still untapped deposits of oil. No one knows why they are still untapped." Why is with abundant Middle East and other resources, they weren't needed. Ahead they will be, so maybe now's the time to exploit them.

"Since the early twentieth century, the physical and political map of the island of Haiti, erected in 1908 by Messrs. Alexander Poujol and Henry Thomasset, reported a major oil reservoir....near the source of the Rio Todo El Mondo, Tributary Right Artibonite River, better known today as the River Thomonde."

Oil also exists "in the Dominican plain of Azua, a short distance north of the Dominican Republic in the town of Azua." The field was operating earlier in the last century, producing up to 60,000 barrels daily. In 1982, more significantly, "a huge oil field offshore at the coast of (the Dominican Republic's) Barahona" province was discovered, but left untapped.

In Haiti and offshore, geological evidence shows oil reserves at "the Bay of Cayes, Les Cayes and between Ile a Vache." The Dunn Plantation papers as well as George Michel confirm that Haiti is oil rich.

Laurent says:

"big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to (exploit Haiti's resources and use its) deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve US and Caribbean ports."

No wonder Washington has its fifth largest embassy in Port-au-Prince after Iraq (the largest anywhere on 104 acres, costing at least $592 million to build), China, Afghanistan and Germany.

Haiti is a strategic resource for its cheap labor, but mostly its exploitable resources, including, oil and gas, gold, copper, diamonds, iridium, and zirconium as well as deep water ports at Fort Liberte and elsewhere.

In February 2004, removing Jean-Bertrand Aristide and exiling him was step one, followed by a coup d'etat government, UN paramilitary "peacekeepers," and an elected one, subservient to Washington, opening Haiti to greater plunder, including privatizing state-owned companies, exploiting its cheap labor even more, letting unwanted portions perish, and developing its resources.

Now the occupation and, according to Laurent, US-France-Canada balkanization for resource exploitation, Washington wanting the South, including Port-au-Prince, La Gonaive island, offshore to the West, Les Cayes, the southern peninsula and offshore waters. Around 20,000 US Marines and paratroupers arrived for the duration, to ensure Haiti is open for business for the usual corporate interests, and to ensure none of its wealth is shared with the poor - how Haitians have always been treated for over 500 years, except for the brief interregnum under Artistide and short period after becoming the first free and independent Black republic.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at
lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.






Monday, February 15, 2010

Haiti Kanaval 2010

This video somewhat captures the spirit of 'Haiti Kanaval Past'. The Earthquake of 2010 has changed the joy and mirthfulness seen here to somber mourning and a careful, but hopeful expectation for a rebuilt Haiti in the future. One sign of recovery for Haiti will be the regained ability to celebrate Haiti Kanaval in the old way again. That may be a long way off.




In Haiti, Carnival is Replaced by Mourning
Monday 15 February 2010
by: Jacqueline Charles





