Monday, December 08, 2008
Merchants of Death:
Exposing Corporate Financed Holocaust in Africa
FDLR militia from Rwanda, brutalized and detained by FARDC.
(Photo copyright 2007 Keith Harmon Snow.)
By Keith Harmon Snow
December 8, 2008
War in Congo has again been splashed across world headlines and the same old clichés about violence and suffering are repackaged and rebroadcast as "news". Meanwhile, early indications out of America are that President-elect Barack Obama will assemble a foreign policy-team primed for business as usual.
How will Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State compromise the Obama Administration’s capacity to honestly redress the untold suffering, massive theft of resources and millions of deaths in Africa?
And Tom Daschle? Behind the media smokescreens are people whose involvement has been documented and exposed, but there is always some African fall guy—the 'embraceable’ black subordinate or 'rebel’ commander—charged with war crimes and used to deflect attention from the leaders of organized white-collar crime networks.
Blacked out are the corporate executives, government officials and expatriate personnel of Western enterprises whose success amidst chaos implicates them in the deracination and death of millions of black people. What’s behind the recent hostilities and media posturing in Central Africa?
THE SHORT, BRUTISH LIFE OF SANDRINE
On a darkling plain in a far away place the skeletons of hundreds of unnamed people lie strewn over the land amidst the red dirt and brown grasses scorched by the equatorial sun. Bones poke into the air here and there, hidden by the tall grass, tripping you up as you walk; others lay bleaching white in piles where the bodies fell. These are the killing fields of Bogoro, a small hillside village on a southerly road out of Bunia, a metropolis of suffering in the wild, wild east of Congo.
The grassy plains of Bogoro were guarded by soldiers and when I arrived the militia of the day wore black trench coats and black mirror sunglasses to enhance the aura of terror that surrounds them. With AK-47’s slung over their shoulders they talked on shiny Nokias and Motorolas and Samsungs—cellphones built with the blood minerals of the Congolese people.
Sandrine knows nothing at all of the vast mining operations or minerals shipments being flown out of remote jungle airstrips in her home territory—or even that such airstrips exist. Ditto for the Congolese researchers I met, in Orientale, who worked with the International Criminal Court. Moto Gold? Mwana Africa? Walter Kansteiner? They had never heard of such companies, or such people.
In Western media reportage the plunder of raw materials in Congo is usually de-linked from the killing, even though the extractive industries are directly behind it, and even though almost everyone has begun to parrot the accusation of "resource wars" in Congo.
The Bogoro massacre occurred in February 2003 and, like the Hutu-Tutsi stories from Rwanda, the media whipped up the specter of ancient tribal animosities between Hema and Lendu tribes. But the real story is not quite so black and white. Or is it?
Today the International Criminal Court (ICC) holds three Congolese "warlords" in the ICC prison at The Hague, Netherlands, and all three were associated with events at Bogoro. However, the white patrons reaping the profits behind the bloodletting in the eastern Congo are protected by a new humanitarian order predicated on permanent inequality, structural violence and race politics.
But for a few brief periods of relative calm, the war in Congo’s eastern Orientale and Kivus provinces has hardly stopped since its’ beginning in 1996, and the realities have been shrouded in media clichés and stereotypes and disingenuous expressions of outrage that deflect attention from the true protagonists and root causes of war and plunder in Africa.
GOOD VERSUS EVIL AND THE NAMES GAMES
The UPC, FPRI, FNI—these are three of the scores of militias that have risen and fallen in Orientale since the war began in 1996 and, more poignantly, they are meaningless acronyms used to scramble the brains of western spectator-news-consumers.
First there was the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) that invaded Rwanda, and then came the Alliance for the Democratic Liberation of Zaire (ADFL) that marched across Zaire to unseat President Mobutu. Next came the "rebellion" with Jean-Pierre Bemba and the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), and all the different factions of the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Démocratie, or Congolese Rally for Democracy—RCD, RCD-G (Goma), RCD-K, RCD-K-ML—backed by Rwanda and Uganda.
Here are the comrades in arms who studied together at the Marxist University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: Yoweri Museveni, Uganda’s president; Laurent Desiré Kabila, the ADFL figurehead and assassinated president of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Meles Zenawi, president of Ethiopia; Isaias Afwerki, president of Eritrea; Africa scholar Mahmood Mamdani; former RCD leader Wamba dia Wamba; Paul Kagame, Rwanda’s president; and John Garang (d. 2005), former leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and first president of South Sudan.
Both the RPF/A and SPLA waged successful covert guerrilla wars against governments that were considered "undesirable" by Washington; both achieved their objectives of seizing land and gaining control, and both insurgencies were covertly backed by U.S. Committee for Refugees official Roger Winter—a pivotal U.S. intelligence asset operating in Sudan and a dedicated ally of Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame and John Garang.
Winter’s protégé is Susan Rice, Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Rice was one of the primary architects of the Pentagon’s prized Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI)—a euphemistically named entity created to project U.S. power in Africa, and run by U.S. Army Special Forces Command (SOCOM).
The coups d’etat in Rwanda and Burundi occurred after the presidents Juvenal Habyarimana and Cyprien Ntaryamira were assassinated on April 6, 1994. Similarly, more than a decade of covert U.S. military support for the SPLA, channeled through Uganda and Ethiopia, led to the Naivasha Peace Agreement of January 2005 and the creation of the autonomous country of South Sudan.
The "Rwanda genocide" began with the 1990 invasion of northern Rwanda by Ugandan forces that brutally targeted everyone in their path. By the time the RPF/A forces—comprised mostly of seasoned Ugandan troops—reached Kigali, more than 800,000 IDPs (internally displaced persons) were hovering around the capital city: they were terrified, they were homeless, they were hungry, they were angry and—justifiably—they took up arms. The United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) and its Canadian General Romeo Dallaire clandestinely backed the illegal guerrilla war.
The guerrilla wars in Rwanda and South Sudan were prosecuted much like the CIA-backed low-intensity guerrilla warfare, spawned by Washington, against populist movements in Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile and Guatemala. This is exactly what is playing out in Congo and Sudan today: low-intensity guerrilla warfare prosecuted by powerful shadow forces competing for land and loot.
SPLA leader John Garang received military training at the School of the Americas, Fort Benning, Georgia. Paul Kagame received training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. At the time he was sent for training, Kagame was Museveni’s director of military intelligence; upon his return he assumed command of the army created, financed and trained by Uganda: the Rwanda Patriotic Army.
