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Subverting the golden rule in our time

09/08/2017 00:00:00
by Seewell Mashizha
 
 
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WRITING on what he saw as the re-emergence of balance of power politics in the world, Waldo Bello in his treatise of August 2003 stated: “The last few years and the coming ones have been — and will be — bad for world peace. They are, however, rich in lessons about international power relations. And the lessons are not all grim.”

He added, “To be sure, the first lesson is discouraging: That unchallenged superpower status stimulates conflict, not peace. This did not seem so clear in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War.”

In the first place, Waldo’s assertion about how the world’s prospects for peace are and will be grim, is derived from his reading of the unilateralist stance of the United States of America following the demise of the Soviet and demonstrated most aptly in the George W Bush era when America defied the United Nations and attacked Iraq on the basis of fictitious weapons of mass destruction allegedly held by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

The world now knows that it was all a lie and that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What was at stake was America’s quest for world hegemony.

We are experiencing first-hand the destabilising effect of super power politics with America dictating what is ethical and what is not. What is ethical and acceptable is that which promotes American interests at any cost.

NATO countries are mere lackeys of America and will generally do whatever that country says or wants. The latest example of America’s hegemonic programme is the destruction of Libya for once again concocted reasons.

The real threat from Libya was its economic clout. Some of the countries in the coalition that attacked Libya had a GDP much lower than Libya’s, Spain for instance.

The next stop after Libya was Syria where Bashar-al-Assad the Syrian President was falsely accused of using chemical weapons against his own people when the facts point elsewhere.

As part of America’s regime change politics the Americans created the now dreaded Islamic States ISIS, (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).

The fighters of these two groupings were armed and trained with NATO collusion. Attempts at dislodging the Islamic groups from the areas they occupy are no more than window-dressing only.



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They have to be seen to be trying to reign in their Frankenstein monster who is becoming alarmingly more and more independent in thinking and in action. ISIS has wreaked havoc all over Europe as evidenced by the 2016 Brussels and 2015 Paris attacks.

The well-coordinated Brussels attack left 31 dead and 198 wounded while the Paris attacks left up to 140 people dead after attacks at different places including a rock concert.

Significantly, where ISIS fighters blow themselves up in coordinated actions, the real perpetrators go scot free and no one talks about the loss of life in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram.

In what Amnesty International described as ‘the deadliest massacre in Boko Haram history’ the Islamic militants are thought to have killed as many as 2000 people after militants drove into Baga, a Nigerian town near the border with Chad, firing rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles on fleeing town residents.

The Guantanamo Bay detention centre is an American military prison on the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. America imprisons without trial suspects often captured in clandestine operations.

This prison is standing testimony to America’s double standards. Americans hold people without ever charging them or sending them to trial, very often on the basis of the flimsiest evidence and still go to call themselves the world’s greatest democracy.

Quite the opposite is, in fact, true. The detention centre uses torture techniques and detains people indefinitely without trial. Hardly anyone in the West expresses any concern about the goings-on on Guantanamo Bay where horrid torture techniques go under the euphemism ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’.

Horrors similar to those of Guantanamo were also recorded at Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq. At the height of the scandal the facility was said to hold up to 3800 prisoners who mostly lived in tents in the prison yards.

An investigative report called The Taguba Report included among others, the following abuses inside the prison complex:

.Punching, slapping and kicking detainees and jumping on their naked  feet;
.Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;
.Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;
.Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;
.Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;
.Positioning a naked detainee on a box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture…

Abu Ghraib caused such an uproar even among the United States and its allies that it was necessary to be seen to be doing something about the outrage.

The acknowledged facts are that during the war in Iraq which began in March 2003 members of the United States army and others committed physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy and murder. George W. Bush tried to dismiss Abu Ghraib as an isolated incident but multiple investigations by independent bodies such as The Red Cross, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch showed that these malpractices were common in American overseas detention centres including. Guantanamo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Some scholars went so far as to classify the crimes as ‘state-sanctioned crimes. In fact, evidence pointed to sanction from high up the military establishment and even to as far as Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.

In view of the public glare and interest and as a public relations exercise someone had to be seen to be made to pay. Nine US soldiers were court-martialled and convicted of crimes at Abu Ghraib prison.

However, the US army’s judicial system has tended to ensure that accountability up the chain of command does not go beyond the rank of staff sergeant, no commanding officer has ever been brought to trial for Abu Ghraib crimes.

American hypocrisy in such matters is stunning to say the least. They have cleverly hedged themselves against prosecution, no matter the crime. Their spin-doctoring is unprecedented anywhere in the world. America and her allies have one single narrative that they stick to: it says that they are the good guys and everyone else is one of the bad guys.

To make sure that they never have to defend themselves in an international court of law, they have conveniently never acceded to the protocols of the ICC (International Criminal Court).
The ICC, located in The Hague is described as the court of last resort for the prosecution of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Its founding treaty, the Rome Statute came into force on 1 July 2002.

Interestingly the countries that make the greatest noise around ICC-related issues are still themselves to accede to the Rome Statute. While 139 countries signed the Rome Statute, 32 are yet to ratify it.

Israel, Sudan and the United States have ‘unsigned’ the Rome Statute, meaning that they do not intend to become members of the ICC. Yet countries like Botswana have tried to get South Africa to arrest Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir when he visited that country on African Union business in 2015.

Omar Hassan al-Bashir is accused of genocide as are a number of former African Heads of State who are currently held by the ICC. There seems to be an obsession with African leaders given that neither George W. Bush nor Tony Blair, former British premier, have suffered any calls to have them arrested for their crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is time that Africa retaliated in like measure and in retrospect. Europe must be taken to The Hague for partitioning Africa and colonising her people. The genocide in Namibia by the Germans must be brought to the fore and all former Rhodesian operatives and apartheid’s functionaries too must have a case to answer.

The killers of Eduardo Mondlane, Samora Machel., Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral. Thomas Sankara, Walter Rodney, Edison Sithole, Steve Biko must be brought to book. There can be no other way in this given that Africans are always turning the other cheek to no avail, and that what we do unto others they do not do unto us.

In the changed circumstances of today’s world, Africa’s agenda 2063 will fail dismally unless the continent asserts itself everywhere: the United Nations Security Council, the ICC (by insisting on the arrest and trial of people past and present) and in such matters as moving away from America’s petrodollar. Gadhafi’s dream of a strong single African currency must not be allowed to die away. Countries like the DRC with strategic mineral reserves must withhold these until the people can benefit from the extraction of such minerals.

Africa can no longer justifiably do unto others what they do not do unto her.


 
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