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#61 William Kelly

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Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:40 PM



Raúl receives Congolese President

Obama sending troops to aid Africa anti-insurgency


It was not the warning systems that have been found wanting but the ability of world leaders to support and resource regional governments, the UN and aid agencies to ensure there was early and effective action, particularly in war-torn Somalia.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Somalia's most dangerous militant group threatened Kenya with suicide attacks on Monday, saying Nairobi's skyscrapers would be destroyed and its tourism industry ruined in an ominous warning one day after Kenyan troops poured into Somalia.

Obama sending troops to aid Africa anti-insurgency ... sent to advise, not engage in combat, unless forced to defend themselves. ( Hmm ... where have I read that before? )


http://www.johnpilge...ts-crown-jewels


The Son of Africa claims a continent's crown jewels

20 October 2011
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.


Obama's decision is described in the press as "highly unusual" and "surprising", even "weird". It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and "protect" Indonesia, which President Nixon called "the region's richest hoard of natural resources... the greatest prize". Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America's subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually "self defence" or "humanitarian", words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.


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.


However, the main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam war. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalised paranoia that justifies what General David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American "threat". When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defence at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, "Asymmetric threats ... asymmetric threats". These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.


Africa is China's success story. Where the Americans bring drones and destabilisation, the Chinese bring roads, bridges and dams. What they want is resources, especially fossil fuels. With Africa's greatest oil reserves, Libya under Muammar Gaddafi was one of China's most important sources of fuel. When the civil war broke out and Nato backed the "rebels" with a fabricated story about Gaddafi planning "genocide" in Benghazi, China evacuated its 30,000 workers in Libya. The subsequent UN security council resolution that allowed the west's "humanitarian intervention" was explained succinctly in a proposal to the French government by the "rebel" National Transitional Council, disclosed last month in the newspaper Liberation, in which France was offered 35 per cent of Libya's gross national oil production "in exchange" (the term used) for "total and permanent" French support for the NTC. Running up the Stars and Stripes in "liberated" Tripoli last month, US ambassador Gene Cretz blurted out: "We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!"


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.





Meet Joseph Kony, the guy Obama sent armed US military personnel to kill.

Revolutionary Program: 100 Armed US Military Advisors to Africa

#62 John Dolva

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:10 PM

http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/49188
Kenya: Flower cash crops reap hunger, destruction
Sunday, October 23, 2011 By Tony Iltis

Posted Image

Kenyan flower plantation.


An estimated 2.4 million Kenyans are facing food insecurity this year.

One cause is poor rains, which have affected all of north-east Africa and are probably at least partially the result of climate change. Another is the rising cost of imported food.

Rising food costs are also partly caused by climate change, but also by speculation. For the finance industry, food is just another commodity to be bought, sold or hoarded to generate the most profits.

This is neoliberal globalisation, under which a bad harvest in the Ukraine or a financial transaction on Wall Street can cause a child to go hungry in Kenya.

Neoliberal globalisation means that although Kenya depends on imported food, since the 1980s Kenyan agriculture has been increasingly devoted to crops for export to Europe.

This includes fruit and vegetables, but the main crop is flowers.

Kenya is the largest supplier of cut flowers to Europe, providing more than a quarter of imports. These are mostly roses, and a third of annual production is for Valentine's Day, Xinhua reported on February 13, 2009.

In 2004, Kenya was exporting more than 88 million tonnes of cut flowers worth US$264 million, Reuters reported on February 12, 2006. Foreign, mainly European, corporations own the flower farms.

Most of the industry in concentrated around Lake Naivasha. A January 2008 report by Food and Water Watch and the Council of Canadians, Lake Naivasha: Withering Under the Assault of International Flower Vendors, documented how overuse of the lake’s water causes levels to drop.

This has had a devastating effect on plant, marine and animal life. Hippo numbers have fallen by more than 25%.

The report said: “Historically there was public access to the lake, but the private landowners have closed most of that … which really means the flower farms now own much of the land around the lake.

“Without adequate lake access, poor residents are left to get their water from communal taps and form long lines to do so.

“Cattle herders, such as the Maasai, can only bring their cows to a small section of the lake where there is still public access ― sharing access with women washing their clothes, hippos, and flamingoes.”

University of Leicester environmentalist David Harper told the March 28, 2006, British Times: “Almost everybody in Europe who has eaten Kenyan beans or Kenyan strawberries, and gazed at Kenyan roses, has bought Naivasha water.

“It will become a turgid, smelly pond with impoverished communities eking out a living along bare shores … As the lake becomes smaller and shallower it will become warmer, fueling the growth of microscopic algae.

“It is only a matter of time before the lake becomes toxic.”

The Food and Water Watch report said: “The pesticides applied on the farms and in the greenhouses eventually end up in Lake Naivasha and in the groundwater, endangering the area’s people and wildlife …

“During a trip to Lake Naivasha in the summer of 2007, Food and Water Watch staff saw photographs of cattle who died after drinking pesticide-laden water flowing from one of the flower farms.”

Workers are also routinely exposed to dangerous pesticides. Reuters said: “[Flower worker] Masete points to black spots on her feet and says the pesticides and fertilisers used at the flower farm she works on give her rashes two or three times a month.”

Workers on Kenyan flower farms are treated appallingly. Masete also told Reuters that sexual abuse was common.

Another worker told Reuters that due to low wages, “he could barely afford to buy water for his three children and wife”.


Posted Image


International organisations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank use “development aid”, access to capital and debt restructuring as leverage to force Kenya to devote agricultural land to export agribusiness rather than food for local consumers.

But it is not just international financial institutions.

An April 2002 article on the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)’s website described inedible flowers as “an important source of food security because of the income they bring to thousands of people ― most of them women ― in developing countries”.

The rural technical assistance programs the FAO was advertising included “reducing pesticide use”, but the onus for doing this was put on the farm workers.

The main project was promoting “women growing flowers and speciality legumes as an alternative to subsistence farming”.

The FAO article explained: “The women in Nyeri grow high-value export crops … No significant domestic markets exist … so the field schools also teach marketing for export.”

The European owners of the flower farms have even managed to get some of their products certified as “Fairtrade” through tokenistic environmental measures.

The improvements in labour standards required to win Fairtrade certification appear equally tokenistic. In February 2006, at a farm producing Fairtrade-certified roses, “workers rioted after being sacked en masse for striking in a dispute over wages and working conditions”, a February 13, 2006 Guardian article said.


From GLW issue 900



#63 John Dolva

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 05:15 PM

http://www.sipri.org/
Welcome to SIPRI

SIPRI is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament. Established in 1966, SIPRI provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public. SIPRI is named as one of the world's leading think tanks in Foreign Policy magazine's "Think Tank Index". Read more about SIPRI >>





Activities in autumn


December 8, Harare

Dissemination seminar in Zimbabwe: promoting the participation of women in peace, security and post-conflict transformation

This seminar will share the experiences and lessons learned by the WCoZ on promoting women’s participation in peace and security issues and to contribute to the analysis of the conflict in Zimbabwe and its implications for gender, peace and security. In addition, the seminar will introduce the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Gender Alliance—Peace and Security Cluster. Read more about the event here.

#64 Norman Pratt

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:07 AM

http://allafrica.com...1111130186.html

#65 John Dolva

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:29 PM

Thanks for the link, Norman.

___________________

A PRAVDA perspective:

World » Africa


Africa? Where is Africa?
21.11.2011 Posted ImageCorrect, we might well ask because Africa is apparently invisible and has certainly been inaudible, looking on cowering in fear as a new wave of neo-colonialism is launched against her shores, by the same demons who sold Africans into slavery and stole her resources. As Mother Africa is raped, her sons look on like voyeurs.

Those of us who have worked hard behind the scenes telling the world about the real intentions of NATO, telling the world that there is a grand scheme and a pattern which began with Afghanistan not in 2001 after 9/11 but back in the 1990s when Mullah Omar refused to take a bribe from the USA giving US energy companies transportation rights of the fuel resources from Central Asia across his country. It continued with Iraq, the last piece in the puzzle securing Iran's western frontier for invasion.

For those who have any doubts at all, then google up Iran and US bases and tell me the Islamic Republic is not surrounded both on land and by sea. Tunisia and Egypt set the scene in preparation for Libya, as I said in this column and then, as Mother Africa was gang-raped by among the worst demonic scourge this planet has ever seen, what did Africa's sons do? Absolutely nothing at all.

One or two of them went through the token motions of trying to appear interested, most of them shrugged their shoulders, asked "what can we do?" and then reiterated the soundbites spoon-fed to them by their western masters. One of them stood up and fought like a hero, and his name is Muammar al-Qathafi.

What a disgusting comment on Africa's leaders, collectively a bunch of useless, vapid, sniveling cowards, fat porcine creatures snorting on their own gold-lined thrones and like donkeys, being ridden by foreigners, the very same foreign masters who colonised them for centuries, destroyed their cultures, massacred their peoples, turned them into slaves, raped their women, killed their children, dessecrated their fields and stole their produce.

It is time Africa stood up for itself and assumed its position on the world stage. However, with Muammar al-Qathafi apparently removed from the scene, gone is the influence behind a unified Africa, gone are the Pan-African projects providing Africa with African solutions for African problems, gone is the African financing for African interests. And as NATO destroyed the African dream before our very eyes this year, 2011, watch this space as Libya free-falls to become once again one of the poorest countries on Earth, as instead of sporting a billionaire sovereign fund it becomes indebted to the greedy IMF bankers and its future and independence are sold out to foreigners. In fact, this has already happened, thanks to NATO's terrorists, you know, those bearded wonders who decapitated Negroes in the streets, raped girls and women, torched buildings, ransacked government and private property and went on a murderous looting spree. Cameron's, Sarkozy's and Obama's darlings. Allahu Akhbar!

