Showing posts with label colonialism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label colonialism. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2023

The neocolonial food economy: How Bill Gates and others threaten Africa's agricultural future?

    Monday, September 18, 2023   No comments

A report on the American “The Nation” website, under the title “The New Colonial Food Economy,” by Alexander Zaitchik, author of the book “Owning the Sun” - A History of the Medical Monopoly, spoke about the consequences of the actions of the global billionaire Bill Gates and other business giants in the areas of food. And agriculture, on small farmers in Africa and the countries of the South.

“Last summer, the global trading system finalized the details of the revolution in African agriculture,” the report stated, explaining that “under the project, the trade bodies sponsoring the African Continental Free Trade Area seek to restrict all 54 African countries to a model “It aims to replace farmers’ traditions and practices, which have persisted on the continent for thousands of years.”

He continued, "The main goal is farmers' human right to seeds and crops, and to share and cultivate them according to personal and societal needs."

"By allowing corporate property rights to replace local seed management, the protocol is the latest front in a global battle over the future of food," he adds.

Based on draft laws written by Western seed companies more than three decades ago in Geneva, the new generation of agricultural reforms seek to impose legal and financial penalties across the African Union on farmers who fail to adopt seeds manufactured abroad and protected by patents, including This includes genetically modified versions of local seeds, according to the report.

The resulting seed economy would turn African agriculture into a bonanza for global agribusiness, foster export-oriented monocultures, and undermine resilience during a period of profound climate disruption.

This new seed economy includes not only major seed and biotechnology companies, but also sponsor governments, in a more complex and controversial effort to re-engineer global agriculture for the benefit of biotechnology and agribusiness, not for the benefit of African farmers or the climate, the report asserts.

The author adds, “Tightening ownership laws on farms across the African Union would represent a major victory for global economic powers, which have spent the past three decades campaigning to undermine farmer-run seed economies and oversee their forced integration into global agribusiness value chains.”

These changes threaten the livelihoods of Africa's small farmers and their collective vital biological heritage, including a number of staple grains, legumes and other crops, which their ancestors developed and protected since the dawn of agriculture.

For farmers who are on the path to a global market drive to standardize and privatize their seeds, the risks are simply preserving their right to economic self-determination.

In a statement to the website, one of the farmers warns: “Companies have changed our food culture... They are now using threats to change our agricultural culture. If we replace traditional seeds with foreign seeds that cannot be replanted, what happens if the new seeds do not arrive? It is an attack on our survival!” .

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Rights matters: Muslims right to education is superseded by France's commitment to secularism

    Tuesday, September 05, 2023   No comments
As the new academic year starts, Muslims’ right to education in Europe is denied in order to uphold and enforce secularism. This seems to be the logical conclusion of the events taking place in France this week: Muslim men and women who are wearing traditional clothes are denied entry to schools unless they take off such clothes and wear French style clothes; many refused to do so.

Agence French Presse reports the latest display of European religious tolerance in France with the banning of 67 girls from attending school for wearing the abaya on the first day of the school year. 

300 girls defied a ban on the wearing of the religious garment in protest to the recent ruling by the French government that the long robe worn by some Muslims breached rules on secularism in schools. 

French President Macron had earlier sought to link the wearing of religious dress with the murder of school teacher, Samuel Paty three years ago, saying "we cannot act as if the terrorist attack, the murder of Samuel Paty, had not happened". 

67 of the girls refused to change and were banned from attending classes, ensuring the safety of the Republic from modestly dressed observant school children.


Girls in a defiant scene wear abayas in schools despite the ban on the abaya in France..and the authorities send them back to their homes..and the French Council for the Islamic Religion considers banning the abaya an “arbitrary” decision

Late Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron defended this measure, stressing that it aims to defend secularism and the principles of the republic. He also mentioned the terrorist attacks that the country witnessed, especially the killing of Professor Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by a jihadist near his school.

In an interview with YouTuber Ugo Decrypt on his channel, Macron said, "We also live in our society with a minority, with people who change the direction of a religion and come to challenge the Republic and secularism." "Sometimes the worst happened," Macron added. We cannot act as if there had been no terrorist attack and there was no Samuel Paty."

On October 16, 2020, Professor of History and Geography Samuel Paty (47 years old) was stabbed to death in front of his school in the Parisian region, by the Chechen jihadist Abdullah Anzorov, who beheaded the teacher before the police shot him dead. This professor was killed days after he showed his students, during a class on freedom of expression, caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. The jihadist said in an audio recording that he had committed his act "in retaliation for the Prophet."

An association representing Muslims has applied to the Council of State, France's highest court for complaints against state authorities, to issue an injunction against the ban on the abaya and chemise, the equivalent dress for men.

The "Action for Muslim Rights" memorandum will be considered later Tuesday.

According to the law of March 15, 2004, which prohibits the wearing of signs or clothes that show religious affiliation, students in violation are allowed to enter the school, not the classroom, provided that a dialogue takes place between the family and the Ministry of Education. This includes Christian crosses, Jewish skullcaps and Islamic headscarves.

However, unlike the veil, the abaya was not clearly defined within this law.

For its part, the official body representing Islam in France considered on Tuesday that the recent ban on the cloak in schools in France is "arbitrary" and creates "high risks of discrimination" against Muslims.

In the name of the principle of secularism, the French government announced at the end of August the ban on wearing the abaya in schools because of its controversial religious nature. In France, it is forbidden to wear religious symbols in schools under a law passed in 2004.

