Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 11, 2009

New Colonialism in Africa

In two stories the Financial Times this weekend reports on a new colonial endeavor by U.S. investors that will likely stay unreported in u.S. mainstream media. The first gives the facts and the second some backlground. You should read them both. These links may stop you at the FT's pay curtain but you can use this one and this one and click through from there.

From the first piece :

A US businessman backed by former CIA and state department officials says he has secured a vast tract of fertile land in south Sudan from the family of a notorious warlord, in post-colonial Africa’s biggest private land deal.

Philippe Heilberg, a former Wall Street banker and chairman of New York-based Jarch Capital, told the Financial Times he had gained leasehold rights to 400,000 hectares of land – an area the size of Dubai – by taking a majority stake in a company controlled by the son of Paulino Matip.
...

In contrast to land deals between foreign investors and governments, Mr Heilberg is gambling on a warlord’s continuing control of a region where his militia operated in the civil war between Khartoum and south Sudan.

“You have to go to the guns, this is Africa,” Mr Heilberg said by phone from New York. He refused to disclose how much he had paid for the lease.

Jarch Management Group is linked to Jarch Capital, a US investment company that counts on its board former US state department and intelligence officials, including Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador and expert on Africa, who acts as vice-chairman; and Gwyneth Todd, who was an adviser on Middle Eastern and North African affairs at the Pentagon and under former president Bill Clinton at the White House.

It is unknown who owns the leased land, certainly not the warlord's son, but it is fertile and near the White Nil and there are certainly people living there today and for generations who have rights to their land.

An political connected outfit like Jarch will not make such an investment when it is not sure that it can push the U.S. government to protect it.

Laws on land ownership in south Sudan remain vague, and have yet to be clarified in a planned land act.
...
Mr Heilberg is unconcerned. He believes that several African states, Sudan included, but possibly also Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia, are likely to break apart in the next few years, and that the political and legal risks he is taking will be amply rewarded.

“If you bet right on the shifting of sovereignty then you are on the ground floor. I am constantly looking at the map and looking if there is any value,” he said, adding that he was also in contact with rebels in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, dissidents in Ethiopia and the government of the breakaway state of Somaliland, among others.

Now ask yourself why the U.S. is fighting terror in Somalia.

Who might have financed the tanks and other weapons from the Ukraine with destination to South Sudan and captured by Somali pirates?

And who finances the Safe Darfur campaign that wants the U.S. to militarily intervene in Sudan?

Mr. Heilberg, Joe Wilson and the investors who pay them are obviously ruthless about the consequences of their enterprise. But it is certain that this will end in war which will have to be endured by the people living on the fertile land Mr. Heilberg leased.

Why is such behavior still or again considered legal?

Posted by b on January 11, 2009 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

Comments

Well, it worked in Palestine in the first half of 20th century...

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jan 11, 2009 11:26:32 AM | 1

Safe Darfur campaign

Soros

I assume that is a mis-spelling, not irony.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 12:08:49 PM | 2

Is the Joseph Wilson mentioned the Joseph C Wilson married to Valerie Plame?

Posted by: johnf | Jan 11, 2009 12:23:02 PM | 3

@Malooga - no, my attempt for irony on that campaign

@Johnf - yes

Posted by: b | Jan 11, 2009 1:47:34 PM | 4

@johnf - yes

short on time today, but i pointed out the following sudan tribune article on jan 2nd

U.S. firm to invest in agriculture in South Sudan

January 2, 2009 (WASHINGTON) — A privately held U.S. investment firm entered into an agricultural investment with a company controlled by the son of a South Sudanese general.

Jarch Management Group, Ltd, which is registered in the Virgin Islands, is managed by commodities traders and former State Department and Central Intelligence Agency officials, among others.

The investment group announced that it has purchased a 70% interest, by way of sub-participation, in a company incorporated in Juba, the capital of the autonomous region of Southern Sudan. This company, Leac for Agriculture and Investment Company Limited, is controlled by Gabriel Matip, the eldest son of General Paulino Matip Nhial, deputy commander-in-chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).

In addition, Jarch has leased a large tract of farmland in Mayom county of Unity State.

“Jarch has leased approximately 400,000 hectares gross of prime farmland from General Paulino Matip. In addition, Jarch will acquire more farm land within Southern Sudan,” said a statement issued by the investment group.

The statement also noted that Mayom county, where the farmland was leased, contains some mineral resources, for which contracts will be executed by the Government of Southern Sudan in early 2009.

A number of commanders of the SPLA are members of Jarch’s advisory board. These figures are drawn particularly from influential members of the former insurgency in Nuerland, including Paulino Matip and Peter Gadet. Notably, Vice-President Riek Machar and Major General Gulwak Deng were also invited to join the advisory board.

...

While U.S. companies are banned from doing business in Sudan, which the U.S. considers a state sponsor of terrorism, agriculture in Southern Sudan is exempted from sanctions provided that the Khartoum-based national government does not have any stake in the business and provided that no imports or exports pass through non-exempt areas.

“Jarch will only deal in Southern Sudan and will not involve any entity from the Government of Sudan,” said the company statement.

The privately-held firm operates in Africa to extract natural resources. The company is chaired by Philippe Heilberg, who during the 1990s worked in the commodities division of American International Group, a giant American financial company that nearly collapsed in 2008.

“Jarch continues to see tremendous opportunities in South Sudan as it continues to emerge to realize its full potential,” noted the investment group, which will look for a partner to help it maximize the value of this opportunity.

and here's a link to some previous jarch coverage/links here at MoA from Jan 4, 2008

- heilberg: "I am pleased to announce that Mr. Larry C. Johnson will serve as Vice President of Jarch. Mr. Johnson is in charge of intelligence and security for the Company" ; also announced "J. Peter Pham as Senior Adviser"; a link to ken silverstein commentary on jarch activities; link to blog commentary on wilson's role

will elaborate on the topic at a later time

Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2009 1:53:02 PM | 5

JMG has not sat idle in the meantime. In January 2007, Jarch Capital named Mr. Joseph Wilson as the Vice Chairman of Jarch Capital. Yes, this is the same Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who has a wife, Mrs. Valerie Plame, that was exposed as a covert Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agent by Mr. Karl Rove and certain members of the Bush Administration following Ambassador Wilson's revelation that the Niger 'yellowcake' claims make in Pres. Bush's State of the Union address in 2003 were utterly false and the administration knew this when they included the information in the speech.

