The real US agenda in Africa is hegemony

September 21, 2022

by Pepe Escobar, first published at The Cradle and posted with the author’s permission

Forget development. Washington’s primary interest in Africa today is keeping the Chinese and Russians out.

In a rational environment, the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) would discuss alleviating the trials and tribulations of the Global South, especially Africa.

That won’t be the case. Like a deer caught in the geopolitical headlights, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued platitudes about a gloomy “winter of global discontent,” even as the proverbial imperial doomsayers criticized the UN’s “crisis of faith” and blasted the “unprovoked war” started by Russia.

Of course the slow-motion genocide of Donbass russophone residents for eight years would never be recognized as a provocation.

Guterres spoke of Afghanistan, “where the economy is in ruins and human rights are being trampled” – but he did not dare to offer context. In Libya, “divisions continue to jeopardize the country” – once again, no context. Not to mention Iraq, where “ongoing tensions threaten ongoing stability.”

Africa has 54 nations as UN members. Any truly representative UNGA meeting should place Africa’s problems at the forefront. Once again, that’s not the case. So it is left to African leaders to offer that much-needed context outside of the UN building in New York.

As the only African member of the G20, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa recently urged the US not to “punish” the whole continent by forcing nations to demonize or sanction Russia. Washington’s introduction of legislation dubbed the Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act, he says, “will harm Africa and marginalize the continent.”

South Africa is a BRICS member – a concept that is anathema in the Beltway – and embraces a policy of non-alignment among world powers. An emerging 21st century version of the 1960s Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is strengthening across the Global South – and especially Africa – much to the revulsion of the US and its minions.

Back at the UNGA, Guterres invoked the global fertilizer crisis – again, with no context. Russian diplomacy has repeatedly stressed that Moscow is ready to export 30 million tons of grain and over 20 million tons of fertilizer by the end of 2022. What is left unsaid in the west, is that only the importation of fertilizers to the EU is “allowed,” while transit to Africa is not.

Guterres said he was trying to persuade EU leaders to lift sanctions on Russian fertilizer exports, which directly affect cargo payments and shipping insurance. Russia’s Uralchem, for instance, even offered to supply fertilizers to Africa for free.

Yet from the point of view of the US and its EU vassals, the only thing that matters is to counter Russia and China in Africa. Senegal’s President Macky Sall has remarked how this policy is leaving “a bitter taste.”

‘We forbid you to build your pipeline’

It gets worse. The largely ineffectual EU Parliament now wants to stop the construction of the 1,445 km-long East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Uganda to Tanzania, invoking hazy human rights violations, environmental threats, and “advising” member countries to simply drop out of the project.

Uganda is counting on more than 6 billion barrels of oil to sustain an employment boom and finally move the nation to middle-income status. It was up to Ugandan Parliament Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa to offer much-needed context:

“It is imprudent to say that Uganda’s oil projects will exacerbate climate change, yet it is a fact that the EU block with only 10 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 25 percent of global emissions, and Africa with 20 percent of the world’s population is responsible for 3 percent of emissions. The EU and other western countries are historically responsible for climate change. Who then should stop or slow down the development of natural resources? Certainly not Africa or Uganda.”

The EU Parliament, moreover, is a staunch puppet of the biofuel lobby. It has refused to amend a law that would have stopped the use of food crops for fuel production, actually contributing to what the UN Food Program has described as “a global emergency of unprecedented magnitude.” No less than 350 million people are on the brink of starvation across Africa.

Instead, the G7’s notion of “helping” Africa is crystallized in the US-led Build Back Better World (B3W) – Washington’s anaemic attempt to counter Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which focuses on “climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality,” according to the White House. Practical issues of infrastructure and sustainable development, which are at the heart of China’s plan, are simply ignored by the B3W.

Initially, a few “promising” projects were identified by a traveling US delegation in Senegal and Ghana. Senegalese diplomatic sources have since confirmed that these projects have nothing whatsoever to do with building infrastructure.

B3W, predictably, fizzled out. After all, the US-led project was little more than a public relations gimmick to undermine the Chinese, with negligible effect on narrowing the $40-plus trillion worth of infrastructure needed to be built across the Global South by 2035.

Have YALI, will travel

Imperial initiatives in Africa – apart from the US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), which amounts to raw militarization of the continent – brings us to the curious case of YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative), widely touted in the Washington-New York axis as “the most innovative” policy of the Obama years.

Launched in 2010, YALI was framed as “empowering the new generation of Africa leadership” – a euphemism for educating (or brainwashing) them the American way. The mechanism is simple: investing in and bringing hundreds of young African potential leaders to US universities for a short, six-week “training” on “business, civil leadership, entrepreneurship, and public management.” Then, four days in Washington to meet “leaders in the administration,” and a photo op with Obama.

The project was coordinated by US embassies in Africa, and targeted young men and women from sub-Saharan Africa’s 49 nations – including those under US sanctions, like Sudan, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe – proficient in English, with a “commitment” to return to Africa. Roughly 80 percent during the initial years had never been to the US, and more than 50 percent grew up outside of big cities.

Then, in a speech in 2013 in South Africa, Obama announced the establishment of the Washington Fellowship, later renamed the Mandela-Washington Fellowship (MWF).

That’s still ongoing. In 2022, MWF should be granted to 700 “outstanding young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa,” who follow “Leadership Institutes” at nearly 40 US universities, before their short stint in Washington. After which, they are ready for “long-term engagement between the United States and Africa.”

And all that for literally peanuts, as MWF was enthusiastically billed by the Democrat establishment as cost-efficient: $24,000 per fellow, paid by participant US universities as well as Coca-Cola, IBM, MasterCard Foundation, Microsoft, Intel, McKinsey, GE, and Procter & Gamble.

And that didn’t stop with MWF. USAID went a step further, and invested over $38 million – plus $10 million from the MasterCard Foundation – to set up four Regional Leadership Centers (RLCs) in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, and Senegal. These were training, long distance and in-class, at least 3,500 ‘future leaders’ a year.

It’s no wonder the Brookings Institution was drooling over so much “cost-efficiency” when it comes to investing “in Africa’s future” and for the US to “stay competitive” in Africa. YALI certainly looks prettier than AFRICOM.

A few success stories though don’t seem to rival the steady stream of African footballers making a splash in Europe – and then reinvesting most of their profits back home. The Trump years did see a reduction of YALI’s funding – from $19 million in 2017 to roughly $5 million.

So many leaders to ‘train’

Predictably, the Joe Biden White House YALI-ed all over again with a vengeance. Take this US press attache in Nigeria neatly outlining the current emphasis on “media and information literacy,” badly needed to tackle the “spreading of disinformation” including “in the months leading up to the national presidential election.”

So the US, under YALI, “trained 1,000 young Nigerians to recognize the signs of online and media misinformation and disinformation.” And now the follow-up is “Train the Trainer” workshops, “teaching 40 journalists, content creators, and activists (half of whom will be women) from Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Zamfara, and Katsina how to identify, investigate, and report misinformation.” Facebook, being ordered by the FBI to censor “inconvenient,” potentially election-altering facts, is not part of the curriculum.

YALI is the soft, Instagrammed face of AFRICOM. The US has participated in the overthrow of several African governments over the past two decades, with troops trained under secrecy-obsessed AFRICOM. There has been no serious Pentagon audit on the weaponizing of AFRICOM’s local “partners.” For all we know – as in Syria and Libya – the US military could be arming even more terrorists.

And predictably, it’s all bipartisan. Rabid neo-con and former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, in December 2018, at the Heritage Foundation, made it crystal clear: the US in Africa has nothing to do with supporting democracy and sustainable development. It’s all about countering Russia and China.

When it learned that Beijing was considering building a naval base in oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, the Biden White House sent power envoys to the capital Malabo to convince the government to cease and desist. To no avail.

In contrast, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was received like a superstar in his recent extensive tour of Africa, where it’s widely perceived that global food prices and the fertilizer drama are a direct consequence of western sanctions on Russia. Uganda leader Yoweri Museveni went straight to the point when he said, “How can we be against somebody who has never harmed us?”

On 13-15 December, the White House plans a major US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington to discuss mostly food security and climate change – alongside the perennial lectures on democracy and human rights. Most leaders won’t be exactly impressed with this new showing of “the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa.” Well, there’s always YALI. So many young leaders to indoctrinate, so little time.

Dismantling ‘Israel’

20 Sep 2022 23:52 

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, already working on a post-apartheid regime is clear proof that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected.

Tim Anderson 

Director of the Sydney-based Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies.

The future of the Apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is often seen as either (1) maintenance of the racist “state”, with more than half the population excluded and brutally repressed or (2) complete collapse of the regime and Palestinian liberation – a simple dichotomy. 

However, tensions among Zionist elites and the historic unraveling of previous racist regimes suggest that the dismantling of Apartheid “Israel” may come sooner than expected but in a more complicated manner. Racist states have often been dismantled with serious compromises. 

The combined forces of steadfast Palestinian Resistance and the plummeting “international legitimacy of Israel” are certainly powerful agents working toward a democratic Palestine. Yet, liberal Zionists, unhappy with the fascist brand, are already working on a post-apartheid regime. This group does not currently have the upper hand in occupied Palestine, but they do have greater say with the colony’s chief sponsor, the USA. 

Meanwhile, the disunity of Palestinian factions – actively encouraged by the Zionist regime – undermines their bargaining position. That leaves the door open for dirty deals.

Let’s remember that the ‘abolition’ of mass slavery in the USA was followed by another century of brutal ‘Jim Crow’ racial discrimination, a system which has often been called ‘slavery by another name’. This next stage racist system was given a legal blessing by the ‘separate but equal’ Supreme Court decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), a decision not overturned until Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision (1954). So ‘abolition’ did not mean emancipation.

Correctly pointing to parallels with the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa, Omar Barghouti calls for an increase in boycott and sanction initiatives against “Israel”. Yet, he does not refer to the compromises involved in the South African transitional process, which led to extreme economic inequality and post-apartheid South Africa becoming one of the most unequal countries on earth.

Perhaps even more relevant are the compromises made when the racial regime in Zimbabwe (formerly ‘Rhodesia’) was dismantled at the end of the 1970s. Talks hosted in Britain led to the ‘Lancaster House Accords’ with the following features.

First ‘equal citizenship’ was created, but it was accompanied by several protective provisions. A ‘white roll’ was created to maintain ten (of 40) ‘white’ senators and 20 (of 100) ‘white’ reps in the Assembly. There were then requirements for a 70% parliamentary agreement for constitutional changes. A unanimous requirement to change “the separate representation of the white minority in parliament” gave that group veto power. 

Second, under the “freedom from deprivation of property” provisions, the compulsory acquisition of property was banned and consensual compensation provisions were required. Protective provisions to privilege white minority representation and ban state acquisition of land could, for a period of ten years, only be carried out “by the unanimous vote of the House of Assembly”. That ‘froze’ white colonist control of most of the country’s arable land.

