I’ve been following the news events about Nigeria’s supposedly Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. However, something doesn’t sit right with me in the way the whole situation is being reported. Of course, western media as usual simplifies all conflicts into 2 opposing sides… in this case Muslims vs. Christians… with these Muslim extremists confirming all we are told to believe and expect from Islam.
The vast majority of us in North America, particularly of African descent, just shrug our shoulders, don’t seriously concern ourselves with African issues and just believe what they are told: “Africans are savages, ungovernable and tribal.” They don’t dig any deeper, to at least try to understand what is really going on in our Motherland. For example, the Obama administration’s policy of increased militarization in Africa via AFRICOM … especially in oil rich areas… in an effort to counter the increasing Chinese colonization of the continent.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in Africa, as well as the 7th largest in the world (see here). What better
reason ruse than to fight Islamic terrorism, can be used (by the so-called “Christian” West) as a justification for not only increasing security funding to the pro-American Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan, but to also send in US military advisors and special forces.
Here are 3 articles that dig a little deeper and provide a fuller perspective into the issues surrounding the recent sectarian violence in Nigeria:
- Boko Haram: The answer to terror lies in providing more meaningful human security
- In Nigeria, Boko Haram Is Not the Problem
- Nigeria: The Next Front for AFRICOM
Please share any other articles you come across that will provide further insight into this topic.
The truth is out there.
As South Sudan implodes in a growing mass insanity of ethnic violence and once again tens of thousands have to flee for their lives the warning signs all point towards the US plan to destabilize Sudan having begun to hit its stride.
To start with, the US pays the salaries for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA, the national army of South Sudan), over $100 million in 2011 alone. Does a country really have independence when a foreign power pays its army’s salaries? Whose orders is the army really going to follow?
Today, thousands of UN “peacekeepers” are pouring into South Sudan. These “peacekeepers” are almost entirely from next door Ethiopia and are part of an Ethiopian military carrying out a counterinsurgency/genocide in the Ogaden in south east Ethiopia.
An Ethiopian military that has repeatedly invaded Somali acting under orders from the USA. The same Ethiopian army that six years earlier invaded Eritrea. “Peacekeepers” indeed.
The Ethiopian “peacekeepers” salaries, all their expenses actually, are being paid for by Uncle Sam. So the South Sudan military is paid for by the USA as well as the UN Ethiopian “peacekeepers”. With friends like this is it any wonder that South Sudan is disintegrating?
And now comes word that the Obama regime presently occupying the White House in the USA is planning on “selling” advanced weaponry to the SPLA. As every day hundreds of children in South Sudan die from lack of clean drinking water, food, shelter and medical care the USA’s answer is to provide jet fighters and bombers, the better to see Sudanese kill Sudanese.
What this is all about is the Sudanese oil fields in the Abeye region, basically right on the border between Sudan and South Sudan. The Sudanese oil fields are the only majority owned and controlled Chinese developed oil fields in Africa.
The “USA/UN” plan is supposed to see up to 10,000 Ethiopian military personnel under cover of a UN “peacekeeper” mandate take up stations around the Abeye oil fields, the better to one day control that oil.
Ethiopia is the USA’s local enforcer, cop on the beat/gendarme in East Africa and where better to use its services but around the only Chinese owned and controlled oil field in Africa in Sudan’s Abeye region.
The USA can kill two birds with one stone by destabilizing South Sudan. The first is by helping to instigate a series of ethnic bloodbaths in South Sudan, maybe ignite an outbreak of fighting between Sudan and South Sudan and under cover of which the Abeye oil fields, and the very vulnerable Abeye-Port Sudan pipeline will be attacked and damaged.
This will effectively end China’s most important energy development project in Africa.
Secondly, by cutting off Sudan’s oil supply the USA will put enormous pressure on the Sudanese government lead by President Omar Al Bashir. With his oil revenues halted Pres. Bashir will find it very difficult to maintain the standard of living many of his people have come to expect and this could seriously destabilize the government.
In mid 2011 South Sudanese officials were reported to have said that the USA had told them they didn’t need oil money to survive, they could depend on western aid. A fore teller of things to come?
Whether this all comes to pass or not, the one thing clear for the world to see is that the western supported independence of South Sudan is turning into a nightmare for the people of the region. Little wonder when one finds out who is actually funding, and now arming, the armed forces in the country.
The one thing that should be expected is a continuing “crisis management” policy by the USA in South Sudan, as in create a crisis and then manage the murder and mayhem the better to exploit the wealth of the land, or if necessary, at least deny it to your enemy.
And maybe even see the end of the long western vilified Sudanese government lead by President Omar Al Bashir in the process.
Thomas C. Mountain is the only independent western journalist in the Horn of Africa, living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. He can be reached at email@example.com
From energy wars to water wars, the 21st century will be determined by a fierce battle for the world’s remaining natural resources. The chessboard is global. The stakes are tremendous. Most battles will be invisible. All will be crucial.
In resource-rich Africa, a complex subplot of the New Great Game in Eurasia is already in effect. It’s all about three major intertwined developments:
1) The coming of age of the African Union (AU) in the early 2000s.
2) China’s investment offencive in Africa throughout the 2000s.
3) The onset of the Pentagon’s African Command (Africom) in 2007.
Beijing clearly sees that the Anglo-French-American bombing of Libya – apart from its myriad geopolitical implications – has risked billions of dollars in Chinese investments, not to mention forcing the (smooth) evacuation of more than 35,000 Chinese working across the country.
And crucially, depending on the outcome – as in renegotiated energy contracts by a pliable, pro-Western government – it may also seriously jeopardise Chinese oil imports (3 per cent of total Chinese imports in 2010).
No wonder the China Military, a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) newspaper, as well as sectors in academia, are now openly arguing that China needs to drop Deng Xiaoping’s “low-profile” policy and bet on a sprawling armed forces to defend its strategic interests worldwide (these assets already total over $1.2 trillion).
Now compare it with a close examination of Africom’s strategy, which reveals as the proverbial hidden agenda the energy angle and a determined push to isolate China from northern Africa.
One report titled “China’s New Security Strategy in Africa” actually betrays the Pentagon’s fear of the PLA eventually sending troops to Africa to protect Chinese interests.
It won’t happen in Libya. It’s not about to happen in Sudan. But further on down the road, all bets are off.
Meddle is our middle name
The Pentagon has in fact been meddling in Africa’s affairs for more than half a century. According to a 2010 US Congressional Research Service study, this happened no less than 46 times before the current Libya civil war.
Among other exploits, the Pentagon invested in a botched large-scale invasion of Somalia and backed the infamous, genocide-related Rwanda regime.
The Bill Clinton administration raised hell in Liberia, Gabon, Congo and Sierra Leone, bombed Sudan, and sent “advisers” to Ethiopia to back dodgy clients grabbing a piece of Somalia (by the way, Somalia has been at war for 20 years).
The September 2002 National Security Strategy (NSS), conceived by the Bush administration, is explicit; Africa is a “strategic priority in fighting terrorism”.
Yet, the never-say-die “war on terror” is a sideshow in the Pentagon’s vast militarisation agenda, which favours client regimes, setting up military bases, and training of mercenaries – “cooperative partnerships” in Pentagon newspeak.
Africom has some sort of military “partnership” – bilateral agreements – with most of Africa’s 53 countries, not to mention fuzzy multilateral schemes such as West African Standby Force and Africa Partnership Station.
American warships have dropped by virtually every African nation except for those bordering the Mediterranean.
The exceptions: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Eritrea and Libya. Ivory Coast is now in the bag. So is South Sudan. Libya may be next. The only ones left to be incorporated to Africom will be Eritrea and Zimbabwe.
Africom’s reputation has not been exactly sterling – as the Tunisian and Egyptian chapters of the great 2011 Arab Revolt caught it totally by surprise. These “partners”, after all, were essential for surveillance of the southern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.
Libya for its part presented juicy possibilities: an easily demonised dictator; a pliable post-Gaddafi puppet regime; a crucial military base for Africom; loads of excellent cheap oil; and the possibility of throwing China out of Libya.
Under the Obama administration, Africom thus started its first African war. In the words of its commander, General Carter Ham, “we completed a complex, short-notice, operational mission in Libya and… transferred that mission to NATO.”
And that leads us to the next step. Africom will share all its African “assets” with NATO. Africom and NATO are in fact one – the Pentagon is a many-headed hydra after all.
Beijing for its part sees right through it; the Mediterranean as a NATO lake (neocolonialism is back especially, via France and Britain); Africa militarised by Africom; and Chinese interests at high risk.
The lure of ChinAfrica
One of the last crucial stages of globalisation – what we may call “ChinAfrica” – established itself almost in silence and invisibility, at least for Western eyes.
In the past decade, Africa became China’s new Far West. The epic tale of masses of Chinese workers and entrepreneurs discovering big empty virgin spaces, and wild mixed emotions from exoticism to rejection, racism to outright adventure, grips anyone’s imagination.
