Sunday, January 17, 2010

Editorial: The Haiti Distraction

Haiti! Haiti! Haiti!

It's the only subject that matters in the world . . . according to media whores.


Reality: US troops on the ground in Haiti? Not a good thing. Not a great thing. In fact, the less involvement the US government has in Haiti, the better (as anyone who knows the history of Haiti should grasp).

Among those raising the issue of the US troops is Dennis Bernstein on KPFA's Flashpoints Radio (check Friday's show for example) and Michel Chossudovsky (Global Research) -- the latter notes:

The main actors in America's "humanitarian operation" are the Department of Defense, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). (See USAID Speeches: On-The-Record Briefing on the Situation in Haiti, 01/13/10). USAID has also been entrusted in channelling food aid to Haiti, which is distributed by the World Food Program. (See USAID Press Release: USAID to Provide Emergency Food Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims, January 13, 2010)
The military component of the US mission, however, tends to overshadow the civilian functions of rescuing a desperate and impoverished population. The overall humanitarian operation is not being led by civilian governmental agencies such as FEMA or USAID, but by the Pentagon.

Reality: The networks help no one with their Rush To Disaster coverage nor does Pravda on the Hudson's Amy Goodman.

And if you're not starting to get offended by the 'caring,' grasp that repeat box office failure and liberal hawk George Clooney is prepping a fundraiser -- which will clog up all broadcast channels Friday.

A fund raiser?

Saturday, Bill Van Auken (WSWS) noted that an estimated 300,000 are homeless in Haiti. That is a tragic number but there are other tragic numbers. The same day, Tom Eley (WSWS) explained, "A record 2.82 million homes faced foreclosure foreclosed in 2009, according to RealtyTrac, a web-based firm that tracks and markets foreclosed homes." 2.82 million homes representing millions of people."

Where's their benefit, George Clooney?

Approximately 8 and 1/2 million jobs have been lost in the US recession (Doug Henwood on Doug Henwood's Behind the News, broadcast on KPFA January 16th). Where's the benefit for those workers?

Those rushing to participate in George's gathering better grasp a few things including the rage that's building in America due to the awful economy and financial system robbing people of their jobs and homes. Things were better in the mid-80s but it didn't take long for people to begin asking why Americans were focused on We Are The World-ing across the globe while ignoring the plight of American farmers? Again, that was a better economic climate.

Reality: The slashing of Social Security is being proposed (here for NPR's audio and transcript) and the left slept through that as they continued their drum beats for Haiti.

Everyone was trying to score points on the subject.

US President Barack Obama declared last week, "To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need . . ." If you're an American whose lost their job or lost their home, how does that play to you. Maybe your response is: "Where were you in my family's hour of greatest need?"

The government agency USAID notes:

Total FY 2010 USAID/OFDA Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake
Total FY 2010 USAID/FFP2 Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake
Total FY 2010 USAID Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti for the Earthquake

Barack bailed out the Wall St. Crooks, he didn't do a damn thing for those losing their homes or losing their jobs. With all that's going on and all the efforts to chip away at the safety net in the US, you better believe that $86 million (which isn't the full amount the US government is 'giving' or spending) is going to be an extreme sore spot.

And you better grasp that the press has been deployed to Haiti for one reason and one reason only: To distract US audiences from reality. Which is why you had the obscene moment on CNN where the reporter shoved the microphone into the face of a just rescued woman insisting she explain how she felt and how she feels.

Wallow in the misery, float above it all.

And while that distraction takes place, the US Congress hammers out the 'health care' legislation. Did you notice that when the Press Whores presented the public with wall-to-wall suffering, gone were the demands for the health 'reform' discussions to take place in public and be broadcast on CSPAN?

A lot's going on and is being missed as everyone rushes to showcase the suffering. No, the press didn't suddenly develop a humanitarian side. It's all distraction.


Note: Dennis Bernstein and Flashpoints are mentioned above and, to be clear, they cover Haiti all the time. That is their beat. They're not rushing to the 'spectacle' in some modern-day attempt at covering the gladiator fights. Few others can make the same claim.

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