Imperialist arrogance knows no bounds.

In July 2023, a coup in Niger brought an anti-imperialist government to power. The government expelled the troops of the former colonial power, France, following the earlier examples of neighboring Mali and Burkina Faso. The United States suspended aid to the Nigerien government, supposedly a mandatory action under U.S. law when a military coup occurs. 

Of course, this law only kicks in when the U.S. doesn’t like the politics of the alleged coup leaders. CIA-led coups — from Iran to Guatemala to Chile to Honduras — have never prevented U.S. imperialism from continuing to aid these U.S. client regimes.

Recent demonstration in Niger. Sign reads ‘Down with foreign bases in Niger.’


Even after stopping financial assistance to Niger and refusing to recognize the new government led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani, the U.S. government still sought to exert its influence and keep its 650 troops, 350 other military personnel, a drone base and another military base in the country. The U.S. refused to share information gathered by its drones with the new governments in Niger or neighboring Burkina Faso, thus aiding forces hostile to these governments.

Then on March 12, a U.S. delegation landed in Niger — unannounced and uninvited —  including Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley, commander of U.S. Africa Command; Mary Catherine Phee, assistant secretary of state for African affairs; and Celeste Wallander, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. The delegation paternalistically warned Niger against developing closer relations with Russia and Iran.

Four days later, the Nigerien government revoked the Status of Forces Agreement that allowed the presence of the U.S. military and ordered the troops out. “The American presence in the territory of the Republic of Niger is illegal” and “violates all the constitutional and democratic rules,” said Niger’s military spokesperson Col. Amadou Abdramane. (thehill.com, March 18)

Yet somehow the Pentagon refuses to get the message. According to The Hill, Wallander “told the House Armed Services Committee that so far Niger’s ruling military council, known as the CNSP, has not formally asked the U.S. military to leave.” Langley blamed Niger’s anti-imperialist stance on Russian social media, claiming, “What we teach, the law of armed conflict and civilian-led governance is failing, because it’s being drowned out.” (March 21)

The imperialists don’t respect Nigerien sovereignty, just as they don’t respect Iraqi sovereignty. In 2020, Iraq’s Parliament voted to have all U.S. troops leave the country. They are still there in 2024.

If the troops refuse to leave, the U.S. becomes an occupation force, illegal under international law. What part of “Get out!” don’t these Pentagon operatives understand?

Historically, capitalism developed in Europe and later in the United States based on the rapid accumulation of wealth needed to finance industrialization and expansion by brutally kidnapping, enslaving and exploiting Africa’s people. Western capitalists have plundered the African continent for centuries, looting its land and precious resources and squeezing exorbitant wealth from its impoverished working class, including by paying starvation wages.

Of course, in true arrogant, colonial fashion, imperialism insists its presence is welcome. Welcome? Why would any African country want this ugly, bloody history to continue on its soil?

U.S. out of Africa! Get out and stay out! 

 

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