By TONY SEED
(April 4) – CTV News is repeatedly promoting on a hourly basis an unabashedly racist and militaristic W5 special to be aired Saturday night, April 5.
The program is being billed as “a never before seen look” of ”Canada’s elite team of secret soldiers, the Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR)” and their “training” in Niger in the Sahara in Western Arica, “where violent extremists are organized, well-funded, and well-armed violent extremists.” The “extremists” are depicted as Islamic and the segment is entitled “Secret Warriors.”
The promotions feature reporter Mercedes Stephenson, whom the Department of National Defence (DND) selected to be embedded in Flintlock 2014, an annual U.S. African Command (AFRICOM) military exercise that includes NATO forces from the old colonial powers – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. 
Flintlock military exercises involving participation of Canadian Forces have been held in different locations on the African continent since 2005. But no reason is given as precisely why it is at this time that the DND and the Harper government is bending over backwards to embed the media in its shadowy African adventure and manufacture this disinformation. CTV’s hype about its “a never before seen look” serves to hide the hand guiding this “look.”
Stephenson speaks not as a journalist but as a public relations flack whose profession is to lie. This sycophancy to the Harper government in and of itself is not unexpected but the depth of CTV’s political whoring is outrageous. This media is not only delighted that Canada boasts covert forces but it wants Africa bushed back to the “dark ages.” According to statements from this warrior princess, and a companion press release touting the program:
“They tell them (Africans) how to recognize what’s there and how to deal with it when Westerners aren’t around.”
“They went there to help some of these poorer countries who do not know how to deal with terrorists.”
Here is real “humanitarian intervention”: “They showed the Africans how to treat injuries … one helped an African woman in labour who had missed the birth of his own child the day before.”
The presentation of the “elite team” brings to mind the Praetorian Guard of the Roman emperors. The glorification of Black Ops or covert operations and counter-insurgency is second to none: “The top secret missions of the CSOR, considered among the best special forces in the world, span the globe – on land, sea, and air.”
Of the highly vetted, fanatical personnel: “They’re world class.” (The authority cited for the hyperbole is the U.S. general in charge.) “Their role is to take out high value targets,” i.e., assassination (emphasis added). “They’re incredibly intelligent, some of them have two degrees.” “[They] represent Canada with excellence, intelligence, and pride.”
Though directly deployed under the command of AFRICOM , this force can even be offered to the French colonialists: “They speak French.”
Stephenson’s personal enthusiasm and excitement on having been embedded is astounding and boggles the mind: “It’s been my dream to tell Canadians the story of these secret warriors.”
Stephenson may have fulfilled her “dream” but what is the point? That there is no other way to bring peace to the African continent and resolve conflicts amongst peoples than through more military force, more military intervention? The whole backward Eurocentric tone of White Man’s Burden speaking through her “dream” is – Please, please, please O Canadian occupiers: Continue to occupy me and mine my lands to make me free and safe and heal my wounds. Please, O Canadian occupier!
Did not Africans develop cities, extensive libraries and medicine when London and Paris were not even sewers? The Eurocentric outlook being propagated by CTV that emerged after the slave trade looks down upon all people of African descent as subhuman: a people without history, destined for servitude.
Africans knew the world was a sphere long before the Europeans. Africa’s economic and social development before 1500 was arguably ahead of Europe’s. It was gold from the great empires of West Africa, Ghana, Mali and Songhay that provided the means for the economic take-off of Europe in the 13th and 14th centuries and aroused the interest of Europeans in western Africa.
In the 14th century, the West African empire of Mali – now being occupied by the armed forces of NATO – was larger than Western Europe and reputed to be one of the richest and most powerful states in the world. The noted African scholar Al Omari, published a book in the 1340s, which recounted that people from the Mali Empire had crossed the Atlantic Ocean and reached America during the reign of the great Mansa Musa (c. 1312-1334) whose empire was the size of present-day Europe.
When its emperor, Mansa Musa visited Cairo in 1324, it is said that he took so much gold with him that its price fell dramatically and had not recovered its value even 12 years later.
