Darfurism, Uganda & US War in Africa: The Spectre of Continental Genocide

November 4th, 2007 - by admin

keith harmon snow / All Things Pass.com – 2007-11-04 10:45:46


(October 29, 2007) —When President George Bush met with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the White House on October 30 they certainly discussed much more than “Uganda’s leadership in Somalia, the Lord’s Resistance Army, and President Museveni’s development plan for northern Uganda” or their “strong partnership to combat malaria and HIV/AIDS in Uganda,” as announced by the White House Office of the Press Secretary.

The role of Yoweri Museveni and his “government” in service to the Western economic neoliberalism and the shock doctrine of deconstruction and chaos is greatly misunderstood and deeply camouflaged by simplified establishment narratives like those above. Bush and Museveni will discuss the U.S.-Uganda military relations and bilateral involvement in the ongoing wars in Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (“Congo” from here on refers only to DRC). The “partnership to combat malaria and HIV/AIDS” is camouflage language for military vaccination and bio-warfare programs involving pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer. (A vaccine for malaria was developed for the U.S. military some time ago and this is shared only with certain U.S. client state partners.)

The “development plan for northern Uganda” is euphemistic language for the ongoing depopulation and massive natural resource extraction (oil, gold, uranium) that today proceeds in northern Uganda in parallel with the genocide of the Acholi people and the militarization in Uganda’s border regions to support covert programs in Sudan and Congo. And they will discuss other things they don’t want the American public to be aware of.

The Darfur conflict rides along the fault line of continental warfare spread from Niger to through Chad to Djibouti and Somalia, and from eastern Congo and Rwanda, through Uganda and Sudan, to Eritrea and the Red Sea. Congo is at war with Uganda and Rwanda. Ethiopia is at war with Somalia, and poised to reinvade Eritrea. Ethiopia, Uganda and Chad are the three “frontline” states militarily destabilizing Sudan. Uganda is internally and externally at war.

Uganda has intervened secretly in Burundi and Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and recently re-occupied towns in eastern Congo. Rwanda is internally at war, fighting in Eastern Congo, meddling in Burundi, and has some 2000 troops in Darfur. Khartoum backs guerrilla armies in Uganda, Chad and Congo.

The U.S. is all over the place, with both covert and overt military programs. All these conflicts are intertwined, and the targeted populations have allegiances and alliances dictated by the pre-colonial boundaries demarcated in 1885 by the imperial doctrine of divide and conquer.

Conflict involving U.S. covert forces and nomads in Niger and Nigeria, for example, impacts Sudan: the history of the Sahara revolves around the Mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad, a Sudanese man who led the indigenous resistance against Britian in 1875. ‘Abdallah at-Ta‘ishi, the Mahdi’s “Khalifah” or successor, who took over as leader of the independent Sudan when the Mahdi died in June 1885, was a native of Darfur.

On October 24, 2007, the United Nations awarded Lockheed-Martin subsidiary Pacific Architects and Engineers a $250 million no-bid contract to provide “infrastructure” for the United Nations “peacekeeping” missions now unfolding in Sudan (Darfur), Somalia, and Chad/Central Africa Republic. The newly announced contract is to build five new camps in Sudan’s Darfur and Kordofan regions for 4,100 U.N. and African Union personnel. Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest and most secretive aerospace and defense corporation.

This is not Pacific Architects and Engineers’ first contract in Darfur, or in Africa’s “peacekeeping” missions. PAE won the contract for staffing the deeply compromised “Civilian Protection Monitoring Team” (CPMT) in Sudan under a U.S. State Department contract. In 2004 the CPMT office was being run by Brigadier General Frank Toney (retired), who was previously the commander of Special Forces for the United States Army; General Toney organized covert operations into Iraq and Kuwait in the first Gulf War.

Pratap Chaterjee reported in 2004 how “Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Bittrick, the deputy director of regional and security affairs for Africa at the State Department, flew to Ethiopia to hammer out an agreement to support African Union troops by committing to provide housing, office equipment, transport, and communications gear. This will be provided via an ‘indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity’ joint contract awarded to Dyncorp Corporation, and Pacific Architects & Engineers (PAE) worth $20.6 million.” PAE also set up MONUC operations in Congo.

Meanwhile, the “Save Darfur” advocates pressing military intervention in Darfur as a “humanitarian” gesture have escalated pressure in the face of mounting failures, including allegations that millions of “Save Darfur” dollars fundraised on a sympathy for victims platform have been misappropriated.

But the players, the private military companies, the arms dealers—and a handful of missing SRAM missiles armed with nuclear warheads dumped by an American B-52 before it crashed—are mostly unknown to the general public. These covert wars all involve different propaganda strategies to provide cover and deflect attention through “perception management”—managing the perceptions, stereotyping and creating false belief systems—of the North American and European public.

Ranking the humanitarian catastrophes, at the top by a long shot is Eastern Congo, followed by northern Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Chad, Central Africa Republic and—somewhere in the line but nowhere near Congo—Darfur, Sudan.

These humanitarian emergencies involve massive depopulation and death, internally displaced persons and trans-national refugees, all of which provide a lucrative business opportunity for Western “relief” and “development” organizations. Millions of people across the region are dying, while millions more are homeless, set adrift in a sea of nowhere, with no rights, no possessions, no protection and very little prospect for survival; their only hopes come from the false belief that the Western “humanitarian” AID enterprise is designed to rescue them.

The engagement of the world’s premier war-making industries—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Bechtel, SAIC—behind a so-called “peacekeeping” platform is not new, and something is seriously wrong with this picture.

“Save Darfur” is the predominant propaganda front running on Africa and it has overwhelmed the public consciousness with deceptions. In this establishment narrative Arabs on horseback, the Janjaweed, backed by the Sudan government seated in Khartoum, are the purveyors of genocide.

