Haiti

Naomi Klein, Mostly Right

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Delightfully ditzy Canadian firebrand Naomi Klein talks Haiti:

Here's the original Heritage piece described by Klein, author of the Prix Mediations-winning No Logo and the more recent Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Here is the piece Heritage replaced it with. And that's a well deserved humiliation for Heritage, not just for doing some clumsy political piggybacking on a disaster but for not having the huevos to stay with the piggybacking.

I also agree with Klein that assistance to Haiti, at least for the duration of the post-earthquake digout, should be given in the form of grants rather than loans. (With standard caveats about foreign interventions of all kinds: Right now the U.S. has again involved itself as a doctor, and as such is required to keep the patient's longterm health in mind.)

But why would Klein be in favor of giving grants at all? If her definitions mean anything, President René Préval is a yes man for mercantilist globalizers. In this 2005 piece Klein denounces opponents of ousted Préval predecessor Jean-Bertrand Aristide as "convicted killers, drug smugglers and arms traders" who are comparable to Charles Manson. Préval is the first full-term president since the 2004 American-backed putsch against Aristide (not to be confused with the 1994 American-led putsch in favor of Aristide). Since that time, inequality in Haiti has grown to the point that starving people in 2008 tried to storm the presidential palace and were stopped by international troops.

So whom do we trust to do well for Haiti? Heifer International? The 82nd Airborne Division? Bluehelmets? The Catholic Church? The network of community organizers in Port-au-Prince? Reunited Fugees? Canada?