Le Monde: “Haiti in the hands of the NGOs”

Earthquake shook everything but the system!

One year on from the earthquake that devastated Haiti, it may still take a decade just to clear the rubble if work continues at its present pace. Meanwhile the poor suffer, the rich profit, and the show is run by NGOs and other outsiders

by Christophe Wargny

Toussaint Louverture International Airport has returned to good health, clean and almost welcoming. It has escalators and duty-free shops. Jet bridges take you straight from your plane into the terminal, as never happened before the earthquake of 12 January 2010. It gives you hope that reconstruction has begun, or is beginning; the promised billions might have finally hit their first targets. You imagine the bulldozers, the diggers and the site trucks at work: perhaps these explain the traffic snarl-up that the taxi driver immediately tells you is a permanent fixture.

But no: rebuilding the airport is the only project to take shape in almost 12 months, backed by clearing the main urban arteries. Reconstruction has not yet started. Unlike the once solid buildings of now devastated Port-au-Prince, the grip of politicians and notables who have strangled Haiti for two centuries managed to withstand the earthquake. They’ve even stolen the word “reform”, which framed the social movement’s projected rebuilding of the institutions and state structures, and emptied it of meaning. For the moment, “reform” equals “staying just the same”. Continue reading

Haiti: OAS Diplomat Spills the Beans, Rattles Haiti’s Occupation Regime

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by Roger Annis
Tuesday, 28 December 2010 23:14
As the one-year anniversary of Haiti’s earthquake approaches, a brutally frank account of the plight of its people has been delivered by a highly placed diplomat. Ricardo Seitenfus, the representative to Haiti of the Organization of American States, delivered a hard-hitting assessment of the foreign role in that country in an interview published in the December 20 edition of the Swiss daily Le Temps. iThe interview also appeared in the right-wing, Haitian daily, Le Nouvelliste

Seitenfus is Brazilian and a graduate of the Institute of Advanced International Studies in Geneva. The truths he pronounced in the now-famous interview are not unique; they have been voiced by many Haitians and their allies abroad. But to hear them uttered by someone of his standing is a sign of the unraveling of a miserably-failed foreign military and political occupation force in Haiti.

The Failings in Haiti
Seitenfus questions the legitimacy and utility of the UN Security Council occupation force known as MINUSTAH. It numbers 13,000 military and police (an increase of 50 per cent since the earthquake) along with several thousand political officers. “Haiti is not an international threat,” he says. “We are not experiencing a civil war.”
He is asked, is it a counter-productive presence?
The answer is, yes. The diplomat traces the 200-year history of foreign subjugation of Haiti. He draws a line of continuity to the present. “The world has never known how to treat Haiti, so it has ignored it.”
He says the country has lived a “low intensity war” since 1986, the year of the overthrow of the Duvalier tyranny. “We want to turn Haiti into a capitalist country, an export platform for the U.S. market, it’s absurd. Haiti must return to what it is, that is to say, a predominantly agricultural country still fundamentally imbued with customary law.” Continue reading

Kashmir rapper uses rhymes to protest Indian rule

I PROTEST by MC Kash

Kashmir Intifada Exlusive I PROTEST(RAP) BY MC KASH

November 29, 2010

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — If you ask MC Kash, he’s just speaking the truth. But Kashmir’s breakout rapper’s songs court rebellion and could land him in jail.

Kash calls himself a rebel who uses sharp rhymes and beats instead of stones or guns to protest India’s rule over the mostly Muslim region in the Himalayas.

Kash, 20, whose real name is Roushan Illahi, has won a fan base among Kashmir’s youth, whose summer uprising against Indian rule inspired his local hit “I Protest.”

The lyrics — “Tales from the dark side of a murderous regime, an endless occupation of our land an’ our dreams” — tread dangerously close to sedition in India, where questioning the country’s claim to the disputed region of Kashmir is illegal. Continue reading

India: Intellectuals, activists join chorus for Binayak Sen’s release

Activists gathered in Delhi to protest the sentencing of Binayak Sen and demand the right to dissent

Arundhati, Swami Agnivesh adds to chorus for Binayak Sen

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, December 27, 2010

Writer Arundhati Roy and social activist Swami Agnivesh joined scores of fellow activists to protest against the “unjust” life imprisonment of rights campaigner Binayak Sen, which they described as a  “move to intimidate and silence dissent”.  Organised by All India Progressive Women’s Association(AIPWA) and All India Students’ Association (AISA), the protest saw students, academicians and activists shouting slogans against the life sentence to Sen.

