By Owei Lakemfa
THE threat of the mighty United States of America, USA, on Tuesday, August 7, 2023 to invade little Niger Republic is not for its love of democracy, Nigeriens or Africans. It is basically in the nature of hawks to circle the sky looking for prey, especially chicks.
There were American and French troops in Niger before the coup because it is in the nature of black vultures, not only to target and kill small live animals, but also to have the patience to wait and devour carcases.
So, the July 26 military coup in Niger Republic is a pretext. The USA Acting Deputy Secretary, Victoria Nuland, in threatening to invade Niger, declared in the usual American arrogant manner: “So we’ll be watching the situation, but we understand our legal responsibilities and I explained those very clearly to the guys (the new Nigerien leaders) who were responsible for this and that it is not our desire to go there, but they may push us to that point, and we asked them to be prudent in that regard and to hear our offer to try to work with them to solve this diplomatically and return to constitutional order.”
When the USA brags it has “legal responsibilities”, I ask: under what law, convention or agreement? Does it intend to engineer another bogus United Nations Resolution under which along with its Western allies, they destroyed Iraq, turning it into a basket case? Does it intend as it did with the birds of prey of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, NATO, to invade Niger as it did Libya under Ghadaffi, turning one of the richest and most promising African countries into a another basket case?
The Western actions in Libya were so destructive that it resulted in the free flow of arms and terrorists into West Africa. They so dislocated Libya that, today, a dozen years later, that country remains a failed state with rival governments in Tripoli, Tobruk, Sirte and Benghazi where the Libyan-American ‘Field Marshall’ Khalifa Haftar holds sway.
If the USA were truly opposed to coups, then it won’t be a supporter of the coup plotter in Chad, General Mehmet Deby or his older coup plotter in Egypt, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. No! If the USA were for democracy and against coups, it would not have overthrown democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh of Iran in 1953 and imposed a monarch, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, in his place. The Americans would not have overthrown elected Presidents Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala in 1954 and Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. If the American establishment were for elected leaders, it would not have teamed up with Belgium and the United Kingdom to overthrow newly elected Congo Democratic Republic Prime Minister, Patrice Lumumba, in January 1961 who they subsequently captured and executed on January 17, 1961.
If in deed the USA were for human rights, freedom or democracy, it would not have been the greatest supporter of apartheid South Africa. It would not have designated African freedom fighters like Walter Sisulu, Oliver Thambo and Joe Slovo as terrorists. It is to the eternal shame of the USA that despite Nelson Mandela spending 27 years in apartheid prison, leading South Africa to freedom and serving as the first democratically elected President of his country, America continued to officially designate him a terrorist!
In fact, it was not until July 2008 President George W. Bush signed a bill into law removing Mandela and other African National Congress, ANC, leaders from the list of persons the USA categorise as people who engage in “terrorist or criminal activities.”
If the USA were opposed to colonialism, it would not continue to colonise Puerto Rico for 125 years now after seizing that country from colonial Spain on October 18, 1898. With America illegally occupying their homeland, Puerto Ricans are not allowed any voting representation in the American Federal Government. As I write, where African Americans, American Indians and migrants can vote in midterm or American presidential elections, Puerto Ricans have no such right.
If the USA were law abiding, it would not, like bandits, have seized by force, Mexican territories, including New Mexico, California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Kansas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. If it were peace loving, it would not have invaded Mexico 10 times and Southern American countries over 70 times! The countries so invaded include Haiti from 1915 to 1934, Guatemala in 1954, Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, Dominican Republic in 1965 and Grenada in 1983.
The Americans invaded Nicaragua so many times that I am not sure either side continued counting. This includes the USA occupation of that country from 1912 to 1933 and its 1980 and 1984 invasions. The USA rape of Nicaragua was so routine and criminal that even a private American physician and lawyer called William Walker raised a private army in 1855 to invade Nicaragua. In July 1856, Walker declared himself President of Nicaragua and his illegal regime was recognised by USA under President Franklin Pierce as the legitimate government of Nicaragua! Given the US backing of his terrorist regime, Walker re-introduced slave trade and threatened the re-colonisation of some Central American countries.
The USA did not call its citizen to order; it was a coalition of Latin American countries led by Costa Rica that defeated the Walker mercenaries and forced him to resign as Nicaraguan President on May 1, 1857.
When the Vietnamese defeated the French colonialists in the historic Battle of Dien Bien Phu which raged from March 13 to May 7, 1954, and declared independence, the USA was enraged. It thought it was a bad precedence for a Third World people to roundly defeat a Western power. It was a battle in which the Vietnamese lost over 3,000 men and the French lost over 8,000 men with 10,300 soldiers taken prisoner. The US in March, 1965 invaded Vietnam to reverse the Vietnamese independence and allegedly, to stop the country going socialist.
The USA invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attack, and was forced into a disgraceful and disorganised withdrawal in August 2021 which the Washington Post of August 10, 2022 headlined, “Two weeks of chaos: A timeline of the US pull out of Afghanistan.”
If the USA claims it is supporting Ukraine because it believes every country should have a right to sovereignty, why does it want to invade Niger; that it has no right to sovereignty?
The USA threat of invading Niger is not in the interest of the African people. An African saying advises that we should first chase away the hawk before reverting to the chick. Let us first protect Niger from vultures before using diplomacy to address the coup question.