depopulation as policy
How the despair and death of millions of African people
is daily determined by the lifestyle of ordinary Americans,
in small town USA,
with nary a word of truth in the US press, if anything at all,
and why most of us know nothing about it,
and do nothing to stop it when we do know.
keith harmon snow
(This report was written in 2003.)
I am dead serious about the subtitle to this story.
I am also mocking one of the most popular books on genocide in Rwanda: We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. Author Philip Gourevitch is staff writer for the New Yorker, and through his selective forays into the heart of darkness he has secured a partial monopoly on the discussion about Rwanda, and the silences in between. Given Rwanda’s pivotal role in fomenting terror there, this silence extends to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Dissent is intolerable to those who have something to hide, and so the discussion about terrorism in Africa remains proscribed by academia, the media, and other institutions of American empire. Africa is off the agenda. People are getting away with murder, because they know they can, and the media doesn’t report it, because they know they don’t have to. They are some of the same people.
Do the facts even matter? Is there any point in naming names herein?
Start counting in 1998 and the number of dead in DRC exceeds four million. Start counting in 1990 and it might exceed six million. Through all the killing there are the tireless African defenders of human rights in Africa: the citizen’s groups, the students, the mothers, the brave men and women whom have stood up and said “enough” to the total expropriation of their existence. They have been slaughtered with impunity by the thousands. We almost never hear about it.
No one in the international community is talking about it. No one is listening. Torture is commonplace. Refugees have been massacred. Innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered. Civil society is under attack. Children have been forcibly recruited as soldiers. Government is sowing terror. Government is getting away with murder, mutilation and rape. The preceding sentences are the actual titles or subtitles of major human rights reports issued over the past decade. All are applicable today.
In 1990, the now President of Rwanda, Maj. Gen. Paul Kagame – a powerful Ugandan -- returned from training at the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to lead the first U.S. supported invasion of Rwanda by the army of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF). Kagame is identified with the Tutsi tribe, but this is a meaningless social construction serving the western media theme of “African conflicts by African people” (a.k.a. tribalism, yet again).
When the plane carrying the Hutu president of Rwanda and Burundi was shot down over the Rwandan capital on April 6, 1994, all hell broke loose. It was a calculated hell, the Hutu war machine, but it was expected, and it is not a question of whether the U.S. knew what was happening or not. Philip Gourevitch entered the hell and he focused American eyes on “the genocide” – the “slaughter of about 800,000 Tutsis by the extremist Hutu government in 100 days.”
Under cover of “the genocide” from April to August 1994 – and a total U.S. media propaganda blitz – Kagame and the RPF invaded and secured Rwanda. Hundreds of thousands of killings attributed to “the genocide” were committed by RPF forces in 1994. So began the contre-genocide. [i]
Philip Gourevitch gained the confidence of the RPF, and Paul Kagame, now president of Rwanda, is a trusted friend. Gourevitch also has the ear of Uganda’s president-for-life, Yoweri Museveni. He is an apologist for the RPF and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF). He has provided cover for U.S. covert operations in central Africa, and for crimes against humanity by U.S. officials and proxy agents, and he knows it, and so do his New Yorker editors.
The RPF, the UPDF, and the killings, spread to DRC, with total U.S. military support. Albright, Clinton, Bush Sr., the national security apparatus – all had extensive knowledge prior to April 1994 about the Hutu plan to exterminate their enemies. The U.S. did not merely let “the genocide” happen, they assisted. Ditto for the DRC.
Philip Gourevitch won the National Book Critics Circle Award circa 1995. He proceeded to spin the fiction in Central Africa during the U.S. supported invasions of DRC (Zaire). In “Continental Shift,” in the New Yorker (8/4/97), he extolled the virtues of the “new brand” of African leaders: Paul Kagame, Yoweri Museveni and Laurent Kabila, so-called “Marxist leader of the Congolese rebellion.” It was the old “Africa by and for the Africans” theme.
Gourevitch further expropriated the discussion about central Africa with “The Genocide Fax,” which coincidentally appeared in The New Yorker, May 11, 1998, the same week that the U.S. congress was holding hearings about “the genocide” in Rwanda. Reports have it that mysterious “Genocide Fax” came to Gourevitch’s fax machine from his brother-in-law, Jamie Rubin, Assistant Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright's senior press attache’ and right-hand man. Philip Gourevitch spread disinformation about the RPF and UPDF bombings of refugee camps in Eastern Zaire, and the lies were institutionalized after Rubin arranged for his future wife, Christiane Amanpour, to tell the same story from Rwanda/Zaire border in November 1996. Amanpour was reporting for CNN. [ii]
The U.S. defense and intelligence apparatus recruited Gourevitch’s “new leaders” – along with John Garang, leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army -- but Gourevitch omitted such facts. Kabila was later assassinated for offending his sponsors -- Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI), Bechtel, Halliburton, the Morgan banks, the Clintons and the Bushes. A private military company out of Washington, D.C., MPRI is comprised of scores of former U.S. defense and intelligence chiefs who have nothing better to do than foment war and genocide.
Zaire was invaded in August 1996, immediately after Paul Kagame visited the Pentagon to check his battle plans, and following George H.W. Bush’s telephone call to his long-time partner-in-crime Mobutu Sese Seko. Bush was securing the mining interests of his Barrick Gold Corporation, and those of his Swedish comrade Adolph Lundin. MPRI, and a handful of Israeli military experts, advised the “rebel” forces. All hell broke loose, again, and the second U.S. supported invasion of DRC began in 1998. According to independent counts by the International Rescue Committee and the National Academy of Sciences, some 3.5 million people died in DRC between August 1998 and June 2001. The counting stopped there, but the killing didn’t.
The U.S. is the leading arms dealer in central Africa, for example, and we are not talking about the specter of machetes magnified by the media, but about the planes, helicopters, mortars, M-16s and tanks supplied by the U.S. and U.S. client states. Such weapons are anathema to the selective and savage re-presentations by TIME photographer James Nachtwey and writer Philip Gourevitch. Imagine depictions of cowboys and injuns in America’s wild, wild west that leave out the gattling guns! (Which they did, by the way.) And the smallpox! (Ditto.)
By 1995, Halliburton subsidiary Brown and Root had set up military bases in Rwanda. Meanwhile, back in Clintonville, international gangster Jean Raymond Bouelle was setting up America Mineral Fields Corporation in Hope, Arkansas, signing mining contracts in DRC and Sierra Leone. U.S. Special Forces assisted the RPF and UPDF, and their Congolese allies, in the U.S. proxy wars for the Congo. The Bouelle companies continue to pillage Africa under cover of war and executive privilege.
The U.S. provided military support and training for all sides under International Military Education and Training (IMET & E-IMET), Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) and the Africa Crises Response Initiative. These programs involve psychological operations, tortures, massacres and disappearing as standard operating procedure. They continue, no matter the brutality of the regimes.
The International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) is a sham designed to dispense victor’s justice. The U.S. Department of Defense has loaned members of the military Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps to aid the UN prosecution team in Rwanda. A secret internal U.N. memorandum from 1997 revealed the names of the RPF “Network” responsible for the terrorist attack on the Rwandan presidential Falcon Mystere aircraft.[iii] The U.S. has blocked all efforts at an international investigation of the assassination; the U.N. remains equally mute. The ICTR has not indicted a single RPF soldier.
Now, 2003, in advance of coming elections in Rwanda, the Kagame government is disappearing people who resist forcible recruitment into the RPF party.[iv] While the western media has advertised RPF troop removals from DRC, RPF soldiers have donned uniforms of rebel DRC militias and they continue to perpetrate atrocities on civilians. The RPF has interned thousands of inmates (arrested for “the genocide”) in concentration camps in DRC, slave labor for mining operations. They have organized and armed new militias.