Individual Chinese have pierced the collective unconscious of Africa, they have made Africans dream – while China the great power proved it could conjure miracles far away from its shores.
For Africa, this “opposites attract” syndrome was a great boost after the 1960s decolonisation – and the horrid mess that followed it.
China repaved roads and railroads, built dams in Congo, Sudan and Ethiopia, equipped the whole of Africa with fibre optics, opened hospitals and orphanages, and – just before Tahrir Square – was about to aid Egypt to relaunch its civilian nuclear programme.
The white man in Africa has been, most of the time, arrogant and condescending. The Chinese, humble, courageous, efficient and discreet.
China will soon become Africa’s largest trading partner – ahead of France and the UK – and its top source of foreign investment. It’s telling that the best the West could come up with to counteract this geopolitical earthquake was to go the militarised way.
The external Chinese model of trade, aid and investment – not to mention the internal Chinese model of large-scale, state-led investments in infrastructure – made Africa forget about the West while boosting the strategic importance of Africa in the global economy.
Why would an African government rely on the ideology-based “adjustments” of IMF and the World Bank when China attaches no political conditions and respects sovereignty – for Beijing, the most important principle of international law? On top of it, China carries no colonial historical baggage in Africa.
Essentially, large swathes of Africa have rejected the West’s trademark shock therapy, and embraced China.
Western elites, predictably, were not amused. Beijing now clearly sees that in the wider context of the New Great Game in Eurasia, the Pentagon has now positioned itself to conduct a remixed Cold War with China all across Africa – using every trick in the book from obscure “partnerships” to engineered chaos.
The leadership in Beijing is silently observing the waters. For the moment, the Little Helmsman Deng’s “crossing the river while feeling the stones” holds.
The Pentagon better wise up. The best Beijing may offer is to help Africa to fulfil its destiny. In the eyes of Africans themselves, that certainly beats any Tomahawk.
Commentary from xcroc:
There is a lot of misinformation here, the only thing really accurate is the names of the countries. I don’t have time available to go through and document point by point, but I will recommend some reading for those who may wish to know more.
First I looked up the author Dr. Jack Zeller. There isn’t very much, from what I found, I think this is the guy. I couldn’t find much else in terms of biography.
Founder and president emeritus of Kulanu, is a clinical pathologist and a Jewish activist. He is a graduate of Columbia College, New York Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons, all located in New York City. Jack’s activism began when he served as a board member for American Association for Ethiopian Jews. After Operation Solomon, which air lifted thousands of Ethiopian Jews to Israel in 1991, Jack and his wife Dr. Diane Zeller, a specialist in African history, decided to take on the broader issue of dispersed and isolated Jewish communities. After working with an Israel-based organization called Amishav, Jack founded Kulanu, serving as its president for 14 years. Kulanu works in Uganda, Ghana, India, Latin America and other places to help dispersed remnants of the Jewish people.
Of the article I would say this. It begins by talking about newly arrived Arab Muslim extremists in Africa. This comes from the banana theory developed by the Bush administration. The idea was that Muslim militants were spreading out from Iraq and Afghanistan over north and east Africa in the pattern of a bunch of bananas. This supposed growth and spread of Muslim extremism was the excuse to extend the war on terror into Africa and militarize the Sahara. It is a lie, just like the WMDs in Iraq. By claiming this, the US was able to justify a huge militarization of North Africa and the continent, mostly to support US oil interests. The best place to read about this is the book Dark Sahara by Jeremy Keenan. You can look it up on Amazon. You can also read online, Demystifying Africa’s Security by Jeremy Keenan who tells us how the lie came into being. You might also want to read Counterterrorism’s blindness: Mali and the US by Vijay Prashad.
For information on exactly what is happening and has happened in Darfur. I highly recommend the book Saviors and Survivors by Mahmood Mamdani, which you can also find at Amazon, and probably in libraries. Mamdami talks about the word genocide, and the politics regarding which mass killings are called genocide, and who gets to call them genocide and how they decide. He has spent a great deal of time in Sudan and Darfur, studied the history and documents, and spoken with most of the parties and major individuals involved.
I found it particularly disturbing that Zeller seems to be calling for military interventions in what are political problems, with no attention to the context, the history, and no sense of what might be the result of military escalation and intervention. More arms and more soldiers means escalation, more chaos, death, and destruction. From an interview with Mahmood Mamdani:
Q. Are you saying that humanitarianism is a form of colonialism?
A. I’m saying that historically it has been. The movement after which Save Darfur patterned itself is the antislavery movement of the 19th century. Remember that the elimination of slavery was the ostensible reason given by British officials for colonization of the African continent. The cataloging of brutalities – real ones, not exaggerated – was essential preparation for seizing chunks of real estate, again ostensibly to protect victims. Today, the humanitarian claim uses ethics to displace politics. Conflicts are typically presented as tribal or race wars between perpetrators and victims whose roles are unchanging.
