Saturday, December 31, 2011

Communitarians Olasky & Bush Vs. Reagan's Constitutional Libertarians

Allthough a lot of focus has been placed on incidents, foreign policy and the characters of the individuals running, the real battle inside the Republican party goes deeper. It's the battle of the communitarians that built the Bush coalition in 2000 against the older libertarian leaning Reagan coalition. For that reason chief-editor Marvin Olasky, who consistently claims the  label "Christian" for his communitarian views, published a hitpiece against Ron Paul in his World Magazine days away from the Iowa Caucuses .

On both sides of the Atlantic communitarians have virtually taken over the major parties, Democrats and Republicans in the US, social- and christian democratic parties in Europe. In my perception the dangerous aspect of communitarianism is it's total reliance on the here and now. A purely technocratic form of politics that fails to inspire the masses. The rise of populism is directly related to this. Communitarians fear or despise the people and therefore ignore them. Offcourse, the Olasky's and Balkenende's of this world throw some redmeat to "the ignorant masses" from time to time.

Democracy is not perfect and life in liberty is not easy, as John F. Kennedy said in his famous Berlin speech but encouraged citizens to look beyond their own city and country. Martin Luther King emphasized the importance of citizens having dreams. Abraham Kuyper, Klaas Schilder, Groen van Prinsterer and other Dutch antirevolutionaries also emphasized the importance of the invisible world and dignity of the citizen beyond his car, house, family and nationality. Where does a citizen find his dignity? That's a basic question communitarians fail to answer.

To understand the battle raging now within the Republican party, read for example the excellent stuff by journalist Dana Milbank who wrote in 2001:
"The problem, some Bush advisers and friends say, is that conventional political definitions do not adequately explain what the president is trying to do. His actions have less to do with the left vs. right, they say, than with his embrace of many of the ideas contained in the movement known as "communitarianism," which places the importance of society ahead of the unfettered rights of the individual."
Dana Milbank writes in his book Smashmouth:

More significantly, the coalition Bush is assembling is in some ways the opposite of Reanganism. Reagan's alliance was in large part libertarian, and young Bush's is communitarian. The communitarian movement, known also by it's "civil society" "social capital" and "quality of life" buzzwords, is vaguely defined, but it's based on the idea that too much Hobbesian individualism has created an atomized, selfish and disconnected society.
"It's a new coalition," Olasky says. "That's why some people on the right are so uncomfortable" with Bush. In Bush's way of thinking, the individual-rights chmpions on both sides- the civil libertarians on the left and the anti-government, leave-us-alone right-wingers- are on the outside. They'll be replaced by a mixture of incentive-based conservatives and good-government liberals. "He could bring a lot of communitarian Democrats with him" Olasky says. If liberals were willing to give up some federal control, Bush and like-minded cnoservatives would be content to spend more money on the poor and other government pursuits. "Let's throw away the budget cutters," Olasky says. "I see that coming with Bush. I see that as part of a governing alliance."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christian Republicans Vote Ron Paul

Worldmag's Marvin Olasky does a predictable hitjob on Ron Paul in the crucial days of the Iowa campaign, written not by himself but by his friend D.C. Innes, got a beautiful and strong rebuttal by JJF:
D.C. Innes’s entire argument is based on this premise:
The Bible tells us that God established government for a limited purpose—to punish evil and praise well-doing (Romans 13:1-10; 1 Peter 2:14)—giving other responsibilities to individuals, families, and churches.
This tortured and politically motivated eisegesis (to borrow a term from another thread here) entirely ignores logic, context, and other Scripture.
There is an enormous unwarranted leap in logic here. From a Scripture passage that commands believers to obey the governing authorities because all authority comes ultimately from God who grants it to earthly servants to punish evil, it in no way follows that God thinks punishing evil is government’s only function. In other words, to say that X is a function of Y in no way implies that X is the ONLY function of Y.
D.C. entirely ignores the context. Paul is not writing a political tract like some 18th century philosophe justifying government and delimiting its powers. He is addressing believers who were being persecuted by the Roman government and exhorting them to obedience anyway. He may have been countering a rebellious impulse in the early church, who recoiled against the recent proclamation (some 50 years prior) that Caesar was a god. You cannot pretend that Paul’s audience in this passage is political philosophers and his intent is to define the scope of government.
Finally, D.C. ignores other Scripture in his gospel of conservatism. You cannot argue that government’s only biblical roles are punishing evil and praising good when the only government for which God directly and explicitly crafted rules (Old Testament Israel) had many other functions. Relevant to our discussion, God gave Israel rules about providing for the poor and the widows. These are precisely the sort of thing evangelical conservatives like Innes are saying fall outside the proper scope of government. I would not argue that because God commanded them for ancient Israel, they are likewise commanded for modern America; but since God established those rules himself, you cannot say that such rules are unbiblical because God likes small governments.
The biblical case for small government must begin with the corruption of human nature and argue that small governments are most effective given that corruption. The difficulty there is that you must use reasons and facts accessible to all. But this is an abuse of Scripture, to argue that Romans 13 is intended to limit the powers of government.
Finally, I will point out that if you want a government that “actively cultivates a moral environment that facilitates people’s ability to live their lives ‘godly and dignified in every way’”, then you do not want a small government! A government that is responsible for the “moral environment” of people’s private lives cannot possibly be “small” by any definition. You want the Puritan government of early Massachusetts. Though it was perhaps a “Biblical” government, it was most certainly not a “small” government.

ICG Brussels: Tshisekedi Should Have Provided Hard evidence

Some individual at the ICG in Brussels came up with this phrase today:
"The opposition didn't take its chance when it failed to produce hard evidence that massive fraud did indeed take place."
Dutch journalist Anneke Verbraeken, who was held in custody by Kabla's security forces while reporting on the family of one of the victims of state terror, blogs 16 reasons the results  of Congo's elections shouldn't be accepted. Meanwhile both Kabila & Tshisekedi have sent delegations to Brussels and Paris last week. The ICC seems set to accuse Joseph Kabila of a massacre that took place in 2003. The Occampo strategy for change in the region is shaping up. Joseph Rwagatare writes on the RPF propaganda website about Tshisekedi:
"Fear of a new conflagration in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) triggered by the mad action of an old man with a sixties political mentality have mercifully been unfounded (for the moment, anyway). Old man Etienne Tshisekedi has illusions of grandeur, no doubt the result of wrong advice and aging."
Let me comment also on Joseph Rwagatare, Kagame's speechwriter, understanding of the birth of Jesus Christ :

"On a broader scale, the growing warmth between the leaders of Rwanda and Uganda could well spell a significant diplomatic realignment in the region. The season's goodwill certainly helps. We can only hope that the goodwill and warmth it generates will extend to the rest of Rwandan and Ugandan leaders and people, and indeed to other East Africans. Then perhaps Jesus Christ's birth will not have been in vain and that message delivered to shepherds more than two thousand years ago could still ring true today."

Noteworthy amalgam of the mocking of the King of Kings on the one hand and unchecked adoration for bloodsoaked revolutionaries on the other.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Martin Luther King's Influence On Ron Paul's Thinking

Ron Paul's quote: "America was founded by men who understood that the threat of domestic tyranny is as great as any threat from abroad" reminds us of Dr. King's view that "In one sense the civil rights movement in the United States is a special American phenomenon which must be understood in the light of American history and dealt with in terms of the American situation. But on another and more important level, what is happening in the United States today is a relatively small part of a world development." When US governments are instrumental in rigging elections or give diplomatic backing to autocratic strongmen in central Africa (Museveni & Kagame), this goes against these views expressed by Dr. King. To discuss the civil rights movement outside of this international dimension would be a disservice to King's legacy. As King said: injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Instead of paying lipservice to King's legacy, both liberals and conservatives should try to connect the dots. Ron Paul takes King's words seriously and has made a serious attempt to integrate it into his own platform. Has he been succesfull and do we agree with Paul's interpretation of King's legacy with it's impact on domestic and foreign policy? That's the fundamental question and that's how his campaign should be covered.

Ron Paul as Dr. King defines our constitutional liberty not in opposition to faith in God as opposed to "Ayn Rand" libertarians.
(My reaction on this New York Times Editorial was not published yet)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ron Paul calls Wikileaks heroes and opposes US bombing, torture, secret prisons, and indefinite detention

There's very little more annoying these days than American liberals' knee jerk reactions to the mention of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. It's such an extreme reaction that they refuse to hear what he has to say here. It's hard to imagine why anyone in the over exploited world otherwise known as the Global South wouldn't be hoping Ron Paul wins the election, unless they're among those allowed to ransack their own countries and brutalize their own populations because of their fealty to U.S. geostrategic objections.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Is Constitutional Libertarian Ron Paul An Ideologue?

Since the campaign #RonPaul2012 has risen in the polls his political ennemies are trying a new strategy to fight this phenomenon. Instead of attacking him, his fiercest critics start articles by praising part of his message. Jeffrey Kuhner tries it here. Conor Friedersdorf has employed a similar strategy for sometime.

