For the third time this month we post a video by Pat Condell. We cannot resist him, nor do we want to. From him we learn that this November was named (by whom?) “Islamophobia awareness month“, which is why we hurry to post the video today.
The tally kept by The Religion of Peace (so named with deliberate irony) of deadly terrorist attacks by Muslims since 9/11, has reached – and passed – 20, ooo.
We quote their caption to the picture above, and today’s list of attacks:
On a week in which two suicide bombers slaughtered over 54 Christian and Druze (above photo) and Sunni extremists massacred nearly 100 Shiites in Iraq, TROP recorded our 20,000th Islamic terror attack since 9/11. It happened to be the stabbing and dismemberment of a Jewish woman in her Iranian home by religious radicals intent on expanding a mosque.
Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight
with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will
say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”
– Sahih Bukhari 52:177
“Killing Jews is worship that draws us closer to Allah.”
– CAIR-supported Hamas
Islam’s Latest Contributions to Peace
“Mohammed is God’s apostle. Those who follow him are harsh
to the unbelievers but merciful to one another” Quran 48:29
2012.11.29 (Dih Rawud, Afghanistan) – A woman and five children are among ten civilians torn to shreds by a Taliban roadside bomb.
2012.11.29 (Karbala, Iraq) – Two bomb blasts at a restaurant packed with Shia pilgrims, obliterating nearly thirty.
2012.11.29 (Wana, Pakistan) – A 13-year-old suicide bomber kills three other people at a market.
2012.11.29 (Karbala, Iraq) – An Islamic Army of Iraq car bomb kills eight at the entrance of a Shia Shrine.
2012.11.29 (Karachi, Pakistan) – A 60-year-old caretaker at a Shia mosque is picked off by Sipah-e-Sahaba gunmen.
2012.11.28 (Jaramana, Syria) – Fifty-four people are blown to bits by two Fedayeen suicide bombers in a residential neighborhood.
The tide may be turning in Syria, because the rebels are newly equipped with what are called MANPADS – shoulder-carried anti-aircraft weapons. Until now Assad’s forces were stronger than the rebels because they could strike unimpeded from the skies. Now their planes and helicopters are under threat, and a plane and a helicopter have been brought down by a MANPAD. (See also here and here.)
Where did the MANPADS come from? From Turkey, certainly. But Turkey does not make them. (Nor does Qatar, the alleged source of some of them.)
They come from Libya. They were part of Gaddafi’s arsenal. They were shipped from Benghazi to Turkey, and on to Syria and the rebel fighters.
The transfer of arms was done secretly by a CIA operation in Benghazi, overseen by Ambassador Stevens. He was almost certainly discussing another shipment of arms from Libya to Turkey with the Turkish consul a few hours before an al-Qaida-associated gang attacked his mission station and murdered him.
As so often, they are lying. The US is arming the rebels, including al-Qaida contingents. This is the guilty secret (or one of the guilty secrets) the Obama administration is trying to hide by distracting attention away from the atrocious Benghazi fiasco itself and on to side issues like Susan Rice’s false narrative, and General Petraeus’s adultery.
Diana West asks the important questions about the disaster of Benghazi:
Who came up with the administration plan to discard early intelligence confirming the U.S. had sustained an al-Qaida-linked terrorist attack in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, and to seize on a lie blaming a YouTube video for the attack? Who got everyone — White House, State, CIA (but not, it seems, Defense) — on board? After the president addressed the United Nations on Sept. 25 (citing the video six times), the false video narrative peters out. Who called the whole thing off?
Speaking of the president’s U.N. address — notorious for declaring, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” — who wrote it? Its underlying message that “slander” (read: free speech) of Islam causes violence dovetails neatly with the Istanbul Process, an Obama administration initiative to prohibit and even criminalize speech critical of Islam. The initiative is spearheaded by Hillary Clinton in conjunction with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an Islamic bloc of 56 nations, plus the Palestinian Authority.
