France and the U.S. Play Tag-Team in Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The United States and France, once thought of as imperial competitors, act as military tag team partners in Africa. France puffed up like a hyper-aggressive peacock in the assault on Libya, and now strikes unilaterally against Islamists in Mali. But the junior imperialist’s brashness comes with the confidence that the superpower has its back.

France and the U.S. Play Tag-Team in Africa

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Only the United States has the logistical capacity to maintain a long war over great distances in Africa.”

The French military has taken the lead in attacking Islamists in the former French African colony of Mali. If recent history is any guide, the United States will be not far behind. Remember that France was, initially, the most aggressive in calling for a NATO war against Libya, in 2011. But the fact is, only the United States has the logistical capacity to maintain a long war over great distances in Africa. Without U.S. refueling tanker aircraft and the awesome infrastructure of U.S. Navy carrier groups, NATO’s eight-month assault on Libya would have been impossible.

In the same way, France would never have committed to putting at least 2,500 ground troops into Mali without assurances that the American superpower has its back. Without U.S. airlift capacity and other logistical support, neither France nor the West African nations of the region can hope for a swift victory over the rebellious Tuaregs of northern Mali.

The war in Mali is a direct result of the Euro-American aggression against Libya. The Tuareg people live in deep poverty. Many found employment in Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya, as did immigrant workers from elsewhere in Africa. Some worked with Libyan security services. When Libya’s government was brought down by the U.S. and its allies, the Tuaregs gathered up as many weapons as they could in the chaos and headed south for home.

Many other Tuaregs never left, and were employed by the Malian Army and its sugar daddy, the United States. The year after 9/11, the U.S. military established its Pan Sahel Initiative, enlisting the militaries of Mali, Niger, Chad and Mauritania into America’s so-called War on Terror on the African front. By 2005, the U.S. had added Algeria, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria and Tunisia to what was now called the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative. This was the beginning of AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Military Command, which assumed control in 2008.

The war in Mali is a direct result of the Euro-American aggression against Libya.”

In Mali, the Americans relied heavily on Tuareg soldiers to fight their war against Islamists and independence fighterss in the northern part of the country. But when their Tuareg brothers returned from Libya, three of the four Malian military commanders in the north defected to the rebels , which then led to the virtual collapse of the Malian Army.

Now the French, as the former colonial master, have sent their warplanes to strike at the Tuareg fighters and are preparing to send in 2,500 French soldiers. A regional African force was not scheduled to come to the aid of the Malian army until September, but with the rebel advance and the French response, that timetable will be speeded up. The Americans will be arriving soon, with their massive airlift capacity. And soon the U.S. will have serious boots on the ground in Africa, when a 3,500-member combat brigade from Fort Riley, Kansas, arrives to hold exercises with military units from 35 African countries, later this year. It seems more likely that the brigade will find itself in an actual war in the Sahel.

Back in October of 2011, we wrote that NATO’s “attack on Libya threatens to set the whole northern tier of Africa ablaze,” providing “a pretext for further U.S. and French operations.” In the east, the Horn of Africa is already in flames, and central Africa has become a cemetery for millions. Now it is the Sahel’s turn to burn.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



The French men, defending what France terms as (a) French national interest, the natural resopurces in Mali (b) the European front/back yard, are already in Mali.

One of the African elite guard dogs, Thomas Boni Yayi who is the current President of BENIN and Chairman of African Union, has already sent a congratulatory salute to France for sending its young men to Mali.

As you can see, African ruling elites are not there to defend African citizens, the theme that is repeated everywhere in Africa. AFRICAN ELITES ARE NOT DESIGNED TO SERVE BLACK AFRICANS' INTERESTS.

Additionally, the interest France is putting its expensive military resourses on in this this front/back yard defense battle has nothing to do with protecting the 99% of Malian dark skinned citizens, most of whom will be slaughtered like flies from every corner of the territory! They will disappear  without a trace and no one will ever know what their names were.  This is how African lives are viewed whenever European interests are defended!

France claims that they were invited in by some Malian elites who were apparently overpowered by the advancing Tuaregs from the North.

The defence of front/back yard by NATO has caused the deaths of millions worldwide. Many African citizens had hoped that  Mr. Obama's presidency would change the way black man's life in Africa is valued by Europeans and their allies. They were wrong because that is neither the intention of the AFRICOM nor African elite attack dogs put in power!

African Ruling Elites?

Those compradors have degenerated into something more grotesque.  I cannot stand them.  They make me so sick after seeing them spout their rubbish. While they make me sick, I can only echo the words of the Great Fela Kuti, the originator of AFROBEAT and Franz Fanon.  Fela never failed a moment to expose these traitors.  Sadly, another joke called Jay Z is using Fela for something more sinister.  Fanon described these leeches as 'acquistive', 'voratious', and having a 'racketeer' mentality.  With Obama in power, these pretenders now think they have some legitimacy and respect.  They are unthinking beings. If they were not, they would appreciate the 'laughing stock' they are to the conscientious people of the world.

Another proxy war in africa between France & U.S. -à la Rwanda?

Did the Gadhafi men cut a deal with the US to join al Qaeda and attack French, Italian, and Chinese interest in Africa?

Seif and Moamar Gadhafi told the NYT's and Milan-based daily Il Giornale that they would Join al Qaeda in retaliation against Italy and France.

Gadhafi supported the Muhajedeen who were fighting against the revolutionary government in Afghanistan.

Gadhafi supported the Tuareg's who rebelled against the pre-coup French puppet government in Mali (Mali now ran by US puppet Captain Sunoco). Gadhafi's supported the Mali coup when it first happened:

In the last few years "of Gadhafi's life," he supported the "war on terror" and participated in the extraordinary rendition program.

My proof:

"Algeria attack cuts gas flows to Italy-traders"

'Gaddafi says could join al-Qaeda in "holy war" against the West'

Mar 15, 2011

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Milan, Italy - Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi on Tuesday ruled out negotiations with anti-government rebels, whom he described as 'terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden,' but warned that if the West were to attack his country, he would ally his forces with al-Qaeda in a 'holy war'.

Gaddafi made the remarks in an interview with Milan-based daily Il Giornale from his his headquarters in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Asked whether he feared ending up like former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who was toppled by a US-led invasion and then hanged for war crimes, Gaddafi said: 'No, our war is against al-Qaeda.'

However, 'if they (the West) behave with us as they did in Iraq, then Libya will leave the international alliance against terrorism.'

'We will then ally ourselves with al-Qaeda and declare a holy war,' Gaddafi said.

The Libyan leader also said he felt betrayed by Western leaders like Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and described French President Nicolas Sarkozy as 'mentally disturbed' for proposing air strikes against his forces.

'I am totally shocked, I feel betrayed and I wouldn't know what to say to Berlusconi,' Gaddafi told Il Giornale, which is part of Berlusconi's media empire.

Last year, Berlusconi treated Gaddafi to a lavish reception in Rome to mark a friendship agreement between their two nations. But the Italian leader has recently joined his European colleagues in condemning the actions of Libyan government forces.

Gaddafi also indicated that certain oil and gas contracts involving Libya and several Western companies, such as Italy's state-controlled energy giant ENI, would be reviewed once the rebellion had been quashed.

'I think and I hope that the Libyan people will reconsider the economic, financial and security ties with the West,' Gaddafi said.

"Libya allying with Islamists, Gadhafi's son says"

Moammar Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent said Wednesday that he was reversing course to forge a secret alliance with radical Islamist elements among the Libyan rebels to drive out their more liberal-minded confederates.


The New York Times

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — After six months battling a rebellion that his family portrayed as an Islamist conspiracy, Moammar Gadhafi's son and one-time heir apparent said Wednesday that he was reversing course to forge a secret alliance with radical Islamist elements among the Libyan rebels to drive out their more liberal-minded confederates.

"The liberals will escape or be killed," the son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, vowed in an hourlong interview that stretched past midnight. "We will do it together," he added, wearing a newly grown beard and fingering Islamic prayer beads as he reclined on a love seat in a spare office tucked in a nearly deserted downtown hotel. "Libya will look like Saudi Arabia, like Iran. So what?"

The leading Islamist whom Gadhafi identified as his main counterpart in the talks, Ali Sallabi, acknowledged their conversations but dismissed any suggestion of an alliance.

He said the Libyan Islamists supported the rebel leaders' calls for a pluralistic democracy without the Gadhafis.

On one level, Gadhafi's avowed embrace of the Islamists represents a sharp personal reversal for a man who had long styled himself as a cosmopolitan, Anglophile advocate of Western-style liberal democracy.
He continues to refer to the Islamists as "terrorists" and "bloody men," and says, "We don't trust them, but we have to deal with them."

But it could also represent a twist on an old theme, a new version of the Gadhafi argument that by assisting the rebels the Western intervention could usher in a radical Islamist takeover. Adding to that threat, he suggested that the Gadhafis would even help the Islamists stamp out the liberals.

Less than a week after the mysterious killing of the rebels' top military commander, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis, by rebel gunmen, Gadhafi also seemed to be trying to capitalize on potential divisions within their ranks. There have been suggestions that the general was killed by an Islamist faction, perhaps in retaliation for his actions in his former role as Moammar Gadhafi's interior minister, charged with the detention and torture of radical Islamists.

"They decided to get rid of those people — the ex-military people like Abdul Fatah and the liberals — to take control of the whole operation," Gadhafi said. He said the rebel-held eastern city of Darna, long known as a hotbed of Islamist activism, had already come to resemble the lawless regions of Pakistan. "It is Waziristan on the Mediterranean," he said, adding that he had reached an agreement with local Islamists to allow them to make it "an Islamic zone, like Mecca."

Rebel leaders and Western governments have long acknowledged the presence of Islamists among the rebel fighters, including at least one who was previously imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay and another believed to have been in Afghanistan when al-Qaida ran training camps under Taliban rule.