This mirrors the establishment narrative of Rwanda, 1994, which said that the Hutus and the nasty Interahamwe militias committed genocide against the Tutsis in 100 days of killing with machetes. The Rwanda genocide narrative—combined with the narrative about “humanitarian” intervention in Yugoslavia, where the final blow to dismember the country came with the NATO bombing campaign—set the stage for the Darfur genocide narrative.

All over the United States, Britain and Canada advocates and activists who claim to be concerned about human rights, and even those who otherwise would not get involved, have supported the “Save Darfur” movement, a political movement similar to the anti-Apartheid movement mobilized against South Africa in the 1980’s. The “Save Darfur” movement has resulted in a huge outpouring of funds, and it has mobilized support from people in all walks of life, and across the political spectrum, on the “never again” platform of “stopping genocide.”

Hollywood personalities dubbed “actorvists,” including Mia Farrow, Don Cheadle and George Clooney, have helped to whip up the “Save Darfur” hysteria. From Elie Wiesel to Barak Obama, people are “outraged” by genocide that the Bush Administration, we are told, is reluctant to stop. And it is hysteria, in the true definition of the word, but it did not simply rise out of a sudden concern for a bunch of Africans in some far off God-forsaken place (as it is portrayed).

At a “Voices for Darfur” fundraiser held on October 21, 2007 at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, for example, the local chapter of the Congregation B’Nai Israel Darfur Action coalition, raised over $14,000 for “humanitarian” aid to Darfur. The B’Nai Israel Save Darfur Coalition had a broad array of public and organizational support, including other Jewish organizations, Smith College, Northampton Mayor Claire Higgins, Massachusetts’ Senator Stan Rosenberg and Representative Peter Kocot.

The campaign organizers claim that “more than 90% goes to direct-on-the-ground AID.” Working with big humanitarian groups like Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children, it is impossible that 90% of funds will hit the ground in Darfur.

Behind the “Save Darfur” movement are fundamentalist organizations and think tanks with a deeply nationalistic, militaristic, religious fundamentalist agenda. One of these is the Center for Security Policy. The CSP, for example, supports the “star wars” Strategic Defense Initiative, Homeland Security—which is nothing more than expanding militarism and emasculated public rights—and the Biometric Security Project.

The BSP centers around emerging biological technologies that will be used to register, identify, monitor, track and control each and every U.S. citizen. They call it “identity assurance,” it involves state-of-the-art recognition equipment, sensors and security technologies, and it is a central component of the evolving national security and “counter-terrorism” apparatus.

The Center for Security Policy is part of the nerve center of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus, a deeply nationalist, neoliberal think-tank and flak organization promoting the all-out attack against non-cooperative governments—dubbed “rogue states”—peripheral to Western economic control.

These, of course, are primarily Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, North Korea and Cuba. Zimbabwe is a special case that has joined the list to some degree. What these states have in common is that they are all targeted for divestment by the Center for Security Policy brainchild, www.divestterror.org. Sudan is another of the “rogue states” targeted.

The establishment narrative on Darfur motivates U.S. citizens to take action to “Save Darfur,” thus facilitating popular support for heightened U.S. military involvement. The truth is that the United States military is already there, in its various incarnations, and it is involved in atrocities.

In the northern Uganda region—involving South Sudan and northeastern Congo—another conflict has boiled for over 15 years between the government Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), led by Yoweri Museveni, and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), led by Joseph Kony. This war offers yet another one-sided Western establishment narrative that says that Kony and the LRA—always described as a Christian fanatical cult that captures and drugs children—is the primary problem in northern Uganda. (Usually African savages are not Christian enough for America’s liking; here we find that they are too Christian.)

The establishment narrative has been furthered across the popular culture, in everything from Vanity Fair to the BBC to the journal The National Catholic Weekly (America). The newly established ENOUGH Project (ENOUGH “genocide” and “not on my watch” etc. etc.) picked up the mantle of LRA atrocities and, like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, has supported the establishment narrative which shields the Museveni government from the kind of criticism and international action that is called for in keeping with the scale of the atrocities the Uganda government has committed.

In other words, Human Rights Watch has addressed torture in Uganda, and other problems, but they have not named names or corporations and they almost never link the conflict or the atrocities to Western interests. The net effect of these policy and human rights positions is genocide denial on Uganda.

The Museveni war machine and its state terror apparatus have perpetrated massive atrocities in the region and it has evolved into genocide against the Acholi people of the north. The indigenous Acholi people have been forced onto concentration camps over the past 15 years, and these camps have become places of death. In the establishment narrative, the people are the victims of Kony’s “rebellion.”

Yoweri Museveni and his business and military partners are responsible for millions of deaths, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Eastern Congo. The U.S. military invasion of Zaire (now Congo), involved U.S. covert forces, U.S. military communications, logistical and weapons support, and Ugandan and Rwandan forces. Humvees, C-130’s and black-skinned U.S. Special Forces entered South Sudan and northeastern Congo through the Gulu and Arua Districts of Uganda, the heart of Acholiland and the center of atrocities against the Acholi people.

Ugandan and British interests living mostly in Britain and aligned with the former dictator Idi Amin have always backed the Lord’s Resistance Army. Support also came from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The LRA stepped up its military actions in parallel with the UPDF invasion of Zaire (1996), and the subsequent years of warfare and plunder in Congo (1998-present).

According to the investigations of the United Nations and the humanitarian law work of lawyer Karen Parker, the war in Uganda involves massive rapes, killing, tortures, and extrajudicial executions as a policy by the Ugandan military. Some 1.3 million people have been displaced in the Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts of northern Uganda. There are over 73 camps with from 1000 to 50,000 people in them, all forcibly displaced by UPDF soldiers, with over 350,000 people out of some 400,000 people displaced from the Gulu district alone.

The forced displacements of Acholi people began with Museveni’s ascension to power in 1986, but major forced displacements occurred throughout the 1990’s and again in 2002-2003. However, there was a massive displacement operation in 1996 that appears to have been coordinated in part with the planned U.S. invasion of Zaire from Northern Uganda and Rwanda.

The UPDF Army barracks at Masindi and airstrip at Gulu, both in Northern Uganda, served as the staging grounds for the U.S. invasion of Zaire. The Museveni government organized the closure of northern Uganda in October 1996 ostensibly because of heightened LRA attacks. The UPDF, in chronological coincidence with the U.S. invasion, forced hundreds of thousands of Acholis into concentration camps in the fall of 1996, often by bombing and burning villages and murdering, beating, raping and threatening those who would not comply.

According to testimony from eyewitnesses, on Oct 26, 1996 the top Ugandan brass behind the invasion of Zaire met at the village of Paraa, in the Murchison Falls National Park, near Lake Albert, in the Gulu District. At the meeting were: [1] UPDF Brigadier General Moses Ali—Idi Amin’s right hand man who later became Minister of Internal Affairs, Minister for Disaster Preparedness, and Deputy Prime Minister in the Museveni administration; [2] Museveni’s half-brother Salim Saleh; [3] then Colonel James Kazini,; and [4] Dr. Eric Adroma—head of Uganda National Parks. Salim Saleh is perhaps the leading agent of terror in the UPDF Zaire/Congo wars, but both Saleh and commander James Kazini led UPDF troops involved in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide against millions of people in Eastern Congo (1996-2007).

The meeting was ostensibly about security and it was announced that due to a recent LRA rebel attack at Paraa, the UPDF would be placing parts of Northern Uganda off limits to all non-military personnel. (There is some question of the perpetrators of the Paraa attack being LRA or UPDF disguised as LRA.) The main road from Karuma to the border town of Pakwach was closed. This road apparently served as a primary transport route for Ugandan and non-Ugandan military—including black U.S. special forces—who invaded Zaire.

On November 6, 1996, Bill Clinton was elected. Around 10 November 2007 an armored 4×4 Humvee (HUMMWV)—heavily rigged with sophisticated communications equipment inside and out—was encountered carrying two black U.S. special forces in the Murchison Falls region: the soldiers were wearing UPDF uniforms. Two busloads of black U.S. special forces were encountered at a UPDF checkpoint on the Karuma-Pakwach road; wearing civilian clothes, with duffel bags, the muscled and crew-cut “civilians” showed U.S. passports and claimed they were “doctors” heading to the tiny Gulu hospital.

From November 21-23 Boeing C-130 military aircraft passed over the region every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, heading both north and south. The C-130’s apparently landed at Gulu airstrip—closed by the Museveni government for a two-week period—and offloaded military equipment then moved by roads—closed by the UPDF—to the border. Some C-130’s were charted on a course believed to take them to Goma, Zaire.

From mid-November to February 1997 access to northwestern Uganda regions was highly restricted. On 1 March 1997 another wave of C-130’s passed over the region. The UPDF used the LRA threat as cover for massive military operations involving the invasion of Zaire for the United States of America.

The in-country U.S. Ambassador to Uganda at the time was E. Michael Southwick (October 1994-August 1997). Oil surveys began in 1998 and the entire Northwestern Uganda region is now designated as oil concessions controlled by Heritage Oil and Gas, Hardman Oil and Tullow Oil, three Anglo-American companies connected to British mercenary Tony Buckingham (founder of he mercenary firms Sandline International and Executive Outcomes) and his partners.

Nexant, a Bechtel subsidiary, is involved with the trans-Uganda-Kenya pipeline. South African firm Energem—tied to Tony Buckingham through Anthony Texeira, the brother-in-law of Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba—is also involved. Another Energem and Buckingham affiliated company tight with the Museveni regime is Branch Energy, involved with the oil pipeline and mining in Uganda.

On September 5, 2007, UPDF troops—and rebels reportedly aligned with Jean-Pierre Bemba—had occupied the DRC’s oil- and gold-rich Semliki Basin on the western shores of Lake Albert. Heavily armed foreign forces occupied the villages of Aru, Mahagi, Fataki, Irengeti and the Ruwenzori mountains. The international press and the United Nations Observers Mission in DRC (MONUC) remained completely silent about the Ugandan incursions.

By September 8, 2007, Ugandan troops were heavily massed on the DRC border while Kabila and Museveni were signing oil and gold sharing agreements in Tanzania. UPDF forces and “rebel” troops alleged to be Bemba’s remained in DRC as of October 25. The United Nations Observes Mission in Congo (MONUC) information offices were claiming by mid-October that UPDF had pulled out, but Congolese citizens in eastern Congo continued to report a huge UPDF military presence.

The China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Company is also involved in the Uganda-Kenya pipeline, offering an interesting comparison for people concerned about China’s involvement in atrocities in the Darfur region. And, after much scrambling, Libya was cut out of the Kenya-Uganda pipeline deals.

Uganda’s representation at the International Criminal Court exploring war crimes in Congo has included at least two very high-profile lawyers from Foley Hoag LLP, an influential Washington law firm deeply entrenched in the proliferation of the mainstream narratives and the victor’s justice doled out—through the ICTY and ICTR tribunals—on Yugoslavia and Rwanda. The Pentagon seconded its lawyers from the Judge Advocacy General’s (JAG) Corp to the ICTR to “try” those unfortunate “enemies” both arbitrarily and selectively accused of genocide.

The people most responsible for atrocities in the region—unprecedented human bloodletting, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide—are protected. These include Yoweri Museveni, Salim Saleh, Paul Kagame, James Kazini, Moses Ali, James Kabarebe, Taban Amin, Jean-Pierre Bemba, Laurent Nkunda, Meles Zenawi…a long list of people whose culpability is without question, many of whom have been named for atrocities again and again.

