Towards the partition of Nigeria.
ANGLO-AMERICAN, EUROPEAN UNION AND NATO MILITARY INTERVENTION IN NIGERIA
This is the second and final part of the article with the above title. The first part was published in MONTH IN www.ghanaunion.se. "The West", "(Western) imperialism", "Europe and America" "the TRIAD", "the United States, Nato and the European Union", are used interchangeably in this paper to designate "IMPERIALISM" and nothing else.
The role of mainstream media
As usual the imperialist design is being presented by the servile mass mainstream media in the West as a benevolent gesture to help Nigeria. Today, mainstream media has become the docile mouthpiece and foreign policy instrument of the United States, Nato countries and the goverments of the European Union. Indeed, not a single mainstream newspaper or a single TV or other news media among the established medier of the world has ever opposed imperialism's wars of aggression and expansionism. Pretexts have always been fabricated and justifications conjured up to support criminal and senseless wars of aggression. Media has enormous power and its power and influence can be decisive in changing the course of major events. If media had lived up to what its preaches and been a forum subjecting the activities of states to impartial and objective scrutiny aimed at providing citizens with information on which to base their decisions, the world would have been saved much unnecessary human suffering and imbecile wars. Through outright lies, half truths, deliberate omissions, forgeries and falsifications mainstream media has succeeded in hiding the truth from people and has manipulated facts and evidence to influence mass opinions in support of injustices, wars and other forms of state violence.
When a state has been targeted for destruction and regime change media goes out with fantastic claims demonising and denouncing selected political leaders and accusing them of horrible crimes without presenting a shred of evidence to support the claims. This is all crefully planned and orchestrated to prepare public opinion and manipulate it into accepting planned military attacks on targeted regimes. The world is becoming too familiar now with this pattern of media behaviour. America's the EU's and Nato's wars in Iraq, the criminal wars to dismember Yugoslavia and change the political architecture of Eastern Europe to suit their design, the war to destroy Libya, the war in Afghansitan, the ongoing destabilisation of Syria, the war preparations against Iran, the fascist coup in Ukraine have all without exception been supported by the world media which has initiated a campaign of character assassination directed agianst leaders and organizations that have opposed such wars of aggression. The impending military aggression in Nigeria will be no exception.
China in Nigeria – A target for destabilization
Whether the Chinese presence is a blessing or a curse for Nigeria/Africa is a matter to be judged only by the sovereign people of Nigera/Africa and no one else, certainly not by imperialism. By all accounts and by their own actions Europe and America have no moral right to pass judgement on other people's actions in Africa. The problem for Nigeria/Africa is that European and American imperialism appears still not to have understood this simple logic and, continue to believe after 500 years that they have a divine mission to fulfill in Africa and a divine right to judge what is good for Africa.
The reasons for Anglo-American and French military intervention in Nigeria are increasing apprehensions about the security and control over sources of cheap, strategic raw materials, and fears and suspicions about Chinese intentions and apparent Chinese successes in Africa. Blinded by their arrogance and and their rigid sense of self-righteousness they do not appear to understand that they are no longer welcome to Africa on their terms but are now subjected like all other countries including China to the rules of the game.
Imperialism has deployed great effort in an attempt to sabotage Chinese-African trade, slandering China and doing everything they can to disrupt Chinese-African trade relations. The plan is to deny China access to African markets and above all to African natural resources which the imperialists still believe are their birthright! Out of sheer spite and envy they spread false information about Chinese economic and trade practices and make preposterous claims about human rights, democracy and trade. According to mainstream media the United States, Nato countries and the European Union use trade and investments to promote democracy, human rights and the rule of law while Chinese economic and trade policies, according to these same media claims, take no consideration of the democratic and human rights credentials of the countries they do business with. This is all nonsense! Negative reports are exaggerated even further and flashed across newspaper headlines and pressure is brought to bear on African governments to "take a hard line" on China.
In the wake of its criminal military intervention in Mali French imperialism sent some 2000 troops to seize the uranium mines in neighbouring Niger which that country's sovereign government has opened up also for Chinese and Indian investments. The reason given by the 'socialist' president Hollande of France was that his government, without any invitation from the government of Niger was protecting the mines from possible attacks by jihadists. What he did not say was that these were the very jihadist terrorists whom French and western imperialism not long before then had helped into power in neighbouring Libya!. Also in Central Africa French troops engineered the overthrow of the government after it became known that the state had entered into negotiations with China for further uranium prospecting in the country. France is heavily dependent on African uranium and nuclear energy accounts for some 75% of the country's total energy output. But by what right does a foreign (French) government decide who should extract or buy uraium from another sovereign country?
On a tour of Africa former America secretary of State Hillary Clinton, one of several figures on a long list of unindicted criminals including Obama, McCain, the Bushes, Tony Blair, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others, departed from common diplomatic courtesy to warn her host state and indirectly all African states about trade and economic relations with China. It is becoming common place for imperialist leaders, at the slightest opportunity to make gratuitous remarks about Africa-China trade and economic ties. Clinton would have done better to ask Africa for forgiveness, and express remorse at her country's horrible crimes in Africa that includes 30 years of plundering the resouces of the Congo and supporting one of the most savage dictatorships in African history under the late sergeant Joseph Mobutu of the Congo. The United States also supported to the very last the racist apartheid regime of South Africa.
Centuries of European occupation of Africa devastated a whole continent and and left whole societies in abject poverty. As if that was not enough imperialism is trying again to reoccupy Nigeria and Africa. Forseeing its relatively declining economic might and unable any longer to compete with China (and perhaps soon also with India) imperialism apperas to have understood that its cynical uses of words like "democracy", "human rights" and "the rule of law" are no longer working. It (imperialism) is now turning back to its old practice of using brutal military force to dislogde China in an attempt to regain its lost positions in Africa , this disguising its intentions in military-security co-operation agreements that give it access to military bases in many African countries.
From paranoia to "terrornoia"
No single incident in an African country in recent times has attracted so much attention and led to so much deafening noises in world mainstream media as the criminal kidnapping of 300 Nigerian school girls by the violent islamic extremist sect Boko Haram. If the United States, the European Union and Nato countries are really interested in the fate and future of young Nigerian girls and women what have they done and what are they doing to help improve the conditions of destitute young African girls and women in their respective countries? They are a hundred times more than the 300 victims of Boko Haram. What have they done and what are they doing for the sexually exploited and systematically mistreated young African girls and women in Europe and America, and in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and other countries of the Middle East? And even for the millions of women and girls in those countries closely allied to the West? And what about the treatment of African and other girls, women and child refugees seeking asylum in Europe and America. They are also more than 300. There were many women and girls among the victims of Lampedsa. They were certainly more than 300! Does the EU even have a policy at all apart from the policy of spending millions of dollars to make Frontex and similar institutions more effective in preventing refugees and asylum seekers from even entering Union contries? Obama's treatment of child refugees from the Americas is a monumental shame on the United States! They include more than 300 girls and women!
At the centre of western (US, EU and Nato) declarations on Africa is an obsession with military-strategic security and the quest for access to resources. The idea of economic co-operation has receded into the background, even at a time Africa is generally perceived to be emerging from the doldrums.
An extremely exaggerted sense of security fed by the mass media and closely linked to the resurgence of imperialist wars and violence throughout the world is creating vast insecurity around the globe. Today, even the most remote island in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, even a barren piece of rock sticking out of the most distant oceans beds, and indeed even the deepest depths of the oceans and the most isolated spots in the heart of the amazones , have been decreed vital to the interest and security of the West. Such territories and spots are subjected to permanent survey from the radars and armadas and drones of imperialism, and all natural resources in and around these and other areas are claimed by imperialism. Imperialism's doctrines of security have long ceased to be relative and are fast becoming total. The inhabitants of these areas, if they have not been already wiped out, will be expected to adapt to the military-security needs of imperialism. We have not included outer space!
Today, the West sees terrorism everywhere and does not accept that it is guilty itself of terrorism or that it is a significant contribtor to terrorism by creating and supporting terrorism. Intelligence and security institutions are given increasing powers in shaping policies as evidenced by America's precipitous descent into a police state under Barack Obama with the president today exercising the power of life and death over humanity including even over American citizens in any corner of the planet. American citizens no longer enjoy the protection granted them under their own constitution! Everywhere within the United States, Nato and the European Union the state and its intitutions are exhibiting signs of a paroxysm that can only be diagnosed as "terrornoia" or a late stage of paranoia.
When therefore the TRIAD (the United States, the Nato states and the states of the European Union) speak about military-security co-operation what they mean is not independent actors with mutually assured interests acting together, but an interaction between two or more unequal partners where the interests of the junior partner are closely tied to and subordinated to the interests of the TRIAD. The TRIAD wields more than enough power and has more than enough (violent) means to force recalcitrant states back into line to forestall 'terrorism'.
Africom and the American Special Forces: major instruments of US foreign policy
The United States has been known for some time to be desperately planning to relocate Africom from its current headquarters in Germany to an African country. Africom is a standing rapid deployment force designed to be used to secure American imperialist interests in Africa. So far no African leader has openly expressed willingness to headquarter Africom out of fear for the consequences the presence of that subversive force will have on the security, stability and above all the reputation of the receiving country. As America's ‘contribution' to the fight against ebola Obama announced in Atlanta that Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams, head of US Army Africa, the core unit of the Pentagon's Africa Command (AFRICOM), had already arrived in the Liberian capital of Monrovia to oversee the creation of what the Pentagon described as a Joint Force Command to provide “regional command-and-control support to US military activities and facilitate co-ordination with US government and international relief efforts." In addition, a “staging area" would be set up in Senegal. Some 3 000 US troops were to be flown into the region over a period of two weeks. While the need for medical help is welcome the involvement of American troops and in such large numbers in the exercise has caused suspicion in Africa. Cuba, China and other countries have responded quickly to the epidemic by dispatching hundreds of doctors and health staff to the region without involving their armies in the operation. The American action has led to rumours that Liberia's corrupt, pro-American, cleptocratic and nepotistic government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has concluded a secret agreement to surrender her country as headquarters for AFRICOM and that Obama is consequently using the ebola epidemic as a cover for that purpose. We hope the rumours will be proved wrong!
American imperialism has already “boots on the ground" in Nigeria. Units of the American Special Forces, a powerful, specially trained, combat-ready secret army operating on an annual budget of more than 10 billion dollars are operating according to Admiral William McRaven, in more than 78 countries including Nigeria. This was even long before the formal announcement by Obama that he was dispatching troops to that country. It is significant to note that under Obama America's so-called Africa Command has been reorganized and given more extensive powers. Its power has been boosted with the presence in its ranks of units of the special forces, an army specializing in “unconventional" warfare, a euphemism employed to describe a brutal form of waging war outside all moral norms and with no regard whatsoever to international UN humanitarian Conventions on war. In fact the raison d'etre of this secret army is precisely to defy international humanitarian laws. This is a philosophy it shares with a host of private war companies called security firms that have made warfare and killings their business. The United States government is one major purchaser of the services of these companies who help to deflect attention by reducing the size of American war casualties and in a way provide an alibi for American soldiers who commit crimes. Their casualties are not counted as official American war casualties and their crimes are not officially registered as crimes committed by US servicemen. One such company achieved international notoriety by committing horrendous crimes in Iraq with impunity, sometimes with only very mild forms of remonstrances. Blackwater has since changed names several times first to Xe and now to Academi and is still doing business as usual in the war and death industries. When Obama informs the world that he is sending military advisers to Africa what he really means is that he is increasing the number of American combat forces in Africa. His frequent pledges that there will be no boots (combat forces) on the ground cannot be taken at face value. The boots are already on the ground in the form of units of the special forces operating in many countries worldwide including Nigeria and many other African countries. American special forces and private contractors are fully operational combat troops with a variety of unconventional missions including murder of political opponents, infiltration, recruitment of local agents and organising riots.
