Sunday, December 31, 2006

Anti-War Responses to the American Lynching of Saddam Hussein

American groups protest Saddam hanging in NYC, Detroit

12/30/2006, 8:07 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Groups of Americans opposed to either the death penalty or U.S. foreign policy decried Saddam Hussein's execution on Saturday, including a few dozen activists who protested in Times Square and a handful who demonstrated in Boston.

The small rallies, led by a group affiliated with former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, was one of several condemnations of the hanging. The Vatican denounced the execution as "tragic." Activists in Detroit also demonstrated.

Standing on a downtown Detroit street in front of a building that houses FBI offices, 15 anti-war demonstrators withstood chilly temperatures to call on Congress to end the war in Iraq and denounce Saddam's execution.

Members of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice waved to honking motorists and onlookers for about an hour as they held signs that read: "Bring the Troops Home," "Money for our City, Not for War," and "Execution Escalation. U.S. Troops out of Iraq."

"We are here to express our deepest regret and condemnation for what the Bush administration has done," said group leader Abayomi Azikiwe. "It was set up to deflect attention away from the 3,000 soldiers that have been killed. This is not going to do anything to end the war, it's going to escalate it."

A night earlier, about 200 Iraqi-Americans gathered outside a mosque in the suburb of Dearborn to celebrate reports that Saddam had been executed, cheering and crying as drivers honked horns in jubilation.

Clark, who leads the New York-based International Action Center and was one of Saddam's defense lawyers, predicted during the Iraqi leader's trial that a bloodbath would follow if he was executed. In a statement faxed to The Associated Press, the center said his hanging was part of a plan by President Bush to escalate the war.

At least 68 people died and more than 130 were wounded in two bombings in Iraq following the execution, which took place just before the start of one of the holiest Islamic holidays, Eid al-Adha.

At the Times Square rally, which occurred near a military recruiting station, protester Sara Flounders held up a sign that read "Execution Escalation."

"We didn't need this execution. Saddam should have been jailed," said the Rev. Joel Jang, a Presbyterian minister from Flushing, Queens.

The demonstrators gathered behind a police barricade outside the recruiting station, which has been a magnet for anti-war protests. The rally did not disrupt the flow of tourists or preparations for Sunday's massive New Year's Eve celebration.

In Boston, about five protesters stood in light snow outside of the Marine Corps recruiting building and passed out printed statements to the few people that walked by. Protesters referred to the execution of Saddam as U.S. sponsored murder. They also called for an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Making no claims about Saddam's guilt or innocence, Steve Kirschbaum, a member of the International Action Center, said the execution was a "serious violation of international law ... a legal lynching."

Saddam's execution has led to mixed reactions in the United States, with plenty of Americans — including many Iraqi-Americans — saying it was justice well served.

Clark, a former Marine who served as attorney general for three years in the 1960s, has assailed the trial. He said the Iraqi Special Tribunal — trained and funded by the United States — is an illegal entity and did not follow proper legal procedures.

"The execution of Saddam Hussein is a clear sign that the Bush administration is looking not to negotiate a way for the U.S. to leave Iraq, but is instead sending a signal that it will continue the war and escalate it despite the impending disaster," the International Action Center said in a written statement.

Associated Press writers Brandie M. Jefferson in Boston and Ron Vample in Detroit contributed to this report.

IAC Statement on the Execution of Saddam Hussein

The International Action Center urges activists to organize local actions in response to the execution of Saddam Hussein and the continuing occupation of Iraq. Check the IAC website for updates on protests and other activities.

The International Action Center (IAC) hold the U.S. government responsible for the decision of the “Iraqi High Tribunal" to carry out the death sentence against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and considers this execution part of the Bush administration’s plan to once again escalate the war. The timing of the execution was clearly intended to pre-empt news that the death toll of U.S. service people has hit 3,000 while that of Iraqis is in the hundreds of thousands. Such an execution will be another war crime against the Iraqi people.

As we have made clear in prior statements and articles, the IAC does not consider the capture, trial and judgment of the Iraqi president to be legal under international, U.S. or Iraqi law.* This punishment has nothing to do with the alleged crimes of the Iraqi leader nor is it part of an historical judgment of his role. It is the act of a conquering power against a nation that is occupied against the will not only of its 2003 legal government but also against the will of the vast majority of its people.

No authoritative human rights body, including those who were and are opponents and severely hostile to President Saddam Hussein such as the Human Rights Watch, considers his trial fair or the sentence just (see Dec. 27, 2006 statement).

Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, a founder of the IAC, who was part of the defense team for Saddam Hussein, told the media after hearing of the plan to execute that "SaddamHussein and his co-defendants are in the custody of the U.S. military in Iraq. They will be turned over to Iraq only on the order of or with the approval of President Bush. His pending decision will have long term consequences for the peace and stability of Iraq, and for the rule of law as a means to peace."

The Bush administration is preparing to announce its “new strategy” toward Iraq. This follows the November mid-term elections, which were an anti-war statement by the U.S. electorate. It follows the publication of the Iraq Study Group’s report, which was a recognition that the U.S. occupation of Iraq had collapsed and that disaster was near.

The execution of Saddam Hussein is a clear sign that the Bush administration is looking not to negotiate a way for the U.S. to leave Iraq, but is instead sending a signal that it will continue the war and escalate it despite the impending disaster. This conclusion is all the more obvious, as it accompanies the news out of Iraq that U.S. and puppet Iraqi troops are attacking, arresting and killing members and leaders of the Mahdi Army, led by Moqtada al-Sadr.

We in the IAC say no to the execution of Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants, no to the escalation of the Iraq war that will mean more deaths for Iraqis and for U.S. troops and for an intensified mobilization to stop the occupation of Iraq. We applaud the decision of the MECAWI organization in Michigan to call a protest outside of the McNamara Federal Building at 4:30 PM on the day the lynching of Saddam Hussein is set to be carried out.

The following are URLS for prior statements on the trial and impending execution of Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders:

Illegal and unfair trials of President Saddam Hussein and others by the Iraqi Special Tribunal...
October 10, 2006 Memorandum with Exhibits for Each...
URL: - 25KB - 14 Oct 2006

Verdict of the U.S. Occupation Court
Verdict of the U.S. Occupation Court - International Action Center Statement - November 06-06
URL: - 9KB - 08 Nov 2006

Demonize to Colonize
Demonize to Colonize by Ramsey Clark "In the determination of any criminal charge ... everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by... - 19KB - 28 Nov 2005

Ramsey Clark: Why I'm Willing to Defend Hussein
Why I'm Willing to Defend Hussein by Ramsey Clark Published on Monday, January 24, 2005 by the Los Angeles Times Late last month, I traveled... - 13KB - 28 Nov 2005

The Trial of Saddam Hussein / Anti-war Movement Must Reject Colonial 'Justice'
The Trial of Saddam Hussein / Anti-war Movement Must Reject Colonial 'Justice' Le procès de Saddam, justice coloniale By Sara Flounders,... - 34KB - 28 Jan 2006

Statement From the Anti-Imperialist Camp

1) Saddam turned martyr
A symbol cannot be killed

The press conference by which the imperator expressed his cruel congratulations to the hanging of Saddam Hussein leaves no doubt about the real author of this political homicide. Saddam was in American hands. It was them to arrest him and keep him in custody. Only after being sure that he will be executed they consigned him to their lackeys.

But by killing a man they could not kill a symbol. A symbol of irreducible and uncompromising hostility to imperial arrogance of American neo-colonialism. The emblem Saddam is even more dangerous as he was not only a rebel but a head of a state which demonstrated until the end that he is not ready to bog down before the occupiers. Far away from half-heartedly trying to bargain for his personal survival he never gave in to the hypocrite arguments of the invaders.

They turned Saddam into a martyr of the Iraqi liberation struggle. He will serve as a example for all anti-imperialist fighters for his tenacity and steadfastness.

They hoped to exemplarily punish those who do not lick their boots. They wanted to demonstrate the world that there is no remote corner which escapes their vengeance. What they actually achieved it to increase the hate of the peoples against them.

The world has understood the message. The wretched will know to redeem getting rid of the civilisation of death of which the US has become the most bloody paladin.

Anti-imperialist Camp
December 30, 2006


2) Bangladeshi protest against the killing of Saddam
By the National Liberation Council

On December 30, 4pm, we, National Liberation Council of Bangladesh, organised a protest meeting in the capital city Dhaka against Iraqi President Saddam's killing. This protest meeting was presided by Faiezul Hakim, secretary of the National Liberation Council.

Faiez said "by killing of president Saddam Hussain, US imperialism want to destroy Iraq." He also said "now Saddam is the symbol of anti imperialists". After the protest meeting a protest possession was held. Beside us, many organization also made protest rally.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Somalis Protest US-backed Invasion by Ethiopia; Martial Law Declared

17:10 MECCA TIME, 14:10 GMT

Anti-Ethiopian protest in Mogadishu

Somalian Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi made a triumphant return to the capital

Mogadishu on Friday witnessed a noisy demonstration against Ethiopian troops who have helped Somalia's weak government wrest control of the capital from fighters of the Islamic Courts Union.

The demonstration coincided with the arrival of Somalia's prime minister in the battle-scarred capital in a heavily armed convoy.

The protesters, chanting anti-Ethiopian slogans, threw stones and burnt tyres in two separate neighbourhoods as Ali Mohamed Gedi, the prime minister, left the nearby town of Afgoye, 20km away and headed for the capital.


"Thousands of angry people have started a violent demonstration in the northern part of the city, particularly in Tawfiq and Suuqaholaha areas," said Abdulsatar Dahir Sabrie, a resident.

"People are burning tyres in the streets and they are shouting 'We do not want Ethiopians to enter town.' They are also throwing stones," he added.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Demonstrator Abdulahi Shegow Nur shouted, "We do not want Ethiopian troops to enter our city. They must stay out."

Trucks fitted with loudspeakers roamed the city, blaring patriotic music to welcome the prime minister.

Gedi drove through the international airport past Ethiopian tanks guarding the runway. Earlier, Ethiopian troops aboard tanks fired warning shots into the air after dozens of young men threw stones as the convoy travelled through the city.

Crowds lined the streets as the Western-backed interim government's premier drove into the capital.

Gedi, whose interim government had been confined to its base in the provincial town of Baidoa until less than two weeks ago, said parliament would vote to declare martial law.

Defiant fighters

A senior Somali Islamic Courts leader on Friday vowed his fighters will "never surrender to Ethiopians and the government" and warned of guerrilla ambushes on the allied forces.

"You think that Islamic courts have failed and the Ethiopian invaders have won in Somalia? I tell you within days everything will be changed," commander Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Bilal told AFP, a day after the fighters left the capital Mogadishu.

"We will never surrender to Ethiopians and the government of [Somali President] Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed," he told AFP from Kismayo, the last Islamic fighters' stronghold, a port town about 500km south of Mogadishu.

In the face of Ethiopian fire, most of the hardline clerics, including the movement's leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, fled Mogadishu for Kismayo.

"I assure you that the Islamic forces are everywhere in the country and you will see the forces operating within days. What we will do is hit and run. We will ambush their convoys everywhere in Somalia," he added.

Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, whose military is supporting the Somali government, has vowed to pursue the Islamic Courts fighters, accused of ties with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda, until he kicks them out of the country.

Source: Agencies

2:31 MECCA TIME, 23:31 GMT

Somalia to declare martial law

The Islamic Courts' chairman said that his side's hasty withdrawal was a tactical move

Ali Mohamad Gedi, the Somali prime minister, has said that parliament will declare a period of martial law to maintain control of the country after Ethiopian and government troops wrested the capital from rival Islamists.

Gedi told reporters on Thursday that the martial law would be declared on Saturday for a period of three months.

"This country has experienced anarchy and in order to restore security we need a strong hand, especially with freelance militias," he said.

The fall of Mogadishu came after a 10-day offensive by government and allied forces to reclaim much of the territory seized by the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) since June.

While Gedi on Thursday celebrated a triumphant return to his home village outside Mogadishu for the first time since 2002, he acknowledged that the chaotic country was far from stable.

The flight of the Islamists was a dramatic turn-around in the Horn of Africa nation, which has not had an effective government since the 1991 ouster of a dictator, after they had spread across the south imposing sharia rule and confined the interim government to its base in Baidoa until less than two weeks ago.

Terrified of yet more violence in a city that has become a byword for chaos, some Mogadishu residents took to the streets to cheer government troops, while others hid. Some SICC fighters ditched their uniforms to avoid reprisals.

Abdirahman Dinari, the government spokesman, said the Islamists had fled to the southern port city of Kismayu and that the administration now controlled 95 per cent of Somalia.

But analysts said a government victory was in no way certain and that the conflict could be about to take another turn.

The prime minister says troops have entered Mogadishu after the Council of Islamic Courts abandoned the city.

Gedi, who met with clan leaders to discuss the handover of the city, said, "we are co-ordinating our forces to take control of Mogadishu".

Gunfire could be heard and looting has been reported in the power vacuum that has followed the departure of the Islamic courts fighters on Thursday.

Mohammed Adow, Al Jazeera's Somalia correspondent, said the Islamic courts' decision to pull out was unexpected.

He said: "They had promised the Somali people to defend Mogadishu to the last man, but this hasn't happened.

"As they head for the south, the chances look very remote for the Islamic courts to assemble their fighters again in order to be able to wage any war against the Ethiopian and Somali government fighters."

Power vacuum

One former Islamic courts fighter said: "We have been defeated. I have removed my uniform. Most of my comrades have also changed into civilian clothes."

"People are cheering as they wave flowers to the troops," said one resident of the Somali capital, adding that scores of military vehicles had passed the Somalia National University.

Mohamed Jama Fuuruh, a member of the Baidoa-based Somali parliament, said: "The government has taken over Mogadishu. We are now in charge ... There will be no problems and everything will be fine."

Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister, confirmed that Somali transitional government forces and Ethiopian troops would pursue the Islamic courts leaders.

"We are discussing what to do so that Mogadishu will not descend into chaos. We will not let Mogadishu burn," he said in Addis Ababa.

Speaking for the transitional government spokesman, Abdirahman Dinari said that it had some way to go towards taking over.

"We are taking control of the city and I will confirm when we have established complete control," he said.

"Our forces effectively control Mogadishu because we have taken over the two control points on the main roads outside the city."

Later Dinari told Al Jazeera the government had declared a state of emergency "to control security and stability".

'Old anarchy'

The Islamic courts' chairman has said that his side's hasty withdrawal was a tactical move in a war that began last week against Ethiopian troops defending Somalia's weak government.

One resident said: "Uncertainty hangs in the air."

"My worst fear is the capital will succumb to its old anarchy. The government should come in now and take over - this is the best chance they have before the city falls into the hands of the warlords again."

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow said that local commanders have already begun taking over parts of the city.

"It looks now that the government has on its hands a very difficult task in pacifying Mogadishu ... It looks like Ethiopian troops will be here for some time to come".

Dinari said Yusuf Abdullahi, the Somali president, and Ali Mohamed Gedi, the prime minister, remained in the transitional government's south-central base in Baidoa and would move to Mogadishu at the earliest opportunity.

The government has long viewed Mogadishu as too dangerous to move to, but its return would be a key step in achieving greater legitimacy.

Florence Ballard: The Life Behind the Dreamgirls Character Portrayed by Jennifer Hudson

PANW Editor's Note: The film Dreamgirls has been cited as a fictional account of the careers of the Supremes and Motown Records. While the all-girl group portrayed in the film depict similarities to the Supremes, there are vast differences with the actual history of the real group and the life of Florence Ballard as well as others portrayed in the Hollywood movie. Below we are reprinting factual information on the life of Florence Ballard (1943-1976), who is credited with forming the original group, the Primettes, which later became the Supremes.

Florence Ballard
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Background information
Birth name Florence Glenda Ballard
Also known as Florence Chapman
Born June 30, 1943; Rosetta, Mississippi, USA
Origin Detroit, Michigan, USA
Died February 22, 1976; Detroit, Michigan
Genre(s) R&B/pop/soul
Occupation(s) Singer
Instrument(s) Vocals
Years active 1959-1970, 1974-1976
Label(s) Motown, ABC
Associated acts, The Supremes

Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman, nicknamed "Flo" or
"Blondie", (June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976) was an American singer, best known as the founder and original lead singer of Motown act The Supremes.

Referred to by music journalist Richie Unterberger as "one of rock's greatest tragedies", Ballard was replaced as lead singer of the Supremes by Diana Ross, with whom Motown founder Berry Gordy was having an affair and who he believed had more crossover appeal. After a series of episodes consistent with chronic depression and alcohol abuse, Ballard was dropped from the Supremes in July 1967 and replaced by Cindy Birdsong. In the two years following her dismissal, Ballard made concerted but unsuccessful efforts at a solo career. The singer spent much of the last five years of her life in poverty before dying in 1976 at the age of thirty-two.

Early life

Ballard was born in Rosetta, Mississippi, but before the age of ten, her family moved to Detroit, Michigan to take advantage of the booming job market. She was of mixed African-American, Native American and white heritage. Ballard, nicknamed "Blondie" because of her auburn hair and light complexion, founded The Primettes, an all-girl singing group spinoff of The Primes (later known as The Temptations), in 1959. The Primettes would sign to the Motown label in 1961 and go on to make music history as The Supremes.

In 1960, a friend of one of Ballard's brothers offered her a ride home after she attended a local sock hop. Instead, he drove her to an empty street and raped her at knifepoint. Ballard was able to identify her attacker in a police lineup and later testified against him in court, leading to his conviction and imprisonment. Her rape was never again mentioned (either in a clinical or casual setting) and Ballard instead threw herself into her music.

The Supremes

In the early days of The Supremes, all three girls took turns singing lead vocals, with Ballard leading on songs such as "Buttered Popcorn", "Ain't That Good News", "Silent Night", "Oh Holy Night", "Heavenly Father", and her featured spot in their stage show, "People," the popular showstopper from the Broadway smash Funny Girl. Ballard's voice was so powerful that she was allegedly asked to stand up to seventeen feet away from her microphone during recording sessions, while the other two Supremes stood directly in front of their microphones.

Diana Ross was ultimately made the permanent lead singer of the Supremes in 1964 because Motown chief Berry Gordy, who was romantically involved with Ross, believed that her voice, with its higher register, would attract white audiences to the group. Ross, Ballard, and Mary Wilson released ten number-one US pop hits between 1964 and 1967, all of which featured Ross on lead vocals.

In 1965, Ross took over the singing duties on "People", Ballard's solo number in their stage show, beginning with their debut at the Copacabana in New York. This switch led to a marked decline in the relationship between Gordy and Ballard. Throughout the year, Ballard and Gordy -- with Ross more often than not taking his side -- argued frequently.

Resentful and depressed at having been pushed out of the spotlight, Ballard relied heavily on alcohol as a salve for her frustration. Among other problems, this caused her to gain weight, and the gowns and outfits she wore onstage no longer consistently fit her curvaceous figure. As 1967 progressed, Ballard frequently performed below the exacting standards Motown had for their premiere girl group. She was fired from The Supremes by Berry Gordy in July 1967 during an engagement at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cindy Birdsong took her place in the group, which had been renamed "Diana Ross & The Supremes" just before Ballard's departure.

Solo career

Ballard married Thomas Chapman, a former chauffeur for Motown, on February 29, 1968, and signed with ABC Records in March 1968, two weeks after having negotiated her release from Motown on February 22, 1968. Ballard received a one-time payment of $139,804.94 in royalties and earnings from Motown for her six-year tenure with the label.

Billed as "Florence 'Flo' Ballard" and with her husband serving as her manager, Ballard released the singles "It Doesn't Matter How I Say It (It's What I Say That Matters)" and "Love Ain't Love" on ABC Records, but the album she recorded was shelved. After that, Ballard's musical career went into extreme decline and the $139,000 was gradually depleted by Chapman and Ballard's management agency.

Conditions in her contract with Motown reportedly kept Flo from mentioning in any promotional materials or even on the back of her own album liner that she had ever been in the Supremes or recorded for Motown, effectively tying the hands of any label trying to issue her new works.

In addition, it is reported that Motown threatened to sue vigorously any label that made reference to such on her behalf. While it is not entirely clear if this was a condition of her original Motown contract (signed when she was a minor, a condition Stevie Wonder would effectively exploit to break the legal shackles of the label) or was introduced as part of the settlement process is unclear. What is clear is that her legal counsel failed to protect the simple dignity of Florence owning her personal achievements and professional reputation. Ballard continued her efforts at a solo career.

In September of 1968, she performed alongside Bill Cosby at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. That same year, Ballard rode in a Chicago parade with comedian Godfrey Cambridge. On October 20, 1968, she was the featured personality of Detroit's magazine, Detroit and that same month, she gave birth to twin girls, Michelle Chapman and Nicole Chapman, the first two of her three children. She began the new year by performing at one of Richard Nixon's inaugural balls in Washington, DC on January 20, 1969.

By 1971, Ballard unsuccessfully sued Motown for additional royalty payments she believed were due to her.


In 1973, Ballard gave birth to her third child, Lisa Chapman. Soon after, Thomas Chapman left Ballard and her house was seized by foreclosure. These events effectively ended her career. She had three daughters to support, and was forced to move in with her mother. Deeply depressed, she continued to drink and her health deteriorated.

Over the next few years, Ballard excluded herself from almost all publicity. In 1974, Mary Wilson, who had maintained a rapport with Ballard over the years, invited Ballard to fly out to California to visit. The Supremes, now with Scherrie Payne as lead singer, were performing at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and Wilson invited Ballard onstage to sing with the group. She joined them onstage, but she did not sing, only shaking a tambourine to the beat of the music as the group sang. Although her appearance onstage brought tremendous cheers from the crowd, Ballard told Wilson that she had no desire to continue pursuing a career in music.

Upon her return to Detroit, Ballard's financial situation continued to decline. Uninterested in a return to the entertainment business, and with three children to support, she applied for welfare. This news and the story of her downward spiral hit the national newspapers instantly.

Comeback and sudden death

The cover of the UK release The Supreme Florence Ballard. Despite most of the songs on the album originally being recorded for ABC Records in 1968, the cover photo is actually a Motown publicity photo from 1965.In 1975, Ballard received a settlement from a slip-and-fall incident in which she had broken her leg after slipping on a patch of ice in Detroit.

With the money, Ballard purchased a small house on Shaftsbury Avenue in Detroit for herself and her children. She began to publicly discuss her desire to re-enter the entertainment world. Around this same time, Florence also reconciled with her estranged husband, Thomas Chapman.

On June 25, 1975, Ballard performed in Detroit as a part of the Joan Little Defense League at the Henry and Edsel Ford Auditorium, backed by the female rock group, The Deadly Nightshade, to a highly receptive crowd. She sang the Helen Reddy hit, I Am Woman, and when the audience wanted an encore - a Supremes encore - Ballard sang "Come See About Me". Soon after, Ballard received requests for newspaper and television interviews, including a fairly candid conversation about her past and hoped future during an appearance on the local Detroit TV talk show, "The David Diles Show."

On February 21, 1976, Ballard entered Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital, complaining of numbness in her extremities. The next day, she died of coronary thrombosis, a blood clot in one of her coronary arteries. She was thirty-two years old. Ballard is buried in Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery located in Warren, Michigan.

Florence Ballard: Forever Faithful!, a biography of Ballard written by Randall Wilson, was printed in 1999. In 2002, The Supreme Florence Ballard, which included all the tracks from the album she recorded for ABC Records in 1968, was released on compact disc by Spectrum, a London-based company.


Temptations singer Otis Williams disclosed that he and Ballard had an affair during their early years at Motown.

Before the Supremes became famous, Ballard toured with The Marvelettes as a replacement for Wanda Young while she was on maternity leave.

It had once been rumored that Marlene Barrow of The Andantes filled in for Ballard when she was unable to attend the recording session for "My World Is Empty Without You." This was disproved by the release of the remastered and remixed tracks utilized for the "Motown Karaoke" CD series when Ballard's and Wilson's vocals were isolated for a "karaoke" background track of the song. In this new mix, Ballard's participation was more obvious and the rumor thus disproved.

Dreamgirls, a 1981 Broadway musical, is said to be inspired by the Supremes, and the character of Effie, originated by Jennifer Holliday is said to be modeled after Ballard. That character was played by Jennifer Hudson in the film version of Dreamgirls released in 2006, which featured more overt references to Ballard's life and the Supremes' story than the stage musical. Both Holliday and Hudson's portrayals of Effie have received rave reviews: Holliday won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance, while Hudson has been awarded a number of critics awards as well as a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.

2002: The Supreme Florence Ballard (originally shelved by ABC Records in 1968 under the proposed title, "...You Don't Have To")

1968: "It Doesn't Matter How I Say It (It's What I Say That Matters)" b/w "Goin' Out Of My Head" (ABC Records #45-11074A/B)
1968: "Love Ain't Love" b/w "Forever Faithful" (ABC Records #45-11144A/B)

Friday, December 29, 2006

James Brown Eulogized: Rare Interview Exposes Conspiracy Against Godfather of Soul

James Brown In His Own Words:
Democracy Now! Airs A Never Seen Before Film Clip on the Conspiracy Against James Brown

Friday, December 29th, 2006

As thousands line the streets of Harlem outside the Apollo Theater to pay tribute to James Brown, we air a historic interview and concert footage of Brown and the Rev. Al Sharpton from 1980. It was shot by Jon Alpert of Downtown Community Television.
Here in New York, thousands of people passed through Harlem's Apollo Theatre Thursday for one last look at the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Brown died Monday at the age of 73. Brown's golden casket was carried through Harlem by horse-drawn carriage and displayed for public viewing on the Apollo stage. Spectators braved five-hour waits to get a final glimpse at the man who revolutionized popular music. Democracy Now! caught up with some of the fans in the streets outside the Apollo.

Voices from the streets of Harlem yesterday outside the the Apollo.
As James Brown's body traveled on a horse-drawn carriage across Harlem's 125th street, thousands of fans followed behind singing the chorus to his anthem, "Say it Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud." Stores lining 125th street blared Brown's music and played his videos while fans danced and celebrated the life of the musical trailblazer.

Brown's body lay in state, or better yet lay in stage, for 9 hours at the Apollo - the theater where he made his explosive public debut in 1956 forever changing music history. A line to view Brown's body snaked for almost three city blocks. The Rev. Al Sharpton stood next to the open casket, where Brown was dressed in a purple sequined satin suit with white gloves and silver boots and a silver turtleneck. Sharpton addressed the public later in the evening.

Brown - who was 73 - died of heart failure Christmas morning. There will be a private ceremony today in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia, and another public ceremony on Saturday - officiated by Sharpton - at the James Brown Arena there. He will be buried later that day.

Our colleague here in the firehouse - Jon Alpert - spent time interviewing Sharpton and Brown twenty-five years ago for a documentary about the music industry that he was working on at the time. Jon is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of Downtown Community Television -- welcome to Democracy Now!
AMY GOODMAN: Our colleague here in the firehouse at DCTV, Jon Alpert, spent time interviewing Reverend Al Sharpton and James Brown, 25 years ago for a documentary about the music industry that he was working on at the time. Jon Alpert is a documentary filmmaker and the founder of Downtown Community Television. Welcome to Democracy Now!. Before we play this excerpt, Jon, of this interview that you did, can you give us some context for how you started to follow James Brown?

JON ALPERT: Well, I had never seen James Brown perform before, And my friend said, Jon, before you die, there’s one thing you have to do, you have to go see James Brown. So, I went up to Beacon Theater, and there were only 10 people in the audience. The theater was absolutely empty. James brown started to sing and he was fantastic, but in the middle of his concert he got on his knees like he does and he began to say folks, look around, the theater is empty, why? Am I bad? No, I’m the greatest man in show business. The mafia is freezing me out. They won't let anybody come to my concerts, I can’t get on the radio, I can't get into concert halls, I can’t be in the movies, I’m not on television. But I'm the great James Brown, “bump, bump, bump”, and he finished his song.

So, afterwards I went backstage, I mean, I was so intrigued by this. And, there he was sitting under one of those beehive hair dryers, next to Al Sharpton, under another beehive hair dryer. I’d never seen Al Sharpton before. And he told me this story, that he wanted to manage himself, he wanted to be independent, and that because he was independent, he was getting frozen out by the people in the corporations that controlled the music industry. And I was in the process of being blacklisted, myself, at that time by public television and I was really angry about this. And I thought, this is one of the greatest performers in the history of America, he's being frozen out too. So we started to make a documentary.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And you then ended up filming some more of his concerts, interviewing other people in the industry, and what happened to the documentary?

JON ALPERT: Well he said, you know, let's fight this, let’s fight it together. And so we began following him around as he tried to get himself on radio. Al Sharpton basically was the General, in this war to get James Brown back in front of the public. He really was a performer at the height of his powers, who was at the bottom of his career because he was being frozen out. And we traced what he was doing for about three weeks. And everywhere he went. When he went to eat. When he went to sleep. We followed him around.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we're going to play a clip of the interview you did with James Brown and Al Sharpton.

JAMES BROWN: Ha ha ha ha ha! Tell them I’ll be back at the Apollo real soon.

FAN: We’ll see you in the movies brother!

JAMES BROWN: I love ya. Ha ha! Oh.

AL SHARPTON: You are like a live folk hero. I mean, it’s amazing you walk one block in Harlem, there’s a riot. And any DJ in New York, you got to almost build up advance tickets for a week for anybody to know who they are.

JAMES BROWN: That’s right.

AL SHARPTON: That’s Amazing. And the thing that you should see in the crowds is it’s young and old, there's no age thing. Everybody, from all generations knows James Brown. Know the music. People humming the tunes.

JON ALPERT: Well, how come we can't see him on TV or hear him on the radio.

JAMES BROWN: Well, you can be there's a certain thing as a man being too strong. And I think that's what has happened. Because the system, they can't dress me and undress me. I'm what the people want. I'll never sound like nobody else. Uh-uh. I ain't going to do that to myself. I’ll sound like myself. Even if you don't like me, it will be my fault, it won’t be because somebody else sound bad and I sound like them.

JON ALPERT: This is hard for me to understand right. If you come up there, people go crazy. Obviously you’re a very popular guy. Radio stations could make money if they played you. TV stations could make money if they put you on, the record companies if they promoted you. How come they’re not, they’re not playing?

AL SHARPTON: The people they got in the stations are not the people in the streets, that don't know. And what happens is when guys like you start putting us on the tube, the advertisers are going to see who the real people are. See, the people in the streets that have always bought the records are not the people that work in these companies. A lot people felt that they just hired people that was black, they were hiring people that knew. And that's not necessarily true.

JAMES BROWN: A lot of people that went to college and took up marketing, but didn't take up people. It's different when you know people.

JAMES BROWN: No reason for them kids to be out there doing bad when there are some blacks that don't want to do nothing for themselves. They got to all do something for themselves. Now, I come out of prison as a little juvenile delinquent and I’ve been up doing it ever since. And every time I get a chance I'm in the black community talking to the kids, I’m doing things. We got to. We these black businesses that are successful and they won't help the blacks? Lets put them out of business.

JON ALPERT: Tell us the story. What happened? And this is something that everybody might be interested in knowing about. You tried to become independent, what happened?

JAMES BROWN: The system crushed me.

JON ALPERT: Give me some examples.

JAMES BROWN: Well, no one, I couldn't get into television, I couldn’t get into movies. The record company was cutting my records up, and wouldn't promote ‘em, and wouldn’t even send ‘em out. Why did all the black-owned record companies fold? Why? Because they were forced out by the big ones. Every one. And not just the black owned ones, all the small--I think you got two independents right now. A good friend of mine, Henry Stone, in Miami, Tone Records, he's being forced out. He's a good friend of mine, you know, forced him out. And he's not black, he's jewish, but he's being forced out. Name an independent record company? You name one.

JON ALPERT: Is there one?

JAMES BROWN: That's what you’re saying, is there one? But when you were a little kid running around, James Brown. There was 300,000. There's not any now.

JON ALPERT: So if you're independent, you can't get records out?

JAMES BROWN: Not a one.

JON ALPERT: And how about if you’re independent, can you get on the radio?

JAMES BROWN: Independent, nada.

JON ALPERT: Let’s say you walked in with a tape?

JAMES BROWN: No. Never get it on. And this place plays so much local stuff, that’s another thing. They probably don’t play no local.

JON ALPERT: And how about TV? Could you get on TV?

JAMES BROWN: Totally out of the question. Try to record. Try me. Nobody would accept it. I cut it on a Coca-Cola crate, on a coca-cola crate and come here. At a radio station I recorded it. And so I come to New York and [inaudible] Studios on 49th and Broadway at that time. I recorded nine accetates that you play outside in. they’re played backwards then. You ever seen that before? Well, those records was there. Outside-in. Did you know, that, I took these records? The record company wouldn’t let me record no records. King Records said I didn’t have nothing else left. So I took the records and took them to radio stations myself, and they played them. And the demand became great.

AL SHARPTON: Never been a leading black figure in no walk of life in this country that knew the business that they was the doing except him.

JAMES BROWN: They never let ‘em learn the business. And I learned it because I paid my way. When I made a mistake, I went back and next time I knew what it was and I didn’t do that no more. I'd have 15,000 people in the building—excuse me sir,-- I’d have 15,000 people in the building and I’d say you know, I could have 20,000 here. Everybody’d be happy with that, I'd be happy, but I'm not worried about what I did right. I'm worried about what I didn't do right and what I could have done. It's about what you can do better. Like, it’s not what you what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

AL SHARPTON: The problem with James Brown getting played on a radio station like WBLS in New York is—we talked to ‘em the other day, getting ready for your South Africa tour. They said the problem with South Africa is not the whites or blacks. It's the coloreds. That’s the problem in the United States. It’s the coloreds. It’s the colored men. They are ashamed of being black. And James Brown brings it all to the surface. So only N----s run, the only N----s run, when a James Brown records on, is N----s thats really ashamed of being black. Cause you either got to be black or white when James Brown’s singing. You gotta be what you are. The only people that can’t take a James Brown record is unnatural people, cause they ashamed of what they are.

JAMES BROWN: Their color.

AL SHARPTON: That’s right. And all them N----s over there is ashamed of what they are so they try to act like they something else, so they try not to play what they really are, and hope nobody will notice what they are. And they don't realize the people they are trying to be like dig what they are in the first place.

AL SHARPTON: The struggle right now is the struggle its always been. It's just that now people are telling the truth about it. The struggle is against what's wrong. It's not black or white. Like Mr. Brown said, it's wrong.

JAMES BROWN: That’s right.

AL SHARPTON: The struggle is against wrong. Black people get free, we admit that blacks can be a problem too. I mean it was blacks that sold us to white folks in the first place. But until I deal with the seller and sellee, I'm going to be sold. [laughter]

I mean, if you look at black history or American history, the last 20 years, you had the Kennedy’s, you had the Martin Luther Kings, you had James Brown. You had this, you had that. And out of all that James Brown’s the only thing still here. And everybody ought to be, I mean, what does a man have is to die before he gets his respect? I mean it's crazy. If something god forbid would happen to James Brown, they’d be selling them at every hot dog stand in New York. And here he is and they won’t play him on WBLS. So I mean a man almost has to become a martyr to get appreciated in this country. And there’s something wrong with the people that build the dead and bury the living. I mean it's crazy.

JAMES BROWN: When are we, as a people, going to recognize that we have a duty to ourselves, you know? When are we going to put our own pants on? When are we going to be the one to set an example for our kids? I'm not saying all of the whole race of people don't do it. Whether it's Black or Latin, or Oriental, or what, I'm not saying that. I'm saying when do we, as black people, which I'm very much aware of, start doing something massively for ourselves. I don't care what people say, I must respect the Jewish people. I must respect their--

AL SHARPTON: That's the model we must emulate? The Jewish model.

JAMES BROWN: Well, I respect the Jewish people, I respect the Italians. I respect the Germans, I respect all the people. I respect anybody that stay where they at. And that’s the difference. And you got to respect the Oriental people, cause they really come from behind. See so, I respect these people.

AMY GOODMAN: James Brown and Reverend Al Sharpton at The Plaza Hotel in New York City being interviewed by Jon Alpert more than a quarter of a century ago. Jon Alpert, the filmmaker who was doing this documentary on race, and the music industry, and the mob. Jon, why did it never get done?

JON ALPERT: It didn't get done because about three weeks into the filming, James signed a very lucrative contract, and he decided that maybe he'd rather play along with the folks, and put some money in his pocket than fight it, because he was really getting frozen out. I mean, you just never heard him on the radio in those days. It was astonishing, because when I grew up, I was a little bit before your time, he just electrified our high school. And he was the guy that set the cultural tone. Everybody thinks it was the Beatles. It wasn’t the Beatles, it was James Brown, and every single black kid in our high school was transformed by his music and by the message.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And as I mentioned in my column, The Daily News told, tell the story about what happened with you and in the end, I guess James Brown chose, the godfather of soul chose not to challenge the godfathers of crime, especially in the music industry. But who above us, 25 years later could say he made the wrong decision? Because at least the music that so many of us appreciated of his was able to get out, and who knows what might have happened if he hadn’t made that challenge at the time and made the great film you were hoping that you were hoping to make?

JON ALPERT: We might never have heard from him again except probably when he died, and we would have venerated him like we’re doing now. And really its affected everybody in a way. What the folks at home don't know is that everyday after the show Amy does the full James Brown split. It's amazing. And you know what she does, come on. Do the mike throw Amy. I mean, she really does it. And who -- [laughter]

AMY GOODMAN: You’re confusing me with Juan Jon.

JON ALPERT: No, Juan does it during the breaks. And, you know, who hasn't imitated James Brown at some time or another? Tried to do the dance and things like that. I mean, come on.

AMY GOODMAN: I’ll tell you, yesterday in Harlem it was happening. Yesterday in Harlem outside Bobby's Records, all along the street, the pride--the just, the thousands of people who lined up at the Apollo. He started there, right, in 1956? And they said he came home. And pride was the word over and over again used. Juan we’ll link to your column. Final words? Since people will never see or perhaps someone will pick up this documentary you eventually do on James Brown, just filming the concerts that you filmed with James Brown and we'll end more with a song.

JON ALPERT: It's amazing to see these songs that had really become part of everybody’s own personal culture. Seeing them performed and just seeing the uniqueness that made James Brown who he was. All over the world people were transformed by him. When I told my friends I was going to be on TV, we have--you have fans all over the world just like James Brown has. It's hard to believe that Amy's as big as James Brown in some places, but I know in Havana, people are watching today. When I said we were gonna show James Brown, people from the presidential office are watching. I know there are people in Moscow watching today.

It was just amazing, to get to be there. But to know that he could be frozen out, that because he wasn't giving the mafia the split they wanted, he was finished. And to some degree, whether it's the mafia or big corporations that same kind of control continues. That's why your independent, that’s why I’m independent. But it is tough.

AMY GOODMAN: Jon Alpert thanks so much for being with us, and agreeing to air this never before broadcast interview that you did in 1980.

JON ALPERT: We were just kids then. Wasn't that great?

AMY GOODMAN: At the Plaza Hotel and also walking with -- going in the car with Sharpton and Brown as you drove through Harlem, as they were talking at the beginning

JON ALPERT: It was amazing. It was like riding around with a deity. And, people when they saw him, you know they almost bowed down. You know, I've been with Kings and Queens before. That's what it was like.

AMY GOODMAN: Last night when I was talking to people like Amin on the streets, selling buttons, and other people, they were saying the last time Harlem felt like this was when Nelson Mandela was in town. This is democracy now!. We'll go back to a clip.

JON ALPERT: Come one do it. Just once for the audience. Come on do the throw.

AMY GOODMAN: We’ll go back to a clip. Juan do what you always do.

JON ALPERT: During the break Amy will be doing the full James Brown split. You just won't see it at home.

AMY GOODMAN: We'll just show you James Brown. Which is what you want to see. This is James Brown in concert.

Saddam Hussein Executed By US Occupation Forces; MECAWI Statement Condemns American Lynch Law

Reports: Saddam Hussein executed by hanging News Staff
Updated: Fri. Dec. 29 2006 10:34 PM ET

Iraqi television reports that former dictator Saddam Hussein has been executed by hanging, after Iraq's High Tribunal found him guilty of crimes against humanity.

"Television channels, including one run by the U.S., are saying the execution took place shortly before 6 a.m. (Baghdad time)," Reuters Baghdad Bureau Chief Alistair MacDonald told CTV Newsnet.

Top officials had said Saddam would be hanged before 6 a.m. (10 p.m. ET) but no official confirmation has been made.

Saddam, 69, was convicted for his role in the 1982 killings of 148 people in a primarily Shiite town north of Baghdad. The victims had been detained after an attempt to assassinate him in Dujail, northern Iraq.

The court said the former president should be hanged within a month, and officials had hinted the execution would take place in a matter of days.

Edward Peck, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, said the execution could actually do more harm than good for the country.

"I don't think this is going to advance America's interests in Iraq at all," Peck told CTV News, arguing it could spark further sectarian violence.

Late Friday, a U.S. judge dismissed a last-minute court challenge by Saddam's lawyers, who had argued the execution should be stayed because Saddam also faced a civil lawsuit in Washington.

The judge said the U.S. courts could not interfere with another country's judicial system, according to AP.

Saddam had been formally in Iraqi custody since his capture three years ago, but physically held by U.S. military guards at Camp Cropper, a military prison near the Baghdad airport.

The administration of U.S. President George Bush had said the timing of the execution was a matter for the sovereign Iraqi government.

"That is a matter for the Iraqi people; we are observers to that process. They are a sovereign government and they will make their own decisions regarding carrying out justice," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said in Crawford, Texas.

Saddam himself had appeared to be preparing himself for the hanging on Friday. AP reported his half-brothers visited him in his jail cell and he gave them his will.

And in a final farewell letter posted Wednesday on Saddam's former Baath Party website, he urged Iraqis not to retaliate against American citizens.

"I call on you not to hate because hate does not leave space for a person to be fair and it makes you blind and closes all doors of thinking," he wrote in Arabic. The Associated Press translated the letter.

Hussein added: "I also call on you not to hate the people of the other countries that attacked us."

Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were also to be hanged.

U.S. forces in Iraq are preparing for any attacks following the execution, U.S. Defence Department officials say.

Saddam was also in the middle of another trial, in which he was charged with genocide and other crimes during a 1987-88 military crackdown on Kurds in northern Iraq.

That trial was adjourned until Jan. 8, but experts have said the trial of Saddam's co-defendants is likely to continue despite his execution.

Coalition forces stopped capital punishment in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, arguing the court system was incapable of rendering fair decisions.

But the Iraqi government reinstated the death penalty after the handover in June 2004, partly in order to have the option of executing Saddam if the High Tribunal found him guilty.

The Iraqi government has since released footage of some executions, showing convicts lined up in a row with black hoods covering their faces. Saddam rarely made executions public during his rule.

With files from The Associated Press

For Immediate Release

Press Statement

Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice
5922 Second Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 680-5508

Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice Condemns the Trial and Death Sentence For Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein; Decision to Execute Must Be Reversed!

At the weekly meeting of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), the organization discussed the recent decision by the so-called "Iraqi High Tribunal" to impose the death penalty on the now captured former President Saddam Hussein.

As a result of MECAWI's position that the invasion and occupation of Iraq is an illegal imperialist act and that the current governmental and legal structures in Iraq are thoroughly subservient to the American administration, we must condemn the show trial of President Hussein and his colleagues as well as the death sentence imposed on the former officials. In addition, we are demanding, along with other human rights and anti-war organizations, that the decision to execute the former Iraqi leader be reversed.

In a statement issued by Human Rights Watch on December 27, it declares that: The Iraqi government should not implement the death sentence against Saddam Hussein, which was imposed after a deeply flawed trial for crimes against humanity.... The Appeals Chamber of the Iraqi High Tribunal, which was first reported by Iraq’s national security adviser to have upheld the sentence, should have conducted a thorough legal review of the verdict and then announced its findings."

Therefore MECAWI is calling for vigils outside federal buildings and other places where people gather or work, in the event that the death sentence against Saddam Hussein is not stayed. The peace and social justice movement inside the United States must take a principled stand in upholding international law and the right of self-determination for all peoples.

Moreover, we want to re-emphasize our call for a complete, unconditional withdrawal of all American and allied military forces, private contractors and other hostile interests from the nation of Iraq. We oppose the continued funding of this illegal occupation by Congress, which has already cost the taxpayers $2 trillion, the deaths of 3,000 troops and the wounding of 30,000 others. A recent Lancet medical journal report found that over 650,000 Iraqis have died as a result of the American invasion and occupation.

We believe that the resources utilized to carry out the occupation of Iraq should go toward re-building cities like Detroit and to provide, food, affordable housing, quality education, health care and senior services to people across the United States. The foreign policy of the country should be based on peace, international law and the mutual respect among peoples.

16:36 MECCA TIME, 13:36 GMT

Saddam execution 'within hours'

Saddam's execution does not represent true justice for many Iraqis

Saddam Hussein is only a few hours way from execution, his lawyers and Iraqi officials hinted on Friday.

Khalil al- Dulaimi, Saddam's defence lawyer, told Reuters: "The Americans have notified us that they have handed over the president to the Iraqi authorities.

"They told us the president is no longer under the authority of the American forces and they requested us not to go to Baghdad," he said.

Najib al-Nuaimi, another defence lawyer, had earlier told Al Jazeera that he believed that the toppled president would be executed on Saturday.

Reuters quoting a key court official in Baghdad said Iraq's government had told him to be ready to attend the hanging of Saddam Hussein between 5.30am and 6am (02:30-03:00 GMT) on Saturday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he had been sworn to secrecy, told Reuters that a government official telephoned to tell him that he would be taken to the place of execution in time. The court official is among those who must, by law, attend any execution.

The government has been meeting US officials to determine if a hanging can take place on Saturday and it was still not clear if a final decision had been made or whether court officials were being gathered simply as a precautionary measure

An AP report, also quoting an unnamed Iraqi official, said that Saddam could be executed before 6am Baghdad time (03:00 GMT) on Saturday.

Personal belongings

"The Americans called the defence team to pick up his personal belongings," al-Nuaimi said.

"All these indications show he will probably be executed tomorrow morning, on the first day of Eid," al-Nuaimi, a former justice minister of Qatar, said.

Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, said that there could be "no delay" in carrying out the execution.

An aide confirmed the content of the prime minister's remarks, reported by state television, and said he made them to relatives of victims of Saddam's oppression.

"Whoever rejects Saddam's execution would be insulting the martyrs. After the court upheld the sentence no one can overrule the death sentence against the criminal Saddam," said a statement from al-Maliki’s office.

"There will be no review [of the sentence] or delay in carrying out the execution against the criminal Saddam," said al-Maliki.

But some members of the Sunni minority say an execution may increase alienation among their community.

Some Kurds would also like to see Saddam convicted of genocide in the Kurdish north.


Al-Dulaimi, who led Saddam's defence team until he was sentenced on November 5, said: "The Americans called me and asked me to pick up the personal effects".

An appeals court has upheld Saddam's death sentence for crimes against humanity and said he should hang within 30 days.

US military and embassy spokesmen dealing with the issue have stressed the need for secrecy over the arrangements.

Although legally in Iraqi custody, US troops keep guard over Saddam.

And although Iraqis will carry out the execution, it also seems likely that US forces will stay on hand throughout for fear that opponents of the former leader could turn it into a public spectacle.


One of Saddam's lawyers said the former Iraqi leader bade farewell to two of his brothers, who are also held at the US army's Camp Cropper near Baghdad airport.

"He was in very high spirits and clearly readying himself," said Badie Aref, after the 69-year-old Saddam met his half-brothers.

"He told them he was happy he would meet his death at the hands of his enemies and be a martyr, not just languish in jail."

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies.

Baath Party Statement

To the American Administration: A warning to anyone who
harms President Saddam Hussein and his comrades.

The Arab Baath Socialist Party

Our party has already warned the American Administration
against carrying out the order to execute President Saddam
Hussein and his comrades and has affirmed that that would
be the most serious of the red lines that the American
Administration must not cross. Today after the
confirmation by the so-called appeals court of the verdict
of execution of the President and his comrades, our party
warns once again of what the execution of this sentence
will mean for the situation in Iraq and for America
itself. The whole world knows that the final say is in the
hands of the American Administration and not in the hands
of the stooge government in Baghdad. The most recent proof
of that is the arrest by American forces of two Iranian
emissaries who came to Iraq at the invitation of Talibani
whom America calls the president of Iraq!

The American Administration must be clear about the

1. The one who holds primary responsibility for any harm
that might be done to the President [Saddam Hussein] is
the American Administration because it is the final
decision maker and not the puppet government in Baghdad.
Therefore the theatrics that have been called a trial are
nothing but America?s way of putting the onus of the crime
of executing [Saddam Hussein] on the stooge government.

2. The execution of the President [Saddam Hussein] and his
comrades will make further negotiations between the
Resistance and the Baath on the one hand and the
occupation on the other impossible; the US forces in Iraq
will be regarded as hostages to be slowly destroyed and
not allowed to withdraw peacefully.

3. The Baath and the Resistance are determined to respond
with all means and in every place that will hurt America
and its interests.

4. We reiterate our warning to Iran and in particular to
its real president Khamenei and urge him to consider and
study this situation and not cause any more Iraqi blood to
be shed because our response will be in the heart of Iran
and will extend to its head.

5. As to those lackeys who were charged with playing the
roles of judge and appeals court, the people of Iraq will
bring them to justice from wherever they might flee and no
place will be safe for them. Those who protect them will
be held directly responsible. They are traitors to their
homeland by all internationally recognized standards
because they have served the occupation and were tools in
its hands, carrying out their dirty work against the
people of Iraq and its legitimate national leadership.

6. Our Party affirms that the execution will not weaken
the armed revolution but will only inflame it further and
expand its scope, adding new recruits to it while placing
on the shoulders of the American Administration the
responsibility for the killing of even more of their

7. Carrying out the verdict of execution can only be
regarded as an American step to increase the unrest and
aggravate further the deterioration of services in Iraq
after near unanimity has been reached among its people
expressed in various telegrams of Iraqi tribal shaykhs,
popular and trades union organizations representing all
shades of the Iraqi people who have called for the return
of the President [Saddam Hussein] to power as the one
guarantee of an immediate return of security and stability
to Iraq. Therefore, carrying out the execution can only be
interpreted as America?s insistence that the chaotic
situation continue to worsen.

Masses of our great Iraqi people,

These are the days of the decisive confrontation. The
occupation whose plans have collapsed and failed wants now
to complete its sabotage activity before it is expelled by
planting the seeds of acts of blood revenge among Iraqis
that will go on for decades. The practice of killing
simply on the basis of the religious identification listed
on people's ID cards is a clear sign of what this American
plan consists of. It is a plan in which Iran is directly

The implementation of the execution is also a
part of that plan because America will be departing
defeated and humiliated from Iraq tomorrow, but it will
leave the stooges it has commissioned to commit crime in
Iraq. If they flee, they will be brought to justice
because America will toss them into the trash can after
they have finished up the criminal activity they have been
ordered to carry out. We call on the masses of our people
to be vigilant and ready to meet the demands of the
situation if the execution is carried out. We call on all
Iraqi patriots to confront this issue because it does not
concern the Baath Party alone, but all of Iraq, since the
President is the legal president of Iraq and his execution
would be the fruit of his sincerity for Iraq and his
refusal to abandon its interests and Iraqi Arab identity.

We call on the Arab masses in their political parties and
popular organizations and those governments that are
concerned with Arab destiny to take a unified stance
against this measure which will never serve the Arab
Nation but will only be of service to Iran, colonialist
America, and world Zionism that has never and will never
forget that Saddam Hussein was the first one to strike it
with strategic rockets, putting an end to its theory of
security. It would also be because he was the one Arab
president who continued to uphold the rights of Palestine
and the Palestinian people, refusing to bargain over them
in return for staying in power.

