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Empire of Bases : The Truth About Diego Garcia

Socialism is Still the Way Forward: Combating Neo-Liberal Imperialist Lies

By Danny Haiphong

“Each and every neo-liberal ideology conditions the belief that there is no alternative to imperialism.”

Fred Hampton was 21 years old when the Chicago Police Department and the FBI coordinated his assassination in 1969. As chairman of the Black Panther Party chapter in Illinois, Hampton helped organize a Free Breakfast Program that fed thousands of children. He and the Party worked tirelessly to unite Black Americans around the goal of self-determination. Hampton’s political maturity far outpaced his age. His politics were staunchly socialist, and his goal was revolution. According to Fred Hampton, “socialism is the people! If you’re afraid of socialism, you’re afraid of yourself!”

But that was a different period. At the time, the US imperialist intervention in Vietnam and the Black liberation movement in the US carved significant space for radicals and revolutionaries within the US empire to identify with socialism. Marxist ideology inspired the Black Panther Party to take up common cause with colonized peoples. The Black Panther Party made trips to China, Vietnam, Cuba, North Korea, and established a satellite in Algeria. This continued the work of revolutionaries of an earlier period such as Shirley Graham Du Bois and Malcolm X, both of whom made trips to Ghana and to numerous nations struggling against colonialism throughout the world.

Today, socialism doesn’t have the same influence on the political language or struggle of the left.  At the “Get to Freedom, Organize” conference, I make the argument that imperialism’s neo-liberal transition is largely responsible for this development. The rise of socialism in the early to late 20th century severely weakened imperialism. It was Vietnamese general Vo Nyugen Giap who said that much of the world was outside of imperialism’s orbit when the US invaded Vietnam. Consequently, the rise of neo-liberalism could not have been possible were it not for the imperial war on socialism.

“Marxist ideology inspired the Black Panther Party to take up common cause with colonized peoples.”

​The US military killed millions in the invasion of Korea and Vietnam. Both wars were waged to curb the influence of Chinese and Soviet socialism in the East. Much of the CIA’s work after its formation following World War II consisted of overthrowing governments in Africa, Latin America, and Asia that posed a threat to US multi-national corporations. The perceived threat was socialism. Although the US came out the world’s largest capitalist economy in 1945 and represented 50% of the world’s GDP, the contradictions of capitalism were paving the road to crisis. US monopolies faced numerous challenges to expansion and sought to prevent economic crisis by “containing” socialism and moving toward greater investment in the US dollar and finance capital.

The Bretton Woods institutions of the IMF and World Bank were useful in this regard. While the US ravaged the planet, these institutions pumped US dollars into Third World economies and forced subservient nations into debts with numerous strings attached. Imperialism’s promises of investment were viscous lies that served to justify extraction. The capitalist class propped up neo-colonial governments to protect their interests without the baggage of colonial occupation. The US and the West also used the Bretton Woods institutions to finance the recovery of war-torn Western Europe, especially Britain and France.

The rapid pace of imperialist development sent the system into crisis. The competition of the socialist bloc and the recovered European capitalist powers facilitated a crisis of overproduction. Profits fell as the imperialist countries invested more and more in new technology and finance capital to bankroll expansion. The West built foreign policy alliances at the behest of monopoly capital’s desire to occupy every part of the globe. From the 1970’s onward and into the 2008 economic crisis, monopoly capital would depend on the fictitious Wall Street economy and the super-exploitation of the working class and oppressed as a means to make up for profits lost from technological competition.

“Imperialism’s promises of investment were viscous lies that served to justify extraction.”

The Carter Administration began the full frontal assault on the working class when it deregulated the airlines in the US in 1978 and supported the brutal Shah of Iran during the Iranian revolution of 1979. In essence, the neo-liberal period had begun and so too did the decline of socialist imagination in the US. The draft ceased after the Vietnam War. Corporate consolidation also meant a consolidation in the primary ideological tool of imperialism: the media. The repression of liberation movements of years past was being reconfigured into the Black Mass Incarceration State, the National Security State, and the non-profit industrial complex. And finally, internationalism and socialism were dealt a potential deathblow when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.

Yet, socialism didn’t die in spite of neo-liberal imperialism’s declaration that the “end of history” had arrived. Despite being under US sanctions and losing Soviet support, Cuba maintained historic gains in free healthcare, education, and housing that began in 1959 and even lent support to African nations struggling against South African apartheid. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was forced to endure US backed sanctions that nearly starved the nation directly after the Soviet Union fell. Still, the people of Korea remain unwilling to shed it’s socialist character and the promotion of peace (yes, peace) in the region. Venezuela’s socialist, Bolivarian revolution has inspired the continent to move forward with Bolivar and Che’s dream of an integrated South America. So socialism is far from dead, and deserves serious consideration in this period of neo-liberal imperialism and fascist consolidation.

What is Socialism?

Briefly, socialism is the transitional stage between capitalism and communism. A socialist system redistributes private property and wealth after the oppressed classes seize the state and change its character from that of an institution of oppression to an instrument of liberation. The development of socialism depends heavily on the time and conditions of the historical period. Cuba’s revolution certainly did not resemble the October revolution of 1917 in Russia in its entirety, nor did China’s revolution of 1949 resemble Venezuela’s contemporary Bolivarian revolution. However, there are fundamental principles that define socialism regardless of where it develops.

Socialism is characterized by a transition in power from one class to another. It is the expropriation of the expropriators. The capitalist, imperialist ruling class is stripped of their power over the state either by force or by their own will to depart and take their business elsewhere. Property and wealth is then socialized by the new state and redistributed to meet the needs of workers oppressed people. The masses make decisions collectively, but a degree of centralization is built into the state in order to protect socialism from imperial destabilization. Revolutionary leaders are held accountable to the socialist process. This is an imperfect process, as all socialist states must factor in hostility and subversion from the still existing imperialist system. Cuba and Venezuela remain viable socialist states because of their ability to remain centralized in the defense of the revolution yet collective in the decision-making processes that pertain to national socialist development and foreign policy.

“The rulers of capital loot the wealth of workers and oppressed people everywhere.”

Neo-liberal imperialism is the anti-thesis of socialism. Its parasitic character both ideologically and materially undermines a socialist future in the US. The rulers of capital loot the wealth of workers and oppressed people everywhere. They do so with a strong ideological arm that justifies its wars, its repression, and its plunder. Neo-liberalism normalizes fascism. The ideology fulfills its purpose daily in a variety of ways, whether one studies “free market fundamentalism” or “color-blind racism.” Each and every neo-liberal ideology conditions the belief that there is no alternative to imperialism.

At the time of this writing, the conditions of people who live under socialism are by far better off than those who do not. While the people of Cuba possess free healthcare, education, and affordable housing, there are 18 million vacant homes in the US that could house every homeless person in the country six times. Millions of people die each year in the US from lack of healthcare coverage. Billions suffer from hunger daily under imperialism’s orbit, yet North Korea has found a way to overcome food shortages and sanctions to meet the needs of the people. Venezuela’s socialist process has reduced poverty more than any other nation in the region in a period where global poverty is on the rise due to the capitalist class’s massive policy of robbery.

Most people in the US possess little knowledge of socialism and the achievements that are possible under this particular social system. It is our task to study, organize, and educate this fact out of existence. The left no longer has the privilege of a so-called welfare state to lean on. The choice for any movement that arises in this period is to chart a revolutionary path or be consumed into the reactionary politics of the neo-liberal order. Many labor leaders and Black leaders have joined the ranks of imperialist collaboration. If readers are to take anything from this piece, it is to reject such collaboration at all costs and take up the task of building a socialist movement, no matter how difficult.

Danny Haiphong is an organizer for Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST) in Boston. He is also a regular contributor to Black Agenda Report. Danny can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com and FIST can be reached at bostonfist@gmail.com.

Colonialism, Coups and Conflict: Understanding Today’s Violence in the Central African Republic

Africa 2014 in Review Part III : Counterrevolution, Neocolonialism and the Mass Struggle

Reparations for Colonialism

Africa’s Battle with Ebola Continues

Building Solidarity With Africa: Struggle Against Neo-Colonialism and Imperialist Militarism

The Real Ebola Conspiracy

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa Overshadowed by First Case in Texas

This Changes Nothing. Why the People’s Climate March Guarantees Climate Catastrophe

The NGO-ization of Resistance

By Arundhati Roy

A hazard facing mass movements is the NGO-ization of resistance. It will be easy to twist what I’m about to say into an indictment of all NGOs. That would be a falsehood. In the murky waters of fake NGOs set up or to siphon off grant money or as tax dodges (in states like Bihar, they are given as dowry), of course, there are NGOs doing valuable work. But it’s important to consider the NGO phenomenon in a broader political context.

In India, for instance, the funded NGO boom began in the late 1980s and 1990s. It coincided with the opening of India’s markets to neoliberalism. At the time, the Indian state, in keeping with the requirements of structural adjustment, was withdrawing funding from rural development, agriculture, energy, transport and public health. As the state abdicated its traditional role, NGOs moved in to work in these very areas. The difference, of course, is that the funds available to them are a minuscule fraction of the actual cut in public spending.

Most large-funded NGOs are financed and patronized by aid and development agencies, which are, in turn, funded by Western governments, the World Bank, the UN and some multinational corporations. Though they may not be the very same agencies, they are certainly part of the same loose, political formation that oversees the neoliberal project and demands the slash in government spending in the first place.

Why should these agencies fund NGOs? Could it be just old-fashioned missionary zeal? Guilt? It’s a little more than that. NGOs give the impression that they are filling the vacuum created by a retreating state. And they are, but in a materially inconsequential way. Their real contribution is that they defuse political anger and dole out as aid or benevolence what people ought to have by right. They alter the public psyche. They turn people into dependent victims and blunt the edges of political resistance. NGOs form a sort of buffer between the sarkar and public. Between Empire and its subjects. They have become the arbitrators, the interpreters, the facilitators.

In the long run, NGOs are accountable to their funders, not to the people they work among. They’re what botanists would call an indicator species. It’s almost as though the greater the devastation caused by neoliberalism, the greater the outbreak of NGOs. Nothing illustrates this more poignantly than the phenomenon of the U.S. preparing to invade a country and simultaneously readying NGOs to go in and clean up the devastation. In order make sure their funding is not jeopardized and that the governments of the countries they work in will allow them to function, NGOs have to present their work in a shallow framework, more or less shorn of a political or historical context. At any rate, an inconvenient historical or political context.

Apolitical (and therefore, actually, extremely political) distress reports from poor countries and war zones eventually make the (dark) people of those (dark) countries seem like pathological victims. Another malnourished Indian, another starving Ethiopian, another Afghan refugee camp, another maimed Sudanese…in need of the white man’s help. They unwittingly reinforce racist stereotypes and reaffirm the achievements, the comforts and the compassion (the tough love) of Western civilization. They’re the secular missionaries of the modern world.

Eventually–on a smaller scale, but more insidiously–the capital available to NGOs plays the same role in alternative politics as the speculative capital that flows in and out of the economies of poor countries. It begins to dictate the agenda. It turns confrontation into negotiation. It depoliticizes resistance. It interferes with local peoples’ movements that have traditionally been self-reliant. NGOs have funds that can employ local people who might otherwise be activists in resistance movements, but now can feel they are doing some immediate, creative good (and earning a living while they’re at it).

Real political resistance offers no such short cuts. The NGO-ization of politics threatens to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job. With a few perks thrown in.

Real resistance has real consequences. And no salary.


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Capitalism: A Ghost Story
People’s Climate Change March: Wall Street vs the Indigenous Peoples Movement

The Fight Against Big Agra and GMOs in Ghana

Empire: A Collapsing Zombie Regime

Changing Dimensions of the Economic Character of Imperialism in Africa and the West

Pan-Africanism, World Revolution and the New Cold War

US Aims to Exploit Natural Resources of Africa

The Financial Elite and the Global Land and Water Grab

Al-Qaeda’s 20-Year Plan: From 9/11 to Final Victory

UNSC Deploys EU Forces to CAR | AU Summit Focuses on South Sudan and CAR

Amnesty International in Eritrea: Infamous Tool of Conspiracies

One System, One Result: The Cuban 5, Laurent Gbagbo, Xiomara Castro

The Imperialist Ngos Recolonizing Africa and the African Leaders Who Serve Them

Neocolonial Dementia, Psy-warfare and Media Complicity

Bloody Weekend Explodes Washington’s Contradictions over Al Qaeda and War on Terror

Ethiopia to Continue Land Grabbing and Forced Resettlement

By

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Millions of acres of Ethiopia’s most fertile lands are being offered to foreign investors, often in long-term leases and at bargain prices. At the same time, through its ‘villagization’ program, the Ethiopian government is forcibly displacing hundreds of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in order to free up their land so the transnational agro-industry can move in and grow foodstuffs and bio-fuels for export. It is a process of dispossession in which Indigenous Peoples are being forced to become dependent on aid handouts having lost their land and their ability to produce their own food.

For over a year, the Anuak and other Indigenous Peoples of the Gambella region of Southwest Ethiopia have been forced into government created villages which seldom contain the amenities promised to them. There is little access to food, arable land, water or electricity.

Last year the Anuak implicated the World Bank in the many severe human rights abuses that are being carried out as part of this resettlement. Last April, Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim announced, “The World Bank Group shares these concerns about the risks associated with large-scale land acquisitions. He conceded that more efforts “must be made to build capacity and safeguards related to land rights—and to empower civil society to hold governments accountable.”

The World Bank has been a key investor in several more land grabbing scandals across the developing world, despite their stated principles of respecting Indigenous People’s right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent before projects that affect their lands.

However, in this case, the World Bank, with its links to the Ethiopian Government’s Protection of Basic Services Program (sponsoring the villagization), has denied evidence that their funds are linked to villagization and says they haven’t encountered any human rights violations in the area.

An independent panel at the World Bank has been created to investigate the issue. The Inspection Panel, argues the position of denying the allegations of financing human rights abuse is not sound, saying: “The two programs depend on each other, and may mutually influence the results of the other.”

In a letter sent to the panel last year, Ethiopian refugees say some people have been forcibly relocated from their land, which is now being leased to foreign investors. “These mass evictions have been carried out under the pretext of providing better services and improving the livelihoods of the communities,’ says the letter. “However, once they moved to the new sites, they found not only infertile land, but also no schools, clinics, wells, or other basic services.” It also says they were forced to leave their homes and abandon their crops just before the harvest, and were not given any food assistance during the move. Those farmers who have refused to move from their land have been targeted for arrest, beating, torture and killing,” the letter says. The refugees state that they have been severely harmed by the World Bank financed project which is contributing to the Ethiopian Governments program of forced villagization.

US and UK development agencies have been tied to the same alleged abuses, especially in the Lower Omo Valley. Around the same time the World Bank was implicated for its sponsorship abuses and land theft, the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) were accused of ignoring evidence of human rights abuses including intimidation, beatings and rape.

A farmer from the Gambella region is attempting to sue the UK government after claiming that its funding of a project led to such human rights abuses against his family. The man–known as Mr. O–told his lawyers he was evicted from his farm, beaten and witnessed rapes as part of the “villagization” scheme.

According to his lawyers, Mr. O asserts that his family was forced to resettle in a new village where there was no replacement farmland or access to food and water. When he tried to return to his former home, Mr. O says he was hit repeatedly with a rifle butt and taken to a military camp by Ethiopian soldiers where he was gagged and subjected to further beatings.

Despite the list of human rights complaints and strong criticism from many human rights organizations, the Ethiopian government has vowed to continue with its villagization program in the coming years.

The government has already moved 200,000 households into 388 resettlement centers. Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute has said that it’s up to the officials of the World Bank, USAID and DFID “to swiftly re-examine their role and determine how to better monitor funding if they are indeed not in favor of violence and repression as suitable relocation techniques for the development industry.”

Ethiopia currently receives more foreign aid than any other country in Africa–over $3 billion a year–the major donors being the United States and the United Kingdom.

Welcome to the Brave New World – Brought to You by Avaaz

By Cory Morningstar
TomPerrielloAvaazBanner2007
In the image above, Tom Perriello, an Avaaz co-founder, can be seen arranging Avaaz banners. On the Avaaz Flickr account one can find images with the credit as follows: “Tom Perriello, www.AVAAZ.org, The World in Action, tom@avaaz.org, (M) +1-434-825-0745 [Source][2007]
President Obama Attends Rally For Rep. Tom Perriello
Image: U.S. President Barack Obama with Avaaz co-founder and (former) U.S. Representative Tom Perriello. “Perriello is a former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010) and a founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]

“Perriello has had a long relationship with Soros’ Open Society-funded Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, which continue to this day. Amnesty International is also financed by the Soros Open Society Institute. All of these organizations have been instrumental in opening up the doors for foreign invasion into Libya and now Syria.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
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Like his co-founders, Ricken Patel and Tom Pravda, Perriello’s career within the realm of ruling class agencies/administrations, etc. has been extensive. To name just two:  United Nations: Special Adviser to the International War Crimes Prosecutor and the U.S. State Department. [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
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“Avaaz’s stance on both Libya (now annihilated) and Syria currently is in smooth synchronicity with the positions within the U.S. administration, such as those vocalized by the likes of war criminals like Hillary Clinton (of “We came. We saw. He died. Laughter…” fame).

The ugly iron fist of war is gently being spoon-fed to the public by way of a very dark velvet glove – that being Avaaz.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Barack+Obama+President+Obama+Attends+Rally+QAtVkTAkUEwx
Above: A picture worth a thousand words. In May 2009, 60 Congress members voted against dumping another $97 billion into the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Perriello voted for it. [Source] On 10 March 2010, 65 Congress members voted to end the war on Afghanistan. Perriello voted in favour of keeping it going. [Source] Perriello’s steadfast support of defense bills and war is well-documented [view voting record]. Yet, in spite of these pro-war positions, the liberal left and their so called “progressive media” continued to shine a glowing light on Perriello and frame him as a stand-out progressive as you will see below. [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012][Photo: Getty Images]
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Congressman Tom Perriello with war criminal, General David Petraeus (far left). Under this Flickr photo the caption reads: “Passing the Baton, United States Institute of Peace” [2009] [Photo: Jon-Phillip Sheridan | Source] [In July, 2011, “General David Petraeus was approved as CIA Director by both the Senate Intelligence Committee and then the full Senate, whose vote was an astounding 94-0, astounding because this is a man who was deeply implicated in war crimes, including torture.” Source]
Obama&Perriello
“Perriello’s view of Israel borders on fantasy. He views Israel as one of the most “dramatic and exciting creations of the international community” in the 20th century and believes that a permanent moral and strategic relationship exists between the U.S. and Israel.” [Further reading: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part II, Section I, Sept, 24, 2012]
Tom Perriello at the Avaaz.org Holiday Party 2007 2
Image: Tom Perriello attending an intimate Avaaz party in New York City. Source: Flickr.
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In the image above, Perriello can be seen just right of center holding the red, orange and black flag. [Source: Flickr][2006]
Published by Counterpunch, September 13, 2013

Year 2013: A Brave New World

Neil Postman, social critic, compares the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book, Amusing Ourselves to Death. He observes:

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.’ In1984, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.”

On Sept 1, 2013, in the article Deja Vu | War Against Syria: Built on a Lie, Roxanne Amico observes:

“It’s all familiar… Notice that nonstop ‘breaking news’ on all the media outlets? How easily the current puppet in the belly of the beast of industrial capitalism dances to the tunes played by the corporate shareholders pulling their [purse-] strings. Note how every single day, sometimes more than once a day, some new piece of ‘news’ is brought to the public for all of us to swallow, just as Aldous Huxley predicted, when he said, ‘There will be in the next generation or so a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them but will rather enjoy it.”

Aldous Huxley (1894 –1963) has proven to be quite prophetic in his predictions of the future. There is in fact a “pharmacological method of making people love their servitude” precisely because of what Huxley prophesized: “They will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.” Of course, the pharmacological method Huxley spoke of does not constrain itself to pharmacological agents alone. Today we can expand the pharmacological method and use of terrorism that Huxley spoke of, to the stealthy, steady-state psychological warfare waged against the public psyche bymainstream media (MSM) in tandem with the non-profit industrial complex.

As an unparalleled set of multiple crises of the most epic proportions looks down upon as – right before it crushes us – it appears that this may very well be the “final revolution” Huxley spoke of, from manufactured, faux revolutions, that are embraced and celebrated by the Western left, to the oncoming climate holocaust, which we collectively “address” by not addressing it, convincing ourselves that we need not discuss the very root cause of our accelerating crisis: the industrialized, capitalist economic system.

Our fake prophets within the non-profit industrial complex serve us, and our insatiable appetite for lies, insidiously, assuring us that the same system destroying us (albeit in bright green packaging) will now save us. The West applauds.

The philanthropic colonization of the collective is complete.

Whereas philosopher/cultural critic Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) once stated, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you,” today’s collective society, in cohesive acquiescence, says “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m grateful that your lies allow me to maintain my privilege. I’m grateful that our collective acceptance of cognitive dissonance allows us, and in fact encourages us, as a society, to embrace your lies. I’m grateful that the acceptance of lies has evolved to be mainstream, avant-garde, and status quo. I’m grateful that I can get back to my TV show now.”

The normalization of lies and complete indifference has never been so vogue, so celebrated. Anyone who does not kowtow to the line of resolute false hope is labeled “divisive” and is isolated or ridiculed by the obedient, the indoctrinated. Thus, the 21st century critical thinker of today must always be cognizant that “the masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduces them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.” [Gustave Le Bon, 1841-1931]

Our entire belief system, built upon a foundation of lies and conditioning, is now cradled, and even cultivated, by collective society itself. However, if this state-of-the-art web of deception, held together only by the most intricate, seemingly fragile web of lies, were to start falling apart, we would witness the inevitable unraveling of the entire system and the existing power structures within it. But one must be cognizant of the fact that the tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel… thus, the untangling work will not be easy.

Enter Avaaz

A show of hands please from everyone who knows that a key founder of Avaaz is none other than U.S. Democrat Tom Perriello, former U.S. Representative (represented the 5th District of Virginia from 2008 to 2010), founding member of the House Majority Leader’s National Security Working Group. As demonstrated in the 2012 investigative report on Avaaz, Perriello’s curriculum vitae, built upon privilege within elite circles, is most extensive.

Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, which is described as a global civic advocacy group, and Democratic front party, Moveon.org. The silent voice behind Avaaz, Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of three key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur; Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth and the long-time associate of Perriello; and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.

Res Publica (based in New York) is a primary co-founder of Avaaz along with MoveOn. Res Publica’s stated goal is to “develop innovative solutions to global justice and security threats.” Res Publica “ran as a pilot project” in Sierra Leone in 2001-2002 and has three full-time fellows, Ricken Patel, Tom Perriello and Tom Pravda. Res Publica is supported by a broader network of “Friends of Res Publica” and a Global Advisory Board. It is anyone’s guess as to what individuals or groups make up the broader network of the “Friends of Res Publica”.

29 December 2004: “Over two days in early December approximately three-dozen religious activists met at the Washington office of the Center for American Progress, a recently formed think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta. The Res Publica-driven agenda for the closed-door gathering included sessions on ‘building the movement infrastructure’ and ‘objectives, strategies and core issues.’”

Perriello (now President and CEO of the Center for American Progress) described Res Publica as an “incubator for social entrepreneurship.”

The Res Publica email address is actually respublica@avaaz.org.

With the taste of blood still in its mouth from with its facilitating role in the annihilation of Libya, and on the eve of an illegal attack on Syria, Avaaz is now frothing at the mouth like a rabid animal. While the Avaaz founders and elites live a privileged luxurious existence in metropolitan cities such as New York, the brutal slaughter of Libyan people continues to this day, all while foreign funded mercenaries/rebels create chaos, death and destruction in destabilizing Syria – the goal being to assist imperial states to overthrow the Assad government, ultimately seizing the full control of the natural gas, oil and pipelines (while simultaneously protecting the U.S. dollar), and finally, to secure an opportune geopolitical position to invade Iran.

On September 4, 2013 Avaaz made yet another desperate push for war on Syria. In this particular campaign, Avaaz appealed to its “members” (today, over 25 million according to Avaaz) to “call on our leaders to exercise their responsibility to protect.” [Emphasis in original.][Screenshots of the email will follow article.]

The key words: responsibility to protect. Commonly known in the halls of war as R2P, along with “humanitarian intervention,” We can call it what it actually is: regime change (with extensive “collateral damage” thrown in for good measure).

“… humanitarian intervention, along with the concept of the ‘right to protect’ (R2P), has developed into the most effective ideological weapon the liberal human rights community provided Western imperialism since the fall of the Soviet State. Humanitarian intervention has proven to be an even more valuable propaganda tool than the “war on terror,” because as the situation in Libya and now Syria has demonstrated, it provides a moral justification for imperialist intervention that can also accommodate the presence of the same ‘terrorist’ forces the U.S. pretends to be opposed to. And of course, in the eyes of the U.S. government, tyrannical and dictatorial governments that need to be deposed are only those that present an obstacle to the realization of U.S. geo/political interests – never those paragons of freedom and morality like Saudi Arabia and Israel.” — Ajamu Baraka, Syria and the Sham of “Humanitarian Intervention”, June 4, 2013

This new Avaaz campaign/petition demanding the R2P doctrine be applied to Syria would give the green light for the US to legally strike Syria. This campaign follows the call by Avaaz co-founder Ricken Patel, on August 22, 2013, for a no-fly zone over Syria. [Further reading: On the Eve of an Illegal Attack on Syria, Avaaz/350.org Board Members Beat the Drums of War, August 30, 2013.]

The latest campaign/petition for the R2P doctrine, titled “She Survived” appears on the Avaaz website, highlighting a video with the caption “WARNING: This video is very disturbing and difficult to watch.” Under the caption it reads “All she kept screaming was “I’m alive, I’m alive,” over and over again. And then she cried out for her parents.” [Emphasis in original.]

Such campaigns reveal brilliantly packaged think-tank material as explained ever so eloquently by the human rights investigator and award-winning journalist Keith Harmon Snow.

The instant click activism that “clicktivism” has nurtured encourages citizens to add their names to petitions that provide zero in-depth background information or evidence. (There are legitimate organizations that do provide extensive background information; these are for the most part real grassroots-based orgs.) Further, the method employed to convince/coerce a citizen to sign by organizations such as Avaaz is highly charged emotional language: “The courage of these activists is unbelievable – a skype message read ‘state security searching the house, my laptop battery dying, if not online tomorrow I’m dead or arrested.” Images may include pictures of targeted states/leaders that the empire wishes to demonize in order to incite hatred against them. And finally, the promise of belonging to a “community” that “empowers” them does not disappoint. In a world where civil liberties are disappearing at an accelerating speed, and youth (the targeted audience) do feel disillusioned and powerless, empowerment is an enticing option.

Triangulating (a research technique that checks at least three different sources, never relying on just one) and dissecting hegemonic campaigns requires time, care, patience and critical thought. In a Euro-American culture that is severely lacking in discipline and critical thinking skills, “liking” a campaign that is explained, in its entirety from three lines of emotive text solidifying a bizarre acceptance and acquiescence of illegal, sophisticated and brilliantly executed destabilizations and invasions by the simple click of a mouse.

(It must be noted that no organization can grow to the size of Avaaz without having acquired the respect of loyal followers for credible campaigns. A key method for building and establishing the required credibility and legitimacy is using campaigns that can quite easily generate a fairly broad consensus, that is, ecological campaigns (rainforest protection), “keeping hope alive” on climate, protection of archaeological sites, signing a Fukushima declaration, demanding aid to areas suffering natural disasters such as (now occupied) Haiti. The list, as well as the scope, seems endless.)

This particular Avaaz campaign/petition, addressed to the United Nations Security Council states “The UN has a responsibility to protect the people of Syria and make clear that these vicious crimes against humanity will not go unaddressed.”

Again, note the subtle language. The Responsibility to Protect doctrine is subtlety repeated. The Responsibility to Protect doctrine and humanitarian intervention are two disturbing ideologies designed to facilitate societal acceptance of war. Prior to this lovely terminology, it was formerly known as “the Right to Intervene.”

Perriello lives and breathes to convince the public that such disturbing doctrines are moral and just.

“The propagandists of the U.S. war strategy have been spectacularly successful in inculcating this shift in consciousness in the general population and the self-muting of the anti-war and anti-imperialist movements in the West, with the exception of a few organizations. The assertion of the right to unilaterally attack any State that it deems unfit for sovereignty is not a new articulation of White supremacist, imperialist ideology but in this current period where there are few constraints on the global exercise of ‘White power,’ the internalization of this position by the European and U.S. publics, irrespective of ethnicity or race, has made the world a much more dangerous place for Black and Brown people: 50,000 killed in Libya, 80,000 in Syria, 1,000,000 in Iraq, and 30,000 in Afghanistan.” — Ajamu Baraka, Syria and the Sham of “Humanitarian Intervention”, June 4, 2013

Following Perriello’s re-election defeat in December of 2011, the Center for American Progress announced new leadership roles for its advocacy arm. Perriello became the new President and CEO of CAP Action and Counselor for Policy at CAP.

CAP serves as an ideal foundation and outlet for outlandish lies and propaganda that furthers U.S. interests. Consider the Feb 28, 2013 article A New Phase for U.S. Policy on Syria by Rudy deLeon, Michael Werz, and Brian Katulis, with Tom Perriello, Winnie Stachelberg, Peter Juul, and Ken Sofer:

“Given the negative evolution of the Syrian conflict, current U.S. policy is not sustainable and does not effectively advance U.S. regional interests and values, as witnessed last week when three senior American Progress staff – Michael Werz, Tom Perriello, and Winnie Stachelberg – took a weeklong trip to the region.

It is time for a change in policy. The United States needs to increase its assistance to the Syrian opposition with the goal of supporting an alternative opposition government that is better organized than at present.”

In the case of a sovereign state targeted for destabilization, the U.S. administration, which is akin to a bitch in heat, elevates its sophisticated psychological warfare machine into full-scale overdrive under the direction of the global oligarchy. All the shills, all the cheap whores on the foundation dole, come out to play. Corporate media and so-called “progressive” media are kicked into high gear.

