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United States Imperialism and Militarism Breeds Instability in Africa
February 24, 2015, 1:21 pm
Filed under: Africa | Tags: , , , , ,

Training exercises coordinated by the Pentagon take place again on the continent

An escalation in violence in Libya has prompted the call from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for military intervention by the “international community.” 

Such an appeal suggests that the Egyptian leader, who staged a military coup against the former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, is requesting a renewed imperialist-led campaign in North Africa, utilizing the political crisis in Libya as a rationale. Cairo is subsidized by the United States Government with over $2billion in taxpayer funds which are largely channeled to the military for joint cooperation agreements with the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Egypt carried out airstrikes in Libya on Feb. 16 in response to the brutal execution of Coptic Christians by Islamic State (IS) operatives now escalating their destabilization efforts in Libya. The Egyptian airstrikes killed mainly civilians and no real assessment was made of the damage done to IS capabilities in the country.

IS was said to have claimed responsibility for the bombing of the Corinthia Hotel in the capital of Tripoli on January 27. The hotel provides accommodation for foreign guests to the North African state and initial reports said that nine people were killed including five foreign nationals, one being from the U.S. and another from France. (BBC, Jan. 28)

Since the 2011 U.S. and NATO-sponsored counter-revolution against the government of Col. Muammar Gaddafi, there has been an escalation of internecine violence including the targeting of Christians and their churches. Under the Jamahiriya, the system of government designed under Gaddafi, the country was guided by a secular ideology based on popular committees and mass organizations.

After the Pentagon-NATO bombings which lasted for over seven months, and the coordination of disparate rebel groups which followed the trail established through the aerial bombardments across strategic areas of the country, Libya has been destroyed as a nation-state. There are no viable political, social, military, cultural or legal institutions within the country which could serve to stabilize the situation.

Another aggressive Pentagon-NATO operation in Libya would be just as disastrous as the outcome of the war of regime-change in 2011. The situation in Libya has spread instability throughout other regions of North and West Africa, creating conditions for the escalation in foreign occupations from France as well as the U.S. in nearby Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and other states.

Another series of bombing by IS in the east of Libya in the town of al-Qubbah caused the deaths of over 40 people on February 20.

In a report published by the BBC, the news agency said “Three bombs exploded, targeting a petrol station, a police station and the home of parliamentary speaker Agila Salah, a security source told the news group. According to an online statement, IS fighters said they struck in retaliation for Egyptian air strikes.” (Feb. 20)

What is often overlooked or distorted by the corporate media and U.S. government officials is the role of the CIA, the Pentagon and NATO in destabilizing Libya four years ago. This process of destabilization continues through the presence of intelligence and military assets inside the country.

On September 11, 2012, an attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound resulted in the killings of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other intelligence and military personnel. The nature and circumstances surrounding the attack has been a source of criticism by Republican members of Congress that are clearly directed towards the domestic weakening of the Obama administration and its then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Stevens had served as the U.S. liaison for the war against the Gaddafi government in 2011 which was initiated in the east of country in Benghazi, the second largest city. There are at present pronounced divisions between the political factions based in the east and west of Libya.

U.S. Carries Out Annual Maneuvers in West Africa 

In addition, Washington has conducted military maneuvers in West Africa ostensibly as a show of support in the increasingly regional fight against Boko Haram. Nonetheless, elements in the Nigerian government have said that the role of Washington has been less than helpful in the conflict which has killed over 10,000 people and dislocated millions. (Allafrica.com, Feb. 11)

Since 2009, Boko Haram has carried out a military campaign against the central government through attacking and occupying large swaths of territory in the northeast of the country. The rebels have also carried out operations in neighboring Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

Nigerian governmental sources indicate that Washington has blocked arm sells from various suppliers throughout the world including the state of Israel. Although the administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly pledged to assist the government of President Goodluck Jonathan in the battle against Boko Haram, Abuja has complained that this assistance has not been carried out effectively through arms transfers and intelligence sharing.

A report published by Reuters on February 16 says that “Chad launched a U.S.-backed counter-terrorism exercise on Monday with 1,300 soldiers from 28 African and Western countries, billing it as a warm-up for an offensive against Nigeria’s Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram.

The “Flintlock” maneuvers unfolded as Chad and four neighboring states prepare a task force to take on Boko Haram, the biggest security threat to Africa’s top oil producer Nigeria and an increasing concern to countries bordering it.”

This same article reports:

“The annual exercises, which began in 2005, aim to improve cross-border military cooperation in the Sahel, a region prey to al Qaeda-linked and home-grown Islamists, separatist insurgents and criminal gangs. ‘This exercise to a large extent can be considered a warm-up to enable our special forces to learn techniques in the fight against terrorism,’ Chadian Brigadier General Zakaria Ngobongue, director of the exercise, said in a speech at a ceremony launching it.”

The Christian Science Monitor noted the international character of the U.S.-led operations saying:

“It includes counter-terrorism forces not only from the U.S. but from other Western countries and a number of African militaries including several of the armies who have pledged to support Nigeria in its battle against the jihadists.”

Nigeria was scheduled to hold national elections on February 14 and 28 for the presidency, parliament and local government offices. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the recommendation of the armed forces postponed the polls until late March and early April saying that the lack of security in the war-impacted areas of the country precluded the holding of a free and fair vote.

The Nigerian military along with forces from the impacted regional states have reported counter-insurgency operations where hundreds of Boko Haram fighters were killed. Nonetheless, it is not clear whether these offensive operations are adequate to break the military capacity of Boko Haram.

Although the government in Nigeria is closely allied with the imperialist states including the U.S., there are tensions between Washington and Abuja. The U.S. is no longer the major importer of Nigerian crude oil and it is reported that trade between the two countries in the petroleum industry has been severely curtailed.

