Skip to main content

How modern imperialism creates famine around the world

Countries like Yemen, Chad and South Sudan have been devastated by famine and starvation in recent years, with millions of people suffering despite a global surplus of food. But the problem is not a lack of resources - they are starving due to the effects of unending Western imperialism.

by Eric Draitser

Part 3 - West Africa: Terror, famine and the “New Great Game”

Today, the area around Lake Chad – including parts of Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad – has become ground zero for a humanitarian disaster that threatens the lives of millions. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, there are at least 7.1 million people facing hunger, with 120,000 directly threatened by famine. Additionally, there are 515,000 severely malnourished children, 80,000 of whom are at risk of death from malnutrition.

What little coverage this unfolding humanitarian disaster has gotten has been dominated by talk of Boko Haram, the Nigeria-based terrorist organization that gained infamy for its mass kidnapping of the Chibok girls in 2014, a high-profile action that catapulted the terror group into the global spotlight. While it is understandable that the corporate media would focus on the good vs. evil storyline where the big, bad terrorists attack defenseless girls, the real context of the story is almost completely ignored.

As is par for the course when it comes to Africa and the former colonial powers of the West, the underlying factors are money, resources and profit. Lake Chad and West Africa are no different.

Indeed, while black Muslims sporting masks and AK-47s might be good for ratings, it is the black gold beneath Lake Chad that really sits at the center of the story.

Recent oil discoveries in and around the Lake Chad Basin have greatly altered how leaders of West African nations view their economic future. Put another way, West African leaders are scrambling to line their state coffers (and their pockets) with petrodollars.

A 2010 assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) noted that the Lake Chad Basin has “estimated mean volumes of 2.32 billion barrels of oil, 14.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 391 million barrels of natural gas liquids.” The potential size of these resources has likely attracted the attention of political and business leaders, both within the region and internationally.

These discoveries have touched off something of a mini-scramble for resources among Lake Chad littoral countries, a competition that could potentially threaten regional stability as countries like Cameroon make progress in exploiting energy reserves while Nigeria continues to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency, preventing it from keeping pace.

But as with all things Africa, it is the former colonial powers that continue to wield influence and strength. And with the discovery of massive riches in West Africa, those same powers have rushed into the region to extract their pound of flesh.

In Francophone West Africa, France remains the dominant economic player, as it remains the primary trading partner for its former colonies in Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The French military has permanently stationed military forces throughout the region, ostensibly to fight terrorism and instability in the wake of the 2012 coup in Mali and the subsequent terrorist insurgency there. The ongoing Operation Barkhane has at least 3,000 French troops spread across the Sahel region, including in Niger and Chad.

With French troops on the ground and French corporations eyeing oil and gas, as well as other lucrative mining products, it’s plain to see that Paris is primarily interested in good old-fashioned colonial-style economic parasitism and competition with foreign rivals, rather than any humanitarian concerns, which are chief concerns for the French people.

As French industry minister Arnaud Montebourg stated while announcing the creation of the new venture, “Francophone African countries, notably, would like to work with us, rather than do business with foreign multinationals.” That sounds an awful lot like colonial hegemony – notice the implication that France is not “foreign” in West Africa – veiled behind the façade of free market choice.

Consider also that France is heavily dependent on nuclear power, with nearly 80 percent of its electricity derived from nuclear energy. This would certainly explain why France has put such an emphasis on West Africa. As Think Africa Press noted in 2014, “France currently sources over 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear energy and is dependent on Niger for much of its immediate and future uranium supply.

Like France, the U.S. is now heavily involved on the ground in West Africa – around the Lake Chad Basin, specifically. Washington dominates the skies over the region with its far-flung network of drone bases. In Chad, the U.S. has permanently stationed military personnel, ostensibly to search for the Chibok girls. However, the Obama White House’s own press statement betrayed a much more imperialistic objective: “These personnel will support the operation of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft for missions over Northern Nigeria and the surrounding area.

Add to this the fact that the U.S. now operates two critical drone bases in the region, with one base in Cameroon’s city of Garoua and another in the Nigerien city of Agadez, and it becomes clear that the US, in fact, has drones and other surveillance covering the entire Lake Chad Basin.

This begs the question: how could we possibly be seeing a famine and humanitarian disaster unfolding quite literally at the feet of U.S. and French military personnel if those forces are there purely for humanitarian reason? Surely nothing could be more appropriate for a humanitarian mission than to save men, women, and children from the ghastly fate of starvation and malnutrition.

But the sad truth is that the empire has little interest in saving the lives of millions of Nigerians, Cameroonians, and Nigeriens. Its focus is in extracting resources and preventing its Chinese rival from horning in on the action as it has elsewhere on the continent.

And in the midst of Washington’s “New Great Game” with Beijing, millions of Africans are paying with their lives.

Source, links:


[1] [2] [4]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New York Times accidentally destroys the Western propaganda on Venezuela

globinfo freexchange
In another rare 'real journalism' short crisis, the New York Times decided to reveal the truth about the trucks with 'humanitarian aid' on the Colombia-Venezuela border, that were set on fire.
As The Interceptreported:
On February 24, CNN told the world what we all now know is an absolute lie: that “a CNN team saw incendiary devices from police on the Venezuelan side of the border ignite the trucks,” though it generously added that “the network’s journalists are unsure if the trucks were burned on purpose.
Other media outlets endorsed the lie while at least avoiding what CNN did by personally vouching for it. “Humanitarian aid destined for Venezuela was set on fire, seemingly by troops loyal to Mr Maduro,The Telegraph claimed. The BBC uncritically printed: “There have also been reports of several aid trucks being burned – something Mr Guaidó said was a violation of the Geneva Convention.
That lie – supported by…

The underground war between Venezuela and the US big oil cartel confirmed through WikiLeaks

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A document under the title VENEZUELA: AMERICAN OIL AND SERVICE COMPANIES ENGAGE AMBASSADOR, from July, 2009, depicts the agony of the US oil corporations to stay in Venezuela, as they had already lost control over country's rich reserves.
The summary…

Neoliberal fascists attempt to regain control over the European continent to prevent a Leftist revival

While the neoliberal regime is pushing Jeremy Corbyn for a second Brexit referendum, Brussels bureaufascists visit Greece to make sure that the country will remain on the path of neoliberal destruction.
globinfo freexchange
UK's neoliberal regime is now pushing Jeremy Corbyn to promise a second Brexit referendum, hoping to reverse current Brexit vote. As the Independentreported:
Jeremy Corbyn is under new pressure to fully back giving the public a Final Say on Brexit after his own version of EU withdrawal was emphatically rejected in the Commons. His vision of the UK leaving Europe was defeated by a margin of 240 votes to 323, meaning the leader will now be expected to fulfil a promise to bring forward or support a vote to approve a new referendum. The 83-vote defeat comes after Mr Corbyn told Labour MPs on Monday that he was ready to support moves to demand a public vote, having lost a string of MPs who resigned in part over his Brexit strategy.
It appears that the blackmail worked …

Fraudulent neoliberalism was born when it was assumed that the banking parasites produce real value

Democracy At Work
Adam Smith looked on bankers as if they were unproductive. Essentially said they're parasites who kind of live off the value created by others. Bankers - if you have a labor theory of value - it's hard to see how bankers can be producing value.
Before the 1970s, financial services were not included in the calculation of gross domestic product (GDP). In other words, they were considered as adding nothing to the total value of gross domestic product. Only after 1970 did they get included, and now, of course, they're considered to be great value producers. So, do financiers produce value? This starts to become a very important kind of question.

To save Labour from the wreckers, Corbyn needs big balls (and a willie)

In 2015, anti-war socialist Jeremy Corbyn caused a stunning shock when, as a 500-1 shot, he became elected as Labour Party leader. Corbyn’s campaign engendered great enthusiasm among those desperate for Labour to make a clean break with elite-friendly pro-war neoliberal Blairism.
by Neil Clark
In the 2017 general election Corbyn defied the odds, and the smug inside the tent pundits again, with Labour achieving its biggest increase in its share of the vote since 1945.
Corbyn seemed to be on an unstoppable path to Number 10. But since then momentum has been lost. Literally.
Let’s call out the elephant in the room. The pro-Israel lobby in Labour and outside of it has never been reconciled to having a pro-Palestinian peace activist as party leader and potential Prime Minister.
They have done everything possible to destroy Corbyn personally and professionally, with charges of ’anti-Semitism’ the weapon of choice. But Corbyn hasn’t done himself any favours by failing to fight back forcefully ag…

As mainstream journalists acknowledge Douma attacks were “staged,” the “humanitarian” Syria regime-change network tries to save a sinking ship

There is increasing desperation on the part of the “humanitarian” regime-change network to protect its influence and the power of its narratives, not just in Syria but in future conflicts.
by Whitney Webb and Vanessa Beeley
Part 3 - Global Public Policy Institute’s place in regime-change network
Beyond Schneider’s conflicts of interests by virtue of his work history and current associations, the organization that employs him — the Global Public Policy Institute — is directly connected to an oligarch-directed and oligarch-funded regime-change network that specializes in manufacturing “humanitarian” justifications for Western military adventurism abroad. The main oligarchs who drive this network, as detailed in a recent articles series at MintPress, include Jeffrey Skoll, George Soros, Pierre Omidyar, and Ted Turner — philanthrocapitalists aligned with the neoliberal, globalist agendas of the U.S/U.K alliance.
In addition to its stated mission of “improving global governance,” in line with…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 3ο - Η «κατασκευή» υποχρεώσεων
Οπωσδήποτε η Βενεζουέλα είχε νομικές και οικονομικές υποχρεώσεις απέναντι σε ξένα κράτη. Ωστόσο, αυτές δημιουργήθηκαν και χρησιμοποιήθηκαν με τέτοιο τρόπο από τις Μεγάλες Δυνάμεις που οδηγούσαν ουσιαστικά στην πλήρη υποταγή του αδύναμου λατινοαμερικανικού κράτους.
Ο ίδιος ο Βρετανός επιτετραμμένος στο Καράκας Richard Edwardes είχε ανακαλύψει από τη δεκαετία του 1860 τον μηχανισμό απάτης πο…

