THE ROVING EYE Obama, the king of Africa
By Pepe Escobar
If United States President Barack Obama really wanted to get rid of the new
bogeyman du jour, Uganda's Joseph Kony - a former altar boy turned
mystical Christian prophet/politico, sporting at least 60 wives - he would
order US Attorney General Eric “The Fast and the Furious" Holder to concoct a
plot subcontracting the hit to a lunatic Iranian linked to a Mexican drug
Plan B would be to order the United Nations to tell the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization to impose a no-fly zone over Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA)
"rebels", and then bomb them to oblivion.
Plan C would be to drone the LRA to death with a fleet of MQ-9 Reapers; yet the
nearest US drone base is very far away, in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.
As no unsuspecting Mexicans were available, and the "rebels" in
this case are the bad guys, Obama settled for the classic imperial option; he
pulled an AfPak and ordered a surge cum boots on the ground, sending 100 US
Special Forces to help a corrupt dictator - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni -
crush his local bunch of "rebels".
Anyone may be excused to see Uganda as Libya upside down - because that's
exactly what it is; the dictator in this case gets a good guy billing - one of
"our bastards" - while the "rebels" have a pact with the devil. But is that all
I got an urge to surge
The reality in Uganda is an absolute, murderous mess. As much as the LRA
"rebels", Museveni's government (helped by Washington) has also perpetrated
horrendous massacres against civilians. Kony may even be an amateur compared to
Museveni - a sort of dictator for life who has just supervised the displacement
and mass murder of at least 20,000 Ugandans on behalf of British corporations.
Additionally, Museveni basically stole the Ugandan elections early this year.
Obama's Uganda surge should be seen as a crucial exchange of favors with
Museveni - who has sent thousands of Ugandan troops to the African Union (AU)
force that is fighting the hardcore Islamist al-Shabaab in Somalia. So while
Uganda fights a proxy war for the US in Somalia, Washington helps the dictator
to get rid of the LRA "rebels". No wonder the Pentagon is quite fond of Uganda;
Museveni recently got $45 million in equipment, including four small drones.
The LRA - a ragged bunch of hardcore Christian fundamentalists - is based in
northern Uganda but spread out between four countries, including the new South
Sudan and Congo, in Central Africa. They carry no heavy weapons. They don't
stand a chance of destabilizing the Ugandan government - much less being a
"national security" threat to the US. Bogeyman Kony may be in hiding somewhere
along the immense Sudan-Congo border, with no more than 400 warriors left.
Uganda's proximity to the new country of South Sudan is key in the whole
equation. So far, for Northern Sudan the LRA has been a convenient, weaponized
firewall against Western puppet Museveni. But most of all, this whole area is
prime real estate where the fierce battle between China and the
Americans/Europeans plays out, centered on oil and minerals, all part of the
Great 21st Century African Resource War.
Behold the mineral kingdom
That brings us to Uganda as a new land of opportunity. Ah, the sheer scale of
humanitarian warmongering possibilities. For a semblance of success, the
initial steps of Obama's African surge would have to include a military base
with a long runway attached, and a mini-Guantanamo to imprison the
"terrorists". If that sounds too good to be true, that's because it is; think
of the Pentagon's Africom headquarters soon entertaining the possibility of
time-traveling from Stuttgart, Germany, to somewhere in Uganda.
Any student of realpolitik knows the US doesn't do "humanitarian" interventions
per se. Africom's surge parallels the real name of the game; precious minerals
- and mining. Uganda - and nearby eastern Congo - happens to hold fabulous
quantities of, among others, diamonds, gold, platinum, copper, cobalt, tin,
phosphates, tantalite, magnetite, uranium, iron ore, gypsum, beryllium,
bismuth, chromium, lead, lithium, niobium and nickel. Many among these are
ultra-precious rare earth - of which China exercises a virtual monopoly.
The mineral rush in Africa is already one of the great resource wars of the
21st century. China is ahead, followed by companies from India, Australia,
South Africa and Russia (which, for instance, has set up a fresh gold refinery
in Kampala). The West is lagging behind. The name of the game for the US and
the Europeans is to pull no punches to undermine China's myriad commercial
deals all across Africa.
Then there's the inescapable Pipelineistan angle. Uganda may hold "several
billion barrels of oil", according to Heritage Oil's Paul Atherton, part of a
recent, largest-ever on-shore oil discovery in sub-Saharan Africa. That implies
the construction of a $1.5 billion, 1,200 kilometer long pipeline to Kampala
and the coast of Kenya. Then there's another pipeline from "liberated" South
Sudan. Washington wants to make sure that all this oil will be exclusively
available for the US and Europe.
Obama, the King of Africa
The Obama administration insists the 100 special forces will be "advisers" -
not combat troops. Think of Vietnam in the early 1960s; it started with
"advisers" - and the rest is history. Now, the "advisers" are even expected to
fan out from Uganda to South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
And it's not even the first time this happens. George W Bush tried the same
thing in 2008. It ended in unmitigated disaster because of - what else is new -
corruption inside the Ugandan army. Kony was tipped off and escaped hours
before an attack on his camp.
So on the surface, we have an uplifting narrative of the first black US
president deeply disturbed by the "humanitarian crisis" in yet another African
nation, Uganda; i n the perfect cover story for Anglo satrapy Uganda will be
propped up as an advanced base for Washington to plunge a dagger inside Islamic
The official Washington spin hammers the fact that the LRA has "murdered,
raped, and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children". Now compare
it to devastation perpetrated by Washington, over two decades, on Iraq; at
least 1.4 million people killed directly and indirectly, millions of refugees,
a Sunni-Shi'ite civil war still in effect and the eastern flank of the Arab
nation virtually destroyed.
And compare it to the thunderous silence of the Obama White House as racist
eastern Libya "rebels" round up, harass, torture and even snuff out sub-Saharan
Africa has been fighting like forever against multiple strands of the great
white genocidal slave master, aided and abetted by multiple strands of the
subservient black dictator/kleptocrat - just to be presented in the early 21st
century with an American president of direct African descent who has nothing
better to offer than special forces, drones, a militarization surge and
hypocrisy-laced "humanitarian" intervention.