The absence of a domestic backlash against US Africa policy is testament to the blind spots of our movement.
“The whole world must begin to see AFRICOM and the militarization of police departments as counterparts.”
Instead of being a remnant of its past, US genocidal repression, labor exploitation and resource plundering against Indigenous and African (Black) people now extends to peoples across the planet. The tyranny of US racial capitalism over Black people stretches to the African motherland, without the bat of an eye by Black misleaders.
Side by side with domestic militarized police repression and racist vigilante violence in reaction to the George Floyd uprisings are persistent US air strikes and “special operations” in Africa. Despite the fact that US military efforts to “combat terrorism” actually encourages it, and that the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) is guilty of untold numbers of civilian deaths, the Pentagon is now seeking authority to expand its drone war into Kenya. This would potentially expand a war zone across the border from Somalia.
Deploying US troops to combat terrorism tends to encourage asymmetric types of resistance like terrorism. The more bombing there is, the more terrorism is inspired, which justifies more bombing.
Just like in cases when US domestic police kill people, the criminals reserve the authority to investigate themselves, which too often means impunity.
“The more bombing there is, the more terrorism is inspired.”
"’Not only does AFRICOM utterly fail at its mission to report civilian casualties in Somalia, it doesn't seem to care about the fate of the numerous families it has completely torn apart,’ Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International's director for East and Southern Africa, said after AFRICOM's last quarterly report on civilian casualties was released on July 28.”
Waging war and militarization is the intransigent response to any form of resistance in both US foreign and domestic policy. Activists protesting fascism and racist policing within the US are met with Gestapo-like arrests and extrajudicial execution by militarized police (murder).
Concurrently AFRICOM carries out counterpart anti-Black operations in Africa with the complicity of comprador leaders. The Muriel Bowers and Uhuru Kenyattas of the world do not enjoy the popular political legitimacy needed to keep them in power without a MDP and a KDF to impose their authority. Like all compradors they are obliged to the parasitic global capitalist class, not to the people.
In the capital city of the US, Democratic Mayor Bowser postures as being opposed to Republican President Trump on issues of police brutality, while presiding over police killings of her own and insisting on the prosecution of so-called “violent” activists. The violence that the ruling class is concerned with is actually damage to inanimate property of capitalists.
“Activists protesting fascism and racist policing within the US are met with Gestapo-like arrests and extrajudicial execution by militarized police.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya betrays his people’s interest with subservient requests to the racist US President Trump. In addition to AFRICOM’s desire for expanded authorities, President Kenyatta asked Trump during a White House visit in February for additional counterterrorism assistance, including “armed aerial support” to help combat Al Shabaab.
The persistence of the civil disobedience against racist police terror in the US is admirable. That the US, however, can at the same time expand a murderous predator drone war in Africa without a concomitant denunciation shows a collective disconnect in the understanding of the essential problem. The absence of a domestic backlash against US Africa policy is testament to the blind spots of our movement.
How can the US, whose wealth and power is based on economic exploitation and repression of the indigenous and Black working class, gain tacit permission to police our motherland? Imagine another country conducting 46 airstrikes on the US in eight months, as the US has done against Somalia.
The intent to expand Washington’s massively lethal predator drone wars should spark immediate condemnation from decent lawmakers on Capitol Hill, especially Black lawmakers.
“How can the US gain tacit permission to police our motherland?”
And not only does there need to be a mass movement in the US to shut down AFRICOM and the US drone war, this mass movement needs to become inseparably bound with the movement that has swept this country to end murderous police brutality against Black and Brown people. The whole world must begin to see AFRICOM and the militarization of police departments as counterparts. The US public must come to realize that no matter which party controls the legislature, no matter whether the President of the United States is Republican or a Democrat, the greatest existential threat to the planet is the US oligarchy.
“Peace, human cooperation, substantive equality and commitment to People(s)-Centered Human Rights are possible. These values represent the only rational basis for sustaining human life on the planet. Join Black Alliance for Peace at 4 p.m., EST, on September 24th, for our webinar, Full Spectrum Dominance: From AFRICOM to Indo-Pacific Command, where we will discuss and strategize on how we can put a brake on the global bi-partisan war machine.” -Black Alliance for Peace 9/21/2020 Newsletter
Netfa Freeman is an organizer in Pan-African Community Action (PACA) and on the Coordinating Committee of the Black Alliance for Peace. And is also co-host/producer of the WPFW radio show and podcast Voices With Vision.