US Opening Up Second Front In Africa

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MILLIONS of Africans will understandably be fearful at the latest strategic initiative that US President George Bush has just announced.

The president has instructed his Secretary of Defence, Gates that an Africa Command must be set up and running by September 2008.

The job of this Africa command said Bush, is to ‘enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy and economic growth in Africa.’

The US is doing Africa another great favour!

However, it is under the Bush banner of democracy, peace and freedom, that Iraq has been destroyed and millions killed or turned into refugees, that the Lebanon has been invaded by the US’ ally Israel and hit by over a million cluster bombs, and Palestine starved of finances and food aid.

The crime of the Palestinians is that they democratically elected the government of their choice when the US regime wanted the government of its choice elected.

For this crime the Gaza Strip has been punished with hundreds of residents killed in Israeli attacks, hundreds if not thousands of homes destroyed and with the whole area reduced to a starvation diet.

These atrocities are the end product of a US peace and freedom campaign – now Africa has been warned by Bush to expect the same.

What has prompted the Bush move.

The US already has troops and a naval armada off of the Somali coast, and a number of troops in Djibouti.

It already has strategic allies on the continent including Egypt and Ethiopia to which it dispenses large scale military aid.

As far as Egypt is concerned this amounts to $1 billion in military aid a year.

The problem that the US has in Africa, where it already props up a number of dictatorships, is that China has intervened in the continent and is challenging US ambitions.

China’s major weapon is large interest free loans, and trading deals from which both sides gain.

It has already established good trading relations with Sudan, Angola, South Africa and a number of other important countries.

China has given interest free loans to governments that have been starved of cash by the IMF, and the World Bank capitalists for years, and is seeking fair trading access to the continent’s major mineral resources, of oil, timber, diamonds, coffee etc.

The US remembers how the USSR was able to assist in the sustenance of a number of anti-imperialist governments in Angola and Mozambique and elsewhere, and is determined to drive China out before it can do the same.

It wants to be able to decide the fate of the Sudan and of all the oil and mineral rich countries to the south of the Sudan, without any interference.

Bush said in his statement on Tuesday that he had asked Robert Gates, his defence secretary, to get the new ‘Africom’ unit up and running by the end of September 2008.

More than 1,500 US troops are based in Camp Lemonier, in Djibouti, a tiny Horn of Africa nation, since 2002. The US military aims to expand its Djibouti base from an 80 acre to a 600 acre site.

From this enlarged base and acting with its Egyptian and Ethiopian allies it aims to decide the fate of Sudan and to control the mineral rich Congo basin, and oil rich Angola.

African workers do not have the slightest intention of swapping rule by French and British imperialism for rule by the US bosses.

They will fight back against the developing US grab for Africa and seek to establish a Socialist United States of Africa.

They must have the complete support of the workers of Europe and the US.