Disasters are Big Business by William Bowles

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By William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
21 January, 2010

I am staggered. There are 10,000 ‘NGOs’ (Non-Governmental Organizations) in Haiti, one for every 900 inhabitants and each one of them has no doubt at least one Westerner working within, yet aside from the Cuban health workers, it seems they could do nothing until the gringos arrived with their Blackhawks and nuclear-tipped aircraft carrier and of course, the 82nd Airborne, paying yet another ‘visit’ to this benighted and super-exploited land to ‘secure’ the place for the locust storm of aid to come (too late for too many).

Now I’ve never been a fan of ‘NGOs’ not only because my own experience with them has been less than edifying but because they are the direct result of ‘benign neglect’ on the part of the state. In other words they initially appeared to fill a void left when states washed their hands of the mess they’d left behind or they just ditched their responsibilities.

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Humanitarian aid or military occupation? by Ashley Smith

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by Ashley Smith
SocialistWorker.org
19 January, 2010

Ashley Smith explains why help hasn’t reached most of the victims of Haiti’s earthquake–because the priority of the U.S. government is on imposing its control.

WHEN HURRICANE Katrina struck New Orleans in 2005, George W. Bush displayed a callous disregard for the Black victims of the disaster.

When his administration finally responded, it deployed the National Guard and armed Blackwater personnel to impose order, rather than putting the priority on providing food, shelter and safe water. Kanye West’s words during an NBC Concert for Hurricane Relief–“George Bush doesn’t care about Black people”–were proved right. Continue reading

Strong 6.1 magnitude aftershock rocks Haiti + Chavez: US weapon test caused Haiti earthquake (correction)

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RussiaToday
January 20, 2010

A powerful Aftershock measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale has hit Haiti some sixty kilometres away from the capital. Early reports say residents abandoned their homes and gathered on the streets for safety. This comes a week after the initial devastation, as international agencies are still struggling to get aid to those still in despeate need of help. With the situation now spiraling out of control only a small portion of the food, water and medicine has reached survivors.

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And on the Eighth Day… By William Bowles

By William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
19 January, 2010

The Americans have landed, or as they used to say of the GIs in the UK during WWII, ‘they’re overfed, over sexed and over here’. So now, in spite of protestations that air-dropping supplies would cause a riot, on the eighth day of this catastrophe (one that the BBC still continues to call a “humanitarian catastrophe”) the US has decided to act.

Four days ago I came across this email reproduced in the excellent Military Resistance: Continue reading

Haiti: MSF taking care of patients in Pacot Hospital

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msfuk
January 19, 2010

On January 12th a major earthquake, measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale, struck Haiti. Despite two MSF hospitals collapsed and many local staff missing, MSF teams are already working in Port au Prince, providing immediate medical assistance to the injured. Thousands are pouring into MSF facilities and MSF teams are working around the clock.

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Eva Golinger: The Streets Would Be Safer If People’s Needs Were Being Met

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RussiaToday
January 18, 2010

More than 2,000 Marines arrived in Haiti today. Theyre joining the 1,000 American troops already on the ground there. Meanwhile, some leaders are criticizing the United States saying they should be sending doctors and food, not men and women with guns. Eva Golinger talks with RTs Kristine Frazao about concerns with the presence of troops in Haiti.

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A lootin’ an’ a burnin’? By William Bowles

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By William Bowles
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
18 January, 2010

It was obvious from the getgo that media ‘coverage’ of the earthquake in Haiti was heading in the same, predictable direction, namely down the same racist path that Western media coverage of things ‘darker than blue’ always travels.

“Relief efforts have also been hampered by supply bottlenecks, leading to security concerns over looting and violence amid increasing desperation.

“There are concerns about the safety of aid workers, with reports of gunfire and youths carrying machetes. Some charities have taken security guards, while others are supported by UN security forces.” — ‘UK government Haiti earthquake aid to treble to £20m’, BBC News 18 January, 2010

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Ansel Herz: Earthquake Immediate Aftermath On the Ground + The Morning After – The Haitian People Have Mobilized

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mediahacker
January 15, 2010

This video is from the immediate aftermath – 3 to 20 minutes after the tremors on January 12 – in the neighborhood of Jacquet in Port-au-Prince where I lived since September. I really wish I could have got this up on the web sooner, but Internet connections are difficult to sustain.

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Disputes emerge over Haiti aid control – Guns, Not Aid Have Arrived

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AlJazeeraEnglish
January 17, 2010

It is five days since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, spreading fear and misery across an already fragile nation.

After a relatively slow start, US forces appear to be taking the lead in organising international aid efforts on the ground.

But there is a long way to go. Residents outside the capital complain they have been forgotten.

In rural towns and villages survivors have largely been left to fend for themselves. Al Jazeera’s Sebastian Walker reports from Port Au Prince, the capital.

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Glen Ford: US set Haiti up for disaster

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RussiaToday
January 15, 2010

In addition to the obvious problems Haiti faces recovering from this week’s earthquake, the country suffers from a lack of civil society and a respected government. Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report says that the effects of Haiti’s history continue to play out in the recovery effort.

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Arisitide Says He Wants to Return to Haiti + Dahoud Andre + Randall Robinson: Bush Was Responsible for Destroying Haitian Democracy

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Democracy Now!
Jan. 15, 2010

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Earthquake Survivors Dying as Aid Struggles to Reach Haiti

The distribution of humanitarian supplies to Haiti is being hampered by infrastructure damage, blocked roads and severed communication lines. Reports are that those who survived Tuesday’s massive earthquake are now dying in huge numbers, and clean water, food and medical supplies are desperately needed. Dead bodies lie everywhere on the streets, and the Red Cross says it has run out of body bags. The Red Cross in Port-au-Prince estimates the dead at 50,000. Three million more—one third of Haiti’s population—had been hurt or left homeless. [includes rush transcript]

Dahoud Andre, Haitian community activist and the host of a Haitian radio broadcast called Lakou New York.

via Earthquake Survivors Dying as Aid Struggles to Reach Haiti

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The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or is it an Invasion? by Michel Chossudovsky

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by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, January 15, 2010

Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti’s national economy and the impoverishment of its population.

The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country’s predicament. Continue reading