- uploaded: Jan 17, 2010
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http://RevolutionNews.us -- January 2010 -- Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracyClinton has largely sponsored a program of economic development that supports the idea of sweatshops. In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haitis long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region.
Reshape it how? Well, those who remember how Heritage responded to Hurricane Katrina will probably get it about right. In 2005 Heritage applauded Bush for suspending provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act, so that federally funded Gulf Coast construction projects could pay lower-than prevailing wages.
As Naomi Kleins described in her bestseller The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, no disasters too disastrous to become a useful Petri Dish for the conservative corporate agenda. And no times too soon to start drawing up quids pro quo. Well give you a quid if you become more pro-our-quo. In 2005, it took Heritage almost two weeks to get their word out. This time around, as Klein pointed out in a forum Wednesday night, they were out with a statement within hours.
Just two months back, Secretary of State Clinton was promising aid for countries suffering climate change, as long as the countries in Copenhagen agreed to the U.S.s terms. As irony would have it, the Secretary of States husband, Bill Clinton, now the US emissary to Haiti, oversaw a punishing regime of structural adjustment imposed on Haiti on his watch, in exchange for a US backed return of democratically elected president Aristide.
You need help? Youll get it, the IMF (and Clinton) said, if you privatize your water, lay off public workers and shrink the public sector. Theres no mystery about the countrys paucity of first responders.
Naomi calls it blackmail. The power that comes when youre giving money to people in need. Were likely to see a lot of it in Haiti now, especially if the Heritagers have their way. Oddly, its a power the Treasury didnt use when it came to bailing out big bankers, pointed out Klein Wednesday night.
What are the chances, do you think, that the US Treasury will be as generous with Haiti as they were with Wall Street?
Time For A New Revolution?