Barack Obama and the Crisis of U.S. Imperialism
Barack Obama and the Crisis of U.S. Imperialism
African People's Socialist Party Chairman Omali Yeshitela has been delivering a series of presentations around the U.S. on the significance of the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. Here are excerpts from the Chairman's speech at the Uhuru House in St. Petersburg on February 23, 2008. Listen to the full speeches made on February 23 and March 2, 2008, this Sunday on Uhuru Radio. Visit UhuruNews.com or subscribe to the Burning Spear Newspaper for continued analysis.
"The U.S. economy is in big-time trouble and Africans are bearing the brunt of the crisis at this point, although a lot of people are going to pay prices. It’s much more than what people understand. And one reason it’s more is that a lot of what’s happening to African people is not being reported as something that’s happening to African people. "You hear in general terms about people losing homes to sub-prime mortgages, etc. [Black Agenda Report] reads that 'the sub-prime lending debacle should cause massive rethinking among those who have long proclaimed that the route to black equality is through wealth accumulation'. "It talks about how the 'catastrophic losses inflicted on blacks and Latinos in the U.S. at the hands of predatory lenders has resulted in the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history'. It says that 'banks and other lending institutions trap blacks and Latinos in predatory lending schemes as a matter of policy'.
"So all this stuff is happening to us. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. When you look at this sub-prime mortgage crisis, you must understand the implications it has for other areas of the economy. They said that last year there was a 26% decrease in new housing starts – the largest in history. So, you’ve got people who can’t buy new houses, people who are losing houses they already got, people who can’t afford to live in houses.
"So what happens? The construction industry is a real serious part of the economic force in this country. If they’re not building houses, they fire people, and they lay people off. If they lose their jobs, many of them are also going to lose their houses, right? It also means that they can’t buy the car they expected to buy. They can’t replace the refrigerator that they planned to do because they’re having problems with it. It means that therefore, the auto industry has to cut back.
"If the auto industry cuts back and the people who make refrigerators and stoves cut back, that means they lay people off. Then the people who got laid off can’t buy new clothes for the children that they planned to get, etc. So that hits the retail industry, so they lay off. Sears (Robuck and Co.), I understand, is fighting for its very life right now. Sears is almost down the drain. So if they lay people off, it means the things that those people would be buying, they can’t buy. "So this thing reverberates throughout the entire economy. You’ve got a meltdown that’s happening here. I’m not sure where it’s going and all the implications that there are for it. That’s the objective reality that people are confronted with in this country right now. "And it leads to other kinds of contradictions, contradictions of deeper poverty and a deeper scramble for resources that are not there, in our communities in particular, where it’s been so badly hit. It means more police, more police violence and things like that. And then there’s Barack Obama.
"The U.S. has to use whatever means it can to secure resources around the world. It has to engage in escalated struggle against China and the European Union and other forces out there. And there’s Barack Obama. "That’s a serious contradiction that we are confronted with, because they’re going to have to do terrible things to African people. They already are doing terrible things to African people. And Barack Obama doesn’t have a program any better than Hillary Clinton’s when they’re dealing with the mortgage situation. And he won’t even say that something is happening to African people here. "That’s why Africans ourselves are not aware that this is something that’s specializing in attacking us, because nobody will talk about the implications. Nobody will say, ‘this is the summation – look where people are losing their homes; look where it’s happening’, right? That’s a serious problem that we are confronted with.
"A greater problem is that people do not understand the nature of the system itself. People are looking at Barack Obama because he looks like us and assuming that somehow this is a great thing that all these people voted for Barack Obama. "Part of a whole counterinsurgency policy all over the world has been for the government to kill off revolutionaries, and at the same time they’re killing off revolutionaries, to raise up these other kinds of organizations as false solutions. So when struggle gets real serious, they kill off, murder leaders and then raise up these substitute organizations that pretend to be standing for something. They killed Dadan Kimathi in Kenya, who headed the Kenyan Land Freedom Army and then raised up Jomo Kenyatta. They did that stuff all over the world and created these phony organizations.
"Barack Obama raised more than $100 million! Hillary Clinton - $100 million! Who gave them $100 million? I want to tell you that they work for the ones that gave them $100 million. Their campaign and their program is for the ones that gave them $100 million. "You can be inspired by Barack Obama because he’s a smart negro. He’s the smartest person out there running. Listen to him talk. He speaks much better than every candidate that’s out there. Y’all got a flare for that kind of stuff. (laughter) So it’s easy to get carried away. You feel pride because “white people are supposed to be so smart but look at Barack”. Right? But you don’t understand the system. Because Barack is working for the same people that Hillary is working for, that McCain is working for, that Huck – whatever his name is – is working for. "They just had a list of his advisors in the [Washington] Post. They include Zbigniew Brzezinski. You’ve heard me talk about Brezinski, haven’t you? He’s the architect of the Afghanistan trap for the Soviet Union. He was the one who represented Carter as National Security Advisor. He’s the one who people speculate could have even been involved in this 9/11 event that he said would be absolutely necessary for the government to do what it needed to do in order to move the economy forward.
