Humanitarianism is Geopolitical Rohypnol: Mali

In case you didn't know, there is serious shit going down in Mali. In case you did know, all the information that's delivered to your door about it serves the interests of the Western Empire, not the people of Mali. Time for the latest chapter on how Western humanitarianism is being used to rape the world.

Mali is the latest subject of Western imperial ogling, and all of Obama's international neoliberal fraternity brothers are taking their turn explaining why Mali is just asking for some forcible intervention.

First, a report from the sensitive brosef's in Qatar, Al Jazeera.

A hardline religious group occupying northern Mali has destroyed 15th-century mausoleums of Sufi Muslim saints in Timbuktu and have threatened to demolish the remaining 13 UNESCO world heritage sites in the fabled city, witnesses have said.

The attack by Ansar Dine group on Friday came just four days after UNESCO placed Timbuktu on its list of heritage sites in danger after the seizure of its northern two-thirds in April by rebels.

"They have already completely destroyed the mausoleum of Sidi Mahmoud (Ben Amar) and two others. They said they would continue all day and destroy all 16," Yeya Tandina, a local Malian journalist, said by telephone.

"They are armed and have surrounded the sites with pick-up trucks. The population is just looking on helplessly," he said, adding that the Islamists were currently taking pick-axes to the mausoleum of Sidi El Mokhtar, another cherished local saint.

"It looks as if it is a direct reaction to the UNESCO decision," Timbuktu deputy Sandy Haidara said by telephone, confirming the attacks.

The Islamist Ansar Dine group backs strict sharia, Islamic law, and considers the shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam idolatrous.

The "Ansar Dine" movement's rising follows the military coup that overthrew the government of Mali earlier this year, to the consternation of the brothers of House ECOWAS as well as all the prominent big men on the geopolitical campus.

Honorary brosef William Moseley fistbumps the following denouncement of the military coup and the "fundamentalist uprising":

We all have a role to play in sorting out this problem. Those foreigners with deep pockets who are financing AQIM and Ansar Dine ought to think carefully about the harm they are inflicting on innocent people in this part of the world, most of whom are Muslim. The Malian people must place increasing pressure on the current putschist military regime in Bamako to completely step aside and allow for the return of freely elected civilian rulers. The international community, including ECOWAS and the UN, must send peacekeepers to northern Mali to stop the killing of innocent people and the destruction of cultural artefacts, to make possible the delivery food aid, and to facilitate a democratic referendum on the future of this region of the country.

That's right, Malian people! Listen to the professor from Macalester College who has studied Mali, off and on!

What's this? Armchair deathdealer and bloated neocon Con Coughlin woke up from his scotch soaked bender to phone in the following!

The emergence of Mali as a major terror hub should be seen as the inevitable consequence of the profound political changes in North Africa. In Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, the wave of anti-government protests has resulted in the replacement of corrupt dictatorships with regimes of differing Islamist persuasions. While all of them say they have no interest in adopting the type of uncompromising, fundamentalist agenda advocated by al-Qaeda and its sympathisers, the fact that Islamists now control the state security apparatus in these countries means that they are unlikely to be as rigorous in repressing terror cells as their predecessors.

Because calling what happened in Libya the result of a "wave of anti-government protest" instead of a fucking vacuum inducing war facilitated by continent exploiters AFRICOM is just SO accurate.

Guess what? It looks like the Greeks at Rho 2 Pi are ready to tell Mali how much they want to party!

The Malian crisis, though predictable and longtime coming, has brought serious implications for the unity, economic development, and sustainable peace and security for the country. The transitional government will be the test for the Malians' tenacity to preserve and protect its values as a united and peaceful nation. The social, political, and ethnic divide is increasing, challenging the return to democratic process and long-term national reconciliation.

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The truth is, despite what you're NOW being told, this shit's been in the run up for a long ass time. Here's Rick Rozoff from February of this year(if you don't know Rick Rozoff and his work, fix that).

The U.S. has been involved in the war in Mali for almost twelve years. Recent atrocity stories in the Western press will fuel demands for a “Responsibility to Protect” intervention after the fashion of those in Ivory Coast and Libya a year ago and will provide the pretext for American and NATO military involvement in the country.
AFRICOM may be planning its next war.

Anybody who actually studies the manner in which the United States truly manipulates foreign policy is aware of Operation Ajax, the assassination of Lumumba, and the School of the Americas, to name but a few cases where the CIA worked behind the scenes to get proxies to act on behalf of the empire. The CIA doesn't need to create a full scale uprising from whole cloth. Just pull the right levers, fund the right people, and whisper in the right ears, and a convenient enemy will look like it metastasized on its own.

So back to the coup in Mali that began on March 21 of this year and seemingly precipitated all of the latest concern from imperial mouthpieces.

Although the timing and nature of the coup in Mali is surprising, that a coup occurred is not surprising. Mali’s GDP is around $9 billion. The annual US $167 million in military train and equip investment is a huge sum in relation to Mali’s GDP. The overwhelming emphasis on military training, arms transfers, and military assistance, is an incitement to create military governments wherever it occurs. The message is that the military knows how to run things, and you need the military to get things done. It would require robust and independent civilian institutions to counter that. Few developing countries enjoy that luxury. Mali was in a better position to maintain a civilian democratic government than most. The US may have had no direct involvement in the coup, or there may have been some knowledge, possibly even encouragement from US sources. I would hope that is not true, but there are plenty of unfortunate precedents. And Captain Sanogo has received a lot of US training, including at the coup school at Ft. Benning.

This is not new. A report from 2010.

[S]even months ago, the US gave Mali $5 million. The quid pro quo? According to the BBC, “Mali’s President Amadou Toumani Toure promised a ‘total war’ against the Islamists and has claimed several successes.” The BBC reporter observed that “the gift from the US and talk of co-operation with other countries in the region may mean the battle is about to begin in earnest.”
That October, 2009 aid largess for Mali and this year’s Operation Flintlock together highlight two of AFRICOM’s deep flaws—it undermines democracy and, by promoting militarism, it inflames conflict.

The predominance of military aid and training dovetails perfectly with the current strain of American power projection around the globe. Toms Dispatch put out an important piece that goes into detail about the direction in which America's foreign policy is headed and the "lilypad" nature of the newer bases in our global military base arsenal, now numbering over 1,000.

Since the “Black Hawk Down” deaths in Somalia almost 20 years ago, we’ve heard little, if anything, about American military casualties in Africa (other than a strange report last week about three special operations commandos killed, along with three women identified by U.S. military sources as “Moroccan prostitutes,” in a mysterious car accident in Mali). The growing number of patients arriving at Ramstein from Africa pulls back a curtain on a significant transformation in twenty-first-century U.S. military strategy.

Unknown to most Americans, Washington’s garrisoning of the planet is on the rise, thanks to a new generation of bases the military calls “lily pads” (as in a frog jumping across a pond toward its prey). These are small, secretive, inaccessible facilities with limited numbers of troops, spartan amenities, and prepositioned weaponry and supplies.

Military planners see a future of endless small-scale interventions in which a large, geographically dispersed collection of bases will always be primed for instant operational access. With bases in as many places as possible, military planners want to be able to turn to another conveniently close country if the United States is ever prevented from using a base, as it was by Turkey prior to the invasion of Iraq. In other words, Pentagon officials dream of nearly limitless flexibility, the ability to react with remarkable rapidity to developments anywhere on Earth, and thus, something approaching total military control over the planet.

In all of this, the actual desires of the people of Mali and their feelings regarding the coup and the conflict in the north of the country hasn't been addressed in any of the "important" reporting. Some can be gathered from Voice of Africa.

Protester Ampoulo Boucoun says there was no democracy in Mali. He says it is only the army that can save them from the corruption and ineptness of political leaders. He says they do not need France, the United States or ECOWAS. He says Mali is for Malians and they want the army in power to restore order.

Bamako resident Moussa Doumbia says they want to declare the capital a "dead city" and do everything they can to make the coup fail. He says they are going to stop the economy. He says the junta should understand that it can't lead this country without the support of the people.

ECOWAS has a standing "zero tolerance" policy for the coups that have toppled the governments of Mauritania, Guinea, and Niger in recent years. The speed with which it has threatened military force could signal that it is gearing up to make an example of Mali.

Malians are torn on what to do. But overwhelmingly, they want a Malian solution. They want democracy. Of course the IMF, uh... I mean, ECOWAS will not stand for such things.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional bloc says it has 3,300 troops ready to enter Mali, whose vast north has been occupied by armed rebels for three months after a March 22 coup plunged the nation into chaos.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told journalists in Paris his country was "confident" the United Nations Security Council would soon pass a resolution authorising the force to assist Mali win back its territory.

"This will allow our African friends to take a series of decisions, with international backing of course," Fabius said.

Brodaps, Fabius. Brodaps. Way to slutshame a nation.

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Great and informative article

LaEscapee's picture

Thank you for compiling all this providing a timeline and picture of what is really happening to the people of Mali. I am sure this can be transferred to many other "sovereign nations", the interjection and behind the scenes maneuvering may never be fully known actually. Never forget the CIA and others claim to not be restrained by "the rules of war" hence the need for them to have control of the drone campaigns in countries with which we are not at war.

May take me a bit to absorb this entire thing further. I'll try and get back after a little more reading on this.

