Friday, November 14, 2008

James Bond in Haiti

The new Bond movie, "Quantum of Solace", directed by Swiss Director Marc Forster has introduced the social conscience of the director into the plot. The director acknowledges that Agent 007 is essentially “a colonialist or imperialistic character."

In a surprising interview in New York Magazine Mr. Forster has expressed some divergent views from what you would expect of someone paid to depict a franchise that specializes in showcasing the secret service, spying, violence and even torture in a romantic and heroic light. He says, "I question the role that these Secret Service agencies play today—is their role really to protect the country? Or the interest of a few?”
Forster says agencies like Bond’s support “sites like Guantánamo, where torture is practiced, where there are no rules if the government considers you a threat.” His film heats up in Haiti “because the CIA created the changeover there, when companies wanted to jack up the minimum wage, and big American corporations didn’t like that” (a fact the film references). The action moves to South America because he saw “a documentary about water shortage in Bolivia.”
One issue to correct about Mr. Forster's account; Bush's regime change in Haiti was supported by the companies and sweatshop owners like Andre Apaid of Group 184. The ultra-rich folks who ran the companies did not want to "jack up the minimum wage"–it was the Aristide government which tried to raise the minimum wage to $2 a day.

This week it was revealed that President-Elect Obama's administration will be closing Guantanamo. Many brave folks have protested the torture and detainment of people there who are deemed "enemy combatants", many without due process, at this unlawful facility. Now is the time for America to salvage its international reputation and usher in a new era of American foreign policy that adheres to the U.S. Constitution and international law.

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