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UN Finally Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

The whole truth of this, as I suspect a lot of things in the 3rd world, has never been admitted. Having been in Haiti working when the epidemic started, I think the numbers provided by the world press are off by 5 or more. Indeed, one person I know who was in position to say – put the number of dead the first two days at double the claimed total number today.

The Haitians figured out pretty quick where the cholera came from. A disease which Papa Doc had eliminated in the country. The UN promptly went into cover-up mode, even when it was found that the sewage trenches dug by their soldiers from Nepal were leaking directly into the river. And even after it was discovered by DWB that the strain of cholera was native to the Nepal region of Asia. Even when it was shown that those soldier hadn’t been screened for cholera and other infectuous diseases (which is a UN requirement) prior to deployment.

Haitian despise the UN’s Minustah which is their “Peacekeeping” Military force – and this is just one of the reasons.

U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

For the first time since a cholera epidemic believed to be imported by United Nations peacekeepers began killing thousands of Haitians nearly six years ago, the office of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has acknowledged that the United Nations played a role in the initial outbreak and that a “significant new set of U.N. actions” will be needed to respond to the crisis.

The deputy spokesman for the secretary general, Farhan Haq, said in an email this week that “over the past year, the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.” He added that a “new response will be presented publicly within the next two months, once it has been fully elaborated, agreed with the Haitian authorities and discussed with member states.”

The statement comes on the heels of a confidential report sent to Mr. Ban by a longtime United Nations adviser on Aug. 8. Written by Philip Alston, a New York University law professor who serves as one of a few dozen experts, known as special rapporteurs, who advise the organization on human rights issues, the draft language stated plainly that the epidemic “would not have broken out but for the actions of the United Nations.”

The secretary general’s acknowledgment, by contrast, stopped short of saying that the United Nations specifically caused the epidemic. Nor does it indicate a change in the organization’s legal position that it is absolutely immune from legal actions, including a federal lawsuit brought in the United States on behalf of cholera victims seeking billions in damages stemming from the Haiti crisis.

But it represents a significant shift after more than five years of high-level denial of any involvement or responsibility of the United Nations in the outbreak, which has killed at least 10,000 people and sickened hundreds of thousands. Cholera victims suffer from dehydration caused by severediarrhea or vomiting.

Special rapporteurs’ reports are technically independent guidance, which the United Nations can accept or reject. United Nations officials have until the end of this week to respond to the report, which will then go through revisions, but the statement suggests a new receptivity to its criticism.

In the 19-page report, obtained from an official who had access to it, Mr. Alston took issue with the United Nations’ public handling of the outbreak, which was first documented in mid-October 2010, shortly after people living along the Meille River began dying from the disease.

The first victims lived near a base housing 454 United Nations peacekeepers freshly arrived from Nepal, where a cholera outbreak was underway, and waste from the base often leaked into the river. Numerous scientists have since argued that the base was the only plausible source of the outbreak — whose real death toll, one study found, could be much higher than the official numbers state — but United Nations officials have consistently insisted that its origins remain up for debate.

Mr. Alston wrote that the United Nations’ Haiti cholera policy “is morally unconscionable, legally indefensible and politically self-defeating.” He added, “It is also entirely unnecessary.” The organization’s continuing denial and refusal to make reparations to the victims, he argued, “upholds a double standard according to which the U.N. insists that member states respect human rights, while rejecting any such responsibility for itself.”

He said, “It provides highly combustible fuel for those who claim that U.N. peacekeeping operations trample on the rights of those being protected, and it undermines both the U.N.’s overall credibility and the integrity of the Office of the Secretary-General.”

Mr. Alston went beyond criticizing the Department of Peacekeeping Operations to blame the entire United Nations system. “As the magnitude of the disaster became known, key international officials carefully avoided acknowledging that the outbreak had resulted from discharges from the camp,” he noted.

His most severe criticism was reserved for the organization’s Office of Legal Affairs, whose advice, he wrote, “has been permitted to override all of the other considerations that militate so powerfully in favor of seeking a constructive and just solution.” Its interpretations, he said, have “trumped the rule of law.”

Mr. Alston also argued in his report that, as The New York Times hasreported, the United Nations’ cholera eradication program has failed. Infection rates have been rising every year in Haiti since 2014, as the organization struggles to raise the $2.27 billion it says is needed to eradicate the disease from member states. No major water or sanitation projects have been completed in Haiti; two pilot wastewater processing plants built there in the wake of the epidemic quickly closed because of a lack of donor funds.

In a separate internal report released days ago after being withheld for nearly a year, United Nations auditors said a quarter of the sites run by the peacekeepers with the organization’s Stabilization Mission in Haiti, or Minustah, that they had visited were still discharging their waste into public canals as late as 2014, four years after the epidemic began.

“Victims are living in fear because the disease is still out there,” Mario Joseph, a prominent Haitian human rights lawyer representing cholera victims, told demonstrators in Port-au-Prince last month. He added, “If the Nepalese contingent returns to defecate in the water again, they will get the disease again, only worse.”

In 2011, when families of 5,000 Haitian cholera victims petitioned the United Nations for redress, its Office of Legal Affairs simply declared their claims “not receivable.” (Mr. Alston called that argument “wholly unconvincing in legal terms.”)…More…

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Haiti

 

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Black Folks Group Guilt…White Folks Individual Craziness

Racial Stereotyping is a Box Office Business in the US. From the media to the political theater, these stereotypes drive our politics, out Justice system, and our interaction with Law Enforcement…

Recent Mass Murderers

We blame minority groups for individual crimes. Why do white conservatives get a pass?

When will we start holding racism and misogyny accountable for the violence they rationalize and inspire?

The man who opened fire in a Lafayette, La., movie theater showing of the arguably feminist film “Trainwreck” was, by all accounts, a far-right ideologue. “He was anti-abortion,” a radio host who knew shooter John Russell Houser said. “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights.” He reportedly encouraged “violent” responses to abortion and the idea of women in the workforce. A bar Houser owned reportedly flew a Nazi flag out front as an anti-government statement. He lashed out against “sexual deviants.” He posted comments against immigrants and the black community. Plus, he ranted against social service programs and “had lot of anti-tax issues,” another person who knew Houser said.

Houser was steeped and stewing in right-wing xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist and racist hate. He was obviously crazy. It’s generally safe to assume everyone who commits mass murder is. But Houser was crazy and held some beliefs that were variations of more mainstream conservative beliefs. The roots of some of Houser’s political views are hard to distinguish from ideas espoused by many, if not most, of the candidates running for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

I want to be very clear here: I am NOT saying any of them would endorse or remotely condone Houser’s violence or the extremities to which he took his beliefs. Period, full stop.

Still it’s naïve, not to mention counterproductive, not to acknowledge that what ensnarled Houser’s singular mind grew from seeds of a widely sowed ideology. Houser was a bad seed, of course. And he fell far from the tree. But he was of it.

Look at Donald Trump saying that Mexican immigrants are mostly rapists and drug dealers. Or Rand Paul saying paying taxes is tantamount to slavery, or Mike Huckabee calling gay marriage a “perversion” and Ben Carson calling women who take birth control “entitled.” Not to mention the GOP repeatedly encrusting anti-gay and anti-woman policies into its official platform while consistently working to block everything from comprehensive immigration reform to basic non-discrimination laws to equal pay. Again, to say this rhetoric causes tragedies like those in Lafayette would be too simplistic. But to say there’s no connection at all is downright stupid.

When there’s evidence that a mass shooting suspect who’s Muslim espoused anti-American, pro-radical Islamicist views, we  tie that suspect to the broader ideology. Consider the shooter in Chattanooga, Tenn., for instance, whom conservative politicians linked not only to radical Islam but to ISIS specifically, despite the lack of evidence for that link and even some evidence to the contrary.