President Obama stated to an outside-the-Washington-Beltway reporter that “the minute” he found out what was happening in Benghazi, he sprang into action. “Number one,” the president said, “make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to do.” Did Obama, in fact, issue such an order? If so, it appears to have been ignored. Shouldn’t someone be fired for insubordination? If no U.S. military assets were available — a big “if” for the sake of argument — why weren’t NATO allies such as Turkey or Britain called on to help? What exactly was the president doing during the eight-hour span of the terror attack?
On Sept. 9 and again on Sept. 10, a YouTube video featuring al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was posted online. In it, Zawahiri exhorted Libyans to attack Americans in revenge for the killing of al-Qaida senior leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. The CIA and other intelligence agencies appear to have ignored this video entirely. Why?
Why was the United States in Benghazi relying on Libyan jihadists for security? This is where we might pick up on the Arab Spring trail the Obama administration followed to this whole disaster. For example, the small CIA contingent that flew in to Benghazi in the wee hours of Sept. 12 was “aided” (delayed) on arrival by Libya Shield. Not only did this militia fight in the Libyan revolution under the black flag of al-Qaida, but U.S. government analysts believe its leader, Wissam bin Hamid, a jihadist veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, may be the leader of al-Qaida in Libya.
What was the Benghazi mission (it did not function as a consulate) doing there in the first place? Troubling reports indicate the U.S. presence in Benghazi may have been part of a secret CIA operation to run weapons to Syria’s anti-Assad rebel forces, which, as was the case with Libya’s anti-Gadhafi forces, include a heavy contingent of jihadist actors seeking to spread Shariah (Islamic law). Was the late Ambassador Christopher Stevens, previously point man to jihadists in Libya, party to this unauthorized operation?
Notice I haven’t even mentioned Petraeus’ affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. While not altogether unimportant, it is a distraction from weightier matters. For example: How can David Petraeus lie to Congress — a felony — and get away with it?
Ask President Obama.
Another question needing to be asked: why is Obama supporting the Syrian rebels? There is no reason to expect that, if they win, a more savory regime will supplant Assad. Assad is nasty. So were Mubarak and Gaddafi. But the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaida are worse. And it will be the likes of the MB and al-Qaida that will, in all probability, come to power in Syria if Assad falls.
To this last question we have an answer. Obama likes the Muslim Brotherhood. He is helping them consolidate their power in Egypt and the Middle East generally – and also to advance their agenda within the United States.
Counting on a blindness, ignorance and gullibility he assumes (not groundlessly) in the American public, Obama is using his power stealthily to advance Islam’s mission of jihad.
Bill O’Reilly insists that Christianity is not a religion!
David Silverman gets heavy over Christmas.
Readers’ comments on this clash of opinions are invited.
(Hat-tip, our reader and commenter Paresh)
AP reports this bad news:
Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. …
The International Atomic Energy Agency – the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog – reported last year that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the “nuclear explosive yield” of potential weapons. …
The IAEA report mentioning the diagrams last year did not give details of what they showed. But the diagram seen by the AP shows a bell curve – with variables of time in micro-seconds, and power and energy both in kilotons – the traditional measurement of the energy output, and hence the destructive power of nuclear weapons.
The curve peaks at just above 50 kilotons at around 2 microseconds, reflecting the full force of the weapon being modeled.
The bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima in Japan during World War II, in comparison, had a force of about 15 kilotons. Modern nuclear weapons have yields hundreds of times higher than that. …
The IAEA said Iran is poised to double its output of higher-enriched uranium at its fortified underground facility – a development that could put Tehran within months of being able to make the core of a nuclear warhead.
And this information from Reza Khalili (“a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards”) at Radical Islam is even worse:
Just as the latest International Atomic Energy Agency report increased alarm about Iran’s illicit nuclear program, now comes word that the Islamic regime has created even more secret nuclear sites.
The IAEA report indicated that not only has Iran completed installation of 2,784 centrifuges at Fordow, the previous secret site deep in a mountain believed to be immune to air strikes, but also could within days increase output of highly enriched uranium to the 20-percent level, well on the way to nuclear weapons.
