Thursday, July 18, 2013

Snowden nominated for Nobel Prize

"By putting light on this monitoring program – conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements – Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer…. He has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms”~~Stefan Svallfors, professor of sociology at Umea University in Sweden

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed America's worldwide espionage activities in May, has been nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

Stefan Svallfors, professor of sociology at Umea University in Sweden, in an open letter to the Norwegian parliament, nominated the American whistleblower who revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance by the US government worldwide.

Svallfors highlighted the 30-year-old Snowden's heroic effort, at great personal expense, when he leaked US surveillance operations.

"This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945, it has been clear that the slogan 'I was just following orders' is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms," said Svallfors.

Snowden leaked information on massive surveillance programs by the NSA, including a major program known as PRISM used for tracking the use of US-based web servers by Americans and other nationals.

He also revealed additional documents showing that Washington spied on European Union offices, European citizens as well as companies and individuals in Latin America.

The sociology professor went on to urge the Nobel Committee to consider awarding the prize to Snowden.

"It would show its willingness to stand up in defense of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defense be viewed with disfavor by the world’s dominant military power," Svallfors concluded.

The Nobel Peace Prize was created by the efforts of the Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1901, and is awarded annually to the person or group that has done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.


Republished with permission from: Press TV

Now, won't it be nice the day pigs fly... but seriously, it'd be a great showing and some most appropriate lesson in humility for America. I am one who always held the Nobel should be put up for universal vote via the Internet. It'd have been what Alfred Nobel would wish in this day and age. Hey, Mike Rivero, Ranger-In-Chief, put up a poll @WRH, somebody push that pedal for Snowden. Make some noise! Bumper stick it "Snowden for Nobel!" Whatever best you can do! Make it the day pigs flew. I think us both, we owe Snowden big time~~~Egoigwe.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

There is match-fixing in tennis, says British No1 Murray

According to Andy Murray, tennis is 'fixed' and everyone on the professional circuit knows matches are being affected by gambling.

According to Andy Murray: "It's pretty disappointing for all the players but everyone knows it goes on."

Novak Djokovic claimed he was offered a £110,000 bribe to lose a match. Gilles Elseneer revealed that he was offered £70,000 to throw a match at Wimbledon~~The Daily Mail

"Andy Murray won Wimbledon in London on 7/7. Same date and place as the London bombings, just different year."

"He won the New York Grand slam in New York on 9/11. Same date and place as the Twin Towers, different year."

"He was in Dunblane school on 13/3/96 when the massacre actually happened."

"He seems to be scripted to win to mark major illuminati controlled massacres."

"And the press are going on about how it's 77 years since a British win, just to rub in the 7/7 numbers a bit more."~~The Tap

Murray admitted: "It's difficult to prove because they can try their best until the last couple of games of each set and then make some mistakes, a couple of double faults, and that's it."~~The Daily Mail

Well, now we know Andy... kept wondering were all the excitement and euphoria that goes with such an epic win went with you. You've also helped to lift the fog over Djokovic's and Jerzy's unprecedented double faults and service failures. Actually, in the above picture you do look like someone taking off with something stolen :)~~~Egoigwe

All links and post courtesy Aangrifan.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Obama Threatens All Of Humanity

Stephen Lendman
Activist Post

He represents the worst of rogue governance. He does so lawlessly. He serves monied interests. They own him. Whatever they want they get.

He violates core rule of law principles. He mocks democratic rule.

He's waging multiple imperial wars. He's doing so on humanity. He plans others.

He looted the nation's wealth. He handed it to Wall Street, war profiteers, and other corporate crooks.

He wrecked the economy. He lets popular needs go begging. He ignores growing poverty, unemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair.

He governs by diktat. He permits lawless torture. Global renditions persist on his watch.

He institutionalized tyranny. He authorized indefinitely detaining anyone called a national security threat without charge or trial (including US citizens).

He heads America's Murder, Inc. agenda. He prioritizes targeted assassinations anywhere. He authorized killing US citizens abroad. He deployed special forces death squads globally. They operate covertly in 120 or more countries.

He destroyed hard won labor rights. He's commodifying education. He wants it made another business profit center.

He's waging war on freedom. He wants it destroyed on his watch. He targets Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, environmental activists, animal rights defenders, truth-tellers and whistleblowers.

He pronounced Bradley Manning guilty by accusation. Doing so assures conviction. His trial continues secretly. It reflects the worst of kangaroo court justice. It violates constitutional law. The Sixth Amendment states:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

The Constitution mandates ALL criminal prosecutions. Pentagon ones aren't exempt. High-profile ones are especially important. They attract world attention.

Laws are made to be obeyed. Obama spurns them. He does so with impunity. He targets anyone challenging rogue state power. He wants whistleblowers silenced. He wants Edward Snowden arrested, extradited and imprisoned.

He threatens retaliation against nations willing to help him. The 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations lets diplomats function freely. They can do so without coercion, harassment or interference. Host countries are mandated to protect them.

It's the basis of diplomatic immunity. It's considered milestone international relations legislation. Through June 2013, it has 189 signatories.

Host countries must grant all foreign officials free movement and travel throughout their territory. Treating them with respect is required.

All appropriate steps must be taken to do so. Inviolable law must be obeyed. No exceptions are permitted.

Article 29 states:

"The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving State shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity."

If states want their diplomats treated lawfully, they're obligated to treat foreign officials the same way. International law mandates it.

Washington spurns it with impunity. It violates core constitutional and US statute law provisions. It operates extrajudicially. It does so unapologetically.

On July 2, London's Guardian headlined "Bolivian president's jet rerouted amid suspicions Edward Snowden on board."

Evo Morales attended Moscow's second Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). He said he's "ready to give political asylum to people who expose spying activities.If we receive a request, we are willing to consider it."

He's targeted for saying so. Bolivia expressed outrage. Morales' plane was diverted to Vienna. Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca said:

"We don't know who invented this lie. We want to denounce to the international community this injustice with the plane of President Evo Morales."

France and Portugal cancelled air permits, he explained. "They say it was due to technical issues, but after getting explanations from some authorities we found that there appeared to be some unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane."

Their decision "put at risk the life of the president."

Bolivian Vice President Alvaro Garcia held a midnight press conference. He said Italy and Spain refused airspace passage rights.

Morales was "kidnapped by imperialism," he added. He blamed EU complicity with Washington.

According to Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra:

"The ambassador for Spain in Austria has just informed us that there is no authorization to fly over Spanish territory, and that at 9AM Wednesday they would be in contact with us again."

Spain's government made "revision of the presidential plane" a condition for granting free passage.

Saavedra was aboard the flight. He was unequivocal. He pointed fingers the right way, saying:

"This is a hostile act by the United States State Department which has used various European governments."

Later he said France and Portugal reconsidered. They "changed their positions." Italy and Spain remained hardline.

"We will patiently seek to resolve the negative position taken by Italy and Spain, according to international norms," he added.

Early Wednesday, Bolivian officials rescheduled flight plans. They did so to return home. Obama officials were silent. Behind the scenes pressure targeted Morales. Complicit EU allies obliged. They did so disgracefully. They acted lawlessly.

Snowden's father Lon defended his son. He did so jointly with attorney Bruce Fein. They wrote Edward by open letter. It said in part:

"Thomas Paine, the voice of the American Revolution, trumpeted that a patriot saves his country from his government."

"You have forced onto the national agenda the question of whether the American people prefer the right to be left alone from government snooping absent probable cause to believe crime is afoot to vassalage in hopes of a risk-free existence."

"You are a modern day Paul Revere summoning the American people to confront the growing danger of tyranny and one branch government."

He exposed Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's lies. He committed perjury. He told Congress NSA doesn't spy on Americans. Obama let him get away with it without comment.

Lon Snowden and Fein continued, saying:

"We leave it to the American people to decide whether you or Director Clapper is the superior patriot."

"The history of civilization is a history of brave men and women refusing to bow to government wrongdoing or injustice, and exalting knowledge, virtue, wisdom, and selflessness over creature comforts as the North Star of life."

"We believe your actions fall within that honorable tradition, a conviction we believe is shared by many."

"As regards your reduction to de facto statelessness occasioned by the Executive Branch to penalize your alleged violations of the Espionage Act, the United States Supreme Court lectured in Trop v. Dulles (1958):"

"The civilized nations of the world are in virtual unanimity that statelessness is not to be imposed as punishment for crime."

"(W)e will be unflagging in efforts to educate the American people about the impending ruination of the Constitution and the rule of law unless they abandon their complacency or indifference."

"Your actions are making our challenge easier."

"We encourage you to engage us in regular exchanges of ideas or thoughts about approaches to curing or mitigating the hugely suboptimal political culture of the United States."

"Nothing less is required to pay homage to Valley Forge, Cemetery Ridge, Omaha Beach, and other places of great sacrifice."

Very truly yours,

Bruce Fein

Counsel for Lon Snowden

Lon Snowden

At 11:30AM Vienna time, Morales' plane (FAB1) departed. London's Guardian provided realtime radar tracking heading home.

A Final Comment

Obama breaches inviolable international principles egregiously. He does so with impunity. None remain too sacred not to violate. Targeting patriots like Manning and Snowden reflect the worst of rogue state governance.

Endangering Evo Morales' life shows he'll stop at nothing to force universal compliance. Obey Washington diktats or else. Failure risks isolation, targeted assassinations or war.

Snowden remains in limbo. Washington revoked his passport. It did so maliciously. He's stateless. He's a man without a country. No nation so far offered him asylum. Whether any will remains unknown.

He's punished for doing the right thing. Media scoundrels march in lockstep with lawlessness. They back ruthless Obama persecution. They do so disgracefully. They're apologists for injustice.

On July 1, Washington Post editors headlined "Plugging the leaks in the Edward Snowden case."

They called him a "naive hacker." Stop him at all costs, they urged. Prevent him "from leaking information that harms efforts to fight terrorism and conduct legitimate operations."

Fact check

Snowden acted honorably, courageously and legally. He exposed lawless NSA spying. Doing so revealed what everyone needs to know. Washington doesn't fight terrorism. It commits it at home and abroad.

New York Times editors stopped short of accusing Snowden of treason. They want him punished for disclosing classified information.

Civil disobedience means "accepting the consequences of one's actions," they said. Resisting tyranny's a universal right. Times editors didn't explain.

Separately they called spying on EU allies "perfectly legal under United States law." Jurists call it espionage. It's done for political, economic or military advantage.

US law prohibits it except when legitimately protecting national security. America has no enemies. EU nations are allies. Times editors exclude what readers most need to know.

Wall Street Journal editors want Snowden's head. "(N)othing prevents him from returning to the US to demonstrate the courage of his transparency convictions," they said.

Mercy isn't in Washington's vocabulary. Media scoundrels condemn what deserves praise. Snowden's on his own for justice. It’s elusive. It remains for one or more world leaders to help. None officially did so.


Nicaragua, Venezuela and Bolivia have now offered Snowden asylum, remains to be seen how he is going to get to these countries.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at You can visit his blog site at

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Sunday, July 07, 2013

All That GMO Jive

In 2012, Professsor Seralini of the University of Caen in France led a team that carried out research into the health impacts on rats fed GMOs (genetically modified organisms) (1). The two-year long study concluded that rats fed GMOs experienced serious health problems compared to those fed non GM food. Now comes a new major peer-reviewed study that has appeared in another respected journal. This study throws into question the claim often forwarded by the biotech sector that GMO technology increases production and is beneficial to agriculture.

Researchers at the University of Canterbury in the UK have found that the GM strategy used in North American staple crop production is limiting yields and increasing pesticide use compared to non-GM farming in Western Europe. Led by Professor Jack Heinemann, the study’s findings have been published in the June edition of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2). The research analysed data on agricultural productivity in North America and Western Europe over the last 50 years.

