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"Who Cares About Haiti, Anyway?"

by BENNETT HOFFMAN

Is this a big deal? The US organizing a coup and kidnapping a president of a sovereign nation? Well not really–not if we’re content to live in a nation fast moving towards totalitarianism.

It’s just another step along the way.

Life, I am told, was not too bad in Hitler’s Germany (if you were the right color, the right race, the right religion, the right mindset…). There was order. There was a fierce sense of National Pride. There was the feeling that the homeland was setting things straight, taking its rightful place in the world. That the world would be a far better and more correct place. And the streets were safe. There was prosperity in the land–not peace, of course, but a great sense of destiny being fulfilled and feeling a special part of the new order.

And, I suspect life will not be so bad here either as we sit back and let totalitarianism take hold. At least not for a while… (check out Karl Jaspers’ “Fight vs. Totalitarianism” for a glimpse of how it works…) (… and here for how it might look in America now)

And it will probably be OK for those of us who are willing to look the other way when someone else is being jailed, beaten, or killed by our government. It will be for “our own safety” of course. The people will be labeled “terrorists” or something worse, and well, they probably deserved it… The papers and TV said so, so it must be true. And so it goes…

Why be absolutely incensed and outraged at this fellow Aristede’s ouster by our government? Firstly, because it is wrong. Because we are responsible–yes, you and me and all of us who call ourselves Americans. We are personally responsible for what our government does.

Secondly, because we still can be outraged and not be jailed, beaten or killed for our beliefs. At least not too overtly (see Miami FTAA). We still can display our thoughts and feelings about what our government does in our name. As long as we do it in a “free speech zone.”

Don’t know about the situation in Haiti? I say, find out. And then ask why our papers and TV have painted a different picture for us. (See this summary for background information on Haiti and Aristede). Then go to your local paper and see how they present the story. Like this bit from the cover of the 3/1/04 St Pete Times website:

Rebels, U.S. Marines Enter Haiti Capital

Rebels rolled into the capital Monday and were met by hundreds of residents dancing in the streets and cheering the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In streets, anarchy and joy

Click here for photo gallery

Analysis: Tense diplomacy led to exit

BENNETT HOFFMAN is the publisher of www.whoseflorida.com. He can be reached at: info@whoseflorida.com

 

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