Tuesday, December 30, 2008

LGBT Obamaphobia, thanks to Reverend Rick Warren

Rick Warren
Barack Obama alarmed the LGBT community, which overwhelmingly supported him, by inviting homophobic, sex intolerant, evangelical preacher Reverend Rick Warren to give the opening prayers at his swearing in ceremony. 

Rick Warren and Rwandan President Paul Kagame Reverend Rick Warren with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who, like Ugandan President Yoweri Musoveni says that homosexuals do not exist in his country. Reverend Rick Warren himself has said, in Uganda, that he "will not tolerate this aspect, not at all." 

Can Barack Obama all inclusively tolerate the absolutely intolerant?

LGBT activists in the U.S., and especially in my hometown, San Francisco, California, are understandably outraged by Barack Obama's invitation to Reverend Rick Warren, an LGBT intolerant evangelical preacher, to say the "inaugural invocation," i.e., the opening prayer, at his swearing in ceremony, on January 20th, 2009.  

Obama’s excuse, his all inclusive tolerance of the absolutely intolerant, is no excuse.

And, make no mistake about it, Rev. Rick Warren is absolutely intolerant. Speaking in Uganda at the end of March, he said, “Homosexuality is not a natural way of life and therefore not a human right.  We will not tolerate this aspect, not at all.”

Homosexuality is a crime in Uganda, punishable by life in prison, and the same is true, though not formally, in Rwanda.  

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni are both very close allies of Reverend Warren,  and, both insist that homosexuals do not exist in their countries. And, that they, therefore, will not include homosexuals in the state health care system, not even the U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS prevention and care efforts, despite protest by Human Rights Watch and IRIN, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, http://www.plusnews.org/report.aspx?ReportID=73931 , http://tinyurl.com/98vvhw .

Barack Obama, Reverend Rick Warren, and LGBT California

Reverend Warren not only tacitly endorsed Obama, near the end of the U.S. election, but also actively campaigned for Proposition 8, a California referendum banning gay marriage, which did pass, on the same day that Californians, including the LGBT community, overwhelmingly voted to elect Barack Obama.  The California State Supreme Court had legalized same sex marriage on May 16, 2008, http://tinyurl.com/6eypce, but Proposition 8 overrode the legal decision, at least for now.  City attorneys of San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco have all sued to uphold the State Supreme Court decision, despite California's 52.1% majority vote.

Eighteen thousand gay couples had finally married, all over California, after the May 16th decision. On the first day that San Francisco issued same sex marriage licenses, couples kissed and cameras snapped all up and down the staircase inside San Francisco City Hall. Outside flowers sailed through the air, a band played, and video cameras recorded the celebration for network TV.

Here, many couples married for the second time, four years after the State of California invalidated marriage licenses that the City of San Francisco had attempted to issue independent of the State of California.

This time,  there were several weeks of confusion; no one quite knew how the State would treat LGBT couples married between May 16th and November 4th, when Proposition 8, the gay marriage ban, passed in the same election that gave California's 55 electoral votes, more than twice those of any other state in the nation, to Barack Obama, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_8_(2008).

Police could hardly keep celebrating crowds out of the streets on the night that Barack Obama was elected, even as the LGBT and LGBT supportive community tensed and waited for every last vote to be counted on Proposition 8.   When it passed by 52.1%, spontaneous protest broke out in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other LGBT supportive cities across the nation, where the LGBT community had looked to California to lead the nation towards marriage equaltiy.

Then, during the Christmas holidays, the State of California's majority voters managed to impose their personal morality on 36,000 more Californians; lawsuits brought by Prop 8 fanatics annulled 18,000 same sex marriages. On December 20th, San Francisco's LGBT community and supporters held a Candlelight Vigil for Marriage Equality on December the 20th, in the city's Union Square.

How, many asked, could November's election of the first African American president, have turned into such a triumph for bigotry?

Many angrily blamed the Black and Latino church vote, which had turned out in unusually high numbers both for Barack Obama and, arguably, for Proposition 8, and so much hostility broke out, particularly between LGBT and African American communities, in the San Francisco Bay Area, that community leaders called public meetings to mediate.

The "San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper," which could hardly have been more LGBT supportive, throughout San Francisco's many years of struggle for LGBT rights, published several responses to those scapegoating the African American community for passage of California's Prop 8, including, "Pimping Blackness in the fight against Prop 8 African American LGBT leaders call for unity in aftermath of Prop 8," www.sfbayview.com/2008/pimping-blackness-in-the-fight-against-prop-8/ .

Then, on December 17th, Barack Obama invited openly homophobic evangelical preacher Reverend Rick Warren to pray at the opening of his inaugural ceremony, and LGBT anger turned, instead, on Barack Obama himself, the new international symbol of America's triumph over bigotry. 

Rick Warren, pastor of the Lake Forest, California Saddleback Church, had not only actively campaigned and made television commercials to pass Proposition 8, but even appeared on TV likening gay marriage to incest, pedophilia, and polygamy.

LGBT activists are still organizing phone, e-mail, and writing campaigns to demand that Obama cancel Rick Warren's opening prayer at his inauguration, though he all but certainly will not, even though he and his team no doubt know that this is their worst move yet.   

And, even though they must also know that Reverend Warren's prayer will now be the most tense, observed, reported, and analyzed moment of Obama's inauguration.

The Obama team cannot let the LGBT and supportive community pressure him to cancel his ill-considered invitation to Reverend Warren, not without alienating America's considerable evangelical and religious constituency, and, facing charges that his most controversial supporters, the LGBT community, control him.   

Where else will the LGBT community, or the anti-war and environmental communities, have to turn in 2012?

Tolerance is obviously no logical excuse for Obama's highly symbolic invitation to an absolutely intolerant preacher, but politician's pronouncements aren't logically consistent.  Most try to be all things to all people, or to as many as they possibly can, and say what they know their audience of the day wants to hear.  

Most people seem to think that Obama's tolerance of Rick Warren is simply a pragmatic move, to keep Reverend Warren under the Democratic Party big tent.

Reverend Warren, has been such a Bush fan, ally, and, successful lobbyist, that it is far easier to imagine him drifting towards Sarah Palin or some other hyper-Christian Republican, in 2012, than it is to imagine the LGBT community doing the same.   Having another party to turn to next time, Reverend Warren has far more power than those of us who don't, or who just can't invest any hope in the long haul of Third Party organizing.

But, no matter how much the LGBT community squirms and fumes alongside hostile campers under the Democratic big tent, the marginalized Third Parties, which most Americans consider quixotic, are the only exit.  

As long as they know that the LGBT community thinks it has nowhere to go, Obama and his team can simply turn to us all and say, "Whatcha want? Sarah Palin in 2012? The recriminialization of homosexuality? You can't get married, but at least you're allowed to exist, outside prison."  

(Unlike Rwandan and Ugandan gays and lesbians, if they surface enough to get caught.)   

Obama will no doubt carry on about "our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters," but why should he give the LGBT community, or the anti-war or environmental community, anything, so long as he's sure that we've got nowhere to go?

I'm registered Green, since I consider our two party system an inevitably losing game, but Greens are less than 1% of voters in the U.S., and no matter how exasperated Americans become with our Republicrats, few register Third Party or Independent because the U.S. has a two party duopoly, winner-take-all, rather than coalition, government.

The Presidential Debate Commission now tightly controls the presidential election spectacle, excluding all Third Party candidates, and even, in 2004, threatening to arrest Green Party candidate Ralph Nader.

I couldn't be more opposed to Proposition 8, or more in favor of marriage equality, but I'm hoping that LGBT anger about Rev. Rick Warren's pro-Prop 8 homophobia and intolerance in California may grow to include opposition to Rev. Rick Warren's absolute and worse than irresponsible LGBT intolerance in Africa.

This would make a far more powerful argument because Reverend Warren expresses his homophobia far more aggressively in these nations, where LGBT communities are far more vulnerable.

Rev. Rick Warren's homicidal homophobia and sex intolerance in Africa

In Africa, there is no leader more prominent than Reverend Rick Warren in the U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS "abstinence only" prevention and care campaign.   Its pillars are absolute gay intolerance, and abstinence prior to married, heterosexual monogamy.  No condoms, no HIV/AIDS education or counseling, and, for LGBT Africans, no HIV/AIDS services---neither prevention, obviously, nor, care.

And Reverend Warren has far more power and influence than most Americans realize in Africa, thanks to his political and corporate alliances, and to the U.S. HIV/AIDS funding distributed by his evangelical network, including Pastor Martin Ssempa of Uganda, a fervent abstinence evangelist best known for burning condoms in Kampala, http://tinyurl.com/8n7rp6 .   

Warren makes an exception for condom use by African prostitutes because he wants a chance to save their souls while they're still alive.  "It's too late if they're already dead," he says.

Let’s face it.   Whatever the motivation, this is homicidal homophobia and sex intolerance, especially in Africa, and even more especially in Sub Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS infection and death rates are already the highest in the world.

According to a PBS Frontline documentary, new HIV infections in Uganda doubled within two years after the U.S. began to fund "abstinence only" HIV/AIDS programs there, http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2007/07/uganda_the_cond.html# .

PEPFAR. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in Africa

Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya all receive funds from PEPFAR, President's Emergency Plan for AIDS.

Reverend Warren and the evangelical and Catholic wing of the HIV/AIDS care community lobbied heavily for PEPFAR.  They also lobbied heavily, and successfully, to have PEPFAR funding restricted to organizations, and African nations, who promote abstinence only, before married heterosexual monogamy, and, obviously, LGBT intolerance, to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame, an authoritarian U.S./Anglophone puppet, extended "national welcome" to Rev. Rick Warren, allowing him to test his global evangelical ambitions, and expand his tithing flock, by turning Rwanda into his African Pentecostal petri dish. Now Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, another authoritarian U.S./Anglophone puppet, with especially strong ties to Britain, has extended "national welcome" to Warren as well.

