Saturday, August 30, 2014

South Africa: 3rd World Solidarity or neo-colonial BULLSHIT


By William PLEASANT


Will South  African Pres. Joseph Zuma and the ANC put
their money (literally diamonds) where their mouths are?


For the sake of fairness, we enter below the entirety of the South African National Congress' (ANC) official position on the ongoing GENOCIDE against the Palestinian population of Gaza. For 50+ days, the zionist --with the active political and financial support of Pres. Barack Obama and the entire legislative branch of the US government--subjected the virtually unarmed population of Gaza to a massacre via land, see and air. The entire world community recoiled in horror. Several Latin American nations, especially Argentina, Bolivia an Nicaragua, took punitive diplomatic retaliation against the Israeli settler regime. Not to be outdone, the ruling party of the Republic of South Africa put in its two cents. Read the following...

The situation in Gaza Strip

10 July 2014
The African National Congress (ANC),condemns in the strongest terms, the barbaric attacks on the defenceless Palestinian people of Gaza. Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza strip have resulted in the deaths of over 27 Palestinians, at least 6 of them children. The Israeli attacks have further resulted in injuring over 200 Palestinians and traumatising thousands of others.
As we move towards the month of August and are reminded of he atrocities of Nazi Germany, surely we must ask the people of Israel has the term "lest we forget" lost it meaning.
The state of Israel has turned the occupied territories of Palestine into permanent death camps. Of course the killing of any child irrespective of race color or creed must be condemned and the death of two Israeli young people is surely as senseless as any other death. But for the State of Israel, the notion of an eye for an eye has become perpetual massacre with merciless revenge which has lasted for more than 60 years. It is time to stop the killing now.

The recent attacks must cease as well as the ongoing and illegal Israeli occupation and collective Israeli punishment of the Palestinians. Gaza is the world`s largest open air prison with over 1,5 million Palestinians caged in and cut off from the rest of the world. The Gaza Strip is the world`s most densely populated piece of land on this earth making the Israeli bombing of the Palestinian Gaza Strip all the more horrendous. The collective punishment and illegal siege of the Palestinian people of Gaza must immediately end.
In line with our 2012 policy resolutions, that called on "all South Africans to support the programmes and campaigns of the Palestinian civil society which seek to put pressure on Israel", branches and structures of the ANC across the country will be joining the Palestine solidarity and boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement in organizing protests and pickets calling for the immediate end of Israeli violence against the Palestinian people. We call on all South Africans, Black, White, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and all others to join us in expressing our solidarity. Solidarity will brings us together as different South Africans just as how the international anti-apartheid movement brought people together.
The Israeli regime must realise that its acts of violence like these attacks on Gaza will only lead to its international isolation. After its 2009 attacks on Gaza which resulted in over 1400 Palestinians being killed, more than 400 of them children, the BDS and international isolation of Israel increased exponentially. Apartheid South Africa`s wanton killing of our people during the 1980s lead to its isolation, it would seem that Israel is taking a similar path of isolation by embarking on these attacks.
The ANC reiterates its 2012 policy position that as an organisation we are unequivocal in our support for the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination, and unapologetic in our view that the Palestinians are the victims and the oppressed in the conflict with Israel.
Issues by:
Jessie Duarte
Deputy Secretary General
African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House
54 Sauer street
Johannesburg


Oh so noble is this  posturing on behalf of human rights and Third World Solidarity. But the policies of South Africa's ANC regime, in pursuit of its neo-colonial and neo-liberal agendas, tell a different story. Currently, South Africa supports zionism in Palestine to the hilt. It is as complicit in the racist atrocities perpetrated by the Israelis against the indigenous Palestinians as is Obama and his corrupt crew in Washington, DC.


The ANC's hands in Palestinian blood


In July 2000, the global diamond industry set up the World Diamond Council--WDC. (The US became a signatory in 2003.) The WDC was established as a response to public outrage about the use of diamonds to fund bloody conflicts in western African countries and it includes representatives from the World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association. The council’s ultimate mandate is “the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts.” Significantly, the WDC limits its concern about human rights violations to those funded by rough diamonds only. In 2003, the WDC introduced a system of self-regulation called the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme to stem the flow of “conflict” or “blood diamonds.” In keeping with the limited concerns of the WDC, the UN-mandated Kimberly Process adopted a very narrow definition of what constitutes a conflict or blood diamond: “rough diamonds used by rebel movements or their allies to finance conflict aimed at undermining legitimate governments.” Consequently and deliberately, the much more lucrative trade in cut and polished diamonds avoids the human rights strictures applying to rough diamonds, provided the industry uses only Kimberly Process-compliant rough diamonds. Regardless of the human rights violations and atrocities funded by revenue from the Israeli diamond industry, governments and other vested interests party to the Kimberly Process facilitate the unrestricted access of diamonds crafted in Israel to the multi-billion dollar global diamond market. In short, the Israeli diamond industry was exempted from the Kimberly scheme, and New York City's 47th Street Diamond Market continues to flourish unabated, despite the fact that its primary product is manufacture under the auspices of a ROGUE REGIME.



