Rampant Nepotism? “It’s in the context of war that a certain group of people become fabulously wealthy while the rest of the country is immiserated.” Abominable, I say! “Bankers, businessmen, arms dealers, lawyers, accountants…” “If we could just fix this, think how many fewer would die!”
In case you missed it: This is Pretty Explosive Stuff!”
The gist, from CNN, for those without sound: ‘George Clooney: ‘Deal with South Sudan now, not later’:
“George Clooney is warning the world that it is better for international leaders to end the civil war raging in South Sudan now before it gets worse.
“The reality is if South Sudan is a failed state, we’ve seen what influences take over in a failed state, and it’s never good,” Clooney said. “And that’s something we’ll have to deal with for generations, if we don’t deal with it now. Now, it’s easy. It’ll be a lot harder in the years to come.“
On Monday the organization Clooney co-founded, The Sentry, published a two-year investigation following the finances of South Sudan’s top leaders, a report which Clooney called “explosive”.
The report found that despite a civil war which claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions, the top leaders of South Sudan, including President Salva Kiir, his former vice president Riek Machar, and other top leaders have benefited off of the instability and violence.
According to the investigation, leaders have amassed huge fortunes, with high-end foreign real estate, luxury cars, and lucrative commercial ventures, often with the assistance of international banks, lawyers, and arms brokers.”
Garsh; that all sounds awfully familiar, doesn’t it, most especially our Partners in Peace in Saudi Arabia and other gulf states? But they go on to describe the two and a half million fleeing the country, rape, child soldiers, and the UN’s deployment of 12,000 peacekeepers there. Clooney says that ain’t enough on its own. “The report suggests targeted sanctions, asset freezes, and increased monitoring from international financial institutions.” That’s why he says: ‘Now, it’s easy’
Now I’m not about to scoff at what’s afoot there, if those reports are true, but: Failed states, resource riches (75% of all the former Sudan’s oil reserves are in South Sudan, according to da Wiki), central African nations ‘in turmoil’ with civil wars and Terr’ists), ’US pivot to Africa (AFRICOM) whose mission statement is, or was (I can’t find it on their website):
Our purpose is twofold: 1) to protect the U.S. homeland, American citizens abroad, and our national interests from transnational threats emanating from Africa; and 2) through sustained engagement, to enable our African partners to create a security environment that promotes stability, improved governance, and continued development. Should preventive or enabling efforts fail, we must always be prepared to prevail against any individual or organization that poses a threat to the United States, our national interests, or our allies and partners…
(via Café Babylon; a really fun read on the organization, she sayed blog-whoringly enough).
You may remember that Jason had recently advised the Café that (cough) Clooney had been elected to a lifetime membership on…The Council of Foreign relations. Yes, that one.
Rebecca Dana had salivated in 2010 in her ‘George Clooney: Foreign Affairs Buff’ [a double-entendre, perhaps?]:
“The heartthrob has been accepted for life membership in the Council on Foreign Relations, the independent nonpartisan think tank whose ranks include Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Zbigniew Brzezinski. Clooney was nominated to the Council by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and TV host Charlie Rose. He joins fellow Hollywood heavies Michael Douglas and Warren Beatty as a member of the vaunted organization.
“I’m honored to have been nominated,” Clooney said. “I look forward to participating in the work and programs of the Council on Foreign Relations. And I hear the initiation ritual is wild.”
Here’s the list of the rest of the Illustrious CFR board members, past and present, may you genuflect before their vaunted names…
This week Anne Garrison, while contextualizing the new film “A Brilliant Genocide”, notes along the way:
“The last 100 days of that war included the massacres that came to be known as the Rwandan Genocide, which most of the world knows as the oversimplified, decontextualized story told in the movie “Hotel Rwanda.”
This radically mis-told story of the Rwandan Genocide has since become a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. We’re forever told that we have to start another war to stop genocide and mass atrocities or – in shorthand – to stop “the next Rwanda,” as in Libya, Syria, and more recently, Burundi, and whatever unlucky nation may be next.”
To finish, she quotes Ajamu Baraka:
‘When was the last time the U.S. has ever been on the side of the people, in reality? And the answer is: ‘Never.’”
Hmmmm; do you reckon that some sort of R2P mission might be comin’ down the track for South Sudan?
Now remember: Don Cheadle starred in that film; is it likely he swallowed the ‘mis-told story’ along with most Amerikans and others while he performed his part?
Allow me to repeat Garrison here:
“We’re forever told that we have to start another war to stop genocide and mass atrocities or – in shorthand – to stop “the next Rwanda,” as in Libya, Syria, and more recently, Burundi, and whatever unlucky nation may be next.”…
…and head over to Thomas C. Mountain ‘The African Union: The West’s Gendarme in Africa’ at blackagendareport. He lives in, and writes from tiny Eritrea.
“The African Union is the west’s gendarme in Africa with it’s combined national armed forces increasingly primed to invade and occupy rather than keep the peace. The latest potential victim of the African Union, backed by its big brother, the UN, is South Sudan. Before that Burundi was threatened with invasion by the AU “peacekeepers.” And this is just the beginning of a list of intended targets and actual invasions and occupations.
The African Union has its corrupt, western funded hands in almost every dirty war on the continent, ranging from the invasion of Somalia (and the subsequent spawning of Al Shabab) to the war in Azawad (Mali) to the most dirty of them all, the carnage in the Congo.”
Mountain narrates the long history of the OAU morphing into the AU, Ethipopia’s subjugation of the Oromo and many other ethnic groups, creating their own Abyssinian Empire while claiming to be for African independence, all the while turning a blind eye as Western interests plundered and raped Africa in the name o ‘democracy and sovereignty’.
“And all the while, AU-sponsored soldiers in Somalia rape and murder, sell arms on the black market to their erstwhile enemies, Al Shabab, and in general smuggle and racketeer with the leadership of the AU turning a blind eye. And that’s just in Somalia. How many other AU-sponsored armies from the Congo to the Central African Republic to Mali are supposedly “keeping the peace” in some of the most violence wracked places on the planet?”
You’ll remember that under Western pressure, the AU voted for R2P Libya, UN SCR 1973. How many carrots? Mebbe no sticks.
Human Rights Watch on South Sudan.
USAID to South Sudan.
‘Gates Foundation announces new partnership with Ethiopia’
They give to South Sudan, too, including their version of the Green Revolution GMO crops; now kind of them.
And not to ask too many pointed questions, but who funds the guns and ammo these folks use, anyway? CIA-linked NGOs and the n$n-profit industrial c$mplex?
fancy this! i, wd, just got an email from madame albright. no way to do anything but copy some of it, but in part:
“Becoming a U.S. citizen is the most important thing that ever happened to me. My father said that when we were in Europe during WWII people would say, “We are sorry for your troubles and hope that you have everything you need; by the way, when will you be leaving to go back home?”
But in America, people said: “We are sorry for your troubles and hope that you have everything you need; by the way, when will you become a citizen?”
America resettles more refugees than any other nation because it reflects one of our noblest traditions as a nation: providing support to those who are most vulnerable.
With the world facing the largest mass displacement on record since World War II, it has never been more important for world leaders to follow America’s example and work together to do more to support refugees.”, etc.
i tried to find it all on her twitter thing, but this is close as i could come:
g’nite; i’m out. a lullabye 4 you.
Amurka takes in more fugees than anyone else? well, certainly many a nazi found safe haven here…”a man can smile, and murder, and smile.” hurray for feminism! whoohoo progress!
but oy; i’d thunk you’d have had a hoot ‘n a holler for this example of clooney-power. (sanctions, O-so-targeted) will be on the way. he went to the WH to ask O ‘pretty please?’ by the way, we just started ‘the thin red line’; it looks to be exquisite, and thanks for the tip. little booklet comes with the dvd.
what’s that thing called? RW? wondering about this “keeping your money overseas” thing. now we know people try to hide their wealth, but given all the superspy crap going on, how possible is it to actually do that? i don’t know enough about how the banks & the global death-dealers operate, but i suspect that if the US (or the EU or…) wanted to, they could dry up the funds of drug cartels, terrorists, etc., practically overnight. anyway…
i suspect you’re altogether correct, jason. but there seem to be cases its not in our rulers interest to expose them, dry up drug cartel money, and so on, yes?
we do know that laundering dirty money is rather easy, (iran-contra), various NGOs, and stashing it is relatively easy in many off-shore banks: just account numbers, no names please and thank you. arms, lol? see the clinton foundation, for one. no, bite my tongue; no tit for tat there, nossir.
what were the panama papers, a hack, an insider? did they ever publish more names than those original few? i remember yves smith telling folks to shut up and let the ‘outings’ come in an orderly fashion, o perhaps they did.
well, here’s a whole page about them. i kinda laughed at the ‘two-year sentry investigation!!!’ claim, but then i didn’t care enough to read the pdf provided. did they hire forensic accountants? hackers? but this is (so to speak) rich. on their sidebar is this hilarity:
‘US targets ‘dirty money‘ hidden in luxury real estate’. gotta love it. power to the little people!
but as to sanctions: those only too often punish the citizenry, i dunno in this case, but often they lead to the vaunted ‘failed states’ rather quickly. see: iraq, for one.
yes, of course on the sanctions. there was no link, btw, at “dirty money.” the banking system is awash in drug cartel money. everybody knows this. except Nancy Reagan acolytes.
fixed. i just thought it was funny in a ha ha sort of way. well, ya know: ya CAN just say no to drugs. thanks for the flash from the past about the head on the red stick flotus.
