What Is France Hiding in the Sahel?

BAMAKO, MALI — On the 8th of October, Choguel Maïga, the prime minister of Mali, boldly informed the world that its former colonial power, France, was sponsoring terrorists in the country’s northern region. Standing before dozens of cameras and microphones, he provided details on how the French army had established an enclave in the northern town of Tidal and handed it over to well-known terrorist groups. The revelation was shocking not simply for the serious nature of the accusation but because in past times West African leaders have rarely sparred so openly with the French government. A chain of events simmering in the background for weeks triggered the latest spat.

What Is France Hiding in the Sahel?

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Malians protest French military presence, call for troops withdrawal

US-trained Afghan intelligence agents, elite troops reported joining ISIS

US-trained Afghan intelligence agents, elite troops reported joining ISIS

Given US imperialism’s record in Afghanistan and the CIA’s intimate connections to the emergence of ISIS, there is every reason to ask whether this bloody campaign is backed by Washington with the aim of destabilizing Afghanistan and preventing the emergence of any regime not under its thumb.

A report issued in June by the United Nations cites information that the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an Islamist separatist group dedicated to carving out a Uyghur state in Xinjiang, China had “established corridors for moving fighters between the Syrian Arab Republic, where the group exists in far larger numbers, and Afghanistan, to reinforce its combat strength” and “facilitate the movement of fighters from Afghanistan to China.” The ETIM has aligned itself with ISIS-K against the Taliban government.

US imperialism views Afghanistan through the prism of its declared military strategy centered on “great power” confrontation with China and Russia. Just as US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski promoted the CIA-orchestrated mujahedeen war of the 1970s and 1980s as a means of giving the Soviet Union its “own Vietnam,” today Washington sees an Afghanistan in chaos undermining Chinese and Russian interests in Central Asia and potentially provoking terrorist campaigns against both countries.

Anti-Asian hate is a symptom of intensifying capitalist reaction

Capital can be resilient. Far more resilient than many revolutionaries have anticipated. Marx predicted that communist revolutions would initially come in the countries where the productive forces are most developed. But save for the eastern part of Germany at the cost of a catastrophic war, none of the core imperialist countries have so far undergone such revolutions. In these places, capital has held on in the face of multiple world wars, depressions, and pandemics, allowing them to continue holding back revolutions in most other places through imperialist meddling.

Anti-Asian hate is a symptom of intensifying capitalist reaction

Black Box East: The role of “the East” in the West’s radical imagination

Black Box East: The role of “the East” in the West’s radical imagination

Now, the third itinerary is one of romanticism. When the cultural revolution took place in China, European Marxists who felt that the Soviet Union was too boring or gray began to fantasize. You get all these books exaggerating what’s happening in China based on a very little understanding. There is a story from the late 1960s that Ho Chi Minh met an Italian Communist Party delegation. They’re sitting in his secret house, a very modest place; he’s sitting there, characteristically, with a cigarette in his hand and the Italians ask him how they can help Vietnam, a very honest and sincere question as there are American planes above bombing the crap out of Vietnam. But Ho Chi Minh doesn’t say: send us this or that; he says “go home and make a revolution.” He’s saying: sure, we need solidarity, we need tons of it, but we don’t need romanticism. We are making our revolution. We are going to die and sacrifice and yes, we need you out there fighting against the lies that they tell about us. But go home make your revolution. What’s the point of fantasizing about Cuba? Cuba of course needs solidarity today more than ever. Venezuela needs solidarity today more than ever. But go home and make your revolution.