Five Points of Revolution - Purified hearts - Commerce or Christ? - Liberals Are Useless - Total Surrender - Examine Your Heart This Day - Haiti Is Open for Business - A New Season, Change Is Coming
February 18, 2010
Five Points of Revolution
by Darren Smith.
After much prayer, I have decided to release these points of revolution. I pray that you will pray over them and let God show you what to do. Time is short, we must act now.
1. We must return to the pure faith that Christ ordained for us to follow. Man has complicated faith to the point it is hard to find true faith on this earth. We have far too many man-made doctrines that lead us away from true simple faith. We have sought after knowledge to the point that knowledge has taken place above Christ. From this, the simple relational Gospel has been lost and replaced by systems of religion that are only designed to build themselves.
More people are concerned with their doctrine than carrying out the work of Christ on this earth. We have very educated people who have a great head knowledge of Christ but lack the heart knowledge that fruits of the Spirit flow from. These doctors of Theology put on a show week after week, letting their preaching skills dazzle the people, but their fruit never shines forth. Let's get real. How many of these men would preach if their salary was taken away?
From these halls of religion, men echo a self-centered gospel that really is no gospel at all, it brings forth no fruit. Today's church has become a business simply put, putting out products to enrich itself. It has become a Babylonian institution that only a revolution can change. We must stop feeding the monster.
Pure simple faith is Loving God and Loving our neighbor. Do we love God if we don't obey His commands? Jesus said that we don't. If we are not doing the things Christ said, we are not in obedience. Jesus taught us to live a life of simplicity building relationships and making disciples, not building lavish buildings and a comfortable life for our self. Are we loving our neighbor when we overlook his needs? Would God rather us use our money to build temples and ministry payrolls or to feed the hungry and take care of widows and orphans? Would HE rather us buy the system's books and tapes or spend our money spreading the Gospel to the lost? Shouldn't our resources go to the work of the ministry? This will anger those that are changing money in the name of the Lord and making ministry a business. But it must be said, not only said but shouted.
2. We must examine our life by the Light of the Word. We cannot examine ourselves by the doctrine of religion - only the Word of God. Men build doctrines that are to be more accepted by the world. Take for instance the prosperity message plaguing the body today. It's designed to make you feel better about yourself and the life you live. The people who are in leadership prosper by design, those that follow pay the bill, but worse a false sense of hope is sent out to people who simply can only be helped by the simple truth. If you examine yourself by this doctrine or any other manmade doctrine you cannot get a clear picture of where you need to be or what you should be doing. Look at this simple principle in 2 Cor 13:5 - "Test yourself to see if you are in the faith." See if Christ is in you. That's a simple test so why not so it? Do I love God? Am I keeping His commands? Do I love my neighbor? If so, how do I show it through my actions? Am I taking care of widows and orphans, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked? If not, am I obeying Christ? Am I forgiving? Without forgiving you cannot be forgiven. Why is this not taught today?
Am I kind, patient? Or am I full of envy and pride? In 1Cor 13:4-8 you can give yourself a simple test. Take out the word "love" and place your name there and see if it fits. If Christ is in you, you have the ability through Him to be all these things. Doctrines of man give us excuses not to go deeper into relationship with Christ. They teach us how to put up a facade of holiness, like how we look or act on the outside, or rituals that we find comfort in - like church attendance and tithing to the church. Christ asks for childlike faith, simplicity in loving Him and our neighbor - a daily relationship. You can't get this from religion, only from relationship. If you're not passing the test, ask the Lord what you must do to pass and HE will guide you. Religion will give you a list of things to do and a list not to do. Christ will give you life and peace.
3. You must become temporary residents or travelers in this world. We have put our roots down in a world that we are only passing through, to the point that the culture has overtaken faith. 1 Peter 2:11. Peter tells us to be aliens to this world and to abstain from fleshly desires that war against us. What are these things that war against us? The very culture of self that we live in today - from sexual perversion to self-centered greed, to the attitude that we deserve anything we want. This culture has brought down basic values and destroyed the family in this nation. Just like Lot in Sodom, we have grown so comfortable with the life it provides us we don't even care about the sin around us. We have adjusted our religion to fit the culture. We are at a point where nothing shocks us anymore, but as long as we can keep our comforts it's OK. We love this world and the things it affords us so much, we have missed the narrow path and are trying to turn a deaf ear to the warnings of God for us to repent.
As much as I know this will make a lot of people mad, I must add this point. Our national pride as Americans has helped us down this road as well. We feel we are God's own nation even as we have become more and more against God. Blinded by rhetoric and blind patriotism we have let this country sink to an all-time low. From abortion to gay marriage, we flaunt our rebellion before God and then claim to be God's nation. If anyone dare say anything about it, you are attacked for being anti-American and an extremist.
Well, I have news for you, Jesus himself was an extremist and views on religion and government put Him on trial and the cross. Can you make the point realistically that we are a Godly nation? I think not. We must be willing to become aliens to this world and its ways. The American dream is not from God. God wants us to be citizens of the Kingdom of God and live accordingly. This means that we are going to have to make some hard choices about what to do in this world, some that will have very tough consequences to our flesh.
We must come out of Babylon and every one of her systems. This means letting go of life as we know it and embracing the cross of Christ. This will cause you to take stands that will be totally counter-culture and revolutionary and most people in your life will not understand. Don't forget that Jesus said that he would cause division. As you pull away from this world, most will question your actions and critics will tear at your every idea. If you are a traveler here, it really doesn't matter.
4. Repentance and transparency are a must. We must get real with ourselves and with others around us. Every time we cover up sin and shortcomings we give our enemy weapons to use against us. This is why true relationship in the body of Christ is so important. We need to be able to minister out of our heart, and if we are not clean, we become poison instead of healing. Some of the most unforgiving and meanest people I have ever met I met in church. I know men who stand and teach God's Word before others, that are full of hate and unforgiveness. True relationship exposes these issues and gives a chance for repentance to take place. I know men that claim to love God but are racist and because of the facade the modern church has built, they teach Sunday after Sunday with this hate in their heart.
How can anyone help you if they are not open about their own struggles? How can a man preach against adultery and have that very thing in his own heart? We must get clean and open in the Body to see the fullness of Christ in His Body.
It is from our weakness He is able to use us and we all have our own areas that we have failed, and only through His love and grace are we able to gain victory. I believe in being transparent and sometimes I am told that I am too open about my life and struggles, but I know if it is hidden, that the enemy will use it to destroy me. I have preached meetings that when I asked everyone to raise their hand if they have hidden sin such as porn and adultery in their life that every man in the place raised their hand. At this I asked them to come forward and repent and confess before God and man -so they could be set free.
Hidden sin kills your spirit and robs you of your God-given destiny. It must be dealt with. We must plant New Testament Fellowships that teach these truths and put them into action so people can be free. This level of openness is not comfortable, for we will all have to admit that we have faults and problems. This will cause us to have to deal with marital problems instead of running to divorce court. We will have to be accountable for our actions and live life without any excuses.
5. Absolute commitment to the cause of Christ. We must be willing to lay down our life for Christ. This is easy to say but hard to put in practice. Most believers say that they are willing to die for Christ, but live a life that says just the opposite. Most will not put off their self in even the simplest things in life such as giving from their abundance to further the cause, much less taking time from their life to serve. Many ask me how we left a comfortable home in the country to live and serve in the inner city among the addicts and prostitutes and homeless. I tell them God sent me here, I had no choice in the matter. I'm not special, I just simply told the Lord, I give you my life! Many sing these words over and over in songs, but in reality they don't give Him anything that costs them time or money.
Think about how silly it is to say you would die for Christ but you're not willing to give up anything of your own for Him. There are very few people committed to the cause of Christ to the point of giving their life, even though this is what He requires.
If you can't be faithful in giving in your daily life, you will not give your life. If you can rest on the excuses of not having time or enough money to help, you can rest on the excuse that you're not called to this level. Let's go even deeper. If you can rest with the condition of this nation and the church, then you are not a revolutionary and there is no need for you to read any more of this letter. But, if you can't rest in the excuses or in the condition of this land, it is time for you to take action even at risk to your life.
In closing, I would like to share a few thoughts with you about revolutions and revolutionaries. Many people are fascinated with people who will risk it all for their cause and because of this they will stay just close enough to watch and take credit for being a part if anything they think is good happens. But as soon as the battle gets too hot, they turn and run and deny they had any part. For the most part it is a lonely road that the revolutionary walks. Most of the time there is nothing to show that they are winning, the isolation takes a toll on them and at times they question if the fight is worth it at all.
In our case, the fight is worth it because it is the Lord's. Many times, the change that is brought about is long after the revolutionary has given his life in obscurity on a forgotten battlefield. Then someone will stumble onto the cause and the passion that he held for it and stories from his time will inspire the next revolutionary to pick up the cause and lose his life for it's sake. Many times then, the man who gave it all and died in a forgotten battle will become known and many who are not willing to pay the price will sit around and tell stories of this great man who gave his life. But it is the one that is inspired to take action that carries the battle forth without any regard to his own life. We must be willing to die on our own forgotten battlefield in this revolution for it is not ours, it is the Lord's. The battle lines are clearly drawn, it's time to choose our side and commit our life. Are you ready?
Amy WilliamsBut if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:7)
This is the first work of God´s grace our sins are washed away by the cleansing blood of Jesus. But although our sins are washed away, the ‘old creation nature´ remains. Baptism deals with this as the old life is buried under the baptismal waters. As we make a public sign to follow Jesus, He gives us a ‘new creation identity.´ When we are filled with the Holy Spirit our hearts are changed. We can walk with a pure heart and a pure conscience in the Holy Spirit. If we live like this we won´t lead wasted lives.
Peter is a good example to us: he used to be hot-headed, with a fierce temper. Although he must have still struggled, we can see that he changed in (1 Peter 1:15-16) he issues a call to be ‘holy as God is holy.´ We need to have pure hearts, so that we don´t easily become irate and angry.Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry . But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.’ (Colossians 3:5-10, 12-25)
Impurity contaminates and pollutes our walk with God and has a negative effect on those around us we need to stamp it out where it occurs in our lives.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.’ (1 John 4:18)
‘Perfect love´ is Christian perfection. It is not sinless perfection battles will continue and we will have to fight them. It is Christian perfection: our hearts are purified and made new in Christ.
Commerce or Christ?
by Gerald Chester.
In his gospel record, the first-century physician Luke quoted Jesus: "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" Luke 16:13 (NIV). Hence the worship of God and money are mutually exclusive. Please note that I did not say that God and money are mutually exclusive, but rather the worship of God and money are mutually exclusive.
Most of us do not consider ourselves to be worshippers of money. Instead we claim to be worshippers of God. But if Amy Domini is correct and the signs and symbols of the culture reveal what people really value and therefore worship, do the signs confirm that we are worshippers of money?
