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

US & France Intervene in Mali To Protect Land & Resource Grabs, Not Because of Al Qeda

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon

On March 15, former General and AFRICOM commander Carter F. Ham testified before the House Armed Services Committee that the situation in the West African republic of Mali is, along with that in Nigeria and Somalia, “a direct threat to the national security of the United States.” In plain language, claiming a direct threat to US national security is the standard justification for murderous military intervention around the world, and Mali has just been added to the hit list.

Echoing official sources like General Ham, corporate media tell us that Al Qeda and related Islamist forces, flush with weapons from the recent conflict in Libya, are poised to overrun Mali. Should we believe them? Aren't they the same folks who once assured us Saddam, and nowadays Iran, have nuclear weapons? Of course they are, and the real reasons for US intervention are something else entirely.

Since the Clinton administration, the US has provided military aid, weapons and training to 52 out of 54 African nations, ensuring that Africa, the motherland of humanity, remains the poorest and most war-torn region on earth. The US is in Africa to lock down its resources, Africa's energy, water, minerals, timber, agriculture, and biodiversity for the Western corporate elite. Strong African civil societies are, in the view of the US and its allies, bad for business, because they would mean Africans controlling their own energy, water, minerals, timber, agriculture and biodiversity.

Al Qeda, the Islamists and Tuareg rebels aren't the big problem in Mali. The big problem is that Mali's so-called democratic government discredited itself by evicting tens of thousands of farmers and their villages to grant foreign concerns long term leases on vast tracts of prime farmland and water, so Malians didn't much care when it was swept aside by another government committed to the same policies, and seem in no rush to defend that regime either. So the US stepped in, and is currently airlifting, supplying, feeding and providing gasoline to a French mechanized infantry battalion in Mali to make sure foreigners keep that Malian land and water.

The largest of the predatory land grabs in Mali is called Malibya, that's M as in mother, A as in apple Libya, google it for yourself. Malibya was a deal signed with the Khadafi government to ensure Libya's food security with a long term lease of 150 square miles of Malian territory for a vast GMO rice and cattle plantation, irrigated by a 25 mile canal that would drain vast quantities of water from the Niger River. Libya produces vast amounts of oil but little food. Now that the US and their junior partners, the French, have re-established control over Libyan oil, they need Mali's water and agriculture to make their neocolonial contraption sustainable, even if Malians and the tens of millions downriver in other countries suffer. The Pentagon, and its local tentacle AFRICOM, also require Mali for drone, mercenary and special ops bases that can directly penetrate the dozen or so African states west of Nigeria.

Some of the forces of Malian civil society, such as Malian farmers were present at the recent World Social Forum last month in Tunisia. Western corporate media however, is uninterested in reporting their stories, and despite its highly visible and self-celebrating African American political class, there exists no effective constituency for Africa in the US.

For Black Agenda Radio I'm Bruce Dixon. Find us on the web at www.blackagendareport.com.

Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report, and a state committee member of the Georgia Green Party. He lives and works near Marietta GA and can be contacted at bruce.dixon(at)blackagendareport.com or via this site's contact page.

Direct download: 20130424_bd_mali.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:04pm EST

White Chechens Open New Vistas of Repression in America

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The whole nation has been set up for a new round of domestic repression.”

The United States of America has collapsed into a phantasmagoria – an inverted world conjured up by imperial minds to fool the home population of the planet’s only superpower into believing they are under siege by virtually everyone else on Earth. The formula has worked too well, rendering the society so brittle, so anxious and afraid, it resembles a madhouse in a fortress that is trying to turn itself into a prison.

Once again, white America (and lots of assimilated non-whites) shows it has absolutely no capacity for introspection – only for projecting its own insanities on others. The New York Times for Sunday, April 21st, speculated that the suspects in the Boston bombing were motivated by “echoes” of “plots from the past” in their ancestral Chechnya, in the Caucuses region of Russia – but, in reality, the scenario was purely 21st century Americana. Where else could two young men with small arms and improvised explosives – if the charges are true – represent a threat so awesomely dreadful as to spread fear up and down the great megalopolis stretching from Boston to Washington?

If the two young Chechens were set up by the U.S. government, as their mother says, they are not the only ones. The whole nation has been set up for a new round of domestic repression. It has already begun, with the stripping down of Miranda warnings for persons arrested by police and the lockdown of whole sections of greater Boston, where the authorities treated white neighborhoods as if…well, as if they were Black.

