Issue Number 13 - October 3, 2002

A letter to our readers
from Co-Publisher Glen Ford

Black America and Bush's New World Order

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Dear Reader,

The only thing Black that wants to go to war with Iraq is Condoleezza Rice, and she has told too many lies to be taken seriously.

One wonders if Colin Powell, who is brilliant, will ever muster the courage to quit mouthing the foul script, and say the words he knows to be true: the United States is determined to impose its will on the entire globe, not just in the current dispute over Saddam Hussein, but for the remainder of the "American Century." Iraq is a demonstration of that resolve.

African Americans have every historical reason to reject the mad rush to war. Once again, we must form the core of the peace party.

The 38-member Congressional Black Caucus, all Democrats but not all particularly brave, stood as a body to oppose Bush's threatened first strike "without a clearly demonstrated and imminent threat of attack on the United States."

Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. held a press conference with representatives of 48 national religious denominations, to urge that "all peaceful possibilities should be exhausted before using military force."

In August, the Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church expressed unequivocal revulsion at war preparations, declaring:

War must not be pursued as an "economic policy," nor as a vendetta of unfinished business. In this new millennium, the children of America must not be sacrificed on the altar of militarism. As spiritual leaders, we cannot keep silent as the integrity of what it means to be a democracy is increasingly compromised. Although the wheels of propaganda are turning incessantly through the media, we believe that the path our nation is pursuing will lead to catastrophe for America and the nations of the world.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered a letter to Rice, the dreadful National Security Advisor, expressing their "grave reservations" about the administration's course.

Alone like corn pone among the major American denominations, the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention gave a rebel yell for the courageous idea of hitting the other guy first, international law be damned!

The Southern Baptists split from their northern brethren over the issue of slavery - they believed it was God's design. Reminded that Great Britain's Baptist Union opposed a U.S. first strike as an "appallingly dangerous course to take," convention spokesperson Richard Land said, "The U.S. should not sit idly by waiting for her allies in Europe to indicate their support." Land added, gratuitously, "No offence intended, but we have had to extricate the Europeans from conflagrations of their own making twice in the last century." Confederates never forget.

A Gallup Poll taken in August showed that 53% of Blacks opposed a U.S invasion of Iraq. That's consistent with African American positions on U.S. military adventures since the beginning of the Vietnam War. People over 65 registered even higher in the peace camp, at 55%, possibly because they've seen more of war. As usual, men of all groups are more bellicose (61%) than women (56%). Ten percent more Americans making $50,000-plus yearn for war (62%) than those earning under $20,000. People with college degrees are just educated enough to be dangerous - 65% agree with Bush, compared to 57% of citizens with no more than a high school diploma.

If you've ever wondered what God most churchgoers pray to, Gallup has a revelation: the God of War. Two out of three regular church attendees are singing from Bush's hymnal.

We can now construct an accurate profile of the American War Party, the people that represent a clear and present danger to human survival. They are youngish, white, affluent, well educated, churchgoers. And they are taking us all to Hell.

Alone in the world, by choice

Among the peoples of the planet, there is no support for U.S. declarations of a right to strike first. None. Governments are another matter, and we shall see how they line up under extreme duress from Washington. However, the views of the world's people matter a great deal. The events of September 11 should have finally taught Americans that their personal safety requires, in the words of the Declaration of Independence, "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind."

Nelson Mandela expresses global opinion, when he says "the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace."

The world cowers in fear of Washington, precisely the effect that the Bushmen seek. The U.S. no longer has a foreign policy; it has an appetite, and presents demands. George Bush is improvising the terms of a New World Order that he threatens to impose by force. His rantings about Saddam Hussein are solely for the consumption of the American War Party. The Plan is much bigger than one man with a mustache.

The rest of the globe knows that Saddam is a straw man, set up to be knocked down in America's line of march toward true Superpowerdom, a form of planetary governance by intimidation and terror. Bush's businessmen-warriors are making the rules up on a daily basis, but they are deadly serious when they speak of an American Century.

Oil is one thing they understand, intimately.

Colin Powell's thankless task is to present U.S. demands in tones that sound like diplomacy - the equivalent of describing a TV wrestling match with a straight face. Powell is an amazing person, endowed with a special kind of genius. What a horrible waste of African American manhood, that it be harnessed to imperial enterprise. Powell, alone among U.S. emissaries, is respected in world capitals as a man of reason. Yet he is the point person in a criminal offensive against civilization's highest achievement: a near-universal desire for a world ruled by law rather than brute force.

Europeans and Russians, especially, understand the language of empire. In case they didn't get the picture, a leading figure in the unofficial Bush War Cabinet spelled it out to the Washington Post:

"It's pretty straightforward," said former CIA director R. James Woolsey, who has been one of the leading advocates of forcing Hussein from power. "France and Russia have oil companies and interests in Iraq. They should be told that if they are of assistance in moving Iraq toward decent government, we'll do the best we can to ensure that the new government and American companies work closely with them."