The WDC created a web site called Diamondfacts.org to promote the virtues of the industry. It lists 24 facts extolling the benefits of the diamond industry — primarily to India and countries in Africa. Some of the benefits include that an estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds; diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13; the revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Despite the WDC's self-serving hype, the African diamond industry actually only benefits the native comprador bourgeois class and its assorted parasites (police, customs officials, local bankers and outright gangsters) who feed on the graft derived from skirting the Kimberly Process altogether. In fact, most diamonds entering the cutting and polishing houses in Tel Aviv and NYC are non-compliant gems. In the case of NYC, these illegal diamonds enter via JFK Airport in the trouser pockets of American diamond merchants who are overwhelmingly members of various hyper-zionistic, Jewish religious cults scattered throughout the Borough of Brooklyn. These smugglers are capable of introducing $2 to $5 million dollars worth  of rough diamonds (approximately the weight of a SNICKERS BAR) to the US market in a single trip between NYC and Tel Aviv. Conveniently for them, there are NO US customs taxes on rough diamonds entering the country. Moreover, due to the obscene pro-zionist corruption of the federal government, these criminals are rarely challenged by customs agents at the JFK border.
NYC's 47th St. Diamond District is the epicenter of the Africa-Israel diamond industry in the US.
Excluding Namibia and Angola, which have sought to add industrial value to their diamond resources, the vast majority of African nations export raw materials to Europe, the US and, most importantly, Israel. Put simply, cash-starved, native African diamond miners sell their stones to Israeli versions of Jungle Jim at what is widely described as BUSH PRICE. That means that large and exquisite diamonds are very often purchased at well below wholesale prices. For example: a rough diamond that sells for $300 per carat (0.20 grams) is snatched from Africans for $50 or less! This is hardly a benefit to the African working and peasant classes. A tour of present-day slums in South Africa, in particular, speak volumes to the daily rip-of off the nation's natural resources to the benefit the Israelis and other colonial rapists, as well as their facilitators in the ANC regime.


667 carats (133.5 grams) of rough South African diamonds
(8/30/2014), New York City value $1.0 million US Dollars.
(Courtesy of Ascent Industrial Research) 
Israel's diamond industry helps fund atrocities and human rights abuses such as the killing, maiming and terrorizing of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Palestine and Lebanon — the sort of atrocities the Kimberly Process was supposed to prevent being funded by revenue from diamonds.
The list of WDC “Diamond Facts” paints a farcical image of the industry. It asserts that the greatest benefits are being felt in some of the poorest nations of the world. But Israel, one of the wealthiest nations, towers over all other countries in terms of the net benefit derived from the diamond industry. The added value to the Israeli economy from the export of diamonds was nearly $10 billion in 2008 (see Figure 2 below).
The WDC website is equally selective when it comes to providing information about which countries are most dependent on diamonds. It explains that Namibia, one of the minor diamond exporting countries in monetary terms, derives 40 percent (Trade PerformanceHS: Exports of Israel” accessed 25 March 2010) (See Figures 3 and 4). By comparison, the budget for Israel’s Ministry of Defense was $16 billion in 2008.


Revenue from the diamond industry helps fund Israel’s illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, its brutal subjugation of the Palestinian people and its international network of saboteurs, spies and assassins. None of this is alluded to in the WDC’s “Diamond Facts.”
Contrary to claims by the diamond industry and jewelers that all diamonds are now conflict free, they are not. Israel’s dominant position in the industry means that diamonds crafted in Israel are interspersed globally with diamonds crafted in other countries. Consumers who purchase diamonds that are not laser-inscribed to identify where they were crafted run a significant risk of purchasing a diamond crafted in Israel, thereby helping to fund gross human rights violations. The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme strictures only apply to rough diamonds, thus allowing diamonds crafted in Israel to freely enter the market regardless of the criminal actions of the Israeli government and armed forces. The Kimberly Process is a joke when it comes to sanctioning the zionist regime for its genocidal policies in Palestine. When it comes to policing the diamond industry, arrogantly ruled by the Israelis and their US-based junior partners in NYC, the wolves have been left to guard the sheep. Likewise, the US government is the ringmaster of this bloodstained circus by refusing to enforce its own treaty obligations to the Kimberly Process, especially when it comes to sanctioning Jewish-American smugglers..
Given the failure of Western governments to hold Israel to account for numerous breaches of international law including international humanitarian law, breaches of the UN Charter, its failure to abide by more than 30 binding UN Security Council Resolutions, breaches of EU Agreements and disregard for the 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, they are unlikely to insist that the diamond industry broaden the definition of a conflict diamond to include cut and polished diamonds that directly fund Israel's human rights abuses against the indigenous peoples of Palestine.
The chart below demonstrates the extent to which the zionist regime relies on diamonds to fuel its economy.
The diamond industry is a major pillar of the Israeli economy (see Figure 5 above). No other developed country is so heavily dependent on a single luxury commodity.

