Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Starts Her Tour of Africa

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began her tour of Africa today with a stop in Kenya. She will also visit the Democratic Republic of Congo where she will apparently focus on violence against women.

One can only hope that Secretary Clinton does not follow in the footsteps of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright under her husband's second administration (1996 - 2000). When Madeleine Albright represented the United States under President Bill Clinton, she "celebrated" the so-called new breed of leaders on the African continent. She identified figures such as Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and Ethiopia Meles Zenawi as model leaders for the future of Africa. Over a decade later, each of these figures have invaded another African country, ruled over authoritarian regimes and have the blood of millions of Africans on their hands with the full backing of their erstwhile ally, the United States of America.

One would expect Secretary Clinton to carry President Obama's message of change to the African continent and clearly articulate how the Obama administration will be different from her husbands and that of George W. Bush. President Obama's predecessors policies have been marked by the support of strongmen, the militarization of the continent and the prioritization of profit and corporate forces over the will and interests of African people.

With the first high-level visit from the Obama administration to the Congo being that of the military under Donald Rumsfeld initiated AFRICOM program, it appears that President Obama will follow in the same military first, corporate laden policies of his predecessors. Let's see if Secretary Clinton does or says anything to disabuse us of the fact that President Obama's policies toward the African continent and Congo in particular appear to be essentially the same as Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Click here to read FOTC policy recommendations to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Click here to read letter to Hillary Clinton from Senator Barbara boxer.

Click here to read letter policy recommendations from progressive advocacy institutions in Washington, DC.


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