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Presents an eyewitness account of America's 1994 invasion and occupation of Haiti and recounts the events that happened in the Pentagon war room and the stories of soldiers who struggled every day to bring democracy to a ravaged country
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In The Immaculate Invasion, Bob Shacochis, winner of the 1985 National Book Award for Easy in the Islands, returns to the Caribbean setting to tell the story of Operation Uphold Democracy, the United States government's official name for its 1994 occupation of Haiti. Focusing on the Clinton administration's policymakers and the soldiers who implemented their plans, Shacochis explores the capacity for altruistic action in the midst of a bloody pandemonium of human-rights outrages. While the American military's original strategy was to obliterate the murderous regime of General Cedras--executing a "hard entry" with "attitude and with a lot of ammunition"--they quickly found themselves caught up in a haphazard scheme for the transformation of the despot's thugs into a political party. Such cynical accommodationism confused the rules of engagement and restricted soldiers' ability to respond to atrocities. One officer, Captain Lawrence Rockwood, infuriated with by superiors' bureaucratic disregard of the concentration-camp-like conditions of Haiti's prisons, disobeyed orders and personally attempted to seize a jail in which dozens of prisoners were slowly dying. Shacochis follows Rockwood through his subsequent arrest and court martial, which he faces unrepentantly: "I'm an American soldier," Rockwood insists, "not a member of the Waffen SS."
Blending Haitian history and culture with his accounts of living amongst a Special Forces team, Shacochis achieves an unsettling triumph of combat journalism that will earn The Immaculate Invasion comparisons to other modern classics, such as Michael Herr's Dispatches. Its focus on compassion urges a profound redirection of the purposes and application of American interventionism. --James HighfillFrom the Author:
For the record, Lynn Garrison, a Canadian, was employed by the Cedras military regime as a spin doctor--a public relations consultant and political/military lobbyist--and it would be a flight of fancy to imagine Mr. Garrison and his deluded, bloody crowd reacting to The Immaculate Invasion with anything less than scorn and distortion. Downhill, for Mr. Garrison and his ilk on the extreme right or extreme left, is uphill for the rest of decent, law-abiding humanity.
As for the events I describe which Mr. Garrison characterizes as a lie, their accuracy is unimpeachable. The regime's pre-Lenten Carnival activities fizzed. The bands Sweet Mickey, Digital Express, and Coupe Cloue were all asked by the tyrants to perform on the Champs du Mars a few weeks before the actual Carnival festivities. No one attended these performances--a couple hundred people at the most, which, for the carnival season, qualifies as no one. The regime next asked RAM to play in the Champs du Mar kiosk, as described in the book. A few days later another band played at the kiosk but the concert was interrupted by shooting. Finally, Carnival weekend approached, and the three days of street fetes culminating in Ash Wednesday. These festivities were indeed attended by large crowds, as were the subsequent carnivals during the years of the de facto regime.
That Mr. Garrison witnessed elements in the crowd cheering General Cedras is no surprise. Unfortunately, the majority of Haitians, honorable and long-suffering people, know all too well that there exists in Haitian society an abundance of thugs and sycophants who are always willing to cheer a dictator--or work for one.
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Book Description Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st Edition. Presents an eyewitness account of America's 1994 invasion and occupation of Haiti and recounts the events that happened in the Pentagon war room and the stories of soldiers who struggled every day to bring democracy to a ravaged country. Seller Inventory # ABE-1509834588186
Book Description Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0670863041
Book Description Viking Adult. Condition: New. Hardcover. Worldwide shipping. FREE fast shipping inside USA (express 2-3 day delivery also available). Tracking service included. Ships from United States of America. Seller Inventory # 0670863041
Book Description Viking Adult, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110670863041