US & Africa

Is Democracy Being Weaponized Against Russia and China in new US-Africa Strategy?

September 2, 2022

Please watch my provocative interview (click above) on the Lambom Show, conducted by Lambert Mbom, on the subject of the the new US-Africa Strategy, released by U.S. State Department on August 8, 2022. In our hour long discussion, we go into depth about the implications of President Biden’s policy for the lives of Africans. My contention is that the U.S. strategy is seriously flawed because it focus on imposing western democracy does not serve the interest of Africans, who desperately need assistance in improving their abysmal conditions of life. This will require billions of dollars of investment credits in infrastructure to facilitate the development of industrialized African nations, which is not part of this strategy. Unfortunately, rather than addressing seriously the requirements for economic development, Biden’s strategy for Africa, like that of his predecessors, is couched in the geopolitical framework of maligning Russia and China. Lambert and I agreed that a renaissance of new ideas for the development of Africa is needed.

Read my earlier post: Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

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Blinken Implores for West’s “Rules Based Order”-South Africa & Rwanda Push Back

Review of Biden’s US-Africa Strategy

What Is True Democracy?

August 29, 2022

 

Minister Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken, President Cyril Ramaphosa (Courtesy thehindu.com)

  1. Blinken’s Flawed Trip to Africa

Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s six day visit to three sub-Saharan African nations, despite assertions to the contrary, was an attempt to strengthen U.S. geopolitical interests on the continent. Blinken traveled to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda from August 7-12, in an effort to counter the growing influence of Russia and China in Africa. This is obvious to all serious analysts of U.S.-Africa strategy. His trip was proceeded a week earlier by U.S. ambassador to the United Nation, Linda Thomas Greenfield, who visited Uganda, Cape Verde, and Ghana. The U.S. is desperately trying to regain its authority to use African nations as pawns in its geopolitical war against its self-declared China, and Russia.

China’s positive impact on African nations is ever-present. China has invested  and built more vitally necessary hard infrastructure projects in Africa than the entire Group of Seven combined. As a result, it has become the most favored nation among African youth. The U.S. has admitted that it cannot compete with China economically in Africa, even as it attempts to feebly counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The lack of support for President Biden’s war against Russia was a harsh wake up call. U.S. administration officials were stunned at the March 2  U.N. General Assembly vote, when almost half-48% of the African nations refused to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine. Of the 54 African nations, 17 abstained, 8 did not vote, and Eritrea voted against the resolution. The same sentiment was repeated in April at the U.N. when only 10 African nations supported the removal of Russia from the Human Rights Council.

Secretary Blinken’s trip to Africa occurred two weeks after Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov’s African tour of Egypt, Uganda, Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopia.

A major purpose for Secretary Blinken’s second visit to the sub-continent within ten months was to release the new U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, though there is little new substance in this strategy. It reiterates the Biden administration’s intention to “weaponize democracy” against China and Russia.

Blinken’s International Order Challenged

In his opening remarks at a joint-press-availability on August 8, with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, Secretary Blinken defensively stated that the U.S. does not view the African continent as “the latest playing field in the competition between great powers.” However, the content of his trip displayed otherwise.

The “international order,” which Secretary Blinken embodied on his three nation tour was rebuked often. In response to Blinken’s denunciation of Russia’s aggression, Minister Pandor raised the unfair and unequal treatment of the Palestinians,

“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom. And we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine.

We’ve not seen an even-handed approach in the utilization of the prescripts of international law, and we encourage that the world should have greater attention to ensuring that we are equal to everybody else.”

In response to a question from the Washington Post concerning U.S. efforts to get African nations to choose between China and Russia, and the West, Minister Pandor used what is considered strong diplomatic language against bullying sovereign nations,

“So indeed, it is important that all of us accept our ability to hold different opinions. We are, after all, sovereign nations that are regarded as equal in terms of the United Nations Charter…And one thing I definitely dislike is being told ‘either you choose this or else.’  When a minster speaks to me like that…some have, I definitely will not be bullied in that way, nor would I expect any other African country worth its salt to agree to be treated. (Emphasis added)

So, this fear [about Russia]that we exist under some push is…a really unfounded belief in the relationship that we have with either country. And we’ve been quite clear in saying we really advocate peace [between Russia and Ukraine] because we knew what would happen. We knew there’d be destruction, there’d be death, there’d be desolation. And that’s what we’re all seeing. And what we’ve always asked is: where is this [war] going to end? Let us make every effort to get peace.” (Emphasis added)

Pandor Advocates US-China Cooperation

In her closing remarks Minister Pandor identified interference by external forces and the looting of Africa’s resources as contributing to the instability of African nations. She concluded by calling for cooperation between the U.S. and China to achieve economic growth,

“But to come in and seek to teach a country that we know how democracy functions and we’ve come to tell you, you do it, it’ll work for you – I think it leads to defeat, so we need to think in different ways.

“I also think that…one of the experiences we should draw lessons from is the reality that there has been a lot of external interference in Africa. And a lot of that external interference has fueled conflict in many African countries, has fueled instability and supported opposition groups against liberation fighters and so on…This is a reality.

“It’s a world phenomenon which results from Africa’s rich mineral wealth that has made it a significant target of external players that don’t always have the interests of Africa at heart.

“We can’t be made party to conflict between China and the United States of America, and I may say it does cause instability for all of us because it affects the global economic system. We really hope that the United States and China will arrive a point of rapprochement where all of us can look to economic development and growth for all our countries because that’s extremely important for all of us. They’ve got to find a way of working together to allow us to grow.” (Emphasis added.)

I fully support and would highlight Minister Pandor’s perspective. If the U.S. and China adopted the shared mission to collaborate with African nations in achieving elevated rates of real economic growth; poverty and hunger could be eliminated on the continent, along with instability.

 

Secretary Blinken and Foreign Minister Biruta (Courtesy of allfrica.com)

Rwanda Defends Its Sovereignty

Secretary Blinken’s last stopover was Rwanda, where, after meeting with President Kagame, he spoke at a joint-press-availability with Rwandan Foreign Minister, Vincent Biruta. During their exchange, Minister Biruta defended Rwanda’s sovereignty regarding the trial of Paul Rusesabagina.

When asked about the incarceration of Mr. Rusesabagina, Minister Biruta insisted that he was tried and convicted  for crimes committed against Rwandan citizens. He was arrested “lawfully under both Rwandan and international laws. Therefore, Rwanda will continue to abide by our rules, and the decisions that were made by our judiciary. And we request our partners to respect Rwanda’s sovereignty, Rwanda’s laws, and its institutions.”

Secretary Blinken then responded with two veiled threats. First, he threatened to use the Khashoggi Ban to impose visa restrictions on individuals and their families whom the US has deemed to have participated in persecution against dissidents.

“We established what is called the Khashoggi Ban to make clear that any country that engages in repressive actions against those who criticize it, if those persons are in the United States, they face consequences for those actions.”

Second, Secretary Blinken slyly indicated that how Rwanda deals with this issue could affect future relations with Rwanda.

I’ve shared all of this with President Kagame today [concerns about Rusesabagina]. It’s not for me to characterize his response, but these are concerns that I shared. And I did that, again, in the context of making clear our desire for an even stronger, even more productive relationship between the United States and Rwanda, building on what Rwanda has done so successfully, building on what we’ve already done together. But these are issues that we care deeply about, our Congress cares deeply about, the American people care deeply about.”

Minister Biruta was unperturbed by Secretary Blinken’s comments.

 

  1. U.S. Strategy Not Addressing Africa’s Interests

Acknowledging the global role of Africa for the remainder of this century, President Biden issued a new U.S. Strategy Towards Sub-Saharan Africa.. The document fact sheet US Strategy Toward sub Saharan Africa identifies the geopolitical reasoning that compelled U.S. to respond to the growing influence of China and Russia. To wit: the continent has almost one third of the planet’s reserves of critical minerals; an advantageous location for international trade, contiguous to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, and the Gulf of Eden; a regional voting bloc of 28% of the nations that comprise the United Nations; and the fastest growing population in the world.

Contrary to claims by the U.S. that its new policy is to promote democracy in Africa, the geopolitical intent of this administration’s policy for Africa is revealed in the document’s second page under the title, Strategic EnvironmentHere the U.S. nakedly exposes its strategy to use the African continent as another arena for its war against China and Russia. It states:

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC), by contrast, sees the region as an important arena to challenge the rules-based international order, advance its own narrow commercial and geopolitical interests, undermine transparency and openness, and weaken U.S. relations with African peoples and governments. Russia views the region as a permissive environment for parastatals and private military companies, often fomenting instability for strategic and financial benefit. Russia uses its security and economic ties, as well as disinformation, to undercut Africans’ principled opposition (sic) to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and related human rights abuses.”

President Biden’s Africa strategy was released during Secretary Blinken’s stay in South Africa and consist of four main objectives.

George Soros, founder of the infamous Open Society Foundation. (Courtesy of opindia.com)

Its first listed objective, Foster Openness and Open Societies, wastes no time in maligning Russia and China, attempting to recruit African nations to U.S. geopolitical doctrine. It states: “Open Societies are generally more inclined to work in common cause with the United Statesand counter harmful activities by the People’s Republic of China and Russia.” (Emphasis added.)Coincidentally or not, Open Society is the name of George Soros’ infamous global organization, which has been identified in numerous regime-change movements throughout the world, including in Russia and China.

Secretary Blinken’s trip was an attempt to cajole African nations to create so called open societies, respect Western rule of law, and follow the Western democracy model. This is recognized as a weak effort to counter the impact of Russia and China, especially China’s commitment to expansion of hard infrastructure across the African continent.

Principles, Not A Rules Based Order

President Biden and Secretary Blinken insist that African nations and the rest of the world must behave according to their rules-based international order and their notion of democracy. If nations fail to comply, they will be punished, by war, sanctions, or threats of both.

Who’s ruled-based order is it anyway? Who has determined these rules? The mantra of the rules-based order is an extension of the West’s adherence to their dangerous and destructive geopolitical doctrine. A doctrine that reduces national interest to vying for power in a zero-sum competition in an unchanging, non-developing world. However, nations and people are not fixed objects to be moved around according to the whims of the most powerful, like pieces on a chessboard. Nations and people are not to be regimented to perform according to a set of rules of dos and don’ts that is contrary to the real principles of freedom and democracy.

To understand the living sovereign nation-state and its relationship to other nations, we must first answer the question, what makes human beings, human?

Human beings unlike any other living species we know, are endowed with a creative imagination, the power to discover, and hypothesize the principles governing the physical universe. Economic progress is the result of scientific discoveries and their realization through modern technologies that transform modes of economic production from lower to higher forms of productivity.

All human beings are born with this same potential for creative thought bequeathed by the Creator. Human creativity is a principle coherent with the universe’s own living, non-linear growth process. Human beings seek to enrich their lives by contributing to the progress of civilization. Thus, all members of humankind are identical in their potential for creative thought, and similarly, the true interest of each nation is also identical. Nations exist to protect and foster this creative power in each of its citizens.

Understanding these profound and provable elemental concepts of human nature is the foundation for creating a lawful, just, and harmonious world order. One that is premised on the self-interest of each nation promoting the development of each member of its population.

True Democracy

The Biden administration is obsessed with the word democracy, labeling this or that nation and this or that activity, democratic or undemocratic. Shamefully, neither President Biden nor Secretary Blinken have an actual understanding of how a democracy should function. If they did, they would have made economic development the focus of all four objectives of their U.S.-Africa Strategy. By economic development, I contend that it is only  those policies that lead to an increased standard of living for an expanding number of people. (As understood by Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List, Henry Carey, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and echoed by Kwame Nkrumah, among others.)

Democracy is an empty construct unless it emphatically includes the right and responsibility of the population to debate and discuss what are the most appropriate ideas to guide the future of their nation. I was reminded during a recent trip to Boston, Massachusetts that prior to the American Revolution, there were Town Hall gatherings of thousands of residents to discuss their freedom from British rule.

Democracy cannot be denigrated to simply encompassing elections good governance. True democracy requires an educated citizenry with a material standard of living and leisure time to think and reflect on the best policy for their nation, which will affect their children and grandchildren. Does the public have the opportunity to deliberate on the best direction for their nation for the next one to two generations? What policies will lead to an improved standard of living for future generations, deserves to be fully debated by thoughtful citizens. Intelligent discussion of ideas, a process unique to human beings, is primary in a true democracy. Otherwise, what is one voting for, or about?

Poverty in West Africa increasing, Food insecurity is affecting millions of people.  (Courtesy of UNICEF/Vincent Treameau)

Without Development, Democracy Cannot Exist

For Africans to participate in democracy they musts be allowed to apply their creative minds to determine their future, the future of their nation. This is not possible if hunger and poverty remain pervasive throughout the continent. Over 500 million Africans live in extreme poverty-less than $2 per day. Over 600 million Africans do not have access to an electric grid, and millions more only have access for a portion of the day.

If a parents’ primary concern is searching for food to feed their family or hustling each day to subsist in the informal economy, there is no time to think. Under conditions dominated by survival, focused on the here and now, one is not in the state of mind to seriously ponder the nation’s future. If there is not sufficient room in a dwelling to raise a family, then both adults and children do not have the space and quiet time to read and educate themselves. If one does not have access to electricity 24 hours a day, how can one read when there is no sun light? How many schools and libraries exist for education of children and adults? Do the majority of Africans have the time, space, and comfortable lifestyle to meet with friends and neighbors to examine the issues facing their nation today and tomorrow?

Fulfilling these basic pressing human needs are categorically essential, for the realization of democracy. They are not optional. For decades, the U.S. has lectured Africans about democracy but with its anti-development agenda, has shown no interest in actually creating the conditions for it to thrive. Secretary Blinken’s and President Biden’s promotion of democracy to counter their perceived enemies will fail to achieve its goal. More importantly, it will fail the people of Africa. Democracy in the truest sense will not exist unless, and until, there is a full-throttled state-led mobilization of all resources to create an economic transformation across the African continent. If this is not advocated by the U.S. government, its like-minded “pro-democracy” institutions, NGOs, think-tanks, and institutes, then they must cease their endless preaching, or be exposed as frauds. Then all they are left with is “a sounding of brass or a clanging cymbal.”  

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln: A Tragedy for the Human Race

President Abraham Lincoln delivering his Second Inaugural address on March 4, 1865, one month before his death.

April 17, 2022

President Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated on April 15, 1865, was arguably the greatest U.S. President, but I would also suggest, perhaps the finest American. His tragic death changed the the, world not just the United States. My colleague, Nancy Spannaus, provides a fitting requiem for the fallen President. A Requiem for Abraham Lincoln

His temperament, his intellect, and his commitment to the U.S. Constitution, saved our precious Republic, which was less than eighty years old, and heading towards a Civil War, when he took office in 1861. President Lincoln’s unwavering resolve to defeat the opposing army of the Confederacy, demonstrated his superior military skills and strategic understanding that only the surrender by a defeated South, would the Union be preserved. His tragic death affected the world, not just the United States. If his reconstruction program had been fully implemented in his second term, the U.S. would be dramatically different today.

Much has been written and even taught that President Lincoln was not opposed to slavery, but only freed the slaves to win the Civil War. The remarks by the intellectual titan and fierce anti-slavery leader, Frederick Douglas, following the death of President Lincoln, quoted in Spannaus’ articles eloquently dispute this claim. Douglas was an ally of President Lincoln in the fight to eliminate slavery.

