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"When They Say Aid They Mean Raid"

  rec 6-12-05 

WHEN THEY SAY "AID", THEY MEAN "RAID"
=====================================
[Col. Writ. 6/13/05] Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   Recently, the news columns were full of a supposed dispute between the Americans and the British about foreign aid relief to Africa.  If the news reports are to be believed, the British wish to push the Americans further, to provide more debt relief for countries staggering under their economic burdens.

   The media image that arises is one of the rich, Western, White nations caring about the lives and conditions of starving Black Africa.  And like many media images, it simply isn't true.

   What is often lost in this angelic imagery is the truth behind the so-called aid.  That 'aid' that was given years ago, was given to military dictatorships, and it was often military aid meant to strengthen dictatorships, against, not foreign attacks, but popular resistance, from their own people!

   Indeed, in a 1960 meeting of the U.S. National Security Council, American spies and diplomats spoke rather openly about U.S. support for military regimes.  The minutes of the meeting record them saying:

      We must recognize, although we cannot say it publicly, that we need the
      strong men of Africa on our side.  It is important to understand that
      most of Africa will soon be independent and that it would be naive
      of the U.S. to hope that Africa will be democratic ... Since we must
      have the strong men of Africa on our side, perhaps we should in some
      cases develop military strong men as an offset to Communist
      development of the labor unions.  The President agreed that it
      might be desirable for us to try to 'reach' the strong men of Africa ...
      [Fr. NSA mtg., 1/14/60 as published in *Foreign Relations,
    1958-1960, Vol. XIV*, pp. 73-78.]

   From meetings such as this, came US 'aid' to such dictators as Zaire's late Mobutu, who was among one of the wealthiest men in Africa, if not the world.  Through 'African strong men' such as he, the U.S. ran many countries as neocolonies, through which they could further exploit the people of the continent.

   The late U.S. President, Richard Nixon, spoke a powerful political truth when he said: "Let us remember that the main purpose of aid is *not to help other nations* but to help ourselves." [Fr. Graham Hancock, *Lords of Poverty* (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1989, p. 71].

   Think about it this way: when millions of dollars in military aid is given to a dictatorship, where does the money go?  To the receiving country, or to the arms dealers and defense contractors which makes the weapons?  So, how is this 'aid'?

   It's aid to ourselves to arm forces that keep their own people in line.  Also, since at least the 1970s, U.S. food aid has been tied to the myth of population control.  In order to receive 'aid' from the nice, White, West -- African, Latin American and Asian countries have had to pledge they would reduce their populations.

   Why would countries that are agricultural gardens of Eden even need food aid?  That's because, after formal colonialism, Western powers often installed military dictators who spent the nation's resources on weapons used to break and destroy labor unions!  A 1986 study by the National Academy of Sciences found that the single country of Zaire, alone, could feed it's own population -- 62 times over!  Indeed, that one country, with high agricultural outputs, could feed the entire continent of Africa!

   But, under the rapacious U.S. -supported military dictatorship of Mobutu, much of that agricultural potential, and it's vast wealth of resources, was squandered, and sent into Belgian and European banks.

   The late, great Kwame Nkrumah said 'political independence, without economic independence, is but a mirage.'

   The sweet words of 'aid' muttered by British and American officials to Africa is to lull the people asleep with promises.

   It is, in truth, yet another plan to exploit people who have been exploited by outsiders for millennia.

   True 'aid' is reparations, for the crimes of colonialism.

   Real 'aid' would be an end to the support of military regimes.

   Real 'aid' would be an end to political, economic, and social interference in the social, cultural and familial affairs of African people.

   Real 'aid' would be an end to imperialism!


Copyright 2005 Mumia Abu-Jamal

[*Source*: Information Project for Africa, *Excessive Force: Power, Politics & Population Control* (Wash., DC: Infor. Proj. for Africa, 1995).]

1) 3:23 Short Essay Mp3

2) 4:47 Long essay Mp3

 

  [Check out Mumia's latest: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.
#1-800-533-8478.]
===============================

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
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The Power of Truth is Final — Free Mumia!

PLEASE CONTACT:
International Concerned Family & Friends of MAJ
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
Phone - 215-476-8812/ Fax - 215-476-6180
E-mail - AND OFFER YOUR SERVICES!

Send our brotha some LOVE and LIGHT at:
Mumia Abu-Jamal
AM 8335
SCI-Greene
175 Progress Drive
Waynesburg, PA 15370

WE WHO BELIEVE IN FREEDOM CAN *NOT* REST!!

Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa