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Ujio wa Bush Tanzania na kwingineko barani Afrika

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Una maoni gani juu ya ujio huu wa Rais George W. Bush, Jnr. nchini Tanzania na katika nchi nyingine kadhaa za KiAfrika kuanzia tarehe 16 Feb 2008?

Hapa chini kuna maoni kutoka kwa Mwanazuoni Mustafa Njozi na vilevile kutoka kwa Horace Campbell. Maoni hayo yametoka katika http://www.pambazuka.org/

Binafsi nasema Bush aje, lakini hatuna sababu hata moja ya kumtetemekea na kumwona kama Mungu-mtu. Tunaelewa kuwa Marekani, pamoja na ukubwa wa uchumi wake, ni taifa ambalo limetenda maovu mengi dhidi ya ubinadamu. Haya ya karibuni ya kule Iraq ni kielelezo tu cha maovu mengi yaliyojificha. Pengine tunaweza kutumia nafasi hii ya ujio wake hapa kwetu kumwambia kuwa ni wakati sasa Marekani ibadilike. Iache unafiki wa kujitia rafiki na kutoa vijimisaada vidogovidogo kama chambo cha kuendeleza ubabe wake na kujitafutia kwake maslahi. Kama alivyoseme Mh Rais wetu, JK, wakati akizungumza na Wazee wa DSM, tumwache aje na tumwonyeshe kwa mfano ”kuwa sisi ni wema”, ni wakarimu, hata kama uchumi wa nchi yetu bado ni mdogo.

Vinginevyo, Bush kama Bush na utawala wake umeifikisha dunia yetu mahali pagumu, mahali ambapo unafuu wa maisha ya watu wa nchi zinazoendelea umezidi kudorora. Vita na vurugu vimeendelea kutawala pahala pengi duniani kana kwamba bado tunaishi enzi za Vita Baridi.

 Fuatilia kwa makini maoni ya wanazuoni hawa wawili hapa chini nawe utoe maoni yako. Karibu:

BY INVITING BUSH WE ARE DISHONOURING OURSELVES

Hamza Mustafa Njozi

“To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men” – 
Abraham Lincoln

It would seem to me that there are certain moral limits beyond which 
no one can cross without forfeiting one’s honour and human dignity. 
Our seemingly voluntary decision to invite and to entertain a hated 
war criminal for four days in our beautiful land will probably go 
down in history as marking the darkest moment in our political 
history so far. I recall, not without pride, that in 2003 as members 
of the University of Dar es Salaam Academic Assembly [UDASA], we 
prevented the then U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania from visiting the 
Mlimani main campus. The university’s long-standing intellectual 
tradition was too noble to be soiled by a representative of a war 
criminal who was, and still is, butchering innocent people in Iraq 
and Afghanistan. This is as it should be. Intellectuals should keep 
the beacon of freedom and justice burning even during the darkest 
night of unbridled tyranny.

And now, Kwame Nkrumah’s worst fears have come to pass. Tanzania, a 
former Frontline State, is feverishly preparing itself to participate 
in a macabre dance with the deadliest twenty-first century harpy, “a 
monster who entices its victims with sweet music.” Tanzania is 
apparently following the footsteps of Uganda and Ethiopia. In whose 
interest? Let us begin by listening to the sweet music as performed 
by the U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania and sickeningly echoed by some of 
our leaders.

The Sweet Music of Economic Gain

According to the American Ambassador, Mr. Mark Green, President 
Bush’s visit to Tanzania will stimulate investment because for four 
days the world media would focus on Tanzania. Of course, Mr. Green 
dismissed claims about Bush’s keen interest to station AFRICOM in 
Tanzania. Instead, Bush’s noble intentions include intensifying the 
fight against malaria and Aids. To this end, Tanzania will receive 
$818.4 million to fight Aids. During the visit, Bush would also 
highlight his country’s commitment to improving health in Africa. In 
summary, the iron spine of the argument justifying Bush’s trip is 
economic gain, both, actual and prospective.

