Black Agenda Radio Commentaries
News, analysis and commentary on the human condition from a black left perspective.
Black Lives Matter Take Note: Apartheid Israel Targeting Everyone that Questions Its “Legitimacy”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

It is a given that the U.S. national security state is engaged in surveillance, infiltration and disruption of the emerging Black Lives Matter movement, but they have doubtless been joined by the Israelis, who have launched a global digital war against supporters of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. “The Israelis have already targeted, and made to disappear, web pages that are linked to BDS websites.”

Black Lives Matter Take Note: Apartheid Israel Targeting Everyone that Questions Its “Legitimacy”

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

“In addition to the dirty tricks and hyper-surveillance of the U.S. national security state, activists are also in the crosshairs of the Israeli secret services.”

“This time around, the cyber war will be targeting Americans, Europeans and anyone else that challenges the ‘legitimacy’ of the world’s sole surviving colonial apartheid state.”

The Israeli government is pouring $26 million and tasking many of its secret service scientists and dirty tricks operatives to wage a digital war against BDS – the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement. An Associated Press article, picked up by AlterNet, reports the Israelis have already targeted, and made to disappear, web pages that are linked to BDS websites. An Israeli corporate executive said the mission is to dismantle the digital infrastructure of groups in Europe, the United States and South America that Tel Aviv considers to be anti-Semitic. The Israeli government position is that everyone that supports the BDS movement is anti-Semitic, because they want to “delegitimize” the Zionist state.

Hillary Clinton agrees with Israel. In a letter to a billionaire fundraiser, Clinton said, “I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority,” and she promised to help “fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel.” Clinton has collaborated in Israeli cyber wars before. She was Secretary of State in 2010 when the Stuxnet program, a joint U.S. and Israeli digital assault against Iranian centrifuges, was discovered. This time around, the cyber war will not be targeting Iran, or the Chinese, but Americans, Europeans and anyone else that challenges the “legitimacy” of the world’s sole surviving colonial apartheid state. American supporters of the BDS movement cannot expect that their rights to free speech and association will be protected Democrats or Republicans in Washington – not when it comes to the legitimacy of Israel.

Decent Humankind vs. Israeli Apartheid

The emerging movement that goes under the heading of Black Lives Matter should take note. In addition to the dirty tricks and hyper-surveillance of the U.S. national security state, activists are also in the crosshairs of the Israeli secret services. Israel was white-ruled South Africa’s closest military ally for the simple reason that they were both white settler, apartheid states rooted in an ideology of ethnic supremacy. In 1975, the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv offered to sell the white regime in Pretoria nuclear weapons “in three sizes.” The Israelis feared that, should white minority rule collapse in South Africa, Israel would be the only apartheid regime left standing on the planet. They could no longer claim to be, at least, not quite as bad as South Africa. But, as Bishop Desmond Tutu and others have concluded, apartheid Israel is actually worse than apartheid South Africa, both in its genocidal policies against the Palestinians, and as a constant threat to the survival of the planet.

The term “illegitimate” doesn’t comes close to describing a state that is an affront, an insult, to the very notion of civilization. All decent people must oppose Israeli apartheid. Unfortunately, Beyonce and Jennifer Lopez and Lisa Keys are not decent people; they have no problem performing in Israel. The Congressional Black Caucus is not composed of decent people; their junkets to Israel are must-attend events, and they joined with all the other members of Congress in a Resolution in support of Israeli at the moment the apartheid regime was slaughtering thousands of Palestinians in Gaza. But, a Black Lives Matter movement must be decent – and internationalist. And, to that extent, its activists will be targeted by the world’s last apartheid state.

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: 20160224_gf_IsraelTargetsBDS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:19am EST

The West’s War Against Syria: Out of Control

“The American “coalition” never tried to militarily defeat ISIS in Syria or Iraq.”

The five year-long U.S.-led proxy war against Syria is about to spiral out of control, with possibly fatal consequences for the human race. The Obama administration’s web of lies, intrigue, and relentless aggression has turned Syria into the world’s most insane field of battle, where both the United States and Russia provide air cover to Kurdish forces that are being shelled by America’s NATO ally, Turkey. Turkey has also been shelling units of the Syrian army, operating under Russia’s protection. With 18,000 Turkish soldiers poised at the border, a Turkish invasion of Syria is considered imminent, and will likely include Saudi Arabian troops and aircraft – all of which would become targets for Russian air defense systems the second they violate Syrian land and air space. Should Turkey and Russia come to blows, which is entirely possible within the next few days, the Turks could block the Bosphorus Straits, closing off access to and from the Black Sea, bottling up Russian naval forces and provoking a world war. The Turks temporally blocked the door to the Black Sea back in December, after they shot down a Russian plane.

Meanwhile, western governments, their royal Arab allies, and the global corporate media scream for some kind of so-called “humanitarian” intervention in northern Syria – a transparent call for the United States to activate its so-called “Plan B” – an all-out U.S. military offensive against...who?

The United States will claim it’s against the Islamic State. These days, the U.S. claims everything it does in Syria and in Iraq is part of the fight against the Islamic State. But, of course, there never was a U.S. war against the Islamic State, which spread like wildfire until the Russian air force intervened in late September. The U.S., the Brits, the French, Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf kleptocracies financed and armed all of the jihadist gangs that descended on Syria after 2011, and although the Islamic State decided that it had plans of its own, the American “coalition” never tried to militarily defeat ISIS in Syria or Iraq. ISIS was still useful, to wear down the Syrian army and keep the Iraqi government off balance and dependent on the United States.

“A Turkish invasion of Syria is considered imminent.”

The success of the Russian intervention changed all that. Under Plan B, the United States and its allies will move militarily to absorb the Islamic State and take over the Syrian territory the jihadists now occupy, de facto dismembering Syria. The surviving ISIS fighters would fight on under U.S. protection, distributed among other jihadist groups and under new political labels. At least, that appears to be the plan.

However, the Turks have their own agenda. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has staked his political life on defeating and humiliating the Kurds, in his own country and in Syria. But, the United States has made a huge investment in acting as the “protector” of the Iraqi Kurds, in order to dismember and control Iraq, and the Americans are trying to play the same game with the Syrian Kurds. That’s why the U.S. is providing air cover to some Syrian Kurdish units, while the Turks are shelling other Kurds who operate under Russian air cover, 60 miles away. The Turks don’t like the game the Americans are playing, and are threatening to invade Syria, confront the Russians, and force the U.S. to choose between Turkey, or the Kurds, or World War Three. This is a very dangerous moment for the planet.

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: 20160217_gf_CrazySyriaWar.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:41pm EST

Black Agenda Radio for Week of February 15, 2016

Heads Should Roll Over Flint – Like Watergate

“What did they know, and when did they know it?” That’s the question Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo would pose to everyone involved in the poisoning of Flint, Michigan, including Gov. Rick Snyder, EPA chief Gina McCarthy and, ultimately, President Obama himself. BAR editor and columnist Dr. Coleman Adebayo, who was a senior-level whistleblower at the EPA, said she “can’t imagine” that EPA administrator Gina McCarthy did not send President Obama a memo that essentially warned, “There is a potential that a major American city my be poisoned.” Failure to warn the public of imminent environmental danger “is a criminal offense,” she said.

Black and Brown Cities Disenfranchised

The poisoning of Flint began with the theft of democracy, through the imposition of state appointed emergency financial managers. “This is a form of taxation without representation,” said Larry Hamm, chairman of the Newark, New Jersey-based People’s Organization for Progress, which held protests in solidarity with the people of Flint. “I don’t know of any white cities in America where this has occurred,” said Hamm, noting that local schools in Black and brown districts have long been targeted for state takeover.

Move Members Up for Parole, Again

Janine, Debbie and Janet Africa, members of the Move 9, will go before a Pennsylvania prison parole board, once again, in May, having spent 37 years behind bars in the 1978 shooting of a cop. The women are not even alleged to have possessed any guns. “In their fervor to kill our family, they ended up killing one of their own,” said Move spokesperson Ramona Africa. “”All of the evidence shows that.” Seven years after the 1978 confrontation, Philadelphia police bombed the Move residence, killing 11 men, women and children.

Black Lives Matter Network Supports Reproductive Rights

Alicia Garza, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Network, joined with two Black women’s organizations to combat right-wing groups that rail against abortion as “genocide” against African Americans. Or, as Garza put it: “the co-optation of Black Lives Matter language as a way to talk about restricting the ability of women to make the best decision for their own unique situation.” Garza held a joint press conference with La’Tasha Mayes, founder of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and Monica Simpson, director of the Trust Black Women Partnership.

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Black Agenda Radio on the Progressive Radio Network is hosted by Glen Ford and Nellie Bailey. A new edition of the program airs every Monday at 11:00am ET on PRN. Length: one hour.

Direct download: BAR_021516.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:02pm EST

Beyoncé, James Brown and Black Movements

Fans and critics alike have over-interpreted Beyoncé’s latest commercial product.”

Only two days and one Superbowl performance after Beyoncé released her video, “Formation,” the song had registered 7 million views on YouTube. These numbers are not really all that surprising for an artist who is rated the nation’s number one celebrity, with a net worth of $250 million and the highest yearly earnings record. Beyoncé and her multi-millionaire husband Jay-Z are by no stretch of the imagination political radicals. But they do know how to ride the waves of popular culture, putting their own signatures on existing social movements. It’s good business, and they are good at it.

Beyoncé and her platoon of female dancers generated maximum shock-and-awe value with her fifth career Superbowl performance, derived from the “Formation” single. Beyoncé was bedecked with a bandolier for high-powered ammunition, while her dancers were costumed in Black Panther-themed uniforms as they moved in military-like “formations” and formed a giant “X” – presumably signifying Malcolm. In the video, a young boy dances in front of a line of cops, as the camera flashes to graffiti demanding “Stop Shooting Us.” We immediately make the connection to 12 year-old Tamir Rice, murdered by Cleveland cops – except in the video, the police put up their hands in surrender to the dancing child. New Orleans is the motif for Beyoncé’s rhythmic fantasy, which ends with her atop a police car as it sinks beneath the flood waters.

Black Lives Spend Money

Fans and critics alike have over-interpreted Beyoncé’s latest commercial product – as if it provides an insight into her and her husband Jay-Z’s political leanings. A National Pubic Radio article features Black female intellectuals and journalists pontificating on the boldness of Beyoncé’s Blackness and womanhood, and her roots in the down-and-dirty quarters of the South. R. L. Stephens II, writing in the radical publication Orchestrated Pulse, complains that “Formation” fails to inform us about the “political conditions” that Black people face. He points out that Beyoncé is a supporter and Twitter follower of DeRay McKesson, who has turned a social media presence into a ticket into the V.I.P. sections of corporate power and the Democratic Party.

But, of course, DeRay McKesson is only of interest to the Power Structure because he opportunistically attached himself to an emerging social movement, the same Black Lives Matter movement from which Beyoncé and her spouse hope to derive social relevancy – and of course, tens of millions more in sales.

In the video, the Beyoncé character calls herself a “Black Bill Gates in the making” and is money-hungry to the bone. This is not a radical song. What it does, is signify that Beyoncé wants to be perceived as being down with the new movement. It’s much like soul singer James Brown’s musical endorsement of “Black” as the proud name of his people, in his 1968 hit record. Brown was, in fact, a deeply conservative businessman who would endorse – or betray – anyone, to guard his bankroll. Beyoncé and Jay-Z have no political principles except profit-making. But they, like James Brown, recognize the potential of an awakening people, and try to get with the “movement.” In that sense, the “movement” is the rising star – and that is the point of the matter.

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: 20160210_gf_Beyonce_JB.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EST

Going "International" on Racist Uncle Sam

“When activists go the UN offices in Geneva, Switzerland, to document the barbarity and racism of the U.S. criminal justice system, Washington is compelled to respond.”

Advocates of reparations and Black community control of the police got a boost from a panel of the United Nations, last week. The UN’s “Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent” heard testimony in five cities on violations of Black Americans’ human rights. The experts will issue a full report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, in September, but their preliminary statement paints a picture of endemic racial oppression in criminal justice, education, housing, employment, health care – virtually every aspect of life in the USA.

Of course, the United Nations is not going to force the U.S. to pay reparations to its Black citizens, or compel America to remove its blue-uniformed army of occupation from Black communities. Only Black Americans, themselves, can make that happen. However, the UN’s critique of U.S. racial policies and practices is important. Even a corporate-ruled, imperialist superpower, born in slavery and genocide, can be embarrassed when its crimes are revealed on the world stage. President Eisenhower was a segregationist, but he could not act like one when the world was watching the Black American struggle against Jim Crow segregation in the 1950s. In the Sixties, Malcolm X urged Black people to take their human rights grievances to the United Nations, where the seats in the General Assembly were filling up with delegates from the formerly colonized countries of the world. Under the gaze of global humanity, the United States pretended to welcome the end of official American apartheid.

“The African American reputation in the world has been in dire need of rehabilitation.”

Nowadays, President Obama attempts to convince the world that the U.S. would really like to get rid of mass Black incarceration – although he’d have to release 7 out of every 8 prisoners to bring U.S. incarceration rates down to 1970 levels. Still, when activists go the UN offices in Geneva, Switzerland, to document the barbarity and racism of the U.S. criminal justice system, Washington is compelled to respond.

Half a century ago, Black Americans earned the respect and admiration of struggling peoples all over the world, because we were perceived as waging a heroic fight for justice and human rights, here in the belly of the beast. And, although the Black Panther Party has been defunct in the U.S. for two generations, people in places like India and even New Zealand still proudly call themselves Black Panthers.

However, the Black American reputation has suffered over the years. The world has seen us represented by the likes of Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and now the mad bomber in the White House and his genocidal national security advisor Susan Rice, the individual most closely identified with the slaughter of six million Congolese. With all of these Black American war criminals and fiends strutting around the world stage, the African American reputation has been in dire need of rehabilitation.

But then Ferguson intervened, and Black America seemed like it might have rediscovered its soul. Black folks are actually making demands of power – and the United Nations is paying attention. There is hope for us, yet.

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: 20160203_gf_UNReport.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EST