Posted 8 years ago on March 14, 2012, 2:15 p.m. EST by Proftrek
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Africa in the Crosshairs
It is not surprising that NATO powers are turning their attention from the Middle East to Africa. Its agenda for the Middle East is collapsing.
Egypt is becoming politically autonomous after more than three decades of being bought and paid for.
Libya is fracturing. The NATO-backed government engages in systematic torture and the summary executions of Black Africans. Libya is proof that “humanitarian” military intervention presupposes a level of competence and benevolence that does not exist in the real world.
Syria will remain intact, with no western intervention. Russia, China and much of the Arab League is converging on a sensible “5-Point Plan” towards conflict resolution that rejects foreign interference.
Iraq still tolerates a handful of western contractors and mercenaries, but those days are numbered as well. Iraq is an ally of Iran.
The economic sanctions against Iran are not working as hoped for in the West. Indeed, even Japan, wisely, refuses to participate in this form of economic terrorism.
Pakistan is boiling over with anti-Americanism, due to drone attacks on civilians. So is Yemen.
For NATO, Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster, and nothing more needs to be said.
Better luck in Africa, one supposes. But in Africa, the West has already had its chance. The past 300 years have delivered slavery, colonialism and a more invisible neo-imperialism.
The new obsession with Africa – particularly in the US, the UK, and France – represents nothing more than an effort to roll back the clock to a time when Africa was Europe’s back patio.
These western powers are also resentful that China has embarked on trade and development projects – without, like the West, having to do so at gunpoint.
My 13-year-old niece recently returned from public school, repeating all kinds of slogans and catchphrases about Joseph Kony, a defunct Ugandan warlord.
Her parents were quick to issue words of caution: do not become swept up by Madison Avenue, United Colors of NATO propaganda, complete with Bill Gates, Kim Kardashian, and others of that ilk.
Fortunately, the attention spans of teenage girls are short. She has moved on.
In Washington, established politicians, too, are infected by viral videos, but displaying less sense than 13-year-olds, they have begun to legislate.
Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.) introduced a resolution calling for a wider AFRICOM military role in to restricting individuals or governments supporting Kony.
As only Paul Joseph Watson can describe, in his distinct style:
“… the establishment-manufactured hype surrounding Kony 2012 is nothing more than a cynical ruse designed to manipulate naive do-gooders into legitimizing another US-backed ‘humanitarian’ assault aimed at swallowing up Africa’s resources and land under Africom.
“Following the release of Kony 2012, a film made by a shadowy charity with links to USAID, the Tweetosphere exploded with a deluge of leftist politicos and clueless celebrities jumping on the bandwagon to call for Barack Obama to launch yet another act of ‘humanitarian’ bloodletting to go after Kony, leader the of Lord’s Resistance Army (LRC).”
Indeed. At the end of the day, Joseph Kony is a warlord whose despicable tactics were indistinguishable from those of every other party to the conflict.
This is why any realistic approach to conflict resolution must focus on the larger context – and not stoop to demonizing certain individuals and romanticizing others, especially since the realities, on the ground, are always complex.
Kony has disappeared into the bush. But perhaps western forces will seize Kony anyhow, airlift him to The Hague, remove the potato sack from his head, and bask in the adoration of a grateful world.
The International Criminal Court could use some positive publicity, as well, since it is increasingly viewed as partisan, dispensing its own brand of Machiavellian justice.
The ICC tends to target the Sudanese but not the Georgians; the Hutus but not the Tutsis; the Lord’s Resistance Army but not the Ugandan government, etcetera. One in a while, token gestures are made for appearances of neutrality, but it is all rather predictable.
Of course, war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza are off the table. International law does not have a long reach, after all, as imagined by David Cameron.
The ICC violates the basic principles of jurisprudence with its Alice-in-Wonderland proceedings. Its “jurors,” for example, are not chosen randomly but instead appointed by the ICC itself.
The ICC is unanswerable or unaccountable to any higher authority. The Prosecutor answers to no executive or legislative power.
Ultimately, the ICC is ultimately about the transformation of warfare into lawfare.
As ICC Watch describes:
“Now, following the illegal Yugoslav and Iraq wars – wars that violated the UN Charter and the NATO treaty – we are entering a new anarchic era of World affairs in which self-selecting, powerful countries can choose on an ad-hoc basis to initiate attacks on independent countries, ignore the rules of the Geneva Convention when doing so, and attempt to capture and bring to trial foreign military leaders.” (ICC Watch).
Stripped of its legal pretensions, the ICC simply becomes a neo-imperial vigilante, threatening people with false imprisonment. It’s a pirate court.
But those days are slowly coming to an end.
The madness continues with Darfur, a region of Sudan.
As Richard Kurdt describes how the narrative goes like this:
“Racist conflict between Arabs and Africans, with Africans as the ‘good guys’ and Arabs as the ‘bad guys.” Anglos swollen with empathy and nobility documenting the shocking scenes, attempting to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
Let’s consider reality.
Darfur’s crisis is a spillover from a civil conflict between the Sudanese government, led by Omar al Bashir and, in opposition, anti-governmental rebel forces such as the Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA). The SLA’s base of support includes members of the the Fur, the Zaghawa and the Masalit groups.
The anti-government rebels also include the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). Both of these movements – SLA and JEM – masquerade as popular uprisings but in fact have received massive infusions of weapons from Chad and western powers.
Complicating matters further, each side – the Sudanese government on the one hand and rebel groups on the other – branch out into all kinds of unaccountable militias, including the Janjaweed, which, certainly, has attacked civilians in Darfur. But the Janjaweed is less a governmental force and more of a criminal element.
Anti-government rebels of the SLA and JEM (only depicted on television as “victims”) are also violent. They routinely attack police stations and even schools. They have kidnapped and killed Chinese engineers working in Sudan.
These armed gangs, and their camps of hangers on, are now Hollywood’s Heroes.
Running out of Road
As seen in Libya, “humanitarian intervention” is a disaster. Foreign forces often worsen a crisis on the ground by prolonging violence; by fossilizing military divisions; and by giving rise to new militias and warlords. It is also just political cover for moves on the geo-political chessboard.
Africa is beyond the scope of NATO’s charter. The Arab League’s Article 8 and the African Union’s Article 6 prohibit (should prohibit) this kind of military interference.
For the West, there can be no-fly zone – or any other action – that does not go through the UN Security Council.
Andrew Bosworth, Ph.D./ multipolarfuture.com