Black Americans are presumed to bear blame as a group even when they’re the victims of violence. This weekend, after a national gathering in Cleveland, leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement were tear-gassed by police. Some online instantly implied that the activists must have done something to provoke the police — reflecting the inherent bias about which Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in warning to his black son that “you must be responsible for the worst actions of other black bodies, which, somehow, will always be assigned to you.” We automatically pathologize all black people whether they’re perpetrating violence or the victims, regardless of the facts.

And yet when white men shoot up movie theaters or black churches, they’re given the benefit of individuality. We don’t automatically assume that they represent some disease within all, or even a subset of, other white men. Even in the face of evidence such as espoused racist, misogynistic views and participation in organized hate groups, we still resist drawing any broader conclusions about any white men other than the shooter. Meanwhile, most mass shooters are white men. Communities of color or of minority religions, as a whole, are rarely given the benefit of the doubt of collective innocence. White men, and white people in general, always are. That white privilege extends even to white mass murderers shows just how insidious it is….More...

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Domestic terrorism

 

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One Ghanaian African View of the Gates “Blame” Article

Because we are having a really good discussion here (and I thank James for his contributions to the discussion) – I thought I would throw this one in as indicative of what Africans think of the Gates article. This one is from Modern Ghana by Paul I. Adujie. I haven’t been able to pull up reactions from Nigeria yet.

Ending The Slavery Blame-Game By Henry Louis Gates, A Rejoinder

Nigerian-American Designer Lola Faturoti's New Obama Inspired Attire

It is with considerable agitation, and extreme irritation, with which I read Henry Louis Gates’ pedestrian essay on slave trade and reparations, published in The New York Times, titled Ending The Slavery Blame-Game.

Louis Gates is obviously seeking relevance and redemption after his arrogant altercations with a Cambridge police officer in 2009. Louis Gates it will be recalled, engaged in a shouting match in belligerent, intransigent and cantankerous manner, as he prevented a police officer from carrying out legitimate police work. At that time, it was pointed out by some, that Louis Gates was merely engaged in racial racketeering, as he accused the police officer of racism without basis. An accusation and serious charge of racism against a fine police officer, which was not based on the facts and the evidences.

Perhaps it is Henry Louis Gates’ calling card and nature, to make sundry conclusions while shirking away from the intellectual dexterity required to sift through facts and evidences, and engage in empirical analysis, particularly so, for anyone with pretension to academic credentials, and with desire to be taken seriously. In the all important matter of slave trade, slavery and overdue reparations, Gates has come with a claptrap and a hack job to absolve, exculpate and exonerate his historical tormentors?

Louis Gates lazily, engaged in this silly pretensions to rewrite and revise the well settled history of the profound evil of slavery, the worst evil, in human history, and yet, Gates offered obfuscations and parroting of recycled garbage, and sought to cover all these with his happenstance of being a Harvard University employee!

Gates’ inane contribution to revisionists efforts at retelling of the horrors and brutalities of slave trade is shameful. Gates writes about the slave trade as some sorts of friendly business transactions between willing seller and equally willing buyer, as would seller and buyer of pork barrels or barrels of sweet crude or commodities at the New York or Chicago Stock Exchanges; in which merchants of equal statuses seal deals with warm and endearing handshakes, with scheduled caviar and cocktails to follow.

Gates’ flimsy portrayals of Africans as conspiring, conniving and colluding collaborators, with those who came from thousands of miles to far away Africa, to kidnap, snatch and bundles and brutalize Africans into slavery, is an effort, which is worse than useless on the part of Gates. Gates’ melodramatic lies failed to inform his readers of Oba Ovoramwen of Benin, a king of the Bini Kingdom who was dethroned and exiled outside of his domain, because he opposed Europeans horrors and brutalities and oppression in his kingdom. And there were many others like Oba Ovaramwen and the Mau Mau, during slavery and colonialism, who opposed Europeans, and paid with their lives or were jailed by Europeans! Gates obviously have not read a single page about Belgian Congo and King Leopold? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2010 in Black History

 

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