17

Jan

8:55pm
Frans De Maegd Belgium
A different view on Africa and the world  with Mohamed Hassan

A different view on Africa and the world with Mohamed Hassan

Frans De Maegd Belgium//8:55pm, Jan 17th '22

Leuven

"Africa is turning towards the East, not by a long shot towards the West".

Mohamed says: "The past few weeks, I was in Kenya, among other places. The people there don't listen or watch CNN and BCC anymore; certainly not to what Western channels say about Africa. Either those channels are lying or they are completely missing the point because the West, and certainly the EU countries that for so long dominated Africa, are out of touch with Africa, and with the African population.

Those in Africa who were the water carriers of the West after independence have disappeared. The attitude of "playing the servant" to the former colonial powers is over. The roles are gradually being reversed. In Britain today, 28,000 African doctors and nurses work. Without them, healthcare in the U.K. would cease to exist. So, the British are obliged to show some respect to Africans.

Africa is portrayed in the West as "a vessel of misery". The truth is that Africa has been changing course for some time. Nigeria, for example, is rich. Many of her cadres, as well as those of other African countries, are competent. Development is increasing. Africa is entering into endless joint ventures with China, Indonesia, India, Turkey. There are at least 10 million Africans who have one million euros and often more in their own capital. They travel a lot in Africa and to the East. The large African cities can easily stand comparison with European cities. Agriculture is developing with modern production methods and crops. This frustrates the West. They do not really want to face this development.

Of course, there are exceptions such as the former Belgian Congo and a number of French African countries. They have no industrial or commercial middle class. Their bourgeoisie is comparatively small and corrupt.

Western hegemony is over. The peoples of the world have understood much better than the people in the West, what the defeat in Afghanistan means.

The "great and strong America" had to flee from poor and poorly armed insurgents. That is what young Africans see today. Between 1960 and today, about 6 generations of Africans have risen. The Africans of the 1970s are completely different from those of today. Their fear and respect for the West has disappeared.

The West's ability to intervene in Africa is limited. For example, their attempts in Sudan. The campaign in Egypt against the Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia, at the request of the US, is mainly for internal use in Egypt,: external enemy is to maintain Sissi's regime. 

The US wants to oust Abiy from power in Ethiopia as well as break the tight unity between Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. It cannot and will not succeed. All African countries, even Félix Antoine Tshisekedi of Congo, are behind Abiy and the countries of the Horn.

The French, with the help of the Belgians, are trying to intervene further in Mali, supposedly for the fight against terrorism. But when it comes to fighting terrorism, countries like Mali prefer to rely on Russian mercenaries. 

An exception in the tendency to demarcate oneself from the West is Kagame of Rwanda. At the request of France in particular, he is trying to play the gendarme in Africa. For example, he sent troops to northern Mozambique at the request of Total against the local rebels. Kagame also tried to "negotiate" between the TPLF and the Ethiopian central government (a demand by the West). This was immediately rejected by Ethiopia. Such an action is shameful and disgraceful.

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Africa has changed in recent decades, but so has Europe.

It is dramatic but since the 80s the social struggle and the struggle against imperialism has also declined tremendously in Belgium. Just imagine, in Flanders, the right-wing nationalists are in power, the racists and fascists of Vlaams Belang get almost a quarter of the votes. Anti-communism reigns supreme, also within the Left, and this since the fall of the Wall. In countries like Belgium, the bourgeoisie does not have to establish fascism because the left-wing parties and the workers' movement are paralysed. The obedience to the system is great, despite all the occasional verbal protest.

What a difference with the consciousness in Africa or Latin America!

An ordinary Kenyan worker is more intelligent than a European professor.

I repeat: Europeans (especially the "Africa specialists") are unable to communicate with Africans. A simple request Africans used to ask of Europeans: "we want water" did not get a serious answer except for some NGO clumsiness. Stupid small-scale aid of which only a European is "proud".

The African diaspora gives far more aid to Africa than the IMF, the World Bank and all the NGOs put together. Harpal Brar already pointed out the role of migration in his book "Capitalism and Immigraiton" (see Marxist Studies number 76, 2007).

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The United States is also losing its grip on the world and certainly on Africa. They have completely lost their initiative since the Second World War. Despite their defeats, they still maintain a certain initiative thanks to their think-thanks. Smart intellectuals like Brezinsky, Kissinger and certainly Georges Kennan, the master in the fight against the growing influence of the Soviet Union after 1945. Kennan remained very intelligent. For example, he opposed the war of the US and some of its allies against Iraq. Noam Chomsky analyses all that.

Kissinger was also such a genius. He managed to use China against the Soviet Union. A tragedy for socialism and the peoples of the world.

Today, the U.S. and the West no longer have great ideologues, which goes along with their waning political and ideological power. China is growing in power and with great speed. This causes the West to panic. The petty bourgeoisie - including the leftists - in Europe are already feeling the pinch and fear for their prosperity and comfort. They want to show "solidarity" with the people of the world, but they do not want to pay the price. In fact, they have never wanted to do so. The "Left" should resolutely opt for internationalism. But they do not dare and do not want to. They would rather look at their own navel and spasmodically indulge in self-glorification. Opportunism in the ranks of the left is greater than ever. Many are already taking sides against China. Wallowing in anti-communism behind a "left-wing discourse". Some are starting to dialogue with the fascists. It is quite possible that several leftists will defect to the fascists. This has happened in the past.

