Africa against Bush’s militarist plans

This video from Democracy Now! in the USA says about itself:

Actor, activist and TransAfrica Forum board chair Danny Glover and TransAfrica Forum executive director Nicole Lee wrote about Africom in the latest issue of The Nation magazine. Their article is called “Say No to Africom.”

From People’s Weekly World in the USA:

Africa says no to AFRICOM

Author: Dennis Laumann


Plans to base the much-talked-about United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Africa have been abandoned for now. The U.S. government acknowledged defeat in its all-out campaign to convince any African ally to welcome the installation on its territory. AFRICOM will begin operations this October in Germany instead.

The corporate media has been relatively silent about this setback to the so-called war on terror. Only a few months ago, news reports highlighted America’s desire to establish AFRICOM somewhere on the continent as one of the main reasons for President Bush’s Africa tour. In February, Bush visited five African nations, all considered allies, hoping to persuade one to accept AFRICOM. With the sole exception of Liberia, Bush was met with a resounding “No” throughout his trip. Even a proposal to locate five, smaller regional offices to coordinate with AFRICOM in Germany is on hold as the U.S. military still seeks hosts.

AFRICOM will coordinate American military activities across the African continent, except Egypt. The Bush administration deemed Africa an area of “strategic concern” and initiated plans for AFRICOM in 2006.

Africom and African oil: here.

Africa, AFRICOM and Proxy Imperialism: here.


5 thoughts on “Africa against Bush’s militarist plans

  1. (from Yahoo site, 25 July 2008)

    Playstation 2 component incites African war
    Console war reaches past the couch and into the Congo, claims report.

    By Ben Silverman
    Has the video game industry dug up its very own blood diamond?

    According to a report by activist site Toward Freedom, for the past decade the search for a rare metal necessary in the manufacturing of Sony’s Playstation 2 game console has fueled a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    At the center of the conflict is the unrefined metallic ore, coltan. After processing, coltan turns into a powder called tantalum, which is used extensively in a wealth of western electronic devices including cell phones, computers and, of course, game consoles.

    Allegedly, the demand for coltan prompted Rwandan military groups and western mining companies to plunder hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the rare metal, often by forcing prisoners-of-war and even children to work in the country’s coltan mines.

    “Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms,” said Ex-British Parliament Member Oona King.
    So where’s the connection to Sony? According to Toward Freedom, during the 2000 launch of the PS2, the electronics giant was having trouble meeting consumer demand. To pump out more units, Sony required a significant increase in the production of electric capacitors, which are primarily made with tantalum. This helped drive the world price of the powder from $49/pound to a whopping $275/pound, resulting in the frenzied scouring of the Congolese hills known for being ripe with coltan.

    Sony has since sworn off using tantalum acquired from the Congo, claiming that current builds of the PS2, PSP and PS3 consoles are sourced from a variety of mines in several different countries.

    But according to researcher David Barouski, they’re hardly off the hook.

    “SONY’s PlayStation 2 launch…was a big part of the huge increase in demand for coltan that began in early 1999,” he explained. “SONY and other companies like it, have the benefit of plausible deniability, because the coltan ore trades hands so many times from when it is mined to when SONY gets a processed product, that a company often has no idea where the original coltan ore came from, and frankly don’t care to know. But statistical analysis shows it to be nearly inconceivable that SONY made all its PlayStations without using Congolese coltan.”

    Currently, the Playstation 2 is the best-selling video game console of all-time, having sold through over 140 million units.#
    Military using video game tech to control vehicles
    Drop and give me 40 frags

    By Mike Smith
    Gamers are accustomed to using console controllers to dish out virtual death and destruction, but military forces at home and overseas are investigating the possibility of using them to deliver attacks of a much more concrete nature.

    Complicated weapons systems like the U.S. Air Force’s MQ-1 Predator are first in line to benefit from the new developments, which aim to exploit recruits’ familiarity with console controllers to ease training requirements. Wired reports arms manufacturer Raytheon is demonstrating the system, which uses technology from Microsoft’s Xbox and Nintendo’s Wii controllers, at an air show in England this week.

    Robotic aircraft like the Predator have seen operations in theaters including Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Iraq, where they perform ground attack and reconnaissance missions. Currently, the Predator is controlled with a single joystick and a QWERTY keyboard, but Raytheon hopes the new system will prove more intuitive and reduce accidents.

    Whether Raytheon means accidents of the “Private, you’ve flown the Predator into a sand dune again,” or of the “Whoops, that was the wrong house, wasn’t it?” varieties isn’t immediately clear. Considering a Predator runs U.S. taxpayers a cool $3 million, we’re rather hoping it’s both.

    Wired also reports the British Army is using what appears to be an off-brand Xbox 360 controller in a Lockheed Martin-designed system for controlling aerial drones. Plans are also afoot to use the Wii’s remote to control bomb-disposal robots.



    Kenya: AFRICOM on the move

    Visiting regional ally Kenya last week, AFRICOM head General William Ward indicated that U.S. aircraft would be patrolling over Seychelles territorial waters near Madagascar, also that unmanned aircraft would eventually be used. Without specifying objectives, an AFRICOM spokesperson announced the imminent dispatch of U.S. military “experts” to eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    For Ward, radical Islam’s arrival in Somalia “makes East Africa a central focus of the U.S. military on the continent.” These activities of AFRICOM, the continent-wide joint U.S. military command activated last year, represent “the Pentagon’s first direct military intervention in Africa,” according to

    U.S. military personnel had earlier joined British counterparts in training Rwandan soldiers, some of them prone to incursions inside mineral-rich eastern Congo.


  3. Pingback: Military bases, neocolonialism get out of Africa, film | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Trump’s AFRICOM war in Niger | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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