Imperialists at it again…in Mali

Not another goddamn war. This time its not Iran, its not Syria. Its Mali (according to Western diplomats, a war will occur in a few weeks). We already went to 2011 war in Libya which I called “unlawful and unconstitutional” and said there was an “imperialist aspect to the Libyan war.” Then earlier thus year, troops were brought into Uganda and not its another another country in Africa. But why Mali? The Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party says “This planned imperialist intervention is being carried out under the guise of fighting in North and West Africa…The imperialists are using the presence of groups such as Ansar Dine, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, and Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Magreb to justify intervention and occupation…The aims and objectives of the E.U., U.S. and U.N. Security Council are related to the overall imperialist strategy for the African continent, which has oil and other minerals indispensable to the world capitalist market.” One has take their opinion with a grain of salt, but still consider what they are saying. But, obviously, it doesn’t seem to be about Al-Qaeda at all.

One should start with an overview by the CIA World Factbook. They write that landlocked Mali, one of “poorest countries in the world…is…highly dependent on gold mining and agricultural exports for revenue” that “Mali remains dependent on foreign aid.” Then one could consider that gold is the third largest source of exports for the country, that there is unexploited proven reserves of other minerals and that two major South African multi-million dollar multinationals are gold mining in the country: Anglogold-Ashanti and Randgold Resources. But, gold may not be the major driver: black gold seems to have a pull.

A website called “Mbendi” started gives some clues. They write that Mali “has considerable mineral resources” but no “known commercially exploitable oil or gas resources.” This is correct, as the country is not producing any oil as of now, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. Since 2005, the government has been trying to generate interest of multinationals in order possibly extract petroleum from a part of the country, the Taoudeni basin. According to a Wikipedia article on the subject, with the push from the Malian government (pre-coup), oil exploration from Baraka Petroleum, Sonatrach, Eni, Total S.A., Woodside and China National Petroleum Corporation have occurred in the basin, but “the remote location and hostile environment…would make extraction expensive.”

In October 2011, one of the companies involved in oil exploration in the country, Algeria’s Sonatrach said there would be “oil drilling by mid-2012.” That didn’t happen but interestingly enough, the US asked Algeria to join in intervention in Mali! But back in 2011, there were some interesting news, the Prime Minister of Mali said Oil Exploration in the country was “Well Advanced” With all of these factors, oil companies have explored and parceled lots for oil drilling in Northern Mali along with Total S.A. (French) and Qatari Petroleum Corporation. As a result, many commentators in the country see the French as engineering the Tuareg rebellion, since it seems France might be jealous of the resources in the country. Energypedia provides an outline of Mali’s oil blocks which is even more important. They write that “drilling for oil in Mali’s section of the Taoudeni Basin by mid-2012…has been slow in the basin…[because] the area is overrun by gunmen, some of whom are linked to al Qaeda.” That basin happens to be only one of the few places that is drilled in the country. As of 2004, there was 4 oil wells in the country, but the country is “underexplored” and “at the center of Oil & Gas development in Central Africa” since there are five basins in the country that can be explored and exploited for oil. This is according to Baraka Mali Ventures Ltd which could be exaggerating and overestimating but it still could be a factor.

One must also consider other factors at play. For one, Africom (African Command) as Michael T. Klare noted in the movie Blood and Oil has one main purpose: protect African oil. Likely, this command will be involved in this operation, this war. But there is more. Mali’s chief exporter is China and the U.S. may want to counter that perhaps, to curb China’s growing dominance in Africa. Consider what Nick Turse notes, that “three U.S. soldiers were killed in an accident in Mali in April” showing that “U.S. special operations forces were operating in…Mali.” Turse also writes that there has been a “more than 200% increase in U.S. personnel there since 2005” and that “today–official designations aside – the U.S. maintains a surprising number of bases in Africa.”

This time, the intervention would result in more blood for oil no doubt, but also would be for gold, validating what the Workers World Party opined. Consider also gold is used for jewelry, sometimes dentistry, high-end CDs, good electrical conductors, expensive electronics cables, used to connect semiconductor devices, for certain computers, communications equipment, spacecraft, and even jet aircraft engines. Also, gold is very expensive and valuable these days. Earlier this month, “the United Nations Security Council unanimously…passed a French resolution approving an African-led force to assist the army of Mali in combating the Islamist militants.” However, “the resolution does not authorise the deployment of force” and “a second resolution authorising a military deployment “is not expected to happen before the end of the year.” So, the imperialists are gearing up for war perhaps. Since gold, untapped mineral resources and under explored oil in the country is at stake, it seems obvious that this isn’t a PR operation for the Pentagon like Somalia, as Noam Chomsky noted. I implore you to write your senators and congressmen at tell them to not intervene in Mali (just input your zip code and send an electronic letter to your members of congress or a paper letter via this website). America is already in drone wars worldwide in countries such as Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen and the longest war in U.S. history in Afghanistan. Tell them enough is enough, and that they must stand against another imperialist war in Africa.

This was originally posted on HermannView.