Natural Resources in Sudan and Africa: What Nobody is Talking About

Posted by: Frank | Jan 11, 2009 1:55:52 PM | 6

and a link to a GNN article from last august that hkol had added to one of our threads on the destination of the mv faina cargo

The most active business interest in Sudan’s south (and also in Darfur) may well prove to be one of the least known. This is a shame, as Jarch Capital is also one of the most interesting players in the Sudanese drama.

Jarch is an investment company working out of Hong Kong, but it’s team is almost wholly American. It is also almost wholly Democrat. On its board we find luminaries like ex-ambassador Joseph Wilson (of yellowcake fame), ex-intelligence man Larry Johnson and ex-Clinton era National Security Adviser Gwyneth Todd. It’s not totally pinko though, with neocon commentator J Peter Pham on the board as well.

The main player in Jarch, however, is Phil Heilberg – an ex-trader and veteran of the fragmentation of the Soviet Union where, a recent biographical article stated, he “spent 10 years there while still in his 20s, visiting every new republic, “backing gold deals in Tashkent and silver in Kazakhstan, trading spreads and shipping oil, sleeping in burlap tents and showering with our socks on”.

Phil has taken his swashbuckling attitude into Africa where he is now running bets not on commodity prices, but on the fates of whole nations and peoples. It’s an astonishing idea. As Energy Compass’ Peter Kemp commented recently, although “across [Africa] there is a broad presumption against border changes…states in turmoil can be fertile ground for risk-takers who are ready to cut deals with today’s rebels on the chance they’ll become tomorrow’s leaders. The most blatant buccaneers actively want states to fail, precisely because they might reap rewards from the new sovereign authorities that emerge.”

Kemp was talking specifically about Jarch which, he continued, “is targeting non-sovereign groups in a string of troubled states that stretch across the southern Sahel to the Red Sea.” That is, Jarch is building links with movements which seek to break up existing nations, a business model which amounts to fomenting chaos and civil war across one of the world’s poorest regions.

The reason is clear. Along with 600,000 sq. km of Sudanese concessions, Kemp reports that “Jarch is…chasing rights to oil, mineral and other natural resources in Chad, the Central African Republic ( CAR ) and the self-declared republic of Somaliland. It is keeping an eye on Eritrea and Ethiopia, as well.” The British Empire hardly had an agenda as brazen.

Unfortunately, it’s not all talk. Reports confirm that Jarch has attracted at least three key figures from South Sudan’s regional government to its proposals. One, Paulino Matip, controls the largest military faction within the region’s dominant force, the SPLA. On the company website, Heilberg smiles and shakes hands with the Central African Republic’s ambassador to the U.S. Meanwhile, Jarch has also taken the nephew of South Sudan’s vice-president (Riek Machar) onto its “advisory board” a post also occupied by the region’s minister of health, Joseph Wejang.

As noted above, Jarch is wagering on the disintegration of Sudan. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that they are happy to see Blackwater et al training SPLA troops in the region. Whether they are helping to fund the initiative is unclear. But what is clear is that the stakes are high.

A referendum scheduled to be held across Sudan in 2011 will theoretically determine the shape of Sudan after that point, with southern secession on the ballot. What won’t be on the ballot are two boxes – one marked “Total” and the other marked “Jarch” – but they might as well be, for Jarch’s 600,000 sq. km are almost all claimed by the French giant, which also recently announced a new round of exploration in the region. If Sudan stays together, Total may win out. If not, then in whatever states emerge, Jarch may emerge a massive winner.

Of course, this will require backing from the mother country, but with a Democrat administration on the cards, and Clinton era veterans all over both Jarch and the various Darfur advocacy organizations, official interest will surely be high. This will be intensified if Jarch’s wet dreams come true. Not coincidentally, so will human misery in the region.

Posted by: b real | Jan 11, 2009 2:01:33 PM | 7

Per the chart at the bottom of the article, South Korea's Daewoo has leased three time the acreage as the Americans - what do you think is the meaning of this? Why do you think the Americans let the Koreans get more land?

I'm curious about your (and FT's) choice of words - why are so many players described as "former CIA officials?" I think it's because you want readers to assume they're still CIA....

And who cares if some guys are buying land leases in some African country? Is *everything* in the world attributable to U.S. Evil in some manner?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 2:10:39 PM | 8

Nice try - the "GNN article" you link above is just another blogpost - it's not an "article" in the sense of the word you want it to be.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 2:17:52 PM | 9

A few minutes bouncing around Google searches leads me to a story about 'manna from heaven', gum arabic, used in food products worldwide.

"Sudan, Chad and Nigeria -- all three deeply troubled countries that produce 95 percent of the 60,000 tonnes of gum exported each year in the world -- would like to set up a cartel like oil's OPEC."

The US food conglomerates make the Military Industrial Complex look downright homey and playful by comparison.

IMHO, the bigger prize here is an OPEC-like control over the world's gum arabic market? Sure, there's oil and minerals scattered around, but acacia trees are easier to plant than rocks.

In my view, the great longer term danger to the region (among many) would be the mono-culturization of crops....

...but i'm probably wrong.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 2:29:59 PM | 10

The ICC says it wants to issue warrants for the arrest of Sudanese officials:

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) gave an update on his meeting with the Security Council on criminal charges being filed against the Sudanese government. Al-Bashir, head of state in Sudan, and his Minister of Interior Momammed Hasoon, are two of the six persons being investigated by the ICC for war crimes, genocide and rape in the camps in and around Darfur. The Sudanese government has vehemently denied any wrong-doing against civilians in the camps.

In January, the ICC is expected to have all judges on board to begin the judicial process and investigation into these crimes against humanity.

If Joe's company of CIA investors wants to stay ahead of this game, they're going to have to:

A) influence the ICC in such a way that a favorable outcome is produced, or..

B) be 'inside' enough to know when the warrants are coming down, but MORE importantly, who's going to step into these positions once vacated.

How will they achieve this?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 2:40:06 PM | 11

My link in #10 should be this one.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 2:48:00 PM | 12

@jeremiah - what is your point?

---
@b real - thanks for your earlier coverage of the issue. I hadn't forgotten it but admit I was too lazy to search for the links you provided a while ago for the above lazy post.

The FT printing this in the weekend edition is, I think, quite a step and one might ask in who's interest. Who in the 'west' reads the Sudan Times but you and sometimes me?
---

Harper's Ken Silverstein had this short issue a while ago on Jarch's oil interest in South Sudan. Not that I would trust the official U.S. claim he submits.

