[News] Zero Dark Mali
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jan 25 12:20:15 EST 2013
*Zero Dark Mali
*By Pepe Escobar
Goooooooood morning, Vietnam! No, sorry, that was another quagmire.
The soundtrack then was Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Motown and Stax.
Now it's Goooooooooood morning, Mali! Yet the soundtrack can't be
something as transcendental as Rokia Traore's Dounia
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DydY8bHTyg>, or as delightfully
psychedelic as Amadou and Mariam's Dimanche a Bamako
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXJYlqUvZfA>. It's way more menacing.
Something like - he's inescapable - Hendrix in Machine Gun
Timing - as in the expansion of the Global War on Terror (GWOT) - is
everything. Carefully choreographed Libyan blowback in the Sahel could
not be a better replacement for NATO raising a monster white flag in
Afghanistan. There's no Goooooood morning, Kabul! anymore; there's just
the sorry countdown to see the last NATO helicopter leaving Bagram -
The Economist - the voice of the City of London - is even promoting
"Afrighanistan". There are nuances, of course. NATO had its ass kicked
in Afghanistan by all sorts of Pashtun factions bundled up as "Taliban".
But NATO "won" in Libya. With a certainly foreseen spin-off; the
Islamist brigade which attacked the In Amenas gas field complex in the
Algerian desert was using NATO-facilitated Kalashnikov AK-104s, F5
rockets, 60 mm gun-mortars and, in a nifty NATOGCC fashion touch, the
"chocolate chip" camouflage Qatar handed out to the NATO rebels in Libya
(yellow flak jackets with brown patches). What next, the cover of Uomo
*I'm your bogeyman, turn me on*
Inevitably, that most convenient of bogeymen - al-Qaeda - is once again
back in fashion, the whole nebula of Salafi-jihadi groups and sub-groups
promoted by the French-Anglo-American triad as the root of all evil in
Northern Africa (but not in Libya, where they were exalted as "freedom
Mokhtar Belmokhtar, one of the founding members of al-Qaeda in the
Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), is for all practical purposes an easily
digestible Osama bin Laden remix. Belmokhtar was a classic "Arab Afghan"
- part of that multinational legion trained by the ISI/CIA axis to fight
the Soviets in 1980s Afghanistan. When he was back in Algeria in 1993 he
joined the local jihad, as part of the Salafi Group for Preaching and
AQIM since 2007 was very close to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
(LIFG), whose fighters were also trained in Afghanistan by ISI/CIA. And
all the time LIFG was always conveniently manipulated by the CIA and MI6
against Col. Muammar Gaddafi.
After the targeted assassination of Gaddafi, AQIM was duly weaponized by
LIFG, and even presented with scores of jihadis. Thus, unsurprisingly,
there were plenty of LIFG fighters involved in the In Amenas raid. On
top of it AQIM is also very close to the al-Nusra Front in Syria, which
Washington branded as a terrorist organization (but not the eternally
bickering "coalition" which wants to topple Bashar al-Assad).
The key point is that Qatar is financing all these people - AQIM, the
splinter MUJAO, Belmokhtar's brigades and the Salafist Ansar Ed-Dine, a
bunch of Wahhabi takfiris who have absolutely nothing to do with
tolerant Mali culture.
What does stand out is the absolutely perfect pretext for NATO to get
down to the groove in Northern Africa after its humiliating Afghan
defeat. But wait; AFRICOM is already there! Still, Algeria - a secular
Arab republic who historically has been pro-Cuban and pro-Soviet Union -
better beware, and better get its US$50 billion in reserves out of
Western banks as soon as possible. Sooner or later, the AFRICOM/NATO
hydra is coming to get you.
For now we have the spectacle of Paris involved in the "cleansing" of
Mali from not only weaponized Islamists - extraneous to Mali culture -
but also indigenous, weaponized Tuaregs with legitimate grievances. The
master plan is to support an absolutely corrupt regime in Bamako, led by
a military coup plotter, the Fort Benning-trained Captain Amadou Sanogo.
This is the meat of the matter of the new /mission civilisatrice/,
protected by a convenient, UN-enabled smokescreen; a batch of
impoverished African countries who will foot most of the bill - and come
up with the 5,800 soldiers for another one of those impossibly
ridiculous UN acronyms, AFISMA (African-led International Support
Mission in Mali). Who pays what is still a mess; there will be a meeting
next Tuesday in Ethiopia where they will all be haggling with the
proverbial, reluctant "international donors".
Even in France nobody knows who is fighting who and what are these
people, really. Check out the hilarious semantic swamp here
(in French). Le Monde believes it has solved the riddle; Paris is
In this Folies de Pigalle in the desert, Washington will be "leading
from behind." Wise move; shadow wars bypass quagmires. It's the French -
with typical Gallic grandeur - who will remain infatuated with the
illusion of soon ruling the Mali desert. In fact they won't even rule
algae in the Niger river, because this will be a protracted nomad war.
The prospect of a succession of sandy Dien Bien Phus looms.
And the minute most of Mali's impoverished population - for the moment
in favor of getting rid of AQIM, MUJAO, Belmokhtar's gang and Ansar
ed-Dine - feels the slightest whiff of neocolonial occupation, the
French are on their way to meet the American fate in both Iraq and
It's enlightening to regard all this under the perspective of President
Obama 2.0 administration's foreign policy, as (vaguely) outlined in his
inauguration. Obama promised to end US wars (shadow wars are much more
cost-efficient). He promised multilateral cooperation with allies (while
Washington effectively calls the shots), negotiation (as in our way or
the highway) and no new war in the Middle East.
To take the president at his word, this translates into no US war
against Syria (just the shadow variety); no Bomb, Bomb Iran (just
murderous sanctions); and France gets the Mali prize. Or will it? Zero
Dark pulp fiction starts now.
/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of/ Globalistan: How the Globalized World
is Dissolving into Liquid War
/(Nimble Books, 2008). He may be reached at/ pepeasia at yahoo.com.
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