Iran has started to feed uranium hexafluoride gas into four new cascades, increasing the number of centrifuges at Fordow from 700 to 1,400, therefore doubling its output of highly enriched uranium and cutting the time needed for having enough high-enriched material for one nuclear bomb. The regime already has enough low-enriched uranium for six nuclear bombs if further enriched. …
Peter Vincent Pry, formerly with the CIA and now executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board, regards the discovery of another Iranian underground nuclear site as ominous.
“Reliable sources in recent months appear to have disclosed two more previously unknown facilities serving Iran’s nuclear program,” Pry said. “Moreover, the sources have provided some credible evidence that at least one of these facilities is actively engaged in nuclear weaponization. If any of these allegations is even partially true, the whole timeline for Iran developing a nuclear weapon must be recalculated. The advent of a nuclear-armed Iran is much nearer than assumed by the Obama administration.”
Pry warned that the United States cannot afford to let Iran, the leading sponsor of international terrorism, develop even a single nuclear weapon.
But worst of all is this, by David Goldman at PJ Media:
Iran might be “on the verge of producing weapon-quality plutonium,” Germany’s daily Die Welt reported on Nov. 26. …
The IAEA reported that Iran removed fuel rods from the Bushehr light water reactor … on October 22. …
Although light water reactors are not designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium, the design can produce large amounts of weapons-grade plutonium in a short period of time. In a matter of months … the low-enriched uranium fuel in the Bushehr reactor could yield enough plutonium for dozens of atomic bombs …
It would take only three or four months to convert the plutonium from the Bushehr reactor’s spent fuel rods into weapons-grade plutonium .. Depending on how long the fuel rods were used before Iran removed them on Oct. 22, they would yield between 150 kg and 300 kg of plutonium, or enough fissile material for 25 to 50 bombs.
The Hiroshima bomb devastated an area of about 1000 sq km. Israel including East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights measures 22,072 sq km; with Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), 27,793 sq.km.
So if an Iranian bomb 3 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb were dropped on Israel, it could devastate 3000 sq km. Twenty-five such bombs could lay waste the whole of Israel and a large area adjacent to it.
The intention of the Iranian leaders is to destroy Israel. There is no sign that any effective steps are being taken to stop Iran from doing so with nuclear bombs.
Not even by Israel.
As everybody knows, a short video purporting to be the trailer for a film that was apparently never made, and which hardly anyone noticed for months, was publicly blamed by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and White House spokesman Jay Carney, for an outbreak of anti-US riots in Islamic countries, and for the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
The filmlet – puzzlingly titled “Innocence of Muslims” – mocks the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad is a mythical construct (even if based on one or more obscure historical figures of the 7th century), made by his inventors in accordance with their own ideals as an intolerant mass-murdering lecher. And that’s how the filmlet depicts him.
For making it, a small-time hoodlum named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been put in prison. Ostensibly his criminal offense is breaking terms of parole in trivial harmless ways such as going on the internet, but in fact he is a political prisoner who used his Constitutionally granted freedom of speech to say something the regime that now rules the United States of America does not like.
(For more about the video, Nakoula, the riots and how the video was used to stoke them up, see our posts: Muslim evil rising, September 13, 2012; Islam explodes, and Obama lit the fuse, September 14, 2012; The pretext giver, September 15, 2012; To make a mocking movie, September 23, 2012; Muslims made the anti-Muhammad video?, September 26, 2012.)
This is from PowerLine by John Hinderaker:
Liberal support for free speech has been waning for a long time, and at present it seems to be just about extinct. The latest evidence is a story in today’s New York Times about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man who made the video that was falsely blamed for the Benghazi attack, and has languished in jail for the last two months as a result. One might think that the Times would regard jailing a man for exercising his First Amendment rights as an outrage requiring daily denunciations, but no – the tone of the article, by Serge Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes, suggests that Nakoula deserved what he got.
Start with the article’s title: “From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret.” The Times finds it remarkable that Nakoula isn’t penitent:
“Fuming for two months in a jail cell here, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has had plenty of time to reconsider the wisdom of making ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ his crude YouTube movie trailer depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a bloodthirsty, philandering thug.”
So is America now a country where we imprison people so they can rethink the wisdom of making a video with the wrong political point of view? Apparently the Times thinks so; there is strong evidence that Barack Obama does, too.
