When I was a child watching movies, it was the Mau Mau who were the villains and the white colonialists who were portrayed as the good guys. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that the Mau Mau were freedom fighters and it was the opposite that was true.
Now we have President Barack Obama, enamored with the national security and military options available to him, starting a third war, this one on the African continent. He has his justifications, but perhaps it is the opposite that is true.
Putting aside the agendas of the U.S. regarding the war in Libya and the effort to kill Muammar Gaddafi, the question is what is best for the African Diaspora?
NATO is a European animal that won’t stop feasting on Africa. Here, they saw a coming regime challenge as an opportunity to attack and they attempted to get ahead of the ball and shape the game in their direction.
That Western powers are so concerned about controlling the regime change in Libya is an indication of the importance they place on its resources. If those resources were directed toward first the citizens, in a healing and constructive way, and then as a contributor to the healing and rebuilding of Africa through the African Union and perhaps on to a United States of Africa, with the Diaspora having a voice, then it is apparent that this war against Libya is against the reemergence of the continent of Africa as a leader on the world stage.
Whatever the political motives and corporate interests that are driving the United States’ actions, the creation of a strong and united Africa is not among them.
By not following the procedures in the War Powers Act, Obama has declared that the president acting alone can take the nation to war. He’s going to find a lot of folks do not agree with him. If American participation in this invasion does not end soon, there will come a time when the president will have to make somebody unhappy: either his NATO allies or the American people. He can’t serve two masters.
In an interview in The Voice of Russia, Evgenia Voiko, a leading expert at the Russian Center of Political Processes, was asked how long he thought the NATO military operation may last in Libya. He answered, “I cannot predict the exact date, but I think that the whole summer will be devoted to this operation, because Gaddafi has to fight to show his power, to show his moral qualities, so I think that the summer will be not enough to fight him.”
If this is true, and the US doesn’t get a lucky strike, then a “slow news summer” will only have one thing on its mind, barring natural disasters and flash mobs in the cities, war.
The president may want to consider allowing himself to be “forced” to ask for congressional approval and make as graceful an exit as possible from this NATO operation. Because if he’s fighting Gaddafi in September, then the tar baby will have him but good. He will have killed the visceral progressive and proud spirits that carried him into office. The slogan, “Their bad qualities are worse than mine” is not the fuel for a grassroots effort. But, of course, the president knows this. That is why the Obama campaign goal is to raise a billion dollars for the media effort he’s going to need to sell his presidency.
His major chance for reelection will be if the Republicans have a Palinesque figure for president or vice president. And even then, it will be close. And if the U.S. is on its fifteenth drone strike at “suspected Gaddafi headquarters” and the administration has lawyers arguing why they should continue, it won’t be close at all.
Civil Rights Profiteers
Marc Morial at the National Urban League and Reverend Al Sharpton with the National Action Network are an embarrassment to the Civil Rights Movement. These two organizations have written letters of support for the merger of ATT and T-Mobile, ostensibly because of “diversity” , “minority hiring” and other such stuff as though any other corporation would not follow the equal employment laws. They say everything but what truly matters to them, that is continued “Platinum Level” support for the next gala and corporate tables at some chromed palace. The hundreds of millions of dollars this will cost their constituents in higher rates means nothing next to the creature comforts of the NUL and NAN corporate alliance. One would have thought the founding mission of these organizations was to free Black people, not help corporate America pick our pockets. There is nothing wrong with having corporate friends, (we all do), but as one of Sharpton’s mentors, the Rev. William Augustus Jones of Bethany Baptist Church used to say regularly, “You eat the king’s meat, you do the king’s bidding.” Here, that bidding involves using the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement as a protector of profits and corporate giants, using the rationale that what is good for NUL and NAN is good for African-Americans. That may be true some of the time, but not here.
We will not be beaten
Technology has empowered the rulers, but it has also empowered the masses of people in a profound new way. The only concern, as it is with rulers around the world, is how much pain they are willing to cause to maintain control.
As the recent reports and images coming out of places like Yemen, Syria and Libya of the extreme measures rulers are willing to take to ensure that the status quo is maintained, were intermingled with images of the 60’s around the death of Gil Scott-Heron, African-American men and women wearing Afrocentric clothes with “Buy Black” and community control of education as mantras, it was apparent why the security apparatus of the United States, used the Counter-Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) domestically to gather intelligence, entrap and assassinate, and the Central Intelligence Agency internationally to enable hundreds of tons of cocaine to be brought into African-American communities across the country. By using this chemical warfare, they were able to short-circuit the arc of African-American self-empowerment and cripple it for generations to come.
But here is the thing the oligarch should learn, we will not be beaten. There are too many community-based ogranizations and individuals, unions and bookstores, Churches and Mosques, study groups and others who are working through the neighborhoods, helping, mentoring and reaching back. Transferring knowledge and encouragement spirit to spirit. We do not know the names of the vast majority of these workers, but we know they will not be beaten.