A policy that has everything except a moral compass
This whole exercise demonstrates a complete moral breakdown in international imperialist circles, for how otherwise can one explain the fact that an organisation whose greatest merit lies in carrying out operations characerised by a total absence of norms occupies a place of pride in Obama's strategy?
When their interests are better served for instance by supporting dictators and state terrorism the United States, Nato and the European Union invoke the doctrine of respect for territorial integrity, non-inteference and the inviolability of frontiers to justify their actions in arming dictators and helping them crush inurgencies including popular insurgencies with legitimate demands they themselves have previously supported. If on the contrary, the TRIAD's interets are better served by identifying with an insurgents/rebels, including undemocratic, jihadist terrorists, (irrespective of whether the insurcgency has a case or not) then these same imperialists and their subservient mass media motivate their support motivation recitations from conventions and treaties – genuine and imaginary - on democracy and human rights, the right of peoples to self-determination, responsibility to protect, etc etc. They then organize, in pursuit of their interests, to arm insurgents and help them overthrow their governments, including lawful, democratically elected governments.
American, EU and Nato behaviour in pursuit of military-security interests in their relations with Third World states is characterised by shifts that may be planned or ad-hoc, incremental and slow or sudden and on a large scale. Over time they have ben observed to be increasing in scope and intensity. Indeed, the versatility and ability to survive over time can be explained to a large extent precisely by the absence of a moral compass. A moral compass would be terminal to the interests of imperialism, even though it would tend to save the parites and humanity millions of human lives. Such a compass would probably have meant a significant reduction in wasted resources and at the same time diverted resources into efforts to relieve pain and improve the lives of millions including in TRIAD countries.
AFRICA IN SYMBIOSIS WITH THE WEST? AN IMPOSSIBLE UNION.
In a brief editorial published in the Swedish Dagens Nyheter (DN), a leader writer, Eric Helmerson, calls for "a symbiosis" between the West and Africa ostensibly in a common fight against terrorism. Helmerson's piece, "The West and Africa in symbiosis" published in the Friday June 11 edition of the daily newspaper, reads like an article written directly after a visit to a beer bar. It betrays ignorance and hypocrisy and demonstrates a traditional imperialist patronising attitude towards Africa.
Dagens Nyheter, described as a "neo-liberal" newspaper, is In fact, a pro-American, reactionary right wing newspaper notorious for its violent, tendentious, editorial diatribes against world leaders who dare rise up to challenge US, Nato and EU policies and denounce their crimes around the world. Without regard to facts, the Swedish daily has been ruthless in its verbal assaults in sometimes severe language pouring scorn on and hatred against individual leaders like Gbagbo, Mugabe, Putin and many more. The United States is revered, despite its many horrible crimes around the world as the garantor of democracy, human rights, the rule of law, etc etc. All wars of aggression without exception waged by the United States, Nato and the European Union have been wholeheartedly supported by DN including the war of aggression that caused the lives of up to a million Iraqis, waged moreover without United Nations oethorisation and on the basis of crude lies. The paper has no respect whatsoever for the United Nations especially when the world body comes into conflict with the United States. Prior to the aggression in Libya which led to the illegal overthrow and execution of Ghadaffi, the DN in editorial after editorial urged the world to defy the UN Charter and support an invasion. This was even before the Security Council resolution which was misused to carry through a regime change. Again in Iraq, the newspaper acted as a mouthpiece of US, Nato and EU imperialism, maintaining near total silence as these powers armed, financed and trained ISIS/IS to wage a brutal war aimed at overthrowing the government of Assad in Syria. However, when this same terrorist organisation crossed the border into Iraq in an attempt to overthrow the US-installed puppet regime of al-Maliki DN immediately joined the chorus of condemnation, not necessarily because of the repugnant crimes the organisation was committing, but especially because the invasion of Iraq (Syria was ok) was upsetting American, Nato and EU strategy! America, Nato and EU have no cause to worry. They can do what they want anywhere anyhow and at any time. There will always be newspapers like DN to drum up support for them. For just two very minor examples of DN:S diatribes against Putin see Gunnar Jonsson's editorial – Att mota Putin i grind – Nipping Putin in the bud (my translation), DN Thursday 4 september 2014, p.5). See also DN, Thursday 24 July 2014, p.4
Now, back to Helmerson's editorial. This is what Helmerson says, comparing Nigeria to three other African countries facing internal security problems: "Like in Kenya and Somalia, and earlier on in Mali, the military appears practically helpless in the fight against jihad terrror organisations" (my translation). In his editorial Helmerson points to the bloody terrorist assaults in Kenya and Nigeria as proof that Africans are incapable of managing their own security without assistance from the West. However he gives no example where the West has helped a country in Africa or elsewhere defeat terrorism. The examples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Kenya and many more do not appear to confirm Helmerson's assertion that a "symbiosis" with the West can defeat terrorism in an African or any other country. After a closer look at these countries one would be inclined to draw the conclusion that it is in fact the activities of the West that breed, generate or attract terrorism to these countries. Al-qaida had no foothold in Iraq, Syria or Libya before American, EU and Nato invasions of these countries and the apparent upsurge in terrorism in West Africa including Nigeria can directly be traced back to the overthrow and execution of Khaddafi engineered by the TRIAD. Uganda and in particular Kenya have been targets of terrorist attacks, and it is important to point out that both countries and in particular Kenya have security ties to the United States. Washington is bolstering the capabilities of the Ugandan People's Defence Forces with the aim of making them, and the United Nations-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), more effective in the fight against the jihadist Haraka al Shabaab al Mujahideen. The US Agency for International Development, which provided nearly US$200 million in aid in 2012, describes Uganda as 'a critical force for regional stability in East Africa and a key partner to the United States in the region'. However, in the wake of American presence in these countries the threat from terrorism there has grown exponentially.
Referring to an article on the webpage of the American magazine Foreign Policy titled "Why are Africa's military forces so depressingly inept?" Helmerson continues with his narrative and tells his readers that the armies of Nigeria and Kenya "are often singled out as the two strongest armies on the African continent". And yet, he notes, they appear nowhere close to extinguishing the fires within their own borders. What then causes the blaze and why are Africa's "two strongest armies" unable to put out these fires? Helmerson's answer: corruption! He goes no farther than that.
One may look at American interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (where we may soon witness what appears to be the retreat of defeated Western armies), Libya and, why not, even Syria and ask: How many wars has the efficient, all-powerful and uncorrupted US army won? We may even observe in passing that France has never won a single war since Napoleon! And what about the many sex and other scandals involving so much as the top brass of the American army? Several European countries have conflicts/rebellions within their frontiers dating back decades (even centuries) which they have not been able to put down or solve. Are the problems of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales solved? Corsica, Catalonia and the Basque region in Spain? Belgium?
There is no denying the fact of corruption and its awful consequences in Nigeria (more on this later) or Kenya or Sweden (Helmerson's country) or Africa or Europe, America, Asia or anywhere else. But to single out corruption (He probably means "corruption by Africans) and blame all the woes of Africa on it is, to say the least, outrageous reductionism and oversimplification. His one-sided stigmatisation of corruption must be denounced as a hypocritical attitude towards a debilitating worldwide evil nurtured and sustained by the very capitalist-neo-liberal values he strongly professes and defends. As a journalist with apparent interest in world affairs Helmerson must be aware of this. In the first place the claim that the armies of Nigeria and Kenya are often singled out (by whom, he doesn't say) as "the two strongest armies on the continent" (not clear whether he is quoting from his "eminent" magazine Foreign policy – but it doesn't matter) is an unsubstantiated allegation. Evidently he does this deliberately to make make his portrayal of African armies more poignant. Knowing very well that he is going to discredit these two armies and indirectly African armies he deliberately and falsely elevates them by confering on them a status he most probably knows they do not have ("the two strongest armies on the continent") so that his disparaging comments on the armies of African states may achieve the strongest effect. This is dishonest journalism. It is like a scientist deliberately using a spurious experiment to confer a scientific truth to some concocted phenomenon.
Unable and unwiling to attempt any serious, credible analysis and fearing this will force him to admit to the bitter truth of imperialist crimes Helmerson and his likes fall on the pet and worn out subject of corruption to explain almost anything when they write on Africa. Sweden, to take just two quick examples sells its massive production of weapons through a highly successful network of bribery and corruption (the sale or lease of Jas planes to South Africa, India, former Czechoslovakia) and in violation of its own constitution transfers weapons technology to no other country than the primitive terrorist jihadist dictatorhip of Saudi Arabia. Indeed that is the most effective way to promote the terrorism Helmerson is so keen on combating. As Helmerson well knows no single country in the world is more in "symbiosis with the West" than Saudi Arabia. These and many other dirty deals have not prevented the Swedish army from being one of the most well-armed armies in the world. Neither has corruption, even massive corruption (corruption in the highest echelons of power in Israel is common knowledge) impacted negatively on the capability of one of the most efficient armed forces in the world: the Israeli armed forces! The correlation Helmerson is trying to establish is spurious!
Helmerson has a solution to Africa's and by implication Nigeria's (and Kenya's) gross security lapses: Western (military) help, or to use his words "symbiosis" with the West. Africa must entrust its security to the West and the continent become a battlefield where the West should engage terrorism and nip it the bud before it becomes dangerous and reaches the West. Helmerson is only just echoing the philosopy underlying Western anti-terrorist policies. Africans are incapable of defending themselves (and much less the West) not just against terrorism (but against anything):
"The truth", says Helmerson " is the African continent is still wholly dependent on the West in order to be able to manage its own security – just as it is in the interest of the West (to see to it) that extremism and terror are given no chance to gather strength in Africa"
What is Helmerson talking about? The ominous "truth" which he refuses to admit, or is probably not even aware of, is that terrorism is already in the West and has struck roots there among other things in the rapid militarization of civil society and the use of state terrorism to destroy the welfare state and restrict democratic rights. The police force in the United States has been transformed into a solid military force used to terrorize and kill citizens including innocent citizens. There is widespread secret surveillance and a surge in extreme right wing terrorism, etc etc. It is the policies and activities of the West in areas of the world outside the West that engender or enhace terrorism. Terrorism, international terrorism, that is, is not native to Africa and was not born there. Mali, Nigeria (Boko Haram), Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen (separated from Somalia only by 30 kilometers of the Red Sea) Uganda and other countries appear to have one thing in common: their internal domestic conflicts surged dramatically or took a 'terrorist' turn only after the the Unied States launched its "war on terrrorism" and more specifically after the overthrow and subsequent execution of Moammar Gadaffi by al-Qaida militias (jihadists) and their US, EU and Nato allies. These countries have now become, to quote Helmesron, "wholly dependent on the West in order to be able to manage (their) own security." That has not helped them and their security is even more precarious now than before.
