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Adnane Ben.
Boston USA
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Democracy: A Culture of Misrepresentation. By Sowaribi Tolofari
12:00:00 AM Monday Apr 7, 2003



(ANS) Democracy: A Culture of Misrepresentation (1) 2003-03-31 12:02 (New York)

Mar 31, 2003 (Vanguard/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- DEMOCRACY has become the slogan, for the free market's globalisation. To democratise means to expand and intensify the free market. Make no mistakes about it, I am not against the free market. But I am a stickler for exactitude. Let us call capitalism just that, call political and diplomatic intimidation just that, call military aggression against weaker countries just that, and let democracy continue to mean leadership of the people by the people for the people. Today, democracy is controlled, wherever it exists, or introduced, by global merchants and the diplomatic and military forces at their control.

They constitute a force that individual governments cannot protect their people against. The global capitalists, J. W. Smith writes, exert their financial, political and military power, 'first through elite-protective social control systems - ideologies; social, through financial control; third, through diplomacy (do as we ask you or you will be hurt by our financial or military power); fourth, through intrigues and covert actions (financial as well as military) and lastly, through all-out military subjugation.

Equal rights

The self-styled champions of democracy posit that democracy is about equal rights, one-man-one-vote. Let us start even with the United Nations Organisation, the assembly of the world's countries and who should be the custodian of democratic principles. What is democratic about five countries having veto power, the ability to overrule what the rest of the world has decided? What is democratic about the fact that all veto-holding countries are to use the term only as a description, white countries? What is democratic about the European Union bloc, with its 340 million citizens, holding two veto rights, while Africa, with its 700 million citizens, does not have even one veto? What is democratic about the United States of America, with its 270 million citizens or Britain, with its 59 million, holding the veto, while India, with its 960 million citizens does not? We can go on and on.

Democracy today has a relatively insignificant little to do with rights but everything to do with the acquisition and control of the world's limited natural resources for and by the elite, irrespective of where the resources are and in which far-flung countries these elites are. In moving to control the natural resources, they do not shy away from any means and they have no regards for the cultures or opinions, the well-being or the rights of other people. They lie to their own citizens about the true reasons for their destabilisation operations in other countries, or the real reasons why they go to far away countries to bomb, kill, maim and destroy in the name of democracy. Whatever the media propaganda leads the home crowd to believe, it is easy to discern that the real reason is control of resources and the maintenance of elite groups in power, be it the destruction of Iraq or the village of Odi in Nigeria.

Military aggression

The uncanny similarity between the annihilation of Iraq by the gang-up of Western powers and the destruction of the village of Odi by the democratic government of Olusegun Obasanjo in Nigeria, illustrates the point. Of the bombing of Iraq, the Times of India writes that 'the traditional warrior countries, the US and the UK sought a regional Yalta where the powerful nations agree among themselves to a share of Arab spoils.

Their conduct throughout this one month (January - February 1991) has reavealed the seamiest sides of Western civilisation: Its unrestricted appetite for dominance; its morbid fascination for hi-tech military might, its insensitivity to alien cultures, its appalling jingoism.'

In a complementary observation, Cardinal Pulo Arns of Brazil, notes that in the Arab countries, 'the rich sided with the US government while the millions of poor condemned this military aggression.' Throughout the Third World, there is fear: When will they come and invade us, and under what pretext!

Following this exhibition of its military might, to secure control of the oil wells of the Middle-East for the US and its allies, George Bush warned the rest of the world, 'what we say goes.' of this in perceptive. He is quoted by the Associated Press on 18 February as having said in a speech at Microsoft Corporation in Seattle.'

The prosperity that companies like Microsoft now enjoy could not occur without having the strong military that we have. The billions it cost to keep 100 000 American troops in South Korea and Japan, for example, makes Asia more stable and thus better markerts for US goods. The military's success in holding Iraq in check censures a continued flow of oil from the Persian Gulf'.

Odi is a village in the South of Nigeria. It is here, in the swamps of the Niger Delta that the oil, which accounts for 92 percent of Nigeria's GNP is derived. In spite of oil exportation since 1957, the community, as others in the area, still look like a stone-age settlement. Now the people are asking for fair treatment - access to education, water, electricity, communication, environmental resuscitation, etc. The police was sent, according to the government, to monitor the agitation. Skirmishes developed between the police and the villagers. The president then wrote to the democratically elected governor of the state, 'I give you 14 days within which to restore law and order in your state... failing which I shall set in motion process to declare a state of emergency in Bayelsa State.'

The ultimatum, which in the first place should not have been given, had not expired when 2000 soliders were sent to march in Odi. The entire village was reduced to rubble, may were killed or injured and all fled. In the early 90s it was the turn of the Ogonis, also in the same Niger Delta, culminating in the hanging of Ken Saro-wiwa and eight other leaders of the community by the then president, Sani Abacha.

All of this has to do with political and military subjugation of the peoples that have natural resources, in order that they could be exploited. In the same way that Iraq is still sieged today, and Libya is haunted, by the US and Britain, and the Middle-East is virtually colonised in order to keep its oil under Western control, the president of Nigeria is drafting plans for a special policing force for the oil-producing Niger Delta communities.

Margaret Thatcher, the one we all know of, posits that, 'For over two centuries, Americans have held fast to their belief in freedom for all men - a belief that springs from their spiritual heritage. John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in 1789, 'Our constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It si wholly inadequate for the government of any other'

It ought to be surprising that a people which such a long heritage of morals of this magnitude and fervent belief in the freedom of all men, had Africans slaves for such a long time, that they killed and then confined the remaining in that land of freedom; that this moral was not tinged when they decided to throw the atom bomb on the Japanese or the nepalm on the Vietnamese, or tinged, even today, by the tens of thousands of Iraqi children dying from famine and disease due to their siege to secure oil. But coming from the iron Lady, who, with her soul mate, Ronald Reagan, was the advocate of 'constructive disengagement' from apartheid in South Africa, and who called Nelson Mandela, the personification of freedom struggle, a terrorist, we can imagine what kind of morals, what kind of freedom and what kind of democracy that could be.

Mrs Thatcher also spoke thus of capitalism,' it is important to understand that the moral foundations of a society do not extend only to its political system; they must extend to its economic system as well. America's commitment to capitalism is unquestionably the best example of this principle. Capitalism iso not, contrary to what those on the Left have tried to argue, an amoral system based on selfishness, greed, and exploitation. It is a moral system based on a Biblical ethic. There is no the comparable system that has raised the standard of living of millions of people, created vast new wealth and resources, or inspired so many beneficial innovations and technologies.'

Perhaps lady Thatcher was referring to the Biblical, ethnic and moral principles, high standards of living and vast new wealth that subsisted under the dastardly regimes of the likes of Mobutu Sese-Sekou, installed and propped up for 32 years by the US CIA as president of Zaire and who reigned over the most impoverished people on earth amidst abundant natural resources, while their natural resources went into making American space rockets and nuclear weapons; the likes of the late Shah of Iran, Ceausescu of Rumania and Marcos of the Philippines; or Suharto of Indonesia and even the reigning arch-enemy of the Western world, Saddam Hussein, whom the Americans armed to fight Iran by proxy for overthrowing the Shah; or Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who under the sponsorship of the US and the UK, engineered the mayhem in Rwanda and Burundi and is fuelling the slaughter in Congo, all in the attempt to colonise the whole of East and Central Africa's cornucopia for the West; or which Jonas Savimbi has allowed the people of Angola to enjoy to enjoy all these years that the American government has supported his detabilisation of the country. Of course, all of these would constitute high moral ethics and freedom of exploitation for a woman whose country for over one hundred years colonised other peoples lands, and under the threat of gunboats, grabbed ad carted away natural resources and artworks and treasures willy-nilly.

Democracy si about freedom of expression, about independence. Margaret Thatcher's government, while campaigning for the independence of the constituent entities of the former Soviet Union, was denying same to the people of Northern Ireland because of off-shore oil. Throughout her premiership, the face of Jerry Adams was never shown on British televison, his voice was never aired on British airwaves. Whenever he was quoted, an actor was hired to do a voice over. Yet Britain parades itself as a champion of the freedom of expression in far away Burma.

Those governments tart are shouting loudest about democratization are in reality only pushing for an end to national sovereignty and their first and usual victims are the true progressive and democratic forces in the countries that they target; the ones that struggle for the emancipation of the masses, out of the yoke of the oppressive, self-protecting elite. Contrary to Lady Thatcher's postulation, capitalism thrives on greed and boundless exploitation. While we may embrace capitalism, we must still say this truth. Far from the democracy that si their slogan, the self-acclaimed apostles of democracy, as Karen Talbot nots,,' have shown a willingness to violate human rights, particularly workers rights-throw millions out of work, eliminate unions, use sweat-shops and slave labour, destroy the environment, destabilize governments, install or bolster tyrants who oppress, repress, torture and kill impunity'.

Yes, I agree with Margaret Thatcher, that capitalism creates wealth. It creates wealth for an elite group and impoverishes large portions of the society. According to the ILO, about half the world's population live in poverty. 1.5 billion people live on less than $1 (8kr) a day. According to the Columbia University's Center for Children in Poverty report 22 percent of children in the USA (5.2 million children) are living below the poverty level. According to the UNDP Human Poverty Index, 13.7 percent of th population of the USA, 20 percent in Britain, 17 percent in France and 13 percent in Germany, live below the poverty level. This poverty level is an arbitrary income of one dollar a day. In reality even people who earn up to five dollars a day remain poverty stricken (ie. Unable t meet basic expenditures of food, clothings, shelter, health and education).

There is so much poverty in spite of the commitment to capitalism, because contrary t the 'moral system based on Biblical ethic' that lady Thatcher talkes about, capitalism is based on an elite protection system, an elite of global merchant, who are served by the political and military elite.

The United States is out now for its own turn at colonising Africa. The first step has effectively been completed, that of sending in the World Bank and IMF to damage the economies of the countries ad make them subservient debtor- nations. The next step, the military occupation has commenced and is being intensified this century, under the pretext of giving support to democracy. Democracy is freedom, it is peace, it is development. Why do countries need to be armed to the teeth to embrace such an ideology? The USA's Pentaon has drawn up a militarization programme for Africa called the African Crisis Response Initiative (formally Force). The last military regime in Nigeria refused to join such a force. Since the inception of the democratic regime less than a year ago military delegations have visited Nigeria from both Britain and the US. The US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright visited Nigeria and five other African countries in October last year and this was high on her agenda. William Cohen, after visiting South Africa and Morocco, was prevented bu bad weather from landing in Nigeria. He will return end of March or April. According to the Pentagon 'it will be a tremendous asset to have Nigeria in this special initiative'.

The reason is obvious. One-sixth of all Africans live in Nigeria, half of all West Africans are Nigerians. Above all, Nigeria is one of the six highest producers of crude oil within the OPEC, 40 percent of this oil is, for now, old to the USA. Africa has over 30 percent of all the world's mineral resources. Why else would the Americans be eager to design a military Organisation and export it to Africa? The fertile environment for democracy is one with an absence of threat - whether direct and overt r indirect and covert. The presence of foreign military focus is threatening, especially when the hidden agenda for this military presence is to take control of the natural resources of the continent. The effect will be the same as in the Middle-East and the Balkans. Unrest, war, poverty.

Nigeria, even though it is one of the most developed countries in Africa, and with South Africa, the most developed in sub-Saharan Africa, is still a country where electricity supply is erratic, drinking water and medicines are in acutely short supply, lecturers have no funds to do research and books publication is almost nil, even at the beginning of the 21st century universities and government departments still do not have computers. The kind of empowerment that Nigeria and the rest of Africa needs is not military, but economic and technological. The development of industrial infrastructure and information technology is the support that can enhance democracy in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. But of course, if Africa is aided to develop economically, then Africa would want to keep her natural resources for herself, Afrcia would cease to be a cheap labour market, and Africawould cease to be a captive market for the junks of Western industrial output. That, is exactly what the West would not want, as they have demonstrated over and over again.

This is not happening only to Afrcia. It is happening also to the poor nations of Asia, South America, the Middle-East and Eastern Europe. So long as they allow themselves to be exploited, so as trhey are ready to give away their natural resources to Western multinationals, they are friendly nations. Thge governments are good, democratic governments even though they are military dictatorships, so long as they allow this exploitation,, take bribes, steal from the national coffers and hiode the loot in Western banks, and western banks loan back this money to these countries at interest or use it to oil Western economies. there is acceptable level of freedom for the people, even though they are openly oppressed and repressed, so long as they are forced to slave for Western transnationals who repatriate exorbitant profits to their home countries.

And, at all costs, these people must be held back in their poor coiuntries to slave for the West. Since the end of January, the whole of the European Union and its friends in North America and the Middle-East have been using various means to express indignation at Austria's election of Jorg Haider's Freedom Party into the government. they say that Haider's extreme right ideology and his hatred of immigrants (from Third-World countries of course) is obnoxious to their good senbsibilities and their human rights posture. Closely examined, the outrage is due to the fact that Europe has no answer to the problems that Haider's political success has presented. the firsat is identified by Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian Nobel laureate, who notes, 'The headache that the far- right freddom Party has created for all is that its leader, Jorg Haider, hasestablished a claim to powdr through the very structure and processes of the democratic ideal, yet his ideology comes colose to the repudiated ideal, Nazism.' The second is that Europe has no ready plan on how to cover up the hypocrisy that haider's success threatens to expose. Haider does not want immigrants. he is frank about it. European leaders equivocate about it. Americans equivocate about it. In Europe and the US, asylum seekers are routinely locked up in prisons. Third-World nationals are routinely delayed, detained, interrogated, bodily searched and refused entry into their countries. Only before last December, the Swedishgovernment drafted what it wanted to propose as law; a law that would give the police the right to stopand search, without any cause, anyone that is not Swedish. they mean of course the same type of people that Haider frankly speaks of keeping from coming to his country. And this is a law proposal that could lead to the kind of situation in Rudolf Guiliani's New York, where trigger-happy policemen mow down immigrants at will and are exonerated from blame and responsibility by their courts. In all of these countries, they give jobs to immigrants only as a last resort, the immigrants do high as 40 percent less than their swedish counterparts. the Israelis have also shown indignation, yet in Isrrael blood donated to blood banks by non-white Israelies are routinely thrown away. the European leaders' indignation is more a reactyion to being exposed for what they are, for there are a huge number of Haiders already in the European Council, Commission, parliament and all the European governments. What they say and actually take steps to effect behind closed doors Haider has said publicly. That is his crime.

That neonazist organisatioibs are completed legal entities and even receive state grants poses the question of how far the ideal of democracy should be stretched. Why should a neonazist organisation be condoned by society, citing the constitutional rights oif its members to free association, even though their entirer raison d'etre is to actively work to harm other members of the society and to illegally foreclose the democratic rights of others? Why do Europeans who allow such organisations to be legally registered, ior the Americans who allow the Ku Klux Klan to operate, now be indignant over Haider's success?

The European Union has recently reached a new 20-year partnership Agreement with the ACP countries. Negotiations started in September 1998. It took so olong, becausde the European Union included a new condition in the draft. The condition is thast the ACP cxountries must undertake to stop their nationals from emigrating to the European Union. What is the difference between this and Haider's stand?

In spite of their outbursdta, all the leaders of the European Union, and their North American brothers have, and are actively working towards the same goals as Haider wants, namely, to precvent the people that they have improvished, the peole they are exploitingh, from coming to the source of their pauperisation, so that the high living standad that they have organised would not be threatened. Jeremy Seabrook more or less summarises akll of this. He writes, 'The noses of the poor are always pressed against the TV screens of our windoepane. At the trouch of a botton they can still be made to disapper. It is only when our contfrol becomes less remote, when gaunt, hungry faces from elesewhere appear on our streets, that a more authenic response emerges.... After all, Europe has contributed spectacularly to the global disturbance of regions and peoles; has since colonial times, ben an agent of vast uprooting, has exportyed its own migratory spirit, has sought tosnuff out all alternatiove ways of answering need, has fikllled the world with economic migrants, maany of them from within its own borders. The economies of almost every country in the world has been profoundly influenced by western international financial organisations, by transnational companies, by the dikats of the Internationalk Monetary Fund and World Bank, by our 'democratic institutions', in which those whose lives wrecked by the,m have no say.... Western politicain fret and fume, seeking to halt people at the frontiers of Europe undr the pretence of 'the maintance of good race relations'. What the really means is that the fragile and always threatened privilege of Europe must be defended against the poor; the overwhelming bvlack poor ... Internationalists are now set against racists. The struigghle between rich and poor takes on the aspect of race conflict, because that is its most obvious characteristic. The majority of the downtrodden, trhe opppressed ad humiliated are non-white. What used to be called 'embourgeoisement' of majoririties in Europe and America - of which Tony Blaire is the triumphant apostle - hads been alliued to the paupersisation of majorities in the rest of the world'.

To take a short route to the conclusion, politics is the same everywhere. When we talk abnout intercultural communication, we think most often of differences between peoples of differerewnt races or different counrties. Yes, there ares uch difference. Yet today, ity is truer thaty there is greater closeness in thew cukltures of classe of people of different races anmd in different countrioes tan there is between different classes or groups in the same county or of the same race. The political, capitalist or marchant classes are the same in Niugeria, Sweden, Germany, India and the United States of America. The working classes, the weak and the marinalised claes are the same, if they are found in Uganda, Canada, Malaysia or Austria. Democracy has been hijacked by equivocating politicians on the one hand, and on the other, by violent extremists.

by Sowaribi Tolofari

Copyright Vanguard. Distributed by All Africa Global Media(AllAfrica.com)

The content of this page —graphics, text and other elements—is © Copyright 2007 prospective author, and Raioo, Inc., only when stated otherwise, and may not be reprinted or retransmitted in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of the publisher.



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When The Moors Ruled In Europe..
Ya Rassoul..
BARRAKA duet Cheb Khaled & Chebba Zahouania..
Cheba Zohra & Mahadattes de Rilizane..
SKyouz Me While I Light My Spliff!..
HAMIDOU, Algeria's Playboy!..
First mnanauk. Then mahdisean!..
Karima Skalli, Nassima et Leila Hejaiej..
Rym Hakiki: Matsalni Ma Ansalek..
The Road To Guantanamo..
Matejebdoulich by Djenet..
Cuban Chaabi! Guantanamera!!..
Hadj Menouer: El Batoul !..
Parske Ana Nebghi Wahran Bezzaf!..
I declare Moe a Star!..
Ahl Zin El Fassi!..
Morocco on current TV..
My South Park Character!..
Ummah Films on current.tv !! HELP NEEDED..
Ana Smayti Sa3id!..
 
2006
Al-Hawli Jokes..
Zawiya Qadiriya Boudchichiya Open Air Speech..
US Patent by Sa Majeste H. Roi du Maroc..
Jahh Bless Mon! Feeling down to earth tonight!..
Cannot Believe These Idiots!..
NESS LA CITY: All?e Sans Retour! LOL..
When Lotfi Attar Rides Matabkish wave! You Lissann mon!..
KUDOS TO Cheikh Sidi Bemol & Band!!..
No Comment! DARRITOUNI.....
Mortality Meets Online Status..
Michael Richard Busted and Sorry!..
The UMMA Clinic..
Hanane Fadili Take on Shouaffa(tt)..
Hijab: Strict Code or Fashion Barcode ..
To The Fasting Darling..
Rimitti: Ana Li Ghrasset aNakhla....
Reminiscing Tex Avery Cartoons!..
Happiest Guy in Morocco!..
The Super-cool Hanane Fadili..
Cette Affaire d'Avions ? Londres..
Watch 2M Television..
American Muslim Fun Video Blogging!..
Open War in the Middle East?..
Touche Po a Mon Zidane!..
Ronaldinho Joined Zawya....
Marock!..
Draw Live!..
Zoo Animals Need e'space..
Les ABRANIS: Prodigy of Rockabyl..
Sofiane Saidi: Cet Algerien Trip-rai Hopper..
Lemchaheb Legacy ..
Zahra Hindi, Beautiful You!..
Jajouka's Winds of Moroccana..
Google Language Translation: English to/from Arabic..
Aziz Mekouar, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the US..
Google Shoots Microsoft.. One.. More.... Time!..
Monsieux Mehdi Ben Barka: Un Marocain Assassiné Qui Visait P..
Yale, Taliban and Weld L'Hashemi....
Near-eastern Muslim Scholars..
Three Algerians on Highway =]..
Moroccan Riverdance!..
Moroccan Candle-toe Dance..
Moroccan Qassida: Vraie Poesie!..
LA3MARNA Legacy..
Chilling Like a Mqedem in Morocco..
Alone in the Wilderness..
Are Iranians and Americans Blowing it Up?..
Are we a virus..?..
How come Morocco is silent to Dalfour, Sudan?..
Barreling Towards an Iraqi Civil War..
Pomme and Kelly ..
Intelligent Design and Evolution in not so American lands..
The Prophets animated by Steve Whitehouse..
More with Claudio Bravo..
Muslim Texans..
Hajj Stampede Gone Ugly!..
Self-portraits 001-002..
Why Faith?..
Online 7awli Souk!..
2006 !..
 
2005
Derbouka Bled Attack..
Adopted HIV kids from Romania..
Operation Mapping Raioo Love!..
They burnt themselves.. Come'on!..
My Winamp Skin: The New Beetle..
The Forbidden Zone film that electrified me!..
Cousins skyblogging..
Chilean artist in Morocco..
Moroccan Blue tops colors!..
Osama in FAMILY GUY..
Baraka Art..
Itsy Bitsy knowledge..
The most misunderstood [and growing..] world religion, Islam..
Moroccan Christians..
Polygamy in USA..
Architecturing to joy!..
This Moorish cult in America..
The Magnificient King Vulture..
Al-Rashid and the Fart..
On the subject of Evil Eye..
Anecdote on Life and 3ibada..
Anecdote on Giving in Time of Need..
T-shirt design: L'Amoureux!..
Craig Thompson art..
The Real Origin of Smileys :)..
T-shirt design: Happy Sailor!..
T-shirt design: threadless in Kufi..
T-shirt design: Magic e-lamp..
My August '05 T-shirt Designs ..
Your Living Space..
The Raioo Story: 2. in the garden..
The Raioo Story: 1. intro..
Arabic Beat and Instrument Music Wanted!..
 
2004
RA?NA RAI Legacy..
Algerian Chaabi..
Nour L'Koufi (Gharnati)..
Hidalgo in Morocco..
Le Secret d'Elissa Rhais..
Imam Shafii. Soni N'nafssa..
Feqqas (Moroccan Biscuiti)..
Casablanca Connect..
 
2003
ZEBDA! Un Groupe Genial!..
Al Moutanabbi. Idha Ghamarta..
Imam Shafii. sa'fir tajid 3iwada..
boston.food.Tangierino..
Long Distance Honey ..
The Working Wife and Husband..
The Hammam Public Bath: Do you still go there?..
Hip Hop Classic Favorites!..
Down With Love..
Lord Of The Rings..
How To create a Moroccan remix of a video clip ? ..
 
2002
Why we don't eat Porc?..
Do You Play Music?..
Hidoura: Your Moroccan Natural Carpet..
Khaddouj Slam-dunking From Marrakesh To New York..


FAVORITES
Hmida Rass Lmida à L'Avare de Molière!
Moroccan City Names
Shining ability is a gift...
Halloween SPECIAL 2007: La Mort D'une Souri!
Cheikha Rimitti: 83 Years of Life...
Why do we pray ?
short ones
ABSOLUTE RAIOO Summer 2007 Rai vol.2
Cheba Zohra & Mahadattes de Rilizane
Close Encounters of the Moroccan Kind!
Biyouna
Another attempt at writing. Will this language ever feel natural?
North Africa Journal
Moroccan Tattoos
From Los Angeles to Casablanca!
Amina Alaoui Lyrics
Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi
Vulgarity as revolution: Lemsakh we tsalguit
Les Oiseaux De Figuig!
ghir bessyas a moulay!
QURAN FLASH
Moroccan Playing Cards Game ronda v1.0
A Call From Algeria to Help Suffering Little Boy Mounib!
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