Terror and Justice

John Maxwell
July 17, 2005
(UN forces killing Haitian civilians in Haiti, go to:zilibutton )

Terror and Justice
by John Maxwell

Many people believe that writing a column is duck soup. You just think of something that intrigues, concerns or provokes you in some way, sit down and blast off. It isn't that simple; and it can be a horribly frustrating job.

For instance, I had this week intended to review a new book by the Caribbean scholar, Clinton Hutton entitled "The Cosmological Roots of Haitian Freedom: the logic and historical significance of the Haitian revolution".

Dr Hutton's book is no less than a bold and in my opinion, entirely successful guerrilla attack on the premises of modern historiography, an overwhelmingly racist enterprise whose major purpose has been to relegate Africa and all its children to an enclosure of historical curiosae, a kind of intellectual zoo.

Hutton, quotes Toussaint's reply to Napoleon Bonaparte who had attempted to impose conditions on Haiti's sense of self, after the Haitians had already thrown out one Napoleonic army and were on the point of defeating a second.

"It is not a circumstantial liberty conceded to us that we wish, but the unequivocal adoption of the principle that no man, whether he be born red, black or white, can become the property of his fellowmen."

As Hutton says: "Toussaint's incisive reply to Bonaparte must be counted philosophically and politically as one of the most radical, most important epistemological and ontological statements on justice in human intercourse, not only of the modern age, but of any age....Soon the revolution would combine abolition with self-determination, thereby transforming it from an anti-slavery revolution to a national liberation/anticolonial revolution: the first such revolution in the modern world."
The Haitians spoke of and demanded the recognition of universal human rights, and insisted that civilisation demanded justice for all, no matter the color of the skin or any other characteristic. It is a principle not recognised by the world until 1948 after the Second war to entrench Freedom in the world.

Hutton points out that while there has never been mainstream recognition of these key tenets of political philosophy as Haitian cum universal, they have, however, been colonised by and or subsumed in the western philosophical tradition, reinforcing the epistemology of silence on the one hand, and perpetuating the myth of the West as the cognitive basis for defining, knowing and certifying things on the other hand.

Hutton argues persuasively that the voudou religion - misinterpreted, libeled and denigrated - by western scholars was the magma in which was syncretised the whole "thinking and knowing of the enslaved,the cosmological bases and context of the meanings they created , inherited, recreated, adopted, adapted, weaved and quilted to explain the nature of their being, their existential reality, their hopes and aspirations, and to guide their action to mediate, manipulate, neutralise and overcome the encumbrances imposed on their lives" by the European 'soul-thieves'.

Hutton concludes by noting that the Haitian elites, in the process of their own identity construction, were purposeful agents in the "silencing and marginalisation of the centrality of Africa and the African Diaspora in the making of the Haitian revolution" so that "the retracing of Haitian freedom, identity and certitude to French knowing and being became a modus operandi of elite agency in the social, political, cultural and economic development of Haiti".

The Haitian elite are once again riding high, backed by the United States, France, Canada and the United Nations itself in what must surely be the greatest betrayal of human rights in history. Last week Mr Straw apologised to the Bosnian Muslims for the neglect which caused the deaths of 3,000 in Srebenicza. The forces of evil have already killed more than that in Haiti. And, last week the United Nations troops in Haiti, under the command of a Brazilian general, massacred uncounted numbers of Haitians in a successful attempt to assassinate the leader of the poor people of the Cite Soleil, a slum as big as Kingston, and the natural product of American and French interference and exploitation of Haiti over two centuries.

American spokesmen are still as vulgar and stupid as William Jennings Bryan, American Secretary of State who, in 1915, was dumbstruck at the idea of 'Niggers speaking French!' Mr Bush must be scandalised.

Bryan's modern day equivalent, Luigi Einaudi, the (American) Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of American States retired last week, to the hypocritical encomiums of such as the black Caribbean's spokesperson for the occasion, a lady named Mrs Sonia Johnny, from St Lucia. She said Einaudi was a "facilitator in the ongoing quest for consensus".

She, poor soul, was probably not aware of Mr Einaudi's real claim to fame, his statement in Haiti, a year ago, that the only thing wrong with Haiti was that it was being run by Haitians.

And the OAS and UN speak of the inalienable right to self-determination.

But these days, vulgar racist ignoramuses like Einaudi are thick on the ground. It must have something to do with global warming which allows lower forms of life to flourish.

