[dehai-news] (GR) America's War in Central Africa

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Mon Feb 02 2009 - 01:16:31 EST

America's War in Central Africa

The Pentagon's proxy war in the Eastern Congo
by Keith Harmon Snow
Global Research, February 1, 2009
The purported 'arrest' of General Laurent Nkunda, on January 22, 2009,
by the troops of the joint FARDC and Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF)
operation is no surprise, it is merely damage control, with Nkunda
'arrested'—most likely shuffled off to luxury in Rwanda—to recover some
sense of credibility for the international police forces—the Pentagon
and its proxy armies in Rwanda (Kagame), Uganda (Museveni) and Congo
(Kabila)—and to enable the Kagame military cabal to distance itself from
the recent exposés documenting Rwanda's machinations in eastern Congo.
A U.S. military team has also been deployed in Eastern Congo, to
buttress the Pentagon's proxy warriors. Nothing has changed for the
people of Congo, and MONUC Chief Alan Doss has warned people to expect
"collateral damage" against the innocent people of Congo.
Backed by the Obama Administration and its former Clinton allies,
Rwandan troops have marched into Congo, ostensibly to save the day, yet
again, barely a month after a scathing United Nations report revealed
that they were already there. Meanwhile, the recent UNHCR Gimme Shelter
campaign uses the iconic Rolling Stones song and Hollywood star Ben
Affleck’s video of suffering in Congo as a propaganda tool to peddle the
international catastrophe of western AID, intervention and plunder in
Central Africa. A look behind the scenes reveals the hidden interests of
the misery industry, the obliviousness of do-gooder celebrities, and
actor Ben Affleck’s personal patronage of Paul Kagame and the
perpetrators of genocide in Central Africa.
On December 17, 2008, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees
(UNHCR) unveiled their latest fundraising campaign in pursuit of charity
donations ‘for Congo War Victims’. Set to the iconic song by Mick Jagger
and the Rolling Stones, the four-minute Gimme Shelter video filmed and
produced by Hollywood star Ben Affleck is an advertisement for UNHCR.
[1] The UNHCR logo appears at least ten times in the short film, serving
the modern day advertising technique of ‘product placement’ to inspire
charitable giving to the UNHCR enterprise.
“When awareness is raised, when constituencies start to pay attention,
they are more likely to pay attention to that one thing than another,”
director Ben Affleck told Voice of America. “What I can do is care about
something. What I can do is make it important to my elected officials.
Diplomacy is free.”
 Diplomacy is free? Is Ben Affleck a ‘free’ agent working to help the
people of Congo? Or is Affleck enhancing and trading in moral currency
in the arena of international public opinion?
 Since 2007, Ben Affleck has repeatedly traveled to Rwanda and Congo.
While presenting himself as an independent agent on a humanitarian
mission in Congo, Ben Affleck, simultaneously, has closely affiliated
himself with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and his military
government—the people responsible for perpetrating and perpetuating war
crimes in Congo and Rwanda.
Considering his relationships to powerful people directly involved in
war in Africa’s Great Lakes, one wonders if Ben Affleck is playing his
actor’s role both on stage and off. In any case, Ben Affleck is not the
first Hollywood celebrity to be fronted as the Great White Hope for the
Congo, and many of the same Hollywood actorvists have been similarly
used by the NGO industry in Haiti.
 Actress Jessica Lange has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2003;
her first mission was into the Congo. Covering Congo and Sudan, Actor
George Clooney has starred as a UN Messenger of Peace since January
2008, a role actor Michael Douglas has played since 1998.
 Since 2001, actress Angelina Jolie has been UNHCR’s ‘Goodwill
Ambassador,’ a role that took her to eastern Congo in 2003 and 2004. [2]
Jolie traveled in eastern Congo with intelligence insider and
International Crisis Group agent John Prendergast, who is aligned with a
growing army of ‘Save Darfur’ cloned organizations that deploy
state-of-the-art media technologies to undermine and co-opt any true
grass roots movement to legitimately empower African people.[3],[4]
Jolie also starred as a ‘selfless’ hero working as a UNHCR official in
Hollywood’s Beyond Borders, a film that peddles the necessity of mixing
Central Intelligence Agency gun-running operations with humanitarian
missions—because it is ostensibly for the ‘right’ cause: Western
sponsored covert interventions.
Hollywood stars from the film Ocean’s Thirteen formed another
‘humanitarian’ organization that inevitably throws celebrity raised
funds at the western structural violence and white power economies
focused on sustaining disaster in Africa. The governing board of Not On
Our Watch includes Ocean’s Thirteen stars George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don
Cheadle, and Matt Damon—Ben Affleck’s buddy ‘Will’ from the film Good
Will Hunting—and producers Jerry Weintraub and David Pressman. [5]
Clooney recently joined John Prendergast, a U.S. National Security
apparatus insider, and Hollywood producer David Pressman to pen a Wall
Street Journal Op-Ed, opining all the usual trite platitudes—but absent
a single recommendation of substance—about how President Obama can help
Congo.[6] Prendergast, who is billed as a ‘leading American human rights
activist’, has previously boasted of traveling around Sudan and Central
Africa with President Paul Kagame, and he is named as one of the early
architects of the RPA coup d’etat in Rwanda.[7]
The entire exercise of appointing and fronting Hollywood celebrities as
United Nations ‘Messengers for Peace’ and ‘Goodwill Ambassadors’ is a
further means by which the establishment whitewashes the war-making and
plunder of multinational corporations, and the individuals responsible
for carnage the world over, and to more deeply institutionalize the
structural violence. Described as ‘helping to shine light on the world’s
trouble spots’, celebrity actorvism is more like a cop shining a bright
light in your eyes so that you are disoriented, confused and blinded.
Privatizing the ‘humanitarian’ sector through media celebrities or
through entertainment and publicity extravaganzas—like ‘Food AID’ and
‘Band AID’ and ‘Not on Our Watch’—that falsely claim to benefit African
people, simultaneously lets governments off the hook, obscures the true
intent of predatory capitalism, and creates personality cults that
further entrench white ‘society’ pathologies of obliviousness,
ignorance, goodness and supremacy. [8]
“I’m not an expert in international affairs or diplomacy,” Affleck is
quoted everywhere as saying, “but it doesn’t take that to see the
tremendous suffering here. It’s not something that we as human beings
can, in good conscience, ignore.”
What does it take to see and understand the nature of systemic
exploitation? We might question Affleck’s good conscience, given what he
is ignoring. The short Gimme Shelter video produced by Ben Affleck
ignores the realities and players fueling the bloodshed. Is this the
same creative genius that brought us the award-winning film Good Will
“My hope in being here is primarily to bring attention to the fact that
there’s a real lack of (aid agencies) here,” Affleck said, according to
public relations productions about his visit. “There’s a real lack of
money going to these folks.”
In eastern Congo, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs (OCHA) coordinates 126 organizations, including 10 UN agencies
and 50 international NGOs, and scores of state and national NGOs. OCHA
also works with Congolese governmental officials and donors.
The annual OCHA budget alone hovers around $US 680-700 million. The 2008
budget for the World Food Program in DRC was about $430 million, with
56% of all food resources designated for North Kivu. [9] And while such
organizations each year project more than they are able to actually
raise, their incomes and their expenditures rise annually: their
operating behaviors are identical to that of multinational corporations.
>From 2000 to 2007 the UNHCR global expenditures grew from $US 800
million to $US 1.2 billion—and UNHCR delineates $US hundreds of millions
annually for DRC and Uganda, where they count some 1.1 million and 1.6
million internally displaced people (IDPs) respectively.[10] Indeed,
while UNHCR uses the media to plead poverty and peddle hope in the
public limelight, the agency applauds its fundraising success in
private—where UNHCR statements indicate that UNHCR considers
‘fundraising’ as a profitable business opportunity in its own right. The
market—in this case the welfare of millions of people of color—is
irrelevant to their goals.
“Following a period of strong income growth,” reads a UNHCR executive
job posting, “the UN Refugee Agency has decided to increase its
investment in private sector fundraising through the recruitment of an
experienced fundraising management professional… This fundraising
strategy is implemented through a network of nine UNHCR National
Associations and Country Offices (Australia, Canada, Greece, Hong Kong,
Italy, Japan, US, Spain, UK). As part of its new investment strategy the
UN Refugee Agency is currently carrying out various new market entry
studies and plans to launch fundraising programs in several new markets
in the coming years.”[11]
The salary for the UNHCR’s chief fundraising executive ranges from $US
127,104 to $US 151,446—after deductions, per annum, tax exempt, plus
additional major benefits.[12]
Food AID is also being siphoned off the massive ‘humanitarian’ mission
in eastern Congo and being sold in markets.[13] The criminal aspects of
the ‘humanitarian’ enterprise are well established.[14]
“These international NGOs are all here for the same reason as every
other foreigner in Congo—to make money,” reports a newly arrived NGO
volunteer from eastern Congo. “I came here to help the folks and seek
work, but the more I learn the more FUBAR this place appears to be. It
has evolved into a highly efficient corrupt system.”[15]
Ben Affleck’s statements about “a real lack of (aid agencies) here” and
“a real lack of money going to these folks” are demonstrably false.
There is no lack of agencies, no lack of money, and these are not
‘folks’—they are highly politicized institutions, part of an industry
that perpetuates and institutionalizes deracination, and they use and
abuse ‘innocent’ but nihilistic celebrities like Ben Affleck.
“I was thinking there was some thing wrong with him,” reports a
Congolese insider, who said that UN officials were telling Congolese
people that Ben Affleck wants to build a hospital in North Kivu. “He was
not really interested by the position of Congolese people and his heart
was in Rwanda during all the time he was here.”[16]
When George Clooney visited the war zone in eastern Congo the
‘peacekeepers’ played some basketball with him. Did MONUC roll out its
marching bands to meet Ben Affleck?
Affleck traveled into to the bush to meet with the Forces for the
Democratic Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR)—the militia that Paul Kagame and
the western press falsely cite, ad nauseum, as the cause of Rwanda and
Congo’s woes. Why did Affleck meet with the FDLR? Was Affleck secretly
scouting FDLR positions for Rwandan officials? He also met with Rwandan
General Laurent Nkunda, a bonafide war criminal named by the United
“He didn't want people to know he came from Rwanda,” the Congolese
insider said, after learning about Affleck’s relations with Rwandan
officials. “Our problem will never reach an end.”[17]
Affleck’s visits coincided with protests by Congolese people fed up with
MONUC, due to the unchallenged war lords and impunity for war crimes and
massive suffering. People everywhere were pelting MONUC vehicles with
stones and Affleck’s UN convoy was also reportedly pelted.
Ben Affleck has been defended for “not being guilty of being a
celebrity.”[18] But given the unsurpassed mortality, sexual atrocities,
depopulation and war crimes in Central Africa, and given the extent to
which the root causes of these wars have been articulated by certain
independent journalists and certain organizations, can one morally or
ethically plead ‘innocence’ about the white power interests one is
peddling or protecting?
No matter the political intrigues and hidden agendas—which we have only
just begun to unpack—the Affleck-Jagger Gimme Shelter campaign is billed
as ‘not a political, but a humanitarian’ gesture. However, Ben Affleck
is now a highly political actor in the Congo warfare and exploitation
arena, as this article will show, and this raises questions about
culpability, responsibility and ethics.
Is Ben Affleck seriously concerned about suffering in Congo? Why doesn’t
he name any of the white exploiters like Banro Corporation or
PricewaterhouseCoopers? What is Ben Affleck’s relationship to the
protagonists in this war? Is Ben Affleck being paid for his silence? Or
is he just another victim being used by, and benefiting from, a
hopelessly corrupt system?




A new United Nations Development Program (UNDP) study released December
17, 2008, reports that nearly half the population in the DRC may not
live to 40 years of age, that 75% of the population lived below the
poverty line—on less than one dollar a day—while more than half the
population (57%) had no access to drinking water or to basic health care
(54%), and three out of every 10 children are malnourished.


At the beginning of the Gimme Shelter video, we are told that “In
Eastern Congo, the AK-47”—which flashes across the screen strapped to a
Congolese soldier’s back—“is known as the Congolese Credit Card.”


Characterizing the Kalashnikov AK-47 as “the Congolese Credit Card” is
overtly racist, because it casts Congolese people—and males in
particular—as pathological gun-toting thugs. It is the same type of
characterization of Congolese men that is made by Eve Ensler and the
V-Day Congo lobby about ‘femicide’ in Eastern Congo. ‘Femicide’ is an
inaccurate description for a situation where males are usually killed
outright, as in Congo. The combination of femicide and homocide amounts
to mass murder and, in the case of RPA operations in Rwanda and Congo,


Comparing an AK-47 in the hands of a Congolese male to a credit card is
doubly racist because it is premised on a blame the victim mentality (by
whites) that further ridicules black African males who have no
possibility of upward mobility, no possibility of obtaining a Master
Card or VISA or American Express—symbols of excessive materialism,
western privilege, selective financial access and financial


Similarly, Affleck’s four minute video of black African faces—who are
suffering the indignities of homelessness and beggary—deliberately
whites out any images of, or references to, the raw materials leaving
the eastern Congo through Uganda and Rwanda, or arriving at ports and
factories in Europe, Japan, China and the USA. Affleck’s short film also
unquestionably serves the misery industries and the so-called
‘peacekeeping’ professionals that profit from the massive suffering.


After the ‘Congolese Credit Card’ image we are told “there are
twenty-two recognized armed groups” in Congo, but nothing at all about
their ties to the organized crime networks run by Uganda or Rwanda and
their western allies. There is nothing about the proliferation of
AK-47s, landmines or other weaponry, or the many white merchants of
death behind Central Africa’s woes.


We are told: “UNHCR transports refugee families fleeing from the
violence,” but any and all reasons why millions of brutalized people
have been forced to flee homes and villages are omitted.


UNHCR senior media officer Tim Irwin said that Gimme Shelter is
“designed to inform and mobilize people all around the world to bring
relief to hundreds of thousands of Congolese victims who have been
uprooted from their homes because of the violence between Hutu militias,
ethnic Tutsi rebels, and Congolese soldiers.”


What are the differences between ‘Hutu militias’ and ‘ethnic Tutsi
rebels’? Why are Hutus described as ‘militias’ while Tutsis are
described as ‘rebel’? What makes ‘ethnic Tutsi rebels’ ethnic, while
‘Hutu militias’, apparently, are not ‘ethnic Hutu’? The same distortions
of reality were applied to the establishment narrative of genocide in
Rwanda: 100 days of killing; Hutus killing Tutsis and ‘moderate Hutus’…
What is a ‘moderate Hutu’?


In establishment narratives, war is peace, slavery is freedom, and
language is used to criminalize the innocent, just as it is in the
so-called ‘war on terror’. Thus ‘Hutu militias’ has come to mean ‘the
genocidal Interahamwe’.[20] ‘Tutsi rebels’ means ‘those victimized
minority guerillas who stopped the genocide and are now seeking justice
by hunting down every last genocidaire’—whether man, woman or child. A
‘moderate Hutu’ is one who sided with the minority Tutsi RPA
guerrillas—the real terrorists—against the supposed ‘extremist’
government of Juvenal Habyarimana.


As indicated above, mainstream ‘news’ stories are frequently whitewashed
by simplistic racial stereotypes: racially tainted sound bites meant to
confuse and mislead western ‘news’ consumers. These racial markers serve
to distance western populations, especially but not only Caucasians, and
they underscore and further inculcate false beliefs about the
superiority of both western civilization and white people.


Similarly, the Affleck production whitewashes the chaos created by
foreign interventions, covert operations and white-collar organized
crime by reducing a complex imperialist invasion to ‘ethnic warfare’.
(This is called essentializing.) The structural factors that insure this
war will continue, and the huge salaries, adventurous lifestyles and
special privileges of white expatriates working in the so-called
‘humanitarian’ aid sector are rendered equally invisible. Multinational
corporations, involved in the exploitation, are obliterated without a
trace of their ever being there, and, in many cases, they are offered up
as the perfect, as yet untried, solution.


Consider just one company, Banro, a Canadian-based gold exploration
company with four wholly owned properties, each with mining licenses
along a major gold belt of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.[21]
Banro Corporation operates only in eastern DRC, where they are
projecting massive gold profits—in the billions of dollars.


Banro was ‘awarded’ gold concessions comprising 5,730 square kms (2,212
square miles), and Banro personnel are ferried over the remote and
blood-drenched South Kivu landscape by private helicopters. From
December 31, 2005, to September 31, 2008, Banro—always declaring a loss
due to exploration—increased its assets from $US 100 to $US 121 million.
In the same period, more than 1000 Congolese people died every
day—roughly 1,000,000 victims.


Banro Corporation has identified 4.68 million ounces of gold on ‘their’
properties, and they have inferred another 4.87 million ounces. Banro’s
gold prospects are today valued at some $US 3.74 billion (identified)
and $US 3.89 billion (inferred), for a total of $US 7.63 billion
dollars—and this is just one of the many foreign companies pillaging


Perhaps Ben Affleck can tell us something we can’t, in good conscience,
ignore. How does a Canadian mining company come to ‘wholly-own’ land in
blood drenched eastern Congo? And why are Banro Corporation
directors—Simon Village, Michael Prinsloo, Arnold Kondrat, Peter Cowley,
John Clarke, Bernard van Rooyen, Piers Cumberlege and Richard Lachcik
[22]—not under the spotlight for their obvious involvement in war
crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide?


Banro advertises themselves as one of Congo’s great benefactors
“well-positioned to benefit from the timely economic, social and
political recovery of the DRC.”[23] Hello? To benefit from the timely
economic, social and political recovery of the Congo? Hello! The ongoing
white-collar business operations of Banro Corporation amidst the killing
in eastern Congo are crimes against humanity.


“The principle thing for me, over the course of this last year, has been
learning,” Affleck said, prior to a primetime ABC Nightline
broadcast—Ben Affleck in Congo—in June 2008. “I needed to learn and I’m
still learning. It’s not as if I’m some expert or I’m presenting myself
as a person with answers—and I’m not an advocate of a particular


Affleck’s independence didn’t last long. Before his December 2008 deal
with UNHCR, Affleck signed on with Save the Children, a Connecticut
based corporate enterprise whose massive profits earned from the chaos
of war and suffering in Africa have been sufficiently documented.[24]


In May 2008, Ben Affleck visited with former child soldiers, as part of
Save the Children's global
<http://www.savethechildren.org/campaigns/rewrite-the-future/> Rewrite
the Future campaign. According to Save the Children PR, the campaign
“helps to provide quality education” to children in conflict countries,
such as kids in Goma, DRC.[25]


Can anyone honestly provide a single example of ‘quality education’
available to children in all of Congo?[26] White westerners think that a
dilapidated cement shell with a tin roof and some wooden benches
qualifies as ‘education’ of a higher standard in Africa.


More importantly, Save the Children’s sponsors include Starbucks and
Credit Suisse, two multinational corporations that are deeply enmeshed
in the geopolitical plunder of Central Africa. However, such
relationships between corporate ‘donors’ and so-called ‘non-government’
organizations (NGOs) billed as apolitical humanitarian charities are
obscured by the propaganda of white power interests and the
obliviousness of its beneficiaries, like Ben Affleck.


President Paul Kagame gave a corporate endorsement at Starbuck’s annual
shareholder meeting in Seattle in March 2007. “Starbucks and Rwanda are
extended family, very closely linked by the business we do together and
the passion we share,” Kagame said.[27]





The Kagame military machine—backed by the US, U.K., Canada, Germany and
Israel—is one of Congo’s greatest enemies. Kagame was one of the
original 27 soldiers to launch the guerrilla war in Uganda, 1980,
alongside now President-for-life Yoweri Museveni. Kagame soon became the
head of Museveni’s dreaded Internal Security Organization, and he was
directly involved in tortures, massacres and other human rights
atrocities during the Museveni regime’s consolidation of power.


In October 1990 Kagame returned from training at the US Army base at
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to lead the Ugandan People’s Defense Forces
(UPDF) illegal invasion of Rwanda. The US military and its partners
backed the invasion, just as they backed the invasion of Congo in 1996,
and the recent invasion of Congo launched this week.


>From 1990 to 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), comprised most
heavily of Ugandan soldiers led by Ugandan citizens like Paul Kagame,
committed atrocity after atrocity as they forced their way to power in
Kigali, always falsely accusing their enemies—the power-sharing
government of then President Juvenal Habyarimana—of genocide.[28]


On December 18, 2008, after the protracted ‘Military I’ trial, the
judges at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) ruled
that there was no conspiracy to commit genocide by former Rwandan
military leaders affiliated with the Habyarimana government. It was a
war, and the actions—far from a calculated genocide—were found by the
ICTR judges to be ‘war-time conditions’.[29]


“The media reports of the December 18 judgment [Military I] at the
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda focused primarily on the
convictions of three of four former top military leaders, who were the
supposed ‘masterminds’ of the Rwandan genocide,” wrote ICTR defense
lawyer Peter Erlinder. “But, as those who have followed the ICTR closely
know, convictions of members of the former Rwandan government and
military are scarcely newsworthy.”[30]


Since the inception of the ICTR its decisions have been decisively
biased—victor’s justice—in favor of the Kagame regime and to protect it
and its backers. Thus it is no surprise that the former top military
leaders of the Habyarimana government—Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, Major
Aloys Ntabakuze and General Gratien Kabiligi—were sentenced to life
imprisonment for acts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against


“The real news was that ALL of the top Rwandan military officers,
including the supposedly infamous Colonel Bagosora, were found not
guilty of conspiracy or planning to commit genocide,” writes Erlinder.
“And General Gratien Kabiligi, a senior member of the general staff was
acquitted of all charges! The others were found guilty of specific acts
committed by subordinates, in specific places, at specific times—not an
overall conspiracy to kill civilians, much less Tutsi civilians.”[32]


Now, after more than fifteen years of massive western propaganda
proclaiming an organized, systematic elimination of the Tutsi people by
the Hutu leaders of the former Rwandan government, the official Rwanda
genocide story has finally collapsed.