"[The list of Obama's advisors] includes a man named Richard A. Clark, who was Clinton and George W. Bush’s counter terrorism czar. It includes a guy named Gregory Craig, a State Department director of policy planning under Clinton, and now a partner in some law firm, William & Connelly. He’s a foreign policy advisor. It’s got a whole bunch of other people just like that. Major General Jonathan Scott Gration, a 32-year Air Force veteran and now CEO of Africa “anti-poverty effort” Millennium Villages. He’s a national security advisor. And there are a whole bunch of others on here. Those people whose names I just read? Whoever they work for – that’s who Obama works for.
"The other thing is this. It doesn’t matter about an election. We were having a discussion in a meeting the other day and we were doing a study on the question of the state as an organization that represents the interests of the ruling class and the existing social system. We were speaking about Obama in relationship to the state. The state is an oppressive organization. It is an organization of coercion. It is like the prison system, the courts, the jail, the military. All these forces constitute what you call state power. "In the middle of the discussion, we brought up Obama and the fact that, because of the existence of this state of the bourgeoisie, of white power imperialism, it didn’t matter who got elected. And somebody said, ‘well yeah, but look at Obama’s history because he doesn’t have a history of this and that’. I don’t care if Obama had a history of being the most militant member of the Black Panther Party who was also secretly an advisor to Elijah Mohammed at the height of the influence of the Nation of Islam. The reality is, if he became President of the United States he would be subservient to the white imperialist bourgeois state!
"It doesn’t matter about his history. What you need to know is about the history of the state as an institution that exists in human society. If you know that, then you know that whoever’s in charge, whoever is supposedly in charge there, is subservient to that institution. "Now, Barack has a potential for believing this stuff, you see, because Obama is new to the African world. I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Because he never lived with Africans. He never went to school with Africans. He lived in other places. His understanding of America is the ideal of America that’s been promoted and taught in schools and stuff like that. "Obama hasn’t shared the African experience like that. Except you know he lived in Chicago. He did some community work, which is different. You can find those people in the Peace Corp. And they used to have the U.S.-based Peace Corp, VISTA, where the white people used to be in your community. They had all these kind of programs. You can do that and work in the African community and I think that’s the kind of experience that he’s had.
"It’s different for Africans who are not born in the United States. I’m coming to learn a lot more about that. I’ve read where the majority of the African students in the Ivy League campuses today are students from Africa, not students from here. And it’s because the students from Africa are easier to manage. Because the students from here, they say, are aggressive. And I didn’t notice that about them. For me they look like something else. But they’re hard to handle, because of the whole direct slavery experience. Africans here ain’t never got enough, while Africans who are coming from home got the best s**t they ever had, because they’re coming from terrible circumstances to what appears to be great circumstances over here. So they’re easier to get along with, than the Africans who are here.
"They come here. They’ve read all the stuff about America and they found 'oh, it’s true'. You know, they can go to the movies all the time. They can do all other kinds of things that they could never do at home. They even got streets that work, where in most places in Africa you got dirt roads, and sometimes it’s an overstatement to call them roads. They’re like a row of ditches that you have to travel through. I learned while I was in Ghana on this last trip what an automobile can withstand. I never would have imagined that an automobile could handle the kind of stuff that I saw in Ghana.
"So they get here and for them this is a whole different thing. Africans who were born here, coming from the slavery experience, etc., are still fighting. So I can see how Obama might actually be an honest opportunist. But in any event, he doesn’t offer a solution. And I think that we have to really help African people to grapple with this question, because people can be disarmed. At a time when the masses need clarity more than any time, people can be sucked into this whole thing of the Democratic Party. At a time of crisis when people need to be finding alternatives to Americanism, to be sucked into the embrace of the Democratic Party is seriously problematic."
The US Policy in the Horn of Africa Destabilizing the Region
By Rishan Beyene
Mar 25, 2008,
Strategic and economic interests have always driven the US policy in the Horn of Africa. During the Cold War, the US was fixated on the 'containment of communism', committing grave historical errors and crimes against humanity in the process. And now, America 's blind quest for global dominance is turning the world we live in upside down with chaos and destruction. Indeed, post Cold War US policy, after 9/11 especially, has been about ensuring the gradual disintegration of target states by creating what they call 'constructive instability', using pretexts (fabrications), as witnessed in Iraq and Somalia. This brief article intends to highlight the fact that the US has until now been a destabilizing force in the volatile Horn region.
There are certain issues that some Western scientists consider critical to surviving the 21st century, and thus have long been pressurizing their political leaders to take those issues into consideration in adopting and implementing their policies. Accordingly, the 'global concerns of our time' are to include:
¬ Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)
¬ Alarmingly growing population
¬ Aquifer and river depletion
¬ Depletion of edible fish, and
¬ Global warming
Since 9/11, the Bush Administration has been using the so-called 'global concerns of our time' as pretexts for controlling target regions as part of its grand design of creating a 'global empire'. Indeed, using 'global concerns' such as WMD and terrorism as pretexts, the US has been creating what they call 'constructive instability' like the ones witnessed in Iraq and Somalia, to enable them to easily plunder the resources of target nations and at the same time to bring about a reduction in what the Western scientists consider an 'alarmingly growing population of our planet Earth' as well as the eventual disintegration of target nations, thus enabling the US to rearrange target nations in the way that would 'sustainably' benefit the US at the expense of certain 'targeted populations'. And should the 'victims' of such 'terrorist' and ‘diabolic’ acts rise up to free themselves from being 'terrorized' and 'dehumanized' or should another nation attempt to help the 'victims' in any way, then they would automatically be labelled 'terrorists' and the 'good Samaritan' would risk being enlisted in what they call 'state sponsored terrorism'. In light of this, it is not surprising for this rather dangerous path the US has been treading to become the number one global concern of our time, including to those conscious Americans. Indeed, surviving the 21st century would require America to review and reverse its rather 'diabolic' strategy of 'global dominance', and to work instead for the good of all humanity.
The US 's attempt to control the resource-rich and strategically significant Horn of Africa through covert and overt policy of divide and rule between and within Horn nations has been destabilizing the region. Indeed, in an attempt to control the Horn region through a servant regime, the US has until now been encouraging and allowing the Woyane regime to terrorize the peoples of the Horn region, including its own. And in exchange for its 'evil' service, this 'terrorist' regime in Addis has, among other things, been applauded and presented by the US as 'democratic' and an 'ally' in the war against terrorism. The servant regime in Addis which has until now been waging America's and its own 'dirty war' against 'targeted populations' in the Horn is indeed America's 'model' state for the region and beyond. The lesson for the Horn states seems to be that should a state chooses to play a critical role in helping the US destabilize the Horn region, it will not only be applauded and presented by the US and its 'allies' as 'democratic', 'talented people' - you name it, but will also be given a 'free reign' to commit whatever crimes it wishes and get away with it. On the other hand, however, should a state chooses to play a positive and constructive role, which is contrary to the US policy and agenda of destabilizing the region, then the 'offending' state will be made to bear the crimes committed by the servant regime. In brief, the 'offending' state will be subjected to the 'punishment' principled Eritrea has until now been subjected to.
As part of its policy of divide and rule, the US has long been obstructing the EEBC ruling from being implemented on the ground. Indeed, if it were not for America 's deliberate obstruction, the EEBC ruling would have long been implemented, thereby allowing the neighbourly countries to normalize relations. Unfortunately, however, the US foolishly considers such positive regional developments detrimental to its interests, and has thus been working tirelessly to destabilise the Horn region by undermining the rule of law, fomenting conflicts between and within states in the region, and by allowing and encouraging its servant regime to continue occupying sovereign Eritrean territory as well as Somalia.
Indeed in an attempt to frustrate the relative peace and the budding hope for national reconstitution the Islamic Courts had managed to bring about after years of bloodshed, the servant regime in Addis with substantial US help invaded Somalia on the pretext of fighting terrorism, turning Somalia into the worst humanitarian disaster spot in the world. And in an attempt to subjugate the people and Government of Eritrea, the US has, among other things, been working hard to enlist the peace-loving and law-abiding nation on what they call 'state sponsor of terrorism', apparently for creating a conducive environment for the Somali people to resolve their issues themselves without external interference.
As a 'genuine' victim of 'real' terrorism since its birth as a new nation, young Eritrea fully knows that you do not play with fire. Indeed, Eritrea 's principled stance on terrorism has been critical in keeping the Horn and its surrounding from slipping into chaos. Very sadly, however, blinded by its quest for global dominance, America's short-sighted and rather infantile handling of sensitive issues as well as its undermining of the delicate balance principled Eritrea has managed and still attempts to maintain, could potentially transform the Horn region and its surrounding into utter chaos. And very sadly again, the US policy in the Horn region is designed to bring about just that!
