[interact_list] [Congo] as a case study

  • From: Akio Fujita <A.Fujita@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: interact_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 23:58:30 +0100

To Lynn and Rob, basically,

Following article about Congo suggests some interesting
points about what Lynn and maybe Rob are thinking about their

1: the article clearly shows 'the past patterns'
of aid relations between West/North and Congo, a particular
region of south, affects to current aid/intervention thinking.

This may be very important at the 'real world' - 

Peace Studies dept always 'erase (whitewash?)' history 
and 'past patterns' and goes up to very very abstract
and universal formulas for 'aid' or 'intervention' codes
or principles. 


The best implementation of Peacemakers (by akio) 

0:like think of some schemes to sent down people like
Nick Lewer to Sri Lanka (the place) 

1:and let them settle in (for the rest of their life)
2:and make them fluent to native language 
(after 5 or ten years they will)
3:make sure they work as a team with the spirit of cooperation 
and specialisation 
4:Hook them with internet infra, so that relevant documentations,
recordings, video footings all will inter-cross between 'the place'
and the rest of the world, at any level - from general education 
to research. 

The problem I can say now is the process of 1 to 3 is 

basically done by what so call 'intelligence' people. 

Warmakers go down there, and make networks to set up - their agenda.
Instead, Peacemakers, hop between down there and North - 
busy with writing papers to present for institutions - 
earning money - etc. 

Compared to warmakers, peacemakers 'setting' is very insufficient
and inadequate. 


Probably none of the states/military - warmaking sectors
in the north don't want to allow peacemakers to act that effectively.

West's empire system has always been operating with 

Trade(include informal ones, like drugs)
and Conflict(if there is a room, you can sell weapons)

and West's central intelligence never has been failed
to 'find' necessary agents/personells (scums) 
to work in the region, some may be Westerners, 
some may be 'indigenous'. 

This has been the way of Western Empire for past 500 years. 

It's not new in Balkans,
It wasn't new in Japan (1850s)
It wasn't new in China (1800s)
It was new in New Continent - probably.

The thing is if normative approaches (as Peace Studies)
are going to be effective in coming years,
we need to clearly address history and issues of

miliarisation agencies
informal agencies

of the West. Then what Peace Studies talk of would be 'proportional' 
with what 'warmakers' have been doing and are doing, and will be 

(But then all peacemakers will be terminated by warmakers.

So...in a way, Oliver and T Woodhouse is playing a danger
game --- druggin in military(warmakers) into peacemakers realm 
and military start to 'eat on' peace missions. It's a huge waste of
money and resource - ineffective - but basically military is 'the 
enterprise' if they can eat on it - they will do choose to do peace 
missions...and it can spread, now PKFs are in Balkans, next in 
Israel/Palestine - so that you start to 'lock up' all those crucial 
areas with militaries...

it's could be better to drag in militaries 
than let them do whatever they want to do - 

it's a historical 'bet' probably Oliver/TW are making. 


1-A: the article repeats that 'more commitment' form West/North
is now necessary for Congo. But how and what? there is no 
concrete suggestion. This is very interesting point too. 


2: (mostly for Lynn) : The role of 'Cold War' in African independence

Mobutu - had strong connection with CIA (or NSA maybe). 

American intelligence or Western Intelligence had
'cause'  - 'to fight against commies'- through out - 
probably 1910s to 1990s, all over the place in this world. 

So you can say 'The cold war' has affected pretty much - 
in the history of decolonisation of African countries - 

Decolonisation/independence from Europe(Congo's case
was from Belgium)

Then 'the leader' or leading ideology can be that of 
Communism - 

but CIA usually carries in much cash
(They can print dollar bills easily and always)
and buys Communists - 

So maybe even the outlook of govt may remain 'leftish' 
but actual substance can be 'US installed government'. (Many cases 
every where in this world still today - 

UK(I think), Germany, Japan, Iraq, Nigeria, Congo etc. 

