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Africa Shifts to Putin, NOT the Other Way Around

Phil Butler, via NEO

This afternoon I sat in dazed disbelief at a “news” story from Financial Times proclaiming Vladimir Putin’s “shift” to Africa. With a couple of centuries of imperialist mayhem behind the Anglo-European cohort, any photo op with Vladimir Putin and a desperate leader ends up a headline. Here’s the truth of the matter of Africa. With nowhere else to turn except to face ravaging tigers, Africa’s leaders look to the best alternatives.

Authors Henry Foy and Nastassia Astrasheuskaya must have just emerged from imprisonment in the FT basement. This is the only explanation for reporters who are supposed to have an eye out for a real story to concoct one out of nothing. The lead of the story will astound some of you.

As protests raged in Zimbabwe’s cities last week, with police firing live ammunition at crowds who barricaded roads with burning tires, the target of their anger was 8,000km away.

If the Financial Times and other western mainstream media are locking journalists in cages and feeding them bullshit day and night, then FT forgetting about America’s never-ending imperialism in Africa is easily explained. Barring this, the dynamic duo on this story is about as unbiased as Radio Free Europe. I could list 100 instances where every American administration has undermined governments in Africa. This story about USAID funding rights abusers to lean on Zimbabwe President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa is a good one. However, this story is telling for U.S. strategies to sway elections. And I quote:

In Zimbabwe, USAID used this unique and small fund in 2012 to initiate the “Zimbabwe Works” project, so young men were working in the lead up to the 2013 elections. The success of this program, implemented by the International Youth Foundation, led to the British and Swedish aid agencies joining in and served nearly 29,000 young Zimbabweans.

Of course, USAID shovelling money and influence down the throats of institutions for the CIA and the U.S. State Department is no secret to me. Nor are U.S. subversive practices hidden from the likes of FT writers. Furthermore, not only is the Trump administration putting the thumbscrews to Zimbabwe by dangling the USAID carrot, that agency is twisting the noose tighter by releasing reports on Zimbabwe’s crumbling economy. Consult News Day, if you doubt my concerns. So the question arises, “Why Zimbabwe now?”

On Wednesday 12 December, the United States Foreign Relations Committee of the 115th Congress met for the last time. Chairman of the committee, U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) convened the meeting entitled “Development, Diplomacy, and Defense: Promoting United States Interests in Africa.” The magic here for me is, Financial Times contributor Jim O’Brien reported on it back in December. I guess he was not one of the writers imprisoned and tortured to create the anti-Russia narrative. The point is, these policies are widely observed, so throwing Russia’s president into the Africa fray is just sensationalism. Of course, Russia has interests on that continent, every country on Earth does. The issue here is that Zimbabwe is in the middle of a geopolitical battleground between the United States, China, and Russia. The larger issue is, “Who is the instigator?” Let’s face it, a couple of decades ago Russia or China could not have given a hoot about Zimbabwe. Back in the 1990s Harvard fellow, Michael Roemer wrote a report comparing Asia and Africa economics and suggesting Africa follow China’s pattern. When the American leadership wanted globalization to affect the elite profits, China was a beacon of hope for third world countries Donald Trump affectionately calls “shit holes.” Let’s remember, that Hillary Clinton was a co-sponsor of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.

I’ve no desire to dredge up the nightmarish Anglo-European colonialism that still rages in Africa today. What should be of interest to the reader is the strategy of blaming Vladimir Putin every time a desperate leader lands on the Kremlin doorstep after having been shunned by the United States. American leadership and the corporate elites cause a problem, bleed a people to death, change regimes like a game of musical chairs, and then point the finger at Russia or China for not playing ball.  FT author Foy says France is “unnerved” to discover Russia is sending security advisors to Zimbabwe. The author also exclaims analysts from Chatham House were aghast that they had not noticed “significant clusters of armed Russians” in the country. Oh my, next they will learn the Wicked Witch of the West was not killed by Dorothy. Maybe this quote from a recent NPR story will “wake” Chatham House up some more:

When U.S. troops were ambushed in Niger last October, the widespread reaction was surprise: The U.S. has military forces in Niger? What are they doing there?