The contre-genocide continues. April 2003, the eastern DRC city of Bunia was devastated by RPF military operations. New tribes are involved, the Hema and Lendu tensions inflamed by UPDF and RPF and -- most certainly -- by U.S. Special Forces. There have been massacres of hundreds of people, lasting days at a time. Civilians have been herded into houses and set on fire. George H.W. Bush’s Barrick Gold runs a concession at the nearby Kilo-Moto goldfields. One of those Israeli military advisers runs another.
Philip Gourevitch is not alone in obfuscating genocide. Alison des Forges compiled the mammoth text Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda for Human Rights Watch. Some insist that Des Forges works with the U.S. intelligence apparatus (CIA, DIA, NSA), but I can say only that Human Rights Watch has become increasingly compromised,[v] that Des Forges exonerated the RPF, that she cleared the U.S. of war crimes. Like Gourevitch, Des Forges reported from the ranks of the RPF, where access to battlefields, massacres and information was tightly managed and, in keeping with the Jessica Lynch charade in Iraq, selectively manufactured. (Des Forges’ recent reports criticizing the Kagame government are not evidence of objectivity.) Amnesty International also bought the sanitized U.S. version.
Another pillar of the popular mythology, When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism and the Genocide in Rwanda, was published in 2001 by Mahmood Mamdani, Director of the African Studies Institute at Columbia University. “Accounts of the genocide, whether academic or popular, suffer from three silences,” Mamdani wrote, aptly, his beacon of illumination selectively steered away from the skeletons in U.S. closets.
Mamdani gave the Fifth Annual Eqbal Ahmed Lecture at Hampshire College in 2003, and his talk mirrored his book, ignoring the clandestine U.S. role in dispensing terrorism, and peddling “the genocide” in Rwanda. Chronicles of Higher Education lauded Mamdani’s work, calling it controversial, and they further situated “the genocide” in Rwanda. (The Chronicles’ editors declined an article from this writer.)
Boston Globe war reporter Elizabeth Neuffer was another peddler of selective genocides. Her book, The Key to My Neighbor's House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, was written under a CFR Intelligence Fellowship. She is “the bravest reporter out there working for the American media today,” said former U.S. News & World Report reporter Samantha Power, who shared a public forum with Neuffer at the Kennedy Library in February 2003. However, Neuffer was a defense insider who reported from Rwanda after the RPF came to power in 1994. (Neuffer died in a car crash while reporting from Iraq in 2003.)
One of the primary intellectual archeologists persevering in the forensic reconstruction of “the genocide,” Samantha Power is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Powers’ ostensible expose, “Bystanders to Genocide: Why the United States Let the Rwandan Tragedy Happen,” appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in September 2001. Prefaced with a note designed to underscore the veracity of her effort -- the author’s exclusive interviews with scores of the participants in the decision-making, together with her analysis of a cache of newly declassified documents, yield a chilling narrative of self-serving caution and flaccid will – and countless missed opportunities to mitigate a colossal crime – the story was eclipsed by a pair of jetliners crashing into Manhattan. If Power, in earnest, interviewed scores of participants, then they were the wrong people. She asked all the right questions in any case.
Samantha Power exonerates U.S. officials, even as she pretends to challenge them. “What is most remarkable about the American response to the Rwanda Genocide,” she wrote, “is not so much the absence [emphasis added] of U.S. military action as that during the entire genocide the possibility of U.S. military intervention was never even debated.” Nothing could be further from the truth. More chilling is “her analysis of a cache of newly declassified documents” as anything other than superficial memos, outright fabrications, or decoy documents.
February 5, 2001, Paul Kagame spoke at the Kennedy School of Government. While at Harvard, Kagame worked with a faculty-led Rwanda Working Group, including directors, faculty, staff and students of the Carr Center for Human Rights – founded by Samantha Power.
