Saturday, July 11, 2009

Democracy Now!

President Obama Heads to Ghana On First Official Trip to Sub-Saharan Africa

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

This Land is your land! Nana Akyea Mensah & Jean sing to welcome President Obama to Africa!



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    "Power concedes nothing without a demand."

    By ruby, June 17 at 10:12 am #

    (Unregistered commenter)

    Great thoughts on Obama Visit.

    Dear Friends,

    I am compliling some of the best quotes by Africans and friends of Africa on the visit. Please feel free to send me quotes you find worjth noting!

    Thanks again! Your usually warm cooperation, for which I am always grateful, is anticipated.

    Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro,

    |Facebook | Nana Akyea Mensah


    Kwesi Pratt was one of the first to raise the alarm about oil and US military bases in Africa. In a 2007 interview he said:

    "Kwesi Pratt: I am very alarmed after reading what is called the Cheney Report. When Bush came to power, he set up a committee chaired by Dick Cheney his Vice President to assess America’s energy requirements up to the year 2015. The Cheney Report actually says that by the year 2015, twenty percent of American oil requirements will be supplied by West Africa and therefore it is important to maintain a foothold in West Africa in order to ensure that oil supplies from West Africa to the United States of America will not be interrupted.

    Consequently, the United States is planning to establish military bases across West Africa including Ghana. And I am very worried that at a time when we are celebrating our national independence we are going to tolerate the establishment of foreign military bases, especially American military bases on our soil. The great Osageyfo Dr. Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture, and all of them emphasized that Africa ought to be free from foreign military bases and weapons of mass destruction. We cannot allow that dream to die.

    That is why, it is important for us to resist all attempts to establish foreign military bases on African soil especially forces of the United States, must be prevented from establishing on African soil. Clearly because they are not on African soil to protect our interests, they are on African soil to facilitate the exploitation of our resources for the benefit of the tiny minority that controls the wealth of the American people and who are sitting on top of this world exploiting the Chicanos, exploiting the African Americans and exploiting all of the other independent and healthy forces in the United States on America. We have to resist all attempts to build U.S. military bases in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa."

    Kwesi Pratt, Jnr

    Interview, Monday, May 07, 2007

    "And so far, in terms of policies, Obama has shown himself to be a willing and enthusiastic supporter of the entrenced elites, what Kwesi Pratt calls the tiny minority that controls the wealth of the American people. Obama has allowed a certain amount of democracy theater in his political manueverings so far. But he has carefully closed off any areas of debate he does not wish to entertain. And President Obama seems to be continuing all the same military imperialist programs initiated by Mr. Bush.

    I have been an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama. I made my own small contributions to his campaign. He is wildly and justifiably popular in Ghana and Africa. This should not blind us to what is going on. And it should not stop us from exercising our democratic responsibility to speak out and say what we see."

    Xcroc, June 3, 2009.

    President Obama Heads to Ghana On First Official Trip to Sub-Saharan Africa
    Posted: 16 July 2009 00:00

    President Obama arrives in Ghana today on his first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming President. He is expected to meet Ghana"s President John Atta-Mill today and speak to the country"s parliament on Saturday in what is expected to be a major policy address outlining US policy on Africa. Why Ghana? Some say it has to do the recent discovery of oil in Ghana. A quarter of US oil imports are expected to come from West Africa by 2015, according to estimates by National Intelligence Council.[includes rush transcript]


    Kwesi Pratt, Editor of "The Insight", a newspaper based in Accra, Ghana.

    Nii Akuetteh, Independent Africa policy analyst and researcher. He is the former executive director of the Washington DC-based group, Africa Action.

    Rush Transcript

    JUAN GONZALEZ: President Obama arrives in Ghana today on his first official trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming president. He is expected to meet Ghana's president John Atta-Mill today and to speak to the country's Parliament on Saturday in what is expected to be a major policy address outlining U.S. policy on Africa. As thousands in Ghana prepare for the arrival of the first African- American president of the United States, people across the continent are asking why Obama chose to visit Ghana and not, for example, his father's homeland of Kenya. When the trip was announced in May, the White House described Ghana as "trusted partner" and praised its sound governance and lasting development. Some commentators concur, pointing to Ghana's relative stability and democratic development. Others say it has more to do with the recent discovery of oil in Ghana and note that a quarter of U.S. oil exports [sic} {imports] are expected to come from west Africa by 2015, according to estimates by the National Intelligence Council.

    AMY GOODMAN: Well, today we host a discussion on President Obama's visit to Ghana and his administration's Africa policy with two leading analysts. Kwesi Pratt is a veteran Ghanaian journalist, editor of Insight newspaper, joining us on the line from the capital city of Accra in Ghana. And from Washington, D.C., we're joined by independent African policy analyst and former executive director of Africa Action, Nii Akuetteh, who also hails from Ghana. We welcome you both to "Democracy Now!" Let's begin with Kwesi Pratt in Accra. Can you talk about the preparations for and the expectations for the Obama family's visit to Ghana?

    KWESI PRATT:First of all, the expectations are very high. There are many people on the streets who believe that the Obama visit will resolve all the colonization and political problems of Ghana. The preparation is quite intense. Ten thousand police men and women have been mobilized to provide protection to Obama. And many of these [unintelligible] have lined the route from the airport to where he's likely to stay and the sole functions have been closed down until Sunday. So there's a lot of enthusiasm and the expectations are very high and the security preparations are unprecedented.

    AMY GOODMAN: Why do you think, and why are people saying in Ghana, that President Obama chose Ghana as the first sub-Saharan African nation to visit as the first African- American president?

    KWESI PRATT: The official reason has been given of Ghana's fledgling democracy, that the United States of America has a lot of confidence in Ghana's fledgling democracy. But all of us know that the main interest is oil. If you read the Cheney report, the Cheney report states very clearly that by 2015 American oil imports will move from 11% to 25%. The Cheney report also makes a recommendation for the establishment of military bases in order to protect American interests and American oil. For me these are the two key reasons why the United States and Obama are interested in this. It has nothing to do with democracy, but the preservation of American interests.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Kwesi Pratt, just before President Obama was elected in November, the Bush administration finally created or established AFRICOM, the military command center for African of the United States military. But most of the countries in Africa refused to allow the U.S. to set it up in Africa itself. Only Liberia indicated a willingness to do so. Could you talk about what has been the reaction to the United States government, especially during the Bush administration, beginning to establish a military command in the continent?

    KWESI PRATT: I think the reaction has been largely negative. In Ghana, [unintelligible] against the establishment of any U.S. facility in Ghana, in any parts of Ghana. We do know that the Nigerian government has said it will not allow the establishment of any U.S. military facility in Nigeria or anywhere in west Africa. I think that as a result of this agitation, the U.S. administrations, including the Bush administration, have had to go easy on the drive to establish some military presence in Africa. In Ghana, I do not think there's any possibility of establishing such a presence, because it will be resisted and the resistance will be [unintelligible].

    AMY GOODMAN: And Nii Akuetteh, I wanted to get your response to President Obama's choice as Ghana. You have lived in the United States for decades, but you were born and Ghana.

    NII AKUETTEH: Yes, thank you very much for inviting me. Kwesi, it's good to hear you. I think that President Obama, it seems to me, picked Ghana for a number of different motives. I take Kwesi's point that the oil that has been discovered in Ghana is an attraction and the fact that the U.S. will be importing a lot more oil from west Africa within the next few years, that there are any number of studies saying that the United States should make sure that it protects that oil. Currently, a lot of the oil comes from Nigeria and we know that in southeastern Nigeria, where the oil is, there is a lot of agitation, even including some violence because oil companies from Shell to Chevron have been behaving in a predatory manner. Therefore, the oil is an issue, and the establishment of AFRICOM, where twisting arms of African governments to agree to host AFRICOM, has also been going on. I do support Kwesi. He's been leading the fight in Ghana to make sure that it doesn't come. But I will say that the democracy issue was also part of the calculation. Given my particular bias as an activist in Washington trying to make sure that the United States does the right thing in Africa, I mean, of course we need a lot of allies including media outlets like "Democracy Now!" So I think the democracy factor is one small factor and it is up to us in Washington and around the United States to make sure that it becomes bigger in the calculations of Mr. Obama. So it is up to us to push him. And because he himself has said it, and his staff in the White House also did say that democracy and governance in Ghana is the reason they chose Ghana, our strategy here in Washington is, okay, we will hold them to their words. We will make sure that any agreement they sign, U.S. policy, U.S. aid projects, put the priority on democracy and strengthening civil society. The president gave a very good speech, I thought, in Moscow a couple of days ago and talked about democracy as an instrument whereby countries commit progress, whereby they can admit their imperfections and work on those. He pointed out in the United States itself, when it was started, black people did not have any rights. He could not have been elected, but democracy made it easier for him to have been elected. We are going to hold him to his words. We are going to push him. As much as we think he has potential as an American president, it is our job, it is civil society's job, to make sure that his policies on Africa are driven by democratic ideals and not the long U.S. habit of supporting dictatorships across Africa, that he would not do that.

