Anti-War Conference Against “Humanitarian Imperialism”

Anti-War Conference Against “Humanitarian Imperialism”


PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network.
I’m Paul Jay in Washington. Last weekend in Stamford, Connecticut, was
the meeting of the United National Antiwar Coalition. And now joining us to talk about
that meeting is Glen Ford. He is the executive editor of BlackAgendaReport.com. Thanks for
joining us again, Glen. GLEN FORD: Thanks for the opportunity. JAY: So what were the headlines from this
conference? And maybe for people that don’t know, you can give a little context about
UNAC, why there is a UNAC. FORD: UNAC is now the premier antiwar organization
in the United States. What used to comprise the antiwar movement (if it could be called
that) in the U.S. showed itself with the advent of the first black president to be really
an anti-Republican movement. And so the antiwar forces had to reconstitute themselves into
an organization that opposed all U.S. aggressive force and not just Republican wars, and that
became the United National Antiwar Coalition, or UNAC. This past weekend’s conference was, I think,
very, very significant because UNAC adopted the position that the United States–calling
on the United States not to intervene, to attack, to threaten, to coerce, to put sanctions
or embargoes against both Iran and Syria. And we have to understand that what called
itself the antiwar movement was quite ambivalent about the unprovoked U.S.-NATO war against
Libya last year. And those same forces appear to be even more ambivalent about the pending
attack against Syria and against Iran. So it was important that UNAC again, being true
to its purpose, come down against U.S. aggressions in all their forms and not just when Republicans
do them. JAY: Well, I guess, before we talk about Libya
and Syria, the war that’s now being called Obama’s war is the Afghan War. I assume you
took a position on that. FORD: Oh, of course. U.S. out of Afghanistan.
U.S. out of Pakistan. U.S.–a halt to the U.S. war which has been going on for–oh,
since late 2006 against Somalia. A halt to the militarization of Africa through AFRICOM’s
aggressive activities there. A halt to the continued occupation of Haiti. We could go
on and on and use up all of your time. JAY: Especially if we get into any history–we
would have no time at all for that. Talk a bit about the politics of this. You talked
about how the antiwar movement, once there was a Democratic president, lost much of its
steam, and when the antiwar movement wasn’t just targeting wars that–started by Republicans.
To what extent does UNAC cross party lines? For example, there are libertarian Republicans,
Ron Paul supporters and others, that would probably agree with you on a lot of this.
Do you–are they represented in the UNAC? FORD: I haven’t seen much trace of Tea Party
types or libertarian types in UNAC, and probably it’s because even that strain of libertarianism
that opposes U.S. wars abroad can’t use the word imperialism. And if you don’t understand
that it is a system that is constantly seeking wars, seeking conflicts with other people
with purpose of taking over their resources or giving getting rid of anything that stands
in the way of U.S. domination of the world, then you’re not really coherent in terms of
your antiwar policy. JAY: Actually, Ron Paul does use the term
imperialism and empire. I don’t know that he analyzes it the same way you might, but
he does use the terms, to be fair. FORD: Yeah. Well, certainly a lot of them
use the term empire, but not imperialism, and one is not necessarily the same thing. JAY: Okay. Well, let’s talk about Syria, ’cause
that’s probably a good example of what’s being called humanitarian intervention, or others
are calling humanitarian imperialism, where you have a very complicated situation. To
the best of what I can assess of what’s going on there, you have, you know, oppositional
forces that want to end a dictatorship. You have all kinds of forces being backed by external
players like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and United States. How do you parse this in terms of
the rights of people to overthrow what they think is not a legitimate government, and
the role outside intervention plays in fishing in troubled waters? FORD: People have the right to overthrow their
governments. The United States, of course, has not backed those people who have wanted
to overthrow the governments that they had imposed or that they supported. So the United
States doesn’t back the principle of people having a right to overthrow their own governments. But I don’t think that that’s what we’re talking
about here. We would not be talking about Syria and the crisis that now exists if there
weren’t massive, massive intervention by other powers. And they include not just the United
States and France and Britain. We know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Salafis
from Libya there, the country that NATO made war against only last year. And we know that
Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been giving material aid to the opposition in Syria, and that Turkey
is maintaining on its border with Syria a safe haven for the so-called Free Syrian Army. So the involvement of the so-called international
community is no secret. It’s quite public. And the call for regime change is something
that comes out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth in this instance just as it did with Libya.
In fact, what the United States is trying to do is do a repeat of Libya with Syria. And in the larger sense, what the Obama administration
has done with its humanitarian military interventionist doctrine is to do an end run around international
law, to make an exception to international law, which says you do not make war unless
you are attacked, and even under those circumstances it is only as a last resort. Now you have
a doctrine that says that some community of nations, that is, the United States and whatever
partners it wants to enlist in the project, can decide that there is a higher calling,
and that is to save designated civilians from attack by their own government. It basically
is saying that a government does not have the right to a monopoly of the use of force
within its own borders. And that means that the United States does not recognize the sovereignty
of other countries that it declares to be behaving in a non-humanitarian way. JAY: So, I mean, essentially transcends decades
of international law is what you’re saying. FORD: Decades of international law and centuries
of evolving standards of international conduct. JAY: Now, you do have situations–for example,
