Why Is the US in Haiti?

The above question has consumed me ever since the US forced Aristide into exile earlier this year. What is it about this small island, just a few hundred miles from the coast of Florida that has leaders of the world's most powerful nation obsessed with controlling the fortunes of it's inhabitants?

You could begin with how Haiti followed the US into becoming an independent republic, after the overthrow of a colonial oppressor. Even with that similarity to our path toward freedom, the Haitian republic was not recognized by the architect of our Declaration of Independence and the president at the time of the victory, Thomas Jefferson. For all the heralds we bestow upon him, Jefferson was a man who could not overcome his own slave owner mentality and treat the Haitian freedom fighters with the dignity they deserved. How could he, when he lived under the ever present fear of a slave revolt on his own plantation?

But those events were 200 years ago, so recently celebrated by our Haitian sisters and brothers as they marked the establishment of the world's first Black republic. What could cause the US government to treat with such contempt the first democratically elected leader of Haiti in 1990, Jean-Bertrand Aristide?

Yes, Aristide is someone whom the US cannot control, but why is it so important that the US control Haiti? Again, the country has been impoverished after centuries of struggling beneath the crushing debt demanded by France for the loss of property - the slaves who were my cousins, my aunts and my uncles. Imagine, the thievers of life and liberty demanding to compensated for their crime being thwarted - such gall has never even occurred to people native to the continent of Africa!

Beyond that, the French actually had the collusion of the world's major powers to enact their vile scheme and the debt imposed upon the Haitian people has been traded amongst the European powers and now resides at the US Treasury. Perhaps that is why the US is so interested in Haiti? But is pure greed enough of a motive to stage one coup in the early nineties and then follow it up with a second - after an intervening period of passive-aggressive support for Aristide?

Perhaps, one can never underestimate the greed of the power brokers behind this countries greatest crimes, but there just feels like something more to this story. A few miles of the coast of northwest Haiti lies a nation of unmistakable interest to the US: Cuba. For the last half-century, Cuba has been the principle obsession of the crazed rulers of this nation. The fact that Cuba has survived and thrived throughout armed assaults, economic blockades and relentless propaganda, has driven these mad rulers apoplectic. No longer convinced of the inevitable return of Cuba to its traditional status of under the thumb of US control, Haiti presents an irresistible opportunity to establish a forward base for the final solution to the Cuban problem: invasion.

If the US can travel to the other side of the world to bring democracy to Iraq what can prevent them from doing the same to Cuba?

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It is all politics

Can I get some support in declaring a ban on politicians stating boldly that some issue is too important to "play politics"? This is solely a phrase used to end debate and allow the individual making the statement to go ahead and implement whatever political policy they have in mind.

This is a democracy - or so I have heard - and public debate is central to its proper function.

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Lessons in keeping your eye on the ball

This website is not affiliated with anything or anybody! All of the opinions expressed herein are those of the author - baring any comments posted by third-parties unknown.

I have to wonder if the killers of Nick Berg are wishing they had added a similar tagline to their video, just so they would not constantly be referred to as "an Al Qaeda-affiliated organization." Just what is an Al Qaeda affiliate? Is this somewhat comparable to a franchise, is there some licensing program that one has to go through to obtain this title? I have no idea, but my main question is why do we continue to accept allegations from this - or any administration - as if they were fact?

After all of the blunders of the last year - no WMD, no attempt to obtain "yellow-cake" from Niger, no welcoming with flowers, no easy road to democracy, no funding the rebuilding with oil - why is any assertion not immediately challenged? A few of the questions I might ask, were I a journalist whose sole job it was to ask questions:

- How do you know who those masked men were?
- How do you know with whom they are affiliated?
- What does affiliated mean - money, moral support, post cards?
- Who from Al Qaeda is providing this support and why can we not stop them?

If this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people - does it not behoove us to actively question those whom we have placed in positions of authority?

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We Have To Be Better

One of the interesting angles to explore from the recent publication of the photos of Iraqis being tortured by Americans, is the fact that so many of the torturers are women. Is this what we thought we were getting by opening military service to women?

I am most interesting in this story from the perspective of an African-American: as we gain more power over our own self-determination, will we use that power to enact the same mistakes that were performed by our enslavers? As a corporate functionary, I have asked this question whenever I gather to hear the stories of those African-Americans who have achieved some degree of success. There is an interesting new book, Black Power, Inc. that asks how their success has changed the corporate world. One would hope that we all could learn from mistakes, from failures and from success, so that we can collectively move the world forward.

Progress, it is not just a verb.

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Can't We All Just Get Along?

Can someone tell me why people choose to hate each other? I developed a recent hobby of using IMDB as an online companion to watching movies. During tonight's presentation of "Hannibal", I went online and found the movie details and also found out that production has begun on two separate movies on the historical Hannibal - the African general from Carthage.

I was aware that there is an ongoing war of words on just how black Hannibal was in real life, but I had no idea people many thousands of years later could use this military leader as a reason to hate one another. I guess, if people can war daily over religious leaders - why could they not do the same over battles long since won and lost?

Long introduction to a post I saw by one disgruntled internet user, who was offended that Denzel Washington would even presume to play an African. He included a great deal of content on how much of North Africa was really Caucasian but the only tidbit worth responding to was the link to this 1911 Encyclopedia. My reply to the inanities of this post and the website is included below for your enjoyment.

Black Hannibal?
Not sure if Denzel stole your lunch money back in the third grade or what any actor (correct me if I am wrong, but have white men not portrayed Othello? Why does the actual race of Hannibal have any impact on which actors can play him) could ever do to anyone that would evince such hatred, but your post did inspire a few thoughts worthy of a response.

This post should be used as an example whenever anyone claims that there is no racism left in the world and that we can now live together as brothers. For some reason, people choose to hate other people and I guess we just need to live with that.

Fascinating encyclopedia that you linked us to; the internet is a vast collection and one never truly knows the veracity of the material found across its many pages. I would say that what I found most interesting about the article was its correlation to known practices of racist European colonizers. All across the globe, wherever the colonial spirit urged them to wander, Europeans examined all of the cultures they found and rated them as to how closely they resembled Europeans. The closer a culture was to the practices of Europeans, the more civilized they were perceived and the more respect they were given. Hence, the praise this article heaped upon the Berbers (farmers) and the disdain shown to the Arabs (nomads). Of course, we all know who lived at the top of this pyramid - and still does - but it goes a long way to explaining the reference point once (and apparently still) used to view the world.

If you are truly interested in learning more about this viewpoint and how it continues to cascade throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, you should read up on the roots of the massacres a decade ago in Rwanda. You might find it interesting how their European colonizers (Dutch, in this case) divided the Hutu's and the Tutsi's into that same "closest to European" dynamic and planted a seed that turned two cultures which had lived side-by-side for millennia into a massive genocidal war in just 100 years.

Ah, the power of hate.

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What is the mission of All Panthers Are Black?

What is the mission of All Panthers Are Black?

All Panthers Are Black has some very simple goals, honest goals, with which people of good will anywhere cannot disagree.

1. Freedom to define our own destiny
Seems pretty straight-forward, not much to disagree with here, let's go on to the next one.

2. Full employment
Boy, this one is sure looking good right about now.

3. Retribution for all that was stolen from us
Sounds reasonable, who does not want back that which was taken from them?

4. Decent housing for all
Is this really controversial? What do humans need to live? Food, clothing and - what was that other one?

5. Education
If the above line lists the basics of life, education is surely that which makes life worth living. Who could be against education? Surely not someone reading a web page.

6. Health care
Seems like a pretty obvious one, right? Hard to pursue happiness without being healthy.

7. An end to police brutality
Is anyone really against this? Who is in favor of police brutality? Stand and be counted.

8. An end to wars of aggression
Is anyone still in favor of this? Can we really claim to value human life above all else if we choose to sacrifice life for . . . ?

9. Freedom for all political prisoners
Was not this country founded on this principle? That people should not be imprisoned for their beliefs?

10. Let's just some this up and say, "All of the above"

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