Friday, February 23, 2018

Pages From History: A Statement Concerning the Encyclopaedia Africana Project, By Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, April 1962
by W.E.B. Du Bois
Director of the Secretariat
Accra Ghana, West Africa
April, 1962

PANW Editor's Note: This article is being reprinted in honor of the 150th birthday of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois (Feb. 23, 1868-Aug. 28, 1963).

Early in 1962 preparatory work toward the compilation and production of an Encyclopedia Africana was formally initiated in Accra, Ghana, under the sponsorship of the Ghana Academy of Sciences. As Director of the Secretariat for this undertaking, I am naturally most anxious that what we propose become both well known and properly understood in scholarly circles throughout the world, to the end that we may secure the widest possible cooperation. It is with this purpose in mind that the present brief, preliminary statement is offered.

First, a word of background. In 1909 when I was teaching history and economics in the Negro University of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, I proposed the preparation of an "Encyclopedia Africana". I secured as members of the Board of Advisors, in addition to sixty-two American Negro scholars, Sir Henry Johnstone, K.C.B., and Professor W.M. Flinders Petrie, D.C.L, of England; Professor Giuseppe Sergi of Italy; Dr. J. Denniker of France; Professor William James, LL.D., and Franz Boas, Ph.D. of Harvard and Columbia respectively, and many others. However, I was never able to raise the funds to carry the enterprise forward.

In 1934 the Phelps Stokes fund initiated a new project to prepare and publish an "Encyclopedia of the Negro". I was chosen as Editor-in-Chief and for the next ten years gave intermittent effort to the project; but again the necessary funds, which we estimated then at $260,100, could not be secured. Perhaps it was too soon to expect so large an amount for so ambitious a project to be carried out by Negroes and built mainly on Negro scholarship. Nevertheless, a preparatory volume summarizing the effort was published in 1944.

When I was in Ghana, West Africa, in 1960 witnessing the inauguration of the independent Republic, the President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, asked me if I again would plan an Encyclopedia Africana. I consented to do this and to consult personally and by letter a number of persons who might be interested in this project.

My idea is to prepare and publish an Encyclopedia not on the vague subject of race, but on the peoples inhabiting the continent of Africa. I propose an Encyclopedia edited mainly be African scholars. I am anxious that it be a scientific production and not a matter of propaganda. While there should be included among its writers the best students of Africa in the world, I want the proposed Encyclopedia to be written mainly from the African point of view by people who know and understand the history and culture of Africans.

My thought also is that it would be a great advantage if at this juncture the interest and research of the African intelligentsia were concentrated on the history of the past and the cultural remains of Africa; that this might direct their action away from political and tribal divisions, give them a body of truth to guide them, and unite them in wide agreement as to what has happened on this continent and what can happen in the future.

I realize that this is going to involve difficulties first, the comparatively small number of Africans who are scientific students of Africa; and secondly, the attitude of European scholars toward Africans. There is, I am sure, a great deal of interest, sympathy and good will among British, French, Belgian, and German scholars towards the African peoples. But there is also much prejudice and condescension based upon certain assumptions toward Africans that are almost inevitable among persons educated in Europe. I believe both of these difficulties are surmountable. African political independence can mean the encouragement and flowering of independent scientific study of African history by Africans, and there is already some evidence of this. On the other side, a significant number of Europeans have in recent years made valuable contributions to the true reading of Africa's past.

Since 1960 I have been in correspondence about the proposed Encyclopedia with leading students of African history and culture in Britain, Europe east and west, America, Asia and Africa. Though there remain individuals and institutions to be written to, I have already received close to a hundred responses from among those in various countries around the world who are regarded as most eminent in this are of scientific research. The responses have on the whole been exceedingly encouraging. Most have expressed concurrence with the idea and willingness to cooperate, and many have contained valuable comments and suggestions. (A digest of the opinions expressed is in preparation.)

The Ghana Academy of Sciences (formerly known as the Ghana Academy of Learning) decided at its meeting on October 31, 1960 to sponsor the project for an Encyclopedia Africana as I had outlined it. At a subsequent meeting on December 21, 1961, at which I was present and gave a report, the Academy formally agreed that the planning and production of the proposed Encyclopedia should be carried forward by a Secretariat under my directorship. It was further agreed that an initial grant of funds would be provided by the Government of Ghana for the purpose of starting this work.

While it is essential that the main and concentrated effort should be centered where the project has been initiated - in Ghana, I wish to emphasize what I said in my report to members of the Academy "that all Africa should be invited and urged to participate and to share in authority and support." At the outset, we are seeking the advice and counsel of leading authorities in all Africa in determining the answers to various questions of substance and procedure involved in planning and preparing the Encyclopedia. A formal request for the practical assistance of the governments of all independent African states will be made in due course. It is planned that our Secretariat here in Accra will establish and maintain a close liaison with teams of scholars in various parts of Africa engaged in work on specific problems in their respective areas.

Further, it is expected that the Editorial Board, as it comes to be established, will be broadly representative of all Africa, the members of the Board having as their common aim the preparation and publication of an Encyclopedia Africana which is at the same time authentically African and scientific. This Board may in turn wish to invite the cooperation of a body of advisors representing the best scientific scholarship relating to Africa available outside that continent.

Such in brief outline is the background, aim, and broad plan of our work for an Encyclopedia Africana. We are yet only in the preparatory stage of the work. It will proceed with deliberation, and it will take time. If the first volume can be published in ten years time, we will be satisfied.

I eagerly invite your cooperation in bringing this matter to the attention of individual scholars, learned societies and institutions interested in such a project. We welcome all inquiries of opinion about what we here propose. Above all, we seek the assistance and support of all who can contribute to the realization of this endeavor.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois  [1868-1963]
Founding Director of the Encyclopaedia Africana Project
April 1962

Dr.  William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois is born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.  He will become one of the greatest men of letters of his time, serving as an editor, teacher, political theorist, and novelist.  His accomplishments will include founding and editing the NAACP "Crisis Magazine," writing the influential "Souls of Black Folk," being one of the founding fathers of the NAACP, and the first African American to become a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.

SOURCE: The MUNIRAH Chronicle of Black Historical Events & Facts
Pages From History: Negroes and the Crisis of Capitalism in the U.S., By Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, April 1953
by W.E.B. Du Bois
April 1953
Monthly Review

PANW Editor's Note: This article is being reprinted in honor of the 150th birthday of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois (Feb. 23, 1868-Aug. 28, 1963).

How “free” was the black freedman in 1863? He had no clothes, no home, tools, or land. Thaddeus Stevens begged the government to give him a bit of the land which his blood had fertilized for 244 years. The nation refused. Frederick Douglass and Charles Sumner asked for the Negro the right to vote. The nation yielded because only Negro votes could force the white South to conform to the demands of Big Business in tariff legislation and debt control. This accomplished, the nation took away the Negro’s vote, and the vote of most poor whites went with it.

A fantastic economic development followed. In the South the land was rich and the climate mild. There was sun and rain for grain, fruit, and fiber. There were natural resources in rivers, harbors, and forests. In the bosom of the earth lay coal, iron, oil, sulphur, and salt. All this either already belonged to or was practically given by the government to the landholder and capitalist. Only a small part of it went to labor, black or white.

Capital was needed to develop this economic paradise. Government furnished much of this capital free to the landholder and employer. Railroads were subsidized, and rivers and harbors improved; private wealth largely escaped taxation. The North, fattened on tariff legislation, money control, and cheap immigrant labor, poured private capital into the South. When Southern labor lost half its vote, landholders and capitalists filled the state legislatures and Congress with servants of exploitation. This gave all the powerful chairmanships in Congress to the South under the Democrats, and large influence under Republicans. During World War I, a large part of the military training program was located in the South, and the government overpaid interested landlords and merchants and contractors to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars—a performance which was to be largely repeated in World War II. During the depression, most relief money paid out in the South went to landlords, not to workers.

During and after World War II, Southern industry moved into high gear. The Federal government poured billions of grants-in-aid into the South. Washington was lavish with “Certificates of Necessity” to build new factories, and owners of oil wells were given tax rebates for depletion of the oil which God gave the nation; and today they seek to grab the $80 billion worth of oil underseas.