Indeed, if the US policy in the Horn of Africa was and is designed to commit heinous crimes against humanity, and hence to create humanitarian disaster spots and radicalised 'victims' of its direct and indirect 'terrorist' acts as well as to be held in contempt for its arrogance, then the US has indeed succeeded. In light of this, President Bush's so-called 'war on terror' and his "you're either with us or against us" rhetoric have now been unmasked, and what one can clearly see now is like Hitler declaring he was waging war against fascism and for the world to choose to either 'work' with him or 'against' him. Similar argument applies to the US self-appointing itself to judge other nations pertaining to human rights issues based on false and hearsay evidence. Indeed the self-appointed judge of the world would first have to repudiate its ‘Hitler’s-like’ agenda, which is responsible for the ‘Hitler’s-like’ atrocities around the world as well as to examine its own motives and conduct before judging others.
* For an up to date ‘rewards’ and ‘punishment’ for being willing or unwilling to cooperate with the US in its task of ‘destabilising’ the Horn region, please refer to the ‘testimonies’ given by ‘certain’ US officials to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs.
It is a shame that the international community lacks integrity and the courage of its convictions. The international community needs to wake up from its deep slumber and take concrete action to end immediately the heinous crimes against humanity it has allowed in the Horn for so long. And that would require, among other things,
¬ Ensuring the invading Ethiopia gets out of Eritrea’s sovereign territory as well as Somalia,
¬ Bringing to justice the ‘terrorist’ regime in Addis and its ‘associates’ in crimes against humanity, and
¬ Ensuring that the rule of law is upheld at all times.
In brief, Eritrea is not a state sponsor of terrorism. Such a label is, of course, a rather fitting tribute to the destabilising role the US has been playing in the Horn region through its servant and 'terrorist' regime in Addis. As for principled Eritrea , it has been and shall continue to be a bulwark against terrorism.
Deceptive Rhetoric Cannot Justify Failure of US Administration’s Policy
Mar 17, 2008
On 11 March 2008, the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs heard the testimonies of different US government officials under the heading “Evaluating US Policy Objectives and Options on the Horn of Africa”.
As it is well-known, in pursuing a power-based strategy in the wake of the Cold War era, the US is at present facing acute political failures and military defeats in different parts of the world. Consequently, the country’s image as the world’s super power has lost all credibility. Over the past eight years in particular, the American people have not only suffered from instability, security threats and economic crisis but also paid dearly in life and property as a result of Washington’s law of the jungle policy that might is right.
The US Administration’s unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of other nations and peoples in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘war on terror’ has not only aroused extensive popular opposition but also gave rise to growing awareness that exposed the real expansionist objectives behind the usual pretext concerning respect of human rights.
The extent of economic crisis facing the American public today or the amount of anxiety and frustration on the part of certain US politicians emanating from such policy failures is not to be viewed lightly. Hence, the American people are calling for change in Washington’s adventurous and misguided policies that have tarnished the country’s image and are draining its national resources. The questions put forth by the Senate Subcommittee on March 11 and the tailored testimonies given by the US officials on African Affairs to cover up their failure clearly reflected the existing tension between the new popular awareness and the erroneous policies and strategies of the Administration. These US officials had been the cause for the failure of their country’s policies due to their lack of efficiency and administrative incompetence. Yet, instead of rectifying their shortcomings in a manner that could induce changes for the good of the American people and nation, these particular officials not only opted for the gambler’s way out “the more you lose, the more you gamble” but also presented the US Senate fictitious testimonies. As everyone could witness, the reality on the ground is quite the opposite of what the US officials tried to convince the Subcommittee. Let’s look at the following basic facts;
In mid 2006, the Somali people took their own initiative towards achieving national unity and reconstitution. However, the US Administration officials not only labeled the positive developments as a ‘terrorist movement’ but also appointed the TPLF regime as their agent, and in a rash measure sought to thwart the progress of the Somali popular movement through military force. Consequently, Somalia was plunged into violent turmoil and the TPLF regime assumed the character of an overindulged child.
