micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links

Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.

Please send him email at micahth@chartermi.net.

Holmquist's full archives are listed here.

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Sites Holmquist trys, and often fails, to go no more than a couple of days without visiting (some of which Holmquist regularly swipes links from without attribution)

Aljazeera.Net English
AlterNet (War on Iraq)
Alternative Press Review
Always Low Prices -- Always
Another Irani online
antiwar.com (blog)
Asia Times Online
Axis of Logic
Baghdad Burning (riverbend)
BBC News
blogdex.net ("track this weblog")
The Christian Science Monitor (Daily Update)
Common Dreams
Daily Rotten
Democracy Now
The Drudge Report
Eat the Press (Harry Shearer, The Huffington Post)
Empire Notes (Rahul Mahajan)
frontpagemag.com (HorowitzWatch)
Guardian Unlimited
The Independent
Information Clearing House
Informed Comment (Juan Cole)
Iranians for Peace

Iraq Dispatches (Dahr Jamail)
Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation
Iraq Occupation and Resistance Report (Psychoanalysts for Peace and Justice)
Mr. Show and Other Comedy
The Narco News Bulletin (blog)
The New York Times
Occupation Watch
Political Theory Daily Review
Press Action
Project Syndicate
Raed in the Middle (Raed Jarrar)
The Simpsons Archive
Simpsons Collector Sector
Technorati ("search for mth.blogspot.com")
United States Central Command
U.S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq
War Report (Project on Defense Alternatives)
The Washington Post
Wildfire (Jo Wilding)
wood s lot
www.mnftiu.cc (David Rees)

Blogs that for one reason or another Holmquist would like to read on at least something of a regular basis (always in development)

Thivai Abhor
As'ad AbuKhalil
Ken Adrian
Christopher Allbritton
Douglas Anders
Mark W. Anderson
Aziz Ansari
Atomic Archive
James Benjamin
Elton Beard
Charlie Bertsch
alister black
Blame India Watch
Blog Left: Critical Interventions Warblog / war blog
Igor Boog
Martin Butler
Chris Campbell
James M. Capozzola
Avedon Carol
Elaine Cassel
cats blog
Jeff Chang
Margaret Cho
Citizens Of Upright Moral Character
Louis CK
Les Dabney
Natalie Davis
Scoobie Davis
The Day Job
Jodi Dean
Dominic Duval
Steve Earle
Daniel Ellsberg
Tom Engelhardt
Lisa English
Barbara Flaska
Brian Flemming
Joe Foster
Yoshie Furuhashi
Al Giordano
Rob Goodspeed
Grand Puba
Guardian Unlimited Weblog
Pete Guither
The Hairy Eyeball
Ray Hanania
Mark Hand
Hector Rottweiller Jr's Web Log Jim Henley Arvin Hill Hit & Run (Reason) Hugo Clark Humphrey Indri The Iraqi Agora Dru Oja Jay Jeff Lynne d Johnson Dallas Jones Julia Kane Blues Benjamin Kepple Ken Layne Phil Leggiere Brian Linse Adam Magazine Majority Report Radio Marc Maron Josh Marshall Jeralyn Merritt J.R. Mooneyham Michael Scott Moore Bob Morris Bob Mould Mr. Show and Tell Muslims For Nader/Camejo David Neiwert NewPages Weblog Aimee Nezhukumatathil Sean O'Brien Patton Oswalt The Panda's Thumb Randy Paul Rodger A. Payne Ian Penman politx Neal Pollack Greg Proops Pro-War.com Pure Polemics Seyed Razavi Rayne Simon Reynolds richardpryor.com Clay Richards Mike Rogers Yuval Rubinstein
Steven Rubio
Saragon Noah Shachtman Court Schuett The Simpsons Archive Amardeep Singh Sam Smith Soundbitten Jack Sparks Ian Spiers Morgan Spurlock Stand Down: The Left-Right Blog Opposing an Invasion of Iraq Aaron Stark Morgaine Swann Tapped (The American Prospect) tex Matthew Tobey Annie Tomlin Tom Tomorrow The University Without Condition Jesse Walker Warblogger Watch Diane Warth The Watchful Babbler The Weblog we have brains Matt Welch
Alex Whalen
Jon Wiener
Lizz Winstead
James Wolcott
Wooster Collective
Mickey Z

Sunday, February 29, 2004
The Haitian example

Jean Bertrand Aristide is out, Boniface Alexandre is in and conditions might be better. (But maybe they aren't.)

Oh yeah, Team Bush is probably quite pleased. "President Aristide resigned," the Aristide of the United States said today. "I would urge the people of Haiti to reject violence, to give this break from the past a chance to work. And the United States is prepared to help."

This represents a huge change in U.S. policy towards Haiti, which historically has been based on trying to control Haiti, a stance that doesn't appear to have changed recently. But Bush is a man of his word, so we all have to assume that things will be different this time.

I suspect what we see here is an example of how the U.S. would prefer to handle all of these disputes. Destabilize a country with a leader who "needs" to be replaced -you listening Hugo?-, broker a deal and allow a government that is in line with U.S. interests, and knows what the punishment for not doing Uncle Sam's business, to come into being. Then they can dance in the Oval Office or whatever Bush and friends like to do when celebrating.

See, it all works out fine for everyone!

UPDATE: Was the U.S. behind Aristide's resignation?

Jim Defede, Carol Rosenberg and Martin Merzer of The Miami Herald write:

Ousted Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide claims he ''did not resign'' and was ''kidnapped'' by U.S. diplomatic and military officials, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters told The Herald on Monday...

Randall Robinson, former head of TransAfrica and a longtime Aristide friend, also spoke with Aristide and the Aristide's wife on Monday and relayed a similar account. He said Aristide was ''fairly impassioned'' and ``said he did not resign.''

''He said he was taken at gunpoint,'' Robinson said. ``Now I don't know that hands were laid on him. I think when you have big guns, the hands aren't necessary, you get the point.''

It was not completely clear if Aristide was using the term ''kidnapped'' in the literal sense or metaphorically, but Robinson was inclined to take the report literally.

''The point is he was taken against his will,'' Robinson said from his home on the island of St. Kitts. ``That he was clear about, so I don't think it was the metaphorical usage.''

U.S. Ambassador James Foley said in Port-au-Prince on Sunday that Aristide was told Saturday night and Sunday morning that the rebels were advancing, his security could not be guaranteed and he should strongly consider signing a resignation letter and seeking asylum.

Other U.S. officials said they ''facilitated'' Aristide's departure by arranging for a secure airplane and finding a country that would accept him. They said Aristide realized that his shaky hold on power -- and his own safety -- was threatened.

Agence France-Presse writes:
A man who said he was a caretaker for the now exiled president told France's RTL radio station the troops forced Aristide out.

"The American army came to take him away at two in the morning," the man said.

"The Americans forced him out with weapons.

"It was American soldiers. They came with a helicopter and they took the security guards.

"(Aristide) was not happy. He did not want to be taken away. He did not want to leave. He was not able to fight against the Americans."

The radio program Democracy Now says:
Multiple sources that just spoke with Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide told Democracy Now! that Aristide says he was "kidnapped" and taken by force to the Central African Republic. Congressmember Maxine Waters said she received a call from Aristide at 9am EST. "He's surrounded by military. It's like he is in jail, he said. He says he was kidnapped," said Waters. She said he had been threatened by what he called US diplomats. According to Waters, the diplomats reportedly told the Haitian president that if he did not leave Haiti, paramilitary leader Guy Philippe would storm the palace and Aristide would be killed. According to Waters, Aristide was told by the US that they were withdrawing Aristide's US security.

TransAfrica founder and close Aristide family friend Randall Robinson also received a call from the Haitian president early this morning and confirmed Waters account. Robinson said that Aristide "emphatically" denied that he had resigned. "He did not resign," he said. "He was abducted by the United States in the commission of a coup." Robinson says he spoke to Aristide on a cell phone that was smuggled to the Haitian president.

Here's the transcript of Amy Goodman's interview with Maxine Waters on Democracy Now

In a Taipei Times piece entitled "The fire this time in Haiti was US-fueled," Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University says the White House "appears to have succeeded in its long-time goal of toppling Aristide through years of blocking international aid to his impoverished nation."

In a related story, Patrick Markey or Reuters writes:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called U.S. President George W. Bush an "asshole" on Sunday for meddling, and vowed never to quit office like his Haitian counterpart as troops battled with opposition protesters demanding a recall referendum against him.

Chavez, who often says the U.S. is backing opposition efforts to topple his leftist government, accused Bush of heeding advice from "imperialist" aides to support a brief 2002 coup against him.

"He was an asshole to believe them," Chavez roared at a huge rally of supporters in Caracas.

An "asshole" he is, but perhaps one still in the minors. 2:47 p.m. 03/01/04

UPDATE #2: CNN reports that they interviewed Aristide yesterday and that he said he was effectively removed from power by the Uncle Sam.

Aristide "was not kidnaped," Powell said yesterday.

In a story published yesterday, Steven Dudley of The Boston Globe writes:

An accusation in a Miami courtroom last week that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was personally involved in drug-trafficking apparently gave the United States more leverage to persuade Aristide to leave the country, diplomats in Haiti said yesterday.

The allegation was made Wednesday by Haitian Beaudoin "Jacques" Ketant, a convicted drug-trafficker and a former Aristide confidant, as he was sentenced to a 27-year prison term in federal court in Florida.

Aristide's lawyer angrily denied the allegation, saying Ketant was trying to save himself by making unfounded accusations against Aristide. And the United States has not accused Aristide of involvement in trafficking.

But US officials have been adamant over the last year that Haiti has become an increasingly important transshipment point for cocaine and other illicit drugs into the United States.

The most serious charges of drug-trafficking in Haiti have been leveled not at Aristide but at some of the leaders of the insurgency that had battled to unseat him in a revolt that began Feb. 5 in northern Haiti. Many analysts and diplomats remain nervous of a future Haiti government that includes these powerful rebels, many of them associated with previous, brutal Haitian regimes.

The Florida case highlighted the growth of the drug-trafficking network there. Ketant told the court: "He [Aristide] controlled the drug trade in Haiti. He turned the country into a narco-country. It's a one-man show. You either pay [Aristide] or you die."

Three diplomats based in Haiti who were familiar with the negotiations that led Aristide to leave the country at dawn yesterday said on condition of anonymity that they understood Washington had used Ketant's public words and private cooperation with US prosecutors to add to the pressure on Aristide.

In another March 1 story, Ron Howell of New York Newsday writes:
The departure of Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a victory for a Bush administration hard-liner who has been long dedicated to Aristide's ouster, U.S. foreign policy analysts say.

That official is Roger Noriega, assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, whose influence over U.S. policy toward Haiti has increased during the past decade as he climbed the diplomatic ladder in Washington.

One question that Aristide needs to be asked is if he feels he faces the possibility of retaliation for speaking out. It seems odd, but by no means beyond the realm of possibility, that he would be removed and detained, but allowed to say whatever he wanted. Then again, I suppose if government officials and reporters were not able to contact him, an even bigger scandal would appear to be going on.


Hey Haiti, Uncle Sam will tell you what to do so just shut the hell up! 9:22 a.m. 03/02/04