He took on a heavy burden by refusing to conclude any agreement with America and Israel at the expense of the cause of Palestine and Iraq's economic independence, which is the material basis for any
political independence.

Let us sharpen our forces and prepare ourselves for
decisive battles in the near future, with the help of God.
May the banner of rescuing the President and his comrades
fly high and strong in the skies of Iraq and the Arab

Long Live Saddam Hussein, a symbol of the struggle,
steadfastness, dignity, and courage of the Arab Nation!

Long live the heroic Iraqi Resistance, the great hope for
the liberation of Iraq from the occupation!

Long live the Unity of all the jihadi fighting
organizations in Iraq!

Shame on America and its lackeys!

Long live the unity of the Arab patriotic forces!

Iraqi Regional Cultural and Informational Office,

26 December 2006.
Translated by Muhammad Abu Nasr

US Foreign Policy Towards Africa During the Nixon/Ford Administrations

PANW Editor's Note: The death of former US President Gerald R. Ford has led to the propagation of many myths about the character of American policy during this period. Ford became notable as a member of the Warren Commission which engaged in a massive cover-up of the Kennedy assassination, declaring that this act was not a result of a conspiracy. He would later become vice-president and president after the demise of Spiro Agnew and later Richard Nixon, both of whom were forced from office as a result of massive scandals.

The following research report was originally written in 2002 and an edited version appeared as a lead article in the African Institute of South Africa's peer-reviewed journal, Africa Insight, Vol. 31, No 2, published in June of that year. It was published under the title: Henry Kissinger's War Crimes in Africa: The Consequences of Nixon/Ford Policy in the region."

Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes in Africa Should Not be

Nixon/Ford Policy on region led to prolonged war and mass

By Abayomi Azikiwe,
Pan-African News Wire

A recent attempt to question Henry A. Kissinger in a court of
law in the United Kingdom flowed from alleged war crimes
committed by the former National Security Adviser and later
Secretary of State who served the Richard M. Nixon
administration and the subsequent Gerald R. Ford
administration during the years of 1969-1977. The crimes
that were cited by the plantiff stemmed from the policy
decisions made by the Nixon and Ford administrations that
affected the peoples of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Peter Tatchell in a letter to the Guardian newspaper in
Britain on April 25, said that “I lost my bid to have the
former US secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, prosecuted on
charges of war crimes in Indochina, but there is good reason
to hope that a future, better prepared attempt might
succeed.” (1)

Tatchell points out in the letter that as the National
Security Advisor to President Nixon from the years of 1969-
73, and later during the second administration of Nixon,
where he served as US Secretary of State from 1973-74, and
after the resignation of Nixon in the midst of an impeachment
investigation, Kissinger continued to serve in this capacity
under Gerald R. Ford’s presidency between 1974-1977,
Kissinger personally directed military actions that would
knowingly result in the deaths of innocent civilians.
During this period Kissinger was the principal architect of
US military policy in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Tatchell writes that “according to the US Senate sub-
committee on refugees, from March 1969 to March 1972 , in
excess of three million civilians were killed, wounded or
made homeless.” Also during this period, the US launched
approximately 4.5 million tones of high explosives on
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, which was 200% more than all of
the bombs used during the entire period of World War II.

“What the US did in Indochina involved the mass killing of
civilians and the premeditated, wholesale destruction of the
environment using chemical defoliants such as Agent Orange,”
Tatchell noted. These actions taken by a government had been
declared as war crimes under the 1957 Geneva Conventions
Act. These mass killings were carried out in part utilizing
the B-52 bomber that flew flights so high that the planes
could not be seen from the ground, which gave no warning to
civilians that their villages and towns were under attack.

These planes were highly inaccurate in their targeting of
supposed military bases of the national liberation forces
fighting the US occupation in the region. Nonetheless,
between March 1969 and May 1970, there were 3,630 American
bombing raids over the nation of Cambodia.

These facts related to Kissinger’s war crimes in Indochina
are taken from a book by author Christopher Hitchens
entitled: “The Trial of Henry Kissinger,” (2) that was
published by Verso press in London during 2001. Hitchen’s findings, that were utilized by Tactchell in his legal challenge to
Kissinger, indicate that “during the first 30 months of the
Nixon-Kissinger administration, the US counter-insurgency
‘Phoenix Program’ was responsible for the murder
or abduction of 35,708 Vietnamese civilians.”

In addition, American bombing missions in the region were
estimated to have killed 350,000 non-combatants in Laos and
approximately 600,000 in Cambodia. Other crimes during the
US war in Indochina involved the systematic use of chemical
agents aimed at destroying the peoples’ will to resist the
military occupation. Tactchell says that “Kissinger’s role
in formulating and implementing US war policy coincided with
the systematic use of chemical defoliants and pesticides,
including Agent Orange.”

He continues by pointing out that “[T]hese caused birth
defects and rendered significant areas of Vietnam, Laos and
Cambodia too toxic for people to live in or farm—creating an
environmental disaster that will continue to affect many
generations to come.”

There are of course other crimes that Kissinger must be
questioned about including the US involvement in the 1973
coup against Chilean president Salvador Allende, which
resulted in the assassination of the head of state of this
South American nation and the subsequent massacre and
imprisonment of thousands of citizens of that country. (3)

Also the Indonesian invasion and seizure of East Timor which
resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
This intervention was given the “green light” by the Ford
administration in 1975, in which Kissinger served as
Secretary of State. East Timor, a former Portuguese colony
in the Indonesian archipalago, had its independence delayed
by more than a quarter of a century because of the actions
taken by the US and its ally, the government of Indonesia,
in this region. (4)

However, what must never be forgotten is the role of Henry
Kissinger during the Nixon and Ford administrations involving
the suppression and subversion of the national liberation
struggles in Africa, principally in the sub-continent. The
crimes committed in this region have had an equal, if not
greater, impact on the continued underdevelopment and
instability in existence on the African continent than what
has transpired in other geo-political areas.

Kissinger stated in a speech during a recent trip to the UK
that: “No one can say that he served in an administration
that did not make mistakes. The decisions made in high
office are usually 51-49 decisions, so it is quite possible
that mistakes were made. The issue is whether 30 years after
the event courts are the appropriate means by which this
determination is made.” (5)

Yet if the courts are not the best place to address such
issues then what is the most appropriate venue? This
question and others must be grappled with in order to seek
solutions to the contemporary challenges facing these geo-
political regions that have largely resulted from the policy
decisions carried by previous US administrations.

The US Role in the Portuguese-African Wars During the
Nixon/Kissinger Years

When Nixon first came to power in early 1969, Kissinger in
his capacity as National Security Adviser to the new
administration, immediately commissioned a study of the
current attempts aimed at national liberation in Africa.
The National Security Council Interdepartmental Group for
Africa, in which Kissinger served as Secretary, issued a
secret report on April 10, 1969 in which the contours of US
policy towards Africa would be guided over the next five

This secret report was named National Security Study
Memorandum, No. 39 (6) and it was designed to rationalize an
escalation of support for Portuguese colonial rule in Africa
as well as to fortify the political and economic positions of
the white settler-colonial regimes then operating in
Rhodesia, South-west Africa and the Republic of South
Africa. With the US was carrying out a war against the
national liberation struggles in Indochina, a similar war
being waged by nationalist forces in the Portuguese colonial
territories on the African continent would make the two
nations natural allies. In addition, Portugal was also a
member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
which was established with American dominance after the
conclusion of World War II and the beginning of the so-
called “Cold War.”

This report, which was circulated by Kissinger to the
Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and the Director of
Central Intelligence (CIA), incorrectly concluded as it
related to the national liberation movements on the continent
that: “[T]he blacks cannot gain political rights through
violence. Constructive change can come only by acquiescence
of the whites.” As a result of this line of thinking
fostered by Kissinger, the NSSM memorandum came up with five
potential policy options for the United States government to
follow in regard to its policy in southern Africa and other
contested regions.

According to a summary of the report by Mohamad El-Khawas
and Barry Cohen, the options can be summed up as follows:

“To improve the US standing in black Africa and
internationally on the racial issue;

To minimize the likelihood of escalation of violence in the
area and risk of US involvement;

To minimize the opportunities for the USSR and Communist
China to exploit the racial issue in the region for
propaganda advantage and to gain political influence with
black governments and liberation movements;

To encourage moderation of the current rigid racial and
colonial policies of the white regimes;

To protect economic, scientific and strategic interests and
opportunities in the region, including the orderly marketing
of South Africa’s gold production.”

These options drafted in 1969 and implemented thereafter does
not give any consideration to the national liberation
movements representing the will of the African peoples in
their struggle for self-determination and independence. Such
a set of policy options led to the escalation of financial
and military support to the Portuguese colonial regime by the
United States and NATO. The policy implications contained in
NSSM, 39 emanated from the so-called “Nixon Doctrine” which
sought to reinforce a western anti-communist alliance with
each respective ally sharing responsibility within its
sphere of influence.

Such an approach to the existence of colonialism during the
late 1960s was clearly designed to perpetuate the continuance
of imperialism in Africa. Such a policy was welcome news to
the then Prime Minister of Portugal Marcello Caetano, who
recognized the Nixon call for the assumption of regional
control by various colonial and imperialists nations as a
means to secure firm NATO support for the war in the so-
called “overseas territories.” In 1970, Caetano stated in
his book entitled: “Guidelines of Foreign Policy,”
that: “The West is a bloc, but this solidarity cannot be
limited to a few matters located on the territory of Europe….
At all times and everywhere in the world its values or vital
interests are threatened, we have the duty of defending
them.” (7)

In line with this Nixon/Kissinger foreign policy
orientation , the use of the Azores island base for US
military activity became a focal point of discussion and
cooperation between America and Portugal. In March of 1971
Caetano seemed to be saying that the US use of the Azores
base would not continue without the drafting of a formal
agreement. If this could not be done, the Portuguese leader
proposed that the base could only be used as a outpost for
exclusively NATO operations. However, by December of 1971 an
agreement had been reached which proved to be a lucrative
deal for the Portuguese government of Caetano.

According to John Marcum’s “Portugal and Africa: The Politics
of Indifference” published in 1972, (8) the US government,
in exchange for the usage of the Azores base, had authorized the
Export-Import Bank to grant loans to Portugal for the amount
of $436 million, a sum of money that was 400% greater than
the total funds loaned to Portugal between the years of 1946
through 1971. Such an influx of capital into Portugal
enabled the colonial state to prolong the war through the
purchasing of sophisticated NATO weaponry, which was
largely used against the civilian populations in Guinea-
Bissau, Mozambique and Angola.

Nonetheless, the guerrilla movements in the Portuguese
colonies continued to escalate their struggle during the
course of the Nixon/Kissinger administration which proved
disastrous for the policy initiatives put forward in the NSSM
39 secret document. By 1974, a total of 7,674 Portuguese
soldiers had been killed in action in Africa. The expense
associated with the war was costing the Portuguese government
over 50% of its annual budget, a country which was considered
the poorest in Europe. A total estimated cost for the
colonial war against the forces of national liberation in
Guinea, Mozambique and Angola was $5 billion. (9)
Accurate figures for the casualties on the Africa side during the
Portuguese colonial war are not readily available but they
no doubt run into the tens of thousands--with the bombing of
civilian areas in all three contested colonies involving
NATO ordinances that destroyed towns and villages. Any
assessment of the war must also take into consideration the
massive dislocation of civilian population groups who fled as
refugees from the bombings by Portugal and their Rhodesian
and apartheid South African allies. These refugees settled
in neighboring countries such as Zambia, Tanzania and Guinea-

Consequently, the immediate impact of the strategic vision
emanating from NSSM 39 was an intensification and
broadening of the colonial wars in Africa as represented by
the massive casualties endured by the peoples of Angola,
Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. A racist believe that Africans
could not successfully wage a revolutionary war against
European colonialists on the continent led to the genocidal
policy of the Portuguese regime under Caetano. However, the
immense costs in both financial and human resources in
Portugal led to the April 25, 1974 military coup which
effectively ended the war against the liberation movements in
Africa. Dissident military offers cited the hopeless efforts
by Portugal to defeat the African liberation movements as the
main incentive for the seizure of power from Caetano.
Despite these setbacks for the US government, the
administration continued to pursue a failed foreign policy
towards the African continent.

Kissinger Engineers a Civil War in Angola

In the main theaters of the guerrilla war in the former
Portuguese colonies the liberation movements had struggled
for over a decade for a unified front against the imperialist
states. These objectives were largely achieved in the
colonies of Guinea-Bissau/Cape Verde and Mozambique. In
Guinea, the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and
Cape Verde (PAIGC) was headed by Amilcar Cabral, an
agricultural engineer who made tremendous contributions to
the theoretical basis for the armed revolutionary phase of
the liberation movements on the continent. In Mozambique,
the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), became
the undisputed leader in the national movement in this
southern African nation. Samora Machel eventually took
control of FRELIMO after the assassination of Eduardo
Monlande, the first leader of the movement who was educated
in the United States.

Nonetheless, in Angola, the US and its allies, including
Portugal, attempted to create two alternatives to the Popular
Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). Holden
Roberto, who headed the Front for the National Liberation of
Angola (FNLA) had close ties with the west through its bases
in Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo).
The Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) was
based in the country of Angola and even collaborated with the
colonialist during the concluding years of the war. Jonas
Savimbi, the UNITA leader who was finally killed in 2002,
became the darling of the United States government and the
apartheid regime in South Africa.

US governmental support for Holden Roberto extends back to at
least 1961, (10) according to declassified State Department
documents from the Kennedy administration. In regard to
UNITA, a series of letters between Jonas Savimbi and the
Portuguese military leadership dating as far back as 1972
were revealed in the Afrique-Asie publication of July 8,
1974. (11) In one of these letters from Savimbi to General
Luz Cunha dated September 26, 1972, he states that: “We are no
longer interested in the OAU (Organization of African Unity),
nor in Zambia, and even less in alliances with the MPLA. If
these aspects of UNITA’s policies are not yet sufficiently
clear for the authorities in Angola and Portugal, it is still
an irrefutable fact: we have actively participated in the
weakening of the MPLA in regions of the east.”

The letter continues by saying that: “We use our arms so that
one day we will force the MPLA to abandon the east.” Savimbi
then lays out a series of proposals which he thinks will
bring peace to the eastern region of Angola. His first
recommendation to the Portuguese General Luz Cunha was to
bring about the “weakening of MPLA forces within Angola to
lead to their liquidation. This task can be accomplished by
the combined efforts of the military forces and the forces of
UNITA,” Savimbi claimed in the letter.

He also makes a second suggestion involving “the liquidation
of MPLA camps in the border areas of Zambia.” He says
that “this can be more easily accomplished by UNITA because
we have no political status which would lead to censure by an
international organization. Our plans are beyond the
preliminary stage,” Savimbi stated.

The UNITA leader finally suggests that an effort take place
to “discredit the MPLA.” He continues by saying that “in this regard, we are also aiming at the OAU, at least as concerns liberation
movements. Once the MPLA is weakened or liquidated in the
east, great horizons are open to us.”

Obviously this letter implies a strategic alliance between
Savimbi, the ostensible liberation movement leader, and the
Portuguese colonial authorities designed to isolate and
liquidate the MPLA, which had been considered a threat by the
western nations, including the United States are far back as
the early 1960s. Consequently, after the overthrow of
Caetano in April of 1974, the Nixon-Kissinger administration
was keen to prevent the consolidation of power by the MPLA
inside of Angola.

This desire to prevent the MPLA from coming to power in
Angola in 1975 eventually led to commencement of the civil
war in that country which lasted all but a few years during
the course of its 27 years of independence. In 1975 the US
government had suffered a humiliating defeat in Indochina
with the consolidation of power by the national liberation
movements and the communist parties of Vietnam, Cambodia and
Laos. With the independence of Guinea-Bissau in 1974 and
Mozambique in June of 1975, the existence of FNLA and UNITA
in Angola provided an opportunity for the US to destabilize
the Angolan revolution and consequently stifle the total
liberation of southern Africa.

What served as a public relations disaster for the Nixon-
Kissinger administration was the exposure of its open
alliance with the apartheid regime in South Africa and South-
west Africa (renamed Namibia) during 1975-76 in their efforts
to prevent the consolidation of power by the MPLA in

Although links between the South African intelligence
services known then as the Bureau of State Security (BOSS)
and the American Central Intelligence Agency extends back
until at least the late 1960s, this relationship had been
kept from public view, clouded by the diplomatic position
that the US did support the concept of majority rule.

However, despite this diplomatic posture, the machinations of
the State Department, the National Security Council and the
Central Intelligence Agency were designed to frustrate and
subvert the activities of the independence movements. (12)

In regard to a book released in early 2002 entitled:
“Conflicting Missions: Havana, Washington, and Africa, 1959-
1976, published Piero Gleijeses, (13) Peter Kornbluh of the
National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project,
says that this historical study provides further proof of the US
collaboration with the racist apartheid regime in South
Africa to prevent an independence movement from coming to
power in Angola and subsequently engineering a civil war
which had grave implications for the social and political
stability of the country and the entire region of southern

Kornbluh, based on the release of the documents published by
Gleijeses, claims that:
-“Castro decided to send troops to Angola on November 4,
1975, in response to the South African invasion of that
country, rather than vice versa as the Ford administration
persistently claimed;
-The United States knew about South Africa’s covert invasion
plans, and collaborated militarily with its troops, contrary
to what Secretary of State Henry Kissinger testified before
Congress and wrote in his memoirs;
-Cuba made the decision to send troops without informing the
Soviet Union and deployed them, contrary to what was widely
alleged, without any Soviet assistance for the first two
months.” (14)

According to the minutes of a National Security Council
meeting held on June 27, 1975, where Secretary of State
Kissinger, Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, Acting
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff David C. Jones and
Director of Central Intelligence William Colby discussed the
developing situation in Angola on the eve of the country’s
independence, apparent plans were made to ship arms to the
UNITA organization for an offensive to prevent the MPLA from
taking control of the country. (15)

President Ford was reported to have asked during the
meeting: “[I]s there a specific proposal from the group on
grants in the arms area? I don’t want to make a decision
now, but I didn’t see any proposals in the briefing papers.”

Kissinger responds by saying: “[T]he Forty Committee has met
twice to discuss the situation. The first meeting involved
only money, but the second included some arms package. I
recommend a working group make a more systematic study of
this option and return to you.” The next section of this
document is redacted (blackened and labeled “Top
Secret/Sensitive”). Ford opines that “[O]nce the Popular
Movement (MPLA) takes over you can write it off.” (16)

Therefore, the major foreign policy initiative was to prevent
the legitimate liberation movement organization from taking
power even at the cost of bringing about a bloody civil
war. US assistance to the anti-independence forces of UNITA, FNLA and the South African Defense Forces (SADF) not only involved the shipment of arms but also saw the direct intervention of
CIA personnel and mercenaries from the United States and
other western nations. With the intervention of tens of
thousands of Cuban troops into Angola in 1975-76 to support
MPLA leader Agostino Neto after the direct intervention of
the South African Defense Forces and the escalation of
American arms shipments to the FNLA and UNITA, as well as the
SADF, the CIA backed forces in the country suffered
stinging defeats in the war against the MPLA. By April of
1976, the MPLA had consolidated power in key areas throughout
the country including the rich oil fields.

However, without the intervention of the United States
administration of Ford and Kissinger, the country may have
been able to resolve its internal contradictions without such
a protracted and deadly conflict which did not end in 1976.
The US Congress passed legislation during 1976 which halted
covert assistance to the anti-MPLA forces in Angola. The
continued financing of the UNITA organization covertly during
the early years of the Reagan administration until 1986, when
open funding and support resumed, led to the deaths of over
one million Angolans and the destruction of its national
development program for a period of over two-and-one-half
decades. Reagan’s policy of constructive engagement with the
apartheid regime of the 1980s, was merely an extension of the
policy orientation that was articulated by Kissinger in the
NSSM 39 Memorandum of 1969.

