Monday, August 4, 2008

Dreaded US Military Toolbox | Haitian Army Unleashed

Statues showing Antoine and George Izmery who were murdered in 1993 for supporting Jean Bertrand Aristide.

09.11. 2004 -- September 11th marks the anniversary of a brutal massacre in Aristide's former parish of St. Jean Bosco in 1988 as well as the anniversary of the slaying of Lavalas supporter Antoine Izmery in 1993. To honor the victims and demand the restoration of democracy to Haiti, thousands of Lavalas activists took the streets this September 11th and braved the climate of terror that has gripped the country.
This past week former members of the murderous Haitian army occupied buildings in Northern Haiti in an attempt to get "back pay" and to demand that the army be reinstated. Many observers have asked: why does Haiti need an army? Haiti has no imperial ambitions; no wish to invade and occupy its neighbors and other sovereign nations. In the case of Antoine Izmery (a Haitian of Palestinian descent), these musings were ultimately met with a bullet to the head at close range on Sept. 11, 1993, a merciful death considering that his younger brother George met a slower death earlier that year.

"On May 26... businessman Georges Izmery was walking across a major downtown intersection, when he was mowed down by gunfire after being insulted by his assassin. Suddenly, soldiers appeared, forbidding Antoine Izmery to approach his younger brother and informing him that he should leave at once "if he did not want to go to the same place." The soldiers then took Georges Izmery directly to the morgue of the University Hospital, intimidating physicians who attempted to evacuate him. The problem was that Georges Izmery was not yet dead. In a report entitled "Black Day at the University Hospital" the residents and interns reported that Izmery still had a pulse when he was transferred to the morgue. They went on to complain that other summary executions had taken place within the Hospital."
    "The Uses of Haiti" by Paul Farmer.

Louis-Jodel Chamblain was convicted of the crime of killing Antoine Izmery and sentenced in absentia. He was one of the leaders in command of the "rebels" (assisted by Colin Powell) who entered Haiti in 2004 from the Dominican Republic to demand that President Aristide step down or face their kind of justice. He and his cohort, Jackson Joanis were acquitted as a consequence of the flagrant impunity following the 2004 US-backed coup.

These assassins do not deserve their jobs back. The term "assassin" is apt because many of the leadership of the Haitian army were trained at the School of the Americas, often called the "school of assassins."

In Latin America the graduates of the school are notorious for terrorizing the populace and enforcing the will of their foreign benefactors and the ultra-rich. In particular, they specialize in removing democracies and installing dictatorships and proxy government leaders hand picked by Washington. Back in early 2000, the school changed their name to "The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation," but their agenda and purpose have not changed. Security is the code word often used by the Washington power structure to invade and destroy democracies all over the world. Haiti continues to be the epicenter of these machinations. Ideologues at this "Western" institution represent the militarism, barbarism and cold-heartedness that is US foreign policy. Their goals evolve and change but generally involve the military, along with economic tactics that advance US interests.

It's the Army Stupid

Iraq and Haiti: two occupied countries. Why is it that the US government has thus far succeeded in avoiding an insurgency in Haiti whereas in Iraq the insurgency is a force to be reckoned with? In both instances, the answer is the army.

In Haiti and in Iraq, the country's leader was subject to regime change because he hindered "US interests". Saddam because he partially traded his oil in Euro and his country has a large supply of oil. In Haiti, Aristide challenged the privatization goals of the US corporatocracy. He also demanded that France pay reparations for the billions extorted from Haiti to pay an onerous debt. Haiti did not finish paying this debt until 1947. The amount paid to France was last estimated to be about $21 billion dollars. The path to Haiti's underdevelopment began with payment of this debt. The US appointed puppet government of Latortue dropped reparations claims.

The cycle of debt and dependence continues today with Haiti paying more in debt service than it does to any social service program. Back in 2003, writing as a guest columnist for, J. Damu (Acting Representative for NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) wrote:
    Haitian officials say nearly 80 percent of the current debt was accumulated by the regimes of Francois and Jean-Claude Duvalier, Doc and Baby Doc. Both regimes operated under the benign gaze of the United States, which has had a long and sordid history of keeping Haiti well within its sphere of economic and political influence. It is now well known that the primary source of Haiti’s chronic impoverishment is the reparations it was forced to pay to the former plantation owners who left following the 1804 revolution. Some of the White descendants of the former plantation owners, who now live New Orleans, still have the indemnity coupons issued by France. So, in fact, at least part of the reparations paid by Haiti went toward the development of the United States. In 1825, Haiti was forced to borrow 24 million francs from private French banks to begin paying off the crippling indemnity debt. Haiti only acknowledged this debt in exchange for French recognition of her independence, a principle that would continue to characterize Haiti’s international relationships. These indemnity payments caused continual financial emergencies and political upheavals. In a 51-year period, Haiti had 16 different presidents; each new president often came to power at the head of a rebel army.
Unfortunately for Saddam Hussein, the invasion and dismantling of his country ended with his murder (his "trial" was flawed and unsound). Jean Bertrand Aristide barely escaped Saddam's fate. To be clear Aristide, unlike Saddam Hussein, was not a dictator and the charges of corruption and brutality against him had no basis in fact. However, the disinformation and propaganda campaign waged against Aristide in the US and international press has jeopardized his life. He is unable to return to his country because his foes in the military, some political rivals and constituents, as well as the Morally Repugnant Elite (MRE) are part of the power structure. The majority of Haitians would like to see his return but for now he lives in exile in South Africa.

Many from the army have now integrated into the Haitian police and have been witnessed firing into crowds of peaceful demonstrators. That the dreaded military have been allowed to keep their arms while community activist termed "bandits" have been hunted down and murdered, is no accident. The decision was calculated to allow for the "weeding out" of anyone pressing for human-rights, democracy, and an end to the UN occupation of Haiti.

The fact is, Haiti is not a safe place for anyone who espouses human-rights, democracy and freedom. The terrorist who are now demanding their jobs back are there to make sure of that.

The Iraqi army was also disbanded, but with different results for the invading US forces. It's clear that the intense rivalry between the State Department and the Department of Defense, paved the way for the appointment of L. Paul Bremer as chief civilian administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. When the Bathist army of Iraq was disbanded by Bremer they were allowed to keep their arms. Unfortunately for the US government, these army veterans knew how to use them and they had not been indoctrinated at the "Western" institutions like the "school of assassins."

A man with a bit more savvy then Bremer was the former US Ambassador to Haiti James B. Foley. His tenure in Haiti is described in this article by Marguerite Laurent:
    What most mainstream journalists reporting on this reward payment to the terrorists who overthrew Haiti's duly elected government usually fail to point out is that it is U.S. Ambassador Foley's plan that the Latorture regime are executing in Haiti. Latorture and his illegal and imported replacement government are U.S. assets. Nothing they do is separate and apart from U.S. bidings. Mainstream journalist currently reporting on Latorture's "bad decision-making" fail to point out that Latorture has no power separate and apart from U.S. power. If there are "bad-decisions" going on in Haiti today, Latorture doesn't have the power to make them. His bosses are responsible. Latorture is no more than a U.S. puppet. That's a key fact. When the corporate mainstream media ignore this essential fact, their reporting are simply media spins that result in making Haitians, Africans, look stupid and as foolish incompetents. The salient point is that if there are "bad-decision" going on with the U.S.-installed puppet government in Haiti, it is a Bush "bad-decision." Still, the real question long time Haiti observers would ask is: why exactly is it a "bad-decision" for U.S. Ambassador Foley to reward his own CIA-assets and operatives with ten years back-pay? Whatever the fallout is these diplomatic and economic hit men will manage it as usual: with a wink and a conspiratorial nod to their terrorist assets, they shall publicly encourage the corporate media to place blame on the more visible Haitian stooges, while continuing to mostly touts the insecurity in Haiti on "pro-Aristide gangs." Having a racist world reference to eternally tap into, not many will question these pronouncements and the blame placed on the Haitian people's "historical intransigence" and "inability to work together" or capability to find "national reconciliation." That game is an old dog that still hunts well for empire and white supremacists. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the deviousness of U.S. policy in Haiti. Only unwillingness. For, as long as the mainstream media continues, now that the human rights abuses in Haiti under the Latorture regime may no longer be dismissed, denied or covered-up, as long as the corporate media continues to denounce only Latorture's "bad decisions" - code meaning incompetents incapable of self-rule - then the truth in Haiti shall remain obfuscated. No doubt it is not in the interest of the corporatocracy and their mainstream media to highlight the connections. Point out that Guy Philippe, the renegade ex-Haitian soldier who led the overthrow, was trained by U.S. Special forces. That he and his bloody cohorts, Louis-Jodel Chamblain and Jean Pierre Baptiste, both members of the bloody FRAPH paramilitary group that carried out the massacres in support of the first U.S.-supported Coup d'Etat in 1991 are all U.S. assets.
The main culprits for the chaos, kidnappings, murders and insecurity in Haiti is the Haitian army unleashed by the US. In the past its reign of terror petrified Haitians. Presently, its insurgency is against the population and has gone underground, donning masks and working stealthily. These activities are supported and nourished by the US proxy Haitian government. The army's services are still needed by the ones in power to cower those who stand up for human-rights and democracy in Haiti. But if democracy and justice reigned these criminals would be in jail where they could no longer "demonstrate" in order to extort more money for a job well-done.

Instead of a murderous army, Haiti needs a community based, representative, professional police force -- that will not act as a vigilante group, death squad or enforcer for international or US interests. For this to occur, Haiti must have a de-centralization of government. Local city governments must control their own budgets and expenditures, collect taxes and pass and enforce local laws without interference from Port-au-Prince or the corporatocracy that now controls the Haitian economy, politics and pulls the strings from their seats at the sweat shops, the board rooms, the embassies, the NGOs, the UN or from Washington, Canada, France and elsewhere.

In Haiti as well as Iraq, the military solution will not work. As the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama as said, Iraq needs a "political solution" not a military one. Likewise, Haiti and the world needs a political solution. The solution must be truly respectful of human-rights, sovereignty and Democracy. Disarm now -- "When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

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