American Genocides: Is Haiti Next?
by Stephen Lendman
February 22, 2010
Distinguished historian, scholar and activist
Gabriel Kolko studied "the nature and purpose of (American)
power (since) the 1870s," calling it "violen(t), racis(t),
repressi(ve) at home and abroad (and) cultural(ly) mendaci(ous)."
It's been the same since inception, historian Howard Zinn calling
"a class society from the beginning.
America started off as a society of rich and poor, people with
enormous grants of land and people with no land. And there were
riots, there were bread riots in Boston, and riots and rebellions
all over the colonies, of poor against rich, of tenants breaking
into jails to release people who were in prison for nonpayment
of debt. There was class conflict. We try to" portray a benevolent
nation. We weren't then. We're not now.
We waged war against Native Americans,
African-Americans, ordinary Americans, the poor, disadvantaged
and women. Since inception, we committed "genocide,"
according to Zinn: "brutally and purposefully....by our rulers
in the name of progress, (who then buried ugly truths) in a mass
of other facts, as radioactive wastes are buried in containers
in the earth."
At home, profit over human lives and welfare
took millions of working American lives. Abroad it was far worse,
the result of direct or proxy wars, death squads, torture, occupations,
alliances with despots, and neglect. Against indigenous and black
Americans, it was worst of all. More on that below.
America's Genocidal Legacy
In his many books, scholar/activist Ward
Churchill documented genocide in America. In "A Little Matter
of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas 1492 to the
Present," he wrote:
After four centuries of systematic slaughter
from 1492 - 1892, "the US Census Bureau concluded that there
were fewer than a quarter-million indigenous people surviving,"
in America, reduced to at most 3% of their original numbers.
Millions were "hacked apart with
axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted
as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty,
hanged on meathooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea,
worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen
to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments,
and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected
with epidemic diseases."
Shockingly, "every one of these practices
(still continues in new forms). The American holocaust was and
remains unparalleled, in terms of its scope, ferocity and continuance
over time," thereafter suppressed by denial or silence.
Consider the grimness of the African holocaust,
the result of 500 years of colonialization, oppression, exploitation,
and slavery, much of it trafficked to America. Black Africans
were captured, branded, chained, force-marched to ports, beaten,
kept in cages, stripped of their humanity, and often their lives.
Around 100 million or more humans were
sold like cattle, many millions perishing during the Middle Passage,
a horrifying experience packing human cargo under deplorable conditions
in spaces the size of a coffin, in some cases one atop another,
in extreme discomfort, with poor ventilation, and so little sanitation
that dysentery, smallpox, ophthalmia (causing blindness) and other
diseases became epidemics. Conditions below deck were dark, filthy,
slimy, full of blood, vomit, and human excrement.
Women were beaten and raped. For some,
claustrophobia caused insanity. Others were flogged or clubbed
to death. Anyone thought to be diseased was dumped overboard like
garbage. Arrivals with three-fourths of departing cargos were
considered successful voyages. The Middle Passage claimed as many
as half of those trafficked, estimated by some up to 50 million.
Howard Zinn called American slavery "the
most cruel form in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that
comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave
to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that
relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, black
was slave." Is it any different today?
In this environment, blacks were helpless,
mistreatment common. Slavery grew with the plantation system.
It was "psychological and physical. Slaves were taught discipline....the
idea of their own inferiority to 'know their place,' to see blackness
as a sign of subordination, to be awed by (their master's) power,"
to subordinate their will to his.
Zinn described "a complex web of
historical threads to ensnare blacks for slavery in America:"
poor settlers needing labor, the profit motive, racism, status,
and human exploitation to get them - elements today affecting
wage slaves and others in agriculture, domestic service, restaurant
and hotel work, sweatshop factories, prostitution and sex services,
and on US offshore military bases employing forced labor under
The Conquest and Occupation of the Philippines
- the Beginning of "The American Century" (1898 - 1902)
In 1898, President William McKinley created
a pretext for war with Spain, forced the Spanish government to
cede the Philippines, occupied the country, fought a dirty war,
and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Filipinos. Theodore Roosevelt
succeeded him, continued the carnage, and won a Nobel Peace Prize.
Expressing his outrage on October 15,
1900, Mark Twain said:
"....I have seen that we do not intend
to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines. We have
gone there to conquer, not to redeem....And so I am an anti-imperialist.
I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land....We
have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them;
destroyed their fields, burned their villages, turned their widows
and orphans out-of-doors, (and) subjugated the remaining ten million
by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the
He proposed a new American flag "with
the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the
skull and cross-bones." He was appalled that General Jacob
Smith ordered his troops to:
"Kill and burn....this is no time
to take prisoners....the more you kill and burn, the better. Kill
all above the age of ten....turn (the country into) a howling
Occupied Haiti Being Readied for Plunder,
Exploitation, and Genocide
On January 20, the Nation magazine's John
Nichols offered a disgraceful imperial defense and misreading
of Haiti's plight in his article titled, "Obama's Fine Moment,"
"Barack Obama has responded to the
devastating earthquake in Haiti with precisely the combination
of dignity and determination that Americans....expected when they
elected him. (He showed) a spirit that has the potential to reassure
not just Haitians but Americans."
After its calamitous January 12 earthquake,
the reality is far different. Haiti is now occupied for the duration.
Conditions on the ground are horrific. Essential aid is obstructed
and limited. The likely death toll tops 300,000 and hundreds of
thousands more injured, many seriously. A health emergency exists.
Malnutrition is rampant, clean water scarce, sanitation nearly
non-existent, and tents are available only for a small fraction
of those needing them, forcing hundreds of thousands to live in
Diarrheal illnesses and acute respiratory
infections are widespread, and signs of other outbreaks are apparent,
including tetanus, measles, TB, malaria, dengue fever, diphtheria,
typhoid, and others. Their calamitous potential represents a real
and growing danger, threatening hundreds of thousands of lives
- unaided Haitians perhaps left on their own to perish.
In his February 19 article headlined,
"Poor Sanitation in Haiti's Tent Camps Adds to Risk of Disease,"
New York Times correspondent Simon Romero ignored the tent shortage,
but cited public officials warning about the danger of "major
disease outbreaks, including cholera.."
Already "a spike in illnesses like
typhoid and shigellosis (a form of dysentery)" is evident.
Unmentioned are the many others breaking out, the result of contaminated
food, water, and flies that "become vectors by taking fecal
waste from one place to another," according to Dr. Robert
Redfield, co-founder of the University of Maryland's Institute
of Human Virology. He added that rain increases the likelihood
of spreading diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and many others.
The latest OCHA report understates the
seriousness. Saying food aid has "reached over 3.4 million
people," unexplained is it's being obstructed, way inadequate,
sporadic, and left out entirely are poor areas like Cite Soleil.
Also, the half million Haitians who've left or been forced out
of Port-au-Prince are largely on their own. Most Haitians have
no clean water, use what they can, and risk contracting widespread
waterborne diseases, compounding the spreading airborne ones.
OCHA does highlight poor sanitation, only
17,000 tents for 1.2 million or more Haitians without shelter,
most living in the open as the rainy season approaches, risking
mounting death tolls for deaths from spreading diseases and too
little done to treat them.
Yet as of February 25, $680 million in
aid has been raised, way over the UN's initial $570 million goal,
now upped to nearly $1.5 billion. Where's the money? Why isn't
it delivering aid? Why is so little available and conditions on
the ground horrific and worsening?
The post-2004 East Asian tsunami is instructive.
Around $1.2 billion in aid relief was raised, mostly used for
development, not victims. They got nothing, were forced into permanent
shantytowns, and are still there. High-end tourism took precedence
over rebuilding their homes and restoring their way of life.
That's what Haitians now face - permanent
displacement on their own to facilitate plunder, exploitation
and perhaps mass deaths because of no aid, too little, and no
disease prevention or treatment.
If genocide is planned, that's the model.
Henry Kissinger's secret 1974 National Security Study Memorandum
200 (NSSM 200) was an earlier one. Shaped by Rockefeller interests,
it was an action plan for global population reduction - culling
unwanted, unneeded "useless eaters."
The scheme involved:
-- mandatory birth control;
-- involuntary sterilizations;
-- legalized abortion;
-- indoctrination of children; and
-- other coercive methods, including withholding
disaster relief and food aid when most needed.
The plan specifically said America would
conceal its role to avoid charges of imperialism, so would induce
the UN and NGOs to do its dirty work.
NSSM 200 was never renounced. Only certain
portions were amended, so the basic idea remains policy to achieve
global population control by reducing unwanted numbers.
Earlier, compliance was a prerequisite
for development aid, the idea being to reduce world head counts
by 500 million by 2000. Kissinger wanted control of global resources
and new US grain markets in countries like India, Brazil, Nigeria,
Mexico and Indonesia, culling populations to facilitate it.
USAID directed Brazil's program, and organizations
like the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Family
Health International were involved. After 14 years of involuntary
sterilizations, the Brazilian Health Ministry estimated 44% of
women from 14 - 55 were sterile, including 90% of African descent,
the result of extermination by subterfuge, perhaps the same scheme
planned for Haiti.
Involuntary birth control, sterilization,
starvation, or similar schemes is genocide - precisely what Haitians
face by starvation, depravation, disease, neglect, and forced
In early February, a vaccination program
began, children under seven for rubella and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis
and tetanus), older children and adults for diphtheria and tetanus.
Besides involuntary sterilization, Dr. Viera Scheibner, the world's
foremost vaccine expert, explains the other dangers in her writing.
She says all vaccines contain harmful
toxins, undermine human health, weaken the immune system, often
causing the diseases they're designed to prevent. A host of auto-immune
ones result, including diabetes, multiple sclerosis, ALS, arthritis,
fibromyalgia, rashes, chronic fatigue, memory loss, seizures,
dizziness, ulcers, non-healing skin lesions, neuropsychiatric
problems, anaemia, chronic diarrhea, and others contributing to
serious illnesses and early deaths.
Vaccines can also be bioengineered with
deadly toxins able to debilitate, cause disease, and spread epidemics.
Given America's genocidal history, perhaps the Obama administration
plans one for Haiti. It bears watching and quoting the Genocide
Its definition under Article II includes
"any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy,
in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious
group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm
to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group
conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction
in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent
births within the group; (and)
(e) Forcibly transferring children of
the group to another group."
Genocide is "an odious scourge....a
(high) crime under international law....condemned by the civilized
world." Historically, its member states commit the worst
of them, directly or through proxies, America especially guilty
for over two centuries, including the modern era.
America's Genocidal Wars - WW II Terror
Unlike strategic bombing to destroy an
adversary's economic and military might, terror bombings target
civilians to break their morale, cause panic, weaken an enemy's
will to fight, and inflict mass casualties and punishment.
Geneva and other international laws prohibit
it. The Laws of War: Laws and Customs of War on Land (1907 Hague
IV Convention's Article 25 states:
"The attack or bombardment, by whatever
means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or building which are undefended
Fourth Geneva protects civilians in time
of war prohibiting violence of any type against them and requiring
treatment for the sick and wounded. The 1945 Nuremberg Principles
forbid "crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against
humanity." These include "inhumane acts committed against
any civilian population, before or during the war," including
indiscriminate killing and "wanton destruction of cities,
towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity."
In his book, "The Good War: An Oral
History of World War II," Studs Terkel explained its good
and bad sides through people who experienced it. The good was
that America "was the only country among the combatants that
was neither invaded nor bombed. Ours were the only cities not
blasted to rubble."
The bad was that it "warped our view
of how we look at things today (seeing them) in terms of war"
and the notion that they're good or why else fight them. This
"twisted memory....encourages (people) to be willing, almost
eager, to use military force" as a way to solve problems,
never mind that they exacerbate them. Wars are never just, in
the nuclear age are "lunatic" acts, and horrific earlier
by any standard.
America and Britain's carpet/firebombing
of Dresden was barbaric against a defenseless German city and
one of Europe's great cultural centers. In less than 14 hours,
it was ruined, the result of 700,000 phosphorous bombs on 1.2
million people, killing as many as 100,000. City center temperatures
reached 1,600 degrees centigrade. Bodies became molten flesh,
mostly civilians and wounded soldiers. Dresden had no military
importance. Destroying it was morally indefensible. So was firebombing
The war was effectively over, Japan trying
to surrender but Roosevelt spurned overtures. He had other plans,
one the firebombing Tokyo before the greater ones under Truman
in August. On February 24, 1945, one square mile of the city was
destroyed before the major March 6 attack demolishing 16 square
miles, killing around 100,000 in the firestorm, injuring many
more, and leaving over a million homeless. Five dozen other Japanese
cities were also firebombed at a time most of the country's structures
were wooden and easily consumed.
Yet early in 1945, Japan sent peace feelers,
and two days before the February Yalta Conference, Douglas MacArthur
sent Roosevelt a 40-page summary of its terms. They were nearly
unconditional. The Japanese would accept an occupation, cease
hostilities, surrender its arms, remove all troops from occupied
territories, submit to criminal war trials, let its industries
be regulated, asking only that their Emperor be retained.
