On December 13-15, Washington hosted the US-Africa Leaders Summit – a pompous event full of very lucrative offers with the participation of African heads of state.
The initiatives put forward by the United States in the political and economic sphere are initially aimed at impressing and even blinding African leaders: there is an offer of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council for one of the African states, the supposedly guaranteed seat for the African Union in the G20, Joe Biden’s promised visit to Africa in 2023, and considerable financial assistance packages to African states in various areas ranging from healthcare to space.
And all this after almost eight years of oblivion of the African continent, where American presidents, as the saying goes, “would not set foot.”
What happened to the USA and where did this wave of incredible generosity from tight-fisted and pragmatic America come from? Is it really because Washington, as they say, finally realized the significance of the “dark continent” (the main emphasis was placed on proposals addressed to African states south of the Sahara, i.e., its non-Arab part)? And to what extent will the promises made correspond to the actions of the American administration?
Let’s start with the fact that promises to Africans, seasoned with a fair dose of rhetoric in favor of establishing democracy and its advantages over “autocracy” come from the very democratic administration that back in 2009 heralded, through the eloquence of the first African-American president, prosperity and well-being in the Middle East. In case anyone doesn’t remember, this was Barack Obama’s brilliantly crafted speech at Cairo University on June 4, 2009 in terms of influencing Arab minds. There were excellent promises about the establishment of peace in the Middle East, about a just solution to the Palestinian problem and the creation of a Palestinian state. How then the Arabs were fascinated by these exuberant speeches and promises of Obama, who simply exuded trust! Back then the whole policy of the American administration was based on the fact that if the Arabs swear allegiance to the American model of democracy, then everything will get better very quickly. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, who were travelling around the Arab countries at that time, convinced the Arabs that they should start a democratic experiment as soon as possible, develop pluralism and give women more rights. And immediately everything will get better, and most importantly, the competitive environment in politics will instantly give rise to positive dynamics in the economy and many crises in the Arab world will be resolved!
How did things evolve in practice? As soon as the Arabs, who believed in the beautiful slogans of American politicians, moved towards the so-called pluralistic democracy, it turned out that it was not “authoritarian regimes” that crumbled and began to collapse, but entire countries and states. To destroy them, the United States resorted to a whole range of measures. From the creation of allegedly innocent NGOs that actually carried out gross interference in the internal affairs of Arab states to support for openly terrorist movements, such as the “Muslim Brotherhood” (banned in the Russian Federation), dressed up in the toga of “democracy defenders” and the dirty use of social networks and TV channels, such as Al Jazeera to break stability in a vast region from the Atlas Mountains to the deserts of Arabia.
As a result of generous promises to “build democracy”, many countries in the Middle East were either completely destroyed or seriously undermined. An exhausting civil war continues in Yemen, Libya has been defeated, Syria is almost completely destroyed, Egypt and Tunisia cannot get out of deep economic and political crises.
In response to legitimate questions: why was this necessary, in the United States they say with feigned surprise that they wanted something completely different, but it happened and they will allegedly not resort to any experiments on regime change anymore.
That’s good, we say! Let’s believe them! After all, everyone has the right to make mistakes. “We strove for the best, but something went wrong along the way!
But let’s look at Europe! After all, Europe is a “blooming garden”, in the words of the chief diplomat of the EU Josep Borrell, and in general it is the best friend and ally of Washington. America cannot wish them harm! And what do we see? The United States, with the active support of its protégés in the current European establishment and under the same slogans of promoting democracy as in the Arab world, brought a neo-Nazi regime to power in Kiev in 2014, flooded Ukraine with arms, pushed it closer to NATO, encouraged it to kill Russians in Donbass, disrupted the implementation of the Minsk agreements (the fact that the US admitted) and forced Russia, as a measure to protect itself and the Russians in Donbass, to trigger a special military operation. Moreover, they forced their European – now we can say it directly – satellites to pay for this policy and support the Kiev authorities in every possible way, who are obsessed with hatred for Russia, its history, Russian culture and language.
But this way of draining resources from the EU and weakening it seemed insufficient to the United States. Obviously, not without its influence, and, most likely, on its orders, the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was blown up and Europe lost cheap Russian “blue fuel”, which was replaced by “democratic gas” from the USA, after which electricity prices soared in Europe being multiplied by a factor of six or seven, and production in a number of industries – chemical, metallurgical and other energy-intensive areas – has become simply unprofitable. Capital from Europe quickly moved to the USA.
What are the reasons for the hypocritical and duplicitous policy of Washington, both in the Middle East and in Europe?
The reasons are the same. The objective, accompanied by generous promises, the thunder of drums and discourse about democracy, is to drown out competitors, whether these be Russians or Chinese in the Middle East, leaving behind devastated regions for them. Or Europeans, who until recent events had a clear competitiveness with the Americans, and now they have lost it along with cheap Russian energy resources.
Will Africa really believe the false assurances of the Americans, who previously took slaves out of the continent, and now resources, that the predator has suddenly become a friend of the African peoples? That America needs democracy, and not oil or cobalt or diamonds or lithium for its industry, nor rare earth metals for its military-industrial complex? Will Africans really believe that the goal of the US is the prosperity of the African peoples, and not their enslavement and robbery through the mechanisms of the IMF and the World Bank? And if this does not work out, then will the continent be treated like the Middle East – stirred up and then destroyed so as not to give it up to competitors?
Think Africa, think!
Oleg Pavlov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”