Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Ethiopia entering a dangerous phase

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

PAULOS TESFAGIORGIS is interviewed by PIERRE BEAUDET

During the liberation war from the mid-seventies to the early 1990s, Paulos Tesfagiorgis was head of the Eritrean Relief Agency (ERA), the central organism that organized the provision of goods in the liberated areas of Eritrea and supported the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) shadow state they had set up throughout the country until their victory in 1991. As a senior member of the EPLF, Tesfagiorgis was involved, along with Isaias Afwerki, in the core leadership until the end of the 1990s, when serious cracks occurred within the government and the party, which led to the imprisonment and exile of many leaders, including Ministers and journalists and Tesfagiorgis.

Later, the anti-democratic drift continued through ups and downs that have made Eritrea one of the poorest, most repressed and deprived African countries. In parallel, the Afwerki regime has been involved in many wars, resuming military confrontation (1999-2002) with Ethiopia and various regional interventions in the Sudan and Somalia. In the meantime, Tesfagiorgis, like many of his fellow compatriots and former leaders of the Eritrean revolution, have tried to bring the vast Eritrean diaspora together around a programme of peaceful change. The current war in Ethiopia in which Eritrea is also involved could lead to another case of devastation affecting the whole region.

Pierre Beaudet (PB): This new war has erupted within Ethiopia (105 million people) and the rebellious northern province of Tigray (6 million people). It seems strange, considering that, from 1991 (when the revolution toppled the Mengistu regime), the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was central to the new government. Indeed, the head of the TPLF, Meles Zenawi, became the head of state of Ethiopia until his death in 2012. What has happened?

Paulos Tesfagiorgis (PT): The new Ethiopia that came about in 1991 was the result of a military victory against the Derg (the military government of Ethiopia) led by the TPLF and the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF). At that time, as comrades in arms, the two fronts took control of both Ethiopia and Eritrea. As far as Ethiopia is concerned, the TPLF dominated the alliance of four parties formally in charge (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front) of government with a strong core of experienced military and political Tigrinya leaders. They ruled with an iron fist, but they were successful in transforming the country by investing heavily in infrastructure, industry, and education, and creating a huge wealth.

PB: What was the project?

PT: An African version of the “development state” was imagined by Meles. With these initiatives, a relatively efficient state apparatus, and later, with Chinese investments, Ethiopia went in a double-digit growth rate several years. Even in the countryside, a new prosperous peasant class started to thrive. And contrary to other African states dependent on natural resources, the Ethiopian boom was land and labour-intensive, creating lots of jobs, and with a larger diversified base in both rural and urban areas. It was, one has to say, an African ‘success story’.

Socialist Project for more

‘Repulsive’ and ‘primitive’

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

by RAFIA ZAKARIA

Diplomatic weight: At the time Nixon made his ‘repulsive’ statements, he was in discussions with India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi over the possibility of imminent war with Pakistan.

History is revealed quite slowly in the US.

This is particularly true of its presidential history. Long, painstakingly compiled records of telephone calls, conversations, memos and everything else imaginable from each and every president are kept.

As the years pass, and if court requests are filed, these materials, which are usually kept in presidential libraries, are unclassified and released to whoever requests them. More often than not, the information is only the sort that would interest historians: details of a conversation, menus of state dinners for visiting leaders and so on.

Last week, statements of a more controversial sort came to light. Historian Gary J. Bass, author of The Blood Telegram, which deals with the creation of Bangladesh and the mass atrocities that accompanied the event, revealed some surprising information.

In 2012, Bass had requested details of conversations and other materials from Richard Nixon’s presidency. It took until May 2018, and all the way until this past May, for the material (with many parts redacted) to fall into Bass’s hands.

The surprise is not so much a matter of diplomatic controversy as it is an illustration of endemic racism. In one conversation that took place in the Oval Office in June 1971, president Nixon says, “Undoubtedly the most unattractive women in the world are Indian women.”

He adds, “The most sexless nothing, these people. I mean, people say, what about the Black Africans? Well you can see something, the vitality there, I mean they have a little animal like charm, but God, those Indians, ack, pathetic. Uch.”

