Thursday, April 19, 2012

The United States' Strongmen in Africa - Part I

African leaders in the service of imperialist power. The U.S. government employs barbaric tactics to destabilize Africa for economic and political gains.

Things to remember if you are a strongman:

Be aware that when you serve as a U.S. supported dictator there are strings attached. Don't reject the program your backers have planned. The threats may at first be couched in the language of human rights. The massacres you committed while in the employ of your backers and fighting against forces with an agenda other than those of your neocolonial masters are suddenly a problem. You may even be accused of being mentally unstable, or of committing crimes and atrocities you had no involvement in. Human rights observers (or those not so observant of human rights -- a more sinister breed known as "Jackals") may be dispatched to investigate the many animal pelts, tusks and assorted other skeletons in your closet. The massacres of hundreds of thousands, that never made the news, suddenly become newsworthy, and the word genocide is floated.

"In the end however, all the killing was blamed on the ADFL [Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire] — dismissing the roles of Rwanda, Uganda, and the US and Israeli military officials advising them and Pentagon agencies providing logistics."
2- Howard French, Africa: A Continent for the Taking, 2001.

In October last year, the U.S. announced that it was deploying 100 troops to Uganda on a "humanitarian mission" to stop those who employ child soldiers. No permission was sought from the American Congress, as the U.S. military would only be acting as "advisors." No such altruism was on display when the U.S. backed African strongmen Yoweri Museveni, Paul Kagame, and Laurent Kabila, all were guilty of enlisting children as combatants. What other motives drove the U.S. to send troops to Uganda?

It is well documented that Western powers forced most African countries during the 1990s into structural adjustment programs that have ensnared the continent in a cycle of debt and dependency. In recent years, the economic noose around Africa's neck may be seen as loosening by the West, primarily because China is gaining increasing economic influence, posing what is seen as a threat. The U.S. has decided on a military and covert response. The U.S. is escalating it's use of proxy wars. The U.S. oil wars in Africa are well underway. "West Africa alone sits atop 15% of the world's oil, and by 2015 is projected to supply up to a quarter of US domestic consumption," wrote Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report in 2007.

The irony is the sheer hypocrisy of conservative American think tanks and right-wing politicians who pontificate about the virtues of free-market Capitalism, but rather than compete in a so-called fictional "free-market economy," their government's best move is to employ their military and propaganda machine to destroy people's lives. The real story is that there is no such thing as free-market Capitalism. The driving force behind the global economy is "crony Capitalism" or as often reiterated during the Romney campaign - "vulture Capitalism."

The neocolonial rape of Africa also illustrates that American strong-arm tactics and war machinery are reflexive instruments which have almost complete bi-partisan political support.

The only way America has chosen to conduct itself in the world is via old-timey "gun-boat diplomacy." An American Navy aircraft carrier is widely known as, "100,000 tons of American diplomacy" because it carries American aggression to the oceans.

The United States Rewards and Supports the "Strong Governance" of these African Leaders:

Yoweri Museveni | Uganda

A U.S. State Department cable reveals Museveni's government has signed an agreement that specifically states "that Ugandan forces may not utilize U.S. intelligence to engage enemies without first consulting U.S. officials."
Source: 1- Cable shows U.S. permission required for key Ugandan combat ops
2- Cable Reference ID #09KAMPALA1397 | Uganda: Intelligence Sharing Agreement | Wed, 16 Dec 2009 13:42

The buildup of the Ugandan external debt under President Musaveni [sic] coincided chronologically with the Rwandan and Congolese civil wars. With the accession of Musaveni to the presidency in 1986, the Ugandan external debt stood at 1.3 billion dollars. With the gush of fresh money, the external debt spiraled overnight, increasing almost threefold to 3.7 billion by 1997. In fact, Uganda had no outstanding debt to the World Bank at the outset of its "economic recovery program". By 1997, it owed almost 2 billion dollars solely to the World Bank.
Source: 1- The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa
2- Jim Mugunga, Uganda foreign debt hits Shs 4 trillion, The Monitor, Kampala, 19 Feb 1997.

