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Ce fut du jamais vu. Des amputations par milliers. A la chaîne. Bras, mains, doigts, jambes. Sans radio préalable. Parfois sans anesthésiques ni antalgiques.
Keeping the bastards honest in Haiti (as the profitable smell of blood is whetting contractors appetite) Why it is important to keep the bastards honest in Haiti as aid money is pouring in, heartbreaking images dominate the international news, and the profitable smell of blood is whetting contractors appetite. Naomi Klein articulated in great details the systemic issues faced by countries in the aftermaths of disasters. In The Shock Doctrine, she explained “how crises are often used as the pretext for pushing through policies that you cannot push through under times of stability. Countries in periods of extreme crisis are desperate for any kind of aid, any kind of money, and are not in a position to negotiate fairly the terms of that exchange.” Naomi Klein’s work is not a rhetorical or theoretical thesis.
Haitians," François (Papa Doc) Duvalier self-servingly said in 1966, "have a destiny to suffer." For millions of his countrymen, it seemed a good enough answer, maybe the best. And just as it was during his murderous reign of terror, it may be the closest the Haitian people come to settling on an explanation for the unspeakable pain their country is experiencing today. Superstition, animism, voodoo - call it what you may - continues to condition how Haitians view the world and their place in it. Papa Doc conveniently drew on this belief system to cast as predetermined the nature of his own election and inauguration and even the assassination of John Kennedy - all took place on the 22nd day of the month.
From above, much of Port-au-Prince looks more like a great grey beach of crumbled concrete than the bustling port city of 2.8 million people that it once was and will be again. Entire city blocks have collapsed upon themselves, the streets that bisected them now filled with the rubble of people's homes and apartments. The shattered hospitals are in as much of need of help as the sick and wounded streaming toward them. The offices of some international organizations - the people who usually help to rebuild after a disaster such as Tuesday's devastating earthquake - also were destroyed, and aid workers are among the missing and dead. There is no water or electricity, and the airport is only partly operational.
Today, the United States began surveying the damage inflicted by a devastating earthquake in Haiti this week. In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake should address long-held concerns over the fragile political environment that exists in the region. The U.S. government response should be bold and decisive. It must mobilize U.S. civilian and military capabilities for short-term rescue and relief and long-term recovery and reform. President Obama should tap high-level, bipartisan leadership. Clearly former President Clinton, who was already named as the U.N. envoy on Haiti, is a logical choice.
Readers of the The Shock Doctrine know that the Heritage Foundation has been one of the leading advocates of exploiting disasters to push through their unpopular pro-corporate policies . From this document , they're at it again, not even waiting one day to use the devastating earthquake in Haiti to push for their so-called reforms. The following quote was hastily yanked by the Heritage Foundation and replaced with a more diplomatic quote, but their first instinct is revealing: "In addition to providing immediate humanitarian assistance, the U.S. response to the tragic earthquake in Haiti earthquake offers opportunities to re-shape Haiti’s long-dysfunctional government and economy as well as to improve the public image of the United States in the region."
As if disasters aren't bad enough on their own, they often precede an even more chilling aftermath, argues Canadian journalist Naomi Klein. In The Shock Doctrine , published in 2007, Klein contends that disasters leave populations vulnerable to carefully calculated policy changes that would never pass muster under normal democratic circumstances. The following is an excerpt from the conclusion of The Shock Doctrine , outlining steps other groups have taken to prevent "disaster capitalism" from prevailing post-crisis.