Hillary off in a rush to… Haiti, where she vows to undermine democracy.

This sort of stuff never ceases to amaze me. In the midst of the huge upheaval in Egypt, Hillary Clinton is on a plane. To where?

To Haiti.

The reasons for this should be extremely insightful to how she and the current US government really feel about democracy.

A) Haiti is trying to ignore US demands that certain candidates be thrown out of the upcoming election, and

B) Ignoring the US explicit wishes (especially highlighted by recent wikileaks revelations) Haiti has announced it will issue a passport to Aristide.

Of course, the threat is on the table, that if the Haitian slaves do not obey their masters in Washington D.C., all financial aid will be cut off to this extremely poor and beleaguered nation. Truly, our nation is run by secret combinations, of the type that would make Book of Mormon authors blush. An insightful article on this situation comes from Mark Weisbrot:

Haiti Resists US Pressure; Announces Aristide Can Return

It didn’t get much attention in the media, but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did something quite surprising on Sunday. After taping interviews on five big Sunday talk shows about Egypt, she then boarded a plane to Haiti. Yes, Haiti. The most impoverished country in the hemisphere, not exactly a “strategic ally” or a global player on the world’s political stage.

Inquiring minds might want to know why the United States’ top foreign policy official would have to go to Haiti in the midst of the worst crisis she has faced. The answer is that there is also a crisis in Haiti. And it is a crisis that – unlike the humanitarian crisis that Haiti has suffered since the earthquake last year – Washington really cares about.

Like the Egyptians, Haitians are calling for free and fair elections. But in this case Washington will not support free and fair elections, even nominally. Quite the opposite, in fact. For weeks now the U.S. government has been threatening the government of Haiti with various punishments if it refuses to reverse the results of the first round of its presidential elections. Washington wants Haiti to eliminate the government’s candidate and leave only two right-wing candidates to compete in the second round.

Just three weeks ago it looked like a done deal. The Organization of American States (OAS) “Expert Verification Mission” did a report on Haiti’s November 28 presidential elections, and on January 10 it was leaked to the press. The report recommended moving the government’s candidate, Jude Celestin, into third place by just 0.3 percent of the vote; leaving right-wing candidates Mirlande Manigat, a former first lady, and Michel Martelly, a popular musician, in first and second place, respectively. This was followed with various statements and threats from U.S. and French officials that Haiti must accept this change of result. U.S. officials strongly implied that aid to Haiti would be cut if the government didn’t do as told. It looked as if desperately poor Haiti would have to give in immediately.

But then there was pushback. President Preval noted that six of the seven “experts” from the OAS Mission were from the U.S., Canada, and France – the three countries that led the effort to overthrow Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in 2004.

Then the OAS report was found to be so deeply flawed as to be worthless in determining which candidates should proceed to a second round. The report ignored the problem of more than 150,000 missing votes that – given the voting patterns in the areas affected – would have shifted the result to Celestin. It also examined only a sample of the tally sheets, and did not use any statistical inference to estimate how the 92 percent of the tally sheets that it did not examine might have affected the result.

The call for new elections began to grow. It was joined from the beginning by 12 presidential candidates who had competed in the deeply flawed first round, in which only about a quarter of Haitians voted. This was down from 59.3 percent in the previous presidential election, partly because the country’s most popular political party – Fanmi Lavalas – was excluded from participating in the election.

Preval himself has been reported in the press to support new elections.

Then yesterday the Congressional Black Caucus leaders, in their first break with the foreign policy of the Obama administration, issued a statement that they called a “response to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support of the OAS report”:

“The CBC urges the United States and the international community to uphold the ideals of fairness and support a new Haiti election process that is free and fair, respecting the rights of the Haitian people.”

But it is the rights of the Haitian people that Washington does not want to respect. Another reason that very likely contributed to Hillary Clinton’s sudden trip to Haiti on Sunday was that the Haitian government decided it is willing to issue a diplomatic passport to former President Aristide, who has been kept in exile in South Africa since the U.S.-organized coup ousted him in 2004. Recent Wikileaks cables show that the United States has pressed hard to keep him out of Haiti, and to keep him from exerting any influence from abroad. And his party, Fanmi Lavalas, was banned from participating in the November elections, as in other elections since he was removed from the country on a U.S. plane in 2004. Aristide issued a statement on January 19  that he was ready to come home.

It may seem strange that U.S. officials care so much about controlling a government as poor and without influence as Haiti, but they clearly do, having organized the overthrow of the country’s elected president in 2004, and contributed to the coup and subsequent death squads when Aristide was overthrown the first time in 1991.

The amazing thing about the last two months is that they are meeting such resistance from within Haiti, and from the Congressional Black Caucus – which forced then President Bill Clinton to restore Aristide to the presidency in 1994. Signs of further international support for democracy in Haiti were shown on January 26, when the OAS resolution on Haiti failed to endorse the recommendations of its own Mission’s report – due to resistance from left governments in Latin America. And the Rio Group, which includes 23 nations encompassing almost all of Latin America and the Caribbean, was also blocked by left governments from passing a resolution on Haiti.

The government of Haiti is scheduled to announce its decision on the elections today, and it may well fold under the enormous pressure from Washington. But with Aristide’s return imminent, the battle is far from over.

It is not only Egyptians that want free and fair elections, and not only the Arab world that is resisting U.S.-backed tyranny.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/feb/02/haiti-usforeignpolicy

America’s hypocrisy shines bright in Egypt.

So funny to see Hillary Clinton saying that, “Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people,”

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2044902,00.html#ixzz1COoCSMvg

while El Baradei has a different idea about this:

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=205272

Of course, it’s this cozy relationship our leaders and businessmen in the US have with dictators that gives us a bad name in the world. Clinton has been quoted as saying, “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/09/AR2009030902478.html

Idiotic.

Of course, Egyptians on the street are a bit upset that the gas cannisters being fired at them by their police have, “made in the USA,” inscribed on them. That is the least of our assistance to them though, we also give 2.2 billion dollars and all sorts of high tech weapons to the Egyptian dictatorship.

Bush had quite a cozy relationship with Mubarak as well: “Our friendship is strong. It’s a cornerstone of — one of the main cornerstones of our policy in this region, and it’s based on our shared commitment to peace, security and prosperity.  I appreciate the opportunity, Mr. President, to give you an update on my trip. And I appreciate the advice you’ve given me. You’ve seen a lot in your years as President; you’ve got a great deal of experience, and I appreciate you feeling comfortable in sharing that experience once again with me.  I really appreciate Egypt’s support in the war on terror.”

http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080116-2.html

Here is Obama encouraging Mubarak to reform: “No, I tend not to use labels for folks. I haven’t met him. I’ve spoken to him on the phone.  He has been a stalwart ally in many respects, to the United States. He has sustained peace with Israel, which is a very difficult thing to do in that region.  But he has never resorted to, you know, unnecessary demagoging of the issue, and has tried to maintain that relationship. So I think he has been a force for stability. And good in the region. Obviously, there have been criticisms of the manner in which politics operates in Egypt.  And, as I said before, the United States’ job is not to lecture, but to encourage, to lift up what we consider to be the values that ultimately will work – not just for our country, but for the aspirations of a lot of people.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/news/2009/06/090602_obama_transcript.shtml

Now the US calls for immediate reforms. This is why the US is hated around the world.

Now, there are rumors that Sunday, the army will crack down mercilessly on the protests after stirring up some staged violence on the part of the protesters and the US will likely condone the violence in favor of, “stability.” And so the story goes.

Cold water on a eulogy. Holbrooke.

Richard Holbrooke died today and the praise for the man gushes into the media. Just so we don’t get too giddy, I’d like to throw a little cold water on his eulogy.

Remember who it was who oversaw an increase in weapons delivery to the Brutal Suharto when he was committing genocide on East Timor? Yup, Holbrooke.

He explained why he thought it was ok to have part of the blood of 200,000 East Timorese on his hands during the 2000 presidential campaign:

“The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia.”

Who was it that lied about the Rambouillet accords after he issued the ultimatum to Milosevic in 1999 which called for the defacto occupation of Yugoslavia? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who was part of the team that gave the green light to Milosevic that led to the massacre at Srebrenica? Yup, Holbrooke.

Who has been a big fan of drone attacks in Pakistan with all of it’s “collateral damage” and murders? Yup, Holbrooke.

Anyway, one cannot keep a straight face and say that Holbrooke has been a peacemaker and diplomat extraordinaire.

Graham: murdering Iranians will help them to take control of their own government.

This man, who is elected by the people who think he is a wise man, able to govern our nation and represent the people of South Carolina, wants to murder thousands of people:

“My view of military force would be not to just neutralize their nuclear program, which are probably dispersed and hardened, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard.

“In other words, neuter that regime,” added Graham, who spoke at the Halifax International Security Forum.

But wait, he is doing this for the Iranian people:

Graham said he hoped that would help Iranians have a chance to take back their government.

Of course, after you kill their husbands, brothers and sons, they will be united against their own government instead of the government that just murdered their loved ones. No wonder the people of South Carolina elected you Mr. Graham. Such wisdom, unfortunately, passes for the wisdom of our day in this country.

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=194304

We need to leave Afghanistan yesterday.

Stories like this show exactly why we should get out of Afghanistan yesterday. We killed 10 election workers in northern Afghanistan today. We claim we killed bad guys instead.

Mr Khorasani (a parliamentary candidate), who was injured in the strike, told the BBC that the victims were his family members and supporters involved in his campaign.

“I thought that the foreign troops came here to bring us security and democracy.

“I believed they were helping us so that we can campaign for the parliamentary election. Instead they attacked me,” he said, speaking from his home in Kabul.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11163742

What does the USA have to say about this?

US Marine Corps Maj Gen David Garza said: “We’re aware of the allegations that this strike caused civilian casualties and we’ll do our best to get to the bottom of the accusations.”

He added: “We’re confident this strike hit only the targeted vehicle after days of tracking the occupants’ activity.”

Mr. President?

President Karzai’s office strongly condemned the strike.

“Air bombardments in the villages of Afghanistan will only end up killing civilians and will not be effective in the fight against terrorism,” it said.

Israel restricts Gazans access to their own land.

A new UN report shows that Israel has cost Gaza 300 million dollars in lost revenue due to taking up their land to make a buffer zone and killing those who come into the buffer zone (which consists mainly of farm land). The report also notes that around 26 million dollars have been lost by Palestinian fishermen who can only go out 4.5 kilometers without being shot at by the Israeli navy.

Though in most cases the troops fire warning shots, 22 people have been killed and 146 have been wounded in such incidents since the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/un-report-idf-barring-gazans-access-to-farms-fishing-zones-1.309022

Overall, this land grab constitutes 17% of Gaza’s territory.

It is this Israel that killed Fadel Shana, Reuters cameraman along with 8 other civilians back in 2008:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fadel_Shana’a

Of course, if Palestinians were encroaching on Israeli land and taking away their livelihood and killing Israeli civilians in order to create a “necessary buffer zone” to fend against Israeli militant attacks, we would hear a whole lot about it in the news.

No real point to this post, just pointing out that Israel continues to kill, by land or by sea, by guns or by inducing poverty… it is no difference.

Brookings poll uncovers some interesting information

This first question is hardly a surprise and should alert the Obama administration to the fact that the Arab population is not as stupid as they may have hoped. His speech in Cairo may have created hope, but that hope has dwindled and now the Arab peoples know the truth. Obama is no different. He will not deal justly with the middle-east, no more than any of his predecessors have.

These results here are very interesting. The way you hear it in the newspapers, everyone in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are opposed to Iran’s nuclear program. These numbers show a different story though. The Arabs polled were from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and the UAE. Saudi Arabia and Egypt citizens comprised approximately 20% each of the people polled.

Of those polled, 61% said they were most dissappointed with Obama’s handling of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. They also saw our middle-east policy as being driven by a need to protect Israel and control oil. Also, 59% polled said that when they see a documentary about the Jewish Holocaust, they resent it because they feel it brings sympathy towards the Jews at the expense of the Palestinians. Very interesting. Similar to Ahmadinejad’s position.

77% also believed that Iran has a right to it’s nuclear program.

In a world where there is only one superpower, 35% wanted France to be that superpower! Only 7% wanted the USA.  Also beating out the USA were China, Germany, Britain and Russia. Pakistan just lost to the USA at 6%!

Two countries that pose the biggest threat to Arab Peoples? 88% Israel and 77% USA. Iran was 10%. Interesting.

Erdogan, Chavez and Ahmadinejad were the most admired world leaders (Obama wasn’t featured in this one).

Methinks it would behoove the people of the USA to look at why the people of Arab nations have these opinions. There are good reasons.

http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2010/0805_arab_opinion_poll_telhami.aspx


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