Understanding the war in Libya (2/3)
What are the true objectives of the United States? We have already pointed out several clues so that, finally, at this stage of our reflection, we can dismiss the possibility of a « humanitarian war » and say that it was not an impulsive response to the recent events either. If Washington and Paris deliberately denied any attempts to negotiate, if they have « worked on » Libyan opinion for a good while and worked out detailed scenarios for the intervention, if aircraft carriers have been ready to intervene for a long time (as it was confirmed by U.S. Navy admiral Gary Roughead, the Chief of the U.S. Navy : « Our forces had already taken up their position against Libya », Washington, March 23), it certainly does not mean that the war was decided at the last minute in reaction to unexpected events, but that it was planned. Because it pursues major goal that go well beyond the person of Gaddafi. Which are they?
Read part three: Tracks to act
In this war against Libya, Washington is pursuing several objectives at the same time : 1. Taking control of oil. 2. Ensuring the safety of Israel. 3. Preventing the liberation of the Arab world. 4. Hindering the African unity. 5. Setting up N.A.T.O. as the watchdog of Africa.
It does involve many objectives. This was also the case for the wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, and in Afghanistan. Indeed, such a war costs a lot and entails major risks for the image of the United States, especially when it does not win. If Obama triggers a war of this kind, it means he expects major advantages from it.
First goal : taking control of all oil reserves
Some say that this time, the war is not for oil, because apparently, the quantities of Libyan oil are minor in the global oil production and that anyway, Gaddafi was already selling his oil to Europeans. Yet they do not understand what the « world oil war » consists of.
With the worsening of the general crisis of capitalism, the world’s leading economic powers engage in fiercer and fiercer competition. The seats are precious in this musical chairs game. To secure a chair for their multinationals, each superpower must fight on all fronts : capturing markets and profitable labor force areas, getting big public and private contracts, securing commercial monopolies, controlling the states which will grant it favors. And first and foremost ensuring domination over coveted raw materials. Particularly, oil.
In 2000, as we analyzed the wars to come in our book entitled Monopoly, we wrote : « He who wants to rule the world, must take control of oil. All of it. Wherever it may be. » If you are a superpower, securing your own oil supplies is not enough. You yearn for more oil, you want mileage out of it. Not only for the huge profits, but particularly as you ensure yourself a monopoly, you will be able to deprive your too inconvenient rivals of it, or subject them to your own conditions. You will hold the perfect weapon. Blackmail? Yes indeed.
Since 1945, the United States has done anything to secure this monopoly on oil. For instance, a rival country such as Japan was dependent upon the U.S.A. for 95% of its supplying with energy. Enough to guarantee its obedience.
However, balances of power in international relations change, the world is turning multipolar and the United States faces the rise of China, Russia’s recovery, and the emergence of Brazil and of other southern countries. It becomes more and more difficult to the maintain the monopoly position.
Libya’s oil represents only about 1% or 2% of the global oil production. Fair enough! But it is of higher quality, easier to extract, it is thus a very profitable business. And above all, it is situated near Italy, France and Germany. It would be more expensive to import oil from the Middle-East, Black Africa, or Latin America. There is definitely a battle for Libya’s black gold. Especially for a country such as France, which embarked on a nuclear program that has become very hazardous.
In this context, we need to recall two facts. 1. Gaddafi wanted to increase Libya’s contribution to oil supply from 30% to 51%. 2. Last March, 2, Gaddafi had complained that Libya’s oil production was at its lowest. He had threatened to replace the western firms which had left the country with Chinese, Russian, and Indian ones. Is it a coincidence? Every time an African country becomes interested in China, it gets itself into trouble.
Here is another clue : Ali Zeidan, the man who put out the figure of « six thousand civilian casualties » – who were supposedly the victims of Gaddafi’s bombings – is also the spokesman for N.T.C. (National Transitional Council), that opposition government which is recognized by France. Well, as such, Zeidan has declared that Libya will «honor the contracts that had been signed with oil companies», however the future government « will be grateful to the nations that helped us »! Therefore, this is definitely another war for oil. Yet, Libya is not the sole target.
