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.
Joan Armatrading’s statement calling on leaders of Israel and Palestine to “take that step” to solve “the problem” is a backwards way of acknowledging protests of her recent concert in Tel Aviv, Israel. When she plays San Francisco at the Palace of Fine Arts on Tuesday, Aug. 10, let her know that to disregard the Palestinian cultural boycott is to take a stand with racism and apartheid.
We don’t have to look all the way back to slavery, colonialism or the overthrow of democrats like Lumumba. Even today, U.S. corporations act with impunity in many countries of the continent because the governments are too impotent to stop them. Bono, in writing about Obama’s message to Africa, said: “Corruption stalks Africa’s reformers. ‘If you fight corruption, it fights you back,’ a former Nigerian anti-corruption official said.” Well, this is very true, but we cannot ignore the fact that behind the corruption, it is too often an American policy or corporation pulling the strings.