Bill Van Auken of wsws writes:
The escalating war in Africa is neither about terror nor Al Qaeda. Time magazine succinctly outlined the real motives in Mali: “The dangers expand elsewhere, with huge oil reserves attracting Western companies to set up production across the vast Sahel. South of Algeria and Mali sits Niger, a dirt-poor desert country with the world’s fourth largest output of uranium, which supplies France’s crucial network of nuclear-power stations. East of Algeria is Libya, where a number of Western companies exploit some of Africa’s biggest oil reserves.”
This from Seamus Milne:
You'd think the war on terror had been a huge success, the way the western powers keep at it, Groundhog Day-style. In reality, it has been a disastrous failure, even in its own terms – which is why the Obama administration felt it had to change its name to "overseas contingency operations", until US defence secretary Leon Panetta revived the old title this week.
Instead of fighting terror, it has fuelled it everywhere it's been unleashed: from Afghanistan to Pakistan, from Iraq to Yemen, spreading it from Osama bin Laden's Afghan lairs eastwards to central Asia and westwards to North Africa – as US, British and other western forces have invaded, bombed, tortured and kidnapped their way across the Arab and Muslim world for over a decade.
So a violent jihadist movement that grew out of western intervention, occupation and support for dictatorship was countered with more of the same. And the law of unintended consequences has meanwhile been played out in spectacular fashion: from the original incubation of al-Qaida in the mujahideen war against the Soviet Union, to the spread of terror from western-occupied Afghanistan to Pakistan, to the strategic boost to Iran delivered by the US-British invasion of Iraq.
Once again there will be thousands and thousands of innocent human beings killed or their lives permanently shattered by the ruthless U.S. and its craven fellow bullying country cronies diabolically using the “War on Terror” as the “fig leaf” excuse to ramp up further violent corporate-driven profiteering imperialist invasions. Thousands and thousands of people in other countries will die along with our own betrayed troops being used as cannon fodder for corporate profits. Read below the fold...
Starving child covered in flies
It appears a lot of people are as sick to death as I am of the World Vision and Tear Fund TV ads featuring starving, fly-infested African children. Read below the fold...
More evidence that the Village really is a sack of pus comes from Saturday's Washington Post:
AIDS Funding Binds Longevity of Millions to U.S.
Open-Ended Commitment of Money Is Implied
President Bush plans to sign a bill next week that commits the United States to spending about $40 billion over the next five years to fight AIDS overseas, a major expansion of what many consider his most successful foreign policy initiative.Read below the fold...
Cross-posted from The Global Sociology Blog.
It is a story that has made headlines in the UK because it involves some high-level British players, via The Guardian:
Read below the fold...
"The British mercenary Simon Mann was today sentenced to 34 years in prison for plotting to overthrow the government of Equatorial Guinea.
The Eton-educated former SAS officer was sentenced after a trial last month during which it was claimed that a number of western governments knew about the coup plans. The court heard that Sir Mark Thatcher, the son of the former British prime minister, was a committed member of the group.
Mann was arrested in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 2004 with dozens of mercenaries when their private plane landed. He acknowledged knowingly taking part in the attempt to topple the government, but his lawyer argued Mann was a secondary player.
The sentence is longer than expected."
Like it or not, our next president will have to deal with conflicts all over the world. The nature of warfare has been changing (a lot of ink has been spent on this already) but obviously, this administration did not read the memo. Read below the fold...