sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Who's in charge in Haiti?

Pre-earthquake and post-earthquake, the answer is the same.

To understand Haitian culture, one must take a trip back into history (and I won't bore you with too many details). The Haitian people's heritage and history began when the French imported African peoples who they enslaved. Those slaves worked sugar plantations. In the 1700's and much of the 1800's the sugar was used to create an alcoholic beverage known then (and now) as rum. The slaves successfully revolted against the French and set up their own nation, which became Haiti. Most Haitians are recipients of their cultural bias toward: France, Voodoo, and brute violence of a sort not seen in the rest of the Americas. As a result, the society is base, corruption is rampant and life is cheap.

Fast forward a gang of thugs formed under the leadership of François (Papa Doc) Duvalier. The official name of this thug army was the Milice de Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale (MVSN) (Militia of National Security Volunteers), also called just the Volontaires de la Sécurité Nationale or VSN. The common name for this 'paramilitary militia' was the Tonton Macoutes. The name Tonton Macoutes, literally translated "Uncle Gunnysack" is derived from the legend of an old man, who walked the dimly lighted Haitian streets at night and would kidnap children who stayed out too late. He stuffed them into a gunnysack and they were hauled away, never to be heard from again. Use your imagination in deciding how this paramilitary force operated in Haiti. However base your imagination, I doubt it will reach the depths of depravity found in the ranks of the Tonton Macoutes.


Today that same gang, the Tonton Macoutes run Haiti. Aid delivered to refugees will be filtered through the street gang/organized crime group that runs the island nation and will be SOLD to the poor, or stockpiled against a day of need by the Tonton Macoutes (whatever the name the select - it's all the same). The BBC reported that Haiti is the most corrupt country in the world. (CLICK HERE) . According to the article, Transparency International placed Haiti #1 for corruption, followed by Bangladesh, Burma, Iraq, etc. Take a moment to read the article and then decide for yourself who will be receiving your aid money/goods.

(HINT: It won't be the suffering people)

13 comments:

  1. Oh, dear. I hope those people don't all starve to death.

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  2. Nigeria is often called the most corrupt country in the world. Not however, when Haiti is in the running. We are sure to give in to toward our charitable desires, instead of our (nonexistent) study of history. We will search and search for members of the Haitian government to give aid to, so they can distribute it. Right.

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  3. Which is why Haiti should become a UN Protectorate along the lines of Bosnia.
    Rebuild her society as well as the country.
    How bad do you have to be to have been in the demolished prison? Or were they just the wrong sort of bad?

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  4. I recall Sierra Leone as a similarly desparate place, in wild West Africa. Different for the fact that it has resources that can be turned into cash/weapons ie diamonds. But toward the end of its last civil war there was a UN `intervention` that arguably did not bring rapid assistance because of its mandate of `peacekeeping`. Of course, this pre-supposed that there was a peace to be kept in the first place. There wasn't. It needed peaceMAKERS first and foremost and this eventually happened when the British had to intervene in hard military terms, but even then ended up in a hostage crisis that but for the grace of God, the SAS/SBS and Para's could have become another "Somalian Day of the Ranger". When a country turns round and asks to be `re-colonised` by the British you know that it is not yet ready for a `peacekeeping` only force! The current Haitian emergency is one where there needs to be the establishment of a government at all levels, total intervention by an outside power on a massive scale, before one can guarantee anything of long term benefit. This does not, of course, mean that there shouldn't be the much needed massive influx of life saving aid which, I'm sure, LL would agree with.

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  5. I agree with Banned and Hogday-

    In order to "turn around" Haiti, it needs to be occupied by a military force to restore order. That force should not be the United States. What about France?

    Sierra Leone had diamonds and natural resources. Haiti has none of those assets that would attract a nation interested in allowing the country to pay for the services the occupying power would offer.

    The US does not have the backbone to take on Haiti. Tough decisions need to be made by "the occupying power" interested in nation building and unfortunately we don't have the present ability to make those decisions at the Executive level.

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  6. "Who's in charge?"
    Hummmmm....I thought it was..ehh,, no, wait a minute, isn't it the...ahh...no, oh I know!

    The U.N.
    (Useless Nothing)

    If you don't recall, look up how friggen totally useless the UN was in Bosnia, Somalia etc in the last 20 years. Too many countries who can never make up their minds on what to do.
    We'd be better off removing the UN from New York and disbanding the entire thing.

    NATO still seems to work, but will eventually become as large and mucked up as the UN.

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  7. An inspired suggestion, LL. There would be no language problem for starters, as I seem to recall they've been there before! Maybe they could manage Haiti and do a half-arsed job which would be 100% better than the one they've done as the `lead nation` in Kosovo these past 12 months, although I suspect that the Brussels gang will get the blame for that one. The future looks almost as bleak as the present.

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  8. That's why I gave to MSF/DWB; though it seems Barry'O's DoD is blocking their flights into Port Au Prince...

    Hmmm, wonder why? Perhaps in order to give his admin a single shining point of light in an otherwise very dark sky?

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  9. CI Roller Dude. True. In Sierra Leone, apart from the Brits, it was the Indian Army deployed with the UN who showed some seriously good soldiering. Apart from that the `mercs` did a better job all round.

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  10. fabulous post! off topic but..We got Massachusetts..one step at a time !!:)

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    ReplyDelete

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