When all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail
When all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail
Both the US and UN have terrible histories in Haiti, they are approaching this, with the US leading as a security issue and corporate media are following, but even then when you read carefully they fail to substantiate the chaos/looting meme beyond violent police reactions, that is very familiar if you cast your mind back to post Katrina coverage. Real grassroots efforts by relief workers without an agenda paint a very different picture-
In today’s earliest hours, Dr. Evan Lyon recounted his reactions to PIH staff in Boston. He spent his first twelve hours in Port-au-Prince driving around the city identifying places in need so that PIH could pursue a more decentralized approach to emergency medical care delivery today. He and other PIH leadership forged important relationships with the hospital administration at the University Hospital (HUEH) where PIH has partnered with the Ministry of Health to pursue a fully coordinated approach to restoring of services for the thousands of patients awaiting care there. And together with the PIH logistics team and Dr. Joia Mukherjee, he helped evacuate four of the most in need patients and a guardian from Port-au-Prince to Philadelphia for urgent care. We hope his words will give you all who are supporting this relief effort a small window into what it is like to be in Port-au-Prince now.
Sent on January 17, 2010, 3:34AM by Dr. Evan Lyon of PIH
can’t get through much now but beyond the horror, one very striking reality is that things are totally peaceful. we circulated in PAP in the middle of everything until just now. everywhere. no UN. no police. no US marines and no violence or chaos or anything. just people helping each other. drove past the main central park in PAP where at least 50K people must be sleeping and it was almost silent.
people cooking, talking, some singing and crying. people are kind, calm, generous to us and others. even with hundreds lying on the ground, open fractures, massive injuries of all kinds.
there are few dead bodies on the street. stench is everywhere. the city is changed forever.
we had a late day opportunity to evacuate 4 patients to the US. these may be the first haitian nationals allowed to leave for the US. but martinique has taken over 200. the DR has taken many many more. so we circulated in PAP looking for urgent cases. found hundreds but picked up the 4 to get out, hopefully to philadelphia. open fractures, gangrene, one 4 year old boy with a leg broken in 3 places, a minor head wound, and now 4 days of sleeping outside with IV fluid and maybe some pain meds. probably none.
at the airport, we drove onto the tarmac to meet the air ambulance. surrounded by marines and UN, massive weapons. a humvee with a gunner turret at the top drove by. the noise from the large transport planes was deafening. us citizens and haitian american citizens leaving by the hundreds on US planes. and our small team of haitian and american docs evacuating a drop in the bucket. my ears are still ringing from the noise of it all.
in contrast, port au prince is silent. no current. no car traffic. people sleeping in the streets but little else. beside the impossible weight and tragedy of this city completely devastated, one lasting impression was the stillness of the city. in shock, tragically sad, but quiet. so good to get away from the airport.
sleeping tonight in the house of a dear PIH friend and doctor. attending to neighbors here and able to rest. safety and the work is with our sisters and brothers in this beautiful, proud, and strong nation.
the safest and best way to be here and help is with our colleagues and friends. wonderful to be in the city, away from the airplanes, and working shoulder to shoulder with people we know and love and will continue work with to mourn, assist, and rebuild this special country.
in the photo you see the first time operating of any kind possible at the main general and academic center.
for press / outreach strategy, we might highlight the generosity and getting it done kindness of the air ambulance team. they also left us all the supplies they had on board – water, meds, IV material, blankets, food.
goodnight everyone. love. evan.
In a January 5 statement, Bolivian President Evo Morales called on “the peoples of the world, social movements and Mother Earth’s defenders … scientists, academics, lawyers and governments that want to work with their citizens to the Peoples’ World Conference on Climate Change and Mother Earth’s Rights”.
The conference will be held over April 20-22 in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
Morales said that “climate change is a product of the capitalist system”. He noted “the failure of the Copenhagen Conference caused by countries called ‘developed’, that fail to recognize the climate debt they have with developing countries, future generations and Mother Earth”.
As well as analysing the structural causes of climate change and developing concrete measures to tackle it, Morales said the conference would help organise his proposal for a “Peoples’ World Referendum on Climate Change” and develop a plan for a Climate Justice Tribunal.
The 38 largest financial institutions on Wall Street will pay out a total of $145.85 billion in compensation for 2009, an 18 percent increase over 2008 and “slightly more than in the record year of 2007,” theWall Street Journal reports.
The UN launched an emergency appeal for $550m (£338m) yesterday amid an outpouring of worldwide generosity towards victims of the Haiti earthquake.
If the obscenely wealthy will not voluntarily fund relief needs then I believe it is morally imperative and justifiable to take it from them by force.
PS. And it would count as self defence for us and Haiti as the avatars of Capital are already unsheathing their Shock Doctrine.
The UK Government are planning imminent changes to the law, to avoid any future attempts to prosecute suspected war criminals, Israeli or otherwise.
This would see the UK reneging on its international treaty obligations, particularly those under the Fourth Geneva Convention which commit signatories to ‘seek out and prosecute persons suspected of war crimes wherever and whoever they are, whatever their status, rank or influence, against whom good prima facie evidence has been laid.’ Such an attempt to undermine the judiciary’s independence and integrity must be rejected in the strongest terms.
Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister Ivan Lewis and Foreign Secretary David Miliband, have stated that Britain may consider changing its laws to avoid any future attempts to prosecute suspected war criminals, Israeli or otherwise.
One year after the end of the last round of hostilities in Gaza and southern Israel and both the Israeli and Palestinian sides have completely failed to investigate well-documented violations of international law, including war crimes that were committed by their forces.
The UK should not be working against steps, now long overdue, to ensure that the victims obtain justice, truth and reparations (including restitution, rehabilitation, compensation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition). They should be working to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. They can show their commitment to international justice and human rights by not altering the law on universal jurisdiction
What is Universal Jurisdiction?
The ability for national courts to prosecute serious human rights violations committed anywhere in the world.
As genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, torture, extrajudicial and enforced disappearances are crimes under international law; all states should investigate and prosecute the crimes before their national courts.
Recognizing that impunity exists mainly when the national authorities of countries affected by the crimes fail to act, it is important that the national criminal and civil justice systems of all countries can step in to prosecute the crimes on behalf of the international community and award reparations to victims.
Amnesty International campaigns for all governments to empower their national courts to take on this important role by enacting and using legislation providing for universal jurisdiction. Such legislation should enable national authorities to investigate and prosecute any person suspected of the crimes, regardless of where the crime was committed or the nationality of the accused and the victim and to award reparations to victims and their families.
In doing so, governments will ensure that their countries cannot be used as safe havens by the worst criminals.
Amnesty International’s legal memorandum, Universal Jurisdiction: the duty of states to enact and implement legislation, documents more than 125 states that have universal jurisdiction over at least one of the crimes. The organization is campaigning for all states to enact universal jurisdiction legislation over all six crimes.
Since the end of the Second World War, more than 15 countries have exercised universal jurisdiction in investigations or prosecutions of persons suspected of crimes under international law, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Senegal, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and others, such as Mexico, have extradited persons to countries for prosecution based on universal jurisdiction.
Lots of ways here or Disasters Emergency Committee Haiti Earthquake Appeal or more grassroots efforts- Partners in Health or Haiti Emergency Relief Fund or Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP).
Also demand your govts stop deportations of Haitians and release them from migrant jails, in the US case grant Temporary Protected Status, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano temporarily halted deportations but that is all so far (ht2 Nezua).
Update: Temporary Protected Status has now been granted.
Absolutely disgusting –Men cleared as rape woman’s group sex fantasy revealed-(ht2 PennyRed) so if a woman has sexual fantasies that means she can’t be raped, which is what this seems to imply. That male prosecutor and judge think a woman having sexual fantasies destroys her credibility? Well we’re all in trouble then, but women far more than men because well- patriarchy. This is a really dangerous outcome for everyone who has sexual fantasies (erm all of us) and those who engage in anything other than the most vanilla -approved by conservative straight men in the legal profession- sex lives (and that doesn’t wash, ask a sex worker about their legal clientele). And if the argument is this the case would be impossible to win in the current legal system, well duh, there’s a big clue there about the failings and need for change in that legal system. But the quotes from the well paid legal men actually do not bear that out, they mostly boil down to –we don’t believe or respect her because she has fantasies– which is just repulsive and hateful, it seems to rest on a judgement and prescription of women that precludes them having a sexual existence of their own, not one pre-approved by men. This is a really offensive judgement and I hope the survivor has help to deal with it and help if she wishes to push for a proper trial in a court not run by misogynist scumbags.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) donate here.
SOA Watch is joining other Latin America and Caribbean Solidarity and human rights groups in raising funds for food and water, health and shelter relief for those affected by the earthquake and for community re-building efforts. To contribute to the Haiti earthquake relief, click here to donate online [Paypal], call us with your credit card information (202) 234 3440 or send a check or money order with “Haiti” in the memo field to SOA Watch, PO Box 4566, Washington, DC 20017
In the UK:
British Red Cross
In the US:
American Red Cross
These organisations also have ways to donate:
International Red Cross
Campbell’s lies at a pantomime that does not require witnesses to massive crimes to be under oath is beneath contempt nor will I dignify it with many words, just this- failing a war crimes trial in a neutral court, I wish him ill.
Fresh evidence has emerged that Tony Blair’s discredited Iraqi arms dossier was “sexed up” on the instructions of Alastair Campbell, his communications chief, to fit with claims from the US administration that were known to be false.
The pre-invasion dossier’s worst-case estimate of how long it would take Iraq to acquire a nuclear weapon was shortened in response to a George Bush speech.
As Campbell prepares to appear before the Iraq inquiry on Tuesday, new evidence reveals the extent to which – on his instructions – those drafting the notorious dossier colluded with the US administration to make exaggerated claims about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction.
In a keynote speech to the UN on 12 September 2002, Bush claimed: “Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year.” This contradicted the first draft of the British dossier, drawn up two days earlier, which stated that it would take “at least two years” for Iraq to get the bomb.
The Cabinet Office has disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act that those who drafted the dossier were immediately asked to compare British claims against the US president’s speech. The next day the dossier’s timescale was halved to claim Iraq could get the bomb in a year.
A Foreign Office official who helped draft the dossier, Tim Dowse, told the Chilcot inquiry that disputed claims that Iraq had acquired special aluminium tubes for a nuclear programme were included because the US vice-president, Dick Cheney, had publicly referred to them.
Both changes to the weapons dossier were part of a detailed process of comparing the British claims with US statements and those in a forthcoming CIA dossier. The comparisons were made on the express instructions of Campbell. He told the joint intelligence committee (JIC) chairman, John Scarlett, in a memo on 9 September 2002, that the British dossier should be “one that complements rather than conflicts with” US claims.
New evidence has also emerged of Scarlett’s extensive US consultation on the dossier. On the same day as the Bush speech, Scarlett met political and intelligence officials in Washington to discuss the dossier, according to a previously classified US state department memo.
The government has sought to conceal evidence of Scarlett’s consultations with the US over the dossier. One email sent to Campbell was disclosed to the Hutton inquiry with a sentence blacked out. It was later disclosed that the sentence was: “Clearly John will be speaking to US.” (ht2 Bloggerheads)