Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People’s Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin,

Hu Jing Tao, etc), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Lula Da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs), etc.

Libya Needs Dialogue

Military Acts and Double Standards

By President Yoweri Museveni

By the time Muammar Gaddafi came to power in 1969, I was a third year university student at Dar-es-Salaam. We welcomed him because he was in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.

Soon, however, problems cropped up with Col. Gaddafi as far as Uganda and Black Africa were concerned:

Idi Amin came to power with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, without getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin. This was because Amin was a ‘Moslem’ and Uganda was a ‘Moslem country’ where Moslems were being ‘oppressed’ by Christians.

Amin killed a lot of people extra-judiciary and Gaddafi was identified with these mistakes. In 1972 and 1979, Gaddafi sent Libyan troops to defend Idi Amin when we attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev 22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979.

The bomb ended up in Nyarubanga because the pilots were scared. They could not come close to bomb properly. We had already shot-down many Amin MIGs using surface-to-air missiles. The Tanzanian brothers and sisters were doing much of this fighting.

Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Gaddafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.

The second big mistake by Gaddafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU) Continental Government “now”. Since 1999, he has been pushing this position.

Black people are always polite. They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called obufura in Runyankore, mwolo in Luo—handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. It seems some of the non-African cultures do not have obufura. You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he/she is talking to a kindergarten child. “You should do this; you should do that; etc.” We tried to politely point out to Col. Gaddafi that this was difficult in the short and medium term.

We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations. Col. Gaddafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU.

Something that has been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Gaddafi. He would ‘overrule’ a decision taken by all other African Heads of State. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position. The third mistake has been the tendency by Col. Gaddafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries using the little money Libya has compared to those countries.

One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of Black Africa—kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African Government, Gaddafi, incredibly, thought that he could by-pass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes

I warned Gaddafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king that involved himself in politics because it was against our Constitution. I moved a motion in Addis Ababa to expunge from the records of the AU all references to kings (cultural leaders) who had made speeches in our forum because they had been invited there illegally by Col. Gaddafi.

The fourth big mistake was by most of the Arab leaders, including Gaddafi to some extent. This was in connection with the long suffering people of Southern Sudan. Many of the Arab leaders either supported or ignored the suffering of the Black people in that country. This unfairness always created tension and friction between us and the Arabs, including Gaddafi to some extent. However, I must salute H.E. Gaddafi and H.E. Hosni Mubarak for travelling to Khartoum just before the Referendum in Sudan and advised H.E. Bashir to respect the results of that exercise.

Sometimes Gaddafi and other Middle Eastern radicals do not distance themselves sufficiently from terrorism even when they are fighting for a just cause. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence—not distinguishing between military and non-military targets.

The Middle Eastern radicals, quite different from the revolutionaries of Black Africa, seem to say that any means is acceptable as long as you are fighting the enemy. That is why they hijack planes, use assassinations, plant bombs in bars, etc. Why bomb bars? People who go to bars are normally merry-makers, not politically-minded people.

We were together with the Arabs in the anti-colonial struggle. The Black African liberation movements, however, developed differently from the Arab ones.

Where we used arms, we fought soldiers or sabotaged infrastructure but never targeted non-combatants. These indiscriminate methods tend to isolate the struggles of the Middle East and the Arab world. It would be good if the radicals in these areas could streamline their work methods in this area of using violence indiscriminately.

These five points above are some of the negative points in connection to Col. Gaddafi as far as Uganda’s patriots have been concerned over the years. These positions of Col. Gaddafi have been unfortunate and unnecessary. Nevertheless, Gaddafi has also had many positive points objectively speaking. These positive points have been in favour of Africa, Libya and the Third World.

I will deal with them point by point:

Col. Gaddafi has been having an independent foreign policy and, of course, also independent internal policies. I am not able to understand the position of Western countries which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets. Puppets are not good for any country.

Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People’s Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jing Tao, etc), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Lula Da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs), etc.

Between the First World War and the Second World War, the Soviet Union transitioned into an industrial country propelled by the dictatorial but independent-minded Joseph Stalin.

In Africa we have benefited from a number of independent-minded leaders: Col. Nasser of Egypt, Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Machel of Mozambique, etc. That is how Southern Africa was liberated. That is how we got rid of Idi Amin.

The stopping of genocide in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu, etc., were as a result of efforts of independent-minded African leaders. Muammar Gaddafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. .

I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry.  Therefore, the independent-minded Gaddafi had some positive contribution to Libya, I believe, as well as Africa and the Third World. I will take one little example

At the time we were fighting the criminal dictatorships here in Uganda, we had a problem arising of a complication caused by our failure to capture enough guns at Kabamba on the 6th of February, 1981. Gaddafi gave us a small consignment of 96 rifles, 100 anti-tank mines, etc., that was very useful. He did not consult Washington or Moscow before he did this. This was good for Libya, for Africa and for the Middle East.

We should also remember as part of that independent-mindedness he expelled British and American military bases from Libya, etc.

Before Gaddafi came to power in 1969, a barrel of oil was 40 American cents. He launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it. I think the price went up to US$ 20 per barrel. When the Arab-Israeli war of 1973 broke out, the barrel of oil went to US$ 40.

I am, therefore, surprised to hear that many oil producers in the world, including the Gulf countries, do not appreciate the historical role played by Gaddafi on this issue.

The huge wealth many of these oil producers are enjoying was, at least in part, due to Gaddafi’s efforts. The Western countries have continued to develop in spite of paying more for oil. It, therefore, means that the pre-Gaddafi oil situation was characterised by super exploitation in favour of the Western countries.

I have never taken time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up vehicles on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads?

Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American as well as British allies or were they built by Gaddafi?

In Tunisia and Egypt, some youths immolated (burnt) themselves because they had failed to get jobs. Are the Libyans without jobs also? If so, why, then, are there hundreds of thousands of foreign workers? Is Libya’s policy of providing so many jobs to Third World workers bad?

Are all the children going to school in Libya? Was that the case in the past—before Gaddafi? Is the conflict in Libya economic or purely political? Possibly Libya could have transitioned more if they encouraged the private sector more. However, this is something the Libyans are better placed to judge.

As it is, Libya is a middle income country with GDP standing at US$ 89.03 billion. This is about the same as the GDP of South Africa at the time Mandela took over leadership in 1994 and about the current size of GDP of Spain.

Gaddafi is one of the few secular leaders in the Arab world. He does not believe in Islamic fundamentalism that is why women have been able to go to school, to join the Army, etc. This is a positive point on Gaddafi’s side.

Coming to the present crisis, therefore, we need to point out some issues:

The first issue is to distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired on with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. When rioters are, however, attacking police stations and army barracks with the aim of taking power, then, they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists. They will have to be treated as such.

A responsible Government would have to use reasonable force to neutralise them. Of course, the ideal responsible Government should also be an elected one by the people at periodic intervals. If there is a doubt about the legitimacy of a Government and the people decide to launch an insurrection, that should be the decision of the internal forces.

It should not be for external forces to arrogate themselves that role, often, they do not have enough knowledge to decide rightly. Excessive external involvement always brings terrible distortions.

Why should external forces involve themselves? That is a vote of no confidence in the people themselves. A legitimate internal insurrection, if that is the strategy chosen by the leaders of that effort, can succeed. The Shah of Iran was defeated by an internal insurrection; the Russian Revolution in 1917 was an internal insurrection; the Revolution in Zanzibar in 1964 was an internal insurrection; the changes in Ukraine, Georgia, etc., all were internal insurrections.

It should be for the leaders of the Resistance in that country to decide to sponsor insurrection groups in sovereign countries. I am totally allergic to foreign, political and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries.

If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world because we have had the greatest dosages of that: slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. All those foreign imposed phenomena have, however, been disastrous. It is only recently that Africa is beginning to come up partly because of rejecting external meddling.

External meddling and the acquiescence by Africans into that meddling have been responsible for the stagnation in Africa. The wrong definition of priorities in many of the African countries is, in many cases, imposed by external groups. Failure to prioritise infrastructure, for instance, especially energy, is, in part, due to some of these pressures. Instead, consumption is promoted.

I have witnessed this wrong definition of priorities even here in Uganda. External interests linked up, for instance, with internal bogus groups to oppose energy projects for false reasons. How will an economy develop without energy? Quislings and their external backers do not care about all this.

If you promote foreign-backed insurrections in small countries like Libya, what will you do with the big ones like China which has got a different system from the Western systems? Are you going to impose a no-fly-zone over China in case of some internal insurrections as happened in Tiananmen Square, in Tibet or in Urumuqi?

The Western countries always use double standards. In Libya, they are very eager to impose a no-fly-zone. In Bahrain and other areas where there are pro-Western regimes, they turn a blind eye to the very same conditions or even worse conditions.

We have been appealing to the UN to impose a no-fly-zone over Somalia so as to impede the free movement of terrorists, linked to Al-Qaeda, that killed Americans on September 11th, killed Ugandans last July and have caused so much damage to the Somalis, without success. Why?

Are there no human beings in Somalia similar to the ones in Benghazi? Or is it because Somalia does not have oil which is not fully controlled by the western oil companies on account of Gaddafi’s nationalist posture? The Western countries are always very prompt in commenting on every problem in the Third World—Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. Yet some of these very countries were the ones impeding growth in those countries.

There was a military coup d’état that slowly became a Revolution in backward Egypt in 1952. The new leader, Nasser, had ambition to cause transformation in Egypt. He wanted to build a dam not only to generate electricity but also to help with the ancient irrigation system of Egypt. He was denied money by the West because they did not believe that Egyptians needed electricity. Nasser decided to raise that money by nationalising the Suez Canal. He was attacked by Israel, France and Britain.

To be fair to the U.S., President Eisenhower opposed that aggression that time. Of course, there was also the firm stand of the Soviet Union at that time. How much electricity was this dam supposed to produce? Just 2000 mgws for a country like Egypt!! What moral right, then, do such people have to comment on the affairs of these countries?

Another negative point is going to arise out of the by now habit of the Western countries over-using their superiority in technology to impose war on less developed societies without impeachable logic. This will be the igniting of an arms race in the world.

The actions of the Western countries in Iraq and now Libya are emphasising that might is “right.” I am quite sure that many countries that are able will scale up their military research and in a few decades we may have a more armed world.

This weapons science is not magic. A small country like Israel is now a super power in terms of military technology. Yet 60 years ago, Israel had to buy second-hand fouga magister planes from France. There are many countries that can become small Israels if this trend of overusing military means by the Western countries continues.

All this notwithstanding, Col. Gaddafi should be ready to sit down with the opposition, through the mediation of the AU, with the opposition cluster of groups which now includes individuals well known to us—Ambassador Abdalla, Dr. Zubeda, etc.

Now Gaddafi has his system of elected committees that end up in a National People’s Conference. Actually Gaddafi thinks this is superior to our multi-party systems. Of course, I have never had time to know how truly competitive this system is.

Anyway, even if it is competitive, there is now, apparently, a significant number of Libyans that think that there is a problem in Libya in terms of governance. Since there has not been internationally observed elections in Libya, not even by the AU, we cannot know what is correct and what is wrong. Therefore, a dialogue is the correct way forward.

The AU mission could not get to Libya because the Western countries started bombing Libya the day before they were supposed to arrive. However, the mission will continue. My opinion is that, in addition, to what the AU mission is doing, it may be important to call an extra-ordinary Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.

Regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes because quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. We have had a copious supply of them in the last 50 years— Mobutu, Houphouët-Boigny, Kamuzu Banda, etc.

The West made a lot of mistakes in Africa and in the Middle East in the past. Apart from the slave trade and colonialism, they participated in the killing of Lumumba, until recently, the only elected leader of Congo, the killing of Felix Moummie of Cameroon, Bartholomew Boganda of Central African Republic, the support for UNITA in Angola, the support for Idi Amin at the beginning of his regime, the counter-revolution in Iran in 1953, etc.

Recently, there has been some improvement in the arrogant attitudes of some of these Western countries. Certainly, with Black Africa and, particularly, Uganda, the relations are good following their fair stand on the Black people of Southern Sudan. With the democratisation of South Africa and the freedom of the Black people in Southern Sudan, the difference between the patriots of Uganda and the Western governments had disappeared. Unfortunately, these rush actions on Libya are beginning to raise new problems. They should be resolved quickly.

Therefore, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.

The African members of the Security Council voted for this Resolution of the Security Council. This was contrary to what the Africa Peace and Security Council had decided in Addis Ababa recently. This is something that only the extra-ordinary summit can resolve.

It was good that certain big countries in the Security Council abstained on this Resolution. These were Russia, China, Brazil, India, etc. This shows that there are balanced forces in the world that will, with more consultations, evolve more correct positions.

Being members of the UN, we are bound by the Resolution that was passed, however rush the process. Nevertheless, there is a mechanism for review.

The Western countries, which are most active in these rush actions, should look at that route. It may be one way of extricating all of us from possible nasty complications. What if the Libyans loyal to Gaddafi decide to fight on?

Using tanks and planes that are easily targeted by Mr. Sarkozy’s planes is not the only way of fighting. Who will be responsible for such a protracted war? It is high time we did more careful thinking.

Source: TLCafrica  

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Africans Beware the Saviors of Libya  / US Senate discusses sending troops to Libya

  Libya, Africa, and the Victorians (Manheru)

Rehabilitating U.S. Military Intervention in the Age of Obama

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Opposing Gaddafi’s massacre and foreign intervention in Libya—By Horace Campbell—Although the Africa Union issued a statement saying that, ‘the situation in North Africa demands urgent action so that an African solution can be found,’ the AU dragged its feet and gave up its responsibility to prevent the massacre of civilians in Libya, thus giving justification to the Western intervention. After forming a committee comprising of Mauritania, South Africa, Mali and Congo and Uganda, the AU sidelined itself at precisely the moment when clarity was needed to both oppose the Western intervention and to intervene to stop the killing of humans that Gaddafi called ‘rats and germs.’ . . .

The majority of the current leaders of the African Union have used their greed and insatiable hunger for political power to cause a devastating impediment to the AU’s ability effectively assert itself, whether in Ivory Coast or in Libya.

Apart from leaders such as Museveni who have come out lately with disharmonious rhetoric in response to the situation in Libya, there is yet another group. These are the leaders who have maintained a high degree of audible silence about the situation. Among these two categories of African leaders, there are those who are cautious either because they too operate repressive governments or because they have benefitted from Gaddafi’s largesse in his failed bid to become Africa’s ‘king of kings’ or both. Gaddafi’s quest for power and his bid to become king of kings in Africa must be condemned for what it is: a backward thinking that was meant to entrench a crude subjugation and suppression of the African peoples, while posing to be anti-imperialist. When Gaddafi rallied the Mugabes and the Omar al-Bashirs of the continent, telling them that revolutionaries never quit power, true Pan-Africanists stood in opposition to this crude machination. . . .

Many progressive persons sympathise with Gaddafi because he represented himself as anti-imperialist leader who supported freedom fighters. However, a close examination of the political economy and cultural practices of Gaddafi would show that far from being anti-imperialist, he was like a semi-feudal leader. Gaddafi used Libyan people’s money to try to harness the reservoir of traditional rulers and buy over leaders from across the continent in order to gain support for his aspiration to become the despotic king of kings of Africa. In the process, Gaddafi was also grooming his son in a monarchical tradition to reproduce a semi-feudal political relation inside of Libya. On the international front, while Gaddafi was verbally anti-imperialist, over US$150 billion of Libya’s sovereign wealth fund was distributed between New York, Paris, London, and Geneva to support the speculative activities of international financial oligarchs. At the same time, Gaddafi used billions of dollars to support arms manufacturers in the West.—Pambazuka

Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. He is the author of Rasta and Resistance From Marcus Garvey to Walter Rodney; Reclaiming Zimbabwe: The Exhaustion of the Patriarchal Model of Liberation; and Pan Africanism, Pan Africanists and African Liberation in the 21st century. His most recent book is Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA.

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Africans Beware the Saviors of Libya (Asante)  /  Libya, Africa, and the Victorians (Manheru)

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Brief Response to Horace Campbell

I appreciate the circulation of Horace Campbell’s tract against the Libyan Regime because it allows us to see the errors of accepting Eurocentric and Western-oriented thinking on African matters. Campbell’s piece is unfortunate in many respects because I do not believe it represents his best thinking. In the first place, he accepts as truth some of the wild statements made by members of the Western press. For example, no evidence has been produced that indicates that Gaddafi has massacred “his own people.”  This is a canard that Campbell should have dismissed as pure propaganda, as a ruse like the lie about the attack on the American ship in the Gulf of Tonkin that started Lyndon Johnson’s bombing of Vietnam.

It should be clear by now that the United States, France, and Britain were looking for an excuse to attack Libya. They found the ruse when the Libyan forces responded to attacks by the social media uprising and they were repulsed by the Libyan army.

Gaddafi did what any leader of a country would do when rebels tried to remove the regime, he fought back and he vowed that he would crush his enemies.  Obama and his guides, Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton, took his resolve to mean that he would cause a massacre of Libyans. This is crazy reasoning. No evidence exists of Gaddafi wantonly killing his own people. Yes, there is evidence of his attempt to put down a rebellion. This would be the reaction of Russia, France, Britain, and the United States, if these regimes felt threatened. What I dislike about Horace Campbell’s thinking is that he has tried to force a model on this situation by starting with the wrong premise. In effect, he blames the AU for not acting in the way that he would have it act. I think they did the right thing. The African Union has made the right decision in the interest of Africa.

This is the only objective. No intervention of a foreign force should ever be condoned in Africa; however, African leaders need to be engaged in settling disputes in an aggressive manner. Let us have severe self criticism but not because the West is interested in African resources. Let us criticize non-popular governments but not because the West dislikes the politics of our leaders. I still believe that Gaddafi is the most secular, pro-African, forward-thinking leader in North Africa, and it might be that he is under fire because of his often stated position that Nkrumah’s dream must be fulfilled. Forward ever!—Molefi Kete Asante

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Instead of Bombing Dictators, Stop Selling Them Bombs

By Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis

When all you have are bombs, everything starts to look like a target. And so after years of providing Libya’s dictator with the weapons he’s been using against the people, all the international community—France, Britain and the United States—has to offer the people of Libya is more bombs, this time dropped from the sky rather than delivered in a box to Muammar Gaddafi’s palace. “In 2009 alone, European governments—including Britain and France—sold Libya more than $470 million worth of weapons, including fighter jets, guns and bombs. And before it started calling for regime change, the Obama administration was working to provide the Libyan dictator another $77 million in weapons, on top of the $17 million it provided in 2009 and the $46 million the Bush administration provided in 2008.”—CommonDreams

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White Cloud Storms Africa (Yao Lloyd D. McCarthy)

On President Museveni

I have read the piece by  President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, on Gaddafi.

It’s clear that he is not Gaddafi’s best friend, and that’s fine. Sometimes the greatest enemies are not clearly identified as such, but those that are within your camp—the fifth columnists. Is President Museveni a fifth to the goals and objectives of Pan-Africanism? Is he a fifth to the African Union (AU)?

Members of World African Diaspora Union (WADU) who are engaged in high-level meetings on the continent and with the AU should be able to speak more comfortably on such questions.

On the surface, President Museveni’s statement appears to be presenting an “honest” view of Gaddafi on the situation in Libya. It’s good that he made it quite clear, up-front, putting it out there that he has had some historical problems with Gaddafi, before praising Libya’s achievements on the economic and social fronts.

While I will not comment on points made in President  Museveni’s article, I say however, to understand where someone like Yoweri is coming from one need look no further than into his personal interests. Where does he stand on the issue of the Union of Africa under a continental government with an Army under an AU central command?

Africa will remain and perpetually open to imperialist aggression and exploitation. If those fighting for the implementation of AU’s agenda are unable to achieve such goals peacefully, then the only door left open is the Maoists’ solution, a protracted revolutionary war for African liberation and unification.

Where does Museveni stand with the empowerment of Uganda’s working classes?

Is he working to transfer power to them or is he defending it for the class of the African petty bourgeoisie. The enablers of colonialism and imperialism in Africa are the leading members of that class. Museveni can’t’ be against colonialism and imperialism in Africa while embracing the policies of globalization—which is American capitalism.

I refused to be fooled by the language of “African Nationalism.” I need to see it in practice.  You should too. So Museveni too is a servant of Western imperialism in Africa, and so only should he be and his speech be judged.  According to Lenin, Imperialism is the Highest Stage of Capitalism. He should also have added, in crisis and decadence!

Yours in our Struggles for the African Cultural, Economic and Political Revolution—Yao Lloyd D. McCarthy

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Sewing the Mustard Seed

The Struggle for Freedom and Democracy in Uganda

By Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

The autobiography of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Museveni led a guerilla war to liberate his country from tyranny and, as President of Uganda, has established a reputation as one of the most widely respected African leaders of his generation. This is an excellent book by an African leader who is not well known in the West. This man managed to turn his country around after he was almost completely destroyed by two of the worst dictators the world has seen namely Idi Amin and Milton Obote. Early years – (1944-1958); youth and politics – (1958-1966); Dar Es Salaam University – (1967-1970); a brief historical review; fighting Amin (1-4) – (1972-1979); the Uganda National Liberation Front – (1979-1980); fighting Obote (1-2) – (1981-1983).

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The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia

Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East

By Andrew Scott Cooper

The Oil Kings: How Nixon courted the shah—Joan Oleck—The transcripts of the oil deals reveal how Kissinger referred to Nixon as “that drunken lunatic” with “the meatball mind,” and how he negotiated a settlement with Iran that cost US oil companies their strategic hold in the Saudi oil industry.Rigged defence contracts also emerge in these pages, most notably the one fashioned by Nelson Rockefeller, then the governor of New York, who solicited Kissinger’s help to save New York-based Grumman Corporation from bankruptcy by pushing the shah to purchase the company’s F-14 jet fighter. That deal would help carry New York state for the Nixon-Agnew ticket in the 1972 election. For his part, the shah leapt at the opportunity. There’s more, such as the preparation of military contingency plans—which called for Iran to invade Kuwait and Saudi Arabia—and the war games that were held in the Mojave Desert to prepare for such an eventuality.

Then there are the millions of dollars in kickbacks paid by Grumman and Northrop to “middlemen” in Iran, facilitating all those weapons sales. And the scariest deal of all: Nixon’s agreement to sell nuclear power plants and fuel to Iran, with no apparent concern for the wider implications such a transaction might hold.—   TheNational 

Derrick Bell Law Rights Advocate Dies at 80  / Civil Rights Activist Fred Shuttlesworth dies at 89

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The Black Press: New Literary and Historical Essays

By Todd Vogel

In a segregated society in which minority writers and artists could find few ways to reach an audience, journalism gave them access to diverse U.S. communities. The original essays in this volume show how marginalized voices attempted to be heard in their day. The Black Press progresses chronologically from abolitionist newspapers to today’s Internet and reveals how the black press’s content and its very form changed with evolving historical conditions in America. The essays address the production, distribution, regulation, and reception of black journalism, illustrating a more textured public discourse, one that exchanges ideas not just within the black community, but also within the nation at large. The contributors demonstrate that African American journalists redefined class, restaged race and nationhood, and reset the terms of public conversation, providing a fuller understanding of the varied cultural battles fought throughout our country’s history. Dayton Library  / Questia

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P.B. Young, Newspaperman

Race, Politics, and Journalism in the New South, 1910-1962

By Henry Lewis Suggs

P.B. Young, the son of a former slave, published the Norfolk Journal and Guide , a black weekly, for more than 50 years, until his death in 1962. From a circulation of a few hundred in 1909 to a circulation of 75,000 during the 1950s, the Guide became the largest press in the South. This book explores P.B. Young’s personal history and charts his positions on a variety of social issues.

Historians have largely neglected the Guide and its editor. Henry Lewis Suggs, mainly using Young’s personal papers (heretofore closed to scholars) and the files of the Guide, fills that historiographical void  . . .The book will almost certainly remain the definitive study of P.B. Young.—David B. Parker,

Another neglected figure in black history has been rescued from obscurity in this biography of Plummer Bernard Young . . .Suggs has thoroughly researched his subject.—Theodore Kornweibel, Jr.

posted 25 March 2011