Unless if Tanzanians wish to fall prey to racist reasoning, Mr. 
Green’s story is nothing but an attempt to disguise ignoble motives 
beneath a glittering façade of altruism. Why should Mr. Bush be so 
concerned about improving the health condition of Tanzanians and at 
the same time use the most sophisticated weapons to kill and maim, 
with zest and ruthlessness, the Iraqis and Afghans and now the 
Somalis? Why? Is it because we are black and they are Arab? In his 
recent State of the Union Address, Mr. Bush, amid cheers from his 
sycophants, vowed to heighten his hawkish policies world wide. And 
yet, Mr. Bush is so kind and altruistic to Tanzanians. Why? Of course 
we know from history that even the sordid intentions of tyrants are 
always dressed up in glowing principles. Hitler occupied 
Czechoslovakia because he wanted to promote peace and social welfare 
for all; Mussolini invaded Ethiopia because he wanted to liberate the 
savages; Japan invaded China to create an earthly paradise; the US 
and UK invaded Iraq because Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass 
Destruction; and so on and so forth.

Thomas Jefferson on Profession of Noble Intent

Commenting on the famous claim by the British Imperialists that they 
were fighting for the liberation of mankind, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, 
as quoted in Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival, “We believe no more 
in Bonaparte’s fighting merely for the liberties of the seas, than in 
Great Britain’s fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is 
the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth, and the 
resources of other nations.”

“A century later,” writes Chomsky, “Woodrow Wilson’s secretary of 
state, Robert Lansing, commented scornfully on ‘how willing the 
British, French or Italians are to accept a mandate’ from the League 
of Nations, as long as ‘there are mines, oil fields, rich grain 
fields or railroads’ that will make it a profitable undertaking.’ 
These ‘unselfish governments’ declare the mandates must be accepted 
‘for the good of mankind’: ‘they will do their proper share by 
administering the rich regions of Mesopotamia, Syria, & c.’ The 
proper assessment of these pretensions is ‘so manifest that it is 
almost an insult to state it’. (p. 48)

To their credit, American leaders saw through such pretensions, and 
dismissed them for what they were. They knew the real motive was to 
grab the wealth and resources of other nations. We should apply the 
same standard in assessing the noble intent of Mr. Bush.

The Transparency of American Motives

Since the Americans know that their real motive is to pillage and 
loot the wealth and resources of other nations, they have often 
demonstrated by their behaviour that they must have unhindered access 
to all resources of the world. To achieve this end, they have 
stationed military bases all over the world. The goal of their grand 
strategy is to prevent any challenge to the power, position, and 
prestige of the United States. Since securing the supplies of oil 
enables the Americans to have power over her rivals and competitors, 
successive US governments have bombed, occupied or controlled 
countries with rich oil deposits. According to a government daily 
newspaper Habari Leo of 21 July 2007, an American oil company Helvey 
International and Petronet International of South Africa have signed 
a $313 million oil exploration contract in Tanzania. In view of how 
American oil companies have fleeced other oil rich countries like 
Ecuador, this does not augur us well. No wonder, suddenly, Bush, 
loves Tanzanians! Why not invite the Chinese who need no military 
bases, who have invaded no country and who give the best offer? If 
what has befallen other countries is any barometer, the Americans 
will need a military base in Tanzania. Military presence is necessary 
to ensure total control of this vital resource as well as the 
continued pillage of our gold mines.

Of late USAID has increased its activities in Tanzania. Commenting on 
the role of USAID in promoting the American Empire, John Pilger notes 
in Freedom Next Time:

Illuminating how America exported ‘democracy to the world’, the head 
of USAID, Andrew Natsios, described ‘aid’ as ‘a key foreign policy 
instrument’. Wishing to leave no doubt about what he meant, he said, 
‘Foreign assistance helps developing and transition nations move 
toward democratic systems and market economies; it helps nations 
prepare for participation in the global trading system and become 
better markets for U.S. exports. (p.265)

John Perkins has lent to the same verdict the weight of his 
considerable weight as a professional Economic Hit Man [EHM]. He says 
the job of an EHM is:

To encourage world leaders to become part of a vast network that 
promotes U.S. commercial interests. In the end, those leaders become 
ensnared in a web of debt that ensures their loyalty. We can draw on 
them whenever we desire – to satisfy our political, economic, or 
military needs.

Acccording to John Perkins, EHM “funnel money from the World Bank, 
UASID, and other foreign ‘aid’ organizations into the coffers of huge 
corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control 
the planet’s natural resources” (p. ix).

Bush’s Visit and AFRICOM

The U.S. Ambassador has repeatedly and vehemently dismissed the 
disquieting reports that one of the objectives of Bush’s visit to 
Tanzania is to persuade our leaders into accepting to host the hated 
AFRICOM. Still, the signs and portents are too consistent to brush 
aside. According to Assistant Secretary of Defence for African 
Affairs, Theresa Whalen, the mission of AFRICOM will be to promote 
diplomatic, economic and humanitarian aid for African countries. In 
recent months, the U.S. Ambassadors, Michael Retzer and Mark Green 
have conspicuously [ and somewhat undiplomatically] attempted to show 
the shiny face of the U.S. Army. On 20 July, 2007 the US Ambassador 
opened a primary school in Chake Chake, Pemba. The school was built 
with the support of the US military base in Djibouti. The U.S. Navy 
Captain Wright from the U.S. CJTF-HOA, and the Country Director of 
USAID attended this important humanitarian function! Mwananchi of 10 
November 2006 reported about a Tshs. 3.2 billion U.S assistance to 
the police laboratory. Habari Leo of 28 November 2007 reported that 
our police force received 100 hand-cuffs, 50 tape-recorders, 2 
laptops, and a camera. Mwananchi of 8 December 2007, reported about 
the U.S. pledge to increase military assistance to Tanzania to the 
tune of $70 million under the Acota programme. Mwananchi of 6 
December 2007, the U.S. Ambassador addresses students of Kinondoni 
Secondary school who are under USAID’s Stay Alive programme. 
Mwananchi of 22 November, 2007 the U.S. Ambassador visits and assists 
an orphanage in Arusha. Mwananchi of 22 November 2007, the U.S. Army 
helps a Handeni Hospital with equipments worth Tshs. 6 million. The 
U.S. Army stationed in Tanga involves itself with helping in the 
repair and rehabilitation of schools, dispensaries, bore holes and 
other social activities. Mwananchi of 12 January 2008, an American 
Army officer distributes toys to school children of Mbagala. 
Mwananchi of 17 January 2008, USAID officials give academic prizes to 
outstanding science students. Mtanzania of 10 January 2008, USAID 
praises the educational achievements of Zanzibar. USAID was handing 
over text books for Zanzibar secondary schools published by the 
University of South Carolina. The ceremony was part of the 
celebrations to mark 44 years of the Zanzibar Revolution. The 
Zanzibar Minister of Education did not seem to notice the tragic 
irony of the entire ceremony!

It may be instructive to recall that on 6 November 1933, Hitler 
responded to his political opponents by saying, “Your child belongs 
to us already…What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, 
however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know 
nothing else but this new community.” Four years later he said, “This 
new Reich will give its youth to no one, but will itself take youth 
and give to youth its own education and its own upbringing.” Yes, new 
textbooks were written and new curricula developed.

After 44 years of Independence we are delegating this role to USAID. 
And USAID has nothing but praise for us!

The Boomerang Effect of the Global Media

The prediction that Tanzania would benefit economically because for 
four days the world media would focus on Tanzania is nothing but a 
cruel hoax. If this claim were true, Bush himself would have been the 
first beneficiary. He enjoys the publicity of the world media 
throughout the year. Yet, he is probably the most hated leader alive 
today. He is so hated that he becomes a huge security risk wherever 
he goes. In their book, America Alone, Harper and Clarke note that 
America’s militarism has brought about such a rise in world-wide anti-
American feeling that:

When the president travels, he must do so in a locked-down security 
bubble: eight hours here, sixteen hours there, never more than thirty 
minutes from an airport, no press conferences, no meeting the people, 
no seeing of the sights. American representative overseas tell us 
that in many small ways their jobs have become more difficult…(p. 311).

Tanzania under Mwalimu Nyerere received very negative publicity from 
Newsweek, Time, The Economist, and other leading Western magazines 
and newspapers. And yet, as a nation we commanded respect throughout 
the world. The U.S. print and electronic media had nothing but 
praises for Tony Blair. And yet, unlike the leaders of Germany and 
France who took a principled stand against America’s unprovoked 
military aggression in Iraq, Blair’s enduring political image is that 
of a contemptible poodle of Uncle Sam and his otherwise great country 
as the 51st State of America!

In 2001 the U.S. Congress passed a bill which directed the government 
to cut off military aid to all countries which ratified the 
International Criminal Court treaty, unless they pledged never to 
surrender American criminals to the International court. Tanzania 
took a principled stand. It refused to bow to American pressure. 
Uganda bowed to the U.S. Bush praised Museveni as a shining example 
of African statesmen. To the rest of the world, Museveni had 
metamorphosed from a revolutionary African leader to a docile 
American pupil. In this regard, for some of us, it is a huge 
embarrassment when the number one war criminal in the world, who 
should be facing charges in the Hague, showers praises on our leader. 
No amount of positive media coverage may possibly help Senator Obama 
win votes in the U.S. if he were for four days to dine and go sight-
seeing with Osama bin Laden in the beautiful land of Afghanistan! The 
situation would certainly be far worse if Osama were to shower 
praises on him. Likewise, Tanzania will irreparably tarnish her image 
by allowing the blood-drenching Bush to land in Tanzania, let alone 
to entertain him for four dark days.

When Fidel Castro or Nelson Mandela visited Tanzania, the country 
virtually came to a standstill. Thousands upon thousands of 
Tanzanians braved the rain and the scorching sun to welcome them at 
the airport. The rest thronged the streets out of respect and 
admiration. What a contrast with the forthcoming visit of Mr. Bush. 
For the first time since Independence, a state visit by a foreign 
head of state is greeted with fierce debates about the wisdom of 
allowing him to come! His presence is not an asset but a political 
liability.

Ominous Signs on the Wall

One ominous result of our close association with the American Empire, 
which may not be intended but inevitable, is the radical shift in our 
foreign policy. You cannot unequivocally support the rights of the 
Palestinian people against the Zionist occupation of their land and 
at the same time win the praise of Mr. Bush as an exemplary 
statesman. America is backing Israel to the hilt. We used to support 
the Palestinian people. To this day there is in Sinza area a hospital 
named after Palestine. The Palestinian people provided us with their 
doctors in appreciation of our political solidarity with them. We 
have to make a choice. We either maintain our stance against 
oppression and foreign occupation and court the displeasure of Mr. 
Bush or join the oppressors and win the unqualified praise from Mr. 
Bush and his so-called world media. It seems we value the empty 
praises of Mr. Bush more. This is a political tragedy.

The clearest example of this shift was observed when in 2006, the 
Israelis with the open support of the U.S. and UK launched their ill-
fated war against Hezbullah in Lebanon. Tanzania was at a loss. The 
incompatibility of running with the hare and hunting with the hound 
confronted us. As country after country issued statements to condemn 
Israel, Tanzania kept quiet. And when we could no longer keep quiet, 
we issued a feeble and disappointing statement which provoked the 
anger of most Tanzanians. For the first time, Tanzania spoke with an 
uncertain voice. We condemned both, the aggressor and the victim! 
Even that feeble statement was eclipsed in virtually all print and 
electronic media! The Americans were happy. We were on the side of 
oppressors. We qualified to send a peace-keeping force to Lebanon! 
This, again, is a very bad omen indeed.

On the question of Somalia, once again, Tanzania is supporting the 
war-lords who were recruited and funded by the U.S. The Somali people 
rejected and defeated them. Peace returned in Somalia. The U.S 
instructed Ethiopia to intervene militarily. As a result, the biggest 
humanitarian crisis now is not in Darfur but in Somalia. However, 
since the principal architect of the crisis in Somalia is America, 
the suffering of the Somali people is not covered in the so-called 
world media. Uganda has dutifully sent her army to Mogadishu to give 
political life support to the American puppets. Tanzania has accepted 
the role of training the police force of Bush’s henchmen in 
Mogadishu. We are allowing America to divide us. In whose interest?

In short, as we go closer and closer to the armpit of the U.S. we 
shall quite inevitably, recede further and further from our former 
Third world allies. Americans and Europeans are granted visa at the 
airport here in Dar es Salaam. Egyptians, our long-standing allies 
and fellow Africans have to apply for visa and await clearance before 
they can travel to Tanzania. We invite investors from America, and we 
organize the Sullivan meeting. We discourage investors from the 
Middle East. America does not like them. The president has made many 
trips abroad. I do not recall if he has visited Iran, where we do not 
even have an Embassy. And yet, Iran bailed us out at a very critical 
moment when the country had no fuel. When our president was in Cuba 
to attend the NAM conference, he did not pay a courtesy call to Fidel 
Castro! From Cuba he went to the U.S. These are ominous signs on our 
political wall.

