Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haitians need Emergency Relief, not Military Occupation

us military at national palace haitiBy Ezili Danto, Jan. 19, 2010 | The Progressive

As a grief-stricken, shattered Haitian who lost loved ones in the earthquake, I want the U.S. military invasion of Haiti to stop now.

Soldiers are trained to kill, not provide humanitarian relief. And the U.S. military is about domination and conquest, as Haitians know too well.

We lived through a brutal U.S. military occupation from 1915 to 1934. We endured the U.S.-supported Duvalier dictatorships that followed. We saw the hands of the U.S. government in the regime changes of 1991 and 2004 that forced President Aristide from office.

The strong-arm tactics of the U.S. are on display again. Soldiers took over the airport the day after they arrived, over the objections of the Haitians working in the damaged control tower, who were pushed aside like trash.

The U.S. military is using the airport for important things, don’t you see? Those buried under the rubble — more than 300,000 homeless Haitians who have not eaten or found clean water to drink when the mountains crumbled on them — can wait.

First, the Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who have been stuck in Haiti for two interminable days must be rescued immediately. Haitians, with nowhere to go, can wait.

The United States has blocked life-saving first responders from landing, including Haitian doctors and nurses and other rescue teams. It is exploiting this disaster to direct Haiti’s priorities and impose its own agenda.

Right now you need U.S. government clearance to land in Haiti. This is not independence. This is not self-rule.

Haitians are heartbroken and in unspeakable pain. But we are not idiots or under so much duress as to not object to the United States, Canada and France speeding up their proxy U.N. occupation plans for taking Haitian lands and divvying up Haiti’s oil, gold, iridium and other mineral resources behind the veil of this emergency relief. The earthquake’s depopulation of the coastal areas of Port au Prince may make that acquisition all the easier.

Haiti needs 12,000 doctors, Obama sent 12,000 troops to help us to death.

Haiti is not in conflict or at war with anyone. Haitians are not a violent people. In fact, there's more violence in Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, even in the United States than there is in Haiti. The violence rate in the United States is 5.7 per 100,000. The violence rate in Haiti is 5.6 per 100,000. Those are the facts.

And as much as the U.S media and the Pentagon wanted footage of U.S. soldiers rescuing Haitians, the people that could get saved got saved mostly by Haitians frantically using their bare hands to dig through the rubble and lift pulverized concrete in the immediate 48 hours after the earthquake. They did what they could to save themselves, as they have been doing since 1503 when the white settlers' "New World" began.

Go home, U.S. troops. Please. While 70,000 unidentified Haitians lie buried in mass graves and the count may top 200,000 killed, the people who could have been saved under the rubble and metal have mostly died. Now it's about medical relief, healing and rebuilding. Haitians can do that by themselves with the help of the world that wants to send monies to Haiti for the earthquake victims. We don’t need the Pentagon.

Let the 4 million Haitians in the diaspora take care of their own in solidarity with individuals of goodwill, from all the races and nations, who will work directly with the Haitian government and us, the people of Haiti.

Our time for change has come. Let’s work together to help the earthquake victims but with dignity and human rights and without the pain and menace of pointing military guns in shattered faces, weary souls.

There’s an old Haitian proverb: “When you’re playing with a wolf, you must expect to be scratched in the face.”

We’ve been scratched too often. Our wounds are too raw right now. We can’t play anymore with your wolves in sheep's clothing.

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