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West Africa = diamonds + oil

this is an *excerpt* from Wayne Madsen's newest CounterPunch article,

concerning Liberia and US neocolonialism in west Africa.
Already dealing with a demoralized military, Bush, on the eve of his trip to Africa, mulls sending U.S. troops to Liberia. He also tells Liberian dictator Charles Taylor to step down. Never mind that Bush's friends in the international diamond industry, especially the head of the Corporate Council on Africa, Maurice Tempelsman, were largely responsible for the upheavals in West Africa, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, and Guinea. The diamond merchants have found it lucrative to keep West African governments unstable. They found unfettered access to the diamonds controlled by local warlords to be far more profitable than having to deal with centralized governments. However, when Charles Taylor began threatening neighboring countries's blood diamond supply lines and stood ready to upset the status quo enjoyed by the diamond cartels of Tel Aviv, Antwerp, and Amsterdam, Taylor's days were numbered. Bush's priority is to maintain leaders in power throughout Africa who will not stand in the way of Western exploitation. That includes the leaders of those countries he plans to visit, especially Uganda, Botswana, and Nigeria.

That is the way Bush's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Walter Kansteiner III, wants it. A neo-fascist Republican veteran of the International Republican Institute and the Corporate Council on Africa, Kansteiner, a one-time supporter of racism and apartheid in South Africa and on the record as favoring the Balkanization of nation states in Africa, wants his friends in natural resources corporations and the Pentagon (where he headed the Strategic Minerals Task Force under then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney) to have free access to Africa's mineral and oil reserves. To make sure Africa's natural resource rapists understand his commitment to their cause, Bush spoke to the Corporate Council on Africa prior to his departure for the beleaguered continent, a continent the moron-in-chief once referred to as a "country."

The neo-cons now see West Africa as America's next target for control. One of their chicken hawk columnists, National Review's Rich Lowry, recently suggested that West Africa is of such strategic interest to America, the U.S. should set up military bases in the region with a U.S. military headquarters on Sao Tome, in the Gulf of Guinea, a potental future "American lake." More U.S. colonies. After years of exploitative European colonization, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, and other African countries may soon become virtual American colonies as part of a Greater West Africa National Economic Sphere. It is a page right out of the Japanese fascist playbook from World War II. So for our mentally challenged president, his neo con advisers tell him, "West Africa = diamonds + oil." That's all he has to hear. He authorizes sending in U.S. troops, building U.S. bases, and makes a trip there to Africa to cement the deals.

A Washington insider familiar with Liberia revealed that a major reason for Bush to go into Liberia is oil. Liberia's flag flies on most of the world's supertankers. "Look, the United States is about ready to start moving massive supplies of Iraqi oil on supertankers. With Liberia, the major flag of convenience for those tankers in a state of upheaval, Bush has to go in with troops. Forget human rights, that's not the issue, the Liberian Internatonal Ship and Corporate Registry must have a stable government to nurture it," the insider said.

homepage: homepage: http://www.counterpunch.org/madsen07042003.html
address: address: CounterPunch

Pesky facts . . . 06.Jul.2003 14:19

Dr. Evil

Aren't facts a lot more boring than inflamatory political rhetoric?

Here are some facts:

Liberia has 438 oil and oil product tankers flagged to it (NOT owned by it or Liberian companies), out of a world fleet of 7,225 tankers. That's about 6.6% of the world's tankers flying Liberian flags.

A flag of convenience has nothing to do with control or ownership.


Liberia produces about 27,500,000 U.S. dollars/year in diamonds, out of the world's total production of about 7,800,000,000 U. S. Dollars. That's a paltry 0.35% of world production.

As a producer of crude oil, Liberia isn't even on the radar screen.

more facts 06.Jul.2003 16:48

kurtkabang

check out what i found on the "cia factbook" website about liberia. Sounds like liberia is a major shipment point for drugs from afghanastan.

 http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/li.html

export commodoties: rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee

illicit drugs: transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets; corruption, criminal activity, arms-dealing, and diamond trade provide significant potential for money laundering, but the lack of well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center

kind of icky 06.Jul.2003 20:24

Arthi

This oil and diamonds propaganda is somewhat amusing. The US obviously doesn't really want to be going to Liberia irregardless of whether they have oil, peanuts, or whatever.