While the western media has consistently covered up the Rwandan
occupation in Congo over the past decade, with a complete denial of
Rwandan presence from circa 2005 to 2008, the imminent changing of the
Presidential guard in the US provoked a post-election day rash of
articles stating the obvious: Rwanda is all over Congo. In mid December
2008 the UN released a report further documenting what independent
journalists have maintained and reported all along: the Rwandan
government directly backs rebel factions, criminal networks and mining
operations in eastern DRC.


The euphemistically named guerrilla army—National Congress for the
Defense of the People (CNDP)—lorded over by General Laurent Nkunda, has
maintained direct personal communications with the office of the Rwandan
President, Paul Kagame. The Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF) have dispatched
military personnel into Congo, recruited and armed child soldiers, and
they are involved in minerals plunder, racketeering, extortion and war


Now the Kagame government, immunized against prosecution thanks to their
connections to top former Clinton and Bush officials, who now sit on
high in the Obama administration, has openly sent more than 1500 troops
into North Kivu using weapons recently delivered to Rwanda for their
equally illegal terrorist operations in Darfur, Sudan. The Kagame
government, with its foreign backers, has pursued an identical strategy
in Congo as they did in Rwanda, 1990-1994. The goal is to destabilize
the region, manufacture chaos, sue for peace while pursuing war, and use
the UN ‘peacekeeping’ mission to aid the predatory agenda. The final
solution is to permanently criminalize the Hutu majority, entrench
economic and political relations between the Kivus and Rwanda, and
between Ituri and Uganda, and balkanize Congo—exactly as proposed by
president Clinton’s national security insider Walter Kansteiner (1996).


The purported ‘arrest’ of General Laurent Nkunda, on January 22, 2009,
by the troops of the joint FARDC and Rwandan Defense Forces (RDF)
operation is no surprise, it is merely damage control, with Nkunda
‘arrested’—most likely shuffled off to luxury in Rwanda—to recover some
sense of credibility for the international police forces—the Pentagon
and its proxy armies in Rwanda (Kagame), Uganda (Museveni) and Congo
(Kabila)—and to enable the Kagame military cabal to distance itself from
the recent exposés documenting Rwanda’s machinations in eastern Congo.
Nothing has changed for the people of Congo.

