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#76 William Kelly

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 01:54 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


Yes, John, it would be nice.

When I first entered Rep. Cynthia McKinney's Congressional office it was hard not to notice a big pie on the wall, of the US federal budget, and how much went to the military and how much went to education and social services, a basic fact that would make any defense contractor lobbiest to just turn around.

U.S. Africa Command Home

The military's Africa Command isn't even in Africa - but Germany, mainly because of the views such as:

On 12/12/2011 9:30:07 AM, henny seibeb in windhoek, namibia. africa said:We all know the purpose of this AFRICOM. It is to subjugate Africans and coerced them to support US policies of murdering each other, pundering our natural resources, undermining our leaders who are not necessarily pro-US and policing the Africans. US must just stop this policing of the world. Obama with the help of Zuma and others killed Gaddafi. It is time that George W. Bush, Barack Hussein Obama, Nicholas Sarkozy, Berluscconi and Jacob Zuma be taken to ICC. But we all know Ocampo is the American puppet, so is Ban ki Moon. As peace-loving Africans we must reject AFRICOM.

Of course the stated policy of seeking peace and stability in the region does not coincide with those who claim that the USA instigated the regional Arab revolutions against the dictators the USA previously supported because they provided the peace and security, at the cost of creating the humanitarian crisis.

The USA at the moment has only one small base in Africa, near the northeast corner south of Egypt where the draught and starvation are at its worst, and while they do engage in anti-terrorism activities most of their work is humanitarian.

U.S. Africa Command Home


Somalia -- in the midst of a continued complex humanitarian emergency.Up to 2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and livelihood support, a 100 percent increase from February 2007, due to the cumulative effects of drought conditions, civil conflict, and large population displacements, according to the UN Food Security Analysis Unit for Somalia. Insecurity, sporadic outbursts of violence and border restrictions continue to impede humanitarian efforts, particularly in southern and central Somalia. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) cite pervasive harassment, intimidation, inconsistent taxation and registration policies, and increased delays at checkpoints as major obstacles to the delivery of emergency assistance. <br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; "><br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">Somalia -- a people in need.

The United States -- answering this call.
<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">The United States is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to Somalia, with more than $156 million USD provided over FY 2006 - 2007, and $74 million to date in FY 2008. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of State have quickly mobilized financial resources to respond to humanitarian challenges:<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; "><br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">Displacement -- The total population of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Somalia is estimated to now exceed 1,100,000. USAID implementing partners continue to provide food assistance, emergency relief supplies, and essential health, nutrition, agriculture and food security, protection, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene services to those in need. USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance also supports coordination and logistics operations for international relief efforts in Somalia, and provided $22.5 million in FY 2007 and $3.8 million to date in FY 2008 to benefit more than 2 million people affected by repeated shocks of drought, floods, and conflict.<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; "><br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">Refugees -- The Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) provided nearly $25 million in FY 2007 and $7.95 million to date in FY 2008 in assistance for Somali refugees and conflict-affected populations in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. PRM also provided $3 million in FY 2007 to the International Committee of the Red Cross for work with IDPs and conflict victims, as well as support to the UN World Food Program for refugee feeding programs.<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; "><br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">Disease and Food Insecurity -- In October 2007, the UN World Health Organization issued an alert for a potential cholera outbreak in southern and central Somalia. USAID implementing partners are providing cholera kits and oral rehydration therapy packets to affected populations, and working to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities to reduce transmission of water-related diseases, such as cholera. USAID's office of Food for Peace provided more than $35.2 million in FY 2007 and $76 million to date in FY 2008 in food assistance for vulnerable Somali populations.<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; "><br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">In addition to our humanitarian response, the United States is committed to resolving the ongoing political and humanitarian crises in Somalia by working with regional partners to:<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">
  • encourage inclusive political dialogue amongst all key stakeholders and resume the transitional political process outlined by the Transitional Federal Charter;
  • build the governance capacity of the Transitional Federal Institutions;
  • support the full and timely deployment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
We are making this commitment because we understand the importance of lasting peace and stability in Somalia to stability in the Horn of Africa and the African continent as a whole.<br style="font-family: arial, 'sans serif'; line-height: 18px; text-align: left; ">
  • The most effective way people can assist relief efforts is by making cash contributions to humanitarian organizations that are conducting relief operations.
  • Information on identifying such organizations is available in the "How Can I Help" section of www.usaid.gov -- Keyword: Somalia or by calling The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) at 703-276-1914.
  • USAID encourages cash donations because they allow aid professionals to procure the exact items needed (often in the affected region); reduce the burden on scarce resources (such as transportation routes, staff time, warehouse space, etc.); can be transferred very quickly and without transportation costs; support the economy of the disasterstricken region; and ensure culturally, dietary, and environmentally appropriate assistance.


