Niger. With friends like Uncle Sam …

29 Sep

… you don’t need enemies. I’m hardly the first to point this out though. Henry Kissinger beat me to it more than half a century ago with his claim that “to be an enemy of the USA is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal”.  1

I’ve not written nearly enough about the eye-watering price Europeans (citizens and businesses) are paying for their leaders’ subservience to Washington in its war on Russia. With a succinct setting out – 9 minutes 52 – of how much Europe has lost and continues to lose, here’s Richard Wolff, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts:

More specifically though, France has now been back-stabbed twice in as many years. (Not that I’m weeping for Macron or Quai d’Orsay, you understand; just pointing out how treacherous an “ally” our Quisling leaders have hitched their star to.) In an aside to a piece just over two years ago, I alluded to the way Washington, eagerly aided by London, stitched Paris in the course of AUKUS preparations for war on China.

In Nuclear subs go down under, I wrote:

As jointly announced this week by Biden, Johnson and Australia’s Scott Morrison, three of the Five Eyes have sealed a deal, stiffing France in the process, whereby the USA and UK supply Australia with its first nuclear powered submarines.

Now Macron’s been stitched up again. This time in Niger. Over to (a slightly abridged) Andrew Korybko:

The US Is Responsible For France’s Withdrawal From Niger

The US backstabbed France after cutting a secret deal in Niger almost two years to the day after it did the same in the Asia-Pacific after cutting a secret deal with Australia and the UK to create AUKUS.

France Declared That It Won’t Let The Nigerien Junta Kick It Out Of The Country not two months ago in early August, only to now declare that its 1,500 troops there will depart by the end of the year. Paris had hitherto clung to ousted leader Mohamed Bazoum’s claims of legitimacy and refused to leave unless he requests it. His country’s former colonizer also said it would support an ECOWAS invasion aimed at returning him to power if that bloc decided to commence one. 2

This stunning reversal is a humiliating strategic defeat for France and proves the failure of its neo-colonial policy in Africa. Had it earlier withdrawn on its own terms, after the patriotic coup and before the junta’s predictable demand, it could have partially reshaped perceptions in its favor. Instead, the decision was made to remain in Niger, most likely because France thought ECOWAS would invade.

After all, with Paris unwilling to act alone to return Bazoum to power, it wouldn’t make sense for France to stay. Doing so these past few weeks signalled that a plan was in place: the junta would rescind its demand or be ousted, if only by a pro-French faction in another coup. None of that materialized, nor did ECOWAS’ invasion.

Here’s how America took advantage of its NATO partner’s regional setbacks. By adapting to multipolar trends across the Sahel, Washington replaced Paris’s security role in Niger. This in turn incorporated two US bases into the Sahelian Alliance founded a few days later between that country, Burkina Faso, and Mali.

The quid pro quo appears to have been that the US would foil France’s envisaged ECOWAS invasion if the junta let it keep those bases.

Up to this point, France still hoped the US would order ECOWAS to invade Niger and save its own bases there, which its policymakers assumed would happen since the US fears Russian influence and terrorist attacks surging after the coup. What they didn’t foresee was that the US would cut a deal behind their back to replace their country’s traditional security role as part of its flexible adaptation to the region’s multipolar trends …

Full piece here …

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  1. In fairness to Kissinger – not that I’m inclined to play fair with mass murderers – his most famous quote is almost always stripped of context. He was warning his nominal boss – a Richard Nixon soon to receive a “Get well from Watergate”  card from Uganda’s Idi Amin – that if the US puppet in “South Vietnam”, President Thieu, was thrown under a bus the way his predecessor Diem had been, the world would conclude that “to be an enemy of the USA is dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal”.
  2. ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) needed its most powerful player, Nigeria, onboard for any invasion of Niger. The former’s President Bola Tinubu supported such a move but faced stiff domestic opposition when his political capital was low. (It still is.) A taster can be found here.

2 Replies to “Niger. With friends like Uncle Sam …

  1. Hi Phil,
    Great post.
    I happen to like Antony Korybko, but haven’t read this article, so thanks for posting it.
    I’ve known for many years that the US does not have “friends”, only people, countries etc that serve their interests who can be dumped or turned on whenever they have outlived their usefulness.
    Boris Johnson, he of the phenomenal intellect went to Biden Jan 2022 to ask for a Bi-lateral agreement and was sent home with his tail between his legs and a Biden Aide told a reporter that Britain has “nothing we either need or want”.
    Not to be deterred because of that brilliant intellect of his Bungling Boris, having announced that Britain(all 67 million of us who were of course, oblivious to what he was going to do)was going to sanction Gazprom Bank and was eventually permitted an audience with the Great & Mighty Biden, only to be told, yet again that their would be no Bi-lateral trade agreement. This time Biden’s Aide told reporters that there was “no longer any special relationship between the UK & the US”
    It just goes to show how calculating & disdainful the US is regarding the EU, which now buys Russian Oil sold to India who sold it to factory ships who sold it to the US who are now selling it to the pathetic EU wonks in charge.
    It means that I will suffer financially for the saddos in Europe who still believe that the US is a “partner” to anyone unless they are serving US interests and making fools of them, but we really do deserve whatever we end up with.
    Germany’s economy is being crippled, the UK is sliding ever deeper into stagnation and France just wasn’t paying attention – perhaps now it will.

    Susan 🙂

  2. Apologies in advance for going off topic here.

    However, what I’m now going to be referring to as ‘the uppity comedian’ case/non case [delete whichever is inappropriate] thread is several weeks old and seems to have resurfaced in what seems to be a rather strange fashion.

    The Blackbelt Barrister explains (BBB):

    Apparently the Attorney General has issued some kind of official general notice regarding potential contempt of court proceedings in relation to any comment on a matter which has yet to reach the status of case. The BBB explains this in easily understandable terms in respect of the potential of falling foul of Common Law Contempt of Court and advises against publishing any opinion on the matter just in case.

    So far, so good.

    However, there appears to be at least three aspects here which are problematic:

    1. It seems reasonable to surmise that the notice from the AG is designed to prevent any comment which might prejudice any, at this stage, potential case. Which seems a reasonable an laudable aim until you consider the fact that the timing of the notice – several weeks after that particular horse has bolted – means that the best that can be achieved is damage limitation.

    2. The corporate media coverage so far has seemingly already breached the advice from the AG. Yet the media – assuming that is the target of the notice from the AG (see point 3 below) – are not alone in this. If, as the BBB advises, comments and opinion online could well fall foul of such contempt proceedings then logically the same contempt charge can be leveled against those in other Government Departments who have publicly written to Social Media outlets seeking to circumnavigate due process by getting those outlets to de-monetize the subject of the at present potential case.

    3. Given point two, above, along with the precedent set in the Craig Murray case it does not seem inconceivable that the potential threat of contempt proceedings may be limited to those who appear to be considered deplorable’s/the great unwashed/plebeian masses and that the self styled and self-identifying Great and Good – such as those in other Government Departments who have actively sought to limit the livelihood of said ‘uppity comedian’ along with the corporate media are immune and get a free pass?

    And the reckon feudalism is obsolete.

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