12/07/2008

Merchants of Death: Exposing Corporate Financed Holocaust in Africa

Breaking Politic News
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.

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).[2]

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.[3]

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.[4] Secondly, 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.[5] 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.[6]

"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." [7]

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.
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