Tag Archives: neo-colonialism

US-Orchestrated Coup Attempt in Ecuador

By Stephen Lendman
July 07, 2015
Global Research

 

correaWashington wants all independent governments toppled – regime change by US-orchestrated color revolutions, coups or naked aggression.

Ecuador is in the eye of the storm. Obama’s earlier 2010 attempt to forcibly unseat popular President Rafael Correa failed.

He’s trying again. Ecuadorean democracy is being attacked. Since early June, US-orchestrated right-wing protests (mainly in Quito and Guayaquil) erupted. They continue at times violently to replace Correa with fascist rule.

They began on the pretext of announced higher inheritance and capital gains taxes affecting about 2% of the population – the Law to Redistribute the Wealth now being debated after Correa halted its implementation to make rich Ecuadorians pay more along with creating more social enterprises, collectives and cooperatives.

Protest leaders want Correa forcibly ousted. Interior Minister Jose Serrano revealed a plot to storm the presidential palace, block airports and bridges on the Colombian and Peruvian borders, as well as attack security forces.

Serrano said opposition lawmakers Andres Paez and Lourdes Tiban conspired with former Col. Mario Pazmino to instigate violence and chaos during protests.

Pazmino was former army military intelligence head – “very close to the CIA,” according to Correa. In 2008, he was sacked for colluding with Colombia’s bombing of Ecuador.

The coup plotters’ plan involved advancing from north and south to converge around Quito’s presidential palace – intending to occupy it forcibly.

They planned to use pointed sticks to break police shields, throw balloons filled with paint for police to lose visibility, pepper-spray police horses and dogs” to scare and scatter them, Serrano explained.

They intended publishing letters in two national newspapers – El Universo and La Hora – as well as anti-government letters to Pope Francis to undermine his forthcoming visit, an American tour beginning in Ecuador on July 5 followed by Bolivia, Paraguay, Cuba and the United States.

Serrano said “if they were not able to seize power, (they) would have created national chaos” to force Pope Francis to cancel his visit, as well as “maintain…indefinite protest(s).

Correa commented on “clear evidence of a plot meant to take over the (presidential) palace. They want to defeat violently a government internationally and domestically supported,” he explained.

They’ll be defeated like September 30, 2010 plotters (called 30S) “peacefully but firmly,” Correa said. “We are more, many more,” he stressed.

On Thursday, violent clashes erupted. Right-wing extremists attacked Ecuadorean police near Quito’s presidential palace. Their plan to breach their lines failed. Four officers sustained injuries.

Journalists were attacked. Culture Minister Guillaume Long said “(t)oday we are facing (a) real threat of destabilization. It is fundamental (for) the people of Ecuador to come here and (defend) democracy. We’re not going to allow more coups.”

Thousands of Correa supporters rallied Thursday night to defend their government in Quito’s Independence Plaza, its main square (the Carondolet).

Correa addressed them saying “(w)e are ready to defend the revolution against coup plotters. We will remain firm in defending the revolution against the ultra-right.”

“(M)obilizations to tire us out…to prevent us from governing (won’t) work. We are willing to defend our history and our citizen’s revolution. Here we have democracy. Here the majority rule and the past will never return.”

Washington wants Correa’s government replaced by a regime it controls, neo-colonial rule most Ecuadoreans oppose – following the pattern of earlier failed Venezuelan protests.

So far, popular support for Correa prevails. At the same time, dark forces headquartered in Washington never end their dirty game for unchallenged global dominance – a plot to create unfit to live in ruler-serf societies worldwide.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

The US contemplates partitioning Iraq

By James Cogan
June 22, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

https://i0.wp.com/www.reficultnias.org/mikesfiles/cachedfiles/photofiles/iraq-divided.gifDuring an exchange in the House Armed Services Committee last Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the Obama administration was prepared to accept the break-up of Iraq as a unified national-state.

“What if a multi-sectarian Iraq turns out not be possible?” Carter asked rhetorically. “That is an important part of our strategy now on the ground. If the government can’t do what it’s supposed to do, then we will still try to enable local ground forces, if they’re willing to partner with us, to keep stability in Iraq—but there will not be a single state of Iraq.”

Carter’s brazen statement underscores, once again, the predatory and colonial character of decades of US interventions in the Middle East—as well as the endless lies utilized to justify them.

Just 10 months ago, the American people were told by the Obama administration that US military operations were resuming in Iraq in order to defend it against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which was threatening its survival. As recently as April, with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi standing beside him, Obama declared at the White House that “United States’ prime interest,” alongside defeating ISIS, was “to respect Iraqi sovereignty.”

A few months later, the Obama administration has signalled that it is indifferent to the country’s sovereignty and even its existence.

The change in US rhetoric follows the Iraqi army’s retreat from Ramadi in western Anbar province, which left the Sunni-majority city and vast amounts of US-supplied equipment in ISIS hands. In response, Obama’s promises that American ground troops would not be sent back into combat to Iraq are being cast aside. Last week, the White House authorised 450 personnel to deploy to a base between Ramadi and Fallujah.

From their stronghold, the American “advisors” will be tasked with paying local Sunnis to end their collaboration with ISIS against the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government and join US-armed militias that will fight the Islamic extremists. The so-called “lilypad” concept will be broadened in the coming weeks, and the advisors will accompany their Iraqi mercenaries into combat zones in order to direct supporting air strikes.

In northern Iraq, Carter effectively announced that the US will begin to send arms and supplies directly to the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), which already rules its territory as a de-facto separate state. Just days earlier, he had stated that arming the KRG directly was “inconsistent with the longstanding US foreign policy of working to maintain a stable, unified Iraq.” Through the KRG, however, assistance is being provided to Kurdish rebel forces in northern Syria, which have inflicted significant defeats on ISIS in recent weeks.

In Syria, the US is responding, not only to the advances by Kurdish militia in the north against ISIS, but to victories in the south of the country by Sunni rebels—trained and supplied by US allies Jordan and Saudi Arabia—against the Iranian-backed Syrian government of President Bashir al-Assad. Assad’s forces have lost control over most of the country.

