Everything you need to know about the U.S. aid
effort to assist Haiti in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake can
be summed up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's touchdown in
Port-Au-Prince on Saturday, January 16: they shut down the airport
for three hours surrounding her arrival for "security" reasons, which
meant that no aid flights could come in during those critical hours.
there was one day when the Haitian people needed aid to flow all day
long, last Saturday was it because the people trapped under the rubble
on Tuesday evening couldn't survive much beyond that without water.
of Clinton will say that her disimpassioned, monotone, photo-op speech
was needed in Haiti to draw attention to the plight of the Haitians. But no one north of hell can defend her next move: according
to airport personnel that I spoke to during my recent evacuation from
Haiti, she paralyzed the airport later that same day to have a new
outfit flown in from the Dominican Republic. I am having
a hard time readjusting to life back home after having survived the
earthquake and witnessing so much death, so even typing those words is
making my heart pound uncontrollably.
I guess for America's rulers a new pantsuit is more valuable than the lives of poor, Black Haitians.
(Editors Note: We are unable to corroborate the pantsuit part of this
article and should not have published it. We regret the error.)
Clinton's model of diverting and delaying critical aid to the Haitian
people, while emphasizing security, has become standard operating
Alain Joyandet, the French minister responsible for humanitarian relief in Haiti, charged the U.S. with treating this as a
military operation rather than an aid mission. Mr. Joyandet told the Daily Telegraph
he had been involved in an argument with a U.S. commander in the
airport's control tower over the flight plan for a French evacuation
flight, saying, "This is about helping Haiti, not about occupying
with the U.S. occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, and funding the Israeli
occupation of Palestine, it seems our government knows how to do little
else when it comes to international affairs.
day I left the Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport I saw lots
of crates of food, water and medical supplies piled on the tarmac. But I
didn't see that aid being transported out of the airport to actually be used by Haitians. Undoubtedly,
there has been some aid distributed, but because there was no serious
effort to disperse that aid in the first four days after the quake,
tens of thousands of people trapped under rubble have died needlessly
because they couldn't get a sip of water.
Geneva-based organization Doctors Without Borders has been turned away
from the airport numerous times to allow U.S. troops to land. A
ring of U.S. war ships surround Haiti to make sure that Haitians don't
escape the disaster and try to get to the United States. The U.S. has
taken control of Haiti's main airport and seaport, and is in the
process of deploying 18,000 U.S. troops to bolster the 9,000 UN troops
already occupying the island nation--and as an eyewitness I can tell you
those troops are guarding their own compounds rather than distributing
Obama administration will try to dress up their ambition to occupy and
pillage Haiti in a humanitarian evening gown. But clothing is in short
supply in Haiti and we can't afford to waste it.
As a man from Leogane, Haiti, told Democracy Now,
if you look at me, I don't have shoes, and I don't have food. Even my
shoes, if you look at them, you see. I need clothes. We need
everything. Even medicines, we need."
Story updated with link at 14:23, 01/24/10