U. S. AFRICAN AND MIDEAST POLICIES: WAR AS FOREIGN AID AND REGIME CHANGE AS DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION
The following Essay was written by Dhoruba al-Mujahid Bin-Wahad in 2012
Africans in the Diaspora are in a crisis of conscience searching for what it means to be “African centered” or Pan-African, and citizens of Racist Nation-states with histories of Imperial domination. We are confronted today with “New Age Imperialism” where national elites collaborate to oppress the poor and hungry of the planet rather than wage war with each other over the control of strategic resources. This global convergence of interests has found its natural opposition in the international character of the Muslim Ummah and its historical dichotomy with Western Europe (and by Euro phenotypical extension the U.S.).
The US and Race based Democracy – “Democratic Fascism”
In the U.S. where over 2.5 million American citizens are locked away in prison and another 15 plus million are ostracized owners of major “felony” convictions, the African-American population and other national “minorities” of non-European background are subjected to a contrived system of fascism masquerading as “democracy” – a political and social system of police and corporate control, a police state with unprecedented power (after 9/11 terrorist attacks) that employs a “National Security” rationale to conceal its crimes of “rendition”, torture (enhanced interrogation), indefinite detention, and targeted assassinations . Like most modern “national-security” states, U.S. policies are most closely associated with its perceived “national interests” primarily involving access to strategic resources and “trade”. The West’s bogus advocacy of supporting individual freedom by covertly encouraging “Democratic regime change” in Europe’s former colonial territories mask not only their own internal inequalities based on race, religion and gender, but conceal the often violent cooptation of legitimate revolutionary people’s movements that oppose entrenched oligarchies, Autocrats, while marginalizing and demonizing Islamic based anti-imperialist forces across Africa and Mid-East. Islam has replaced the specter of “communist global domination” as the foremost threat to global Finance Capitalism and Western global domination. That the West’s perceives opposition to neo-imperialist diplomacy in secular dimensions, characterizing this opposition as the “clash of civilizations) is not without historical basis.
Up until the overthrow of the western stooge Shah Reza Palhavi of Iran, a strictly Islamic based mass movement had never overthrown a modern non-secular Nation State backed by the Western Imperial powers. Needless to say the Iranian “revolutions” sent shock waves throughout the region and shook regional Sunni comprador classes (Oil Sheikdoms) across the region to their reactionary roots. But to the masses of Muslims on the streets of Arab capitals the Iranian revolution was a ray of hope – but its Shia dimension served the US and Europe’s historical fallback tactic of divide and conquer . We now see how effective the West’s early divide and conquer strategy of containment has been and how it has the region tittering on the brink of war. Many Arab Sunni rulers, with US blessings, covertly intensified their alignment with the European settler-state of Israel to contain Iranian geopolitical influence even as Israel gears up for military strikes against the Islamic Republic. US and NATO troops are stationed in Muslim lands, military bases across the Mid-East are designed to project Western full spectrum military power into the region. All this a consequence of US divide and conquer fear tactics liberally employed against Developing poor nations, particularly those in Africa and the Arab world.
With the support for US militarism abroad (war on terror) a fundamental principle of both the Right wing and “moderates” in the US congress , it is little surprise that white American politicians are also major supporters and instigators of anti-Islamic fervor both inside and outside the US. Because the ramifications of “the war on terror” has disproportionately affected the immigrant Muslim population in the US (African-American Muslims have lived under religious, racial, and political repression for decades) U.S. military and diplomatic actions in Arab countries of North Africa, Iraq, Syria, as well as in Pakistan and India has been characterized as unique, untypical popular resistance or an “Arab Spring”. This definition of uprisings across Muslim North Africa by the western media and westernized Arab intellectuals is contrived to achieve one thing: Dividing the Muslim Ummah along racial and historical sectarian lines, while setting apart Sub-Saharan Africans’ (and its oppressed Muslim Communities) from the North African, predominantly Arab popular uprisings against Corrupt, Authoritarian Regimes, and Military Rulers, therein neatly balkanizing any process of Pan-African unified political resistance along racial, religious, and cultural fault lines (that could threaten or curtail Western redivision of Africa’s resources) while simultaneously corralling the continents youth movements, democratic and humanitarian movements behind the Barb-wire parameters of State sponsored perpetual “war on terror.”
The use of the contextual term “Arab Spring” to characterize the mass uprising of NORTH AFRICANS against the rule of their despotic Arab elites is purposely and artfully spun to discourage restless sub-Saharan Black Africa and its Muslim populations, also subjected to corrupt military and authoritarian regimes, from emulating their North African counterparts. The media created notion of an “Arab Spring” disingenuously appeals to the “Anti-Arab” sentiments among many Pan-Africans especially in the Black Diaspora. ECOWAS and the African Union’s recent support of French military intervention in Mali and as US surrogate in Somalia, and else where on the African continent are testimony to how eagerly Africa’s political elite are utilizing the “West’s war terror” to secure their positions and prop up their power while ignoring persecuted and marginalized Muslim minority populations. In Nigeria the US is on the ground supporting the Christian dominated government’s “anti-terrorist actions” in the North of the country against an Islamic Boko Haram insurgency. In Somalia, the US drone war against Al Shabab has spilled over into neighboring countries, like Eritrea, Al-Yemen and has led to tribal unrest in Northern Kenya. While the US and its European Allies seemed appalled by the Muslim insurgencies in the North of Mali (consistently failing to mentioned that this crisis was long in the making and connected to the Western European’s deposing of Libya’s Ghadaffi and the silent collusion of Black Africa’s leaders with his overthrow) both the US and Europe are feign no horror or outrage by events in the Congo.
Africa, A War Zone Without End
Nearly 3 million people have died in Congo in a four-year war over Coltan, a heat-resistant mineral ore widely used in cellphones, laptops and playstations and other strategic minerals. Eighty percent of the world’s coltan reserves are in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Often dismissed as an ethnic war, or political contest for control of the central Government (hence management of billion dollar contracts with multi-national Mining Conglomerates, Corporate Consortiums, and the like) the real conflict in the Congo is for its natural resources sought by foreign corporations — diamonds, tin, copper, gold, but mostly coltan”
In an article titled “Why the U.S. Won’t Help”, a Nairobi newspaper explained, ‘Right from the days of the Cold War, Western governments have been comfortable with a situation in which African regimes squandered meager resources on the instruments of war, borrowing from the West to finance domestic consumption. The war in the Congo and the countries involved in it are a case in point’… In 1998, the State Department licensed commercial weapons sales by U.S. manufacturers to sub-Saharan Africa worth up to $64 million, on top of the $12 million in government-to-government deliveries that year. These figures have quadrupled since 1998 and the region is no closer to stability than it was when Patrice Lumumba was assassinated by the US, French and Belgians in 1960s.
The hypocrisy of the US and Europe asking Africa’s political elite to develop and democratize while cutting levels of non-military international aid and increasing weapons and military training to the continent’s Armies does not seem to have registered with African-Americans, neither those (Pan-Africans) who claim solidarity with the current crop of African leaders, or African-American’s elected to public office. This lack of outspoken opposition to US militarization of Africa, especially under the Obama administration is inexcusable and attributable to the uncritical and unprincipled support of the Obama regime by African-Americans. Moreover, Obama’s policy of destabilization and “democratic regime change” of governments suggest that there is little real commitment to developing Africa’s human resources and creating a new “partnership” with Africa. The U.S. needs to redirect the focus away from strengthening military capacity of African States, coopting ethnic regional differences to achieve U.S. objectives and supporting corrupt national elites and more toward promoting human development in Africa.