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The end of American history begins in America | Racism

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Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear.

And since you know you cannot see yourself

So well as by reflection, I, your glass,  

Will modestly discover to yourself  

That of yourself which you yet know not of.    

Cassius, in Shakespeare’s Julius Cesare (Act 1 Scene 2)   

Has the American experiment failed and ended? Are we on the cusp of a post-American world? In the late 1980s, Francis Fukuyama, a bureaucratic functionary at the US Department of State, had declared, with much pomp and ceremony, that “history” had ended and America was the triumphant trophy of liberal democracy. Had he inadvertently played a satirical spoof to the end of American history itself?   

A mere quarter of a century later, with Donald Trump leading the United States in one calamity after another, people have begun speculating the very end of America.  

While North American and Western European observers are deeply concerned about the end of the American empire, the rest of the world oscillates between a sigh of relief at the prospect and a sense of wonder and amusement as to what exactly this “ending” means. Will it be with a big bang or just a pathetic whimper? And while we are at it, when, prithee do tell, did this “leadership of the free world” begin, for it now to end, except with brute military might and a constellation of military bases around the globe to exercise it? 

In a thoughtful recent essay, End of Empire, the eminent American historian Andrew Bacevich has put forward his argument as to why he believes “the sun has set on the American empire“.  

As a cogent critic of American imperialism, Bacevich’s surgically precise and honest conclusion is now corroborated by the massive uprising against structural poverty and endemic racism setting the streets of major urban areas on fire from coast to coast.    

“The era of US dominion has now passed,” Bacevich observes, “So Americans can no longer afford to indulge in the fiction of their indispensability, cherished in elite circles […] Subordinating the wellbeing of the American people to ostensible imperatives of global leadership – thereby allowing racism, inequality and other problems to fester at home – has become intolerable.”  

What Bacevich outlines in this crucial essay is a constellation of facts – of racism and poverty at home and pathetic and dysfunctional attempts at world domination – that much of the world and in fact, most Americans themselves have known, but which today, during the presidency of Donald Trump and this criminally negligent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been thrown into stark relief.   

Was this America ever a leader or just a bully? Did it ever have the moral authority to shepherd a terrorised Earth?    

Between Fukuyama’s pompous and absurd prognostication and Bacevich’s bold and brilliant insights, we may now wonder when did America begin and where is it wending.  

What happened to the American Century?    

America as an experiment is failing. Perhaps it was destined to fail from its very beginning. An idea that began with the genocide of Native Americans, thrived on the sustained course of African slavery, extended its genocidal and racist foregrounding to generations of immigrants who came to its shores to toil and suffer so that the white supremacist settler colonists prosper and enrich generations after generations, had to pay for its continued sins at some point. 

That America is failing is not a new idea or a recent discovery. It is just that over the last three years, in the course of Trump’s presidency, this fact has become glaringly clear for the whole world to see. This particular president has exposed not merely his own personal vulgarity and criminal charlatanism, but also, far more importantly, the self-destructive forces that have shaped and defined this country long before he assumed office. The viral racism to which Trump caters, and to which millions of Americans respond favourably, and which is the undoing of America, arrived in America from Europe like all other diseases the settler-colonialists brought with them.   

Every country and every clime has its own peculiar political disease. Egypt has given birth to el-Sisi, Russia to Putin, China to Xi, India to Modi, Brazil to Bolsonaro, Myanmar to Aung San Suu Kyi, Iran to Khamenei, Syria to Assad, ad nauseam. But the point here is the mighty and powerful US and its particular brand of imperial corruption and hubris marking its final dissolution into nullity.    

The open discussions about the end of the American experiment, of course, predate Trump. David S Mason’s The End of the American Century (2009) is a typical example of such analysis in which we read about the various interrelated phases of social, economic and global unravelling of the US that had begun with World War II. In his essay, The End of the American Century (2019) George Packer considers the span of the American diplomat Richard Holbrooke’s life (1941-2010) as the period of the height of American empire, after which things began to fall apart.   

Meanwhile, the delusional imperialists at the political core of the US were busy thinking otherwise. The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a neoconservative scheme based in Washington, DC in the late 1990s triumphantly declaring the victory of US-led neoconservative and neoliberal projects, promoting, as they put it, “American global leadership”. Led by William Kristol and Robert Kagan, all those PNAC characters today look positively ridiculous in their delusions.   

Most of them staunch Zionists, they had translated the pathological colonial interests of Israel into US foreign policy and called it “a new American century!”. Before they were all exposed for their pitiful banality, they had convinced George W Bush and Dick Cheney of their prophetic missions. They destroyed an entire country, Iraq, with criminal intent, propagating their delusional myth of “American leadership”.   

Today, there are sober Americans like Martin Kaplan who in his 2017 essay Trump and the End of the American Century mourns the decline of US leadership, denounces Trump, and then concludes: “We all must respond to the unexpected and depressing challenge of the United States forsaking its historical democratic and human rights leadership, both internationally and within the United States.” But what leadership, the rest of the world may wonder, when, how?  

The ruling caste of the US – from its slave owner founding fathers to its current president – have been the unqualified source of misery inside and outside of the country. The ending of the calamitous delusion of that history is not something to be mourned.       

The world after the American empire 

A mere 20 years ago the cleanshaven neoconservative gangsters thought they were about to rule the world. Three years into the Trump presidency, amid disastrous public health failures that have exposed millions of Americans to a deadly pandemic, the very economic and human foundation of their republic is going to pieces. Massive social protest aims at an irrevocable dismantling of American racism. Streets of Oregon, Seattle, Oakland, Chicago and New York look like scenes from a military coup in Guatemala or Chile. Meanwhile, like a tinpot dictator American racism made us believe could only emerge in Asia, Africa or Latin America, the US president is dismantling the US postal system to be able to cheat and get himself re-elected.  

America’s aggressions, brutal militarism, and disregard for people’s democratic will around the globe have now come full circle and boomeranged into its domestic affairs. With Trump and his Republican followers “kneecapping” the post office, as former President Obama put it, to suppress votes and guarantee the president’s re-election, the US is now en route to an election as ridiculous as the ones we have witnessed in Syria, Egypt or even Iran in the past.   

The post-American world will paradoxically liberate America from its own dangerous delusions and bring American people back to the bosom of humanity at large. America will only be liberated when it comes to terms with its irredeemable racist history and dismantles all its racist institutions. And the coast to coast uprising we are witnessing today is aiming to do just that: to retrieve the repressed republican aspirations of the best of Americans and use them to dismantle the imperial arrogance of the worst.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.      



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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