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Author Topic: Babble Book Club October book selection
kingblake
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posted 28 September 2005 01:06 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Folks! Babblers want to put together a book club which reads, say, a book every month. We tried it with Time Traveller's Wife back in June. And now we're trying it again.

As a side note, don't forget to also check out the Babble Movie Club.

SO, at Babble Book Club - Resurrection, we kicked around a few ideas. Several books were mentioned, but most people seemed to want to read either Canada in Haiti:Waging War on the Poor Majority, by Yves Engler and Anthony Fenton, or Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy.

The first Pullman book is called The Golden Compass.

quote:
In The Golden Compass, readers meet for the first time 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Jordan College in Oxford, England. It quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own - nor is her world. In Lyra's world, everyone has a personal dæmon, a lifelong animal familiar. This is a world in which science, theology and magic are closely intertwined.

As for Canada in Haiti

quote:
The story of Haiti is one of resistance, of a spirit that exists inside us all, to assert our essential humanity. Unfortunately the story is also one of how much the rich and powerful feel threatened by this spirit and how far they are prepared to go to crush it. While Canadians prefer to see their government as a force for good in the world, the reality is that it most often sides with the rich and powerful. Canada in Haiti is a powerful cry for justice and a warning about what can be done in our name when we aren’t looking.
And for Suzette's sake (hope you're listening!), I think it can be ordered from Saskatoon's own Turning the Tide.

Here's what we'll do. Anyone who prefers one over the oter, please post before Saturday, stating your preference. On Saturday, I'll tally the votes (shouldn't be too hard!) and start a new thread with the title of the selection in the title of the thread. I'd say we choose a date in late October as deadline. Off the top of my head, I'd say October 21st (a Friday -or should it be a Sunday?), after which, we'd have a full week to discuss the book, as well as to begin discussions on what our next (November) selection would be. Does that sound alright?

++++

To start the ball rolling, my vote goes to Canada in Haiti. We did fiction last time, and I think it'd be fun to rotate. Plus, it's CanCon. Also, I'm not *crazy* about fantasy, though I would read the other one if it's selected.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: kingblake ]


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Left Turn
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posted 28 September 2005 02:08 PM      Profile for Left Turn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think its obvious that I vote for the Canada in Haiti book as well.
From: Burnaby, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 28 September 2005 02:33 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, if it ain't bein' too presumptuous of me,
Canada in Haiti as well.

From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Raos
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posted 28 September 2005 04:17 PM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I vote His Dark materials, as the library only has Canada in Haiti on order, so I don't know how long it would be until I could get a hold of it.
From: Sweet home Alaberta | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 28 September 2005 04:29 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I probably won't take part in the book club for now, so I won't vote, but I'll plug the Pullman books again.

Canada in Haiti sounds good too. Maybe you could alternate fiction - non-fiction - fiction, and read Pullman after the book about Haiti.

The only thing I would note about Pullman is that the trilogy is quite lengthy in its totality, so it might not work to read the entire thing as a book club selection. I think there's many more topics in the second two books of the trilogy that could generate discussion (i.e. more so than in the first book), but it'd probably make sense just to read the first book as a single selection, then maybe return to the second and third later on if people are interested in continuing with it.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


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FourteenRivers
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posted 28 September 2005 07:28 PM      Profile for FourteenRivers        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I recommend "We Were Not the Savages: Mi'kmaq History" by Daniel N. Paul:


quote:
We Were Not the Savages is a history of an ancient democratic North American First Nation, the Mi'kmaq: from a Mi'kmaq perspective. It relates and details the genocidal methods used by British colonial officials, including scalp bounties, starvation and germ warfare, to subjugate them.

The adversity that the Mi'kmaq faced at times was so extreme that it seems almost impossible to comprehend how they survived it. That they did survive the best efforts of colonial officialdom to exterminate them, and then, from 1867 to the mid-twentieth-century, a malnutrition existence under Canada's rule, is a testament to their tenacious courage and faith in the Great Spirit.


SOURCE

I think it is available at the Rabble Book Store. I think every Canadian needs to read this book to get a real perspective on First Nations history.


From: Quebec | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rambler
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posted 28 September 2005 11:56 PM      Profile for Rambler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll sign up for Canada in Haiti.
I hope it has lots of pictures.

[ 28 September 2005: Message edited by: Rambler ]


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peppermint
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posted 29 September 2005 04:58 AM      Profile for peppermint     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Doubting I can get my hands on the Canadians in Haiti book in time enough to read it but it does sound interesting.
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GingerGoodwin
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posted 29 September 2005 01:43 PM      Profile for GingerGoodwin        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I vote for Canada in Haiti. You can order it online at www.turning.ca and support a wonderful leftwing bookstore, Turning the Tide as well.
From: London | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 30 September 2005 08:08 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*bump*

People who want to have a say, should do just that before long. I had said it'd be open 'til tomorrow, but it now turns out that I'll likely be away from a computer much of the next 5 days or so. I'm open to suggestions as to whether we prolong the voting (which to me seems pointless) or we just go ahead with Canada in Haiti.

From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 03 October 2005 08:16 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think the rabble have spoken, and Canada in Haiti it shall be. Several people have linked to ordering information above, from S'toon's own Turning the Tide.

I guess it might be a bit tight to set the deadline for the 21st, so in light of those who want to order it and read it, we'll say the deadline is October 28th. At that point, we can start discussing, though since this one isn't fiction, it wouldn't be the end of the world to read commentaries about it before having finished it. And besides, so long as the thread stays open, you can post about the book, even if the deadline is long gone and we're onto another pick.

So get readin'! I'll buy the book next time I'm in Saskatoon.


From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 04 October 2005 01:08 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*bump*

Is everyone reading?

From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
ephemeral
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posted 04 October 2005 01:11 PM      Profile for ephemeral     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
thanks for bumping. i'm working on 3 other books right now, and will start canada in haiti, i'm afraid, sometime around the 28th. on the plus side, i've got the book.
From: under a bridge with a laptop | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 04 October 2005 01:30 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I might make the deadline. But pretend I'm not here, just in case.
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Raos
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posted 04 October 2005 05:49 PM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I have the book on request from the library, and it's currently on order, so I don't know if I'll even be able to get the book by the deadline, but here's to hoping.
From: Sweet home Alaberta | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
kingblake
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posted 08 October 2005 12:17 PM      Profile for kingblake     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*bump*ing in case anyone else wants in. And also to remind myself to get the book today. I'm gonna try to meet the deadline, but I don't know...

I'd recommend that whoever has it finished by the deadline should just start a thread about it then, and then everyone else can join in when they've caught up.

From: In Regina, the land of Exotica | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
GingerGoodwin
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posted 16 October 2005 02:52 PM      Profile for GingerGoodwin        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It appears Canada in Haiti is now available at some Chapters-Indigo stores. Not that I am encouraging anyone to buy it from there. Check out your local independed first. Or order online from
Turning the Tide Bookstore

From: London | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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Babbler # 478

posted 22 October 2005 08:55 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got my copy and I'm already halfway through. We're waiting until the 28th, though, are we, to start the discussion? Will the discussion be here, or on a new thread? I ask because it occurs to me, as I read, that we should also be linking to a couple of very good babble threads about Haiti.
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 23 October 2005 04:25 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't stand the fact you guys get to read good stuff.

I want to stab the Burgundian Code and then drop kick the Domesday Book.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 23 October 2005 07:26 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought it might be useful to interlink three babble threads that will or already have focused on Fenton and Engler, this one and:

this discussion of Pierre Beaudet's article in rabble features; and

the Haiti thread in Rest of the World.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 28 October 2005 12:55 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ok, you guys. It is 28 October. The day has arrived.

Has anyone else finished the book? Anyone want to start discussing it? We already have a lot of other informed voices going on the subject on babble.

And should we use this thread, or should we start a new one?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 29 October 2005 10:56 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yooooooo hooooooo -- anybody out there?
From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 30 October 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:
Yooooooo hooooooo -- anybody out there?

I'm typing quietly while my son tries to sleep in the next room.

I'll have something to say about this in the morning.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Raos
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posted 30 October 2005 01:32 AM      Profile for Raos     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I still have the book on hold from the library. It still hasn't come in on order.
From: Sweet home Alaberta | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 30 October 2005 10:00 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The book is very much a "tract for our times." A little over 100 large-font pages, it is a very concise handbook for understanding the current atrocities in Haiti.

It reveals the utter bankruptcy of the "democratic crisis" of the disputed election.

page 32: "The propaganda effort to discredit the elections ... began with the OAS reversal of their earlier election assessment ... claiming that the counting method used for eight Senate seats was 'flawed.' The Haitian constitution stipulated that the winner must get 50 percent plus one vote at the polls; the CEP (Coalition d'Election Provisional) determined this by calculating the percentages from the votes of the top four candidates, while the OAS contended that the count should include all candidates. OAS [had] ... worked with the CEP to prepare the elections since 1999 and were fully aware of the counting method beforehand. The same procedure was used in prior elections, but they failed to voice any concerns until Lavalas' landslide victory. Finally, using the OAS method would not have altered the outcome of the elections."

