HLLN 2/1/08 Dietrich Fisher’s take on the demobalization of Haitian army and Lovinsky Pierre Antoine …
Recommended HLLN Link: Charlie Rose show with Randall Robinson
US Policy On Haiti Needs Adjusting, Congresswoman Says
Regarding: The December 28, 2007 New Year’s Message from Dietrich Fischer
We at Ezili’s HLLN read the December 28, 2007 New Year’s Message from Dietrich Fischer with great interests as it featured Haiti and the demobilization of the Haitian army. We won’t comment on who played a pivotal role in abolishing slavery in the US for it’s obvious you have a particular audience. But, still this world is fairly small and we got to see this message also. We, the under seiged descendants of Jean Jacques Dessalines, who did what even Spartacus could not. ( Three ideals of Dessalines ) So we will confine these comments to your take on the demobalization of the Haitian army.
It is with great regret that we see how misled the world is about what has happened in Haiti. The Haitian army was demobilized, yes. By President Aristide. And I am sure that many friends of Haiti, like the retired Quaker couple (Sue and Marvin Clark from Troy, New York ) highlighted in Dietrich Fischer’s message were on the right side of history. But it was HAITIANS who led the fight, who died and are STILL DYING, for the destruction of the bloody Haitian army, left in Haiti by the US after their 19-year occupation of Haiti and to guarantee their corporate profit interests at the expense of Haitian development and human rights.
The fight is not OVER folks.
These foreigner feel-good stories just insults those of us who are still combatting the Haitian army. This sort of simple, facile explanation of how the Haitian army was destroyed, that leaves out today’s realities and the Haitian people’s role in the original demobalization is part and parcel of the neocolonialism that must end. (See, The Two Most Common Storylines about Haiti and Haitians ; Bwa Kayiman 2007 and the case of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine Pierre by Ezili and Media Lies and Real Haiti News).
The fight is not OVER folks
More than 10,000 Haitians have been slaughtered since 2004 as the US oustered, for a SECOND time, Haiti’s democratically elected Haitian president and is now in the process of remobilizing their Haitian army. In fact, when Little Bush came back in 2004, his imposed Boca Raton government gave the demobilized Haitian army, their clients, TEN YEARS BACK PAY, covering the time between 1994 to 2004 when the PEOPLE of Haiti had finally managed to destroy this remnant of imperial power left in Haiti to brutalized the citizens after the first US occupation from 1915 to 1934.
So, while this Haitian would love to share in Fischer’s fairy tale, it’s just a bit too hard. One of our warriors, his name, and PLEASE remember it in your future homilies about Haiti and the destruction of the Haitian army, his name is LOVINSKY PIERRE ANTOINE. Haiti is currently under occupation by the UN acting as military proxy for the US, France and Canada.
The indignities Haitians have had to suffer are UNSPEAKABLE. Death squads led by former military men, like Guy Phillip, FRAPH Leader, Louis Jodel Chamblain roam free in Haiti under the PROTECTION of the UN on behalf of the Western powers. Haitians have been struggling ALONE while the world looks away.
I write this, in response to the Dietrich Fischer’s New Years Message, on behalf of LOVINSKY PIERRE ANTOINE and the suffering peoples of Site Soley. I write for the victims of the 2004 and 1991 coup d’etat and the tiny Haitian girls and boys today being sexually molested and abused right this moment by soldiers being paid by the UN, come to “rescue” Haitians from its historic democratically elected government.
Lovinsky is a human rights activist who founded Fondasyon Trant Septanm to help the victims of Bush Sr. first coup d’etat in Haiti in 1991. Lovinsky Pierre Antoine fled Haiti, in 2004 when Bush Jr. came back to finish what his father had started. Lovinsky returned to Haiti after President Preval was elected in 2006 but while the Haiti was still under US/UN occupation.
Lovinsky saw that they were promoting the REBUILDING of the Haitian army. He had mounted up an exhibit with photos, names to show all the VICTIMS OF THE HAITIAN ARMY and to protest this US endeavor in Haiti. On August 12, 2007, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine was disappeared in Haiti.
Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, just a few months before his disappearance gave an interview where he noted that US Embassy representatives had attempted to finagle his assassination by the Guy Phillip death squad/coup d’etat contingent during the ouster of Aristide/Neptune in 2004.
Before his disappearance Lovinsky talked about how the US reps in Haiti had threatened him. (Go to: Darren Ell’s interviews with Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, entitled “Sovereignty and Justice in Haiti,” Part 1, dated Feb. 18, 2007 and Part 2, March 4, 2007 www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/2_18_7/2_18_7.html ; and, www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/3_4_7/3_4_7.html )
“…In the second interview, Lovinsky outlines the role of the US in Haitian history, how the trauma of their interventions continue to keep Haiti in grief and poverty.
“…The US government must stay out of our affairs and let us run our country. Each time they organize a coup d’etat in Haiti – we have already 35 or 36 coups d’etat in our history – we have to start over. This US policy of wanting to control everything in Haiti is blocking development as well as political, social or sociopolitical progress…” Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, Sovereignty and Justice in Haiti by Darren Ell, March 4, 2007 www.haitiaction.net/News/HIP/3_4_7/3_4_7.html
Yes, Haitians want peace and justice. But we are tired of foreigners writing stories that only bolster white supremacist ideas, as if it is not foreign meddling that has kept Haiti contained in poverty for centuries, as if we don’t fight for our very EXISTENCE, every single day against the most schooled, most powerful, most wealthy and connected of peoples on earth. Yep, Dietrich Fischer, we want your Zen!!!!
We want to TRANSCEND. We want to have full bellies while we CONTEMPLATE universal issues. Except the beast is EATING us ALIVE as the world looks away!!! And, from time to time, “friends” pat themselves on their on backs, enthuses with very pretty thoughts, for helping us “half-devil/half children” black folks of Haiti, as this message about the Quaker “help” Haiti got. Except, right now, my people are experiencing hell on earth ( Read Christmas in Hell, by John Maxwell – www.margueritelaurent.com/pressclips/Xmas.html#hell) facing the hard face of the new US “police force” re-built since 2004 for the same interests as the old Haitian army.
May 2008 bring us together in a more truthful, soulful, honest, productive, cooperative, manner. We wish, in this lifetime, to transcend, to share your zen, your pretty thoughts, Dietrich Fisher. We do.
Except the reality or our masses still lies outside of your mind activity and pretty thoughts. For going on over 500 years now, since his “New World” began.
Ezili Danto Li led La December 31, 2008 www.ezilidanto.com We Will Fight From One Generation to the Next: Remembering Genevieve ‘KÃ?kÃ?t’ Laguerre, her living legacy, Remembering a proud Haitian Continuum | Sept. 9, 2006
Ezili Danto’s Note: The daily killings by the “police” and U.N. forces have abated, but not much else has changed for the better since last year, October 17, 2006) for the majority of Haitians. In fact, under the newly elected President Rene Preval of Haiti, one of Haiti’s most prominent human rights activists and a staunch critic of the occupation of Haiti, Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, has been summarily disappeared without a trace.
This, along with the massive privatization of Haiti under way, the indefinite detention of political prisoners, including Rene Civil, and the absolute deprivation of the majority and their exclusion from power and from getting any state services (schools, health care, clean water, electricity, public parks, passable roads, affordable housing, access to opportunity for economic survival…et al ) are part of the reasons most Haitians are saying, out loud and with certainty, what was merely feared last year: that Preval has been hi-jacked by the Western powers and is pursuing their interests, not that of the Haitian majority and nation….”
…. “In the poor neighborhoods of Port au Prince and in other regions of the country, it’s the same thing. The current occupiers, the troops of MINUSTAH, are doing the same thing to the poor. We could take the example of Dred Wilme. We can take the example of Dred Mackenzie. These were community leaders in these neighborhoods. Today in the poor neighborhoods of CitÃ© Soleil the occupation forces continue to massacre the poor. They dangle the specter of insecurity or kidnapping in order to conduct deadly aggressions in these neighborhoods. And the entire population is taken hostage and targeted. People are killed every day in Cite Soleil in the same way Charlemagne Peralte was killed.”
