Archive | April 24th, 2017

Trump’s U-Turn, “From Coward to Hero”: Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer



Trump, within a span of a week, has made a U-turn; from a coward to hero.

So, the MSM; his aggressive violence, his murderous killing spree in Syria, Yemen and threatening North Korea with a nuclear ‘take-out’ – turns Trump from a coward to a macho.

Overnight, so to speak, Trump has become the darling of the mainstream media.

That tells you who is controlling the ‘brainstream’ of the masses. Just look at the 24 April 2017 edition of the US Inquirer – “Trump Declaring War on Dictators”, depicting photographs of Presidents Putin, Assad, and Kim Jong Un, with the caption “Dead Men Walking”. What this paper says – if the term ‘paper’ even applies – is the opinion of a large segment of the US population – and the west in general, led by the puppets of Europe.

After attacking Syria for a false flag Sarin gas attack on mainly women and children, pretending sending the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the shores of North Korea – and taking over from the Saudis, the most vicious war against helpless Yemen, killing thousands of civilians, women and children, soon exceeding Obama’s murders – and plunging this poverty struck country into further misery and famine – Trump has finally ascended to the level corporate America and their corrupt media requires a US president to command the world. Bravo!

Actually, with all the hoopla of the new warrior Trump, there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding his turn-around politics in Syria, and especially with the aircraft flotilla sailing towards North Korea. According to the NYT, the Navy released photographs of the Carl Vinson off the coast of Indonesia to take part in a joint Navy exercise with Australia, thousands of miles away from the Korean peninsula. Trump then corrected himself saying the vessel would arrive in North Korea by this weekend, whereas the Pentagon speculated it would reach its destination more likely towards the end of April. And a few days ago, the White House reported sending two more carriers and flotillas to North Korean waters? – What is actually going on in the waters off the Korean peninsula?

Not least, as Trump’s heroic bravura, he inaugurated the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) – the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb, by dropping it – an 11,000-ton bomb equivalent of TNT – on Afghanistan’s villages – killing dozens of innocent people. Even within his first 100 days in office, Trump has joined the club of murderers, assassins and war criminals of his predecessors. Just to see whether MOAB behaves as expected, busting bunkers and other underground structures, causing earthquake like explosions up to 200 m below the surface, capable of destroying nuclear reactors. Its reported to be the most devastating bomb, other than a nuclear bomb. It is the most vicious and devastating test since the nuclear Hiroshima blast.

The MOAB is mainly intended for nuclear reactors. The thought goes to North Korea, and Iran. Afghanistan, already a wasteland, complements of the horrid west, was not chosen by accident for the test. Afghanistan, in addition to the country of transit still planned for the infamous and highly disputed TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) pipeline, also possesses uncountable riches of rare earths and minerals – worth billions and especially needed for the ever-growing war industrial complex – which already today uses up more than half of the extractive industry’s output, worldwide.

Imagine – first devastation of mother earth by plundering her unrenewable resources; then doubling up with destruction and merciless killing and maiming of countries, cities, cultures and entire populations. All for dominance, power and – greed. And Trump goes along with all of that – at least for now, as he needs the support of the Neocons to survive.

Yes, Trump, after just 100 days in office has proven that he is up to the task that his masters have carved out for him. He had a choice of sticking to his campaign promises of seeking peace not war, of not interfering in other countries’ businesses – and risking being impeached or even killed – there are precedents of neutralizing inconvenient politicians, including in the history of the United States, as we know – by the deep establishment. Well, The Donald chose to live and bask in the sun of his success. Who wants to blame him?  But turning from an eccentric billionaire to an outright mass murderer, makes him a first-degree assassin. If there was an independent Nuremberg style court on this globe, their fate would be sealed.

Justice in our western world is nothing but a pipedream. And unless, We, the People, stop believing in the fakeness of the UN System, of international institutions, including the International Court of Justice – once designed as balancing organisms, as peace and justice seeking institutions – we are actually contributing to the fraud played out in front of our eyes.

Now let’s face it. Would Washington and its masters be stupid enough to risk a nuclear war over North Korea, or Syria for that matter? – I doubt it. Not even Trump would be stupid enough to risk destroying the world as we know it, with no known outcomes, other than probable and likely total or close to total destruction. That’s not good business. That’s not good for profits. On the other hand, keeping wars and conflicts as vicious and chaotic as possible and as long as possible, that’s good business, bringing high profits for the war industry and its sub-contractor, the extractive industry.

Mr. Trump, you are a businessman. Your sable-rattling scares people. Scared people do not invest. But you know such things. Do you? – So, you can’t really believe that you will scare Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping onto their knees? – They are much stronger than you, intellectually, spiritually and even compared to your war-mongering armada displayed around the globe. And you and your masters know it. But you hope more deception-propaganda may help postpone your faltering empire’s demise.

Talking to Americans of all walks, talks and beliefs – the Inquirer, mentioned above, may at least partially reflect the opinion of a large a segment of people. Though, one thing is crystal clear and unites pretty much all US citizens I talked to – whether they voted for The Donald or not – none of them wants war. They are all scared of another war; they want peace, work and a livelihood that allows them to feed their families.

President Trump take note. They elected you. Most of them are sick and tired seeing their tax dollars being spent on wars and endless conflicts around the globe – while at home they are suffering unemployment at rates way above the official labor statistics – around 22% – and decapitation of social services at rates similar to those of Spain and Greece. They all may like the MSM hammered and brainwashed slogan of “America First” and “Making America Great Again” – but they do not see the connection to wars. None of those that I talked to think that the Inquirer’s ‘dictators’ – Messrs. Assad, Kim Jong Un and Putin are a threat to US national security.

President Trump wake up! Your co-citizens are waking up. They want an America of Peace, not of bombs and blood. They want the America your promised them – of friendly relations with other nations, including Russia, of non-interference in foreign lands, of a reduction of the more than 1,000 US military bases around the globe – and they want you to bring back outsourced jobs to their Homeland. They want a strong America, as in a solid economy, not one based on wars and destruction.

Posted in USAComments Off on Trump’s U-Turn, “From Coward to Hero”: Afghanistan, Syria, North Korea and Yemen are the Answer

IMF Meeting Signals Descent into Global Trade War

In another step toward world-wide trade war, the International Monetary Fund over the weekend became the second major global economic organisation to back away from a commitment to “resist all forms of protectionism.”

In the wake of the decision at last month’s meeting of the G20 finance ministers to drop the phrase from its communiqué, the IMF adopted the same course at its spring meeting in Washington. In both cases, the “free trade” commitment was removed as a result of pressure from the Trump administration, in line with the White House’s “America First” agenda.

The statement issued by the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) said it sought to “promote a level playing field in international trade,” dropping the previous wording.

The current chair of the committee, Agustin Carstens, the governor of the Bank of Mexico, sought to cover over the significance of the decision by suggesting that the previous wording had been removed because “the use of the word protectionism is very ambiguous.”

In reality, the omission of any disavowal of protectionism is an unmistakable expression of mounting trade tensions, fueled above all by the Trump administration.

These conflicts could not be completely suppressed at the meeting. In his statement to the IMFC, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said

Germany “commits to keep the global economy open, resist protectionism and keep global economic and financial cooperation on track.”

This statement stood in stark contrast to the remarks of US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said the US would

“promote an expansion of trade with those partners committed to market-based competition, while more rigorously defending ourselves against unfair trade practices.”

He directed his comment in particular against the two major countries, China and Germany, that have the largest trade surpluses with the US. Washington insists that the Chinese economy is not market-based, while members of the Trump administration have asserted that Germany enjoys unfair advantages because the value of the euro is lower than where its former currency, the deutschmark, would have been.

While not directly naming Germany, which recorded a record trade surplus last year, Mnuchin said that

“countries with large external surpluses and sound public finances have a particular responsibility for contributing to a more robust global economy.”

The decision of the IMF to bow to US pressure came just days after the Trump administration announced a major initiative aimed at imposing sweeping restrictions on steel imports, which, if carried through, will have far-reaching implications for the global market in this basic commodity.

Under a little-used law dating from 1962, Trump signed an executive order to launch an investigation into the impact of steel imports on US national security. Describing the decision as a “historic day for America,” he declared that steel was “critical to both our economy and military,” and that this was not “an area where we can afford to become dependent on foreign countries.”

The invocation of “national security” has clear connections to the militarist drive of the administration. But the use of this legislation is also part of a broader strategy on protectionism laid out by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, the head of Trump’s National Trade Council, in a submission to Congress earlier this year.

It is based on using previous US legislation to circumvent international trade laws enforced by the World Trade Organization, enabling the United States to impose protectionist measures with impunity. Significantly, in their paper, Ross and Navarro invoked the infamous Smoot-Hawley Act of 1930, widely credited with being responsible for the trade conflicts of the 1930s that contributed to the outbreak of World War II.

Commenting on the latest Trump move to the Financial Times, Chad Brown, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and a former economic adviser to President Obama, said that citing “national security” to justify restrictions on steel imports amounted to carrying out the “nuclear option” on trade.

“This is one more piece of evidence in the worrisome trend that Trump seems to be turning over every rock and investigating each tool available under US law to stop trade,” he said.

In recent years, the US has launched 152 anti-steel dumping cases and has another 25 in the pipeline. But the latest move represents a major escalation. According to Commerce Secretary Ross, the present system is too “porous” and allows only for narrow complaints against particular countries, which can be easily skirted.

The new measures are intended to bring about a “more comprehensive solution with a very wide range of steel products and a very wide range of countries,” which could “conceivably result in a recommendation to take action on all steel imports.”

This would cause chaos in international markets, as steel exporters sought to shift their output to other markets, leading to accusations of dumping, the imposition of tariffs and other restrictions—in short, a full-scale trade war.

There are two essential driving forces behind the actions of the American government:

First, the ongoing economic decline of the US, which it now seeks to overcome by political and military means—a process that has accelerated in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent decline in world economic growth and contraction of world markets.

Second, the striving by the Trump administration to deflect rising social tensions caused by low wages and growing economic hardship, and channel them along reactionary economic nationalist lines. In this, Trump has the full support of the trade union bureaucracy, with key union leaders standing beside him as he signed his executive order on steel. It is also backed by the economic nationalists of the Democratic Party, whose most prominent representative is the self-styled “socialist” Bernie Sanders.

Image result for imf descent global trade warThe inherent, objective logic of these processes is economic and military war, to which the capitalist politicians can offer no progressive alternative, as the impotence displayed by the IMF in the face of what it recognises as a great danger once again underscored. This is because the growth of economic nationalism and protectionism is rooted in the very foundations of the socio-economic system based on private profit and the division of the world into rival nation-states.

One hundred years ago, the world was embroiled in the carnage of World War I. It was not the “war to end all wars,” but only the start of a more than three-decade-long struggle to decide which of the imperialist powers would achieve global dominance. Eventually, after tens of millions of deaths and untold horrors, including the Holocaust and the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan, the US emerged as the preeminent global power.

Now the world is being brought face to face with the even more explosive consequences of America’s economic decline.

But this year also marks the centenary of the greatest event of the 20th century, the Russian Revolution, and the successful conquest of political power by the working class, led by the Lenin, Trotsky and the Bolshevik Party on the basis of the program of world socialist revolution. That must be the perspective that animates the international working class in the struggles it now directly confronts.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on IMF Meeting Signals Descent into Global Trade War

Derailing the Idlib Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Initiative


Derailing the Idlib Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Initiative: OPCW Blocks On-site Probe, Western Powers Now Aiming to Oust Assad

The attempt by Western countries to derail Russia’s fact-finding initiative in Syria to examine the site of the chemical incident in Idlib province exposes their aim to topple the Syrian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“I believe that it’s a very serious situation, because now it’s obvious that false information about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is being used to move away from implementing Resolution 2254, which stipulates a political settlement with the participation of all the Syrian parties, and aims to switch to the long-cherished idea of regime change,” Lavrov said, speaking at a press conference with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Astana.

UNSC Resolution 2254 calls for an inclusive government in Syria and a peace process that would involve a new constitution and free and fair elections.

According to the minister, the decision displayed “complete incompetence on the part of his Western colleagues, who, in fact, are “prohibiting the OPCW from sending their experts to the site of the incident, as well as to the airfield from where aircraft loaded with chemical weapons allegedly flew out.”

“Yesterday [April 20], our proposal that experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons [OPCW] visit the sites of the suspected chemical attack in Syria was blocked by Western delegations without any explanations,” Lavrov said.

In the meantime, the UK and France claim their experts have received samples from the site of the incident, Lavrov added.

“London, Paris, and the OPCW have given no answers to our questions as to where they took these samples, who took them, or when they were delivered,” Lavrov stated.

“I think we are very close to this organization [OPCW] being discredited,” Lavrov added.

On Thursday, the OPCW’s executive council overwhelmingly rejected a proposal from Russia and Iran for a new investigation into the Idlib chemical incident.

The proposal had been amended to agree to Western demands that the investigation into the alleged attack be carried out by the existing OPCW fact-finding mission, but was defeated nonetheless.

The draft proposal seen by AFP called on the OPCW

“to establish whether chemical weapons were used in Khan Sheikhoun and how they were delivered to the site of the reported incident.”

Both OPCW fact-checking missions tasked with looking into the Idlib incident are being headed by UK citizens, which Lavrov called “a very strange coincidence” that “runs contrary to the principles of an international organization.”

Earlier in April, an incident in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun reportedly killed as many as 100 people and injured several hundred. The US has squarely laid the blame on Damascus, claiming that it hid chemical weapons stockpiles from the OPCW after pledging to hand them over in 2013.

Moscow, however, said a thorough investigation, including an on-site inspection in rebel-held territory, should be carried out before jumping to any conclusions. Russia has cautioned that the incident may have been a false flag operation meant to provoke a US attack against Syrian government forces.

Posted in SyriaComments Off on Derailing the Idlib Chemical Weapons Fact Finding Initiative

No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family to Women’s Rights Commission


No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Arabia to Women’s Rights Commission, For 2018-2022 Term


The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime,” to a 2018-2022 term on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”

“Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd.”

“Every Saudi woman,” said Neuer, “must have a male guardian who makes all critical decisions on her behalf, controlling a woman’s life from her birth until death. Saudi Arabia also bans women from driving cars.”

“I wish I could find the words to express how I feel right know. I’m ‘saudi’ and this feels like betrayal,” tweeted a self-described Saudi woman pursuing a doctorate in international human rights law in Australia.

Yet the fundamentalist monarchy is now one of 45 countries that, according to the U.N., will play an instrumental role in “promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.”


Saudi Arabia was elected by a secret ballot last week of the U.N.’s 54-nation Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Usually ECOSOC rubber-stamps nominations arranged behind closed doors by regional groups, however this time the U.S. forced an election, to China’s chagrin.

Saudi Arabia was also recently re-elected to the U.N. Human Rights Council where it enjoys the right to vote on, influence and oversee numerous mechanisms, resolutions and initiatives affecting the rights of women worldwide, including:

The latest ECOSOC vote is reported in a U.N. press release:

Commission on the Status of WomenThe Council elected by secret ballot 13 members to four-year terms, beginning at the first meeting of the Commission’s sixty-third session in 2018 and expiring at the close of the sixty-sixth session in 2022:  Algeria, Comoros, Congo, Ghana and Kenya (African States); Iraq, Japan, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan (Asia-Pacific States); and Ecuador, Haiti and Nicaragua (Latin American and Caribbean States).

The only good news: thanks to the U.S. calling a vote — breaking with the Obama Administration policy which in 2014 allowed Iran to be elected by acclamation — Saudi Arabia was not elected by acclamation, but instead received the least votes of any other country: 47 out of 54 votes cast, even though there was no competition given that there was an equal amount of competitors for available seats.

Here were the results of the elections, with all 54 ECOSOC members voting:

African States
Algeria: 54
Comoros: 53
Congo: 53
Ghana: 53
Kenya: 53

Asian & Pacific States
Iraq: 54
Japan: 53
Republic of Korea: 54
Saudi Arabia: 47
Turkmenistan: 53

Latin American States
Ecuador: 54
Haiti: 54
Nicaragua: 52


It was a secret ballot, but the math tells us that at least 15 of the following democratic member states of the U.N. Economic and Social Council voted to elect Saudi Arabia to the U.N.’s women’s rights commission:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Norway
  • Republic of Korea
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • UK
  • USA


WARNING: Graphic and Disturbing


In this graphic video taken in Saudi Arabia near the city of Mecca, a woman is punished for having committed what her husband alleges is the murder of his 7-year-old daughter.


Posted in Saudi Arabia, UNComments Off on No Joke: U.N. Elects Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family to Women’s Rights Commission

France Elections: Macron Next President? Financial Elitism and Far-Right Advance to Runoff


Former Rothschild & Cie Banque investment banker; Hollande’s economy, industry and digital affairs minister Emmanuel Macron is strongly favored to become France’s next president.

A self-styled centrist, an elitist establishment favorite, he ran as an En Marche! (forward) candidate, the party he formed in April 2016 – favoring continuity, not responsible change.

His pledge to address high unemployment and social injustice, improve relations between French youths and police, stress education, promote gender equality socially and politically, among other domestic issues he discussed are promises made to be ignored if elected.

Internationally, he said

“Europe is at the heart of our project. Our responsibility…is to be able to rebuild the European dream” – unattainable for ordinary people under Brussels control, French sovereignty abandoned.

An Opinionway poll published last week showed him defeating Le Pen with a 63% majority – strengthened by his Sunday victory.

Preliminary results had him winning 23.75% of the vote to Le Pen’s 21.5%, a disappointing result for her despite moving on to May 7’s runoff.

A previous article discussed her far-right platform, including France leaving the EU and NATO – opposed by Macron.

As a Hollande Socialist Party minister, he supported its neoliberal and belligerent agenda, policies similar to how America, Britain, Germany and most other European countries are governed.

His anti-establishment-sounding pledge “to serve the public interest” resembled Trump’s rhetoric and other US politicians – a platform to get elected, then abandoned if successful.

Earlier he said France needs a more “balanced” policy toward Syria, including talks with Assad. In April, he proposed military intervention to oust him.

He’s pro-business, pro-banking monied interests, pro-Israel, anti-BDS, and hostile to Palestinian interests.

In June 2015, he and his then-German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel (currently Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice Chancellor) published a platform, advocating continued European integration.

For the first time since Charles de Gaulle established France’s Fifth Republic in 1958, no major center-right or center-left candidates qualified for runoff voting.

Macron’s likely May 7 triumph will assure French political continuity – dirty business as usual again winning, ordinary people losing, along with a lost chance for France to regain its sovereignty.

Posted in FranceComments Off on France Elections: Macron Next President? Financial Elitism and Far-Right Advance to Runoff

Neoliberal Globalization: In the Shadow of Social Democracy, Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives

We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups – sometimes lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat – struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class – once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently chaotic sees of everyday life – have turned into subjects of theoretical debate with little to no connection to political praxis.

Vacated by the left, a new right adopted the language of class to appeal to those who were steamrolled and marginalized by economic globalization. Many of the policies advanced by the new right could have been taken out of social democratic programs of old but are now loaded with claims to racial and national superiority. Some on the left, and pretty much everybody in the political centre, takes the new right ideology at face value and concludes that working class politics, even if originally meant as harbinger of universal human liberation, invariably lead to nationalism and racism. Such reasoning ignores that much of the discontent on which the new right thrives is produced by neoliberal globalization, the very project that appropriates left aspirations of human liberation in the pursuit of profit.

It also ignores the fact that most of the support for the new right does not come from people with low incomes and little educational attainment but from the middle-brackets of Western societies. People at the low-end rather opt out of casting their votes. The franchise for which socialists fought so hard at various points in history is increasingly abandoned by the have-nots whose ancestors still thought the sheer number of their votes might counterbalance the power of concentrated capital.

Dormant: Class Politics from Below

That class politics is dead, or at least dormant, doesn’t mean there are no political and social conflicts. In fact, there are a lot and most of them are fought out in the shadow of social democracy. The demands put forward by political upstarts like Podemos in Spain and Syriza in Greece, who grew out of the post-class politics of occupied public spaces, would have been considered as social democratic mainstream back in the 1970s. The same is true for Jean-Luc Mélenchon‘s presidential campaign in France or Jeremy Corbyns efforts to put social democratic content back into the British Labour Party. And it is also true for a whole number of left-wing parties all over Western Europe. Some, like the Swedish Left Party, have roots in Soviet Communism, the Dutch Socialist Party comes out of the Maoist movement, and Ireland’s Sinn Fein out of the struggle for national independence. Back in the 1970s, all of these organizations were more or less critical of social democracy but began filling the vacuum left when social democratic parties, spearheaded by New Labour’s Tony Blair, began deserting the political space they had occupied throughout the post-WWII-era. To the Blairites and others in the political centre, a continued commitment to social reforms and the welfare state, not to speak of further reaching goals of socialist transformation, is not only a step toward the convergence with the populism coming from the new right. It is also seen as an expression of nostalgia unable to come to terms with the new realities of global capitalism.

This nostalgia charge contains a kernel of truth but misses the point. Widespread nostalgia has nothing to do with anyone’s inability to understand the harsh realities of global capitalism. It has anything to do with growing numbers of people resenting these realities and looking for alternatives. Ironically enough, social democratic parties abandoned their commitment to social reform and welfare state expansion at some time during the 1990s when the neoliberal promise of a rising tide that would eventually lift all boats began to ring hollow. With more and more people finding out that they were at the losing end of neoliberal globalization the welfare state regained popularity, which – under conditions of near full employment up until the 1970s – had been challenged by women, ethnic minorities and youth who resented their exclusion from welfare state provisions as much as the bureaucratic ways such provisions were delivered.

Yet, with the collective bargaining power of unions receding in the face of automation, relocations and the reorganization of firms and labour processes, inequality and insecurity began to rise. Under these conditions welfare states, despite cuts and even stricter bureaucratic control, became more important to increasing numbers of people who could have done without many of the welfare state’s provisions in the good old days of high employment and rising real wages. Memories of those days, even if they appear rosier in hindsight than they were experienced at the time, seem to be an inspiration for current struggles against further welfare state retrenchment. They can also contribute to the imagination of a better future.

Forward and Backward Looking Memories

Three Worlds of Social Democracy by Ingo Schmidt

In fact, ‘forward-looking memories’ did play key roles in the making of socialist movements in the past. The moral economy shaped by pre-capitalist agriculture and artisan production turned into a guide to struggle against the factory regime under which the first generations of wageworkers had to toil. Later, the traditions of craftsmanship inspired workers fighting against the degradation of work under the guise of scientific management and developed visions of workers’ councils and self-management out of these traditions. There is no reason that memories of more generous welfare states couldn’t inspire visions of a future beyond ever tighter budget constraints and bureaucratic control under which welfare states suffer at the present time. Unlike the memories of pre-capitalist times and craftsmanship, which motivated workers to build movements focused very much on the point of production, memories of the heyday of welfare state expansion open the focus to the much wider world of social reproduction. This could be a starting point of amalgamating movements organizing around specific issues – such as minimum wages, public healthcare, housing or education – into a more unified movement, which, in Marx’s and Engels’ words in the German Ideology, “abolishes the present state of things.”

Such a vision for the future doesn’t automatically develop out of memories of a better past. It needs to be actively created. This requires political interventions that allow people to see their past in a way that opens prospects for a better future. Without such prospects, ‘backward-looking memories’ can lead to a demoralizing and demobilizing yearning to restore an irredeemable past. The frustrated recognition of the impossibility to restore the past may then open the door to right-wing praise of the glorious past of the chosen people. Falling for such praise inevitably leads to frustration as this ideological cover stands in stark contrast to the politics that new right formations pursue. Rather than offering alternatives to an unloved present, these formations aim at the further radicalization of neoliberalism. Avoiding a vicious cycle of right wing policies thriving on backward-looking memories, further radicalization of neoliberalism and frustration fueled by the outcomes of such radicalization requires not only the opening of future prospects for a better world. It also requires an understanding why better conditions that existed in the past ceased to exist. In this particular case, this means an understanding of social democracy and the welfare state project it pursued, whether in office or in opposition, in the post-WWII-era.

Limits to Social Democracy

Blueprints for an organized capitalism in which the spoils of rising productivity would be shared between labour and capital were floating around socialist circles for quite some time. They only came to fruition during the Cold War. The overarching goal of containing Soviet Communism prompted capitalists’ willingness to strike a deal with social democracy. On the basis of unprecedented and, after the experiences of the Great Depression, unexpected prosperity such a deal could be reached without cutting into company profits. Social democratic theoreticians attributed the prosperity to the virtues of Keynesian demand management that stabilized the accumulation process and therefore reduced the risk of large-scale investments. This Keynesian story is true but incomplete. It misses the role played by the unequal exchange between cheap resource imports from and relatively more expensive industrial exports to the South. And it misses the role played by unpaid household labour and the super-exploitation of groups of workers, often immigrants, who were excluded from the deal between capital and organized labour. The convergence of struggles of these excluded groups, militancy of unionized workers and anti-imperialist movements in the South represented a formidable threat to profit rates from the late-1960s onwards. In the mid-1970s this threat coincided with a crisis of overproduction, on its part induced by a long boom of investment in production capacity and the rise of new industrial economies in Asia.

