As the France-led military intervention in Mali enters its second week, a growing chorus of Western governments, from Britain to the US, are voicing strong support for it by systematically exaggerating the threat posed by militants in Africa’s Sahel region.
“Washington inevitably and automatically magnifies every hiccup internationally into a threat, mobilizing massive resources that lead to the proverbial flea being smashed with a sledge hammer,”writes former CIA analyst and Antiwar.com columnist Phil Giraldi.
“The fall of Timbuktu to extremists who have a local agenda does not actually threaten the United States and the ability of such groups to strike the U.S. is nil, so one might well plausibly decide that Washington has no real interest in Mali at all,” Giraldi adds.
Still, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the intervention in Mali as a response to “a very serious, ongoing threat” posed by militants allegedly associated with al Qaeda.
“We are in for a struggle but it is a necessary struggle. We cannot permit northern Mali to become a safe haven,” Clinton insisted.
The militants in Mali – with no stated or implicit intent to attack the US – are not the only non-threat Washington has been chasing in Africa: al-Shabab in Somalia is one of the most prominent scare stories.
“The group poses no direct threat to the security of the United States,”writes Malou Innocent, Foreign Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute. “However, exaggerated claims about the specter of al Qaeda could produce policy decisions that exacerbate a localized, regional problem into a global one.”
Even the Obama administration has quietly acknowledged the fact that military involvement in Somalia may create more problems than it solves, with one administration official telling the Washington Post last year there is a “concern that a broader campaign could turn al-Shabab from a regional menace into an adversary determined to carry out attacks on U.S. soil.”
The Nigerian group Boko Haram, although weak and ineffectual, is also an inflated threat on Washington’s radar. A Congressional report issued at the very beginning of December said ”Boko Haram has quickly evolved and poses an emerging threat to US interests and the US homeland.”
But Patrick Meehan, chairman of the US Congressional committee that drew up the report, said “While I recognize there is little evidence at this moment to suggest Boko Haram is planning attacks against the [US] homeland, lack of evidence does not mean it cannot happen.”
Washington’s interest in Africa goes back at least to 2007, when the Pentagon’s AFRICOM was formed, long before rebels in Libya or militants in Mali were a threats to exaggerate.
The dominant way of thinking in Washington is that the US should be involved in every corner of the planet, and the pressure to always “do something” is intense.
But as Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations recently commented with regards to the intervention in Mali, “Some things that happen on the other 94% of the earth that isn’t the US, has nothing to do with the US, nor requires a US response.”
14 thoughts on “US, West Chasing Non-Threats in Africa”
cannot permit … a safe haven How long before the no-'safe-havens' schtick gets as old as he's-killing-his-own-people? Anybody come up with a complete list of euphemisms for we-need-to-bomb-someone so-we-can-suck-you-dry while-you're-still-sorta-moist?
lack of evidence does not mean it cannot happen Burden of proof shifted to skeptic again, aye.
Hey there persnopoles, you are making too much sense in that short post of yours. Do not forget that all what you hear on the MSM is for Joe six-pack who cannot remove an ant from his home without calling 911.
at least some percentage will decide to attack the far enemy, then mission accomplished.
half the people will cry about thermite and the other half for revenge.
The West is sick of killing brown people so now they can indulge in the thrill of killing black ones.
Apparently you don't remember but before they started to kill brown people, they were killing black people. Before that, it was red savages. It's a color-coded thing.
The only threat is an economic one. Last week, Germany requested that the Bank of France and the New York Federal Reserve return Germany's gold bullion held on deposit. After much clearing of throats, the Bank of France said they would need five years to return Germany's bullion while the New York Federal Reserve said they would need between seven and eight years to comply. Clearly, the gold is not actually there in the vaults of Paris and New York. So, big surprise, France and the US attack "terrorists" in Mali, which just happens to be Africa's third largest gold producer.
"The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labor power without producing anything that can be consumed." – George Orwell, 1984
Look: west in general is at war with rest of the world for last 60 years.., this is nothing new.., is just that there are more obvious wars pupping up here and there and people see and hear about it since iraq disaster and all the lies about iraq war. As days are passed the more wars will be created by the west in Africa and other part of this world, this is simply because west has become a militarism regime trying to defend what it got.., there is no democracy nor any if these regimes understand diplomacy nor in their "diplomatic" approach there is any kind if democracy.., since Bakan war the growth of Neo Fascsim, militarism, Neo Liberal fascism and militarization of the world is more obvious then any kind of democracy.., Libya is the work of Westren Neo Liberal and Neo Fascism, Balkan war was the extension of the EU and US militarism which paved the way for all these little colonialism wars taking place.
Non of these wars are winnable, yet its a way for the west militarism regimes to pave the way for takeover or the more growth of fascism as we witnessing.
In order to get the Amerikan sheeple to cower in fear and demand mass murder everywhere, all that need be said is these two magic numbers and magic words: 9/11 / Al Qaeda.
You take enemies where you find them. And if you can't find them you make them.
Hillary has sounded very militarist ever since she has been in office. She sounds more like an employee of the Pentagon than a State Dept employee.
Hillary has always been a militarist.
That's why she lost the nomination to Obama, who may be 1% less militarist than Hillary
Armaments manufacturers need those arms to be used up so the government will buy more. The military needs a purpose. I think one of the reasons the US is in Africa is that no one cares about Africans. There are no holy sites that rich people and Abrahamic religious fanatics care about. There is no vital resources to my knowledge that could be disrupted due to war. There are resources to take and control. It is the perfect spot for the West to engage in target practice without any serious repercussions for the West. They can hide the poor management of the Western economy with war.
Ah the smell of "Full Spectrum Dominance" in the morning, it smells of Empire. Winning. LOL
Comments are closed.