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Thanks, Feral Man.

chipmo's picture

I am sure this can be transferred to many other "sovereign nations", the interjection and behind the scenes maneuvering may never be fully known actually.

I hope I'm able to apply the same lens to more conflicts in which the U.S. is engaging in "humanitarian intervention" globally. I've got a bunch of research together to carve out an article on Nigeria and another on the primary people behind Humanitarian Intervention and R2P policy. It'll just take some time for me to craft it.

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I do too, Glinda.

chipmo's picture

Once you start looking at the world through a radical lens, it becomes so clear how much we "know" is complete and total bullshit.

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Fabius and the IMF

chipmo's picture

know a thing or two about forcible coercion.

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I never used to think too hard about

triv33's picture

any of this stuff until one day I came across Chalmers Johnson on c-span. That was it for me. It's all creeping dread now.

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thanks, and let's tie it to Afghanistan

Shahryar's picture

here's the NY Times article from March 2001 for a refresher:

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/04/world/over-world-protests-taliban-are-...

Outrage was manufactured in the same way. How dare they desecrate monuments we never heard of before? Followed by a nice opportunity to invade.

I couldn't help thinking about this when I read about Timbuktu. I suppose we're not expected to remember anything from year to year.

As a side note: when we're involved in the destruction of antiquities it's "just a vase".

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Great point, Shahryar.

chipmo's picture

This model is repeated in so many places. The antiquities is very clearly referenced in Afghanistan, as echoed in the loathsome article from Con Coughlin above.

The response of "international force" tied to regime change is such a common refrain. Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Nigeria... I hope to write more about it, but in the meantime, read up on Samantha Power, if you haven't already.

http://www.inthesetimes.com/ittlist/entry/11930/the_libyan_model_and_the...

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Lest we forget

LaEscapee's picture

The thefts that may never been known about during the invasion of Iraq.

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Excellent Chip.

Big Al's picture

The information the public gets from the MSM is so skewed it even fools those who have been told time and again what the real deal is, let alone those who haven't heard. The best we can do is to keep trying to get the truth out. I told the damn Occupy movement to make ending the Afghanistan war and the War on Terror the number one priorities. In the end, we may regret that.

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I think the Occupy movement

chipmo's picture

has been hobbled from the beginning. The concept of solidarity is lost on so many, even the most outspoken anarchists in the movement. It's hard getting along with people, especially people who have grown up in this toxic culture.

Thanks for still trying, Al.

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Thanks for this ...

BruceMcF's picture

... those who only ever hear the party line about these places after they have been maneuvered into the position of crisis de jour will only know that "there's always these troubles in these foreign places and we are always being called on to help out". The fact that the West in general and the US foreign policy establishment and US-based transnational corporations are often the primary cause of the trouble "somehow" never becomes established as the conventional wisdom on the Mess Media, no matter how often its the case.

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That is exactly right

LaEscapee's picture

The fact that the West in general and the US foreign policy establishment and US-based transnational corporations are often the primary cause of the trouble "somehow" never becomes established as the conventional wisdom on the Mess Media...

I couldn't tell you the number of times I have been told I had no idea what I was talking about when pointing the history of the west has involvement for decades is why "hate us for our freedoms" is a ginned up crock by the PTB. History it's a terrible thing when you are on the wrong side of it, unless you can whitewash and convince the masses it didn't happen that way.

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Never has a group of people

chipmo's picture

been easier to dazzle with bullshit than today's Americans. And amazingly, never has a group of people so blinded by bullshit been so certain that their TV Dinner of information was the truth.

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Instant Education--thank you so much

geomoo's picture

Yes, as so many have commented, once the fit lens is applied (and the blinders taken of), things come into focus.

I'll add a personal reaction related to the CIA's (et al) well-honed skill manipulating opinion: the night my emotional commitment to the website dailykos broke down was the night that so many of my progressive brothers and sisters fell for the "We've got to save them" narrative. Three days of CNN coverage, a few youtube videos, you have progressives supporting vicious long-standing imperialistic actions.

Great work. A challenging read. Thanks, again.

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Great read!

Futbol Dad's picture

And I'm going to have to finally watch that movie!

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yes, we've got to save them

Shahryar's picture

how dare the Iraqis invade our friends in Kuwait, just because of some slant-drilling that we told them was ok while we told Iraq we'd back them up if they invaded! How dare they! Poor Kuwaitis.

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Thanks chipmo

traveler's picture

Excellent work.

Africa has been slated for plundering for a while and thus AFRICOM.

A scramble for resources and markets. Create chaos, turn the region upside down and set up regimes dependent upon, and obliged to, the US and her friends. This appears to be the basic plan in Africa and elsewhere for the time being. Full spectrum military dominance is an important tool to accomplish this.

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