In December 2002, the Harvard Africa Students Association invited me to lecture at Harvard on “blood” diamonds and war in Africa. The lecture was at first postponed, after organizers reviewed my outline. The invitation was withdrawn in January 2003. “We are afraid you will not stay on topic,” organizers told me directly, “We are not a political organization. We don’t want you to talk about covert operations or the CIA.”
On March 5, 2003 Paul Kagame spoke at an AIDS luncheon sponsored by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Pfizer director Constance Horner is former White House staff member for George H.W. Bush, and a current DOD advisor; director William R. Howell is a director of Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil; director Henry A. McKinnell is a director of Exxon-Mobil and a (2003) member of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.
March 10, 2003, Paul Kagame again visited Harvard University.
Samantha Power expanded her genocide findings in A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, winner of a 2003 Pulitzer Prize. She later spoke at a Mount Holyoke College lecture sponsored by the Five College International Relations Program and the Mount Holyoke Program on Critical and Social Thought. Repeated telephone and email requests to Samantha Power, seeking an interview, at Harvard, have been ignored.
I have heard refugees (victims and survivors), journalists, defense lawyers at the ICTR, and humanitarian relief workers call these Rwanda “experts” liars, and other unflattering things. In their reconstructions of “the genocide,” they have omitted crucial facts and ignored the atrocities committed by those whose cooperation insured the success of their ventures. Their work is as selective and narrow as the themes of tribalism and hopelessness ever regurgitated by the major media.
The New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, TIME, and U.S. News & World Report provided the daily base of perception management for these conflicts. It is not merely anecdotal that Pulitzer Prize judges include numerous editors, directors and publishers from these major venues, and their affiliates, and both the President and Dean of Columbia University.
Neither is it anecdotal that Kagame’s RPF government is tight with Royal Dutch/Shell. Shell bought arms for the Nigerian military. Shell director Paul Skinner is also a director of Rio Tinto, Inc, a major mining and mercenaries conglomerate. Shell director Sir Peter Job is a long-time director of Reuters. Shell director Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is a director of Anglo-American, the Oppenheimer and DeBeers mining conglomerate entrenched in diamonds, copper and cobalt in DRC, Angola and Sierra Leone. Moody-Stuart is also a member of a U.N. Secretary General’s Advisory board, and that is one reason for the irrelevance of the U.N. Security Council. Royal Dutch/Shell also has an ongoing corporate partnership with the Atlantic Monthly.[vi]
President Joseph Kabila (DRC) is the new Mobutu, supported by the western intelligence apparatus. President Yoweiri Museveni is the new Idi Amin, responsible for state terror against the people of Uganda, DRC, Rwanda, Sudan and Central African Republic (C.A.R.). A flashpoint for organized crime and terrorism, Uganda has been the pearl of Washington since Museveni came to power in 1987.
Paul Kagame was received at the White House on March 3, 2003. He later spoke at the James Baker Institute, in Houston, where he met with his patron, George H.W. Bush. Baker Institute advisor Charles W. Duncan Jr. is director of Coca Cola and French oil giant Elf-Aquitaine – corporations reaping major profits from DRC. He is also a director of the New York Times (and former Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1977-1979, and Secretary, Department of Energy, 1979-1981). Former editor and director of the New York Times Leslie H. Gelb is a Baker Institute advisor, and a director of the Council on Foreign Relations, where Paul Kagame spoke in February, 2001. New York Times director John F. Akers retains close ties to long-time Halliburton executive Thomas H. Cruikshank.
Maurice Templesman is a deep-pockets contributor to the Democratic Party, tight with the CIA, who has helped orchestrate depopulation as policy in Congo/Zaire for half a century.[vii] Templesman was entrenched with Mobutu, and Lawrence Devlin, CIA Chief of Station in Zaire, worked for Templesman (1973-1988). Templesman and his lover Jacqueline Onasis sailed with the Clinton’s off Martha’s Vineyard before Onasis died of cancer (1994), and he joined the Clinton’s on their 1998 Africa tour.
Through Leon Templesman & Son and Lazare Kaplan International, and with the support of mercenary firms like MPRI, Sandline International and Executive Outcomes, local warlords like Foday Sankoh (Sierra Leone), Gnassingbe Eyadema (Togo), Charles Taylor (Liberia), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Paul Kagame and Bill Clinton (USA), Templesman businesses proliferate in Angola, DRC, Sierra Leone and C.A.R. – all absolutely devastated by so-called “civil” war. Indeed, Templesman agents worked directly with Foday Sankoh and Charles Taylor, a key fact absent from the major National Public Radio exposes on war and “blood” diamonds in West Africa that began airing in early June 2003.[viii] RPF, UPDF and the Congolese “rebels” under Jean Piere Bemba routinely ship diamonds out to Brussels.
Templesman was Bill Clinton’s guest on Air Force One in 1996, when Templesman chaired the Corporate Council on Africa. Hillary Rodham Clinton later wrote the forward for Witness to Genocide: The Children of Rwanda, a book of children’s drawings that includes “a compelling chapter by Rwandan Ambassador to the U.S. Dr. Richard Sezibera, a doctor in the army of the Rwanda Patriotic Front which brought the genocide to an end.” (Emphasis added.)
CCA members include Halliburton (Dick Cheney); Lazare Kaplan; Chevron-Texaco (Condoleeza Rice); Exxon-Mobil; Asea Brown Baveri (Donald Rumsfeld); Cargill; Archer Daniels Midland; Jean Raymond Bouelle Companies; defense giants McDermott, Sikorsky, Northrup Grumman, GE, Raytheon, Boeing and SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation); and the International Herald Tribune.
SAIC, like Bechtel, is involved in black programs, at the heart of the intelligence and defense apparatus, and deeply entrenched in DRC. Indeed, SAIC is but the tip of the defense and intelligence pyramid submerged under the blood of millions of African people. For one further insidious example, Royal Dutch/Shell director Luis Guisti is also Senior Adviser at the Washington D.C. Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), part of the brain of the defense and intelligence black hole. CSIS directors and members include at least four U.S. Senators or former Senators; at least six former FBI, CIA or DIA executives; and MPRI executive Lt. Gen. Ed Soyster. CSIS director Alexander Haig is a director of United Technologies, the former U.S. Secretary of War, and a major proponent of “star wars” technologies. Haig is today director for America Online, and for Hollywood’s mammoth Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) -- the producer of major propaganda pictures like Black Hawk Down. Other major CSIS defense and intelligence policy strategists include Zbigniew Brzezinski (Madeleine Albright’s patron and mentor); SAIC executive Dr. David Kay; Dr. Henry Kissinger; and current U.S. Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld.
Another notable CSIS strategist mixed up in the heart of darkness is cold-war ideologue Zbigniew Brzezinski, the career mentor of Madeleine Albright, the former Permanent US Representative to the U.N. and Secretary of State. Albright formed an intimate and romantic relationship with diamond kingpin Maurice Templesman in the mid 1990’s, and Templesman appears either principally or peripherally through most of the institutions Albright has served. These include the Center for National Policy; Clinton’s Interagency Council on Women (ties to Templesman pal Robert S. McNamara); the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; and the Corporate Council on Africa. Albright worked to block all humanitarian intervention in Rwanda in 1994, and she remained a Clinton administration insider to U.S. covert operations and genocide in central Africa from 1993 to (at least) 2000.
The Summer Institute of Linguistics – an especially sordid missionary organization with deep historical connections to CIA and the Rockefellers -- is also operating in the DRC.[ix]
Terror is a very personal experience. While Samantha Power was interviewing Pentagon and state department officials responsible for state terrorism in Africa in the 1990’s, I was watching refugees die of malnutrition and dysentery, taking testimony from refugees in Fort Portal, Uganda. While Philip Gourevitch was dining on adjectives in commiseration with a dictator, I was battling insecurity and malaria near the copper-cobalt mines of Lumumbashi, DRC, where people daily die due to the absence of basic medical supplies, thousands of internally displaced people, and the ongoing proxy wars sponsored by western mining syndicates.