South Africa was an example where there was certainly armed opposition to the apartheid
regime. There was a call by South African resistance fighters for international sanctions.
Certainly there was no call for outside military intervention. What do you see is in terms
of what the international role or countries from outside other countries like a South
Africa? [sic] ‘Cause it’s not always going to be an anti-American regime that’s–I mean,
a regime that’s in contradiction with U.S. imperialism that’s going to be at issue here.
What do you think is the proper way for these things to unfold? FORD: Well, I think that the world considers
the case of South Africa a case of white minority rule, a vestige of colonialism and white supremacy,
to be a separate kind of case, that there is a consensus in the world that rule by racial
right is beyond the kin, beyond the pale, and something to be abhorred by all the world’s
people. This is what puts Israel in a very precarious position of legitimacy as well.
And so I don’t think it’s correct to use the South African example as one that is a way
to get at some kind of universal principle. We have universal principles, and they’re
in the Geneva Conventions and the other elements of international law. JAY: Well, I mean, it could be a Latin American
country where people are waging an armed resistance against an American-backed dictatorship, for
example. I mean, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see that in today’s world at some point
Honduran resistance might become an armed resistance, given the level of armed repression
of the Honduran resistance. What then do you think should be the role of outside countries? FORD: You know, everybody has the right to
give all kinds of moral support, and individuals to take their risks and give material support,
to forces around the world with which they empathize. That means that Islamist forces
can do so in those parts of the world where they want to establish Islamic regimes, and
so on and so on. The rights of people to support the forces
around the world with which they feel solidarity is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking
about nations that aggressively try to topple the regimes of other nations by using force,
by transferring their arms to other people to be used against other nations. That’s quite
a different story. That’s what the United States is doing. That’s how those Libyans
who had fought the NATO side in the war of last year now wind up in Syria and brag about
it. That’s U.S. intervention. But, you know, we don’t have to get into the
details of how those arms and other material support arrive. All we have to do is listen
to the words of the State Department. And this is clearly an orchestrated campaign for
regime change backed up by the threat of the use of more force. And if China and Russia
had not vetoed the resolution before the UN Security Council that looked very much like
the resolution that was put forward to justify the no-fly zone and subsequent attack on Libya,
then we would be looking at a Libyan type situation right now. JAY: What are UNAC’s plans? The people are
talking about the new Occupy spring and a new wave of various kinds of protest. What
has UNAC got in store? FORD: Next month, UNAC’s big project is to
go to Chicago to protest NATO’s meeting in Chicago. And there was going to be a simultaneous
meeting of NATO and the G-8. But UNAC believes that all of the organizing activities, all
the organizing to bring thousands of people to Chicago, scared the G-8 meeting to another
location, to Camp David, I believe. And so they’re counting that as a victory there. The mayor of Chicago, however, is going to
make it very, very difficult for demonstrators not to break the law in carrying out their
protests. And we have to point out that the U.S. Congress just recently passed a bill
that made it a federal felony, a really serious crime, to trespass against a building or a
tract of land on which a person who is guarded by the Secret Service is positioned, is in
the building or on the grounds, even if the demonstrators who trespass somehow don’t know
that this Secret Service-guarded person is there. And that could be a presidential candidate,
it could be a number of government officials, but it could also be a foreign dignitary.
Clearly, that law was passed with only three votes against it. One of them was Ron Paul.
Clearly that was meant to create the biggest kind of chill against demonstrations like
that which UNAC and a whole coalition of other organizations is planning in Chicago next
month. JAY: Yeah. That legislation’s very similar
to legislation that was used during the G-20 in Toronto, something called the Public Works
Protection Act, which even the ombudsman of Ontario later called not only the greatest
threat to civil rights in the history of Canada, but he essentially called it a declaration
of martial law. This is very similar, that you can essentially, if the–I mean, under
this legislation, call a surrounding area where the person of note is–under this legislation
is there, essentially creates a martial law. FORD: A zone in which martial law exists.
And the preventive detention law–and this is an historic achievement of the Obama administration
that I don’t think any Republican administration could have pulled off–this preventive detention
law, which basically outlaws due process no matter what the U.S. attorney general says–. JAY: You’re talking the law under the NDAA,– FORD: Yes, yes. JAY: –which allows for an indefinite military
detention of–including U.S. citizens. FORD: And, you know, I don’t know why the
distinction is made between military and civil. The outlaw–withdrawal of due process is the
same whether it’s under military or civilian, and that means that you don’t have the rule
of law in this country. It is a role or a law by decree. And why are we seeing these kinds of measures?
I believe–I’m not speaking for UNAC; I’m on the coordinating Council, but I don’t speak
for UNAC. But I believe, and many in UNAC believe, that the United States is on a kind
of go-for-broke military campaign, a real offensive, as big an offensive as George Bush
tried to pull off with his attack on Iraq in 2003, an offensive that was blunted by
the opposition in Iraq. And now Obama is on a roll with his humanitarian aggressions.
And it’s understood that as the theaters of war widen and protest becomes deeper and wider,
that there’s going to be a need to crack down domestically. And they’ve already laid the
legal foundations for that. JAY: Thanks for joining us, Glen. FORD: Thank you. JAY: Thank you for joining us on The Real
News Network.

64 Comments on "Anti-War Conference Against “Humanitarian Imperialism”"


  1. They will complain about wars but then they will mostly all vote for Obama, a militant corporatist.

    The idea is to quietly talk the anti-war talk but secretly obey the great militant leader messiah Obama, especially in the voting booth. Not that it matters, except that ideologically you cant oppose war and then vote for an imperialist militant without some kind of sick smirk on your face. It doesn't compute. They will say a vote for Obama is more of a vote against Obamney. Same ole crap.

    Reply

  2. There's no opposition to bashar or the government, these people do not want the reform process, they want a coup or insurrection that will bring Syrian National Council (NATO stooges) to power. NATO stooges have been waiting for 1 year, no power yet for them, boohoo.

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  3. From the Damascus and Aleppo explosions we come to conclusion:
    – Opposition forces are terrorists and armed thugs.
    – Armed opposition has no interest in democracy or prosperity of Syria.
    – President Assad has full legitimacy and has the democratic right to impose order in the country in the way that he sees the best.
    – Opposition is armed from abroad and has no legitimacy or public support as the media tries to present.

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  4. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are Trying to Build a New Terrorist Group in Syria
    youtube. com/watch?v=sQreVQYnCGA
    Israeli-made Weapons seized in Syria – Homs – March 16, 2012 (Israel Arming Terrorists in Syria)
    youtube. com/watch?v=Jv87JAoAyZI

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  5. Obama outlawed Freedom to protest HR347
    Obama signed bill HR 347 into law earlier this month. With that move, Obama made it a felony to express freedom of speech in America.
    youtube. com/watch?v=9W38EG0FZZw
    America is the opposite of Democracy, the opposite of freedom, the opposite of everything they try to push on other countries. The USA is no better than Stalin's USSR and it shall COLLAPSE as such

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  6. Assad is a dictator, but you can't trust any foreign "humanitarians" to do the right thing.

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  7. Our Figureheads of Democracy are just that – they are not really Presidents and Prime Ministers – while Syria has similarities – it is not as bad. An honest dictatorship might be preferable to a sham "democracy", which is a dictatorship of lies and liars
    There have been major reforms in Syria and people voted on it, but these NATO backed terrorists don't want the reform process, they want a coup or insurrection that will bring Syrian National Council (NATO stooges) to power.

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  8. And the military complex will go bankrupt? That is not going to happen. War is very profitable.

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  9. Ron Paul is a fascist clown… And on the last topic, we must resist BEFORE they legally cage us – waiting for them to install totalitarian laws BEFORE resisting will result in disaster. FASCISM is on the march – wakey wakey 99%ers…

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  10. USA = HR347 (Obama made it a felony to protest), New Marshal Law Bill, NDAA, Patriot Act, SOPA, ACTA, PIPA, Indefinite Detentions, Assassinations of American citizens, Endless Wars, Drug War, Cracking down on Medical Marijuana, Spying on Americans, Guantanamo, Slaughtering innocents with drone attacks, Torture, the list goes on.
    The USA is a lot worse than you could ever imagine.

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  11. This is an excellent interview and commentary regarding what the United States is doing in terms of both the domination of other nations around the world and in quashing civil liberties domestically. This analysis couldn't be more on target.

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  12. So basically protesters are going to get their heads beat in @ the NATO Summit.
    Obama is getting away with/ will get away with a dictatorship under the cover of . . .
    The New American Personality Cult.
    And all of those who choose not to joint, will just be rounded up at 4am.

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  13. *Watch out, we got a badass over hear.jpg*

    And who is befitting from climate change, and how? I mean give facts and figures here. Oil furthers imperialist agendas you idiot, what do you think all this geopolitical rearranging is about? Why they hell do you think Western interests are pointed at Iran right now? Green energy is bad for business, why the hell do you think the electric car and other technologies have been suppressed by Big Oil lobbyists? Tell me that, tough guy.

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  14. Idk what LegSpreader69 thinks about oil because the wasn't the point. And I doubt MudHut67 thinks insulting people while ignoring their argument is a good way to debate.

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  15. Using StunnedbyStupidity's definition, a fascist clown is one who stands up to the powers that be and says the people have a right to their wealth, and a government that fails to allow this freedom is simply tyrannical. I guess that makes me a fascist clown. Besides, isn't the 99% actually like, 50%?

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  16. Ron Paul (to Glen Ford, lol): "Respect for individual liberty and dignity is the only answer to government force, force that serves the politically and economically powerful. Our planners and rulers are not geniuses, but rather demagogues and would-be dictators — always performing their tasks with a cover of humanitarian rhetoric."

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  17. See you lot are NUTS. Look child, Ron Paul wants to GUT the middle class and regress progress by the working class by cutting taxes and taking government support from unions. He then intends to STRENGTHEN EVEN FURTHER corporations and billionaires allowing them to take over the reigns of power. He then intends to destroy democracy by gutting government. Then installing RUTHLESS social Darwinism. He CLAIMS that he intends to cut back on the military. But when he steps down, with democracy gutted

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  18. and his dream of FASCISM installed there will be NOTHING to stop the imperialist CAPITALIST class starting wars on a WAY more aggressive footing… The last 30 years have fucked up EVERYTHING and is the result of the LIBERTARIAN REVOLUTION. And EXACTLY the same people that started it FUND RON PAUL – you crazy bastard – why not turn off your computer and go read some books…
    And for the record go look into Rupert Murdoch has done to democracy in the UK and tell me about free markets. YOU MORON.

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  19. Haha, told?

    None of what you are saying is making any sense. All you are doing is labelling me, and making presumptions as to what I believe etc, and then going on with your conspiracy crap, in a completely incoherent rant. If directed properly, the Arab spring could have toppled oppressive regimes, many of which were either propped up or kept in power by Israel or America. Kony 2012 is just bullshit that little kids feel important for supporting, why you think I support it I have no idea…

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  20. And no,the globe is not cooling,it is in fact warming(something backed up by actual climate records which you can check for yourself).Mass extinction? yes, if scientific predictions are correct(and they have been)many,many people will die due to loss of coastal areas(most of the pop. live at the coast)and extreme weather(and btw, GW causes climate change,they are connected but different things).And yes,I am too concerned about corruption,especially where sustainable technologies are concerned.

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  21. Also, you failed to address who this shadow government is that is using environmental problems to further their imperialistic aims, and how they are doing this when it completely contradicts reality. GW is indeed just part of the problem, however GW is by far one of the most catastrophic issues there are, that will effect everyone on this planet. I don't understand how you think you have an argument to start with, when you seem so incapable of expressing it.

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  22. Idk why thisisbunk thinks that oil isn't relevant, and I don't know why the hell he is talking about people in the third person, or how I was insulting someone out of nowhere without an argument to back it up. In fact, I have no idea why thisisbunk is even commenting or what his point is.

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  23. What about Bahrain? or Saudi Arabia? there were protests there too, but America decided not to help them as they got slaughtered by police, because the current Regime is in their pockets. My point is that the Spring was not instigated by America, but rather discriminately aided/thwarted. And again, you are ignoring the initial contested premise: climate change being used as a front for imperialism.

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  24. Well, you were the one that said "fucking told", so I'm not sure where you are pulling that one from. And no, I am trying to act like anything, I just have a high standard of English, for want of a better term. A stake in what? again, you are going off in a tangent. It's 'owned' btw, by saying I pawn means that I 'win'. Unless of course you meant that sarcastically.

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  25. Carbon taxes are there to 'punish' companies who use an excessive amount of carbon fuel.Yes,there is an ulterior motive there(profit)but it stimulates the market to be more efficient(produce more efficient cars,and for people to purchase them),reducing carbon emission and intake.People seem to mention carbon tax without actually stating what's wrong with it,and when you go talking about green fascism without baking that up(as you have not),you start to look like an idiot.

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  26. half a million for the heads on or off of the war criminals Hillary Clinton, Obomber, Tony Bliar, Sarkozy and Hague Fox Cameron but the emir of qatar is suppplying most of the mercenaries

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  27. I disagree with Glen Ford.

    When he says the US/NATO members went to war against Libya…which Libya? Libya as a whole? Their former ally of the totalitarian fovernment of Gaddafi? The rebelling Libya? The people of Libya?

    For me Ford's language appears to be just a vague collective rhetorical device.

    And how was this "war" projected? Does "directing" an internal conflict by attacking one side constitute "war"? Also, how can one keep complaining about an intervention that ended on 31/10/11?

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  28. Every people have to be responsible to make and remakes their own government. The only reason why there ever should be intervention is when there is a genocide against a minority that has no chance of defending itself or when on country invades another. Even then we need to be very cautious about forces that twist such intervention to the ends of the multinational corporations and expansionist objectives of imperialist government.

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  29. The pretense of democracy still provides some protection though what democracy is is being rewritten so even that is being eroded.

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  30. The US is a dictatorship or more accurately a plutocracy. The US has killed millions and tortured people and has a police state just as Nazi Germany did.
    Obama is a Nazi just on a different team.
    USA = HR347, NDAA, Patriot Act, SOPA, ACTA, PIPA, Indefinite Detentions, Assassinations of American citizens, Endless Wars, Drug War, Cracking down on Medical Marijuana, Spying on Americans, Guantanamo, Slaughtering innocents with drone attacks, Torture, the list goes on…

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  31. I don't really disagree but there is a difference between what the law says and what the people will allow to happen. They need to warp people minds to bring the laws into full force. For example, they probably could not convince the average soldier or cop to start shooting anyone who says anything against the government. At least not yet.

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  32. at 10:22 he says people have the right to lend moral support and material support to any side of a conflict. Why not direct support, like the brave souls who went to Spain in the 30's to fight fascism? at least that way it's an egalitarian kind of support where one supporter = one soldier. as opposed to material support where the wealthiest usually win. or "moral support" where whoever owns the major media outlets wins. and we know what side of conflicts those types tend to take.

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  33. Hey, remind me not to attempt any engagement in any type of discussion with StunnedbyStupidity. The authoritarian attitude is not my style.

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  34. Hey MudHut67, I just think being polite is better than calling people idiots when the argument isn't even on the table yet. And you were the one who brought up oil first from what I could tell, so I was refraining from putting words in others' mouth. As you argued with LegSpreader69: "All you are doing is labelling me, and making presumptions as to what I believe etc" How is this helpful? (Using names is helpful when reading these discussion/rants)

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  35. The interview started slowly and somewhat haltingly, until the 6:00 min. mark, when Mr. Ford started a forceful, but brilliantly well articulated train of thought. From that time on, it was home-run all the way. Paul assisted well, with his informed questioning also.

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  36. So, despite all the evidence, the Libyan rebels had no real grivances against their totalitarian government. Also, NTC forces were estimated to be some 170,000 insurgents; we're they also all covertly trained?

    "over a million people" Apparently those *staged* demonstrations had crowds no larger than 10,000 persons.

    And why would the West concot some vast plan to dethrone Gaddafi even though he had been their economic ally since the early 2000s and were very reluctant at first to assist rebels?

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  37. That's a fine debate, and I agree in some respects. For me, the economics of this is far more important than many are willing to lend credit to, instead placing their faith in political processes to solve alleged problems. Such political efforts to manage the world's economy is both a case of undue political interference and is economically problematic or impossible. It's one thing to claim property violations such as "pollution". It's quite another to claim politics will "solve" this problem.

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  38. I dont think politics solves the problem as much as it illustrates the weaknesses and arguments surrounding what to do about it. There are too many special interests and too much influence that Think Tanks have toward foreign policy carried out. All of the "conferences" are nice, but without an Oversight Committee at the Congressional level, this pretty much rings hollow. There is an acknowledgement of political interference , but that system is entrenched and very difficult to extricate from.

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  39. The West wanted to thwart China's investment in Libya, and a lot of Africa quite frankly. They were reluctant at first, then went ahead and "assisted rebels" by the tune of 20,000 sorties, 8,000 strike sorties which laid waste to the entire country. This was a derogation of international law. Its just beginning. Libya was part of the militarization of the African Continent with AFRICOM [United States Africa Command] an integral part of the agenda.

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  40. Of course the West entered the conflict to protect their assets; they did a damage control assessment and switched sides. However, this does not mean the revolution was not genuine and the rebels not willing; Chomsky and Dabashi readily agree it was.

    "militarization of the African Continent" Not really buying this line; little other than circumstantial and often contradictory evidence. Also, what does this "militarisation" actually entail? What are the immediate and long term goals?

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  41. Basically, AFRICOM's primary functions will be to train and equip African militaries to "legitimize" and "professionalize" soldiers. The history of U.S. train and equip programs has resulted in devastation and violence as a result of the infusion of weapons and training into unstable areas of Africa. AFRICOM is a piece of a broader shift in US foreign policy – a foreign policy that places an emphasis on defense above diplomatic means. It will yield a mess as it did previously in Libya, of cours

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  42. From the actual documents. Its what they do. USARAF US Army Africa. USSOCA (SOCAFRICA) and it was created in the Bush Administration in 2006. The statement is "a conduct of sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy" but what happens is the reverse.

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  43. Sorry, you sound sincere, but I'm not really buying it; it all seems too disjointed and circumstantial; I'll have to do some more research.

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  44. pt 2, In mid-2006, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a planning team to advise on requirements for establishing a new Unified Command for the African continent. In early December, he made his recommendations to President George W. Bush. Curiously, a few years after oil was discovered in Uganda, November of 2011 and as China was bolstering its energy resources all of a sudden a humanitarian effort to oust KONY was started to propagandize the youth to get behind military intervention.

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  45. pt3. AFRICOM’s REAL goals are to fight terrorism and secure oil as an extension of the Bush administration’s strategies..and it continued into the Obama regime.. African leaders recognize the U.S.’s self-interested policy and are increasingly raising concerns about itNigeria, Libya, and South Africa have all expressed deep concern about the consequences of an increased U.S. military presence in Africa.South African Development Community (SADC) has refused bases in any of their member countries.

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  46. I fail to see how it wouldnt make sense, because Africa has always been colonized since the days of Leopold of Belgium and Cecil Rhodes. It has been colonized like other countries have for decades by Western Powers. It isnt circumstantial…its reality. Do you really think a global imperial power is going to allow the Third World to prosper? Wealth is stolen. Countries are put into debt and the resources extracted. Its been going on since the British Empire reigned.

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