The French Council for the Islamic Religion considered that the absence of "a clear definition of this dress creates, in fact, an ambiguous situation and judicial insecurity."

This body noted in particular that the abaya can sometimes be considered “Islamic” – and thus prohibited – and at other times “un-Islamic” and therefore permitted.

As a result, the council expressed its fear of “arbitrary control,” as the criteria for evaluating girls’ dress are based on “presumed origin, last name, or skin color.”

Therefore, the authority warns that it reserves the right to take legal action “if the concrete application of this prohibition leads to forms of discrimination.” She added that the cloak "was never a garment or a religious guide."

About 300 female students out of 12 million who started the school year wearing the abaya this week attended schools on Monday, and 67 of them were sent home because of their refusal to comply with the government decision, according to figures announced by the Ministry of National Education on Tuesday.

Banning the abaya in schools is controversial in France, where the left asserts that this measure hides more pressing problems in national education, such as a shortage of teachers.

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Monday, September 04, 2023

Media Review: Africa's French-backed governments are falling one after the other, is Senegal Next?

    Monday, September 04, 2023   No comments

Der Spiegel asked the same question: Another pro-French regime is shaking... Will Senegal be next?

The German newspaper "Der Spiegel" indicated that France Afrique's regime had reached the stage of its demise, expecting that Senegal, located in western Africa, and France's last remaining partner in the region, would be the next country to turn against French exploitation of it.

The newspaper said that young people in Senegal "are moving away from France, because they are tired of the clique surrounding President Macky Sall," noting that "he will not run for re-election next year."

The newspaper pointed out that the Senegalese view Sal as a French puppet, and a key element in France's policies in Africa.

And it used to be that the close relations between the candidate and Paris helped in the elections, so that the newspaper indicated that these relations almost guarantee the failure of the ballot boxes in the West African region.

Since last June, the Senegalese opposition has staged mass protests, primarily against the criminal conviction of its leader, Ousmane Sonko, with thousands taking to the streets earlier this month.

The marches have sometimes turned violent, with several people killed since the protests began. Far from simply showing support for Sonko, the demonstrators also targeted French supermarket chains and service stations of French oil giant Total.

And the German newspaper "Der Spiegel" revealed that in European diplomatic circles, there is "a fair amount of ambiguity about the French approach."

In this regard, one of the diplomats said that "Paris does not have mechanisms to deal with the current rejection of everything that is French," stressing that the member states of the European Union have failed to agree on a common position.

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Saturday, September 02, 2023

The statements of a Belgian minister about the occupation's violations against the Palestinians and the killing of children raise a diplomatic crisis with Israel.. and Guinness confirms that she does not regret her statements

    Saturday, September 02, 2023   No comments

The statements of the Belgian Minister of Cooperation and Development, Caroline Guenez, about Israel's violations against the Palestinians, sparked a diplomatic crisis with Tel Aviv, according to Belgian media, while it was welcomed by the Palestinians.

In an interview with the local newspaper "De Morgen", published on Friday, Gennes spoke about the killing of Palestinian children, wiping entire villages off the map, and destroying schools and neighborhoods funded by the European Union.

And according to the website of the Belgian newspaper “HLN”, “Minister Guenez stuck to her words, which caused a diplomatic problem between her country and Israel.”

The newspaper quoted a spokesman for the minister as telling the Belgian media that Guenez "does not regret her statements in the interview."

She added that the minister also referred to "Belgium's support for the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and if democracy and human rights come under pressure anywhere in the world, we will oppose that," according to the same source.

“Unfortunately, 2023 is the bloodiest year in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for a long time, as 218 Palestinians, including 34 children, and 28 Israelis, were martyred,” Guenez said in her statements, which she re-published in several languages on her account on the X platform.

She added, “We have also witnessed the systematic destruction of infrastructure on the Palestinian side in recent months, and this is pushing entire communities out of their villages, and the costs of this infrastructure have often been jointly financed through international support.”

And the Belgian minister added, “I still condemn this out of respect for the efforts of the international community, and a serious conversation is also scheduled with the Israeli ambassador on this issue on September 7.”

For its part, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates welcomed, in a statement, the Belgian Minister's statements.

And she considered that these statements are “fully consistent with international law and international legitimacy decisions and support the two-state solution and the principles of human rights, as indicated by the (Belgian Minister).”

The ministry condemned "the heinous and unjustified Israeli attack by the Israeli government against the minister and her statements."

And it considered that the Israeli attack falls “within the framework of misleading propaganda and intimidation of parties that criticize the occupying state and attempts to obscure the reality of the historical injustice that the Palestinian people are subjected to, repression, abuse, persecution and racial discrimination that many credible human rights and humanitarian organizations, including Israeli, American and European ones, have talked about.”

In turn, the Palestinian “Hamas” movement welcomed, on Saturday, the statements of the Belgian Minister of Cooperation and Development about Israel’s “crimes” against the Palestinians, especially children.

The leader of the movement, Bassem Naim, said in a statement: "The Belgian minister's statements are completely consistent with the facts on the ground, which were confirmed by several UN reports, especially in light of the current far-right government."

Naim added, "The occupation's reaction to the statements reflects the entity's fear of exposing its myths that it has promoted for decades, and its keenness to keep its crimes away from public opinion and the international media."

