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Neo-Nazi plot to 'assassinate Barack Obama and slaughter dozens of black school pupils' foiled by FBI
Related to country: United States

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Neo-Nazi plot to 'assassinate Barack Obama and slaughter dozens of black school pupils' foiled by FBI
By David Gardner

Last updated at 7:52 AM on 28th October 2008

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A plot to kill Barack Obama and slaughter dozens of black school pupils was foiled yesterday.

Two neo-Nazis planned to rob a gun store and go on a murderous rampage, with the black Democrat candidate their final target, court records revealed last night.

A predominantly black high school in Tennessee was also high on their hit-list, it was alleged.

Neo-Nazis: Daniel Cowart (left) and Paul Schlesselman, seen posing with guns on their Myspace pages, have been charged over a plot to assassinate Barack Obama and 101 other black Americans
Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tennessee, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, in the neighbouring state of Arkansas, were charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms and threatening a candidate for president.

The pair intended to shoot 88 African-Americans and decapitate another 14, said Jim Cavanaugh, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The pair told investigators they planned to speed a truck towards Mr Obama while 'shooting at him from the windows'.

According to court documents unsealed last night, they 'stated they would dress in all-white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt'.

Both said that they were 'willing to die during this attempt'.

'They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Senator Obama,' said Mr Cavanaugh.

'They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.'

Police became suspicious because the pair used chalk to draw a swastika and 'numerous racially motivated words and symbols' on Cowart's car.

They allegedly began discussing the murder plot after meeting online about a month ago.

In the affidavit, agents said the two men 'discussed the killing spree to include targeting a predominately African-American school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people'.

Anti-racism campaigners said the number 88 is used by white supremacists as an abbreviation for Heil Hitler as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The figure 14 represents a slogan consisting of that many words, coined by American white supremacist leader David Lane, who is serving a 190-year jail sentence.

The plot was similar to one uncovered during the Democratic Party convention in Denver in August.

Plot: U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was on the hit list of 102 black Americans to be killed in a murder spree in TennesseeThen, three white supremacists-were arrested after being found with a sniper rifle and being high on drugs.

Later, FBI agents and the Secret Service decided not to charge them after coming to the conclusion they did not pose a real threat.

The latest plot came to light with just a week to go in the race to be the next President of the United States.

Both Mr Obama and Republican candidate John McCain were in Ohio, seen as a crucial state in the election next Tuesday.

Senator McCain was busily repeating his charge that Mr Obama was a tax-and-spend liberal.

But having said over the weekend that he and President Bush, as fellow Republicans, share some economic philosophies, Mr McCain was accused of doing a U-turn yesterday.

'We (Obama and McCain) both disagree with President Bush on economic policies,' Mr McCain said in Cleveland. 'My approach is to get spending under control.'

He added that the difference was 'he (Obama) thinks taxes have been too low and I think that spending has been too high'.

In Canton, Ohio, Mr Obama said: 'After 21 months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy.'

He claimed that 'the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed in the last eight years


October 28, 2008 | 4:52 AM Comments  {num} comments


Bush’s Iraq chickens come home to roost
Related to country: United States

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Bush’s Iraq chickens come home to roost

By Naomi Wolf

Background The First Brigade of the Third Infantry Division, three to four thousand soldiers, has been deployed in the United States as of October 1. Their stated mission is the form of crowd control they practised in Iraq, subduing "unruly individuals", and the management of a national emergency.

I am in Seattle and heard from the brother of one of the soldiers that they are engaged in exercises now.

Amy Goodman reported that an army spokesperson confirmed that they will have access to lethal and non-lethal crowd control technologies and tanks.

George Bush struck down Posse Comitatus, thus making it legal for military to patrol the US. He has also legally established that in the "War on Terror", the US is at war around the globe and thus the whole world is a battlefield. Thus the US is also a battlefield.

He also led change to the 1807 Insurrection Act to give him far broader powers in the event of a loosely defined "insurrection" or many other "conditions" he has the power to identify. The US Constitution allows the suspension of habeas corpus — habeas corpus prevents us from being seized by the state and held without trial — in the event of an "insurrection". With his own army force now, his power to call a group of protesters or angry voters "insurgents" staging an "insurrection" is strengthened.

US Rep Brad Sherman of California said to Congress, captured on C-Span and viewable on YouTube, that individual members of the House were threatened with martial law within a week if they did not pass the bailout Bill:

"The only way they can pass this Bill is by creating and sustaining a panic atmosphere . . . Many of us were told in private conversations that if we voted against this Bill on Monday that the sky would fall, the market would drop two or three thousand points the first day and a couple of thousand on the second day, and a few members were even told that there would be martial law in America if we voted no."

If this is true and Rep Sherman is not delusional, I ask you to consider that if they are willing to threaten martial law now, it is foolish to assume they will never use that threat again. It is also foolish to trust in an orderly election process to resolve this threat. And why deploy the First Brigade? One thing the deployment accomplishes is to put teeth into such a threat.

I interviewed Vietnam veteran, retired US Air Force colonel and patriot David Antoon for clarification:

"If the president directed the First Brigade to arrest Congress, what could stop him?"

"Nothing. Their only recourse is to cut off funding. The Congress would be at the mercy of military leaders to go to them and ask them not to obey illegal orders."

"But these orders are now legal?"


"If the president directs the First Brigade to arrest a bunch of voters, what would stop him?"

"Nothing. It would end up in courts but the action would have been taken."

"If the president directs the First Brigade to kill civilians, what would stop him?"


"What would prevent him from sending the First Brigade to arrest the editor of the Washington Post?"

"Nothing. He could do what he did in Iraq — send a tank down a street in Washington and fire a shell into the Washington Post as they did into Al-Jazeera, and claim they were firing at something else."

"What happens to members of the First Brigade who refuse to take up arms against US citizens?"

"They’d probably be treated as deserters as in Iraq: arrested, detained and facing five years in prison. In Iraq a study by Ann Wright shows that deserters — reservists who refused to go back to Iraq — got longer sentences than war criminals."

"Does Congress have any military of their own?"

"No. Congress has no direct control of any military units. The governors have the National Guard but they report to the president in an emergency that he declares."

"Who can arrest the president?"

"The Attorney-General can arrest the president after he leaves or after impeachment."

[Note: Prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi has asserted it is possible for district attorneys around the country to charge President Bush with murder if they represent districts where one or more military members who have been killed in Iraq formerly resided.]

"Given the danger do you advocate impeachment?"

"Yes. President Bush struck down Posse Comitatus — which has prevented, with a penalty of two years in prison, US leaders since after the Civil War from sending military forces into our streets — with a ‘signing statement’. He should be impeached immediately in a bipartisan process to prevent the use of military forces and mercenary forces against US citizens."

"Should Americans call on senior leaders in the military to break publicly with this action and call on their own men and women to disobey these orders?"

"Every senior military officer’s loyalty should ultimately be to the constitution. Every officer should publicly break with any illegal order, even from the president."

"But if these are now legal. If they say, ‘Don’t obey the commander-in-chief,’ what happens to the military?"

"Perhaps they would be arrested and prosecuted as those who refuse to participate in the current illegal war. That’s what would be considered a coup."

"But it’s a coup already."


l This article was first posted on www.alternet.org on October 8, 2008. The author, Naomi Wolf, is the author of Give Me Liberty (Simon and Schuster, 2008), the sequel to the New York Times bestseller The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot (Chelsea Green, 2007).

