As African Americans all over this country fall in line to vote for Hillary Clinton because she is good for them, among the many sins of her husband was the continuing of the rape of the Democratic Republic of Congo begun by Belgian King Leopold in the late nineteenth century. Long before Slick Willy became president, back in the early ’60s, the CIA ousted the democratically elected president of that country, Patrice Lumumba, because he intended to keep the resources of his country for his people to have the benefit from them. Among the minerals present in large quantity was cobalt, an element necessary in most electronics, including American weapons systems and military aircraft. Our government was involved in the assassination of Lumumba and installation of the tyrant Mobutu Sese Seko.
Clinton came into the picture after 30+ years of CIA support for the dictator, who was responsible for the deaths of as many as six million of his subjects. Why? Because Mobutu was becoming an embarrassment, and was talking, like Lumumba, of nationalizing the mineral extraction from his country. Under Clinton’s NSA. funds for a coup and training were given to Laurent Kabila, then a rebel against Mobutu, with the understanding that western access to the minerals would be maintained at the level necessary for western corporations. Laurent Kabila became President of the country, and continued brutal oppression of various ethnic groups , of which there were over 450 in that large land.
Abby Martin, the journalist behind The Empire Files, has created a wonderful entry into her series, called How the World Runs on Looting the Congo. I recommend it highly. She goes into much greater detail than I can here, and has as her guest one of the many exiles from the Congo since the Kabila family took over.
The US has taken an unhealthy military stance in Africa, and has gone to great lengths to hide it. The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald’s current haven for investigative journalism in this era of corporate ownership of the mass media and the dumbing down of network news, has given us the lively story of how a journalist was blackballed by the Pentagon for pursuing evidence of the US military presence in Africa, How a Simple Request Got Me Blackballed by the Pentagon, a horror story of abuse of FOIA procedures intent on keeping evidence of the military’s vast and growing presence on that beleaguered continent still struggling to find its way clear of its colonial past.
These stories dovetail, and do not tell a pleasant story about how our politicians and military have decided that Africa is too important to our military-industrial complex to be allowed to control itself and its own destiny. This is the price we are paying as a nation for allowing the corporatization of politics and the hegemony of the Defense Department. If we want to stay uninformed about this atrocity and put our heads in the sand, we can continue to waste so much of our income on the military and corporate welfare, costing lives and societies in Africa their freedom and self-determination without interference from the wealthy of this world. Or we can join Bernie’s revolution and fight against the dehumanizing effects of our country’s misdeeds, and at the same time, help a continent that has been abused too long by the Western World.