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’
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?