At that point, capitalists decided to turn from welfare state compromise to neoliberal class struggle from above. This included a global restructuring of production and distribution processes that ultimately destroyed the social basis for the various but largely unconnected movements that had challenged capitalist rule in previous years. During the Keynesian era, capitalists had more or less grudgingly accepted social reform as a means to contain the real or just assumed threat of communism. When that acceptance turned into a threat to profits and capitalist rule in its own right, they built a global economy in which the quest for social reform pushes capitalism to the verge of revolution. At this time, social movements – remnants of old workers’ movements and the new social movements of the 1970s but also movements dating back to the alter-globalization movement of the 1990s and more recent anti-austerity movements – are far from posing a revolutionary threat. At best, they slow the continuation of neoliberal restructuring down and articulate alternatives to the new right. Experiences made in these struggles might contribute to the remaking of working class politics that could effectively challenge capitalist power in the future.

Posted in PoliticsComments Off on Neoliberal Globalization: In the Shadow of Social Democracy, Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives

America’s Imperial War Drive and the Contemporary African Crisis

From the Cameroon and Somalia to South Africa and Zimbabwe neo-colonialism remains a major impediment to genuine development and stability

Any reasonable observer of the United States ruling class discourse during April 2017 realizes that the imperialist war drive is still a dominant theme.

Many people were quite skeptical if not disbelieving of the campaign rhetoric of current President Donald J. Trump when he hinted at lessening tensions with the Russian Federation over the wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine. These decisions to embark upon a militarist approach to foreign policy is well entrenched in history.

After all the indigenous Native peoples were driven off their lands and systematic genocide remain the order of the day in light of the situation at Standing Rock as a stark example. Of course African people having been kidnapped into slavery and super-exploited for two-and-a-half centuries through involuntary servitude by the purportedly “enlightened and civilized” British, French, Spanish, Danish and Dutch ruling classes were essential in the transformation of the economic system of the West from feudalism and mercantilism into industrial capitalism and imperialism.Image result for atlantic slave trade

The Atlantic Slave Trade not only created the economic conditions for the rise of mass production utilizing steam technology, large-scale agricultural commodity exports and raw material extraction, it developed more effective means of generating surplus value through the advent of the mining outposts and plants where scientific manufacturing systems such as Taylorism and Fordism took capitalism to unprecedented levels of wealth generation. Although capitalism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries expanded the capacity to generate wealth, it only intensified the contradictions between labor and the owners of production.

It was the global triangular trading system of slave labor, agricultural commodification and export for profit which fueled the economic imperative of colonial imperialism. Slavery was abolished beginning in the early decades of the 19th century only to pave the way for a more effective process of exploitation. Even though workers in the colonies both foreign and domestic were considered emancipated in fact they were enslaved through their dependence on meager wages needed to maintain an existence after the destruction of more traditional forms of farming and small scale commodity production.

The colonial project in the British colonies of the northeast and southeast as mentioned above was based on genocide and enslavement. The contradictions between the ruling classes of Britain and what became known as the U.S. was resolved through the so-called Revolutionary War, which some historian now realize was in actuality a counter-revolution to preserve chattel slavery, and the War of 1812, which solidified the quest for American dominance over areas south of the Canadian border.

Contemporary Instances of Imperialist Destabilization Efforts in Africa: The Case of Cameroon

For the purpose of this discussion let us first look at the current situation in the West African state of Cameroon. This is a country that garners almost no news reporting in the U.S. due to what is perceived as a lack of strategic interests.

Nonetheless, over the last several months a mounting struggle across the country has paralyzed the ability of the public sector to function in an efficient manner. The Cameroon crisis is almost completely framed by corporate media reports as a conflict between the French and English speaking regions of the nation. Two provinces are dominated by those who speak English while the other eight are largely under the influence of French language and culture.

Image result for paul biyaTeachers and civil servants went out on strike late last year in the English speaking provinces due to policies initiated by the government of President Paul Biya, who has been in office now for 35 years. Lawyers and legal workers objected to the imposition of French speaking judges in their court systems which created an untenable situation.

Later teachers in the English speaking provinces complained of the inadequacy of educational materials mandated by the French-oriented regime. Moreover, teachers were not being paid for their work and these factors precipitated a general strike among both educators and legal workers.

The Biya government responded by imposing draconian measures such as the termination of internet services in an attempt to make it more difficult to organize resistance. Just recently the government announced that it is reinstating connectivity to these provinces in the western region of the country.

This labor unrest eventually spread to the French speaking areas as well. Teachers in the other provinces went out on strike saying that in many cases they have not received a paycheck in as much as five years. Many teachers who graduated college and were hired as educators had not been able to collect one dime for their services.

Despite the efforts of the government and business press to frame the conflict as purely a sectional one, stripping it of its class and anti-imperialist dimensions, this has not been wholly successful. One of the leading football stars of Cameroon, the champions of the Africa Cup, openly expressed solidarity with the people of the English speaking regions of the country.

Nevertheless, how did this situation develop? Africa was subjected to imperialist divisions during the late 19th century.

There is almost no appreciation or acknowledgement of the role of Germany under Otto von Bismarck in the imperialist partitioning of the continent. The fact of the matter is the Berlin Conference was held there due to the important role of Germany in the colonial project.

In a series of three articles published recently by this writer, I have outlined the role of Germany in its genocidal and exploitative role during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Africa. These articles dealt with the demand by the Herero people of Namibia, formerly known as South West Africa, for the payment of reparations stemming from the genocide against the Namibian people during 1904-1907. Tens of thousands of Africans were slaughtered, forcibly removed from their traditional lands, starved and worked death simply because they revolted against the imposition of German colonialism in the final years of the 1800s and the first decade of the 1900s.

Image result for german imperialism africaAlso the Germans were involved in East Africa through the colonization of the area now known as Tanzania, then Tanganyika, along with Rwanda and Burundi. In Tanzania, the Maji Maji Revolt of 1905-07 against German imperialism prompted another genocidal wave of violence resulting in untold numbers of deaths through brute force, dislocation and systematic starvation. The people of Tanzania are now demanding reparations from the government in Berlin which is seeking to enhance its trade and political relationships with independent African states.

Cameroon was as well a German colony during this same period. Atrocities were committed through forced labor initiatives utilized to build railroads and agricultural commodity production. Those Africans who refused to cooperate were tortured and killed in the thousands.

All of these historical developments occurred decades prior to the holocaust in Germany, Poland and Hungary of the 1930s and 1940s under the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler. Yet the consciousness of people in the West, and even within Africa itself, is almost nil in this regard.

During the course of World War I, Germany lost all of their colonies in Africa. The imposition of the Treaty of Versailles negotiated by President Woodrow Wilson and the victorious European imperialist powers in the aftermath of the First World War did not bring peace to the globe but set the stage for the rise of fascism and the advent of World War II.

However, there has been no recognition of the colonial history of Cameroon in evaluating the contemporary political impasse. It is important to evoke the anti-imperialist and revolutionary national liberation history of Cameroon.

In the aftermath of WWII, there was a wave of anti-imperialist fervorinternationally. Africa did not escape this phenomenon. The Union of the Peoples of Cameroon (UPC) sought immediate national independence during the 1950s. Having met vicious repression on the part of the French colonialists, they embarked upon an armed struggle. Consequently, the UPC was targeted for liquidation by Paris.

Two of the leading figures in the UPC, Ruben Um Nyobe and Felix Roland Moumie were assassinated. Nyobe was killed on the battlefield in 1958. Moumie was later poisoned in Switzerland by the French secret police in 1960. The political forces which became the official government after independence in the early 1960s were willing to compromise with imperialism. Although Cameroon was further divided through the independence process, officially it is not supposed to be a francophone state.

Consequently, it is important to look beyond the headlines in order to understand the post-colonial conflicts in Africa. As historical and dialectical materialists we must uncover the truth through an examination of the social forces motivating existing contradictions both within the society as well as external influences.

Trump Escalates Imperialist War in Somalia 

Image result for us strikes in somaliaLate last month, President Trump issued another executive order on Somalia. The essence of the initiative was to purportedly relax restrictions on carrying out aerial strikes against Al-Shabaab fighters who have been in a war with the U.S. and European Union (EU) supported government in Mogadishu.

Washington has a long history of military and intelligence interference in the internal affairs of Somalia. In the last decade, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has engaged in targeted assassinations, training programs for the reconstructed of the Somalian National Army and the embedding of U.S. personnel within local state structures.

These policy efforts are bolstered by the presence of flotillas of warships off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, one of the most lucrative shipping lanes in the world. The situation in Somalia manifested by the naval presence of the Pentagon and the EU in the Gulf of Aden is closely related to the imperialist war in Yemen, Syria and the entire region of West Asia.

The previous administrations of Presidents George W. Bush, Jr. and Barack Hussein Obama engaged in aggressive military and covert operations in Somalia. Since 2007, U.S. and British warplanes have staged bombing operations in various regions of the Horn of Africa state.

Therefore, the proclamation by Trump is merely a disingenuous approach to continuing the already existing war policy in the Horn of Africa. Additional Pentagon troops are being deployed to Somalia in a supposed bolstering of training operations in support of the recently-elected administration in Mogadishu.

In fact the role of the U.S. in Somalia over the last twenty five years has done more ensure that no real political settlement is achieved in the country. When any semblance of national unity and social stability is achieved it is immediately attacked by Washington. This holds true for successive Republican and Democratic administrations.

Somalia is an oil-rich nation where leading multi-national petroleum firms are engaging in drilling. Its natural resource wealth combined with the strategic waterways off the coast makes the nation an important focal point of imperialist intrigue on the African continent extending through the so-called Middle East.

Nevertheless, despite all of the natural wealth and imperialist funding of military operations, including the stationing of 22,000 African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) troops which are funded and trained by the imperialist states, the humanitarian situation in the country is worsening on a daily basis. Somalia has for nearly four decades suffered from periodic drought and famine. These problems have forced millions of its residents into neighboring states throughout Africa, the Middle East and even into Western Europe and North America.

The advent of colonialism scattered the Somalian people across five different geographic nation-states: British Somaliland, Italian Somaliland, French Somaliland, Kenya and imperial Ethiopia under the monarchy. The maintenance of the status-quo under neo-colonialism is the driving forces by the U.S. support of military intervention by neighboring states such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti.

Formerly French Somaliland, Djibouti, is now the largest base of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) on the continent. This geographically and populated small Horn of Africa state houses thousands of American and French troops at Camp Lemonier serving as an imperialist base for Pentagon and CIA operations across the region including Yemen.

With all of these resources flowing in from the West and its allies, why are the people in Somalia still under extreme duress? It is largely due to the real objectives of the imperialist states which are to ensure geo-strategic dominance and the exploitation of resources and labor.

In a report issued by the Inter-regional Information Network (IRIN) of the United Nations on March 28, it says:

“Six years after a famine killed a quarter of a million people in Somalia, the country is threatened with another. Famines only occur if political decision-makers allow them to; it is imperative that the right decisions are made now. But have we learnt enough from the mistakes of 2011? The context has changed since 2011. Somalia now has a functioning – if limited and fragile – state apparatus. Some of the areas worst affected by the last crisis have since received considerable resilience investment (although how far such programming has helped people prepare for or cope with the current crisis is not yet known).”Image result for famine in somalia

IRIN continues in this same article emphasizing:

“Food security, nutrition and health are rapidly deteriorating in affected areas of the Sool Plateau in the north of Somalia and in the ‘sorghum belt’ in the south. In late 2016, the deyr rains failed in the south and the earlier gu rains were well below average, bringing national grain yields to their lowest in a decade. Predictions for the coming gu season in the affected areas are not optimistic. Food prices are rising. The purchasing power of typical households has declined by 20 percent in some areas of the north and by as much as 60 percent in the hardest-hit areas in the south – repeating the dangerous pattern seen in early 2011. Large-scale livestock deaths are already occurring. The Shabelle River, which provides irrigation water and a livestock refuge in the south, ran dry at some locations in January and remains dangerously low.”

Such as profound contradiction of increasing U.S. military involvement and deteriorating social conditions are by no means an anomaly. This is the actual history of imperialism in Africa over the last six centuries.

Prior to the rise of the Atlantic Slave Trade and colonialism, the area now known as Somalia was very much a part of the world system extending from the Far East in Asia to the Indian Ocean basin. This trading network existed for at least a thousand years and was not disrupted until the rise of Portugal and Spain as the initiators of the triangular construct leading to involuntary servitude as an economic system.

