[Marxism] The Militant: "No indication" of US involvement in Haitian uprising?!?!

Steve Gabosch bebop101 at comcast.net
Wed Mar 3 14:53:40 MST 2004


Here is a point by point response to Louis's post responding to my 
explanation of what the Militant is saying about Haiti.

Louis:
Steve Gabosch wrote:
>The Militant's analysis of the relationship of Washington to the uprising 
>is summarized thusly: "...Washington does not particularly care to keep 
>the Aristide government in power and will do nothing to stop the rightist 
>insurgents from taking over the capital if they amass the forces to do so."

Louis:
This makes the whole thing sound like benign neglect, which is obviously a 
falsification of history.

Steve responds:
In my opinion, this is a false interpretation of the sentence, confusing 
what is being said.


Louis:
The USA has been openly involved with the "legal" opposition, which has the 
same relationship to the Cannibal Gang et al that La Prensa and company had 
to the FDN contras in Nicaragua. Aside from describing it as "US-backed", 
the Militant does not discuss its role at all.


Steve responds:
This implies that the Militant is covering something up or is in 
disagreement with the idea that at least portions of the Haitian business 
community that is involved in the "legal" opposition is not connected to 
the Cannibal Gang et al.  The Militant has said nothing of the kind.


Louis:
If anything, it obfuscates the "Democratic Convergence" by casting it in 
terms of: "The deepening economic crisis along with Aristide’s use of thugs 
to attempt to silence opposition have both bolstered opposition groups such 
as the U.S.-backed Democratic Convergence." The deepening economic crisis 
has nothing to do with this outfit being "bolstered".

Steve responds:
This obfuscates the point the Militant is making.  The Militant explains: 
"During his latest term in power, Aristide has implemented economic 
measures demanded by Washington, including lowering of tariffs, floating 
the gourde (Haiti’s national currency), and privatization of some 
state-owned companies. These measures­along with steps by Washington that 
cut off loans and directed other governments to follow suit­exacerbated 
Haiti’s deep economic crisis. Malnourishment is widespread and most people 
earn less than $1 a day. Unemployment is nearly 70 percent and has not 
improved under Aristide’s administration."

The Militant concludes that "The deepening economic crisis along with 
Aristide’s use of thugs to attempt to silence opposition have both 
bolstered opposition groups such as the U.S.-backed Democratic Convergence 
and alienated working people from politics."


Louis:
That is tantamount to saying that Chamorro's La Prensa was spurred by 
economic hardship in Nicaragua and Sandinista "thuggery"--in fact the 
charges against Aristide come right out of the Reagan scriptbook.

Steve responds:
In my opinion, this sentence makes no sense factually, and is seriously 
wrong politically.  Aristide did implement those economic policies, and use 
thug attacks on opponents, such as the attack on the February 20 student 
demonstration.  Aristide's economic policies have nothing in common with 
those of the Sandinistas.  The implication drawn here by the analogy Louis 
makes with Reagan's Contra War against the Nicaraguan Revolution is that 
the Aristide regime is a workers and farmers government, as was the 
Sandinista government.  In my opinion, this is completely false.

Louis:
The economic crisis in Haiti was *engineered* by the Democratic 
Convergence, whose opposition to Aristide was used as a pretext to cut off 
aid and loans.

Steve responds:
This charge does not essentially dispute the Militant's analysis, unless it 
is trying to say that Aristide had nothing to do with the economic crisis, 
which he certainly did.

Louis:
As far as the statement that Washington "did nothing" to stop the rightist 
insurgents, it makes me ashamed to ever have been associated with a 
newspaper that Malcolm X lauded to read such garbage.

Steve responds:
The earlier terms "falsification" and "obfuscation" are at least 
interesting words; Louis seems to be running out of some lexical steam with 
the term "garbage".  As for the reason for this charge, he does not 
say.  Is Louis implying that Washington actually did "something" to stop 
the rightist insurgents?  This sentence seems to be just adding more 
confusion about the facts, although it clearly conveys the attitude of the 
writer toward the newspaper Malcolm X lauded.

Louis:
I work with a Haitian programmer who was up in arms about how the border 
with the Dominican Republic was left wide open for the contras to pour 
through.

Steve responds:
The question of the border is a good one, but it does not contradict the 
Militant's analysis.