October 13, 2008 | 6:26 AM Comments  {num} comments


Zimbabwe’s undemocratic ‘democrats’
Related to country: Zimbabwe

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Zim’s undemocratic ‘democrats’

By Reason Wafawarova in SYDNEY, Australia

THE Western-sponsored political running by Zimbabwe’s opposition is in many ways a replay of Washington’s mindless and reckless games that started soon after the US declared the American century just after the Second World War.

There is nothing new in the sponsorship of client political parties and the regime change doctrine was actually overplayed in Latin America during the peak of the Cold War.

There is nothing new in the role of sanctions as a form of pressure to coerce compliant political behaviour and as a tool to force the public into submission and to create conditions that may lead to an uprising.

This writer will revisit Nicaragua in the 1980s and draw the attention of the readers to some glaring similarities between what was happening then and what we have seen happen in Zimbabwe in this first decade of the 21st century.

Nicaragua held an election in November 1984 and the United States clarified their subversive aims towards Nicaragua by an outstandingly hysterical reaction to this election.

It was a reaction not very different from what we saw in the run-up to Zimbabwe’s March 29 harmonised elections and the subsequent June 27 presidential run-off.

The US carried out a classical well-crafted propaganda coup over the Nicaraguan election by deflecting attention from the voting itself through regular diatribes that were seriously reported as news in all Western media.

Equally, the Zimbabwean election was tactfully deprived of objective coverage as the Western media went into overdrive to paint the picture of an election contested by a ruthless military junta on behalf of the ruling Zanu-PF (or vice versa) and against a well-meaning and most civilised team of democrats in the opposition MDC, particularly the faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai.

In the run-up to the June presidential election run-off, the Western media and the South African media raved hysterical about a Chinese ship carrying military supplies destined for Zimbabwe in much the same way the US national Press went hysterical about a concocted story over Russian MIGs in Nicaragua, also in the run-up to the 1984 election.

The Chinese ship story was abandoned after it had served its function of eliminating potential allies to the Zimbabwe Government, especially those from Sadc. The Nicaragua MIG story was similarly abandoned quickly as soon as Washington realised that it had served its purpose of eliminating honest coverage of the election.

In fact, the concocted story elicited some highly emotional outrage by some dovish senators in the US, well exemplified by Massachusetts Democrat Paul Tsongas, who warned that the US would have to bomb Nicaragua to eliminate the MIGs because "they are also capable against the United States". It is obviously ludicrous for any sane person to ever imagine that Nicaragua would even for once consider the possibility of attacking the United States, but such is the mentality of US elites.

Well, the Chinese ship story ended up with suggestions for military intervention in the UK House of Lords and revelations that Tony Blair had long mooted the idea of military engagement over Zimbabwe. This time the ludicrous reasoning was that Zimbabweans needed protection from their own "monstrous government" and that Britain was too good to stand aside and watch the people of Zimbabwe suffer. There is nothing sweeter than rhetoric in politics.

The US Latin American Studies Association carried a study of the Nicaraguan election and its largely objective report was virtually ignored by the national Press in the US, as were the elections themselves.

The report rejected that Arturo Cruz, the official "democrat" according to Washington, was excluded from the elections. Rather, his business backed political grouping made an ill-advised decision to exclude themselves from the election despite the fair playing field, the report said.

The report submitted the "observers’ doubts" that Cruz’s group had a broad following in Nicaragua.

This LASA report resonates well with the view that Tsvangirai made an ill-advised decision to exclude himself from the presidential election run-off, just five days before voting day. He was not excluded from the process by anyone but himself, of course under instruction issued at a golf course.

The report noted that Cruz’s agenda was "more attuned to the policy debate in Washington than to the hardships of life in Nicaragua". There is this perpetual argument that the MDC-T agenda is more attuned to policy debates in the UK House of Lords and to Washington’s foreign policy than it is to the hardships of life in Zimbabwe — and the argument makes perfect sense when one considers the elusiveness of the MDC-T position whenever Africa comes in the open condemning the illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe.

Cruz’s call for talks with the US-sponsored Contras was reported as failing to "strike a popular chord in Managua". Even Cruz’s own sister, Lilian, opposed her brother’s treacherous call by penning an open letter to two pro-government newspapers to remind her brother that her son, Sandinista army officer David Baez, had been slain battling the Contras.

Similarly, the July call by Zimbabwe’s opposition for more sanctions against their own country through the UN Security Council was an embarrassment that was widely condemned by the African Union minus Burkina Faso and by Sadc minus Botswana.

China and Russia stood in defence of international law and the United Nations Charter by blocking the ruinous move by the West to effect a fatal punishment on the people of Zimbabwe for their "disappointing" failure to engage in an uprising against their own Government.

The LASA report made a very revealing observation saying: "We know of no election in Latin America or elsewhere, in which groups advocating the violent overthrow of an incumbent government have themselves been incorporated into the electoral process; particularly when these groups have been openly supported by a foreign power."

Well, in Zimbabwe we have now known of at least five such elections in just eight years. Not only that, the groups advocating the violent overthrow of the incumbent government have actually been offered an agreement that seeks to incorporate them in an inclusive government. Then we have the amazing reality that one of the groups has the temerity to declare the offer to be not good enough.

Surely, nothing of this sort would be tolerated for an instant in the US and in the West in general.

The LASA report noted that the Nicaragua elections were indeed "manipulated", but by the Reagan administration, which did everything in its power to block and discredit them, including the inducement of Cruz and others to abstain.

Wasn’t Zimbabwe’s March election manipulated through politicised food aid that was given campaign-style by Western-sponsored NGOs? We have heard such reports and surely we cannot just conveniently ignore them as Zanu-PF propaganda, not when the ban on such food distribution actually resulted in Tsvangirai chickening out of the subsequent run-off.

Were there no attempts to block and discredit the presidential run-off and did we not see the West inducing Tsvangirai to boycott? It is all part of the same old strategy and for sure we are going to see more of history repeating itself.

Anyone who will demand evidence for these assertions has no idea what four-hour golf sessions between a US-backed opposition leader and a US ambassador mean and this writer will excuse them.

Cruz was later busted as being on the CIA payroll and he defended himself saying he had only "received assistance for a short period from an institution that was dedicated to support the struggle for liberty".

Pressed to name the institution, Cruz went mute while his mate, Alfonso Robelo, admitted that Cruz "had been given money in the past by the Central Intelligence Agency to carry out what the (CIA) official called ‘political work’."

It is this writer’s hope that someone is not going to be busted too soon. If this so-called deal either fails or leaves out some over-ambitious novice out there, then we may in reality have our own Alfonso Robelo telling it like it is.

After all, we saw a bit of that with the 2006 split of the MDC-T branch based in the UK, didn’t we? Remember Job Sikhala going berserk about a "donated" couple of million US dollars the other year?

Christopher Hitchens commented on the democratic credentials of Arturo Cruz. He said: "He would not take part in an election that he felt to be insufficiently democratic, but he will take part in a war of sabotage and attrition that has no democratic pretences at all."

Have we not seen in Zimbabwe, someone refusing to take part in a "sham" election but showing religious commitment to the perpetuation of the illegal sanctions under the so-called "Tongai Tione" slogan? There is obviously no semblance of democracy in calling for sanctions against one’s own country and it is not surprising that the advocates are too ashamed to stand openly and publicly withdraw their call.

Arturo Cruz and his colleagues were labelled "democrats" by US commentators not on the basis of any credible information about such commitment, but because their concept of democracy rejected the logic of the majority, which meant that Nicaragua’s poor majority would have access to, and be the primary beneficiaries of their country’s resources and its public programmes.