In understanding this history it is quite conceivable that the system of imperialism can be overthrown and transcended. This basis for the establishment of an alternative economic method of organizing society, the relationships between states, and the priorities of production, has been set forth through socialist ideology.

This is the reason why imperialism declared war on socialism in its infancy following the Russian Revolution (1917) and the subsequent founding of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (1922) in 1922. Both the bourgeois liberal imperialists and their fascist counterparts longed for the destruction of the Soviet Union and the national liberation movements through the rise of the Third Reich, Mussolini’s Italy, Franco’s Spain and Japanese expansionism in Asia. The breaking of the might of the Nazi military apparatus at Stalingrad and other key battles in 1942-43 has never been fully recognized by the educational modules that have achieved dominance in the U.S.

Then of course the efforts by both Italy and Germany to reclaim their imperialist ambitions during World War II led to some of the fiercest battles of the period being waged in the North Africa regions of Egypt and Libya in 1942-43. Ethiopia’s invasion by Italian imperialist fascism in 1935, are far as Africa is concerned, represented the beginning of the Second World War.

Even with the defeat of Italy and Germany in 1944-45 solidifying the resultant dominance of England, France and the U.S. did not lead to the abolition of colonialism. A Cold War beginning in 1947 was not merely designed to reverse the advances of socialism and national liberation in Vietnam, Korea and China. The Cold War represented the imperatives of the West to maintain its colonial hegemony among the immense majority of humanity in the oppressed nations of Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition, the contradictions within the imperialist states themselves had reached unprecedented proportions prior to World War II. The Great Depression of the 1930s brought the capitalist system to the brink of collapse. Both the ruling classes of the U.S. and Britainwere forced through their desire for mere survival to adopt the Welfare State, incorporating elements of socialist “safeguards” toprotect the interests of the private ownership of capital and to ameliorate the antagonism of the nationally oppressed and the proletariat as a whole.

These dynamics on the part of imperialism are manifested in Africa through the crises in Somalia and throughout the continent in the present era. Drought and famine are spreading across the region at a rapid pace.

IRIN in this same above-mentioned report stressed:

“On the other hand, the current drought is more widespread than that of 2011. Global competition for humanitarian resources is fiercer. Parts of South Sudan have already been declared to be experiencing famine, and the situation there is likely to worsen substantially over the next four to five months, while Nigeria and Yemen also face the imminent threat of famine. Across the world, a record 70 million people are estimated to need emergency food aid in 2017. Yet there are fears some donors, notably the U.S., will significantly cut their aid budget this year, including for humanitarian assistance.”

The U.S.-based corporate and government-sponsored media never asks the simple question:

How is the renewed military build-up by the Pentagon in Somalia going to address the humanitarian crisis? Or what is the correlation between imperialist militarism and underdevelopment as represented by increasing poverty, dislocation, food deficits and political instability? Also what real impact does aid from the West actually have on the imperatives of self-reliance, self-determination, genuine independence and sovereignty and sustainable development?

We can only conclude based upon the actual history of Africa that what is described as “aid” is part and parcel of a reinforcement of the cycle of dependency stemming from centuries of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism. The only real solutions must derive from the struggle of the masses against Western domination which can only be effectively realized through Pan-Africanism and Socialism in practice.

The Destabilization of South Africa, Zimbabwe and the SADC Region

Finally we must look at recent events in the sub-continent to get an even clearer insight into the African situation. The Republic of South Africa is the most industrialized state on the continent due in large part to the international division of economic power and labor.

During the 19th century, the struggle for the imperialist control of South Africa and the Southern Africa region intensified through the quest for control of its treasure trove of natural resources and arable land. The mining of gold and diamonds in South Africa and Zimbabwe thrusts these countries into the forefront of imperialist exploitation worldwide.

The complete rationalization of capitalist exploitation through the apartheid system after 1948 was by no means an aberration. This social pattern had been based on developments in the U.S. where the indigenous people were forced off of the most arable and mineral rich lands to make way for the settler-colonialists. Super-exploitation of the labor of Africans generated profits so enormous that the return on investments was unprecedented in comparison to any other period in world economic history.

A protracted struggle for national independence accelerated in the aftermath of World War II with the Rand Miners’ Strike, the development of the African National Congress Youth League Program of Action, the Defiance Campaign Against Unjust Laws, the creation of a Federation of South African Women, the advent of the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), the Congress of Democrats, etc.

By the period between 1976 and 1994, less than two decades, the African masses and their allies were able to force the racist apartheid National Party from power. The African National Congress, which had been labelled as communist and terrorist were able to construct a government that remains in power after 23 years.

In response to the national liberation movement in South Africa, occurring in conjunction with the overall African revolutionary struggle across the continent and the broader international community, the owners of capital sought to undermine the capacity of the ANC to effectively govern the post-apartheid state. Large scale disinvestment after the advent of the national democratic government was far more significant in real terms than the divestment movement which sprung up from the 1960s through the early 1990s, targeting the settler-colonial system itself and its enablers in the imperialist countries, mainly the transnational corporations and financial institutions based in the West.

Even today a major controversy has developed over the economic trajectory of ANC government policy. Since the world recession of 2008 and beyond, the South African people have loss millions of jobs inside the country. This is due to the shrinking of manufacturing and monetary markets increasing the cost of conducting commerce and prompting the closure of plants, mines and its concomitant impact.

These developments were compounded with the reaction of capital to the demands of the working class for a greater share of the profits accrued from the exploitation of strategic minerals, commodities and manufacturing production. The legacy of radical trade unionism is South Africa has roots which extend back for the greater portion of the 20th century to the present. Without the essential role of the South African working class, the overthrow of the apartheid system could have never been achieved within the existing historical framework.

The formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in 1985 placed tremendous pressure on the already beleaguered settler-colonial state and internal capitalist system which was dependent upon the investments from Wall Street, Washington and London. An organized working class union with a strong alliance with the national liberation movement and the South African Communist Party (SACP) signaled the potential for a genuine socialist construction after the demise of white minority-rule.

Since 1994, the Tripartite Alliance has been flexible and even conciliatory in its approach to the immediate need of preserving foreign capital inside South Africa. Yet this approach has not been met with reciprocity by the ruling class. Not only have the mine owners and other capitalists retrenched production facilities and markets as well as laying off many workers over the last several years, they have systematically resisted any mentioned within the public discourse of the necessity of wealth redistribution as a prerequisite for the realization of a people’s democracy.

The opposition parties which have sprung up to challenge the ANC on an electoral level are largely bankrolled by the capitalist class. The Democratic Alliance (DA) advocates policies of greater neo-liberalism which have not worked effectively anywhere in Africa or throughout the world. Another party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is led by Julius Malema who was expelled from the ANC several years ago. Although the EFF takes an ultra-left position in its rhetoric, objectively it has blocked with the DA which is in actuality a party of the white settler-class despite the Black figureheads who are ostensibly in charge of the organization.

A recent illustration of the role of international finance capital and its efforts to strangle the South African National Democratic Revolution was the revelations regarding the currency fixing carried out by some of the leading banks inside the country. This scandal is strikingly similar to the London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) matter which gained considerable media coverage in years past. LIBOR was utilized to exploit working people utilizing insider information and informal negotiations to maximize the profits of these firms at the expense of the most vulnerable within capitalist society.

A report published by this writer in March says:

“In South Africa, it was revealed by an anti-trust agency that during the period where residents were negatively impacted by the uncertainty in the economy fueled in part by the fluctuating value of the rand, banks were profiting from these problems. These multi-national firms represent some of the largest of such entities in South Africa and the world. The South African Competition Commission cited the following companies in relationship to the currency fixing matter: Citigroup, Nomura, Standard Bank, Investec, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse Group, Commerzbank AG, Standard New York Securities Inc., Macquarie Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), ANZ Banking Group Ltd, Standard Chartered Plc and Barclays Africa (Absa), part of the Barclays Plc. Investec and Barclays agreed to participate in the probe. Nonetheless, Standard Bank, BAML, Nomura, Credit Suisse, ANZ and Standard Chartered have not gone on record as to whether they will cooperate in the inquiry.” (Global Research, March 16)

This same report goes on to stress that:

“These developments in South Africa and internationally illustrates that the economic system of capitalism is controlled by an ever shrinking group of financial interests who operate as a matter of policy in contravention to the majority of people not only within the western industrialized states notwithstanding throughout the world. As the African Union member-states face escalating economic difficulties a re-emergent debt crisis in looming. This burgeoning phenomenon of declining currency values and lack of credit availability portends much for the ability to strengthen both state and non-state structures in Africa. Escalating rates of poverty and lack of national and regional economic capacity will inevitably foster even greater dependency on the West and its transnational institutions.”

This is why the lessons of Zimbabwe and its land reclamation process are important. After two decades of independence from settler-colonialism, in 2000, the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) government initiated a constitutionally engineered policy of seizing and redistributing millions of acres of land which rightfully belonged to the African people. The land was illegally confiscated by Cecil Rhodes and his class of settler-colonialists. In order to carry out this process it was necessary to politically enslave the masses through a colonial system of military and economic domination.  Sanctions were enacted against Zimbabwe not only by the former colonial power of Britain but also their erstwhile imperialist allies in Washington and Brussels. Zimbabwe is yet to recover from this economic war against social transformation yet the farmers are able to exercise a greater degree of self-determination and economic independence through land ownership. Studies conducted by the Institute for Development Studies in Britain confirm the positive impact of land reform which is sorely needed in South Africa and Namibia as well.

A recent summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) endorsed a regional industrialization program aimed at fostering such self-reliance and internal-centered development policy. Nonetheless, it will be a challenge in pushing forward with this process because it goes right up against the desire on the part of the former colonial and current neo-colonial powers which actively work against genuine independence and sovereignty.

Conclusion: The Need for an Anti-Imperialist Viewpoint

These examples of events on the continent bring attention to the cause of anti-imperialism in the U.S. We must be in complete solidarity with all anti-capitalist, socially progressive and socialist-oriented policy initiatives taking place in Africa.

The African states have an inherent right to shape their own governmental and societal structures free of imperialist influence. It is quite obvious that six centuries of slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism and imperialism has failed to bring real development to the people. Therefore, the importance of social transformation should be a priority of all modern-day anti-imperialist and solidarity forces in North America.

Note: This address was delivered at the Detroit branch of Workers World Party public forum held on Sat. April 22, 2017. The event examined various anti-imperialist struggles taking placed around the world from the Middle East and Africa to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Venezuela. Other speakers included the event chairperson Kayla Pauli of Workers World Party, Randi Nord of Workers World Party, Joe Mchahwar of WWP youth section, Tom Michalak of WWP read a paper prepared by Jim Carey of Geo-politics Alert and WWP, Yvonne Jones of the Detroit Active and Retired Employees Association (DAREA), and Martha Grevatt of the UAW Local 869, who is also a contributing editor for Workers World newspaper.

Posted in USA, AfricaComments Off on America’s Imperial War Drive and the Contemporary African Crisis

Africa in the 21st century: Legacy of imperialism and development prospects

Getty Images
Jon V. Kofas
Some arguments made today on why Africa cannot catch up with the West were also made 100 years ago when Africa was under European colonization, with the colonizers blaming everything but imperialism as the root cause of underdevelopment. The world economic structure has not changed, no matter the rhetoric of globalization. Africa remains semi-colonial: increasingly dependent on developed countries for overvalued manufactured goods while exporting raw materials at prices determined by commodity markets in the West.
This essay argues that Africa is undergoing changes in its economies in the 21st century, not only because of the role that China is playing but owing to intense competition from other Western countries and the Middle East. China’s role is within the capitalist world economy and within the patron-client model of integration that the Europeans followed after African countries achieved their formal independence from colonization. During the second half of the 20th century, northwest Europe remained the conduit for African integration into the US-centered global economy, despite the role of US-based multinational corporations. According to Pew Research Center polls of African nations, the issue concerning the vast majority of the people remains the gap between the rich and poor. This is directly related to the international competition for market share in Africa as well as the security issue intertwined with local rebels groups and what the US labels Islamic-inspired “terrorism”, or another form of guerrilla warfare. This essay examines many of these issues for a deep understanding of Africa today and its future prospects.
Part I: Structural obstacles to development and social justice
Decades after the decolonization of Africa and after Frantz Fanon (Wretched of the Earth) depicted the social, economic, political and cultural problems associated with the legacy of colonialism there has been no structural change in the political economy of the 54 African nation-states any more than in ending endemic poverty as the UN and other organizations have been promising for decades or closing the rich-poor gap. It is misleading and a remnant of imperialist political labeling to lump all African countries under one category, just as it is misleading to place all of Latin American countries in a single category, although they do have common characteristics and a common legacy of colonialism and the current reality of foreign control of resources and market share.
There is a huge difference between South Africa now part of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) economy, and Somalia ranking as one of the world’s poorest nations with political instability and dim prospects for economic growth. It is just as difficult to make comparisons between Islamic North Africa with sub-Sahara Africa, despite political instability that is a common characteristic in most as the continuation of foreign economic dependence after the end of colonial rule. With this caveat in mind, for purposes of this very short essay I will address some common features and note differences as well in development models.
Apologists of capitalism argue that Africa’s current problems are strictly cyclical because the prices of metals, oil and other commodities, especially coffee and cocoa, have been declining amid a deflationary international climate. While it is true that the slowdown in commodities demand in China has obviously impacted Africa, the majority of the people were not better off when prices were rising. Regardless of capitalism’s expansion and contraction cycles, from the 1950s to the present, living standards for the African people have not improved, no matter the lofty claims from Western governments, NGOs and other organizations about helping Africa become self-sufficient.
In the second half of the 20th century, Africa’s division of labor and national institutions – everything from military to banking and foreign trade – was largely determined by the core countries – US and northwest Europe – with the considerable assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and its affiliates, African Development Bank and a number of United Nations agencies, and of course, the explosion of NGOs some of which are fully funded by governments trying to peddle political and economic influence. In short, the external mechanisms of Africa’s dependence became stronger and more solidified in the last six decades than they were during the era of colonial rule.
In fact, there has been a downward trend in living standards for the vast majority of Africans from 1990 to 2015, despite the remarkable uptrend cycle in commodity prices and massive new investment from China. This is evident by examining all indicators from life expectancy to access to clean water and sanitation. There are those who point to periodic drought primarily in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia; local wars and rebel conflicts in the drought-stricken countries as well as others especially where Muslims have influence such as Sudan, Nigeria, and Libya.
Besides endemic poverty that creates fertile grounds for Islamic or community inspired rebel movements throughout many parts of the continent, the population explosion, corrupt politicians, contraband and informal economy, absence of infrastructural development, and modern technology to help the continent achieve capitalist development comparable to that of the West are obstacles to progress. It is noteworthy that some of the arguments made today on why Africa cannot catch up with its Western counterparts were also made one hundred years ago when Africa was under European colonization, with the colonizers blaming everything but imperialism as the root cause of underdevelopment.
One cause for the systemic underdevelopment of Africa has been and remains that more capital flows out than comes in, invariably foreign loans having the role as catalysts to the process of de-capitalization. The cycle of public foreign debt and de-capitalization continues across the continent under the watchful eye of the International Monetary Fund and foreign financial institutions that represent big banks in the US and Europe and large corporate interests.
It is, indeed, a monumental step forward that Africans have served as heads of the United Nations and in key positions of international organizations. From a symbolic perspective, it was great to see Kofi Annan as the UN secretary-general, but was Africa better off when he left the UN than when he came in; or was there any structural change in the political economy of the entire continent from Egypt to South Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya? Inordinate dependence on the foreign–dominated and outward-oriented primary sector of production owing to failure to diversify the economy remains the major obstacle to raising living standards.
Many observers of the African political economy argue that there have been success stories, among them South Africa freeing itself from white minority political rule though keeping white minority economic hegemony. With the exception of Israel and rightwing elements in the US, the entire world celebrated the end of South Africa’s apartheid a generation ago. Nelson Mandela became a symbol of freedom and self-determination for Africans. However, high unemployment, low living standards among blacks, lack of upward mobility, and the rich-poor divide persist, with the country occupying the world’s last place for life expectancy.
Although South Africa was on its way to catching up with Brazil, India and Russia, enjoying 38 per cent GDP growth in the last decade, this was not indicative of social mobility but rather capital concentration. In 2015, South Africa suffered unemployment at the same level as Greece that has been under IMF-EU austerity since 2010. Socioeconomic and political conditions are worse in the rest of Africa, and this includes Muslim northern Africa that has suffered US-NATO direct and indirect military interference in its social uprisings during the Arab Spring revolts that once represented the promise of a democratic Africa free of dictators linked to large domestic and foreign capitalists.
Judging from the unemployment statistics in Africa’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, both dependent on extractive industry exports, there is not much difference between them, with all of those natural resources, and Greece suffering five consecutive years of IMF-EU-imposed austerity and downward socioeconomic mobility. One could argue that 26.4 per cent unemployment for South Africa and 24 per cent for Nigeria are understandable owing to the cyclical nature of the commodities market – both gold and crude oil are sharply down from their highs, along with all commodities. However, the core issue is not capitalism’s cyclical contraction, but the high levels of structural unemployment and underemployment in the continent’s richest countries, as well as the vast income gap between the very few wealthy individuals and the vast majority of the masses.
Obstacles to development account for a division of labor that has remained about the same in the last half-century. This is despite reductions in extreme poverty (under two dollars a day category) in the last two decades. By all indications, globalization has accounted for the downward mobility of most Africans, although this may not be as clear when looking at GDP statistics of certain countries, including South Africa and Nigeria. The world economic structure has not changed, no matter the rhetoric about globalization and neoliberal policies uplifting all economies across the world. Just the opposite, the overall economic picture of Africa is one of steady decline since the 1980s. The continent’s share of global trade was 3.1 per cent in 1955 and in 1990 it was a mere 1.2 per cent.
Largely because of China as a major new player in the region’s trade, there was a rise after the recession of the early 1990s, but this too was limited to the primary sector of production. The China factor did not help the continent lift its GDP amounting to under $300 billion in 1997 while the debt was $315 billion. This allowed the IMF to impose austerity and neoliberal measures of privatization, corporate tax reductions, and trade barrier removals that further weakened the national economies. The austerity measures not only prevented upward socioeconomic mobility, but actually drove more people into lower living standards.
In December 1993,UN secretary-general Boutros-Boutrros Ghali argued that the solution for Africa’s socioeconomic problems rested with greater integration. In an essay on this issue, Robert J. Cummings noted that: “From the 1950s to the present, more than 200 organizations have been founded on the continent of Africa for the purpose of fostering regional and sub-regional integration and economic cooperation. The performance record of these myriad organizations historically have not been sterling.” (R. J. Cummings “Africa’s Case for Economic Integration” (www.HU )
The efforts on the part of the UN, World Bank and other Western institutions and governments to forge African integration have not altered the dependent structure of the economy based on the primary sector of production nor have such efforts resulted in higher living standards and upward social mobility despite some reduction in poverty in the last two decades. Integration on the patron-client model is at the core of neo-colonialism in Africa and favors the multinational corporations, thus perpetuating external dependence and underdevelopment.
The most significant challenge for Africa in the next few decades will be to transform itself from a largely “dependent outward-oriented” economy (primary sector production exports) providing cheap raw materials for the advanced capitalist countries to an inward-looking (producing to meet domestic demand through import substitution industrialization) integrated via an intra-continental model and developing more equitable terms of trade with developed countries. The uneven terms of trade, the inherent lower value of African exports vs. its imports from the developed countries has been and remains a core problem in development.
To achieve the goal of self-sufficiency Africa would need more than NGOs and UN intervention that only target emergency areas during war and famine. Africa would need more than China funding infrastructural development intended to accommodate extractive mining and agricultural regions, and more than regional integration that the World Bank has been advocating and without success by its own admission, and only intended to strengthen the role of multinational corporations trying to dominate key sectors of the raw materials economy.
In the absence of a systemic political change, just as took place in England (1689) and France (1789) that paved the way for economic modernization, Africa cannot achieve its goal of self-sufficiency no matter the rhetoric by politicians on the continent or Western organizations like the World Bank and corporations employing the self-sufficiency rhetoric but operating as imperialists not much different in results than the colonialists of the 19th century.
Part II: China’s economic role in Africa
Is China threatening to displace the Europeans from Africa at some point in the second half of the 21st century, as the mass media in the US has been hinting since the global recession of 2008? Or is EU-Chinese capital so intertwined that what may be counted as China’s market share in Africa could very well be yielding profits for French, British and German multinational corporations? If capitalist China is such a threat to the West, why has the very Western World Bank been collaborating with China on a number of fronts? Is it merely the fear of the US that China as the inevitable number one economic power in the world will corner the most abundant and cheapest markets in Africa?
In 2010, Wikileaks published the US concern about China helping to develop the infrastructure strategically in those countries in Africa where it plans to do business. Two things alarmed the US: a) no strings attached to infrastructural development, at least no direct strings as the US and EU always impose on the recipient country; and b) the clever way the Chinese are including the World Bank and European governments and EU-based multinational corporations. In short, China’s multilateralism as a strategy of securing market share has been upsetting to American unilateralists who see a fiendish plan that would entail Africa transferring its historical dependence from the West to East.
Another issue regarding China is the scope of its role in Africa in 2015, considering that the Western media present it as hegemonic and potentially threatening to “US and Western interests”, thus invoking national and trade bloc capitalism as a populist tactic. In reality, as we will see below, China currently has a small role while the Europeans, US and wealthier Gulf Arab states enjoy the lion’s share of the market.
What has alarmed the Western capitalists and politicians is the reality that African exports to China went from a mere 1 per cent of world share in 2000 to 15 per cent in 2012, and are likely to continue rising for the indefinite future. Despite the inevitable cyclical economic slowdown in China, it is just as inevitable that by the 2030s we can safely predict much closer trade, investment and overall economic dependency of Africa on China. This in itself poses not just a threat to Western capitalism but to Western geopolitical designs on a continent very rich in natural resources. Because the US does not compete with China in Africa using the same tools of economic integration, about the only response the US has is to flex its military muscle and secure as much as it can for US-based multinational corporations.
Before we assume China’s role is benign, the issue of China as the panacea for Africa is one that many have emphasized, given that European and US economic, military and political roles throughout Africa have not resulted in improvements as judged by standards the West has been proclaiming – democracy, freedom, economic development and higher living standards. Some observers in and outside of Africa believe that China’s integration model, which starts with infrastructural development that would help the domestic economy as well as forge greater regional integration while stimulating the export sector, is promising. After all, the European imperialists had done nothing but pillage Africa from the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the 15th century when the Portuguese landed until the more subtle late 20th century policies of assisting corporate exploitation of natural resources. Moreover, if China is so well integrated into the global economy and it is helping to forge a new integration model in Africa, this presents new opportunities for African counties, at least for those rich in natural resources.
The bottom line is whether China will help Africa develop or merely perpetuate underdevelopment as did the Europeans and the US. Underdevelopment is a process, just as development, that takes place amid domestic and international political economy dynamics. Development is not a matter of a country having a surplus labor force, or having near self-sufficiency in minerals and raw materials, or enjoying an infrastructure that can accommodate rapid development to buttress the capital-intensive export sector mostly of extractive industries. Africa is one of the richest continents on the planet in natural resources and it certainly has a surplus labor force at the lowest cost on the planet in comparison with the other continents. Can Chinese investment do something with these cheap assets to help itself while also helping Africa?
In order to secure a segment of Africa’s natural resources for its own growth and development at the lowest possible cost, China has been investing in the continent and counting on it for rapid export growth in the 21st century. Despite its rich resources and new investment from China as well as Gulf Arab countries, Europe and US, the persistence of underdevelopment in Africa defies logic at least on the surface beyond the GDP growth numbers and marginal decline in extreme poverty. Why is there reason to believe the Chinese will change a history of five centuries of colonialism and neo-colonialism?
One could argue that the structural causes have everything to do with the corrupt and incompetent political regimes combined with the uneven development complicated by the periodic famines and droughts in a number of sub-Saharan regions. Another argument that the apologists of globalization and neoliberal politics make is that Africa has not fully integrated into the world capitalist economy, leaving much of its productive capacities underutilized or outside the domain of international trade owing to persistence of tribalism. Is Africa’s problem underutilization of natural resources, or uneven terms of trade, chronic exploitation of low labor values, massive capital concentration in the hands of very few comprador bourgeoisie linked to foreign capital, and of course corrupt politicians that foreign corporations bribe to secure contracts?
Another issue that Western analysts are constantly making is that there is instability owing to civil conflicts in a number of countries, from Sudan and Nigeria to Central and East Africa where rebels are an obstacle to stability and development. In the Islamic countries north of the Sahara, there is the instability caused by jihadist elements as there is in the East; activities which also impact Africa more broadly. However, jihadist conditions, as we will see below, are of fairly recent origin and even so a reaction to neo-colonial conditions, among other causes related to tribal and religious differences. If we were to sum up, the Western analysts conclude that the fault for the absence of development in Africa rests squarely with internal dynamics and has absolutely nothing to do with Western imperialism as a chronic presence.
When we examine the lofty promises of growth and development by the UN, World Bank and Western governments whose only interest is to assist corporate control of Africa’s resources and market share the result is that by 1995, 25 per cent of the people in the sub-Sahara region had no job and were homeless. Even more alarming, Africa’s agricultural growth rates have been declining since 1965. From an annual average of 2.2 per cent (1965-1973), to 0.6 per cent (1981-85), per capita food production continued to decline throughout the 1980s and 1990s, necessitating four times as much food aid. Why is anyone surprised that there is the level of rebel activity, including jihadist as of late, when the question really ought to be why is there not more such activity given these conditions that people in the West would not tolerate and demand change?
There are those who argue that China’s presence actually helps to tame the sociopolitical mood throughout the continent. China is investing in everything – hydro-power, dams, water and sanitation, ports, railroads, roads, mining, timber, fisheries and agriculture. At the same time, France and the rest of Europe as well as the US and the rich Arab countries have been competing with China and want to maintain their market share. What exactly this entails for the people of Africa and the development model that would eventually lift the majority of the people from abject poverty is another story.
The Chinese are not in Africa to lift living standards for the population but to strengthen their global competitive position. China will need Africa’s raw materials, everything from foodstuffs to minerals, in order to remain a global economic power in the 21st century. China accounts for about one-fifth of the planet’s population, but it only has six percent of the planet’s water and nine percent arable land, forcing its government to look outside its borders to sustain its growth and development. Just as Africa provided cheap raw materials and cheap labor for Europe and the US from the era of colonialism until the rise of China as a global economic power, in the 21st century it will play a similar role with China competing for Africa’s cheap raw materials and labor. Investment has risen from a mere $210 million in 2000 to $3.17 billion 2011 and it is expected to skyrocket.
Africa is the world’s fastest growing continent for foreign direct investment (FDI), but it starts out at such low levels that it can only go higher. While historically FDI went primarily to the extractive industries, there is new emphasis on manufacturing, with energy as a key industry where revolutionary methods could make a difference in bringing electricity to more people than ever and make manufacturing even cheaper. The continent’s global share of FDI rose from around 3 per cent in 2007 to 5 per cent in 2012, a period of global recession. But among the top 25 countries in the world with the highest incoming FDI, Africa is nowhere to be found; and if it were not for South Africa, the continent as a whole would be at the very bottom along with some of the Eurasian countries. As miraculous as it may appear, China’s share of overseas direct investment in Africa is a mere $26 billion, while France and UK continue to lead in this category. On the other hand, few would argue that China is poised to impose economic hegemony of some type over Africa under an integration model presumably better than what the French and the British had imposed after decolonization.
By extending concessional loans – more generous terms and longer term – to the tune of $10 billion amid the global recession of 2009 to 2012, China bought itself enormous influence without literally dictating terms down to the minute detail as do the IMF and World Bank. Chinese President Xi Jinping doubled the concessional loan commitment to Africa from $10 billion to $20 billion in the 2013-2015 period, and the Chinese Export-Import Bank announced an ambitious financing program of $1 trillion by 2025; something that could be scaled back owing to the slowing Chinese economy in 2015.
Although Africa accounts for such a small percentage of Chinese global investment, Africa has been a top foreign aid recipient. Aid donors have always used it as a policy instrument and leverage in every respect to influence not only investment and trade policy of the aid recipient but defense and foreign policy as well. In providing various types of aid to Africa, from medical and humanitarian to debt relief and development, China is in fact investing in good will diplomatically as well as economically for the future market share that it wants in Africa.
Can we expect from China what we have seen on the part of the European and US companies in Africa since the 1960s? From the early 1960s to the present, large foreign companies secure public financing for privately operated projects that have been uneconomic across Africa. However, the foreign firms risk no capital of their own because their loans to finance their operation are guaranteed by their governments or development banks, as are interest and profits. Because most of the investment is invariably in mining and commercial agriculture, involving multinational companies like Monsanto, the Carlyle Group, Shell, and other Wall Street and EU giants, the goal is to strengthen the export sector by taking advantage of cheap labor without much benefit for the broader economic diversification in a continent desperate for greater self-sufficiency.
