Voice

The evil genius of the U.S. plan to destroy Haiti [UPDATED]

I, for one, am glad that the foreign press is brave enough to cover what America's mainstream media is not -- the U.S. government's complicity in causing the Haitian earthquake. Never mind that the foreign media echo chamber aparentluy started with a false rumor -- with luck, our MSM will now start asking the tough questions.

This is a plan so brilliant that only the Evil League of Evil, in conjunction with the reverse vampires and the Obama administration, could have devised it.

Why, you might ask? What is America's motivations to trigger Haiti's earthquake and then intervene with massive aid in the hemisphere's poorest country? Well, there are different theories bandied about.

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez suggests that this was a practice "drill," designed to test the earthquake weapon before targeting Iran (though see the update below). Very clever!! It is unclear whether Chavez believes that this is a test of the "demonstration effect" variety or not. It is also unclear just how such an earthquake would actually destroy Iran's nuclear program -- the 2003 Bam earthquake certainly didn't.

This Canadian-based Centre for Research on Globalization's Ken Hildebrandt offers the following ingenious explanation:

You've likely guessed my suspicions about recent events. I'm not saying this is what occurred, though it's sure a possibility to be considered in my view.

This could hardly have happened at a more convenient time. The president's ratings are plummeting, and his bill to subsidize the insurance industry has essentially divided the nation in two.

What better way to lead the people into believing we're one big happy family than to reunite former Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush along with Obama in a joint humanitarian effort?

This is so convenient... and brilliant!! It makes perfect sense that the Obama administation would try to kill upwards of 200,000 Haitians in order to bring the country together as one! Because, clearly, in recent years, natural disasters have bolstered the standing of U.S. presidents!! Certainly, a calamity in Haiti would work even better! If only Rush Limbaugh had played ball....

What I love about conspiracies like these is the careful balancing of smart and stupid that the key actors have to possess in order for the plan to work as described.

 

Question to readers: how far and how wide will this meme travel?

UPDATE:  I just received the following from a atrategic communications advisor to the Venezuelan Embassy in the United states: 

In response to your recent post on Foreign Policy’s website, I just wanted to clarify that President Hugo Chavez never associated himself with the theory that a U.S. weapon had caused the earthquake in Haiti.  

The claim was made by a blogger on the website of a state-run yet independent television station. At some point thereafter, someone jumped to the conclusion that President Chavez had agreed or repeated the claim, which is absolutely not true. President Chavez did argue against an increased U.S. military presence in Haiti, but at no point did he question what had caused the earthquake or aligned himself with any conspiracy theories to that effect.

 

Daniel W. Drezner

To repeat myself: what did you expect?

Marc Lynch and Andrew Sullivan both have posts up today that share a similar theme.  Marc looks at Obama's effort to jumpstart the Israel/Palestine peace talks, while Sullivan looks at the efforts to close the Guantanamo prisons.  Both Lynch and Sully make the same points:

1)  These are good ideas;

2)  One year in, these initiatives are completely bogged down;

3)  A key reason they've been bogged down is the fecklessness of the Obama administration.

Well.... maybe.  External circumstanves play a role here as well.  I'm sympathetic to generating forward momentum for Israel/Palestine peace talks, but it strikes me that people who bewail the lack of progress on this issue suffer from the liberal variant of Matt Yglesias' Green Lantern Theory of International Relations.  Given the state of Israeli public opinion and the state of Palestinian political coherence,  a Netanyahu-led Israeli regime was not going to acquiesce to outside pressure.  An Obama administration that tried such pressure and failed would actually be in a weaker position than they are now. 

Similarly, on Gitmo, when Obama seemed to push forward on this issue, he ran up against the political reality that Americans like closing Gitmo down in theory more than in practice.  And Obama then acted... politically. 

What I find striking is that many people who consider themselves part of the "reality-based community" now want the Obama administration to absorb the Bush administration's ontological beliefs and thereby create their own realities. 

In a manner of speaking, the Bush team did have a small point.  What the Bush administration excelled at was making irreversible policy decisions.  You can't uninvade Iraq or Afghanistan -- and, as Obama is finding out, undoing Gitmo is much harder than it souds on the campaign stump.  There are some policy decisions that, once they are made, are so path dependent that they are either impossible or really difficult to reverse. 

The thing is, I don't see a lot on Obama's foreign policy agenda that qualifies (though Gitmo might).   Policy initiatives that require multilateral cooperation are pretty easy to undo.  So unless there's buy-in from other key actors, there's only so much the Obama administration can do on things like Israel/Palestine. 

Which is Reason #451 why Obama won't be turning to foreign policy post-SOTU.