Lack of Contraceptives in Africa - Thanks to Bush -- Has Lead to Catastrophe

Canada.com "10 billion condoms were required this year in the developing world -- but only 2.5 billion were available. Other contraceptives are also as rare as gold. Rural women walk for many hours to distant clinics and dispensaries, only to be turned away because the facilities don't have Norplant or birth control pills. Countries such as Kenya... have been devastated by a global contraceptive shortage. A large part of the crisis can be laid at Bush's insane 'abstinence only' policy. " Last month, the UN Population Fund predicted the acute shortage of family planning counselling and contraceptives in developing countries will cause a population explosion. "We are facing a disaster," says David Adriance, who works with some of the world's poorest women. "We have the largest cohort of young people that the world has ever known. These kids are hitting reproductive age and we have nothing in place for them. No sex education. No contraception. Few services."

Bush Henchmen in Senate Help Pave Way to Invade and Control Oil-Rich West Africa

Two days ago noted that Bush was quietly moving forces into the waters off W. Africa, the most oil-rich region of the continent. Now Bush henchmen in Congress are trying to create a "we need to invade and take over for their own good" scenario to cover the butts of Bush and the oil and nuke industries (W. Africa is also rich in yellowcake uranium). VOA reports: "U.S. officials told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing Thursday the US is working with countries in the region to help them address corruption, rule of law and good governance to ensure long-term political and economic stability. [they aren't offering AIDS money, however] Asst. Sec. of Energy John Brodman warned that if the situation does not improve, these countries could become havens for terrorists." Gee, where have we heard this line before? And isn't it an amazing coincidence that "terrorists" always find oil-rich countries so attractive as "havens."

Bush's Lies about Yellowcake Uranium in Niger and Slander of France - What was the REAL Motivation?

Hobson's Choice: "Niger is.. one of the very poorest nations on earth, is heavily dependent on US aid, including defense assistance from the territorial ambitions of Libya, is a handy foe in a pinch. It's totally helpless and can be slandered at will. The slanders made by Bush, to wit, that Iraq had sought U-235 from Niger, was something that could have been immediately refuted by consulting with minerals industry experts. Niger produces almost 3,000 tons of uranium per year, which it sells mainly to France and Japan." About the same time Bush slandered Niger, he was slandering the French - did he hope that Niger would boot out the French mining groups to keep the US happy?Also, Joseph Wilson, who investigated the alleged yellowcake sales by Niger, concluded "that controls on Niger's uranium mining were far too strict for any deal with Iraq to be credible," Shortly after pointing this out, Wilson's CIA agent wife was maliciously outed by the Bush administration.

Pentagon Now Wants to Deploy Troops to Nigeria and Niger

This week, under the cover of Bush's intentionally disruptive gay marriage debate, the administration has been moving troops into two of the world's biggest "oil zones": the Pacific in Southeast Asia and now is laying plans to move troops off the coast of Nigeria, beyond which lies Niger. The US is now also quietly working with the Niger military to send "peacekeeping" troops into the Niger Delta. What is in the Niger Delta? Yellowcake uranium - needed for Bush's nuclear ambitions. Bush's ambassador in Nigeria, meanwhile, is holding meetings this week on Bush's intention to deploy troops to the Gulf of Guinea, off Nigeria's coast. Nigeria is Africa's number one oil producer. For background on this extremely important developing story see http://allafrica.com/stories/200407130092.html, and http://www.jamesrmaclean.com/archives/000022.html

Security Council (US/UK?) Blocks UN Action in Bloody Sudan

Nico Pitney writes, "The UN report to the Security Council described a 'reign of terror' involving even the forced starvation of refugees. Human Rights Watch found 'ethnic cleansing.' Bertrand Ramcharan, the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, 'spoke of a 'scorched earth policy' and 'repeated crimes against humanity,'' and 'described aerial bombardments as well as systematic attacks on villages by Sudanese government forces and militiamen who killed, raped, and looted,' BBC News reports. And yet - surprise, surprise - 'The UN will take no immediate action in the troubled Darfur region of western Sudan, Security Council members say.'"

Unlike Bush, Kerry Has Not Forgotten there's an Africa beyond the Libyan Oil Fields

When Bush thinks 'Africa,' he thinks Libya and oil. For Bush, the African AIDS crisis was a chance for phony PR when he promised $15 billion, but instead delivered help to the pharmacuetical industry. By sharp contrast, here's a statesmanlike Kerry on African issues this week: "As the world pauses to recall in sorrow and regret the genocide that began ten years ago in Rwanda, we must act to prevent an enormous humanitarian tragedy in the Darfur region of Sudan, where fighting has led to the death and displacement of thousands in recent weeks."In neighboring Chad, a process of negotiation has begun between the government of Sudan and the rebels. It is imperative that all pressure be applied on the parties to negotiate an immediate ceasefire and allow access for humanitarian aid. Diplomatic pressure must be applied on the Sudanese government to stop the 'janjaweed' and allow monitoring in Darfur."

Mercenaries Aimed to Topple Oil-Rich Despot

The UK Independent: "The tale of the 67 men of assorted nationalities now in a Zimbabwe jail accused of being mercenaries continued to unfurl yesterday like the plot of a lurid airport novel. A bit too much like fiction, in fact, involving as it does a cast that includes the despotic leader of a little-known West African state, the Eton-educated son of an English cricket captain, fake passports, and a shadowy company registered in the Channel Islands that is linked to SAS old boys. All this, plus talk of CIA, MI6 and Spanish secret service activity, and a plane now impounded at Harare airport that contained equipment more suited to burglary than seizures of power...Equitorial Guinea is known in US government circles as the "Kuwait of the Gulf of Guinea. Not without reason has President Bush welcomed President Obiang, a confirmed if not convicted corrupt despot, to the White House."

Rent-a-Coup: Who's Who

The men behind the alleged Equatorial Guinea coup plot represent a who's who of South Africa's mercenary market - but key players also have links to the American and British security establishments. In Harare, where 67 suspected mercenaries were arrested last Sunday, Zimbabwean Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi claimed later in the week that Britain's MI6 intelligence service, the United States' CIA and the Spanish secret service had been involved. Mohadi's claim should be taken with a pinch of salt, But it is intriguing that both Mann and his alleged principal co-conspirator, Nic du Toit, do have direct or indirect links with the security establishments in these countries.

US Denies Africa Coup Plot Allegations

"The US has rejected allegations by Zimbabwe that it was involved in a suspected coup plot in Equatorial Guinea, saying it had no link with the men or the aircraft they had travelled in. 'The United States government has protested to the government of Zimbabwe concerning the outlandish and inaccurate allegations made publicly, or released to the press, about US involvement in a purported mercenary operation,' said US embassy spokesman Samuel Kaerezi... Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi said... one of the men, named as Simon Mann, fingered London, Washington and Madrid as their backers."

Mercenary Leader Goes On TV To Describe Plot To Kidnap President of Equatorial Guinea

"A plot to abduct the long-serving president of the small, oil-rich west African nation of Equatorial Guinea has been unveiled on national television by the alleged leader of a group of mercenaries. 'It wasn't a question of taking the life of the head of state, but of spiriting him away, taking him to Spain and forcing him into exile and then of immediately installing the government in exile of Severo Moto Nsa,' said the man, introduced as Nick du Toit. Equatorial Guinea called for the extradition of Mr Moto, who tried to mount a coup against President Teodoro Obiang Nguema in 1997 from Angola and recently set up a government in exile in Spain." In this complicated story of captured mercenaries and a US Aircraft (covered elsewhere) is anyone surprised that oil in in the story?

