Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Wiping Off A Map
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Terrible and bloody events are in store for the world in the beginning of 2009. Most likely, the world will witness a reality show with a nuclear blast, which will be used as a reason for the US administration to change the world order again and leave the new Great Depression behind. There is every reason to believe that the Russian Federation may suffer as a result of this possible initiative too.
Joe Biden made a sensational statement on October 19, 2008. He said that Barack Obama would have to undergo an ordeal during the first six months of his stay in the White House. It will be the time of a very serious international crisis, when Obama would have to make tough and possibly unpopular decisions both in home and foreign politics.
Biden said that there were four or five scenarios for the development of the international crisis. Afghanistan, North Korea or the Russian Federation may become the source of one of them.
When Obama learned of Biden’s speech, he tried to explain everything with rhetorical exaggerations. However, Biden’s remarks gave food for thought, taking into consideration the fact that former secretary of state Madeleine Albright described his remarks as statement of fact.
Apparently, the political elite in the United States is certain that their nation would soon suffer another mammoth terrorist act. This assumption became the subject of Michel Chossudovsky’s article “A Second 9/11„: An Integral Part of US Military Doctrine.”
The independent analysts presented a selection of statements, which US top officials released during the recent several years. For example, Michael Chertoff, the Homeland Security Secretary, said at Yale April 7, 2008 that modern technologies let even a small terrorist group kill hundreds of thousands of people. Dick Cheney stated May 26, 2008: “Nobody can guarantee that we won’t be hit again.”
The general public has been prepared for a possible mega terrorist act with hundreds of thousands of victims. The expectation of another major terrorist attack, Chossudovsky wrote, became a part of the US military doctrine to justify possible preemptive strikes, i.e. aggression. The analyst also wrote that the US administration was aiming the efforts of the national security services at the liquidation of the consequences of the Massive Casualty Producing Event. Moreover, the US establishment believes that such an event may unite the Americans. Tommy Franks, the then CENTCOM commander voiced this idea in 2003. He particularly said that another event with many casualties in the USA would revive the support of wartime laws. Franks also said that such an event would mark the end of democracy in America. To put it in a nutshell, it would mark the beginning of the era of dictatorship.
The US administration planned Operation Northwoods in 1962, in which the US incursion into Cuba was supposed to be justified with a massive massacre of the Miami-based Cubans, as well as the explosion of a US warship in Guantanamo Bay. President Kennedy did not let the operation become a reality. The logic of Northwoods does not differ much from that of General Franks - a new mega terrorist act will justify the beginning of USA’s new aggression in the Middle East.
The Pentagon started to develop the plan of the new war in April 2006 – the third war after the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stew Bykovsky, a well-known columnist, said in his interview in August 2007 that America needed another 9/11 because the country had forgotten who its enemy was.
Which weapon would make it possible to conduct a major terrorist attack with countless casualties and produce the effect of universal panic? A nuclear weapon would suit this goal best. It would not be a hardship to say that a nuclear explosion was conducted by Islamic terrorists who stole nukes from Russia in the beginning of the 1990s. A nuclear mushroom grows somewhere in the USA and the country launches another war and introduces dictatorship.
Cost of Terror
Friday, December 26, 2008
Keep Fires Burning
Keep the Fires Burning
by Bob Avakian
Q: Getting back to the more personal aspect if I may--how have you managed not to sell out, or burn out, over so many years in the struggle? What do you think sustains you?
Bob Avakian: You know, it's very interesting, back in the mid-'60s when I was first getting involved in radical politics I remember one of these reformist-socialists telling me: "Well, you know, people like you who are full of radical fire at this age are the people who burn out the quickest. You won't be around very long because I've seen a lot of you come and go and you're very, very, extremely radical for a short time and then you're burned out." I've always remembered that because it was very striking to me that the equation being made was that to be an opponent of the system, in some form or other, over the long term meant you had to be an evolutionist and not a revolutionist, and that if you were a revolutionary and didn't seek merely to reform the system or something like that then you were bound to burn out.
Well, first of all I would say that my experience, and I think experience generally, has shown that it's the people who try to make some sort of radical reform in the system who, far more than revolutionaries, burn out or become irrelevant or both.
But as for the question of what has sustained me over this period of time, I'm not sure I can give a complete answer to that. I know that what propelled me into being a revolutionary in the first place was seeing the injustices in U.S. society and in the world, particularly the oppression of Black people, the Vietnam War, things like that, which were sharp questions at the time when I was forming my view of the world, my political outlook. And I came to see through experience and through study and taking up Marxist theory that these things were rooted in the very nature of the system that dominates the world and the very nature of a society divided into classes and that they could only be eliminated through a communist revolution. And ever since that time I've always tried to do everything I could to contribute to that revolution. And I've never been shaken in the belief that that's both what's necessary and also that that's possible.
To put it another way, there's nothing about the present order of things in the world that's tolerable to me. It's completely intolerable. I can't stand it. And I don't want to make my peace with it, I don't want to find a way to make it within that world, or to try to make it. I don't want to be part of the established order. I don't want to turn a blind eye and pretend I don't see what I do see. I don't want to stand on top of the rubble of broken bodies and the suffering and destruction that this system brings down on people and never look down and see what I'm standing on while I'm stuffing my face. That doesn't hold any attraction for me; I'm repulsed by the idea of that and I just have no interest in doing that.
These are the kinds of things that continue to sustain me, as I think about it--that on the one hand the world as it is to me is intolerable and, you know, I feel an urgent burning desire to see everything radically changed and I also continue to believe that it's possible. And as I've said, ever since I've come to understand that communist revolution holds the way to do this, that's sustained me. That understanding has sustained me as well and I continued to do everything I could to contribute to that.
But I also want to stress that it's not just a question of being "sustained," it's a question of continuing to advance and repeatedly making necessary leaps and ruptures in your understanding and in your stand and your actions. And it's definitely not just a question of revolutionary will--certainly not in some existential, look-inside-yourself- for-the-daring-and-determination sense--but a question of dealing with, striving to change, the objective world and drawing strength from the advances that are made and the advanced forces that come forward. I know that, besides the other things I've touched on, what has been of decisive importance in helping me to be sustained--that is, to continue to advance--have been the revolutionary upsurges and revolutionary uprisings of oppressed masses, which have repeatedly arisen, often breaking through seemingly very suffocating situations; and also the advances that have been made among the conscious organized revolutionary forces, the international communist movement, many of which have also been made in the face of adversity and setback and on the basis of summing up the causes of such setback and difficulty. So it's all of this that has kept me going forward, that has made me feel compelled to go forward.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Con Man Obama
James Petras. 12.06.2008
“I have a vision of Americans in their 80’s being wheeled to their offices and factories having lost their legs in imperial wars and their pensions to Wall Street speculators and with bitter memories of voting for a President who promised change, prosperity and peace and then appointed financial swindlers and war mongers.” An itinerant Minister 2008
The entire political spectrum ranging from the ‘libertarian’ left, through the progressive editors of the Nation to the entire far right neo-con/Zionist war party and free market Berkeley/Chicago/Harvard academics, with a single voice, hailed the election of Barack Obama as a ‘historic moment’, a ‘turning point in American history and other such histrionics. For reasons completely foreign to the emotional ejaculations of his boosters, it is a historic moment: witness the abysmal gap between his ‘populist’ campaign demagoguery and his long-standing and deepening carnal relations with the most retrograde political figures, power brokers and billionaire real estate and financial backers.
What was evident from even a cursory analysis of his key campaign advisers and public commitments to Wall Street speculators, civilian militarists, zealous Zionists and corporate lawyers was hidden from the electorate, by Obama’s people friendly imagery and smooth, eloquent deliverance of a message of ‘hope’. He effectively gained the confidence, dollars and votes of tens of millions of voters by promising ‘change’ (implying higher taxes for the rich, ending the Iraq war and national health care reform) when in fact his campaign advisers (and subsequent strategic appointments) pointed to a continuation of the economic and military policies of the Bush Administration.
Within 3 weeks of his election he appointed all the political dregs who brought on the unending wars of the past two decades, the economic policy makers responsible for the financial crash and the deepening recession castigating tens of millions of Americans today and for the foreseeable future. We can affirm that the election of Obama does indeed mark a historic moment in American history: The victory of the greatest con man and his accomplices and backers in recent history.
He spoke to the workers and worked for their financial overlords.
He flashed his color to minorities while obliterating any mention of their socio-economic grievances.
He promised peace in the Middle East to the majority of young Americans and slavishly swears undying allegiance to the War Party of American Zionists serving a foreign colonial power (Israel).
Obama, on a bigger stage, is the perfect incarnation of Melville’s Confidence Man. He catches your eye while he picks your pocket. He gives thanks as he packs you off to fight wars in the Middle East on behalf of a foreign country. He solemnly mouths vacuous pieties while he empties your Social Security funds to bail out the arch financiers who swindled your pension investments. He appoints and praises the architects of collapsed pyramid schemes to high office while promising you that better days are ahead.
Yes, indeed, “our greatest intellectual critics”, our ‘libertarian’ leftists and academic anarchists, used their 5-figure speaking engagements as platforms to promote the con man’s candidacy: They described the con man’s political pitch as “meeting the deeply felt needs of our people”. They praised the con man when he spoke of ‘change’ and ‘turning the country around’ 180 degrees. Indeed, Obama went one step further: he turned 360 degrees, bringing us back to the policies and policy makers who were the architects of our current political-economic disaster.
The Con Man’s Self-Opiated Progressive Camp Followers
The contrast between Obama’s campaign rhetoric and his political activities was clear, public and evident to any but the mesmerized masses and the self-opiated ‘progressives’ who concocted arguments in his favor. Indeed even after Obama’s election and after he appointed every Clintonite-Wall Street shill into all the top economic policy positions, and Clinton’s and Bush’s architects of prolonged imperial wars (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates), the ‘progressive true believers’ found reasons to dog along with the charade. Many progressives argued that Obama’s appointments of war mongers and swindlers was a ‘ploy’ to gain time now in order to move ‘left’ later.