U.S. Special Operations forces know what happened and should be deposed under oath in a legitimate International Criminal Court, which at present does not exist, and is not in the making. Ditto for Madeleine Albright, Anthony Lake, Thomas Pickering, Susan Rice, John Prendergast, General William Wald, General Frank Toney, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Roger Winter, Andrew Young…another short list.

Foley Hoag LLP is also tied to the U.S.-Uganda Friendship Council. On May 6, 2002 in Washington D.C. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and wife Janet were special guests at U.S.-Uganda Friendship Council event sponsored by members Coke, Pfizer and Chevron-Texaco. Museveni also met with President Bush at the White House.

Coke director Kathleen Black is a principle in the Hearst media empire, while Coke directors Warren Buffet and Barry Diller are directors of the Washington Post Company, and these are the media institutions that whitewash client regimes, corporate plunder and Pentagon actions. Of course, Coca Cola covets the gum Arabic of Darfur, and Coke is a client of Andrew Young’s PR firm Goodworks International (see below).

Uganda’s image is sanitized by one of the world’s largest PR firms, London’s Hill & Knowlton. In 2005 Uganda spent some $700,000 on a Hill & Knowlton contract to facilitate and “encourage dialogue between the Ugandan government and people like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty, Oxfam.”

Museveni’s bush war began in 1980. Paul Kagame, current President of Rwanda, was Museveni’s Director of Military Intelligence in the mid-1980’s. Museveni and Kagame led the invasion of Rwanda in 1990. The two military commanders utilized terrorist tactics that assigned blame for atrocities they committed—against both their enemies and their own people—on their enemies. They used psychological operations, embedded international reporters, and fabrication of massacres. These tactics have continued to the present.

While Rwanda is billed as a major “success story” of recovery and development after a devastating genocide—see for example the PR “documentary” film Rwanda Rising produced by Andrew Young’s Goodworks International—the country is ruled with an iron-fist and a finely tuned intelligence and torture apparatus involved in political assassinations, suppression of information and disappearances. Huge areas of Rwanda were entirely depopulated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front and UPDF as they hammered away at Rwanda beginning in October 1990. The invasion culminated in a coup d’etat that succeeded, with broad U.S. military support, in capturing Kigali in July of 1994.

From 1994 to the present President Paul Kagame has used the genocide card and the establishment narrative to institutionalize repression, criminalize or assassinate anyone who challenges the regime, and further depopulate rural areas for “development” benefiting corporate interests.

Another member of the U.S.-Uganda Friendship council is the Honorable Andrew Young, former Mayor of Atlanta and U.S. Ambassador. Andrew Young and his firm Goodworks International have helped whitewash the image of the Rwanda government and its state apparatus of terror.

Andrew Young, Quincy Jones and other wealthy Americans are building (have built) mansions on the shores of Rwanda’s Lake Mwazi in areas where peasants were driven off the land or killed by the Kagame terror machine before, during and after 1994. State terror and depopulation is ongoing along Lake Kivu and in the Volcanoes National Parks regions for methane and high-end tourism development.

Rwanda gains currency and good press through big HIV/AIDS projects run by Paul Farmer but funded by the Clinton AIDS foundation. Rwanda was overthrown by and for the Pentagon on Clinton’s watch. Hillary Clinton toured Uganda in July 1997, wore African clothes, danced African dances, and spoke about “democracy” and “development” and a “partnership” against HIV/AIDS.

The Kagame regime has recently awarded petroleum concessions to Canada’s Vangold Resources for the project titled “White Elephant” in northern Rwanda—2700 sq. kilometers of land depopulated by the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army between 1990 and 2007. Contracted to provide “feasibility studies” of petroleum infrastructural development in Rwanda is the San Diego firm Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).

SAIC has ongoing collaborations with Bechtel—another of the world’s most secretive aerospace technology, energy infrastructure and defense contractors—both known for their involvement in U.S. beyond top-secret “black” programs. SAIC works closely with DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Recent SAIC directors have included: U.S. Navy Admiral B.R. Inman (Ret.); U.S. Army General W.A. Downing (Ret.); and U.S. Air Force General J.A. Welch (Ret.).

SAIC also has an ongoing collaboration with the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). Unsurprisingly, through shared directorships, BMS is economically and politically aligned with the New York Times Corporation. SAIC has also been flagged for involvement in highly questionable U.S. mercenary activities and human rights violations in Africa.

Petroleum, defense and mining interests connected to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International programs in “gorilla conservation” led to the production of high-tech satellite prospecting data, gathered by remote sensing over-flights (1994-2000), delivered to the Rwandan Ministry of Defense.

The Pentagon has been involved in building military bases in Rwanda, installing military and civilian communications infrastructure, and training Rwandan Defense Forces; a military-communications radar installation has been constructed with U.S. support on Mt. Karisimbi in Ruhengeri Province.

The installation is being built by the Rwanda Ministry of Defense in partnership with the “Rwandan” company Terracom SPRL and Rwandatel. Terracom is owned by U.S. businessman Greg Wyler; Rwandatel is 99%-owned subsidiary.

It is believed that Rwanda Defense Forces (RDF) sent to Darfur on the African Union “peacekeeping” mission include black U.S. Special Forces disguised as RDF—just as the black U.S. Special Forces were disguised as UPDF during the invasion of Zaire.

Lockheed Martin is a California-based aerospace and defense giant involved in classified black programs that are beyond “top-secret” and shielded from government oversight. In September 2003, CNN—a corporate-military “news” agency deeply embedded with the Pentagon—reported “[a]ccording to the U.S. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) classified or black programs account for about $23.2 billion or 17 percent of the 2004 budget request for the Department of Defense.”

According to United Nations spokeswoman Michele Montas the six-month Darfur contract with Lockheed-Martin subsidiary Pacific Architect Engineers, Inc. was awarded without competitive bidding “because of complex requirements and a short timeline.”

