Anniversary: Obama’s Invasion of Congo on Inauguration Day

Two years ago, on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama, the U.S.A.’s first African American president, invaded the Democratic Republic of Congo, the heart of Africa, on his Inauguration Day.

Most Americans, including those who campaigned hardest for Obama, would have a hard time making sense of this, or of the military forces involved. Most would not recognize the acronyms of the Rwandan Defense Force (RDF), the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), the Ugandan People’s Defense Force (UPDF), or the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR). 

So, what sense does it make, to say that Barack Obama invaded Congo, the heart of Africa, on his Inauguration Day?  It makes sense because:

1)  On his Inauguration Day, Obama became the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces.

2)   The Rwandan and Ugandan armies serve as the U.S. military’s proxies in Africa.

The only media outlet willing and able to produce something akin to a news report about this was the Assassinated Press, in “Obama Invades the Congo on Inauguration Day.”

I had been a guest on the KPFA Radio Morning Show the day before Obama’s Inauguration, where I had tried to explain that Reverend Rick Warren, a world class homophobe, and Obama’s controversial pick to say his inaugural invocation, was not a benevolent presence in Africa, as reported by Team Obama in their attempts at damage control.  I later turned what I’d tried to explain into a video, “Imperial Evangelism.”

But, I was so staggered by what happened the next day, during the Obama Inauguration, that I was unable to write about it for over a year and a half, not until October 1, 2010, when I wrote “Obama’s Congo moment: genocide, the U.N. report and Senate Bill 2125,” an essay published first in the SF Bay View, then Global Research, the Black Star News, and The Newsline EA (East Africa).

Ugandan American Black Star News Editor Milton Allimadi, gave that report a more straightforward title:  “Congo Genocide: Obama Knows the Real Story.”  

Today, two years after Obama’s Inauguration Day, many of Obama’s near fanatical 2008 supporters have turned away, calling him a disaster and searching for another candidate to step up and challenge him in the 2011 primary.   What more can we expect from presidential elections that now cost well over half a billion dollars?   The London Guardian reported, on October 23, that the Obama and McCain campaign costs were approaching $1 billion. 

Though I myself felt psychologically battered by Obama fanatics by the end of the 2008 election, I can now hardly imagine a bigger waste of time than trying to knock Obama out of the Democratic primary in 2011.

Instead I would urge all those who campaigned for Obama, then turned away in disgust, to take some responsibility by reading Senate Bill 2125, the only Senate Bill that will ever bear Barack Obama’s name alone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security, and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006. I explained why in my essay, “Obama’s Congo moment: Genocide, the U.N. report and Senate Bill 2125.”

Obama did not have to invade Congo, the heart of Africa, on his Inauguration Day.   He does not have to continue, now, to ignore the UN Mapping Report, released October 1st, which documents our proxy armies’ war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocidal civilian massacres in Congo.  Obama knows the truth about Congo; he knows that, as he wrote in his 2006 legislation, “the real and perceived presence of armed groups hostile to the Governments of Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi continue to serve as a major source of regional instability and an apparent pretext for continued interference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its neighbors [Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi].”

But, the full force of the national security state now surrounding Obama could not be more invested in Congo, the most lethal conflict since World War II, which might well be understood as the back end of “the war.”

Big bombs drop out of jet fighter bombers and U.S. soldier die in the front end of the war in Afghanistan, and U.S. soldiers continue to die in Iraq, but in Congo, where our African proxies serve U.S. security state interests, rape and HIV seem to be the most lethal weapons.

Southern Africa’s resources, and most of all Congo’s, are essential to our military industries’ ability to manufacture for war.   The war in Congo is, as I wrote, on March 11, 2009, in the San Francisco Bay View, war for the sake of war itself.

Articles by: Ann Garrison

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