The American way of life is intimately connected with war-as-cover for Africa’s petroleum, copper, manganese, uranium, gold, tin, bauxite, timber and water. Colin Powell recently signed up all the regional dictators, and a few so-called “environmental” organizations, including World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the World Conservation Union, for the euphemistic Congo Basin Forest Partnership, but that too is about repression, about the old, new oily-garchy, and some of the USA’s worst logging companies are behind it. Indeed, Royal Dutch/Shell director Teymour Alireza is a member of the International Board of Trustees of WWF. The World Resources Institute signed on as well: Mahmood Mamdani is a WRI fellow, and the WRI is a smokescreen for big business and major investment banks.
Note that MPRI early in 2003 petitioned the U.S. government for a primary “peacekeeping” contract in DRC; they already work in Nigeria and Angola. That is fascism: orchestrate disaster, and then hire yourself out to mitigate it. Anyway, MPRI has no interest in an equitable peace: they offer superior military force, and violence, and it is nothing less than organized crime.
Some 80% of world supplies of cobalt and columbo-tantalite (coltan) are found in DRC. Coltan is essential for cell phones, Sony Playstations and computers. During the US proxy wars in Central Africa in the 1990’s, Sony America’s now Executive Vice-President and General Counsel Nicole Seligman was legal counselor to President William Jefferson Clinton (through the Washington D.C. firm Williams and Connally, LLP). During his media banking stint with First Boston, one of the major backers of profit-based “humanitarian relief” efforts in Zaire in 1995, Sony Corporation Executive V.P. and Chief Financial Officer Robert Wiesenthal counted Cox Communications, Time Warner and the New York Times as major clients. Never addressing the roots of the conflict, the scant New York Times articles that focused on Zaire/DRC during these periods served merely to leverage or support the business interests of the Times’ directors and affiliate companies (re: Sony and First Boston).
Cobalt is the big story, never reported. Cobalt is stockpiled by the Defense Logistics Agency, and it is elemental to the superalloys of the space, energy and nuclear weapons complexes. Many American companies routinely operate amidst war in DRC – like Formack (VT), America Mineral Fields (AMFI), United Technologies (UT) and George Forrest’s OM Group (OH) – a leader in the cobalt connection. The raw materials come to big cities and little towns all across America, where they are sold -- like the diamonds are sold by local agents for Lazare Kaplan -- on Main Street, Northampton, Massachusetts.
Do the details matter? Factor in permanent warfare under Mobutu Sese Seko – you know, the hopelessness, the starving children, the epidemics of treatable disease, the intentional withholding of food by supermarkets to the world like National Public Radio sponsor Archers Daniels Midland – and the number of dead in Congo/Zaire easily exceeds twenty million since 1960.[x] Over 45% of the deaths are women and children under the age of five. Normal population surveys are meaningless in some areas: the children are completely absent.
Absolute dictatorships run by absolute criminals remain in complete media obfuscation or whiteout. These include Gabon, C.A.R., Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Togo. At least half a million women have been sexually mutilated, raped, abducted and kept as sexual slaves for up to a year, and then murdered, by all sides to these conflicts: women as old as eighty and girls as young as five. It is both random, and systematic.
Repression, rape and the withholding of sterile medical supplies form the basis of the AIDS pandemic, and Maurice Templesman is an adviser of the AIDS Institute of the Harvard School for Public Health. Did Harvard’s Samantha Power interview Maurice Templesman?
Eastern Congo has been absolutely, and unfathomably, ravaged. Malnutrition affects one-third of DRC’s population – some 16 million people. Some 1.1 million people are internally displaced. On average, some 2600 people have died every day of the war in DRC. It is protracted, horrible, unnecessary and stoppable.