Reporting from the United Nations, Inner City Press said the terms of the contract will not be public and the United Nations has violated numerous UN charter laws in the tendering of this award.

The no-bid award process followed the United Nation’s issuance of an official “Expressions of Interest” notice on October 9, 2007. “The United Nations is seeking Expressions of Interest (EOI) from experienced Multi Functional Logistics Services (MFLS) contractors,” the UN’s EOI notice reads, “for the provision of a wide range of services at headquarters, logistic bases, military and police camps, airfields and water resources at various locations in any or all of the following: the Darfur Region of Sudan, Chad/Central African Republic (CAR), and Somalia.”

Inner City Press reported that the EOI solicitation, made after the rules had already been waived to allow the transfer of $250 million to Lockheed Martin for six months in Darfur, is intended to try to clean up the process after-the-fact.

Another multinational aerospace and defense corporation directly benefiting from this regional U.S. war is Boeing Aircraft Corporation. The U.S. military used Boeing Chinook helicopters in the U.S. invasion of Somalia in 2006. Tom Pickering, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is senior vice president for International Relations and a member of the Boeing Executive Council since January 2001.

Pickering played a decisive role in the Clinton Administration overthrow of Rwanda (1990-1994) and Congo (1996-1997). He is a leading advocate for the “Save Darfur” propaganda. He is also a member of the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa along with Ed Royce (R-CA), former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Andrew Young.

While the New York Times reported in December 2006 that the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia began in late December, military involvement of U.S. covert forces had been ongoing, and was heightened significantly in the early spring of 2006 when the U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency openly complained about cross purposes in Somalia. Private military companies were all over Somalia, as were known international arms syndicates, including of course the criminal networks of John Bredenkamp, one of Britain’s fifty richest tycoons and one of the primary financial backers behind the rise and fall of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

John Bredenkamp reportedly acquired three SRAM missiles with nuclear warheads jettisoned in shallow water off the coast of Somalia by a U.S.A.F. B-52 that soon after crashed into the Indian Ocean near the U.S. military base on the island of Diego Garcia. The U.S. invasion of Somalia is believed to have been partly an aborted attempt to recover the lost nukes—called “broken arrows” in Pentagon speak. While the story of the dumped nukes “lost” by Dick Cheney has received some attention, no one has publicly identified John Bredenkamp as the likely weapons dealer involved.

The war in Somalia dates back to deep U.S. involvement in the 1980’s, where major oil concessions were awarded to four Western multinational petroleum giants: Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Philips petroleum. The infusion of Western “AID” provoked destabilization of Somalia, leading to the U.S. military invasion that culminated in the October 3, 1993 mission where scores of U.S. Special Operations Forces were killed when their Blackhawk helicopter was shot down over the capital city, Mogadishu.

The mythology of U.S. involvement was indelibly inscribed in the popular consciousness through the Hollywood/Pentagon film Blackhawk Down. Part of the consistent propaganda on Africa is that “the U.S. does not want to get involved and potentially face another Somalia.” But the U.S. pullout of Somalia occurred in perfect synchronicity with the heightened military involvement in Rwanda (1994).

U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) did not cease Special Ops deployments in Somalia with the U.S. withdrawal and covert operations have proceeded on and off, with heightened activity through the late 1990’s. The Pentagon confirmed in November 2006 that SOCOM forces were in Somalia as of October “providing military advice to Ethiopian and Somali forces on the ground.” The U.S. Navy moved “additional forces” into waters off the Somali coast, where the Pentagon said they “conducted security missions, monitoring maritime traffic and intercepting and interrogating crew on suspicious ships.”

These included the USS Ramage guided missile destroyer, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier, the USS Bunker Hill and USS Anzio guided missile cruisers, and the USS Ashland amphibious landing ship. On June 2, 2007, a U.S. Navy destroyer shelled northern Somalia. Somali media reported that News media reported that the strikes destroyed farms, flattened hilltops and killed or injured an unknown number of villagers.

The British Navy’s newest warship HMS Bulwark was also stationed off the Somali coast in early 2006. The HMS Bulwark deployed to the Indian Ocean on 9 January 2006 for the first live operation of this “unique Commando Assault ship” (as it is described by the British Navy).

However, sources in Kenya and Eritrea reported “snatch and grab” terrorist operations involving massacres and torture that were run by SOCOM forces inside Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. There are at least 52,000 U.S. special operations forces on active duty and reserve military worldwide, including SEALs, Green Berets and commando-style troops from the 10th Mountain Division and others.

The establishment narrative was that Ethiopia invaded Somalia to displace Al-Qaeda terrorists and check the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, both of which are propaganda themes that misrepresent the reality of U.S. and allied military interventions. Ethiopia is considered an essential partner of the U.S. in its “War on Terrorism” and Ethiopian bases have been used for attacks on Somalia.

In 2003, the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division (SOCOM) completed a three-month program to train an Ethiopian army division in “counter-terrorism tactics”—code language for covert operations. Operations are coordinated through the Combined Joint Task Forces-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) base in Djibouti. In January 2004, SOCOM forces from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment replaced the 10th Mountain Division forces at a new base “Camp United” established at Hurso, northwest of Dire Dawa, near the border with Somalia.

Since 2003, under the U.S. State Department-sponsored Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, CJTF-HOA provided instruction to thousands of Ethiopian soldiers at a base in Legedadi. CJTF-HOA forces from the U.S Army’s 478th Civil Affairs Battalion also operated in Ethiopia (Somalia) in and around Dire Dawa, Galadi and Dolo Odo, among other areas.

Ethiopia seeks to control Somalia to gain access to a much-needed deepwater seaport. Ethiopia’s oil concessions are contiguous with the oil reserves in Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Yemen. Hunt Oil, the Chinese National Petroleum Company and many others are active in Ethiopia.

