Tearing down statues isn’t vandalism. It’s at the heart of the democratic tradition

10 June 2020 — Jonathan Cook

It is easy to forget how explicitly racist British society was within living memory. I’m not talking about unconscious prejudice, or social media tropes. I’m talking about openly celebrating racism in the public space, about major companies making racism integral to their brand, a selling-point.

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Africa’s Future: The Gravest Untruth Will Tell

21 May 2020 — New Eastern Outlook

By Phil Butler

AFR4342There is a 21st-century scramble for the remaining resources of Africa. The Anglo-European scavengers who drained African blood the last two hundred years are telling us it’s the Russians and the Chinese who seek fortune there. The reality is, as it has always been, an ongoing tragedy perpetuated for profit. And the biggest profiteers are familiar ones.

Perspective is an interesting thing. For instance. If you work with US backed institutions, almost everybody and everything outside America has a huge black cloud hovering over it. Or, the sun only shines on American ideas, I guess. Take the think tanks. Even the smartest people working there in Washington seem to believe the rest of the world is pure evil. A good example comes in the form of an intern set on becoming part of the US national security brotherhood. Dylan Yachyshen, an intern at the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes:

“The world faces a renewed struggle for influence in Africa. Notably, China, Russia, some Gulf States (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar) and Turkey have employed private entities, state-run companies, and predatory lending and diplomacy to secure economic and political power across the continent.”

Well, there’s an A+ for Dylan from the University of Colorado, and kudos from FPRI for carrying on the mission of the intellectual prosecution of Cold War II. There’s a job at the NSA sitting waiting, probably for Africa research. Like 1,000 of his job-seeking collegiate colleagues, the intern preaches US State Department propaganda like a Baptist minister on a roll. According to the high priests of the hegemony, Russia under Vladimir Putin is hell-bent on world domination. Yachyshen rolls Mr. Putin’s Africa Summit in Sochi in with Russia’s Syria moves, and everything but the kitchen sink of Russophobic propaganda. China gets the same treatment, only with a bit more fear-mongering laced in. But what is the reality? Are Amerca and her Europe buddies really the good guys?

If you cover your ears and turn your head away from the newsreel, you might just see or hear the distant muttering of truth about Africa. The constant US propaganda portraying America’s geopolicy as run by John Wayne on his trusty American saddlebred steed is not real. My country and the colonial European ones, their “efforts” shape Africa’s legacy as surely as Stanley and Livingston shaped it. Sure, Russia and other nations have deals going on, but nowhere near the shenanigans going on to feather Anglo-European nests. ESI Africa, May 20th:

“The board of directors of the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) has unanimously voted to amend the agency’s previously approved September 2019 direct loan supporting US exports for the development and construction of an integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Mozambique.”

Elsewhere, headlines read like these:

  • “Gambia wins World Bank aid to reform the energy sector” – As if the new puppet Adam BaRrow is going to be less of a tyrant than predecessor Yahya Jammeh.
  • “Mali First In Africa To Win Paris Club Debt Moratorium” – Let’s consider the French military intervention in Mali in context, shall we? Operation Serval. Why just the French?
  • “PARIS CLUB CREDITORS GRANT SOMALIA DEBT RELIEF” – In big BOLD letters, no less. The fine print tells us of new debt the Paris Club expects to leverage in the ruined nation.

Meanwhile, the UK government pays for events like the recent UK-Africa Investment Summit so that private investors and corporations can sop up more African gravy. Funny thing, some activists are complaining about the high cost of wining and dining everybody at these conferences. From the story, the event cost £3.14 million, but raked in “£6.5 billion worth of commercial investments in infrastructure, energy, retail, and tech.” Make no mistake here, the House of Lords is ever busy discussing how Africa can feed the coffers of UK investors. The elites make no secret of their intentions, they only rely on the fact the world is distracted by the COVID or other crises.

The Brits are the busiest of those busy scraping the last vestiges of profit from a continent stripped almost bare by imperialists. If you look for a few minutes, recurring logos and brands appear in any search for the UK investing. Africa Global Funds is but one of dozens of hubs focused on everything from agriculture to nuclear power. Researching is a bit like watching sharks slashing in to finish off a great whale. It’s disgusting, just to be honest. Armadale Capital, Apollo Agriculture, Ethiopia power, Kamoso Africa, Vast Resources, the list of players governmental and private only searching for this month, is endless.

And then there’s the good old U.S.A. While the Brits still seem to swarm at new and old “opportunities,” the United States just sucks Africa’s blood as if connected by a feeding tube. This report on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from the US International Trade Commission lists commodities like petroleum and minerals as if Africa were a cereal box’s nutrients panel. While the US State Department, think tanks and owned media harp about Russia and China taking over Africa, the facts show America selling more tanks, planes, guns, and other products to SSA nations than anybody on the planet. Let me quote exports from 2016 to 2018:

“The sectors in which US exports of goods to SSA experienced the most growth in absolute value terms between 2016 and 2018 were petroleum products; aircraft, spacecraft, and related equipment; certain motor vehicle parts; motor vehicles; natural gas and components; and poultry.”

Yes, America is sending Africans chickens, right along with the F-16 fighter planes. And, of course, the United States is importing; crude petroleum; precious metals and non-numismatic coins; natural and synthetic gemstones; spices; ferroalloys; and certain ores, concentrates, ashes, and residues, as always. But, what about the new COVID-19 crisis? What’s to come from all the debt restructures and forgiveness from the Anglo-European investors? This Brookings Institute story hints at the coming debacle. What’s about to take place will be the finishing off of any hopes Africans can have of prosperity. The Paris Club and the others are going to do Africa a huge “favor” to help beaten governments “cope” with the coronavirus. The payoff will be in diamonds, gas, coal, rare minerals, and African blood.

The $11 trillion in external debt and about $3.9 trillion in debt service due in 2020 the emerging nations of the world owe is not going away. You read that correctly. $3.9 trillion owed just for servicing this year. In contrast, China’s investment in Africa is only about $400 billion. Russia’s role is even smaller, but the propaganda says otherwise. The reasons are obvious. The imperialists don’t want anybody else in their game. And while this seems natural from a business sense, it’s the style and ideology of investment principles of the west that are the problem for Africans. I’ve discussed this many, many times before. China and Russia’s investments are much more “user friendly” compared to those of the Paris Club, etc.

As I said, perspective is everything. For Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and New York investors in Africa, I guess Russia, China, and the Saudis represent a real crisis. I mean, put bean counters in charge of policy and you can expect a world war or two over squabbles over a few loads of diamonds or coal. This is what you are witnessing. The feeding frenzy grows more hectic. This is clear as I research in the changed time of COVID-19. The UK seems particularly scared that the lifeblood of the British Isles might get diverted somewhere else. Americans still seem arrogant and just downright greedy. Not even the think tanks in the US have caught on. They will soon. What’s sad for me is thinking about that kid somewhere in Mauritania or Somalia, who will never, ever have the privileges the rest of us enjoy. We are rich even though we only get the crumbs from Lords and oligarchs, compared to the people of the original continent. Untruth has a way, you know?

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

How to Find a Tiger in Africa: Searching for Agostinho Neto (1922 –1979) By T.P. Wilkinson

18 September 2019 — Black Agenda Report

How to Find a Tiger in Africa: Searching for Agostinho Neto (1922 –1979)
The history of liberated Angola, like the history of the world, cannot be told by humanity’s oppressors.

“In the jargon of the ‘West,’ anyone called a communist who becomes a head of state must be a dictator.”

What I want to do here is something very simple. I want to explain how I began to search for Agostinho Neto. I also want to explain the perspective that shapes this search.[i]

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Australia’s Pacific Play: Denying Climate Change and Boosting China’s Threat by Dr Binoy Kampmark

14 August 2019 — Counter Currents

Australia has always nursed a contradictory, repressive relationship with its Pacific neighbours.  Being a satrap of great powers, it has performed the role of gate keeper and monitor of regional instability, a condescending, often paternalistic agent. At stages, it has also entertained more direct colonial interests.  For almost seven decades, Australia controlled Papua New Guinea, assuming power over the former British colony of Papua in 1906.

