by John Maxwell
Sunday, November 06, 2005
It sits balefully in the corner of the restaurant, with dials
labelled 'coffee', water', 'sugar' and one or two other descriptors
. When I asked the waitress for coffee, preferably 'espresso'
she referred me to the machine. I put my cup underneath the spot
marked coffee and turned the dial, expecting a flow of something
that would be identifiable as coffee.
What came out was about a teaspoon of powdered ersatz coffee.
I had no choice, I turned the dial again for another teaspoonful
and then the sugar dial and the water dial and having fabricated
my cup of 'coffee', I went back to my seat and ingested it.
Most sinister of all, I thought, was the dial labelled 'whitener'.
There is no longer any euphemism; no more 'creamer' - fabricated
from beans or petroleum or "corn syrup solids, partially
hydrogenated soybean oil, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative
0, dipotassium phosphate, monodiglycerides,sodium aluminsilicate,
diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono and diglycerides artificial
flavour and artificial colours".
I don't use creamers or cosmetic whiteners or milk. But Nestlé
has a place in my pantheon of the wicked because having exploited
Jamaica and Jamaican dairy farmers for more than 60 years, and
having bought out Jamaica's last big icecream maker, they promptly
shut down the factories, threw thousands of Jamaicans out of work
and moved to the Dominican Republic where there would be no troubles
from unions or laws regulating decent treatment of workers and
Others doing similar moves included Goodyear, Reckitt and Colman,
Carreras and that one-time paragon of Jamaican cleanliness, once
called Soap and Edible products, transformers of the coconut into
cooking oil, animal feed and cosmetics, now merely a distributor
of stuff bought abroad.
Countries which used to feed and clothe themselves now must borrow
money to pay for food imported from the US. Jamaica's trade deficit
is twice as high as much as it earns from exports of all kinds.
We now import sugar and water from the US and icecream from the
Dominican republic and cigarettes from Trinidad.
This is called globalisation, and is said to be a boon to the
developing world, according to people as wise as President Bush,
Mr Tony Blair and the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr patterson.
(Photo) An alumina refinery plant in Jamaica.
Meanwhile, people who should be engaged in production, in farming
and in teaching, are busy firing guns imported from the United
States at each other, to the horror of the US, which tells its
nationals to beware of Jamaica ! Don't go there!!. "Don't
The blessings of Globalization
The blessings of globalisation include strip mining the countryside,
extracting millions of tons of Jamaican earth, dosing it with
caustic soda and bombarding it with electric charges and exporting
a white powder called alumina and a green material called super
Jamaica gets to keep enormous holes in the ground and the effluent
that is gently, invisibly, percolating down into the water table
and gradually poisoning our water supplies.
But, not to worry, globalisation will mean that we will be able
to buy water from Exxon and Shell as a cheap by-product of their
global warming experiment.
If only we had forced the aluminum companies to leave a little
bauxite to line the mined-out craters landscape, we might have
been able to store some of the flooding we can now confidently
expect from fossil fueled hurricanes, which are now becoming more
and more cost effective at slum clearance and electoral redistricting.
Progress, I tell you, it is wonderful!
Sadly, there are those who don't want to accommodate themselves
to the inexorable crunch of development. In that famously independent
little island, Anguilla, the government has decided to put a moratorium
on large developments because such projects are threatening to
overwhelm the island by swamping its labour force and population
with imported manpower and womanpower, suffocating the culture
of Anguilla and replacing it with Bush knows what.
As I write this, we are flying over the southern coast of the
Dominican Republic where there is evidence of rivers running loose,
eroded hillsides and vast areas of unused land. I know that if
we fly over the republic's border with Haiti, even this unpromising
landscape will make Haiti's look like a desert.
Further west of course, lie Jamaica, where I am headed, and Cuba,
a mythical country where every person is said to have a job and
where every child, it is alleged, goes to school. This story is
obviously invented to upset Americans and to spread disaffection
and bad feelings among the Latin and Caribbean leaders meeting
this weekend down Argentine way.
The last time the US supped with the Latins was at the Organisations
of American States special meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
earlier this year, when Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of
State made it known that the United States wished to impose some
new rules on its neighbours.
