Abby Mann has done it again. She’s reported on a human rights abuse that is silently encroaching on the freedoms we seem to take for granted in this country. The culprits are the very people that we would expect to recognize the evil they are doing. Apparently, they are members of the UN delegations from their own countries, bringing women to New York to act as domestics for their mansions and luxury suites. The women are told that they will not be domestics, and that they will be free to move around normally in the US. Then when they get here, they are locked in the homes, have their passports removed, and are forbidden to use the phones. If you have the stomach for it, you can watch the video here. Be prepared to be depressed at this further sign of abuse and dysfunction in the oligarchy that rules this world.
We have for years watched passively as Israel continued to build settlements in areas designated for Palestinian statehood since the Oslo accords. The US representative has vetoed many actions by the Security Council to sanction Israel for the illegal settlements, so it came as a surprise when Samantha Power finally abstained from the most recent resolution. It may have been too little and too late. With Donald Trump looming on the horizon, AIPAC and its allies can breathe freely again in the knowledge that it won’t happen again.
Lindsay Graham has called for the defunding of the UN and the new Democratic leader in the Senate has roundly chastised the Obama administration for allowing the resolution to stand. There is precious little reporting in this country of the violence and destruction being caused by Israeli “settlers” and their Israeli army protectors in the furtherance of the annihilation of hopes for a two state solution in the land holy to three major religions.
When Israeli “settlers” (I would prefer to call them terrorists or vigilantes) called a one-and-a-half year old child a terrorist after firebombing the house in which he lived with his parents and older brother, they showed how utterly lacking in humanity and reason they were in their actions. The crime of this family? Living too close to an illegal Israeli settlement. The cost of the firebomb? The parents and baby dead, the older brother burned over 70% of his body. Two out of eleven Israelis involved in the action were charged, neither being held pending trial, and only one of them charged with murder.
Donald Trump doesn’t have any problem with the so-called settler movement. This should surprise no one. But people of good will may well wonder that our government has been so facile in refusing to chastise Israel for its support of the movement. Abby Mann, whom I have spoken of before, has two reports on the incident above and the history and current state of the settler movement. They can be found here and here. I will not repeat the statistics she has reported, but suffice it to say that the number of deaths, some of which she has videos of at the hands of the “settlers” and their military supporters, will shock and appall you.
It is not surprising that the Security Council at the UN has been trying to sanction Israel for years for the illegal settlement program. The program has displaced or killed thousands of Palestinians, destroyed their farms and their livelihoods, and left them in an apartheid-like state the likes of which have not been seen since South Africa. For it to be created by the victims of the holocaust would be ironic if it were not so outrageous. Now it can only be said that the United States for once did the right thing on this issue.
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.
People have accused me of Hillary bashing, and I would argue that truth is a defense to the charge. I have researched Hillary rather thoroughly to see if I could find a way to vote for her in the event of her nomination. As this is looking likely, much as I hate to say it, it is a serious question that needs to be addressed. I have said I won’t vote for her based on actions she took in the 1990s, but there is much more to it than that. My researches discovered enough to make me doubt my ability to vote for her and I was preparing to write a lengthy and complete diary of my researches with trepidation.
Then, on YouTube I found someone had done it for me. This is a half hour video, but if you’re game to watch it, Abby Martin’s Empire File on Hillary and what she really represents, is as good as it gets. It begins with Hillary’s early history and covers most of the ground I would have. Plus, she’s pretty and has bunches of video support for her arguments. Why should I repeat the work already done by someone so well?