Although China has followed this pattern, its focus on developing the infrastructure in a number of African countries has the potential of laying the foundations for a sustainable diversified inward oriented economy. After all, China has provided assistance for schools and some textile factories, but it often labels loans as “aid”, and most of its investments go to those countries rich in natural resources.
Foreign investment in Africa under terms no developed country would permit is virtually unregulated, thus constituting a drain of natural resource wealth. Suffering the lowest labor values on the planet, Africa attracts foreign capital investment because it is the next frontier to realize high profits. Moreover, foreign capital flows because foreign businesses demand that African countries provide local financing under government-guaranteed loans and very generous terms that include profit repatriation, liberal terms on the environment, and minimal labor protection.
According to the World Bank that has partnered with China on many projects, the goals in Africa include (i) accelerating industrialization and manufacturing; (ii) making special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks work; (iii) infrastructure and trade logistics, including regional integration; (iv) creating the conditions to accelerate responsible private sector investment, (v) skills development for competitiveness and job creation, and vi) improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities.
These are indeed lofty goals, and one could argue that all countries undergoing industrialization had to suffer, so must Africa, despite its unique relationship with industrialized nations. If we analyze each of the above points that the World Bank has outlined, we conclude that the goal in Africa is to create a climate conducive to foreign corporate investment under the best possible terms. There is nothing about protecting workers’ rights, collective bargaining, livable wages, appropriate affordable housing, hospitals and schools, and above all under a political regime that respects human rights and civil rights pursuant to principles of social justice. The only concern of the investors, governments, and international organizations assisting them in Africa is the investment itself not the social, cultural, economic and political welfare of the people.
Part III: The new scramble for Africa, narcotics and human trafficking
There is a 21st century version of “the scramble for Africa”, a continuation of what started in the 19th century (1880-1914) by the Europeans who pillaged the continent’s resources, systematically exploited its people, caused community and regional wars, destroying its culture; and all of it by invoking social Darwinism and other Eurocentric theories, including ethnocentrism and ‘exceptionalism’, to justify white hegemony. The new round of neo-colonial race to carve up Africa’s lucrative agricultural lands, mineral wealth, fishing rights within its territorial waters also extends to its geographical location that makes it so convenient for South American cocaine trade through West Africa and heroin-cannabis trade through East Africa.
According to the World Bank (September 2010), more than 110 million acres of farmland (the size of California and West Virginia combined) were sold during the first 11 months of 2009. This was all in a mad rush of foreign private and government investors to secure cheap land (and labor to work the land), and all during the most serious economic recession in the postwar period. Between 1998 and 2008, the World Bank provided $23.7 billion for agribusiness around the world, much of it in Africa promoting what it calls ‘efficient and sustainable’ agriculture. Along with the erosion of subsistence farming that sustained families, there is the corresponding erosion of subsistence fishing owing to competition from European and Asian commercial fishing operations in coastal Africa. All of this is an integral part of the corporate control of Africa with the support of governments in the advanced capitalist countries and with the backing of the IMF and World Bank Group’s subsidiary agencies like the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
In 2010 the IFC invested an estimated $100 million in agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa, compared with merely $18 million per year in the previous decade. Naturally, IFC and World Bank investments which run into the billions focuse solely on corporate agriculture that displaces the small farmer. This despite the advice from experts in sub-Saharan countries who argued that the best use of farmland is to distribute it to villagers (about 12 hectares per family) and give them the means to cultivate it to end hunger while also generating a potential surplus for trade. Foreign-owned agribusiness backed by their governments and international financial organizations such as the IFC produce commercial crops for export, while the native population remains poverty-stricken. It should be noted that foreign aid for Africa’s agriculture dropped by 75 per cent since 1980, thus creating the need for private foreign investment in the sector. This is all in the name of furthering the goals of privatization that Western neo-liberals push across the world with devastating consequences for workers and peasants.
In the last one hundred years, agriculture in the industrialized countries has undergone a revolution that has resulted in just a small segment of the labor force earning its living from farming, animal husbandry and fishing. Technology and science applied to the sector has raised production and made agriculture less labor intensive just as specialization and concentration has resulted in higher productivity. Modernization of the primary sector of production entails that large commercial operations in the primary sector of production, backed by favorable government policies, have taken over the sector that requires expensive agrochemicals and machinery, and a distribution network to secure steady profits. In Africa’s case, only large invariably foreign-owned commercial enterprises are able to operate under this model of development, forcing the small farmers and peasants into poverty.
With each recessionary cycle more small farmers in Africa and around the world are squeezed out of business, while neo-liberal apologists not just in the corporate boardrooms and the media, but in government and UN continue to sing the praises of large scale commercial operations as the panacea for capitalism. The transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture first in Western Europe and then in US freed the surplus labor force for the manufacturing and service sectors of production. In the case of Africa, however, there is no manufacturing or service sector large enough to absorb the surplus labor force that is uprooted from subsistence farming and animal husbandry.
The assumption by governments, banks, and mainstream economists is that commercial agriculture in the form of agribusiness is a necessary development of modernization. Another assumption is that only large-scale agribusiness, which is subsidized by government and international organizations like the World Bank and IFFC among others, can meet the world’s rising food demand while keeping costs low. After all, manufacturing is just around the corner for Africa, although it promises to be the kind of manufacturing we have seen in Bangladesh and other south Asian countries, where living standards are very low and working conditions very poor.
Given the trend toward corporate agriculture, in the last fifteen years, governments and private firms from around the world have been investing in sub-Saharan Africa because corporations chase the highest return for the lowest possible investment under the most favorable conditions to capital possible. Besides agribusinesses acquiring more land, banks, hedge and pension funds, commodity traders, foundations and individual investors have been buying land as part of portfolio investments for an average of $1 per hectare. This is in an attempt to cash in on low-cost land and labor amid a growing demand for raw food products and bio-fuels.
The EU is hoping to reduce carbon emissions by using at least 10 per cent bio-fuel of all fuel products by 2020. The US is aiming to reduce its foreign dependence on oil by 70 per cent in the next 15 years. With the help of the World Bank and IFC, the EU and the US have been looking to Africa – more than 700 million hectares appropriated for agribusiness – as the continent to invest in bio-fuels; this at a time that the Europeans have also been eyeing Africa as the next frontier for solar energy. Latin America is also a target for bio-fuel and other agrarian investment, but Africa offers even more attractive prospects in part because of the Arab and Chinese interest as well.
In the past decade, India, China, Japan, and Arab countries have joined the 21st century scramble for Africa, in some cases because governments are concerned about soil, water, and natural resources conservation in their own countries. Private investors and governments are aggressively seeking to partition Africa’s rich agricultural land as the cost of agricultural commodities is expected to rise once the current recession ends. Saudi Arabia has set aside $5 billion in low-interest loans to Saudi agribusinesses to invest in agriculturally attractive countries. Another reason for the new scramble for Africa is because of what the UN Food and Agricultural Organization calls ‘spare land’, areas not under cultivation, or underutilized.
Developed countries have used Africa for its raw materials and as a consumer of imported manufactured products and foreign business services, but not as roughly equal trading partners as is France and Germany. Rather, Africa has been the victim of unequal terms of trade, and external control of its key extractive sectors. In short, Africa remains semi-colonial and continues to become increasingly dependent on developed countries for overvalued manufactured products and services while exporting raw materials at prices commodities markets in the West determine based on speculative interest.
One is favorably impressed by the rhetoric regarding “sustainable development” that the media, governments, the World Bank and even corporations promise as though such development translates into social justice. After all, the hypocrisy of corporate responsibility regarding the eco-system has been exposed repeatedly not just by oil companies operating in Nigeria, but even by Volkswagen as its flagrant scandal regarding emissions manipulation proved in October 2015. The EU and US quest for bio-fuel development in Africa, and for that matter in Latin America, has nothing to do with ‘sustainable development’ or engendering greater ‘self-sufficiency’ or helping to ‘develop’ Africa – rhetoric that the UN, World Bank, western governments and multinational corporations are using to make ‘the new scramble for Africa’ more palatable to the world. The rhetoric is obligatory to placate the masses to retain their trust in the corporate world.
Will the people of Africa solve the chronic problems of poverty and disease as a result of the exploitation of land and labor to satisfy the demand for food and bio-fuels in Western nations? Africa’s food requirements will double in the next two to three decades, a point that foreign agribusinesses, governments and IFC and World Bank are using to justify the commercialization of agriculture under foreign ownership. In the process of the neo-colonial land-grab, evictions of peasants and small farmers, entire villages uprooted, civil unrest, and citizens’ complaints of ‘land grabbing’ have been common. Protests owing to social injustice do not stop governments from approving agribusiness deals backed by powerful forces. One common justification used for the new scramble for Africa is that the acquired territories are not utilized or ‘wasteland’. Governments often do not charge agribusiness for the water they use. Just a single agribusiness belonging to an Arab investor in Ethiopia, for example, uses as much water as 100,000 people – water of course is the most precious commodity in many parts of Africa. This is the reality of agribusiness and its role in drought-ridden East Africa.
One reason for the rise of the informal economy that includes everything from hand-carved wood statues to cocaine from Colombia and heroin from Afghanistan using West and East Africa as hubs before sending the product to Europe is that the neo-liberal model of development has failed. In fact, it has failed so miserably that young impoverished Africans join rebel groups inspired by radical Islam or community loyalty. At the same time the combination of rebel activity, and violence linked to narcotics as well as human trafficking and weapons, also linked to radical Islam and tribal allegiances in some cases, is a reflection of a neo-colonial system, no matter the lofty claims by Western governments, NGOs, media, the UN and World Bank that they are looking after the interests of African people.
Narcotics trade in Africa
Africa’s structural problems have contributed to a thriving narcotics trade through the Western and Eastern areas because of geographical considerations. Given that in sub-Saharan countries the percentage of labor force involved in agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries ranges from 50 to 75, the result of agribusiness is to create a larger percentage of wage laborers instead of engaged in the subsistence economy. A percentage of this population will choose to make a living in illegal activities – human trafficking, weapons, and narcotics trade; others in piracy, still others in the thriving teenage prostitution business that has a ready market around the world.
All of this is an integral part of an informal economy that according to the African Development Bank contributes 55 per cent of GDP in the sub-Sahara region and accounts for 80 per cent of the labor force. “Nine in 10 rural and urban workers have informal jobs in Africa and most employees are women and youth. The prominence of the informal sector in most African economies stems from the opportunities it offers to the most vulnerable populations such as the poorest, women and youth.”
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has been warning for many years that a number of West and East African countries are now immersed in the international drug trade, a reality that has consequences for criminal activity and the overall subterranean economy and politics of Africa. Because the drug trade is so lucrative, the income it generates is often larger than the entire GDP of some African countries. This is the case with Guinea-Bissau where the cocaine trade amounts to more than $2 billion and where violent crime in this former Portuguese colony has been rising steadily. The situation is not very different in Senegal where the airport at Dakar has been used to transport cocaine from Latin America to Europe.
While West Africa is a hub for cocaine from Colombia and Peru, East Africa is a hub for heroin and cannabis coming to the region from South-East and Southwest Asia by air and sea, often onboard vessels that transport legitimate commodities, and often owned and operated by European shipping tycoons and of course European banks to launder drug money. A number of Greek shipping tycoons have been linked to the illegal narcotics trade in Africa, but they invariably enjoy European connections for distribution and laundering of enormous amounts of money considering the street value is 20 times higher than its original value when the products land in Africa.
While the drug trade may appear that it is outside the mainstream of economic activity, it actually operates under the same laws of capitalism and in practice under similar routines. The laws of supply and demand apply as does the cooperation of government, albeit at a sub-level of illegality through bribery no different from when a multinational corporation bribes officials. Moreover, just as the extractive industries drain Africa of capital so does the narcotics trade. People involved in this business are in fact businessmen running operations of an illegal product but observing all other rules of the market within which they operate and which makes no distinction between drug money and corporate money. The bottom line for Africa is that both the corporate and drug businesses result in taking capital out of the area and leaving behind all the social and political problems.
The process of de-capitalization, especially amid recessionary cycles in the world economy as in the current case of depressed commodity prices, only increases the problems with the informal economy that is a mere extension of the overall outward-oriented dependent economy and a colonial remnant that gives rise to illegal activities. East Africa around the Gulf of Aden is already the pirate center of the world, and this in addition to the weapons and human trafficking trade. Everything from illegal handicraft items to diamonds and gold are illegally traded. West Africa is slowly transforming itself into the new world center for South American narco-traffickers. Guinea, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau, Ghana, Benin, Sierra Leone, and Senegal are among the most significant intermediary narco-traffic countries linked to the Colombia-Venezuela coca trade.
In the absence of official cooperation, everyone from custom officials, port authority, police, army and navy, all the way up to cabinet officials, the drug trade would not be possible. In short, the drug trade in Africa is an integral part of the political system and informal economy that enjoys protection from a wide variety of players. This makes transport low-risk in comparison with the Caribbean. With Russia as a new player in the international drug trade and oligarchs behind the regime, the activity has increased in the last decade.
During the “just say No!” campaign of the Reagan era the US had the highest per capita use–US population was around 4 per cent but consumed 25 to 40 per cent of the world’s illegal drugs–and this is not to say that a legal pill-for-everything panacea in the US is not at its root a cultural trait. Today, however, both UK and Spain surpass the US in per capita use of cocaine, and both countries along with Portugal and France are the major destinations for coca that comes from Latin America through West Africa.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Somalia, currently in the process of establishing a central authority, is host to widespread illegal transactions, including drug and arms trafficking. There are two important international airports in the region, servicing the capitals of Ethiopia and Kenya, which are used as transit points for drugs. Both airports have connections between West Africa and the heroin producing countries in South West and South East Asia. There is also an increasing use of postal and courier services for cocaine, heroin and hashish.
Heroin trafficking from Pakistan, Thailand and India to East Africa has been rising in the last two decades. Some of this heroin finds its way to West Africa that also exports to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya through Ethiopia. Increasing numbers of Tanzanians and Mozambicans are involved in the trafficking of heroin from Pakistan and Iran, given the limited options in the formal economy. West African and East African drug syndicates are inter-connected as they are to smugglers from Latin America and South Asia, reflecting high level of organization.
Considering that multinational corporations from Shell Oil to Siemens have a long history of bribing African officials as they do non-Africans, narcotics traffickers’ mode of operation is no different than that of “legitimate” businesses. And if the opportunity presents itself to make a living why is “dirty money” any less valuable than “clean money,” the latter of which seems to be less than $500 a year for most Africans? Judging on the basis of postwar recessions when per capita income has dropped as much as 50 per cent, this means that in this current crisis Africa will not only suffer greater impoverishment than the rest of the world, but its economic problems will cause more ethnic and community conflict, more epidemics, more intra- and inter-continental emigration, and more political turmoil than any developed nation can expect.
Such a climate is ideal for more piracy, more weapons and narcotics transfer, more human trafficking, and all of it part of the colonial and neo-colonial legacy of outward oriented economy benefiting the developed countries. Though the continent is in need of debt-relief and development assistance for the short-term, the solution for a small segment of unemployed and destitute young Africans is drugs, guns, and human trafficking that generates money, although most of that money does not stay in the region and creates violence that disrupts legitimate economic activity.
The social fabric disrupted yet again by ‘the new scramble for Africa’, continued political instability is a guarantee as much as a rise in crime and social unrest. Amazingly, the same institutions that contribute to Africa’s devastation claim that they are acting in the name of progress, sustainable development and efficiency, helping to raise productivity and exports, to create jobs by bringing foreign investment,’ etc.; the modern versions of “The Whiteman’s burden”.
The ‘politically palatable’ rhetoric of ‘efficiency and sustainability’ has resulted in an outward-oriented agrarian sector catering to foreign markets instead of inward-oriented economy designed to meet the rapidly rising population’s food needs. In 16th century England, farmers switched to animal husbandry owing to rising demand for wool textiles. Peasants starved as the cost of grain increased, thus “sheep ate people”. In this century, ‘agribusinesses will be eating Africans’.
Apologists of agribusiness justify their support by various arguments including ‘no country has developed’ with two-thirds of its labor force living off the land and dependent on extractive industries. It is an interesting coincidence that just as sub-Sahara Africa has been targeted by drug lords in the last few years, it is also targeted by corporate farm investors whose mode of operation is to use the low-valued land and labor and corrupt public officials in order to serve foreign market demands. Rural poverty will rise as a result of foreign corporate investment in African agriculture. Will the ‘new scramble for Africa’ by corporate investors and drug lords result in the elimination of famine and disease; will it result in higher rising living standards for the native population, or will it be another form of neo-colonialism in the name of progress?
Using the pretext of “terrorism”, a guerrilla movement under the flag of jihadists in recent years, the West and pro-West regimes default all problems on such fanatics in Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Niger, Cameroon, Mali, Uganda and Mauritania. In other words, the US and its European partners would have the public believe that for decades when there were no Islamic jihadists, sub-Sahara Africa under colonial and neo-colonial rule enjoyed social justice and upward social mobility under democratic regimes. Even more insulting is the implication that the Islamic militants are the cause and not the symptom of Western exploitation of Africa and that if they are eliminated the continent would have no problems. As counterproductive as jihadist warfare has been, and as futile in achieving its goals, it is not the cause but one more symptom of the neo-imperialist structure in the continent from Libya to South Africa, from Nigeria to Kenya.
Besides defaulting Africa’s problems on Islamic ‘terrorism’, there are also the advocates of the neo-Malthusian theory – too many people too few resources, rather than unequal income distribution. It is true that drought is a cyclical natural disaster in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa and generally a problem in a few other parts as well. However, does drought justify Malthusianism and does it explain structural impediments to African development? This is not say that a form of managed population control is not desirable, but this is a matter of resources and education for the general population.
Uniting and organizing at the grassroots to end racist neo-colonial exploitation whether in the form of the formal economy based on mineral and agricultural exports or in the informal economy that includes narcotics is the only solution for Africans. Working toward sustainable development can only come from indigenous movements that first change the externally-dependent political regimes and then undertake to change the social order that would engender economic growth under an inward-oriented model. Given the deep historical ethnic antagonisms in Africa for which westerners are partly to blame, and the even stronger western neo-colonial foundation the prospects of any of this taking place in the forthcoming decades is highly unlikely. Africa will remain the continent of contradictions with the world’s poorest people, but some of the world’s richest natural resources.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Africa in the 21st century: Legacy of imperialism and development prospects

