keith harmon snow / Z Magazine – 2010-07-20 23:37:12
Apocalypse in Central Africa: Ongoing Repression, War Crimes, and US Involvement — EXCERPT
“As a key partner, we are very happy to be working with the Rwandan Defense Force as they seek to improve their capacity to do various peacekeeping missions as well as contribute in other ways to bringing peace to this region. And what we’re doing as a part of this visit is demonstrating to our Rwandan friends that we indeed are a committed partner… And by so doing, that stability is felt around the world…”
— General William E. Ward, US Africa Command (AFRICOM)
Press conference, Kigali, Rwanda, 22 April 2010
(July 20, 2010) — The US “War on Terror” destabilizes popular governments, communities, and indigenous societies all over the globe. This has occurred more than anywhere else in the Great Lakes region of Africa, where people face absolute terrorism and grotesque atrocities — the complete destruction of everything they know — a.k.a. genocide.
But genocide in Congo is off the agenda, in keeping with the prerogatives of private profit, western big business, white supremacy, and the politics of genocide.
The US has for years intervened in the region — US multinational Union Carbide, for example, was in control of the SOMIKIVU mines in the Congo’s Kivu provinces in the early 1960’s — but through an expanding military partnership with key agents in Central Africa since 1980, the US interventions have produced an unprecedented loss of life facilitated by direct US government polices, covert military operations and guerrilla warfare, all cloaked in euphemisms of “peacekeeping,” “humanitarianism” and “development.”
Now Rwanda and Uganda (Ethiopia right behind them) have become the Pentagon’s primary bases of operations in Africa, from which scores of millions of dollars of military hardware and Pentagon-trained African proxy warriors are routed into Congo and Burundi, but also far beyond these to the Pentagon’s theaters of operation in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia — even to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Haiti.
MASSIVE UNPRECEDENTED SILENCE
The United States has a long history of supporting brutal regimes. The western mass media system provides cover stories and blankets the truth with propaganda campaigns — a business area formally known as “perception management” — devised by corporate nationalist foundation think tanks like the Center for American Progress, the Atlantic Council and the Council on Foreign Relations.
General Augusto Pinochet came to power in a coup d’etat on the other September 11 in 1973. The United States backed Pinochet’s reign of terror in Chile and other perpetrators of mass atrocities in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Honduras, Bolivia, and El Salvador. In the 1980’s mainstream western photographers images of decapitated and dismembered bodies strewn across the verdant land were rarely published by the establishment press.
“Disappearing” as a terror tactic became routine — a product of western military ‘training’ from the School of the Americas. The people on the ground resisted, even as entire generations of families and whole communities were obliterated. Perpetrators were known but rarely held accountable; General Augusto Pinochet died in 2006, with 300 Chilean charges and several international war crimes charges against him.
The same story has unfolded in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, but methods of information control and perception management have been refined.
People in Canada, Europe, and the United States are so misinformed that they contribute to deceptive do-gooder campaigns launched by big government contractors masquerading as charities, like Save the Children and CARE International, or other so-called non-profit organizations whose main business is really propaganda, like the ENOUGH Project — funded by the Center for American Progress. But tax dollars are supporting brutal regimes committing the atrocities and causing the suffering people make donations for.
The media don’t report the massacres, decapitations, dismemberments, and routine disappearances in Congo, and if they do the violence is attributed to African savagery, rather than terrorism as a military instruction (counter-insurgency, tactical operations, invasions and psychological operations) taught at the School of the Americas at Fort Bragg (GA) or at Fort Leavenworth (KA).
The western news consumer has been sensitized to the mass rape occurring in eastern Congo, a cause that inspires hugely successful fundraising, like that of Eve Ensler’s United Nations-backed V-Day Campaign, or for Ben Affleck’s “humanitarian” charity in eastern Congo, but the narrative and discourse on rape blames the victims and shields or rewards the perpetrators.
The western psyche is inculcated with racist stereotypes about savagery, disease, and the abject poverty and hopelessness of Africa — as if you and I and other westerners have nothing at all to do with the poverty, starvation, sexual atrocities, or genocide. The public does not hear about the western interests involved, the mining companies behind the systematic rape, or Ben Affleck’s business ties to the regime in Rwanda — the military regime that occupies and terrorizes areas in Congo where Affleck’s ‘humanitarian’ project operates.
Pinochet’s reign of terror in Chile pales in comparison to the scale and nature of atrocities committed by the western proxies in Central Africa today. Topping the list of the Pentagon’s agents of repression are Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni and his brother-in-law General Salim Saleh; Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame and generals James Kabarebe and Karake Karenzi; and Congo’s president Joseph Kabila and General John Numbi.
The contemporary apocalypse in Central Africa began with the guerrilla war led by Yoweri Museveni, 1980-1985, where Paul Kagame was Director of Military Intelligence; Kagame is known for perpetrating massacres and for torturing people at intelligence ‘safe houses’ in Uganda. Due to Kagame and Museveni, Uganda’s Acholi people have been suffering a simmering genocide, hidden from the world, in northern Uganda.
The Kagame-Museveni guerrilla warfare in Uganda (1980-1985) set a course that determined the fate of millions of innocent people in Central Africa where the death toll continues to mount.
“A central demand of the people of the Congo is justice,” says Maurice Carney, director of Friends of the Congo. “Grotesque crimes have been committed — fueled by the looting of Congo’s riches by a multitude of multinational corporations and US and British allies Rwanda and Uganda. Unfortunately, most humanitarian and advocacy organizations in Washington have failed to demand that the US hold its allies and corporations accountable, in spite of existing US law that call for such accountability.”
BLAME THE VICTIMS, REWARD THE KILLERS
In October 1990, the Ugandan army and the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF) led by Major General Paul Kagame invaded Rwanda.
The guerrillas who violated international laws and committed massive war crimes were backed by Britain, Belgium, the United States and Israel. They were Ugandans. They were not the victims and they were not — as depicted by Philip Gourevitch in The New Yorker — “a stateless people” and “The Jews of Africa”: they were Tutsi elites, extremists bent on recovering power and domination, who had attacked Rwanda repeatedly over the decades since their overthrow in 1959.
By July 1994, the RPF completed its coup d’etat and consolidated its power in Rwanda. The government of Paul Kagame has since then maintained political power and manipulated public sympathy by promoting a highly politicized ideology of genocide.
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