Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Future Of Africa Looks Bleak

“Iraq was an attempt to reinstitute by force something like the old system of control, but it was beaten back. In general, I think, US policies remain constant, going back to the Second World War. But the capacity to implement them is declining….

“Take the Clinton doctrine. The Clinton doctrine was that the United States is entitled to resort to unilateral force to ensure ‘uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources’.…

“Then he expressed the reason. He said that ‘one of the main functions of the international institutional order is precisely to legitimate the use of deadly military force by western powers’.…

“So the principle on which the international system is based is that the United States is entitled to use force at will. To talk about the United States violating international law or something like that is amazingly naive, completely silly.…

“That's why you get all this talk about American decline. Take a look at the year-end issue of Foreign Affairs, the main establishment journal. Its big front-page cover asks, in bold face, ‘Is America Over?’ It's a standard complaint of those who believe they should have everything.

“If you believe you should have everything and anything gets away from you, it's a tragedy, the world is collapsing. So is America over? A long time ago we ‘lost’ China, we've lost Southeast Asia, we've lost South America. Maybe we'll lose the Middle East and North African countries. Is America over? It's a kind of paranoia, but it's the paranoia of the superrich and the superpowerful. If you don't have everything, it's a disaster.”

The United States has been given a mandate to do what it deems necessary to maintain western supremacy and its dominant role on the world stage. Africa happens to be an integral part of that plan, guaranteeing its bleak future.

In Africa, China has been securing access to resources through lucrative trade agreements while Western powers have decided to take the military option to secure their share of the pie.

“Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities - oil, platinum, gold and minerals… From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower's long-term survival.”

The most recent conflicts have also had a lot to do with obtaining access to Africa's oil:

“Although Africa has long been known to be rich in oil, extracting it hadn't seemed worth the effort and risk until recently. But with the price of Middle Eastern crude skyrocketing, and advancing technology making reserves easier to tap, the region has become the scene of a competition between major powers that recalls the 19th-century scramble for colonization. Already, the United States imports more of its oil from Africa than from Saudi Arabia, and China, too, looks to the continent for its energy security.”

 in October 2008 the United States government officially activated U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). Headquartered in Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany,AFRICOM is the most recent addition to the “unified combatant command with an area of responsibility (AOR) solely dedicated to the African continent”.

“In many ways, a context for the pending strategic role of AFRICOM can be gained from an understanding of the origins of CENTCOM and the role that it continues to provide in Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the many ‘stans’ popping up after the implosion of the former U.S.S.R. That context is centered on strategic energy supplies and, explicitly, that of oil.”

click to enlarge - Source

Even though African countries were united in rejecting US requests for a military headquarters on the continent, there were reports as early as 2007 that operations through AFRICOM had already begun:

From oil rich northern Angola up to Nigeria, from the Gulf of Guinea to Morocco and Algeria, from the Horn of Africa down to Kenya and Uganda, and over the pipeline routes from Chad to Cameroon in the west, and from Sudan to the Red Sea in the east, US admirals and generals [had] been landing and taking off, meeting with local officials. [They'd] conducted feasibility studies, concluded secret agreements, and spent billions from their secret budgets.”

In late 2012, it was officially acknowledged that the United States had been expanding its military efforts in Africa and plans to deploy troops to 35 African countries in 2013. This should be regarded as bad news for Africa.

If you find the idea that Africa can become any bloodier than it is inaccessible, then consider this: Contrary to popular belief, the worst humanitarian crisis in Africa last decade was not Darfur, it was Somalia, and it all began in 2006 when the United States and Ethiopia started a war with Somalia, ending six months of the only peaceful period Somalis had known for years. The end result was the same as all other wars that the United States has started in the last century. Not only was Somalia devastated, it also destabilized the region.

One of the most amazing aspects of the African resource wars is that within their own countries, most western powers have been able to stifle opposition for their participation. An incredible achievement considering the state of their economies and the number of wars that they have been involved in in the last two decades (2011–present2003–20101990–2002).

Let’s take France as an example since it appears to have the backing of its citizens in taking the lead role in the recent wars which are set to determine the future of Africa.

“French companies must go on the offensive and fight the growing influence of rival China for a stake in Africa's increasingly competitive markets, France's Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Saturday…

“‘It's evident that China is more and more present in Africa...(French) companies that have the means must go on the offensive. They must be more present on the ground. They have to fight,’ Moscovici told journalists during a trip to Ivory Coast…

“‘Africa is booming. Sub-Saharan Africa will have the second highest regional growth after Asia in 2012 with a rate of 5.5 percent,’ he said. ‘The new phenomenon is that African growth has the potential to stimulate growth in France. We want to be present there.’”

 To have a full appreciation for the magnitude of the folly of France’s decision to attempt a “total reconquest of Mali” under the supervision of the United States by getting involved in what David Cameron has predicted to be a multi-decade conflict, all we need to do is recap a little history and extrapolate to the present.

“‘It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that is patient, that is painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent, but above all has an absolutely iron resolve; and that is what we will deliver over these coming years,’ [David Cameron] said.”

 Source: "The People's Voice"

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