8/3/7 AFRICA: U.S. Gets Darfur "peacekeepers"; Targeting Zimbabwe's Independence Struggle; Africa Fears West's Medicines

AFRICA
digest note: "AFRICOM" STRATEGY IS CRITICAL TO the U.S. GLOBAL HEGEMONY AGENDA conducted under pretexts of "anti-terrorism", "al-Qaeda" andd "humanitarian aid" : some background, followed by new developments

"The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia."
Malcolm X

"Depopulation should be the highest priority of U.S. foreign policy towards the Third World."
Henry Kissinger, National Security Memo 200, dated April 24, 1974

Internationally Paid Dogs of War in Africa
Joyce Ncube-Maccauley
New Era (Windhoek)
Pretoria, South Africa, 17/12/04
http://www.williambowles.info/africa/dogs.html
... The former director of United Nations Affairs on the National Security
Council from 2000 to 2001, Richard Wilcox, called in an article he wrote in
the New York Times on October 14, 2004, for “a top American military
commander focused solely on Africa and with significant resources at his
command”. Richard Wilcox writes in the same article, “with American
interests and military activities on the (African) continent ever
increasing, it’s time for Africa to have its own regional command”.[...]

When You Ask Ban Ki-moon a Question, You Answer to the State Department
by Cecilia Lucas / July 30th, 2007
On Thursday, I was one of a handful of activists who attended an informal conversation of 1300 people with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, hosted by the World Affairs Council of Northern California at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. (Full article )

Africa: Resist the American Juggernaut
by Firoz Osman
July 03, 2003: (ZNet)
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4008.htm
As President George Bush embarks on his African journey, civil societ ratchets up its opposition to resist the American juggernaut. Flushed with the illusion of total military victory it is ominous that Africa has emerged on the American leaders radar screen.[...]

US Amplifies Darfur Crisis Eyeing Regime Change: Report
http://www.islamonline.net/English/News/2004-10/03/article04.shtml

AfriCom will preside over all countries on the continent except Egypt and is expected to be operational by the fall, according to Pentagon officials. They say it is needed to secure vast, lawless areas where terrorists have sought safe haven to regroup and threaten U.S. interests.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/world/20070430-124131-8532r.htm

The Scramble for Africa's Oil
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...
by Christopher Thompson
The Pentagon is embarked on a massive effort to militarily secure African oil assets for the United States. Under cover of the so-called "war on terror," the U.S. is deepening its military ties to "friendly" African regimes, enhancing their capacity to deal with internal dissidents and external rivals. From the Horn of Africa to the Gulf of Guinea and the Niger Delta, the Americans bolster authoritarian regimes and flaunt U.S. air, naval and "special operations" power. Even the FBI has gotten into the act, performing interrogations of hundreds of "suspects" swept up in Ethiopia's invasion of Somalia and brutal suppression of internal foes.
The Pentagon at present has five geographic Unified Combatant Commands around the world, and responsibility for Africa is awkwardly divided among three of these. Most of Africa - a batch of 43 countries - falls under the European Command (Eucom), with the remainder divided between the Pacific Command and Central Command (which also runs the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan). Now the Pentagon - under the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the defense department - is working on formal proposals for a unified military command for the continent under the name "Africom." This significant shift in US relations with Africa comes in the face of myriad threats: fierce economic competition from Asia; increasing resource nationalism in Russia and South America; and instability in the Middle East that threatens to spill over into Africa.

"The US must reshape its whole military policy if it is to maintain control of Africa."
The Pentagon hopes to finalize Africom's structure, location and budget this year. The expectation is that it can break free from Eucom and become operative by mid-2008. "The break from Europe will occur before 30 September 2008," Professor Peter Pham, a US adviser on Africa to the Pentagon told the New Statesman. "The independent command should be up and running by this time next year."...
n March 2006, speaking before the Senate armed services committee, General James Jones, the then head of Eucom, said: "Africa currently provides over 15 per cent of US oil imports, and recent explorations in the Gulf of Guinea region indicate potential reserves that could account for 25-35 per cent of US imports within the next decade."... These high-quality reserves - West African oil is typically low in sulphur and thus ideal for refining - are easily accessible by sea to western Europe and the US. In 2005, the US imported more oil from the Gulf of Guinea than it did from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined. Within the next ten years it will import more oil from Africa than from the entire Middle East. Western oil giants such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, France's Total and Britain's BP and Shell plan to invest tens of billions of dollars in sub-Saharan Africa (far in excess of "aid" inflows to the region).
But though the Gulf of Guinea is one of the few parts of the world where oil production is poised to increase exponentially in the near future, it is also one of the most unstable. In the big three producer countries, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and Angola, oil wealth has been a curse for many, enriching political elites at the expense of impoverished citizens. Angola is now China's main supplier of crude oil, supplanting Saudi Arabia last year. The Chinese, along with the rest of oil- hungry Asia, are looking covetously at the entire region's reserves.... China is willing to offer billions in soft loans and infrastructure projects - all with no strings attached - to secure lucrative acreage.... According to Nicholas Shaxson, author of Poisoned Wells: the Dirty Politics of African Oil, "[Africom] comes in the context of a growing conflict with China over our oil supplies."
Africom will significantly increase the US military presence on the continent. At present, the US has 1,500 troops stationed in Africa, principally at its military base in Djibouti, in the eastern horn. That could well double, according to Pham. The US is already conducting naval exercises off the Gulf of Guinea, in part with the intention of stopping Delta insurgents reaching offshore oil rigs. It also plans to beef up the military capacity of African governments to handle their dissidents, with additional "rapid-reaction" US forces available if needed. But - echoing charges leveled at US allies elsewhere in the "war on terror" [...]

U.S. support behind Ethiopia's invasion
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-01-07-ethiopia_x.htm?POE=click-r...
Somalia's transitional government, backed by the Ethiopian military, drove a radical Islamic militia out of Mogadishu last week. A Christian-led nation in sub-Saharan Africa, surrounded almost entirely by Muslim states, Ethiopia has received nearly $20 million in U.S. military aid since late 2002. That's more than any country in the region except Djibouti. Last month, thousands of Ethiopian troops invaded neighboring Somalia and helped overturn a fundamentalist Islamic government that the Bush administration said was supported by
al-Qaeda. The U.S. and Ethiopian militaries have "a close working relationship," Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter said. The ties include intelligence sharing, arms aid and training that gives the Ethiopians "the capacity to defend their borders and intercept terrorists and weapons of mass destruction," he said. The close U.S. embrace of Ethiopia is risky, in the view of several Africa experts and human rights advocates. Even though Ethiopia had good reasons of its own for intervening to blunt a Somali threat to its security, it is perceived as acting on behalf of the United States, said William Zartman, an Africa expert at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies [a major U.S. imperialist political strategy 'think-tank'].

Congo and Darfur: Where Anti-Arab Prejudice and Oil Make the Difference
Wednesday, 30 May 2007
by Roger Howard
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...
Three million to four million Congolese have been killed, compared with the estimated 200,000 civilian deaths in Darfur.”Some Black bodies are more worthy of attention than others. The three million dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where U.S. allies such as Rwanda keep the genocidal pot boiling and multinational corporations field private armies to guard their mineral extraction enterprises, get scant mention in corporate media. But Darfur, where 200,000 Black Sudanese lives have been lost, is cause for crocodile tears among right-wingers and Arab-haters. Genocide sensitivity is, apparently, an acquired, selective taste: it depends on who is doing the killing, and how much oil is in the mix. [...]

HOW CAN WE NAME THE DARFUR CRISIS: some preliminary thoughts
Mahmood Mandani
http://www.blackcommentator.com/109/109_darfur.html

How crucial is African oil for the United States?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/business/3054948.stm

Chad Now Awash in Blood, Alongside Darfur: U.S. Mischief
by BAR Executive Editor Glen Ford
http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&...
">">">http://www.blackagendareport.com>

Darfur: Simplification and Moralization of the Conflict

Voltaire Network | Paris (France) | International edition, 13 March 2006

... US media analysts deal with the Darfur issue only as an ethnic conflict, or more precisely as the “genocide” of “Africans” at the hands of the “Arabs”. If it is a fact that the conflict leads to massacres that cruelly affect sedentary populations, it is false to suggest that confrontation is based on such ethnic or “racial” reasons and that such a division is the cause of the conflict. In effect, nomadic and sedentary populations are all made up of black people with Arabic characteristics (since more or less a long time now) after they largely mixed. However, such a population distinction allows for a rhetoric that better mobilizes western public opinion and helps hide oil-oriented interests in Sudan behind emotion and fear.

The United States has occupied the chair of the UN Security Council since early February and precisely since the very beginning of the Darfur issue, which had disappeared from the front pages of newspapers for some time, but it now comes back making headlines. US responsible ones for the issue have multiplied statements calling for a massive military intervention. Last February 3, Undersecretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer told reporters that the United States expected to take advantage of its chairing the UN Security Council to “try to strengthen the role of the African Unity in Darfur”. Later, with the support of Kofi Annan, the United States called for a deployment of NATO troops; that is to say, the implementation of an old US desire.

Such official statements are backed by press forums with the participation of democrats or people from organizations close to [democrat] George Soros, and who urge the United States to take action in the conflict as they launch a rhetoric very similar to that used in the past to justify the bombing of Serbia as a reaction to problems in Kosovo.
The leader of the democrat minority at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, senator Joseph R. Biden Jr for Delaware, does not make a mystery out of the issue. In the Baltimore Sun and in the Gulf News, he calls for a NATO operation led by the United States similar to the operations carried out in Bosnia and in Kosovo. In retaking the rhetoric of the duty to intervention or its most recent version, the “protection responsibility”, he assures that Jartum has lost sovereignty after attacking the population. From that point, the fate of the Darfur population depends on the responsibility of civilized nations in collective, whose incarnation would be NATO.
The authors of a report on Darfur, submitted by the Physician for Human Rights NGO, John Heffernan and David Tuller, also call for an international mobilization in the San Francisco Chronicles. For these authors, there is no doubt that the Jartum regime in the only one held accountable. Let’s recall that Heffernan is also a member of the Democratic Party (he was the president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Guyana) and he led the Coalition for International Justice in Washington. This organization played a major role in the issues regarding former Yugoslavia, and it was founded by George Soros.
A person of usual reference in the US press as to the Darfur issue is democrat John Prendergast, also member of the International Crisis Group, managed by George Soros. Prendergast denounces the US attitude towards Darfur in the Los Angeles Times joined by actor Don Cheadle as co-author. Both criticize the CIA indulgence in respect to Salah Abdallah Gosh, Chief of the Sudanese Secrete Services. Gosh is presented as a former partner of Osama bin Laden and as responsible for the Darfur “genocide”. For Prendergast and Cheadle there is no doubts that the United States must intervene in Sudan in order to restore its moral leadership...

...journalist Moukhtar al Dobadi also rejects the US viewpoint and calls Washington’s sudden activism as to the Sudan Issue a manoeuvre aimed... to have non African troops intervene in Darfur must be understood as a new action to divide the oil-producing country. With the Iraqi precedent in mind, the author suggests that the United States has proven its willingness to attack all Arab oil producing countries in an effort to split them apart. The journalist warns Sudanese ethnic minorities: by promising to defend your rights, Washington tries to use you.

“Sudan follows the steps of Iraq”
Author Moukhtar al Dobabi
Moukhtar al Dobabi is a journalist with the daily AlarabOnline.
He was staff secretary at the Tunisian daily Al- Sarih.

Source Alarabonline.org
Reference “السودان على خطى العراق ”, por Moukhtar al Dobabi, AlarabOnline, 18 de enero de 2006.

Summary The call issued by the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, to replace African forces with international troops is not a personal initiative. In effect, it is a US-European project and that explains the justifiable rejection it has found in Sudan. The deployment of international troops will lead to the failure of the African Union to solve the Darfur crisis. It is another way to say that the African and Arab solution is not enough and that implies the intervention of the big powers, particularly the United States, to globalize the solution. In that sense, the Iraqi example is being followed and eventually the example of Syria.
The Darfur crisis would have not been that complex without the intervention of foreign actors to ruin African efforts. On the other hand, the Sudan crisis has always been the testimony of regional or international interventions aimed at destabilizing and weakening this oil-producing country. Sudan represents, by itself, a continent within the African continent. This way and from the western perspective, its instability poses a threat to regional equations drawn by big superpowers since the Cold War period, even more when the United States now wishes to dismantle large countries such as Yugoslavia and Iraq and with that aim the US uses small ethnic or religious groups in the target countries. ... Direct military intervention aimed at imposing US views on Darfur, despite the rejection by Jartum and the African Union, proves up to what point... the US wants to redesign in the detriment of the Arabs... Some of these Arabs, who have participated in the destruction of Sudan through many crises, have turned their back on this country by leaving it at the hands of the big imperialist powers. ...