After Libia, it is the rest of Africa and AFRICOM will soon be installed around the continent, setting up US military bases which will serve ostensibly as trading posts but in fact will be permanent seats from which Washington and the real capital city of the USA, Tel Aviv, will control Africa's resources. That is why Gaddafy was removed, he was getting too dangerous for the vested interests.

And here is where the media steps in. What is the worldwide image of Africa? Poor. Poverty, famine, disease. AIDS, corruption. Negative images, squalor, misery. All of this is cultivated by a corporate media which likes to have a "them" to justify the "us" and by saying Africa is poor, they give out the idea that it is a continent not worth bothering about. In fact, due to the nonchalance and connivance of Africa's leaders, so intent on lining their own pockets (with few exceptions), it is as if Africa, and especially now without Gaddafi, did not exist. It is there but is neither seen nor heard.

Africa, indeed, is not a poor continent, neither is it a dry one. Its water resources are massive, it is rich in copper, in silver, in gold, in platinum. It is rich in natural gas and oil, diamonds, manganese. Africa has iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite. Vast swathes of Africa's lands are so fertile they support three harvests a year and the continent is rich in wood.

Africa's coastline is huge, its seas vast. Africa is not a poor continent. In geo-political terms, Africa is not even a continent. It is a collection of peoples, led by sheep-like sycophants who lick the crud off the boots that kicked them into slavery as their backs are beaten and they say obediently "Thank you, master!" as they receive a handful of coins as they sell out the futures of their sons and daughters.

When a few years ago I shocked a group of visitors to a sanzala, or sugar plantation which used slave labour, by asking to be placed in the "punishment place" which was a heavy door closed onto the slave, pinning him or her against a wall so there was barely room to breathe, and I stayed there all day, surrounded by scorpions and snakes and cockroaches the size of platters, forcing myself to stay there until after dark, as I purged the evil that committed these crimes from my soul, I could feel for the first time the anger of the African psyche, I could feel the desperation in the heart of the last young man to be pinned there, no doubt snatched away from his family and children and after a horrific voyage of several weeks or months in deplorable conditions, sitting in a sea of excrement and being lashed daily, fed badly, emerging unwashed and stinking from that ship, to be prodded and goaded and ridiculed and treated like an object before being forced to sleep in a space where the ceiling was so low, he had to crawl... he was beyond tears, he was beyond anger, he was beyond rage but the last thing he lost was hope.

Africa's youth today are sons of the young man I was speaking about. The resources of Africa do not belong to a handful of leaders, wilfully corrupted by the western powers who carved Africa up drawing lines on maps, murdering the people - Africa's resources belong to Africa's youth, who must understand that the African Project of Gaddafi was and is viable and is the only way the Continent will defend itself from what can only be called corporate looting backed by the terrorist organization NATO, whose Governor in Africa is AFRICOM.

What can you do? Africans can network, can form powerful civic society groups forcing their leaders to be accountable, can empower the African Union so that Africa does not once again become colonised and Africa can declare very firmly that she does NOT want US bases on African soil, does NOT want AFRICOM and does NOT do business or shake the hands of those who murder Africans. And those were the nations behind the escapade in Libya. Africa must make Libya their commercial grave, make them feel it was the worst mistake they made by shutting them out of the Continent. After all, what have they given Africa? Nothing but interference and disrespect for local cultures (visible now that the UK tells countries they have to accept gays or there is no aid).

Africa can only make a difference by standing up for herself and taking her rightful place among the community of nations as an equal partner, proud and as powerful as any other. For trading partners, the BRIC group (Brazil, Russia, India, China) appears as a powerful block without political strings attached to commercial agreements and other emerging powers like Iran, Indonesia and Mexico are not countries who grew fat by stealing and murdering.

Mark my words, Africa.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru

#66 William Kelly

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the link, Norman.

___________________

A PRAVDA perspective:

World » Africa


Africa? Where is Africa?
21.11.2011 Posted ImageCorrect, we might well ask because Africa is apparently invisible and has certainly been inaudible, looking on cowering in fear as a new wave of neo-colonialism is launched against her shores, by the same demons who sold Africans into slavery and stole her resources. As Mother Africa is raped, her sons look on like voyeurs.

Those of us who have worked hard behind the scenes telling the world about the real intentions of NATO, telling the world that there is a grand scheme and a pattern which began with Afghanistan not in 2001 after 9/11 but back in the 1990s when Mullah Omar refused to take a bribe from the USA giving US energy companies transportation rights of the fuel resources from Central Asia across his country. It continued with Iraq, the last piece in the puzzle securing Iran's western frontier for invasion.

For those who have any doubts at all, then google up Iran and US bases and tell me the Islamic Republic is not surrounded both on land and by sea. Tunisia and Egypt set the scene in preparation for Libya, as I said in this column and then, as Mother Africa was gang-raped by among the worst demonic scourge this planet has ever seen, what did Africa's sons do? Absolutely nothing at all.

One or two of them went through the token motions of trying to appear interested, most of them shrugged their shoulders, asked "what can we do?" and then reiterated the soundbites spoon-fed to them by their western masters. One of them stood up and fought like a hero, and his name is Muammar al-Qathafi.

What a disgusting comment on Africa's leaders, collectively a bunch of useless, vapid, sniveling cowards, fat porcine creatures snorting on their own gold-lined thrones and like donkeys, being ridden by foreigners, the very same foreign masters who colonised them for centuries, destroyed their cultures, massacred their peoples, turned them into slaves, raped their women, killed their children, dessecrated their fields and stole their produce.

It is time Africa stood up for itself and assumed its position on the world stage. However, with Muammar al-Qathafi apparently removed from the scene, gone is the influence behind a unified Africa, gone are the Pan-African projects providing Africa with African solutions for African problems, gone is the African financing for African interests. And as NATO destroyed the African dream before our very eyes this year, 2011, watch this space as Libya free-falls to become once again one of the poorest countries on Earth, as instead of sporting a billionaire sovereign fund it becomes indebted to the greedy IMF bankers and its future and independence are sold out to foreigners. In fact, this has already happened, thanks to NATO's terrorists, you know, those bearded wonders who decapitated Negroes in the streets, raped girls and women, torched buildings, ransacked government and private property and went on a murderous looting spree. Cameron's, Sarkozy's and Obama's darlings. Allahu Akhbar!

After Libia, it is the rest of Africa and AFRICOM will soon be installed around the continent, setting up US military bases which will serve ostensibly as trading posts but in fact will be permanent seats from which Washington and the real capital city of the USA, Tel Aviv, will control Africa's resources. That is why Gaddafy was removed, he was getting too dangerous for the vested interests.

And here is where the media steps in. What is the worldwide image of Africa? Poor. Poverty, famine, disease. AIDS, corruption. Negative images, squalor, misery. All of this is cultivated by a corporate media which likes to have a "them" to justify the "us" and by saying Africa is poor, they give out the idea that it is a continent not worth bothering about. In fact, due to the nonchalance and connivance of Africa's leaders, so intent on lining their own pockets (with few exceptions), it is as if Africa, and especially now without Gaddafi, did not exist. It is there but is neither seen nor heard.

Africa, indeed, is not a poor continent, neither is it a dry one. Its water resources are massive, it is rich in copper, in silver, in gold, in platinum. It is rich in natural gas and oil, diamonds, manganese. Africa has iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite. Vast swathes of Africa's lands are so fertile they support three harvests a year and the continent is rich in wood.

Africa's coastline is huge, its seas vast. Africa is not a poor continent. In geo-political terms, Africa is not even a continent. It is a collection of peoples, led by sheep-like sycophants who lick the crud off the boots that kicked them into slavery as their backs are beaten and they say obediently "Thank you, master!" as they receive a handful of coins as they sell out the futures of their sons and daughters.

When a few years ago I shocked a group of visitors to a sanzala, or sugar plantation which used slave labour, by asking to be placed in the "punishment place" which was a heavy door closed onto the slave, pinning him or her against a wall so there was barely room to breathe, and I stayed there all day, surrounded by scorpions and snakes and cockroaches the size of platters, forcing myself to stay there until after dark, as I purged the evil that committed these crimes from my soul, I could feel for the first time the anger of the African psyche, I could feel the desperation in the heart of the last young man to be pinned there, no doubt snatched away from his family and children and after a horrific voyage of several weeks or months in deplorable conditions, sitting in a sea of excrement and being lashed daily, fed badly, emerging unwashed and stinking from that ship, to be prodded and goaded and ridiculed and treated like an object before being forced to sleep in a space where the ceiling was so low, he had to crawl... he was beyond tears, he was beyond anger, he was beyond rage but the last thing he lost was hope.

Africa's youth today are sons of the young man I was speaking about. The resources of Africa do not belong to a handful of leaders, wilfully corrupted by the western powers who carved Africa up drawing lines on maps, murdering the people - Africa's resources belong to Africa's youth, who must understand that the African Project of Gaddafi was and is viable and is the only way the Continent will defend itself from what can only be called corporate looting backed by the terrorist organization NATO, whose Governor in Africa is AFRICOM.

What can you do? Africans can network, can form powerful civic society groups forcing their leaders to be accountable, can empower the African Union so that Africa does not once again become colonised and Africa can declare very firmly that she does NOT want US bases on African soil, does NOT want AFRICOM and does NOT do business or shake the hands of those who murder Africans. And those were the nations behind the escapade in Libya. Africa must make Libya their commercial grave, make them feel it was the worst mistake they made by shutting them out of the Continent. After all, what have they given Africa? Nothing but interference and disrespect for local cultures (visible now that the UK tells countries they have to accept gays or there is no aid).

