Was Ambassador Christopher Stevens running guns to Syria for the CIA when he was killed in September 2012 in Benghazi?  New evidence points in that direction. The United States has been repeatedly accused of arming Syrian Islamists, in part with Libyan weapons shipped through Nato to Turkey and then over the border. An interview in Aleppo by a German reporter (1), released this week and given wide coverage in Germany and Russia but little elsewhere , brings further proof to the allegations.  But US complicity with the Islamists goes much deeper.

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The state TV in Port Gentil where five high ranking civil servants work has not broadcast since 2007.

Libreville, Gabon: When President Ali Bongo celebrated Press Freedom Day on May 3, the vast majority of Gabon’s press boycotted the event and held their own meeting elsewhere in Libreville, the capital.  Speaking before a handful of pro-government media, Bongo complained that the opposition press demand subsidies but spend their time insulting him, once again demonstrating a 50 year Bongo family tradition of confusing state finances with private assets. “The press is against me,” he lamented. Bongo’s statement underlined the extent to which Gabon’s media landscape is polarized as we head to presidential elections in August.

Pointe-Noire, Congo: The Prefect’s residence in Pointe-Noire is a modern palace with lots of bay windows in a spacious, well-kept park, shaded with palm trees and colored with flower-beds. Nobody lives there. The Prefect, like so many high-ranking civil-servants, managed to amass enough wealth to build himself his own private palace outside of town.

In the back left-side corner is a small walled-in compound which looks very much like the police station it once must have been, with its holding cells, but is now Radio-Congo’s Pointe-Noire station. It is a throwback to the early days of broadcasting.

BRAZZAVILLE: Boris Iloy Ibara, the News Director of Télé Congo, the state run TV, has a spacious office in the heavily guarded and half empty five-story structure built by the Chinese and inaugurated just six years ago. Boris says if the opposition is absent from his programs, it is because they don’t have the money to pay for the slot. He admits his reporters will take anywhere from $100 to $2000 dollars from the politicians they cover to do the story. However, he denies he has orders to censor the opposition.

Banjul, May 5, 2012 – When Europeans went to Berlin with their scissors in 1884 to cut up the map of Africa, they played a sick joke which is still felt today. The British wanted the Palm oil from the Gambia River so they took that out of French West Africa and today the place is called a country: 60 kilometers wide at the Atlantic it snakes 338 kilometers up river where it is just a dozen kilometers wide. French diplomats like to refer to it as the finger in the ass of Senegal. The metaphor is à propos this year as the country obsesses over all things anal.

The silence of the western press on the situation in Libya is deafening. This is no surprise as the pessimistic predictions of the critics of NATO’s war to oust Qaddafi become reality.

Nouakchott, Mauritania: On August fourth Mauritanian anti-slavery activists staged a sit-in before a Nouakchott   police station to prevent them from releasing a woman the public prosecutor had just indicted for slavery.  The police intervened.  Thirteen abolitionists were hospitalized and nine arrested with one sentenced to prison for “unauthorized gathering and rebellion”.  The suspected slave owner has disappeared as has the young girl allegedly enslaved.

Nouakchott, Mauritania: The reddish sand from the Sahara still blows across the streets of this sprawling capital of perhaps 800 thousand people where the palaces of wealthy White Moors grow like mushrooms next to the countless Blacks and Touregs sleeping in the streets or in makeshift dwellings without water and electricity.

But the authorities, and their western backers, would have us believe that when five private press groups get a license to broadcast radio and TV for the first time this October, it will represent a major change.  This opening of the airwaves is Sahara sand in our eyes to hide the real racial nature of a regime which has become an important actor in “the war on terrorism”.

If a nuclear reactor were to go into meltdown one would expect management to interrupt its vacation and get back to work to fix the problem. Not so with our elected officials who have gone into recess despite the fact our world economy is crumbling and cannot wait until September. Europe is no exception to the lets-go-on-vacation-and worry-about-it-in-September rule.

What happened in Oslo Friday is a tragedy but it is no different than what is happening in the world on a daily basis.  What is different is it happened to blond-haired-blue-eyed kids.  What I find outrageous is that all of a sudden we are shocked in our comfortable Western countries. There are some deaths that are worth more than others in our selective outrage. Let me explain briefly.