Sunday, January 24, 2010

Responding to Pressure from Progressives IMF Vows to Cancel Haiti Debt

“The most important thing is that the IMF is now working with all donors to try to delete all the Haitian debt, including our new loan. If we succeed—and I'm sure we will succeed—even this loan will turn out to be finally a grant, because all the debt will have been deleted. And that's the very important thing for Haiti now.”
Geez, I must have missed this side of the story on all those sites bashing the U.S. “military occupation” of Haiti. I guess they’re parsimonious about quoting Naomi Klein on her doctrine of disaster capitalism when it doesn’t fit their ideology. So we’re left with half a story. It’s the old slice-and-dice that Fox does so well.
I actually saw this on the Rachel Maddow show. She said it’s “huge” for Haitian relief and reconstruction. I think so too. So does Naomi Klein, who has been a guest on Rachel’s show several times. I e-mailed Rachel about a week ago that she should cover what Naomi’s been writing on Haiti because it’s important; and she did. Rachel also read Naomi’s reply:
“In response to the wave of criticism, the IMF has just issued a statement saying that they will try to turn the $100-million loan to Haiti into a grant. This is unprecedented in my experience and shows that public pressure in moments of disaster can seriously subvert shock doctrine tactics. They are also now saying that they will not put conditions on the emergency loan—another popular victory, since this is not what they were saying last week. Of course people have to keep up the pressure to make sure Haiti's debts really are cancelled as the IMF is now predicting they will be. Something to hold them to!
Quick, pass the smelling salts, lest the leftie bashers feel faint! Naomi’s piece, titled “A Small Victory for Shock Resistance,” didn’t surprise me, nor did Rachel’s positive report. Honest reporting from good progressives who are not ideologues. Withholding information is never, ever what we should be about. What’s the buzzword du jour? Reboot, recalibrate? Here is, in Naomi’s word, Rachel’s “terrific” report:

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