Alternatives... to the Truth

By Nik Barry-Shaw, researcher and activist, Haiti Action Montréal
(See also "Exposing the Big Lie of 'Operation Baghdad.')


The director of communications for Alternatives, a "progressive" Québec-based "non-governmental international solidarity organization" funded by the government’s Canadian International Development Agency, had a front page article in its magazine, Journal Alternatives, that was inserted in Le Devoir in July 2005. François L’Écuyer’s article was a shameful parody of journalism filled with unsubstantiated assertions, anonymous sources and anecdotes masquerading as hard evidence.

Chief among L’Écuyer transgressions was his claim that "chimères, gangs loyal to and armed by President Aristide" [see "Epithets without Borders" and "What does Chimère Really Mean?"] launched a campaign to destabilize the country called "Operation Baghdad" in order to derail elections planned for late 2005. Deposed Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide, L’Écuyer says, is profiting politically from the violence afflicting Haiti, while other sectors benefit from the chaos financially.

L’Écuyer’s analysis of the situation in Haiti bears a disturbing resemblance to the propaganda disseminated by high-level U.S. and Canadian government officials. One week before L’Écuyer’s article appeared, Roger Nor-iega, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, gave a similar account, saying:

"Aristide and his camp are singularly responsible for most of the violence and for the concerted nature of the violence" (Miami Herald, June 24, 2005).

Like L’Écuyer, Noriega argued that while some "opportunistic criminal organizations" engaged in kidnappings and other crimes, "Aristide and his gangs are playing a central role in generating violence, and trying to sow insecurity," in a desperate "last stand to terrorize the Haitian people and deny them good government."

L’Écuyer uncritically repeats the "Operation Baghdad" fiction that was spun by the Haitian elite to justify increased repression of the poor. The label "Operation Baghdad" was concocted by Jean-Claude Bajeux, a member of an anti-Aristide political party, and repeated incessantly by the interim government and the international press.

Source: Excerpt, "Alternatives... to what?" ZNet, August 17, 2005.


Alternatives... to Democracy

By Richard Sanders

The Journal Alternatives played up the propaganda stories about "Operation Baghdad" at least five times during the two years of Haiti’s coup-imposed regime.1 Three of these references were in articles by the organization’s communications director, François L’Écuyer. In one, he uses incredible hyperbole to refer to "Operation Baghdad" as a "criminal operation [that] has cost the lives of over 600 people." Then, L’Écuyer notes that

"many sectors of Haitian society as well as the international community despair at witnessing the derailing of the current democratic transition."2 (Emphasis added.)

This article appeared midway through the reign of a totally undemocratic regime that had taken control following the kidnapping and forced exile of President Aristide and the unconstitutional dismissal of all levels of Haiti elected government, including some 7,000 elected officials. L’Ecuyer’s telling characterization of this coup-empowered dictatorship as "the current democratic transition," speaks volumes about his organizations’ complete betrayal not only of democracy, but of truth as well.


1. Journal Alternatives’ articles include: Tania Vachon, "Les victimes politiques de Jeanne," October 19, 2004.

François L’Écuyer, "Deepening crisis in Haïti," June 9, 2005.

François L’Écuyer, "Militarisation de la paix en Haïti," June 29, 2005.

François L’Écuyer, "Le débat qui divise la gauche," October 17, 2005.

"Repères, Haïti," June 26, 2005.

2.. L’Écuyer, June 9, 2005. Op. cit.

The above article is from Press for Conversion! magazine, Issue #63 (November 2008)
Lies without Borders:
How CIDA-funded 'NGOs' waged a propaganda war to justify Haiti’s 2004 coup"

Previous issues of this Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade publication include:
#62 "Putting the Aid in Aiding and Abetting:
CIDA's Agents of Regime Change in Haiti's 2004 Coup"

#61 "CIDA's Key Role in Haiti's 2004 Coup d’état:
Funding Regime Change, Dictatorship and Human Rights Atrocities, one Haitian 'NGO' at a Time"

#60 "A Very Canadian Coup d’état in Haiti:
The Top 10 Ways that Canada’s Government helped the 2004 Coup and its Reign of Terror"

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