Saturday, November 22, 2008

Susan Rice

     Her name is popping up in relation, perhaps, to the post of the National Security Advisor under the Obama administration.  I've read her name twice in the last month in relation to Africa.  Is she any good?  Not at all.  Admittedly, in the first event I will relate, she was doing Bill Clinton's bidding.

     Twice in the last decade Kagame (Tutsi) of Rwanda and Museveni of Uganda have invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo because, principally, both Mobutu Sese Seko and then the Rwanda/Ugandan installed Joseph Kabila both "allowed" rebel Hutus, including 1994 genocidaires, to launch attacks into Rwanda.  Rwanda and Uganda couldn't keep their act together, and one faction of anti-Kabila rebels became known as the RCD (you can call them "the Rally"). The Rally has few of their own aims (although, sure, they'd like to take over the Congo), they are a proxy military outfit of the Rwandans.  When Susan Rice was Asst. Sec't of State for African Affairs, she met with the RCD leaders in Kigale, capital of Rwanda.  This is about as big as endorsement of violent, raping, thuggish, thieving, mineral-smuggling rebels (who, admittedly, might also have some legitimate grievances) that can be imagined by one author.

     Later, under her own power, in December, 2001, Susan Rice declared that Osama bin-Laden had been arming and training the Somalia warlords (Gen. Farah Aideed, among others) who attacked and killed some U.S. troops in 1993.  Is there any solid reason, post-9/11, to bring up the eight year old attack and blame al-Qaeda for it?  No public U.S. or U.N. personnel in Somalia at the time ever noted any links to terrorists.  The Somalis themselves deny it completely.  There was a lot of (relatively misplaced) focus on Somalia at the time, and Susan Rice appears to be like on of those bloodthirsty Bushies when she (baselessly? entirely baselessly? seems like it) brands a whole country "terrorist." 

     The book I was reading today, which reminded me of this incident, noted that Somalia is actually a pretty bad "safe haven" for terrorists.
  1. There is no one to protect them from kidnappers, either.
  2. There are no available western targets anywhere nearby (not one embassy, even).
  3. They are foreigners, where there are almost no foreigners, and so would stick out badly.
No, if you are a terrorist, you want a big, multi-ethnic metropolis where you can blend in.  You want an easily corruptible government that will overlook small, non-lethal parts of your operation (as long as none of the locals get hurt, and I make a buck, whats to stop me, says the cop, taking the bribe).  Near perfect anarchy, however, is useless.

No comments: