1 March 2004
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Our Research Center has received many articles and essays condemning
American militarism, and
attempting to get the victims' story told. The establishment's media continue to practice their shell
games of shamelessly, distracting attention from all the major issues of war.
But "science for the people," that call in the wilderness some
30 years ago, seems to have come of
age. The communication revolution is indeed in the hands of the people, and the growth of new
technology seems to guarantee it will remain there, spreading critical information in ever expanding
circles around the world.
Our first communication, item A. is an article by Howard Zinn on "reality imitating art" in the grim arena of war casualties, sent to us me our graduate student Benjamin Monange.
The next three items ( B, C, & D) concern Haiti
: Civil War or Imperialist Invasion? We thank our research associates Professor
Ed Herman and Michael Albert for sending us these items.
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Reseaerch
from Ben Monange
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 16:50:17 +0100
Hi Professor Feeley,
Here’s an article by Zinn which is scheduled for publication in The Progressive.
The Ultimate Betrayal
by Howard Zinn
I cannot get out of my mind the photo that appeared on the front page
of The New York Times on December 30, alongside a
story by Jeffrey Gettleman. It showed a young man sitting on a chair facing a class of sixth graders in Blairsville, Pennsylvania.
Next to him was a woman. Not the teacher of the class, but the young fellow's mother. She was there to help him because he is
That was Jeremy Feldbusch, twenty-four years old, a sergeant in the Army Rangers, who was guarding a dam along the
Euphrates River on April 3 when a shell exploded 100 feet away, and shrapnel tore into his face. When he came out of a coma in
an Army Medical Center five weeks later, he could not see. Two weeks later, he was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze
Star, but he still could not see. His father, sitting at his bedside, said: "Maybe God thought you had seen enough killing."
The newspapers on December 30 reported that 477 American GIs had died in the war. But what is not usually reported is that
for every death there are four or five men and women seriously wounded.
The term "seriously wounded" does not begin to convey the horror. Sergeant Feldbusch's mother, Charlene Feldbusch, who,
along with his father, virtually lived at his bedside for two months, one day saw a young woman soldier crawling past her in the
corridor. She had no legs, and her three-year-old son was trailing behind.
She started to cry. Later she told Gettleman, "Do you know how many times I walked up and down those hallways and saw
those people without arms or legs and thought: Why couldn't this be my son? Why his eyes?"
George Bush was eager to send young men and women half a world away into the heart of another nation. And even though they
had fearsome weapons, they were still vulnerable to guerrilla attacks that have left so many of them blinded and crippled. Is this
not the ultimate betrayal of our young by our government?
Their families very often understand this before their sons and daughters do, and remonstrate with them before they go off. Ruth
Aitken did so with her son, an Army captain, telling him it was a war for oil, while he insisted he was protecting the country from
terrorists. He was killed on April 4, in a battle around Baghdad airport. "He was doing his job," his mother said. "But it makes me
mad that this whole war was sold to the American public and to the soldiers as something it wasn't."
One father, in Escondido, California, Fernando Suarez del Solar, told reporters that his son, a lance corporal in the Marines, had
died for "Bush's oil." Another father in Baltimore, whose son, Kendall Waters-Bey, a staff sergeant in the Marine Corps, was
killed, held up a photo of his son for the news cameras, and said: "President Bush, you took my only son away from me."
Of course, they and their families are not the only ones betrayed. The Iraqi people, promised freedom from tyranny, saw their
country, already devastated by two wars and twelve years of sanctions, attacked by the most powerful military machine in history.
The Pentagon proudly announced a campaign of "shock and awe," which left 10,000 or more Iraqi men, women, and children,
dead, and many thousands more maimed.
The list of betrayals is long. This government has betrayed the hopes of the world for peace. After fifty million died in the Second
World War, the United Nations was set up, as its charter promised, "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war."
The people of the United States have been betrayed, because with the Cold War over and "the threat of communism" no longer
able to justify the stealing of trillions of the public's tax dollars for the military budget, that theft of the national wealth continues. It
continues at the expense of the sick, the children, the elderly, the homeless, the unemployed, wiping out the expectations after the
fall of the Soviet Union that there would be a "peace dividend" to bring prosperity to all.
And yes, we come back to the ultimate betrayal, the betrayal of the young, sent to war with grandiose promises and lying words
about freedom and democracy, about duty and patriotism. We are not historically literate enough to remember that these
promises, those lies, started far back in the country's past.
Young men--boys, in fact (for the armies of the world, including ours, have always been made up of boys)--were enticed into the
Revoluttionary Army of the Founding Fathers by the grand words of the Declaration of Independence. But they found themselves
mistreated, in rags and without boots, while their officers lived in luxury and merchants were making war profits. Thousands
mutinied, and some were executed by order of General Washington. When, after the war, farmers in Western Massachusetts,
many of them veterans, rebelled against the foreclosures of their farms, they were put down by armed force.
It is a long story, the betrayal of the very ones sent to kill and die in wars. When soldiers realize this, they rebel. Thousands
deserted in the Mexican War, and in the Civil War there was deep resentment that the rich could buy their way out of service,
and that financiers like J. P. Morgan were profiting as the bodies piled up on the battlefields. The black soldiers who joined the
Union Army and were decisive in the victory came home to poverty and racism.
The returning soldiers of World War I, many of them crippled and shell-shocked, were hit hard, barely a dozen years after the
end of the war, by the Depression. Unemployed, their families hungry, they descended on Washington, 20,000 of them from
every part of the country, set up tents across the Potomac from the capital, and demanded that Congress pay the bonus it had
promised. Instead, the army was called out, and they were fired on, tear-gassed, dispersed.
Perhaps it was to wipe out that ugly memory, or perhaps it was the glow accompanying the great victory over fascism, but the
veterans of World War II received a GI Bill of Rights--free college education, low interest home mortgages, life insurance.
The Vietnam War veterans, on the other hand, came home to find that the same government that had sent them into an immoral
and fruitless war, leaving so many of them wounded in body and mind, now wanted to forget about them. The United States had
sprayed huge parts of Vietnam with the chemical defoliant Agent Orange, resulting for the Vietnamese in hundreds of thousands of
deaths, lingering cancers, birth defects. American GIs were also exposed in great numbers, and tens of thousands, pointing to
sickness, to birth defects in their children, asked the Veterans Administration for help. But the government denied responsibility.
However, a suit against Dow Chemical, which made the defoliant, was settled out of court for $180 million, with each family
receiving $1,000, which suggests that more than 100,000 families claimed injuries from the spraying.
As the government pours hundreds of billions into war, it has no money to take care of the Vietnam veterans who are homeless,
who linger in VA hospitals, who suffer from mental disorders, and who commit suicide in shocking numbers. It is a bitter legacy.
The United States government was proud that, although perhaps 100,000 Iraqis had died in the Gulf War of 1991, there were
only 148 American battle casualties. What it has concealed from the public is that 206,000 veterans of that war filed claims with
the Veterans Administration for injuries and illnesses. In the dozen or so years since that war, 8,300 veterans have died, and
160,000 claims for disability have been recognized by the VA.
The betrayal of GIs and veterans continues in the so-called war on terrorism. The promises that the U.S. military would be
greeted with flowers as liberators have disintegrated as soldiers die every day in a deadly guerrilla warfare that tells the GIs they
are not wanted in Iraq. An article last July in The Christian Science Monitor quotes an officer in the 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq
as saying: "Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I've seen has hit rock bottom."
And those who come back alive, but blind or without arms or legs, find that the Bush Administration is cutting funds for veterans.
Bush's State of the Union address, while going through the usual motions of thanking those serving in Iraq, continued his policy of
ignoring the fact that thousands have come back wounded, in a war that is becoming increasingly unpopular.
The quick Thanksgiving visit of Bush to Iraq, much ballyhooed in the press, was seen differently by an army nurse in Landstuhl,
Germany, where casualties from the war are treated. She sent out an e-mail: "My 'Bush Thanksgiving' was a little different. I spent
it at the hospital taking care of a young West Point lieutenant wounded in Iraq. . . . When he pressed his fists into his eyes and
rocked his head back and forth he looked like a little boy. They all do, all nineteen on the ward that day, some missing limbs,
eyes, or worse. . . . It's too bad Bush didn't add us to his holiday agenda. The men said the same, but you'll never read that in the
As for Jeremy Feldbusch, blinded in the war, his hometown of Blairsville, an old coal mining town of 3,600, held a parade for
him, and the mayor honored him. I thought of the blinded, armless, legless soldier in Dalton Trumbo's novel Johnny Got His Gun,
who, lying on his hospital cot, unable to speak or hear, remembers when his hometown gave him a send-off, with speeches about
fighting for liberty and democracy. He finally learns how to communicate, by tapping Morse Code letters with his head, and asks
the authorities to take him to schoolrooms everywhere, to show the children what war is like. But they do not respond. "In one
terrible moment he saw the whole thing," Trumbo writes. "They wanted only to forget him."
In a sense, the novel was asking, and now the returned veterans are asking, that we don't forget.
Howard Zinn, the author of "A People's History of the United States," is a columnist for The Progressive.
from Ed Herman
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004 11:45:41 -0500
THE HAITI REDUX
by Saul Landau
One of my students asked me about the current unrest in Haiti. “Reading
the news accounts,” she offered, “I can’t figure out who
stands for what. And what role is US policy playing in the ongoing events?”
I, too, find it difficult to extract meaning from the news accounts. Newspapers and wire service reports ran headlines about
“Rebels Occupying Haiti’s Second and Third Largest Cities,” without identifying the rebels or explaining what they stood for.
Other than their expressed hatred for and desire to overthrow the elected government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, I
found in the news reports not the barest trace of Haitian history that would help people get a context for the current conflict.
For example, 200 years ago, President Thomas Jefferson refused to recognize the first black and second oldest republic in the
Hemisphere. In the early 1790s, inspired by the French Revolution, Toussaint L’Ouverture, a former slave, led an uprising and
overthrew the French masters.
In 1862, almost sixty years later, Abraham Lincoln finally recognized Haiti. In 1888, the United States began its habit of
intervention when US forces responded to the Haitian authorities’ seizure of a US ship that had landed illegally. In 1891, US
troops landed “to protect American lives and property …when Negro laborers got out of control.”
Woodrow Wilson deployed the Marines in 1914 and again in 1915 “to maintain order during a period of chronic and threatened
insurrection.” They remained as an occupation force under Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Franklin Roosevelt.
In 1934, FDR ended the two decades of occupation by turning the reins of government over to a clique who looted the country
until in 1956 Francois Duvalier (Papa Doc), staged a military coup and declared himself president for life.
Papa Doc created a brutal dictatorship backed by the Tontons Macoute, a Haitian Praetorian Guard. Upon his death, Jean
Claude or Baby Doc Duvalier replaced his father until his overthrow in 1986. Both mouthed the anti-communist line, brutalized
their own people and received US support.
In 1990, Haitians overwhelmingly elected as President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a populist Catholic priest. He served nine months
before a military coup, led by General Raoul Cedras, backed by the CIA, ousted him and instituted three years of military rule:
political violence against all opponents and looting.
President Clinton procrastinated. Finally, in 1994, he dispatched troops to reseat Aristide as president. But Clinton limited the
military’s goals. He did not order the troops to disarm members of the illegal military gangs or train new security forces to protect
Haitians in the countryside, where paramilitary thugs harassed the farmers.
Aristide’s most prominent enemies and flagrant human rights abusers -- fled to the United States or the Dominican Republic. But
they had stashed weapons on the island and waited for the opportune moment. Human rights violators like Col. Emanual
Constant, a former CIA agent, walked confidently through the streets of Queens, New York. Some former army and Tonton
Macoute officials have returned and “joined” the “opposition.”
The media has identified Louis-Jodel Chamblain, a former army officer and member of FRAPH, Front for the Advancement and
Progress of Haiti, during the post-1991 military coup. But little has been reported about the nature of the atrocities committed by
this “leader” of the rebels.
Although such hooligans more than cloud the political “opposition’s” legitimacy, large numbers of Haitians do feel disappointed
with Aristide. The three year wait before Aristide resumed his legitimate place as president, seemed to have changed him and the
inchoate, populist Lavalas Party he leads. By 1994, following the Pope’s order, he had shed his collar. The secular Aristide no
longer showed the same assurance. The exile years had taken their toll.
By the late 1990s, those democratic and progressive minded people around the world who saw him as “the deliverer” also felt
disheartened. Aristide’s religious charisma seemed to dissolve in frustration. First, the man who had vowed to build a new,
developing Haiti, free of corruption, got IMF’d.
He refused to privatize the public’s wealth as The IMF and World Bank -- and US loan agencies demanded. Aristide had seen
what these policies had done to the desperately poor in the third world. His refusal to obey led the dictates of the imperial
financiers led to his punishment and to his inability to accomplish even minimal reforms.
The cynical “expectations” went side by side with a double standard on which to judge Aristide. While the Colombian
government on the western side of the Caribbean received increased US aid for bad behavior, Aristide was held to standards that
no third world country could have maintained. Washington offered meager resources and then deemed his effort to improve
police training inadequate. When violence occurred, the details somehow became obscured, the perpetrators unnamed and the
blame fell on Aristide.
Neither news stories nor editorials asked the obvious question: What resource-starved, infra-structurally underdeveloped and
politically chaotic third world country could accomplish economic development, social order and political stability in a few years?
In 1989, I interviewed Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley. I asked him what reforms he would make now that he had
regained political power (he won as a Democratic Socialist in 1972 and 76, was defeated in 1980 and won a third term in 1989,
no longer a socialist, but a supporter of IMF policies).
He laughed scornfully. “My budget has no flexibility,” he said. “The DEA offers a $29 million grant to burn ganja [marijuana]
fields. I have a choice: use the money to open the roads blocked by Hurricane Andrew or raise teachers’ pay and keep the
schools open. I can’t do both. No agrarian reform. No health care.” He shook his head. “Political power without money in the
budget is an illusion.”
He invited me to accompany a joint Jamaican Defense Force-DEA who planned to raid a ganja plantation on the island’s western
side. The helicopters landed, the troops and DEA agents jumped out and, as if in real combat, unleashed their flame throwers on
the ample crop. Within twenty minutes the soldiers and agents began to giggle uncontrollably as they inhaled the fumes of their
Watching the event, the extended family whose livelihood had just gone up in smoke, did not share the celebration. The Member
of Parliament who had also accompanied the strike force lectured them: “This is what happens when you grow illegal crops.”
“What else can we grow?” asked the grandfather of the clan. “With the roads destroyed we cannot get crops to market. With
ganja, the airplane comes,” he pointed to the landing strip in the middle of the burning field, “takes the crop and gives us cash.
The MP lost his pot-induced ebullience.
“Well, maybe you could start up a small factory or something,” he responded weakly.
“Dis imperialism, mon,” a dread locked young man opined.
“Huh?” I said.
“California ganja growers take over Jamaican market,” he said. “America balance of trade improve.”
Back in Kingston, the DEA agents and JDF officers invited me for a drink. I declined. Manley would have his $29 million and
raise teacher pay to keep schools open. What a price he was paying! He resigned shortly afterwards a tacit admission of political
Place the current rioting in Haiti in this political and economic context, one missing from mainstream reporting. Add the explicit or
implicit twisting of news reporting to make Haitian civil strife appear to be Aristide’s fault.
The media should have smelled the proverbial “destabilizing rat” when reporting that on December 5, 2003 50 armed men broke
into the university in Port au Prince and began to provoke students and professors. Aristide backers responded by demonstrating.
The armed unit attacked. One pro-Aristide man let loose a sling shot and connected with the head of an anti-Aristide militant. But
onlookers, mostly students, bore the brunt of the ensuing violence.