“Does Mr. Nakoula now regret the footage? After all, it fueled deadly protests across the Islamic world and led the unlikely filmmaker to his own arrest for violating his supervised release on a fraud conviction. Not at all. In his first public comments since his incarceration soon after the video gained international attention in September, Mr. Nakoula told The New York Times that he would go to great lengths to convey what he called ‘the actual truth’ about Muhammad.”
Which raises an interesting point. I have never seen anyone comment on the historical accuracy of Nakoula’s film (assuming that anyone has actually seen it) or the YouTube trailer. Muhammad was, in fact, a “bloodthirsty, philandering thug.” You could say worse things about him than that without straying from the truth. But this question is not one that the Times, or any other media outlet I am aware of, has seen fit to explore.
The Times tries to keep alive the fiction that Nakoula’s video might have had something to do with the Benghazi attack:
“There is a dispute about how important the video was in provoking the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the United States ambassador and three other Americans.”
Actually, I don’t think there is any dispute at all. To my knowledge, there is zero evidence that the Ansar al-Sharia terrorists who carried out the attack knew or cared about Nakoula’s video.
The main point of the Times article – the only point, really – is to establish that Nakoula is disreputable and untrustworthy. But this is an odd perspective to take on what appears to be an extraordinary violation of the First Amendment – jailing a man for political speech regarded as inconvenient by the Obama administration. …
The Obama administration doesn’t even pretend that Nakoula was imprisoned for any reason other than as punishment for his impermissible speech. Recall Charles Woods [father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Americans murdered in Benghazi] recounting how Hillary Clinton approached him at his son’s memorial and said, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And it is blindingly obvious that tossing a probationer in the slammer for using an alias and accessing the internet, notwithstanding that those actions violated the terms of his probation, is not standard practice.
The writer asks –
In the view of the New York Times, is the First Amendment reserved for the honest and the respectable?
And comments –
That certainly wasn’t the Left’s position when Communists were availing themselves of the bourgeois right of free speech.
Now, it seems, it may be reserved for those who submit to Obama and Islam.
In fact, the New York Times and American “liberals” in general have been against freedom as such for a long time now. Collectivists calling themselves liberal – in the manner described by George Orwell as Newspeak – is like Communist tyrannies commonly calling themselves People’s Democratic Republics. Or the main party of the Left in America calling itself the Democratic Party.
11/29/12. The real name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula may have finally emerged. Fox News reports:
An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world [ie had been used to spark riots]. … The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, is among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to a year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter. Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver’s license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.
Israel must stop trying to win the hostile world’s approval and start fighting for its life. Against Hamas. Against Islam. In defiance of the international Left everywhere, including within Israel itself; and of leftist Islam-loving Barack Obama and his vicious minion Hillary Clinton; and of a Europe that has irrationally hated and persecuted Jews for centuries.
Israel must fight until victorious now – or die.
We quote from an article by Daniel Greenfield at Front Page:
Israel is being hanged on a public gallows erected on the grounds of the United Nations with yards of rope gleefully supplied by the Muslim world. But the hangmen are mostly Westerners who still think that the Muslim lynch mob at their doorstep can be pacified with the death of a single victim. …
For seventeen years Israel has been walking toward the gallows. Its leaders have led it there by the nose ring of international assurances. Its people have been led there by refusing to see what is waiting ahead for them, even while the blood was being cleaned off the streets. Every attempt to reach a peaceful solution, every concession and show of good faith, has only tightened the bonds around its hands and the noose around its neck.
That is because every concession Israel has made, has further restricted not only its ability to defend itself, but even its ability to do basic things such as build residential housing in the capital of its own nation. Every gesture and agreement Israel has signed has bound it to ever more restrictive terms. And none of them have brought any peace. All they have ever done is set the bar higher for the next round of concessions demanded by the enemy and its aiders and abettors in the next phase of negotiations.