Contrary to what Helmerson tries to say extremism and terror have every "chance to grow in strength" when an African state or any other state for that matter becomes dependent on the West to assure its security. The very extremist groups that overthrew and executed Ghadaffi and are now on the doorsteps of Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Kenya, the Central African Republic and other countries. They are the very same groups financed, armed and in many other ways direclty aided by the West. We should therefore have no difficulty in dismissing Helmerson's claim that Africa is safer "in symbiosis with the West" as an outrageous congecture by a confused journalist.
Furthermore, Helmerson even finds what he calls an "ideological symbiosis" or ideological convergence between Africa and the West and goes on to explain what he means:
(Western) free market, foreign (that is western) investments, technological development (thanks to the West) and economic reform (after World bank and IMF model) have lifted large parts of the continent from extreme poverty.
Is this really true? Helmerson certainly has some homework to do to learn more about the factors behind this recent development with incremental economic upturn that appears to be taking place in Africa. If it is true, as he says, that it is western 'free' market that is pulling up Africa, why then has it taken as many as five hundred years for a whole continent to make such very marginal 'progress' from extreme poverty?. We probably have to turn to the racial theories about the inherent intellectual inferiority of the black man to find the answer. Such theories flourished in Uppsala in the 1930s and provided Adolf Hitler and the Nazis with the theoretical basis for their unimaginable crimes! Not a word from Helmerson how Africa with its massive resources in the first place landed in such most extreme poverty. The massive, sustained and deliberate pauperization that sent Africa to the realm of "extreme poverty" is certainly a unique chapter in human history. Who was responsible for that? Helmerson would most probably insist that it was 'African' corruption. The author's knowledge of history is suspect, or he is deliberately trying to turn a blind eye to irrefutable historical facts. He only wants us to remember that it is all to the credit of Europe that extreme poverty, according him, has disappeared from Africa. Who or what plunged Africa into that type of poverty is uniteresting.
If pressed further Helmerson is likely to tell us that it is Chinese or Russian exploitation of African human and natural resources that are responsible for the 'backwardness.' He may even point to biological factors. Since China's role in the economic upturn in Africa is well-documented we see no point in taking further issue on this subject with Mr Helmerson and we will give him the benefit of the doubt! He claims that Europe has brought progress and development to Africa and this is exactly what Islamic jihadists are against. But, we may ask: Is there any relationship in the first place between extreme poverty and jihadism? Is it jihadist terrorism that breeds extreme poverty, as Elmerson is trying to tell us, or is extreme poverty (caused by imperialist 'generosity') antecedent to jihadism?.
Officially the West (imperialism) and jihadism are presented as enemies locked in mortal combat. This in fact the essence of the declaration of "war on terrorism". In reality this only appears to be the case when jihadism is perceived as a threat to imperialism's access to resources or a hindrance to imperialism's geostrategic calculations. This is not the case however where the two have a common enemy (the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Khaddafi in Libya, Assad in Syria). In such a case the two have joined forces (entered into symbiosis) to defend their common interests and the West has felt quite comfortable working together with interntional jihadist terrorism.
A most real potent threat facing the world and mankind today is the emergence of a sustained symbiosis between the United States, Nato and the European Union on the one hand, and jihadism on the other. Far contrary to what the West says past and recent history (Libya, Syria and Iraq where the United States is now arming and fighting side by side with the Kurdish PKK which it officially has listed as a terrorist organisation) shows that such a sustained symbiosis (Union of apparent opposites) is a real possibility that has been tried before at intervals and even lasted over a period of time (Afghanistan during the period of Soviet occupation. By "sustained" symbiosis we mean an alliance which is more than just tactical and temporary. A West-Jihad symbiosis will have a destructive power exceeded in its nihilistic capacity perhaps only by a nuclear explosion.
Erik concludes, apparently quite satisfied with his foolish interpretations: "When countries like France and the USA intervene militarily to fight extremism in Africa it is not neo-colonialism but aid." That's sheer nonsense!
It is neo-colonialism, of course!
Three hypotheses will be advanced to summarize our position:
1. Corruption, poverty, ethnicity in its divisive, antagonistic manifestations, leadership as a constraint on progress are devastating interrelated scourges that African states must address wholistically and democratically (with the full participation of the people in a leading role).
2. A substantial part of the problems of contemporary Africa cannot be explained outside the scope of the African continent's encounter with the West.
3. To invite the West or to perceive it as a partner in solving Africa's military-security problems will be like inviting the arsonist to help put out a blaze. It would be the height of folly.
The West in alliance (symbiosis) with terrorists and jihadists – a frightening possibility of a marriage of convenience dictated by a convergence of interests
Osama bin Ladin was the product of American policy, the Taliban is the product of American and Nato policies, al-Qaida is the product of American, European Union and Nato policies, and last but not least, ISIS is the product of American, European Union and Nato policies.
A well-known critic of Nato, Rick Rozoff, has alleged that the United States has for more than three decades been arming, trianing and supporting terrorism around the world. There is overwhelming evidence to support this claim. The arming of ISIS by the CIA is the latest in an unbroken chain of western support for terrorist groups dating back from Afghanistan and beyond.
Indeed, it is no accident that Saudi Arabia, the cradle of wahhabism and islamic terrorism, is also the closest ally of the West in the Isalmic world. This fact has been deliberately and consistently ignored by mainstream media. Saudi oil drives the Western economy and Saudi petro-dollars keep western financial instiutions functioning while Saudi purchases of Western weaponry for home use and for distribution to terrorist organisations keep western arms production factories and arms trade flourishing. Note:
1. A majority of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attack were Saudis
2. The Taliban received education in rudiments of jihadist extremism from religious koran schools i Saudi Aarabia
3. ISIS has its home base in Syria, it was tained by the CIA in camps in Jordan and armed with weapons provided by the CIA and Saudi Arabia or purchased with money provided by wealthy Saudis, and
4. ISIS extremist ideologies emanate from koran schools still operating in Saudi Arabia
5. The autocratic and primitive monarchy in power in Saudi Arbia derives its legitimacy from religious extremist dogmas freely dispensed by ultra-conservative imams and theologians, the repository of a deformed sharia laws and depraved religious practices.
In an act that shocked even the United States, Libyan jihadists and former allies of the West brought into power by the United States, Nato and the European Union killed J. Christopher Stevens the American ambassador to the country, and three American members of his staff. Several agents of the CIA were simply lucky to have escaped death at the hands of these same jihadists. The horrific criminal execution of innocent journalists by ISIS jihadists who had previously benefitted from US arms and training and Saudi financing has been widely publicised. Before them several similar executions had been carried out by ISIS/IS and its sister terrorist organisation al-Nusrah, also previously allied to the US, Nato and the EU. Al-Nusrah has only recently even kidnapped UN forces supervising the truce between Syria and Israel on the Golan heights and has set out conditions for their release including the absurd demand that the UN removes them from the list of terrorist organisations even while they were still holding UN hostages! Libyan jihadists carried out one of so far two public executions on July 27th 2014. The victim was an Egyptian national accused of murder and who was not given the benefit of a trial to prove his innocence. Clearly, these terrorists organisations owe to a considerable extent their continued military and political survival to the policies of Western imperialism, and blowbacks may be seen a a price imperialism appears prepared to pay for the benefits it reaps from a convergence of interests with terrorism. This does not augur well for future peace and security in any region and in the world.
INTERVENTION AS A PRELUDE TO PARTITION: an overview of a few case
In a speech in Geneva on September 8th 2014 the new UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'an Al Hussein from Jordan had strong words for jihadists. He referred specifically to extremism in Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Mali, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Of these 10 countries as many as five or half are on the African continent. In fact we might even say six, if we assume, for the sake of argument that because of its geographic proximity to the African continent Yemen should be added to the African group of countries. The country lies after all just a few kilometres across the Red Sea off the coast of Djibouti. Furthermore, If we add Uganda, Tanzania, the Central African Republic, Chad, Cameroon and Niger to the number of countries facing domestic conflicts with jihadist ramifications or near-jihadist semblance we notice that Africa occupies a significant place in the international political space viewed from the perspective of conflict dynamics. All these countries have or are still registering more less violent conflicts sometimes with underlying or overt religious overtones of varying degrees of intensity. It is also interesting to observe that Western military presence is a constant in all these countries.
The location of some of these countries along and at entry points to major international sea ways (the Red sea and the Indian Ocean, for example) explains to a great extent why imperialist powers are hovering like flies over the region bringing in their wake a host of problems including terrorism and wars. In the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia the United States, Nato and the European Union have assembled an awesome naval fleet in an unprecedented show of force to protect their interests under the ridiculous pretext of fighting pirates!
The long catalogue of American interventions is neatly summed up in these lines:
" Since it emerged as an imperialist power at the end of the 19th century, the United States has arrogated to itself the right to bully and impose its will on small and large countries alike. The past quarter century, in particular, has seen an unending and escalating series of wars, invasions, covert operations and bombings carried out by American imperialism against countries in every corner of the globe. In its military actions over this period, American imperialism has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
One could cite, among others, the invasion of Panama in 1989, the First Gulf War against Iraq in 1991, the intervention in Somalia in 1992-93, the invasion of Haiti in 1994, the bombing of Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998, the war against Serbia in 1999, and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. Under Obama, the United States has led a war against Libya, stoked up a civil war in Syria aimed at overthrowing the government of Bashar al-Assad, and carried out drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia."
Wsws.org (Saturday 27 Sepember 2014
YEMEN and ERITREA: From opposite sides the two countries straddle the narrow Red Sea literally rolling down from the land masses of the Arabian Peninsular respectively the Eastern part of the African continent into the long and narrow stretch of Red Sea to meet at the choke point where the massive Indian Ocean contracts into the Gulf of Aden as it begins to reduce further before narrowing to enter the Red Sea. These strategically located countries are obviously of significant interest to American imperialism which for years has been involved in domestic conflicts in Yemen where American Special Forces operate. Drones based in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti fly regular combat missions to bomb targets in Yemen under agreements with the government there. Drone attacks have come under international criticism for the devastation and heavy casualties the cause especially among civilians. These include a drone attack on a wedding convoy in the AQAP (Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsular) stronghold of the city of in December 2013 that killed 15 people. The country is a Saudi-American vassal state wracked by internal ethno-religious and political conflicts under the rule of the autocrat president Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi propped by American military power and Saudi petro dollars without which the regime is very unilkely to survive. Both the strong Sunni al-Qaida movement and the equally strong and well-organised Shia opposition minority Houthi movement in the country are listed as terrorist organisations by the United States, Nato and the EU and several drone attacks are constantly launched against them. Political power is in the hands of the sunni elite who constitute about 65% of the population. Shias and their Houthi movement fighting the puppet government in power constitute some 35% of the population. The country is currenlty on the brink of explosion with the Shias threatening to take power.
The United States has invested heavily in the country and has mobilised troops from satellite states like Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan and even Pakistan to join in proping the regime.
According to reports the US spent at least $147 million to develop Yemen's military and “counterterrorism" forces between 2012-2014. US bases in Djibouti and Saudi Arabia, operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), launched at least 54 drone strikes against Yemen in 2012 alone and a string of US drone attacks coordinated with Yemen's government in July-August 2013 killed at least 34. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/09/29/yeme-s29.html)
It will be recalled that Yemen is the country of origin of the Islamic cleric Awlaki whose death in a targeted drone assassination unleashed an intense legal debate in America about the right of the US President to order the assassination of American citizens without a due process of law. Awlaki's teenage son was also later assassinated in a similar drone attack.
DJIBOUTI, A country like Yemen which lies in the opposite direction only thirty kilometers across the Red. Through military agreements literally forced on the impoverished state American and French security needs have converted the country into a huge military base. Even here too the client regime survives only thanks to Franco-American military power and economic aid in exchange for using the country as a naval base and a station for murderous drones which are often flown to bomb targets in neighbouring Somalia. The US Drone base at Camp Lemonnier is known to be the largest base of its kind in Africa from where surveillance operations and attacks are launched out over Eastern Africa and the Arabian peninsular primarily against targets in Yemen. There are several thousand French and American military forces in the French neo-colony including at least 4 000 men of the redoubted US Special Forces. Political opposition has been silenced for the time being by the dictator state with French and American support. The client regime is almost certain to fall without Franco-American military presence.
For years the government of neighbouring SUDAN has been and still is the target of American subversion and was subjected to at least one devastating missile assault during the Clinton administration.
SOMALIA:The country is located on the shores of the Indian Ocean and controls the entrance to the Red Sea. Off the coast of Somalia the West has assembled its naval might under the guise of combating pirates. The country has been a principal target of US military operations for well over three decades and is currently managed by a government propped by the African Union whose authority does not stretch more than a few kilometers outside the capital Mogadishu. Powerful centrifugal forces hold different parts of the country and the northern part. Puntland has declared itself independent of the rest of Somalia and set up its own 'government'. The main target in Somalia is al-Shabaab said to be al-Qaida's arm in East Africa. The movement has claimed responsibility for the Westgate shoping centre massacre in Nairobi in September 2013 that claimed some 67 lives. It has also claimed responsibility for or been accused of a number of terrorist outrages in Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopia and as far away as Uganda and Tanzania. American Special Forces, including Navy SEALS are known to operate in Somalia and drone attacks from bases in neighbouring Djibouti are often lanuched into Somalia in pursuit of leaders of al-Shabaab. Several leaders of al-Shabaab have been assassinated in drone assaults, the latest victim being the movement's leader Ahmed Abdi Godane who was finally executed by American drones near Barawe in south-central Somalia in early September (2014). Al-Shabaab emerged in Somalia decades after American military presence there.
Even more disturbing is what appears to be a co-ordination between an African Union force of some 22 000 troops and elements of the American Special Forces ostensibly in a common fight against terrorism. The African Union is obviously taking a major, calculated risk through its military co-operation (symbiosis) with American forces (representing international imperialism) because the two do not have the same objectives in Somalia.
IRAQ A country fast disintegrating after years of American occupation which claimed the lives of up to a million Iraqis and finally achieved nothing. Iraqi oil has all along been the prime target and is now under western control after the invasion of 2003. Nato, the Americans and their EU puppets are back in Iraq in full force this time under the pretext of fighting IS, a terrorist movement created and funded by the United States with the intention of overthrowing the regime of president al-Assad in Syria. This time Australia and the ultra conservative states of the Gulf region have joined the fray. The disintegration of Iraq has only temporarily been halted by a massive stop-gap American military action. In the absence of continued American military power to back up the regime the country was on the brink of total collapse and disintegration. In Iraq the United States is now fighting side by side with fighters of the Turkish PKK, an organizaton banned in Turkey and listed both by Turkey and the United States as a terrorist organization! The PKK also fought in Syria alongside other Kurdish fighters against ISIS which was armed and supported IN SYRIA by the United States. By a twist of irony the United States is currently fighting against the same ISIS now not just across the border in Iraq but even in Syria! A similar scenario occurred when the West supported "rebels" to take power in Libya but condemned them as "terrorists" and rained bombs on them when they tried to take over Mali just across Libya's southern border. They were seen then as encroaching on western interests.
There was no al-Qaida or al-Nusrah in Iraq before the American invasion. ISIS is only a very recent creation having emerged as a splinter group from al-Nusrah/al-Qaida.
LIBYA : Throwing open the gates of hell!
An al-qaida operative and former ally of the United States, Nato and the European Union has warned the United States to keep its fingers off Libya. Otherwise, he warned, he would "open the gates of hell." Libya's oil and its geo-strategic location have been the prize for western military ventures.
Libya is on the edge of the precipice and will descend into full-blown civil war at any moment. Some jihadists are already clamouring for a partition of the country. Frankly, it would be no exaggeration to describe Libya today as failed state that has reached an advanced stage of disintegration. This is only some two years after a combined military aggression by the United States, the European Union and Nato in close collaboration with hardened Libyan al-Qaida terrorists overthrew the government of Moammar Gaddaffi. Nobody knows who governs that country today.The security situation has degenerated rapidly into what can rightly be described as a "bellum omnium contra omnes" (a war of all against all) among a countless number of armed militias representing on the one hand hardened jihadists formerly allied to the West, and stooges who still owe allegience to the West. Libya has been and still is a centre for recruiting terrorists to fight in Syria as part of Western-trained and armed armies currently fighting to overthrow the regime of Assad. The operation was then and perhaps still is directed by the American Central Intellience Agency in spite of tension between some factions of the jihadist movement and the US as surfaced in an intelligence blowback when islamic terrorists killed the American Ambassador and three consular staffers. Stevens was the United States vital link to the al-Qaida insurgents in the plot that ended with the overthrow and execution of Gadaffi in a war that killed at least 30 000 Libyans.
The story of two personalities in Libya can be singled out as demonstrating the intricate relations between the United States and the Libyan jihadists. One such person is Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush a grand old man of international terrorism. He is an indicted terrorist active in the al-Qaida Libyan affiliate the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) that in close co-operation with the CIA specialized in sending jihadist troops to Syria through the Libyan port of Derna. Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush was a longtime associate of Osama Bin Laden and lived in Pakistan when Al Qaeda was founded by the CIA to prosecute the US-led war against the pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. In 2000 he was indicted for giving support to the 1998 bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In spite of all that he still being used by the United States and allies.
Another case in point is that of the experienced jihadist and militia leader Abdelhakim Belhadj. The CIA abducted and subjected him to “extraordinary rendition," before sending him back to be imprisoned by Gadaffi in Libya on terror charges. He was later mobilized to join in the overthrow of Gaddafi before being sent on to fight the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Islamists and al-Qaida affiliates operate very freely in today's Libya and are quite capable, thanks to earlier massive support from the West, of seizing power and may, barring any western military intervention emerge victorious in the current civil war situation in the country. The black flag of al-Qaida is displayed freely in public in Libya and al-Qaida style executions are beginning to take place. On July 27th 2014 a public execution was carried out by Libya's Shura Council of Islamic Youth in the Islamic dominated town of Derna. This was one of at least two public executions the Council has to its credit. Amnesty International has condemned the executions as murder. It is from this very terrorist-infested town that the CIA organized secret flights of international jihadists and weapons to support US-Nato-EU orchestrated war to overthrow the government of Syria. Derna's Shoura Council of Islamic Youth is now said to have gone further and declared its allegience to the Islamic State, and to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's “Caliphate". That's an omninous sign of things to come! According to informed sources there could be up to 2 000 Libyan jihadists fighting with IS forces in newly proclaimed ‘Caliphate' in Syria/Iraq. This and other information would tend to indicate that there is far more enthusiasm and support for IS than media would like the world to know or believe (http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/10/07/more-libyans-killed-in-syria-fighting-for-is/#ixzz3FaiToGsF). See also annexe III. The TRIAD is lurching towards support for one Libyan faction (Dignity) against the other (the Islamists) in a civil war they have provoked. Another Iraq is clearly in the making. Both rival ‘governments' are riddled with deep internal divisions and corruption. Note! There was no al-Quaida in Libya before the western military intervention.
In a desperate move to save their fortunes in Libya, the United States, Nato and the European Union are creating even more confusion in the country by fanning the flames of war. A former Libyan army officer in Gadaffi's army who defected to become a CIA asset has suddenly emerged in Libya as leader of a western backed army to launch what he calls “Operation Dignity" with a mission to combat “extremists". In fact ‘general' Khalifa Hafter (N.B! The name is “Hafter" not “Hitler" even if the two names rhyme together) is an under cover CIA agent working to give military support to one of Libya's two governments neither of which controls much of the strife-torn country. This is a recipe for a made-in-USA disaster for Libya. The ‘government' supported by Hafter and headed by ‘Prime minister' Abdullah al-Thinni has the tacit support of the United States, Nato and the European Union. The other ‘government' is headed by ‘Prime minister' Omar al-Hassi
It is clear in particular from the case of Libya that the possibility of the United States, Nato and the European Union forming an alliance with the terrorists of Jama'atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda'awati wal Jihad, widely known as Boko Haram against the Nigerian government cannot be ruled out. This possibility is a threat and must be taken very seriously.
AFGHANISTAN: This is a very well publicised case and we do not need to say much about it. In Afghanistan the world is watching the orderly (at least so far) retreat of defeated western armies. After thirteen years of a so-called war on terror the United States, Nato and the European Union have achieved nothing! Parts of the country are generally ruled by cleptocrats whose major sources of income come from corruption and embezzlement of monies pumped into the country by the TRIAD as well as from proceeds from the flourishing narcotic trade conducted under the watchful eyes of American generals! Other parts of the country are in the hands of the Taliban who are likely to overrun the remaining parts once and if western grip over those parts are weakened with the impending (eventual) departure of western armies. The United States has now finally succeeded is geting Afghanistan to sign an agreement allowing American bases in the country even after a formal pull out of American and allied forces from the country at the end of 2014. American forces on Afghan territory after the formal withdrawal will be under American juridiction and subjected to American law. Such an arrangement is unlikely to arrest the slide of Afghansitan into civil war. Again a made-in-USA disaster in the making. The similarities between Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria are are very striking! The Pax Americana and the forced reconciliation between the two rival Abdullah Abdullah and Abdul Ghani is likely to prove illusory and there are well-founded fears that the present lull in the country is just the calm before the storm. Also here the United States and allied forces have been fighting for 12-13 years against a terorist organisation they have helped to create: the Taliban.
SYRIA The Assad regime is one of the few non-confessional, civilian regimes in the Middle East, and one of the many that with help from the West have used brutal methods to silence internal opposition. In most other countries of the Middle East opposition, organised or otherwise, is not even tolerated. The record of the regime is by all accounts not a very bright one. However, in many ways it is much better than that of most other regimes in the Middle East that still enjoy the firm support of the US, NATO and the EU.
