Reading the Pictures: That "Looting" by Michael Shaw
I think media has got to be very careful in using the term "looting" in the midst of an overwhelming humanitarian crisis, especially given how much that term calls to mind generations of violent protests and riots over civil rights. (One of The BAG's most widely circulated posts -- Outside the Crawfish Shak -- had to do with exactly this, as media headed down the same path in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.)
Patrick Cockburn: America is failing Haiti – again
The US-run aid effort for Haiti is beginning to look chillingly similar to the criminally slow and disorganised US government support for New Orleans after it was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005. Five years ago President Bush was famously mute and detached when the levees broke in Louisiana. By way of contrast, President Obama was promising Haitians that everything would be done for survivors within hours of the calamity.
The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion? by Michel Chossudovsky
The main actors in America's "humanitarian operation" are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (See USAID Speeches: On-The-Record Briefing on the Situation in Haiti, 01/13/10). USAID has also been entrusted in channelling food aid to Haiti, which is distributed by the World Food Program. (See USAID Press Release: USAID to Provide Emergency Food Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims, January 13, 2010)
Help Haiti: The Unforgiven Country Cries Out by Chris Floyd
The relentlessly maintained, deliberately inflicted political and economic ruin of Haiti has a direct bearing on the amount of death and devastation that the country is suffering today after the earthquake. It will also greatly cripple any recovery from this natural disaster. As detailed below, Washington's rapacious economic policies have destroyed all attempts to build a sustainable economy in Haiti, driving people off the land and from small communities into packed, dangerous, unhealthy shantytowns, to try to eke out a meager existence in the sweatshops owned by Western elites and their local cronies.
Haiti: The Aid Masquerade by Kerry Trueman
The horror in Haiti is beyond anything we can imagine in the U.S., but this apocalyptic catastrophe has something in common with Hurricane Katrina; in both cases, a terrible natural disaster was made infinitely worse by human negligence and incompetence. How many thousands of Haitians could have survived the earthquake if the country weren't crippled by chronic poverty, shoddy infrastructure, environmental degradation and a host of other ills that have plagued Haiti for centuries?
Cuba is Missing... From US Reports on the International Response to Haiti's Earthquake by Dave Lindorff
There are only two US media outlets that have reported on Cuba's response to the deadly 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti. One was Fox News, which claimed, wrongly, that the Cubans were absent from the list of neighboring Caribbean countries providing aid. The other was the Christian Science Monitor (a respected news organization that recently shut down its print edition), which reported correctly that Cuba had dispatched 30 doctors to the stricken nation.
The history that "binds" the US and Haiti by Bill Van Auken
In his statement on the Haitian earthquake Wednesday, President Barack Obama referred to the "long history that binds us together." Neither he nor the US media, however, have shown any inclination to probe the history of US-Haiti relations and its bearing on present catastrophe confronting the Haitian people.
Why Haiti Matters by Barack Obama
But above all, we act for a very simple reason: in times of tragedy, the United States of America steps forward and helps. That is who we are. That is what we do. For decades, America's leadership has been founded in part on the fact that we do not use our power to subjugate others, we use it to lift them up—whether it was rebuilding our former adversaries after World War II, dropping food and water to the people of Berlin, or helping the people of Bosnia and Kosovo rebuild their lives and their nations.
Haiti: opportunity knocks by Richard Seymour
You want to hear about chutzpah? You want to hear about sheer gravity-defying audacity? Well, ladies and gentlemen, comrades and friends, prepare to catch your lower jaw. Forget Limbaugh's racist anxieties. Forget about Pat Robertson drooling about Haiti's 'pact with the devil'. He's a senile old bigot, and his sick provocations are familiar by now. This is the Heritage Foundation on the Haiti earthquake, which is estimated to have killed 100,000 people...
Catastrophe in Haiti by Ashley Smith
"The media coverage of the earthquake is marked by an almost complete divorce of the disaster from the social and political history of Haiti," Haiti solidarity activist Yves Engler said in an interview. "They repeatedly state that the government was completely unprepared to deal with the crisis. This is true. But they left out why."
Haitian Earthquake: Why the Blood Is on Our Hands by Ted Rall
As grim accounts of the earthquake in Haiti came in, the accounts in U.S.-controlled state media all carried the same descriptive sentence: "Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere..." Gee, I wonder how that happened? You'd think Haiti would be loaded. After all, it made a lot of people rich.
What You're Not Hearing about Haiti (But Should Be) by Carl Lindskoog
In the hours following Haiti's devastating earthquake, CNN, the New York Times and other major news sources adopted a common interpretation for the severe destruction: the 7.0 earthquake was so devastating because it struck an urban area that was extremely over-populated and extremely poor. Houses "built on top of each other" and constructed by the poor people themselves made for a fragile city. And the country's many years of underdevelopment and political turmoil made the Haitian government ill-prepared to respond to such a disaster. / True enough. But that's not the whole story. What's missing is any explanation of why there are so many Haitians living in and around Port-au-Prince and why so many of them are forced to survive on so little. Indeed, even when an explanation is ventured, it is often outrageously false such as a former U.S. diplomat's testimony on CNN that Port-au-Prince's overpopulation was due to the fact that Haitians, like most Third World people, know nothing of birth control.
Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again
by Naomi Klein
Readers of the The Shock Doctrine know that the Heritage Foundation has been one of the leading advocates of exploiting disasters to push through their unpopular pro-corporate policies. From this document, they're at it again, not even waiting one day to use the devastating earthquake in Haiti to push for their so-called reforms. The following quote was hastily yanked by the Heritage Foundation and replaced with a more diplomatic quote, but their first instinct is revealing: "In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region."
Venezuelan Humanitarian Team Arrives in Haiti after Earthquake
Venezuela sent its first aid airplane to Haiti, a Bolivarian National Armed Force's Hercules C-130, with a fifty-strong advance humanitarian aid team on board, on Wednesday morning, after a 7.3 magnitude earthquake leveled the country's capital Port-au-Prince, late Tuesday.
Our Role in Haiti's Plight by Peter Hallward
Any large city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti's capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it's no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone.
Haiti and America's Historic Debt by Robert Parry
Announcing emergency help for Haiti after a devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, President Barack Obama noted America's historic ties to the impoverished Caribbean nation, but few Americans understand how important Haiti's contribution to U.S. history was.