Africa can only make a difference by standing up for herself and taking her rightful place among the community of nations as an equal partner, proud and as powerful as any other. For trading partners, the BRIC group (Brazil, Russia, India, China) appears as a powerful block without political strings attached to commercial agreements and other emerging powers like Iran, Indonesia and Mexico are not countries who grew fat by stealing and murdering.

Mark my words, Africa.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey

Pravda.Ru


John, I hope you don't believe this Claptrap junk.


Tunisia and Egypt set the scene for Libya, yes, but it wasn't NATO who started it. NATO was on the side of Gadhafi until the started killing his own people.
Yes, a PRAVDA view of Africa is one in which they support the dictators like they do in Iran and Syria.

Where's the Russian base in the area - Syria.

What can Africa do? They can get rid of their dictators.

If you believe that Tel Aviv is the real capitol of USA then you are propagating ideology.

If you believe that Gadhafi was a benevolent dictator who would have united Africa, you must also know he wanted to be King of Africa.


Africans don't have to fear foreigners, they have to fear the tyrants who refuse to give up control of political power, and they are the ones
who control the strategic minerals and wealth and refuse to build a working infrastructure.

I live near Fort. Dix NJ where troops are trained and they are being trained for humanitarian missions, and the only base in Africa today
does humanitarian operations.

Check it out.

U.S. Africa Command Home



#67 John Dolva

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 03:35 PM

Interesting points of view William.

Since when have the US had humanitarian concerns for Africa?

Is it true that a drone base is being set up in Seychelles? Do you think the ruling groups in the USofA have interests in the wealth of Africa?

#68 William Kelly

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 05:27 PM

Interesting points of view William.

Since when have the US had humanitarian concerns for Africa?

Is it true that a drone base is being set up in Seychelles? Do you think the ruling groups in the USofA have interests in the wealth of Africa?


Hi John,

I think the Ruskies view is interesting too - as they seem to enjoy supporting the dictators in Syria, Iran and Africa, and like to sell tanks and military hardware to them.

I don't know about the Seychelles, but I do know the Marines are coming to Australia. Seychelles would be a good Drone base.

Ruling groups in the USA already have enough wealth and don't need Africa's.

U.S. troops in Africa focus on humanitarian missions - CNN
As the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Africa Command, enables full spectrum operations while conducting sustained security engagement with African land forces to promote security, stability, and peace. As directed, deploys a contingency headquarters in support of crisis response.

America’s premier Army team dedicated to positive change in Africa.



U.S. Marines at Camp Lemonier -- the only American military base on the African continent -- spend much of their time vaccinating livestock, repairing schools and giving medical training.

The camp, just 10 miles north of the Somali border, began as a French Foreign Legion outpost, but the Djibouti government agreed in 2002 to let the U.S. military establish a base for counterterrorism and humanitarian missions in the Horn of Africa.

The 1,800 U.S. troops in Djibouti spend just a fraction of their time on military tasks, such as locating and removing land mines. They conduct civil affairs operations in seven East African countries -- seen as an antidote to extremism.

"If you get at the basic needs of any individual, if you address the basic needs of people, then you have the opportunity to change their mindset, then you have the opportunity to show them that there is something better than doing extreme acts," said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Roosevelt Barfield, deputy commander of the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa.

Many of the Marines in Djibouti, a predominantly Muslim country, previously served in Iraq.

"In Iraq, you can just go out and pretty much roll around and you do what you got to do and your mind set is a lot different," said Marine Cpl. Chad Armstrong. "Here, this country is a sovereign nation. Their government is established and everything, so there is a lot more working with the governments here."

The military role, though, sometimes upstages the humanitarian mission.

Periodic airstrikes of suspected al Qaeda terrorist targets in Somalia, often from U.S. warships, has created animosity among ethnic Somalis in the region.

The U.S. military presence in Djibouti underscores the growing importance of Africa to the U.S. military. The United States has created a centralized military command for Africa, U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, which will become fully operational in October.

The reluctance of African leaders to host a U.S. military facility, however, has hampered selection of a headquarters location for AFRICOM. Liberia, so far, is the only African country to offer. For now, AFRICOM is based in Stuttgart, Germany.

History - United States Army Africa - SETAF In 1963, SETAF lent a helping hand to our Italian neighbors when a huge landslide forced a deluge of water over the Vajont Dam in the Piave Valley killing more than 2,000 people. SETAF helicopters were the first on the scene to provide assistance.

War Is Boring » Africa Partnership Station

Africa Partnership Station, David Axe, Naval | Tags: Africa, Navy, USS Nashvilleby DAVID AXE U.S. Navy journalist Martin Cuaron was aboard USS Nashville when the now-retired amphibious ship sailed down the West African coast in early 2009, delivering training and humanitarian aid to U.S.-allied governments. The so-called “Africa Partnership Station” is one of several “Global Fleet Stations” established in recent years in Latin America, Africa and [...]



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#69 John Dolva

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 04:00 PM

Very comforting.

___

William, what do you think of the idea of outsourcing the fight against Piracy with modern Privateers?

#70 William Kelly

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 08:29 PM

Very comforting.