What are these rivalries between U.S.A, France and Germany for?
If the war against Libya is just a humanitarian one, we do not understand why those who fight it argue with each other. Why Sarkozy rushed to be the first to bomb the country? Why was he vexed when N.A.T.O. offered to take command of all the operations in Libya? He argued : « N.A.T.O. is unpopular in the Arab countries. » This does not make sense. As if he was so popular there after providing Israel and Ben Ali with such protection!
Why were Germany and Italy so doubtful about the war? Why did Italian secretary Frattini first declare that « Libya’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have to be protected » and that « Europe should not export democracy in Libya. » (1) Are they just mere diverging viewpoints regarding humanitarian effectiveness? I guess not, it is all about economic interests. As Europe is confronted with the crisis, rivalries are consequently growing stronger and stronger. Just a few months ago, European leaders came one after the other in Tripoli, embracing Gaddafi and pocketing big Libyan contracts. Those who had got them, would do very well not to overthrow him. Those who had not, would better do so. Which country was Libya’s top oil customer? Italy. Which was the second one? Germany. Now let us have a look at European superpowers’ investments and exportations. Which country got the most contracts in Libya? Italy. Which was the second one? Germany.
It was the German firm BASF which had become the main oil producing company in Libya, with its two billion euros of investment. It was the German firm DEA, a subsidiary company of water giant RWE, which got more than forty one thousand square kilometers of oil and gas fields. It was the German firm Siemens which was instrumental in the huge investments in the gigantic project entitled « Great Man Made River » : the biggest irrigation project in the world, a network of pipelines which draw water from the Nubian aquifers to the Sahara desert. More than 1,300 oil wells, which are often more than five hundred meters deep, and once all alterations have been completed, will supply 6.5 millions cubic meters of water everyday in Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirte and other cities. (2) 25 billion dollars that attracted the covetousness of some countries! Besides, with these petrodollars, Gaddafi had embarked on a very ambitious program to renew infrastructure, build schools and hospitals and industrialize the country.
Taking advantage of its economic strength, Germany formed special economic partnerships with Libya, Saudi Arabia and countries of the Arabian Gulf. It thus does not want to spoil its image in the Arab world. As far as Italy is concerned, we have to remember that it colonized Libya with incredible roughness, playing on divisions between western and eastern tribes. Today, with Berlusconi, Italian companies got some nice contracts. They have thus a lot at stake. On the other hand, France and Great Britain, which did not get the tastiest pieces of the cake, go on the offensive in order to revise the sharing of the cake. And the war in Libya is just an extension of the economic struggle by other means. The capitalist world is not so nice. Economic rivalry is transposed to the military field. In a period when Europe is in crisis and dominated by an ultra successful Germany (particularly thanks to its policy of low salaries), France breaks off its alliances and now turns towards Great Britain in order to restore the balance. Paris and London are greater military powers than Berlin, and try to play this card in order to make up for their weakness on the economic level.
Second goal : Ensuring the safety of Israel.
In the Middle-East, everything links up. As Noam Chomsky explained to us in an interview (3) : « From 1967 onwards, the government of the United States has considered Israel as a key investment. It was one of the community police stations in charge of the protection of the oil producing Arab dictatorships. » Israel is the cop of the Middle-East.
However, Washington faces a new problem : because of the many crimes Israel committed (Lebanon, Gaza, the humanitarian flotilla), the latter becomes more and more isolated. Arab peoples demand the end of this colonialism. As a result, now the cop needs protection. Israel cannot survive without being surrounded by Arab dictatorships which could not care less about their peoples’ will to support the Palestinians. That is why Washington protected Mubarak and Ben Ali, and will do the same for the other dictators.
The United States is worried about « losing » Tunisia and Egypt in the years to come. It would indeed change the balance of power in the region. After the war against Iraq in 2003 – which also served as a warning and a means of intimidation directed at all the other Arab leaders – Gaddafi had felt the threat. As a consequence, he had multiplied concessions – which were sometimes excessive ones – to the Western powers and their neoliberalism. It had weakened him at the internal level of social revolts.
When you give in to the I.M.F., you do harm to your people. But if tomorrow Tunisia and Egypt become leftists, Gaddafi will undoubtedly be able to reconsider these concessions.
A resistance axis between Cairo-Tripoli-Tunis, standing up to the United States and determined to make Israel give in would be a nightmare forWashington. Overthrowing Gaddafi is thus prevention.
Third goal : preventing the liberation of the Arab world.
Nowadays, who rules over the whole Arab world, over its economy, its resources, and its oil? We know it is not the Arab peoples. It is not the dictators in power either. They certainly are in the forefront but the true rulers are behind the scenes.
American and European multinational companies are the ones which decide what those countries will produce or not, determine salary scales, whom will make the most of oil revenues and which ruler will be imposed there. Those multinationals are the ones which make their shareholders grow richer at the Arab peoples’ expense.
Imposing tyrants in the whole Arab world leads to serious consequences : only multinational companies benefit from oil and other natural resources, they are not used to diversify the local economy and create jobs. Moreover, multinational companies impose low salaries on the tourist industry, on the small industries and on the subcontracting services.
As a result, these economies remain dependent, unbalanced and do not fulfill peoples’ needs. In the years to come, unemployment will increase, for 35% of the Arabs are under the age of 15. Dictators are multinationals’ employees, in charge of securing their profits and crushing protest movements. Their role is to hinder social Justice.
Three hundred million Arabs spread over twenty countries, yet rightly seeing themselves as a single nation, face a decisive choice : either accepting the maintenance of colonialism or becoming independent by taking a new path? All around, the world is changing fast : China, Brazil and other countries are liberating themselves politically, so much so that their economy is making progress. Will the Arab world remain behind? Will the subordination to the United States and Europe remain, a weapon that is used against the other nations in this great global economic and political battle? Or will the hour of liberation eventually strike?
This possibility terrorizes strategists in Washington. If the Arab world and oil slip out of their hands, that is the end of their domination over the world. Because the United States, a superpower which is in economic and political decline, is more and more questioned : by Germany, Russia, Latin America, and China. Moreover, a lot of southern countries long to develop South-South relations, which are more profitable than the subordination to the United States. The latter is finding it more and more difficult to maintain itself as the greatest global power, capable of plundering whole nations and waging war wherever it pleases. Let’s say it again : If tomorrow the Arab world unites and frees itself, if the United States loses the oil weapon, it will simply become a second-rate power within a multipolar world. However, it will be a big step forward for humanity : international relations will usher in a new course and peoples of the South will eventually be able to decide their own fate and be done with poverty.
Those for whom democracy is a threat
Former colonial or neocolonial powers swear that they have changed. After having financed, armed, advised and protected Ben Ali, now the United States, France and other countries are flooding us with moving statements. For instance, Hillary Clinton said : «We support Arab peoples’ desire for democracy .»
This is an utter lie. Certainly the United States and its allies certainly do not want democracy in the Arab world, nor does they want the Arabs to be able to decide on their oil or on any other wealth of theirs. So they did whatever they could to slow down the democracy process and keep the former leaders in power. And, when this plan fails, they impose their own chosen leaders whose task will be to crush peoples’ resistance. For instance, the Egyptian government has recently took tough anti-strike actions.
Justifying the war against Libya with the idea that after the events that happened in Tunisia and Egypt, Washington and Paris supposedly have « understood » and want to ease their conscience or at least restore their reputation, is thus just a big lie. Actually, the western policy with regard to the Arab world forms a whole that applies under three various forms : 1.Keeping repressive dictatorships in power. 2.Replacing Ben Ali and Mubarak with pawns under the control of the West. 3.Overthrowing the regimes in Tripoli, Damascus and Tehran in order to colonize again those « lost » countries. Three approaches to achieve a unique goal : keeping the Arab world under western domination to continue exploiting it.