Both Garang and Kagame likely received "counter-insurgency" training through the Pentagon’s International Military Education and Training Program (IMET). Since 1998, the IMET program has provided training to 318 RDF and 291 UPDF soldiers. Many other IMET soldiers who attended the notorious School of the Americas are today known human rights violators in Latin America.
In North Kivu province we find the Forces for the Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and the National Congress for the Defense of the People, the CNDP, created by self-appointed Rwandan "General" Laurent Nkunda. Here the media has historically cast General Nkunda as good, the FDLR as evil. Only recently has Nkunda come under any kind of "harsh" criticism.
The war in Eastern Congo is almost universally described with clichés about the "Rwanda genocide." The usual targets of white media racial profiling and hysterical academic polemics are the Hutu—the infamous Interahamwe and FDLR—the "killers" that "fled Rwanda after committing genocide" there. This is how millions of innocent Hutu people—comprising over 85% of the populations of Rwanda and Burundi—are collectively dehumanized.
Congolese Mai Mai militias are described as "nationalists" sometimes "wearing bathroom fixtures on their heads" and "shooting magic bullets." The Mai Mai are the closest thing to a people’s or indigenous justice movement in Congo. The Mai Mai have most recently allied with the Congo’s national army, the Armed Forces for the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), and the Mai Mai are sometimes cast as good, but usually as evil.
In 2007 the Mai Mai and FLDR joined forces to form the Front for the National Liberation of Kivu (FNLK). Backed by the FARDC, the FNLK is purportedly vying for power against General Nkunda’s CNDP. However, alliances are constantly shifting based on private profit and "warlord" fiefdoms, and ALL factions, at some point or other, have collaborated in war and resource plunder.
Western news stories throw the acronyms and names of militias around with little or no information about their rise or fall, and nothing substantive about foreign backers they collaborate with. Militias mysteriously appear and disappear. Indeed, the more you read about Congo from venues like the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, or the Atlantic Monthly, the less you will understand. This is no accident, and—no, you are not dumb.
Take the militia FNI: but for the victims and their suffering, it makes no difference what the acronym stands for, it’s all one big sadistic joke of language and power. The most significant fact to remember about this "F" "N" "I" is that they served as the private proxy army for the gold mining operations of Metalor, a Swedish firm, and AngloGold Ashanti, headquartered in South Africa and partnered with Barrick Gold.bSecondly, they were agents for Ugandan power brokers.
Anglo-Gold Ashanti directors include Sir Sam Jonah, who is also a director of shady mining-cum-military companies operating in Sierra Leone and connected to Tony Buckingham and other white-collar mercenaries. Buckingham affiliated companies—e.g. Heritage Oil and Gas, Branch Energy, Saracen Uganda—collaborate with the Museveni regime. Saracen’s top shareholder is General Salim Saleh, half-brother of Yoweri Museveni, and Congo’s nemesis, a Ugandan agent cited by the United Nations for war and plunder in Congo.
AngloGold Ashanti is the Anglo American mining conglomerate of the Oppenheimers and De Beers mining cartels of Britain and South Africa, interests deeply aligned with Belgian American intelligence insider Maurice Tempelsman—the godfather of covert operations in Africa. Tempelsman’s diamond interests in Congo were, at least partially, displaced by the Israeli cartels of Dan Gertler and Benny Steinmetz. It is a no-brainer that the Tempelsman gang backs Rwanda’s occupation of eastern Congo.
For a second example, media corporations have consistently blacked out the truth about the lucrative corporate "conservation" industry with articles like the recent New York Times production "Congo Violence Reaches Endangered Mountain Gorillas" (Jeffrey Gettleman, 11/18/08). Unreported however are the many accusations coming out of North Kivu that link the Jane Goodall Institute and Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund to local Mai Mai and FDLR: like every other militia, or occupation army, these factions have infiltrated villages and now prey on, intimidate and abuse the locals. The white agents working for Western "conservation" NGOs—and we know their names—are directly responsible for extortion, racketeering, land theft, human rights atrocities and for ripping apart the social fabric.
"The commander of the Mai-Mai is Colonel Ntasibanga and the commander of the FDLR is Colonel Faraja," report Congolese locals who have been documenting the abuses (the facts are confirmed by a Spanish journalist). "We count already five people killed because of this [conservation] project… DFGF and JGI are without doubt corrupt… they are paying armed groups and forcing us off of our lands."
The Gettleman NYT article, on the other hand, cites one of these agents, Samantha Newport, described as "a spokeswoman for Virunga National Park," who in fact works for Richard Leakey’s organization Wildlife Direct, a shady paramilitary entity involving Walter Kansteiner.
A LITTLE MATTER OF GENOCIDE
The international arrest warrants issued by Spain and France against some 40 former RPF/A and current Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) are patently dismissed by Western media of all stripes, buried behind waves of pro-RPF propaganda and intimidation that labels anyone who does not support the Kigali military dictatorship as genocide deniers, themselves guilty, by extension, of genocide.
While the RPF/A and UPDF are often named for leading the charge and supplying the bulk of the forces, the 1996 invasion of Zaire, launched from Uganda and Rwanda, involved U.S. covert forces with state-of-the-art C4ISTR—Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance—and there were Humvees and C-130 aircraft ferrying black-skinned U.S. Special Forces into South Sudan and northeastern Congo. The invasion also involved Israeli military experts, an assortment of Eritrean and Ethiopian regulars, and SPLA forces.
The Anglo-European-Israeli forces penetrated eastern Zaire through the Gulu and Arua Districts of northwestern Uganda—the heart of Acholiland and ground zero for the ongoing genocide of the indigenous Acholi people—and they backed the RPA/UPDF who marched across Zaire massacring refugees, mostly women and children, mostly Hutus, that fled Kigali in 1994.
Howard French, then the Africa Bureau Chief for the New York Times, witnessed the Hutu genocide in Zaire, and wrote about it. Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani—who by no means was an impartial observer when he arrived in Goma in September 1997—described "an indiscriminate slaughter" of Interahamwe, of unarmed Hutu refugees, and of Congolese Hutus in the Kivus. Bill Richardson, President Clinton’s Ambassador to the United Nations, stated in a may 1997 interview: "I think there’s strong evidence that there have been these massacres."