Paradoxically in the end for Jeffrey Kuhner Ron Paul is too libertarian, for Conor Friedersdorf he is not libertarian enough. This probably depends on the definition of the word "libertarian". As I understand it Ron Paul is a constitutional libertarian  Many beltway libertarians confuse liberalism rooted in the French revolution with constitutional libertarianism. It's clear Ron Paul wants to stay away from that source. He explained that very well in an interview on his foreign policy views:
"They feel that America is exceptional and that we are very special, in some ways I agree with that, but their conclusion is because we are exceptional and so special that we have this neojacobinism that we have this moral obligation to spread our goodness even if we have to use force, and that is what the french revolution was about . See the difference with me is I believe there is a lot of good traits and a lot of good qualities about America's belief in liberty, markets, freedom and sound money, but we should spread our goodness by setting an example, that's the difference, the idea that somebody would use force to make other countries to act like we do or make individuals act like we think they should rejects the whole notion of liberty, because we reject the notion of using force to mold peoples lives and change the world. So that's where the separation is on big government conservatives and more libertarian constitutionalists. Because we believe we can persuade people rather then forcing people to except our views and act as we do."
An argument which reminds me of Dutch Abraham Kuyper and his Anti-Revolutionary party. Ron Paul obviously doesn't found his foreign policy views on some leftist dream.Views that obviously have the potential of resonating with large segments of the Christian right:
"Paul’s anti-establishment policies resonate with a deep well of grassroots supporters who include a vocal segment of the Christian right here in Iowa who do not believe in nation building at the point of a sword" 
Ron Paul, just as Donald Tusk in Poland, is a political innovator, a Pat Buchanan 2.0 . He combines antirevolutionary thought with austrian economics, appeals to libertarian democrats and Christian coalition folks alike. Jim DeMint has defined freedom in his book the great American awakening. Worthwhile to take a look at his ideas.  Also good coverage of the attempt by communitarians across the board to limit the impact of Ron Paul's possible victory in the Iowa Caucuses.

Joel Hannahs Claims Concerning Huckabee 2008 Bloggers

Joel Hannahs, Worldmag, claims:

"Santorum, despite receiving backing from some of the same bloggers and activists that helped Huckabee in ’08, trails Perry and Bachmann slightly in the most recent polls"

Which blogs and which activists? The Huckabee 2008 blogosphere is certainly not coalescing around Rick Santorum. In fact, many Huckabee 2008 bloggers like me, are coalescing around Ron Paul.

It's amazing how Worldmag has been pushing the communitarian agenda while claiming to represent social conservative America.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tshisekedi For Dummies

Kabila is trying to arrest Tshisekedi today. It's clear that Kabila has not been elected, he killed scores of Congolese citizens in an effort to try to install an autocratic leadership. In recent days Kabila has spilled unnecessary blood which reveals the true nature of the current regime in Congo.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Communist Soviet Lekganyane & Cassel Mathale (Malema posse) "win" in Limpopo

Cassel Mathale and Soviet Lekganyane (Malema posse) won in Limpopo against  Joe Phaahla n Joe Maswanganyi (Cosatus proxy). A supposed hard hit for Zuma.

Soviet Lekganyane, a communist former SACP secretary general in Limpopo claims South Africa should be driving a nationalisation programme and in the meantime supports Julius Malema:
"Lekganyane accused the SACP national office of targeting Limpopo "because of its harmonious relationship with the ANC and the ANCYL, particularly its president Julius Malema".
 This weekend local journalist Chester Makana was assaulted in Limpopo taking pictures of ANC activists printing extra ballots to rig the ANC Limpopo board vote. But offcourse the winner Mathale claimed the election was "credible".

The South African (ANC) Government has today congratulated Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President-elect, Mr Joseph Kabila Kabange, on his "election" . As explained by Tony Gambino these elections were all but free and fair:
"Just ten days ago we wrote expressing our deep worry about the November 28 national elections in the Congo. Since then, the actions of the two Congolese organizations responsible for certifying the elections – first the National Electoral Commission and then the Supreme Court – have displayed their utter lack of neutrality and impartiality, deepening the Congo crisis."
Massive fraud by Joseph Kabila across the DRC, as an example:
The minutes drawn up by members of polling station "Jean Calvin College" in Lubumbashi (Code / BV: 12001 / C) there is a monumental fraud deliberately orchestrated by the CENI to support the candidate Joseph Kabila at the expense of Etienne Tshisekedi who's results have been seriously downgraded in several polling stations in Lubumbashi.
Indeed, according to CENI Joseph Kabila won this polling station on 494 369 votes cast against 74 attributed to Etienne Tshisekedi, but the minutes signed by the real members of this center credit Kabila with just 169 votes. 
About the same center, the CENI claims that Etienne Tshisekedi received 74 votes, but the authentic minutes prepared by local poll station officials states 274 votes, he "magically" lost 200 votes."
RW Johnson, who wrote the book "South Africa's Brave New World: The Beloved Country Since the End of Apartheidwrote an article yesterday on the role of communist ideology inside South Africa's ANC.

Revolutionary movements inspired by communism have played an important role in Sub-Saharan Africa, as Museveni reminded us recently. Is it just folklore or does communism influence South Africa's foreign policy decisions and South Africa's relations with all these undemocratic regimes across the continent?

It's clear that racist hate against caucasians and hate against the West are still a political currency exploited in South Africa's politics by the likes of Julius Malema. ANC activists online frame their support for Kabila in those same terms. These same anti-western arguments are made by Belgian communists and Chinese trained Congolese to justify their support for election rigging in Congo.

Congolese Christians in London singing "Congo"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

ICG to the U.S. Senate: Legitimizing Kabila would destroy any US credibility in Congo left

The Congolese Diaspora in Paris protest incumbent Congolese President Joseph Kabila's election theft, and the violence of his Republican Guard, formerly known as the Presidential Security Guard.
Congolese people all over the world are protesting incumbent President Joseph Kabila's election theft and violence, and analysts are warning that the Congolese army could split, leading to civil war. Even the conservative International Crisis Group told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee that legitimizing Kabila's claim to victory, in a massively fraudulent election, would destroy any credibility the U.S. has left in Congo.

For KPFA Weekend News on Congo's election, global protest and the US Senate hearing, see "U.S. Senate committee ponders Congo election theft,"

For more information, more Congolese voices, and the U.S. Senate hearing, see "Kabila, Tshisekedi, and Congo,"

Congo's Diaspora protest in Paris & Washington

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Congolese Diaspora Disappointed in International Community

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul's geschenk uit de hemel

Newt Gingrich is eigenlijk een godsgeschenk voor de Ron Paul campagne. Hij is, zoals Ross Douthat het in zijn blogpost “Ron Paul Rising” zo mooi zegt, alles wat Ron Paul niet is. En toch vertegenwoordigen ze precies de twee polen van de tea party. Newt Gingrich is een mooi uithangbord, Ron Paul is de thought leader van de Republikeinse partij. Doordat de race nu volledig focust op het contrast Newt Gingrich – Ron Paul, lijkt juist die laatste hiervan enorm te gaan profiteren. Newt Gingrich heeft zich in de rol van wegbereider gemanoeuvreerd, een soort Johannes de Doper, waardoor Ron Paul eindelijk een emotionele band met de traditionele Republikeinse kiezer lijkt op te bouwen. Laat dat nou net het ontbrekende puzzelstukje zijn in zijn campagnestrategie.

Friday, December 16, 2011

"Liberator" Museveni's version of Africa's history

Yoweri Museveni clearly thinks he is a great liberator:
President Museveni, who gave a brief history of the linkages of the people of the Great Lakes’ Region, pointed out that leaders fought together under the umbrella of Pan African Fighters for East, Central and Southern Africa and the liberators met in Mwanza, Tanzania in 1958 and later in Addis Ababa in 1964. He noted that African countries liberated themselves after independence in 1961 and 1964 citing Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola and South Africa. He paid tribute to the great leaders who actively joined in the struggle and included Tanzania’s late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, late General Samora Machel of Mozambique, late Agustino Neto of Angola, President Eduardo dos Santos of Angola, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the late John Garang of the Republic of South Sudan, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, the late Fred Rwingyema of Rwanda, the late President Laurent Kabila of the DRC, Mzee Nelson Mandela and the late Oliver Tambo both of South Africa."
On Congo's Mobutu however:
"The President said that when the independence of the DRC was disrupted by the schemes of imperialists, the East African countries and Congo Brazzaville, took the correct stand by resisting those schemes and Africa assisted the people of the DRC to get rid of the puppet regime of Mobutu"
Typical empty revolutionary rhetoric at a meeting aiming to support the election rigging process in Congo.

Ambassador Rice's crocodile tears on lack of democracy in Africa

Directly after her visit to Libya, and just before the Congolese elections, US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, arrived in Kigali november 26th. Her visit aimed to reconcile and defend Barack Obama's Africa policy. Thanking Paul Kagame for his support in ousting Libya's Gadaffi , praising Rwanda for it's successes in reaching MDG goals, reconciling Africom's role and Obama's Ghana speech on democracy. An effort that reminds me of my mathematics teacher telling us about parallel lines that meet at infinity. For those who are familiar with US policies concerning the great lakes it was like watching water burn.

Ambassador Rice in a speech claimed to stand up for democracy saying "Social progress has been substantial. Yet, the political culture in Rwanda remains comparatively closed". With how many grains of salt should we take this speech when we put it in the context of US diplomatic support in the rigging process leading up to the Rwandan election. Jared Cohen, member of  the State Deparment's policy planning staff, months before the Rwandan Presidential election in 2010, started a #rememberrwanda campaign aiming to praise Kagame and discredit Rwanda's opposition and diaspora, just weeks before meeting "his hero" in New York. The propaganda campaign against Rwanda's opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, who lived and worked for sixteen years in the Netherlands, was fine-tuned with Dutch Ambassador Frans Makken, who headed the slander campaign against the Rwandan diaspora while claiming legitimacy for the election rigging process in Kigali. 