The 'problem' with the Assad regime is not its 'brutality' or bad human rights record or its undemodratic character, but that it is perceived curenlty as representing in practically every respect, the very essence of a physical barrier in the way of Western geo-strategic interests in the Middle East. Among other things:
- A country strategically located in a region of the world with vast oil (strategic) resources under regime that has ceased to take its orders from the West.
- It has a relatively strong army not controlled by the West.
- It is a mortal enemy of Israel which is a bosom friend and close ally of the West, and a friend of Iran and Russia, strategic enemies of the West.
- The regime is also hostile and perhaps even a threat to several Arab dictatorships including petty monarchies and oppressive regimes that sit on vast oil reserves and are all protegés of the West
Syria is an example of what will happen to a country that breaks a 'pact' with the West and without permission tries to disengage from an 'alliance' (a symbiosis) with its former colonial masters and pursue policies that place it on a collision course with the West and its interests. A foreign provoked and financed civil war is ravaging the country. The United States, Nato and the European Union have shown clearly that they will stop at nothing in their efforts to overthrow the regime, even if that means arming and training jihadist terrorists to slaughter civilians.
Opposition to President Assad's rule comes from two main streams: the traditional civilian opposition and the religious, islamic extremist militant opposition formed by offshoots of the Saudi-financed and Western-armed and trained al-Qaida. The overthrow of the regime of President Assad and his replacement by a pliant regime has always been the single most important goal of the US, EU and Nato. This is part of the West's general Middle East policy of eliminating any potential threat to Western interests and a military opposition to Israel that is independent of the West. The regime's attempt to negotiate with the civilian opposition was scuttled by the West. Consequently the West divided the unarmed opposition and insisted on and succeded in prompting it to drop all negotiations, to take up arms (unsuccessfully), and to demand Assad's resignation (again without success). Simultaneously the west deliberately and purposefully/knowingly started to co-operate closely with the al-Qaida opposition and to arm it to the teeth since the overthrow of the Assad regime was judged to be impossible without the participation of al-Qaida. The Arab monarchies of the Gulf States fiananced these operations with their petro-dollars and the whole operation was carefully co-ordinated with Turkey.
After the overthrow of Gaddafi by the west and its Libyan al-Qaida allies huge quantities of Soviet-made weapons from Libyan stocks were organised and air lifted by the CIA and British M16 who also airlifted allies from the fanatical Libya Islamic Fithting Force to Syria to fight alongside the Syrian branch of al-Qaida which later developed first into ISIL, then ISIS to finally proclaim itself The Islamic State (IS). The Syrian religious extremists and fighters eventually proved to be smarter than their western backers were prepared to give them credit for. These particular religious fanatics and tactical allies of the West are people with a transcendental, universal, global mission not restrained by frontiers and not confined to Assad (Syria) or Nouri al-Maliki (Iraq) now replaced by Haidar al-Abadi who like al-Maliki, belongs to the Iraqi Shi'ite religious Da'awa party. Frustrated by their inability ot overthrow Assad they turned their attention to Iraq where they rightly judged prospects for success brighter than in Syria, and they succeeded beyond all expectation. But then they had crossed a red line. They were allies of the west as long as they confined their terror and military activities to Syria and fought to overthrow Assad. But then when they crossed the border into Iraq and attempted to overthrow a US-installed regime they were designated "terrorists" and America, Nato and EU started bombing them. ISIS and its sister terror organisation al-Nusrah both broke away from al-Quaida and worked together for a while before ISIS emerged from the shadow of al-Nusrah to become a full-fledged terror organisaton that today has dwarfed al-Nusrah in its terror and barbarity.
It is not surprising at all that mainsteam media which has been writing volumes about the atrocities of IS in Iraq and Syria is so completely quiet about this basic fact that IS is a product of US-Nato-EU policy in Syria and Iraq. Exactly the same pattern is being repeated in Mali, a southern neighbour of Libya. As long as the Western armed al-Qaida elements fought to overthow Khaddafi they were allies. But when they crossed the border to extend their terror into Mali America, France and the rest of the west quickly put the terrorist label on them again and mobilised to rain bombs and missiles and insults on them. There is a word in international imperlist vocabulary to describe this double standard with horrible consequences: "realpolitik".
This pattern of "realpolitik" is liekly to be repeated elsewhere and our guess is that Nigeria and perhaps also Cameroon are ripe for that scenario.
KENYA and UGANDA: The two countries provide the backbone of the African Union's military intervention force in somalia where US Special Forces are quite active. While the efforts of the mission are supported by the rest of Africa, the involvement of the United States (the "symbiosis" with the United States), as we have pointed out earlier, carries with it the clear risk of the African mission being used as a tool of US-Nato-EU foreign policy with far-reaching implications for the region and for Africa. Terrorist attacks have been registered in both countries with Kenya being subjected to outrageous, devastating assaults by al-Shabaab. The African Union would do better to completely dissociate its efforts for peace and security in Somalia from the geo-strategic designs of international Euro-American imperialism.
MALI , NIGER and TCHAD: Mali may already be next on the list of countries to be dismembered according to a secret imperialist plan. The Dutchman, Albert Gerard 'Bert' Koenders, the United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative in Mali probably betrayed himself when he caused a dismay in Malian government circles at a meeting in Algiers between the Malian government and representatives of some eight armed opposition separatist groups from the North of the country. The representative of the Secretry General is reported to have said that Mali was "strong in diversity". Read “better off as a country divided along ethnic lines."
The resurgence of Islamic militancy in Mali is the direct result of the overthrow and execution by the Western powers of Muammar Gadaffi in LIbya in alliance with Islamist and al-Qaida terrorists. France's claims that its intervention in Mali was based on the UN Security Council Resolution 2085 are unfounded and a direct violation of international law. That resolution which, by the way was passed under pressure from the the West, only authorises “the deployment of an African-led International Support Mission in Mali." François Hollande used the resolution as a pretext to bomb Mali and dispatch thousands of troops to fight there in January 2013, six months after coming to power. Mali was a French colony from 1892 to 1960 and is located at the centre of a region rich in resources including oil and uranium.
The UN is planning to deploy a total of some 12,600 troops to the region. The United States, Germany and in particular France are scheming to play a dominant role in the troop deployment in the region. France was supposed to have reduced the number of its troops in Mali from 3,200 to 1,000 by the end of last year but has showed some unexplained reluctance to do so and postponed that reduction by two months. There are also signs that France is planning a permanent stationing of troops in the region and is using the United Nations mission to the country MINUSMA as a Trojan horse.
The Netherlands promised to send combat helicopters and around 380 troops to boost the UN mission in the country. The United States has given generous material support to the French invasion, while Germany and Sweden have also pledged help with smaller numbers of troops to train Malian forces and carry out some other unspecified military missions.
The United States operates at least two drone bases in Niger, a French neo-colony where France has huge economic interests especially in the mining sector. France, a country hopelessly dependant on nuclear energ y owns and expolits a uranium mine in Arlit in Niger and has thousands of French troops stationed in the area. One drone station became operative in March this year in the capital Niamey and the other soon after in the town of Agadez.
Drones operate also from a French military base in Tchad from where they they have been flying missions claimed to be part of a general search for the 300 Nigerian school girls kidnapped by the terrorist organisation Boko Haram. Not much is known about the extent of American military involvement in Africa East and West, but it is very significant and fast growing. With the increase in Euro-American military involvement in Africa also follow mounting risks of wars and instability in these countries and regions with attendant social and political upheavils.
The CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: The uranium and diamond-rich country was on the verge of signing an economic co-operation agreements with China when armed guerillas suddenly emerged from the bush and quickly grew in numbers to become a threat to the ruling government. Simultaneously French forces appeared on the horizon and the French government appointed itself a mediator in the 'conflict'. It is obvious that the resurgence of guerilla activities and the appearance of French forces was a carefully planned and co-ordinated action by the former colonial power jealous and suspicious at the extensive economic ties that were rapidly developing between China and the Central African state. Since then the country has been experiencing a full-blown civil war with French forces comfortably in their military bases in the country. The United States has declared its full backing for the French intervention and the European Union has formally sanctioned a European Union military presence in the country with Germany dispatching units of the German army to support the French. It doesn't need much critical insight to understand that the Western military occupation is designed primarily to secure access to the country's resources while denying access to similar strategic resources especially to 'enemy' countries like China. With the fate of the country in the hands of occupying armies any government of the country may have no choice but to follow the rules of the game as set out by imperialism which will have no difficulty in supporting centrifugal forces in the country. There is already agitation for a "partition" in the name of democracy, human rights and a people's right to self-determination.
Interestingly, a faction in the civil war, the so-called Seleka followed its boycott of a 'peace' conference with ominous demands for a "partition the country". The demand was later dropped (for the time being). One can draw a parallel with this rebel demand for partition and the more sophisticated allusion to partition made by Gerard 'Bert' Koenders the outgoing representative of the UN Secretary General who caused a stir with his comment about the need for "diversity" in Mali (see previous page).
It is interesting to point out here that a pattern seems to be emerging: in the wake of western invasions the United Nations or the African Union organises military forces to operate parallel to the western military forces or to (temporarily) replace them. The exact logic behind having western and UN troops managing the same operation is an unanswered question. One wonders among other things what mandate the two groups have and under which command they operate. This appears to demonstrate the weaknesses of the UN and the ambivalent character of western military missions deployed in pursuit of interests but under UN or semi-UN mantle.
EMERGING TRENDS AND PATTERNS
We will try to pinpoint by way of a summary some common, observable threads deriving mainly from above cases. We have also drawn at some length from our study of the cases of Libya, Iraq and Syria which have not been recounted in the overview for reasons of lack of space and time.
- Symbiosis with the West (Western involvement or intervention) brings no peace or security to any target state. On the countrary the security situation in the targeted states worsenS and the population is left worse off.
- It would appear that once intrervention is mounted the intervening state sooner or later gets trapped in a web of contradictions that defy understanding and analysis.
- Once the invaders enter a country ripple effects from the impact occur and all neigbouring areas become a zone of strategic importance to be watched or defended. Imperialism may gape too wide and bite more than it can swallow at a time.
- The United Nations may be invited or ordered to come in where necessary and used as a cover to carry out dirty activities under a cloak of international legitimacy. Where necessary the ICC is also ordered to intervene to silence and put opponents out of action or nip presumed opponents in the bud even though the real culprits are those who give orders.
- The country targeted for regime change is threatened and simultaneously subjected to extraordinary media propaganda full of lies and omissions. The massive one-sided propaganda is designed to prepare public opinion (or divide it) for the military or similar action that has been planned and is in the pipeline or is already being implemented. The offences or crimes the targeted regime is accused of may even be imaginary and unverifiable, or may even have been deliberately provoked. Similar or even worse offences or crimes by 'friendly' regimes and persons are ignored, denied or dismissed.
- A wave of harsh sanctions are applied on the basis of lies or unsubstantiated charges as a strategy to get opponents and 'troublesome' persons out of the way. These sanctions may include restriction of movements, travel bans, seizure of assets and much more.
- In some cases imperialism is directly confronted with a dilemma: to stay on and prop up the regime at a higher cost than public opinion is prepared to accept, or withdraw and leave in its wake a failed state with the risk for a late or later action at a higher cost.
- Countries may be left decimated and the intervention may only be a prelude to a partition of the targeted country. There is reason to suspect that the United States, Nato and the EU go into action with a blue print for a number of actions including a partition of the target state. The idea of partition may also well be the result of incremental decisions taken ad hoc to meet changing situations. It may also be a spontaneous decision to meet an unexpected twist and turn of events leading to the adjustment to existing ethno-religious, geographic realities or the creation of new paradigmes. Such changes can also be made along historical or other fault lines as long as such action does not conflict with the interests of the TRIAD.
- US, Nato and EU interventions have almost always left in their wake a trail of horror and devastation followed by waves after waves of refugees and displaced persons numbering millions. Civilians and non-cambattants have invariably borne the brunt of these conflicts. These and many other negative outcomes, themselves the result of the intervention are then used to justify the need for even more vigorous action. Intervention turns self generating and a dangerous spiral is created.
In all the above cases the countries may not be democracies and the regimes in power may be repressive, corrupt and dictatorial. Such negative attributes are common characteristics even of regimes that are loyal to or friendly towards the West and have not prevented the TRIAD countries from doing business as usual with them and even defending them. It is only when the country is targeted for regime change that the attributes become a liability. The real reasons for the turn against the regime are hidden behind demands for respect for democracy and human rights, sometimes even invocation of the need to maintain world peace under Chapter 8 of the UN Charter, and ensure compliance with the 'doctrine' of "responsibility to protect".
In all these countries there are oppositions groups with genuine political and other grievances against their governments, just as there are people and groups in all countries including Western countries that disagree with the actions of their goverments and oppose them on different issues. What the US, Nato and EU governments and their secret services do, when they have targeted a specific regime or regimes for overthrow is to mobilise opposition and opposition parties, help to revive dormant ones or even help create inexisting ones them and use them as tools in their worldwide campaign to discredit the regime and call for its demise. In some cases they may even have had a hand in the very "crimes" they may now be denouncing the regime for. A gigantic world media campaign of exaggerations, half truths and outright lies is mounted against the targeted regime. The opposition and its organisations are generously financed and given wide publicity and where necessary divisions are created among them. Some well-known figures including long-forgotten ones who may have reached or even passed pension age or gone into exile after falling out with the regime are recruited and encouraged to "return home" as future leaders of a 'democratic' country. Thus corrupted and militarized, the opposition or at any rate part of it will be in no mood to engage in dialogue and seek a peaceful accomodation with the regime.
What is important to emphasize here is that in the calculations of the West, as Tony Blair pointed out, there are no moral considerations. In the face of overwhelming popular revolt Tony Blair urged the British government to join Obama in lanunching an invasion of Syria on the trumped up accusations that the regime had used chemical weapons. Obama's plan failed at that time. That plan has now been superficially revised and rushed through the American Congress which has approved it even though opinion polls have shown that the American people do not support American involvement in yet another war in the Middle East. Obama's new war in Iraq and Syria is openly supported by the conservative and reactionary Arab monarchies and American satellites of the Persian Gulf and more and more Western countries and their allies are coming out in support of this renewed adventure which may provoke a major conflagration in the Middel East and beyond. The war is also firmly supported by traditional international war mongers including Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney.
Like Henry Kissinger, George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others, Tony Blair, a Scott and a late convert to catholicism is an unrepentant and unindicted war criminal. Blair's conversion to catholicism seems even to have accelerated his intellectual and moral degeneration.
The obsession and the prospects of economic, political and geostrategic dividends may also explain why the imperialists do not hesitate to arm and train renegades and cut-throats including even organisations and indiviual they have placed on their own terror lists. These opprobious elements receive all financial and material help openly and secretely to improve their logistics and build them into a fighting force in order to overthrow their governments. Such acts by states are a direct contravention of international law. Experience has shown that this strategy is a fine and effective way of building the next generation of terrorists. Organisations and persons corrupted with money and living in relatiave comfort isolated from the people do not make an effective fighting force. They flee at the sound of guns and rifles and generally but not always do things that are congenial to the interests of US and allied imperialist interests.
IN SEARCH OF A MODEL TO STUDY NIGERIA – a preliminary step with three sequential stages and three actors
The underlying philosophy of the TRIAD's strategy can be summed up as "The end justifies the means." This simply means the TRIAD is behaving outside any moral norms. The United States, the European Union and Nato, acting in concert and aided by the international mass media transform into a malignant virus, penetrate the nerve centres of the target state and eventually cause a domestic conflict to mutate into a full-blown, destructive civil war which can then be exploited to rip a country apart and partition it. That process can, for the sake of simplicity, be divided into three distinct stages or periods.
To illustrate the entire process we have chosen a very simplified model of three sequential stages culminating in a final tertiary stage charaterised by a qualitative, genetic transformation as violence grows in intensity in the target state with the TRIAD hell bent on enforcing a regime change through war. The United Nations and the Security Council have been strategically 'marginalised' in this simplified model which is the result of a synthesis of our observations of TRIAD behaviour in interaction with several different countries which have been victims of regime change or targeted for such a change. The two bodies are only allowed in on the trerms of the TRIAD and at a time decided by the TRIAD. The assumed target country here is Nigeria, but the model can apply generally to TRIAD interaction with any other country in a similar situation as Nigeria. Boko Haram is kept and used as a pawn in a filthy game designed to blackmail the Nigerian government into making concessions to imperialism.
Stage I - 'alliance' with the central government
At this stage relations between the TRIAD and the target state are 'friendly' and there is no apparent attempt on the part of the TRIAD to "rock the boat". The activities from the side of the TRIAD include:
- Sending 'advisers'
- Selling expensive weapons to the government
- Training and equiping government forces to "defeat 'terrorists'"
- Active intelligence surveys
- Encouraging abuses and turning a blind eye to possible and active breaches of international law
- Conducting extensive drone surveillance over the territory and beyond
Stage II – from fence-sitting neutrality to active functional neutrality
The TRIAD becomes a little more active, sending feelers to the rebel side, but generally still 'siding' with the regime. Relations with the regime bigin to cool somewhat towards the end of this stage.
- First requests are made to be soon transformed into demands that the central government "makes concessions."
- Multiple actors are brought in to 'solve' the conflict. This is intended to deliberately obfuscate the issue. Too many cooks spoil the soup, goes the saying.
- By multiplying the number of local actors initiative for 'resolving' the conflict is wrestled from the hands of the central government and the United States, Nato and the European Union present themselves as peace-brokers and the only ones capable of talking to both sides.
- The authority of the central government is slowly eroded and the insurgents are slowly 'rehabilitated' and placed on equal footing with the cental government
- Interference in domestic policy and influencing local and international press by planting the idea of power sharing, etc
- The self-appointed mediators begin to shift sides by making demands on behalf of the insurgents which they know the government will reject. This tends to embolden the insurgents who may threaten to break off 'negotiations.'
- Planting agents and establishing secret contacts with rebels and creating a 'moderate' opposition
- Infiltration of both government and opposition ranks
- Neutralising governments' efforts at peaceful solution.
Stage III- full-cycle metamorphosis
Finally the view that the jihadist rebellion is the problem is gradually modified and finally recedes into the background and the Nigerian government slowly emerge to replace jihadism as the major problem. The country is now fighting for its survival as a nation state. State actors slowly begin to wake up to the fact that the aim of the TRIAD has been to create a weak and divided state under the pretext of promoting democracy and human rights and defending the internationally recognised right of people to self delermination,
The United States, Nato and the EU acting in concert finally factorize themselves (itself) as an exogamous variable into the Nigerian political-security equation. If and when this happens centrifugal forces receive a new lease of oxygen and the fate of Nigeria as a nation state (federal och unitary or whatever) is sealed. A descent into the precipice has begun. Up to a million out of the estimated 30 million people of Iraq have been slaughtered. Nigeria's population is at least 5 times as much as that of Iraq! Some 200 000 people have been killed in the ongoing imperialist-sponsored civil war in Syria. At least 30 000 Libyans were killed and more than 50 000 wounded in the US-Nato-EU bombings in the Libyan war for regime change. Before that 5 million people had died in Eastern Congo and nearly a million in Rwanda. In Afghanistan, Mali, Yemen, Somalia, (Eastern) Congo, Central Africa, Chad and elsewhere senseless wars are raging with different degrees of involvement from the United States, Nato and the European Union. Practically all these countries have been deeply divided and some are on the verge of disintegration. With the continued presence of foreign armies on its soil Nigeria may soon face a similar fate.
The tone is now visibly harsh. This time the TRIAD means business. It draws on its long experience of provoking wars and carries with it its huge bag of dirty tricks. Its actions include creating the following mix of scenarios:
- Blaming the central government and accusing it of crimes against:
a. democracy and human rights and the rule of law
b. advancing arguments to make a case for responsibility to protect
c. levelling accusations of genocide
That some of these accusations may be correct is not really the point. The question is whether they are made in good faith and whether they are not exaggerated and taken out of context. Have existing institutions designed to address these problems been effectively used? This and other point need to be examined and discussed more in depth.
- Invocation of international humanitarian laws. The so-called International criminal court will then be ordered into action to declare Nigerian leaders guilty of crimes against humanity and to order their arrest. This may help to weaken the Nigerian military machinery and finally perhaps even put it out of action
- Turning to the Security Council and attempting to sway it by citing, probably out of context Chapter 7 of the UN charter to call on the UN and the council to endorse armed intervention to prevent a threat to interntional peace and security.
- Splitting the African Union, setting it aside if and when necessary and frustrating any attempts by the African body to mediate in the conflict
- Using economic, military and diplomatic pressures
- Mobilising the international press into full gear with bias reporting, unsubstantiated allegations, half truths and outright lies
- Arming, financing and training a 'moderate' Nigerian opposition in an attempt to subvert and overthrow the govenment and replace it with a more malleable one
- Mobilizing Nato (including Canada and Australia) and the EU puppets as well as Nigerian elements in the diaspora and other allies and puppets in a coalition of the "'Friends' of Nigeria."
- Provoking a civil war and arming the rebels "to defend themselves"
- With the help of media an attempt is made to rehabilitate the terrorist movement and gain sympathy for it. Their military strength grows exponentially, and we may soon hear that they have formed a 'political' wing ready for "peaceful negotiations"
- Using every means to encourage domestic centrigufal forces and trigger other forms of domestic rebellion against the Nigerian State
- Economic sanctions and seizure of assets of targeted Nigerians and Nigerian businesses.
- Convening international conference on the future/partition of Nigeria along ethnic lines and ensuring that resource areas are in the hands of groups friendly to democracy and America
- The airwaves and printed media are soon after saturated with discussions beamed to the country about democracy, human rights (read oil and gas rights) and the rule of law (read the rule and smell of oil and gas).
