Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bush wants the US military to "stabilize" Africa.

The Imperial Presidency and the New World Empire moves forward. All hail Caesar!

The United States military is setting up a new “command headquarters for Africa” though in Germany. I would bet most Americans never realized that the US was now so militarily interested in Africa that it needed a “command headquarters” for this continent. Germany will only be the temporary headquarters for what is called Africom -- the Empires military strategy center for all military conflicts and invasions in Africa.

King George said: “This new command will strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa. African Command will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy and economic growth in Africa.” Nope but it will further the Bushian vision of world empire building!

Bush, who probably isn’t even sure where Africa is, knows zilch about the continent. I lived there for a dozen years. The Middle East is a rose garden compared to the quagmire in Africa.

Bush can’t even figure out a handful of Islamic sects and tell them apart. Consider Africa in comparison. There are 61 countries and territories. But that doesn’t tell you much. They are not countries like many other countries. The typical resident of France sees himself as a Frenchman. The typical African does not see himself as a national citizen but a tribal one. You can’t understand what is happening in these countries without understanding the tribal politics.

Zimbabwe is dominated by the Shona tribe of dictator Robert Mugabe. The other tribe, the Matabele, have often been the victims of Mugabe’s genocidal attacks. Even South Africa, which is downright Westernized compared to the rest of Africa, has eleven official languages reflecting the dominate tribes in that one country alone. The African National Congress was dominated by the Xhosa while the Inkatha Freedom Party is dominated by the Zulu.

Africa is riddled with hundreds and hundreds of languages and dialects. Consider a few countries. There are 18 languages in Algeria and 31 in Angola. Zimbabwe has 19 languages while Zambia has 43. Kenya has 61 while Chad has 132 and the Democratic Republic of the Congo has 218. There are so many languages in Africa that no one is really sure how many there are. Estimates range from 1,000 to 2,000.

With these thousands of languages are thousands of tribes who inconveniently don’t just happen to live within the same countries. Nation states in Africa were a colonial invention and the colonial powers didn’t necessarily draw borders that made sense for the tribal/language groups under their control. Often groups that identified with each other were divided into different nations while groups that hated one another were merged into one nation. This formula guaranteed conflict for decades, if not centuries after.

Burundi, for instance, is 85% Hutu and 14% Tutsi. Rwanda has similar numbers. So the Tutsi were a minority everywhere. One result was that over one million Tutsi were slaughtered by the Hutu in the Rwandan Genocide.

Here is a president who has trouble keeping straight as to who is Sunni and who is Shiite and who probably thinks the Kurds have something to do with what Miss Muffet was eating. And we expect him to understand that one reason Zimbabwe is a dictatorship is so the Shona can suppress the Matabele and to realize that the minority status of Tutsi in both Rwanda and Burundi is a reason for the genocide. Is the Congo a center of civil conflict and war because it is a nation with 218 languages and about 200 tribes! Some four million people have died in the conflicts in the D.R.C. alone.

That the neocon Imperialists are now casting lustful eyes toward Africa ought to scare the bejesus out of people. Spiegel reports they are doing this because they are “keen to foster stability on the continent with an eye to Africa’s oil reserves...” Foster stability! Oh, the way the US stabilized Iraq for instance! Or perhaps the way the US has brought stability and peace to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict.

According to Spiegel the new command post for African incursions will only be in Germany for two or three years and then it “is expected to move to an as yet undetermined location in Africa.” US military bases in Africa.

Bush has problems. That is clear. Something is muddling his thinking. Yet he has the faith of a fundamentalists and can’t recognize that he has fucked up the world and is destroying his own country. I use those words intentionally to express the gravity of the situation. As he put it “I’m the decider.” No Mr. Bush you aren’t. You are supposed to be a servant of the American people. And the people want out of Iraq and I bet you’d be hard pressed to find 10% wanting US military bases in Africa.

Bush is not learning because his brain is incapable of learning. His past use of cocaine may have done some serious damage to his ability to think critically -- or to think at all. Empire building is disastrous. It is disastrous to those under the thumb of the empire and it is disastrous to the nation where the empire is founded. All empires collapse! And the bigger the empire the bigger the collapse.

America has become an imperial state run by a man with imperial ambitions. There are certainly threats in the world but I don’t see Empire as the solution. In fact American empire building feeds those threats and makes them more powerful. There will be, for some time, the unorganized, diffused threat of radical Islamists. But because they are diffused and unorganized (and not centralized in any organization) Empire building can’t stop that threat. It needs to be dealt with in other ways.

American expansion into Africa will only push more Muslims toward radical Islamist thinking. There are over 400 million Muslims in Africa and the Islamists are relatively weak there. American intervention will only inspire Africans to adopt a more radical Islamic faith. US intervention in Iraq unleashed the theocratic forces of Islam there. And it will do the same in Africa.

Recent polls showed that Bush now has an approval rating of 28%. He is only 4 points away from the all-time low of Richard Nixon. And still he pushes on. He won’t be happy until empire is established. I am convinced that Bush is fundamentally the most anti-American threat around. He is doing more to destroy the historic principle of American government than anyone. Fiscal sanity has been destroyed for empire. Constitutional rights shredded for empire. Limited government destroyed for empire.

Osama bin Laden and his tiny group of followers killed a couple of thousand Americans in a horrific attack. But he had no power to destroy habeas corpus, no power to eavesdrop on Americans, no power to impose internal passports in the form a national ID, no power to break the budget, no power to engulf America in foreign conflicts around the globe. Bin Laden had a limited power to kill but already the victims of Bush’s response exceed the numbers killed on 9/11. And that is only counting the American war dead not the tens of thousands killed while being “liberated” nor the tens of thousands killed by the civil war ignited by the US invasion.

The worst bin Laden was capable of doing he has done. The enemy without is always a danger. But when Constitutional government is thrown away to fight that enemy then the enemy within becomes the bigger threat. George Bush is public enemy number one. Bin Laden is a poor second compared to him. The biggest threat to American values is not Islamist radicalism but imperialism.

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