Never ones to publicly admit their ‘historic’ errors, the same progressives turned to writing ‘open letters to the President’ pleading the ‘cause of the people’. Their epistles, of course, may succeed in passing through the shredder in the Office of the White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
The conjurer who spoke of ‘change’ now speaks of ‘experience’ in appointing to every key and minor position the same political hacks who rotate seamlessly between Wall Street and Washington, the Fed and Academia. Instead of ‘change’ there is the utmost continuity of policy makers, policies and above all ever deepening ties between militarists, Wall Street and the Obama appointments. True believer-progressives, facing their total debacle, grab for any straw. Forced to admit that all of Obama’s appointments represent the dregs of the bloody and corrupt past, they hope and pray that ‘current dire circumstances’ may force these unrepentant warmongers and life long supporters of finance capital to become supporters and advocates of a revived Keynesian welfare state.
On the contrary, Obama and each and everyone of his foreign policy appointments to the Pentagon, State and Justice Departments, Intelligence and Security agencies are calling for vast increases in military spending, troop commitments and domestic militarization to recover the lost fortunes of a declining empire. Obama and his appointees plan to vigorously pursue Clinton-Bush’s global war against national resistance movements in the Middle East. His most intimate and trusted ‘Israel-First’ advisers have targeted Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Palestine and Iraq.
Obama’s Economic Con Game
Then there is the contrast between the trillions Obama will shower on the financial swindlers (and any other ‘too big to fail’ private capitalist enterprise) and his zero compensation for the 100 million heads of families swindled of $5 trillion dollars in savings and pensions by his cohort appointees and bailout beneficiaries. Not a cent is allocated for the long term unemployed. Not a single household threatened with eviction will be bailed out.
Obama is the trademark name of a network of confidence people. They are a well-organized gang of prominent political operative, money raisers, mass media hustlers, real estate moguls and academic pimps. They are joined and abetted by the elected officials and hacks of the Democratic Party. Like the virtuoso performer, Obama projected the image and followed the script. But the funding and the entire ‘populist’ show was constructed by the hard-nosed, hard-line free marketeers, Jewish and Gentile ‘Israel Firsters’, Washington war mongers and a host of multi-millionaire ‘trade union’ bureaucrats.
The electoral scam served several purposes above and beyond merely propelling a dozen strategic con artists into high office and the White House. First and foremost, the Obama con-gang deflected the rage and anger of tens of millions of economically skewered and war drained Americans from turning their hostility against a discredited presidency, congress and the grotesque one-party two factions political system and into direct action or at least toward a new political movement.
Secondly the Obama image provided a temporary cover for the return and continuity of all that was so detested by the American people – the arrogant untouchable swindlers, growing unemployment and economic uncertainty, the loss of life savings and homes and the endless, ever-expanding imperial wars.
Featuring Paul Volker, ‘Larry’ Summers, Robert Gates, the Clintons, Geithner, Holder and General (‘You drink your kool-aid while I sit on Boeings’ Board of Directors’) Jim Jones USMC, Obama treats us to a re-run of military surges and war crimes, Wall Street banditry, Abu Ghraib, AIPAC hustlers and all the sundry old crap. Our Harvard-minted Gunga Din purports to speak for all the colonial subjects but acts in the interest of the empire, its financial vampires, its war criminals and its Middle East leaches from the Land of the Chosen.
The Two Faces of Obama
Like the Janus face found on the coins of the early Roman Republic, Obama and his intimate cronies cynically joked about ‘which is the real face of Barack’, conscious of the con-job they were perpetrating during the campaign. In reality, there is only one face - a very committed, very consequential and very up front Obama, who demonstrated in every single one of his appointments the face of an empire builder.
Obama is an open militarist, intent by every means possible to re-construct a tattered US empire. The President-Elect is an unabashed Wall Street Firster – one who has placed the recuperation of the biggest banks and investment houses as his highest priority. Obama’s nominees for all the top economic positions (Treasury, Chief White House economic advisers) are eminently qualified, (with long-term service to the financial oligarchy), to pursue Obama’s pro-Wall Street agenda. There is not a single member of his economic team, down to the lowest level of appointees, who represents or has defended the interests of the wage or salaried classes (or for that matter the large and small manufacturers from the devastated ‘productive’ industrial economy).
The Obama propagandists claim his appointments reflect his preference for ‘experience’ – which is true: his team members have plenty of ‘experience’ through their long and lucrative careers maximizing profits, buyouts and speculation favoring the financial sector. Obama does not want to have any young, untested appointees who have no long established records of serving Big Finance, whose interests are too central to Obama’s deepest and most strongly held core beliefs. He wanted reliable economic functionaries who recognize that re-financing billionaire financiers is the central task of his regime. The appointments of the Summers, Rubins, Geithners and Volkers fit perfectly with his ideology: They are the best choices to pursue his economic goals.
Critics of these nominations write of the ‘failures’ of these economists and their role in ‘bringing about the collapse of the financial system’. These critics fail to recognize that it is not their ‘failures’, which are the relevant criteria, but their unwavering commitment to the interests of Wall Street and their willingness to demand trillions of dollars more from US taxpayers to bolster their colleagues on Wall Street.
