On 14 October, President Barack Obama announced he was sending United States special forces troops to Uganda to join the civil war there. In the next few months, US combat troops will be sent to South Sudan, Congo and Central African Republic. They will only “engage” for “self-defence”, says Obama, satirically.12 With Libya secured, an American invasion of the African continent is under way.
Published on the same day as Gaddafi’s execution, Pilger’s article from Oct 20th, entitled, “The Son of Africa claims a continent’s crown jewels”, exposes the true intent that lurks behind Obama’s latest move:
Obama’s decision is described in the press as “highly unusual” and “surprising”, even “weird”. It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and “protect” Indonesia, which President Nixon called “the region’s richest hoard of natural resources… the greatest prize”. Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America’s subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually “self defence” or “humanitarian”, words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.
Pilger then dismisses Obama’s latest excuses and cuts to the chase:
[However,] The main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam war. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalised paranoia that justifies what General David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American “threat”. When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defence at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, “Asymmetric threats … asymmetric threats”. These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.
Although thinly disguised under the veil of humanitarianism, “the de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners”, Pilger says, “heralds a modern version of the ‘scramble for Africa’ at the end of the 19th century.”:
As WikiLeaks cables and the US National Strategy for Counter-terrorism reveal, American plans for Africa are part of a global design in which 60,000 special forces, including death squads, already operate in 75 countries, soon to be 120.
The title for Pilger’s article is based on the admission by US ambassador Gene Cretz, who blurted out: “We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!”
And speaking on Bloomberg, also with perfect timing [Oct 19th], Cretz was drooling with anticipation at the prospect of billion of dollars of “new investment opportunities”, including:
“Several hundred billion dollars for the privatisation effort where several hundred Libyan, formerly state-held enterprises, will be turned over to the private sector for bidding.”
Click here to watch the full interview on Bloomberg.
[The plans for privatisation are about 2:20 mins into the video.]
Click here to read more from John Pilger’s official website.
1 “US President Barack Obama has said he is sending about 100 US soldiers to Uganda to help regional forces battle the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.
Although combat-equipped, the troops would be providing information and advice ‘to partner nation forces’, Mr Obama wrote in a letter to US Congress.”
Reported by BBC news on October 15, 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15317684
2 “Subject to the approval of each respective host nation, elements of these U.S. forces will deploy into Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The support provided by U.S. forces will enhance regional efforts against the LRA. However, although the U.S. forces are combat equipped, they will only be providing information, advice, and assistance to partner nation forces, and they will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self defense.”
From the Presidential Memorandum released by The White House Press Office on October 14, 2011. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/10/14/letter-president-speaker-house-representatives-and-president-pro-tempore