Paul Kagame | Rwanda

In 1991, the U.S. backed and trained the Ugandan invasion of Rwanda, which put Paul Kagame into power in Kigali in 1994. "The civil war in Rwanda was a brutal struggle for political power between the Hutu-led Habyarimana government supported by France and the Tutsi Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) backed financially and militarily by Washington. Ethnic rivalries were used deliberately in the pursuit of geopolitical objectives. Both the CIA and French intelligence were involved."
Source: The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa
Amply documented, US special operations troops -- mainly Green Berets from the 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C.-- had been actively training the RPA. This program was a continuation of the covert support and military aid provided to the RPA prior to 1994. In turn, the tragic outcome of the Rwandan civil war including the refugee crisis had set the stage for the participation of Ugandan and Rwandan RPA in the civil war in the Congo.
Source: 1- The US was behind the Rwandan Genocide: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa
2- Lynne Duke Africans Use US Military Training in Unexpected Ways, Washington Post. July 14, 1998; p.A01.

Critics such as Wayne Madsen, author of Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999, assert that Kagame and the RPA orchestrated the April 6, 1994 assassination of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi-shooting down their plane on its approach to Kigali airport with SAM-7 surface-to-air missiles taken from Iraq by France in 1991, then delivered by the U.S. military to Uganda, the base for RPA guerrilla operations against Rwanda prior to 1994.

Evidence was provided at a special hearing held by then Congressperson Cynthia McKinney at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC on April 6, 2001, the seventh anniversary of the assassinations.
Source: Rwanda's Secret War: U. S. -backed destabilization of Central Africa

Paul Kagame's son Ivan Cyomoro is a cadet at the United States Military Academy of West Point. Ivan is a member of the West Point Class of 2013.
Source: Rwanda President Kagame Visits His Son At The US Military Academy

Alassane Ouattara | Côte d'Ivoire

Alassane Ouattara was a Deputy Director General at the IMF in Washington, DC: "Ouattara, an economist and former senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had been handpicked by [former Ivory Coast president] Houphouet-Boigny to implement unpopular economic reforms during his latter years in power."

Two prominent French business figures with interests in Africa – Martin Bouygues, head of the Bouygues industrial group, and Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, son of former French president François Mitterrand – were present as friends of Ouattara [at Ouatarra's wedding to a French woman of Algerian descent].
Ouattara is a close personal friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy: "We speak to each other on my visits to France. Nicolas Sarkozy is a friend," confided Ouattara, at the very beginning of his presidential campaign.
Source: La revanche des Ouattara

Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivorian president was arrested by French special forces and given over to the soldiers of Alassane Ouattara. Gbagbo was arrested after tank assault led by the French army. "These leaders of the rebellion have been conveyed there by the French forces who entered the residence with tanks", he added. "The president was in his office" The information was confirmed by the ambassador of France in Ivory Coast.
In recent years, billions of barrels of crude oil were discovered along Uganda’s border with the Congo. The oil discovery is said to rival Saudi Arabia's oil reserves. In April last year, Tullow, one of four oil prospectors on the ground in Uganda, embarked on a major drilling campaign in the Butiaba area around Lake Albert targeting an overall reserve potential in excess of a billion barrels. On October 14, 2011, ABC News reported that Obama was sending troops to Uganda on a humanitarian mission -- to help combat the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The only problem with that: The LRA are no longer in Uganda -- had not been there since 2006. On March 5, 2012, the video Kony 2012, produced by the admitted U.S. intelligence asset, Invisible Children is so hyped by the U.S. media that it goes viral. Coincidentally, the video demands U.S. intervention in Africa to capture LRA leader Joseph Kony.

A group of Ugandans were in Washington recently. The group was comprised of Ministry of Energy officials, a member of Parliament, members of civil society and one journalist. Sally Kornfeld, a senior analyst in the office of fossil energy at the US Department of Energy said the following about Uganda’s oil reservoirs:

"You are blessed with amazing reservoirs. Your reservoirs are incredible. I am amazed by what I have seen, you might rival Saudi Arabia,”

"As Kornfeld marveled at Uganda’s oil finds, she was quick to add that for the country to benefit from the oil and gas resources but also avoid the pitfalls of oil producing countries like Nigeria, it is extremely important to set up strong governance structures."

Read more: I was a child soldier for Uganda’s President

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