Tag Archives | Africa

Democracy Now’s interview of Jeremy Scahill: Assassinations, Drones, Dirty Wars, Asymmetric Warfare, and Africa’s Bleak Future

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Jeremy-Scahill-DNstudio
To say that Democracy Now! is a powerhouse when it comes to tackling some of the most important issues of our time is an understatement. Since their inception in 1996 they have shared and provided a perspective that most mainstream media outlets have been restricted from reporting.

We were privy to an excellent example of such reporting on April 23-24 when Jeremy Scahill, “the National Security Correspondent for The Nation magazine and author of the international bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army”, was interviewed by Amy Goodman.

The first part of the interview is focused on Scahill discussing the implications of Obama’s kill list and the details of the administration’s assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old Denver-born son Abdulrahman, two U.S. citizens killed by drones strikes in Yemen in 2011.

In part 2 Scahill talks about the documentary based on his new book, “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield”, and gives us a glimpse into what the future holds in regards to asymmetric warfare, pays tribute to the importance of Wikileaks, and explains the reasons why the future of Africa looks so bleak.… Read the rest

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The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why

via chycho

Contrary to what some have been hoping for, the future of Africa looks to be bloodier than its past. The reasons for this are as vast and varied as the continent itself, such as resources (oil, water, land, minerals), economic interests of external powers (growth, trade, monetary policy), and ideological differences (structure of governments, corruption, tradition, ethnicity).

One of the main reasons that this scramble for Africa has intensified in the last few years and will most likely continue to escalate for the next few decades is because western nations are losing major battles on multiple other fronts. Just to name a few: the coalition of the willing has lost Iraq as well as Afghanistan; Syria is a stalemate; Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, Congo, and Mali are a disaster; Bahrain is in lockdown; Latin America is freeing itself from U.S.

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Botswana is Metal as F*ck

Picture: The Guardian (C)

The Guardian covers Botswana’s small heavy metal scene. Think you’re metal? Hell no, you’re not. Not unless you’re rocking old school head to toe studded black leather in the blazing African summer. These guys rock that look year-round, no matter what.

In the remorseless Kalahari heat, leather is not the most obvious choice of attire. But to a dedicated band of Batswana metalheads, it’s the only way to dress. The country’s heavy metal scene, imported from neighbouring South Africa, may be niche but its fans are passionate about their style. Dressed from head to toe in black leather, sporting cowboy boots, hats and exaggerated props, they draw some curious looks on the dusty streets.

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Recolonization of Africa, a Symptom of Our Addiction to Growth: Differential Accumulation, Why GDP Growth Rates Influence Foreign Policy

via chycho

The name of the game when it comes to investing in the markets is that you must not only be ahead of inflation but you must also beat the averages, exceeding the normal rate of return. If you don’t do both then you are neither protecting nor accumulating capital, i.e., in the limit you will lose your wealth. This principle also applies to nations.

Ignoring our need to rely on different economic measures (pdf) other than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation to indicate progress, wealth and well-being, if a countries GDP growth rate is below the global average, then over time that country will lose influence and be subject to an unstable economy. In essence, how a countries economy performs is relative to how other countries perform – there is a “growth imperative in capitalist economies” (pdf).

But why do capitalist economies need to grow?

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France Has Forgotten the Battle of Algiers, Africa Never Will: “Ordinary Victories” by Manu Larcenet

via chycho

One of the most amazing aspects of the African resource wars is that within their own countries, most western powers have been able to stifle opposition for their participation. An incredible achievement considering the state of their economies and the number of wars that they have been involved in in the last two decades (2011–present, 2003–2010, 1990–2002).

Let’s take France as an example since it appears to have the backing of its citizens in taking the lead role in the recent wars which are set to determine the future of Africa.

“French companies must go on the offensive and fight the growing influence of rival China for a stake in Africa’s increasingly competitive markets, France’s Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Saturday…

“‘It’s evident that China is more and more present in Africa…(French) companies that have the means must go on the offensive.

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U.S. War On Terror Shifts Towards Africa With Plans For Drone Base

Uh oh. The New York Times reports:

The U.S. military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

The move is an indication of the priority Africa has become in American antiterrorism efforts. The United States military has a limited presence in Africa, with only one permanent base, in the country of Djibouti. If the base is approved, the most likely location for it would be in Niger.

A handful of unarmed Predator drones would carry out surveillance missions in the region and fill a desperate need for more detailed information on a range of regional threats, including militants in Mali and the unabated flow of fighters and weapons from Libya. The plan could face resistance from some [officials] who are wary of committing any additional American forces to a fight against a poorly understood web of extremist groups in North Africa.

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Western Powers Go Full Retard on Africa, Part 1: China vs. AFRICOM, a Resource War

via chycho

In Africa, China has been securing access to resources through lucrative trade agreements while Western powers have decided to take the military option to secure their share of the pie.

“Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities – oil, platinum, gold and minerals… From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower’s long-term survival.”

China in Africa: New Imperialism?

Chinese world trade has increase over 20-fold in under 20 years and even though Africa represents a minor portion of that growth at present, it is vital for China’s long term security and prosperity. Africa not only contains a vast quantity of the world’s natural resources (more info), it is also the second largest continent with some of the most fertile farmlands (pdf) in the world.

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Liberian Law Enforcement Hope to Crack Down on Bong County’s Marijuana Farmers

Picture: Golbez (CC)

Meanwhile, in news that writes itself…

Via AllAfrica.com:

Law enforcement officials in Liberia’s central region of Bong County say weak drug laws are making it difficult for the Government of Liberia (GoL) to crack down on marijuana farmers engaged in domestic marijuana trade in that part of the country, the Heritage has gathered.

According to report, many farmers in Liberia are turning to growing marijuana to make ends meet. Marijuana is largely a domestic trade, the report notes. The United Nations (UN) Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says marijuana is the world’s most widely used illegal drug. The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime adds that many African countries, like Liberia, have ideal growing climates for marijuana.

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