(End on part about Haiti. )



In search of an honest statesman

Real sportsmen are rare - as the West indies cricket Board continues to prove. Real sportsmen do however exist. One of them is a golfer called David Toms, who on Friday disqualified himself from the British Open because he had signed an incorrect score card.

No one but Toms saw when he hit a moving ball, an infraction of the rules which should have cost him two penalty strokes. He could easily have got away with it. His conscience wouldn't let him.

Conscience is not a quality on display in the more important chancelleries of the world. The British Prime Minister, in his first statement after the London bombings declared that it was the work of Muslim extremists. No one had yet discovered the identity of the bombers. And Mr Blair kept repeating his slogan while, at the same time, promising his Muslim audience and everybody else that he did not wish to divide society, he didn't want to stir up hatred.

It seems clear to me that if he was so sure that the assassins were Muslim extremists before anyone had told him so, there could only be one reason - a bad conscience. Why should they be Muslim extremists?

Because it would seem, Mr Blair recognises that Muslims have very real reasons to be angry with Britain.

Palestine may be one reason; Iraq may be another; Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo represent collateral damage, like Fallujah.

The newspaper of the Jamaican diocese of the Anglican(Episcopalian) church recently quoted something I wrote nine years ago. "We have sat silently by for years, watching judges and policemen trample on the human rights of poor people. We have endured without protest the worst tyrannies of incompetent public and private bureaucracies as they brutalised our children...prisoners in jails, helpers, common-law wives, workers and consumers. ... We can no longer avoid a confrontation with the truth. If we, as a community do not rearrange our society to suit all of us, some of us will rearrange it to suit themselves, and it will not matter then who is of good or bad reputation."

I was talking about Jamaica, but i was also talking about the world.

With all the uproar about the bombing, few people have noticed that Israel has quietly built an illegal wall across Jerusalem, separating some Palestinians from their own front yards.

As I and many others remarked immediately after 9/11, terrorism cannot be defeated by war. There is no central government of terrorism. Terrorism is born in the hearts of those who have no other way to protest the injustices done to them, to express their hopelessness and their sense of futility.

In his novel, "The Leopard", my late friend and mentor, Vic Reid, used a ghastly metaphor to express the feeling of the hunted Kikuyu warrior in the Mau Mau struggle.

To kill his enemy, the warrior thought, was to "make him beautiful"

It is a horrific image but I believe it probably expresses the mindset of those who have been so long oppressed and brutalised that the road to darkness and death seems like the only route to the promised land.

Do people like Tony Blair ever try to imagine what goes on in the minds of those he describes as motivated by evil?

Belgian Roulette

The Belgian government has thrown a spanner in the works of the debt forgiveness charade which the G8 so proudly hailed last week as a new dawn for Africa.

The Belgians, ever mindful of the civilised niceties, think that forgiving Third World debt will set a bad example and encourage 'moral hazard'. As far as they are concerned, Third World debt resulted from spending sprees embarked upon by the feckless borrowers of the Third World, and not, as some of us see it, the inevitable consequence of the starvation wages we got from producing ever more at ever cheaper rates to satisfy the inexhaustible hunger of the first world for our diamonds, uranium, bananas, sugar and aluminium. We are irresponsible children, in need of moral guidance.

Oh! for a King Leopold to set the world to rights!

Or, perhaps, a Bernie Ebbers, sentenced to 25 years imprisonment last week for defrauding his shareholders of $75 billion, a tad more than the west is offering in debt forgiveness and aid to the entire developing world, beset by AIDS, global warming and of course, hurricanes.

John Maxwell jonmax@mac.com

Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
Pictures and Articles Witness Project
Click photo for larger image
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme - on "Wanted poster" of suspects wanted by the Haitian police.
"Dread" Wilme reported killed July 6, 2005

Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme speaks:
Radio Lakou New York, April 4, 2005 interview with Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme
Urgent Action
Alert- Demand a Stop to Killings
in Cite Soleil:

Background Info,
Sample letters and Contact information provided, April 21, 2005

Crucifiction of
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme,
a historical

Charlemagne Peralte - The old Bandit King of Haiti
* In 1919 the US murdered him and put the body on public display

Urge the Caribbean Community to stand firm in not recognizing the illegal Latortue regime:

Selected CARICOM Contacts
zilibutton Slide Show at the July 27, 2004 Haiti Forum Press Conference during the DNC in Boston honoring those who stand firm for Haiti and democracy; those who tell the truth about Haiti; Presenting the Haiti Resolution, and; remembering Haiti's revolutionary legacy in 2004 and all those who have lost life or liberty fighting against the Feb. 29, 2004 Coup d'etat and its consequences
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