Will Sudan be Re-Colonized?
By Stephen Gowans
The United States is maneuvering to introduce a UN peacekeeping force into
Darfur, as a first step to securing control of the region’s vast supply of
oil. US control of Darfur’s petroleum resources would deliver highly
profitable investment opportunities to US firms, and scuttle China’s
investment in the region, thereby slowing the rise of a strategic competitor
whose continued industrial growth depends on secure access to foreign oil.
Washington is using highly exaggerated charges of genocide as a
justification for a UN intervention it would dominate, while at the same
time opposing a workable peacekeeping plan acceptable to the Sudanese
government that would see the current African Union mission in Darfur expand [...]
http://gowans.wordpress.com/2007/06/14/will-sudan-be-re-colonized/

U.N. triples Darfur peacekeepers
The UN Security Council has more than tripled an existing African Union-led force for the Sudanese province of Darfur by authorizing a 26000-member ...
www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/07/31/un.darfur/index.html

NYT PROPAGANDA HEATS UP AGAIN...
A First Step to Save Darfur:
World pressure, begun by grass-roots campaigners, but
joined early on by President Bush and more recently by
China and the Arab League, is finally being felt in Sudan's
capital.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/opinion/03fri2.html?th&emc=th

The Reluctant Hero of Darfur, the Movie
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/29/movies/29ande.html?ref=arts
THE HOLOCAUST,” Stanley Kubrick once said, “is about six million people who get killed. ‘Schindler’s List’ was about 600 people who don’t.” Despite the acclaim afforded “Schindler’s List,” Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar winner, its venerable dramatic strategy — addressing a tragedy of the many via the actions of a few — didn’t quite get to the heart of darkness. At least not for Kubrick.
“The Devil Came on Horseback,” which opened Wednesday in New York, has similar issues: genocide, for one. The documentary, directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern, concerns the ongoing crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan, where atrocities continue to be committed on many sides, including the rape and murder of black Africans by the Arab Janjaweed (“devils on horseback”). And it focuses on a lone hero, Brian Steidle, an ex-marine captain who served as an observer for the African Union-United Nations peacekeeping force, took photographs of the atrocities being perpetrated and eventually published them in The New York Times...
Mr. Steidle had been stationed in Kosovo and various points around the Mediterranean when the United States was attacked in September 2001. He said that his unit, rather than returning to Afghanistan, was replaced by fresh troops; Mr. Steidle was sent home. Promoted early to captain, he faced what he said would be seven years behind a desk before a battalion assignment....he opted for a job... monitoring the ceasefire in Sudan between the Khartoum government and southern rebel forces. When developments in Darfur started to become public, he headed west as an observer for the African Union. It was there that he took the photographs that were eventually published in The Times...That Mr. Steidle, a white, middle-class American from a military family, is the focus of a movie about a black-African catastrophe, is something that might rankle some audiences. If there were a show of hands, Mr. Steidle’s would be the first one up.
Mr. Steidle said he is happy with the film despite his discomfiture at being center stage. “I’m the next-door neighbor,” he said of his role in the movie. “I’d like to see more African-Americans involved in the issue, but it’s about what community I can influence.” ...namely white middle-class voters who might actually call their representatives in Congress and urge action on Darfur.... But Mr. Steidle isn’t ready to rest. He’s now got Hollywood in his sights.... in Santa Monica, where he moved in order to collaborate on a feature film of his story to be produced by 72 Productions (“Transamerica”), Mr. Steidle said that a dramatic version should raise public awareness to a new level.[...]

Slandering Zimbabwe’s Fight for Independence
By Stephen Gowans
http://gowans.wordpress.com/2007/07/30/slandering-zimbabwe%e2%80%99s-fig...

Zimbabwe is in the grips on an economic crisis. Food and electricity
shortages plague the country, but because Zimbabwe is singled out in the
Western media for special attention, it seems as if its problems are unique,
not part of a wider pattern of scarcity in sub-Saharan Africa, but the
product of the misguided policies of the Mugabe government. There’s a
message in the Western media spin on Zimbabwe: reclaiming land and working
to put the economy into hands of nationals leads to economic meltdown. It’s
best to leave historical patterns of domination alone, and to adapt to the
prevailing balance of power.
In a July 28, 2007 article on the regrettable state of Zimbabwe’s economy,
The Washington Post points out that “daily power outages are forcing
Zimbabweans to light fires to cook and to heat water.” Wood poachers have
stripped nearly 500 acres of conservation woodland.

But what the Post doesn’t point out is that it’s not only Zimbabweans, but
people throughout sub-Saharan Africa, who are stripping forests bare to
provide heat and cooking fuel. (1)
The reason why is rolling power blackouts. “Perhaps 25 of 44 sub-Saharan
nations face crippling electricity shortages.” (2) Drought, climbing oil
prices, and the chaos caused by privatization of formerly state-owned power
companies have created an “unprecedented” power crisis that not only affects
Zimbabwe, but Zambia, Nigeria, Angola, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic
of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Togo.

Even South Africa was hit by rolling blackouts in January and sporadic power
failures continue to bedevil the country.
Yet, as a mark of how the Western media frame their reporting to discredit
Zimbabwe, it is in Zimbabwe alone that the electricity shortages are
attributed to the policies of the government.

Zimbabwe’s “power, water, health and communications systems are collapsing,”
the Post notes, “and there are acute shortages of staple foods and
gasoline.” The newspaper points to critics who say economic mismanagement
and Harare’s land reform policies are to blame.

But acute food and gasoline shortages are common to neighboring countries.
If Zimbabwe is short of gasoline, “Uganda’s gas stations are…short of diesel
for vehicles.” (3) If there are shortages of food staples in Zimbabwe, there
are close to two dozen other countries in sub-Saharan Africa that are
contending with food scarcity, according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural
Organization.
Since neighbouring countries have not pursued Zimbabwe’s fast track land
reform policies, and have tended to shy away from the economic
indigenization policies Harare favors, gasoline, electricity and food
shortages can hardly be attributed to policies uniquely pursued by Harare.
The aim of the media’s propaganda is clear: to discredit the Mugabe
government’s economic independence policies by suggesting they are to blame
for the country’s economic difficulties.

Unlike other sub-Saharan countries, Zimbabwe is a target of economic
sanctions, which have made the region-wide drought and
oil-price-rise-induced crises more acute. The sanctions, imposed by the US
and EU, deny Zimbabwe access to international development aid. NGOs,
following the Western governments that provide their funding, have also cut
off assistance, amplifying the sanctions’ effects.

Are the sanctions justified?
The West’s opposition to Zimbabwe began in the mid-90s, when the Mugabe
government failed to undertake pro-foreign investor (often called
neo-liberal) economic reforms as quickly as the International Monetary Fund
prescribed.
The IMF expected Zimbabwe to pare back government social spending, reduce
the size of the civil service, devalue its currency, and move strongly
toward an export-oriented economy – measures that would benefit
international investors but would increase the hardships Zimbabweans already
faced.
The IMF also insisted that Zimbabwe pay full market value for the land it
sought to acquire as part of its program to resettle the rural poor – land
that had been stripped from indigenous Africans by European settlers.

Zimbabwe had received assurances in 1979 from the Thatcher government that
Britain would fund the purchase of land from white settlers, but the Blair
government reneged, proposing instead that it lend Zimbabwe money in return
for Harare enacting policies to enhance investor confidence (i.e., policies
to increase the profits foreign investors could extract from Zimbabwe.)
Since this would amount to taking on new debt to buy back what had been
stolen in the first place, the offer was refused. Farmland was reclaimed
without compensation (except for improvements the European settlers had
made.) The expropriated farmers were told to seek compensation from London.

By 1997, Harare was in open revolt. IMF-prescribed programs the government
deemed to be injurious to Zimbabweans were rejected and the IMF’s
prohibitions on pursuing economically nationalist policies were ignored.
Mugabe announced new tariffs to protect domestic businesses from foreign
competition and introduced an affirmative action program that differentially
benefited domestic firms at the expense of foreign investors. Western
governments, ever vigilant about promoting the export and foreign investment
interests of their own corporations, saw red.

By 1998, the EU had had enough. Mugabe’s land reform program – and now, the
military aid Harare was providing to the young government of Laurent Kabila
in the Democratic Republic of Congo – bid that steps be taken to force the
independence-minded Mugabe out. Kabila, who the US and Britain were trying
to overthrow, was following economically nationalist policies reminiscent of
those of Patrice Lumumba, who the West had deposed in a CIA-sponsored coup
decades earlier. Washington and London recruited Uganda and Rwanda as
proxies to invade the DR Congo, but their plans were frustrated when
Zimbabwe intervened militarily on the side of the Kabila government. To
counter Mugabe, the EU set out to build civil society -- the unions and NGOs
-- as opposite poles of attraction to Mugabe’s government of national
liberation.

Soon, Morgan Tsvangirai, head of the Zimbabwe Trades Union Congress, emerged
as leader of a new political party, the Movement for Democratic Change. The
white commercial farmers abandoned their old party, the Rhodesian Front, and
lined up behind their new vehicle, the MDC. With a war chest filled with
generous funding from Western governments and corporations, the MDC was to
lead the opposition to the Mugabe government from within Zimbabwe.

By 2001, the Sunday Times was urging London to spearhead a worldwide
economic boycott of Zimbabwe. “Until decisive action is taken,” the
newspaper warned, “the whole region is a high-risk area for investment.” (4)

The same year, the US enacted the US Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic
Recovery Act. The arch-conservative Jesse Helms was a co-sponsor, along with
Hilary Clinton. The act obligates US officials to vote against assistance to
Zimbabwe at the IMF and World Bank; allows the president to fund groups and
individuals working to overthrow the Mugabe government; and makes respect
for the rule of law (i.e., reversal of Zimbabwe’s land reform program) a
condition of ending sanctions. US Representative Cynthia McKinney asked
legislators what law European settlers had respected when they seized the
land by force.
Sanctions have one aim: to make the lives of Zimbabweans miserable so
they’ll oust Mugabe. The MDC, which supports the sanctions, and is
indefatigable in calling for additional punishments, uses the economic
hardships sanctions have aggravated to call for Mugabe’s departure.

Mugabe’s program has always been one of independence. As a leader of the
guerrilla movement that fought for national liberation, the goal was an end
to Rhodesian apartheid. As leader of the government, the goal since the mid
90s has been economic independence; to be secured, first, by reclaiming the
land the indigenous population had been dispossessed of by European
settlers; and second, by putting the economy in the hands of Zimbabweans as
owners, not just employees.

The inevitable consequence of this project has been the backlash of foreign
corporations, Western investors and their governments.

While the Western media would have you believe Zimbabweans are champing at
the bit to oust Mugabe, the reality is that Mugabe is widely supported, not
only in Zimbabwe, but throughout Africa. His credentials as the leader of a
national liberation movement have established his reputation, his land
reform policies have strengthened his support among the rural poor (who make
up the majority of Zimbabweans) and his insistence on pursuing an
independent foreign policy have made him a rallying point for
anti-imperialist sentiment in Africa. As recently as August 2004, Mugabe was
voted number three in the New African magazine’s poll of the 100 greatest
Africans (behind Nelson Mandela and Ghana Kwame Nkrunah, the first president
of post-colonial Ghana.) One of Mugabe’s most vehement critics, Archbishop
Pious Ncube, grudgingly acknowledges his popularity. “The United Nations
should take (Mugabe) out but that will not happen because Africa supports
Mugabe.” (5)
It is fashionable in some circles to profess admiration for Mugabe, as the
leader of the armed national liberation struggle, while denouncing Mugabe,
the politician. Mugabe once fought for national liberation, it’s said, but
as a politician, he simply clings to power for power’s sake. Power has
corrupted him.
This is the typical screed against the leaders of all really-existing
movements that seek to end the oppression of class or nations. They are
invariably accused of demagogy and corruption and of betraying their
movement’s goals. The revolution betrayed is the constant theme. The purpose
of these accusations is to breed cynicism, disillusionment and ultimately
pessimism, passivity and capitulation. It’s all in vain, the detractors say.
You’ll simply end up with something worse that you started with. Your
movement will be hijacked by authoritarian strongmen who utter
leftist-sounding phrases while enriching themselves and their cronies.

The goal Mugabe has pursued, whether in the armed struggle or in government,
has never changed: independence. Placing the economy in the hands of
Zimbabweans, as Mugabe is working to do now, is just as much – indeed, is
even more significantly a part – of national liberation as achieving nominal
political independence is. Zimbabweans got their own flag in 1980, their
land after 2000, and now are working to secure control of their mines and
businesses. To say, then, that Mugabe was true to the goals of national
liberation once, but is no longer, reveals either a miscomprehension of the
centrality of land reform and indigenization to national liberation, a
surrender to the barrage of propaganda against Zimbabwe’s national
liberation movement, or an absent commitment to true national liberation.

