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Nick Turse, “Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa,” 13 March 2014, TomDispatch
Since 9/11, the U.S. military has been making inroads in Africa, building alliances, facilities, and a sophisticated logistics network. Despite repeated assurances by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) that military activities on the continent were minuscule, a 2013 investigation by TomDispatch exposed surprisingly large and expanding U.S. operations — including recent military involvement with no fewer than 49 of 54 nations on the continent. Washington’s goal continues to be building these nations into stable partners with robust, capable militaries, as well as creating regional bulwarks favorable to its strategic interests in Africa. Yet over the last years, the results have often confounded the planning — with American operations serving as a catalyst for blowback (to use a term of CIA tradecraft).
Rédigé le Lundi, “France – Afrique : comment l’armée a pris le pouvoir François Hollande,” 10 March 2014, ferloo.com
Jacob Kushner, “China’s Congo Plan,” The American Interest, 10 January 2014
The Chinese are by no means the world’s first to seek their fortunes in Congo. But unlike the Western powers whose legacy is burdened to this day by colonialism, China’s footprints in Africa have been relatively “conflict-free.” During the first decade of the 21st century, at least 230,000 Chinese immigrated to Africa—as many as one million by some estimates. They opened import businesses, electronics shops, pharmacies and restaurants. Chinese trade with Africa blossomed, and China began looking for ways to help some of its state-owned companies to do more business across the continent than ever before. Two Chinese state banks began loaning money to companies willing to make bold investments. China’s Export-Import Bank, the smaller of the two, now provides more loans to sub-Saharan Africa than the World Bank, loans increasingly used to develop African infrastructure. By 2006, Chinese companies were investing more than $6 billion per year in roads, railways and other public infrastructure projects across Africa. By 2015, the figure is expected reach $50 billion. …
Harry Browne, “‘Factivism’ and Other Fairytales from Bono,” CounterPunch, 19 March 2013
So what on earth is the Beshaded One talking about this time? Only the TED blurb (almost certainly penned by the man himself) can begin to do justice to Bono’s message: “Human beings have been campaigning against inequality and poverty for 3,000 years. But this journey is accelerating. Bono ‘embraces his inner nerd’ and shares inspiring data that shows the end of poverty is in sight… if we can harness the momentum.”
Bono, who is accelerating humanity toward the end of its long anti-poverty journey, allegedly loves data. He called his first lobbying organisation DATA (Debt Aids Trade Africa), and told the appreciative California audience that he’s a “factivist” who gets sexually aroused by numbers. But Bono’s “inner nerd” really needs to meet my outer skeptic, because in fact his optimistic message about the trajectory of poverty eradication, and the reasons for it, is a flimsy tissue of truths, half-truths and statistics, conveniently skewed to suggest that he and his Western partners in Africa (governments, corporations, foundations) have been doing a great job entirely.