Posted by: b | Jan 11, 2009 3:28:29 PM | 13

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Larry C. Johnson
You mean, Larry Johnson as in No Quarter's Larry Johnson?
sheesh...

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Jan 11, 2009 3:49:17 PM | 14

Great reporting, everyone.

In a perverse way, World-Bank/IMF/NGO certified/approved export agriculture is a great cover for strategic resource control, don't ya think?

Fill the place with earnest naive NGO certified development experts, who, as in Afghanistan make 100 times the going rate where they are stationed, and who, as technical "masters of the universe" have the power and authority via international dollars to remake the world as they see fit. Kick the peasants off the land, end subsistence agriculture as it doesn't increase GDP, or whatever statistic Billmon is flogging today, indebt the country to international "development agencies," and pursue export-related activities like growing flowers -- what could be nicer? (Read the link.) Build a regimented highly stratified society of a few "experts" and masses of expendable workers in the interest of "efficiency," and social control of pigmented populations.

This is all part of the "New World Order," comrades, where every country has its apportioned place in the hierarchy of production, with the US and EU, as intellectual property and high tech weapons providers, on top. If a country refuses to accept its pre-ordained place, if it gets "airs" or "uppity," the jackals come in, followed by the bombers if that doesn't work.

Don't you think it is strange that countries that can't feed themselves are growing flowers for foreign exchange income? That's your problem, if
you do. The Army of development experts see no problem whatsoever with this. "We will develop the world into a state of permanent environmental sustainability." That is their mantra, and woe unto anyone who stands in their way.

The Sudan is a wheat-growing region. Part of the plan for world domination is control of the world's food supply. The US, as market-maker in wheat (along with junior partners Canada, Australia, and hopefully, the Ukraine) cannot afford competition they do not control. You cannot starve people into submission if you don't corner the market in grains. Didn't you play "PIT" as a kid? It was part of my training to take my place at the table as a "Master of the Universe," as Tom Wolfe might say.


And as John Perkins might say (you DID read him, didn't you?), the jackals are back. Democratic jackals, to be sure, but after eight years in the think tank/undercover CIA blogging and opinion-molding desert they are lean, mean, and ready to hunt in packs. CIA organized packs. With a kinder, gentler Panetta smiley face as the new marketing logo. Italian Papa gonna tell us how to use our land, how kind'a him!

Note that the same people who trust Obama were the ones who put their faith in Joe Wilson and avidly read Larry Johnson. Remember Amy Goodman's reverential reporting on Joe Wilson?

"These guys can't be bad! It must be a mistake. They are only trying to help poor people!"

Some of us will never learn. We are the dog that licks our oppressors hand to thank him for kicking us today.

Remembering the past helps one evaluate the information we receive in the present. Or, at least, it has the potential to, if only we utilize our critical thinking facilities.

They count on the fact that we are raised to respect authority in this country. No matter how many wars the US starts, how many people they kill,... We are a great people, who unfortunately make a few mistakes,... but this time, THIS TIME UNDER OBAMA WE TRUST, we are finally gonna get it right, and help the poor suckers of the world to get ahead. Yeah, right, whatever. Believe what you want, you will anyway.

Anyway, as so many are now so sure, we have a "solid pick" to head the CIA, whatever that means. Was Reinhard Gehlen a "solid pick?" How about Marcus Wolf? How about George Bush, William Casey, Allan Dulles? Anyone from this list?

Or could the problem, perhaps, be structural?

(Hint: DCIA has been demoted to a public sales position, to repair the US's image (and only image, not substance), He no longer reports to the Vice President. DCI, the "bad cop" of the pair does. DCIA and Obama are in the marketing department, not planning.)

But, believe what you want, you will anyway.

And so it goes....

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 3:55:33 PM | 15

@ b: please don't be glib. What is *your* point? Are the questions I posed beneath your consideration?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 3:58:41 PM | 16

So maybe this Jarch is a proprietary. Or maybe, more prosaically: when ex-spooks leave their GS jobs behind to feather their nests for retirement they tend to sell noneconomic risk-assessment stuff. If they want to (or have to) work outside the military-industrial complex, foreign investors in frontier markets are the only good fit for their metier. No doubt the covert service will try to stuff the project teams with spies disguised as trees but at this point you can't rule out pure commercial opportunism.

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 4:02:29 PM | 17

You know you've hit paydirt when the trolls pop to attention.

Does anyone really think that a bunch of ex-CIA guys were sitting around drinking beer and playing poker one Saturday night and they got to talking -- "How can we make some money now that we are NOT, I said NOT, on the CIA payroll? Hey about setting up a little company in Sudan. We can help the natives find jobs. I think I know someone who will put up the cash, after all it's a very low-risk business venture, don't ya think? And it should be easy to convince a sovereign government to give up a chunk of land the size of Connecticut, who would even notice that it was missing?"

Sssh! What;s that noise? Do I hear the grunch of fallen idols?

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 4:03:21 PM | 18

@18 A few points. It's easy to acquire huge parcels of land in Africa, an individual could do it - you could do it if weren't marching around with your papier mache puppets all day. And if you think there's no money for this sort of thing you don't understand where risk capital comes from (hint: it does not come from busted Western banks.) Cynicism is great, I wish I had invented it, but it cannot help you if you don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 4:53:50 PM | 19

In the hope that jeremiah's questions were genuine and not the usual rhetoric white-anting that we get in here from shills passing in the night, the difference between a South Korea corporation such as Daewoo investing in land in Africa, which is bad enough and the subject of a couple of posts I made months ago, and an amerikan corporation with links into the 'new' DC administration - cause don't imagine for one moment that lots of dem pols don't feel extremely grateful to Wilson and Plame, is that if the Daewoo investment goes ass up, the investors will moan and groan try to fix it, prolly not succeed and then cut their losses.

On the other hand if the Jarch investment even looks like pointing tits or ass to the sky a few words will be whispered into the shell likes of a few 'players' in Washington and people will die, possibly in great numbers, to ensure the scheme remain viable.

How do i know this? Well cause like so many others here during the course of our lives we have seen the wholesale slaughter of indigenous people and urban poor throughout Latin America whenever the amerikan government determined that US investments were 'at risk'.

If I remember rightly I posted about the South Korean investments when Zimbabwe was on the front cooker a few months ago. It is apparent to many of us that the reason so many humans are dying of disease and starvation in Zimbabwe is that USuk are determined to force recovery of investments made back in the mid-90's when Mugabe experimented with the neo-lib bullshit that is at the heart of global financial meltdown.

