Beautiful Burundi, “the Beating Heart of Africa” is situated almost in the centre of Africa with a shape like a heart. It’s located between Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda. Burundi is home to the Lake Tanganyika which is estimated to be the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest, after Lake Baikal in Siberia.
In this case, the introduction is from wronkindofgreen.org on Nov. 18, 2015 (creative commons): ‘Avaaz Hones In On Burundi as Next U.S. Fait Accompli’
Given that this is the nation we’ve been discussing for the past couple days, it may prove to be the most relevant example of this brand-making, brand-busting organization’s ‘projects’. I’m sure you’ll feel free to call crap or nonsense on any or all of it, but I like and admire the investigations that wrongkindofgreen has brought to bear on ‘liberal’ NGOs that have a deeper purpose in actuality, fwiw.
I’ll paste in the exposé, save that I’ll likely just give a link to some of the photos with their captions, rather than laboriously download them, then upload them into the WordPress media library.
But first, a few words from our sponsor, Avaaz. Their ‘About’ page claims that ‘Avaaz is a global web movement to bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere.”
“Avaaz—meaning “voice” in several European, Middle Eastern and Asian languages—launched in 2007 with a simple democratic mission: organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”, etc.
They have a counter of members; today’s is 42,412,331, and that “Because Avaaz is wholly member-funded, democratic accountability is in our DNA. No corporate sponsor or government backer can insist that Avaaz shift its priorities to suit some external agenda—we simply don’t accept funds from governments or corporations. (Read more about why it’s worth donating to Avaaz here, and chip in here.)
Now in March, 2013, ngo-monitor.org provides grants from George Soros for a couple million, some to cofounder Res Publica early on, almost no grants in “2010 or 2011 show no grants for Avaaz nor Res Publica. According to its 2011 990, Avaaz.org’s total revenue for that year was $7,519,028. Avaaz.org claims it is “wholly member-funded.” Avaaz does not publish a detailed list of donors on its website or 990 forms, and therefore this claim cannot be verified independently.” It’s seriously easy to disguise money through bundling foundations like Tides, so who knows?
It does seem that it’s a mixed bag of projects they promote, including some very pro-Palestian ones. But by and large, they seem to ballast Democrat foreign policy writ creepy. But onward:
United Nations Development Program Press Release, October 30, 2012: “The normalization of political life has been a remarkable achievement in Burundi, said Rosine Sori-Coulibaly, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in Burundi. Burundi’s remarkable development achievements are coming just seven years after the civil war ended… free, fair and peaceful elections took place in 2005 and 2010 and safety and security has been reinforced across the entire national territory.”
“Burundi holds 6 percent of the world’s nickel reserves, with Musongati ranked as one of the 10 largest known deposits of the metal that have yet to be developed… The East African nation produces small amounts of tantalum, gold, limestone, niobium, tin and tungsten and also has deposits of copper, the U.S. Geological Survey says on its website.” [Bloomberg Business, June 23, 2014]
An Avaaz action/petition follows with this message on the left:
‘Burundi: before it’s too late
Nearly 20 years ago, Rwanda plunged into a horrific genocide. Now dozens are dead in neighbouring Burundi and further violence could fan the flames of the Hutu-Tutsi tensions at the heart of Burundi’s last, decade-long civil war, as well as Rwanda’s genocide. But there’s time to stop another tragedy, if we intervene right now.
Across Burundi, civilians are arming themselves with $40 machine guns and $4 grenades. Clashes with the army have already been reported. It’s all because the President just rigged an election for an illegal third term despite intensive international protest, and now refuses to step down. Experts say “carrots” won’t work — the only way to persuade him, and stop the slaughter, is if sanctions are imposed fast, and the world sends peacekeepers. But leaders are reluctant to send troops without massive public support.’
Already almost 200,000 have fled Burundi.This is a powder keg with the potential to destroy a country and destabilize a region. But it’s not too late — not yet. Rwanda’s genocide happened because the world failed to act in time. Let’s not stand by again — sign now and say “never again”.’
