No welcome for Clinton - Derry IRSP

Patrick Bond pbond at
Sun May 27 01:46:04 MDT 2001

And no welcome for Colin Powell here in Jo'burg. I see the FT
weekend edition front page concludes its coverage as follows: "The
secretary of state looked at ease yesterday, despite hundreds of
students protesting and trying to interrupt his speech, some holding
up posters that read: `The real butcher of Baghdad'"

(Well, there weren't "hundreds" of our comrades, but enough to delay
Powell's departure for an hour, by blocking his limo...)

25 May 2001
To members of the Wits Community,

We protesters are here to provide an appropriate
welcome to Colin Powell, US Secretary of State.
 Mr Powell is responsible for the foreign policy of
the world's worst rogue nation.
 Powell is personally responsible for an attempted
cover up of the horrific 1968 My Lai massacre of women
and children by US forces in Vietnam; for
participating in the mid-1980s cover-up of the
Iran-contra Arms Scandal; and for covering up and
downplaying 1991 "Gulf War syndrome" diseases as well
as violations of the Geneva Convention associated with
mass slaughter of retreating Iraqi troops.
 Powell's responsibilities for human rights violations
continue through Washington's coddling of the
terrorist state of Israel, which with US financial and
military support is killing thousands of Palestinians,
and through a $1.5 billion escalation of an alleged
"drugs war" in Colombia which in reality is merely
another failing counterinsurgency in the tradition of
Indochina, Central America, and Southern Africa.
 In all such cases, the US has been, and continues to
be, on the side of oppressive, undemocratic regimes.
 The US must still apologise, and provide meaningful
reparations, for CIA support to the apartheid regime,
including the arrest of Nelson Mandela in Rivonia, and
encouragement of the apartheid invasion of Angola in
1975, from which that country has still not recovered,
for promoting civil war in Mozambique which left a
million people dead, and for Ronald Reagan's
"constructive engagement" policy which prolonged
apartheid's life during the 1980s.
 Powell, more recently, has been associated with the
Bush Administration, a regime which came to power
through a banana-republic election in Florida, and
which shows its regard for the rest of the planet's
citizens through:
* a massive military boondoggle in the form of
the "Star Wars" missile defense programme;
* the refusal to honour more than $1 billion in
United Nations dues;
* the retreat from international efforts to
curb illicit money laundering, which mainly occurs
through US banks and their "hot money centre"
* the rejection of obligations to stop trashing
the planet - which the US does more than any other
country -- through the Kyoto Protocol on carbon
dioxide emissions;
* a brand new US Office of the Trade
Representative attack on Brazil's ability to produce
anti-retroviral generic drugs to combat HIV-AIDS
(similar to the 1998-99 US attack on the South African
Medicines Act);
* a refusal to fund organisations that provide
family planning and abortion services in the Third
* sabotage of Korean peace talks;
* nomination of men with appalling human rights
records to the UN and Organisation of American States;
* insistence on Third World countries'
repayment of illegitimate foreign debt to the World
Bank and IMF, debt whose origins in many cases (like
South Africa's) can be traced to US (and IMF/Bank)
support for dictators and tyrants; and
* continuation of the extremist trade
liberalisation process of the World Trade Organisation
and African Growth and Opportunity Act, while
hypocritically retaining protectionist tariffs at

The South African government should be ashamed to
welcome Colin Powell, so soon after the Bush
Administration's international illegitimacy was
confirmed by the US' own peers in the United Nations.
Over the past few weeks, the US was stripped of its
seats on the UN international drug monitoring board
and the UN Human Rights Commission. We join human
rights activists across the world in celebrating such
rejections of the world's most dangerous rogue nation,
including its main foreign policy representative,
General Colin Powell.

 (Issued by concerned staff, including Salim Vally
78438 and Patrick Bond, 73917)

Patrick Bond (pbond at
home: 51 Somerset Road, Kensington 2094 South Africa
phone:  (2711) 614-8088
work:  University of the Witwatersrand
Graduate School of Public and Development Management
PO Box 601, Wits 2050, South Africa
work email:  bond.p at
work phone:  (2711) 717-3917
work fax:  (2711) 484-2729
cellphone:  (27) 83-633-5548
* Municipal Services Project website --

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