Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Blah, Blah, Blah"

Down in Africa we have Hillary pompously pointing out in her run of the mill puerile, pathetic, platitudes, that civilians in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have to be protected. However, that is going to be difficult considering US corporate interests in the region's mineral wealth. Those interests, dictate that American companies will continue to provide the funds and the incentives that will ensure that the maiming and massacring will continue.

It is a picture that is repeated all over Africa and it won't change despite the Congo Conflict Minerals Act and the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act. In theory those acts, should they make their way through congress and become law, will require that companies disclose new information in their financial reporting to ensure that the minerals that are being extracted don't support conflicts. It is, however, difficult to imagine that either of them, even should they become law, will prevent companies such as Chevron in Angola, stopping their support of those corrupt little elites and warring factions that ensure maximum profits.

From a mono-political culture that essentially serves big business, big business has nothing to fear and if Hillary's "blah, blah, blah" were to ever be anything more than just run of the mill puerile, pathetic, platitudes, then corporate America would make sure that she wouldn't be Secretary of State.

Of course, it is too easy to view "Uncle Sam" as the sole "whipping boy" here and as Global Witness points out European and Asian companies are also culpable when it comes to buying from suppliers who trade in minerals from the warring parties. Nevertheless, it becomes particularly offensive when it comes from the Anglo-Saxons with their hypocritical harping on about human rights when they are in fact facilitating those rights being abused.
The picture shows Hillary letting someone else do the talking.

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