The war criminal Elliott Abrams and the liberals who love him

Elliott Abrams, who is steering Trump’s Venezuela policy, has a long track record of war crimes. Yet a number of liberal commentators are rushing to his defense.
by Paul Heideman
Part 1
Practically the entire American political establishment and corporate press are repeating the Trump administration’s claims to have humanitarian motives in Venezuela. As that administration inches closer to full-blown military invasion, whether direct or by proxy, it behooves us to look into the track record of the officials steering this so-called “humanitarian policy.” None other are more deserving of scrutiny than Elliott Abrams, whose crimes have spanned the globe, from El Salvador to Nicaragua to Iraq.
Before this month, Elliott Abrams was likely glad to have been largely forgotten by the U.S. public. When the Trump administration announced Abrams’ appointment as U.S. Special Representative in Venezuela in late January, the news caused some ripples on the Left, but across mainstream media outlets, the…

Βενεζουέλα: Διαβολική επανάληψη της ιστορίας 120 χρόνια μετά

Ως «αδιόρθωτο» και «απαίσιο» περιγράφουν οι New York Times, η New York Herald και το Associated Press τον ηγέτη της Βενεζουέλας. Ο τελευταίος «απεχθάνεται τις πιο ιερές αξίες των πολιτισμένων εθνών», γράφουν τα δυτικά ΜΜΕ που υποστηρίζουν τον φιλελεύθερο «επαναστάτη», ο οποίος προσπαθεί να εξουδετερώσει τον «τύραννο». Ο τελευταίος είναι ο πλέον μισητός στον δυτικό κόσμο, το κράτος του, αν και πλούσιο σε πόρους, είναι υπερχρεωμένο, η διακυβέρνηση της χώρας διεκδικείται από έναν επαναστάτη που έχει συγκεντρώσει έναν στρατό και βαδίζει προς το Καράκας.
Βαγγέλης Γεωργίου
Μέρος 1ο
Θα μπορούσαν όλα αυτά να συμβαίνουν το 2019, αλλά συνέβαιναν στη Βενεζουέλα του 1899, όταν η Δύση έπρεπε να τακτοποιήσει πάλι έναν μισητό δικτάτορα κάπου στην Καραϊβική.
Οι ομοιότητες διαβολικές. Η κατάληξη ίδια;
Πράγματι, η Βενεζουέλα την τελευταία δεκαετία του 19ου αιώνα είχε βυθιστεί σε εμφυλίους οι οποίοι ακύρωναν τις όποιες προσπάθειες είχαν γίνει από τις κυβερνήσεις των φιλελεύθερων των προηγούμενων δεκαετιών.

Νεοφιλελευθερισμός ή θάνατος: Ο οικονομικός πόλεμος των ΗΠΑ στη Βενεζουέλα

«Οπουδήποτε υπήρχε σοσιαλισμός, παντού, όπου εφαρμόστηκε, δημιούργησε φτώχεια, δυστυχία, καταπίεση και απελπισία [...] Οι μέρες τους τέλειωσαν». Τάδε έφη Ντόναλντ Τραμπ, προσπαθώντας να ιδεολογικοποιήσει μια ακόμη ξεκάθαρη επέμβαση των ΗΠΑ στην Λατινική Αμερική, αυτή τη φορά εναντίον της Βενεζουέλας.
Η αμερικανική ερευνητική ιστοσελίδα The Intercept, αναφέρεται στο παραπάνω απόσπασμα της ομιλίας του Τραμπ σχετικά με το πώς οι ΗΠΑ επιχειρούν να προσδώσουν «ανθρωπιστικό» χαρακτήρα στην υποστήριξή τους σε ένα πραξικόπημα σε εξέλιξη. «Αυτή τη στιγμή είμαστε μάρτυρες μιας συντονισμένης, στοχοπροσηλωμένης, διακομματικής (σσ. εννοεί και με τη στήριξη των Δημοκρατικών) εκστρατείας για την ανατροπή της κυβέρνησης της Βενεζουέλας» σημειώνει το δημοσίευμα, χαρακτηρίζοντας το κομβόι της «ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας» των ΗΠΑ στην Βενεζουέλα και της προβοκάτσιας που έχει στηθεί γύρω από την είσοδό του στα σύνορα ως «όπλο» υπέρ του πραξικοπήματος.
Προπαγανδιστικό «πογκρόμ» στην αλήθεια
Ο τρόπος με τον οποί…