The Miami Herald
It is a manifestation of the Haitian spirit, the enduring buoyancy and optimism that has guided Haiti for more than 200 years.
For as long as anyone can remember, carnival or kanaval has taken place. Until this year. Haiti carnival has now become a wake.
As quake-struck Haitians ended three days of national mourning and fasting Sunday, the satirical drumbeats of the traditional "meringues" ridiculing politicians and rivaling musicians that would have marked the beginning of the three-day carnival have been silenced.
They have been replaced with strings of sorrow, and cries to rise from the rubble and move forward -- avanse -- as Haiti continues to mourn its 200,000-plus dead: fallen artists, struggling neighbors, loving family, inspiring leaders.
Carnival would have ended Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday.
"Is Haiti finished? I say, No, No. We have to rise again," Miami-based T-Vice sings in Nou Pap Lage (We Won't Give Up). "Don't be discouraged. I have faith, I have hope, the Haitian people will find victory. Together we shall overcome."
If Haiti's pre-Lent colorful street party has always been the barometer of the Caribbean nation's ailing temperatures, then its cancellation by the government is a sign that the country barely has a pulse. Even if the spirit is willing, Haitians in Miami and on the island say the heart is just too crushed to cooperate.
"Are we broken? Yes," said Eric Gaillard, a devoted carnival reveler who captured on video the horror and screams of a collapsing capital from the balcony of his house in Port-au-Prince's Pacot residential neighborhood. "The worst: there is no leadership. The government is not providing strong guidelines. It's not giving us a vision of hope, saying 'Haitian people, Port-au-Prince is destroyed, we are going to construct again. We have a plan, be patient with us.'"
Just as reggae and rhythm and blues artists have recorded tributes chronicling the destruction and despair following the Jan. 12, 7.0-magnitude earthquake, so have many Haitian artists.
Instead of preparing to perform live on the Champs de Mars, they are releasing their songs on iTunes, posting them on Facebook and YouTube and handing them to Haitian deejays to fill the airwaves -- and to help raise money for charities.
The dark cloud cast by the quake stretches from the empty carnival viewing stands lining the rubble-strewn streets of downtown Port-au-Prince to the empty dance halls of Miami, quieted since the quake.
"I don't think anybody's heart is on the music," Michel Martelly, Haiti's charismatic konpa king best known to fans as Sweet Micky, said from his Port-au-Prince home, where he and his wife Sophia were preparing to distribute food to the ravaged Bel-Air neighborhood, a stone's throw from the crumbled presidential palace.
"The dimension of this tragedy is beyond peoples' imagination."
In Miami when the earthquake struck and unable to reach his wife, Martelly grabbed son Olivier, called in Haitian-born rapper Black Dada and saxophonist Jowee Omicil to help him capture the dispiriting moment in song.
"From far, I see my peoples dying. From far, I hear the kids, they're crying. They have no place to go," Olivier sings in English as his famous father and Black Dada pipe in: "What's going on? Put your heads together. What's going on."
Trying to make sense of the tragedy, they sing, "Tell me what we did to end up like this....Show me a sign from above. All I want to do is stop this misery."
In recent days, Haiti's political and religious leaders have called on Haitians to be strong, put their heads together to build a new society.
Ironically, this year's carnival theme was "Building a New Path."
"It was the first time I had my carnival song ready a month early," said T-Vice lead singer Roberto Martino, who was in the group's Miami recording studio, minutes from recording his voice tracks, when word of the quake hit. "There was such a positive vibe before the quake, everything was moving forward in the country."
Like many, he can't recall ever a time when carnival was canceled. Not through the coup d'etats, perennial political unrest or economic hard times; not even in 2005, when musicians and fans were dodging bullets from warring thugs in front of the presidential palace.
"This is supposed to be the most festive time out of the whole year for the Haitian people; a time when they forget about their misery, forget about everything. Now, they have to think 100 times more about their problems," Martino said. "There is no tomorrow, no hope. That is how the people are looking at it now."
But even as life in Haiti seems to hopelessly stand still, musicians and instruments remain buried in the rubble, and the Champs de Mars bursts with tens of thousands of homeless rather than hundreds of thousands of revelers, some like Miami musician Ralph Cassagnol see a lining of hope. He ponders this year's carnival theme to which his group Mawon penned its carnival tune Avancé. The song, written a month before the quake, seems especially appropriate now as Haitians, battered and broken, look for deliverance in another kind of way.
"There's no time to talk. There's no time to play around. What's happened has happened. It's our time to move forward. We have a country to save," Mawon's seven-piece band sings. "Don't look back. There are no more tears left to cry."
"We've been through a lot of pain," Cassagnol said from Miami, where Mawon has been doing concert fundraisers to aid Haiti and plans to donate proceeds from the single to charities working to help Haitians recover.
"If we keep looking back we'll never move forward," he said. "We have to let the shedding of tears be done during the mourning period. Let's get that emotion out and move forward."
All republished content that appears on Truthout has been obtained by permission or license.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Haiti Interview on BlogTalkRadio - WBCN NETWORK

Last night I did a two hour interview with Dennis Speed on WBCN blog radio concerning Haiti. The show was called 'Everything Politics' and was listened to by over 338,000 people. It was a lengthy report of my recent visit to Haiti as a medical aid worker and as an observer with an eye towards what must be done to continue the needed relief efforts and the rebuilding of Haiti.

