Tag: State Department
“Follow the Money, Flashpoints Radio Voices,” an anthology of interviews from 2009-2016 KPFA Flashpoints shows, is full of tragedy: oil wars, drone bombing, torture, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, police militarization, neoliberal trade agreements, poisoned water, botched executions, ecocide and the “too-big-to-fail” bank heist that kicked off the Obama years. “Follow the Money” can at the same time serve as an organizing and networking manual, because it’s filled with the voices of those fighting back.
On June 7, the office of Dr. Maryse Narcisse, the presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, the party of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who publicly endorsed her, was sprayed with gunfire. This blatant violence against the movement that has long represented Haiti’s poor majority sparked outrage in Haiti but was met by silence in the mainstream media in the U.S.
The brief visit of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Libya in October 2011 was referred to by the media as a “victory lap.” “We came, we saw, he died!” she crowed in a CBS video interview on hearing of the capture and brutal murder of Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi. But the victory lap, write Scott Shane and Jo Becker in the New York Times, was premature. Libya was relegated to the back burner by the State Department.
I began writing a eulogy for Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores years ago, though she died only last week. Berta was assassinated by Honduran government-backed death squads on March 3. Like many who knew and worked with her, I was aware that this fighter was not destined to die of old age. She spoke too much truth to too much power. Long may Berta live, in the hearts, minds, passions and actions of all of us.
Burundian insurgents attacked three army bases early Friday morning. Fighting continued through the night and the dead in Burundi’s streets were estimated to be as high as 89 this morning. The government and opposition told conflicting stories about who the dead were and how they died. Two days before the latest attacks, a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee held a hearing on the situation in Burundi. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has this report.
Fighting has continued in South Sudan’s oil rich Upper Nile State despite the peace agreement signed on Aug. 26. Since December 2013, South Sudan’s brutal civil war has cost more thousands of lives than anyone can accurately estimate and displaced 2.25 million people. I spoke to Syracuse University Professor Dr. Horace Campbell about what it would take to demilitarize South Sudan and give peace a chance after so many years of war.
Earlier this year, President Obama asked how one might weigh the “tens of thousands who’ve been killed in Syria versus the tens of thousands who are currently being killed in the Congo.” But as tragic and devastating as the Congo conflict is, Congolese are not asking for the United States – or the international community – to militarily intervene.
U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe spoke at a National Postal Forum in San Francisco on March 18, prompting picketing by rank and file postal employees and their supporters. Protestors opposed Donahoe’s support for post office closures and layoffs of USPS (U.S. Postal Service) workers. The demonstration was part of a week of actions called for by Communities and Postal Workers United .
“Former political prisoner Dhoruba Bin Wahad recently penned an excellent essay breaking down what’s going on in Mali, Congo and the Middle East. He also challenged the type of stances many of us have taken with respect to these regions that are embroiled in conflict. To support his essay, we interviewed him so he can expand upon his analysis. In true form, Dhoruba pulled no punches. Peep what he has to say.”
The Obama administration was on the defensive about the U.S. relationship with Rwanda and its U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice at the Dec. 11, 2012, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two days after the hearing, Rice withdrew her name from consideration to become secretary of state. In President Obama’s statement on Susan Rice, issued the same day, he praised her work but did not mention Rwanda, Uganda or Congo.
Over the last 16 years, more than 6 million lives have been lost in Congo – and the major perpetrators of those atrocities have been U.S. allies Rwanda and Uganda. The majority of victims have been children under the age of 5. Subsequent U.S. administrations have provided aid to the Rwandan and Ugandan regimes. The U.S. remains one of the top two donors of aid to Rwanda today.
This morning Israel ended an effective truce with armed groups in Gaza and carried out the extrajudicial execution of Ahmed al-Jabari, the commander of the military wing of Hamas. Israeli attacks today killed at least seven people, including two young girls in Gaza. Defense Minister Avi Dichter calls for “Defensive Shield”-like devastation and killing.
On Saturday, July 21, 2012, the United States officially announced that it was withholding $200,000 in military aid from the Rwandan government. Although a materially insignificant sum, the symbolism has serious implications for Rwanda’s image and reputation in the global community.
We need an international movement to free Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza. Her case is important to African people all over the continent and in the Diaspora and to all of us, all people. The weight on Victoire’s shoulders is that of resource war, the ongoing wars for the world’s natural resources that threaten to destroy the whole planet.
Libya is a small country of just over 6 million people, but it possesses the largest oil reserves in all of Africa. The oil produced there is especially coveted because of its particularly high quality. The Air Force of the United States along with Britain and France has carried out 7,459 bombing attacks since March 19. Britain, France and the United States sent special operation ground forces and commando units to direct the military operations of the so-called rebel fighters – it is a NATO-led army in the field.