An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

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An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

Postby ThunderTitan » Jan 19 2010, 18:04

http://blog.ijdh.org/haiti_justiceblog/ ... haiti.html

Dear Mr. Brooks,

In your January 15, 2010 opinion piece in The New York Times, “The Underlying Tragedy,” you present what you seem to believe is a bold assessment of the situation in Haiti and what you certainly know is a provocative recommendation for Haiti’s future. You also offer some advice to President Obama. In order to successfully keep his promise to the people of Haiti that they “will not be forsaken” nor “forgotten” the President, you say, has to “acknowledge a few difficult truths.” What follows, however, is so shockingly ignorant of Haitian history and culture and so saturated with the language and ideology of cultural imperialism that no valuable “truths” remain. Please allow us, therefore, to present you with some more accurate truths.

First, Haiti is not a clear-cut case of the failure of international aid to achieve poverty reduction. For almost its entire existence Haiti has been shouldered with a load of immense international debt. The Haitian people had the audacity to break their chains and declare independence in 1804 but were later forced by France to re-purchase their freedom for 150 million Francs, a burden that the country has had to carry throughout the twentieth century.

What’s more, the “aid” Haiti has received from its powerful neighbor to the North has never been the sort that would help the country reduce poverty or achieve meaningful development. In the early-twentieth century the principle “aid” Haiti received from the United States came in the form of a brutal military occupation that lasted from 1915 to 1934. After “Papa Doc” Duvalier ascended to power “aid” meant assistance to a ruthless (but conveniently anti-communist) dictator. The U.S. gave Duvalier $40.4 million in his first four years in power, briefly suspended military and economic assistance to the dictator in 1963, but resumed shortly thereafter, restoring full military and economic aid to Duvalier by 1969. In the early 1970s and 1980s when “Baby Doc” Duvalier was at the helm, the “aid” the United States and other international agencies contributed failed to reduce poverty but did enrich foreign investors in the newly constructed assembly industry. Economic policies that the U.S. forced upon Haiti decimated its agriculture for the benefit of American farming while driving Haiti’s peasants into Port-au-Prince and other cities where they found few jobs and scarce housing. Four years after Baby Doc’s departure the Haitian people decided to help themselves by democratically electing a new leader, but the United States aided Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s domestic opponents in the coup of 1991 and did so again in 2004. It is no wonder then, that that such “aid” from the United States has failed to lift Haiti out of poverty.

Equally unconvincing is your argument about “progress-resistant cultural influences,” which brings us to important truth number two: Haitian culture is not “progress-resistant” as anyone familiar with the examples you yourself provide can attest to. If Vodoun or “the voodoo religion” as you put it, “spreads the message that life is capricious and planning futile,” how do the majority of Haitians manage to survive on scant resources and less than two dollars-a-day? How do so many Haitians manage to travel abroad, find and maintain difficult jobs, and send money back home if not through careful planning and a fierce defense of precious life? How do the nationwide customers of Fonkoze, the Haitian banking operation that teaches literacy and business practices to curbside marketers to whom it makes small loans, achieve such strong records of loan repayment? In fact, it might be Haitian culture itself (and even Vodoun) which allows Haitians to persist. After all, the Vodou spirit Ogou (St. Jacques) is honored as a clever planner and master of skills. So was the champion of Haiti’s war of independence, general Toussaint L’Ouverture, a onetime slave who entered history as a military and diplomatic genius.

The third important truth we have to offer (and we hope President Obama is listening as well) is the opposite of your call for “intrusive paternalism” as the solution to Haiti’s woes: Haiti does not need nor does it want the paternalism of the United States. Haiti is literally dying of cultural imperialism.

Whenever America’s leaders and pundits speak of subordinate peoples, the ideology of imperialism shines through. As it does in your words, Mr. Brooks, so it has done for far too many earlier Americans. President William McKinley, for example, facing the difficult question of how he was to govern the newly-conquered Filipinos worried that

left “to themselves they are unfit for self-government-and they would soon have anarchy and misrule . . . [So] there was nothing left for us to do but to take them all, and to educate the Filipinos, and uplift and civilize and Christianize them, and by God's grace do the very best we could by them.”

Closer to home, those who worried about an earlier form of “progress-resistant cultural influences” decided it was better to remove the children of Native American families than to let them absorb the backwardness of their pagan and uncivilized parents and community. A common refrain by these “reformers” was “kill the Indian, save the man.” And now, Mr. Brooks, you propose to save the Haitians from themselves by replacing Haitian cultural values and institutions with “middle-class assumptions, an achievement ethos and tough, measurable demands.” Imperialism, whether economic or military, is the primary reason for the conditions that so worsened the impact of the earthquake on January 12. Haitians need less imperialism, not more.

During the Vietnam War an American officer famously stated that “it became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.” Today Haiti is virtually destroyed. The earthquake having done the hard part, Mr. Brooks, you think “intrusive paternalism” will save it. Lacking a foundational understanding of Haitian history and culture, and bearing the familiar colors of American imperialism you and your ilk will do vastly more harm than good.

