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Sunday, March 20, 2011

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Haiti did not merely win freedom from slavery, the Haitians revolted, creating the only successful slave revolt in human history.

And they have paid for it in blood ever since.

Literally. The French saddled them with the debt from the actual revolt.

Haiti is the perfect example of U.S. imperialism and racism over the course of two centuries. Our government's bloodthirstiness is note-perfect; the U.S. never fails to be the bad guy.

I can't find my favorite link on this, but search for "Chomsky" and "Haiti" for some succinct backstory --- what is being done here is a continuation of a specific foreign policy that stretches back long before any of us were born.

Maybe you're thinking of the Haiti chapter from Year 501, though there are a lot of other good Chomsky interviews and articles on Haiti.

Definitely agreed that Haiti is the perfect illustration of what the U.S. is really about. The level of sadism is off the charts, and it just never ends--there's always another round of punishment, control, and exploitation.

I keep thinking on what Haiti produces that's so useful to the US that it has had to repeatedly intervene in order to savage that half island nation.

It's output has never been enormous. It's always been mostly negligible. It's people have been kept poor since Bonaparte lost his New Orleans stop off.

It came to me, re-reading this.

Haiti's chief export is defeat and surrender. It's a whipping boy. Haiti exists, in the eyes of those who run the US, in order to demonstrate regularly scheduled exercises in absolute power.

For a long time it was where our baseballs were sewn, although that's been moved apparently to Costa Rica.

http://sfbayview.com/2010/haiti-blood-sweat-and-baseball/

There's some good metaphor in there somewhere.

Caruso: That's it, thanks -- it is now properly bookmarked.

Jack Crow: I think you're right, but I should add: it's a matter of sheer fucking efficiency.

Keeping Haiti down used to be vital to National Security -- e.g., slavery. A free Haiti could have led to the world's second slave revolt -- right here in the U.S.. It's not out of the realm of speculative fiction to think that it could have brought down the U.S. as we know it. Slaves were essential for kick-starting the U.S. into becoming a world power, and slave rebellions were fairly common, though we don't learn that in school. So before the Civil War, it was vital to U.S. interests to keep that island horrible. The U.S. captured Florida in large part due to the fact that the natives there were welcoming and marrying escaped slaves -- there could be no safe harbor for any negro, so the territory had to be invaded.

Compare to Brazil, where escaped slaves managed to set up villages in the jungles that couldn't be easily found -- the evolution of that society is markedly different from ours in part because the same sort of police state couldn't be maintained.

After slavery officially ends, Haiti is made miserable because, well, it's easy. Haiti is a dumping ground for overpriced U.S. subsidized products and a source of cheap labor. It's wage-slavery, pure and simple, a massive, titanic company store. Now, try that shit in the states, complete with death squads, and you'll tip off a revolution. Not so in Haiti. The press can't even tell who the bad guys are in Haiti -- there are simply too many black people to bother sorting it out. So when the State Department literally points to a murderer/rapist/wannabe-genocidal-general and says "he's the good guy," the press reports that without a moment's hesitation. This isn't like Iraq where the truth comes out on page B2 -- they'll straight-up lie in the U.S. press. The trick is they'll never actually mention the death squads as being controlled by Aristide or pro-democracy groups, so you'll read about all these horrible events and you'll be scratching your head as to who's causing them. It's not a well-constructed lie.

But it's enough. Just before Aristide was ousted the last time, a bunch of thugs started wreaking havok with brand-spanking-new automatic rifles -- neat trick in one of the poorest countries in the world. The weapons were from the Dominican Republic -- who had just gotten a shipment of identical weapons from the U.S. On top of this, Aristide was kidnapped by personnel one step removed from the Pentagon.

Think about the price tag of that coup process. Compare it to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Somalia, or Yemen. The thugs are on-site, your agents are in place. The neighboring country is your bitch. The target is rife with corruption, dirt poor, and despised in the U.S. media. It's right next to you. This is the cheapest military action you could imagine.

The only chance Haiti has imo is if Haitiains in the U.S. mobilize to campaign for it, perhaps similar to how Jews in the U.S. brought attention to the Nazi genocide. Keep in mind even the latter was difficult -- Frankfurter, a Jew, was on the Supreme Court and refused to believe concentration camps existed. (Then again, Frankfurter was a dick, so maybe that's a poor example.)

Good comment, Mr. Consequence.

It's wage-slavery, pure and simple, a massive, titanic company store.

Yep, that's exactly why I used "overseer" Obama. And that's what the second posting will be about.

NOoC,

That's a fucking brilliant expansion of a thought I merely hinted at.

Bravo.

John,

Can't wait to read the next installment.

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