The Militarization of Emergency Aid to Haiti: Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

By Michel Chossudovsky on the Centre for Research on Globalization site:

Haiti has a longstanding history of US military intervention and occupation going back to the beginning of the 20th Century. US interventionism has contributed to the destruction of Haiti’s national economy and the impoverishment of its population.

The devastating earthquake is presented to World public opinion as the sole cause of the country’s predicament.

A country has been destroyed, its infrastructure demolished. Its people precipitated into abysmal poverty and despair.

Haiti’s history, its colonial past have been erased.

The US military has come to the rescue of an impoverished Nation. What is its Mandate?

Is it a Humanitarian Operation or an Invasion?

The main actors in America’s “humanitarian operation” are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (See USAID Speeches: On-The-Record Briefing on the Situation in Haiti, 01/13/10). USAID has also been entrusted in channelling food aid to Haiti, which is distributed by the World Food Program. (See USAID Press Release: USAID to Provide Emergency Food Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims, January 13, 2010)

The military component of the US mission, however, tends to overshadow the civilian functions of rescuing a desperate and impoverished population. The overall humanitarian operation is not being led by civilian governmental agencies such as FEMA or USAID, but by the Pentagon.

The dominant decision making role has been entrusted to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM).

A massive deployment of military hardware personnel is contemplated. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen has confirmed that the US will be sending nine to ten thousand troops to Haiti, including 2000 marines. (American Forces Press Service, January 14, 2010)…

[continues on the Centre for Research on Globalization site]

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  • tonyviner

    I am not the biggest advocate of the military, it was George Washington's opinion that it be used solely for defense, but I am sure it will have its uses in Haiti. Plainly speaking, they need all the help they can get at this point and it will have to remain to be seen how our presence there affects them.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    I realize the troops are lending humanitarian aid. I also realize the sight of armed troops don't make an already traumatized people feel more at ease. Its that “dressed to kill” look that kinda puts people off, even if they smile and give you food.
    If their mission to help, I hope they succeed gloriously.

  • Alexander Hamlton

    Right, of course… Because they have such a good track record of handling aid themselves(be it the government or criminal element). Note: Forgot to work in “This is Bush's fault”.

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