The shift in US policy also comes amid the growing importance of Iranian assistance in defending Abadi’s government in the territory it still controls. Shiite-based militias, aided by Iranian advisors, have borne the brunt of fighting to drive back ISIS incursions close to Baghdad and the majority Shiite-populated areas of Iraq. Tehran’s efforts to save the Iraqi state, however, are denounced by Carter and the US military as “Iranian malign influence.”

In a comment on Carter’s statements and the situation in the Middle East, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed to the conclusions that are being drawn in US ruling circles. American policy toward Iraq and Syria, he wrote, must begin “by admitting that the old borders are gone, that a unified Syria and Iraq will never be reconstituted, that the Sykes-Picot map is defunct.”

Sykes-Picot was the sordid imperialist agreement, between Britain and France, to carve up and divide the Middle East between them at the end of World War I. It resulted, after considerable bloodshed and colonial repression, in the establishment of nation-states such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait. A century later, in pursuit of its imperialist agenda today, the United States is more than prepared to tear these states apart.

From the time of the first Iraq War in 1990-1991, the only “prime interest” of US imperialism in the Middle East has been to ensure that it exerts unchallenged military domination over the Persian Gulf and the world’s major reserves of oil.

The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, justified with the lies over “weapons of mass destruction,” was followed by the systematic persecution of supporters of the former regime of Saddam Hussein, above all in the Sunni population. The successive puppet governments formed in Baghdad were based on coalitions between Shiite religious parties and Kurdish nationalists.

The departure of US forces in 2011, after nine years of mass killing and repression, which claimed as many as one million Iraqi lives, was followed by the further sectarian marginalisation of the Sunni population by the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

ISIS had its origins among the Sunni-based extremists who fought the US occupation and the Shiite-dominated government in Iraq. In Syria, however, such forces became a useful pawn in Washington’s agenda of regime-change. The US facilitated Islamist militias emerging as the leading force in the armed rebellion that developed after 2011 against the Russian and Iranian-backed Assad government. ISIS, in particular, received large quantities of weapons and funds through US allies in the region.

In June 2014, as a result of tacit US support, ISIS was able to cross back into Iraq with substantial strength and capture the major northern city of Mosul. The utter debacle of US policy nevertheless became the Obama administration’s pretext for not only returning forces to Iraq, in order to undermine growing Iranian influence, but initiating direct air strikes in Syria—which at a certain point will be unleashed against what remains of Assad’s military.

The US violence in the Middle East, and its intrigues with various ethno-sectarian factions, is a crime of immense dimensions. It has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, incalculable suffering and the greatest refugee and displacement crisis since World War II. Any attempt by Washington to preside over a new colonial carve-up and re-division of the region’s borders raises the danger of even greater carnage for the region’s—and the world’s—population.

 

 

The refugee crisis and the new “scramble for Africa”

By Johannes Stern
April 23, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

At their summit in Brussels today, the European Union heads of state and government will adopt a ten-point plan negotiated at a special meeting of EU foreign and interior ministers held in Luxembourg on Monday.

The plan calls for an extension of police/military operations to keep refugees fleeing poverty and violence in North Africa and the Middle East from reaching “Fortress Europe.” That, however, is only its immediate aim. Under discussion are much broader plans for the former colonial powers to reassert control in a new “scramble for Africa.”

The EU’s response to the refugee crisis is as cynical as it is criminal. The European powers, having collaborated with Washington in devastating Libya and much of the Middle East in a series of “humanitarian” wars and regime-change operations, turning millions into refugees, now use the chaos they created to further subordinate and plunder their former colonies under the guise of “solving the refugee problem” and fighting human trafficking.

Politicians and media commentators in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, London and Rome are with increasing openness discussing military action. They are seeking a UN mandate for operations to destroy refugee boats off the Libyan coast and deploy Special Forces to hunt down traffickers within the country.

Other, more extensive operations are envisaged, including the seizure of oil refineries in Libya, the installation of a pro-imperialist “unity government” in Tripoli, the “stabilization of Tunisia and Morocco,” and the creation of refugee camps in sub-Saharan Africa.

Germany, which abstained from the NATO air war against Libya four years ago, is now at the forefront of discussions of a coordinated military intervention in Africa. Following the call by President Gauck at the beginning of 2014 for Germany to rearm and more aggressively assert German imperialist interests, the ruling class is eager to demonstrate the return of German militarism on the world arena and secure a share of the spoils from the subjugation of Africa.

We need to “bring more stability to Libya” and “put a stop to trafficking organizations” on the ground, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the ARD program “Report from Berlin.”

Roderich Kiesewetter, the Christian Democratic representative on the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, said in an interview with broadcaster Deutschlandfunk that while a UN mandate was needed for a “police action in North Africa,” such an operation would be “easier to achieve than in Iraq or Syria.”

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière called for “a robust mandate to take action against traffickers,” including intervening “in ports and their infrastructure.”

“Robust mandate” is code language for a United Nations Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, Article 42, which sanctions “such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security,” i.e., an open-ended mandate for war. The NATO war that overthrew the government of Muammar Gaddafi and left the country at the mercy of warring militias was similarly sanctioned under Chapter 7, Article 42 of the UN Charter.

According to Spiegel Online, preparations are under way in the German Defence Ministry “for possible German participation in both an EU rapid rescue mission and a long-term…military operation against the trafficking gangs in the Mediterranean.”

The web site reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has asked her defense minister, Ursula von der Leyen, to prepare “a list of possible German contributions to both operations” for today’s EU summit. Spiegel Online continues: “The military has already presented the minister with lists of German ships that are available for the two options.”

Under the headline, “What our Navy can achieve in the Mediterranean,” the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung calls for Germany to play a leading role in any military operation. The newspaper writes that Atalanta [the EU’s antipiracy operation in the Horn of Africa] shows “what role German forces could play in such a multinational formation in the long run.” It continues, “German frigates would be able to lead such a flotilla of warships or patrol boats.”

That what is being proposed is not humanitarian assistance, but a new war, is so obvious that the Süddeutsche Zeitung has felt obliged to admit, “This is not a humanitarian initiative.”

