DR Congo – The Heart of Western Darkness

Published on The Southern Times, by Asad Ismi, September 9, 2011.

Genocide and plunder have been Western policy towards the mineral-rich Congo since the Berlin Conference of 1885 when European nations divided Africa between them, and King Leopold II of Belgium got the Congo as his personal property.

Ten million Congolese were killed under Belgian rule which lasted until 1960. The Congo’s population was cut in half.
Belgian domination was marked by slavery, forced labour and torture aimed at extracting the maximum amount of ivory and rubber from the Central African country. 

The people of the Congo ‘probably suffered more than any other colonized group’.

Their hands were cut off for not working hard enough and on one day 1 000 severed hands were delivered in baskets to an official.
Women were kidnapped to force their husbands to collect rubber sap and Congolese were shot for sport.

Such atrocities were documented by George Washington Williams, an African-American visiting the Congo, who invented the term ‘crimes against humanity’ to describe them.

The US took over the Congo from Belgium in 1960-61 in a bloody coup after the CIA arranged the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the country’s first elected leader.

In his place the Agency installed its paid agent Colonel Mobutu Sese Seko who continued the looting and killing started by Leopold, for another 37 years.

The US considered the socialist Lumumba to be pro-Soviet and President Eisenhower himself approved his assassination.
The CIA sent Sidney Gottlieb, its top scientist (under the code name ‘Joe from Paris’), to the Congo with deadly biological toxins to use on Lumumba.

This particular assassination plot was unsuccessful but Lumumba was killed by Mobutu’s troops on January 17, 1961.
Until his ouster in 1997, Mobutu was Africa’s most brutal and corrupt ruler who massacred and tortured thousands of people, and plundered his country with US backing.

From 1965 to 1991, Zaire (as Mobutu named the Congo) got more than US$1.5 billion in US economic and military aid.
In return, US multinational corporations increased their share of Zaire’s abundant minerals.

Washington justified its hold on the Congo with the pretext of anti-Communism but its real interests were strategic and economic.
The Congo borders nine African states and in terms of mineral wealth it is the richest country in Africa holding the world’s biggest copper, cobalt and cadmium deposits.

The Congo contains 80 percent of the world’s cobalt (essential for jet aviation, defence and other high-tech production), 10 percent of its copper, and one-third of its diamonds in addition to possessing considerable reserves of gold, uranium and manganese.

Other resources include coltan (used in cellphones, jet engines and fibre optics), timber, oil, coffee, tin, zinc and palm oil.
Former US President George Bush who was Mobutu’s friend for 20 years, has interests in mining companies in the Congo.
In addition to getting a share of Congolese wealth, the US used the country as a base to attack the left-wing MPLA government in Angola after it took power in 1975.

According to the World Bank, (a long-time supporter of Mobutu’s), 64.7 percent of Zaire’s budget was reserved for Mobutu’s ‘discretionary spending’ in 1992 … //

… Heart of Darkness:

  • The destruction of the Congo says much more about the West than it does about the Central African country.
    It reveals most clearly that the West is largely a criminal enterprise, the prosperity of which is based on the genocide of Third World people and the theft of their resources.
  • The Congo is perhaps the worst example of this but the West has followed the same policy in Asia, Africa and Latin America for centuries.
    In this sense, Western countries can be seen as a murderous mafia led by their godfather the United States government for which no amount of blood and wealth is enough.
  • The perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide are being … It is time to try those responsible in the US and Belgium as well for more than a century of genocide and plunder in the Congo.
  • And that will just be the beginning of dealing with the West’s horrendous crimes.

{Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Monitor • This article is dedicated to Patrice Lumumba. (full long text)}.

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