At present India is the largest purchaser of Nigerian oil. The drop in oil prices, which provides Nigeria with over 90 percent of its foreign exchange earnings, has prompted an economic crisis inside the country. This is a reflection of the dependence on this industry in maintaining the current status of the national economy.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/united-states-imperialism-and-militarism-breeds-instability-in-africa/5433076

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Iraqi government approves BP oil field offer | The Independent

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1 July 2009

Source: Global Research

Iraq’s government today approved a BP-led consortium’s offer to develop a giant oil field in the south, moving forward with the only deal struck during a much-hyped but ultimately disappointing international oil auction.

Iraq, which is desperate for cash to fund its reconstruction efforts, had put six oil and two gas fields on offer to foreign firms yesterday in the country’s first international oil licensing round in over three decades. But the auction — opposed from the start by many of the country’s lawmakers — failed to elicit the kind of excitement or commitments Iraqi oil officials had anticipated.

BP and its Chinese consortium partner CNPC walked away from the auction with development rights for the 17.8 billion barrel Rumaila field. But their win came only after they agreed to take less money for the oil they produced.

Under the service contracts, the companies are paid a per barrel price for production over a minimum target level. BP and CNPC had bid $3.99 per barrel, but slashed their price to the $2 per barrel payment sought by the oil ministry. Their only rivals for the fields, a consortium led by US giant Exxon Mobil, refused to amend its offer of $4.80 per barrel on target production of 3.1 million barrels per day.

The Cabinet of ministers signed off on the Continue reading

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Oil and the Iraq “withdrawal” | James Cogan
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30 June 2009

Source: World Socialist Website

It is fitting that today’s deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq’s cities coincides with a meeting in Baghdad to auction off some of the country’s largest oil fields to companies such as ExxonMobil, Chevron and British Petroleum. It is a reminder of the real motives for the 2003 invasion and in whose interests over one million Iraqis and 4,634 American and other Western troops have been killed. The Iraq war was, and continues to be, an imperialist war waged by the American ruling elite for control of oil and geo-strategic advantage.

The contracts will facilitate the first large-scale exploitation of Iraq’s energy resources by US and other transnationals since the country’s oil industry was nationalised in 1972. On offer are 20-year rights over Continue reading

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Report finds Israel still torturing Palestinians | Mel Frykberg

26 June 2009

Source: Electronic Intifada

RAMALLAH, occupied West Bank (IPS) – The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel has accused the Israeli security forces of deliberately shackling Palestinian prisoners in a painful and dangerous manner, amounting to a form of torture.

The report, “Shackling as a Form of Torture and Abuse,” based on the evidence of over 500 prisoners, was released in advance of the UN International Day in Support of Torture Victims Friday, 26 June.

It follows a report published in May by the UN Committee Against Torture that had criticized the continued mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

The UN report also condemned Israel’s refusal to allow access to a secret detention centre known only as Facility 1391.

The report by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) states that Israel’s various security agencies, chiefly the Continue reading

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Hamas’ political immaturity | Haidar Eid

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25 June 2009

Soruce: Electronic Intifada

When Hamas, unexpectedly, won the 2006 parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the message from the one-third of the Palestinian people living in those territories was clear: no more of the “peace process” facade — with its untiring “two-state solution” slogan that never materialized, and no more of the bread crumbs offered to the new inauthentic NGOized, Osloized leadership classes. (In the years since the 1993 Oslo accords, funding NGOs — nongovernmental organizations — has been a major means for foreign governments to influence, co-opt and neutralize Palestinian politics. This process of “Osloization” made some Palestinian organizations more loyal to their funders than to their principles.)

Many of those who voted Hamas into power were not, in fact, supporters of the organization, but rather disgruntled Palestinians looking for change and reform after 13 years of futile, meaningless negotiations that did huge damage to the Palestinian cause and transformed it from a liberation struggle supported by millions all over the world into a Continue reading

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Women’s Groups Condemn State Cover-up Over the Rape and Murder of Two Women in Shopian, Kashmir | Farida Khan, Jagori, Nirantar, Partners for Law in Development, Pratiksha Baxi, Saheli, Stree Adhikaar Sanghatana, Uma Chakravarti, Zubaan

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Source: South Asia Citizens Web

The news of the rape and murder of two young women in Shopian in Kashmir is deeply shocking. We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms.

We are also deeply disturbed by the reaction of the State. Instead of speaking out against this flagrant violation of human rights, and particularly the right of women to live safely and with dignity, instead of taking speedy and firm steps to bring the perpetrators to book, the State and the new administration first denied the rape of women and then attempted to justify it by Continue reading

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Who are the “Taliban” in Swat? | Humeira Iqtidar

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( Dated Piece | 30 April 2009 )

Source: Open Democracy

The distorting glare of the mainstream media obscures a more complex reality in restive Pakistan

Who are the ” Taliban” in Pakistan? Islamist militants in the country have won significant international attention after wrestling control over the Swat Valley, the restive region in northern Pakistan where elements of sharia law are now in place. Yet these militants do not self-identify as “Taliban”, unlike the Afghan Taliban who chose the name for themselves, and preferred it to the then generic term “mujahideen”. The term “Taliban” means students; the original Taliban were educated in madrassas, religious schools. Groups and individuals that are being labelled the “Taliban in Pakistan” (TIP) are very different from their Afghan counterparts in important respects. It is pertinent not just to think through the implications of these differences but also to raise questions about why distinguishing details are being lost in the media frenzy of recent months.

In Swat, the group that has gained the most notoriety in recent months calls itself Tehreek Nifaz e Sharia Mohammadi (TNSM).  This can be roughly translated as the “Movement for the Continue reading

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