Bush's Africa Agenda
Excerpts from an article by Emira Woods and William D. Hartung in The Nation, August 4/11, 2003, pp.6-7

"George W. Bush's recent tour of Africa was a series of campaign photo opportunities dressed up as a diplomatic trip... the Administration's primary interests in Africa--oil, minerals and military access--were hidden in plain site...

"[Bush's] foreign policy team is headed by Condoleeza Rice, a former board member of Chevron, a firm whose activities in Nigeria continue to dreaw harsh criticism from international human rights monitors and local community activists...

"..the Pentagon has been trolling for access to new facilities throughout Africa, seeking to expand military ties or secure basing arrangements in Djibouti, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Uganda, for starters...

"...countries that offer access to oil (Nigeria and Angola) or access to military facilities for use in the war on terrorism (Eritrea, Djibouti and Kenya)...

"As the president set off for Africa, the State Department announced plans to cut off military aid to nearly three dozen countries--including several on the President's itinerary, such as Botswana, Senegal and Nigeria--if they did not sign "impunity agreements" indicating that they would never refer a U.S. citizen for prosecution to the newly operating International Criminal Court... Arms were twisted and words exchanged at every stop on the President's trip to get other African nations to fall into line. South Africa was the only nation that refused to cave in to pressure from Washington.

"While Bush was taking his compassionate conservative show to countries ravaged by civil wars fueled by small arms, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations meeting on that very subject was hard at work trying to water down a plan to curb the flow of those weapons...

"The Pentagon and the CIA didn't want to give up the possibility of arming the Afghan warlords, or future UNITAS, or whoever might serve U.S. interests in some future conflict."


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