Commentary from xcroc:
There is a lot of misinformation here, the only thing really accurate is the names of the countries. I don’t have time available to go through and document point by point, but I will recommend some reading for those who may wish to know more.
First I looked up the author Dr. Jack Zeller. There isn’t very much, from what I found, I think this is the guy. I couldn’t find much else in terms of biography.
Founder and president emeritus of Kulanu, is a clinical pathologist and a Jewish activist. He is a graduate of Columbia College, New York Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, all located in New York City. Jack’s activism began when he served as a board member for American Association for Ethiopian Jews. After Operation Solomon, which air lifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1991, Jack and his wife Dr. Diane Zeller, a specialist in African history, decided to take on the broader issue of dispersed and isolated Jewish communities. After working with an Israel-based organization called Amishav, Jack founded Kulanu, serving as its president for 14 years. Kulanu works in Uganda, Ghana, India, Latin America and other places to help dispersed remnants of the Jewish people.
Of the article I would say this. It begins by talking about newly arrived Arab Muslim extremists in Africa. This comes from the banana theory developed by the Bush administration. The idea was that Muslim militants were spreading out from Iraq and Afghanistan over north and east Africa in the pattern of a bunch of bananas. This supposed growth and spread of Muslim extremism was the excuse to extend the war on terror into Africa and militarize the Sahara. It is a lie, just like the WMDs in Iraq. By claiming this, the US was able to justify a huge militarization of North Africa and the continent, mostly to support US oil interests. The best place to read about this is the book Dark Sahara by Jeremy Keenan. You can look it up on Amazon. You can also read online, Demystifying Africa’s Security by Jeremy Keenan who tells us how the lie came into being. You might also want to read Counterterrorism’s blindness: Mali and the US by Vijay Prashad.
For information on exactly what is happening and has happened in Darfur. I highly recommend the book Saviors and Survivors by Mahmood Mamdani, which you can also find at Amazon, and probably in libraries. Mamdami talks about the word genocide, and the politics regarding which mass killings are called genocide, and who gets to call them genocide and how they decide. He has spent a great deal of time in Sudan and Darfur, studied the history and documents, and spoken with most of the parties and major individuals involved.
I found it particularly disturbing that Zeller seems to be calling for military interventions in what are political problems, with no attention to the context, the history, and no sense of what might be the result of military escalation and intervention. More arms and more soldiers means escalation, more chaos, death, and destruction. From an interview with Mahmood Mamdani:
Q. Are you saying that humanitarianism is a form of colonialism?
A. I’m saying that historically it has been. The movement after which Save Darfur patterned itself is the antislavery movement of the 19th century. Remember that the elimination of slavery was the ostensible reason given by British officials for colonization of the African continent. The cataloging of brutalities – real ones, not exaggerated – was essential preparation for seizing chunks of real estate, again ostensibly to protect victims. Today, the humanitarian claim uses ethics to displace politics. Conflicts are typically presented as tribal or race wars between perpetrators and victims whose roles are unchanging.
Q. Does the problem lie in who uses the humanitarian label?
A. The language of human rights was once used primarily by the victims of repression. Now it has become the language of power and of interventionists who turn victims not into agents but into proxies. It has been subverted from a language that empowers victims to a language that serves the designs of an interventionist power on an international scale.
All the narratives about war and disasters in Africa enable more “humanitarian” intervention. The intervention is “justified” by a disasterous situation. But the intervention is not designed to alleviate the situation, but rather, take advantage of it, allowing the “humanitarians” to acquire land and resources. Only the surface of the intervention is designed to appear humanitarian to the people outside the affected countries, who are generally not knowledgeable, and not particularly interested.
Zeller also calls for military interventions, and for more military assistance for Uganda. Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi are major recipients of US arms and military training. Both Uganda and Burundi have forces in Somalia, proxies representing US interests. Uganda and Rwanda are favored “partners” of the US Africa Command. Both countries have invaded the DRC Congo on several occasions, and both support militias there and reap enormous profits from minerals looted from the Congo. For more on the Rwanda and the Great Lakes region there is a review of three recent books: Kagame’s Hidden War in the Congo in the New York Review of Books. Most conflicts labeled tribal conflicts are resource wars. People on both sides try to whip up ethnic hatreds and resentments in order to use the opportunity to acquire resources, oil, minerals, land, water, etc. International players take advantage of the conflict to acquire those same resources.
Dr. Zeller does not know the history and context very well, or he may have his own interventionist agenda. There is a very real scramble for Africa going on right now.