Monday, July 04, 2005

Re Examining The 4th of July From An African Perspective

Re-examining The 4th of July From an African Perspective

“Congress is now finalising a sweeping energy bill that seeks to increase production of energy at home while the administration, and international institutions controlled by Washington, like the World Bank, are joining forces to promote oil production in countries that are not members of OPEC, especially in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America. West Africa is widely regarded as one of the priority areas for investment by the oil industry, and oil production from the region is universally projected to rise. Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa and one of its most indebted, now says it has plans to increase production by 160 percent. But the study warns that, based on past trends, this will cause a rise in external debt for Abuja by an additional 21 billion dollars by 2010. Although Nigeria has proven oil reserves of 35.2 billion barrels, and goals of expanding proven reserves to 40 billion barrels by 2010, the country's external debt stands at a whopping 30.5 billion dollars, one of the world's highest. Kretzmann says that the 160 percent projected increase in oil production in Nigeria virtually guarantees that ‘they'll be out of the frying pan and right back into the debt fire.’ ” - Emad McKay Inter Press News Service 06-30-05

As we pause to “celebrate” the independence from England of the thirteen East Coast British colonies in North America, we must look at not only the past but the present as well. For the Europeans who were settling in the colonies, their revolt against King George was fomented and fashioned by the large land owners, mainly the wealthy African slave holders, indentured servant agreement holders and their colonial business associates. For the rank and file colonialist, the outcome of the revolution did not change their way of life nor their status one Iota. To participate in the new government one had to be a white male, over thirty-five and a property owner, which effectively prevented participation by all women, most males known as poor whites, indentures, tenant farmers etc. Despite the rhetoric about freedom, federalism and republicanism the real agenda of the revolutionaries was: the continued genocide against the indigenous inhabitants and theft of their lands, firmly establishing a new government with themselves at its head and having it recognized by the powers of Europe as a sovereign nation. Once this was accomplished, the US government and the elitist plutocracy that directed and manned it set out to become a global empire just as Britain, France, Spain and Holland had done before it. Slave labor by our African ancestors fueled AmeriKKKa’s growth until the industrial revolution. With the industrial revolution and expanded trade with the European imperial regimes, the West and its infant cousin AmeriKKKa, modified and expanded its hegemony around the world. Today we see the results of this imperialist expansion as AmeriKKKa took up the torch of Western imperialism and assumed the mantel of global white supremacy following the devastation of the European colonial powers during WWII. One of the driving forces behind AmeriKKKa’s new imperialism is the desperate quest for oil and other natural resources to fuel its' economy and lifestyle.
AmeriKKKa accepted the baton from her European cousins to continue global domination but in so doing , she arrogantly refuses to study or learn the lessons of history; neither its own nor the world’s. What AmeriKKKa foolishly ignores is, the human spirit yearns for freedom, expansion and self-actualization. Just as some upper class North American colonists felt abused and exploited by the policies of King George, the rest of the world feels put upon by the US and its European cohorts. Just as the European colonial powers used their military to rob, rape and plunder foreign lands and wage war against their perceived rivals and victims, justifying their carnage by using noble and obfuscatory notions such as “the White Man’s burden”, spreading Christianity and civilization, freedom and democracy and by conscripting members of the lower classes to fight their imperialist wars, those returning conscripts demanded a share of the spoils of victory which for many of them amounted to participation in the process. As people of African ancestry we must look at the 4th of July in a different light, not only for its hypocracy here, but for its implications globally. The present configuration of Western neo-colonialism is sowing the seeds for global strangulation unless we mount and support the freedom struggles of our people. AmeriKKKa’s gluttony for oil is forcing its policy-makers to increasingly put Africa in its cross hairs. As we have seen throughout modern history, (particularly the last five hundred years) any dealings with the Arabs and Europeans are tantamount to dealing with the devil. All trade with them has been extremely lop-sided, they got far more out of us and our people than we ever got from them (because they really never had much of any worth to trade)! That lop-sided and exploitive relationship continues to this day!
The G8 is set to meet in Scotland and Africa is on their agenda, specifically debt reduction, trade and HIV/AIDS relief. Bet your last dollar Africa will turn out the worst because of anything these thieves and murderers come up with. The developed nations (who got that way through pillage, plunder and carnage) need more oil, they are like dope fiends craving a fix. Africa, particularly West Africa is their latest target. A recent study by the Oil Change International concluded, “‘Developing nations that depend heavily on natural resources -- especially oil -- have historically been ruled by authoritarian, corrupt governments, with few or no benefits trickling down to the poor.’ The 53-page study comes ahead of meetings of the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialised nations in Scotland next week, where African development and global warming will be two key themes. Ahead of the summit, the G8 finance ministers, who represent Britain, France, Russia, Germany, the United States, Japan, Italy and Canada, have also indicated that they want to talk about spiraling oil prices. The study is particularly relevant because a G8 finance ministers' meeting in London on Jun. 11 issued a communiqué committing to the ‘elimination of impediments to private investment’ in Africa. Oil and minerals receive at least 60 percent of foreign direct investment in Africa -- and the figure is much higher in oil-exporting countries. The report by Oil Change International, the Institute for Public Policy Research and Jubilee USA Network faults the G8 energy strategy, which is based on encouraging more private investment in oil and energy projects in Africa. ‘The energy strategy for the G8 is at odds with the development strategy for Africa, and in fact with the rest of the world,’ said Kretzmann. ‘Our report documents the energy strategy followed by the United States, particularly with regards to the LDCs (Least Developed Countries), where they want to increase oil supply and production from non-OPEC nations, (which) has actually severally deepened those nations' debts.’ ” This report just affirms what we already know, capitalism is a predatory system. Investment for oil and natural resources will do nothing for the masses in Africa, Asia or the Pacific, primarily because the leaders of the nations of many of the countries in these regions are puppets under the direct control of the US and their European allies! This goes for the recently invaded countries of Haiti, Afghanistan and Iraq as well!
What does this mean for us on this 4th of July? It means we must be vigilant, serious minded and resolute. It means we can not continue to go for the okie-doke of Western imperialism masked in high sounding words like freedom and democracy. We are at war all over the world. Our survival and the survival of Africans globally depends upon what John Henrik Clark and his student Del Jones repeatedly tell us, Pan-Africanism or perish!

-30-

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