In service to the Palestinian struggle for liberation, South Africa could shatter the spine of the settler regime's economy. Everybody knows this, especially the more radical elements of the ANC-led coalition government. More than two years ago, the South African left called on the ANC to shut down diamond trade gangsterism in the country.

Organisations including South Africa's National Union of Mineworkers (NUM); the country's largest trade union federation, COSATU; the SA Communist Party; Young Communist League; South African Students Congress (SASCO); Congress of South African Students (COSAS), the Coalition for a Free Palestine and BDS South Africa have demanded the end to the pimp-whore relationship between the ANC and the Israeli diamond mongerers.
In a statement issued at a press conference (June 13, 2012) held at COSATU's Head Office in Johannesburg pointed out that the KPCS presents an opportunity for South African officials to show "moral vision and political leadership" by excluding Israel. "The billions of dollars' worth of diamonds exported via Israel are," said the pro-Palestinian coalition, "a major source of revenue for the Israeli military, which stands accused of war crimes." Such a move would have local benefits too, it added, by "bringing home" many lucrative diamond processing jobs to South Africa. Income from diamond processing carried out in Israel also, charged the coalition, helps to develop military hardware such as pilotless drones.
Speaking to Business Day newspaper, Southern Africa Resource Watch director Claude Kabemba explained that the old Kimberly Process scheme is an anachronism, since most diamond-linked conflicts have been resolved, He asserted that the Kimberley Process now has to expand its mandate and monitor the entire diamond chain: 
Continued Kabemba, "The Kimberley Process has played an important role over the past decade in resolving conflicts linked to the diamond trade but there is no doubt that it has to be reformed... [by] expanding the definition of conflict to include human rights abuses linked to diamond extraction perpetrated by governments and companies; and expanding downstream monitoring so that the process covers not just the rough diamond trade but also the international movement and polishing of diamonds."
The statement from South Africa's pro-Palestinian coalition called 
on the Kimberley Process to:
  1. Exclude Israel from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) due to Israel's human rights abuses against the indigenous Palestinians;
  2. Expand the Kimberley Process to include cut and polished diamonds in addition to rough diamonds; and
  3. End all exports of rough diamonds to Israel immediately.
A member of South Africa's Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign said that a boycott of Israeli "blood diamonds", and specifically the banning of diamond-polishing in the country, is a win-win solution for all. "Consumers will have a clear conscience that their diamonds are not funding, assisting or in any way involved with the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine," insisted Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, "and more jobs will be created locally for our people by bringing this diamond processing back home instead of it being done in Israel." While opponents of the Israel boycott often try to claim that the boycott will harm South Africans, added Ndlozi, this is a case where it only benefits them.
If the ANC regime wants to concretely address the oppression of the Palestinian people, then the writing is on the wall: EXPEL THE ISRAELI DIAMOND MACHINE FROM SOUTH AFRICA. It's expression of Third World Solidarity with the Palestinians will amount to little more that neo-colonial BULLSHIT otherwise.
--30--

Are you listening?


Friday, June 6, 2014

WHAT DO THE TOM-TOMS SAY, OBAMA?

By William PLEASANT and Sekou OSEI


To understand the current crisis in Nigeria, we must to understand the crisis of African neo-colonialism, wherein, at this phase, the native proxies of foreign capital have outlived their usefulness to imperialism. Contemporary Nigeria is the abattoir of Africa, the grandest slaughterhouse of Africa's workers and peasants. While Black cultural nationalists, social democrats and assorted liberal mourners –feminist and otherwise—TWEET and only TWEET their moralistic distemper, a holocaust grips Africa's most populated nation. The cause is neo-colonialism and the tool of genocide is actually the Nigerian bourgeois nation-state itself.


Nigerian Pres. Goodluck Johnathan, slaughterhouse manager.
Nonetheless, we are presented, via a parade of media pundits and liberal leaders of opinion, with an action comic book account and explanation of the current Nigerian crisis. In April, the muslim mercenary gang Boko Haram managed to kidnap roughly 240 schoolgirls. The children were spirited away on trucks by insurgents disguised as Nigerian military forces. They are now allegedly held hostage somewhere in the bush that engulfs northeastern Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad.


Appropriately ultra-savage Boko Haram thug leader Abubakar Shekau 
Last week, the Nigerian government boasted that it knew the location of the abducted teens. Chief of Defense Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh crowed, “The good news for the parents of the girls is that we know where they are, but we cannot tell you. But where they are held, can we go there with force? We can't kill our girls in the name of trying to get them back." (Chicago Tribune, May 26, 2014). In short, Boko Haram has the entire Nigerian government and its military in-check. That is really what the Air Marshall and his ostensible boss, Pres. Goodluck Johnathan, really can't tell the heartbroken parents and the Nigerian people at-large. But there is at least a theatrical solution to the quandary...

