America, Iran and the abuse of democracy, human rights, by Hassan Gimba  

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By Hassan Gimba

 

“One of the shrewdest ways for human predators to conquer their stronger victims is to convince them steadily with propaganda that they are still free.” N. A. Scott, American author.

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Every human being currently living on earth came to this world and saw the United States of America posing as the cradle of democracy, a bastion of freedom and a citadel of human rights.

For those of us in Africa, especially West Africa, and particularly those along the coastline, that America ruptured family cohesion, ties and lineage by forcefully taking our able-bodied forefathers and enslaving them, was either forgotten, forgiven, or both.

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That after it was forced to abolish slavery by a changing world, it found a way to continue enslaving our able-bodied and intelligent youths in the name of providing greener pastures for them, which was either overlooked, not realised, or both.

As time went on, that it labelled those who wanted the best for their people as communists and demonised them, creating a bipolar world was either accepted as gospel truth by those who did not know the truth or parroted by those who were recruited to do that, or both.

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That the then Eastern bloc (or communist/socialist countries), under the guidance of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and its star boy, Fidel Castro of Cuba, all lined up to fight apartheid for African freedom was either lost on us or remained unappreciated, or both.

That Fidel Castro’s Cuba fought enslavers out of Angola for Angolans to taste freedom, training African youths in its universities and supplying Africa with medical doctors and free drugs while we still preferred to rush to America where we paid for everything through the nose reflected our slave mentality or lack of capacity to embrace truth, or both.

Truth is, we all grew up looking up to Uncle Sam as someone who cared for us in the third world, even when it was propping up the apartheid regime in South Africa or being a pillar of support to Ian Smith in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) and Zambia (Northern Rhodesia). Many of us did not see anything wrong in its support for Joshua Nkomo against the pan-Africanist Robert Mugabe.

For a long time, America has been working on the psyche of youths, especially in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the communist/socialist countries to make them see their society as primitive and America as modern. The youths see their cultures and traditions as backward and archaic, their religion as stories of old, and Western depravity as the new religion.

It found a way in 1989 to infiltrate and brainwash Chinese students to rise against their country, demanding “political and economic reforms and greater respect for human rights”. The protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, where they were forcefully evicted by military units, who killed a lot of them.

Tiananmen Square, or Tian’anmen Square, is a city square, measuring 765 x 282 metres, in the city centre of Beijing, meaning “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People, the National Museum of China, and the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, who proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the square on October 1, 1949. It has great cultural significance in Chinese history.

America and its Western allies and propaganda machines did not allow what happened in China to be swept under the carpet or forgotten easily. It kept hammering on China’s “evil of repression”, that it emasculated and silenced the voice of the voiceless because that’s what students are. It told the world that China was an enemy of freedom, free speech, free association and democracy which it proclaimed as the only acceptable world order, despite its dalliance with repressive, autocratic and monarchic regimes, around the world.

Now fast-forward to 2024 and the pinching shoe is in America’s feet. Its students in no fewer than 15 universities and counting, with Columbia University in the lead, are protesting with the battle cry “Free, Free Palestine” for the freedom of Palestine that has been under Israel’s subjugation for decades.

America, the self-acclaimed doyen of freedom of association and speech, the guardian angel of democracy, is cracking down on the students for freely associating and using free speech to seek the freedom of another country. So far, scores of them have been arrested, some suspended, and some dismissed outright, while lecturers have been threatened with sack if they showed any sort of support to the students’ cause.

But that will hardly deter academics used to free speech as a first nature. One professor in the university bravely declared: “This is about a genocide being carried on with American money and with American weapons, against a people enduring generations of occupation.”

In a cheeky, and poignant, role reversal, Iran, which had suffered American instigation of its youths over time and had to deal with as it deemed fit, called on the US not to jeopardise democracy, freedom of association and free speech.

Shiraz University, a globally ranked university in Iran, just announced that it will grant scholarships to the students of American and European universities who have been expelled for supporting Palestine. It is also going to hire professors who have been fired or threatened with sacking for their stance towards Palestine.

Before the breeze blew and we saw the anus of the fowl, this was what America was doing to others all over the world – instigating youths against their fatherland, and when the country attempted to rein in its citizens, they would cry foul. They will then dole out scholarships, grants or work and Green Cards to those who fought against their country and its system.

In the words of Samuel P. Huntington, an American political scientist and academic, “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion…but rather by its superiority in applying organised violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do.”

Now America is receiving a dose of its medicine and it has failed to behave better than those countries it accused of truncating democracy, free association, free speech and human rights abuses.

Truth, it is said, is the only one that lasts. Falsehood and hypocrisy are just as temporary as the time it will take to blindfold the people.

What America is showing the world today is exactly the echo of the time immemorial words of Abraham Lincoln, its 16th president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slaves forever free: “You can fool some of the people for all of the time, and all of the people for some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people for all of the time.”

Hassan Gimba is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Neptune Prime.

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