France has realised - and instrumentalised - the key fact about modern Africa, which is that the nationalist elites have failed to build modern states, and mainly aspire to get money offshore and bring up their children in Paris, Geneva or New York. In the world of the dissolving African state, an arms shipment here or there, two hundred well-trained mercenaries or a million dollars for this or that politician can tip the balance in territories rich in gold, diamonds, oil or uranium. It's absurdly cheap.-------------------- "Disturbing article about Rwanda, France, UN, Belgium, Annan, and Clinton ," by RW Johnson, UCSB , Thursday June 24, 2001
Everyone knows that Gaullist Presidential campaigns over the last thirty years have benefited greatly from donations from Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire and the two Congo states (Kinshasa and Brazzaville). It will doubtless be the same in 2002 - which is why Chirac receives Robert Mugabe in such splendour at the Elysee, conscious that Zimbabwe's 14,000 troops in the Congo make him a key player in such marchandise. Not that France has a monopoly on playing Machiavelli in Africa: Herman Cohen, Clinton's assistant secretary of state for Africa, who was so busy in Rwanda in 1994, today has a multi-million contract to tart up the image of Mugabe. Cohen has also had contracts to promote Zaire's Mobutu, Gabon's Omar Bongo (whose government the state department reports is guilty of a routine use of torture), and Liberia's Charles Taylor - an adept in the use of child soldiers and the lopping off of hands, legs, ears and lips.
That info in my last post can be found on this thread:
African governments are paying millions of dollars to lobbyists in hopes of influencing Washington's policy, according to an examination of US government files.
Oil-producing nations -- especially, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea -- are paying the biggest fees by far, but others, especially those with which Washington has difficult relations, are not holding back the cash.
Favoured lobbyists include former high-ranking State Department and other government officials, such as Herman Cohen, who served as Assistant Secretary of State for Africa under former President George Bush and whose partner, James Woods, held the equivalent position at the Pentagon.
Gabon has also maintained a three-year-old relationship with Jacqueline Wilson, the ex-spouse of a senior US diplomat. According to her filings, Wilson receives tens of thousands of dollars for special projects and reports to President Omar Bongo's daughter, Pascaline Mferri Bongo.
In her latest filing, Wilson reported that she was paid 60,000 dollars between August and November 2000 to ''support action of president of Gabon to fight AIDS pandemic (and) develop a strategy.'' As to work performed, she reported sending ''letters to the office of National AIDS policy at the White House.''
Susan Rice, who served as President Clinton's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, had earlier been tapped by Gov. Howard Dean's anti-war campaign.
Rice emerged as a foreign policy advisor to the Kerry Edwards campaign, which is still reeling from revelations that another key advisor, former Clinton national security chief Sandy Berger, had stolen national security secrets.
Rice is also acting as the campaign's designated apologist for former ambassador Joe Wilson, the Kerry advisor whose claims that "Bush lied" about Iraq uranium were exposed as bogus by the Senate Intelligence Committee two weeks ago.
"As far as I know, we have no reason to believe that Mr. Wilson's words and deeds were not as he spoke them," Rice told reporters this week. "I have great respect for his integrity."
The same can't be said of Rice, however, at least according to several of her former colleagues, who say she deserves a hefty portion of blame for the fact that Osama bin Laden wasn't neutralized during the 1990s.
"The FBI, in 1996 and 1997, had their efforts to look at terrorism data and deal with the bin Laden issue overruled every single time by the State Department, by Susan Rice and her cronies, who were hell-bent on destroying the Sudan," one-time Clinton diplomatic troubleshooter Mansoor Ijaz told radio host Sean Hannity in 2002.
Richard Miniter, author of the book "Losing bin Laden," concurred, saying Rice played a key role in scuttling the deal that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
In November 2003, Miniter told World Magazine that while Sudan was anxious to turn bin Laden over to the U.S., Rice - then a member of Clinton's National Security Council - questioned Khartoum's credibility.
In a 2002 Washington Post op-ed piece co-authored with Ijaz, former ambassador Carney described Sen. Kerry's new adviser as a major obstacle to accepting offers from Sudan to share intelligence on bin Laden's terrorist network.
NSC terrorism specialist Richard Clarke and NSC Africa specialist Susan Rice, who was about to become assistant secretary of State for African affairs."
Rice and Clarke persuaded Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger to overrule Albright on the Sudanese terrorism overtures, said Ijaz and Carney.