Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stephen Harper's Response to Haiti is Underwhelming and Suspect

I've posted several times on the Haiti crisis, which was as much a man made tragedy as a natural disaster.

Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Why is that? Ted Rall knows why and it's because of U.S. foreign policy.

When news of the the earthquake first reached us, foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon, assured us that no Canadians were involved and that he didn't know whether Canada was going to send aid or not.

Then Stephen Harper, seeing his dip in the polls, thought uh, huh. Maybe this will be the ticket to make Canadians like me again, or at least put up with me. The media pounced on it, saying look at that caring Stevie, handing out his own money to help, though it was really our money; but it's corporate media. What do you expect?

However, several other sources have been suggesting that the Haiti relief plan is looking more like an invasion and occupation, and much of the aid comes with conditions. But then with George Bush at the helm, did we really think it was about ending human suffering?

Henry Champ also sees the irony of the men heading up the mission for the U.S., being the same ones who helped to keep Haiti in poverty.

The issue isn't money, it's staying power
January 25, 2010
By Henry Champ,
special to CBC News

Almost every newspaper in the United States last week had the same picture. Former president George W. Bush and his Democratic predecessor Bill Clinton in the Rose Garden announcing the formation of the Bush-Clinton Haiti Fund.

The fund itself has been a huge success. In just a few days, it has raised tens of millions of dollars, courtesy of movie stars, athletes and everyday Americans.

But at the same time, the joint appearance of these two ex-presidents is ironic on a couple of levels, but particularly since each had a spotty record as chief executive when it came to dealing with Haiti .....

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