[Marxism] Powell's Crime In Progress - The Ongoing Rape Of Haiti
davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Fri Dec 10 03:31:14 MST 2004
The Black Commentator, Dec. 7, 2004
Colin Powell's Crime In Progress
Through prodigious acts of treachery, trickery, kidnap and mass murder,
Powell has attempted
to reverse Haiti's glorious revolution.
History will record that the first Black U.S. Secretary of State personally
engineered the theft of the national sovereignty of Haiti, the world's first
Black republic and the second nation in the western hemisphere to free
itself from European rule. Such is Colin Powell's horrific legacy - an
historic shame and blight on the collective honor of Black America.
Powell returned to the scene of his crime last week to assure Gerard
Latortue, the evilly buffoonish U.S.-installed interim Prime Minister, "We
are with you all the way" - words of encouragement to a man who is said to
have estimated it will be necessary to kill 25,000 people in the capital
alone to stop calls for the return of exiled President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide (see , "A Clandestine Interview from Haiti: Resistance in the Slums
of Port-au-Prince," October 14, 2004).
As if to honor the Secretary, Haitian police killed four men from Aristide's
Lavalas party who they claimed started a gun battle while Powell visited the
National Palace. But who knows the real circumstances? Haiti is drenched in
blood. "The background is that they're massacring Lavalas supporters on a
daily basis now in most of the Port-au-Prince port areas. People are afraid
to come out of their homes," said Ira Kurzban, an Aristide attorney. "What's
happening in Haiti is what's happening in Iraq: It's just total chaos,
except there are no U.S. troops on the ground."
Brazilian-led United Nations troops provide a veneer of legitimacy
to Latortue's gangster regime, operating joint patrols with ski mask-wearing
"policemen" who carry out summary executions in the capital's sprawling
slums. Mass murder is official policy in Haiti. "Shoot them and ask
questions later," Jean Philippe Sassine, the assistant mayor of
Port-au-Prince told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Right now, our country
needs security. Unless you clean up the bad people, the gangs, there will be
no progress. Let us do it, or it will be worse."
Perhaps thousands have been killed or "disappeared" - no one can provide
even a ballpark figure - since February 28, when U.S. troops sent President
Aristide on an odyssey to the Central African Republic, Jamaica and, now,
South Africa, a crime against nationhood endorsed after the fact by UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan. Yet even the timid international civil servant
recoils at the sheer lawlessness into which Haiti has descended. "I should
like to remind the transitional government that the arbitrary detention of
people solely for their political affiliation is in contravention of
fundamental human rights principles," said Annan, last month, calling on
Latortue to release Lavalas and former Aristide government officials, or put
them on trial. "Armed groups have made arbitrary arrests and run illegal
detention centers in some localities. The justice system remained
dysfunctional and the National Police continued to operate outside the
purview of the rule of law."
Then, true to form, Annan duly requested that the Security Council extend
the UN's "peacekeeping" mandate for another 18 months.
For some political prisoners, jail is a way-station to a secret grave,
according to Marguerite Laurent, chairperson of Haitian Lawyers Leadership
Network. "Haitian 'police' simply assassinated at least 10 of the helpless
and unarmed prisoners they are holding as hostages in the National
Penitentiary," said the New York-based attorney. "Reports also indicate
bodies are taken from the jail and dumped in mass graves at night so that
the world would not know how many are being murdered."
Godfather to Thugs
In a December 3 letter soaked in sarcasm and timed to coincide with Powell's
trip to Haiti, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) urged the lame duck Secretary, "as
your last official acts of mercy and compassion for the Haitian people, to
call for the immediate release of all remaining political prisoners and
other Haitians who are being illegally detained in Haitian prisons, and to
do whatever is required to expedite desperately needed humanitarian
Waters was among the Congressional Black Caucus members who virtually
stormed the White House last February 26 demanding the administration defend
constitutional democracy in Haiti, two days before the U.S. kidnapped
President Aristide. Knowing full well that Aristide would be either deposed
or dead that weekend, Powell, Condoleezza Rice and George Bush assured the
alarmed lawmakers that the U.S. would respect Haiti's sovereignty and the
rule of law. As it turned out, less than 48 hours later Powell committed the
predicate criminal act in the abduction and ouster of a foreign head of
state, as reported in our March 4, 2004 Cover Story, "Godfather Colin
Powell, the Gangster of Haiti":
"Ron Dellums, the distinguished former Congressman from the San Francisco
Bay area who worked as a lobbyist for Aristide's government, got a call from
the Head-Negro-In-Charge [Powell] on Saturday, warning in no uncertain terms
that gunmen were coming to kill Aristide on Sunday morning. The U.S., said
Powell, would not lift a finger to stop them. When the Americans come to
call, Aristide must leave with them.
"It is a mind-boggling measure of the Bush Pirates' ferocious lawlessness
that Powell would personally initiate the overt, criminally culpable act in
the kidnapping of a head of state. This aspect of the crime alone should
send him to The Hague."
Rep. Waters remembers well those events. Her December 3 letter lays the
current chaos in Haiti directly on the U.S. - and Powell's - doorstep:
"History will record that this crisis is a direct result of the failed
policies of the United States, France and Canada, which worked with the
Group of 184, the former members of the Haitian Army and known thugs to
out last February's coup d'etat. While I am certain that you would be the
last to agree, I believe that the only way to stabilize Haiti is to do so
the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the democratically-elected
President of Haiti, until the end of his term in office, with a restoration
of assistance for the rebuilding of Haiti's infrastructure and, at the end
his term, assistance for free and fair elections.
"I remain deeply disappointed by the lack of leadership from the
international community, including the United States, France, Canada and the
United Nations peacekeeping forces. While international officials claim to
be committed to democracy in Haiti, they have made no serious effort to
disarm the thugs and killers who were involved in the coup d'etat or to
demand that the interim government respect the human rights of the
Of course, Latortue and the rampaging ex-military thugs, drug dealers and
criminals tormenting Haiti are creatures of the country's tiny elite
(formerly arrayed under the banner of Group 184), the International
Republican Institute - which provided finances, legitimacy and political
cover to the "rebels" in their Dominican Republic sanctuaries - and Colin
Invitation to Murder
The pace of police raids, executions and disappearances has
increased markedly since September 30, when police fired on Lavalas
supporters calling for President Aristide's return. Latortue's project to
kill 25,000 citizens of the capital is in motion. "If the government doesn't
take responsibility, we will take it," former Army Sgt. Remissainthe Ravix
declared to an American reporter. "If they give us the order, in three
days we'll clear Bel Air (a Port-au-Prince slum) and Cite Soleil of
When it is understood that, in Latortue's Haiti, "bandits" refers to
Aristide supporters defending their lives from death squads, Colin
Powell's words become invitations to murder:
"The UN stabilization mission ably led by South American soldiers
demonstrate that the international community's strong commitment for
restoration of order and democracy in Haiti. The political violence and
corruption cannot be tolerated. To build a strong vibrant democracy and
to advance the rule of law, we have got to get the other weapons off the
street. Without security, Haiti's democracy will remain at risk."
What double-speak! The Bush administration, with Colin Powell on point,
destroyed Haitian democracy and sovereignty, employing death squads and
criminals as its favored instruments. Far from exerting pressure to
stop the massacres, the U.S. has leaned heavily on the UN force's Brazilian
commanders to act more aggressively against the population. "We are under
extreme pressure from the international community to
use violence," said General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro Pereira, speaking
to a congressional commission in Brazil. "I command a peacekeeping force,
not an occupation force ... we are not there to carry out violence,
this will not happen for as long as I'm in charge of the force."
The general specifically cited the U.S., France and Canada as the countries
demanding greater use of violence by the UN force. "To do
this would require a force of 100,000 men prepared to seek and kill in
large numbers and this is not our role, nor do we want it," he said.
Apparently, the Brazilian general is unwillingly to help meet Latortue's
25,000-body quota - although, in an interview with a Haitian radio station,
he sought to clarify his mission: "We must kill the bandits, but it will
have to be the bandits only, not everybody." Clearly, somebody with
superpower clout is pressuring UN soldiers to get with the program to kill
"everybody" associated with Lavalas. No one fits that description better
than Colin Powell, the man who threatened President Aristide's life on the
Saturday before his ouster - a gangster playing soldier-diplomat.
Brazil is especially sensitive to American "diplomacy" as it maneuvers to
gain a permanent seat on a reorganized UN Security Council, an ambition that
may have led South America's largest nation to volunteer so eagerly to
replace American occupation forces in Haiti. An analysis by the Council On
Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) speculates that leftist President Lula da Silva's
"greatest goal is not necessarily the salvation of Haiti, but the
advancement of Brazil." When speaking to domestic audiences, da Silva
attempts to give the impression that Brazil took on the Haiti mission in
order to get the Americans out. "If we weren't there (in Haiti), U.S. troops
would be doing what we would never do," said the Brazilian President,
presumably meaning, killing "everybody."
Whatever Brazil's motives might be, Haitian sovereignty is nowhere in the
equation, having been erased, first and foremost, by Colin Powell.
Brazil's own domestic nightmare - death squads that exterminate children -
is now being replicated on the streets of Port-au-Prince. An American named
Michael Brewer, who runs a home for "street kids and runaway 'restavek'
slave children" says carloads of men
".who are actually members of the now disbanded military, have began
patrolling the streets of Port-au-Prince and are indiscriminately murdering
street children for no reason other than sport. These men prowl the streets
of the city in groups of 6 to 10 with high-powered military assault rifles,
shotguns and 9mm pistols, wearing all-black uniforms with black ski masks
over their heads to conceal their identities. They justify the murders of
these boys by referring to them as 'vagabonds' and say that they are
'cleaning the streets.'"
