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What a Wonderful World – US Saviour Complex

21st Century Wire

September 16, 2017

by Bruno Guigue

Purveyor of platitudes, the West portrays itself as the epitome of universal values . A paragon of democracy, this champion of human rights always deploys its presumed virtues in support of its hegemonic ambitions. Like the Fairy Godmother, doing her best to match her morals with her interests, she veils her ambitions with the cloak of Law and Justice. 

Thus, the “Free World” goes about bombing foreign nations for the sake of “democracy”, preferably in oil or mineral-rich territories. By combining a simple creed with capitalist greed, it is acting as if it can convert its economic supremacy into moral privilege.

The rest of the world is not fooled by these tactics, but who cares? The “Free World” is always right because it represents the “good fight” and for as long as it is the most powerful, it will not be contradicted. The inherent barbarism that it projects onto others is the counter to its self-proclaimed monopoly on “civilization”. Sanctified by the holy order of “right to intervene”, a marriage of the GI sandbags with the Kouchner-style bag of rice, the West, vassalized by Washington, believes wholeheartedly that they can save the world by subjugating it to the pitiless ravages demanded by the financial vultures and military industrial complex.

This supremacist enterprise was not born yesterday. It was midwived in the historical period dear to Fernand Braudel, that of the emergence of the “world economy”. Driven by its superior technological advances, since the Renaissance, the western world has propelled itself towards the conquest of our planet earth. Patiently, the west has appropriated other cultures, other worlds, and twisted them into its own image, enforcing obeissance and imitation, eliminating all those who would not conform. Its certitude is untroubled by its own hypocrisy, the West perceives itself as a metaphor for this world. The West wanted to expand from being a part of the world into being the “whole” – in the same way, today, we see countries comprising 10% of the world’s population portraying themselves as the “International Community”.

Over the last three centuries, colonial conquest has demonstrated the West’s desire to expand its influence beyond its own boundaries, under the banner of bringing “civilization” to the under-developed. This global domination project was temporarily derailed by the uprising of the colonized peoples in the 20th Century, but it made a triumphant return with its North American branch of hegemony. America, the “Far West” ‘discovered’ by Christopher Columbus in search of the “Far East”, inherited the “Old Continent” penchant for imperialism and rapacious carpet baggery. The US converted its lack of history into the promise of a ” better future”, emerging suddenly from Anglo-Saxon puritanism, the US magnified the globalist “for profit” ethos. Paid for with the blood of the American-Indian genocide, America was born, the newly minted metaphor for the world.

It is not certain that this change was for the better. Colonial empires collapsed under the weight of their archaic structures, while US hegemony maintains itself through modern technology channels, from Google to drone warfare. Suddenly the US was the most supple and resilient. What imbues it with flexibility also ensures its longevity. From the white pith helmet of the european colonial overlords to the digital screens of US cyber warfare, a revolution took place. The US substituted a shock-colonization, dismantled after bloody decolonization conflict, with a multi-faceted hegemonic enterprise. Taking over from the classic colonial three “M”s, the “made in the US” NGOs replaced the Christian missionary complex, “merchants” became multi-nationals and the “soldiers” converted to cyber supremacy.

Emboldened by the die-hard spirit of “born again” Midwesterners, the American empire is projecting its devastating Manichaeism upon the rest of the world. Dreaming with its eyes wide open, the US envisages a definitive alliance between good and evil, the indestructible pillar upon which to build a straightforward ethnocentrism. The “law” is on their side as it ’embodies the core values of ‘democracy, human rights and market economy’.  Obviously, this is a crude ideology, a fraudulent mask for its own sordid interests, but it is effective. Its efficacy is proven by the popular consensus that the “US won the second world war, capitalism works, Cuba is a tropical gulag, Assad is worse than Hitler and that North Korea is a threat to the world.”

This process of self-beatification, bestows upon the North-American-Empire zealots, the right to track down all “Evil” in the world. No scruples will impede its saviour frenzy, it is the very incarnation of such an “exceptional civilization”, that it must cleanse the world of barbarism by all means at its disposal. That is why modern imperialism functions as a court of “universal” law, a judge, that rewards or punishes where it sees fit. Before this elevated “moral” jurisdiction, the CIA represents the prosecution, the Pentagon is the secular chamber, the US President is the high court judge, a “deus ex machina”, invoking divine justice, the lightning strike, upon the “Axis of Evil” and any other sinners circulating in the court of the “Empire of Good”.

This tendency for the US to see itself as the moral compass for the world is central to this structure and is unperturbed by the rapid turn-around of Presidents in the White House, a new tenant changes nothing. Washington’s “crusade” against the “barbarians” conceals the unbridled greed of the Military Industrial Complex and the iron claw of the deep state. From Harry Truman to Donald Trump with Barack Obama inbetween, from Korea to Vietnam to Syria, Indonesia, Angola, Mozambique, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, South Africa, Serbia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, death is the cure, by proxy or directly, for all those who oppose the saviour’s kingdom of universal justice.

