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Gabon: Et tu Brute?
Gabon joins the congaline of couping "former" colonies
Another military coup in Western/Equatorial Africa, again supported by the citizenry, leads us and the French to widen the previous question of "WTF is going on in Niger" to WTF is going on in former French Africa?
The current now ex-ruling member of the Bongo family, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has been placed under house arrest by a military junta after Gabon's electoral commission declared him victorious in their most recent presidential vote. He was about to begin his third term which followed his father's rule since 1967.
Gabon is appended to the list of former French colonies to host a military coup since August 2020 following Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Niger. The oil rich (60% of revenues are from oil) small (population 2.3 million) nation has created a middle class though a third of its population still live in poverty. The second string graduates of France's École nationale d'administration who have been posted to its former colonies since Alexander Mercouris was a boy seem to have lost their knack for colonial administration. The fault though may not entirely lie at their feet.
The world's geopolitical forces are realigning. As this is taking form, various former satrapies are attempting to wriggle out from under their erstwhile overlords’ boots.
Despite the USA sending coup master Vixen Nuland to Niger to strong arm that junta into compliance, and failing to even be heard by them, the French seem cautious in being overtly heavy handed in bringing these wayward African regimes back into their direct orbit. France's fear of asking the US to do its dirty work is based on the US's history of the betrayal of seeming allies and its lack of sensitivity to history and accepting the established territorial order.
This puzzling pause in either imperial power taking the lead to quash the junta in Niger may have prompted the Gabon military's gamble. A more penetrating analysis would begin with the recent dramatic expansion of BRICS after their 15th meeting, held recently in South Africa. The international alliance's expansion is echoed by that of the older Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) built by China and Russia since 2001. Both organizations are resistant to the former European and current North American white, Christian colonists. Though a pedant may wish to include Russia in this clique of colonists, during the Soviet era Russia supported the independence of many new African nations from their former colonial masters and has lost its stain from an African perspective. China has never been tainted for their neither white, nor Christian nor colonial in the old western sense.
With this fifth successive coup d'etat in France's former colonies the divide among the members of the US lead ECOWAS trade alliance will probably deepen. They too are not very interested in spilling local blood to please an absentee landlord. While the US War Party continues to lead their Ukrainian lemmings off the cliff of fighting Russia in Russia, USA's ally France has a political bushfire raging in its colonial backyard.
Paying the Piper
President Biden is requesting another 26 odd billion dollars to continue to fund the proxy war in Ukraine with the EU bureaucracy asking for 89 odd from its member states to pay its bureaucrats and fund the tragedy for four more years. The US dollars' continued, though weakening, status as the global reserve currency allows the US to print its currency with only minor side effects. This is not true for the Euro as major economies like Germany and the Netherlands have entered recession for reasons including allowing the USA to destroy Europe's access to cheap Russian energy resources. This financial imbalance combined with France's colonial bushfires threatens to break NATO's resolve to continue the insanity of fighting an arms-length conflict with Russia.
With the USA heading into a year of presidential political theatre their strategists are caught between pulling the plug on the Ukraine project and sticking with it. Their puppet, Zelensky is also caught between Ukraine's Nazis and their corrupt elite backers and his western backers. His military are caught between him and Russia with Zelensky and his military leadership considering a major draft from the nation's dwindling population of fighting age males to be thrown against the currently impermeable Russian defensive lines. France's Macron is caught between his elite being irate at the colonial mismanagement, the failure of the EU’s economic sanctions against Russia, the growing social unrest due to immigration flows coming from various destabilized regions, the continued attack on France’s hard fought for social security safety net and rising inflation, and the US insistence on France supporting their insane Ukraine project.
As Alastair Crooke has recently remarked, these projects are very easy to begin and notoriously difficult to end.
The Bongo Family's 56-Year Rule Over Gabon, Joe Lauria, Consortium News, 2023-08-30
No respite for France as a 'New Africa' rises, Pepe Escobar, The Cradle, 2023-09-01
"Obama's Man in Africa" Under House Arrest as Popular Coup Rocks Gabon, Max Blumenthal, ScheerPost, 2023-09-02
France Can Only Be An Independent Power If It Learns To Push Back, b, Moon Of Alabama, 2023-09-02
Another Regime in 'French Africa' Is Toppled, Douglas Yates, Consortium News, 2023-08-30
A ‘coup’ in Gabon: Who, what and why?, staff, Al Jazeera, 2023-08-30
'Welcome to the BRICS 11', Pepe Escobar, The Cradle, 2023-08-25
WTF is going on in Niger?, YesXorNo, 2023-08-10
Neocon adventure in Niger risks big conflict in West Africa, The Alexes, The Duran, 2023-08-28
U.S. Seeking Perpetual War in Ukraine？ w⧸ Alastair Crooke fmr Brit ambassador, Napolitano interviews Crooke, Judging Freedom, 2023-08-31
Fall at Your Feet, Crowded House (from the 1991 album Woodface), Niel Finn, uploaded 2018-06-18