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Obama's United States Foreign Policy towards Africa

The Obama Administration: Agency for Continuity or Change in the United States Foreign Policy towards Africa?

By Sehlare Makgetlaneng, PhD (1)
Posted: March 08, 2008


The Project for the New American Century foreign policy position which was translated into the George W. Bush administration's foreign policy was an integral part of the United States foreign policy. Central to the various tactical means of previous administrations in the United States were the defence and expansion of the strategic objectives of the dominant position of the United States within global capitalism and the containment of fundamental threat to capitalism on an international scale. They were all committed to the essence of the United States foreign policy in maintaining and expanding the strategic interests of the United States financial corporate imperialist oligarchy and its allies, imperialism throughout the world and those inherent in the status of the United States as the leader of the imperialist system since the end of the Second World War. The Democratic Party during the Bush administration fundamentally failed to provide alternative to its neo-conservative foreign policy and national security agenda. It did not even make serious efforts in critically contesting and challenging it. It focused on its tactical differences with the Bush administration foreign policy and national security agenda. Why did the Democratic Party failed to formulate and articulate alternative foreign policy and national security agenda and to demonstrate its strategic importance over that pursued by the Bush administration? Was it possible for it to be successful to provide alternative to its neo-conservative foreign policy and national security agenda, to critically contest and challenge it, to formulate and articulate alternative foreign policy and national security agenda and to demonstrate its strategic importance over that pursued by the Bush administration? The United States unprecedented military agenda pursued under the Bush administration was not a distinct neo-conservative project. The Bush administration's war on terror doctrine is the continuation of the Truman doctrine of containment. From the outset of the Cold War period to the present post-Cold War period, there has been a consistent military doctrine in the United States foreign policy and national security agenda.

The Democratic Party was victorious in the 2008 presidential elections. This work raises key questions relating to its foreign policy towards Africa. Will it now in occupying the White House provide structural alternative to the Bush administration's neo-conservative Africa policy? Will it be in a socio-historical co-opted position in which it will carry out essential aspects of the Bush administration foreign policy? This work maintains that in satisfying the needs, demands and exigencies of the second re-division of the world among the imperialist powers under the leadership of the United States, the development and articulation of foreign policy of the Democratic Party through the Obama administration will be an integral part of the American foreign policy.

Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States of America on 4 November 2008. His inauguration as the United States president was on 20 January 2009. It is the first time in the history of the United States that African serves as its president. This in itself is the issue of the socio-historical significance not only in the history of the United States internal relations, but also in its relations with the rest of the world particularly Africa. He is the son of the African father of Kenya and of the European mother of the United States. This socio-historical development has led to the view that his administration will significantly change the nature of the United States internal relations and its relations with the rest of the world particularly Africa. Some African leaders have articulated this view in public.

What is the basis of this expectation? Is it expected that the United States will usher in a new qualitative direction in its relations with Africa because for the first time African American with an African father from Kenya is its president? Is it also expected that foreign policy of the Obama administration towards Africa will be informed by his ties to Kenya and that these ties will provide him a great personal connection to the continent and its people than any other United States president before him? Should we raise the question as to whether his administration will match the level of expectations from the continent because of his race and his connection to the continent through his family ties to Kenya? Obama has not articulated political, economic and ideological position supportive of this view or expectation. Another point is that the decisive majority of leaders of African countries in their post-colonial era have not advanced the interests of their masses of the people. They have served as their enemies. This brutal reality has not changed. It has remained essentially the same. The decisive majority of leaders of African countries are enemies of the masses of the African people and development and progress of their countries and the continent. These are the very same leaders who expect Obama to contribute towards the resolution of problems internal to African countries - problems they have actively created and sustain - others by any means necessary including violence. Is it realistic to expect the United States president and his or her administration to contribute towards the resolution of the structural problems in Africa - problems created and sustained by the United States? Obama has already made it clear that his administration will be committed to defend and expand what is referred to as the United States strategic interests in Africa and the rest of the South.

Those who expect that the Obama administration will substantially deviate from the expansive, moralistic, conservative, militaristic, brutal and ruthless essence of the United States foreign policy will be disappointed. The history of the United States relations with the developing countries in general and Africa in particular has been the history of the struggle for the accumulation and expansion of power and zones of control or spheres of influence. Regarding itself as a model for the rest of the world, it has been dealing with the world in terms of its subscription to its "manifest destiny" thesis used to justify that it must meet requirements of insatiable thirst for its external expansion. Obama and his administration will not deviate from this essence of the United States foreign policy. Ties and recycled members of cabinet and senior officials connecting the Clinton administration and the George W. Bush administration to the Obama administration and the prominence of those who were members of the Clinton administration are incorrectly regarded as some of the key reasons why the strategic value of continuity in foreign policy will not be abandoned. Obama has articulated his position on this important issue before he was elected the president. During the campaign, he called upon the United States to continue being "the leader of the free world," leading it "in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good." According to him, the execution of this task is the issue of doing justice to its purpose in the world which "is to promote the spread of freedom." Warning those who are highly optimistic that the Obama administration will significantly change the United States internal relations and its relations with the rest of the world and that it will help to effect international progressive changes of risk of being disappointed, Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister, concluded that "I am deeply convinced that the biggest disappointments are born out of big expectations." We must prepare for the worse.

We must as revolutionary and progressive forces direct our programme of action to prepare today what we will face tomorrow. We must ensure that our theory and practice reflect the link between knowledge and power in which the masses of the African people view themselves as historical subjects with power not only to transform their countries, but also, most importantly, as the foundation against subversion of structures of their power and authority against the system of socio-political and economic injustice by the fact that the president of the imperialist superpower is a member of their race.

