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Haiti and the Silent Voice of America

Posted in the database on Wednesday, September 28th, 2005 @ 12:23:42 MST (1246 views)
by Kenneth Anderson    The UnCapitalist Journal  

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The mainstream media has maintained a uniformly constant voice when the topic of Haiti arises, which admittedly is not very often in these frantic post-Katrina, post-Rita days. But constant it is and even with the spectrum of information available to them, the media, as if by rote, continue the party line regarding the treatment of the poor and destitute inhabitants of that stricken island nation. At this point, it seems borne more out of laziness than any real conspiracy; most people just don't care what goes on there and neither do the media. Media agents appear to be simply reprinting State Department and UN press releases. Even when they do send a reporter or two to the country, they are taken on the tour by their ruthless yet accomodating government hosts, shielded from a reality that the junta has made all too well known to many of Haiti's inhabitants.

Not surprisingly, the favourable tone of the media as regards Haiti's government actions is evident at the Voice of America as it reports that Condolezza Rice has ventured to Haiti for one day and will meet with the murderous interim "government" and the so-called UN peacekeepers. VOA benignly describes the goal of Rice's visit as one that will "support efforts aimed at making November elections there free and fair." Now, if by "fair" VOA means that the largest political party of the country, Fanmi Lavalas, may very well be denied participation, then I guess that would be correct. But that obviously isn't free or fair to anyone except those who have no idea what has gone on in Haiti or to the Secretary of State. And she knows perfectly well just what has gone on there.

The interim government -- something that would be described as a military junta most other places -- has been conducting an aggressive and bloodyminded campaign to suppress both Lavalas candidates and supporters from participation in the upcoming elections. VOA cautiously makes no mention of the recent and terrible massacres that have occurred under the auspices or directly by the hands of UN peacekeepers, something the NY Times also failed to mention recently.

Instead, VOA talks of how this administration, under the good and noble wisdom of the Bush administration, wants to guide Haiti in free and fair elections after having orchestrated the military overthrow of a democratically elected and popular leader. The behaviour of the current government -- though I am loathe to use the word in this context -- is described in the VOA blurb:

The interim government has struggled to contain violence since former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted early last year.

How this should actually read would follow more along these lines

The military junta, which comprises convicted murderers and drug traffickers also involved in the 1991 overthrow of the first democratically elected Aristide government, stuggles to contain civilian demonstrations sponsored and organised by Fanmi Lavalas with state sponsored violence that has included several massacres, the most recent of which occurred at a soccer field in Gran Ravin-Martissant that saw some 50 people hacked to death with machetes.

Of course, we don't expect to see a report like that in the mainstream media anytime soon. But one wonders if it will ever happen. The salient point of that question is this: just what is it the mainstream press finds so appealing about the conditions the US would wish to exact in Haiti that would cause them to utterly ignore the atrocities that have occurred there? With all the other dreadful things happening in the world writ large, is it simply disinterest? Finite foreign correspondent resources? What? Please, at this point, we're all keen to know.



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