Louis:
If you read these remarks from Aristide's lawyer, you'll get an idea of 
what was really going on, which has Washington's fingerprints all over it.

Steve:
The facts presented by Kurzban in this interview completely reinforce the 
Militant's analysis.  There is nothing in the Militant's analysis that says 
the military operations to topple Aristide are not armed with modern 
weapons supplied indirectly by the U.S., that Haitian business people are 
not connected to the military operations, or that the U.S. was not aware of 
the military opposition.  If the US was *directly* involved in supplying 
the arms Kurzban talks about, these facts need to be established, which is 
why he calls for a congressional investigation into the role of the U.S. 
into this military operation.

There is no doubt that Washington's fingerprints are all over 
everything.  What the Militant is saying is that in this case, Washington 
did not pull the trigger, but stood by and allowed others to do so.


Interview snip by Louis:

AMY GOODMAN: It's good to have you with us. What is your assessment of 
what's happening in Haiti right now?

IRA KURZBAN: Well, I think this is clearly a military operation, and it's a 
military coup. We have analyzed the kinds of weapons that these people have 
brought from the Dominican Republic, who they are, how they're organized, 
and they're organized, really, as a military commando strike force that's 
going from city to city. They're very well organized, and they're armed to 
the teeth with the kinds of weapons, Amy, that really, no one has ever seen 
in Haiti, except when Haiti had an army. This notion that somehow, you 
know, this is kind of a rag-tag group of people who had armed that they got 
originally from Aristide, which is kind of what's playing in the press 
generally, is just totally untrue. When we have looked at the weapons that 
they have, they have m-16's, m-60's. They now have armor piercing weapons 
they have rocket propelled launchers. They have weapons to shoot down the 
one helicopter that the government has. They have acted as a pretty 
tight-knit commando unit, and they're led by, as I think you were pointing 
out in the introduction -- they're led by people who were former associates 
of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Jodel Shame Blaine was the trigger man 
for FRAPH during the military coup, when FRAPH -- when FRAPH was written 
was a creation of the Defense Intelligence Agency of the United States. 
There's enough indications from our point of view, at least from my point 
of view, that the United States certainly knew what was coming about two 
weeks before this military operation started. The United States made 
contingency plans for Guantanamo.

The U.S. Ambassador in Port-au-Prince began the process of warning American 
citizens and asking them to register. This was a week before any of this, 
and two weeks before any of this happened. So, there was a clear feeling 
that something was going to happen, and what really happened is the 
combination of Jean Tatun who is a person that the press has rarely 
reported about in Gonaives, who was a former FRAPH person who we tried and 
convicted for gross violations of human rights and murder in Raboteau, and 
behind what's going on in Gonaives. He had strong connections with 
Chamblain, the ex-head of FRAPH, and Guy Philippe, a former member of the 
Haitian armed forces and who has attempted previous coups, not only against 
Aristide, but the Preval government. These people came through the 
Dominican border after the United States had provided 20,000 m-16's to the 
Dominican army. They came through the border, that is Philippe and 
Chamblain with a really small army of about 20 or 30 highly trained 
military people with these m-16's and m-60's and all of this other 
equipment that came through the Dominican border with -- in several trucks 
with very, very heavy equipment. And quite frankly, I believe that the 
United States clearly knew about it before, and that given the fact of the 
history of these people, we are probably very, very deeply involved, and I 
think congress needs to seriously look at what the investment of the 
Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency has been in 
this operation. Because it is a military operation. It's not a rag-tag 
group of liberators, as has often been put in the press in the last week or 
two. The second part of it is that it's clear that as a result of a number 
of stories that have come out in the last two day that the so-called 
peaceful opposition has been working very, very closely with these people. 
Guy Philippe was associated press yesterday saying with a big smile on his 
face that he has not been officially in contact with the opposition, but 
that he has received money and support from the Haitian business community. 
Well, the Haitian business community are the people who are behind what's 
called the group of 184. Those are the people who were so-called peaceful 
opposition. It's clear to us that they're stalling tactics in the last week 
have been designed to develop a fate accompli on the ground. I think that's 
what we're seeing right now.

full: http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/world/2004/02/285971.html


Steve:
I appreciate these exchanges because they make me read the Militant and 
other sources more closely to understand what is really being 
said.  Marxist political analysis is a science, and takes serious 
study.  Thank you for the challenges and a forum within which to seriously 
discuss them.

- Steve






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