(1) New York Times, July 29, 2007.
(2) Ibid.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Cited in Rob Gowland, “Zimbabwe: The Struggle for Land, the Struggle for
Independence,” November, 2002. http://www.cpa.org.au/booklets/zimbabwe.pdf
(5) Cited in The Sunday Mail, July 28, 2007.
http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/index.aspx

Guantánamo detainee a hero at home
By Shashank Bengali
McClatchy Newspapers
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/PrintStory.pl?document_id=20038...

KHARTOUM, Sudan — He's all but unknown in the United States, the country of his jailers, but in his homeland of Sudan, Sami al Hajj is a national hero. The president has spoken out about him, demonstrations have been held in his name, and a bakery in Khartoum has printed his picture on its packaging.
A 38-year-old cameraman for the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera, Hajj has been imprisoned as an "enemy combatant" at the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, for five years, but never charged with a crime. He was arrested by Pakistani police in December 2001 while on his way to a news assignment in Afghanistan, but he's denied having any links to terrorism.

The independent, Qatar-based network earned the wrath of top U.S. officials after the Sept. 11 attacks for airing statements by Osama bin Laden. Hajj has been interrogated approximately 130 times, according to his attorneys, and nearly every question has been about whether the network or its journalists are connected to al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.
Hajj had been with Al-Jazeera for only a few months at the time of his arrest, and he's told military interrogators that he knows nothing about the network's corporate structure or financing. Before he joined the network, he had a succession of low-level jobs with private companies in Sudan and the United Arab Emirates.

Interrogators offered to secure Hajj's release if he agreed to spy on Al-Jazeera, his attorneys say, but Hajj has refused....

Al-Jazeera, widely watched in Sudan and throughout the Arab world, regularly reminds viewers of Hajj's case. The network has launched a campaign for his release and produced a documentary — each named for his Guantánamo ID number, Prisoner 345. Hardly a day goes by without a Sudanese newspaper or broadcast station mentioning his story.
He's become Sudan's most famous journalist, even though he was only on his second-ever assignment. In mid-2001, soon after completing an internship program, he was assigned to research a story on Chechnya and met several times in Qatar with the exiled former president of the rebellious Russian republic, who was alleged to have ties with al-Qaida.

Ahmad Ibrahim, a producer for Al-Jazeera's English service, said Hajj was given the assignment because of his experience in the region — his wife is from Azerbaijan — but the project eventually was scrapped.
Shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, he was asked to go to Afghanistan. Hajj was on vacation in Damascus, Syria, with his wife and baby son when the call came. Other cameramen had turned down the assignment, and Hajj hesitated.
He finally took the job, family members said, because he wanted to prove himself with his new employers.
In early October 2001, he and four other Al-Jazeera staff members traveled to Pakistan, obtained visas for Afghanistan and crossed into Kandahar. For about 50 days, the team covered the U.S. bombardment of Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold, and lived in guesthouses alongside journalists from CNN and other news organizations.

While in Kandahar, U.S. officials said, Hajj interviewed several officials, including Abu Hafa al Moritani, a bin Laden adviser who was the leader of the al-Qaida cell in the northern African nation of Mauritania.

In December, the team returned to Pakistan, but Hajj soon was asked to go back to Afghanistan to cover Hamid Karzai's newly formed government. At the border, he was stopped by Pakistani authorities when his name appeared on a watch list, according to U.S. officials. After three weeks he was transferred to American authorities and taken to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.
According to Amnesty International, Hajj described his 16 days at Bagram as "the worst in my life."
"He states that he was severely physically tortured and had dogs set upon him, that he was held in a cage (in) a freezing aircraft hangar and was given insufficient, often frozen food," Amnesty reported.
He then was taken to Kandahar and, on June 13, 2002, transferred to Guantánamo in chains. Not until this time did Hajj's family learn that he was in U.S. custody, from a letter he wrote to his wife.
His family in Sudan kept the news from his ailing father for several months, but when they finally told him, the news sent him into shock. He died a few days later.

Why Africa Fears Western Medicine
By HARRIET A. WASHINGTON, Op-Ed Contributor
The medical workers’ release appears to be the latest episode in a health care nightmare in which white and Western-trained doctors and nurses have harmed Africans — and have gone unpunished... to dismiss the Libyan accusations of medical malfeasance out of hand means losing an opportunity to understand why a dangerous suspicion of medicine is so widespread in Africa.
Africa has harbored a number of high-profile Western medical miscreants who have intentionally administered deadly agents under the guise of providing health care or conducting research. In March 2000, Werner Bezwoda, a cancer researcher at South Africa’s Witwatersrand University, was fired after conducting medical experiments involving very high doses of chemotherapy on black breast-cancer patients, possibly without their knowledge or consent. In Zimbabwe, in 1995, Richard McGown, a Scottish anesthesiologist, was accused of five murders and convicted in the deaths of two infant patients whom he injected with lethal doses of morphine. And Dr. Michael Swango, ultimately convicted of murder after pleading guilty to killing three American patients with lethal injections of potassium, is suspected of causing the deaths of 60 other people, many of them in Zimbabwe and Zambia during the 1980s and ’90s. (Dr. Swango was never tried on the African charges.)
These medical killers are well known throughout Africa, but the most notorious is Wouter Basson, a former head of Project Coast, South Africa’s chemical and biological weapons unit under apartheid. Dr. Basson was charged with killing hundreds of blacks in South Africa and Namibia, from 1979 to 1987, many via injected poisons. He was never convicted in South African courts, even though his lieutenants testified in detail and with consistency about the medical crimes they conducted against blacks....The distrust of Western medical workers has had direct consequences. Since 2003, for example, polio has been on the rise in Nigeria, Chad and Burkina Faso because many people avoid vaccinations, believing that the vaccines are contaminated with H.I.V. or are actually sterilization agents in disguise. This would sound incredible were it not that scientists working for Dr. Basson’s Project Coast reported that one of their chief goals was to find ways to selectively and secretly sterilize Africans....
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/31/opinion/31washington.html?th=&emc=th&p...
Harriet A. Washington is the author of “Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present.”

"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media"
former CIA Director William Colby (died suddenly after freak canoe accident) Bernstein's 1977 Oct. Rolling stone article.

Al-Jazeera [English] gains a new voice with American anchor
By Paul Farhi
nov. 16, 2006
http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/d...

Dave Marash, formerly of ABC's "Nightline," is the U.S. face of Al Jazeera English....
In February, Marash, a lifelong broadcast newsman, became the Washington-based anchor of Al-Jazeera English (AJE), the English-language spinoff of the Arabic TV news network. Marash is the most prominent American face of AJE, which made its first globe-spanning broadcast Wednesday.
Embedded in "why," however, are two other questions: How can an American work for an operation affiliated with Al-Jazeera, which achieved notoriety — and to some, infamy — by airing video communiqués from Osama bin Laden, images of dead American soldiers and routine denunciations of the United States? Moreover, how could Marash, who is Jewish, work for an organization that has provided a platform for Holocaust denial and hate speech against Israel, Zionism and Judaism?...

Marash was let go by ABC News almost a year ago. Marash, 64, had spent 16 years as a globe-trotting reporter for "Nightline" and a sometime substitute host for Ted Koppel. Marash was swept out when Koppel left the program and "Nightline" was overhauled.
The long answer, Marash says, is that Al-Jazeera is little understood in the West. Al-Jazeera, he says, "has consistently offered a window of opportunity for Israel and Israeli citizens to speak to the Arab world. There is no contradiction between Judaism and Al-Jazeera." What's more, he promises, Al-Jazeera English won't be Al-Jazeera....

AJE's viewers will see some Arab faces, but the network has a significant cadre of non-Arabs, too. Sir David Frost will host a weekly public-affairs program. Former CNN and BBC journalist Riz Kahn will head a talk show and interview program. AJE's military-affairs analyst is Josh Rushing, a former Marine Corps captain who served as a military public affairs liaison at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Doha at the start of the Iraq war.

That is not to suggest that AJE and Al-Jazeera are independent operations. Managers say the channels will share such resources as news crews and footage. Both are funded by the same source, Qatar's emir, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, who by some Western media accounts has sunk more than $1 billion of Qatar's oil and natural-gas wealth into AJE's launch...