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Uganda: A Brilliant Genocide

Counterpunch

by Ann Garrison

abg-poster-september-fest-deets

One hundred million people around the world watched the viral video “Kony 2012.” Its evangelical Christian producers’ mission was to proselytize for the use of U.S. Special Forces to help Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni hunt down warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).  Despite huge support from the U.S. political establishment and various celebrities, the producers were finally guffawed off the world stage after the video’s release. One of the best parodies was the Artist Taxi Driver’s “You say get Kony I say get Tony #kony2012 #tonyblair2012.”

Nevertheless, more U.S. troops went to Uganda in 2012, reportedly as advisors to the Ugandan army, a longstanding U.S. proxy force. More have gone since, and U.S. and Ugandan troops have set up outposts in South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all in the name of fighting the infamous Kony, whom “Kony 2012” likened to Osama bin Laden. Despite all that, Kony’s still free – if he’s still alive. The idea that a modern army, with the most advanced weaponry, intelligence, and surveillance tech, has not been able to find him and his spent force of jungle fighters is preposterous. As Dr. Vincent Magombe said in Ebony Butler’s new documentary film, “A Brilliant Genocide”:  “America is part of the problem of Africa right now. The Americans know very well that Kony is not the problem. Where the oil wells are, the American troops are there and the government in power. It doesn’t matter whether that government is Museveni killing his own people. It’s not democratic, but he is a friend.”

A Brilliant Genocide” tells the story of the Acholi Genocide that President Yoweri Museveni and his army committed against the Acholi people during their 20 year war and occupation of the Acholi homeland in northern Uganda, from 1986 to 2006.  Museveni waged that war in the name of fighting Kony and claimed to be protecting the Acholi, not destroying them. The U.S. turned a blind eye and continued to build up its Ugandan proxy force. “Despite this appalling and shocking human rights abuse,” Ugandan American publisher Milton Allimadi says in the film, “the Ugandan military machine continued to be financed without any interruption from the United States.”

Museveni’s troops eventually drove nearly two million Acholi people, 90% of the population, into concentration camps to, he said, protect them from Kony and the LRA. The camp living quarters were traditional mud huts with thatched roofs, but they were tightly clustered together in a way that was not traditional at all. The Museveni government then failed to provide food, water, sanitation, or health care. In 2005, the World Health Organization reported that 1000 Acholi were dying every week of violence and disease – above all malaria and AIDS. That was, they reported, 1000 beyond normal mortality rates.

This huge and lengthy displacement caused more death and destruction than the war itself. All the elements of Acholi society – farming, education, gender relations, and family life – were broken. In the camps, the previously self-sufficient Acholi became completely dependent on the UN World Food Program.

Ugandan soldiers raped both men and women, spreading HIV in the camps, but President George Bush lauded President Yoweri Museveni for his success at HIV prevention.  Anyone who has been concerned by all the Western press about Uganda’s homophobia and its Anti-Homosexuality Act should see both “A Brilliant Genocide” and “Gender Against Men” to understand how much more complex the country’s attitudes towards same gender sexual relations – including rape – really are.

The camps were finally disbanded in 2012 and the surviving Acholi returned to their land, but now they are facing land grabs, including those by Museveni and his partner in mechanized agriculture.

What did the U.S. gain by ignoring the Acholi Genocide as it built the Ugandan army into a proxy force? 

In 1990, as the genocide continued in Northern Uganda, a battalion of the Ugandan army led by General Paul Kagame invaded Rwanda. After a four-year war and the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents, Kagame’s army overthrew the Rwandan government and established a de facto Tutsi dictatorship, which falsely claims to have ended competition between the Hutu and Tutsi populations. The last 100 days of that war included the massacres that came to be known as the Rwandan Genocide, which most of the world knows as the oversimplified, decontextualized story told in the movie “Hotel Rwanda.”

This radically mis-told story of the Rwandan Genocide has since become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. We’re forever told that we have to start another war to stop genocide and mass atrocities or – in shorthand – to stop “the next Rwanda,” as in Libya, Syria, and more recently, Burundi, and whatever unlucky nation may be next. Few have heard of the Acholi Genocide because it exposes the shameless U.S. foreign policy of supporting and enabling dictator Yoweri Museveni ever since he came to power in 1986. We’re never told that we have to stop “the next Acholi Genocide” or “the next Uganda.”

Beginning in 1996, Rwanda and Uganda invaded the hugely resource rich Democratic Republic of the Congo, enabled by U.S. weapons, logistics and intelligence. They expelled Congolese President Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997 and replaced him with Laurent Kabila. When Laurent Kabila raised an independent head and expelled Rwandan and Ugandan soldiers, Rwanda and Uganda invaded Congo again and replaced him with his more compliant adopted son Joseph Kabila. Today, after the death of millions in the First and Second Congo Wars, Rwanda and Uganda continue to commit atrocities and plunder eastern Congolese resources. Right now 60 people a month are being massacred in Beni Territory, but the world isn’t much more likely to hear about that than about the Acholi Genocide.

Most Westerners are far more likely to have noticed the Western press – and Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International – shrieking that there’s another Tutsi genocide pending in Burundi, even though the violence in Burundi is nowhere near as horrific as that in Beni, and many of those assassinated in Burundi have been top officials in the Hutu-led government. The U.S. and its allies want to take down the government of Burundi, so they keep sounding alarms that it’s plotting genocide, that we have to stop another genocide or “the next Rwanda.” They’re not sounding the same alarms about Beni because the elimination of its population would facilitate their longstanding agenda of breaking up the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as they broke up Yugoslavia and South Sudan.

The U.S. has used Ugandan troops to serve its agenda not only in nations bordering Uganda but also in Somalia and elsewhere on the African continent, as coordinated by AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. It has even used Ugandan troops in its own assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan.

When anyone, including Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International, says that we have to invade another sovereign nation to stop genocide and mass atrocities, they should be reminded of the horrendous Acholi Genocide that the U.S. enabled, or of the massacres going on in Beni Territory, Democratic Republic of the Congo, right now. These are only two examples of mass atrocities that the U.S. has committed or facilitated because they or their perpetrators, like Museveni, serve U.S. interests.

RT will air “A Brilliant Genocide” on October 1st.

 

[Ann Garrison is an independent journalist who also contributes to the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, the Black Agenda Report and the Black Star News, and produces radio for KPFA-Berkeley and WBAI-New York City.  In 2014, she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize by the Womens International Network for Democracy and Peace.  She can be reached at ann@afrobeatradio.com.]

Western Aggression: The Highest Form of Terrorism

Image: Mark Gould

Aggression is arguably the highest form of terrorism as it invariably includes the frightening of the target populations and their leaders as well as killing and destruction on a large scale.. The U.S. invaders of Iraq in 2003 proudly announced a “shock and awe” purpose in their opening assault, clearly designed to instill fear; that is, to terrorize the victim population along with the target security forces. And millions of Iraqis suffered in this massive enterprise. Benjamin Netanyahu himself defined terrorism as “the deliberate and systematic murder, maiming and menacing of the innocent to inspire fear for political ends.” This would seem to make both the Iraq war (2003 onward) and the serial Israeli wars on Gaza (2008-2009; 2012; 2014) cases of serious terrorism.

How do the responsible U.S. and Israeli leaders escape this designation? One trick is the disclaiming of any “deliberateness” in the killing of civilians. It is “collateral damage” in the pursuit of proper targets (Iraqi soldiers, Hamas, etc.). This is a factual lie, as there is overwhelming evidence that in both the Iraq and Gaza wars the killing of civilians was on a large scale and often not comprehensible in terms of genuine military objectives. (I give many illustrations in “They kill reporters, don’t they?” Yes–as Part of a System of Information Control That Will Allow the Mass Killing of Civilians, Z Magazine, December 2004. That this goes back a long way is well documented in Nick Turse’s Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Metropolitan, 2014).