It's not even certain that the Zimbabweans got as far as allowing large parcels to be leased, it is more likely that the white landownwers, who were a hangover from england's earlier invasion and theft, from which the Zimabweans were slowly recovering, borrowed against their holdings, so banks hopped in on the back of rumours that the world bank and IMF just about had the country stitched up. When Mugabe backed out, bliar stopped the reparations for england's earlier invasion and thefts, and amerika and england used the international economic community to try to make Zimbabwe 'see reason'.

Mugabe saw too late what he had signed up for so retreated. But since then Zimbabwe (the bread basket of Africa) has been subjected to a siege by sanction that may not be of the same magnitude as the one Gaza has been subjected to but nevertheless is killing a lot of humans.
We can sit back and criticise Mugabe's tactics as related by the media organs of frustrated foreign investors, but all he is really doing in his own stubborn and violent way is trying to protect the sovereignty of the nation that he and his supporters already de-colonised once before.

If these investments stand, get ready for lots more famines and wars that will make the famines of late last century seem tame.

P.S.
I see anon the paid shill of the peeps who own yer ass has returned, gang. A big round of applause for the traitor to humanity.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 11, 2009 5:10:15 PM | 20

The Bush family bought a huge chunk of land in Paraguay. It sits over the largest acquifer in South America.
http://fromtheleft.wordpress.com/2006/11/29/bush-family-purchases-100000-acres-in-paraguay/

Oh, and apparently CIA agents are crawling all over Paraguay, claiming that Al Qaeda is operating in the lawless "Muslim Triangle" where Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina meet. "Hezbollah and the terrorist Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) are operating in the tri-border region of Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. The suspected activities of these groups include counterfeiting U.S. currency and drug smuggling, with the area in which they function described as a "haven for Islamic extremists" by the administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Asa Hutchinson, in testimony before the House International Relations Committee."
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=37133

It's pretty wierd that Hamas, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda would all be operating in areas so remote from their operations, when there are plenty of other places in Asia and Africa where they cculd do business.

And isn't it funny that the Bush's would want to buy land in such a dangerous place? Or were the stories simply planted to provide a rationale for putting a lot of taxpayer funded security in place for the Bushes' land acquisitions?

Posted by: JohnH | Jan 11, 2009 5:17:38 PM | 21

It seems to me you goons need to make a choice: either the US is a crumbling 'empire', or it's the most omnipotent, gargantuan lever of control over the planet ever devised by humankind.

So which is it? Does the omnipotent US simply kill bazillions of people because Ameri(k)an elite's vacation home is under siege, and they "whispered" in someone's ear?

If the US is so supremely powerful as to have CIA agents "all over" every inch of the planet, continually forwarding some "plan for world domination", then why is our economy in tatters? Or, is that whole 'economic collapse' story a brilliant fiction of The Wizard(s), too? Just another reason to kill people somewhere else on the planet?

@ Malooga - do you actually know any retired CIA folks? Or are these just your personal demons flitting about in the comments?

# Debs: why do you continually misspell "America" with a 'K'? What is the significance of that?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 5:33:07 PM | 22

A HREF="http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/322/5898/115">This is you, your feelings of helplessness lead to dream up this world cosmic conspiracy shit. And nobody pays me to piss you off and debunk your fantasies, I do it for fun!

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 5:34:31 PM | 23

Oops, @20 This is you, your feelings of helplessness lead to dream up this world cosmic conspiracy shit. And nobody pays me to piss you off and debunk your fantasies, I do it for fun!

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 5:39:39 PM | 24

@Debs, et al....

...and who are these 'elites' you speak of so often at MOA? How does one qualify to be an 'elite?' How does one know if one is 'elite' or not? Would any of these 'elites' ever bother with reading/commenting at MOA? Does anyone here know a person who'd be considered 'elite' by the MOA barnyard?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 5:52:41 PM | 25

If that's true anon that is even sadder that I thought. I have met so many of you confused mean little types over the years, shouting "oh no they are going to kills us" from 3 lines back as we close in on the jackboots. We usually do pretty much kill em before they are rescued by their 'friends' the jackboots. Or continually trying to lead the discussion into areas that will look 'subversive' on a handlers worksheet, so they can justify wasting their sad little lives at meetings which often aren't the real meetings where the work gets done but no one trusts the stink of desperate confusion they emanate so they never get invited.

I have no doubt your existence is just as confused and petty as those of the others of your ilk that I have been forced to come in contact with.

Sometimes you will probably feel like you support 'us' as some of your other postings here show, but mostly you will only feel secure when you are spouting the cliches of the people you believe to be big and important who you imagine can protect you from the world you're too scared to try to change.
At least most of the others I've met got got expenses as a minimum and nowadays many are on a good 'bung' - you're missing out. Now trot off and annoy someone else like a good little spaniel.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 11, 2009 5:56:35 PM | 26

I can't resist: How to write about Africa.

In all seriousness, this mostly applies to us westerners as this is the predominant view of the continent we're indoctrinated with in primary school.

Is what it is.....

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 5:57:40 PM | 27

@b: your OP discussed 'new colonialism in Africa', and I've contributed a bit to the derailing. My apologies.

I'm curious about the term 'colonialism' and how you're using it: do you reference it in the Chomsky sense of the word? Or do you use it to invoke a kind of negativity toward western entities? (and no, Debs, i'm not being rhetorical....just curious.) Do you think it means Westerners are intent on remaking "Africa" in their image - perhaps playing out an inherited Judeo-Xtian psychology?

The JARCH group is interesting, but it looks like a loose affiliation of acquaintances with a website, versus some megalomaniacal arm of US colonialism.

I mean, "Head of Security?" What kind of lame giveaway title is that?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 6:16:40 PM | 28

@26 Nice try with the psychoanalysis, but mostly what comes through is your somewhat limited breadth of experience.

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 6:28:35 PM | 29

It's easy to acquire huge parcels of land in Africa, an individual could do it - you could do it if weren't marching around with your papier mache puppets all day. And if you think there's no money for this sort of thing you don't understand where risk capital comes from

I've got 20 years experience in growing and marketing organic produce. I've run $15 Million operations. Probably better than anything Joe Wilson or Larry Johnson can claim. Can you find me some seed capital to purchase, say, 100 square miles in Africa? Seriously.

do you actually know any retired CIA folks? Or are these just your personal demons flitting about in the comments?

I've met John Perkins and had the opportunity to speak with him personally, off the record. I've read all of the relevant texts about CIA covert activities, (Agee, McGehee, etc.)and Covert Quarterly also.

