“I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allen Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie extoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids—and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” Like the nameless speaker in Ralph Ellison’s contemporary masterpiece “Invisible Man”, there are those of us who know this feeling of inconspicuousness. The corporate media outlets have unwittingly reminded us all that there exists an entire continent of people who, for all intents and purposes, have disappeared off the face of the Earth. Despite frantic reports of airports blocking flights from West Africa or highly publicized outings of infected health care workers, the outbreak barely registers on the scales of public health concerns in the U.S. While there have been isolated incidents of individuals returning abroad infected by the ebola virus, these incidents pale in comparison to the havoc the disease has wreaked upon swaths of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The United States has in ebola a legitimate tragedy unfolding in real time. However, the disaster is not affecting the homeland in a significant way, at least not in the manner that National Propaganda Radio (NPR) and their ilk would have you to believe.
Rather, the ebola crisis is an alarming example of privatized health care gone horribly astray. The World Health Organization (WHO), under the auspices of the United Nations, turned a blind eye until the contagion started to affect Western countries. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been the single, largest contributor to the WHO at $300 million per year. Gates the patriarch has continued the time honored tradition of robber barons in America by engaging in social engineering masked as philanthropy. The Gates Foundation has it’s upturned nose in everything from public education to agribusiness to healthcare. Every one of those 300 million dollar bills comes with tiny strings attached to Lord Gates’ bony fingers. Years of foreign intervention by way of the shock doctrine have left West Africa’s public health systems nonexistent and lacking in sanitation, clean water and nutrition that could have helped to prevent outbreaks in the first place. While the POTUS initially offered an anemic 25 beds and no health care workers for a field hospital, Cuba has sent hundreds of doctors, the largest medical response from a single country. Cuban doctors were also the first and foremost responders in Haiti during the cholera epidemic following the 2010 earthquakes.
What has gone unspoken in the corporate-state controlled media is the under cover of night buildup of U.S. military troops in Africa. Like the social media campaigns Kony 2012 and #BringBackOurGirls that came before it, the ebola virus has a bigger role to play in drumming up public support for military interventions in Africa. This is the only reason that most Americans have ever heard of Boko Haram or Joseph Kony. Referring to Boko Haram, Margaret Kimberly nailed it, “Because Americans are so poorly informed about the rest of the world, and so strangely enamored of their own government and its intentions, they automatically fall back to the worst solution of all, foreign military intervention. President Obama has said that he will assist the Nigerian military. That solution may please people who are understandably concerned about the fate of these young women, but that doesn’t make it very helpful. The last thing Nigeria needs is a foreign military presence to prop up its corrupt government. Nigeria is a linchpin of AFRICOM, which puts African militaries under the direct command of the United States. AFRICOM is in place to protect the resource pipeline and to restrict efforts to keep any other nations from bringing resources that Africans actually need.”
In the world according to DARPA, the militarized response to the ebola crisis has not gone unnoticed by keen observers. At this point, it’s a given that when you hear a nation’s leader being demonized in the American press or political pundits blathering on about “humanitarian interventions”, then boots and bombs are sure to follow. The more complex the rationalizations, the simpler the truths they are trying to conceal. Historically, capitalist wars have been fought for three inalienable reasons…land, labor and the pursuit of (natural) resources. Africa is home to extensive mineral reserves which are needed to sustain the technologies we’ve come to depend on and fetishize. I am ashamed to admit that my childhood knowledge of Africa was gleaned from watching UNICEF commercials and Live Aid. The chutzpah of a nation that built it’s fortunes on the genocides of not one but two distinct peoples, indigenous and African slave, is hard to overstate. The cotton plantations in the antebellum South used public beatings, forced migrations, quota systems and the separation of families to maximize production for it’s owners. Desmond Tutu spoke for the colonized everywhere, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
Peace and solidarity to all readers.