The “Africa Policy Guidelines” adopted by the German government in the spring of 2014 provide insight into the real aims behind the plans being discussed by the European powers. The document speaks of the “growing relevance of Africa for Germany and Europe,” stemming, in part, from the growing economy and “rich natural resources” of the continent. The statement calls on the German government to act “early, quickly, decisively and substantially,” and to “use the full range of its available resources.”

Germany’s ruling elite, 70 years after the end of the Second World War and the horrific crimes of the Nazis, views the deaths of more than a thousand refugees over the past week as an opportunity. It and its counterparts in France, Britain and Italy are exploiting the human disaster in the Mediterranean—for which they are responsible—to advance their competing geostrategic and commercial interests.

The return of German militarism and the new “scramble for Africa” raise critical historical questions. At the beginning of the 20th century, the struggle of the imperialist powers for control of the continent not only led to crimes against the indigenous population, it also exacerbated the inter-imperialist tensions that exploded in the First World War. Today, the global capitalist crisis is once again fueling a frenzied drive for imperialist conquest and plunder and creating the conditions for a new world war, this time carrying the risk of nuclear incineration.

Renewed military aggression in Africa and the danger of a Third World War can be averted only by the mobilization of the international working class on the basis of a socialist and revolutionary program. Hence the crucial importance of the International Committee of the Fourth International’s International May Day Online Rally to be held Sunday, May 3.

Its central slogans are: Down with capitalism and imperialism! For the international unity of the working class against war, dictatorship and poverty! For peace, equality and socialism! We urge all readers and supporters of the World Socialist Web Site to register for the rally today.

 

 

Nothing is Right in the Middle East

Shattered

By Andre Vltchek
April 5, 2015
Counter Punch

 

78095-iraqwarcrimesThere is nothing, absolutely nothing right in the Middle East these days. There seems to be no hope left, and no fervor. All that was pure was dragged through filth. All that was great here was stolen or smashed by the outsiders. Enthusiasm had been ridiculed, then drowned, or burned to ashes, or shattered by tanks and missiles.

Corruption thrives – corruption that inundated this entire region since the early days of Western colonialism, and then was sustained through the present-day imperialist global regime.

The land of the Middle East is tired; it is crying from exhaustion. It is scarred by wars. It is dotted with oil wells and rotting armor vehicles. There are corpses everywhere; buried, turned into dust, but still present in minds of those who are alive. There are millions of corpses, tens of millions of victims, shouting in their own, voiceless way, not willing to leave anyone in peace, pointing fingers, accusing!

This land is where so much began. Europe was nothing, when Byblos and Erbil stood tall, when a fabled civilization was forming in Mesopotamia, when Aleppo, Cairo and Al-Quds could only be rivaled by the great cities of China…

And this is where greatness, progress, decency and kindness were broken and bathed in blood by the crusaders, and later by the colonialist scum.

Europeans like to say that this part of the world is now ‘backward’, because it never experienced renaissance, but before it was broken and humiliated; it went much farther than renaissance, following its own way and direction. A primitive and aggressive medieval Europe took most of the knowledge from here.

All this means nothing now. Almost nothing is left of the glorious past. Grand Arab cities, once exhibiting their fabulous socialist concepts, including public and free hospitals and universities, even several centuries before Karl Marx was born, are now choking in smog, polluted, with almost nothing public remaining. Everything is privatized, and corrupt monarchs, generals and mafias are firmly in charge, from Egypt to the Gulf.

People wanted to have it exactly the opposite way. After the WWII, from North Africa to Iran, they were opting for various socialist concepts. But they were never allowed to have it their own way! Everything secular and progressive was smashed, destroyed by the Western masters of the world. And then came the second wave of semi-socialist states: Libya, Iraq and Syria, and they were bombed and destroyed as well, as nothing socialist, nothing that serves the people is ever allowed to survive in the ‘third world’ by Washington, London and Paris.

Millions died. Western imperialism orchestrated coups, sent brothers against brothers, bombed civilians and invaded directly, when all other means to achieve its hegemonic goals failed.

It created, it ‘educated’ a substantial layer of cynical servers of the Empire, the layer of new elites who are accountable to the governments in Washington, London and Paris, and treat their own people with spite and brutality. This layer is now ruling almost entire region, is fully backed by the West, and therefore there is extremely difficult to remove it.

Recently, at the “American University” in Beirut, one of the local academics told me “this region is doomed because of corruption”. But where did corruption come from, I wondered aloud. One after another, secular and socialist leaders in the Arab world were removed, overthrown. The Empire put the lowest grade of thugs, the most regressive monarchs and dictators, on the thrones.

The truth is, like in Africa, the people of the Middle East lost all hope that they could ever be allowed to elect the governments that would defend them and represent their interests. They sank to bare ‘survival mode’, to extreme individualism, to nepotism and to cynicism. They had to, in order to survive, in order to make their families and clans to stay afloat in the world forced on them by the others.

The result is atrocious: one of the most advanced civilizations on earth was converted into one of the most regressive.

***

And as a result, there is bitterness, humiliation and shame in the entire Middle East. There is an unhealthy, unnatural mood.

The thugs in Beirut, Amman, Erbil, Riyadh and Cairo are driving their shiny SUV’s and latest European sedans. New and newer luxury malls are offering top designer brands for those who make huge profits from the refugee crises triggered by the Empire, or from the crude which is being extracted by mistreated migrant workers. Humiliated Southeast Asian maids, often tortured, raped and abused, are sitting on the marble floors of the shopping centers, waiting for their masters who are engaging in unbridled food and shopping orgies, spending money that they never had to work for.

Collaborators are extremely well rewarded, for serving the Empire directly, for keeping business rolling and oil wells pumping, for staffing the UN agencies and through them providing legitimacy to this grotesque state of things, for brainwashing local youth in West-sponsored schools and universities.

All this is extremely hard to observe and to stomach, unless one is on a certain ‘wave’, immunized and indifferent, lobotomized, resigned to this state of the world.

The Middle East is of course not the exception – it is just a part of what I often describe as the ‘belt’ of client states of the West; a belt that winds from Indonesia through almost the entirety of Southeast Asia, then via the sub-Continent and the Middle East, down to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

***

Now Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemen. It does it in order to give full support to the outgoing pro-Western regime, and in order to damage Shi’a Muslims. Recent Saudi actions, as so many previous actions by that brutal client state of Washington, will open the doors to terrorism, and will kill thousands of innocent people. Shockingly, that is probably part of the plan.

