Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Bwana Cares

Haiti's misery provides more openings for US manipulation and control. Not that pre-quake Haitians were in a position to free themselves from the regional superpower. But natural disaster makes it easier for American elites, their troops and media megaphones to further exploit that battered nation.

Under the guise of "helping" -- a sick joke, given reports about lack of serious aid -- comes an ever tightening grip. Predators prey on the wounded and weak, but we are unique in that we can sing our own praises while clamping down on Haiti's throat. No surprise, really. We've had plenty of practice.

Anderson Cooper's stunt gave CNN a fresh programming edge: News Hottie Saves Battered Boy! What a guy.

Let's see Cooper do the same thing in Gaza, pulling children out of Israeli-created rubble. Better still, a CNN spin off where Cooper travels to the globe's most wretched areas to snatch kids from harm: "Anderson's Angels." Make Kathy Griffin Cooper's wisecracking sidekick ("Ummm, hello! Splatter doesn't go with stripes!") and you season the drama with sassy levity.

Who says you can't have fun while saving the world?

Meantime, Obama beefs up US military presence while announcing with a straight face that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will represent American "humanitarian" efforts. These two war criminals are stained with Haitian blood, their presidencies chest-deep in imperial intervention and political tampering.

Clinton enjoys the better reputation, having returned to power ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1994 (whom Bush helped dispatch to Africa a decade later). Celebrated as democratic restoration, Clinton's move was merely a tactical shift in traditional regional policy.

Aristide, a sexier client than a junta military commander, served under the US thumb, beholden to IMF dictates. The savage beat played on, and remains mercilessly on key. No earthquake will disrupt that rhythm.

In happier news, Conan O'Brien will receive a $32 million severance package from NBC while throngs of fans spent Martin Luther King's holiday rallying to Conan's defense. Nice to see people caring in such cynical times.

Perhaps Conan can move his show to Port-au-Prince, if Jay Leno doesn't beat him there first.