This is not a peace process, and it has never been one. It is a public lynching. It is the lynching of a country whose only real crime is that its existence offends the religious fanaticism and prejudices of a billion Muslims, who control much of the world’s oil, and whose followers are willing to riot and kill in the streets of nearly every major city in the world at the slightest offense. …
The farce that the proceedings ever had anything to do with peace is unraveling. And we can thank Hamas and Obama for that. The endgame is all too clear. The undoing of that “mistake” which allowed the oldest and most persecuted minority in the Middle East to briefly reclaim their homeland from the tyranny of Muslim Caliphs and Sultans. To serve as a homeland for their persecuted brethren from the east and the west. From the south and the north. That mistake.
Every time Israel tries to be accommodating, it instead takes a step closer to the gallows. It allows the noose to be tightened around its neck. And every time that happens, it has to fight harder for air. Eventually if things keep going this way, there will be no air at all. Only a sad forlorn figure swinging in the hot eastern wind from the desert. …
Israel cannot survive by accommodating a lynch mob. Only by having the courage to defy it. When the international community at the behest of the Muslim lynch mob dictates the parameters of Israel’s survival, it must expand those parameters by pushing through them to the other side. If they want to recognize terrorists, then kill those terrorists. If they want to unilaterally create a Palestinian state, then annex those territories. Accommodation is a noose. Defiance is the air of freedom. Every time Israel retreats, it is condemned for it. When it advances, it is condemned for it also, but its freedom of action expands.
The world will always condemn Israel regardless of its intentions. But like any form of name-calling, those condemnations only gain power when Israel allows its actions to be dictated by them. Israel is not condemned because of what Israel does. It is condemned because of a diseased pattern of Islamic bigotry, left wing radicalism and international dhimmism converging in one place. This is a pattern of hate that cannot be undone. It can only be ignored.
When you listen to the threats and taunts of those who hate you, you give them power over yourself. If you try to accommodate your behavior to gain their favor, their outpouring of hate for you will only grow. For it is not your behavior they hate, it is you. By showing weakness, you invite attack. By giving your enemies power over you, all that you accomplish is to drive them into a feeding frenzy at your vulnerability. If you go on this way, you will either be a slave or a corpse. A slave if they have any use for you alive. A corpse if they don’t. Either way you have put your head into the noose they made for you.
Israel cannot go on this way. No country could for long. Yet it does, marching on toward the gallows, protesting that there has been a terrible mistake here. But there is no mistake here. None at all. The executioners nod sympathetically and promise to look into it, as they bind his hands behind his back. It’s a farce and everyone except the dumbest among the lynch mob, and the condemned knows it. …
What will the world say, if Israel resists? Exactly what the world says now. …
Every threat that has been made has come about when Israel made concessions, not because it refused to. …
Before Oslo, Israel was threatened with terror if it did not comply. It complied and the terror increased manifold. And if did not negotiate further, it was threatened with international isolation. It negotiated. It gave. And it was isolated anyway. It was threatened with boycotts, and it gave, and the boycotts came anyway. Now they threaten the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Followed by a One State Solution. Followed by international intervention. Noose, gallows and all. And does anyone think that all these will not come about anyway if Israel gives Abbas and his terrorist cronies their own official state with a capital in Jerusalem?
No compromise … will work. A process in which one side repeatedly compromises and the other side repeatedly threatens and takes, is not a process, but a holdup. If a man threatens you with a gun, then you might think that you can buy him off. Until he returns again and again. And then it is no longer a threat, it is a process. Israel is in that process, or rather it is being processed. At the end of the process is death. …
When Israel withdrew from Gaza, allowed Hamas to control it, and did nothing but prevent Hamas from having outside access, the world howled as if Israel had filled the country with graves from end to end, as Sudan or Iran or some of the other members and former members of the UN Human Rights Commission have. That is not justice. That is a lynch mob.
And what does Netanyahu do in response? Like nearly every Israeli government before him, he backs off. Because given that tidbit the lynch mob will be appeased. …
High hopes were reposed in Netanyahu. That he would bomb the bejesus out of Iran. That he would destroy the rocket stores of Hamas. That he would smash Hezbollah. He has done none of those things. He will do none of those things. He was hampered by having a conciliating Defense Minister, but now that Ehud Barak is going, will he appoint someone stronger and smarter? Don’t expect it.
This is Hamas’s hour.
We are no longer talking about negotiations. Or any serious discussion of a state. We are talking about the world rising up in one voice to defend the rights of a genocidal organization whose charter includes the words; “The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
The pretense is over and done with. This is not about anything resembling peace. This is about death. This is a lynch mob. …
This is what a noose looks like. These are the gallows. As its hands are bound, Israel loses the ability to defend itself. As the noose tightens, Israel dies.
Only by resisting the noose, can it survive. Only by fighting to free its hands, can it resist. The way of surrender is the way of death. And after Israel dies, its own hangmen will be next. Because the lynch mob has only begun. Its appetite is whetted by death. Its hunger will only be sharpened by blood, not sated by it. And it will cover the world in blood, if it is not stopped.
But now the noose draws tight. Only a little more air is left. What will Israel do with that air? Appeal for justice, or fight with all its strength to rip the noose away? For now the choice is still hers. When the noose has done its work, it no longer will be.
Truth-speaking Pat Condell again, at his splendid best. This is his latest video.
So Ambassador Susan Rice is set on being Secretary of State? Another woman to muck up US foreign affairs. She’s so upset that her lies about Benghazi (see here (!) and here) will be held against her and block her advancement, that she is now appealing directly to her critics, chiefly Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.
And we know that John McCain is a pushover. He had only to be asked to speak up for Huma Abedin when some Republicans raised the issue of her being a Muslim Brotherhood associate, and queried whether that was the best qualification for her also being chief adviser to the US Secretary of State, for him – without apparently further enquiry or thought – to leap to her defense and swear (in effect) that she was the most trustworthy personage this country has had in the precincts of power since George Washington, and to rebuke his fellow Republicans for being so mean and horrid as to imagine she might be anything less than a loyal American patriot.
We know the lame excuse Susan Rice proffers for having lied to the nation on TV – that the intelligence services gave her false information. What we wait with keen anticipation to hear is the lamer excuse John McCain will make for believing such irresponsible nonsense, and his gallant declaration that it clears her of blame.
Same day, later: Senator John McCain says he is significantly troubled by the answers he has had, and not had, from Susan Rice. We’ll wait a while longer before we are sure that we have done him an injustice by expecting him to be gullible again.
We seldom quote the leftist anti-Semitic Guardian/Observer, but today we make an exception for extracts from a horrifying account, by Ian Birrell, of the little-reported savage war in the Congo. His completely irrelevant opening sentences tell you (or at any rate tell us) it is by a lefty anti-Semite – his bitter implication being “no Jews, no news” (but whose fault is that if not the likes of him?), but read on:
Once again, the apparently insoluble struggle between Israel and Palestine has flared up before flickering into uneasy standoff. As usual, world leaders issued fierce warnings, diplomats flew in and the media flooded the region to cover the mayhem as both sides spewed out the empty cliches of conflict. After eight days of fighting, nearly 160 people lay dead.
Meanwhile, 2,300 miles further south, events took a sharp turn for the worse in another interminable regional war. This one also involves survivors of genocide ruthlessly focused on securing their future at any cost. But the resulting conflict is far bloodier, far more brutal, far more devastating, far more destructive – yet it gains scarcely a glance from the rest of the world. …
[It is taking place in] the Democratic Republic of the Congo – scene of massacres, of mass rape, of children forced to fight, of families fleeing in fear again and again, so many sordid events that rarely make the headlines. …
A rebel army of 1,500 men waltzed into Goma, a city of one million people, on Tuesday. In doing so, they humiliated not just the useless Congolese government but also the hapless blue helmets of the biggest United Nations peacekeeping mission, costing nearly £1bn a year.
Where on earth have UN peacekeeping forces been effective? Notoriously they themselves raped and murdered civilians in the Congo, as the Guardian itself reported in 2010.
There are so many peacekeepers and development agencies in Goma it has become a boom town, home to some of the most expensive housing in Africa. Yet again, all these people proved impotent.
The leaders of this insurgent force, the M23, have declared their aim to march across this vast country to capture the capital, Kinshasa. Since it is backed by Rwanda and Uganda, which used proxy armies to do this once before in 1997, such threats cannot be dismissed. Joseph Kabila, the Congolese president, who, through fear of a coup, corruption and incompetence, castrated his own military, is reported to have responded by asking Angola to send troops to save him.