On top of this travesty, the authors also point out that in the end the CEP and the relevant 8 Senators agreed to rehold the elections for those seats. (Out of 7,500 elected positions!) To no avail.

This merits overthrowing Aristide. Coming from a triumverate that includes the unelected serial election stealer, bush II. It is sickening.

But the book is about Canada's shameful role in this episode. There is a wonderful quote from our idiotic Prime Minister Martin:

quote:
From the outset I clearly signaled my intention to have Canada take a leadership role in providing the international support needed to produce a blueprint for Haitian society. ... Democracy is the right of every Haitian citizen. It is a condition absolutel essential to improving the economic and social welfare of each citizen."
....PM/PM Dec.11, 2004.

Typical of the hyperbolic hypocrisy of this contemptible figure. The book exposes the cynical imperialism behind the "responsibility to protect" initiative championed by Martin. (A policy that could be used to justify the overthrow of an NDP government in Canada, if the US doesn't bankrupt itself before that.)

An excellent book. Write your MP and complain about this. (I did.)


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 30 October 2005 12:00 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ooh, where to start, where to start. Thanks for starting, thwap, but I just have too many thoughts for one post.

I said on the Haiti thread that I think this book belongs in the noble history of pamphleteering, along with great books like Emile Zola's J'accuse. I found it shocking but utterly convincing. It left me outraged and ashamed. It tells the story of the outsourcing of American colonialism in Haiti to a middle power -- Canada. It tells the especially shocking story of the co-optation of many of our NGOs in that shameful project, including the rabble.ca partner Alternatives. I hope that Jack Layton is reading his copy right now, and I wish that every Canadian would read this book.

For my first comment, though, I wanted to make a few bookish-type observations, this being a book club and all. Canada in Haiti is still more a work-in-progress, a pamphlet, a report, than a finished book. It was obviously published very very fast: there are references in it to events as recent as August 2005 (maybe September?), which means this is as close to instant publishing as publishing in Canada ever gets.

Much of the documentation has still to be made available on the website mentioned in the reference note at book's end, canadahaitiaction.ca . (I have written to them about the promised references by chapters, and they say they're still waiting.)

Throughout, there are shorthand references back and forth that need to be written out more fully. Parenthetical directions to the following or preceding discussion are a serious barrier to readers. In other words, the continuity is still pretty raw, predictable in a book produced so quickly.

Maybe someone else can discuss the ordering of the chapters. I had the sensation of backing into the deeper story, beginning on the surface with current events and only slowly working back to deeper and deeper context.

Finally, there is one major lacuna in this history, one felt absence all the way through. The authors several times admit that Aristide had not managed to stabilize his government after his return in 1994 and re-election in 2000; they refer to ongoing problems with Fanmi Lavalas, quite apart from the open attempts to destabilize the Lavalas government; and yet they never give us a frank assessment of Aristide's/Lavalas's own weaknesses.

That the majority of the people continue to support Lavalas I don't doubt, nor that the government was purposefully subverted from outside. But we still need the full story of why Aristide failed in his own terms as well, or at least some accounting for the years he did have to try.

[ 30 October 2005: Message edited by: skdadl ]


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 30 October 2005 01:41 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
skdadl,

You're right. It is very raw. And I thought they could have padded it with more human drama. Talking about the problems of everyday people living through this nightmare.

Talking about Aristide's weaknesses might have been distracting from the main point; the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the Western nations' policies towards Haiti.

Not saying that we shouldn't write about Aristide, but that this is, as you say, an immediate clairon call against Canada's crimes.

On page 93 they point out that the head of UN peacekeeping operations worldwide describes parts of post-Aristide Haiti as being worse than the Darfur region in the Sudan.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
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posted 30 October 2005 02:00 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, thwap, I agree. And I'm not even saying that they should have waited to publish.

That's why I placed this book in the tradition of great pamphleteering, which I really do reverence. In every age before ours, especially the C18 and the late C19, great writers have been willing to stick their necks out with fast publications like this when it mattered, and I think this story matters enough for a clarion call, as you say.

Worse than Darfur. I believe that, thwap. Before I had finished the first chapter, I was on-fire angry, and I still am.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 31 October 2005 08:43 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
other comments by others?
From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 31 October 2005 08:52 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You know what we should do, thwap? Each of us should take a chapter or two, in order, and give people a brief summary of the revelations as they are delivered in the book. It is an experience to work down, down through the layers, yes?

