Scott C.

Stories by Scott C. Johnson

  • johnson-FE04-iraq-main-tease

    The Correspondent

    The desert in Kuwait seemed such a wasteland. Goose farms near the Iraqi border yielded huge quantities of s--t, which gathered along the sides of the roads and in the yard of the house where we were squatting. When the sandstorms blew, so did the s--t, smearing the world with its stench. That patch of desert already felt abandoned to the war. There was no question that it would slide in of its own weight; it was just a question of when. The border—the constant pounding of tanks, the hovering helicopters, and the military police patrolling—was a trembling faultline.
  • Susana Trimarco

    My Love for Marita

    Susana Trimarco’s quest to find her kidnapped daughter has uncovered the dark underbelly of Argentina’s sex trade.
  • hunt-for-joseph-kony-and-the-lra-FE02-main

    The Hunt for Kony

    The leader of the Lord's Resistance Army has killed thousands of African citizens in the name of Christianity. Now he's on the run.
  • Africa Turns Away the Troops

    Many experts worry that Africa could soon become the world's jihadist base of choice; its combination of failed states, poverty, and pockets of religious extremism offer the perfect breeding ground for terrorists. That's a big reason why in 2007 the Pentagon created AfriCom, a new command responsible for organizing U.S. military involvement on the continent. Why, then, are senior AfriCom officials still stationed in Stuttgart, Germany? The problem is that locals are not exactly enthusiastic. U.S. officials considered both Botswana and Liberia as possible homes for the new command, but strong local opposition forced them to scrap their plans. In general, say AfriCom officials, there is little appetite for a big U.S. base in Africa, since African leaders worry that an American base would inflame fears of a new era of colonialism. According to AfriCom's chief, U.S. Gen. William (Kip) Ward, the hunt for an African host is now "completely off the table."...
  • Zimbabwe's Diamond Mines a New Source of Plunder

    Robert Mugabe is squandering a glittering opportunity for Zimbabwe. He has botched the development of the newly discovered diamond mines along his country's eastern border, which could be earning Zimbabwe as much as $600 million a month, according to a recent report by Partnership Africa Canada. That's enough to make a big dent in the $8.3 billion the country needs to reach its development and reconstruction goals. Instead, the mines have become a chaotic and militarized battlefield of panhandlers and corrupt police, while Mugabe allows his cronies to funnel the area's riches into their own bank accounts. To keep miners in line, government thugs often resort to violence, and Human Rights Watch has documented some 200 murders in the diamond fields over the past year. By demilitarizing the mining zone and implementing stricter oversight, Mugabe could boost revenue. Instead, Zimbabwe's diamond industry generated a paltry $20 million in the past month, and the...
  • Q&A With Zimbabwe's Embattled Prime Minister

    For more than a decade, Morgan Tsvangirai has fought to unseat Africa's last Big Man, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. The effort nearly killed him. Tsvangirai was beaten, tried for treason, and jailed repeatedly. Then, last March, after elections most credit Tsvangirai with winning, Mugabe was pressured to make him his prime minister, and the two entered into an uneasy power-sharing arrangement. Tsvangirai spoke to NEWSWEEK's Scott Johnson. Excerpts: ...
  • South Africa's New White Flight

    Fourteen years after apartheid, why are the best and the brightest leaving Africa's most successful state?
  • After Mbeki, Zuma's New Challenge

    With Thabo Mbeki ousted, Jacob Zuma's next challenge will be to control the radical supporters propelling him toward South Africa's presidency.
  • Assault On The Law

    In a further sign of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's descent into tyranny, his lackeys are terrorizing the country's lawyers with death threats and physical harm.Until recently, lawyers were the last line of defense against Mugabe's excesses, long after the country's judiciary capitulated to his power. But in 2006, the state-run newspaper, The Herald, began painting lawyers as tools of the opposition, and in May 2007, the regime began imprisoning members of the legal profession. Others started to get harassed by security forces. "It was a new type of warfare," says Arnold Tsunga, the International Association of Jurists' director for Africa.Now lawyers are joining Zimbabwe's fleeing millions to escape Mugabe's escalating war against them. Those who remain have taken to sleeping in different locations each night or hiding in safe houses. Some have had their vehicles torched or been threatened with execution. "The impact is to clearly say, if you think that lawyers protect you,...
  • Somalia: Dilemmas of the Horn

    Washington wanted to keep Somalia from turning into another Afghanistan. Now it's an African Iraq.
  • Digging Up the Dirt

    A forensics team is tracking down South Africa's disappeared—and reopening some very cold cases.
  • What 10 Million Buys

    Zimbabwe's new 10 million dollar bill is red, perhaps a warning that this money is melting down fast. Last week, 10 million Zimbabwe dollars could buy two rolls of toilet paper. By now, it probably won't get quite that much. Not surprisingly, the currency is not adorned with the face of president Robert Mugabe, but with a pastiche of fish.The world's most bankrupt economy has an inflation rate of 100,000 percent and a vast black market for oil, corn and cash. Citizens carry wads of 10 million notes in plastic bags. Money changers lose track of whether they're talking billions or trillions. The government, too, buys black market foreign currency to pay bills. As voters went to the polls last weekend, even backers of challenger Simba Makoni says they are unlikely to fix the mess. Legislator David Coltart admits they have no experts on this kind of hyperinflation. Precious few nations do.
  • Zimbabwe’s $10 Million Bread

    In a nation with rampant hyperinflation, bread is a bargain at just $10 million. Inside Zimbabwe's collapsing economy.
  • Mugabe’s Last Stand

    A former close ally may offer the best chance yet of toppling Zimbabwe's dictator at the ballot box.
  • Challenging Zimbabwe’s Mugabe

    An unexpected presidential contender discusses Zimbabwe's crippling problems and why he feels he can oust Robert Mugabe.
  • Q&A: Kofi Annan on Kenya's Tragedies

    What is it with Africa? Not only do we turn on each other, but we blame the outside. This is a cancer from within that we need to fix.
  • Kenya: The Raila Odinga Story

    Raila Odinga has a kaleidoscopic past and an unshakeable faith in the future. The forces that shaped the politician who says he won Kenya's disputed election.

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