The empire of Songhay (1350-1600 a.d.) spread forth from the capital city of Goa, on the Niger River, 200 miles south of Timbuktu. It is known, among other things, for the famous university of Sankore based in Timbuktu, the centre of learning, culture and commerce. The famous University of Sankore was located there where discipline such as astronomy, mathematics, ethnography, medicine, philosophy, public speaking and music were studied. One of its most famous professors, Ahmed Baba, wrote more than 40 major books on subjects as diversified as astronomy, ethnography, biography and theology. His personal library contained some 1,600 volumes. One of the most important commercial activities carried out in Timbuktu was the sale of books. The university of Sankore’s medical school was known for its advanced surgical operations, including the removal of cataracts.
Did not the African people heroically drive out European colonial powers, who employed the most barbarous and savage terrorism against their right to be and their struggles for freedom and independence? Today they are steadfastly grappling with the drive of the old and new imperialists to recolonize Africa through the force of arms, black ops, and the incitement of fratricidal war amongst fraternal peoples and tribes. There is not one single communal conflict in which foreign powers cannot be found behind the scenes. The unity, resistance and thought material of the African people is the target against which the disinformation that Africans are uncivilized, fratricidal and “terrorists” centres. It is not fortuitous that Secret Warriors is also the title of a well-known Marvel comic book fantasy series of superpowered agents, whose mission is to defend earth and the American way of life from an invasion from the barbaric Super Skrulls.
CTV, a division of Bell Media owned by BCE Inc., Canada’s largest communications company monopoly, has devoted extensive resources to produce and promote this “Secret Warriors” program. This is not journalism but naked and criminal anti-African warmongering at the very time that the Harper war government is escalating deployments of troops and warships to Africa and Canadian monopolies are the most numerous in the world in exploiting its rich resources and labour.  The Sahara-Sahel reportedly has rich deposits of uranium. Canada had signed an agreement to explore for uranium in Libya before the NATO war, commanded by a Canadian general, that cost the lives of over 30,000 innocent people, including the assassination of the head of the government of Libya.
With the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Canadian military is deploying its forces far beyond declared combat zones. It has signed an agreement to participate in Obama’s Asia Pivot, has five warships currently deployed off the coasts of Latin America and another in the Persian Gulf, and aims to establish one of seven overseas military bases or hubs in Africa, though it is yet to find a host. The Harper government everywhere – from the Ukraine and Syria to Cuba and Venezuela – is intriguing against sovereign countries through covert operations and related weapons of subversion.
The Harper government has designated the Second Anglo-Boer War, an imperialist war for private profit and conquest, as a “glorious war” to be memorialized and heroized by Canadians. Why is it doing so?
CTV, W5 and “Secret Warriors” should be widely denounced and condemned by everyone.
Hands Off Africa!
1 Nick Turse, “Recolonization of Africa: US military averages more than a mission a day,” April 3, 2014, reposted fom TomDispatch
2 In the scramble to exploit African resources and markets, the predatory interests of the Canadian mining monopolies are second to none. In 2011 – the most recent year for which statistics are available – 155 Canadian mining companies were operating in 39 African countries. Their combined assets totaled more than $30.8 billion, up from $26.5 billion in 2010. “Expand the picture to take into account other country’s projects financed on Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and the TSX Venture, and Canada’s role in mining around the world grows even more substantial.”
[April 8] CTV’s scoop (sic): “Overhead, the sun beats down mercilessly. Daytime temperatures average above 40 Celsius. There is no shade. Just heat, glare and the sand. This is Niger, a land-locked and drought-stricken part of Africa that is one of the poorest nations on earth. And yet, here we are: watching the Canadian military get ready to prevent a new war on terror and, for the first time on television, to reveal something about our secret commandos ….” – video here, and transcript of CSOR boss interview here.
Forthcoming on this weblog
For your information: The Second Anglo-Boer War
Why is the Harper government glorifying the Second Anglo-Boer War – an imperialist war in Africa for private profit and conquest?