Thus, one should not be surprised to find that in the 2012 winter issue of Democracy Journal, Perriello penned a grotesque and delusional article titled Humanitarian Intervention: Recognizing When, and Why, It Can Succeed. The views within the article are a complete reflection and validation of the U.S. administration’s rhetoric intended to justify the annihilation and occupation of sovereign states under the false pretense of “humanitarian intervention” and “responsibility to protect.” Make no mistake, this is the ideology of the world’s most powerful NGO (Avaaz) and the matrix of NGOs within the non-profit industrial complex.

Like Bill McKibben who serves as the appointed “leader” for climate and environmental issues by the elites, Perriello serves as the “left” Democrat media darling for a political analysis on Syria. This is evident in interviews with Perriello by MSNBC, The Atlantic and scores of other corporate media outlets. As the old saying goes, the tail wags the dog and, in this same vein, the media saturates the masses with outlandish lies.

Note that the media (corporate and so-called progressive) make absolutely no mention whatsoever of affiliation between Perriello and Avaaz, let alone the fact that Perriello is a key founder of Avaaz.

In this video Perriello is introducing himself to the youth involved in a training organization named “e-mediat Jordan.” These youth, he states, are prepared to “sacrifice for their country.” Perriello is listed as director: “E-Mediat Jordan Country Director – Honorable Tom Perriello.” This organization is situated in Jordan, which borders Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Red Sea, Palestine and Israel. This NGO describes itself as a “Tools, Technology and Training Centre.” Training youth has become code for and instrumental in advancing the Imperialist agenda. In essence, the exploited youth are the sacrificial lambs of the ruling classes in the 21st century.

“Ban Ki-Moon emphasized two important points in his statement on Syria. First, speaking at the Hague, he urged members of the UN Security Council to look for a diplomatic solution, saying: “Give peace a chance, give diplomacy a chance, stop fighting and start talking”. He also stressed the need to abide by UN Charter provisions. Second, he made a statement, that sounded a bit extraordinary in his case, mentioning the fact that the Hague international criminal courts activities should be kept in mind by those who are on the path of committing an international crime. It sounded very convincing, no matter if he meant the United States of America and Great Britain or not. It’s well known who is going to perpetrate another international crime today.” — RACE TO WAR AIMS TO CONCEAL EVIDENCE THE WEST WAS BEHIND CHEMICAL WEAPONS ATTACK, August 29, 2013

The global community’s most momentous mistake was the failure to prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is still possible, yet the question is whether or not there is the will to pursue it. With war crimes in mind, Ban Ki-Moon’s aforementioned remark regarding the Hague is nothing less than extraordinary. We can only hope that those with leadership capacity at Avaaz and the scores of other imperial NGOs that facilitated the invasion and annihilation of Libya which resulted in tens upon thousands of slaughtered Libyan citizens and African migrant workers, will also be tried for these same war crimes.

Perriello no doubt believes in the myth of American exceptionalism. His patriotic views are reinforced by like-minded individuals from the Bush administration, the Obama administration, and the scores of organizations who “understand” the “need” to expand America’s “democracy” and “economic prosperity” around the globe. And while these myths are pushed forward by Imperialist administrations, the non-profit industrial complex and corporate media, civil rights in America – and now Syria – are being stripped away faster than you can say fascism.


Further Reading on Avaaz: Avaaz: Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Protectors of the Oligarchy, Trusted Facilitators of War | Part I, Section IPart I, Section II, Part I, Section III, Part II, Section I, Part II, Section II,


About the Author

Cory Morningstar is an independent investigative journalist, writer and environmental activist, focusing on global ecological collapse and political analysis of the non-profit industrial complex. She resides in Canada. Her recent writings can be found on Wrong Kind of GreenThe Art of AnnihilationPolitical Context, Counterpunch, Canadians for Action on Climate Change and Countercurrents. You can follow her on twitter: @elleprovocateur

Snowden Revisited

UPDATE:
Snowden’s disclosures are part of an imperial operation within the intelligence apparatus.

By Jorge Capelán, RLP/TcS

Three months after their publication, the revelations of US National Security Agency functionary Edward Snowden leave a series of unanswered questions. The version that presents Snowden as a solitary hero confronting the imperialist espionage apparatus needs to be reconsidered.

In many ways the positive role of revelations like those of Snowden, Wikileaks and Bradley Manning is undeniable in uncovering imperialist crimes and presenting to the general public the truly totalitarian nature of US global power. However, it is also undeniable that these revelations are filtered through various powerful military, financial, media and political interests. The revelations not only express a citizens’ revolt against imperial violations of basic freedoms but they also, perhaps above all, express contradictions at the very heart of the Western élites.

One example of the romanticizing propaganda of what has been discovered in recent years is an article by Julian Assange published by the Australian web site The Stringer on August 24th this year,i which shows the role of the Google company executives as global flunkeys of the US State Department and NSA.

Assange concludes, “That Google was taking NSA money in exchange for handing over people’s data comes as no surprise. When Google encountered the big bad world, Google itself got big and bad.”

What Assange fails to mention is that among the sectors supporting Snowden and Wikileaks itself are other powerful interests equally “big and bad.”

Snowden and the CIA

According to the official version that can be more or less reconstructed from reports on the matter,ii , Snowden was talented in computer skills and also in his knowledge of Japanese and Chinese. He has no university degree, hardly even a high school qualification. As an adolescent, Snowden ““He was a geek like the rest of us,……We played video games, watched anime. It was before geek was cool.” according to an anonymous acquaintance of Snowden’s quoted by the New York Times.iii

In May 2004, Snowden enlisted in the Reserve of the US Army as a Special Forces recruit but never finished his training after breaking both legs. The following year he found work as a security guardiv in the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Study of Language, an institution regarded as having close links to the National Security Agency. In very little time, Snowden then began a contract with the CIA working on information security.

Despite his lack of formal qualifications, Snowden received Top Secret security clearancev and in 2007 was assigned to the US embassy in Geneva, as a specialist in network security. Over time, Snowden underwent a crisis of conscience as a result of his work with the agency some of which he considered ethically objectionablevi and in 2009 he quit…..moving to a job in the National Security Agency.

Is that not strange? How can it be that a CIA functionary with high level security clearance just quits their job and in no time at all turns up working as a private contractor for another US espionage agency? After all, over several years, the CIA invested considerable resources in Snowden, as well as paying him extremely well. For example he says he took a 6 month course in information security at that time.vii If Snowden had a crisis of conscience that motivated him to leave the CIA, how did he manage to conceal that from his superiors during the rigorous debriefing process that takes place whenever someone with high level security clearance ends their assignment?

It hardly seems credible that Snowden simply said one day “I don’t want to work for the CIA any more….” and his controllers replied “Ok, kid, we wish you well with your next career move….” More unbelievable still is that he was allowed to continue with his high level security clearance privileges.

In interviews, Snowden has said that he earned around US$200,000 as an NSA contractor. Others have said it was more likely US$120,000. Whatever the exact amount, that is certainly more or less the salary level of an employee with the Top Secret/SCI security clearance which Snowden seems to have had.

When Snowden in 2013 told his boss in the Booz Allen Hamilton agency that he wanted some time off to treat a recently diagnosed epileptic condition, surely that might have caught someone’s attention? Epilepsy is not a mental illness, but medical opinion agrees that it does increase the risk of mental illness, which would be grounds for immediately suspending an individual’s security clearance.

In any case, after Snowden’s initial revelations, a Homeland Security sub-committeeviii undertook to find out how it was that Snowden managed to receive that Top Secret security clearance. The Inspector General of the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management, Patrick McFarland, has said he has information on Snowden but could not reveal it, self-evidently, since Snowden had been a CIA employee. However, what did emerge from that meeting was a series of very disturbing data on the level of mismanagement in relation to access to classified information in the US.

It transpires that 87% of investigations into candidates for such access are never finished. The Top Secret classification can mean different things for different agencies. One single contractor, the US Information Service, does 65% of the investigations. Over US$1 billion paid by the federal Office of Personnel Management for those investigations has never been audited. At least eighteen OPM investigators have been found to have falsified their investigation results.

To all this, one can add that the USIS agency that investigated Snowden is itself under federal investigation for not having done that work “in an appropriate and detailed way”.ix Corruption and mismanagement are no surprise to anyone critical of the United States government. Even so, nor should one forget that the US intelligence agencies are experts at disinformation exercises.

With all that said, even if this kind of institutional mismanagement were the case, that does not explain how an individual like Edward Snowden can move from a highly paid job in the public sector to a highly paid job in the private sector with no questions asked. It simply does not add up that Snowden fooled, first, the CIA, then his private employers, Dell and Booz Allen, and finally the NSA. The chances are nil of the CIA letting Snowden move on with his Top Secret security clearance with no control of any kind either by them or his private sector employers or the NSA.

On June 10th this year in an interview with the Guardian, Snowden said that from his office he was able to intercept any communication, including those of federal judges or even the US President so long as he had the relevant e-mail address. Despite that, the NSA was unable to locate him in his Hong Kong hotel, even when registered under his real name, just as they were unable to check out the investigation awarding him Top Secret security clearance.

Frankly, the only reasonable explanation that Snowden could travel to Hong Kong and then make it to Moscow is that he was able to count on the complicity of the CIA to change his job and subsequently desert. At least, that is the view of journalist Jon Rappoport.x

According to Rappoport, the CIA is in conflict with the NSA. Currently, the NSA is a giant organization managing immense resources and information while the CIA sees its power and influence in decline. Rappoport cites a report in Wired Magazinexi of June this year according to which the Pentagon sought US$4.7 billion for the NSA in the 2014 budget while the amounts for the CIA and other US espionage agencies were cut to US$4.4 billion.

Rappoport thinks the CIA fed Snowden the information that he in turn has fed to the Western media. That in itself by no means suggests Snowden was not genuine in his actions and may very well be sincerely convinced of the danger the NSA’s global spying capability represents for civil liberties.

George Soros

One thing definitely stands out in the coverage given to Edward Snowden by left wing and progressive media both in the imperialist countries and in our own. Namely, almost no one mentions the role of Wall Street financier George Soros. In general, it is an interesting question why almost no one discusses the role played in the funding of the so-called alternative media by corporate interests represented by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and any other similar institutions.

For decades, private foundations linked to big groups of US capitalxii, usually closely linked to the US government apparatus, to the CIA and to the Council for Foreign Relations, distribute millions of dollars in their effort to control and guide public opinion.

One of the thirty most wealthy people in the world and number fifteen in the Forbes list of US millionaires,xiii Soros funds the greater part of the progressive and even radical networks in North America that focus on defending rights to privacy and freedom of information. But hardly anyone seems to be interested in drawing the relevant conclusions in relation to that fact, given that Soros’ ideology is by no means progressive.

By contrast, the connections of George Soros to the networks of imperial power are well known.xiv For example, the writer Eva Golingerxv notes that “parallel to his activities as a financial speculator, George Soros, along with the Bush and Bin Laden families, is part of the Carlyle Group led by Frank Carlucci, He is also a member of the Bilderberg group, the Council for Foreign Relations, the International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch.” In 1993 Soros founded the Open Society Institute which has participated actively in joint operations with the CIA in former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Georgia and Tibet. Likewise, the misnamed philanthropic organizations funded by Soros were active all through 2011 in their attempts to help the Muslim Brotherhood take power in Egypt.xvi

Soros funded groups, like Human Rights Watch and Freedom House, take the lead in all the US government psychological warfare campaigns against foreign governments perceived as requiring destabilization so as to advance US interests. Along with Soros, the International Crisis Group (ICS), includes senior US foreign policy figures like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Richard Armitage and Kenneth Aldelman. Armitage y Adelman are both signatories of the Project for a New American Century which laid the doctrinal basis for the “war on terror” of George W. Bush.

Together with Snowden during the first press conference he gave after arriving at Moscow airport on July 12th was Tatyana Lokshina,xvii representative in Russia of the Soros-funded Human Rights Watch. Coordinating Snowden’s legal defence in the US one finds another Soros funded organization, the American Civil Liberties Union xviii involved in public disagreements with the lawyers of Snowden’s father, Lon, and Lon Snowden’s Russian lawyer.xix

A declaration by the Soros-funded Open Society Foundation xx on July 12th this year criticised the administration of President Obama for excessive use of the archaic Espionage Act to punish various whistle blowers who in recent years have revealed information affecting imperial interests, among them Bradley Manning and Snowden himself.

The declaration by OSF legal adviser, Morton Halperin, asserts that President Obama’s use of the legislation creates a serious threat to the public right to know and to the process by which Americans are informed about US government activities in matters of National Security.

It is a well established fact that Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald who took the lead in reporting Edward Snowden’s revelations is someone closely connected with the Soros networks. In 2008, Greenwald and writer Jane Hamsher founded the political pressure group Accountability Nowxxi aiming to “move the Democrat Party to the Left”. The most important members of Accountability now are almost all members of the Soros network.xxii

Laura Poitras was the first person contacted by Snowden when he sought to publish his information in the New York Times. Laura Poitras also filmed the interview with Snowden conducted in his hotel in Hong Kong. Both Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald are board members of the Freedom of the Press Foundation xxiii, funded by the Foundation for National Progress which publishes the investigative journalism magazine Mother Jones.

As a documentary maker, Poitras’ career is characterized by critical political and social reporting especially after the September 11th 2001 attacks on the US. Her film “My country, my country” on the effects of the US occupation of Iraq was nominated for an Oscar. Poitras believes that this film got her placed on “the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) watch list” with the highest threat rate” the Department of Homeland Security assigns.xxiv

As it happens, in 2012 Poitras received a prestigious fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation,xxv of US$500,000 on the basis that her “elegant and illuminating documentaries capture the lives and intimate experiences of families and communities largely inaccessible to the American media.”

The MacArthur Foundationxxvi helps organizations and individuals committed to “building a more just, verdant and peaceful world”. Among the groups receiving help from the MacArthur Foundation is the Center for Global Development, among the first 150 of the hundreds of groups receiving help from the Open Society Institute of George Soros.xxvii

Robert L. Galluccixxviii, current president of the MacArthur Foundation has a long record of service in the US State Department where he worked among other assignments in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and much later as Special Envoy to deal with the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction. Gallucci is also currently a member of the US State Department Advisory Board of International Security Advisors and, needless to say, a member of the Council for Foreign Relations.

With those antecedents one can well ask how it comes about that an institution whose president is a key imperialist strategic adviser can stand over an award of half a million dollars to a documentary maker who in her own words is considered by the Department of Homeland Security to represent the highest level of threat to the United States of America. And it may be worth remembering a detail of that MacArthur Foundation fellowship. The foundation explains on its web site xxix that “Although nominees are reviewed for their achievements, the fellowship is not a reward for past accomplishment, but rather an investment in a person’s originality, insight, and potential” (italics added)

On its web site, the Freedom of the Press Foundation states it “is dedicated to helping defend and support aggressive, public-interest journalism focused on exposing mismanagement, corruption, and law-breaking in government.” xxx To fund this the organization uses a strategy known as “crowd-sourcing funding” by which the public can donate to one or several alternative media among a group proposed on a bi-monthy basis by the FPF on its web page. The FPF explains, “Our goal is to broaden the financial base of these types of institutions—both start-ups and established non-profit organizations — by crowd-sourcing funding and making it easy for people to support the best journalism from an array of organizations all in one place.”

In a Huffington Post interview of December 16th 2012xxxi, Trevor Timm, co-funder and executive director of the FPF, explains that the original idea for the FPF came out of conversations with both Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle blower who published the Pentagon Papers, and John Perry Barlow of the Grateful Dead rock group who co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, promoting free software and Internet privacy.

The next day, December 17th 2012, the EFF announced on its web page it had decided to become a legal adviser to the FPF. As well as Barlow, Rainey Reitman, EFF’s head of activism is also a co-founder of the FPF and works as a member of the of the EFF’s technology team. xxxii A footnote to that December 17th 2012 EFF announcement states that although one of the EFF directors and some of its employees were active in the FPF, the EFF as such was not a member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation but merely its legal adviser.

In fact, what is certain is that the EFF is a regular recipient of funding from the Open Society Institute of George Soros.xxxiii The links between Soros and another of the EFF directors, Brian Behlendorf, developer of the Apache web server software, go back at least as far as 1998 when both participated in the political lobbying group MoveOn.org, in response to the indignation caused by President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Back then the group urged Congress to censure the President and “move on”.xxxiv

One example of how this kind of arrangement works is the support the FPF has given WikiLeaks since December 2012. “Since WikiLeaks became a front-page news story, secrecy has gotten worse in the U.S,” as Trevor Timm declared to the Huffington Post.xxxv

Behind the Snowden scandal lies a struggle for power in the heart of the dominant Western élites. There is a possible link between the CIA’s interest in making problems for the NSA and the interests of big finance, namely the massive ability of electronic spying to monitor not only the various terrorist threats but also the activities of the big banks.

Writer Jon Rappoportxxxvi takes up the inference made by novelist Brad Thor in his novel Black List,xxxvii in which he suggests the existence of a super-espionage agency which imagines a super-espionage agency which “for years ….has used its technological superiority to carry out massive business transactions based on privileged information”. One may well ask whether global mega-banks like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs or the Quantum Group of George Soros would take with equanimity the existence of an espionage agency with the ability to know more about them than they know themselves.

The revelations in perspective

Putting things in perspective, one has to ask what the revelations of Edward Snowden really mean.

Without disparaging their value, it is hard to believe that the intelligence services of US target countries like Russia or China would have been ignorant of:

– The existence of the ECHELON global telecommunications spying system and the so called FUKUSA network composed of the USA, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand which has been active since the 1970s. New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager revealed this information in considerable detail in 1996:xxxviii

– The existence of an army of US analysts controlling all Internet traffic using tools like the HKEYSCORE program. One has only to look at the structure of global fiber optic communications to see that the majority of these pass through the United States and are easy for the US authorities to intercept. Long before the revelations of Edward Snowden, the symbiosis was clear between big companies like Google or Microsoft and the imperial war and espionage apparatus. (Try searching duckduckgo.com using the term In-Q-Tel).xxxix

Obviously other data in Snowden’s power like the instruction manual on the workings of the NSA or the complete list of its analysts are important information. But it would not be the first time this kind of information has ended up in the hands of foreign intelligence services. Many cases of high level infiltration in intelligence services have taken place without causing the kind debacle of which Edwards Snowden’s enemies are accusing him of having provoked.

The fundamental importance of Snowden’s revelations is political. They show in an irrefutable way in front of worldwide public opinion the complete contempt of the imperial powers for individual rights to privacy. One is no longer dealing with target categories like “terrorists” or “criminals” but absolutely anyone.

On the other hand, the Russian and Chinese intelligence services must have been well aware from the start of the powerful networks supporting Snowden which is why the Russian authorities treated his request for asylum with such circumspection. With hindsight, one can say  it has been fortunate that Snowden did not end up in Latin America.

Snowden’s revelations are playing an important role in the awakening of awareness among large sections of the world population of the totalitarian Western system dominating most of the contemporary world. But people around the globe will be unable to use that information effectively to resist the designs of the imperial powers unless they understand clearly the true nature of the powerful Western elite interests attempting to manipulate that information for their own ends.


NOTES

i”Google and the NSA: Who’s holding the ‘shit-bag’ now?”, Julian Assange.

http://thestringer.com.au/google-and-the-nsa-whos-holding-the-shit-bag-now/#.Uhn_TvnVDpU

iiThe Guardian, 11 de junio de 2013

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/11/edward-snowden-what-we-know-nsa

The Guardian, 10 de juni de 2013

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-army-special-forces

Entry on Edward Snowden in Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Snowden

iiiNew York Times, June 16th 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/us/for-snowden-a-life-of-ambition-despite-the-drifting.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

ivSnowden, to get that job as a security guard in an NSA facility must already have had some type of security clearance – somethin gthat taks time to obtain. According to this Washington Post article, since September 11th 2001 there has been a large increase in teh number of contractors and public sector employees required to produce a security clearance, from maintenance personnel in espionage agencies to technicians and software . In 2010, the number of such workers in the US was estimated to be 854,000.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/24/AR201008…

vIn the US basically there are three levels of security clearance, CONFIDENTIAL, SECRET y TOP SECRET. To obtain the lowest clearance, CONFIDENTIAL, takes weeks r months of investigation into the previous seven years of the candidate’s life. To get the next level of clearance, SECRET, the investigation period can last months or even a year, with poor financial antecdents being the most common cause of rejection.This type of clearance is most commond among civilian contractors for the US government. To get TOP SECRET clearance which allows access to information on national security, anti-terrorism and counter-intelligence, candidates are subject to much stricter scrutiny that has to be repeated every five years, involving the previous 10 years of the candidates life (or from the age of 18 where applicable). The candidates family is also investigated along with cross checking with other federal agencies, interviewing family members, former employers, acquaintances adn teh candidate themselves. People with TOP SECRET clearance are entitled to have access to Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (SCI) for Communications Intelligence, informatin on nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons targets and so on. The so called SSBI investigation is a prerequisite for this kind of clearance. Snowden seems to have had clearance to access nformation classifed as TOP SECRET/SCI.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_clearance#Hierarchy_2

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Scope_Background_Investigation

vi Supposedly Snowden was dismayed while in Geneva when the CIA deliberately intoxicated a banker with the objective of blackmailing him  and recruiting him so sa to get access to secret information on the Swiss bank concerned which was involved in legislation for greater financil transparency.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_snowden

viihttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/us/resume-shows-snowden-honed-hacking-skills.html?pagewanted=all

viiihttp://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2013/06/21/Heres-How-Edward-Snowden-Got-Top-Secret-Clearance.aspx#page1

ixhttp://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/06/20/senator-firm-that-vetted-snowden-under-criminal-investigation/

x“Matrix: Who is Edward Snowden?”

https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/matrix-who-is-edward-snowden/

xi http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/general-keith-alexander-cyberwar/all/

xii For a discussion of the role of the Ford Foundation in support of the CIA’s Cultural Cold War in Western Europe during the 1950s and 1960s see “La CIA y la Guerra Fría Cultural”, by Stonor Saunders. On the role of the main US philanthropic foundations as CIA fronts, see “The Ford Foundation and the CIA: A documented case of philanthropic collaboration with the Secret Police”, by James Petras http://www.rebelion.org/hemeroteca/petras/english/ford010102.htm and for a mroe up to date discussion of the issue see“Ford Foundation, The CIA and U.S. Establishment Conspiracy” (I y II) de Bob Feldman. http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2012/07/ford-foundation-cia-and-us.html http://wherechangeobama.blogspot.com/2012/08/ford-foundation-cia-and-us_1971.html

xiii Soros according to Forbes magazine

http://www.forbes.com/profile/george-soros/

xiv Heather Coffin: “George Soros, Imperial Wizard”, Cover Action Quarterly, fall 2002.

http://www.radioislam.org/islam/english/jewishp/finance/sorosempire.htm

xv Eva Golinger y Romain Migus: “La Telaraña Imperial, enciclopedia de injerencia y subversión”, Centro Internacional Miranda, 2008, pp 209-210.

http://books.google.com.ni/books/about/La_telara%C3%B1a_imperial.html?id=gW0rAQAAIAAJ&redir_esc=y

xvihttp://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2011/02/george-soros-egypts-new-constitution.html

xviihttp://en.rian.ru/russia/20130712/182205722.html

xviiihttp://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130815/17545424195/aclu-coordinating-ed-snowdens-defense.shtml

xixhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/edward-snowden-media-misled_n_3764560.html

On August 15th, the Wall Street Journal reported that Snowden held a chat session with his father Lon against the advice of Lon’s lawyer Bruce Fein. The chat lasted 2 hours via help from Ben Wizner, of the ACLU. Wizner is one of Snowden’s lawyers in the US.  Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s Russian lawyer said he has urged his client not to talk with his father either by phone or via computer, asking both father and son to wait until they could meet personally.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324823804579014611497378326.html

xxhttp://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/national-security-whistleblowers-us-response-manning-and-snowden-examined

http://www.right2info.org/resources/publications/Halperin_CriminalPenaltiesforDisclosingClassifiedInformationtothePressintheUnitedStates.pdf

xxi http://web.archive.org/web/20080701000000*/http://accountabilitynowpac.com/

xxii http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/02/26/702147/-Accountability-Now-PAC

A report of February 2009 indicates that at that time the members of Accountability Now were “Daily Kos, MoveOn, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), ColorofChange.org, Democracy for America, 21st Century Democrats” y “BlogPAC”.

http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/anti-nsa-reporter-tied-to-soros-funded-radical-left/

http://www.tides.org/news-and-resources/single-news-item/archive/2008/browse/4/select_category/37/article/strange-bedfellows/?tx_ttnews[backPid]=257&cHash=7de24254b57f0f14b875b32730fcab27

xxiii http://www.aim.org/aim-column/the-u-s-support-apparatus-behind-nsa-traitor-snowden/

Greenwald, Poitras and Freedom of the Press Foundation

https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/

xxivhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Poitras

xxvhttp://www.macfound.org/fellows/874/

xxvihttp://www.macfound.org/

xxvii In 2011, this foundation was 115th in terms of funding received from George Soros according to the site sorosfiles.com

http://sorosfiles.com/soros/2011/10/open-society-institute-top-150-grantees.html

xxviiihttp://www.macfound.org/media/files/ROBERT_L._GALLUCCI_BIO_-_UPDATED_OCTOBER_2011.PDF

xxixhttp://www.macfound.org/programs/fellows/strategy/

xxxhttps://pressfreedomfoundation.org/about

xxxiThe Huffington Post, December 16th 2012.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/freedom-of-the-press-foundation_n_2312520.html

xxxiihttps://pressfreedomfoundation.org/about/staff

xxxiii See for example the organization’s annual reports

https://www.eff.org/files/eff-2009-2010-annual-report.pdf

https://www.eff.org/files/eff-2008-2009-annual-report.pdf

xxxiv

http://www.nndb.com/org/674/000051521/

xxxv The Huffington Post, December 16th 2012.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/freedom-of-the-press-foundation_n_2312520.html

xxxvihttps://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/matrix-who-is-edward-snowden/

xxxviihttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439192987/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1439192987&linkCode=as2&tag=wwwnomorefake-20

xxxviii Download the book “Secret Power” en http://www.nickyhager.info/ebook-of-secret-power/

xxxixhttp://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/2013/06/14/in-q-tel-glimpse-inside-cias-venture-capital-arm/


Snowden:
Inculcating Stupidity: Syria and Edward Snowden
Reflections on the category “journalism” and the revelations by Edward Snowden
Snowden: Behind NATO’s propaganda outlet for progressives – the Guardian’s board members

NSA – CIA:
ECHELON: Exposing the NSA’s Global Spy Network (Links)

The Unwitting Agents of the Imperial Order: “The Wishful Thinking Left”

By Jean Bricmont
Libya 360°

Syria 360°

Once upon a time, in the early 1970′s, many people, including myself, thought that all the “struggles” of that period were linked: the Cultural Revolution in China, the guerrillas in Latin America, the Prague Spring and the East European “dissidents”, May 68, the civil rights movement, the opposition to the Vietnam war, and the nominally socialist anti-colonial movements in Africa and Asia.

We also thought that the “fascist” regimes in Spain, Portugal and Greece, by analogy with WWII, could only be overthrown through armed struggle, very likely protracted.

None of these assumptions were correct.

The Cultural Revolution had nothing to do with the anti-authoritarian movements in the West, the Eastern European dissidents were, in general, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist, and often fanatically so, the Latin American guerrillas were a pipe dream (except in Central America) and the national liberation movements were just that: they (quite rightly) aimed at national liberation and called themselves socialist or communist only because of the support offered to them by the Soviet Union or China. The southern European “fascist” regimes transformed themselves without offering a serious resistance, let alone an armed struggle. Many other authoritarian regimes followed suit: in Eastern Europe, in Latin America, in Indonesia, Africa and now in part of the Arab world. Some collapsed from inside, other crumbled after a few demonstrations.

I was reminded of these youthful illusions when I read a petition“in solidarity with the millions of Syrians who have been struggling for dignity and freedom since March 2011”, whose list of signatories includes a veritable who’s who of the Western Left. The petition claims that “The revolution in Syria is a fundamental part of the North African revolutions, yet it is also an extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian and Chinese movements for freedom.”

The signatories of course demand the immediate departure from power of Bashar al-Assad, which is supposed to be the only “hope for a free, unified, and independent Syria”.

They also characterize Russia, China and Iran as standing “in support of the slaughter of people”, although they are “allegedly friends of the Arabs”; they acknowledge that “the U.S. and its Gulf allies have intervened in support of the revolutionaries”, but blame them for “having done so with a clear cynical self-interest” and trying to “crush and subvert the uprising”. It is not clear how this squares with the next line of the text, which claims that “regional and world powers have left the Syrian people alone”.

The upshot of the petition consists in grandiose claims of “solidarity” from “intellectuals, academics, activists, artists, concerned citizens and social movements”, “with the Syrian people to emphasize the revolutionary dimension of their struggle and to prevent the geopolitical battles and proxy wars taking place in their country.” Nothing less!

This petition is worth analyzing in detail, because it nicely summarizes everything that is wrong in today’s mainstream leftist thinking and it both illustrates and explains why there is no Left left in the West. The same sort of thinking dominated the Western Left’s thinking during the Kosovo and the Libyan wars, and to some extent during the wars in Afghanistan (“solidarity with Afghan women”) and Iraq (“they will be better off without Saddam”).

First of all, the presentation of the facts about Syria is very doubtful. I am no expert on Syria, but if the people are so united against the regime, how come that it has resisted for so long? There have been relatively few defections in the army or in the diplomatic and political personnel. Given that the majority of Syrians are Sunnis and that the regime is constantly depicted as relying on the support of the “Alawi sect”, something must be wanting in that narrative about Syria.

Next, like it or not, the actions of “Russia, China and Iran” in Syria have been in accordance with international law, unlike those of the “U.S. and its Gulf allies”. From the viewpoint of international law, the current government of Syria is legitimate and responding to its request for help is perfectly legal, while arming rebels is not. Of course, the leftists who sign the petition would probably object to that aspect of international law, because it favors governments over insurgents. But just imagine the chaos that would be created if every Great Power was arming the rebels of its choice all over the world. One could deplore the selling of arms to “dictatorships”, but the U.S. is hardly in a position to lecture the world on that topic.

Moreover, it is “Russia and China” who have, by their vote at the UN prevented another U.S. intervention, like the one in Libya, which the Western Left, opposed very lukewarmly, if at all. In fact, given that U.S. used the U.N. Resolution on Libya to carry out a regime change that the resolution did not authorize, isn’t it natural that Russia and China feel that they were taken for a ride in Libya and say: “never again!”?

The petition sees the events in Syria as an “extension of the Zapatista revolt in Mexico, the landless movement in Brazil, the European and North American revolts against neoliberal exploitation, and an echo of Iranian, Russian and Chinese movements for freedom.”, but they are careful not to link them to the anti-imperialist governments in Latin America, since the latter stand squarely against foreign interventions and for the respect of national sovereignty.

Finally, what should make anybody think that the “immediate” departure of Bashar al-Assad would lead to a “free, unified and independent Syria”? Aren’t the examples of Iraq and Libya enough to cast some doubts on such optimistic pronouncements?

That brings us to a second problem with the petition, which is its tendency towards revolutionary romanticism. The present-day Western Left is the first to denounce the “Stalinist” regimes of the past, including those of Mao, Kim Il Sung or Pol Pot. But do they forget that Lenin fought against tsarism, Stalin against Hitler, Mao against the Kuomintang, Kim Il Sung against the Japanese and that the last two ones, as well as Pol Pot, fought against the U.S.? If history should have taught us anything, it is that struggling against oppression does not necessarily turn you into a saint. And given that so many violent revolutions of the past have turned sour, what reason is there to believe that the “revolution” in Syria, increasingly taken over by religious fanatics, will emerge as a shining example of freedom and democracy?

There have been repeated offers of negotiations by “Russia, China and Iran”, as well as from the “Assad regime” with the opposition as well as with its sponsors (the “U.S. and its Gulf allies”). Shouldn’t one give peace and diplomacy a chance? The “Syrian regime” has modified its constitution; why be so certain that this cannot lead a “democratic future”, while a violent revolution can? Shouldn’t one give reform a chance?

However, the main defect of this petition, as well as with similar appeals from the humanitarian  interventionist Left in the past, is: to whom are they talking? The rebels in Syria want as many sophisticated weapons as possible- no signatory of the petition can deliver them, and it is hard to see how the “global civil society, not ineffective and manipulative governments” can do it. Those rebels want Western governments to provide them with such weapons-they couldn’t care less what the Western Left thinks. And those Western government hardly know that the wishful thinking Left even exists.

And if they did, why would they listen to people with no serious popular support, and so no means of pressuring governments? The best proof of that is given by the cause to which so many signatories have devoted a good part of their lives: Palestine.

Which Western government pays any attention to the demands of the “Palestine solidarity movement”?

Just because the petition has no effect in Syria does not mean that it has no effect tout court. It weakens and confuses what is left of antiwar sentiments, by stressing that “our” priority must be empty gestures of solidarity with a rebellion that is already militarily supported by the West. Once this mindset is acquired, it becomes psychologically difficult to oppose U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of Syria, since intervention is precisely what the revolutionaries that we must “support” want (apparently, they have not noticed, unlike the petitioners, that the West wants to “crush and subvert the uprising”).

https://libya360.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/61a7f-anthonyfredawarmind.jpg

Of course, defenders of the petition will say that they don’t “support” the more violent extremists in Syria, but who exactly are they supporting then, and how?

Moreover, the false impression that the “world powers have left the Syrian people alone” (while, in fact, there is a constant flood of arms and jihadists into Syria) comes partly from the fact that the U.S. is not foolish enough to risk a World War, given that Russia seems to mean what it says in this affair. The thought that we might be on the brink of a World War never seems to occur to the petitioners.

Defenders of the petition will probably say that “we” must denounce both U.S. imperialism and the oppressive regimes against which the “people” revolt.

But that only shows the depth of their delusions: why claim doing two things at once, when one is not capable of doing either, even partly?

If such petitions are worse than doing nothing, what should the Left do? First of all, mind its own business, which means struggling at home. This is a lot harder than expressing a meaningless solidarity with people in faraway lands. And struggling for what? Peace through demilitarization of the West, a non-interventionist policy, and putting diplomacy, not military threats, at the center of international relations. Incidentally, a non-interventionist policy is advocated by the libertarians and by the paleoconservative Right.

This fact, plus invocation of pre-World War II history (the Spanish civil war, the Munich agreements), is constantly used by the Left to give anti-interventionism a bad name. But this is silly: Hitler is not really being constantly resurrected, and there are no serious military threats faced by the West.  In the present situation, it is a perfectly legitimate concern of American citizens to cut back the costs of Empire.

In fact, it would be perfectly possible to set up a broad Left-Right coalition of people opposed to militarism and interventionism.

Of course, within that coalition, people might still disagree on Gay marriage but, important as this issue may be, it should perhaps not prevent us from working together on issues that might also seem important to some people, such as World peace, the defense of the U.N. and of international law, and the dismantling of the U.S. empire of bases. Besides, it is not unlikely that a majority of the American public could be gained to such positions if sustained and well organized campaigns were set up to persuade them.

But of course, the spirit of the petition goes exactly in the opposite direction, towards more U.S. involvement and interventions. Many signatories certainly think of themselves as anti-imperialists and pro-peace, and some of them have had an important role in opposing previous U.S. wars. But they do not seem to have noticed that the tactics of imperialism have changed since the days of the national liberation movements.

Now, that decolonization is complete (with the exception of Palestine), the U.S. is attacking governments, not revolutionary movements, that are considered to be too independent. And, in order to do that, they use a variety of means that are similar in their tactics to the revolutionary or progressive movements of the past: armed struggle, civil disobedience, government funded “NGO’s, colored revolutions, etc.

The latest example of these tactics is the attempt by Western governments to use the LGBT community as ideological storm troopers against Russia and the Winter Olympics, in a transparent effort to deflect public attention from the embarrassing fact that, in the Snowden affair, it is Russia and not the U.S. that is on the side of freedom. It is to be feared that the humanitarian interventionist Left will jump on the bandwagon of this new crusade.

Yet, as Gilad Atzmon has pointed out, with his usual slightly provocative style, it is unlikely that this will do any good to the LGBT community in Russia, since this sort of support allows their opponents to brand them as bearers of foreign influence.

It is not a good idea for any minority, anywhere in the world, to be seen as agents of a foreign power, and least of all, of a government so hated for its arrogance and its interventionism as the present U.S. administration. And incidentally, the people who call for boycott of the Winter games in Russia had no objection to holding the Olympic games in London, which implies that, in their eyes, taking anti-gay measures is a serious crime, whereas wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are mere peccadillos.

People who succumb to the illusions of revolutionary romanticism or who side with the apparent underdog, regardless of the underdog’s agenda, are being taken in by the tactics of present-day imperialism.

But those who aspire to a more peaceful and more just world order, and who think that a precondition of this order is the weakening of U.S. imperialism, easily see through this camouflage.

These two different world views divide both the Left and the Right: liberal interventionists and neoconservatives on one side, libertarians, paleoconservatives and traditional leftists on the other, and it may call for new and heterodox alliances.


Related:
Syria 360°
France’s “Left” Silences Anti-war Activist Jean Bricmont
Beware The Anti-Anti-War Left
The Case For A Non-Interventionist Foreign Policy
Humanitarian War in Libya? There Is No Evidence
Who Will Save Libya From Its Western Saviors?
Humanitarian War: The Role Of NGO’s In Manufacturing Wars In Africa And The Middle East
Cruise Missile Socialists: When Justifying Imperialist Intervention Goes Wrong

Libya and the Return of the Cruise Missile Left
Lessons of Libya for the Anti-war Movement

UN Special Forces Deployed in Congo’s Katanga Province

By Anne Garrison

KPFA Evening News, 07.04.2013

KPFA spoke to Friends of the Congo Mining Researcher Kambale Musavuli about UN Special Forces moving into the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Katanga Province.

Transcript:

KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: For many months the most prominent news story about the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been the “UN Combat Intervention Brigade” going into the northeastern provinces – meaning primarily the Kivu Provinces occupied by Rwanda, although Rwanda continues to deny it’s occupying those territories. At the end of last week, however, the business press reported that UN Special Forces were on their way into the country’s most mineral rich province, Katanga. KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Kambale Musavuli, Mining Researcher for Friends of the Congo, who said the Special Forces are there to protect mines and the flow of strategic minerals required to maintain U.S. capacity to manufacture for war.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: So, Kambale, we haven’t heard much news about this UN Combat Intervention Brigade, but suddenly there’s news that the UN is deploying Egyptian “Special Forces” going into Katanga Province, to go after a militia called Bakata Katanga. What’s it about?

Kambale Musavuli: Oh, it’s very clear.The reason why we have the UN Special Forces in Katanga is to protect mining interests.

Map of Congolese villages displaced by U.S.-Canadian Tenke Mining in Katanga Province, D.R. Congo
KPFA: OK. It’s the most mineral rich province in the D.R.C., and it’s the province that Patrice Lumumba died attempting to defend against secession, shortly after independence. Then, again, there were these rebellions in the 1970s. Could you talk about that, and the Congressional response?

Kambale Musavuli: Yes, this is connected to what is happening now. In 1977 and ’79, there were two rebellions that took place, which disrupted cobalt production. Let’s remember Congo is the #1 producer of cobalt in the world. So, given Congo was the producer of cobalt that the U.S. used, Congress decided to do a study. They wanted to know ‘what do we need to do if we don’t have access to Congo’s cobalt?’  Back then, as I’ve said, it was called Zaire. So Congress contracted with the Congressional Budget Office to write a famous document called “Cobalt Policy,” which was published in 1982. And, in that document, the Congressional Budget Office told Congress that cobalt is an essential mineral to U.S. interests, being economic or military. But, Zaire and Zambia, Zaire being Congo, have most of the world’s cobalt. Over 60% of the world’s cobalt is found in that region, and the region appears to be unstable.
Kambale Musavuli.

So, what does that cause? If that region is unstable, it would create two vulnerabilities to the United States. The first one is military. In a time of war, the U.S. would have a short supply of cobalt to make weapons to fight the war.

And the second is economic. The American people knew that when they couldn’t even buy color TVs. There was a shortage of color TVs. So, the Congressional Budget Office told the American legislators that, ‘you have no choice but to make sure that there is stability in Katanga.’

KPFA Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: And that report from KPFA’s Ann Garrison. She spoke to Friends of the Congo Mining Researcher Kambale Musavuli.

From Racism to Neoliberalism to National Security: AFRICOM and R2P

In a relatively short piece, Glen Ford is able to trace the genealogical links from racism and Eurocentric perspectives of “civilization”  to neoliberalism, heightened militarism, and the expansion of the national security state. He then ties these historical streams together in current phenomena, such as the “responsibility to protect” and the work of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Finally, he takes us to Edward Snowden and the National Security Agency, having argued that one of the key targets in the development of these historical phenomena is the imagination: attacking and narrowing the permissible options, the range of available ideas and images, and replacing them with a small subset of state-approved buzzwords and demonological caricatures.   –

First published as the “The Lies of Empire: Don’t Believe a Word They Say,” by Glen Ford, executive editor of Black Agenda Report, June 19, 2013.

The U.S. reprises Iraq, inventing a WMD threat from Syria. The FBI concocts home-grown terror through stings, while the NSA claims it has secretly saved many lives. “Why this steady stream of government-invented terror, if the real thing is so abundant?” And, isn’t the U.S. arming and funding the same jihadists they are supposed to be listening for on our telephones?

“Washington was the Godfather of international jihadism, its sugar daddy since at least the early Eighties in Afghanistan.”

africomgraphicThe rulers would have you believe that the world is becoming more complex and dangerous all the time, compelling the United States to abandon previous (and largely fictional) norms of domestic and international legality in order to preserve civilization. In truth, what they are desperately seeking to maintain is the global dominance of U.S. and European finance capital and the racist world order from which it sprang.

The contradictions of centuries have ripened, overwhelming the capacity of the “West” to contain the new forces abroad in the world. Therefore, there must be endless, unconstrained war – endless, in the sense that it is a last ditch battle to fend off the end of imperialism, and unconstrained, in that the imperialists recognize no legal or moral boundaries to their use of military force, their only remaining advantage.

A war of caricatures.

To mask these simple truths, the U.S. and its corporate propaganda services invent counter-realities, scenarios of impending doomsdays filled with super-villains and more armies of darkness than J.R.R. Tolkien could ever imagine. Indeed, nothing is left to the imagination, lest the people’s minds wander into the realm of truth or stumble upon a realization of their own self-interest, which is quite different than the destinies of Wall Street or the Project for a New American Century (updated, Obama’s “humanitarian” version). It is a war of caricatures.

Saddam “must go” – and so he went, along with a million other Iraqis. Gaddafi “must go” – and he soon departed (“We came, we saw, he died,” quipped Hillary), along with tens of thousands of Black Libyans marked for extermination. “Assad must go” – but he hasn’t left yet, requiring the U.S. and its allies to increase the arms flow to jihadist armies whose mottos translate roughly as “the western infidels must also go…next.” Afghanistan’s Soviet-aligned government was the first on the U.S. “must go” list to be toppled by the jihadist international network created as a joint venture of the Americans, Saudis and Pakistanis, in the early Eighties – a network whose very existence now requires that Constitutional law “must go” in the American homeland.

International law must go.

Naturally, in order to facilitate all these exits of governments of sovereign states, international law, as we have known it “must go.” In its place is substituted the doctrine of “humanitarian” military intervention or “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), a rehash of the “White Man’s Burden” designed to nullify smaller powers’ rights to national sovereignty at the whim of the superpower.

The entire continent of Africa has fallen under the R2P umbrella (without ever having fully emerged from the colonial sphere – but, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?). Somalia achieved a brief period of peace, in 2006, under a broadly based Islamic Courts regime that had defeated an array of warlords backed by the U.S. Washington struck back late that year through its client state, Ethiopia. The Americans invoked both the Islamist enemy and “Responsibility to Protect” to justify an invasion that plunged Somalia into what UN observers called “the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa – worse than Darfur.” Eventually, the U.S. enlisted the African Union, itself, as the nominal authority in a CIA-led Somalia mission that has militarized the whole Horn of Africa.

U.S. proxies set off inter-communal bloodletting in Rwanda in 1994, a conflagration that served as pretext for Rwandan and Ugandan invasion of the mineral-rich Democratic Republic of Congo and the loss of six million lives – all under the protection, funding and guidance of a succession of U.S. administrations in mock atonement for the much smaller “genocide” in Rwanda. President Obama sent Special Forces on permanent duty to the region in search of another caricature, Joseph Kony, whose only central casting defect is his rabid Christianity but whose convenient presence in the bush justifies stationing Green Berets in Congo, Uganda, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

The entire continent of Africa has fallen under the R2P umbrella.

Muammar Gaddafi’s exorcism in Libya energized jihadists all across the northern tier of Africa, as far as northern Nigeria, giving a green light to a French colonial renaissance and further expansion of AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command. Only five years after its official inception, AFRICOM reigns supreme on the continent, with ties to the militaries of all but two African countries: the nemesis states Eritrea and Zimbabwe. (They “must go,” eventually.)

New age Euro-American law holds sway over Africa in the form of the International Criminal Court. The Court’s dockets are reserved for Africans, whose supposed civilizational deficits monopolize the global judiciary’s resources. This, too, is R2P, in robes.