The Gimme Shelter campaign set out to raise $23 million for the United
Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for so-called “emergency
humanitarian assistance” to help displaced persons in the DRC, and now
it has spawned an industry unto itself.
“The Rolling Stones are very happy to contribute to Gimme Shelter in
support of Ben’s efforts to raise the profile of the conflict in the
Congo,” one UN public relations agency quotes Mick Jagger as saying. “We
all need to stand up and support the work of organizations like UNHCR
who are on the ground offering protection and working hard to ensure the
rights and wellbeing of refugees.”[35]
Does UNHCR insure the rights and well being of refugees? The Gimme
Shelter film has been distributed worldwide via Internet, television,
mobile phones, cinemas and hotel chains.
Hollywood actorvist Mia Farrow—the Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF—also
jetted into Congo for the festivities. Farrow made a three-day visit to
the DRC in December, 2008, and then made a plug for the corporate AID
industry by “urging all armed groups in North Kivu to allow aid
organizations to provide life-saving assistance to women and
The structural violence that allows for white actorvist jet-setters like
Mia Farrow to zoom into and out of such complex emergencies as Congo or
Darfur, to make films in refugee camps or hold press conferences in war
zones, and to urge armed groups to stop fighting so that business
operations can be transacted, is never explored.
UNHCR’s headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland and there are 262 field
offices in 116 countries: this is a big business operation dependent on
insecurity, population displacements, and warfare.[37]
The current head of the UNHCR is António Guterres, who started as UN
High Commissioner for Refugees on June 15, 2005, after Rudd Lubbers, the
former UNHCR chief, resigned amidst a sex scandal.[38] Guterres served
as Portuguese prime minister from 1996 to 2002. Jean-Pierre Bemba, a
Congolese warlord with deep ties to Portugal, was at the time a warlord
in Congo backed by Uganda and its western allies.[39]
The UNHCR’s interests in Congo are not only about sustained employment
for its highly paid workers—where white people get the best jobs—and
lucrative procurement contracts for other corporations. UNHCR also takes
a highly politicized, corporate stance in host countries.
In Benin, in 1997, the UNHCR openly collaborated with Royal/Dutch Shell
Corporation officials after Shell set up offices immediately behind the
UNHCR headquarters in Cotonou. UNHCR was at the time responsible for
several thousand indigenous Ogoni refugees who fled persecution by
Royal/Dutch Shell and the Nigerian military in the oil-devastated Niger
River Delta.[40]
In Gambella, Ethiopia, during the genocidal pogroms against the Anuak
people (2005-2006), UNHCR operations were openly affiliated with the
perpetrators and UNHCR never spoke out against atrocities committed by
the government of President Meles Zenawi, with his approval. [41]
According to a Refugees International situation report of May 17, 1994,
at the height of RPA war crimes in Rwanda, the UNHCR ‘Ngara’ Protection
report documented atrocities committed by the RPA at the Tanzanian
border—cold-blooded massacres of men, women and children, burned alive
in huts, countless war crimes that were attributed to the ‘organized
Hutu genocide’. [42]
“Asked by [a] UNHCR field officer, refugees said the RPF [sic] did not
care whether victims [killed by RPA] were Hutu or Tutsi.”[43]
“Each day there are more and more bodies in the river and most of them
without their heads.”[44]
Commenting on RPA massacres at other border points: “The people of
Rwanda have nowhere else to go and we cannot expect them to stay and be
slaughtered in their homes.”[45]
Further, and more devastating to the establishment’s portrayal of the
RPA as a ‘disciplined’ rebel force that ‘stopped the genocide,’ it was a
consultant named Robert Gersony, contracted by UNHCR, who staked his 25
year career on his findings from his investigation in Rwanda—“what he
described as calculated, preplanned, systematic atrocities and genocide
against Hutus by the RPA … a plan implemented as a policy from the
highest echelons of [the Kagame] government.”[46]
The United Nations buried the Gersony Report, and it remains buried.
When the Gersony report came out, the UNHCR suspended their support for
voluntary repatriation of refugees to Rwanda because of RPA massacres.
In response, the Rwandan government and many others in the UN turned on
the UNHCR. Since that time (1995), UNHCR has accepted the establishment
narrative about genocide in Rwanda.
The euphemistically named Refugees International (RI)—like the US
Committee for Refugees—is tight with the US intelligence community and
uses a ‘humanitarian’ front to project American power and nationalist
interests through hegemonic pressure tactics and direct interventions.
However, RI’s support for expanded militarization and global domination
is easily unveiled.[47]
Indeed, the UNHCR has a much more incestuous relationship with the
massive ongoing catastrophe on the ground in eastern Congo. One of the
multinational corporations affiliated with UNHCR is
PricewaterhouseCoopers International (PWC), an ‘accounting’ firm whose
business revolves around balancing the books, financial audits and
advising tax write-offs and other forms of financial shuffling for
multinational corporations. Head-quartered in New York City, PWC earned
$US 28.2 billion in revenues in 2008.
PWC is also a shareholder in the corporations involved in the
niobium/tantalum (pyrochlore) mine at Lueshe, North Kivu, at the heart
of Rwanda’s ‘Tutsi rebel’ occupation in eastern DRC.[48],[49]
The mining ores from the Lueshe mine have previously been moved into
international commerce through Rotterdam harbor, Netherlands, involving
the following firms affiliated with PricewaterhouseCoopers International
(US): Alfred K. Knight International (UK); Masingiro GmbH (Germany);
Helvetia Transport (Germany); Gesellschaft fuer Elektrometallurgie GmbH
(Germany); HSBC Bank (UK); A&M Minerals (UK); Mettalurg NY (US).
PWC was the dominant majority shareholder of Somikivu s.c.a.r.l., a
company established in Congo (Zaire) in 1984, and controlled in North
Kivu for numerous years past by troops under the command of Rwandan
warlords Laurent Nkunda and Jules Mutebusi, both wanted for war crimes
and crimes against humanity.[50]
“The crimes and war crimes committed by the management of the
PricewaterhouseCoopers company Somikivu since the year 2000 up until now
will not be quoted here,” wrote the authors of a 2006 letter calling on
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to address PWC
for violations of OECD guidelines for multinational corporations.[51]
In budget year 2008, PWC offices worldwide collectively ‘donated’ $US
1,511,982 to UNHCR. [52]
Affleck’s affiliation with Save the Children is equally problematic
given their sponsorship by the giant Swiss multinational corporation
Credit Suisse Group (CSG).
One CSG director is Peter F. Weibel, a CEO and executive of
PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, Zurich since 1988, member of PWC’s Global
Oversight Board from 1998 to 2001, and CEO of PWC Zurich until mid
2003—a period when PWC continued to intervene in Congo—militarily and
politically—through the Lueshe mine.[53]
Interestingly, PricewaterhouseCoopers has also served as the ‘Chartered
Accountants’ for Banro Corporation from September 1996—the date of the
first RPA/UPDF invasion of Congo—until November 2002, and was listed as
such again for 2005 (at least).[54]
Another CSG director is Thomas W. Bechtler, also the Chairman of the
Zurich Committee of Human Rights Watch. Of course, HRW ‘researcher’
Alison Des Forges wrote the HRW tome on genocide in Rwanda—Leave None to
Tell the Story—the book that turned genocide in Rwanda upside down and
set the stage for the total falsification of international
“This genocide resulted from the deliberate choice of a modern elite to
foster hatred and fear to keep itself in power,” Des Forges wrote. Her
assertions about a ‘planned’ Hutu genocide—“They seized control of the
state and used its machinery and its authority to carry out the
slaughter”—are now completely discredited.[56]
In contradistinction to the establishment narrative accusing the ‘Hutu
leadership’ of an ‘organized’ and ‘planned’ genocide were the countless
acts of genocide committed through a spontaneous uprising of the
masses—people who had been brutalized, disenfranchised, uprooted and
forced from homes; people who had witnessed massacres and rapes of
family members; people who were themselves the victims of brutal
atrocities. These were more than a million people, mostly Hutus, who had
been terrorized by the Rwandan Patriotic Army from October 1990 to April
1994, as it butchered its way into Rwanda.
 “She [Des Forges] concealed the fact that from 1990 the war caused an
unprecedented economic poverty and that the one million internally
displaced people tore the social fabric apart!” wrote Dr. Helmut
Strizek, a former German official who has called for Alison Des Forges’
resignation from Human Rights Watch.[57] “And these people knew that
Tutsi rebels [RPA] caused their misery. They did not wait for
‘instructions’ in order to revenge, once no one was able to maintain
public order after the April 6 [1994] assassination [sic] and resumption
of hostilities by the RPF.”[58]
At one Harvard University lecture on October 14, 1998, Alison Des Forges
proposed a hypothetical ‘decapitation’ scenario whereby military
intervention by a team of elite operatives could have ‘stopped the
genocide’. “The scenario calls for elite troops to enter Rwanda in the
first 2 to 5 days of the genocide and kill or capture the 20 or so
extremist leaders who were primarily responsible for mobilizing the
 However, this is regime change, and it is in keeping with the new
‘humanitarian’ warfare paradigm, and it licenses special operations
forces to commit human rights atrocities and acts of terror legitimized
by one state (US) over its ‘enemies’. And, in any case, there was no
regime in Kigali to change as the state had already been decapitated by
the double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994. Des Forges’
role has been to hide the US backed coup d’etat in Rwanda and to obscure
the involvement of the United States military and its western military
 Between 1990 and 1994, the RPA waged a systematic, pre-planned,
secretive but highly organized terrorist war aimed at eliminating the
largest number of Rwandan people possible—bodies were hacked to pieces
and incinerated en masse. From 1994, once the RPA violently seized
power, a terror regime was created, and developed, and a criminal
structure parallel to the state was set up to pursue pre-determined
kidnappings; torturing and raping of women and young girls; terrorist
attacks (both directly and by simulating that the same had been
perpetrated by the enemy); illegal detention of thousands of civilians;
selective murdering; systematic elimination of corpses either by mass
incineration or by throwing them into lakes and rivers; indiscriminate
attacks against civilians based on pre-determined ethnic categories for
the elimination of the predominant ethnic group; and also to carry out
acts of war in Rwanda and Congo.[60]
 Ben Affleck has met with Rwandan ministers and he is investing in
Rwanda. However, his ties to Paul Kagame run deeper than mere
investments supported by Rwanda’s organized crime cartel.
The 1996 Rwandan Patriotic Army invasion of eastern Congo—then
Zaire—began with military attacks against refugee camps in the North and
South Kivu provinces where more than two million Rwandan refugees were
amassed. These death camps were created by the so-called international
community—the ‘humanitarian’ business sector—and they revolved around
massive profits for the corporate agencies involved, including Refugees
International, Save the Children, World Food Program and UNHCR—all
connected to the western military intelligence apparatus and integrated
with multinational corporate plunder.
Refugees International’s operations during their involvement in the
Rwandan refugee camps in Congo (Zaire), 1995-1996, were funded in part
by Credit Swiss (CS) First Boston, a subsidiary of the Credit Suisse
Group.[61] Robert Weisenthall, a strategic advisor at CS First Boston in
the same period, counted as clients Cox Communications, Time Warner and
the New York Times—all involved in the big Rwanda genocide cover-up.
Wiesenthall is today an executive with Sony Corporation, whose
PlayStations depend upon columbium tantalite, one of the rare earth
metals being plundered from eastern Congo.[62]
The Rwandan refugee camps were reportedly first shelled in a military
operation involving the International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the
UNHCR’s main partners today.[63] The IRC is an agency that does not work
directly with refugees and has been criticized for its direct
involvement in military operations.[64]

