Saturday, August 06, 2005

Look Beyond The Headlines (Lies)

Look Beyond The Headlines (Lies)

“A professor of development studies at the London School of Economics, Gavin Capps has researched the numbers behind the debt. In an article titled "Redesigning the Debt Trap," he explains the dangerous web that the debt, structural adjustment programs, and capital flight creates in Africa. He cites Africa Action, a U.S.-based NGO, reporting in 2001 that the ratios of foreign debt to the continent's gross national product increased from 51% in 1982 to 100% in 1992. Africa's debt grew to four times its export income in the early 1990s. Its debt burden is twice that of any other region in the world, it carries 11% of the developing countries' debt, with only 5% of its income. The gross national product in Africa is $308 per capita, while its debt stands at $355 per capita. The money spent paying back the debt and the interest on the debt expanded from an average of $1.7 billion from 1970-1979 to $14.6 billion from 1997-1999. Africa received a total of $540 billion in loans, paid back $550 billion, and still retained a debt of $295 billion between 1970 and 2002. In 1990 African countries paid out $60 billion more than they received in new loans, and by 1997, this increased to about 162 British pounds. In 2001, sub-Saharan Africa borrowed $11.4 billion, and paid back $14.5 billion. This catastrophe is played out in the social service and health sectors. Shrinking African national budgets are being spent in greater proportions to repaying Western creditors at the expense of welfare or productive domestic investment. During the 1980s debt service repayments averaged 16% of African government expenditure compared to 12% on education and 4% on health. A decade later, the situation remains appalling, as interest payments are prioritized over human needs. In 1999 the Zambian government was pressured to spend $14 million more in debt service than on its collapsing health care system, in the face of the AIDS pandemic reaching new heights. Also in 1999, 33% of Angola's gross domestic product was spent on debt repayments, as compared to 4.9% of gross national product on education and 1.4% on health. In the whole of sub-Saharan Africa in 2001, debt repayment amounted to 3.8% of GDP, as opposed to 2.4% spent on health care.”- Virginia Rodino African Debt War and Imperialism Are Linked www.Counterpunch.com 08-02-05

The racist corporate media mind control apparatus likes to portray Sub-Saharan Africa as a disease, famine, poverty ravaged region exacerbated by government corruption and malfeasance but the truth of the matter is Africa is in the position it is in due to five hundred years of European invasion, colonization and neo-colonial administration. Africa was carved up partitioned and galvanized by Europeans at the infamous Berlin Conference of 1885-86. The mere presence of whites on the continent wrought social and ecological havoc, violent disruption and resulting oppression. The clash of values allowed the whites to instigate conflict, violence and turmoil not only in Africa but everywhere else the whites set foot on planet earth. This is an undisputable and empirical fact. One of the ways the conflict manifested itself was in relation to the land, European values towards life in general, land and labor were antithetical to indigenous cosmologies and cultural patterns. In his classic work Race and Culture Contacts in the Modern World sociologist E. Franklin Frazier documented how this clash of values created conflict and disrupted the indigenous way of life.”Where the collective conception of land tenure exists the relation of men to the land and their rights in regard to the products of the soil are as Labouret has pointed out, of an essentially religious nature. The individual concept of land tenure introduced by the Europeans tends to secularize the relationships of natives to the land and effects fundamental changes in their habits and customs. This is achieved first by a transition from a subsistence economy to a commercial system of agriculture with marketable crops. Another stage in the process of secularization is attained when land acquires a ‘transferable value’ and rights in the land are commercialized. It is also important to point out that this transformation is accomplished by changes in the organization of labor and changes in the meaning of labor for native peoples.” page 136-37. The aggression of whites which forced Africans off their traditional lands or made them shift from a collectivist subsistence culture to one of cash crop agriculture helped undermine and devastate the African socio-cultural fabric making it easier for the Europeans to subjugate them. Life for Africans is/was a spiritual relationship. The Europeans forced a secularization of existence which tore asunder the African personality alienating them from the spirit and ancestral worlds which in African cosmology undergirded their existence. That process along with Arab and European slavery which severely depopulated the continent helped set the continent up for defeat and conquest by the Europeans.
Once Africa was partitioned into European colonies and protectorates, each European nation state violently and forcibly imposed alien values and customs onto the natives further disrupting their lives. Trade between the Europeans and natives was always unbalanced because the European had nothing of real value to trade (even if they wanted to be fair) in relation to the goods the Africans offered. This pattern continued well into the colonial era where the whites extracted the valuable raw materials, natural resources and crops in exchange for cheap goods with jacked up price tags. As the West became rich due to their predatory and unbalanced trade policies, this pattern became set in stone as global capitalism grew. Following WW II when the armed liberation struggles of Africans and Asians further taxed the already decimated European militaries and economies, the whites initiated a new strategy to maintain their hegemony. Rather than totally capitulate to African and Asian demands for freedom which would have meant a drastic deterioration in their wealth and lifestyles, the whites structured a more subtle variation of their theme of “indirect rule”. Our wise ancestor Kwame Nkrumah called it NeoColonialism. The whites allowed African leaders to ascend to “power” but retained control over the economic infrastructure and dictated the terms African leaders were forced to operate under. If a leader like Patrice Lumumba or Kwame Nkrumah became too independent or too nationalistic they were murdered or deposed in a coup d’etat. By the twentieth century the multinational corporations had replaced the monopoly trading companies as the trade and economic policy makers and the Western elected officials had replaced the European monarchies as the ruling figureheads collaborating with them to exploit, rape and plunder Africa.
Today neocolonialism and neoliberal globalist economic polices are the tentacles strangling Africa. The economic hit men from the IMF, World Bank and US-AID with the backing of the CIA, MI6, other Covert Special Ops groups and military are the ultimate enforcers of the new extortion and international loan sharking techniques employed by their New World Order puppeteers. Africa is “poor” today not because like Europe they lack natural resources, Africa is poor because of the death grip the West has on their national economic infrastructures. Africa is poor because they are drowning in debt and restrictive policies imposed upon them by the IMF , World Bank and US-AID. In an article called African Debt War and Imperialism Are Linked, Virginia Rodino spells out how the West maintains its death grip on Africa, “Blair and Brown's simplistic rhetoric of relieving Africa's debt instead masks the reality that there are massive and continuous flows of wealth out of Africa into the pockets of Western capitalists, capitalists who are inextricably bound to the system that impoverishes millions, while the bankers and investors profiteer from the militarized budget. The Commission for Africa's agenda and the drive for free trade actually ties the mass of Africans into an exploitative neo-liberal system that has been bleeding them dry for decades...The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank consolidated their hold over Africa directly because of the debt crisis. They continue to ensure commercial banks are repaid by lending African states more money to service their private debts. And these U.S.-led institutions act as debt collection agencies for the Western powers, in addition to the IMF's insistence on even harsher repayment terms of the multilateral loans it makes. The charters of the IMF and World Bank specifically forbid debts that they hold to be rescheduled or written off, and most of these debts are charged at market rates. This is one of the main reasons why Africa's total debt has continued to grow while an even greater volume of its resources has flowed out of the continent.” So you see Africa is still being raped and violated by the West. To justify their larceny the Western media lies by saying the problem is ineptitude and corruption on the part of African leadership. But the truth is this leadership was corrupted or at least rendered ineffective due to IMF and World bank impositions and conditions tied to these agencies loans. Don’t believe the hype, look beyond the headlines, search for the causative factors, don’t focus solely on the effects.

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