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Haitians at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia are trying to bring attention to Haiti, where Bill and Hillary Clinton are accused of defrauding the country of billions in earthquake relief money and destabilizing the nation’s economy and state institutions. Mainstream media has moreover tried to ignore this most significant part of the Clintons’ background. It is where Bill and Hillary Clinton spent their honeymoon. But since then, the poor island nation has become a source of undue enrichment for friends and family of the Clintons and for the Clintons themselves.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee questioned Marine Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, President Obama’s nominee to become the next four-star general commanding AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. Most of the discussion focused on the conflict in Libya, where territory is now controlled by seven different forces. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.
Less than a month after Col. Qaddafi’s assassination, in a Nov. 16, 2011, “Tripoli Situation Report” in Hillary Clinton’s e-mail archive, “country managers of the three U.S. firms comprising the Waha Group (Marathon, Conoco Phillips and Amerada Hess) said meetings with its Libyan joint venture partner and the National Oil Company [NOC] this week were ‘extremely positive’ and that they were encouraged by an apparent sea change in the NOC’s attitude toward its U.S. partners.”
During the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, President Bill Clinton and members of his administration pushed for the reduction of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda from over 2,500 troops to 270, with the remaining troops’ mandate being reduced to a mere observer’s role. The U.S. government evacuated foreign – read: White – personnel from Rwanda and pretty much ensured the total success of the 100-day slaughter that occurred when peacekeepers were also pulled.
The brief visit of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya in October 2011 was referred to by the media as a “victory lap.” “We came, we saw, he died!” she crowed in a CBS video interview on hearing of the capture and brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi. But the victory lap, write Scott Shane and Jo Becker in the New York Times, was premature. Libya was relegated to the back burner by the State Department.
Mexico, John M. Ackerman wrote recently for Foreign Policy, “is not a functional democracy.” Instead, it’s a “repressive and corrupt” oligarchy propped up by a “blank check” from Washington. Since 2008, that blank check has come to over $2.5 billion appropriated in security aid through the Mérida Initiative. Clinton’s State Department overlooked human rights abuses and corruption while keeping a lucrative flow of contracts moving to U.S. security firms working in Mexico.
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil. In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed. And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
The Haitian people are determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’etat” by Haiti’s ruling elite, President Martelly and their U.S., French and Canadian backers – marching in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands, risking their lives to insist that the fraudulent election be thrown out. On Dec. 16, the 25th anniversary of Haiti’s first free election in 1990, large-scale demonstrations will take place again throughout Haiti. We are echoing and amplifying their demands with a day of action and solidarity with the people of Haiti.
Hooded gangs attacked a large demonstration against election fraud today in the Haitian capital. Haitians, determined to thwart what they see as an ongoing “electoral coup d’état,” have been in the streets almost daily in their tens of thousands since the Oct. 25 first round presidential elections. There were huge demonstrations, punctuated by police firing into the crowd, wounding several, on Nov. 18. On Nov. 1, a big election protest in the Bel Air popular district, led by a Rara band, was attacked and two marchers shot dead; later that day a third protester was ambushed and killed on the way home.
When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
Are we ready, finally, to have the conversation on race that President Bill Clinton suggested the United States needed? The Saint Andrew’s Cross, which is the Battle Flag of the Confederacy, now known as the Confederate Flag, symbolizes a fact of history that most White Southerners choose to deny: enslavement of Africans forcibly trafficked to this country and their systematic dehumanization while here – sentiments and aspects of which continue to this day.
During my last trip to Haiti this June with a delegation of students and human rights observers, we were exposed to the raw violence of the ongoing forced dispersal of the poor. On May 31, the Martelly regime intensified a process – in the name of “eminent domain” – of violently evicting the poor from their homes in downtown Port-au-Prince and then physically destroying their homes and businesses.
When Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Orders, Number 3, he had no idea that, in establishing the Union Army’s authority over the people of Texas, he was also establishing the basis for a holiday, “Juneteenth” (“June” plus “nineteenth”), today the most popular annual celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States.
Since 1979, June has been designated as Black Music Month. The annual celebration was the result of a collaboration between songwriter and producer Kenneth Gamble of Gamble and Huff and broadcasters Ed Wright and Dyana Williams. The Root spoke to Gamble about how Black Music Month was born, what the first celebration at the White House was like and whether the annual observance remains relevant.
Yesterday I wrote about the ACLU’s efforts to ensure that the U.S. government is properly engaged at a U.N. meeting in Buenos Aires on uniform rules for the treatment of prisoners. Now that the meeting is underway, it appears that the U.S. delegation is playing a constructive role – but we’ve still got work to do.
There are periods in a country’s history when the signs and warnings that that history will soon enter into a dramatically different phase are clear as day. Such is the period today in Haiti, where daily events portend an inauspicious development for the future: The Haitian Army may soon be returning.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the United States officially announced that it was withholding $200,000 in military aid from the Rwandan government. Although a materially insignificant sum, the symbolism has serious implications for Rwanda’s image and reputation in the global community.
The State Department announced today that the U.S. “has cut this year’s planned military assistance to Rwanda amid concerns that the government in Kigali is supporting rebel movements in neighboring Congo,” according to the Washington Post. A three-year campaign by advocates for peace in the Congo and an end to the plundering of its mineral riches culminates successfully in today’s announcement. They have been pressing for implementation of the only law sponsored by then Sen. Obama allowing denial of aid to Congo's neighbors that destabilize the Congo.
Tomorrow Kagame will appear as one of Bill Clinton’s featured speakers in a plenary session of the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual gathering of the global elite. At the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative, Clinton presented Kagame with a Global Citizenship Award.
The rationale for the U.S. intervention in Libya is to protect vulnerable civilians from mass slaughter by the Libyan regime. Why has the U.S. has pursued a military path to “protect” civilians in Libya, when there is a far greater humanitarian crisis unfolding in the heart of Africa, in the Congo. President Obama has the diplomatic tools at his disposal to help alleviate the human suffering in the Congo but has not used them. Watch the videos and sign the petition.
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