The Hawk and the Pigeons

In the Fables of Aesop there is a story of the hawk and the pigeons 
which is worth recalling as we invite Bush in Tanzania:

Some pigeons had long lived in fear of a hawk, but since they had 
always kept on the alert and stayed near their dovecote, they had 
consistently managed to escape their enemy’s attacks. Finding his 
sallies unsuccessful, the hawk now sought to use cunning to trick the 
pigeons.
“Why,” he once said, “do you prefer this life of constant anxiety 
when I could keep you safe from any conceivable attack by the kites 
and falcons? All you have to do is to make me your king, and I won’t 
bother you anymore.”
Trusting his claims, the pigeons elected him to their throne, but no 
sooner was he installed than he began exercising his royal 
prerogative by devouring a pigeon a day.
“It serves us right,” said one poor pigeon whose turn was yet to come.

The moral of the story is that some remedies are worse than the 
disease itself.

Let me end as I began with a quotation:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to 
succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must 
stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is 
right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”
–Abraham Lincoln.

*Hamza Mustafa Njozi is a Senior Lecturer in Literature and current 
Chair in the Department of Literature at the University of Dar es 
Salaam.

**Please send comments to editor@pambazuka.org or comment online at 
http://www.pambazuka.org

GEORGE BUSH VISITS AFRICA TO PROMOTE THE US AFRICA COMMAND

Horace Campbell

Horace Campbell look at Bush’s visit as an attempt to further 
militarize the continent and consolidate US holding.

One year after the announcement that he United States government was 
going to accelerate the militarization of Africa, President George 
Bush is embarking on a journey to Africa to coerce African societies 
to align themselves with the neo-conservative agenda of the present 
US administration. President George Bush will visit five African 
countries between February 15 -21. The countries are Benin, Ghana, 
Liberia, Rwanda and Tanzania. George Bush is a lame-duck President 
who cannot visit real global players so this visit to Africa is an 
effort to shore up the credentials of the neo-liberal forces in 
Africa while promoting the conservative ideas of abstinence as the 
basis of the fight against the HIV –AIDS pandemic.

Exactly one year ago, in February 2007, President Bush of the United 
States of America announced that the Defense Department would create 
a new Africa Command to coordinate U.S. government interests on the 
continent. Under this plan all governmental agencies of the US would 
fall under the military, i.e, USAID, State Department, US Department 
of Energy, Treasury, and Department of Education etc. Already within 
the US academic community, the interests of the Pentagon has been 
placed before all other interests.

In pursuance of the plans for the militarization of Africa, the US 
Department of Defense announced the appointment of General William 
“Kip” Ward (an African American) as Head of this new Military 
command. On September 28, 2007, Ward as confirmed as the head of this 
new imperial military structure and on October 1 2007, the new 
command was launched in Stuttgart, Germany. The major question that 
is being posed by African peace activists and by concerned citizens 
is, why now? Why is a lame duck President seeking to gain more 
support in Africa?

One answer may lay in the diminished power of the United States in 
the aftermath of the Fiasco in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will maintain 
in this reflection that it is urgent that peace activists who want 
reconstruction and transformation in Africa oppose the plans for the 
remilitarization of Africa under the guise of fighting terrorism in 
Africa.

Why Now?

At the end of World War II the United States had emerged as a leading 
political, economic and military force in world politics. It was in 
this period when the US established unified military command 
structures such as the European Command, the Pacific Command, the 
Southern Command, the Northern Command, and Central Command. Each 
command covers an area of responsibility (AOR). When this command 
structure was being refined, Africa was an after thought in so far as 
the United States had relegated the exploitation of Africa to the 
former European colonial exploiters. Hence, Africa fell under the 
European Command with its headquarters in Germany. Africa had not 
been included in the geographic combatant commands in so far as it 
was expected that France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal 
and other colonial powers would retain military forces to guarantee 
western ‘interests’ in Africa. The collapse of the Portuguese 
colonial forces in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea and Sao Tome and the 
collapse of the white racist military forces in Rhodesia gradually 
led to a rethinking by the US military. During this period the US had 
labeled all African freedom fighters as terrorists. When the US was 
allied with Osama Bin Laden and Jonas Savimbi, Nelson Mandela had 
been branded a terrorist.

Central Command

After the Iranian revolution in 1978-1979, the US established the 
Central Command. CENTCOM based in Florida, USA was responsible for 
the US military activities in East Africa and the Horn of Africa 
(Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia and 
the Sudan). The Pacific Command based in Hawaii was responsible for 
the Comoros, Diego Garcia, Madagascar and Mauritius. Added to these 
commands in six continents are the logistical command structures such 
as the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM), Space Command (SPACECOM), the 
Strategic Command (STRATCOM), the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) 
and the Transport Command (TRANSCOM).

At the end of the era of formal apartheid, the US military had 
established the Africa Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) with the 
goal of supporting humanitarianism and ending genocide. It was this 
same US government that had lobbied the United Nations to withdraw 
troops from Rwanda in the midst of the fastest genocide in Africa. 
Two years later, the US supported the militarist forces in Burundi 
even while publicly renouncing the genocidal violence and the war in 
Burundi.

Throughout this period, the US military had been cautious about 
involvement in Africa in the aftermath of the experience in Mogadishu/
Somalia in 1993. This caution changed after the events of September 
2001. In the next year the USA updated its ACRI “plans” to organize 
the African Contingency Operations Training Assistance (ACOTA). Under 
ACOTA, African troops were supposed to be provided with offensive 
military weaponry, including rifles, machine guns, and mortars. The 
Africa Regional Peacekeeping Program (ARP) was also established in 
order to equip, train, and support troops from selected African 
countries that are involved in “peacekeeping” operations. 
Additionally, the US government launched a Pan Sahel anti-terrorism 
initiative (later called Trans Sahara Counter Terror Initiative). 
Behind these grand mutations lay one clear fact. The USA wanted to 
control the oil resources from Africa. Presently Africa supplies more 
petroleum to the USA than the Middle East and US corporations wanted 
the US military to guarantee the dominance of US oil conglomerates.

Exposing US militarism and the failures in the Middle East

After launching two major wars from the United States Central 
Command, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq pointed to the reality that 
high technology weapons cannot guarantee military superiority in 
battles. It was in the face of the quagmire that the US faced in Iraq 
when the United States government announced the formation of a new 
command structure called, Africom.

What did we learn from the visit of George Bush to the Middle East in 
January 2008? Even the friends and allies of the USA (such as the 
leadership of Saudi Arabia and Egypt) warned that the US could not 
get anywhere as long as the issue of the Israeli occupation of 
Palestine does not end. And, lo and behold, the people of Gaza took 
matters in their hands a few days after the visit of Bush to Egypt to 
bring home to the world the reality that there can be no peace in 
Palestine when there is illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian 
lands along with the expansion of Jewish settlements in Palestine. By 
breaking out of the blockade of Israel and breaking through the walls 
that divided Gaza from Egypt. The citizens of Gaza were literally 
breaking the silence in the international community over the crimes 
against the peoples of Palestine. In the process these citizens 
placed the Egyptian leadership on the defensive and clarified the 
true alliance between Israel, Egypt and the United States. In the 
face of the protracted struggles of the Palestinian peoples, the 
future of US domination in the Middle East remains unclear, hence the 
political leadership in the USA is seeking new bases of support in 
Africa to base US troops and to strengthen the US oil corporations. 
In other parts of North Africa there are leaders who proclaim support 
for the rights of the self determination of the peoples of Palestine 
yet, covertly and overtly work with the government of the USA.

The governments of Morocco and Algeria, in particular, stand out as 
military allies of the USA while posturing that they oppose Israeli 
occupation. The government of Algeria is an accomplice in fabricating 
terrorism in the Sahel in order to justify its military alliance with 
the USA. Similarly, the government of Libya projects itself as a 
progressive government but is seeking to ingratiate itself with the 
neo-conservative forces in Washington. Both Algeria and Libya are 
important producers of petroleum and natural gas.

African Oil -The real objective

The invasion of Iraq, the instability on the border between Turkey 
and Iraq (with the threat of a Turkish invasion of Iraq), the 
stalemate over the future of Lebanon and the continued struggles for 
self determination in Palestine has sharpened the contradictions 
between imperialism and the peoples of the Middle East. In the face 
of this situation there are scholars who have argued and presented 
evidence that the government of the United States has been 
“fabricating terrorism” in Africa. This fabrication of terrorism 
carries with it racial stereotypes to support US military action in 
Africa. The hypocrisy of the US government in this region is manifest 
in the fact that while there is a major campaign against genocide and 
against genocidal violence in Darfur, the government of the USA 
cooperates with the government of the Sudan on the grounds of 
“intelligence sharing to fight terrorism.” It is in the Sudan where 
the neo-conservatives are stoking the fires of war in order to get 
access to the oil resources of the Sudan.

Under the guise of fighting terrorism the government of the US has 
been involved in many illegal activities such as kidnapping citizens 
in the so called extraordinary rendition.

