Irish Anti War Movement

Haiti needs water, not occupation

The US has never wanted Haitian self-rule, and its focus on 'security concerns' has hampered the earthquake aid response

Mark Weisbrot, Wednesday 20 January 2010 23.00 GMT Article history

On Monday, six days after the earthquake in Haiti, the US Southern Command finally began to drop bottled water and food from an air force C-17. US defence secretary Robert Gates had previously rejected such a method because of "security concerns".

If people do not get clean water, there could be epidemics of water-borne diseases that could greatly increase the death toll. But the US is now sending 10,000 troops and seems to be prioritising "security" over much more urgent, life-and-death needs. This in addition to the increase of 3,500 UN troops scheduled to arrive.

On Sunday morning the world-renowned humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders complained that a plane carrying its portable hospital unit was re-routed by the US military through the Dominican Republic. This would cost a crucial 48 hours and an unknown number of lives.

IAWM calls for boycott of Israel

Report by Jim Roche - IAWM

Members of the Irish Anti War Movement (IAWM) and friends participated in the National ‘Boycott Israel’ Day organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) at 2.00pm on Saturday 16 January 2010.


[COMMENTARY] Haitians need Emergency Relief, not Military Occupation

FromTheProgressive. By Ezili Danto, January 19, 2010

[Ezili Danto
is an award-winning playwright, performance poet and human rights attorney. She is the founder of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network. The Progressive Media Project is distributing this commentary.]

[HAITI] Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots

Haiti’s never-ending tragedy has American roots
Sunday, January 17, 2010  By Vincent Browne
Late last week, the White House website carried details of a 30-minute phone conversation last Friday morning between President Barack Obama and René Préval, the president of Haiti.

It reported: ‘‘President Obama said that the world had been devastated by the loss and suffering in Haiti, and pledged the full support of the American people for the government and people of Haiti as it relates to both the immediate recovery effort and the long-term rebuilding effort.

‘‘President Préval said that he has been touched by the friendship of the American people, and expressed his condolences for the loss of American citizens in Haiti.”

The report continued: ‘‘President Préval closed by passing a message to the American people - ‘From the bottom of my heart and on behalf of the Haitian people, thank you, thank you, thank you’.”

[HAITI] Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation

Haitian tragedy compounded by long, ugly history of exploitation


Peter Hallward is professor of modern European philosophy at Middlesex University in England and author o f Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristide, and the Politics of Containment 

Irish Times - Fri, Jan 15, 2010

OPINION: The international community is as much to blame for the misery as the act of nature that caused the earthquake

ANY LARGE city in the world would have suffered extensive damage from an earthquake on the scale of the one that ravaged Haiti’s capital city on Tuesday afternoon, but it’s no accident that so much of Port-au-Prince now looks like a war zone. Much of the devastation wreaked by this latest and most calamitous disaster to befall Haiti is best understood as another thoroughly man-made outcome of a long and ugly historical sequence.

The country has faced more than its fair share of catastrophes. Hundreds died in Port-au-Prince in an earthquake in June 1770, and the huge earthquake of May 7th, 1842, may have killed 10,000 in the northern city of Cap Haitien alone. Hurricanes batter the island on a regular basis, most recently in 2004 and 2008; the storms of September 2008 killed more than a thousand people and destroyed thousands of homes.

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