Nor is that all of it. In a tape from Nov 4,1971, during a break from a tense meeting with Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, president Nixon rants at his national security adviser Henry Kissinger once again about the unattractiveness of Indian women. In fact, Nixon confessed, “They turn me off, they are repulsive and it’s easy to be tough on them.”

On Nov 12, he again rants at Kissinger, “I don’t know how they reproduce!”

Nixon’s statements held diplomatic weight. At the time, he was in discussions with prime minister Gandhi over the possibility of imminent war with Pakistan. Earlier in June, blaming the Indians for the flow of refugees caused by the conflict, he described them as a scavenging people.

Pakistanis, programmed as we are to celebrate any criticisms of Indians, particularly those that resonate with already familiar racist critiques, should hold themselves back. This is a good time to remind themselves that, for racist white people like Nixon, no actual difference exists between the origins of Indians and Pakistanis. They may apply different sorts of racist stereotypes to each, but the fact of their racism remains. No fanciful theories identifying Pakistanis or Indians as Aryans can change their minds.

The real problem is the mindset that certain races or skin colours have certain characteristics. We all know where that argument ends up: white people are forever judged superior and attractive and intelligent, while all others are inferior versions of white-skinned greatness. Nixon’s words reveal this, but so do those of his interlocutor, the much-celebrated statesman Henry Kissinger.

The Star for more

Don’t fall for pimping Pompeo’s promises

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

by RAOUF HALABY

PHOTO/Nathaniel St. Clair

For centuries now the Iranians have been great chess players!!! More on that later.

The extra-judicial assassination of Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, is but another act of terror in an uptick in U.S. and Israeli military operations against the Iranian regime and its citizens. As the countdown to the January 20, 2021 deadline draws near, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and UAE’s window of opportunity to draw the U.S. into a war with Iran narrows.  For the above-mentioned, there will never be another fifty-day opportunity to have a xenophobic megalomaniac unleash a “war like you’ve never seen before” on Iran. The sole purpose of this murderous assassination is to draw Iran into a military conflict with the U.S.

Donald Trump’s four-year attempts to break Iran’s will have failed miserably; his vengefully maniacal regime of sanctions and verbal threats to impose a new, renegotiated nuclear deal (orchestrated by Netanyahu and the Foolish Gulf Arabs) is as dead as a nail. Having lost his second bid for the presidency, Trump has consigned himself to the sphere of denial, anger, and bitter rancor.

To the ancient Athenians Lytta was the spirit that personified mad rage and frenzy.  She was closely related to Maniae, the spirit of madness and insanity. The Roman equivalent was Ira, better known as Furor or the Rabies.

Having been soundly beaten by Sleepy Joe, the great deal maker is desperately looking for an outlet to vent his rage and fury. This is perhaps the very first rejection Trump’s experienced in his adult life. Pining to drop “the mother of all Bombs,” including all her children and assorted lethal kindred on Iran’s nuclear facilities, has been on Trump’s mind since 2015. Gambler Sheldon Adelson will quadruple the money.

Some two weeks ago the Donald consulted with a cadre of his subservient walking-on-egg-shells White House advisors on whether and how to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. Fortunately sane minds discouraged the short-tempered, belligerent, and mercurial pugilist/boss from doing so.

The extra-judicial U.S. assassination (very likely at Israeli, UAE, and Saudi bidding and complicity) of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad on January 3, 2020 was but a prelude to the following 2020 acts of U.S./Israeli sabotage, violence, disruption, mayhem – all in an attempt to bring down the Iranian regime: an explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, a fire and sabotage of an aluminum processing plant, explosions that damaged and crippled seven commercial ships, and punishing electronic sabotage of Iranian electric grids and digital platforms.

The above-mentioned does not include the almost weekly Israeli attacks on Iranian interests in Syria and Iraq in which scores of Iranian citizens have been killed.

Neither do the afore cited include the crippling U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, especially, and including vengeful, crippling sanctions on much needed medicine and medical equipment. This abhorrent policy, at a time when Covid-19 is exploding exponentially in Iran, has been in Donald Trump’s xenophobic crosshairs as far back as 2015. In his scorch earth policies of  nullifying myriad Obama policies, including the Iran nuclear deal (painstakingly hammered out by Obama, China, Russia, and a handful of EU countries), Iran was at the top of  Donald Trump’s  sniff, search and destroy list.