Do you want to try that? (You first. )


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thwap
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posted 31 October 2005 09:18 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sure thing. I can start tonight. I'm working right now. (On the set of a McDonald's commercial.)
From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 31 October 2005 10:22 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Actually, that sounds like work. I'll wait a couple of days because in all honesty i've got a big job interview i'm preparing for and i can only post 'top-o-me-head' stuff til it's over.

some other club member wanna take a crack at it?


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rambler
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posted 31 October 2005 11:30 PM      Profile for Rambler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well it snowed here today, so hopefully I will now have a chance to run to the city and buy the book.
From: Alberta | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 02 November 2005 11:49 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I'll give the first chapter a go.

Chapter One, "The First Nation of Free People in the Americas" (pp 11-21), combines a broad with a more narrow overview of Haitian history. In just 3 pages or so, the broad overview skims the 200-year period from Haiti's successful slave revolution (generally unappreciated despite its uniqueness, say the authors) until the end of "Baby Doc" Duvalier's reign in 1986.

The overview becomes relatively more detailed as we spend four pages on the period from 1990 to 2005, beginning with Aristide's 'suprise' election in 1990, and ending with his ouster in February, 2004. In particular, the authors recount the first coup in 1991 (CIA-backed, they say), Aristide's restoration in 1994 (after much violence and a mass exodus), and Aristide's re-election in 2000 (under a cloud of irregularities the authors present as minor), a re-election which met with a hostile foreign response.

The more detailed account of recent events picks up again in 2004, as an armed uprising against Aristide begins to take shape. At first, powerful nations speak out against the uprising, in defence of Aristide as the legitimate president; before long, however, they are ignoring calls from Haiti and her neighbours to intervene on behalf of the elected government, thus offering their tacit support to anti-Aristide forces, according to the authors. Before he can mount any effective defence against the rebels in Port-au-Prince, Aristide is spirited away to the Central African Republic, and an interim government is installed at the direction of Canada, the US and France.

The great powers and Aristide, we're told, have sharply different accounts of what happened in the final hours: they say he left voluntarily; he says he was forced out by them. Fenton and Engler conclude their historical overview of the end of Aristide's tenure as president with a series of provocative questions (e.g. Why could outsiders send troops to facilitate Aristide's departure but not his defence?), a series which clarifies their view of whose account they find more credible.

The spine upholding this body of historical material is both political and personal. On one, more obviously political level, we're given to understand that current interventions by great powers are of a piece with former ones: essentially, the present-day US and other nations have acted against the populist, reformist Aristide for the same reason the slaveholding US and colonial France acted against Toussaint L'Overture's successful slave rebellion long ago: 'the threat of a good example.' Implicit in this comparative analysis is the assumption that the colonial or neo-colonial masters fear their privileges threatened by independent organizational efforts by the poor and disenfranchised to take control of their own lives.

On a more personal (though certainly not apolitical) level, the chapter's historical survey is also supported by a string of first-hand comments and observations from one 'Jeremy,' a photographer from a Port-au-Prince neighbourhood. Jeremy's sharp statements and questions (e.g. 'Here, the rich and powerful seem to want to make democracy illegal.') are meant to bring the broader historical and political trends into focus on the individual and human level.

Well, that's my attempt at a fairly objective summary of chapter one. I'll offer evaluative comments of my own later, if they're wanted.

[ 03 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rundler
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posted 10 November 2005 07:06 PM      Profile for Rundler     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If not everyone has bought the book yet, it would help rabble a lot if you'd buy it from our online bookstore www.rabble.ca/bookstore , where it's also available.
So what's November's selection? Or will another thread appear about that sometime soon. I'm sure if someone were to suggest to Matt, the bookstore co-ordinator, that he ensure the book in question were in the rabble bookstore he'd make every effort to get it in. He's at bookstore@rabble.ca. Not to pressure, just a suggestion! And, heck, what do I know. Maybe Matt would make every effort to ensure the book wasn't available. I really shouldn't speak for others.

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: Rundler ]


From: the murky world of books books books | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbling_Jenn
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posted 17 November 2005 02:01 PM      Profile for Babbling_Jenn     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We TOTALLY need a book for December. Who is in charge of the book club? Who makes the decision?

Maybe we can look to the indie best sellers list to find a good one.


From: Rural Ontario | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
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posted 17 November 2005 02:10 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, we can think of a new selection for December, but some of us are feeling really guilty for not having continued the discussion of Canada in Haiti.

