Unraveling the Mystery of Boko Haram

January 29, 2015 at 1:55 PM

bokoThe most entertaining mysteries are the ones with compelling protagonists, enigmatic and often surreptitious antagonists, and surprising or shocking conclusions. Indeed, without these essential elements, one is unlikely to read the story at all. However, when it comes to politics and geopolitics, somehow our mass media storytellers – the scores of journalists, military and counter-terrorism ‘experts,’ and establishment mouthpieces – fail to even point us in the right direction. Not only do they not follow the threads of the story, they prefer to pretend they simply aren’t there.

And so it is with the great ‘mystery’ of Boko Haram, a group that in just a few years has become one of the most recognizable terrorist entities in the world. Having carried out heinous massacres of men, women, and children, abducted thousands of innocents, and destroyed whole towns, Boko Haram now symbolizes just that perfect blend of barbarism, religious and ideological fundamentalism, and non-white skin, which come together to cast them, in the eyes of westerners especially, as the manifestation of evil – the devil incarnate that can only be destroyed by the forces of righteousness. You know, the ‘good guys.’

But what happens when there are no ‘good guys’ to be found? What happens when you follow the story only to find the most cynical of intentions from every player involved? Such is the case with this Boko Haram story, and indeed the regional politics and geopolitics of West Africa as a whole.

In trying to unravel the labyrinthine web of political, economic, and strategic threads connecting a number of significant actors, it becomes clear that no analysis of Boko Haram is worth reading unless it approaches the issue from three distinctly different, yet intimately connected, angles.

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On Boko Haram and Imperialism in Africa

January 29, 2015 at 10:01 AM

Boko-Haram-BellaNaija

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on 91.3 FM Voice of the Cape (South Africa) to discuss the politics, economics, and geopolitics of Boko Haram and West Africa. He examines some of the domestic and regional interests involved in the story, connecting individuals and nations together in a complex web of relations that has given rise to the Boko Haram threat. Draitser also provides his analysis of how this issue fits into the broader imperialist agenda of the US and Europe in their ongoing drive to check Chinese economic influence on the continent. The interview touches on these and many other important aspects of this story including how it all relates to US policy and the war against Libya.

On the Death of Saudi King Abdullah

January 23, 2015 at 4:46 PM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on RT to discuss the death of Saudi king Abdullah, and what this means for the future of Saudi Arabia and the region.  Draitser notes that Saudi Arabia, rather than being ruled by a single king, is in fact an oligarchy which ensures that the same policies will continue with the next king. He also explains how Saudi Arabia fits into global geopolitics as well as the likelihood of continued repression and home, and subservience to the US internationally.

Analyzing Obama’s ‘State of the Union’

January 23, 2015 at 10:05 AM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on Press TV to provide his reactions and analysis to President Obama’s ‘State of the Union’ address (January 20, 2015).  Draitser explains that this speech demonstrates clearly how the US inverts reality and operates on double-standards, as it accuses its enemies of precisely the crimes that it continues to commit itself. Draitser examines both the domestic and foreign policy aspects of the speech, highlighting the unbridled hypocrisy of Obama, the Democrats, Republicans, and the corporate interests that control them all. 

America: The Undemocratic ‘Democracy’

January 21, 2015 at 4:32 PM

rh-729-collar_20130208101433714218-620x349Despite being the world’s self-appointed champion and proselytizer of the gospel of democracy, the United States is clearly and unmistakably an undemocratic nation.

Though it is no longer the world’s foremost industrial producer, the United States still does lead in one important export: “democracy.” Washington has taken the lead in undermining, demonizing, and otherwise destabilizing Russia and China, Venezuela and Iran, Syria and North Korea – countries in need of regime change because, according to Washington, they are undemocratic.

But what is this peculiar brand of “democracy” that the United States purports to be the apogee of the political development of so-called “Western” civilization? If the US is serious about spreading democratic ideals to all corners of the globe, then surely it has long since embodied those same ideals in its domestic political institutions, right? Well, not exactly. OK, not at all.

Is there democracy in Washington?

In his classic work Politics, Aristotle famously asserted that, “If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will best be attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.” As Aristotle notes, democracy can only truly provide liberty and equality – both central elements of the US mythos – if it is “shared” by “all persons alike.” In other words, there can only be true democracy when everyone shares control over the political institutions through which power is wielded. However, the United States of 2015 could not be further from Aristotle’s ideal.

As the 114th US Congress opens its session in Washington this month, it is once again time to take note of the stark difference between the people of the United States, and those who have been“democratically” elected to represent them. A Washington Post headline from January makes this divide plainly obvious: The new Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male and 92 percent Christian. Stop and think about those figures for just a moment. The notion that this government is actually representative of the people is utterly laughable.

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