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

Euro-American Land Invasion of Libya Imminent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

As if hard-wired for theft of other people's lands, the European Union is preparing to put thousands of its once-and-forever colonial boots on the ground in Libya. “The mass ground onslaught may well commence with the imminent deployment of the European Union’s so-called 'battle groups' – multinational military units of about 1,500 men each.” Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi, who had earlier offered to accept some humanitarian assistance in Misrata, vowed to fight any foreign soldiers on Libyan territory.

 

Euro-American Land Invasion of Libya Imminent

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

They seek to land a “battle group” in Misrata under humanitarian pretenses, and then inevitably clash with Gaddafi’s soldiers dug in nearby.”

The official Euro-American invasion of Libya is about to begin. I say “official” invasion because the Europeans and Americans already have boots on the ground making bloody footprints in Libya, from U.S. Special Ops and CIA, British Special Air Services commandos, and their French counterparts. The news media of the invader countries know their armed forces are active on Libyan soil, and occasionally report as much. But they dutifully await announcements from their governments that the “real” invasion has, officially, begun.

That time is near. The British announced they are sending a ten-man military adviser team to help the rebels. The French, who were obscenely quick to recognize the rebels’ so-called National Transitional Council as a kind of government, already have military advisors in Benghazi. The American CIA and the Saudi Arabians are thought to be truly in on the ground floor, having sponsored and financed Khalifa Haftar, the Libyan exile who formed the so-called Libyan National Army that has been trying to mount an armed revolt against the government in Tripoli for more than 20 years.

The mass ground onslaught may well commence with the imminent deployment of the European Union’s so-called “battle groups” – multinational military units of about 1,500 men each. The 27-nation European Union had been discussing ways to insinuate a force into Libya since the beginning of April. Unexpectedly, Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi agreed in principle to allow international humanitarian personnel to aid civilians in the contested port city of Misrata. Quickly, the Europeans seized on Gaddafi’s statement as an excuse to send up to 1,000 men on an assignment that could only be accomplished by a large ground military force operating with close air support. The EU battle group would secure the port facilities, which are now held by rebels, and then create land corridors into and out of the city, much of which is held by loyal Gaddafi soldiers whose lines would have to be crossed.

The Europeans seized on Gaddafi’s statement as an excuse to send up to 1,000 men on an assignment that could only be accomplished by a large ground military force operating with close air support.”

Remembering that once you give the former colonialist an inch, he will take your whole country, Col. Gaddafi vowed that he would fight any foreigner soldiers that attempted to land on Libyan territory, no matter what they claimed their mission was.

The European scheme is transparently cynical. They seek to land a “battle group” in Misrata under humanitarian pretenses, and then inevitably clash with Gaddafi’s soldiers dug in nearby. That will be the beginning of the European’s multinational land invasion, with thousands of troops arriving in Libya in short order. The siege of Tripoli will begin, if the regime holds out, and if not, then begins the guerilla war or, as the Euro-Americans like to call it when they steal someone else’s country, the “insurgency.”

The U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, used to worry about getting permission to open an office on African soil. Soon, it may be operating from one of the largest countries on the continent.

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: 20110420_gf_Libya.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:21am EDT

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

Manning Marable has repackaged Malcolm X as “moving toward views that are ‘race neutral’” – a “gentle humanism” acceptable to the U.S. book publishing industry. Like fellow academic Peniel Joseph’s absurdly twisted linkage of Malcolm and the First Black President, for Marable “Obama becomes the safe expression of Malcolm’s Black nationalist control over politics, and al-Qaeda become the anti-hero.” Such “fallacious leaps” and contortions should be as painful to the revisionist biographer as they are to the Truth. The actual, historical “Malcolm X is the antithesis of Obama, not part of the president’s political lineage.”

 

Marable’s Malcolm X: A Eulogy of Revolution as an Idea

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

The overall tone of the book is simply foreplay to his repackaging of Malcolm’s political trajectory into marketable liberal politics of the post-9/11 book publishing world.”

Manning Marable titles his book’s epilogue “Reflections on a Revolutionary Vision.” However, his conclusion is more of a eulogy for the revolutionary ideas so carefully put to permanent rest throughout its preceding pages. Manning Marable’s Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention positions itself alongside, if not atop, a previous work by Marable’s protégé Peniel Joseph, as a well-written and hard-to-target missive clearly designed to popularize without implementation radical ideas – and by so-doing destroy them.

Throughout the book Malcolm’s constantly deepening and progressive struggle with armed resistance, white supremacy, socialism, pan-Africanism and even the power of the vote are softened by Marable in ways to support what has now become the only way to discuss radical ideas; riddled with scandal and distorted by selective emphasis. Marable’s conclusion is the dead giveaway. The overall tone of the book is simply foreplay to his repackaging of Malcolm’s political trajectory into marketable liberal politics of the post-9/11 book publishing world.

Malcolm’s biting and insightful criticism of electoral politics and neocolonial Black elected officials is repackaged into that which “anticipated” the power of the Black electorate to deliver Barack Obama. Malcolm’s increasing devotion to Sunni Islam and his persistent support of the Mau-Mau, even a similar effort within the United States, is re-imaged, absent context or critique, into a condemnation of Islamic “terrorism.” Malcolm’s explicit post-Mecca views on race that the white man here had not changed so nor would he and that John Brown remained his standard of white activism is lost beneath repeated descriptions of his moving toward views that are “race neutral” and support for anti-imperial struggles around the globe are re-written as “gentle humanism.”

Marable becomes William Styron, who in the late 1960s gave an interview praising Nat Turner while condemning Rap Brown.”

Marable carefully crafts a narrative that promotes Malcolm’s political changes paternalistically as maturation and consistent with the world we face today. So other than Barack Obama and al-Qaeda which serve as ideological goalposts between good and evil the only contemporary reference Marable makes is to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism which he alleges “was in many ways a fulfillment of Malcolm’s international vision.” Obama becomes the safe expression of Malcolm’s Black nationalist control over politics and al-Qaeda become the anti-hero required to safely place Malcolm’s continued move toward orthodox Islam.

The 2001 conference provides Marable with a timely balance which conveniently allows him to use Malcolm as a Muslim to condemn 9/11. But if Malcolm spoke of chickens coming home to roost over Kennedy would this really be his position? Such questions are only raised to make a current political point. Otherwise we might be more accurate to say that had Malcolm lived the world would be radically different; 9/11 would have never happened and we would all be living in an African-centered socialist utopia. Here Marable becomes William Styron, who in the late 1960s gave an interview praising Nat Turner while condemning Rap Brown. Radicalism is fine once dead and buried, but it has no place in the present.

But no mention is made of the Durban II conference where the world gathered to decry the absence of progress made since 2001. But Obama refused to acknowledge this one just as Bush had the first and for similar reasons equally inconvenient for Marable. Malcolm’s anti-Zionism is easily dismissed as the negative influence of Nkrumah and Nasser. Its contemporary detractors have no such easily dismissed dead targets.

But major publications on such potentially threatening topics like Malcolm X and his ideas must make logically fallacious leaps like those in Marable’s conclusion. Malcolm X is the antithesis of Obama, not part of the president’s political lineage. The very question of Malcolm’s thoughts in 2011 demand that we accept the political impossibility of 2011 existing as it does with a living Malcolm X. This world exists because he and his ideas were and are in perpetuity assassinated.

I am not likely to say much more about Marable’s book. My obsession with it will soon pass. As I close I am reminded of what someone once said not long ago about being careful to distinguish between who you read and who governs your interpretation of what is read.

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

Dr. Jared Ball can be contacted at freemixradio(at)gmail.com.

Direct download: 20110420_jb_Malcolm.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:13am EDT

Black Caucus Overwhelmingly Supports “People’s Budget”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Barack Obama and Republican leaders act like a tag team, determined to pummel Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal into oblivion. Or, maybe we should call them a duo, singing the same song, with Obama attempting to sound slightly melancholy about the death of the social safety net. Seventy-seven Democrats, 34 of them Black, sang a different tune, in last week’s vote on the Congressional Progressive Caucus “People’s Budget.” Even in defeat, the budget shows that low taxes for the rich and insane expenditures on the military are what keep the federal budget in deficit. There is nothing inevitable about a return to the law of the economic jungle.

 

Black Caucus Overwhelmingly Supports “People’s Budget”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The government is only broke because the rich pay so little and the military costs so much.”

When the enemy convinces us that his victory is inevitable, then he has already won the psychological war. Wall Street, which owns the White House, most of both Houses of Congress and, quite literally, the corporate media, is in a mad rush to save itself from its own contradictions by dismantling or privatizing much of the government, while cutting taxes for its own class to the bone. At the same time, under the canard of national defense, the U.S. military spends as much as the rest of the world combined to bring the entire planet under the Pentagon’s full spectrum dominance. The ever-expanding war budget is justified on national security grounds, while the destruction of the domestic social safety net is supposedly unavoidable because…well, because the government is broke.

Of course, banks and other corporations are not broke; they’re doing better than ever. And the rich are richer than at any time in history. They are the ones demanding austerity, and expect their demands are to be treated as law, like stone tablets delivered by Moses from the hands of God.

Obama and the Republicans sing variations on the same song: Surrender to the Inevitable. For Black America, which is being pushed back to pre-civil rights era levels of income and wealth disparity, surrender is no option. Thus, it was encouraging that overwhelming numbers of the Congressional Black Caucus voted in favor of a so-called People’s Budget” that shows, in dollars and cents, that the Republican and Obama agenda is not inevitable, that the budget deficits can become surpluses by the year 2021 while saving social programs.

The People’s Budget shows that, in dollars and cents, that the Republican and Obama agenda is not inevitable.”

The government is only broke because the rich pay so little and the military costs so much. The People’s Budget, put together by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, raises tax rates on the rich and increases government revenues by $4 trillion over ten years, It shuts down the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and does not budget money for any more such wars, and thus saves $2.3 trillion from the black hole of the Pentagon. That’s all it take for the government not to be broke anymore.

Of the 77 congresspersons that voted for the People’s Budget, 34 – almost half – were Black. Only four Black lawmakers voted against the People’s Budget, so let’s call out their names in shame: Sanford Bishop, the Black Blue Dog from Georgia, who is always at the far right of the Caucus, as is fellow Georgian David Scott. Al Green, from Texas, has also surrendered to the rich man’s psychological warfare. Bobby Scott, from Virginia, is usually among the more progressive Caucus members, but now appears to be adrift. Two Black Caucus members didn’t vote either way: New York’s Gregory Meeks has served as a bag man for the corporatist Democratic Leadership Council; there’s nothing progressive about him. And Congresswoman Terri Sewell, of Alabama, is a newcomer.

The 77 supporters of the People’s Budget were outnumbered by the 108 Democrats that voted with the GOP and Obama’s side of the party. But they did show that not everyone believes that resistance is futile, even if a Black president tells them so. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go towww.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

Direct download: 20110420_gf_CBCBudget.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50am EDT