Getting Haiti Right This Time: The U.S. and the Coup, by Noam Chomsky, Paul Farmer, Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!  Published by Common Courage Press, ISBN 1-56751-318-2; 179 page pocket book

 

PROLOGUE BY BOB STEWART:

Pastor Martin Niemoller, writing in Germany before his arrest in the 1930s:  "The Nazis came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I was a Protestant, so I didn't speak up....by that time there was nobody left to speak up for anyone."

“They came for the Vietnamese, and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Vietnamese. Then they came for the Chileans, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Chilean. Then they came for the Panamanians, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Panamanian. Then they came for the Nicaraguans, and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Nicaraguan.  Then they provided support for acts of genocide against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala , and I didn’t speak up because I was not Mayan.  Then they came for the Afghanis, and I didn’t speak up because I was not Afghani.  Then they came for the Iraqis, and I didn't speak up because I was not an Iraqi. Then they spread depleted uranium, and I didn’t speak up because I did not have to live or die in it.  Then they tortured and killed people, and I didn’t speak up because I was not one of them.  Then they came for the Haitians and I was a Canadian, so I didn't speak up....by the time they come for the Canadians there was nobody left to speak up for anyone." 

 

Chapter 1. The “Noble Phase” and “Saintly Glow” of US Foreign Policy, by Noam Chomsky

 

-         the crucial issue for us is what we should be doing about what is taking place

-         we failed to act to prevent it

-         functioning democracy has preconditions.  One is that the population should have some way to learn what is happening in the world

-         “The fear of democracy exists, by definitional necessity, in elite groups who monopolize economic and political power.”  Bellegarde-Smith

-         Traditional concerns over the “virus” effect of successful independent development

-         The Bush Doctrine … “those who harbor terrorists are as guilty as the terrorists themselves … and must be treated accordingly”

-         We call this “restoring democracy”, a prime illustration of how US foreign policy has entered a “noble phase” with a “saintly glow”, the national press explained

-         The threat of democracy can be overcome if economic sovereignty is eliminated, and presumably also understood that economic development will also be a faint hope under such conditions

-         Bush II planners are even more dedicated to undermining democracy and independence

-         “Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business” John Dewey

-         We do not have to submit, voluntarily, to living in a failed state suffering from an enormous democratic deficit

 

Chapter 2. What Happened in Haiti ?  Where Past is Present, by Paul Farmer

 

-         “I declare in overthrowing me they have uprooted the trunk of the tree of peace, but it will grow back because the roots are Louverturian.” Jean Bertrand Aristide.  (It is important to note that the first time Aristide was democratically elected in 1990 it was with 67% of the popular vote; the second time in 2001 he was elected with 95% of the popular vote.)

-         The most brutal slave colony in human history

-         “the French debt” extorted by France from Haiti in 1825 equal to half a billion dollars

-         When capital moves up a steep grade of inequality … those who have little to spare are forced to give up essentials so that others can add to their luxuries.  Such transfers from the poor to the rich continue to this day, with some of the international financial institutions serving as cheerleaders for analogous … processes

-         Force is required to police deep poverty

-         Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide, nemesis of the dictatorship and the army and a proponent of liberation theology

-         Reagan’s brain trust … declared liberation theology less Christian than Communist and recommended that “ U.S. policy must begin to counter (not react against) … the ‘liberation theology’ clergy.”

-         The CIA and other US organizations helped to create and fund a paramilitary group called FRAPH

-         From that day forth, influential Republicans worked to block or burden with conditions aid to impoverished, strife-torn Haiti .

-         The Declaration of Quebec City … a scandal

-         International financial institutions have time and again engaged in discriminatory and probably illegal practices towards Haiti … This is known as ‘odious debt’ … according to international law, this debt need not be repaid

-         You’d think this might be newsworthy: the world’s most powerful nations joining forces to block aid and humanitarian assistance to one of the poorest.

-         Aristide’s departure was at best facilitated; at worst, coerced by the US and France

-         As calculated by Aristide , France owes Haiti US$21,685,000,000 and counting

-         Most Haitians have a lot in common: poverty, disease, mistrust of the great powers

-         Everyone was always against Aristide – except the poor majority

-         Aristide is, like Toussaint, in something of a French prison

-         … (US) leaked false stories … “White Propaganda” operations … employed Army psychological warfare …

-         … another “hundred years war” from all Latin Americans who respect self-determination and sovereignty

-         … former ( US ) Senator Jesse Helms … a backer of longtime dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier and an opponent of Aristide

-         The far right of the US Republican party has been the key determinant of Haiti policy

-         Haiti’s business elite, including those who own the Haitian media, and the former military and paramilitary … Prosper Avril … Guy Philippe …

-         According to an October 28, 1993 CIA intelligence memorandum, “FRAPH members Jodel Chamblain, Emmanuel Constant, and Gabriel Douzable met with an unidentified military officer on the morning of 14 October to discuss plans to kill (Haitian Minister of Justice) Malary.”  (Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, the leader of FRAPH, is now living as a free man in Queens , New York .)

-         The first day of Aristide’s term , the opposition set up a provisional government

-         Aristide’s relentless push to raise the minimum wage above about $1.60 per day cut into the massive profits of the offshore assembly industry, since its principal resource is the desperate joblessness of the Haitian population.

-         … the beleaguered ( Haiti ) government appealed for help in the UN Security Council, but this was delayed by the Bush administration

-         More guns and more military may well be the time-honored prescription for policing poverty, but violence and chaos will not go away if the Haitian people’s hunger, illness, poverty and disenfranchisement are not addressed.

 

Chapter 3. (US) Rep. Maxine Waters Charges US Is Encouraging a Coup

 

-         (US State Department) giving out misinformation

-         Senator Jesse Helms, who was basically a Haiti – well, hated Haiti , and they have always worked against Haiti

-         Sad history is a history that we in America are ashamed of.  Not only have we supported dictators in Haiti , Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier.  The CIA has always had a hand.  And we’ve had people like Constance on the payroll.

 

Chapter 4. Haitian Prime Minister: “Coup d’Etat Machine in Motion”

 

-         we see France, Haiti ’s colonial master, saying it’s ready to act to come in.  Sending an intervention force.  This is the same country that has been fomenting the rebellion over the past months.

-         … a surrogate for the US .  … We know that … the Caribbean is seen as the U.S. ’s backyard.  This is something Washington has done often.  It pushes Canada and France , the two other principle powers with influence in Haiti and economic interests to the fore, while they (the US ) hang back.

-         … if you want proof that terrorists are involved in the uprising, you have it right there (talking about the sudden reappearance of past mass killers)

 

Chapter 5. Haiti ’s Lawyer: US Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries

 

-         the second time in just over a decade that Washington has been involved in a coup in Haiti

-         … a US Military officer named Col. Patrick Collins … pressed (Emmanuel ‘Toto’ Constant) to set up a group to “balance the Aristide movement” and do “intelligence” work against it.

-         … trained in Ecuador by US Special Forces

-         … Congress needs to seriously look at what the involvement of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency has been in this operation

-         The leader of the “opposition” is an American citizen named Andy Apaid.

-         “The question is, will the international community stand by and allow a democracy in this hemisphere to be terminated by a brutal military coup of persons who have a very, very sordid history of gross violations of human rights?”

-         The US Ambassador in Port-au-Prince began the process of warning American citizens and asking them to register … two weeks before any of this

-         On the one hand, you have the ( US ) president attacking them (calling the people leading the coup murderers, rapists and criminals) and on the other hand, you have the people leading the coup on the US payroll

 

Chapter 6. Haiti : Different Coup, Same Paramilitary Leaders

 

-         historically, the US had backed oppressive forces in Haiti for centuries

-         the US Defense Intelligence Agency encouraged the formation of FRAPH, essentially a terrorist group

-         … a World Bank-IMF program … would redistribute some wealth from the poor to the rich

-         … what the first Bush administration and then Clinton did in backing FRAPH was they backed a terrorist organization

-         It’s an undisputed fact that they were launched by US intelligence.

-         It’s an unspeakable crime what’s being done to Haiti .

-         When you’re that poor, your only chance for getting out of it is to be great.  You can’t behave like a mere mortal, or you’ll fall.  You will die.  And for a period in the … late 80s, early 90s, Haitians really achieved political greatness.

 

Chapter 7. Haitian First Lady Mildred Aristide Speaks from the National Palace

 

-         major disinformation that is going on

-         completely anti-thetical to democracy

-         ( Haiti ) has had 32 coups (now 33)

-         The US has no framework from which to understand a person like Jean-Bertrand Aristide.  But this is a person with a mission.

-         … cooperation that we have gotten from the Cuban government, we have doctors … training over 400 doctors in schools in Cuba , and here in Haiti

-         Before the (1991) coup … there were practically no boat people leaving Haiti … (and after) the numbers of bodies that washed ashore in Florida

-         (Aristide) spoke on CNN, and he said it could be as little as a few dozen troops, a strong statement coming from the international community (to stop the coup)

-         Maintaining peace and order would seem to need to proceed any political resolution of differences

-         … trying to get … the Canadian ambassador to raise the issue in the Security Council.

-         The Venezuelan government may have offered unilateral assistance under the Rio Treaty

-         … it shows every contradiction of the United States ’ position.  Here is a country with the populist leader Chavez coming to the aid of another country that is trying to be overthrown by the United States .

-         President Hugo Chavez himself has openly accused the CIA of trying to undermine his government, of trying to overthrow his democratically elected government.

-         US Rep. Maxine Waters: “It is very, very clear to those of us who watch our government and its relationship to the small countries in this hemisphere and in the Caribbean , that this administration wishes to get rid of these leaders in these three countries who don’t cry uncle, who are not puppets to our government …”

-         … utterly illegal.  You can’t send someone back to their place of prosecution.

-         … the negative forces in that (or this) country

 

Chapter 8. “I Was Kidnapped.  Tell the Whole World It Is A Coup.”

 

-         “He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup.” Randall Robinson, founder of TransAfrica

-         “… the coup was completed by the Americans …” US Rep Maxine Waters reporting Aristide’s statement

-         “We are planning with Mr. Philippe to come into Puerto Rico .  He will not be alone he will come with American military and you will not survive, you will be killed.” US Rep Maxine Waters reporting Aristide’s quoting of Deputy Chief of Staff at the US Embassy in Haiti Moreno

-         “I think the people in this country (the U.S. ) should be outraged that our government led a coup d’etat against a democratically elected President.” US Rep Maxine Waters

-         He was abducted by the United States , a democratically elected president abducted by the United States in the commission of an American-induced coup

 

Chapter 9. Exclusive Interview of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide

 

-         US and French forces and Canadian troops are in Haiti .

-         Investing in education and health care, bring the real peace to the country … peace through education …

-         It is an occupation … when you protect killers … drug dealers like Guy Philippe, like Chamblain, when you protect the citizens of the United States in violating the law of the United States , Mr. Andy Apaid is a citizen of the United States, violating the Neutral Act, the way with this act will destroy our democracy, and once we do that, then this is an occupation.

 

Chapter 10. The Full Story of Aristide’s Kidnapping

 

-         … Aristide say he holds the French ambassador to Haiti as well responsible for his kidnapping and wants to bring charges

-         Yes.  The French were involved in all this pressure and, in fact, were in some ways leading the charge.

-         France probably more than the United States had more to lose from Aristide continuing in the presidency since he was beginning to lay claim to reparations from France for the period of colonialism and slavery … You had the restitution for $21.7 billion, which was on the table…

-         Meanwhile, you’ll have massive demonstrations, a million people almost on February 7 out in support of Aristide.  You don’t see a picture.  You don’t hear words about that.  So it’s a real – you have to take the reporting we get from Haiti with a real grain of salt.