Obama's victory was globally celebrated as a victory in the struggle against racism. It was also celebrated as a new beginning in the relationship between the United States with the rest of the world particularly developing countries. Some of his statements during his campaign and in his Inaugural Address contributed to this view. He pointed out in his Inaugural Address that "we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" and that his administration will "seek a new way forward based on mutual interests and mutual respect" in the United States international relations. However, his address was not focused. It was far from being a substantial and welcome addition to the presidential development and articulation of domestic and foreign policy direction. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, one of the leading veterans of the movement for social justice in the United States, in his benediction at Obama's inauguration, not Obama, did justice to these important statements which promised a qualitative new beginning in the United States internal and international relations. With humour and dignity, he addressed socio-historical wounds experienced in the United States and the structural need to heal them. He captured the moment and the enormity not only of "the national, and indeed the global, fiscal climate" which helped Obama to defeat John McCain in the presidential elections, but also of the global struggle for social justice. He called upon the political "leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor" and "from favoritism towards the rich, the elite" or those who have "sown the seeds of greed - the wind of greed and corruption" for the masses of the people not to "reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption."(2)

Lowery implored God to help the people of the United States "make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance."(3) Calling upon humanity to "beat tanks into tractors," he called for a time "when nations shall not lift up sword against nation, when every man and woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree" and live in peace and unafraid. This will the day "when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream."(4) He concluded by asking God to help Americans to work for the United States without racism. In his words:
Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.(5)
Lowery was criticising the United States rulers in their domestic and foreign policies and calling upon the progressive forces to defeat them in his inauguration benediction. This is supported, among others, by his call for "a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our willingness to make sacrifices to turn each other and not on each" in "the difficult day ahead" against the system of hate, exclusion, intolerance, greed and corruption. In 2006, at Coretta Scott King's funeral, Lowery received a standing ovation when he remarked before President Jimmy Carter, President George Herbert Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush in attendance to honour the wife of Martin Luther King. With George W. Bush, seated a few feet away, Lowery referring to King's vocal opposition to the Vietnam War, noting the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and addressing himself to issues of war, poverty, racism and discrimination, concluded that:
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there were weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions but no more for the poor!(6)
President Carter, referring to King's struggle for social justice pointed out that her family had been the target of secret federal government wiretapping and her husband has been the subject of wiretapping in the name of the national security. These statements particularly those of lowery were met with thunderous applause and standing ovations.

Obama's campaign was characterised by rhetoric of change. He gave hope of change without questioning and criticising what needed to be changed. He was elected not because he wanted to change the United States national and international relations, but because he offered that he will manage them effectively for their survival. His statements during the campaign, among others, that "We lead the world in battling immediate evils and promoting the ultimate good" and that "We must lead by building a 21st century military to ensure the security of all people" were his tactical means of sending a clear message to the United States ruling class and its internal and external allies that if elected the president of the country his administration will subscribe to the strategic value of continuity in the United States internal relations and its relations with the rest of the world particularly developing countries. Changes will be the issue of what are the best required means used in defending and expanding its strategic interests.

Obama as the Democratic Party presidential candidate was a beneficiary of unpopular policies of the Bush administration and economic and financial problems. There was a popular position which he successfully exploited that for John McCain to be elected as the president his administration will continue with unpopular domestic and foreign policies of the Bush administration. During the presidential campaign, national security and foreign policy issues which McCain regarded as of vital strategic importance - issues in which Obama has less qualifications and experience lost their importance. The economic issues in which McCain was less confident took their place as of greatest national concern. McCain, Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden maintained during the campaign that Obama does not have experience in national security and foreign policy issues and that he was unprepared for making decisions and operating the levers of power as the national president. Clinton was more brutal in criticising Obama. She said that while McCain and herself would bring experience to the campaign, Obama would "bring a speech.' She said that in the White House "there is no time" for "on-the-job training." Biden agreed with her by stating that the presidency "is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training' and that having "talking points on foreign policy doesn't get you there." They were criticising their opponent. While Clinton has since brought her "lifetime of experience" to the role of Secretary of State, Biden has brought his time of experience in foreign policy in the Senate to the role of Vice President. These words of his former rivals and current senior colleagues may return to haunt him.

Obama made serious efforts to convince his fellow Americans that their country can use its power not to create more enemies, but help to build its more acceptable view internationally more beneficial to the defence and expansion of its strategic interests particularly in developing countries. Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, alluded to this when she pointed out that by "electing Barack Obama our next president, the American people have demanded not just a new direction at home, but a new effort to renew America's standing in the world as a force for positive change." Al Gore, former vice-president of the United States, was more direct. In his words:
Barack Obama's vision and voice represent the best of America. His life experience embodies the essence of our motto - E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one). That is the linking identity at the other end of all the hyphens that pervade our political culture. It is that common American identity which Barrack Obama exemplifies heart and soul that enables us as Americans to speak with moral authority to all of the peoples of the world, to inspire hope that we as human beings can transcend our limitations to redeem the promise of human freedom.(7)
His electoral victory is used to morally, culturally, racially and politically rehabilitate United States imperialism and the worse it offers the masses of the people of the world. There are key issues which are regarded as factors making this possible. Firstly, his African and European combined or linked racial identity. Secondly, his tactical means of being not focused, direct, serious and confrontation on race, race relations and racism in a society in which his fellow Africans are "a racial minority in a country where racism is a fact of life, a country that was founded on economic and imperialist racism."(8) This is highly appreciated by the country's rulers, their allies and their organic intellectuals. How his administration is going to address the relationship between the class question and the race question will provide the answer to the question as to how this dilemma will be confronted in theory and practice. Thirdly, as the president of the multilateral imperialist superpower which is a racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious microcosm of the world. He is regarded by some forces as the deception tool to be used in representing the United States rulers not only in their country's internal relations, but also in its international relations in today's world which is different from that of yesterday.

Today's world is characterised by the declining legitimacy of imperialist powers. This development in international relations is a result of various processes. Firstly, as the sole superpower, the United States, supported by some of its strategic partners such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, has unprecedentedly increased its aggressive, combative, chauvinist, arrogant and reckless pursuit of policies some of which are criticised and condemned by some of its allies. Some of these policies have increased the socio-economic suffering and pain of the masses of the people of the world who are the direct recipients of the damage inflicted on them by imperialism. Secondly, the legitimacy of the United States is interlinked with that of other imperialist powers. As the legitimacy of the United States declines, that of its imperialist partners is structurally bound to decline particularly as a result of their solidarity and unity with their leaders and the global opposition it generates. Thirdly, the challenge to imperialist powers coming from countries with potential to lead to a multipolar power constellation such as China. They are regarded as social formations destined to be the most import centres of power in international relations. Thirdly, the participation of the global movement for socio-political and economic justice in challenging the legitimacy of imperialist powers. This movement has played a role of crucial importance in "debunking and delegitimising" imperialist powers by "questioning the very idea" that the few "self-appointed countries can presume to determine the fate of humanity."(9) Thanks to the efforts of this progressive movement, today's world is characterised by the intensified mobilisation against advanced capitalist countries, their global agenda and the basis of its governance and the authority they use in articulating their rule and subjecting developing countries and their people to it. How is the Obama administration going to respond to this global reality is the question raising another question as to how is it going to satisfy its supporters whose interests and positions are antagonistic? Included in the second question should not be the question as to what the administration can do for the global movement for social justice. The question for members of this movement is the issue as to what they should do in advancing the cause his administration is structurally opposed to.

The challenge of the global movement for socio-political and economic justice to the rulers of global apartheid is articulated by Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa, in his statement that:
In as much as the slave cannot ask the slave-master to provide the strategy and tactics for a successful uprising of the slaves, so must we, who are hungry and treated as minors in a world of adults, also take upon ourselves the task of defining the new world order of prosperity and development for all and equality among the nations of the world.(10)
Obama was chosen as more attractive and historically relevant than all other presidential aspirants to tackle this global reality confronting imperialism and its rulers. Some of the leading social forces who groomed him for the presidency support this position. One of them is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission and its first executive director from its inception in 1973 until 1976 when he was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. Another co-founder of this North American, Western European and Japanese organisation was the chairperson of the Chase Manhattan Bank, a director of leading transnational corporations and "endowment funds" and a central force within the Council on Foreign Relations, David Rockefeller. Brzezinski, the author of several books that have served and continue serving as policy guidelines for the Trilateral Commission, was Obama's principal foreign policy advisor. Introducing Obama at Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa on 12 September 2007, he criticised what he called colonialist policies of the Bush administration in a post-colonial world as if he is against neo-colonialism which Nkrumah maintains that it is the last stage of imperialism.(11) In supporting and endorsing Obama's presidential candidacy, he pointed out that "What makes Obama attractive to me is that he understands that we live in a very different world where we have to relate to a variety of cultures and peoples." For him, the issue in the 2008 presidential elections was not just to choose a new president. The choice made was going to "define America's role in a historically new era." Maintaining that Obama "has a sense of what is historically relevant and what is needed from the United States in relationship with the world," he concluded that he represents "a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America's role in the world." He is correct. Obama is being used by leaders of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations to put a new face on the United States domestic and foreign policies and institutions implementing them. Leaders of the Council on Foreign Relations are responsible for the formation of the Trilateral Commission. There are structural interlinkages and close patterns of cooperation between these two organisations. Since its inception, the Trilateral Commission has been playing the central role in the political administration of the United States. The strategic importance of providing the political administration of the North America, Western Europe and Japan or the trilateral centre of capitalism is one of the key purposes of the Trilateral Commission. Because of the racist nature of imperialism since its inception, imperialist countries and their relations with developing countries, the relationship between the race question and the class question in the developing countries particularly in the distribution of wealth and privileges and the role of the United States in "safeguarding of the alliance of the capitalists of all countries against the working people,"(12) Obama's presidency is regarded as unprecedented development of crucial importance in the history of imperialism symbolising a necessary change in the racial representation in political management of imperialism and a hope for a softer face of global capitalism. Any means necessary is used to rehabilitate and defend the system.

Brzezinski is the same person who made it clear in no uncertain terms that democracy is against the practical and theoretical task of serving imperialism and that it will become more difficult to execute key foreign policy issues in an increased multi-racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious United States. "Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilization," he wrote in 1997.(13) He continued that as "America becomes an increasingly multi-cultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely direct external threat."(14) This position is such that a person like Obama should not be the United States president. Why has Brzezinski, National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981, the Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor and trustee and co-chairperson of its advisory board, supported and endorsed Obama's presidential candidacy and played a key role for him to be nominated as the presidential candidate and elected as the president? As the greatest strategic thinker who understands the fundamental and structural need to make changes in policy to achieve what is in the best interests of the rulers of advanced capitalist powers sitting in judgement of their own actions, he is fully aware of the possibility that the seeds of the defeat of the system may lie internally in the United States and be carried by its increased multi-racial, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and religious nature against the present global pain and suffering its ruling class sustains.

What will be the form and content of the Obama administration's policy towards Africa? Will it abandon the strategic value of continuity in the United States foreign policy by crafting and executing substantial policy changes? While it is true that history does not repeat itself, the past may sometimes be read as a reliable guide to the future. Obama's campaign statements and answers to questions offer insight into what we should expect from his administration.

Obama's relationship with Africa began with his late Kenyan father. He pointed out in his speech at the University of Nairobi on 28 August 2006 that despite his father's education and as the respected economist working for the government, his "life ended up being filled with disappointments." The topic of his address was An Honest Government - A Hopeful Future.(15) What were the sources of "those disappointments?" There were the politics of tribalism and patronage in the post-settler colonial Kenya. His father was a member of the Luo ethnic group. Those who inherited the state, the organ for repressing the masses of the African people, marginalising Africans committed to structural change in the interests of the masses of the people and their country and accumulating wealth and privileges for the rulers and their national and external allies, were members of the Kikuyu ethnic group. His position on how Kenya should "progress often put him at odds with the politics" of tribalism and "patronage, and because he spoke his mind, sometimes to a fault, he ended up being fired from his job and prevented from finding work in the country for many, many years." Obama confuses the issue of ethnicity which he refers to as tribe with the issue of tribalism. On "a more personal level," he maintains that because his father "never fully reconciled the traditions of his village with more modern conceptions of family" and because he "related to women as his father had, expecting them to obey him no matter what he did - his family life was untenable, and his children never knew him well." He concludes that in "many ways" his "family's life reflects some of the contradictions of Kenya, and indeed, the African continent as a whole." He maintains that there are various factors explaining this reality.

Maintaining that we must acknowledge that Kenya and Africa have not yet fulfilled their potential and that "the hopefulness of the post-colonial era has been replaced by cynicism and sometimes despair, and that true freedom has not yet been won for those struggling to live on less than a few shillings a day, for those who have fallen prey to HIV/AIDS or malaria, to those ordinary citizens who continue to find themselves trapped in the crossfire of war or ethnic conflict," he concludes that these factors do not explain the reality of Africa's development. They do not explain, given the fact that on the level of economic development, Kenya and South Korea were the same in the early 1960s, why they are now substantially different? It is not because of lack of efforts of the masses of the Kenyan people.

Are these factors the legacy of colonialism, national boundaries that were "drawn without regard to the political and tribal alignments of indigenous people" and "conflict and tribal strive" they "fed?" Are they problems faced in moving "rapidly" from "a highly agrarian to a more urban, industrialized" social formation? Is the fact that Kenya, like other African countries, is "hurt" by "geography and place in the world - disease, distance from viable markets and especially terms of trade" one of these factors? In other words, is it as African leaders and their organic intellectuals maintain that it is because of lack of access to markets of developed countries and the demand of developed countries that African countries should intensify liberalisation of their national economy without granting them reciprocal concessions? These are not factors explaining this reality.

What, according to Obama, are factors explaining this reality? "It's more than just history and outside influences that explain why Kenya lags behind. Like many nations across the continent, where Kenya is failing is in its ability to create a government that is transparent and accountable." His father's experience in Kenya has impact on his view of Kenya and the continent. His father was committed to the post-settler colonial Kenya's development and progress. He was prevented by the politics of tribalism and patronage and the struggle of the political leadership and their allies against the achievement of the interests of the masses of the people of Kenya and their country from executing this national task. He calls for an end to ethnic-based politics. In his words:

It is rooted in the bankrupt idea that the goal of politics or business is to funnel as much of the pie as possible to one's family, tribe, or circle with little regard for the public good. It stifles innovation and fractures the fabric of the society. Instead of opening businesses and engaging in commerce, people come to rely on patronage and payback as a means of advancing. Instead of unifying the country to move forward on solving problems, it divides neighbor from neighbor.

Legitimate exercise of power and authority and the consequent accountable and transparent administration of national affairs in the interest of the people of the country is solution to this problem. In his words:

An accountable, transparent government can break this circle. When people are judged by merit, not connections, then the best and brightest can lead the country, people will work hard, and the entire economy will grow - everyone will benefit and more resources will be available for all, not just select groups.

Will Obama regard his administration as the promoter of freedom in Kenya and Africa? Is his interest only the nature of the relationship between the national government and the people of the country regarding its obligation to them? He maintains that "if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost." This is one of the key reasons "why the struggle against corruption is one of the great struggles of our time." Will he as the president of the imperialist superpower not act like other leaders of the United States and other imperialist powers who, while prescribing democracy for Africa and the rest of the South with the exception of Israel and some of their other strategic allies who have no accountable, transparent and democratic governments and who do not hold free, fair, credible, transparent and democratic elections, refused to accept the free, fair, credible, transparent and democratic electoral victory of Hamas in Palestine? On 28 January 2009 he telephonically told President Kgalema Motlanthe of South Africa that the Southern African Development Community should get tougher on President Robert Mugabe as a means to resolve the Zimbabwean conflict. He emphasised what he refers to as the importance of South Africa's leadership as "a strong and vibrant democracy" in Africa. This is not only an indication that his administration is committed to the regime change in Zimbabwe in favour of the Movement for Democratic Change, but also that it wants South Africa to play a leading role in effecting the regime change in Zimbabwe and in advancing its interests in Southern Africa and the African continent.

Leaders of governments not trusted by the majority of the citizens to do the job for which they exist use power and authority to loot national or public resources. Corrupt and unaccountable governments provide fertile terrain for transitional threats from terrorist organisations to communicable disease as Susan E. Rice maintains in her aggressive, combative, chauvinistic, arrogant and reckless language used in justifying the criminalisation and marginalisation of Africans and Africa and in justifying the position that Africa is the threat to the United States national security. He has appointed her as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations Organisation. This position raises the question as to whether his administration will continue regarding Africa as the threat to the United States national security. If yes, to what extent? Will it use the language Rice used? We have provided analysis of the form and content of this language is provided in this work. His administration will regard Africa as the threat to the United States national security. Will his administration promote "accountable, transparent government" in Africa? If yes, to what extent? Will it demonise or ostracise those regarded not as accountable and transparent governments and leaders of governments who refuse to be given the certificate of good behaviour by the United States. Will his administration substantiate his position on corruption he articulated in his speech at the University of Nairobi in practice in its Africa policy? He argues that corruption is threatening freedom Kenyans have fought for. He points out in his opposition to corruption that:

It is painfully obvious that corruption stifles development - it siphons off scarce resources that could improve infrastructure, bolster education systems, and strengthen public health. It stacks the deck so high against entrepreneurs that they cannot get their job-creating ideas off the ground. In fact, one recent survey showed that corruption in Kenya costs local firms 6 percent of their revenues, the difference between good-paying jobs in Kenya or somewhere else. And corruption also erodes the states from the inside out, sickening the justice system until there is no justice to be found, poisoning the police forces until their presence becomes a sources of insecurity rather than comfort. Corruption has a way of magnifying the very worst twists of fate. It makes it impossible to respond effectively to crises - whether it's the HIV/AIDS pandemic or malaria or crippling drought.

Corruption in African countries is one of the key issues cited in the thesis that Africa is the threat to the United States national security. It is one of the main characteristic features of this thesis. He subscribes to this thesis. In his words:
What's worse - corruption can also provide opportunities for those who would harness the fear and hatred of other to their agenda and ambitions.

It can shield a war criminal - even one like Felicien Kabuga, suspected of helping to finance and orchestrate the Rwandan genocide - by allowing him to purchase safe haven for a time and robbing all humanity of the opportunity to bring the criminal to justice.

Terrorist attacks - like those that have shed Kenyan blood and struck at the heart of the Kenyan economy - are facilitated by customs and border officers who can be paid off, by police forces so crippled by corruption that they do not protect the personal safety of Kenyans walking the streets of Nairobi, and by forged documents that are easy to find in a climate where graft and fraud thrive.

Some of the worst actors on the international stage can also take advantage of the collective exhaustion and outrage that people feel with official corruption, as we've see with Islamic extremists who promise purification, but deliver totalitarianism. Endemic corruption opens the door to this kind of movement, and in its wake comes a new set of distortions and betrays of public trust.

In the end, if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost. And this is why the struggle against corruption is one of the great struggles of time.
Is it not safe for Obama to criticise leaders of Kenya for corruption the way he did? It has been seriously exposed to such an extent that it is as if they do not pay serious attention when they are being criticised for this practice which has become their political culture. Why have the leaders of developed countries continued criticising corruption in African countries such as Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya without taking necessary actions to demonstrate that they do not tolerate it? Leaders of these countries are their strategic allies. Is Obama as the United States president not an ally of leaders of these countries? How is he going to prove that he is against corruption particularly in Kenya now that he is the president? Will his administration criticise Kenya that "insidious corruption" has "weakened" it in a war against terrorism? If his administration will not contribute to this fight against corruption which he correctly regards as a crisis in its Africa policy, will it be a betrayal of his declared progressive position on this governance, democracy and development problem?

On the foreign policy issue, he maintains that the United States and other countries have obligation and self-interest in being full partners with Kenya and Africa. Pointing out that he will play his role to "shape an intelligent foreign policy that promises peace and prosperity" ant that "gives hope and opportunity to the people of this great continent," he concludes that Kenya should play its role and not wait for other countries to "act first" to ensure realisation of its interests. The brutal reality is that if it does not act, other countries "will act in their self-interest" and Kenya "will fall behind."

Obama drew a harsh criticism from the government of Kenya for his position on the entrenched corruption and for maintaining that Kenya should wage a war against its entrenched corruption and tribalism to achieve its economic development potential and solve the problem of poverty in his address at the University of Nairobi. Alfred N. Mutua as public communication secretary and government spokesperson dismissed him as a young man who could not teach Kenya how to manage its public affairs. He pointed out that he made "extremely disturbing statements on issues which it is clear, he was poorly informed, and on which he chose to lecture the Government and the people of Kenya on how to manage our country." He argued that blaming terrorist attacks on Kenya on corruption is "highly misplaced and insincere" in that this means that the terrorist attacks in the United States were as a result of corrupt border and customs police. Admitting that there is tribalism in Kenya which Obama "chose to magnify," he accused him of trivialising what he refers to as "the harmony and peaceful-co-existence that exists between different ethnic groups."

Upon being appointed as Ambassador of Kenya to the United States in September 2006, Rateng Ogego harshly criticised Obama for his position on the dynamics of governance, democracy and development in Kenya before presenting his credentials to President Bush. Accusing him of deliberately twisting the truth about the government's fight against corruption, he told him that:

You deliberately, without real cause or reason, other than what appears to seek cheap publicity and inconsequential populism, chose to publicly attack the democratically elected government of Kenya. In total disregard for the requisite protocol and acceptable methods to address the issues you raised, what with programmed appointment to meet cabinet ministers and even the head of state, since your visit was official.

Upon his electoral victory, the government of Kenya changed its position on Obama from harsh criticism and abuse to praise, celebration of his victory and the declaration that he is "the son, brother and friend" of the people of Kenya. Mutua in his capacity as public communication secretary government spokesperson praised Obama by saying that the Kenyan government is "very proud to be associated with a man whose heritage rises from our soil" and a man "we consider our son, brother, friend and who has proven to the world if you mean well, you will triumph." He continued: "We not only support his policies, his world view and his focus, but we support the significance of his election as a black person, an Africa-American. All of us will walk with our heads lifted higher and with warmer hearts because truly, yes we can." Implied in this opportunistic statement is that Obama, upon his election as the president, changed his position on the politics of tribalism and patronage in Kenya.

What will be the Obama administration's form and content of Africa policy? Whitney W. Schneidman, who served as advisor on African affairs to the campaign to elect Obama as the United States president and as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton administration set out the administration's fundamental policy objectives for Africa in his remarks to the Constituency for Africa's 2008 Ronald H. Brown African Affairs series at the National Press Club on 24 September 2008. These objectives are to accelerate or intensify Africa's further integration into "the global economy" or international capitalism, "enhance the peace and security of African states" and to 'strengthen relations" of the United States with African "governments, institutions and civil society organizations committed to deepening democracy, accountability and reducing poverty in Africa." He maintains that Africa Command, the United States military command for Africa, will work with other United States agencies to "promote peace, security, and stability on the continent." Related to this task is that the administration will create "a Shared Security Partnership Program to build the infrastructure to deliver effective counter-terrorism training, and to create a strong foundation for coordinated action against al Qaeda and its affiliates in Africa and elsewhere."(16)

The Shared Security Partnership Program will "provide assistance with information sharing, training, operations, border security, anti-corruption programs, technology and the targeting of terrorist financing." He maintained that "in the Niger Delta, we should become more engaged with the Nigerian government, the European Union, the African Union, and other stakeholders to stabilize the region." As a response to China's intensified expansion into Africa to secure access to energy supplies and other resources from Africa and to enhance its "rapidly expanding influence on the continent," he points out that the Obama administration will strive to counter China's "growing presence" on the continent by engaging the Chinese political leadership to "establish the rules of the road and to ensure that we are working at common purpose to enhance economic development on the continent."

What Schneidman is saying is not different from Obama's response to the Presidential Town Hall Meeting Africa Questionnaire in October 2007. Answering the question as to what steps he would take as president to address the issue of China's increased role Africa, he agreed that China is a key international player in Africa competing for contracts, access to resources and political influence. For him, its intensified presence in Africa challenges the Unite States to improve its policies and programmes in pursuing its interests in Africa and in responding to its role. Tactically, United States should policy makers should appear to be striving to "find the common ground on which both the U.S. and China can better contribute to Africa's development." It would be beneficial to Africa and the United States if they "can develop strategies for cooperating with China in critical areas such as poverty alleviation, healthcare and protection of the environment." While his administration will forge cooperation programmes with China to benefit Africa, its establishment of "high-level engagement in Africa" will be "a significant priority." In dealing with China's intensified expansion into Africa, his administration will attempt to answer key questions about the relationship between China's economic influence and political influence in Africa and whether in pursuing its interests in Africa, China is prioritising economic benefits or gains over governance, democracy and human rights issues and environmental concerns. He articulates the popular position that China's "willingness to sweep important governance and human rights issues aside in making deals with Africa is of grave concerns."(17)

Central to this strategy is to counter and defeat China's objectives in Africa. Tactically, the United States will demonstrate to China that it is prepared and ready to match its Africa policy actions and as such, China should restrain itself or face consequences in its relations with the United States and its interests in Africa for its struggle to jeopardise security interests of imperialism and usurping its dominant position in Africa. Imperialist domination of Africa under the leadership of the United States is the strategic objective that constitutes the focus of its policy makers. This is an integral part of the United States position not only on its enemies and opponents, but also its allies and friends regarding the defence and expansion of its leadership of the world. This position is defended clearly in no uncertain terms without mercy, among others, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, one of the leading strategic organic intellectuals of multilateral imperialism, in his works. According to him, the United States must protect its "global primacy" by any means necessary. It must ensure that "no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States" from its leadership of the world "or even diminish its decisive role" and that a "benign American hegemony must discourage others from posing a challenge by making its costs too high."(18) For him, countries dominated by imperialism should not challenge the United States domination of the world. No other advanced capitalist country should attempt to take over the leadership of the world and imperialism from the United States. The United States must remain the leader of the world and the imperialist camp. The point is that "the only alternative to American leadership" of the word "is international anarchy."(19)

