May 22, 2011

President Isaias Afwerki on global politics and post-cold war conflicts

Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies: Your Excellency, since the end of the Second World War and the African continent is uselessly looking for the means & methods of development, unity and formation of an important pole in the global theater. Why this confused & puzzling search, in Your Opinion?

President Isaias: The problem, regardless of its symptoms and manifestations, is emerging from a special situation of the marginalized Africa. For example, when we talk about globalization, Africa, basically, does not exist. If we looked at the economic, cultural, social and constitutional development, there is no presence for Africa.

This continent exists merely as a field with its raw materials whereas the peoples of this continent exist without constituting an important figure and position. So, this prevalent reality is well known world wide, but why? Because the economic and social transformation in Africa is not completed yet for many internal & external reasons and factors. It worth mentioning that during the 1960s, these were leaders and peoples in Africa have ambitions to the renaissance and to arrive at a good economic, social & cultural level but all these attempts failed; and the Organization of African Unity for about three decades failed to achieve anything, and the ambitions of the Africans were just desires and emotions and nothing was translated into practical achievements in reality.

Things did not cease here only but the dominant world powers that control the African abilities prevented the development and growth of this continent for the service of their own interests represented by the exploitation of the raw materials of Africa and its other resources but not in order to develop Africa as an effective economy and market and integrate it as a complementary part of the world economy. In addition to that, the stereotyped form of the successive regimes in Africa for many decades up to date is a part of the continuous colonization in a different form, or the neo-colonialism.

It is true that the progressive and liberal ideas were interacting during the Cold War. Africa should have supposedly benefited, on one way or another, form the end of the cold War period but it did not due to the world political and security situation. In fact, it is very surprising not to notice any economic practical results throughout the last three decades or more. This raises a question: Is there an economy in Africa? In my opinion, there is no economy of any kind whatsoever, whether in the west, east, north or south of the continent. So, economically, Africa does not exist in the world. Therefore, it is a kind of absurdity to talk about economic development in Africa, and we see the political systems every day is changing in some African countries and the talk becomes prevalent about elections being organized here and another country has witness a coup-de-etat … etc. this is a maze because Africa, in fact is not liberated. We have witnessed the African countries independence as a title but practically it does not exist, Africa is entirely still under occupation by colonialism.

Africa could not create a mechanism for its integration and unity. They said that the Organization of African Unity was useless and is no longer feasible for this continent, and now it had disappeared and replaced by the African union which is now in its tenth anniversary but practically there is only its name. There is no economic or commercial cooperation or infrastructure. We are living now in crisis and the basic agenda during the meetings are crisis, solution of disputes, preventing the occurrence of conflicts, and such a kind of talk is useless. In the conclusion, I would like to say that Africa is not a part of the current global transformation in its economical, political, and cultural meaning. Perhaps a next generation will come and make this transformation. If you look at every country, location, surrounding … etc., who run the matters? Who benefits from the resources? Are peoples really benefiting from their resources and abilities? Absolutely not, this matter needs a serious mutual discussion and what we do within the African union, despite all our reservations and remarks, comes within this context. In spite of we are not always pessimistic, but the paradox is concealed in the fact that there is no room for optimism.

ECSSW: Your Excellency, recently, the documents published by Wikileaks disclosed the Art of Dual Diplomacy by saying something to the public but do the contrary behind the scenes. What is your reading to this phenomenon that imposed itself upon the American Administration and many governments in the world?

President Isais: What is new brought by Wikileaks? I want to say that Wikileaks did not discover something new and even we did not discover anything new through Wikileaks. What is reassured by Wikileaks documents is that being a diplomat means you are a liar or an artist in making lies. Whenever you are competent in cheating and deceiving people and easily pass your agenda, you’re then a diplomat. Wikileaks has just disclosed the essence of diplomacy but it did not come with something new. It has just betrayed the essence of the world diplomacy and that diplomacy is a deception. Wikileaks might have affected those people who used to believe that diplomacy is a magic and a means for solving problems, and those who understand diplomacy in it traditional concept. Therefore, there should be an understanding or interpretation for diplomacy in its true and correct meaning.

In the past some people were asking: What is the meaning of this behavior? And what is the meaning of this step? Are there any hidden agenda? This was not done from the imaginative or pure analysis but it was extraction for lessons from the reality and incidents. Thus, it is not strange to conclude that the world is going in the wrong direction. What we witness is a mere deception, and what were said by the powers which allege that they are democratic become today mere allegations that contradict their statements. The fact is that diplomacy and the conversation that used to be said for justifying positions and covering many crimes that have been committed have now become bare and disclosed.