In his eulogy on June 1, 1865, at Cooper Union, NY, Douglas said:

 “But what was A. Lincoln to the colored people or they to him? As compared with the long line of his predecessors, many of whom ere merely the facile and service instruments of the slave power, Abraham Lincoln, while unsurpassed in his devotion, to the welfare of the white race, was also in a sense hitherto without example, emphatically the black man’s President: the first to show any respect for their rights as men.”

The vast majority of Americans are also unaware that President Lincoln adhered to the economic policies of Alexander Hamilton’s American System. Abraham Lincoln in his basic campaign stump speech, advocated for protectionism, a national bank, and internal improvements. As President, he initiated the building of the Transcontinental Railroad across the U.S., connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which became a model of transportation infrastructure for the rest of the world. To fund the U.S. economy during the war he created a new currency-greenbacks, bonds backed by the federal government. Lincoln’s economic advisor was Henry Carey, a student of Hamilton’s economic method.

Abraham Lincoln’s frequently delivered speech on Discoveries and Inventions, reflects his philosophical understanding of human economy, revealed in its opening sentences:  

“All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner.

The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinitely various “leads” from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny.

In the beginning, the mine was unopened, and the miner stood naked, and knowledgeless, upon it.

Fishes, birds, beasts, and creeping things are not miners, but feeders and lodgers, merely. Beavers build houses; but they build them in nowise differently, or better now, than they did, five thousand years ago. Ants, and honey-bees, provide food for winter; but just in the same way they did, when Solomon referred the sluggard to them as patterns of prudence.

Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. This improvement, he effects by Discoveries, and Inventions.” (Emphasis added)

Read his entire speech: Abraham Lincoln on Discoveries and Inventions

Let the U.S. again return to the policies of Abraham Lincoln by providing true leadership in the world.

As viewers of my website know, this is my second post in recent days discussing former outstanding U.S. Presidents and their policies. Why has American culture not produced such leaders in the last six decades following the death of John Kennedy? This will be the subject of a future article.

Read my earlier post: Commemorating the Death of Franklin Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

A Requiem for Abraham Lincoln

By Nancy Spannaus April 13, 2022—The assassination of Abraham Lincoln a mere five days after the victory of the Union in the Civil War represents one of the greatest tragedies this nation has ever endured. With that act, we moved from the prospect of Reconstruction and reconciliation led by a … Continue readingA Requiem for Abraham Lincoln

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Commemorating the Death of Franklin Roosevelt: Last Great American Statesman With A Grand Vision for Africa

President Roosevelt in May 1933, signed legislation creating the Tennessee Valley Authority -TVA, and transformed the U.S. with his Grand Infrastructure Design

April 13, 2022

April 12 marked the seventy-seventh anniversary of the 1945 death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), the 32nd President of the United States. FDR is revered for rescuing America from the Great Depression using Alexanders Hamilton’s economic principles, and saving the world from fascism with U.S. industrial might. Matthew Ehret in his article, The Anniversary of FDR’s Death, examines the underlying  philosophical and strategic thinking of FDR, which without doubt qualifies him not only as a great U.S. President, but the last authentic American statesman.

It is no exaggeration to assert that the world would not be in the condition it is in today if President Roosevelt did not die before the end of his fourth term in office, or by some medical miracle, were still alive. Sadly, for the USA, and the world, none of his most significant policies survived his death, with the exception of the accomplishments of John Kennedy during his three short years as U.S. President. As soon as FDR died on April 12, the world changed dramatically, and not for the better.

We are still living through the terrible consequences of his death, especially regarding U.S. strategic relations with Russia and China. Rather than treating both these superpowers as geopolitical enemies in a falsely portrayed zero-sum world, President Roosevelt viewed both nations as allies against British colonialism. In his creation of the United Nations, FDR had Russia, and China join the U.S. and Britain as leading political powers. However, only President Kennedy, emulated FDR’s common interest approach to Russia, by proposing collaboration in a joint space program, despite the Cuban Missile crisis.

President Roosevelt’s firm opposition to British colonial practices, especially in Africa, is highlighted in Ehret’s citation of Elliott Roosevelt‘s revealing 1946 book, ‘As He Saw It’. A must read for all who oppose colonialismand desire to understand Roosevelt’s grand vision for a world of prosperous sovereign nations.

In ‘As He Saw It,’ Elliot Roosevelt quotes extensively from his father’s lecturing of Prime Minister Winston Churchill about the evils of British Colonialism, at their January 24,1943 Casablanca Conference in Morocco.

“Of course,” he [FDR] remarked, with a sly sort of assurance, “of course, after the war, one of the preconditions of any lasting peace will have to be the greatest possible freedom of trade.”

 He paused. The P.M.’s head was lowered; he was watching Father steadily, from under one eyebrow.

“No artificial barriers,” Father pursued. “As few favored economic agreements as possible. Opportunities for expansion. Markets open for healthy competition.” His eye wandered innocently around the room.

Churchill shifted in his armchair. “The British Empire trade agreements” he began heavily, “are—”

Father broke in. “Yes. Those Empire trade agreements are a case in point. It’s because of them that the people of India and Africa, of all the colonial Near East and Far East, are still as backward as they are.”

Churchill’s neck reddened and he crouched forward. “Mr. President, England does not propose for a moment to lose its favored position among the British Dominions. The trade that has made England great shall continue, and under conditions prescribed by England’s ministers.”

“You see,” said Father slowly, “it is along in here somewhere that there is likely to be some disagreement between you, Winston, and me.

“I am firmly of the belief that if we are to arrive at a stable peace it must involve the development of backward countries. Backward peoples. How can this be done? It can’t be done, obviously, by eighteenth-century methods. Now—”

“Who’s talking eighteenth-century methods?”

“Whichever of your ministers recommends a policy which takes wealth in raw materials out of a colonial country, but which returns nothing to the people of that country in consideration. Twentieth-century methods involve bringing industry to these colonies. Twentieth-century methods include increasing the wealth of a people by increasing their standard of living, by educating them, by bringing them sanitation—by making sure that they get a return for the raw wealth of their community.”

The P.M. himself was beginning to look apoplectic.” (emphasis added)

President Roosevelt’s commitment to foster economic growth in underdeveloped nations has been greatly misunderstood by the vast majority of people inhabiting both the advanced and less-advanced regions of the world . The Bretton Woods institutions: the International Monetary Fund, and the International Bank For Reconstruction and Development created by FDR in 1944, were not intended to be the perverse drivers of monetarist policy they have become today. As a result of decades of deliberate mis-information, it is virtually unknown that FDR instructed his representative at the Bretton Woods conference, Harry Dexter White, to create an institution that would foster economic growth for all nations, contrary to the intention of British representative, John Maynard Keynes.

I will be writing more about the Bretton Woods Conference and President Roosevelt’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation in the near future. Until then, Ehret’s article provides a useful broad backdrop to FDR’s policy. Read: The Anniversary of FDR’s Death

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

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It is Time for a New Security Doctrine for the USA: The Monroe Doctrine Revisited

The last words of John Qunicy Adams
John Quincy Adams, (1767-1848), American Statesman, sixth President of the United States, Secretary of State for James Monroe, Diplomat, Senator, and Congressman (Courtesy phrases.org.uk)

February 14, 2022

While I do not agree with all the views of this essay below, the author raises an important historical analysis. United States was a far better nation when it was committed to the American System policies of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, and Franklin D Roosevelt. The USA has lost its way, suffering from a ratcheting down of its culture, which has resulted in an un-American foreign policy.

By Matthew Ehret, February 10, 2022

It should be clear that the USA is in desperate need for a new security doctrine more befitting those ideals laid out in her founding documents.

These principles were elaborated upon by President Washington himself who warned the young nation of avoiding the dual evils of foreign entanglements externally and party politics domestically.

John Quincy Adams extended these ideas further still by drafting the Monroe Doctrine which he knew could only work if America ventures “not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy”.

That is to say, as long as the USA focused her efforts on fixing her own problems with a focus on internal improvements, then the Monroe Doctrine would be a blessing for both herself and the international community.

Sadly, other impulses within the US establishment of 19th century America had other ideas.

Working with a young protégé named Abraham Lincoln, Adams fought tooth and nail against the Spanish-American War of 1846 which saw a deep abuse of his doctrine.

After the last “Lincoln-republican” William McKinley was assassinated, Teddy Roosevelt’s “big stick” diplomacy launched a new 20th century trend that saw the USA extending its hegemony over weak states rather than keeping out foreign imperial intrigue as Adams had envisioned.

Another essential component of Adams’ security doctrine was shaped by his view that the international community as a whole should never be defined as a sum of parts to be dominated by a single hegemon like the British Empire had done for centuries.

 

Abraham Lincoln - Wikipedia
Abraham Lincoln,(1809 -1865), Sixteenth President of the Unites States, leader of the Whig Party and co-founder the Republican Party, won the Civil War to save the Union (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

Adams understood the importance of seeing the world as “a community of principle” where win-win cooperation based upon the self-improvement of both parts and the whole would constantly bring renewal and creative vitality to diplomacy. It was a top-down systemic approach to policy that saw economics, security and political affairs interwoven into one unified system. This is an integrative way of thinking that has been sorely lost in the hyper theoretical, compartmentalized mode of zero-sum thinking dominant in today’s neo-liberal think tank complex.

It was for this reason, that Adams advocated the use of Hamiltonian national banking and large-scale infrastructure projects like the Erie Canal and railways throughout his years as Secretary of State and President. From this paradigm, if American interests would be extended across the continent or the world more broadly, it would not be through brute force, but rather by the uplifting of standards of living of all parties.

Over the years, we have seen small but powerful attempts to revive Adams’ overarching security doctrine.

We had seen it revived with President Ulysses Grant’s efforts to extend US industrial know-how to countries across the world during the 1870s. We saw it again with McKinley’s promotion of rail lines uniting the Americas in what was to become a new industrial renaissance for Latin America.

We saw it come alive again with FDR’s program for internationalizing the New Deal across China, India, Ibero America, the Middle East, Africa, and Russia.

Eisenhower made some noble moves towards this renewal by ending the Korean War and attempting his Crusade for Peace driven by US-Russian cooperation and advanced scientific investments into India, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Latin America. Eisenhower’s many positive plans were sadly derailed by a growing parasite in the heart of the US deep state which he addressed in his famous “military industrial complex” speech of 1960.

 

Governor To Be

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945), thirty-second President of the United states, only president to serve four terms, created the New Deal, formed strategic alliance with Russia and China. (Courtesy of thoughtco.com)

Kennedy’s efforts to end the Vietnam war, revive FDR’s New Deal spirit in the 1960s, while seeking entente with Russia was another noble effort to bring back Adams’ security doctrine, but his early death soon put an end to this orientation.

From 1963 to 2016, tiny piecemeal efforts to revive a sane security doctrine proved short-lived and were often undone by the more powerful pressures of unipolarist intrigue that sought nothing less than full Anglo-American hegemony in the form of a New World Order whose arrival was celebrated by the likes of Bush Sr and Kissinger in 1992.

Despite his many limitations, President Trump did make an honest endeavor to restore a sane security doctrine by focusing American interests on healing from 50+ years of self-inflicted atrophy under globalized outsourcing, militarism, and post-industrialism. Despite having to contend with an embarrassingly large and independent military-intelligence industrial complex that didn’t get less powerful after Kennedy’s murder, Trump announced the terms of his international outlook in April 2019 saying:

“Between Russia, China, and us, we’re all making hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, including nuclear, which is ridiculous.… I think it’s much better if we all got together and didn’t make these weapons … those three countries I think can come together and stop the spending and spend on things that are more productive toward long-term peace.”

This call for a US-Russia-China cooperative policy ran in tandem with the first phase of the US-China Trade deal which went into effect in January 2020 guaranteeing $350 billion of US finished goods purchased by China. None other than George Soros himself suffered a public meltdown that month when he announced that the two greatest threats to his global Open Society were: 1) Trump’s USA and 2) Xi’s China.

US-VOTE-2020-DEMOCRATS-DEBATE-POLITICS
Joe Biden, 79 years old, forty sixth President of the United States, Will President Biden lead the US into war with Russia? (Courtesy of theverg.com

Of course, a pandemic derailed much of this momentum and the trade deal slowly broke apart. Despite these failures, the idea of returning the USA to an “American first” outlook by cleaning up its own internal messes, extracting CIA operations from the military, defunding regime change organizations like NED [National Endowment of Democracy] abroad and returning to a traditionally American policy of protective tariffs were all extremely important initiatives that Trump put into motion,  and set a precedent which must be capitalized upon by nationalist forces from all parties wishing to save their republic from an oncoming calamity.

One year into Biden’s “rules based international order”, the hope for stability and peaceful cooperation among the nations of the earth has been seriously undermined. Unlike Trump, who rightfully severed US cooperation with NATO, the current neo-con heavy administration has made absorbing Ukraine and other former Soviet States into NATO a high priority going so far as to assert that Russia’s invasion is immanent should NATO forces not protect “poor, peaceful Kiev.” No mention of Nazi-ridden Azov Battalions used by Nuland and the CIA to topple the former government in 2014 is ever mentioned of course.  8500 US troops have been told to be put on high alert and 2000 US troops have been deployed to Poland and Germany. Over 19 NATO war games have been planned for 2022 which will start this month, and even China is concerned that Biden’s “NATO-of-the-Pacific” agenda is seeking to enflame Taiwanese independence and absorb the rebellious island into the US military industrial complex.

When looking at Russian “red lines” from this standpoint and holding in mind the new form of a Eurasian Manifest Destiny emerging with Putin’s Far Eastern Vision, Polar Silk Road and China’s BRI, it is a rich irony that the spirit of John Quincy Adams’ security doctrine is alive in the world. Just not in the USA.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , and Senior Fellow at the American University in Moscow. He is author of the ‘Untold History of Canada’ book series and Clash of the Two Americas. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation 

Read my earlier posts:

U.S. Geopolitics Exposes Itself in CFR report on China’s Belt and Road-Will Africa benefit?

What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy for Ethiopia and Africa?

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

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The U.S. Betrays Its Heritage by Threatening World War III Against Russia and China

Ben Franklin, scientist, philosopher, and statesman, who helped establish the republican principles that were and are the

February 4, 2022

Please read this article by historian Anton Chaitkin, U.S. Betrays Its Heritage by Threatening World War III Against Russia and China, from pressenza.com. Read what Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and civil rights leader, Matlin Luther King said.

Mr. Chaitkin is a longtime colleague of mine who expresses the aspirations of many Americans, like me, who want to see the United States disseminate its profound founding principles, not provoke unnecessary war. We, the United States, at our core, are far superior to our current practice of resorting to war and sanctions as the primary means of conducting foreign policy.

“Americans who cherish our country’s legacy are horrified by our headlong rush to war. America at its best was the very motor of world progress, higher living standards and peace.

“That is our true national identity. We betray “the better angels of our nature” by making military threats against those who are advancing world powers, as we once were. We commit suicide when we dishonor historic agreements that keep the world safe from nuclear annihilation.”

Read the full article: U.S. Betrays Its Heritage by Threatening World War III Against Russia and China

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

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I Came to Addis to Defend Ethiopia and Represent the True Interests of the U.S.A.

 

 

The short video above is a news story on my lecture at Addis Ababa University. The longer video below is an extensive interview with Prime Media.

https://fb.watch/asn_A8R9UU/  

December 21, 2021

I was on the ground in Addis Ababa, from November 28 – December 10, to defend Ethiopia and represent the true interests of the United States. During that time in Addis, I conducted sixteen interviews and gave a two hour lecture at Addis Ababa University. I came to Ethiopia as an American, who, knowledgeable of the origins of my country, knows that the current U.S. policy towards Ethiopia is wrong and dangerous.

Understanding the intent of the psychological warfare campaign conducted by Western nations, international media, and most especially, my own United States Department of State, I knew the most important place for me to be, was in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

As I anticipated, all was calm and normal in this bustling city, with unending construction of new buildings. Through multiple media outlets I was able to expose the lies of the false narrative about Ethiopia and counter the psychological warfare campaign being waged against the Ethiopian people.

It was and remains my responsibility to defeat this campaign against Ethiopia and present what America’s true interest are in Africa.

Lawrence Freeman standing in front of the Addis Ababa skyline

Disinformation Campaign

The U.S. embassy sent out daily disinformation that Addis was in danger of attack from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) located in the town of Dessie, less than two hundred miles north of the city. Even after government forces pushed the TPLF out of Dessie, the U.S. embassy continued to encourage Americans to leave Addis and went as far as offering to buy their tickets to return home. Ned Price, press spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, attempted to create even more fear and hysteria, by officially announcing the U.S. would not be conducting a military airlift for Americans like it did in Afghanistan this past August.

Various news programs accompanied the State Department’s fraudulent comparison of Addis and Kabul with videos of an American plane taking off from the Kabul airport leaving desperate people behind on the runway. This disgusting and outrageous comparison between Addis and Kabul, was deliberately and knowingly untruthful.

Those who believe the U.S. has not taken “sides” do not comprehend political warfare. And do not understand the intent of geo-political forces in the administration of President Biden and other western governments for regime change of the duly elected Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed.

Relaxing at a restaurant off Meskel Square, Addis Ababa

More ominously for Ethiopia than Ned Price, the New York Times, the premiere organ of the U.S. Establishment, articulated the geo-political intent for regime change. In a blatant “hit job,” advocating the necessity of removing the “sinister” Prime Minister Abiy at all costs, The Times published on December 15,  The Nobel Peace Prize That Paved the Way for War. This article maliciously portrays Prime Minister Abiy as a maniacal ruthless leader only bent on destroying the TPLF and caring nothing for Ethiopia. Its intent should obliterate any ambiguity regarding U.S. geo-political policy for Ethiopia.

It is vital for the Ethiopian government, its people, Ethiopian diaspora, and friends and allies, to understand the geo-political determination to weaken the authority of Prime Minister Abiy or remove him from office. However, simultaneously it is necessary to think beyond the current military campaign. The government should prepare now for what is required as soon as this conflict is over. It is imperative for the future of the nation that Ethiopia engage in two crucial missions:

  1. Articulate a comprehensive reconstruction plan that includes the economic development of all regions of the nation in building a prosperous Ethiopia. Farms, schools, hospitals, and all kinds of necessary infrastructure will need to be rebuilt and expanded in Tigray and across northern Ethiopia. Let us use this post war mission to unify the nation around a national economic mobilization to improve the conditions of life for all Ethiopians.
  2. Commence a national dialogue to discuss/debate the supremacy ofthe concept of being a citizen of a sovereign nation as opposed to membership in an ethnic group. Ethiopia’s national identity must be strengthened, and the partisan influence of ethnic dominated regionalism reduced.

Normal traffic in Addis Ababa

America’s Real Interests

America was not created to intervene against sovereign nations like Ethiopia. Today, we are still witnessing the death and destruction across the Sahel caused by President Obama’s military intervention ten years ago when the U.S. overthrew and killed Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

There is no objective reason for discord between the U.S. and Ethiopia. None! The conflict between the two nations exists entirely because President Biden has allowed his policy towards Ethiopia to be determined by the globalist-humanitarian-democracy cabal. They arrogantly believe they have the right to impose their so-called democratic-humanitarian construct on Ethiopia. Dictating how Ethiopia should be governed, and who should govern it.

The United States, created to be a Democratic-Republic, was founded on the economic theories of Alexander Hamilton, endorsed by President George Washington. These principles, known as the American System of Political Economy, have guided our more thoughtful U.S. presidents in conducting foreign and domestic policy.

The U.S. in its better moments, unlike the last few decades, has supported the right of governments to preserve the sovereignty of their nation. President Abraham Lincoln was prepared to continue the war, which costs the lives of 750,000 Americans, to defeat the efforts by the southern Confederacy to break up the Union. For President Lincoln, there was no greater importance than safeguarding the sovereign Union of the U.S., and no limit to his actions for that purpose.

The author giving a lecture at Addis Ababa University

As a result of Hamilton’s dominant influence, the U.S. was committed to economic development from its very inception and desired the same for all other nations. Sadly, the last U.S. president who understood the critical importance of economic development for African nations was President Kennedy–almost sixty years ago. To the detriment of the U.S. and the world, America has lost its mission and its vision to create a better future for humankind. The shining “city on the hill” has become a quite a bit dimmer.

The true underlying interests of the U.S. and the American people is exactly the same as that of Ethiopia and its people. All nations have the same shared-common goals:

  1. Improving the material standard of living for its citizens and ensuring a better future for their children and  grandchildren.
  2. Nurturing the creative potential of the mind of every child to enhance their ability to contribute to the development of humanity.

The foundation of a real American foreign policy should rest on these two pillars of statecraft. From this higher strategic perspective, Ethiopia, and the U.S., have no fundamental insurmountable disagreements that would prevent the two nations from engaging in policies that will mutually benefit its people now and for the future.

Read my earlier post: Biden’s Economic Warfare Only Hurts Ethiopians–Who Benefits?

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

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Will President Biden’s Sanctions vs Ethiopia Cause Suffering for Hundreds of Millions of Africans

Lawrence Freeman, September 30, 2021

President Biden is pursuing a destructive and dangerous course of action for the African continent with his policy of undermining the Ethiopian government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The fact that he may have no comprehension of the consequences of his action is no excuse when you are the President of the United States. President Obama’s administration, which Biden served as Vice President, will be forever marred by the unwarranted and unnecessary overthrow of President Qaddafi a decade ago. Obama’s reckless regime change in Libya has brought hell upon the nations of the Sahel, which will continue to cause unspeakable hardships to Africans for generations. If President Biden is to avoid repeating the failure of the previous Democratic administration and avoid being indicted for unleashing a new nightmare of death and devastation across Africa, he must reverse course, and support the sovereignty of Ethiopia. This will require rejecting the counsel of those in his administration, who are fanatical followers of the wicked geo-political doctrine, especially war-hawk Samantha Power. Biden’s Defective Executive Order On September 17, 2021, President Biden issued an executive order authorizing the Departments of Treasury and State to impose additional sanctions on Ethiopia. In his executive order, President Biden falsely claims that the conflict in northern Ethiopia “constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” Similar fraudulent formulations were used over the last twenty years as a pretext by the U.S., to justify regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Have we not learned anything from a generation of foreign policy fiascos that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of our fellow human beings and the suffering of tens of millions? Not a single stable nation has emerged from this armed belligerent adventurism of the last two decades. Contrary to President Biden’s executive order, the real interests of America do not lie in the current U.S. policy of weakening Prime Minister Abiy’s democratically elected government and giving tacit support to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). If a rebel group attacked, raided, and killed soldiers at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina, would there be any question regarding the appropriate response by the U.S. government. Ignorance by U.S. politicians of the historically complex cloth that holds Ethiopian society and culture together is no excuse for the current mindless and perilous policy of sanctions. In fact, the true interests of the U.S. are entrenched in its republican principles. The U.S. should be supporting nation-states abroad that are committed to improving the conditions of life of their citizens, as enshrined in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (Emphasis added) Ethiopia, an emerging nation, is unique in Africa with its bold visionary policies for economic development to raise the standard of living for its more than 118 million people. The shameful and blatant failure by both the Biden and Trump presidencies to celebrate and endorse the progress of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD)—a dam for development, indicates how far America has drifted from our republican principles. The generation of 6,200 megawatts of electricity to power the Ethiopian and neighboring economies of East Africa is precisely the development strategy that is required and should be emulated by other African nations. The Perils of Weakening the Nation-State Thus far, the sovereign nation-state is the most efficacious form of government created by humankind to apply the laws of the universe to society over successive future generations. With the ongoing horrors of what has been done to the Sahel and North Africa, through the reckless regime change of Libya, in our minds, let us look anew at the impending dangers to Ethiopia and Africa today. And lets us be mindful that same cast of advisors that drove the policy to create the current failed state of Libya are presently holding leading positions in the Biden administration. Only fools, knaves, and madmen would dare intervene into a legitimate nation-state. Horn of Africa Endangered If the U.S. and the West succeed in forcing Ethiopia to negotiate with the TPLF as equivalents, or try to force some type of coalition government, the consequences could be catastrophic for Africa. Ethiopia would then be held hostage to the demands of other rebel ethnic insurgents, and separatist gangs that want to see its demise. This would in effect lead to the dismemberment of the Ethiopian nation-state. Given Ethiopia’s rigid ethnic divisions, internal war would emerge with ethnic regions fighting each other, leading to tens of millions of Ethiopians migrating to seek safer refuge. There is no way this mass movement of people catalyzed by the collapse of the Ethiopian nation-state would not affect the stability of the region. The total population of Ethiopia and its bordering nations combined is 255 million Africans: Ethiopia-118.5 million, Kenya-55 million, Somalia-16 million, Sudan-45 million, South Sudan-11 million, Eritrea-3.6 million, Somaliland-5.7 million, Djibouti-1 million. Two orders of magnitude greater than the population of Tigray, which could be engulfed in war, chaos, and acute hunger, if the government of Prime Minister Abiy were to collapse. This level of volatility from mass migration would lead an increase in the spread of disease and violent extremism. Thus, contrary to his stated aim, President Biden’s sanctions regime would in fact endanger the security of the U.S. by creating the potential for massive instability in the Horn of Africa where almost 20% of the continent’s inhabitants reside. Is this what President Biden wishes to be his legacy in Africa? From the classical Greek dramatists we learn, “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” Let this ancient warning penetrate the foolishness of those formulating U.S. policy today. When evil appears as good, in the mind of our leaders, civilization is threatened. Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton. __________________________________________________

What’s Wrong with U.S. Policy for Ethiopia and Africa?

Lawrence Freeman, July 31, 2021 Knowledgeable American analysts of U.S.-African relations are disturbed by the U.S. government’s treatment of Ethiopia.  In the first six months of the Biden Presidency, we have witnessed a dramatic reversal of U.S. support for a long standing ally in the Horn of Africa.  Ethiopia, the second largest nation in Africa, has been a regional leader, with its bold economic vision to improve the lives of its 110 million people. Ethiopia has achieved two major accomplishments under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during June and July. First, the successful June 21st national elections, and second, the natural partial filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Regrettably, there were no robust congratulations from President Biden for either achievement. Following the freest, fairest, and most peaceful elections in Ethiopia’s history, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken’s only comment was: “the United States commends those who exercised their right to vote on June 21.”  Unusual for elections in Africa, not one individual died in Ethiopia’s voting process. In contrast, several Americans died during the January 6th, violent protest of the U.S. electoral vote. Equally astonishing, President Biden failed to praise the second filling of almost 14 billion cubic meters of water in the reservoir of the GERD, which will lead to production of electricity later this year. Following in the footsteps of former President Trump, the Biden administration and the Democrat controlled Congress, have tried to discourage Ethiopia from filling the GERD. Despite Ethiopia’s important role in Africa, Prime Minister Abiy’s notable reform movement, and the success of his Prosperity Party, President Biden has never talked to the Prime Minister.

 

Patient voters during the June 21, Ethiopian election America’s Agenda for Democracy Secretary of State Blinken along with several other officials from the Obama administration are leading President Biden’s global foreign policy with their mantra: “democracy, human rights, and rule of law.” But what do these words mean other than a desire to impose their world order on other nations. Prime Minister Abiy’s non-ethnic based Prosperity Party won overwhelmingly in a democratic election deemed fair, free of violence and intimidation, and credible. Ethiopia Election: A Vote for Peace, Unity, and Prosperity.  Millions of Ethiopians approved of Prime Minister Abiy’s policies, giving him a mandate to lead for another five years. That is democracy. Shouldn’t “human rights” include the most fundamental right; the right for human beings to live a productive and dignified life?  How is that possible when Africans are suffering from abject poverty, lack of food, clean water, and electricity.  It is not possible. The solution lies in physical economic development that transforms the conditions of life. As the Ethiopians are fond of saying: “eliminate poverty, don’t manage it.” Aid is not sufficient. Building vital infrastructure is an absolute necessity, not an option. More than anything else, African nations need electricity—a thousand gigawatts at least. Africa needs a minimum of 50,000 kilometers of high speed railroads.  With the billions of dollars in aid given to African nations, transformative infrastructure projects could have been built. Isn’t the right to electricity a human right? Then, why hasn’t Ethiopia been profusely praised for building the GERD to produce 6,200 megawatts (6.2 gigawatts) of electricity. Physical economic development is the most fundamental of human rights. Prime Minister Abiy, responded to the attacks on the Ethiopian National Defense Force, (November 4, 2020), by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), as a leader should.  He used the military capability of his nation to defeat the enemy within Ethiopia. Whatever grievances the TPLF might have had, a violent assault on the government’s military, is an insurrection.  Americans have learned that lesson afresh on January 6th.  Preserving the sovereign nation-state  from a rebel insurgency, is the most supreme responsibility of a Head of State. There is no higher “rule of law,” as President Abraham Lincoln properly understood.