Click on the link below to hear the complete 2 hour show.


Enjoy. Learn. Share.






Monday, February 8, 2010

Tb and HIV in Haiti and Our Enlightened Self Interest

The followiing article from the New York Times highlights one of the best reasons for a forceful and thorough intervention of a humanitarian nature into Haiti - drug resistant Tuberculosis. We do not need a breeding ground for deadly Tb anywhere in the Western hemisphere, or anywhere in the world. Haiti, which has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world, also has one of the highest Tb infection rates as well. Combine those two and you have the makings of a real apocalypse. Sqaulid living conditions, mal-nutition little to no medical care, poverty all combine to make for an explosive biological holocost -a holocost that is prevenable now- if we act now! We must mount a rescue effort for Haiti on the scale of a full military action in a time of war. We have to get in there, clean up the mess the earthquake and bad policy produced and start with basic rebuilding of the infra-structure now. Let's get the people out of the streets into proper shelters, let us get them fed nutritious meals, clean water, provide the medical attention needed and evacuate those who need specialized attention not available locally. This is something a great power like the United States can do, and should do, immediately and without delay. The cost of humanitarian intervention is meager compared to the costly intervention of war - such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. We could deploy hundreds of thousands of our unemployed youth and adults to help the Haitian people rebuild their country. It would also help us to rebuild the moral fiber of this country in the bargain. We should do this now without fail, or suffer the consequences later on.





TUBERCULOSIS - HAITI: POST-EARTHQUAKE
Date: Fri 5 Feb 2010

Source: The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/06/world/americas/06tuberculosis.html?hp

At a fly-infested clinic hastily erected alongside the rubble of the only tuberculosis sanatorium in this country, Pierre-Louis Monfort is a lonely man in a crowded room. Haiti has the highest tuberculosis rate in the Americas, and health experts say it is about to drastically increase. But amid the ramshackle remains of the hospital where the country's most infected patients used to live, Mr Monfort runs the clinic alone, facing a vastness of unmet need that is as clear as the desperation on the faces around the room.

"I'm drowning," said Mr Monfort, 52, flanked by a line of people waiting for pills as he emptied a bedpan full of blood. All of the hospital's 50 other nurses and 20 doctors died in the earthquake or have refused to return to work out of fear for the building's safety or preoccupation with their own problems, he said. Mr Monfort joked that the earthquake had earned him a promotion from a staff nurse at the sanatorium to its new executive director.

In normal times, Haiti sees about 30,000 new cases of tuberculosis each year. Among infectious diseases, it is the country's 2nd most common killer, after AIDS, according to the World Health Organization. The situation has gone from bad to worse because the earthquake set off a dangerous diaspora. Most of the sanatorium's several hundred surviving patients fled and are now living in the densely packed tent cities where experts say they are probably spreading the disease. Most of these patients have also stopped taking their daily regimen of pills, thereby heightening the chance that there will be an outbreak of a strain resistant to treatment,experts say.

At the city's General Hospital, Dr Megan Coffee said, "This right here is what is going to be devastating in 6 months," and she pointed to several tuberculosis patients thought to have a resistant strain of the disease who were quarantined in a fenced-off blue tent. "Someone needs to go and help Monfort, or we are all going to be in big trouble."

A further complication is that definitively diagnosing tuberculosis takes weeks. So doctors are instead left to rely on conspicuous symptoms like night sweats, severe coughing and weight loss. "But look around," Dr Coffee said. "Everyone is thin, everyone is coughing from the dust and everyone is sweating from the heat."

Dr Richar D'Meza, the coordinator for tuberculosis for the Haitian Ministry of Health, said his office and the World Health Organization had begun stockpiling tuberculosis medicines. "We are very concerned about a resistant strain, but we are also getting ready," he said, adding that he is assembling medical teams to begin entering tent camps to survey for the disease. "This will begin soon," he said. "We will get help to these people soon."

For Mr Monfort, it is not soon enough. He scavenges the rubble daily for medicines and needles. He sterilizes needles using bleach and then reuses the bleach to clean the floors. In his cramped clinic, 8 of the sickest and most contagious patients lay on brown- and red-stained beds. He said he had lost count of how many more were sleeping in other pockets alongside the hospital. Hundreds come daily to pick up medicine. Outside the clinic, the air is thick with the sickening smell of rotting bodies. Occasionally a breeze carried a waft of char from small cooking fires nearby, offering a respite from the stench and the flies.

Mr Monfort began to explain that his biggest problem was a lack of food. Suddenly a huge crash shook the clinic. A patient screamed. Everyone stood still, eyes darting. A man outside yelled that another section of the hospital had collapsed. People looking for materials to build huts had pulled wood pilings from a section of the hospital roof, which then fell as the scavengers leapt to safety, the man said. Mr Monfort looked to the ground silently as if the weight of his lonely responsibility had just come crashing down. "These people are dying and in pain here," he said. "And no one seems to care."

The dire scene at Mr Monfort's clinic speaks to a larger concern: as hospitals and medical staff are overrun by people with acute conditions, patients who were previously getting treatment for cancer, HIV, and other chronic or infectious diseases have been pushed aside and no longer have access to care.

At the Champ de Mars, [a man] sat on a curb, one shoe missing, his blue polo shirt torn, his head cupped in his hands. "I have TB, and I am also supposed to get dialysis every other day," he said, explaining that he was a doctor's assistant before the earthquake and meticulous about his treatments. "I have not had dialysis in 3 weeks, and I feel my blood is rotting from inside." Waving his hand over a sea of tents and tarpaulins, he added, "It is like this country."

Back at the clinic, Mr Monfort struggled to fix an IV that had missed the vein and was painfully pumping fluids under a patient's skin. Another ghost of a man hobbled to the doorway on crutches, moaning for help. "Please wait, please wait," Mr Monfort said in a tense whisper. The biggest source of stress, Mr Monfort said, is that his 3 children and wife are living on the street because the earthquake destroyed their home. His wife begs him daily to stay with them. Instead, unpaid and without a mask or gloves to wear, he walks to the sanatorium each day at 6 am and stays until 8 p.m. when most of the patients drift to sleep. "Why don't you just leave us to die?" asked [a patient]. Mr. Monfort looked offended by the notion. But he did not answer and the question seemed to stick with him.

The ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus once wrote that there was a type of suffering so intense that, even in our sleep, it bores into the heart until eventually, "in our own despair, against our will," it taps into a terrible wisdom. After several minutes in silence, Mr Monfort spoke of that wisdom. He referred to it as a "strange hope" that had sprung from the suffering of his patients and the loss and abandonment of his fellow staff members. "These people here are dying, but they keep me alive," he said. "I know they are hurting more than me and not complaining. So," he said, handing another walk-in patient a packet of pills, "I must continue."

Byline: Ian Urbina




Tb and HIV facts in Haiti
Haiti has the highest per capita tuberculosis (TB) burden in the Latin America and Caribbean region. After HIV/AIDS, TB is the country�s greatest infectious cause of mortality in both youth and adults (6,814 deaths in 2007). Haiti is among the eight priority countries identified by the Pan American Health Organization for TB control in the region. According to the World Health Organization�s (WHO�s) 2009 Global Tuberculosis Control Report, Haiti had and estimated 29,333 new TB cases in 2007. Of these, 53 percent were new pulmonary sputum smear-positive (SS+) cases. Although Haiti falls short of the WHO targets of 70 percent case detection and 85 percent treatment success rates, the DOTS (the internationally recommended strategy for TB control) case detection rate rose from 37 percent to 49 percent between 2003 and 2007. The DOTS treatment success rate was 82 percent in 2006, a slight increase from 78 percent in 2003. DOTS coverage fell to 70 percent in 2007 compared with 91 percent in 2006, though it was still above the 2005 level of 55 percent. However, in some highly dense metropolitan settings, such as areas in Port-au-Prince, coverage can be as low as 13 percent. The most populated department in Haiti, Ouest (West), has 34 percent of the country�s population but only 25 percent coverage.
Since 1998, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has supported the DOTS strategy in order to strengthen the national TB program, the Programme National de Lutte contre la Tuberculose (PNLT), and approved national guidelines and norms for TB control in 2002. However, the program lacks political and financial support from the government, and there is a lack of skilled technical human resources at the central level of the PNLT. A major problem in combating TB is that co-infection with HIV can run as high as 30 percent in some urban areas. Strong stigma and cultural barriers attached to TB also interfere with case detection and adherence to treatment. Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB has increased from 1.4 percent in 2004 to 1.8 percent in 2007. In partnership with three USAID-supported nongovernmental organizations, the MOH has taken steps to implement DOTS clinics in all 10 geographical departments in Haiti.



Friday, February 5, 2010

Haiti Death Toll Past 200,000

Here are the latest statistics for the Haiti earthquake. 200,000 dead and counting, roughly 2% of the population declared dead. Many more of the dead will go uncounted because they were buried by family in backyards and are not a part of any official tally. Also people who died in collapsed building have not been pulled out for counting purposes. They are left in place and an estimated number is given for statistical purposes. The whole population is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. They have seen and experienced death and destruction on a scale that is unimaginable. The pain physical and emotional in beyond belief and will continue for many years and will undoubtedly shape the world view of the survivors.

Haiti earthquake: death toll reaches 200,000
The death toll in the Haiti quake has swelled to 200,000, as angry protests over the slow arrival of aid erupted on the rubble-strewn streets. 04 Feb 2010

A mother sits next her child, who lost a leg in the Haiti earthquake, at a field hospital in Port-au-Prince Photo: AFP / GETTY
More than three weeks after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake, prime minister Jean Max Bellerive said his tiny Caribbean nation had been ravaged by "a disaster on a planetary scale" and detailed the tragic toll suffered by his people.
"There are more than 200,000 people who have been clearly identified as people who are dead," he said, adding that another 300,000 injured had been treated, 250,000 homes had been destroyed and 30,000 businesses lost. At least 4,000 amputations have also been carried out due to horrific crush injuries -- a shocking figure which is likely to strain the impoverished nation's already meager resources for years to come.

Mr Bellerive said he has proposed the formation of an "emergency government" in Haiti to focus on the crisis, but insisted that the authorities, devastated as their ranks have been by the disaster, remained "in control of the situation."
Despite a massive aid operation, a lack of coordination and the sheer extent of the damage have hampered the distribution of food and water leading to mounting tensions among a million people left homeless.
"The Haitian government has done nothing for us, it has not given us any work. It has not given us the food we need," Sandrac Baptiste said bitterly as she left her makeshift tent to join angry demonstrations.
In separate protests after a tense night when shots were fired in the ruined capital Port-au-Prince, some 300 people gathered outside the mayor's office in the once upscale Petionville neighborhood.
"If the police fire on us, we are going to set things ablaze," one of the protesters shouted, raising a cement block above his head.
Another 200 protesters marched toward the US embassy, crying out for food and aid, and about 50 protestors also gathered late Tuesday outside the police headquarters where the Haitian government of President Rene Preval is temporarily installed. "Down with Preval," demonstrators shouted at the president who has only spoken to the people a few times since the disaster struck.
Meanwhile, a group of US Christians were to learn whether they would be charged with trying to illegally take children out of the quake-stricken nation. The 10 Americans from the Idaho-based Baptist group New Life Children's Refuge have been detained in Haiti since the weekend after they tried to take some 33 children out of the country to neighboring Dominican Republic.

