THE pointed accusations by US Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety against his host nation, that it had supplied weapons and ammunition to Russia for use in its special military operation in neighbouring Ukraine, was an attempt to cow the SADC nation into submission and an escalation of Uncle Sam and Western countries’ long-held project of subduing former liberation movements across the continent.
While Uncle Sam was threatening South Africa, in Europe, the UK’s Defence Minister, Ben Wallace, was announcing that his country had sent long-range Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine.
The missiles, Wallace said, “...are now going into or are in the country itself…,” said a report by The Guardian.
“We simply will not stand back while Russia kills civilians,” Wallace said.
Curiously, the report stated that the US had endorsed the UK’s ‘support’ for Ukraine.
The West, particularly Uncle Sam, are miffed by South Africa and Africa’s neutral stance on Russia’s operation in Ukraine while also trying to intimidate the Southern African economic powerhouse from hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin who will attend the BRICS Summit in that country in August.
The Western-funded ICC last month issued multiple warrants of arrest against President Putin.
In February, South Africa conducted joint military naval exercises with China and Russia which drew the ire of Western countries that want the unwilling world to endorse their support for Ukraine.
On the other hand, the liberation struggle project, mainly in Southern Africa, presents an unwanted barrier to Western countries’ neo-colonial agenda, especially in times like these where the global political and economic landscape is gradually shifting to a tenable and equality-driven multipolar world.
Two critical issues drive the West’s desire to annihilate the liberation struggle project.
First, the desire to regain control of natural resources in the region, with the emergence of lithium as a key global metal threatening to leave them behind in the looming global economic structure.
Second, the coming into the fore of China as a global economic powerhouse that has made significant partnerships with the peoples of Africa as opposed to the West’s continued interference in the internal affairs of other nations as well as its incessant funding of conflicts on the continent presents an extraordinary threat to their waning interests.
Hence Brigety’s menacing outburst against South Africa — and the rest of the developing world.
Not even his subsequent, seemingly embarrassing withdrawal of those dreadful statements will dilute the now brazen fact that US is coming after South Africa with all its might.
The message, niftily concealed in details of Brigety’s hawkish statement, was loud and clear, and worrying, especially to those who have borne the brunt of Uncle Sam’s aggression.
It is also quite suprising especially for Mr Brigety who is not only a diplomat but an African albeit American. He must surely be aware that before he represents White Capital he is a black man and is very aware of the history of his people. He is aware of the racist laws that not only bind the black man in his adopted nation-America but also extends to nations on his continent of origin, Africa.
It is ironic and hypocritical that Mr Rueben Brigety who wrote an essay in defense of the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in 2021 online journal Ethics and International affairs quoted the renowed W.E.B. DuBois statement, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line’, stating that America was still struggling with racism well into the 21st century.
He writes about the importance of redressing the past and yet cannot see how africa is fighting for its own redress. How countries like South Africa and Zimbabwe among others, have fought and sacrificed lives to shake off colonial administrations and Apartheid are fighting for their sovereinity and the right to decide whom and what entities they wants to form ties with.
They too, just as White Capital seeks profit and prosterity, trying to survive.
“To say that “Black Lives Matter” is another way of saying that people of African descent—who have hopes and dreams, love and fears, work and faith, purpose and meaning—have value and significance, and that their full being deserves a place of priority in our consciousness, which cannot be dismissed without consequence,” he writes in the 2021 article.
Brigerty adds on saying, “The first thing we must do is to be uncompromising in facing the facts of historical and continued inequities related to race in our society, and to follow the truth wherever it may lead. This is work that is potentially uncomfortable and even painful. It requires us to revisit received wisdom, recognizing that such wisdom may have been received when important perspectives were inadvertently or deliberately excluded. Yet understanding the full truth of our history and our present is essential for building a better tomorrow.”
Zimbabwe, which has been on the West’s radar over the past two decades, can attest to this pervasive fact.
China and Russia’s longstanding relations with Zimbabwe and South Africa, dating back to the days of the liberation struggle, do not sit well with Western countries’ regime change agenda, particularly in Harare where they intend to reverse the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme of 2000.
The after effects of the two global giants’ support for Zimbabwe and South Africa’s quest for freedom are still being felt in Western corridors.
In recent times, there have been strenuous attempts by Western-funded individuals to drive narratives that seek to obfuscate the heroics of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s liberation fighters.
The opposition in Zimbabwe is ably supporting those provocative narratives, even bizarrely trying to portray Ian Douglas Smith as a better leader who ‘cared’ for the people of this country.
“There is a narrative reigning in opposition circles. It says all stories related to the liberation struggle are stale and sterile, indeed self-titillation by a dying generation seeking to cheat time and extort past glory against present failures,” wrote @Jamwanda2 in Saturday’s issue of The Herald last week.
“Until this changes-which is to say until ZANU PF accepts and embraces its historic mission to re-narrativise and mythify its painful Struggle, mythify the victory it won, it remains fated to get wretched anti-nation opposition personified by the likes of Chamisa and Biti, who will forever be fired and legitimised by Rhodesia’s ever-swelling historiography, so full of hyperbole and colour, yet daily reshaping outlooks.”
This is the outlook that Uncle Sam is trying to present through his vile threats to South Africa’s historic ties with Russia.
And Brigety, a blackman trapped in whiteman’s soul and thinking, is tasked with issuing that threat, to try and cut a history whose scars are still visible to date.
Brigety claimed that South Africa had loaded military equipment onto a Russian cargo ship, Lady R, at the Simon’s Town naval base, near Cape Town from December 6-8 2022.
“Amongst the things we noted were the docking of the Russian cargo, Lady R in Simon’s Town between December 6 and December 8 2022, which we are confident uploaded weapons, ammunitions as it made its way back to Russia,” Brigety said in a media briefing on Thursday last week.
“We are confident that weapons were loaded on to that vessel and I would bet my life on the accuracy of that assertion. The arming of Russia by South Africa with the vessel is fundamentally unacceptable.”
Later on, US State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel buttressed Brigety’s reckless utterances, stating that his country would speak out against any country supporting what he described as Russia’s illegal and brutal war in Ukraine.
Those threats will not scare those born out of the vagaries of the liberation struggle.
But as has always been the case with Uncle Sam, he creates a mess and wants to drag everyone into it.
In Zimbabwe, the West’s anti-people project will be brought to halt in August when their party, CCC, will be buried for good.
In South Africa, those threats will be ringing hollow in the ears of those who are eternally connected to the fight against apartheid when the ANC wallops Western opposition in that country in next year’s elections.