What is really happening in Iran?

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Hong Kong – The supreme war-or-peace question regarding the Iran psychodrama has got to be: What game is Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei really playing?

Sharp wits among the lively Iranian global diaspora maintain that the Supreme Leader is the perfect US/Israel asset – as he incarnates Iran as “the enemy” (although in most cases in a much less strident way than Ahmadinejad).  

In parallel, the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran also needs “the enemy” – as in “the Great Satan” and assorted Zionists – to justify its monopoly of power.

 Drums of war:
The US media and the ‘Iranian threat’

The ultimate loser, voices of the diaspora sustain, is true Iranian democracy – as in the foundation for the country’s ability to resist empire. Especially now, after the immensely dodgy 2009 presidential election and the repression of the Green movement. Even former supporters swear the Islamic Republic is now neither a “republic” – nor “Islamic”.    

For their part, another current of informed Iranian – and Western – critics of empire swear that the belligerent Likud-majority government of Israel is in fact the perfect Iranian asset. After all, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and former Moldova bouncer turned Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s non-stop warmongering tends to rally Iranians of all persuasions – always proudly nationalistic – behind the flag.

The absolute majority of Iranians knows and feels they are targeted by a heavily weaponised foreign power – US/Israel. The leadership in Tehran has been wily enough to instrumentalise this foreign threat, and at the same time further smash the Green movement.

Your bombs are no good here

Parliamentary elections in Iran are only a few days away, on March 3. These are the first elections after the 2009 drama. In The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge (Penguin Books), Hooman Majd makes a very strong case to detail how the election was “stolen”. And that’s the heart of the matter; millions of Iranians don’t believe in their Islamic democracy anymore.

Gholam Reza Moghaddam, a cleric, and the head of the Majlis (parliament) commission that is conducting an extremely delicate move in the middle of an economic crisis – to end government subsidies on basic food items and energy – recently admitted that the Ahmadinejad government is, by all practical purposes, bribing the population “to encourage them to vote in the Majlis elections”.

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi – a senior military adviser to Khamenei and, crucially, former chief of the 125,000-strong Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – asked Iranians to “take the elections seriously, and, by voting in maximum numbers, create another epic event”. The Supreme Leader himself believes – or hopes – turnout at the “epic event” will be around 60 per cent.

We believe that using nuclear weapons is haram and prohibited, and that it is everybody’s duty to make efforts to protect humanity against this great disaster.”

– Ayatollah Khamenei

They may be in for a rude shock. Word in Iran is that the election appeal at universities is close to zero. No wonder, Green movement leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has been under house arrest for a full year. According to Kaleme, a website close to Mousavi and his wife, Dr Zahra Rahnavard, a few days ago they were allowed to speak only briefly, by phone, with their three daughters.

So far, Khamenei’s attention seems to have been concentrated more on external pressure than the internal dynamic. Once again, last Wednesday, he went public to renew his vow that nuclear weapons are anti-Islamic. His words should – but they won’t – be carefully scrutinised in the West: 

We believe that using nuclear weapons is haram and prohibited, and that it is everybody’s duty to make efforts to protect humanity against this great disaster. We believe that besides nuclear weapons, other types of weapons of mass destruction such as chemical and biological weapons also pose a serious threat to humanity. The Iranian nation, which is itself a victim of chemical weapons, feels more than any other nation the danger that is caused by the production and stockpiling of such weapons and is prepared to make use of all its facilities to counter such threats.

To see the Supreme Leader’s “nuclear” views, US and Israeli warmongers could do worse than to consult his website. Of course, they won’t.

What’s certain is that Khamenei seems to be digging in for the long haul. Retired Major General Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary-general of the Expediency Council, said it in so many words. Western sanctions will go on for at least another five years, and are much tougher than those imposed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Rezai also said that, for 16 years, when Rafsanjani and then Khatami served as presidents, Iran tried to reach some sort of deal with the US, but “because the gap [between the two] was too deep, a compromise was not possible … We allowed them to inspect Natanz, we reduced the number of centrifuges, we suspended the Isfahan [uranium conversion facility], and our president [Khatami] began the ‘dialogue among civilisations’. But Bush declared that Iran, Iraq and North Korea constituted the ‘axis of evil’ and began a confrontation with us.” (Here’s the original text, in Farsi.)

A former spokesman for the Iranian nuclear negotiation team, Ambassador Hossein Mousavian, brought this confrontational mood up to date – to the IAEA team visit to Iran last October, led by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts – the same Nackaerts who was back in Iran last week.

According to Mousavian, “during the visit, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, offered a blank cheque to the IAEA, granting full transparency, openness to inspections and co-operation with the IAEA. He also informed Nackaerts of Iran’s receptiveness to putting the country’s nuclear programme under ‘full IAEA supervision’, including implementing the Additional Protocol for five years, provided that sanctions against Iran were lifted”.

Washington’s reaction was predictable: instead of diplomacy, more belligerence. The next steps are well-known; the Fast-and-Furious plot trying to frame Tehran for the assassination attempt on the Saudi ambassador to the US; the pressure to divert the IAEA’s November 2011 report on Iran by adding a spin on a “possible” military angle to the nuclear programme; the oil embargo; the sponsoring of a UN resolution against Iran on terrorism; and the list goes on.

A new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG), based in Brussels, virtually endorses Iran’s approach as outlined by Mousavian. The result would be the recognition of Iran’s right to enrich uranium up to five per cent, and the lifting of existing sanctions – in stages.

The report recommends the US and the EU follow Turkey’s diplomatic way of dealing with Iran. Instead of sanctions, sabotage and non-stop threats of war, the report stresses that “economic pressure is at best futile, at worse counter-productive”, and that Tehran “ought to be presented with a realistic proposal”. This is exactly what the BRICS group of emerging powers, plus Turkey, has been advocating all along.

Show me the path of the Imam

In all matters external and internal, in Iran the buck stops with Khamenei – and not with end-of-mandate Ahmadinejad. If the Supreme Leader seems to have his pulse firmly on the nuclear dossier, home matters are infinitely more complicated. Khamenei may take comfort that, outside the big cities, he remains quite popular – as government loans in rural areas remain generous, at least while the new Western sanctions have yet to bite. 

But high-ranking clerics in Qom are now openly calling for legal mechanisms to oversee – and criticise – him; his response – hardly a secret in Tehran – was to order all their offices and homes to be bugged.

Khamenei has vehemently rejected any sort of oversight by the Council of Experts – the Iranian body that appoints the Supreme Leader, monitors his performance, and can even topple him.

According to Seyyed Abbas Nabavi, the head of the Organisation for Islamic Civilisation and Development, Khamenei told the experts: “I do not accept the assembly can say that the Supreme Leader is still qualified, but then question why such and such official was directed in a certain direction, or why I allowed a certain official [to do certain things].” (Here’s the original text, in Farsi.)

In 2011, I heard from exiled Iranian film director Mohsen Makhmalbaf that, “we actually started the Arab Spring, in 2009, with the Green movement in the streets”. Following the outbursts of outrage after the election result – when for the first time Iranians openly called for the downfall of the Supreme Leader – revolt steadily marches on, with urban, highly educated professionals deriding Khamenei as stubborn, jealous and vindictive, and holding a monster grudge against those millions who never swallowed his endorsement of Ahmadinejad in 2009 (he always calls them “seditionists”).

For instance, even the daughter of a well-known ayatollah has gone public, saying that Khamenei “holds a grudge in his heart” against Rafsanjani and former presidential candidates Mousavi and Karoubi “because of the Imam’s [Khomeini’s] love and support for them – and also because, in comparison to these three, in particular Hashemi [Rafsanjani] and Mousavi, he is clearly a second-rate individual”.

Khamenei is now being widely blamed for anything from Iran’s falling production capacity to mounting inflation and widespread corruption.  

And that leads us to another key question: What about the IRGC’s support for the Supreme Leader?

The cream of the IRGC is engaged in a sort of economic war against the bazaaris – the traditionally very conservative Persian merchants.”

The Iranian diaspora largely considers this support to be pure propaganda. Yet the fact is that the IRGC is not only an army, but a monster conglomerate with myriad military-industrial, economic and financial interests. Top managers – and the array of enterprises they control – are bound to the ethos of antagonising the West, the same West from whose sanctions they handsomely profit. So, for them, the status quo is nice and dandy – even with the everyday possibility of a miscalculation, or a false-flag operation, leading to war.    

At the same time, the IRGC may count on the key strategic/political support of BRICS members – Russia and China – and is certain that the country will be able to dribble the embargo and keep selling oil mostly to Asian clients (currently 62 per cent of exports, and rising).   

But what’s really juicy, in terms of Iran’s internal dynamic, is the fact that the cream of the IRGC is engaged in a sort of economic war against the bazaaris – the traditionally very conservative Persian merchants.  

It’s crucial to remember that these bazaaris financed the so-called “Path of the Imam” Islamic Revolution. They were – and remain – radically anti-colonialist (especially as practiced by the Brits and then the US); but this does not mean they are anti-Western (something that most in the West still don’t understand).

Once again, as top Iranian analysts have been ceaselessly pointing out, one must remember that the Islamic Revolution’s original motto was “Neither East nor West”; what mattered was a sort of curiously Buddhist “middle of the road” – exactly that “Path of the Imam” which would guarantee Islamic Iran as a sovereign, non-aligned country.

And guess who was part of this original “Path of the Imam” coalition of the willing? Exactly: Khamenei (and Ahmadinejad) foes Mousavi, Khatami, Karoubi and Rafsanjani, not to mention a moderate faction of the IRGC, graphically symbolised by former IRGC commander and former presidential candidate, Mohsen Rezai.

So what the “Path of the Imam” coalition is essentially saying is that Khamenei is a traitor of the principles of the revolution; they accuse him of trying to become a sort of Shia Caliph – an absolute ruler. This message is increasingly getting public resonance among millions of Iranians who believe in certainly an “Islamic”, but most of all a “true” “Republic”.

And that leads us to the Supreme Leader’s supreme fear, that a coalition of purists – including influential Qom clerics and powerful IRGC commanders or former commanders, with widespread urban support – may eventually rise up, get rid of him, and finally implement their dream of a true Islamic Republic. Only this is certain: The one thing they won’t get rid of is Iran’s civilian nuclear programme.

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His latest book is named Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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The imperial way: US decline in perspective

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Read Time:14 Minute, 42 Second

This is the second of a two-part article by Noam Chomsky on the decline of US power. You can read the first part here.

Cambridge, MA – In the years of conscious, self-inflicted decline at home, “losses” continued to mount elsewhere. In the past decade, for the first time in 500 years, South America has taken successful steps to free itself from western domination, another serious loss. The region has moved towards integration, and has begun to address some of the terrible internal problems of societies ruled by mostly Europeanised elites, tiny islands of extreme wealth in a sea of misery. They have also rid themselves of all US military bases and of IMF controls. A newly formed organisation, CELAC, includes all countries of the hemisphere apart from the US and Canada. If it actually functions, that would be another step in US decline, in this case in what has always been regarded as “the backyard”.

The MENA countries have been regarded as ‘one of the greatest material prizes in world history’ [GALLO/GETTY]

Even more serious would be the loss of the MENA countries – Middle East/North Africa – which have been regarded by planners since the 1940s as “a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history”, Control of MENA energy reserves would yield “substantial control of the world”, in the words of the influential Roosevelt advisor AA Berle. To be sure, if the projections of a century of US energy independence based on North American energy resources turn out to be realistic, the significance of controlling MENA would decline somewhat, though probably not by much: the main concern has always been control more than access. However, the likely consequences to the planet’s equilibrium are so ominous that discussion may be largely an academic exercise.

The Arab Spring, another development of historic importance, might portend at least a partial “loss” of MENA. The US and its allies have tried hard to prevent that outcome – so far, with considerable success. Their policy towards the popular uprisings has kept closely to the standard guidelines: support the forces most amenable to US influence and control. Favoured dictators are supported as long as they can maintain control (as in the major oil states). When that is no longer possible, then discard them and try to restore the old regime as fully as possible (as in Tunisia and Egypt). The general pattern is familiar: Somoza, Marcos, Duvalier, Mobutu, Suharto, and many others. In one case, Libya, the three traditional imperial powers intervened by force to participate in a rebellion to overthrow a mercurial and unreliable dictator, opening the way, it is expected, to more efficient control over Libya’s rich resources (oil primarily, but also water, of particular interest to French corporations), to a possible base for the US Africa Command (so far restricted to Germany), and to the reversal of growing Chinese penetration. As far as policy goes, there have been few surprises.

Crucially, it is important to reduce the threat of functioning democracy, in which popular opinion will significantly influence policy. That again is routine, and quite understandable. A look at the studies of public opinion undertaken by US polling agencies in the MENA countries easily explains the western fear of authentic democracy, in which public opinion will significantly influence policy.

Israel and the Republican Party

Similar considerations carry over directly to the second major concern addressed in the issue of Foreign Affairs cited in part one of this piece: the Israel-Palestine conflict. Fear of democracy could hardly be more clearly exhibited than in this case. In January 2006, an election took place in Palestine, pronounced free and fair by international monitors. The instant reaction of the US (and of course Israel), with Europe following along politely, was to impose harsh penalties on Palestinians for voting the wrong way.

For 35 years the US has led the rejectionist camp on Israel-Palestine.”

That is no innovation. It is quite in accord with the general and unsurprising principle recognised by mainstream scholarship: the US supports democracy if, and only if, the outcomes accord with its strategic and economic objectives, the rueful conclusion of neo-Reaganite Thomas Carothers, the most careful and respected scholarly analyst of “democracy promotion” initiatives.

More broadly, for 35 years the US has led the rejectionist camp on Israel-Palestine, blocking an international consensus calling for a political settlement in terms too well known to require repetition. The western mantra is that Israel seeks negotiations without preconditions, while the Palestinians refuse. The opposite is more accurate. The US and Israel demand strict preconditions, which are, furthermore, designed to ensure that negotiations will lead either to Palestinian capitulation on crucial issues, or nowhere.

The first precondition is that the negotiations must be supervised by Washington, which makes about as much sense as demanding that Iran supervise the negotiation of Sunni-Shia conflicts in Iraq. Serious negotiations would have to be under the auspices of some neutral party, preferably one that commands some international respect, perhaps Brazil. The negotiations would seek to resolve the conflicts between the two antagonists: the US and Israel on one side, most of the world on the other.

The second precondition is that Israel must be free to expand its illegal settlements in the West Bank. Theoretically, the US opposes these actions, but with a very light tap on the wrist, while continuing to provide economic, diplomatic and military support. When the US does have some limited objections, it very easily bars the actions, as in the case of the E-1 project linking Greater Jerusalem to the 39,000-resident settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim, virtually bisecting the West Bank, a very high priority for Israeli planners (across the spectrum), but which raised some objections in Washington, so that Israel has had to resort to devious measures to chip away at the project.

The pretence of opposition reached the level of farce in February 2011 when Obama vetoed a Security Council resolution calling for implementation of official US policy (also adding the uncontroversial observation that the settlements themselves are illegal, quite apart from their expansion). Since that time there has been little talk about ending settlement expansion, which continues, with studied provocation.

Thus, as Israeli and Palestinian representatives prepared to meet in Jordan in January 2011, Israel announced new construction in Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa, West Bank areas that it has declared to be within the greatly expanded area of Jerusalem, annexed, settled, and constructed as Israel’s capital – all in violation of direct Security Council orders. Other moves carry forward the grander design of separating whatever West Bank enclaves will be left to Palestinian administration from the cultural, commercial, political centre of Palestinian life in the former Jerusalem.

It is understandable that Palestinian rights should be marginalised in US policy and discourse. Palestinians have no wealth or power. They offer virtually nothing to US policy concerns; in fact, they have negative value, as a nuisance that stirs up “the Arab street”.

Israel, in contrast, is a valuable ally. It is a rich society with a sophisticated, largely militarised high-tech industry. For decades, it has been a highly valued military and strategic ally, particularly since 1967, when it performed a great service to the US and its Saudi ally by destroying the Nasserite “virus”, establishing the “special relationship” with Washington in the form that has persisted since. It is also a growing centre for US high-tech investment. In fact, high-tech –  particularly military – industries in the two countries are closely linked.

Apart from such elementary considerations of great power politics as these, there are cultural factors that should not be ignored. Christian Zionism in Britain and the US long preceded Jewish Zionism, and has been a significant elite phenomenon with clear policy implications (including the Balfour Declaration, which drew from it). When General Allenby conquered Jerusalem during World War I, he was hailed in the US press as “Richard the Lion-Hearted”, who had at last won the Crusades and driven the pagans out of the Holy Land.

The next step was for the Chosen People to return to the land promised to them by the Lord. Articulating a common elite view, President Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes described Jewish colonisation of Palestine as an achievement “without comparison in the history of the human race”. Such attitudes find their place easily within the Providentialist doctrines that have been a strong element in popular and elite culture since the country’s origins: the belief that God has a plan for the world, and that the US is carrying it forward under divine guidance, as articulated by a long list of leading figures.

Moreover, evangelical Christianity is a major popular force in the US. Further towards the extremes, End Times evangelical Christianity also has enormous popular outreach, invigorated by the establishment of Israel in 1948, revitalised even more by the conquest of the rest of Palestine in 1967 – all signs that End Times and the Second Coming are approaching.

These forces have become particularly significant since the Reagan years, as the Republicans have abandoned the pretence of being a political party in the traditional sense, while devoting themselves in virtual lockstep uniformity to servicing a tiny percentage of the super-rich and the corporate sector. However, the small constituency that is primarily served by the reconstructed party cannot provide votes, so they have to turn elsewhere.

The only choice is to mobilise tendencies that have always been present, though rarely as an organised political force: primarily nativists trembling in fear and hatred, and religious elements – extremists by international standards if not in the US. One outcome is reverence for alleged Biblical prophecies, hence not only support for Israel and its conquests and expansion, but passionate love for Israel, another core part of the catechism that must be intoned by Republican candidates – with Democrats, again, not too far behind.

These factors aside, it should not be forgotten that the “Anglosphere” – Britain and its offshoots – consists of settler-colonial societies, which rose on the ashes of indigenous populations, suppressed or virtually exterminated. Past practices must have been basically correct, in the US case even ordained by Divine Providence. Accordingly there is often an intuitive sympathy for the children of Israel when they follow a similar course. But primarily, geostrategic and economic interests prevail, and policy is not graven in stone.

The Iranian ‘threat’ and the nuclear issue

Let us turn finally to the third of the leading issues addressed in the establishment journals cited earlier, the “threat of Iran”. Among elites and the political class this is generally taken to be the primary threat to world order – though not among populations. In Europe, polls show that Israel is regarded as the leading threat to peace. In the MENA countries, that status is shared with the US, to the extent that, in Egypt, on the eve of the Tahrir Square uprising, 80 per cent felt that the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons. The same polls found that only ten per cent regard Iran as a threat – unlike the ruling dictators, who have their own concerns.

In the United States, before the massive propaganda campaigns of the past few years, a majority of the population agreed with most of the world that, as a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has a right to carry out uranium enrichment. And even today, a large majority favours peaceful means for dealing with Iran. There is even strong opposition to military engagement if Iran and Israel are at war. Only a quarter regard Iran as an important concern for the US altogether. But it is not unusual for there to be a gap, often a chasm, dividing public opinion and policy.

Why exactly is Iran regarded as such a colossal threat? The question is rarely discussed, but it is not hard to find a serious answer – though not, as usual, in the fevered pronouncements. The most authoritative answer is provided by the Pentagon and the intelligence services in their regular reports to Congress on global security. They report that Iran does not pose a military threat. Its military spending is very low, even by the standards of the region – minuscule, of course, in comparison with the US.

It makes very good sense to try to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapons states, including the three that have refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty – Israel, India and Pakistan – all of which have been assisted in developing nuclear weapons by the US, and are still being assisted by them.”

Iran has little capacity to deploy force. Its strategic doctrines are defensive, designed to deter invasion long enough for diplomacy to set it. If Iran is developing nuclear weapons capability, they report, that would be part of its deterrence strategy. No serious analyst believes that the ruling clerics are eager to see their country and possessions vaporised, the immediate consequence of their coming even close to initiating a nuclear war. And it is hardly necessary to spell out the reasons why any Iranian leadership would be concerned with deterrence, under existing circumstances.

The regime is doubtless a serious threat to much of its own population – and regrettably, is hardly unique on that score. But the primary threat to the US and Israel is that Iran might deter their free exercise of violence. A further threat is that the Iranians clearly seek to extend their influence to neighboring Iraq and Afghanistan, and beyond as well. Those “illegitimate” acts are called “destabilising” (or worse). In contrast, forceful imposition of US influence halfway around the world contributes to “stability” and order, in accord with traditional doctrine about who owns the world.

It makes very good sense to try to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapons states, including the three that have refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty – Israel, India and Pakistan – all of which have been assisted in developing nuclear weapons by the US, and are still being assisted by them. It is not impossible to approach that goal by peaceful diplomatic means. One approach, which enjoys overwhelming international support, is to undertake meaningful steps towards establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East, including Iran and Israel (and applying as well to US forces deployed there), better still extending to South Asia.

Support for such efforts is so strong that the Obama administration has been compelled to formally agree, but with reservations: crucially, that Israel’s nuclear program must not be placed under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Association, and that no state (meaning the US) should be required to release information about “Israeli nuclear facilities and activities, including information pertaining to previous nuclear transfers to Israel”. Obama also accepts Israel’s position that any such proposal must be conditional on a comprehensive peace settlement, which the US and Israel can continue to delay indefinitely.

This survey comes nowhere near being exhaustive, needless to say. Among major topics not addressed is the shift of US military policy towards the Asia-Pacific region, with new additions to the huge military base system underway right now, in Jeju Island off South Korea and Northwest Australia, all elements of the policy of “containment of China”. Closely related is the issue of US bases in Okinawa, bitterly opposed by the population for many years, and a continual crisis in US-Tokyo-Okinawa relations.

Revealing how little fundamental assumptions have changed, US strategic analysts describe the result of China’s military programs as a “classic ‘security dilemma’, whereby military programs and national strategies deemed defensive by their planners are viewed as threatening by the other side”, writes Paul Godwin of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. The security dilemma arises over control of the seas off China’s coasts. The US regards its policies of controlling these waters as “defensive”, while China regards them as threatening; correspondingly, China regards its actions in nearby areas as “defensive” while the US regards them as threatening. No such debate is even imaginable concerning US coastal waters. This “classic security dilemma” makes sense, again, on the assumption that the US has a right to control most of the world, and that US security requires something approaching absolute global control.

While the principles of imperial domination have undergone little change, the capacity to implement them has markedly declined as power has become more broadly distributed in a diversifying world. Consequences are many. It is, however, very important to bear in mind that – unfortunately – none lifts the two dark clouds that hover over all consideration of global order: nuclear war and environmental catastrophe, both literally threatening the decent survival of the species.

Quite the contrary. Both threats are ominous, and increasing.

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. He is the author of numerous best-selling political works. His latest books are Making the Future: Occupations, Intervention, Empire, and Resistance, The Essential Chomsky (edited by Anthony Arnove), a collection of his writings on politics and on language from the 1950s to the present, Gaza in Crisis, with Ilan Pappé, and Hopes and Prospects, also available as an audiobook.

To listen to Timothy MacBain’s latest Tomcast audio interview in which Chomsky offers an anatomy of US defeats in the Greater Middle East, click here, or download it to your MP3 player here.

A version of this piece was originally published on TomDispatch.com.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Becoming Nigerian -Africa States of Independence

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Read Time:10 Minute, 46 Second

Home to 150 million people, one-quarter of the entire African continent’s citizens, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation. The British, who colonised the nation for the first 60 years of the 20th century, ruled over some 250 tribes often by playing one off against the other.

So when independence was gained in October 1960, tribalism was a powerful force.

Nigerians who took over at independence were faced with the challenge of trying to form a sense of Nigerian belonging and identity. Most people could only relate to their ethnic groupings.

These divisions have remained within Nigerian society, intermittently causing outbreaks of deadly violence. Despite Nigeria’s enormous oil reserves, its population is poor, collective victims of rampant corruption.

But at 50, and with an election just around the corner, can this country finally fulfill its potential and become the biggest African success story?

Despite there being many different tribes in Nigeria, three major ethnicities have traditionally dominated the country’s politics and resources.

At independence the federal constitution divided the country into three principalities, each run by one of the main ethnic groups: The Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Yoruba in the south-west and the Igbo in the south-east.

“I consider myself a Yoruba before I’m a Nigerian. That’s my immediate instant identity. And I think most intellectuals will say the same thing, and politicians. However, here we are together, brought together by the British. Operating the same constitution. A new identity which supervenes the various ethnic nationalities, is born,” Wole Soyinka, a Nigerian Nobel Peace Laureate, says.

But ethnic divisions have never gone away in Nigeria. And as the various groups vied for supremacy in Nigeria’s immediate post-colonial period, the military intervened, just as they had done in other African nations.

“[Independence] came at a time when the whole of Africa, the whole third world, were also changing to another phenomenon, and that is military. In 1952 there was a military coup in Egypt for example, in the 50s then it came to Ghana, and so on, so we came within that environment when the military was the ‘in’-thing,” Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, a former Nigerian military leader, says.

In January 1966, Nigeria’s first military coup took place. It was cautiously welcomed by a population who hoped it would bring equality among the major ethnic groups. But such hopes were quickly dashed when it became clear that the majority of the coup leaders were of Igbo decent and the casualties mostly Hausa.

“There was this feeling that the coup was ethnically imbalanced. One side of the country was spared, the other side of the country had greater casualties in this, and immediately there was agitation for ‘revenge’,” Babangida says.

“So there were reprisals in the north and certain parts of the south and the first wave of reprisals and second wave and the third wave was more brutal than anything,” Soyinka says.

Thiry-thousand Igbo were killed in fighting with Hausas, and around one million Igbo were internally displaced.

“People were just butchered, there was nothing more than an act of genocide,” Soyinka says. 

The struggle for unity

A Biafran family during the famine resulting from the Biafran war [GALLO/GETTY]

Nigeria was soon embroiled in a bloody civil war. On May 30, 1967, Igbo leader Colonel Emeka Ojukwu, unilaterally declared the independent Republic of Biafra in the south-east of the country.

The oil-rich region of the Niger Delta was within its boundaries. But Nigeria’s other ethnic groups would not let this region go without a fight.

“Those of us who fought the civil war, believe Nigeria is worth dying for in unity, better than living in division and destruction,” Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former president, says.

The struggle for unity would come at a devastating price. Over one million people would be killed as the war dragged on, and famine took hold in the self-proclaimed state of Biafra.

“Now I thought the war was very immoral and I still think so to today. These were people who had been really really brutalised and dehumanised, and it was bad tactics for them at the time to declare independence. But as far political morality was concerned I felt they had every right,” Soyinka says.

The war ended in 1970, with the south-east once again part of Nigeria. But divisions persisted and, in some places, remain to this day.

At the crossroads of the Muslim north and the Christian south the British set up a tin mining area around the city of Jos in Plateau State. Migrants from different parts of Nigeria flowed in seeking work. The city became known for its ethnic diversity.

“Jos was in fact a heaven for all those who were even running away from areas of conflict in other parts of Nigeria,” Gyang Pwajok, the director of planning in Jos, says.

By the time of independence though, tin mining was already in decline. Yet these disparate ethnic groups continued to live side by side, competing for ever-fewer resources.

Sectarian violence

Over the last decade sectarian attacks and counter attacks have plagued Jos. The  most recent outbreak of violence occurred in March 2010, when a machete-wielding mob from the Muslim Hausa Fulani ethnic group descended on the Christian village of Dogo Nahawa on the outskirts of the city.

This is just the latest in a series of attacks on both sides of the community. Throughout Jos thousands have died and thousands more have been made homeless.

“So you have a situation where perpetrators become victims and victims become perpetrators, in a situation of that nature you cannot continue to play the blame game and begin to say it’s only this side or that side because certainly no one wants to sit down and watch for him to be annihilated,” Pwajok says.

On the surface, it would seem that religious tensions are to blame for the violence. But, according to some, this is a simplistic explanation.

“I am one of those who consistently says this is not the case, yes if we have a crisis that is of a religious nature I believe by now we would have arrested it, but we have so many religious leaders, Muslims and Christians, who are willing to work to prevent this crisis. But that we have worked and the crisis still erupts each time means that we have to look beyond religion. When you look in the wrong direction and religion is blamed for everything, I say it is like escaping the reality,” Ignatius A Kaigama, the archbishop of Jos, says.

The reality is far more complex. Since independence, Nigeria has grown from three provinces to 36 states, with the intention of distributing the nation’s resources more fairly between the different ethnicities.

But in Plateau State, a distinction has grown between those whose ancestral origins were in the state and those who moved there later. This, coupled with ethnic and religious differences, has made Jos especially vulnerable to brutal conflict.

The city was once lauded for its integrated population. But it is now largely divided between Muslim and Christian neighbourhoods.

“It is dangerous in the sense that now when people are seggregated, when there is a conflict people know we direct our attack to this environment, to that environment and this is really becoming a problem,” Khalid Aliyu Abubakar, one of Jos’s imams, says.

The archbishop thinks that something has to be done by the government to create a sense of belonging and a patriotic feeling.

“That national spirit that national pride I’m a Nigerian first and foremost, no, I am this tribe I am this religion before I am a Nigerian, this has to change. Even what is happening in Jos now, if you don’t tackle it well and try to proactively prevent it, it will escalate and before you know it it has assumed in national dimension,” he says.

Potential for prosperity

Despite the oil-rich Niger delta region 90 per cent of Nigerians still live in poverty [EPA]

Four years before Nigeria gained independence from Britain, oil was discovered.

The potential for prosperity was clear. Between the oil boom of 1970 and 2007 the Nigerian government’s coffers have been enriched by almost $1.2tn in today’s money. But much of the profit has been squandered.

The country has consistently ranked one of the most corrupt in the world, and 90 per cent of the population continues to live on less than $2 a day.

In Nigeria stories of politicians and businessmen siphoning off the country’s resources are widespread. It is estimated that over $380bn have been stolen or wasted by Nigerian governments since independence.

For the majority of these five decades, military governments, unaccountable to the electorate, have held power.

Under General Ibrahim Badamisi Babangida, known as IBB, who ruled the country for eight years from 1985, corruption is said to have reached unprecedented levels. The World Bank estimates that in one year alone $2.1bn in petroleum sales were diverted to unknown accounts.

“No one can prove that to you, if you ask for proof, you will not get it,” Babangida says.

But in Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, proof of the effects of corruption is there for all to see. In a city of close to 17 million, two-thirds of the population live in slums.

In Makoko, a community built on the waterways of Lagos, locals survive without even the most basic resources.

“People in the community have no money to establish a school or a hospital. Because you have to be educated to become a doctor. The government wouldn’t be able to look after them. We can’t rely on the government of Nigeria. I think probably the community is starting to organise to help themselves. That is what we have started doing now,” Noah Shemede, a teacher, says.

Ethnic harmony

Signs painted on the fronts of the houses indicate that the residents are members of the Igbo tribe [EPA]

Yet, despite the economic extremes, and the cosmopolitan population, Lagos is, by and large, a harmonious city.

Although predominantly Yoruba, almost all of Nigeria’s ethnic groups are represented here. And like the nation itself, Lagos is divided almost equally between Christian and Muslims. 
 
“The people of Lagos are interwoven. Amongst some families in Lagos you find Chiristians and Muslims. If you decide now to fight, go to war between Christian and Muslim you would have to kill a member of your own family. That’s why in Lagos there’s perfect understanding between Christians and Muslims. So we cannot discriminate against ourselves,” Abdul Hafeez Abou, a Yoruba tribal chief, says.

Lagos is an energetic, exciting and vibrant. It is fast becoming a 24-hour city. In fact, many people refer to it as the New York of Africa and that is despite some of the serious problems here, for example the lack of power, the lack of running water, and the increasing cost of living it is still a city on the move.

Many people from other African states came to work here. But it is not just immigrants who are fueling the country’s economy. There is some evidence of a reversal of Nigeria’s brain drain. Fifteen million citizens left the country during the 1980s and 1990s due to a lack of opportunities. But some are now returning.

“Here the spirit of people is just great. You can’t beat it. Having lived in the UK for 20 years just to be at home is great. I’ve fortunately got great stuff going on with work. And you can contribute back, you can help them in life, help them with education, you can make an impact, more than you can in the West,” Tola Akarele, an entrepreneur, says.

“We can change our own country and continent. If you fix Nigeria, you fix Africa. That’s a fact,” Chike Nwagbogu, a businessman, says.

With upcoming elections in 2011 Nigerians are hoping that 50 years after independence, the political will exists to make the most of the country’s enormous potential.

“Sometimes civil society goes to sleep for a long time and wakes up and realises that the world has really moved beyond when it went to sleep. And then it becomes angry. And things happen and sometimes hopefully, it happens in a systemic organised way. Right now civil society is waking up and one is observing and participating with cautious optimism,” Soyinka says.{source}
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About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Hundreds march for tolerance in Oulu after killing of foreigners

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Read Time:1 Minute, 10 Second

Fresh off last weekend’s attack on two immigrants in Oulu, hundreds of people marched for tolerance in the city on Friday. The procession culminated with Imam Abdul Mannan presenting a plea for peace to mayor Matti Pennanen.

Saturday’s deadly pizzeria shooting in the city left one Moroccan man dead and another seriously injured.

Demonstrators called on Oulu decision makers and police to promote tolerance in the community. They also want officials to step up efforts to make the city more secure for immigrants as well as the native Finnish population.

This latest racially-flavoured incident has been a pause for reflection for inhabitants, as it was preceded by two other violent acts involving foreigners.

Earlier this winter a newspaper deliveryman sustained serious injuries when he fled a hostile situation by jumping from a balcony. A similar situation occurred a few weeks later when a young man died after falling from the sixth floor when trying to flee a bad situation. While police say neither event was the direct result of xenophobia, altercations with Finns preceded both incidents.

Online debates on racism in Finland have raged since a local Finns Party councilman praised last week’s pizzeria shooter. Finns party leader, Timo Soini, said the man was likely to be expelled over the comment.

A similar procession was held in Helsinki on Friday, moving from the Central Railway Station to the Parliament House.

YLE

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Australian woman(Cochrane-Ramsey) collaborated with scammers to dupe car buyers

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Read Time:2 Minute, 32 Second

Nigerian email scams have become nearly as commonplace as the Internet itself. But one Australian woman wound up in jail after turning the tables–to the tune of $30,000–on a group of con artists.

The Courier-Mail reports that Sarah Jane Cochrane-Ramsey, 23, was employed as an “agent” in March 2010 by the Nigerians, but didn’t know they were scam artists. Her “job” was to provide access to an Australian bank account opened in her name where the Nigerians could then transfer money they had received from a phony car sales website. Cochrane-Ramsey was told she could keep eight percent of the transfers.

But, then she decided to steal from the thieves themselves. According to the Courier-Mail, she received two payments, totaling $33,350, but spent most of it on herself.

If you’re not familiar with the so-called Nigerian Scam, also known as the (419) scam, or Advanced Fee Fraud, here’s a brief explainer: the fraud works by convincing an individual to give money and/or bank account access to a third-party in exchange for future financial rewards.

Most commonly, the scam artist will claim to be a wealthy Nigerian individual looking to move his vast financial resources to another country. He then promises the fraud victim a hefty payment in exchange for a temporary loan or bank account access in order to facilitate the move. Of course, the fraud victim never receives the promised payout and instead usually ends up losing thousands of dollars in the process. According to Scam Busters, the Advance Fee Fraud scams often target small businesses and charities. And while the scam has been around for years, the U.S. Financial Crimes Division of the Secret Service still receives a reported 100 calls a day from people claiming to be victims of a (419) crime.

But, back to the Cochrane-Ramsey case. The real victims who thought they were buying cars online reported the scam to the police, who traced the account back to Cochrane-Ramsey. She was ordered to appear in Brisbane District Court and plead guilty to one count of aggravated fraud.

For now, the court judge is allowing Cochrane-Ramsey time to come up with the money to pay off the fraud victims while she awaits sentencing in March.

Interestingly, Cochrane-Ramsey is not the first person to turn the tables on Nigerian scammers. In 2008, the radio program This American Life ran a story on some anonymous pranksters who sent a Nigerian scam artist on a wild goose chase that spanned 1,400-miles into war-torn Chad for a promised cash payout at a local Western Union branch.

And they convinced him to do this while carrying an anti-Muslim/pro-George W. Bush note, which stated his intention to rob the Western Union. Their entire plan was spelled out on this website, dedicated to turning the tables on Internet con artists (Warning: contains Not Safe for Work language).

You can listen to the episode of This American Life here.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Lagos State Shuts Down Seven Churches Over Noise Pollution

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Read Time:1 Minute, 23 Second

The Lagos State Government has shut down the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic  Revival Ministry and six other churches in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria over noise pollution. Officials of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA stormed a branch of the Lord’s Chosen Church at 25 Omobola Street, Lawanson, Surulere area at the weekend and shut it down.

Other affected churches are Bible Church, FESTAC; The Chapter of Christ Church, Oregun, Ikeja; Assemblies of God Church, Ikeja; The Golden Gate Church, Ifako-Ijaiye and Seek and Save Ministry, Abule Egba.
 
The closure of the churches is coming after pre-sanction notices were given to the churches to abate the noise pollution emanating from their worship centres. General Manager, LASEPA, Engr. Rasheed Shabi said the closure of the churches became imperative after several abatement notices issued to them were disregarded.
 
According to him, some of the churches even rebuffed meetings called by the agency on how to resolve the issue. “The agency’s stance is clear on issue of noise pollution level permitted. This has been communicated to all worship centres in the state”.
 
“The level of noise pollution allowed in the state is between 55 decibel during the day and 42 to 45 decibel at night,” he said. Shabi said the state government was determined to reduce noise pollution in the state because of the anomalies and diseases related to it.
 
Engr. Rasheed Shabi enjoined worship centres in the state to comply with the state’s standard on noise, while suggesting the use of sound proof equipment by churches to reduce noise during their worship services.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Lagos State Shuts Down Seven Churches Over Noise Pollution

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Read Time:1 Minute, 23 Second

The Lagos State Government has shut down the Lord’s Chosen Charismatic  Revival Ministry and six other churches in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria over noise pollution. Officials of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA stormed a branch of the Lord’s Chosen Church at 25 Omobola Street, Lawanson, Surulere area at the weekend and shut it down.

Other affected churches are Bible Church, FESTAC; The Chapter of Christ Church, Oregun, Ikeja; Assemblies of God Church, Ikeja; The Golden Gate Church, Ifako-Ijaiye and Seek and Save Ministry, Abule Egba.
 
The closure of the churches is coming after pre-sanction notices were given to the churches to abate the noise pollution emanating from their worship centres. General Manager, LASEPA, Engr. Rasheed Shabi said the closure of the churches became imperative after several abatement notices issued to them were disregarded.
 
According to him, some of the churches even rebuffed meetings called by the agency on how to resolve the issue. “The agency’s stance is clear on issue of noise pollution level permitted. This has been communicated to all worship centres in the state”.
 
“The level of noise pollution allowed in the state is between 55 decibel during the day and 42 to 45 decibel at night,” he said. Shabi said the state government was determined to reduce noise pollution in the state because of the anomalies and diseases related to it.
 
Engr. Rasheed Shabi enjoined worship centres in the state to comply with the state’s standard on noise, while suggesting the use of sound proof equipment by churches to reduce noise during their worship services.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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AFRICA AND THE SECOND COMING OF THE WHITE MAN

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Read Time:13 Minute, 29 Second

It would seem from evidence that Africa is doomed. Not because it was cursed by God but because the people are too blind to see, too deaf to hear, too adamant to understand and have too much faith in the unknown to reason. These are the possible reasons why Africa will always be exploited by any country which dares and continue to provide slaves to the world.

 

Sometime ago someone told me a joke: “Once upon a time a white man asked God why he was so unfair in the distribution of earth natural resources. He wanted to know why God put almost all earth’s resources in Africa, Middle East and South America and left Europe with only cold weather. He complained bitterly that everything appears to be in abundance in Africa: gold, silver, diamond crude oil, bauxite, magnesium, copper, uranium, tin, name it; any type of animals or plants or element: you will get it in Africa. He told God that He was not a fair God and he will not believe in him. After a long pause, God told him wait until you see the type of people I would put there” this was many years ago before Europeans partitioned Africa.

While I was in the medical school Professor Nkposong, while teaching us haematuria (blood in the urine) told us a joke. For some reasons that day my brain was very alert and I recorded everything he taught us that day. I can still see the diagram of the male renal system he drew on the black board from the kidney down to the urethra, and the various causes or bleeding and their locations. He made it so easy to understand how a simple history and urine analysis and microscopy can tell you the possible source of blood in the urine. He was one of the most brilliant teachers that I met.

He said that the white man and the black man started life together and then both of then reached a river and swam over and then there was a big cliff which they needed to climb over. Both of them managed to find a bamboo tree and used it to climb to the top of the cliff. He paused and said that was where the similarity ended. The black man went along foraging and bunking. However the white man climbed down and looked at how he climbed to the top. He wrote it down by the side of the rock then climbed to the top of cliff foraging and bunking. After few years another set black and white people came to the same cliff. The black people quickly found a bamboo tree and used it to climb to the top and went bunking and foraging. However, the white people stopped read what the first white man did and decided to do better.

They got some bamboo and made a ladder because it would make climbing easier for their young people and women. They climbed to the top of the cliff foraging and set up a camp to help people who are having difficulty climbing the cliff. Then each set of white people who came to the cliff, tried to make it easier to climb, but the Black people always did the same thing because it was their tradition and they believed it was the way it should be. Then he said it has remained that way, every black man simply does what the previous black man did and that is how we got to where we were way back in the 80s.

At that time Babangida was wrecking his havoc on Nigeria and a lot of academics were fleeing Nigeria to Saudi Arabia. All that the government could do was an advert showing Andrew saying’ I am checking out’. The brain drain had begun and we were bearing the brunt of it as many excellent teachers had migrated to Saudi Arabia. Professor Nkposong came from University College Ibadan to give us the lecture because Ife had no professor of urology at that time. He told us another story of how he got an office in University of Ibadan after the head of department refused to recognise him because he is not from the West. This is a story for another day.

For some reasons when I left lectures that day, I continued to think about it and determined that I would do everything possible to visit the land of the white man. When finally I arrived England more than fifteen years ago, I could not believe what I saw. From Gatwick airport to Wickford in Essex where I stayed with my friend, there was not a single dead light bulb on the street lights. For some unknown reason, that is what I remember about that journey. I was amazed by the way the British have built up their country. As the years went by, I have not forgotten Professor Nkposong,s joke and the meaning has finally downed on me and I now understand why he told us the joke. He wanted us to be different, to believe in change and that change comes from learning and attempting to improve on what already works but can be made to work better. After many years, I have realised that professor Nkposong was telling us to be careful of tradition and embrace the scientific process. Wherever you are professor Nkposong, I want to say thank you, for that day, and the jokes. You are a great teacher.

One would wonder what has these jokes and a bit of my life history has to do with Africa and the future. Well it does because the future of Africa appears worse than its past, unless Africans and their leaders learn how to live life and do things for the right reasons. At the moment, it is the time of China to exploit Africa and it is doing it in a very sophisticated manner. Not by sending missionaries to deceive the people with a promise of heaven and threat of hell, but by working on the greed and desire for power of our leaders and helping us to fight each other. On Syria, China and Russia stopped the Security Council from repeating the Libya experiment in Syria. Whether it is a good thing or not the future will tell. If you look around all over the world China supports despot and leaders who oppress their people.

This is not because China likes the leaders to oppress their people, but its policy is to act at all times in its best economic interest as they are doing it East Africa, Congo and Nigeria. Recently, I saw a picture of a Nigerian police man holding umbrella to protect a Chinese business man on his mobile phone. It just reminded me of the colonial era, and I knew that the Chines have arrived to take from Africa like the Europeans did some years ago. To show their commitment to Africa they have built the conference hall for African Union and we do not know if they wired it so that everything that would be discussed in that building would be relayed to Beijing. I like the Chinese, they are smart. Smart people do not need to discover anything. They just have to know how to copy. We can at least learn from the Chinese to copy if we cannot learn from the west to make.

Even though the way and manner China pursues its economic interest all in Africa would harm our economic and democratic development, the second coming of the white man to Africa may be worse. It is very clear that many European countries are broke; Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Greece, France, Italy and even Britain are all broke. Very soon Greece will explode and the EU will decide where the money will come from. France and Britain have already tried to secure their future by returning to Africa. They removed Muammar Gadhafi and quickly shared the oil exploration rights between themselves but the fools of Africa hail them as bringing democracy. China and Russia which were marginalised in the first scramble for Africa were not amused and decided not to let the same thing happen in Syria. They would rather help a brutal dictator suppress its people’s quest for freedom and anarchy than allow what happened in Libya to be repeated. Don’t be fooled, they know what they are doing. Once they have been promised part of the spoils of war, they will get on board.

Since the people of Libya killed Gadhafi they have found out that democracy in Africa does not put food on the table, build schools and roads, provide pipe borne water, bring about security and guarantee a better life for all. The liberators of Libya are still squabbling about who the next Gadhafi should be. They are still hunting down those they suspect were loyal to the former dictator and exacting revenge on them. They are now doing to Gadhafi’s supporters what the West stopped Gadhafi from doing to them. It really shows how difficult it is to know the right thing in our world. The people of Libya should have read Aesop’s fable about the fox with fleas which feel into a hole and refused a do-gooder to remove the fleas from its body, before removing Gadhafi in the way and manner they did. No doubt Libya was better under Gaddafi than today. However he was a brutal dictator. The only thing that appears to have changed in Libya since the fall of Gadhafi is who controls the oil.

In Nigeria the sudden escalation of Boko Haram is not just a national problem. There is a sophisticated international dimension to it which appears to have Nigerians have ignored. This international dimension has all the finger prints of the way some countries in this world secure their national economic interest in it. If for once we imagine the possibility of this conspiracy theory. The western countries have found out that they met more resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan than they anticipated and then decided to return to Africa. They started talking about democracy and free and fair election

To present themselves as the good guys, first they removed Gbagbo of ivory and allow France to regain her influence in the country and its natural resources. France is very happy and agrees to play ball. Second they removed Gadhafi and take over the oil. Their plan is working. The next target is Nigeria but there is a big problem its population and ethnic mix. However there is an easy solution its religious mix and corrupt and malleable leaders who do not care about the people and the future of the country. They are also afraid that if things do not go according to plan that Nigeria will present it with a huge problem. What will they do?

Then enter Saudi Arabia, the home of extreme Islam and the number one sponsor of Jihad in the world. They approached Saudi Arabia and they asked her to please sponsor some problems in Nigeria the way it did with Afghanistan. Then Saudi Arabia contacted its fundamentalist Islamic cleric in North Nigeria and expressed its intention to sponsor a jihad in Nigeria. Knowing that the plan had been going on underground already, it was not difficult to rally the faithful to a Jihad especially as an infidel was the president of Nigeria. They started with the sharia law and taught it will ignite the fire but Baba Obasanjo was rather too wise for them and it did not work.

Then they had Yar ar dua and quietened down. Suddenly he died and another infidel took over. They tried to remove him by keeping an already dead man alive for many months and later realised that you can only prop up a man who has reached the end of his life for ever and gave up. They quickly reactivated the original plan and in, came Boko Haram. They asked Sanusi to create the Islamic bank and he quickly did it, and the money started flowing freely into the Islamic bank and then arms started arriving Nigeria in containers and Hoko Haram went into action. Meanwhile the real masters are bidding their time to make a kill.

The question is, why would Saudi Arabia be interested in destabilising Nigeria? Well it would be in its economic interest to do so and spread the influence of Wahhabi Islam. The same type of Islam that gave us A ’Qaeda, Osama Bin laden, El Shbab and Boko Haram. Nigeria is a fertile ground for another religious war that would benefit the west arms manufactures and it would be in their economic interest for a sectarian war to break out in Nigeria. It will be a win, win situation for the west and Saudi Arabia. The west’s arms manufactures will make a kill and Saudi Arabia can pump more oil to make up for the short fall from Nigeria. This is how the real world works.

This scenario will ensure that many corrupt Muslim politicians keep more of their stolen loot in Saudi Arabia and their Christian counterparts theirs in Britain and America. Of course now that they have Islamic bank Muslim politicians may not need to do that.

Unfortunately, Boko Haram has failed to instigate a sectarian war on Nigeria that would benefited all the interest groups maximally. What has happened is that the real masters have approached Nigeria to offer assistance with terrorism and this would involve a huge up grading of Nigeria security apparatus. What this means is that they will sale useless arms to Nigeria, like the one they sold Gadhafi and it will keep their defence industries in business. These industries depend on war. Without war, many western economies will collapse. They have assured the very wise Nigeria government that they will loan it money to buy the arms. Suddenly you hear of American and France helping Nigeria in its war against terror and their war ships visiting Nigeria, to help her fight a war they helped to start for their economic reasons. Of course the gullible Nigeria leaders are grateful and would apply for a billion dollar loan from the World Bank to finance war on terror which is used to pay for arms. The money will returns to the west, and Nigeria, saddled with useless arms and a huge debt and the cycle will be repeated.

The final phase of this second coming of Europeans to Africa will come in a few years ’ time when the World bank and IMF will suddenly increase the interest Nigeria would pay on her loan because the credit rating agency they own, has downgraded Nigerian; credit rating. Nigeria will finally realise that it cannot service its debt and will be offered either the Ivory Coast solution, Libyan solution or both, why not.

Well this is just a conspiracy theory, but if you read the Wikileaks files you will not just dismiss it. Just in case you observe anything like the scenarios I have described above happening, do not forget where you first heard it. Let African countries continue to watch, pray and wait for the second coming of the white man. It is near, even at the door. I wonder if Africa is domed or the continent is just stupid. Unless those who have seen how other nations organise their affairs help Africa and Nigeria, it would seem that we are all domed. Indeed, maybe, there is a point to my friend’s joke. Wait until you see the type of people I will put there. Surly, God keeps his promise.

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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WED MAGAZINE UNVEILS EXHIBITORS AT WED EXPO 2012

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Read Time:1 Minute, 42 Second

…as Mai Atafo, Ade Bakare, Yemi Osunkoya (Kosibah) and Frank Osodi lock horns

The organizers of the largest and most anticipated wedding and events exhibition of the year, WED Expo Lagos has unveiled the names of the esteemed exhibitors billed to display their paraphernalia at the exhibition which will take place on Friday 24th March and Saturday 25thMarch, 2012 at the exquisite event place, The Haven, G.R.A, Ikeja, Lagos.

The expo which will feature the biggest players in the wedding and events industry under one roof will have the bridal makeup industry, bridal accessory retailers , photography studios, dress makers, designer couture, cake makers, and many others who are directly and indirectly concerned with weddings.

The names of the power brokers who will be attending the WED EXPO 2012 are Kosibah, BM Pro, Concepteur De Fruitee, Khuraira Cosmetics, Cakes by Tosan, Eru Iyawo, Gaterie, Mai Atafo, 9cer Tiddies, Sweet Kiwi, Zapphire Events, Frank Osodi, Sit Pretty MakeOvers, Caleb Videography, Finesse Events, Scentuals, Photography by Abi, Couture Cards, Planification Events, Cakes by Andy Clark, BusyBee Events, Lizbob Accessories, Renies AsoOke, The Event Crew, Kingserve Drinks, Event Backups, Larry Peniel, 9-cer Tidies, Caleb Videography, Enthral Events, Distinct Crown Events, Am Victorious, Molbaks AsoOke, Torge Events, Xqwizit Events, Classy Touch Events, Damell Photography, Tsoule Events, Akara Photography, Tent Republic, B‘Signature, Bree’s Aura, Grooms Place @ The Wardrobe, I Luv Dessert, Dap Galleria, Gong Photography, Swallek bridals, Nabilla Bridals, Gaterie and many more.

Over 1500 guests have already registered on the expo’s website at www.wedexpo.com.ng. There is no gate fee charged to attend this exquisite event as you only need to register at the website or at the venue. To get a boot allocation for your business, you are enjoined to please call 07001111933 or 07086390607 for more details and payment. 

The WED EXPO Lagos 2012 is a product of upscale wedding and relationship magazine, WED, a magazine which is presently sold in Nigeria, UK and the US.

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Anthony Claret

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KOGA acquires latest camera in the world

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Read Time:2 Minute, 30 Second

Picking up from where they left off last year, emerging entertainment powerhouse, KOGA Entertainment is not resting on its oars; the company has now made a big statement in the industry by acquiring the latest technology in the movie production world, the Arri Alexa camera which cost over N40, 000, 000 with its apparatus.

Now in the second year of doing business in the country, KOGA has upped the ante by way of acquiring the Alexa which is aimed at developing the entertainment industry, music and movie production alike.

The camera and its apparatus are known for its top notch cinematic image quality in combination with efficient workflows, which are the main reasons why the camera has been adopted quickly in the movie industry worldwide. The camera’s unique features and great flexibility have seen it shine not only on major 2D and 3D feature films, but everything from international television series, commercials and soap operas to music videos and documentaries. Some of the movies shot with the Alexa are; World War Z, Life of Pi, Gangster Squad, Gambit among others.

With hundreds of cameras in the same field as the Arri Alexa, the camera is receiving an enormous amount of positive feedback from customers worldwide, hence the reason KOGA Entertainment acquired this gadget in the first place as customer satisfaction is key within the business circuit. Other cameras at the disposal of KOGA include the Sony EX3, PMW F3, 270E, Z7 among others.

The one stop entertainment outfit also boasts of an event hall for events, studio (for audio and visual production) and a lounge. Several artistes have patronized the digital and visual studio of KOGA, the likes of Eldee, 2face, Dbanj, Mocheddah, P Square and others. Dbanj and 2face also shot a video there too which is yet to be released. Niyi Akanji has used the visual facility for the production of his movie. Corporate organizations have also shot commercials using the KOGA facilities, the likes of MTN and Glo.

Speaking on the Arri Alexa an official of KOGA, Anu Awoseyi says ‘’In everything you do in business, there is need for you to always strive to have that competitive edge in all that you do as it will definitely stand you out among the committee of companies, hence the need why we acquired the Arri Alexa’’.

‘’The Alexa is not the only pride within the company; our MCR is second to none in the whole of Nigeria. We have the DaVinci Resolute 8; Mac based Avid Suite, voice booth and whole lot equipment for quality post production works’’.

Reiterating the stand of the CEO of the company, Mr. Chris Jeyibo, Anu insists that ‘’our industry can meet and surpass international standards, all that is needed is the willingness of the stakeholders to go the extra mile, that extra mile is the reason we are in business’’.

 

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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