Stephen Lendman, research associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization, and an intellectual humanitarian, discusses the disaster in Haiti, which he, like many others, suspects may have been engineered using high-tech weapons, such as HAARP, a classified facility in Alaska with the capacity to direct concentrated forms of energy and bounce them off the ionosphere to impact targets on Earth. The presence of American military forces positioned to move into the country at a moment's notice is not the only disturbing aspect of this situation. Haiti, like Iraq and even Vietnam, has vast deposits of oil and gas, which appear to have been our underlying motives for invading those countries. The "humanitarian mission" functions to camouflage the real reasons, which Naomi Klein, THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, has addressed. This appears to be one more instance of reversion to the colonialist stratagems of the 19th Century with no regard for the welfare of the people.
As F. Wiliam Engdahl has observed, behind the smoke, rubble and unending drama of human tragedy in the hapless Caribbean country, a drama is in full play for control of what geophysicists believe may be one of the world’s richest zones for hydrocarbons-oil and gas outside the Middle East, possibly orders of magnitude greater than that of nearby Venezuela. Notably, in 2005, a year after the Bush-Cheney Administration de facto deposed the democratically elected President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a team of geologists from the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas began an ambitious and thorough two-phase mapping of all geological data of the Caribbean Basins. The project is due to be completed in 2011. Directed by Dr. Paul Mann, it is called “Caribbean Basins, Tectonics and Hydrocarbons.” It is all about determining as precisely as possible the relation between tectonic plates in the Caribbean and the potential for hydrocarbons--oil and gas.
This map from Eurasian Minerals Inc. shows a “Gold-Silver-Copper Mineralization Belt” running across the island of Hispaniola, shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic, highlighting major mineral discoveries in Haiti.
Marguerite Laurent, president of the Haitian Lawyers’ Leadership Network (HLLN) who served as attorney for the deposed Aristide, notes that when Aristide was President--up until his US-backed ouster during the Bush era in 2004--he had developed and published in book form his national development plans. These plans included, for the first time, a detailed list of known sites where the resources of Haiti were located. The publication of the plan sparked a national debate over Haitian radio and in the media about the future of the country. Aristide’s plan was to implement a public-private partnership to ensure that the development of Haiti’s oil, gold and other valuable resources would benefit the national economy and the broader population, and not merely the five Haitian oligarchic families and their US backers, the so-called Chimeres or gangsters.
Since the ouster of Aristide in 2004, Haiti has been an occupied country, with a dubiously-elected President, Rene Preval, a controversial follower of IMF privatization mandates and reportedly tied to the Chimeres or Haitian oligarchs who backed the removal of Aristide. Notably, the US State Department refuses to permit the return of Aristide from South African exile.
Now, in the wake of the devastating earthquake of January 12, the United States military has taken control of Haiti’s four airports and presently has some 20,000 troops in the country. Journalists and international aid organizations have accused the US military of being more concerned with imposing military control, which it prefers to call “security,” than with bringing urgently needed water, food and medicine from the airport sites to the population. And according to Laurent, under the guise of emergency relief work, the US, France and Canada are engaged in a balkanization of the island for future mineral control.
Non-aligned press network Voltaire Network: "According to Russia Today, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías evoked the possibility that the United States are behind the earthquake that devastated Haiti. However, according to Vive Tv, the allegation originated with the Russian armed forces. Be that as it may, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have requested the UN Security Council to convene an emergency session. This forum will be expected to examine these charges and look into the 'humanitarian' invasion of Haiti by US troops."
Voltaire is not alone in questioning the cause the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. According to the San Francisco Bay View "significant voices around the world are joining the speculation". And US Intelligence Examiner Fred Burks quotes from a documentary on HAARP by Canada's public broadcasting network CBC in his article "HAARP: Secret weapon for weather modification, electromagnetic warfare?":
Burks reveals two documentaries: an engaging 14-minute CBC documentary, and an even more detailed and revealing 45-minute History Channel documentary on HAARP and other secret weapons used for electromagnetic warfare--both of them are presented below.
HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) is a little-known, yet critically important U.S. military defense program which has generated quite a bit of controversy over the years in certain circles. Though denied by HAARP officials, some respected researchers allege that secret electromagnetic warfare capabilities of HAARP are designed to forward the US military's stated goal of achieving full-spectrum dominance by the year 2020. Others go so far as to claim that HAARP can and has been used for weather modification, to cause earthquakes and tsunamis, to disrupt global communications systems, and more.
Haiti's Earthquake: Natural or Engineered
Stephen Lendman / 27 January 2010
Human activity can cause destructive harm. Columbia University geophysical hazards research scientist, Christian Klose, studies how, including from mining. In a recent paper, he said: "mining activities disturb the in-situ stress in the upper continental crust and can trigger earthquakes (human-triggered seismicity)."