At the end of March 2008, on a twelve nation African tour of Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya, Warren arrived in Kampala, the capitol of Uganda, and announced that "homosexuality is not a a natural way of life," and thus, "not a human right."  He and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni then spoke out in support of Ugandan Anglican Bishops boycotting the English Anglican Church's Lambeth Conference, for welcoming a divorced, openly gay Episcopalian Bishop.

Ironically, gay Uganda can trace the life-in-prison penalty hanging over their sexuality to an anti-sodomy law surviving the British colonial era.

Human Rights Watch has called on the U.S. to stop promoting homophobic human rights violations in Uganda, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/10/10/letter-congressional-caucus-about-us-support-ugandan-homophobia  .  HRW has also protested the arrest and torture of Ugandan HIV/AIDS workers at odds with the abstinence only HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns, http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/07/29/uganda-torture-threat-hivaids-activists .

Uganda had seen great success at fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS, reducing the adult infection rate from 15% to 6% with its ABC program, Abstinence-Be Faithful-Use Condoms Correctly, before PEPFAR and its abstinence-only funding restrictions.

Since PEPFAR, Uganda's HIV/AIDS infection rate has doubled.

"We will not tolerate this aspect, not at all," in Uganda, and Rwanda?

I  have to wonder what Reverend Warren could possibly mean when he says, "We will not tolerate this, not at all," in U.S. puppet police states Uganda, and Rwanda, where terrified populations whisper anything that Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and their military, police, and security apparatus might not tolerate.

The U.S. State Department, military, and security apparatus use both of these U.S./Anglophone puppet states, where Rev. Rick Warren has "national welcome," to carry on a covert imperial war for Congo's vast natural resources.

Proxy Ugandan and Rwandan Armies, fighting in U.S.-Anglophone interest, have invaded Congo-Kinshasa from across that country's Ugandan and Rwandan borders, to control Congo's vast and geostrategic mineral wealth, since 1997.    This, the Congo War, has cost six million lives, since 1997 alone.   But, Reverend Rick Warren is perfectly tolerant of the Congo War which has also come to be known as the African holocaust, and perfectly tolerant of its U.S./Anglophone-backed perpetrators, Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni.  

And of U.S. military aid to both,  of the $80 million "embassy," and the U.S. military base in Kigali, Rwanda's capitol, just 30 miles from the Rwandan Congolese border.  

If those of us calling for "No Rick Warrren at Obama Inauguration" expand our concern to those brutally LGBT intolerant African populations whose presidents have invited kindred spirit Rev. Rick Warren into their countries, we would also, consciously or not, be extending our solidarity to the long suffering Congolese people. 

So, what's to be done?

For starters I'd say we call on Barack Obama, to:

1) Withdraw his "inaugural invocation" invitation to Reverend Rick Warren. (I don't think he will, but I think it's important to call upon him to do so nevertheless, and to protest this part of
the inauguration, peacefully or comically.)

2) Withdraw U.S. aid, meaning mostly military aid and training, to the brutally homophobic dictatorships of Rwanda and its President Paul Kagame, and to that of Uganda and its President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

3)  Strike the LGBT treatment exclusion and abstinence-only followed-by-heterosexual- married-monogamy restrictions from HIV/AIDS funding here, in the U.S., in Africa, and anywhere else PEPFAR funds HIV/AIDS work.   (This we may have a good chance of, because Barack Obama has repeatedly refused to let the religious right force him to back down on abortion, contraception, sex education, HIV/AIDS education, and effective prevention of HIV infection.  See http://obama.senate.gov/speech/061201-race_against_ti/ . ) 

4) Lead the U.S. into joining the UN declaration calling for the worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.  The U.S. is now alone among Western nations in refusing to sign onto the declaration, 

I'd like to think that the LGBT and supporters community might also be prepared not to support Obama in 2012 if, he hasn't eliminated homophobic, sex intolerant religious restrictions on U.S.-funded HIV/AIDS care, both here and in Africa, and stopped sending military aid to brutally homophobic dictators Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni.  

Keep in mind that Reverend Warren has a political home to return to, the Republican Party, and that the LGBT community, and the environmental and anti-war community, do not, not until we're ready to finally walk out of the Democratic Party big tent.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Understanding free movement

Martijn Koolhoven, a dutch journalist for "de telegraaf" wants the readers of this dutch newspaper to believe that partners of dutch who have lived in another EU-country are using a loophole in the EU laws concerning free movement to avoid being subject to the harsh immigration laws for regular dutch citizens.