But even if the killings were only collateral damage, the regular failure to avoid killing civilians, including a built-in carelessness and/or reliance on undependable sources of information, is both a war crime and terrorism. Recall that the Geneva Conventions state that combatants “shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and, accordingly, shall direct their operations only against military objectives” (Part IV, Chap. 1, Article 48). Also, if civilian casualties are extremely likely in bombing attacks against purported military targets, even if the specific civilians killed were not intended victims, their deaths—some deaths—were predictable, hence in an important sense deliberate. Michael Mandel, while dismantling the claim of non-deliberateness in the usual collateral damage killing of civilians, points out that even in Texas a man who shoots someone dead while aiming at somebody else is guilty of murder.1

A second line of defense of U.S. and Israeli killing of civilians, only occasionally made explicit, is that the civilians killed are helping out the enemy armed forces–they are the sea in which the terrorist fish swim—so this makes them legitimate targets. This opens up vast possibilities for ruthless attacks and the mass killing of civilians, notorious in the Vietnam war, but also applicable in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza. Civilian killings are sometimes admitted to be an objective by official sources, but not often, and the subject is not focused on by the mainstream media. This rationale may placate the home population but it does not satisfy international law or widely held moral rules.

The same is true of the retaliation defense. The United States and Israel are always allegedly retaliating for prior aggressive acts of their targets. Deadly actions by the target military or their supporters, even if they clearly follow some deadly action by the United States or Israel, are never deemed retaliatory and thus justifiable. It has long been a claimed feature of the Israeli ethnic cleansing project that Israel only retaliates, the Palestinians provoke and virtually compel an Israeli response. In fact, the Israelis have long taken advantage of this bias in Western reporting at strategic moments by attacking just enough to induce a Palestinian response, that justifies a larger scale “retaliatory” action by Israel.

Of course, all of these tricks work only because an array of Western institutions, including but not confined to the media, follow the demands of Western (and mainly U.S.) interests. For example, although the Nuremberg judgment against the Nazis features aggression as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole,” because the United States is virtually in the full-time business of committing aggression (attacking across borders without Security Council approval), the UN and “international community” (i.e., Western and even many non-Western leaders, not publics) do nothing when the United States engages in aggression. The brazen 2003 invasion of Iraq called forth no UN condemnation or sanctions against the U.S.aggression, and the UN quickly began to cooperate with the invader-occupiers. The word aggression is rarely applied to that massive and hugely destructive attack either in the media or learned discourse, but it is applied with regularity to the Russian occupation of Crimea which entailed no casualties and could be regarded as a defensive response to the U.S.-sponsored February 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was surely not defensive, and was rationalized at the time on the basis of what were eventually acknowledged to be plain lies. (For an exception to the establishment’s villainization of Russia in the Ukraine conflict.2 )

Perhaps the most murderous aggression and ultra-terrorism of the last 40 years, involving millions of civilian deaths, has been the Rwanda-Uganda invasion of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), beginning in 1996 and still ongoing. But the invasion’s leaders, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, were (and still are) U.S. clients, hence they have been subject to no international tribunal nor threat from the Security Council or International Criminal Court, and there has been no media featuring of the vast crimes carried out in this area. You have to be a U.S. target to get that kind of attention, as with Iran, Syria and Russia.

These rules also apply to the major human rights groups. Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have a rule that they will not focus on the origins of a conflict but will attend only to how the conflict is carried out. This is wonderfully convenient to a country that commits aggression on a regular basis, but it flies in the face of logic or the UN Charter’s foundational idea that aggression is the supreme international crime that the world must prevent and punish. Thus, neither HRW nor AI condemned the United States for invading Iraq or bombing Serbia but confined their attention to the war crimes of both the aggressor and target — mainly the target. HRW is especially notorious for its huge bias in featuring the war crimes of U.S. targets, underplaying the criminality of the aggressor, and calling for international action against the victim (see Herman, Peterson and Szamuely, “Human Rights Watch in the Service of the War Party,” Electric Politics, February 26, 2007.). During the period leading up to the U.S.-UK attack on Iraq, HRW head Kenneth Roth had an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Indict Saddam” (March 22, 2002). Thus beyond failing to oppose the imminent war of aggression, this human rights group leader was providing a public relations cover for the “supreme international crime.” His organization also failed to report on and condemn the “sanctions of mass destruction” against Iraq that had devastating health effects on Iraqi civilians, accounting for hundreds of thousands of deaths. For HRW these were “unworthy victims.”

In the case of the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s invasion and massacres of 1990-1994, HRW and its associates (notably Alison Des Forges) played an important role in focusing on and condemning the defensive responses of the Rwanda government to the military and subversive advances of the U.S.-supported invading army of Tutsi from Uganda, thereby making a positive contribution to the mass killings in Rwanda and later in the DRC.3

Similarly the ad hoc international tribunals established in the last several decades have always been designed to exclude aggression and to focus on war crimes and “genocide.” And they are directed at U.S. targets (Serbia, the Hutu of Rwanda) who are actually the victims of aggression, who are then subjected to a quasi-judicial process that is fraudulent and a perversion of justice.4  The International Criminal Court (ICC) was also organized with “aggression” excluded from its remit, in deference to the demands of the Great Aggressor, who still refused to join because there remained the theoretical possibility that a U.S. citizen might be brought before the court! The ICC still made itself useful to the Great Aggressor by indicting Gaddafi in preparation for the U.S.-NATO war of aggression against Libya.

In short, terrorism thrives. That is, state terrorism, as in the serial U.S. wars—direct, joint and proxy–against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Syria and the still more wide-ranging drone assassination attacks. In the devastating wars in the DRC by Kagame and Museveni. And in Israel’s wars on Gaza and Lebanon and ordinary pacification efforts in Gaza and the West Bank. And in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen and Turkey’s proxy war in Syria and war against the Kurds.

All of these wars have evoked mainly retail terrorist responses to the invading, bombing, and occupying forces of the United States and its allies, responses that have been shocking and deadly, but on a much smaller scale than the state terrorism that has evoked them. But in the Western propaganda systems it is only the responsive terrorism that surprises and angers politicians, pundits and the public and is called “terrorism.” There is no recognition of the true flow of initiating violence and response, no recognition of the fact that the “global war on terrorism” is really a “global war OF terrorism.” The propaganda system is, in fact, a constituent of the permanent war system, hence a reliable supporter of wholesale terrorism.

 

• First published in Z Magazine, February 2016

 

  1. How America Gets Away With Murder, Pluto, 2004, 46-56 [?]
  2. John Mearsheimer, “The Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault,” Foreign Affairs, September-October, 2014 [?]
  3. Herman and Peterson, Enduring Lies: The Rwandan Genocide in the Propaganda System, 20 Years Later, Real News Books, 2014, 66-70. [?]
  4. On the Yugoslavia tribunal, see John Laughland, Travesty, Pluto, 2007; on Rwanda, Sebastien Chartrand and John Philpot, Justice Belied: The Unbalanced Scale of International Criminal Justice, Baraka Books, 2014. [?]

 

[Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media.]

Creating Failed States | Next up: Burundi

Public Good Project

November 24, 2015

by Jay Taber

 

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

November 23, 2015

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“President Obama today issued a new Executive Order (E.O.) declaring a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Burundi.”

Power and Kagame

Left: U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power. Right: “Butcher of the Great Lakes”, Paul Kagame | “The US based Kagame lobbyists, including the US Ambassador to the UN – Samantha Power – are responsible for the crisis we see in Burundi.” – Dr. Charles Kambanda, Great Lakes Post

The African Great Lakes region (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) is rich in mineral wealth. East/West superpower competition for these minerals — used in consumer electronics — has prompted the United States military to arm rebels and dictators alike, as well as to increase the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) presence in the region.

Burundi tweet 3

On July 6, 2015, the U.S. State Department announced that Tom Perriello will serve as President Obama’s special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa. On November 6, 2015, the State Department announced that Perriello was alarmed by Burundi government violence.  On November 8, 2015, U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, in response to the Burundi government offer of amnesty to insurrectionists, warned of Rwanda-like government massacres.

Samantha-Power-John-Kerry-68th-Session-UN-0OZG7CMnM5Ol

Above: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power during the United Nations Security Council meeting (photo: (Sept. 18, 2014 – Source: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images North America)

As noted by Charles Kambanda, a former professor at the University of Rwanda, what really is happening in Burundi is that multinational corporations are seeking to create a failed state — as they did previously in the Congo — in order to plunder the resources of the region. Avaaz*, an NGO co-founded by Perriello, has called on the UN, US and EU to send in the troops–much like it did in Libya and Syria.

*Avaaz was initially funded in 2006 by George Soros (a currency speculator convicted of insider-trading) through his Open Society Institute.

 

Further reading: Avaaz Hones In On Burundi as Next U.S. Fait Accompli:

http://www.wrongkindofgreen.org/2015/11/18/avaaz-hones-in-on-burundi-as-next-u-s-fait-accompli/

avaazkilllhashtag

Avaaz Hones In On Burundi as Next U.S. Fait Accompli

Wrong Kind of Green

November 18, 2015

By Cory Morningstar and Forrest Palmer

Beautifu Burundi

Beautiful Burundi, “the Beating Heart of Africa” is situated almost in the centre of Africa with a shape like a heart. It’s located between Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Burundi is home to the Lake Tanganyika which is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia.

United Nations Development Program Press Release, October 30, 2012: “The normalization of political life has been a remarkable achievement in Burundi, said Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Burundi. Burundi’s remarkable development achievements are coming just seven years after the civil war ended… free, fair and peaceful elections took place in 2005 and 2010 and safety and security has been reinforced across the entire national territory.”

“Burundi holds 6 percent of the world’s nickel reserves, with Musongati ranked as one of the 10 largest known deposits of the metal that have yet to be developed… The East African nation produces small amounts of tantalum, gold, limestone, niobium, tin and tungsten and also has deposits of copper, the U.S. Geological Survey says on its website.” [Bloomberg Business, June 23, 2014]

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avaaz burundi

Above: Avaaz Burundi campaign echos the organizations previous campaigns calling for immediate sanctions and interventions in both Libya and Syria while simultaneously demonizing the leaders of the targeted countries for destabilization. From the petition: “But there’s time to stop another tragedy, if we intervene right now.” [emphasis in original] [Source]

Avaaz Co-Founder Tom Perriello

On July 6, 2015 it was announced by the U.S. State Department that Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello would be fulfilling his role for the expansion of U.S. imperialism as special envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the Congo-Kinshasa:

“Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) will serve as the Obama administration’s special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, an appointment that covers Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.”

November 6, 2015:

“He will communicate the U.S. government’s alarm at violence by government and non-government actors inside of Burundi, and the recent dangerous rhetoric by the Burundian government…” [U.S. Department of State Press Release: Special Envoy Thomas Perriello’s Travel to Burundi and the Great Lakes Region, Source]

 

obomberandtom

U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and (former) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. “Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]

Tom P and Kagame

Above: “Butcher of the Great Lakes” President of Rwanda Paul Kagame with Tom Perriello, US Special Envoy for Great Lakes Region – Kigali, August 19, 2015 [Photo Source]

Mineral Wealth and Political Leverage

Power 1

Intimate relations: President Obama with his National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, June 5, 2013. From 2005-2006 Power worked in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama as a foreign policy fellow, where she was credited with sparking and directing Obama’s interest in the Darfur conflict. [Source: Rolling Stone]

Nov 8, 2015: Will the West Create its Next Failed State in Burundi?

‘After Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ultimatum to insurrectionists to lay down their arms, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, and the International Crisis Group, a think tank headed by Western military, government and corporate officials, warned of massacres like those in Rwanda in 1994. In contrast, Charles Kambanda, Rwandan American attorney and former professor at the National University of Rwanda, describes the conflict as political and its larger context as an East/West power struggle for resources.

 

Charles Kambanda: What is really happening in Burundi is no different than what happened in DRC, in Congo. We have these multinational corporations, Western corporations, fighting for natural resources in that region. The best way for these companies to conquer these natural resources is to create a situation where no government is in control. Burundi is now known for a type of natural resource called nickel and they say six percent of the world’s nickel is in Burundi. And if we want to remember the geography of that region, Burundi borders with Congo, and Congo, the other side, is so rich in minerals. So we have these corporations fighting to control Burundi, to create a failed state in Burundi, so that they can get involved in illegal business in that region.” [Source]

The role of Avaaz, Purpose Inc. (the for-profit PR arm of Avaaz), and Avaaz co-founders in U.S./E.U. led destabilizations/invasions across the globe is now extensively documented. Burundi serves as a rinse, rather, repeat performance, only with far less notoriety/interest.

 

Video: April 11, 2015: Démonstration de force en faveur du 3ème mandat de Nkurunziza. Massive and entirely peaceful demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of government supporters have been completely ignored. [Source]

May 16, 2015, Are the US and the EU Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi?

“The US-funded media disinformation campaign is part of the prelude to the mobilization of street protests against the government that can be presented to the world as a ‘popular uprising’against a ‘dictator’ who is ‘killing his own people’ It is a techinique that has been perfected by US ‘democracy’and ‘civil society’ NGOS….

 

In the case of Burundi, the African Union should have denounced the diabolical terrorist and media disinformation campaign against a young democratic country which has just emerged from a civil war. The fact that they did not shows that they have sided with the enemies of Africa. It is hardly surprising that truly independent, post-colonial countries such as Eritrea will have nothing to do with the sham called the African Union.”[Source]

October 3, 2015, Burundi Accuses Rwanda of Training Rebels for Cross Border Attacks

Kagame and his team want to provoke a genocide in Burundi: “Kagame and his team want to provoke a genocide in Burundi in order to put in power in Burundi the same group as the group which is in Rwanda. Everybody can see that. It is not complicated to see…. this would be the fourth Hutu president assassinated in this region since 1993.”  [Source]

Feb 21, 2014: U.S. State Department announces Perriello’s departure from the Center for American Progress:

“Former Rep. Tom Perriello is leaving the Center for American Progress to head the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and development Review, which analyzes U.S. diplomatic and development efforts abroad.”

 

Turns out Perriello,  and Secretary of State John F. Kerry go back a long way. Perriello, then a 22-year-old, worked on Kerry’s 1996 Senate campaign, working on getting out the environmental vote. Seems they began private talks nearly a year ago about Perriello’s coming over to the State Department. [Source]

While Avaaz stokes the fear of “another Rwanda” it is critical to note the role of the Center for American Progress to which Perriello recently served as both president and CEO, in the Rwandan Genocide. ” The simple tale of good and evil was told to the world by Samantha Power” [Source: The Deluge Film Press Release]

 

 

Human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow, describing the U.S. Center for American Progress and its use of propaganda in portraying Africa in order to protect and further U.S. interests/ foreign policy objectives. Within the lecture, Snow discusses the psyops/propaganda strategically orchestrated behind the “Save Darfur” campaigns/movements which, in 2004, began to saturate the populace. At the helm of this “movement” was “The Center for American Progress”.

The Center for American Progress, is closely connected with the same players that founded and financed Avaaz. Today, with Avaaz at the forefront, the non-profit industrial complex has been appointed trusted messenger of a grotesque and disturbing ideology; nothing less than a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect”.

 

December 29, 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on “building the movement infrastructure” and “objectives, strategies and core issues.”

Res Publica was founded by Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda.

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, MoveOn.org, Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose) who is the spouse of Woodhouse. Both Madden and Woodhouse took up residence in Burma [Myanmar] [March 23, 2013: Western Media Celebrates Faux Progress in Myanmar] Madden has co-founded a marketing firm, Parami Road in Myanmar: “Our clients are mostly international companies entering Myanmar and they demand an international standard of work.”

Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello served as president and CEO of Center for American Progress from December 2011 to  to February 2014.

Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004.

“DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organizations funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation.

Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose — to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with exception of one located in London England, all of the entities involved are American and based on US soil. [Source]

Empire is Closing on on Burundi

Today the Obama administration is frothing at the mouth over the imperial capture of Burundi.

November 15, 2015:

Samantha Power Tweet

To view video, click above screenshot.

The Deluge is a film in progress, undertaken to reveal the truth about invasions, insurgencies, and civil wars that have engulfed the Great Lakes Region of Africa, most of all Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the past 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebel Groups In Africa, How Are They Funded?

January 9, 2013,

Honourable Saka

Project Pan Africa

 

“It is high time Africans begun finding answers to some of these questions. Until then, let us pretend we have no idea and continue to stay unconcerned and watch while these rebel groups gradually take over our once peaceful continent, and spread the chaos, instability, wars and many more wars across Africa.”

SPECIAL REPORT: EXPOSING U.S. AGENTS OF LOW-INTENSITY WARFARE IN AFRICA

The “Policy Wonks” Behind Covert Warfare & Humanitarian Fascism

August 8, 2012
by Keith Harmon Snow

Conscious Being Alliance

This special report includes three unpublished video clips of interviewees from the Politics of Genocide documentary film project: Ugandan dignitary Remigius Kintu, former Rwandan prime minister Fautisn Twagiramungu, and Nobel peace prize nominee Juan Carrero Saralegui.

               From the 1980s to today, an elite group of Western intelligence operatives have backed low-intensity guerrilla warfare in certain African ‘hotspots’.  Mass atrocities in the Great Lakes and Sudan can be linked to Roger Winter, a pivotal U.S. operative whose ‘team’ was recently applauded for birthing the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.  Behind the fairytale we find a long trail of blood and skeletons from Uganda to Sudan, Rwanda and Congo.  While the mass media has covered their tracks, their misplaced moralism has simultaneously helped birth a new left-liberal ‘humanitarian’ fascism.  In this falsification of consciousness, Western human rights crusaders and organizations, funded by governments, multinational corporations and private donors, cheer the killers and blame the victims—and pat themselves on the back for saving Africa from itself.  Meanwhile, the “Arab Spring” has spread to (north) Sudan.  Following the NATO-Israeli model of regime change being used in Central & North Africa, it won’t be long before the fall of Khartoum. 

SPLA tank South Sudan LR.jpg

SPLA Tank in South Sudan: An old SPLA army tank sits in the bush in Pochalla, Jonglei State, south Sudan in 2004.  Israel, the United States, Britain and Norway have been the main suppliers of the covert low-intensity war in Sudan, organized by gunrunners and policy ‘wonks’.  Photo c. keith harmon snow, 2004.


It is, oh! such a happy fairy tale!  It begins as all happy fairy tales do, in fantasy land.  The fantasy is one of human rights princes and policy ‘wonks’ in shining armor and the new kingdom of peace and tranquility, democracy and human rights, that they have created.  That is what the United States foreign policy establishment and the corporate mass media—and not a few so-called ‘human rights activists’—would have us believe about the genesis of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.

“In the mid-1980s, a small band of policy wonks began convening for lunch in the back corner of a dimly lit Italian bistro in the U.S. capital,” wrote Rebecca Hamilton in the recent fairytale: “The Wonks Who Sold Washington on South Sudan.”  Hamilton is a budding think-tank activist-advocate-agent whose whitewash of the low intensity war for Sudan (and some Western architects of it), distilled from her book Fighting for Darfur, was splashed all over the Western press on 11 July 2012. [1]

The photos accompanying Hamilton’s story show a happy fraternity of ‘wonks’—what exactly is a ‘wonk’?—obviously being your usual down-jacket, beer- and coffee-slurping American citizens from white America, with a token black man thrown in to change the complexion of this Africa story.  Their cups are white and clean, their cars are shiny and new, their convivial smiles are almost convincing.  There is even a flag of the new country just sort of floating across Eric Reeves’ hip.

Because of Dr. Reeves’  ‘anti-genocide’ work in Sudan, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe has written that the Smith College English professor is “arrogant to the point of contempt.”  (I have had a similar though much more personal experience of Dr. Reeves’ petulance.)

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“John Prendergast (L-R), Eric Reeves, Brian D’Silva, Ted Dagne and Roger Miller [sic]—pose for a photograph in this undated image provided to Reuters by John Prendergast,” reads the original Reuters syndicated news caption for the posed image of the Council of Wonks.  (U.S. intelligence & defense operative Roger Winter is misidentified as “Roger Miller”.)

The story and its photos project the image of casual, ordinary people who, we are led to believe, did heroic and superhuman things.  What a bunch of happy-go-lucky wonks!  Excuse me: policy wonks!  And their bellies are presumably warmed by that fresh Starbucks ‘fair trade’ genocide coffee shipped straight from the killing fields of post-genocide [sic] Rwanda… where, coincidentally, Starbucks reportedly cut a profit of more than a few million dollars in 2011.

This is a tale of dark knights, of covert operators and spies aligned with the cult of intelligence in the United States.  Operating in secrecy and denial within the U.S. intelligence and defense establishment, they have helped engineer more than two decades of low intensity warfare in Sudan (alone), replete with massive suffering and a death toll of between 1.5 and 3 million Sudanese casualties—using their own fluctuating statistics on mortality—and millions upon millions of casualties in the Great Lakes of Africa.

Behind the fantasy is a very real tale of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocides real and alleged, and mass atrocities covered up by these National Security agents with the aid of a not-so-ordinary English professor—their one-man Ministry of Disinformation—Dr. Eric Reeves.

The White Savior Industrial Complex

Teju Cole – Teju Cole is the author of Open City, which won this year’s PEN/Hemingway Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Mar 21 2012

The Atlantic

If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.

tc mar20 p.jpg

Left, Invisible Children’s Jason Russell. Right, a protest leader in Lagos, Nigeria / Facebook, AP

 

Aweek and a half ago, I watched the Kony2012 video. Afterward, I wrote a brief seven-part response, which I posted in sequence on my Twitter account:

1- From Sachs to Kristof to Invisible Children to TED, the fastest growth industry in the US is the White Savior Industrial Complex.

2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.

3- The banality of evil transmutes into the banality of sentimentality. The world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm.

4- This world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.

5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.

6- Feverish worry over that awful African warlord. But close to 1.5 million Iraqis died from an American war of choice. Worry about that.

7- I deeply respect American sentimentality, the way one respects a wounded hippo. You must keep an eye on it, for you know it is deadly.

These tweets were retweeted, forwarded, and widely shared by readers. They migrated beyond Twitter to blogs, Tumblr, Facebook, and other sites; I’m told they generated fierce arguments. As the days went by, the tweets were reproduced in their entirety on the websites of the Atlantic and the New York Times, and they showed up on German, Spanish, and Portuguese sites. A friend emailed to tell me that the fourth tweet, which cheekily name-checks Oprah, was mentioned on Fox television.

These sentences of mine, written without much premeditation, had touched a nerve. I heard back from many people who were grateful to have read them. I heard back from many others who were disappointed or furious. Many people, too many to count, called me a racist. One person likened me to the Mau Mau. The Atlantic writer who’d reproduced them, while agreeing with my broader points, described the language in which they were expressed as “resentment.”

This weekend, I listened to a radio interview given by the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nicholas Kristof. Kristof is best known for his regular column in the New York Times in which he often gives accounts of his activism or that of other Westerners. When I saw the Kony 2012 video, I found it tonally similar to Kristof’s approach, and that was why I mentioned him in the first of my seven tweets.

Those tweets, though unpremeditated, were intentional in their irony and seriousness. I did not write them to score cheap points, much less to hurt anyone’s feelings. I believed that a certain kind of language is too infrequently seen in our public discourse. I am a novelist. I traffic in subtleties, and my goal in writing a novel is to leave the reader not knowing what to think. A good novel shouldn’t have a point.

But there’s a place in the political sphere for direct speech and, in the past few years in the U.S., there has been a chilling effect on a certain kind of direct speech pertaining to rights. The president is wary of being seen as the “angry black man.” People of color, women, and gays — who now have greater access to the centers of influence that ever before — are under pressure to be well-behaved when talking about their struggles. There is an expectation that we can talk about sins but no one must be identified as a sinner: newspapers love to describe words or deeds as “racially charged” even in those cases when it would be more honest to say “racist”; we agree that there is rampant misogyny, but misogynists are nowhere to be found; homophobia is a problem but no one is homophobic. One cumulative effect of this policed language is that when someone dares to point out something as obvious as white privilege, it is seen as unduly provocative. Marginalized voices in America have fewer and fewer avenues to speak plainly about what they suffer; the effect of this enforced civility is that those voices are falsified or blocked entirely from the discourse.

It’s only in the context of this neutered language that my rather tame tweets can be seen as extreme. The interviewer on the radio show I listened to asked Kristof if he had heard of me. “Of course,” he said. She asked him what he made of my criticisms. His answer was considered and genial, but what he said worried me more than an angry outburst would have:

There has been a real discomfort and backlash among middle-class educated Africans, Ugandans in particular in this case, but people more broadly, about having Africa as they see it defined by a warlord who does particularly brutal things, and about the perception that Americans are going to ride in on a white horse and resolve it. To me though, it seems even more uncomfortable to think that we as white Americans should not intervene in a humanitarian disaster because the victims are of a different skin color.

Here are some of the “middle-class educated Africans” Kristof, whether he is familiar with all of them and their work or not, chose to take issue with: Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire, who covered the Lord’s Resistance Army in 2005 and made an eloquent video response to Kony 2012; Ugandan scholar Mahmood Mamdani, one of the world’s leading specialists on Uganda and the author of a thorough riposte to the political wrong-headedness of Invisible Children; and Ethiopian-American novelist Dinaw Mengestu, who sought out Joseph Kony, met his lieutenants, and recently wrote a brilliant essay about how Kony 2012 gets the issues wrong. They have a different take on what Kristof calls a “humanitarian disaster,” and this may be because they see the larger disasters behind it: militarization of poorer countries, short-sighted agricultural policies, resource extraction, the propping up of corrupt governments, and the astonishing complexity of long-running violent conflicts over a wide and varied terrain.

I want to tread carefully here: I do not accuse Kristof of racism nor do I believe he is in any way racist. I have no doubt that he has a good heart. Listening to him on the radio, I began to think we could iron the whole thing out over a couple of beers. But that, precisely, is what worries me. That is what made me compare American sentimentality to a “wounded hippo.” His good heart does not always allow him to think constellationally. He does not connect the dots or see the patterns of power behind the isolated “disasters.” All he sees are hungry mouths, and he, in his own advocacy-by-journalism way, is putting food in those mouths as fast as he can. All he sees is need, and he sees no need to reason out the need for the need.

But I disagree with the approach taken by Invisible Children in particular, and by the White Savior Industrial Complex in general, because there is much more to doing good work than “making a difference.” There is the principle of first do no harm. There is the idea that those who are being helped ought to be consulted over the matters that concern them.

I write all this from multiple positions. I write as an African, a black man living in America. I am every day subject to the many microaggressions of American racism. I also write this as an American, enjoying the many privileges that the American passport affords and that residence in this country makes possible. I involve myself in this critique of privilege: my own privileges of class, gender, and sexuality are insufficiently examined. My cell phone was likely manufactured by poorly treated workers in a Chinese factory. The coltan in the phone can probably be traced to the conflict-riven Congo. I don’t fool myself that I am not implicated in these transnational networks of oppressive practices.

And I also write all this as a novelist and story-writer: I am sensitive to the power of narratives. When Jason Russell, narrator of the Kony 2012 video, showed his cheerful blonde toddler a photo of Joseph Kony as the embodiment of evil (a glowering dark man), and of his friend Jacob as the representative of helplessness (a sweet-faced African), I wondered how Russell’s little boy would develop a nuanced sense of the lives of others, particularly others of a different race from his own. How would that little boy come to understand that others have autonomy; that their right to life is not exclusive of a right to self-respect? In a different context, John Berger once wrote, “A singer may be innocent; never the song.”

What Africa needs more pressingly than Kony’s indictment is more equitable civil society, more robust democracy, and a fairer system of justice.

One song we hear too often is the one in which Africa serves as a backdrop for white fantasies of conquest and heroism. From the colonial project to Out of Africa to The Constant Gardener and Kony 2012, Africa has provided a space onto which white egos can conveniently be projected. It is a liberated space in which the usual rules do not apply: a nobody from America or Europe can go to Africa and become a godlike savior or, at the very least, have his or her emotional needs satisfied. Many have done it under the banner of “making a difference.” To state this obvious and well-attested truth does not make me a racist or a Mau Mau. It does give me away as an “educated middle-class African,” and I plead guilty as charged. (It is also worth noting that there are other educated middle-class Africans who see this matter differently from me. That is what people, educated and otherwise, do: they assess information and sometimes disagree with each other.)

In any case, Kristof and I are in profound agreement about one thing: there is much happening in many parts of the African continent that is not as it ought to be. I have been fortunate in life, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t seen or experienced African poverty first-hand. I grew up in a land of military coups and economically devastating, IMF-imposed “structural adjustment” programs. The genuine hurt of Africa is no fiction.

And we also agree on something else: that there is an internal ethical urge that demands that each of us serve justice as much as he or she can. But beyond the immediate attention that he rightly pays hungry mouths, child soldiers, or raped civilians, there are more complex and more widespread problems. There are serious problems of governance, of infrastructure, of democracy, and of law and order. These problems are neither simple in themselves nor are they reducible to slogans. Such problems are both intricate and intensely local.

How, for example, could a well-meaning American “help” a place like Uganda today? It begins, I believe, with some humility with regards to the people in those places. It begins with some respect for the agency of the people of Uganda in their own lives. A great deal of work had been done, and continues to be done, by Ugandans to improve their own country, and ignorant comments (I’ve seen many) about how “we have to save them because they can’t save themselves” can’t change that fact.

Let me draw into this discussion an example from an African country I know very well. Earlier this year, hundreds of thousands of Nigerians took to their country’s streets to protest the government’s decision to remove a subsidy on petrol. This subsidy was widely seen as one of the few blessings of the country’s otherwise catastrophic oil wealth. But what made these protests so heartening is that they were about more than the subsidy removal. Nigeria has one of the most corrupt governments in the world and protesters clearly demanded that something be done about this. The protests went on for days, at considerable personal risk to the protesters. Several young people were shot dead, and the movement was eventually doused when union leaders capitulated and the army deployed on the streets. The movement did not “succeed” in conventional terms. But something important had changed in the political consciousness of the Nigerian populace. For me and for a number of people I know, the protests gave us an opportunity to be proud of Nigeria, many of us for the first time in our lives.

This is not the sort of story that is easy to summarize in an article, much less make a viral video about. After all, there is no simple demand to be made and — since corruption is endemic — no single villain to topple. There is certainly no “bridge character,” Kristof’s euphemism for white saviors in Third World narratives who make the story more palatable to American viewers. And yet, the story of Nigeria’s protest movement is one of the most important from sub-Saharan Africa so far this year. Men and women, of all classes and ages, stood up for what they felt was right; they marched peacefully; they defended each other, and gave each other food and drink; Christians stood guard while Muslims prayed and vice-versa; and they spoke without fear to their leaders about the kind of country they wanted to see. All of it happened with no cool American 20-something heroes in sight.

Joseph Kony is no longer in Uganda and he is no longer the threat he was, but he is a convenient villain for those who need a convenient villain. What Africa needs more pressingly than Kony’s indictment is more equitable civil society, more robust democracy, and a fairer system of justice. This is the scaffolding from which infrastructure, security, healthcare, and education can be built. How do we encourage voices like those of the Nigerian masses who marched this January, or those who are engaged in the struggle to develop Ugandan democracy?

If Americans want to care about Africa, maybe they should consider evaluating American foreign policy, which they already play a direct role in through elections, before they impose themselves on Africa itself. The fact of the matter is that Nigeria is one of the top five oil suppliers to the U.S., and American policy is interested first and foremost in the flow of that oil. The American government did not see fit to support the Nigeria protests. (Though the State Department issued a supportive statement — “our view on that is that the Nigerian people have the right to peaceful protest, we want to see them protest peacefully, and we’re also urging the Nigerian security services to respect the right of popular protest and conduct themselves professionally in dealing with the strikes” — it reeked of boilerplate rhetoric and, unsurprisingly, nothing tangible came of it.) This was as expected; under the banner of “American interests,” the oil comes first. Under that same banner, the livelihood of corn farmers in Mexico has been destroyed by NAFTA. Haitian rice farmers have suffered appalling losses due to Haiti being flooded with subsidized American rice. A nightmare has been playing out in Honduras in the past three years: an American-backed coup and American militarization of that country have contributed to a conflict in which hundreds of activists and journalists have already been murdered. The Egyptian military, which is now suppressing the country’s once-hopeful movement for democracy and killing dozens of activists in the process, subsists on $1.3 billion in annual U.S. aid. This is a litany that will be familiar to some. To others, it will be news. But, familiar or not, it has a bearing on our notions of innocence and our right to “help.”

Let us begin our activism right here: with the money-driven villainy at the heart of American foreign policy. To do this would be to give up the illusion that the sentimental need to “make a difference” trumps all other considerations. What innocent heroes don’t always understand is that they play a useful role for people who have much more cynical motives. The White Savior Industrial Complex is a valve for releasing the unbearable pressures that build in a system built on pillage. We can participate in the economic destruction of Haiti over long years, but when the earthquake strikes it feels good to send $10 each to the rescue fund. I have no opposition, in principle, to such donations (I frequently make them myself), but we must do such things only with awareness of what else is involved. If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.

Success for Kony 2012 would mean increased militarization of the anti-democratic Yoweri Museveni government, which has been in power in Uganda since 1986 and has played a major role in the world’s deadliest ongoing conflict, the war in the Congo. But those whom privilege allows to deny constellational thinking would enjoy ignoring this fact. There are other troubling connections, not least of them being that Museveni appears to be a U.S. proxy in its shadowy battles against militants in Sudan and, especially, in Somalia. Who sanctions these conflicts? Under whose authority and oversight are they conducted? Who is being killed and why?

All of this takes us rather far afield from fresh-faced young Americans using the power of YouTube, Facebook, and pure enthusiasm to change the world. A singer may be innocent; never the song.

The KONY 2012 Campaign: A Tool to Advance the Call from “Civil Society” NGOs Who Have Urged Obama to Send “Military Advisors” to Uganda

updated March 11, 2012+++

+++“Mark Kersten from Justice in Conflict says Uganda’s recently-discovered oil reserves, “may produce between 2.5 billion to 6 billion barrels of oil. This oil is suddenly directly linked to the country’s security”, (cited by RT). Of course we understand that the US has never intervened in a country where there is no economic or military benefit.”

+++Check this out: Top left corner:

Mar 09, 2012

U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

FACT SHEET:

U.S. Military Support to African Efforts to Counter the Lord’s Resistance Army

http://www.africom.mil/

PDF:

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7698&lang=0

March 8, 2012
The UK Political activist and artist Lowkey, is dead-on in his assessment regarding the KONY 2012 video “sensation”:

This KONY 2012 youtube frenzy is US State Department propaganda. This is ALL about expanding AFRICOM. YOU ARE BEING MANIPULATED. 2012 scramble for Africa.

 

This “KONY 2012” campaign is asking for MORE US troops to be sent into Africa. Look up AFRICOM and understand what this is part of. Your consent is being manufactured. Wake up!

 

When people are posting groups on this page calling for US troops to be moved from Afghanistan to Africa, then you know consent is being manufactured. This has more to do with attempting to combat the rise of China than arresting anybody. NO TO AFRICOM.

 

“[KONY 2012 is] Essentially putting forward a military fist but covering it up with the velvet glove of humanitarianism and development” KONY 2012 = AFRICOM”

 

KONY2012 AND THE IMPERIALIST SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA

Lizzie Phelan Blog

March 7, 2012

Samira Musa

Tweet what you will, but I find the sudden interest which sparked the #KONY2012 and #STOPKONY trends on Twitter both extremely suspicious and slightly patronising. The former, because of what this ‘discovery’ of child soldiers implicates for Africa in the long run, in particular, East Africa which has become a region of political importance with Britain planning to intervene in Somalia and the latter because this is not the first case of its kind. It is also rather distressing for me, as an African, to see my continent suddenly become a bandwagon and finally be of relevance after centuries of injustices being born there. Africa has been raped, murdered and pillaged by the West since the slave trade and has continued to be right up until this Kony malarkey so it begs the question – why do the West care? Did they care about Africans when they dragged us on bloody feet and chains and made our ancestors their slaves? Did they care when their companies illegally dumped nuclear waste on Somali shores? Or perhaps they cared deeply about the Coltan rush in the Congo?

I understand that to some, this video may be a shock, but to many it isn’t. It does not make it any less disheartening and disgusting but the message we should be sending is that ALL injustices are wrong, not the few that have the potential of justifying another Scramble for Africa because of its geographical or political relevance in a world that is slowly but surely being knocked down by the West in their plan to destabilise the Global South. And even if they are wrong, it gives no moral justification to any Western involvement because we all know what the outcome of such a mission will be. It will be Iraq, Libya and Syria. And civilians’ blood will be on the hands of all of those who called for this. I also find it astonishing that there is a genuine consensus in this country and in the West in general that *we* are somehow superiorly able to impose *our* military presence and our values on another people. This Western supremacist idea is not only foundationally ignorant and patronising but used as a tool to manufacture the consent of such adventures of governments and this should be challenged constantly.

Of course Kony is a dodgy and evil character, but surely we should have been able to a) know this before it became a trending topic on Twitter and b) been able to accept this WHILST also challenging the stance of groups such as Invisible Children who have been involved in very dubious business from the start. An organisation that has ‘direct military intervention’ as one of its aims is certainly one that should not be fronting this campaign or any other which involves Africa. Awareness is always a positive thing but this issue is way too complex and complicated than simply watching a thirty minute video or using a hashtag on social media. However, it is also simply not enough to sit on a fence and say that raising awareness for THIS particular campaign is your sole purpose without acknowledging the implications of your approval for “just anything to be done to save the poor African children!” (suggesting therefore assenting to Western involvement.) If you really care about Africa I suggest you rewire your brain into understanding how Europe and America actually underdeveloped Africa instead of jumping on bandwagons with no real comprehension of historical relations between the West and Africa. Unfortunately, there are no cleverly put together emotional videos on that which have worldwide attention as of yet.

Again, if you cannot see this timely campaign as a ploy and tactic to further destabilise Africa in order to pursue and maintain their interests as an imperial and colonial entity as well as to excuse and defend another Scramble for Africa then you, my friend, are very silly and probably shouldn’t be reading this. We never seem to learn from history and are constantly looking to the future for questions that have already been answered. The ‘poor little black kids’ don’t really need you to save them, as without you, they probably could have saved themselves.

Flashback to November 11, 2011 | Via Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch was integral in opening the door to the Imperialist, NATO-led invasion on Libya. Watch:”LIBYA Humanitarian War: The Role Of NED-Linked NGOs Using Fake Evidence For War Now Targeting Syria”: Video

Letter to President Barack Obama From Civil Society Representatives in LRA-affected areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and South Sudan

20 civil society groups in northern Congo, Central African Republic, and South Sudan write to President Obama, in regards to the announcement by the Obama administration to send 100  military advisors to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).This is not a letter from Human Rights Watch, but we believe it is particularly powerful.Dear President Barack Obama,We, the civil society representatives of Haut and Bas Uele districts in northern Democratic Republic of Congo, Western Equatoria State in South Sudan, and Mbomou and Haut Mbomou prefectures of the Central African Republic, appreciate the announcement by your administration to send 100 well-equipped military advisors to counter the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) menace in the region we live in and to help protect civilians. We also appreciate the LRA bill that was signed into law by your administration. Your efforts have given us hope that our dream of living without the threat of the LRA might come true.Yet we can only truly rejoice when the LRA threat is over and when we hear that Joseph Kony is no longer terrorizing our region. We have suffered too much and we are tired of living in total insecurity – afraid to go to our fields to farm and unsure when or where the rebels may surface again. We don’t know whether our children who were abducted by the LRA will ever come back home. You cannot imagine the pain in our hearts at the thought we might not see our children again.We write to you today to ask you to make special efforts on the issues outlined below which we believe are crucial to help end the LRA threat and provide protection and assistance to our communities.Regional Cooperation to protect civilians and end the LRA threat
We fear that the goodwill shown by the American government will only be effective if our own governments recognize the ongoing LRA threat in our countries and fully commit to meaningful and active cooperation in efforts to protect civilians and end the LRA threat.We feel that our own governments have abandoned and forgotten us, and it only discourages us further when we hear statements from our elected leaders that the LRA is no longer a threat. In Congo, senior government and military commanders deny the existence of the LRA and have made calls for the Ugandan army to end operations against the LRA in Congo; some Ugandan army units have already been pushed out of Congo. In Central African Republic, our government has other priorities and has failed to support or protect the population of the eastern Mbomou region as we continue to live with the LRA scourge. In South Sudan, the local government of Western Equatoria State has shown an interest in supporting efforts to end the LRA threat, yet we have seen no commitment from our new national government to address the problem and support populations in the affected areas.We urge you to use all available channels of diplomacy to pressure our governments to recognize the LRA threat and to make addressing the problem one of their top priorities.Greater Civilian ProtectionYour administration’s action should also include a practical solution for civilian protection, in order to avoid a repeat of what happened following the launch of Operation Lightning Thunder, when nearly 1,000 people were brutally massacred during the Christmas period in 2008, just after the failed assault on the LRA’s main base in Garamba National Park. Since those attacks, thousands of our brothers, sisters, parents, and children have been abducted, killed, raped, and maimed by Joseph Kony’s LRA.We would like to call your attention, in particular, to the continued lack of protection in Bas Uele district, northern Congo, and in most parts of eastern Central African Republic, where we continue to suffer some of the worst LRA attacks and where, to date, there is no international peacekeeping presence. Because of the poor roads and lack of communication in these areas, it often takes weeks or months before attacks are reported, and some attacks have never been reported at all.

On September 29, for example, about 15 LRA combatants suspected to be in the same group as LRA leader Joseph Kony attacked the village of Lingou, near Derbissaka, in CAR, killing the village chief and abducting three men. Four nearby villages were abandoned after the attack, as people fled in fear. Civilians in this remote region have no protection from LRA attacks, and often no means of communicating with others to call for help.

Improved collaboration and information sharing among the different actors and the local communities in the affected region is critical. Early warning systems have been put in place in many of our communities. We ask you to ensure they are everywhere they need to be. In particular, we ask you to help ensure that telephone networks are set up in the areas affected by the LRA and that efforts are made to improve the road infrastructure in our regions.

Supporting Well-Disciplined, Responsible National Armies

Our national armies are also in need of support. We would like to recognize the positive impact of the training the US has already provided to one Congolese army battalion operating in the LRA-affected area, and we hope you can provide training for additional units, and commanding officers, of the regional armies that will take part in counter-LRA operations, as well as additional logistical support.

Too often, the soldiers of our national armies have resorted to killing, raping, and looting civilians, making them a threat to the populations they’re supposed to be protecting. Lacking communications, transport, and ammunition, our soldiers are often forced to flee with the population when the LRA attacks. We hope you can help ensure that our national armies send only well-trained, well-equipped, and disciplined forces and commanding officers to protect civilians in the LRA-affected areas. Those responsible for abuses should be held to account.

Demobilization and Rehabilitation

We also urge you to support efforts to expand LRA sensitization and demobilization efforts throughout the affected region, especially in CAR, and long-term rehabilitation assistance to returnees and ex-combatants.

Please help regional governments and communities ensure that recovery programs similar to those instituted in northern Uganda are also introduced in the three currently affected countries.Existing rehabilitation centers in Yambio, South Sudan, and a new pilot center in Dungu, Congo, should be strengthened, and a similar rehabilitation center should be established in CAR. Local associations in more remote villages should be trained and supported to conduct long-term follow-up with returnees after they return to their homes, including psychosocial support, family mediation, education support, and economic reinsertion into their communities.

We also urge you to work with other actors to help ensure that children who escape from the LRA make it back to their home communities as quickly as possible. Lastly, we hope you can support community funds to rebuild towns or villages attacked by the LRA, such as repairing schools, hospitals and other infrastructure which may have been destroyed.

Of all that we ask of you, what we want the most is an end to these LRA atrocities. Our communities are traumatized, and we have never before in our region experienced such levels of fear, loss, and suffering. We want to end the LRA problem so we can finally return to our normal lives.

Your Excellency, we know that your intervention can help to bring an end to the LRA insurgency, since Joseph Kony and his brutalities, especially against children, are an affront to all of humanity. We thank you again for the support you have already shown us, and we urge you to remain with us until the LRA threat and its devastating consequences are resolved once and for all.

Yours sincerely,

1.         Association africaine de défense des droits de l’homme (ASADHO), Kinshasa, RDC
2.         Association des victimes de la LRA, Obo, RCA
3.         Association Zereda, Obo, RCA
4.         Commission Diocésaine pour la Justice et la Paix (CDJP), Dungu, Haut Uélé, RDC
5.         Commission Diocésaine pour la Justice et la Paix (CDJP), Duru, Haut Uélé, RDC
6.         Commission Diocésaine pour la Justice et la Paix (CDJP), Ngilima, Haut Uélé, RDC
7.         Commission Paroissiale pour la Justice et la Paix (CPJP), Bangadi, RDC
8.         Communauté des Églises Évangéliques en Centrafrique (CEEC), Zemio, RCA
9.         ECS Nzara Diocese, Yambio, South Sudan
10.       Justice and Peace Commission, Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan
11.       Société civile d’Ango (SOCIDA), Bas Uélé, RDC
12.       Société civile de Doruma, Haut Uélé, RDC
13.       Société civile de Faradje, Haut Uélé, RDC
14.       Société civile de la Chefferie Mopoy (SOCICOMO), Banda, Bas Uélé, RDC
15.       Société civile de Poko (SOCIPO), Bas Uélé, RDC
16.       Solidarité et Assistance Intégrale aux Personnes Démunies (SAIPED), Dungu, RDC
17.       Traumatisme blessure du Cœur, Zemio, RCA
18.       Union des Jeunes de Doruma pour le Loisirs (UJDL), Doruma, Haut Uélé, RDC
19.       Union of Journalists of South Sudan, Yambio, South Sudan
20.       Unity Is Strength, Yambio, South Sudan

http://www.hrw.org/news/2011/11/11/letter-president-barack-obama-civil-society-representatives-lra-affected-areas-democ

FLASHBACK TO OCTOBER 20, 2011: The Son of Africa claims a continent’s crown jewels

On 20 October, 2011 award winning journalist Jon Pilger published the article titled “The Son of Africa claims a continent’s crown jewels”. Excerpts:

 

On 14 October, President Barack Obama announced he was sending United States special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only “engage” for “self-defence”, says Obama, satirically. With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way. …

 

In Africa, says Obama, the “humanitarian mission” is to assist the government of Uganda defeat the Lord’s resistance Army (LRA), which “has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa”. This is an accurate description of the LRA, evoking multiple atrocities administered by the United States, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa’s most venal tyrant.

 

Obama’s other justification also invites satire. This is the “national security of the United States”. The LRA has been doing its nasty work for 24 years, of minimal interest to the United States. Today, it has few than 400 fighters and has never been weaker. However, US “national security” usually means buying a corrupt and thuggish regime that has something Washington wants. Uganda’s “president-for-life” Yoweri Museveni already receives the larger part of $45 million in US military “aid” – including Obama’s favourite drones. This is his bribe to fight a proxy war against America’s latest phantom Islamic enemy, the rag-tag al Shabaab group based in Somalia. The RTA will play a public relations role, distracting western journalists with its perennial horror stories. …

 

The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the “scramble for Africa” at the end of the 19th century.

 

Like the “victory” in Iraq, journalists have played a critical role in dividing Libyans into worthy and unworthy victims. A recent Guardian front page carried a photograph of a terrified “pro-Gaddafi” fighter and his wild-eyed captors who, says the caption, “celebrate”. According to General Petraeus, there is now a war “of perception… conducted continuously through the news media”.

 

For more than a decade the US has tried to establish a command on the continent of Africa, AFRICOM, but has been rebuffed by governments, fearful of the regional tensions this would cause. Libya, and now Uganda, South Sudan and Congo,  provide the main chance. As WikiLeaks cables and the US National Strategy for Counter-terrorism reveal, American plans for Africa are part of a global design in which 60,000 special forces, including death squads, already operate in 75 countries, soon to be 120. As Dick Cheney pointed out in his 1990s “defence strategy” plan, America simply wishes to rule the world.

 

That this is now the gift of Barack Obama, the  “Son of Africa”, is supremely ironic. Or is it? As Frantz Fanon explained in ‘Black Skin, White Masks’, what matters is not so much the colour of your skin as the power you serve and the millions you betray.

 

Read the full article here.

For more information on the Kony 2012 campaign, Libya and Syria, and the scramble for Africa, follow Libya360

LIBYA Humanitarian War: The Role Of NED-Linked NGOs Using Fake Evidence For War Now Targeting Syria:

Background Information on Kony 2012

RESIST AFRICOM

 

The New Forests Company | Oxfam: British Corporation Mass Murdering Ugandans in UN Sanctioned Land Grab

British Corporation Mass Murdering Ugandans in UN Sanctioned Land Grab

September 26, 2011

Beneath fraud, media spin, & UN stamps of approval, awaits an unfolding nightmare for the people of Africa and the world.

by Tony Cartalucci

The New York Times recently reported in an article titled, “In Scramble for Land, Group Says, Company Pushed Ugandans Out,” that the British “New Forests Company” has evicted over 20,000 people from their land in Uganda to make way for tree plantations. Homes were burnt, people, including women and children, were brutalized and murdered during the long eviction process. However, the New York Times states that in this case “the government and the company said the settlers were illegal and evicted for a good cause: to protect the environment and help fight global warming.”

 

The “group” the New York Times is referring to is Oxfam, which published a report titled, “The New Forests Company and its Uganda plantations,” detailing the activities of New Forests in Uganda and the evictions the New York Times gingerly describes in its article.

Who is The New Forests Company?

Meet “New Forests,” a UK-based firm that claims to be a “sustainable and socially responsible forestry company with established, rapidly growing plantations and the prospect of a diversified product base for local and regional export markets which will deliver both attractive returns to investors and significant social and environmental benefits.” Their corporate website is not short of the color green, nor of African people smiling and prospering, so apparently, we are left to believe, New Forests has made good on their mission statement.


Image: Taken from New Forests’ website, they proudly display the swath of destruction their company is responsible for, of course, instead of depicting the displacements, murders, and thuggery they are committing against the people of Africa, they place images of thriving trees.
….

Meet Robert Deveruex, chairman of New Forests, one of the founding shareholders of The Virgin Group and former chairman of Soho House Group. He has spent a great deal of time and energy making what his corporation is doing in Africa appear to have a philanthropic spin. In an August 2010 Guardian article titled, “Robert Devereux donates £4m of art collection to set up African charity,” Devereux claims of his New Forests company that it “has a huge community development programme. It’s not philanthropy. We go to the community and we say, ‘We want to co-invest with you. If you provide what labour and materials you can, we’ll provide money for things that you can’t get.'” Devereux, however, never mentioned what happens if the community says, “no thanks.”


Photo: Robert Devereux, a long time investor, a long time con-artist spinning his company’s despoiling of Africa as some sort of cutting-edge investment strategy that makes money and “helps” people. Even as Devereux made his disingenuous statements in 2010 regarding New Forests, the villagers in Uganda he was “helping” had already filed a court case a year earlier protesting the British company’s encroachment on their land.

Meet New Forests executive director and CEO Julian Ozanne, who previously worked for the Financial Times, advised US and European investment banks on business and political risk in Africa and worked for the global corporate-fascists nexus, the World Economic Forum. Also serving as a New Forest director is Jonathan Aisbitt, chairman of the investment firm, The Man Group, and previously a partner and managing director at the now notorious Goldman Sachs.

There is also Avril Stassen, who is not only a director at New Forests but is also currently a principal at Agri-Vie Investment Advisers, which claims to be “focused on food and agribusiness in Sub-Sahara Africa with a mission to generate an above average investment return, as well as demonstrable socio-economic development impacts through its equity investments in food and agribusinesses.” In other words, buying up land in African nations people depend on to live, to instead broaden foreign investors’ portfolios and profits, all under the cover of feel good rhetoric and pictures of smiling Africans pasted all over their website and annual reports. A good website that seems to be keeping watch on Agri-Vie is Farmlandgrab.org, which in one short URL explains exactly the game Agri-Vie is playing.

And finally, meet Sajjad Sabur, also a director at New Forests, as well as a managing director at HSBC, heading the mega-bank’s “Principal Investments Africa” branch which targets African businesses with management buyouts, growth capital and recapitalization “opportunities.” Sabur’s HSBC investment arm has actually invested in New Forests.

Quite clearly, this looks more like the profile of a Wall Street-London corporate-fascist hit team than anything at all involving humanitarian, environmental, or social concerns. And judging by Oxfam’s report and the subsequent attempt by the New York Times to mitigate the gravity of what the largest banks in the world are doing to Africa, it seems like a corporate-fascist hit is just what is unfolding in Uganda at New Forests’ hands.

Globalization is Modern Day Imperialism by Anglo-American Bankers

Backtracking to New Forests’ mission statement, apparently “social responsibility” equates to murdering or displacing tens of thousands of Ugandans in their own nation, and “attractive returns” equates to the extraction and exportation of Ugandan resources for a corporation’s shareholders 4,000 miles away. What we are told is of significant “benefit” to society and the environment looks more like a textbook case of imperialism, perpetrated by British, surely new to being socially and environmentally responsible, but certainly not to imperialism nor gimmicks used to mask it behind noble causes.

The New York Times reveals that the World Bank is also an investor in New Forests along with HSBC, and that the true nature of the scam goes beyond merely displacing tens of thousands to grow trees, but that the trees are being used for the purpose of selling contrived carbon credits, not even to provide tangible resources for economic activity. The New York Times also implicates the United Nations, which granted New Forests permission to “trade” with the Ugandan government regarding its 50-year lease to grow trees in the landlocked nation.

The government of Uganda, led by President-for-life Yoweri Museveni for the last 25 years, was the result of a protracted civil war led by Museveni himself. After seizing power, he was immediately lauded by the West, embraced the World Bank and International Monetary Fund’s plans for restructuring his newly conquered nation, and has been running it as a dictator ever since. It is no surprise that Museveni is now selling his own people out, no doubt in exchange for his perpetual, unhindered rule, transiting a vast corporate media black hole enjoyed by regimes servile to Wall Street and London worldwide.

The globalist New York Times has a long tradition of apologizing not just for Anglo-American bankers as they defile the planet, but defending their accomplices, Museveni apparently one of them. In a 1997 New York Times article titled, “Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order,” Museveni is praised for his extraterritorial meddling throughout neighboring African states. The New York Times claims, “not only has Mr. Museveni resurrected his own impoverished nation from two decades of brutal dictatorship and near economic collapse, but he is also widely seen as the covert patron of rebel movements like the one that has just toppled Mobutu Sese Seko, the longtime dictator of Zaire.” The article then brushes off accusations that Museveni is dictator of a single party system of governance by providing Museveni’s own defense, that Uganda is pre-industrial and not ready for multiparty democracy.

How resurrected Uganda is from poverty is a matter of debate, and certainly, the concept of poverty has taken on all new dimensions for over 20,000 Ugandans forced from their land by Anglo-American bankers and their willing accomplices in the Ugandan government. How Museveni plans on bringing Uganda past its “pre-industrial” state by handing over land to foreigners to grow trees on for the next 50 years, leaving his own people homeless, jobless, and destitute for an entire generation is also a profound mystery.

What we are watching in Africa is the grotesque reality that is globalization peaking through the thick layer of lies, propaganda, spin, liberal ideologies, and imagery used to dupe the Western world, and increasingly many in the developing world. It is a reality that entails theft on a massive scale, human exploitation, mass-murder, collective punishment, and intimidation. For those that think Uganda is an isolated anomaly and are somehow able to dismiss the backgrounds of New Forests which represents an entire network designed specifically to exploit and strip mine all of Africa, one need look no further than Southeast Asia’s Cambodia. There, half way around the world from Uganda, another Western backed dictator-for-life, Hun Sen, has literally sold half his country to foreign investors, displacing hundreds of thousands at gunpoint in a nearly identical Wall Street-London land-grab.

Globalization is a multi-billion dollar packaged update of the British Empire’s “spreading of civilization.” Designs of dominion and exploitation have historically always been accompanied by excuses seen as palatable for the masses who were expected to support and carry these designs to fruition for the ruling elite. While it is no longer fashionable to kill black and brown people while accusing them of being “savages,” it is still quite fashionable to consider them “undemocratic,” “backwards,” “overpopulating,” “terrorists,” and above all, “detriments to our environment.” At least, New Forests and New York Times seem to think so.

Once again, the choice we the people have, upon learning of this, is to either detach in cowardice and apathy, or identify the corporations, banks, and institutions leading this “globalization,” expose them, boycott them, and ultimately replace them. Those of New Forests guilty of displacing, even murdering people simply for profit in a foreign nation, thousands of miles from their shores, don’t belong in business anymore.

The darkest villains we face on earth today are not cave dwelling Islamic fundamentalists, Libyan colonels, or Americans selling sliver coins, instead, the most dangerous, degenerate, and detrimental members of the human race reside on Wall Street and in London’s financial institutions.

http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/09/british-corporation-mass-murdering.html