What exactly are 20,000 USA troops doing there?

Is it a pretext of Humanitarian Aid!

by Steve Whatham (Lawyer and member of The Socialist Labour Party).

I watched a news item from Haiti on the evening news, 4th November. It showed Haitians surviving in make shift crude shelters following the earthquake which occurred quite a long time ago on January 12th 2010. Very little appeared to have been carried out to provide proper shelters.

My thought drifted back to reports that International help was flooding into this impoverished country. I was aware already that Cuban doctors in great numbers had already been working in Haiti for a number of years and had set up clinics where sick people could get medical help at no cost.

News reports stated that the United States had sent in Navy ships and up to 20,000 troops. My, what you can do with this amount of help if sent for the purpose of helping the people.

Assuming this huge deployment was to help the afflicted but not trusting the intentions of the Americans with their record of interventions throughout the world I surfed the web and obtained the following assertions.

Writing for “Global Research Articles”, Marguerite Laurent states the following which I have shortened but not altered the information.

"After being called crazy and un-American for writing that the 2010 earthquake gives the US the perfect disaster-capitalism opportunity to come out from behind the UN and openly occupy Haiti to secure Haiti's oil, strategic location and other riches for the corporatocracy...

The Greater Antilles, which includes Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and their offshore waters, probably hold at least 142 million barrels of oil and 159 billion cubic feet of gas, according to a 2000 report by the U.S. Geological Survey. Undiscovered amounts may be as high as 941 million barrels of oil and 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the report. Among nations in the northern Caribbean, Cuba and Jamaica have awarded offshore leases for oil and gas development. Trinidad and Tobago, South American islands off the coast of Venezuela, account for most Caribbean oil production, according to the U.S. Energy Department.

I've been writing for years now that the US has been trying to get rid of Haiti's democratically elected government since 1991 so they could get to "their" strategic reserves without any fear of a populous president nationalizing the oil and gas reserves to benefit the miserably poor majority in Haiti as has been done in Venezuela or elsewhere in Latin America. (See, Haiti is full of oil, say Ginette and Daniel Mathurin, where these scientist say there's more oil in Haiti than in Venezuela.) No one has been listening. Not even the white liberals who are such defenders of Haiti. To the best of my knowledge, other than Haitians, over the long years before the earthquake, the only non-Haitian observers who ever paid attention and picked up on our reports and concerns about the plundering and pillaging of Haiti's riches, were John Maxwell and Chris Scott of CKUT Radio in Canada. That's it. All the others bought the State Department line that Haiti was a charity case and had no resources to mention.

Today Haiti has oil and 20,000 troops are down there to secure it and Haiti's other riches while the vision is to perhaps herd the displaced earthquake victims - who don't die from their TV-aid - into hastily constructed pre-fabricated houses and let the ghettos fester as they do in Kingston, Jamaica, while the areas the whites and Haitian oligarchy want are developed into tourist havens and all capital is flown out of Haiti.

There exists a “Lavalas map” of Haiti's resources which shows that Kafou's Morne Cabrit the area affected by the quake housed a huge reserve of oil. Here's the article I wrote, last year documenting that Haiti had oil and that was the reason for the US/UN forced removal of President Jean Bertrand Aristide. I do so hope, this time, to honour the lives lost and really help protect the remaining survivors of Bush the first and Bush the lesser's two regimes changes in Haiti and now this total occupation, that conscious Americans and all decent folks on this earth, are paying attention and will help us stop this latest travesty.

The just thing for now, is to allow former President Aristide who was kidnapped out of Haiti on a rendition plane by the US Special forces and has been practically under house arrest in South Africa for 6-years, forbidden first by US Secretary of State Condi Rice and now Hillary Clinton from returning home, to return to his country. He ought to be returned to Haiti so he may assist Haiti’s majority at this agonizing time and help in the relief and rebuilding of the nation".

A further article dated October 15th on Axis of Logic by a columnist called Dady Chery was headed:- Hatians Demand UN to take its colonial Army, MINUSTAH Out and said:-

"It is high time to bid good riddance to MINUSTAH (MIssion des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation en Haďti), a colonialist army that has terrorized Haiti for the last six years and is currently overseeing the sham presidential and legislative elections in the country.

The most popular political party, Lavalas, is being excluded from the elections. MINUSTAH’s 1994 appearance came on the heels of Aristide’s transport into exile after he decreed a minimum-wage increase. Brazil, Canada, and the United States, all countries with powerful interests in Haitian sweatshop labour, are the key supporters of this army, which consumes more than one fourth of Haiti’s state budget.

Haitians -- rich and poor, and throughout the political spectrum -- despise MINUSTAH. Its horrors range from the daily confiscations of drivers licenses and computers, to well-documented cases of rape and murder.

Even so, year after year, the UN Security Council renews MINUSTAH’s mandate. Such renewals typically follow several weeks of insecurity so predictable one could set one’s watch to it. This year is one year too many. Throughout the critical first 72 hours after the January 12th earthquake, cowardly MINUSTAH soldiers scrambled to rescue their own personnel and left the Haitian earthquake victims to themselves.

On October 15, 2010, MINUSTAH’s mandate expires. Perhaps readers can offer some other reason for the deployment of the 20,000 American soldiers?"

The full article by Marguerite Laurent and Ezili Danto is on the web and gives possible reasons for what triggered the earth quake which for some reason was in the area where oil is said to be present and did not go as far as the border with the Dominican Republic.


The Welfare State

As the Second World War drew to a close discontented British troops and workers were determined not to return to the conditions of the 1930s.

As author John Gorman emphasised in his work ‘To Build Jerusalem’ -

“For the labour movement the war strengthened the commitment of ‘no return to the thirties’. After the experience of fighting from Dunkirk to Berlin, and in deserts and jungles, there was a resolve to refuse to return to a Britain of class privilege, private wealth and public squalor”.

The government’s response to this unrest was the Beveridge Report, also known as ‘Social Insurance and Allied Services’, published in 1942, which formed the basis for establishing the Welfare State and National Health Service after WW2.

The Report claimed “It is, first and foremost, a plan of insurance - of giving in return for contributions benefits up to subsistence level, as of right and without means test, so that individuals may build freely upon it.”

To this end the report’s principle proposed change was “Unification of social insurance in respect of contributions, that is to say, enabling each insured person to obtain all benefits by a single weekly contribution on a single document.”

(Above quotations from the Beveridge Report November 1942).

This weekly National Insurance contribution would serve as access to benefits such as free health care, unemployment pay and a State pension upon retirement and thereby a comprehensive system covering people ‘from cradle to grave’.

By any objective assessment this was an historic gain for the population of Britain.

The Beveridge report was at the time a culmination of the welfare policies that had been adopted previously. The report acknowledges for example, the Poor Law, the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1897, the Pensions Act passed in 1908, the Unemployment Act of 1934.

This move for more State intervention in welfare and social policy grew during the Second World War; free school milk and meals were introduced for example, and apart from initiating the Beveridge Report the government introduced white papers on education and a national health service. These developments materialised in the Education Act of 1944 which provided free secondary education for all and in the reforms introduced by the Clement Attlee led Labour government after the war, with the passing of the National Insurance Act and the NHS Act.

Since the 1980s we have seen successive governments attempt to roll back these historic gains, culminating today in the attempt by the current coalition government to end welfare and social provision completely.

Trade unions, which represent millions of workers, must not only secure the interests of workers at their place of employment but must see it as their duty to also protect and defend all the past gains, made at great sacrifice, by our ancestors.