This could have been a possibility if we hadn't seen a regular flow of jurisprudence from the European court in Luxembourg that goes against this view. This court has consistently affirmed that free movement is one of the main objectives of the treaty. The consequence thereof is that a dutch citizen who has lived in another member state of the EU should be treated in the Netherlands on his return exactedly the same as if he had moved to any other member state within the EU.

Memberstates are very slow in applying this rule to the spirit because anti-immigrant parties have won elections in several member states, like in the Netherlands. But anyone who has read the judgments of the court knows that there is only one correct interpretation of the treaty. And that interpretation is clear and simple:

Anyone who has ever made use of his right to free movement within the EU should be treated on his return to the Netherlands from another memberstate as if he had moved to any other EU state. This means the dutch immigration laws don't apply to his partner.

From Blog to Community

Matt Mullenweg, Aaron Hockley, Lorelle VanFossen, Dave Taylor and Lizz Strauss are speakers at this conference about blogging.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Welcome Annie Garrison

After watching this short video of Annie Garrison, you will understand that I am proud to announce she is my new coblogger here on ColoredOpinions. Annie recently wrote an article about the war in east Congo on the San Francisco Bay View website. She also has her own website thepriceofuranium.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

ColoredOpinions twitter number 66

I started using twitter as ColoredOpinions some time ago because Cem Basman was talking about twitter and identica on his blog. And now I am twitterer number 66 in the Netherlands, as you can read if you follow the link. I followed some stuff on hurrican catrina and on the RNC convention riots on twitter which was interesting. Also tried to find if there were any active twitterrers in africa. I thought and had hoped that it had somehow would have potential in Africa, because you can twitter from you phone too. But haven't met many active african twitters online yet. And in the netherlands it hasn't yet taken off either. But still Cem Basman is organizing a miniconference on microblogging next month. I hope to follow it on twitter, or identi.ca offcourse.

The twitter tutorial

Friday, December 26, 2008

U.S. and Rwanda to blame for Congo's human catastrophe

I know no honest, informed Congo watchers who doubt that Gen. Laurent Nkunda and his ruthless militia are tools of the U.S. and its African proxy, Rwanda, in the imperial resource war now raging in Eastern Congo. 

U.S. military and national security interests are determined to control Eastern Congo, because its unparalleled mineral riches are even more geostrategically significant than petroleum. They are essential to the manufacture of defense products such as jet engines, missile components, electronic components, iron and steel.

Tantalum and cassiterite, a.k.a. tin, so abundant in Eastern Congo, are also “strategically significant” in that they are essential to the consumer electronics industry that now plays such a major role in the U.S. economy.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Bamiléké dynamism

Since a couple of weeks a lively online discussion is taking place between Shanda Tonme and James Mouangue in Cameroon. This discussion started with an article in the french weekly "jeune Afrique" and a letter to the editor in reaction to this article by the Mayor of Bamendjou, Emmanuel MUKAM.

From Shanda Tonme's article it is clear that he is going to be running for President in the near future:

"....I am speaking to you with assurance, tranquility and the determination of a candidat that has prepared himself since his youth, for transparant elections in a new instutional setting and loyal competition, to install himself in the seat which frightens you...."

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What the U.S. can do: (Yes we can)

Mvemba Phezo Dizolele is a national fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is currently working on his book Mobutu: the Rise and Fall of the Leopard King (Random House).

He has written a balanced analysis of the war in Congo on Forbes.com, follow the title link to read it.

He also has his personal blog

Blogtalkradio on Rick Warren, Ben Affleck, Nkunda and Kagame

Said Kakese Dibinga, Owner of The Bayindo Group SA, Location Greater Los Angeles Area, industry Venture Capital & Private Equity, talks about the war in Congo and the dubious relation between Rick Warren and Paul Kagame.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Paul Kagame and Rick Warren

This article from Sarah Polak reveals the strategy Paul Kagame is using to continue the needed US support for his government. I have to give him credit, he is a smart guy. And he knows Rick Warren needs him just as much as he needs Rick. These two guys are mutually profitting from this "deal". As an American abroad I pitty a people that brings forth such leaders. It is also scarry to see that the US democracy can be soo easily manipulated.

The Hunt: Me and My War Criminals

Hirondelle newsagency Arusha 02-4-08 writes about this book of Carla del Ponte on the obstruction of the ICTR by Rwanda's RPF regime. This book will be out in english early 2009.

"We knew that to open an investigation into the Rwandan Patriotic Front will irritated Kigali, because President Paul Kagame and other Tutsi leaders based a great part of their claim to legitimacy on the victory of the RPF against the genocidaires in 1994," writes Carla del Ponte.

"They presented their conquest of the country as a just fight, to put an end to genocide", she adds.

"We knew that the government was against us", she says. In spite of that as of 2000, the prosecution opened a "secret" investigation.

