Angelina Jolie, the American screen idol and one of the highest paid actors ever, is famous for her sultry looks and a femme fatale presence. She’s a dangerous woman, the embodiment of smoldering, mercurial menace. Which, when you think about it, sounds a lot like her real life role as UN Special Envoy on human rights. In her latest «starring role», she is cast alongside British Foreign Minister William Hague. The «location»’ is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both travelled to the war-ravaged Central African country this week to highlight the harrowing crime of rape against women as a result of conflicts.
This is not the first time that the unlikely pair has teamed up for this purpose. Previously, actress Jolie and Britain’s most senior diplomat have collaborated to ‘focus public attention’ on violence against women in Libya, Mali and Syria, among other international war zones.
Speaking to the Guardian newspaper while onboard a RAF aircraft courtesy of Mr Hague, the Hollywood
star said: "There were hundreds of thousands of women raped during the Rwandan genocide. There are hundreds of thousands of people being raped in the Congo. Tens of thousands of women raped in Bosnia. God knows how many people raped in Syria».
Asked what she wanted to achieve by working with the British government to champion this appeal, the action-movie siren replied: "An end to impunity».
At which point Angelina Jolie, if she really understood the causes of these conflicts and the violence against women, should have reached over to slap handcuffs on the British foreign secretary and make a citizen’s arrest of a top war criminal.
In every instance of war that the actress cited, the British government has had a hand in either fomenting or fuelling. William Hague, in particular, has personally overseen British-sponsored terrorism in Libya, Mali and Syria.
It was Hague’s British regime that led the NATO blitzkrieg during 2011 in Libya to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi. For seven months, British Typhoon fighter bombers engaged in over 10,000 sorties along with other NATO forces, to demolish that North African country. As many as 50,000 people were killed during the aerial bombardment. Countless numbers among Libya’s six-million nation were turned into refugees and now live under an anarchic regime of extremists and deprivation that NATO installed.
The same brand of Al Qaeda bandits and cut-throats that NATO warplanes paved the way for in Libya is being armed, trained, funded and directed in Syria by Britain and its allies.
As with Libya, Britain has taken a lead role in Syria along with France in arming a terror network – that the Western media euphemistically call «rebels» – to overthrow the sovereign government of Bashar Al Assad. British Special Forces have long-established training camps in Jordan from where graduated death squads can then ply their terror trade across the border in Syria.
Up to five million people have been displaced in the violence unleashed over the past two years in Syria by Britain and its NATO allies, the US and France, and their proxies, Turkey and the Gulf Arab dictatorships. In fleeing British-sponsored death squads and car bombers, up to a million Syrian civilians now reside in tents along the borders with Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Rape, of course, has been used as a weapon of terror by the militants in Syria to sow fear and dislodge popular support for the Damascus government.
Meanwhile, in the West Africa country of Mali, another humanitarian crisis is unfolding and doubtless involving yet more violence against women. Violence against women and children is always a corollary of war. Over a million Malians out of a total population of 15 million have fled their country, many of them since France launched its neo-colonial war on 11 January. In just over two months, another society has been turned over and shafted by NATO powers. France may have headed up this operation, but Britain has provided key military, logistical and political cover for the state terrorist subjugation of this impoverished African country. This week, the first contingent of British troops arrived in Mali – before the much-vaunted African-led forces – which belies the real imperialist scramble going on in West Africa and elsewhere across the continent.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Angelina Jolie and William Hague made their high-profile appearance this week, it is estimated that over six million people have been killed and millions more displaced in ongoing wars since the 1990s. The main contributor to the genocide particularly in the Eastern Congo is the militant groups backed by neighbouring Rwanda and Uganda. The regimes in both of these countries are clients of the US and Britain…
International war crimes lawyer Christopher Black says that one of the biggest untold stories of modern times is that the genocidal regime that came to power in Rwanda in the mid-90s did so with the crucial complicity of the US and Britain. The Rwandan and Ugandan regimes have since then exported war, violence, systematic crimes and rape into the Congo. Decades before this egregious episode, the mineral-rich Congo was riven by military coups led by the US, France and Belgium, most notoriously involving the assassination of elected leader Patrice Lumumba in 1960. Africa is indeed an appalling mess, but it is so as a direct result of rapacious Western capitalist powers that have marauded and exploited that continent relentlessly.
Angelina Jolie may well visit all these war zones and issue appeals for the millions of women subjected to rape and other violence. Who the actual perpetrators of specific crimes are will probably never been known nor traced. But one thing is beyond doubt. Britain has played a key role in instigating and fuelling the wars in these very countries – and many more besides down through the decades. The indiscriminate violence and social chaos of wars always beget violence against women and children.
So, in a very palpable way, if the sultry actress really wants to end impunity for rapists in war zones, then her public relations co-star and British Foreign Secretary William Hague is top of the wanted list – along with his American and French counterparts, John Kerry and Laurent Fabius, and most of their predecessors.
Ironically perhaps, Angelina Jolie and her husband, screen pin-up Brad Pitt, are among the Hollywood A-List who are reckoned by the Western media to be ambassadors for various ‘good causes’ of humanitarian, political and environmental concern. To their millions of fans worldwide, the glamorous couple probably instills feel-good sentiment, which in turn publicizes their movies and rakes in zillions of dollars more for these absurdly rich «stars». Perhaps as individuals, these celebrities are well meaning. But their PR value of giving cover to war criminals is priceless, and they are to be condemned nonetheless as unwitting agents.
As with so much else that spews out of Hollywood, such as the recent anti-Iran film Argo and innumerable movies glorifying Western wars and state-sponsored terrorism, the function is to propagandize and deceive public understanding on a mass scale – all in the name of «culture». Instead of seeing the true roots and authors of war and suffering, and in particular war-related violence against women, the public ends up being conditioned to normalize the abnormal and to invert reality. Incredibly, a war criminal like William Hague is transformed into a chivalrous hero on the side of women’s rights thanks in large part to the glamorous glow afforded by a Hollywood celeb. That is one hell of an award-winning act. No wonder there is impunity for the arch-criminals.
We may easily dismiss Angelina Jolie as a pathetic «bimbo» not worth a second thought. But the sanitizing job she performs for British, American and French state terrorism in the eyes of millions around the world makes her a dangerous commodity. A femme fatale indeed…