An American expert believes that the policy of the West towards African states is one of “genocide,” and not allowing them to have stability and economic growth.
On January 12, France intervened in Mali by launching an air offensive under the pretext of halting the advance of militants. France announced that it would more than triple the number of its soldiers in Mali from 800 to 2,500. Chaos broke out in Mali after President Amadou Toumani Toure was toppled in a military coup on March 22, 2012. The coup leaders said they mounted the coup in response to the government's inability to contain the Tuareg rebellion in the north of the country, which had been going on for two months.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Lawrence Freeman, with the Executive Intelligence Review in Washington, to further shed light on the issue. The video also offers the opinions of two additional guests David Lawley, a journalist and filmmaker in London, and Eric Draitser, who is the founder of stopimperialism.com
in New York.
When France began these air raids, it stressed it wanted to pass the baton quickly to Mali's neighbors and it appears now there is an about-face from President Francois Hollande, who announced it would stay long enough to rid Mali of insurgents and ensure stability. What is your reading into this about-face?
I do not think there was an about-face. I think that the French intervention is not going to succeed; the goals are not clearly set; there is actually no strategic goal. The problem with the neighboring countries, ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] and Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Niger is that they do not have the capability, the training to deal with this kind of asymmetric warfare especially in the desert.
So this was a failed operation from the beginning which could explode and actually engulf the Sahel-Sahara-West Africa in more conflict and the problem is that you are seeing the same crew that launched a war to overthrow President Muammar Gaddafi: the United States, Britain and France.
They are taking different roles but they are all involved in this and this represents a total failure of policy, especially the fact that the Mali situation was made worse by the overthrow of Gaddafi and the flooding of trained soldiers and equipment and arms into northern Mali.
So the whole approach of the West has to be scrapped, this approach of genocide against Africa. We need the approach of development, economic growth, infrastructure projects to get water into various parts of Niger using the Niger River and I do not think this approach is going to work at all for the French and I think we are going to potentially see some major disasters along the road.
I would like to go against what you said that this is not a war that France should be involved in along with some of the other NATO allies. I am going to use…, the associate director of the Foundation for Strategic Research. He has said we have practiced this type of war for a long time; there is a plan which is really to cut and eradicate those bands of terrorists and bandits. Do you think that this is maybe a part of this what some call pre-meditated geopolitical reordering in Africa that began with Libya and now we are seeing Mali and of course Syria on the other side?
Your previous speaker pointed in the direction of the hypocrisy and irony of the situation because it is true that, look, the Obama administration together with Sarkozy and Cameron, they waged war to overthrow President Gaddafi and they worked with the Islamic fighting group of Libya and many other groups and the leaders that were discussed and now we are fighting so-called al-Qaeda in Mali which are the same forces that we joined with in Libya and that in fact we are joining with in Syria to overthrow the government there.
So if you are going to fight terrorism, you have to actually go after the people behind it and everybody knows that you have the Saudi royal family, which works with the British royal family and the Qataris and they are funding the Wahabites and the Salafists and these are people who are all over West Africa pushing and forming these groups which now allegedly we are fighting.
So this is not a war to eliminate terrorism; this is now the third war that France is involved in in Africa. The policy towards Africa from the financial elite, the city of London, is genocide, is not to allow these countries to be stable. I mean everybody says how stable Mali was and what a great democracy it was and it collapsed instantaneously.
You see the same thing in the Central African Republic and Nigeria is in trouble; Congo is in trouble; South Africa is in trouble. The West has abandoned the policies of the past to act such as Franklyn Roosevelt to develop strong countries based on national, economic development and real democracy where people can participate in the policies of developing that country.
That has been abandoned and the British policy of colonialism over Africa has really continued to this day and that is what we are seeing in the guise of this latest attack by the French but thoroughly backed up by Obama and Cameron.
And of course we are looking at a spillover right now in terms of what is going on in Algeria over the situations that are unfolding there. Are we looking at Algeria being pulled into this conflict?
That is something that I think many people are giving serious thought to because Frankly the West African states are not going to be able to deal with this kind of unconventional warfare.
Algeria does have the capability to some degree and allegedly the Algerians provided or allowed permission for the French to cross over their airspace into Mali with the bombing raids. But whether Algeria gets involved or not is not clear.
First of all, they are probably fairly suspicious of the French and two is that both the… what we call AQIM and the Tuaregs are forces of people that could be used against them in their own country.
But this really brings out the fact that there is not strategic long-range goal for how to deal with Mali, for how to deal with the Sahel, for how to deal with the Saharian countries. I mean, you have had a century of droughts in Mali; you have had over 10 million people in food insecurity.
Where is the investment to bring water to invest in infrastructure, to grow fruit? There is none of that. This so-called liberation of Mali by the French is a very vague term and if this thing expands with 2500 troops, then you could see an expansion across the whole region and I agree with some of the earlier comments.
This is not going to contain terrorism; this is going to spread terrorism. So there is not a real honest truthful attitude by the French, by the Americans, Obama himself personally… the so-called son of Africa, by the British to really help Africa and this is the problem we have suffered for many decades.
In my organization, we are trying to create a paradigm shift where we actually get countries combined together to promote economic development and sovereignty working with all the countries around the world including Africa and what we are seeing right now is an attack on sovereignty and attack on the people of Africa and it is not going to lead to any fruitful endeavor or consequence coming out of this effort by the French. I am very very fearful for Africa at this point.