"Rwandan authorities already controlled each stage of our investigations", she writes. "We knew that the intelligence service of Rwanda had received monitoring equipment from the United States which was used for phone calls, faxes and the internet. We suspected that the authorities had also infiltrated our computer network and placed agents among the Rwandan interpreters and other members of the team in Kigali.

Walpen [Laurent Walpen, former chief of investigations for the prosecution] also knew that the United States, for obvious reasons, did not want that the investigators to be equipped with the latest encryption Swiss telephones. In other words, the Rwandans knew, in real time, what the investigators of the tribunal were doing.

"In Kigali, 9 December 2000 I personally informed President Kagame that the office of the prosecutor had opened a case against him for allegations concerning the Rwandan Patriotic Front, for war crimes committed as Hutus committed the genocide. The meeting took place in his modest office of the presidential complex (...) the investigators say that evidence was collected on 13 episodes during which in 1994 members of the RPF would have massacred civilians as troops advanced through Rwanda. Kagame neither approved nor denied that these incidents had taken place", Del Ponte discloses.

Carla del Ponte then proposed to start with the case of the murdered priests in Gakurazo and ended up convincing, at least she believed so, the Rwandan president will cooperate. With the chief of investigations, the Swiss woman went to the office of the military prosecutor. "Rwigamba was in uniform, very courteous. Rather than to agree to give us documentation, Rwigamba informed us that he was leading the investigations and was not under the jurisdiction of the tribunal, the co-operation was not always forthcoming." I imagine that before calling President Kagame, she writes, if he did it, Rwigamba spoke with his military superiors, including the former commanders of the Rwandan Patriotic Front who had reasons to fear seeing their name on an arrest warrant.

In 2001, Rwanda blocked once again the transfer of witnesses to Arusha, Tanzania (the seat of the tribunal). New procedures had been set up by Kigali: A "ridiculous" case of bureaucracy says Carla del Ponte, who only understood later the real subject of the pressure. At a new meeting with President Kagame, she complains: "Your military prosecutor is not cooperating (...) Kagame seemed surprised. He turned to the officer and said to him in a hard tone: "Cooperate with prosecutor del Ponte." Rwanda never cooperated again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New opportunities in long tail politics?

Does the internet open up new potential for migrants to participate both in their home country as in their country of origin?

That is the central question that has been studied at the University of Munster from april to september this year. It's an interesting approach written by Kathrin Kissau and Uwe Hunger. Will be published around now. Maybe something for under the christmas tree?

Follow the link to find the ISBN number.

Should the truth be hidden about Rwandan's involvement?

Koert Lindijer's writes in this article about the war in Kivu the following interesting line: "The new report about Rwanda's undercover interference in eastern Congo is likely to increase regional tension further."

This remark is an illustration of what he has been trying to do in the two recent articles he has written about Rwanda's involvement in the Congo. He has tried to hide the truth to the general public. He has tried to protect the Rwandan regime.

Immediately comes to mind the solution that Robert Krueger, the respected gentleman from Texas, and Paul Rusesabagina are advocating: a "truth and reconciliation commission" for the great lakes region. Truth about the mass slaughter committed by RPF military ordered by the Commanders. Arrest warrents against 40 RPF commanders have been issued from Spain.

Koert Lindijer is not alone, Kinzer and soo many other western journalists clearly have a moralistic view of Africa. This view does not see Africa as a continent with potential. It sees Africa as a continent of stupidity and savages that needs Bono and pity. It is this view that leads to the western subsidized dictatorships in countries like Uganda and Rwanda. Shanda Tonme has explained to us in an article:

Our anger is all the greater because,” Tonme wrote, “we didn’t hear anyone at Live 8 raise a cry for democracy in Africa. Africa’s real problem is the lack of freedom of expression, the usurpation of power, the brutal oppression… Don’t they understand that fighting poverty is fruitless if dictatorships remain in place?”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sweden follows dutch and stops aid to Rwanda

Some of those Kagame admirers over the years have a lot to explain. The American soldiers who have trained the rwandan military should be brought to justice too. They knew what was going on, stood by when hutu refugees in Congo were slaughtered.

l’explosion du mythe progressiste

Helpfull analysis of the African diplomacy, democratic development and revolutionary movements by Shanda Tonme.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Rwandan Paradox

Obviously the government controlled media in Kigali is not happy that finally even american media is doubting their version of reality. One thing in this article from the New Times, Kigali that was published on AllAfrica, which I like to quote here is:

"The New York Times is part of America big business. By taking positions on such issues, it sets a wrong precedent, and doubts about its intentions. Western big business interests are well known to have a hand in conflicts on the African continent. And the results have been catastrophic for the African people.

The story of the blood diamonds in Sierra Leone has been well documented. The role of American multinational corporations in sponsoring Jonas Savimbi's war machine is well documented.

Savimbi, a ruthless warlord was a regular guest to the Heritage Institute in the United States despite his heinous war crimes.

The link beween western think tanks, its media and multinational corporations is well known and hence they have little moral authority to pontificate on African issues.