Enter from the left panel of the neo-colonial comic book, swinging from a vine, appears Barack Obama as the new Tarzan. The recently crowned King of the Jungle has heard the Nigerian tom-toms from his far-off North American tree house. And now he pounces into heroic action.

But what do the tom-toms say, Tarzan?

Our colored Tarzan hears that Boko Haram has, since the April mass kidnapping, slaughtered over 2000 people in Northeastern Nigeria—Muslims and Christians alike. Since Wednesday, May 4, Boko Haram bandits have assassinated another 500 hapless civilians. According to AFP (Agence France Press, June 6), “It is confirmed that there have been killings and village pillage by armed men identified as Boka Haram in the last 48 hours. Local people insist Thursday that villagers perished at the hands of heavily armed men posing as soldiers on Wednesday. They completely destroyed the villages of Goshe, Attagara and Aganijara in Borno State. According to a local chief, between 400-500 people have been killed. The report has not been confirmed by Nigerian government officials. But if it is confirmed, then these attacks will be among the worst atrocities since the 2009 start of the Boko Haram insurgency when at least 2000 people were slaughtered.”

The Nigerian military has yet to appear on the scene to even document the ongoing Boko Haram rampage. Nigerian government cowardice? Nigerian government ineptitude? Nigerian government active complicity in the daily slaughter? The answers to these questions are YES, YES, YES! Nigeria is a failed state, and lawfully so.

Our Tarzan hears this and much more about the utter decay of the Nigerian nation-state. But he is not listening to that. Instead, he, with the assistance of the mass media and liberal melodrama peddlers, insists on playing the savior of waifish damsels in distress. This convenient comic book narrative is designed to mask the objectively, mutually beneficial historical and political relationship between the US bourgeoisie—and its European junior partners—the demented Nigerian neo-colonial state apparatus and the islamized night riders of Boko Haram.

Michelle Obama in the role of EBONY JANE
If Obama was listening to the cries of the Nigerian people, then his wife's (May 9) sob-n-drool liberal/feminist plea on behalf of the kidnapped Nigerian women would have been dismissed with derisive laughter. Remember, Michelle Obama quipped of the abducted students, “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters. We see their hopes, their dreams and we can only imagine the anguish their parents are feeling right now.” The Obama tots live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, guarded by a phalanx of gunmen. They will go on to elite schools and subsequent marriages befitting their stations as princesses of the American realm. They, with a very high degree of certainty, come home to that reality every night.


+The question went begging: Bring them back to what? The loving and protective embrace of the decadent Nigerian nation-state?+


Spent of lowbrow, empathetic sophistry, Michelle Obama then balefully mugged for the cameras and entreated Boko Haram to “#Bring Back Our Girls.” The question went begging: Bring them back to what? The loving and protective embrace of the decadent Nigerian nation-state?

Even snug as a bug in their families' huts, the 200-plus schoolchildren, like the vast majority of Nigerian women, can only come home to impoverishment and grinding gender oppression, especially in the islamized northern region of the country.


“The decline in agriculture in Nigeria has had a negative
impact on both the status and the decision making capacity of women because changing land patterns and industrialization facilitate rural urban migration and have led to an increase in the number of female headed households in the rural areas, with limited access to land, income and health facilities,” explained Emeka Emmanuel Okafor, Akeem Ayofe Akinwale and Adeola Doyin -Hassan in their pioneering article Feminization of Underdevelopment in Nigeria: Some Theoretical Issues [Anthropologist, 9(3): 237-245 (2007)].The authors argue that the urbanization of work-age rural Nigerian males has left women in the villages to tend the land and raise the children alone. The underdevelopment of Nigeria is actually driven by the degradation of women. This is a general phenomenon in Africa in the neo-colonial epoch.


They continued, “Degradation of ecosystem on which women depend for agricul-tural activities often leaves women handicapped in the provision of adequate nutrition for their household and limits their ability to provide a varied diet. Also, the promotion of monoculture economy and export of petroleum have reduced the bio-diversity in the oil producing areas. The reduction in bio-diversity occasioned by monoculture economy has led to a reduction in the availability of household food with adverse effects on health of women and other members of their household.”

And to the inferno of merciless systemic poverty is added the gasoline of gender oppression in Nigeria. “Patriarchy is a way of life in which men are believed to be superior to women. This belief has adverse implications on women,” the African anthropologists point out.


