Africa: Remember this war?

The fighting in Mali is yesterday’s passing news for much of the monopoly media. The Royal Canadian Air Force together with the US Air Force, which now has forces in over 30 African countries – Germany too was involved – has been continuously flying military supplies and other equipment to support the French military intervention.

That mission, although not officially wrapped up, has disappeared from view, reports the Ottawa Citizen’s military reporter, David Pugliese.

Not for the French though. Its forces bombed positions in northern Mali on the weekend, the BBC reported.

More from the report:

Four or five bombs were dropped in the Esssakane region, west of the city of Timbuktu on Sunday morning, the BBC’s Alex Duval Smith in Mali reports.

The UN has said al-Qaeda militants were active in the area. Last month Timbuktu airport came under rocket attack.

France intervened in Mali in January last year to try to drive out al-Qaeda-linked groups, which had taken over the north of the country.

Last month the French government said it was setting up a new military operation to stop the emergence of jihadist groups in the Sahel region of Africa.

Well, not exactly so. The Euro-Atlanticist military operation was cynically launched to pre-empt the physical intercession of an impending inter-African military mission using the proverbial “war on terror” pretext. And now this operation is taking on a permanent character, with a longtime base. There is still no reasonable explanation of what is behind the pre-emptive war against Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, as these terrorists had been active for the previous dozen years without attracting any attention. Meanwhile, Jabhat al-Nusra, the al-Qaeda affiliate active in the  war of aggression to destabilize the Syrian Arab Republic, enjoys unfettered access to arms and war material from the US/NATO patrons of the carnage and funds from Saudi Arabia. [1] All this covers up the counter-insurgency and subversive role of the Euro-Atlanticist states, as if they have no direct connection with the extremist forces in Africa or in Syria and Iraq and the carnage they are wreaking.

It is also worth recalling that when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper initially announced the provision of “logistical support” on January 14, 2013  just three days after French intervention, he declared that it would be “for a period of one week.” To pacify Canadian opinion, Harper added that the Canadian Forces would not participate in “direct combat” or operate in zones where direct combat is taking place. This claim was in contradiction with the plane’s cargo – daily shipments of military hardware and equipment to French forces that had began a ground offensive in Mali against those it says are terrorists. Officials from Canada and other Western nations were reported at the time to have said the plane could also be used to transport soldiers from other African nations to Mali, if the French were only to ask. In the absence of any media spotlight, who knows that the Canadian Forces have really been up to!

The Harper government everywhere – from the Ukraine, Syria and Occupied Palestine to Cuba and Venezuela – is intriguing against sovereign countries and peoples through covert operations and related weapons of subversion.

The Harper government has been steadily increasing its military presence in Africa, especially in the mineral-rich Sahel region.[2] It was announced over a year ago that 50 Canadian Special Forces were to be sent for “training” to Mauritania, which shares an eastern border with Mali. Canadian Special Forces now exercise in Africa under the U.S. African Command (Africom) and themselves are said to be “training” the military forces of Niger, another country that neighbours Mali to the east. In May 2014, Special Forces were deployed to Nigeria under the guise of humanitarian intervention, the third intervention in Africa in a year. As well, Canada is presently building three military bases or “hubs” in Africa. One is located in Senegal, which neighbours Mali to the west, with another in Kenya and one in Tanzania in east Africa. Maritime Command has deployed warships to its coasts as part of NATO war exercises.

Notably absent from Harper’s claims of Canada’s selfless humanitarian assistance in Africa has been the fact that Canadian mining firms have major holdings in the north of Mali, as is the case for other western countries. [2] The Harper war government covers up that Canada’s participation in the foreign intervention in Mali and Nigeria is about the recolonization of Africa by the big imperialist powers and securing the private interests of mining monopolies to intensify the exploitation of the peoples of Africa and their enormous natural resources, not humanitarian concerns.

The double standards of Canada’s stand is odious as it is profound. It chooses to virulently oppose or take no action on numerous United Nations’ resolutions calling for Zionist Israel to end its occupation of Palestine and for the United States to end the colonial status of Puerto Rico and drop its illegal blockade of Cuba. However, when it directly serves private monopoly interests such as those of Canadian mining companies, the Harper government uses the logic and tactics of “white man’s burden” and “might is right” to justify violating every principle upon which the UN is based and intervening anywhere in the world the predatory interests of the US/NATO bloc are challenged.

The claim that intervening in an internal matter in Mali and Nigeria was and is consistent with international law – something completely contradictory to international law – reveals just how self-serving the words and actions of the Harper government are, and why they deserve nothing but contempt and organized opposition from the Canadian working class and people.


1. Last December the American investigative journalist Seymour Hersh revealed that Obama and his clique deliberately ignored the information provided by intelligence and military services showing that the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, members of the U.S. sponsored Syrian National Coalition and the various extremist militias dubbed “the Free Syrian Army” (backed by Ottawa), had “mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” American authorities knew that terrorists in the group had acquired sarin, but these same terrorists were never publicly fingered after sarin attacks took place on Syrian soil in summer 2013. 

2. The Sahel covers (from west to east) parts of Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria and Niger, Chad, Sudan, South Sudan and Eritrea.

3. 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.”

Further reading on this website

US’s back-to-the-future military policies in Africa,” May 20, 2014

Abayomi Azikiwe, “Behind unfolding events in Nigeria: White House escalates interventionist plans,” May 20, 2014

Tony Seed, “Hands Off Africa! CTV, W5 and ‘Secret Warriors’ should be widely denounced and condemned by everyone,” April 4, 2014

Nick Turse, “Recolonization of Africa: US military averages more than a mission a day,” April 3, 2014

Tony Seed, “Canada sends warship to Africa, part of NATO Rapid Response Fleet, August 1, 2007

1 Comment

Filed under No Harbour for War (Halifax)

One response to “Africa: Remember this war?

  1. Pingback: New scramble for Africa: No to expanding Canada’s military presence in Africa | Tony Seed's Weblog

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