“If you are charging Sen with sedition, then slap the same charge against me also. I am with him,” said Agnivesh addressing the protestors at Jantar Mantar, the dharna hotspot of the national capital.

Calling Sen a “dedicated soul,” he added that Sen’s case had “shaken everyone.” Continue reading

Philippines, China sign military logistics deal

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General Ricardo David Jr. meets China's Defense Minister Liang Guanglie (right)

[In pursuit of its emerging imperialist interests and of Asian regional hegemony, post-socialist and now-capitalist China has no problem assisting reactionary regimes like the Philippines in their counter-insurgency campaigns against revolutionary forces.--Frontlines ed.]

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/06/10/philippines-china-sign-military-logistics-deal

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines, a long-time US ally and former colony, said it will sign a logistics supply deal with China to source military equipment to combat domestic security threats, including from Maoist rebels.

General Ricardo David, Chief of Staff of the 130,000-member Armed Forces of the Philippines, will fly on Tuesday to Beijing, where he will meet senior defense and army officials and also tour military facilities, the Philippine military said.

David will sign a defense logistics deal with his counterpart in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with talks expected to cover regional security concerns, including tensions in the Korean peninsula and the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea, where Beijing and Manila have competing claims. Continue reading

Wikileaks Beyond Wikileaks?

[Many have noted that the US government's attacks and threats against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange are turning attention away from government misdeeds, deceptions, and war crimes by "attacking the messenger."  This essay pursues a different point--that the messenger may be a significant and useful historic actor, but those who believe Wikileaks has the method and the script for effective solution to government misdeeds, deceptions, and war crimes are mistaken, as shown by the collaborative "embedding"  of WikiLeaks (and their joint redacting of information) with the New York Times and The Guardian. --Frontlines ed.]

by Saroj Giri

Corporate media most likely tries to buy you off only if you pose a real danger – radical and subversive to ‘power’. While attacking Wikileaks for corporate collusion, therefore, its original radical potential cannot be overlooked.

Wikileaks’ close collaboration with big corporate media (including The New York Times and Guardian) and the ‘redactions’ raise serious doubts over whether information is actually flowing freely (Michel Chossudovsky, ‘Who is Behind Wikileaks?’ Dec 13, 2010, Global Research). And yet the Wikileaks’ intervention cannot be cast away in a cynical manner – the only way to welcome it however is by saving it from Wikileaks itself, in particular from its liberal slide. Let us problematise the kind of politics or the ‘attacks on power’ which Wikileaks represents, even as stories circulate about corporate-funding and CIA-backing. Indeed one gets deeply suspicious when for example The Guardian reports that, for the hackers, ‘the first global cyber-war has begun’, ‘the first sustained clash between the established order and the organic, grassroots culture of the net’. On the other hand, for someone like Jemima Khan typical of a whole swathe of liberal supporters, Wikileaks stands for something far less dramatic. In her already apologetic piece, ‘Why did I back Assange?’, she states that it is only about ‘a new type of investigative journalism’, about freedom of information and so on. What is it really? Continue reading

children’s pictures of the devastating assault on Gaza

December 13, 2010

[Video features Palestinian children's drawings depicting their
fears of the Palestinian Israeli conflicts.
The total collection of artwork by the Palestinian children is available
for a gallery or museum show.
Contact: achildsview1@gmail.com]

by Susan Johnson on December 22, 2010

http://www.youtube.com/v/TE-GwpgJTKs?fs=1&hl=en_US

A picture is worth a thousand words, and this video goes beyond that. It contains powerful drawings, created by children in Gaza, expressing the horrors they experienced during Operation Cast Lead, which of course began nearly two years ago. These children share the painful physical and emotional devastation caused by Israel’s actions. Many of these young artists will never escape the hell they lived through.

This video is part of a larger project, the traveling art exhibit, “A Child’s View from Gaza,” developed by Joyce Ravitz and myself after we visited Gaza in June 2009. Having seen drawings in an art therapy class, we felt an exhibit of similar drawings should be developed and shown in the US. “A Child’s View from Gaza.” was born! Continue reading