+In fact, the fate of the kidnapped girls at the hands of Boko Haram—mutilation, rape, forced marriage and outright chattel enslavement—varies little from what the Nigerian nation-state has to offer them as a “normal” life.+


In addition to widespread ceremonial genital mutilation,“for instance...in some communities in Nigeria, particularly in the northern part of the country, many girls below 15 years are given out in marriage or withdrawn from schools...Socio-cultural practices such as mandatory widowhood rituals, wife inheritance, child marriage and virginity testing deny women basic human rights...Virginity testing is a traditional practice that limits women power to negotiate in development. In this cultural practice, a young woman’s relatives or potential suitor insert a finger into her vagina to verify her virginity...If a young woman is found to be a non-virgin, the values placed on her automatically decreases and she becomes stigmatized...In response to the culture of virginity testing in Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland [and Nigeria], some young women usually practice anal sexual intercourse to ensure that they pass virginity test.” Needless to say, unprotected anal intercourse is the super-highway to HIV infection.

The “hopes” and “dreams” of the abducted teenage women invoked by the First Lady are actually groundless fantasies for the overwhelming majority of Nigerian women. In fact, the fate of the girls at the hands of Boko Haram—mutilation, rape, forced marriage and outright chattel slavery—varies little from what the Nigerian nation-state has to offer them as a “normal” life.

Our sepia Tarzan and his ebony Jane hear these tom-toms, but, again, they are not listening. They are oblivious to the fact that US policy toward Nigeria can be characterized by decades of disdain and neglect. If the jungle titans in the White House sincerely had one microgram of concern for the daily plight of the Nigerian people—kidnapped teenagers and all—then they would quickly point out that US foreign aid to Nigeria, among America's most strategic trading partners, is an absolute scandal. To put matter into perspective, consider that the US provided the State of Israel a cash subsidy of approximately $3.1 billion in 2012. In the same period, Nigeria received a handout of $625 million—mostly for HIV programs and “family planning,” i.e., condoms. Nigeria has a population of roughly 166 million people. Israel has a population of 7.82 million inhabitants. That means that each Israeli received $396.36 in US cash assistance while each Nigerian received $3.76!

Nigeria is the fifth largest petroleum exporter to the US. Its output to the US market topped one million barrels per day in 2010 and has been climbing ever since. Meanwhile, Nigerian poverty has deepened.

The NIGERIAN nation-state is the existential enemy of the Nigerian poor, peasant and working classes.
Laz Ude Eze (Standard, November 27, 2012 ) wrote,“If the statistics released by the [Nigerian] National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on the state of poverty in Nigeria in 2010 and 2011 at 69% and 72% respectively are correct, then there is a state of emergency. The previous poverty survey in 2004 put the index at 54% and by 2011 it has jumped to 72% despite an average 7% annual growth of income, said to be led by non-oil sector (largely agriculture where the majority of the poor are). No other comparable oil exporting country has a similar record. If the numbers are correct, Nigeria would not only miss the MDG [UN Development Program Millennium Development Goal] in 2015 but would probably hold the world record as the country which rather than reduce poverty by half, actually almost doubled it.”

The writing is on the wall: The Nigerian nation-state is hell-bound to social explosion and structural disintegration. It is utterly moribund, as are most neo-colonial state entities across the African continent today.

Moreover, Boko Haram is far from the author of Nigeria's demise. Nigeria was hatched as a national invalid by the British Empire. Stitched together by colonial bayonets from a landmass inhabited by hundreds of ethnic groups and at least three major religious confessions--Christian, Muslim and Traditionalist--Nigeria as a modern bourgeois nation-state was destined to fail and fail spectacularly. The savage 1967 Ibo successionist insurrection known as the Biafran War claimed over one million victims in the name of holding the Nigerian social jigsaw puzzle together. A seemingly endless circus of military coups and counter-coups followed, only to be retired by a "return" to civilian rule characterized but  even more government corruption, nepotism and ethnic/regional antagonism.


+ In fact, Boko Haram. at its core, is really not a religiously-inspired formation at all. It is an one-time (?) state-sponsored protection racket.+


It is an error to equate Boko Haram with seemingly similar jihadist formations throughout Africa and Southwest Asia. Boko is not the African Al-Queda. It is actually a spawn of Nigeria's historical/social deformities. Unlike Al-Queda that arose from the ranks of disgruntled CIA mercenaries who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s, Boko Haram was exclusively born and bred from Nigerian political strife. In fact, Boko Haram, at its core, is really not a religiously-inspired formation at all. It is an one-time (?) state-sponsored protection racket.


Al-jazeera and other news outlets  may have inadvertently shined some light on this observation

 when it reported on May 4 that at least 10 Nigerian generals have been charged and convicted of materially aiding Boko Haram. "Ten generals and five other senior military officers have been found guilty in courts-martial of providing arms and information to Boko Haram, several Nigerian newspapers have said," the Qatar-based multimedia news agency reported.