This stance, much similar to the position of the Zimbabwe opposition in relation to the popular land reclamation policy of 2000, is what suffices to confer democratic credentials by Washington and London. It is the crowning of the undemocratic democrats.

The Managua correspondent for the London Guardian, Tony Jenkins, summed up what was happening in Nicaragua by saying: "The political opposition in Nicaragua has never really committed itself to trying to win power by democratic means."

Challenged to respond to this assertion, one of the leaders of the opposition Democratic Co-ordinating Committee, a group proudly named "democratic" by Washington, which abstained from the elections, explained this posture.

He said: "It is true that we have never really tried to build up a big membership or tried to show our strength by organising regular demonstrations. Perhaps it is a mistake, but we prefer to get European and Latin American governments to put pressure on the Sandinistas."

Do we know who is playing around with the idea of running away from the negotiating table in the hope of getting European and African governments to put pressure on Zanu-PF?

While some of the reasons advanced by the MDC-T for "boycotting" the run-off might have received a degree of plausibility, there is a more fundamental reason for "the true democrats" to refuse to condemn sanctions and to rely on outsiders more than they do on political mobilisation.

We have learnt the lessons from the "democratic opposition" of Nicaragua, Miami-based Cubans, Honduras, Venezuela and our very own Zimbabwe.

In Nicaragua, Tony Jenkins noted that the opposition "never accepted the basic Sandinista precept of the revolution; that society must be reorganised to the benefit of the workers and the peasants".

Did the Zimbabwean opposition ever accept the basic precept of the Chimurenga revolution and did they ever accept that Zimbabwean society must be reorganised in terms of the distribution of land for the benefit of the landless masses?

In the absence of such acceptances the only route is to bank on pressure from outside forces and this is the only logic behind ZDERA and the shameful support for the so-called targeted sanctions. The idea is to render conditions of life intolerable, forcing the Government to tougher measures, and reinforcing the true allies of the West by presenting them as the only "democratic hope" to end the people’s suffering.

That idea has largely done its cycle in Zimbabwe although the opposition still runs a clear risk of overplaying its hand posturing as a party with a popular appeal among the masses.

After all, they just agreed and accepted that the ruling Zanu-PF commanded the most popular vote in March 2008, and accordingly conceded the majority Cabinet posts in the proposed inclusive government to the ruling party.

These comparisons have been made in light of the influences that are at play in the political process in Zimbabwe and this writer’s position is that whatever negotiations might still be pending between the three political parties involved; such negotiations must be in the context of Zimbabwe’s national interest and must be driven by a desire to build Zimbabwe and not to build on its ruins.

There must be no room for foreign influence in the running of Zimbabwe’s affairs and any deviation from this commitment cannot be rewarded or honoured. Indeed, we all seek a solution to the biting problems bedevilling the country but none of us has a right to look for slavery and servitude.

We owe it to posterity to build a solid future for Zimbabwe and any weakness now will be a crack to be mended for many years to come.

Zimbabweans we are always one and together we will overcome. It is homeland or death!

l Reason Wafawarova is a political writer and can be contacted on wafawarova@yahoo.co.uk or reason@rwafawarova. com or visit www.rwafawarova.com

October 10, 2008 | 6:34 AM Comments  {num} comments


Collapse of the neoliberal regime change model
Related to country: Zimbabwe

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Collapse of the neoliberal regime change model

AFRICAN FOCUS By Tafataona P. Mahoso

THE same Anglo-Saxon media which marketed the invasion of Iraq as a selfless exercise in exporting democracy and human rights or as an exercise in altruistic "nation creation" are today packaging the most serious capitalist crisis since the 1930s as a mere housing market "credit crunch" or as simply a "world financial crisis" which can be fixed with one US Congressional "bail-out" package.

But for Zimbabwe, the ongoing capitalist crisis is as important as the US-UK invasion of Iraq in March 2003. For thinking Zimbabweans the joint illegal invasion of Iraq by the US and UK in 2003 helped to expose and destroy the model of sponsored democracy which the same countries had initiated through the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and its NGO allies here. One remembers how the MDC objected to media programmes debating the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Iraq against popular opinion in the US and UK and against international law. Likewise, for thinking Zimbabweans, the bursting of the global bubble of the neoliberal casino economy has exposed and destroyed the neoliberal economic model in the same way Iraq destroyed the political model of Anglo-Saxon regime change as "democracy".

Contrary to this history, however, the newly elected Speaker of the Parliament of Zimbabwe told the New Labour Congress in Manchester about British democracy and the British economy as models for the next government of Zimbabwe to follow. Yet the British themselves right now cannot even follow what they themselves have been doing to their economy and their politics. The last thing they can understand is being praised as the model for a "new" Zimbabwe to follow in the wake of the September 15 2008 inter-party agreement.

Eleven years ago, Executive Intelligence Review warned about the neoliberal casino economy and how it was related to the imperialist regime change politics in which the MDC was to be one of the projects:

In January 1997 editors of Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) published a paper on the Internet called "George Bush’s Heart of Darkness — Mineral Control and Africa". This was an attempt to be as blunt as possible about the post-modern, post-Cold War version of the myth of the survival of the fittest and the way African lives and interests were being devalued in the media and in white public opinion in preparation for actual trampling over them:

"It has become a standard rule among practitioners of mass murder in Africa to justify their policies with the Malthusian myth that, since Africa has too many people any way (which is a lie), the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Africans are part of a necessary ‘solution’ to the ‘overpopulation problem’. Such claims were heard in 1994."

The editors of EIR then quoted a Mr Dick Cornelius of the US State Department’s Office of Population, Refugees and Immigration as telling one journalist that:

"The people dying at the moment are not the main issue in (Rwanda). I mean 50 000 people dying of cholera is alarming — but on the grand scale of things, looking at the impact on population in Africa and the region, it is a drop in the bucket."

The editors of EIR also accused the British government’s Secretary for International Development, Lynda Chalker, of voicing views similar to those of the US State Department in an effort to divert attention from the fact that Rwanda was subjected by the IMF and World Bank to a neoliberal structural adjustment programme which was tantamount to "economic genocide" before the cornered population turned on one another in actual violent genocide.

The editors of EIR then turned to the reason why the North Atlantic states were bent on intervening in Africa through regime change projects:

"Driving the British (and US) actions this time is another Great Scramble. The international financier oligarchy, grouped around the House of Windsor, knows that the world financial bubble (that is the casino economy of neoliberal reform) — which they themselves have created — cannot be sustained, and will burst. They are getting out of paper financial instruments and into hard commodities: precious metals, such as gold; strategic metals such as cobalt and tantalum; base metals such as copper and zinc; energy supplies; and increasingly scarce food supplies."

But, are we cooking up a false link between regime change politics here and the neoliberal casino economy now in shambles? Does that link exist in fact? The link has been made on a global scale. It is being challenged on a global scale. According to Naomi Klein, the world has been awakening out of the global hegemony of neoliberal "democracy" marketed as regime change.

"And as people shed the collective fear that was first instilled with tanks and cattle prods, with sudden flights of capital and brutal cutbacks, many are demanding more (real) democracy and more control over markets. These demands represent the greatest threat of all to Milton Friedman’s legacy because they challenge his most essential claim: that capitalism and freedom are part of the same indivisible project."

Therefore, in the case of Zimbabwe, overthrowing the Zanu-PF Government was presented by the Anglo-Saxon powers as democratic because it would return all the now reclaimed African land to white landlords and white-controlled multinational corporations. It would restore "free markets".