Nevertheless, the Lancaster House agreement went on to claim that “the question of majority rule … has been resolved”. Britain promised to provide capital for land buyouts but failed to do so. Twenty years after independence, as the Mugabe government attempted to ‘fast track’ land reforms, Britain and the USA imposed coercive ‘sanctions’ on the country. 

The land question is particularly important in Palestine, where steady land grabs, house thefts, and demolitions committed by “Israel” have economically marginalized the indigenous population, and in the process exposed the seven-decade-long myth of the ‘two states’. 

Yet, the cost of destroying that myth, for the Zionists, is the naked reality of apartheid, now recognized by six independent reports. Two former Israeli leaders, both of the ‘liberal zionist’ faction, have warned of the existential threat the apartheid brand poses to their dream of a ‘Jewish state’. In 2007, Ehud Olmert warned that “Israel” faces an “apartheid-like struggle” if the “two-state” myth collapses. Similarly, in 2017, Ehud Barak warned that his “state” was “on a slippery slope” toward apartheid.

This matter is of less concern for the more openly fascist Zionists, who dominate the regime these days. However liberal Zionists, with greater influence in the USA, have not been sitting on their hands. They are alarmed at the damage to the reputation of their ‘Jewish state’, by being labeled an apartheid regime and therefore, by the 1973 UN Convention, a crime against humanity and a regime that must be dismantled. 

For these reasons, we see influential former liberal Zionists openly agitating against the apartheid regime. They are not prepared to live with that “shame” and are looking for their own type of restructure. For example, former Israeli negotiator Daniel Levy, now President of the US-based Middle East Project, told the United Nations Security Council that the notion of an ‘Arab state’ was dead and that apartheid in Palestine was a reality. Similarly, Peter Beinart, an editor at Jewish Currents and contributor to The Atlantic and CNNwrote in the New York Times about fake Zionist claims of ‘anti-Semitism’. He said that Zionist groups were “abandoning a traditional commitment to human rights out of blind support for Israel”. 

These developments have important implications for the dismantling of the Zionist regime. The liberal Zionists will use their influence with Washington and London to get sponsorship for talks over a deal with compliant and property-owning elements of the Palestinian community. Almost certainly, the emerging deal will involve the protection of ‘settler rights’, Zionist privileges, and a freeze on property relations. The ‘right to return’ will also be subject to a deal.

Palestinian collaborators in this will not be the small-time agents who acted as informants and later sought refuge in “Tel Aviv” with temporary residence permits which do not allow them to work or get health benefits. Washington and “Tel Aviv” will abandon them.

The likely Palestinian collaborators for a ‘New Israel’ will be those linked to the Arab monarchies, with both property and embedded interests in the Palestinian Authority, which has long functioned as a municipality of the Apartheid “regime”. Religion will be no barrier, as secular collaborators will be joined by those who threw in their hands with the Muslim Brotherhood players, notably Qatar and Turkey, leading ‘false friends’ of the Palestinian cause. 

The Palestinian Resistance and its allies face new challenges. There is a real risk that a coalition of Washington, liberal Zionists, and Palestinian collaborators will begin to cut a deal behind closed doors, regardless of the legacy of Palestinian sacrifice and resistance. Such struggles are often betrayed at the last moment. 

That deal could include a last-minute grab for land, the freezing of property relations, and transitional provisions to protect the colonists. If deep divisions persist among Palestinian resistance factions, that deal will be easier to sell to an unsuspecting Palestinian and world audience. The dismantling of the ‘Old Israel’ will be so dramatic that few will pay attention to key details of the ‘New Israel’. But those details will be very important for the long-suffering Palestinian population.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

 SEPTEMBER 11, 2022 

PROTESTOR HOLDS SIGNS SUPPORTING BDS, THE MOVEMENT FOR BOYCOTTS, DIVESTMENT AND SANCTIONS AGAINST ISRAEL, AT ‘TEL AVIV SUR SEINE’ IN PARIS, AUGUST 13, 2015. (PHOTO: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Source

By Haider Eid

“If only it (Gaza) would just sink into the sea
– Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, 1992

In 2008 Gaza was bombed by Israeli Apache helicopters and American-made F16 fighter planes for 22 days, ultimately causing the deaths of more than 1,400 civilians. Israel, with the impunity it has enjoyed since its establishment, decided to come back into Gaza four times since then and repeat the same crimes by launching areal strikes, killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of children, women, elderly, and injuring thousands. In fact, over the past 15 months alone, apartheid Israel has carried out two extensive military assaults on Gaza, killing hundreds, including more than 80 children, and injuring thousands, destroying vital infrastructure, while maintaining its 15-year illegal siege on the 2.4 million Palestinians here.

Israel’s airstrikes which always damage essential infrastructure and terrify the civilian population are a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people and are war crimes which are forbidden under international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prescribes the manner in which armies must treat civilians during times of conflict. 

But Israel continues to get away with these war crimes and crimes against humanity. The “international community” does not seem seriously interested in the suffering of the native Palestinians. Neither does it even try to show concrete sympathy with those children who get killed in broad day light. After all, they are not Ukrainians, i.e., white.  In fact, while the American president apparently thinks that while “Israel has the right to defend itself,” the same right does not apply to Palestinians. This is in spite of the multi-tiered oppression of Palestinians by Israel, from apartheid to military occupation and colonization, and in spite of the deadly, hermetic siege imposed on Gaza for more than 15 years, so much so that Israel has even been using ‘calorie count’ to limit Gaza food during the blockade. 

This, however, has been Israel’s policy for a long time. In 1992, the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin wished that Gaza “would just sink into the sea.” The Oslo Accords, signed by Rabin, brought more misery into the lives of the 2 million inhabitants of this besieged, impoverished, occupied, small strip of land. The fact that Gazans are not born to Jewish mothers is enough reason to deprive them of their right to live equally with the citizens of the state of Israel. Hence, the Israeli logic goes, like the Black natives of South Africa, they should be isolated in a Bantustan, in accordance with the Oslo terms, without calling it so; and if they show any resistance to this plan, they must get punished severely by transforming the entire strip into an “open-air prison.” 

Both the US and the European Union display ignorance in the face of the brutal reality caused by Israel to GazaAs a result of Israel’s blockade on most imports and exports and other policies designed to punish Gazans, about 70% of Gaza’s workforce is now unemployed or without pay, according to the United Nations, and about 80% of its residents live in grinding poverty. About 1.2 million of them are now dependent for their day-to-day survival on food handouts from U.N. or international agencies; an increasing number of Palestinian families in Gaza are unable to offer their children more than one meager meal a day, often little more than rice and boiled lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables are beyond the reach of many families. Meat and chicken are impossibly expensive. And fish is unavailable in its markets because the Israeli navy has curtailed the movements of Gaza ‘s fishermen. No wonder, a report by the UN predicted that by 2020, Gaza would become “unlivable.” 

We are left with one option: people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The UN, EU and the international community by and large have remained silent in the face of atrocities committed by Apartheid Israel. The corpses of hundreds of dead children and women have failed to convince them to act. We are, therefore, left with one option; an option that does not wait for the United Nations Security Council, namely, the option of people’s power. This remains the only power capable of counteracting the massive power imbalance between the oppressed Palestinians and their Israeli oppressors.

The horror of the racist apartheid regime in South Africa was challenged with a sustained campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions initiated in 1958 and given new urgency in 1976 Soweto Uprising. This campaign ultimately contributed to the collapse of white rule in 1994 and the establishment of a multi-racial, democratic state.

Similarly, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions has been gathering momentum since 2005. Gaza, like Soweto and Sharpeville, cannot be ignored: it demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. Now is the time to boycott the apartheid Israeli state, to divest and to impose sanctions against it until it complies with international law. Like black South Africans, Palestinians deserve freedom, justice and equality.  Time to end Apartheid Israel’s genocidal oppression of Gaza

BRICS members agree on including new states – Chinese Foreign Ministry

June 28, 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

A Chinese Foreign Ministry official stated that BRICS countries agree to accept new countries into the bloc.

BRICS members agree on including new states.

The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries agree that the bloc needs new members while retaining its original character, according to Li Kexin, Director-General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of International Economic Affairs.
 
China wishes to keep the BRICS format open to new members’ participation. Despite the fact that there are no set dates for the expansion, all BRICS countries agree on this, according to Li Kexin.
 
“I believe there is a shared understanding that we need to enlarge, get ‘new faces,'” he said at a press conference dedicated to the results of the 14th BRICS summit in Beijing. The diplomat emphasized that the goal of the BRICS expansion is not to create a new bloc.
 
According to the director-general, BRICS leaders are working to reach an agreement on potential future members. “There are several countries currently ‘at the door,’ for example, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina,” he said. 
 
As stated in the Beijing Declaration of the XIV BRICS Summit, BRICS leaders support the continuation of discussions on the expansion process, particularly through the Sherpas’ channel.

Two days ago, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi expressed Iran’s readiness to use its potential to help BRICS to reach its goals.

BRICS, a group of countries consisting of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – has been functioning on a working mechanism that runs against the tide of the economic and political isolation of Russia which is created by NATO.

At a virtual summit of the BRICS Business Forum, Raisi delivered a speech in which he spoke of Iran’s willingness to use its unique energy reserves, wealth, manpower, and transportation networks to help BRICS achieve its goals. 

He started off by congratulating Xi Jinping, China’s president, on holding the summit and inviting Iran to the dialogue, then went on to address a few points in the conference, which went under the title “Participating in Global Development in the New Era”.

Earlier in May, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that China would initiate the process of BRICS expansion. He stated that it will demonstrate BRICS openness and inclusiveness, meet the expectations of developing countries, increase their representation and voice in global governance, and contribute more to global peace and development.

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Xi warns against ‘expanding’ military ties at BRICS summit

Sitrep: International reserve currency based on a basket of BRICS currencies.

June 22, 2022

This news just out – MAJOR!

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that banks from BRICS nations can freely connect to the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), Russia’s alternative to SWIFT.

While addressing a BRICS business forum, Putin said that together with its BRICS partners – Brazil, India, China and South Africa – Russia is developing reliable alternatives for international payments.

“The Russian system for transmitting financial messages is open to connecting banks from the five countries,” he said, adding: “The geography of the use of the Russian payment system Mir is expanding.”

The Russian president also noted that work is underway to create an international reserve currency based on a basket of BRICS currencies.

https://www.rt.com/business/557620-russian-financial-messenger-brics/

‘Hypocrisy Does Not Begin to Describe It’: Baroud on the Ukraine Crisis and the Changing Global Order (VIDEO)

March 17, 2022

Watch Ramzy Baroud’s full interview with Mark Seddon below. (Photo: PDD, Supplied)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

In a wide-ranging interview with Palestine Deep Dive (PDD), Mark Seddon discusses with distinguished Palestinian journalist and author, Dr. Ramzy Baroud, the unfolding crisis in Ukraine through the eyes of the Palestinian people.

While examining what seems to be emerging on the global geopolitical stage, Baroud also highlighted the hypocrisy of the international community, as well as the mainstream media in their response to Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine in comparison to their response, or lack of it, to Israel’s ongoing 74-year occupation of Palestine.

“People have the right to defend themselves against military occupation, period. Under any circumstance, regardless of the geopolitical nature of that conflict, and regardless of who’s involved in that conflict,” Baroud said. 

“We are still buried in this massive dichotomy in which we Palestinians can’t even protest without being accused of being anti-Israel or anti-America or anti this or that, compared to what is happening in the Ukraine within the matter of hours. In fact, even before the invasion took place. When the Russian forces were amassing at the Russia-Ukraine border, the condemnations were coming from all over Europe, all over North America. Of course, we have to face the reality that the international community does not have fair and just standards in its view of international conflicts.”

Commenting on the United Nations General Assembly vote, which saw 35 member states, including South Africa, India and China, abstaining from condemning Russia’s actions, Baroud said:

“I think geopolitics has a lot to do with it. (…) To give you an example, I was in Africa quite recently, and I visited several countries and became somewhat familiar with the political tussle that is happening in Africa itself.(…) African countries are very, very wary of the nature of the fight that is underway in Africa. South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, and other countries do not want to see this happening. They want a more balanced bipolar world.”

When asked about the possibility of a new Cold War situation in Europe, with a revival of the Non-Aligned Movement, Baroud said:

“I think it’s very possible. Of course, we understand that there are so many moving pieces here, but if indeed, even if a stalemate is achieved, in other words, if NATO does not get its way in Ukraine and in Eastern Europe, and some kind of a compromise is made, will definitely embolden other countries to start negotiating (for themselves) a new political contract.”

Regarding the double standards currently displayed by Western politicians and media, Baroud said: 

“I think we need to revisit the term double standards or hypocrisy. It just does not even begin to tell half of the story regarding what’s happening in Palestine. What the West, what the Americans are condemning right now regarding Russia’s military action is exactly what Israel has been doing as a matter of course, in Palestine every single day. What’s happening in Yemen. These millions of poor people are starving, fighting cholera, fighting bombs falling on top of them.”

Baroud went on criticizing social media censorship of pro-Palestinian content, and describing the double-standards by international institutions, such as the International Criminal Court, FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. 

In highlighting the inherent racism in Western media coverage on Ukraine, Baroud said: 

“That’s really the mindset of the racist. I know that this is a term that people are very careful using, but if this is not outright racism, I don’t know what is. The thing about a racist mentality is that you never see your own fault, and you always project that on someone else.”

(The Palestine Chronicle, PDD)

War in Ukraine: “The whole world is with us” – and, with whom is “us”, with Kiev or with Moscow?

March 03, 2022

by Yuri Podolyaka for this YT channel

Source

translated by N.

Hello, my dear listeners.

Today is March 2 and today’s first material will not be a review of the war front situation, because in the last few hours I just have not had a chance to get a whole lot of information. There is some information, but I will cover it in the next review.

Today, and also in the future, in the morning reviews, I want to look at what is happening around the conflict in Ukraine.

And, one of the most important issues is – which countries of the world have supported Russia on this issue and which have not, because this question is actually critical for Ukraine. And not only for Ukraine, for it is unquestionably very important for Russia too, because the prevailing opinion in Ukraine is that “the whole world is with us”.

So, let’s take a look – who is this “whole world” and to what extent is it with them?

Well, it is obvious that the USA, Canada and most of the European countries are really with them, at least so they say, but then there are other countries, like Hungary, for example, which express ambivalence. On one hand, they support sanctions, but then on the other hand, regarding military assistance to Ukraine, Hungary said a firm “No”. Furthermore, it will not even allow any transportation of any goods across its territory and borders.

Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina have taken a special position as well, certainly, because the position of the Serbs is very clear and resolute – they are totally behind Russia.

Then, there is the USA and Europe – with them it is all quite clear, as with Japan, Australia and all the closest political partners of the USA. After that – silence.

All other significant countries, in one form or another, have expressed support for Russia. Firstly, it is very visible in Latin America, where Brazil, Argentina, and yesterday Mexico – everyone, the main countries, all stated in unison that they will not support sanctions against Russia. Understandably, besides Columbia and several other countries, the more economically developed countries of that region, however, have stated that they will not support sanctions against Russia.

South Africa, the only country of the African continent that has some political weight, also took the same position. And, almost forgot – also Egypt. It is also against the sanctions. Well, it’s understandable why – because if Egypt says “yes” to the sanctions, it would stand to lose all the Russian tourists. Also, Turkey said it was against the sanctions against Russia. And, so it follows, all the countries that orient themselves around Turkey, also are against the sanctions. Even Israel’s position in this question looks very, very ambivalent.

Israel really, really does not want to quarrel with Russia. And it’s clear that Israel will continue to maneuver till the very last moment. For the leadership of Israel, the final knife in the back was the killing of an Israeli citizen by the nationalist Ukrainian soldiers, during the attempt to evacuate him, when he was mistaken for a Kadyrov Chechen mercenary associated with the pro-Russian separatists.

Also, none of the Middle Eastern countries, at least none of the significant ones, have expressed support for the sanctions against Russia. The United Arab Emirates were against, Saudi Arabia was against – moreover, it stated that it would strictly adhere to the policies of OPEC-Plus. The Americans had implored them to increase production.

It is also clear that Iran is behind Russia. So, the axis that Russia has developed in the Middle East is working and, in fact, working strictly like clockwork.

India also did not support the sanctions, although yesterday there was communication that the Bank of India was looking into the matter of halting some transactions with Russian banks but so far the matter is unresolved.

At the national level, India is saying that it is against the sanctions.

Understandably, China’s position is clear and unequivocal – China is Russia’s ally.

But, an even more interesting situation has emerged in the post-Soviet space. It is obvious and predictable that the Baltic states are supportive of the sanctions, but with the others it is not nearly as obvious. It could have been expected with the participant countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, that are part of the CSTO. Naturally, all of them have supported Russia. However, two countries which Ukraine depended on heavily, Moldova and Georgia, did not support the sanctions. Even Georgia, did not support Ukraine in the sanctions against Russia. Also, Moldova – I remind you that today Moldova has a pro-Europe government. So, it appears that in the post-Soviet space, none of the countries, except the three little Baltic limitrophe states, supported the sanctions against Russia. Even the ones that Ukraine really counted on – Moldova and Georgia.

This raises a very legitimate question – so, “who is the whole world with”?

Is the “whole world” – the USA plus the better part of Europe, the sum total population of which comprises less than 20% of the world’s population, and represents less than about 50% of the world GDP? Again, this figure includes and is based on fake, digital GDP numbers, which exist only on paper.

Therefore, we can see that on a diplomatic level, Russia prepared for this war very well.

Russia’s alliances and her allies work. It also means that all the countries of the world understand perfectly well what the battle that has unfurled in Ukraine is all about.

It is not a battle between Ukraine and Russia. Of course, not.

It is a battle of the USA against Russia and China – the destruction of that world where the Anglo-Saxon dominated countries are the leaders. It is perfectly understandable, why most of the countries that are not part of this European and North American bloc, wish to see the victory of China and Russia.

So, unfortunately I have to disappoint President Zelensky and the Ukrainian nationalists, who believe “the whole world is with us”. No, far from it.

In fact, the greater part of the world is not with you. Even Moldova and Georgia are not with you. That is what I wanted to say in this release. So, that is all for now on this subject matter. Please wait for the review on all fronts. I think it will come out somewhere around noon to 1:00pm.

See you soon.

The Next Step in Palestine’s Anti-Apartheid Struggle is the Most Difficult

February 23, 2022

Israel’s Apartheid Wall. (Photo: Dickelbers, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Ramzy Baroud

When Nelson Mandela was freed from his Robben Island prison on February 11, 1991, my family, friends and neighbors followed the event with keen interest as they gathered in the living room of my old home in the Nuseirat Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip. 

This emotional event took place years before Mandela uttered his famous quote “our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians”.  For us Palestinians, Mandela did not need to reaffirm the South African people’s solidarity with Palestine by using these words or any other combination of words. We already knew. Emotions ran high on that day; tears were shed; supplications were made to Allah that Palestine, too, would be free soon. “Inshallah,” God willing, everyone in the room murmured with unprecedented optimism. 

Though three decades have passed without that coveted freedom, something is finally changing as far as the Palestine liberation movement is concerned. A whole generation of Palestinian activists, who either grew up or were even born after Mandela’s release, was influenced by that significant moment: Mandela’s release and the start of the official dismantling of the racist, apartheid regime of South Africa. 

Even the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993 between Israel and some in the Palestinian leadership of the PLO – which served as a major disruption of the grassroots, people-oriented liberation movement in Palestine – did not completely end what eventually became a decided anti-Israeli apartheid struggle in Palestine. Oslo, the so-called ‘peace process’ – and the disastrous ‘security coordination’ between the Palestinian leadership, exemplified in the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Israel – resulted in derailed Palestinian energies, wasted time, deepened existing factional divides, and confused Palestinian supporters everywhere. However, it did not – though it tried – occupy every political space available for Palestinian expression and mobilization. 

With time and, in fact, soon after its formation in 1994, Palestinians began realizing that the PA was not a platform for liberation, but a hindrance to it. A new generation of Palestinians is now attempting to articulate, or refashion, a new discourse for liberation that is based on inclusiveness, grassroots, community-based activism that is backed by a growing global solidarity movement. 

The May events of last year – the mass protests throughout occupied Palestine and the subsequent Israeli war on Gaza – highlighted the role of Palestine’s youth who, through elaborate coordination, incessant campaigning and utilizing of social media platforms, managed to present the Palestinian struggle in a new light – bereft of the archaic language of the PA and its aging leaders. It also surpassed, in its collective thinking, the stifling and self-defeating emphasis on factions and self-serving ideologies. 

And the world responded in kind. Despite a powerful Israeli propaganda machine, expensive hasbara campaigns and near-total support for Israel by the western government and mainstream media alike, sympathy for Palestinians has reached an all-time high. For example, a major public opinion poll published by Gallup on May 28, 2021, revealed that “… the percentages of Americans viewing (Palestine) favorably and saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians than the Israelis in the conflict inched up to all-time highs this year.”

Moreover, major international human rights organizations, including Israelis, began to finally recognize what their Palestinian colleagues have argued for decades: 

“The Israeli regime implements laws, practices and state violence designed to cement the supremacy of one group – Jews – over another – Palestinians,” said B’tselem in January 2021.

“Laws, policies and statements by leading Israeli officials make plain that the objective of maintaining Jewish Israeli control over demographics, political power and land has long guided government policy,” said Human Rights Watch in April 2021.