If the US were to invade Canada, the knee-jerk neo-libs would be crowing about oil and maple syrup. Whatever. Their credibility is gone anyways.

Hey, Arthi . . . . 06.Jul.2003 21:17

Dr. Evil . . .

There is no such word as "irregardless . ."

I think I might agree with you, but you really need some English lessons . . . .

Neocolonialism? 06.Jul.2003 21:22

Jack

Just how many Americans do you know that are lined up to become colonists in Liberia? I personally don't know any.

America has always been Imperialist 06.Jul.2003 23:24

End America

"Just how many Americans do you know that are lined up to become colonists in Liberia? I personally don't know any."

Yeah, that's why the American Propaganda Machine (aka your "free" press) has been hyping and playing up the "We must intervene in Liberia for (cough, cough) humanitarian reasons" every day for the past week or so.

If you honestly believe America sends its troops around the world strictly for "humanitarian" reasons then you are even stupider than the average American citizenwho believes all the lies about 'saving Pvt. Jessica' that the Psyops shills in the US media are/were peddling.

The USA always intervenes military in other nations for self-serving economic and strategic reasons. In this particular case, diamonds, oil, and Liberia geostrategic location in Africa are the real motivations behind America's self-righteous Humanitarian mask.

Dr. Evil 07.Jul.2003 01:15

--

Things like misspellings in especially condescending criticism is one of my favorite ironies. So, thanx for your completely uniformed comment regarding the word "irregardless," which *is* a word. A friend of mine researched it years ago. If I remember correctly, it's an archaic form of "regardless." I'll grant that it seems to be a double negative though, which is possibly why it fell out of use.

"Uniformed comment"? 07.Jul.2003 05:36

Dr. Evil

What, exactly, is a " . ..uniformed comment. ." ?

A damning indictment of so-called progressives 07.Jul.2003 09:07

Sharh

It is a damning indictment of so-called progressives that they try to erect barriers between a humanitarian intervention to protect helpless liberians by throwing up smoke screens about oil and diamonds, even when they know it to be false. This disgusts me.

liberia IS about exploitation 07.Jul.2003 12:44

liberia IS about exploitation

diamonds:liberia is not a major producer itself but is near strategic diamond country sierra leone and thus one of the gateways for the diamond trade

gold:liberia is a big producer

cocoa,coffee,rubber:liberia is such an important prodeucer of these 3 licrative commodities that the firestone corp seized en enormous patch of it in 1925 for rubber production.

THIS is what us interference is all about,because production and trade of the above-mentioned commodities are dominated by us corps in liberia.

and if taylor hadn't somehow stood in the way we wouldn't be seeing bush raise his voice now.

irregardless 07.Jul.2003 12:48

irregardless

irregardless has NEVER existed in the English language asshole - except of course if you can verifiably PROVE otherwise.

keep on digging 07.Jul.2003 17:28

'so-called progressives' watch

Keep on digging 'progressive' idiots. In the realm of public opinion, you will sink another notch.

to above-- 07.Jul.2003 17:41

HUH?

"Keep on digging 'progressive' idiots. In the realm of public opinion, you will sink another notch."

--these days looks like Bu$h & Co. are the ones sinking.

RE: The Occupation--who needs activists when you've got soldiers?

Frustrated troops stationed in Iraq are writing letters to representatives in Congress to request their units be repatriated....The open-ended deployments in Iraq are lowering morale among some ground troops, who say constantly shifting time tables are reducing confidence in their leadership. "The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all," a soldier in Iraq wrote in a letter to Congress.