Roosevelt categorically refused. So did
Truman months before using atomic weapons against Hiroshima and
Nagasaki. By December, their combined death tolls topped 200,000,
but they rose in succeeding months and years. Radiation poisoning
kills or causes grievous illnesses, disfiguration, and birth defects.
Decades later, they're still being felt. It was gratuitous slaughter
against a prostrate country on the verge of surrender, lies then
used to justify it.
The attacks were the first salvo of the
Cold War, showing the Soviets our strength. Howard Zinn added
other reasons - "tin, rubber, oil, corporate profit (and)
New Genocides for Old
Post-WW II, America had no enemies nor
was any country a threat. Yet millions of North Koreans and Southeast
Asians were gratuitously slaughtered to complete Washington's
conquest of Asia. In both cases, US confrontations began hostilities,
unprovoked acts of war to install client regimes.
Korean expert Bruce Cumings explained
"the extraordinary destructiveness of the United States air
campaigns against North Korea, from the widespread and continuous
use of firebombing, to threats to use nuclear and chemical weapons,
and the destruction of huge North Korean dams in the final states
of war. (The) air war leveled North Korea and killed millions
of civilians. (There was no escape, and by) 1952 just about everything
in northern and central Korea has been completely leveled. What
was left of the population survived in caves."
Of the North's 22 major cities, 18 were
half or more obliterated, the large industrial ones 75 - 100%
destroyed, and villages reduced to "low, wide mounds of violent
ashes." This was "limited war." Achieving no more
than an armistice, a stalemate, America was on a roll. Southeast
Asia was next.
Gabriel Kolko called it a predictable
consequence of America's ambition, strengths, weaknesses, and
quest for world dominance - one conquest at a time on the way
to full control.
Like Korea, bombings were horrendous and
indiscriminate, dropping eight million tons from 1965 - 1973,
threefold WW II's tonnage, amounting to 300 tons for every Vietnamese
man, woman and child.
As in Korea, napalm and other incendiary
devices were used, plus terror weapons like anti-personnel cluster
bombs spewing thousands of metal pellets, indiscriminately hitting
everyone in their path.
From 1961 - 1971, dioxin-containing defoliant
Agent Orange was used, mainly in the South, Cambodia and Laos.
Millions of gallons were sprayed with devastating consequences
because dioxin is one of the most toxic known substances, a potent
carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. It accumulates in
adipose tissue and the liver, alters living cell genetic structures,
causes congenital disorders and birth defects, and contributes
to diseases like cancer and type two diabetes.
In 1970, Operation Tailwind used sarin
nerve gas in Laos, causing many gratuitous deaths. In 1998, former
Joint Chiefs Chairman, Admiral Thomas Moorer, confirmed its use
on CNN. Then, under Pentagon pressure, the cable channel retracted
the report and fired its reporter and producers for refusing to
The war also engulfed Cambodia and Laos
killing around 600,000, mostly civilians, and destroying dozens
of towns, villages and hamlets - again with secret bombings and
Both in Korea and Southeast Asia, three
to four million were killed, vast amounts of destruction inflicted,
and incalculable levels of human suffering felt to this day. It
was genocide by any definition.
So is America's complicity in Palestine,
funding Israel's militarism, belligerence and occupation, causing
an estimated 300,000 post-1967 deaths and much more, including
3,600 avoidable under aged five ones annually. In an early 2009
report, UNICEF said:
-- "Armed conflict (kills) dozens
of children each year....;"
-- since 2000, poverty has dramatically
-- in the West Bank, militarized control
affects access to jobs, schools and health care;
-- in Gaza, conditions are especially
-- throughout the Territories, children
are threatened by landmines and other unexploded ordnance;
-- "chronic malnutrition affects
nearly 10 per cent of children under age five," and in Gaza
conditions are "acute;" and
-- daily violence and deprivation take
lives and produce anxiety, phobias and/or depression.
By providing Israel with around $3 billion
annually in direct aid, undisclosed additional amounts, the latest
weapons and technology, and much more, America is complicit in
its crimes - what Palestinian scholar Elias Akleh calls a Palestinian
Holocaust, he defines as a "genocidal crime against people
based on their ethnicity," one that continues daily, especially
in Gaza under siege.