The interesting thing is Michael went to Cuba and 
found some relevant things. I already had a chat about it with him, 
I think it could be useful to you (Lynn). 


Congo Is Making Progress and Deserves More Western Help  
J. Brian Atwood IHT 
Saturday, August 25, 2001  
NEW YORK One of the most important countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, 
the Democratic Republic of Congo, is today either on the verge of a 
stable peace or abject state failure.

The Congolese transport system has collapsed, cities are suffering 
from food deficits and power outages, telecommunications systems 
aren't functioning and ordinary people are attempting to survive in 
conditions of debilitating poverty. To top it all off, the country 
continues to struggle with the aftermath of a war that has left its 
eastern provinces under the control of rebel forces supported by 
neighboring countries. The good news is that the trends toward peace 
and democracy are as positive today as they have been in recent 
years. Despite the problems, the streets of Kinshasa are almost 
tranquil. Security forces are actually protecting the people as 
opposed to ravaging them as they did in the final years of the Mobutu
era. Even in the west, the government of President Joseph Kabila, who
hails from the east, is gaining support. However, the population 
still expects little from a central government that for years was 
seen as either an obstacle to survival or a non-factor. As the 
country struggles to avoid complete failure by pursuing economic and 
political reform and implementing a shaky peace process, Western 
nations seem frozen in place by policies more based on past 
disappointments than current prospects. They are providing huge 
quantities of humanitarian assistance, small amounts of 
rehabilitation aid and, thanks to a recent $50 million World Bank 
grant facility, some transitional assistance. Not anywhere near 
enough. Most donors have adopted a wait-and-see approach. They want 
to see full peace and democratic elections before they will come 
forward. But as the young president told a recent visitor, "By the 
time peace arrives, the people will be dead of starvation." The new 
government has raised the stakes for the donors by vastly improving 
the environment for peace and reform in the past six months. The 
technocratic cabinet is among the most impressive in Africa. They 
have reached agreement with the International Monetary Fund on an 
economic reform program and recently agreed to a national dialogue 
that would include all opposition parties, even the rebel groups. The
hope is that this dialogue will produce a consensus for a new 
constitution, probably based on a federalist model, and that this 
will form a basis for national elections. Elections, however, may 
still be years away. In the meantime, these positive trends should be
reinforced with targeted development assistance that will alleviate 
poverty. It is this devastating and extreme poverty that most 
threatens the prospects for peace.

The people of the DRC do not need massive injections of welfare aid; 
rather they need programs that will enable them to use their own 
considerable ingenuity to reconstruct their communities and their 
productive sectors, agriculture in particular. Yet, this is what the 
West is, for the most part, denying.

In a sense, the international community may be creating the worst of 
both worlds: disincentives to local production and a dependency 
culture with its humanitarian food aid, and a continuing vacuum of 
effective leadership at the center with its hands-off posture.

Perhaps the West is pre-occupied with its past mistakes. The Mobutu 
era started when another 29-year old former military man grabbed the 
reins of power in the early 1970s. Mr. Mobutu didn't let go until he 
created arguably the most debilitating kleptocracy in the world.

Understandably, the Western donors do not want to give the current 
29-year old leader a political advantage over other prospective 
elected leaders. Yet, his government has thus far proven it is worthy
of support.

Hence the conundrum. The young Kabila has thus far avoided the cult 
of personality syndrome so prevalent in Africa. The young Kabila is a
pragmatist who sees the limitations of government and who has called 
publicly for the creation of a dynamic private sector. He and his 
government have systematically eliminated the excuses donors have had
for refusing to work with them.

While donors should take every step necessary to avoid favoring Mr. 
Kabila in a political contest, they should accept the present need 
for a competent central government. Western powers should work with 
the Kabila government so long as it stays on the path to peace and 
democracy. Africa cannot afford a failed state of the size and 
importance of the DRC. The writer, president of Citizens 
International and former administrator of USAID, recently visited the
DRC as leader of a UN delegation. He contributed this comment to the 
International Herald Tribune. 

Akio Fujita

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