Naomi Klein continues in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism:

"The Bush administration remains so committed to perpetuating this false union (between neoliberal capitalism and democracy) that, in 2002, it embedded it in the National Security Strategy of the United States of America."

This then meant that Zimbabwe’s rejection of a US-sponsored political and economic model could and would be interpreted as a threat to North American and Anglo-Saxon security and interests.

"The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom — a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise," according to the Bush administration in 2002.

When this market worship is exported to the South it tends also to be mixed up with white worship.

Therefore the admiration of British interference in Zimbabwe and the admiration of the British economy voiced by the newly elected Speaker of the Zimbabwe House of Assembly at Manchester this September was shocking but not surprising.

It was shocking because it followed the signing of the MOU and the inter-party agreement between Zanu-PF and the MDC formations which are founded on the condemnation of outside interference in Zimbabwe’s politics and the economy.

It was not surprising because the MDC formations were set up as regime change projects based on the twin models of unipolar imperialist politics and neoliberal economics which have now crumbled over Iraq and over the so-called "credit crunch" in the US and the UK.

It was not surprising because the sponsored media outlets supportive of the foreign regime change project here had for 10 years consistently promoted such market worship mixed up with white worship.

The Zimbabwe Independent is one of those sponsored media outlets.

Let us consider at length a letter published in the paper in early 2006 by Alistair Hull and entitled "Enjoy it while it lasts, comrades".

"The New World Order advocates (seen here as Anglo-Saxons) will ultimately implement a one-world political system which will operate from a major city somewhere in Europe where there will be a global economy and a one-world religious system, that is, the much-talked-about ecumenical church . . .

"Elements of our paranoid (Zimbabwean) leadership keep babbling on about sovereignty and the fact that we will never be a colony again. They keep on accusing the World Bank and the IMF of having ulterior motives for Zimbabwe.

"The IMF and the World Bank are just one of the ‘1 000 points of light’ President (George) Bush (Senior) spoke about at the same time he announced the coming new world order.

"The ‘1 000 points of light’ he mentioned are the various organisations and institutions that are slowly and insidiously doing the groundwork for a new world order.

"Any country whose government does not conform to this will ultimately be brought down by whatever means the new world order (Anglo-Saxons) see fit.

"President Mugabe and Zanu-PF are bucking the new world order and will ultimately be brought down by these people whether they like it or not as was Ian Smith and Rhodesia. We are all pawns in a game — they had better believe it."

Now, this problem of market worship as white worship affects the viability of the recently signed inter-party agreement.

If we were to use Frantz Fanon’s class analysis, we find that one of the parties to the agreement engages in neo-liberal market worship confused with white worship.

In Fanon’s view, this party mistakes for a new dawn and breakthrough the exact dead-end of the Western neo-liberal system and its unipolarism.

How then can this very same party forge a partnership with another party which has always seen its mission as to liberate the country and the people from the very same Anglo-Saxon hegemony which the other party mistakes for a new era of liberty?

Most significantly, the debate over the so-called global financial crisis or the credit crunch in Washington and London totally excludes the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which the very same Anglo-Saxon powers and their MDCs have always insisted must dictate economic policies to us.

Eddie Cross, as the MDC economic advisor, has always insisted on our acceptance of dictation from the IMF and the World Bank. The Zimbabwe Independent on April 16 1999 did not only recommend this market worship as a substitute for policy-making; it also clearly and correctly associated Zanu-PF with our national resistance to neo-liberalism and unipolarism: This is what the editor of The Zimbabwe Independent wrote:

"There are elements within the ruling party that would want to plunge this country into political and economic chaos by resorting to populist choices for reasons of short-term political expedience . . . It is this same clique that wants to introduce price controls and embark on a destructive land acquisition exercise where law, productivity and foreign confidence are of no account.

"And the overriding concern is a childish desire to please President Mugabe.

"The stock market retreated this week while severe foreign currency shortages brought trading almost to a halt.

"The markets are sending a very clear message to the Government and the party which we ignore at our peril.

"Put simply, the markets do not approve of Government cutting ties with the IMF and the World Bank because they understandably doubt whether Zimbabwe has the capacity to go it alone.

"Just as importantly, the private sector is accurately aware of the magnitude of the international fall-out should the Government decide to ditch the twin institutions whose financial support underpins the whole (market) reform process and provides a signal to other donors and investors. And this is the point that the Government seems to completely miss."

Now that it is the highly worshipped market which has crashed and the World Bank and the IMF don’t have a clue because they are part of the problem, where then do the MDC formations, the Zimbabwe Independent and Alistair Cooks intend to take us next?

Is Morgan Tsvangirai still sourcing economic advice from the same regime change sponsors whom Lovemore Moyo went to worship at Manchester? How should the people of Zimbabwe take such neo-liberal myopia?

And how will the inter-party agreement survive such stark divergences in economic policy?

September 29, 2008 | 10:16 AM Comments  {num} comments


US’s murky role in the Balkanisation of Bolivia
Related to country: United States

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

US’s murky role in the Balkanisation of Bolivia

By Wilson García Mérida

HE presented his credentials before President Evo Morales on October 13, 2006; but three months before his arrival in Bolivia, when he was still in Pristina fulfilling his role as head of the US mission in Kosovo, it was already being said that the new US ambassador designated by George W. Bush for this Andean country, Philip Goldberg, would come to take part in the separatist process that was being cultivated in the background to pierce the Bolivian regime.

On July 13 2006, the journalist for El Deber of Santa Cruz, Leopoldo Vegas, published a report indicating that "in the view of three political scientists interviewed after learning about the White House’s decision, the experience acquired by Goldberg in Eastern Europe which produced ethnic conflict after the separation of the former Yugoslavia can be used in Bolivia, using as an opportunity the changes that the government itself is trying to introduce".

One of those interviewed by Vegas was the academic Róger Tuero, former head of the Political Science Department at Gabriel René Moreno Autonomous University in Santa Cruz, who stated that characteristics of each ambassador are determined by US diplomacy.

"It’s not by chance that this man was moved from Kosovo to Bolivia," said Tuero.

Ambassador Goldberg today is one of the principal political and logistical supporters of still-Governor of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, who created the worst ethnic, social, regional and institutional crisis one can remember in the history of the Republic of Bolivia.

Who is Philip Goldberg?

According to the curriculum vitae officially distributed by the United States Embassy in La Paz, Philip Goldberg was involved from the beginnings of the civil war in Yugoslavia that erupted in the nineties, until the fall and prosecution of Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

Between 1994 and 1996 he was the State Department’s "Bosnia Desk Officer", at the point when the conflict between Albanian separatists and Serbian and Yugoslav security forces erupted. During the same period, he served as Special Assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, who was the author of the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the fall of Milosevic.

"In the latter capacity," states the embassy, "he was a member of the American negotiating team in the lead-up to the Dayton Peace Conference and Chief of Staff for the American Delegation at Dayton."

Ambassador Goldberg was also a political-economic officer in Pretoria, South Africa, and later a consular and political officer at the US Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, where he began to become interested in Latin American politics. After exercising his charge as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Santiago, Chile, from 2001 to 2004, Goldberg returned to the Balkans to direct the US mission in Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, where he supported the prosecution in The Hague of Milosevic (who died March 11, 2006).

Before his transfer to Bolivia, Goldberg worked from Kosovo for the separation of the states of Serbia and Montenegro, which occurred in June of last year, as the last remaining aftertaste of the disappearance of Yugoslavia.

The disintegration of Yugoslavia unfolded during a bloody decade of civil war created to divide up through processes of "decentralisation" and "autonomy" that which was finally imposed with the US military intervention and the presence of Nato and UN troops who occupied the Balkans to pacify the region.

The Yugoslav civil war had as its principal feature what is called "ethnic cleansing", which consists of the expulsion or annihilation of the traditional ethnic groups that make up the territory of Yugoslavia.

The cruellest of this racial extermination occurred between the Serbs and the Croats. Bolivia, only three months since the arrival of Ambassador Goldberg, began to suffer an exacerbation of racism and separatist autonomous movements, as in the Balkans, which was initiated from the eastern city of Santa Cruz, where the governing elite made up of, among others, Croatian businessmen, created a federalist movement called "Camba Nation".

One of the main Santa Cruz leaders of this separatist movement is the agro-industrial businessman and partner of Chilean capitalists, Branco Marinkovic, who in February 2007 became head of the Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, the entity behind the mobilisation of pressure against the government of Evo Morales.

The separatist autonomous movement The "Camba Nation" lumps together with Santa Cruz the departments [states] of Beni, Pando and Tarija (where one finds the largest reserves of natural gas in Bolivia), whose populations voted in favour of departmental autonomy in a referendum held in July of 2006, comprising the so-called "half moon" that represents the eastern half of the country.

The western departments of La Paz, Chuquisaca, Potosí, Oruro and Cochabamba voted "no" on autonomy, maintaining their direct link to the central government of Evo Morales and in effect separating the four autonomous departments of the "half moon".

This autonomous separatism — which should be recognised by the new constitution by virtue of a Law of Incorporation in the Constituent Assembly [the body drafting a new constitution] — was made worse by a off-the-cuff decision taken by former president Carlos Mesa in 2004, when the "Camba Nation" was creating pressure through city governments and civic strikes for the direct election of prefects (department governors).

Previously, prefects were chosen directly by the president, maintaining the unity of the Executive Branch, a power that new president Evo Morales was not able to exercise and who is now obligated to govern almost completely separated from the four autonomous prefects.

In Cochabamba, a department that falls exactly between the east and the west — and where an alternative to separatism, with the proposal of mega-regional autonomy instead of departmental autonomy, began to gestate — its prefect, Manfred Reyes Villa, abusing his elected position, attempted to reject the results of the July 2, 2006, referendum and illegally force another vote in order to annex Cochabamba to the "half moon", breaking the fragile balance between autonomous and non-autonomous departments.

Despite it being something decided by the ballot boxes, Reyes Villa tried to force a new autonomous referendum to unite Cochabamba with Santa Cruz, mobilising the most conservative urban sectors of Cochabamban society.

The popular movement and, above all, the agrarian and indigenous organisations from the 16 provinces of this department, came to the city demanding an agrarian joint partnership in the prefect’s administration in the face of the exclusionary, nepotistic and corrupt manner with which Reyes Villa governed from the city of Cochabamba (capital of the department), they arrived here to demand from the prefect a change in his politics.

Instead of seeing to the just demands from the provinces, Reyes Villa encouraged the organisation of a group of fascist youth, advised by the Santa Cruz Youth Union which operates in Santa Cruz, with the objective of "expelling the Indians from the city".

In this manner erupted the tragic day of January 11, 2007, when a violent attack was provoked, culminating in two dead and 120 gravely injured; the majority being farmers.

In pursuit of the truth, the September 14th Plaza (the prefect’s seat and symbol of departmental power) has been occupied by more than 50 000 indigenous from the 16 provinces, demanding the resignation of Reyes Villa.

The day that thousands of "daddy’s sons" carried out the attack armed with clubs, baseball bats, golf clubs, iron tubes and firearms, Reyes Villa abandoned the city and headed to La Paz to meet with the four autonomous prefects and individuals from the US Embassy.

Though the government could have opened many spaces for dialogue, Reyes Villa systematically refused meet with the provincial representatives, "self-exiling" himself in Santa Cruz, where until now he tries to transform the problem into an explosive national conflict, threatening the stability and democracy of this country, presided over by an indigenous man.

The CIA and Reyes Villa The influence of the CIA and of Ambassador Goldberg on the political actions of Reyes Villa (a former captain of the army associated with the dictatorships of Banzer and Garcia Meza) is irrefutable.

The separatist prefect has systematically blocked a peaceful solution to the conflict and in its place has developed a raging campaign of misinformation that seeks to create the conditions for confrontation on a national scale.

The US Embassy is deploying an effort of collective indoctrination against the indigenous crisis, promoting racial hatred and separatism that was evident during the events of January 11, 2007, in unison with business organisations such as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Cainco) in Santa Cruz, which openly supports Reyes Villa and his "advisors""

But the US meddling during this conflict is not only occurring on the ultra-right, but also through the infiltration of the government of MAS [Movement Towards Socialism — Morales’ party].

In mid-January 2007, the morning paper La Razón in La Paz published a photo which revealed the diversion of provisions and supplies belonging to the state Civil Defense body (that are destined for victims of natural disasters) to the farmers in the September 14th Plaza in Cochabamba.

It’s been established that a former NAS agent (a DEA-financed anti-drug programme) identified as Juan Carlos Chávez, who strangely functioned as an advisor to the Ministry of Justice, involved himself with Civil Defence without having the authorisation to order the diversion of state resources.

The photograph of the irregular act, taken by outsiders, was curiously published by a paper in La Paz, 650km from Cochabamba. Chávez was fired for the act and will have to make clear he is a former DEA agent exercising powerful influence inside the Ministry of Justice.

The media campaign to tarnish the indigenous mobilisation in Cochabamba is part of a psychological war, CIA-style, and is one point in the separatist strategy headed from Santa Cruz by the still-prefect of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa.

The Balkanisation of Bolivia seems to have begun.

l Reproduced from Global Research. Readers please note this text was translated from Spanish by Scott Campbell, who is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity and editor of the blog http://angrywhitekid.blogs.com/weblog

September 25, 2008 | 3:19 AM Comments  {num} comments


Free the Cuban Five
Related to country: United States

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Free the Cuban Five

By Faiza Rady

FRIDAY, September 12 marks the 10th year of imprisonment in United States high security jails of the "Cuban Five" — Gerardo Hernandez, Gerardo Labanino, Fernando Gonzalez, Rene Gonzales and Antonio Guerrero.

The five went to the US in the early 1990s with the mission to gather information about Cuban-American terrorist attacks against Cuba.

The Cuban government passed on their documentation to the FBI, assuming that the agency was in the business of combating terrorism.

It was a mistake.

Rather than arrest their own home grown Miami-based terrorists, the FBI arrested the five visiting Cubans in Miami on charges of "intent to commit espionage" and "threatening US national security"

"This is utterly shocking," says renowned writer and political activist Noam Chomsky. "Cuba approached the United States with an offer to co-operate in combating terrorism, and in fact the FBI sent people to Cuba to get information from the Cubans about it.

The next thing was that Cubans who had infiltrated the terrorist groups in the US were arrested."

It was a bizarre instance of clamping down on those combating terrorism while letting real terrorists go free.

This Friday, 346 committees of solidarity with the Cuban Five in 109 countries plan to demonstrate in front of US embassies, hold vigils and organise speak-outs about the Cuban political prisoners.

On Saturday, a concert entitled "Five Stars and a Song" will take place in New York, with the special participation of actor Danny Clover.

The New York-based Committee to Free the Cuban Five and other progressive US solidarity committees are organising a march on Washington as well as actions in other cities, including Miami. Protests are also planned to take place in Montreal and Beirut.