Above: Avaaz Burundi campaign echos the organizations previous campaigns calling for immediate sanctions and interventions in both Libya and Syria while simultaneously demonizing the leaders of the targeted countries for destabilization. From the petition: “But there’s time to stop another tragedy, if we intervene right now.” [emphasis in original] [Source]
Avaaz Co-Founder Tom Perriello
On July 6, 2015 it was announced by the U.S. State Department that Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello would be fulfilling his role for the expansion of U.S. imperialism as special envoy for the African Great Lakes region and the Congo-Kinshasa:
“Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that former Rep. Tom Perriello (D-Va.) will serve as the Obama administration’s special envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa, an appointment that covers Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.”
November 6, 2015:
“He will communicate the U.S. government’s alarm at violence by government and non-government actors inside of Burundi, and the recent dangerous rhetoric by the Burundian government…” [U.S. Department of State Press Release: Special Envoy Thomas Perriello’s Travel to Burundi and the Great Lakes Region, Source]
U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and (former) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. “Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Mineral Wealth and Political Leverage
Intimate relations: President Obama with his National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, June 5, 2013. From 2005-2006 Power worked in the office of U.S. Senator Barack Obama as a foreign policy fellow, where she was credited with sparking and directing Obama’s interest in the Darfur conflict. [Source: Rolling Stone]
Nov 8, 2015: Will the West Create its Next Failed State in Burundi?
‘After Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ultimatum to insurrectionists to lay down their arms, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, and the International Crisis Group, a think tank headed by Western military, government and corporate officials, warned of massacres like those in Rwanda in 1994. In contrast, Charles Kambanda, Rwandan American attorney and former professor at the National University of Rwanda, describes the conflict as political and its larger context as an East/West power struggle for resources.
Charles Kambanda: What is really happening in Burundi is no different than what happened in DRC, in Congo. We have these multinational corporations, Western corporations, fighting for natural resources in that region. The best way for these companies to conquer these natural resources is to create a situation where no government is in control. Burundi is now known for a type of natural resource called nickel and they say six percent of the world’s nickel is in Burundi. And if we want to remember the geography of that region, Burundi borders with Congo, and Congo, the other side, is so rich in minerals. So we have these corporations fighting to control Burundi, to create a failed state in Burundi, so that they can get involved in illegal business in that region.” [Source]
The role of Avaaz, Purpose Inc. (the for-profit PR arm of Avaaz), and Avaaz co-founders in U.S./E.U. led destabilizations/invasions across the globe is now extensively documented. Burundi serves as a rinse, rather (sic: lather), repeat performance, only with far less notoriety/interest.
Video: April 11, 2015: Démonstration de force en faveur du 3ème mandat de Nkurunziza. Massive and entirely peaceful demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of government supporters have been completely ignored. [Source]
May 16, 2015, Are the US and the EU Sponsoring Terrorism in Burundi?
“The US-funded media disinformation campaign is part of the prelude to the mobilization of street protests against the government that can be presented to the world as a ‘popular uprising’against a ‘dictator’ who is ‘killing his own people’ It is a techinique that has been perfected by US ‘democracy’ and ‘civil society’ NGOS….
In the case of Burundi, the African Union should have denounced the diabolical terrorist and media disinformation campaign against a young democratic country which has just emerged from a civil war. The fact that they did not shows that they have sided with the enemies of Africa. It is hardly surprising that truly independent, post-colonial countries such as Eritrea will have nothing to do with the sham called the African Union.”[Source]
October 3, 2015, Burundi Accuses Rwanda of Training Rebels for Cross Border Attacks
Kagame and his team want to provoke a genocide in Burundi: “Kagame and his team want to provoke a genocide in Burundi in order to put in power in Burundi the same group as the group which is in Rwanda. Everybody can see that. It is not complicated to see…. this would be the fourth Hutu president assassinated in this region since 1993.” [Source]
Feb 21, 2014: U.S. State Department announces Perriello’s departure from the Center for American Progress:
“Former Rep. Tom Perriello is leaving the Center for American Progress to head the State Department’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and development Review, which analyzes U.S. diplomatic and development efforts abroad.”
Turns out Perriello, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry go back a long way. Perriello, then a 22-year-old, worked on Kerry’s 1996 Senate campaign, working on getting out the environmental vote. Seems they began private talks nearly a year ago about Perriello’s coming over to the State Department. [Source]
While Avaaz stokes the fear of “another Rwanda” it is critical to note the role of the Center for American Progress to which Perriello recently served as both president and CEO, in the Rwandan Genocide. ” The simple tale of good and evil was told to the world by Samantha Power” [Source: The Deluge Film Press Release]
Human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow, describing the U.S. Center for American Progress and its use of propaganda in portraying Africa in order to protect and further U.S. interests/ foreign policy objectives. Within the lecture, Snow discusses the psyops/propaganda strategically orchestrated behind the “Save Darfur” campaigns/movements which, in 2004, began to saturate the populace. At the helm of this “movement” was “The Center for American Progress”.
The Center for American Progress, is closely connected with the same players that founded and financed Avaaz. Today, with Avaaz at the forefront, the non-profit industrial complex has been appointed trusted messenger of a grotesque and disturbing ideology; nothing less than a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect”.
December 29, 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on “building the movement infrastructure” and “objectives, strategies and core issues.”
Res Publica was founded by Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda.
Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, MoveOn.org, Executive Director Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda, Eli Pariser (MoveOn Executive Director), Andrea Woodhouse (consultant to the World Bank) Jeremy Heimans (co-founder of GetUp! and Purpose), and Australian entrepreneur David Madden (co-founder of GetUp and Purpose) who is the spouse of Woodhouse. Both Madden and Woodhouse took up residence in Burma [Myanmar] [March 23, 2013: Western Media Celebrates Faux Progress in Myanmar] Madden has co-founded a marketing firm, Parami Road in Myanmar: “Our clients are mostly international companies entering Myanmar and they demand an international standard of work.”
Avaaz co-founder Tom Perriello served as president and CEO of Center for American Progress from December 2011 to to February 2014.
Perriello and Patel also co-founded and co-directed DarfurGenocide.org which officially launched in 2004.
“DarfurGenocide.org is a project of Res Publica, a group of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance and virtuous civic cultures.” Today, this organization is now known as “Darfurian Voices”: “Darfurian Voices is a project of 24 Hours for Darfur.” The U.S. Department of State and the Open Society Institute were just two of the organizations funders and collaborating partners. Other Darfurian Voices partners include Avaaz, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Centre for Transitional Justice, Darfur Rehabilitation Project, Humanity United, Darfur People’s Association of New York, Genocide Intervention, Witness, Yale Law School, The Sigrid Rausing Trust and the Bridgeway Foundation.
Despite the carefully crafted language and images that tug at your emotions, such NGOs were created for and exist for one primary purpose — to protect and further American policy and interests, under the guise of philanthropy and humanitarianism. Of all the listed partners of DarfurGenocide.org, with exception of one located in London England, all of the entities involved are American and based on US soil. [Source]
Empire is Closing on on Burundi
Today the Obama administration is frothing at the mouth over the imperial capture of Burundi.
(Samantha Power on Twitter introducing Obama speaking to the Burundian people)
November 12, 2015 Joint NGO Statement Urging Coordinated Global Response to the Escalating Human Rights Crisis in Burundi”:
“Speaking to the UN Security Council, Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, expressed his alarm at the “inflammatory and threatening language” being used in Burundi, noting that some of it was “very similar to language used before and during the genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda.” Dieng warned that Burundi “appears on the verge of a descent into violence that could escalate into atrocity crimes,” adding that “the international community has a responsibility to protect Burundians.” The High Commissioner underscored this urgency, recommending “all possible influence must be brought to bear to halt what may be an imminent catastrophe.”
