Ibero-American News Digest
Expert Demands: Treat Haiti's Cholera Epidemic as in War
Dec. 9 (EIRNS)Haiti's cholera epidemic must be considered a war, and the U.S. military should be deployed to help win it, says Dr. James Wilson, executive director of the Praecipio International NGO and leading member of the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System (HEAS), which has about 800 medical and health-care partners working in Haiti.
EIR and its founder, Lyndon LaRouche, have been insisting on the reality which Dr. Wilson is pointing to: that nothing short of the deployment of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in support of the Haitian government's efforts, will be sufficient to stop the genocide which is now occurring in Haiti. The Army Corps has the capability to move in portable water purification plants and large-scale delivery systems virtually overnight. The Corps deployment to provide clean water to refugee camps in Zaire, overrun with cholera in 1994, in an operation supported by French, German, and other national military capabilities, was a useful precedent.
On Nov. 22, Dr. Wilson asserted that the Haitian cholera crisis "is a 'war,' best fought asymmetrically, with light, fast, and agile ground teams of those capable of starting IVs and 'oh by the way' hand out educational material." The "analogy of 'Normandy' is a good one," he added, "and one that should be answered immediately and non-ambiguously by deployment of our military. Trust that, regardless of the political resistance we have witnessed, we will continue fighting until the military arrives."
Dr. Wilson's speciality is "operational biosurveillance," approaching the epidemic from a strategic and military/security standpoint. He has sharply criticized the "multimillion-dollar" U.S./UN/NGO bureaucracy, and its bungling response to, first, Haiti's earthquake, and then the cholera outbreak. He charged that there is vast under-reporting of the extent of the epidemic, which he places at, at least 365,000 cases, with an upper boundary of 1 million.
HEAS's partners on the ground are fighting "countless battles, as the entire response grid loses the war," Wilson reported. "There is now no more time to train Haitians to train others for many parts of northern and central Haiti. Perhaps this may be done in the relatively nascent South." Often, "in a fit of helplessness and despair," he added, some of HEAS's partners "believe [the cholera epidemic] to represent nothing more than a natural evolutionary process of population reduction."
HEAS had warned that Haiti's southern peninsula would be the "next battlefront" in the cholera war. On Dec. 8, they wrote that new cases in Grand Anse, Nippes, Sud, Sud-Est, and Nord-Est validate HEAS's prediction, as "these are sites experiencing 'first contact' patient surge and high clinical mortality." HEAS is most concerned about Sud-Est, due to its geographic isolation from the rest of the country.
Mountainous rural communities in the South are the source of more critically ill cases, Davis warned; their residents often can't reach cholera treatment centers that are hours away. HEAS found that "many of these communities were caught completely by surprise, having not even heard there was cholera in the country." Because many such communities are inaccessible by road or by helicopter, "the current national response effort does not contemplate accessing these difficult-to-reach areas."
Post-Election Violence, Worsening Cholera, Fuel Haitian Chaos
Dec. 11 (EIRNS)In the midst of Haiti's worsening cholera epidemic, this past week's violent protests over the results of the Nov. 28 Presidential elections, in which the current President René Préval's Unity Party is charged with fraud, have heightened the chaos and terror among the population.
Beginning Dec. 7, protesters blockaded streets in the capital with burning tires, shutting down stores, schools, government offices, and transportation. The main airport will remain closed until at least Dec. 13. Protesters charge that Préval and his favored candidate, Jude Celestin, rigged the elections, eliminating third-place candidate Michel Martelly as a contender in the Jan. 16 runoff. Protesters also burned down the homes of Unity Party leaders.
As a result of the violence, cholera treatment centers couldn't get necessary medical supplies, nor could their doctors and nurses get to work. There are acute shortages of IVs, and oral rehydration kits. Although violence subsided somewhat after the Provisional Electoral Council announced a vote recount, the "calm" is a tense one. The capital is rife with rumors that weapons are being distributed in preparation for armed confrontation and gang activity. Doctors Without Borders staff reports they are not only treating cholera patients, but also those with gunshot wounds. Four people died in the protests.
It was lunacy in the first place to hold elections under the horrendous conditions existing in Haiti. Now, resorting to the same shameful "blame the victim" strategy used by the international UN/NGO aid mafia, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has called for freezing aid to Haiti and denying travel visas for government leaders, until the Préval government shows respect for "the Haitian people's right to choose their leaders freely and fairly."
British Toadies Out To Suck Argentina's Offshore Oil
Dec. 9 (EIRNS)Precisely at the moment in which Argentina was celebrating its newly proclaimed National Sovereignty Day, commemorating the 1845 Vuelta de Obligado battle against British free trade (see EIR Online Ibero-American Digest, #46) Wall Street's Goldman Sachs issued a report pointing to the tremendous oil development potential in Argentina's Malvinas Islands. The islands are still illegally ruled and occupied by the British. The oil reserves there, Goldman "Sucks" reported, are "an important focus for European production and exploration." That is, for British production and exploration.
British plans to seize the Malvinas oil wealth have not gone unnoticed by Argentina's neighbors. During the summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) at the end of November, members voted up a resolution not to allow their ports to be used by any ships travelling "under the illegal flag of the Malvinas." That is, again, of the British usurpers.