Besides the solidarity of progressive groups and NGOs, international expression of support has been forthcoming from foreign governments and parliaments.

In July, on the 29th anniversary of the Sandanista Revolution, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega awarded the Cuban anti-terrorist fighters with membership of the Augusto Sandino Order, saying that they had set an example of courage and merit.

In February 2006, 10 000 British citizens, including Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter, London’s former Mayor Ken Livingstone, and 15 union officials signed an open letter to US Attorney-General Alberto Gonzales, demanding freedom for the Five.

In June 2006, a plenary session of the National Assembly of Mali passed a motion to condemn their incarceration.

In July 2006, the Venezuelan parliamentary group, at a plenary session of the Latin American Parliament, approved a resolution urging the US to release the Five.

Similar expressions of support were extended by members of the left faction of the German parliament, the Bundestag, Irish MPs, Russian Duma deputies, Mexican MPs, and the Commission of Human Rights of the Brazilian House of Representatives, among others.

Last week, the Atlanta Court of Appeals of the 11th Circuit rejected the Five’s defence request for a retrial on the grounds that Miami’s charged politics, backed by the city’s Cuban-American right wing, had precluded any possibility of a fair trial.

It is ironic that the court’s decision to reject the retrial request reverses a 2005 ruling by the same court that revoked the conviction of the Cuban Five and ordered a retrial because they considered the city riddled by a "perfect storm of prejudice".

Prior to this ruling, the Cubans’ sentences had been declared illegal by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention who said that Miami’s biased political climate precluded any chance of a fair trial.

"What you’re dealing with in Miami is not simply prejudice against Cuba," explains Leonard Weinglass, attorney for the Cuban Five. "A Cuban-American is the mayor of Miami, a Cuban-American owns the major newspaper, a Cuban-American is the chief of police, a Cuban-American is the head of the FBI, and there is nothing wrong with any of this except that none of them could have achieved political office without having a very hostile attitude towards Cuba."

Jurors had solid reasons to expect a backlash should they vote to acquit the Cuban Five.

In 2005, the Bush administration refused to accept a retrial. In a highly irregular move, the Department of Justice told the Atlanta Court of Appeals to cancel its decision and asked a new 12-panel judge to re-examine the case.

Ultimately bowing to political pressure, the court then denied the Five’s appeal for a retrial prior to its second rejection of the same request last week.

The Five’s charge of "conspiracy to commit espionage", is in itself highly contentious as it isn’t contingent on evidence of actual spying having occurred.

"It’s the type of charge that the government makes when it cannot prove the actual crime itself," explains Weinglass.

Not one of the thousands of pages seized by the FBI from the Cubans’ dossier on Cuban-American terrorism contains classified government information.

The Five were found guilty not of spying, but of the tenuous charge of "intent" to spy. In other words, all the prosecution had to do during the trial was to convince the jury that there was an agreement among the Five that they would engage in spying at some unspecified time in the future.

"This case is one of those situations where I believe that the US government is using the justice system to achieve a foreign policy objective," says Weinglass.

"The Five succeeded in their mission. They interrupted planned attacks.

They saved lives in Cuba. They prevented the destruction of property."

Cuban government sources estimate that since the Cuban revolution, 3 478 people were killed and 2 099 injured in attacks against the island. In 1997 alone, Cuban-American terrorists placed bombs in no less than 10 Havana hotels and restaurants, in addition to bombing one of Havana’s airports.

Feted by their people, the Five are honoured in Cuba as national heroes.

During their mission, the Five tracked down 64 terrorists scattered in the Miami area and recorded four hours of film, documenting illegal military training in various combat camps.

Among other groups, the Five investigated Brothers to the Rescue, an organisation that has a history of plotting to attack Cuban facilities. Since 1992, the group has used planes to violate Cuban airspace on numerous occasions, flying at least twice over the capital Havana.

They also attempted to fly through the Giron air corridor to take pictures of sensitive areas.

One of their principal aims was to test the response capabilities of the Cuban air force.

A similar group, Alpha-66, is an outfit that the Miami Police Department lists as one of the most virulent and dangerous of Cuban American organisations.

Since its inception in 1966, Alpha-66 has been part of the autonomous operations of the CIA, used in illegal operations to protect their CIA agents from potential prosecution.

Alpha-66’s recent record includes assassination attempts against former Cuban president Fidel Castro, bomb threats on Cuban offices in Mexico, the US, Ecuador, Brazil, Canada and Puerto Rico, and six armed raids on Cuba between 1992 and 1993.

Besides dabbling in criminal acts, Alpha-66 engaged in prohibited attacks against a foreign country.

"In accordance with US law, under the Neutrality Acts, no US citizen is permitted to attack a foreign country, and yet this has been done with impunity for the past 40 years," says Weinglass.

For the Cubans the struggle goes on. Upon hearing the Atlanta Court’s verdict, Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcón told the Press: "We are going to appeal to the US Supreme Court, the World Court, and wherever else we have to go with the legal material to fight this infamy."

l Visit http://www.freethefive.org/updates/IntlMedia/IM AlAhram91208.htm

l Reprinted from Al-Ahram.

September 18, 2008 | 9:10 AM Comments  {num} comments

Zimbabwe: Remain resolute
Related to country: Zimbabwe

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Zim: Remain resolute

By Talib Ray in PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago

CONGRATULATIONS to Zimbabweans on the occasion of the signing of a power-sharing deal between your three main political parties. My sincere thanks go to President Mugabe for his dedication and gallant efforts in keeping the fires of the struggle for total liberation and justice burning. President Mugabe is an inspiration and a hero to all objective-minded, self-proclaimed Pan-Africanists like me.

I was born in a country where the very foundation of existence was built on slavery. It was a system of slavery unprecedented in the history of mankind for its brutal, uncivilised and barbaric nature.

Yet despite the barbarism, despite the travesty of justice and despite the historical reality of such a despicable existence of human character, the cries for justice and calls for a higher level of human consciousness are still primarily met with outrage and defined as militant and unacceptable behaviour by the very perpetrators of the injustice.

Such injustices committed against the people of African ancestry are global in their relationship. The atrocities committed during the epoch of the slave trade in the Americas have a direct relationship with the atrocities and crimes against humanity committed during the colonialisation of Africa.

It was a display of human behaviour that, with the exception of walking upright, has no similarities that would describe the kind of human behaviour we might expect and think befitting that of mankind. Yet given all of the historical evidence and the world’s inability to deny that such human behaviour existed, we find that the same calls for justice from the recipient of such behaviour are met with the same response.

It is a deep-rooted inflexible response by the people of European stock that still ignores their wrongdoings. More importantly, it highlights their stubborn willingness to continually try to reverse the psychology of their own actions. Those who call and act to achieve justice are labelled as racist conspirators and militants with no regard for the rule of law. It is a rule of law which has been twisted into a law of convenience, primarily serving to uphold the rights and ambitions for continued "white privilege".

In the real world, a world of reality, a world whose universal laws can be basically defined by the simple law of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’", an injustice on the face of its existence is an injustice for all times. Injustice is not somehow corrected by the passage of time: 10, 100 or 1 000 years.

It does not go away by ignoring that it ever happened. It is corrected by transcending the level of human consciousness which caused it to happen. It is corrected not only by saying we are sorry, but also by a willingness to practically enact the character and actions that will at least make some effort towards compensation for the wrongs that were caused and committed.