We now say that, in fact, our beliefs were in the right path. We must read and understand matters in their essence and not by deception and lying. This has generated a wide awareness among the people because there were crimes and betrayals which were committed against peoples have now become disclosed through the documents released by the same forces that committed those crimes. This has reversed the equation of allegations & lies and made the facts and reality up side down, and cast such a flavor to the 21st century which is different from the previously prevalent flavor during the cold war or the twentieth century. Now, people began to understand things differently not like before when diplomacy was being imaged as the art of lying and cheating. Now, things are different and diplomacy should be understood in a new conception. In the other hand, now we are in the 21st century, the era of technology that changed many things that were used to be taken fro guaranteed.

Now, battles are no longer launched by rockets and billions of dollars but through mere information and the means of their analysis. This provided better chances of competition than in the past. This means that the weak can compete with the strong because the struggle now is a battle of minds. A man may be hungry but enjoys a good mind. So, if the battlefield is minds, we can enter this battle. Hence, opportunities will be provided for all and not only for those who have strong muscles and abilities. Today, who learns, understands and uses cyber war (electronic war) is a wise man. Today, the atmosphere is open for the wise human being who understands mathematics and knows how to program and penetrates secret and confidential files. Now, people become aware and awake and it is not possible to hide secrets in closed boxes and put them anywhere and then say something different.

Today, the world is not like in the past because people began to understand matters in their correct meaning, become more aware, think in a new style, a new mentality, feel optimistic and work differently during the 21st century. No power, whatsoever, can come with its army and prevent people to disclose something. Today, there are no barriers, no missiles and nothing else that could prevent the carrying out such a process. For example, what will happen if Wikileaks could publish and release all the documents it has about financial crisis’s and banks as well as the tiny details of the global financial institutions that control, dominates and captures the abilities and capabilities of other people, disclosed its secrets and how they used to deal with people? In this case, many states and countries and their people will benefit a lot so that they shall not fall in future as a prey for such a kind of dealing.

For instance, Bernard Madoff and other similar persons who used to manipulate with people through lying and cheating their actions and frauds will be disclosed. They may destroy Wikileakes and Julian Assange and other people working in this field but, now, many Julian Assange will emerge; and many thousands o, say, tens of thousands of brilliant minds will appear and utilize their abilities for serving the entire humanity. Perhaps sciences were utilized for the service of liars, swindlers and frauds for some time but, today, things have been changed. So again I would like to reassure that nothing new in Wikileaks released documents. Here, they may refer to the details of the documents related to certain messages sent by the American embassy in Asmara and the information contained in them which some people believe that we do not know about. So, if I have been asked about the essence of that, I will say that it is not something new for us, whether in what has been said or will be said or which was being told secretly, all we knew about. These documents talk about the American conspiracies and agenda and the series of different incidents so as to put us in a critical situation. But if you read Wikileaks documents everything will be clear for you and all details will be clarified.

Therefore, from the foregoing presentation we conclude that whoever believes that there is real diplomacy, policy or other similar terms is erroneous. I personally sometimes hesitate to use the term of diplomacy because the term diplomacy and policy for me is the art of lying and cheating.

Whenever you talk frankly, they tell you that you are foolish. And if you talk to any party very frankly and said that this is correct and this is incorrect, or this is possible and that is not possible he will tell you that you are still living in the time of revolution and deal in the mentality of struggle. Let me speak more frankly, there are certain values and concepts which are not subject to change, the black will remain black, and white will remain white, and we cannot change colours under the justification of policy and diplomacy. This information disclosed by Wikileaks has benefits for peoples that have values and enjoy awareness like the Eritrean people. So, we should further examine and understand what will be released by wikileaks and benefit form it in many matters because they came in our favor and for the interest of many aggrieved peoples like us.

The Wikileaks phenomenon is very positive; and therefore, those who look for private benefits and the dominant powers are very frightened of this phenomenon for well known reasons. Through my reading of Wikileaks documents, we say, without exaggeration, that this development should have took place before ten or twenty years back but, unfortunately, technology had not yet the current level. Today, these developments, for the whole world and the mutual dealing between countries and peoples among each other, makes way and opens a window for looking into the future.

ECSSW: Your Excellency, the old Soviet Union had collapsed and the role of the American Great Power has retreated, and new great powers in Asia & Latin America are now emerging, my question is: In which harbor would the world stumbling ship anchor within the status of choppy waves?

President Isaias: First, time will never go anticlockwise. There may be some analysis but I do not want to be involved in guessing and analysis and just be satisfied to say that we are about to witness the beginning of the end of the American Empire. This is not emotional or demagogic statement but a conclusion for my induction to the economic, developmental and technological transformations. The United States of America has emerged as a great power by virtue of its industrial development, technological progress and its advanced inventions and scientific researches in different fields.

In contrast, the Soviet Union had collapsed as a result of historical incidents that produced the current reality, taking into consideration many factors which we cannot discuss here in details. Many people thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union is for the interest of America, but the contrary is true, the collapse of the Soviet Union came to disclose to what extent the American Giant is weak. By the passing of time, the historical transformation took place, the industry is transferred and the whole world is hanging and it is no longer like in the past. China has now become an industrial state with an economy which is ranked as the Second one worldwide. India also, regardless of its huge number of population is now witnessing such a kind of economic development that will enable it to emerge as a great economic power.

So, within half a century, particularly after the Second World War, Japan had emerged for certain considerations but it will not continue in the same momentum in the world economy. This does not mean that Europe will collapse but there will be certain transformations and a new dynamic which is different from what has existed during the last twenty years. The cold war had dominated and covered many defects and Weak points in those countries, but now matters have all been open and disclosed. Would the United States of America be able to retrieve all its industrial abilities and prevent or block each of China, India and other similar countries to develop their economic capabilities so as to remain the sole world economic power? Is the theory of poles will remain existed within the current economic transformations? I would like to say that the world or its new aspects have now become clear, and history will never be reversed backwards, whether by the will of the United States of America, Europe or others, there are new laws & equations emerged in the surface and the influence of all these new powers will emerge clearly after five or ten years form now. This is the development, in my opinion, that will take place in future because the economy is eventually an economy of production, distribution and consumption. So, what occurred in these countries during the last hundred years or after the 19the century was based on the speculation economy or what is called “Casino Economy”. The institutions in those countries are not productive but play with securities and bubbles. Also, these institutions found their chance because the world system and the cold war had covered many defects and gave chance to the economy of casinos and speculation to flourish and control everything.

Finally, the essence of this economic bubble is disclosed and thus it will not continue because these institutions are not productive. There is no Ford, Chrysler, GMC or others because in fact there is no manufacturing. Perhaps Germany may continue as a manufacturing power and also USA may chance its view in managing its economy and return back to the basic economic principles on which the economic growth is abased. However, I do not think that the USA can prevent China or India to grow, or prevent Europe form changing its behavior within the framework of the current economic transformations,, Generally, we can say that this is the beginning of the collapse of the empires we have been witnessing during the Cold War and emergence of the sole pole which some philosophers, like Samuel Huntington & Francis Fukuyama and others believes that the two poles had lapsed and now there is only one pole that will dominate for half a century in the 21st century, without any competitor. They published books and approved policies based on such fading theories and the like. This was just an imagination of many “Falcons” who thought that the world has now become under their possession. However, today, we are entering a new historical stage and therefore we must read matters objectively. The symptoms we are witnessing now prove that today’s world is under parturition and not like the world. We used to know during the 20th century.

ECSSW: Your Excellency, do we understand from this that the era of capitalism and socialism had expired and that we are now facing the conflict of religions and civilizations or what?

President Isaias: Sometimes, talking about molds does not allow a person to examine matters with open mind. Therefore, I think it is important to avoid talking about capitalism & socialism because if we began to talk about these ideologies we will not be absolutely open, and thus our minds will not be open for studying this matter. I believe that this is contained within the laws of nature since the creation of the universe. If we look back, we find that communities, since they began to settle in groups outside forests, the economic, social and cultural law’s that control these communities have emerged. In the light of that, the minority in any community will not be able to govern the majority forever; this is the law of nature.

There is something called “Social Justice”. If there is no social justice there will be no stability in any community, whether big or small. And if the struggle arises out of the control by a minority over the vast majority, the law of nature will not allow for that, whether within socialism or otherwise. Perhaps the Bible or Koran may include some verses in this domain, although my knowledge of holy books is limited, but what is important that social justice is the focal base.

There may emerge some ideology or political system that does not respect social justice and imposes itself within a limited period but it will not be able to continue in any way whatsoever. We can simply say that nature has its own laws and human nature has values, whoever deviates from these laws and values will not last for long.

Based on that, I say capitalism life is limited because, capitalism life is limited because, capitalism in its current from is a mere an economy for speculation & casino economy. But real capitalism may have its own specifications and laws and special circumstances. In conclusion, I say there is no alternative for a political system that achieves social justice as the basic need for everything.

Read the full Interview here

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