Back in Syria, the reluctant domino, blood samples taken from alleged victims of chemical weapons are sent to the Americans by jihadists in their employ to prove that Assad really, really, must go. Obama announces that he is going to do what he has actually been doing for a very long time: send weapons to the “rebels.” The Washington Post, forgetting its duty to follow the administration’s scripted timelines, reports that the decision to go public about arms transfers to jihadists was made two weeks before the “proof” arrived.

Only five years after its official inception, AFRICOM reigns supreme on the continent.

africomshieldThe lies become jumbled and are quickly superseded by new fictions to justify no-fly, but the targeted caricatures remain front and center, to be hooted and hollered over, once dead. It is only the lies that make these situations seem complex: the lies that cover up multiple U.S. genocides in Africa, to paint a canvas of humanitarian concern, when the simple truth is that the Americans and Europeans have established military dominion over the continent for their own greedy purposes. The lies that have attempted to camouflage a succession of brazen aggressions against unoffending secular Arab governments in order to remove any obstacles to U.S. domination of North Africa and the Near East. And, the lie that has become central to the U.S. global offensive since 9/11: that the U.S. is engaged in a global war against armed jihadists. In fact, the jihadists are American-contracted foot soldiers in an Arab world in which the U.S. is hated by the people at-large. Washington was the Godfather of international jihadism, its sugar daddy since at least the early Eighties in Afghanistan – and now, once again quite openly so in Syria as in Libya, at least for the time being.

The simple truth is, the U.S. is at war for continued hegemony over the planet, for the preservation of the imperial system and its finance capitalist rulers. In such a war, everyone, everywhere is a potential enemy, including the home population.

That’s why Bradley Manning and Julian Assange and, now, Edward Snowden are considered so dangerous; because they undermine popular consent for the government’s lies-based policies. The administration has sent its operatives to Capital Hill and all the corporate pseudo-journalistic outlets to explain how its mega-data mining of phones and the Internet has prevented “potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” including at least 10 “homeland-based threats,” as mouthed by National Security Agency chief Gen. Keith Alexander. The details are, of course, secret.

The actual ‘terrorist’ threat on U.S. soil is clearly relatively slight.

However, what we do know about U.S. domestic “terror” spying is enough to dismiss the whole premise for the NSA’s vast algorithmic enterprises. The actual “terrorist” threat on U.S. soil is clearly relatively slight. Otherwise, why would the FBI have to manufacture homegrown jihadists by staging elaborate stings of homeless Black men in Miami who couldn’t put together bus fare to Chicago, much less bomb the Sears tower? Why must they entice and entrap marginal people with no capacity for clandestine warfare, and no previous inclination, into schemes to bomb synagogues and shoot down military aircraft, as in Newburgh, New York? Why this steady stream of government-invented terror, if the real thing is so abundant? If the FBI, with NSA assistance, is discovering significant numbers of real terrorists, wouldn’t we be watching a corresponding number of triumphal perp-walks? Of course we would. The only logical conclusion is that terror is a near-negligible domestic threat, wholly unsuited to the NSA’s full-spectrum spying on virtually every American.

So, what are they looking for? Patterns. Patterns of thought and behavior that algorithmically reveal the existence of cohorts of people that might, as a group, or a living network, create problems for the State in the future. People who do not necessarily know each other, but whose patterns of life make them potentially problematic to the rulers, possibly in some future crisis, or some future manufactured crisis. A propensity to dissent, for example. The size of these suspect cohorts, these pattern-based groups, can be as large or small as the defining criteria inputted by the programmer. So, what kind of Americans would the programmers be interested in?

Ask Edward Snowden. He’s the only one talking.

Africa and U.S. Imperialism: From the Atlantic Slave Trade, Colonialism to Neo-Colonialism

Continental resources are the source of the militarism of Europe and North America

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Libya 360°

May 25, 1963 represented the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor of the African Union (AU). The AU consists of 54 member-states from throughout the continent who are in principle committed to the unity and development of this vast region of the world.

When the OAU was formed with 32 member-states, Africa was at a crossroads in the struggle for national liberation and unity. Within the OAU itself, there were various political currents among the independent African states most of whom remained firmly within the economic and political sphere of western imperialism.

Nonetheless, a small number of states sought to break out of the legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism to form a bloc of governments that would effectively challenge imperialism. Within this anti-imperialist tendency there were some who called for the immediate unification of the continent to create a supra-state that would encompass a common language, currency, legislative and administrative body and military high-command.

This group of anti-imperialist leaders came under tremendous pressure by the former and then-present colonial powers and the dominant political and economic force within the post-World War II military configuration, the United States. In February of 1966, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the president of the First Republic of Ghana and the chief strategist and tactician of the African Revolution was overthrown at the aegis of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the State Department in Washington.

At the founding meeting of the OAU, Dr. Nkrumah wrote to the African heads-of-state that “Never before in history has such a sweeping fervor for freedom expressed itself in great mass movements which are driving down the bastions of empire. This wind of change blowing through Africa, as I have said before, is no ordinary wind. It is a raging hurricane against which the old order cannot stand.” (Africa Must Unite, p. IX, 1963)

Nkrumah went on to point out that “The great millions of Africa, and of Asia, have grown impatient of being hewers of wood and drawers of water, and are rebelling against the false belief that providence created some to be menials of others…. Hence the twentieth century has become the century of colonial emancipation, the century of continuing revolution which must finally witness the total liberation of Africa from colonial rule and imperialist exploitation.” (ibid., X)

Nonetheless, by 1963 Washington remained an aggressive and militaristic world power. In Vietnam, the Kennedy administration had dispatched 7,000 “advisors” which served as a gateway into a full-scale occupation of Southeast Asia under Lyndon B. Johnson in early 1965.

By the end of the Johnson administration hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops would be stationed in Vietnam and as a result over one million people were killed throughout the region by the time of U.S. withdrawal in 1975.

The Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, was subjected to a U.S. military intervention also in 1965 which is not as well known. Cuba, which organized a revolution against U.S. neo-colonialism in 1959, was subjected to decades of destabilization and economic blockade.

During this same period of the rising African and world liberation movements and socialist consolidation in the USSR, China, North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam and other regions, the African American people inside the U.S. were challenging the institutional racism and national oppression which had built the country into a world economic power. The Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement and the solidarity struggles with Africa and other geo-political regions of the world had a tremendous impact on the consciousness and international image of the descendants of slaves.

Even though these efforts led by African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans and their allies changed the legal framework of the U.S., the fundamental structures of capitalism and super-exploitation have remained intact. Today a renewed struggle for full legalization of immigrant communities and the socio-economic equality and right to self-determination for Africans and Latin American descendants rages on.

Imperialism Today: Militarism and the Quest for Strategic Dominance by the U.S.

During the period of the Vietnam War there arose a monumental anti-war and peace movement which played a significant role in ending the occupation of Southeast Asia. The anti-imperialist wing of the movement viewed the victory of the Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians as a major contribution to the overall world struggle for socialism.

The Vietnam War had a devastating impact on the economic and political status of the U.S. The rebellions during the 1960s and early 1970s left large sections of the urban areas in an even more marginalized and exploited condition.

These failures of U.S. imperialism internationally and domestically created the conditions for the large-scale restructuring of industry and commerce. In cities like Detroit and Gary, Indiana, this process of downsizing and capital flight resulted in the escalation of the rate joblessness, homelessness and law-enforcement repression.

By the early 1980s, the U.S. would pursue a renewed militarist effort with interventions in Lebanon, Grenada and later Panama culminating in the invasion of Iraq and the imposition of United Nations approved sanctions which killed over one million people in the Middle East. In 2001, in the aftermath of 9-11, the Bush administration essentially declared war on the world which precipitated the escalation of the defense budget, the slashing of social programs and municipal services and the institutionalization of austerity.

In 2008, the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) was formed to further intensify this renewed imperialist onslaught on the continent. Under Obama, the AFRICOM project has been strengthened and enhanced resulting in the occupation of Somalia through proxy military forces in Africa as well as the massive bombing and regime-change campaign against Libya in 2011.

The White House announced in December of 2012 that it was dispatching 3,500 Special Forces in nearly three dozen countries throughout Africa. Since January, the French have invaded and occupied their former colony in Mali, which was supported logistically by the Pentagon.

The U.S. was responsible for the destabilization of Mali through its military training programs that mentored Capt. Amadou Sanogo, the titular head of the coup against the government in Bamako in March 2012. The resultant chaos in Mali was utilized as a pretext by France to engage in its current intervention. In neighboring Niger, a uranium-rich state which is also a former French colony, the U.S. has deployed 100 Special Forces to operate a drone station that is a threat to people throughout the regions of West and North Africa.

Nonetheless, these military adventures in Africa have not improved the conditions of the peoples of the continent or the U.S. Economic crises have intensified throughout Europe and North America, and the degree of political repression is reaching new heights with police terrorism, mass incarceration, widespread surveillance and the eradication of basic bourgeois democratic rights reaching unprecedented levels.

These developments require the adoption of a clear anti-imperialist position in all aspects of our mass work. The struggle against the financial strangulation of the cities through home foreclosures, evictions, utility shut-offs, the elimination of municipal services, the evisceration of public education, the attacks on social security, Medicaid and medical services, must be linked with the rising military budgets of the imperialist states coupled with the aggressive interventions throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific regions.

The linking of these movements around the world will provide us with the political capacity to encircle imperialism. These efforts are fundamentally the same in their character and the liberation of peoples internationally will inevitably strengthen our struggle inside the U.S.



Abayomi Azikiwe
is the editor of Pan-African News Wire , an international electronic press service designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world. The press agency was founded in January of 1998 and has published thousands of articles and dispatches in newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, blogs and websites throughout the world. The PANW represents the only daily international news source on pan-african and global affairs. To contact him, click on this link >> Email

African Union: Still Subservient After All These Years

The African Union made a show of rejecting the International Criminal Court’s “race hunting” methods, but the facts of dependence on the imperial powers remain. “Virtually all the armies of Africa, except for Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, have become integrated into either U.S. or French military structures.

By Glen Ford

The African Union’s little rebellion against the International Criminal Court simply shows that African leaders understand that the Americans have no loyalties.”

Developments at the recentAfrican Union conference highlight the abject subservience to the West of the vast majority of states on the continent – and African leaders’ occasional attempts to contest their subordinate status. On an independent-minded note, the African Union rebuked the International Criminal Court for its fixation on indicting only Africans for crimes against humanity. Ethiopia’s prime minister, who was also chairman of the AU meeting, said the court’s “process has degenerated into some kind of race hunting rather than the objective of taking care of crimes and impunities.” To drive home the point, the AU voted almost unanimously to ask the court to refer its case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his vice president back to Kenyan courts, saying Kenya had the capacity to adjudicate the matter on its own. Only Botswana objected to the proposal.

The ICC is known to eagerly indict just about anyone – any African, that is – who falls out of favor with the United States. The U.S. clearly favored Uhuru Kenyatta’s opponent in the presidential race, Raila Odinga – which may have been one reason that Kenyans voted the other way. Yet, the AU’s slap in the face of the court and, indirectly, its U.S. backers, is much less than it seems. Kenya remains an unwavering puppet of U.S. policy in the Horn of Africa, having joined in the invasion of neighboring Somalia at Washington’s behest. And Ethiopia and Uganda provide the bulk of the troops occupying Somalia under U.S. direction. On paper, the war in Somalia is an African Union and United Nations mission, but the war is run by the CIA and largely financed by the Europeans. The African Union’s little rebellion against the International Criminal Court simply shows that African leaders understand that the Americans have no loyalties and are capable of turning on any one them when it suits their purposes, and having them tossed into prison by the International Criminal Court. The African heads of state were simply looking out for their own heads.

A continental standing army?”

There was a lot of bluster in Addis Ababa about creating an independent African force to maintain order on the continent. The leaders voted to create an “intervening” military unit to rapidly deal with crises and coup d’etats. That would be followed by creation of a full-fledged African Standby Force – a kind of continental standing army – as early as 2015. AU spokesmen speculated that the force “could be 100 percent” African, in terms of men on the ground. However, it would still need logistical support from the so-called “international community” – a euphemism for the United States and Europe – who are, of course, the sworn enemies of African independence.

The truth is, virtually all the armies of Africa, except for Eritrea, Zimbabwe and Sudan, have become integrated into either U.S. or French military structures, and cannot act independently. African leaders claim they will try to break free by raising taxes on things like airline flights and hotel rooms – but that’s nonsense for home consumption. The African Union’s Peace and Security Commissioner, Ramtane Lamamra, spoke of the “historic nature and scope” of the AU’s tentative moves towards military independence. But they are parakeets in a cage, trying to sound like eagles, fifty years after the formation of the Organization of African Unity.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Related:
The Irrelevance of the African Union at 50

UN panel reveals effects of imperialist exploitation of Africa

Report details plunder of resources and growing inequality

By Bryan Ellis


One in four gold miners in South Africa suffers from silicosis, a debilitating and incurable disease that can easily be prevented.

Global capitalism’s exploitation of Africa has made a rare appearance in the dominant media. The glimpse of reality came about thanks to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Africa Progress Panel, which he chairs. In its 2013 report, the panel revealed startling facts about the effects capitalism and neocolonialism continue to have on the continent.

Tax evasion, secret mining deals and illegal financial transfers drain Africa’s resources and rob it of enormous revenues, according to the report. It found, for instance, that Africa loses $36 billion each year to corporate tax loopholes alone. Meanwhile, oil and mining sectors in many countries remain insulated from the national economies in ways that block balanced growth. Corrupt and shortsighted policies sacrifice local jobs and production, the basis for meaningful progress.

Annan warns that in many African countries “natural resource revenues are widening the gap between rich and poor.” Though foreign investment in African gas, oil and mineral resources has led to impressive economic growth, it “has not brought comparable improvements in health, education and nutrition,” he says. In several countries, the gap between international wealth ranking and the Human Development Index indicators for wellbeing (such as life expectancy) have grown. In four countries the report analyzed, the richest 10 percent received almost all of the benefits of economic growth.

‘Secret deals and transfers’

For instance, secret deals and transfers cost the Democratic Republic of Congo $1.3 billion in mineral rights revenue between 2010 and 2012. DR Congo spent nearly the same amount on health and education over those two years. In other words, multinational corporations and profiteers benefit wildly from Africa’s resources, while millions of people’s basic needs suffer. Nigeria and Angola have similarly lost great amounts of revenue in the last few years.

“Africa loses twice as much in illicit financial outflows as it receives in international aid,” writes Annan in the report’s foreword. “It is unconscionable that some companies, often supported by dishonest officials, are using unethical tax avoidance, transfer pricing and anonymous company ownership to maximize their profits, while millions of Africans go without adequate nutrition, health and education.”

The report urges both African governments and “the international community” to promote transparency, fair contracts, and equitable tax regimes in the region. These reforms are necessary, according to the report, in order to reverse widening inequality, and to promote investments in people (“human capital”) and infrastructure required for long-term progress in Africa.

The report brings welcome awareness and analysis to the plight of Africa, long the victim of imperialist plunder. Its “recommendations for immediate action,” if implemented, would doubtless lead to greater transparency, economic development and equality. However, even if civil society organizations and policy reformers organize around these recommendations, their impact is likely to be minimal. Corporations, banks and governments under capitalism do not care about the report’s ostensible underlying priority: the common good. They will oppose any reforms that threaten to reduce profits.