While there have been many gains by those of African ancestry in the Americas, particularly in Europe and the United States, these historical injustices have a direct relationship with the causes of underdevelopment for the people of African ancestry. This is particularly so in the case of the underdevelopment that still exists on the continent of Africa.

Concerning the underdevelopment of Africa, the late Walter Rodney, an Afro-Guyanese, in his book "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa", wrote: "Mistaken interpretations of the causes of underdevelopment usually stem either from prejudiced thinking or from the error of believing that one can learn the answers by looking inside the underdeveloped economy. The true explanation lies in seeking out the relationship between Africa and certain developed countries and in recognising that it is a relationship of exploitation."

Yet today, despite the injustices inherent within the relationship between Africa and the West, there is still no attempt or apparent interest to right the wrongs that were committed. There are no concerns for the ethics of justice and its dispensation. There are only mobilisations for sanctions, political and economic alienation to frustrate any such calls or actions to obtain justice for the African people such as we witness today in Zimbabwe.

People of Zimbabwe, you should know that your struggles are a microcosm of the struggles of the African people and those of its Diaspora. I salute you for all the sacrifices you have made during these times of economic and political sanctions. I was happy to read that President Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara have signed a power-sharing agreement.

While I might have been somewhat happy about this agreement, I believe that in the long run, such an agreement will prove to be only of superficial benefit for the people of Zimbabwe if some Zimbabweans continue to be used by Western powers, whose sole objective is to stop the redistribution of land.

Citing another passage from the book of our late brother Rodney, he wrote: "During the colonial period, the reforms of political subordination in Africa were obvious. There were governors, colonial officials, and police. In politically independent Africa states, the metropolitan capitalists have to insure favourable political decisions by remote control.

So they set up their political puppets in many parts of Africa, who shamelessly agree to compromise with the vicious apartheid regime of South Africa when their masters tell them to do so. The revolutionary writer, Frantz Fanon, has dealt scorchingly and at length with the question of the minority in Africa which serves as the transmission line between the metropolitan capitalists and the dependencies in Africa. The importance of this group cannot be underestimated. The presence of a group of African sell-outs is part of the definition of underdevelopment."

To say that I am not happy to see the brothers, President Mugabe and the now Prime Minister Tsvangirai meet, would be against the innate African spirit of forgetting and forgiving those who have committed wrongs against us.

But the time has come for us to set aside this quality of human spirit that is so readily being taken advantage of by those who consider this behaviour a sign of weakness to be exploited.

It is disheartening to see African leaders being used against their own people. It is a practice of divide and conquer that has been used continually since the beginning of the African-European relationship and continues to be effective.

It is time that the people of African ancestry realised that the controlling entities of the Western world do not have the capacity to transcend the deformed levels of human consciousness that will lead us to a mutual plane of human relationship.

So I say to the people of Zimbabwe, look ahead and thoughtfully witness what will now happen to the land reform programme. Keep in mind that the social and political settlements that you have achieved are based on the idea that the land reform programme will be halted in its tracks.

Know that this land reform programme will not be tolerated by those of European stock not only in Zimbabwe, but throughout the Western world. Know that political stability, sharing of power will not be enough to stop the wrath of economic sanctions if you decide to continue your land reform and redistribution.

Oh, people of Zimbabwe, we must begin to reunite ourselves for the common good of our people. Not for the sake of being braggarts, thinking that we are somehow superior to all others, the kind of pseudo superiority complex we have historically witnessed from so many of those of European stock. We must unite ourselves for the sake of further human development and an elevation of the human spirit whose strength and foundation can be found within the communal character of the African culture.

I have often said that the second phase of the struggle for total liberation of the African people has begun in Zimbabwe. That the Zimbabwean people have taken up the role of leadership in showing all other African countries what must be done. It would be a pity to let puppet politics derail the African struggle. The African people should be familiar with the script by now.

Make no mistake concerning the motives of the Western powers. They have no concern for how political power is to be shared within the Government of Zimbabwe. They have no concern for how long any political figure has been in Government. They have no regard for human rights abuses or civil injustices. Their only objective is a blinding parasitic selfish interest. In an effort of appeasement, Zimbabwe will be granted some level of economic stability by the Western powers.

There should be no doubt that this economic and political stability will not be without cost. The cost of this stability will most certainly be to stop the redistribution of land. And with this achievement, the West will also gain solace in knowing they have once again stopped the momentum of the struggle. Zimbabweans must never lose sight of the struggle for the redistribution of land.

Land redistribution was of vital necessity if total liberation is to be achieved.

Africa’s hopes and aspirations depend now more than ever on her ability to unite. She must now begin to earnestly evaluate the pseudo-independence which is the true state of affairs of each country. The mind-set of independence will only serve those who continue to take advantage of this division, to keep Africa in an environment of continued exploitation.

The realisation of total liberation of the African continent cannot and will not be realised without unification. It is the obvious course of action to take and yet given this clear and decisive road map, her leaders are still unable to take its path. Africa must begin to unite country by country with a preamble of government that will not tolerate outside interference.

Once unification has been achieved, then she will be able to engage in the fundamentals of international law giving her the rights to achieve total nationalisation of her resources, resources which can be leveraged for the transfer of technology that has been systematically denied her. The unification of Africa will enable her to achieve mutual respect among nations of the world, with mutual relationship for mutual development.

It is not only up to the leaders and people of Zimbabwe to shoulder this responsibility of the struggle towards total liberation. It is the responsibility of all African leaders and her people.

Total liberation will once again place the destiny of Africa back into the hands of the African people. I say to the people of Zimbabwe, be consciously aware of what is happening to you at this time in the liberation struggle.


September 16, 2008 | 9:44 AM Comments  {num} comments


Power sharing: Real work begins
Related to country: Zimbabwe

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Power sharing: Real work begins

THE signing of the power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC yesterday marks the dawn of a new era in Zimbabwe with all hands now on deck to steer this ship to a new social, political and economic dispensation.

The agreement signals the closing of ranks among Zimbabweans, with the support of our African brothers and sisters, to get on with the job of rebuilding our nation.

We salute all three principals, President Mugabe, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy-designate Arthur Mutambara, for the progressive pronouncements they made and hope they will quickly transform the talk into action as the real work has just begun.

We hope that with the signing of the agreement, we will all march in unison as Zimbabweans committed to this country first.

It is important to note that the power-sharing agreement was not about political positions per se, but a commitment to work for the betterment of our nation.

This agreement provides Zimbabweans a platform to roll up their sleeves and work together in order to achieve their aspirations.

No one is going to do it for us, neither is the agreement a magic wand that will make everything wonderful again without us sweating for it.

The agreement was made in Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans and is an affirmation of the supremacy of African solutions to African problems.

It is now up to each and everyone of us to turn our swords into ploughshares and start the painstaking job of re-aligning our economy, creating new jobs, developing infrastructure, producing more goods and services, especially food.

The challenges are enormous and will require some very painful measures to kick-start the economy. With everybody now on board, there should be no fear now to make these difficult decisions that will instill discipline in our economy.

This deal does not mean that the economic situation will improve overnight, but means that we can now all put our shoulders to the wheel without others pulling in the other direction.

It means we all now speak with one voice as Zimbabweans with a clear determination to overcome our challenges.

It is also important to ensure that the euphoria over this deal does not distract us from the ethos of our liberation struggle to be the masters of our own destiny.

It goes without saying that a lot of investors who were sitting on the fence will now want to come on board in exploring business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

While foreign direct investment is crucial for economic transformation, it should never be a reverse takeover of our country with the offer of jobs and a glittering economy in which our people are simply workers.

