George Clooney: fronting for US war interests, while posing as anti-war

by David Swanson

George Clooney is being paid by the world’s top two war profiteers, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing, to oppose war profiteering by Africans disloyal to the U.S. government’s agenda.

Way back yonder before World War II, war profiteering was widely frowned on in the United States. Those of us trying to bring back that attitude, and working for barely-funded peace organizations, ought to be thrilled when a wealthy celebrity like George Clooney decides to take on war profiteering, and the corporate media laps it up.

Real leverage for peace and human rights will come when the people who benefit from war will pay a price for the damage they cause..

.. said Clooney — without encountering anything like the blowback Donald Trump received when he criticized John McCain.

Really, is that all it takes to give peace a chance, a celebrity? Will the media now cover the matter of who funds opponents of the Iran deal, and who funds supporters of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.?

Well, no, not really.

It turns out Clooney opposes, not war profiteering in general, but war profiteering while African. In fact, Clooney’s concern is limited, at least thus far, to five African nations: Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, though these are not the only nations in Africa or the world with serious wars underway.

Of the top 100 weapons makers in the world, not a single one is based in Africa. Only 1 is in South or Central America. Fifteen are in Western allies and protectorates in Asia (and China is not included in the list). Three are in Israel, one in Ukraine, and 13 in Russia. Sixty-six are in the United States, Western Europe, and Canada. Forty are in the U.S. alone. Seventeen of the top 30 are in the U.S. Six of the top 10 mega-profiteers are in the U.S. The other four in the top 10 are in Western Europe.

Clooney’s new organization, “The Sentry,” is part of The Enough Project, which is part of the Center for American Progress, which is a leading backer of “humanitarian” wars, and various other wars for that matter — and which is funded by the world’s top war profiteer, Lockheed Martin, and by number-two Boeing, among other war profiteers.

According to the Congressional Research Service, in the most recent edition of an annual report that it has now discontinued, 79% of all weapons transfers to poor nations are from the United States. That doesn’t include U.S. weapons in the hands of the U.S. military, which has now moved into nearly every nation in Africa. When drugs flow north the United States focuses on the supply end of the exchange as an excuse for wars. When weapons flow south, George Clooney announces that we’ll stop backward violence at the demand side by exposing African corruption.

The spreading of the U.S. empire through militarism is most often justified by the example of Rwanda as a place where the opportunity for a humanitarian war, to prevent the Rwanda Genocide, was supposedly missed. But the United States backed an invasion of Rwanda in 1990 by a Ugandan army led by U.S.-trained killers, and supported their attacks for three-and-a-half years, applying more pressure through the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and USAID. U.S.-backed and U.S.-trained war-maker Paul Kagame — now president of Rwanda — is the leading suspect behind the shooting down of a plane carrying the then-presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on April 6, 1994.

As chaos followed, the U.N. might have sent in peacekeepers (not the same thing, be it noted, as dropping bombs) but Washington was opposed. President Bill Clinton wanted Kagame in power, and Kagame has now taken the war into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), with U.S. aid and weapons, where 6 million have been killed. And yet nobody ever says “We must prevent another Congo!”

What does George Clooney’s new organization say about the DRC? A very different story from that told by Friends of the Congo. According to Clooney’s group the killing in the Congo happens “despite years of international attention,” not because of it. Clooney’s organization also promotes this argument for more U.S. warmaking in the DRC from Kathryn Bigelow, best known for producing the CIA propaganda film Zero Dark Thirty.

On Sudan as well, there’s no blame for U.S. interference; instead Clooney’s crew has produced a brief for regime change.

On South Sudan, there’s no acknowledgement of U.S. warmongering in Ethiopia and Kenya, but a plea for more U.S. involvement.

The Central African Republic gets the same diagnosis as the others: local ahistorical spontaneous corruption and backwardness leading to war.