The title of that story by Greg Myer was “The Military Doesn’t Advertise It, But U.S. Troops Are All Over Africa.” So, now you can see the real reason FT blames Putin for anything that goes wrong in Africa. Zimbabwe’s leader did not do a photo op with Donald Trump at the White House. And Mr. Putin should learn his place, and stop trying to horn in on America’s Africa Command, AFRICOM, which was set in place back in 2007 to “deal with emerging extremist threats.”

I look forward to Financial Times’ next crybaby routine against Vladimir Putin.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, and author of “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books.

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Antonym
Antonym

US influence in Africa – check; Chinese influence there -check; Russian influence??
Where is the big paragraph about the Saudi Wahhabi push the last decade?
Its softer little brother, the Christian missionary competition in the race to harvest the most “souls” is also not mentioned. Both have a long history in Africa (as they have in Asia).

Jen
Jen

Meanwhile here’s an interesting summary report of research and field interviews done by Kartik Jayaram, Omid Kassiri and Irene Yuan Sun with 1,000 Chinese companies in Africa:

“The closest look yet at Chinese economic engagement in Africa”
https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/middle-east-and-africa/the-closest-look-yet-at-chinese-economic-engagement-in-africa

“… At the Chinese companies we talked to, 89 percent of employees were African, adding up to nearly 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up across all 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, this suggests that Chinese-owned business employ several million Africans. Moreover, nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provided some kind of skills training. In companies engaged in construction and manufacturing, where skilled labor is a necessity, half offer apprenticeship training …”

There goes the myth about Chinese companies not employing local African people.

The full report (PDF format) at this link here:
https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Featured%20Insights/Middle%20East%20and%20Africa/The%20closest%20look%20yet%20at%20Chinese%20economic%20engagement%20in%20Africa/Dance-of-the-lions-and-dragons.ashx

Ronald Schmidt
Ronald Schmidt

Cheap Kremlin propaganda

balkydj

Cheapest CIA Trolling . . . 🙂

RetroSpin
RetroSpin

If you want some truly superb, detailed investigations and revelations about the US military and its actions throughout Africa, Nick Turse is your man.

https://www.nickturse.com/

always write
always write

…plus Tomdispatch, who Nick Turse often contributes to

Maggie
Maggie

Time to boycott everything American, beginning with Coca cola, McDonalds, and Ford cars.
Shall we make a list?

mohandeer

I already boycott much of “made in the US of A” (as I do Israeli goods, since they were thieved from the Palestinians).

George Henry Amoah
George Henry Amoah

They kill all our intelligent prophets one of the likes of Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Africa,and we have well educated elites who sees the tyrant nations of the west and Europe as our saviors,mostly because they were educated in the west and Europe and cant think well.Most of the times opposition leaders of African nations are the main cause ,they want power at all cost when to incumbent governments dine and wine with the West and Europe as they look and seek for their support to unseat the incumbent governments in Africa and as the saying goes there is nothing like free launch,Once they succeed in removing the incumbent they fall as asleep and take instructions from the west and Europe as their masters and servants becomes stooges to them to the detriment of their African people.

summitflyer
summitflyer

Gotta love this guy ,Phil Butler ,he puts a funny twist on the truth. “western mainstream media are locking journalists in cages and feeding them bullshit day and night ”
How so very true LOL.

mohandeer

Russia has this nasty habit of sharing their profits with the host countries they lend money to, or invest in, as does China. They really ought to get with the programme as defined by the western corporate imperialists and just go ahead and plunder all the reserves and leave behind death and poverty like the western cabal do.
I really can’t think why African countries love China and Putin’s Russia as an alternative to the US and UK model.