It seems to me you goons need to make a choice: either the US is a crumbling 'empire', or it's the most omnipotent, gargantuan lever of control over the planet ever devised by humankind.

So which is it? Does the omnipotent US simply kill bazillions of people because Ameri(k)an elite's vacation home is under siege, and they "whispered" in someone's ear?

If the US is so supremely powerful as to have CIA agents "all over" every inch of the planet, continually forwarding some "plan for world domination", then why is our economy in tatters?

You are building strawmen and asking questions which you know the answer to.

The US is the most powerful nation in history. It has over 700 military bases encircling the planet, spends more than the rest of the planet combined on its military. What it spends on covert actions alone, as best we can estimate, would make that the worlds 6th largest military, with 60,000 operatives worldwide, in every nation in the world. Many other powerful nations are allied to it, and many poor nations are beholden to it.

But it is not omnipotent and it is losing strength. After WWII, the US controlled 54% of world GDP. Now we are talking more like 25%. China, followed by Russia, India (potentially), and Brazil are its closest competitors.

and who are these 'elites' you speak of so often at MOA? How does one qualify to be an 'elite?' How does one know if one is 'elite' or not? Would any of these 'elites' ever bother with reading/commenting at MOA? Does anyone here know a person who'd be considered 'elite' by the MOA barnyard?

You haven't been here long. We have discussed this many times. Read C. Wright Mills, and William Domhoff, among others, who have spent their life studying just these questions, as well as how these mysterious "elites" wield power. Yes, living in NYC and Boston I have met a number of them. They are actually flesh and blood real people who bleed just like you and me. The only difference as far as I can tell, is that they appear to have under-developed consciences.

Rumble, rumble, nobody's attacked the gist of my argument with documented fact. Silence as usual, to my posts lately, as when I documented that saintly Billmon, writer of economics, mislead us with his unemployment statistics. Real unemployment is now well over 15%.

In any event, it is clear that it will never be left to Africans to develop their own continent.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 6:34:59 PM | 30

@ Jeremiah-

Calm down, man. You are burying your own conjectures in strawmen.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 6:37:14 PM | 31

malooga

don't worry yourself wih such cretins - your time is precious. theirs isn't. there's not one post of your that i'd want to neglect. as for the trolls - it seems sufficient to keep cretins out of your life - but no - they arrive here with such soilemn stupidity

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 11, 2009 6:49:11 PM | 32

@30 Seriously, it depends on your IRR. And it doesn't have to be high as high as you might think - 3% might be good enough for investors in a none-too-stable part of the world. The hard part is compensating for shitty transport and distribution infrastructure, lack of national grades & standards, etc. That's what makes it tough to get to 3%.

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 11, 2009 6:52:14 PM | 33

@ Malooga:

"The US is the most powerful nation in history. It has over 700 military bases encircling the planet, spends more than the rest of the planet combined on its military. What it spends on covert actions alone, as best we can estimate, would make that the worlds 6th largest military, with 60,000 operatives worldwide, in every nation in the world. Many other powerful nations are allied to it, and many poor nations are beholden to it."

You were saying something about strawmen?

And what, praytell, is the "gist of your argument" that cannot be challenged by anyone here?

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 7:48:18 PM | 34

Ok, Mr. Blah blah blah "million dollar operation" in organic produce....here's something that I hope you can agree is far more determinate in the future of the region....a phenomenon even the Omnipotent Super All Knowning Evil America cannot undo by it's sheer CIA willpower:

Lake Chad is drying up.

It is my contention that no political movement, no nation, no scrappy band of rebels can undo this. The massive human migrations that became the Darfur genocides and interment camps - the Janjaweed crazies and the thumb-twiddling colonials, were all driven by the singularity of global warming.

Lake Chad is drying up.

People will go where the fresh water and food are. Weather patterns do not follow political climates. They *define* them.

Maybe there is a discussion to be had as to whether or not migration is a human right.

Until that discussion, we seem relegated to invoking abstractions, flinging psychological projections, and little else.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 8:03:22 PM | 35

jeremiah, you are quite simply, a fool

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Jan 11, 2009 8:09:27 PM | 36

Lake Chad is drying up.

Nobody is denying this. So is the water table in the US mid-west. Which makes large-scale export oriented agriculture even more insane.

Maybe there is a discussion to be had as to whether or not migration is a human right.

If capital is allowed to move freely, why shouldn't people? Gated communities should be illegal.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 8:14:42 PM | 37

Thank you for that contribution giap. so glad you have internet.

In 2007, the agricultural product set to save the Saharan sub-continent was Jatropha, currently being hailed as an petroleum input.

Scientists estimate that if even a quarter of the continent's arable land was ploughed into jatropha plantations, output would surpass 20 million barrels a day, enough to satisfy at least America's appetite for oil.

But it's Europe that's driving the thirst for biodiesel. The European Union has said it will use 5.75 per cent biodiesel in fuel products by 2010 and 20 per cent by 2020, meaning within four years, the EU will need 10.5 billion litres of biodiesel. More than half of it will have to be imported from places like India, where biodiesel is already being made from soybeans, sunflowers, rapeseed and jatropha.

Since jatropha seeds contain only 30 per cent oil, analysts figure farmers need to grow 50,000 hectares to make the operation viable. Investors are traditionally skittish on Africa and this is an endeavour that needs major dollars: few African countries have the infrastructure for full-scale oil production.

Emphasis mine.

Green crude, anyone?

So, it's looking more like African nations are going to have an expanding role in the global energy economy. What role, exactly......the mind spins.....

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 8:20:25 PM | 38

@ Malooga in #37: "If capital is allowed to move freely, why shouldn't people? Gated communities should be illegal."

Couldn't. Agree. More.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 11, 2009 8:26:59 PM | 39

Europeans subsidize their cows to the tune of $2/day, more than 50% of the world lives on.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 11, 2009 8:36:52 PM | 40


is it possible to make a buck in Africa without screwing the natives ? Actually maybe, the Scandinavians tend to try to honor that approach generally. Some other wealthier countries sometimes do so too -- New Zealand, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, Iran, Saudi, some crazy Frenchmen sometimes & some more sober Canadians too. But this is one more typical deal where it seems the natives get screwed by others including their own "leaders"

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 11, 2009 8:49:32 PM | 41

Got some mean drunks in here tonight, I don't want to get hit by a pool-stick, but I thought I'd step-in for a quick nightcap...