On the situation in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa

The information about developments in Ethiopia and "the offensive" of the TPLF in the West are pure fantasies and self-deception. For example, the TPLF is not at all capable of advancing "to Addis Ababa". Addis is a city of millions. If the TPLF can reach the capital, their soldiers will be swallowed up by a population which hates them. In fact, the TPLF has already lost 10 to 15,000 of its soldiers in the various "offensives" that they have conducted. They even use children, who have to march without weapons. Their offensive around the Sudanese border failed as well as blocking a strategic road to the coast in the Afar region. They thought they could interrupt the supply of essential goods such as petroleum to Addis.

The West's diplomatic offensives are also failing, such as its attempts to force Ethiopia to negotiate with the TPLF. A few days ago, Blinken went to Nairobi to state at a press conference that he was counting on Kenya to negotiate in the Horn. The Kenyans sent him walking. Pan-Africanism also prevails in Kenya today.

Everyone is behind Ethiopia. Certainly, the diaspora in the world. In all major Western cities, there are large demonstrations by Ethiopians and Eritreans to show their solidarity with their homeland and to denounce the sanctions against Eritrea and Ethiopia taken by the US and the EU. They did so on the Schuman Square in Brussels opposite the EU offices.

Solidarity with Ethiopia is deeply rooted among all blacks in the world. Not only the blacks in Africa but also the Afro-Americans, since Marcus Garvey. Ethiopia has always been independent. More than that; the Ethiopians defeated the white army of the Italians in 1896. That was an affront not only to the Italians but to all colonial powers. With the fascist invasion of 1935 from Eritrea, Mussolini wanted not only to conquer that rich country but also to erase "the shame" of the past. Many African-Americans then went to fight the fascists in Ethiopia.

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Every attack against Ethiopia yesterday and today also increases the antagonism in the United States. The Afro-Americans see this attack as an attack against all blacks, including those living in the United States. The black communist Harry Haywood already wrote about this in his magisterial book "Black Bolshevism".

The growing contradictions between "white and black" in the West, due to the West's imbecilic campaigns against Africa, are sharpening the contradictions in Western societies. It seems that Italy has learned its lesson from the past. It is not participating today in the Western anti-Ethiopia and anti-Eritrea campaign. The French ruling class are too arrogant to learn anything from the past. The price they will pay will be harsh. Every attack against Africa will fly back into the face of the West like a boomerang.

In Flanders, too, there is little or no learning from the past. The "anti-colonial" struggle seems to be limited, even among most progressives, to the period of the Belgian Congo and the murder of Lumumba (the restitution of stolen religious, cultural and art works, the restitution of Lumumba's teeth, ...). Whereas after 1960 until today the plundering in Congo continues.

As far as Flanders is concerned, this is actually not so surprising. Protea (in which many members of the political and financial "elite" of Flanders were active) remained active until the fall of the apartheid regime. That mentality lives on and is still the reason for the success of racist parties such as Vlaams Belang and the nationalistic N-VA.

Today, Ethiopians watch closely what countries in Europe do, write and say in their struggle against the TPLF. The Ethiopians do not have an ounce of confidence in the Belgians. The Danes are smarter.  Despite EU measures such as withdrawing "European aid", the Danes gave 13 million kroner (€1,756,757) in aid to Ethiopia, thus already breaking "the EU's unity against Ethiopia".

Most EU countries do not know what they are doing. They are stupid. In Ethiopia and the Horn they are learning their lessons. They are turning away from the West and looking to the East. The EU is losing that market while countries like Turkey, Japan, China, Russia, Iran and others are grabbing it.

Going after the United States and continuing to support the TPLF is just about the stupidest thing one can do. Do the leaders of big countries like Germany and France not understand that? 

A victory for the TPLF is simply not possible. The TLF has become unacceptable to all Africans. They know those Ethno-fascists who, for example, were responsible for more than 150,000 deaths in their war against Somalia.

I repeat: the policy against Ethiopia and the peoples of the Horn has no audience among African-Americans either. On the contrary. Many African-Americans who traditionally voted for the Democrats supported Trump. Trump understood that he had to keep his hands off the Horn of Africa and give Abiy a chance. Biden wants to reconquer the Horn of Africa. All black Americans know Hillary Clinton's policies against the Horn of Africa as well as those of "the house-niggers" Susan Rice and Powell. But the intellectual elite also participate in the anti-Ethiopia campaign in the US. For example, Italian fascist films, which depict Ethiopians as untermenschen, are shown at Harvard. Such a thing is unthinkable in today's Italy. Also, portraying blacks as the instigators of genocides no longer works. For example, there were many victims in the conflict between the rebels in Darfur and the central government in Khartoum in 2003. But it was not a genocide (i.e. the extermination of a people as a people). Today our media are announcing that Ethiopia wants to carry out a genocide against the Tigrayans. No Ethiopian wants that, no African believes that. The majority of Tigrayans would be better off with the disappearance of the TPLF. That is what will happen.

All that propaganda, all those attempts to divide the peoples of Ethiopia and the Horn no longer work. So it is very stupid to join this anti-Ethiopia campaign. A few weeks ago, at the opening of the academic year, the rector of the Catholic University of Leuven said: "we are on the side of Tigray". The prestige of the KUL will not do well in Africa. It is imprudent and stupid.

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