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some alternative links for another take on calls for humanitarian intervention in africa

Darfur: an open discussion on intervention, regime change & the politics of genocide
www.traprockpeace.org/darfur_intervention_070606.html

lighter audio download/streams on same program can be found at the guns & butter archives here
www.gunsandbutter.net/archives.php
part one on august 16: www.gunsandbutter.net/archives.php
part two on august 23: www.gunsandbutter.net/archives.php
Five different perspectives on the ongoing crisis in the Darfur region explore the ethical and political questions behind popular calls for humanitarian intervention and regime change in Sudan. Panelists include Co-Director of the IAC in New York, Sara Flounders; Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Elliot Fratkin; investigative journalist, Keith Harmon Snow; researcher on war crimes, Dimitri Oram; and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Enoch Page; and concludes with a panel discussion. This event on the crisis in Darfur was held on July 6, 2006 at Smith College in Massachusetts.

keith harmon snow recently posted on darfur @ indymedia - south africa
Why does the global north want to 'Save Dafur'? Wake up and smell the Oil!
southafrica.indymedia.org/news/2006/12/11891.php
[excerpt]
Funding behind the “Save Darfur” and "Stop Genocide” campaign which is gaining ground fast in North America and Europe is remarkable. Fancy brochures, countless web sites, T-shirts, bumper stickers— even "Save Darfur!" video-war-games. Have the powers that be have suddenly developed a conscience? Unfortunately, not so.

A small number of "experts" are currently allowed to represent the story of Dafur to the Western public. However, on closer inspection, much of it turns out to be deliberate disinformation. An example: New York Times photos of Sudan feed into stereotypes about wind-blown deserts and wandering nomads— in fact, it is none of the sort. The “breadbasket of Africa,” Sudan is actually rich in lush, green agricultural lands and natural resources. However, pictures like these (see below) enable corporations and governments, and “humanitarian” agencies, to expropriate and control Sudan. With right-wing think tanks doing the PR for the "Save Dafur" campaign, even progressive groups in the US are suddenly advocating US military "involvement" to alleviate the humanitarian crises in Darfur. — which, this investigator contends, the US is at least partially, if not wholly, responsible for to begin with.

Innocent women, men and children are caught in the middle of this nasty Western campaign aimed—- as Dr. Eric Reeves from Smith College has openly advocated (Washington Post August 2004)—at regime change in Sudan. In their many columns and forums advertising the “genocide” in Darfur, the advocates of aggressive US foreign policy in Sudan hide from the public the evidence of a massive resource grab in the Darfur region and the country as a whole:
- At stake in Sudan are vast petroleum reserves coveted by Exxon-Mobil, Total, Halliburton, Schlumberger and Chevron, and the entire Darfur region is one vast concession that is being fought over today. See it on the oil industry maps at www.traprockpeace.org and www.allthingspass.com.
- Israel([search]) covets the uranium reserves of Darfur.
- Coke, Pepsi, Pfizer, Merck and Unilever (owns Ben & Jerry’s) seek to control the Gum Arabic plantations of Darfur: home to some 80% of world supply and the best quality Gum Arabic in the world—and the source of USAID research projects in the 1980’s that were cancelled when the Sudanese decided to control their own destiny, and their own resources. When the Sudan government defends itself or fights back it is automatically committing genocide, no matter who actually does the killing, or who else is involved in the war.

This is not an apology for the government of Sudan. It is a challenge to caring people everywhere to wake up and see the interests behind the campaign to "Save Dafur"- to recognize it is a war in which at least one side tries to enlist their genuine concern about human rights as a tool for gaining the upper hand.
[/excerpt]

two other recent appearances by keith harmon snow on guns & butter are of related interest
sept 27, 2006: Behind the Numbers: Plunder in Central Africa
Interview with journalist, Keith Harmon Snow. “Genocide” in the Darfur region of Sudan is analyzed in the context of global investment capital, natural resource exploitation, “intervention” media war propaganda masquerading as humanitarian effort. The militarization of the region by the U.S. and other nations.