I'm gonna talk out my hind quarters for a bit and throw-out some ideas to think on. "But" remember the source.

How many soldiers do you think america could put on the ground in six months? This is a very important question to consider when thinking about what sort of foolish interventions the U.S. might engage in.

Even if the U.S. government were to start drafting citizens into the military today it would be a minimum of eight weeks before the first wave would be ready. And this is if anyone responded to the draft.

I think implementing a draft would probably be more than the country would, could stand. Most of the people who are gung-ho for american imperialism are too old to fight, the gung-ho youth are already in the military, and anyone who would show-up for basic training would likely make for a pretty sorry collection of humans.

America has changed dramatically since WWII, we have a cosmopolitan, white-collar business oriented population and a service industry to take care of the former's needs. These aren't the folks that make good soldiers. Despite all the weapons in america, the bulk of them are in the hands of fewer and fewer people as more americans are scared of guns and want them outlawed.

Everyone at the bar should be thinking about what this means in terms of the politicians ability to sell any future interventions into Africa, South America or any mess in the middle east. Even if there were a false-flag attack that pissed americans off enough to wake them up from their zombie consumer trance, any army raised would be pretty piss-poor and not of the caliber the world is used to seeing from america.

We are not our grandparent's country and it is a sad, comic image that comes to my mind when I think of what the average american walking through a mall would look like in combat.

Posted by: David | Jan 11, 2009 9:01:17 PM | 42

David @42
anyone who would show-up for basic training would likely make for a pretty sorry collection of humans

While I would have agreed with you a year or two ago, with skyrocketing unemployment and bankruptcy rates now, I think there are plenty who will be willing to sell themselves as cannon fodder if only to have a paying 'job,' free health care for their young families, and be excused or have their indebtedness postponed to a later date. In times of economic peril, even the military looks better than living in a car.

Posted by: Ensley | Jan 11, 2009 10:43:32 PM | 43

For b real, et al...

Africa Past & Present Podcasts

Some very interesting African History podcasts available from Peter Limb and Peter Alegi of Michigan State University's African Studies Program

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jan 12, 2009 6:13:00 AM | 44

Its not even about how many amerikan boots the pricks can put on the ground because the new africa rip is shaping up to be more like like the Latin American deal where the remnants of earlier white colonial empires are drafted to do much of the heavy lifting against those indigenous people who haven't lost their land yet. Of course small teams of advisors will be amerikan military murderers but contractors are the name of the game for a lot of the work.
Just because there is black majority rule in Jaapieland doesn't mean all the jaapies have shot through to Perth or LA (incidentally I was wondering if Johannes Mehserle, the BART pig who shot a kid in Oakland on New Years Eve might have been a jaapie migrant - the redneck boer migrants often put their hands up for police work in their 'new homes' - they also have trouble understanding not everyone thinks the sjambok is the way forward)

Nevertheless lots of dumb rednecks stayed behind and they still fancy themselves at just the job to kill a few kaffirs in some corner of africa (eg Mark Thatcher and Co in Sierra Leone a few years back when the ownership of Sierra Leone's diamond fields was being disputed by amerikan, english and european corporations) or that old stand by for being paid to commit murder and mayhem, the Congo. Not to mention Sudan, Somalia or the Ivory Coast. I used to share a house with a bloke (a whitefella from zimbabwe or rhodesia as it was called then, at 16 he ran away from home to sign up with a mob of mercs in the Congo - and that was over 40 years ago)

The Congo is still a favoured spot for jaapies and anglo-africans to earn more than they could driving a dozer. All they had to do is kill, rape, and mutilate the traditional owners, chase em off the land then guard the place until everything has been dug up, the water table polluted and the topsoil stripped.
But now the price of food has gone sky high it has become economically viable to pay this jaapie scum to rape and murder to grab farmland.

Of course much of the land can be stolen even easier than that, that CIA mob have been staging coups around the world for generations. They also murdered some of the greatest men of the 20th century to secure economic rights for amerikan corporations - Che Guevara in Bolivia ( commisioned by CIA operative Félix Rodríguez who was also at the Bay of Pigs and went on to become one of Bush senior's legmen during Iran/Contra) and Patrice Lumumba the man who could have saved the Congo from half a century of civil war and genocidal horror, but that would have been bad for amerikan business, apparently the CIA preferred the urbane charm of Joseph Mobutu who murdered millions of his countrymen along with 'communists' in other Africa nations when he served as president/dictator of the congo from 1961 until 1997. Things were much more free and easy back in 1961 when Lumumba was topped. amerikans were believed to consider killing a "black commie" to be a 'good thing' which is why when the Belgian sponsored commission of enquiry into Lumumba's murder (like Che Guevara this occurred whilst in the custody of the CIA advised 'friendlies') no-one in amerika much took notice of the fact the commission determined that prez Eisenhower said "something [to CIA chief Allen Dulles] to the effect that Lumumba should be eliminated".

But enough of the history lesson. Those who really can't understand why many of us believe amerikan corporations with ties to the CIA 'investing' in Africa is a horror show in the making should stop posting asinine comments and start reading modern history.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 12, 2009 7:22:51 AM | 45

@b real

Thanks for the research.

Posted by: johnf | Jan 12, 2009 7:37:32 AM | 46

Deb is dead,

I got started on a post defending my argument about american boots on the ground and then another thought hit me... I wasn't looking at a big enough picture of events and this limited my view of possibilities.

I think it is time I broaden my world view and stop viewing so many of these events in terms of nation-states and start viewing them from the mountaintop of multinational corporations.

When american corporations are blamed for a problem, then the solution must be an american solution. But the companies we are talking about aren't american companies anymore (if they ever were) they are not tied to any one nation, they are beholden to no one.

This puts the problems of Africa into a different light, because it isn't really a problem that can be addressed by anything other than an organization that is able to fight the corporate fiefdoms tangling the world's people in a foul web.

As yet there is no such organization that isn't already beholden to corporate masters.

Most of the world's conflicts suddenly make more sense when I think of them as corporate fights and not national fights. I think MOAs would agree, most modern conflicts (post 1970) have been instigated by corporate interest more than any national interest, regardless of what is published in the new york times.

These corporations are far more insidious than any individual kook because they can live much longer and wield more power. And if things go bad, it is far easier for a corporation to change its name, it's home base and continue spreading its foul feces from one country to another country.

What can be done to fight these immortal creatures of evil? What sort of spike can we drive though the heart of this sort of monster? Does it even have a heart?