In our post-911 world, we might expect that the events in Boston would lead to drone strikes or invasions of other countries to avenge American “honor.” But Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation, which retains its nuclear arsenal, so that won’t do. Besides, it turns out the FBI was in much closer touch with the older brother than any Russian officials – so, maybe the Russians ought to be the ones asking the questions. These were, after all, American citizens.

Some have blonde or red hair.”

We hear a lot of talk about naming the surviving brother as an “enemy combatant,” but – a combatant for whom? For Allah? You can’t launch airstrikes against God. The Americans have to be careful about trying to tie their prisoner to the Chechen Islamist fighters who have made such a name for themselves around the world, since many of them are allied with the same gunmen the U.S. has financed and armed in Libya and Syria. In the end, there seems to be no enemy for Washington to punish – except American society, itself.

In this regard, the Chechen brothers’ ethnicity opens new vistas of domestic repression. Many Chechens are white – I mean, really white. Wikipedia describes them as “exhibiting traits typical of European and Caucasian peoples.” Some have “blonde or red hair,” with blue eyes and “typically pale skin.”

Does this mean that white people will lose their immunity from being arbitrarily accosted by Homeland Security? That would certainly be a sea change in American life. But, in the enemy-filled phantasmagoria that the United States has become, anything is possible.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130424_gf_BostonBombing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:40pm EST

Latin America Unites to Tell Uncle Sam “Hands Off Venezuela”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Republican and Democratic regimes in Washington have never acknowledged the legitimacy of the Chavez revolution.”

Venezuela has entered a new period of grave danger, the most perilous since George Bush backed an attempted coup against the late Hugo Chavez’s government in 2002. Earlier this month, Chavez’s successor, Nicolas Maduro, won a narrow victory over the U.S.-backed candidate Henrique Capriles, a front man for the business interests that still control most of the media and much of the economy in the country. Although the governing United Socialist Party won by only 1.6 percent of the vote, Venezuela’s elections system is so transparent – the best in the world, according to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter – there is virtually no chance that the opposition was cheated of victory. But that’s irrelevant to both Republican and Democratic regimes in Washington, which have never acknowledged the legitimacy of the Chavez revolution, no matter how many elections it won, by whatever margin. As the greatest disrespecter of democratic elections in the western hemisphere, the United States refused to recognize the results, holding out for a 100 percent audit, or recount. Naturally, Washington’s stooge in the race, Capriles, took the same position, and sent his people into the streets to create an atmosphere of crisis and instability. Washington also got the European Union to parrot the American line.

Latin American presidents took such extraordinary measures to show their solidarity.”

The good news is, Latin America quickly united to blunt the Yankee offensive in its tracks. Leaders of Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, met in an extraordinary summit in Peru, where they agreed to throw their weight behind Venezuela’s President Maduro. Then they flew on to Caracas, where 17 Latin American presidents and delegations from 47 nations attended Maduro’s swearing in ceremony. Even Colombia, Venezuela’s neighbor and Washington’s closest ally in the region, broke with the U.S. on the election issue. So did the Organization of American States, an anachronistic entity that has long acted as a puppet for Washington. When Spain backed off from the U.S., so did the rest of Europe, leaving the Americans totally isolated. Haiti, a country that lost its sovereignty to invasion by the United States – even helpless little Haiti named the airport in Cap-Haitien, its second largest city, after the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Why, then, did I begin by saying that this is a time of great danger for Venezuela? Because U.S. imperialism is implacable in its determination for regime change in Caracas. The closeness of the recent election only encourages Washington to believe that Chavez’s party can be overthrown by subversion, including U.S.-backed armed insurrection. That’s why the Latin American presidents took such extraordinary measures to show their solidarity with President Maduro – so that Washington would take note that Latin America is united in opposition to U.S. intervention.

The last thing these Latin countries want is to pick a fight with the Rude Boy of the planet, the United States. Rather, they are urging Washington not to attempt regime change in Venezuela – that those days are over, with or without Hugo Chavez.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130424_gf_Venezuela.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm EST

Eric Holder's Ploy to Divert Attention from Obama's Expanded Prisons Budget

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Holder claims to have experienced a revelation about the impact of race on crime and punishment in this country.”