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REVIEW: Israel, a Beachhead… By Philip Roddis

14 July 2019 — Off Guardian

This book is a timely response to three groups: Those yet to grasp that Israel in its current form is an outrage comparable to apartheid South Africa; Those who recognise this truth but fail (as had many sincere opponents of apartheid) to see the bigger picture of a Faustian bargain with Western elites; Those who say the USA is a vassal – a client state of Israel.

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Help Steven Leelah By Craig Murray

5 July 2019 — Craig Murray

With a callousness that defies belief, the British government continues to pursue and persecute Chagossians in pursuit of the genocide they initiated on the community in 1971. This blog has been campaigning for the Chagossians for over ten years, but following the recent resounding condemnation of the British government at the International Court of Justice, and the massive vote at the UN General Assembly for Chagos to be returned to Mauritius, thankfully the issue is becoming better known. The SNP are to be congratulated for initiating and leading a debate at Westminster this week to demand that the UK respects the International Court of Justice decision (which the Tories are refusing to do).

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Orientalism and the Myth of Independence By Shahzada Rahim

30 April 2019 — Off Guardian

In the nineteenth century more half of the world was colonized by the European imperial powers and according to historians like Eric Hobsbawm, it was the peak century of western colonialism in Africa and Asia: the largest continents by population. Moreover, the very industrial heydays across Europe were the result of colonization, that provided cheap labor, raw material and other resources for the industrial boom.

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Britain Robbed India Of $45 Trillion & Thence 1.8 Billion Indians Died From Deprivation by Dr Gideon Polya

18 December 2018 — Counter Currents

Eminent Indian economist Professor Utsa Patnaik (Jawaharlal Nehru University) has estimated that Britain robbed India of $45 trillion between 1765 and 1938, However it is estimated that if India had remained free with  24% of world GDP  as in 1700 then its cumulative GDP would have been $232 trillion greater (1700-2003) and $44 trillion greater (1700-1950). Deprivation kills and it is estimated that 1.8 billion Indians died avoidably from egregious deprivation under the British (1757-1947). The deadly impact of British occupation of India lingers today 71 years after Independence, with 4 million people dying avoidably from deprivation each year in capitalist India as compared to zero (0) in China.

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Britain is More of a Fake State than Anything Else By Grete Mautner

11 October 2018 — NEO

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Blatant lies have been a feature of the British political system for a long while. Whitehall’s tried and tested ways of manipulating the general public are used to distract attention from crucial topics. But what’s even more curious is that inside the Whitehall bunkers where they come up with their own definitions for such manipulations, there is even a term for this kind of propaganda. They call it a ‘term of art’.

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Africa’s pioneering Marxist political economist By Patrick Bond

18 August 2018 — Pambazuka News

Samir Amin (1931-2018) (Photo: Patrick Bond)

Samir Amin’s celebrated life was amongst the most trying, but also rewarding, of his generation’s left intelligentsia. Following Amin’s death in Paris on Sunday, his political courage and professional fearlessness are two traits now recognised as exceedingly rare. Alongside extraordinary contributions to applied political-economic theory beginning 60 years ago, Amin’s unabashed Third Worldist advocacy was channelled through unparalleled scholarly entrepreneurship when establishing surprisingly durable research institutions.

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France’s President Macron Tells Africans to Just ‘Move on’ After a Century of Murderous Colonialism (Pt. 1/3)

8 July 2018 — TRNN

France’s neoliberal President Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly told people in Nigeria, Algeria, and beyond to just “move on” after a century of murderous colonialism. Activist Baba Aye speaks with TRNN’s Ben Norton about the ongoing harms of imperialism and neo-colonialism in Africa Continue reading