Project Censored v. WW4 Report: war of perceptions on African genocide
Our one-time contributor Keith Harmon Snow has won an award from Project Censored for his article, co-written with David Barouski, "Behind the Numbers: Untold Suffering in the Congo" (ZNet, March 2006). Project Censored dubs the story "High-Tech Genocide in Congo," considering it the fifth most-censored story of the year. Snow and Barouski share the award with a writer called "Sprocket," who wrote an article entitled "High-Tech Genocide" for the August 2005 Earth First! Journal. Both articles concern the role of the mineral coltan, used in cellular telephones, to fund militias in the war-torn east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Snow has also covered the coltan connection in his writing for WW4 Report (see "Proxy Wars in Central Africa," July 2004), and won a Project Censored award last year for his April 2004 story for WW4 Report, "State Terror Against Indigenous Peoples in Ethiopia." The coltan story is an important one which indeed warrants far greater exposure. However, in his Project Censored "Update" on the question, Snow makes a completely unwarranted attack on his former editors at WW4 Report—and, more importantly, undermines his own work by equivocating on the question of African genocide. The comments are online at Guerrilla News Network:
UPDATE BY KEITH HARMON SNOW
War for the control of the Democratic Republic of Congo—what should be the richest country in the world—began in Uganda in the 1980s, when now Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni shot his way to power with the backing of Buckingham Palace, the White House, and Tel Aviv behind him.
Paul Kagame, now president of Rwanda, served as Museveni's Director of Military Intelligence. Kagame later trained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, before the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)—backed by Roger Winter, the U.S. Committee on Refugees, and the others above—invaded Rwanda. The RPF destabilized and then secured Rwanda. This coup d’etat is today misunderstood as the "Rwanda Genocide." What played out in Rwanda in 1994 is now playing out in Darfur, Sudan; regime change is the goal, "genocide" is the tool of propaganda used to manipulate and disinform.
In 1996, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, with the Pentagon behind them, launched their covert war against Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko and his western backers. A decade later, there are 6 or 7 million dead, at the very least, and the war in Congo (Zaire) continues.
If you are reading the mainstream newspapers or listening to National Public Radio, you are contributing to your own mental illness, no matter how astute you believe yourself to be at "balancing" or "deciphering" the code.
News reports in Time Magazine ("The Deadliest War In The World," June 6, 2006) and on CNN (“Rape, Brutality Ignored to Aid Congo Peace,” May 26, 2006) that appeared at the time of this writing are being interpreted by conscious people to be truth-telling at last. However, these are perfect examples filled with hidden\ deceptions and manipulations.
For accuracy and truth on Central Africa, look to people like Robin Philpot (Imperialism Dies Hard), Wayne Madsen (Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993–1999), Amos Wilson (The Falsification of Consciousness), Charles Onana (The Secrets of the Rwanda Genocide—Investigation on the Mysteries of a President), Antoine Lokongo (www.congopanorama.info), Phil Taylor (www.taylor-report.com), Christopher Black ("Racism, Murder and Lies in Rwanda"). World War 4 Report has published my reports, but they are inconsistent in their attention to accuracy, and would as quickly adopt the propaganda, and have done so at times.
To which WW4 Report officially responds:
Contrary to the assertions of Project Censored award recipient Keith Snow, WW4 Report is not "inconsistent in [our] attention to accuracy." On the contrary, Snow's reportage for us on Central Africa, while informative and challenging, was often riddled with unverified claims which we had to press him to provide documentation for. Ultimately, his unwillingness to do so led to our mutual decision to no longer work together. WW4 Report has the highest standards of accuracy. Indeed, our mission is to resist through our example the demoralizing tendency in recent "left" journalism towards relying on shrill sanctimony at the expense of reportorial rigor. We challenge Snow or anyone else to find a single inaccuracy anywhere in the thousands of articles and news blurbs that WW4 Report has produced in the five years of our existence.
However, the impugning of WW4 Report is a small matter compared to Snow's alarming use of quotation marks around "Rwanda genocide," his implication that the mass slaughter was a just a "tool of propaganda" to justify Western intervention, and his similar implicit denial of the genocide currently underway in Darfur. It is ironic that he complains about the "hidden deceptions and manipulations" of others after resorting to this cyncial rhetorical trick. It was also due to such "deceptions and manipulations" in Snow's work that we decided to part ways with him.
And it is due to such grave moral and analytical errors that Project Censored has in recent years suffered an erosion in its once-sterling reputation. (See, e.g. "The Unbearable Lameness of Project Censored," Mother Jones, April 2000) We fear that this project, which began as a vital one, has degenerated from a watchdog on the failures of the corporate media to an exemplar of the failures of the "alternative" media.
See our last post on the Great Game for Central Africa.