By Ray Ja Fraser,
SHAME. SHAME. DOUBLE SHAME. The world is sick and tired of your subversive games. Say what? I refer to the recent barrage of reports, stories, and statements decrying the alleged situation in Eritrea. A 3-person team penned a report, having never visited the country, concluding Eritrea committed a litany of crimes and then proposing a series of recommendations which, in effect, would see the UN basically rule Eritrea. The gumption.
Ultimately, what all this underscores, clear as day, is Empire’s relentless campaign against Eritrea. As in previous posts detailing Empire’s low-intensity conflict, I remind you, none of this has anything to do with the alleged situation in Eritrea.
If providing an accurate account or improving lives was the focus, why did the Commission of Inquiry (COI) ignore Eritrea’s questions about the lack of impartiality or overlook the illegal sanctions and occupation? Why not work with international entities and developmental organizations in Eritrea or attempt to address Eritrea’s concerns? Why completely disregard the huge number of calls, emails, and letters sent by Eritreans around the world? Instead, the COI simply labeled Eritrea as “uncooperative.” That is telling. And that is what this is all about.
Eritrea is uncooperative with Empire. Empire seeks to eliminate Eritrea because the country remains independent of Empire’s designs for the continent, refuses to prostrate itself before foreign, imperialist agendas, and because Eritrea firmly and unconditionally believes that the primary beneficiaries of the country’s resources must be Eritreans – not foreign multinational corporations. So…uncooperative.
Accordingly, the human rights card is just another one dealt by Empire (don’t forget it has a stacked deck), seeking to isolate, demoralize, and delegitimize. Syria. Russia. Venezuela. Iran. North Korea. Guatemala. Ecuador. Cuba. Grenada. Nicaragua. Vietnam. China. Bolivia. Zimbabwe. All have been dealt this hand at one time or another. But it’s a bust…the dealer’s hand is bloody, and all the perfumes of Arabia cannot sweeten it.
St. Augustine’s City of God is quite apt here. Recall how in City of God, St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great. The Emperor angrily demanded of him, “How dare you molest the seas?” To which the pirate replied, “How dare you molest the whole world? Because I do it with a small boat, I am called a pirate and a thief. You, with a great navy, molest the world and are called an emperor.”
But democracy…! What about it? You think this is about the “lack of elections” (even though numerous have been held)? Empire doesn’t care about elections or democracy. It champions countries that hold “elections” with a 100% winning tally, and it is cozily in bed with countries where the government is not all from one party…but from one family.
But Carl Bildt! He’s been wagging his (bloody) finger at Eritrea and hinting at the need for (regime) change! Come on now. Ask Carl about Assange. About Swedish arms sales. About CIA rendition. About NATO…Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine and the Donbass. All of a sudden Carl is on the side of rights? Justice? Haqi?
But Mark Leon Goldberg and other experts says it’s horrid! Easy now, uncritically listening to anything that comes from Empire’s mouthpieces says more about you than them. It was thought that there was not one sentient being left who thought the Libya debacle was a success…Goldberg proves to be an exception. Shame!
And experts? For Empire, an expert is a person who is capable of articulating the consensus of people with power…that’s what makes him an expert. And if you want to be an expert, you have to serve the interests of Empire. If an expert was to speak truth to power…they’d cease being an expert.
But women! Children! The people! Never. Empire is unsentimental about you and yours. Thus, choke the country with sanctions. Pass travel warnings and scare off investors to “make the economy scream.” Tacitly approve a foreign military occupation, and quietly support repeated acts of military aggression. Block development partnerships that feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
And this is about Eritrean women? Like how the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, according to Laura Bush and Cherie Blair, was to liberate women? Come on now. Don’t infantilize Eritrean women. Don’t patronize them. Don’t attempt to remove their agency. Speak to one. And yes, Empire cherishes children. So much so, that Madeleine Albright, without blinking, said the deaths of between 500,000 – 1,000,000 children in Iraq were worth it. So much so, that…Yemen. Gaza. Bahrain. Somalia. Congo. Yes, Empire cherishes children.
But some Eritrean groups keep telling us how bad it is! Brush up on your history. Empire not only resorts to using disinformation and propaganda, but also the employment of, as described by anti-imperialism luminaries such as journalist John Pilger and British MP George Galloway, the usual crop of quislings, compradors, spies, and colonial stooges. For Empire, there’s an eternal search to find a stooge or “local” face who will somehow validate Empire’s previous exploitative actions, present interventionist stance, or future colonialist ambitions. These are your NTC’s (National Transitional Councils), your Chalabis, your Muzorewas. This approach also serves to give Empire a veneer of legitimacy and allows it to think itself benevolent. Brush up on how the King of England gave a Charter to Massachusetts, commissioning the settlers to save the natives from the misery of paganism. Outdated? Fast forward to slavery, colonialism, imperialism and the white man’s burden.
This is too conspiratorial! Eritrea is too small to be targeted! Tsk, tsk. For Empire, conspiracy theorist is a label used to shut down honest public debate and critical thinking. And regarding Eritrea being small – that is exactly the point. No country is exempt from Empire’s machinations and interventions, no matter how unimportant. In fact, it’s the weakest, poorest countries that often arouse the greatest hysteria. If the small time shopkeeper doesn’t “pay dues and respect” to the Mafia don, what happens to the criminal racket? No, no. Better to set an example.
As I said. Accuracy, objectivity, and truth are not the foci here. No, no. Empire’s focus is taking this all the way to the ICC. Then R2P. Then regime change. A la Libya. Because, you know…that worked like a charm.