Trump outlines Washington’s “scramble for Africa” during UN luncheon with African heads of state

By Eddie Haywood
22 September 2017

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump delivered a remarkably revealing speech before several African heads of state gathered at a luncheon at the United Nations in New York in which he outlined, perhaps inadvertently, Washington’s true imperialist aims for the African continent.

Trump’s address was largely overshadowed by the criminal speech he gave the previous day before the UN General Assembly, in which he referred to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission” and threatened to “totally destroy” the country of 25 million people.

Just one day after his reactionary speech before the General Assembly, Trump spoke on behalf of the American financial oligarchy to which he belongs when he told the assembled African leaders, “I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich.”

Making clear American capitalism’s continued “scramble for Africa,” which was also pursued under his predecessor, Barack Obama, Trump noted the potential profits to be extracted by American banks and corporations.

“[F]or American firms it’s really become a place that they have to go, that they want to go,” Trump exclaimed. “Six of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies are in Africa. Increasing American trade and investment across diverse industries—including agriculture, energy, transportation, health care, travel and tourism—will further transform lives throughout the continent.”

Typically, the American media obscured Trump’s open declaration of Washington’s predatory aims for the African continent by focusing on a gaffe made during the speech when the US president mistakenly referred to Gambia as “Nambia.”

In his remarks Wednesday Trump expressed Washington’s gratitude to the assembled African representatives for the past support they have lent to its imperialist operations on the continent. “The United States will partner with the countries and organizations, like the African Union, that lead successful efforts to end violence, to prevent the spread of terrorism, and to respond to humanitarian crises.”

Trump also made cynical reference to the ongoing social catastrophes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, saying, “We’re closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo. Millions of lives are at risk, and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance.”

Left out of Trump’s false pretenses to humanitarianism is the fact that the root of the unfolding disasters in these two nations can be traced back to Washington, particularly in regards to the situation in South Sudan.

In 2005 the Bush Administration secured a peace agreement between the Juba and Khartoum, after more than two decades of civil war, which set the stage for the creation of South Sudan in 2011.

Washington placed a gang of killers and criminals into power, and before long, the fragile government comprised of bitter rivals erupted into open conflict, which led to the current civil war.

Exposing Washington’s promotion of “humanitarianism” as a fraud is the rapid expansion of the US military’s troop levels and military operations across Africa.

In June, Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), operating under the auspices of Africa Command (AFRICOM), announced a sharp expansion of its operations. AFRICOM head General Donald Bolduc, in writing a report on the expansion, stated that the number of American commandoes in Africa has increased nearly 2000 percent since 2006.

Bolduc also revealed that Special Forces personnel are carrying out over 100 missions across the African continent, and that these Special Forces have established multiple operating bases in nearly every country.

Speaking to Washington’s imperial strategy, Bolduc described SOCAFRICA’s mission as “adversarial competition short of armed conflict, but with a military dimension.”

The US drive for dominance over the vast economic resources on the continent is aimed at neutralizing its geopolitical rivals, namely China.

Bolduc made as much clear in his remarks in June, stating, “Competition for strategic influence and relationships is complicated by the political, economic, military, and informational interests of China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Everything we do for our partners in Africa today must prepare them for tomorrow’s threats and support strong political and military relationships.”

China has significantly increased its economic influence in Africa over the last few years, provoking alarm in Washington that Beijing will wrest the continent from US control. Washington is making clear that it is prepared to utilize its massive military might as a means of reversing the decline of its economic position on the continent.

As an example of Washington’s desperation, the carving of South Sudan from Sudan was a key element of its imperial strategy to neutralize China’s influence.

Over several years, after suffering crippling sanctions imposed on it, the Al-Bashir regime in Khartoum turned to China, and struck deals with Beijing for investment and development of Sudan’s oil deposits. As the intended consequence of the US-backed partition of South Sudan, Khartoum lost 75 percent of Sudan’s oil reserves, which in turn severely impacted China.

Further invoking Washington’s ire is Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” economic initiative, which consists of establishing a new “Silk Road” trade route between Asia and Europe, with a bisected route including Africa. The successful implementation of Beijing’s initiative would be tantamount to overturning the post-war world economic order established by Washington after its emergence from World War II as the dominant global power.

On the opposite pole of the gathering of the representatives of Africa’s elite at the UN are 1.2 billion Africans, for whom social reality is overwhelmingly one of exploitation and extreme poverty. While the continent possesses immense wealth in raw resources it benefits only a tiny corrupt layer of ultra-wealthy elites.

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