by Ann Garrison
On Sunday, Jan. 23, I called veteran Africa investigator Keith Harmon Snow for KPFA Weekend News regarding the second anniversary of the outset of the catastrophic 2009 Eastern Congo offensive. As is always the case with “sound bite news,” I couldn’t include most of our conversation, but Keith was kind enough to write out his answers to the questions I’d sent for AfrobeatRadio.net. We at AfrobeatRadio consider Keith’s website, Conscious Being Alliance, and the various audio recordings of his presentations, including, recently, his lecture on profiteering from genocide in Central Africa at the Brecht Forum in New York City, to be some of the best investigative reporting and analysis of African issues available.
Here are the original questions and my original typed replies.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Most Americans, including those who campaigned hardest for Obama, would have a near impossible time making sense of this. Few would recognize the acronyms of the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF), the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) or the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).
Keith Harmon Snow: There has been a U.S.-backed campaign to destabilize, depopulate and colonize Eastern Congo/Zaire since the first U.S.-supported invasion of 1996, which occurred under William Jefferson Clinton, and which followed the U.S. destabilization and coup d’etat in Rwanda. The U.S. and its allies are deploying their proxy army, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) – renamed the Rwandan Defense Forces or RDF about 10 years ago – in our secret campaign to balkanize Congo and create a Republic of the Volcanoes in this region.
This would be an expansion of Rwanda achieved through the annexation of the Kivu provinces of Congo, possibly along with Maniema Province. Uganda for its part, with U.S. support, would like to annex the Ituri province. These campaigns are backed by multinational corporations, and the goals are political, military and mostly economic.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: So what sense does it make to say that Barack Obama invaded Congo, the heart of Africa, on his Inauguration Day?
Keith Harmon Snow: The U.S.-backed military invasion of Jan. 20, 2009, included U.S. military commanders, special forces, military advisers, technicians and other U.S. military personnel, and it involved weaponry supplied by the U.S. and Britain.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Can you explain the CNDP militia and the significance of its integration into the Congolese army, the FARDC, on Jan. 20, 2009?
Keith Harmon Snow: First, the name CNDP – Congress for the Defense of the People – couldn’t be further from the truth. The CNDP was a Rwandan Tutsi-based militia that was created by Rwandan war criminals who had infiltrated Eastern Congo, infiltrated troops into Eastern Congo, and mobilized, armed and economically empowered Rwandan Tutsi civilians who had infiltrated Eastern Congo in recent years and in recent decades.
There was a tripartite agreement between Rwandan dictator Paul Kagame, Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni, and the president of Congo – another Rwandan, Joseph Kabila – which worked behind the massive propaganda of “peace talks” to advance the military campaign to infiltrate and control Eastern Congo. By quote “integrating” these Rwandan militia elements into the Congolese National Army, the Rwandan program was advanced through a kind of Trojan horse operation.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Can you explain the arrest of Laurent Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda’s assumption of CNDP leadership in his place?
Keith Harmon Snow: This was a cosmetic move with no real importance, meant only to pacify certain international calls to arrest and remove the self-proclaimed Gen. Laurent Nkundabatware. Both Nkunda and Bosco Ntaganda were documented war criminals. Nkunda of course knows too much, he is too much of a liability to Kagame, and so he is living a very good life at present in Rwanda.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: And, what about the U.N. Mapping Report leaked on Aug. 26, then finally released on Oct. 1?
Keith Harmon Snow: Well, that report, while revealing and progressive in the sense of holding certain armies and individuals accountable for war crimes, was also a whitewash of the real situation. On one hand it introduced for the first time some credible evidence, produced by international bodies and the United Nations, that the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries committed genocide against unarmed Hutu people – mostly women and children – in Congo from circa 1995 to 1999.
At the same time the evidence and facts are distorted and downplayed, and the criminality of Rwanda and Uganda are downplayed and even questioned, and the numbers of dead and kinds of atrocities are downplayed or distorted, and there is absolutely no mention of Western agents or militaries or corporations involved in the killing. For example, we know the names of U.S. diplomats, USAID officials and military commanders involved in hunting down and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent Hutus, mostly women and children.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: What do you think this operation, the 2009 Eastern Congo Offensive, which began on Obama’s Inauguration Day, says about the racial justice that many hoped the election of Barack Obama would represent?
Keith Harmon Snow: The operation called “Umoja Wetu” resulted in massive war crimes, and Barack Obama is no symbol or agent of racial equality but just another U.S. official involved in persecuting people of color everywhere and through all sorts of horrible deprivations and war crimes.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: And what about the racism inherent in this mission to “hunt down Hutu militias”?
Keith Harmon Snow: Well, this is more nonsense. The whole “hunt for Hutu genocidaires” was a key element of the psychological operation against the Western English-speaking world to cover up for Western imperialism and the commission of massive war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and plunder of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of minerals, timber and lives.
Under this psychological operation – using such propaganda films as “Hotel Rwanda” and “Sometimes in April” and “Shake Hands with the Devil” and “Beyond the Gates” – the English-speaking world suffers a collective mental illness about what really happened in Rwanda. Instead of the racist story about Hutus killing Tusis with machetes in 100 days of genocide, the truth is that the U.S., British and Israeli military and their Ugandan and Rwandan proxy forces are responsible for genocide against both Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda, Congo and Burundi.
Who are the victims? The innocent civilians in Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Congo, and they are still suffering massively under U.S. overt and covert operations in the Great Lakes region.
Many thanks to Ann Garrison, David Landau and Anthony Fest and the KPFA Weekend News.
San Francisco writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Star News, the Newsline EA (East Africa) and her own blog, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, Weekend News on KPFA and her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at ann@afrobeatcom. This story first appeared at AfrobeatRadio.