Challenging the European Union and China in Africa

The changed realities in the Middle East and in Africa have been 
accompanied by a new activist posture of China in Africa. 
Outmaneuvered in Asia by China and challenged by the rising 
democratic forces in Latin America, the spaces for the accumulation 
of capital by US capitalists are dwindling.

In the past, when there was a crisis such as the period after the 
Vietnam War, the USA could transfer the crisis to other countries via 
the IMF. But the European Union has challenged this calculus and 
created the Euro as an alternative to the US dollar.
It will not be possible for the IMF to transfer the crisis to Asia, 
Europe, India, the Middle East or Latin America.
This means that there is only one area of the world where the US 
imperialists will have free rein. This is in Africa. It is also in 
Africa where there is a movement against the economic terrorism of 
neo-liberalism and the unjust conditionalities of the IMF and World 
Bank.

African responses

Thus far the majority of African states have refused to host the 
Africa Command. Despite the aggressive military and diplomatic 
efforts by the US government, not even the closest “partners’ of the 
imperialists have supported this call for the Africa Command. There 
is only one state (Liberia) that has openly called for the basing of 
the US Africa command on African soil. Though the United States has 
5,458 “distinct and discreet military installations around the world 
there are pressures from the military-industrial and oil complex for 
the USA to have more effective resources in Africa to defend US 
capitalism.

For the past twenty years the US government had been building 
political assets in Kenya to pave the way for ‘security cooperation.” 
Kenya would have been one of the stops on this visit but the 
political struggles in Kenya made it impossible for George Bush to 
visit Kenya. It is this country that has participated in the so 
called extra-ordinary rendition.
More than 90 persons were captured with apparent U.S. involvement 
after they fled fighting in Somalia. The prisoners were rendered on a 
plane chartered by the Kenyan government into secret detention in 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Uganda would have been another stop on the visit, but the continued 
war in the North and the clear dictatorial character of the Museveni 
government made this stop undesirable.

One other undesirable ally is Ethiopia. The government of Meles 
Zenawi has joined in the efforts to fabricate terrorism in Somalia 
and has invaded Somalia. Yet, despite this alliance, Bush and the 
planners in Washington did not deem it safe for Bush to visit Ethiopia.
Bush could not go to South Africa at this time because Jacob Zuma is 
the President of the ANC. He could not go to Nigeria because the 
Nigerians are opposed to the so called war on terror. So Bush had to 
find a country where he could go to. The US settled on Tanzania and 
Rwanda.

In West Africa, the US President is going to Benin, Liberia and 
Ghana. It will be the task of the political activists and democratic 
forces in these societies to demonstrate against the US and the plans 
for Africom in West Africa.

Peace loving citizens must oppose the militarization of Africa

In 1980 when the US Central Command was being debated the citizens of 
the Middle East and North Africa did not sufficiently engage the full 
meaning of this new military structure. After the militarization of 
the Middle East, five major wars and millions dead, it is urgent that 
peace activists oppose the plans to bring Africa closer into this arc 
of warfare.

The quest for peace in Africa has been sharpened by the crude 
materialism of the present period and the intensified exploitation of 
Africans in the era of plunder and looting. Contemporary looting is 
hidden behind the discourses of liberalization, privatization, the 
freedom of markets and the Global war on terror. Racist images of war 
and “anarchy” and “failed states” are mobilized by the international 
media to justify the launch of the US military command structure for 
Africa. Those who support real cooperation, solidarity and anti 
racism must oppose the US Africa command.

We should remember the statement of the columnist of the New York 
Times, Thomas Friedman who had written, ‘The hidden hand of the 
market will never work without the hidden fist – McDonald’s cannot 
flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the 
hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley’s 
technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and 
Marine Corps.’ [1]

[1] Thomas Friedman, ‘A Manifesto for the Fast World’, New York Times 
Magazine, March, 1989.

* Horace Campbell is Professor of Political Science at Syracuse 
University.

** Please send comments to editor@pambazuka.org or comment online at 
http://www.pambazuka.org

Written by simbadeo

February 15, 2008 at 9:26 am

Posted in Siasa na jamii

One Response

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  1. Hi there thjs is kinda of off topic butt I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors oor iff you have to manually code
    with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have
    no coding expertise so I wanted to get guidance from
    someone with experience. Any help would be
    greatly appreciated!

    Like

    Essie

    September 23, 2013 at 4:17 pm


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