Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The real news from Haiti

Studying at the time in London, the summer was spent back in Munich, or in Maisach to be precise and there we all were out in the garden the sun shining, watching Bob Geldof's "Live Aid Concert". Good intentions, no doubt, from Mick Jagger, Led Zepplin, from Sting, from all and sundry. Good intentions and in moved the World Bank, the IMF and, ten years down the road, we had the WTO and no point in teaching the Africans how to fish when we can throw them an occassional fish from the rich man's plate, and so on to Haiti!

Now, they are at it again with their "Hope for Haiti" and there is no reason to believe that Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Bruce Springsteen and the rest of them are not well intentioned. Although with Mr "self publicity incarnate" Bono there we might begin to doubt even that. However, it is with the appearance of Mr William "structural adjustments programmes" Jefferson Clinton that the stomach goes particularly quessy, that the mouth dries up, that nausea overcomes me and I run out into the garden and vomit, for this is the man who takes a big chunk of the responsibilty for Haitians working for a pittance in the sweatshops of Port-au-Prince, the man who facilitated the implementation of policies that resulted in poor farmers leaving their land for poorly built slums in the capital. However, even Bill is not worthy of the "real news" at a moment when Haiti is increasingly relegated to the second page of our mainstream drivel. Furthermore, if Bill's neo-liberal nazism is not worthy of the front page, neither is the fact that the "we are the world" single from 1985 has been re-recorded to help the victims of the earthquake, nor the news that children are possibly being abducted. Therefore, what should the front page news be?

As we all know, the United States has some very big embassies and with Washington building its fifth biggest embassy in Port-au-Prince and with the military occupation of Haiti proceeding apace the "real news" for the front page might be taken from John Pilger who writes: "Oil was found in Haiti’s waters decades ago and the US has kept it in reserve until the Middle East begins to run dry. More urgently, an occupied Haiti has a strategic importance in Washington’s “rollback” plans for Latin America. The goal is the overthrow of the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, control of Venezuela’s abundant oil reserves and sabotage of the growing regional cooperation that has given millions their first taste of an economic and social justice long denied by US-sponsored regimes." Pilger, is not pulling assumptions out of a hat here and it there is enough evidence to suggest since the 2004 Bush regime change in Haiti, when Betrand Aristide was deposed as president, the US has been using UN troops as a proxy to avoid charges of imperialism. as it implements its neo-liberal policies. Of course, when it comes to Washington's geo-political ambitions not only is this umbrella completely inadequate but with the earthquake it is also no longer necessary as thousands of American troops pour into Haiti under the guise of a humanitarian mission. 

Nobody seems to know how many have actually died in the earthquake; it might have been 100,000, it might have been 200,000. The number of casualties is news certainly worth reporting. However, the "real news", the news that is not getting to the front page, is the American occupation of Haiti and a geopolitical strategy aimed at full spectrum dominance, which, in South America means the overthrow of popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and what Mr Pilger describes as the implementation of Washington's  ""rollback" plans for Latin America." This is the real news, this is the front page news, with Bill's neo-liberal land grab being relegated to page two and who knows we can even give Bono Brad, Clooney and their cronies a wee column on the back page although it would be more appreciated if these people got in touch with reality and really took a stance and, who knows, If that were to happen, they wouldn't have to be giving one of their concerts for a long, for a very long, time.

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