Translation: the United States will control the oil fields of Iraq. Bow down, or be cut out. The same terms will apply to the entire Middle East and Central Asia, as the U.S. expands its military presence.

In the September 15 article, puppet-in-waiting Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the pitiful gaggle of exiles the U.S. plans to install as the "government" of Iraq, looked forward to handing over the oil fields to a U.S.-led consortium. "American companies will have a big shot at Iraqi oil," he said.

A Power of One

In the 1884-85 Berlin Conference, the European powers, Turkey and the U.S. divided the globe into areas of influence. In 2002, the U.S. is claiming the whole planet as its protectorate. The price of access to vital resources, is obedience. Whatever happens at the United Nations in the coming weeks and months will be in response to this U.S. threat.

This explains the behavior of Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose countrymen chafe at his role as "poodle" for Bush even as opinion polls show overwhelming opposition to a U.S.-British invasion of Iraq, especially within Blair's own Labor Party. Blair believes his fealty to Bush will ensure that Britain gets its share of the spoils.

Renewed furor erupted among Labor when the Sunday Herald, a Scottish newspaper, unveiled a study written for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush handlers before the Republicans captured the White House. Prepared by the Project for the New American Century, a Rightwing think tank, the September 2000 report presages the administration's current game plan:

The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Labor parliamentarian Tam Dalvell spoke for many in his party. "This is a blueprint for U.S. world domination - a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing," he said.

When lawmakers from the world's once-greatest empire are appalled, something earth-shaking is occurring.

The other, African oil gulf

Colin Powell accepted with equanimity the boos of delegates to the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, last month, and immediately turned north to the oil-producing regions of the continent, the more pressing business on his African itinerary. As MSNBC reported, "analysts generally agree that the driving force behind the courtesy call in Gabon and Angola [was] to secure oil sources in the run-up to a possible conflict with Iraq."

Under the headline, "In West Africa, Oil is the Prize," the article noted that the region around the Gulf of Guinea, including Nigeria, "produced more than 4 million barrels a day in 2000, which is more than Iran, Venezuela or Mexico." The U.S. is seeking to establish a "homeport" in the Gulf of Guinea, "to secure oil and transport routes as the United States depends more heavily on Africa for supplies."

We would add that such bases - infrastructures of "force-projection" proposed by the Oil Policy Initiative Group - will be capable of facilitating "regime-changes" throughout the region, which accounts for 15% of U.S. oil imports.

British Member of Parliament Dalvell has it right. The Bush plan is elegant, simple, and absolutely brutal.

The United States, which for decades sought to break the power of OPEC, is now preparing to become OPEC, by military means. The threats against Europe and Russia are portents of the world envisioned by Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the piratical band that runs the Bush government. They are about to define what an unchallenged superpower is, and does. International law is no longer a consideration.

The sovereignty of every nation on the globe is in jeopardy. So are the lives of every person in the United States, as our society risks being transformed into the repository of all the world's resentments - many of which will be absolutely justified. How many terrorists can be distilled from six billion angry human beings? The "American Century" is a prescription for insecurity without end, war eternal.

A twilight struggle

In the new, bombed and besieged America - and that is what is on the horizon - civil liberties could shrink to the bare levels necessary for the free flow of goods and services; no one knows what freedoms are required to maintain a complicated market society such as ours, but we may be forced to find out.

Some of the older aspects of American life will remain: racism is especially effective in maintaining the cooperation of the people that comprise the War Party. Do not expect some great national coming-together-under-common-threat. It didn't happen after 9-1l (except in the vapid chatter of TV "news" personalities), and it won't happen when the attacks and threats become regular occurrences. Generally speaking, white America acts badly under stress.

The civil rights struggle made rapid gains in the years after World War Two, due in some measure to the political parties' desire to present a liberal face to the world. Back then, the Soviets competed for hearts and minds. The Bush crowd - and those who will succeed them, if we allow it - is immune to embarrassment. If they bully the nations of Europe, how do you think they will treat us? And who will come to our defense?

The impending Bush war(s) is a domestic crisis. The exploited and abused people of Africa, Asia and Latin America surely require our concern and best efforts. But we must also understand that a New World Order means a New Domestic Order, as well - of which we have only gotten a small taste.

I, for one, never imagined that I would one day be considered an enemy by billions of fellow human beings. Yet that is now thinkable.

We have had more than our share of coping with enemies here at home. George Bush has placed the nation on a course that leads to a global struggle between "us" and all of "them." Which one are we? Are you sure about your fellow Americans?


Glen Ford, Co-Publisher

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