By Margaret Kimberley, BAR Exec. Editor & Senior Columnist
November 8, 2023 Black Agenda Report
The “democracies” of the world don’t live up to this concept they claim is so important to them.
The term “free world” was a mainstay of the cold war lexicon for decades. Although the United States and its NATO allies still portray themselves as paragons of free thought and action and declare anyone they don’t like as laggards in regard to human rights. They make quite a show of bragging about being democracies but their actions prove otherwise.
The U.S. and Israel continue their killing spree in Gaza which now totals 11,000 fatalities of men, women, and children. While the President of the United States claimed to have seen confirmation that Hamas beheaded children, Palestinians in their sorrow display the broken bodies of their children, some of them headless or limbless as Israel bombs homes, hospitals, and ambulances. The U.S. and the European Union are steadfast in their support of the bloodletting.
Of course most of the world has unambiguously condemned the ongoing crime. Millions of people have protested on every continent to express their outrage and revulsion as the sick plot to kill Palestinians en masse and force the survivors to leave their homes intensifies by the day.
Eight nations, including South Africa, Bolivia, and Colombia have cut diplomatic ties with Israel. In Washington DC, headquarters of the aiders and abettors of the genocide, an estimated 300,000 people took to the streets in just one protest. Similar numbers were seen in London and other European capitals.
But these displays of empathy and solidarity pose a problem for the nations known as the collective west. The U.S. and its friends in NATO are committed to imposing their will on the rest of the world and they don’t want to hear from pesky citizens who point out their wrongdoing.
France and Germany both banned pro-Palestinian demonstrations and yet thousands marched anyway. The United Kingdom actually charged two young women with a terrorism offense for wearing images of a Hamas hang glider on their jackets as they marched in London. In the U.S., doxing, job termination, and even the censure of a member of Congress, Representative Rashida Tlaib, are all used to silence anyone who strays from official narratives.
Lest anyone think this assessment is overly harsh, consider that Joe Biden is proposing that any additional military aid to Israel be discussed in secret without any congressional oversight. Biden has little reason to fear rejection when even many “progressives” join in giving billions of dollars to the military industrial complex. Clearly something else is afoot that the people don’t want. Perhaps they want to put more U.S. boots on the ground in Israel and attack another nation. No one knows for sure but something very serious is in the offing. The desire to keep what ought to be public under very tight wraps ought to give everyone pause.
It must be pointed out that the repression of protests on Palestine is not occurring in a vacuum. The “democratic” nations are nothing of the sort. They are under the rule of capital which means that the popular will must be subverted. NATO nations are obligated to spend at least 2% of GDP on military spending, which means that people’s needs are not met in the way that they want. The European Union also demands austerity as a condition of membership.
The U.S. oligarchy is quite clear that even minor efforts to do what people want will be rejected. There is no Build Back Better, no minimum wage increase, no student loan debt relief. All of these options are off the table. Of course it has been proven that the U.S. electoral system provides smoke and mirrors but little else. Americans are harangued into voting but the results rarely result in the changes they seek.
The same is true in the rest of the collective west. The last thing they want is an energized citizenry making political demands they have no intention of fulfilling.
Palestine is the flashpoint now, but it is not the only crisis facing the fake democracies. Joe Biden’s re-election prospects are diminished as long as he is Israel’s genocide co-conspirator. He may churn out blather about Bidenomics but he has failed to live up to the phony “most progressive since FDR” trope and he can’t live down his role in perpetrating a slaughter that most Americans want to end. The fact that it hasn’t ended is further proof that political leadership are committed to ignoring whatever the people want.
The repression will only intensify as conditions worsen. Protesters in Atlanta who oppose the Cop City militarized policing project have been shot and killed by police, and charged as RICO conspirators. That heavy hand is a harbinger of what is potentially in store for everyone who dares to speak up. The repression isn’t fake, but any claims of true democracy are.
-Margaret Kimberley is the author of Prejudential: Black America and the Presidents. You can support her work on Patreon and also find it on the Twitter, Bluesky, and Telegram platforms. She can be reached via email at margaret.kimberley(at)blackagendareport.com.