The U.S. military used Ethiopian air bases modernized by infusions of millions of dollars of “AID” funds to launch attacks against Somalia. Ethiopia now has the largest standing army on the continent and this was achieved through the conversions of millions of dollars in “AID” to weapons and militarization; even “debt forgiveness”—where foreign “debt” was canceled—benefited the militarization of Ethiopia.

U.S. spy satellites were used provide intelligence to Ethiopian troops as they swept across the Oganden basin and Somalia. Presidents Bush and Zenawi both denied that the invasion was coordinated and well planned, and both denied the involvement of the U.S.

The Ethiopian government retained former U.S. Republican house majority leader Dick Armey as a lobbyist in Washington to whitewash the Ethiopian regimes’ crimes.

The Ogaden, Oromo and Anuak regions of Ethiopia have seen massive military occupation and state repression. The Ethiopian government of Meles Zenawi has perpetrated mass starvation and scorched earth policy in the region. There has been very little international media coverage and most is favorable the Zenawi regime or pressing the upside-down stories about “relief” and “starvation” that serve the Western “humanitarian” business sector.

The Ogaden basin is a bloodbath today. Applying the same legal standards as in Darfur, all three Ethiopian regions qualify as ongoing genocides against indigenous people. Failure to apply the genocide standards constitutes genocide denial.

The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1778 (2007) on 25 September 2007 established the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). According to the UN’s October 2007 Expression Of Interest, “[i]n it’s Presidential Statement of 30 April 2007, the Security Council requested the Secretary General to ‘immediately begin appropriate contingency planning for a United Nations mission to Somalia’.

At this early stage it is planned to have a UN logistics base at Mombassa, Kenya to support the main supply line from Mombassa to Kismayo, Mogadishu and Hobyo, which will serve as secondary logistics bases in Somalia. At this early stage the number and location of these sites is unknown, but it is envisaged that approximately 24,000 personnel may be required.”

Ethiopia’s war in Somalia has taxed the government drawing widespread criticism. The U.S. is pressing for an African Union mission as a proxy force to replace the Ethiopian troops and further U.S. interests. Mombasa, Kenya is a U.S. military port. Kenya is also awash in oil development, poverty and destitute refugees. The U.S. war in Somalia is ongoing.

In March 2007 the Pentagon deployed an additional 150 SOCOM Forces in Uganda. The troops were part of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn-of-Africa, an “anti-terrorist naval force” deployed around the Horn of Africa with support points in Bahrain and Djibouti. Ugandan sources divulged that the SOCOM troops would be dispersed “around the country” to “support UPDF troops” and “provide support to distribute humanitarian aid.”

It was openly reported that the SOCOM are “possibly training the South Sudanese army, which has just signed an agreement for this with its Ugandan counterpart, strengthening Ugandan capacity to fight terrorism.” The U.S. military has also modernized the old Entebbe airport for UPDF operations, and the Entebbe airport supports a small but permanent U.S. military contingent.

It is believed that U.S. SOCOM troops are operating in blood-drenched Eastern Congo. Ugandan opposition sources have reported that SOCOM forces in UPDF uniforms have joined the more than 2000 Pentagon-trained UPDF forces sent by Museveni to Somalia. The UPDF troops operating in Ethiopia behind a “peacekeeping” propaganda front have been accused of widespread atrocities. More than 1000 people die daily in Eastern DRC where fighting since 1996 has claimed at least 7 million lives. The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen multiple genocide campaigns, and multiple genocide denials are ongoing.

SOCOM forces have been openly reported in Niger, where operations are billed as “humanitarian” and “human rights” training of Nigerienne troops. But the insurgency and “rebellion” by the Tuareg and Toubou nomads has always been about uranium and depopulation: Exxon (Esso) and French corporations have exploited the Agadez and Air regions for over 40 years, dumping radioactive sickness and social devastation on another indigenous population. Yet another genocide?

The Darfur region of western Sudan has been a hotbed of clandestine activities, gunrunning and indiscriminate violence for decades. The Cold War era saw countless insurgencies launched from the remote deserts of Darfur. Throughout the 1990’s factions allied with or against Chad, Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo, Libya, Eritrea and the Central African Republic operated from bases in Darfur, and it was a regular landing strip for foreign military transport planes of mysterious origin.

In 1990, Chad’s Idriss Deby launched a military blitzkrieg from Darfur and overthrew President Hissan Habre; Deby then allied with his own tribe against the Sudan government. Sudanese rebels today have bases in Chad, and Chadian rebels have bases in Darfur, with Khartoum’s backing.

When the regime of Ange-Félix Patassé collapsed in the Central African Republic in March 2003, soldiers fled to Darfur with their military equipment. Khartoum supported the West Nile Bank Front, a rebel army operating against Uganda from Eastern Congo, commanded by Taban Amin, the son of the infamous Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, who heads Uganda’s dreaded Internal Security Organization.

Darfur is another epicenter of the modern-day international geopolitical scramble for Africa’s resources. Conflict in Darfur escalated in 2003 in parallel with negotiations “ending” the south Sudan war.

The U.S.-backed insurgency by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the guerilla force that fought the northern Khartoum government for 20 years, shifted to Darfur, even as the G.W. Bush government allied with Khartoum in the U.S. led “War on Terrorism.” The Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)—one of some 27 rebel factions mushrooming in Darfur—is allied with the SPLA and supported from Uganda.

Andrew Natsios, former USAID chief and now US envoy to Sudan, said on October 6, 2007 that the atmosphere between the governments of north and south Sudan “had become poisonous.” This is no surprise given the magnitude of the resource war in Sudan and the involvement of international interests, but the investigation should center on the involvement and activities of Andrew Natsios and Roger Winter.

Roger Winter, USAID chief in Khartoum today, is directly linked to the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army and U.S. military campaign that destabilized Rwanda and decapitated the leadership of Rwanda and Burundi. USAID’s affiliations with the Department of Defense are now openly advertised with the propaganda peddling AFRICOM—the Pentagon’s new Africa Command. AFRICOM combines U.S. CENTCOM, PACIFICOM and EUCOM operations in Africa; it is nothing new, merely the consolidation and expansion of widespread and ongoing involvement.

Darfur is reported to have the fourth largest copper and third largest uranium deposits in the world. Darfur produces two-thirds of the world’s best quality gum Arabic—a major ingredient in Coke and Pepsi. Contiguous petroleum reserves are driving warfare from the Red Sea, through Darfur, to the Great Lakes of Central Africa. Private military companies operate alongside petroleum contractors and “humanitarian” agencies. Sudan is China’s fourth biggest supplier of imported oil, and U.S. companies controlling the pipelines in Chad and Uganda seek to displace China through the US military alliance with “frontline” states hostile to Sudan: Uganda, Chad and Ethiopia.

Israel reportedly provides military training to Darfur rebels from bases in Eritrea, and has strengthened ties with the regime in Chad, from which more weapons and troops penetrate Darfur. The refugee camps have become increasingly militarized. There are reports that Israeli and U.S. military and intelligence operate from within refugee camps in Darfur. Israel is all over the Sahara, from Burkina Faso to Ethiopia and Uganda. Israel’s clandestine actions are partly funded by Israeli-American diamond magnates involved in Angola, Sierra Leone and Congo, especially Dan Gertler (G.W. Bush’s unofficial Ambassador to the DRC), Beny Steinmetz and Lev Leviev.

African Union (AU) forces in Darfur include Nigerian and Rwandan troops responsible for atrocities in their own countries. Ethiopia has committed 5000 troops for a UN force in Darfur. AU troops receive military-logistic support from NATO, and are widely hated. Early in October 2007, SLA rebels attacked an AU base killing ten troops. In a subsequent editorial sympathetic to rebel factions (“Darfur’s Bitter Ironies,” Guardian Online, 10/4/07)

Smith College English professor Eric Reeves espoused the tired rhetoric of “Khartoum’s genocidal counter-insurgency war in Darfur,” a position counterproductive to any peaceful settlement. To minimize the damage this rebel attack has done to their credibility Reeves and other “Save Darfur” advocates cast doubt about the rebels’ identities and mischaracterized the SLA attackers as “rogue commanders.” However, there is near unanimous agreement, internationally, that rebels are “out of control,” committing widespread rape and plundering with impunity, just as the SPLA did in South Sudan for over a decade.

Debunking the claims of a “genocide against blacks” or an “Islamic holy-war” against Christians, Darfur’s Arab and black African tribes have intermarried for centuries, and nearly everyone is Muslim. The “Save Darfur” campaign is deeply aligned with Jewish and Christian faith-based organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel. These groups have relentlessly campaigned for Western military action, demonizing both Sudan and China, but they have never addressed Western military involvement—backing factions on all sides.

Christian and Jewish involvement in the “Save Darfur” campaign centers on a long-running but deeply manipulative narrative about slavery and genocide in South Sudan. The Holocaust Memorial Museum furthered the establishment narrative about Darfur in keeping with the genocide theme; no one ever examines the interests behind the Holocaust Memorial Museum, it is merely some apolitical institution with the championing of supposed “universal” human rights of all people everywhere as its raison d’etre.

The new political and propaganda doctrine that uses “genocide” as a political tool is morally ambiguous, it attacks the crimes of some and passes over the crimes of others. It uses as its universal principle the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its complementary covenants and proclamations. On the one hand, however, this involves genocide inflation, and on the other hand genocide denial. But the USA—with good Christian and Jewish foot soldiers—is always the final arbitrator: global cop, judge, jury and executioner all in one.

Christian organizations involved in Sudan for years include Servant’s Heart and Christian Solidarity International. On Servant’s Heart’s “Board of Reference” is British Baroness Caroline Cox, who is also closely affiliated with Christian Solidarity International (CSI)—one of the main Christian allies of the SPLM/A war in southern Sudan.

The propaganda system advocates in favor of the “rebels” in Darfur using a handful of techniques developed in their propaganda campaign behind the “rebels” in South Sudan. Rebels are supported partly by never mentioning them, partly by decrying abuses against them, partly by providing sympathetic one-sided accounts of Khartoum government attacks, and partly by defending their excesses if and when—infrequently—the rebel abuses come to light.

Christian Solidarity International (CSI) in 2006 issued press releases claiming that the Lebanese organization Hezbollah “is using Christian villages to shield its military operations in violation of international law.” These reports appear to be fabrications to begin with and the CSI accusation a projection of their own involvement with the SPLA in South Sudan, where the SPLA for over a decade used the civilian population as human shields, used the Western AID apparatus (Operation Lifeline Sudan) as cover for military support, and used food as a weapon.

If Hezbollah did this during the recent U.S.-Israeli invasion they [Hezbollah] certainly learned it by studying SPLA (CSI) tactics in Sudan. Thus we have twisted triple-standards where the establishment propaganda accuses Hezbollah of violating international law, but the SPLM/A—and the “rebel” groups in Darfur—while doing exactly the same thing, are never anything but poor, defenseless Christians under attack in a “genocidal counter-insurgency” run out of Khartoum government.

Who are the rebels in Darfur? Where do they get new uniforms and modern weapons? It was the same with the establishment propaganda on Rwanda and the invading Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army from 1990-1994: abuses were covered up, the government of Juvenal Habyarimana was blamed for everything, and the “rebels”—backed by Washington, partnered with the Pentagon—were never exposed for their nasty, outrageous abuses.

