Opinion: Obama Obsessed With China’s Role In Africa

Opinion: Obama Obsessed With China’s Role In Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama is more obsessed with China’s role in Africa than he is with jihad or Iran, according to an opinion piece by John Pilger, whose new film about Australia, “Utopia,” is due to be released Nov. 15, according to the TheGuardian.

Africa is China’s success story. Where the Americans bring drones, the Chinese build roads, bridges and dams, Pilger writes. What the Chinese want is resources, especially fossil fuels. Nato’s bombing of Libya drove out 30,000 Chinese oil industry workers.

More than jihadism or Iran, China is Washington’s obsession in Africa, Pilger asserts. This is a “policy” known as the “pivot to Asia,” and it could bode badly for peace.

The shopping mall massacre in Nairobi was a bloody facade behind which a full-scale invasion of Africa and a war in Asia are the great game, Pilger said.

The al-Shabaab shopping mall killers came from Somalia. If any country is an imperial metaphor, it is Somalia, Pilger said. Sharing a language and religion, Somalis have been divided between the British, French, Italians and Ethiopians. Tens of thousands of people have been handed from one power to another. “When they are made to hate each other,” wrote a British colonial official, “good governance is assured.”

Today Somalia is a theme park of brutal, artificial divisions, long impoverished by World Bank and International Monetary Fund “structural adjustment” programs, and saturated with modern weapons – notably President Obama’s personal favorite, the drone.

The one stable Somali government, the Islamic Courts, was “well received by the people in the areas it controlled”, reported the U.S. Congressional Research Service, “(but) received negative press coverage, especially in the west.” Obama crushed it.

The shopping mall atrocity was a response to this – just as the Twin Towers attack and the London bombings were explicit reactions to invasion and injustice. Once of little consequence, jihadism now marches in lockstep with the return of unfettered imperialism, Pilger said.

“Scrambles for energy, minerals and fertile land are likely to occur with increasingly intensity,” report Ministry of Defense planners.

With minimal media interest, the U.S. African Command (Africom) has deployed troops to 35 African countries. In war games a “soldier to soldier” doctrine embeds U.S. officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. The British did this in India. It is as if Africa’s proud history of liberation, from Patrice Lumumba to Nelson Mandela, is consigned to oblivion by a new master’s black colonial elite – whose “historic mission”, warned Frantz Fanon half a century ago, is the subjugation of their own people in the cause of “a capitalism rampant though camouflaged.”

The reference also fits the son of Africa in the White House, Pilger writes.

Sixty percent of U.S. naval forces are to be based in Asia by 2020, aimed at China, Pilger claims. Japan is re-arming rapidly under the right wing government of Shinzo Abe, who came to power in December with a pledge to build a “new, strong military” and circumvent the “peace constitution.”

A U.S.-Japanese anti-ballistic-missile system near Kyoto is directed at China. Using long-range global hawk drones the U.S. has increased its provocations in the East China and South China seas, where Japan and China dispute the ownership of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Both countries now deploy advanced vertical take-off aircraft in Japan in preparation for a blitzkrieg, Pilger says.

On the Pacific island of Guam, from where B-52s attacked Vietnam, the biggest military buildup since the Indochina wars includes 9,000 U.S. Marines. In Australia this week an arms fair and military jamboree that diverted much of Sydney is in keeping with a government propaganda campaign to justify an unprecedented U.S. military build-up from Perth to Darwin, aimed at China. The vast U.S. base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs is, as Edward Snowden disclosed, a hub of US spying in the region and beyond; it is also critical to Obama’s worldwide assassinations by drone.


‘We have to inform the British to keep them on side,” McGeorge Bundy, an assistant US secretary of state, once said. “You in Australia are with us, come what may.” Australian forces have long played a mercenary role for Washington. However, China is Australia’s biggest trading partner and largely responsible for its evasion of the 2008 recession. Without China, there would be no minerals boom: no weekly mining return of up to a billion dollars.

The dangers this presents are rarely debated publicly in Australia, where Rupert Murdoch, the patron of the prime minister, Tony Abbott, controls 70% of the press. Occasionally, anxiety is expressed over the “choice” that the US wants Australia to make. A report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute warns that any US plan to strike at China would involve “blinding” Chinese surveillance, intelligence and command systems. This would “consequently increase the chances of Chinese nuclear pre-emption … and a series of miscalculations on both sides if Beijing perceives conventional attacks on its homeland as an attempt to disarm its nuclear capability”. In his address to the nation last month, Obama said: “What makes America different, what makes us exceptional, is that we are dedicated to act.”