Friday, May 9, 2014

Starving in America, the Soft Bigotry Epidemic & Africa as a Military Proxy Playground

On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on the White House's announcement of a 10-year military contract with the East African country of Djibouti which includes doubling US military fee to rent out a base there to $63 million every year with no explanation as to why. Abby then goes over the most recent data highlighting how 49 million Americans suffer from food insecurity, outlining 11 countries where over 100 thousand children are hungry, and Congress' reluctance to address the issue. Abby then speaks with Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, about the historical context of racist criminal justice policies such as 'Stop and Frisk' as well as the distorted media portrayal of black crime. BTS wraps up the show with an interview with Thom Hartmann, host of 'The Big Picture' and author of 'Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception' about the enormous rise of diagnoses of ADHD among American children, and his research into the origin of the perceived disorder as an evolutionary adaption instead of a disorder.

Obama administration prolongs operation of $63 million military base right across Yemen, in Djibouti

Obama administration prolongs operation of $63 million military base right across Yemen, in Djibouti

The US Administration has prolonged the agreement with the government of Djibouti on the military base in the Horn of Africa. The base is central for the US for launching drone strikes throughout the region. US claim that it also uses the base for the counterterrorism actions. According to the administration official, the US is ready to pay $630 million for the next decade if Djibouti would lease the base to the US. That means that the government of Djibouti would receive $63 million per year, which is almost double than the $38 million the US used to pay.
The US President Barack Obama has announced about the prolongation of the agreement during a meeting with Djibouti's president, Ismail Omar Guelleh at the White House.
"Camp Lemonnier is extraordinarily important not only to our work throughout the Horn of Africa but throughout the region," Obama said.
The military base holds over 4,000 personnel, and is being used for counterterrorism activities in East Africa and Yemen. The US military forces have been trying to get rid off al-Qaeda affiliates in both Yemen and al-Shabab in Somalia for years.
Since 2001, the base was significantly transformed and renovated and is now used for launching drone strikes all over the region.
Obama praised Djibouti for helping in fight against terrorism in Somalia.
"There's a significant presence of soldiers from Djibouti who are participating in the multinational force that has been able to push back al-Shabab’s control over large portions of Somalia," Obama said.
The new agreements allows the US and Djibouti to prolong the terms for another 10 years at the same rate of $63 million a year. After that, the lease can still be prolonged but the price will be negotiated again. 
"The fact that we welcome the US forces in our country show our support for international peace and for peace in our region as well. We do that all for peace in the world and for peace in Africa," Guelleh said.
During the meeting in the White House, two Presidents have also discussed economic development, health care and education.

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