Friday, August 10th, 2007

U.S. Navy Seaman fires an Mk-38 25mm machine gun during a general quarters drill aboard the dock landing ship USS Fort McHenry. This machine gun system is a single-barrel, air-cooled, heavy machine gun capable of firing 175 rounds per minute. The USS Fort McHenry will be in the Gulf of Guinea for 6 months starting in November of this year. U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Marvin E. Thompson, Jr.

Military aid and questionable trade are the twin pillars of US involvement in Africa. The Ruin of Nations by Karamoh Kabba has more detail on this. This article reminded me of a lot of things I had forgotten, and would be better forgotten if it did not look like the same behavior and the same mistakes all over again.

From Africa Media:

Just another aid agency — with really big guns. (See the YouTube question that wasn’t asked of the US Presidential candidates about this plan. For a general consideration of YouTube and the debates, see Jewels in the Jungle‘s post.)

Here is a little something to keep in mind when considering the Africa Command and why Africans may be skeptical about the reasons for the command. From the article The Ruin of Nations by Karamoh Kabba.

There is far more in the article than what is here, with more detail on what happened in Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa.

From the testimony of Wayne Madsen, an expert on intelligence and privacy issues in international investigative journalism before the US House of Representatives in 2001:

“It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the role of the United States in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as the role that P.M.C.’s [private military companies] currently play in other African trouble spots like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Cabinda … At the very least, the United States, as the world’s leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example of a critical self-inspection.”

These actions leave Africans pondering aloud why Africa is being treated by the West as a place “where it pays to play.