|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."
|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 WeHaitians.com, J. Damu (Acting Representative for NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America) wrote:
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:
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."