Friday, May 11, 2007

History is written by the victors

  Toussaint L'Ouverture
I have heard this expression on numerous occasions. It is spoken as if this is the gospel (if you believe in the gospel). This is an arrogant and inaccurate portrayal of reality.

The truth is that there is a history and it is written. The so-called majority might be holding their fingers to their ears and humming in the manner of a spoiled child in order not to acknowledge that history. In order to marginalize that history. The truth will not be ignored, however. It is a specter that jumps up and bites you in the ass when you lie (ask Alberto Gonzales).

When it comes to international relations the truth, though written, is often ignored. Take the oft ignored history of Haiti. Yesterday May 10, 2007, I heard an interesting news item on Pacifica Radio on "Free Speech Radio News" no less. In this broadcast, from Radio France International, FSRN’s Jan van der Made reports from France about a celebration of the abolition of slavery. I waited with baited breath for mention of Haiti. This was an obvious occasion when France's defeat at the hands of its slave colony would be mentioned, however briefly. Alas, to my ever more cynical ears, no word was heard of an event that changed the course of history and set the path for a glorious end to that debasing, dehumanizing institution.

What you never hear is the everlasting influence that this event had on the history of the world. One country benefited more than any other, that was the United States of America. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory from a defeated Napoleon (Haiti was the start of his Waterloo), nearly doubled the size of the U.S. It also crushed Frances dreams of Empire.

Well, reminiscent dreams of lost empire be damned, France has moved on. It's unfortunate that France, Canada and the U.S. have not allowed Haitians that dignity. They conspired of late to topple Haiti's first democratically elected government. Plunging Haiti into chaos and darkness. Holding on to their defeat at the hands of Haiti, has not allowed for anyone to move on. And no truer words were ever spoken then "NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE".

As I said, the history is written, the people know, certainly the people of Haiti know. My brethren are always struggling for hope, for recognition, for freedom. The struggle continues under the current occupation by the UN's brutal forces. Sovereignty is a dream deferred for freedom loving Haitians. But, the people are strong, they know their history. And it IS written, not just because Haitians ARE the victors, but because the truth may be avoidable, but it is indelible.

I read a statement by the always ironic, satirical and wise Kurt Vonnegut, who passed away last month, that during slavery, more slave owners died from suicide then did the slaves. The acknowledged advantage the slaves had he said, was their music. He did not mention their spirit and seemingly endless reserves of strength.

Haitians celebrate and rejoice in the truth and freedom. They are true freedom fighters who liberated their country and helped to liberate their brethren in bondage everywhere. Love of freedom is in the song in their hearts, the drum beat of their souls, the spirit in their eyes. The people look forward to having real sovereignty. Someday, we'll all be free when we celebrate the truth.

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