U.S. Must Provide Emergency
Relocation for Haitians, Now!
by Nancy Spannaus
March 1—On Feb. 22, Lyndon LaRouche called for an immediate mobilization by the United States, for the emergency relocation of up to 1 million Haitians living in virtual cesspool conditions in Port-au-Prince, following the Jan. 12 earthquake, into safe quarters, before the arrival of the rainy season in April. Such a mobilization, which is fully within the capability of the U.S. military, is the only means of avoiding a new round of mass death by disease, he said, and therefore must be done.
Within days of LaRouche's proposal, reliable sources informed EIR that those responsible for responding to the ongoing catastrophe had made just such a proposal to the Obama Administration. The sources reported that the President answered with a resounding "no."
Such an evil denial of responsibility for aiding the Haitian people cannot be accepted, responded LaRouche. If Obama blocks the necessary action to save Haiti, he must be impeached. We are in a race against time.
No one should think for a minute that the President's refusal to provide immediate aid to move Haitian earthquake victims out of their disease-breeding surroundings, before the rainy season, is just a sign of incompetence. Those who have been working on Haiti for years, have a clear profile of where camps could be set up, in regions which would not be flooded, such as the central plateau. What is needed is the command decision to make the move—and bring in the personnel and resources to carry it out, before the beginning of April, when the rainy season officially begins.
Not only did the President say "no" to this proposal, but, the U.S. military forces which have been providing the Haitians with security and emergency aid, are actually being withdrawn—allegedly because their jobs can be taken over by non-governmental organizations and the United Nations. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Adm. Mike Mullen has declared that the 82nd Airborne forces can be drawn down, because the security needs are no longer so great. That may be true—but the endangerment to the health and welfare of the Haitian people is increasing, not declining.
Lack of sanitation is the greatest danger. Even before the earthquake, there were no sewage treatment plants for the general public in Haiti—a product of the British free-trade policy which has made this small republic the equivalent of a sub-Saharan African hellhole in this hemisphere. After the earthquake, the ability of the country to provide clean water, and to allow residents to live free of human waste, became even worse. Numerous journalistic reports describe families living on the street in virtual rivers of human waste and filth. As one girl put it, "The pigs live better than we do."
It is clear that, in order to prevent the mass spread of disease, as this situation worsens in the rains, people must be moved out of the city. But even the current crisis reflects the genocidal intent of leading officials in the Obama Administration and sections of the United Nations bureaucracy.
The UN's Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' Feb. 25 Situation Report gave a total of 2,605 latrines provided as of that date, enough for fewer than 200,000 people.
And what about shipping in portable toilets to get something in place, fast? Because Haiti has no waste disposal facilities, the problem of servicing them must be solved, but they can provide a stopgap. It has been widely reported that one settlement area that has been set up over the rubble of a collapsed school, has 10,000 people and one portable toilet.
In fact, so far, only 2,000 portable toilets have been available for the entire island (including the 10,000 U.S. troops). But, the overall goal set by the U.S. for such units was for only 10,000 such units.
For the sake of comparison, prior to the inauguration of President Obama last year, the plan called for the installation of 5,000 portable units along the Capital Mall. That number was immediately denounced as irresponsibly low, and a risk to public safety. Ultimately, 7,000 units were placed there. In New York City, 8,000 units were made available during a papal visit, and the city routinely places approximately 2,000 units along the route of the St. Patrick's Day parade.
Any reasonable person would have to conclude that this is not a result of incompetence, but of genocidal intent.
Bring in the Army Corps
LaRouche's concept, currently under broad discussion among military and political circles, calls for a crash effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to build temporary housing on available land, complete with plumbing and electricity, for emergency relocation. The Army Corps could then contract with relevant professionals, and bring in supporting manpower, much of it youth, both from Haiti itself, and from the United States, in a manner similar to that of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corps.
Moving approximately a million Port-au-Prince residents, currently living in filthy conditions, with inadequate shelter, no electricity, and virtually no other infrastructure, is the only way to assure their survival. It has the added benefit of clearing areas to permit the necessary top-to-bottom reconstruction of the capital city, which is now dominated by piles of rubble.
To proceed, this action would require nothing more than a command decision by the U.S. government, which could then offer a treaty agreement with the Haitian government to carry it out. The resources for the relocation and construction, would have to be provided from outside the country, but this could be done immediately.
The American people can be counted on to support this mission. The outpouring of financial support from ordinary Americans has been extraordinary. What is lacking is the commitment at the top to prevent a holocaust of disease which everyone knows is coming if the immediate, large-scale action that LaRouche is proposing is not taken.
Once again, Obama has shown himself to be an obstacle. He must be impeached, or forced to resign—now!
(In our next issue, EIR will publish a major feature on what must be done to save Haiti.)