Humanitarianism is Geopolitical Rohypnol: Mali, continued

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.

How's that drink taste, America? Yeah, I heard about all that bad stuff in Mali, too. You don't feel so good? Dizzy? Why don't you lie down for a bit and close your eyes. I'll sing some Al Green to you until you fall asleep.

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I laid out 10 days ago evidence indicating that the U.S. and its western counterparts are preparing Mali for a staged humanitarian crisis which would necessitate intervention.

On Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum, Michael Sheehan confirmed that the Obama administration is prepared to do just that.

From the LA Times:

Michael Sheehan, the Pentagon’s assistant secretary for special operations, was asked Thursday whether the United States would use targeted strikes or special operations troops to help the Malian government fight the militants.


“All options are being considered” against “a looming threat,” Sheehan said. “There have been no decisions.”

Sheehan declined to say what steps the U.S. might take, but he cited another African country beset by an Al Qaeda affiliate, Somalia, as a success story. The U.S. has supported Kenyan and Ethiopian incursions into Somalia that have pushed back Al Shabab, the Al Qaeda-linked militia, he said.

Right, Somalia's a fucking major success. Especially the whole continued existence of CIA rendition sites, the U.S. funding of contract mercenaries, drone strikes, deaths at the hands of U.N. peacekeepers, and an impending constitution that is viewed with skepticism by the people of Somalia but with glee by oil companies and their political puppets.

After British Prime Minister, David Cameron, hosted an international conference on Somalia on February 23, The Observer revealed that London has been in a “secret high-stakes dash for oil in Somalia” in return for British humanitarian aid and security assistance. The revelation and British Foreign Minister William Hague’s comments during his visit to Somalia, where he talked about “the beginnings of an opportunity to rebuild the country”, cast a question mark over London’s, and indeed the entire western world’s humanitarian endeavours with some commentators going as far as dubbing the summit as ‘aid for oil’

Yeah, that's what success looks like. Good job, Sheehan! Remember, no means no, but the people can't say no when they're asleep.

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Interesting stuff, chipmo

priceman's picture

Thanks for informing us about it or we might never know. We're always "helping" humanitarian crisis in a way that exacerbates or causes them.

Oh we empires, the USA and the British. Will we ever learn?

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Though in Grenada ...

BruceMcF's picture

... the pretext that they used to invade was in fact a despotic internal coup that murdered the popular leaders of the revolution. The Gairy supporters welcomed the intervasion, the reformers who had fallen away from NJM when election promises were set aside welcomed it, but the vast majority of the supporters of the NJM also welcomed it, because it caught the people who murdered Brother Bishop and the other leaders of the popular wing of the NJM.

Though that was more dangerous in its way than a failed or botched intervasion would have been, as it encouraged the notion that you can just waltz into a place that has had its leader demonized in the US and the population will automatically welcome you with open arms.

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China is now No. 1 in Africa

sartoris's picture

China is currently pouring more money into Africa (the continent, not the country, Ms. Palin) than any other government. China is not too concerned with the civil rights of their own citizens and they are certainly not going to concern themselves with the civil rights of the citizens of other countries.
What is anyone (China, America, the UN) doing to stop the fighting between Sudan and the newly formed South Sudan? The problems of Africa are myriad and completely unnoticed by Americans in general and our government in particular. The African country of Mauritania still practices slavery (even though they formerly abolished it in 1981 - yeah, 1981, not 1891) and the rest of the world just says, yeah, whatever. How can this even be happening today? I don't expect my government to be perfect, but I do expect them to try and make the world a better place.

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And China operates more subtly than the U.S.

geomoo's picture

in exerting influence, it is my under-educated impression. They are excellent at maintaining a facade of apolitical involvement for mutual economic benefit. These things do matter in terms of success. Compared to China, the U.S. stumbles around like a wounded bear over-reacting to every new development. You might say that our foreign policy is more ideological while China's is more strategic.

Incidentally, the industry of aid is playing a significant role in the disempowerment of Africa, in my opinion generally helping create an environment ripe for more violent foreign interventions, with some aid agencies being important exceptions.

