by John Pilger
Countries are "pieces on a chessboard upon which is being played out a great
game for the domination of the world", wrote Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India, in 1898.
Nothing has changed. The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind
which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game. . . .
Today Somalia is a theme park of brutal, artificial divisions, long impoverished by
World Bank and IMF "structural adjustment" programmes, and saturated with modern weapons
-- notably President Obama's personal favourite, the drone. The one stable Somali
government, the Islamic Courts, was "well received by the people in the areas it
controlled", reported the US Congressional Research Service, "[but] received negative
press coverage, especially in the west". Obama crushed it; and last January Hillary
Clinton, then secretary of state, presented her man to the world. "Somalia will remain
grateful to the unwavering support from the United States government," effused President
Hassan Mohamud. "Thank you, America." . . .
With minimal media interest, the US African Command (Africom) has deployed troops to 35
African countries, establishing a familiar network of authoritarian supplicants eager
for bribes and armaments. In war games a "soldier to soldier" doctrine embeds US
officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. The British did this
in India. It is as if Africa's proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to
Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master's black colonial elite -- whose
"historic mission", warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the subjugation of their
own people in the cause of "a capitalism rampant though camouflaged". The reference also
fits the son of Africa in the White House.
For Obama, there is a more pressing cause -- China. Africa is China's success story.
Where the Americans bring drones, the Chinese build roads, bridges and dams. What the
Chinese want is resources, especially fossil fuels. Nato's bombing of Libya drove out
30,000 Chinese oil industry workers. More than jihadism or Iran, China is Washington's
obsession in Africa and beyond. This is a "policy" known as the "pivot to Asia", whose
threat of world war may be as great as any in the modern era. . . .
Rachel Shabi, "NATO Accused of War
Crimes in Libya," Independent, January 19, 2012
Eric Schmitt, "U.S. Weighs Base for Spy Drones
in North Africa," New York Times, January 28, 2013
John Glaser, "Somalia: Obama's Other Secret
War," Antiwar.com, July 23, 2013
Paul Craig Roberts, "Obama's Syria Moment:
Another Western War Crime In The Making," Counterpunch, August 27, 2013
Peter Van Buren, "Any More U.S. 'Stabilization' and Africa Will
Collapse," firedoglake.com, December 23, 2013
Ian Birrell, "Darling
of the West, terror to his opponents: Meet Rwanda's new scourge - Paul Kagame,"
independent.co.uk, January 3, 2014
Nick Turse, "AFRICOM Goes to War on
the Sly," tomdispatch.com, April 13, 2014