SA mirrors bully tactics of US
It is apparent that US President Barack Obama will receive an irate reception from progressive activists and internationalists who are correctly engaging their political rights and freedom by rejecting US bully imperialism.
The protest action against the US administration and its representative, Obama, is correct because he and his administration should appreciate that the world does not approve of its bullying foreign policy objectives and practices.
The US administration under Obama is guilty of the callous assassination – through barbaric murder – of Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya – for reasons that still cannot be explained.
The US administration under Obama continued with neo-colonial domination of Iraq and Afghanistan, not because of the war against terrorism but for narrow economic interests, particularly oil.
The US administration under Obama is also guilty of continued support for Israeli illegal expansion and violation of Palestinians’ right to self-determination, dignity and basic freedoms.
The US administration under Obama is not closing the illegal, inhuman and barbaric prison in Guantanamo Bay, and continues to repress Cuba under a trade embargo that hinders its capacity to trade with the world.
The US administration under Obama is not different from those of George W Bush, Bill Clinton, George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan, whose leadership of the past five US administrations caused so much destabilisation, starvation, suffering and pain in the developing and underdeveloped world.
In pursuit of narrow interests, the US does not mind dropping bombs on children and women – and many civilians have been casualties of US greed.
Dictators and despots enjoyed US protection as long as they did not pose any immediate threat to US economic interests. Zimbabwe is under sanctions due to a destabilisation plan concocted by the US administration and Britain as a way of intimidating all African states to neglect economic decolonisation.
The US bullying foreign policy is being assumed by South Africa in its dealings with the African continent.
The role of South Africa in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR) is an openly sub-imperialist one with narrow economic objectives – not of the country, but of individuals.
All reputable election observers in the DRC in 2011 agreed that the polls were not free and fair. And South Africa had a role in that – ballots and campaign materials of one of the contenders were transported in one of our military helicopters.
Joseph Kabila has now been imposed as DRC president, despite the strong possibility that most Congolese citizens do not approve of his leadership and exercised their choice accordingly in 2011.
The DRC is on the verge of a civil war, not because of a power-hungry rebel group but because of a leader who was imposed on the people of the DRC, by efforts South Africa probably aided. The recent decision to send SANDF troops to fight on the side of Kabila is not to protect good governance, because not all reputable observers approved those elections.
The explanations given by the South African government on why our soldiers were sent to the CAR to die are not satisfactory – and never will be – because there was no sound diplomatic purpose to send troops to the CAR, except personal relations between President François Bozize and President Jacob Zuma. During a recent visit to South Africa, Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye confirmed publicly that post-coup CAR wants to build formal diplomatic relations with South Africa, not the personalised relations that existed before the coup.
Since when do governments send troops to prevent a coup d’état, lose the war and lives, and a week later recognise the coup government as a legitimate authority? It is evident that our 15 soldiers, and the many whom the SANDF claims were casualties from the rebels’ side, died because of personal relationships, not a coherent foreign policy objective.
The US administration under Obama orchestrated the murder of Gaddafi, but the South African administration under Zuma was complicit. If there is any political authority that could have prevented the callous rape of Libya by imperialist forces, it is South Africa.
South Africa was asked to lead dialogue in Libya to resolve the conflict, but chose instead to vote for UN Resolution 1973 on a no-fly zone and all other necessary interventions, which led to the looting of Libya by Western imperialism. South Africa betrayed Libya and the AU agenda on the right of self-determination and sovereignty.
Before this, South Africa was among the first to acknowledge and legitimise the French puppet government in the Ivory Coast, despite open rabid actions by the French government to overthrow Laurent Gbagbo, before election disputes were internally resolved.
The arrogance of Swaziland’s King Mswati is also due to the support he receives from Pretoria. While the people of Swaziland will liberate themselves, the reality is that this should happen with Pretoria’s unequivocal support for democratisation of that country.
Zuma has interests in Swaziland other than democratisation, and any activist or internationalist worth his salt will admit that this is an obstacle to the struggle of Swaziland.
All these factors illustrate that while progressive formations and internationalists will correctly protest against imperialist bully tactics during Obama’s visit this weekend, closer to home we have a sub-imperialist bully who has the potential to destabilise Africa more than any political authority yet to emerge in southern Africa.
The proposal by Zuma for the establishment of a rapid response military unit for the AU is not innocent, and is a reflection of the securocratic attitude adopted by South Africa since 2009. These are realities.
After humiliating and exposing Obama, we should expose the sub-imperialist actions of the South African government.
* Floyd Shivambu was expelled from the ANC and is now a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters.
** The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Independent Newspapers