Examine also, Lovinsky’s statement issued about the first visit to Haiti of UN Secretary General, Bann Ki-Moon and Lovinsky’s statement about the current occupation of Haiti, on July 28, the date marking the 92nd anniversary of the first US-brought holocaust-through-occupation of Haiti for 19 years: The July 28, 2007 declaration of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine’s Fondasyon Trant Septanm (in Kreyol and Lovinsky Pierre Antoine on the Visit of Ban Ki Moun to Haiti (in French), dated July 31, 2007 ( From:
zili DantÃ?’s Note: Who benefits from silencing and eliminating Lovinsky Pierre Antoine? – HLLN continues its coverage and analysis of the abduction of Lovinksy Pierre Antoine in Haiti, August 23, 2007 );
In particular, I direct this audiences attention to the following:
Who is the man in dark glasses?
Ezili DantÃ?’s Note- Allegedly there’s a person who claims he saw Lovinsky after Lovinsky was taken (mp3/7:08, Emission Fanmi Lavalas, NY, Sept. 23, 2007)
Commentaire de Franklin Ulysse, editorialiste : Ou est passe Lovinsky Pierre Antoine et qui est le serpent aux lunettes noires? |(mp3/ 6:29 – Emission Fanmi Lavalas, New York, Sept. 23, 2007)
Thank you again Mr. Gourgue for your letter on behalf of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine. We take this opportunity to urge all who are reading this post to put pen to paper and also record your concerns for Lovinsky, with your representatives, local media, the UN and to the Haitian authorities. (See our on-line peition and HLLN Urgent Action alert and the contact numbers listed at the end of the alert www.margueritelaurent.com/campaigns/
and at: HLLN’s COMPREHENSIVE CONTACT LIST FOR HAITI WORK ). Note that Amnesty International recently issued and Action Alert on Lovinsky.
Lage Lovinsky – Free Lovinsky (On-line Petition)
HLLN PressRelease/Urgent Action Requested: Tell whoever has taken Lovinsky Pierre Antoine that an international audience deeply concerned about the fate of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine is witnessing their actions. Help raise the international concern and visibility of this human rights violation case. Help save the life of Lovinsky Pierre Antoine, stop his torture, prevent his execution. | HLLN’s Urgent Action Requested, August 18, 2007 ***************
Ezili Danto December 26, 2007
See also HLLN Recommended links on the Lovinsky disappearance:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Dear TRANSCEND members,
26. December 2007
I wish you happy holidays and all the best for the new year!
Here are my remarks at the celebration concluding the 2007 fall trimester at the European University Center for Peace Studies (EPU), which I wish to share with you.
With best regards, Dietrich < >
WE CAN HELP CREATE A BETTER WORLD
Address at the End of Trimester Ceremony, 21 December 2007
I wish to thank our President Gerald Mader, who founded the EPU twenty years ago, without whose initiative and persistent efforts none of us would be here.
This trimester has been a wonderful experience for me, and I hope for all of you, too. You are very dedicated and committed to peace, and many of you will make important contributions to peace and development in your own countries and in the world.
Here are four examples of people who have made major contributions to peace.
HOW HAITI ABOLISHED ITS MILITARY
A soft-spoken, retired Quaker couple took a crucial step that led to the complete abolition of Haiti’s army, which in 1991 had violently overthrown the democratically elected government of President Aristide and arbitrarily arrested, tortured and murdered many Haitian citizens. Through the mediation of former US President Jimmy Carter, Aristide’s government had later been restored.
In 1994, Sue and Marvin Clark from Troy, New York, founded a small NGO, “Global Demilitarization.” Their first initiative was to write to Oscar Arias Sanchez, who had won the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending the war in Nicaragua and who now is Costa Rica’s President for the second time. The Clarks asked if they could come and meet him in Costa Rica’s capital San Jose. He replied that he would be in New York the next month and proposed to meet there. Marvin smiled and said, “That is what I expected. If we had asked to meet him during his next visit to New York, he probably would have said, ‘Thank you, but my schedule is already full.’ Seeing that we were ready to fly to Costa Rica to meet with him persuaded him to make time for us.”
