Tuesday, April 17, 2012

U.S. Foreign Policy Is Not Evolving - Alienates. No Hope. No Change.

"I want to change the mindset that got us into Iraq."

"Africa doesn't need strong men, it needs strong institutions. As for america and the west, our commitment must be measured in the dollars we spend. I pledge substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa's interests and America's interests. But the true sign of interest is not whether a source of perpetual aid that helps people scrape by, it's whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change."
-- Barack Obama - 2008 presidential campaign

Bill Clinton with the U.S.' kind of guy, Rwandan strong man Paul Kagame.

"Traditionally, the way the United States has engaged in Africa has perpetuated tyranny and dependency."

The leadership of Africa is shameful (not unrelated to U.S. interventions to install these despots), but what about U.S. foreign policy in Africa? They support and nurture the corruption! Why is it that the U.S. government supports strong men in Africa, instead of supporting the people? We hear a lot of rhetoric about supporting democracies from the United States, but in reality the U.S. does not support "one man, one vote." The U.S. establishment is loath to see the "unwashed masses" of "underdeveloped" countries have real democratic rights -- that's mob rule! It would mean having to deal with sovereign countries that prioritized protecting their national interests, rather than being beholden to unaccountable foreign institutions and multinational corporations bent on plundering their resources.

In twenty years, will the legacy of recent American presidents like Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama be deemed worth the so-called "blow-back" or negative repercussions engendered by their "Economic Hitman" foreign policy? The policy of plundering "developing" countries. The policy of Disaster Capitalism. All of this is continuing under the Obama administration. The bombings and drone strikes, particularly in Libya and the Ivory Coast were all aimed at influencing and controlling the sovereign affairs of those countries and to benefit U.S. corporatocracy. And despite claims of UN sanctioned "humanitarian" bombings -- these sieges illegal as hell. So is the illegal and unjustified occupation of Haiti under Chapter VII, which continues under Obama, by the way. There is no hope, no change. In fact, U.S. foreign policy is much worst than status quo under Obama:
"The UN Charter does not permit the use of military force for humanitarian interventions. The military invasions of Libya and Ivory Coast have been justified by reference to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.
The Responsibility to Protect is contained in the General Assembly's Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit. It is not enshrined in an international treaty nor has it ripened into a norm of customary international law. Paragraph 138 of that document says each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. Paragraph 139 adds that the international community, through the United Nations, also has "the responsibility to use appropriate diplomatic, humanitarian and other peaceful means, in accordance with Chapters VI and VIII of the Charter, to help protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity."
When is the U.S. going to change course and practice a just foreign policy? It's been a dismal diplomatic and humanitarian failure. You have to wonder at the inhumanity that allows it to continue. It's incredible that the U.S. continues its inhumane, neoliberal, disaster capitalism, preemptive war doctrine when such policies are alienating the rest of the world.

The United States' success in Africa against the "China threat" is being based on the successful installation of a U.S. military presence -- the United States African Command (AFRICOM). The name alone hints at what this military presence is about. African countries have thus far rejected the installation of U.S. military bases on their soil. However, it's clear that AFRICOM is entering African countries through its backdoor access to "strong men," like Yoweri Museven of Uganda, who answers to American interests, rather than the Ugandan people.

The need to install a U.S. "Command" presence in Africa explains the push by agents (more about that below) of the U.S. government to have the U.S. military intervene in the sovereign affairs of countries like Uganda. Wikileaks revealed the "murky relationship" the U.S. has with the Ugandan government. A U.S. State Department cable reveals they've signed an agreement that specifically states "that Ugandan forces may not utilize U.S. intelligence to engage enemies without first consulting U.S. officials."

Besides their connection to "strong men," other successful measures employed by the U.S.to further its "interests" are close ties with NGOs (often through USAID), which ultimately compromise the ability of a country's government to control their own economies, leading to political instability.

It's well documented that NGOs like the Peace Corps are sometimes recruited by U.S. Embassies and intelligence agencies to spy on behalf of American interests. So some question the phenomenal success of the Joseph Kony "promotional" video produced by Invisible Children (IC). Is it just coincidental that the KONY2012 campaign promotes U.S. military involvement in Uganda? The Wikileaks cable mentioned above applies to U.S. State Department "intelligence asset" -- Invisible Children. IC has confirmed that they acted as "spies" for the Ugandan government.

Bruce A. Dixon of Black Agenda Report writes that IC is funded by right-wing donors, "including The Discovery Institute, which Bruce Wilson fingered in a March 11 Talk 2 Action piece as the leading funder of efforts to promote the replacement of biological sciences in schools with “intelligent design,”along with the Caster Foundation and the National Christian Foundation, all prominent backers of anti-gay referenda, politicians and initiatives in the United States and around the world." Dixon continues: "Credible African journalists like Keith Harmon Snow have also alleged that Invisible Children’s white and male leaders have direct personal connections to US intelligence agencies."