___

William, what do you think of the idea of outsourcing the fight against Piracy with modern Privateers?


We don't have to. That's what the US Navy is for.

The US Congress was reluctant to fund a Navy until the Barbary Pirate states of Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Tripoli decided to declare war against the young United States and plunder the merchant ships in the Med that flew the Stars & Stripes. They enslaved the passengers and crew, sold the cargo and used the ships as part of their pirate fleet. So the Africans enslaved Americans before Americans enslaved Africans.

Other nations paid them tribute to stop the practice, but the US citizens took up the motto, "Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," and Congress funded the construction of a fleet of ships - four frigates and four schooners.

While the other nations quickly agreed to a treaty Tripoli put up a fight. The first encounter between an American and pirate ship was between the schooner Enterprise, commanded by Lt. Sterret and the pirate corsair Tripoli, a short engagement quickly won by the Sterret. Remember the Intrepid: US Navy & the Barbary Corsairs

The large frigate USS Philadelphia, under the command of Capt. Bainbridge, ran aground off Tripoli harbor and was captured by the pirates, along with its 300 man crew. Lt. Stephen Decatur, using the disguised captured pirate ship USS Intrepid, recaptured the Philadelphia and sunk it in Tripoli harbor. Lt. Richard Somers, on Sept. 4, 1804, using the Intrepid as a fireship, reentered Tripoli harbor at night but the ship prematurely exploded, killing Somers, his first officer Lt. Henry Wadsworth (Uncle and namesake of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and eleven other men. They are still buried at Tripoli harbor. Both Decatur and Somers were the first midshipmen selected by Capt. John Barry - the "Father of the US Navy" to serve aboard the frigate USS United States, one of the first four frigates.

Their motto - in the 1800s fight against pirates - was "Death to Tyrants" and their action is recalled today in the names of the US ships engaged in the war on pirates, terrorists and tyrants.

The US Navy SEALS snipers who shot and killed three pirates a few years ago did so from the USS Bainbridge. Also stationed off Africa are the guided missile frigates USS Sterret and the USS Barry, both engaged in sending Tomahawk missiles into Libya during the NATO action against Gadhafi forces.

So if North African pirates would have left American ships alone, there wouldn't be a US Navy as we know it today.

There is also a resolution passed by the US House of Representatives and currently being considered by the US Senate to repatriate the remains of Somers and his men from Tripoli so they can be properly buried at home.

For those students of history who would like to know more about these events, I have written about them and posted them at this blog:

Remember the Intrepid

Now aren't you glad you asked, John?


BK

Edited by William Kelly, 24 November 2011 - 08:31 PM.


#71 John Dolva

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 09:44 AM

Lol, Of course I am William. I'm into learning things.
Sometimes the things one learns are not what is written.

#72 John Dolva

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 03:34 PM


Mineral profits fuel Congo violence
Sunday, December 4, 2011 By Tony Iltis

Posted Image

Electoral workers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


“Preliminary results from Congo’s presidential election show incumbent Joseph Kabila leading,” Associated Press reported on December 3. For several reasons, this is not surprising news from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The reasons include election-related violence, in which the police and army were not neutral, and electoral fraud.

Violence escalated in the final days before the November 28 poll.

AP said the DRC “remains on edge after days of violence which left at least 18 dead and seriously wounded 100 more, with most of the deaths caused by troops loyal to Kabila, Human Rights Watch said”.

“The violence peaked on [November 26] when tens of thousands of people descended on Kinshasa’s airport to welcome home [opposition candidate Etienne] Tshisekedi …

“In the government crackdown that followed, at least 14 people were killed … Soldiers fired into the crowd, hitting a 27-year-old mother of five in the head.”

Senior HRW Africa researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg said: “Elections don’t give soldiers an excuse to randomly shoot at crowds. The authorities should immediately suspend those responsible for this unnecessary bloodshed and hold them to account.”

Fraud alleged

All four main opposition candidates have alleged fraud, and international observers reported routine irregularities. These were widely predicted.

Congolese University of North Carolina academic Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja said on Al Jazeera on November 27: “The Independent National Electoral Commission has no autonomy, as it works closely with the government of President Joseph Kabila, who is seeking re-election.

“Pastor Daniel Ngoy Mulunda, the Methodist minister who heads the commission, is a relative of the president and a founding member of the ruling party … His performance so far has not shown any signs of impartiality.

“The electoral commission has refused to allow for an independent audit of the voters’ roll, which is known to include minors, Rwandan citizens and ghost voters, while real voters have in many instances found their names deleted from it.

“The commission did belatedly release a map of polling stations, but many of these have been found to be non-existent.”

However, these are not the main reasons preventing democratic elections in the DRC.

Much of the country, particularly the north-east, is still being devastated by a genocidal war that since 1996 has, in a country with a population of about 72 million, killed more people than any conflict since World War II.

This multi-sided war involving local and international participants is partly responsible for the extreme poverty of the Congolese people. Its cause is the DRC’s extreme wealth in minerals.

