Mali: Another Imperialist “Success” Story
by Jacob G. Hornberger
Sometimes the adverse effects of the U.S. government’s pro-empire, pro-interventionist foreign policy take years to manifest, long after the original intervention that engendered them. By that time, many Americans will have forgotten about the original intervention, and statists can get them to believe that history begins with the adverse effects of the intervention rather than with the intervention itself.
A good example of this phenomenon is Iran. American statists tell Americans that the history of bad relations between Iran and the United States date back to 1979, when Iranian students took U.S. diplomats hostage and held them in captivity for more than a year.
Not so, however. The history of bad relations between Iran and the United States actually began some 26 years earlier, in the year 1953. That was when the CIA ousted the democratically elected prime minister of Iran from power and installed the brutal, unelected dictatorship headed by the Shah of Iran. The CIA then proceeded to train and support the Shah’s secret police, the Savak, which the Shah used to brutalize, torture, and oppress the Iranian people for the next 26 years.
That’s why the Iranians finally revolted against the tyranny of their own government. That’s why they took the U.S. diplomats hostage. They were angry for having been made to suffer under a cruel and brutal dictatorship for a quarter of a century, complements of the U.S. government, which had destroyed their experiment with democracy with the CIA’s coup.
Unfortunately, what replaced the Shah’s dictatorship was another dictatorship rather than the democratic system that the CIA had destroyed with its coup in 1953. Not surprisingly, many Iranians are certain that the U.S. government is now doing its best to accomplish what it accomplished in 1953 — regime change in which another pro-U.S. dictatorship is established in Iran.
Sometimes, however, the adverse effects of the U.S. government’s imperialist and interventionist foreign policy manifest themselves immediately. A good example of that is now occurring in the African country of Mali.
Recall President Obama’s humanitarian military intervention in Libya. That was where U.S. bombs and missiles killed people with the aim of bringing democracy to those who survived the death and destruction. Never mind that the country is now mired in all sorts of kidnappings and shootings, as this New York Timesarticle documents. Not exactly a paradise.
In any event, after Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi ’s fall, foreign fighters known as the Tuareg, who had been supporting Gaddafi , escaped the country but not before grabbing lots of high-powered weaponry from Qaddafi’s arsenal, as this article from the New York Times points out.
The fighters returned to Mali, where they joined an armed insurgency against the democratically elected government. Immediately, the tide began turning in favor of the rebels, thanks to the weaponry and fighting skills that the Tuareg fighters had brought with them.
The rebel successes on the battlefield motivated a Mali army captain named Amadou Haya Sanogo to institute a military coup against the Mali regime. It seems that the captain was acting in the interests of national security because he believed that the civilian regime was incapable of saving the country from the insurgents.
This might come as a blow for the U.S. Empire and its global “war on terrorism” because according to this article in the New York Times about the coup, “Mali and the United States have had close military ties in recent years as part of America’s counterterrorism programs.”
Gosh, who would have known?
However, all might not be so bad for the U.S. Empire because guess where Capt. Sanogo was trained. You guessed it — the United States — by the U.S. military as part of the “war on terrorism”! It turns out that Sanogo attended English language training courses at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas from 2004-2005 and then again at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in 2008. According to the Times, he also “attended the Army’s prestigious infantry course at Fort Benning, Georgia, from August 2010 to December 2010.”
And don’t forget that the U.S. government loves military dictatorships because they provide “order and stability” to nations. That is why U.S. officials have funneled billions of dollars into Egypt’s military dictatorship and continue to do so. It’s also why they supported the Musharraf military dictatorship in Pakistan. Indeed, it’s why they ousted the democratically elected president of Guatemala and installed a military dictatorship in his stead only a year after the CIA had replaced Iran’s democratically elected prime minister with the brutal dictatorship of the Shah.
How much of this destructive nonsense will the American people tolerate before they finally say, “Enough is enough”? What will it take for Americans to finally abandon the imperialist, interventionist paradigm under which our nation operates and restore a constitutional republic to our land?