In the days before he went to Texas some people told JFK not to go - including the USA Ambassasdor to the UN who'd been spit on and shoved while he was there the week before. Other people wished, afterwards, that they'd told JFK not to go but they'd kept their trepidations to themselves, feeling that JFK wouldn't listen to them anyway. And probably he wouldn't have, trusting, as he did, that the Secret Service knew how to protect him.

I'm getting the same feeling of trepidation at the thought of former-Governor Sarah Palin going to Haiti this weekend -- news announced on Friday, just the day before -- in spite of the fact that all hell is breaking loose in Haiti. Headlines all week have been blazing and showing violence and chaos.

Visitor attacks, unrest prompt travel warning for Haiti, Carribean News, Dec 10, 2010 (..."The Department of State strongly urges US citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Haiti. The level of violent crime in Port-au-Prince, including murder and kidnapping, remains high, and Haitian authorities have limited capacity to deter or investigate such acts or prosecute perpetrators. While most kidnappings are financially motivated, some kidnapping victims have been physically abused, sexually assaulted, shot and even killed,Ē the warning said. ďNo one is immune from kidnapping, regardless of oneís occupation, nationality, race, gender, or age.Ē The notice highlighted that, in a number of cases this year, travelers from the US were attacked and robbed after leaving the airport. It said that at least two American citizens were shot and killed in such incidents.... ďThe Haitian National Police (HNP), with assistance from UN Police (UN Pol), are responsible for keeping peace in Haiti and rendering assistance during times of civil unrest. Given the size and frequency of violent protests, the ability of HNP and UN Pol to come to the aid of US citizens in distress during disturbances is limited. While the US Embassy will make every effort to coordinate HNP and UN Pol assistance, US citizens in Haiti should have well-prepared security plans, including a location to shelter-in-place with provisions and a departure strategy. The US Embassy does not have the capacity or infrastructure to evacuate US citizens and relies on the Haitian National Police to provide assistance.Ē According to the State Department, the US Embassy has placed personnel under curfew and made some areas of the country off limits to staff after dark. Also highlighted as a concern in the travel warning was the cholera outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people since it surfaced in October....)

I'm worried Sarah could be heading into some sort of ambush in Haiti -- just as JFK did in Dallas -- especially since the Obama State Department (headed by Hellery Clinton who hates Sarah Palin with a passion) is on the record warning all American citizens to STAY AWAY from Haiti because there's no protection for them there - no matter who they are. And yet they must have approved Sarah Palin going to Haiti. Why?

I'm also wondering why Billy Graham's organization - run by his son, Franklin - wants to take Sarah Palin to that dangerous place, instead of some other former Governor - like George Bush Jr or Bill Clinton - especially since they've both made Haiti their cause, collecting millions of dollars in donations (not all of which are accounted for).

CLINTON-BUSH HAITI FUND ("Rebuilding for Strength to Survive and Thrive"...As the holiday season approaches, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund continues its work, transforming your gifts into renewed livelihoods. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund is on the ground, funding programs that create jobs, teach skills and assist local businesses. As of today, the fund has raised $52 million in contributions and has committed $20 million to projects....)

Or -- if it's a woman Billy Graham's organization wants -- why don't they take Canada's former Governor-General  who is Haitian herself*, speaks French as her native tongue, and has been hired by the UN as a special Haiti envoy?

Haiti not forgotten: Canada's ex-Governor General designated UN Special Envoy, UNESCO, Nov 11, 2010 (...MichaŽlle Jean will contribute to UNESCOís action to meet the needs of Haitians. Born in 1957 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, MichaŽlle Jean served as Governor-General of Canada from September 2005 to September 2010. She has established strong ties with UNESCO. In October 2009, she spoke to the Organizationís Executive Board, stressing the importance of dialogue between cultures. In March 2010, she visited Haiti, where, together with the Director-General of UNESCO, she chaired a round table about education in Port-au-Prince. She also visited Jacmel, in the south of Haiti. The colonial city, which the Haitian authorities placed on their "tentative list" in 2004 with a view to proposing its inscription on UNESCO's World Heritage List, was very seriously affected by the earthquake.... UNESCO Special Envoys are celebrities who use their talents and renown to further the Organizationís ideals and action...)

And why, pray tell, is Billy Graham's evangelical, bible-thumping, wear-their-religion-on-their-sleeve group -- "Samaritan's Purse" -- taking Sarah Palin with them instead of a member of their own flock?

I hope my worries for Sarah's safety in Haiti are unfounded. But until she's safe and sound back home in Alaska they won't be out of mind entirely. I fear another JFK event...or Bobby...or John Lennon...or Princess Diana...or John-John...or Benazir Bhutto. "Once bitten, twice shy" they say -- and we in the world have been bitten more than once when it comes to losing people "we the people" love. ~ Jackie Jura

Sarah Palin visits crisis-hit Haiti
(visit tightly stage-managed by Christian relief group)
by Chris McGreal, Guardian, Dec 12, 2010
Earthquake. Cholera. Political strife. And now Sarah Palin. The former US vice-presidential candidate is visiting Haiti's refugee camps on a mission variously described as bringing great comfort to the people of the Caribbean country and an attempt to bolster her weak foreign policy credentials* ahead of a possible run for the White House. Palin arrived at the invitation of Franklin Graham, a leading evangelical preacher who has drawn criticism for calling Islam a "religion of war" and for saying that Barack Obama has "the seed of Islam" in him. Haiti, still recovering from the devastating earthquake that killed 220,000 people nearly a year ago, has recently been hit by a cholera epidemic which claimed a further 2,000 lives and is enduring further upheaval over a contested presidential election that has led to violence on the streets of Port-au-Prince and calls in Washington to end US aid to the country. Palin emerged from one of the refugee camps housing the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who are still without homes after the earthquake, and said: "They are so full of joy. We are so fortunate in America and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate." This may not go down well with those in her Tea Party movement who regard aid to foreign countries as unnecessary. Graham, the son of America's best-known evangelist, Billy Graham, said: "I believe Governor Palin will be a great encouragement to the people of Haiti." He heads a Christian relief organisation, Samaritan's Purse, which is overseeing Palin's tightly stage-managed visit. It declined to reveal her itinerary and told reporters to leave its compound in Haiti before the former Alaska governor's arrival, saying it was under a "security lockdown". Samaritan's Purse has been accused during other humanitarian crises of putting its evangelical mission ahead of more tangible assistance to those in need. The organisation raises large sums of money from US Christians but the proceeds are not always visible on the ground....

During the 1994 Rwandan refugee crisis, Samaritan's Purse was criticised by other aid organisations for spending large amounts on luxury accommodation for its staff and providing only minimal assistance as tens of thousands of people died of cholera. That assistance principally consisted of sending stretcher bearers to carry the sick for treatment as a third person ran alongside the victim reading passages from the Bible. In 2001, Samaritan's Purse was scorned for requiring victims of El Salvador's earthquake to attend prayer meetings before they could receive aid. Palin is reported to be considering trips to Britain and Israel next year to further bolster her foreign policy credentials. She has described Margaret Thatcher as one of her heroes.

Sarah Palin visits Haiti under tight guard
AP, Dec 11, 2010
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti ó Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began a tightly stage-managed visit to Haiti on Saturday in which she visited cholera clinics while avoiding crowds and the press. The 2008 vice presidential candidate was a guest of Rev. Franklin Graham, whose aid group works in the impoverished country. Haiti is facing a brutal cholera epidemic while struggling with an electoral crisis and reconstruction from the January earthquake. Palin, who traveled in part by helicopter, provided access on her tour solely to the U.S. cable network Fox News. Graham's organization, Samaritan's Purse, refused to discuss Palin's itinerary with other media and asked Haitian and American reporters to leave its compounds, citing a "security lockdown." "I've really enjoyed meeting this community. They are so full of joy," Palin was quoted as saying on the organization's website. "We are so fortunate in America, and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate." Associated Press television journalists saw Palin talking with foreign aid workers. She wore cargo pants, a T-shirt and designer sunglasses on her first trip outside the United States since speaking to investors in Hong Kong last year. That speech was also closed to the media. Samaritan's Purse posted pictures online of Palin touring a post-quake shelter, touching the hand of a Haitian child and laughing with Graham and Fox News host Greta van Susteren. Palin's visit comes amid a cholera outbreak that has killed more than 2,000 people and sickened more than 96,000 others. This week the country was rocked by riots following the announcement of preliminary results from the Nov. 28 presidential election, which eliminated a popular carnival singer from a run-off in favor of the government-backed candidate. On Saturday, two of the three leading candidates rejected an offer to participate in a re-count. Protests began again in parts of the capital in the evening. Though Port-au-Prince was calm for most of the day, Palin avoided the capital, heading north to visit a Samaritan's Purse project in the small town of Bercy. No Haitians interviewed had heard of Palin, but when told she is an American politican, they said her visit was welcome. "It would be good if she came, because we could tell her that we need medicine and jobs," said Roseline Frederique, a 21-year-old resident of the capital's Cite Soleil slum who is being treated for cholera symptoms.

Franklin Graham Returns to Haiti
Samaritan's Purse, Dec 11, 2010
Cissie Graham Lynch and Bristol Palin are joining their parents this weekend to draw attention to the plight of the Haitian people and to highlight the work that Samaritan's Purse is doing to combat the cholera outbreak and help earthquake victims. Cissie is the daughter of Frankin Graham and wife of Corey Lynch, a defensive back with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bristol is the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. She competed in the fall 2010 season of Dancing with the Stars, reaching the finals and finishing in third place. Cissie is tweeting from Haiti. Samaritanís Purse President Franklin Graham returned to Haiti today to survey our work with cholera patients, hand deliver Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts to hurting children, and meet with staff. Samaritanís Purse teams have been working in Haiti since the country was devastated by a deadly earthquake in January. Still struggling to recover from the quake, the Haitian people have more recently suffered from the growing cholera epidemic that has already claimed more than 2,000 lives and from the hurricane that pummeled the island nation in November. ďI don't know of any people in recent years who have suffered more, and in such a short period of time than the people of this small country ó with an earthquake, a hurricane, and now a cholera epidemic,Ē Graham said. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Greta Van Susteren of Fox News are accompanying Graham on the trip. After arriving, the group toured a shelter community where Samaritan's Purse has built temporary houses for people who lost everything in the earthquake. "I've really enjoyed meeting this community," Gov. Palin said. "They are so full of joy. We are so fortunate in America and we are responsible for helping those less fortunate. Samaritan's Purse is still here doing the tough work."

LIVE POWS WEST ABANDONED (...Something that I was amazed to learn - having for some reason never having realized it before - is that Billy Graham's wife went to school in North Korea and his family are friends of the evil North Korean government. Graham's ministry is welcome there, but it seems they never talk about the POW controversy....)

Evangelist Billy Grahamís son visits North Korea to deliver aid
AP, October 13th, 2009
The son of veteran U.S. evangelist Billy Graham arrived in North Korea on Tuesday to deliver aid to the impoverished country more than six months after the isolated regime kicked out all American humanitarian groups. The Rev. Franklin Graham, who leads the Christian ministry his father founded, said he hoped his visit would "play the role of a bridge for better relations" between the U.S. and North Korea, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said. Ri Gun, director-general in charge of U.S. affairs at North Korea's Foreign Ministry, was at the airport to welcome Graham, footage from broadcaster APTN in Pyongyang showed. Graham and Ri, who also serves as North Korea's deputy nuclear negotiator, held talks later Tuesday, APTN said. Pyongyang has spent much of the year withdrawing from and provoking the international community. In March, it began refusing American food shipments and booted out all U.S. aid groups operating in the country. Then it launched a long-range missile and conducted a nuclear test, drawing a raft of U.N. sanctions. In response to the measures, North Korea pulled out of international disarmament talks. But more recently, the North has indicated it would be willing to restart those negotiations if it were able to hold direct talks with Washington ó a long-held goal of the reclusive regime. In an apparent attempt to bolster its negotiating position ahead of any talks, the North fired several missiles off its eastern coast on Monday.

Grahamís visit marks the first by an American aid agency in months. He is the head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the aid agency Samaritanís Purse, which has provided more than $10 million in aid to the North since 1997. North Korea has suffered chronic food shortages since flooding and mismanagement destroyed its economy in the mid-1990s. Widespread famine is believed to have killed some 2 million North Koreans, with more than 6 million North Koreans needing food handouts, according to the World Food Program. Sanmaritanís Purse said on its Web site that Graham will oversee the delivery of $190,000 in equipment and supplies for a new dental school in Pyongyang, meet with high-level officials and visit one of three hospitals where the group has installed electricity generators. The group said Graham will visit China later this week. The latest trip is Grahamís third to North Korea. He also visited Pyongyang last year. Billy Grahamís family has had relations with the communist North for years. The senior Graham went to North Korea in 1992 and in 1994 at the invitation of late North Korean President Kim Il Sung, father of current leader Kim Jong Il.

* PALIN RIGHT ON RUSSIA (...Governor Palin does not appear to have made any trade missions since taking office, and former state officials said the stateís trade staff had been reduced under her watch. Alaska has also sharply reduced its role in the Northern Forum, an association of state and regional governments from countries including Canada, Russia, Japan and China that works on common issues in northern regions like economic development, flooding and global warming. Under Mr. Murkowski, Ms. Palinís predecessor, the state sent senior administration officials to the forumís meetings and contributed $60,000 to $100,000 to the forum each year, according to the forumís executive director, Priscilla Wohl. Under Gov Palin, the state has reduced its spending to the base-level membership dues, $15,000, and the administration has not attended any forum meetings, including one last fall in Russia. "Had she participated, in the last 18 months she would have met ambassadors, governors, heads of the European Unionís programs, of United Nations programs."....

Sarah Palin Katie Couric Interview, September 24, 2008:
Couric: "...In preparing for this conversations alot of our viewers and internet users wanted to know why you did not get a passport until last year and they wondered if it indicated a lack of interest and curiosity in the world."

Palin: "I'm not one of those who maybe came from a background of kids who perhaps graduate college and their parents get them a passport and give them a backpack and say 'Go off and travel the world'. No, I've worked all my life, in fact I've usually had two jobs all my life, until I had kids. I was not a part of, I guess, that culture. The way that I have understood the world is through education, through books, through mediums that have provided me alot of perspective on the world..."

MichaŽlle Jean served as Governor-General of Canada, 2005-2010 (....Born in 1957 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti...During her studies, Ms. Jean worked for eight years with Quebec shelters for battered women, while actively contributing to the establishment of a network of emergency shelters throughout Quebec and elsewhere in Canada. She later ventured into journalism and [in 1988] became a highly regarded journalist and anchor of information programs at Radio-Canada and CBC Newsworld...)

*DARK SIDE MOON MOCK-UMENTARY (...In Canada DARK SIDE OF THE MOON was shown on a weekly program called THE PASSIONATE EYE. Before the documentary was shown it was introduced by the hostess, a Haitian-born, French-Canadian who was later appointed Governor General of Canada, and who spun it the way the powers-that-be wanted...)












Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~