- The special forces, 'advisers,' and 'employees' of security firms provide "boots on the ground" or advanced units of such
A triangular interaction between three actors
N.B.: A detailed and more coherent study of the stages and their relations to the triangle is planned for later.
Prior to and under stage I the TRIAD (The United States, Nato and the European Union) interact with the Nigerian State, ostensibly to help it defeat the insurgency, but in fact to influence its policy towards the jihadist rebellion in a way that is congenial to the TIRADS common interests. Their presence in Nigeria also gives them the opportunity to gather first hand actionable information not only about the security of the state, but also to access thestrengthand weaknesses of the jihadist rebellion. This includes accessing the strength and weaknesses of the movement and identifying areas of convergence of interests. Our contention is that the policy of the TRIAD is not to help end the rebellion but to control it and use it to promote their intersts. It is significant to observe that under the watchful eyes of the TRIAD Boko Haram appears to be getting stronger and is strong enough to continue to destabilise Nigeria and even launch cross border attacks into neighbouring Cameroon. This does not disturb the TRIAD's strategy. On the contrary, it strengthens the TRIAD's bargaining position vis-a-vis the Nigerian government.
At this initial stage there is no formal obeservable contact between the TRIAD and the rebellion because any open contact will not be acceptable to the Nigerian government. However, secret, informal contacts beteen the rebellion and the intelligence services of the TRIO cannot be ruled out. The Nigerian government continues its offensive against the rebellion, presumably with help from the TRIAD mainly in the form of arms sales and 'advisors'. Since drone operations are known to be involved it is reasonable to assume that at least some information is also cleared and passed on to the Nigerian government. One would expect other types of information to be witheld for exclusive use by the TRIAD
Stage II. Relate to stage II, page 18, above
The apparent growth in strength of the insurgents, perhaps even secretely aided by the TRIAD, consciously or through deliberate negligence, can be exploited to blackmail the Nigerian government and stampede it to the 'negotiating' table where the TRIAD hold the aces. Thus the growth in strength of the insurgents can be consistent with the plan of the TRIAD. The two-way interaction betwee the TRIAD and the Nigerian government intensifies and the TRIAD finally succeedes in applying pressure on the Nigerian government to authorize initial informal contact with the insurgents to get them to "relinquish violence". Simultaneously the TRIAD tries to exercise more control on the Nigerian goverment's prosecution of the war in a way that is commensurate with the interests of the TRIAD. The interaction between the TRIAD and the insurgets intensifies and the TRIAD first pleads with the Nigerian government, then requests and finally demands that the Nigerian government scales down its offensive to enable a negotiated settlement to the conflict. We have reached the stage where the TRIAD now see themselves as the only side that can talk to both parties. This is shown in the diagram by the absence of a two-way communication between the government and the rebellion. We are now heading towards stage III
Stage III. Relate to stage III, pages 18-19 above.
A complete reversal of alliances has occurred. Dialogue with the Nigerian state collapses. The insurgents slowly receive training, financing and the supply first of non-lethal weapons to be replaced sooner or later with lethal weapons. The TRIAD maintains its two-way interaction with the jihadists, an international media campaign is mounted to discredit the Nigerian government and to express support and sympathy for the insurgents, etc. etc. Finally the Nigerian government is subjected to a two-pronged military assault from the combined armies of the TRIAD (imperialism already has "boots on the ground") and their insurgent jihadist allies. Attempts at a regime change is under way. Under certain conditions, this will lead over time to the collapse and disintegration along religious-ethnic lines of the Nigerian state and its replacement with smaller independent pliant 'states.'
Imperialism, neo-colonialism and the Nigerian state – the politics of partition
One may ask: If imperialist America is a " causa omnium malorum" (source of all evil) why can it also not be a "causa bonorum" (source of good) or at least of some good for Nigeria? Instead of partitioning Nigeria can America not be a factor for unity, strength and a source of inspiration for democracy in a prosperous and united Nigeria free from corruption and terrorism? A very sincere answer to that question is a resounding NO! For at least thirty years America subjugated and plundered the Congo in collaboration with a despot whom America also defended to the very last. Eastern Congo is on the verge of collapse with armed bands of all types roving the countryside. Saudi Arabia, the cradle of world jihadist terrorism, is American imperialism's protégé and closest ally in the Middle East second only to Israel.
In the cost-benefit analysis of the United States, Nato and the European Union cynics it is unlikely that the 'cost' (to imperialism) of maintaining Nigeria as a unified state and using it as an instrument of foreign policy will be less than the 'benefit' (to imperialism) of dismembering the country into small, independent, weak and resource-rich units continually at war with one another and depending for their survival on imperialist paternalism and generosity. Imperialism often points to corruption in Africa as proof that Africa's ills are homegrown and have nothing to do with foreign powers. At the same time they dare not deny the strong links binding corruption in Africa to the illegal transfers of huge sums of money for instance from foreign companies operating in African countries. They are also not unaware of the role of foreign banks in illicit transfers . In short they are fully aware of the very strong links existing between corruption and imperialist institutions and between the African bourgeoisie and the political economic and financial institutions of the West. It is difficult to explain why lawmakers in the TRIAD states are so scared to enact anti-corruption legislation authorising the seizure and eventual return of corrupt assets from Africa invested in European and American banks and other institutions.
A deeper understanding of US, Nato and EU activities and their impact on Nigeria can be gained through a class analysis of the dynamics of foces at work within the Nigerian state. We cannot do justice to this broad theme in a simple article with focus on foreign military interventions and strategies. We will therefore confine our observations here to a brief description of the main features of the Nigerian state and the character of the bourgeoisie (ruling class) as the principal agent in direct interaction with international imperialism.
The Nigerian state is an illegitimate institution (mis)managed and led by a generally corrupt bourgeoisie. This explains the structural weaknesses that can make it a prey to imperialist machinations.
Nigerian society is made up of a web of complex relations between religion, politics, ethnicity, geography and social classes. The mass of Nigerians are alienated from the state, have no stake in its existence and do not trust its institutions.
Nigeria is by all accounts a big trophy for imperialist fortune hunters. Abuja has overtaken South Africa as the African continent's largest economy and thereby in a way become the port of entry into the economic heart of Africa. It is a fairly big country, (923,768.00 square kilometers) has a sizeable population (some 170 million people) and great ethnic diversity with an inherent potential for ethnic conflicts that may not always be difficult for a foe to trigger and exploit. Perhaps even more importantly Nigeria is generously endowed with natural resources including oil, and we know imperialism cannot resist the smell of oil and gas. Wherever and whenever imperialists smell oil and gas they rush to the country with their technology and their guns. When imperialists smell oil they start to behave like dogs at the sight of a bone, or the way a cat behaves when it smells fish or when its primitive hunter instincts are aroused at the sight or smell of a mouse!
The state, the most powerful institution of Nigerian society is perceived by the ordinary Nigerian as an illegitimate institution. This simply means that a vast majority of Nigerias people, the workers, peasants, members of religious groups and ordinary citizens have no stake in the state and its institutions, and are in many ways even hostile to them. Regional, religious, ethnic and local institutions not tied to the state tend to challenge the power and influence of the state and compete with it for the allegience of the population. Most of these institutions have a much longer history and tradition than the modern Nigerian state and may in many ways even have stronger authority and influence at the local level than the state. Consequently they may fail to mobilise in support of the state when they are most needed.
Critical to the survival of the Nigerian state is the behaviour of the Nigerian bourgeoisie (elite, middle class, ruling class, the traditional aristocracy, etc). No study of Nigerian society and politics would be complete if it failed to point out that the country is blessed with a small coterie of very influential, wealthy and extremely corrupt bourgeoisie with an insatiable appetite for consumption goods and services, and with natural links to international imperialism.
The parasitic bourgeoisie faces a dilemma. On the one hand it is the single most important actor with a stake in the survival of the Nigerian state whose continued existence is vital for the bourgeoisie's own survival. On the other hand it is also dependent on the TRIAD to whom it is linked in a corrupt relationship of dependency as its principal source of trade, finance and investments and for the provision of consumption goods. But since the activities of the TRIAD on whom the bourgeoisie depends are aimed at weakening and eventually destroying the Nigerian state on whom also the bourgeoisie depends, the latter is caught between Scylla and Charybdis, hence its unpredictable and irrational behaviour (inviting the TRIAD to help defend the state!)
Even though the focus of this article is on external factors and imperialism the seriousness of the problem with the Nigerian elite should not be underestimated. The ruling elite is a major and undeniable problem. It is an open secret that the bourgeoisie is a lazy and compromised parasitic class whose flamboyant life style is financed for the most part through bribery and corruption and mismanagement of resources on a scale that carries with it the risk of jeopardising the Nigerian state and security. This is a root cause of the social malaise afflicting Nigeria and other African states. To safeguard against such abuses and attendant risks it is necessary to organise and strengthen popular institutions so that the average Nigerian can have a stake in the continued existence of the Nigerian state and perceive Boko Haram and other centrifugal forces as a threat both to the survival of the Nigerian states and to their own individual and personal security and well-being. This is an effective strategy to forestall the people's alienation from the state.
THE LESSONS OF THE CIVIL WAR: Abuja has certainly not forgotten the behaviour of American and French imperialsim at the time of the Biafran seccessionist war. That war was in the first place a legacy from British imperialist and neo-colonialist rule. The territory of Biafra was believed at the time to include the oil regions of Nigeria. All the imperialist countries had their sight fixed on the oil in Biafra, even if their individual approaches to get at the oil differed. French imperialism was quick to treacherously seize the opportunity (under the guise of promoting human rights and democracy and supporting internationally recognised right of peoples to self-determination) to recognize the secession and to start arming the seccessionists in the hope of winning oil prospecting and mining concessions in the area in a dismembered Nigeria. American imperialism was more skillful and calculating in its behavour. The United States never uttered a single statement in support of the Federal governmnet and initially adopted an attitude of fence sitting neutrality, watching the war from the sidelines. In the long run the French turned out to have backed the wrong horse when the secession finally collapsed. The United States waited and watched from the sidelines until it was very clear the Federal government was winning the civil war and the oil resources would remain in Federal hands. What America then did was to rush a plane load of old weapons to Lagos airport to be delivered to the central governmnet at a time it had no need for them!
Currently a dangerous situation is arising which is creating the illusion that the security of Nigeria is dependent on the generosity and arms provisions from the United States, Nato and the European Union. Indications are that even with the presence of these forces in the country the Boko Haram insurgency is most likely to intensify and spread, perhaps secretely co-ordinated and fanned by these same forces Nigeia has invited and given a free hand to help contain the rebellion. In fact their very presence gives false hopes to the government and foolishly encourages it to see the rebellion in purely military terms even though there is glaring evidence that there are genuine basic socio-economic and political causes to the insurgency. The foreign military presence will only embolden the government and frustratrate/obstruct attempts to find a local solution outside the control of imperialist America, Nato and the European Union. A successful Nigerian solution will leave them with no influence over any post-war political dynamics, an influence that is vital for imperialism to legitimize its continued presence in the country.
