Here are the opening parts of a very forceful piece on Haiti & the US — very useful reading at this point of time, when we are inundated by self- congratulatory news about US help for Haiti. You can read the rest of Greg Palast’s piece here, on the OEN – OpenEd News website. The map showing the air route from Iceland to Haiti is there, because it would seem that Iceland, the little arctic island that went bankrupt last year, was faster in getting aid to Haiti than the mighty US of A. And here also, twixt my intro & Palast’s piece, a “Help Haiti” mixtape by EMELINE MICHEL & BOUKMAN EKSPERYANS (you can find out more about them and Haiti here, on the “breath of life” site):
The Right Testicle of Hell: History of a Haitian Holocaust
by Greg Palast
1. Bless the President for having rescue teams in the air almost immediately. That was President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland. On Wednesday, the AP reported that the President of the United States promised, “The initial contingent of 2,000 Marines could be deployed to the quake-ravaged country within the next few days.” “In a few days,” Mr. Obama?
2. There’s no such thing as a ‘natural’ disaster. 200,000 Haitians have been slaughtered by slum housing and IMF “austerity” plans.
3. A friend of mine called. Do I know a journalist who could get medicine to her father? And she added, trying to hold her voice together, “My sister, she’s under the rubble. Is anyone going who can help, anyone?” Should I tell her, “Obama will have Marines there in ‘a few days'”?
4. China deployed rescuers with sniffer dogs within 48 hours. China, Mr. President. China: 8,000 miles distant. Miami: 700 miles close. US bases in Puerto Rico: right there.
5. Obama’s Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “I don’t know how this government could have responded faster or more comprehensively than it has.” We know Gates doesn’t know.
6. From my own work in the field, I know that FEMA has access to ready-to-go potable water, generators, mobile medical equipment and more for hurricane relief on the Gulf Coast. It’s all still there. Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who served as the task force commander for emergency response after Hurricane Katrina, told the Christian Science Monitor, “I thought we had learned that from Katrina, take food and water and start evacuating people.” Maybe we learned but, apparently, Gates and the Defense Department missed school that day.
… continued on the OEN site.