Democracy becomes a threat when only the interests of a tiny social minority are represented. What frightens the United States, is the fact that social discontent practically broke out in all the dictatorships in the Arab world. In Iraq – the Western media did not mention it by the way – many strikes broke up in several industries. Among them : the oil, textile and electricity supply industries, and other ones. In Kut, U.S. troops even surrounded a textile plant on strike. People demonstrated in sixteen of the eighteen provinces, irrespective of which community they belong to, against the corrupt government which abandons its people in poverty. In Bahrain, under the people’s pressure, the king finally promised a financial aid to the value of $2,650 for every family. In Oman, sultan Qaboos bin Said replaced half of the government members and increased the minimum salary by 40%, and ordered that fifty thousand jobs be created. Even Saudi king Fahd released thirty six million dollars to help low and medium income families!
Obviously one question immediately arises to all the simple people : but if they had all that money, why were they hiding it in their coffers? The following question be : how many other billions have they stolen from their peoples in complicity with the United States? And the last one : how can we put an end to this theft?
« Facebook revolutions », a huge American plot or real revolutions?
A misinterpretation spread on the internet : revolutions in the Arab world would have been triggered and manipulated by the United States. It would have pulled the strings in order to carry out well-controlled changes and be able to attack Libya, Syria and Iran. Everything would have been « made-up ». The argument which supports this being : more or less official organizations had invited to the U.S.A. and formed Arab « cyber activists » who were instrumental in the spreading of the news and who symbolized a brand new type of revolution, the « Facebook revolution ».
The argument of the huge plot does not hold together. Actually, the United States did anything they could to keep Mubarak – a very useful dictator – in power as long as possible. However, it knew that he was suffering from poor health and « finished ». Of course it always draws up a plan b, and even a plan c. Plan b consisted in replacing Mubarak with one of his deputies. But, given the deep anger of the Egyptian people, there was little chance that it would work.
So, it had also prepared one, even several plan c’ s, as it does by the way for basically every country it wants to control. What does it consist of? It bribes beforehand a few rebels and intellectuals – with them realizing it or not – and thus « invest » in the future. When the time comes, they are brought into the forefront. How long this will work is another issue, so long as people are mobilized and that a government, be it a face-lifted one, cannot resolve the demands of the people, if its objective is to keep these people in a state of exploitation.
Talking about the Arab revolution movement as being a « Facebook revolution » is a myth that is convenient for the U.S.A. We have pointed since a long time the crucial importance of new means of information and mobilization on the internet, however it would be absurd to think that Facebook would replace social struggles and revolutions. This idea is convenient for big capitalists – whose representative was Mubarak – but in fact, what they fear most, is a workers’ opposition movement, because it directly endangers their source of profit.
The workers’ role
Facebook is a means of struggle, not the essence of revolution. Presenting things in this way is a means to hide the role of the laboring class – in a broad sense – which would be replaced with internet. Actually, a revolution is an act through which those at the bottom dismiss those at the top, through a radical change not only of the members of the government but particularly of social exploitation relations.
Oops! According to our official great thinkers, we cannot use the phrase « class struggle » any longer, which is supposedly out of date and even improper. Too bad for you, stockbroker Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the world, said some time ago : « There is class warfare in the U.S., all right, but it is my class, the rich class that is making war, and we are winning. » (4) Well, Mr. Buffet, you should never swear to it before the end of the show! He who laughs last…
But the events in Tunisia and Egypt strengthen the idea of « class struggle », in agreement with Mr. Buffet…When did Ben Ali pack up his bags and left? On January 14, when Tunisian workers were involved in a general strike. When did Mubarak leave the throne? When a great strike of Egyptian workers halted textile firms, post offices, and even official media. Joel Beinin, professor in Stanford university and former head of the American university in Cairo, explains to us : « These last ten years, a big wave of social revolts had touched more than two million workers who participated in more than three thousand strikes, sit-ins, and other forms of protest. This was the background of the revolutionary uprising of the last few weeks…However, these past few days we saw dozens of thousands of workers link their economic demands to the demand that Mubarak’ s regime be abolished… » (5)
The Arab revolution has just begun. After the first victories of the people, the ruling class, which is still in power, tries to appease the people by making tiny concessions. Obama wanted the people to calm down as quickly as possible, and everything to go back to square one. It can work for a while, but the Arab revolution is under way. It may take years, but it will be difficult to stop.
