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 Obama administration was eager to show its fangs against Mugabe in Africa."

The Obama regime entered office hot-wired to bring down the government of Robert Mugabe, in Zimbabwe, but has been frustrated by the recent power sharing agreement between Mugabe and the main opposition party. In the face of African Union support for the new arrangement in Zimbabwe, the Obama administration has very reluctantly retreated from its hyper-aggressive posture, and is no longer in a position to press the United Nations Security Council to impose tightened sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Obama's UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, is especially eager to exercise U.S. power in Africa - including American military options. Only last week, Rice was intent on bringing the so-called "miscarriage of justice" in Zimbabwe "to an end." Rice looks at maps of Africa and sees multiple opportunities for regime change, especially when it comes to what she calls "the autocracy" surrounding Mugabe.

But the U.S. was forced to tone down its belligerent language - if only slightly - as southern African nations declared their support for Zimbabwe's political experiment. The disappointment in Washington was palpable. The U.S.-funded Voice of America last week reported Washington's continued implacable opposition to Mugabe's remaining in office, even with the opposition sharing power. By Tuesday, February 3, Obama's people were more subdued but still seething, vowing that "Mugabe is not getting a reprieve from President Obama."

A reprieve! What does that mean? Does Barack Obama carry around a hit list of world leaders, like George Bush did?

"Rice looks at maps of Africa and sees multiple opportunities for regime change."

Susan Rice certainly seems to have the mentality of a political assassin. She is an advocate of U.S. "humanitarian" military intervention - that is, the duty of the United States to send in the Marines whenever Washington decides that a government isn't willing or able to provide for the needs of its people. Rice is advertised as an expert on Africa, having held down the Africa seat at the State Department in the Clinton Administration. Clinton and Rice did worse than nothing during the Rwandan massacres, but she is now the very picture of the fiery-eyed interventionist. Rice endorsed George Bush's savage war against Somalia, which early this year ended in defeat for the Americans and their Ethiopian allies. Rice can be expected to try to plunge the country back into chaos at the earliest opportunity. She wants to blockade Sudan's ports, enforce a no-fly zone over Darfur, and commit other acts of war - unilaterally, if necessary.

Susan Rice is, in short, Barack Obama's "hawk" in Africa, as bloodthirsty as Condoleezza Rice at her ugliest. The Obama administration's eagerness to show its fangs against Mugabe in Africa in its first weeks in office, while the new president was flashing smiles, charm and reassurances to the rest of the planet, is evidence of Susan Rice's malicious influence. President Obama will soon begin to justify U.S. military intervention on broad "humanitarian" grounds - a cynical game of words to mask the same crimes as George Bush's so-called "democratic" interventions.

Susan Rice is a war hawk, and Obama is no peace president.

For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at

Direct download: 20090203_gf_obama_zimbabwe.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21am EDT