Humanitarian missions and hidden agendas

EDWARD HORGAN (Letters, December 10) is probably right when he suggests the proposed EU “humanitarian mission” to Chad is a cover to project and protect European influence and unfair trade, in Chad’s case to project France’s influence in particular.

He points out that there is an “elephant in the room” — the genocide in Darfur where he implies the UN should be, while the EU should not be in Africa at all.

Of course, “humanitarian” reasons for getting a military force into a country have been used by the west for a long time. Even now, one of these frauds is being played out in Kosovo.

There a plan to advance the geostrategic interests of the US was presented as an altruistic exercise in preserving peace and preventing genocide, but it was actually designed to break up Yugoslavia and give the US a permanent military presence in Kosovo in order to protect oil pipelines, give quick access to the Caspian Sea oil fields, put continuing pressure on Serbia to fall in line with the EU and let Russia and anyone else who might be inclined to challenge the world hegemony know who the boss is these days.

Hence the 10,000-acre military Camp Bondsteel that the US has established in Kosovo and the determination of the US to push Kosovo’s independence both itself and through the UN and EU.

Like in Iraq, an ‘independent’ government in Kosovo will be able to ‘invite’ the US to keep its military base in the country permanently. The excuse to do so will be, as with Iraq, to “support the sovereign government of Kosovo”.

Of course, most people who are trying to get a UN force into Darfur do so for genuine humanitarian reasons.

However, could it be that some of the hidden forces involved in trying to get a military presence in Darfur are more concerned to counter the influence of China and gain control of oil reserves there than with what is happening to the people? Another “elephant in the room” in Africa is Congo. Millions have died there and the country has been invaded by several of its neighbours — yet, unlike Darfur, there isn’t a campaign, complete with celebrity support, to have the EU and UN send a force there. Well, there are lots of valuable minerals and other natural resources ripe for exploitation in Congo, but perhaps no oil. Minerals can wait a bit, I suppose, but apparently oil cannot.

By the way, I would support an EU constitution, but not the one proposed. Only a constitution that is a lot more democratic, curtails the power of big business, eliminates neo-liberal policies and sacks those who have been pushing them would be worth supporting.

Brian Abbott

Glencairn

Bishopstown Road

Cork

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