“Humanitarian organizations operating among the Hutu refugees in eastern
Zaire and Belgian newspapers accused some US refugee non-governmental
organizations, especially the [IRC] of being covers for CIA operations,”
reported intelligence insider Wayne Madsen. “Two Belgian newspapers,
Antwerp Gazette and De Standaard, reported that the IRC was actually
engaged in ‘military operations and military support operations’ in
support of [Laurent] Kabila’s rebels in eastern Zaire.”[65]
According to UNHCR documentation, IRC agents are allowed to move freely
in and out of UNHCR and other UN field operations. It almost need not be
stated, so obvious a conclusion is it, that so-called ‘humanitarian’
organizations are routinely and unquestioningly used for intelligence
gathering and for identifying both friendly and hostile members of
certain populations.
With the support of his friends in the RPA, Ugandan scholar Mahmood
Mamdani traveled to the Kivus shortly after the 1996 invasion of Congo
(Zaire). Mamdani and RPA backer Jacques Depelchin produced a report that
documented the genocidal RPA campaign against Hutus, and the devastating
effects of the AID enterprise on eastern Congo.[66] Mamdani described
the ‘dollarization’ that destroyed the local economy; how rents were
driven up by the influx of an army of ‘AID’ workers; how local people
found basic needs increasingly beyond their reach.[67]
“To talk to civil society leaders in Kivu about the experience of
hosting two million plus refugees resourced through international NGOs,”
Mamdani reported, “is to listen to a litany of troubles—criminality, ill
health, increased prices, lowered production, mounting insecurity—all
traced to that single experience.”[68]
The eastern Congo never recovered from the combined devastation wrought
by the post-1994 Rwandan Patriotic Army terror regime in combination
with the Rwandan refugee influx. Then as now, the enterprise spawned one
disaster after another and the situation today can only be explained as
a manufactured disaster.
The Ben Affleck Gimme Shelter film is part of an ongoing propaganda
campaign to whitewash the international catastrophe created, and
sustained, in eastern Congo, by the conflux of so-called ‘humanitarian
aid’ operations and so-called ‘international peacekeeping’ operations
with multinational corporate plunder.
“Ordinary people in Goma, DRC, struggling with economic consequences of
war have accused rebel leader, Laurent Nkunda of waging a war that is
beneficial to the whites,” reported Zimbabwe News. “Deniece who runs a
vegetable stall in north Kivu, said the conflict is good for the
well-paid members of the 18-nation MONUC peacekeeping force, aid
agencies and news organizations.”[69]
What is obvious to peasant vegetable sellers is that the Democratic
Republic of the Congo offers a very clear example of a corporate
sustained catastrophe of apocalyptic proportions.
The United Nations Observers Mission for Congo (MONUC) supported Ben
Affleck’s visit to eastern Congo. This mission is increasingly seen as a
boondoggle, and it appears more and more likely that MONUC’s ‘failure’
is by design. How do we measure the overall failure or success of the
MONUC peacekeeping mission?
Any discussion of the role of MONUC in Congo is absent from Affleck’s
film. Instead we only see a few passing images of MONUC blue helmets,
armed Pakistanis or Indian troops, suggestive of an efficacious and
honorable security force selflessly defending the Congolese people.
The MONUC Public Information Office (PIO), responsible for disseminating
information about the MONUC mission, might best be described as a
‘disinformation’ office for the false information that they have
provided, on many occasions, regarding MONUC realities.
“In La Potentiel today,” wrote Great Lakes analyst David Barouski, in
January 2008, “UN civilian sector spokesman Mr. Kemal Saiki reported
that the [Rwanda Defense Forces] is not present in Congo. This is not
the truth and I cannot imagine that Mr. Saiki is so poorly informed that
he honestly does not know they are there. Such an act degrades MONUC’s
credibility with the Congolese people and the international community,
who already know the RDF is there.”[70]
This was not the first time that Public Information Officer (PIO) Kemal
Saiki clouded the truth with intentional disinformation. At the
beginning of 2007, MONUC troops opened fire on angry civilians who
rushed a MONUC vehicle: people were shot dead. When asked about the
incident, Saiki denied that MONUC has opened fire on the crowd and
insisted that the MONUC forces only ‘shot into the air.”[71]
MONUC PIOs have also supported the establishment claims about Ugandan
military (UPDF) withdrawals, and they have refused to report UPDF
incursions in the Orientale region.
Not only does MONUC makes it possible for western mining companies to
loot Congo, but MONUC contingents have also participated in illegal
minerals plunder from DRC.[72]
On October 17, 2007, MONUC spokesperson Kemal Saiki told journalists
that the MONUC mission categorically denied recent reports in the
Congolese press that the peacekeepers were in any way supporting the
factional forces loyal to Rwanda’s in-country agent, General Laurent
Can MONUC PIOs be believed? Can MONUC press reports be trusted? Can
anyone be trusted to tell the truth about Central Africa when their
interests are involved?
While certain political actors, including FARDC troops, have sometimes
played a hand in civilian protests against the MONUC ‘peacekeeping’
mission in Congo, civilian attacks have become routine as the besieged
Congolese people wage frustration battles against the forces of
intervention that many believe—based on their personal experiences—are
both contributing to and profiting from chaos in the region. The
Congolese FARDC army also distrusts the mission: a MONUC convoy moving
militia soldiers was recently stopped by FARDC forces and the militia
soldiers forcibly removed.[74]
December 28, 2008 saw fresh allegations that MONUC blue helmets were
involved in sexual violence and other abuse against civilians in North
Kivu.[75] Simple investigations in Bunia, capital of Orientale, found at
least five cases of young women who had been raped by MONUC personnel;
in one case, the young girl killed her baby and went to prison, but the
civilian MONUC official, unpunished, was apparently transferred to
another post.[76] Is this an example of MONUC’s ‘zero tolerance policy’
against sexual violence by MONUC personnel?
“The Congolese people no more have trust in MONUC. We think that they
are supporting the rebels,” North Kivu resident Adili Amani Romauld is
reported to say. “And there is a rumor that MONUC profits from the
business of the rebels because people have seen soldiers of MONUC saying
that ‘no Nkunda, no jobs.’ This is what the Congolese say they saw
soldiers of MONUC saying… but from the time they say MONUC came to this
country, nothing has changed. So we no more expect anything good from
The annual MONUC budget is $US 1.13 billion, of which approximately 40%
is annually spent on air transport in and between DRC, Burundi, Rwanda
and Uganda.[78] The air transport system therefore provides massive
incomes to foreign companies involved in aviation, for fixed wing and
helicopter leasing.[79] Meanwhile, the leased jumbo jetliner oil burners
traveling the long transnational air routes for MONUC are at times over
80% empty.
The MONUC air transport infrastructure maintains structural violence by
diverting funds that should be available, and used, for development of
Congo’s national transportation infrastructure (especially an
appropriate road or light rail system) to the private profits of foreign
corporations and governments.
MONUC also rents properties and facilities in Rwanda, Uganda and South
Africa (approx. $US 370,000 annually) and pays some $US 93 million
annually to oil companies.[80] One of the primary providers of air
support services for MONUC is Pacific Architects and Engineers (PAE), a
subsidiary of the U.S. aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin
Corporation. Most importantly, the MONUC air transport system is highly
exclusive, unavailable to most Congolese people, but open to many highly
paid white personnel working for the NGO sector.
Evidence of the structural violence against the Congolese people is
prolific, seen with the swimming pools and water yoga classes filled
with white expatriate AID professionals—where 99% of blacks are excluded
due to their economic (slavery) status—and with the MONUC mission’s
expenditures on entertainment infrastructure.
MONUC’s Pakistani and Indian brigades, for example, constructed cricket
and soccer (football) facilities. The MONUC cricket games, soccer
matches, marching bands, bagpipes and kilts on Sundays and special
celebrations are very curious: the construction of athletic facilities
and provision of leisure activities are seen by some as examples that
MONUC is in it for the long term. Is this a serious ‘peacekeeping’
mission? Or part of a prolonged and lucrative sustainable catastrophe?
UN Messenger for Peace George Clooney, appointed January 31, 2008 due to
his high profile role in Darfur, Sudan, also visited the MONUC Indian
brigades in DRC’s Kivu provinces, where he painted a picture of MONUC
troops as selfless soldiers for good. “We were in Congo and met with the
Indian Kivu brigade in January,” he said, in October 2008. “We saw the
incredibly important and tough work they are doing every day.”[81]
Isn’t the MONUC military mission just another faction involved in
Congo’s conflagration, a faction of foreign mercenaries backed by
multinational corporations? Like the United Nations itself, the MONUC
mission is compromised at the highest levels, and the hands of the good
people in the mission are tied and their voices silenced.
According to MONUC staff in Kinshasa, the Special Representative of the
Secretary General to the DRC, current MONUC Head of Mission Alan Doss, a
US citizen, has violated MONUC mission protocol prohibiting family
members from joining mission employees. Doss brought his wife to DRC,
against regulations, and she is reportedly provided a personal maid, a
MONUC 4x4 Toyota SUV with a MONUC driver, for personal use, all paid for
by the MONUC mission.
“Everybody cannot believe that Doss is so corrupt,” says one MONUC
insider. “He knows nothing about Congo… he is breaking rules every day.
Mrs. Doss gave a big reception in Kinshasa to receive George Clooney at
the Grand Hotel. It was paid for by MONUC and Doss didn’t even clear the
party with the Chief of Division [according to protocol]. People are
very angry but they cannot say anything and morale is very low, because
everyone sees that the MONUC mission they are part of is a failure.”[82]
What constitutes success or failure of a United Nations ‘peacekeeping’
mission of MONUC’s stature? What about the failure to displace Rwanda’s
guerrilla forces from eastern Congo? What about the failure to intervene
and/or halt the ongoing minerals plunder?
Does the involvement of MONUC soldiers in sex trafficking or minerals
smuggling constitute the mission’s failure? What about millions of
people dead and millions more displaced during the years of MONUC’s
involvement in DRC, circa 2001 to 2009?
To his credit, on December 17, 2008, MONUC Chief Alan Doss publicly
announced that the MONUC ‘peacekeeping’ mission with its 17,000 soldiers
and its $US one billion annual budget “was not equal to the task.”[83]
 Alan Doss inherited a catastrophe from his predecessor, William Lacy
Swing—a US State Department official who’s diplomatic career spanned
some 40 years including five postings as Ambassador to African countries
each under long term organized assault by white collar crime, corporate
plunder and covert military interventions: South Africa, Nigeria,
Liberia, Zaire (now DRC), and the former People's Republic of the Congo
(Congo-Brazzaville); Swing is also deeply tied to the malaise in Haiti.
 At this writing, MONUC staff in Congo are dealing with labor violations
due to inequitable treatment and poor working conditions: the promises
made by MONUC officials after MONUC in-country staff organized a
stop-work strike more than a year ago have been entirely ignored.[84]
 On December 18, 2008, President Bush released $US 6 million in “AID”
funds for Congo from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration
Assistance Fund, ostensibly to ‘aid refugees’. The true purpose and
destination of these and so many other funds may never be known.
After one of Ben Affleck’s promotional visits to Rwanda, Francis Gatare,
Director General of Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency,
quoted the Oscar winner as saying: “When you are cheated in a place like
Seattle in the US, it's very easy to think that Rwanda you saw on CNN in
1994 is still the same. Seeing is believing, and I am happy to have come
to Rwanda to witness how the peace and security in the country is real
and should be communicated to the world.”[85]

However, Rwanda’s ‘peace’ has come about through a campaign of absolute
terror against the people and depopulation of the Rwandan
But numerous celebrities pimp Rwanda’s sanitized image. In 2007, actress
Natalie Portman joined other global celebrities to name baby mountain
gorillas for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Virunga National Park;
actress Daryl Hannah has also played that role. Actress Sigourney Weaver
is officially tied to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. William Taliaferro
Close, the father of actress Glen Close was for many years the personal
physician for Zaire’s president Joseph Mobutu.[87] Ewan McGregor also
boosts Rwanda’s image by traveling there in league with the regime.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and Jane Goodall Institute are two big
profit-based ‘conservation’ NGOs directly tied to militias involved in
extortion, land theft and other organized crime in North Kivu
province.[88] Jane Goodall is currently a United Nations Messenger of
Peace but she is so busy giving “Save the Chimp” lectures worldwide that
she doesn’t know what she is talking about, and is blind to the crimes
that the Jane Goodall Institute is committing, in her name, in
A number of other big international names, including Quincy Jones, and
the CEOs of Starbucks, Microsoft, Google and CISCO, have previously
visited Rwanda on business missions. Kagame’s strategy of surrounding
himself with big business to shield his regime against criticisms or
indictments for war crimes and acts of genocide has paid off. Big
business leaders, business web sites and public relations campaigns the
world over describe Paul Kagame as ‘The Entrepreneur President’.[90]
President Obama’s Christian right evangelist fanatic Rick Warren has
also gotten in on the Kagame game. “In 2005 Rwanda became, at the
request of its president Paul Kagame, the initial testing ground for
Rick Warren’s P.E.A.C.E Plan and the first nation in the world to
implement Warren's "Purpose Driven Life and Leadership training program"
on a national level. Warren has made at least ten separate trips to
Rwanda and has been photographed multiple times with Rwanda's President,
Paul Kagame.”[91]
It seems that birds of a feather flock together. Former US President
George W. Bush has also had his image buffed by spotlight celebrities.
In February 2008, soon after Bush departed Kagame and Rwanda on Air
Force One, Bob Geldof—another of Africa’s Great White Hopes—praised Bush
as one of the greatest humanitarian Presidents, due to Bush’s supposed
concern for Africa —measured in big business financial allocations
ostensibly for African people.
Andrew Young, the former US Ambassador to the UN and former Mayor of
Atlanta has promoted Rwanda through his corporate consulting firm
Goodworks International; Young is also a close sponsor and partner of
the US-Uganda Friendship Council, a multinational corporate organization
involving and protecting Yoweri Museveni. In 2007, Young’s perception
management firm produced the pro-Kagame whitewash titled Rwanda Rising.
Billed as a documentary and entered into film festivals, the promo
starred Paul Kagame, William Jefferson Clinton and musician Quincy
Andrew Young is reportedly building a mansion on Lake Muhazi in Rwanda,
where Kagame also owns a mansion, and next to exclusive multi-million
dollar lakeside resorts and golf courses. Quincy Jones has bought an
island on Lake Muhazi.
In 2005, Kagame was awarded the annual Andrew Young Medal for Capitalism
and Social Progress by Georgia State University. In 2007 Kagame received
the “Abolitionist of the Year Award” after Rwanda abolished the death
penalty, a rather ironic result given Kagame’s role in mass death in
Congo and Rwanda. But Kagame’s award for being a capitalist couldn’t be
more apropos, given the predatory nature of western capitalism as
practiced by Kagame’s gang in the Great Lakes region.
Operating in Rwanda and Uganda is the Canadian company Vangold
Resources, connected to Robert and Eric Friedland, two of the Friends of
Bill Clinton linked to the bloodletting in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda
through their multiple interlocking companies and offshore holdings.
Vangold copper, cobalt and gold mining operations proceed in Uganda’s
western border districts. [93] The West Nile district mining occurs near
the sites of the massive Ugandan government backed atrocities and
concentration camps that confine some 1.2 million indigenous Acholi
people. Vangold has interests in Kenya, and holds a 1,631 square km (630
sq. mi) petroleum concession bordering Congo in northeastern Rwanda.
Tony Blair, Britain’s Prime Minister (1997-2007) at the time of the
first and second Anglo-American invasions of Congo, led by the proxy
forces of Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, has been a personal advisor
to President Kagame since January 2008.
Another high profile mover and shaker who helps legitimize the Kagame
regime is Harvard University doctor Paul Farmer, who moved his family to
Rwanda in 2008 and became a citizen there. Farmer’s Partner’s in Health
project has received millions of dollars from the Clinton Foundation and
Clinton HIV/AIDS programs—money rinsed from the blood diamonds and
indigenous genocides in Botswana, Sierra Leone, Angola, Uganda, Rwanda,
South Africa and Congo. [95] Maurice Tempelsman, the Clinton/Kennedy
family diamond broker, Democratic Party sponsor and an architect of
covert operations in Africa, is the Chairman of the board of Harvard
University’s euphemistically named AIDS Institute; HAI is partnered with
the US Military HIV Research Program. [96], [97]
Paul Farmer is also linked to the Kagame regime’s network in Boston,
where agent’s of the Kagame regime operate an intelligence cell used to
identify, repress and criminalize any Rwandan people who in any way
challenge the criminality or injustice of the current regime. [98]
Paul Farmer wrote an excellent book on structural violence titled
Pathologies of Power. In the introduction, Farmer discusses Rwanda and,
for example, he comments on the ‘blinkered analyses’ by aid workers in
“most settings where massive human rights violations are about to
“How, one wonders incredulously,” Farmer asked, “Could anyone working on
behalf of the Rwandan poor [before 1994] have failed to anticipate the
oncoming cataclysm?”[99]
How, one wonders incredulously, could anyone working on behalf of the
Rwandan poor today have failed to challenge or distance themselves from
Kagame’s Rwanda and its terrorist enterprises, in Congo at the very
least, and instead works with the regime and its agents?
Farmer cites the work of Samantha Power, about how the Clinton
administration knowingly let genocide in Rwanda happen, as opposed to
playing the active role it did in backing a covert coup d’etat and Hutu
