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Posts Tagged Illicit Wealth

Paul Edwards: Leopold’s Ghost Redux By Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards: Leopold’s Ghost Redux

By Paul Edwards

This article has relevancy to the current stealth military rule by Lt Gen(Retd) Asim Munir in Pakistan

August 20/21, 2023 

Mark Twain said history never repeats itself but often rhymes.In the 19th century era of voracious, predatory colonialism, King Leopold II of Belgium appropriated a vast African area he called The Congo Free State. With icy indifference to human suffering and horrific cruelty, he ran a slave domain there, maiming and killing natives and looting its ivory and rubber for his enrichment.

Though excessively vicious, his gross inhumanity was ignored by Europe because most of its empires were engaged in the same murderous exploitation of Africa by violent conquest. Colonies, covering most of the continent, were run as possessions, mere sources of wealth, without regard for indigenous folk, which toxic race prejudice refused to regard as people at all, and which held them undeserving of human rights or compassionate treatment.

For a century Europe siphoned off obscene, illicit wealth from the natural bounty of Africa before there was even any nascent sense that this piracy and rapine might not be justifiable. It took two world wars’ cataclysmic impact on the consciousness of the world to shake and begin to break the deeply tyrannical hold European colonial powers had on their militarily raped colonies there, a struggle only won in blood and misery over decades.

Franz Fanon, in “The Wretched Of The Earth”, told the bitter and suppressed story of colonialism’s savage, sanguinary inhumanity to millions of subject peoples. After colonialists were battered by world wars, the tide of revolution ran high in Africa and the world, with one victim state after another breaking the failing grip of its arrogant, alien rulers. Vietnam was last, with America throwing its full weight against its fight for freedom after beaten, humiliated France was kicked out. America’s defeat marked the end, not of colonialism, but of the old type built on military conquest

A new method of subverting and looting the world was needed for Capitalism, since raw conquest obviously no longer served. America, morphing into empire, created that superior technique. It’s key elements were money and subversion, the one growing naturally from the other, jointly applied in many invisible, insidious colonial takeovers implemented by rankest corruption.

The way it worked in target countries was that ruling class thugs were paid great quantities of money to overthrow or eliminate leaders whose efforts for their people opposed the interests of U.S. Capital. This was an immense improvement over conquest: it was far cheaper than invasion and occupation, and it created no adverse publicity, at least not in the wholly-owned U.S. press.

The new game took breaking in, and there was predictable bungling by ham-handed CIA boys trained in war. Their first effort, in Iran, they nearly blew, but in spite of amateur hour chaos, with blind luck they managed to run Mossadegh—who had nationalized Iran’s oil—out, and turn the industry back over to the Brits and jokingly named Anglo-Iranian Oil. In Guatemala, they floundered and bollixed their play but, again, their money was better than they were, and they ousted Arbenz, who only represented his people, to balm the bitter hatred of United Fruit.

The operators of the, by now, burgeoning American Empire and their owners and directors, the Lords of Big Capital, were so pleased with these scores, that the money spigot fueling the CIA’s iffy subversion fairly gushed by the 60s, and their off-the-books budget expanded hugely by the time it set up the snatch and murder of the wildly popular, fierce nationalist Premier of The Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Fearful of being exposed, their great watchword became “plausible deniability”. It bought Chilean Generals to destroy the Socialist Premier, Salvador Allende, who had nationalized American-owned copper mines. They killed him, but Kissinger was fine with that. Those things happened.

In parallel with our manky spook program, which had various notable pratfalls, such as failing to kill Fidel, American Capitalism effected massive structural changes in world finance to support in the open what they did in the dark with the CIA. The World Bank and IMF, American run entities, were allegedly created to foster Third World “development”. In fact, they were agents of Disaster Capitalism, pace Naomi Klein. Using autocratic, native male whores who raked off millions signing for huge loans, their lending loaded poor states with unrepayable debt, indenturing them to the banks in perpetuity. This scam became the key form of colonial control, and sleazy black bag jobs and “terminating with extreme prejudice” fell clean out of favor.

Nothing works forever, though, and it’s clear that after murdering Qaddafi, and insisting “Assad must go” without the stones to make it happen, America, and its decayed, degenerate European lapdogs, are losing their stranglehold on Africa. In a rerun of the breakouts of Algeria, Libya, and Kenya in the first great wave of liberation from the old bayonet and bullet colonialism, central Africa across the Sahel from the Atlantic to the Red Sea is rising against the corrupt and fraudulent “aid”, and “assistance” from The American Empire and its sleazy Capitalist shysters.

In Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso, junior officers revolted to oust their Western puppets, all deep in the pockets of American-backed Capitalism, on the take and greasing the dirty sell-out of their people’s resources and futures. Niger has now erupted in defiance of The Empire and its diseased punk, France, to control its own destiny. The psychotic Harpy, Victoria Newland, sent to spank the naughties, was told to bugger off, they didn’t want her money, let her spend it on a weight-loss program instead. The four nations vowed that, if challenged, they will fight united for their independence. In the world of evil darkness The Empire has imposed, it is heartening to see that some victim nations are, as Sandino said, long ago, not for sale and not surrendering.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached


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