The most important was one allowing the united states and whichever
state felt able to be its ally, to invade any other state which
the US did not consider to be behaving according to established
The Latins, uncharitable as usual, did not agree with this new
dispensation, because as they saw it, it would allow the US to
invade any other state with whom it did not happen to agree at
The lever of their independence
Oddly, because of the racism built in to the Latin cultures, none
of these states brought up the question of Haiti, which, more
than any other factor, was the main lever of their own independence.
In the second decade of the 19th century, when Simon Bolivar saw
a whole continent waiting to be liberated but found himself without
the means to begin the job, it was to Haiti he turned, the first
independent state in the Western Hemisphere, after the United
At that time the Haitians were determined to do all they could
to assist the liberation of Latin America from the Spaniards,
so they gave Bolivar arms, money and encouragement, sending him
off to liberate Gran Colombia, asking Bolivar to liberate all
slaves wherever he found them. Since many of Bolivar's best generals
were black that should have been easy, but the Haitians reckoned
without the spiteful selfishness of the United States which saw
the ending of slavery as a direct threat to its own economic system.
And when the freed Spanish colonies came together with the US
in the first Summit of the Americas in Panama in 1824, the only
independent state not represented there was the prime mover in
their liberation- Haiti.
Haiti, being a black state, is quite frequently invisible to world
statesmanship; since black is the absence of light in physics,
the doctrine of intelligent political design has never been able
to discern the human rights of the Haitian people.
This is ironic, since it was the Haitians who first implemented
the doctrine of the universal rights of man. The French and the
American revolutions, which had preached that doctrine, maintained
slavery for decades after they themselves were free.
This is more than a rhetorical statement. Marguerite Laurent,
perhaps the most eloquent of the fighters for Haitian freedom
now writing, believes that the recolonisation of Haiti is an essential
fraction of the doctrine of globalisation.
"... In Haiti, the imperialists have also found the formula
for outsourcing wars so that the blood of their sons and daughters
are not on the line."
A prison for children
The UN forces in Haiti, are made up of troops from the developing
countries. These poor, black and brown soldiers are now fighting
the imperialist's' wars for him in Haiti.
Even the African Union's rejection of the re-colonisation of Haiti
is reported to have been neutralised with the sending to Haiti
of African soldiers from the Francophone countries. Not surprising,
considering France's investment in Haiti's bicentennial coup d'etat.
It was, after all, Francophone Africa that was used to stop the
spread of Pan-Africanism after the independence movement, mainly
through French expatriates like Houphouet Boigny and Leopold Cedar
In Margaret Laurent's opinion, the recolonisation of Haiti is
not simply a political action, it is part of a programme to criminalise
the people of Haiti and to control them by taking away all their
" .The scariest thing to happen to Haiti and Haitians this
month, has gone unnoticed with these election terrors of the imperialists
and their Haitian sycophants morbidly drawing attention away from
the colonial realities of the matter.
"USAID has started its FIRST prison for children in Haiti.
"Yes, the systematic criminalisation of young black males
in Haiti, parallels their criminalisation in the US. There are
some white towns in the US where the townspeople's sole income
comes from the incarceration of young black and brown men who
make up the bulk of the prisoners.
The imperialists' game plan for Haitian boys and men, is moving
along well. By the time a puppet Haitian president, like Preval,
Simeus or Bazin, is installed in Haiti on February, 2006, more
prison centres will have to be built to contain the Haitian 'criminal
Laurent argues that the RE-installation of former US Ambassador
to Haiti, Timothy Carney, is a portent of things to come. Carney
was the leader of the so-called Haitian Democracy Project, a fascist
front organisation funded by the US Republican party which was
responsible for the coordination of the coup d'etat against Aristide.
This group paid and bribed a collection of Haitian 'civil society"
organisations to form an anti-Aristide bloc which though small
and representing little more than its sparse membership, was given
yards of print and hours of television publicity in the run up
to the so-called rebellion, carried out by mercenary gangsters
armed and uniformed by the United States.
Since that time the US/Canadian/French governing coalition has
imprisoned without cause or due process, a constellation of Haitian
popular leaders, from the former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune and
Father Gerard Jean Juste, the leader of the Lavalas movement to
the Haitian equivalent of Jamaica's Louise Bennett, a folklorist
named Anne August - "So Anne" .
While these representatives of Haitian politics and culture are
in jail and unable to function, the tripartite coalition is proceeding
with its sham election which is intended to provide a legitimate
democratic face for the fascist gangsters who actually rule Haiti.
To the puppetmasters, it does not matter that most of the Haitian
people are disfranchised and that the major political force in
Haiti has been neutered, their money and influence will provide
solutions acceptable to the corrupt and spineless North Atlantic
What is planned for Haiti may be gauged by examining the US plan
for a transition to democracy in Cuba detailed in a 423-page report
prepared in May 2004 for Bush and signed by Colin Powell, then
Secretary of State. It represents the official policy of the United
States toward Cuba.
Among the gems: "The US Government and private organisations
have determined that there may very well exist a severe case of
malnutrition and lack of available supply and money to feed the
Cuban people, or sectors of the Cuban people, to avoid massive
sickness and disease.
"Should the food security system in Cuba deteriorate and
malnutrition rates rise, children under five will be at particular
risk." (page 80)
Cuba's education system, recognised by UNESCO, the World Bank
and the UN as one of the best in the world will be destroyed in
the interest of democracy and replaced by schools run by fundamentalist
"[The United States must] Prepare to respond positively to
a request from transition authorities to help keep schools open,
even if teachers are paid with food aid or volunteers have to
be temporarily imported, in order to keep children and teenagers
off the streets during this potentially unstable period."
The Offices of Non/Public Schools and Faith-Based Initiatives,
US Department of Education, could serve as facilitating agencies
in ensuring that the system recognises private as well as public
educational providers, and could: a) "Facilitate the development
of private, including faith-based, education.
b) "Ascertain which of the religious groups that had schools
in Cuba have plans to reopen their schools.
c) "Assist in consideration of changing laws and regulations
to permit private providers to operate and offer a full range
of services, from short courses to degree programmes."
It is clear that the transition to democracy in Cuba involves
the destruction of the entire Cuban culture and all the institutions
of the Cuban state. It envisages a reduction to conditions of
lawlessness, hunger, privation and social disruption.
If Cuba is to be treated in this way, the decapitation of democracy
in Haiti may very well lead to much, much worse - to the hell
that Marguerite Laurent envisages, because the Haitians, as we
have seen, are not regarded as human by the United States, the
Canadians and the French.
They will be easier to subdue than the Cubans. And no one will
say a word.
The World Exhales
John Maxwell, November 11, 2006
Like any smart bully, he caved
when faced by an opponent not afraid of him.
And although he had only days before derided Nancy Pelosi as a
freaky leftwinger from San Francisco, on Wednesday he was perfectly
polite and prepared to address her as Madame Speaker, pledging
to work with her and acknowledging that she, like him, had the
best interests of the American people at heart.
The world breathed a huge sigh of relief on Tuesday night when
it became clear that the American people were a lot smarter than
their President and his advisers. And I imagine that most people
round the world breathed another huge sigh of collective satisfaction
on Wednesday when the intelligence flashed through the ether that
the Generalissimo, Donald Rumsfeld, Lord of Fallujah and Baron
of Babylon, had fallen on his sword. His ceremonial hara kiri
came just a week after Mr Bush had arrogantly dismissed questioning
journalists with the assurance that Mr Rumsfeld would, like the
Rock of Gibraltar, always be there.
As they say – “ never say never” again.
Mr Bush says he doesn’t read the newspapers – which
is probably good for his blood pressure; because the comment from
the United States and the rest of the world is almost uniformly
welcoming of the catastrophic defeats suffered in Tuesday’s
elections by the Republican party.
Most of the world, accustomed to substantial parliamentary majorities
when one party gets nearly 60% of the vote, must have wondered
why it was so difficult for the Democrats to take charge of the
parliament of the United States. They do not understand that the
US electoral system is largely a product of the 18th century,
antedating the British Reform Act of 1834 by half a century, and
designed to guarantee a stifling stability to the affairs of the
United States. Men who had created a revolution to gain their
own freedom tried to ensure that their descendants were as hobbled
by 18th century mores as they had been by the British. Although
the first casualty of the American revolution was a black soldier,
Crispus Attucks, it took another hundred years to abolish slavery
and another century after that, for all Americans to have the
right to vote.
And although a great many Haitians, including Henri Cristophe,
fought for American freedom, Thomas Jefferson and his successors,
including George Bush, are still not reconciled to the idea of
a free black sovereign nation. Nor do they have any sense of obligation
to those from whom they extracted so much tribute and treasure
over so many centuries.
Which is why, for instance, the electorates of so many American
states approved referenda on Tuesday outlawing Affirmative Action.
Affirmative Action had been intended to ameliorate the oppressed
condition of former slaves in the United States.
The Republicans leadership, representing much of what is most
backward, ignorant and atavistic in American society, were brought
up short by an electoral insurrection on Tuesday Even that, however,
could not overcome the racist slanders of the Republican National
Committee. The RNC posted a sly, underhand TV commercial against
Harold Ford in Tennessee, intended to excite the most primitive
fears of Southern white men about the sexuality of black men.
This was not an isolated ‘error’. Similarly slimy
innuendoes were made against many Democratic candidates of both
sexes and all colours. The most egregious was one that continued
the Republican tradition of accusing American war heroes of cowardice
while the real cowards presided over the slaughter of hundreds
of thousands of Iraqi and other lesser breeds in the name of freedom
In Palestine, at the height of the US electoral campaign, Israel
used the US Press’ total preoccupation with trivia to carry
out a genocidal attack on the Palestinians, and their Parthian
shot was the killing of 19 people on Monday, eight of them children
and seven women.
On Wednesday Mr Bush pledged to continue until ‘Victory’
in Iraq because the terrorists never give up. Unfortunately he
has never understood that ‘terrorism” is the weapon
of the desperate – of those who believe that they cannot
get justice except by taking revenge on their oppressors or their
surrogates, innocent or otherwise
Sadly, the American Press have never asked Mr Bush how he defines
‘Victory’ so that the rest of us would know when it
was achieved. Although he said two weeks ago that he had abandoned
the ‘stay the course’ mantra and although he spoke
of the need for ‘new perspectives’ in the ‘War
on Terror’ it is apparent that Mr Bush’s imagination
allows of no new insights and that he responds only to stimuli
that he cannot ignore – such as the rebellion on Tuesday.
Bush’s news conference on Wednesday was in its own small
way, an attempt to rewrite history. No one listening to him would
have gathered that the people of the United States had, less than
24 hours before, rejected the entire corpus of Presidential deception,
lies , dirty tricks and double speak, and the culture of corruption
built up round the Department of Defense and his Vice President
as well as among his supporters in the Congress.
What may have given him pause, however, was the news that his
intellectual gurus, the neo-fascists of the Project for the New
American Century, were beginning to publicly jump ship. These
bozos, including The Prince of Darkness, Richard Perle, have had
no scruple in biting the hand that fed them
In Vanity Fair (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/12/neocons200612)
the writer, David Rose, describes what happened: “As Iraq
slips further into chaos, the war's neoconservative boosters have
turned sharply on the Bush administration, charging that their
grand designs have been undermined by White House incompetence.
In a series of exclusive interviews, Richard Perle, Kenneth Adelman,
David Frum, and others play the blame game with shocking frankness.
Target No. 1: the president himself.”
David Rose recalls meeting with Perle in London a few weeks before
the start of the Iraq war and being lectured by Perle on Iraq’s
eminent suitability for western style democracy after a quick
‘Victory’ was achieved.
Three years later – with the GOP facing losses in the then
imminent midterm elections – Rose reports:
“As he looks into my eyes, speaking slowly and with obvious
deliberation, Perle is unrecognizable as the confident hawk who,
as chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee,
had invited the exiled Iraqi dissident Ahmad Chalabi to its first
meeting after 9/11. "The levels of brutality that we've seen
are truly horrifying, and I have to say, I underestimated the
depravity," Perle says now, adding that total defeat—an
American withdrawal that leaves Iraq as an anarchic "failed
state"—is not yet inevitable but is becoming more likely.
"And then," says Perle, "you'll get all the mayhem
that the world is capable of creating."
All the millions of hapless fools like me who predicted exactly
this state of affairs, were then derided as ignoramuses, unsophisticated
trespassers into the sacred realms of Hoch Realpolitik.
Now, as the carnage and cataclysm advance, inexorably, the Perles
and the Adelmans have turned and savaged their unsophisticated
Neophyte NeoCon – the President of the United States.
“ … this unfolding catastrophe has a central cause:
devastating dysfunction within the administration of President
George W. Bush. Perle says, "The decisions did not get made
that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion,
and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end
of the day, you have to hold the president responsible.…
I don't think he realized the extent of the opposition within
his own administration, and the disloyalty." Pearle speaks
of disloyalty with all the lofty authority of a scorpion.
But an even nastier specimen is Michael Ledeen, American Enterprise
Institute freedom scholar who slyly confides to Rose: "Ask
yourself who the most powerful people in the White House are.
They are women who are in love with the president: Laura [Bush],
Condi, Harriet Miers, and Karen Hughes."
Friends like Ledeen and Perle almost make it possible to feel
sorry for Bush.
Whether Bush reads the newspapers or listens to the radio or television,
he must be getting some information from somewhere.
The Great “Decider” has, almost overnight, found himself
neutered, bereft of advisors he can trust, surrounded by men vastly
more clever and less scrupulous than himself.
He has been playing a part scripted for him although he clearly
believes he is writing the script, that he is the puppeteer and
not the puppet.
Perhaps fortunately for him and for us, his father and his father’s
advisers have recently intervened. His father’s Secretary
of State and an eminent committee of conservatives is even now
trying to draw up plans to bring some order to the chaos of the
Bush foreign policy and perhaps to domestic policy also.
The election debacle is perhaps the best thing that could have
happened to Mr Bush. The Democrat control of Congress will mean
that he has a chance of leaving office with some credit, if his
better instincts allow him to work with them. The Democrats have
managed to overcome the elaborate system of traps and snares which
prevent the American body politic having any real effect on the
policies of their government, except by occasional electoral revolts
such as the latest one.
The American system of re-districting (redrawing constituency
boundaries) is so corrupt that only a small minority of seats
in Congress are in any sense competitive. Seats have been drawn
to preserve empires, electoral garrisons which rarely change hands.
In the state of New York, for instance, not one seat in the State
senate has changed parties for thirty years.
This principle, extended to the national Congress, means that
unless by some fluke there is a ‘perfect storm’ of
adverse circumstance as happened this time, the Republicans will
form a permanent government in the United States
This entrenched ‘rotten borough’ system, abolished
in Britain a century and a half ago, allows powerful vested interests
to totally dominate American society and economy. The last piece
of the plan was Mr Bush’s systematic appointment of hardline
born-again Christian Judges to the Supreme Court, ensuring a permanent
Sanhedrin for the management of ‘democracy. rigged electronic
voting machines should have taken everybody by surprise this time,
except that everybody was on the alert, after previous unfortunate
If the United States is to survive, the new Congress not only
must work overtime to restore some measure of social justice to
the United States and to end the obscenely unfair tax system which
subsidises the rich and pauperises the poor. The neocons and their
allied ‘malefactors of great wealth’ can buy autographed
tins of ‘artist’s’ excrement for hundreds of
thousands of dollars and indulge in other fantastically indecent
forms of conspicuous consumption, financed by oppression of entire
nations by war and the products of war. The whole purpose of globalisation
is to bring these blessings to the formerly colonised of the earth,
in a system which not only pauperises the people but attacks the
earth itself, poisoning the air, deforming children, exterminating
wildlife of all kinds and substituting a regimented, trademarked
proprietary civlisation to which most of us are slaves.
In this kind of world there will always be the need for a war
on terror, because the oppressed are never oppressed willingly,
and desperation and hopelessness have no conscience. The natives
are always restless and some population is always in need of pacification.|
Copyright© 2006 John Maxwell
position of the sham elections
Standing on Truth, Living without Fear: HLLN's position on foreign-sponsored
elections under coup d'etat, dictatorship and occupation | Haitian
Perspectives by Marguerite Laurent, October 31, 2005
responds regarding position
taken on sham elections, Windowsonhaiti
There are no free rides
“We’re Not Participating In Selections!” Says
Haitians in Haiti
(May 27, 2005) Ezili
Danto Witness Project
Fanmi Lavalas denounces Marc Bazin and his renegade Fanmi Lavalas
Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti
“Be true to the highest within your soul and then allow
yourself to be governed by no customs or conventionalities or
arbitrary man-made rules that are not founded on principle.”
Ralph Waldo Trine