Clooney’s co-founder of the Sentry (dictionary definition of “Sentry” is “A guard, especially a soldier posted at a given spot to prevent the passage of unauthorized persons”) is John Prendergast, former Africa director for the National Security Council. Watch Prendergast find himself awkwardly in a debate with an informed person here.

Clooney’s wife, incidentally, works for U.S.-friendly dictators and brutal killers in places like Bahrain and Libya.

More nations could soon be spotted by The Sentry. The President of Nigeria was at the U.S. Institute of “Peace” this week pleading for weapons. U.S. troops are in Cameroon this week training fighters.

If the peace organization I work for had 0.0001% the financial support of The Sentry, perhaps the debate would change. So, one thing you can do is support the right antiwar efforts.

Another is to let The Sentry know what it’s missing. It asks for anonymous tips when you spot war profiteering. Have you ever turned on C-Span? If you see something, say something. Let The Sentry know about the Pentagon.

David Swanson is an American activist, blogger and author. David obtained a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Virginia in 1997. http://warisacrime.org


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JoanieJohnsonDingess (@JoanieJ_Dingess)
JoanieJohnsonDingess (@JoanieJ_Dingess)
Mar 19, 2016 9:44 AM

Wonder why it seems that everybody talking like this, seems to be trying to point a bad finger at him, rather than these greedy war mongers? The problem with war is nobody really cares about it and all the pain and suffering actually going on in these lives. They are KILLING off all the NUBIAN people. Very few left. Thats what caused Clooney to try harder methods, in hopes of stopping the war itself, by stopping the funding helping it and keeping it going. Now he has made THAT clear. Did you miss that part?

If more people offered PROOF of what they say, rather than just say it, they would be far more creditable. Produce a CHECK that Clooney received from any organization that is causing wars right now. Obtain a copy of one. If its true, that should be doable.
No mumbo jumbo or a lot of big words that sound like its creditable. If they hired him in any capacity, there would be evidence.

Money has trails. Checks, cashed and records of pay outs. No company goes without a record somewhere of any money they handed out. Names addresses and the value of funds given or received. Its what accountants work on all the time. Somewhere, somebody would know about that, and temptation would prolly be high.

Pictures are also prolly in abundance somewhere if he has trafficked with these people as you say. Research should be more thorough. Evidence is all anyone believes these days. Words are cheap, when not backed up. And there have been an awful lot of words jumping around, ever since he started talking about BRINGING OUT THE EVIDENCE OF WHO IS BACKING UP THOSE WARS AND FINDING THEIR MONEY TRAILS.

Dave Lawton
Dave Lawton
Aug 1, 2016 8:15 PM

Project within project most likely created by the CIA.

JoanieJohnsonDingess (@JoanieJ_Dingess)
JoanieJohnsonDingess (@JoanieJ_Dingess)
Mar 19, 2016 9:23 AM

What about the money COMING INTO THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES THAT FEED WARS AND KEEP THEM GOING? That is what his goal is to try and prevent, as well as allowing them to profit from stolen mined diamonds, gold and other things they KILL for. Or the sales of ivory(killing many elephants) and any valuables their hunters can find, that supports the wars going on in Northern Sudan. Their stake is obvious. You sort of turned the actual targets around.

George Clooney: fronting for US war interests, while posing as anti-war |
Jul 31, 2015 9:53 AM

[…] Source: David Swanson/offGuardian […]

Vivek Jain
Vivek Jain
Jul 30, 2015 9:29 AM

He’s a member of the CFR, ain’t he?

Do you know what the function and objectives of the CFR has been? What does the CFR have to do with imperialism and capitalism?

Jul 30, 2015 1:39 AM

This is excellent work of the kind that (ahem!) The Guardian could have pursued with its recently discovered penchant for tracking celebrities, their spouses and their various eccentricities.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 29, 2015 10:55 AM

I applaud you guys for questioning the now sacred Rwandan genocide narrative. After reading some good articles on the Rwanda at CounterPunch a few years ago, I began to suspect that this was another sleazy Western operation, similar to Yugoslavia.