I think it would be in our interest to dwell on trying to figure-out how to successfully change the structure of corporations and the power they weld, then worrying ourselves with the passe idea of nation/states and their ever declining power on the world's stage.

Posted by: David | Jan 12, 2009 10:04:48 AM | 47

Thank you, Debs is dead, for #45.

Hopefully history lessons are not lost on those who believe that America (read: Obama) now suddenly has good intentions for the rest of the world. In their unshakeable liberal belief in the "benevolence" of American Exceptionalism, they perpetrate the very same damage as right-wing jingoists and bagmen, despite their high ideals and talk of peace. (Actually more, because the right acknowledges the need to "break a few eggs," while the left only grudgingly "apologizes" for past "mistakes" like genocide.)


David:

This quote is often misattributed to Chomsky because he uses it a lot:

"Government is the shadow cast by business over society." John Dewey

I think it is time I broaden my world view and stop viewing so many of these events in terms of nation-states and start viewing them from the mountaintop of multinational corporations.

In general, allowing for exceptions, finance controls the private accumulation of wealth, private wealth controls corporations, corporations control government and the media, and government controls the sanctioned use of force against people and the legality of such use.

Be flexible in your viewpoint; no single perspective contains within it the entire truth.

You might also think about particpative democratic practices versus heirarchical structures (often called Democracy), individual rights, human rights, the concentration of specialized knowledge -- there are many valid perspectives.

It is nice to have your thoughtful perspective here at the ole whisky bar.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 12, 2009 10:52:45 AM | 48

Malooga,

Thanks.

I agree with you about the flexibility of viewpoint. It is amazingly Chaotic how the political world and life in general are. The Butterfly Effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect is something I think few world leaders account for in their plans.

I feel the time is close when even americans might awake from their sixty-year slumber and notice the cause and effect of what letting the corporations and government run roughshod over the world has wrought in their lives.

Unfortunately I think it is going to get much, much worse for the poorer countries in the world before it gets bad enough in america for people to actually do anything. From the looks of things, I'd say we'll know for sure by spring. If the current levels of strife and conflict in the world hasn't been addressed by the time warm weather hits the Northern Hemisphere then I imagine all hell will break loose.

Reading about all the conflicts, corporate and government maleficence, human tragedies and other "happy" stories swirling around, it is difficult to see the world being a stable, peaceful place for a long time.

Sorry to be so negative.


Posted by: David | Jan 12, 2009 11:52:04 AM | 49

@45 You're talking out your ass about Sierra Leone and in the rest of it there's a high ratio of assertion and invective to inductive logic, which makes a fella less inclined to defer to your, ah, beliefs in silence. You might find discourse is less wearing if you try not to be threatened when someone demurs over details.

Posted by: ...---... | Jan 12, 2009 12:42:43 PM | 50

Hey, ...---...,

Why don't you buy yourself a moniker? I hear that they are very cheap out in cyberspace.

For a deeper look at the real Africa, not the one shown to us on the media of bespoke suits at press conferences, I direct you all to this: Africa’s Deadly Merry-go-round.

Today's Africa is a jungle of shady business interests, private mercenaries, and official government covert and overt policies -- all ever-shifting, ever realigning -- ever hoping to gain just a little more power for their own self-interests. All of the so-called "International community" of core industrialized nations, as concentrations of capital and technology and consumers of natural resources, use this vast continent to play out their most perverted dark-side psychodramas in a desperate, but necessary, exchange for lucre and ephemeral advantage the growth of "civilization." Humanitarians are either suborned into the drama or powerless. The "fog of war" is pervasive. Even governments, with their vast information gathering technologies, lose track of the vast cast of actors in the drama, and alliances, based upon expediency over all else, are ever changing. The scale is immense...

Elsewhere on the blog we read this:

This morning I nearly fell off the sofa while watching BBC News24 when a report outlining how Rwanda is behind the genocide in the Congo was broadcast. The fleeing of people from Goma initiated this report. It even went so far as to say that we have all been told lies about what really happened in the Congo. Was this really happening? I had to rewind the V+box to replay this news again and again just to make sure that I had not misheard the report. But no, I had heard correctly. Mention was made of how the regions mineral wealth has fuelled the crisis and how Kivu has become the prize fought over by Rwandan businessmen. This was extraordinary. Truth was finally dribbling through my box! Was my hardening cynicism of the function of the media going to have to be relaxed? When had I last heard the British Broadcasting propaganda service for the corporate elites do something as revolutionary as telling the truth? But here was the BBC telling their viewers that “Tutsi rebels” paid for by Rwandan businessmen have been committing crimes against humanity and well basically, it has to stop, chaps. Does one Messrs Tony Blair know this? Having appointed himself envoy to Rwanda recently he must be made aware of these facts straight away.

Talk of humanitarian intervention was interspersed with pictures of ragged Congolese men stoning UN blue tops as they passed in their shiny white tanks and the finger of blame was pointed at them by the BBC for failing to prevent the deaths of one million people. There was video too of Kagame’s men in crisply pressed new green uniforms filmed from sinister angles decrying their innocence. No mention was made of the fact that the BBC had bought these lies and why but I was prepared to forgive this omittance at this point and the fact they got the death toll wrong, it’s closer to 5 million who have died in the DR Congo at the rate of 45,000 a month since the Rwandans invaded the country ostensibly to hunt down Hutu rebels.

A developing story so more was bound to leak through the miasma. But just as the horror of what has transpired in the Eastern region of DR Congo, and why, threatened to dominate the headlines it was killed dead in its tracks at about 10.00 am by the very important coverage of bad boy comedian Russell Brand and partner in crime tv presenter Jonathan Woss and their crime of having made a rude call in the middle of the night to a grand-father about some sexual dalliance Brand had supposedly enjoyed with his grand-daughter. And that was that.

And so it goes.

In the interests of dialogue, one is urged to supply relevant details of the narrative they believe in -- if it contradicts another's post -- rather than attacking the choices another poster made.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 12, 2009 2:30:48 PM | 51

@David while I agree that many of these corporations aren't amerikan any longer, especially in the sense that those in control of some of the corporations no longer have a particular fealty to the United States or its constitution and some eg Sony, never had such fealty, it isn't correct to separate the two entirely.
This is IMO for a number of reasons mostly to do with the transitive state of corporations and global capitalism, but also associated with human nature and our ability to simultaneously hold two sets of beliefs for a time, one may be operating on the 'business' level and the other on the 'personal'. So a corporate executive may dutifully hoist his stars and stripes every morning before going to work, then spend the day working in his company's interests and against the interests of amerika. Eventually there will almost certainly be a conflict some sort of crisis when the individual will have to decide, but until that point is reached the duality will continue.

I once attended one of those live in seminars which used to be the bosses' way of ensuring you got a break in the 80's, this one was on the growth of trans-national corporations and the stages of that growth. This was Japanese business theory which argued that in the early stages of a corporate expansion, when a new subsidiary was being set up in a new foreign market, the executives should be 'sourced from head office' in this case Japan. But after the business had grown and made inroads into the local market, that in the next stage local executives should come from the local market as they would have much better knowledge of the market and contacts within it. Then in the final stage of the corporation's growth, the executives at local branch and head office should simply be the best man for the job, as past a certain level executives would be expected to have transcended national loyalty. Their loyalty to the company exceeded any residual loyalty to their corporation.

Some corporations have made it into early third stage, but many have not and never will. After all this was the work of some business theorist and whilst the model seemed logical and attractive to many, it is unlikely that corporations would be willing to cede all the advantages that claiming to be a projection of any nation's will affords.

In the 80's when this model was popular in Japan, the japanese still had a commitment to maintaining a military force solely for self defense, that no longer holds true, so having corporate executives who can convince the Japanese government to go past diplomacy into war may become attractive.

As most of us are aware, it isn't only amerikan corporations that are required to ante up the 'taxes' extorted from them by amerikan politicians allegedly to fund their campaigns.
It seems anyone who wants to play in amerika has to pay. The rethugs try to expose the dems from time to time over issues like the dreaded China, but I have no doubt that Chinese businesses were arm twisted into funding shrub just as much if not more as they had to ante up to the cigar bill mob during his reign.
The cost of doing business.
As to which is the dog and which is the tail and who does the wagging? well that isn't as straightforward as we are led to believe either. If I had to guess I would say neither corporations nor governments.
Those who call the shots on whether people get invaded, whether to go to war or not are more likely to be small concentrations of self interest, made up of large strategic shareholders and others in key positions in government eg the group who founded Jarch or equally that Bush and old school tie Brit conglomerate the now defunct Carlyle group. Publicity doesn't suit these pricks any more which is odd cause back in the day when they were promising the rest of us heaven on earth, they would do anything to get a headline.
Dave I guess what I'm trying to say is that just as governments don't seem able to exist without corporate assistance, it is equally true that corporations can't exist with government help. From time to time one may seem to have more power than the other but that is a temporary situation, the real power seems to exist in small concentrations at the nexus of corporate and government power where these shadowy groupings live.
Increasingly particularly in amerika where the role is more established than in other 'democracies', influential members of the armed forces also hop in for a taste of the real deal, pure power.

But really since in so called liberal democracies where military organisations are usually kept subservient to governments, military figures have usually passed through some quasi governmental role say secretary of state, or even head of state before making it to the top table.
One of the truly interesting things about the new Obama organisation is how the power shift in intelligence will be resolved.
It has traditionally been the political appointments to senior intelligence positions that have been the government official portion of the political/government/corporate mixture in these power concentrations. However as we all know shrub moved control of much of amerika's foreign intelligence gathering and actioning, out of the CIA over to the military.

I suppose the issue of CIA traditionally being staffed by dem liberals (a joke since these guys have wreaked murder and mayhem about the globe for over half a century) whereas the military are mostly rethug from top to bottom (of course there are exceptions to this) had nothing to do with it.

Old school dems will want to get intelligence back under their control so it will be revealing, whatever Obama's mob decide to do.


Posted by: Debs is dead | Jan 12, 2009 4:28:41 PM | 52

Debs is dead,

Thanks for the reply and explanation.

Cleaning out the dirty little corners of government seems an impossible task, like trying to groom an angry bear.

The way the same groups cling to power despite the voter's best intentions of shaking them loose can be maddening. It is like playing the old wack-a-mole game, they stick their head up one spot then duck and appear in another spot before the voter can bring the hammer down.

I'll use america's favorite whipping dog as an example. Nixon was publicly proven to be a lying corrupt slime-ball politician and yet there are many people in america who still think the ground he walked was holy. He was able to travel in public with out worry about insults or rotten fruit being thrown, hell, he was still considered "important" politically and feted by the rich and greedy.

And his was just the public face of the powerful, I can only imagine the dirty little flecks of feces clinging under the rim of the toilet (like kissinger.)

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.
~ John Maynard Keynes

Posted by: David | Jan 12, 2009 7:11:22 PM | 53

@Malooga:

In the interests of dialogue, one is urged to supply relevant details of the narrative they believe in -- if it contradicts another's post -- rather than attacking the choices another poster made.

I know this was not directed at me, but still, consider yourself heard. I will work to do this in the future.

Posted by: Jeremiah | Jan 12, 2009 7:18:38 PM | 54


does anyone really know the extent to which USA multi-national corporations have been seeded with intel-operatives and their affiliates. Its not common knowledge though probably factual that the CIA knows far more about the size, location & feasibility of major oil & gas reserves around the world than any other entity. And the same can be said about pretty much any strategic resource. There are far more operatives doing economic & industrial intel than the cloak-and-dagger stuff. However, till recently, agriculture has been one of the few international sectors left much less seeded and though they have'nt received much credit, in the last 50 years or so, a flood of American agriculturists have done outstanding work in Africa.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Jan 12, 2009 9:10:42 PM | 55

@David, anna missed, Uncle $cam, et al:

I concur with Debs is Dead, except for the caveat that power is moving from the CIA to DCI, who was rumored to be John Brennan, who will now probably have to settle for the number two position.

I assume that you have seen the movie, The Corporation? If not, I highly recommend it. There is also a book.

I have addressed power relations several times before, but the classic academic references are C. Wright Mills and William Domhoff, who maintains a website with a good deal of free material.

One thing I haven't addressed before, which will be of interest to all of those who think they know something about the neo-cons, is this paper:

The Global Dominance Group: 9/11 Pre-Warnings & Election Irregularities in Context, by Peter Phillips of Project Censored.

It is a highly footnoted, rigorous, academic paper. All of the other classic texts exploring the relationship between wealth, power, and corporate position in America are footnoted. But more interestingly, it broke new ground by exploring exactly which corporations and which specific people profited by 9-11, and what interlocking relationships they had.

What will happen to these people and these corporations under Obama/Biden bears watching.

There is also the an audio version of this material here, courtesy of TUC Radio.

Posted by: Malooga | Jan 13, 2009 5:58:30 AM | 56

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