But the subject of Hutus being slaughtered was only broached as a tool to hammer down the uppity black rebel who diverged from his script and upset Washington’s plans. Indeed, the rise and fall of ADFL figurehead Laurent Desire Kabila exemplifies the embraceable black leader transformed almost overnight into the unembraceable black fall guy. In the end, a bullet dispatched Laurent Kabila on 16 January 2001, exactly 40 years after the assassination of Patrice Lumumba (17 January 1961).
Anyone who dismisses the organized and intentional RPF/A and UPDF military campaign against millions of Hutu people—massacred and chased from the Uganda border to Kigali, into to eastern Congo, and finally attacked in refugee camps and butchered all the way across Zaire—is a genocide denier. (Of course, the UPDF-RPF/A alliance also summarily executed and massacred Rwandan Tutsis and indigenous Twa, and Congolese people.) Similarly, anyone who dismisses the organized persecution and atrocities against the Acholi people in northern Uganda—maintained by the Museveni government and the UPDF occupation—is a genocide denier.
The criminality of the Kagame regime is whitewashed by the massive public relations campaigns involving Kagame’s special advisor/sponsors: former Ambassador Andrew Young and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Young’s Goodworks International also backs the Museveni regime. Buffing the shiny image of the government of Congo’s President Joseph Kabila is Stevens and Schriefer Group the Washington D.C. PR-firm that twice helped get George W. Bush elected [http://www.ssg-dc.com/].
The New Yorker and CNN have consistently manufactured the pro-RPF/A propaganda, reported by Christiane Amanpour and Philip Gourevitch. Amanpour is married to James Rubin, Bill Clinton’s Assistant Secretary of State and Madeleine Albright’s right-hand man, and now economic adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. Gourevitch—who produced the celebrated pro-RPF/A text We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families, is a close friend of Paul Kagame and a conduit for State Department disinformation passed by James Rubin, who was also Chief Spokesman for the Clinton State Department (1997-2000), and whose sister, Elizabeth Rubin, was dating Gourevitch.
U.S. business tycoon Joe Ritchie "has volunteered in Rwanda for the past five years introducing the country to business leaders around the world." Ritchie also runs an "entrepreneurial philanthropy" called Friends of Rwanda and serves on President Paul Kagame's Advisory Council and as CEO of the Rwanda Development Board. Like Walter Kansteiner, Joe Ritchie is a commodities and options trader from Chicago with deep pockets and dark secrets: involved in a private attempt to overthrow the Taliban in 2000, Joe and James Ritchie were aided by their favorite consultant, former national security adviser Robert McFarlane, who successfully lobbied the CIA to dispatch an Unmanned Aerospace Vehicle (UAV) to the skies over Afghanistan.
The Congo wars have direct links to the many long years of war in Sudan and Uganda, and they are intertwined with the current low-intensity warfare and the mass murder in Darfur, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. If we apply the genocide label to conflicts where it surely fits, then genocide is ongoing in Congo’s Orientale and Kivus provinces, and in Acholiland in Northern Uganda. But it is also occurring in Iraq, Afghanistan, Burundi, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Botswana, Columbia, the Palestinian Territories and Malaysia, to mention a few irrefutable cases.
These geopolitical and strategic hotspots remain mostly blanketed by media reportage that quite literally blacks out key white protagonists by putting a black African face on things. Another example: there has been little reported about the perpetual warfare and human rights atrocities in Orientale linked to tight little airstrips carved out of the rainforest and paved with support from the Pentagon-connected United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Consider Mwana Africa, a South African firm that controls the Kilo-Moto gold fields in Zani, DRC. The Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC), led by Thomas Lubanga, occupied the Zani gold fields in 2002 and stirred up ethnic animosities that led to massive suffering and depopulation. However, according to Congolese locals, it was the white missionaries from the Africa Inland Mission (www.aimint.org/usa/where_we_work/) that deeply divided local ethnic groups. French tycoons Jacques and Alvaro Hachuel own Mwana Africa.
Mwana Africa’s European director, Etienne Denis, began his long career of impoverishing the Congo at Umicore, formerly the Belgian mining giant Union Miniere, in 1974. The Mwana Africa airstrip at Zani, and nearby roads, were built with USAID backing, and the gold is flown out to Tanzania—one of the most underappreciated criminal players funneling weapons to Uganda and Congo—or sometimes shipped out by road through Uganda. Mwana Africa is also involved in Congo’s bloody MIBA diamond concessions in Mbuji Mayi and the cobalt/copper concessions in Katanga.
Similarly, almost nothing in context has been reported of the white mercenaries and their petroleum operations on the Uganda border with Orientale. Like the ongoing covert war in Darfur, where the backers of the "mysterious" rebel groups are never exposed, the militias operating in Congo are proxy armies that serve the interests of external power blocks at the expense of their competitors.
Most reporting from the Kivus zooms in on sexual violence and the Western media always blames the victims—Congolese soldiers caught in the maelstrom of international proxy warfare and organized crime—but we hear nothing about U.S. or Canadian or Australian mining companies—and for those rare times that we do the reportage de-links the mining from the mass murder. More often, the media turns the story upside down, claiming that responsible Western mining executives are waiting in the wings for security to improve so they can provide jobs and accountability and "sustainable development" for the Congolese people. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A recent front-page news feature, "Congo’s Riches, Looted by Renegade Troops," about the Bisie tin mine in North Kivu, offers the perfect example. "On paper, the exploration rights to this mine belong to a consortium of British and South African investors who say they will turn this perilous and exploitative operation into a safe, modern beacon of prosperity for Congo," wrote Jeffrey Gettleman for the New York Times. "But in practice, the consortium's workers cannot even set foot on the mountain. Like a mafia, Colonel Matumo and his men extort, tax and appropriate at will, draining this vast operation, worth as much as $80 million a year."
And thus do the valiant white knights of the New York Times shine their spotlight on plunder and extortion in Congo. Alas, it is a selective shining, an expedient "humanitarian" concern, and an arrogant moral high ground. Indeed, it is just another shade of the black and white race politics behind the politicization of the International Criminal Court.
THE BLACK AFRICAN FALL GUYS
In June of 2008 the ICC charged two black African rebel leaders, Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, with six counts of war crimes (willful killing; inhuman treatment or cruel treatment; using children under the age of fifteen years to participate actively in hostilities; sexual slavery; intentionally directing attacks against civilians; and pillaging) and three counts of crimes against humanity (murder, inhumane acts and sexual slavery).