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Yes, that expectation ...

BruceMcF's picture

... that its the job of the US government to make the world a better place, is a big part of what the propaganda in favor of the interventions are founded on.

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it is a progressive value to want a better society

sartoris's picture

The expectation that society be made better by the policies of our government is a progressive value. Whether it is work place regulations or foreign policy concerns it is in the interest of society that the government pursue policies that make the world a better place.

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Opportunity to rebuild the country

geomoo's picture

This phrase made me think of a twist on the Vietnam era "Destroy the village in order to save it." In this case, "Rebuild the country in order to destroy it" would seem to be the operative phrase which says nothing but sounds cool. Words words words.

And about that "looming threat." Here's candidate Obama:

Iran may spend one one-hundredth of what we spend on the military. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us.

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Somewhat related to Mali

traveler's picture

are events in Libya which we see very little of in the establishment since we succeeded with regime change there.

A shrine in the Libyan capital Tripoli venerating a Sufi Muslim saint has been partly destroyed - the latest in a series of attacks blamed on ultra-conservative Salafi Islamists. Tripoli residents said men with bulldozers attacked the shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani, unimpeded by police. The attack came a day after hardliners were accused of damaging the tomb of a Sufi scholar in the city of Zlitan. Hardline Salafists regard the shrines as idolatrous.

There is a sizable Salafist (fundamentalist Muslim) group in Libya which opposed the secular Qaddafi Government. The article http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/08/libya-sufi-sh... goes on to say:

Their eventual role in the country is uncertain. These Salafists are showing up in places like Syria and more particularly in Central Africa. In Mali they are attacking the Zawiyas of Sufi lodges and the tombs of Sufi saints. In Mali the Salafists now hold Timbukto (veriously spelt). If they succeed in capturing the capital, Bamako, their will be an even more severe "purge" of Muslims who are thought to be less than pure.

It appears that these fundamentalists groups serve us well. They are used to create turmoil to weaken governments we dislike and then to justify our later intervention in opposition to them. The fundamentalists are now creating chaos in Syria and we are providing them and others with support to overthrow a secular government there.

We did basically the same thing in Afghanistan, helped the Pashtuns to fight against the Soviet Army. Later we invaded and occupied Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban Government - primarily Pashtuns, and to occupy the country and fight against the same people we used to fight the Soviets on our behalf.

It's been 10 years and a surge. The situation has worsened. We have outlived our welcome as evidenced by the increased frequency of "green on blue" incidents. I remember how well "Vietnamization" worked. I would expect something similar here if in fact we do leave at the end of 2014.

There appears to be zero concern for the people caught up in the middle of these wars for regime change. They are mere pawns to be sacrificed in a quest for hegemony and wealth.

IMHO there will come a time when this blows up in the faces of the chickenhawk neoconservatives who are primarily responsible for this strategy, that of pitting various religious and ethnic groups against one another, which in Iraq and in Syria, is intended to weaken regional rivals of Israel.

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This is worthy of separate post

geomoo's picture

Just sayin', traveler. This is what we need to be talking about and we talk about it so little. I don't know if they would know "backfiring" if it hit them in the face. The CIA, one agent at at time, brought the jihadists into the modern age of GPS, computers, cell phones, and modern weaponry. You could argue that they are as responsible for 9/11 as bin Laden. They were great buddies of Saddam before they became appalled at his "rape rooms." And on and on. I don't think they worry about blowback because, in the end, they don't mind whom they are fighting just so long as the war industry is chugging along. We'll sell arms to anyone. All the better for the arms merchants if then America has to buy more arms to fight them. At least that's how it seems.

In the build-up of Afghanistan, one Pakistani ISI official asked his U.S. counterpart in exasperation, "Don't you know that your are funding your future assassins?"

You could copy and paste this into a separate post if you liked, traveler. I would love to see this open up a broader discussion. A couple of our members here seem to know a lot about Africa.

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The above comment was hastily written geomoo

traveler's picture

It probably needs to be re-written and have a few more details included. I have it in my head but putting it in writing needs additional effort. I will do it geomoo.

Thanks for your motivating reply.

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