Bickering 07.Jul.2003 20:31

ranger

Stop bickering. Who cares whether it's regardless or irregardless (which I prefer, and I'll check tomorrow to see if it is a word)?
Shakespeare invented words all the time. It would be nice to keep on the topic. Oh, I forgot what it was about already. Is this the
Liberia post? If it is, it got highjacked. In my humble opinion, there is some ulterior motive aside from a humanitarian spin that
the government would like to spin. Why, because modern presidential administrations are economic and power based. If Bush
was concerned about humanity, he would be doing something to help the poor in this country, and he has sucked them even drier
than it was thought possible. Hell, the middle class can't survive well anymore.

Hope this settles it 09.Jul.2003 04:36

Merriam-Webster

Main Entry: ir·re·gard·less
Pronunciation: "ir-i-'gärd-l&s
Function: adverb
Etymology: probably blend of irrespective and regardless
Date: circa 1912
nonstandard : REGARDLESS
usage Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Regardless 09.Jul.2003 08:15

ranger

Thanks Merriam-Webster; Apparently it IS a word, but not quite accepted as such.

Read the ARTICLE 12.Jul.2003 03:23

Daniesha L.

Rather than arguing over whether there is such a word as IRREGARDLESS, lets get to the point.

Dr. E should read the article. You cannot say the imperialist theory ---regarding motives to send troops to Liberia-- is an invention of liberals or leftists.

The article speaks of two neo-cons who themselves have advocated sending troops to West Africa to improve the US geo strategic position in Africa. It is the neo cons themselves who cite economic and military motives.

To those who say, Liberia does not have enough diamonds, I say: It has enough. And the illegal trade in diamonds in Sierra Leone and other countries nearby is funneled through Liberia. Furthermore, one of the Bush administrations favorite allies, Pat Robertson, has diamond concerns in Liberia. That in itself can be an important factor in decision making: the profits which Pat Robertson and the Christian Coalition get from Liberia are sufficient to help them get a few more bucks for the Bush reelection campaign.

To cite a few statistics about Liberia and its oil reserves does not an argument make. Such remarks betray a grave misunderstanding about imperialism. Empires are constructed by taking a few pieces at a time. Every piece is necessary for the grand strategy. Just because Liberia is not as rich as Iraq does mean it is not worth controlling. Imperialists try to control as much as possible.

Read a bit of history. Do you think the Romans conquered that tiny part of northern Greece called Aetolia because it was in itself a source of wealth? Certainly not. The Romans saw that conquest as part of a grand strategy to weaken enemies in the region. You take one piece at a time. Eventually the Romans conquered the whole of Greece and much of West Asia. Taking Aetolia was part of the strategy.

READ THE ARTICLE. It explains how the domination of West Africa rests on a strategy which necessitates the control of the Gulf of Guinea, which is rich in oil. Liberia would be a very good beginning to this task.

Is it not clear that the US wants as many troops in as many countries as possible?

As to the argument --- I don't know any Americans who want to COLONIZE Liberia --- I am afraid you do not know what modern imperialism or neo-colonialism is. It is the political, social, and economic domination of nations. That does not mean you have to send large numbers of COLONISTS. We are not talking about turning Africa into another Australia. Large companies and politicians in Washington merely want to control its economy and political system.

Right now the International Banks are making about 15 billion a year from interest payments alone made to governments in sub Saharan Africa. And the 15 Billion for the supposed AIDS program comes from the US taxpayer, and not from the coffers of corporations which are profiting in Africa from the sweat of African workers who are growing poorer by the year. Look at the big picture.

*sigh. you give us normal liberals a bad name 12.Jul.2003 15:11

Peter Swigert lilswag01@yahoo.com

I'm a 15 year old guy in a liberal state department family, my brother is vegetarian, we all oppose the war etc. But you give us average liberals a bad name by making these ridiculous unfounded claims. Bringing home news from the office, my father (who works in the State Department under Powell) told us what happened during one of his days.
Rumsfeld, Powell and some other guys are in a meeting talking about sending troops to Liberia. Rumsfeld is arguing against it, on the point that we have no interests in Liberia. Powell says "But the President is going to Africa next week. It will look pretty bad if we don't send troops." Rumsfeld then changes his stance and says "Whose idea was it for him to go to Africa!"
Obviously, the Rumsfeld/Bush perspective was not the one that wanted to send troops. Instead, it was the more liberal side in Powell and others (I don't know their reasoning, but it is more likely to have been humanitarian). Where do you get this filth that you come up with. If you want to make an argument like that, have some evidence that makes sense, instead of pulling out a couple numbers that can easily be put down.

The Madness 12.Jul.2003 16:21

Incorrigible ajerrygreenberg@earthlink.net

Bush is a liar. Moreover he is a power crazed unelected madman. Of course hr wants to take over Africa . Utlimately, he seeks domination over the entire world . Bush has demolished the constitution of the united states of America . His secret police have engaged in secret arrests secret trials, secret imprisonments and torture . His continued presence on the throne has resulted in war, death, injury and destruction. As long as Bush remains on the throne the world remains at terrible risk . Bush is the greatest menace to mankind since Adolf Hitler

eat another pretzel fuck3r 12.Jul.2003 23:53

pretzel baker

Keep feeding him pretzels, he will choke

Wow it's good to see that everyone is intelligent in here 13.Jul.2003 05:58

Dirtypinko

Well I have no idea about any of this arguing... I just came here for some good info and once again we are letting ourselves get caught up in something so stupid as GRAMMER..No wonder Bush is president..
IRREGARDLESS, I guess you should make a valid point instead of beign dumb and critiquing word usage, what are you a dammed english teacher? and instead of just proclaiming that facts are illogical why don't you correct them? Thats why liberals dont ever get anything done. It's easy to sit and complain why don't you fix them

In Solidarity With GRAMMER RIGHTS OF THE WORD

IRREGARDLESS

[Probably blend of irrespective, and regardless.]
Usage Note: Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir- prefix and -less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

Now Shut up about it
Dr. Grammer Nazi

Liberian Timber Industry - Banned after 4000% growth 13.Jul.2003 06:42

LindaR

More puzzling is why no one is talking about the UN imposed ban on Liberian timber, which was supposed to go into effect on July 7th, after more than a year of effort by Greenpeace to call attention to it.

 link to www.greenpeaceusa.org

This is an industry that climbed from $4MM to $162 MM in just 6 years (1996-2002), making it currently Liberia's #1 export.

grammAr 14.Jul.2003 11:22

Weirdo

Were those Liberians who stormed the airport demanding that the US send troops all paid to do so? I'm not really up on that. I thought Liberia WANTED the US in there because they're tired of mass murders. 4 people die in Iraq and it's on the front page...1000 die in Africa from civil disturbances and no one, not even Indymedia, cares.

And, kids, it's grammar. Not grammer. Oy.

you love blaming others 17.Jul.2003 20:33

a man

Everyone here writing about words is a perfect example of why things dont change. Who cares if its a word or not. Get out there and do something rather then feeling better than others (like true americans). If you really cared about changing things then turn off your danm computer and get out there. It real easy to just sit here and bicker about words, just look at our court system.

Bush and America should leave West Africa Alone. 27.Sep.2004 16:22

Bush should withdraw his troop from Gulf of Guinea

Bush and America should leave West Africa Alone. Americas bouoght our father for slavery to build America. Bush should withdraw his troop from Gulf of Guinea.

The president of Equatoria Guinea should not allow American troop to guide him because Americans are reap-off. They have no good plan for West Africa. They don't go where they will not gain anything. They are why Liberia is in this terrible condition.

Many evil things that happened in West Africa is caused by America directly and indirectly. The make the government of West Africa to be unstable for their selfish interest.

AMERICA LEAVE WEST AFRICA ALONE. SLAVERY TRADE WHICH YOU HAD DONE TO OUR FATHERS IS ENOUGH FOR YOU PEOPLLE. LEAVE OUR OIL AND GOLD ALONE.

 gilbertguei@yahoo.com