ICC prosecutors say that Chui and his commander Katanga—known as Simba—led a militia called the Front for Patriotic Resistance of Ituri (FPRI); Chui was also a commander in another militia, the National Integrationist Front (FNI). The FPRI was fighting against the Union of Congolese Patriots (UPC); another militia in Congo backed by outsiders, in particular, some faction from the U.S.
UPC commander Thomas Lubanga—another black man—was the first person detained at the ICC’s Scheveningen prison at The Hague. Charles Taylor, former "warlord" and president from Liberia was the second. Germaine Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui were next to be chosen for this auspicious club. Congolese "warlord" Jean-Pierre Bemba is the last of five detainees now held at the ICC. Bemba was the leader of the Congolese rebel army, the Movement for the Liberation of Congo (MLC), but he is charged with crimes in the Central African Republic.
These five men all have more in common than the charges against them. They are all black men, once embraced by the system and empowered as local or national leaders, and they are now the black stooges who fell from grace to become, in the language of anthropologist and scholar Dr. Enoch Page, "unembraceable".
The unembraceable status, applied to Africa, is reserved for black males, for dictators and warlords, rapists and killers, for 'dirty’ Arabs like Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan, and for former 'Marxist’ guerillas, like Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe. Always they are people of color: they are the O.J. Simpsons and Michael Jacksons of Africa, formerly embraced black males now ruthlessly persecuted by the Western establishment—primarily through racial surveillance and targeting in the mass media. Such treatment is rarely applied to white males, anywhere.
Someone has to be held responsible for the mass murder at Bogoro, but who paid the 29 year-old "warlord" Germaine Katanga? Why should he be the only one prosecuted? Who provided the jeeps for the "warlord" Mathieu Chui? Where did "warlord" Thomas Lubanga get the satellite phone to coordinate his private militia? How did Charles Taylor go from Harvard University to money laundering in Liberia to a Massachusetts prison—which he "escaped" from—and then on to become first the "President" and later "warlord" of Liberia?
How does Moto Gold Mining Company extract gold from a war zone? And how do the shiny black leather belts and pressed camouflage fatigues and crisp felt berets and rocket-propelled grenades find their way to Laurent Nunda’s "rebel" army now fighting in the North and South Kivu provinces of Congo?
Aware of their vulnerability as black African fall guys—and soon after the ICC arrest of Jean-Pierre Bemba—the top brass of the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces curtailed their international travel plans and convened a special meeting at Uganda’s Bombo army headquarters near Kampala, in June 2008, to discuss fears of ICC warrants being issued against them.
Of course, the U.S. Government and its business partners dictate the operations of the ICC. While considering soldiers of the United States and its allies to be above international humanitarian law and protected from the jurisdiction of the ICC, the Pentagon has simultaneously directed the formation, operations and legal precedents of the ICC through the involvement of members of the U.S. military’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps, the legal arm of the Pentagon.
Congolese troops and militias connected to Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni and wife Janet and their military collaborators operate extortion and racketeering networks that are plundering Congo. While former militias responsible for plunder have ostensibly been disbanded, new military networks have replaced them again and again.
UGANDA ARMING MILITIAS YET AGAIN
"The Congolese military [FARDC] works with Ugandans," reported Christian Lukusha, an expert with Justice Plus, a Congolese human rights NGO based in Bunia, "including Salim Saleh, Museveni’s half-brother. And they ship timber and minerals across the border at both Aru and Mahagi. It’s completely clandestine."
According to the United Nations Observers Mission in Congo (MONUC), fighting in Orientale in September 2008 drove over 90,000 additional IDPs from their homes and lands. Fighting continued into October and November, and militias new and old are today floating between Uganda, South Sudan and DRC, recruiting and conscripting soldiers, including children, and training and indoctrinating them in the ideology of their "mysterious" leaders.
The FPJC—Front Congolaise Pour la Justice au Congo—is but the latest militia to suddenly emerge from the hills of Orientale. On September 29, 2008, the FPJC, described as "a newly formed rebel group," attacked and pursued retreating contingents of President Joseph Kabila’s regular army, the FARDC, before raiding and looting villages. Since mid-September the FPJC has engaged FARDC troops in firefights along the Lake Albert border zone.
According to Congolese sources in Bunia, the FPJC is solidly backed by Uganda and provides a second front in an alliance with Laurent Nkunda’s Rwandan army, which has freely operated in the Kivu provinces for years.
"The FPJC rebels are in the bush close to the Semliki River and the Uganda border," says Godefroid (not his real name), a Congolese professional in Bunia who travels back and forth to Uganda by land. "There is some new recruitment of former militias along the Congo-Uganda border by Thomas Lubanga’s former UPC minister Mr. Avochi, a Congolese who as been in exile in Uganda since 2004."
Military training camps for the new FPJC recruits are today operating from at least four sites on the Uganda side of the border: in the Kikong-Hoima district; in Kasatu (close to Djegu) in Nebbi district; in the Urusi area (close to Mahagi) of Nebbi district; and in Bondo (close to Aru and Arua) in the Uganda district.
"Such trainings cannot happen without a clear agreement and support of the upper authorities of Uganda," says Godefroid. "It’s all connected to the oil under Lake Albert and the gold in Orientale."
According to this source, a senior FPJC military commander named Sherif confirmed that Laurent Nkunda and his National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) are involved with these Ugandan bases. "They are providing CNDP military training and recruits are given the CNDP ideology."
Coincidentally—but not reported by the media—a hornet’s nest of Western petroleum and mining companies, all linked to international private military companies, local militias, and the national armies of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, are fighting for control of the land on both sides of the Congo’s eastern border.
"Salim Saleh is involved in all of this," said one Congolese official at the border town of Aru, DRC. "He is certainly responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Saleh worked with Jerome Kakwavu when he was the big chief in Aru. Kakwavu is a FARDC general now, in Kinshasa. Salim worked all the different groups, trading arms, playing them off one against the other."
Petroleum companies that have recently emerged and now laying claim to DRC or Ugandan concessions on Lake Albert include: Tower Resources; South African consortiums PetroSA and Divine Inspiration; and H Oil & Minerals Ltd. Tower Resources is a U.S.-U.K. firm affiliated with U.K.-based Hardman Resources and tied to oil exploitation in Kenya and Namibia.
H Oil & Minerals is a European firm operating in South Sudan, DRC and Angola; financiers include the Deutsche Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, and the Belgian giant Société Generale—one of the Congolese people’s greatest historical enemies. H Oil & Minerals is also closely linked to Marc Rich and his Switzerland-based company Glencore International, both known for arms trafficking in Angola and DRC through Angolagate notable Pierre Falcone. An Arizona (USA) republican, Falcone is reportedly very tight with the Joseph Kabila government. Marc Rich is the fugitive Swiss financier who for years appeared on the FBI’s list of most wanted criminals on charges ranging from trading with embargoed states, tax evasion, racketeering and arms trafficking; Marc Rich was pardoned by Bill Clinton on Clinton’s last day in office.
One of the most notorious global arms traffickers involved in Congo, Namibia and Zimbabwe is John Bredenkamp, one of Britain’s 50 richest men. Walter Hailwax, the Belgian honorary consul to Namibia, is a director of arms producer Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik, and the local director of Bredenkamp’s arms brokerage company ACS International Ltd. A key agent in Zimbabwean and DRC organized crime networks, Bredenkamp is one of the phantom white-collar criminals behind Robert Mugabe, another black African fall guy now targeted by the Western press, think tanks and flak organizations, to the exclusion of other major interests. Of course, the Ndebele people suffered war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide under Mugabe, with the bulk of the atrocities committed from 1981-1988. (Mugabe remained an embraceable black agent of white power until about 1999, and today—according to the Western economic and policy establishment, and the mass media, who no longer embrace him—he is the devil incarnate in Zimbabwe.)
THE LORD’S RESISTANCE ARMY
If you asked Western media consumers to name a bloodthirsty guerrilla movement in Africa it is likely they would point to "warlord" Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), this thanks to the one-sided fictional media campaigns waged by National Public Radio, Time Magazine, Washington Post, or by Christopher Hitchens—who calls them "a Christian Khmer Rouge"—and Vanity Fair.
In the simplistic Western media narratives, the LRA is always described as a "fanatical Christian cult" that abducts children and forces them to commit atrocities. In the dichotomy of "good" versus "evil" the LRA is "wicked" and the forces they are fighting against, President Museveni and the UPDF, are benevolent. Indeed, evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States have been deeply involved with the SPLA war against the "satanic" forces of the LRA and the Islamic Government of Sudan.
Spilling over from the wars in Uganda and Sudan and operating a clandestine network of terror and extortion in the north of Congo today, the LRA has waged a low-intensity war against the Museveni regime since circa 1987. The LRA is a Ugandan guerrilla force backed by the government of Sudan (Khartoum) and its allies and clandestinely supported by unnamed factions in Congo, Europe and Washington.
"For 19 years, Joseph Kony has been enslaving, torturing, raping, and murdering Ugandan children," wrote Christopher Hitchens, "many of whom have become soldiers for his 'Lord's Resistance Army,’ going on to torture, rape, and kill other children." Parroting the establishment line, Hitchens has no complaints about the UPDF brutalizing children in the refugee camps of Acholiland, and he never mentions the SPLA’s conscription of thousands of child soldiers.
According to a high-level United Nations source working in the DRC, the LRA maintains very high-level political ties in New York and Washington D.C. through Jongomoi Okidi-Olal, a Ugandan-American representative living in the U.S. The Uganda government has purportedly asked the Bush Administration and the United Nations to arrest Okidi-Olal and hand him over to the ICC. Other sources claim that Okidi is a fraud.
Interestingly, we find that Mwana Africa—whose vast Kilo-Moto mining concessions sprawl across northern Orientale—is also operating in Angola and South Africa, and at five major mining concessions in the so-called "failed state" of Zimbabwe. The government of Angola has always backed President Joseph Kabila, is very hostile to the Kagame gang, and currently controls Congolese territory (Kehemba) near the Angolan border. Given the spoils to be had, it is likely that factions from Angola or Zimbabwe also back the Lord’s Resistance Army in a bid to displace Mwana Africa and other competitors from mining and petroleum sites in northeastern Congo.
Congolese sources claim that MONUC moved into the Watsa region in northern Orientale only after the LRA—coming in through Garamba National Park near the Sudan border—began threatening the operations of AngloGold Ashanti, Mwana Africa and Moto Gold Mining. Additionally, Garamba National Park is rich in diamonds and gold.
While the LRA is also supported by Ugandan factions opposed to the Museveni dictatorship, it is widely believed the LRA is a tool of the Museveni government used to manipulate public opinion, create chaos across the region, gain international sympathy from foreign donors and thereby procure massive financial backing to facilitate some of the world’s most lucrative and unappreciated AID-for-ARMS scandals. It is the perfect ruse to facilitate permanent foreign military intervention.
The LRA also reportedly moved into the northern DRC to displace SPLA troops that had a long history of plundering the area, shooting wildlife and harassing villages. Thus while the evil LRA is always in the crosshairs of the international media, the same media protects the saintly SPLA, no matter the justice or criminality of either.
The mass media and foreign policy discourses are saturated with the writings, op-eds and policy briefs of "experts" that serve as apologetic propagandists for foreign interventions and hidden agendas. Such "experts" exercise stark biases in naming or delineating the "killers" versus "victims" and for this reason they often gain exclusive access to mass media venues. The system of information control becomes self-perpetuating in favor of power and deception.
Experts working for the Pentagon, State Department, or national security apparatus deploy arguments cloaked in righteous assumptions of higher morality about human rights or humanitarian concern. For example, Sudan "experts" like Dr. Eric Reeves and Alex De Waal provide a constant barrage of one-sided propaganda to manufacture consent at home and project American power in Sudan. This propaganda is unassailable by Western "news" consumers, because consumers are not otherwise privy to, interested in, or compelled to discover the deeper truths.
"RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO" initiative
Like the "Save Tibet" campaign, the one-sided propaganda campaign and institutionalized big-money networking of the "Save Darfur" movement compelled ordinary citizens to become active participants in "stopping genocide." A similar agenda is driving the new "RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO" initiative. While their ideological programs are advanced through the Western mass media, organizations—e.g. the International Crises Group, Center for American Progress, International Rescue Committee, ENOUGH!—work to manufacture consent and channel popular consciousness through jingoistic sloganeering and humanistic language that offers "news" consumers exactly what they want to hear: peacekeeping, human rights, democracy, sustainable development, participatory mapping, Africa for the African people, and "never again" interventions against genocide.
Such propaganda campaigns proscribe ideas and possibilities, and they subvert popular movements. In the end, the true grass roots initiatives for social justice and legitimate peace have been expropriated or channeled into serving narrow prerogatives of power. And the voices of the voiceless are crushed, along with their bodies. The International Criminal Court serves a similar and necessary function in manufacturing consent and consolidating Western power. It is really about keeping up appearances: the appearance of justice being served, human rights being protected.
On October 14, 2005, the ICC unsealed arrest warrants against five LRA commanders, all of them black Africans: Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen. In October 2008, after the LRA committed fresh atrocities in northern DRC, the ICC renewed its calls for the arrest of Joseph Kony.
Uganda’s representation at ICC proceedings to explore war crimes in Congo has included at least two very high-profile lawyers from Foley Hoag LLP, an influential Washington law firm. Similarly, the Pentagon seconded its lawyers from the Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corp to the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR), where victor’s justice has arbitrarily and selectively politicized genocide in favor of the Pentagon’s UPDF/RPA proxy governments.
Foley Hoag LLP is also tied to the U.S.-Uganda Friendship Council, a consortium that involves Coke, Pfizer and Chevron-Texaco. Coke director Kathleen Black is a principle in the Hearst media empire, while Coke directors Warren Buffet and Barry Diller are directors of the Washington Post Company, and these are the media institutions that whitewash the white-collar crime in Congo. Uganda’s image is further sanitized by London PR firm Hill & Knowlton."
From 2000 to at least 2004, Yoweri Museveni was co-chair of the euphemistically named Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa (PCHPA). The PCHPA is a front for multinational corporations and USAID, a Christian-based "soft policy" wing of the Pentagon that uses food as a weapon under the disguise of charity. Other PCHPA chairs include former U.S. Senator and Alston & Bird lawyer Bob Dole; Peter Seligman, Chair and CEO of Conservation International, an NGO connected to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Jane Goodall Institute operations in DRC; George Rupp, President of the International Rescue Committee, a flak-producing organization involved in DRC; and Alpha Konare, the former Chair of the Commission of the African Union (2003-2008), the governing body responsible, for example, for oversight of the supposedly "neutral" African Union "peacekeeping" force in Darfur, Sudan—a force that again deploys RDF forces as proxies to secretly further U.S./U.K. interests.
One PCHPA director also represents Bread for the World, a protectionist and nationalistic U.S.-based Christian evangelical "charity" whose directors include Bob Dole and former White House cabinet officials Mike McCurry and Leon Panetta. Along with Thomas Pickering, Susan Rice, Gayle Smith, Donald Payne, Ed Royce, John Podesta, Anthony Lake, Bill and Hillary Clinton and others, these are the architects of covert operations in Africa during the Clinton years.
Senator Tom Daschle is a Special Policy Advisor for Alston & Bird, and an Honorary Senior fellow of the Center for American Progress (CAP), the nationalist U.S. big money "think tank" behind a multitude of front groups with hidden foreign policy agendas around Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and Sudan. These include the ENOUGH! Project, the new RAISE HOPE FOR CONGO initiative, the Genocide Intervention Network, the ONE Campaign and the International Crisis Group (ICG)—all of which somehow involve agents like John Prendergast, former national security insider for President Bill Clinton. It is interesting that a lot of the same people show up tied to different organizations involved in "grass roots" campaigns to help Africa.
The ONE campaign was launched by a coalition of 11 prominent corporate so-called "charity" organizations, including Bread for the World, CARE, Save the Children and the International Rescue Committee (IRC); each of these profit-based organizations has a euphemistic name that suggests a humanitarian or humanistic agenda, but they actually serve corporate interests. CARE has received funding from weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corporation. In 1996 the IRC reportedly took over bases near the Hutu refugee camps in eastern Zaire and proceeded to shell the camps with heavy weapons; also, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright are IRC overseers. ICG director Zbigniew Brzezinski is an advisor to President-elect Barack Obama.
In July 2008, Senator Tom Daschle led a special delegation of policymakers on behalf of the ONE Campaign, described as "a bipartisan movement of over 2 million advocates for the elimination of global poverty and disease." The ONE delegation also "met with civic and government leaders, as well as everyday citizens and entrepreneurs, to discuss Rwanda’s courageous national reconciliation since the genocide in 1994…"
Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
(Photo copyright 2006 Keith Harmon Snow.)
To put it simply, white people will always get the best jobs, corporations will run and ruin the world—dumping substandard and outdated products on confused populations; seeding the natural world with genetically engineered crops; peddling pretty plastic junk; pushing pharmaceutical pills; strip-mining everything—and we will all fool ourselves and ease our consciences by pretending that we are breaking down barriers of inequality and building a better world.
According to a very high level United Nations special investigator sent to negotiate with LRA commanders in DRC’s far north Garamba region in February 2007, the Uganda government had then recently "arrested" a U.S. military agent and five Congolese militia leaders discovered in Uganda. Originally detained in Kampala, the U.S. military agent was nonetheless allowed to move freely in and out of the DRC.
The U.S. maintains "Intelligence Fusion Cells" in Congo and one cell, in Kisangani, capital of Orientale, was situated in a compound, ringed with coils of barbed wire, near the Tshopo River power station, and was run by a "ex" marine named "Tom" who refused to discuss the cell. There were two U.S. military and two Rwandan military working there. MONUC’s local spokesman confirmed only that the cell revolves around a "tripartite security arrangement between Rwanda, Uganda and DRC," adding, "that one we don’t touch. It’s very hot." British soldiers stationed in Kisangani said the American fusion cell "monitors intelligence on tantalum extraction."
A few years back, the U.S. donated to Rwanda two Boeing aircraft that were routinely used by the regime’s Ministry of Defense for arms and minerals trafficking between Rwanda, Belgium, Albania and Bulgaria. Operated by Silverback Cargo Freighters, a Kigali-based company blocked from European airspace since 2006, the planes were also reportedly used for CIA operations, including the transfer of U.S. "war on terror" prisoners. The Rwandan government refused to aid UN investigators seeking information about the company’s clandestine operations.
Recent massive human suffering and the escalation of hostilities by the Nkunda army in eastern Congo have provoked a spate of high-visibility policy statements where some powerful Western interests are calling on the "international community" to strengthen the MONUC military occupation of Congo, while other powerful interests from the new humanitarian order are calling for the European Union to send in a rapid reaction force.
BLESSED BE THE PEACEKEEPERS
Congolese sources everywhere confirm the widespread involvement of MONUC soldiers in guns-for-minerals swaps and sexual violence; sources repeatedly accuse MONUC troops of delivering weapons back to militias to justify MONUC’s one billion dollar a year occupation of Congo.
"MONUC was giving weapons to the militias," says yet one more Congolese official. "MONUC had their own ambitions. It was about gold. The peace that was achieved in Orientale around 2006 was not achieved by MONUC; the National Police Force from Kinshasa and the integrated FARDC brigades achieved it. MONUC was frustrating the peace."
In the new Congo war documentary by Dutch filmmaker Renzo Martens, ENJOY POVERTY, we see South African mining staff of AngloGold Ashanti confirming MONUC’s pivotal role in securing the company’s access to gold in Orientale. The entire "humanitarian" enterprise must be properly situated in the political economy of profit-based charity, resource control and racial injustice.
MONUC doesn’t need more guns, it needs fewer guns (but arms dealers keep shipping them in), and Congo doesn’t need more foreign mercenary forces posing as "peacekeepers" but secretly serving narrow, undisclosed interventionist agendas on behalf of multinational corporations.
Ditto for Darfur. In an "explosive" new book by progressive activists that mildly exposes some of the hypocrisies of the Save Darfur movement we find the authors calling for greater military intervention and sneering at others who have criticized and rejected military intervention for being what we might call the new, old humanitarian warfare in Africa.
The book, Scramble For Africa: Darfur—Intervention and the USA, cites ad nauseum all the usual propagandists that are monopolizing the English language mass media, publications from the far right to progressive left, on Darfur. These experts include Alex De Waal and Eric Reeves—and the International Crisis Group—but there are plenty of citations and references to journalists who peddle the establishment inventions and thereby black out the forces of Western control.
By page xvii of the preface, the authors—who have no experience anywhere near Sudan—have become the prosecution, judges and jury of their own private international court: "That [President Omar al-Bashir] is a major war criminal is beyond doubt," they wrote, "as is the fact that he should face trial for his substantial violations of international human rights law." The American authors, it seems, are also in the business of overthrowing governments: "Given the litany of abuses for which [the Government of Sudan] is guilty," they wrote, "there would be little to mourn in Bashir’s overthrow, and such a move—depending, of course, on the actors involved, and its prospects for success—could be cautiously supported."
In other words, it’s fine for white people from the United States to organize the overthrow of sovereign governments, as long as we selectively chose the "right" people for the job. The authors never similarly condemn "leaders" from the United States, Canada, Israel or Europe, and they never suggest that President Bush should be overthrown, or that Donald Rumsfeld, or Henry Kissinger, or General Norman Schwarzkopf, or Maurice Tempelsman, should be prosecuted for war crimes. The book makes no mention of covert operations or private military companies operating in South Sudan or Darfur, and while it illuminates the Bush Administration’s collaboration with the Khartoum government, it is nothing more than a cheerleading tool for the opposing power blocks, including the massive so-called "humanitarian relief" operations. Such is the racial obliviousness of the new humanitarian disorder.
But Darfur’s cheerleaders and Khartoum’s enemies are not so neutral as they appear.
In 1992, Darfur human rights expert Alex De Waal established African Rights, an NGO based in London, co-directed with Rakiya Omaar. In August 1995, African Rights published the report, Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance, one of the first "human rights investigations" to appear after the so-called "100 days of killing" and the successful RPA/UPDF coup d’etat in Rwanda of 1994.
"Among the early reports on the genocide, none matches Africa[n] Rights, Rwanda, Death, Despair and Defiance (September 1994) for the clinical description of the atrocities inflicted upon Tutsi victims," wrote renowned Africa scholar René Lemarchand, "ranging from political murders to collective massacres in churches, schools and stadiums, and the daily manhunts conducted on the hills. Significant as it is to our understanding of the sheer savagery that has accompanied the carnage, the African Rights report is utterly silent on the grisly crimes and torture inflicted by Tutsi soldiers on innocent Hutu civilians, some of which are by now well documented (Nduwayo, 2002: 9-16; Amnesty International, 1994; Des Forges, 1999; Reyntjens and De Souter, 1994)."
Lemarchand makes the usual error of accepting the "clinical description of the atrocities inflicted on Tutsis" at face value. How does he know they are all Tutsis and only Tutsis? Because African Rights says they are? Where does he get his information about "daily manhunts conducted on the hills"? Why would Lemarchand so quickly trust the claims of a report that he simultaneously castigates for its (authors’) extreme and obvious biases?
"This woman of Somali origin is an RPF agent," says Jean-Marie Higiro of African Rights’ co-director Rakiya Omaar. Higiro was Director of the Rwandan Information Office (ORINFOR). "She has her office in Kigali. In 1994 she was at Mulindi, the headquarters of the RPF. As the RPF conquered territories from the Rwandan Government Forces, she collected information fed to her by the RPF."
"An intensive back and forth activity between this so-called British human rights organization, African Rights, and the intelligence services of the President’s office and the military, has been observed," wrote Paul Rusesabagina. "Her investigators are very close to the [RPF/RDF] military intelligence apparatus, and the modus operandi of both appears to be similar."
The African Rights report was one of the first to manufacture and promulgate the false (one-sided) mythology of "genocide" in Rwanda. It says nothing about RPF/A massacres or foreign military involvement and peddles the now clichéd and disingenuous stereotypes about victims and killers. What does the African Rights report tell us about the veracity of Alex De Waal’s "human rights" reports and political analyses coming out of Darfur? Further, Alex De Waal’s ties to U.S. intelligence include his involvement with Harvard University and the Council on Foreign Relations: De Waal was a member of a CFR task force focused on defining a new military and intelligence engagement with Africa that is cloaked in "humanitarian" rhetoric.
We further witness the hypocrisy and international scandal of having three battalions of Pentagon "trained" Rwandan Defense Force (RDF) "peacekeepers" operating in Darfur while the RDF is openly backing Laurent Nkunda’s occupation proxy force in Congo. Similarly, the UPDF—having received fresh military training by U.S. covert forces in Uganda—has been sent to Somalia. This is not "peacekeeping," it is crazy making.
A few well-placed arrests—beginning in Washington, Frankfurt, London, New York or Brussels—would redress the problem of impunity for war crimes and crimes against humanity everywhere.
