by A. Akbar Muhammad
“Western actions in Mali indicates a new phase of imperialism, domination and plundering.” France has taken the point position in the armed intervention. However, “because of what African raw material wealth means to their futures, Britain and America couldn’t be left out.”
Africa: The New Focus of Western Domination
by A. Akbar Muhammad
This article previously appeared in The Final Call newspaper.
“When NATO destroyed Gadhafi, it opened the floodgates for destabilization of Africa.”
As the world watches the current crisis in Mali and Algeria unfold, we are witnessing the militarization, reoccupation and re-colonization of Africa by Western powers led by France with some African cooperation.
The events come amid a time of increased global competition from powers like China, India, Malaysia and Turkey and a visible decline of America and Europe. Western actions in Mali indicates a new phase of imperialism, domination and plundering vital resources needed to remain relevant powers into the 21st century.
On January 19, 2013 African leaders from ECOWAS—Economic Community of West African States—met in Cote D’Ivoire to determine their commitment to the foreign incursion reasoning that they were invited in by Malian leaders. At this time, however, Mali has become a failed state and is experiencing a crisis of leadership unable to determine the best interest of its people.
Meanwhile France, its former colonial master, has stepped in the vacuum wooing other African governments for support.
Nigeria, for example, concerned about a potential link between extremists and Boko Haram, Nigeria’s Islamist problem, has committed the most soldiers to the cause.
“Africans have gone along to get along at the price of self-determination.”
Troops from Togo, Niger and Benin are also in Mali as part of an ECOWAS force. Capitulating African leaders have failed to reject the misnomer that Africans can’t secure their own borders and people independent of foreign powers. African heads understand the economic interests at stake and have gone along to get along at the price of self-determination.
Those who are heedless to signs are in danger of their own destruction. The same pretext was implemented under George H.W. Bush, when the senior Bush first invaded Iraq. The Bush administration sought to build a coalition of nations to stop Saddam Hussein who they said was a danger to the entire world. The African leaders should learn a lesson from that history. America did not need a coalition of countries to eliminate Saddam.
The small nation of Senegal under President Abdou Diouf was pulled into the coalition. A plane carrying 103 Senegalese soldiers to Iraq crashed, killing all on board, which the Muslim World saw as a sign that joining the West to fight your brother on foreign soil is not the way.
Militarization, Reoccupation and Re-colonization
France has found a doorway back into Mali in the name of combating religious extremism and protecting 6,000 French citizens living in Bamako, the Malian capital. Mali became free of French colonialism September 22, 1960 and has influenced the resistance of many Francophone countries against France.
Considering the re-occupation pattern of European powers, the playbook is consistent. France redeployed its troops from Cote D’Ivoire and Central African Republic, indicating the level that France still occupies the African continent. And because of what African raw material wealth means to their futures, Britain and America couldn’t be left out.
In 2007, America created AFRICOM—the Pentagon’s African Command to facilitate its agenda of Empire. Expanding U.S. global reach, AFRICOM is the latest command established by Washington, but has gained priority attention with the renewed focus on Africa under the guise of fighting terrorism.
“America has secret military bases on the continent called Black Sites.”
Although officially American involvement has been to back France, solidify U.S. strategic interests is not hidden. Under the auspices of AFRICOM, America has secret military bases on the continent called Black Sites, according to Author Paul Todd in “Spies, Lies and the War on Terror.” How many sites and which countries have not been released in public Department of Defense records. But it appears America is embarking on the path of permanent war as stated by Andrew Bacevich, author of “Washington Rules.”
The late leader of the Libyan revolution, Muammar Gadhafi, compared the moves to “the Crusaders,” referring to European wars of the Crusades in A.D. 1080 to 1300. The Europeans went into the Middle East—in particular Jerusalem—on what was portrayed as a sacred mission to recapture the Scepter of Jesus from the possession of Muslims.
When Brother Gadhafi made the comparison, some dismissed it, and others laughed.
However with the foreign intervention in Mali his words are being fulfilled. Its domination under a “noble” pretext of protecting African nations from extremists, fundamentalist Muslims, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb, Salafis and Wahabis attributed to a crisis in the Muslim World.
Mali—a Chess Board Piece of Imperialism
On November 2, 2011, I was blessed as an ambassador for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam to meet former Malian president Amadou Toumani Toure who was deposed March 22, 2012 in a coup d’état. Analysts say it was an after-effect of Libya’s 2011 turmoil. The Tuareg rebel group, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, that took over several areas of Mali to form an independent state was composed of former fighters, trained and armed during Libya’s war.
However, toppling President Toure wasn’t orchestrated by Muslims in Northern Mali or triggered by the protracted struggle against the Tuareg population; it was an internal coup by military forces within Bamako, that some speculate had foreign backing.
In the two hour meeting President Toure, who resides in Senegal, predicted the destruction of Libya would distress all of North Africa and conceivably extend South.
“It was an internal coup by military forces within Bamako, that some speculate had foreign backing.”
As the Great Jamahiriya was collapsing, he expected monies and weapons would spread across neighboring countries. However I don’t believe he foresaw Mali being the first casualty. When NATO—the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—destroyed Gadhafi with reckless disregard, it opened the floodgates for destabilization of Africa.
Among conscious people in the Diaspora, Mali is respected as one of the great historical civilizations of West Africa along with the Songhai and Ghana Empires. In Mali, Timbuktu was an ancient center for higher learning and holds a place on the hearts and minds of people worldwide for the legendary Hajj to Mecca led by Mansa Musa in 1324. The scholar Ivan Van Sertima documented the history in his landmark book “They Came Before Columbus” that long before Leif Erickson or Christopher Columbus reached the Western Hemisphere, ships sailed into America from the Mali Empire. For now Mali is a piece on the chess board of Western Imperialism.
A. Akbar Muhammad can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected].