Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The Kidnapping of Aristide

I've been intending to write about the approaching coup in Haiti (excellent short background summary here, and excellent long one here), a coup which has been predicted for a while now, particularly in an excellent series of articles in the Black Commentator by Kevin Pina. Then I intended to write about the conspiracy angles of the coup, but these have already been covered by the mainstream American media (even Drudge covered it for a while, until someone probably told him to cool it), proving again how easy the Bush Administration makes conspiracy theory. It appears that the material advantages to the Bushites of stealing Haiti are few, except for some enticing sweat shop action, but there are three main non-economic purposes of the coup:

  1. As a rehearsal for the second coup attempt in Venezuela;

  2. To keep the leaders of the Caribbean and Central and South America on their toes and on their best behavior towards the United States, and discourage any opposition to neoliberal policies favored by the American leaders (and any interference in the CIA's drug trade); and

  3. Just to show it could be done after the abject and embarrassing failure of the coup in Venezuela, much as Ronald Reagan's attack on Grenada was a failed attempt, after a sound thrashing by a group of peasants in Vietnam, to prove the United States still had a penis.

With the failed attempt in Venezuela and the kidnapping in Haiti it is now possible to draw up an outline of what I assume is the contents of Otto 'Third' Reich's handbook on coups (Reich and Roger Noriega are almost certainly behind the plotting), an outline which will be useful in countering future attempts:

  1. The first step is to finance and train the coup plotters. In both Venezuela and Haiti the coup plotters (or here) received material help from the United States, and were given refuge in the United States and military training in American schools (the aptly-named - so aptly they had to change the name - School of the Americas plays a big role in this). At the same time, aid and access to capital is restricted or denied to undermine the popularity of the elected leader (the IMF/World Bank thugs are used to deny aid and restructuring of debts).

  2. The second step is to tell the disgusting American press to write the usual background of lies. The democratically elected leader is portrayed as a dictator and a thug, and the rabble opposition are portrayed as patriots yearning for democracy. In the case of Haiti, the coverage was obviously suspect because the disgusting American media was never able to explain why the fighters, the 'rebels', were not connected to the political opposition, and only grudgingly allowed that the background to both groups was the paramilitary thugs of Haiti's recent past.

  3. The third step is to weaken the state through attacks by American-financed guerilla warfare in the hinterlands. The rebel successes in this war are exaggerated by the disgusting American press, and the conflict is depicted as forming a threat to Americans living in the country.

  4. Where Venezuela differed from Haiti, and it is a crucial difference, is that American troops were never overtly in the country (although the CIA certainly was there, and American ships and planes were in the area). When the coup plotters grabbed Hugo Chavez, his personal courage meant they could not force him to resign, and his continued support by the military meant that he was able to regain control. His supporters rescued him before the plot could be carried out. The plan was obviously to put him on a plane just like Aristide, and remove him permanently from the country. The key to the coup in Haiti was that the Americans learned their lesson from Venezuela, and learned they could not rely on the local coup plotters to do their jobs. American troops were sent in, ostensibly to guard the safety of Americans, but were really there as a kidnap squad.

  5. The fifth step, which is simultaneous with the fourth, is to have the disgusting American media report that the democratically elected leader has resigned. This creates the legal basis for the regime change, and also disheartens the supporters of the leader, who are fooled into giving up the resistance to the coup. The Washington Post was caught red-handed engaging in this deceit in the case of Venezuela, when they reported Hugo Chavez had resigned when in fact he had not. The disgusting American media were obviously instructed to do the same thing in the case of Haiti, reporting that Aristide had resigned, a lie that was only uncovered by reporting in Australia, by Agence France Press, and by some members of the so-called alternative media (it made the American press only because of Maxine Waters). It must be extraordinarily embarrassing to be an American journalist.

  6. The sixth step, one where the Americans have learned another lesson from the debacle in Venezuela, is not to appear too eager to step in. Allow the covertly supported rebels to do their work, and pretend to stand back from the whole mess. At the same time, add an air of legitimacy by having some international stooges (Canada and France) support your position. Pretend to be engaging the opposition in a dialogue and looking for a compromise, all the while knowing that the opposition will not compromise because it knows what is coming.

  7. The last step is to officially send in the American troops. The troops were sent in hours after Aristide had been kidnapped. Had they been sent in hours before Aristide had been kidnapped, they could have stopped the theft of democracy from the people of Haiti. American actions make completely clear the real American attitude towards democracy.

Leaders subject to this kind of attack should:

  1. Immediately hire a good, well-connected American PR and lobby firm, to counter the lies told by the disgusting American press. These lies are so laughable that they should be easy to counter. In the case of Aristide, the slander that he was not democratically in power was based on a very small number of election irregularities, 7 (!) seats out of 7,500, which Aristide had promised to correct, but was unable to do so because of the failure of the opposition to cooperate. The failure of the international organizations controlled by the Americans to help Haiti contributed to the economic problems of the country, and allowed complaints about Aristide's failure to improve Haiti. He was obviously set up to provide the basis for the lies about his supposed wrongdoings told by the disgusting American media.

  2. Ensure that there is a rescue plan in place for recovery of the leader in case he is snatched. Leaders should never be enticed into leaving an appropriate level of protection by their own people.

  3. Get international peacekeeping troops in as quickly as possible. In the case of Latin America, the obvious troops would come from other Latin American countries.

  4. Never, ever, allow even a few American troops into your country, even on the pretext of protecting the lives of Americans. Even a small group of troops can be an effective kidnap squad.

Aristide's mistake was to fail to see who his real enemy was. The one good thing that has come out of the attempted coup in Venezuela and the kidnapping in Haiti is that all the peoples of the Caribbean and Central and South America now know that the United States is an enemy of democracy and human rights, and will act ruthlessly to continue its exploitation.