Monday, February 8, 2010

Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy Redux

This (via, via) is really depressing.

The clip comes from an alternative-media source, but it could just as easily be CNN. There's the same exclusion of historical context, of the past and present role of the US in Haiti's problems. I'm certainly not going to complain because US troops distributed food and water to hungry people, but it's primarily a photo op, like a politician kissing babies. American soldiers often distribute goodies to the locals in countries they occupy; it's a cliche, and while it's better than shooting people in the head or torturing them or running them over with tanks, they do those things too. (In comments at the original post, the reporter writes, "Like Captain Selmo says in the video, it’s not normally what they do. A telling statement." But not really news except to people who prefer to ignore the norm in favor of the photo op.)

Notice too that they ran out of supplies with long lines still waiting -- oh, too bad, go home now (and they were nervous, fingering their weapons, that the crowd would turn on them, but it didn't). "For me [the Americans] can take the whole country," says one woman. Oh, hadn't you noticed? We already have, several times, and then left it in the hands of military dictators, corrupt aristocrats and multinational corporations. As the current troop occupation shows, we'll take it again whenever we feel like it.

As for Aristide, there is no chance the US will ever let him come back. The US took him out of Haiti in 2004, and has kept Haiti on a tight rein since then, making sure that there's no danger democracy will break out again.