NATO’s Stay-Behind Networks. The Truth Regarding NATO’s “Secret Armies”


Executive Summary

For the first time, research shall focus on NATO’S so-called “secret armies”, and explain the notion of the Stay-Behind networks by shedding light on the architecture of cooperation that supported those networks. The study highlights the ongoing “criminalization” of the Stay-Behind networks since the 1990s, in part a result of the extreme confusion in public opinion about these structures established at the end of World War II, and the lack of knowledge of how NATO operates as well as its intelligence capabilities.

The difficulty in understanding the notion of the Stay-Behind networks results from the way revelations about the Italian network were released, leading to a series of press investigations that purported to show the collusion of these networks with the Italian far-right. Such a story was an attractive explanation, but it was far from the truth. Indeed, there never was any such collusion. In order to understand these clandestine structures, one must first take into account the geopolitical contingencies that existed at the end of the Second World War.

The Stay-Behind networks were first a solution that emerged from the lessons learnt by the European Chiefs of Staff during the conflict. Accordingly, a French-British model appeared in North Western Europe, aimed at intelligence work and the infiltration/exfiltration of agents, rather than any attempts at sabotage or guerrilla warfare. It was quite different from the networks developed by the Americans in Germany and Italy that were more action-oriented. An attempt to combine the two concepts was made by the Clandestine Planning Committee, a structure that brought together the intelligence services of NATO but it did not succeed; this failure invalidates somewhat the idea of “NATO’s secret armies”. Indeed, the states concerned found themselves in very different geographical situations and were confronted with specific national political contingencies.

They thus took action according to their means and their objectives, which restricted NATO-level coordination between the intelligence services involved in the Stay-Behind networks.

It was at the heart of the Western European Union (WEU) and not NATO that the intelligence services of Great Britain, France, Benelux and Scandinavia hid the existence of the Western Union Clandestine Committee. This body was not aimed at coordinating but rather supporting the establishment of Stay-Behind networks. The United States received a makeshift role, but they continued to run networks they had founded in Germany and Italy in their own way, that served US objectives. At the heart of NATO, they sought to turn the Clandestine Committee into a coordination center, but the intelligence services of Northern and Western Europe in return presented an Allied Coordination Committee, aimed at exchanging best practices with regard to member state Stay-Behind networks.

Though they managed to preserve the initial concept that combined intelligence, infiltration/exfiltration and action, they however failed to stop NATO from developing a new concept, that of the Special Forces. This shift can be explained by the growing influence of the Americans within the integrated military organization and their desire to prepare the fight against the Warsaw Pact. But this evolution would not always be of concern for the United Kingdom, France, Benelux and the Scandinavian countries. These countries were to be impacted by the reduction in US funding for the Stay-Behind program as of 1965 and they would have to undergo the consequences of the revelations, first revealed by Soviet spies, then by the media, that would lead to the gross misunderstandings surrounding the Stay-Behind concept.

Click here to read the full report. (pdf)

Posted in USA, EuropeComments Off on NATO’s Stay-Behind Networks. The Truth Regarding NATO’s “Secret Armies”

Destabilization Plots Against Syria and Venezuela


The empire is on the rampage across the planet. World War 4 is intensifying with disastrous results for the world. The US has expanded its aggression against so many countries at once that is hard to keep up.

North Korea is under threat of an unprovoked attack. However North Korea is prepared to defend itself and Trump will probably be forced to back down. In fact he already has made a fool of himself with his ghost armada.

In Afghanistan he dropped a MOAB bomb on Torah Bora suffocating and incinerating untold numbers of Afghanis. In fact he plans another pointless surge in Afghanistan when everyone knows the war is lost.

Yemen which has already known untold suffering in the 2-year long war will now suffer even more as the US expands its role in the conflict attempting to rescue the genocidal Saudi royals from a humiliating defeat at the hands of Yemen’s people.

The US is expanding its decades long war on Somalia.

In Ecuador the US is trying to undermine the election of Lenin Moreno. NATO is cementing its ties to the fanatical bloodthirsty royals of the GCC countries (the Saudis, Qataris, and other tyrants) through the NATO-Istanbul cooperation Initiative which means NATO and Al Qaeda are basically officially allied as if it wasn’t already obvious after the horrifying wars on Libya and Syria.

In other words Trump is massively expanding every dirty war and destabilization campaign the Empire is involved in and doubtless in future months we will learn of countries now peaceful being thrown into chaos as a result of CIA/NED operations now being launched of which we have no idea. We can only hope that Russia and China are working on some plans of their own.

For now, however,  I must focus on the two countries which are among the most important fronts in World War 4:  Syria and Venezuela. Thankfully the initial attack on Syria was far from the all out war I feared. Brave soldiers and civilians were killed but the Syrians were able to get the air base back online the next day. However it sets a dangerous precedent for the US to attack Syria whenever the NATO death squads are loosing some battle.

In Venezuela there is yet another attempt to overthrow the government and install US puppets. The Neoliberal opposition in Venezuela have been rioting revealing their true character with the evil and stupidity of their antics. However the people of Venezuela have taken to the streets to oppose the latest plots against their country.

We’ll probably never know what actually happened behind the scenes but instead of launching an all out regime change assault on Syria, Trump merely did openly what the US has been doing “accidentally” since it began bombing Syria. He targeted the SAA and doubtless their Russian and Iranian allies at Shayrat airbase which the Syrian Arab Air force was using to support the SAA’s victorious counter-offensive in the battle of Hama and in its attacks on ISIS controlled areas. It was also of course the same base from which allegedly Syria shot down an Israeli jet which was openly serving as ISIS air force. The rumor is that using electronic warfare Russia was able to disable more then half the Tomahawks. Only 23 of 59 hit their targets. It is unclear how many were killed as Syria attempted to portray the effects as minimal in order to avoid boosting enemy morale. Regardless of the damage the strikes have had little effect on the course of the war. The SAA is advancing victoriously across the country although NATO’s terrorist death squads are also launching fierce counter-offensives they made only temporary gains that were quickly reversed. Once again Syria has proved itself the most heroic country on the planet. In the face of Trump’s treachery, the endless lies of the mainstream media and genocidal “Human Rights” groups, the threats of the US and NATO, and attacks by the US and Israel they refuse to lose heart or to stop even for a single day their war to liberate their country from the terrorist death squads.

These monsters whom the west calls moderates sunk to a new level of infamy last week with their murder of over 200 people of whom 116 were children. We will never forget the horrible massacre at Rashideen. The people killed were refugees from the towns of Foua and Karfaya who have suffered one of the most tragic sieges of the war.

I learned of them at the same time as I learned of the work of the courageous Eva Bartlett back in 2015. Her articles were both horrifying and heartbreaking. Often lacking food, electricity, clean water, or medicine, they were being continually bombarded by death squads who fired rockets, artillery and “Hell Cannons” Fuel canisters turned into fire bombs.

Families watched as their loved ones died because of lack of medicine. Children starved to death or were killed by terrorists. Yet their plight was of course completely ignored by the propagandists in the mainstream media. Since then their ordeal has continued shelling hunger and being forced to repel constant attacks. Finally a deal was struck to evacuate them to safety in the same way as the Syrian government has allowed the terrorists to flee unharmed with their lives and families.

But the terrorists of course cannot be trusted to show similar mercy to their victims. Instead they decided to murder the children of the refugees. First they held the refugees captive on the buses for two days. Then a car drove up offering to give away food to the starving passengers. As the children gathered around to collect bags of potato chips the NATO death squads detonated a bomb killing over 200 people 115 of them children. The poor refugees of Foua and Karfaya were not even allowed to keep the corpses of their murdered children but were forced to watch as the terrorists and some turkish ambulances collected and then drove off with their children’s corpses. It is hard even to find words to describe the monstrous depravity of this crime which is on the hands not just of the terrorists but their US-NATO-GCC-Israel backers and above all on the western media who the terrorists knew could be counted on to completely ignore their many crimes.

Thankfully heroic independent journalist Vanessa Beeley was there to further investigate and expose this terrible tragedy which was caught on film. We must never forget the horrifying massacre of Rashideen.

Although Trump’s missile strikes have failed to shift the balance of the war far more menacing are his plans to invade and occupy Syria which are ever expanding. The Pentagon is now talking about sending 50,000 troops to invade an occupy Syria. In addition to the massive territory the US is occupying in northern Syria using the kurds as a front, the US now plans to do the same for the Wahhabi death squads in the south and the East. The US, the Jordanian army, and their terrorist allies have launched an invasion from the south. The US also sent helicopters to land an Invading US army to the east of Deir Ezzor the Heroic Syrian city that has been surrounded by ISIS for years and has refused to surrender.

Clearly the US plans to seize as much Syrian territory as possible so it will have a base to endlessly wage war on Syria. The US plans to create a terrorist proxy state in Eastern Syria. In reality it will be a US approved version of ISIS that will be given a huge swath of territory under US protection. As a reward for the many horrific crimes they have committed, murder, looting, rape, slavery, destruction of Syria’s heritage, destruction of hospitals, schools, food storage, electric facilities, poisoning water, Suicide bombings, hell cannons, Mutilation torture and genocide the NATO backed rebels will be given their own state guarded by american troops.

People who blow up busloads of children will be rewarded for their crimes with their own american puppet state. This possibility is too sickening to contemplate but the Trump administration is moving with lightning speed to insure that this plan is carried out creating yet another terrorist proxy army the “Eastern Shield” whose ranks are sure to swell with “former” ISIS members and other terrorists fighting alongside US Marines. It’s another planned disaster for the empire of chaos. Death, destruction, Chaos will be the inevitable results of this insane policy. With typical 21st century insanity this scheme is called “Safe Zones.”

Image result for venezuela

In Venezuela, yet another coup scheme is under way. Syria appears to be the blueprint for what they have planned for Venezuela. Simply label terrorism as peaceful protests and use the chaos as an excuse to intervene. Instead of Al Qaeda however the foot soldiers are the fascist fifth column the US has spent nearly 20 years funding and training. They hope to create as much death and destruction as possible in the hopes it can be blamed on the Venezuelan Government and be used to trigger an intervention.

In fact the “opposition” has been flying to Washington DC plotting their coup quite openly. They hope to install a puppet regime with the aid of US troops composed of Venezuela’s old corrupt politicians. These would impose the same unpopular neo-liberal austerity measures carried out in Brazil and Argentina after their soft coups against the wishes of the public who are brutally repressed. Thankfully the CIA created opposition who were foolishly elected to the national assembly a year and a half ago have since discredited themselves. At the same time since those elections the failure of the government to cope with the economic war inspired the grass roots Bolivarian movement the people not the politicians to come up with their own solutions.

Related imageVisitors to Venezuela now claim that the worst is over and that things are once again improving. It is the ultimate revenge of Hugo Chavez even from the grave he was able to inspire the Venezuelan people to put his ideas into practice.

This is precisely what has inspired the rage in the fascist opposition and their CIA backers. Of course racist billionaire emperor Trump hates the Bolivarian Socialist Republic of Venezuela as do his drug dealing cuban terrorist friends in brigade 2506. Doubtless he okayed this new coup scheme. Thus like the bombing of the buses in the Massacre at Rashideen by terrorists emboldened by Trump’s cruise missile strikes the crimes of the fascist opposition are also the result of his criminal policies.

Thankfully for the people of Venezuela the rich fascists are amateurs compared to the “moderate rebels” but their intent is no less monstrous. A woman is on her way from work suddenly a frozen bottle of water tossed out of a window high up in an apartment complex by a Venezuelan fascist comes crashing down onto her head. As I write she is still in the hospital in critical condition. The incident demonstrates the total contempt for ordinary Venezuelans that the fascist opposition shows. It was the result of calls by opposition politicians for attacks on Chavista protestors calling for turning flower pots into weapons  although the woman was merely heading to work.

In another incident 4 fascists attacked a Venezuelan police officer who had fallen off his motorcycle they ripped out 4 of his teeth as a macabre form of torture. They have engaged in a campaign of looting arson and terror.

The most memorable incident proving their total depravity was an attack on a maternity hospital full of newborns and their mothers. They were forced to evacuate the hospital when a mob of fascists began throwing rocks and glass then set a huge trash fire to try and smoke them out. Long ago near the beginning of World War 4 the Kuwaiti ambassadors daughter coached by the Hill and Knowlton PR firm pretended to be a nurse who had witnessed savage Iraqi soldiers stealing incubators from helpless babies. This completely fabricated story was used as an excuse to launch a war followed by sanctions that killed half a million Iraqi children.

Image result for al qaeda

Now the US is funding an Opposition group that is doing almost exactly the same thing as the Iraqi’s were accused of. Many of the children needed help breathing but were forced to flee. Even the Iraqis were not accused of setting fires aimed at killing the newborns the way Venezuela’s fascist opposition have done. Of course the US state department will instead condemn the Maduro government demanding they give free reign to the fascists in the hopes of a Maidan style coup. Venezuela has already been warned not to interfere with their rights to attack women and children or to perform amateur dental torture on unwilling victims. The attack on the Maternity Hospital is the latest example of the fascist opposition which hates the ordinary people of Venezuela so much that it attempts to destroy every program aimed to improve their lives whether hospitals aiming to heal or subsidized stores intending to provide affordable food. If allowed to continue they would happily wreak the same misery on Venezuela as the NATO death death squads have inflicted on Syria.

Thankfully neither the Maduro Government nor the Venezuelan people will allow these fascist scum to seize control of their country. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans held Anti-Imperialist marches demanding an end to outside interference in their country. To discourage an Invasion Maduro plans to massively expand the armed civilian militia from 100,000 to 500,000. Thus if the US and it’s allies should ever invade the Venezuelan people are prepared to fight for however long it takes to liberate their country and perhaps the entire continent. At the same time the Government is prepared to defend Venezuela. They have instituted Plan Zamora a massive drill aimed at readying their defenses. They have already arrested a Colombian Death squad planning to carry out an assassination campaign under cover of the fascist riots. They also foiled a military coup attempt and arrested a ringleader. Thus we have reason to hope that this latest coup attempt will fail like all the others. However the empire of chaos will never stop trying to destroy Venezuela. A dozen people have already died during this latest coup attempt.

The Struggle continues. World War 4 is heating up. The future seems bleak. Yet we can draw inspiration from the heroic spirit of the peoples of Syria and Venezuela. No matter what they have suffered they simply refuse to give up. This determination to struggle on no matter the odds or how long it takes is the only thing that has ever been able to defeat the empire as the peoples of Vietnam and Korea have shown in the past. The whole world is in deadly danger and every single one of us must rise to the occasion if there is to be any hope for a future. The bright dream of Venezuela that we can build a better world and the grim determination of Syria never to surrender are an inspiration to the world.


Vanessa Beeley on one of the greatest war crimes in recent memory the massacre at Rashideen

Pepe Escobar on Mad Emperor Trump’s War on the world

Tony Cartalucci on the US Plan B for Syria Stealing Massive amounts of Syrian Land to Create a “Safe Zone” for Al Qaeda and the US Kurdish Mercenaries

The Latest news from Syrian Perspective

Fascist Attack on a Maternity Ward in Venezuela

The Fascist coup plot in Venezuela

The Latest Incidents in the fascist terror campaign in Venezuela

Posted in Syria, VenezuelaComments Off on Destabilization Plots Against Syria and Venezuela

Shoah’s pages