Under Clinton and Bush, in the run up to the financial collapse, they facilitated (‘deregulated’) the practice of swindling one hundred million Americans of trillions in private savings and pension funds. In the current crisis period with Obama they are just the right people to swindle the US Treasury of trillions of dollars in bailout funds to refinance their fellow oligarchs. The White President (Bush) leaves steaming financial turds all over the White House rugs and Wall Street summons the ‘historic’ Negro President Obama to organize the cleanup crew to scoop them out of public view.
Obama, the Militarist, Outdoes His Predecessor
What makes Obama a much more audacious militarist and Wall Streeter than Bush is that he intends to pursue military policies, which have already greatly harmed the US people with appointed officials who have already been discredited in the context of failed imperial wars and with a domestic economy in collapse. While Bush launched his wars after the US public had their accustomed peace shattered by an orchestrated fear-mongering after 9/11, Obama intends to launch his escalation of military spending in the context of a generalized public disenchantment with the ongoing wars, with monumental fiscal deficits, bloated military budgets and after 100,000 US soldiers have been killed, wounded or psychologically destroyed.
Obama’s appointments of Clinton, General Jim Jones, dual Israeli citizen Rahm Emanuel and super-Zionist Dennis Ross, among others, fit perfectly with his imperial-militarist agenda of escalating military aggression. His short list of intelligence candidates, likewise, fits perfectly with his all-out effort to “regain US world leadership” (reconstruct US imperial networks). All the media blather about Obama’s efforts at ‘bipartisanship’, ‘experience’ and ‘competence’ obscures the most fundamental questions: The specific nominees chosen from both parties are totally committed to military-driven empire-building. All are in favor of “a new effort to renew America’s standing in the world” (read ‘America’s imperial dominance in the world’), as Obama’s Secretary of State-to-be, Hillary Clinton, declared. General James Jones, Obama’s choice for National Security Advisor, presided over US military operations during the entire Abu Ghraib/Guantanemo period. He was a fervent supporter of the ‘troop surge’ in Iraq and is a powerful advocate for a huge increase in military spending, the expansion of the military by over 100,000 troops and the expanded militarization of American domestic society (not to mention his personal financial ties to the military industrial complex). Robert Gates, continuing as Obama’s Secretary of Defense, is a staunch supporter of unilateral, unlimited and universal imperial warfare. As the number of US-allied countries with troops in Iraq declines from 35 to only 5 by January 1, 2009 and even the Iraqi puppet regime calls for a withdrawal of all US troops by 2012, Gates, the intransigent, insists on a permanent military presence.
The issue of ‘experience’ revolves around two questions: (a) experience related to what past political practices? (b) experience relevant to pursue what future policies? All the nominees’ past experiences are related to imperial wars, colonial conquests and the construction of client states. Hiliary Clinton’s ‘experience’ was through her support for the bombing of Yugoslavia and the Nato invasion of Kosova, her promotion of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), an internationally recognized terrorist-criminal organization as well as the unrelenting bombings of Iraq in the 1990s, Bush’s criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003, Israel’s murderous bombing of civilian centers in Lebanon…and now full-throated calls for the ‘total obliteration of Iran’. Clinton, Gates and Jones have never in their mature political careers proposed the peaceful settlement of disputes with any adversary of the US or Israel. In other words, their vaunted ‘experience’ is based solely on their one-dimensional militarist approach to foreign relations.
‘Competence’, as an attribute again depends on the issue of ‘competence to do what’? In general terms, ‘The Three’ (Clinton, Gates and Jones), have demonstrated the greatest incompetence in extricating the US from prolonged, costly and lost colonial wars. They lack the minimum capacity to recognize that military-driven empire-building in the context of independent states is no longer feasible, that its costs can ruin an imperial economy and that prolonged wars erode their legitimacy in the eyes of their citizens.
Even within the framework of imperial geo-political strategic thinking, their positions exhibit the most dense incompetence: They blindly back a small, highly militarized and ideologically fanatical colonial state (Israel) against 1.5 billion Muslims living in oil and mineral resource-rich nations with lucrative markets and investment potential and situated in the strategic center of the world. They promote total wars against whole populations, as is occurring in Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia and, which, by all historical experience, cannot be won. They are truly ‘Masters of Defeat’.
The point of the matter is that Obama appointed the ‘Big Three’ for their experience, competence and bipartisan support in the pursuit of imperial wars. He overlooked their glaring failures, their gross violations of the basic norms of civilization (of the human rights of tens of millions civilians in sovereign nations) because of their willingness to pursue the illusions of a US-dominated new world order.
Nothing speaks to Obama’s deep and abiding commitment to become the savior of the US empire as clearly as his willingness to appoint to the highest position of policy making the most mediocre failed politicians and generals merely because of their demonstrated willingness to pursue the course of military-driven empire building even in the midst of a collapsing domestic economy and ever more impoverished and drained citizenry.
Just as Obama’s electoral campaign and subsequent victory will go into the annals as the political con-job of the new millennium, his economic and political appointments will mark another ‘historic’ moment: The nomination of corrupt and failed speculators and warmongers. Let us join the inaugural celebration of our ‘First Afro-American’ Imperial President, who wins by con and rules by guns!
The certification process is required by law--Section 490 of the Foreign Assistance Act (FAA) of 1961, as amended, requires the President every year to submit to Congress a list of those countries he has determined to be major illicit drug producing and/or drug transit countries. The FAA requires that half of most U.S. Government foreign assistance to any country on this "Majors" list be withheld until the President determines whether the country should be "certified" under the certification process, first enacted in 1986.
A major illicit drug producing country is defined as one in which:
1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium poppy are cultivated or harvested during a year; 1,000 hectares or more of illicit coca are cultivated or harvested during a year; or 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis are cultivated or harvested during a year, unless the President determines that such illicit cannabis production does not significantly affect the United States.
A significant direct source of illicit narcotic or psychotropic drugs or other controlled substances significantly affecting the United States; or
A country through which such drugs or substances are transported.
The "Majors" List for 1999
On November 10, the President approved and sent to Congress the "Majors" list for 1999. The 26 countries and dependent territories included were: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
The President is required under the FAA to review anti-narcotics efforts undertaken by those countries on the "Majors" list in order to determine and transmit certification decisions to Congress by March 1, 2000. The President may select from the following certification options for each of the countries on the "Majors" list: full certification, denial of certification, or a "vital national interests" certification (see definitions below).
In making determinations regarding full certification, the President considers the extent to which each major illicit drug producing or drug-transit country has: Met the goals and objectives of the United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances including action on such issues as illicit cultivation, production, distribution, sale, transport and financing, and money laundering, asset seizure, extradition, mutual legal assistance, law enforcement and transit cooperation, precursor chemical control, and demand reduction; Accomplished the goals described in an applicable bilateral narcotics agreement with the United States, or a multilateral agreement; Taken legal and law enforcement measures to prevent and punish public corruption--especially by senior government officials--that facilitates the production, processing, or shipment of narcotic and psychotropic drugs and other controlled substances, or that discourages the investigation or prosecution of such acts.
If a country receives full certification, all aid that was withheld is released.
Denial of certification requires the U.S. to deny sales or financing under the Arms Export Control Act; deny non-food assistance under Public Law 480; deny financing by the Export-Import Bank, and withhold most assistance under the FAA with the exception of specified humanitarian and counternarcotics assistance. The U.S. must also vote against proposed loans from six multilateral development banks.
If a country has not met the standards for full certification, the President may nevertheless certify the country by determining that the U.S. vital national interests require that assistance be provided/not withheld and that the U.S. not vote against multilateral development bank assistance for the country. When a country receives a "vital national interests" certification, assistance is provided in the same manner as if it had been given full certification.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Trend forecaster, renowned for being accurate in the past, says that America will cease to be a developed nation within 4 years, crisis will be "worse than the great depression"
Paul Joseph Watson
The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions - all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.
Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events, which will send a chill down your spine considering what he told Fox News this week.
Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts.
"We're going to see the end of the retail Christmas....we're going to see a fundamental shift take place....putting food on the table is going to be more important that putting gifts under the Christmas tree," said Celente, adding that the situation would be "worse than the great depression".
"America's going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for," said Celente, noting that people's refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis.
Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar, told UPI in November last year that the following year would be known as "The Panic of 2008," adding that "giants (would) tumble to their deaths," which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others. He also said that the dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 per cent.
The consequence of what we have seen unfold this year would lead to a lowering in living standards, Celente predicted a year ago, which is also being borne out by plummeting retail sales figures.
The prospect of revolution was a concept echoed by a British Ministry of Defence report last year, which predicted that within 30 years, the growing gap between the super rich and the middle class, along with an urban underclass threatening social order would mean, "The world's middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest," and that, "The middle classes could become a revolutionary class."
In a separate recent interview, Celente went further on the subject of revolution in America.
"There will be a revolution in this country," he said. "It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen."
"The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop."
"It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more."
"We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people’s minds weren’t wrecked on all these modern drugs – over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension."
When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente."
— CNN Headline News
"A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties."
— The Economist
"Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right."
— USA Today
"There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about."
"Those who take their predictions seriously ... consider the Trends Research Institute."
— The Wall Street Journal
"Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark ... he's one of the most accurate forecasters around."
— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Mr. Celente tracks the world’s social, economic and business trends for corporate clients."
— The New York Times
"Mr. Celente is a very intelligent guy. We are able to learn about trends from an authority."
— 48 Hours, CBS News
"Gerald Celente has a solid track record. He has predicted everything from the 1987 stock market crash and the demise of the Soviet Union to green marketing and corporate downsizing."
— The Detroit News
"Gerald Celente forecast the 1987 stock market crash, ‘green marketing,’ and the boom in gourmet coffees."
— Chicago Tribune
"The Trends Research Institute is the Standard and Poors of Popular Culture."
— The Los Angeles Times
"If Nostradamus were alive today, he'd have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente."
