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Wednesday, October 06, 2004 

Operation Baghdad

In the aftermath of "tropical storm" Jeanne all hell has broken through the poorly constructed portrait of a freedom-loving Haiti in transition between a failed autocrat and the bright shining world of tomorrow maintained by US media outlets ever since the coup that ousted Jean-Bertrand Artistide.

As the date for sham elections in Haiti nears, many pro-Aristide supporters have shown their dissolution with this latest bout of democracy by decree, and are employing more violent tactics to regain the state-power that is rightfully theirs. I hope that Stan Goff will soon return from his (apparent) writing hiatus and put all of this in context.

The New York Times first reported on this offensive, dubbed "Operation Baghdad," on Sunday. CNN has also been following this story and particularly the use of decapitation by the guerillas to halt the police inspired violence. And on a side note, something really bothers me about the "exactness" of CNN's use of the words "tropical storm Jeanne." Isn't it interesting that when some que-tip's nursing home in Florida gets smashed its "hurricane" Jeanne, and when Knoxville, Tennessee and the rest of the South Eastern US gets pummeled by gallons of rain its "the remnants of hurricane Jeanne"; but when 1,800 (mostly) Black folks die because of massive flooding, mudslides, poisoned water, etc in Haiti the cause is a "tropical storm"? I understand that storms are upgraded as windspeeds increase, and I love the people of Florida, but racist use of meteorological language (it's the same fucking storm!) is still racism; and balding white women need to start demanding new hairstyles, pronto. I digress. The quote of the day comes from one of these young freedom fighters:

"We'll be in the streets until death or Aristide comes back," said Milo Fenelon, 24. "We won't stop. If they come in here, we're going to cut off their heads. It's going to be just like Baghdad."

I don't think that you can get much clearer than that.

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