Haitian Fight Song

Here is bassist Charles Mingus' "Haitian Fight Song", a fitting anthem for the struggle now going on for basic survival and rebuilding in Haiti.
Enjoy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The 'Future Orphanage' of Haiti


This little boy is a resident of a newly founded orphanage -only 4 days old- set up in a cleared field that was a junk yard by an American Scientologist team headed by Cindy Love who invited me to visit to do medical evaluations. The orphanage is called "Future Orphanage" because it houses some of Haiti's future citizens and leaders. This little boy is one of 84 that had been found wandering the streets of Port au Prince after their previous orphanage had collapsed during the quake. You see, 83 of the 84 were orphans before the quake! Of the 300 in the orphanage before the quake, only 83 are accounted for. The rest are presumed buried in the rubble of their destroyed orphanage. This little boy has a big plate of beans and rice which is the first food he has had in days. I was there on the first day of operation of the makeshift kitchen which is housed in the steel trailer of a truck. Some of the children got belly aches - too much food, too soon. I observed them as energetic and lively despite it all. I saw them willing to share their food with others, even one boy, the 84th orphan named Peterson, taking food from the camp to people he knew on the street.
Peterson is a newly orphaned boy, who used to sell water on the dangerous streets of Port au Prince before the quake. A day or two before the quake, Peterson was struck by a bus that broke his leg. While in the hospital the quake struck killing his mother and father and his sisters and brothers. His whole family was wiped out. He survived because he was away form home in the hospital. Peterson is an awesome young man who is a natural leader among the other children. He looks out for them as best he can. And somehow he continues to smile a bit and even run and play like the child he is.
The 'Future Orphanage' is not a structure. It is one big yellow tent for classes and meetings. I used it for medical examinations of some of the children and for setting up a tetanus inoculation center. The children sleep in 7 Shelter Logic tents that are designed to house 10 people. There is a well for water on the property and a long bench along a cider block wall where they sit to eat their meals. A bond fire is built at night because there are no lights, no electricity, no running water, no bathrooms. Understand that a generator has been donated and that should help with the power problem. Two Scientology Volunteer Ministers are busy constructing picnic tables for them the children to eat at and to begin academic classes. Their ages range from 2 years to 14 years as far as can be determined.

Some may question why I who have been a strong anti-vaccine advocate would organize and conduct an anti-tetanus program for these orphans. When I looked around the yard where they were running and playing, I noticed all kinds of broken glass and pieces of metal everywhere and half of the children had no shoes. Tetanus, or lock-jaw, is epidemic in Haiti and can result in deaths. The risk of the vaccine is small compared to the risk of tetanus under these extreme circumstances. It was an easy decision to make.

An Emblem of Heroism In Haiti

Walking through the dusty debris of Port au Prince in the aftermath of the great 7.0 earthquake that hit January 12th was more than a little surreal and depressing. For the most part, people are trying to go about their daily business of survival on the basic level with grim stoic faces. The population is in shock and will be so for a long time to come. There are no smiles or much laughter on the streets, but there is a resilience and dignity that is pervasive. Pictured to the right is a man that I encountered in a area of Port au Prince called Delmar. He was moving fast, shirtless and ram-rod straight with a Haitian flag somehow strapped to his back and flapping proudly over his head. He had a warrior spirit about him. He was even defiant in the face of overwhelming adversity. He looked like he was going to win over a mere 7.0 earthquake. Who knows his story? Who knows his loss? Or where he is headed so swiftly, so proudly. But I take him as emblematic of the whole Haitian people and nation. They are fierce in their determination to live, to survive, to thrive and prosper no matter what.