“Humanitarian Intervention” April 5, 2021

Original image source: Black Agenda Report

Listen to the full show here:

So-called “humanitarian intervention,” also known as humanitarian war, is the flagship of the Biden Administration’s foreign policy and the subject of this episode of “Covid, Race, and Democracy.”

  • Author and University of Pittsburgh Law Professor Dan Kovalik spoke to Polina Vasiliev about international law as codified in the UN Charter. He is the author of “No More War, How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests.”
  • The cases of Bosnia and Rwanda are the most often cited in arguments for humanitarian war, Bosnia as a case in which the US and NATO intervened, Rwanda as a case in which they did not, but the truth of both histories is disputed. Ann Garrison spoke with Judi Rever, author of “Crimes of the Rwandan Patriotic Front,” a book which upended the received history of the Rwandan War and Genocide of 1990 to 1994.
  • The UN Security Council had maintained a UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1999, but it has never succeeded in keeping the peace in the country’s vastly resource-rich and war-ravaged East bordering Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. The current conflict began when Uganda and Rwanda invaded DRC in 1996, then again in 1998, and some say that the ineffective Mission’s real purpose is managing the war in the interests of all the big powers with resource interests in the region. For the past several years Western media has been reporting implausible claims that ISIS is present in DRC, even though the population is only 1 percent Muslim. We hear Maurice Carney of Friends of the Congo speaking to Netfa Freeman of Pacifica’s WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington DC.
  • Since last October the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front in the Ethiopian state of Tigray has been at war with Ethiopia’s federal government in Addis Ababa, and US officials have placed all the blame on the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. On March 4, 2021 the UN Security Council met to consider a statement that would have called on the Ethiopian People’s Defense Force to withdraw from Tigray and voted it down, with Russia, China, and India, and all the African members of the current Council voting no while the US and other Western powers voted yes. Those who voted no agreed that the conflict was an Ethiopian conflict and the international community should respect Ethiopia’s national sovereignty and stay out of it. The African Union also voted against interference. We go to opposing rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA.
  • Ethiopian scholar Dr. Demisse Alemayhu, a statistics professor at Columbia University, spoke to Rob Prince, a retired professor of international relations at the University of Denver’s Korbel School of International Studies, and a producer/host at Pacifica affiliate KGNU 88.5 fm in Boulder, Colorado.

Artistic contributions were by Tom Lehrer, Staff Benda Bilili, John Trudell, and Randy Newman.

Host: Ann Garrison

Producers: Ann Garrison and Polina Vasiliev


CRD airs every Monday at 2 PM CST on KPFT 90.1FM in Houston TX, 4 PM EST on WBAI 99.5FM in New York, 6 PM EST on WPFW 89.3FM in Washington DC, as well as on several Pacifica Network affiliated stations across the United States.

Executive Producers: Akua Holt, Polina Vasiliev, and Steve Zeltzer