 

U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken U.S.-Africa Policy; Does It Exist? There are several components of U.S. policy towards Africa that undermine Ethiopia’s noteworthy effort to become a self-governing economically independent nation. First, the U.S. does not have a long term development policy for Africa. It is willing to spend billions of dollars on short term aid, but nothing for large scale infrastructure that would actually improve living conditions. Despite all the attacks, and rantings against China and its Belt and Road, if China were to pull out of Africa it would negatively impact the continent.  That is because the U.S. would not step in to fill the vacuum. Sadly, the last U.S. President that understood the importance of physical economic development in Africa, and acted on it, was John F. Kennedy. Second, one cannot underestimate the general level of  ignorance about Africa in U.S. society, especially our elected officials. Yes, there are a few members of Congress who have some knowledge about a few African nations.  However, I can report to you with authority, after observing Washington for decades, that the overwhelming majority of Congress, have little knowledge of the actual dynamics, when implementing legislation affecting African nations, Overall, there is no in-depth historical understanding of the African continent or the nations that comprise it. Third, the continent of Africa is close to last on the list of priorities for American Presidents. Often, U.S. policy for African nations is rarely articulated until the second year of a president’s term, except for the standard four page “talking points” paper on Africa. Why African Leaders Are Opposed

 

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam-GERD, upper right, will drive economic development in East Africa with its 6,200 megawatts of electrical power. This final point may be the most difficult for many readers to comprehend. Following the liberation of African nations from the yoke of colonialism  three score years ago, African leaders, who fight to improve conditions of life on the continent, always face opposition from within and without.  There exists a financial-political elite, perhaps identified as an oligarchy, who see Africa for its material resources and financial gain. They attempt to exploit nations through international finance, manipulated terms of trade, and raw material prices controlled by the City of London based commodity cartels. The key concerns of the neo-colonialist financial institutions have always been, if they cannot control the leadership of a country, a  “divide and conquer” tactic is employed to weaken that nation.  War and chaos are the preferred fallback alternatives to losing command of the targeted nation. They have always opposed genuine development programs that would lift a nation out of poverty, and abhor strong governments and leaders that aspire to national sovereignty. Their ideology is dominated by “geo-politics” that sees the world as a zero sum game of winners and losers.  Those with the most political and financial power are the winners. They have little desire to eliminate poverty. Except for the last one to two decades of China’s intervention, the West has dominated the African continent, with no demonstrable proof that their policies have improved the standard of living for the majority of Africans. Any progress in Africa is the result of national leaders, not Western policy. Abiy is seen as a strong leader with enough personal determination to move his nation forward, as evidenced in the rise of the Prosperity Party, which was founded in opposition to ethno-nationalism. The most recent vivid example of the elimination of an African leader was the overthrow and assassination of President Muammar Gaddafi, followed by the destruction of Libya. Remember this was done by the “liberal” Obama administration, led by then Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power. Many of those same operatives from the Obama era are now part of the Biden Administration. Have those individuals admitted their culpability in creating the failed state of Libya, and the destruction of North Africa after Gaddafi’s removal? Those same cast of characters are attempting to undermine Ethiopia today with their fake and hollow cries for “democracy, rule of law and human rights.” There is often a coincidence of action and interests between those insisting on implementing their “liberal” doctrine, and the objectives of the political financial elites.

 

Samantha Power, then U.N. Ambassador under President Obama, and now head of USAID under President Biden. (courtesy of axios.com) Almost nine months after Prime Minister Abiy chose to defend his nation, the TPLF, now been rebranded the Tigray Defense Forces (TDF), continues their violent attacks on the state of Ethiopia. After the June 28, unilateral declaration of a ceasefire by the government of Ethiopia, the TDF has launched offensive military deployments against two neighboring regions; Afar and Amhara. Not surprisingly, there have been no statements of condemnation of TDF by the Biden administration or Congress.  Blinken, and the Congress have never  acknowledged Ethiopia’s declaration that the TPLF/TDF is a terrorist organization. Instead, they continued to insist on reconciliation. Thus, establishing an equivalency between a duly constituted government and a rebel insurrectionist militia that is intent on destroying the nation of Ethiopia. This crucial failure, to withhold support from the government of Prime Minister Abiy, is contributing to Ethiopia’s turmoil today. U.S.-Ethiopia Today Is the U.S. lack of support for Prime Minister Abiy, encouraging the TDF to continue fighting?  Is the U.S. today still demanding reconciliation with the insurrectionists who have announced their intention to march on Addis Ababa, the capital? Will the TDF military campaigns against other regions spark a greater war?  If the conflict spreads in Ethiopia, will the U.S. accept responsibility for their encouragement of the TDF? Who benefits if Ethiopia is torn apart by war? As the case of Libya has demonstrated; not Africans.  If Ethiopia was to be torn apart in inter-ethnic warfare, tens of millions of Africans, not just Ethiopians, would suffer extreme hardship. It is not too late for the Biden administration to correct its policy towards Ethiopia, before more Africans suffer from the spread of ethno-nationalist war. Watch my 20 minute interview below, where I discuss the conflict between Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan, the filling of the GERD, and U.S. policy towards Ethiopia. _________________________________________________

 
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Biden Administration Must Break from Past Practices, to Collaborate with China in Fostering Economic Development in Africa

CGTN published an abridged version of my article under the title: Biden administration should work with China to boost growth in Africahttps://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-12-16/Biden-administration-should-work-with-China-to-boost-growth-in-Africa-WgaMXPhB0A/index.html

Read below my complete article entitled: 

Biden Administration Must Break from Past Practices to Collaborate with China in Fostering Economic Development in Africa

Lawrence Freeman December 16, 2020 For the incoming Biden/Harris administration to make a real difference and have positive impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of African still living in poverty, they should work in partnership with China. This would require rejecting and reversing the anti-China mindset of the Trump and Obama administrations, echoed by the current chorus of voices spewing from officials of both the Democratic and Republican parties. A repeat of the defective policies of the last twelve years coupled by the shrill geo-political motivated propaganda against the nation of China, will not only do little for Africa, but it will also harm the United States, and endanger strategic relations. It should be obvious to qualified leaders, as it is to me, that the horrific conditions of life for a majority of Africans, reflects the scope of the continent’s deficit in vital infrastructure. Over 600 million are without access to electricity, over 400 million Africans live in poverty, and several nations are currently threatened with famine. If the two economic power houses, China, and the United States, worked in partnership with African nations, this impoverishment could be eliminated.

US President Donald Trump (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping speak during a joint statement in Beijing on November 9, 2017. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)

Failures of Trump and Obama Presidents Trump and Obama similarly failed to understand the necessary requirements to create real-physical economic growth to improve the conditions of life, for America or Africans. Neither comprehend the principles of the American System of economics that built the foundation of the industrialized U.S. Their conception of economics remains dominated by a belief that the wealth of a nation is measured by Wall Street’s monetary values. US President Donald Trump (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping speak during a joint statement in Beijing on November 9, 2017. (NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images) Trump began his presidency establishing an amiable relationship with Chinese President, Xi Jinping. Unfortunately, that quickly deteriorated as Trump propitiated the anti-China prejudices of his supporters.  Although President Trump’s road to the White House was achieved by his status as an outsider to the Washington establishment, it was evident by the second year of his administration that he had acquiesced to the same geo-political world view of his predecessors. Geo-political doctrine speciously asserts that nations are either winners or losers in a zero sum game with the world as a chessboard. That the only interest of a superpower is achieving hegemony, rejecting any conception of a shared common interest among nations. His choice of neocons, Mike Pompeo for Secretary of State, and John Bolton as National Security Advisor in April 2018, left no doubt the direction of President Trump’s foreign policy. On December 18, 2018, speaking at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC, Bolton unveiled President Trump’s so called Africa Strategy. In his presentation Bolton defined the goal of U.S. policy in Africa, to wit: stopping China’s advances on the continent. In less than an hour, he attacked China and its Belt and Road seventeen times.  President Trump did not disavow Bolton’s assault on China, nor his demeaning treatment of Africa as a game board for geo-politics. Read President Trump’s Non-African Strategy: Published in AU’s “Invest in Africa” magazine Prior to President Obama’s anti-China Asian Pivot in January 2012, his administration launched the most destructive military operation against an African nation by any U.S. President. In October 2011, President Obama, advised by UN Envoy Samantha Powers, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Susan Rice and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, toppled the government of Libya. This irresponsible military adventure resulted: in the death of Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi; the destruction of the nation of Libya, turning it into a failed state for the last nine years; and unleashing hordes of violent extremists across the Sahel into Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria, causing tens of thousands of deaths and displacing millions of Africans.

Courtesy CSIS China Power Project

China Delivers Infrastructure Contrary to U.S. squealing and whining about China’s influence in Africa, Deborah Brautigam of the DC based China Africa Research Initiative, precisely presents the paradox: “China still addresses Africa’s hunger for structural transformation in a way the West does not.” (1)  China has increasingly been engaged with African nations over the last two decades to build vitally needed infrastructure in rail, energy, ports, airports, roads, etc., and the U.S (West) has not. Courtesy CSIS China Power Project Take rail for example. Examine China’s commitment to building railroad tracks in Africa, as reported by the Washington think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). (2) “Between 2008 and 2019, China built an average of 5,464 kilometers (km) of railway track per year. Roughly half of the new track added was high-speed rail. At 35,388 km, China’s high-speed rail network is the largest in the world.” China has built an additional 100,000 km of non-high speed rail track. According to the CSIS report, “Chinese companies signed $61.6 billion worth of rail construction contracts from 2013 to 2019 – more than double the value of the previous seven-year period (2006-2012) coinciding with the launch of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in 2013.” “Africa received the second-highest amount of [China’s] rail contracts from 2013-2019. At $20.8 billion, this accounted for 33.8 percent of the total… About $7.5 billion worth of rail-related construction contracts (36.1 percent of the amount in Africa) were signed with Nigeria, where China is constructing a series of lines that comprise the 1,300 km-long Lagos-Kano Railway Modernization Project. This massive undertaking has made Nigeria the world’s top recipient of Chinese rail construction contracts during the 2013-2019 period.”

Courtesy of dica.logcluster.org

China’s construction of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway and the Addis Ababa to Djibouti railroad are exemplary of crucial infrastructure projects for Africa. Michelle Gavin in her December 3 post, The United States and Europe Should Work Together to Promote a Prosperous Africa, expresses the dilemma for U.S.-Africa policy: “There is no doubt that U.S. influence—and therefore U.S. capacity to achieve various foreign policy goals—suffers when China’s investments in the tangible, visible infrastructure of African prosperity appear (sic) to dwarf U.S. development efforts.” (emphasis added) Speaking in China on December 8, Rahamtalla Osman, the Permanent Representative for the African Union in China, said, “The goals of the BRI coincide with the AfCFTA,” referring to the African Continental Free Trade Area. The “Same Old” Will Not Do As the inauguration of the new U.S. president nears, many words are written extolling how a Biden administration will bring a return to “normalcy, global alliances, international diplomacy.” We should think for a minute. Do we want to return to war, regime change, sanctions, and drone assassinations as the core of U.S. foreign policy? Early indications are that under a President Biden, the U.S. will pursue with our allies, a more belligerent policy with China. How will this realignment shift the world to a higher platform of development? How will it stimulate economic growth in Africa?

Presidents John F Kennedy and President Kwame, Washington DC, Head of State visit- March 1961.

The Biden-Harris agenda for Africa is vague with no specifics to address Africa’s urgent needs. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who is President Elect Biden’s nominee to be envoy to the United Nations, has a deep background in Africa and is respected by many African leaders. Having played a prominent role in the Biden transition team, she may be an individual who can put a focus on Africa in the new administration. However, it is unclear what those policies will be. The last U.S. president to fully engage in Africa’s development was John F Kennedy, who established a personal relationship with Ghanaian President, Kwame Nkrumah, and gave crucial backing for the construction of the Akosombo Volta Dam complex. For the incoming administration to genuinely support Africa, the new president should audaciously break from past boundaries of previous thinking and join with China in launching a great mission for mankind: the elimination of poverty in Africa within the next generation through massive infrastructure expansion. That is my mission. (1) African countries will remain best friends with China, https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2020/11/17/african-countries-will-remain-best-friends-with-china (2) How Are Foreign Rail Construction Projects Advancing China’s Interests? https://chinapower.csis.org/rail-construction/  Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

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https://mg.co.za/africa/2020-08-21-a-new-cold-war-is-coming-africa-should-not-pick-sides/ August 28, 2020 The author, W Gyude Moore, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, and a former minister of public works in Liberia, makes some insightful observations about the difference between the US and China in their economic strategy for Africa.  China’s investment in infrastructure in Africa is unsurpassed and would not be replaced by the West, if China withdrew from Africa.  Excerpts below: “It is, thus, frustrating that in its complicated, enmeshed, centuries-long history in Africa, there has never been a Western proposal for continental-scale infrastructure building. Outside Cecil John Rhodes’s racist “civilising” project of connecting Cape to Cairo from the 1870s, there has never been any programme, backed by financial resources, to build Africa’s rail, roads, ports, water-filtration plants, or power stations. It was the Chinese who sought to build a road, rail and maritime infrastructure network to link Africa’s economies with the rest of the world. “The Western argument of Chinese debt-trap diplomacy, inferior loan terms and an insidious, covert campaign to seize African national infrastructure assets rings hollow in the absence of a like-for-like Western alternative. Until the arrival of the Chinese, the infrastructure construction space in Africa was dominated by Europeans… “In the past eight months, Western countries have spent more than $5- trillion to prop up their economies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. JP Morgan projects that over 14 years (2013 to 2027), China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will cost about $1.2-trillion to $1.3-trillion. That kind of gap (both in dollars and time) makes it clear that, if it wanted to, the West could equal or surpass China’s BRI with its own infrastructure programme. If Africa steps away from China’s infrastructure programme, which Western country is ready and willing to fill the gap?” _________________________________________________________

China, the World Bank, and African Debt: A War of Words

Deborah Brautigam, Director of the SAIS China Africa Research Initiative, discusses in her article below, the duplicity of  the World Bank, in their attacks on the China Development Bank. If the US and Western Institutions would cease attacking China, stopped peddling lies about the “Africa debt–trap” and joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Africa’s huge infrastructure deficit could be addressed to the benefit of all Africans. Read: https://thediplomat.com/2020/08/china-the-world-bank-and-african-debt-a-war-of-words/ Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in the economic development policy of Africa for 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

Nov. 29, 2018—Forget the stock market, inflation, and the jobs figures. According to the most vital measures of the U.S. economy, the fundamentals are very unsound.
U.S. life-expectancy at birth decreased again in 2017, according to statistics released today by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This makes the third year in a row that, contrary to the rest of the world, U.S. life-expectancy has stagnated or gone down. Such a multi-year reduction—from a peak of 78.9 years in 2014 to 78.6 years in 2017—has not occurred for 100 years, at the time of World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic.
The fact that adults between 25 and 44 years of age were the grouping that showed a statistically significant decrease in life-expectancy bodes poorly for future population growth as well. A society whose young adults of child-bearing age are dying at increasing rates, is a society headed for death.
A complementary report from the CDC also issued today points to one of the causes of the life-expectancy decline: deaths from opioid overdoses increased 9.6% between 2016 and 2017.  The absolute number—70,237—is slightly less than had been anticipated in the summer, but should still be cause for alarm. The other cause of deaths that  the CDC cites is the increase in suicides. I’ve written about it before, but I have to say it again: population growth, in quality and quantity, is a hallmark of the American System of economics, and all competent economic science. The human mind is the source of invention and wealth, as human history shows, and as humanity cultivates its power over nature (including itself), it creates new potentials for progress. Through human inventive power, we have been able to advance from a culture where people had to spend all their waking hours simply guaranteeing their survival, to one where people (potentially) can eliminate poverty, harness nature, and have the leisure to develop their minds, create new inventions, and explore new worlds. Conversely, when the human mind is degraded—as through slavery, narcotic drugs, pornography, and other degeneracy—the economy is eventually doomed. This is the process which we in the United States have been going through for nigh onto 50 years, and it’s killing us. The last statistic I will mention is suicide.  Suicide is now the 10th major cause of death in the United States, and has increased from 10.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 14 per 100,000 in 2017. It is at the highest rate in 50 years. Here again, the United States is out of sync with the rest of the world, where the suicide rate, on average, is going down. “Since this (drop in life expectancy) is being driven by increases in deaths due to drug overdoses and suicides and this affects the younger population, you’re talking about a lot of potential life that’s not being lived as a result of those increases,” commented Robert Anderson, chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch at the National Center for Health Statistics. This situation is not going to be reversed by special programs to stop addiction and suicides. It’s going to take a sweeping change in the approach we citizens take toward our obligation to society and the future. Fortunately, there are models within our own American history for success. When will we start to heed them
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‘Investigate or Legislate’: What Will the Democrats in Control of the House of Representatives Do?

With control of the House of Representatives, the Democrats have the opportunity to provide leadership for the United States. They will have to decide. Do they want to make their primary focus attacking President Donald Tramp, by continuing their impotent investigation of his alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 election? Or will they actually provide a vision for the future of the USA, by enacting bold new legislation.  Any attempt to impeach President Trump would be a farce that would virtually ensure the Democrats would be defeated in the 2020 presidential election. President Trump has demonstrated that he lacks a comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles that created the USA. He has also displayed an unAmerican phobia to non-white foreigners from a multitude of countries arriving in the USA.  However, President Trump has distinguished himself in forming a close relationship with the President of China, Xi Xinping. He has also attempted to establish a working relationship with the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. To the detriment of the USA (and the world) many Democrats, along with some members of his own administration, have adamantly opposed these positive initiatives by President Trump. President Trump has many shortcomings, but to his credit, he is not an ideologue, and he is not a devout follower of the geo-political doctrine on foreign policy. If President Trump took the audacious step to partner with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the world could be transformed. Important polices must be implemented now to provide for the welfare of our citizens, which will require bipartisan action in the Congress. For example. Both the Republican and Democratic parties have made verbal commitments to support a Glass Steagall banking reorganization, yet no action has been taken by the Congress or this administration. Another opportunity for bipartisanship would be the passage of legislation for a transformative infrastructure plan to rebuild the USA. Below is a useful article discussing how President Trump working with the Congress could fund large-scale infrastructure projects. 

A New Opportunity for a National Infrastructure Agenda?

 
Nov. 7, 2018—One thing is definitive about the results of the U.S. mid-term elections: Neither political party put a solution to the country’s economic and financial disaster on the national agenda.  That doesn’t mean that many of the new Democratic members of Congress don’t have a strong commitment to address the economic crisis, however. They can potentially galvanize the veteran Congressmen into action. The question is, will competent, workable proposals be put on the table in the 116th Congress?
Statements from President Trump and the putative incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the immediate aftermath of the election were notable for addressing the possibility of bipartisan progress on infrastructure. Both statements were quite vague, however—and, as some will recall, Trump has offered cooperation on infrastructure before. One need only look at his current blackballing of the New York City Gateway project to see how hollow that promise was.

Rep. DeFazio in his campaign photo.

More substantive have been remarks from the incoming chairmen of two House committees. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is expected to take over the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. According to a Nov. 7 Reutersarticle, DeFazio is prepared to put forward his previous proposal for a $500 billion plan, which would involve issuing 30-year bonds, using funds from  raising gas taxes. He believes Trump would accept an increase in the gas tax. “There has to be real money, real investment,” DeFazio said today. “We’re not going to do pretend stuff like asset recycling. We’re not going to do massive privatization.” Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who is slated to take over the House Budget Committee, addressed the infrastructure question a few days before the election, according to an Oct. 30 Politico Pro article. He said he would be making a proposal which “involves some very long-term bonding authority that would help finance an infrastructure bank.” The Issue of Funding The inevitable sticking point in Congressional discussions of an adequate infrastructure bill—which should ultimately amount to spending trillions of dollars to meet the infrastructure deficit—will be funding. President Trump has already indicated his preference for off-loading the cost to local and state governments, and proposes to even cut the Federal contribution from today’s 80% to 20%. That’s a formula for non-action. The Democratic plans have not been specific. The danger lies in a potential “compromise” that pushes Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as the solution to the funding dilemma. PPPs are presented as a means of reducing, or eliminating, public costs, by contracting with private companies to either build, manage, or both the needed element of infrastructure. The claim is that the private company can do the job cheaper and more efficiently, and the public will benefit.

Moving ahead on Gateway would be a good place to start.

Not so fast. First, some of the cheapness comes at the cost of labor—by violation of Davis-Bacon standards–and quality. Secondly, private contractors only enter PPP agreements on the guarantee that they will receive a revenue stream to cover their costs, and provide a profit. This can amount to tolls on a road, water bills for a water company, and the like. And if the stream doesn’t provide what the company considers adequate profit, what will it do?  Cut maintenance? Cut off people’s water supply? Both results have occurred! And they are unacceptable. So, forget PPPs. The solution lies in taking the lead from Franklin Roosevelt and Alexander Hamilton. The Federal government has a unique capability (and responsibility) to create credit to modernize and rebuild our infrastructure. That credit can in fact be issued by turning current (virtually non-performing) government debt into bonds supporting an infrastructure bank, against which it would then issue new loans to help finance the long overdue infrastructure projects.  These would not only be short-term, but also long-term projects, such as the Gateway Project, California High Speed Rail, and the desperately needed water projects in the nation’s interior, for starters.  If the right projects are selected, the infrastructure constructed will pay back more to the economy in increased productivity than is expended–as well as creating millions of new, high-paying jobs. For a modern proposal for such an infrastructure bank, click here
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RT HomeWorld News

‘West wants only quick buck from Africa, while China invests for win-win cooperation’

Below are excerpts from an interview that I did with RT on the significance of the trip by China President, Xi Jinping to Africa this week. I also commented on the dramatically different policy approach that China has towards Africa, than that of the United States. The past several US administrations have failed to construct a strategic policy to assist African nations in developing their economies.
 
'West wants only quick buck from Africa, while China invests for win-win cooperation'
Chinese President Xi Jinping is on a trip to Africa in a bid to establish deeper trade ties. On Monday, he arrived in South Africa for a state visit, which will be followed later this week by his participation in the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg. Earlier, the Chinese leader visited Rwanda and Senegal, which is the first West-African country to be involved in China’s “Belt and Road” infrastructure project. Beijing has been expanding its presence in Africa in recent years, investing $39 billion in the continent in 2017. Political analysts told RT that countries in Africa are turning to China because of US government policies. RT: What do you think Xi Jinping will be hoping to get from his tour of Africa?
City view of Bahrain's capital Manama © Hamad I Mohammed
Lawrence Freeman: I think this is an indication by President Xi of how important they view their collaboration with Africa. He is going to be visiting four countries and they are going to end up at the BRICS Summit in South Africa. This is a continuation for the last several years of the ‘Belt and Road’ policy in Africa. And it has been a real boost for African development policies, especially in the areas of infrastructure, energy, roads and rail. And this indicates that they are going to continue along that policy for sure. RT: Do you think China’s interests in Africa are purely economic or are they also about greater geopolitical influence? LF: China, especially under this president, has a view of a win-win cooperation, that countries can work together for the common benefit of a mankind, that they will benefit from economic cooperation. The African countries certainly will. There has been no infrastructure built in Africa since the colonial period. The West refused, the US state has refused, Europe has refused. So, China building its infrastructure which you see in Kenya, in Nigeria, Ethiopia and other places, this is a real positive step for the development of Africa. And I think the Chinese want to help Africa. They will make money, of course. The Africans will improve their economies. And the people’s standard of living will improve and hopefully we’ll eliminate the poverty in Africa. RT: Many Western countries are wary of investing in Africa due to instability and security problems. But China doesn’t seem to have been put off by these concerns. Why is that the case? LF: China under this president has a vision for the future. They develop themselves and they develop their neighbors and they develop other countries around the world. So, the whole concept of the ‘Belt and Road’ is counter to geopolitical thinking, it is countries working together, they call it win-win. And the problem is that the West has no vision for development of Africa, has refused to develop Africa, so therefore they attack Africa, they complain about Africa’s loan, they complain about the debt. The debt under Western countries, the IMF and the World Bank far exceeds anything that the Chinese have in terms of debt with African countries. So, the West has to get over their problems, get over the geopolitical thinking, stop demonizing China and actually if the president was intelligent in this question, he would join the ‘Belt and Road’ because if China and the US joined together, we could transform the continent and eliminate the poverty and hunger. And that is what I am trying to do.
The US influence on Africa was already dwindling well before Trump came into the play. And it will continue to dwindle because of some of his comments, his attitude towards Africans, and his position on Africa in general. He is only interested in military bases. And Africans, I am afraid, are very much interested in partnership and those who take them seriously. And like a liberalized continent, it is voting with its feet and it is changing the US in every sector, that I know of, in favor of the Chinese. And China already had a huge presence and influence and that influence has just grown to levels for which even if the Americans were to try now unlikely to ever catch the Chinese in my lifetime. – Ayo Johnson, journalist & founder of Viewpoint Africa
The US has a very small outlook towards Africa and the rest of the world. They do not want to invest in the infrastructure, which is a long-term investment but it improves the entire economy. And they haven’t. The basic attitude of the US… is to make money, to make double-digit profits overnight. They are not interested in the long-term development of a country. That is why the US and the West built no railroads, they were built with China’s help, China has built the new hydro-energy plants, China has built new ports. And there are many more things that they are working on across Africa. So, the problem is that the West is not really thinking how to develop this continent, they are thinking in terms of how to make some fast bucks…
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China and US Should Jointly Partner With Africa to Transform the Continent

 
By Mark Kapchanga
June 26, 2018
 
 

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT On June 18 in Michigan, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a meeting under the umbrella of the Detroit Economic Club. In a question that seemed to have made him a tad uncomfortable, the secretary of state was informed that Africa appeared to be evolving and transforming rapidly, and further, China was asserting itself in the continent. He rightly confirmed that Africa is facing two issues. One is extremist groups threatening to tear apart the continent’s fabric of unity. But the second issue is the opportunities that lie in Africa. It is here that Pompeo seems to have stained his otherwise well researched address to the people of Michigan. With obvious jealousy that is always expected from Western countries against China’s foray into Africa, Pompeo downgraded Africa’s growth potential that is underpinned by significant Chinese investments and trade by saying that Africa will see actual growth with a Westernized model of development. He meant that the foundation for growth in Africa is the rule of law and property rights. In his usual way of disparaging China, Pompeo further claimed that Chinese trade and investments are about exercising political influence in Africa. African countries and their leaders have grown sick and tired of such stereotyped thoughts coming from Western nations. History has proved that America and European countries are behind Africa’s underdevelopment. They not only colonized Africa but also stripped it of resources and displaced people from their lands. This is described by Walter Rodney in his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa where he argues that the short period of colonialism and its negative consequences for Africa spring mainly from the fact that the continent lost power. Rodney notes that power is the ultimate determinant in human society, and implies that one should have the ability to defend one’s interests and if necessary impose one’s will by any means available. There is no doubt that when the question of power emanates, it determines one’s bargaining power, the degree to which a people survive as a physical and cultural entity. But as Rodney vividly says, “when one society finds itself forced to relinquish power entirely to another society, that in itself is a form of underdevelopment.” Instead of Western powers always complaining about China’s presence in Africa, they should transform and improve their strategies for the continent. The old template they applied to Africa is already stale. Africa cannot be developed through conditionalities that only massage the whims of America and Europe. Through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Europe and America bullied African countries for more than three decades. Those nations seeking access to the General Account of the Fund had to commit themselves to explicit conditions regarding the conduct of their international policies. Ultimately, African countries in need of financial support to boost their infrastructure, education and health failed to do so as the conditions were too tough. Globally, economists termed the conditions inefficient and mistargeted. With the urge for greater development, China filled in the void. Its support to Africa has been less bureaucratic and almost without conditions. As Pompeo and his fellow Western leaders continue complaining about China and its relations with Africa, youths in the continent are grinning having secured jobs in various projects being pursued by China. In Kenya, for instance, thousands of youths continue to earn an income from the construction of the standard gauge railway whose construction is now being extended from Nairobi to Naivasha. The enormous investments China is pursuing in Addis Ababa have totally transformed the face of Ethiopia, a country once ranked among the poorest in the world. Today, Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that can manufacture its own leather shoes, thanks to support from China. This is the kind of friendship Africa has been yearning for. Africa’s development can only be shaped by Africans. Europe and the US can therefore involve African leaders in designing the kind of investments and relations that fit them. If they continue condemning China on its relations with Africa, the continent’s ties with Beijing will only get stronger and thrive all the more. The author is an economist specializing in China-Africa relations. Twitter: @kapchanga opinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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Major western political and financial institutions are in serious trouble. The Group of Seven and Wall Street are part of the old geo-political order that should be replaced by institutions that represent the “common interest” of all nations and all people. China’s Belt and Road Initiative is providing a new framework for strategic relations among nations

The steady demise of the Group of Seven

OPINIONS
By William Jones
2018-06-07
 

Editor’s note: William Jones is the Washington Bureau Chief for the Executive Intelligence Review, and Non-resident Senior Fellow of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China. The article reflects the author’s opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The failure of the G7 to resolve the 2008 financial blowout has given the lie to the “acumen” of these seven countries in keeping the economy on an even keel. With the trillions of dollars that were spent to bail out those “too big to fail” investment bank, the “bubble” has simply gotten bigger – and more dangerous.

And for most of the world, the G7 has simply been considered something of an “old boys’ club”, kept intact for the sole purpose of maintaining their positions – and that of the “moneyed interests” in power.

The lame attempt at integrating Russia into the G7 “club”, at least into their political discussions, lasted only a short amount of time before it was rescinded.

But the G7 no longer has the same weight it once had. The growing weight of the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly, China, has significantly reduced the clout of the G7 nations in world markets, and in world affairs. And the sorry state of the European economy, with the Brexit and the crisis in Italy, has critically undermined the “European factor” in the G7.

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WaPo Warns of “Mother of All Credit Bubbles:” Who’s Listening?

 
June 12, 2018—An extraordinary article by regular financial columnist Steven Pearlstein in the June 10 Washington Post warned that a surge in corporate debt has created “the mother of all credit bubbles,” and put the U.S. (and world) financial systems on the road to a new crash worse than that of 2007-8. The full-page spread featured charts showing that corporate debt, much of which is being used for stock buybacks, is increasingly risky, and that it is at record highs. Pearlstein adds that one in five companies have debt obligations exceeding their cash flow—i.e., they are zombies just waiting to die.
WaPo Warns of "Mother of All Credit Bubbles:" Who's Listening?

Washington Post on June 10, 2018

Much of what Pearlstein reports is not new to readers of more reliable financial reporters, such as Nomi Prins, Pam and Russ Martens, and others. This blog has reported on previous warnings by the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Financial Research, which Pearlstein mentions, and by former FDIC officials Thomas Hoenig and Sheila Bair. Pearlstein also does not stress, for example, the link between the new shaky mountain of debt, and the major banks, which are intimately connected to the so-called “non-bank lenders” involved in the current bubbles. But Pearlstein’s summary of the current problem is sharp, and ironically, points implicitly at the solution. He writes: “Today’s economic boom is driven not by any great burst of innovation or growth in productivity. Rather, it is driven by another round of financial engineering that converts equity into debt… Rather than using record profits, and record amounts of borrowed money, to invest in new plants and equipment, develop new products, improve service, lower prices or raise the wages and skills of their employees, they are `returning’ that money to shareholders. Corporate America, in effect, has transformed itself into one giant leveraged buyout.” How to reverse this process? We need the policies that do the opposite: that promote growth in productivity (credit for a revolutionized infrastructure and scientific frontiers), and convert debt into equity—specifically in the way that Alexander Hamilton transformed the debt of the fledgling United States into capital for the First National Bank. After taking away the rewards and incentives for speculative borrowing (by re-imposing Glass-Steagall), we need a new National Bank for Infrastructure into which certain categories of solid debt (such as Treasury and municipal bonds) can be traded in for capital stock, which will serve as the foundation for an investment boom in the real economy. Is anyone in Congress or the Administration listening? When the mainstream media puts out a signal like this, continued inaction on the measures before them is foolish, if not insane
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Who is Out to Control Africa’s Mining Sector? It is NOT China! Read the Data

April 22, 2018 You might be surprised to learn that contrary to what is generally believed, China is not the largest foreign investor in Africa. China only ranks third, after the United States, and after the United Kingdom. In the ten years between 2005 and 2014, the total accumulated Chinese direct investment (FDI) in Africa was below $40 billion, while that of the U.S. above $60 billion, and that of the U.K. over $50 billion. However, China is both the number one trade partner of Africa and leads in the rate of growth of direct investments in the recent years; this means it will soon surpass the United States and the UK. On the other hand, U.S. investments in Africa have been collapsing at a rapid rate starting in 2009. The statistics reveal that it is not China, but rather the United States and the UK which are primarily interested in the raw materials and financial wealth of Africa. While China’s investments are spread over several economic sectors in Africa, with infrastructure and construction being the primary one. U.S. and British investments are  concentrated in raw materials and finance. The Chinese Exim Bank is increasingly becoming the leading source of foreign loans for Africa in projects related to  infrastructure. China Exim lent more than $50 billion over the period from 2005 to 2014; during the same time, the U.S. Exim Bank had invested less than one-tenth of that amount in Africa, and 70% of those investments were directed to the mining sector.  Below is the link to the full report with tables, charts and statistics from the China Africa Research Institute -CARI, at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies-SAIS. ReadUS and China in Africa; What Does the Data Say
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President Trump: Don’t Lose Sudan

Lawrence Freeman February 11, 2018 On October 12, 2017, the Trump administration announced the partial lifting of sanctions against the nation of Sudan to allow the government and people of Sudan to participate in the international banking system to promote trade and economic growth. Over the last twenty years since these financial, trade, and banking sanctions were imposed, Sudan has economically suffered. President’s Trump’s executive order easing restrictions on Sudan created a new mood of optimism, with the State Department indicating that this would be the beginning of new relations with Sudan. The State Department publicly mooted that this could be the first step to removing Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism in the future. However, after almost four months, the U.S. government has not facilitated the transfer of money for Sudan, which is contributing to the nation’s economic strife today. Sudan Opens a Second Front The failure by the U.S. to implement fully the easing sanction is the result of a conflict between President Trump’s agenda and dissident factions in the State Department, supported by many in the Congress, who are incapable of relinquishing their fanatical desire to have Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir removed from office.  These contradictions became obvious when Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan visited Khartoum on November 16, 2017, and conspicuously avoided meeting with President Bashir, using the excuse that the president of Sudan has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Even though the U.S. is not a member of the ICC, it is well known that previous administrations supported efforts to have President Bashir removed from office. The zealots of this international alliance for regime change, who have been behind this nefarious campaign for decades, reject even tentative overtures by President Trump to chart a new course for U.S.-Sudan relations. There are unconfirmed reports that the U.S. State Department, not the executive branch, is demanding the removal of President Bashir as a precondition for further progress in U.S.-Sudan relations including removing Sudan from the list of states sponsoring terrorism. One week following the diplomatic snub by Sullivan, the most senior State Department official to visit Khartoum, President Bashir shocked everyone in Washington, and many in Khartoum, when he visited Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on November 23.  This surprise move was not expected by Washington. Reflecting the sentiments of most Sudanese, especially in the ruling National Congress Party, that the U.S. once again was not acting in good faith, President Bashir made his very first visit to Russia. Fearing that the goalposts have been moved again, as they have been repeatedly, and that the regime-change faction is still desirous of his removal, President Bashir asked Russia for protection from aggressive acts by the U.S. Sudan’s Rapprochement With Russia The two presidents discussed increased economic and military cooperation, including the possibility of Russia securing a military base on the Red Sea that forms the eastern border of Sudan. According to knowledgeable sources, President Bashir will continue to look forward to improved cooperation with the U.S. and the West, but simultaneously pursue a closer alliance with Russia.  President Bashir believes Russia’s veto on the United Nations Security Council, along with its military capability as demonstrated in Syria, will provide a bulwark against any future reckless policy against Sudan by the West. U.S. Needs Sudan For Sudan, there is no turning back from their “dual-front” policy with the world’s two superpowers, but it didn’t have to come to this. The failure to fully implement the easing of trade/financial sanctions after years of refusal by the U.S. to talk face-to-face with President Bashir, accompanied by the severe economic hardships suffered by the Sudanese people from U.S.-led sanctions, contributed to President Bashir’s first overture to Russia. Sudan is strategically situated in East Africa in the Nile River system that connects sub-Saharan Africa to North Arica. Moreover, Sudan has for years been a valuable ally in the war against ISIS, providing useful intelligence to U.S. security forces. Also, it must be unequivocally stated, that there will be no solution to the crisis in South Sudan that the U.S. and Britain have contributed to, without the direct participation of the President of Sudan. Susan Rice, in charge of African policy in the second term of Bill Clinton’s Presidency is personally culpable for the horrific conditions in South Sudan today.  She and other so-called liberals hated Sudan’s leadership, and were fierce advocates for the creation of South Sudan. Their intention was to use South Sudan as part of their arsenal for regime change, without the slightest concern for the welfare of the people of South Sudan. Sudan is a nation rich in mineral resources, and has large tracts of arable land, not yet under cultivation.  It has been known for decades, long before the creation of South Sudan in 2011, that Sudan had the potential to feed a billion people, about the size of sub-Saharan Africa’s population today. It should be recognized (if not admitted) that successive U.S. administrations have strategically failed in their policy towards Sudan, lacking a vision of how to participate with African nations to develop their huge wealth in land and in its people. Africa needs huge investments in infrastructure to realize its potential in agriculture, industry, and manufacturing. Instead of the West fixating on extractive industries, i.e., gas, oil, and minerals, which have a minimal role in job creation, their focus should have been on railroads and energy. When the South-North and East-West railroads are finally built, their nexus will be in central Sudan. Trains carrying freight and people will be able to travel from Port Sudan on the Red Sea into West and Southern Africa, thus ensuring that Sudan will become a mega manufacturing-agricultural-transportation hub for the continent. The Way Forward There is a relatively easy path for President Trump to follow, to engage Sudan fruitfully. Port Sudan is already included on China’s Maritime Silk Road. China’s involvement in building infrastructure throughout the African continent is unparalleled. Were President Trump to join with China’s New Silk Road for Africa in vital infrastructure to Sudan, the U.S. would form new partnerships with Sudan and other African nations. President Bashir demonstrated his ability to negotiate and compromise when he signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 with President George W. Bush to allow an independence referendum in South Sudan. This resulted in the peaceful separation of Sudan seven years ago, with Khartoum voluntarily giving up 75% of its oil production.  With this historical perspective in mind, President Trump can put U.S.-Sudan relations on a positive course by arranging for direct, if informal, talks with President Bashir, and carrying through on the easing of sanctions pertaining to trade, finance, and banking.  These actions will be well received in Khartoum and reciprocated. Lawrence Freeman has been visiting and writing about Sudan for over 20 years, discussing economic development and US-Sudan relations with members of parliament, the NCP, and leaders of opposition parties.
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President Trump’s Fundamentally Flawed Africa Policy

By Lawrence Freeman, January 4, 2018 After nearly a year in office, the outline of President Donald Trump’s policy for Africa has emerged as fundamentally and seriously flawed. In a similar manner to his predecessors, Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, Trump’s African strategy suffers from a conceptual deficiency in its failure to recognize that the most fundamental human right is the right to life. Every human being is morally entitled to live a healthy, productive, meaningful life with the hope that the future will be an improvement over the present.  If one examines the outlines of policy by President Trump and the State Department, such a guiding and indispensable principle is conspicuously absent. For Africa, where the largest number of people endure the greatest hardships of life of any continent, the absence of a full-throttled U.S. commitment to eliminate poverty and hunger as an essential feature of a strategic policy, is damning, and must be remedied. To ensure a prosperous future for what will be the most populated continent on the planet in 2050, by which time the population is expected to double, from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion people, President Trump should emulate China’s infrastructure-led development program. The Trump administration is expected to reduce State Department and USAID-funded programs, among others, beneficial to Africa. Not to overlook the potential harmful effects of these cuts, there is a more fundamental shortcoming to Trump’s policy. Like his recent predecessors, he is ignorant of, or ideologically blind, to understanding what is required to accelerate economic growth across the African continent. Africa needs, infrastructure, infrastructure, and more infrastructure, particularly in the vital categories of energy, rail, roads, and water management. Trump has been especially eager to support increased military deployments and kinetic warfare against violent extremists in Somalia, the Sahel, and northeast Nigeria. However, any competent and honest military leader knows an effective counter-terrorism effort must include economic development. If the Sahel, were not a barren, underdeveloped desert, the various terrorist militia would not be able so easily to occupy this region for their base of operations. Security and Free Trade: Inadequate for Africa The African continent has the greatest deficit in all categories of infrastructure on the planet. Thus, not surprisingly, Africa has the largest number of people living in poverty; living without the basic necessities of life.  According to a 2016 World Bank report on poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest percentage of people, 41%, living in extreme poverty. That translates into the largest number of poor at 389 million, just over 50% of 767 million worldwide living below the poverty line of $1.90 per person per day. Yet despite all the hype about Africa’s “rising lions,” referring to African nations with high growth rates of GDP, the number of people living in poverty is Sub-Saharan Africa is increasing. Look at one critical area: access to energy which is the lifeblood of an economy. Abundant grid energy, accessible to all sectors of society, can transform an entire nation and lift its population out of poverty. Conversely, the lack of energy kills. According to “Energy Access Outlook 2017,” of the 674 million people, globally, expected to be without access electricity in 2030, over 600 million, or 90%, will live in Sub-Saharan Africa. For the developing sector nations in Asia and Latin America, the percentage of the population expected to have access to electricity by 2030 is 99% and 95% respectively, while for Sub-Saharan Africa, it expected to be 50% or less.  In Sub-Saharan Africa, the number of those without electricity is increasing, unlike like all other populations in the world. Africa requires a minimum of 1,600 gigawatts of electrical power to have same the standard of living as advanced nations. In a related classification, cooking energy, the picture is also abysmal. Almost 80% of the people living in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have gas or electric stoves; instead they cook with solid biomass, i.e., solid waste, animal dung, wood, saw dust, wood chips, etc. This is not only destructive to the environment, but to human labor as well. I have witnessed, on numerous occasions in my travels throughout Nigeria, young girls collecting firewood and then carrying it on their heads for sale in the market. In Mali, young men are destroying trees to be used in the primitive method of charcoaling, aiding the expansion of the desert. President Trump’s Africa policy of security/counter-terrorism first, followed by trade and investment, fails to address Africa’s underlying depressed conditions of life which allow violent groups to easily recruit. People who can’t feed their families or provide the minimal necessities of life, and see no hope in the future, are led to violence out of manipulation and despair. Trade and investment, as proposed by the Trump administration, are not the solution. Africa suffered greatly from 500 years of slavery and colonialism, 1450-1960. Following the initial success of the independence movements, the financial predators moved in to loot the continent’s vast wealth in natural resources. Extractive industries provide revenue, but they do not add/create wealth or generate a significant number of jobs. Africa doesn’t need more investors intent on making profits under the guise of applying the distorted “laws” of free trade and the marketplace. African nations require real economic growth that creates added value, increases the total wealth of society, and provides productive jobs to the restless masses of unemployed youth. In 2014, Africa’s share of value added in global manufacturing is reported to be a pitiful 1.6%.  This sorrowful state of economy can and must be reversed. The manufacturing process is vital for every healthy economy. It adds wealth by transforming natural resources into finished and semi-finished products to be either consumed domestically or exported. This requires technologically advanced capital equipment, and skilled labor, all embedded within an integrated platform of infrastructure. State-directed credit and long-term, low-interest loans invested into critical areas of the economy, such as infrastructure, are indispensable for the growth of a manufacturing sector. Witness previous successful periods of economic growth in the U.S. (and in China today); these were accomplished through public credit, not hedge fund speculators and Wall Street day traders. The most valuable natural resource of Africa, is not its mineral wealth, which is the target of the financial and mining/commodity predators. Rather, its greatest natural resource is its immense quantities of arable, yet to be cultivated land, along with the abundant water sources in its numerous lakes and river systems.  Africa is capable of feeding its people and eliminating hunger. It can also potentially help feed Asia, if properly developed with a manufacturing sector, and food-processing industries, coupled with a massive expansion of infrastructure. What Does China Know About Africa That the U.S. Doesn’t Over the last thirty-five years, China has lifted over one-half billion of its citizens out of poverty. This has been accomplished by massive state-directed investment into essential categories of infrastructure, along with its deep commitment to advance its economy through attaining new levels of science and technology. Both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have publicly stated their desire to help African nations eliminate poverty. This universal mission by the leadership of China, expressed concretely in the “Spirit of the New Silk Road,” has led to a revolution in joint infrastructure projects in Africa. New railroads are being built across the continent, replacing colonial locomotives and tracks built over one hundred years ago. On the East Coast, an entry zone for the Maritime Silk Road, new and expanded ports, with connecting rail lines vectored westward into the interior of the continent, are creating the potential for a fundamental transformation of the economies of several African nations including; Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Djibouti. The “ChinaPower Project” reports that between 2000 and 2014, China funded 2,390 projects across Africa totaling $121.6 billion, just over one-third of China’s total global financing. In Africa, 32% of the financing went for transportation projects and 28.5% for energy. “Dance of the lions and dragons” a study completed by McKinsey & Company in 2017, analyzed privately owned Chinese companies operating in Africa. They estimated that there are 10,000 such private Chinese businesses that have committed $21 billion to infrastructure, which is more than combined total of the African Development Bank, European Commission, World Bank, International Finance Corporation, and the G-8 nations. And 31% of these companies are involved in manufacturing which accounts for 12% of Africa’s industrial production—valued at $500 billion. Conclusion The U.S., along with the other Western powers, virtually abandoned the nations of Africa as soon as they had overthrown their colonial masters. President John F. Kennedy stands out among U.S. presidents, following the death of Franklin Roosevelt, as a champion for the newborn African nations. His collaboration with Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah in the early 1960s to construct the Volta Dam Hydro-electric Aluminum Smelting Complex is a singular moment in U.S.-Africa relations over the last six decades.  America lost its vision for development, resulting in its refusal to build the power plants, dams, railroads, and ports that Arica needs. China has made a commitment to Africa and now is contributing to the most expansive building of new infrastructure the continent has ever seen. President Trump’s recently released National Security Strategy (NSS) is totally hypocritical: it attacks China for becoming Africa’s largest partner, and accuses China of undermining “Africa’s long-term development.” Trump’s NSS expresses the same old British geopolitical mentality of winners and losers competing in a zero-sum war for global hegemony. Throughout my travels in Africa, I have found expressions of affection for America and its ideals; even among those nations that the U.S. has abused. That positive attitude is beginning to wane. However, it is not too late for the U.S. to chart a new course, one of cooperation with China and Africa to transform the continent.  Saving Lake Chad from extinction and transforming the Lake Chad Basin, is an urgent task for such a tripartite cooperation.
Read Oriental Review: President Trump
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“Donald Trump’s “Win-Lose” Model Versus Xi Jinping’s “Win-Win””

This is an interesting and insightful article contrasting the different policy orientation between US President Trump , and China President XI. The excerpts below highlight the possibilities for economic progress, if  the US would collaborate with China’s  on new “Silk Road.”

