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Africom 7 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Congo, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Somalia, UK, WAR!, Zimbabwe.


Last week soldiers walked into Safari Muhindo’s house and hacked to death his wife and four children with machetes. He holds a photo of himself with two of his sons. He fled to Goma, North Kivu
[Photograph: Robin Hammond]

Robert Mugabe Must Be Toppled…

I noticed this headline across all the UK papers, as I was wandering in the media pool over night… slight variations between headline writers… but they all loved “toppled” (this is not an endorsement of Mugabe) as they presented the opinion piece from John Sentamu, the Bishop of York…

When Jesus Christ wanted people to know what he was doing, he chose a passage from the Old Testament to describe his mission. It was a passage from the prophet Isaiah, written to encourage a disillusioned and demoralised people. It looked forward to a new day when there would be justice for people being treated unjustly and in poverty and release for the oppressed. It promised new life for the present and hope for the future.

President Robert Mugabe was right when he said only God could remove him. That’s exactly what happens. No tyrant lives for ever. No cruel regime lasts. God acts. And he is acting. An international chorus is at last being raised to bring an end to Mugabe’s brutal regime.

He has courage, this priest does, almost boundless, as he invokes the words of Martin to bolster his cause:

We look for leaders of resolution and courage to lead the people of Zimbabwe out of their suffering. The late Dr Martin Luther King Jr said: ‘We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.’

… he invokes others as well, from Lord Acton to Africans, ones who fought against Mugabe more than 20 years ago.  And of course, Jesus.

Lenin’s Tomb took a swipe at it

Here is an instance of convoluted hypocrisy for you: the fabled “international community”, many of its constituents both benefiting from and deeply involved in the genocidal mass murder in the Congo, decided to apply sanctions on Zimbabwe for its role in the war. […]

The vagueness of his [Sentamu] appeal, padded out as it is with lovely pieties, can only inspire a yawn. Sentamu will have to do more than chop up his dog collar this time if he wants to have an impact.

And noted that the bishop and the president agree on homosexuality.  Consensus…

I followed this link as it was about an African, now a priest formerly an Archbishop, Pius Ncube, silenced by the Vatican.

And lo, what do I behold:

One of the most outspoken opponents of Robert Mugabe has been silenced by the Vatican just as the regime in Zimbabwe is at its weakest and his leadership would be most valuable.

Pius Ncube resigned as Archbishop of Bulawayo and left Zimbabwe in September 2007 after he was filmed sleeping with a married woman who was employed by the regime as a “honeytrap”.  He returned last month after spending a year in exile in Rome and Britain, but the Roman Catholic Church has forbidden him from making any political statements.

In the first interview he has given since his fall Mr Ncube told The Times that he would obey the Vatican order, but added: “I am very upset about it. I believe in speaking out for the people at a time of distress. This country is in the worst situation – worse than when I left.”

He agreed that the gagging order meant that the Mugabe regime had succeeded in neutralising one of its most prominent critics. As archbishop, Mr Ncube repeatedly denounced Mr Mugabe’s misrule, championed nonviolent opposition to the Government, and defied death threats.  […]

Let the people go… just let them go.  Speak as they will.  From the Vatican to the Mugabes of the world, those people should break.  The Sentamus as well.


The NYT took a look at Somalia.. peeked around their notebooks.. but the article is more useful than one might expect…

And now, with the government on the brink and the Islamists seeming ready to seize control for the second time, the operative question inside and outside Somalia seems to be: Now what?

“It will be bloody,” predicted Rashid Abdi, a Somalia analyst at the International Crisis Group, a research institute that tracks conflicts worldwide. “The Ethiopians have decided to let the transitional government sink. The chaos will spread from the south to the north. Warlordism will be back.”

Mr. Rashid sees Somalia deteriorating into an Afghanistan-like cauldron of militant Islamism, drawing in hard-core fighters from the Comoros, Zanzibar, Kenya and other neighboring Islamic areas, a process that seems to have already started. Those men will eventually go home, spreading the killer ethos.

“Somalia has now reached a very dangerous phase,” he said. “The whole region is in for more chaos, I’m afraid.”

And this:

Most analysts predict that the war-weary people of Mogadishu would initially welcome the Islamists, out of either relief or fear. In 2006, Islamist troops teamed up with clan elders and businessmen to drive out the warlords who had been preying upon Somalia’s people since the central government first collapsed in 1991. The six months the Islamists ruled Mogadishu turned out to be one of the most peaceful periods in modern Somali history.

Yes but we could not  stand it… they had to go.. rather than wait, allow the people on the ground to breathe and regroup.  See what happens. It’s their country… isn’t it?  (Not in our opinion, is my guess.)  No, we were pre-emptive.  The Biggest War Lord of Them All.  ( God Bless America!)

Anyway… the article continues, the next bunch of Islamists to come in may be, or are, harder and tougher.

Then of course there is us.

Chris Floyd took a look, too, at the NYT article.  And had some things to say about the warnings from ICG

Here we see the logic of militarism on full display: the only way to prevent the rise of terrorism in a country is by invading that country and occupying it with a foreign military force — which, of course, only gives rise to more terrorism in that country. This circular reasoning seems absurd on its face, but it is in fact the highly efficient dynamic that drives and sustains the ideology of militarism in practical power.

Militarism — either in its overt, unashamed form as espoused by the neo-cons and their outriders, or in the more subtly packaged, sugar-coated (and often self-deluding) version of the “humanitarian interventionists” — is the ruling ideology of the American state. Like all ideologies, it comes in different shadings, different emphases, different factions, and so on, but the national power structure is firmly committed across the board to the use of violence — and the ever-present threat of violence — to advance a bipartisan agenda of American hegemony on the world scene. Some factions take great pains to present this hegemony as benevolent and altruistic; other factions don’t care how it comes across (“Let them hate us as long as they fear us,” was a sentiment frequently voiced in high circles at the beginning of the Terror War). But all factions are willing to kill people — either directly or by proxy — to maintain that hegemony.

And that’s why, for the militarist mindset, situations such as the hell in Somalia — or in Iraq — or in Afghanistan — are always win-win scenarios. If the application of brute force in Somalia had “worked” — i.e, if the “regime change” invasion and subsequent repression had produced a quiescent client state willing to open up its resources to foreign exploitation and to jail, torture and kill any of its own citizens who threatened the profitable status quo — then the militarists would have claimed it as a template that could and should be applied over and over around the world. It would have “justified” the militarist path.

Chris Floyd updates with this link to the Boston Globe on the thriving war industry…

[B]ut here in the Merrimack River Valley, and over the state line at several industrial sites around Massachusetts, defense contractor BAE Systems is hoisting “Help Wanted” signs.

BAE develops technology in fields like electronic warfare and cybersecurity, sophisticated systems that are key to combating a new wave of threats around the globe. At a time when 1.7 million jobs have been lost in the United States this year, the company is hiring 200 engineers and manufacturing workers in Nashua, Hudson, and Merrimack, N.H., and Burlington, Lexington, and Marlborough, Mass.

Other defense electronics contractors, such as Waltham’s Raytheon Co. and General Dynamics Corp.’s communications systems center in Taunton, also continue to ramp up. Such companies remain awash in orders from the Pentagon and American allies increasingly worried about terrorism and missile proliferation. They are also facing the pending retirement of many baby boomers in their labor force, a factor lending greater urgency to their hiring efforts.

“We’re acting very aggressively when we find a good match,” said Christopher Sherman, engineering manager at BAE’s Electronics & Integrated Solutions division here. […]

As long as the party goes on.

Plenty 28 November 2008

Posted by marisacat in AFRICOM, Congo, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.


A girl displaced by fighting tries to sell potatoes in the rain at a market in a refugee camp at Kibati in eastern Congo. Congolese rebel chief Laurent Nkunda said on Monday he would fight African peacekeeping troops if they attacked him, as concerns grew that east Congo’s conflict could suck in neighbouring armies. [Reuters via The Independent]

If I land on interesting reports on Mumbai or Thailand… or other near flung points, will pop them up over night.



This’ll flip some people out…it’s not confirmed, but give it time..

A German MEP caught up in the attacks said she had heard that British nationals were among the terrorists involved in the killings, as reports of the death toll hit 143.

Erika Mann was part of a trade delegation of MEPs from Brussels staying at the Taj Hotel.

Before leaving the city on a flight to London, she said she had escaped through an underground passage in the hotel.

She added: “The attacks appear to have a European dimension. We have heard from journalists and other people we were with that English citizens took part in the attacks and were killed in the hotel.

She said a new approach was now needed to tackle global terrorism: “These attacks have taught us all a difficult lesson,” she said.

“We cannot continue just with local and regional structures to fight terrorism when we face an enemy that is organised on a global scale. Global terrorism of the sort we experienced in Mumbai involves a wide range of people, from young people influenced by fundamentalism to business people.

“This cannot be left as a problem for India alone. The ordinary people are as fed up as anyone else.”

Ramp up, even more, the Global War on Terror…