Q. Does the problem lie in who uses the humanitarian label?
A. The language of human rights was once used primarily by the victims of repression. Now it has become the language of power and of interventionists who turn victims not into agents but into proxies. It has been subverted from a language that empowers victims to a language that serves the designs of an interventionist power on an international scale.
All the narratives about war and disasters in Africa enable more “humanitarian” intervention. The intervention is “justified” by a disasterous situation. But the intervention is not designed to alleviate the situation, but rather, take advantage of it, allowing the “humanitarians” to acquire land and resources. Only the surface of the intervention is designed to appear humanitarian to the people outside the affected countries, who are generally not knowledgeable, and not particularly interested.
Zeller also calls for military interventions, and for more military assistance for Uganda. Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi are major recipients of US arms and military training. Both Uganda and Burundi have forces in Somalia, proxies representing US interests. Uganda and Rwanda are favored “partners” of the US Africa Command. Both countries have invaded the DRC Congo on several occasions, and both support militias there and reap enormous profits from minerals looted from the Congo. For more on the Rwanda and the Great Lakes region there is a review of three recent books: Kagame’s Hidden War in the Congo in the New York Review of Books. Most conflicts labeled tribal conflicts are resource wars. People on both sides try to whip up ethnic hatreds and resentments in order to use the opportunity to acquire resources, oil, minerals, land, water, etc. International players take advantage of the conflict to acquire those same resources.
Dr. Zeller does not know the history and context very well, or he may have his own interventionist agenda. There is a very real scramble for Africa going on right now.
Thanks to Désiré Katihabwa for forwarding these videos.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Matthew 24: 6-8
In no way do I consider myself a pessimist about the future. I am a pragmatic optimist, for I know in whom my hope lies. However as I look at the current local, national and international events today, I am going to take the liberty to make certain prediction about the decade the come.
Now I don’t consider myself a wannabe Nostradamus, nor do I claim to have any special ability to the see into the future, nor are these predictions based on any interpretations of biblical prophesies. I believe that anyone with a high school knowledge of world history and isn’t blind to recurring trends in history (which always repeats itself), who follows current events and employs a little common sense (which isn’t as common as the term implies), could make similar predictions. Nevertheless, here goes:
1. The U.S. will broker an agreement with certain elements of the Taliban whom they will declare as “moderates”, claim victory and get the hell out of Afghanistan… after losing hundreds, even thousands of troops with nothing to show for their sacrifice.
2. There will be an ever new scramble for Africa, as the U.S. will manufacture reasons to increase military incursions within the continent via AFRICOM, in an effort to secure valuable minerals and oil reserves as well as blunt China’s growing influence. England and France, via the European Union will also attempt to re-establish their influence in some of their former colonies.
3. Black males, Muslim or not, will more and more be portrayed as a threat to national and international security. They will be accused of being religious, political, social and economic terrorists. This will lead to more frequent, stringent and intrusive profiling and harassment, which will result in an increase in detention, incarceration and extermination of Black males for “security” reasons.
4. The Obama administration will lobby for and get from the Democratic Congress another stimulus package worth billions for the financial and business community and claim it’s required for job creation. This will secure his second term as president. After 2016, he will be voted in as the Secretary General of the United Nations.
5. Sarah “Rouge” Palin will become the first woman and 45th President of the United States of America.
6. Iran will prepare to test a nuclear weapon with the assistance of Russia. Israel will then counter with a pre-emptive strike. The shit will then hit the fan!
7. After the death of Fidel Castro, the U.S. will attempt to regain control of Cuba and start a domino effect to turn back the tide of left wing populist regimes in Latin America, such as in Venezuela and Bolivia.
8. The Chinese economy will collapse under the crushing weight of the U.S. debt which it holds and will be exposed as the “paper tiger” which it truly is.
9. Speaking of tiger, Tiger Woods will break all of Jack Nicklaus’s records, regain all and even more sponsors, and become an even bigger merchandising phenom! He will also be arrested for having a loaded gun in his golf bag at the U.S. Open, release a rap albumn called “A Tiger’s Nightmare: Nigga$ in the Woods”, and will date one Black woman (kinda).
10. Al Davis will finally die and the Oakland Raiders will immediately win back to back Super Bowls!