[R-G] Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa

Anthony Fenton fentona at shaw.ca
Wed Dec 3 11:01:27 MST 2008

Susan Rice is Bad News for Africa
by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

"Rice revealed herself to be an apostle of George Bush's War on  

If you believe that Barack Obama will pursue a policy in the Horn of  
Africa that is substantially different than that of George Bush, you  
are in for a deep disappointment. Only weeks after Ethiopia's U.S.- 
instigated invasion of Somalia almost two years ago, Susan Rice,  
Obama's choice for Ambassador to the United Nations, endorsed the  
aggression - an atrocity that has resulted in the displacement of 1.5  
million Somalis and impending starvation of 3.5 million more.

Rice is a proponent of so-called "humanitarian military intervention"  
- but supports a U.S. Somalia policy that created "Africa's worst  
humanitarian crisis," according to the United Nations.

There is every reason to believe she will counsel the next president  
to continue George Bush's policies in the Horn of Africa. In January,  
2007, while Ethiopian troops attempted to crush Islamists who had  
brought a brief period of relative peace and stability to Somalia, and  
U.S. air and sea forces pounded the countryside with missiles and  
bombs, Rice revealed herself to be an apostle of George Bush's War on  
Somalia (and the so-called War on Terror in general). Rice told the  
PBS News Hour that U.S. collaboration with the Ethiopian invaders was  
justified by what she called America's "counterterrorism imperatives,"  
which she said "really are real in the context of Somalia." In Rice's  
words, "We have to go after the terrorist cells where we find them."

The Bush regime gave no estimate of how many persons with ties to Al  
Qaida were operating on Somali soil, but the number appears to have  
been very small. The main goal of the Americans and their Ethiopian  
allies was to crush the government that had been created by Somali  
Islamists. The Islamic Courts regime, as Abukar Arman writes in the  
journal Global Politician, operated "schools, hospitals, and for six  
months before the occupation removed every checkpoint in Mogadishu and  
brought a semblance of peace." Two years after the invasion, the  
Islamists have retaken much of southern and central Somalia, and the  
Ethiopians appear poised to withdraw -  after killing, starving and  
displacing millions in partnership with the United States.

"On Darfur, Rice is more bellicose than Bush."

The "humanitarian" component of Susan Rice's militarism is quite  

She has long been a super-hawk on punishing Sudan for its behavior in  
Darfur. Back in October, 2006, Rice declared, "It's time to get tough"  
with the government in Khartoum." In a Washington Post column, she  
advised the Bush regime to give Sudan "an ultimatum: accept  
unconditional deployment of the U.N. force within one week or face  
military consequences." (explain China and oil and Israel)

On Darfur, Rice is more bellicose than Bush. She sees no contradiction  
in calling for military action against Sudan, supposedly to end a  
"humanitarian crisis" in Darfur, while simultaneously backing a savage  
U.S.-Ethiopian assault that causes an even larger humanitarian  
calamity in Somalia. Rice claims to seek safety for civilians in  
Darfur, while supporting a total absence of security for Somali  
civilians. Darfur is a military/political convenience for "real- 
politic" operatives like Susan Rice. As Bruce Dixon wrote in his  
November 2007 BAR article, "If stopping genocide in Africa really was  
on the agenda, why the focus on Sudan with 200,000 to 400,000 dead  
rather than Congo with five million dead?" (See "Ten Reasons Why ‘Save  
Darfur' is a PR Scam to Justify the Next US Oil and Resource Wars in  

"Her sole concern is projection of U.S. power by any means - or  
pretext - that is available."

Rice's behavior in Africa has always been morally inconsistent. She  
was a member of Bill Clinton's National Security Council during the  
1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi minority. Later, she "swore"  
she would go "down in flames" if necessary to prevent future  
genocides. But after her promotion to Assistant Secretary of State for  
Africa, she failed to publicly advocate action against U.S. allies  
Uganda and by then Tutsi-ruled Rwanda - the main perpetrators in an  
ongoing war that his killed millions

Susan Rice's brand of "humanitarian intervention" is a farce, a  
pretext to justify military aggression under the guise of preventing  
human suffering. She has amply demonstrated that her sole concern is  
projection of U.S. power by any means - or pretext - that is available.

Rice embraces a policy that causes mass death and starvation in  
Somalia and ongoing genocide in Congo. Although she's no blood  
relative of Condoleezza Rice, on African issues she seems headed in  
the same direction as the current Secretary of State.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford at BlackAgendaReport.com

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