In one instance, "a nine-year-old named Emmanuel was running from a group of
these men after he refused to come to them when they called him," Brewer
reports. "They shot him in the leg with an assault rifle to stop him. Three
of the men casually walked up to where the child was lying on the ground and
crying. They ridiculed him, then shot him again with pistols and a shotgun,
for a total of 4 more times." There are "dump zones," said Brewer, "where
the decomposing bodies of little boys can be found any day of the week. I
have found many. This is blatant genocide. The merciless atrocities
committed on these defenseless, harmless and innocent street children go
completely unnoticed, unreported, and uninvestigated."
This is also part of Colin Powell's legacy.
Haiti to the Dustbin of History
Canada proved that it remains "The Great White North" by joining the U.S.
and France in their Coalition of the Racists to overthrow Jean-Bertrand
Aristide. In response to a request from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the
Canadian House of Commons, the Canadian Foundation for the Americas prepared
a plan to establish a UN-sanctioned protectorate in Haiti, thus formally
stripping the nation of sovereignty for the foreseeable future. Like Brazil,
Canada hopes to promote its own interests at the expense of Haitian
independence. "This is an opportunity for Canada to assert the leadership,
which the Prime Minister is seeking, complement multilateral measures that
Canada already has supported and raise Canada's hemispheric profile," says
In typical "White Man's Burden" language, the report blames Haitians for the
current "failed state" - the Latortue state that George Bush and Colin
Powell created to replace Aristide's popularly elected, besieged
government! - and all but concludes that Haitians do not have the capacity
for self-rule: "Without question, governance has been incompetent, corrupt
and frequently brutal over the 200 years of independence and these
adjectives can all be applied to the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide."
For their own good, Haitians' independence will be revoked. However, if they
are good little children, sovereignty may be dribbled back over the course
of time. Under the Great White Plan, "graduation of the Haitian State to
independence and a return to the international community.should be sequenced
on a ministry-by-ministry basis - in other words return to full Haitian
authority would depend not on a fixed date for all ministries, but on
case-by-case basis of the institutional maturity of each ministry."
Peacekeepers "should remain for one to three years while [foreign] police
would remain for up to 10 years."
U.S.-appointed interim Haitian Prime Minister Latortue this week promised
there will be elections in November of 2005 - but the Great White Plan will
be working its way from Ottawa to the United Nations headquarters in New
York, where a gaggle of prospective new Permanent Members of the Security
Council will join an eager UN bureaucracy in turning Haiti into a
semi-nation - more like pre-liberation Namibia under white-ruled South
Africa than the current Kosovo, in the Balkans. At least, that's the plan.
Haitians will write their own plan in blood, as they did 200 years ago. We
can all thank Colin Powell for his contribution to Black history, which must
now repeat itself at great cost in lives.
Gruesome Role Models
As Powell passes the baton of shame to Condoleezza Rice, African Americans -
especially those who are acutely concerned with the Black "image" - must
contemplate how that image has been mangled and debased by two individuals
from the very bottom of our moral barrel. Secretary of State-in-Waiting
Rice thought the United States had succeeded in destroying Venezuela's
leftist democracy in April, 2002, when it appeared that a military/rich
white elite coup had toppled the elected government of Hugo Chavez. After a
popular uprising restored the proud mestizo-mulatto Chavez to power, a surly
Condoleezza Rice greeted the news in the most undiplomatic way imaginable "I
hope that Hugo Chavez takes the message that his people sent him, that his
own policies are not working for the Venezuelan people, that he's dealt with
them in a high-handed fashion."
Like Aristide, President Chavez had been marked for either execution or a
flight into exile. Rice's churlish remarks may pass for statesmanship in
Bush's America, but should have caused great revulsion in Black America, as
they did throughout Latin America. This should have been particularly true
among members of the NAACP, which had only months before honored Rice with
its "Image Award." Had Chavez been eliminated, the mostly non-white, poor
Venezuelan majority might today be subjected to the same horrors that Colin
Powell has inflicted on Haiti: death squads indistinguishable from the
"police" roaming the slums, nightly "disappearances," constant
replenishments of bodies in the "dump zones," and jails full of political
prisoners, some scheduled for secret execution.
Condoleezza Rice will soon have the opportunity to build on her own foul
legacy. However, on an historical scale, it will be difficult to trump Colin
Powell's abominations against Haiti. More than any other individual, Powell
has defiled the honor of African-descended people everywhere. Through
prodigious acts of treachery, trickery, kidnap and mass murder, Powell has
attempted to reverse Haiti's glorious revolution in the year of its 200th
anniversary. He spits on the graves of the hundreds of thousands of Africans
who died defeating the armies of France, Spain and Britain, and whose
victory in 1804 inspired the Diaspora to believe that slavery could one day
be defeated and Black dignity, reclaimed.
As TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson said on learning that Powell had
stabbed Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the Haitian nation in the back: "Colin
Powell is the most powerful and damaging black to rise to influence in the
world in my lifetime."
Any Black person who calls Powell a role model is a scoundrel or
a fool. Most likely, both.
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