Tom F. Driver

Paul Tillich Professor Emeritus of Theology and Culture

Union Theological Seminary

Carl Lindskoog

Doctoral Candidate, Department of History

The Graduate Center, City University of New York



This and the devil comment is why people find americans to be stupid... stop it dammit.
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 20 2010, 5:29

So ........ What's your point? Why are'nt you over there helping them? How much have you given to help them? I've sent 50 American dollars to a reputable organization that'll get them water NOW. And I don't have a lot of money to spare. You can hate America but don't hate Americans! :D

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Re: An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

Postby HodgePodge » Jan 20 2010, 22:40

ThunderTitan wrote:http://blog.ijdh.org/haiti_justiceblog/2010/01/an-open-letter-to-david-brooks-on-haiti.html

This and the devil comment is why people find americans to be stupid... stop it dammit.

Please, don't judge and compare all Americans by what the loud-mouthed, repugnant, right-wing hypocrites say. They seem to get all the attention! Many of us are compassionate and caring people, who are quiet; but whose actions speak for them! As you can see by the many people who have signed the rebuttal letter to Mr. Brooks, many Americans are thinking, fair-minded human beings.

If everyone judged your country by some of the ridiculous comments you've made in this forum … that wouldn't be fair to your countrymen, now would it?
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Re: An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

Postby Ethric » Jan 20 2010, 23:04

HodgePodge wrote:If everyone judged your country by some of the ridiculous comments you've made in this forum … that wouldn't be fair to your countrymen, now would it?


Let's hope so, else that's one sad country.

But why is this random piece of internet text referring to some random newspaper text at all significant?
Who the hell locks these things?
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Re: An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

Postby HodgePodge » Jan 20 2010, 23:20

Ethric wrote:
HodgePodge wrote:But why is this random piece of internet text referring to some random newspaper text at all significant?

Mr. Brooks is a highly regarded New York Times columnist in the United States. For him to write such dribble surprised me because even though he is right of center, I always considered him fair. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe one of his lackeys wrote the article while he was in the bathroom or something.

As far as that hypocrite Pat Robertson, who made the 'devil' comment, is concerned, anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that while he professes to be such a holy man of faith, he has made some very hateful & horrific statements. At one point Robertson called for the CIA to assassinate Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela. Even though Chavez is a vulgar, loud-mouth himself, he was duly elected by the people of Venezuela. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of man.
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Postby ByteBandit » Jan 21 2010, 3:53

Pat Robertson could'nt find his own anus in the dark with his own hands. To beleive in things he says is ignorance to what's really going on. Just because I don't like him doesn't shake my faith in anything. He's a guy who prays for you to send him money through the TV! Not much respect there.

On the Haiti note: Many Haitians wanted the U.S. to take over the Government in Haiti during the crisis. The United States refused saying it had faith in the Haitian governemt to run it's own affairs. The U.S., if it's so power hungry, could've. But refused. I have no data, but from what I've read and heard, the U.S. has sent more financial aide than any other country. But I've been impressed with the Israeli Medical response teams more than anything else. And the Canadians. They were the first to respond. First rate and top notch from what I hear. Good Job by them!

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Postby Yurian Stonebow » Jan 21 2010, 12:17

I see that you're discussing here the adventures of good old Pat Robertson, the Man of Faith. I've got but a few words to say about the man but I'm afraid that it's not on the positive side. I see him as a figure who's "anti" or against of everything he claims to represent. And that's saying a lot.


"See the face on the TV screen
coming at you every Sunday
see the face on the billboard
that man is me"

Ever seen his face on the TV screen? Don't you just love that smile and the look on his face when he asks the viewer to send in money so that he "can pray for you". And isn't he on TV every Sunday ever so faithfully? And yes, his face is quite familiar to many, including the officials who are investigating Mr. Robertson's financial ties with ex-Dictators of the thirld world including the late Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire and Charles Taylor of Liberia, two well-known human rights abusers.

"On the cover of the magazine
there's no question why I'm smiling
you buy a piece of paradise
you buy a piece of me"

What you see is what you get. In other words, what you buy from Mr. Robertson benefits only him and no-one else. He's only praying for his wallet and his business associates. And that's no paradise. It's a piece of Pat.

"I'll get you everything you wanted
I'll get you everything you need
you don't even have to believe in hereafter
just believe in me"

Indeed, there's no need to believe in hereafter, just believe in this so called preacherman and his non-orthodox Christian Televangelism babble.
He's a man who abuses those who sincerely long to be in spiritual union with the Lord and wish to serve God faithfully. But Pat...? Nah, he's in for the money. And he can get you anything, Pat that is. Just buy his gym equipment. That's a good starter.

"'cause Jesus he knows me
and he knows I'm right
I've been talking to Jesus all my life
oh yes he knows me
and he knows I'm right
and he's been telling me
everything's gonna be alright"

Mr. Robertson claims that he has followed the Lord Jesus Christ many many years now. Is he really on the road to salvation? Could it be that he's just cheating the rest of us to get money from the poor true believers who made the mistake to trust the " Man of Faith" Robertson? Everything is gonna be alright. Just send money to Pat and he will keep on smilin'.

"Do you believe in God?
'cause that's what I'm selling
and if you wanna go to heaven
I'll see you right"

Yes, send in the money, brother, touch the TV screen and Pat will "heal you". Or make some quick buck on you. He has quite a big pockets you know. And does this remind you about another preacherman who was in all honesty or dishonesty, a businessman who sold people their place in heaven. Charles Taze Russell? Ever heard of him?

"You won't even have to leave your house
or get out of your chair
you don't even have to touch that dial
'cause I'm everywhere"

Why bother? Pat and his fellow businessmen ("preacherman") friends are indeed everywhere. Just call their toll free number.

"Won't find me practising what I'm preaching
won't find me making no sacrifice
but I can get you a pocketful of miracles
if you promise to be good, try to be nice
God will take good care of you
just do as I say, don't do as I do"

Here's the real declaration or manifest of his course of action. "Don't do as I do, do as I say". Ever heard that before? Don't take part in money laundring scandals and phony "Christian charity flights" aka African mining operations with Mobutu, but believe in Pat's Televangelism. And you shall be rewarded. Note that his faith seems to be different from the Christian mainstream view. Even some of his colleagues have denounced him.

"I'm counting my blessings, I've found true
happiness 'cause I'm getting richer, day by day
you can find me in the phone book, just call my
toll free number
you can do it anyway you want
just do it right away"

Isn't this the favourite Televangelism principle of faith? People who are richer than their fellowmen are blessed with material wealth. Surely Pat agrees that this is a blessing. Still I'm glad that his number is toll free. Don't hesitate, send Pat the money now. He needs to be blessed some more. And do it right away.

"There'll be no doubt in your mind
you'll believe everything I'm saying
and if you want to get closer to Him
get on your knees and start paying"

Believe in Pat and his wallet shall be saved. The most important thing of it all is to get on your kness before the TV, praise Pat and send in the money. The more the better, of course. And the more Pat's "god" will bless you. The god of money and material wealth, not the Son of God.

Enough of Mr. Robertson. May he find the light some day. May us all find the true light. Don't forget to see the humorous music video "Jesus He Knows Me" by the British band Genesis. You will see that the lyrics (which I quoted here fit Mr. Pat like a fist into the eye).

What I said above are my two cents. These are my opinions, and mine alone. Should the mods feel like removing this post or locking the thread, it's their decision. I respect it.


Yurian
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Re: An Open Letter on Haiti pwns aerican idiots

Postby ThunderTitan » Jan 22 2010, 8:23

HodgePodge wrote:If everyone judged your country by some of the ridiculous comments you've made in this forum … that wouldn't be fair to your countrymen, now would it?


If you did that you would be totally unprepared for how much worse it actually is... just ask Vel.



But i did say american idiots instead of just americans, so i was only referring to idiots from your country, not your whole country. Pls stp letting them go on TV.


ByteBandit wrote:On the Haiti note: Many Haitians wanted the U.S. to take over the Government in Haiti during the crisis.


Yeah, i bet that with no communications infrastructure left they all managed to make their opinions heard.

Also:

In November 2004, the University of Miami School of Law carried out a Human Rights Investigation in Haiti and documented serious human rights abuses. It stated that "Summary executions are a police tactic."[22] It also stated the following:

"U.S. officials blame the crisis on armed gangs in the poor neighborhoods, not the official abuses and atrocities, nor the unconstitutional ouster of the elected president. Their support for the interim government is not surprising, as top officials, including the Minister of Justice, worked for U.S. government projects that undermined their elected predecessors. Coupled with the U.S. government’s development assistance embargo from 2000–2004, the projects suggest a disturbing pattern."[22]


So relax, the US already took over before this.

I have no data, but from what I've read and heard, the U.S. has sent more financial aide than any other country.


They've certainly been taking all the credit... is it unamerican to actually mention that other countries are there helping too?!
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Postby Grumpy Old Wizard » Jan 22 2010, 11:40

In resonse to the rather provacative letter I'll just say that even though the US is in the midst of an economic crisis we have sent lots of troops and aid and are currently rebuilding the main Hatian port.

Yes, the evil imperialistic United States strikes again to bring misery, pain, and dispair to the world.
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Gandalf: "So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."

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Postby ThunderTitan » Jan 24 2010, 21:00

And right after i pointed out how you guys are taking all the credit...

And es, the letter is way more provocative then the article it was responding to, which advocated taking over the haitians for their own good, because they're too simple to take care of themselves...
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