At that meeting in February 1995, at which I was present, Marvin Clark asked President Arias among other questions what country he thought might be the next to abolish its military, as Costa Rica’s had done in 1949. Arias suggested Haiti, since most Haitians saw their army as threatening their personal security rather than protecting them from aggression. From informal conversations with many ordinary Haitians, he estimated that about 80 percent wished the army were abolished. He was disappointed that nobody seemed to pay attention to his observations, but was convinced that if an internationally recognized polling firm could confirm his impressions, the world would notice. But that would cost about $20,000, and he did not have that money.
When Sue and Marvin Clark heard this, they immediately wrote to all their friends and friends of friends, sending out about thousand letters, explaining this opportunity and asking for donations. Within three weeks, they raised $27,000, including a major contribution from themselves, and sent it to the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress in San Jose, Costa Rica. This helped train young Haitians how to conduct a scientific poll, and soon the poll was conducted.
At a news conference in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince on 28 April 1995, Oscar Arias could announce that 62 percent of the Haitian people wished to abolish the army, and only 12 percent wished to keep it, with the rest expressing no opinion. When President Aristide heard this, he stepped to the microphone and spontaneously announced, in front of the assembled military leadership, that given the clear wish of the vast majority of his people, he herewith declared the army abolished!
The international media totally ignored this important event. But when President Aristide was asked on a nationally televised interview in the United States after the election of his successor what he considered his greatest achievement during his term in office, he said abolishing the Haitian military.
It is impressive how much difference the efforts of individuals can make. Not even the U.S. Navy was able to abolish Haiti’s army. When President Clinton sent the navy in 1994 to land in Port-au-Prince in an attempt to help restore the democratically elected government, it turned around in the face of a violent demonstration on the landing peer by a small group of backers of the military dictatorship. Who would have thought that two private citizens, without power or wealth, would succeed in helping abolish the Haitian military, simply by talking to the right people and taking the right action at the right time. We can all take courage and hope from this. If we have a dream and pursue it step by step, never giving up, we can ultimately reach it.
THE BLACK HOLE
When Johan Galtung, who is widely recognized as the founder of the academic discipline of peace studies, founded the first International Peace Research Institute in Oslo in 1959, he and his colleagues sent copies of their working papers regularly to about 400 social science institutes around the world, including the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) in Moscow. They received thank notes and sometimes other working papers from many places, but never heard anything from IMEMO. It was as if the papers sent there disappeared in a black hole, leaving no trace. Despite of this lack of feedback, the members of the Oslo team persistently kept sending their papers on alternative approaches to peace, security, democracy, human rights and development to IMEMO throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1979, Johan Galtung attended a conference at IMEMO. During a break, the librarian took him to the basement in the library, opened a locked room, opened a locked cabinet inside the room, and showed him a pile of papers. Here was the entire collection of papers that he and his friends had been sending over the years. This was the “black hole.” Surprisingly, the papers were worn out from having passed through many hands, edges bent and torn, with portions underlined and numerous notes in the margins.
In 1991, Vladimir Petrovsky, the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, came to see Johan Galtung in Oslo and said, “I really wanted to tell you once how grateful we were for all your papers that you kept sending us, even though for political reasons we could not write back to you. During the Brezhnev era, I was part of a group of young scholars at IMEMO who met frequently to discuss new ideas, and we studied your books and papers intensively, among others. We knew that our system needed reform, and that the time for change was coming. You provided us with valuable new concepts and concrete ideas how to proceed.”
The end of the Cold War has many sources, but new ideas developed by Western peace movements—on human rights, economic and political participation, nonviolent conflict resolution, security based on mutual cooperation instead of threats and confrontation, conversion of military industries to civilian use, and nonoffensive defense—which seeped into the former Soviet Union through various discrete channels and apparently found receptive ears, have played an important role.
Can individuals make a difference for the course of history, or are their efforts insignificant compared to major trends, like the movement of a single molecule in the wind? It is clear that if a situation is not ripe for change, if nobody wants to hear new proposals, one individual can make little difference. But if people are unhappy with their present conditions and search for new ways, a good idea, persuasively argued, can go a long way. Yet even when an opportunity for major change arises, someone must seize it or it may be missed. Similarly, if one plants a fruit tree in the desert, it will die. But even in the most fertile soil, under the best climatic conditions, only weeds may grow unless we plant fruits or flowers. And we never know for sure whether an apparent desert may not hide fertile ground just below the surface, in which one seed can over time give rise to a whole forest. Even if we do not see the results of our efforts for peace immediately, we must not give up, because they may bear fruit some day in unexpected ways.
My friend Randy Kehler, who later became national coordinator of the Nuclear Freeze movement in the United States, was drafted into the Army in the early 1970s to go fight in Vietnam. Like many others, he refused to serve and was sentenced to jail. But unlike many others, he did more than that. Before beginning his jail sentence, he toured the United States, speaking out against the war on university campuses, in churches and to peace organizations. He had no idea whether this would make any difference, but he said that to satisfy his conscience he had to try whatever he could do.
In one of his audiences was Daniel Ellsberg, the Pentagon analyst and co-author of the “Pentagon Papers,” the secret history of the Vietnam war. He had become increasingly disillusioned with the way the United States fought the war, and had begun to doubt whether is was morally right for the most powerful army in the world to fight poor peasants in a distant jungle. But he said that what finally persuaded him to do something was hearing Randy Kehler speak. Here was a young man willing to go to jail for his conviction that the war was immoral. So Ellsberg secretly made four sets of photocopies of the 7,000 page report, and left them anonymously in boxes in front of the offices of the New York Times, the Washington Post and two other major national newspapers. When editors read the reports, they realized that they contained so many accurate facts that they could not have been forgeries by someone outside of the government, and they began to publish them. President Nixon ordered them to halt publication, but the US Supreme Court ruled that “prior restraint” violated the first amendment of the US constitution guaranteeing free speech. People could be punished afterwards if they had knowingly printed lies, but they could not be prohibited in advance from expressing an opinion. When people read that they had been deceived all these years by their own government, and that the United States was not winning the war, they began to oppose it in large numbers. That forced President Nixon to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam in 1973, and led to an end of the war in 1975. So, indirectly, Randy Kehler helped end the Vietnam war.
At the right moment, one more snowflake can break the branch of a tree. Even if our efforts don’t show any immediate result, whatever we do makes it easier for others who follow to complete our work.
THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY
In 1835, Lloyd Garrison, the publisher of the anti-slavery gazette “The Liberator”, spoke in Boston against slavery. He was arrested by the police—to protect his life—because an angry mob was ready to lynch him. He was secretly moved out of the city at night in an enclosed horse coach. But undeterred he continued to fight against slavery, and 30 years later, it was indeed abolished in the United States by President Lincoln.
An important contribution to the end of slavery was also the book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1852), in which she vividly described the suffering of slaves, and persuaded many people that it was morally wrong.
When we see the billions spent for weapons today and the pittance available to work for peace, it is easy to despair. But the people who fought for the abolition of slavery in the 19th century did not even have any foundations to apply to. They made personal sacrifices and took risks, while the slave traders and slave owners accumulated huge fortunes. Yet the anti-slavery movement prevailed in the end, because it had a just cause. For the same reason, the global peace movement will prevail over those who profit from war.
Alone we can do little, but together we can make a difference, as the following metaphor suggests. A boy walked along the beach, picking up starfish and throwing them back into the sea. A wise old man watched him for a while, and then asked him, “What are you doing?” The boy said, “I am throwing these starfish into the water to save them, because otherwise they would dry out and die.” The wise old man laughed and said, “My dear little boy, there are millions and millions of starfish, you can never save them all.” The boy replied, “I know I cannot save all of them, but it surely makes a difference for this one, and that one. They feel much better in the water.” The old man agreed and began to help pick up starfish and throw them into the water. Other people saw them, and began to join. This way, the starfish were indeed saved.
As the anthropologist Margaret Mead has said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Let us all do our best to help create a more peaceful and more just world.
Forwarded by Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network