Thursday, March 31, 2011

US Military and Africom: Between the Rocks and the Crusaders

The Western bombardment of Gaddafi’s forces in Libya has become an opportunistic public relations ploy for the US Africa Command and a new inroad for US military stronghold on the continent. This involvement of Africom in the bombardment is now serving to expose the contradictions and deceit that have surrounded the formation of this combatant command, which has been presented by US policy makers as a front for military humanitarian assistance to Africa in coordination with the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). Attempts by the USA to re-militarise its engagement with Africa is extremely dangerous, given the fact that the US does not have any positive or credible tradition of genuine assistance to freedom fighters and liberation movements in Africa.

The US was complicit in the planning of the murder of Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, after which they propped up the monstrous dictator Mobutu Sese Seko who raped and pillaged the country and established a recursive process of war, rape, plunder, corruption, and brutality which the Congo still suffers from till today. Jonas Savimbi was sponsored by the US to cause destabilization and terror in Angola. The US gave military, material and moral support to the apartheid regime in South Africa while anti-apartheid freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela, were designated as terrorists (it was only in 2008 that the US Congress passed a bill to remove Mandela’s name from the terrorist watch list ). The US has yet to tell the truth about how Charles Taylor escaped from its prison custody to go destabilize Liberia. Young people who are recruited for the US military and deployed to Africom may not know much about the notorious history of US military involvement in Africa. The military top brass take advantage of this ignorance among the young folks.

Just as the US military carried out psychological warfare against US senators, one of the tasks of Africom is to rain down psychological warfare on Africans. Inbuilt in this subtle psychological warfare is the concept of the hierarchy of human beings and the superiority of the capitalist mode of production and ideas of Christian fundamentalism. It is on this front that we find a section of the US military known as the ‘Crusaders.’


In a recent article in Foreign Policy, veteran US investigative journalist Seymour Hersh was reported to have revealed that there is a faction of the US military known as Crusaders. Hersh asserted that these Crusaders are bent on intensifying a war against Islam, and see themselves as protectors of Christianity. According to this report, Hersh maintained that these neoconservative elements dominate the top echelons of the US military, including figures such as former commander of US forces in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChrystal and Vice Admiral William McRaven. These crusaders have held American foreign policy hostage. Hersh said, ‘What I'm really talking about is how eight or nine neoconservative, radicals if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over.’ Read more