On January 12, the anti-Aristide gang organized a protest march in the capital Port-au-Prince. Reports from non-US sources
maintain that some students joined this demonstration after receiving cash incentives or promises to get tickets for foreign travel.
US dailies did not mention this information. Instead, the media focused on Aristide’s inability to answer “security concerns,” while
anti-Aristide officials in the Bush Administration like Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega and Otto
Reich, Presidential envoy to the Americas, promoted a policy of embargo against the Aristide government. Noriega carried an old
vendetta from his former boss, retired North Carolina Senator (R) Jess Helms, who despised Aristide’s leftish disobedience.
The chaos that reins in Haiti, is far from spontaneous. Thugs who illegally seized power and raped Haiti from 1991-94 have
returned to the island to join with people who have legitimate grievances.
Aristide may have overestimated his own support, relied on a weak police force and underestimated the treachery of his foes. But
Aristide’s mistakes or even character flaws do not invalidate his legitimacy as an elected president of Haiti, the poorest country in
Reasonable political sense, I told my student, dictates that we should support Aristide’s offer to compromise with the political
opposition and put down the ruffians who want full dictatorial power, reminiscent of their illegal rule 1991-4.
Landau’s newest film, SYRIA: BETWEEN IRAQ AND A HARD PLACE is available through Cinema Guild
1-800-723-5522. His new book, THE PRE-EMPTIVE EMPIRE: A GUIDE TO BUSH’S KINGDOM, was published
in November 2003 by Pluto Press. Landau teaches at Cal Poly Pomona University and is a fellow of the Institute for
Policy Studies. His essays in Spanish are on www.rprogreso.com.
Saul Landau is the Director of Digital Media and International Outreach Programs for the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 3801 W. Temple Avenue Pomona, CA 91768 tel: 909-869-3115 fax: 909-869-4858 www.saullandau.net
from Ed Herman
Subject: FW: BY JEFFREY SACHS, ON HAITI (THE NATION (THAILAND), FEB. 28, 2004)
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2004
Pretty impressive coming from the former king of shock-therapy for Third World countries! But I guess she has grown over the
Fanning the flames of political chaos in Haiti
by Jeffrey Sachs
Haiti, again, is ablaze. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is widely
blamed, and he may
be toppled soon. Almost nobody, however, understands that today's chaos was made
in Washington - deliberately, cynically, and steadfastly. History will bear this out. In
the meantime, political, social, and economic chaos will deepen, and Haiti's
impoverished people will suffer.
The Bush Administration has been pursuing policies likely to topple
2001. The hatred began when Aristide, then a parish priest and democracy
campaigner against Haiti's ruthless Duvalier dictatorship, preached liberation
theology in the 1980's. Aristide's attacks led US conservatives to brand him as the
next Fidel Castro.
They floated stories that Aristide was mentally deranged. Conservative
multiplied several-fold when President Bill Clinton took up Aristide's cause after he
was blocked from electoral victory in 1991 by a military coup. Clinton put Aristide into
power in 1994, and conservatives mocked Clinton for wasting America's efforts on
'nation building' in Haiti. This is the same right wing that has squandered US$160
billion (Bt6.3 trillion) on a far more violent and dubious effort at 'nation building' in
Attacks on Aristide began as soon as the Bush administration assumed
office. I visited
President Aristide in Port-au-Prince in early 2001. He impressed me as intelligent and
intent on good relations with Haiti's private sector and the US.
Haiti was clearly desperate: the most impoverished country in the Western
Hemisphere, with a standard of living comparable to sub-Saharan Africa despite being
only a few hours by air from Miami. Life expectancy was 52 years. Children were
Of every 1000 children born, more than 100 died before their fifth birthday.
epidemic, the worst in the Caribbean, was unchecked. The health system had
collapsed. Fearing unrest, tourists and foreign investors were staying away, so there
were no jobs to be had.
When I returned to Washington, I spoke to senior officials in the IMF,
Inter-American Development Bank, and Organisation of American States. I expected
to hear that these international organisations would be rushing to help Haiti.
