Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gerard Latulippe's Appointment Has Unearthed More Serious Concerns With Harper's Agenda

When the Reformers announced the appointment of the controversial Gerard Latulippe to head up the Rights and Democracy agency, the immediate concerns were his homophobia and Islamophobia.

With the narrow minded views of his former boss, Stockwell Day, we can only imagine his views.

According to Fannie Olivier in The Canadian Press:
Some Muslim-rights groups had also called on Cannon to drop Latulippe as a candidate pointing to his past warnings on the threats posed by the geographic concentration of Muslim immigrants in Quebec. But Cannon stuck to his guns, saying Latulippe's "international background in advancing democratic governance and in strengthening civil society" will contribute to the work of the agency. "His breadth of experience in managing international economic development projects and in negotiating complex bilateral agreements will be an asset to the organization," ... Latulippe currently serves as resident director for the National Democratic Institute in Haiti.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents staff at Rights and Democracy, has claimed that workers are enduring a "witch hunt" and that the workplace atmosphere is "intolerable." Critics have accused Stephen Harper's government of trying to gag legitimate criticism of Israel by meddling in what is supposed to be an independent body.

Aurel Braun, the board chairman appointed by the Harper government in March, has defended the termination of funding to three rights groups, calling them "toxic organizations that are at the forefront of demonizing and dehumanizing Israel." A host of international NGOs signed a letter describing Braun's comments as a "public smear campaign."
So curious thing that I am, I asked myself what is a man who is both homophobic and Islamophobic, doing heading up an organization called the National Democratic Institute and ultimately Rights and Democracy? Not that a person's personal views, necessarily means that they can't act in a principled manner.

But knowing that Stockwell Day, Lawrence Cannon and 'Kennyism' are involved here, I had to at least check it out. Far too many red flags to ignore.

And again I knew I couldn't rely on the MSM for answers, so instead went to alternative sources, most from outside the country. As usual with investigating the religious right/neoconservative/Reform movement, you enter a maze and when you finally find your way out of it, you wish you'd never entered it in the first place.

But here goes ....

Ronald Reagan and the International Republican Institute

In 1983 Ronald Reagan introduced a scheme with the intended goal of building an infrastructure for democracy around the world, called the International Republican Institute. It would be funded through the establishment of the National Endowment for Democracy , which also funded the National Democratic Institute.

Sounds lovely right, all this democracy? Not if you're part of 'around the world' it isn't.

The intent of the NDI was to interfere .... or, I mean help to oversee elections in emerging democracies

So to recap: we have the neoconservative free marketeer Ronald Reagan, who begat the International Republican Institute, which begat the National Democratic Institute which begat Gerard Latulippe, who was appointed to keep tabs on Haiti. In fact he was there when the earthquake hit.

Haiti and the National Democratic Institute (and IRI)

I've already posted on Haiti and the reason the earthquake claimed so many lives. American foreign policy. But it was American foreign policy directed by ... wait for it ... the IRI and the NDI.

Shirley Pate, an authority on Haiti's struggles wrote:

On January 9, 2007, Washington, DC’s Woodrow Wilson Center sponsored a panel discussion entitled, “Haiti: Can the International Community Make a Difference?” Given the international community’s lengthy history of involvement in Haiti, it seems an odd question. If you have been following Haiti over the last several years, you know that it has made a considerable difference in Haiti; unfortunately, it is of the most destructive kind.

Pate explains:

Early in the new millennium, the US, France, and Canada rolled out plans for the demise of Haiti’s democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide, a priest guided by liberation theology as a way to achieve societal advancement, worried the international community. During the 1990’s, President Aristide began to resist the structural adjustment programs that IFIs ( International Financial Institutions) required as a condition for obtaining loans. Most structural adjustment programs rob countries of their social programs and steer national economies toward privatization. Aristide knew that not only were the IFIs’ loan requirements onerous, but acceptance of these loans would condemn Haiti, like other poor countries, to perpetual indebtedness.

By the late 1990’s, with the founding of Fanmi Lavalas based on its opposition to privatization, the IFIs considered Aristide to be in outright rebellion against them. Later, when he proposed doubling the minimum wage and mandated a full 30% of the Haitian budget be dedicated to education, the US-dominated international community decided it was time to teach him a lesson.

On the occasion of an electoral dispute in Haiti’s May 2000 elections ... the US falsely accused Aristide of stacking the deck. After this “undemocratic” characterization was circulated in the press, the main lesson was delivered. The US cancelled much of its assistance funding to Haiti and demanded that the IFIs follow suit.

This bullying tactic fits with Harper's current agenda as described by Ellen Gould under the sub-heading Selling financial liberalization to the world:
On the international stage, Canada is a major proponent of financial liberalization. At the WTO, Canada heads a group of delegations pressing developing countries to open their economies to the supposedly superior services of foreign financial institutions. ... The enormity of what's at stake in the WTO financial sector negotiations is revealed in a February 2006 bargaining request sent from Canada's Department of Finance to developing countries. Canada asked that foreign financial institutions be guaranteed rights to "establish new and acquire existing companies" in all financial sectors. This would mean among other things that countries would have to allow 100 per cent foreign ownership of their banks and insurance companies.
So hold that thought as we go back to Shirley Pate.

