Friday, January 20, 2006


Spartacus on the cross

More troubling news out of Haiti. The monument to raising the flag on Iwo Jima is emblematic of everything good about American power. For anyone who cares about America, Haiti is a lingering monument to everything bad. In a brilliantly executed campaign in which the human love for liberty was sanctified will all too much Haitian blood, Haitian slaves successfully rose against their French overlords, defeating that military master, Napoleon: “The infantry were all but naked, and destitute of experience; their weapons were sticks pointed with iron, broken or blunted swords, pieces of iron hoop, and some wretched guns and pistols.” And Napoleon was very clear on why he was willing to invest so much French blood on a fever-ridden island thousands of miles from his native shore: “My decision to destroy the authority of the blacks in Haiti is not so much based on considerations of commerce and money, as on the need to block forever the march of the blacks in the world.” Beaten, Napoleon still exacted tribute from Haiti, a burden not lifted for 200 years, American slavers, and their descendants in the American South, hated and feared Haiti as a symbol of black resistance. In 1915, Woodrow Wilson sent General Smedley Butler into Haiti to beat the Haitians into submissiveness. (the above photo is from Butler was so shamed by the experience, he later wrote: War is just a racket....It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. And so Haiti remains ever Spartacus, a gentle people who love their freedom fiercely enough to suffer greatly for it... even doing great violence to one another in the process. In the latest, troubling word (please remember that until there is confirmation, these are allegations) about this ravaged land: UN Accused of Attacking Hospital Haitian police accused of summary executions
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