“Philanthropic America” always harnesses the local labour force to carry out its dirty work.Franco, Hitler and Mussolini (until 1939), Chiang Kai Shek, Somoza, Syngman Rhee, Ngo Dinh Diem, Salazar, Batista, Mobutu, Marcos, Trujillo, Pik Botha, Duvalier, Suharto, Papadopoulos, Castelo Branco, Videla, Pinochet, Stroessner, Reza Shah Pahlevi, Zia Ul Haqq, Bin Laden, Uribe, King Salman, Nethanyahu, Ukrainian Nazis and the “moderate terrorists” in the Middle East have been of invaluable service to Empire.

Undisputed leader of the “Free World”, America claims to embody “civilization” while obliterating entire populations with nuclear weapons, napalm or a rain of cruise missiles. Sometimes it chooses a slow death for  its prey, with Agent Orange, depleted uranium or embargos on medicines and humanitarian aid. While America is never short of sychophants praising their “services to Humanity”, the evidence is irrefutable, that the collapse of this Empire would be a cause for celebration.

 

Translation by Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire

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[Bruno Guigue is a French author and political analyst born in Toulouse 1962. Professor of philosophy and lecturer in international relations for highter education. The author of 5 books including  Aux origines du conflit Israélo-Arabe, l’invisible remords de l’Occident (L’Harmattan, 2002).]

South African School Girls Provide Leadership for the On-Going Revolution

Black Agenda Report

September 13, 2016

Refusing to straighten their hair or submit to white supremacist standards of beauty and comportment, 13 year-old South African Black schoolgirls braved police dogs and arrest to join a growing youth movement. Students have also protested the imposition of college fees and rules against speaking their own languages. The Pretoria girls’ courage “should provide inspiration to Black girls colonized in the US, Europe and around the world.”

“The valliant protest of these girls reveals the continuity of the struggle for liberation and confirms that the Soweto uprising was not in vain.”Pretoria Girls High School was shaken to its core two weeks ago when Black girls attending this apartheid-era elite school challenged fundamental tenets of white supremacy. This challenge to white supremacy occurred in Pretoria, the official seat of the apartheid regime, a city known for its brutality and savage treatment of Africans. The city has since been renamed, in the post-apartheid era, Tshwane. Refusing to bow down to long held notions of European beauty standards and African inferiority, the girls, approximately 13 years old, asserted that their humanity was not negotiable. With afros and dignity intact, Black girls from the Pretoria High School raised their brave little fists under the South African sky and shook the world.

These Black school girls are protesting racist practices, according to school guidelines, which force Black girls to straighten their African hair as well as impose penalties for Black girls socializing together in groups.

Exactly 40 years ago, about an hour from the Pretoria Girls School, a young 13 year old boy named Hector Zolile Peterson was shot dead by the Apartheid regime. Soweto 1976 has become part of protest language among young Black South Africans. Hector was shot in Soweto while they were protesting against using Afrikaans, the language of their oppressors as the official language of instruction. The young man, Mbuyisa Makhubu, carrying Hector Peterson in his arms went missing in the days following Hector’s murder.  The apartheid government hunted him down after the photograph became the symbol of the vicious and deadly apartheid regime. His family is still searching for him. Mbuyisa, together with hundreds of Black  children vanished into thin air in 1976. The valliant protest of these girls, over 40 years after Hector’s death, reveals the continuity of the struggle for liberation and confirms that the Soweto uprising was not in vain.

“Soweto 1976 has become part of protest language among young Black South Africans.”

The death of Nelson Mandela exposed the underbelly of neo-liberal economic policies that tolerated Black leadership but exploded racial and class inequalities. This negotiated “peace” blessed by European powers in London, Amsterdam and Washington maintained white economic global power in South Africa at the expense of the Black majority. A new generation of activists now draws on the likes of Steven Bantu Biko, Chris Hani, the 1976 Soweto uprising young activists and Robert Sobukwe in order to ignite the unfinished business of South Africa’s total liberation.

The #RhodesMustFall movement, which began 9 March 2015 at the University of Cape Town, arguably sparked this contagious flame that has in the last few weeks found new expression among young school girls. At the heart of RMF movement is the decolonisation conversation. It addresses decolonisation of spaces, minds, languages, education and land. It speaks of total freedom from all kinds of manifestations of white domination faced by Black South Africans daily as a result of the legacy of the global system of white supremacy and apartheid.  This movement gave rise to the #FeesMustFall movement which demanded free tuition in South African universities for both students and black maintenance workers who are usually condemned to intergenerational poverty.