The dirty 1970s and 80s Central American
wars killed over 300,000 people, tortured hundreds of thousands
throughout the Americas, and drove millions into exile. A June
1986 International Tribunal on Genocide in Central America cited
the period 1970 - 1986 experiencing sporadic to intense violence:
-- "verging on a near total break-down
of the state institutions and open warfare between state governments,
competing rebel forces challenging state authorities and indigenous"
peoples. "In the course of resurgent violence, acts of genocide
and ethnocide (were) committed against indigenous groups. (Allegations)
of state sponsored and rebel force sponsored genocide against
indigenous peoples (were) repeatedly made throughout the course
of the last fifteen years," including massacres, torture,
forced military service, land seizures, arbitrary arrests and
imprisonments, population relocations, and attacks amounting to
genocide under the UN Convention.
"That there is sufficient evidence
to warrant the convening of a (genocide) tribunal goes without
America was complicit in the 1990s Rwanda
massacres, by militarizing Uganda, funding the Rwandan Patriotic
Front (RPF) and its Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) to displace France
and become Central Africa's dominant power, including in eastern
Congo. It used its RPA and Ugandan proxies in Congo's civil war
for control of its eastern and southern mining resources, killing
millions of Congolese (including by disease, malnutrition and
related violence) to secure them, including diamonds, gold, copper,
tin, timber, coltan and cobalt (from 64 - 80% of world reserves),
treasures for the taking, some of them vital for defense purposes.
Operation Desert Storm began on January
17, 1991, a criminal, gratuitous mass slaughter and destruction
of essential to life facilities, including:
-- power plants and dams;
-- water purification facilities;
-- sewage treatment and disposal systems;
-- telephone and other communications;
-- schools and mosques;
-- around 20,000 homes, apartments and
-- irrigation sites;
-- food processing, storage and distribution
-- hotels and retail establishments;
-- transportation infrastructure;
-- oil wells, pipelines, refineries and
-- chemical plants, factories and other
-- government buildings and historical
-- civilian shelters targeting of innocent
men, women and children.
Tens of thousands were gratuitously killed,
as many as 200,000 according to independent estimates. Twelve
years of genocidal sanctions followed, killing as many as 1.7
million, two-thirds of them children under age five.
From 2003 - 2009, 2.5 million or more
died from violent or non-violent causes, again mostly young children,
to turn Iraq into a free market paradise, its people reduced to
serfs, as part of a greater aim for global dominance and control
of world resources and markets.
The 1990s Balkan wars followed the same
pattern, dividing Yugoslavia into separate states, culminating
with the US-NATO 1999 terror bombing of the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia - Serbia-Kosovo. For two and a half months, about 3,000
sorties dropped thousands of tons of ordnance plus hundreds of
ground-launched cruise missiles. As in the Gulf War, virtually
all vital infrastructure was targeted as well as factories, other
businesses, commercial and government buildings, schools, hospitals,
churches, and historical landmarks. All were destroyed or heavily
An estimated $100 billion in damage was
inflicted. A humanitarian disaster resulted. Environmental contamination
was extensive. Large numbers were killed, injured or displaced,
and two million lost their livelihoods. As in Korea, Southeast
Asia, and Iraq, it was genocide under the Convention. Afghanistan
and Iraq were next, the latter explained above.
September 11 was the pretext, then beginning
October 7, 2001, Afghanistan was bombed, invaded and occupied
like Iraq. Planned months in advance, war continues to control
Eurasia, the key for world dominance, and no wonder. It has 75%
of the world's population, most of its resources and physical
wealth, three-fourths of its known oil and gas, and is the grandest
of grand prizes for its ruler.
Marjah is the latest Afghan offensive,
a PR stunt to show progress and perhaps save face for utter failure
to this point, except for the human toll. From 2001 - 2007, UN
Population Division data estimated 3.2 million deaths, including
700,000 children under age five.
Through 2009, around 4.5 million have
died from violent or non-violent causes, including deprivation,
disease, starvation, and neglect with no end of conflict in sight
- an Afghan genocide like in Korea, Southeast Asia, Yugoslavia,
Iraq, and now Haiti, occupied to be strip-mined for profit, its
people mere sacrificial pawns, unneeded ones to be forfeited on
its alter - an old story for perhaps the world's most long-suffering
For over 500 years, it's been victimized
by severe oppression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations,
embargoes, starvation, unrepayable debt, as well as natural and
perhaps engineered calamities, the latest for plunder and exploitation
- Haiti's centuries old curse, perhaps greater than ever going
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate
of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago
and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.