It is all a dismal echo of the Great African War, which officially ended in 2003 but dribbled on for another five years. This began when Rwanda and Uganda invaded in 1998, saw 11 countries from Angola to Zimbabwe involved and left more than five million dead and millions more displaced. There were war crimes on all sides as armies brutalised those unfortunate people living above the fabulous seams of minerals that fuelled the fighting.
It is hard to fathom the real aims of M23, formed earlier this year by mutinous Congolese Tutsi army officers. It could be they hope the Kabila government will implode or it may be they wish to create an independent state in the east of the country. One thing is clear: the international community needs to take tough and urgent action to stop a festering sore from poisoning a huge chunk of Africa once again.
Ah yes. The West – read “chiefly the US” – which Guardian journalists despise on principle, must intervene to stop Third World savages (whose culture, don’t forget, is quite as good as ours, if not better) are doing what they habitually do.
The west bears some responsibility for the latest act in the Congolese tragedy. Not just because the ethnic divisions that cause such fear were inflamed during dark years of Belgian misrule.
Albeit the Belgians – who did indeed govern their colonies cruelly – left the Congo more than fifty years ago, two generations back.
Nor simply because we gobble up those minerals that fund the warlords.
See how wicked we Westerners are? We buy their minerals, which lay unprofitably in their soil for millennia before any Belgian ventured into the heart of their darkness.
But because at the heart of the horror in a country the size of western Europe is the tiny nation of Rwanda, darling of western donors seeking to assuage their guilt over inaction during its own genocide.
And we’re wrong, wrong, wrong, if we feel guilt for not intervening in the Rwanda massacre in 1994? Damned if we do, damned if we don’t.
Britain and America in particular have lionised a regime guilty of ghastly internal repression and gruesome foreign adventurism, with catastrophic consequences for millions of Congolese. Admirers of Paul Kagame, the despotic Rwandan president, praise his country’s economic development, ignoring that it is part-financed by trade in minerals plundered and pillaged from a ravaged neighbour. As far back as 2001, a Congolese rebel leader admitted such theft was Rwandan state policy.
Meanwhile, the west ignored repeated war crimes committed by this regime. The first invasion, originally to drive out Hutu genocidaires who fled over the Congo border and were allowed to regroup by aid organisations, led to an estimated 300,000 deaths of innocent refugees. One expert called this a genocide of attrition. The second invasion sparked even worse carnage. … Rwandan troops and their allies slaughtered children, women and elderly people, often with the crudest weapons such as knives, ropes and stones.
Yet western leaders hailed Kagame as the modern face of Africa and pumped vast aid into his arms.
Here’s a particular on which we at TAC agree with the writer. (We agree with him in general of course that what is happening in the Congo is pitiful and atrocious.) We are against all foreign aid (but we bet he isn’t!).
Britain is the biggest bilateral donor; we directly funded agencies of repression, then led moves for Rwanda to join the Commonwealth. The links between our two countries are alarmingly close … Tony Blair advises Kagame on “governance”, even while swanning around seeking peace in the Middle East. …
“Swanning around”? Implication of contempt. So again we can agree. Tony Blair and his mission are both superfluous to any requirement.
After weeks of prevarication, Britain has finally admitted evidence of Rwandan support for M23 was “credible”. Now we must make up for supporting this monstrous regime by cutting all aid, imposing tough sanctions and seeking war crimes proceedings against Kagame and his senior officials. The UN needs to review its peacekeeping mandate in Congo. Rwanda is set to join the UN Security Council in January, even as fears grow it may end up with a pliable client state carved out in eastern Congo. …
Rwanda carving out a client state? How the world turns!
Rwanda is far from the only villain in this drama. Uganda, another western ally, is also linked again to the latest unrest, the president’s own brother accused of backing the M23. But Rwanda is the cause of much of the trouble. The truth is that six times as many people have died already in the Congolese wars as died in the Rwandan genocide. Time to say never again – or does the blood of Congo not count?