Socialists support reforms but emphasize that only solidarity and mass struggle promise real change. Exploitation of Africa will not end at the recommendation of the Africa Progress Panel, a capitalist nonprofit foundation. But the panel’s 2013 findings give us an occasion to recall the inhumanity of capitalism and observe neocolonialism in action. Such appalling devastation demands revolutionary change.

Palestine, Israeli Foreign Policy and the Pan-African Movement

Rooted in imperialism and racist ideology, Zionism is a bulwark of Western domination

Author’s Note: The following remarks were made for a class held on April 27, 2013 as part of a series on the history of Zionism and imperialism. This was the second part of the class sponsored by Workers World in Detroit.

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Libya 360°

Since the late 18th century various European powers and proponents of colonialism have advocated the establishment of a Jewish state in alliance with imperialism. Since 1948, when the State of Israel was formed and officially recognized by the United Nations, its legitimacy has been questioned by not only the people of Palestine but historians and political analysts from various nationalities, including many Jewish intellectuals, activists and religious figures themselves.

The advocacy of a Zionist state coincides with the development of slavery, colonialism and the mass removal and extermination of indigenous peoples throughout Latin America, North America, Africa, Asia and the South Pacific. With specific reference to the Atlantic Slave Trade which began in the 15th century, millions of Africans were removed from their homeland and subjected to super-exploitation for over 400 years as human chattel.

Even after the outlawing of the Atlantic Slave Trade by Britain in 1806, the system would continue well into the 19th century. Slavery was officially abolished in the British colonies in 1833 only to be replaced by a system of apprenticeship that closely resembled the involuntary servitude.

In regard to France, the colony of Haiti, its most prosperous, became an outpost for the exploitation of African labor. Prior to the refinement of the slave system in Haiti, the indigenous people, described as the “Carib Indians”, were largely exterminated to make way for European dominance.

Portuguese slavery and colonialism extended from the Far East regions of the Macau Peninsula, East Timor and Goa to the North Atlantic Azores and Cueta, Morocco, down through West and Southern Africa over to the South American nation of Brazil. Portugal was the first European empire after the so-called Middle Ages and was the last imperialist state to be forced out of slavery in 1888 in Brazil and colonial rule in Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola and East Timor by 1974-75.

With specific reference to the imperialist advocacy of a Jewish state as an outpost of Western hegemony, Abdel-Wahab M. El-Messiri says of the European military invader Napoleon Bonaparte that “On April 20, 1799, the French commander issued an appeal to all the Jews of Asia and Africa asking them to follow the French command so that their ‘lost glory’ and ‘usurped rights’ may be restored. Behind the appeal were Napoleon’s imperial dreams and desire to block Britain’s route to India.” (Israel: Base of Western Imperialism, May 1969)

El-Messiri also says that “The dream was later re-discovered by Colonel George Gawler, one-time Governor of South Australia. Throughout the 1840s he pressed the claims for Jewish resettlement in Palestine in order that the British might ensure her unbroken lines of communication.”

Later, he says, “In 1879, Sir Laurence Oliphant, a notorious anti-semite, was one of the most active British advocates of Jewish resettlement in Palestine. He visited Palestine, and discovered that the scheme of a Jewish state in this region would ensure ‘the political and economic penetration of Palestine by Britain.’”

Later Joseph Chamberlain, the Colonial Secretary of Britain, said in 1902 that he welcomed the proposals for a Jewish homeland put forward by Theodore Herzl, the founder of the World Zionist Congress. Chamberlain was seeking to gain control of areas near Palestine as a base for the securing and expansion of British interests in the region.

In early 1915 during the First World War, Herbert Samuel, a British cabinet member, submitted a memorandum entitled “The Future of Palestine” where he made a case for the establishment of a Jewish state that would be annexed to London. This document was clearly related to the declaration of war by Britain against the Ottoman Empire in 1914 which had controlled Palestine up until the War.

Although Samuel claims in his memorandum that the time was not right then for the formation of a Jewish state in Palestine due to the demographic factors in existence, that the immigration of Jewish people must be encouraged before such a reality could come into being. He notes that if this was done prematurely that the state would fail because of the contention it would attract from the overwhelming majority Arab population in Palestine.

Nonetheless, Samuel proposes that “under British rule facilities would be given to Jewish organizations to purchase land, to found colonies, to establish educational and religious institutions, and to spend usefully the funds that would be freely contributed for promoting the economic development of the country. It is hoped also that Jewish immigration, carefully regulated, would be given preference so that in course of time the Jewish people, grown into a majority and settled in the land, may be conceded such degree of self-government as the conditions of that day may justify.”

The following year in 1916, the so-called Sykes-Picot Agreement between France and Britain secretly divided up the Middle East between these two colonial powers. This agreement when made public generated outrage among the Arab population groups throughout the region.

Within the negotiations between France and Britain that also involved Russia as a minor player, the Arab monarch Faisal of the House of Saud was also promised independence and authority over other countries in exchange for their involvement with Britain, France and Russia against the Ottoman Empire. However, in the aftermath of the war, France moved swiftly to take control of Syria and Britain in essence colonized Palestine under a so-called Mandate.

Rebellions erupted among the Arab peoples of the Peninsula and later in Egypt and Sudan in 1919 in which they declared independence. Later the revolt was crushed by France and Britain as a result there was continuing animosity between the European imperialists and the Arab and African peoples of the region.

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was negotiated and documented in secret. However, when the Bolsheviks took power in Russia in October 1917 they discovered the treaty in the state archives and revealed it to the international community. This exposure greatly embarrassed Britain and France but did not curtail their imperial ambitions.

Later the famous Balfour Declaration took the form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild, who was a de facto leader of the Jewish community in Britain. The Declaration read that “His Majesty’s Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

Zionist Collaboration With Settler Colonialism in Southern Africa

Since the Zionist movement sought the establishment of a Jewish state in alliance with imperialism as a means of spreading western values and civilization in the so-called backward regions of the world, it is not surprising that an alliance arose between the early leaders of the Zionist movement and the British and Afrikaner settlers in Southern Africa.

After the demise of Herzl, Chiam Weizmann became the leader in the Zionist movement. Jan Smuts, an advocate for Dutch-descendant dominance in South Africa, became close friends and a political collaborator with Smuts, who eventually became leader of the racist South African state after World War II under Afrikaner dominance. Weizmann during this same time period would become the first Prime Minister of Israel.

In 1910, the Union of South Africa was formed. This grew out of the Anglo-Boer war at the turn of the century, when the British and Dutch-descendants, known as Boers, fought over control of the land of the African people of the country.

In neighboring Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, the British under Cecil Rhodes had established a settler-colonial state where they engaged in genocidal practices against the Shona and Ndebele peoples during the late 19th century. Also, in South-West Africa, currently known as Namibia, the German imperialists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, moved into this territory to seize control from the Herero, Nama, Ovambo and other peoples in the mineral rich but arid country.

All of these colonial projects were extremely violent and genocidal. In Zimbabwe, the Shona people rose up in 1896-97 under Nehanda’s leadership and sought to defeat the British. They did not prevail but the leadership of the Chimurenga were imprisoned and later executed.

In South Africa there was also mass extermination of the indigenous people during a series of wars between the 1820s and 1906. The land and cattle of the Africans were stolen by the Boers and the British, and in 1910, these two settler communities united in an unholy alliance forming the Union of South Africa.

In Namibia during 1904, the German colonialists under Von Trotha and Goering issued the infamous extermination order resulting in the genocide against the Namibian people when they revolted against German rule. By 1907, thousands of Hereros and Namas were herded into camps where they were forced to work for the Germans as slaves.

According to Richard P. Stevens in his book entitled “Weizmann & Smuts: A Study in Zionist-South African Cooperation, ”The importance of the Smuts-Weizmann friendship can be fully appreciated only when it is remembered that without Weizmann there would have been no Balfour Declaration and without Smuts the union brought forth in 1910 might well have foundered. Both men stood in much the same position towards their respective ‘constituencies’ and both represented in their ‘constituencies’ the imperial factor in its economic, political and strategic dimensions. On the personal level it must be noted that during the entire thirty-three years of this relationship, extending from 1917 to Smuts death in 1950, each man took for granted the moral legitimacy of the other’s position.” (p. x)

This same author goes on to point out that “Thus, not a word is to be found in Weizmann’s correspondence or writings questioning either the racial basis of the South African state on which Zionism was so dependent or Smuts’ role in upholding its racist system: the subordinate position of the African majority in South Africa posed no moral difficulty nor detracted from the respect felt by the ‘New Moses’, as Smuts called Weizmann, toward the South Africa leader. Similarly, Smuts assumed without question “the right” of Jewish settlers to occupy Palestine without regard to the rights of the indigenous Palestinian Arabs. In both cases, Smuts and Weizmann epitomized the capacity of western civilization to rationalize domination and exploitation, conquest and control, as a Christian civilizing mission or Judeo-Christian fulfillment. A different image of General Smuts, which challenged his reputation as a founding father of a new international moral order and champion of civilized values, was scarcely noticed by the western press. This image, evoked by Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, father of the Pan-African movement, was presented in the Manifesto of the Fourth Pan-African Congress (1927, NYC):
‘What more paradoxical figure today confronts the world than the official head of a great South African state striving blindly to build peace and goodwill in Europe by standing on the necks and hearts of millions of Black Africans.’ (p. x)

During the course of white settler-colonial rule in South Africa, Namibia and Rhodesia, firm and fraternal relations were maintained with Zionism and the State of Israel. The Jewish population in South Africa which supported settler-colonialism and apartheid maintained a privileged position within the society. However, there were Jews such as Joe Slovo who allied themselves with the national liberation movement led by the African National Congress (ANC). These Jews were persecuted, imprisoned and even killed, such as Ruth First, who died from a letter bomb sent to her in Mozambique in 1982.

Consequently, an alliance between the ANC, the South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Palestinian liberation movement existed through the armed struggle of the 1960s-1980s and still holds today.

World War II and the Politics of Jewish Immigration to Palestine

As noted above Jewish immigration to Palestine was well underway prior to the issuance of the Samuel memorandum, the Sykes-Picot Agreement and the Balfour Declaration. The terms under which the dominate imperialist powers established the post-war political and economic construct led to the impoverishment of Germany, the rise of fascism in Italy and later Germany, and the erupting of World War II.

However, the Zionist movement remained a small minority within the European Jewish community. During the rise of Hitler and World War II there arose an alliance between the Nazis and leading elements within the Zionist movement, particularly in Germany and Hungary.

Hannah Arendt in her book entitled “Eichmann In Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil,” published in 1963, noted that “But quite apart from all slogans and ideological quarrels, it was in those years a fact of everyday life that only Zionists had any chance of negotiating with the German authorities, for the simple reason that their chief Jewish adversary, the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith, to which ninety-five percent of organized Jews in Germany then belonged, specified in its bylaws that its chief task was the ‘fight against anti-Semitism’; it had suddenly become by definition an organization ‘hostile to the State,’ and would indeed have been persecuted—which it was not—if it had ever dared to do what it was supposed to do. During its first few years, Hitler’s rise to power appeared to the Zionists chiefly as ‘the decisive defeat of assimilationism.’ Hence, the Zionists could, for a time, at least, engage in a certain amount of non-criminal cooperation with the Nazi authorities; the Zionists too believed that ‘dissimilation’, combined with the emigration to Palestine of Jewish youngsters and, they hoped, Jewish capitalists, could be a ‘mutually fair solution.’ At the time, many German officials held this opinion, and this kind of talk seems to have been quite common up to the end. A letter from a survivor of Theresienstadt, a German Jew, relates that all leading positions in the Nazi-appointed Reichsvereinigung were held by Zionists (whereas the authentically Jewish Reichsvertretung had been composed of both Zionists and non-Zionists), because Zionists according to the Nazis, were ‘the decent Jews since they too thought in ‘national terms.’” (p. 60)

This same author goes on to point out that “There existed in those first years a mutually highly satisfactory agreement between the Nazi authorities and the Jewish Agency for Palestine—a Ha’avarah, or Transfer Agreement, which provided that an emigrant to Palestine could transfer his money there in German goods and exchange them for pounds upon arrival. It was soon the only legal way for a Jew to take his money with him (the alternative then being the establishment of a blocked account, which could be liquidated abroad only at a loss of between fifty and ninety-five percent). The result was that in the thirties, when American Jewry took great pains to organize a boycott of German merchandise, Palestine, of all places, was swamped with all kinds of goods ‘made in Germany.’” (p. 60)

Arendt cites the book entitled “The Secret Roads: The ‘Illegal’ Migration of a People, 1938-1948, saying that “these Jews from Palestine spoke a language not totally different from that of Eichmann. They had been sent to Europe by the communal settlements in Palestine, and they were not interested in rescue operations: ‘That was not their job.’ They wanted to select ‘suitable material,’ and their chief enemy, prior to the extermination program, was not those who made life impossible for Jews in the old countries, Germany or Austria, but those who barred access to the new homeland; that enemy was definitely Britain, not Germany. Indeed, they were in a position to deal with the Nazi authorities on a footing amounting to equality, which native Jews were not, since they enjoyed the protection of the mandatory power; they were probably among the first Jews to talk openly about mutual interests and were certainly the first to be given permission ‘to pick young Jewish pioneers’ from among the Jews in the concentration camps. Of course, they were unaware of the sinister implications of this deal, which still lay in the future; but they too somehow believed that if it was a question of selecting Jews for survival, the Jews should do the selecting themselves. It was this fundamental error in judgment that eventually led to a situation in which the non-selected majority of Jews inevitably found themselves confronted with two enemies—the Nazi authorities and the Jewish authorities.” (p. 61)

During the war some of the most militant Zionist organizations sought to form a military alliance with the fascists in both Italy and Germany. In 1940 when the Lehi was formed as a split from the Irgun, they offered to send legions to fight with the fascists against Britain in exchange for massive Jewish immigration to Palestine.

The Lehi was also known as the Stern Gang, named after its leader, Avraham Stern. This group engaged in a campaign of terror against British colonial authorities in Palestine. They assassinated officials during the war and proclaimed that Britain was a greater enemy to the Zionists than the Germans.

After the war, they were credited with the assassination of the United Nations envoy to Palestine, Folke Bernadotte, in September 1948. In addition to the assassination of this UN mediator, both the Irgun and Lehi were responsible for the Deir Yassin massacre that killed well over a hundred Palestinian villagers.

The Role of Ralph Bunche in the Creation of Israel

Perhaps one of the most controversial figures in African American history was the academic and State Department functionary, Ralph Bunche. Bunche was a Harvard graduate and during the 1930s appeared to have had sympathies with the Left.

During World War II he was recruited into the Office of Strategic Studies (OSS), the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the State Department, becoming a functionary of U.S. imperialism. Bunche was involved in deliberations around the formation of the United Nations in 1945 where he collaborated closely with Eleanor Roosevelt.

After the creation of the State of Israel, war erupted between several Arab states and Israel. The United Nations intervened in an attempt to mediate the conflict.