However, this coordinated effort to help rig the election in Rwanda and the campaign against critics abroad by both the State Department and donor spokesperson Frans Makken did not stop there. Dutch citizen and Rwandan immigrant Yvonne Basebeya, still in custody in the Netherlands, was used by Dutch diplomacy, in their effort to brand the hutu diaspora collectively as suspect. The campaign against Lazare Kobagaya by the State Deparment's warcrimes chief Stephen Rapp served the same purpose. Persecuting an innocent man for propaganda reasons to back a war criminal who assassinates political opponents and critical journalists as part of a calculated strategy to instill fear into the Rwandan people both at home and abroad. Lazare Kobagya never was convicted, but the slander campaign against him (and Paul Rusesabagina) didn't miss it's goal before, during and after Rwanda's Presidential elections.

At the end of the 19th century Abraham Kuyper, Dutch Prime-Minister and Reformed Pastor, said in his famous speech on democratic development "Maranatha"(the Lord comes): "It's the goal that defines our road". A visit by Ambassador Jonnie Carson to Kigali in october was used by Paul Kagame's regime to equate Burundi's FNL to a  terrorist organisation.  Ambassador Rice's recent visit, just ahead of Congolese elections, served what purpose?

US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Ambassador Jonnie Carson's words at yesterday's hearing gave us a good impression. Jonnie Carson aims to hide behind Congo's supreme court and pretend Joseph Kabila won the november 28th elections. When reading Carson's words Susan Rice's speech in Kigali popped up in my mind and I suddenly heard that "funny-- smacking sound."

As in Rwanda's presidential elections, US diplomats pretend supporting democratic development in Congo while in reality aiming to keep Joseph Kabila in power for the sake of supposed regional stability. Activists online and Great Lakes diaspora worldwide were allowed to blow of some steam, but let's not get too serious.

Etienne Tshisekedi actually made sense when he said on election day that Roger Meece should leave the Congo.  Two days before eighteen protestors were shot by Kabila's Presidential Guard which left American, European, African and Asian diplomats completely indifferent. Tshisekedi's remarks before, during and after the election were consistently met with arrogant ridicule. Instead of condemning state terror by Kabila's thugs US Ambassador Rice added insult to injury on election day by showing lack of basic respect to Congo's longtime opposition leader!

Ambassador Rice's speech in Kigali was meant to create a smokescreen of supposed sincere support for democratic development in the great lakes region, while countries like South Africa will take the lead in legitimizing state terror against citizens, extrajudicial executions by Kabila's forces, the crack down on free press and last but certainly not least the rubber-stamping of a rigged process and false results.

Joseph Kabila on friday got the support of regional election riggers from Africa's Great Lakes region headed by revolutionary Yoweri Museveni, a guy who has lots of blood on his hands in Congo and who "liberated" Uganda some thirty years ago:

"It is not up to those observers... to run countries," Museveni told reporters. "In Congo there is a system to appeal if you are not happy... if people are not happy they should go in that system and sort it out."
With liberators like that Africa doesn't need western imperialism.

TSHISEKEDI visiting professor Wola Bale. What a video!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul's John the Baptist

Newt Gingrich has one important quality and that is his ability to make people around him look good and look Republican. Ross Douthat's latest blogpost "Ron Paul Rising" makes the case that Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul are two sides of the same tea party coin:
"Paul, for all his crankishness, is the kind of conservative that Tea Partiers want to believe themselves to be: Deeply principled, impressively consistent, a foe of big government in nearly all its forms (the Department of Defense very much included), a man of ideas rather than of party.

Gingrich, on the other hand, is the kind of conservative that liberals believe most Tea Partiers to be – not a genuine “don’t tread on me” libertarian, but a partisan Republican whose unstinting support for George W. Bush’s deficit spending morphed into hand-wringing horror of “socialism” once a Democrat captured the Oval Office."
 Ron Paul has the best ground game, no doubt. Drew Ivers, Ron Paul's Iowa State Chairman: "I would say we're probably a little bit better organized and the fact that we ran four years ago, that's been a plus. He's not an unknown entity."

The only thing missing sofar was the emotional link to the traditional Republican base. Following Douthat's logic we could see Newt Gingrich role as GOP's John the Baptist introducing Ron Paul on a subconscious level as THE Republican.  A humble congressman from Texas beating the brilliant Republican speaker of the House. An essential piece of Ron Paul's path to victory.

Jay Leno did a great interview with Ron Paul, view it here.