Yesterday, Friday, Tel Aviv summoned Belgium's ambassador to France, Jean-Luc Bodson, to express "strong condemnation" after Belgian Minister Guenez's statement about Israel's violations against the Palestinians, according to the "Times of Israel" newspaper.

The Israeli ambassador to Brussels, Edith Rosenzweig-Abu, also said, through her account on the “X” platform, that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs protested to the Belgian ambassador, and asked for clarifications regarding Minister Guenez’s statements.



Thursday, August 31, 2023

Media review: Islamic dress front and center in France again... He who wears a cape or a shirt will not enter his classroom on Mondays

    Thursday, August 31, 2023   No comments

On Sunday, French Education Minister Gabriel Atal announced that he would ban the wearing of the "cloak" in French schools, indicating that wearing this Islamic dress is a violation of the strict secular laws applied in the field of education in the country.

"Wearing the abaya in school will no longer be possible," Atal said during an interview with French TV TF1. And he stressed his endeavor to set "clear rules at the national level" to be followed by school principals before the start of the new academic year in all parts of France, starting from September 4 next. 

Clearly, the universal values that Macron instructed his diplomats to promote exclude Muslims' rights to dress. 

Here are some of what the French media outlets have said about these issues and the topics they covered.

The French newspaper Le Figaro revealed that the Minister of Education, Gabriel Atal, confirmed today that students who wear the “abaya” for females and the “shirt” for males will not enter their classrooms with the start of the school season on Monday.

The newspaper pointed out that the minister made it clear - in an interview with Radio France International today - that these students will be allowed to enter only the schools that accept their reception and bear the responsibility of clarifying the goals of this government decision to them.

"Behind the cloak and the shirt, there are young girls and boys and families, people with whom we must dialogue through a clear pedagogical method," the minister said.

The French minister was keen to stress that French secularism is one of the main values for the French school, adding that his delay in announcing the details of the implementation of this decision is due to the fact that he entered into discussions and dialogues with directors of educational institutions who were waiting for a clear detail from the government on how to implement it.

The French newspaper stated that some schools include a number of students concerned with this decision, and therefore school officials were in need to clarify the government's position, to provide them with all guarantees for the implementation of the decision.

Le Figaro added that Minister Gabriel Atal confirmed that his ministry will send explanatory notes and a guide to all schools explaining how to implement the decision, along with messages that are supposed to be sent to families.

According to the French newspaper, the new decision to ban gowns and shirts is a continuation of the implementation of the March 15, 2004 law banning the wearing of clothes or symbols that show religious affiliation in French educational institutions.

Prominent French left-wing politician Jean-Luc Melenchon strongly criticized the decision, and called on officials to avoid provoking conflicts of a religious nature.

Le Figaro also quoted Manuel Bombard, coordinator of the France Fatherland Party - which is led by Melenchon - as saying that he would propose to the party's parliamentary group to reject this decision, which he described as dangerous and harsh, and to put it up for review before the Council of State with the aim of proving that it is a decision contrary to the constitution.

And in July of last year, Le Figaro published an investigation that revealed that despite the application of the 2004 law, there is a significant increase in the abayas worn by girls and shirts worn by males, so that they doubled in secondary schools, especially when Ramadan comes, so that some principals They expressed their dissatisfaction and began to wonder why such clothes were so popular.

An official French book defending French secularism had previously spoken of gowns and shirts, and said that the ban was not only related to “symbols or clothing that by nature show religious affiliation,” such as the veil, the Jewish skullcap, and the large cross, but rather related to all symbols or clothing that “do not indicate religious affiliation.” directly to religion, but wearing it is to clearly show religious affiliation.

And the French newspaper Le Point considered - two days ago - that the decision of the Minister of Education, Gabriel Atal, is not an easy decision from a legal point of view, and wondered on what legal basis this ban would be built and what risks could be taken in the event of an appeal before the administrative court.

The anthropologist of religions, Anne-Laure Zwilling, believed that the cloak is not associated with Muslim worship, but rather with "culture", while university professor Claire Geville denounced President Emmanuel Macron's vision regarding education, and saw that "the measure against the cloak may cause more conflict than it will solve a problem," and he said, " From my point of view, this issue, which comes to the fore and dominates everything else, is more a matter of a political agenda than a real educational issue.

For his part, Abdullah Zakry, Vice President of the French Islamic Council, expressed his surprise at the decision to ban the wearing of the abaya in French schools, and called on the French Ministry of Education to issue a statement explaining the reasons that prompted the decision to ban the abaya in schools, and denied that this dress is a religious symbol.

Abdullah Zakry said that the abaya is a form of "fashion" and not a religious garment, expressing his hope that the French Minister of Education had consulted religious authorities before making a decision to ban it.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Macron admits the Western dominated global order is being challenged, calls for revised strategies

    Monday, August 28, 2023   No comments

In his annual address to French ambassadors, French President Emmanuel Macron admits the Western dominated global order is being challenged, calls for strengthening of France's diplomatic on Monday.

Macron stated that: "The situation in the international arena is becoming more complicated, which threatens the risk of weakening the West and, in particular, Europe. We need to take a sober approach to this, without falling into excessive pessimism ... There is a revision of the world order, its principles, various forms of its organization, where the West has occupied and occupies a dominant position.”

France needs to consolidate its diplomatic strategies as the international context has become more “complex”, Macron told French ambassadors at a meeting in Paris on Monday.

“Our international order is being challenged,” said Macron. “War has returned to European soil, anti-French sentiment is rife, fueled by anti-colonialism or a perceived anti-colonialism that a double standard is being employed,” he said.