We have already pointed out that the Obama administration will regard Africa as the threat to the United States national security. The military front of the United States Africa policy, primarily represented by Africa Command, is to ensure that Africa is safe for the interests and needs of the United States dominant social forces - interests and needs which in the language of the United States establishment are the security and well-being of each and every American. There is nothing new in these objectives. These are objectives which were articulated by some previous administrations including those of Clinton, George W. Bush and George Herbert Walker Bush. Schneidman, senior official in the Clinton administration, supports this when he maintains that:
Barrack Obama's vision of leadership in this new era begins with the recognition of a fundamental reality: the security and well-being of each and every American is tied to the security and well-being of those who live beyond our borders, including in Africa. The United States will provide global leadership grounded in the understanding that the world shares a common security and a common humanity. We must lead not in the spirit of a patron, but in the spirit of a partner. Expanding an outstretched hand to others must ultimately be about recognizing the inherent quality, dignity and worth of all people.(20)
Schneidman as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the Clinton administration was responsible for economic and commercial issues in "Sub-Saharan" Africa and Southern Africa. His duties included ensuring the passage and implementation of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, the establishment of the US-SADC Forum, the US-Angola Bilateral Consultative Commission and the US-Nigeria Joint Economic Partnership Committee. He helped to organise Clinton's two visits to Africa and was a member of both official delegations. Before joining the State Department, he served as Senior Vice President at Samuels International Associates in Washington, DC and Senior Associate of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He also worked for the World Bank as a Senior Policy Analyst and speechwriter to the Vice President for the Africa region. He has an extensive background in African affairs and economic development issues.

The position that the Obama administration will create the Shared Security Partnership Programme is the evidence that it will continue with Africa Command. It became fully operational on 1 October 2008, one month before Obama was elected the president of the United States. It will become central in the United States strategy using military force in Africa to intensify its access to energy supply and other vital strategic resources. He has already as the president pointed that his administration will commit resources to promote international energy order based on the use of clean, safe and renewable resources. Schneidman's remarks constitute the evidence that his administration will continue with Africa Command.

The conclusive evidence that the Obama administration will continue with this organisational structure serving the militarisation of the United States Africa policy was provided by Obama in his answers to the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation in response to the Presidential Town Hall Meeting Africa Questionnaire in October 2007. Responding to the questionnaire, he maintained that Africa Command "should serve to coordinate and synchronize our military activities with our other strategic objectives in Africa," that it should "help to integrate military capabilities with the other elements of US power and diplomacy" and that it should "provide a more united and coordinated engagement plan for Africa." Maintaining that "there will be situations that require the United States to work with its partners in Africa to fight terrorism with lethal force," he concluded that "having a unified command operating in Africa will facilitate this action."(21) He was calling for the intensification of the militarisation of the United States Africa policy. Throughout the campaign, he clearly articulated the need for the United States to intensify its military efforts in Pakistan with or without the approval of its leaders and its right to take unilateral military actions against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other terrorist organisations in Afghanistan. He repeatedly voted in the Senate supporting the Bush administration's funding the occupation of Iraq. He called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan. He never seriously criticised and questioned the legitimacy of the United States war against terrorism on the international scale.

Obama's position that Africa Command "should serve to coordinate and synchronize our military activities with our other strategic objectives in Africa" is the same position articulated by Theresa Whelan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for African Affairs, in her testimony before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on African Affairs on 1 August 2007 that:
Some people believe that we are establishing AfriCom solely to fight terrorism, or to secure oil resources, or to discourage China. This is not true. Violent extremism is cause for concern, and needs to be addressed, but this is not AfriCom's singular mission. Natural resources represent Africa's current and future wealth, but in a fair market environment, many benefit. Ironically, the U.S., China and other countries share a common interest - that of a secure environment. AfriCom is about helping Africans build greater capacity to assure their own security.(22)
Obama has already made it clear that he will use his African and "Kenyan roots" in advancing strategic interests of United States imperialism in Kenya and Africa. In his memo of gratitude to his Kenyan supporters he reiterates his point that Israel is the strategic ally of the United States in the Middle East by stating that "part" of the United States "foreign policy is to ensure the safety and secure borders of Israel, safe routes of our oil supplies and commitment to our bilateral and multilateral allies." Reminding them that Kenya has always been the friend of the United States, he concludes that United States-Kenya "ties shall now be strengthened" by his "heritage." He uses dictatorial and bullying tone in addressing "a sovereign state." He is threatening the government of Kenya to allow his administration to build Africa Command headquarters in Kenya. In a typical Anglo-American imperialist arrogant and chauvinist style of addressing Africans and their governments, he tells Kenyans and their government where his administration wants to build Africa Command headquarters in Kenya. It is as if Kenya is an extension of the United States. Is he asking or demanding to build headquarters of Africa Command in a particular place in Kenya - headquarters that will be led, coordinated and dictated by the United States. In his words:
Our relationship could be imperiled should your foreign policy be at odds with ours. We will never dictate your policy as you are a sovereign state, but our relationship is dependent on your choices. Kenya may benefit if it makes certain strategic decisions.
What are these "certain strategic decisions" which Kenyan rulers should make for them to benefit more in their relations with the United States under the leadership of their "son, brother" and "friend?" He continues in his patronising tone that "We are looking for a base in Africa to build our AfriCom headquarters, and Lamu is one of the likely locations. In the event that you accept our request, we will make Lamu a deep-sea port and build a railway line from there to Ethiopia, our other strategic ally in the region. The choice again I say is yours."

Beth Tuckey, the Associate Director of the Development and Policy programme at Africa Faith and Justice Network in Washington, DC, articulated the continued arrogance and chauvinism in the United States Africa policy after the November 2008 presidential elections, in the article published in Pambuzaka News on 2 October 2008, explains how the Obama administration will contradict Obama's declared position on the importance of transparent and accountable government. In her words:
Never mind that AfriCom's mandate involves direct military-to-military training and equipping, rather than support for an African Union (AU) that conducts multilateral peacekeeping missions. Never mind that AfriCom's stated goals involve protecting American interests, rather than ensuring that the African people's primary needs and desires are met. Never mind that many African governments and African civil society strongly oppose AfriCom. No, the next administration will ignore all of that in the blind belief that the United States can unilaterally bring peace and prosperity to the African continent.(23)
The issue is not the question what the Obama administration can do for the African continent and its people. The issue is the implementation of the understanding of the progressive Africans of the position that "so long as imperialism is in existence, an independent African state must be a liberation movement in power, or it will not be independent."(24)