Especially given sgm's fine summary of chapter 1 -- and I am still hoping that sgm will come back with those evaluative comments as well.

But I still have my copy very close by and mean to do a couple of further chapter summaries -- honestly, people must know the story that this book tells -- it is background to so much that is still happening, still getting worse.


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thwap
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posted 20 November 2005 08:59 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Chapter 2: Responsibility to Protect or a Made-in-Ottawa Coup?

In chapter two, Yves and Engler discuss the latest rationale for imperialist intervention: the Canadian government backed "responsibility to protect" initiative at the UN.

Supposedly, the imperialist powers will come up with a calculus to identify a "failed state" that "the world" has a duty to intervene in and reform.

The authors point out that there is no push for a law preventing foreign destabilization plans in another state's borders. They argue that in Haiti's case, the "failure" was mostly part of deliberaely-engineered destabilization campaign.

The 2 main components of Haiti's destabilization campaign were the economic crisis, caused by the witholding of foreign aid due to a contrived electoral dispute, and secondly, by the creation of neo-liberal "grassroots" organizations through Western NGOs and Western government "development" agencies to manufacture a "civil society" that would be inherently opposed to the Aristide government.

The authors acknowledge that this is a complex tale, especially because the destabilizers utilized deception and covert actions in their campaign. Yves and Engler try to use logic and correlation to tie the story together.

Beginning with the electoral crisis; i already quoted the central core of the reason for the cutoff of foreign aid --

quote:
It reveals the utter bankruptcy of the "democratic crisis" of the disputed election.

page 32: "The propaganda effort to discredit the elections ... began with the OAS reversal of their earlier election assessment ... claiming that the counting method used for eight Senate seats was 'flawed.' The Haitian constitution stipulated that the winner must get 50 percent plus one vote at the polls; the CEP (Coalition d'Election Provisional) determined this by calculating the percentages from the votes of the top four candidates, while the OAS contended that the count should include all candidates. OAS [had] ... worked with the CEP to prepare the elections since 1999 and were fully aware of the counting method beforehand. The same procedure was used in prior elections, but they failed to voice any concerns until Lavalas' landslide victory. Finally, using the OAS method would not have altered the outcome of the elections."

On top of this travesty, the authors also point out that in the end the CEP and the relevant 8 Senators agreed to rehold the elections for those seats. (Out of 7,500 elected positions!) To no avail.

This merits overthrowing Aristide. Coming from a triumverate that includes the unelected serial election stealer, bush II. It is sickening.


More elements of the destabilization campaign:

- US protection of the terrorist anti-Lavalas FRAPH (Upon arrival with Aristide in 1995, US forces confiscated 160,000 documents from Haiti's government archives detailing the funding and organization of FRAPH.

-USAID, the World Bank, and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) fund "development" projects designed to integrate Haiti into a low wage labour appendage of the US, and to counteract the Aristide government's attempts to carve out some sort of economic autonomy for Haiti.

-Haiti is forced to remove tariffs agains agricultural products, leading to a flood of subsidized US rice and chicken parts, devastating Haiti's poor farmers.

-The Republican Party USA's organization for spreading its philosophy of right-wing thuggery and corruption around the world, the International Republican Institute (IRI) funded a number of hacks in Haiti to criticize the government, and it sponsored "democracy enhancement" conferences where plans for destabilization were more concretely discussed. The IRI was forced to move across the border to the Dominican Republic when its ties to coup plotters became too obvious.

The various anti-Aristide groups used the electoral crisis and the subsequent electoral crisis resulting from the cutoff in foreign aid to Haiti, as a chance to push their campaigns into high gear.

By boycotting later elections (on the pretext that they wouldn't be fair) the opposition could hide the extent of its unpopularity. They could also protest against Aristide's "tyranny." In this environment of increasing tension and desperation, armed attacks on government offices were presented as evidence of social chaos, and government crackdowns on rioters were examples of oppression.

In 2001, 39 gunmen, including former Port au Prince police chief Guy Phillipe, stormed the Presidential Palace and occupied it for a few hours before fleeing the government counterattack which killed 5 of the gunmen on the scene and resulted in the capture of others.

The Aristide government's efforts to find and punish the ringleaders, was what became emphasized in later commentary by the IRI-types:

"I don't know what happened at the National Palace, but it has become a pretext to massacre the opposition." said opposition leader Gerard Gourge.

It was at this point that Canada and France jumped on board the destabilization band-wagon.

More later ....


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged

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