 

Chapter 11. Aristide Returns to the Caribbean

 

-         Despite the historic significance of this trip (from Central African Republic where he had been taken to), with Aristide defying the warnings of the Bush administration and returning to within 200 miles of his native Haiti, this has not been a major story in the corporate media. … A CNN producer told us, “We’re going to stand down on this one.”

 

Chapter 12. Pressuring Jamaica

 

-         the US media have decided to completely ignore that (the Caribbean Community unity to return Aristide to the Caribbean )

-         They’re not being anti-American.  They are not trying to challenge the United States .  Indeed, they’re trying to embrace those principles on which the United States was supposed to be built.  Fairness, justice, democracy, decency, and human compassion.  Today is an extraordinary positive day for the Caribbean .

-         … the rise of vicious embargo imposed by France , Canada , and the United States

 

Chapter 13. Defying Washington , Haiti ’s Aristide Arrives in Jamaica

 

-         The US has also criticized Jamaica … threatening all of CARICOM (the Caribbean Community)

-         … the University of Peace (which had been the new training centre for doctors) has been made the US military base in Port-au-Prince .

-         Jamaican Prime Minister Patterson, speaking as current chairman of the 15-nation CARICOM, has called for an international investigation into the circumstances of Aristide’s removal from Haiti February 29 (2004).  The 53-nation African Union echoed that call last week.

 

Chapter 14. Aristide’s Bodyguard Describes the US Role in His Ouster

 

Chapter 15. US Warns Aristide: Stay Out of Hemisphere

 

-         Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld should be ashamed of themselves.

-         America ought to be ashamed of itself.

-         It is emblematic of the kind of arrogance with which America imposes its policy on the region and on the world.  It’s a disgrace.  And we, as Americans, must fight against that.

-         … shows how far we’ve regressed as a nation …

-         … it has been a tremendous symbol that we saved … between the Black Diaspora in the Western Hemisphere , and Mother Africa.

 

Chapter 16. President Aristide in His Own Words – Part 1

 

Chapter 17. President Aristide in His Own Words – Part 2

 

-         I’m shocked when today I still see members of the international community acting with those killers.

-         But all the journalists who were in Haiti from November to the coup or kidnapping were not there just to tell the truth.  But also some of them were there because they were paid to relay the lies which sprayed this [mis]information around the world, paving the way for the kidnapping.

-         Every year, for the past couple of years, US $56 million went to Haiti to finance political parties, radio stations, TV stations, journalists, who got all visa from embassies, lying to discredit our fragile democracy … that money came from abroad: US, Europe, through EU, and organizations like that.

-         When (Aristide) was ousted in 1991, for the three-year period, there was not only a mass movement in Haiti , but a mass movement in the United States of support and solidarity (to get Aristide back)

 

At the time this book went to press in July 2004, President Aristide and his family were living in South Africa .

 

Reference http://www.democracynow.org

 

EPILOGUE BY BOB STEWART:

“They came for the Vietnamese, and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Vietnamese. Then they came for the Chileans, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Chilean. Then they came for the Panamanians, and I didn't speak up because I was not a Panamanian. Then they came for the Nicaraguans, and I didn’t speak up because I was not a Nicaraguan.  Then they provided support for acts of genocide against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala , and I didn’t speak up because I was not Mayan.  Then they came for the Afghanis, and I didn’t speak up because I was not Afghani.  Then they came for the Iraqis, and I didn't speak up because I was not an Iraqi. Then they spread depleted uranium, and I didn’t speak up because I did not have to live or die in it.  Then they tortured and killed people, and I didn’t speak up because I was not one of them.  Then they came for the Haitians and I was a Canadian, illiterate in foreign affairs and my government was apparently complicit, so I didn't speak up....by the time they come for the Canadians there will be nobody left to speak up for anyone." 

Our Silent Complicity: Canadian Media Mum on Haitian Disaster, by  Yves Engler