Congo Siasa

Riposte on Johnnie Carson

I was speaking with a diplomat friend in Kinshasa about US Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson’s visit. It appears my blog posting did him some injustice – he did “forcefully” raise the issue of MONUC withdrawal with Kabila, and he said all the right things about democracy and elections.

But then my friend went on – and I agree with him – to say: “US policy towards the Congo is a mess of good intentions without any coherence and, most importantly, without the necessary funding to make it all work. When you look at the US policy towards conflict minerals it’s a list of good ideas that begin with the phrase “pending necessary funding” or something like that. The US just doesn’t really care about this place and all their focus is on Sudan or terrorism right now. It seems Carson said all the right things, but he said almost nothing of substance, except maybe opposing MONUC withdrawal.”

I rest my case.

(To see how journalists should use anonymous sources, and NOT abuse them, see this article by the New York Times. How glad I am that I am not a journalist, but a scurrilous blogger.)