Whereas Rwanda has refused to be drawn into the Congo issues, I believe the existence of the remnants of the army and militia that carried out Genocide in DR Congo provides a reason for Rwanda to be concerned."

The journalist does three things:

1) Show that Rwanda is a friend of Angola in the "revolutionary struggle"
2) Show contempt for the American people and the money that the US administration has been pumping into Rwanda over the last decade.
3) Give justification for the military support that Rwanda has been giving to Nkunda

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Koert Lindijer heeft iets uit te leggen

Ik wil wel eens weten hoe lang Koert Lindijer nog afrika correspondent blijft voor zoveel verschillende kranten in Nederland. Koert Lindijer was hier niet bezig met waarheidsvinding, maar met pure propaganda in het voordeel van het regime in Kigali. Daarover moet debat plaatsvinden in de Nederlandse samenleving. Waarom werden wij voorgelogen over de werkelijke situatie in Oost-Congo? Rwanda steunt Laurent Nkunda op alle mogelijke manieren, dat is nu vastgesteld, niet door een marktkoopvrouw in een dorp in Congo (Ik vond dat bovendien een misselijk stukje), maar door een onafhankelijk rapport van de Verenigde Naties.

Koert Lindijer heeft iets uit te leggen. Hoe kunnen we nog geloven wat deze persoon over welk land in Afrika dan ook schrijft?

Shanda Tonme on hope for Africa

Editor HARMATTAN CAMEROUN, has the honor to announce to the cultural, scientific and diplomatic community that monday december 15th 2008, between 16hs and 18hs 30 in the Hilton hotel in Yaoundé, an exceptional ceremony will take place, to present ten books written by the same author, Shanda Tonme.

1. « Le crépuscule sombre de la fin d’un siècle tourmenté »
2. « L’orée d’un nouveau siècle »
3. « Pensée unique et diplomatie de guerre »
4. « Ces dinosaures politiques qui bouchent l’horizon de l’Afrique »
5. « Repenser la diplomatie »
6. « Réflexions sur l’universalisme »
7. « Droits de l’homme et droits des peuples dans les relations internationales »
8. « Avancez, ne nous attendez pas ! »
9. « Afrique: l’inéluctable effondrement des dictatures »
10. « L’intelligentsia camerounaise: autopsie d’une décrépitude »
11. « Un africain au musée des arts premiers »

I'll try to find at least one of those books in my local bookstore, too bad for some of my readers that these books are not written in English, byt I predict that it won't take long for them to be translated. Shanda Tonme is a rising star in diplomatic circles around the globe. He is a very eloquent orator, organizers of international conferences on development cooperation, democratic development, international law or Africa in general, that don't invite him, show incompetence.

Revolutionary movements and their JUST CAUSES

Louis Michel said he had to transmit the following message from Paul Kagame to Laurent Nkunda: "When a leader defends a just cause, that is legitimate, if he defends his own cause, he is an everyday warlord"

When Paul Kagame talks about a "JUST CAUSE" this is clearly the language of the RPF, the revolutionary movement which gained power as a rebelmovement during the nineties.
Most revolutionary movements have no problem defining their "JUST CAUSES": oppression of a certain group, a certain social class, the inallianable right over a certain piece of territoriy.

Most revolutionary movements also have trouble defining their methodology. Some seem to implicitly suggest their methodolgoy comes down to: "ends justifying the means". And that is exactedly what comes to my mind when I read these words of the Rwandan President. It sounds very noble when you first read it: "When a leader defends a just cause, that is legitimate, if he defends his own cause, he is an everyday warlord".

But when you think about it for a second you notice that the question about the method USED to fight for a JUST CAUSE is totally absent.

We all know that methodology is at least just as important after 200 years of debate on what "Revolution" should mean. In dutch politics this question has allways been present.

Shanda Tonme's interview on democratic development on France24 asks everyone this very simpel question:

"If we look at history, is it just the africans that find themselves in this situation? If we go back in history, we read history, were there no people anywhere on earth, that have experience similar cases of total faillite, of total despair and that have been able to come out of it and have apparently been able to find the road to building nations?"

Shanda Tonme clearly asks us to study history and to find lessons on how democratic development is possible in Africa today. Defining a "JUST CAUSE" is not enough, it's important to study the dynamic process of democratic development to understand what method works and what method leads to misery, bloodshed and minority rule. The examples of revolutionary movements that lead to mass slaughter are apparent all over the globe, just look at the history former Sovjet Union, look at the "cultural revolution in China".

As long as Paul Kagame's words leave open the possibility that Nkunda's CAUSE is a just CAUSE, he thereby proves that he has no remorse for all the killings his RPF soldiers have committed on his orders, soldiers that got promoted afterwards. It's time the Citizens of the US and UK stand up and send a strong message to their political representatives that we as a people no longer want to have one dollar or one pound spent on support for a criminal who should have been behind bars in the Hague a longue time ago.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tribert Rujugiro

Tribert Rujugiro, the richest man in Rwanda, has been in close contact with Nkunda. He is currently in custody in London.

