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General News    H2'ed 2/15/12

Mali: U.S. Africa Command's New War?

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Mali: U.S. Africa Command's New War?
Rick Rozoff


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The press wires are reporting on intensified fighting in Mali between the nation's military and ethnic Tuareg rebels of the Azawad National Liberation Movement in the north of the nation.

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As the only news agencies with global sweep and the funds and infrastructure to maintain bureaus and correspondents throughout the world are those based in leading member states of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, BBC News and Deutsche Presse-Agentur -- the coverage of ongoing developments in Mali, like those in most every other country, reflects a Western bias and a Western agenda.

Typical headlines on the topic, then, include the following:

"Arms and men out of Libya fortify Mali rebellion" Reuters

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President: Tuareg fighters from Libya stoke violence in Mali" CNN

"Colonel Gaddafi armed Tuaregs pound Mali" The Scotsman

"France denounces killings in Mali rebel offensive" Agence France-Presse

"Mali, France Condemn Alleged Tuareg Rebel Atrocities" Voice of America

To reach Mali from Libya is at least a 500-mile journey through Algeria and/or Niger. As the rebels of course don't have an air force, don't have military transport aircraft, the above headlines and the propaganda they synopsize imply that Tuareg fighters marched the entire distance from Libya to their homeland in convoys containing heavy weapons through at least one other nation without being detected or deterred by local authorities. And that, moreover, to launch an offensive three months following the murder of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after his convoy was struck by French bombs and a U.S. Hellfire missile last October. But the implication that Algeria and Niger, especially the first, are complicit in the transit of Tuareg fighters and arms from Libya to Mali is ominous in terms of expanding Western accusations -- and actions -- in the region.

Armed rebellions are handled differently in Western-dominated world news reporting depending on how the rebels and the governments they oppose are viewed by leading NATO members.

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In recent years the latter have provided military and logistical support to armed rebel formations -- in most instances engaged in cross-order attacks and with separatist and irredentist agendas -- in Kosovo, Macedonia, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Libya and now Syria, and on the intelligence and "diplomatic" fronts in Russia, China, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, Indonesia, Congo, Myanmar, Laos and Bolivia.

However, major NATO powers have adopted the opposite tack when it comes to Turkey, Morocco (with its 37-year occupation of the Western Sahara), Colombia, the Philippines, the Central African Republic, Chad and other nations that are their military clients or territory controlled by them, where the U.S. and its Western allies supply weapons, advisers, special forces and so-called peacekeeping forces.

The drumbeat of alarmist news concerning Mali is a signal that the West intends to open another military front on the African continent following last year's seven-month air, naval and special operations campaign against Libya and ongoing operations in Somalia and Central Africa with the recent deployment of American special forces to Uganda, Congo, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. In Ivory Coast, Mali's neighbor to the south, last February the French military with compliant United Nations troops -- "peacekeepers" -- fired rockets into the presidential residence and forcibly abducted standing president Laurent Gbagbo.


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Rick Rozoff has been involved in anti-war and anti-interventionist work in various capacities for forty years. He lives in Chicago, Illinois. Is the manager of the Stop NATO international email list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/
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