"The reports follows months of allegations from politicians and soldiers who told the AP news agency that some senior officers were helping the armed group and that some rank-and-file soldiers even fight alongside the rebels and then return to army camps." continued Al-jazeera." They have said that information provided by army officers has helped Boko Haram to ambush military convoys and in attacks on army barracks and outposts in their northeastern stronghold.

"Defence Ministry spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade, who last week denied reports that senior officers were being investigated, reiterated in a statement on Tuesday that defence headquarters 'wishes to state once again categorically that there is no truth whatsoever in the report'. He called it a 'falsehood' concocted by those who 'appear hell-bent on misleading Nigerians and the international community to give credence to the negative impression they are so keen to propagate about the Nigerian military'."

It is rather difficult to give the Nigerian military a worst reputation, given that its prime activity is brutalizing and robbing Nigerian civilians. But there is no question that the Nigerian military has always been a significant player in the sectarian and regional conflicts that grip the country. Put simply, factions in the military leadership readily engage in partisan and ethnic politics. To paraphrase Clausewitz, Boko Haram's war with the Nigerian state is consistent with those politics by other means. And the money trail provides  the peep stone into Boko Harams growing power and its significance on the Nigerian political landscape.

Taiwo Ogundipe, Associate Editor of The Nation, claimed to have exposed the power and funding behind Boko Haram in a 2012 article.Reported Ogundipe, "A spokesman of the group reportedly said in an interview, that the extensive bombardments wrought by it [Boko Haram] came about because the governors of the affected two states reneged on an agreement to make regular payments to it. The interview was sourced from an online publication, 247ureports.                                                                                    

"The unnamed interviewee was quoted as saying 'The reason for Kano and Bauchi States attacks a few days ago was hinged on failed promises by the governors of the two states.' The interviewee claimed further that many northern governors have relationships with the group. 'Most of them pay us monthly to leave their states alone,' the spokesman reportedly said.

"According to him, the immediate past ANPP governor in Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, agreed in late 2004 to an initial monthly payment of N5million to the group. This, he said, was later raised to N10 million in 2009. Apart from this, he said the government also provided institutional infrastructural support through the Hisbah (Islam Police) project which received a yearly budgetary allocation of N1.01billion.

"The new Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on assumption of office, according to the interviewee, stopped the outflow of this largesse, including the funding of the ‘Islam Police’.

"Regarding Bauchi, the Boko Haram spokesperson said an agreement was reached with the incumbent governor, Isa Yuguda in 2008, also to the tune of a monthly disbursement of N10 million. The agreement, he said, also entailed the provision of training grounds on the many mountains scattered in Bauchi State as well as a promise of protection against arrests by the Federal Government. 

"The Bauchi State governor, he claimed, stopped the monthly fund in mid 2011. The Boko Haram spokesman said the group was not happy but remained loyal to the agreement because of the unfettered access to the mountains of Bauchi as training camps. Continuing, he said: 'the Northern governors are overwhelmed about the strength of the group and are aware of the capabilities of Boko Haram operatives in their respective states”. Some of the State government officials, according to him, visit their camps to watch them in training exercises. The training, he said, is harder than that of the Nigerian military.'"


The Islam Police was an outgrowth of the effort in Northern Nigeria to impose Shariah Law. This eventually successful campaign was widely viewed as a ploy to consolidate the political power of northern Muslim secessionists, meaning the leaders of the state governments. Boko Haram was simply the extra-legal armed wing of the Muslim secessionists movement. Pleasing the local chiefs who had access to federal government funds took extreme precedent over pleasing Allah. When its services were no longer required Boko Haram was kicked off the payroll. Outraged, these political mercenaries went on a rampage. They have yet to be rehired and their mayhem has yet to subside.

In short, Boko Haram is simply a link in the chain of stick-ups, shake-downs, con games, graft and sandlot politics that form the spine of  Nigerian society and predominant economy,  from the lowliest barefooted 419 email scam kid  all the way up to the presidency. In this way, every Nigerian institution--civilian or governmental or insurgent--is a variety of Boko Haram. Corruption is the leading cause of human suffering and death in Nigeria. Nigeria as Nigeria is as deadly as cyanide.

This is what the tom-toms are saying, but Tarzan won't and can't listen to them because his job is not to save Nigerian teenage girls (or any Nigerians) from villainous Muslim fanatics or mind-numbing destitution, but to protect the capital interests of the US petroleum industry in Nigeria. He listens intently to the bluster and gnashing of teeth arising from the US bourgeoisie who have concluded that the neo-colonial mode of exploiting Nigeria's labor and natural resources has become obsolete. The Nigerian comprador class and its state machinery, employed to manage Nigerians for the past 50-plus years, has fallen to tatters. It lacks the capacity to create the social peace—through military coercion or sham democracy—necessary to ensure that the black gold keeps flowing at a profitable clip.

And true to form, our vine-swinging president gives the famous Tarzan holler. The jungle floor trembles with the stampede of angry elephants, famished lions, rabid hyenas and psychotic crocodiles. He leads their attack against the Boko Haram evil doers. But here the comic book story concludes because Barack Obama can't really call out the menagerie against anybody. He can only mobilize the US military and its European camp followers.

Despite all the hand wringing over “Our Girls,” Boko Haram's bloody antics actually provide a popular and convenient excuse for further US military occupation of sub-Saharan Africa. “Militarily, Africa is fast becoming an American continent. Barack Obama, who has been president for all but the first year of AFRICOM’s existence, has succeeded in integrating U.S. fighting units, bases, training regimens, equipment and financing into the military structures of all but a handful of African nations,” charged Glen Ford ( Black Agenda Report, May 29, 2014). “The great pan-Africanist and former Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah’s dream of a militarily united Africa has been all but realized – with Americans and Europeans in charge. Under the guise of “humanitarian” intervention...[t]he girls had only been missing for a month, and might not be rescued alive, but five neighboring African countries – one of them the biggest economy on the continent – had already been dragooned into a NATO-dominated military alliance with other subordinate African states.”


Obama's military re-occupation of Africa 2014
Indeed, the genocidal imperialist game is on again. Colonialism in Africa relied on direct European military and civil administration of the expropriation of African labor and goods. At the dawn of the 1960s, with the rise of socialist-inspired nationalistic political movements and the covert material support of the long departed Soviet Union, the colonizing powers were compelled to change personnel. Blacks, armed with a flag and a national fight song, took the civil helm, while European troops were replaced with African gunslingers. Nigeria and a score of deformed state entities were born in this manner. Fifty years later, this tactic of European domination has proven to be a flop. The groundwork is being laid to essentially at least put the former colonies into a sort of political receivership or at maximum employ outright US/European military suppression of the starving, politically restive African masses. Re-colonization of Africa is in the works, produced and directed by IMPERIALIST HORROR SHOW, Inc. and staring our ever-loving Tarzan of the Neo-colonial Apes.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Why her jelly shook...Celebrating Buttzilla (1980-2014)

Dear Comrade Sekou:


Buttzilla Timbuktu (1980-2014)
I am quite afraid that while many Black people are uncontrollably distraught over the death of the Black poetess Maya Angelou they may overlook an equally significant recent passing of an African American artists and activist. Of course, I am talking about Buttzilla Timbuktu. She died last night in Crown Heights, apparently the victim of acute beef patty overdose. Let me share a little about why Buttzilla will be remembered as a giant of modern-day Black culture.


Buttzilla Timbuktu, born Neecy Jenkins in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was always outstanding. At nine months of age, she already weighed 75 pounds. She was a very special student, skipping elementary and most of junior high school because there were no classroom seats to suit her. She dropped out of high school, but that did not discourage her hunger for attention, which she readily received wherever she went.

At 25, Buttzilla met Rev. Al Sharpton. She joined the National Action Network (NAN). Impressed with her outgoing personality and her way of attracting men to the organization, Rev. Sharpton appointed her the head of the Irvington, New Jersey chapter of NAN. She remained as chairperson for three years until the chapter was converted to a slot machine hall. But she continued her political pilgrim's progress by developing an insatiable appetite for bean pies. One night, during a bean pie eating binge, Neecy Jenkins found her true African American National Identity and adopted the name Buttzilla Timbuktu, in honor of the Motherland and her wholesome pastries.

One afternoon, while shopping for bathroom tissue at the Atlantic Terminal Pathmark, Butzilla was discovered by the famed artistic producer Fart Pappy Corncob. That is when her career as a pioneering Black cultural icon began. She quickly found herself garnering leading roles in numerous novelty rap videos. She was best known for her twerking performance in Dimwit Green Teeth's groundbreaking film RUBBER BOOTY. But her star really took to the heavens through her appearance in Hoghead Toejam's three-hour epic BITCH, 'HO, MUTHAFUKIN, BITCH, 'HO. Of that performance, the New York Times critics raged, "Vulgar. Loud. Stupid..." The New York Post added, "Broadway bound!..." And the New York Amsterdam News continued, "Butzilla Timbuktu is a Revolutionary Black genius whom we hope will never forget our enthusiastic praise by remembering to buy advertising in the Black press."

Visionary cultural leader
Butzilla, after conquering the screen, turned to literature. She became a poet. Her inspiring collection of blank verse, I KNOW WHY MY JELLY SHAKES, became an instant sensation, selling hundreds of copies on curbside book tables across Brooklyn. In the book, she proudly explains:

My jelly shakes,
freely willed,
loose and obscene,
and lusted in the 'hood,
by homeys up to no-good.
And on the subway,
my jelly shakes,
shakes on me good...

Buttzilla Timbuktu enjoyed a large and loyal following among young and morbidly obese Black women. They saw her as a political and cultural role model. Said Sheneekwa Mathis, president of the Buttzilla Timbuktu Literary Circle, upon hearing of her idol's demise today, "When Buttzilla arrived at our meetings the room shook and swayed. It was emotion and basic physics. She left a trail of busted sofas across the Tri-State region. We will miss her. But we can all take comfort in knowing that we can all be like Buttzilla. And we probably will."

So, please, Comrade Sekou, don't let the TV and the politicians slight or ignore our sister Buttzilla's contribution to the community. And don't listen to Comrade William either. He just doesn't like Black women. Let us celebrate the legacy of Sister Buttzilla Timbuktu.

Signed,

Mofarrakhana Jackson

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Maya Angelou: Even the lame go unspared

By Sekou OSEI and William PLEASANT

Maya Angelou (1928-2014)


"Generally Speaking, Negro writing in the past has been confined to humble novels, poems 
and plays, prim and decorous ambassadors...


Richard Wright

The Negro writer who seeks to function within  
his race as a purposeful agent has serious responsibility. In order to do justice to his subject 
matter, in order to depict Negro life in all of its manifold and intricate relationships, a deep, 
informed, and complex consciousness is necessary; a consciousness which draws for its 
strength upon the fluid lore of a great people, and moulds this lore with the concepts that 
move and direct the forces of history today"

(Richard Wright, Blueprint of Negro Writing--1938)    


It must be said that one of the  political struggles that must be waged is around the question of aesthetics and art. But this struggle must be tied to material and political goals, or it will collapse--as it has done before--into commercialized symbolism or worst.

A truism says that "time" catches all of us, even the "lame." Maya Angelou just left the world in death as everyone will do at some point. And now Afrocentric, middles class Negros will come up with something to celebrate; to rationalize her years of formally silly tropes, her sentimental, Black petit-bourgeois narcissism as "art." 

Her's was a poetry of sentiment personal grandstanding. While there may be those who argue that she was once "left," but so was Gus Hall of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), who spent his time reading the "winds of change" rather than the impotence of the disorganized and mis-organized US working class. Bob Avakian was "left," too. Exploring the crannies of his navel, he prophesied a spontaneous revolutionary storm with the regularity of December 25th and the infantile breathlessness of Santa worship. While neither Hall nor Avakian pretended to be artists or poets, they, nonetheless, had a lot in common with Maya Angelou. They all wallowed in sterile performances as social insight and political prescription. Angelou, like them, substituted vulgar symbolism and metaphorical extrapolation for anything even approaching a material understanding (or expression) of the imperative historical task at hand for the ascending class in this country or elsewhere. In the end, Maya Angelou merely demonstrated an artistic and political propensity to celebrate the color of the clock while intentionally mis-appreciating the critical nature of the TIMES.

Again, many will insist that Maya Angelou was a communist, even a radical fellow traveler who was once investigated by the witch hunting House Un-American Committee (HUAC), but that only demonstrates that the US Left lacked and lacks any political/artistic standard to determine who it chooses to embrace other than the declarations and denunciations of the STATE.


Malcolm X and Angelou in Ghana

On the black hand side, other pundits would style Angelou as a distinguished Nationalist. After all, she did welcome Malcolm X to Ghana. But that was long ago, in a galaxy far away with regards to WHAT NEEDS TO BE LEARNED AND DONE NOW to staunch the fascistic consumption of our people in America and in the so-called Motherland. The truth of the matter is that, like Malcolm X, Angelou was at best a guest of a faltering neo-colonial regime. And her presence in Ghana, like that of Malcolm X and other Black expatriates at the time, failed to advance the cause of Pan Africanism or the Black Liberation Project one centimeter.





Was Maya Angelou a kindly, elderly lady? Probably. Did she throw what political and cultural clout that she had at the time behind the Supreme Court nomination of the arch neo-fascist negrophobe Clarence Thomas? Indeed! Was she Bill Clinton's poetic jester? Most certainly!


Clarence Thomas, the scum of the earth.

Was Maya Angelou an inspirational figure to many Black writers, particularly female writers? Yes.
After all, what literary artist would shun fame and a steady paycheck and fail to worship those who strived for such blessings'?

But Maya Angelou was no Phyllis Wheatley, who elegantly pleaded her very humanity to a vicious American slavocracy. Maya Angelou was no Sojourner Truth, who could shout down the fortress of white supremacy and sexism  with but a breath. Maya Angelou was no Zora Neal Hurston, who could sensuously weave in words a people's tapestry of suffering and struggle.


Phyllis Wheatley
Sojourner Truth



Zora Neal Hurston

Maya Angelou must be appreciated as a victim and beneficiary of her time. Like many members of the contemporary negro-ratti, particularly the female variety, she found her niche in the cultural toy boxes of white liberals. In death, she joins the pantheon of NEO-MAMMY DOLLS, tearjerkers and pacifiers, that crowd America's bookshelves, for the benefit of retail exploitation and nothing more.

Just leave it at that.

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