By Ajamu Baraka – Aug 2, 2023
The structural crisis of capitalism in its neoliberal form has created a legitimacy crisis for the capitalist rulers, making the use of force a permanent strategy for maintaining their dominance. (from the Black Alliance for Peace website)
The US recently deployed troops to Peru to shore-up the coup in that country, followed by the deployment of troops to Ecuador and the bizarre AFRICOM plan to insert Kenya and Rwanda forces all the way from Africa to Haiti to support the illegitimate Ariel Henry puppet government in that nation.
This is madness, but desperate madness!
Experiencing their worst nightmare, the French are in the process of being expelled from their African empire. They have desperately drawn the line in Niger, where they had been forced to redeploy their troops after being expelled from Mali. The military has now taken power in Niger and the people have filled the streets of its capital Niamey carrying Russian flags and demanding that the French and the US be expelled from their country with their drone bases, including the mother of all drone bases in Agadez that cost over 100 million dollars to build.
We know, however, that they will not leave peacefully. The people of Iraq demanded that the US leave and their forces are still there, just as they remain in Syria stealing oil and wheat. The people of Haiti demand no intervention but the arrogance and psychopathology of white supremacy compels its leaders to ignore the peoples of the world and rely on what they understand best – violence and domination.
There is no mystery as to why Western European powers are behaving this way as they face the prospect of a world in which they can no longer impose their will and extract the value produced by the world’s peoples and lands for their greater glory. They have concluded that they need to fall back on the very instrument that established Western hegemony in the first place—war in its most extreme expressions.
The violence at the center of the relationship between the European colonizer and the colonized “other” has not changed since Europeans spilled out of Europe into the Americas in 1492, only its forms have taken new shapes.
Since the end of the second imperialist war in 1945, the war that was supposed to end all wars, at least in Europe it was thought, the US as the new leader of the Western imperialist world established the standard of behavior for how the colonial/capitalist West would relate to the non-European world. Even as it proclaimed commitments to human rights and democracy, the US waged wars on every continent, overthrew governments, murdered and tortured anti-colonial fighters, and actively supported murderous wars by its European allies.
The colonial relationship was the lifeblood of Western dominance and colonial powers waged wars from Algeria to what became Zimbabwe to maintain that lifeline in old and new ways. Their efforts were the most brutal in parts of the world where they had significant numbers of white settlers like in Algeria, Kenya, Israel, and South Africa. Their goal was to duplicate “successful” white settler projects in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia where they used genocidal methods to conquer indigenous peoples, steal their land and often their children, and hold the survivors in colonial bondage up to this day.
But change is in the air. With the exposure of the US as a paper tiger after its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan, and its defeat in Ukraine that is yet to be announced to the US population, the peoples of the global South, and in particular in Africa, are in no mood to accept the continued humiliation meted out by the institutions of White colonial/capitalist domination.
This is why when the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), working on behalf of African elites and their Western bosses, said that it would “take all measures necessary,” including “the use of force” against the Niger military within a week to restore to power the deposed president Mohamed Bazoum, the response was very different from what would have occurred just a few years ago. Unlike in the past, when Western elites issued orders through their neocolonial puppets and these were followed without opposition, Algeria said that it would not sit aside if Western powers attacked Niger, similar to statements from the government of Guinea, and the military leaders of Burkina Faso and Mali threatened war if the US and France attacked Niger, even if they did so through the Black face of ECOWAS.
“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the achievement by popular struggle and self-defense of a world liberated from the interlocking issues of global conflict, nuclear armament and proliferation, unjust war, and subversion through the defeat of global systems of oppression that include colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.” (BAP principle of unity)
The struggle for peace is the struggle against Western imperialism led by the US, which continues to reveal itself as the greatest existential threat to collective humanity. The US shamelessly declares its commitment to the national security strategy it calls “full spectrum dominance,” the doctrine that guides its project to maintain its global (and even planetary?) hegemony. This doctrine is buttressed by European support from the nations grouped under the NATO military umbrella.
The project is to maintain and advance white power through material and institutional means. And what is meant by global white power? Western dominance through the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, control over the global banking system, NATO and the other parts of the US global military apparatus, and US Dollar hegemony. That is how the Black Alliance for Peace defines white power.
But there is more.
White power and the ideology of white supremacy are inextricably linked. The ideology of white supremacy posits that the descendants of the peoples from the territories now referred to as Europe represent the highest examples of human development, that their culture, social institutions, religion, and way of life are inherently and naturally superior. This ideological position is normalized by the international capitalist cultural and ideological apparatus – media, entertainment industry, and Big Tech.
For the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), white power and white supremacy “cannot be reduced to [the] individualized attitudes and values of people racialized as white. Instead, it should be seen as a structure of domination that is also ideologically embedded in every aspect of US and European society to the extent that it has become normalized and, consequently, invisibilized as general common sense.”
Barack Obama, Kamala Harris, Lloyd Austin, Donald Trump, Anderson Cooper, Joe Biden, Paul Kagame (president of Rwanda), William Ruto (president of Kenya) and most of the Black misleadership class in the US are white supremacists.
The normalization of white supremacy and the acceptance of white power requires societal-wide self-deception, as Black philosopher Lewis Gordon argues. It not only exposes the limits of reason and history as expressed in the hegemonic liberal philosophical tradition. In the process of Eurocentrism becoming universalized through the colonial project, white supremacy and white power represent the negation of history and reason. The “coloniality of being” is not an abstract philosophical concept. It is real, and as such, is a fundamental target for us to transform in the decolonial project.
That is why we reject the premise that the European world that created what Frantz Fanon referred to as “a zones of non-being” in all the areas they colonized, completely rejecting the humanity of the colonized to undertake the most ruthless and barbaric exploitation of lands and peoples, are today concerned with well-being, humanity, democracy and “human rights” in Haiti, Niger, Cuba, Palestine, and the barrios and working-class “hoods” of the US.
Only the most naive would believe that Europeans today, with their newfound “humanitarianism” and “responsibility to protect,” have in fact altered the historical category of permanent “other” to which they relegated Africans and other colonized peoples’. As US Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney declared in the 1857 Dred Scott decision in the US settler-colonial context, Africans “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
No, we will not be confused by high-minded declarations from the ruling classes of the most vicious empire in the history of humans on this planet.
The US and European capitalist ruling classes continue to be committed to waging war to avert the end of white world hegemony. This is attested to by US global command structures, including the over 800 military bases, the bipartisan support for the obscene military budget, NATO, and the US-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. It is also demonstrated by the continued militarization of police forces, the mass-incarceration regime, and the infiltration, disruption and subversion of our organizations, including indictments of the Uhuru 3 and increased use of the category of “domestic terrorist” to criminalize opposition.
The lines of resistance are being redrawn.
Led once again by Africans on the continent and in the African diaspora, there will be popular resistance to the armed assault on Haiti. On the continent, the leadership of Mali and Burkina Faso made it absolutely clear that an imperialist attack on Niger will be understood as an attack on Mali and Burkina Faso and they would respond in kind.
The war being waged by the west has intensified. Now it is moving into a new period where its one-sided nature is being replaced with a more effective resistance. The task is clear for us: to accelerate the end of the existential threat that white world hegemony poses for collective humanity.
Ajamu Baraka is the national organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace and was the 2016 candidate for vice president on the Green Party ticket. Baraka serves on the Executive Committee of the U.S. Peace Council and leadership body of the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC) and the steering committee of the Black is Back Coalition. He is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report. He was awarded the US Peace Memorial 2019 Peace Prize and the Serena Shim award for uncompromised integrity in journalism.