The report says he used to hold regular meetings with rebel leaders, including Gen Nkunda, at his farm in North Kivu.

In an email in the report, a top rebel commander explains to Mr Rujugiro that he is prepared to move into the "city".

Sarkozy: Angola ready to commit troops to MONUC

"It is not that from Europe we don't wish to participate, but ... isn't it better to draw on regional forces first of all, who are all pretty well ready to go?" Sarkozy told reporters at the end of EU leaders' summit talks. Sarkozy said regional powers like Angola "were ready to commit" troops to the U.N. mission.

Rwanda Tribunal Should Pursue Justice for RPF Crimes

A question today asked by Financial Times journalist to Paul Kagame about Nkunda: "and that you sent him?"

Paul Kagame: "This is what some of them say…. He has issues and maybe people need to listen and find where he is wrong and where he is right and address it. But they dismiss it straight away without even listening to his case. Another thing that has created him other than what I have just said, injustices and mismanagement and bad governance in the Congo, is the Interahamwe (responsible for the 1994 genocide in Rwanda) who are in the Congo. He is using rightly saying that these people are killing his own people and they cannot live safely there and that even he himself and all those fighters cannot live safely in Congo because the government of Congo of President Joseph Kabila actually uses the Interahamwe in his forces"

The way he answers this question is exactedly the way he answers the question about who killed the former Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi in 1994, he does not deny it! He is as the Nkunda supporter from Canada explained, a revolutionary, he does not care if blood is spilled. It's all for the cause. It's clear through the answer he gives that he supports Nkunda in every possible way. The answer is very similar to the way Kagame answered Robert Krueger in 1995 when Krueger asked why he didn't stop his troops from killing unarmed refugees. He did not deny it!.

Rwanda Tribunal Should Pursue Justice for RPF Crimes

"The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda's (ICTR) prosecutor's failure to date to bring cases against Rwandan Patriotic Front officers responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the 1994 genocide risks undermining the court's legacy, Human Rights Watch said today"
"The doors seem to be closing with the mandate of the court unfulfilled," said Dicker. "The victims of the RPF crimes also deserve justice. Failure to bring these cases before the court will call into question the impartiality and independence of the ICTR."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dutch government will not give budgetsupport to Rwanda

Based on information the BBC has got hold of, Bert Koenders will decide to not give budgetsupport to Rwanda. To put everything into perspective, here are the facts chronologically:

Arend Jan Boekesteijn, VVD MP who convinced the parliament that budget support for Rwanda should be blocked, wrote on his blog yesterday: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Verhagen, has said yesterday that he does not believe Rwanda has given sufficient proof.

On november 12th the dutch parliament had made it clear to Bert Koenders that budgetsupport as development aid for Rwanda is put on hold until it is absolutely clear that Rwanda is not supporting Nkunda.

on 29th of november returning from Kigali, Bert Koenders published the following statement on the website of foreign affairs:
The Dutch government will not make a final decision on budget support for Rwanda until the middle of December. ‘This is not a decision to be made lightly. I want to review all the information provided by the UN and the Rwandan and Congolese governments,’ Mr Koenders said. While he is pleased that the two countries’ foreign ministers and senior military officials are talking, he believes the Rwandan and Congolese governments should be doing much more to end the terrible violence in eastern Congo.

Today the BBC got hold of a UN document,

"The draft UN report alleges the Rwandan authorities have supplied Gen Nkunda's forces with military equipment, the use of Rwandan banks, and allowed the rebels to launch attacks from Rwandan territory on the Congolese army.

DR Congo miners
The report claims rebels have helped fund the conflict by exploiting mines

Perhaps most damagingly, it claims Rwandan officers brought recruits - some of them child soldiers - up to the border, on behalf of the rebels.

The report also says a barrage of artillery and mortar fire - which helped Gen Nkunda's forces advance in October on the North Kivu province capital of Goma - came from Rwandan territory. "

This report will effectively block all options for Bert Koenders to give budgetsupport to the Rwandan government

Bert Koenders zal steun Rwanda intrekken!

Het rapport van de Verenigde naties, waar de BBC de hand op heeft weten te leggen, zal zorgen dat Bert Koenders geen budget steun aan de regering van Rwanda kan geven. Het staat daarin namelijk onomstotelijk vast dat Rwanda op alle mogelijke manieren militaire steun verleent aan Nkunda.

Bert Koenders kwam kort geleden terug uit Rwanda en zei dat hij de steun zou voortzetten, omdat er geen bewijzen voor militaire steun voor Nkunda zouden zijn.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza is de leidster van de Rwandese oppositiepartij FDU en schreef dat er wel degelijk bewijzen zijn.

