February 2012        


Spring revolution, or Western connivance?

Recent announcements and publications suggesting that the United States, France and other European countries—and of course Israel—are engaged in a covert strategy to conquer Africa might be passed off as delusional conspiracy theories, but it certainly mightn’t do any harm to consider that the recent tide of “spring revolutions” in Arab states just couldn’t have happened spontaneously, or as a means of evolutionary political development or dialectic.
     Similarly, on an examination of the evolution of the Taliban in Afghanistan—which was practically created by the United States, with the help of Britain, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, to fend off the Soviet Union but was eventually engaged in a war with the United States and others—those same “conspiracy theories” on recent events gain a certain traction and probably provide a more insightful objective view of what is actually happening away from the struggles on the ground in those countries.
     In 2002 the United States began operations to militarily control Africa under the guise of the Pan-Sahel Initiative, which was launched by the European Command and Central Command of the US Army. This initiative was more or less born after the tragic events of 11 September 2001, and its aim was that the US military would train forces from Mali, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger.
     Similarly, the United States had included Libya, Somalia and Sudan as enemies, which were (according to General Wesley Clark) to be attacked at every opportunity by the White House and Pentagon. Citing “the war on terror” and executing so-called “humanitarian missions” in defence of US involvement in Africa, their real aim appears to be to restructure Africa and establish a neo-colonial order along the very same lines as the old French colonial projects on the continent.
     The maps used by the US Army for its combating of terrorism under the Pan-Sahel Initiative and showing the range and activity of the “terrorists” in Algeria, Libya, Niger, Chad, Mali, and Mauritania, are very similar to those of the colonial entity that France, from 1957, attempted to sustain in Africa. The French motivation then was to control and extract the rich resources of oil, gas and uranium in those areas, but because of successful resistance movements, most notably the Algerian struggle for independence, it had to forgo those intentions.
     It appears that the United States has resurrected this goal, and it is in this context that Franco-German and Anglo-American interests and companies have allowed France, with the very willing Sarkozy, to become an integral part of the US system of global empire.
     This development is of historic importance, given that in 1966 Charles de Gaulle pulled French forces out of NATO and removed France from NATO’s military command structures as a means of ensuring French independence. Sarkozy wasted no time in reversing this position, and in 2009 he ordered that France rejoin the integrated military command structure of NATO. This compares significantly with the efforts of his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, who tried to offer resistance to the US push into Africa by seeking to strengthen Germany’s influence there. In 2007 the Franco-African summit opened its doors to German participation the first time.
     But since Sarkozy’s actions the US government’s “National Endowment for Democracy” has been working through the Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme (International Federation for Human Rights). The FIDH is well established in Africa, and it is reported that the National Endowment for Democracy has delegated to it its work in manipulating and controlling African governments, movements, and societies. It should be remembered that the FIDH, and the affiliated Libyan League for Human Rights, helped to orchestrate the pretexts for NATO’s brutal but successful intervention in the so-called mass uprising against Gaddafi’s regime.
     The NED has also provided the FIDH with grants for its African operations and, like the FIDH, was instrumental in ensuring NATO’s operation against the Gaddafi regime. The Libyan conquest is a prime example of US double-speak in its oft-repeated statements about combating terrorism.
     Following from the Pan-Sahel Initiative, in 2005 the US Army launched the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, which was controlled by Central Command but in October 2008 was transferred to the newly formed Africa Command. The United States justified the formation and activities of this initiative as a means of fighting such organisations as the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat in Algeria and the Libya Islamic Fighting Group. At the same time it was co-operating with and using the very same groups in Libya, along with the National Front for the Salvation of Libya and the Muslim Brotherhood, as foot soldiers and proxies.
     Furthermore, these same groups include active individuals who are also officials of the NED and have been willing participants at conferences and in long-standing plans for “regime change” in Libya. One of them, Ashur Shamis, took part in a conference in 1994 entitled “Post-Gaddafi Libya: The Prospect and the Promise,” organised by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies of Washington, which gave rise to the present National Transitional Council of Libya.
     Shamis, who has been wanted by Interpol and the Libyan police for years, is a founder-member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, which was formed in Sudan in 1981. He is listed as a director of the NED in the Libya Human and Political Development Forum and has taken part in many conferences around the world, most notably the conference in London last year organised by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which openly discussed NATO’s plans for the invasion of Libya.
     Another central individual, also a member of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, is Aly Abuzaakouk, who also has close links to the NED. He was a participant in the 2011 “Democracy Awards,” organised by the NED. He is also wanted by Interpol while openly serving as a director of the Libya Human and Development Forum.
     Presented as a “former terrorist,” Noman Benotman is a founder and former leader of the Libya Islamic Fighting Group, which he later left as a result of the attacks on New York in September 2001. He is also a director of the Libya Human and Development Forum. These three men live openly and comfortably in Britain, despite being wanted by Interpol, and receive grants from the United States for their organisations.
     It is reported that the United States—despite its co-operation with and funding of the groups led by these men and others—is already budgeting for the war that will be waged against the same men and their groups, much like the Taliban in Afghanistan. At present these organisations are actively encouraged to destabilise their countries while at the same time they are given forums by Washington and its allies to actively work for regime change, by whatever means, and then seek military intervention under the guise of human rights and democracy.
     This active encouragement of destabilisation by whatever means necessary, under the cover of some sort of pursuit of democracy, disguises the real motive of the expansion of the so-called war on “global terror.” The apparent purpose is to excuse the continued expansion of the US military presence in Africa, which will ultimately justify the imposition of the Pentagon’s Africa Command so as to manage Africa along American lines, much as NATO now does.

Home page  >  Publications  >  Socialist Voice  >  February 2012  >  Spring revolution, or Western connivance?
Baile  >  Foilseacháin  >  Socialist Voice  >  Feabhra 2012  >  Spring revolution, or Western connivance?