Take Action to Stop the Slaughter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Amnesty Int'l: "The Democratic Republic of Congo is currently the scene of one of the worst human rights and humanitarian disasters in the world. In addition to the humanitarian crisis in the DRC, human rights abuses are rampant, including torture and sexual violence, unlawful killings, summary executions, illegal detentions, use of child soldiers and even reports of cannibalism. Many of these abuses are directly linked to competition to control and exploit the DRC's natural resources.... Armies from Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Uganda are directly involved in this looting and were officially recalled from the DRC last year.... These armies also created proxy militia forces that are now committing terrible human rights abuses in order to control territory and carve out possible roles themselves in the ongoing peace processes.... Urge your Member of Congress to call on the Bush Administration to encourage the governments of Uganda and Rwanda to cease all support to militia groups in the DRC."

Former Top UN Official Blasts US, France, UN in New Book on Rwanda Genocide

"'Ultimately, led by the United States, France and the United Kingdom, this world body [the UN] aided and abetted genocide in Rwanda,' Gen. Dallaire [former head of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda] writes his new book. 'No amount of its cash and aid will ever wash its hands clean of Rwandan blood.' ... Using the detailed daily notes that were taken by his assistant in the field, Gen. Dallaire painstakingly recreated the events leading up to the genocide and provides a minute-by-minute account of the eruption of bloodshed in April, 1994, as his pleas for reinforcements to UN headquarters in New York were ignored. ... The book describes how the United States sent a tip one night based on detailed intelligence information that Gen. Dallaire was targeted for assassination by a Rwandan militia. Yet at the same time, U.S. officials claimed to have so little information about what was going in Rwanda that they could not intervene."

Revealed: Israeli Government Helped Bring Idi Amin to Power

The UK Independent reports, "When Radio Uganda announced at dawn on 25 January 1971 that Idi Amin was Uganda's new ruler, many people suspected that Britain had a hand in the coup. However, Foreign Office papers released last year point to a different conspirator: Israel. The first telegrams to London from the British High Commissioner in Kampala, Richard Slater, show a man shocked and bewildered by the coup. But he quickly turned to the man who he thought might know what was going on; Colonel Bar-Lev, the Israeli defence attache'. He found the Israeli colonel with Amin. They had spent the morning of the coup together. Slater's next telegram says that according to Colonel Bar-Lev: 'In the course of last night General Amin caused to be arrested all officers in the armed forces sympathetic to Obote ... Amin is now firmly in control of all elements of [the] army which controls vital points in Uganda ... the Israeli defence attache' discounts any possibility of moves against Amin.'"

Why Won't the British Cut Their Ties to Uganda and Rwanda, Who Bankroll the Massive Atrocities in the Congo?

"The catastrophe [in the Congo] was foretold. Experts on the region, human-rights groups, UN officials, priests and the occasional journalist have regularly warned of an impending apocalypse since serious fighting broke out there in 1997. The causes of conflict have been carefully catalogued, the criminals in charge of the militia carefully identified, their backers exposed. What has the response been to a six-year-old conflict that has now claimed more lives than any since the Second World War?... 'If you want to understand what is happening here and stop it, you have to cut off the supply of weapons, and that means deal with Uganda and Rwanda,' Father Uringi said... Anneke Van Woudenberg, Human Rights Watch researcher... said: 'The British Government must use its influence in Uganda and Rwanda to stop the arming of these militia groups which is still going on. Any peace efforts by the UN will be hopeless unless Britain steps in.'"

Bush Promise of Aid to Africa is a 'Good Cop/Bad Cop' Scam: He Knows His Pals in Congress Plan to SLASH African Aid

Bush is running a scam with the rightwing-dominated US Congress to dupe Africans long enough to stage a photo-op visit to Liberia and South Africa. While loudly proclaiming to the media that he promises to increase aid to Africa, Bush's henchmen in the Congress are planning to insure that funding to Africa is not only NOT increased, but SLASHED. This is just a transparent version of the "good cop/bad cop" scheme, with Bush playing "good cop" and his confederates in Congress playing "bad cop." Both have the same goal: withhold real help from the continent that needs it most.

Bush Greeted by Nationwide Mass Protests in South Africa

Here are just a few samples: PRETORIA: A mass rally on Wednesday July 9th at 11am at the Union Buildings during Thabo Mbeki's meeting with George Bush, where a memorandum will be handed over. There will then be a mass march to the American embassy.J OHANNESBURG: A mass march on Saturday July 5th from Library Gardens at 12 noon, proceeding to the ANC Headquarters. DURBAN: A Mass Rally on Saturday July 5th starting at 10am at the City Hall calling on the Mayor to declare Durban a Bush-free zone. CAPETOWN: A mass march on Wednesday July 9th from Kaisergracht (District Six) on Parliament, starting at 10am. Of course, don't expect to see reports of these events on FOX, CNN, NBC, et al!

Oil Drives Bush's Africa Tour

"Bush's trip to Africa this week signals a recent strategic decision to increase America's military presence to bolster what Washington now sees as two important national interests on the continent - the supply of oil and the struggle against terrorism. General James Jones, the commander of the US European command with responsibility for African operations... predicted a much bigger role for the navy and marines in the oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. 'The carrier battle groups of the future may not spend six months in the Mediterranean sea, but I'll bet they'll spend half the time going down the west coast of Africa'... The new bases are being described as temporary, but in reality, once built they are likely to become part of the African landscape... At a meeting organised last month by the Corporate Council on Africa, a senior CIA official, David Gordon, predicted that over the next decade African oil would be potentially more important to the US than Russia or the Caucasus."

Off Nigerian Coast, 97 Held Hostage on Oil Rigs Fear for Their Lives

UK Guardian reports: "Dozens of British and American oil workers are being held hostage on four rigs off Nigeria's coast by local colleagues in a bizarre drama which has been kept secret for 12 days, it emerged yesterday. Several captives have allegedly been put in containers and dangled by cranes over the sea and others threatened with death in an apparent attempt by striking Nigerian workers to intimidate managers. At least 35 Britons and 21 Americans are among the 97 expatriates trapped since a labour dispute flared into insurrection on April 19... Food and water are running low and in the cramped conditions there is a siege atmosphere, with at least two captives reported to have had nervous breakdowns. Via email, one worker said his biggest fear was a rescue attempt by the Nigerian navy ending in a bloodbath: 'Make no mistake of the danger we're in. If they have lost everything, they will make sure we lose everything. And that could mean our lives.'"

Bush No-Show in Mauritius Reflects Deeper Disdain

William Minter writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "In mid-December, in the midst of the controversy over racist remarks by Senator Trent Lott, Bush administration officials intimated that a trip to Africa in January would demonstrate [Bush's] sensitivity to African American concerns. If George W. Bush had followed through on his plan to visit five African countries, Africans would have posed hard questions: Is your policy 'just another trip'? Or are you willing to commit real resources to responding to the deadly threat of AIDS, and to other urgent African priorities? An answer of a sort came just before Christmas, when a White House press release curtly announced that the trip was being postponed...Heading the U.S. delegation instead will be U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, who will tout the benefits to Africa of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (which mandated this second consultation), and pitch other U.S. policies for promoting free trade."

U.S. Offers Little Humanitarian Aid to Africa, But Wants to Turn One of the Most Impoverished Areas into One Big Military Base

"Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Monday left open the possibility of expanding the new U.S. military presence in the Horn of Africa, where hundreds of American troops are based as part of a land, sea and air campaign to root out al-Qaida terrorists." Nothing like having a blanket excuse for every act of exploitation and self interest (the "horn of Africa" is closest to U.S. oil interests)!

Threatened Famine in Ethiopia May Be 'Too Ghastly to Contemplate' - Except for Bush

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi this week warned that the famine threatening his country will be worse than the one that killed over one million people in 1984-85. Meanwhile, Bush has cut economic aid to Africa - right when it needs it the most for humanitarian purposes, instead trying to use the misery of famine and hunger as a "corporate bargaining chip" to unload genetically-modified food that other nations are banning. Last spring, in exchange for a photo op with Bono, Bush promised increased aid to struggling African nations. A few months later, he decided the U.S. couldn't afford increased humanitarian aid spending because all our money will be devoted to bombs, not bread. Where is the outrage???