Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
puppetsA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Being a superpower means having the ability to arbitrarily prolong the misery of weaker countries. Such seems to be the U.S. mission in Somalia, where the puppet regime would fall in hours if the Americans and their Ugandan mercenaries withdrew. “The Somali president’s dwindling soldiers only remain because they are getting paid – by the Americans.”
 
U.S is Puppet-Master in Somalia
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“A president that cannot trust his own soldiers to protect his life, is no president at all.”
If ever there was a government that deserved to be called a “puppet,” it is the regime that claims to speak for Somalia. Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed’s ridiculous rump of a regime is wholly dependent on foreigners: the 5,000 mostly Ugandan troops that nominally work for the African Union but actually act as mercenaries for the Americans, and the CIA and U.S. special operations forces that roam the country, killing at will. According to a recent New York Times report, it is the Ugandans, not Somali soldiers, that guard President Ahmed around the clock, camping directly outside his doorway and driving him to the airport, which is also defended by Ugandans. A president that cannot trust his own soldiers to protect his life, is no president at all.
Sheik Ahmed rules over close to nothing, just a few patches of the capital city, Mogadishu. The Somali Shabaab resistance is positioned only blocks from the president’s residence, from which he rarely ventures. If the foreigners left, Sheik Ahmed would have to make a mad dash to the airport to leave with them.
Over the summer, the Americans sent in 40 tons of weapons, much of which immediately wound up in the hands of the opposition. Whole units of the president’s armed forces have gone over to the opposition – that is to say, they have sided with their fellow Somalis and against the foreigners and their puppet president. Press reports of the close interaction between opposition fighters and those troops still nominally loyal to the regime lead one to conclude that the Somali president’s dwindling soldiers only remain because they are getting paid – by the Americans.
“President Obama will have earned himself a third war in the Third World.”
Sheik Ahmed has called for virtually all of his U.S.-back neighbors – Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Yemen – to come prop up his puny regime, which would, of course, require even more massive U.S. involvement and perpetual foreign occupation of Somalia. And that is a formula for perpetual war that would swallow up all of the Horn of Africa. President Obama will have earned himself a third war in the Third World, at a time when the American people have already tired of the other two, in Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Even the Americans roaming around Mogadishu admit that, at most, a few hundred foreign jihadists are fighting Sheik Ahmed's puppet regime. The rest of the opposition is Somali. However, Washington is determined to portray the Shabaab as a “new Taliban” that must be crushed for reasons of U.S. national security.
There is really no rational choice for Washington but to withdraw and allow the Somalis to make their own peace, of whatever political complexion. But imperialists cannot envision a world in which they are not in charge – even if that world encompasses only a few city blocks in Mogadishu. Therefore, we can shortly expect a new offensive by the U.S. and other foreigners in Somalia. Perpetual war is the only game they know how to play.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Direct download: 20090923_gf_Somalia.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 2:21pm EDT

black is backA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
The “period of passivity in Black politics” that accompanied the ascent of Barack Obama, is about to end. The Black is Back Coalition seeks to reignite a Black-led movement for social justice, peace and reparations – which will in turn energize progressive politics in general. See you in DC on November 7.
 
“Black is Back” on Nov. 7: D.C. Rally and March on White House
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“We will confront the forces of war, of neo-colonialism, of the rule of bankers and the crime of mass Black incarceration.”
The time has come to bring independent Black politics back to the forefront – to reignite and refocus the debate over the burning issues of the day. Nine months of the Obama presidency has taught us that a Black presence in the White House does not necessarily give voice to critical issues facing African Americans. Instead, Black concerns have been shunted to the side, treated as distractions, derided or ignored, by this president, even as the Black condition in the U.S. and the world steadily deteriorates.
When militant, politically conscious Black people fail to Speak Truth to Power, Power feels comfortable in pretending that somebody else's version of the truth is more compelling. When Black people make no demands, but instead defer to a Black president, then that same president will inevitably respond to other people's demands.
That's why a coalition of Black organizations and individuals is determined that the period of silence and deference and damn-near invisibility for Black people is over. Black is Back, and Truth will be spoken on November 7th at a rally in Washington, DC's Malcolm X Park, followed by a march down 16th Street to the White House, where Power resides.
“African Americans have invested more energy in circling the wagons around one man, than in defending the interests of Black people and humanity at-large.”
The Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations was formed on September 12th by activists from a wide range of organizations who believe that a Black-led movement is absolutely necessary to halt the destruction wrought by the predatory rich, the incorrigibly racist, and a world-threatening military. The Black is Back Coalition understands where the vital center of gravity for progressive politics in the United States is located: among African Americans, who have always stood for social and economic justice, and against U.S. military adventures abroad. That Black voice is coming back, beginning on November 7th in Washington, DC, when we will confront the forces of war, of neo-colonialism, of the rule of bankers and the crime of mass Black incarceration.
When Black is Back, all of progressive politics is energized, educated and strengthened for the common struggle to save humanity. Since the ascent of Barack Obama, African Americans have invested more energy in circling the wagons around one man, than in defending the interests of Black people and humanity at-large. This period of passivity in Black politics ends on November 7
in Washington, DC.
Write to me for more information on the Black is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. I'll put you in touch with spokespersons Chioma Oruh, Rosa Clemente, and Jared Ball. When Black is Back, the movement gets rollin'.
For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Direct download: 20090923_gf_BlackIsBack.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 2:09pm EDT

gazaA Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Israel reacted with typical feigned outrage at the United Nations report on war crimes and human rights violations committed by its forces in Gaza, last winter. The Jewish state's serial violations of international law are rooted in the barbarism of its governing principle, apartheid, which leads Israel to place itself “above the accepted norms of civilized behavior.”
 
Apartheid is the Root of Israel’s Aggressions
A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
“Underlying Israeli lawlessness is the concept of a settler state constructed for the benefit of one ethnic group.”
The State of Israel, by far the world champion violator of international law as interpreted by the United Nations, is once again raining vitriol and insult on the world body that gave it birth 61 years ago. Since almost the day that the U.N. recognized the Jewish state in 1948, Israel has placed itself above the accepted norms of civilized behavior. In its six decades of existence, Israel has violated virtually every United Nations declaration and flaunted countless tenets of international legality, most often with the diplomatic, economic and military protection of the United States. Israel’s arrogant disregard for the world body reached new heights with the release of a U.N. report urging Israel to conduct an “independent” investigation into “war crimes” and “serious violations” of human rights during its brutal attack on Gaza, last winter.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office claimed his government’s own investigation, which absolved Israel of crimes in the killing of 1,400 Palestinian men, women and children, was “a thousand times more serious” than that conducted by the U.N. Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, charged the U.N. with legitimizing “terrorist activity” and making “a mockery of history” by failing to recognize Israel’s right to “self-defense.” Other Israelis complained that the U.N. was making a case for “moral equivalency” between Israel and the Palestinian resistance.the wall
“How can one make peace with a state that claims the right to adjust its borders according to its own whims?”
On that count, in a fiendishly perverse sense, Israel is right: there is no moral equivalency between the Palestinian resistance and Israeli occupation and aggression. Palestinians have every legal and moral right to resist being occupied on the West Bank and caged and quarantined in the world’s biggest jail in Gaza. Israel has no moral or legal ground to stand on – which is why it chooses to dismiss and vilify every organ of international legality centered on the United Nations. Israel is not even a recognizable state, having no borders that Israel itself recognizes.
The Israeli state behaves as if its borders are anywhere it may sometime in the future declare them to be. This borderless state constitutes a grave threat to every one of its immediate neighbors, and an insult to hundreds of years of evolving international law. How can one make peace with a state that claims the right to adjust its borders according to its own whims? This is an affront to humanity, yet it is the essence of Israeli foreign and domestic policy.
Underlying this essential Israeli lawlessness is the concept of a settler state constructed for the benefit of one ethnic group on land seized from other peoples. That is the definition of apartheid, and the root of all of Israel’s constant assaults on international law. It is a barbarism that must be rejected, boycotted and isolated – not just to relieve the suffering of Palestinians, but for the sake of human civilization.
For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.
BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

 

Direct download: 20090923_gf_Israel.mp3
Category:politics -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT