Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Monday, April 26, 2021

Africa is choosing its own course


 Africa Is Choosing China over the U.S.: The Case of Cape Verde


Below are some selected bits from a much larger and more in-depth article that I highly recommend.  It illuminates the 'mystery' of US-NATO operations on the African continent.  The question of China's role in Africa gets major play in this important piece as well. 


By Aidan O’Brien

Cape Verde’s hero—Amilcar Cabral—was completely aware of the post-World War II restructuring of imperialism. In 1968, he noted:

“[T]he Portuguese government is able to count more than ever on the effective aid of the NATO allies...

“ It is our duty to stress the international character of the Portuguese colonial war against Africa and the important and even decisive role played by the USA … If the Portuguese government is still holding out on the three fronts of the war which it is fighting in Africa, it is because it can count on the overt or covert support of the USA, freely use NATO weapons [and] buy B26 aircraft for the genocide of our people …” 

Amílcar Cabral was born in Guinea Bissau in 1924 and assassinated in Conakry in 1973. He was the leader of the Liberation Movement of Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau and founded the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde (PAIGC). He is regarded as an icon of African history. Declassified Portuguese archives and testimonials made it clear that the conspiracy behind Cabral’s assassination was a plot involving the Portuguese secret police [likely with the US CIA in support].

Since the assassination of Cabral in 1973, the U.S. and its NATO proxies may have lost their formal grip on Africa; but they continue to strangle Africa militarily. The most blatant example of this is NATO’s destruction of Libya in 2011.

Before the U.S. and its “democratic” partners bombed Libya, that country “had the highest Human Development Index, the lowest infant mortality and the highest life expectancy in all of Africa.” There was also—at the time of the bombardment—75 Chinese companies (36,000 employees) working inside Libya—constructing housing, railways, telecommunications and hydroelectric facilities.

The end result of NATO’s unprovoked act of war against Libya (and Africa) was a catastrophic socio-economic reversal in the region, summarized in headlines such as “Slavery in Libya: Life inside a container” and “Slavery and Human Trafficking in Libya.”

When asked about the murder of the man (Muammar Gaddafi) who led Libya to the top of the African human development index, the then U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, succinctly expressed the barbaric values underpinning the U.S. approach to Africa: “We came, we saw, he died.” And then she laughed.

War is the language of imperialism and, in Africa today, the U.S. speaks it fluently. Under the cover of “counterterrorism” and “counterinsurgency,” the U.S. and its NATO allies are inserting their forces throughout the continent. [The US goal is pure chaos creation to inhibit successful development and stability.]

On the one hand, there is the ongoing French Operation Barkhane (2014) that has spread thousands of NATO soldiers across West Africa.

And on the other hand, there is the United States African Command (AFRICOM—founded in 2007). The mission statement of AFRICOM is clear: It exists to “to advance U.S. national interests … and … support U.S. Government foreign policy … through military-to-military activities.”

In 2019, just 12 years after its creation, AFRICOM had a “network” of 29 military bases spread across 15 African countries. 


Indeed, for U.S. leaders Africa is now “a petri dish and a proving ground for the development of a limited power-projection paradigm of drones, Special Operations forces, military advisers, local proxies, and clandestine intelligence missions.”

As the 21st century began, China entered into this “apocalyptic” U.S.-made situation. And as it did in the 1960s, it changed the orientation of Africa for the better. In contrast to Western “terror from above” (dictates and drones), China has been building up from below.

Since 2011, China has been the biggest player in Africa’s infrastructure boom, claiming a 40% share that continues to rise. Meanwhile, the shares of other players are falling precipitously: Europe declined from 44% to 34%, while the presence of U.S. contractors fell from 24% to just 6.7%.

Today’s partnership between Cape Verde and China is the cutting edge of this “construction boom.” In the 1960s these two nations combined to defeat the politics of imperialism. Now they are combining to battle the economics of imperialism: “the unjust and inequitable economic order left over from the past.”

If there is “great power competition” in Africa today, the U.S. has already lost the moral high ground since it remains committed to the infrastructure of imperialism—a system which creates nothing but destabilization. For the U.S., therefore, Africa is first and foremost a “security issue”—a “heart of darkness.”

Africa, however, is not an ahistorical enigma or a prize to be won in a competition. It is a proud continent which broke free from imperialism around the same time as China broke free from imperialism. And at the 1955 Bandung Conference both Africa and China invested in freedom from empire and peaceful cooperation. No evidence to date suggests that China has disavowed the spirit of Bandung.

In stark contrast, the U.S.—around 1950—chose to partner with Western Europe (NATO) rather than with the world. It chose empire. It chose to violently oppose “Bandung.” It chose war, racism and the neoliberal apocalypse. If Africa must now choose between China and the U.S., the choice is obvious.


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