Consider the following signs:
Sign #1: Success is denominated in terms of money. When the label successful’ is applied to a person, we are commonly referring to his or her financial success. Unless the person is an outright criminal like Bernie Madoff, the level of success that one enjoys is directly proportional to one's financial fortune.
Sign #2: Americans live as consumers not stewards. This is so obvious to the workplace that business pundits have labeled Americans as consumers.’ Furthermore, our economy is built on consumption; hence, when personal consumption drops, so does the economy.
Sign #3: An entitlement mentality has emerged in America regarding the right to a certain standard of living, disaster aide, health care, and financial safety. Most people expect the government to care for them if something goes wrong and when they get old. There is no compelling reason to responsibly save money or to help each other.
Sign #4: Almost everyone chooses their work based on money. People, as a general rule, accept jobs and leave jobs to make more money. Any other factors that might be considered are secondary.
Sign #5: Money, for the most part, dictates where people choose to live. Most people determine the largest mortgage they qualify for and shop for a home that will match that mortgage. Because of this, many people live house poor,’ meaning that they cannot adequately furnish, decorate and/or maintain their homes. Further-more, because people live on the edge financially, when economic stress comes they often lose their homes through foreclosure.
As I consider these signs, I am persuaded that money is very important to peoplefar more important than God. Having been active in Christianity for more than fifty years, my anecdotal observation is that God is important to people for a few hours each week on Sunday, but the rest of the time most people focus on money. Money defines who we arehow we view and use money, our social standing, our public policy, where we work, and how we live. Where is God in all of this?
As noted above, one of the rules of God's universe is that people cannot worship both God and moneya choice has to be made. Sadly, few seem to understand this realitymany professing Christians display the signs noted above, which means that they are trying to worship God and money.
Let us be clear: when we break God's rules, there will be consequences. Note the words of the apostle Paul in Galatians 6:7: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" [NIV]. It is deception to think that we can sow seeds of rebellion by violating God's laws and not have consequences. Yet, this is what we are doing. We think that we can worship God and money, but God has said that we can't...
The popular paradigm of present day Christianity focuses on getting people to make a decision for Christ, as if one decision is all that we need to make. This implies that all other decisions can be made without Christ. When you read the New Testament, it is abundantly clear the apostle Paul viewed Christ and his teachings as the basis for making all decisions (e.g., Colossians 2).
About a year ago, I heard a speaker say that he was not trying to get people to make a decision for Christ, rather he was trying to get them to make every decision for Christ. This is the biblical perspective.
I think the signs of the times are clear. The professing Christian community, particularly in North America, has abandoned the worship of Christ and chosen to worship commerce (i.e., money). This choice will have undesirable consequences. Perhaps the current economic calamity is part of the consequences.
Hosea 13:2 reads: "Now they [the Israelites] sin more and more; they make idols for themselves from their silver, cleverly fashioned images, all of them the work of craftsmen . . ." (NIV). Note that the craftsmen (i.e., the workplace) simply accommodated the wishes of the people. The real driver in a culture is the worldview of the people. The workplace and public policy of a culture merely reflect the people's worldview. If the people choose to worship God, then the workplace and public policy will worship God. And if the people choose to worship money, the workplace and public policy will also worship money.
Choosing to worship money instead of God will lead to judgment (see Deuteronomy 28). But if people repent and worship the one true God, then there will be blessings. So the choice is ours commerce (i.e., money) or Christwhat will it be?
Know this: because of the sin of man, the default answer is commerce. So if you want to change, truly change, you have to proactively engage in rejecting the worship of money and choose Christ...
Liberals Are Useless
By Chris Hedges
Liberals are a useless lot. They talk about peace and do nothing to challenge our permanent war economy. They claim to support the working class, and vote for candidates that glibly defend the North American Free Trade Agreement. They insist they believe in welfare, the right to organize, universal health care and a host of other socially progressive causes, and will not risk stepping out of the mainstream to fight for them. The only talent they seem to possess is the ability to write abject, cloying letters to Barack Obamaas if he reads themasking the president to come back to his true’ self. This sterile moral posturing, which is not only useless but humiliating, has made America´s liberal class an object of public derision.
I am not disappointed in Obama. I don´t feel betrayed. I don´t wonder when he is going to be Obama. I did not vote for the man. I vote socialist, which in my case meant Ralph Nader, but could have meant Cynthia McKinney. How can an organization with the oxymoronic title Progressives for Obama even exist? Liberal groups like these make political satire obsolete. Obama was and is a brand. He is a product of the Chicago political machine. He has been skillfully packaged as the new face of the corporate state. I don´t dislike ObamaI would much rather listen to him than his smug and venal predecessorthough I expected nothing but a continuation of the corporate rape of the country. And that is what he has delivered.
You have a tug of war with one side pulling,’ Ralph Nader told me when we met Saturday afternoon. The corporate interests pull on the Democratic Party the way they pull on the Republican Party. If you are a ‘least-worst´ voter you don´t want to disturb John Kerry on the war, so you call off the anti-war demonstrations in 2004. You don´t want to disturb Obama because McCain is worse. And every four years both parties get worse. There is no pull. That is the dilemma of The Nation and The Progressive and other similar publications. There is no breaking point. What is the breaking point? The criminal war of aggression in Iraq? The escalation of the war in Afghanistan? Forty-five thousand people dying a year because they can´t afford health insurance? The hollowing out of communities and sending the jobs to fascist and communist regimes overseas that know how to put the workers in their place? There is no breaking point. And when there is no breaking point you do not have a moral compass.’
I save my anger for our bankrupt liberal intelligentsia of which, sadly, I guess I am a member. Liberals are the defeated, self-absorbed Mouse Man in Dostoevsky´s Notes From Underground.’ They embrace cynicism, a cloak for their cowardice and impotence. They, like Dostoevsky´s depraved character, have come to believe that the conscious inertia’ of the underground surpasses all other forms of existence. They too use inaction and empty moral posturing, not to affect change but to engage in an orgy of self-adulation and self-pity. They too refuse to act or engage with anyone not cowering in the underground. This choice does not satisfy the Mouse Man, as it does not satisfy our liberal class, but neither has the strength to change. The gravest danger we face as a nation is not from the far right, although it may well inherit power, but from a bankrupt liberal class that has lost the will to fight and the moral courage to stand up for what it espouses.
Anyone who says he or she cares about the working class in this country should have walked out on the Democratic Party in 1994 with the passage of NAFTA. And it has only been downhill since. If welfare reform, the 1999 Financial Services Modernization Act, which gutted the 1933 Glass-Steagall Actdesigned to prevent the kind of banking crisis we are now undergoingand the craven decision by the Democratic Congress to continue to fund and expand our imperial wars were not enough to make you revolt, how about the refusal to restore habeas corpus, end torture in our offshore penal colonies, abolish George W. Bush´s secrecy laws or halt the warrantless wiretapping and monitoring of American citizens? The imperial projects and the corporate state have not altered under Obama. The state kills as ruthlessly and indiscriminately in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan as it did under Bush. It steals from the U.S. treasury as rapaciously to enrich the corporate elite. It, too, bows before the conservative Israel lobby, refuses to enact serious environmental or health care reform, regulate Wall Street, end our relationship with private mercenary contractors or stop handing obscene sums of money, some $1 trillion a year, to the military and arms industry. At what point do we stop being a doormat? At what point do we fight back? We may lose if we step outside the mainstream, but at least we will salvage our self-esteem and integrity.
I learned to dislike liberals when I lived in Roxbury, the inner-city in Boston, as a seminary student at Harvard Divinity School. I commuted into Cambridge to hear professors and students talk about empowering people they never met. It was the time of the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Spending two weeks picking coffee in that country and then coming back and talking about it for the rest of the semester was the best way to credentialize’ yourself as a revolutionary. But few of these revolutionaries’ found the time to spend 20 minutes on the Green Line to see where human beings in their own city were being warehoused little better than animals. They liked the poor, but they did not like the smell of the poor. It was a lesson I never forgot.
I was also at the time a member of the Greater Boston YMCA boxing team. We fought on Saturday nights for $25 in arenas in working-class neighborhoods like Charlestown. My closest friends were construction workers and pot washers. They worked hard. They believed in unions. They wanted a better life, which few of them ever got. We used to run five miles after our nightly training, passing through the Mission Main and Mission Extension Housing Projects, and they would joke, I hope we get mugged.’ They knew precisely what to do with people who abused them. They may not have been liberal, they may not have finished high school, but they were far more grounded than most of those I studied with across the Charles River. They would have felt awkward, and would have been made to feel awkward, at the little gatherings of progressive and liberal intellectuals at Harvard, but you could trust and rely on them.
I went on to spend two decades as a war correspondent. The qualities inherent in good soldiers or Marines, like the qualities I found among those boxers, are qualities I admireself-sacrifice, courage, the ability to make decisions under stress, the capacity to endure physical discomfort, and a fierce loyalty to those around you, even if it puts you in greater danger. If liberals had even a bit of their fortitude we could have avoided this mess. But they don´t. So here we are again, begging Obama to be Obama. He is Obama. Obama is not the problem. We are.
You have yielded control of your life in total surrender to Me. No more worrying or anxiety--only relying in faith and total trust on My guiding hand upon your life.
I will light your path even in the darkness and show you every step to take and every word to say. Do not move unless My Spirit says move. Do not turn to the right or left. I will make the way clear. You will walk in total victory over any circumstance--not by might or power, but by My Spirit.
Stand firm in Me, as I do not shake. I see the beginning from the end. You are held in Me. Feast on My faithfulness as I am more than enough. Let My will be done on earth even as it is in heaven. Walk in the fullness of My Power and Glory. It rests upon you and is rising up in you now.
Now is the time to step into your destiny for My Kingdom and to realize the meaning behind all that I have shown you and promised you. Walk closely behind Me in My shadow. Believe all that I have spoken to you.
Examine Your Heart This Day
Stephen HansonThe heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it. "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve." Jer. 17:9-10
"Show me, says the Lord, a man that has their heart fully directed to me. Show me a man that has examined his heart and has seen all the guile within. Show me a man that has taken everything and has laid it at my feet. Truly, there is not a man to be found. But I tell you, that when this man has given his heart to me, then I can mold it and make it into mine. I can turn a corrupt and sinful heart into a beautiful one. Jeremiah said the heart is deceitful above all measures, who can know it? But I have a heart for you. I have a heart that strives to mold you into my image.
Examine your heart this day."
Haiti Is Open for Business
By Stephen Lendman
Haiti Is Open for Business - by Stephen Lendman
In December 1984, Canada's conservative prime minister, Brian Mulroney, told the New York Economic Club that "Canada is open for business," meaning US companies were welcome, the two countries would work for greater economic integration, America's sovereignty took precedence of his own, and corporate interests from both countries could operate freely at the expense of most Canadians.