Eric Holder Holder has been the top law enforcement officer of the United States for more than four years, overseeing a federal prison system of almost 220,000 inmates and with responsibility to protect the rights of two million more prisoners under state and local jurisdiction. All of these populations are disproportionately Black – and have been so for longer than Eric Holder has been alive. Yet, the attorney general pretends to have only just discovered that prosecutors are tougher on Black defendants, and that judges give Blacks longer sentences than whites for the same crimes. Is it really even remotely plausible, that racial disparities in prosecution and sentencing are news to our attorney general? Or did Holder think that the mostly Black audience at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, where he made the remarks, was full of idiots?

(Well, then again, they do follow Al Sharpton, and might believe anything.)

Still, Eric Holder has some nerve, acting as if he’s a newcomer to the criminal justice system when, in fact, the buck stops with him and President Obama when it comes to law and order in the United States. Now in his and Obama’s second term, Holder claims to have experienced a revelation about the impact of race on crime and punishment in this country. With a straight face, he declared: “It is time to ask ourselves some fundamental questions about our criminal justice system.”

He is requesting more money for the federal prison system.”

Actually, Holder is a couple of centuries late in asking those questions, which have been answered over and over again in studies and reports too numerous to mention, virtually all of which have concluded that Blacks are surveilled and stopped more than whites, charged with harsher offenses than whites for the same behavior, prosecuted more vigorously, sentenced to more time for the same crimes, and forced to serve their sentences in worse conditions. These are facts that have been established through generations of research. Holder’s pretense of ignorance is beyond contempt. The next thing you know, Obama’s Secretary of Labor will claim to have just discovered that Black unemployment has been roughly twice that of whites for most of the last half century.

Holder is simply following his boss’s lead. The Obama style is to make little noises or gestures that appear vaguely liberal – like acknowledging the existence of unfairness – and then turn around and do something that makes the situation worse. For instance, Obama gave lots of eloquent speeches on the vital role that Social Security and other entitlements play in society –and then wound up trying to gut these same programs. Even as Obama cuts deep into the bone and marrow of vital government services, he is requesting more money for the federal prison system, including funding for a brand new state-of-the-art supermax prison in illinois that will house 400 inmates in solitary confinement – that is, in a perpetual state of torture. The Bureau of Prisons, which Eric Holder oversees, would get a 4 percent increase in funding. Holder is pretending to be some kind of babe in the woods, or even a closet prison reformer, to divert attention from the fact that this is a pro-prison administration.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130417_gf_Prisons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am EST

Detroit City Council Grovels to Power, Inflicts Further Harm on City

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The council majority have endorsed the machinery of Detroit’s disempowerment.”

The Detroit city council voted 5 to 2 to approve awarding the rightwing law firm Jones Day the contract to represent the city’s interests, even as several dozen protesters registered their disgust at the arrangement – until police cleared the chambers. Two council members made themselves absent from the vote.

Jones Day is the same law firm in which Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, was a partner before Michigan’s governor made him dictator of Detroit. Which means that Orr, a bankruptcy lawyer who will have the power to dispose of the city’s assets, property and contracts, will work directly with his old firm. Meanwhile, Jones Day already represents a number of banks that are at opposite ends of derivative deals with Detroit, involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Jones Day and its supporters on the council claim they see no conflict of interest.

Even a blind person can see that this is not right," said Charles Williams Sr., a protester and member of the National Action Network. It was Detroit’s pro-business mayor, Dave Bing, who pushed for Jones Day to get the contract in the first place. Based on the powers that emergency manager Kevyn Orr claims to have, it would not have mattered if the council had voted against Jones Day; Orr could simply have overridden them.

The council majority have managed to inflict more injury on Detroit.”

So, why did the Council do it? That’s a question that goes beyond the current assault on democracy in Detroit. The former Motor City is no different than the rest of Black America, where a venal, self-centered Black Misleadership Class holds their fellow African Americans in utter contempt. They grovel before Power, hoping only that some of the crumbs will fall their way. Service to the people is an alien concept to this crowd, whether in Atlanta or DC or Detroit. If they were more competent, they would be even more corrupt, but as often as not they fail even to enrich themselves, and succeed only in impoverishing and embarrassing us all.

Kevyn Orr understand that all he had to do to keep a majority of the City Council in check was allow them to continue receiving their salaries, which by law had been reduced to zero and could have been kept there at Orr’s pleasure. Mayor Bing, the corporate water boy, had already proposed in his budget that each council person be reduced to one staff member – certainly not enough to keep track of the machinations of Kevyn Orr and his friends and former colleagues at Jones Day, who will surely feast on the bones of Detroit.

However, even in their impotence, the council majority have managed to inflict more injury on Detroit. By approving the Jones Day contract, the majority has certainly weakened any legal challenges to the disenfranchisement of Detroit’s people. Even though their vote was not necessary, the council majority have endorsed the machinery of Detroit’s disempowerment. It will be argued that the people’s representatives have effectively given thumbs up to the nullification of Detroit, which has ceased to exist as a real city, except as debtor and prey to the bankers.

The Black Misleadership Class cannot – and will not – defend Black people. In the end, they can’t even defend themselves.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130417_gf_Detroit.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am EST

Africa: Imperialism’s High Mark of Conquest in the 21st Century

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Imperialism with a Black face has been fantastically successful, in Africa.”

At present, nothing stands in the way of the militarization and occupation of Africa by the United States and its junior imperialist partners. Every global and multinational organization of any consequence on the continent has been suborned to the service of the neocolonial military project. AFRICOM, the United States Military Command in Africa, has become the headquarters of recolonization, augmented by the militaries of NATO and legitimized by the African Union, itself, and the global credentials of the United Nations.

It is vital to note this great feat of imperialism and international white supremacy reached its zenith during first term of the Obama administration, which roughly coincides with the birth of AFRICOM, in 2008. Imperialism with a Black face has been fantastically successful, in Africa. In fact, Africa is U.S imperialism’s only generalized success story of the 21st century, to date.

Bizarrely costumed in the garb of “human rights” interveners, the greatest genociders and enslavers in human history – Europe and its superpower offspring, the United States – have nearly completed their reconquest of the African continent. Only a few patches of land are free of their military entanglements and treaties – notably, Zimbabwe and tiny Eritrea, among the few nations on the African continent that have not yet been absorbed into the AFRICOM matrix.

The United Nations and the African Union have become mere annexes of the AFRICOM military complex, under the fictitious banner of human rights.

Only a few patches of land are free of their military entanglements and treaties.”

The African Union definitively sold itself to the Devil in Somalia, where an AU-accredited force of almost 20,000 troops fights a U.S. and European Union-armed and -financed war to subjugate the Somali nation. The greatest crime of the late 20th and early 21st centuries is now in the process of being sanitized, globalized, and Pan-Africanized in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Since 1996, under Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, the United States has armed and financed the de facto annexation and bloody depopulation of the mineral rich eastern Congo. U.S. client states Uganda and Rwanda turned the eastern provinces of Congo into a vast killing field that has, so far, claimed the lives of 6 million people – the greatest holocaust since World War Two. All the while, successive U.S. administrations shielded their Ugandan and Rwandan hirelings from international censure – even as nearly 20,000 United Nations troops were stationed in the killing fields.

But eventually, Rwanda and Uganda’s role in the carnage could no longer be hidden. Now the United States – the superpower overlord of the Congolese genocide – drapes itself in the clothing of humanitarian savior of the Congo. It has pushed through the United Nations Security Council the creation of a new, 3,000-man force to aggressively intervene in Congo. Like the United Nations-African Union force in Somalia, the UN Congo “intervention brigade” will not move an inch without U.S. arms, training, and supervision. The U.S., which has choreographed the Congolese genocide for the past 17 years, will now pose as the great peacemaker and life-giver, through the offices of the United Nations and participating African countries. And the bought and paid for governments of the continent will bow, and applaud, and then bow again.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130410_gf_USCongoForce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm EST

School Privatization Fraud: Michelle Rhee May Yet Join Beverly Hall in the Dock

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Rhee hid money that the school system actually had on hand, to claim that teachers had to be fired en masse.”

Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, DC, schools chief and poster woman for public school privatization, richly deserves to join former Atlanta schools superintendent Beverly Hall, who was recently indicted for her role in that city’s massive cheating scandal. Michelle Rhee may yet pay for the damage she has inflicted on society and its children, whom she has harmed even more grievously than her comrade in crime in Georgia. But first, the case of Beverly Hall.

Hall was a high-rolling player in the nationwide criminal enterprise to destroy public education and replace it with a privately managed, but publicly financed, system. She wound up being hoisted on her own petard, her career wrecked by the same high stakes testing regime that she supported to the hilt, and on whose altar she had sacrificed – fired – 90 school principals and countless rank and file teachers. Hall was caught in the minefield of No Child Left Behind and President Obama’s Race to the Top, trapped in a web of deceit.

A key purpose of high stakes testing is to “prove” that conventional public schools are inferior to the charter model, and that incompetent or uncaring teachers and their unions are the heart of the problem. The testing regimen is designed to fail large numbers of schools, so that they can be replaced with charter operations. Beverly Hall carried out a reign of terror in her overwhelmingly Black Atlanta district. Every public school teacher understood the rules: if your students get a low score, you are out the door. In return for torturing her teachers, superintendent Hall was awarded accolades and goo-gobs of bonus money and lucrative speaking engagements. She was a kingpin of the privatization gang, not too many notches below Michelle Rhee.

Hall had to rely on the lowly, terrified teachers to work her scam.”

But Beverly Hall was trapped in a contradiction. In order to fulfill her commitment to the corporate charter school mob, she had to use her powers as superintendent to disrupt the educational process and make teaching a living hell. However, if she was to further her personal reputation as a school administrator, Hall needed the students in her district to register ever higher scores on the tests. She had to prove, by the numbers, that Race to the Top worked – when clearly it does not – or wind up in the same trash heap into which she was so eagerly throwing her teachers. Since the students could not facilitate her crime by actually achieving the impossible scores, Beverly Hall had to rely on the lowly, terrified teachers to work her scam. Thus, she became the Superintendent of Cheating, and is now free on $200,000 bail.

Michelle Rhee was even more criminally ambitious, during her tenure as Chancellor of DC’s public schools. It turns out that Rhee hid money that the school system actually had on hand, to claim that teachers had to be fired en masse, for budgetary reasons. After the massacre of teachers was over, Rhee magically found the money she had hidden, and hired a whole new crop of younger, whiter, non-union-friendly teachers.

One of those caught in the Michelle Rhee massacre was Willie Brewer, a 53-year-old music teacher who sued. A federal judge has allowed his case to proceed in court, and Brewer is now amending it to include charges of concealment and fraud, that could conceivably wind up putting Michelle Rhee in prison.

Let the perp-walk begin.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130410_gf_Rhee_Hall.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:06pm EST

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

The billionaire former owner of BET commissioned a poll on Black political opinion that utterly fails to measure anything meaningful or useful. “What does it tell you about Black America, that Congresswoman Waters has about twice the following of Congressman Clyburn? Does it tell you anything at all?” The NAACP is more popular than the Urban League. Why? The poll didn’t bother to ask.

News Flash: Rich Black Man Pays for Useless Poll, Thinks He’s Done Something Important

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

There are no questions that would illicit answers as to how Blacks think Obama has helped or hurt them.”

Bob Johnson’s poll of Black American political views, contracted through the Zogby organization, is some pretty sloppy work. The Zogby pollsters are quite capable of framing questions that illicit valuable social insights, but I suppose a billionaire’s heavy hand can lead any pollster astray.

We find that 83 percent of Black folks are generally favorable towards the NAACP, 69 percent have good feelings about the National Urban League, and 68 percent are more favorable than not towards the Congressional Black Caucus. Hillary Clinton and President Obama get the highest ratings, because all but one percent of Black folks feel familiar with them, while 4 percent are not too sure what the NAACP is all about, and 16 and 17 percent are unfamiliar with the Black Caucus and the Urban League, respectively.

All five people and organizations are rated highly among Blacks or, presumably, would be if Black folks knew more about them. But, what do these numbers mean? What do African Americans like or dislike about the subjects of the poll? And, where are the numbers on those people and institutions that are generally understood to be unpopular among Blacks, so that we can make a comparison. How can we tell if favorable ratings in the seventies and eighties are good scores, if we don’t know what a bad score is?

Why were those particular seven persons listed?”

We get an even messier situation on question number eight, which asks “Which of the following [people] speaks for you most often. For some, unexplained reason, the poll allows respondents to choose from Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, NAACP chief Ben Jealous, Congressman James Clyburn, National Urban League President Marc Morial, and Michael Steel, the Black former chairman of the Republican National Committee. Sharpton won, at 24 percent, and Republican Michael Steel came in last, with 2 percent. Forty percent of those surveyed were not willing to follow any of the above. But, why were those particular seven persons listed? And, what does it tell you about Black America, that Congresswoman Waters has about twice the following of Congressman Clyburn? Does it tell you anything at all?

The results that got the most press attention, of course, revolved around President Obama. Seventy-two percent of Blacks think his election helped African Americans. However, there are no questions that would illicit answers as to how Blacks think Obama has helped or hurt them. The President learns nothing useful, the reader gets no guidance, and it’s a mystery what Bob Johnson gets out of it.

This is a truly incompetent, useless poll. For example, question number fifteen asks if Black unemployment is double that of whites because of: a) failure of the educational system for minorities/African Americans; b) lack of corporate commitment to hiring minorities/African Americans; or c) lack of good government policies. But, what does educational system “failure” mean? That Blacks are educationally unqualified, or that white people assume they are poorly educated, or what? What are “good government policies”? Does it mean a jobs policy? Affirmative action? Public investment? Non-discrimination policies? Who knows?

What have we learned? That a billionaire, Black or white, can spend all the money he wants asking poorly constructed questions for no other purpose than to remind people that he is still rich.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130403_gf_JohnsonPoll.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07am EST

U.S. “Human Rights” Wars: Arms Control as a Weapon

A Black Agenda Radio Commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

Each of those nations designated as rogue violators of human rights were also at the top of Washington’s hit list for regime change.”

The United Nations General Assembly vote on regulation of the international arms trade purports to be a modest step away from violence in the world, but is in fact the very opposite. The newly approved Arms Trade Treaty is conceived and designed as a facilitator of war by its main sponsor, the United States.

At the core of the treaty is a ban on arms exports to countries that are under U.N. embargoes, or that are accused of promoting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. But such language is only a tool of war in the hands of the U.S. The cold fact is that, since the establishment of the United Nations to this very day, the United States and its allies, clients and proxies have been the worst perpetrators of crimes against humanity. From Vietnam to East Timor to Guatemala to Iraq to Somalia and to Congo, the U.S. has caused the deaths of well over ten million people over the past 60 years.

In the 21st century, in a cruel joke on humanity, the mass murderers in Washington put on their “human rights” hats and declared themselves to be the international community’s protectors against so-called “rogue” nations. The doctrine of “humanitarian military intervention” was inflicted on the world. It was not coincidental that each of those nations designated as rogue violators of human rights were also at the top of Washington’s hit list for regime change. Haiti was attacked and occupied, its sovereignty stolen under the auspices of the UN, for supposedly “humanitarian” reasons. Libya was bombed for seven months and plunged into a race war, under the “humanitarian” umbrella. The Democratic Republic of Congo has lost six million people at the hands of U.S. humanitarian policy. Let us one day be saved from the fatal embrace of the humanitarian superpower, who has made human rights a weapon of mass destruction.

This treaty is not about limiting warfare, but about making nations into outlaws.”

The newly minted international Arms Trade Treaty, like humanitarian warfare and that racist mockery of an International Criminal Court, is simply another device to strip nations targeted for U.S. attack of the ability to defend themselves. The immediate targets are Syria, Iran, and North Korea, which is why they voted against the treaty. Twenty-three other countries abstained, including Russia, China and India. They understand that this treaty is not about limiting warfare, but about making nations into outlaws, to be more easily subdued by the United States. In a stroke of supreme cynicism, America and its allies argued that non-state actors – like their jihadist proxies waging a war of terror against Syria – should not be subject to the treaty, because “national liberation movements” should be able to protect themselves. What shameless hypocrisy! The U.S. and Europe now sing the praises of national liberation movements, after having killed tens of millions to stifle the national aspirations of most of the world’s people.

But, that is no more insane than Washington posing as a force for peace. Not only is the U.S. the top arms exporter in the world, but 8 of the top 10 war-profiteering corporations on the planet are American. On the lips of U.S. presidents, arms control is bogus, human rights is a sham, and words of peace are actually weapons of war.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to BlackAgendaReport.com.

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

Direct download: 20130403_gf_ArmsTreaty.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57am EST