THE KANSTEINER CONNECTION
The Moto Gold Project is located in the Kilo Moto goldfields in the north east of the DRC, some 150 kilometers west of the Ugandan border town of Arua. Kilo Moto was President Joseph Mobutu’s private mine, but the project, at various stages, involved powerful Western interlocutors: Belgians Yves Le Norvan and the Damseau family; Roger Lemaire, a Houston (TX) insider; and an Israeli military agent identified as David Agnon. Kilo Moto’s gold, then as now, usually exited Congo (Zaire) through remote airstrips.
The present Moto Gold Mining "lease"—a massive land grab corruptly obtained—covers an area of approximately 1,841 square kilometers and involves sites at Durba, Watsa and Doko. Moto Gold’s partners in Orientale include Siemens and Ken Overseas. Siemens director Tiego Moseneke is also a director of PetroSA, a new South African oil minor poaching DRC oil concessions on Lake Albert. Ken Overseas Company is involved in the Minière de Bakwanga (MIBA) diamond mines in Congo’s Mbuji-Mayi province. In their reports on war and plunder in DRC, the United Nations Panel of Experts named Ken Overseas in a MIBA mining consortium linked to Belgian tycoon Philippe de Moerloose and Israeli mining magnate Dan Gertler; both men have been flagged for arms trafficking.
Walter Kansteiner III is one of the shadiest architects of Congo’s troubles. The son of a coltan trader in Chicago, Kansteiner was Assistant Secretary of State for Africa under G.W. Bush and former "National Security" insider and member of the Department of Defense Task Force on Strategic Minerals under Bill Clinton. Kansteiner’s speech at The Forum for International Policy in October of 1996 advocated partitioning the Congo (Zaire) into smaller states based on ethnic lineage; Laurent Kabila was marching across Zaire at the time.
The balkanization of Congo appears to be a major objective behind the current organized chaos in the Great Lakes region. Further, it is obvious that conflicts from within the U.S.—between the Department of State, Pentagon and intelligence agencies—are translating to regional warfare on the ground in, especially, Sudan, Uganda, and Congo.
Kansteiner is a trustee of the Africa Wildlife Foundation—another profit-based "conservation" corporation tied to Conservation International, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute—entities whose front of gorilla and chimpanzee protection hides a deeper agenda. It is not surprising to find that one of the AWF’s premier sponsors is Barrick Gold. Kansteiner is also linked to Richard Leakey’s paramilitary front organization Wildlife Direct, and to the Africa Conservation Fund, a shady Washington D.C. entity.
Kansteiner is a director of the precious metal firm Titanium Resources Group, a company deeply tied to Sierra Rutile Limited, a firm pivotal to the bloodshed in Sierra Leone. Sierra Rutile Ltd. director Sir Sam Jonah reportedly helped finance Rwandan RCD rebel groups in DRC while he was a CEO of Ashanti Goldfields; Jonah is also a director for Moto Gold. Sierra Rutile is owned by Max and Jean-Raymond Boulle and Robert Friedland, "Friends of Bill" Clinton who are linked to clandestine networks of offshore holdings and front companies involved in weapons trafficking, money laundering and human rights atrocities from Burma to the Congos to Mongolia.
On April 28, 2008, the ICC issued an international arrest warrant for militia commander Bosco Ntaganda, former commander of the Forces Patriotiques pour la Libération du Congo (FPLC), a militia that operated in the oil and gold areas of Orientale. Bosco is currently the Chief of Staff of Laurent Nkunda’s CNDP army in North Kivu.
On July 14, 2008, the prosecutor of the ICC applied for an arrest warrant for Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, accused of crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Bashir is an Arab—another person of color—and the ICC has deeply politicized the Darfur conflict in keeping with the imperialist smokescreen of the "Save Darfur" movement.
There have been no ICC indictments against a single white man who could be proven to be equally culpable in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide, though the list of possibilities—as indicated herein—is very, very long.
"Its name notwithstanding, the ICC is rapidly turning into a Western court to try African crimes against humanity," writes Mahmood Mamdani. "It has targeted governments that are U.S. adversaries and ignored actions the United States doesn't oppose, like those of Uganda and Rwanda in eastern Congo, effectively conferring impunity on them."
The writing is on the wall, and we can anticipate the eventual arrest of Ugandan military commanders, including Laurent Nkunda, James Kazini, James Kabarebe, Salim Saleh and Paul Kagame. Such arrests aren’t likely to involve legitimate judicial proceedings, and it won’t merely because these people deserve to be arrested, which they do, and they probably won’t be arrested before a few more million people are slaughtered in Central Africa.
The arrests will come because these are the notoriously visible people of color used to make invisible—quite literally black out—the white war criminals and covert operators wrecking havoc in Africa and elsewhere around the world. They are the embraceable black Africans, and the future fall guys, and Africa’s "leaders" should take note. And so should Barack Obama.
Even more critical is the need for the Western news consuming public to recognize the face of propaganda and the nature of "change" and what it means to people of color everywhere. Thus it is critical to note the recent shift in media coverage that accompanies the imminent shift in the post-election balance of U.S. power. General Laurent Nkunda has been deeply involved in Congo for years and the Kagame military machine has been shipping weapons and officers directly to Congo; these Rwanda Defense Force (RDF) officers infiltrate the country and direct the "rebel" operations, and the CNDP has served as a lever of power used against the Kabila government. Reported herein—and nowhere else—is the ongoing secret military involvement of Yoweri Museveni and the Ugandan crime networks.
Only recently, as power shifts from the G.W. Bush power elite to the incoming Obama Administration—being packed with Clintonite friends and officials, and by Democratic Party financiers like diamond kingpin Maurice Tempelsman—has Nkunda or Rwanda been subject to any kind of "harsh criticism". The New York Times article of December 3, 2008, is the perfect example of the "news" media serving hidden agendas. In "Rwanda Stirs Deadly Brew of Troubles in Congo," the New York Times peddles the standard narrative about "genocide in Rwanda" in 1994.
Suddenly, writes Jeffrey Gettleman, one of the NYT’s chief Congo propagandists of late, there is a "secret Rwandan brotherhood" and Rwandan government officials are involved in the bloodletting and plunder in Congo. Such "exposés" appear only because power factions—in this case a right-wing Republican faction allied with the Bush administration—are exerting leverage through their mouthpiece, the New York Times, and thus mildly exposing the obvious links of the former Clinton administration—a competing power faction, more heavily comprised of right-wing Democrats—to war and covert operations in Congo. There is a similar political economy of intervention at work vis-à-vis Darfur, Sudan.
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