“We need to be clear, without being excessively pessimistic,” he said, citing the rise of “new forms of protectionism” and democratic backsliding due to a rise in illiberal powers.

Faced with these risks, Macron said France’s diplomatic efforts should focus on security policy in the context of the war in Ukraine and in bolstering European independence and strategic interests.

The French president also stressed the need to “avoid partitioning the world” over the Ukraine war, at a time when many countries from the Global South have refused to condemn Russian aggression. We must “avoid a narrative that claims, ‘this is Europe’s war, it doesn't concern us’”, he said.

France also seeks to be a “trusted partner” on the geopolitical front, “our diplomatic efforts should keep it simple. We should protect our interests. We should also stand for our principles and our values, which are universal,” said Macron.


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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Media Review: The Guardian says Britain must acknowledge its role in the 1953 coup in Iran

    Tuesday, August 15, 2023   No comments

A report in the British newspaper, The Guardian, spoke today, Tuesday, about "the need for the United Kingdom to recognize its role in the coup that took place in Iran in 1953, which toppled the democratically elected government of Muhammad Mossadeq, and replaced it with a military government that allowed the Shah to restore his dictatorial powers on a large scale in the country." for two and a half decades, before the Islamic Revolution overthrew him in 1979.

In the context, former British Foreign Secretary David Owen said, "The United Kingdom must finally acknowledge its role in the coup, for the sake of the credibility of Britain and the Iranian reform movement."

The United States officially acknowledged its primary role in the coup 10 years ago, after declassifying a large number of intelligence documents, which made it clear that the overthrow of the elected Prime Minister, Muhammad Mosaddegh, 70 years ago this week, was a joint endeavor between the British and American intelligence services. The CIA and MI6.

So far, the UK government's official position has been to "refuse to comment on this intelligence matter".

According to the report, the original plot, codenamed "Operation Bout" or "Ajax", was formulated by the British Secret Service after Mossadegh became prime minister and the dominant British oil company in Iran was nationalized.

The report states that "the administration of Harry Truman, the US president, did not want to have anything to do with this process, and considered Mossadegh as a bulwark against communism, but Winston Churchill, the UK prime minister at the time, was able to convince his successor Dwight Eisenhower of the importance of carrying it out."

In the spring of 1953, the CIA began joint planning with British intelligence, and the operation was renamed Ajax.

On the 70th anniversary of the start of the coup, on Tuesday, David Owen, who was foreign secretary from 1977 to 1979, told the Guardian newspaper, "There are good reasons today to recognize the UK's role with the US in 1953 in overthrowing democratic developments in Iran."

And he stressed that this must happen "by recognizing that we were wrong in doing so, and we damaged the steps that were developing towards a democratic Iran, and through this we can make reforms now more bearable," he said.

During Lord Owen's tenure at the Foreign Office, the Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah's regime, and Owen said, commenting on that period: "I made it clear to the Shah that his style of government should give way to democratic reforms, but I wish I had known about his serious illness, and I could have The pressure was on him much earlier, in 1978, to stay in Switzerland for medical treatment."

He added, "Today, the British government will help the cause of the dissidents in Iran, and make it more likely to succeed without neglecting it, if we admit our previous mistakes in 1953, as well as the mistakes we committed in the period from 1977 to 1979."

Documentary film about the coup suppressed by Britain

The report in the "Guardian" touched on a new film entitled "Coup 53", which traces the history of the coup in Iran, and focuses on a young British spy who played a pivotal role in it, named Norman Darbyshire.

Despite receiving rave reviews and ratings, director Taghi Amirani and veteran Hollywood editor Walter Murch were unable to find a distributor for the film, a fact they attribute to the UK's continued cloak of official secrecy on the subject.

Amirani said they were subjected to “the most bizarre and sinister attempts to suppress both the contents of the film and its chances of distribution, through so many twisted turns,” while Richard Norton Taylor, author of The Secret State, a book on British intelligence and the media, said it was “sad.” It is absurd, even counterproductive, for the British government to continue to hide behind its old motto of "neither confirm nor deny" and to continue refusing to acknowledge its leading role in the overthrow of Mosaddegh.

Despite the insistence of British politicians to present the British role in Iran as a supportive role for democracy, many Western reports and books on the history of politics in the region and intelligence operations confirmed that the main goals that constituted Britain's motive in Iran are economic ambitions for Iran's oil, and political ambitions due to its strategic location in Iran. confront the Soviet Union.

Last January, Iranian intelligence arrested a high-ranking British agent, Ali Reza Akbari (61 years), former assistant to the Minister of Defense, on the grounds of his conviction of spying for Britain, of which he holds nationality, and the Iranian judiciary later announced the execution of the death sentence issued against him.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Algeria's Lieutenant General Saïd Chanegriha, Chief of Staff of People's National Army, on an official visit to the Russian Federation

    Monday, July 31, 2023   No comments

And the statement of the Ministry of National Defense stated that, "At the invitation of Lieutenant General Sergey Shoigu, Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Lieutenant General Said Chanegriha, Chief of Staff of the People's National Army, pays an official visit to the Russian Federation, starting today."

"The visit, which falls within the framework of strengthening cooperation between the People's National Army and the Russian Armed Forces, will enable the two parties to discuss issues of common concern," the statement added.