Past examples are numerous:
-- from potash and other mining in Germany since the 19th century;
-- potash mining in Bulgaria;
-- copper mining in Silesia;
-- ore mining in Russia;
-- coal and other mining in various parts of America, including New York state, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming; and
-- coal and other mining in China and throughout the world.
Klose also says geophysical data suggest that the Zipingpu Dam, a few kilometers from the epicenter of China's 7.9 magnitude 2008 earthquake, likely triggered it. In a December 2008 presentation at the American Geophysical Union, he explained:
"Several geophysical observations suggest this (quake) was triggered by local and abnormal mass imbalances on the surface of the Earth's crust. These observations include (1) elastostatic response of the crust to the mass changes, (2) slip distribution of the main rupture, and (3) aftershock distribution."
A follow-up issue of Science magazine explained further stating:
"the added weight both eased the squeeze on the fault, weakening it, and increased the stress tending to rupture (it). The effect was 25 times that of a year's worth of natural stress loading from tectonic motions. When the fault did finally rupture, it moved just the way the reservoir loading had encouraged it to...."
Klose also says that two centuries of coal mining triggered the 1989 Newcastle, Australia quake, killing 13 and causing billions of dollars in damage. Data show that increased post-WW II production "dramatic(ally increased) the stress change in the crust," setting it off and raising questions about how mining operates.
"You have two chances to avoid this, whether you reduce the hazard or reduce the vulnerability - so whether you mine in a more sustainable way or have urban planning in other areas away from the mining regions."
In addition, Klose estimates that human activity caused one-fourth of Britain's quakes, not just from mining. An Andrew Alden geology.about.com article headlined, "Earthquakes in a Nutshell" says:
"Earthquakes are natural ground motions caused as the Earth releases energy. The science of earthquakes is seismology (the study of shaking). Earthquake energy comes from the stresses of plate tectonics. As plates move, the rocks on their edges deform and take up strain until the weakest point, a fault, ruptures and releases the strain."
Naomi Klein Issues Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert:
Stop Them Before They Shock Again
Five major types of human activity cause them:
(1) Damn construction
Since water is heavier than air, the crust beneath it is greatly stressed, easily setting off shocks that mostly are moderate. University of Alaska seismologist Larry Gedney explained:
"Since the (Hoover Dam) reached its peak of 475 feet in 1939, the level of seismicity has fluctuated in direct response to water level. None of the shocks have been particularly damaging - the largest was about magnitude 5 - but the area had no record of being seismically active."
Klose says dams cause about one-third of human-caused quakes. No wonder given their global proliferation, 845,000 according to Discover magazine, including 80,000 in America. Hoover Dam is the largest, storing 1.2 trillion cubic feet of water. China's Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest, holding back 1.4 trillion cubic feet. In 1967, a human-triggered 7.0 magnitude western India quake may have been caused by the Koyna Dam. If so, damns in seismically active areas may be more destructive than believed.
(2) Liquid injection into the ground
In 1951, the US Army constructed Basin F at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to handle 243 million gallons of contaminated liquid chemical wastes in about a 93 acre area. In 1961, another way was chosen - by drilling a 12,000-foot deep well in the Rocky Mountains to inject napalm toxic waste into the earth's crust. From 1962 - 1966, 165 million gallons went in, likely triggering regional quakes and getting the Army to shut it down. According to seismologist Dave Wolney:
"If you are doing deep well injection, you are altering the stress on the underlying rocks and at some point, (it) will be relieved by generating an earthquake."
Klose also worries about carbon dioxide sequestration, a process of compressing CO2 from coal plants and injecting it into underground deposits. They, too, can generate quakes close to cities, as that's where facilities are located.
(3) Coal mining
Coal provides over half of America's electricity and an even larger percentage in China. Mines produce millions of tons annually, extract up to a dozen times as much water as coal, and cause huge regional mass changes. They, in turn, increase stress that can cause quakes as explained above. According to Klose, mining produces over half of recorded ones.
(4) Oil and gas drilling
A June 23, 2009 New York Times article headlined, "Deep in Bedrock, Clean Energy and Quake Fears," explaining that former oil man, Markus O. Haring, drilled a hole three miles deep in Basel, Switzerland prospecting for clean, renewable energy deep within the earth's bedrock. On December 8, 2006, an earthquake terrifyied residents who remembered the devastating one striking the city 650 years earlier.
A huge geothermal project north of San Francisco has raised fears of earthquakes.
Haring terminated his project, but a US start-up company, AltaRock Energy, will use the same technology to drill deep into quake-prone areas two hours' drive north of San Francisco for geothermal energy. The Energy Department backs it with more than $36 million, and several large venture capital firms are involved, despite the risk.
According the The Times:
"The California project is the first of dozens that could be operating in the United States in the next several years, driven by a push to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases and the Obama administration's support for renewable energy. Using the Basel method, it's hoped a breakthrough can be achieved, even though it's known that large quakes occur at great depths."
Three of the largest human-caused ones happened near an Uzbekistan natural gas field, the result of liquid extraction and injection changing its tectonic action. The most severe one registered 7.3, and according to Russian scientists:
"Few will deny that there is a relationship between hydrocarbon recovery and seismic activity, but exactly how strong a relationship exists has yet to be determined."
In regions with high tectonic activity, like northern California near San Francisco or Haiti around Port-au-Prince, extraction could trigger severe quakes. It's believed Haiti has significant oil, gas, and other mineral deposits, including gold, copper, and coal. Perhaps drilling around Port-au-Prince bay, the Gulf of La Gonave, and the Island of La Gonave set off the quake, why US occupation and human neglect are related to it, and why America, France, Canada and other nations seek to profit from disaster.
(5) Large building construction
On December 2, 2005 Kate Ravilious' UK Guardian article headlined, "Skyscraper that may cause earthquakes." It referred to Taipei 101 in Taiwan, the world's tallest building at 1,667 feet, weighing 700,000 tons. According to National Taiwan Normal University geologist Cheng Horng Lin, the building's stress may have reopened an ancient fault. Before its construction, the Taipei basin was very stable with no surface ones. Thereafter, "The number of earthquakes increased to around two micro-earthquakes per year during the construction period (1997 - 2003). After completion, two larger quakes were registered, strong enough to feel at magnitudes 3.8 and 3.2."
At more than 500 metres, Taipei 101 in Taiwan is the world's tallest building. But now geologists fear that its size and weight may have transformed a stable area into one susceptible to earthquake activity.
Lin believes that "the considerable stress might be transferred into the upper crust due to the extremely soft sedimentary rocks beneath the Taipei basin. Deeper down this may have reopened an old earthquake fault."
Other experts are more cautious. UCLA quake expert John Vidale says "A building will change the stress on the ground under the building, but this probably won't reach down to around 10km, the level where earthquakes occur." Compared with dams, coal mining, oil drilling, and underground waste deposits, skyscrapers cause minor stress to the earth's surface. Klose shares that view.
Other Earthquake Causes
A January 23, 2010 Pravda online article headlined, "US weapon test aimed at Iran caused Haiti quake," stating:
"An unconfirmed report by the Russian Northern Fleets says the Haiti earthquake was caused by a flawed US Navy 'earthquake weapons' test before (they) could be utilized against Iran. (Something) went 'horribly wrong' and caused the catastrophic quake in the Caribbean, the website of Venezuela's ViVe TV recently reported, citing the Russian report."
After its release, Hugo Chavez called it a drill, preparing to cause an earthquake in Iran. Russia Today said Moscow has the same weapons. The unconfirmed Russian report said America carried out a similar test in the Pacific Ocean, causing a 6.5 magnitude quake near Eureka, CA. No deaths or injuries were reported, but many buildings were damaged.
ViVe said the US Navy may have had "full knowledge" of the test's damage potential, and speculated it was why Deputy Southern Command General PK Keen was in Haiti when the quake struck, preparing to act in case of a disaster, perhaps an engineered one. In his January 21 Global Research article, Michel Chossudovsky said:
"A Haiti disaster relief scenario had been envisaged at the headquarters of US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in Miami one day prior to the earthquake (since) pre-disaster simulations pertain(ing) to the impacts of a hurricane in Haiti" were conducted.
A "communication-information tool" called the Transnational Information Sharing Cooperation project (TISC) "links non-government organizations with the United States (government and military) and other nations for tracking, coordinating and organizing relief efforts."
When the quake struck, TISC was in "an advanced stage of readiness." The next day, SOUTHCOM implemented the system. "The (DOD's) Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)" set up a relief effort among "a range of Defense units and various" NGOs and aid groups operating "as part of a carefully planned military operation." Did DOD have advance knowledge of the quake so could act immediately when it struck? Was the drill's timing a coincidence or something more sinister?
On the morning of September 11, 2001, the CIA was running "a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building." Held at the Agency's Chantilly, Virginia Reconnaissance Office, it simulated a small jet hitting one of its four towers after supposedly experiencing mechanical failure. The media ignored it the way it's suppressing the January 11 drill. It raises serious questions and great suspicions.
Earlier in October 2000, the Defense Protective Services Police and Pentagon's Command Emergency Response Team conducted another exercise, simulating a plane striking the Pentagon - called "the Pentagon Mass Casualty Exercise." Coincidence again, or were these drills part of readiness planning for 9/11, with advance knowledge of what was coming? Was similar Haiti planning also preparatory to the Pentagon's militarized takeover? Was the catastrophe natural or engineered, and is there another way to trigger it?
HAARP Technology - High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
HAARP manipulates the atmosphere, climate, and weather for military purposes. Based in Gokona, Alaska, it's a jointly managed US Air Force/Navy weather warfare program, operating since 1992, yet the HAARP web site explains its purpose as follows:
"HAARP is a scientific endeavor aimed at studying the properties and behavior of the ionosphere (the atmosphere's upper layer), with particular emphasis on being able to understand and use it to enhance communications and surveillance systems for both civilian and defense purposes. (It will be used) to induce a small, localized change in ionospheric temperature so that resulting reactions can be studied by other instruments located either at or close to the HAARP site."
According to Rosalie Bertell, a distinguished scientific expert and president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health:
HAARP functions as "a gigantic heater that can cause major disruptions in the ionosphere, creating not just holes, but long incisions in the protective layer that keeps deadly radiation from bombarding the planet."
Writing in Earthpulse Press on November 5, 1996, Bertell explained that:
"Military interest in space became intense during and after World War II because of the introduction of rocket science, the companion of nuclear technology....During this time of intensive atmospheric nuclear testing, explosions at various levels above and below the surface of the earth were tried. Some of the now familiar descriptions of the earth's protective atmosphere....were based on information gained through stratospheric and ionospheric experimentation."
Conspiracy theory with Jesse Ventura - HAARP
Numerous projects preceded HAARP, including:
-- Project Argus in 1958 "to assess the impact of high altitude nuclear explosions on radio transmission and radar operations," and learn more about the geomagnetic field;
-- Project Starfish in 1962, using nuclear detonations to disrupt the ionosphere and assess the effects on the earth's magnetic field;
-- SPS: Solar Power Satellite Project in 1968, using Solar Powered Satellites in geostationary orbit 40,000 km above the earth to intercept solar radiation with solar cells that potentially could be environmentally destructive;
-- Poker Flat Rocket Launch from 1968 to the present to "understand chemical reactions in the atmosphere associated with global climate change;" perhaps more to influence climate for military purposes;
-- Saturn V Rocket in 1975 - due to a malfunction, it burned unusually high in the atmosphere (above 300 km) producing a "large ionospheric hole," resulting in over a 60% reduction in "total electron content" over a 1,000 km area lasting several hours; all telecommunications over the Atlantic Ocean were disrupted;
-- SPS Military Implications in 1978 to develop a satellite-based beam weapon for anti-ballistic missile (ABM) use; also as a mind-control/anti-personnel weapon by affecting the human brain;
-- Orbit Maneuvering System in 1981 to study the effect of Shuttle injected gases on the ionosphere; it was learned they could induce holes;
-- Innovative Shuttle Experiments in 1985 using gases to create ionospheric holes;
-- Mighty Oaks in 1986 to develop x-ray and particle beam weapons;
-- Desert Storm in 1991, during which the US deployed an electromagnetic pulse weapon, designed to mimic the electricity flash of a nuclear detonation; and
-- HAARP since 1992
Bertell says its:
By modifying the ionosphere, HAARP can be hugely destructive. Potentially, it can trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes, tsunamis, forest fires, and power blackouts over entire regions. It can disrupt radar, other communications, agriculture, ecology, and financial and other markets. It can use weather to wage war, and perhaps cause earthquakes like the one that struck Haiti.
The UN Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (1977)
Its Article I states that:
"Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to engage in military or any other hostile use of environmental modification techniques having widespread, long-lasting or severe effects as the means of destruction, damage or injury to any other State Party."
Article II refers to "environmental modification (ENMOD) techniques (as) any technique for changing - through the deliberate manipulation of natural processes - the dynamics, composition or structure of the Earth, including its biota, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, or of outer space."
Citing Ecology News, Sourcewatch.org defines environmental warfare as:
Environmental war weapons systems can include chemtrails, chemical weapons systems (climate and weather modification) and electromagnetic weapons systems (climate and weather modification; seismic warfare)."
Other definitions are broader, including the use of depleted uranium and other environmentally destructive weapons, practices and techniques.
International standards on environmental protections during armed conflict date back as early as the 1868 Declaration of St. Petersburg. It stated that "the only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy."
The 1907 Hague Regulations stressed restraint, saying "The right of belligerents to adopt means of injuring the enemy is not unlimited," and the Geneva Conventions (including Protocol I and Common Article 3) defined the principles of international humanitarian law.
In 1973, the US Senate adopted a resolution calling for an international agreement "prohibiting the use of any environmental or geophysical modification activity as a weapon of war...." President Nixon ordered the Defense Department to review the military aspects of weather and other ENMOD techniques.
During the July 1974 summit meeting in Moscow, Nixon and General Secretary Brezhnev agreed to hold bilateral talks to achieve "the most effective measures possible to overcome the dangers of the use of environmental modification techniques for military purposes." Discussions continued in 1974 and 1975, resulting in an agreement on a common approach and language. The 1977 UN Convention followed, ratified 98 - 0 by the Senate on November 28, 1979. It took effect on January 17, 1980, but was violated thereafter by both sides.
Human environmental modification techniques (ENMOD) can cause irreversible damage. Yet international standards haven't stopped their development.
U.S. soldiers help with the transfer of aid. Source: BBC.
Haiti Is Open for Business
Stephen Lendman / 15 February 2010
In December 1984, Canada's conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney, told the New York Economic Club that "Canada is open for business," meaning US companies were welcome, the two countries would work for greater economic integration, America's sovereignty took precedence of his own, and corporate interests from both countries could operate freely at the expense of most Canadians.
That's always been Haiti's curse, now more than ever. Under American militarized control, Haiti is occupied for profit, its pseudo government largely invisible, and predators aim to cash in to the fullest. On January 21, in his article titled, "Securing disaster in Haiti," Peter Hallward explained, saying:
Post-quake, conditions on the ground are horrific. Three million or more Haitians are affected. Most are displaced and struggling. Essential aid is obstructed and limited. Hundreds of thousands are being removed from the capital, not to help them, to "cleanse" the area for development. The official estimated death toll tops 230,000, over 300,000 are injured, and AP reported (on February 9) that the "Health crisis in Haiti enter(ed) a deadly new phase," the result of "a half-million (or more) people jammed into germ-breeding makeshift camps" where a health emergency is already apparent in the form of malnutrition, diarrheal illnesses, acute respiratory (and other) infections, at least one reported typhoid case, and fears of possible outbreaks of tetanus, measles, TB, malaria, dengue fever, diphtheria, acute flaccid paralysis, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, and other infectious diseases, including water-borne ones, particularly threatening children.
Independent reports cite outbreaks of tetanus, TB, diarrhea, scabies, ringworm and growing depravation, misery and anger, mostly unreported in the mainstream that instead focuses on disease containment and improving conditions. Daily, conditions are worse, not better, threatening a far greater disaster ahead.
Given the widespread depravation, the obstruction of food, clean water, and temporary shelter, and lack of proper sanitation, infectious disease outbreaks may cause biblical levels of more deaths ahead, perhaps raising the toll to from 500,000 - one million Haitians, a scale definable as genocide.
The Genocide Convention defines it as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (including) causing serious bodily or mental harm (and) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part...."
US forces control everything - Haiti's airport, port facilities, the Presidential Palace, and other strategic locations. They patrol Port-au-Prince streets menacingly with heavy weapons. In late January, police beat people, and UN Blue Helmets fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray at hungry Haitians wanting food, a likely precursor to graver confrontations ahead as desperate people seek it to survive. One Haitian told a reporter: "They treat us like animals, they beat us, but we are hungry people."
On February 7, the 19th anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide first inauguration, his supporters commemorated the event as they do every year, calling for his return, denouncing the occupation, condemning the lack of food and other aid, and the corruption exacerbating the problem along with America's obstruction to let desperate people suffer and expire.
A month after the quake, inadequate amounts of everything are being distributed. Residents in poor areas like Cite Soleil have gotten virtually nothing and were in desperate straits pre-disaster. On February 8, thousands marched through Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, denouncing what's occurring throughout stricken areas - mayors and other officials hoarding food and selling it at inflated black market prices, not distributing it to starving Haitians.
One protestor said: "I am hungry, I am dying of hunger. (Mayor) Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn't give us anything."
Haitian-truth.org said Haitian customs agents are charging people arriving with aid fees to deliver it. Otherwise, their supplies will be held indefinitely.
AlJazeera and other sources reported fake coupons being used for free food, to be sold on the black market at inflated prices.
On February 10, AP reported that public and private hospitals are charging patients, UN officials warning free medications won't be sent to ones that do. Christophe Rerat of the UN's Pan American Health Organization said they got about $1 million worth of free drugs, supplied by donations, and all medical care is to be provided without charge. Donated funds are also paying staff.
On February 11, rain and growing frustration sparked spontaneous street protests denouncing President Rene Preval's inaction, calling for Aristide's return, and demanding food, clean water and tents for shelter. Club wielding police met marchers. Scuffles followed. Minor injuries were reported. A sign read: "The rain has soaked us. The MINUSTAH must go. We need help. We need aid."
Shelter from the elements is needed as the rainy season approaches, and with it the greater threat of disease. Reportedly 10,000 tents have arrived, not the 200,000 the government requested and hundreds of thousands more needed.
OCHA reports that 90% of affected Haitians need emergency shelter, over 1.2 million are in "spontaneous settlements," and nearly half a million "have left Port-au-Prince for outlying" areas. Most of them, in fact, have been forced into permanent displacement, the same fate planned for hundreds of thousands more.
Sanitation is a major concern. At most, 5% of needed latrines are available, and the lack of dumping sites for waste is also a huge problem. With the arrival of thousands of people along the Dominican Republic border, "the food security situation, which was already precarious prior to the earthquake, is getting worse...."
The Nutrition Cluster expects the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate to soar given conditions on the ground throughout the country. In addition, months of rain "will increase morbidity rates for childhood diseases while hunger is expected to be especially severe....Delays in incoming stock pipelines must be addressed to ensure a steady influx of needed items."
The problem is relief supplies are warehoused at Haiti's airport, ports and other facilities, not adequately distributed, so willful obstruction is exacerbating the crisis. People are starving. Diseases are becoming epidemics. Everything is in short supply, and OCHA reports only 10% of trauma injuries have been treated.
Yet the web site reliefweb.int shows $569.8 million in relief already donated (as of February 14), or 99% of the appeal's goal and certain to way exceed it. Where has the money gone? Who's getting it, and why hasn't an amount this great delivered significant aid? Disturbing questions demand answers. Why aren't they forthcoming? It's because Haiti is being prepared for plunder, and NGOs, including charities, will get their fair share.
The web site ngo.org defines them as follows:
A paper prepared by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's L. David Brown and Mark H. Moore titled, "Accountability, Strategy, and International Non-Governmental Organizations" quotes Anna Vakil's five NGO "functional categories: welfare, develop (in the sense of capacity-building), advocacy, development education, and networking or research."
Various other definitions include the following characteristics:
-- local, national or international in scope;
-- staffed by unpaid volunteers;
-- non-political; and
-- advancing social, humanitarian objectives.
Some NGOs do. Most don't as James Petras explained on The Lendman News Hour saying most skim 90% of donations for themselves. Some genuinely enhance welfare, support human and civil rights, and mitigate the ravages of disease and repression. The large majority, however, are ideologically biased think tanks or lobby groups, serving a political agenda for profit. They're predators, not humanitarians.
Current world views - James Petras interviewed on "The Lendman News Hour" with Stephen Lendman (11 February 2010):
In his December 1997 Monthly Review article titled, "Imperialism and NGOs in Latin America," Petras discussed their early 1970s history under military dictatorships when they actively supported their victims and denounced human rights abuses. Even then, however, their limitations were evident as "they rarely denounced the US and European patrons who financed" them. Nor did they "link the neoliberal economic policies and human rights violations to the new turn in the imperialist system. Obviously" their funding limits their ability to criticize.
Yet as neoliberal regimes "devastat(ed) communities (through) cheap imports, extracting external debt payments, abolishing labor legislation, and creating a" reserve army of cheap labor, NGOs were well funded "to be their 'community face'....intimately related to those at the top and complementing their destructive work with local projects." In other words, NGOs are profiteers with a friendly face acting as predatory capitalism's agents. When they take over, social movements decline, and that's the whole idea for their presence.
Nearly all have entrenched bureaucracies, highly paid officials, secret operational rules, and undisclosed financing sources and amounts, mostly from domestic or foreign nations whose interests they serve, including for PR, intelligence, or population control, not providing humanitarian services.
They all claim non-profit status, yet operate unethically, collude with governments or business interests, profit handsomely, own unrelated businesses, and exploit people they claim to serve. In many countries, they're the preferred choice for Western aid and emergency relief, providing cover for an imperial agenda and cashing in handsomely, especially after disasters like wars and their aftermath, floods, famines and earthquakes.
Haiti is called "the Republic of NGOs," with over 10,000 operating (according to World Bank estimates) for its nine million people, the highest per capita presence worldwide in all sectors of activity and society, many with sizable budgets. Yet their numbers beg the question. With that abundant firepower, why is Haiti the poorest country in the hemisphere, one of the poorest in the world, and one of the most oppressed? Why were so many Haitians starving pre-quake? Why now are conditions catastrophic and worsening?
NGO proliferation mirrored the atrophy of Haiti's government, providing cover for imperial interests with UN paramilitary and now US combat troop occupiers for enforcement, Haitians, of course, suffering as they have for over 500 years.
Profiteering from Misery
In his book titled, "Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking," Timothy Schwartz recounts an "anthropologist's personal story of working with foreign aid agencies (the NGO network) and discovering that fraud, greed, corruption, apathy, and political agendas permeate the industry," part of the reason behind Haiti's institutionalized oppression, poverty and misery.
According to Haitian lawyer/activist Marguerite Laurent:
"It's laughably idealistic to wish for accountability, honesty, grace and dignity from the folks at USAID, World Bank, the Christian missions and those 'doing good' in Haiti for more than a-half century now," when, in fact, most come to exploit, seeking profits, not a desire to provide humanitarian services.
"Schwartz's book unveils paradoxes and lots of critical data on foreign aid, mission schools, orphanages, and the world's major multinational charities working in Haiti." He reveals a nation "you'll not read about in current mainstream books and papers on Haiti." Nor through the major media that ignore over 500 years of enslavement, colonization, serfdom, severe exploitation and oppression, and brutalizing misery, the last two centuries under US domination.
The book is an "inside story," said Schwartz, about "fraud, greed, corruption, and apathy, and political agendas (as well as a) story of failed agriculture, health and credit projects; violent struggles for control over aid money; corrupt orphanage owners, pastors, and missionaries; the nepotistic manipulation of research funds; economically counterproductive food relief programs that undermine the Haitian agricultural economy; and the disastrous effects of economic engineering by foreign governments and international aid organizations (like USAID, World Bank and others), and the multinational corporate charities....in their service (like CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and many others) that have programs spread across the globe, moving in response not only to disasters and need, but political agendas and economic opportunity."
He saw it for over 10 years, researching and living in Haiti. He stresses not wanting to damage charity providers, just those in it for personal gain, not people they profess to help.
"At the level of individuals and NGOS, the lack of fiscal accountability is manifest in the enrichment of the custodians of the money - pastors and directors of NGOs, schools and orphanages - and the redirection of charity toward middle and upper class Haitians," the very ones who don't need it. At governmental levels, "Charity is manipulated to serve political ends."
Without accountability, corruption gets embedded, aid is distorted, and ends up doing more harm than good, precisely according to plan. For example, Haiti's School for Jesus Christ of America "was a nest of elites (disdaining) and spurn(ing) the impoverished peasants, fishermen, and slum dwellers, (calling) them ignorant and uncivilized, as subhuman, who called them dan wouj (red teeth) and pye pete (cracked fee)...."
"The impoverished children in the Hamlet could not get medical care," and what they got was poor quality for exorbitant fees. At the same time, elite children were treated free and their education paid for, using funds meant for the poor. Visiting missionaries called the school administrators "dedicated spreaders of biblical truth, somehow holier than ordinary Christians, closer to God, better than the rest of us." In fact, they're predators, profiteering from Haiti's poor and living lavishly at their expense. Their mission, in fact, is bogus. "Helping the poor? The hell they were!"
CARE is no different, "a perversion of American charitable ideals with its false claims to be aiding the 'poorest of the poor' when what it was really doing was throwing exquisite banquets at plush hotels while carrying out US political policy in the interest of international venture capitalists and industrialists."
Child Trafficking in Haiti
This section deals with abducted children for profit, not Haiti's century-long Restavek system covered in an earlier article titled, "Child Slavery in Haiti." Under it, impoverished families send one or more of their children to live with wealthier or less poor ones in return for food, shelter, education, and a better life in return for performing tasks as servants. They, in fact, become de facto slaves subjected to verbal and physical abuse.
Trafficking children for profit is another matter, another scam. Operatives representing orphanages or adoption agencies approach poor families, offer money, promise their children will be well cared for and educated, then disappear them. None are ever heard from again.
According to Schwartz:
"Not one of the families ever received a single letter from the agency or from any of the adoptive parents. An SOS (Enfants Without Frontiers) employee obtained the address of (one) parent organization in Paris but, when they called, the person who answered the phone said that the agency had moved and left no forwarding address."
Schwartz visited "every single orphanage in the Province as well as Gonaives. They all look like scams to (him. He didn't want to) write a report saying the orphanages are all scams," but, in fact, they are, preying on impoverished families.
The problem, however, is far greater. World Vision and Compassion International sponsor 58,500 Haitian children. Christian Aid Missions (CAM) 10,000, the Haiti Baptist Mission 57,800, and many other NGOs run similar operations, trafficking children for profit or diverting funds for the poor to elite ones or their pockets. "....think about all the money that must be collected and never even gets there....So many people at these orphanages are outright lying. Most of the children are not orphans."
Schwartz's "dismay with charity and development was growing. (His) job wasn't over." He investigated further and found other alarming surprises, "shatter(ing) any remaining faith (he) had in foreign aid to Haiti." Under militarized control, perhaps much worse is underway, with hundreds of millions of donor aid likely stolen and thousands of predatory NGOs and other profiteers grabbing it.
The recent report about 10 Americans detained (likely to be released pending further investigation and perhaps absolved altogether) for illegally trying to spirit 33 children from Haiti is just the tip of a global problem, one very much affecting Haiti. This longstanding practice is now way accelerated with thousands of children separated from parents, enabling abductors to pass them off as orphans and sell them for profit.
Overall, UNICEF calls human trafficking "one of the most lucrative and fastest growing transnational crimes, generat(ing) approximately up to $10 billion per year," affecting many millions of victims, mostly women and children. In 2005, the International Labour Organization estimated from 980,000 - 1.25 million children trafficked annually, mostly for:
"domestic labour, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural work, drug couriering, organized begging, child soldiering and exploitative or slavery-like practices in the informal economy."
The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (called the Palermo Protocol or Trafficking Protocol) defines the practice as follows in Article 3:
Under this definition, abductions for sale or transfer to prospective parents are criminal acts - "illicit adoptions" according to UNICEF stating:
"An increase in demand for adoption has helped to propel the unlawful trafficking of babies and young children. Sometimes (parents) from developing countries sell their baby or young child, at other times" infants are stolen."
UNICEF conservatively estimates at least 2,000 Haitian children are trafficked annually to the Dominican Republic alone, and, post-quake, confirmed that 15 or more disappeared from area hospitals, likely victims of abductors. In addition, adoption applications soared, from 10 a month earlier to dozens daily, one agency saying it's gotten over 1,000 requests to adopt Haitian children.
With many thousands alone and vulnerable, they're easy pickings for traffickers - for non-Haitian prospective parents, forced labor, commercial sex, or other illicit purposes.
On January 27, Time.com writers Tim Padgett and Bobby Ghosh highlighted the problem in their article titled, "Human Predators Stalk Haiit's Vulnerable Kids."
A child in Port-au-Prince stands before a large crevice
that was caused by the earthquake
They cited one instance of a "Toyota pickup truck cruising the debris-cluttered streets of Leogane," offering children food, getting them in the pickup and disappearing, all of them abduction victims. According to UNICEF, "Traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability, and we've rarely if ever seen one like this."
Haiti is now occupied. Under Fourth Geneva, its children, including orphans, are protected persons and can't be moved for any reason. According to international law expert Francis Boyle, doing so "is a serious war crime," yet America may be aiding and abetting the guilty, even though it's (nominally) committed to combatting the practice, and the US 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act calls "trafficking in persons....a transnational crime with national implications."
The law enhanced earlier penalties, added new protections, and provided victims various benefits and services. It also established a cabinet-level federal interagency task force and federal program to provide them. Under US and international law, Washington recognizes the grievousness of this crime. In practice perhaps it's another matter given America's global lawlessness, including illegally occupying Haiti and stealing its sovereignty.
Private Military Contractors (PMCs) See a Bonanza in Haiti
They're mercenaries, paramilitaries, hired guns, unprincipled, in it for the money, and go anywhere to find it. They're unregulated, unchecked, free from criminal or civil accountability, and are licensed to kill and get away with it. Wherever they're deployed, they're feared for good reason, and they're heading to Haiti. Xe Services (formerly Blackwater USA) is already there. Jeremy Scahil, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army calls them a:
"shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world (accustomed) to operating with worry or legal consequences (with) remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus...."
Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill talks about his bombshell story in The Nation about Blackwater's involvement in targeted killings, drone attacks, and other covert operations in Pakistan. (24 November 2009)
Many PMCs belong to the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA). Immediately after the quake, its web site (ipoaworld.org) announced:
"In the wake of the tragic events in Haiti, a number of IPOA's member companies are available and prepared to provide a wide variety of critical relief services to the earthquake's victims. If you would like more information about IPOA and its member companies, you can read more here."
A list of services and member companies followed. Unexplained was their dark side.
In his January 19 Nation magazine article titled, "US Mercenaries Set Sights on Haiti," Scahill said to expect "a lot of (disaster profiteering) in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. (It's) kicking into full gear in Haiti," and arrivals signal the kinds of terrorizing common wherever these professional killers are deployed.
Exploiting Haiti's Resources
In October 2009, Marguerite Laurent, exposed the key reason for exploiting Haiti, easier under occupation and hundreds of thousands of Haitians removed from where huge oil deposits likely exist and other development is planned. In 2008, an estimated 20 billion barrels were found in deep water off Cuba. Haitian resources are believed to be far greater, and they've been known about for decades.
In a 2004 article titled, "Oil in Haiti," George Michel explained that:
Oil also exists "in the Dominican plain of Azua, a short distance north of the Dominican Republic in the town of Azua." The field was operating earlier in the last century, producing up to 60,000 barrels daily. In 1982, more significantly, "a huge oil field offshore at the coast of (the Dominican Republic's) Barahona" province was discovered, but left untapped.
In Haiti and offshore, geological evidence shows oil reserves at "the Bay of Cayes, Les Cayes and between Ile a Vache." The Dunn Plantation papers as well as George Michel confirm that Haiti is oil rich.
"big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to (exploit Haiti's resources and use its) deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve US and Caribbean ports."
No wonder Washington has its fifth largest embassy in Port-au-Prince after Iraq (the largest anywhere on 104 acres, costing at least $592 million to build), China, Afghanistan and Germany.
Haiti is a strategic resource for its cheap labor, but mostly its exploitable resources, including, oil and gas, gold, copper, diamonds, iridium, and zirconium as well as deep water ports at Fort Liberte and elsewhere.
In February 2004, removing Jean-Bertrand Aristide and exiling him was step one, followed by a coup d'etat government, UN paramilitary "peacekeepers," and an elected one, subservient to Washington, opening Haiti to greater plunder, including privatizing state-owned companies, exploiting its cheap labor even more, letting unwanted portions perish, and developing its resources.
Now the occupation and, according to Laurent, US-France-Canada balkanization for resource exploitation, Washington wanting the South, including Port-au-Prince, La Gonaive island, offshore to the West, Les Cayes, the southern peninsula and offshore waters. Around 20,000 US Marines and paratroupers arrived for the duration, to ensure Haiti is open for business for the usual corporate interests, and to ensure none of its wealth is shared with the poor - how Haitians have always been treated for over 500 years, except for the brief interregnum under Artistide and short period after becoming the first free and independent Black republic.
Former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide, exiled in South Africa since 2004, has said he is ready to return to help rebuild the country in the wake of the devastating earthquake. (15 January 2010)