....LMB: "Haiti in a Handbasket"....

March 02, 2004

An awful lot of bloggers have written this entry today:

I was going to write about the situation in Haiti, but...

And I'm one of em.

I had collected a whole mess of links with in-depth information that help put the pieces of this puzzle together, but The Progress Report really nailed it.

I would highly recommend reading these individual articles on the Haiti conflict:

Don't Fall for Washington's Spin on Haiti (alternate link here)

U.S. political maneuvering behind the ouster

Death squad help for Haiti rebels

That last one should leave you cold.

The way that the US has responded to this revolt is amazing and hypocritical, but the media don't seem to be noticing somehow. Therefore we must highlight this as we often do, with a visit from the Analogy Fairy (see how comfortable I am with my masculinity?)

Imagine that three weeks ago, armed British thugs began seizing power of small British villages. They claimed that they were "rebels" and wanted Tony Blair to step down from power, as he was corrupt and hurting the British people. Blair refused, and the thugs continued their efforts. At this point, the White House advised the democratically-elected Tony Blair to compromise and share power with the armed thugs. And Tony Blair, fearing for his country (or his life), agreed. And the thugs refused the offer, and marched on London. Then, under mysterious circumstances, Blair was gone, leaving behind a note of resignation. Following the law of the land, Blair's successor takes over (Don't know my British government well, but I think that would be Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott). Then, American and French troops enter Britain and start setting up a new government made up of the old government, the thugs, and the "international community."

The astounding bit in there is that the United "We [heart] Democracy" States made no effort to support the democratic regime from violent attack, suggested that the thugs be given power despite their glaring lack of an electoral mandate, and then, even though the government seemed intact, decided to put a new one in its place.

The "was it a coup?" debate is one of the silliest things I've ever seen. Of course it was a coup. My first clue was when an army of men with guns demanded that the president step down or they would kill him. Was the United States behind it? Probably to some extent. The US' general modus operandi in Latin America is to find people you support, or who at least hate the guys you disagree with, and throw money at them until they do what you want (while simultaneously keeping money out of the hands of the people you oppose). So while I have yet to see anything concrete on the issue, but I'm suspicious.

So what's going to happen in Haiti? Predictions are usually pointless, but I suspect that the non-thuggish opposition (there is one) will end up taking the reins (based upon US insistence on a legitimate-looking regime) while the thugs retake the military and end up calling most of the nation's shots.

Posted by Jake at 11:20 PM | TrackBack (0)

One thing I can't understand is why they didn't call these people terrorists of some sort? I know they didn't blow up a building or anything, but they were still after the Hatian president and saying they were going to kill him. We flaunt that terrorism word around so much I'm a little suspicious as to why it wasn't used here.

Posted by: Lindsey at March 3, 2004 09:13 AM

I'm a wee bit more than suspicious, I find it amazing that not main stream newspaper has even brought the "T" word up! Granted, no buildings were blown to smithereens, but people have been killed, fires started, looting, not to mention the fact that these "rebels" were going after a democratically elected president. Does haiti happen to have oil?!!!

Posted by: debra at March 3, 2004 01:16 PM

Some friends and I were talking yesterday about that, Debra. What the hell does Haiti have? My husband told me to check it out in the "CIA World Fact Book". The link is located on this site under "References" on the right side.

One crazy thing I did see on there, was that Pres Aristide was elected with 92% of the vote. So much for democracy.

Posted by: Lindsey at March 3, 2004 02:22 PM

You really know we're in dangerous times when the US refuses to protect an elected president from a group of rebels, saying it's not the USs place, then as soon as he's out we SEND IN TROOPS to protect the rebels. Then, Baby Doc is making plans to return to Haiti? Then Powell says the US had no part in Aristide's leaving, only to later have that refuted by Noriega! And say, where did those rebels from a country denied 500M in aid get those weapons? Of course the media is weary of inferring anything from the "coincedences", but it's pretty obvious the US had some part in it. And speaking of things the media isn't saying, why did Bush back the coup to get rid of Hugo Chavez in 2002, which worked until the people and the Venezuelan army demanded he be put back in power. For those who say the US doesn't participate in coup d'etat I'd say read up on Iran (50's), El Salvadore (60-80s), Chile (70-Now), Colombia (70s-Now), Cuba (60s), Nicaragua (80s), Indonesia (60s, 70s, 80s), Panama (70s, 80s), and so on. The CIA was set up in 47' to prevent the "Soviet Threat" of communism. The CIA has been behind coups for years. Proof of US action in Haiti will be declassified in 10 or 20yrs, once no one cares about it any more. It's been true for the aforementioned and it'll be true here as well.

Posted by: Jacory at March 5, 2004 01:09 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

Posted by Jake at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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