Kissinger’s Role in Delaying the Independence of Zimbabwe

In Rhodesia, (now known as Zimbabwe) a protracted guerrilla
struggle intensified in the aftermath of the collapse of an
attempted détente between the national liberation movements
and the European settler-regime in 1975. Plans were made by
the leadership of the Zimbabwe African National Union and the
Zimbabwe African Peoples Union to resume the war aimed at
total national liberation. This took place in the aftermath
of the consolidation of power by the MPLA regime in Angola
which resulted from the resounding military and diplomatic
defeats of the Ford/Kissinger administration in Washington
and the Vorster regime in South Africa. More significantly
from a military standpoint, the recently independent nation
of Mozambique agreed to open up two provinces for the use by
ZANU and ZAPU to utilize in their war against the Smith
regime. (17)

Despite its policy failures and subsequent military defeats
in Indochina and Angola, Kissinger embarked upon a new
African initiative to prevent the military collapse of the
settler-colonial regime of Ian Smith in Rhodesia. As far
back as the early 1970s, Kissinger had advocated a relaxation
of economic sanctions against Rhodesia in line with the
policy orientation of the NSSM 39 secret memorandum of April
1969. In 1971, the Nixon administration endorsed the Byrd
amendment which was designed to lift the ban on the
importation of Rhodesian chrome. There was also a tremendous
tourist trade to Rhodesia by white Americans during this
period which generated $16 million annually in much needed
foreign exchange for the European settler-state. (18)

The Nixon administration’s encouragement of tourism as well
as the avoidance of key elements of the United Nations
sanctions passed against Rhodesia, provided a substantial
degree of material and political support to the Ian Smith
regime. After the resignation of Nixon in July of 1974, the
Ford administration, where Kissinger remained as Secretary of
State, paid lip service to the repeal of the Byrd amendment
but no action was ever taken on the matter. Therefore, when
Kissinger announced that he would set out on a diplomatic
mission to Africa in April of 1976 with a special emphasis on
seeking a political solution to the Zimbabwean question,
there was much skepticism on the continent in relationship to
his actual intentions. Several governments underwent intense
debate over whether the head of state should have met with
the American Secretary of State during his visit. This cool
response to Kissinger was clearly related to the US role in
Angola and the blatant defiance of the wishes of the
Organization of African Unity and the United Nations in
regard to their recognition of the MPLA government during the
period that the American government was actively coordinating
military efforts to overthrow the regime of Agostino Neto.

In a State Department confidential “Action Memorandum”
written by William E. Schaufele, Jr. to Henry Kissinger on
April 1, 1976, entitled: “Rhodesia—A Proposed Course of
Action,” Schaufele says that “[A]ny moves we make with
respect to Rhodesia must be in concert with an over-all
Southern African strategy which will consider our
relationships with the Soviet Union, Cuba, our European
allies, black African countries, China and South Africa.”
From this statement it appears that the traditional cold war
imperatives were still guiding the American involvement in
the region. The effort to protect US interests and to prevent
the influence of the socialist countries was the motivating
force behind the direction of foreign policy in the region.

Later in the memorandum, Schaufele says that: “ [H]owever, in
terms of immediacy, we should focus on Rhodesia—on what we
can do in the near future to preempt the Soviets and Cubans,
improve our position in Africa, and possibly help avert
widespread, intensified conflict in Rhodesia itself.” He
continues by declaring that “[T]he Soviet/Cuban intervention
in Angola has drastically affected the determinants of our
policies toward Rhodesia. Our essentially passive stance no
longer is the most appropriate approach. Preclusion of
further expansion of Soviet/Cuban presence and influence in
Southern Africa will require us to become more directly
involved there than we might prefer.” (21)

During Kissinger’s trip to Africa in April of 1976, he met
with several of the key players in the region including South
African Prime Minister John Vorster, Rhodesian Prime Minister
Ian Smith, Zambian President Kenneth Kuanda, Tanzanian
President Julius Nyerere and Botswana President Seretse
Khama. His tone was geared toward remaking the image of the
United States in Africa after the collapse of the American
foreign policy framework in the Portuguese colonies, with
specific reference to Angola. In a speech delivered by
Kissinger on April 27, 1976 in Lusaka, Zambia, he said that “
the United States is wholly committed to help bring about a
rapid, just and African solution to the issue of Rhodesia.”

Yet this trip did nothing to stop the aggressive military
campaign against the peoples of the Zimbabwe and the
region. This ruthless policy was best illustrated on September 5,
1976 when the Rhodesian Air Force bombed the Zimbabwean
refugee camp in Mozambique at Nyadzonia. Claiming that this
camp was a guerrilla training base, the overwhelming
consensus by the United Nations as well as the Mozambican
government was that it was indeed a camp for refugees who had
fled the war inside of Rhodesia. During this attack, over
1,000 Zimbabweans were killed and later buried in mass
graves. Most of the casualties were young children and women
who were engaged in medical, agricultural and educational
projects at the camp. (23)

American and Rhodesian intelligence agencies had long
collaborated and exchanged information in regard to their
mutual interests aimed at preventing communist influence in
the region and prolonging white minority rule. These links
were revealed during the negotiation process with Smith
during the second State Department trip to Africa when
Kissinger sold the white settler leader his plan for the
ostensible resolution of the Rhodesian question. (24) With
the close links between the American Central Intelligence Agency
and the Central Intelligence Organisation of Rhodesia, it is
not beyond reason to conclude that the Americans may very
well have had access to the Rhodesian plans aimed at bombing
the Nyadzonia camp in Mozambique. At any rate their refusal
to apply economic and political pressure on the Rhodesian
regime tacitly encouraged Smith to pursue an aggressive
military policy against the front-line African states,
particularly Mozambique during 1975-76.

Several weeks later in September, Kissinger returned to
Africa to advance a more comprehensive plan for the
transition to “majority rule” in Zimbabwe. The plan, which
was forced on Ian Smith during a meeting with Kissinger,
merely provided a means for the settlers to delay the handing
over of power to the African majority in Zimbabwe. Real
internationally supervised elections did not occur until
early 1980 after the negotiation of a settlement between the
liberation movement leaders and the British at the Lancaster
House talks during late 1979. Kissinger left office with
Gerald Ford in January of 1977, after Ford was defeated by
Jimmy Carter during the November 1976 elections. With the
presidency of Jimmy Carter a new era of American-Rhodesian
relations unfolded. (25)

Kissinger Indictment Cannot Ignore These Crimes

Kissinger role in subverting the national liberation
movements in Africa represented the continuation of a long-
held US policy of seeing the foreign policy interests of the
United States as primarily concerned with preserving and
enhancing American economic interests, i.e., through cheap
access to strategic raw materials and waterways, and the
desire to subvert the influence of socialist countries and
left-leaning political parties on the continent. These
policies led to the continuation of the Portuguese war
against the peoples of Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and

It not only supported the Portuguese military effort through
increased financial assistance to the state, but it shared
and utilized intelligence information with the white-minority
settler regimes which contributed to the drafting of the NSSM
39 policy document laying the foundation for US relations
with Africa during the Nixon-Kissinger years.

Its role in fomenting the Angolan civil war after the
consolidation of power by the liberation organizations in
Indochina, led to the intervention of South African Defense
Forces, which prompted the intervention of Cuban
internationalist forces in support of the MPLA government of
Agostino Neto. During the course of the civil war in 1975-76
and the resumption of the war during the late 1970s
continuing through the recent cease fire agreement signed in
early 2002, it has been estimated that over a million Angolan
have died. The war has created one of the largest
concentrations of landmines in the world resulting in the
highest amputee rate of any other country. Angola, a mineral
rich country with substantial deposits of oil, diamonds and
other strategic minerals and resources, has been stifled in
its development efforts because of the many years of direct
American interference in its internal affairs resulting in
war and political destabilization.

In regard to Zimbabwe, the resolution of the land question
awaited action by President Robert Mugabe, who supported
efforts by war veterans beginning in 2000, aimed at seizing
by force, and later by law, the land confiscated from the
indigenous people during the onslaught of British colonialism
during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The actions
of Mugabe would not have been necessary if the initial plans
to subsidize land reform that was advanced by Kissinger as
early as 1976 had been honored by the United States and

If Kissinger can be indicted in connection with war crimes he
engineered in Indochina, East Timor, Bangladesh and Chile, he
most certainly can be held accountable for his role in
developing and implementing US foreign policy in Africa
during the Nixon and Ford administrations and the subsequent
impact of these policies on the peoples of Africa.


(1) Tatchell, Peter, “Why Milosevic, but not Kissinger”,
The Guardian, 25 April, 2002, London.
(2) Hitchens, Christopher, “The Trial of Henry
Kissinger”, Verso Press, London, 2001.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Ibid.
(5) Wilson, Jamie & Tremlett, Giles, “Kissinger admits
possible errors on Vietnam,” The Guardian, 24 April, 2002.
(6) El-Khawas, Mohamed, A. & Cohen, Barry (eds.), “The
Kissinger Study of Southern Africa (Secret NSSM 39),
Westport: Lawrence Hill, 1976.
(7) El-Khawas, Mohamed, A. & Kornegay Jr., Francis, A.
(eds.), “American-Southern African Relations: Bibliographic
Essays, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1975, pp. 14-15.
(8) Marcum, John, “Portugal and Africa: The Politics of
Indifference,” 1972.
(9) Martin, David & Johnson, Phylis, “The Struggle for
Zimbabwe: The Chimurenga War”, Monthly Review Press,
N.Y., 1981, pp. 115-116.
(10) Howland, Nina, D. & LaFantasie, Glenn, W. (eds.), “
Letter From the Director of the Bureau of Intelligence and
Research (Hilsman) to the President’s Special Assistant for
National Security Affairs (Bundy)”, Foreign Relations of the
United States, 1961-1963, Department of State, Washington,
D.C., 1995, p. 543.
(11) Ellen, Ray & Schaap, William & Meter, Karl Van &
Wolf. Louis (eds.), “Dirty Work 2: The CIA In Africa,” pp.
220-230, Lyle Stuart Inc. Secaucus, N.J., 1979.
(12) Ibid., chapter entitled: “The CIA and BOSS: Thick as
Thieves” by Stephen Talbot, pp. 266-275.
(13) Gleijeses, Piero, “Conflicting Missions: Havanna,
Washington, and Africa, 1959-1976, Univ. of North Carolina
Press, 2002.
(14) Kornbluh, Peter, “Press Advisory, The National
Security Archive”, 1 April, 2002, pp. 1-2, Washington, D.C.
(15) National Security Council Minutes, 27 June,
1975, “Angola” (Document obtained from Gerald Ford Library,
NSC meeting file, Box 2).
(16) Ibid., pp. 5-6.
(17) Ibid., Martin & Johnson, “ pp. 215-234.
(18) Ibid., 231-232.
(19) Ibid., 232-234.
(20) Makoena, Kenneth (ed.), “South Africa and the United
States: The Declassified History, A NSC Archive Documents
Reader”, W.W. Norton & Co., 2002. Action Memo written by
William E. Schaufele, Jr., 1 April, 1976.
(21) Ibid.
(22) Ibid., Martin & Johnson, pp. 223-24.
(23) Ibid., 240-41.
(24) Ibid., p. 251.
(25) Ibid., 255-63.