— New York Post
Monday, December 15, 2008
Charity Is The Enemy
It is not charity to give to some one what that person already owns ,by birthright. As of today I pledge I will no longer give to the poor,feed the hungry,or clothe the naked,this they must do for themselves.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
China And Congo Resources Wars
F. William Engdahl
Tuesday, Dec 09, 2008
Just weeks after President George W. Bush signed the order creating a new US military command dedicated to Africa, AFRICOM, events on the mineral-rich continent have erupted which suggest a major agenda of the incoming Obama Presidency will be for the son of a black Kenyan to focus US resources, military and other, on dealing with the Republic of Congo, the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea, the oil-rich Darfur region of southern Sudan and increasingly the Somali ‘pirate threat’ to sea lanes in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The legitimate question is whether it is mere coincidence that Africa appears just at this time to become a new geopolitical ‘hot spot’ or whether it has a direct link to the formal creation of AFRICOM.
What is striking is the timing. No sooner had AFRICOM become operational than major new crises broke out in both the Indian Ocean-Gulf of Aden regarding spectacular incidents of alleged Somali piracy, as well as eruption of bloody new wars in Kivu Province in the Republic of Congo. The common thread connecting both is their importance, as with Darfur in southern Sudan, for China’s future strategic raw materials flow.
The latest fighting in the eastern part of the Congo (DRC) broke out in late August when Tutsi militiamen belonging to the Congrès National pour la Défense du Peuple (CNDP, National Congress for the Defense of the People) of General Laurent Nkunda forced loyalist troops of the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC, Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) to retreat from their positions near Lake Kivu, sending hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians fleeing in the process and prompting the French foreign minister, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, to warn of the imminent risk of ‘huge massacres.’
Nkunda, like his mentor, Rwanda’s Washington-backed dictator, Paul Kagame, is an ethnic Tutsi who alleges that he is protecting the minority Tutsi ethnic group against remnants of the Rwandan Hutu army that fled to Congo after the Rwandan genocide in 1994. MONUC UN peacekeepers reported no such atrocities against the minority Tutsi in the northeast, mineral rich Kivu region. Congolese sources report that attacks against Congolese of all ethnic groups are a daily occurrence in the region. Laurent Nkunda’s troops are responsible for most of these attacks, they claim.
The stage for political chaos in Congo was further set in September when the Democratic Republic of Congo’s 83-year-old prime minister, Antoine Gizenga, resigned after two years. Then at end of October, with suspicious timing, the commander of the United Nations peacekeeping operation, the Mission de l’Organisation des Nations-Unies au Congo (MONUC, Mission of the United Nations Organization in the Congo), Spanish Lieutenant General Vicente Diaz de Villegas, resigned after fewer than two months on the job, citing, ‘lack of confidence’ in the leadership of DRC President Joseph Kabila. Kabila, the Congo’s first democratically elected president, has also been involved in negotiating a major $9 billion trade agreement between the DRC and China, something which Washington is clearly not happy about.
Nkunda is a long-standing henchman of Rwandan President, US-trained, Kagame. All signs point to a heavy, if covert, USA role in the latest Congo killings by Nkunda’s men. Nkunda himself is a former Congolese Army officer, teacher and Seventh Day Adventist pastor. But killing seems to be what he is best at.
Much of Nkunda’s well-equipped and relatively disciplined forces are from the bordering country of Rwanda and the rest have been recruited from the minority Tutsi population of the Congolese province of North Kivu. Supplies, finance and political support for this Congolese rebel army come from Rwanda. According to the American Spectator magazine, ‘President Paul Kagame of Rwanda has long been a supporter of Nkunda, who originally was an intelligence officer in the Rwanda leader’s overthrow of the Hutu despotic rule in his country.’
As the Congo News Agency reported on October 30, ‘Some have bought into the pretext of an endangered Tutsi minority in Congo. They never fail to mention that Laurent Nkunda is supposedly fighting to protect “his people.” They have failed to question his true motives which are to occupy the mineral-rich North-Kivu province, pillage its resources, and act as a proxy army in eastern Congo for the Tutsi-led Rwandan government in Kigali. Kagame wants a foothold in eastern Congo so his country can continue to benefit from the pillaging and exporting of minerals such as columbite-tantalite (coltan). Many experts on the region agree today that resources are the true reason why Laurent Nkunda continues to create chaos in the region with the help of Paul Kagame.’
The USA role and AFRICOM
Evidence which was presented in a French court in a ruling made public in 2006 claimed that Kagame was responsible for organizing the shooting down of the plane carrying Hutu President of Rwanda Juvénal Habyarimana, in April 1994, the event that set off the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of thousands of people, both Hutu and Tutsi.
The end result of the killings in which perhaps as many as a million Africans perished was that US and UK backed Paul Kagame — a ruthless military dictator trained at the US Army Command-General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas — was firmly in control as dictator of Rwanda. Since then he has covertly backed repeated military incursions by General Nkunda into the mineral-rich Kivu region on the pretext it was to defend a small Tutsi minority there. Kagame had repeatedly rejected attempts to repatriate those Tutsi refugees back to Rwanda, evidently fearing he might lose his pretext to occupy the mineral riches of Kivu.
Since at least 2001, according to reports from Congo sources, the US military has also had a base at Cyangugu in Rwanda, built of course by Dick Cheney’s old firm, Halliburton, conveniently enough near the border to Congo’s mineral-rich Kivu region.
The 1994 massacre of civilians between Tutsi and Hutu was, as Canadian researcher Michel Chossudovsky described it, ‘an undeclared war between France and America. By supporting the build up of Ugandan and Rwandan forces and by directly intervening in the Congolese civil war, Washington also bears a direct responsibility for the ethnic massacres committed in the Eastern Congo, including several hundred thousand people who died in refugee camps.’ He adds, ‘Major General Paul Kagame was an instrument of Washington. The loss of African lives did not matter. The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.’
Now Kagame’s former intelligence officer, Nkunda, leads his well-equipped forces to take Goma in the eastern Congo as part of an apparent scheme to break the richest minerals region away from Kinshasha. With the US military beefing up its presence across Africa under AFRICOM since 2007, the stage was apparently set for the current resources grab by the US-backed Kagame and his former officer, Nkunda.
Today the target is China
If France was the covert target of US ‘surrogate warfare’ in 1994, today it is clearly China, which is the real threat to US control of Central Africa’s vast mineral riches. The Democratic Republic of Congo was renamed from the Republic of Zaire in 1997 when the forces of Laurent Désiré Kabila brought Mobutu’s 32-year reign to an end. Locals call the country Congo-Kinshasa.
The Kivu region of the Congo is the geological repository of some of the world’s greatest strategic minerals. The eastern border straddling Rwanda and Uganda, runs on the eastern edge of the Great African Rift Valley, believed by geologists to be one of the richest repositories of minerals on the face of the earth.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo contains more than half the world’s cobalt. It holds one-third of its diamonds, and, extremely significantly, fully three-quarters of the world resources of columbite-tantalite or “coltan” — a primary component of computer microchips and printed circuit boards, essential for mobile telephones, laptops and other modern electronic devices.
America Mineral Fields, Inc., a company heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of Laurent Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as governor of Arkansas. Several months before the downfall of Zaire’s French-backed dictator, Mobutu, Laurent Desire Kabila based in Goma, Eastern Zaire, had renegotiated the mining contracts with several US and British mining companies including American Mineral Fields. Mobutu’s corrupt rule was brought to a bloody end with the help of the US-directed International Monetary Fund.
Washington was not entirely comfortable with Laurent Kabila, who was finally assassinated in 2001. In a study released in April 1997 barely a month before President Mobutu Sese Seko fled the country, the IMF had recommended “halting currency issue completely and abruptly” as part of an economic recovery programme. A few months later upon assuming power in Kinshasa, the new government of Laurent Kabila Desire was ordered by the IMF to freeze civil service wages with a view to “restoring macro-economic stability.” Eroded by hyperinflation, the average public sector wage had fallen to 30,000 new Zaires (NZ) a month, the equivalent of one US dollar.
According to Chossudovsky, the IMF’s demands were tantamount to maintaining the entire population in abysmal poverty. They precluded from the outset a meaningful post-war economic reconstruction, thereby contributing to fuelling the continuation of the Congolese civil war in which close to 2 million people have died.
Laurent Kabila was succeeded by his son, Joseph Kabila who went on to become the Congo’s first democratically elected President, and appears to have held a closer eye to the welfare of his countrymen than did his father.
Now, in comes the new US AFRICOM. Speaking to the International Peace Operations Association in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 27, General Kip Ward, commander of AFRICOM defined the command’s mission as ‘in concert with other US government agencies and international partners, [to conduct] sustained security engagements through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.’
The ‘military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy,’ today, are clearly aimed squarely at blocking China’s growing economic presence in the region.
In fact, as various Washington sources state openly, AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties. By informed accounts, the Chinese have been far shrewder. Instead of offering only savage IMF-dictated austerity and economic chaos, China is offering large credits, soft loans to build roads and schools in order to create good will.
Dr. J. Peter Pham, a leading Washington insider who is an advisor of the US State and Defense Departments, states openly that among the aims of the new AFRICOM is the objective of ‘protecting access to hydrocarbons and other strategic resources which Africa has in abundance . . . a task which includes ensuring against the vulnerability of those natural riches and ensuring that no other interested third parties, such as China, India, Japan, or Russia, obtain monopolies or preferential treatment.’
In testimony before the US Congress supporting creation of AFRICOM in 2007, Pham, who is closely associated with the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, stated, ‘This natural wealth makes Africa an inviting target for the attentions of the People’s Republic of China, whose dynamic economy, averaging 9 percent growth per annum over the last two decades, has an almost insatiable thirst for oil as well as a need for other natural resources to sustain it. China is currently importing approximately 2.6 million barrels of crude per day, about half of its consumption; more than 765,000 of those barrels — roughly a third of its imports — come from African sources, especially Sudan, Angola, and Congo (Brazzaville). Is it any wonder, then, that . . . perhaps no other foreign region rivals Africa as the object of Beijing’s sustained strategic interest in recent years. Last year the Chinese regime published the first ever official white paper elaborating the basis of its policy toward Africa.
‘This year, ahead of his 12-day, eight-nation tour of Africa — the third such journey since he took office in 2003 — Chinese President Hu Jintao announced a three-year, $3 billion program in preferential loans and expanded aid for Africa. These funds come on top of the $3 billion in loans and $2 billion in export credits that Hu announced in October 2006 at the opening of the historic Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which brought nearly 50 African heads of state and ministers to the Chinese capital.