While the loans were being cancelled, the US was ramping up the campaign to destroy President Aristide personally. Through an underworld of US-invented non-governmental organizations and journalists for hire, the US established a network that planted scurrilous lies about the President in the international media which included everything from his appearance to charges of corruption. It was impressive teamwork that helped bring about the coup d’etat.

Over the course of a few years in the early 2000’s, the US funded and armed a group of “rebels,” (many of them among the most dangerous human rights abusers in Haiti) to attack Haiti from the Dominican Republic On February 29, 2004, amid fake reports issued by the US that Port-au-Prince was about to be captured by the “rebels,” President Aristide was kidnapped by US diplomats and marines, forced onto a US airplane, and sent to the Central African Republic.

The US plane had barely set down in the capital, Bangui, when the Washington, think tanks, giddy over an Aristide-less Haiti, met to discuss what should be done next. The congratulatory back slapping could be heard all the way down in Port-au-Prince.

And remember, all of this is being done under the IRI/NDI, during the reign of terror, known as the Bush Administration. (You can read more here)

Currently there is an investigation underway to determine the U.S. role in the coup.

Rep. Barbara Lee and ten other members of Congress re-introduced a bill calling for an investigation of the Bush Administration's role in the 2004 Coup d'État of Haiti. The original bill, known as the TRUTH Act, has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs at every session since Lee first made the case for a congressional investigation in March of 2004:

"We do not teach people to overthrow our US government, and the Bush administration must not participate in the overthrow of other democratically-elected governments. The United States must stand firm in its support of democracy and not allow a nascent democracy like Haiti to fall victim to the Bush Administration's apparent policy of regime change."

And if you scroll down the page you'll see one of the topics being investigated (8) The impact of the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and other organizations funded by the United States Agency for International Development on the political process in Haiti.

Shirley Pate discusses the recent earthquake and relief efforts:
Yesterday, I watched news of rescue efforts in Port-au-Prince. Elite rescue teams, such as the one from Fairfax County, VA, were focusing primarily on the Montana Hotel and the headquarters of the UN "peacekeeping" force, MINUSTAH. Anyone who knows Haiti knows that the Montana Hotel is the most lavish lodging your can find in Port-au-Prince and is frequented by wealthy business people, foreign dignitaries, and served as the initial headquarters of the MINUSTAH force. Meanwhile, in the neighborhoods most heavily hit by the earthquake, Haitians, equipped with nothing more than their bare hands, dug frantically to save their families and neighbors.

So another recap: George Bush under the mandate of Reagan's International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute in Haiti are currently under investigation for their role in the 2004 coup against, and kidnapping of, the popular, democratically elected Aristide. The NDI in Haiti is headed up by none other than Gerard Latulippe, who is now president of the troubled Rights and Democracy.

And who is heading up the current relief mission in Haiti? Wait for it ... George W. Bush.

So Now What?

The Rights and Democracy agency which is supposed to be arms length of the government, has recently undergone a hostile takeover by the Harper government and McCarthyism or 'Kennyism' is being used to rout out anyone who opposes Canada's aggressive plans for the Middle East, especially with Palestine and Iran. They've conducted a witch-hunt, and have been firing dissidents and it is believed that they may have even caused the death of one man.

If you want to learn more about their plans, you'll have to read the Old Testament.

But this brings me to why they chose Latulippe, who has been involved with the controversial National Democratic Institute. Again, I could find nothing from the MSM, but this little article certainly got my attention.

From Michael Allen, University of California:

Canada is poised to set up a new democracy assistance organization, based on the experience and structures of existing foundations, but reflecting distinctively Canadian characteristics and priorities.

A proposal has been tabled in the House of Commons, with legislation likely to follow next month, to form a Canadian Centre for Advancing Democracy, funded by an annual parliamentary appropriation of $30-70 million.

A new poll by the US-based Council on Foreign Relations suggests that supporting democracy has fallen out of favor with the US foreign policy elite. But, perhaps perversely, international commitment appears to be growing ... the democracy agenda can no longer be portrayed as Made in the USA.

So while the USA is trying to get out of 'coup' business, Canada's jumping in with both feet. (This isn't Harper's first foray into this stuff though) And is anyone surprised by this statement:

Modeled on existing foundations such as the National Endowment for Democracy and party-based institutes like the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute ....

There you go.

We are right back to Ronald Reagan and the International Republican Institute, above.

So to Recap the Recaps.

Reagan - neocon - privatization - IRI - NDI - Haiti - Coup - Bush - Trouble - Oh, oh - Latulippe - Bush. Americans ending schemes and moving on - Canada adopts schemes since they are working so well - Harper (above) promoting 100 % foreign ownership (bullying them) to developing countries, in his own privatization scheme.

No wonder Professor Allen heads his piece: The D-word out of favor? Don’t tell the Canadians


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