The take-over of Uganda and Rwanda by rebel forces supported by the U.S. is discussed, as well as the role of Uganda and Rwanda in the destabilization of the entire region to facilitate competing global corporate interests in the plunder of Africa’s great mineral and oil wealth. The film “Hotel Rwanda”, publicized as based on historical fact, is revealed as fiction, to cover the manipulation of internecine wars in the exploitation of Rwanda’s resources by western business interests. First broadcast July 19, 2006.

www.gunsandbutter.net/archives.php

and

dec 13, 2006: Mining the Apocalypse: Terrorism and Private Profit from the Horn to the Heart of Africa
Interview with journalist and genocide investigator, Keith Harmon Snow. A French judge has brought indictments against top officials in Paul Kagame's Rwandan government regarding the 1994 downing of the plane carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, which is routinely cited as the flashpoint for the "Rwandan genocide". We take a look at the Rwandan genocide and the Second Congo War. Keith Snow is releasing his UNICEF/United Nations sponsored investigation into the genocide in Ethiopia of the indigenous Anuak people in the Gambella region of southwest Ethiopia. Keith Snow's website is www.allthingspass.com.
www.gunsandbutter.net/archives.php

[note: if you're net savy, you can hack the urls to download the mp3 files]

also see

john bellamy foster: A Warning to Africa: The New U.S. Imperial Grand Strategy
www.monthlyreview.org/0606jbf.htm
The U.S. military buildup in Africa is frequently justified as necessary both to fight terrorism and to counter growing instability in the oil region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2003 Sudan has been torn by civil war and ethnic conflict focused on its southwestern Darfur region (where much of the country’s oil is located), resulting in innumerable human rights violations and mass killings by government-linked militia forces against the population of the region. Attempted coups recently occurred in the new petrostates of São Tomé and Principe (2003) and Equatorial Guinea (2004). Chad, which is run by a brutally oppressive regime shielded by a security and intelligence apparatus backed by the United States, also experienced an attempted coup in 2004. A successful coup took place in Mauritania in 2005 against U.S.-supported strongman Ely Ould Mohamed Taya. Angola’s three-decade-long civil war—instigated and fueled by the United States, which together with South Africa organized the terrorist army under Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA—lasted until the ceasefire following Savimbi’s death in 2002. Nigeria, the regional hegemon, is rife with corruption, revolts, and organized oil theft, with considerable portions of oil production in the Niger Delta region being siphoned off—up to 300,000 barrels a day in early 2004.16 The rise of armed insurgency in the Niger Delta and the potential of conflict between the Islamic north and non-Islamic south of the country are major U.S. concerns.

Hence there are incessant calls and no lack of seeming justifications for U.S. “humanitarian interventions” in Africa. The Council on Foreign Relations report More than Humanitarianism insists that “the United States and its allies must be ready to take appropriate action” in Darfur in Sudan “including sanctions and, if necessary, military intervention, if the Security Council is blocked from doing so.” Meanwhile the notion that the U.S. military might before long need to intervene in Nigeria is being widely floated among pundits and in policy circles. Atlantic Monthly correspondent Jeffrey Taylor wrote in April 2006 that Nigeria has become “the largest failed state on earth,” and that a further destabilization of that state, or its takeover by radical Islamic forces, would endanger “the abundant oil reserves that America has vowed to protect. Should that day come, it would herald a military intervention far more massive than the Iraqi campaign.”17

Still, U.S. grand strategists are clear that the real issues are not the African states themselves and the welfare of their populations but oil and China’s growing presence in Africa.


michael watts: Empire of Oil: Capitalist Dispossession and the Scramble for Africa
www.monthlyreview.org/0906watts.htm
The strategic interests of the United States certainly include not only access to cheap and reliable low-sulphur oil imports, but also keeping the Chinese (for example in Sudan) and South Koreans (for example in Nigeria)—aggressive new actors in the African oil business—and Islamic terror at bay. Africa is, according to the intelligence community, the “new frontier” in the fight against revolutionary Islam. Energy security, it turns out, is a terrifying hybrid of the old and the new: primitive accumulation and American militarism coupled to the war on terror.

and, for a general look at u.s. in africa

jason motlagh: America's Africa Corps
www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/HI21Aa01.html
 

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