George Cornell
George Cornell

I had lunch with a dozen national representatives of mostly former French colonies in Africa about 5 years ago. Togo, Benin, Senegal, Chad Gabon etc.
After a few drinks, I had the temerity to ask them why no major continental leader had emerged from/out of Africa.
The answered as one. Because every time one seems to be emerging the CIA kills them. They started off with Lumumba and rattled off a dozen more who I had not heard of.
The Predation Nation they called the US. Real sweeties aren’t they.

summitflyer
summitflyer

And lets not forget Muammar Gaddafi who wanted to unite Africa with a single currency ,the African Dinar .
Cheers.

Anticitizen one
Anticitizen one

That would have gone down well with the Rothschild clan wouldn’t it

mark
mark

Repeat after me:-

“US investment good, Russian/ Chinese investment bad!”
“US investment good, Russian/ Chinese investment bad!”
“US investment good, Russian/ Chinese investment bad!”

Baa! Baa!! Baa-aa!!!

There are 54 countries in Africa. There are US troops in 50 of them.

writerroddis
writerroddis

Nice one!

vexarb
vexarb

Good article. Reminds me of the steady drumbeat against German Militarism in the Anglo Zionist propaganda run-up to WW1.

Chalked on a board at the Whitehall regime’s Foreign and Colonial Office 1900-1914 :
“Mesopotamia — Oil.
Serbia — Gateway to Mesopotamia”.

Admin

So, if you know a man has beaten his wife regularly for ten years and if you see him write a personal memo to begin beating her again tomorrow, you would not consider this to be evidence that the bruises she currently has on her face were likely to be caused by him beating her today, because the past doesn’t count and his note is just a “policy paper with unimplemented suggestions.”

There is a distinct lack of logical reasoning here.

Indeed you expressed our thoughts precisely.

Matt
Matt

I will get distracted with your analogy. Address the evidence at hand. And its a flawed one. The policy paper came out last month for God’s sake.
The policy paper was published in April and the U.S. has not followed through with any of its suggestions. In fact, when Venezuela’s economic issues began back in 2014, the U.S. had not implemented a single one of these economic proposals.
It’s not like this stuff is secret. We know the exact nature of sanctions the U.S. implemented, and not only did they happen well after Venezuela’s economic issues, but they only targeted individual figures, not the entire sectors of the economy, like oil.
Please read my longer post above. It is more specific in pointing out this fallacious reasoning.
I have family stuck in Venezuela. Seeing these lies printed about my country is what motivates me to keep coming back. And I am tired of being called a “troll” and other names by others here.

Admin

You have discovered your Venezuelan connection rather late in this debate. If you don’t want to be called a troll don’t behave like a troll.

Matt
Matt

Actually, during a comment I made here nine days ago, I also said I was Venezuelan:
https://off-guardian.org/2017/05/05/the-guardian-takes-aim-at-venezuelas-democracy/#comment-66935
Another false “troll” accusation, because you are unable to formulate a coherent argument or present evidence of U.S. economic sabotage on Venezuela causing the latter’s current problems.
How ironic, considering this is why you claimed to have setup this website, after the Guardian banned/silenced you.
As I was going back to look for my aforementioned comment, I realized something interesting: in the above link’s discussions and in another page (below), my fellow Venezuelans made some very balanced comments regarding the situation, in which they claimed that some fault lies with Maduro/Chavez. Almost every single post was heavily downvoted. This is truly amusing to me, because we Venezuelans, who are far more knowledgeable about our country’s situation than some naïve pseudo-“anti-imperialists”, were being told they are wrong, without any evidence!
https://off-guardian.org/2017/03/21/fake-news-about-venezuela-a-simple-recipe/

Maggie
Maggie

Except the rape pf Africa was first for rubber, then diamonds, then gold, then oil, and finally gas….
They never stood a chance.
.
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-worldhistory/chapter/german-imperalism/
https://markswatson.com/afrioil.html
https://www.saoga.org.za/oil-gas-hubs/upstream-oil-gas-south-africa

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum

Who dies when wars are waged for oil?
Who rules, who takes all the spoils?
Who dies? The slaves and the poor of course.
Who rules without remorse or pity?
Who dies on the streets of cities?
Who dies, crushed by brutal force?