‘Intentionally or not, many analysts expect that Africa — especially the states along its oil-rich western coastline — will increasingly becoming a theatre for strategic competition between the United States and its only real near-peer competitor on the global stage, China, as both countries seek to expand their influence and secure access to resources.’
Notably, in late October Nkunda’s well-armed troops surrounded Goma in North Kivu and demanded that Congo President Joseph Kabila negotiate with him. Among Nkunda’s demands was that Kabila cancel a $9 billion joint Congo-China venture in which China gets rights to the vast copper and cobalt resources of the region in exchange for providing $6 billion worth of road construction, two hydroelectric dams, hospitals, schools and railway links to southern Africa, to Katanga and to the Congo Atlantic port at Matadi. The other $3 billion is to be invested by China in development of new mining areas.
Curiously, US and most European media neglect to report that small detail. It seems AFRICOM is off to a strong start as the opposition to China in Africa. The litmus will be who President Obama selects as his Africa person and whether he tries to weaken Congo President Joseph Kabila in favor of backing Nkunda’s death squads, naturally in the name of ‘restoring democracy.’
Swept Away In US Army Sandbags
BABYLON, Iraq (AFP) — Fragments of bricks, engraved with cuneiform characters thousands of years old, lie mixed with the rubble and sandbags left by the US military on the ancient site of Babylon in Iraq.
In this place, one of the cradles of civilisation, US troops in 2003-2004 built embankments, dug ditches and spread gravel to hold the fuel reservoirs needed to supply the heliport of Camp Alpha.
Today, archaeologists say a year of terracing work and 18 months of military presence, with tanks and helicopters, have caused irreparable damage. The Americans remained five months in Babylon and then handed over to the Poles who pulled out 16 months later.
Hands on hips, and wearing a seemingly permanent air of dismay, Maithem Hamza, director of the -- totally empty -- museum on the site, points to the soil: "Look at this land, it is packed with remnants. They filled their bags with them."
He pushes with his foot a fragment of raw brick, with cuneiform inscriptions plainly visible. To one side of it, on soil filthy with fuel oil, lies the broken door of a Hummer, the US army's light vehicle.
Undoubtedly the palace built on the site and on an artificial hill in 1993 by then-president Saddam Hussein drew the US military to Babylon during its invasion in March 2003.
The palace, like elsewhere in Iraq, was requisitioned as a military headquarters.
On one wall, near the door of the monumental entrance, a black stencil proclaims: "Building No.1". Further on, adorning a warehouse wall, graffiti reads: "Miss you, Smoothy!."
From April 2003 to June 2004, huge gravelled avenues were gouged out around the ruins of the palaces of Nebuchadnezzer in order to set up prefabricated buildings which became home to up to 2,000 troops.
The heliport is only some 300 metres (yards) from the remains of the north palace, and according to Maithem Hamza, vibration from the aircraft caused the base of the temple of Ninmah -- rebuilt by Saddam in the 1980s -- to collapse.
In a report published in 2005, experts from the British Museum confirmed that damage visible on nine of the dragon casts on the temple's Door of Ishtar, and those on the cobbles of the processional way, were due to vibration caused by the passage of heavy machinery.
"That which is broken is broken... We will try to repair what we can," said Maryam Omran Mussa, director of the site, speaking in her office near the entrance to the site which has been closed to the public since 2003.
"Many of the relics were buried near the surface. Vibration from tanks and lorries caused irreversible damage, that's for real... From the start, we told the Americans (their actions) were a mistake. I wrote letters...
"They finally understood, and left, but it took time."
British Museum curator John Curtis was one of the first to sound the alarm over the ancient site.
"They understood when photographs started to be published on the World Wide Web, particularly aerial photographs showing the extent of the military camp there," he said.
"It's only because of that that the military authorities of the coalition started to be very nervous and decided that they had to leave."
In the face of the protests, terracing and building work was interrupted in June 2004, six months before the troops left.
In its defence, the US military argued that if its presence there certainly had caused damage, it had also protected the site from looters who were running riot during the first weeks of the occupation.
Questioned in 2006 in a programme on the BBC, Marine Colonel John Coleman accepted the principle of an apology to the director of the Iraqi antiquities department.
"If it makes him feel good, I can certainly give him one," he said.
But he added: "Is there a price for the presence? Sure. I'll just say that the price had the presence not been there would have been far greater."
For Curtis, however, the price of the military presence was extremely high.
"A lot of the damage done is permanent. For example digging these long trenches: 170 metres long and more than two metres deep, this is not reversible, this is permanent damage that will last forever."
Another problem arrived in the earth brought from outside the site to fill sandbags. "It contaminates the record of Babylon for the next generations of archeologists," said Curtis.
"Moving the gravel can be done, but it's a very long and very expensive job. And in the process, more damage would be done."
Despite the damage to such an historic site, Curtis accepted that the US military believed that "building a base there wouldn't actually cause any damage."
He commented: "I don't think it's malicious: it comes from ignorance and stupidity, definitely."
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.