Fourth goal : hindering the African unity
The richest continent on Earth, with a profusion of natural resources, Africa is also the poorest one. 57% of the population live below the poverty line, that is with less than $1,25 per day.
The key to this mystery? Multinationals do not actually pay for these raw materials, they steal them. In Africa, they plunder resources, impose low salaries, unfavorable agreements and detrimental privatizations, blackmail and put any form of pressure to the weak states and cripple them with an unjust Debt, put subservient dictators in power, trigger civil wars in the coveted regions.
Africa is strategically important for multinationals, because their prosperity depends on the plundering of these resources. If gold, copper, platinum, coltan, phosphate, diamonds and agricultural produce were paid a fair price , multinationals would be much less richer yet the local populations would be done with poverty. For American and European multinationals, it is absolutely vital to prevent Africa from uniting and being free. It must remain dependent. Here is a well stated example showed by Jean-Paul Pougala, an African author : « The story begins in 1992, when forty five African countries created RASCOM in order to have an African satellite and drop the call costs on the continent. The calling rate from and to Africa was then the highest one in the world, because each year Europe collected a five hundred million dollars tax on phone conversations, even on those within the same African country, for voice transit on European satellites such as Intelsat.
An African satellite cost only 400 million dollars payable for in one go, so there would be no need to pay 500 million dollars per year anymore. Would any banker not finance such a project? The most difficult equation to solve was : how can a slave free himself from the servile exploitation by his master if he is asking for the latter’s help in order to achieve this goal? So, the World Bank, the IMF, the U.S.A., and the European Union needlessly dangled these countries for fourteen years. In 2006, Gaddafi had put an end to the needless begging from so-called Western benefactors who practice usurious loans; so the Libyan guide put 300 million dollars on the table . The African Development Bank offered 50 millions, and the West African Development Bank gave 27 millions. As a result of this, for the first time in its history, Africa has its very first communication satellite since December 26, 2007. Following on from it, China and Russia followed suit, this time selling their technology and so new satellites were launched : a South African one, a Nigerian one, an Angolan one, an Algerian one, and even a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. And now, we are expecting in 2020 the very first satellite 100% technologically African and built on the African soil, particularly in Algeria. This satellite has been made to compete with the best ones in the world, but costing ten times less, a real challenge.
This is how a simple token gesture of a measly 300 million dollars can change the life of a whole continent. Gaddafi’s Libya made the West lose not only 500 million dollars per year but also billions of dollars of debts and interests that the debt itself could generate indefinitely and exponentially, thus contributing to the maintaining of the secret system which goal is to despoil Africa…It is Gaddafi’s Libya which offers Africa its first true modern-day revolution : providing universal coverage of the whole continent for telephony, television, broadcasting and many other uses such as telemedicine and distance learning; for the first time, a low-cost connection becomes available on the whole continent, even in rural areas thanks to the radio bridge system called WMAX." (6)
Well, here is something we have not been told about nasty Gaddafi! That he was helping African people to free themselves from the stifling tutelage of the West. Might there still be other secrets of this kind that remain unmentioned ?
