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'W' in Africa, Part II

recorded 2/23/08

1) 3:03 Radio Essay - short Mp3

2) 3:45 Radio Essay - long Mp3

'Dubya' In Africa - II

[col. writ. 2/23/08] (c) '08 Mumia Abu-Jamal


    Several years ago, I did a piece, "Dubya In Africa," which was critical of the trek of U.S. President George W. Bush in 2003.

    In essence, I argued that he was there for the needs of business, not to "help" African people.

    Well, 'Dubya' is back.

    As his second presidential term winds down, he once again treks throughout Africa, and he once again promises prosperity, peace and sweet democracy as he visits select nations, and ignores others.  He came to Benin, Rwanda, and Tanzania (among others), bearing gifts -- some billion dollars in compacts from the Millennium Challenge Corp., said to help nations that embrace democracy and oppose corruption.

    Of course, he ignored the burgeoning conflicts raging in Kenya and Sudan, where ethnic battles and indeed genocide are ripping nations, communities and human souls apart.

    One cannot resist the temptation to echo the ancient adage, 'Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.' There's also an old African proverb: "Befriend many, but trust few" (Baganda people, Uganda).

    For as Bush engaged in an extended photo op in the colorful and beautiful African nations of Benin and Tanzania, his administration back home engaged in his truest, main concern: protecting corporate wealth and power.  And not just that, but protecting these businesses that profited most from brutalities, criminalities, violence and cruelties of the racist apartheid system of South Africa.

    At the very same time as Bush was schmoozing with African leaders, and trying to catch a beat from African drums, his Justice Dept. was arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court dismiss the case brought by survivors of the racist apartheid regime.

    The case, American Isuzu Motors Inc. et al. v. Lungisile Ntsabeza, is brought against some 30 U.S. and European companies which not only made money, but also supported the operations, actions and crimes of the apartheid government for almost 50 years.  These businesses include the Ford Motor Co., IBM, Exxon Mobil, and GE.

    It's brought under what's called the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA), which was made into law in 1789, and which granted jurisdiction to federal courts to hear and try cases arising out of violations of the "law of nations" -- or what we now call International law.

    For nearly 50 years -- 1/2 a century -- the Nationalist Party of white South Africa waged war against the bodies, the minds, the hearts and souls of Africans.  They unleashed unmitigated violence against millions, by government military and police, they created a system of exclusion that denied everything worthwhile to Black people, and gave work, wealth, privilege and stolen lands to whites.  They locked up, hunted down, harassed and silenced African leaders.  They shot down children in the streets (remember Sharpsville?), and poisoned their minds in schools -- and U.S. corporations were on the side of the government terrorists -- not the side of the poor and oppressed.

    When, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the survivors of this state terrorism sue, using a 1789 statute -- one of the first laws passed by the United States - the Bush Regime is on the side of terrorists, not them.

    So much for Dubya in Africa!

--(c) '08 maj


[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.


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

"When a cause comes along and you know in your bones that it is
just, yet refuse to defend it--at that moment you begin to die.
And I have never seen so many corpses walking around talking about
justice." - Mumia Abu-Jamal

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