- La Navase: Conservation of Biodiversity by Haiti’s Sustainable Practices
- Bill Gates, Big Pharma, Bogus Philanthropy
- The United States of Extra-Judicial Murder and Imprisonment
- US Hegemonic Empire and Culture of Death: State Terrorism on a Global Scale
- India’s Shameful Class Divide
- Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West’s Unholy Alliance to Wreck and Exploit
- Memorial Day Patriotism: Cannon Fodder for the Merchants of Death
- Drones: The Global Empire’s Current Weapon of Choice
- Haiti: Could Charlemagne Peralte’s Example Inspire a New Revolution? Part II
- Short Story Finalist: The Long Haul
An unspoiled Haitian island, called La Navase, has been claimed by the United States and renamed "Navassa Island," although it lies a mere 25 miles southwest of the city of Jeremie and 37 miles from Haiti’s western-most peninsula. La Navase is uninhabited by humans, but Haitians have fished its coasts for more than two centuries, and all the islands adjacent to Haiti, regardless of their populations, have been noted as being an integral part of the country since TOUSSAINT LOUVERTURE’s first Constitution of 1801. Moreover, Article 2 of Haiti’s 1874 CONSTITUTION specifically lists Haiti’s island possessions as including "La Navaze." THE GUANO ISLANDS ACT FOR US EXPANSION The 1,300-acre tear-shaped island poses a challenge to human habitation because it contains no fresh water and the steep cliffs along its coastline make landing of a boat almost impossible; however it has hosted so many birds over such a long period that a large fraction of its surface is covered with minable quantities of their droppings (guano) as deep as 20 feet. This wealth of guano caught the attention of the US in the mid-19th century as its Navy ransacked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for "guano islands." Back then, guano was a major fertilizer for agriculture, sold mostly by Peru for about $50 per ton. The entire world’s human population was less than 1.5 billion, and all the fertilizer came from the conversion (fixation) of atmospheric nitrogen gas to ammonia by bacteria in symbiosis with legumes (e.g. alfalfa, peas), and from this fixation’s indirect products, such as animal wastes and decomposed plants. In Summer 1857, Captain Peter Duncan and Edward Cooper personally invaded La Navase, with backing from the GUANO ISLANDS ACT passed a year earlier by the US Congress. This Act declared that any uninhabited island with guano could be seized by a US citizen and made a US protectorate. Duncan and Cooper registered themselves with the US State Department as the discoverers of “Navassa Island" and recommended that it be taken under US tutelage, after they ascertained that the island held over one million tons of guano. This guano was an especially desirable mixture of nitrate and phosphate that could serve, not only as an excellent fertilizer but also as a powder in armament. Cooper immediately formed the Navassa Phosphate Company, which contracted to grant Duncan a fraction of the mining proceeds. These men's sense of personal ownership was so strong that, after Duncan died, his widow tried to claim the island as her inheritance in a CASE that reached the US Supreme Court. With backing from the US Navy, Duncan, Cooper, and many other politically-connected US businessmen appropriated over 100 islands from the coasts of Central and South America, to as far as Alaska, Hawaii and American Samoa, and turned them into their personal fiefdoms. All except 10 of these islands have been returned to their owners. La Navase is one of the exceptions. Haitian officials learned of the invasion on March 10, 1858, in a notification from the British and French consuls that Americans had declared the island a US territory and planted their flag on it. In effect, a slave-holding country (the US) had annexed part of Haiti's territory, where the Navassa Phosphate Co. was exploiting the labor of formerly-freed US slaves under the whips of a handful of white officers. The Haitian government immediately relayed to US authorities its strong objections to their claim, only to be told that the annexation was legal because "the island was derelict and abandoned." By April 1858, Haitian Emperor Faustin Soulouque – a former slave who had risen to the rank of General in Haiti’s Revolutionary Army before becoming President and proclaiming himself emperor -- ordered Navassa Phosphate Co. to cease and desist and dispatched two warships with orders to expel the settlers by force. Unfortunately a coup against Soulouque aborted the armed intervention. CONSERVATION AS A MODERN JUSTIFICATION FOR LAND GRAB Subsequent Haitian administrations have continued to claim the island, though none with as much force as Soulouque. The island became notorious for slave revolts, including one in September 1889, in which the US slaves killed five of their white officers. Even without these scandals, the interest of the US in the territory should have waned after guano fertilizer became obsolete. The Navassa Phosphate Co. shut down on the heels of the development in 1913 of the Haber Process: a chemical method to prepare ammonia fertilizer on an industrial scale from nitrogen gas in the air. But in 1917, early during the first US OCCUPATION (1915-1934) of Haiti, to guide ships to Panama Canal construction sites, the US built a lighthouse on La Navase and then kept its coastguard there for 79 years. After dismantling the lighthouse in Summer 1996, the US did not return the island to Haiti but instead transferred its administration from the Coastguard to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, where it fell initially under US Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands and later, US Minor Outlying Islands. Yet more official demands in 1998 for a return of La Navase to Haiti led the US on December 3, 1999 to transfer the island to the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and declare it, _together with_ the 12-mile nautical zone around it, to be a National Wildlife Refuge and protected Ocean Wilderness. Access to the island and its waters is currently forbidden to visitors without permission from the FWS Office in Boquerón, Puerto Rico. Thus the US, which was content, when guano was valuable, to crack the slave driver's whip on Haitian territory and despoil La Navase in ways Haitians never imagined, now justifies its appropriation of the island and its waters by a sanctimonious need to preserve its "incredible biodiversity" and "fantastic biological wealth." One scientific expedition in 1998, by the Center for Marine Conservation in Washington D.C., described La Navase as "a unique preserve of Caribbean biodiversity" and reported that the island’s land and offshore ecosystems had survived the twentieth century "virtually untouched." US Quest expeditions in 1998 and 1999 reported finding 90 species of spiders including 25 previously unknown to science, species of plants unique to the island such as the palm _Pseudopheonix Sarget saonae_, and two endemic lizard species _Cyclura nigerrima_ and _Leicocephlus erimitus_ that were thought to have disappeared. As for the island's fisheries: the Quest Expeditions discovered 227 species of fish including five new ones. According to a report in the _JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION_, _"The shallow reefs of Navassa (< 23 meters) have high live coral cover (20–26.1 percent), a high degree of architectural complexity (rugosity index range 1.4–1.9), and moderate abundance of the keystone grazing urchin, Diadema antillarum, at all sites (mean 2.9±0.9 per 30 square meters). Thus, Navassa reefs appear to be trophically intact with fish populations relatively ‘unexploited,’ presenting a conservation challenge and a research opportunity." _The same article grudgingly notes that: _"Despite its remoteness, an unregulated, artisanal fishery (primarily using traps and hook and line) carried out by Haitians is the primary mode of human impact on Navassa reefs. Even so, reef fish communities exhibit high density (range 97–140 fish per 60 square meters) and retain representation by large snapper, grouper and herbivores, which are mostly lacking in nearby Caribbean locations with high fishing pressure…. The regulation and conservation of the fishery will be difficult, due to the international nature of the situation."_ "VIRTUALLY UNTOUCHED" OR CORRECTLY TOUCHED? What exactly can the US contribute to conservation of La Navase that Haitians cannot? By contrast to Haitians, who hardly ever stepped on La Navase and only approached its coasts on small fishing boats, the scientific expeditions from the US have involved large ships and the collection of rare animals. In addition, the FWS has paid scant attention to the possible introduction of foreign invasive species of animals and plants during the nature hikes and snorkeling trips that are now organized to the island. Could it be that the US is less interested in conservation than BIOPIRACY and the appropriation of a major Haitian fishery together with a reserve of guano? Products from rare marine organisms and other animals are currently coveted as potential sources of drugs by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, we are rapidly approaching a period of worldwide food scarcity and a time when oil extraction will cost AS MUCH ENERGY as can be obtained from the oil. Fertilizer prices worldwide NECESSARILY TRACK oil prices, since the Haber Process requires high temperatures and pressures that involve large amounts of energy. Paradoxically, the Haber Process has saved a wildlife preserve, though it has caused massive global water and air POLLUTION. Thanks to Fritz Haber (who also invented nerve gas), humans currently eat oil, and it is estimated that one third to one half of the human population will starve when the oil runs out. Western science, which advances without regard for life and community, is unlikely to save us from ourselves. La Navase is a case in point. Although centuries of stewardship by Haitians have maintained the island with varieties of land animals unknown elsewhere, as well as an exceptional seabed with a great density of fish and coral, US scientists missed a valuable opportunity to acknowledge the SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES of Haitians, recommend that the island be returned to Haiti, and learn a thing or two from Haitian fishermen about wildlife conservation.
_BY RUBEN ROSENBERG COLORNI_ __Many people admire Bill Gates for his intelligence, entrepreneurial spirit and, most recently, his philanthropy. That is all well and good, but we mustn't forget that he is a relentless capitalist who, throughout his life, dedicated his efforts to only one purpose: making a ridiculous sum of money. Let us also not forget that corporations are, _by law,_ required to do everything possible to maximize their profits and therefore, every single action they take should be viewed as a money-making scheme. Sometimes this means repairing or improving their image through seemingly charitable actions that are designed to allow them, in the long term, to exploit more people without scrutiny or resistance. Putting aside conspiracy theories about Gates being a part of a global population-reduction scheme, it is not too far-fetched to say that there has been a systematic historical tendency to use the less developed continents (especially Africa) for NON-CONSENSUAL RESEARCH to pioneer money-making techniques disguised as development, and that Bill Gates could be a part of this. After all, Big Pharma is one of the most profitable industries on the planet, and it strongly relies on the enforcement of patent extensions and intellectual rights for which Bill Gates is notorious from his work in Microsoft. Africa has been the place most severely affected by the strict patent rights enforced by transnational corporations with support from the International Monetary Fund - World Bank - World Trade Organization (IMF-WB-WTO) cartel. There is also a huge body of documented evidence that the pharmaceutical industry has, for a long time and repeatedly, used vulnerable populations in the developed and developing world as guinea pigs to study disease and test new drugs (e.g. the Tuskegee Experiment, among many others). This is not limited to Big Pharma but applies to nearly every sector of the industrial capitalist economy which, by definition, is based on the exploitation of an underclass. Having established these premises (I invite you to challenge them), let us analyze the facts: Shortly before leaving Microsoft in June 2006, Bill Gates sold $58 million in shares; on November 2, 2012 he sold 5,500,000 shares for $27.95 a share, generating $153.7 million, and more recently, on April 25, 2013, he sold 12,605,492 shares for $390.4 million. These are but a few EXAMPLES. According to the Security Exchange Commission, Bill Gates sold 90 million shares of Microsoft Corp. in 2012; he currently holds 591 million shares of this company, which amount to around 7% of the 8.4 billion total, and he continues to be its LARGEST SINGLE STOCKHOLDER. Simultaneously Mr. Gates has invested in FIRMS that specialize in retail (Walmart), food and beverages (Coca Cola & McDonalds), energy and transportation (British Petroleum and Toyota), and BIOTECH (Nimbus Discovery and Foundation Medicine). But none of these investments match those he made in the pharmaceutical industry. Indeed, one of his first actions after withdrawing his shares from Microsoft when stepping down was to invest in the British Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). On September 9, 2002, Gates sold almost half a billion dollars of Microsoft stock. Around the same period, in the second half of 2002, he BOUGHT 2.5 million shares of Eli Lilly, manufacturer of Prozac, and made other major investments in Merck and Pfizer. On May 17, 2002 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) purchased shares of nine BIG PHARMA companies, valued at nearly $205 million. This is when we begin to see a shift of Gates' personal investments to those of his foundation. This was an important step in convincing the rich to donate their personal fortunes to B&MGF: a sort of leadership by example to fool those who need their conscience stroked, or their image restored or improved. As an investor in Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Johnson & Johnson and others, the Gates foundation shares financial interests with the makers of AIDS drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other drugs. It should be recalled that Mr. Gates attained his demi-trillionaire status using a "nasty little monopoly-protecting trade treaty" called TRIPS: the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights rules of the WTO. The B&MGF’s endowment comes mainly from Mr. Gates’ personal fortune and Berkshire Hathaway stocks given to the Foundation by Hathaway’s CEO Warren Buffett. More recently, other extremely influential people have poured enormous sums into the B&MGF from their personal fortunes. The B&MGF recently decided to focus its efforts on Malaria and Polio: the two prime examples of the last piece to this magnificently intricate scheme. About $1 billion of Bill Gates donation/tax deduction was earmarked for research to find a vaccine to prevent malaria, which is the number one killer in Africa. THE EXAMPLE OF MALARIA Quite literally, hundreds of studies, papers and analyses have determined that the BEST WAY to reduce transmission and mortality from infectious diseases such as Malaria and Polio is to educate a population and raise its standard of living. Eritrea, for example, managed to reduce its Malaria infection rates by 80% by organizing public-education campaigns on nutrition and disease prevention, providing free insecticide-treated mosquito nets in areas where Malaria is endemic, establishing community-based medical clinics where the population can get free blood tests, and finally filling in mosquito breeding sites and/or spraying insecticide on those areas (I'm not normally a fan of insecticides, but this is meant to prove a larger point). These simple public-health practices have resulted in the biggest breakthrough in Malaria mortality prevention in history, and to date I have yet to find a single story about this in any mainstream media outlet. Such approaches were also widely adopted across Europe a century ago: a process that brought about the complete eradication of these exotic infectious diseases from the continent. It should also be added that Eritrea, through the already established public healthcare system, has been the only African country to reduce its HIV/AIDS infection rates effectively (by 40% over a decade); this was done through a national sex-education and condom-distribution program. Bill Gates is a pretty smart guy. So why did he embark on a massive vaccination campaign when the same funds could have been invested in genuinely sustainable community-development and public-health programs? Because that _does not_ make money. The B&MGF invested one billion dollars to develop a Malaria vaccine produced by GSK, in which (you guessed it) Bill Gates holds large numbers of shares and on which he exerts considerable INFLUENCE. GlaxoSmithKline recently had to settle for $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil liability charges related to illegal drug marketing and withholding of information about health hazards associated with its diabetes drug AVANDIA, and in 2012 an Argentinian court FOUND GSK GUILTY of "experimenting with human beings as well falsifying parental authorizations so babies could participate in the vaccine trials conducted by the laboratory from 2007 to 2008." The GSK website claims that "When administered along with standard childhood vaccines, the efficacy of [the malaria vaccine] RTS,S in infants aged 6 to 12 weeks (at first vaccination) against clinical and severe malaria was 31% and 37%, respectively, over 12 months of follow-up after the third vaccine dose." Sounds swell right? However, the site also mentions (and notice how they try to spin this to their favor) that "insecticide-treated BED NETS were used by 86% of the trial participants, which demonstrated that RTS,S provided protection beyond existing malaria control interventions." The tests also showed a decreased efficacy and were described by many as a "FLOP." Worse, a considerable body of evidence shows that Malaria "vaccines" actually INCREASE THE VIRULENCE of Malaria strains. But even to reach the efficacy of "a flop", the Malaria vaccine must be taken with an additional drug. The B&MGF and GSK failed to mention that they would make a fortune from this catalyst drug during the huge publicity and marketing campaign they made from the fact that they would donate the vaccine. POLIO is another case In India, in many areas where Polio was nearly eradicated and the B&MGF engaged in vaccination campaigns, Polio is now rampant. This was due to the use of an _active_ Polio vaccine called Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), which is based on the oral administration of attenuated LIVE POLIO VIRUS and is banned in most western nations because recurrent shots of it actually increase the development of more aggressive polio strains and their mutation into deadly forms. Subjects in India were given up to 10 INJECTIONS of this vaccine instead of the one to two of the Inactive Polio Vaccine (IPV, which, as the name implies, uses an inactive polio virus) used here in Europe and in the United States. The new strain's outbreak of disease, however, has "non-polio" (no, I'm not kidding) in its name - “non-polio acute flaccid paralysis” (NPAFP) - in an attempt to deflect the responsibility and to blur the link between the B&MGF and the outbreak, despite the fact that the strains are nearly identical. __The U.S. Army's (the largest single consumer of vaccines worldwide) BASICS MANUAL states: _"A single dose of trivalent OPV is administered to all enlisted accessions. Officer candidates, ROTC cadets, and other Reserve Components on initial active duty for training receive a single dose of OPV unless prior booster immunization as an adult is documented."_ It is additionally strange that, despite professing itself to be a pioneer of global health, the B&MGF holds significant shares of some of the most "UNHEALTHY" COMPANIES on the planet, responsible for millions of cases of obesity and diabetes, such as McDonald’s (9.4 million shares representing about 5% of the Gates’ portfolio) and Coca-Cola (with more than 15 million shares, over 7% of the Foundation’s portfolio, not counting Berkshire Hathaway holdings). It is also strange that B&MGF would have invested enormous sums in pharmaceutical companies that stopped the shipment of low-cost AIDS drugs to Africa, despite professing that it wants to provide medicine to one million people by the end of the decade. Too bad Gates did not specify that he meant _his_ medicine: the one from the companies in which his millions are invested. The Bill & Melinda Gates "Foundation" is essentially a huge tax-avoidance scheme for enormously-wealthy capitalists who have made billions from exploiting the world's people. The foundation invests, _tax free,_ money fr0m Gates and the "donations" from others, in the very companies in which Gates owns millions in stocks, thus guaranteeing returns through both sales as well as intellectual-property rights. To add insult to injury, the system perpetuates the spread of disease rather than aids in their eradication, thus perpetually justifying his endeavors to "eradicate" them (solving a problem they are creating). Would the world be better without the B&MGF and without philanthropists like Bill Gates? This is a hypothetical question that would require a completely different socioeconomic arrangement than the current one and that cannot be answered with complete certainty. It is almost certain that if enormously wealthy individuals and firms were held accountable for their actions instead of being allowed to "whitewash" them in misleading and dishonest philanthropy, the world would be better. It is almost certain that if philanthropy was genuine, and not designed as a tax-avoidance scheme and one in which "donations" serve as investments into the very firms in which the donors have enormous stakes, the world would be better. It is quite certain that if the enormous investments (or "donations") had been focused on community-based nutrition programs, public-health programs and sustainable enterprises, the world would be better. _EDITOR'S NOTES: RUBEN ROSENBERG COLORNI is a writer, fourth-year student of International Public Management at The Hague University, and an activist in a wide variety of causes ranging from the Palestinian occupation to environmental degradation. Although born in Italy, he has also lived in Indonesia, Thailand, the United States, the United Kingdom and currently lives in The Hague, the Netherlands, with his cat. This essay was inspired BY DADY CHERY'S RECENT ARTICLE on humanitarian imperialism in News Junkie Post and started out as a commentary on the article. All photographs by the GATES FOUNDATION. _
Not since Nazi Germany marched its jackboots into the Sudetanland has there been such an abject disregard for the rule of international and national law. The Nazi's advance resulted in the illegal imprisonment and mass murder of, firstly, many political dissidents, the mentally ill, homosexuals, and later and on a much larger scale, Jews and the Roma (gypsies) in Europe. The major international law breakers immediately prior to, and at that time, were Germany, Italy with its adventures into Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and Japan with its false-flag Muckden Incident and subsequent invasion of Manchuria. Despite a pretense by the West and ISRAEL to uphold human rights, they are today's worst offenders against state sovereignty and the Geneva Convention. Israel, for example, is continuing to expand its illegal settlements into the West Bank, carrying out frequent incursions into GAZA, and threatening to add to its two recent bombings in SYRIA. What Hitler did was wrong. What the US and Israel are doing is wrong. People who criticized Hitler were disposed of, and people who criticize Israel and the US are disposed of by, what can accurately be termed, extra-judicial killings. During the illegal invasion and incursion into Iraq in 2003, the only journalists who were relatively safe were the "embedded journalists" whose investigative powers had been removed and wrote what the military told them to write. The braver journalists who wanted to report the truth were an embarrassment to the cowardly military who may even have killed some of them to prevent the truth from emerging. Between 2003-4 there were 58 JOURNALISTS (and media workers) killed in Iraq: only 18 fewer than the number of UK SOLDIERS KILLED in the same period. All deaths from war are needless. Wars being waged today, as those of the past, are about stealing land, labor and resources, for which young men must needlessly die. Few people are speaking out against this abominable situation, just as few Germans spoke out about Hitler's illegal invasions and persecutions. In the US, the rule of law is being trampled under the jackboots of Congress and no longer has any substance. As with Nazi Germany, concentration camps are set up in foreign lands, together with maximum security prisons on home turf, and torture is rife in both. Drone warfare allows extra-judicial murder and imprisonment in predominantly Islamic countries, with all the targets being Muslim. Take the case of Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a journalist working in Yemen. In a recent _News Junkie Post_ article, I noted that the US had finally admitted to killing its own citizens with DRONE STRIKES. Shaye had managed several times to interview Anwar al Awlaki, a US citizen who was later assassinated as the extra-judicial target of a drone strike. In some hard-hitting questions from a journalist not cowed into sheltering under the umbrella of military protection, Shaye strongly questioned al Awlaki's ties to terrorism . When asked by Shaye about the suspected passenger-plane plot by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab on Christmas Day 2009, Anwar al Awlaki associated himself with Abdulmuttalab as being his student and, although he did not sanction the plot itself, said he approved of it in the same way “America supports Israel's killing of Palestinians, and its killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq." In January 2011 Shaye was imprisoned in Yemen on anti-terrorism charges. The Yemeni government, presumably in an attempt to curry favor from the US, or possibly because of promises of aid, told the world media that it had killed Anwar al Awlaki and three other US citizens not under suspicion of terrorism, one being a sixteen-year-old boy. However, Shaye discovered at the site of the drone killing materials that were not in the Yemeni arsenal, including fragments from a US tomahawk missile and cluster bombs, which he photographed and distributed to the press; he also reported that the victims of the drone attack had included 14 women and 21 children. A personal telephone call from President Obama kept Shaye imprisoned when he was due to be released in February 2011. Back then, the US was not admitting that it had carried out drone attacks that killed four of its nationals. Shaye's knowledge that the US had killed al Awlaki did not fit in with the US government line, so another innocent man, and journalist, was locked up. Now that this information is out in the open, there is no longer any reason to keep Abdulelah Haider Shaye in prison. As with the Jews in German concentration camps, and those cleared for release from GUANTANAMO, Shaye should not have been imprisoned from the start. There is a petition for his release. Nearer to home, the BOSTON BOMBINGS saw the arrests of several suspects. One of those questioned by the FBI in his own home was IBRAGIM TODASHEV, who apparently knew the Tsarnaev brothers. Todashev would not leave his home again alive. With six bullets to his body and one to the head, it was another US extra-judicial killing, this time on American soil. Why? Will the world ever know? What happens when a young man is held in custody and does not come out alive? Why was this story not more prominent in the news? His grieving father says that he was unarmed and wants to know what happened to him. The world wants to know. There is an obligation to protect the lives of those taken into custody. How many FBI agents were involved in this killing? Was there an attempt to torture Todashev into a false confession? What is happening in the world? So many questions, but no answers. Today, mock democracies serve as fronts to gross acts of extra-judicial murder. _EDITOR'S NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHS ONE, TWO, FOUR, FIVE, SIX AND SEVEN BY ACTIVE STILLS._
_BY RUEL F. PEPA_ The grand design of the United States global hegemonic empire is founded on an ideological platform of white supremacist domination. “Hegemony,” both in our common understanding and in its specialized Gramscian utilization, is semantically as broad and all-encompassing as “globality,” and therefore “hegemony” is appropriated and assigned the same limitations and specificity. United States global hegemony is effected by the institutionalization of state violence. This brings us to a stark realization of how blatant brutality and ferocious violence still continually dominate a carceral system in the 21st century, putting to shame the "progressive" fantasy of a humanizing modernization and strengthening Bruno Latour's claim that in reality, “we’ve never been modern” at all, as the shadows of the past continue to haunt us in the concrete embodiment of cultural forms. Human aggression, displayed in violent attacks against the hated and the dominated, releases the repressed libido of desire with Freudian persistence and the accuracy of Nietzschean eternal recurrence. It is the undying demon of “man’s inhumanity to man” whose echo, from the 1970s movie _Papillon,_ still reverberates and is minted anew in the hegemonic platform of the contemporary US prison system. It is the gates of hell thrown wide open to give way to a tsunami of vicious onslaught against the sacredness of human life in a frenzied orgy that desecrates the body and violates sanity. In the “Illegalities and Delinquency” chapter of _Discipline and Punish,_ Michel Foucault posits that prison has not really failed. _“ . . . Prison has succeeded extremely well in producing delinquency, a specific type, a politically or economically less dangerous -- and, on occasion, usable -- form of illegality; in producing delinquents, in an apparently marginal, but in fact centrally supervised, milieu; in producing the delinquent as a pathologized subject. The success of the prison, in the struggles around the law and illegalities, has been to specify a ‘delinquency.’ . . . So successful has the prison been that, after a century and a half of ‘failures,’ the prison still exists, producing the same results, and there is the greatest reluctance to dispense with it. . . .”_ (Rabinow, pp. 231-232) A more focused discussion of American globality creates the poignant impact of contrapuntal narratives that explicate the systematic demolition of the deepest agony of humanity. In other words, we are, in the process, exposed to the massivity of programmed suffering experienced by imprisoned human bodies. What is most clearly perceived, however, is not the biological and corresponding politicization of the biological but a telescoping of the political that abstracts the biological and renders theoretical the entirety of an otherwise passion-challenging moment of relived tragedies. This path of exploratory intent and discovery does not necessarily or automatically lead to concrete action to complete a praxis but most probably leads to further theorizing which, if pursued on a non-dialectical materialist platform, could go on _ad infinitum_ or, worse, _ad nauseum._ This totalizing program of global domination is more widely and deeply elaborated by Thomas P. M. Barnett, who talks of a global connectivity that will _“trump all, erasing the business cycle, erasing national borders, erasing the very utility of the state in managing a global security order that [seems] more virtual than real.”_ In this connection, US globality, via its prison regime, is simply the establishment of new rules of massive and deeply-penetrating proportion to manage war and peace in the post-9/11 era, _“not just from America’s perspective but from that of the entire world . . . because America is the biggest rule maker in the business of global security affairs.”_ (Barnett, p. 10). Barnett further contends: _“Whether we realize it or not, we are all -- right now -- standing present at the creation of a new international security order…. The global conflict between the forces of connectedness _[American globality in the paper]_ and disconnectedness _[the adversaries of American globality]_ is here and it is not going away anytime soon. Either America steps up to the challenge of defining this new global security rule set or we will see those rules established by people who dream of a very different tomorrow.”_ (Barnett, pp. 45-46) In grave consideration of everything said about American globality, it is extremely important to bear in mind the terrorist design of US imperial hegemony, as its white-supremacist ideology inspires all scorched-earth punitive operations extra-domestically, where this is required. An uncontested place is established for the US as the biggest peddler of global terrorism on the specific basis of an understanding of "terrorism” as being “the contemporary name given to, and the modern permutation of, warfare deliberately waged against civilians with the purpose of destroying their will to support either leaders or policies that the agents of such violence find objectionable.”(Carr, p. 6) REFERENCES Barnett, Thomas P.M. _The Pentagon’s New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century._ Berkley Books, New York, 2004. Carr, Caleb. The Lessons of Terror. Random House, New York, 2002. Rabinow, Paul, ed. The Foucault Reader. PantheonBooks, New York, 1984. _EDITOR'S NOTE: RUEL F. PEPA_ is a retired university academic in the fields of Philosophy and Cultural Studies; he is currently based in Madrid, Spain. ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY PUBLIK 15.
