(This piece is intended as a polemic rather than a piece of academic research. See http://www.globalresearch.ca for more detailed information on all the assertions about Al Qaeda and Western Imperialism made below.)
In “The Revolution of Everyday Life” Raul Vaneigem talked about the idea of the “Third Force”. http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/29
What i think he meant by it is that every time the mainstream media, (or commercial popular culture more generally), presents us with an apparent conflict between two sides, there is always actually a lot more going on behind the scenes. There is always at least one “third force”, usually more than just one, and without understanding this we can not understand the role of capitalist interests in whatever conflict is going on.
So, in Mali, we are told, the West is fighting Al Qaeda, as they supposedly have been for over twelve years. The Western powers say Al Qaeda is using Mali as a safe haven, but they didn’t seem to mind until pretty recently. Mali has been a “safe haven” for Al Qaeda for over ten years, during the whole “War on Terror”.
Al Qaeda says the West are evil imperialists that want to fuck over the Malian people. Well, this is as true as saying Al Qaeda are fake-muslim terrorists wanting to impose a patriarchal dictatorship, but again, Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and it’s forerunners didn’t seem to mind cooperating with Western Imperialism during the Soviet Afghan War, or selling Cocaine to European countries, or working with the Western backed Tourre for years.
So who’s the third force here, and what’s really going on?
Well, there just so happens to be a long history of struggle on the part of the Tuareg people of the Sahara, who are spread out across the territories of many nation states in North and West Africa, usually living on land rich in natural resources that are highly desired by Western Corporations, especially now that they face such immediate threats to their power from China, which has already made significant inroads into Africa that the West is desperate to reverse.
An independent Tuareg state in Mali would run the risk not of turning Mali into a safe haven for Al Qaeda, which it already was, but turning it into a safe haven for other Tuareg freedom fighters wishing to create independent states in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Niger etc. This is what the West is really afraid of.
As nationalists, the Tuaregs want the resources of their territories to be controlled by and used for the benefit of their people. As imperialists the Western powers will do everything they can to prevent this and to keep said resources in the hands of Western corporations. The French have already preemptively invaded Niger as well, to secure Uranium deposits that sit below land occupied by Tuaregs.
So what about Al Qaeda? What’s their game, and how does it fit into the West’s?
Al Qaeda was invented by the CIA in the nineteen eighties, when they brought together radical Islamists from all over the Muslim world and gave them training and funding to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. This is not a conspiracy theory, this is a well documented fact that the US does not even deny.
What they do deny is that the CIA continues to control or influence Al-Qaeda’s actions. We are supposed to believe that they just created a monster which has now gotten out of their control and which we must now trust them to destroy. They ask us to trust them to do this so much that we are supposed not to mind when our basic civil liberties are taken away from us, when they drop bombs on our families and the families of our friends, and send people from our communities to die in foreign countries.
They ask us to ignore the fact that every time the Western corporations have a strategic interest in occupying somewhere with valuable resources, Al Qaeda handily seems to attack it thus giving the West the perfect excuse.
The West want to build a pipeline through Afghanistan? Al Qaeda attacks New York, supposedly from bases in Afghanistan. The US needs to make sure whoever replaced Saddam Hussein doesn’t have the same economic policies as him? Al Qaeda starts a long and bloody sectarian conflict in Iraq which the West uses to justify it’s continued presence there until enough private security companies can be found to replace US troops.
Tuaregs rise up in Northern Mali against a dictator who allowed both Al Qaeda, AND the West to profit from Malien resources and labour power for years? Al Qaeda takes over Northern Mali, sabotaging the genuine independence struggle and justifying a huge Western Military mobilization to protect the resources of the country.
The Western powers can not defeat Al Qaeda in Mali, nor do they really want to. What they want, and i really can’t stress this enough, is MONEY, and the same goes for Al Qaeda. You don’t have to read very much of the Koran to figure out that they are full of shit when they claim to be good Muslims.
What the Tuareg people want is Freedom, and control over the resources of their land. Whether you call yourself an Anarchist, a Socialist, a Liberal, or just a decent human being, you must surely see that this is a reasonable demand on their part, and that both Al Qaeda and the West are seriously fucking them over with this bullshit war.
As an Anarchist i can obviously not explicitly declare sympathies with any nationalist organisation which desires to set up a new Nation State with borders, bureaucrats and other bollocks that comes as part of the package. There is no such thing as a democratic state and we must expect any political movement seeking to create a State structure to eventually become corrupted, creating a new ruling class living off the surplus labour of the rest of society. So i will not say “solidarity with the MNLA”, for example.
But the supporters of the MNLA, like non-islamist Tuaregs everywhere, are fighting simply for their basic human rights, such as the right to self-determination, which is also a basic Anarchist tenet (when it is removed from its normal nationalistic connotations)
According to many analysts the MNLA are the only force in the region that could possibly defeat Al Qaeda (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/2012review/2012/12/20121228102157169557.html#.UOCH3JVhuxg.blogger) which is exactly why the West is refusing to allow them to do so. Malien civilians are suffering enormously and not receiving anywhere near enough humanitarian aid, forcing them to be even more dependent on Al Qaeda.
Whatever name they go under, Tuaregs fighting against Al Qaeda need political support from anyone wishing to see a real solution to this war, and the West’s murderous real agenda needs to be exposed and condemned.
More immediately, civilians in Mali and in the parts of Niger occupied by the French, need humanitarian aid, and the Western media needs to report upon the actual humanitarian situation, instead of continuing this fucked up information blackout.
Solidarity with Tuareg freedom fighters!
Down with Al Qaeda, Down with Western Imperialism!
For a world without Nation States and Capitalism
For Anarchy and Revolution