That's always been Haiti's curse, now more than ever. Under American militarized control, Haiti is occupied for profit, its pseudo government largely invisible, and predators aim to cash in to the fullest. On January 21, in his article titled, "Securing disaster in Haiti," Peter Hallward explained, saying:
"....the US-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island's recent history. It has adopted military priorities and strategies. It has sidelined Haiti's own leaders and government, and ignored the needs of the majority of its people. And it has proceeded in ways that reinforce the already harrowing gap between rich and poor. All three tendencies aren't just connected, they are mutually reinforcing. (They'll also) govern the imminent reconstruction effort as well, unless determined political action is taken to counteract them."
Post-quake, conditions on the ground are horrific. Three million or more Haitians are affected. Most are displaced and struggling. Essential aid is obstructed and limited. Hundreds of thousands are being removed from the capital, not to help them, to "cleanse" the area for development. The official estimated death toll tops 230,000, over 300,000 are injured, and AP reported (on February 9) that the "Health crisis in Haiti enter(ed) a deadly new phase," the result of "a half-million (or more) people jammed into germ-breeding makeshift camps" where a health emergency is already apparent in the form of malnutrition, diarrheal illnesses, acute respiratory (and other) infections, at least one reported typhoid case, and fears of possible outbreaks of tetanus, measles, TB, malaria, dengue fever, diphtheria, acute flaccid paralysis, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, and other infectious diseases, including water-borne ones, particularly threatening children.
Independent reports cite outbreaks of tetanus, TB, diarrhea, scabies, ringworm and growing depravation, misery and anger, mostly unreported in the mainstream that instead focuses on disease containment and improving conditions. Daily, conditions are worse, not better, threatening a far greater disaster ahead.
Given the widespread depravation, the obstruction of food, clean water, and temporary shelter, and lack of proper sanitation, infectious disease outbreaks may cause biblical levels of more deaths ahead, perhaps raising the toll to from 500,000 - one million Haitians, a scale definable as genocide.
The Genocide Convention defines it as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group (including) causing serious bodily or mental harm (and) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part...."
US forces control everything - Haiti's airport, port facilities, the Presidential Palace, and other strategic locations. They patrol Port-au-Prince streets menacingly with heavy weapons. In late January, police beat people, and UN Blue Helmets fired rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray at hungry Haitians wanting food, a likely precursor to graver confrontations ahead as desperate people seek it to survive. One Haitian told a reporter: "They treat us like animals, they beat us, but we are hungry people."
On February 7, the 19th anniversary of Jean-Bertrand Aristide first inauguration, his supporters commemorated the event as they do every year, calling for his return, denouncing the occupation, condemning the lack of food and other aid, and the corruption exacerbating the problem along with America's obstruction to let desperate people suffer and expire.
A month after the quake, inadequate amounts of everything are being distributed. Residents in poor areas like Cite Soleil have gotten virtually nothing and were in desperate straits pre-disaster. On February 8, thousands marched through Petionville, a Port-au-Prince suburb, denouncing what's occurring throughout stricken areas - mayors and other officials hoarding food and selling it at inflated black market prices, not distributing it to starving Haitians.
One protestor said: "I am hungry, I am dying of hunger. (Mayor) Lydie Parent keeps the rice and doesn't give us anything."
Haitian-truth.org said Haitian customs agents are charging people arriving with aid fees to deliver it. Otherwise, their supplies will be held indefinitely.
AlJazeera and other sources reported fake coupons being used for free food, to be sold on the black market at inflated prices.
On February 10, AP reported that public and private hospitals are charging patients, UN officials warning free medications won't be sent to ones that do. Christophe Rerat of the UN's Pan American Health Organization said they got about $1 million worth of free drugs, supplied by donations, and all medical care is to be provided without charge. Donated funds are also paying staff.
On February 11, rain and growing frustration sparked spontaneous street protests denouncing President Rene Preval's inaction, calling for Aristide's return, and demanding food, clean water and tents for shelter. Club wielding police met marchers. Scuffles followed. Minor injuries were reported. A sign read: "The rain has soaked us. The MINUSTAH must go. We need help. We need aid."
Shelter from the elements is needed as the rainy season approaches, and with it the greater threat of disease. Reportedly 10,000 tents have arrived, not the 200,000 the government requested and hundreds of thousands more needed.
OCHA reports that 90% of affected Haitians need emergency shelter, over 1.2 million are in "spontaneous settlements," and nearly half a million "have left Port-au-Prince for outlying" areas. Most of them, in fact, have been forced into permanent displacement, the same fate planned for hundreds of thousands more.
Sanitation is a major concern. At most, 5% of needed latrines are available, and the lack of dumping sites for waste is also a huge problem. With the arrival of thousands of people along the Dominican Republic border, "the food security situation, which was already precarious prior to the earthquake, is getting worse...."
The Nutrition Cluster expects the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate to soar given conditions on the ground throughout the country. In addition, months of rain "will increase morbidity rates for childhood diseases while hunger is expected to be especially severe....Delays in incoming stock pipelines must be addressed to ensure a steady influx of needed items."
The problem is relief supplies are warehoused at Haiti's airport, ports and other facilities, not adequately distributed, so willful obstruction is exacerbating the crisis. People are starving. Diseases are becoming epidemics. Everything is in short supply, and OCHA reports only 10% of trauma injuries have been treated.
Yet the web site reliefweb.int shows $569.8 million in relief already donated (as of February 14), or 99% of the appeal's goal and certain to way exceed it. Where has the money gone? Who's getting it, and why hasn't an amount this great delivered significant aid? Disturbing questions demand answers. Why aren't they forthcoming? It's because Haiti is being prepared for plunder, and NGOs, including charities, will get their fair share.
The web site ngo.org defines them as follows:
"A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian policies and encourage political participation through provision of information. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations system differs depending on their goals, their venue and the mandate of a particular institution."
A paper prepared by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's L. David Brown and Mark H. Moore titled, "Accountability, Strategy, and International Non-Governmental Organizations" quotes Anna Vakil's five NGO "functional categories: welfare, develop (in the sense of capacity-building), advocacy, development education, and networking or research."
Various other definitions include the following characteristics:
-- local, national or international in scope;
-- staffed by unpaid volunteers;
-- non-political; and
-- advancing social, humanitarian objectives.
Some NGOs do. Most don't as James Petras explained on The Lendman News Hour saying most skim 90% of donations for themselves. Some genuinely enhance welfare, support human and civil rights, and mitigate the ravages of disease and repression. The large majority, however, are ideologically biased think tanks or lobby groups, serving a political agenda for profit. They're predators, not humanitarians.
In his December 1997 Monthly Review article titled, "Imperialism and NGOs in Latin America," Petras discussed their early 1970s history under military dictatorships when they actively supported their victims and denounced human rights abuses. Even then, however, their limitations were evident as "they rarely denounced the US and European patrons who financed" them. Nor did they "link the neoliberal economic policies and human rights violations to the new turn in the imperialist system. Obviously" their funding limits their ability to criticize.
Yet as neoliberal regimes "devastat(ed) communities (through) cheap imports, extracting external debt payments, abolishing labor legislation, and creating a" reserve army of cheap labor, NGOs were well funded "to be their 'community face'....intimately related to those at the top and complementing their destructive work with local projects." In other words, NGOs are profiteers with a friendly face acting as predatory capitalism's agents. When they take over, social movements decline, and that's the whole idea for their presence.
Nearly all have entrenched bureaucracies, highly paid officials, secret operational rules, and undisclosed financing sources and amounts, mostly from domestic or foreign nations whose interests they serve, including for PR, intelligence, or population control, not providing humanitarian services.
They all claim non-profit status, yet operate unethically, collude with governments or business interests, profit handsomely, own unrelated businesses, and exploit people they claim to serve. In many countries, they're the preferred choice for Western aid and emergency relief, providing cover for an imperial agenda and cashing in handsomely, especially after disasters like wars and their aftermath, floods, famines and earthquakes.
Haiti is called "the Republic of NGOs," with over 10,000 operating (according to World Bank estimates) for its nine million people, the highest per capita presence worldwide in all sectors of activity and society, many with sizable budgets. Yet their numbers beg the question. With that abundant firepower, why is Haiti the poorest country in the hemisphere, one of the poorest in the world, and one of the most oppressed? Why were so many Haitians starving pre-quake? Why now are conditions catastrophic and worsening?
NGO proliferation mirrored the atrophy of Haiti's government, providing cover for imperial interests with UN paramilitary and now US combat troop occupiers for enforcement, Haitians, of course, suffering as they have for over 500 years.
Profiteering from Misery
In his book titled, "Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking," Timothy Schwartz recounts an "anthropologist's personal story of working with foreign aid agencies (the NGO network) and discovering that fraud, greed, corruption, apathy, and political agendas permeate the industry," part of the reason behind Haiti's institutionalized oppression, poverty and misery.
According to Haitian lawyer/activist Marguerite Laurent:
"It's laughably idealistic to wish for accountability, honesty, grace and dignity from the folks at USAID, World Bank, the Christian missions and those 'doing good' in Haiti for more than a-half century now," when, in fact, most come to exploit, seeking profits, not a desire to provide humanitarian services.
"Schwartz's book unveils paradoxes and lots of critical data on foreign aid, mission schools, orphanages, and the world's major multinational charities working in Haiti." He reveals a nation "you'll not read about in current mainstream books and papers on Haiti." Nor through the major media that ignore over 500 years of enslavement, colonization, serfdom, severe exploitation and oppression, and brutalizing misery, the last two centuries under US domination.
The book is an "inside story," said Schwartz, about "fraud, greed, corruption, and apathy, and political agendas (as well as a) story of failed agriculture, health and credit projects; violent struggles for control over aid money; corrupt orphanage owners, pastors, and missionaries; the nepotistic manipulation of research funds; economically counterproductive food relief programs that undermine the Haitian agricultural economy; and the disastrous effects of economic engineering by foreign governments and international aid organizations (like USAID, World Bank and others), and the multinational corporate charities....in their service (like CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, World Vision, and many others) that have programs spread across the globe, moving in response not only to disasters and need, but political agendas and economic opportunity."
He saw it for over 10 years, researching and living in Haiti. He stresses not wanting to damage charity providers, just those in it for personal gain, not people they profess to help.
"At the level of individuals and NGOS, the lack of fiscal accountability is manifest in the enrichment of the custodians of the money - pastors and directors of NGOs, schools and orphanages - and the redirection of charity toward middle and upper class Haitians," the very ones who don't need it. At governmental levels, "Charity is manipulated to serve political ends."
Without accountability, corruption gets embedded, aid is distorted, and ends up doing more harm than good, precisely according to plan. For example, Haiti's School for Jesus Christ of America "was a nest of elites (disdaining) and spurn(ing) the impoverished peasants, fishermen, and slum dwellers, (calling) them ignorant and uncivilized, as subhuman, who called them dan wouj (red teeth) and pye pete (cracked fee)...."
