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"We don't seek empires. We're not imperialistic. We never have been. I can't imagine why you'd even ask the question." Donald Rumsfeld, questioned by an al-Jazeera correspondent, April 29, 2003.

"No one can now doubt the word of America," George W. Bush, State of the Union, January 20, 2004.

A Blog by Rahul Mahajan

Letter to the LA Times -- Get Facts Straight on Haiti

To the editors,

In a recent article on Haiti, Paul Richter claims that the United States has repeatedly stepped in to “avert calamity,” suggesting that the invasion of 1915 was done to “quell disorder.” In fact, this invasion by Woodrow Wilson, a notorious racist (he re-segregated federal workers and admired Birth of a Nation), led to a 19-year occupation. During that time, the U.S. Marines dissolved the Haitian parliament, instituted a new constitution at gunpoint, used forced labor, and killed up to 15,000 Haitians in military operations. That new constitution allowed U.S. companies to establish huge plantations, run under conditions hardly different from those before the slave revolt that founded Haiti.

The article’s closing suggestion that the United States should step in and “build Haitian institutions” is as faulty as its history. The United States has already, through the National Endowment for Democracy (which brought us the coup attempt in Venezuela), created the so-called “opposition,” a political façade that is now falling away to reveal the face of U.S. intervention in Haiti: Louis-Jodel Chamblain of FRAPH, the paramilitary force that crushed Haiti’s grassroots movements in the early 1990’s and killed up to 7000 people, while working with the CIA.

Rahul Mahajan

Rahul Mahajan is publisher of Empire Notes. His latest book, “Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond,” covers U.S. policy on Iraq, deceptions about weapons of mass destruction, the plans of the neoconservatives, and the face of the new Bush imperial policies. He can be reached at


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