Above all, the South furnished and boasted of one of the largest pools of cheap, docile, unorganized labor, skilled and unskilled, in the civilized world. This mass of labor was historically split into white and black, each hating and fearing each other to a degree that persons unfamiliar with the region cannot begin to imagine. Southern labor was further split into organized and unorganized groups; and finally, all American labor was split by red-baiting and the smear of “Communism.”

Here was a paradise for the investor, which the state governments improved. Labor laws in the South were lax and carelessly enforced; company towns arose under complete corporate control; the police and militia were organized against labor. Race hate and fear and scab tactics were deliberately encouraged so as to make any complaint or effort at betterment liable to burst into riot, lynching, or race war.

The result has been startling. In 1919 the South turned out less than a fifth of our mining products; by 1946 the proportion had risen to nearly half. The value of manufactures in the South has risen in thirty years from a tenth to nearly a fifth of the national total. Many of the new and promising industries are seeking the South; since World War II, no less than $11 billion has been invested there in new industrial plants. The Southeast already has 80 percent of the nation’s cotton mills and virtually all the new chemical fiber industry. It is drawing the woolen and worsted mills, and the textile machinery mills will soon follow. Paper and pulp mills and plastics represent hundreds of millions in new investments. The Southwest is perhaps the fastest-growing chemical empire in the world.

This newest South, turning back to its slave past, believes its present and future prosperity can best be built on the poverty and ignorance of its disfranchised lowest masses—and these low-paid workers now include not only Negroes, but Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the unskilled, unorganized whites. Progress by means of this poverty is the creed of the present South.

The Northern white worker long went his way oblivious to what was happening in the South. He awoke when the black Southern laborer fled North after World War I, and he welcomed him by riots. Slowly, however, the black man has been integrated into the unions, except those in whose crafts he was not skilled and had no chance to learn. One of these was the textile unions. They excluded Negroes. It is taking a long time to prove to them that their attitude toward Negroes was dangerous. If Negro wages were low in the South, what business was that of New England white labor? Today the union man sees that it was his business. The factories are moving out of New England and the North into the South. One hundred thousand textile workers are idle. This illustrates a paradox of capitalism: in the South, the nation, and the world, the workers are too poor to buy the textiles they need; while machinery is able to make more textiles than its owners can sell at the prices they demand.

Wages in the South are 20 percent lower than in the North, and Negro wages as a legacy from [the National Industrial Recovery Act], are at least 20 percent below white wages. This wage differential between North and South represents increased profits of $4 to $5 billion a year. Small wonder that the Negro population in the rural South decreased by 50,000 in the last decade, and that the number of Negroes in the North increased by 55 percent. Of nine million industrial workers in the South, less than three million are unionized. Last year 40,000 members of the CIO Textile Workers Union, which excludes Negroes, struck in the South, and spent $1,250,000 in five weeks. They lost, and their membership fell from 20 to 15 percent of the operatives. The carpetbaggers today are the vast Northern corporations which own the new Southern industry, and the scalawags are the Southern politicians whom they send to state legislatures and Congress.

The organized effort of American industry to usurp government, surpasses anything in modern history, even that of Adolf Hitler from whom it was learned. From the use of psychology to spread truth has come the use of organized gathering of news to guide public opinion and then deliberately to mislead it by scientific advertising and propaganda. This has led in our day to suppression of truth, omission of facts, misinterpretation of news, and deliberate falsehood on a wide scale. Mass capitalistic control of books and periodicals, news gathering and distribution, radio, cinema, and television has made the throttling of democracy possible and the distortion of education and failure of justice widespread. It can only be countered by public knowledge of what this government by propaganda is accomplishing and how.

In the nation as a whole we have full employment and high wages for most skilled workers, but this state of affairs is maintained by manufacturing arms and ammunition which rapidly deteriorate in value, and by giving it away and paying for it by taxes which lower high wages, and by high prices. How long can we maintain this merry-go-round?

What now must American Negroes say to this situation? This question raises another: what is the real nature of this group today?

There are nearly 15 million persons of known Negro descent in this country; two-thirds of these are in the former slave states, somewhat fewer than a third are in the North, and a half million are in the far West. This distribution marks a notable change from the recent past: in 1860, nine-tenths of the Negroes were in the slave South; in 1900, there were only 900,000 in the North.

The group is not homogeneous and is in process of rapid change. From a predominantly rural group in 1900, it is today mainly urban. As late as 1940, 7 million Negroes in the United States lived on farms and 6.5 million in cities. In 1950, 6 million were on farms and 9 million lived in cities! These large-scale shifts, of course, create great strains on family and social life.

These Negroes are closely integrated into the industry of the nation, but the character of that integration is rapidly changing. From being predominantly farm laborers, today 83 percent are in non-agricultural occupations and only 17 percent on farms. Of the former, 40 percent are servants and 19 percent are laborers; skilled and semi-skilled workers represent 30 percent. A little over a tenth of the employed Negro population is in business and the professions.

This indicates a group of poor people, especially those remaining in the South, where their median wage is about $1,000 a year. The Southern farm laborers are even poorer. For example, in South Carolina, nearly half the Negroes on farms earn less than $500 a year. Southern whites have a median wage of $2,000, and Northern whites $3,000.

Most American Negroes are as a mass ignorant. Perhaps two-thirds can read and write, if we depend on draft statistics which are lower than the census report of 11 percent illiteracy. This naturally follows from the poor, segregated Negro school system. In the South, adult Negroes have had on the average half as many years of schooling as whites. Most colored adults in the North had their education in the South, and show it in lack of training.

The proportion of the Negro population that has attained middle-or upper-class status can only be guessed at. Some surveys indicate that in cities like New York and Chicago, perhaps seven to ten percent of Negro families have incomes of over $5,000 a year, and 20 percent receive from $3,000 to $5,000; while from five to ten percent are in the slums, earning under $1,000. On account of continued disfranchisement in the South, only 40 percent of Southern Negroes vote; but in the North, Negroes wield political power and hold some important offices.

What now is the attitude of this upper group toward the present capitalistic crisis in America? For the most part they are capitalists in thinking, believing in “making money,” in saving and investing. When they hire labor they exploit it as do their white neighbors. In businesses, like insurance, they employ the same methods as white insurance companies, within the protection of color discrimination. The colored landlord is no different from the white. Many Negro fortunes have been gained in antisocial activities like gambling.

Negro Americans, like whites, are subject to the mass propaganda by which monopoly of news gathering and distribution; concentrated ownership of radio, cinema, and television; and financial control of publication, make democratic government nearly impossible today by denying knowledge of the truth to the average man. But Negroes are repelled by the custom of calling agitation for Negro rights “Communism.” This has caused some sudden reversals of snap judgment by officials in high places, but it makes the average black man suspicious, and this suspicion may increase.

Today any Negro leader who is willing to testify to the “free and equal” position of Negroes in America can get free travel to Asia, Europe, or Africa, with no passport difficulties. Even if he will not testify but is willing to keep still, a variety of perquisites, including scholarships, are available.

Some Negro leaders with much to lose in property, credit, or reputation have yielded to panic; two colored authors in recent new editions of their books have deleted references to Paul Robeson and myself in order to appease the witchhunters. Much time and thought of misguided intellectuals has been devoted to helping deprive American Negroes of natural leadership or to scaring them into silence by threat of imprisonment, loss of work, or by smearing them as “Communists.” Negro colleges especially are silenced and influenced by funds raised by Big Business and visits from distinguished capitalists. Their courses in sociology, economics, and history are carefully watched.

This kind of suppression and censorship, however, does not solve anything; it but complicates the situation. For a time it may deprive Negroes of some of their best-trained and wealthiest leaders, but despite this, the color bar, will not release the main mass of the group. The bar may bend and loosen. Rich Negroes may travel with less annoyance; they may stop in the higher-priced hotels and eat in the more costly restaurants; the theaters and movie houses in the North and border states may let down the bars. Beyond that, because of constitutional law and mounting costs, the wall of segregation in education may be breached. But with all this, what results? The color bar in this nation will not soon be broken. Even as it yields in places the insult of what remains will be more deeply felt by the still half-free.

When the whole caste structure finally does fall, Negroes will be divided into classes even more sharply than now, and the main mass will become a part of the working class of the nation and the world, which will surely go socialist.

As long as caste remains, the Negro leaders are bound to their own group. This group, despite its class differences in income property, education, and type of work, is still bound together by a certain unity usually called racial, but really cultural. It has an art and literature and intricate ties of social intercourse. Negroes intermarry with each other almost exclusively and live largely in the same neighborhoods. They gain information about themselves and about Africa and the West Indies only from some 200 weekly newspapers and various magazines which also have something of a special interpretation of the facts as relating to this group. These periodicals, to attract white advertising and political dole, are becoming timid and suppressing news; yet they cannot become too timid or they will lose readers.

The Negro group is continually pushed toward socialistic experiment; the churches try it in recreation and relief; the fraternal orders’ experiment in insurance; the fraternities give scholarships; there have been trials of consumers’ cooperation. In time, this group with any increase in pressure, might become a veritable school of socialism.

A Negro of talent, education, and money may not live in a Negro ghetto; he may not attend a Negro church, and he may welcome whites to his home and table. Less often, but now and then, his children or friends may marry white persons. He may be elected to public office with the help of white votes and be referred to in the public press without being carefully designated as “colored.” But such cases will be exceptional. For the most part, the educated well-to-do American Negro is firmly bound to his powerful group. His memories are memories of its oppressions, insults, and repressions. He rejoices in its victories. He cannot break off from the Negro church entirely and the Negro vote will be his chief dependence in elections. His family will chiefly marry Negroes, and Negroes will constitute the main body of his friends and acquaintances. Consequently no matter how self-centered he may be, he will not be able to avoid exercising some leadership in the group of which he is a part, not only by inner attraction but also by outer force.

In the white world he will not be a member of any church or social club; he will not be nominated to public office except in a Negro district. He may be endured in an exclusive neighborhood but not welcomed. His reception in hotels, restaurants, and public entertainments in the North will vary according to locality. In the South and border states he will almost invariably be excluded. If he tours the nation in his car, most of the “motels” will exclude him. In his leadership and social thinking, therefore, he must consider the future of his race or he will neglect himself and his family.

What this paper is considering is the question of the critical place which this segregated group of Negroes will occupy as the crisis of capitalism in the United States develops. This crisis of American capitalism could be rendered more serious than it is if the leadership of a tenth of the nation should fail in its responsibilities. The crisis arises from the fact that this nation under the control of Big Business is trying stubbornly, and in defiance of the clear historical development of the world since World War I, to oppose state socialism. This Negro group is at present far from being revolutionary. Its fault rather has hitherto been yielding to pressure and bowing in fatal humility when resistance and retaliation would have been best not only for the Negroes themselves but for their oppressors as well.

What will American Negroes answer to the challenge of socialism? What part will they think the State should play in future industry and development? The Negro must see that his advance so far has depended on federal action rather than on states rights or individual initiative. Federal action emancipated him from slavery and is his lone hope for stopping lynching, enacting [a Fair Employment Practices Committee], and getting justice in the courts.

But far beyond this is the inevitable relation of the colored folk of the United States to the colored peoples of America, Africa, Asia, and the world. When a great nation like the Soviet Union not only refuses to draw the color line but cannot conceive of such barbarism, in the face of the color prejudice which nearly every white nation of Europe and North America practices—what can, what must Negroes think? When China went Communist the impact on the Negro race was tremendous, and no amount of yelling and shrieking will change this. Russia taught her peasants to read and write in a generation. The United States leaves a third of her Negroes illiterate after 90 years of half-hearted effort. If the darker world gradually finds that socialism is the only answer to the color line, then the colored peoples of the world will go socialist and black Americans will perforce march in the ranks. They will not so much lead as be pushed by their own people.

The United States, with its existing social structure, cannot today abolish the color line despite its promises. It cannot stop injustice in the courts based on color and race. Above all, it cannot stop the exploitation of black workers by white capital, especially in the newest South. White North America beyond the urge of sound economics is persistently driving black folk toward socialism. It is the United States which is straining every effort to enslave Asia and Africa, and educated and well-to-do black Americans are coming to know this just as well as anybody. They may delay their reaction; they may hold ominous silence. But in the end, if this pressure keeps up, they will join the march to economic emancipation, because otherwise they cannot themselves be free.
Pages From History: "Socialism and the Negro Problem", Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, February 1, 1913
 by W.E.B. Du Bois

Original source: The New Review: A Weekly Review of International Socialism, 1 February 1913

PANW Editor's Note: This essay is being republished in honor of the 150th birthday of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois (Feb. 23, 1868-Aug. 28, 1963)

[1] One might divide those interested in Socialism into two distinct camps: On the one hand, those farsighted thinkers who are seeking to determine from the facts of modern industrial organization just what the outcome is going to be; on the other hand, those who suffer from the present industrial situation and who are anxious that, whatever the broad outcome may be, at any rate the present suffering which they know so well shall be stopped.

[2] It is this second class of social thinkers who are interested particularly in the Negro problem. They are saying that the plight of 10,000,000 human beings in the United States, predominantly of the working class, is so evil that it calls for much attention in any program of future social reform. This paper, however, is addressed not to this class, but rather to the class of theoretical Socialists; and its thesis is: In the Negro problem, as it presents itself in the United States, theoretical Socialism of the twentieth century meets a critical dilemma.

[3] There is no doubt as to the alternative presented. On the one hand, here are 90,000,000 white people who, in their extraordinary development, present a peculiar field for the application of Socialistic principles; but on the whole, these people are demanding to-day that just as under capitalistic organization the Negro has been the excluded (i.e., exploited) class, so, too, any Socialistic program shall also exclude the 10,000,000. Many Socialists have acquiesced in this program. No recent convention of Socialists has dared to face fairly the Negro problem and make a straightforward declaration that they regard Negroes as men in the same sense that other persons are. The utmost that the party has been able to do is not to rescind the declaration of an earlier convention. The general attitude of thinking members of the party has been this: We must not turn aside from the great objects of Socialism to take up this issue of the American Negro; let the question wait; when the objects of Socialism are achieved, this problem will be settled along with other problems.

[4] That there is a logical flaw here, no one can deny. Can the problem of any group of 10,000,000 be properly considered as "aside" from any program of Socialism? Can the objects of Socialism be achieved so long as the Negro is neglected? Can any great human problem "wait"? If Socialism is going to settle the American problem of race prejudice without direct attack along these lines by Socialists, why is it necessary for Socialists to fight along other lines? Indeed, there is a kind of fatalistic attitude on the part of certain transcendental Socialists, which often assumes that the whole battle of Socialism is coming by a kind of evolution in which active individual effort on their part is hardly necessary.

[5] As a matter of fact, the Socialists face in the problem of the American Negro this question: Can a minority of any group or country be left out of the Socialistic problem? It is, of course, agreed that a majority could not be left out. Socialists usually put great stress on the fact that the laboring class form a majority of all nations and, nevertheless, are unjustly treated in the distribution of wealth. Suppose, however, that this unjust distribution affected only a minority, and that only a tenth of the American nation were working under unjust economic conditions: Could a Socialistic program be carried out which acquiesced in this condition? Many American Socialists seem silently to assume that this would be possible. To put it concretely, they are going to carry on industry so far as this mass is concerned; they are going to get rid of the private control of capital and they are going to divide up the social income among these 90,000,000 in accordance with some rule of reason, rather than in the present haphazard way. But at the same time, they are going to permit the continued exploitation of these 10,000,000 workers. So far as these 10,000,000 workers are concerned, there is to be no active effort to secure for them a voice in the Social Democracy, or an adequate share in the social income. The idea is that ultimately when the 90,000,000 come to their own, they will voluntarily share with the 10,000,000 serfs.