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Nii Akuetteh, what you think are the prospects for Ghana being able to avoid the worst aspects of what happened with the oil boom in Nigeria? The huge disparities in wealth? The endemic corruption that Nigeria is so noted for? Do you see the current government in Ghana making any steps to avoid those kinds of problems?

    NII AKUETTEH: I do see a few signs, but it is nowhere near what we need. You are right, that is such a grave danger. I have friends, Kwesi among them, and others, that point out the problem with Nigeria is not so much that Nigerians are a lot different from Ghanaians, but the fact that when there is a lot of wealth, then you get greed surfacing. Ghana compared to Nigeria has been relatively poor. Now that we are told that we have oil, our hope is that civil society will hold the government accountable. The fact that Ghana has begun a tradition of peaceful, democratic transition, is a good sign, but it is not sufficient. We have to work to strengthen civil society, to strengthen democracy because a number of experts keep saying that when third-world countries find oil and other natural resources, it is a resource case. I don't buy it. I think that is bunk. The problem is, if the country has strong democracy, you can have all the wealth it has and still be able to handle. I mean, the United States is fantastically endowed with a lot of resources, from gold to oil, you name it. But because the democracy here, while not perfect, it is pretty strong and there is strong civil society in the U.S. They make sure that the abuses connected with resource extraction are held down. So the problem is not that the resources occur, the problem is that we need to strengthen democracy and politicians do not want to strengthen democracy because they like the power they enjoy. It is up to journalists, it is up to civil society, it is up to activists to strengthen it. And frankly, the fact that you have courageous people, no matter how they are abused, like Kwesi, who will keep fighting the good fight. For me, it's a good sign, but we need more of them. Of course, the African diaspora here in the U.S., in the west and in Europe, also have a big responsibility to make sure that their governments and corporations that are based in the west do not behave badly in Africa. It is our job to make sure oil does not become a curse in Ghana.

    AMY GOODMAN: We're going to break and then come back. We want to get the full schedule of President Obama in Ghana. He'll be addressing the Ghanaian Parliament tomorrow. And also, talk about U.S.'s rival for African natural resources. Number 2 France has been replaced by China. We'll talk about Beijing's expansion in Africa. Stay with us.

    [music break]

    AMY GOODMAN: This is "Democracy Now!,", the War and Peace Report. I'm Amy Goodman with Juan Gonzalez. Kwesi Pratt, speaking to you in the capital of Ghana, which is preparing for the first African- American President of the United States in his first trip to Sub-Saharan Africa, what is the schedule for this weekend?

    KWESI PRATT: He will be arriving today in the evening. He will be a having a short discussion with the president of Ghana[unintelligible]. Tomorrow morning, he will have breakfast with the president of Ghana and three former presidents and vice presidents in the castle [unintelligible]. And from there, he will go to a local clinic for an inspection. He will then fly to the central capital and with meet with the chiefs and people [unintelligible]. Then he will spend some inspecting [unintelligible]. He is also scheduled to deliver an important foreign-policy speech [unintelligible] in an international conference. Basically these are the things he'll be doing.

    JUAN GONAZALEZ: Kwesi Pratt, on another matter, in the G-8 summit, one of the things President Obama was able to get the European leaders to agree on was increasing sharply agricultural aid to less-developed countries. Any sense on your part whether this will have any major impact on Ghana or other countries in Africa?

    KWESI PRATT: [unintelligible] What we need in the developing world, is not gifts and not aid. What we need must be fair trade. If we could get equitable prices for our products and so on, we could make it on our own. In fact if the World Bank and [unintelligible] stop insisting on the subsidies of agriculture, we could then make it. The problem with African agriculture, and agriculture generally in the third world, is while the developing countries through the execution insist that [unintelligible] they keep subsidizing the products. The end result is that are products are priced much higher than products from Europe and North America and so on. So, what I think we need to look at is institutional changes to change the global trading system to remove the conditions that are imposed by the World Bank and the IMF and if that is done we can stand on their own. There is no reason for the poverty we receive in Africa. Africa is one of the most resourceful countries on the continent. [unintelligible] Some estimates say, Africa has about forty percent of the world's resources. And therefore there's no reason why Africa should continue to be poor.

    AMY GOODMAN: Nii Akuetteh, lets put the question of the G8 summit to you, particularly the leaders pledging twelve billions of dollars for the food initiative?

    NII AKUETTEH: I think this is the case where the cliché, "where the devil is in the details" is really important. Agricultural trade, as Kwesi hinted, has been really detrimental for Africa. We know that the western countries subsidize their agriculture and dump on the price resources in Africa under the guise of food aid. So, whenever we hear food aid, our ears should peck up, we should become more vigilant. So we have to read very carefully what it is that is in this package, what it is that is being promised. The other problem with any promises from the G-8 is that there are all kinds of shenanigans. Sometimes the repackage old money include new money. Whether it is old or new, they hardly deliver what it is they promise. They just read out fancy announcements for the sake of, Amy, people like you, the press, to say, we are doing so much to help Africa. When it comes to actually delivering what they promise, that's a problem. The third problem is that there's the problem, the question of genetically modified food. And whether multinational corporations are going to s control going things like seeds that African farmers plant. So, I think it is important to take that agreement from the G-8 to put it under the microscope to examine it very, very carefully, and to have a lot of strong dialogue about changes that it would need. And finally, I also understand what they promised is less than what Africa needs and I understand their $3 billion short. What we have there, you really cannot pronounce on it until you look at all the details. If the details are not right, it could do more harm than good.

    AMY GOODMAN: Kwesi Pratt, we want to thank you for joining us from Akra. We will continue to cover the president's trip next week on "democracy now!" Kwesi Pratt, editor of "The Insight" newspaper in Akra Ghana" and, Nii, we'd like you to stay with us as we turn to the issue of China's economic expansion across Africa

    July 10, 2009




    Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to
    fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an 't please...

    - First Citizen, "Coriolanus" I,1,85

    This Land Is Your Land!

    On this special occasion of the vist to Ghana by the first black president of USA, this song is dedicated to the audacity of hope that catapulted him to power. I dedicate it also to honour the late Nana Akyea Mensah of Apedwa, and all the victims of human sacrifice, ritual murder, extra-judicial killings and political disappearances, water-boarding, torture, our young people who perish on the Mediterranean seas in search of imaginary El Doradoes, those who could not make it because of death by thirst on the Sahara, those who end up detention centres for illegal immigrants, and children who die starving; may the gods forgive me if I forgot the slaves! In the desperate hope that we can make some difference for tomorrows victims!

    Please join me in singing to welcome our brother!
    Nana Akyea Mensah Sings
    This land is your land.mp3
    2840K Play Download

    This Land Is Your Land!

    As I go walking on that ribbon of highway,
    I saw above me an endless sky way,
    I saw below me that golden valley,
    This land was made for you and me!

    This land is your land, This land is my land,
    From Sharm el-Sheikh to the Atlantic Ocean,
    From Madagascar to the Straight of Gibraltar,
    This land was made for you and me!

    I have roamed and rambled,
    And I followed my footsteps,
    Through the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts,
    And all around me, a voice was sounding,
    This land was made for you and me!

    In the squares of the city, under the shadows of the steeple,
    At the relief office, I saw my people.
    As they stood there hungry, I stood there whistling.
    This land was made for you and me!

    A great high wall there tried to stop me,
    A great big sign there said private property,
    But on the other side, it didn't say nothing!
    That side was made for you and me!

    Nobody living can ever stop me!
    As I go walking on freedom's high way,
    Nobody living can make me turn back!
    This land was made for you and me!

    This land is my land this land is your land!
    From California to the New York island,
    From Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters,
    This land was made for you and me!


    It looks like Obama is marching in zombie lockstep with Bush policy in Somalia and Honduras. It also looks like a Great Leap Backward to the days of US suported military coups in Latin America, and despots propped up by US aid in Africa. In both cases the United States provides the military training and the weapons.

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    In Honduras, the leader of the coup:
    … General Vasquez attended the School of the Americas and … a good part of the Honduran military were trained there and in its successor, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).
    … the U.S. has a military base in Honduras, gives the Honduran military a few million dollars each year, and … most of the military equipment used against the people was from the U.S.
    … a group that openly supported the coup, “Paz and Democracia” (Peace and Democracy), received money from the USAID. (Eva Golinger reported that the USAID pumps more than 50 million dollars into the country each year.)
    … the immediate response from Washington was tepid and non-committal. … Dan Restrepo, the presidential advisor for Latin American affairs, said the administration was waiting to see how things would play out. (The response has been stronger since then, but still seems to lack the strength other America nations have put forward in their demands.)
    This is most unfortunate for the Obama administration, or for any US government and ongoing relations with Latin America. Like Africa, most people in Latin America want the military back in the barracks, and want democratic governments. A coup is not democracy. Supporting, or even tolerating a coup is a US blow against democracy. Eva Golinger writes: Yes, I know Fox News is not the best way to judge the political scene in the US, but this video clip is a hint into the way US media is now beginning to portray the coup events in... More...

    Nana Akyea's food for thought:


    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, Jan. 30, 2009 – The commander of U.S. Southern Command arrived here yesterday to reaffirm the United States’ strategic partnership with Honduras and praise the solid bilateral and interagency cooperation that is delivering tangible success.
    Declaring an “excellent state of cooperation between our two militaries,” [Navy Adm. James G.] Stavridis lauded tremendous progress within Honduras’ 11,000-member military.
    “The future of national security is the interagency, all working together,” he said.
    Stavridis Praises U.S.-Honduran Cooperation in Confronting Mutual Threats, Defense Link"

    Nana Akyea Mensah's Corner: "US Military Base In Ghana: From 'Baloney!' To 'What’s In It For Us'? Part Two." by Nana Akyea Mensah, the Odikro...

    Brotha 2 Brother: Advice for President Obama on his trip to Ghana

    Tolu Olorunda | Posted July 6, 2009 11:19 PM


    President Obama is expected to make an historic visit to Ghana this weekend. His trip to the West African country will be the culmination of a busy week in which he is scheduled to touch base in Russia, then on to Italy for the G8 meetings.

    As expected, news of the president's decision has already generated mild hostility between some neighboring countries, including his ancestral home Kenya, which feel snubbed by the popular Western leader. But the cantankerous disputes are irrelevant when faced with the bigger picture looming over our horizon. More...

    Nana Akyea Mensah's Corner: AU Adopts Nkrumah's Birthday As Event For Entire Continent

    Nana Akyea Mensah's Corner: AU Adopts Nkrumah's Birthday As Event For Entire Continent

    AU Adopts Nkrumah's Birthday As Event For Entire Continent

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    AU Adopts Nkrumah's Birthday As Event For Entire Continent
    Dr Kwame Nkrumah
    Dr Kwame Nkrumah
    The African Union (AU) has adopted the centenary birthday celebration of the founder and first President of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, as a continental event.

    In a resolution passed at the end of the 13th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, the African heads of state “unanimously agreed to celebrate Dr Nkrumah’s centenary birthday and put it on the AU’s calendar of Special Events”.

    A Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwah, told the Daily Graphic on his return from Libya, that the leaders also accepted Ghana’s invitation to join President John Evans Atta Mills and Ghanaians to celebrate the anniversary on September 21, 2009.

    “At the summit, President Mills invited his colleague heads of state to join Ghana to mark the centenary of Dr Nkrumah, whose pioneering role in the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) is unmatched” he said.

    Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwah said President Mills, in addressing his peers at the summit, lauded the role of Dr Nkrumah and recalled how passionate he was in ensuring that not only Ghana but the African continent as a whole gained independence.

    He said leader after leader took turns to praise Dr Nkumah’s visionary leadership, and expressed their willingness to participate in the celebration.

    Without any objection, President Mills’ colleagues at the AU summit agreed with him and passed a unanimous resolution to celebrate his centenary birthday and put it on the AU calendar of Special Events.

    Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwah said the summit consequently tasked the Executive Council of Foreign Ministers to draw a programme for the celebration.

    In a related development, some prominent sons of Africa have agreed to join President Mills to welcome the US President, Barack Obama.

    They are the leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farakhan, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and the Chairman of the African Union, Jean Ping.

    Monday, July 6, 2009

    latest atricle by Nana Akyea:

    "US Military Base In Ghana: From 'Baloney!' To 'What’s In It For Us'? Part Two." by Nana Akyea Mensah, the Odikro...

    This is a second part of my reaction to Mr. Ochere Darko's article Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.?, Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009. For those who did not get the opportunity to read the first part you may access it here; US Military Base In Ghana: From "Baloney!" To "What’s In It For Us"? Part One, Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 June 2009 (A Rejoinder To Feature Article of Monday, 25 May 2009, Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.? By Asare Otchere-Darko). In the first part, my only intention was to express my surprise with all my might of wonder. I now want to make a sober reflection in the abominations contained in the article under review. I begun this way:

    "This article is bound to have two parts or more. This is because I feel I am already suppressing my disdain, finding it difficult to believe that we have been lied to over such a serious matter, and refusing to appreciate why Ghanaians should even be called upon to accept a US military bases here simply because it is a done deal! I am sure we shall need to talk about all of that, but first of all, I wish to take some time to express my shock and dismay with all my might of wonder, to learn that what was openly referred to as "Baloney" and nothing to worry about is underway, far advanced, and virtually inevitable! I am very angry that Ghanaians have been lied to so blatantly by their own elected President. Boiling at the autocratic insolence behind the "what's in it for us?" question that Mr. Ochere-Darko is now posing. I am certainly amazed that a matter of fundamental concern to each and every citizen could be cooked up to such an extent without an open and frank national democratic debate whatsoever!"

    Naturally, in the second part I would like to settle down to the essential thesis of Mr. Ochere Darko and deal with them one by one. I shall quote extensively to those who have not read the article together on one page. Mr Ochere Darko does not mince his words:

    "This article argues that in the excitement surrounding President Obama’s July visit to Ghana, what has been missing is an analysis of what is in it for the United States, an understanding of which is crucial for Ghana if it is to capitalise on the immense opportunity provided by this trip. Highlighting the significance of the deepwater oil find in 2007, the article sets out why Ghana is now the subject of strategic U.S. energy and military interests which, as far as the Obama administration is concerned, has raised the stakes considerably in Ghana–United States relations. As the potential gem in the crown of what Washington terms Africa's ‘New Gulf’, the article highlights how Ghana’s pending oil-rich status will shift the terms of negotiation during the trip. Furthermore, America’s preference for Ghana as the physical location for the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) headquarters, and its concern not to cede strategic ground to China in this region, mean that in 2009 Ghana has an unprecedented hand of cards to play in this game of international diplomacy. Our task as a nation – and the Government’s task as our representatives - is to make the strategic decisions to ensure that we aren’t simply the honoured recipients of President Obama’s first visit to Africa, but that we come away with more concrete deliverables to help us meet our own strategic goals."

    The thrust of his thesis is that the US wants to establish military bases in Ghana and it is up to us to make the strategic choice which would lead us to the economic Nirvana. More...

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      Wednesday, July 1, 2009

      THE MONEY MASTERS is a 3 1/2 hour non-fiction, historical documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure.

      The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching plan, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole...Their secret is that they have annexed from governments, monarchies, and republics the power to create the world's money..." THE MONEY MASTERS is a 3 1/2 hour non-fiction, historical documentary that traces the origins of the political power structure that rules our nation and the world today. The modern political power structure has its roots in the hidden manipulation and accumulation of gold and other forms of money. The development of fractional reserve banking practices in the 17th century brought to a cunning sophistication the secret techniques initially used by goldsmiths fraudulently to accumulate wealth. With the formation of the privately-owned Bank of England in 1694, the yoke of economic slavery to a privately-owned "central" bank was first forced upon the backs of an entire nation, not removed but only made heavier with the passing of the three centuries to our day. Nation after nation, including America, has fallen prey to this cabal of international central bankers. Segments: The Problem; The Money Changers; Roman Empire; The Goldsmiths of Medieval England; Tally Sticks; The Bank of England; The Rise of the Rothschilds; The American Revolution; The Bank of North America; The Constitutional Convention; First Bank of the U.S.; Napoleon's Rise to Power; Death of the First Bank of the U.S. / War of 1812; Waterloo; Second Bank of the U.S.; Andrew Jackson; Fort Knox; World Central Bank




      FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Nana Akyea Mensah distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C ß 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

      Ghanaians Discuss AFRICOM & Obama’s Visit

      Ghanaians Discuss AFRICOM & Obama’s Visit Posted by xcroc under AFRICOM, Africa command, Ghana, Ghana oil, Gulf of Guinea, Obama, foreign policy, recolonize

      "This is something that no one among us has the power to do with our sovereignty. It amounts to the attempted robbery of the nation by the force of arms. In a fundamental matter such as this, that has serious implications on our status as an independent nation, that could even mean life or death to Ghanaians, as we have seen in the bombs that continue to fall on marriage ceremonies in Afghanistan, the minimum expectation ought to have been an open democratic national debate and not secretive and conspiratorial manoeuvres." -Nana Akyea Mensah.

      Nana Akyea Mensah writes in US Military Base In Ghana in response to a feature article on GhanaWeb by Asare Otchere-Darko, Obama’s Visit – What’s In It For Us And U.S.? Otchere-Darko’s article describes and implies that Kufuor did a deal with Bush and General Ward, bringing the Africa Command into Ghana without informing the Ghanaian people.

      "… in August 2007 Major-General Ward, who was later confirmed as AFRICOM’s first commander, visited Accra. He held discussions with President Kufuor on “ways of strengthening military cooperation.” His high-powered secret meetings with the President, Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff triggered huge speculation. Much was made of Maj Gen J B Danquah’s public statement about the visit when he said Maj Gen Ward had ‘done enough to resolve’ Ghana’s concerns about AFRICOM, adding, “I have had the chance to hear [Ward] explain what is the reasoning behind the command, and it’s all about partnership.”

      Kwesi Pratt: I am very alarmed after reading what is called the Cheney Report. When Bush came to power, he set up a committee chaired by Dick Cheney his Vice President to assess America’s energy requirements up to the year 2015. The Cheney Report actually says that by the year 2015, twenty percent of American oil requirements will be supplied by West Africa and therefore it is important to maintain a foothold in West Africa in order to ensure that oil supplies from West Africa to the United States of America will not be interrupted.

      Consequently, the United States is planning to establish military bases across West Africa including Ghana. And I am very worried that at a time when we are celebrating our national independence we are going to tolerate the establishment of foreign military bases, especially American military bases on our soil. The great Osageyfo Dr. Nkrumah, Malcolm X, Kwame Ture, and all of them emphasized that Africa ought to be free from foreign military bases and weapons of mass destruction. We cannot allow that dream to die.

      That is why, it is important for us to resist all attempts to establish foreign military bases on African soil especially forces of the United States, must be prevented from establishing on African soil. Clearly because they are not on African soil to protect our interests, they are on African soil to facilitate the exploitation of our resources for the benefit of the tiny minority that controls the wealth of the American people and who are sitting on top of this world exploiting the Chicanos, exploiting the African Americans and exploiting all of the other independent and healthy forces in the United States on America. We have to resist all attempts to build U.S. military bases in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa.

      Nana Akyea Mensah writes:

      I feel greatly incensed by the casual manner Mr. Ochere-Darko breaks this news as though it is simply a matter of business, and not even making any attempt to explain the basis of the conspiracy that he confesses in the article. What does this mean? According to Asare Ochere Darko, even though the NPP government did not allow Ghanaians to have a say in whether or not they want a US military base on our soil, it is too late for the Atta-Mills government to say “No”! In other words, without any national debate, whether we like it or not the process has already been started and they cannot be reversed, so we are as good as being already occupied by a foreign power!

      Is this supposed to mean that the NPP government was simply throwing dust into our eyes whilst plotting secretly to undermine our national independence and sell us to the Americans? Fortunately for Ghana and Africa, the elections did not go their way. From the article under discussion, it seems to me that with Obama and Atta-Mills in power, the same special interests behind the establishment of the military base in Ghana, the military industrial complex of the USA, are acting as ventriloquists, using their local stooges, to revive their diabolic plot, and rope the two newcomers into the deal. Who else could fit better in the role of selling Ghana to the imperialists more than the very right hand man of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo, the great Asare Ochere-Darko, himself? If you should ask me what it was that worried me most in the article, I believe I would put my finger on the following seven words written by Mr. Ochere-Darko: “After all, the process has already started.” Most of us are still dazed by the question. What this man is virtually telling Ghanaians is that for months, the NPP has been secretly plotting with foreign powers to establish military bases on our lands without letting out a word about it to the Ghanaian public.

      And so far, in terms of policies, Obama has shown himself to be a willing and enthusiastic supporter of the entrenched elites, what Kwesi Pratt calls the tiny minority that controls the wealth of the American people. Obama has allowed a certain amount of democracy theater in his political maneuverings so far. But he has carefully closed off any areas of debate he does not wish to entertain. And President Obama seems to be continuing all the same military imperialist programs initiated by Mr. Bush.

      I have been an enthusiastic supporter of President Obama. I made my own small contributions to his campaign. He is wildly and justifiably popular in Ghana and Africa. This should not blind us to what is going on. And it should not stop us from exercising our democratic responsibility to speak out and say what we see.

      Read the full article here: Ghanaians Discuss AFRICOM & Obama’s Visit

      The US military in Africa Analysis, BBC World Service Listen
      (Duration: 11 minutes

      Martin Plaut: The image being put out by AFRICOM, first under President Bush and now under President Obama, is of an organisation working alongside African forces from the deserts of Darfour to the waters of the Gulf of Guinea. But the US has interests of its own, a quarter of all imported oil arriving at American ports, is now shifting from Africa. Something no administration can ignore. And then there are the dangers of engagements with Africa. Daniel Volman believes that in certain circumstances any American President would send troops into Africa.

      Daniel Volman: Two main scenarios that one might envision. One of them is enormous chaos in a major oil producing country. I am sure the nightmare scenario for American military planners is the descent of Nigeria into such chaos that it is not even possible to produce oil and to export it from that country.

      One other scenario that you can conceive of is attacks on American civilians or even more likely to incite an American response, attacks on American service personnel in Africa because as American military personnel go over there to Africa conduct training exercises and a variety of other activities, they are obviously in danger. and there has been a number of very close calls where American servicemen have come under fire from insurgents in countries like Niger and Mali. And if an American serviceman is killed in Africa, there will be a very, very dramatic response so I think there would be a lot of pressure on any American President to take military action in response to that.

      The Unites States has also dramatically increased its naval presence off the coast of Africa particularly off the oil-rich coast of Guinea. And in addition, the United States has negotiated base-access agreements with countries all over the African continent to ensure that whenever the United States decides that it needs to deploy its own forces, in combat in Africa, it will have access to bases, anywhere it needs them, around the continent.

      Martin Plaut: Africa, once a backwater for the United States, is now critical to its future. American energy needs and American investment have combined with concerns by the large and increasingly vocal African-American community, to force Washington to take the continent far more seriously.

      President Obama with his roots in African soil is unlikely to resist.

      Analysis was written and presented by Martin Plaut. And you are reminded you can hear it again on-line at BBC World Service dot com. And in tomorrow's programme we would be looking in greater detail at the situation in Iran asking whether the authorities are in the position to assert full control. That's Analysis at this time tomorrow. You are listening to the BBC...

      For the full interview click here: Friday, June 26, 2009, The US military in Africa Analysis, BBC World Service Listen (Duration: 11 minutes)

      Gbeho: US can’t force AFRICOM on Ghana

      Mr. James Victor Gbeho, ex-diplomat and adviser to President J.E.A. Mills on Foreign Policy, has assured the public that government has its head properly screwed on and will not enter into any agreement with the United States of America if the people do not approve of it.

      Ambassador Gbeho, as he is popularly called, was speaking on the planned visit of US President Barack Obama to Ghana on July 10 and 11, 2009, and what the visit portends for the nation.

      Sections of the Ghanaian public have publicly objected to the US government’s desire to base its continental military force, United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), in Ghana.

      Speaking on Citi FM’s breakfast show Monday, Gbeho said Ghanaians have some justification to be apprehensive about the country’s relations with the United States, given the way the latter has conducted its affairs in Latin America, in Asia and other parts of the world. More...

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      Africom to Continue Under Obama

      Daniel Volman
      Global Research
      June 27, 2009

      With the Obama administration set to oversee significant increases in US security assistance programmes for African countries, Daniel Volman examines the US government’s plans for its military operations on the African continent over the coming financial year. Stressing that the US president is essentially continuing the policies outlined under his predecessor George W. Bush, the author considers the proposed funding increases for initiatives like the Foreign Military Financing programme and the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme. Pointing out that the administration is yet to offer any public explanation of its policy, Volman concludes that it would be a mistake to assume that there will be no US military action if the situation in Somalia deteriorates.

      At the beginning of May 2009, President Obama submitted his first budget request to Congress. The Obama administration’s budget for the 2010 financial year proposes significant increases in US security assistance programmes for African countries and for the operations of the new US Africa Command (AFRICOM). This shows that - at least initially - the administration is following the course laid down for AFRICOM by the Bush administration, rather than putting these programmes on hold until it can conduct a serious review of US security policy towards Africa. This article outlines the administration’s plans for Africa in the coming year and the money it intends to spend on military operations on the continent.


      The Obama administration proposes maintaining or significantly increasing funding for the Foreign Military Financing programme, which provides loans for the sale of weaponry and other military equipment to a number of African countries. The administration’s request raises the total funding for arms sales to Africa from $8.3 million in financial year (FY) 2009 to $25.6 million in FY 2010. The new funding includes funding for arms sales to Chad ($500,000), the Democratic Republic of Congo ($2.5 million), Djibouti ($2.5 million), Ethiopia ($3 million), Kenya ($1 million), Liberia ($9 million), Nigeria ($1.4 million), South Africa ($800,000) and African regional programmes ($2.8 million).


      The Obama administration proposes small increases in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programmes for African counties, raising the total funding for this programme from $13.8 million in FY 2009 to $16 million in FY 2010. Significant increases in funding are requested for Chad ($400,000), Djibouti ($350,000), Ethiopia ($775,000), Ghana ($850,000), Kenya ($1,050,000), Liberia ($525,000), Mali ($350,000), Niger ($250,000), Nigeria ($1,100,000), Rwanda ($500,000), Senegal ($1,100,000), South Africa ($900,000) and Uganda ($550,000). The United States will continue its major IMET programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo ($500,000), and the Obama administration is proposing to start new IMET programmes in Equatorial Guinea ($40,000), Somalia ($40,000) and Zimbabwe ($40,000).


      The Obama administration proposes major new funding for security assistance provided through the Peacekeeping Operations programme. The FY 2010 budget proposal includes increasing funding for the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership - from $15 million in FY 2009 to $20 million in FY 2010 - and for the East Africa Regional Strategic Initiative - from $5 million in FY 2009 to $10 million in FY 2010. It also includes $42 million to continue operations in support of the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accords in southern Sudan, $10 million to continue operations to create a professional 2,000-member armed force in Liberia, $21 million to continue operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo to reform the military (including the creation of rapid reaction force for the eastern Congo), and $3.6 million for the Africa Conflict Stabilization and Border Security Program, which will be used to support monitoring teams, advisory assistance, training, infrastructure enhancements, and equipment in the Great Lakes region, the Mano River region, the Horn of Africa, Chad, and the Central African Republic. The budget request also includes $67 million to support the African Union Mission in Somalia. And it contains a request for $96.8 million for the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). The request for GPOI includes funding for the African Contingency Operations and Training Assistance Program (ACOTA) - which provides training and equipment to African military forces to enhance their peacekeeping capabilities - although the specific amount requested for ACOTA is not provided in the budget summary. More...

      25 June, 2009

      AFRICOM building research center.

      By John Vandiver
      Stars and Stripes, European edition
      June 15, 2009

      A social science research center is under development at U.S. Africa Command headquarters, where researchers from the academic world are being recruited to help map the complicated human terrain on the African continent.

      The research center, which falls under AFRICOM’s knowledge development division, will be designed to focus on the long-term with an eye toward forecasting potential flashpoints and preventing them from developing into conflicts.

      But mixing military and social science has long been a source of controversy, going all the way back to the Vietnam era when information collected by researchers was used for targeting people.

      More recently, the Army’s Human Terrain System, used in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been met with resistance from groups such as the Network of Concerned Anthropologists, made up of social scientists opposed to the mingling of academia and the military. More...

      FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Nana Akyea Mensah distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C ß 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this blog for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


      Author: Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro.
      Date: 2009-07-01 06:04:28

      Kwame Nkrumah overthrew a colonial dictatorship. The dictatorship of the CPP was justified, because the oppsite was not freedom, but the dictatorship of the neocolonialist imperialists to perpetuate their own! This is the result we are seiing today!

      The Busia-Danquah property owning rats came to power only because of the military action of 1966, after failing consistently to even win less than a quarter of the votes cast in 1951, 1954, 1956, 1960, 1964! They had to ban the use of Nkrumah's photos, images and his name!

      Today, we know that they have been secretly plotting with the Americans to establish military bases in Ghana to take direct control of not only the resources of Ghana, but the whole of Africa, in order to meet their own energy requirements up to the 23rd century!!!

      Which idiots still accept this? What we need right now is more of Kwame Nkrumah and less of the NPP if we are to escape the new wave of enslavement being championed by the same people behind George Bush who are now hiding behind President Obama to do their Arms and Oil business!

      Oheneba Frimpong, you must be very much ashamed of yourself!

      PLEASE SEE: Ghanaweb Feature Article of Wednesday, 1 July 2009, The NPP Party On Trial

      Please read Nkrumah again!

      The mechanisms of neo-colonialism

      A Special Introduction by Kwame Nkrumah 1965

      Neo-Colonialism, the Last Stage of imperialism

      The mechanisms of neo-colonialism

      IN order to halt foreign interference in the affairs of developing countries it is necessary to study, understand, expose and actively combat neo-colonialism in whatever guise it may appear. For the methods of neo-colonialists are subtle and varied. They operate not only in the economic field, but also in the political, religious, ideological and cultural spheres.

      Faced with the militant peoples of the ex-colonial territories in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, imperialism simply switches tactics. Without a qualm it dispenses with its flags, and even with certain of its more hated expatriate officials. This means, so it claims, that it is ‘giving’ independence to its former subjects, to be followed by ‘aid’ for their development. Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It is this sum total of these modern attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about ‘freedom’, which has come to be known as neo-colonialism.

      Foremost among the neo-colonialists is the United States, which has long exercised its power in Latin America. Fumblingly at first she turned towards Europe, and then with more certainty after world war two when most countries of that continent were indebted to her. Since then, with methodical thoroughness and touching attention to detail, the Pentagon set about consolidating its ascendancy, evidence of which can be seen all around the world.

      Who really rules in such places as Great Britain, West Germany, Japan, Spain, Portugal or Italy? If General de Gaulle is ‘defecting’ from U.S. monopoly control, what interpretation can be placed on his ‘experiments’ in the Sahara desert, his paratroopers in Gabon, or his trips to Cambodia and Latin America?

      Lurking behind such questions are the extended tentacles of the Wall Street octopus. And its suction cups and muscular strength are provided by a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Invisible Government’, arising from Wall Street’s connection with the Pentagon and various intelligence services. I quote:

      ‘The Invisible Government ... is a loose amorphous grouping of individuals and agencies drawn from many parts of the visible government. It is not limited to the Central Intelligence Agency, although the CIA is at its heart. Nor is it confined to the nine other agencies which comprise what is known as the intelligence community: the National Security Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Army Intelligence, Navy Intelligence and Research, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      ‘The Invisible Government includes also many other units and agencies, as well as individuals, that appear outwardly to be a normal part of the conventional government. It even encompasses business firms and institutions that are seemingly private.

      ‘To an extent that is only beginning to be perceived, this shadow government is shaping the lives of 190,000,000 Americans. An informed citizen might come to suspect that the foreign policy of the United States often works publicly in one direction and secretly through the Invisible Government in just the opposite direction.

      ‘This Invisible Government is a relatively new institution. It came into being as a result of two related factors: the rise of the United States after World War II to a position of pre-eminent world power, and the challenge to that power by Soviet Communism...

      ‘By 1964 the intelligence network had grown into a massive hidden apparatus, secretly employing about 200,000 persons and spending billions of dollars a year. [The Invisible Government, David Wise and Thomas B. Ross, Random House, New York, 1964.]

      Here, from the very citadel of neo-colonialism, is a description of the apparatus which now directs all other Western intelligence set-ups either by persuasion or by force. Results were achieved in Algeria during the April 1961 plot of anti-de Gaulle generals; as also in Guatemala, Iraq, Iran, Suez and the famous U-2 spy intrusion of Soviet air space which wrecked the approaching Summit, then in West Germany and again in East Germany in the riots of 1953, in Hungary’s abortive crisis of 1959, Poland’s of September 1956, and in Korea, Burma, Formosa, Laos, Cambodia and South Vietnam; they are evident in the trouble in Congo (Leopoldville) which began with Lumumba’s murder, and continues till now; in events in Cuba, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, and in other places too numerous to catalogue completely.

      And with what aim have these innumerable incidents occurred? The general objective has been mentioned: to achieve colonialism in fact while preaching independence.

      On the economic front, a strong factor favouring Western monopolies and acting against the developing world is inter-national capital’s control of the world market, as well as of the prices of commodities bought and sold there. From 1951 to 1961, without taking oil into consideration, the general level of prices for primary products fell by 33.l per cent, while prices of manufactured goods rose 3.5 per cent (within which, machinery and equipment prices rose 31.3 per cent). In that same decade this caused a loss to the Asian, African and Latin American countries, using 1951 prices as a basis, of some $41,400 million. In the same period, while the volume of exports from these countries rose, their earnings in foreign exchange from such exports decreased.

      Another technique of neo-colonialism is the use of high rates of interest. Figures from the World Bank for 1962 showed that seventy-one Asian, African and Latin American countries owed foreign debts of some $27,000 million, on which they paid in interest and service charges some $5,000 million. Since then, such foreign debts have been estimated as more than £30,000 million in these areas. In 1961, the interest rates on almost three-quarters of the loans offered by the major imperialist powers amounted to more than five per cent, in some cases up to seven or eight per cent, while the call-in periods of such loans have been burdensomely short.

      While capital worth $30,000 million was exported to some fifty-six developing countries between 1956 and 1962, ‘it is estimated that interest and profit alone extracted on this sum from the debtor countries amounted to more than £15,000 million. This method of penetration by economic aid recently soared into prominence when a number of countries began rejecting it. Ceylon, Indonesia and Cambodia are among those who turned it down. Such ‘aid’ is estimated on the annual average to have amounted to $2,600 million between 1951 and 1955; $4,007 million between 1956 and 1959, and $6,000 million between 1960 and 1962. But the average sums taken out of the aided countries by such donors in a sample year, 1961, are estimated to amount to $5,000 million in profits, $1,000 million in interest, and $5,800 million from non-equivalent exchange, or a total of $11,800 million extracted against $6,000 million put in. Thus, ‘aid’ turns out to be another means of exploitation, a modern method of capital export under a more cosmetic name.

      Still another neo-colonialist trap on the economic front has come to be known as ‘multilateral aid’ through international organisations: the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-national Bank for Reconstruction and Development (known as the World Bank), the International Finance Corporation and the International Development Association are examples, all, significantly, having U.S. capital as their major backing. These agencies have the habit of forcing would-be borrowers to submit to various offensive conditions, such as supplying information about their economies, submitting their policy and plans to review by the World Bank and accepting agency supervision of their use of loans. As for the alleged development, between 1960 and mid-1963 the International Development Association promised a total of $500 million to applicants, out of which only $70 million were actually received.

      In more recent years, as pointed out by Monitor in The Times, 1 July 1965, there has been a substantial increase in communist technical and economic aid activities in developing countries. During 1964 the total amount of assistance offered was approximately £600 million. This was almost a third of the total communist aid given during the previous decade. The Middle East received about 40 per cent of the total, Asia 36 per cent, Africa 22 per cent and Latin America the rest.

      Increased Chinese activity was responsible to some extent for the larger amount of aid offered in 1964, though China contributed only a quarter of the total aid committed; the Soviet Union provided a half, and the East European countries a quarter.

      Although aid from socialist countries still falls far short of that offered from the west, it is often more impressive, since it is swift and flexible, and interest rates on communist loans are only about two per cent compared with five to six per cent charged on loans from western countries.

      Nor is the whole story of ‘aid’ contained in figures, for there are conditions which hedge it around: the conclusion of commerce and navigation treaties; agreements for economic co-operation; the right to meddle in internal finances, including currency and foreign exchange, to lower trade barriers in favour of the donor country’s goods and capital; to protect the interests of private investments; determination of how the funds are to be used; forcing the recipient to set up counterpart funds; to supply raw materials to the donor; and use of such funds a majority of it, in fact to buy goods from the donor nation. These conditions apply to industry, commerce, agriculture, shipping and insurance, apart from others which are political and military.

      So-called ‘invisible trade’ furnishes the Western monopolies with yet another means of economic penetration. Over 90 per cent of world ocean shipping is controlled by me imperialist countries. They control shipping rates and, between 1951 and 1961, they increased them some five times in a total rise of about 60 per cent, the upward trend continuing. Thus, net annual freight expenses incurred by Asia, Africa and Latin America amount to no less than an estimated $1,600 million. This is over and above all other profits and interest payments. As for insurance payments, in 1961 alone these amounted to an unfavourable balance in Asia, Africa and Latin America of some additional $370 million.

      Having waded through all this, however, we have begun to understand only the basic methods of neo-colonialism. The full extent of its inventiveness is far from exhausted.

      In the labour field, for example, imperialism operates through labour arms like the Social Democratic parties of Europe led by the British Labour Party, and through such instruments as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), now apparently being superseded by the New York Africa-American Labour Centre (AALC) under AFL-CIO chief George Meany and the well-known CIA man in labour’s top echelons, Irving Brown.

      In 1945, out of the euphoria of anti-fascist victory, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) had been formed, including all world labour except the U.S. American Federation of Labor (AFL). By 1949, however, led by the British Trade Union Congress (TUC), a number of pro-imperialist labour bodies in the West broke away from the WFTU over the issue of anti-colonialist liberation, and set up the ICFTU.

      For ten years it continued under British TUC leadership. Its record in Africa, Asia and Latin America could gratify only the big international monopolies which were extracting super-profits from those areas.

      In 1959, at Brussels, the United States AFL-CIO union centre fought for and won control of the ICFTU Executive Board. From then on a flood of typewriters, mimeograph machines, cars, supplies, buildings, salaries and, so it is still averred, outright bribes for labour leaders in various parts of the developing world rapidly linked ICFTU in the minds of the rank and file with the CIA. To such an extent did its prestige suffer under these American bosses that, in 1964, the AFL-CIO brains felt it necessary to establish a fresh outfit. They set up the AALC in New York right across the river from the United Nations.

      ‘As a steadfast champion of national independence, democracy and social justice’, unblushingly stated the April 1965 Bulletin put out by this Centre, ‘the AFL-CIO will strengthen its efforts to assist the advancement of the economic conditions of the African peoples. Toward this end, steps have been taken to expand assistance to the African free trade unions by organising the African-American Labour Centre. Such assistance will help African labour play a vital role in the economic and democratic upbuilding of their countries.'

      The March issue of this Bulletin, however, gave the game away: ‘In mobilising capital resources for investment in Workers Education, Vocational Training, Co-operatives, Health Clinics and Housing, the Centre will work with both private and public institutions. It will also encourage labour-management co-operation to expand American capital investment in the African nations.’ The italics are mine. Could anything be plainer?

      Following a pattern previously set by the ICFTU, it has already started classes: one for drivers and mechanics in Nigeria, one in tailoring in Kenya. Labour scholarships are being offered to Africans who want to study trade unionism in of all places-Austria, ostensibly by the Austrian unions. Elsewhere, labour, organised into political parties of which the British Labour Party is a leading and typical example, has shown a similar aptitude for encouraging ‘Labour-management co-operation to expand . . . capital investment in African nations.'

      But as the struggle sharpens, even these measures of neo-colonialism are proving too mild. So Africa, Asia and Latin America have begun to experience a round of coups d'etat or would-be coups, together with a series of political assassinations which have destroyed in their political primes some of the newly emerging nations best leaders. To ensure success in these endeavours, the imperialists have made widespread and wily use of ideological and cultural weapons in the form of intrigues, manoeuvres and slander campaigns.

      Some of these methods used by neo-colonialists to slip past our guard must now be examined. The first is retention by the departing colonialists of various kinds of privileges which infringe on our sovereignty: that of setting up military bases or stationing troops in former colonies and the supplying of ‘advisers’ of one sort or another. Sometimes a number of ‘rights’ are demanded: land concessions, prospecting rights for minerals and/or oil; the ‘right’ to collect customs, to carry out administration, to issue paper money; to be exempt from customs duties and/or taxes for expatriate enterprises; and, above all, the ‘right’ to provide ‘aid’. Also demanded and granted are privileges in the cultural field; that Western information services be exclusive; and that those from socialist countries be excluded.

      Even the cinema stories of fabulous Hollywood are loaded. One has only to listen to the cheers of an African audience as Hollywood’s heroes slaughter red Indians or Asiatics to understand the effectiveness of this weapon. For, in the developing continents, where the colonialist heritage has left a vast majority still illiterate, even the smallest child gets the message contained in the blood and thunder stories emanating from California. And along with murder and the Wild West goes an incessant barrage of anti-socialist propaganda, in which the trade union man, the revolutionary, or the man of dark skin is generally cast as the villain, while the policeman, the gum-shoe, the Federal agent — in a word, the CIA — type spy is ever the hero. Here, truly, is the ideological under-belly of those political murders which so often use local people as their instruments.

      While Hollywood takes care of fiction, the enormous monopoly press, together with the outflow of slick, clever, expensive magazines, attends to what it chooses to call ‘news. Within separate countries, one or two news agencies control the news handouts, so that a deadly uniformity is achieved, regardless of the number of separate newspapers or magazines; while internationally, the financial preponderance of the United States is felt more and more through its foreign correspondents and offices abroad, as well as through its influence over inter-national capitalist journalism. Under this guise, a flood of anti-liberation propaganda emanates from the capital cities of the West, directed against China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Algeria, Ghana and all countries which hack out their own independent path to freedom. Prejudice is rife. For example, wherever there is armed struggle against the forces of reaction, the nationalists are referred to as rebels, terrorists, or frequently ‘communist terrorists'!

      Perhaps one of the most insidious methods of the neo-colonialists is evangelism. Following the liberation movement there has been a veritable riptide of religious sects, the overwhelming majority of them American. Typical of these are Jehovah’s Witnesses who recently created trouble in certain developing countries by busily teaching their citizens not to salute the new national flags. ‘Religion’ was too thin to smother the outcry that arose against this activity, and a temporary lull followed. But the number of evangelists continues to grow.

      Yet even evangelism and the cinema are only two twigs on a much bigger tree. Dating from the end of 1961, the U.S. has actively developed a huge ideological plan for invading the so-called Third World, utilising all its facilities from press and radio to Peace Corps.

      During 1962 and 1963 a number of international conferences to this end were held in several places, such as Nicosia in Cyprus, San Jose in Costa Rica, and Lagos in Nigeria. Participants included the CIA, the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), the Pentagon, the International Development Agency, the Peace Corps and others. Programmes were drawn up which included the systematic use of U.S. citizens abroad in virtual intelligence activities and propaganda work. Methods of recruiting political agents and of forcing ‘alliances’ with the U.S.A. were worked out. At the centre of its programmes lay the demand for an absolute U.S. monopoly in the field of propaganda, as well as for counteracting any independent efforts by developing states in the realm of information.

      The United States sought, and still seeks, with considerable success, to co-ordinate on the basis of its own strategy the propaganda activities of all Western countries. In October 1961, a conference of NATO countries was held in Rome to discuss problems of psychological warfare. It appealed for the organisation of combined ideological operations in Afro-Asian countries by all participants.

      In May and June 1962 a seminar was convened by the U.S. in Vienna on ideological warfare. It adopted a secret decision to engage in a propaganda offensive against the developing countries along lines laid down by the U.S.A. It was agreed that NATO propaganda agencies would, in practice if not in the public eye, keep in close contact with U.S. Embassies in their respective countries.

      Among instruments of such Western psychological warfare are numbered the intelligence agencies of Western countries headed by those of the United States ‘Invisible Government’. But most significant among them all are Moral Re-Armament QARA), the Peace Corps and the United States Information Agency (USIA).

      Moral Re-Armament is an organisation founded in 1938 by the American, Frank Buchman. In the last days before the second world war, it advocated the appeasement of Hitler, often extolling Himmler, the Gestapo chief. In Africa, MRA incursions began at the end of World War II. Against the big anti-colonial upsurge that followed victory in 1945, MRA spent millions advocating collaboration between the forces oppressing the African peoples and those same peoples. It is not without significance that Moise Tshombe and Joseph Kasavubu of Congo (Leopoldville) are both MRA supporters. George Seldes, in his book One Thousand Americans, characterised MRA as a fascist organisation ‘subsidised by . . . Fascists, and with a long record of collaboration with Fascists the world over. . . .’ This description is supported by the active participation in MRA of people like General Carpentier, former commander of NATO land forces, and General Ho Ying-chin, one of Chiang Kai-shek’s top generals. To cap this, several newspapers, some of them in the Western ;vorld, have claimed that MRA is actually subsidised by the CIA.

      When MRA’s influence began to fail, some new instrument to cover the ideological arena was desired. It came in the establishment of the American Peace Corps in 1961 by President John Kennedy, with Sargent Shriver, Jr., his brother-in-law, in charge. Shriver, a millionaire who made his pile in land speculation in Chicago, was also known as the friend, confidant and co-worker of the former head of the Central Intelligence Agency, Allen Dulles. These two had worked together in both the Office of Strategic Services, U.S. war-time intelligence agency, and in the CIA.

      Shriver’s record makes a mockery of President Kennedy’s alleged instruction to Shriver to ‘keep the CIA out of the Peace Corps’. So does the fact that, although the Peace Corps is advertised as a voluntary organisation, all its members are carefully screened by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

      Since its creation in 1961, members of the Peace Corps have been exposed and expelled from many African, Middle Eastern and Asian countries for acts of subversion or prejudice. Indonesia, Tanzania, the Philippines, and even pro-West countries like Turkey and Iran, have complained of its activities.

      However, perhaps the chief executor of U.S. psychological warfare is the United States Information Agency (USIA). Even for the wealthiest nation on earth, the U.S. lavishes an unusual amount of men, materials and money on this vehicle for its neo-colonial aims.

      The USIA is staffed by some 12,000 persons to the tune of more than $130 million a year. It has more than seventy editorial staffs working on publications abroad. Of its network comprising 110 radio stations, 60 are outside the U.S. Programmes are broadcast for Africa by American stations in Morocco, Eritrea, Liberia, Crete, and Barcelona, Spain, as well as from off-shore stations on American ships. In Africa alone, the USIA transmits about thirty territorial and national radio programmes whose content glorifies the U.S. while attempting to discredit countries with an independent foreign policy.

      The USIA boasts more than 120 branches in about 100 countries, 50 of which are in Africa alone. It has 250 centres in foreign countries, each of which is usually associated with a library. It employs about 200 cinemas and 8,000 projectors which draw upon its nearly 300 film libraries.

      This agency is directed by a central body which operates in the name of the U.S. President, planning and coordinating its activities in close touch with the Pentagon, CIA and other Cold War agencies, including even armed forces intelligence centres.

      In developing countries, the USIA actively tries to prevent expansion of national media of information so as itself to capture the market-place of ideas. It spends huge sums for publication and distribution of about sixty newspapers and magazines in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

      The American government backs the USIA through direct pressures on developing nations. To ensure its agency a complete monopoly in propaganda, for instance, many agreements for economic co-operation offered by the U.S. include a demand that Americans be granted preferential rights to disseminate information. At the same time, in trying to close the new nations to other sources of information, it employs other pressures. For instance, after agreeing to set up USIA information centres in their countries, both Togo and Congo (Leopoldville) originally hoped to follow a non-aligned path and permit Russian information centres as a balance. But Washington threatened to stop all aid, thereby forcing these two countries to renounce their plan.

      Unbiased studies of the USIA by such authorities as Dr R. Holt of Princeton University, Retired Colonel R. Van de Velde, former intelligence agents Murril Dayer, Wilson Dizard and others, have all called attention to the close ties between this agency and U.S. Intelligence. For example, Deputy Director Donald M. Wilson was a political intelligence agent in the U.S. Army. Assistant Director for Europe, Joseph Philips, was a successful espionage agent in several Eastern European countries.

      Some USIA duties further expose its nature as a top intelligence arm of the U.S. imperialists. In the first place, it is expected to analyse the situation in each country, making recommendations to its Embassy, thereby to its Government, about changes that can tip the local balance in U.S. favour. Secondly, it organises networks of monitors for radio broadcasts and telephone conversations, while recruiting informers from government offices. It also hires people to distribute U.S. propaganda. Thirdly, it collects secret information with special reference to defence and economy, as a means of eliminating its international military and economic competitors. Fourthly, it buys its way into local publications to influence their policies, of which Latin America furnishes numerous examples. It has been active in bribing public figures, for example in Kenya and Tunisia. Finally, it finances, directs and often supplies with arms all anti-neutralist forces in the developing countries, witness Tshombe in Congo (Leopoldville) and Pak Hung Ji in South Korea. In a word, with virtually unlimited finances, there seems no bounds to its inventiveness in subversion.

      One of the most recent developments in neo-colonialist strategy is the suggested establishment of a Businessmen Corps which will, like the Peace Corps, act in developing countries. In an article on ‘U.S. Intelligence and the Monopolies’ in International Affairs (Moscow, January 1965), V. Chernyavsky writes: ‘There can hardly be any doubt that this Corps is a new U.S. intelligence organisation created on the initiative of the American monopolies to use Big Business for espionage. It is by no means unusual for U.S. Intelligence to set up its own business firms which are merely thinly disguised espionage centres. For example, according to Chernyavsky, the C.I.A. has set up a firm in Taiwan known as Western Enterprises Inc. Under this cover it sends spies and saboteurs to South China. The New Asia Trading Company, a CIA firm in India, has also helped to camouflage U.S. intelligence agents operating in South-east Asia.

      Such is the catalogue of neo-colonialism’s activities and methods in our time. Upon reading it, the faint-hearted might come to feel that they must give up in despair before such an array of apparent power and seemingly inexhaustible resources.

      Fortunately, however, history furnishes innumerable proofs of one of its own major laws; that the budding future is always stronger than the withering past. This has been amply demonstrated during every major revolution throughout history.

      The American Revolution of 1776 struggled through to victory over a tangle of inefficiency, mismanagement, corruption, outright subversion and counter-revolution the like of which has been repeated to some degree in every subsequent revolution to date.

      The Russian Revolution during the period of Intervention, 1917 to 1922, appeared to be dying on its feet. The Chinese Revolution at one time was forced to pull out of its existing bases, lock stock and barrel, and make the unprecedented Long March; yet it triumphed. Imperialist white mercenaries who dropped so confidently out of the skies on Stanleyville after a plane trip from Ascension Island thought that their job would be ‘duck soup’. Yet, till now, the nationalist forces of Congo (Leopoldville) continue to fight their way forward. They do not talk of if they will win, but only of when.

      Asia provides a further example of the strength of a people’s will to determine their own future. In South Vietnam ‘special warfare’ is being fought to hold back the tide of revolutionary change. ‘Special warfare’ is a concept of General Maxwell Taylor and a military extension of the creed of John Foster Dulles: let Asians fight Asians. Briefly, the technique is for the foreign power to supply the money, aircraft, military equipment of all kinds, and the strategic and tactical command from a General Staff down to officer ‘advisers’, while the troops of the puppet government bear the brunt of the fighting. Yet in spite of bombing raids and the immense build-up of foreign strength in the area, the people of both North and South Vietnam are proving to be unconquerable.

      In other parts of Asia, in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, and now the Philippines, Thailand and Burma, the peoples of ex-colonial countries have stood firm and are winning battles against the allegedly superior imperialist enemy. In Latin America, despite ‘final’ punitive expeditions, the growing armed insurrections in Colombia, Venezuala and other countries continue to consolidate gains.

      In Africa, we in Ghana have withstood all efforts by imperialism and its agents; Tanzania has nipped subversive plots in the bud, as have Brazzaville, Uganda and Kenya. The struggle rages back and forth. The surging popular forces may still be hampered by colonialist legacies, but nonetheless they advance inexorably.

      All these examples prove beyond doubt that neo-colonialism is not a sign of imperialism’s strength but rather of its last hideous gasp. It testifies to its inability to rule any longer by old methods. Independence is a luxury it can no longer afford to permit its subject peoples, so that even what it claims to have ‘given’ it now seeks to take away.

      This means that neo-colonialism can and will be defeated. How can this be done?

      Thus far, all the methods of neo-colonialists have pointed in one direction, the ancient, accepted one of all minority ruling classes throughout history — divide and rule.

      Quite obviously, therefore, unity is the first requisite for destroying neo-colonialism. Primary and basic is the need for an all-union government on the much divided continent of Africa. Along with that, a strengthening of the Afro-Asian Solidarity Organisation and the spirit of Bandung is already under way. To it, we must seek the adherence on an increasingly formal basis of our Latin American brothers.

      Furthermore, all these liberatory forces have, on all major issues and at every possible instance, the support of the growing socialist sector of the world.

      Finally, we must encourage and utilise to the full those still all too few yet growing instances of support for liberation and anti-colonialism inside the imperialist world itself.

      To carry out such a political programme, we must all back it with national plans designed to strengthen ourselves as independent nations. An external condition for such independent development is neutrality or political non-alignment. This has been expressed in two conferences of Non-Aligned Nations during the recent past, the last of which, in Cairo in 1964, clearly and inevitably showed itself at one with the rising forcesof liberation and human dignity.

      And the preconditions for all this, to which lip service is often paid but activity seldom directed, is to develop ideological clarity among the anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, pro-liberation masses of our continents. They, and they alone, make, maintain or break revolutions.

      With the utmost speed, neo-colonialism must be analysed in clear and simple terms for the full mass understanding by the surging organisations of the African peoples. The All-African Trade Union Federation (AATUF) has already made a start in this direction, while the Pan-African Youth Movement, the women, journalists, farmers and others are not far behind. Bolstered with ideological clarity, these organisations, closely linked with the ruling parties where liberatory forces are in power, will prove that neo-colonialism is the symptom of imperialism’s weakness and that it is defeatable. For, when all is said and done, it is the so-called little man, the bent-backed, exploited, malnourished, blood-covered fighter for independence who decides. And he invariably decides for freedom.