#77 John Dolva

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 02:35 PM

Wow 250 million in aid over three years. Does that include wages and distribution costs?
I'm sure it is nowhere the amount spent on things that kill for those three years?

#78 William Kelly

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 03:24 PM

Wow 250 million in aid over three years. Does that include wages and distribution costs?
I'm sure it is nowhere the amount spent on things that kill for those three years?


Yea, compare that to the 650 Billion 2012 Defense Authorization Act, which doesn't include the billions dolled out to the military dictators of Egypt, Pakistan, Bahrain, Yemen and other countries, most of which is given back to USA defense contractors in purchase of military hardware, jet fighters, etc.

BK

#79 John Dolva

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:01 PM

Yeah, William. It is a sad state of affairs. I don't think anyone can deny that. What to do. Obviously we can look at the same situation from what seems to me different perspectives and recognise a problem. What to do is the question?
I look back at Haile Selassie's Oct '63 speech to the UN posted at the beginning to this topic as an intro.

#80 Norman Pratt

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:59 AM

There are signs that aid is beginning to lose its dominating role in Africa: http://www.economist.com/node/17853324 which is probably a good thing.

Edited by Norman Pratt, 17 January 2012 - 01:26 AM.


#81 John Dolva

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

I don't understand, Norman.
Real aid must be dominant. Real aid is aid with no strings attached. This can only happen in a world where people are put before profits in all things. Iow at least bridled capitalism. Which is a ridiculous concept as these total war resource driven grabs for power continue, they must do. A system unlike in power (in the hands of barbarians), but with precedent, is, in order to maintain this power, bound to follow a predictable path. Unfortunately it looks like we will be around to witness the beginning of horrors unleashed on our children. Unless : Action is Taken.

#82 Norman Pratt

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:55 AM

I don't understand, Norman.
Real aid must be dominant. Real aid is aid with no strings attached. This can only happen in a world where people are put before profits in all things. Iow at least bridled capitalism. Which is a ridiculous concept as these total war resource driven grabs for power continue, they must do. A system unlike in power (in the hands of barbarians), but with precedent, is, in order to maintain this power, bound to follow a predictable path. Unfortunately it looks like we will be around to witness the beginning of horrors unleashed on our children. Unless : Action is Taken.

Actually, I think Africa is entitled to the same bridled capitalism that the rest of us have to put up with, and that it is an international problem that she hasn't acquired it yet. Africa has been the one area of the world that appears to have gained very little from the economic and political progress that has taken place over last hundred years or so. Aid in all its forms has played a vital role in propping up African countries, and from time to time the 'Real Aid' you refer to has prevented mass starvation. African governments are well aware of their apparent lack of progress since independence, and their dependence upon aid. They are also very conscious of the fact that aid with strings attached has become an important part of the economy, and is a habit they have to break if they are to avoid always being in a position of permanent dependence. They would be very glad to get better trade deals out of the rest of the world instead of being forever dependent on handouts. But in the absence of fair trade, some African economists and commentators have advocated stopping aid - breaking the habit if you like. They argue that it is the only way to provide the incentive for their economies to prosper. Actually much of Africa has been steadily developing economically over the last 50 years, but this has been masked by a population explosion (a reaction no doubt to several centuries of genocide.) My point was that for the first time there are signs that actual economic growth is beginning to match and even overtake aid in importance. Unfortunately the newspaper story that best described this happening looked as though any link I provided wouldn't last a day, and, as it happened, it didn't. However, here's a similar story: http://allafrica.com...1201111073.html

#83 John Dolva

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 03:38 PM

It's a bit strange Norman, I've been stuck on this one because of your comment re bridled capitalism.

It is not only I who says so. A number of commentators do. We are living in a time of un-bridled capitalism, devoid of any moral direction except where it serves or can be promoted as serving any such thing. The escalating multi frontal attacks on various Non-Aligned nations. The bringing the world step by step closer to war. (particularly the attacks on the peoples of the Americas and Iran. This is not going unnoticed. It certainly is being downplayed and distorted in the MSM.. In a weird way it reinforces what I've written before about at times the conspiracy researcher is (sometimes) the conspirators best friend and I suppose mainly here where the truth demands a personal sacrifice.

edit typos

Edited by John Dolva, 25 January 2012 - 03:39 PM.


#84 Norman Pratt

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 06:59 PM

It's a bit strange Norman, I've been stuck on this one because of your comment re bridled capitalism.

John. I took your phrase 'low at least bridled capitalism' to apply to the Western World, and missed the fact that you disowned the phrase immediately afterwards by saying 'Which is a ridiculous concept'. Sorry if that has contributed to you getting stuck.

I used the phrase 'bridled capitalism' because I believe the worst effects of capitalism are held in check in countries where there are strong governments. This is why I think the emergence of stronger economies in Africa – and therefore stronger governments - is an important event which should be welcomed.

It is a question of degree – which on reflection makes 'bridled' an unhelpful metaphor in the first place if I may say so, as I imagine horses are either bridled or unbridled, and there are not many intermediate states as far as bridling is concerned!

Maybe we don't have to agree on a method of removing capitalism before we solve some of the problems you mention. The danger of war with Iran could be averted, it has been suggested, if the USA would agree to a diplomatic solution, that Iran be allowed to continue its nuclear research under a more rigorous international inspection regime. The fact that this would be difficult to achieve is more to do with concepts of 'honour', in both Iran and the USA, than with the influence of capitalism.

#85 John Dolva

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:32 PM

Interesting points Norman.

Yes we are looking from different perspectives on some matters but I think we both hope for a positive outcome, so that's good. Diplomacy of sorts.

I consider there to be a process between a horse being bridled and it being unbridled. I suppose in this case one could speak of a separation of business and government where a strong government of the people for the people by the people acts to ensure that destructive business influence is negated by the authorities as swiftly as any other social disorder. : That'll never happen. (I think).

While I'm off on this rather radical tangent... My suggestion is that Iran allies itself solidly with the Russian Federation perhaps even becoming a member.

Also one cannot deny that there are so many aspects in shaping people minds to accept a strike on Iran (Venzuela, Cuba, Africa, . . .). These efforts are carried out with impunity by capitalist funded mechanisms.

#86 Norman Pratt

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:01 PM

Interesting points Norman.

Yes we are looking from different perspectives on some matters but I think we both hope for a positive outcome, so that's good. Diplomacy of sorts.


Regarding different perspectives, in discussions on African matters it has seemed to me that an African perspective on African issues is often curiously absent from discussions about Africa. Near where I live they used to make the massive machinery which was supposed to break up the soil in preparation for the Tanganyika Groundnuts scheme: they were returned to the factory, broken and twisted by the African soil that hadn't been checked out properly. That seems to me an accurate picture of many solutions that are still offered to Africa from the outside world, political ones included.

I consider there to be a process between a horse being bridled and it being unbridled. I suppose in this case one could speak of a separation of business and government where a strong government of the people for the people by the people acts to ensure that destructive business influence is negated by the authorities as swiftly as any other social disorder. : That'll never happen. (I think).


The destructive effects of the operations of multinational corporations was recognised as a growing problem years ago – even a slow response to it by governments would have been helpful!

While I'm off on this rather radical tangent... My suggestion is that Iran allies itself solidly with the Russian Federation perhaps even becoming a member.


That's an interesting suggestion, especially if it leads to more realistic negotiations. A basic problem at the moment is that much diplomacy rests on the principle of 'my enemy's enemy is my friend' – which hardly seems much of a principle.

In the early 1970's Johan Galtung http://en.wikipedia.....22US_Empire.22 of the Oslo Institute of Peace Studies suggested the idea of regional security commissions. The idea was that the sort of issues dealt with by the UN Security Council would be 'dealt with' instead on a regional basis. The world would be divided up so that only Europeans would solve the problems of Europe, Africans those of Africa etc. Countries would be allowed to belong to only one of these regional commissions; the USSR would no doubt have chosen to be European, the USA American etc. Apparently irreconcilable enemies in the Middle East and in Africa would also have been required to talk to each other – an interesting prospect indeed. (One might see the current situation in Syria as one requiring a regional solution rather than one imposed by outsiders.)

Although Galtung's ideas were radical, they might have kept some of the Cold War out of Africa, and the disasters that befell Ethiopia and Somalia, for example, might have been avoided. In Europe the ending of the Cold War was indeed helped by the existence of regional bodies that included nations from both sides of the Iron Curtain. And in practice, Galtung's ideas have proved prophetic. In Africa collective action, by both regional bodies and also by the African Union has recently become much more effective, and in some cases more effective than outside intervention. We are very far from seeing the world policed on this principle, but it seems to me that wherever it has been used there has been some success.

#87 John Dolva

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:53 PM

Obama-appointed US trade adviser linked to illegal deal in Congolese gold
UN report says Kase Lawal knew he was dealing with the wanted warlord Bosco Ntaganda


Posted Image

Congolese warlord Bosco Ntaganda has been wanted by the international criminal court since 2006.

Photograph: Reuters




#88 Norman Pratt

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

http://allafrica.com...1202070300.html

#89 William Kelly

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:53 AM

http://allafrica.com...1202070300.html


Thanks for that sober analysis Norman, I particularly like the phrase "Philanthropic Imperialists" for NATO as much as I like "Benevolent Dictator" in reference to Gadhafi.

But the USA did not intervene in Libya like they did in Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan, and if they had, Gadhafi would probably be still alive.

We should not forget that the United Nations instituted the resolution that was used in Libya after the genocide in Africa that had killed hundreds of thousands of people whose own government couldn't protect.

BK

#90 John Dolva

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

Posted Image
Vol. 76/No. 6 February 13, 2012


Somalia raid extends US
boots on ground in Africa

BY NAOMI CRAINE
A U.S. commando raid in Somalia highlights Washington’s growing use of special operations troops against forces that threaten the stability of U.S. imperialism’s interests in Africa and other “hot spots” around the world. The Jan. 25 raid freed two hostages who were being held for ransom by an alleged pirate gang near the city of Galkayo in central Somalia. According to the New York Times, about two dozen Navy SEALs and other troops parachuted into the area at night, killed nine Somalis and left by helicopter with the hostages, who had been working for the Danish Demining Group when they were kidnapped in October.

Although initial press reports spoke of a “shoot-out” or “gun battle,” the U.S. Africa Command simply reported that “all nine captors were killed during the assault.” No U.S. troops were injured in the operation.

“Pentagon officials defended the decision to kill the hostage takers,” the Los Angeles Times reported Jan. 25, “arguing that they were armed and that explosives were found at the camp. The SEALs could have taken prisoners, but they were operating under rules of engagement that permitted use of deadly force.”

The commando team included members of the same Navy unit that the Obama administration used to execute al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last May.

The raid occurred as President Barack Obama was preparing to deliver his State of the Union speech to Congress. As he entered the House of Representatives, he congratulated Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, saying, “Good job tonight.” In a statement the next day, Obama said, “I could not be prouder of the troops who carried out this mission.”

This was the first publicly reported extended ground raid by U.S. forces in Somalia since 1993. Washington has been stepping up its military involvement in Somalia, including conducting airstrikes on the Islamist group al-Shabab, increasing CIA activity, and supporting an African Union occupation force operating around the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

The operation was carried out from a U.S. military base in neighboring Djibouti, which has been increasingly used to launch aerial assassination drones against targets in Somalia and Yemen in recent months. Along with air bases in Ethiopia and the Seychelles Islands, the Djibouti installation is part of Washington’s military posture aimed at strengthening its foothold in Africa with an “economy of force.”


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