Wednesday, August 16, 2006

From the blogosphere...

(x-posted from The Salon II)

A short, simple and honest piece on present day imperialism:

"With the United States and Britain running Iraq and Afghanistan; while anxiously waiting for Fidel Castro to die so they can meddle in Cubas business, I would say imperialism is alive and well. My main concern is not where Britain and the United States are currently exerting their powers, but rather where they will go next. I remember in Bushs first presidential run, in a debate against Al Gore, he was asked what would he do different from what Bill Clinton did. His reply was that he wouldnt have send the troops to Haiti (In 2004 Clinton send troops to Haiti to restore President Aristide's government to power after a coup) and he would not have sent troops to Africa (Clinton also send troops to Rwanda). Bush did not stay truth to his word; in 2004 he sent troops to Haiti to keep the peace after the so-called resignation of Aristide. Aristide later denied he resigned and blamed the United States for kidnapping and shipping him to the Central African Republic. So if he did not keep his word about Haiti, who is to say, he will keep it about Africa.

I think it is safe to say the United States wont go to Africa to offer help where it is needed like the Democratic Republic of Congo. I cant help but to wonder however, if the Bush administration wont soon come up with a plan to go to Africa underthe disguise of helping the continent, when their real intentions will be to get more or total control over Nigerias oil. What if Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were nothing but pawns in the Bushs administrations schemes? What if not to make it look like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were raging war against the browner people of the earth, they added a little diversity. We know now that apart from lying to the United Nations, Powell did not really play any major role in the Bush administration. As a matter of fact, his best advice to the administration that more troops were needed in Iraq was ignored. To be blunt Powell was not much more than a puppet or as Bookman said in Stepping Razor, You went from a strong Black man to George Bushs little slut.

So please tell me if I am being paranoid. Can you see the United States in Nigeria soon? Is that too far fetched? I mean Nigeria have all the elements. They have lots of oil. They have a large Muslim population, so the United States could always justify their actions by saying it is the global fight against Islamist terrorist threat. I really do hope I am too paranoid, but knowing the pain the greed for gold, diamond and free labor have caused Africa in the past, I am concern what pain her oil may cause her."

I wonder...


Brian said...

"(In 2004 Clinton send troops to Haiti to restore President Aristide's government to power after a coup)"

Actually this was 1994.

I've read that the Bush administration certainly has an eye on the situation in Nigeria. I don't think even they are foolish enough to intervene militarily there. The difference is that while Muslims make up a good chunk of Nigeria's population, it is not a predominantly Muslim country. Christian Nigerians would equally revolted by a US military intervention and would unite with Muslims in the name of nationalism (probably for the first time in Nigeria's history, excluding football). It's entirely plausible the Bushies would meddle behind the scenes, but I can't see them doing anything so brazen as sending troops in this particular case. Furthermore, the US is working with other West African governments on the Islamist issue and such an intervention would probably destroy that cooperation as well.

But don't you think it's odd to complain that US intervention in Haiti and Nigeria is/would be 'imperialism' but in the DRC it would be much needed? As I'm sure you'd agree, I can think of few countries that have suffered MORE from foreign intervention than the DRC.

exMI said...

With everything the US has going on militarily right now I don't think they have any interest in going anywhere with a much Tarbaby potential as anywhere in Africa.

Lorraine said...

A couple of months back I mentioned to a friend in Equatorial Guinea that people should be afraid if the US decides to step up its involvement in the country because of its oil (it is alleged to be the third largest oil producer in Sub-Sahara Africa). Lo and behold, last week I learn that is exactly what has happened.

For the past decade there has been no resident U.S. ambassador in Equatorial Guinea and the U.S. chiefs of mission in Cameroon have managed U.S. relations with Equatorial Guinea during that period.

Did I mention that Equatorial Guinea has lots of oi? Now read what the new U.S Ambassador designate had to say "There are specific and compelling reasons why the United States should intensify its relationship with Equatorial Guinea".

Then he continues with "The United States would like to help Equatorial Guinea "make wise and prudent decisions on how to allocate these resources so that they can have the widest possible impact on the development of that country and the well-being of all its people.”

In closing, Johnson said, "Let me be clear - in conducting this dialogue, we would like the government and people of Equatorial Guinea to know that the United States wishes only the very best for them. We would like Equatorial Guinea to be a friendly, democratic, prosperous, secure, and peaceful society."

People of Equatorial Guinea--just look at how "helpful" the current AMerican administration has been in the DRC!!!!

Sadly Brian I think you give the Bush Administration too much credit re. their possible military intervention in Nigeria. Maybe they could talk Blair into doing it instead?

Black River Eagle said...

To whoever wrote this original piece:

Yes, you are being too paranoid.

First, I would do some research on the term "imperialism" and pay particular attention to how it is accurately defined and read about the history of imperialism in the modern world (mid-1800's). You will discover that the United States is not and never was an Imperial power like Britain or France or some Asian and Middle Eastern empires once were. Checkout Wikipedia's definition of the term for a start. I think that the experts over at think tanks like the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace have some very good research on this subject (also ref: Foreign Policy magazine). I don't mean to be condescending but this is one of the most misused terms in the English language.

Second, I doubt very seriously that the U.S. government has any plans to invade Nigeria or Equatorial Guinea or the DR Congo and so forth and abscond with their precious natural resources. Why invade a country that has admittedly had a series of post-colonial governments that have stolen more than $400 billion dollars in oil revenue (Nigeria) or is in the process of looting and selling off its oil and mineral wealth to the most corrupt bidder(Equatorial Guinea, DR Congo, et. al)?

If anything, I would be worried about a host of other countries and individuals who are clearly active in keeping African people poor through the looting of their national treasuries, fueling local and regional conflicts by trafficking in illegal arms, and abusing the civil and human rights of Africans via slave labor, child labor, and a whole series of other human victimization ills.

You would be hard-pressed to find a lot of Americans involved in these type of activities on the African continent today. What you will see is more engagement with Africa and Africans from the people of the United States upon the invitation of African people and their respective governments who understand that improved bilateral relations will be to their benefit and not to their detriment. As far as the people in African countries ruled by leaders who do not seek an improvement in governance and economic benefits for all the people, their future looks very bleak indeed. Do you need some examples??

Yo Brian, thanks for keeping 'em honest when it comes to the facts.

P.S. This does not mean that there will not be a big fight for the continent of Africa in the near future, because there will be. In fact, it has already started and guess who is not ready?

Brian said...

BRE: I'm pretty sure Malau's error was a typo. You can tell from the context. I agree that it's doubtful the Bushies would invade an African country militarily. It's already got more than its hands full in the Middle East. Besides, if you can get the resources without the hassle of occupation, why would you invade? Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, as we say.

I agree that imperialism is a misused word, but it's by you, BRE. America has been an imperial power for most of its history. The US invaded Mexico several times in the 1st half of the 19th century. The US invaded, conquered and annexed Hawaii. Most of the US' overseas territories were acquired as a result of military adventures.

Furthermore, physically occupying and colonizing countries is a form of imperialism but not the only form. defines imperialism as: "The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations."

(Even your Wikipedia definition notes "...or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. The term is often used to describe the policy of a nation's dominance over distant lands, regardless of whether the nation considers itself part of the empire.")

This obviously includes non-territorial forms of imperial domination. I don't think anyone could argue that the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations has been an integral part of US foreign policy since the late 19th century. The US has been an imperial power for over 100 years.

Brian said...

My last part meant to say:

I don't think anyone could dispute that the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations has been an integral part of US foreign policy since the late 19th century. The US has been an imperial power for over 100 years.

Black River Eagle said...

Point well stated, Brian. Indeed. I'll do some more homework on the subject of U.S. imperialism in the 19th and 20th centuries and return to this fight on another day.

P.S. Mexico started it (the fight). Remember the Alamo! And the U.S.A. did not invade the Hawaiian Islands. We were invited down for a barbecue and tropical cocktails and decided to invest in a little beachfront property and hang around for awhile. Same deal with Havana, Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The chiefs called us, we didn't call them.

TheMalau said...

I love it when people have fruitful debates on The Salon. Keep it up!

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