Preventive diplomacy should be more than a slogan at the United Nations. It should be brought to life through decisive action aimed at preventing serious human rights violations and crimes under international law in cases like Burundi where, as the High Commissioner noted, “member states and the Security Council can intervene effectively to prevent the repetition of past horrors.” [emphasis added]
This statement was signed by the the usual NGOs must subservient to empire: Amnesty International, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group (ICG), and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
In 2007, ICG and Human Rights Watch were key players in the development of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect in cooperation with prominent governments, NGOs and academia. The George Soros Open Society Foundation is the primary donor of the Human Rights Watch, contributing $100 million of $128 million of contributions and grants received by the HRW in the 2011 financial year.
Perriello is a supporter of the U.S. / E.U. led “War on Terror,” a fabricated psyops, which was and continues to be an essential component to unleash a new wave of wars, invasions and occupations.
The mythology of Avaaz as a force for “good” can only be matched by the mythology that continues to shroud the facts behind the Rwandan Genocide – the very myths that Avaaz co-founders helped propagate. Myths created to obscure a Western superpower that continues to manipulate every crisis it creates.
A western superpower that strategically utilizes the non-profit industrial complex, bankrolling it to the tune of trillions.
“So, the key question now is this: Can Burundi defy the Empire and protect its people from carpet bombing called ‘humanitarian intervention’, a terrorist invasion called ‘liberation’, a military coup called ‘transitional government’ and a possible genocide where once again the victims will be blamed?”– Gearoid O Colmain, May 16, 2015 [Source]
The Deluge is a film in progress, undertaken to reveal the truth about invasions, insurgencies, and civil wars that have engulfed the Great Lakes Region of Africa, most of all Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, during the past 20 years.
Now in his ‘Imperial Social Media: Avaaz and the Arms Merchants’ piece, Jay Taber writes:
“Promoting the imperial social media fad of equivocating on US and NATO invasions that destroy entire societies, ostensibly because the current head of state is ruthless or corrupt, Avaaz apologists neglect the growing list of countries where these invasions have made things worse. Indeed, I am at a loss to find a country in my lifetime (1952-present) where US military aggression — either directly or through proxy mercenaries and US-financed and trained death squads — made things better.
Of course, if you look at militarism as a market-oriented strategy, then making war or creating armed mayhem is just part of doing business. With the crippling financial sanctions available to the US through the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, invasion is just for show — part of the expected social spectacle — that routinely transfers wealth from the U.S. Treasury to Wall Street and the military industrial complex.
Given the US influence at the UN Security Council, any country seeking to conduct its governance, diplomacy and trade independent of the US and EU risks destruction. The evidence can be seen in the chaotic, murderous aftermath reigning in these unfortunate societies, and in the tsunami of refugees seeking asylum. Meanwhile, the revolving door between the arms merchants, the Pentagon and the State Department is now open to NGOs like Avaaz and its PR firm ‘Purpose’.”
He brings a few photos:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry releases the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) with USAID Acting Administrator Alfonso Lenhardt, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, and Special Representative for the QDDR (and Avaaz co-founder) Tom Perriello at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on April 28, 2015. [State Department photo/ Public Domain] (photo url)
Rawanda’s President Paul Kagame (R) walks past US President Barack Obama (2nd R) as US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and National Security Advisor Susan Rice (C) look on during a “Peacekeeping Summit” at the United Nations headquarters on September 28, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (photo url)
And my personal fave:
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gives the thumbs-up to participants in the “Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping” with National Security Advisor Susan Rice (R), U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and Rwandan President Paul Kagame during the 70th annual UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters September 28, 2015 in New York City. Source: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
In the comments section, Taber links to this story at the IBTimes: ‘Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department’; truly disgusting, but sincerely unsurprising, especially concerning ‘our partners in Peace’, The Saudi Kingdom.
Ah, the true face of diplomacy….and noblesse oblige…
‘Super Imperialism in 84 Seconds’ by Michael Hudson; Prof Michael Hudson explains in under 90 seconds how US military budgets are financed by the nations it encircles.