I am now constantly invited to talk shows and radio and television interviews, to speak on the topic. But what more could be said and added?

The horrors of Western, Israeli, Saudi and Turkish aggressions (direct and indirect) are repeating themselves, year after year, in various parts of the Middle East. People are killed, many people, even children. There are some protests, some accusations, some ‘noise’, but at the end, the aggressors get away with everything. It is partially because the mass media in the West is twisting all the facts, again and again, and it does it extremely successfully. And most of the Arab media outlets are taking Western propaganda directly from the source, feeding it to their own people, shamelessly.

It is also because there is no effective international legal system in place that could punish aggressors.

The UN is nowhere to be found, when the acts or real terror are committed. Once in a while it is ‘concerned’, it even ‘condemns’ aggressors. But there are never any sanctions or embargos imposed against Israel or the United States, even Saudi Arabia. It is understood that the West and its allies are ‘above the law’.

This sends powerful signals to the rulers of the Middle East. The Egyptian military, which killed thousands of poor people right after it grabbed the power in a 2014 coup (which is commonly not defined as a coup, there), is now once again ‘eligible for US military aid’.

Fully prostituted Egyptian elites danced on the streets of Cairo when the coup took place, as did the elites in Chile, in 1973. I saw them, when I was making a documentary film for the South American Telesur, a film on how the West derailed the Arab Spring. They were posing for my cameras, cheering and hugging me, thinking that I am one of their handlers from the US or Europe.

Recently, I found an Egyptian UN staffer staring threateningly into my face:

“A coup?” she whispered. “You call it a coup? Egyptian people don’t call it a coup.”

How would I dare to argue with such a respectable representative of the Egyptian nation? I noticed that the pro-Western Egyptian elites love to pose as ‘Egyptian people’, as those species that are far removed from their mansions and chauffer-driven limousines.

***

There are tens of millions of people displaced in this part of the world. They come from Iraq and Syria, and from Palestine. There are new refugees and decades old refugees. Now, most certainly, there will be millions of Yemeni refugees.

In Lebanon alone, 2 million Syrian refugees live all over the place, some renting huts and houses, others, if the can afford it, leasing apartments in Beirut. But the UN and local authorities do not even register hundreds of thousands of them, those in Bekaa Valley and elsewhere. Refugees told me that many of them get turned away. If there is no registration, there are no food rations, no education for children and no medical care.

I saw refugees from several Iraqi cities, in Erbil, in Iraqi administered Kurdistan. They were escaping from the ISIS, which were created by the West.

A nuclear scientist Ishmael Khalil, originally from Tikrit University, told me: “All that I had was destroyed… Americans are the main reason for this insanity – for the total destruction of Iraq. Don’t just just me, ask any child, and you will hear the same thing… We all used to belong to a great and proud nation. Now everything is fragmented, and ruined. We have nothing – all of us have become beggars and refugees in our own land… I escaped five months ago, after ISIS devastated my university. And we all know who is behind them: the allies of the West: Saudi Arabia, Qatar and others…”

Then I stood by what was left of a bridge, connecting the two shores of the Khazer River, just a few kilometers from the city of Mosul. ISIS blew up the bridge. A few villages around it were flattened by the US bombing. A Kurdish colonel who was showing me the area was proud to mention that he was trained in the UK and US. It felt like total insanity – all forces united in destroying Iraq, had the same sources: the US, the NATO, and the West!

A few kilometers from the frontline were oil fields, but local people said that oil companies were just stealing their land; nothing was coming back to local communities. As the flames of the oil refineries were burning, local people were digging out roots and herbs, in order to survive.

And there was a camp for Syrian refugees, too, nearby. But refugees were screened. Only those who expressed their hatred for the President al-Assad were allowed to stay.

***

Beirut is symbolic to what is happening in the entire Middle East.

Once glorious, the city now ranks near the bottom of quality of life indexes. With basically no public transportation, it is choking, polluted and jammed. Electric blackouts are common. Miserable neighborhoods are all around. Education and medical care are mostly private and unaffordable to the great majority. Dirty money propels construction of expensive condominiums, posh malls and overpriced restaurants.

Luxury cars are everywhere. Expensive condominiums, yachts, vehicles and designer clothes are the only measure of worth.

It is all thoroughly grotesque, considering that there are 2 million Syrian refugees struggling all over this tiny country. There are old Palestinian refugees in depressing camps. There are the hated and discriminated Bedouins, there are the abused Asian and African maids…

“Work is punishment”, says local credo. Nobody bothers to work too much.

There is plenty of money, but most of it does not come from work. Huge amounts come from drugs, from ‘accommodating refugees’, from business in Africa and elsewhere, from remittances of those who work in the Gulf.

Israel is next door. It is threatening, and periodically it attacks.

Hezbollah is the only large movement in the country that is fighting for social welfare of the people. It is also fighting Israel whenever it invades. And now, it is locked in an epic battle with ISIS. But it is on the terrorist list of the West, because it is Shi’a, and because it is too ‘socialist’ and too critical of the West.

In Beirut, everything goes. The rich are burning their money like paper. They ride their luxury cars and bikes without mufflers, run people over on pedestrian crossings, and never yield. They are mostly educated in the West and trilingual (Arabic, French and English). They commute back and forth to Europe as if it is a next-door village.

The need of the upper classes to show-off is all that matters in Beirut.

The poor – the majority of the Lebanese people – do not exist. One never hears about them. They are irrelevant.

***

Those who rule over the Middle East are corrupt, cynical, and unpatriotic.

And they are scared, because they know that they have betrayed their own people.

The more scared they are, the more brutal are their tactics. I see them in action, in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere.

Most of the left-wing movements and parties in the Middle East were destroyed, bought or derailed. Politics are about clans and religious sects and money. There is hardly any ideology left. There is no knowledge about Venezuela and Ecuador, China and Russia. The poor people love Russia, because “it stands against the West”, but there is very little understanding of the world outside the Middle East and the old colonial master – Europe.

Nothing feels right in the Middle East, these days.

New reports are coming in, alleging Israel of interrogating, torturing young Palestinian children.

Yemen, that ancient land with which I fell in love with from first sight, many years ago, is bleeding and burning.

Two cradles of civilization – Iraq and Syria – are totally torn to pieces, devastated.

Libya is breaking apart, most likely beyond repair, absolutely finished as a country.

Egypt is once again squeezed in an horrendous military grip.

Shi’a people in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are suffering great discrimination and violence.

People are dying; people are displaced, discriminated against. There is no justice, no social justice for the majority, the same scenario like in Indonesia, like in sub-Continent, like in East Africa, like everywhere where the Western imperialism and neoliberalism managed to have their way.

The West worked very hard to turn the Middle East into what it is now. It took centuries to transfigure this culturally deep and great part of the world into the horror show. But it is done!

The rest of the world should watch and learn. This should not be allowed to happen elsewhere. The “Southeast Asia – East Africa Corridor” is what the West wants to convert entire planet into. But it will not succeed, because there is Latin America, China, Russia, Iran, South African, Eritrea and other proud and determined nations standing on its way.

And the Middle East, one day, will stand up, too! The people will demand what is theirs. They will demand justice. Recently, they tried but they were smashed. I have no doubt that they will not give up – they will try again and again, until they win.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His latest books are: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and Fighting Against Western Imperialism. Discussion with Noam Chomsky: On Western TerrorismPoint of No Return is his critically acclaimed political novel. Oceania – a book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about Indonesia: “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Press TV. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and the Middle East. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

 

Empire and Colonialism: Rich Men in London Still Deciding Africa’s Future

By Colin Todhunter
March 27, 2015
Global Research

 

seeds_africaSome £600 million in UK aid money courtesy of the taxpayer is helping big business increase its profits in Africa via the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. In return for receiving aid money and corporate investment, African countries have to change their laws, making it easier for corporations to acquire farmland, control seed supplies and export produce.

Last year, Director of the Global Justice Now Nick Dearden said:

“It’s scandalous that UK aid money is being used to carve up Africa in the interests of big business. This is the exact opposite of what is needed, which is support to small-scale farmers and fairer distribution of land and resources to give African countries more control over their food systems. Africa can produce enough food to feed its people. The problem is that our food system is geared to the luxury tastes of the richest, not the needs of ordinary people. Here the British government is using aid money to make the problem even worse.”

Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Nigeria, Benin, Malawi and Senegal are all involved in the New Alliance.

In a January 2015 piece in The Guardian, Dearden continued by saying that development was once regarded as a process of breaking with colonial exploitation and transferring power over resources from the ‘first’ to the ‘third world’, involving a revolutionary struggle over the world’s resources. However, the current paradigm is based on the assumption that developing countries need to adopt neo-liberal policies and that public money in the guise of aid should facilitate this. The notion of ‘development’ has become hijacked by rich corporations and the concept of poverty depoliticised and separated from structurally embedded power relations.

To see this in action, we need look no further to a conference held on Monday 23 March in London, organised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). This secretive, invitation-only meeting with aid donors and big seed companies discussed a strategy to make it easier for these companies to sell patented seeds in Africa and thus increase corporate control of seeds.

Farmers have for generations been saving and exchanging seeds among themselves. This has allowed them a certain degree of independence and has enabled them to innovate, maintain biodiversity, adapt seeds to climatic conditions and fend off plant disease. Big seed companies with help from the Gates Foundation, the US government and other aid donors are now discussing ways to increase their market penetration of commercial seeds by displacing farmers own seed systems.

Corporate sold hybrid seeds often produce higher yields when first planted, but the second generation seeds produce low yields and unpredictable crop traits, making them unsuitable for saving and storing. As Heidi Chow from Global Justice Now rightly says, instead of saving seeds from their own crops, farmers who use hybrid seeds become completely dependent on the seed, fertiliser and pesticide companies, which can (and has) in turn result in an agrarian crisis centred on debt, environmental damage and health problems.

The London conference aimed to share findings of a report by Monitor Deloitte on developing the commercial seed sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The report recommends that in countries where farmers are using their own seed saving networks NGOs and aid donors should encourage governments to introduce intellectual property rights for seed breeders and help to persuade farmers to buy commercial, patented seeds rather than relying on their own traditional varieties. The report also suggests that governments should remove regulations so that the seed sector is opened up to the global market.

The guest list comprised corporations, development agencies and aid donors, including Syngenta, the World Bank and the Gates Foundation. It speaks volumes that not one farmer organisation was invited. Farmers have been imbued with the spirit of entrepreneurship for thousands of years. They have been “scientists, innovators, natural resource stewards, seed savers and hybridisation experts” who have increasingly been reduced to becoming recipients of technical fixes and consumers of poisonous products of a growing agricultural inputs industry. So who better than to discuss issues concerning agriculture?

But the whole point of such a conference is that the West regards African agriculture as a ‘business opportunity’, albeit wrapped up in warm-sounding notions of ‘feeding Africa’ or ‘lifting millions out of poverty’. The West’s legacy in Africa (and elsewhere) has been to plunge millions into poverty. Enforcing structural reforms to benefit big agribusiness and its unsustainable toxic GMO/petrochemical inputs represents a continuation of the neo-colonialist plundering of Africa. The US has for many decades been using agriculture as a key part of foreign policy to secure global hegemony.

Phil Bereano, food sovereignty campaigner with AGRA Watch and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Washington says:

“This is an extension of what the Gates Foundation has been doing for several years – working with the US government and agribusiness giants like Monsanto to corporatize Africa’s genetic riches for the benefit of outsiders. Don’t Bill and Melinda realize that such colonialism is no longer in fashion? It’s time to support African farmers’ self-determination.”

Bereano also shows how Western corporations only intend to cherry-pick the most profitable aspects of the food production chain, while leaving the public sector in Africa to pick up the tab for the non-profitable aspects that allow profitability further along the chain.

Giant agritech corporations with their patented seeds and associated chemical inputs are ensuring a shift away from diversified agriculture that guarantees balanced local food production, the protection of people’s livelihoods and agricultural sustainability. African agriculture is being placed in the hands of big agritech for private profit under the pretext of helping the poor. The Gates Foundation has substantial shares in Monsanto. With Monsanto’s active backingfrom the US State Department and the Gates Foundation’s links with USAID, African farmers face a formidable force.

Report after report suggests that support for conventional agriculture, agroecology and local economies is required, especially in the Global South. Instead, Western governments are supporting powerful corporations with taxpayers money whose thrust via the WTO, World Bank and IMF has been to encourage strings-attached loans, monocrop cultivation for export using corporate seeds, the restructuring of economies, the opening of economies to the vagaries of land and commodity speculation and a system of globalised trade rigged in favour of the West.

In this vision for Africa, those farmers who are regarded as having any role to play in all of this are viewed only as passive consumers of corporate seeds and agendas. The future of Africa is once again being decided by rich men in London.

Gates and Obama Share a Dark Secret

By F. William Engdahl
March 24, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

bill-gates-officeIn 2014 there was the western Africa Ebola hoax where US President Barack Obama, the first black man to be President, announced his “War on Ebola” in September last year, ordering 3,000 US military troops to the region, though reportedly none had experience in public health and no one had produced rigorous laboratory proof of a single person dying from something called Ebola virus. Liberia was among the poorest and most war-torn regions in the world.

Wars over blood diamonds and colonial genocidal tribal wars have left a devastated, mal-nourished population in its wake. Was Ebola simply a panic-maker? Further investigation uncovered the Pentagon was developing an Ebola vaccine with Monsanto and suspicion was that the 3,000 US troops were sent to force the population to become human guinea pigs for the untested substances.

Before that Obama, or more precisely then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in 2011 ordered Libya to be bombed back to the stone-age as what she called “responsibility to protect.” Today, four years after, the country is anarchy pure with roving lawless bands killing and looting.

Now Obama and his Administration, the US Government, have teamed up with “Mr Vaccinate All Africans” Bill Gates, a eugenics protégé and intimate of David Rockefeller. Obama and Gates share a dark secret. They are colluding to contaminate the incredibly rich and productive soils of Africa with GMO, GMO from a company where Gates is a major stockholder, Monsanto.

USAID, Gates and Monsanto in Africa

A new report was released on February 23 that documents for the first time the stealth methods of the US State Department and USAID, the ostensible Agency for International Development which is intimately tied to the agenda of the CIA and Pentagon’s AFRICOM, together with Monsanto, to push unwanted GMO crops, especially Monsanto GMO maize, on African countries.

Haidee Swanby from the African Centre for Biosafety who authored the report stated, “The US, the world’s top producer of GM crops, is seeking new markets for American GM crops in Africa. The US administration’s strategy consists of assisting African nations to produce biosafety laws that promote agribusiness interests instead of protecting Africans from the potential threats of GM crops.”

According to Swanby, USAID has two projects in Africa which “help” various African governments draw up national biosafety laws as such consumer protection is lacking in all but seven African countries. However, USAID in collusion with Monsanto, the world’s largest GMO purveyor, drafts laws that permit insufficiently tested GMO seeds such as Monsanto GMO maize, to be considered “biosafe,” claiming GMO is the solution to African hunger, a brazen lie as no GMO plant on the market today has been modified to increase harvest yield.

Swanby points to the rare case of South Africa which has allowed GMO for the past 16 years:“South African farmers have more than 16 years’ experience cultivating GM maize, soya and cotton, but the promise that GM crops would address food security has not been fulfilled. Indeed, South Africa’s food security is reportedly declining with almost half the nation currently categorized as food insecure even though South Africa exports maize.”

Subverting Cartegena Protocol

In 2003, over the bitter opposition of the US Government, 168 nations adopted what is called the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. It puts the “precautionary principle” as primary—If you have not sufficiently proven safety of GMO and other bio-engineered crops, protection of human health is primary, not free trade. Once the Protocol came into force, Washington began to lobby African governments and institutions (among others) to accept GMO crops with minimal safety assessment, hoping their lack of institutional depth would allow them to be either fooled or corrupted. The USAID is assisting Regional Economic Communities in Africa to develop policies aimed not at ensuring biosafety, but at limiting regulation, which they consider to be a barrier to regional trade in GMO food and crops.

The Swanby report documents how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works hand-in-glove with USAID by funding organizations such as the African Agriculture Technology Foundation whose aim is to promote introduction of GMO crops into Africa. Gates also works closely with the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations in their Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, which pushes GMO crops as the wonder advance in biological science. If harvest failure, declining crop yields and mandatory use of highly toxic Roundup weed killer from Monsanto—which has been proven to kill cells in human embryos—can be called a biological wonder, we should perhaps see it through the eyes of eugenics advocates like Bill Gates and David Rockefeller who have dreamed of biochemical population reduction for decades.

In effect, we have the first African-American US President, through the US AID, in an alliance with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Monsanto to spread death and destruction of natural agriculture in Africa.

Their dark secret is that they are wittingly trying to kill off the darker-skinned peoples of the African Continent. It is an old agenda of “stupid white male” European colonialists, but one now being imposed with the sophistication of Madison Avenue PR and mumbo-jumbo about the wonder of biotech GMO.

Their only problem for Gates and company is that, fortunately, African people are not so stupid as Bill Gates or Barack Obama or his personal handler, another African-American, Susan E. Rice, who has blood of millions of Africans on her hands going back to her role in the US State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and her responsibility for the Rwandan Genocide of more than one million Tutsis in 1994 under Bill Clinton.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/03/24/gates-and-obama-share-a-dark-secret/

The Capitalist Origins of the Oppression of African Women

A Glorious Past Before Colonialism

By Garikai Chengu
March 8, 2015
Counter Punch

 

Sunday marks International Women’s Day, which was founded in 1908 by the Socialist party of America in order to promote the struggle for women’s equality. Unbeknown to many, for the vast majority of human history, which took place in Africa, women have been equal if not superior to men.

The world’s first civilizations arose from the spiritual, economic and social efforts of African women and African women in turn went on to lead those Matriarchal societies.

Matriarchy in ancient Africa was not a mirror image of patriarchy today, as it was not based on appropriation and violence. The rituals and culture of matriarchy did not celebrate violence; rather, they had a lot to do with fecundity, exchange and redistribution.

Early man was unaware of the link between intercourse and birth, therefore it was thought that new life was created by the woman alone. This belief created the first concept of God as a caring, compassionate, generous, all loving and all powerful Mother, which is the basis of the African matriarchal ideology.

Historian Cheikh Anta Diop illustrates how as early as 10,000 BC women in Africa pioneered organized cultivation, thereby creating the pre-conditions for surplus, wealth and trade. African women are responsible for the greatest invention for the well being of human kind, namely, food security. It is the practice of organized agriculture that made population expansion, food surpluses and the emergence civilization possible.

Pre-capitalist matriarchal civilizations in Africa included the Nigerian Zazzau, Sudanese Kandake, Angolan Nzinga, and Ashanti of Ghana, to name but a few. The quintessential African matriarchal system was most evident and most enduring in black Ancient Egypt.

Women in Ancient Egypt owned and had complete control over both movable and immovable property such as real estate in 3000 BC. As late as the 1960s, this right could not be claimed by women in some parts of the United States.

A closer look at ancient Egyptian papyrus’ reveals that society was strictly matrilineal and inheritance and descent was through the female line. The Egyptian woman enjoyed the same legal and economic rights as the Egyptian man, and the proof of this is reflected in Egyptian art and historical inscriptions. Egypt was an unequal society but the inequality was based much more upon differences in the social classes, rather than differences in gender.

From ancient legal documents, we know that women were able to manage and dispose of private property, including: land, portable goods, servants, slaves, livestock, and financial instruments such as endowments and annuities. A woman could administer all her property independently and according to her free will and in several excavated cemeteries the richest tombs were those of women.

The independence and leadership roles of ancient Egyptian women are part of an African cultural pattern that began millennia ago and continued into recent times, until Europeans brought capitalism and Christianity to Africa.

In the 1860s, the colonial explorer Dr. David Livingstone wrote of meeting female chiefs in the Congo, and in most of the monarchical systems of traditional Africa there were either one or two women of the highest rank who occupied a position on a par with that of the king or complementary to it.

Professor of Ancient African History, Barbara Lesko illustrates how anthropologists who have studied African history and records of early travelers and missionaries tell us “everywhere in Africa that one scrapes the surface one finds ethno-historical data on the authority once shared by women.”

Under colonial misrule, black women suffered double-edged discrimination and dis-empowerment both as women and as black people.

It is difficult for many people to accept that racial discrimination and antagonism, which is such a pervasive phenomenon in the world today, has not been a permanent historical feature of humanity. In fact, the very notion of “race” and the ideology and practice of racism is a relatively modern concept.

For instance, historians recount how the Romans and Greeks attached no particular stigma to the colour of a person’s skin and there were no theories about the inferiority of darker skin. Slavery in ancient societies was not defined by color, but primarily by military fortune: conquered peoples, irrespective of their color, were enslaved.

Just before colonisation, African women were largely equal to men. The significant value of African women’s productive labour in producing and processing food created and maintained their rights in domestic, political, cultural, economic, religious and social spheres, among others. Because women were central to production in these pre-class societies, systematic inequality between the sexes was nonexistent, and elder women in particular enjoyed relatively high status.

With the creation of the capitalist colonial economy, the marginalization of women came in several ways:

Firstly, the advent of title deeds, made men the sole owners of land. Consequently, as women lost access and control of land, they became increasingly economically dependent on men. This in turn led to an intensification of domestic patriarchy, reinforced by colonial social institutions.

Secondly, as colonialism continued to entrench itself on African soil, the perceived importance of women’s agricultural contribution to the household was greatly reduced, as their vital role in food production was overshadowed by the more lucrative male-dominated cash crop cultivation for the international market. Prior to colonialism, women dominated trade. Markets were not governed by pure profit values; but rather, by the basic need to exchange, redistribute and socialize. Traditional African economic systems were not capitalist in nature.

Thirdly, colonialism brought with it Christianity and a masculine fundamentalism, which is now prevalent across Africa today. The imported patriarchal religion does not allow women to play the leading roles they have in the indigenous African religion.

In Ancient African religions it is not only God who is female, but also the main guardian spirits and sacred principles. Rosalind Jeffries, a historian, documents the concept of the Supreme Mother. In a paper entitled, “The Image of Woman in African Cave Art”, she shows how African Creation stories focused on the Primordial Mother, creating woman first, then man.

Christianity brought the monogamous nuclear family unit to Africa. Its sole purpose was to pass on private property, in the form of inheritance, from one generation of men to the next. Under capitalism, the modern family unit is founded on concealed, domestic slavery of the wife; and, the modern capitalist society is a compound made up of many individual families as its molecules.

A glance at the dictionary will reveal that the word family, has rather telling Latin origins. Famulus literally means domestic slave; and familia, which is also the Italian word for family, signified the total number of slaves belonging to one man. Karl Marx lays it bare: “The modern family contains in germ not only slavery (servitus) but also serfdom, since from the beginning it is related to agricultural services. It contains in miniature all the contradictions which later extend throughout society and its state.”

Finally, the introduction of wage labour affected women by uprooting men from villages to work in urban areas, causing profound, negative economic impacts on women. Colonial authorities routinely used native African males to impose taxes on women, thereby entrenching male dominance in the Native’s psyche. After all, colonialists brought to Africa the concept of the Victorian woman: a woman who should stay in the private domain and leave “real work” to the men. Due to the Victorian concept of women held by all colonialists, African women were excluded from the new political and administrative system, whose sole purpose was to extract raw materials and labour from the colony.

Colonialism replaced the role and status of the pre-colonial, African woman with a landless and disenfranchised domestic slave.

The United Nations Development Program notes that nowadays, African women perform sixty-six percent of the world’s work, produce fifty percent of the food, but earn only ten percent of the income and own only one percent of the property.

The greatest threat towards the African woman’s glorious future is her ignorance of her glorious past. Armed with knowledge, Africans must now fight to restore women to a position of respect and of economic freedom that exceeds that which she enjoyed before colonialism.

Garikai Chengu is a scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on garikai.chengu@gmail.com

 

The Struggle Against the Ebola Pandemic Continues. Triggers Economic and Social Instability in West Africa

Liberia, Guinea laud progress while Sierra Leone battles renewed threats

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Global Research, March 04, 2015
Pan-African News Wire

 

Ebola-Photo-by-NIAID-300x300African leaders, healthcare professionals, international humanitarian organizations and others have praised the work done in battling the latest and most deadly outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the epicenters of the latest outbreak of the deadly pandemic, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of cases reported. It is estimated by the World Health Organization (WHO) based in Geneva, Switzerland and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States that some 9,500 people died among the 20,000 infected over the last year.

Nonetheless, even though there has been a precipitous decline in reported cases as borders re-open throughout West Africa and life is returning to some form of normalcy, experts and leaders warn that vigilance is still required. An increase in cases in Sierra Leone over the last several weeks has once again prompted concern.

In a recent statement from Geneva, it reports that

“According to WHO’s Feb. 25 Situation Report, the steep decline in case incidence in Sierra Leone from December to the end of January has halted, and transmission remains widespread. Case incidence decreased in Guinea in the week up to February 22 compared with the week before, and cases continue to arise from unknown chains of transmission. In Liberia, transmission continues at very low levels, with only one new case reported in the week up to February 22.” (World Health Organization)

Renewed Alert in Sierra Leone

Since last month there has been a new outbreak of cases in Sierra Leone of unknown origin. It is suspected that the EVD infections are being transmitted by workers in the fishing industry who have traveled inland to the capital of Freetown.

Overall says the WHO, “A total of 99 new confirmed cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) were reported in the week to 22 February. Guinea reported 35 new confirmed cases.”

A WHO summary report stresses that

“Transmission remains widespread in Sierra Leone, with 63 new confirmed cases. A spike of 20 new confirmed cases in Bombali is linked to the previously reported cluster of cases in the Aberdeen fishing community of the capital, Freetown.”

There were 14 confirmed new cases in Freetown during the same time frame, with additional infections being discovered from what is described as unknown chains of transmission in the capital and other locations. So serious is the current threat that Vice-President Samuel Sam-Sumana placed himself in quarantine after one of his security guards died from EVD on Feb. 24.

In a statement released by Sam-Sumana’s office on March 1, he says

“This virus has affected thousands of our people and has nearly brought our country to its knees. We all have a collective responsibility to break the chains of transmission by isolating the sick and reporting all known contacts, by not touching the dead … We cannot be complacent. We must work together as a nation to end Ebola now.” (Associated Press)

Liberia Reports Rapid Decline in Cases

At the same time transmissions continue at very low levels in Liberia, with only one new confirmed case reported in the seven days leading up to the week of February 22. Liberia, which has had the highest number of deaths, succeeded in bringing its number of confirmed cases to almost zero while reopening schools as well as the borders with contiguous states.

During the last week of February, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf visited the U.S. and met with Secretary of State John Kerry along with high-ranking members of Congress. She reported on developments in the fight against EVD and thanked Washington for its support.

Liberia, a longtime ally of the U.S., has served as a major partner with the Pentagon through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Thousands of Pentagon troops were deployed to the country at the height of the outbreak many of which have now been withdrawn.

In a press release issued by a Liberian-based news agency it says

“President Johnson-Sirleaf and her delegation on Thursday, February 26 held discussions with House Democratic and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senators Lindsey Graham and Patrick Leahy of the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. The Liberian leader also met Senator Jeffery Flake and members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; Senator Chris Coons of the Senate Subcommittee on Appropriation; Representative Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee along with ranking members including Representatives Elliott Engel, Chris Smith and Karen Baas.” (The News, March 2)

Ebola vaccine trials are continuing in Liberia

There are EVD vaccine trials also underway in Liberia where some 27,000 people may participate in a study to test the effectiveness of an experimental drug.

Front Page Africa newspaper based in the capital of Monrovia reported that

“The trial process, according to information, is being led by a Liberia-U.S. Clinical Research Partnership sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). The trial is seeking volunteers from groups at particular risk of Ebola infection, including health care workers, communities with ongoing transmission, contact tracers and members of burial teams.” (Feb. 27)

Clinical trial participants are assigned at random to one of three equally-sized groups.

Participants in one group will receive a placebo (saline), while the others will undergo a single injected dose of either the cAd3-EBOZ or the VSV-ZEBOV vaccines. The drugs were manufactured by pharmaceutical companies GlaxoSmithKline and New Link/Merck, which are based in Britain, the U.S. and Canada.

There are efforts underway to assure the public in Liberia that the vaccine trials are safe and voluntary. Last year during the initial phase of the outbreak, there were accusations that the EVD pandemic was caused by a U.S.-sponsored bio-defense research program that went awry. (Article by Dr. Cyril Broderick in the Liberian Daily Observer)

Although several EVD outbreaks have been reported in Africa since 1976, originating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), then known as Zaire, the 2014-2015 pandemic has been the most virulent, widespread and long lasting. With specific reference to the ongoing trials of the vaccines which was initiated at the Redemption Hospital, a principal investigator of the Partnership for Research on Ebola Vaccine in Liberia (PREVAIL), Dr. Stephen Kennedy, disclosed that he has taken the vaccine claiming the drug is safe and that no one needs to be afraid of the injections.

One issue discussed by President Johnson-Sirleaf with U.S. officials was the need to invest in medical, communications and educational infrastructure in Liberia. The West African state which was founded by former enslaved Africans in the U.S. during the early decades of the 19th century has been largely under the control of Washington for nearly a century through the control of rubber and mineral production.

The legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism has underdeveloped Africa while European and North American states have grown wealthy as a result of the exploitation of agricultural commodities, mineral resources and labor. At present the Pentagon, the State Department and the Central Intelligence (CIA) are engaging in massive military and surveillance operations across West Africa under the guise of the so-called “war on terrorism.”

Nonetheless, instability is increasing throughout the region and only a resurgence of anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist sentiment can move the people towards genuine independence and sovereignty.