Adam GARRIE, September, 2017, OrientalReview.org A joint venture of US and Chinese investment could have been used to create new land highways and corresponding maritime routes across the Americas–on either side of the Panama canal. In turn these belts and roads could be strategically linked to China’s Pacific belts and roads with the US ports in Los Angeles being a natural hub. Furthermore, joint US-Chinese investment schemes could have poured investment into US ports such as those in Los Angeles to bring them in-line with some of the modern ports in China which are far more technically advanced. 2017 should have been the year that the US decided to embrace the win-win model. This is not to say that the US would have or should have become China. The Chinese model is highly flexible in this sense. Donald Trump could have created a kind of Trans-American Belt and Road with US Characteristics for a New Era. Instead, Trump has opted to Make America Lose Again. continue reading
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Interview with Lawrence Freeman: U.S. Deployment of Armed Drones in Niger is not the Solution; Long Term Strategy Missing

December 3, 2017
Below are excerpts from an interview with RT TV on the recent agreement between the U.S. and Niger to allow armed drone missions in the Sahel.  Africa affairs analyst Lawrence K Freeman says that drone strikes alone will be unlikely to change the region’s jihadist landscape, which is being driven by more than just a handful of key operatives.
   “So, this is a big problem for the Niger government, for West Africa, and for all of Africa – [that Niger] is now allowing the US to carry out these kind of military attacks,” Freeman told RT. “What is missing from this, is a strategy.
   “There has not been a strategy now for many, many years through several presidential administrations, including the current one.”
   “The thinking in Washington is that by taking out key figures in the terrorist chain of command, this will help bring down the whole network. This approach has worked against some militant groups in the past but is unlikely to work here, Freeman said.
   “The Sahara Desert itself, which goes all the way up to the Mediterranean, this is larger than the US. The Sahel desert stretches from the east end to the end of Africa. It is impossible to patrol all these areas. Therefore, you might pick off a few people here and there, which is useful, but you’re not going to stop the problem of terrorism.”
  “If you take northern Mali, Niger, Chad – I have been in Chad, I have been in northern Nigeria – these places are totally undeveloped. Therefore, they are perfect further bases for Boko Haram, for al-Qaeda, for ISIS (Islamic State) and others to operate, recruit and establish bases.
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President Trump’s US-Africa Policy Criticized

This article points to a weakness in President Trump’s Africa Policy: the lack of a full throttled commitment to economic development. The author correctly highlights in the final two paragraphs, the limitation of relying on the “market” and private sector when it comes to “large investments and long payback periods.” Africa needs infrastructure on a scale that requires public credit and long term-low interest financing that is beyond the capability and capacityof the private sector. U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt demonstrated through his successful transformation of the U.S. economy that government directed credit for infrastructure works.

“Shift in US aid to Africa signals emphasis on politics”

By Song Wei-Global Times Published: 2017/11/19 The US House of Representatives held a hearing on appropriations for US aid to Africa in October. The Donald Trump administration requested $5.2 billion for Africa in fiscal 2018, which would be close to 35 percent less than in 2015. Of the total, $3.7 billion, or 70 percent, will be allocated to 10 countries in line with US strategic interests including Kenya and Nigeria. The hearing reflected the focus and direction of Trump’s African policy, as well as the discrepancy between the US Congress and its Department of State, which exposed the political logic and moral risk of the US foreign aid management structure. Cheryl Anderson, the acting assistant administrator at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for Africa, attended the hearing and mentioned the importance of supporting development in Africa. Disease and conflict have no borders, she said, so underdeveloped markets can limit potential global economic growth. Supporting economic development in Africa not only creates jobs that increase economic growth and political stability in Africa; it also provides economic opportunities for US companies and workers. There are four policy priorities for Trump administration when it comes to allocating Africa budget. First, advance US national security interests in Africa through programs that support partners fighting against terrorism, advance peace and security, and promote good governance. Second, ensure programming asserts US leadership and influence in the continent. Third, design programs that foster economic opportunities and spur mutually beneficial trade and investment arrangements for the American people and African partners. Fourth, focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability to the American taxpayers. The budget cut is a compromise between maintaining US strategic goals and promoting efficient spending. According to Donald Yamamoto, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Africa is emerging, which forms the foundation of US-Africa relations. The assistance will go to countries of the greatest strategic importance to the US. To mitigate the impact of reductions, the US will use its programs to leverage more private-sector funding while encouraging countries and donors to make more contributions. The budget proposal encountered much criticism during the hearing. Democrat Karen Bass described the budget as shortsighted, highlighting several contradictions such as touting peace while cutting peacekeeping and development efforts. Democrat Joaquin Castro warned the cuts will reduce US influence and open political opportunities for rival powers. Can a US budget for foreign aid guided by national strategy go far? US foreign aid is decided by the Department of State, which is responsible for foreign affairs. The Africa budget is drawn up by USAID and the Bureau of African Affairs. Trump’s “American First” ideology has placed Africa at the bottom of US strategy. The budget reflected its policy. US foreign policy is influenced by pragmatism. Development issues have become important topics of global governance, so a depoliticization trend is inevitable. But US is linking its strategic goals in Africa to development funding, with a compromise between resource allocation and strategic interests. The pragmatic method goes against the essence of development. US policy contradicts its goal. The evaluation of global development assistance has shifted from “aid effectiveness” to “development effectiveness”. The national strategic goal of the donor is seldom included when evaluating the effectiveness of a program. Prioritizing America’s important partners shows the misalignment between the declared development assistance and actual resource allocation. Leave the “development issue” to the market. With geopolitical thinking, the US focuses more on its business interests in Africa. As a result, the Trump administration is trying to leverage more private investment through public-private partnerships, generating economic opportunities for US companies. But development assistance is meant to provide public goods that support the development of recipient countries. This means large investments and long payback periods. Whether this is compatible with business motives is still unclear. The author is an associate research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation. bizopinion@globaltimes.com.cn
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“ARGUMENT:Trump’s Dangerous Retreat from Africa”

Below are excerpts from the blog of John Campbell reviewing the Trump administrations’ policies for Africa during his first nine months in office Noveember 3, 2017 An Africanist Donald Trump is not. Unlike his two immediate predecessors, who had signature initiatives on the continent, the U.S. president has shown little interest in Africa and had minimal contact with its leaders. But the deaths of four American soldiers in Niger and the inclusion of Chad, a key U.S. counter-terrorism partner, on the latest iteration of Trump’s travel ban have made Africa increasingly difficult for the administration to ignore. These events have also exposed the administration’s startling lack of expertise when it comes to the continent and its reticence to tap the knowledge of career diplomats and analysts in the executive agencies–missteps that have already cost the administration and which could have additional consequences down the road. Trump’s disinterest in Africa appears to be shared by many in his cabinet, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who at an hour long meeting with State Department employees on Aug. 1 embarked on a “little walk … around the world” that did not mention Africa and its 1.2 billion inhabitants — roughly 17 percent of the world’s population. The administration’s political point person for Africa seems to be U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who had little foreign experience prior to her appointment. Last month, she visited Ethiopia, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the most senior Trump administration official to have set foot on the continent thus far. Making matters worse, the Trump administration has shown little respect for the expertise that resides at the departments of State and Defense, within the intelligence community, and within the academic and policy communities. Important African diplomatic posts remain unfilled, and domestic positions concerned with Africa have been filled only very slowly. For his meetings with African heads of state on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, career State and Defense officials were not invited to be present. The Trump administration’s freezing out of State, Defense, and intelligence community expertise predictably results in mistakes. The most costly to date was the inclusion of Chad — a major U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism — on Trump’s travel ban, which also targets travelers from seven other countries. Not long after the latest version of the ban was announced on Sept. 24, Chad shifted troops from Niger, where they had been involved in operations against Boko Haram, to its border with Libya. A reported upsurge in jihadi activity followed the troops’ departure. The travel ban blunder may yield additional negative consequences that are difficult to predict. The current chairman of the African Union Commission is Moussa Faki Mahamat, a Chadian. And to the extent that the travel ban is interpreted as a Muslim ban, it’s not just Chad that the administration risks alienating. Islam is the majority religion in some 22 African countries, 13 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. In certain parts of Africa where the rivalry between Muslims and Christians is acute, some Christians, especially of the Pentecostal tradition, are welcoming and exaggerating what they see as the Trump administration’s anti-Islam policy. If African elites perceive Trump’s immigration and refugee policies as part of a larger “war on Islam,” then a general hostility to the United States is likely to grow. While there is still no permanent assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Donald Yamamoto, a career diplomat and former ambassador with deep knowledge of Africa, has been appointed as an interim secretary with a term of up to one year. The defining feature of the administration’s Africa policy so far is its ramping-up of military and counterterrorism engagement, a trend that began before Trump took office. In a recent conversation with senators, Defense Secretary James Mattis indicated that the U.S. military presence in Africa is set to increase, with continuing training, reconnaissance, and air support missions that accelerated under Obama (though from a very low baseline). This shift is also reflected in the administration’s budget proposal, which may end up having the biggest initial impact on U.S. policy toward Africa. The Defense Department budget would swell by roughly 9 percent, enabling it to increase its presence in Africa, while the State Department would see a roughly 30 percent cut, if the administration gets its way. Included in that cut would be USAID, meaning that almost all development assistance would be eliminated, as would many health-related programs. Africa would be disproportionately affected; at present roughly one third of USAID funds go to the continent. Trump’s budget would also nearly halve the U.S. contribution to U.N. peacekeeping operations, more than half of which are in Africa. Finally, while the administration’s budget proposal explicitly states that it will be “continuing treatment for all current HIV/AIDS patients” under PEPFAR (which provided life-saving antiretroviral drugs to 11.5 million people last year), the proposal would lower the yearly contribution by 17 percent, or about $800 million. Congress is likely to oppose many of these cuts, however, and in the end they are unlikely to be as deep as Trump’s budget proposal would indicate. Even so, cutting just half of what the president has proposed would significantly reduce the scope of department and agency activities, with the exception of defense. So far under Trump, U.S. foreign engagement is declining with respect to Africa. China and India have already begun to fill the void by steadily increasing their political and economic activity, as have Turkey, the Gulf states, and Iran. Larger African states, notably Nigeria, South Africa, and Ethiopia, may also assume a more significant role than in the past.
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Trump official visits Khartoum as US seems poised to end Sudan sanctions

 
Joseph Hammond, Special to Al Arabiya English
Despite a delay, Sudanese officials are broadly optimistic that more than 20 years of US sanctions against Sudan will soon end. Though the United States decided to delay the full lifting of economic sanctions against Sudan until September 12, a number of signs suggest improving relations. Alexander Laskaris, Deputy Commander of US Africa Command, visited Khartoum last week to discuss joint counter-terrorism concerns and other issues.  The visit comes as the two countries have already agreed to a resumption of defense attaches for the first time since the 1990s this summer. “The last three years have been very busy but, in the long term, we expect things with the Trump Administration to continue the policy of Obama towards Sudan,” said Sudan’s ambassador to the United States Ambassador Muawiya Othman Khalid. Khalid previously held diplomatic positions in Cairo and Doha.

Cooperation on counterterrorism

In his last month in office, President Obama removed sanctions on Sudan contingent on certain conditions. The demands include cooperation on counterterrorism as well as sincere Sudanese efforts to end internal conflicts.

“Times have changed in the Sudan, it’s a different country than it was in the early 1990s when it was a known sponsor of terror and the removal of sanctions is a logical consequence of improvements from Sudan,” said former US Senator Robert Torricelli (D-New Jersey) who in the early 1990s as a US congressman worked on legislation tied to Sudan. Sudan has focused significant diplomatic resources on persuading Washington in recent months. Sudan’s officials and diplomats have been frequent visitors to Washington. They have been consistently making the case to the new administration that Sudan is a strong partner in the war on terror and regional security concerns.

In June, the government hired the public relations firm Squire Patton Boggs to lobby on behalf of Khartoum. Sudan’s Finance Minister and Speaker of the Parliament and a host of other officials have visited Washington in recent months to make their case.

Some remain unconvinced

Those supporting continued sanctions include an unlikely alliance of lobbyists, evangelical Christian groups, and Hollywood stars like George Clooney and others who remain unconvinced with Sudan’s shift in policies is enough to warrant the end of sanctions.

The United States isn’t the only country which is experiencing a new political leadership.

Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has announced plans to step down from office in 2020 as part of a slow shuffle towards a more inclusive and multi-party political system. This year Sudan named Hassan Saleh its first Prime Minister in 28 years, and a cabinet reshuffle brought new faces to his cabinet.

The reforms are part of a National Dialogue and peace process which began in 2014 and have mostly ended the conflict in Darfur. But in the Nuba mountains, despite peace efforts, conflict still simmers.

As a result of these reforms, Ibrahim Ahmed Omer who served as Sudan’s speaker of parliament for over a decade was made to retire by the ruling National Congress Party. In a swan-song appearance at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Omer pointed out that sanctions mean the United States is missing out on economic opportunities in Sudan. “Capitalism, as they say, is a court investor and won’t come unless money is safe and the experience of these other countries show that the money is safe,” he said. “…the West should lift all sanctions on the Sudanese people in order to end poverty and improve the economic situation it is losing,” he said. Omer noted that despite sanctions, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia and Arab countries have been investing in Sudanese the gold, precious minerals, and oil sectors for years. Sudanese officials have grown tired of working closely with Chinese officials. According to one source, Chinese officials have vastly under-reported gold excavations in Sudan to avoid paying certain taxes. The decision to continue the review period for a further three months is frustrating for Sudan. As made clear, the country has worked hard to fulfil the American demands and believes it is in full compliance with the demands to lift sanctions.
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Obama’s Legacy: Keep Africa in the Dark