Heinemann states his team found that the combination of non-GM seed and management practices used by Western Europe is increasing corn yields faster than the use of the GM-led package chosen by the US. The research showed rapeseed (canola) yields increasing faster in Europe without GM than in the GM-led package chosen by Canada. What is more, the study finds that it is decreasing chemical herbicide and achieving even larger declines in insecticide use without sacrificing yield gains, while chemical herbicide use in the US has increased with GM seed.

According to Heinemann, Europe has learned to grow more food per hectare and use fewer chemicals in the process. On the other hand, the US choices in biotechnology are causing it to fall behind Europe in productivity and sustainability.

The Heinemann team’s report notes that incentives in North America are leading to a reliance on GM seeds and management practices that are inferior to those being adopted under the incentive systems in Europe. This is also affecting non GM crops. US yield in non-GM wheat is falling further behind Europe, “demonstrating that American choices in biotechnology penalise both GM and non-GM crop types relative to Europe,” according to Professor Heinemann.

He goes on to state that the decrease in annual variation in yield suggests that Europe has a superior combination of seed and crop management technology and is better suited to withstand weather variations. This is important because annual variations cause price speculations that can drive hundreds of millions of people into food poverty.

The report also highlights some grave concerns about the impact of modern agriculture per se in terms of the general move towards depleted genetic diversity and the consequently potential catastrophic risk to staple food crops. Of the nearly 10,000 wheat varieties in use in China in 1949, only 1,000 remained in the 1970s. In the US, 95 percent of the cabbage, 91 percent of the field maize, 94 percent of the pea and 81 percent of the tomato varieties cultivated in the last century have been lost. GMOs and the control of seeds through patents have restricted farmer choice and prevented seed saving. This has exacerbated this problem.

Heinemann concludes that we need a diversity of practices for growing and making food that GM does not support. We also need systems that are useful, not just profit-making biotechnologies, and which provide a resilient supply to feed the world well.

Despite the evidence, governments capitulate

Given the mounting evidence that questions the efficacy and safety of GMOs, it raises the issue why certain governments are siding with the biotech sector to allow GMOs to be made available on commercial markets. It is simply not the case that country after country is accepting GMOs on the basis of scientific evidence, as scientists-cum-lobbyists for the GM sector often state (8). If scientific evidence were to be determining factor, few if any countries would have sanctioned GMOs.

Part of the answer lies in the fact that the powerful US biotech sector continues to forward its agenda that GMOs are a frontier technology that will save humanity from famine and hunger. This is despite evidence that most of the world’s hunger is the product of profiteering industrial chemical agriculture and the global structuring of food production and distribution under the banner of ‘free trade’ and ‘structural adjustment’, or as many of us know it brow beating and structural dependency.

Yet, the mantra of GM as the saviour of humanity persists courtesy of the GM sector’s puppet politicians and regulatory bodies. The US is pushing for lop-sided bilateral trade agreements with other countries not only to generally tie economies into US economic hegemony in an attempt to boost its ailing economy and flagging currency, but more specifically to get nations to ‘accept’ GMOs. Through behind-closed-door deals coercion or the hijack of regulatory bodies, there has been some success, and many think it could be just a matter of time before other countries, not least India, capitulate to allow GM food crops onto the commercial market.

In fact, regardless of any legal statute, it may be and probably is already happening in India, not least via contamination. However, if contamination by means of illegal planting and open field ‘testing’ fails to get GMOs on to the commercial market via the back door, the GM sector is attempting to cover all angles. Immediately after a moratorium on BT Brinjal was announced in 2010, a Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill suddenly emerged. The BRAI Bill could not be passed in 2010 and 2011 because of objections, but it has surfaced again as a 2013 Bill. Environmentalist Vandana Shiva argues that it not so much constitutes a Biotechnology Regulation Act, but a Biotechnology Deregulation Act, designed to dismantle the existing bio-safety regulation and give the green-light to the GM sector to press ahead with its agenda in the country.

By highlighting the GM sector interests behind the proposed legislation, Shiva says that the goal is to give the sector’s corporations immunity by freeing them of courts and democratic control under India’s federal structure. For those who follow such developments in India, it doesn’t take a great deal of imagination to appreciate that the future of Indian agriculture is in the wrong hands. Certain key scientists and top politicians have already been ideologically (or otherwise) ‘bought and paid for’ by proponents of the ‘Green Revolution’ and more recently the GM sector.

On a global level, with reports of wheat, rice and maize having been widely contaminated with GMOs, there seems to be a conscious ploy to contaminate so much of the world’s crops so that eventually GMOs take over regardless and render the pro/anti GM debate almost academic.

It seems that secretive trade deals, the hijack of official bodies designed to ensure the ‘public interest’ and bullying or intimidation are not enough. Contamination strategies are but one more way of achieving through closed and non-transparent methods what could not be possible by transparent and democratic means – simply because hundreds of millions of people do not want GMOs.

A generation down the line (or much sooner), will we looking at the health and environmental consequences of GMOs in the same way we now regard the impacts of the original ‘Green Revolution’?

“There are very good reasons why we have never introduced a Green Revolution into Africa, namely because there is broad consensus that the Green Revolution in India has been a failure, with Indian farmers in debt, bound to paying high costs for seed and pesticides, committing suicide at much higher rates, and resulting in a depleted water table and a poisoned environment, and by extension, higher rates of cancer.” Paula Crossfield, food policy writer/activist.

We don’t have to take Paula Crossfield’s word for it, though. Punjab was the ‘Green Revolution’s’ original poster boy, but is fast becoming transformed from a food bowl to a cancer epicenter and now reels under an agrarian crisis marked by discontent, debt, water shortages, contaminated water, diseased soils and pest infested cops.

In the meantime, big ‘ag’ in collusion with big pharma will continue to control our food and define our healthcare by pushing their highly profitable ‘miracle solutions’ for the health and environmental problems which they conspired to create in the first place. It is all part of the wider corporate-elite agenda to colonise and control every facet of human existence.

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Wimbledon Men's Final 2013; Andy Murray Vs Novak Djokovic: Murray wins, WTF Happened???

WTF happened??? This final was exactly a repeat of the Murray/Janowicz game. My spurring daughter woke me up exactly as the bell tolled. You see, it don't matter how long you have played at Wimbledon, 'butterflies' can still get to you. That was all I saw watching Djokovic play; 'butterflies' and fatigue.

Andy Murray was the surprise and it has to be said that he absolutely deserved to win. He ran down every ball. He was immaculate, obstinate and tunnel-visioned. I have never seen such sheer toughness and commitment to winning. This was sports drama as any could be. It is not only historical that Andy won Wimbledon after seventy-seven years for Britain but that he beat Djokovic in three straight sets to do it. Novak Djokovic did not get to put his name up on the score board and that is definitely a first.

What didn't I think watching this final? Did they dope Novak's Kool aid? Were the balls being remotely controlled to veer off course? Was Hawk-eye being rigged to favor Andy??? WTF was happening to Novak??? Truth be said, I have never seen Novak play so densely and make so many rookie mistakes. I would like to ask him when I catch up with him at Monaco; WTF happened Novak???

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Saturday, July 06, 2013

Wimbledon Women's Final 2013; Sabine Lisicki Vs Marion Bartoli; 'Butterflies' and Tears

Marion Bartoli wins!

I actually found myself dripping with tears. It was so very difficult for me to take sides, they were such gorgeous and beautifully mannered girls. Marion so graceful in victory and Sabine wonderfully upright in defeat.

It broke my heart to see 'butterflies' ruin Sabine's game and to acknowledge how so very right Marion had been when she said she's been there before and hoped that between her and Sabine, perhaps, she would be the better to handle her nerves for that experience.

I completely agreed with Marion when she said to Sabine, not to worry, that her turn will surely come to win Wimbledon. Of that, she said "I am sure". Me too, and God willing I'd be there to watch her lift that trophy and share in her beautiful "Service with a smile!"

For now, they both have my very best wishes and congratulations. Very well done ladies.

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Murray Vs Janowicz: Murray wins; What an anticlimax!

Well, all that glitters truly isn't gold. I kept searching for the Janowicz that beat Fererer and he just wasn't there. What a complete mess of a game! Double faults like I've never counted before in any tourney, much more Wimbledon. If Janowicz was paid to lose the game to Murray he couldn't have done a better job.

Janowicz was a complete disaster! His body language said it, his "close the roof" tantrums emphasized it. All said, I'm sure we'll be hearing and seeing much more from this twenty two year old rookie but how I wish his teething problems had stayed home. So, we're all in for a seriously boring, one-sided final. I think I'll sleep this one through having already watch the final before it (Djokovic Vs Del Potro). Just in case you're wondering, yeah, I lost quite a bunch backing the lame horse :)

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Djokovic Vs Del Potro: Final before the Finals; Djokovic wins!

There is no other main event, the finals when it comes will be a walkover and terribly boring, unless we have Janowicz/Djokovic final which I here now predict. From what I have seen so far, Murray/Djokovic final will be a walkover and of no consequence; Djokovic will grind Murray into the green. Djokovic Vs Del Potro ended it all for me. The epic already happened and if you missed it, well, too bad.

Novak Djokovic won, yes, but l would have sure loved to see him play Del Potro without a nagging knee. They were both winners and the crowd knew it, there were no victors and no vanquished. It was simply a game we all waited a decade to see. Incomparable!!!

Monday, July 01, 2013

NObama for Africa

US President Barack Obama met with the president of Senegal, Macky Sall, and judges and lawyers of the country’s supreme court Thursday at the start of a three-nation, week-long African tour aimed at promoting US strategic and profit interests on the continent. A key goal is to counter China in what amounts to a new scramble for markets and the substantial energy, mineral and other resources of the continent.

The tour marks the first time that Obama has set foot in Africa since a 20-hour stopover in Ghana en route back to the US from a summit conference in Europe four years ago. Then, the new president declared, “I have the blood of Africa within me.”

This rhetorical flourish made explicit the central importance to US imperialism of Obama’s presidency: to present a new face to the world, while pursuing the same predatory and criminal policies that had provoked international anger and hatred under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Four years later, the novelty of the first African-American US president has substantially faded, and, according to media reports from Africa, there is widespread cynicism about Obama’s attempts to use his family history to claim some special affinity for the continent. In point of fact, US aid to Africa has declined under Obama, falling from $8.24 billion during the last year of the Bush presidency to less than $7 billion today.

His own presidency is even more deeply mired in international criminality than that of Bush, from drone assassinations to the massive NSA spying on the people of the US and the world and the manhunt being mounted against Edward Snowden for exposing this crime. These issues have followed Obama to Africa, rendering a key stated theme of his trip—the promotion of “democracy”—absurd and hypocritical.

According to a White House press release on Obama’s Africa tour: “The President will reinforce the importance that the United States places on our deep and growing ties with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including through expanding economic growth, investment, and trade; strengthening democratic institutions; and investing in the next generation of African leaders.”

US Trade Representative Michael Froman, who is accompanying Obama, said before the trip that, “Africa wants investors, especially American investors.” He and other US officials stressed that the emphasis of the trip was on promoting deals for US corporations rather than aid, which has always been employed by Washington as an instrument for subordinating former colonial countries to its interests. While several business executives are accompanying Obama on the tour, it was by no means clear what the US concretely was offering.

Obama’s trip is following in the footsteps of a tour made three months ago by China’s new president Xi Jinping, who visited the two countries where the US president is going after Senegal—South Africa and Tanzania. In what was his first overseas tour after taking office in Beijing, Xi also visited the Republic of Congo.

During his tour, Xi offered African countries a $20 billion line of credit and signed major deals that included a $10 billion port project in Bagamoyo, Tanzania.

China has eclipsed the US in terms of African trade and investment. It is Africa’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade nearly doubling in the last five years alone to nearly $200 billion, twice that of the US with the continent.

Much of Chinese investment involves mining and infrastructure to facilitate the extraction of raw materials and their shipment to China.

Washington’s “democracy” mantra is aimed at compelling African governments to carry out free market reforms, including privatizations and the abolition of subsidies and import controls demanded by transnational capital. It is also directed at countering Chinese influence with the charge that Beijing, supposedly unlike Washington, is uninterested in “democracy” and “human rights.”

Such ideological claims appear to be falling on deaf ears in Africa. On the eve of Obama’s visit, Foreign Affairs, a US journal that is closely connected to the foreign policy establishment, asked Senegalese President Macky Sall whether increased Chinese investment was “not good for the prospects of African democracy.”

Sall replied: “Well, I can’t see why the development of Chinese investment would constitute a danger for democracy. The cooperation with China is much more direct and faster than the cooperation we have with Western countries—the United States, European countries, and other bilateral donors. There are a lot of criteria on governance, on this and that, and a lot of procedures … I’m not saying that what China is doing is better, but at least it’s faster.”

As for Washington’s “democracy” agenda, Obama’s itinerary belies his administration’s claims. It has been widely noted that the US president is not including visits to Washington’s closest African allies: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

The first country, which provided its army as a proxy force for US intervention in Somalia, is notorious for internal repression. And in the second, the US is supporting a counterinsurgency campaign against the Boko Haram armed Islamist movement in the northeast of Nigeria, which has seen massacres, summary executions and disappearances.

Uganda, which has also provided proxy troops for the war in Somalia, has violently repressed political opposition, closed down newspapers for criticizing the government and pursued a vicious campaign against gays. And Kenya, the homeland of Obama’s father, while a close ally, is led by a president and vice president who are wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for their role in orchestrating violence that left more than 1,000 people dead following the 2007-2008 elections. Such are US imperialism’s “democratic” partners.

US imperialism is resorting ever more openly to its residual military superiority to counter China’s rising influence in Africa. The US-NATO war in Libya served to deprive China of billions of dollars’ worth of investments and forced it to evacuate thousands of its citizens. Two years later, however, the Chinese state oil firms Sinopec and PetroChina are aggressively bidding for Libyan petroleum concessions.

The US military’s AFRICOM has set up a drone base in Niger, backing French imperialism intervention in Mali. It has deployed troops in Central Africa, ostensibly in the hunt for militia leader Joseph Kony, and has dispatched special-forces training teams across the continent to solidify US relations with African militaries. In Somalia, meanwhile, it has carried out repeated deadly air strikes.

The growing US militarism on the continent has aroused widespread hostility. US officials had expressed concern that Obama’s trip to South Africa, the second leg of his tour, would be overshadowed by the approaching death of former president and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, with whom the US president had hoped to stage a photo op.

However, the visit will also face protests over his administration’s policies. While the ANC government of President Jacob Zuma has hailed the visit as a boon to the South African economy, the ruling party’s two political partners, the COSATU union federation and the South African Communist Party, are participating in a “NObama” protest march in Pretoria on June 28, the day of the US president’s arrival.

And two organizations have gone to court seeking to have Obama arrested for war crimes.

South Africa’s Muslim Lawyers Association filed a motion for the Pretoria High Court to order Obama’s arrest, but their application was dismissed.

And the Society for the Protection of our Constitution filed an affidavit charging the US president with “war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Mohamed Hussain Vawda of the society said that the affidavit accused Obama of responsibility for the killing of thousands of people, including women and children, in Pakistan, Syria and other countries that “have been no threat to the US.”

The document also indicted Obama for the drone assassinations of people deemed hostile to the US government. “These attacks are not authorized in terms of orders issued in a court of law,” said Vawda.

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