Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Scrambling for Africa's Resources


Scrambling for Africa's Resources

by Stephen Lendman

It's more than about oil, stupid. It's for vast African riches. Resource/mineral wars define America's agenda. 

On December 15, 2006, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) was authorized. On February 6, 2007, it was announced. 

On October 1, 2007, it was established. On October 1, 2008, it became operational. It's mission is controlling Africa's riches. 

They're vast. They're some of the world's largest and richest. Potential new deposits await to be found. Others known about await development. Modern exploration methods enable global exploitation. Virtually nothing escapes discovery.

Africa's rich in oil, gas, gold, silver, diamonds, uranium, iron, copper, tin, lead, nickel, coal, cobalt, bauxite, wood, coltan, manganese, chromium, vanadium-bearing titanium, and much more.

Continental agricultural lands are valued. So is offshore fishing.

Congo, Southern Sudan's Darfur region, Gulf of Guinea, Libya, Nigeria, and Niger, among other areas, hold special interest. 

So does Mali. Last October, Reuters headlined "Mali war plan to be ready within weeks: AU," saying:

Military intervention is planned to reclaim territory seized by "Islamist militants." On March 22, an army coup toppled President Amadou Toumani Toure.

At the time, France signaled readiness to intervene. Malian junior officers revolted. They control northern areas. Obama officials call Mali a "powder keg." Conditions threaten regional destabilization, they say.

Reasons are invented to intervene. Obama wants congressional funding. He prioritizes wars. He's eager to begin term two with new ones. Permanent ones define his agenda. 

NATO/EU partners are pressured to go along. Last October, the Security Council approved an international military mission to Mali. Ban Ki-moon was enlisted to help develop military intervention plans. Finalizing them was planned for end of November.

France drafted the UN resolution. It was Washington's lead attack dog on Libya. It may have the same role on Mali. US special forces and drone attacks may be planned.

They're already involved. Covert ops and surveillance began months ago. They're prelude for what's planned. Operations may replicate Somalia, Yemen, or Libya 2.0 with less sustained air support.

Reuters called Mali "paralyzed by twin crises." Leadership is divided. Last June, reports said African Union officials asked for Security Council intervention authority.

On December 20, it came unanimously. Timing was left unaddressed. Authorization signaled Washington's intention to intervene. Obama already has. Greater invention is planned.

Security Council members voted days after Malian Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra's resignation. 

Coup members arrested him. They forced him out. He strongly supports intervention.

Django Cissoko replaced him. He's silent so far on favoring it. Malian Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly called authorization "historic." His government supports it.

It asked Ban Ki-moon to "confirm in advance the council's satisfaction with the planned military offensive operation." 

Ban's a reliable imperial ally. He's replicated the worst of Kofi Annan's failures and betrayal.

Both men abhor peace. They support Washington's wars and occupations. They ignore Israel's worst crimes. They're indifferent to human suffering. They call aggressive wars liberating ones.

They endorse America's agenda. Mali's in line to be attacked, destroyed and controlled. Ban's comfortable with more African bloodshed. The entire Sahel region and beyond are threatened.

The Security Council resolution authorized an unspecified troop strength African-led International Support Mission (AFISMA). An initial one-year period was called for. 

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) wants 3,300 troops in Mali. They'll be US/Western proxies. Nigerian forces appear designated to lead them. 

They'll conduct ground operations. US, French, and other NATO logistical, air, and intelligence operations will support them.

Timing remains undecided. Tactics are being planned. Clarity may come post-holidays. Perhaps after Obama's January 21 inauguration.

UN peacekeeping head, Herve Ladsous, suggested that logistical planning may delay intervention until September or October. 

France's UN ambassador, Gerard Araud, called it premature to say when military operations will begin. African and Malian troops must be trained, he said. Much depends on political considerations. 

Extreme weather may intervene. In late March, monsoon season begins. It lasts months.

Timbuktu's Mayor Halle Cisse asked for "rapid military action to liberate our cities."

"There is no school. There is no work and no money," he added. "We are fed up with this situation." Timbuktu depends on tourism. Conflict keeps people away.

Media scoundrel fear mongering said Islamists imposed sharia law. Managed news misreporting made lurid claims. Propaganda substitutes for truth. Claims about banned public male/female socializing were featured. 

Other accounts stressed attacking bars selling alcohol, recruiting child fighters, stonings, whippings, beheadings, amputations, and other punishments against non-believers. 

Public sentiment is being prepared for intervention. US-style responsibility to protect (R2P) perhaps plans Libya 2.0 light.

For months, France and Washington held secret intervention talks. Rousting "Islamist militants" is pretext. So is waging war on terror. Resource control is policy.

Thursday's resolution welcomed ECOWAS troop pledges. It called for member states' help. Chad, Mauritania and Niger were asked to contribute. Their troops have desert warfare experience.

Resolution language stressed two-track planning. Political and military were called for. 

US and French special forces operate in Mali. They're active in other regional countries. They conduct covert operations. They're training Malian forces. Stepped up efforts are planned.

AFRICOM head General Carter Ham called Malian and other regional conditions "vastly different than they were previously. There are now non-Al Qaeda associated (militant) groups that present significant threats to the United States."

Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) raises most concern, he said. It's also called "the Salafist Group for Call and Combat." Other regional groups include "the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa."

"It is clear to me they aspire to conduct events more broadly across the region, and eventually to the United States," claimed Ham.

"That is the ideology. That is the campaign plan. Establish the caliphate and spread the ideology. Attack Western interests. Attack democrat forms of government. We are certainly seeing it."

America creates pretexts to intervene. When enemies don't exist they're invented. Imperial strategy prioritizes it. 

Algiers University Professor Ahmed Adhimi believes Afghanistanizing the Sahel region looms. 

Military intervention will attract "adventurers, terrorists, and all those who want to fight the Crusaders" like flower-containing pollen and nectar draw bees to produce honey.

Cross-border conflict may follow. Algeria may become Africa's Pakistan. Washington may drag Algiers into a war it doesn't want. It'll end up victimized like other US targets. Obama perhaps plans it.

A Final Comment

CIA elements operate covertly virtually everywhere. So do US special forces in 120 or more countries.

Fifty-four nations comprise Africa. In 2013, the Pentagon plans sending "small teams" to over 35 of them. Perhaps they're already in most of the other 19.

Reports about their role limited to training and equipping efforts don't wash. US forces everywhere are combat trained and ready. 

Special forces are assassins. They specialize in search and destroy, extrajudicial assassinations, and other lawless acts.

Washington wants unchallenged African dominance. AFRICOM was established to rape the continent's riches.

Proxy and direct wars are prioritized. Expect much more in resource-rich areas.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

http://www.dailycensored.com/scrambling-for-africas-resources/