Dit rapport van de VN zal dan ook voor Paul Kagame een zware klap worden. De leugens die hij steeds verspreid maken hem volledig ongeloofwaardig.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

honest dialogue about the resource war in the Congo

Kambale Musavuli, Spokesperson and Student Coordinator of Friends of the Congo, gives a helpfull and usefull summary of the ongoing dialogue about the war in Congo.

Olley Maruma did a lot of work on this article about the funds for wildlife conservation in the Virunga National Park in eastern DRC
"On September 19 2007, Condoleezza Rice's State Department and USAID announced the provision of US$496 000 of new funds for wildlife conservation in the Virunga National Park in the eastern DRC".

In the meantime on my blog Sharangabo Rufagari, a 100% Nkunda supporter living in Canada, recently answered to my question:

"I would also like you to comment on the allegations made by the Rwandan ambassador Kimonyo about Paul Rusesabangina and Robert Krueger, a former U.S. Senator (Dem-TX) and Congressman, that they were busy dealing arms and that the arms would be used against the government in Rwanda. Was Kimonyo telling the truth?"

Sharangabo Rufagari:
"As for Ambassdor Kruger and his role in tragedy occuring in the great lakes right now.I do not need to refer myself to what said Ambassador Kimonyo about him.I have enough informations regarding what he did when he was in Burundi and his cozy relationship with the Rwandan genocidaires.I should share with you readers extensively in my future postings."

Making all sorts of allegations against Robert Krueger, the respected gentleman from Texas, without backing those allegations up. To me it's not soo much the lying that bothers me, thats funny at the most, it's the insult to my intelligence that irritates me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

New York Times breaks the silence

While Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda delivers the Dr S.T. Lee Public Policy Lecture at the Faculty of Law in Cambridge, finally the New York Times is breaking the silence on the Rwandan army operations in Congo.

"Rwanda’s leaders are vigilant about not endangering their carefully crafted reputation as responsible, development-oriented friends of the West."

"The signs are ever-more obvious, if not yet entirely open. Several demobilized Rwandan soldiers, speaking in hushed tones in Kigali, Rwanda’s tightly controlled capital, described a systematic effort by Rwanda’s government-run demobilization commission to send hundreds if not thousands of fighters to the rebel front lines."

“We usually get a promotion,” said one fighter who was recently a corporal in the Rwandan Army and served as a sergeant in the rebel forces last month. He said that he could be severely punished if identified and that Rwandan officials and rebel commanders told the fighters not to say anything about the cooperation.

“I used to see generals at the airport coming back from Congo with suitcases full of cash,” said a former Rwandan government official who said that if he was identified, he could be killed."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rick Warren kneels for the Lord Paul Kagame

I'm at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C., where the Rev. Rick Warren is hosting an event dedicated to honoring President Bush for his work on HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Warren is a high-powered and internationally recognized pastor, who hosted the presidential candidates at his church in August. And he has drawn some pretty serious star power to this forum, although most of it is by video.

But President-elect Barack Obama, President Clinton, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, U2 rocker Bono, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Rwandan President Paul Kagame will all address the forum by video.

Mr. Blair and Mr. Kagame's videos, and maybe the others, will both be specifically aimed at saluting Mr. Bush, whose PEPFAR program (President's Plan for Emergency AIDS Relief) in Africa has given life-saving treatment to over 2 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, at a cost to the U.S. taxpayer of $15 billion over five years.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vice-Governor of North-Kivu denies Rwandan involvement?

never trust a butcher to evaluate his own meat

Bert Koenders, duthc minister of development cooperation, wants to continue giving budget support to the undemocratic rule of Paul Kagame and this is what his research to rwandese involvement amounts to so far:

Bert Koenders told reporters that he doesn't believe Rwanda was directly involved in the fighting in Congo. He sayd that he agreed with the version of his Rwandese counterpart, Rosemarie Museminali: "In general the view is that there is no direct involvement of the Rwandese government" in combat in the Congo. He said he based his view on talks with the Rwandese minsiter of foreign affairs. he added that he has established his view also on the basis of talks with the vice-governor of North-Kivu.

I have found the name of this vice-governor: Feller Lutaichirwa Mulwahale. And if anyone can give me his email adress, I would like to contact him so he could update me on what he really said to Bert Koenders. it would off course be of use if someone has more information on who Feller Lutaichirwa Mulwahale is. Because several congolese politicians have defected to the CNDP over the last couple of months. So, telling us that a Kivu politician denies involvement from Rwanda can be pretty useless.

The name of the Governor of North-Kivu is: Julien Paluku Kahongya. I would also be interested in his email and more about who he is and what his position in Kivu politics is at this point.

Bert Koenders apparently feels that he can ask the Rwandan government about their involvement in the Congo and get an honest answer. We have a dutch saying for that: "never trust a butcher to evaluate his own meat" I hope he knows that he represents the dutch people, and that we deserve better then that.