At that time, the Government of Eritrea, predicting that external interference could only result in a quagmire of prolonged war, persistently called for creating conducive ground that would enable the Somali people resolve their affairs themselves. The past 15 months have amply proved the validity of the Eritrean government’s predictions. Moreover, the invaders were unable to suppress the just cause of the Somali people. Resort to military force on the part of the US and its agents aimed at silencing the Somali people’s voice has turned the country into the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, thus exposing the fallacy of the adventurous action. However, the US officials in charge of African affairs still could not muster the courage to accept their failure. On the contrary, they sought to cover up the prevailing acute humanitarian crisis in Somalia and tried to convince the US Senate that the political, security and humanitarian situation in that country is ‘making progress for the better.’ As one US official hypocritically put it, “Somalia is progressing towards a stable new country; along with 149 million dollars in US aid, Somalia within a year or so will develop into a democratic nation.” Obviously, hearing such a claim makes one get really astonished. The statement was perhaps made in a futile attempt to cover up failure and avoid accountability. Still, the reality on the ground cannot be concealed through fictitious utterances.
It is to be recalled that in the May 2005 elections, the TPLF regime not only rigged the vote but also suppressed the Ethiopian people’s choice in a bid to prolong its stay in power. As a result, in the past three years Ethiopia experienced a political turmoil never witnessed before claiming the lives of hundreds of innocent citizens. In the midst of such a political crisis, US officials in charge of African affairs, instead of opposing the regime’s brutal suppression and urging respect for the people’s choice, not only stood on the side of the oppressor but also went to the extent of weakening opposition parties through pressure and divisive schemes. Hence, the US Administration lost all credibility in the eyes of the Ethiopian people. Moreover, Washington’s pretensions and double standard as regards democratic governance was fully unmasked in the process. The US officials opted to foster alliance with a regime unsurpassed in gross violation of human rights and record of war crimes at the expense of the well-being of the Ethiopian people. Still, the same US officials could not save the TPLF authorities from heading to the abyss.
Today, Ethiopia portrays the image of an artificial polity on the verge of collapse; the TPLF regime is also just like a building complex full of termites ‘appealing’ from the outside but actually one that is rotting inside. Ethiopia is now like a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode at any given moment. Facing armed opposition in different parts of the country and the security situation escalating from bad to worse, the minority regime in Addis Ababa is committing crime after crime in desperation. Hence, a fresh set of opinion has begun to emerge from within the US Congress that asserts “it is against our national security to support a regime well-known for its violation of human rights.” Still, as has become their habit, US officials on African Affairs, once again sought to conceal the strong popular opposition in Ethiopia that could escalate in to a dangerous development and made claims about Ethiopians experiencing ‘new and modern political administration’ after two millennia of imperial autocracy. Denying the prevailing humanitarian crisis in the Ogaden region, these particular US officials gave different excuses to conceal the TPLF regime’s genocidal crimes. However, someone should have told them that their attempts were not only as futile as trying to obscure the rays of the sun with one’s hand but also that anyone who tries to do so will end up with a burned hand.
3. Ethiopia’s Occupation of Sovereign Eritrean Territories
All Machiavellians know that the best way to cover up the truth is to distort reality. Hence, in the report they presented regarding the Ethiopian occupation of sovereign Eritrean territories, the US officials in charge of African affairs further revealed their ineptness and misguided policies as a result of which they had plunged their country into an inescapable quandary. As is generally known, Eritrea had from the very beginning opposed the US Administration’s destructive and erroneous policies regarding the problems in Somalia, Ethiopia and other cases. Now, when it is almost too late, opinions have begun to surface which acknowledge that Eritrea’s position was indeed right. Eritrea’s constructive role, contribution and policies in securing regional peace and stability have also been proven in deeds. It is an undeniable fact that contrary to the objective situation in the Horn region, Eritrea is a haven of incomparable peace and stability. Nevertheless, unable to accept reality, these same US officials had sought to undermine Eritrea’s exemplary role in the region in a bid to justify their failures. Their collective slander that Eritrea is ‘devoid of peace and political stability’ is but a hollow deduction at best and a senseless farce at its worst.
Rejecting the final and binding ruling of the Boundary Commission, the TPLF regime, emboldened by US support, has obstructed regional peace and stability through illegally occupying sovereign Eritrean territories. This is an indisputable fact that cannot be erased through seemingly well-meaning and flamboyant speeches. And Eritrea’s position is always vivid, unwavering and legitimate support and respect to international laws and principles. Disregarding Eritrea’s legitimate and correct position and revolving around trivial issues merely constitute an escape goat from reality that could only serve to undermine the credibility of those who put forth unfounded claims.