genocide. [100] This fabricated ‘bystanders to genocide’ thesis,
intentionally obtuse, won Samantha Power—a founder-director of Harvard’s
highly biased Carr Center for Human Rights—a Pulitzer Prize. [101]
Farmer’s additional references and citations regarding ‘genocide in
Rwanda’ are equally misinformed, examples of propaganda that
intentionally blinds people. [102]
Michael Porter, a Harvard professor and ‘intellectual entrepreneur’ from
Brookline, Massachusetts, also has close ties to Kagame, both in
Massachusetts and in Rwanda. Porter is one of Paul Kagame’s primary
economic advisers, “helping that nation craft an economic plan, develop
the private sector and build relationships around the world.”[103]
Ben Affleck’s hometown is Boston, Massachusetts, and this is the stage
for Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s film Good Will Hunting. Boston, it
turns out, is also Paul Kagame’s most important power base in the United
States, and Cambridge (Harvard University) and Brookline are two
influential suburbs.
On January 27, 2009, Democracy Now host Amy Goodman will moderate a
panel about Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partner’s In Health mission in Haiti.
Panelists will include Paul Farmer and Matt Damon and the panel will be
held at Kennedy Library in Boston.
Paul Kagame and his wife Jeanette are regular visitors to Boston, where
they have wooed many business leaders, including Mayor Thomas Menino,
and where they are tight with the Jewish community. The Tutsis, after
all, are the ‘Jews of Africa’ and Rwanda the ‘Israel of Africa’,
according to the efficacious mythology perpetuated in part by New Yorker
writer Philip Gourevitch, in part by Israeli officials. [104] Of course,
Israel is also fueling the holocaust in the Congo. [105]
Kagame has given numerous “we the poor victims of genocide” speeches at
Boston area colleges. Such speeches usually provoke guilt about the
moral failure of us in the west, and all dissent is stillborn for fear
of being accused of genocide denial. The result is a hysterical western
‘news’ consuming public—a hysteria amplified by visits to skeleton
‘memorials’ in Rwanda. [106]
At Boston College in 2005, Kagame was joined by Pierre-Richard Prosper,
the US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues. Prosper is a member of
Boston College Board of Trustees and has repeatedly visited Rwanda since
1995. Prosper played a major role in neutralizing the International
Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, and in derailing the attempts by ICTR
prosecutor Carla Del Ponte to prosecute the RPA for war crimes. [107]
Prosper echoed the big Rwanda deception about a systematic genocide
committed by the Hutus, and he followed with the usual coup de grace on
truth: he criticized the international community for ‘failing to act’
and, completely inverting reality, said that the US media “did nothing
to explore the genocidal machine that was under full operation in
Rwanda.”[108] In reality, the US ‘news’ system facilitated the RPA coup
Kagame followed with the typical speech filled with the usual platitudes
about ‘100 days of killing’, with ‘800,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsis
slaughtered’—the language that the propaganda system has, by constant
repetition, cemented into the minds of western ‘news’ consumers, thus
fostering a sort of mass hysteria about Rwanda that is echoed,
mindlessly—even self-righteously, by everyone from the miseducated
masses to over educated intellectuals—everywhere. As usual, Kagame
turned reality on its head, falsely stating that “the genocide was
engineered by the government” of Juvenal Habyarimana. “It was
deliberate, calculated, and cold-blooded,” Kagame said. Indeed it was,
as Paul Kagame knows only too well.
Although Paul Kagame has criticized western society and pontificated on
the importance of Rwandans being educated in Rwanda, his children attend
school in Boston, where they are sheltered by an extensive network, and
Ben Affleck—Congo’s new hero and an avid Red Sox fan—has taken the
Kagame youth to Boston Red Sox baseball games. [109]
This is the kind of hidden interest, according to Congolese who have now
learned about Affleck’s Kagame and Rwanda connections, that one cannot,
in good conscience, ignore. While it might seem endearing that Affleck
takes Kagame’s children out to the ball game, it exemplifies Affleck’s
close relationship to an internationally renowned war criminal and his
conflict of interest in Congo.
The Gimme Shelter campaign is but the latest smokescreen by the western
propaganda systems deployed to protect private profits, hidden agendas,
and white-collar war crimes in Central Africa. In this equation, the
actors and actresses themselves are being used like brand names. UNHCR
has the Angelina Jolie brand. UNICEF has the Mia Farrow brand. Save the
Children and UNHCR share the Ben Affleck brand name.
Such smokescreens immunize people in North America, Europe, South
Africa, Israel and Australia against our own waking up. Using words like
‘humanitarian’ and ‘AID’ and ‘relief’ and ‘peacekeeping’ to misname what
are otherwise profitable white operations that are reliant purely on
markets—where the commodities are people of color who have been uprooted
and displaced, physically and sexually traumatized, and murdered en
masse—is another way to justify the exploitation that proceeds both in
plain site (refugee operations, peacekeeping interventions, media
productions) and behind the scenes (extractive industries, weapons
proliferation, multinational dumping, covert operations).
In eastern Congo, it is clear that the goal is to create chaos, to
mobilize and dispossess millions of people of their lands and their
agency, to herd them and intern them in ‘refugee’ concentration camps,
where they die of starvation and disease, where they become test
populations for pharmaceutical corporations, where every justification
is used—by the white people who serve them—before we go off to the
swimming pool or take a vacation.
But most of all, the goal is to create a hopeless and destitute people,
who don’t know if they are coming or going, who are traumatized,
shattered, apathetic, afraid of everyone and everything, where even the
most vile forms of corporate exploitation can appear, almost magically,
as promising solutions.
The Gimme Shelter video—like so much of the western capitalist
communications apparatus—allows whites to justify our ignorance, to
inculcate and nurture our apathy, and to simultaneously hide behind our
‘innocence’. Ben Affleck offers a stellar performance of the ostensibly
innocent white man, the latest white savior for Africa, taken to the
“But it is not permissible that the authors of devastation should also
be innocent,” wrote African American James Baldwin. “It is the innocence
which constitutes the crime.”[110] ?


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