Instead, I was shocked to learn that they would all be suspending aid,
'instructions' from the US. America, it seemed, was unwilling to release aid to Haiti
because of irregularities in the 2000 legislative elections, and was insisting that
Aristide make peace with the political opposition before releasing any aid.
The US position was a travesty. Aristide had been elected President
in an indisputable
landslide. He was, without doubt, the popularly elected leader of the country - a claim
that George W Bush cannot make about himself.
Nor were the results of the legislative elections in 2000 in doubt:
Aristide's party had
also won in a landslide. It was claimed that Aristide's party had stolen a few seats. If
true - and the allegation remains unproved - it would be nothing different from what
has occurred in dozens of countries around the world receiving IMF, World Bank, and
US isupport. By any standard, Haiti's elections had marked a step forward in
democracy, compared to the decades of military dictatorships that America had
backed, not to mention long periods of direct US military occupation.
That chaos has now come. It is sad to hear rampaging students on BBC
saying Aristide 'lied' because he didn't improve the country's social conditions. Yes,
Haiti's economic collapse is fuelling rioting and deaths, but the lies were not
Aristide's, but Washington's.
Even now, Aristide says that he will share power with the opposition,
opposition says no. Aristide's opponents know that US right-wingers will stand with
them to bring them violently to power. As long as that remains true, Haiti's agony
Jeffrey D Sachs is professor of economics and director of the
Earth Institute at Columbia University.
from Michael Albert
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 09:56:07 -0500
Haiti’s Lawyer: US Is Arming Anti-Aristide Paramilitaries,
Calls For UN Peacekeepers
By Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill
The US lawyer representing the government of Haiti charged today that
the US government is directly involved in a military coup
attempt against the country’s democratically elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Ira Kurzban, the Miami-based attorney
who has served as General Counsel to the Haitian government since 1991, said that the paramilitaries fighting to overthrow
Aristide are being backed by Washington.
“I believe that this is a group that is armed by, trained by, and employed by the intelligence services of the United States,”
Kurzban told the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!. “This is clearly a military operation, and it's a military coup.”
“There's enough indications from our point of view, at least from my point of view, that the United States certainly knew what was
coming about two weeks before this military operation started,” Kurzban said. “ The United States made contingency plans for
If a direct US connection is proven, it will mark the second time in just over a decade that Washington has been involved in a
coup in Haiti.
Several of the paramilitary leaders now rampaging Haiti are men who were at the forefront of the US-backed campaign of terror
during the 1991-94 coup against Aristide. Among the paramilitary figures now leading the current insurrection is Louis Jodel
Chamblain, the former number 2 man in the FRAPH paramilitary death squad.
Chamblain was convicted and sentenced in absentia to hard-labor for life in trials for the April 23, 1994 massacre in the
pro-democracy region of Raboteau and the September 11, 1993 assassination of democracy-activist Antoine Izméry. Chamblain
recently arrived in Gonaives with about 25 other commandos based in the Dominican Republic, where Chamblain has been living
since 1994. They were well equipped with rifles, camouflage uniforms, and all-terrain vehicles.
Among the victims of FRAPH under Chamblain's leadership was Haitian Justice Minister Guy Malary. He was ambushed and
machine-gunned to death with his bodyguard and a driver on Oct. 14, 1993. According to an October 28, 1993 CIA Intelligence
Memorandum obtained by the Center for Constitutional Rights "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 Malary."
Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, was the founder of FRAPH.
An October 1994 article by journalist Allan Nairn in The Nation magazine quoted Constant as saying that he was contacted by a
US Military officer named Col. Patrick Collins, who served as defense attaché at the United States Embassy in Port-au-Prince.
Constant says Collins pressed him to set up a group to "balance the Aristide movement" and do “intelligence” work against it.
Constant admitted that, at the time, he was working with CIA operatives in Haiti. Constant is now residing freely in the US. He is
reportedly living in Queens, NY. At the time, James Woolsey was head of the CIA.
Another figure to recently reemerge is Guy Philippe, a former Haitian police chief who fled Haiti in October 2000 after authorities
discovered him plotting a coup with a group of other police chiefs. All of the men were trained in Ecuador by US Special Forces
during the 1991-1994 coup. Since that time, the Haitian government has accused Philippe of master-minding deadly attacks on
the Police Academy and the National Palace in July and December 2001, as well as hit-and-run raids against police stations on
Haiti's Central Plateau over the following two years.
Kurzban also points to the presence of another FRAPH veteran, Jean Tatun. Along with Chamblain, Tatun was convicted of
gross violations of human rights and murder in the Raboteau massacre.
“These people came through the Dominican border after the United States had provided 20,000 M-16's to the Dominican army,”
says Kurzban. “I believe that the United States clearly knew about it before, and that given the fact of the history of these people,
[Washington is] probably very, very deeply involved, and I think Congress needs to seriously look at what the involvement of the
Defense Intelligence Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency has been in this operation. Because it is a military operation. It's
not a rag-tag group of liberators, as has often been put in the press in the last week or two.”
Kurzban says he has hired military analysts to review photos of the weapons being used by the paramilitary groups. He says that
contrary to reports in the media that the armed groups are using weapons originally distributed by Aristide, the gangs are using
highly sophisticated and powerful weapons; weapons that far out-gun Aristide’s 3,000 member National Police force.
“I don't think that there's any question about the fact that the weapons that they have did not come from Haiti,” says Kurzban.
“They're organized as a military commando strike force that's going from city to city.”
Kurzban says that among the weapons being used by the paramilitaries are: M-16's, M-60's, armor piercing weapons and
rocket-propelled grenade launchers. “They have weapons to shoot down the one helicopter that the government has,” he said.
“They have acted as a pretty tight-knit commando unit.”
Chamblain and other paramilitary leaders have said they will march on the capital, Port-au-Prince within two weeks. The US has
put forth a proposal, being referred to as a peace plan, that many viewed as favorable to Aristide’s opponents. Aristide accepted
the plan, but the opposition rejected it. Washington’s point man on the crisis is Roger Noriega, Undersecretary of State for
Western Hemispheric Affairs.
“I think Noriega has been an Aristide hater for over a decade,” says Kurzban, adding that he believes Noriega allowed the
opposition to delay their response to the plan to allow the paramilitaries to capture more territory. “My reaction was they're just
giving them more time so they can take over more, that the military wing of the opposition can take over more ground in Haiti and
create a fate accompli,” Kurzban said. “Indeed, as soon as they said, ‘we need an extra day,’ I predicted, unfortunately, and
correctly, that they would go into Cap Haitian (Haiti’s 2nd largest city) and indeed the next morning they did.”
The leader of the “opposition” is an American citizen named Andy Apaid. He was born in New York. Haitian law does not allow
dual-nationality and he has not renounced his US citizenship. In a recent statement, Congressmember Maxine Waters blasted
Apaid and his opposition front, saying she believes “Apaid is attempting to instigate a bloodbath in Haiti and then blame the
government for the resulting disaster in the belief that the United States will aid the so-called protestors against President Aristide
and his government.”
“We have the leader of the opposition, who Mr. Noriega is negotiating with, who Secretary Powell calls and who tells Secretary
Powell, you know, ‘we need a couple more days’ and Secretary Powell says ‘that's fine,’” says Kurzban. “I mean, there's some
kind of theater of the absurd going on with this opposition where it's led by an American citizen, where they're just clearly stalling
for time until they can get more ground covered in Haiti through their military wing, and the United States and Noriega, with a
wink and nod, is kind of letting them do that.”
Kurzban says that because Aristide’s opponents rejected Washington’s plan, “the next step clearly is to send in some kind of UN
peacekeeping force immediately.”
“The question is,” says Kurzban. “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?”
Democracy Now! (www.democracynow.org) is a nationally-syndicated radio and TV program broadcast on Pacifica Radio,
NPR, community TV stations and Free Speech TV Channel 9415 of the DishNetwork. Mike Burke and Sharif Abdel Kouddous
contributed to this report. email@example.com.
-- Jeremy Scahill
Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies/
Director of Research at CEIMSA
Université de Grenoble-3