Eritrea’s position on regional issues is firm and persistent, i.e. avoiding external interference and making positive and constructive contribution towards assisting people in conflict situations settle their differences themselves. Besides, externally enforced prescriptions can only further complicate matters. The destruction and loss of life following elections in Kenya attests to this fact. The situation in Kenya had escalated and led to unnecessary destruction due to misguided policies and interference of US Administration officials and other external forces. In a statement that could have added fuel to the flame, a certain US official even claimed that the problem in Kenya is ‘an ethnic conflict’, although fortunately the Kenyan people had demonstrated better sense. Even the US Administration later on corrected the statement as being only an ‘individual opinion’. Instead of accepting their failure and employ the experience for better outcome in the future, the US officials presented the Senate Subcommittee with a tailored report claiming that Kenya’s recent political crisis is now under control mainly due to their effort. One of the American officials even said that the crisis in Kenya had stabilized thanks to the ‘strong private messages sent to both parties from the United States’. Claims such as ‘we proved who the boss is’ fully draws attention to the childish mentality of the said official.
Eritrea’s position regarding the problems in Sudan is no different. Eritrea still maintains that the problems in Sudan should and could only be resolved by the Sudanese themselves. Many have supported Eritrea’s position in this case and even lauded it as an example worth emulating. On the contrary, US officials in charge of African affairs continued to pursue, as regards the Sudanese case, their ‘we know better’ strategy of enforcing prescriptions fashioned overseas. And Eritrea has persistently opposed such a strategy. It is to be recalled that interference on the part of US Administration officials had even for a limited period endangered the implementation of the Naivasha Agreement. Their negative role in exaggerating the problem in Darfur in a bid to escalate conflicts and create confusion is also no secret. However, continuing their cover-ups and misrepresentation of facts, these same officials claimed that their Administration is playing a leading role in promoting peace and stability in the Sudan. This only indicates that they intend to continue their strategy of “conflict instigation and crisis management.” The worst aspect of the testimonies given by these US officials is their conceited statements such as ‘we will continue to promote democratic values even in Muslim countries,’ thus manifesting their disrespect for religion. Such disrespectful reference to Muslim nations is a continuation of the US Administration’s raw approach in this case, resulting in religious tension at global level.
The people and Government of Eritrea are confident of their legitimate position and constructive contribution as well as their practical and realistic views, and as such cannot give credit to the so-called testimonies by the aforementioned American officials. Although the Eritrean people would normally opt to maintain prudent silence in most cases, remaining silent in the face of such venomous statements would be of no avail to historical record. Hence, they have been compelled to air out their stance. After all, one cannot remain silent while witnessing the sponsorship of destructive regional conflicts and acute humanitarian crises, as well as gross disregard for the rights of people everywhere, including that of the Horn region and the United States itself. The said officials portray their destructive assignment as if it were a mission of peace, failure as success and invalid actions as credibility. The failures of US policy in the Horn region being apparent, the main cause for the failures encountered is also not difficult to discern. Since it is inevitable that the strategies of the US Administration and their servant regimes in the Horn of Africa would end up in utter failure thanks to the mounting popular struggle for justice, the US officials should rethink their current mistakes and take remedial measures; as forward escape would only lead to eventual demise.
6. If only the US could look at its real image!
Advocating for peace and stability, as well as the rights of people worldwide is indeed a noble cause. However, it would be a manifestation of commonsense to first examine one’s own image before embarking on such a lofty goal. But pointing fingers at others before tackling one’s own problems first could only be classified as mere mockery and arrogance. Interfering in other people’s affairs would only draw attention to one’s own shortcomings. Who can forget the record of unparalleled number of crimes or gross violation of human rights in the United States? Even now, the reality in that country has not changed at all. As several sources indicate and even as US officials themselves admit, the existence of 2 million prisoners in the United States places that country in the category of having the highest number of prisoners in the world.
As to the fact that most of these prisoners are African-Americans, US officials have yet to convince the world that it is either a coincidence or ‘black people generally tend to have a criminal temperament.’ Everyone in the world knows that the USA, a self-proclaimed champion of human rights, has yet to end its backward and racial policies that have so far marginalized its black citizens. The fact that the oppression practiced by successive US Administrations goes beyond the country’s borders is a common knowledge. While pointing fingers at other nations for alleged violation of the rights of prisoners, the United States itself keeps under detention hundreds of thousands of people in different parts of the globe. The prison camps in Abu Ghuraib and Guantanamo are but only two examples in which inhumane treatment of detainees are rampant, thus exposing the hypocrisy of Washington officials. Indeed, US Administration officials cannot hope to conceal the fact that they have set up prison camps everywhere in our planet, including Ethiopia where prisoners are detained in harsh conditions without any trial, under the pretext of ‘being terrorists’. The issue of prisoners notwithstanding, if only the US officials could look at their own images in cases like violation of human rights, deception and war crimes, they would realized that they are the leading perpetrators of gross crimes in the world. This would at least help them refrain from pointing fingers at others.
Had our world secured a neutral and independent judge, the US government officials would have been banned from even uttering out the phrase human rights; for they are by all counts not fit to apply such an expression. Washington does not possess the moral status to stand and be in a position to talk about respect of human rights. Devoid of any type of moral integrity, the United States has no legal or moral right to accuse Eritrea of ‘human rights violation.’ Instead of pointing fingers at other people who occupy high moral standing, it would have been more prudent for the US Administration officials to reflect on the mistakes that had led them to this shameful failure. And the only way to avoid failure and repetition of mistakes is to realize the fact that every game has two sides of players, as well as listen to and respect the viewpoint and choice of other parties.
West has no good intentions
By Reason Wafawarova
While the majority of people across the world may be generally agreed on the notion that the United States has become a perfect image of an unthinking bully, it is strikingly ironic that the US and its Western allies rely on a foreign policy that strongly preaches good intentions.
For the West in general, and the US in particular, the image of righteous exceptionalism and goodwill has always been the credo upon which foreign policy is formulated. In fact, the US foreign policy has a clear standard story line in scholarship and in the media. It oscillates between two conflicting theories — the Wilsonian idealism, which is based on genuine and noble intentions and sober realism, which says that the limitations of the US’s good intentions must be realised. Woodrow Wilson subscribed to the former while the likes of Francis Fukuyama, Condooleeza Rice, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are hard-core realists and would inflict any amount of harm on any nationality in the name of good intentions, always coming in the name of democracy, liberty, justice, human rights and freedom.
The illegal economic sanctions behind Zimbabwe’s prevailing problems are enshrined in a sanctions law, the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act. This is basically ruthless legislation that has brought so much suffering on innocent families and the generality of Zimbabweans. The US did not name the sanctions law the Zimbabwe Sanctions Act — something that would have been more accurate. No, the image of righteous exceptionalism has to be maintained and the doctrine of good intentions has to be promoted and upheld. Precisely, this is why the naming of the Act wrongly suggests a recovery of the economy and that of democracy as well.
The evil pain coming with the US’s sanctions law has been wrongly attributed to the alleged shortcomings of President Mugabe and Zanu-PF. The economy has faltered as a result of the economic warfare and strangulation that has been orchestrated through the abuse of the Bretton Woods institutions, mainly the IMF and the World Bank. There has been an eight-year blockade on balance of payments and lines of credit but the world is made to believe that President Mugabe has been deliberately starving his own people because some of them support the insidious opposition MDC.
The West has generally been blocking investors from investing in Zimbabwe and influencing companies already operating in the country to freeze operations. The rationale for this absurdity has always been the pretence that the economic strangulation is a way of applying pressure on an "evil" regime. The operative rhetoric for the US-led Western alliance has always been this vainglorious veil of good intentions, but the truth is what historian Arno Mayer observed when he said that the US has, since 1947, been a major perpetrator of state terror and other rogue actions — causing immense ruin and harm in the name of democracy, liberty and justice.
John Stuart Mill, an otherwise man of high intelligence and moral integrity, seemed to succumb to the pathology of the false doctrine of good intentions. When Britain was at the peak of its crimes against humanity in India and China, Mill wrote what was described as a classic essay on humanitarian intervention, urging Britain to undertake the enterprise of invasion vigorously — never mind that the action would be "held up to obloquy" by backward Europeans who could not comprehend that England was "a novelty in the world". Mill went on to describe Britain as a nation that acts only "in the service of others", selflessly sacrificing herself and bearing the cost of bringing peace and justice to the world.
Is this not the same attitude behind the proposals for intervention in Zimbabwe? When one reads the debates about Zimbabwe in the House of Lords, they would be forgiven if they thought the whole House was composed of the descendants of Mother Teresa. Sadc, the African Union and the United Nations are all painted as less righteous groupings that are either blind to the "evil" nature of the "Mugabe regime" or even complicity in making Zimbabweans suffer. It just becomes ludicrous when they wrap it all by criticising China for its investments in an economy they want to see completely dead. It becomes more revealing when they start to debate on British companies that are still doing business in Zimbabwe, together with those British investors who have shown interest in doing business in Zimbabwe. These apostles of righteous exceptionalism will debate all night-through on how to make the Zimbabwean economy collapse and then posture as concerned humanitarians who cannot stand the suffering of the ordinary people of Zimbabwe — a suffering directly resulting from the orchestrated economic collapse.