_BY IMTIAZ AKHTAR_ _"If there is no water in the dam…. Should we urinate into it?"_ - Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar. In the last few years, India has attracted considerable attention from the world for its "growth story." India is being celebrated by every single cheerleader of neo-imperialist policy whose sole motive is: profit. Despite this growth, India figures below sub-Saharan Africa when it comes to general undernourishment. _"About half of all Indian children are, it appears, chronically undernourished and more than half of all adult women suffer from anemia,"_ notes Amartya Sen. India is the only country in the world which, despite having the largest unused stock of food, is forced to experience such massive undernourishment. _"It is hard to explain it by the presumption of mere insensitivity -- it looks more and more like insanity. What could be the perceived rationale of all this?"_ asks Sen. The economic policies pursued by right-wing political parties like Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other regional parties under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) AND WORLD BANK have resulted in a massive crisis in India's agricultural sector, which is considered to be the backbone of the economy. About 87,567 farmers committed suicide in the period between 2001 and 2006 alone. This means that a farmer died every 30 minutes. This does not include women farmers, as most of the land is, by custom, held by men in India. So those who do not formally hold land do not qualify as being farmers. A debt crisis forced most farmers to take their own lives. After the so-called liberalization of the economy, the government-owned seed distribution companies were forced to shut down. The seed price per acre, which in 1991 was about Rs. 70 ($1.25), rose to Rs. 1000 ($17.90): an increase of over 1400 percent. About one year ago, the Planning Commission, which is headed by Oxbridge's suave Montek Singh Alluwalia, in an attempt to reduce poverty, brought down the economic indicator that defines poverty. Accordingly, any person in urban India who earned less than Rs. 28.35 (about $0.50) a day would be considered poor. What is this if not an indicator of class assault? Even by the government's own committee (Arjun Sengupta committee, 2006), over 394.9 million workers (more than 85 percent of the working population and more than 78 percent of the workers in the unorganized sector) live with an income lower than Rs. 20 ($0.36) a day. India won its independence after a long, tortuous struggle against the British. The famous Karachi resolution (1931) that was passed by the Indian National Congress promised to its citizens a set of rights. These are known as Fundamental Rights under the Indian Constitution. As per the law, any violation of these rights can only be challenged either in a High Court or in the Supreme Court. There are now a total number of 1382 Judges available to enforce these rights, although the population of India has already reached one billion. This might sound ridiculous, but then again it is as hard as a fact from a lawyer (The figures are from the department of law and justice, Government of India's website.). This means that even these civil liberties in most cases are nothing but paper-tiger promises. How can one explain this? A vast majority is simply excluded by virtue of being poor; most cannot afford the exorbitant fees of lawyers. Therefore, barring a few super-rich, these rights have no meaning for the vast majority. Most of the states in India live under the shadows of some of the most anti-democratic laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) that allows warrantless searches and arrests, and even extra-judicial killings, by the army in areas that are declared to be "disturbed." One wonders: had Gandhi been alive today what would he have done? Perhaps organize a massive non-cooperation action that would shake the very foundations of this corrupt state. REFERENCES 1. _The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity_. By Amartya Sen, Penguin Books India, 2012, p. 212 (originally published in 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux). 2. Ibid, p. 213. 3. P. Sainath http://www.hindu.com/2005/06/30/stories/2005063004691100.htm 4. http://doj.gov.in/?q=node/90 _EDITOR’S NOTES: IMTIAZ AKHTAR has a law degree and is pursuing a master’s degree in comparative literature at Jadavpur University in Kolkata (Calcutta) India. He has worked as a journalist, as a lawyer and as an editor for a law journal. He lives in Kolkata, India. ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY DEY._
SYRIA: FOG OF PROXY WAR AND CONFLICTING AGENDAS As furious fighting rages in Syria for control of Qusair, a border town of critical strategic importance, the dense and toxic fog of that country's proxy war is spreading to Lebanon and Iraq. With Hezbollah becoming directly involved in the conflict to back Assad, the patchwork coalition of Syrian rebel groups and Jihadist foreign fighters, with al-Nusra in the lead, is loosing ground and on the defensive. Bashar al-Assad has three main objectives, which could now be obtained with the substantial and full commitment from Hezbollah. First, taking back Qusair would reopen a critical channel between Damascus and pro-Assad Alawite militias on the Mediterranean coast. Second, this would cut off the rebel-held areas between the north and south. Third, and perhaps most importantly, this would give Assad a stronger hand before the peace conference organized by Russia and the United States, to take place in June. Meanwhile, Arabs and Muslims in general are killing each other and doing the bidding of Israel and the West in what could become a full-blown REGIONAL SECTARIAN WAR between Sunnis on one side, and Shiites and Alawites on the other. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West are certainly strange bedfellows, and this is reflected by the state of the Syrian opposition "coalition." SYRIAN OPPOSITION: NO CLEAR AGENDA OR COHERENT LEADERSHIP A meeting of the Syrian opposition in Turkey last week was a complete fiasco. The coalition's Western supporters, with the US, the UK and France in the lead, wanted more seats for liberals, but this attempt was blocked by a Muslim-Brotherhood influenced bloc supported by Qatar. In this regard, reflecting a change of course, the Western-backed part of the coalition was supported by the Saudis, as they became concerned about Qatar's rising influence on Syrian opposition groups. THE SECTARIAN WAR IN SYRIA SPREADS TO LEBANON AND IRAQ Alawites are now also fighting against Sunnis in Tripoli, Lebanon. According to Qatari as well as Israeli sources, 5,000 Hezbollah troops have joined Assad's forces in Syria, and another 5,000 have been called to be deployed in the coming days. On May 27, rockets fired by Sunnis targeted and hit Hezbollah-held areas of Beirut. Meanwhile, in a speech on May 26, Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah said that his organization will stand firmly with Assad. _"We will continue to the end of the road. We accept this responsibility and will accept all sacrifices and expected consequences for this position,"_ said Nasrallah. In Iraq, sectarian violence has become a daily event. According to the United Nations, more than 700 people were killed in April, and already 350 in May in sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. Sunni Iraqi Jihadists are reported to be fighting against Assad in Syria. The expansion of the fight to Lebanon and Iraq demonstrates, once again, that inflaming sectarian conflicts in the Arab world is a deadly strategy concocted by the West and Israel to divide and rule the Middle East. These geopolitics of chaos have wrecked Iraq, Libya, and Afghanistan. The West and Israel would like an encore in Syria by toppling Assad. WILL TODAY'S ALLIES AGAINST SYRIA, HEZBOLLAH AND IRAN BECOME FOES TOMORROW? When one considers this strange Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Israel alliance built on the principle "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," it is hard not to recall the pact of non-aggression signed in 1939 between Hitler and Stalin. On one hand, not having a front with the Soviet Union made wrecking Poland, Belgium and France easier for Nazi Germany. On the other hand, this gave Stalin the time he needed to build up the Red Army, knowing perfectly well that the pact with the Nazis would be extremely temporary. Providing that Assad is toppled and that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West "take care" of Hezbollah and Iran, the aftermath in the region and beyond would be extremely messy. Qatar and, to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia are working to establish an Islamist state in Syria. Using their money, they are exploiting the Syrian opposition against Assad as well as recruiting and arming some 50,000 Jihadist foreign fighters. Qatar and Saudi Arabia have done this before. Qatar was among the few Arab states that offered active military assistance to NATO during the toppling of Gaddafi in Libya, and Qataris were key suppliers of money and weapons to Libyan rebels. Qatar and Saudi Arabia's vision is that of a Middle East that becomes Sunni dominated, under their influence, using the Muslim Brotherhood as a political instrument. Qatar wants a Muslim-Brotherhood controlled Syria, just like Egypt. But what will Israel do if it becomes surrounded by MUSLIM-BROTHERHOOD CONTROLLED STATES sponsored by Qatar and Saudi Arabia? And what will happen to Israel's vision of territorial expansion to a Greater Israel? CAN RUSSIA AND CHINA IMPOSE A POLITICAL SOLUTION FOR THE SYRIAN CRISIS? The only hope for avoiding an escalation that would put us on course to World War III is for Russia and China to make a stand on Syria, as opposed to their inaction on both Iraq and Libya. Syria should be defined as a red line not to be crossed by the West, Israel, and their temporary allies from the Gulf. If Russia dumps Syria, Hezbollah and, down the line, Iran, Russian President Vladimir Putin would lose all geopolitical credibility. Nobel-peace-prize laureate Mairead Maguire, who just headed a peace delegation to Syria and Lebanon that pushed for a Syrian National Reconciliation, wrote in a REPORT: _"The Syrian state and its population are under a proxy war led by foreign countries and directly financed and backed by Qatar."_ According to Maguire, 50,000 foreign Jihadist fighters have come to Syria through Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. The Jihadists originate from many different countries: there are Libyans, Saudis, Tunisians, Chechens, Afghans, Pakistanis, Emiratis, Lebanese, Jordanians, Europeans, and even Australians. Maguire urged the international community to_ "support a process of dialogue and reconciliation in Syria between its people and the Syrian government and reject outside intervention and war." _While Russia's aim is merely to push for a ceasefire, Maguire's ultimate goal is peace in Syria, although, with so much animosity between Sunnis and Alawites, a PARTITION OF SYRIA along sectarian lines (see map) might be a more realistic solution to avoid FURTHER BLOODSHED in a conflict that has already killed more than 80,000 and displaced 3.5 million people. _EDITOR'S NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHS ONE, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE AND TEN BY FREEDOM HOUSE._
“_He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice_.” - Albert Einstein The invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan by the United States cannot be considered to spread freedom and liberty any more than kidnapping and repeated rape can be considered to spread love. Neither of these countries threatened or attacked the US. The occupation and murder of Iraqi and Afghan citizens, or resistance fighters, is not an act of patriotism; it is a criminal act of aggression. Joining a military that you know will command you to commit these crimes does not absolve the individual. Big business and politicians alike, banging the drums and waving flags, are leading the cheers as soldiers march to their deaths, and they watch their profits and approval ratings sore. Presidential approval ratings explode when they invade a country or assassinate someone. Look at the 'bump' Obama got for assassinating Bin Laden. Oil and mining interests, along with private military contractors, rake in the spoils of war while Americans send their children, their brothers and sisters, and their husbands and wives, off to battle to die or be changed forever. More than one in ten American soldiers lose a limb. More than six in ten suffer from post-traumatic shock syndrome (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury. If they survive their tour of duty and subsequent stop-loss redeployments, they are more likely to end up struggling for assistance from their government, or marketing themselves as mercenaries to Erik Prince and his companies (Blackwater, Xe, Reflex Responses R2) of paid killers, than getting a quality education. Over 920,000 people, mostly civilians, have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 1,700,00 more have been injured. For what? Because Iraq and Afghanistan are now so much better off than before the invasion? Ask an Afghan or Iraqi citizen, or an honest American soldier, they'll tell you different. Can Americans now claim they are safer? Quite the opposite, US aggression has resulted in a much greater risk by providing many with what may be considered a new righteous justification for harming the US and its citizens. Is this national defense? Is this spreading freedom and democracy? Why are empire and blood-lust being allowed to masquerade as patriotism? Have Americans become the modern Romans? Has the spectacle of the arena been safely moved to other peoples' countries? Have the stone benches in the coliseum been traded for the comfort of a Barcalounger and big-screen TV? Have we dehumanized our victims to such a point that we can cheer their deaths despite their innocence and honor the 'heroes' who slaughter them? Is being something other than a US citizen a capital crime? Modern gladiators are paid a wage, promised an education, armed to the teeth, and sent out to kill on command. Those who try to defend themselves are called the enemy, and their attempts to save themselves are used to justify the violence against them. The US military is nothing more than the muscle behind Big-Oil, Big-Finance, Big-Business, Big-Pharma et al. National security gave way to economic expansionism and neocolonialism a long time ago. The Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns are no less abhorrent than Vietnam, but the public reaction has changed. Americans have either become desensitized to the horrors they export, or they have accepted this brutal substitution for patriotism that their politicians and media have sold them. Or, they truly are a country full of blood-thirsty misanthropes that place no value on the lives and nations they destroy as long as they remain fat and happy behind the wheel of an SUV. Being paid to wear a uniform does not justify murder. Murdering people in other countries does not make a hero. Sacrificing life or limb for an unjust war does not make you a hero; it makes you a victim. Convincing the youth that the invasion of other countries that never threatened or attacked their own, and the murder of innocent civilians and all that dare resist, somehow equals patriotism, tears the very fabric of society. The crimes perpetrated by those in positions of power and influence have robbed the members of the armed forces the right to be called patriots and heroes. Those who have served unwittingly are their victims, just as much as the 'foreigners' they've been instructed to kill. Those who serve knowingly can be afforded no absolution. To give control purposefully over one's actions to a murderous enterprise is to assume equal culpability. To volunteer to have someone instruct you to commit a wrongful act is precisely that: wrong. The only ones who have benefited from American aggression, and the crimes committed against all the people around the world, from Vietnam to Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, and on and on through America's decades of endless wars, are the power brokers and profiteers that picked the fights in the first place. To join a military that we all now know is involved in illegal wars and occupations is an act against humanity. On this Memorial Day, remember the reality of the US' wars, not the romanticized fiction that the propaganda mills spew out. Remember _all_ those who have lost their lives, not just your compatriots who died or lost limbs while trying to kill others. The information is out there. The facts are accessible. Soldiers are no longer misinformed, victimized, heroic, patriots… they are accessories. The denial of reality does not make the carnage acceptable. The blood cannot be wiped from your hands with the flag.
In Lichfield, England, in the 18th century, Mr. Richard Greene ran a museum that was quite revealing about colonial power. As a visitor entered one room of this museum, in one cabinet on the right there was an array of high velocity-weapons from a former day that showed the historical development of muskets and pistols from the Civil War; in another cabinet on the left there was a display of what might be termed more primitive aboriginal weapons, like boomerangs. Fishing hooks were also displayed, together with necklaces and other articles of Tahitian fashion. It hardly needs spelling out that the superior weapons were those deployed by British and French imperialists to subjugate those with inferior weapons. No wonder the British and French Empires spanned the globe. Fast forward to the 21st century. A few miles from where Mr Greene’s Lichfield Museum had stood, there is a modern factory that makes engines for powering drones: unmanned aircraft for killing and subjugating civilians in various parts of the world with the latest range of high-velocity weapons. Almost without exception the countries targeted, like Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan have a high Islamic population. The factory that makes these weapons is based at Shenstone and is called UAV Engines Limited. Observe that the board of this company comprises predominantly Israeli directors from towns and cities like Tel Aviv, Rehovot, Beit Oved, Rishon le Zion, Alfei Manashe, Haifa, Peta Tikvah and Reut. There are several non-Israelis and one notable exception is the company secretary, Mr Christopher Biddulph. The name Biddulph was highly respected in the Lichfield area at the time of Mr Greene’s Museum. The family estate was between Lichfield and Burton, in Barton-Under-Needwood. Anne Marie Biddulph married the brother of Quaker preacher, Mary Capper. Her sister, Margaret Biddulph, married the anti-slave-trade campaigner, Samuel Pipe Wolferstan. Shortly after Margaret’s death the radical English novelist, Robert Bage, another anti-slavery, anti-war campaigner, helped Wolferstan regarding a mill he owned at Rushall near Walsall, not for Wolferstan’s sake but for the sake of his late wife. This is just how well the Biddulph family was respected. Mr Christopher Biddulph has sold his family birthright for a bowl of Zionist pottage. How are the mighty fallen! It might be claimed that UAV Engines Ltd provides work for local people, but at what expense? Accurate figures for people killed by drones are almost impossible to get, mostly because the military withholds the information. On May 22, 2013, for example, the White House finally admitted that drone attacks had killed four US citizens, including a 16-year-old boy. Three of the casualties were not targeted, the boy being one of them. The person who was targeted, Anwar al Awlaki, was allegedly ‘plotting attacks against the US and happened to be a cleric: a title that has almost become synonymous with terrorist. With regard to extra-judicial state killings, it is impossible to know if any White House claim is true or false. You have to believe the same government that formerly denied having ever killed a US citizen in a drone attack. UAV Engines Ltd powers vehicles that in less than a decade have brought innumerable tragic deaths to innocent people. On Friday May 10, 2013 a peaceful vigil was held outside the UAV Engines Ltd's factory at Shenstone. Some short pieces were read, including a school speech extract from Rachel Corrie when she was 10 years old. “My dream can and will come true if we all look into the future and see the light that shines there.” Rachel was killed by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to protect a Palestinian family. She was run over twice. The sanctity of life is rarely considered where the US and Israeli military are concerned. The demonstration heard speakers from different religious and political organizations, and while there was a measured calmness among the protesters, there was a sadness at what was happening because of these dealers in death. One of the speakers, Stuart Richardson, brought attention to the death toll in Pakistan from drone attacks. Using figures from the Stop-the-War campaign and Wikipedia, he told protesters that 69 children were killed in a single drone attack in Pakistan in 2006. “That is three times as many as children killed in the gun attack in Newtown in the US in 2012.” It is the superior technology that gains for the United States, United Kingdom and Israel a clutch of adjectives like cowardly, spineless and gutless, and it is why these countries are thought of as the world’s bullies. The purpose of their weak-willed actions is ultimately to steal oil, other minerals, or just plain land, which Israel has particularly been doing in Palestine. Has it not always been so? The British went to the Americas and killed masses of Native Americans with guns against bows and arrows, stealing in the process their ancient hunting grounds. As well as subjugating the natives, they enslaved black Africans with Birmingham muskets to work in plantations they had stolen from the Native Americans. So greedy did they become that they fought one another to increase their acquisitions. Occasionally gunfights were fair: man to man. The survivors, however, would shoot one another in the back, until the majority that was left comprised the spineless, cowardly, gutless cowboys in power today. These are nothing but bullies with sophisticated weapons who believe that killing unarmed people thousands of miles away from the safety of an air-conditioned office is modern-day justice. On the day of the vigil, which had been advertized on the internet, there was no sign of life at UAV Engines Ltd. A passer-by told those assembled that the factory had been closed down. I telephoned UAV Engines Ltd on Monday May 20 and asked to speak to Mr. Christopher Biddulph, hoping for a comment on the history of his family, but he was away. I was informed that he would be available in a fortnight, which confirmed my suspicion that the passer-by had been a plant. Those businessmen who supply the engines for the drones are as culpable as the cowboys who deploy them. Between them they have dragged down the good name of Biddulph as low as it can go. _EDITOR'S NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHS ONE, FIVE AND SEVEN BY U.S. AIR FORCE. PHOTOGRAPHS TWO, THREE, FOUR AND SIX BY WORLD CAN'T WAIT._
Had US Marines not INVADED HAITI, Charlemagne Peralte might have become a politician instead of a revolutionary. His father, General Remi Massena Peralte, was a big landowner in Hinche who had served as a Member of Parliament during the Hypollite administration, known for public works like the Marché Hypollite (Marché-en-Fer, or Iron Market). Charlemagne had become a career army officer after completing his studies at Port-au-Prince’s well-reputed St. Louis de Gonzague college. At 29-years old, he was the Military Commander in Leogane when a group of Marines arrived on Monday August 30, 1915 to disarm that post as part of their project to replace Haiti’s Revolutionary Army with a US-controlled Gendarmerie (FAd'H). Peralte refused to surrender his weapons and national flag and told the Marines he would obey only his President’s orders. ROOSEVELT’S “PRETTY GOOD LITTLE CONSTITUTION” Peralte returned to a life of farming in Hinche after his dismissal from the Army, and for a while it looked as though his refusal to relinquish his flag would be his only act of resistance to the foreign invasion. Meanwhile, the US labored to legitimize the Occupation. Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) would later boast that, as Woodrow Wilson’s Assistant Secretary of the Navy,“I wrote Haiti’s Constitution myself, and if I do say it, it was a pretty good little Constitution.” Among many measures favorable to the US, this constitution permitted foreign ownership of Haitian lands for the first time since the country’s independence. The Haitian legislature countered FDR by drafting a stronger document that, not only preserved all protections from the previous Constitution, but also invalidated Dartiguenave’s 1915 TREATY with the US and called for his impeachment. As the legislators prepared to ratify this new constitution in early 1917, Dartiguenave and Major General Smedley Butler declared the Parliament dissolved because of “the spirit of anarchy which animates it.” Thus began a 13-year period with no legislature, continuous martial law, and siphoning off of 40 percent of Haiti’s gross domestic product by US financiers. The Gendarmerie collected the taxes to service the foreign debt, dispensed all central government funds, and even served as judges in criminal and civil cases. In addition, they supplied the US with intelligence and got rich from extortion and kickbacks. OUR CHARLEMAGNE On the night of October 11, 1917, on the pretext that Charlemagne and Saul Peralte had attacked their local headquarters, a group of Gendarmes torched Charlemagne’s house, looted Saul’s residence and arrested the two brothers. After a summary court martial, Saul was executed, and Charlemagne was sentenced to five years of hard labor. By then, chain gangs had become commonplace in Haiti, where the US had introduced them as the main source of labor for road building and other public works. Peralte spent nearly a year in menial, physically-wearing jobs, in prison clothes and shaven head, in the city of Cap Haitien where many of his family members lived, before a friend helped him to escape by giving him refuge and supplying him with a disguise. Within a month Peralte recruited over 200 rebels from the ranks of laboring and escaped convicts, who swore to “drive the Americans back into the sea.” They became known as the “Cacos.” Initially, they fought with vintage guns and swords from the Haitian Revolution, plus hunting rifles, machetes, and knives, but they quickly acquired modern weapons and ammunition by raiding the remote outposts of the Gendarmerie. As a rule, they attacked the enemy in surprise commando operations and used guerilla tactics that favored their mastery of the difficult terrain, particularly along the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Their numbers grew to include many Dominicans, won over to the anti-imperialist cause by Peralte. Soon Mirebalais schoolteacher Benoît Batraville joined the command. After a few months of battle, Battraville controlled the Artibonite region, and Peralte declared a provisional government in northern Haiti. A revolution was clearly under way that the corrupt Gendarmerie could not hold off. But even as new tanks, seaplanes, airplanes, airports, and Marines reinforced the campaign against Cacos, they were called “BANDITS” and “highwaymen.” To demolish all pretext of banditry, in 1918 Charlemagne Péralte issued a public CALL TO ARMS to the people of Haiti; he additionally wrote a letter to the French Minister in Haiti, signed by himself and 100 others, that was a formal DECLARATION OF WAR against the US. The Haitian elite, to whom the most serious insult of the occupation was its exclusion from White society due to racial prejudice, berated the Cacos for threatening the public safety by drawing fire on all Blacks from undiscerning Marines. By contrast, so many peasants joined the Cacos that, by 1919, the force became more than 40,000-men strong and engaged the Marines over 60 times a month. POPPING OFF CACOS Flying missions from the new airports became more frequent. Cacos were bombed if they could be found. And if they could not, villages were razed. During military engagements with the Cacos, the custom was to administer a bullet to the head of any wounded Haitian. Those caught uninjured were usually tortured and lynched. Such practices are consistent with official “anti-banditry” campaign documents, which are rife with reports of high Haitian casualties without prisoners, along with few or no American deaths. Stories of Marine atrocities became so widespread that James Weldon Johnson and others traveled to Haiti to check their veracity. Johnson's NAACP delegation CONFIRMED: “it has now become the duty and sport of American marines to hunt these ‘cacos’ with rifles and machine guns.” For the most part, these assaults were not on Cacos but random civilians. The Cacos territories in Haiti’s North and Artibonite regions could not be taken without major casualties to the Marines. In Summer 1919, US authorities secretly launched a project to kill Peralte, whom they called "the Supreme Bandit." This mission was headed by Marine Sergeant Herman H. Hanneken, an expert at cultivating spies among Haiti’s elite. He found Jean Baptiste Conzé: a vain Caco lieutenant who could be bought for $2,000 in cash and the promise of the rank of officer (exclusively the domain of White Americans) in the Gendarmerie. On the evening of October 31, 1919, Conzé smuggled Hanneken and Corporal William R. Button, both in black face, together with 18 Gendarmes into a Cacos camp near Grande Riviere du Nord, where Peralte sat by a fire. Hanneken shot two bullets at close range into Peralte’s back, instantly killing him. The rest of the camp — about 1,200 men — was machine gunned in the surprise operation. The next day, before burying Peralte’s body in an unmarked grave, US authorities photographed the corpse tied to a door, with the Haitian flag draped around its head, and then dropped thousands of copies of the photo over the entire country. The reaction was not terror, but revulsion. The majority of Haitians came to view the Occupation as a project of “savages” and Peralte as a martyr for Haiti’s sovereignty. RETURN OF THE FLAG With Battraville's death the following May, the Cacos’ strength greatly diminished, but student strikes and worker’s revolts became common. One notorious peasant protest in Les Cayes, in December 1929, which left 12 killed and 23 wounded by US Marines, provoked outrage from nearly all Haitian society. Loud calls for US departure were echoed by organizations like the suffragettes and NAACP. In addition, a shortage of investors, due to the stock market crash and Great Depression, made Haiti more difficult to colonize. Finally US President Herbert Hoover agreed to send his own fact-finding commissions to Haiti, which confirmed yet more atrocities, including widespread torture, a system of preventive detention, and the routine theft of Haitian property by US Marines. Hoover accepted the commissions’ recommendations to withdraw. Legislative and presidential elections were organized so as to return Haiti to political autonomy. On July 5, 1934, FDR returned to Haiti as US President to recognize Haitian independence, and by mid-August the national flag was flying again. Around the same period, Péralte’s remains were discovered with the help of a former Gendarme who had participated in his burial. Peralte was honored in Cap Haitien on November 26, 1934, with a state funeral attended by his mother, a large national corps, and a massive crowd. HAITI’S ENDLESS REVOLUTION Haiti cannot return to a quiet agricultural life any more than Peralte could. There is no such thing as a quiet life of farming. It is a life of back-breaking, unappreciated work that must be earned by a continuous fight against weeds, pests, and predators. After the first US Occupation, Haiti’s FINANCIAL SUBSERVIENCE to US banks persisted until 1945 when Dumarsais Estimé, possibly Haiti’s greatest President since the men who fought the Slave Revolution, concluded the repayment of the debt, reformed the education system to teach history and other subjects from a Haitian viewpoint, and helped to develop the Artibonite Valley into a major area for rice cultivation. But Estimé tried to dodge the most important fight of all: that against the FAd’H, and ultimately he was forced into exile by a US-backed army coup. Francois Duvalier is the only president to have successfully defeated the FAd’H. He did so by assembling his own parallel peasant army of the Tontons Macoutes. His administration is rightly vilified for having tolerated no dissent (from the communist left or the US-backed right), but it should also be acknowledged for having returned Haiti to independence and self sufficiency. All subsequent administrations, starting with Jean-Claude Duvalier, have welcomed aid and plunged the country back INTO DEBT, even as the agricultural sector, which had always repaid for Haiti’s follies, was dismantled by USAID. Jean-Bertrand Aristide did disband the FAd’H in 1995, but the absence of even an ARMED MILITIA left Haiti defenseless against another foreign invasion. The current Occupation of Haiti is cruder than the last. The US has learned not to molest the symbols of sovereignty as it DISMANTLES the real thing. For example, the 1987 Constitution has not formally been changed, but the letter of a SERIES OF AMENDMENTS proposed by Bill Clinton is being systematically followed. Hillary Clinton sends her congratulations on Flag Day to her hand-picked Haitian president. Unbeknownst to most Haitians, the July 28 “CARNAVAL DES FLEURS” celebrates the anniversary of the first US invasion. A relatively prosperous and seemingly patriotic Haitian diaspora has grown, but like the mulatto class of COLONIAL TIMES and Jean-Baptiste Conzé, it appears to be more interested in acquiring an equal status to White colonists than in partnering with Haiti’s peasants. But as Haiti's PEASANTS GO, so too does the country. Haitians must unite, not through providential men and charlatans, but with respect for each other across class lines. All that has been dismantled must be rebuilt, including employment for Haitians, by Haitians, in education, public works, public health, finance, and, most importantly, agriculture. To honor our history and flag, we must break the bondage of debt, shed parasitic aid organizations and stop being a nation of beggars. _EDITOR'S NOTE: PHOTOGRAPHS ONE AND TWO BY BIO DIVERSITY LIBRARY. PHOTOGRAPHS TEN, ELEVEN AND TWELVE BY U.S. AIR FORCE._
_BY PATRICIA MALCOM ROSENLEAF_ Vivian sat by her dying boy’s bed, nodding, starting awake, nodding again. She’d been here with him from almost the beginning of this hospital stay because somehow she knew in her heart, he wouldn’t leave -- at least alive. She and Floyd, her husband and Mike’s father, had taken turns to begin with, sitting with Mike, but now they both stayed. Mike’s wife drifted in and out, and so did their kids, but they all had jobs and obligations. Vivian’s only obligation now was to her first born, the pride of her life, her son, her friend. Now she stirred, and a line from a comedy routine came back to her: "Cap’n, my butt is dead and the legs ain’t fer behind." The chairs were initially comfortable, but gradually they sucked the feeling from your posterior as if designed to cause short stays: the kind hospitals ordinarily recommend. She was here for the duration, however. She switched the hand she was holding with Mike and looked at his decimated face. It was some sort of cancer, they told her -- very rare, a melanoma but not quite, almost like AIDS but not quite. He’d been part of a study; he’d had tests done in Boston; the doctors were more or less confounded by the disease and its effect on him. His weight had slowly decreased to where she doubted he weighed a hundred pounds now -- down from the strapping, sturdy-framed boy, the handsome man she’d reared and felt more a companion than a son. They’d lived near each other in Alaska, Floyd and Mike working together at times. When Mike and his family moved to Hawaii, Floyd and Vivian followed for long periods. Even then, he was sick, but the Hawaiian sun had staved off the illness. Mike would lie out in the heat of the day, soaking in the sun, which in some way seemed to heal him. He’d even returned to work for a while, but then his wife (and Vivian would never forgive her for it) grew homesick for "her people." She wanted to move back to the mainland, and she chose Utah -- where the winters could be cruel and the sun sometimes only vaguely shone for stretches of days. There’d be no more lying in the sun for Mike, and he quickly became sicker with each passing day. He’d been back and forth, into and out of the hospital until this last time: what Vivian called "the long haul." It was fitting that the sun had been so healing. When she thought of Mike as a child, she thought of him in tones of gold and brown, his skin a deep tan, his intense brown eyes snapping, his beautiful white teeth gleaming against the darkness of his skin. She thought of the time when Mike had tripped on the step and fallen face-first onto the stoop. Aside from the fat lip, he’d chipped a front tooth, but even that had only lent to his handsomeness the way a small scar on a man’s face will. It made him at once less pretty and more handsome; the chip was small and from then on when he smiled, while you might notice the chip, his smile took on a rakishness that became him. He was always an outside boy, preferring the fields around their ranch to any school room. When they’d moved to town, he’d still found ways to be outside; it was as if he sought the sun always. He hired out to the local ranchers during haying season; he’d sooner dig a ditch than go to school; but, of course, his parents had insisted he attend, and he did, graduating from high school and immediately going into the construction field where he could be outside. He could drive any truck or manage any machinery; he could fix them too. He was a clever kid. Her heart came near to bursting at the thought of him as a child and a young man. His black hair and brows set against his flawless skin, his brilliant smile -- all made him a favorite of the town girls. It wasn’t long before he and his girlfriend Peggy showed up to announce that she was pregnant. They’d get married soon, they speculated; and Vivian and Floyd had given them their blessing. What else do you do? He certainly was a man now, and though she had her doubts about his judgement, his life was his to form. Peggy and he had had that baby, and soon there were two more. They were awfully young, and Vivian wasn’t too surprised when she began hearing the stories of how much they drank and how many parties they attended. The two boys and their girl were frequent visitors at Floyd and Vivian’s house. They, neither one, were that old, and they had lots of energy for these first grandchildren- they welcomed them. Vivian and Floyd were pragmatists if nothing else -- you simply bent and flowed and accepted. It was their way, the only way they knew. Vivian could say little; she’d been a wild young girl herself. Floyd had shown up at their farmhouse, a traveling salesman -- he’d sold her tough old mother nothing, but he stole Vivian’s heart. So she and Floyd had been married; they were young, and the union was against her parents’ wishes, but their disapproval had mattered little to her: she’d found her man, and she knew they’d be all right. And they had been. They’d moved a lot, garnered little in the way of possessions, held various jobs -- backbreaking, mind-numbing at times -- but their family had been their rock. First the golden child Mike, his comely sister Susan and when little Kelly was born, almost an after thought, they’d been complete. Vivian cared little that they went without, that they often moved, that they left behind possessions. It was family that mattered. The new baby Kelly was as round and happy as a baby could be. This was what life was all about, thought Vivian, as she held the little bundle close -- she thanked God for His bounty to her. For a while, they’d prospered, even building their dream home at the top of a new addition in Livingston, where the wind blew so hard that their screen doors had to be built on runners rather than opening in and out as doors were supposed to do. They’d been happy there, but jobs of their sort didn’t last: the sawmills lay off workers, restaurants close, the railroad no longer needed Floyd’s time. They lost the house and moved to Alaska. Soon Mike and his family moved there too; there’d been a divorce and the wife was new along with several of her own children, but Vivian and Floyd had welcomed them too, and their family circle grew. This was the time, which Vivian remembered with great happiness since they were all together in a fairly close group, Mike and his new family just a few miles down the road, Susan and her family in town, Kelly living with them for the time being. Then Mike began complaining of his skin. He’d showed his mother the sores, and sometimes he could barely walk for the pain on the soles of his feet; any rough fabric on his back caused agony. The doctor put it off to poor shoes at first, and then poor circulation, and finally he just shrugged and told Mike he needed to see a specialist. In Alaska then, there were few specialists, so Mike made an appointment in Seattle, flew down, and spent several days going through a myriad of tests and office visits. The specialist had been confounded too. It would probably go away, the Seattle doctor advised -- just give it time, he said. Mike had flown back, gritted his teeth, determined to wait this thing out. It niggled at Vivian’s mind -- Mike just didn’t seem right. Any time she was around him, she could see the misery in his eyes; he lost weight; soon he more resembled his wiry father than her sturdy Scotch side. His hair thinned, the beautiful black curls were gone, but then his dad was bald too, had been for years. The hair loss might not have hurt, but Mike was hurting. He tried the doctor again, only this time he made an appointment in Seattle with an oncologist. Vivian and Floyd took the kids, and Mike’s wife flew with him. What followed -- the lack of a diagnosis let alone a prognosis -- was a black hole in Vivian’s mind. All she knew was that her boy was in pain and nobody seemed to know what to do about it. He was accepted into an experimental program in Boston to which he flew and where he stayed for months. Upon his return, the grim look on his face told it all: the doctors couldn’t put a name to it, but they knew this much: Mike was dying. They advised him to move someplace sunny, as Mike had mentioned that the only relief he felt from the agony of his skin was when he was in the sun. Soon after his return to Alaska, he and his wife and kids moved to Hawaii. For a while the condition abated. Mike and his new wife adopted two more children, their family swelling to five, with Mike’s first three living with their mother in Montana. Floyd and Vivian soon found their way to Hawaii where their help and companionship were welcomed. Floyd found a job driving a bus; Vivian took care of the house and children while Mike and Claudia worked. The sunny, warm days of Hawaii were balm to Vivian’s soul as well as to Mike’s health. She envisioned them spending the rest of their days there -- close to Mike and his family. Susan and Kelly stayed in Alaska, but because Kelly worked for an airline there, they were able to visit often inexpensively. Then came the rumblings from Claudia about "missing her folks, her people." “Good Lord!” Vivian had exclaimed to Floyd, "If you needed to stay in a place for your health, I’d be there with you and not moaning about my family." But she’d said nothing to Claudia, and Mike seemed acquiescent about the impending move. "She’s not happy here, Mom," he’d explained. "But you’re happy here," Vivian had protested. "I know, but I don’t want another wrecked marriage." he’d replied. "She’s miserable here." "How can she be miserable in paradise?" Vivian had wondered aloud to Floyd. But Mike had seemed better of late; maybe the move would not affect him. Once again, they flowed, they bent, they accepted. Vivian and Floyd prepared to move back to the mainland too, having sold their Alaska house and acreage. Maybe they’d move to Anchorage to be close to Susan and her family. Vivian didn’t like the idea of spending much time in Utah. She was still angry with Claudia, and such feelings didn’t make for good neighbors. It wasn’t long though before, through phone calls and letters, Vivian discovered that her high hopes for Mike’s recovery were ill-founded. He began another round of doctors and hospital stays. By the time Mike had been put into the hospital three times, Vivian and Floyd had sold most of their possessions, given up their jobs, bade goodbye to Susan and Kelly and headed to Utah in their new twenty-foot pull trailer. They found a year-round campground and set up their home, dedicating their time to Mike. Now Vivian felt Mike’s hand stir and looked up to see him cocking his head, listening intently for who might be in the room. One of the effects of the disease had been to attack his eyes, those beautiful brown orbs that had brought her such a swell of heart when they lighted on her. Now they were glued shut: "SuperGlue," the doctor had explained when he came to do the procedure. "It’s fabulous stuff; it doesn’t hurt, and he’ll be much more comfortable than he was with those weeping eyes." The damned saw bones, she thought, acts as if he invented the stuff. She’d stood by as he rimmed Mike’s sightless rheumy eyes with the liquid and squeezed then shut. The finality of never seeing his eyes again just presaged the finality of what was about to happen. She steeled herself as she bent over Mike’s body, "How’re you doin'?" she asked. Mike smiled slightly at the sound of his mother’s voice. Even with all the weight loss, he still had his dimples, his darling dimples, she thought. "I’m all right," he replied. "My mouth feels like the Russian army marched through it." Vivian reached over and brought the Vaseline bottle to hand. She took a bit on the end of her finger and rubbed Mike’s mouth with it. "Do you want some mouth wash?" she queried. But already he was asleep again. That tiny bit of comfort was enough to buy him more sleep, but it had also worn him out. Soon enough she knew, he would not wake up, but would slip into that nether world of coma and from there away from the confines of the earth. She didn’t want the time to hasten, as she could not stand the thought of losing him. On the other hand, to watch someone you love suffer such misery was a type of hell all its own. How could she NOT wish him dead, she thought. To buy him health, she would have given her own life. She’d offered herself to God on more than one occasion in the past weeks. One should simply not outlive one’s child, she thought. It is against all nature! Her thoughts returned to her own mother and her biting words, uttered once in anger after Vivian had pushed her too far: "I wish it had been you, and not my Mae who’d died." Through all the years, Vivian had been aghast at her mother’s outburst, but she began to see what the old lady might have been about. She wouldn’t wish such a death on any of her children, but for God to take Mike was too big a sacrifice; her mother had felt the same. Mothers may try to be neutral and equal in their love, but secretly, and even interchangeably at times, mothers will have favorites. She glanced over to her husband as she straightened up; Floyd had a grasp on Mike’s other hand, and he sat with tears brimming his eyes. "I can’t stand life without him," he sniffed. "He was my partner, my son. Why won’t God take me instead? I’m old; it’s my time!" At that, he released his hold of his son’s hand and wept. To see her man cry after the many disappointments they’d faced tore at her heart. Here was the most grievous of all -- pregnant daughters, mixed-up grandchildren, thoughtless relatives -- nothing seemed even near this pain. I’ll never live through this, she thought almost hopefully. Let me die with him, but her heart was good, her voice strong; she was not to gain that wish any time soon. She’d read a poem during her stay here from one of those volumes that seem to pop up in waiting rooms and untended libraries. The poem by Robert Frost was entitled "Home Burial"; in it a mother tries to come to terms with the death of her little boy, her first born. Vivian remembered the line "The nearest friends can go with anyone to death, comes so far short / They might as well not try to go at all." How true, thought Vivian. She felt a kinship with her now-dead mother that she’d never felt before. She supposed that such experiences are the life binders for the generations. She recalled that Mike had belonged to a cancer survivor group for a while, and he would come home almost aglow. "It’s so wonderful to talk to someone who’s been there." The relief in his face would sometimes last for days. After a while, Vivian glanced out the window. The hospital was beautifully landscaped, and she watched as the trees bent and flowed with and accepted the wind. _EDITOR'S NOTES:__ Patricia Malcolm Rosenleaf is a retired educator who recently published a novel, Stone Garden. Her particular interests include liberal politics, animal welfare, education, and US and world news. You may find Pat on FaceBook, LINKEDIN, and at the blog site she created for her local union, EDUCATION MATTERS. This story is a finalist in the NEWS JUNKIE POST SHORT-STORY COMPETITION. The competition is still open; submit your entry._ Photographs one, four and six by KENT CAMPBELL; photographs five, seven and eight by KEVIN DOOLEY; photograph two by GILBERT MERCIER.