Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The rebel rejection of an African Union ceasefire plan in Libya was to be expected, given that they are backed by the firepower of the Euro-American military colossus. In a real sense, however, “the rebels are not in a position to accept or reject anything,” having “chosen to become soldiers of an Arab counterrevolution in the service of imperialism.” While western pundits scoff at the African Union as a “club” serving the interests of the continent’s rulers, the rebels are mere minions of “the most dangerous club on the planet”: NATO.

 

Libyan Rebels: Dependent Minions of U.S. and Europe

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

What kind of revolution – what kind of Arab nationalism – is it, that begs for intervention and close air support from the imperial super-power?”

The rebels in Benghazi have rejected an African Union delegation proposal for a ceasefire in Libya – a plan that was accepted by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi over the weekend. The reaction in Benghazi was no surprise. The five heads of state from Mauritania, Mali, Congo-Brazzaville, Uganda and South Africa would have been chased down the streets and lynched by mobs had the western news media not been watching, so rabid is the anti-black hysteria whipped up by the rebel political leadership. If anyone needs protection in rebel-held Libya, it is people with dark skin, hundreds of whom have been murdered for no offense other than their color. Spokesmen for the rebel transitional council claim to be fighting phantom Black African armies, mirages that do not exist – a despicable use of race as a tool of war.

In reality, the rebels are not in a position to accept or reject anything. Whatever their political composition may have been when protests against the government in Tripoli began back in February, they are now totally dependent minions of the United States and Europe. They have chosen to become soldiers of an Arab counterrevolution in the service of imperialism. What kind of revolution – what kind of Arab nationalism – is it, that begs for intervention and close air support from the imperial super-power?

The African Union heads of state had to seek approval for their delegation from the European Union,according to the BBC. Western media dismissed the peace mission as suspect, many of them referring to the African Union as a “club” for the benefit of African rulers. If that is so, it is a circumstance for Africans to deal with. The actual “club” that threatens black Africa and Arab Africa and all the world’s people’s, is the Euro-American club: France, Britain, Belgium, the United States and the other world-enslavers that are joined in the hyper-aggressive military “club” called NATO – the most dangerous club on the planet!

The Euro-Americans also bear responsibility for migrant workers' plight.”

The African Union proposal called for an immediate ceasefire, suspension of NATO airstrikes, a dialogue between the Gaddafi government and the rebels, unhindered delivery of humanitarian aid, and protection of foreign nationals. The last item points to the obscene behavior of the rebels and their Euro-American overseers, especially. Three million foreign workers did the manual labor that kept Libya's economy going, so that six million Libyans could enjoy the highest standard of living, by far, on the African continent. Half of those foreign workers, 1.5 million, are black Africans, whose abuse in rebel-held areas since February will stain the national honor of Libya for a generation. The Euro-Americans also bear responsibility for migrant workers' plight, as self-appointed protectors of Libya's civilian population. Yet they have failed to maintain a safe corridor to Egypt for the hunted and despised black Africans, making a mockery of the United Nations resolution, and showing the NATO war for what it is: a neocolonial crusade.

The real heroes in any Twenty-first Century war are those who are willing to stand up to the “full-spectrum domination” of U.S. air power. Gaddafi's soldiers have earned the respect of all those that do not worship at the alter of imperial power. The Libyan rebel leaders have chosen to be pawns in someone else's Great Game.

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: 20110414_gf_LibyaRebelRace.mp3
Category:US Empire -- posted at: 8:28am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

The recently deceased Manning Marable’s long-waited book on Malcolm X has generated both praise and disgust. Much of the heat, predictably, surrounds Marable’s claims of Malcolm’s homosexuality and he and his wife’s “mutual adultery.” Karl Evanzz, for example, has said that Marable’s book is a “fraud” and a “failure,” while others use the terms “definitive” and “meticulous.” Given the centrality of Malcolm’s life and work to modern Black political thought, it is essential that Marable’s book be discussed by the largest number of activists and influencers – in the most serious and critical manner.

 

Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention or the Reinvention of a Life?

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR editor and columnist Jared A. Ball

We are hearing descriptive words like, ‘disappointment’ and ‘unfortunate’ in reference to the book.”

There is a growing sense among those who have read it that Manning Marable’s latest book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention is itself a reinvention, or worse. From reviewers, journalists and scholars, some of whom have as yet not gone on record, we are hearing descriptive words like, “disappointment” and “unfortunate” in reference to the book. In one more severe response from an expert on the life of Malcolm X whose public statements are as of now still forthcoming, the comparison was made to political defamation in the form of the FBI’s Counter Intelligence Program warfare against revolutionary leaders and movements. Perhaps most damaging is that the author is one as prominent, well-respected and recently deceased as Marable and that the subject is Malcolm X, a man whose high regard among Black Americans and genuinely good human beings of all backgrounds is simply and often literally second-to-none.

In our initial discussion of the book Dr. Todd Burroughs offered his first observations which included that the book appeared to have been written “by committee,” that is by a staff of graduate student and junior faculty researchers, and that the book was limited in its references and even more so by its woefully short list of only 25 interviews. Burroughs has said that he will with “sadness” publish his full review this week. We also discussed with Richard Prince of Journal-isms his reporting of an interview conducted with Karl Evanzz, a noted author of and researcher into the life and assassination of Malcolm X. Karl Evanzz has said that Marable’s book is a “fraud” and a “failure.” His problems include that Marable offers nothing new or particularly revelatory, and that all of the more salacious claims in the book, from Malcolm and his wife Betty’s mutual adultery to Malcolm’s homosexuality, are far from supported by Marable. Evanzz also notes that some of the more attention-grabbing elements of the book involving the assassination have been more or less known for quite some time and had even been reported popularly in mainstream outlets for decades. Evanzz is also in the process of writing a more full review.

Host symposia, conduct interviews and challenge your organizations to do the same and then to adopt the actual politics and strategies of Malcolm X.”

Outside of the more sensational and personal aspects of Marable’s focus on Malcolm’s life are what appear to be the two central claims he makes that will help to, as he says of his book, “reconstruct the full contours of {Malcolm X’s} remarkable life.” The first, according to Marable, is that U.S. intelligence agencies and the New York Police Department did nothing to prevent the assassination despite strong evidence that it was coming. The second is that the plot was largely a product of the Newark, N.J. mosque of the Nation of Islam. Now, his review has not as yet been published but Karl Evanzz might indeed point out the fact that his own 1992 publication The Judas Factor: The Plot to Kill Malcolm X and Zak Kondo’s 1993 publication, Conspiracy’s: Unraveling the Assassination of Malcolm X had already covered this. In fact, Evanzz is likely to further note that while Marable dismisses most of the books written on Malcolm X during the 1990s as having little value, a claim he makes without detail or explanation, he also references some of them in summarizing their arguments for his own work. This, along with a list recently sent to the book’s publisher by another well-known author detailing no less than 14 specific misspellings, inaccurate dates, and other errors, is likely to raise more concerns about the scholarship of a book already being described in some prominent places as a “meticulous… portrait” or as the “definitive” biography of Malcolm X.

While much of the recent discussion of the book has been of necessity part of glowing celebrations of Marable’s life and scholarship not enough has yet to occur that critically examines this enormously popular book specifically from the perspective of the Black political left. Malcolm X remains too important to too many for occasions like these to not be turned to our advantage. Read Marable’s work, read it in conjunction with many others. Host symposia, conduct interviews and challenge your organizations to do the same and then to adopt the actual politics and strategies of Malcolm X lest they – the most important aspects of the man – be lost in the shuffle of the academy or personal gossip. Indeed this is what we are doing. So stay tuned.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Jared Ball. Online visit us at www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

Dr. Jared A. Ball is author of I Mix What I Like! A Mixtape Manifesto (AK Press) and can be reached online at: IMixWhatILike.com.

Direct download: 20110413_jb_MalcolmBook.mp3
Category:black history -- posted at: 8:17am EDT

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

There was certainly no justice in an El Paso jury’s acquittal of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles – but then, a just outcome was impossible. The bomber of a Cuban airline, drug runner for the CIA and the Contras, and attempted assassin of Fidel Castro, was charged only with telling lies to U.S. immigration authorities. It was an insult to Posada’s victims to try him at all on such insignificant counts – a sick joke that showed the U.S. has no respect for the opinions of mankind.

 

Posada Verdict: Like Charging Hitler With Disturbing the Peace, and Then Acquitting Him

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Posada’s trial only makes sense as a satire on the utter fraudulence of American justice.”

The United States is the main base for terrorism in the world. That statement is true on both the large and smaller scales. Washington shows no inclination to dismantle its nuclear terror systems, despite the fact that the Cold War ended nearly a generation ago. Instead, the U.S. constantly upgrades its weapons of worldwide annihilation, introducing new generations of nuclear weaponry that have no plausible reason to exist other than to cause the rest of the planet to live in terror of the United States.

At the opposite end of the terror spectrum, there is Luis Posada Carriles, the 83-year-old veteran assassin, mass murder,er drug runner and all around hit man for U.S. imperialism in the Americas. Last week, it took an El Paso jury less than three hours to find this arch criminal not guilty of lying to U.S. immigration authorities about how he reentered the United States in 2005.

Posada’s El Paso trial only makes sense as a satire on the utter fraudulence of American justice. The U.S. knew very well Posada was a mass killer, having paid his salary to carry out murder and mayhem for many, many years. By charging Posada with such a miner offense, the U.S. insulted the memory of his victims and their relatives, including the 73 people blown out the sky by the bomb Posada’s team planted on a civilian Cuban airliner, in 1976. All 24 members of Cuba’s gold-medal fencing team perished. But Posada continued his work for the U.S. government for decades, attempting to assassinate Fidel Castro in Panama, running drugs for the CIA and the contras in Central America, and planting bombs that killed a tourist in Cuba.

America insists to its own citizens – and to a world that knows better – that the rule of law is what makes the U.S. the great exception and hope of planet Earth.”

Posada’s crimes were Washington’s crimes and, of course, the U.S. would never put itself on trial, would never risk a legal proceeding that might provide a window on American terror. But the amoral, home-country of international terror, the United States – the unchallenged headquarters of industrial scale assassination, coups, disappearances, a global network of secret prisons and torture centers, the fountainhead of fortuitous fatal illnesses and convenient accidents, this country that, in the words of Frederick Douglass“is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future,” this can-do businessman's republic that inspired at least 638 plots to kill Fidel Castro – insists to its own citizens and to a world that knows better, that the rule of law is what makes the U.S. the great exception and hope of planet Earth.

As if to prove the truth of the greatest lie ever told, the Americans put Luis Posada through the formalities of trial on charges that were so dwarfed by his known crimes, it was like putting Hitler on trial during World War Two for creating a public disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Cuban Five are serving four life sentences and 75 years, respectively, for trying to halt the terrorist activities of Luis Posada's political comrades in Miami. They also got a trail, but nobody could say it was fair, and the truth is, most Americans don't care about fairness – they care about their prejudices and hatreds, which are nurtured by, to paraphrase Frederick Douglass again, a steady diet of lies about the American past, its present, and its future.

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: 20110413_gf_TerroristFreed.mp3
Category:cuba -- posted at: 8:03am EDT