Gaddafi challenged the I.M.F. and Obama plays the pickpocket
Yes he did. By supporting the development of the « African Monetary Fund » (AMF), Gaddafi committed the crime of challenging the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We know that the FMI, which is controlled by the United States and Europe and whose president is Dominique Strauss-Kahn, purely and simply blackmails the developing countries. It lends them only if those countries accept to get rid of their companies in favor of multinationals, place unprofitable orders, or cut their budgets on health and education. In short, the IMF is very harmful. Well, just as the Latinos launched their « Banco Sur » in order to counter the IMF and its arrogant blackmail and decide on the financing of projects that are truly beneficial for them, now the AMF might start offering a freer path for the Africans. What are the countries which finance the AMF? Algeria gave 16 billion, and Libya gave 10 billion. Together they supplied 62% of its capital.
But, Obama just robbed the Libyans of thirty billion, an act that went unnoticed to the media. How did that happen? On March 1, – long before the U.N. resolution was passed – he ordered the U.S. Department of the Treasury to freeze Libyan deposits to the U.S.A. Then, on March 17, he managed to insert into the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 a little sentence which would allow the freeze of the deposits of the Libyan central bank but also of the Libyan National Oil Corporation. We know Gaddafi amassed riches that allowed him to invest in big European companies, in big development plans in Africa – and maybe in some European election campaigns too, but this does not seem to constitute any efficient form of life assurance! -… In brief, Libya is quite rich (with its cash reserves of 200 billion dollars) and it attracted the covetousness of one superpower which is heavily in debt : the United States. So, to embezzle the dozens of billions of dollars of the Libyan national bank, in other words to go through the pockets of the Libyan people, Obama simply called all this a « potential financing source for Gaddafi’s regime. » and there you had it ! A real pickpocket.
However hard he tried to coax the West by multiplying concessions to neoliberalism, Gaddafi still worried the leaders of the United States. The American embassy in Tripoli deplored the resistance movements in a wire dating back to November 2007 : « Those who run Libya politically and economically are more and more pursuing nationalist policies as regards power industry. » Does anybody refusing privatization all over the place deserve bombings? War is definitely the continuation of economy with different means.
Fifth goal : Settling NATO as the watchdog of Africa.
At first, NATO was supposed to protect Europe from the « soviet military threat ». So, once the USSR collapsed, NATO should have disappeared too. But it was the very opposite that happened…
After having bombed Bosnia in 1995, Javier Solana, NATO’s general secretary, said : « The experience acquired in Bosnia may act as a model for NATO’s operations in the future. » At that time, I wrote : « Actually, NATO is asking for a limitless sphere of action. Yugoslavia was the testing ground for the preparation of the next wars. Where will they take place? » (7) Then I suggested this answer : First axis : Eastern Europe. Second axis : The Mediterranean and the Middle East. Third axis : The third world in general. » Here we are, this very program is happening now.
As soon as 1999, NATO bombed Yugoslavia. A war to subject the country to neoliberalism, as we saw it. As I was studying the comments of American strategists, I pointed out a sentence from one of them, whose name is Stephen Blank : « NATO’s operations will increasingly take place ‘out of area’. Its main function would consist of being the vehicle for the integration of a steadily increasing number of regions into the western economic, security, political, cultural community.» (8)
Subjecting an ever more increasing number of regions to the West! Then I wrote : « NATO is an army which serves globalization, it is the multinationals’ army. Step by step, NATO is definitely turning into a watchdog of the world. » (9) And I named the countries that would probably be the next targets of NATO forces : Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and a return to Iraq… just to begin with.
Now that all of this really did happen, some people are asking me : « Did you have a crystal ball? ».
There is no need to have a crystal ball, you only have to analyze the documents – which are not even classified – from the Pentagon and from the big offices where plans of action are elaborated and understand their logic.
In fact, this logic of Empire is very simple : 1. The world is a source of profits. 2.If you want to win an economic war, you have to be the leading superpower. 3. And for that, you have to control raw materials and also be in control of the strategic regions and routes. 4. Any opposition to that control must be crushed : through corruption, blackmail, or war, whatever the means are. 5. In order to remain the leading superpower, it is absolutely necessary to prevent the rivals from allying themselves against the master.
NATO expansion : already into three continents!
In order to defend its economic interests and become the watchdog of the world, NATO leaders spread panic : « Our sophisticated, industrialized, and complex world had been assailed with a good many of fatal threats : climate change, drought, famine, cyber safety, and energy issues. » (10) non military matters, but social and environmental ones are used as excuses for increasing armament and military interventions.
Actually, NATO’s goal is to substitute itself for the U.N. With the militarization of the world, our future becomes increasingly dangerous. And of course this has a terrible cost : the United States allow, for the year 2011, a record military budget of 708 billion dollars. That is to say 2,320 dollars per inhabitant! That is twice as much as Bush during the first days of his mandate. Moreover, U.S. secretary of Defense Robert Gates constantly urges Europeans to spend more : « The demilitarization of Europe is an obstacle to security and to a lasting peace in the 21st century. » (11) European countries had to promise Washington not to decrease their military spending. It is a great deal for arms factories. The world-wide expansion of NATO has nothing to do with Gaddafi, Saddam Hussein or Milosevic. It has to do with a global strategy to maintain the domination on the planet and its resources, maintain the profits of the multinationals, and prevent peoples to choose their own path. NATO protected Ben Ali, Mubarak and the tyrants in Saudi Arabia, it will protect those who will succeed them, and it will only crush those who oppose the Empire.
In order to become the watchdog of the world, NATO is indeed moving forward step by step. A war in Europe against Yugoslavia, a war in Asia against Afghanistan, and now a war in Africa against Libya. That comes to three continents by now! It had been tempted to intervene in Latin America too, by organizing operations against Venezuela two years ago. But then it was too risky, because Latin America is more and more united and refuses U.S.A.’s « watchdogs. »
Why does Washington absolutely want to settle NATO as the « watchdog » of Africa? Because of the new balance of power in international relations that we studied earlier : the decline of the United States, which are being questioned by Germany, Russia, Latin America, China, and even by small and medium Third World countries.
Why don’t we talk about Africom?
What worries Washington the most is China’s growing power. Proposing more egalitarian relations with Asian, African and Latin-American countries, buying raw materials at better prices and without using colonial blackmail, proposing more attractive loans, and achieving infrastructure projects useful for development, China offers an alternative to the subordination to Washington, London or Paris. So what can be done to block China’s rise?
The trouble is that a power in economic decline has less means of applying financial pressure, even on African countries, the United States thus decided to play its best card : the military card. We have to bear in mind that its defense expenditure are higher than those of all the other countries in the world put together. For many years, it has been moving forward its pawns on the African continent. On October 1, 2008, the U.S.A. set up AFRICOM (Africa command). All of Africa (except Egypt) was placed under the unified command of the U.S., including the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Marine Corps Forces and the U.S. Special Operation Command (landings, coups, clandestine operations…). The aim being to repeat the same process with NATO in order to support the U.S. forces. Washington, which sees terrorists everywhere, found some in Africa too. And they just happened to be around Nigerian oil and other coveted natural resources. So, if you want to know where the next episodes of the famous « war on terror » will take place, just find oil, uranium and coltan on the map, that’s all. Besides, as Islam is spread among many of those countries, including Nigeria, now you already know the next scenario for intervention.
The true objective of Africom : « stabilizing » Africa’s subordination to the U.S., prevent Africa from liberating itself and becoming a dependent force that might ally itself with China and Latin America. Africom is an essential weapon in the United States’ project of global domination. The U.S. wants to be able to lean on Africa and its natural resources which would be under its exclusive control in this great battle to be in control of Asia and its sea routes. Indeed, the decisive economic battle of the 21st century is already taking place in Asia. But it is a big job, with opponents such as a very strong China and a group of emerging economies that would be well advised to join forces. So Washington wants to be in control of all of Africa and close the door on China.
The war against Libya is thus a first step to impose Africom on the whole African continent. It ushers in an era of new wars, not an era of pacification. In Africa, in the Middle-East, but also all round the Indian Ocean, between Africa and China.
Why the Indian Ocean? Because if you look it up on a map, you can see it is the gate to China and the whole Asia. So, in order to be in control of this ocean, Washington tries to subject several strategic regions : 1. The Middle-East and the Persian Gulf, hence its tension towards countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Bahrain, and Iran. 2. The horn of Africa, hence its aggressiveness towards Somalia and Eritrea. We will come back on these geostrategies in our forthcoming book entitled Understanding the Muslim world – interviews with Mohamed Hassan.
Gaddafi’s big crime
Let us go back to Libya. Within the context of the battle to control the dark continent, North Africa is a major objective. By developing about ten army bases in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, as well as in other countries in Africa, Washington would lead the way for itself to establish a complete network of army bases over the whole continent.
But Africom met with strong opposition from African countries. In a highly symbolical way, none of them was willing to host Africom’s headquarters. So Washington had to headquarter it in…Stuttgart in Germany, which is very humiliating. From this viewpoint, the war to overthrow Gaddafi is basically a very clear warning to the leaders in Africa, who might be tempted to follow a too independent path.
Here is Gaddafi’s big crime : Libya had accepted to be linked neither with Africom nor with NATO. The United States used to have an important army base in Libya. But Gaddafi shut it in 1969. Obviously, the aim of this current war is particularly to reoccupy Libya. It would be a strategic outpost to intervene militarily in Egypt if the latter escapes from the control of the U.S.
Which countries in Africa are going to be the next targets?
So, the next question will be : after Libya, who is next? Which other African countries might be attacked by the United States? This is simple. If Yugoslavia had also been attacked because it refused to join NATO, one only has to check the list of countries which refused to join Africom, under U.S. military command. There are five of them : Libya, Sudan, the Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, and Eritrea. Here are the next targets.
Sudan has been divided and put under the pressure of international sanctions. Zimbabwe is also under international sanctions. The Cote d’Ivoire has been imposed a civil war fomented by the West. Eritrea has been imposed a terrible war by Ethiopia – an instrument of the U.S. in that region – and it is also under sanctions.
All these countries were or will be the subject of propaganda or disinformation campaigns. It does not matter either they are ruled by virtuous and democratic leaders or not. Eritrea is trying an autonomous social and economic development experience, refusing the « financial assistance » that the World Bank and the I.M.F., which are under the control of Washington, wish to impose it. This small country is achieving the first successes in its development, but it is under international threat. If other countries « go bad » , the United States will also have its eye on them. Especially Algeria. In fact, following one’s chosen path is quite risky.
And for those who would still think that all this is just a « conspiracy theory », that the U.S.A. does not plan so much wars but improvises in reaction to current events, let us remind them of what ex-general Wesley Clark declared (supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe between 1997 and 2001, who supervised the bombings in Yugoslavia) : « In 2001, in the Pentagon, a general told me : ‘I just received a classified memo from the Secretary of Defense : we will take seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and finally, Iran.’ » (12) There is a difference between dreams and reality, but the plans are already worked out. They are just delayed.
Translation: Sheila Carby
 Marianna Lepore, The war in Libya and Italian interests, inaltreparole.net, 22 février.
 Ron Fraser, Libya accelerates German-Arabian peninsula alliance, Trumpet.com, 21 mars
 Michel Collon, Israël, parlons-en !, Bruxelles 2010, p. 172.
 New York Times Magazine, novembre 2006.
 Interview radio Democracy now, 10 février.
 J-P Pougalas, Les mensonges de la guerre contre la Libye, palestine-solidarite.org, 31 mars
 Michel Collon, Poker menteur, Bruxelles, 1998, p 160-168.
 Nato after enlargement, US Army War College, 1998, p. 97.
 Michel Collon, Monopoly – L’Otan à la conquête du monde, Bruxelles 2000, pp. 90 et 102).
 Assemblée commune Otan – Lloyd’s à Londres, 1er octobre 2009.
 Nato Strategic Concept seminar, Washington, 23 février 2010.
 Interview radio Democracy Now, 2 mars 2007