IC's campaign to increase the involvement of the U.S. military in Uganda has been exposed, revealing its phony "charitable" and "humanitarian" front. Between the plethora of Ugandans and Africans voicing their negative opinions about the KONY2012 campaign for its; paternalistic white savior mentality; the less than generous contributions on the ground (just 30%) and the emotional instability displayed by the group's co-founder, it's hard to believe that "intelligence" was involved in the IC debacle.

Why doesn't the United State engage Africa (and other non-European countries) more positively and honorably? Why does the U.S. behave like a thief in the night? Or a more apt comparison: a rapist? The thief just takes your belongings, perhaps injuring one's dignity, but the rapist violates and angers the victim. No wonder Americans have been arming themselves at such unprecedented rates. It can't all be about Obama's presidency or the unholy fear of Black people by racists. Americans must have a sense -- though they aren't informed by the propaganda that passes for news in the privately held media -- of the rage that U.S. foreign policy spawns.

What about reciprocal, fair trade? Isn't it just good "Christian" values? Why not treat others as you would want to be treated? Would it be so hard to show Africans the same respect shown to by China for instance? China does not have a substantive military presence in Africa. Reportedly, the only Chinese military presence in Africa is that deployed in the past on UN "peacekeeping" missions and as military attaches, usually having duties at Embassies. China has chosen to emphasize its economic, not military ties with Africa.

(Partial Video Transcript)
People are dying… The situation is getting worst and worst… the money is there… everybody wants a piece of the Congo. Why are people living hand to mouth in one of the most mineral rich countries in the world? The Congo produces more than a billion dollars of gold alone each year. And the cobalt, and the tin, and the tungsten, and the copper.. all of that we are benefiting from. And yet we are silent.

When people invade your country, they rape your women, they rape the kids. They morally control your mind. There's a pattern to genocide. You can see it coming. It's like a hurricane. Are we going to have to wait for twenty more years, before somebody does something to stop this holocaust?

There is a global consensus that exists, that says it's ok for nearly 6 million Black people to die in the heart of Africa and for us to be silent. So I kept asking our intelligence people, is there any truth to this. What's happening out there? I don't think policymakers could claim that they didn't know.

There's something wrong. There's something wrong with us in terms of how we think about Africa.

The story of the Congo is often overlooked for its complexity. It's a story where boundaries are porous. And national identities mean little. Militant groups with ever changing acronyms are not who they claim to be. And neighbors loot and murder, while they are praised by the international community. But the death toll is now surpassing that of the holocaust. In part because of the way the United States is involved in Central Africa. Now facing a critical juncture in their history, the Congolese people need us to change the way we are involved, so that they can have the space to start rebuilding their country.
(end of partial video transcript)

What is the ultimate solution to the problems in the Congo? Activist in the video suggest that we hold governments accountable and give the Congo the space needed solve their own problems. The video also references a 2006 law (Public Law 109-456*) co-sponsored by President Obama ("for years he has been an advocate for the Congo") when he was a Congressman. One Activists thinks: "It is a law that supports the Congo." It would hold accountable Rwanda and Uganda, proposing sanctions to stop them from intervening in the affairs of the Congo. The law was passed, but key elements of that law are not being implemented by the U.S.

Makes you wonder; who really runs America? Evidently, it is not the current President of the United States, since Obama cannot even implement a laws he co-sponsored, nor can Obama deliver on most of the rhetoric and promises he made when he was Candidate Obama.

* The Democratic Republic of the Congo Relief, Security and Democracy Promotion Act of 2006
Support the implementation of this law, sign the petition at Change.org: Fully Implement Public Law 109-456

Requiem for an empire built on warheads, neutron bombs and Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know?
A tribute to Gil Scot Heron, an American who told it like it is. He was especially clear about American hegemony. He chronicled the American society's inner workings, understood its tyrannical hierarchy and talked about the ways its political agents spread tentacles out to implement American foreign policy.

His birthday was April 1, 1949. He died last year at the age of 62. He died relatively young, like a lot of Black men who end up in jail (disproportionally) for substance abuse and suffer at the hands of the American two-tiered "justus" system, he suffered from ill health that no doubt was aggravated by his time spent in adverse conditions of the U.S. prison industrial complex.

The Ghetto Code. Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash.
by Gil Scott Heron

[..] The letter that I would like to go into very briefly is the letter C.
It is one of my favorites. It is very underrated. In terms of letters, you know.
Very few people sit around and comment on the virtues of the letter C.
But it is the first letter in cash money. It is the first letter in Constitution.
And it is the last letter in musiC.

It is the first letter in CIA...
The CIA and FBI, they're noses pressed up against our window pane.
Ears glued to our telephone. Why won't they leave us alone?
Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know?

The CIA and FBI, noses pressed up against our window pane.
Ears glued to our telephone. Why won't they leave us alone?
Tryin' to pick up on the Ghetto Code. Old fashioned Ghetto Code.

[...] I know whoever they was paying to listen in
on my phone must have been sayin'
Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know?

Then Gil relates the story of how Howard Hughes was paid $400 million by the CIA to raise a sunken Russian submarine.

Project Azorian cost $800 million according to Wiki. There's a reference on Wiki to James Cameron's The Abyss -- interesting parallels there between Cameron's latest race to the bottom and Hughes big payday -- must be nice to have seemingly limitless funds... Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know?

Gil questions the CIA's motives for this "overextended" venture. Gil goes into the CIA in Latin America... Cuba, Castro, Allende, Chile, Communists, the Panama Canal, Columbia, and Che Guevara.

[..] The C might remind you of the Congo.
Say what? The Congo. The Congo?
The C that reminds you of the Congo
could remind you of how geography changes.
Looking at the map of Africa today.
Where you see the word Zaire, you would at one time see
the word Congo or Belgium Congo.

Remembrances of this would remind you of
a man that stood for African unity.
A man name Patrice Lumumba.
But somehow, somehow
Patrice Lumumba was assassinated
during a mysterious C. A Coup D'etat.

Other things that haven't been solved or
haven't been quite explained to anybody's satisfaction:
Was it Lee Harvey Oswald over there?
Or was it Lee Harvey Oswald over there?
Was he 5 '8 165 pounds or was he 6 '2 205?
Was he photographed for his appearance in Dallas or was that Moscow?
Arthur Brenner was he from Maryland, Maine or Massachusetts?
Was he kept in the Midwest or the Middle East?

And if they always have a chance to photograph these people
before they commit their crimes -- why can't they stop them?
Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know?

But other problems we would still like to see solved?
Like JFK - you believe all that?
RFK - you believe that?
MLK - you believe all that?
Malcolm X - you believe that?
All this was some great big old C coincidence?
Or was it a little bitty c, conspiracy?

There are two questions that concern us very much about the letter C:
The first one is the CIA. Who the hell runs that organization?
The second one is: Who runs this country?
Dot Dot Dit Dit Dot Dot Dash. Damned if I know.


thezenhaitian said...

The World is a Ghetto -- the Geto Boys

What we see [what we see] everyday [everyday]
Livin' in the ghetto this is where I stay
[What we do] what we do [to get by] to get by
Live or die, the world is a ghetto

Lets take a journey to the other side
Where many people learn to live with their handicaps
While others die
Where mutha****as had no money spots
And if they did then they *** went insane
When all the money stops

I'm from the ghetto so I'm used to that
Look on your mutha****in map and find Texas
And see where Houston at
Its on the borderline of hard times
And it's seldom that your hear *****s breakin' and givin' God time
That's why your *** (????) and pray for me
Because I know that even I got to die
And he got a day for me
And every morning I wake up I'm kinda glad to be alive
Cause thousands of my homeboys died
And very few died of old age
In most cases the incident covered up the whole page
From Amsterdam to Amarillo
It ain't no secret
The world is a ghetto

Five hundred *****s died in guerilla warfare
In a village in Africa, but didn't nobody care
They just called up the goddamn gravedigga
And said come get these mutha****in *****s
Just like they do in the 5th Ward
In the South Park and The Bronx and the Watts
You know they got crooked cops
Working for the system
Makin' po mutha****as out of victims
Don't nobody give a **** about the po
It's double jeopardy if your black or latino
They got mutha****in drugs in the slums
Got us killing one another over crumbs
Think I'm lying? Well mutha****a I got proof
Name a section in your city where minorities group
And I'ma show you prostitutes, dope and hard times
And a murder rate that never declines
And little babies sittin on the porch smellin' smelly
Cryin cause they ain't got no food in they bellies
They call my neighbourhood a jungle
And me an animal, like they do the people in Rawanda
Fools fleeing their countries to come here black
But see the same bullshit and head right back
They find out what others already know
The world is a ghetto

What's up outta towner? Southern ***** downer
I wish you would bring your mutha****in *** around here
With that hip **** **** from your block
You **** around and get shipped back home to ya momma in a pine box
Cause we don't play that **** in 5th Ward
We got killas and hustlas and playas to so ***** disregard
What your seeing on them western movies
cause yo! I ain't never rode a horse before
Ho, think we slow? Smash the gas
And watch how fast I'll put these hands on yo' ***** ***
Try to load them dice, you'll meet the gravedigga
Cause game recognize game scheisty *** *****
See I done seen fools die for less
Than a goddamn cigarette butt, for ****in' wit my set
So get that frown off your face busta
Cause you ghetto ain't no harder than mine

DebC said...

thezenhaitian...Such a great post! Thank you

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