It was during this period that Bernadotte was assassinated by the Zionist Stern Gang. Bunche took over and mediated an armistice agreement between the Arab states and Israel in 1949. For this he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, the first person of African descent to receive this honor.

The 1956 Suez Crisis

On July 26, 1956, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal which had been completed in 1869 by France. This provided a rationale for the British, Israeli and French invasion of the country.

Israel invaded Egypt and Britain began to bomb Cairo. Later pressure from both the United States and the Soviet Union forced the British and French to withdraw.

Israel gained some strategic gains from the war due to its ability to conduct shipping through the Straits of Tiran. The war represented the new configuration of imperialism in the Middle East where the U.S. asserted its imperial dominance in the post-World War II period.

The Americans would not allow the former dominant powers, Britain and France, to reassert their hegemony in the Middle East. Consequently, the U.S. began to carry out more aggressive actions in the region.

In July 1958, in response to anti-western rebellions in Iraq and Lebanon, the U.S. sent troops to Beirut under Eisenhower. By 1967, the Palestinians sought to initiate a guerrilla campaign to reclaim their homeland from Zionist occupation.

During this period, the perception of the State of Israel began to shift tremendously within the African and African American communities. By the time of the June 1967 war many younger and more militant organizations within the African American community were publically supporting Egypt and the Palestinians against the State of Israel and the U.S.

Much of this can be attributed to at least three factors: the growing influence of anti-imperialist African states such as Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Egypt, Tanzania and the alliance between the-then national liberation movements of Southern Africa and throughout the continent; the political actions and propaganda of organizations and leaders such as Malcolm X of the Nation of Islam and later the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), the later years of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panther Party, the League of Revolutionary Black Workers, the African solidarity committees and other revolutionary and progressive organizations; and the hostility shown toward African American political aspirations by Zionist organizations in the U.S. after the advent of Malcolm X, SNCC, the urban rebellions, the campus revolts for Black Studies and affirmative action and the Pan-African solidarity movement.

The Six Day War of 1967

During the period surrounding the Egypt-Israeli war of June 1967, SNCC appeared to have come out in support of Egypt and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Malcolm X had met with representatives of the PLO right after their founding in 1964 during his trip to the region.

When SNCC issued a newsletter and position paper in support of the Palestinians, they were vilified by the corporate media and even some moderate civil rights organizations. This position was also echoed by the Black Power Convention in Newark in July 1967 as well as by the Black Congress held around the New Conference for a New Politics in Chicago in September of that same year.

In 1968, the former chairperson of SNCC and prime minister of the Black Panther Party, Stokely Carmichael addressed the Organization of Arab Students conference held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Carmichael expressed his organizations’ solidarity with the peoples of North Africa, the Middle East and of course the Palestinian national liberation struggle.

The previous year Carmichael gave an interview with the National Guardian newspaper, based in New York which was published on September 16, 1967, where he stated that “We reason that the Jews have been mistreated for centuries and centuries… There is no need (however) for the Jews to turn around, because the white man persecuted them, and persecute the Africans and especially the Arabs. If the Jews want a state of their own it seems to me that what they should have done after the war when the white Western powers were dividing up Germany was to demand that they be given a part of Germany… But for the Jews to use the extermination of the Jews in Germany as an excuse to take land from the Arabs is clearly unjust.”

This position was in line with revolutionary anti-imperialist governments and regional organizations throughout the world. On June 7, 1967, the government in Cuba issued a statement in solidarity with Egypt and the Arab nations.

The Cuban statement read in part that “The Cuban Revolutionary Government, fully aware of the principles formulated in this declaration expresses solidarity with the Arab nations facing imperialist aggression today, and condemns this aggression.”

As early 1955 at the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, a resolution was passed by the Afro-Asian states saying that it “supports the rights of the Arab people of Palestine, and called for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions on Palestine and the achievement of peaceful settlement of the Palestine questions.”

These views were also expressed through the First Conference of Independent African States held in Accra, Ghana on April 15, 1958. At the Casablanca Conference in Morocco on January 3, 1961, solidarity with Palestine and the regional states were reaffirmed.

Both the Conference of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the States of the African Charter of Casablanca, held in Cairo in April 1961 and the First Conference of the Heads of State or Governments of Non-Aligned Countries held at Belgrade, Yugoslavia in September 1961, pledged support for Palestine and the Arab states.

In the U.S. even leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., although invited on numerous occasions to visit the State of Israel, declined to do so. Many Zionist leaders and organizations in the U.S. have attempted to claim that King supported Israel. However, the actual record cannot confirm this categorically.

The 1973 War and the Demise of Andrew Young in 1979

In October of 1973 Egypt attacked Israel in the Sinai in an effort to take back land seized during the 1967 war under Nasser. During this war international support was overwhelming among the oppressed nations for Egypt.

The so-called Arab oil embargo was instituted and most African states severed relations with Israel. This pattern continued even within the United Nations General Assembly which declared that Zionism is racism in 1974.

Andrew Young, who came to prominence as a leader of King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference in the 1950s and 1960s, was appointed as the first African American Ambassador to the United Nations in 1977 under the Carter administration. Young drew fire immediately by making statements that the Cuban internationalists were stabilizing the situation in Angola and that there were political prisoners inside the U.S.

Young was terminated by Carter in 1979 after it was revealed that he had contact with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization at the United Nations. These developments led to more moderate leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson to take a trip to Palestine and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Jackson would raise this issue during his 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. By the 1980s more African American, left and progressive organizations were in support of the Palestinian struggle for national independence.

The War on Gaza in 2008-2009

A three week campaign of terror was launched by the Israeli Defense Forces against the Palestinian people of Gaza at the end of 2008. This military assault took place between the administrations of George Bush and Barack Obama. Obama remained silent throughout the bombing of Gaza by the Israeli Air Force.

Since Obama came to office his administration has maintained the same pro-Zionist position on Palestine. The administration refused to participate in the World Conference Against Racism review in Geneva in 2009 claiming the gathering was anti-Israel because it upheld the right of Palestinians to self-determination and statehood.

Obama’s recent visit to Israel and the occupied territories provided no hope for the Palestinian people. The U.S. has continued to provide billions in direct aid to Israel, sophisticated weapons as well as political and diplomatic support.

The present war against Syria is being carried out in part as a means to support and strengthen the State of Israel. With more aggressive military intervention being threatened against Syria, Israel has expressed its support for the fabricated stories about the use of chemical weapons by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Need for Continued Solidarity With Palestine

National liberation movements, progressive governments, left parties, peace and anti-war organizations, solidarity coalitions and social justice groups must continue their support and alliances with the Palestinian people, the resistance forces and the progressive states throughout the Middle-East. This issue is becoming even more important in light of the escalating threats against Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

People must reject efforts for another war in the Middle East. The question of Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian sovereignty should be a cherished principle of all honest political forces inside the U.S. and Europe.

These wars of imperialist aggression and regime-change only worsen conditions for workers and the nationally oppressed inside North America and Europe. Consequently, support for the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East provide the conditions for greater cooperation between the workers and oppressed of this region and those within the industrialized states.

Abayomi Azikiwe
is the editor of Pan-African News Wire , an international electronic press service designed to foster intelligent discussion on the affairs of African people throughout the continent and the world. The press agency was founded in January of 1998 and has published thousands of articles and dispatches in newspapers, magazines, journals, research reports, blogs and websites throughout the world. The PANW represents the only daily international news source on pan-african and global affairs. To contact him, click on this link >> Email

The Black Man’s Burden

By Garikai Chengu

So much has been said of the “white man’s burden:” namely, how the collapsing American Empire and bygone British Empire have shouldered the burden of civilising Africa and driving the global economy for centuries. The opposite is true. The fact of the matter is that not only was Western civilisation invented by black Africans in ancient Egypt, Africa has driven global economic growth for centuries.

African natural resources, labour, land, slavery and skilled émigré – as any decent economic historian will tell you – have fueled the world’s economy for many, many decades. To this day, Africa is the world’s engine-room for growth. In short, driving global economic growth abroad, whilst benefiting little at home is the “black man’s burden.” That Africans know that there are immense riches just beneath their feet as well as just above their heads in High Office, only adds to the burden.

The roots of “Western” civilization, technology, religion, culture and science are to be found not in Greece, but in Black Egypt. Infact as early as 9,000 BC to 500 A.D. black empires, from the prehistoric Zingh Empire of Mauritania to ancient Khemet of Egypt, were at the forefront of development in technology, politics and culture. Far from “civilising the natives,” Europeans replaced communitarianism, cooperation and spirituality – that prevailed across Africa – with a corrupt, aggressive and inhumane form of civilisation.

First there was the brutal kidnapping of millions of Africans, so as to replace the indigenous Americans that Europeans had wiped out. The slave trade broke the back of African economies whilst creating capital for plantation owners that kick started Europe’s industrial revolution.

Africans were stripped of their land and forced down gold mines and onto rubber plantations. The naked theft of African land and minerals including gold, copper, rubber, ivory and tin continued ravenously throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This culminated in the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884, where Europe gleefully divied up Africa and formalised the “Scramble For Africa.”

After World War Two, Europeans were severely weakened by years of unremitting industrial slaughter of each other. To make matters worse, liberation movements were gaining momentum. This ultimately made the cost of containing “restless natives” greater than the benefits Europeans could extract from them. As British power wained the baton of colonialism was passed to American imperialism.

Poverty and disunity have been the essential ingredients that have allowed this neo-colonial exploitation to continue. But, thanks largely to soaring mineral prices and Chinese win-win investments, poverty levels are beginning to tumble.

Disunity however persists. America is making sure of it. Washington is fomenting disunity by funding reactionary neo-liberal political parties across the continent as well as the odd “good dictator.” A bad dictator however, named Muammar Gaddafi, was hunted down and assassinated by Washington. Not least because of his plans for an African IMF, gold backed Afro-currency and a United States of Africa. In essence, Colonel Gaddafi’s plans for African unity were as good as a hand written suicide note addressed directly to NATO. By losing Gaddafi, Africa may also have lost Libya. For, NATO will ensure that Mr. Gaddafi’s plans for African unity will be smothered in their crib.

Then of course there is United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) which will almost certainly establish a military base in Libya. Infact any African government that America offered money to host AFRICOM, Mr. Gaddafi would offer double the amount to refuse.

Mr. Obama would have us believe that hundreds of highly trained US Special Forces are braving tsetse flies, dengue fever and are running around in the African bush to flush out Ugandan rebels. All for freedom and democracy. Coincidentally in one of the most oil rich enclaves on earth. Home to Sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest onshore oil discovery in 20 years of two billion barrels.

The new cold war between America and China will be over resources, not ideology. Africa will take centre stage. Should America’s hard power and divide-and-rule approach triumph, Africa may descend into one large theater of war with many actors, chapters and a tragic ending. Should China’s soft power and win-win economic approach triumph, this may end up becoming a truly African Century.

To this day, Africans produce cheap, often slave labour and ship raw materials north for peanuts. In return Africans purchase finished products at a premium from the north. This skewed trade relationship is what helped build the west and underdeveloped Africa for centuries.

Reversing this trend would allow the black man to free himself of a centuries old burden. Reversing this trend is this generation’s struggle. That said, Africa’s future looks bright, for the ingredients are present for an economic boom, which actually benefits Africans: favourable demographics, a commodities boom, a burgeoning middle class and growing enthusiasm for technology with more than 600 million mobile-phone users—more than America or Europe.

If Africans resolutely build the capacity to refine their own crude oil, gold and platinum as well as the capability to cut and polish their diamonds, they will certainly turn this into an African century. If Africans staunchly defend their resources and turn them into finished products, they will finally turn the “black man’s burden” into Africa’s renaissance.

Also by the Author:

Gaddafi’s Libya Was Africa’s Most Prosperous Democracy
West To Rake In Billions From Libyan War
Geostrategic Basis Of Libyan War: Hydrological Warfare And Energy

Economic Crisis in West Behind Mali Invasion


An analyst says that the alliance of imperialist Western countries, all in economic depression at home, have violently invaded Mali to seize its riches to take back home.

In the background of this a lot of civilians have already died or been displaced in the fighting in Mali since French-led invasion forces landed in January this year. A deteriorating humanitarian situation has been raised by locals. The militants the French and other allied countries are fighting the same al-Qaeda linked groups threat they themselves funded and fought alongside in Libya. It is reported that Qatar is still funding these forces to the angst for the French.

Press TV has interviewed Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor Pan African Wire Magazine, Detroit about this issue. The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: In the beginning Paris said they were going to be in and out very quickly and now we’re looking at three months and it is raging. What is that a sign of, that they mis-planned or are things going actually to-plan for them?

Azikiwe: It was a very disingenuous proposition initially when French forces intervened in Mali on January 11th. It was quite obvious that the resistance would be somewhat formidable inside the country.

Now, with the intervention of not only France, but also allied forces from various African states, it has just exacerbated the conflict inside the county.

They initially as you’ve mentioned, said it would be only a few weeks; they said they would pull out in the next month. Now they are saying that they’re not going to pull out until July.

They also mentioned just this last past week that there’s going to be the development of a so-called Rapid Response Force of which no one really knows exactly what that is going to entail, but it indicates that it is going to be a long term intervention in the West African state of Mali.

This is going to be disastrous not only for the people in Mali itself, but also throughout the entire region of West Africa as well as spilling over into North Africa because we saw what happened in January in Algeria and this was clearly related to the French military intervention in Mali.

Press TV: From the perspective of Paris with their economic pressure that they’re going through in France, how can they even afford a war like this unless perhaps they are planning on taking control of some of the natural resources there?

Azikiwe: This is obviously fuelling the intervention by France. Britain, Germany as well as the United States and Canada in Africa. All of these countries are in dire economic straits. In France the unemployment rate is skyrocketing, their national deficit is also rising very fast.

And we see the same situation here inside the United States with the sequester of the US Congress and the fact that 85 billion dollars has been cut from the national budget overnight. We’re in a situation right now where we’re going to be facing a deeper economic recession. This of course fuels the Pentagon as well as Wall Street to intervene in these states in Africa to try and shore up their losses, on the continent.

But the down side to it is that they’re going to be met by fierce resistance on the part of the forces that they have targeted inside of Mali and they’re also going to enflame other political forces inside the country.

We’ve seen the obliteration of dozens of Chadian troops in the Andreas Daya Fokus mountains in the north east of Mali on the border with Algeria – there’s going to be more casualties and it’s just a very bad situation that these imperialist states are placing their own people as well the peoples of Africa.

SC/JR

‘Sequestration won’t stop US militarism’

Download Interview >>

The current grave economic crisis in the United States will not decline the country’s militarism across the world, says a Detroit-based journalist.

“I do not believe that the sequestration will stop the ongoing United States Pentagon war machine. The only real cuts in relationship to the military that have been discussed deals with the role of civilians who work for the Department of Defense,” Editor of Pan-African News Wire, Abayomi Azikiwe, told Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Sunday.

“But in regard to scaling back the drone attacks, the bombings, the ground operations, the special forces operations, the role of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other spy groups inside the United States, they will not be impacted in regard to this forced reduction in the United States operating budget,” he added.

On Friday, President Obama signed an order authorizing the government to begin cutting $85 billion from federal accounts, officially enacting across-the-board spending reductions.

“The sequestration is something that has been utilized to further impose austerity on the people inside the United States,” Azikiwe said.

AGB/ARA

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