Great analysis of how Ron Paul plays chess while his adversaries play checkers. A comment december 17th that illustrates the mood in the campaign:

I think I've realized why the last debate seems to have made such a difference in attitude in some conservatives, and made neo-con talking heads go absolutely nuts yesterday.
We're converting Social Conservatives, and the neo-cons are smelling the majority of their people leave them for the peace candidate. They are using fear and mockery to try and keep the so-cons from leaving their coalition.
Huckabee has never been shy to criticize Ron Paul and had no reason not to in this interview, and he didn't mention Foreign Policy at all.
I'm not going to go too deep down into speculation, but if what we think is happening IS happening, we're going to win Iowa with 40%, and go in and snatch NH away from Romney at the last minute.
On a side-note, anybody else think Gingrich is going to have a turnout in Iowa barely higher than Huntsman? He's got the worst organization, momentum is flying out of his campaign faster than a taped up balloon, and he doesn't have any eager support.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Paul Kagame's Calculated Assassinations

As I have argued in the past, assassinations by the regime in Kigali are aimed to instill fear into the Rwandan people at home and the Rwandan diaspora abroad.

The assassination of Green Party's vice-president ahead of the Presidential election was timed to do that. We still remember Paul Kagame's well timed speech on the day of the funeral.

An excellent article on the assassination of Charles Ingabire by an ethiopian writer reconfirms this.

Congolese Canadians Explaining Protest Against Kabila Regime

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mmusi Maimane New Democratic Alliance Spokesperson

Felix Tshisekedi Interview 13 December 2011

Interview with Etienne Tshisekedi 12/12/2011

Kinshasa today

Statement to the press by Cardinal Monsengwo, Catholic archbishop of Kinshasa on Monday characterizing election results as unfair.

Valse Tegenstelling Tussen Herman Bavinck & Klaas Schilder

Traditiegetrouw moet Klaas Schilder het weer ontgelden in een artikel in het ND over Herman Bavinck:
In zijn dogmatiekreeks komt het echte leven naar boven, zegt Bolt. ‘Hij laat zien dat het christelijk geloof niet vreemdsoortig of buitenaards is, maar dichtbij en van binnenuit.’ Zo komt Bavinck tot de slotsom dat het christelijk geloof heling van leven betekent, dat Gods genade natuur en wereld herstelt.

Het is een inhoud die gereformeerden anno 2011 opnieuw ter harte mogen nemen, vindt Bolt. Hij vindt dat er in de filosofie en theologie van jongere wetenschappers als Klaas Schilder en Herman Dooyeweerd aan diepgang verloren is.  
Het ging toen over ware Bijbelse filosofie, ware Bijbelse theologie. Dat klinkt heel goed en vertrouwenwekkend, en juist daarom is het moeilijk ertegen te opponeren.’
Toch doet Bolt het, omdat hij vindt dat in werkelijkheid het metafysische aspect, het alomvattende, in de theologie en filosofie deels verloren ging. De verenging die daardoor optrad heeft problemen gegeven, en verklaart voor hem mede de sterke opkomst van de vrijzinnigheid in een deel van de gereformeerde kerken in Nederland. Hij wijst erop dat uitgerekend iemand als Kuitert weer aandacht vroeg voor het metafysische aspect van geloven, maar dat vervolgens in een totaal andere richting uitwerkte, naar praktisch ongeloof"
Previously I noticed how Calvin Theological Semiary seems hijacked by communitarians, a blogpost in which i give my very succinct first thoughts on the relationship between Herman Bavinck and Klaas Schilder. Preaching western superiority has nothing to do with neocalvinism or Herman Bavinck. Giving a Bavinck prize to Jan Peter Balkenende is clearly a sign some people at Calvin and among the Reformed scolars in the Netherlands are sourcing in murky waters.
De verdachtmaking van John Bolt die zegt dat het metafysische aspect "deels verloren" in het werk van Klaas Schilder lijkt me vallen onder de categorie "gij zult geen vals getuigenis spreken over uw naaste".  De zolveelste poging om Klaas Schilder's werk te offeren om kerkelijke eenheid na te streven.  Het lijkt me niet de juiste methode om deze twee moderne gereformeerde theologen tegen elkaar uit te spelen. Een belangrijk kenmerk van Klaas Schilder is dat hij in zijn boeken sterk rekenening houdt met de politieke en wetenschappelijke context van zijn eigen denken. Daarvan maakt Herman Bavinck natuurlijk een belangrijk deel uit. Klaas Schilder is dus in zijn schrijven ongetwijfeld in gesprek ook of juist met Herman Bavinck. Het is daarom opmerkelijk des te frappanter dat zoveel, voornamelijk Nederlandse maar kennelijk dus ook Amerikaanse, gereformeerden Klaas Schilder's boeken links laten liggen. Want ook Klaas Schilder's boeken zijn een hulpmiddel om het werk van Abraham Kuyper, de politieke strijd van de ARP, de geschiedenis van de Vrije Universiteit, maar ook het werk van Herman Bavinck te begrijpen.