[6] Does the history of the world justify us in expecting any such outcome? Frankly, I do not believe it does. The program is that of industrial aristocracy which the world has always tried; the only difference being that such Socialists are trying to include in the inner circle a much larger number than have ever been included before. Socialistic as this program may be called, it is not real Social Democracy. The essence of Social Democracy is that there shall be no excluded or exploited classes in the Socialistic state; that there shall be no man or woman so poor, ignorant or black as not to count one. Is this simply a far-off ideal, or is it a possible program? I have come to believe that the test of any great movement toward social reform is the Excluded Class. Who is it that Reform does not propose to benefit? If you are saving dying babies, whose babies are you going to let die? If you are feeding the hungry, what folk are you (regretfully, perhaps, but nonetheless truly) going to let starve? If you are making a juster division of wealth, what people are you going to permit at present to remain in poverty? If you are giving all men votes (not only in the "political" but also in the economic world), what class of people are you going to allow to remain disfranchised?

[7] More than that, assuming that if you did exclude Negroes temporarily from the growing Socialistic state, the ensuing uplift of humanity would in the end repair the temporary damage, the present question is, can you exclude the Negro and push Socialism forward? Every tenth man in the United States is of acknowledged Negro descent; if you take those in gainful occupations, one out of every seven Americans is colored; and if you take laborers and workingmen in the ordinary acceptation of the term, one out of every five is colored. The problem is then to lift four-fifths of a group on the backs of the other fifth. Even if the submerged fifth were "dull driven cattle," this program of Socialistic opportunism would not be easy. But when the program is proposed in the face of a group growing in intelligence and social power and a group made suspicious and bitter by analogous action on the part of trade unionists, what is anti-Negro Socialism doing but handing to its enemies the powerful weapon of 4,500,000 men, who will find it not simply to their interest, but a sacred duty, to underbid the labor market, vote against labor legislation, and fight to keep their fellow laborers down? Is it not significant that Negro soldiers in the army are healthier and desert less than whites? Nor is this all: What becomes of Socialism when it engages in such a fight for human downfall? Whither are gone its lofty aspiration and high resolve -- its songs and comradeship?

[8] The Negro Problem, then, is the great test of the American Socialist. Shall American Socialism strive to train for its Socialistic state 10,000,000 serfs, who will serve or be exploited by that state, or shall it strive to incorporate them immediately into that body politic? Theoretically, of course, all Socialists, with few exceptions, would wish the latter program. But it happens that in the United States there is a strong local opinion in the South which violently opposes any program of any kind of reform that recognizes the Negro as a man. So strong is this body of opinion that you have in the South a most extraordinary development. The whole radical movement there represented by men like Blease and Vardaman and Tillrnant and Jefferson Davis, and attracting such demagogues as Hoke Smith, includes in its program of radical reform a most bitter and reactionary hatred of the Negro. The average modern Socialist can scarcely grasp the extent of this hatred; even murder and torture of human beings holds a prominent place in its philosophy; the defilement of colored women is its joke, and justice toward colored men will not be listened to.
[9] The only basis on which one can even approach these people with a plea for the barest tolerance of colored folk, is that the murder and mistreatment of colored men may possibly hurt white men. Consequently, the Socialist Party finds itself in this predicament: If it acquiesces in race hatred, it has a chance to turn the tremendous power of Southern white radicalism toward its own party; if it does not do this, it becomes a "party of the Negro," with its growth South and North decidedly checked. There are signs that the Socialist leaders are going to accept the chance of getting hold of the radical South, whatever its cost. This paper is written to ask such leaders: After you have gotten the radical South and paid the price which they demand, will the result be Socialism?
Libya: Statement of the Libyan National Popular Movement On the Seventh Anniversary of the February Conspiracy

Today comes the seventh year of the international conspiracy, in which obscurantist forces and Libyan agents participated in the war against Libya and its safe people, where innocent people were hurled to take part through the launching of false slogans by a media campaign carried out by excessive regional and international mass media machines.

It is a conspiracy that was finally accomplished by eight months of a prolonged heavy military action that the NATO had carried out since the Second World War, resulting in the destruction of the total civilian and military infrastructure of the country. The Libyan people had steadfastly withstood with unbridled courage and limited capabilities giving tens of thousands of martyrs.

The enemies of the Libyan people were able to take control of Libya, with the help of the NATO military forces, the international propaganda capabilities and the money of the reactionary Arab countries. They carried out large-scale repression operations of which no Libyan city, village or family was safe. They set up thousands of camps under the supervision of hateful criminals, where honest Libyans have suffered the most terrible categories of torment; hundreds of thousands of Libyan families have been displaced, and their homes, towns and villages destroyed and; tens of thousands of Libyans have been killed in cold blood. Moreover, the Libyan territory has been violated by all international intelligence agencies and international terrorist organizations and criminal gangs. Terrorists and criminals managed to take hold of the reins of the state and turned Libya into a base for international terrorism and a hotbed of organized crime.

Thieves and international mafia seized control of the economic institutions, plundering the money saved by Al-Fateh revolution for future generations. All kinds of crimes that Libyans had never thought of spread all over the country.

The central state disintegrated in favor of regional militias' control, whereby Libya tuned into warring areas, security has become completely non-existent, and fear and terror spread on a large scale. Furthermore, all service sectors collapsed, and the lives of the Libyans returned to what they had been in the 1950s and 1960s, with no electricity, no medicine, no nutrition, and no money.

The February conspiracy has been a black era in Libya's history. Our people realized its danger early and continued to resist it by all means, until in May 2015, they succeeded in rebuilding part of the armed forces that launched the Dignity Operation to restore the country from chaos, terrorism and foreign tampering, succeeding in liberating large parts of Libya from the grip of terrorism and criminality.

The Libyan National Popular Movement, as it peacefully fights against the February conspiracy, would like to highlight to the Libyan Arab People the following:


The suffering of our people in all walks of life is a result of this conspiracy, which had as one of its aims the humiliation of the Libyan Arab people, uprooting their lands and plundering their wealth. This catastrophe can only be overcome by the unity of the Libyan Arab people in the face of conspiracy and by collective struggle until it is overthrown.


The responsibility of the situation must be borne by the terrorist organizations, which are disguised in religious attire, and the foreigners of Libyan origin who have acted as spies against Libya. Thus, the country can only be salvaged by the elimination of their power and keeping their hands off from harming the Libyans.


All attempts by the aggressor states and their agents to put forward political projects to turn the conspiracy and its consequences into a political and social reality in Libya have failed. The National Popular Movement calls on all national forces to work together to put forward a national salvation project away from the futility of foreign hands. Such project shall be based on the notion that Libya is an independent unified country, full equality between the Libyans, and the removal of the effects of the conspiracy, through central national institutions away from ideological, regional and tribal polarizations.


The Libyan National Popular Movement renews its full support to the armed forces and the security services to establish security and impose stability, which is a condition for any viable political solution. It renews the call to all officers and soldiers to the need to rejoin their ranks and fulfill their duty to defend Libya and the Libyans against the aggression of the covetous and the terror of criminals and terrorists.


The Movement emphasizes that no national dialogue and no political solution will succeed without the immediate release of all prisoners held in the prisons of the militias; return of the dislodged and the displaced to their homes, cities and villages, reparation and retrieval of grievances; abolition of all prosecutions of national leaders; and abolition of all exclusionary laws. In this context, the Movement renews its rejection of any dialogue with terrorists and organizations disguised in religion and rejects all desperate attempts to recycle and integrate them into the political process.


The Libyan National Popular Movement rejects the policy of revenge and the fulfillment of rights by force, calls for the return of the just judicial system to deal with its effects by law, and believes in the importance of achieving national reconciliation based on restorative justice.


The Movement appeals to all Libyan elites from all parties to highlight the importance of emerging from the cycle of conflict over the past and the search for serious remedies for the crisis of the homeland. It declares its readiness to work with all national forces to implement effective solutions to get out of the current crisis.


The Libyan National Popular Movement reminds of the primary responsibility of the foreign intervention for the negative conditions the country has arrived to and renews the call to the international community to shoulder its responsibilities regarding the humanitarian and security suffering of the Libyan people. It appeals to Mr. Ghassan Salameh, the head of the United Nations Support Mission to make serious efforts to resolve the political crisis and expresses its distress to the frustration caused by the failure to carry out any of the steps announced by Mr. Ghassan Salameh in what was known as the Resolution Salameh Plan. It shows that a feeling of bitterness began to infiltrate the Libyan people that the Plan is nothing but a time-gain in a desperate attempt to pass the failed Skheirat Plan.


The Libyan National Popular Movement considers all the successive governments and institutions that have been produced by the February Conspiracy and controlled the fate of the Libyan people responsible for all the political, economic and social crimes and the damage done to the Libyan people. Furthermore, it considers such transgressions crimes against humanity the perpetrators of which must be tried in their legal and personal capacities before a just legal system and pursuing the escapees and not dropping their crimes by prescription.

The Movement also calls upon the African Union, all freedom and peace loving peoples, as well as all regional and international organizations, to shoulder their political, moral and legal responsibilities to support the Libyan people and help them overcome the crisis imposed on them.


The Libyan National Popular Movement holds the international community and all its legal and political institutions responsible for looting the frozen Libyan funds and investments abroad and for tampering with its resources and wealth.


The National Popular Movement condemns the local, regional and international silence on the suffering of the inhabitants of Tawergha who had been unjustly and aggressively kicked out of their city and calls upon the national forces in Misrata to urgently end the violations of the rights of these people, which are committed by the criminal militias in Misrata for. It also calls for the intensification of popular struggle to assure the return of dislodged and displaced people, individually and collectively, to their homes and cities and to compensate them for the damage.

In conclusion, the Movement renews its firm belief in the ability of the Libyan people, who defeated the Italian colonialism, overthrew the reactionary regime, expelled foreign bases, and carved for Libya a leading position above the ground and their ability to achieve the resounding victory.

Greetings to the righteous martyrs who gave their lives to the homeland, led by the martyr Muammar Gaddafi and the hero Abu Bakr Younis Jaber.

Peace be upon the heroic prisoners, the steadfast dislodged, and the persevering displaced.

Freedom the the Homeland and Sovereignty for the People

The Libyan National Popular

Benghazi, 17.2.2018
Why Won’t the Syria Hawks Talk About Libya?
Freddy Gray
Coffee House
23 February 2018
9:53 PM

On Coffee House today, the Tory MP Johnny Mercer says that Britain lost its ‘strength and leadership’ on 29 August, 2013,  the day we decided not to attack Assad. We’ve heard this line a lot from a certain sort of politician. Michael Gove and Nick Clegg lost their tempers in the hours that followed the Syria vote. Ed Miliband, who turned against the intervention, was called all sorts of horrible names by all sorts of MPs. George Osborne tells audiences in America with his most earnest face on that Britain lost its mojo that day (We got it back, apparently, when we decided in 2015 to bomb Isis – not Assad, but, hey, whatever!)

The let’s-bomb-Syria brigade has never quite recovered from the shock of being rebuffed in Parliament. According to the Mercer, Osborne & co argument, the 2013 vote undermined Britain’s status as a force for good in the world. We stood idly by and let evil flourish. We … insert boilerplate sabre-rattling clichés here. And now the Assad and the Russians are gassing and bombing innocents, and using fake news to cover it up, and that is all our fault. Shame on us.

We are so debased, says Mercer, that last year it fell to Donald Trump, of all people, to launch strikes against Assad. ‘How ironic,’ says Mercer, bitterly. And I suppose he’s right: it is ironic that moral leadership in 2016 means being bullied by your daughter to throw a few missiles fairly pointlessly at Assad forces, which appears to be what happened with Trump.

‘We must wake up from our hangover from Iraq before it is terminal for this nation’s global standing,’ says Mercer. The world still looks for us to play a role, he says, but that ‘window is closing’. He’s not quite clear what exactly he is calling for, but I assume he thinks, given the latest disturbing reports from East Ghouta, that military action against Assad and Russia should be on the table, as they say. But it’s almost suspicious that he doesn’t say so outright.

It is also very odd that Mercer doesn’t mention Libya, another disastrous intervention of recent years, one that really should shame our political class but somehow doesn’t. We removed Gaddafi, but then we let the country fall into a terrible mess, and now Libya has slave markets and is a springboard for the refugee crisis. How’s that intervention working out then, Johnny?

Ok, let’s be fair. Mercer is newish in parliament. He didn’t vote for the Libyan war. He also did three tours of Afghanistan. Unlike most war perverts in SW1 – you know who you are – he has had the guts to risk his life for what he believes in. That is admirable. But just because Mercer is a soldier doesn’t mean he is right. In fact — dare I say it? – his army background might be part of his problem. Military people can often only think of military solutions to diplomatic problems. They can be blind to the broader political consequences of violence. For reference, see the generals now dictating Donald Trump’s foreign policy in Afghanistan. But that’s another row.

Why can’t the Mercers of this world be honest about what happened in 2013. The truth is, David Cameron came back from a holiday and decided in a hurry that we had to take military action. Possibly this was because his wife had just returned from a tour of Syria with Save the Children’s Justin Forsyth (ahem). Cameron then rushed into a proposal to interfere in an extremely complicated conflict, ignoring advice that hurting Assad at that stage would have been a great boon to the various terrorist factions who were fighting the Syrian government. Even hawkish Syrian experts agree that, by 2013, it would have been too late for a western intervention in support of moderate Assad opponents.

Sceptical parliamentarians from different parties rightly asked what the purpose of our intervention would be, what was our strategic objective, what sort of Syria could we realistically expect to create by removing Assad. The government didn’t have very good answers, so the motion was rejected. It was a democratic decision: nothing to be ashamed of.

Before we work ourselves into another frenzy of excitement about the wickedness of Assad and Russia and charge headlong towards a highly asymmetrical war in Syria, perhaps we should do what lots of MPs did in 2013 — pause, reflect on the consequences of military action, and dial down the cant about moral leadership.
Libya Oil Field Halted Amid Still-Fragile Recovery
By Saleh Sarrar
February 23, 2018, 11:54 AM EST

Labor dispute forced suspension of crude production Thursday
Nation’s crude output in 2017 was highest in four years

Photographer: Shawn Baldwin

A Libyan oil field halted production due to a labor dispute, underscoring the still-fragile nature of the North African country’s recovery from a domestic conflict.

The company operating the 70,000 barrel-a-day El-Feel deposit, also known as Elephant, suspended output late Thursday after armed guards who work at the facility decided to occupy it to protest at unpaid wages, a person with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. Most workers were evacuated and the protesters threatened further action if their claims aren’t resolved.

It wasn’t immediately clear when production might resume, or when the labor dispute might be resolved. The Petroleum Facilities Guard is seeking wages that have been held up for at least two years, the person said. The field is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas B.V., which is jointly owned by Libya’s National Oil Corp. and Italy’s Eni SpA.

Calls to the Libyan company weren’t answered on what is a weekend in the country. Eni officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Libya, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries , has struggled to boost oil production amid the lingering effects of civil war that began earlier in the decade. Its crude output averaged 828,000 barrels a day last year, the highest since 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Still, the country’s oil output remains well below where it was under the rule of dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Major oil fields including El-Feel and Sharara have experienced sporadic disruptions, occasionally setting back the revival.

Nonetheless, foreign companies are expanding their interest in the country. Last month Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc agreed annual deals to buy crude. And as of January, Libya and fellow OPEC member Nigeria agreed to limit their joint output to 2.8 million barrels a day.

The nation’s crude production was said to rise to 1.1 million barrels a day earlier this month, a person familiar with the matter said Feb. 15.

— With assistance by Salma El Wardany, Souhail Karam, and Brian Wingfield
Tunisia Welcomes First Chinese Chartered-flight Tourist Group
Source: Xinhua
2018-02-21 22:19:50
Editor: huaxia

The first Chinese chartered-flight tourist group arrived in Tunisia on February 20, 2018. (Xinhua photo provided by Chinese tourist)

TUNIS, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The first Chinese chartered-flight tourist group arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday, as the North African country expects to attract more people from the world's biggest tourist market.

The trip route of the 165-tourist group, organized by China Youth Tourism Service (CYTS), one of the biggest tour operators in China, covers Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.

Song Chenxi, a tourist group member who works in Beijing, said she was impressed by the "half sea and half flame" of Tunisia when she first travelled to the country in 2012.

This is why she decided to take her husband for a second visit to the North African country.

"I have posted my photos on Wechat during this trip and got plenty of likes," she said.

Wechat is the most popular social media mobile application in China.

According to Chen Guang, a marketing and brand manager from CYTS, the Mediterranean and Sahara Desert are the two aces of the trip.

"Tunisia has its unique touristic resources," Chen said, noting that the cultural diversity is the key to this country boasting seven World Heritage sites dating back to more than 2,000 years ago.

"The sale of this trip group is far beyond our expectation," he added.

Tunisia has witnessed a slump in its tourism since 2015 when three major terrorist attacks claimed the lives of more than 70 people, mostly foreign tourists and security forces.

In 2017, the sector started to recover slowly as the North African country posted about 6.73 million tourists.

"Everything is truly under perfect control now," Leila Tekaia, the manager of public relations and communication from National Office of the Tunisian Tourism (ONTT), told Xinhua.

"Efforts have been made in recruiting security agencies, as well as in training and supervising them. Cameras with 24-hour surveillance have been set in tourist resorts, even in the outside archaeological sites," Tekaia noted.

Last February, Tunisia decided to apply visa-free to Chinese tourists to allow them stay no more than 90 days in the country. Since then, China has become Tunisia's fastest-growing market, with tourist arrivals rising from about 7,400 in 2016 to over 18,000 in 2017.

Tunisia Welcome Service (TWS), a travel agency which has started business with Chinese clients since 2000, said it welcomed over 2,500 Chinese tourists in 2017, which accounts for almost half of its total turnover.

"The Chinese customers have a desire to discover the history and the culture and even the gastronomy. In addition, the Chinese have a strong purchasing power and a demand for quality and private service," said TWS Director General Samir Meddeb.

Meanwhile, Amouar Chetoui, the deputy representative of ONTT's Beijing Bureau, expects the Chinese tourists to Tunisia to increase to 50,000 by 2020.

The currency exchange between Chinese Yuan and Tunisian Dinar will be officially put into effect in Tunisia in the coming months and the payment with Union Pay would also be possible, he said.

ONTT would launch the National Publicity this year, via the social media and tourism salons, to present the unique charm of Tunisia, Chetoui added.
Tunisia: Strike in Poor West City of Redeyef Over Jobs, Security
A general strike begun on Tuesday in Tunisia’s poor West city of Redeyef, as residents demanded jobs and a return of the police,since the burning down of its police station.

Local branches of the powerful Union called for the strike to denounce continuous and what they call deliberate lack of security.

“Jobs are not a favor”, “Governments succeed and Redeyef is always forgotten,” chanted a few dozen protesters who marched through the main streets of the city.

We have exhausted attempts of negotiation with the authorities for a return of the police.The general strike was not an objective in itself, it became necessary after the closure of negotiation channels.

The police station was set on fire at the end of 2017 during social movements.

Since then, residents have complained of insecurity, including burglaries, and having to go to the surrounding cities to obtain official documents such as identity card, which is requested in police stations.

On Tuesday, businesses remained closed all day, as did public institutions. Only pharmacies and hospital emergencies were open.

“We have exhausted attempts of negotiation with the authorities for a return of the police.The general strike was not an objective in itself, it became necessary after the closure of negotiation channels with the regional authorities. and local, “ said Muammar Amidi, secretary general of the union of basic education.

Traders argue that it is not possible “to attract investment without security”.

Redeyef is in the mining basin. The mining basin was the theater in 2008 of an insurrection repressed in the blood by the regime of the former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

It remains regularly agitated by social movements since the revolution of 2011.

Tourists Return to Tunisia in Record Numbers Since 2015 Attacks
Daniel Mumbere
21/02 - 18:15

Tourist numbers to Tunisia will hit a record high this year, fully reversing the damage inflicted on the sector by attacks on holidaymakers in 2015, the tourism minister said on Wednesday.

After three years of shunning Tunisia in the wake of a gun attack on a beach in Sousse that killed 39 tourists and one at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis that killed 21, major European tour operators have started to return.

“We aim to receive 8 million tourists this year with strong booking rates from European customers and other new customers,” Tourism Minister Salma Loumi said.

We aim to receive 8 million tourists this year with strong booking rates from European customers and other new customers.

“The return of British tourists is a very good signal for us.”

Last week, Thomas Cook flew British tourists to Tunisia for the first time since an Islamist militant killed 30 Britons in Sousse. TUI, said last month it too planned to offer holidays in Tunisia again, starting in May.

Tunisia has been an attractive destination for tourists since the beginning of the 1960s. Among Tunisia’s tourist attractions are its cosmopolitan capital city of Tunis, the ancient ruins of Carthage, the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Jerba, and coastal resorts outside Monastir.

The 8 million forecast brings tourist numbers above the pre-attack level of 7.1 million in 2014. Arrivals fell to 5.3 million in 2015. Loumi said tourism revenues would be up 25 percent on last year when they reached 2.8 billion dinar ($1.2 billion).

Tourist numbers in 2017 were already up 23 percent on the previous year to 7 million, as hotels filled beds with Russian and Algerian visitors, but operators say they spend less than European holidaymakers.

Tourism accounts for 8 percent of Tunisia’s gross domestic product. A return of European visitors would give a strong boost to the struggling economy and raise the country’s weak foreign currency reserves.
Pentagon Partners With Germany on Tunisia Border Security
Jack Detsch
February 23, 2018

The Pentagon is sending nearly $20 million in high-tech help to the North African country as civil war rages in neighboring Libya.

 REUTERS/Zohra BensemraA road sign shows the direction of Libya near the border crossing at Dhiba, Tunisia, April 11, 2016.

The Pentagon plans to add nearly $20 million in high-tech sensors to Tunisia’s border, doubling down on US and European investments to stop migrants, extremists and drug traffickers from crossing from Libya.

Defense Department officials notified Congress of the move in a letter last month, drawing from a joint fund set up with Germany in September to secure Tunisia’s 300-mile border with Libya. Germany contributed funding that will be used specifically for the sensors.

“The funds will enhance the capacity of the government of Tunisia to detect and respond to threats posed by the trafficking of illicit materials,” Assistant US Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Kenneth Rapuano wrote in congressional correspondence reviewed by Al-Monitor.

The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a Pentagon office charged with countering weapons of mass destruction, kick-started a fence stretching along half of the Tunisian-Libyan border with a $24.9 million grant in 2016. Construction of the 125-mile barrier began less than a year after an attacker linked to the Islamic State (IS) gunned down 38 victims — most of them British tourists — near the resort town of Sousse on the Tunisian coast.

Tunisia faces a scourge of homegrown radicalism, with the latest official figures estimating that at least 800 citizens who joined IS and other militant groups have since returned from foreign battlefields. The CIA assessed in 2016 that IS had recruited as many as 6,000 Tunisians, and the spy agency labeled it as a “top source country” for recruits.

“The Tunisian government doesn’t have a real plan in terms of how to address this,” said Sarah Yerkes, a former State and Defense Department official now a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “This is the problem of being a country in the midst of a democratic transition. Do you handle this in a democratic and a humane fashion or quick and easy?”

The United States and Germany have also tried to prevent chemical and nuclear weapons from Moammar Gadhafi’s era from getting loose, as disarmament has been slowed by Libya’s ongoing civil war. The Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons verified that Libya fully destroyed its most threatening chemical weapons materials back in 2014.

Yet nonproliferation experts remain worried that radiological sources found in Libya’s dominant oil and gas industry, such as X-ray scanners, could be packaged into a dirty bomb as warring factions battle for control. While the impact of such an explosion might not be lethal, the toxicity emanating from the blast could leave areas uninhabitable, as happened with Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown in 2011.

“If a [dirty] bomb goes off in the middle of a corn field in Iowa, not that many people are going to care,” said Miles Pomper, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “If it goes off in New York or Tunis, it’s another matter.”

The funding boost comes as the Donald Trump administration is rethinking plans to slash foreign aid funding for Tunisia. The State Department’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal released last week seeks $92 million in bilateral aid, including $40 million in military assistance for border security and intelligence capabilities — a 67% increase over the current year’s request.

Over the past year, the Pentagon has also given Tunisia more than $20 million from its Global Train and Equip Fund, including body armor, outmoded helicopters, night vision devices and small arms such as M4 rifles and Russian-made PK machine guns.

In 2016, the latest year for which information is available, Tunisia relied on the United States for 10% of its military budget. The United States also has about 100 troops in the country, according to figures the Pentagon released to lawmakers last year.

Jack Detsch is Al-Monitor’s Pentagon correspondent. Based in Washington, Detsch examines US-Middle East relations through the lens of the Defense Department. Detsch previously covered cybersecurity for Passcode, the Christian Science Monitor’s project on security and privacy in the Digital Age. Detsch also served as editorial assistant at The Diplomat Magazine and worked for NPR-affiliated stations in San Francisco. On Twitter: @JackDetsch_ALM, Email:

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Tunisia: Resignation of Two Ennahda Leaders Indicates Internal Conflicts
Friday, 23 February, 2018 - 09:15

Head of Ennahda Movement Rashid al-Ghannouchi. Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic

Tunisia - Almunji al-Saidani

Two leaders from Ennahda Movement, the Islamic party participating in the coalition in Tunisia, have tendered their resignation on Thursday to head of the party Rashid al-Ghannouchi who accepted it and appointed other members in their place.

The resignation was due to personal reasons, according to the movement. Yet according to observers of the political affairs, this resignation might be a result of internal conflicts related to the municipal elections.

In a concise statement, Ennahda Movement announced approving the resignation of Mohammad al-Qalawi and Jamal al-Awi and appointing Badreddine Abdelkafi and
Imed Khemiri instead.

The period of submitting nominations witnessed several resignations due to pressures exerted on the movements by its supporters. Ennahda Movement dedicated half of the nominations to independent qualifications, which made a huge number of movement supporters lose the opportunity to be present in the political scene.

Political analyst Jamal al-Arfaoui stated to Asharq Al-Awsat that this new resignation indicates that there are internal conflicts inside Ennahda.

Ennahda Movement witnessed public conflicts among political leaders during its ruling term between 2011 and 2013, which resulted in the resignation of  Hamadi Jebali, former head of Government of Tunisia, from his sectary general position in Ennahda. Further, Riadh Chaibi seceded from the movement and established Binaa Al Watani Party.

As for the Jewish candidate running for elections in one of Monastir municipalities, Ennahda leader Abdelhamid Jlassi said that the movement differentiates between Judaism and Zionism, and is seeking to integrate Jews in the public life.

On terms of the number of electoral lists, Ennahda came first with 329 lists, followed by Nidaa Tounes with 321 lists. The Independent High Authority for Elections determined March the 3rd as the deadline to announce lists of the municipal elections’ candidates.
Al-Jaafari Re-elected as Rapporteur of the UN Special Committee on Decolonization
23 February، 2018

New York, SANA- The Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (also known as the Special Committee on decolonization or C-24) has re-elected Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari, as its rapporteur by acclamation.

The election of al-Jaafari took place in the opening session of the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization held Thursday at the UN headquarters in New York.

Al-Jaafari thanked the committee members for re-electing Syria to this position, stressing that he will continue exerting efforts to complete the Committee work on decolonization.

Shaza/Rasha Raslan
Foreign Ministry: France Not Eligible to Play Any Role in Peace Process in Syria As Long As It Supports Terrorism
22 February، 2018

Damascus, SANA – Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said that France is not eligible to play any role in the peace process in Syria as long as it provides support to terrorism and its hands are stained with Syrian blood, reaffirming the Syrian state’s rejection of France’s hostile attitudes and threats which aim at exerting more political pressure on the Syrian sovereignty.

The Ministry sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General and President of the UN Security Council in response to statements by the Permanent Representative of France to the UNon February 7, 2018, the Ministry noted that France has never stopped its policy in circulating allegations and lies which lack credibility through its letters whose main objective is to distort facts and protect Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization which was designated by the UNSC as al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

“Since the very beginning of the crisis, France has been the spearhead of supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations in Syria, topped by Jabhat al-Nusra and its affiliated groups,” said the Ministry, adding that the truth about the financial support provided by the French government was video- and audio- recorded by the media.

“The Syrian Arab Republic urges the UN Security Council to put an end to France’s practices which undermine the credibility and reliability of the UNSC, violate its resolutions and defy the UN’s Charter, in addition to protecting terrorists inside the Council and violate the role France should play as a permanent member state of the UN Security Council,” the Ministry concluded.

Nebenzya: No Agreement on Draft Resolution Demanding 30-day Truce in Syria
23 February، 2018

New York, SANA- Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzya said that there is no agreement on the draft resolution submitted by Kuwait and Sweden demanding a 30-day nationwide truce in Syria.

Nebenzya made his remarks during a UN Security Council meeting held on Thursday to discuss the situation in Syria.

He added that Russia has presented several amendments to the draft resolution given that his country has repeatedly requested guarantees to ensure the implementation of the proposed 30-day truce, but had yet to receive an answer.

There is some kind of confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the situation in the Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, moreover, the coordination between various media outlets to circulate rumors and lies and organize propaganda campaign to accuse Syrian government of using chemical weapons in the areas will not help understand the reality of what is taking place, he said.

Nebenzya referred to the tragedy in the Iraqi al-Ramadi and al-Falloujah as well as the Syrian Raqqa city which has been disregarded, meanwhile more focus was laid on the Eastern Ghouta and Aleppo and other places which encourage terrorists to continue their practices to torture civilians, noting that the terrorists in Eastern Ghouta turned citizens into hostages and prevent them to leave despite the Hmeimim –based Russian Coordination Center’s calls on all parties to hand over their arms and settle their legal status.

He said that some international actors do not care about what is happening in Eastern Ghouta and prefer to besmirch Syria and Russia, instead of exerting pressure on the parties to end their fighting. Work also continued behind the scenes in to undermine the ongoing political processes.

“what we need is not symbolism, not decisions for the sake of decisions, but rather measures that are commensurate with conditions on the ground,” said the Russian diplomat, adding that to achieve stability in Syria, all Syrian parties should exert significant efforts and start dialogue which is the only way to solve the crisis.

Nebenzya called upon all partners to cooperate with the United Nations instead of circulating lies and organizing propaganda campaigns to support terrorists and divide the region into small states.

For his part, China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu reaffirmed that there is no military solution to the crisis in Syria and a Syrian-led political process is the only way out of the crisis.

He condemned the continued shelling of residential neighborhoods in Damascus by the terrorist organizations situated in Eastern Ghouta, pointing out that such terrorist attacks cause loss of life and injury of civilians , in addition to hindering efforts of the humanitarian agencies affiliated with the UN to deliver aid to the affected people.

Shaza/Rasha Raslan
Armed Groups Fire 70 Rocket Shells on Medical Surgery Hospital and Residential Areas in Damascus and Jaramana
23 February، 2018

Damascus, SANA – One civilian was killed and 60 others were injured on Friday due to 70 rocket shells fired by the armed groups on the residential neighborhoods of Damascus and its Countryside, in a new violation of the de-escalation zone agreement.

A source at Damascus Police Command said that armed groups fired a rocket shell on Salaheddin area in Rukn Eddin neighborhood in Damascus, killing one civilian and injuring tens others, some of them are in critical situation, in addition to causing severe material damage to public and private properties.

Seven other civilians were injured due to attacks with shells on Bab Touma and Ish al-Warwar, the source said.

The armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta targeted al-Sheikh Raslan area in Bab Touma neighborhood with a mortar shell, injuring a civilian, while another shell landed in Bab al-Salam area, causing only material damage.

The source added that an attack with a rocket shell by the armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta caused massive material damage to the ICU at the Medical Surgery Hospital in Baghdad Street in Damascus, damaging medical equipment in the hospital, cars parked in the area, and surrounding houses.

Earlier, the source told SANA that the armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta also fired mortar and rocket shells on the neighborhoods of Mezzeh 86, Barzeh, al-Joura, al-Qaboun, causing material damage to houses and properties.

A source at Damascus Countryside Police Command said that a number of shells landed in al-Assad residential suburb and its vicinity, causing only material damage to properties and infrastructure.

Three shells were landed on al-Homsi neighborhood in Jaramana city, causing only material damage, the source added.

SANA reporter said that units of the Syrian Arab Army have responded to the attacks by targeting the areas from which the shells were launched, inflicting losses upon the armed groups in personnel and weapons.

Material damage due to shelling attack on residential neighborhoods of Daraa

Material damage was caused on Friday when the armed groups fired shells on the residential neighborhoods of Daraa city in a new violation of the de-escalation zone agreement in the southern region.

Speaking to SANA’s reporter, a source at Daraa Police Command said that the armed groups fired a number of rocket shells on the neighborhoods of al-Sahari, Daraa al-Mahata and al-Kashef in Daraa city, causing material damage to citizens’ properties.

A unit of the Syrian Arab Army has responded with appropriate weapons to the areas form which the shells were launched, destroying a number of rocket launching pads.

Armed groups targeted residential neighborhoods in Damascus with shells:

English Bulletin
More Civilian Casualties Due to Shelling Attacks on Residential Areas in Damascus and Its Countryside
23 February، 2018

Damascus/Daraa SANA-A civilian was killed and 50 others were injured on Friday due to shelling attacks by the armed groups on the residential neighborhoods of Damascus and its Countryside.

A source at Damascus Police Command said that one civilian was killed, 42 others were injured, some of them are in critical situation, and material damage was caused to public and private properties when the armed groups fired a rocket shell on Salaheddin area in Rukn Eddin neighborhood in Damascus.

Seven other civilians were injured due to attacks with shells on Bab Touma and Ish al-Warwar, the source said.

The armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta targeted al-Sheikh Raslan area in Bab Touma neighborhood with a mortar shell, injuring a civilian, according to the source.

Another shell was landed in Bab al-Salam area, causing only material damage.

The source added that massive material damage was caused to the Intensive Care Unit at the Medical Surgery Hospital in Baghdad Street in Damascus due to attack with a rocket shell by the armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta.

Earlier, the source told SANA that the armed groups positioned in Eastern Ghouta also fired mortar and rocket shells on the neighborhoods of Mezzeh 86, Barzeh, al-Joura, al-Qaboun, causing material damage to houses and properties.

A source at Damascus Countryside Police Command said that a number of shells landed in al-Assad residential suburb and its vicinity, causing only material damage to properties and infrastructure.

Three shells were landed on al-Homsi neighborhood in Jaramana city, causing only material damage, the source added.

SANA reporter said that units of the Syrian Arab Army have responded to the attacks by targeting the areas from which the shells were launched, inflicting losses upon the armed groups in personnel and weapons.

Material damage due to shelling attack on residential neighborhoods of Daraa

Material damage was caused on Friday when the armed groups fired shells on the residential neighborhoods of Daraa city in a new violation of the de-escalation zone agreement in the southern region.

Speaking to SANA’s reporter, a source at Daraa Police Command said that the armed groups fired a number of rocket shells on the neighborhoods of al-Sahari, Daraa al-Mahata and al-Kashef in Daraa city, causing material damage to citizens’ properties.

A unit of the Syrian Arab Army has responded with appropriate weapons to the areas form which the shells were launched, destroying a number of rocket launching pads.

Armed groups targeted residential neighborhoods in Damascus with shells:

English Bulletin
One Civilian Killed, Others Injured in Turkish Shelling on Afrin
23 February، 2018

Aleppo, SANA – More civilians were killed and injured as the Turkish regime escalated its aggression on Afrin area.

Civil sources told SANA reporter that the Turkish regime forces on Thursday targeted with heavy artillery Jinderes town, killing one civilian and injuring three others, one of them in critical condition.

The sources added that the Turkish shelling caused severe material damage to public properties, crops and the houses of residents.

They stated that popular forces, in cooperation with civil committees, destroyed a Turkish military vehicle in Rajo area and clashed with other terrorist groups in the surrounding of Deir Sawwan village, inflicting severe losses upon their tanks in personnel and equipment.

The Turkish regime forces fired 15 artillery shells on the residential neighborhoods in Afrin city while the armed terrorist groups positioned in Sama’an Castle targeted with 50 shells al-Ziyarah village, causing the injury of many civilians who were transported to the hospital in al-Zahra town in the northern countryside of Afrin.

Rasha Raslan
Turkish Regime Continues Aggression on Afrin Area, Targets Vehicles Loaded With Aid
23 February، 2018

Aleppo, SANA- The Turkish regime forces and its mercenaries fired artillery shells on a convoy of vehicles loaded with aid and fuel and on civilians’passing cars on the road between Noubol and Afrin in northern countryside of Aleppo, killing one civilian and injuring at least 12 others.

SANA’s reporter said that artillery of the Turkish forces on Thursday targeted with more than 50 shells a convoy of buses, civilians’ cars and trucks carrying aid and gas cylinders and fuel tanks near al-Ziyara village before they arrived in Afrin city.

The reporter added that the Turkish aggression claimed the lives of one civilian, injured 12 others and destroyed a number of cars, trucks and fuel tanks.

The injured civilians were taken to the hospitals in Afrin city and al-Zahraa town, the reporter said.

Putin: Russian Forces Alongside Syrian Army Defeated Terrorist Organizations in Syria
Moscow, SANA-Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the Russian forces participating in the task of combating terrorist organizations in Syria, in cooperation with the Syrian Arab Army, have succeeded in achieving victory over dangerous and massive terrorist organizations and eliminating them.

Putin’s remarks came during a ceremony on the occasion of Defender of the Fatherland Day.

The Russian President congratulated Russian servicemen on the occasion and thanked them for successes in fighting international terrorism in Syria as they have showed the courage and willingness to solve the most difficult tasks and worked courageously alongside the Syrian Army to defeat large well-equipped terrorist groups under real combat conditions.

Manar/ Ghossoun
Lavrov: Terrorists in Eastern Ghouta Use Civilians as Human Shields
23 February، 2018

Moscow, SANA – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the root of the problems in the Eastern Ghouta is the presence of Jabhat al-Nusra and groups affiliated to it which target the capital Damascus with shells, use civilians as human shields, and claim that humanitarian conditions are bad there.

In a press conference with his Uzbek counterpart Abdulaziz Kamilov on Friday, Lavrov said that the terrorists use civilians in Eastern Ghouta as human shields in order to put the blame for any casualties on the Syrian Army and government and present them as parties that violate international humanitarian laws, adding that whoever wants to ensure the human rights of the civilians in Eastern Ghouta should put pressure on the terrorist organizations that exist there.

The Russian minister said that the US-led international coalition doesn’t seem to fight Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization in Syria, adding that “al-Nusra is not being targeted. We still have no evidence that the US-led coalition considers the Nusra as a target for its military campaign.”

Lavrov also noted that the so called “White Helmets” have repeatedly been caught falsifying information.

He pointed out that the proposed UN Security Council resolution on Syria’s ceasefire (proposed by Kuwait and Sweden) doesn’t guarantee that the terrorists will lay down their weapons, but at the same time, Moscow is ready to back the proposal.

“In order to make this resolution effective — and we are ready to agree on a document that will do so — we propose a formula that will make the ceasefire real and based on the guarantees of the parties that are currently residing in East Ghouta; the guarantees should be backed by the external powers, including those who have influence over the extremist groups that entrenched themselves in the Damascus suburbs,” the minister said.

Lavrov said that the Astana process remains the only barrier that prevents the United States from dividing Syria, noting that these plans, even though they are denied by the US, are being implemented by them east of the Euphrates.

On the agreement on the de-escalation zones, Lavrov pointed out that the Americans do not want to recognize that Russia has played the key role in reaching it, which raises many questions for Moscow, adding that preparations are being made for the meeting between the foreign ministers of the three guarantor states (Russia, Iran, and Turkey) that will be based on UNSC Resolution 2254, which requires respect for the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and its territorial inviolability.

Manar al-Freih / Hazem Sabbagh