This is just absurd — but there are many people out there who have been fooled by these apparent contradictions, not least among them Zimbabweans themselves. This recent election pitted Zanu-PF against the economy. While Zanu-PF was telling people that the economic hardships they are facing are a result of the ruinous sanctions imposed by the West at the request of Britain, the MDC was telling the people that the economic hardships are a direct and deliberate act of brutality by Zanu-PF and the Government it leads — all in a bid to make people suffer; just like that. The same Tsvangirai who has globetrotted grovelling for sanctions from any one who cared to listen was posturing as a man of the people and dangling rescue packages for a fire that his Western overlords and himself are responsible for starting.
It would appear that many people have suffered so much that all they cared about was relief from the pain inflicted by the sanctions. That way they accepted the pawn that fronts their oppressor as the liberator. In all his naiveté and political illusions, Simba Makoni was right when he said the US$10 billion Tsvangirai was dangling was not enough to end the economic challenges bedevilling Zimbabwe. In fact, that money, if ever it were to come to Zimbabwe, is not meant to make the life of Zimbabweans any better. The West does not think or operate in such terms. That money would only be a veil covering the operative rhetoric of spreading the false doctrine of good intentions. It would be meant to be the anaesthesia designed to send Zimbabweans into a deep slumber that will enable the imperialist gang to rape the country at will.
This is the money that is supposed to send everyone into a big slumber while the white settler farmers make a return to the land that the Government has acquired and redistributed to landless peasants. But is such a slumber achievable? This writer thinks not. This is the money that is meant to reward Tsvangirai and his gang of reactionaries as they play the role of henchman holding Zimbabwe down while the imperialist gang rapes the country with unparalleled savagery. This is the money that is meant to pacify the people while Western companies get a free reign on Zimbabwe’s natural resources. Are they not in countries like Ghana where the country is hailed for selling a gross of US$2,5 billion worth of gold in 2007? What they will not tell the world is that only US$501 million came Ghana’s way while the rest went to benefit the home countries of these "good-intentioned" investors.
The larger picture for the MDC is that they are a subversive outfit fronting an imperial onslaught meant to re-establish white supremacy in the economic affairs of Zimbabwe. The ousted white farmers cannot wait to come back to "their" land and the Western investors are dying to exploit the Indo-Chinese market for coal, platinum and other minerals. All the MDC can do for the people is to get the sanctions lifted and all that will happen economically after the lifting of the sanctions is something that could happen easily even if we allowed the Child Parliament to run the affairs of Zimbabwe. It is pretty much a restoration of easy access to fuel, foodstuffs, public transport and basic medicines. The level of change will just be enough to keep the people passive while the West loots all they can lay their hands on. There is not going to be an expansion of infrastructure, no expansion of cities, no meaningful fall in unemployment, no improvements of note in health delivery and, of course, the country is not going to be any richer.
The MDC is essentially telling people to refuse to own their own destiny and to surrender their souls to the Western masters. They are telling the people to kowtow Western dictates and then live happily ever after. One reader sent me an email saying: "Let us sell the country for once and then we will see what happens." This is the attitude the MDC has cultivated in so many Zimbabweans. The question remains whether the country should allow such an attitude to prevail simply because "vanhu vatambura Wafawarova" as this writer keeps getting in some of the feedback mail. The US has declared that they are positive Zimbabweans voted "for change" and, of course, that change refers to a stop to independent nationalism, sovereign rule and autonomy in the control of natural resources, particularly the land.
To the US, Zimbabwe’s land reform programme is a reminder of Salvador Allende’s democratic socialism in Chile. Henry Kissinger called the impressive achievements of Allende’s government a "virus" that spreads contagion. The Chile was "virus" was extirpated on September 11, 1973 — thanks to Chile’s own Tsvangirai, one General Augusto Pinochet, the renegade general who attacked the Chilean presidential palace on behalf of Washington. March 29 was supposed to be the day the Zimbabwean "virus" was to be extirpated — our own September 11 — albeit one of economic terrorism. The attack was launched and the missile used was Tsvangirai, with back-up arsenal in Makoni.
The attack was obviously disastrous but not fatal. The result was that false victory in House of Assembly seats and a stalemate in the presidential race. The presidential run-off is a God-given opportunity for self soul-searching among Zimbabweans and it is incumbent upon the revolutionary forces of the agrarian revolution to ensure that the masses are clear of who the real enemy is. This is a time to expose the hidden agenda behind every word uttered by Tsvangirai. It is a time to expose the grand plan behind the gospel of change as preached by Tsvangirai and his notorious sidekicks. An election featuring President Mugabe and Tsvangirai is an election featuring heritage and treachery respectively. It is an election between the soul and silver. There are no good intentions behind and ahead of the MDC and Tsvangirai.
All there is are vested interests of the imperialist club.
l Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on wafawarova@yahoo