I haven't said anything about Mali, have I? Kind of held off until I had a better grasp of the "how come" element. I mean no one seeemed to care about Mali for the last I don't know how many years, then, kaboom, it's back to Africa time with the French in the lead. As the Voltairenet points out:
Mali, with a population of some 12 million, and a landmass three and a half times the size of Germany, is a land-locked largely Saharan Desert country in the center of western Africa, bordered by Algeria to its north, Mauritania to its west, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger to its southern part. People I know who have spent time there before the recent US-led efforts at destabilization called it one of the most peaceful and beautiful places on earth, the home of Timbuktu. Its people are some ninety percent Muslim of varying persuasions. It has a rural subsistence agriculture and adult illiteracy of nearly 50%. Yet this country is suddenly the center of a new global “war on terror.”
I mean, what is that all about, Alfie?
THEY say it's about terrorists and Muslim extremists. Some OTHERS say it's really all to do with weapons floating around from Libya, Libya blowback. And what about the indigenous tribes in the north of the country.
Well, probably all those things are in there in one way or another, but that just seemed to simple to me...the Empire doesn't go to war for just anything these days. That just isn't prudent, an one of our old Presidents used to say.
Try resources on for size. The world is running out of them and that part of Africa has some things, including uranium, that lots of folks on all sides of the Empire (and especially the province of France) want...and the Chineese, too.
Those zany Chinese have been turning up all over Africa in recent years. Some call them neo colonialists, others call them friends.
The Western wing of the Empire call them a problem.
The Center for Research on Globalization reports the following:
Several cables in 2009 revealed French hostility toward various obstacles that were placed before French corporation Areva as it attempted to secure the rights to mine uranium at a site in the country’s south. On June 17, 2009, US ambassador Frederick Cook dispatched a cable, “French-CAR relations seriously strained,” that concluded: “Bozizé may believe that he has successfully rendered himself the least of the evils in the CAR political landscape. He thus appears to imagine himself indispensable to his neighbours and the French, an assumption that AmEmbassy Bangui believes may be badly mistaken.”
Another cable sent five months later was headed “Growing Chinese influence in the CAR evident.” It detailed the extent to which both American and French interests were losing ground to Beijing, which was “ramping up its military cooperation, public diplomacy and development efforts.” The cable noted that whereas there were only four resident diplomatic agents in the American embassy in Bangui, the Chinese embassy had about 40 employees. It added that approximately 40 CAR military officers were being trained in China every year, compared to the two or three officers who went to the US and 10-15 to France.
Making clear the predatory calculations behind the US and French presence in the Central African Republic, the cable referred to the country’s “rich untapped natural resources” and warned: “With French investments moribund and French influence in general decline, the Chinese are likely positioning themselves as the CAR’s primary benefactor in exchange for access to the CAR’s ample deposits of uranium, gold, iron, diamonds, and possibly oil.”
It is not going to stop with Mali.
This from the Fourth Media,
As British Prime Minister David Cameron declared, the crisis in Mali “will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months.” Backing up such bluster, Britain has reportedly joined France in dispatching special commando teams to Mali, in addition to surveillance drones.
In Washington, the talk of a long war to be waged across the entire Sahel region of Africa has also begun. As one U.S. official speaking on the Western intervention into Mali warned Monday, “It is going to take a long time and time means that it could take several years.”
But wait, don't we want to contain the terrorist threat? Well, sure, that is the story behind the war of the police all over the world these days. Hell, where would be without those terrorists? We don't rreally want to defeat them.
Again from the Fourth Media,
After all, a vanquished al-Qaeda would really denote something of a strategic setback for Washington. It would deprive the U.S. a source of proxy war foot soldiers, while also leaving Washington struggling to justify its global garrisoning. In the end then, the al-Qaeda menace — that gift that keeps on giving — is simply too useful to defeat.
All the attention on combating al-Qaeda in northern Mali has provided the perfect cover for the U.S. and its junior Western partners to pursue their grand strategy of containment against China. And with China increasingly out competing Western interests throughout Africa, one understands the sudden neo-colonial urge in the West.
According to Razia Khan, the regional head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank, bilateral trade between Africa and China is nearing $200 billion annually, having grown at an average rate of 33.6 percent per year over the past decade. What’s more, in the coming years Africa stands to become China’s largest trade partner, surpassing both the EU and the U.S.
None of this has been lost on Washington. As the presumptive next U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, noted during his Senate confirmation hearing, the U.S. is knowingly playing from behind.
“Now with respect to China and Africa, China is all over Africa — I mean, all over Africa. And they’re buying up long-term contracts on minerals, on … you name it,” Kerry commented. “And there’re some places where we’re not in the game, folks. And I hate to say it. And we got to get in.”
And that brings us back to resources. The Chinese need them, too. I mean you don't rapidly develop your country out of thin air.
Mali is rich in resources, from uranium to gold...and maybe even lots of oil. Votlairenet reports:
According to Mamadou Igor Diarra, previous mining minister, Malian soil contains copper, uranium, phosphate, bauxite, gems and in particular, a large percentage of gold in addition to oil and gas. Thus, Mali is one of the countries in the world with the most raw materials. With its gold mining, the country is already one of the leading exploiters directly behind South Africa and Ghana.
There is also lignite, kaolin, salt, limestone, gypsum, granite, marble, diatomite, hydropower, iron ore, manganese, tin, lead, zinc, and copper.
Are you getting the picture.
But was a war against terrorism in Mali really necessary. It is true that a fierce bunch of midevil Islamic fundamentalists have been in control of northern Mali for a while now. Well, as Counterfire puts it:
Had the rebels expressed their love of the West and outlined their intentions to open up Mali's market to foreign companies (allowing the leaching of resources), we would not have heard a word of objection from France, the United Kingdom or any other power. Instead, we are greeted with the scramble to take a big slice out of this African cake. Everyone is rushing to fight 'terrorists' in Mali. France is ensuring energy security. There should be no disruption in the flow of uranium through France's nuclear reactors. The so-called rebels are bad for business.
The Empire wants to control the human and natural resources of the poor regions of the world. It has to control them. France, remember, generates almost 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. Mali and nearby Niger have lots of that uranium stuff. Hmmm... The French company Areva is presently constructing in Imouraren, Niger, what will become the second-largest uranium mine in the world.. Mali is number three worldwide in gold. Gold is always good for the Empire
If you believe the West is worried about a few measly Islamic fundamentalist poking around in the middle of nowhere, then you probably never even heard of China.
Did I mention China?
Did I mention Niger?
Even more importantly, did I mention the whole of Africa remains rich in resources?
Say goodnight, Gracie.
The following is from the Global Research.