The visit happens as Algeria’s media outlets reported on increased tension with Morocco, which appears to be using its connections to some Western governments to normalize its occupation of Western Sahara.

The Algerian newspaper, Al-Khabar, accused the UAE of supplying Morocco with a new spying system developed by the Israeli company Quadream, intended to penetrate the phones of officials and journalists in ten countries, as it was installed near the Algerian border, in a detailed report published last Thursday titled “Abu Dhabi.” The capital of confusion,” which is an Algerian slang word meaning “sedition.’

Algerian lawmakers comment on regional security matters: Tensions with Morocco are unprecedented, the return of relations is excluded, and Israel's participation in the US-led African Assad maneuver is provocative

Two Algerian parliamentarians said that restoring relations with Morocco is unlikely, and that they are going through a period of intense tension.
According to their talk, the current tensions are unprecedented in the relations between the two countries in recent years, and they are in contrast to the message of reassurance sent by King Mohammed VI in his last Throne Day speech.

Earlier, King Mohammed VI of Morocco called on Algeria to open the borders between the two brotherly neighboring countries and peoples.

This came during a speech by the King of Morocco to his people, on the occasion of Throne Day, which coincides with the twenty-fourth anniversary of his accession to the throne.

The King of Morocco said, “Our work to serve our people is not limited only to internal issues, but we are also keen to establish strong relations with brotherly and friendly countries, especially neighboring countries, according to a statement that Sputnik obtained a copy of.

"In recent months, many people have been asking about the relations between Morocco and Algeria, which are stable, and we look forward to them being better," he added.

Commenting on what was stated in King Mohammed VI's speech on Algeria, the Algerian parliamentarian, Moussa Kharfi, says that restoring relations with Morocco at the present time is not possible.
Kharfi explained, in his interview with “Sputnik”, that the matter is mainly related to relations between Morocco and Israel, as well as the issue of the Sahara.

Pointing out that the failure to settle the Sahara issue excludes the restoration of relations with him.
The Algerian parliamentarian, Riz
kani Suleiman, says that the relations between the two countries are currently farther than ever from the dialogue table.

Adding: “The statements of King Mohammed VI contradict the reality of relations between the two countries, as tension prevails in relations, which the Algerian president described four months ago as having reached the point of no return.”

And he continued, in his interview with “Sputnik”, that the prevailing tension in relations comes against the backdrop of what he describes as “provocations regarding the Sahara issue, as well as with regard to normalization with Israel.”

He believes that Israel's participation in the African Assad maneuver, led by the United States, came within the framework of provocations on the part of Morocco.

And he went on to say, “Algeria severed its relations with Morocco two years ago and prevented Moroccan airlines from passing through Algerian airspace as a response to the amount of evil that it received from Morocco.”

And he added, "Certainly no one benefits from the situation, and we all hope for a better reality for relations, especially for the common denominators that bring the two peoples together."

Earlier, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said that severing relations with Morocco was an alternative to war.

On August 24, 2021, Algeria severed its relations with Morocco, after closing the borders between the two countries since 1994 after the “Atlas Asni” hotel bombings in Marrakech, when the late King Hassan II imposed a visa on Algerians to enter the country, which prompted Algeria at the time to close the land borders. Between the two countries, this tension was also perpetuated by the severing of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Africa's new and perennial challenges

The African continent is a state of flux as it seeks to adjust to the new multipolar world order. 

Many African leaders attended the Russia-Africa Summit hosted by Putin in Russia this week. This week also saw another military takeover of the government, the removal of the president of Niger.

Algeria will support Niger in case of external military aggression, according to the Algerian publication Intel Kirby.

They reported on the potential invasion of Niger under the leadership of ECOWAS, stating that Algeria will not remain idle while its neighboring country faces an invasion.

There were already unconfirmed reports that the Algerian army has started increasing security measures and raising its level of readiness on the border with Niger.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Colonial media practices: The blatant double standards will mark the fall of the "free world" discourse on previously-universalized values

    Wednesday, July 26, 2023   No comments

Western governments have used the pillars of their modern civilization to shame and intimidate other communities to submit their systems of dominance. Human rights, free press, free speech, individual rights were all used as universal values that legitimized western interventionism. It worked because many thinkers and leaders in the Global south communities actually bought into this discourse. However, with new technologies that enabled impoverished communities to build their own institutions, and enjoy a degree of autonomy, the Western discourse revealed its superficial commitment to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Sanctions and bans became a favorite instrument in the hands of Western states to punish speech they did not like. Suddenly freedom of speech became limited; they just needed to find the context for banning it. That is now creating a problem for the so-called free world.

Foreign Policy: The US obsession with sanctions will be the cause of its downfall

In an article published in Foreign Policy, Christopher Sabatini, a senior Latin America researcher at Chatham House, addressed the failure of US sanctions imposed by Washington on countries around the world.

This issue was covered by several American newspapers, especially after the success of Russia, China and Iran in bypassing these sanctions.

"Sanctions have become, in the past two decades, the foreign policy tool of Western governments, led by the United States," he said.

The Foreign Policy article stated, according to a database maintained by Columbia University, that "six countries, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria and Venezuela, were subject to comprehensive US sanctions, which means that the majority of commercial and financial transactions with entities and individuals in those countries are prohibited by US law."

However, according to the article, "17 other countries are subject to various sanctions, while seven other countries are subject to export controls," according to the Princeton University database.

"This already long list does not even include targeted sanctions imposed on individuals and companies in countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Paraguay, or sanctions imposed on regions such as Hong Kong, the Balkans, Crimea, and Donetsk and Lugansk in Ukraine," the Foreign Policy article noted.

The article stated, "By 2021, the United States had imposed sanctions on more than 9,000 individuals, companies, and sectors of the economies of the targeted countries. In 2021, President Joe Biden's first year in office, his administration added 765 new names to sanctions, worldwide, including 173 human rights-related decisions."

Taken together, countries subject to some form of US sanctions account for just over a fifth of global GDP, and China accounts for 80% of that group.

The article concluded, "As in Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela, sanctions do not lead to the desired quick result of regime change, but instead strengthen alliances among the regimes targeted by sanctions over time."

And he believed that "US policy makers must understand that sanctions do not work in some cases, and that they undermine US interests, in many cases."

Banning Yemeni media in the context of US sanctions... flagrant double standards

“Measures aimed at punishing autocrats are eroding the Western system that they were supposed to maintain,” said Christopher Sabatini, a senior Latin America researcher at Chatham House, in an article in Foreign Policy yesterday, titled “America’s love for sanctions will be the cause of its downfall.”

In the past two decades, sanctions have become the foreign policy tool of choice for Western governments, particularly the United States. In addition, any serious disagreement of any government in the world with Washington's policies towards a certain issue puts it in the black lists that Washington is keen to revise and update on an almost weekly basis.

While some consider economic sanctions to be the most prominent weapon in the list of new US tools of war, media sanctions, bans and access restrictions are among the harshest types of punishment. Not only because it attempts to erase the point of view of the punished from existence, but also because it infringes on freedom of opinion and expression, which is supposed to be safeguarded in all human rights legislation and decisions, especially those approved by the United Nations and approved by "Western democracies".

According to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

For Western "democracies", this issue historically acquires a very sensitive dimension, as "freedom of expression" is considered a pivotal issue that is almost tantamount to "the sacred", because it is linked to the liberal state's identity, its social contract and its political system.

However, the title of "freedom of expression" in the West has collided in recent years, and increasingly, with major problems that have emerged in terms of double standards in the actual application of these principles, which have raised levels of doubt about the credibility of the democratic basis of Western political systems to record levels.

The last repercussions of this duplicity were the closure of the American "YouTube" platform, of several channels affiliated with the Sana'a government and the Yemeni army forces, including the Yemeni war media channels, the "Ansar Allah" band, the artistic and documentary production unit, and others.

colonial media practices

Daniel Yagic, a researcher in media issues and university professor, confirms, in an interview with Al-Mayadeen Net, that research on politically biased Western media sanctions should not be isolated from a long historical context of media colonial practices.

Yagic recalled the Western media coverage of the military operations carried out by the United States and European countries in the "southern countries".

He pointed to the media justification for "occupation, targeting, killing, kidnapping and repeated arrest operations, which were carried out by Western military forces, in Iraq, Syria, Mali, Libya, Yemen and even Lebanon, under pretexts related to the security of the United States and Europe, and in the face of what the West calls terrorism."

However, he commented by saying that the West "has never defined clear rules for who is qualified as a terrorist," which has become a liquid concept attached to whom the West wants to demonize because of its failure to comply with its political agendas.

Yagic adds that the West "always uses a language of justification for Western actions, and always presents its actions in a humanitarian context, while the same logic is not used when dealing with other parties, such as the Russian military operation in Ukraine, or armed resistance against America's allies in the world, most notably, of course, the resistance movements against "Israel" and its proxies, in Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Iraq and Syria."

The fall of the "free world" discourse: the blatant double standards

On World Press Freedom Day, May 3, the US President issued a statement titled "Journalism Is Not a Crime," in which he affirmed that journalism is "essential to a free society."

In it, he declared honoring "all journalists, reporters, and media workers who bravely pursue the truth," and said he renewed his pledge to "hold accountable" all those who seek to "silence these voices essential to transparent and trustworthy governance."

The US President was not satisfied with that, but continued that "a free press is the pillar of democracy because it allows our government and society to self-criticize and correct itself," stressing that "the First Amendment to our Constitution does not allow Congress to pass any law that limits freedom of expression or freedom of the press."

Of course, this talk is considered discredited, by many observers, regarding the status of media freedoms in the world, and the relationship of the United States to the extent to which the press enjoys strength, protection, and independence.

US government requests to ban and block accounts

Early this year, the new CEO of Twitter (newly X), Elon Musk, announced that the US administration itself "demanded the company to suspend hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts, including press accounts and others belonging to Canadian and Chinese officials."

And the US administration has already blocked the “TikTok” application, owned by a Chinese company, in more than 30 states, since last June, under the pretext that its use may involve leaking sensitive information related to US citizens to foreign governments.

This, of course, is happening in the opposite direction continuously and without any fuss, as hundreds of millions of users use American applications.

US military and security practices against journalists and the press

The United States, through its judicial institutions or even its military forces, has previously practiced violent practices against journalists, against the background of their journalistic work, most notably the famous journalist Julian Assange, who revealed the American targeting of a group of journalists in Iraq in July 2007, with an air raid on the National Press Club in Baghdad, and he was tried under the pretext of espionage, through a law dating back to the First World War.

It also prosecuted others because of their work in revealing information to the press, most notably Edward Snowden, the informatics expert contracting with the US National Security Agency, and Chelsea Manning, the former contractor with the Pentagon in Iraq, who leaked information about crimes committed by US forces, and they were prosecuted and prosecuted for that.

The American judicial institutions also ignored the crimes of its close ally, the Israeli occupation, documented in Palestine against the press and journalists, which, since 2001, have claimed the lives of at least 20 journalists at the hands of Israeli forces, 18 of whom are Palestinians, and 2 of them are European foreign correspondents, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Khashoggi case exposes Biden

In parallel, Washington presented itself on several occasions as a sponsor of freedom of expression in the world, as current President Joe Biden relied in his election campaign against his predecessor Donald Trump on the issue of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and the former president's insistence on good relations with Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was accused of being involved in the assassination of the famous opposition journalist.

Biden presented himself as a president who could not accept normal relations with the Saudi regime, which is known for suppressing media freedoms in his country, and is the main suspect of responsibility for the killing of the Saudi journalist in Turkey.>

In the 2019 debate, he said, "In fact, we will make them (Saudi Arabia) pay the price for what they did (the killing of Khashoggi), and we will, in fact, make them pariahs."

However, Biden returned to opening a new page with Saudi Arabia, under the title "The Supreme American Interest", and visited Saudi Arabia last year, which made many American parties accuse him of using the discourse of freedoms for a misleading purpose, aimed at mobilizing popular support only.

The US administration continues to block the Russian media, and the West follows suit

Immediately after the launch of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, the US administration blocked websites and accounts linked to the Russian media.

It also cracked down on accounts that are not officially linked to the Russian media, and that adopt the Russian point of view regarding the battle, its causes and facts, and it continues to do so in a large and increasing manner to this day.

This shocked some international circles, which clearly witnessed one of the fiercest repressive campaigns against freedom of expression in modern history, prompting many American researchers and writers themselves to declare the end of the era of "United States leadership in the free world." And that what Washington is prosecuting the world on the basis of restricting freedoms and censoring political discourse, it is committing it publicly and flagrantly.

The fierce censorship and ban campaign against Russia came after a similar campaign against Iranian media and websites and accounts linked to resistance movements in Arab countries over the past decade, which included blocking channels from using satellite broadcasting, blocking their broadcasts from the Internet, and closing their offices in Western countries.

It seems, by following Western criticism of government censorship, that the Western public is becoming more aware, day after day, of the seriousness of the danger that threatens it by suppressing its right to access information, and seeing different angles of approach to facts and events.

Especially since this suppression of views related to foreign policy has recently and blatantly entered American domestic politics, after Donald Trump's account was banned based on government recommendations, which prompted him to launch his own platform.

What is the size of the Yemeni media threat to Riyadh and Washington?

The US administration is entering the harbingers of the last year of Biden's term, ahead of presidential elections that are still unclear to this day. The accumulated problems of the Biden administration at the level of foreign policies raise great concern among them, which is not hidden by the statements of its officials and the results of the poll centers.

The most prominent of these problems is the crisis of the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Ukraine crisis, which has turned into a drain on potentials and bets, and crises related to the tense relationship with China, and its internal and external repercussions.

Likewise, the Yemeni crisis, with its political and humanitarian parts, comes to add to the record of American failure in foreign policies, which is naturally expected to invest in the campaign against Biden internally, and increase pressure on him, in terms of the aggression’s failure to achieve its goals in Yemen, despite the massive American support at the level of weapons, ammunition, information, and political cover.

Of course, the fingers of accusation reach the Saudi regime, which is most affected by the content published by these channels and accounts, which is likely to be largely involved in the restrictions, bans and blocking operations that the Yemeni media was subjected to throughout the period of aggression, due to the great embarrassment that was created by the published scenes of its captured and killed soldiers in the qualitative operations of the Yemeni forces, as well as the scenes of the humanitarian crisis caused by its siege and aggression on Yemen.

It can be said that the Western propaganda machine and its media tools were built on being an essential arm of the foreign policy of states, and a main supporter of the Western war machine, wherever it is heavy in the world, and it continues to perform its function.

Victory and defeat, in any war or battle that bears cultural and civilizational connotations, most notably the Yemen war, ultimately belong to the one who writes and narrates history.

The media today is the history book that future generations will inherit in order to understand the foundations of their reality. Experience indicates that the Yemenis, who turned the aggression against them into an opportunity for steadfastness, building, strengthening capabilities and accumulating strength cards, will not find it difficult for them to convey the image of the Yemeni reality, using innovative methods and alternatives, no matter how severe the restrictions imposed by their enemies.

A "weapon loses its effectiveness".. Are we witnessing the end of the era of US sanctions?

The American magazine "Foreign Affairs" published an article that spoke at length about "the end of the era of sanctions, how did the enemies of the United States protect themselves from it?", and discusses the "excessive use of sanctions" by the United States, and explains how this led to the loss of this weapon of its value and effectiveness on the international level, expecting that "the golden days of American sanctions may end soon."

With Washington increasingly reliant on sanctions, a number of countries violating its policies have begun to immunize their economies against these measures, and three events in the past decade have convinced these countries of the need to act against any possible US sanctions.

Iran, Russia and China

Writer Agathe Damaris enumerates the three most prominent stations that proved the importance of having plans to confront Washington's sanctions. In 2012, the United States cut Iran off from the global "Swift" monetary system, in an attempt to isolate the country financially, and the enemies of the United States and its other adversaries noticed this, wondering if their turn would come later.

And in 2014, Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Crimea, prompting Moscow to make economic independence a priority.

In 2017, Washington started a trade war with Beijing, which quickly spread to the technology sector, by restricting the export of US technology related to the manufacture and development of semiconductors to China, which constituted a warning to Washington's opponents of the possibility of blocking their access to important technology technologies.

These three episodes led to the emergence of a new phenomenon, which Foreign Affairs called "resistance to sanctions."

  The authority of the United States to impose sanctions on other countries stems from the primacy of the US dollar on the one hand, and the extent of US control over global financial channels on the other.

It is logical then that the enemies of the United States would seek financial innovations that would reduce the benefits of US sanctions if they occurred, and these countries have increasingly found the solution in currency swap agreements, in alternatives to SWIFT, and in digital currencies.

Bilateral currency swaps and linking central banks

One way countries have made themselves more resistant to sanctions is through bilateral currency swaps, which allow them to bypass the US dollar by linking central banks' deals directly to each other, eliminating the need to use a third currency for trading.

China has enthusiastically embraced this tool, signing currency swap agreements with more than 60 countries, including Argentina, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, totaling nearly $500 billion, with the clear goal: to enable Chinese companies to circumvent American financial channels when they need to.

And in 2020, for the first time, China settled more than half of its trade with Russia in a currency other than the US dollar, making the majority of these trade exchanges immune from US sanctions.

Washington's allies are turning towards alternatives

The article indicated that China's increasing desire to abandon the US dollar is understandable, given the poor state of relations between Washington and Beijing, but the problem has become that US allies are also entering into currency swap deals.

In 2019, India bought S-400 air defense missiles from Russia. The $5 billion deal was supposed to trigger US sanctions, but India and Russia revived a Soviet-era currency swap agreement. India bought the Russian missiles using a mixture of rubles and Indian rupees, avoiding US sanctions that could have been used to stop the sale.

In addition to bartering, some countries have developed parallel payment systems, to avoid relying entirely on the SWIFT system, and to provide an existing alternative in the event of economic sanctions being imposed on them.

Countries such as China also tended to adopt a digital currency directly linked to its central bank, and it can be used inside the country, as well as Chinese companies can be paid by it from buyers from outside the country, which eliminated dependence on the dollar or the “Swift” system.

end of the road?

The magazine believes that at the individual level, currency exchange agreements, alternative payment systems, and digital currencies will not have a definitive effect on the effectiveness of US sanctions, but together these innovations increasingly give countries the ability to conduct transactions through sanctions-resistant and secure channels.

This trend seems irreversible, as there is no reason to believe that relations between Washington and Beijing or Washington and Moscow will improve anytime soon, and the most likely scenario is that things are getting worse day by day, which will push Beijing and Moscow to redouble their efforts to circumvent sanctions and minimize their effects.

Of course, the worsening fragmentation of the global financial system and its transformation into separate islands poses a threat to US diplomacy and national security.

In addition to undermining the effectiveness of sanctions, the emergence of sanction-resistant financial channels will have an impact on the ability of the United States, which will increasingly have a blind spot when it comes to detecting global activities that it deems "illicit." Tracking suspicious financial transactions or those that originate from specific countries is vital to Washington.

All this means that within a decade, unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States may have little effect, and multilateral measures are likely to be the best alternative for it, but formulating these sanctions will be more difficult, as it will require consensus and diplomatic efforts.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

African leaders are increasingly calling for use of African currencies for African trade; President of Kenya calls on all African countries to abandon the US dollar for local trade transactions

    Tuesday, June 13, 2023   No comments

Realizing that much of the economic problems of Africa are due to unfair financial practices at the hands of institutions controlled by colonial powers, African leaders are now willing to look at local solutions to local problems--including using local currencies for local trade.  

President William Ruto stressed that the mechanism that will allow Africans to switch to local currencies will be provided by the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).

Afreximbank is a supranational financial institution that unites most African countries (51 states).

The cost of currency convertibility due to the use of U.S. dollars in trade among African countries is close to 5 billion dollars annually, according to Wamkele Mene, secretary general of the AfCFTA Secretariat. "That is expensive and so we have rolled out the pan Africa payment and settlement system that enables trading in local currencies."

he African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is striving for the usage of local currencies in trade among countries in the continent, an official said Thursday.

Cross-border trading among countries in the Economic Community of West African States is already happening through the use of local currencies instead of the use of U.S. dollars, said Wamkele Mene, secretary general of the AfCFTA Secretariat, on the sidelines of a trade forum in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

"We now want to expand to other regional blocs including the East African Community which is in talks with the African Export-Import Bank," Mene said.

He said that the cost of currency convertibility due to the use of U.S. dollars in trade among African countries is close to 5 billion dollars annually. "That is expensive and so we have rolled out the pan Africa payment and settlement system that enables trading in local currencies."

Kenya President William Ruto has urged African leaders to sign up for the pan-African payments system to facilitate trade within the continent to reduce reliance on the US dollar.

He urged his peers in Africa to mobilise central and commercial banks to join the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System, which was launched in January 2022, Business Daily newspaper reported.

The system for intra-African trade was developed by African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an initiative backed by the African Union and African central banks.

“We are all struggling to make payments for goods and services from one country to another because of differences in currencies,” the president told an AfCFTA forum in Nairobi.

“There has been a mechanism where all our traders can trade in the local currency, and we leave it to the Afreximbank to settle all the payments. We do not have to look for dollars,” he said, seeking settlement of payment through local currencies.


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