If the U.S. government was trying to destroy Burkina Faso, it could hardly have done it any better. This already impoverished, landlocked West African country is simply symptomatic of Franco-America’s Sahel-wide exercise in absurdity.
It goes like this: in the years following the 9/11 attacks there was no Islamist militant threat to speak of in this region. Nevertheless, on account of its hallucinatory fear, racialized mental-mapping and neocon-neo-imperial reflexes, the George W. Bush administration imagined and then induced not just a genuine jihadi rebellion, but an inter-communal implosion clear across the Sahel.
And because Burkina Faso was long considered one of the most stable countries in West Africa — and its conflict currently runs hottest of all — this tortured nation makes for an instructive case study in incompetence and indecency.
The entire concept of the Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) was more bizarre than most people probably remember. At its genesis in 2007, the U.S. military was more than a little bogged down – trust me – failing to fight its way out of an Iraqi-paper bag the Bushies had pulled over their own heads. Plus, the Taliban boys-were-back-in-Afghanistan and ready to lasso old G.W.’s Obama successor into another surge-cum-quagmire.
Africa, especially West Africa, on the other hand, had essentially no Islamist militants to speak of. Burkina Faso actually had the least of all. In late 2013, a State Department report noted that
“there were no recorded terrorist incidents in Burkina Faso, which is not a source for violent extremist organization recruitment efforts or home to radical religious extremists.”
Yet, as if the Pentagon wasn’t losing enough needless and hopeless wars, it opened a new proconsular franchise for the continent. See, according to Bush’s racialized 19th century-colonialist cerebral cartography, he wanted the post-9/11 U.S. military sword to be “ready to strike at a moment’s notice in any dark corner of the world.” AFRICOM was then charged with the counterintuitive charter of preventing war in places
“where violent conflict has not yet emerged, where crises have to be prevented.”
Apparently these folks never heard of the phase “violence begets violence,” which is strange for such proud evangelical Christians, since the aphorism’s origins trace back to Matthew 26:52 “‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.’”
A baker’s dozen-worth of years later, the entire African Sahel is a free-fire zone jumble of jihadi, state-directed, and communal carnage.
Continue reading on the page of the International PeaceFactory Wanfried