The peace and justice community has dismissed the DRC, and Africa more broadly. People don’t hesitate to take action to try to stop war in Iraq. We struggle with the Palestinians. Our witnesses for peace frequent Latin America. Our conferences and workshops proliferate and, more often than not, Africa is entirely off the agenda. Meanwhile, the refugees and political dissidents are all around us. Africa suffers in silence. It is depopulation, by design. It is the legacy of our lifestyle and the intention of empire.
If there is a “hopelessness” about Africa, it is not that Americans do not care. Rather, local newspapers ever regurgitating the insidious deceptions of the national media sow the hopelessness, and Americans keep reading them. The hopelessness comes with the American addiction to the New York Times. Ditto for the liberal magazines and alternative weeklies (e.g.: in 2003, the Valley Advocate Newspapers dropped the annual Project Censored top stories). It is hopeless, and it will remain hopeless, as long as caring and educated Americans insist – indignantly -- that “I have to know what is going on,” that “I can read between the lines,” that the propaganda “isn’t hurting me.” ~ begin.
The most poignant, simple, direct action an individual can take to counter genocide and American empire is to stop consuming the media – to stop purchasing, reading, listening to, or watching, CNN, New York Times, National Public Radio, Daily Hampshire Gazette, or any other corporate, pro-military institutions of propaganda -- including the American “literary” institutions like Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker. This is not an incidental remark, but a thoughtful, meticulously researched, studiously delineated, and strategic proposal for direct and significant personal action -- with immediate and global repercussions.
It is a serious call for a total and organized boycott of the New York Times Corporation.
keith harmon snow is a journalist and photographer whose dispatches on war in Africa and disinformation in America won two Project Censored awards in 2002 and are included in the volume Project Censored 2003. In 2000 keith spent seven months in Africa researching genocide and U.S. covert operations, and he attended the criminal International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda in Arusha Tanzania. In 2001 he provided expert testimony at a special congressional hearing on genocide and covert operations in Africa, convened in Washington DC, and he gave the introductory address at the Sixth Annual International Africa Students Association conference at Yale University. He has worked in 16 African countries, and he has presented on neocolonialism, dictatorship, genocide and U.S. covert operations in Africa, and the political economy of the western mass media, at over 25 major colleges and universities.
[i] See e.g., Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1993, 1999, Mellen Press.
[ii] Robin Philbot, Online Journal, June 3, 2003. Philbot’s upcoming book is That’s Not How It Happened in Rwanda. On James Rubin, see also: Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Mellen Press, 1999.
[iii] Ralph G. Kershaw, “Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: International Justice According to Washington,” Covert Action Quarterly, No. 74, Fall 2002.
[iv] Alison des Forges, Rwanda: RPF Seeks to Eliminate Opposition, Human Rights Watch, 8, 2003.
[v] See Heather Cottin, “George Soros, Imperial Wizard,” Covert Action Quarterly, No. 74, Fall 2002.
[vi]Shell Oil Company, “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places 2002,” Special Advertising Section, The Atlantic Monthly, 2002.
[vii] See, e.g., David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Moiney and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crisis, University of Chicago Press, 1991.
[viii] E.g. NPR program on war, “blood” diamonds and transnational organized crime in Liberia and Sierra Leone by Michael Montague, American Radio Works, June 7, 2003. U.S. nominee Dr. David Crane was choisen as lead prosecutor for an International Criminal tribunal for Siera Leone, but Crane is a Defense Intelligence Agency insider who in 1996 and 1997 was involved with Kagame and Museveni’s invasion of Zaire. While at the DIA, Crane was also involved with mercenary firms Sandline and Executive Outcomes (Covert Action Quarterly, No. 74, Fall 2002).
[ix] Based on a personal interview with an SIL missionary in Uganda in 2000. For a detailed look at the Summer Institute of Linguistics, see Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil, Harper Collins, 1996.
[x] This number is most likely over-conservative. Independent assessments of mortality rates in provinces in DRC by the International Rescue Committee and the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 found 8% of the population dies annually. DRC has at least fifty million people. The annual birth rate exceeds 8%.