There is growing dissent within the “Save Darfur” movement as more supporters question its motivations and the Jewish/Israeli link. “Save Darfur” leaders have been replaced after complaints surfaced about expenditures of funds. Many rebel leaders reportedly receive tens of thousands of dollars monthly, and rebels emboldened by the “Save Darfur” movement commit crimes with impunity.

There is a growing demand to probe the accounts of “Save Darfur” to find out how the tens of millions collected are being spent due to allegations of arms-deals and bribery—rebel leaders provided with five-star hotel accommodations, prostitutes and sex parties.

“Save Darfur” is today the rallying cry for a broad coalition of special interests. Advocacy groups—from the local Massachusetts Congregation B’Nai Israel chapter to the International Crises Group and USAID—have fueled the conflict through a relentless, but selective, public relations campaign that disingenuously serves a narrow policy agenda. These interests offer no opportunity for corrective analyses, but stubbornly press their agenda, and they are widely criticized for inflaming tensions in Darfur. This is what we might call Darfurism.

The latest Lockheed Martin contract with the United Nations illustrates the final stage in the transformation of international conflict whereby military-industrial giants are openly engaged, rather than clandestinely, as has been previously the case. This development parallels the rise of Darfurism— a mass movement in the West designed to channel popular sympathy and agitate people to act on a cause they know nothing about, but think they do.

Darfurism is a pathological mix of fear, patriotism, social immaturity, opportunism and unconsciousness akin to fascism. Under the current climate of apathy, fear and public opinion, anything goes, and warfare involves humanitarian agencies as active players in the mix. Like the Holocaust Memorial Museum they are seen as neutral, described as apolitical, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The United Nations and African Union serve as pseudo-privatized military forces backing a hegemonic, corporate, political and economic agenda. The future has arrived, and it uses human rights institutions, the label of genocide and accusations of atrocities, and the ever-expanding international AID and charity industry—operating out of pure profit motives—as pivotal elements in the Western portfolio of soft and hard weapons used to further the prerogatives of Empire and clear the land for absolute corporate exploitation.

keith harmon snow—www.allthingspass.com—is an independent human rights investigator and war correspondent who worked with Survivors Rights International (2005-2006), Genocide Watch (2005-2006) and the United Nations (2006) to document and expose genocide and crimes against humanity in Sudan and Ethiopia. He has worked in 17 countries in Africa, heavily focused on the Great Lakes region, and he recently worked in Afghanistan.

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[1] Pratap Chatterjee, “Darfur Diplomacy: Enter the Contractors,” CorpWatch, 21 October 2004, < http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11598 >.

[2] See: Michael Maren, The Road To Hell: The Ravaging Affects of Foreign Aid and International Charity, 1996.

[3] From the BSP web site: “As biometrics becomes an increasingly important component of physical and logical security systems there is a need for an authoritative and regularly updated reference and data base on virtually all aspects of biometrics and identity assurance.” .

[4] “Hezbollah is Using Christian Villages to Shield its Military Operations in Violation of International Law,” Christian Solidarity International, 1 August 2006, < http://www.csi-int.org/lebanon_immediate_release_c.php >.

[5] Karen Parker, Forced Displacement in Northern Uganda, United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, .

[6] Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Mellen Press, 1999.

[7] Private interview, eyewitness, October 2007.

[8] See: Tullow, Hardman and Heritage Oil concessions maps: .

[9] Angelo Izama, “How badly did Libya want the Kenya-Uganda oil pipeline deal?” Alexander’s Gas and Oil Connections, Vol. 11, Issue 12, November 24, 2006.

[10] Ralph G. Kershaw, “Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: International Justice According to Washington,” Covert Action Quarterly, No. 74, Fall 2002.

[11] Jeevan Vasagar, “Uganda hires PR agency to buff up its image,” The Guardian, May 21, 2005.

[12] The Rwandan Patriotic Army was renamed the Rwanda Defense Forces.

[13] “Uganda: Kampala-Kigali Oil Pipeline Estimated at $ 193.6 Million,” 16 October 2007, Rwanda News Agency, .

[14] keith harmon snow and Georgianne Nienaber: “Gorillas ‘Executed’ Stories front for Privatization and Militarization of Congo Parks, Truth of Depopulation Ignored,” ZNET, August 3, 2007; and “King Kong: The Map, The Mad Scientist, and the Mayor,” .

[15] Mathew Russel Lee, “At UN, Darfur No-Bid Contract Spun by UK, Chad and Somalia Preemptively Bid Out,” Inner City Press, October 24, 2007, .

[16] Mathew Russel Lee, “At UN, Darfur No-Bid Contract Spun by UK, Chad and Somalia Preemptively Bid Out,” Inner City Press, October 24, 2007, .

[17] See, e.g., Wayne Madsen, “The CIA’s Counter-Proliferation Division (CPD) and British intelligence have evidence that then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney lost three nuclear weapons in 1991,” Madsen Report, May 2, 2007; Alexander Cockburn, “Broken Arrows and Iran,” Counterpunch, August 3, 2005.

[18] Pauline Jelenek, “U.S. special forces in Somalia,” Associated Press, November 1, 2007.

[19] Stephanie McCrummen, “U.S. Warship Fires Missiles at Fighters in Somalia,” Washington Post, June 3, 2007.

[20] “HMS Bulwark welcomed home after Lebanon operations,” defense news, 15 August 2006.

[21] See: keith harmon snow, Today is the Day of Killing Anuaks, Genocide Watch and Survivor’s Rights International Report, February 25, 2004.

[22] Xan Rice, “US military ‘used Ethiopian base’ to attack Somali militants,” Guardian Unlimited, February 23, 2007.

[23] See: Livelihoods and Vulnerabilities Study, Gambella Region of Ethiopia, UNICEF report, December 13, 2006.

[24] “Uganda: American Advisors Being Deployed,” Indian Ocean Newsletter, No. 1209, March 3, 2007.

[25] AFRICOM .

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