Besides, What Bibi wants, Bibi gets. Invited by pandering Republications to debase the hallowed Congressional House, Netanyahu’s 2015 speech against the Iran nuclear deal was a full-fledged hectoring and lecturing of Obama;   pandering Republican (and a handful of Democrat) legislators gave impresario Bibi over 60 standing ovations. Adding insult to injury, During Obama’s 8 years in office,  Netanyahu rubbed Obama, Biden, Hillary, and John Kerry’s noses in Zionist dog dodoo. And like the abused spouse, Obama tucked his tail, served as Netanyahu’s water boy, and ended up pledging a guaranteed no strings attached annual $3.8  billion gift to Bibi, a pledge that has only recently been codified into U.S. law by  an overwhelming number of pandering Democrat and Republican legislators.

Any wonder, then, about Bibi’s ambitions to rule the Near East?

Counterpunch for more

She stole my heart

Monday, January 11th, 2021

by ASLAM MERCHANT

Father and Daughter by Miriam Schapiro IMAGE/WikiArt

She came into the world, scrawny, messy

and wailing

Didn’t know how to react, as Dad was I failing?

Driven by norm I rejoiced as expected

Expectations learnt over years I hadn’t perfected 

A father daughter bond is more special than anything

Books, movies, people, all said that same thing

Held her in my arms, for that electric jolt

But to my dismay, there was no such bolt

Lost in baby chores, diapers and tears

Days became months, months became years

Then one Monday i was to drop her at day care on my way to work

Absent minded that i am,  forgot, drove on auto pilot to work

Reached office, while parking, then remembered

My baby of 15 months was home alone

Panic, fear, pity, anger, remorse 

All flooded my mind simultaneously, with full force 

Spun my car like crazy, tires screeching

My Accord flew forward, speed limits breaching

No road sign, no traffic mattered

Just my munchkin in mind, i drove on undeterred 

Completing a 45 minute trip in twenty

Got back home to the front door, turned the key

She lay on my red recliner sobbing, no more tears left, such was the case

Tears dried up on the sweet angel face

I grabbed her and squeezed her tight to my heart

I was so moved, relieved and heart broken, i didn’t want to part

I smothered her with kisses till she broke into smile

Babbling nondescript sounds which sounded like happiness for a while

From that day till today

She has stolen my heart away

Everything they said about a dad daughter relation came more than true to a win

Sometimes things just take a little longer to kick in

Since then even the semblance of a tear forming  in the corner of her eye

Makes any protest a losing proposition

Drives me to do what it takes 

to make a smile return on the innocent face

Like having a cute boss at home 

that i can play with, cherish, scold, but never win against

Two-faced US trade policy erodes Atlantic alliance

Monday, January 11th, 2021

by SPENGLER

The US is peeved about EU’s new investment pact with China. PHOTO/ Facebook

EU’s new investment pact with China calls Trump’s bluff on a tech war that gives cover to US side deals with Chinese companies

European distrust of American motives was behind EU leaders’ signing last week of a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment with China over the urgent objections of the Donald Trump administration and Joe Biden’s transition team.

Washington’s restrictions on trade and investment with China, Europeans believe, provide pretexts for dodgy deals that favor US companies at the expense of competitors on the other side of the Atlantic.

The Trump administration of course has long been in a trade war with Beijing, and there have been numerous news reports that Biden’s advisers had let European officials know they hoped for a delay that would give the new administration time to chime in before finalization of the pact.

Matt Pottinger, deputy national security adviser to Trump, issued a statement saying, “Leaders in both US political parties and across the US government are perplexed and stunned that the EU is moving towards a new investment treaty right on the eve of a new US administration.”

Europe has ignored the pressure because Washington isn’t fighting a war but rather is talking war while American companies work out their side deals with China.

Another source of conflict is Washington’s dodgy response to Chinese leadership in telecom equipment. The Trump administration backed a putative software-based solution, rather than put resources behind competing 5G hardware from Huawei competitors like Ericsson and Nokia.

As Henry Kressel explained in a December 29 news analysis, a touted software-based alternative will take five to seven years and enormous expense to roll out, while Huawei’s network is ready to install.

One cause of European rancor, the Financial Times reported on December 24, is that US authorities grant exceptions to American companies trading with China while denying them to Europeans.

“European tech executives and diplomats are accusing the US of using its sanctions regime to shut them out of the Chinese market while offering exemptions for American companies,” the newspaper reported. “Over the past two years, the US has imposed aggressive sanctions on Chinese companies such as Huawei and, as of Friday, the chipmaker SMIC, which have prevented them from buying most US-made technologies.”

The Financial Times quoted an unnamed European senior executive as saying the sanctions had created an “America First” trade policy. “So far, US companies have been given licenses to supply Huawei, while European suppliers cannot.”

Many European businesses that produce chips and chipmaking equipment are affected by American sanctions because they rely on US intellectual property. A second European tech executive complained of having once been “stopped from supplying components to Chinese buyers because of suspicions that they could be used for military purposes. But the market for the components was quickly filled by US vendors selling through middlemen.”

Asia Times for more

Why are former Indian diplomats really unhappy with Russia?

Monday, January 11th, 2021

by ANDREW KORYBKO

These anti-Russian statements come just two weeks after Russia agreed to join Pakistan’s AMAN-2021 naval exercises

The unprecedented surprise postponement of the annual Russia-India Summit for the first time since this yearly tradition began two decades ago has elicited very strong reactions from current and former Indian diplomats that threaten to worsen relations between these two strategic partners. Popular Indian media outlet ThePrint published an article about this on Wednesday titled “India-Russia annual summit postponed for 1st time in two decades amid Moscow’s unease with Quad” which quotes some unnamed sources, former diplomat Ashok Sajjanhar who was posted in Russia in the early 2000s, and former Indian Ambassador to Russia Kanwal Sibal.

The first of those three stated that “There is indeed some discontent over Russia’s repeated comments on India and casting aspersions over New Delhi’s decision to join the Quad”, while other unnamed sources are reported to have said that “while a virtual summit was planned around September-October this year, the plans did not fructify even as Russia tried to play the role of a mediator, mediating peace between India and China over the border standoff.” As for Mr. Sajjanhar, he said that “This is indeed a matter of concern that the two countries who share a deep relationship could not even hold the summit virtually.”

In addition, that diplomat remarked that “Russia’s attempt at mediation between India and China may have created some degree of discontent in South Block and the fact that their Foreign Minister is repeatedly slamming Indo-Pacific and Quad shows that it is saying this only to appease the audiences in China and Pakistan.” This correlates with the false information warfare narrative that I debunked last week in an earlier piece for The Express Tribune about how “India’s unofficial response to Russia might exacerbate growing distrust” regarding Observer Research Foundation expert Harsh V. Pant’s innuendo that Russia has submitted to China.

I also cited former Ambassador Sibal’s prior criticisms of Russia’s growing relations with China and Pakistan from a joint research paper that he published in 2017 with the prestigious Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) think tank to prove that India has always tried to force Russia into making a false either-or zero-sum choice between Moscow’s relations with New Delhi on one side and Beijing and Islamabad on the other. Coincidentally or not, Ambassador Sibal also chimed in to share his thoughts about this topic with ThePrint, and what he said confirmed exactly what I wrote just a week ago about India’s true stance towards Russia.

The Express Tribune for more

Weekend Edition

Friday, January 8th, 2021

Storming of the US Capitol – an unforgettable moment

Friday, January 8th, 2021

by B. R. GOWANI

VIDEO/Sky New/Youtube
A man from Gravette, Arkansas occupying US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s seat in her office during the attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters PHOTO/Huffington Post

Mark Twain once said:

“It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

On January 6, 2020, the place where US Congress meets- the US Capitol- was stormed and vandalized by President Trump supporters while President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory was being confirmed.

The only other time the Congress building was attacked was during the 1812 War when the British set the Capitol, the Presidential Mansion (as the White House was known then), and other government buildings on fire.

Trump falsely claimed he won the 2020 election, and incited his supporters to storm the Capitol building.

His supporters were, one could say, a decent bunch of people compared to the US military. They stormed the building; did some damage; took some pictures; stole certain things, including a computer with sensitive information; and so on.