August 10, 2016 Lawrence Freeman In his two terms as Presidential Obama, in attempt to fashion a legacy, has made multiple trips to Africa, yet his polices have become a complete failure. He has done nothing to reverse the genocidal levels of death due to war, poverty, hunger, and disease. In fact, President Obama’s regime change policy that led to the over throw of Muammar Kaddafi in 2011 has had catastrophic consequences for the people of Sahel that continues to this very day. Boko Haram would not have the capacity today to deploy its murderous rampage in Nigeria if not for the elimination of Kaddafi.  President Obama’s so called signature initiative, “Power Africa,” which he trumpeted again recently in his trip to Kenya and Ethiopia, was a fraud from its very inception, and has failed to deliver a single megawatt of electrical power to the Dark Continent.  Abject poverty pervasive across the African continent is the primary cause driving thousands of Africans to risk their lives attempting to escape to Europe. Thus belying the propaganda of Africa being home to the six of the fastest growing economies in the world, through the use of intrinsically false “monetarist” statistics churned out by the IMF and World Bank.  To immediately begin to reverse the miserable wretched living conditions that the majority of Africans are forced to suffer from daily if not hourly, the continent must be transformed through the creation of new integrated regional and transcontinental infrastructure platforms including the construction of high speed rail lines, abundant and accessible energy/power, and water management. The United States, Western European countries, and their Trans-Atlantic institutions have made abundantly clear to that they will not finance infrastructure projects that are necessary to transform the productivity of African economies, empowering their people to finally “eradicate poverty.”  The Ethiopian leadership rightly insists their policy priority is “eradicating poverty” and has been identified as the number one enemy of their country. China’s commitment building vitally necessary infrastructure in Africa, which the West has refused to do for over five decades, is a game changer for the continent. President Xi Jinping launching of the New Silk Road almost two years ago is already changing the global economy. With the emergence of the BRICS, and the now operational New Development Bank, together with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, there now exist a viable alternative to Wall Street and City of London dominated western financial system which can potentially explode in a  2007-2008 style like collapse at any moment. This is reason why the European monetary system, run by the Troika in Brussels is so desperately attempting to prop up the $360 billion of debt in the Greek banks, but could not care less about the welfare of Greek people. Obama Powerless Africa Among all the underdeveloped regions of the world, Africa dominates in rich natural resources, yet has the largest deficit in infrastructure. According to  PIDA-The Program for Infrastructure Development of Africa- “The road access rate in Africa is only 34% compared with 50% in other parts of the developing world, while transport costs are 100% higher, Only 30% of Africa’s population has access to electricity, compared 70-90% in other parts of the developing world. Water resources are underused with 5% of agriculture under irrigation.” Suffocating the enormous potential for African nations to experience real economic growth measured in the creation of physical wealth, is the enormous deficit in the production of electrical power. With over 1 billion people living in sub-Saharan Africa, over 600 million have no daily access to electrical power. This is an immoral crime. Over two years ago, Obama bombastically lied when he said from the University of Cape Town in South Africa that he would double access of electricity in Africa, in no less than five years, this minimally meant bringing electricity to at least 400 million more Africans. When Obama originally launched his Powerless Africa initiative he promised to provide (a mere) 7-10,000 megawatts for six African countries; Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Tanzania, Ethiopia, and Kenya, (out of 54) through loan guarantees and incentives for U.S. companies. Since then the new claims are that Powerless Africa will somehow produce 20,000-30,000 megawatts. While there is no evidence that this has the slightest chance of occurring in the near future, even by their own estimates it would make electricity available to 60 million Africans-roughly 15% out of 600 million, still leaving 540 million Africans without power. When an administration official was confronted by this author with the obvious discrepancy between the goal of doubling access and a mere several thousands of megawatts, the response was that these goals are “aspirational” i.e. we lied. The cruel truth is that Obama’s Powerless Africa initiative has not produced one single physical megawatt of electricity and is not expected anytime soon, if ever, while the number of Africans without access is growing. Ron Nixon, in his article for the New York Times on July 21, 2015, “Obama’s Power Africa Project Is Off to a Sputtering Start,” quotes from Obama’s 2013 speech in South Africa where he boasted his program would provide ‘a light where there is currently darkness, the energy needed to lift people out of poverty’ then goes on to report: “Two years later, as Mr. Obama prepares to visit Africa again, the reality of Power Africa’s promise bears little resemblance to the president’s soaring words. It has yet to deliver any electricity.” Sam Amadi , chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission is quoted in by Nixon in the same article, “I am not aware of any concrete plans for power plants that have emerged as a result of Power Africa.” Infrastructure Powers Economic Growth Inundating Africa with grids of infrastructure is not simply a good idea to work for, or an option; it is vitally necessary if African nations are going eradicate poverty, end disease and starvation, and defeat terrorism.  A crucial error in understanding the role of infrastructure is expressed in the report by PIDA-(Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa) entitled, “Interconnecting, Integrating and transforming a continent.” In the introduction, “Africa’s time for action,” where it says that: “…continuing growth and prosperity will swell the demand for infrastructure…”  Real physical economic growth, as opposed to monetarist figures, not only depends on infrastructure, but economic growth is driven upward by infrastructure. The history of the United States, China, and other Asian nations documents this principle. Every farmer, every worker, every business and industry is made more productive by being surrounded by infrastructure grids in road, rail, electrical power, etc. The productive powers of society are increased by a rich environment of dense infrastructure. In addition to roads for farmers to transport their products, think of the impact of high speed railroads crisscrossing the continent, connecting the capital cities of Africa’s 54 nations as proposed by Chinese Premiere, Li Kiyang and supported by Chairperson African Union Commission, Dr.  Chairwoman Diamini-Zuma at the most recent AU Summit in South Africa. This would cause a revolution, uplifting a billion plus Africans; creating a bright and hopeful future for their children and grandchildren. It would also produce a trained and educated “working army” from the hundreds of millions of unemployed, especially of Africa’s youth whose lack of opportunities to live a productive life is a ticking time bomb throughout the continent. We Must Electrify this Dark, Dark Continent Estimates are that sub-Saharan Africa with over 1 billion people has 90,000 megawatts of on line capacity, with half of that total-45,000 MW in one country, South Africa. In contrast, South Korea has approximately the same on line capacity as sub-Saharan Africa, but for a little over 50 million people–5% of the sub continent’s population The average American uses about 13,200 kWh-(kilo watt hours). That translates into per capita consumption of 1,500 watts or 1.5 kilowatts of power, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The estimated per capita use of electricity in for a Nigerian is 149, kWh or 17 watts, two orders of magnitude-almost 100 less than their US counterpart. Nigeria has between 4,000 to 6,000 MW of on line capacity, depending on who is doing the counting, but only 2,500MW or less is available per day for almost 180 million people, of which 50% have no access to the nation’s power supply. For those Nigerians who can afford it, they survive by the extensive use of personal generators at great costs, which may account for as much as another 25,000MW often storing the energy in larger batteries for later use.  However only electricity from the nation’s grid is powerful enough to maintain the functioning of air conditioners and refrigerators. Another pernicious feature of Obama’s Powerless Africa is a program to attract investments of one billion dollars for small scale “off grid” gimmicks aimed particularly at rural areas, where the majority of Africans live, but whose net effect is to keep them economically backward. A solar panel on one’s roof may be enough to light a few 60 watt bulbs, and recharge a cell phone, but it can’t power a refrigerator, a water pump, an air conditioner, or advanced machinery, all necessary for a decent standard of living. All Africans have a right to universal access to the most scientifically advanced forms of energy to power their economies. So called renewable energy like solar and wind, which are technologically inferior modes of energy production are being imposed on Africa (and all countries) under the guise of the anti-scientific and silly argument that we need to reduce our human carbon footprint or the world will come to an end. To accept the argument of the “green movement” is to deny the unending potential of technological progress unique to human beings. Energy is realized by the effect of its application to transform the universe for the increase of the quantity and quality of human beings. We measure the efficiency of a mode of energy by its “energy-flux density.” Solar energy has a low energy-flux density, but is uniquely suitable for growth of plant life through the synthesis of chlorophyll, but is useless to power a modern society. No nation has ever developed advanced industrial and agricultural sectors through the application of solar power: it is physically impossible. Windmills, additionally are also unreliable, and cost ineffective. Those nations committed to progress, which includes the BRICS nations are increasingly investing in production of fission based nuclear energy, whose power source has an energy-flux density orders of magnitude higher than solar African leaders should not accept for their nations the application of these inferior technologies; Africans should not be treated as second class citizens or less. The failure to reject so called renewables of solar and wind as power sources will condemn Africans to continue to suffer genocidal rates of death. Why should Africans not demand the same standard of living as the West; is it not their right as human beings? For sub-Saharan Africa to achieve an equal level of energy consumption with the US would require the production 1,600 gigawatts –(billions of watts). Nigerian alone would need over 200,000 MW to meet the needs of the largest population on the continent. It Can Be Done Through American System methods of political economy President Franklin Roosevelt not only lifted the US out of the Great Depression, but he also provided universal access to electrical power. In sections of rural America only 10% of the population had access to electricity in their homes. President Roosevelt transformed the US by applying the constitutional powers of federal government to create new government supported authorities and issuing public credit at low interest rates to put the millions of unemployed people to work building massive amount of new infrastructure projects, including energy production and transmission lines. China is emulating the American System today and is leading the world in the construction of high speed railroads and nuclear power plants. President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has successfully mobilized the Egyptian people to complete the expansion of the 169 year old Suez Canal in one year. Not only was this magnificent project completed two years ahead of schedule, but it was financed by the Egyptian people themselves. South Africa, a member of the BRICS is the only African country utilizing nuclear energy, and is presently negotiating a deal to build several more nuclear power plants with a capacity to generate 9,600 MW of  electricity. President Roosevelt defeated his opponents and won over the American people through his dedication to the principle that the federal government is obligated to provide for the general welfare of its citizens as stated in the preamble of the US Constitution. President Roosevelt would not and did not allow the survival of the US to depend on the so called market place or the banks that caused the economic crisis he inherited. Instead he used the authority of the state to rebuild our ailing nation. It is the reasonability of government to insure that advances in science and technology are utilized to increase the productive powers of their citizens through state sponsored infrastructure. African leaders should do no less than President Roosevelt, a great leader who left a lasting legacy for the world.

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US Policy For Africa Grossly Deficient

Lawrence Freeman February 15, 2016 The most glaring deficiency in US policy towards Africa is its lack of understanding of the absolute importance of infrastructure development for Africa, not just for economic reasons, but as the core of a proper country to country relationship. This should include such vital categories of hard infrastructure such as energy, rail transportation, and water management, and primary soft infrastructure categories of education and health care. A massive investment in infrastructure projects for Africa is not optional, but rather a matter of live and death for over one billion people living on this vast undeveloped continent. All honest African analysts will have to admit that the US ended any significant commitment to fostering government assisted investment in building infrastructure in Africa by no later than the mid 1970s. The Millennium Challenge Account, which works with a very few countries for small water, and sanitation projects, and the like, is totally inadequate as well as USAID.  President John F Kennedy’s cooperative relationship with President Kwame Nkrumah in constructing the Volta Dam industrial projects was a high point in US relations with Africa that has not been emulated in the last half century. The goal of US policy should be, as it should have been since the “Winds of Change,” is assist African nations as rapidly as possible in developing their industrial-manufacturing –agricultural sectors to provide for an improved quality of life for their citizens. Not only can starvation be ended, and the consequences of droughts be managed, but Africa with its abundance of fertile land and water systems can and should become a net food exported to countries in Asia. To create a density of infrastructure in Africa such as high speed rail line connections between the capitals of Africa, we have to go beyond believing that the US private sector will be capable of making the necessary investments required to drive African economies forward. Sufficiently large government credit is required. China’s Silk Road Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank-(AIIB), and the BRICS’ New Development Bank are example of “credit institutions” designed to fund large scale energy projects. The US has refused to join the AIIB and has removed itself from any serious effort to help Africa overcome its huge infrastructure deficit that is literally killing Africa. The United States has for 200 years successfully used the Army Corps of Engineers to not only build and maintain our infrastructure, but also as an excellent means to provide education and scientific training. Electrical Power Is Essential Without abundant, on-line electrical power Africa will continue to suffer deadly rates of poverty and mortality that can be avoided, i.e. these conditions are not objective. Presently the mere 90,000 megawatts of power available for sub-Saharan Africa reveals the ugly truth of what is holding Africa back. There will be no substantial change in conditions of life in Africa, unless hundreds of thousands of additional megawatts of electrical power are provided to the nations of Africa. We are now approaching the third year anniversary of President Obama announcement in South Africa that the US would double electrical power in Africa. In hard terms, that means connecting another 400 million Africans (above the 400 million today) to on-line electricity. Solar power and wind mills will never power an industrial- manufacturing based economy. I am sorry to report, that as I knew at the time of the creation of Power Africa, this program is a total failure, having not produced a single megawatt of power. I can assure you that Power Africa will not in your life time or in your children’s life time ever double access to electrify in Africa As all military specialists know, terrorism cannot be defeated by military means alone, as we witness in the fight against Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin. Without economic progress, the jihadists extremists will also continue to have a fertile recruitment potential where youth are poor, alienated from society, and see no hope for their future. In addition to economic component emphasized here, the US should give unconditional support financially and militarily to Nigeria and the joint task force combating Boko Haram.

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Not Fit For Public Office: Defeat Susan Rice For Her Genocide in Africa

Lawrence Freeman December 1, 2012 This article was widely distributed to defeat Susan Rice from becoming President Obama’s Secretary of State. The article below is a more through presentation of Rice’s background. Two of the clearest cases where Rice’s policies led to the deaths of millions, the weakening of nations’ sovereignty, are the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), and Sudan, the two largest nations on the continent, before the break-up of Sudan in 2011. Rice’s policies resulted in permanent destabilization of the Great Lakes region and parts of the Horn of Africa. Continue reading

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Why Do We Call Susan Rice A Racist? Because She Is One

Lawrence Freeman December 25, 2009 For years, there was more than speculation that a rogue operation in the U.S. government was supporting the 1996 invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) by rebel movements sponsored by Rwanda and Uganda. This was while Rice was serving as Special Assistant to the President, and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC. Howard French, writing in the New York Review of Books (Sept. 24, 2009), confirms Rice’s involvement in violating the D.R.C.s sovereignty, quoting her, saying that, “Museveni [of Uganda] and Kagame [of Rwanda] agree that the basic problem in the Great Lakes is the danger of a resurgence of genocide [referring to the Hutus who fled to the D.R.C. after Kagame took over Rwanda—LKF], and they know how to deal with that. The only thing we have to do is look the other way.” Rice’s “looking the other way” was followed by a decade of killing in the D.R.C., and the looting of its natural resources by Rwanda and Uganda. For five years, from 1996, until weeks before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, the Sudan government had tried repeatedly, but without success, to share with U.S. intelligence services its own intelligence files on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Even when the FBI and others wished to accept these offers, they were overruled by Secretary of State Albright and Assistant Secretary forAfrica Rice. Rice had politicized the intelligence by her hostility to any collaboration with the Sudanese government. Various back-channel efforts were also stymied by Rice. When the U.S. intelligence community finally succeeded in getting the Clinton Administration to send a joint FBI/CIA team to Sudan in May 2000, despite resistance from Rice, they found no terrorist training camps or sanctuaries, and gave Sudan a clean bill of health. Continue reading

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The Fight for an American Development Policy for Sudan

Lawrence freeman June 26, 2009 There is a fight going on in the Obama Administration over what will be the future U.S. policy for Sudan. Essentially, it comes down to this: Either we continue to support British-led destabilizations of African nations, or we move forward with a genuine American policy of assisting in the economic progress of the less developed nations, as President Franklin Roosevelt intended after World War II, and President John Kennedy was inclined to follow. Gration, on June 17, at his first press conference since taking over asspecial envoy, make clear that there was no ongoing genocide. This immediately produced howls of protest from Rice and the Save Darfur crowd, but Gration stuck to the truth:There is no ongoing genocide in Darfur. The UN reports that there are more tribal killings in Southern Sudan than in Darfur, where 150 die each month, mainly from tribal and inter-tribal conflicts. Gration’s final remarks at the USIP forum were optimistic. He said, “Yesterday’s enemies are today’s friends,” adding that he believed Sudan could become a politically stable, prosperous nation, at peace with its neighbors. Continue reading

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Will Rice Mislead the U.S. Into Another Attack on Sudan?

John Prendergast and Susan Rice lie about genocide in Darfur

Lawrence Freeman March 14, 2009 How the United States o fAmerica, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, responds to this blatant British effort to use the ICC to break up the nation of Sudan—into multiple ethnic, religious, and tribal entities at each others’ throats—is of the utmost importance, for the future of Sudan, the Horn of Africa, and all sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the very existence of the United States. Continue reading