Obama has made it clear in no uncertain terms that his administration will intensify the "war against terror" or "war on terror" initiated by the Bush administration. Speaking at the State Department on 22 January 2009, he told his diplomatic corps that "We are confronted by extraordinary, complex and interconnected global challenges: war on terror, sectarian division and the spread of deadly technology. We did no ask for the burden that history has asked us to bear, but Americans will bear it. We must bear it." Since his 20 January 2009 inauguration, he referred to the "enduring struggle against terrorism and extremism" and "ongoing struggle" against "terrorism and extremism." He has pledged that his administration is ready and prepared to "go after" extremists and "win this fight." This is the continuation of his statement in his inauguration address that "for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken, you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." Criticising the Revered Jeremiah Wright for his articulation of the position that the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 were a consequence of the violence of United States imperialism throughout the world - the position articulated by a considerable number of individuals of different and antagonistic positions before Wright articulated it, he made it clear that he agreed with Bush's lies that "terrorist attacked America because they hate our freedoms." How is he going to deal with the reality articulated by Walter Mosley? Mosley maintains that:
I have never met an African-American who was surprised by the attack on the World Trade Center. Blacks do not see America as the great liberator of the world. Blacks understand how the rest of the world sees us, because we have also been the victims of American imperialism.(25)
Like other United States presidents in their Inaugural Address, he pointed out in his Inaugural Address that his administration "will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense." He was sending a clear message to the rulers of the most powerful, expansive, moralistic, conservative, militaristic, brutal and ruthless system of the Anglo-American domination of the world that his administration will not apologise for its existence and will not waver in its defence. There is nothing new in this articulation of preparedness to defend the system at all costs by any means necessary. President J.F. Kennedy articulated it in his Inaugural Address on 20 January 1961 when he warned "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." He called upon the people of the United States to actively play a role in "a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."(26) Kennedy pointed out that the United States must be prepared in shouldering responsibility to control processes in the international capitalist socio-political and economic order. He expressed this issue when he stated in his address that "In the long history of the world only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom from its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it."(27) It is in this address that us-versus-them thesis is articulated clearly for the first time in the history of the United states foreign policy. Countries are forced to either become allies of the United States or to accept the consequences of being regarded as its enemies. This is the same "You are either with us or against us" thesis articulated by President Bush following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. "Over time it's going to be important for nations to know they will be held accountable for inactivity," Bush said. "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror."(28)

Peter Mandelson as European Union Trade Commissioner in 2008 called upon President Bush's successor to ensure that the United States is with its European strategic partners in the fight to save imperialism from its enemies. This is to be done by "renewing" the leading multilateral institutions to "hold" developing countries "together by tough debates on climate change, energy security and trade," and "adapting" the United Nations, the Word Trade Organisation and the International Monetary Fund to "give" developing countries "a chance, not just to exercise their rights, but to assume their responsibilities" within this system. Their role as dominated social formations is to enable the political leaders of the countries constituting its centre in "tackling economic insecurity and inequalities" in their "own societies."(29) Central to his position is the strategic importance of developing countries in helping advanced capitalist countries to manage their internal socio-political and economic contradictions. This issue is indirectly articulated by Mandelson when he maintains that:
Americans and Europeans might welcome the fact that globalisation is narrowing inequality between countries, but they are more worried by the risk that it is widening the gap within their own. If we want to preserve our open economies, we need to build a social contract that guards against economic insecurity and inequality in our own societies.(30)
Obama was groomed for the presidency by the Trilateral Commission is ignored by leaders of this campaign who agree with the interests it serves. Those who doubt the Trilateral Commission's role in ensuring his victory and his payback to the organisation should take into account the fact that he has already appointed its members into key strategic positions in his administration. According to Patrick Wood, the editor of The August Review, they include Timothy Geithner, Secretary of Treasury, Susan E. Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations, Thomas Donilon, National Security Advisor, Paul Volker, Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee, Admiral Dennis C. Blair, Director of national Intelligence, Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and Pacific, James Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Haass, State Department, Special Envoy, Richard Holbrooke, State Department, Special Envoy and Dennis Ross, State Department, Special Envoy. Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, is related to William Jefferson Clinton, the Trilateral Commission member and former United States president, through marriage. The State Department is where foreign policy is formulated, adopted and implemented. Geither's informal group of advisors include E. Gerald Corrigan, Paul Volker, Alan Greenspan and Peter G. Peterson. Obama retained Robert Gates as Secretary of Defence.(31) His administration will pursue policies directly consistent with strategic purposes of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations. The Trilateral Commission has been dominating the state in the United States playing a prominent role in the political administration of the society since its inception. Every administration since the Carter administration had its members occupying strategic positions either through president or vice-president or both. Its members dominated the Secretary of State position. Henry Kissinger, Cyrus Vance, Alexander Haig, George Schultz, Lawrence Eagleburger, Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright are its members. The Federal Reserve, the private-owned corporation whose chairpersons are appointed by the national president, has been dominated by its members from Arthur Burns, Paul Volker to Alan Greenspan. The position of U.S. Trade Representative involved in negotiating international trade treaties and agreements. From 1977 to 2006, of ten U.S Trade Representatives, eight were members of the Trilateral Commission. Since its establishment in 1973 to 2007 the United States president appointed seven World Bank presidents. Of these seven, six were Trilateral Commission members.(32) The Trilateral Commission is structurally bound to play a more prominent role in the Obama administration than it has ever played in any administration.

What is the relationship between the class question and the race question in the United States policy towards Africa? What is the relationship between these two questions in the political economy of the United States internal relations and its external relations with Africa and the rest of the world? Which one is primacy and which one is secondary in politics in general and imperialism in particular? There is the primacy of the class question over the race question in the socio-political and economic conflict between antagonistic social forces in the United States and in African countries. The practical and theoretical recognition of the primacy of the class question over the race question in the political economy of the internal situation in the United States and in the African countries as well as in the United States Africa policy is central issue in the struggle to either resolve their internal problems in the interests of the masses of the people or maintain them in the interests of the dominant social forces and their allies.

We must not base our unity and solidarity primarily on the race question. We must judge leaders not primarily in terms of their race, but by the form and content of their political, economic and ideological position and the way they substantiate their theoretical position on issues and processes in practice. There are Africans who are enemies of the masses of the African people. The socio-historical significance of the Obama administration will be its contribution towards the transformation of the view of the relationship between the class question and the race question among the masses of our brothers and sisters in the United States. It will help to wage a war against the incorrect thesis of the primacy of the race question over the class question. It is going to lead towards the acceptance of the correct thesis of the primacy of the class question over the race question. It will do so particularly if it fails to satisfy the needs, interests and exigencies of the masses of Africans of the United States. The failure of the African president of the United States to advance the interests of the masses of his fellow Africans of the country will be one of the key issues leading towards this contribution. The thesis of the primacy of the race question over the class question is the product of the history of race relations and racism in the United States.

The content of the relationship which the United States developed and maintains with African countries is the process which is, internally and externally, condensed materially in its state. Is the state of the United States and those controlling it under Obama, committed to the resolution of the socio-economic problems faced by the masses of the American people or committed to the maintenance of these problems? Are they maintaining or helping to end them? Are they reconciling contradictions among dominant social forces for the defence of their strategic interests or are they reconciling contradictions among the masses of the people for the resolution of their problems or achievement of their strategic interests? The point is that, as the state is the material condensation of power relations in the society, underlying the process of either resolving or managing the socio-economic problems in the country are the key questions concerning the exercise of state political power: which social class or class alliance exercises the state political power in the country, by what tactical means and to what strategic end? How is the exercise of the state political power, its means and end, supported and contested by other social forces in the society? How is it supported and challenged by external socio-political and economic forces, by what means and for what strategic and tactical end or why?

The race question, as the secondary issue in relation to the class question in the primary socio-political and economic issues in the United States, must be dialectically incorporated into the class question in these issues. The importance of the race question must be neither overestimated nor underestimated. The dynamic relationship between the class question and the race question must be viewed and examined dialectically. This should be the case in our view of the relationship between the class question and the race question in the United States policy towards Africa and the rest of the world. The reality that the race question is the subsidiary or secondary issue in relation to the class question in the United States internal relations and in its relations with Africa and the rest of the world does not mean that the importance of the race question should be neglected or minimised. C.L.R. James, the leading authority on the relationship between the class question and the race question in politics in general and imperialism in particular, articulated this reality as follows:
The race question is subsidiary to the class question in politics, and to think of imperialism in terms of race is disastrous. But to neglect the racial factor as merely incidental [is] an error only less grave than to make it fundamental.
NOTES:
  1. Sehlare Makgetlaneng is a social science researcher with the Governance and Democracy research programme at the Africa Institute of South Africa in Pretoria, South Africa.

  2. Reverend Joseph Lowery, "Reverend Lowery Inauguration Benediction Transcript," Chicago Sun-Times, 20 January 2009, http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009/01/rev_lowery_inauguration_benedi.html, page 1 of 2 (Accessed on 21 January 2009).

  3. Ibid.

  4. Ibid., page 2 of 2.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Reverend Joseph Lowery, quoted in Wikipedia, "Joseph Lowery," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, (not dated), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Lowery, page 3 of 5 (Accessed on 15 November 2008).

  7. Al Gore, quoted in Xolela Mangcu, "Beautiful or ugly, the United States produced Obama," The Weekender (Johannesburg), 30-31 August 2008, p. 4.

  8. Mosley, Walter, "A New Black Power," The Nation, 27 February 2006, p. 1.

  9. Nicola Bullard, "The G8 - not the only show in town," Critical Currents, No. 1, May 2007, p. 13.

  10. Speech of the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the Opening of the Ministerial Meeting of the X11 Summit Meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, Durban, South Africa, 31 August 1998, Pretoria: Department of Foreign Affairs, 1998, p. 230.

  11. Kwame Nkrumah, Neo-colonialism: The Last State of Imperialism, New York: International Publishers, 1966.

  12. V.I. Lenin, Report on Peace and Foreign Policy of the Republic, Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1969, p. 34.

  13. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, New York: Basic Books, 1997, p. 35.

  14. Ibid., p. 211.

  15. Barack Obama, "An Honest Government - A Hopeful Future," University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, 28 August 2006, www.obmaspeeches.info/2008/11/honest-government-hopeful-future,html (Accessed on 10 November 2008).

  16. Whitney W. Schneidman, "Africa: Obama's Three Objectives for Continent," allAfrica.com, 29 September 2008, http://allafrica.com.com/stories/printable/200809291346.htm, page 3 of 5 (Accessed on 10 January 2009).

  17. Barack Obama, "Presidential Town Hall Meeting Africa Questionnaire," The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, Washington, DC, 2007, www.thesullivanfoundation.org/foundation, page 7 (Accessed on 10 January 2009).

  18. Zbigniew Brzezinski, "A Geostrategy for Eurasia," Foreign Affairs, Vol. 76, No. 5, September/October 1997, p. 52.

  19. Ibid., pp. 51-2.

  20. Whitney W. Schneidman, "Africa: Obama's Three Objectives for Continent," allAfrica.com, 29 September 2008, http://allafrica.com.com/stories/printable/200809291346.htm, pages 4 and 5 of 5 (Accessed on 10 January 2009).

  21. Barack Obama, "Presidential Town Hall Meeting Africa Questionnaire," The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, Washington, DC, 2007, www.thesullivanfoundation.org/foundation (Accessed on 10 January 2009).

  22. Theresa Whelan, Exploring the U.S. Africa Command and a new Strategic Relationship with Africa, Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Subcommittee on African affairs, Washington, DC, 1 August 2007.

  23. Beth Tuckey, "The Weight of 'Change'? AfriCom and the Presidential Election," Pambazuka News: Weekly Forum for Social Justice in Africa, 2 October 2008.

  24. Amilcar Cabral, Unity and Struggle: Speeches and Writings, New York: Monthly Review Press, 1979, p. 116.

  25. Walter Mosley, interviewed by Deborah Solomon, "The way we live now: Questions for Walter Mosley," New York Times (New York), 8 February2004.

  26. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, quoted in Wikipedia, "Kennedy Doctrine," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (not dated), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kennedy_Doctrine, page 2 of 4 (Accessed on 15 November 2008).
  27. Ibid.

  28. George W. Bush, quoted in CNN, "Bush says it is time for action," November 6, 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/ret.bush.index.html, page 1 of 2 (Accessed on 11 May 2006) and George W. Bush, quoted in CNN, "'You are either with us or against us,'" November 6, 2001, http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/11/06/gen.attack.on.terror, page 1 of 2 (Accessed on 11 May 2006).

  29. Peter Mandelson, "New U.S. president must fan flame of globalization," Business Day (Johannesburg), 20 June 2008, p. 11.

  30. Ibid.

  31. Patrick Wood, "Obama: Trilateral Commission Endgame," The August Review, 29 January 2009, www.newswithviews.com/Wood/patrick133.htm, page 2 (Accessed on 30 January 2009).

  32. Nick Ivanovich, "'Change'? - Obama Backed by Consumate Insider: The One World Trilateral Commission's First Executive," rense.com, 25 August 2007, www.rense.com/general79/cjang.htm, pages 2, 3 and 4 of 4 (Accessed on 15 November 2008).

  33. C.L.R. James, The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution, New York: Vintage Books, 1963, p. 283.