Jan
01
2014

Media Whitewash US Role in Congo

Getting credit for promoting peace without blame for fueling war

This New York Times piece gave the US credit for pressuring Rwanda to rein in its violent proxies, but failed to note how US aid had supported violence in the region.

Corporate media overlooked the long-term role the US and other Western nations have played in protecting and funding the sponsors of a bloody insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Apr
01
2013

Celebrating French Intervention in Mali

Media overlooked role of 'War on Terror' in sparking crisis

Ali Ould Ahmed, Malian refugee, in Mentao camp, Burkina Faso: "The intervention of the French army has accelerated our departure, because we are convinced that the Islamists, after losing the battle against the French army, will retreat into the villages and they could kill people."

The French military commenced Operation Serval against separatist rebels in Northern Mali on January 11, 2013. The air and ground intervention was undertaken with the cooperation and support of the United States, as well as several European and African states. U.S. press reporting has provided a simplistic account of the intervention as a heroic effort to protect the civilized world against Islamic terrorist threats. What is missing from this image is how the past interventions of the “War on Terror” helped cause the Malian crisis in the first place. A Washington Post editorial (1/12/13) claimed the French were simply trying […]

Jan
18
2013

Emira Woods on Mali, William Black on Jack Lew

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What's missing from the Mali storyline? And what is the likely impact of this latest military action on the Malian people? CounterSpin talks to Emira Woods from the Institute for Policy Studies. And Barack Obama's nomination for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, has been celebrated in the financial community and corporate media. William Black joins us to talk about how the Lew nomination is just another brick in the Wall Street on the Potomac.

Nov
30
2012

Scott Nova on Bangladesh factory fire, Maurice Carney on Congo

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Scott Nova of the Workers Rights Consortium joins us to talk about the fire at a garment factory in Bangladesh that killed over 100 workers. “War torn, mineral rich” --that’s pretty much all Time magazine thinks you need to know about the region of eastern Congo. Maurice Carney of the group Friends of the Congo talks media.

May
01
2012

Military Intervention in Africa

Emira Woods on Kony 2012

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The viral video Kony 2012, a call by the U.S.-based group Invisible Children to “make famous” the brutal African warlord Joseph Kony and capture him through military action, has been seen by an unprecedented 87 million people, according to YouTube. The video has come under fire for inaccuracy and for what many see as a white savior mentality. This is an important discussion shining a light on a lingering Western neocolonial and paternalist sensibility. But what might be Kony 2012’s real impact on the troubled region? That’s a point left out of most corporate media coverage of the controversy. Emira […]

Oct
28
2011

John Feffer on Africa & 'counter-terrorism,' Heidi Garrett-Peltier on job creation

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: When Barack Obama ordered armed military advisors to central Africa to help regional officials fight the brutal Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, few journalists asked why or why now. The fact that the LRA is bad seemed to be enough. But is the move against the LRA part of something bigger happening in US foreign policy with regard to Africa? Well talk to the Institute for Policy Studies' John Feffer about searching for terrorists in Africa. Also on the show: Possible cuts to defense spending could mean the loss of a […]

Mar
01
2008

Rediscovering Somalia

Press downplays U.S. role in renewed crisis

Barundi peacekeepers prepare for deployment to Somalia--Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons/US Army Africa

After years of paying scant attention to Somalia, U.S. media suddenly rediscovered the war-torn African nation in 2006 when a coalition of Islamic courts and their affiliated militias imposed peace on feuding warlords and began enforcing religious law. A U.S.-backed Ethiopian invasion soon loomed, and the Bush administration made the preferred story line clear. "The Council of Islamic Courts is now controlled by Al-Qaeda cell individuals, East Africa Al-Qaeda cell individuals," announced Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs (Voice of America News, 12/14/06). "The top layer of the courts are extremist to the core. They are […]

May
01
2007

Sidebar: Charity Cases

[Note: This piece is a sidebar to Bono, I Presume?] Even when it’s not an entertainment celebrity that brings the cameras to Africa, nearly as many TV news Africa stories are about Americans or other Westerners “making a difference” in Africa. Whether it’s a high-profile figure like Bill Gates fighting malaria (ABC, 10/31/05), a 12-year-old American boy raising money for AIDS orphans in Africa (NBC, 12/8/06) or the wife and daughter of an NFL football coach missing his big day in the Super Bowl to volunteer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (ABC, 2/3/06), these segments tell the story […]