The 13 year-old  Pretoria High School student leader Zulaikha Patel is often referred to as “little Angela Davis” by South Africans. She was iconically photographed with a defiant gaze before a white policeman, considered the oppressor of black identity and freedom. In the photograph, her young arms are crossed just above her head which is crowned by an unmistakable afro.  What inspired the world was seeing Zulaikha wearing her school uniform, standing before a large white male whose build is what is instinctively identified in South Africa as the figure of an Afrikaaner man.

“Zulaikha Patel is often referred to as “little Angela Davis” by South Africans.”

Dogs and security were brought to the school to stop the girls from protesting. Officials and security tried to intimidate the girls by saying they woud arrest them.  The girls responded with the fierce chant: “Arrest us!”

Among other protesting schools since PGHS is #SansSouci.  This school made headlines protesting against racist practices that included being punished and fined if the girls spoke their African mother-tongue, Xhosa. Sans Souci, a former white school located in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Newlands, forced the girls to speak English even when they were outside of the school premises. Girls showed evidence on their merit books where they were de-merited for speaking Xhosa. Black school children symbolically tore the books as a form of protest, symbolising the burning of apartheid-era pass books which were issued in order to control the movement of black South Africans

One of the protesting parents of the Sans Souci girls, interviewed for this article, said: “The principal of the school has a really old colonial mindset.” The girls are demanding the resignation of the white school principal, Charmaine Murray, tweeting and shouting #MurrayMustFall. They call for a black school principal to replace her. This would be the first time that Black students asserted such power at such a school. Black students at Sans Souci have a detailed list of demands that include such issues as addressing white supremacy and the inclusion of their native tongues as part of the school curriculum. The Sans Souci principal went into hiding during the protest after years of terrorising black children.

“Language contains a people’s memory, their stories and their heritage.”

The current student movements have their antecedents in the youth movements of 40 years ago. These students are fighting for their lives, their dignity and their humanity. The ability to learn and speak ones language is a fundamental principle that must be affirmed in the fight against white supremacy. Language contains a people’s memory, their stories and their heritage. It is how South Africans remember purpose, nation, family, love and community.

After thousands signed an online petition supporting the Pretoria students, the head of Gauteng province’s education department ordered the code of conduct clause dealing with hairstyles to be suspended.

The Pretoria Girls School protest is built upon the wings of the anti-colonial struggle in South Africa and should provide inspiration to Black girls colonized in the US, Europe and around the world.

Please see links below to view pictures, a youtube and articles on the South African school girls protest:

https://madamemadiba.wordpress.com/

https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/thetruthwewillproclaim

https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/stop-racism-at-pretoria-girls-high

 

[Dr. Marsha Adebayo is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated: No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA. She worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered South African vanadium mine workers. Marsha’s successful lawsuit led to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 (No FEAR Act). She is Director of Transparency and Accountability for the Green Shadow Cabinet, serves on the Advisory Board of ExposeFacts.com and coordinates the Hands Up Coalition, DC.]

[Siki Dlanga is a South African is an author of a poetry anthology Word of Worth. She is also a columnist and a creative activist based in Cape Town. She leads Freedom Mantle, a Christian initiative that supports emerging leaders to shape a new South African narrative. Freedom Mantle participates in and initiates spaces of activism in pursuit of a more just nation and world. Earlier this year, Siki invited Joshua Smith, an activist from Baltimore to share the #BlackLivesMatter struggle with South African #FeesMustFall leaders from various universities at a Freedom Mantle initiative. She believes that the land of Africa will cease to ache when the bridge between the continent and African-Americans is complete. She believes that the parallels between the South African and African-America struggle exist in order to accelerate this bridge to enable an end to 400years of pain. https://madamemadiba.wordpress.com]

FLASHBACK | Conservation International: Privatizing Nature, Plundering Biodiversity

conservation-international

Seedling | Grain

October 2003

by Aziz Choudry

Conservation International’s corporate sponsor list reads like a list of the US’ top fifty transnational corporations. Biodiversity conservation is at the top of Conservation International’s list of goals. But as the list of Conservation International’s dubious ventures and questionable partners around the world grows, Aziz Choudry is starting to wonder if it is time to ‘out’ this ‘multinational conservation corporation’ and show its true colours.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C, with operations in over 30 countries on four continents, Conservation International claims to be an environmental NGO. Its mission is “to conserve the Earth’s living natural heritage, our global biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature.” [1] This all sounds very laudable and Conservation International has some very high profile fans. This year Colin Powell shared the podium with Conservation International President Russell Mittermeier at the launch of the Bush Administration’s “Initiative Against Illegal Logging” at the US State Department. In December 2001, Gordon Moore, who founded Intel Corporation, donated US $261 million to Conservation International, supposedly the largest grant ever to an environmental organisation. Moore is chairman of Conservation International’s executive committee. Conservation International has repaid Moore’s largesse by nam-ing an endangered Brazilian pygmy owl after him. [2]

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