Political power on its own is meaningless but has to be backed by economic power for true prosperity and the happiness of our people will only come when they are the real owners of Zimbabwe.

The challenge, therefore, is for Zimbabweans to now put their heads together and come up with an economic blueprint that will chart the way forward.

Congratulations, Zimbabwe, for achieving unity without bloodshed!


September 16, 2008 | 6:18 AM Comments  {num} comments


Al-Qaeda, and the ‘War on Terrorism’
Related to country: Zimbabwe

Translations available in: English (original) | French | Spanish | Italian | German | Portuguese | Swedish | Russian | Dutch | Arabic

Al-Qaeda, and the ‘War on Terrorism’

By Michel Chossudovsky

ONE of the main objectives of war propaganda is to "fabricate an enemy". The "outside enemy" personified by Osama bin Laden is "threatening America".

Pre-emptive war directed against "Islamic terrorists" is required to defend the Homeland. Realities are turned upside down. America is under attack.

In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this "outside enemy" has served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the war in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Waged on the grounds of self-defence, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a "just war" with a humanitarian mandate. As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy of the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this illusive "outside enemy" must be dispelled.

Counter-terrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America."

Ironically, Al Qaeda — the "outside enemy of America" as well as the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks — is a creation of the CIA. From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of the "Islamic brigades".

Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda, drown the truth and "kill the evidence" on how this "outside enemy" was fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".

The US intelligence apparatus has created its own terrorist organisations. And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organisations, which it has itself created. Meanwhile, a cohesive multi-billion dollar counter-terrorism programme "to go after" these terrorist organisations has been put in place.

Portrayed in stylised fashion by the Western media, Osama bin Laden, supported by his various henchmen, constitutes America’s post-Cold war bogeyman, who "threatens Western democracy". The alleged threat of "Islamic terrorists", permeates the entire US national security doctrine. Its purpose is to justify wars of aggression in the Middle East, while establishing within America, the contours of the Homeland Security State.

Historical Background

What are the historical origins of Al Qaeda? Who is Osama bin Laden? The alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war, "ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders."

In 1979, the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA was launched in Afghanistan:

"With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI, who wanted to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35 000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992.

Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually, more than 100 000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by "the Afghan jihad."

This project of the US intelligence apparatus was conducted with the active support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence, which was entrusted with channelling covert military aid to the Islamic brigades and financing, in liaison with the CIA, the madrassahs and Mujahideen training camps.

US government support to the Mujahideen was presented to world public opinion as a "necessary response" to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.

The CIA’s military-intelligence operation in Afghanistan, which consisted in creating the "Islamic brigades", was launched prior rather than in response to the entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan. In fact, Washington’s intent was to deliberately trigger a civil war, which has lasted for more than 25 years.

The CIA’s role in laying the foundations of Al Qaeda is confirmed in an 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who at the time was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter:

Brzezinski: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahideen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, on December 24, 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion, this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Question: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn’t quite that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Question: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralisation and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Question: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?

The Central Intelligence Agency using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between played a key role in training the Mujahideen. In turn, the CIA-sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam. The madrasahs were set up by Wahabi fundamentalists financed out of Saudi Arabia: "[I]t was the government of the United States who supported Pakistani dictator General Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools, from which the germs of the Taliban emerged."

The CIA sponsored Narcotics Trade

The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is intimately related to the CIA’s covert operations. Prior to the Soviet-Afghan war, opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was directed to small regional markets. There was no local production of heroin.

Researcher Alfred McCoy’s study confirms that within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, "the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer, supplying 60 per cent of US demand…"

"CIA assets again controlled this heroin trade. As the Mujahideen guerrillas seized territory inside Afghanistan, they ordered peasants to plant opium as a revolutionary tax. Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates under the protection of Pakistan Intelligence operated hundreds of heroin laboratories. During this decade of wide-open drug-dealing, the US Drug Enforcement Agency in Islamabad failed to instigate major seizures or arrests…

From the Soviet-Afghan War to the "War on Terrorism"

Despite the demise of the Soviet Union, Pakistan’s extensive military-intelligence apparatus (the ISI) was not dismantled. In the wake of the Cold War, the CIA continued to support the Islamic brigades out of Pakistan. New undercover initiatives were set in motion in the Middle East, Central Asia, the Balkans and south East Asia. In the immediate wake of the Cold War, Pakistan’s ISI "served as a catalyst for the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of six new Muslim republics in Central Asia…"

US-Sponsored Insurgencies in China

Also of significance in understanding America’s "War on Terrorism" is the existence of ISI-supported Islamic insurgencies on China’s Western border with Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, several of the Islamic movements in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union are integrated with the Turkestan and Uigur movements in China’s Xinjiang-Uigur autonomous region.

These separatist groups — which include the East Turkestan Terrorist Force, the Islamic Reformist Party, the East Turkestan National Unity Alliance, the Uigur Liberation Organisation and the Central Asian Uigur Jihad Party — have all received support and training from Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. (According to official Chinese sources quoted in UPI, November 20 2001.). The declared objective of these Chinese-based Islamic insurgencies is the "establishment of an Islamic caliphate in the region".


Throughout the 1990s, the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence was used by the CIA as a go-between — to channel weapons and Mujahideen mercenaries to the Bosnian Muslim Army in the civil war in Yugoslavia. According to a report of the London based International Media Corporation:

"Reliable sources report that the United States is now (1994) actively participating in the arming and training of the Muslim forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina in direct contravention of the United Nations accords. US agencies have been providing weapons made in ... China, North Korea and Iran.

The sources indicated that ... Iran, with the knowledge and agreement of the US Government, supplied the Bosnian forces with a large number of multiple rocket launchers and a large quantity of ammunition.

These included 107mm and 122mm rockets from the PRC, and VBR-230 multiple rocket launchers ... made in Iran. ... It was (also) reported that 400 members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Pasdaran) arrived in Bosnia with a large supply of arms and ammunition. It was alleged that the US Central Intelligence Agency had full knowledge of the operation and that the CIA believed that some of the 400 had been detached for future terrorist operations in Western Europe.

The US Administration has not restricted its involvement to the clandestine contravention of the UN arms embargo on the region ... It [also] committed three high-ranking delegations over the past two years (prior to 1994) in failed attempts to bring the Yugoslav Government into line with US policy. Yugoslavia is the only state in the region to have failed to acquiesce to US pressure. (International Media Corporation, Defence and Strategy Policy, US Commits Forces, Weapons to Bosnia, London, 31 October 1994)

"From the Horse’s Mouth"

Ironically, the US Administration’s undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia, which consisted in promoting the formation of "Islamic brigades", have been fully documented by the Republican Party. A lengthy Congressional report by the Senate Republican Party Committee published in 1997, largely confirms the International Media Corporation report quoted above. The RPC Congressional report accuses the Clinton administration of having "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network," of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:

"Perhaps most threatening to the SFOR mission — and more importantly, to the safety of the American personnel serving in Bosnia — is the unwillingness of the Clinton Administration to come clean with the Congress and with the American people about its complicity in the delivery of weapons from Iran to the Muslim government in Sarajevo.

That policy, personally approved by Bill Clinton in April 1994 at the urging of CIA Director-designate (and then-NSC chief) Anthony Lake and the US ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith, has, according to the Los Angeles Times (citing classified intelligence community sources), "played a central role in the dramatic increase in Iranian influence in Bosnia".

l This is an abridged version of an article published from Global Research website on January 20, 2008.