Georgie Bourgie Puddin and Pie got’s that prole approval – dollah’s – to protect. Democracy promotion is the best crapitalist bubble for theatrical hucksters to invest in.
star power w/ the ‘white savior complex’. but what more is really afoot, i wonder? ‘real clear politics’ carried the report and ‘what needs to be done. and this from the big UN talks:
“We are very much concerned because South Sudan does not need an arms embargo,” First Vice President Taban Deng Gai told AFP in an interview on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. “We don’t need more suffering.”
Washington has threatened to push for a UN arms embargo on the world’s youngest nation if Juba blocks the deployment of a new regional protection force of 4,000 troops and impedes the work of UN peacekeepers.” AFP on the daily mail rag, but ya can read about the important shit, too: brangelina splittin’ the sheet and such.
but selling massive numbers of weapons and systems is okay to ‘our partners in peace’, moar and moar military aid (specifically earmarked) to Israel…is just boy, howdy, grrrrrrreat.
it seems i’d inadvertently left out some important bits while pasting together this diary; there must be a hundred links on the word document. but anyway:
the independence of south sudan was US-made; from 2011 the Atlantic:
“On the eve of South Sudan independence, former National Security Council Africa Director John Prendergast [who co-authored ‘the report’ above], who today leads much of the U.S. activism on Sudan, told me he felt “major regret that we couldn’t help get this done in the mid to late 1990s when I worked for the Clinton administration.”
Instead, U.S. support for southern Sudanese self-determination gained momentum under the presidency of George W. Bush. His aides said the former president, pressed by evangelical activists, viewed ending the civil war in Sudan as a “legacy item” for his foreign policy. Bush appointed a special envoy to focus on peace negotiations, which finally bore fruit in 2005. “
the north was largely arab and muslim, the south christian. Israel (as a hedge against palestinians) was the first nation to recognize south sudan.
“JERUSALEM (AP) — Escalating violence in South Sudan is casting a light on Israel’s murky involvement in that conflict and raising questions about Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new strategy of strengthening ties with African countries. Netanyahu has been forging alliances across Africa in an effort he says will help blunt Palestinian diplomatic initiatives against Israel at the United Nations.
But critics says these new ties — illustrated by Netanyahu’s high-profile visit to several African countries in July — have come without regard for the human rights records of those allies.
Such concerns have been magnified by Israel’s close ties to South Sudan, whose government has used Israeli arms and surveillance equipment to crack down on its opponents. Critics say Israel’s global arms export policies lack transparency and proper oversight, and ignore the receiving country’s intended use.”
hmmm….kosovo good. s. sudan good. crimea bad. palestine bad.
well, hold on their mr. black & white. what about the kurds?!??!!?
floyd is writing so sporadically these days but here’s a link & cut/paste of the whole thing:
In more news no one gives a damn about, the Saudi-American slaughter in Yemen continues apace: 19 more civilians killed by our bombs, dropped by our freedom-loving allies, the anti-Semitic, woman-hating extremist religious tyrants. That very day, our bold, freedom-loving US Senators voted to approve the Peace Prize president’s undeclared war against Yemen by defeating a move to block further arms sales to the Saudis. Meanwhile, “nearly half of Yemen’s 22 provinces are on the verge of famine,” which is being deliberately fomented by a US-led blockade of the desert nation. But don’t worry; when the famine reaches genocidal proportions, you can bet George and Amal Clooney will host a big, glitzy A-list fundraiser, with their good friend, former President Barack Obama, making a special appearance to ask the guests to “dig deep” to support the poor victims in Yemen. Won’t be a dry eye in the house!
and prendergast off ‘Enough’. bless your heart, and chris floyd’s as well; i look forward to reading it. long long day here what w/ trying to beat the bears to the fruit, the freeze to the garden, processing some it.
but mr wd thought of this cuz of ‘thin red line’, and wanted me to send it to you.
From the CD, “In the Blood,” Robert MIrabal’s “Theo’s Dream” is an homage to his Uncle Theo from Taos Pueblo, who went to Vietnam in 1971 and came back the next Spring forever changed. “Please don’t forget our love songs,” Theo tells his loved ones, “they only grow stronger, please don’t forget. And your kisses, your kisses are in my blood.”
if i get any sort of a fourth wind in my sails, i’ll try to come back yet tonight