"The impoverished children in the Hamlet could not get medical care," and what they got was poor quality for exorbitant fees. At the same time, elite children were treated free and their education paid for, using funds meant for the poor. Visiting missionaries called the school administrators "dedicated spreaders of biblical truth, somehow holier than ordinary Christians, closer to God, better than the rest of us." In fact, they're predators, profiteering from Haiti's poor and living lavishly at their expense. Their mission, in fact, is bogus. "Helping the poor? The hell they were!"
CARE is no different, "a perversion of American charitable ideals with its false claims to be aiding the 'poorest of the poor' when what it was really doing was throwing exquisite banquets at plush hotels while carrying out US political policy in the interest of international venture capitalists and industrialists."
Child Trafficking in Haiti
This section deals with abducted children for profit, not Haiti's century-long Restavek system covered in an earlier article titled, "Child Slavery in Haiti." Under it, impoverished families send one or more of their children to live with wealthier or less poor ones in return for food, shelter, education, and a better life in return for performing tasks as servants. They, in fact, become de facto slaves subjected to verbal and physical abuse.
Trafficking children for profit is another matter, another scam. Operatives representing orphanages or adoption agencies approach poor families, offer money, promise their children will be well cared for and educated, then disappear them. None are ever heard from again.
According to Schwartz:
"Not one of the families ever received a single letter from the agency or from any of the adoptive parents. An SOS (Enfants Without Frontiers) employee obtained the address of (one) parent organization in Paris but, when they called, the person who answered the phone said that the agency had moved and left no forwarding address."
Schwartz visited "every single orphanage in the Province as well as Gonaives. They all look like scams to (him. He didn't want to) write a report saying the orphanages are all scams," but, in fact, they are, preying on impoverished families.
The problem, however, is far greater. World Vision and Compassion International sponsor 58,500 Haitian children. Christian Aid Missions (CAM) 10,000, the Haiti Baptist Mission 57,800, and many other NGOs run similar operations, trafficking children for profit or diverting funds for the poor to elite ones or their pockets. "....think about all the money that must be collected and never even gets there....So many people at these orphanages are outright lying. Most of the children are not orphans."
Schwartz's "dismay with charity and development was growing. (His) job wasn't over." He investigated further and found other alarming surprises, "shatter(ing) any remaining faith (he) had in foreign aid to Haiti." Under militarized control, perhaps much worse is underway, with hundreds of millions of donor aid likely stolen and thousands of predatory NGOs and other profiteers grabbing it.
The recent report about 10 Americans detained (likely to be released pending further investigation and perhaps absolved altogether) for illegally trying to spirit 33 children from Haiti is just the tip of a global problem, one very much affecting Haiti. This longstanding practice is now way accelerated with thousands of children separated from parents, enabling abductors to pass them off as orphans and sell them for profit.
Overall, UNICEF calls human trafficking "one of the most lucrative and fastest growing transnational crimes, generat(ing) approximately up to $10 billion per year," affecting many millions of victims, mostly women and children. In 2005, the International Labour Organization estimated from 980,000 - 1.25 million children trafficked annually, mostly for:
"domestic labour, commercial sexual exploitation, agricultural work, drug couriering, organized begging, child soldiering and exploitative or slavery-like practices in the informal economy."
The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (called the Palermo Protocol or Trafficking Protocol) defines the practice as follows in Article 3:
"Trafficking in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs...."
Under this definition, abductions for sale or transfer to prospective parents are criminal acts - "illicit adoptions" according to UNICEF stating:
"An increase in demand for adoption has helped to propel the unlawful trafficking of babies and young children. Sometimes (parents) from developing countries sell their baby or young child, at other times" infants are stolen.
UNICEF conservatively estimates at least 2,000 Haitian children are trafficked annually to the Dominican Republic alone, and, post-quake, confirmed that 15 or more disappeared from area hospitals, likely victims of abductors. In addition, adoption applications soared, from 10 a month earlier to dozens daily, one agency saying it's gotten over 1,000 requests to adopt Haitian children.
With many thousands alone and vulnerable, they're easy pickings for traffickers - for non-Haitian prospective parents, forced labor, commercial sex, or other illicit purposes.
On January 27, Time.com writers Tim Padgett and Bobby Ghosh highlighted the problem in their article titled, "Human Predators Stalk Haiit's Vulnerable Kids."
They cited one instance of a "Toyota pickup truck cruising the debris-cluttered streets of Leogane," offering children food, getting them in the pickup and disappearing, all of them abduction victims. According to UNICEF, "Traffickers fish in pools of vulnerability, and we've rarely if ever seen one like this."
Haiti is now occupied. Under Fourth Geneva, its children, including orphans, are protected persons and can't be moved for any reason. According to international law expert Francis Boyle, doing so "is a serious war crime," yet America may be aiding and abetting the guilty, even though it's (nominally) committed to combatting the practice, and the US 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection Act calls "trafficking in persons....a transnational crime with national implications."
The law enhanced earlier penalties, added new protections, and provided victims various benefits and services. It also established a cabinet-level federal interagency task force and federal program to provide them. Under US and international law, Washington recognizes the grievousness of this crime. In practice perhaps it's another matter given America's global lawlessness, including illegally occupying Haiti and stealing its sovereignty.