However, they didn’t took any hostages, didn’t set off any bombs, didn’t set fire to the building that houses the criminal class. Five people lost their lives, of them was a Capitol Police officer and other four were attackers and protestors. The attackers also injured several police officers.

Now, compare this bunch with the US military who, when it invades any country, terrorizes the people, blows up bridges, bombs electric and water supply stations so the people under attack couldn’t get water and light, humiliates the people, loots precious artifacts, etc.

This was a mild sample for the US lawmakers as to how victims of the US wars feel when attacked. The US Congress passes resolutions allowing US presidents to indulge in wars to display US power, impose its hegemony, and make room for US corporations to exploit the labor and resources of other countries – that is almost free.

So why are the dominant news media, Democrats, many Republicans, and others so angry and mad at President Trump and his supporters?

It’s always fine and profitable to attack and devastate Guatemala, Vietnam, Iraq, Serbia, Nicaragua, Libya, Somalia, and dozens of other countries but is a definite no-no to attack home turf especially, the center of power which houses people who work for and shield corporate criminals that provide them with bread and butter, factually steak and big corporate dollars.

It would have been another level of news if these “patriots” had taken House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell hostage and forced them to declare on live video that they support universal health care and free education for all, heavy taxes on businesses making insane amount money …

Trump’s support for these “patriots” provided great excuse for the like of Vice President Mike Pence, McConnell, US Attorney General William Barr, Senator Lyndsey Graham, and many others, all of them despicable characters, to leave Trump’s drowning ship – all due to their own reasons. Pence and Graham may be thinking of running for president in 2024.

Many politicians, news media, and corporate biggies have made great noise regarding democracy crisis within the last 36 plus hours. Pelosi warned:

“Those who engaged in the gleeful desecration of this, our temple of democracy, American democracy, justice will be done.”

The Capitol is not a temple of democracy but is more like a barter house. The exceptions are progressives who don’t take corporate money and try to work for common people but they are not very many hence not too strong. The others work for big corporations. make sure the common people stay in a permanent state of wretchedness and unable to raise their voice to demand decent pay, good working condition, and strong unions which could represent their grievances. Pelosi ended her speech with a prayer:

“So on this holy day of epiphany, let us pray. I’m a big believer in prayer. Let us pray that there will be peace on earth and that it will begin with us. Let us pray that God will continue to bless America with that. Let us proceed with our responsibilities to the constitution, to which we have just, within 72 hours, taken the oath to uphold.”

Peace on earth? Is she serious? Peace on earth doesn’t require a prayer to a non-existent God, what it requires is simply a halt to US arms being sold to other countries. US is responsible for one third arms sold around the world.

The former living presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, all with blood on their hands, criticized Trump for inciting his followers and endangering democracy. Warring with other countries is no problem, but, there should be no trouble in the homeland!

The tech companies jumped on this bandwagon. Mark Zuckerberg, who once aspired to be US president, suddenly woke up from a long deep sleep and brainstormed ways to prevent violence and save the democracy. Now as Rashad Robinson of Color of Change put it, “They [the tech companies], no longer have to fear Donald Trump,” so Zuckerberg banned Trump from Facebook and Instagram:

The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden.

Zuckerberg has nothing to do with democracy or human rights or life. Ask the Rohingya Muslims, the victims of Myanmar’s Buddhist fanatics and its military. Yanghee Lee, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Myanmar, once said:

“Everything is done through Facebook in Myanmar.” “I’m afraid that Facebook has now turned into a beast, and not what it originally intended.

Zuckerberg, like Microsoft’s Bill Gates, is pleasantly comfortable with India’s semifascist and extremist Hindu Premier Narendra Modi. Modi’s grabbing of premiership in 2014 made Ankhi Das, the Public Policy Director of Facebook India, very happy:

“It’s taken thirty years of grassroots work to rid India of state socialism finally.”

She also lets Hindu hate to go on unhindered because

“Punishing violations by politicians from Mr. Modi’s party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country.”

The Storming of the Bastille in Paris, France in 1789, resulted in reduced power of the monarchy and nobility. In the US, Trump’s power has declined substantially due to his supporters’ attack on the Capitol. Unsurprisingly, the power of Democrats has increased.

