Liberation Army Helps establish "protectorate" in Haiti
by anthony fenton, November 22, 2004
"No decision has yet been taken, but in French diplomatic circles...they
say that there has been talk of a sort of guardianship!= as in Kosovo...
Even if the United Nations doesn't want this kind of intervention leading
to military occupation, this might be inevitable until elections are
- Michel Vastel quoted in Haiti-Progres,
March 5, 2003.
In the almost nine months since Aristide was overthrown, this piece
of 'foreshadowing' by Quebec reporter Michel Vastel has resurfaced many
times. Like the desire for genuine democracy in Haiti, it just won't
seem to go away.
Recent findings indicate
that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
is employing suspected war criminals from the Kosovo Liberation Army
(KLA) in Haiti. The KLA is best known as a terrorist organization with
ties to the CIA, US State Department, and narco-trafficking. This news
was recently reported on by Flashpoints Radio's Kevin Pina:
"All you have to do is look at their (USAID's) September document,
which is published on their website, for the "Office of Transition
Initiatives," (OTI) and what you will see in that document is that
USAID is paying three consultants to help consult for the integration
of the former brutal military into the current Haitian police force.
And who are those three consultants? Those three consultants are members
of the Kosovo Liberation Army."(Flashpoints interview, November
19, 2004, www.flashpoints.net)
In a separate interview, Pina states that a "source close to the
U.S. embassy confirmed that there are three members of the KLA on the
ground in Haiti."(1)
That they are employing KLA "training and management specialists"
is stated explicitly in the USAID-OTI report
cited by Pina:
"OTI continues to work closely with the U.S. Embassy and IOM
to develop options for a reintegration program for former combatants.
Training and management specialists of the Kosovo Protection Corps,
a civilian response unit consisting primarily of former Kosovo Liberation
Army members, have been brought to Haiti to assess how the Kosovo model
might be applied there. OTI and IOM have also closely followed the negotiations
between the former military and the IgoH (Interim Government of Haiti)."
Several news reports have indicated that members of the former army
have already begun integration into the
Haitian National Police. Other reports have described how former military
have been seen collaborating with the United Nations
in ex-military controlled areas in Northern Haiti and elsewhere.
The connection between the KLA, the United States - in particular U.S.
Ambassador to Haiti James Foley and Haiti's paramilitaries/former military
- is not new. In an article published the day Aristide was ousted by
the U.S., Canada, and France-backed coup, Ottawa Professor Michel Chossudovsky
effectively predicted the scenario that
we are now seeing played out today. Chossudovsky first describes the
KLA in Kosovo:
"The KLA had been involved in similar targeted political assassinations
and killings of civilians, in the months leading up to the 1999 NATO
invasion as well as in its aftermath. Following the NATO led invasion
and occupation of Kosovo, the KLA was transformed into the Kosovo Protection
Force (KPF) under UN auspices. Rather than being disarmed to prevent
the massacres of civilians, a terrorist organization with links to organized
crime and the Balkans drug trade, was granted a legitimate political
Chossudovsky also points out the connection between James Foley (appointed
ambassador to Haiti in September, 2003) and the KLA:
"At the time of the Kosovo war, the current ambassador to Haiti
James Foley was in charge of State Department briefings, working closely
with his NATO counterpart in Brussels, Jamie Shea. Barely two months
before the onslaught of the NATO led war on 24 March 1999, James Foley
had called for the "transformation" of the KLA into a respectable
"We want to develop a good relationship with them (the KLA) as
they transform themselves into a politically-oriented organization,'
..`(W)e believe that we have a lot of advice and a lot of help that
we can provide to them if they become precisely the kind of political
actor we would like to see them become... "If we can help them
and they want us to help them in that effort of transformation, I think
it's nothing that anybody can argue with..' (quoted in the New York
Times, 2 February 1999) "
As we consider the connection between this context and that of the paramilitaries-cum-"liberators"
in Haiti, led by Guy Philippe and Jodel Chamblain, some further KLA
context is essential. Writes Chossudovsky:
"The US State Department's position as conveyed in Foley's statement
was that the KLA would "not be allowed to continue as a military
force but would have the chance to move forward in their quest for self
government under a 'different context'" meaning the inauguration
of a de facto "narco-democracy" under NATO protection."
It's also important to note how Ambassador Foley is perceived by Haitians.
A Haitian lawyer who "asked not to be named" told the Ecumenical
Program in Central America and the Caribbean's delegation "What
I see now is we're going right into a dictatorship. U.S. Ambassador
Foley is the real President of Haiti! Each day I get more and more scared.
It's the rewriting of 1915."(2)
The closest visible emulation of the "Kosovo Model' in Haiti, then,
has been through formation of Guy Philippe's political party, National
Reconstruction Front (FRN). Philippe has stated that his main priority
if elected president would be to officially reconstitute the Haitian
army: "This would be a professional army,
not the one we had," he says, reasoning that "(y)ou can't
have foreigners invest without security." USAID, in their most
recent October report, provide some early
campaigning for Philippe when they state "Many Haitians feel U.N.
peacekeepers are doing little to halt the violence and want the interim
government to formally reinstate the army Aristide disbanded ten years
ago." Never mind that this statement contradicts the internationally
recognized consensus in Haiti that Aristide's disbanding of the military
was universally supported.(3)
Philippe, it has been thoroughly established, has strong ties to the
"political opposition" Democratic Convergence, who "boycotted"
the 2000 presidential elections that elected Aristide in a landslide
and proceeded - with the assistance of the National Endowment for Democracy
financed International Republican Institute - to destabilize Aristide
and his Lavalas government. One of the strongest established links has
been that between Philippe and self-styled "intellectual author"
of the February coup, Paul Arcelin, former Montreal Professor and brother-in-law
of former Canadian Member of Parliament Nicole Roy-Arcelin. Arcelin
also has ties to Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew.
Arcelin admitted (Montreal Gazette, March 9th, 2004) days after the
coup that he and Philippe had spent at least two years trying to overthrow
Aristide. Arcelin was the Democratic Convergence's Dominican Republic
liaison. The Dominican Republic provided the staging ground for the
eventual CIA-led coup d'etat by housing, training, and clothing the
paramilitaries. Between October 2000 and February 2004, Philippe and
fellow paramilitaries staged several armed incursions into the Haitian
countryside and areas along the Haiti-DR border, killing several, but
always managing to escape authorities. Chossudovsky succinctly draws
the KLA-Philippe connection, "For the CIA and the State Department
the FLRN and Guy Philippe are to Haiti what the KLA and Hashim Thaci
are to Kosovo."
The way to apply the USAID/Ottawa Initiative on Haiti idea of the "Kosovo
Model" was described by Chossudovsky:
"In other words, Washington's design is "regime change":
topple the Lavalas administration and install a compliant US puppet
regime...What is at stake is an eventual power sharing arrangement between
the various Opposition groups and the CIA supported Rebels...A bogus
(symbolic) disarmament of the Rebels may be contemplated under international
supervision, as occurred with the KLA in Kosovo in 2000. The "former
terrorists" could then be integrated into the civilian police as
well as into the task of "rebuilding" the Haitian Armed forces
under US (or UN/RCMP) supervision. What this scenario suggests, is that
the Duvalier-era terrorist structures have been restored. A program
of civilian killings and political assassinations directed against Lavalas
supporter is in fact already underway."
There has not been, aside from extensive lip service paid to the idea,
any disarmament.(4) 'Sweeps' of poor neighborhoods known to be the heart
of Aristide support in Port au Prince (such as Bel Air, La Saline, Martissant),
have yielded hundreds of arbitrary arrests but few arms, as the pro-Aristide
resistance has strengthened. Members of the resistance movement have
stated that "we will no longer just stand like zombies and let
them kill us. We will continue to demand the return of our elected president
and we will defend ourselves against them when they come to kill us.
We are not animals, we are not bandits and we
did not start this killing. They did."
The killing began the moment Aristide was carted away on the American
airplane. The National Lawyers Guild reported
that an estimated 1,000 bodies, as according to the director of the
State Morgue, had been buried in mass graves
within one month of the coup. Several other human rights organizations
have detailed and documented the targeting of Lavalas supporters, and
several of the Lavalas leadership remain imprisoned on groundless (if
any) charges. The resistance fighter cited above may be referring specifically
to the new wave of violence that began on September 30th, when Haitian
police fired into unarmed crowds of demonstrators, killing at least
two according to admissions made later by puppet PM Gerard Latortue.
Only two weeks later, Pina reported that "The General Hospital
had to call the Ministry of Health today in order to demand emergency
vehicles to remove the more than 600 corpses
that have been stockpiled there, that have been coming in from the killing
over the last two weeks alone. That's how much killing that has been
going on here in the streets of Haiti that has not been/being reported
and has not talked about." Meanwhile, mainstream outlets cannot
seem to get their numbers straight, frequently omitting officially acknowledged
numbers such as those reported on by Pina, and even those reported on
by USAID-funded "human rights groups" such as the NCHR. Some
mainstream outlets have reported the following:
"At least 170 people have been killed by gunfire in recent
violence in Haiti, most of them from slum strongholds of supporters
of ousted president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a human rights group said
on Friday....Another 241 people have been wounded by gunshots in violence
from Sept. 1 to Oct. 26..."
These numbers alone demonstrate that Aristide supporters are being targeted,
with over 400 acknowledged gunshot victims in eight weeks.
As is made clear in the epigraph, talk of reconstituting Haiti's army
along the lines of Kosovo was first leaked out of official circles after
the January 2003 Ottawa Initiative on Haiti meeting, hosted by Canada's
secretary of state for Latin America, Denis Paradis.
Where Denis Paradis would later deny having
planned "regime change" in Haiti, this is really only a matter
of semantics, as he frequently employed the term 'responsibility to
protect' in the context of what needed to be done in Haiti. This doctrine,
established by Jean Chretien at the request of UN Secretary General
Kofi Annan (5), is tantamount to an official reformalization of imperialism,
and is merely a new way to state what in 1902 John Atkinson Hobson described
as "trusteeship" as a means of managing the problem of the
"lower races." According to Hobson, "The real issue is
whether, and under what circumstances, it is justifiable for Western
nations to use compulsory government for the control and education in
the arts of industrial and political civilization of the inhabitants
of tropical countries and other so-called lower races."
Hobson, like Paradis, was thinking of Haiti when pontificating towards
the most efficient and justifiable means of subjugating peoples deemed
inferior to the white race:
"If we look to the native social systems of the tropical East,
the primitive savagery of Central Africa...or the black republic of
Hayti in the present...the lesson seems everywhere the same; it is that
there will be no development of the resources of the tropics under native
government." (6) Equally, both Hobson and Paradis would argue that
the "care and education of a "lower race" as a trust"
is based on the "friendly motives" of imperial countries.
Where the Kosovo style trusteeship for Haiti was only theoretical in
January 2003, it is reaching real fruition by virtue of the most horrific
crimes perpetrated against Haiti's poor majority. Even the mainstream
has reported on the more than 30 execution-style killings of Haitian
youths, including women caught in the crossfire of UN-supported PNH
incursions into poor neighborhoods in recent weeks. With seasoned putschists
and terrorists such as USAID and KLA helping the increasingly militarised
and UN/RCMP backed Haitian police pacify supporters of democratic principles
in Haiti, the world is getting a look at the future of "humanitarian
It's fitting that the Miami Herald has recently
opined that "As Haiti descends deeper each day into anarchy,
the time has come to consider some form of international protectorate
to take temporary control of that beleaguered Caribbean country."
Don Bohning further posits that "As unpalatable as it may be for
the vast majority of Haitians, who spent 1915 to 1934 under a U.S. Marine
occupation, ceding temporary sovereignty to an international body is
one option slowly gathering momentum." This article as much as
any indicates the level of fascistic pontification that will increasingly
be allowable, buttressed no doubt by George Bush's re-election. Haiti's
"protectorate status" would be overseen by "a Brazilian-led
Obviously Bohning is in denial over the fact that the "anarchy"
to which he refers was brought about largely by an internationally imposed
economic embargo combined with other tried and true destabilization
efforts (eg. The EU's funding the opposition, NED and IRI's funding,
training the paramilitaries, the ownership of private media by the opposition,
etc.) Haiti's "failure" has always had ready-made justification
in the eyes of "white supremacist
terrorists" as against the "necessity"
of colonial occupation.
These recent discoveries make it clear that when James Foley came to
Haiti last September, the CIA's wheels were in serious motion, and Aristide
and democracy's days were numbered in Haiti. It should surprise no one
that Foley should enlist the efforts of his war criminal KLA friends,
who proved themselves so valuable to the NATO-led "coalition
of the killing" in 1999.(7)
With all of the "trustees" that it can handle, now as much
as ever Haiti needs a massive outpouring of international solidarity.
(1) With the author, November 20, 2004.
(2) From the cover of "A People's Fact Finding Investigationto
(3) "An internationally sponsored public opinion poll taken in
March 1995 found that 72 percent of the sample approved the government's
purges of the army," in Robert Maguire's "Demilitarising Public
Order in a Predatory State: The Case of Haiti," North-South Agenda
Papers, 1995, p. 12.
(4) In the section "Strengthening the operational capacity of the
PNH," the World Bank/European Commission convened Haiti Interim
Cooperation Framework calls for the expansion of the PNH from the current
strength of 3000 "to 6000 in 2006...and to 20,000 in 2015."
(p. 14, "republic of Haiti: Interim Cooperation Framework, 2004-2006,
Summary Report) In the meantime, some 25,000 former military, termed
"beneficiaries" will have been "provided assistance"
with ICF funding. See:
(5) This report is about the so-called "right of humanitarian intervention":
the question of when, if ever, it is appropriate for states for take
coercive - and in particular military - action, against another state
for the purpose of protecting people at risk in that other state. See:
(6) Cited in Philip D. Curtin's "Imperialism," p. 319-337.
(7) On the KLA, see Chossudovsky's Kosovo
"Freedom Fighters" Financed by Organized Crime". See
also Znet's extensive Kosovo archives.
The author can be reached at