Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Crisis of the Pan African Intellectual

What is the revolutionary Pan African position on the Euro-American-Chinese occupation of Africa?
And what can the Diaspora do to stop the military campaigns for the mineral riches of Africa? Do we have drones, nukes, what? Can we tell African heads of state who are now in league with the Euro-Americans not to join the West in its supposed role of stopping the Islamic revolution? Perhaps we should make clear that the Arab Islamists, including the African Arab Islamists, are as much a problem as the Euro-Americans and Chinese, although the Chinese role appears to be purely economic, which is
nice if there is parity of trade between the Afro-Asians, but too often Chinese made goods destabilize the local economy with pricing and shoddy goods, often imitation cloth such as Kenti in Ghanna.

But what can we do, those intellectuals, Pan Africanists and revolutionary nationalists here in the belly of the beast. Dr. Nathan Hare and Kwame Toure argued over whether our focus should be to cut off the tentacles or the head of the serpent. Of course our focus must be the home front where our people are suffering greatly, jobless, ignorant, incarcerated, drugged out, diseased, etc.  Think globally but act locally. What can we do down here on the ground in Babylon? If you know, teach! If you don't know learn! The nature of events in Africa is complex with major issues of corruption, religion, tribalism, imperialism from a myriad sources, European, American, Arab, Asian, etc.

When will Africa be for the Africans? We see reactionary forces occupying Africa. America is placing American troops in 35 African countries. France is now in Mali to stop the Islamists, with American support of course. But does it matter to us whether the Euro-Americans or the Islamists occupy the land, both are known to be devils and destroyers of African culture.

And what shall we say about the African governments in cahoots with the imperialists or globalists?
The African politicians appear in lockstep with the colonizers and crusaders seeking control of Africa's precious minerals. From the neocolonialism of the last decades, we seek they are in the mood to make deals with the devil. After all, Kwame Nkruma taught us neocolonialism is colonialism playing possum.

The African nations collaborating with the occupiers are in the tradition of those who sold us to slavers.
In many of these nations, the former revolutionaries have turned reactionary, yes, in league with the devil. We can almost say no one in this African quagmire is without sin. Who are the good guys, the African leaders, the Euro-Americans, Arab Islamists, who?

Perhaps we can say the common people are the good guys, exploited and robbed of their labor and natural resources at every turn. How shall they gather the energy to seize people's power? The African bourgeoise is not about to give up power to the masses, thus the masses must fight internal forces and external forces of every stripe, European, American, Asian, Arab. This will employ sophistication and a broad understanding of all the forces involved, political, economic, religious.

Malian Front: France Wins First Round of the War, but Now What?

Malian youth watch French soldiers drive down a road in Niono on Jan. 20, 2013
Three days after France sent jets screeching over the white skies of West Africa, a trail of over 50 Islamist-packed vehicles stormed south out of the desert, bypassing the Malian military post at the village of Dogofry and churning off the road into the shrubby bush. The group then split; some continued south, where they looped around to assault a Malian army base from the rear. The others took off on foot, around a swamp, to flank the Malians in battle. The Malian soldiers fought, then fled. Oumar Traore, like most villagers of Diabaly, scurried through the lush green fields to hide. For the next four days and nights, planes and helicopter blades whirred above, as automatic bursts fired back. And then: silence. Traore waited for several hours, then ventured out. The bearded men from the desert had left almost as suddenly as they had swooped in, leaving only charred souvenirs behind. “The bombing was too intense,” Traore said. “There were burnt trucks all around my neighborhood.”
France won Round 1 of its new war in Africa but not as smoothly as its military planners might have hoped. By the time it had successfully stopped the Islamist advance southward that prompted its intervention earlier this month, the hodgepodge of overlapping Islamist militias had dealt the French a quick lesson: they plan on fighting back.
The rebels finally retreated because they had no answer to the pummeling from the air. “The French would wait until the rebels had to move, then they’d hit them while running,” said Traore. The rebels tried everything to try to evade the air assault: hiding under trees, camouflaging trucks with mud and branches. They even broke into civilian homes, sometimes knocking down walls, to park their mounted guns in places the French would not bomb. Eventually, they pulled out.
But, the rebels also exposed a gaping chink in France’s armament: Paris still has no solution for the ground war. The first phase of France’s war in Mali took place in the country’s riverine center. Control a bridge here, a few checkpoints there, and you can secure a site. Not so in the desert, the rebels’ home turf, where France will have to press the fight next. The French need fighters, and the Malian army is not up to the task. Even after the rebels fled Diabaly, the Malian army refused to re-enter for over 24 hours and even then would not spend the night. There was no ground assault on the rebels’ position, even with the French airpower on their side. But so far, France hasn’t shown willingness to do the dirty work either. With the exception of French special forces deployed to assist the air assaults from the ground, the gathering swarm of French troops, now numbering over 2,000 in Mali, stayed south of the Malian lines.
French insistence on African troops leading the pack has resurrected the U.N.’s original intervention plan: a cobbled-together West African force that does not even exist yet. The U.N. has said such a force would take until September to be deployable, but now their troops are rolling piecemeal into Bamako, Mali’s capital, with new urgency but still without a defined command structure or size.
One option is for France to secure central and southern Mali and wait the weeks or, more likely, months until the African force is theoretically ready to go. The problem is that time is not on France’s side. The Islamists have ruled northern Mali since last spring, and every passing month grants the rebels’ more time to bolster their one glaring area of weakness: local support, or rather the lack of it. So far, the French intervention is wildly popular in Mali. Malians don’t appreciate the ultraconservative lectures on Islam: 90% of the country is Muslim, and Timbuktu, seized by Islamists earlier this year, was once the center of Islamic scholarship in the Muslim world, and they blame the rebels for their nation’s precipitous collapse.
But the Islamists are working hard to improve their reputation, especially with the youth. “They offered us money, candy. They told us we could join them. They were not abusive, they were trying to be nice,” said Fousseni Traore, a 19-year-old from Diabaly. Some in Diabaly joined the insurgents during the brief occupation. Northern Mali, ethnically and culturally, is even riper recruiting ground.
More time also means more room to regroup and prepare for the coming assault, and U.S. officials admit the Islamist coalition, including al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, already had too much of it. ”One of the hallmarks of AQIM is that they are generally quite well trained and quite effective, particularly if there’s no counterpressure on them, which there hadn’t been until the French launched their military action,” said State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland about the rebels’ counterstrike. To speed things up, France could try a hybrid approach by putting together a mix of Nigerian and Chadian troops, the most battle-hardened of the contributing countries, to forge ahead by its side as the rest of the African troops are readied and trained.
France deserves the world’s thanks for stepping in when and where no one else, the U.S. included, would. A collapsed Mali into the hands of Taliban-style hoodlums would have established a sinkhole of terrorism accessible from almost any corner of north, west and central Africa. American doubts that the crisis in Mali had direct national-security implications were profoundly shortsighted: as the Algerian hostage situation and the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi showed, Mali’s crisis already extends far past its borders. If no one had stopped the Islamists from taking all of Mali, the resulting calamity for the wider region would have been exponentially grimmer. The moral bravado of the French mission, however, will be of limited assistance on the battlefield as the conflict grinds on. As the French eye Mali’s north, there’s still a lot of sand to sift through.

No comments:

Post a Comment