William Blum’s website has the following question and answer:

Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

Well, the closest the US came to a coup was this lite-riot by Trump supporters in the Capitol. Also, in this instance, police can’t be accused of racist brutality as they did not treat the rioters harshly, some even opened doors and took selfies with them!

B. R. Gowani can be reached at brgowani@hotmail.com

How American banks supported apartheid in South Africa

Friday, January 8th, 2021

by TAKUDZWA HILLARY CHIWANZA

Demostrations

The banking system in America kept funneling funds to South Africa

At the height of colonial repression in South Africa under the racialist policy of apartheid, the leaders of the so-called “free world” not only condoned the deplorable situation but actively worked to keep it alive. This was done through foreign direct investment as well as loans provided by banks from the United States of America.

The position adopted by the American elites in political and financial circles was premised on economic interests – the insatiable desire for mega-profits – rather than caring about the political situation. The banking system in America kept funneling funds to South Africa, and this money was mostly used for defense purposes. And this was causally linked to the oppression of black people and using them as a cheap source of labour.

In 1976, it was reported that American banks had loaned out at least $777 million to prop up the white minority regime. Some of the banks included New York Citibank, Chase Manhattan, Morgan Guaranty Trust, Manufacturers Hanover, Orion, Bank of America, First National City, Chemical Bank, New York Trust Company, Irving Trust Company, Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Company and, First National Bank (Chicago).

In the book “Portugal’s African Wars: Angola, Guinea Bissao and Mozambique” by Arslan Humbaraci and Nicole Muchnik, the authors took their time to explain why Western financial investments were eager to support the South African white minority government. They argued that the aim was to exploit the cheap labour for immediate returns. The authors highlighted that rates of return on American direct investments in South Africa averaged at roughly 19% per year, against an average return on similar investments of no more than 2%.

This is echoed by the sentiments of William E. Schaufele, Jr. who was the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. In 1976 he remarked, “I recognize that our primary long-term interests in Africa are – and will remain – economic. We must not let the present political problems in southern Africa distort our perception of that reality.” This was the prevailing view among the elites in the global north, who cared little about the political situation not only in South Africa but the rest of Southern Africa as well.

African Exponent for more

What Muhammad Ali believed

Friday, January 8th, 2021

by SEAN JACOBS

World heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali (born 1942) in 1967. PHOTO/Ira Rosenberg.

Muhammad Ali’s political life was as frustrating and contradictory as it was principled and selfless.

Some of the most indelible images of Muhammad Ali come from his 1974 trip to the Congo. He was the feted guest of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko  — who renamed the country Zaire in 1971 — for the spectacular “Rumble in the Jungle” title bout with heavyweight champion George Foreman.

The fight exemplified Ali’s boxing smarts. It was there that he debuted his “rope-a-dope” strategy to defeat Foreman in eight rounds. More significantly, however, Ali framed it as a demonstration of black pride: an African government hosted the fight; black pilots flew him there, and his trip amounted to a kind of homecoming for a descendant of African slaves.

Some of America’s and Africa’s top black musical talent — James Brown, B.B. King, Miriam Makeba, Manu Dibangu, and others — headlined a massive concert to accompany the fight. All the while, Ali reveled in the love and support of ordinary people wherever he went.

But the “Rumble in the Jungle” was far from the harmonious picture of black advancement Ali and his media acolytes painted. Instead, the fight highlighted the contradictions of postcolonial politics and racial nationalism.

These tensions defined Ali’s lifelong political engagements — at times principled and progressive, at other times opportunistic and or conservative.

After Ali died on June 3, tributes poured out from all corners of the globe and from across the political spectrum. But many people indignantly denounced would-be eulogists whose beliefs and politics the boxer would have abhorred.

On Twitter, young black people rejected the notion that Ali was racially “transcendent,” arguing white commentators and public figures like Donald Trump were trying to co-opt his legacy. “He was black and proud and not part of your liberal project,” was a common retort.

Others suggested that the fact that even reactionaries felt compelled to claim Ali’s legacy was the ultimate sign of his triumph. For example, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who has been implicated in fomenting communal violence, tweeted that Ali “demonstrated the power of human spirit & determination.”

Jacobin for more