Any continuation of Nigeria's war on the Boko Haram terror or even a stalemate in the war while US, Nato and EU forces are still in the country will prove fateful for Nigeria. Imperialism will manoeuvre and may succeed in factoring itself as a critical exogenous variable into the political security equation of Nigeria. To demand or force their departure would then have come too late as this will be seen to create a security vacuum and raise an existential problem for the Nigerian state.
The decision to extend an invitation to foreign forces, whether voluntarily made or under coercion, or whether induced (and all this is possible) is as unexpected as it is foolish (it may even have taken the imperislists by surprise)and may prove fateful to the country's survival as a state. American imperialism together with its satellite states has without any resistance crossed a vital line of defence of the Nigerian state and been given a blank cheque to massively infiltarate Nigeria and collect sensitive data on Nigerian security.
The Nigerian nation-state is a multiethnic country par excellence resting as it is on structures created by European colonialism and imperialism to suit a policy of oppression and exploitation. The civil war showed the fragility of the state structure and the crack opened within the edifice cannot be assumed to have disappeared. They have only been plastered over. It must not be forgotten that most of the basic problems the country is facing were the direct creation of European rule and the policy of divide and rule. The very people who defied logic to put together Nigeria in a way that suited their designs will not hesitate to advance the same arguments (after provoking and encouraging divisions) to 'convince' the world that, to quote the late Biafran seccessionist leader Ojuku "(Nigerian) unity is a foreign coat that doesn't fit."
Does anybody doubt that imperialism is capable of exploiting Nigeria's multi religiosity and multi ethnicity - which constitute the strength of that vibrant country - to engineer its disintegration? Does anybody doubt that imperialism can exploit common-place, genuine grievances, let us say the grievances of the Ogoni people of the oil-rich part of Nigeria to arm them in an attempt to wrestle that part of the country from the rest of what may be left of Nigeria? Remember Kuwait was created by British imperialism out of what is today Iraq because of oil!
Conflicts and rivalries, sometimes even of a destructive and disturbing character do exist among and between African states. However, these should not be confused with the evident truth that the existence of an independent, strong and pan-African oriented Nigeria is incompatible with the global, hegemonstic impulses of the United States, Nato and the European Union.
Boko Haram terrorism is providing a convenient cover to retroactively legitimise an imperialist military agenda in Nigeria which has a long history. It is the single most serious threat to the unity and territorial integrity of Nigeria since the civil war, not only because of the separatist and fanatical character of the rebellion but principally because it is legitimising an even more deadly threat to Nigeria: American, Nato and European Union military violence designed to partition and country and seize its resources.
The American, Nato and EU warlords appear to be following a plan already worked out for the partition of Nigeria. After all they were the very forces that "made Nigeria." So why should they not be able to "break (up) Nigeria." "What imperialism has put together let no other force but imperialism put asunder!"
The maintenance of current international order and with it current world security architecture with the UN Security Council as the final arbiter, however inadequate or perhaps even undesirable, is contingent upon a strict adherence of all nations to the the fundamental doctrine of the sovereignty of states and the concomitant principe of the inviolability of frontiers. This was also the sacred ontological precept inherited by the African Union from its predecessor the Organization for African Unity and upheld by the African Union. However, where and when it perceives its interetsts to be at stake imperialism has never observed nor will it ever respect or accept any interntional laws that limit its choice of means to reach its goals. Again, the simple unwritten precept guarding the behaviour of the United States, Nato and the European Union: the end justifies the means!
Boko Haram seems to be gaining in strength and even expanding its activities across frontiers in spite of, maybe even because of western military involvement in Nigeria. What the Nigerian elite seems to have forgotten is that extrremism, and in particular the type of religious terrorism as represented by Boko Haram thrives best in conditions created and bequeathed by colonialism and maintained by neo-colonialism and imperialism as represented by the United States, Nato and the European Union: poverty, ignorance and disease. Any measures undertaken to combat poverty, ignorance and disease will eventually, all other things being equal, defeat Boko Haram and imperialism
It should not be forgotten that the immediate interests of the United States, Nato and Boko Haram converge. A dismantling of the state of Nigeria as it exists in its present form is what both imperialism and Boko Haram desire, even though they may have different reasons for desiring such an outcome: imperialism for world hegemony and economic and financial material gains, Boko Haram for some mythical transcendental world hegemony like the paradise 'Caliph' Ibrahim of the Islamic State and his IS fellow jihadists are cutting throats to create!
The most secure exit strategy for Nigeria would be an immediate termnination of all security and military co-operation with the United States, Nato and the European Union. Simultaneously Nigeria must break free from the dictatorship of the so-called World Bank and the IMF, two financial bulwarks of world capitalism whose principal mission in the world is to manufacture poverty and control the economies of developing countries. Parallel to ending military ties Nigeria must launch a massive nationwide infrasturctural build up, provide free basic educational and health programmes and at the very least affordable such programmes. The extremely disturbing gaps in development and availability of infrastructural and other facilities between North and South, between urban and rural Nigeria have to be bridged. Free or affrodable housing, drinking water and electricity must be provided for all Nigerians including in particular the poorest segments of the population in the poorest areas of the country including naturally the areas under siege from the Boko Haram terrorists. Nigeria has enough resources to do all this and more.
The greatest hurdle to the removal of foreign forces and the improvement of the social conditions of (rural) Nigeria is the parasitic, ambivalent very corrupt bourgeoisie/elite and its interaction with western economic and military strategic interests. Yet unless this hurdle is cleared there is a real risk that the rebellion will spread and sap the strength of the state. Nigeria will then eventually become a failed state ready for partition.
Can Barack Obama start a Third World War?
- Yes he can!
Even a nuclear war?
- Yes he can!!
- Oh yes he can!!!
English summary of the article below written in Swedish: In his valedictory speech outgoing Afghan president Karzai tells his people to beware of the Americans. Americans, he says should never be trusted. They are not in Aghanistan to help the country and its people but to pursue their own ends. The war in Afghanistan, Karzai says, could have been ended long ago and can be ended now if the Americans (and their Pakistani puppets) want.
Föreningen Afghanistansolidaritet Nyhetsbrev 2 oktober 2014
KARZAIS AVSKEDSTAL. KALLAR AMERIKANSKA
INSATSEN I AFGHANISTAN ETT FÖRRÄDERI
"Amerika ville inte ha fred i Afghanistan eftersom de
hade sin egen agenda och sina egna mål här,"
berättade han för ett auditorium med hundratals
regerings- och stabsmedlemmar i presidentpalatset i
Kabul och varnade dem sedan för att lita på
amerikanarna. "Jag har alltid sagt detta: om Amerika
och Pakistan vill ha fred är det möjligt att få fred i
Karzais fördömande av USA kom i termer som blivit
vanliga att höra för diplomater som såg det
televisionssända talet från den kraftigt befästa
amerikanska ambassaden bara några kvarter bort från palatset. Vad presidenten inte nämnde var de mer än 2000 amerikanska liv och hundratals miljarder dollar som USA offrat i kampen mot talibanerna och som borde uppskattats mer. Istället prisade Karzai utförligt stödet från länder som gett betydligt mindre såsom Indien. Han nämnde inte offren från andra västallierade och inte heller från sina egna säkerhetsstyrkor som förlorat uppskattningsvis 15 000 män dödade i ett krig som inte tycks ta slut.
"Jag vill tacka de stater som genuint stött oss." sa
Karzai. "Västländerna har haft sina egna intressen –
västländerna och USA hade sina egna särskilda
intressen." Den avgående amerikanske
ambassadören, James B. Cunningham, meddelade
västjournalister att Karzais uttalanden var
otacksamma och ovänliga. "Det gör mig på något sätt
sorgsen. Jag tror hans uttalanden som var
oberättigade gör det amerikanska folket en otjänst
och vanhedrar uppoffringarna som amerikaner gjort
här," sa Cunningham
…Karzai försökte förklara för regeringstjänstemännen
sin benhårda vägran att skriva under en bilateral
säkerhetsöverenskommelse med USA som skulle
tillåta amerikanska trupper att kvarstå i Afghanistan
efter detta år. Ghani ( den nye presidenten, min anm
LGL) har lovat att underteckna det så snart han är
installerad och många inom Karzais egen regering var
kritiska till hans ståndpunkt. "Jag tror att
Afghanistans stabilitet är direkt relaterad till USA och
Pakistan," sa Karzai. "Detta krig är till för de särskilda
syftena hos utländska intressen och det är en strid för utomstående i vilken afghaner offras."
New York Times 23 september
(Source: Newsletter no.2, published by Afghanistan Committee, October 2014)
The 10 most dangerous terrorist groups in the world
(All the groups except numbers 7 and 10 are mentioned in this article)
Even though the source of the information below – an American private intelligence compoany - is obscure and appears to be of generally doubtful credibility (see Editor's note, below), the list can nevertheless serve as a rough guide to the obscure world of terrorism
Benghazi, 2 October 2014:
The US private intelligence company, IntelCenter, which provides information to various organisations, has listed the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council as the eighth most dangerous group in the world. The Group Threat Index (GTI) listing is based on what the organisation says is “terrorist and rebel activity" over a 30-day period – in this case, up to 15 September 2014. The activity is, it claims, drawn from alerts, messaging traffic, videos, photos, incidents and the number of people killed and injured by a group over the 30-day period.
The latest listing is:
- Islamic State (IS)
- Al-Shabaab (mainly in Somalia)
- Boko Haram (mainly in Nigeria)
- Al-Houthi movement (in Yemen)
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
- Islamic Front (in Syria)
- Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council
- Al-Nusrah Front (in Syria and Lebanon)
- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
The BRSC includes Ansar al-Sharia, Libya Shield No. 1 Brigade, 17 February Martyrs Brigade and Rafallah al-Sahati Brigade.
Questions have been asked in the past about InterCenter's reliability and credibility, although not recently.
So far no country or international organisation such as the UN or EU has listed the BRSC as a terrorist organisation. The US government has classified Ansar Al-Sharia as such, as has the Libyan government, and France demanded that the UN do so at the meeting on Libya held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York a week ago. It is reported that the EU is preparing to do so.
Meanwhile, given the wave of assassinations and attempted assassinations in the past fortnight in Benghazi, most of which are being attributed to BRSC affiliates, it seems likely that the organisation will further climb IntelCenter's danger index.
Editor's note: the headline to this story originally read “UN Intelligence Company". We apologise for this error.
More Libyans killed in Syria fighting for IS
Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 7 October 2014:
Three Libyans have been killed in Syria in recent days, according to Daesh, also known as the Islamic State. The most recent death was of an unnamed Libyan who Daesh reported had died fighting Kurds north of Aleppo.
Last week the organisation announced the death of Abu Sahaib and Abu Ouf, though no further details were given.
There are no clear figures for the number of Libyans who have gone to Syria and Iraq to join up with IS. Estimates range from a few hundred to one or two thousand. Most would-be IS members find their way to the organisation via Turkey. Many are young people who quit Libya without warning and leave worried families behind them
Read more: http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/10/07/more-libyans-killed-in-syria-fighting-for-is/#ixzz3FaiToGsF