Een proefschrift over Herman Bavinck van Willem J. de Wit, Lecturer of Biblical Studies and Systematic Theology at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt, leest u hier. De Bavinck review leest u hier.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tshisekedi Interview December 10 2011

#Congo11 Sese Seko Kinshasa, Brussels, London, Paris, Washington DC, Glasgow

Statement by Carter Center and the report here:
"These results aren't even naturally occurring. It's a fundamental mark of disrespect for Congolese voters"
The wordpress photo of #congo11 on yahoo gives a good picture of (manufactured) "reality on the ground"

Congolese "New Times" version of this fluid reality on Digital Congo. In the meantime state terror rules in Kinshasa:
"Human Rights Watch senior researcher Anneke Van Woudenberg says she is receiving calls from residents in neighborhoods throughout the city reporting abductions by security forces."
@frodef remarked an important mistake in a tweet by DRC's Embassy:
@EU_Commission should correct the caims made by @RDCongoBenelux about EU satisfied with #DRC2011 election results

@RDCongoBenelux can contribute to violence in #BXL and against Europeans in DRC by claiming the EU is satisfied with the #DRC2011 results
Linda Mbungu of NVA can start proselytizing in Brussels, the credibility of the ruling Belgian elite concerning Congo is very low, and valuable discussion with @negmatic on strategic political participation of Congolese in Belgium. I'm convinced that if Congolese play it smart they could really hurt the status quo. Belgium is their country, and Flemmish like Congo and Congolese, it's part of their (family) history. Many catholic priests to Congo came from Vlaanderen in the past, their family remembers. Congolese should remember that and work out a good strategy, like Cubans in Miami. First, I think the Belgo Congolese community should not think of itself as , but as citizens.It could be a key moment for Belgo-Congolese to transition towards a different political strategy. Angry belgo-congoleses are talking about vote sanction (NVA).

Théodore Trefon, Congo expert @ Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium: "We know cheated" . He also said on his blog recently about the protests in Brussels:
"Taking to the streets is one way of venting this frustration - and if controlled, could be a positive way of channelling political mobilisation."
Blogposts today on #congo11 by @ethuin  (from ?) and by Monica gazolla and
Jambonews writing reports on #congo11 from Brussels and Howard French gives his view on "the nebulous entity commonly known as the “international community” in a blogpost.

Protests against rigged elections erupting in Kinshasa, Brussels, London, Paris and Washington DC. Listen to interview with one of the protesters in London. Also in Helsinki and Switzerland.

Friday, December 9, 2011

#Congo11 Because yours is the kingdom & the power & the glory

While working on my "How became 's foreign policy Waterloo" blogpost for next week, here an update on latest developments in #congo. Enjoy riding the breaking wave of international community consensus concerning the great lakes region! and have a great weekend:

 Belgian newspaper De Standaard claims today that Belgium and other nations "have no other choice then to accept the result" after (a sport among analysts and western journalists) portraying Tshisekedi as a troublemaker. Worldwide protests have prompted the predictable hostile reactions by ambassadors from France, UK and Belgium. Crisis group offers it's advice in a press release. Again protests against Kabila's election rigging in London on oxford road and Brussels near Ixelles. Father José Pundu of Kinshasa says it as it is: "Botched elections with a deliberate intention to cheat in an atmosphere of organized violence." David Barouski @DBarou reports on twitter from Kinshasa on more riot police deployment and erection of military checkpoints. Catholic Church makes a statement that contradicts CENI. Azzad Essa writes on twitter "Catholic Church denounces results; says electoral commission must publish results from individual polling station.". Arnaud Zajtman writes in lalibre that the people of Congo know that Kabila has not won. CENI announces: presidential election results delayed for tomorrow. Kambale Musavuli reports that opposition television stations have been cut off ahead of publication of election results. UDPS Secretary General Shabani demands a "responsable attitude on the part of the international community as it has demonstrated in Russia recently" reports Nicolas Germain of France24. The "mot d'ordre" of Tshisekedi: "défendez la victoire, chacun a sa manière, mais en non-violence" reported by @hersweetanger. "Very scary," is how Ben Kalala, a candidate in the legislative elections and the president of the Congolese Community of the United States of America, described clashes between supporters of incumbent president Joseph Kabila's main challenger Etienne Tshisekedi at about midday on Thursday in Limete. @NicolasF24 "Shabani says 3 UDPS supporters killed today in Limete; head of police General Bisengimana tells me "it's false, no one was killed" . This morning De Morgen reports that 2 of those killed were crushed by a vehicle, one was shot. @FreeFairDRC "We're receiving credible reports of police firing on supporters outside Tshisekedi's home. 3 reported dead, several wounded.". An interesting discussion on twitter between @peterdoerrie @ethuiin and @hersweetanger that led to the blogpost by Peter Dörrie "Von der Gefahr der objektiven Beobachtung" . Let's also not forget Ocampo at ICC's warning to Congo 'We are watching you.Violence no longer a ticket to power it's a ticket to The Hague'. Voice your views on ending gender violence in eastern Congo. Last but not least the article december 6th by Pole Institute's Johnson with the quote "German government has "no doubt about credibility of election process". Dutch journalist Anneke Verbraeken @Anneketanneke reports on friday morning "Kinshasa awakes while it's raining cats and dogs Will CENI publish today? ?". In London BBCAfrica on friday morning: British police say activists from the Democratic Republic of have immobilised an underground train at a station in


Thursday, December 8, 2011

#Congo11 Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Tony Gambino stated in his most excellent analysis of the Congolese Presidential elections:
"The world must also avoid the temptation to paper over election irregularities and tolerate another Kabila term, even if won by hook and by crook, simply because that seems the path of least resistance. Our reading of Congo’s current politics leads us to conclude that such a strategy will not be stabilizing and could prove incendiary. While international leverage is still reinforced by the presence of 19,000 U.N. troops, and while the year 2011 remains the year of political awakenings and hope from Tunisia to Egypt to Libya to Ivory Coast to Burma and beyond, this would be a terrible moment to allow a new form of autocracy to take root in the heart of Africa."
Sharply contrasting the Belgian two-step of Colette Braeckman (who had her post-result article on Kabila ready when delay changed the game) and one-day old Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders aiming to fix the preliminary results and move on.

This exposes the tension that has been building up like a giant wave for years.  For example dutch ambassador Frans Makken will allways be remembered for his role in the election rigging in Rwanda in name of donor consensus. Will we now finally witness the breaking point among great lakes diplomats and analysts?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kabila: Congo's Willie Stark

"Which is nonsense, for whatever we live is Life. That is something to remember when you meet the old classmate who says, "Well now, on our last expedition up the Congo" -Robert Penn Warren, All The King's Men
Joseph Kabila who came to power as an accidental Willie Stark has since sucked into his orbit a network of former Bemba supporting Mobutists and other well-educated Congolese: "all the king's men". Joseph Kabila as the Great Twitch, the inevitable, but accidental, outcome of history. The mood of "Nobody is responsable, everybody is an observer" sums up Kabila's history, his entourage and his campaign. Are we all mere observers of the Congolese elections that analyze the facts as they are?

Let's not kid ourselves, the outcome of the Congolese elections won't be decided just by counting the votes and proclaiming the results on december sixth. It will be decided just as much on perception and relations between the international community and Kabila's government. We could speculate about the US Governments investment in Kabila, the State Department's longstanding history of despising Tshisekedi, the impotent observer since the cold war, Kabila's Chinese friends, the lack of funds to properly support the election process and the desire by diplomats to not rock the boat.  David Aronson nails it: "if there's a plausible case to be made that Kabila has won a legitimate election, the international community will".

Tshisekedi's populist campaign has encountered fierce hostility in English speaking press and diplomatic circles: "Western governments may be reluctant to side with Mr. Tshisekedi, who is viewed as a loose cannon...". Tshisekedi is "definitely unpopular inside Western embassies" .  Ambassador Rice on Tshisekedi telling Roger Meece to leave: "That tells you more about Tshisekedi". Western observers have a hard time finding positive aspects to Congolese elections in general and Tshisekedi in particular. Supposedly this election fixes nothing and could lead to disaster.  "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on" seems to be the prevailing analysis of Tshisekedi's contribution to great lakes politics. To speak with drinkingwithbob: The media doesn't like him, the diplomats don't like him, the analysts don't like him: HE MUST BE DOING SOMETHING RIGHT!

The exception has been Belgian journalist Colette Braeckman, traditionally considered the devil by many UDPS supporters in the diaspora, smoking figurative peace pipes with "the Sphinx of Limete".

Tshisekedi's participation, giving Joseph Kabila a run for his money, has turned this into a real election in which citizens, diplomats, analysts and politicians are converted from mere observers of a chain of uncontrollable events into vigilant actors (UDPS: Albert Moleka) with real responsabilities: "a journey away from an amoral perspective on human history toward a belief in the fundamental interconnectedness of all of history". How often do you see that in Africa? How often have we seen that in Congo? Will we ever see it again? As Roger Meece reminded us on Congo months back: all is not lost, the challenges are not too great to confront, we are not facing imminent failure.

Tshisekedi's UDPS Press Conference

Jacquemain Shabani, secretary general of the UDPS, gives press conference on the elections:

UDPS appelle à la vigilance door lumbamba

Interview with Felix Tshisekedi december first