Private Military Contractors (PMCs) See a Bonanza in Haiti
They're mercenaries, paramilitaries, hired guns, unprincipled, in it for the money, and go anywhere to find it. They're unregulated, unchecked, free from criminal or civil accountability, and are licensed to kill and get away with it. Wherever they're deployed, they're feared for good reason, and they're heading to Haiti. Xe Services (formerly Blackwater USA) is already there. Jeremy Scahil, author of "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army calls them a:
"shadowy mercenary company (employing) some of the most feared professional killers in the world (accustomed) to operating with worry or legal consequences (with) remarkable power and protection within the US war apparatus...."
Many PMCs belong to the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA). Immediately after the quake, its web site (ipoaworld.org) announced:
"In the wake of the tragic events in Haiti, a number of IPOA's member companies are available and prepared to provide a wide variety of critical relief services to the earthquake's victims. If you would like more information about IPOA and its member companies, you can read more here."
A list of services and member companies followed. Unexplained was their dark side.
In his January 19 Nation magazine article titled, "US Mercenaries Set Sights on Haiti," Scahill said to expect "a lot of (disaster profiteering) in Haiti over the coming days, weeks and months. (It's) kicking into full gear in Haiti," and arrivals signal the kinds of terrorizing common wherever these professional killers are deployed.
Exploiting Haiti's Resources
In October 2009, Marguerite Laurent, exposed the key reason for exploiting Haiti, easier under occupation and hundreds of thousands of Haitians removed from where huge oil deposits likely exist and other development is planned. In 2008, an estimated 20 billion barrels were found in deep water off Cuba. Haitian resources are believed to be far greater, and they've been known about for decades.
In a 2004 article titled, "Oil in Haiti," George Michel explained that:
"Since time immemorial, it has been no secret that deep in the earthy bowels of the two states that share the island of (Hispaniola - Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the surrounding waters that there are significant, still untapped deposits of oil. No one knows why they are still untapped." Why is with abundant Middle East and other resources, they weren't needed. Ahead they will be, so maybe now's the time to exploit them.
"Since the early twentieth century, the physical and political map of the island of Haiti, erected in 1908 by Messrs. Alexander Poujol and Henry Thomasset, reported a major oil reservoir....near the source of the Rio Todo El Mondo, Tributary Right Artibonite River, better known today as the River Thomonde."
Oil also exists "in the Dominican plain of Azua, a short distance north of the Dominican Republic in the town of Azua." The field was operating earlier in the last century, producing up to 60,000 barrels daily. In 1982, more significantly, "a huge oil field offshore at the coast of (the Dominican Republic's) Barahona" province was discovered, but left untapped.
In Haiti and offshore, geological evidence shows oil reserves at "the Bay of Cayes, Les Cayes and between Ile a Vache." The Dunn Plantation papers as well as George Michel confirm that Haiti is oil rich.
"big US oil companies and their inter-related monopolies of engineering and defense contractors made plans, decades ago, to (exploit Haiti's resources and use its) deep water ports either for oil refineries or to develop oil tank farm sites or depots where crude oil could be stored and later transferred to small tankers to serve US and Caribbean ports."
No wonder Washington has its fifth largest embassy in Port-au-Prince after Iraq (the largest anywhere on 104 acres, costing at least $592 million to build), China, Afghanistan and Germany.
Haiti is a strategic resource for its cheap labor, but mostly its exploitable resources, including, oil and gas, gold, copper, diamonds, iridium, and zirconium as well as deep water ports at Fort Liberte and elsewhere.
In February 2004, removing Jean-Bertrand Aristide and exiling him was step one, followed by a coup d'etat government, UN paramilitary "peacekeepers," and an elected one, subservient to Washington, opening Haiti to greater plunder, including privatizing state-owned companies, exploiting its cheap labor even more, letting unwanted portions perish, and developing its resources.
Now the occupation and, according to Laurent, US-France-Canada balkanization for resource exploitation, Washington wanting the South, including Port-au-Prince, La Gonaive island, offshore to the West, Les Cayes, the southern peninsula and offshore waters. Around 20,000 US Marines and paratroupers arrived for the duration, to ensure Haiti is open for business for the usual corporate interests, and to ensure none of its wealth is shared with the poor - how Haitians have always been treated for over 500 years, except for the brief interregnum under Artistide and short period after becoming the first free and independent Black republic.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to the Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Author's Bio: I am a 72 year old, retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
A New Season, Change Is Coming
Promotion comes from Me! All around you there is a shaking! At the moment, that shaking is making you feel very uncomfortable! But a new season is on hand for you!
I will manifest Myself and people will see My glory on faces just as the people witnessed My glory on the face of Moses after we met on the mountain. My manifest presence will bring forth many salvations and great and mighty miracles of healing and wonders. Scores of My people who have grown cold, but who still believe on My name, will again see the power invested in My Name! The catch will be great and many will return to Me!
There is a desperation in the world as never before. I say, "Let your nets down for a catch! The harvest is ripe as never before!"
I heard your cry in the midnight hours. Now you will see My hand move! Stay small in your own eyes, for without Me you can do nothing! I saw your tears for the lost and dying! Get every move from Me! When I called upon you, you said "Lord, send me!" I am with you. Remember I will confirm My Word!
I am bringing you into a season of bearing more fruit than before, for the Glory of Our Father. This is not new to you! I put it in your heart a long time ago. Yes, I planted that seed in your heart. You felt it coming for a long time already. And now I am moving you on to a higher ground with Me, where I will reveal Myself as the lover of My creation. I will love them through you! My compassion will flow through you and My Power will be activated as you obey My Holy Spirit!
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