Poverty

The November 26 Guardian said: “Despite $24 trillion of known mineral deposits, Congo sits bottom of the latest UN human development index: 60% of people live on less than $1.25 a day.”

Life expectancy is 48.

This paradox is the result of over a century of the violent plunder of the country’s resources and exploitation of the people’s labour.

The war that has raged since the 1996 overthrow of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko is fuelled by the rocketing global demand for coltan, a mineral used in electronic devices such as mobile phones and laptops.

During the Mobutu dictatorship ― and in the violent years preceding its establishment in 1965, during which the US, Belgium and other powers overthrew and assassinated independence leader Patrice Lumumba ― copper was the main prize.

Congo’s long nightmare began in 1877, when it became a personal fiefdom of King Leopold II of Belgium. At that time, rubber was the coveted industrial raw material.

It was obtained by a labour regime that used amputation of limbs to discipline Congolese rubber harvesters not considered productive enough.

Such was the brutality of King Leopold’s Congo Free State (so named because it was based on the principals of “free trade”) that it generated opposition in Europe, despite this being at the height of Europe’s “scramble for Africa”.

In 1908, after a solidarity campaign led by Sir Roger Casement (who was later hanged by the British for his role in the 1916 Irish uprising), administration was transferred from King Leopold’s Free State to the Belgian government. By this time, about 13 million Congolese had been killed.

Patrice Lumumba, who led the DRC to independence in 1960, remains an immensely popular symbol in the DRC and throughout Africa.

However, his vision of development controlled by, and for the benefit of, the Congolese people themselves was immensely unpopular with the resource-hungry Western powers.

In an intervention involving Belgian paratroopers, the CIA, Western mercenaries and several coups and separatist movements, Lumumba was overthrown and assassinated in 1961. Mobutu, the head of the armed forces, was installed in 1965.

By the time of his overthrow in 1996, Mobutu had accumulated $5 billion in personal wealth. He did this by skimming the profits of the booming foreign-owned mining industry and the military aid that flooded in from the US and France, for whom Mobutu was a key Cold War ally.

Mobutu plundered aid intended for development in its entirety.

Infrastructure disappeared ― not only social services such as education and health but that necessary for normal commerce, such as transport.

Mobutu’s overthrow was accomplished by a broad coalition of external and internal forces.

The leader of the coalition, Laurent Kabila, commanded a small guerrilla group ― a remnant of the pro-Lumumba resistance of the 1960s.

However, by 1965, when Latin American revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara linked up with them, they had already degenerated through corruption and involvement in smuggling to such an extent that Che wrote them off and left.

Kabila became president in 1996, and remained so until 2001, when he was assassinated by his bodyguard. His son Joseph took over.

Several of the DRC’s neighbours got involved, including Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Angola and Zimbabwe. For some, the motivation was cleaning up loose ends from the Cold War when Mobutu was the conduit for US and French assistance to several rebel movements.

For example, Angola, a Cold War opponent of the US but by 1996 on better terms, took the opportunity to eliminate the remnants of formerly US-supported guerrillas.

Profit-fuelled war

Angolan soldiers remain in the DRC, enabling access by international diamond interests.

The main foreign forces were from Rwanda and Uganda (both US allies). They have been operating in the coltan-rich east and north-east.

Rwandan forces initially entered the DRC in pursuit of the French-backed forces responsible for the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

However, coinciding with the huge global proliferation of electronic devices containing coltan, the economic opportunities proved too tempting.

Rwanda, Uganda, the Kabila government and a bewildering array of proxy militias fell out with each other in competition for the spoils. Local militia groups, known as mai mai emerged to defend communities but they too often turned predatory.

The result has been an escalation of violence and a continuation of the underdevelopment of Mobutu years. “GDP per person was 50% higher at independence in 1960 than it is today,” the November 26 Economist said.

Estimates of those killed in the post-Mobutu conflict range between 5 million and 9.5 million. The United Nations has described the DRC as the “rape capital of the world”.

Like the violence of King Leopold’s rubber collectors, mass rape is used as a means of labour discipline. This is why rape typically occurs with the community being forced to line up and watch.

Huge profits are being made from coltan mining. “Armed groups earn an estimated $8 million a year,” Planetgreen.com reported in April last year.

Ugandan and Rwandan military and business interests are making profits in the billions, says litigation by the DRC government. But the biggest profits are made by Western corporations.

The October 30, 2008, Independent said: “The UN named the international corporations it believed were involved: Anglo-America, Standard Chartered Bank, De Beers and more than 100 others. (They all deny the charges.) But instead of stopping these corporations, our governments demanded that the UN stop criticising them.”


From GLW issue 906


#73 John Dolva

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 04:51 PM





Sydney: Congolese community calls for solidarity
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Leaders of the Congolese community in Australia, at a meeting organised by the Latin American Social Forum in Sydney, explained the crisis the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing after more than 50 years of exploitation by the Western countries and their local allies, and appealed for solidarity from the international socialist movement.




Videos:




- Community elder Mbuyi Tshielantende speaks (translated by Fralis Kolanga).





- Liliane Lukoki discusses the situation of women in Congo; Fralis Kolanga calls for solidarity.





- Patrice Nyembo, president of the Congolese community in Australia, discusses human rights and the importance of solidarity.


From GLW issue 906
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#74 William Kelly

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Posted 26 December 2011 - 12:16 AM

American Lori Pappas invades Africa - taking one tribe at a time.
St. Anthony: A driven executive found her next purpose | StarTribune.com


Lori Pappas developed a knack for automating offices. In 1976, Olivetti hired Pappas as one of its first female sales reps. By 1980, the now-divorced single mother was supporting her kids selling Sperry Univac mainframes to manufacturers.

She launched her own software company in 1983 -- JobBoss Software -- serving small manufacturers and machine shops. The company made the Inc. 500 list of fast-growing private companies in 1991.

Pappas was named the Minnesota High Tech Association's Entrepreneur of the Year among small enterprises in 1998. A year later, Pappas, then 50, sold her 100-plus employee business for $18.4 million in cash and stock to a British company. She netted several million from the transaction.

"The business had defined me," Pappas, 62, recalled. "I was burned out and wanted to do something else."

She bought a $1 million house on Seattle's Puget Sound, took up golf, fancy dinner parties and exotic travel. On the outside, she appeared successful and happy. Inside she was "disconnected and empty."

She had lost her purpose.

During several trips to Africa, she became fascinated by the indigenous people of Namibia, Angola, Niger and Ethiopia. The tribal people lived in huts and struggled to find food and water amid crop-killing droughts.

"Yet, they experience true joy with each other and their community," Pappas observed. One day in 2006, a young girl in Niger with flies in her eyes and sores on her face approached Pappas to ask for a water bottle.

Pappas had found her next purpose. "This time it was to help others," recalled Pappas.

Once again the driven executive, Pappas spent more than $300,000 researching, interviewing experts and studying development aid in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2008 she launched nonprofit Global Team for Local Initiatives (www.gtli.us).

"I realized that I could use my business and networking skills to help indigenous people help themselves to a healthier, better life," Pappas said. "I needed to get the flies off the face of that girl."

Today, the Puget Sound house is for sale and Pappas has moved to Northfield, Minn., closer to her children and grandchildren. She struck a strategic relationship with retired Navy Adm. William Fallon. He introduced her to influential leaders at development agencies such as CARE and Save the Children.

Her Global Team, which employs 25 Ethiopians, is focused on a tribe of 15,000 pastoralists called the Hamar in the southwest corner of Ethiopia. The tribe is surrounded by political instability, drought, disease and malnutrition. A male-dominated culture shunned female equality and basic hygiene. The encroaching desert and closed borders mean the Hamar can no longer herd livestock as they once did.

Pappas, with the eventual, grudging approval of male chiefs whom she cultivated over months, is working through a cadre of emerging female leaders on issues of literacy, human rights for women and girls, clean water, hygiene and sanitation, small-scale agriculture, a jewelry business and a Hamar-based trading system.

She spends about eight months each year in Ethiopia and four months in the United States fundraising and planning.

Living in extreme conditions, eating little and enjoying a rare shower with just a "trickle of water," Pappas said, are rewarded by small progress, such as seeing women with a growing voice in village councils, earning money and leading education and health classes.

Rewarded with joy

"Joy comes when I apply the skills and confidence I gained during my career to the tangled issues of helping people help themselves in this remote land," she said.

Pappas, who doesn't take a salary, also has benefited from several U.S. AID grants. She uses incentives, such as chickens for families who agree to use new pit latrines away from the new wells and crops. Dysentery and related diseases are starting to decline. Women are able to spend more time raising small crops, learning, and less time walking miles to polluted wells for water.

"Before Lori came, we were worse off than the baboons in the jungle," a Hamar woman told a Global Team publication. "We were sold into marriage, had no rights, no voice and forced to do all the work. Just a commodity to be used."

Fallon, a big supporter, believes U.S. national security is partly rooted in our ability to help people in developing countries achieve a better life. Other Pappas supporters include a couple of dozen Rotary Clubs and a growing network of individual admirers.

Martha Paas, an economics professor, and Faress Bhuiyan, a developmental economist at Carleton College, have enlisted other faculty to help develop curriculum on the Hamar and grass-roots development. Bhuiyan and Carleton student interns are researching Global Team's work, including extended site visits next year to study the model and results.

"Lori is a numbers person and quite capable, and she began collecting data early on," Paas said. "Our students can use the data.''



#75 John Dolva

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Posted 28 December 2011 - 03:50 PM

Sounds nice, William. Wouldn't it be amazing if what is spent on weapons and stuff like that was spent in such ways. I read one day that even one days war spending could feed the world. But then I'm a dreamer.

edit typo

Edited by John Dolva, 28 December 2011 - 03:51 PM.





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