Thanks to Naomi Campbell's clueless testimony before the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague, the manufactured nonscandal of "blood diamonds" is once again being trundled before the collective gullibility of the world.As for the real reason Taylor was ousted from Liberia, it was strictly international global politics, with various U.S. factions using Liberia as a something akin to a parlor game.
The hoopla is over some diamonds that allegedly were given during a gala fund-raiser hosted by the sainted Nelson Mandela to Ms. Campbell by Charles Taylor, the apparently infatuated accused mass murderer and ex-president of Liberia (and erstwhile friend of Americans such as Jesse Jackson and Jimmy Carter).
But despite what much media coverage would have you believe, the parallel occurrences of diamonds and internecine mayhem in Africa are in no way related—certainly no more than are violence and any other commercial commodity found on the continent. When was the last time we heard of "blood manganese," or "blood copper," or, for that matter, "blood bananas" or "blood cut flowers"?.
The fact is that most African diamonds are produced in places that are reasonably-to-perfectly peaceful (such as Botswana, Namibia and South Africa), whereas there are murderous African conflicts that rage elsewhere without the slightest "assistance" from diamonds (such as Rwanda, Uganda and the Sudan).
Alas, this simple truth is no match for the combined forces of liberal guilt and the commercial interests of a few players in the diamond industry. So the "blood diamond" charade has marched on unimpeded, passing through Congress (where I testified about the absurdity of the whole notion 10 years ago), through Hollywood in the hands of Leonardo DiCaprio (in "Blood Diamond"), and most recently last week with a supermodel's testimony in The Hague about her "dirty pebbles." In this faux-morality play, everyone has an assigned role:
•Cover-seeking panjandrums of the diamond industry—egged on by the canny PR spinners at DeBeers. The latter's main interest is in eliminating independent diamond production. But the campaign against "blood diamonds" is eagerly latched onto by many others in the industry who see any intergovernmental anti-"blood diamond" scheme, no matter how unworkable or feckless, as an opportunity to reap respectability and goodwill.
• Cynical NGO charlatans who know a good racket when they've stumbled on one, and who know that emotive images of amputees and child soldiers, when pictured (no matter how incongruously or unjustifiably) beside diamond-bedecked Naomi Campbell types, will prove irresistible to the unknowing public.
• Venal politicians on every continent, who will leap onto any bandwagon that provides a vehicle for cheap moral preening.....
....diamonds have no legally dispositive geographical DNA. As I believe they say on 47th Street, "fuggeddabahdit."
To the extent that this intercontinental tail-chasing of a "Kimberley Process" results in anything at all (other than the moral salving of the consciences of the world's bien-pensants), it is to diminish the desperately needed revenue of those who are most courageous and blameless in the entire diamond pipeline—i.e., the independent, artisanal local diggers in Africa (and to a lesser extent, in South America).
If the campaigns of groups like Global Witness result in any fewer sales of diamonds from Sierra Leone, Liberia or the Congo, it will not diminish the income of Harry Winston or Cartier or Bulgari, nor of Africa's "Big Men," whether in presidential palaces or rebel redoubts. The only loser would be the poor devil in torn shorts and flip-flops on a muddy riverbed with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, who, if he knew what was being done supposedly in his name, would not be grateful in the slightest.
I happened to have something of a front row see to observe the player that the then out of office Colin Powell was promoting to replace Taylor. This new man was to end all the corruption going on in Liberia under Taylor, or so the propaganda went. Of course, the son of Powell's man was not in Liberia but in D.C. trying to sell off concessions to every piece of Liberian business he could think of, before his father was even in office.
This using the son to do the dirty work was a formula developed and refined by Kofi Anan when he was Secretary-General of the United Nations. The NY Sun gives us a glimpse on how this all works:
One of the next big chapters in the United Nations oil-for-food scandal will involve the family of the secretary-general, Kofi Annan, whose son turns out to have been receiving payments as recently as early this year  from a key contractor in the oil-for-food program.Paul Volcker, "Mister Integrity," who always knows which way the wind is blowing and when it is time to put his mind into Rockefeller induced brain freeze, headed a special investigative commission that studied the oil for food scandal and found nothing inappropriate in Kojo's activities.
The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended.
Powell's man was very close to Secretary-General Annan and thus adopted Annan's "kickback via son" payoff model. But, in the end, Powell's man lost the power struggle--I think to Donald Rumsfeld's man.
Once you understand the insane games like this that the power elite play, you have to become very nervous when you see that the Dodd-Frank Finance "Reform" Bill calls for U.S. support for a "blood minerals" program designed along the lines of the "blood diamonds" Kimberely Process. The only difference will be that the elite are not just aiming at Liberia. "Blood minerals" is really cover for what they really want to control, gold. They'll tell you it is a fight to protect against "blood gold", but what they won't tell you is the blood and gold they are really talking about is yours, if you try to resist once they figure out how they are going to try and grab your gold.