“This system of apartheid has been built and maintained over decades by successive Israeli governments across all territories they have controlled, regardless of the political party in power at the time,” said Amnesty International on February 1, 2022.

Now that the human rights and legal foundation of recognizing Israeli apartheid is finally falling into place, it is a matter of time before a critical mass of popular support for Palestine’s own anti-apartheid movement follows, pushing politicians everywhere, but especially in the West, to pressure Israel into ending its system of racial discrimination. 

However, this is where the South Africa and Palestine models begin to differ. Though western colonialism has plagued South Africa as early as the 17th century, apartheid in that country only became official in 1948, the very year that Israel was established on the ruins of historic Palestine. 

While South African resistance to colonialism and apartheid has gone through numerous and overwhelming challenges, there was an element of unity that made it nearly impossible for the apartheid regime to conquer all political forces in that country, even after the banning, in 1960, of the African National Congress (ANC) and the subsequent imprisonment of Mandela in 1962. While South Africans continued to rally behind the ANC, another front of popular resistance, the United Democratic Front, emerged, in the early 1980s to fulfill several important roles, amongst them the building of international solidarity around the country’s anti-apartheid struggle. 

The blood of 176 protesters at the Soweto township and thousands more was the fuel that made freedom, the dismantling of apartheid and the freedom of Mandela and his comrades possible. 

For Palestinians, however, the reality is quite different. While Palestinians are embarking on a new stage of their anti-apartheid struggle, it must be said that the PA, which has openly collaborated with Israel, cannot possibly be a vehicle for liberation. Palestinians, especially the youth, who have not been corrupted by the decades-long system of nepotism and favoritism enshrined by the PA, must know this well. 

Rationally, Palestinians cannot stage a sustained anti-apartheid campaign when the PA is allowed to serve the role of being Palestine’s representative, while still benefiting from the perks and financial rewards associated with the Israeli occupation. 

Meanwhile, it is also not possible for Palestinians to mount a popular movement in complete independence from the PA, Palestine’s largest employer, whose US-trained security forces keep watch on every street corner that falls within the PA-administered areas in the West Bank. 

As they move forward, Palestinians must truly study the South African experience, not merely in terms of historical parallels and symbolism, but to deeply probe its successes, shortcomings and fault lines. Most importantly, Palestinians must also reflect on the unavoidable truth – that those who have normalized and profited from the Israeli occupation and apartheid cannot possibly be the ones who will bring freedom and justice to Palestine.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is “Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak out”. Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

South Africa’s ‘Direct Action’ Threat against Israel Raises Expectations

February 20, 2022

South African Minister of International Relations Mrs. Naledi Pandor (Photo: TWAS, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Iqbal Jassat

South Africa’s ANC-Led government has renewed its pledge of solidarity with Palestine by adding the new phrase “direct action”.

The fresh commitment by Minister of International Relations Mrs. Naledi Pandor has been welcomed by the country’s solidarity movements backing Palestine’s freedom struggle.

Though Pandor did not elaborate on the type of “direct action” being envisaged, she pitched her forthright comments by referring to recent human rights reports on Israel which she described as “well-documented apartheid practices of Israel”.

Pandor made her remarks in Parliament during the State of the Nation (SONA) debate.

Her unequivocal condemnation of apartheid Israel following a controversy generated by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent acceptance of “credence” by Israel’s new envoy to Pretoria, may be construed as an attempt to clear the air.

It also follows a stinging rebuke by the African Union chair Moussa Faki Mahamat who is seeking to justify his unilateral acceptance of Israel’s observer status, criticized countries for opposing it yet retained diplomatic relations with Israel.

Though Mahamat didn’t name any country, it was clear that he referred specifically to South Africa. Pandor has not only been vocal in expressing South Africa’s opposition to it, she has been leading efforts to revoke Israel’s observer status.

Her arguments supported by Algeria and a number of AU member states, revolve around the AU charter which rejects colonialism, racism and illegal occupation. By specifically singling-out Mahamat as the person responsible for granting Israel observer status, the stage was set for acrimony between the two.

“We have vehemently, as South African, opposed the granting of [African Union] observer status to Israel by the chair of the African Union Commission. Our objection stems from our own constitution and its values and the African Union charter that rejects colonialism, racism, and illegal occupation of the land of others,” she stated.

Despite her moves to revoke Mahamat’s decision, the AU suspended a debate on it and instead formed a committee to study the issue. Effectively by kicking the can down the road, the tension and division within the AU will continue to simmer.

Though South Africa since the end of apartheid and the dawn of democracy has been seen as a heavyweight in continental affairs, Mahamat saw fit to point out the paradox of diplomatic ties on the one hand and opposition to observer status, thus making a case of double standards.

Does it follow then that Pandor’s parliament address which talked of “direct action” was also to overcome accusations of duel standards? This can be gleaned from her remarks that diplomatic relations with Israel cannot be used by anyone as a reason for bringing Israel into the African Union.

“Our governing party resolutions directed us to downgrade our embassy in Israel. We withdrew our ambassador [from Israel] as part of this process of downgrading, and we are considering further measures to indicate our significant dismay at the continued apartheid practices of Israel against the long-suffering people of Palestine.”

So while the spat with the AU remains unresolved, what is clear is that guns have been drawn. The shoot-out is on hold until the committee appointed to probe Mahamat’s decision meets sometime in the future.

In the meantime, while Pandor’s threat of “direct action” is the subject of speculation, it is expected that just as South Africa awaits it being translated into substantial departure from current diplomatic relations, so too will Palestinians.

After all, the recent compelling findings by Amnesty International on Israel Apartheid, make it equally obligatory for countries to abide by international conventions on the crime of apartheid. Direct action?

– Iqbal Jassat is an Executive Member of the South Africa-based Media Review Network. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit: www.mediareviewnet.com

Deceased Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu Faces Zionist Reputational Firing Squad

January 13th, 2022

By Miko Peled

Source

January 13th, 2022


Zionist organizations in the United States and around the world will continue to feel entitled to call anyone they wish a racist, a bigot, and an antisemite. Their successes empower them and, since there is no one who stands up to them, there is no reason for them to stop.

JOHANNESBURG – Vilakazi Street in Soweto is perhaps the most famous street in all of Johannesburg, maybe even in all of South Africa. The street is named after Dr. B.W. Vilakazi, who was a South African poet, novelist, and intellectual. He was the first Black South African to teach at the University of the Witwatersrand; though, because they did not allow Black lecturers at the time, he was employed as a language assistant. But that is not why Vilakazi Street is famous.

At the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane is the home of Nelson Mandela, known today as the Mandela House. It serves as a sort of museum and memorial to Nelson Mandela. When I was there in 2014, I was given a tour by the very lady who worked for the Mandelas as a housekeeper. Also on Vilakazi Street is the home of the recently deceased Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is said to be the only street in the world where two Nobel Prize laureates resided, and these were no ordinary laureates even by Nobel Prize standards.

Zionists denounce Archbishop Desmond Tutu

According to the January 11 issue of Newsweek magazine, while speaking on Fox News, former Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said, “The man was a rampant antisemite and bigot,” referring to Desmond Tutu.

The Guardian, writing about the passing of the archbishop, also mentioned Dershowitz’s absurd accusation. The piece says correctly that “[a] figure of Tutu’s stature drawing parallels between a system constructed on racism and the reality of Israel’s domination of the Palestinians, and calling for boycotts to end it, alarmed the government in Israel.”

The piece goes on to report that “[a]ll of this earned Tutu a particular ire from some of Israel’s defenders. The Anti-Defamation League accused him of antisemitism over his boycott call.” The report continues to say:

Citing at least half a dozen instances in which the anti-apartheid activist spoke out against Israel, ZOA president Morton Klein criticized Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law for hosting Tutu … and the University of Pennsylvania for inviting Tutu to be its commencement speaker.

Also chiming in was Yishai Fleisher, spokesman for the militant religious-Zionist settlers in Hebron. He posted on Twitter:

Tutu was a serious enemy of Israel because he used his clout as an anti-apartheid warrior to stick that ignominious epithet onto Israel. But underneath the nice guy facade he was [sic] religious antisemite, a supporter of the genocidal Hamas terror, and a serial liar.?

I am quite speechless that anyone could characterize Tutu as a racist. However, the claim that Tutu was an antisemite is not new. In 2003 the Forward reported: “The Zionist Organization of America has denounced two universities for inviting Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu to speak on their campuses.”

According to a piece in the Jewish Telegraph Agency, or JTA, from October of 2007, “Bishop Desmond Tutu had been slated to visit the University of St. Thomas next spring as part of a program that brings Nobel laureates to teach youth about peace and justice.” However, in a strange chain of events, university administrators concluded that “Tutu has made hurtful comments about Israel and the Jewish people that rendered him inappropriate as a speaker.” These administrators reached this puzzling conclusion “after consulting with Minnesota Jewish leaders.” One of these “leaders” was Julie Swiler, the public affairs director for the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, (JCRC), a Zionist not-for-profit that is charged with monitoring activities that show Israel in a negative light and acting to stop them.

Swiler told JTA that the university approached her organization for an opinion about Tutu, which led her to discover a speech Tutu delivered in Boston in 2002. “He compared the power of the “Jewish lobby” to Hitler, and Israeli policies to those of the South African apartheid regime.

What the archbishop actually said was:

People are scared in this country to say wrong is wrong because the Jewish lobby is powerful – very powerful.”

He went on to say:

We live in a moral universe. The apartheid government was very powerful, but today it no longer exists. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Pinochet, Milosovic and Idi Amin were all powerful, but in the end, they bit the dust.”

According to Swiler, “those comments go beyond legitimate criticism of Israel.”

South Africa Obit Tutu
Pro-Palestine activitists form an honor guard as they await for the arrival of the body of Desmond Tutu, Dec. 31, 2021. Nardus Engelbrecht | AP

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), said that “Desmond Tutu is an antisemite who hates Jews and is obsessed with demeaning and smearing the Jewish state.” Klein claimed that Tutu delivered a speech in 2002 at a conference that was sponsored by the Palestinian organization Sabeel, which Klein says is “a Christian Palestinian group that some have described as antisemitic.”

Sabeel is a peace-loving Christian Palestinian organization. The organization’s website states:

Sabeel is an ecumenical grassroots liberation theology movement among Palestinian Christians. Inspired by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, this liberation theology seeks to deepen the faith of Palestinian Christians, to promote unity among them and lead them to act for justice and peace.

Weaponizing antisemitism

It is well known that the extent to which Zionists around the world use antisemitism as a tool to silence those who reject their racism, hate and violence know no boundaries. When public figures dare to stand for justice – even if, like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they do not reject Zionism completely – they are immediately labeled as antisemitic. After the success of the Zionist campaign to bring down the U.K. Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and demonize many of his supporters — many of whom were Jewish themselves – there is no reason to expect that these hate-filled lies about people who fight for justice will stop.

Like a bully with a loaded weapon, Zionist organizations in the United States and around the world will continue to feel entitled to call anyone they wish a racist, a bigot, and an antisemite. Their successes empower them and, since there is no one who stands up to them, there is no reason for them to stop.

South Africa

A few years ago I had the privilege of visiting South Africa to participate in the Israeli Apartheid Week, and it was during that visit that I walked down the famous Vilakazi Street. While there, I was also invited to take part in a discussion that was broadcast live on SABC television. The discussion was between myself and an Israeli who was sent to represent Israel and the view that Israel is anything but an apartheid state.

At the 3:56 mark of the program, I was asked by the moderator to explain why Israel is an apartheid state, which of course, is quite easy to do. At 8:30 in, the moderator asked the other guest to explain how what I described is not apartheid. This was followed by about 30 seconds of silence, confusion, and incoherent mumbling. When he was finally able to speak, it was clear that he was not able to answer the question.

People in South Africa cannot be fooled by Israeli propaganda; they know apartheid and they can see it even from the six thousand miles that separate Cape Town from Jerusalem. Furthermore, the two Nobel Peace laureates who lived on Vilakazi Street in Soweto and fought the apartheid regime in South Africa knew all too well that Israel is an apartheid regime.

Photo-Shopped History: Editing Out Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Support for Palestine

January 04th, 2022

By Clinton Nzala

Source

Rewriting history – essentially negating the historical relations between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the ongoing struggle to free Palestine – serves the interests of mainstream Western media and their acolytes.

On January 1, 2022 – as South Africa buried one of its most illustrious sons and anti-apartheid icons, Archbishop Desmond Tutu – the hypocrisy of the corporate media was on full display. Reuters described him as “Africa’s ‘moral compass’.” Al Jazeera referred to him as “South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon.” CNN published articles referring to him as the “voice of justice.” and South Africa’s national conscience.” South Africa’s largest media outlet, SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) took the cake with an article titled: “Dalai Lama’s representative at Tutu’s funeral urges the world to think about China-Dalai Lama issue.”

While corporate media outlets literally trampled each other while competing to give the most glowing tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, they all shamelessly omitted his public and unwavering support to the people of Palestine and their daily struggle against the grip of Israeli occupation. Anyone with basic knowledge about the history of the Bishop would have expected his solidarity with Palestine to feature in any report on his life. There is simply no journalist or historian, worth their salt, who can talk about the Bishop and fail to mention his energetic and almost lifelong support of the Palestinian cause.

Desmond Tutu’s views and opinions on the Palestinian question are well documented; journalists do not need to dig too deep to find them. In an editorial published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz in 2014, he pointed out the many parallels between the Israeli occupation and the apartheid government of South Africa, writing:

I have been to the Occupied Palestinian territory, and I have witnessed the racially segregated roads and housing that reminded me so much of the conditions we experienced in South Africa under the racist system of Apartheid.”

A year earlier, the Bishop placed emphasis upon this comparison in an interview with The Washington Post, reminding readers that “What’s being done to the Palestinians at checkpoints, for us, it’s the kind of thing we experienced in South Africa.”

Desmond Tutu
Jewish activists holds a picture of Tutu during a flashmob in support of boycotting Israel in Tel Aviv, November 15, 2010. Photo | Activestills

Desmond Tutu was also a staunch supporter of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement, for doing business with Israeli occupiers, he believed, dangerously perpetuated the status quo. In the Haaretz article, he pointed out:

Those who continue to do business with Israel, who contribute to a sense of “normalcy” in Israeli society, are doing the people of Israel and Palestine a disservice. They are contributing to the perpetuation of a profoundly unjust status quo.”

At first glance, one would get the impression that the failure by mainstream media to mention this important fact about Bishop Tutu was possibly the result of excessive drinking during the festive period. While intoxicating beverages may have played a role in this slight of facts, such an omission is by design, courtesy of the South African and international media. Rewriting history – essentially negating the historical relations between the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the ongoing struggle to free Palestine – serves the interests of mainstream Western media and their acolytes.

Conveniently selective editing

The African National Congress (ANC) and its leaders have a profound and long-standing relationship with the people of Palestine. It has been cemented by the shared experience of being subjected to brutal and murderous regimes in their respective countries. Made uncomfortable by this solidarity, the Israel lobby has spared no efforts to diminish, discredit or erase this relationship from public view. To achieve their objective, they now target mainstream consumers of corporate media, the so-called drivers of public opinion. Far too many editors have fallen for these schemes, rendering themselves butchers of the truth and facts.

Distorting history – African history, in particular – does not start with Bishop Tutu. From the continent and beyond, we also witness how Nelson Mandela’s legacy is scrambled and nullified. How many corporate media editors would fight for front-row seats at the unveiling of a statue in Madiba’s honor but not whisper a single word regarding his criticism of Israel’s apartheid policies and love and admiration for the Cuban Revolution?

While The New York Times said Mandela’s voice helped slay apartheid, and the BBC noted the “Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end the racist regime in South Africa,” they all skipped the question of Palestine. How convenient.

Unwilling to offer a complete and coherent version of history and global icons such as Bishop Tutu, the mainstream instead provides viewers a photo-shopped edition. No amount of doctoring, however, can erase the brave and morally upright stance that the Bishop took on the Palestinian question. The best way we can honor his memory and legacy is to follow in his principled support of the sons and daughters of Palestine who aspire for freedom.

To Bishop Tutu, I say, “Hamba Kahle Mkhonto!” (You lit the torch of resistance and we shall follow in your footsteps!)

Desmond Tutu commemorated at Cape Town tribute

December 30 2021

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

Days after his passing, Cape Town, South Africa celebrated the life of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu.

From Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s commemoration ceremony in Cape Town

Cape town held Wednesday a musical in commemoration of anti-apartheid icon Desmond Tutu, who passed away just a few days ago.

The service was held at City Hall as a tribute to Tutu, and it was attended by his family members and politicians. Many attendees wore purple in honor of the Nobel peace laureate’s renowned purple robes. He had been nominated for the prize in 1981, 1982, 1983 and finally won it in 1984.

The funeral was one of many events held to commemorate the South African icon known for his activism that knew no bounds, which he did not stop despite his old age.

He was one of the main figures to lead to the end of South Africa’s apartheid rule, under which black South Africans suffered at the hands of the white minority of the country.

Ahead of his funeral on Saturday, South Africans commemorated him all over their country, celebrating the life of the hard-working liberation fighter, who was also renowned for his criticism of human rights abuses across the world.

The late was a confidant and friend of South African leader Nelson Mandela.

He saw that the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation was similar to the liberation struggle against the South African apartheid government, comparing the two oppressive regimes, and taking a solid stance in favor of Palestine, which he eternalized in many of his addresses and articles throughout his life.

Tutu went as far as to urge the Episcopal Church not to invest in companies that support the Israeli occupation, and asked for a global boycott of “Israel”.

Despite limited numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the commemorations appropriately celebrated the icon, with many South African artists attending and performing in a tribute to the late Archbishop.

The Mother of All Talkshows with George Galloway – Episode 132

December 29 2021

South Africa’s Anti-Apartheid Icon Desmond Tutu Dies Aged 90 (VIDEOS)

December 26, 2021

South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, died on Sunday at the age of 90, the South African presidency said.

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal.”

In 1984, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.

Tutu was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people’s struggle against Israeli apartheid. After one of his visits to Palestine, he famously wrote an article in the Guardian under the title Apartheid in the Holy Land.

In it, he said,

“I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy land: it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.”

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years he was hospitalized on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.

The outspoken Tutu was considered the nation’s conscience, an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.

(MEMO, PC, Social media)

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An Open Letter from Palestine to Miss South Africa

November 14, 2021

Lalela Mswane, Miss South Africa 2021. (Photo: video grab)

By Haidar Eid

Dear Ms. Lalela Mswane,

We don’t know each other. I only know that you are Miss South Africa and just heard of your name two days ago when the media reported that you will represent South Africa at the Miss Universe pageant on the ruins of the ethnically cleansed village of Um Al-Rashrash in apartheid Israel. I assume you don’t know enough about the suffering of the Palestinian people as a result of Israel’s occupation colonization and apartheid in Palestine. I myself spent six years in South Africa where I got my Ph.D. degree and even citizenship.

Even before the end of the apartheid system in 1994, we, Palestinians, wholeheartedly supported the struggle in South Africa and played a role in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that formed one of the major pillars of the struggle to bring apartheid down. Nelson Mandela made it absolutely clear on more than one occasion that without the support of the Palestine liberation organization, among other national liberation movements, the end of the racist regime would have been delayed.

I live in the Gaza concentration camp which has been under a medieval siege imposed by apartheid Israel since 2007. But even before that, Israel had occupied it since 1967. As a result of Israel’s racist policies, our children suffer from malnutrition; the 2 million people living in the strip do not have access to electricity, clean water, medicine, and hundreds of other items that Israel does not allow. Over the last decade, the country you are visiting has launched four massive wars on Gaza killing more than 4000 civilians, including hundreds of women and children, and destroying hundreds of buildings, factories, roads, and schools.

A UN fact-finding mission, headed by none other than your own Richard Goldstone, has labeled these massacres “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.” And anti-apartheid activists, including the likes of Desmond Tutu and Ronnie Kasrils, have told us that what we are going through in Palestine is “far far worse than apartheid.” Moreover, two mainstream human rights organizations, Human Rights Watch and Israel’s most respected human rights organization, Btselem, issued two damning reports last year calling Israel an apartheid state that discriminates not only against the residents of Gaza and the West Bank but also against its own third-class Palestinian citizens.

Ms. Mswane, allow me to ask you this question. How would you have felt if a Palestinian woman decided to join a similar contest in South Africa in the 70s and ’80s of the last century? How would you have responded if a similar contest was held in Sofia town, for example? And how would the South African people have reacted to the participation of Palestinians in concerts and sports games in apartheid South Africa?

You must have heard of the tens of beautiful women incarcerated in Israeli dungeons without charge or trial, simply for the mere reason of speaking out against occupation and apartheid. Our women, like South African women before them, are at the receiving end of a multi-tiered system of oppression and expect solidarity from their Black sisters.

I am an associate professor of literature;  I teach hundreds of female students who come from refugee camps and whose parents and grandparents are also refugees. My students have one message when I told them that a South African woman is coming to apartheid Israel; they asked me to write this message and appeal to you to refrain from violating our BDS guidelines and stand on the right side of history. I am certain you will not disappoint them.

Nelson Mandela’s much-quoted sentiment that “(South African) freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians” is decorating the walls of refugee camps in the Gaza Strip where millions of refugees are waiting for the day of their return to the towns and villages which were ethnically cleansed in 1948 by racist gangs ruling the country you are visiting. We are only asking you to make the right decision that thousands of artists, writers and cultural figures–including Miss Malaysia and Miss Indonesia– have made – to stand against apartheid Israel.

Sincerely Yours,

Haidar Eid

Besieged Gaza, Occupied Palestine

Algeria Battling “Israel” in Africa

10 Nov 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen Net

Hussam AbdelKareem

Due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

Argelia lucha contra "Israel" en África | Al Mayadeen Español

On October 16th, 2021, the Executive Council of the African Union announced the postponement of its decision on approving or rejecting the “observer status” of “Israel” in the Union to the next African summit scheduled for February 2022. This decision is in fact the culmination of a great effort made by Algeria politically and diplomatically over the course of three months among the African countries to oppose and confront the sudden decision taken by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, to accept the application of “Israel” to join the African Union as an observer member, and the subsequent presentation by the Israeli ambassador to Ethiopia (the headquarters country) of his credentials to the Union on the 22nd of June 2021.

From the first day of the decision of Moussa Faki, a French-educated former Chadian prime minister, Algeria went into something like a state of emergency, and a decision was taken at the highest levels to launch a comprehensive diplomatic campaign and to use all of Algeria’s weight and political capabilities to confront Faki’s personal decision. The Algerian Foreign Ministry announced its total rejection of “Israel’s” admission to the ranks of the African Union and said that the Chairperson of the Commission had not consulted the member states in this regard.

Algeria began to move and succeeded in persuading six Arab African countries (not including Morocco and Sudan, who are involved in a process of normalization), namely Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritania, Djibouti, Libya, and the Comoros Islands to announce their opposition to Faki’s decision in a statement on August 3rd. Moussa Faki quickly felt that he is being targeted by the pressures of Algerian diplomacy, represented by Minister Ramtan Lamamra, so he issued an official statement on August 6th in which he responded to Algeria and affirmed that his decision to accept “Israel” as an observer member is indeed within his authorities.

The Algerian campaign against “Israel” in Africa did not stop (South Africa, who had reservations about Moussa Faki’s decision from the first day, cooperated with it), and succeeded in persuading Sudan to join the countries opposing Faki’s decision in a statement issued by the Sudanese Foreign Ministry on October 15th. And in the next day, Algeria succeeded in leading a group of 24 African countries who also announced their objection to Faki, which prompted the Executive Council to finally decide to postpone the decision on accepting the membership of “Israel” until the next summit. This is an important diplomatic victory for Algeria because it actually means, almost certainly, the failure of the project of “Israel”‘s accession, as approving it in the African summit; due to the strong Algerian opposition, “Israel”‘s accession is almost impossible.

This Algerian activity and efficiency are due, in part, to its desire to compensate for the years of relative inaction that characterized the Algerian diplomacy during the rule of the ailing former president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, which allowed “Israel” to penetrate into African circles that it did not reach before. Benjamin Netanyahu intensified contacts with West African and sub-Saharan countries in 2016 and hosted an agricultural conference in “Israel” in which 15 countries participated. He also made several visits to the region and was feeling so triumphant to the extent that he publically said, during his visit to Liberia “Israel is returning strongly to Africa!”. “Israel” succeeded in establishing diplomatic relations with a record number of African countries (46 countries out of 55 members of the African Union).

Historically speaking, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser took charge, in the fifties and sixties of the last century, of combating the Israeli penetration into the African continent. And he took advantage of Egypt’s weight at the time and its relations with the national liberation movements in the continent to besiege the Israeli presence and keep it within minimum limits (most notably with the apartheid racist regime in South Africa). In the aftermath of the October 1973 war, “Israel” was having diplomatic relations with only four African countries. But Sadat’s coup in Egypt and the Camp David Accords opened the African doors to “Israel” once again. The banner of combating Israeli expansion in Africa then passed to Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, who paid great attention to the countries of the continent and built a network of close relations with them and provided them with financial support and contributed to a large extent in keeping most African countries, especially its western and sub-Saharan countries, out of Israeli influence until he was killed in 2011.

The growing Moroccan-Israeli relations are one of the reasons for this Algerian activity at the African level. Algeria no longer considers “Israel” as a Pan-Arab danger, but has become a direct threat to it on its borders. When “Israel” and Morocco crowned decades of their unofficial relations by announcing the establishment of full diplomatic relations in December 2020, Algerian President Abdelmajid Tabboun said, “We notice a kind of rush towards normalization. We will not participate in it or bless it. The Palestinian Cause is sacred to us here in Algeria, and it is the mother of all causes”. His Prime Minister Abdelaziz Jerad followed with a strong statement in which he said that “Algeria is being targeted” and that there is a foreign will for Zionism to reach Algeria’s borders.

That is, Algeria’s leadership has come to consider “Israel’s” relations and activities in neighboring Morocco as a direct security and strategic threat, which has caused great tension in the Algerian view of the Moroccan ruling regime. The Algerian newspaper “Al-Shorouk” published an article titled “For these reasons, the Zionist entity targets Algeria.” And what made matters worse was the intelligence information that “Israel” had helped Morocco establish a military base near the Algerian border. Things crossed its red lines when Algeria felt that “Israel”, through Morocco, was trying to interfere with the internal Algerian affairs. And recently, Algerian television announced that the separatist “MAK” movement has ties to “Israel” and Morocco and that those involved in it were in contact with Israeli parties under the cover of “civil society organizations.” In the end, Algeria decided to cut diplomatic relations with Morocco last August.

“Israel”, in turn, responded to Algeria, accusing it of being part of an axis that includes Iran. Its foreign minister, Meir Lapid, from Casablanca, expressed concerns “about Algeria’s role in the region, its rapprochement with Iran, and the campaign it led against Israel’s admission as an observer member of the African Union”.

Today we are witnessing a great Algerian rise to combat and thwart the Zionist expansion in Africa. This is not surprising for a country with a glorious history of revolution and resistance to colonialism, who, since the days of its great revolution sixty years ago, has been associated with Palestine, its revolution, and its cause, and considered it the twin of its soul and struggle, and is still in the same position.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

“Israel” – Beyond Apartheid

September 30, 2021

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Source: Al Mayadeen

Fra Hughes

Many observers and organizations make parallels between the apartheid segregated Society of South Africa, the Jim Crow racial segregation laws of North America, and “Israel”.

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Apartheid (/əˈpɑːrt(h)aɪt/, especially South African English: /əˈpɑːrt(h)eɪt/, Afrikaans: [aˈpartɦɛit]; transl. “separateness”, lit. “aparthood”) was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa and South-West Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s.

20 years on from the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance, in conjunction with the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, held in Durban South Africa, where are we now?

The use of the law, in this case, an unjust and immoral law in South Africa by the minority white Dutch Afrikaans and the minority white British colonial invaders, was designed to keep white Europeans, in the ascendancy in South Africa.

Thirteen percent of the population who were white-ruled sixty-eight percent of the population who were black with an Asian community representing the remaining nineteen percent.

First, they ruled through a brutal military occupation, using the gun.

Then they ruled through a brutal racist government using repression and separation laws.

It was the use of apartheid laws that legalized and enforced a system of ‘separateness’. A system of dual apartness which left the races unable to socialize, congregate or work together as brothers and sisters, equal and indivisible under the constitution.

In South Africa, they legalized colonial white supremism through parliamentary statute, police enforcement, and judicial sentencing.

The first apartheid law passed in 1949 was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. This was followed by the Immorality Act of 1950 which made it illegal for many South Africans to marry or have sexual relations across racial lines.

The Pass laws were designed to force black people to live in designated areas, corralled as it were, like animals in a pen, thereby making them available as cheap labor for white farmers.

It was the coming to power of the African National Party in 1948 who created the apartheid laws and system of governing South African society, that reinforced the racial discrimination already self-evident in the country. A series of Land Acts gave more than 80% of the land to whites and banned Black crop sharers from working the land.

A series of discriminatory, racially biased laws, saw the permanent separation of the races, alongside a parallel system of separate transport systems, public lavatories, and housing districts.

In effect, the National Party which won the 1948 parliamentary elections on the slogan of Apartheid meaning ‘separateness’ created a privileged white minority class that used the indigenous black South Africans as a labor pool to work on the farms, clean their homes, as a subjugated underclass, kept in perpetual poverty, in appalling substandard housing units in shantytowns with poor education, poor health, and poor social provision.

Like all colonialists, they strove to keep the people apart by fomenting sectarian tensions between the regional ethnic groups in order to prevent a unified opposition to their racist endeavor. They encouraged black-on-black violence in the townships and in the countryside.

A land of milk and honey for the white supremacist colonial invaders beside a land of despair, oppression, and governmental indifference for the natives.

Apartheid lasted for 50 years in South Africa and only officially ended when the ANC, African National Conference which had historically opposed the apartheid system and fought a legitimate war against the unjust white only parliamentary system, finally came to power in 1993, when the majority of citizens were given the right to vote and they elected Nelson Mandela as the first Black President of the Republic of South Africa,

It can be claimed that not much has changed for the indigenous peoples of South Africa, While it is true they have a majority black representative government, the whites still own the land. White farmers still get rich while employing cheap black labor.

The captains of industry are still white although a new elite cadre of black politicians and civil servants may now live in gated (separate) communities, much of the pain of being poor, disenfranchised, and black has changed very little for so many.

A new black capitalist class also rides high above the black dispossessed workers and those who go to bed hungry.

Many observers and organizations make parallels between the apartheid segregated Society of South Africa, the Jim Crow racial segregation laws of North America, and “Israel”. The use of Israeli-only roads and Jewish-only settlements in the West Bank are prime examples of Israeli separation laws.

The discrimination against black African Americans is again reflective of the white European racism that underpins white American society. It is mirrored in the majority of the white legislator, judiciary, police, and army aficionados in power in American civil society and in the corporate, business, and banking sectors.

White Americans control the levers of power and influence, in the media as well as on Capitol Hill.

The continued destruction of black Afro American society through the widespread use of drugs, criminal gangs, poverty, underinvestment, governmental neglect, police brutality, judicial repression, are continued proof if it were needed, that a white European colonial mindset underpins discrimination and racial prejudice in societies where white Europeans want to maintain an internal hegemonic position of superiority which is then reflected in their foreign policies of exploitation and subjugation, in order to maintain white economic privilege in the countries of the EU, North America, Canada, and Australia.

All the countries I have mentioned above are guilty of genocide, racial intolerance, oppression, military adventurism, and ethnic cleansing.

Is “Israel” any different?

“Israel” is a white European colonial settler state.

It has followed all the steps taken by previous white European settler-colonial states such as South Africa, North America, Canada, and Australia,

It has colonized, subjugated, ethnically cleansed, and marginalized the indigenous populations of the country they have militarily conquered and supplanted.

“Israel” has its Nations state Law which many international observers see as a template for a Jewish only Israeli state that separates non-Jews and others from playing an active role in the state.

“Israel” now has usurped 85% of historic Palestine.

To me, apartheid is an abhorrent manifestation of a supremacist ideology that seeks to separate one from the other, to create disharmony, bitterness, hatred, and a divided dysfunctional broken society based on racial or religious purity.

“Israel” fulfills all these roles but it does so much more.

An apartheid state might use the law to discriminate. It may use the law to repress and isolate those it seeks to subdue but it doesn’t bomb kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and bakeries, does it?

It may have separate roads and separate housing areas but it doesn’t shoot countless children in the legs for throwing stones or bringing water to the kids resisting an illegal occupation, creating crippled boys, does it?

It does not shoot paramedics and leave the wounded to bleed out on the street to die, does it?

It does not murder physicists in another jurisdiction, indiscriminately bomb bridges and civil infrastructure in neighboring countries, does it?

It does not count the calorific intake of those it is legally responsible for, to break their will to resist, to withhold food, medicine, vaccines, fuel in order to impoverish and emasculate an entire population of 1.8 million people, does it?

It does not bomb neighboring countries that are not at war with it, deny building permits to the indigenous population while simultaneously dismantling their homes in a land you are illegally occupying, and forcing homes owners to destroy their properties. To detain citizens under Administrative detention, internment without trial. To murder, maim, imprison, torture, and kill at will with impunity, is this Apartheid? I think not. Yet these are the everyday actions of a rogue unaccountable state immune to international law and international sanctions, actively supported protected, and facilitated by the other white European ethnic colonies that Israel aspires to be.

“Israel” is Beyond Apartheid.

We must find a new way to describe “Israel” based on its everyday practices of Ethnic cleansing, murder, colonization, dispossession, and expansion.

We must call “Israel”, not an Apartheid State which it is, but an Ethno cleansing pariah genocidal rogue state, because that it was, it does? That is what it is. That is what we must call it.The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit + New Delhi Declaration

September 10, 2021

Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit + New Delhi Declaration

The theme of the summit is “BRICS@15: Intra-BRICS cooperation for continuity, consolidation and consensus.”

The summit was attended by President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of China Xi Jinping, and President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa.

The key agreements have been laid down in the New Delhi Declaration.

* * *

Speech by President of Russia Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Prime Minister Modi, President Xi Jinping, President Ramaphosa, President Bolsonaro,

Ladies and gentlemen,

First, I would like to join my colleagues who spoke before and thank Prime Minister Modi and all our Indian friends for the active work conducted by India as the BRICS chair this year.

Despite the special conditions related to the coronavirus pandemic, India as the chair has done everything it could to ensure the progressive development of strategic partnership of the BRICS countries without any setbacks.

I agree with my colleagues who expressed this opinion that the authority of our association is growing. Its role in international affairs is on the rise and it is substantial. This is a logical result of the BRICS ability to develop effective cooperation in the entire range of topical global and regional issues during 15 years of our joint activities.

Such close partnership of the BRICS countries is greatly in demand, considering that the global situation still remains very turbulent. The risks of the coronavirus pandemic are obvious to all of us, and my colleagues have just spoken about this. This threat has affected practically all aspects of our life, impeding the development of the global economy and exacerbating many social problems.

In addition to this, what is happening around the world remains very tense. Global security is subjected to serious trials and the system of strategic stability has noticeably deteriorated. Far from being settled, long-standing regional conflicts are flaring up with renewed force.

The withdrawal of the US and their allies from Afghanistan has led to a new crisis situation, and it remains unclear how it will affect regional and global security, so it is absolutely right that our countries pay special attention to this issue.

Understandably, just like its BRICS partners, Russia has consistently advocated the establishment of long-awaited peace and stability in Afghanistan, where the people have been fighting for many decades and have earned the right to independently determine what their state will be like.

At the same time, we are not interested in Afghanistan remaining a threat to neighbouring countries or having terrorism and illegal drug trafficking coming from the Afghan territory threaten us. We are interested in stopping the migration flow and we want the Afghans to be able to live a peaceful and dignified life in their own country.

I have mentioned many times that the current round of the crisis in Afghanistan is a direct consequence of irresponsible extraneous attempts to impose someone else’s values on the country and to build “democratic structures” using socio-political engineering techniques, ignoring the historical and national specifics of other nations and the traditions by which they live.

All of that leads to nothing but destabilisation and, ultimately, chaos, after which the masterminds behind these experiments hastily retreat leaving their charges behind. The entire international community then has to face the consequences.

I am convinced that peaceful progress in international relations can be guaranteed only through ensuring the existence of states with different political and social systems, their own national interests and spiritual and moral values, but with mandatory observance of the fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter, including non-interference in internal affairs and respect for sovereignty.

It is likewise important to maintain and promote mutually respectful, constructive and meaningful interaction at the global level, to strengthen the emerging multipolar system which comprises independent centres of economic growth and political influence, of which BRICS is, of course, a part.

In this context, we consider very relevant the topic of our meeting and the topic of the entire year in BRICS that was chosen by our Indian partners and the Indian chairmanship which is promoting cooperation on the basis of continuity, consolidation and consensus. In fact, the entire international community is facing this challenge, and five BRICS countries are playing a significant and noticeable role in addressing it.

I hope our work today will be substantive and productive. I would like to emphasise once again that Russia stands ready to continue close interaction with the BRICS countries in all areas.

Thank you.

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

The People and the Unpeople: At home and abroad

JULY 17, 2021

By Francis Lee for the Saker Blog

“The weak and ill-constituted shall perish: first principle of our philanthropy. And one should help them to do so … What is more harmful than any vice? Active sympathy for the ill-constituted and weak.’’ (1)

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Friedrich Nietzsche 1872

The Beast awakens – Second Time Around

Such were the sentiments – customarily referred to by Charles Darwin as the ‘’survival of the fittest’’ and of Friedrich Nietzsche’s worldview (see above); and moreover these are to all intents and purposes the unstated and philosophical stance of the incumbent ruling elites in the west. This is a dialogue delineating an unapologetic and ruthless amoral agenda presently emerging from the salons, studios and lecture halls and presently doing the rounds in the usual media and academic outlets. This project entails what is essentially a cultural revolution, a revolution sui generis; a massive project involving the construction of a fundamentally new order imposed from above and to be realised through a ‘Great Reset’. But this reset is nothing new, it has been in a long incubation period and even tolerated a qualified democracy; although this democracy never sat easily alongside the oligarchic elites; moreover, even this minimal democracy was to become an increasing irritant which finally has to be done away with. This has been a long struggle for elite hegemony, and these are early days to make any provisional assessment of these developments which are yet to play out.

Philosophical and Political déjà vu

What we can say, however, is that the origins of these theoretical roots (basically fascism) go back well-beyond the 20th century and into the late 19th. At that time (and to a lesser extent in ours) there has always been a general philosophical drift which was always an unquestionably right-wing, romantic-reactionary movement. It should be borne in mind, however, that it often contained a justifiable disappointment with bourgeois democracy, a disillusioned and sometimes relatively forward-looking experience of its social limitations. Let us recall Anatole France’s mockery of democratic equality before the law, magisterially prohibiting rich and poor alike from sleeping under the Parisian arches. On a more serious note there were the novels of Honoré De Balzac and his unforgettable quote in his novel Per Goriot: ‘’Corruption is powerful in the World: talent is scarce. So corruption is the instrument of swarming mediocrity, and you will feel its point everywhere.’’ Other French writers Zola, Stendhal, Flaubert et al. All also drew attention to the squalid reactionary swamp of French and by extension the rest of Europe’s bourgeois society and its ‘culture’.

Imperial Echoes

During the 19th and well into the 20th centuries there was a characteristic mixture of accurate criticism and muddled reactionary tendencies which were also to be observed in the writings and drama of George Bernard Shaw, together with his view of imperial rule – i.e., the white man’s burden – in Britain’s far-flung empire: He shamelessly opined that ‘’Good government is better than self-government.’’ Moreover, his literary side-kick, H.G.Wells’ eugenic disposition went even further, noting that ‘’ … those swarms of black and brown, and dirty white, and yellow who do not come into the new needs of ‘efficiency’ were self-evidently otiose. The world is a world and not a charitable institution, and I take it that they will have to go. The whole tenor and meaning of the world as I see it, is that they will have to go.’’ Yes, indeed British imperialism was leading the field culling the colonial unpeople and being closely followed by the French, Belgian, Spanish, Portuguese and Americans. (2)

Additionally, the leading Fabians of that time the Webbs (Beatrice and Sidney), writing in the New Statesman exhibited an unspoken assumption of white racial superiority vis-à-vis the ‘non-adult’ races … what caused them particular concern were the differential birth rates between the races which logically implied that the white races were (from their point of view) in danger of being swamped by the non-white multitudes whose capacity and aptitude for the sort of civilization which Mr and Mrs Webb had in mind; this seemed to be wanting when comparison was made with the ‘higher races’. Even more worrying was the possibility of large-scale interbreeding which the Webbs regarded as a grave threat to western civilization.’’ (3) Such was the late 19th century imperial weltgeist. But of course the inhabitants of the colonial south were indeed the ‘unpeople’ to be viewed in the same way as domestic animals.

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(Rhodes statue – Oriel College Oxford)

Cecil Rhodes 1853-1902 was another important figure in the British imperial juggernaut and led expeditions which led to war in what became known as Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe); these were the Zulu wars, and later after his death in 1902 in South Africa, the Boer Wars. Rhodes was the leading figure in the British South Africa Chartered Company, (BSACC) and made no secret of his ambitions to plant the Union Jack in every African territory from Cape Town to Cairo. This was quite naked imperialism with strong overtones of a militant racialism.

One V.I.Lenin was to write in this connexion:

‘’In the most flourishing period of free competition in Great Britain between 1840 and 1860, the leading bourgeois politicians were opposed to a colonial policy and were of an opinion that the liberation of the colonies, their complete separation from Britain, was both inevitable and desirable. Benjamin Disraeli, a statesman (who twice served as UK Prime Minister) was generally inclined toward imperialism, declared: ‘’The colonies are millstones around our necks’’. But at the end of the 19th century the British heroes of the hour were Cecil Rhodes and Secretary of State for the Colonies, Joseph Chamberlain, who openly advocated imperialism and applied the imperialist policy in the most cynical manner.’’ (4)

Assuredly, British imperial policy was not without its critics of course. J.A.Hobson’s seminal work Imperialism: A Study, was first published in 1902 and was taken to be a definitive work on (British) imperialism. This along with Leonard Woolf (husband of the novelist, Virginia) wrote the classic study of imperialism: Empire and Commerce in Africa 1920. Lesser-known contributors included Leonard Barnes author of The New Boer War (1932) and Empire or Democracy (1939) who noted ironically, that ‘’no nation has ever colonised, annexed, or established a sphere of influence from motives of disinterested philanthropy toward a native people.’’ (5) It should be added that this imperial war machine policy was also applied in the United States during the Spanish-American wars which were by no means restricted to the US but stretched out to also encompass the Philippines. Moreover it should also be remembered that racism in the United States was probably even more toxic than that in Europe.

Democracy: Decline and Fall

However, in the non-English-speaking, world – primarily Europe and even more so in Germany – venomous political and philosophical irrationalist currents were to emerge from the depths of human consciousness and depravity and which were to give rise to the emergence of a new type of politics and culture -namely the rise of fascist/nazi regimes in Italy, followed by Germany. The murderous policies of these movements and the ferocious hostility was to be particularly directed in Germany toward social, political and ethnic groups: socialists, communists, trade unionists, religious groups like Seventh Day Adventists, homosexuals, gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet POWs and of course Jews and others who had become Europe’s new unpeople. In earlier times such philosophical ramblings were products of those professors ensconced in their ivory towers of learning. Their ruminations were initially restricted to the academic elites. But in the fullness of time the culmination of these depraved doctrines became visible in the death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Buchenwald and Belsen. This was not supposed to happen in a civilized society or even Europe, and all the overblown claims to, and obsession with, ‘scientific status’ of much 19th century thought – From Bentham to Marx – rested ultimately upon one article of faith: the belief in the innate rationality of man. Predictably this particular weltgiest with its attendant political cockpit produced an irrationalist backlash in the later 19th and earlier 20th century and moral ambience of the fin de siècle and those theorists who were in large part responsible for bringing it about – Sorel, Nietzsche, Freud and Pareto, for example – as well as the experience of the 20th century which was to cast doubt on what was always a piece of question-begging.

‘’In this connexion, German philosophy in the imperialist age proceeded, as we shall see, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Oswald Spengler and later in the Weimar period from Spengler to Fascism. If we stress this spadework by German philosophy from Schopenhauer to Nietzsche onwards, it might be objected that we are dealing with esoteric doctrines which circulated within quite small groups. We believe on the contrary, that one must not underestimate the indirect, subterranean effect on the masses of the fashionable reactionary ideologies analysed so far. These effects were not limited to the direct influence of these philosophers’ actual books, although it should be remembered that editions of the works of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche certainly never reached many tens of thousands. But by universities, public lectures and the press, et cetera these ideologies also spread to the broadest masses – needless to say in a coarsened form, but this strengthened rather than weakened their reactionary content, their ultimate irrationalism and pessimism, since the central ideas now received greater attention at the expense of qualifying statements. Through such ideologies the masses can be intensively corrupted without ever glimpsing the immediate source of the corruption. Nietzsche’s barbarising of the instincts his vitalism* his ‘heroic pessimism’ and so forth which were the necessary products of the imperialist age, and his speeding up of the process operated on the minds of tens of thousands of people who had never even heard of Nietzsche.(6)

Democracy or Empire?

But the external wars against those ‘lesser breeds without the law’ – Rudyard Kipling – came home to roost in the imperial heartlands, albeit with many centuries in the making. The methods used by the Athenians came back to be used against their own populace – now the unpeople – which eventuated in the decline of the Athenian state itself. As Pericles noted: ‘’It is right and proper for you to support the imperial dignity of Athens … But do not imagine that what we are fighting for is simply a question of freedom and slavery: there is also involved the loss of our empire and the dangers arising from the hatred which we have incurred in administering it. Nor is it any longer possible for you to give up this empire, though there may be some people in the mood of sudden panic and in a spirit of political apathy who think that this would be a fine and noble thing to do. Your empire is now like a tyranny: it may have been wrong to take it; it is certainly dangerous to let it go.’’ (7) The Athenian city state seems to have had its own cadre of neo-cons, but the outcome would be the same today as it was then: decline and fall.

Conclusions:

At the present time it is something of a cliché to say that the world is experiencing a crisis of huge dimensions, as the economic political and geopolitical tectonic plates simultaneously collide. Both domestic and economic policies are now subsumed under the all-encompassing global disaster, particularly in the West and Global South. When the everything bubble blew up in 2020, it arrived like an economic volcano, and the decline of the American century became manifest and spread to Europe which is presently threshing about like a landed salmon. Euro/American weaknesses are both internal and external and are becoming increasingly difficult if not impossible to turn around. Moreover, its chief allies in Europe are at a loss and appear to be being dragged into the political/economic maelstrom. This is bad enough but given the wretched performance of the Atlanticist elites who seem to be living in a bygone age, the future of the Atlanticist bloc becomes increasingly problematic.

Additionally, the emergence of the Sino-Russian alliance casts an ominous shadow – both geopolitically and economic – over a corrupt and declining west. This not just a matter of concern to the imperialist bloc but also and of crucial importance as a beacon of light to the Global South with the Chinese sponsored Belt and Road Initiative. Nemesis not only seems to have arrived but is actually knocking at the door.


NOTES

Vitalism: Vitalism is the belief that “living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things”

(1) Friedrich Nietzsche – The Anti-Christ – p115 – paragraph 2.

(2) H.G.Wells – Anticipations – London 1918 – p.317.

(3) New Statesman -The Guardianship of the Non-Adult Races and the Great Alternative – August 2, 20 1913. – Quoted in Fabianism and Colonialism – Francis Lee – p.189.

(4) V.I.Lenin – Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism – Moscow 1920 – pp. 15, 75, 88, 96, 100.

(5) Critics of Empire: 1902-1919

(6) Georg Lukacs – The Destruction of Reason – p.84

(7) Speech by Pericles – 430 BC – The History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides.

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

July 13, 2021

Entranced Earth: the hegemonic dispute engulfs Brazil

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

Even if the rhetoric and the interim security strategy of the Joe Biden administration itself tries to give a multilateralist veneer to the idea that the benevolent hegemon would be back, the reality imposed by the increase in competitive pressure, which deepens after the outbreak of the pandemic, and acquires dramatic contours in the so-called “vaccine war”, reveals a challenging scenario for the coming years.

The gradual increase in competitive pressure, symptom of a phenomenon justified in the theory of the Expanding Universe, would have its origins after the September 11 attacks, when the “universal war on terrorism” unveils a world where the power of an omnipotent hegemon revealed itself in the need for the permanent expansion of power through the use of its military infrastructure.

Then arises the figure of the “terrorist enemy”, which could be any person or group, inside or outside the United States, a universal enemy that could be destroyed anywhere, even if that meant violating individual rights or the sovereignty of other states.

The unilateral power expansionism carried out by the Americans after September 11 would therefore have generated the seed of escalation in conflicts, leading to increased destabilization and consequently to a reactive movement of the other states in the world system.

As if in a movement of self-protection, former powers of the interstate system return to a game that seemed dead, but in practice was only sleeping: the old geopolitics of nations, where national interest and the resumption of sovereignty would return to play the cards against the dogmas of globalization and liberal order.

The return of Russia, which in 2015 intervened in the Syrian war – demonstrating a warlike power not seen for some time – represented a turning point, which apparently began with the reelection of Vladimir Putin himself in 2012, but also with the coming to power of the current Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. From then on, the interstate dispute would have accelerated considerably with the rise of these two Eurasian giants.

The spread of international competition and instability would be, therefore, in line with the idea that for international political actors the effort for changes in the system would be preponderant for the achievement of their own interests.

The appearance of new emerging actors in the world system, even if considered a destabilizing factor of the system itself, on the other hand, would boost in the hegemonic state the expansionist impulse necessary for it to remain at the top of the system.

The global instability caused by the clash between the powers that would be benefiting from the instituted international order, and those states that would aim to climb the power ladder, would suggest the end, or at least an interruption of the minimum consensus necessary for harmonious coexistence within what Hedlley Bull would call a “society of states”.

From this perspective, the hypothesis of war would emerge as an almost inevitable expedient to resolve the tensions caused by power imbalances and global instability. It is from war, therefore, and especially from the so-called hegemonic war, that the state or coalition of states that would lead the new international order would emerge.

At the moment in which the crisis or the end of the so-called liberal order created in the 20th century and led by the United States of America is being discussed, what seems evident is the occurrence of an increasingly deeper questioning of the current international order by other nations.

In this sense, the global instability reflected in the increase of competitive pressure would be explicit in the context of a generalized conflictive ambience, or on the way to generalization.

To better conceptualize this idea, Robert Gilpin’s Theory of Hegemonic War would indicate that a generalized conflictive environment, even if not configured in an apparent hegemonic war, would already suggest such a situation if we think that what differs a hegemonic war from other categories of war would be precisely the systemic conception existing in the relations between individual states. This being so, and given that it is a systemic relationship, the whole structure itself would be affected by it.

What has been happening internally in a country like Brazil is a very peculiar and local-scale example of this global phenomenon that has spread throughout the interstate system.

Therefore, just as the pandemic accelerated and deepened the global systemic crisis, internally it had a devastating effect by fusing conflicts and contradictions within societies in many countries around the world.

At a time when the parliamentary commission investigating the pandemic crisis is exposing the viscera of corruption in the Bolsonaro administration, exposing the Armed Forces to a public embarrassment not seen for some time, the repudiation note of the three military commands in a clear threat to the National Congress confirms the thesis that the internal war within the institutions and oligarchic elites is something real and increasingly out of control.

The strange visit of the CIA director to Brasilia, and his meeting behind closed doors with Bolsonaro and the head of Brazilian espionage, General Augusto Heleno, sounded like an intimidating message to Brazilian civil society that the Biden administration would endorse a hypothetical regime closure in Brazil.

As it happened during the Jimmy Carter administration – when the military dictatorship was strongly pressured by the United States -, even if the pressure of American public opinion may lead the Biden administration to abandon the nefarious Bolsonaro administration, it is still very useful for the current American security strategy that a vassal government like the Brazilian one ensures the removal of the Eurasian presence in the “Western Hemisphere”, and even contributes to the destabilization of hostile countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba.

The erratic way in which the privatization of Eletrobrás is being carried out – which will lead to an unprecedented increase in costs – as well as the energy crisis that is looming, signal a growing distancing of powerful sectors of the business elites from a government that reveals an openly militarized, authoritarian face that is oblivious to reality.

The fraying, therefore, of social relations at the top of the Brazilian pyramid reveals a scenario that finds historical precedent only in that period that led to the so-called Revolution of 1930, when the dispute between the oligarchies of the time reached its peak.

Following the example of what is happening at this very moment in Cuba and South Africa, the escalation of systemic social conflicts seems to have no end, and even if for different reasons, it would be the result of the pandora’s box opened by the pandemic.

Even if at first glance it doesn’t seem relevant, certainly the deepening of tensions at a global level – within the universe of the great hegemonic dispute – will be decisive for the future of the much debilitated Brazilian democracy.

The classic “Entranced Earth”, by the great filmmaker Glauber Rocha, never came so handy for the Brazilian reality.


Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws (LL.B), MA student in International Relations at the University of Évora (Portugal), writer and geopolitical analyst. He currently maintains a column on international politics at the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

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