#41
well, i guess shennong's question has been answered. the mali rebels have advanced on timbuktu, to little resistance. the MNLA's stated goal is the setup of an alternative government that reaches across Azawad, so timbuktu is their final destination. from what i heard, the coup totally crippled the military and government's ability to deal with MNLA, who said they would only negotiate with a "legitimate" government. tuareg soldiers police the streets of cities in the north, most of which weren't even being defended.

MNLA has said that their only goal is the liberation of Azawad and that they will not advance any further south.

one thing i notice is that the strategy of economic aid deprivation pursued by western governments and ECOWAS totally hobbled the ability of the military junta to do anything, a fact which i guess will be spun as a "victory" for liberal interventionism when the "democratic" institutions are restored. i think now that some sort of political arrangement for MNLA is inevitable, i think that azawad will probably gain some measure of autonomy if not statehood.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17580929

Edited by bonclay ()

#42

blinkandwheeze posted:
bonclay 10.0 best new poster

#43
crosspostin from a pile of crap to here, i think the tone of this is a lil inappropriate for this audience but w/e this is the tact im taking

What is very clear to me about the international response to the coup in Mali is that no one outside the country gives two shits about Mali beyond what gold and investments they can get from Mali. Last week there were about as many articles published about Randgold futures etc as there were about MNLA. This week, ECOWAS is blockading and threatening Mali with a military invasion because the people of Mali snubbed ECOWAS's leadership.

One thing that may not be at the forefront of peoples' minds is that ECOWAS's current president Ouattara recently took power in Cote D'Ivoire after a rigged election turned into a civil war. The internationally backed candidate, Ouattara eventually took control after a French invasion of Cote D'Ivoire to oust his rival. He used to work for the International Monetary Fund, which explains why the West was willing to back his presidency through use of force. Coincidentally, this all happened as it was to become Cote D'Ivoire's turn to take on the rotating presidency of ECOWAS.

The chief political difference between notorious corrupt ousted Malian president Toure (ATT) and the rank-and-file officers who replaced him is their attitude toward international development aid. For decades, Mali has been caught in a debt trap as opportunistic presidents accept billions of dollars in development "aid" (actually loans). Even after having 80% of its public debt forgiven in the last decade, 30% of Mali's government revenue every year goes to servicing debts, prompting further loans. Much of the development aid finds its way into re-election campaigns for ATT and his friends. Simultaneously, national industries are being privatized and basically given away to Western companies; the education system has collapsed; there is a famine across much of Mali; and there is the MNLA.

So the coup occurred not simply to address the northern insurgency as has been reported in the West; rather, the people of Mali overwhelming reject the paradigm of IMF/World Bank "development", which has actually kept Mali underdeveloped. For another example of brilliant IMF development, look next door in Burkina Faso where Blaise Compaore, the man who killed Thomas Sankara, is still president, 25 years later; the country is even worse off than when he took power yet he has the gall to criticize the coup in Mali as a failure of democracy. In ECOWAS, democracy is a con to support the compradors like Compaore, ATT, and Ouattara who sell their countries to the West for personal benefit and their elite class interests.

With that in mind, it is completely typical that Ouattara et al are blockading Mali for threatening their dispicable status quo -- the embargo, border closures, and bank freeze are meant to punish Mali for trying to cast off the yoke.
#44
http://newleftreview.org/II/84/ousmane-sidibe-the-malian-crisis for yalls consideration.
#45
[account deactivated]
#46
the secret to rhizzone is to post in new threads but read only really old threads
#47
thanks i was wondering where the mali thread was
#48
my uncle told me how Al Qaeda in the Sahara region are actually just smugglers and ransomers, and if you aren't white and you go up there (ie headed from Mauritania to Morocco or vice versa) you can probably have tea with them or some shit as long as you dint have a lot of money on you, they dont care

Anyways, in tge past year is has become clear that the Americans are eventually gonna bring their wars to the Atlantic coast of North Africa, one of the most emiserated regions of the world.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2018/03/08/pentagon-adds-niger-mali-and-parts-of-cameroon-to-areas-where-u-s-troops-receive-imminent-danger-pay/?utm_term=.e7e8ded7285b

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/22/the-u-s-will-invade-west-africa-in-2023-after-an-attack-in-new-york-according-to-pentagon-war-game/

Its really hard for me to find news stories in English about French activity in the Maghreb region, especially in Mauritania where like 95% of news is only publishsd locally
#49

cars posted:

the secret to rhizzone is to post in new threads but read only really old threads


#50
Paul Blart Mali Coup
#51

postposting posted:

thanks i was wondering where the mali thread was


#52
WELP,

https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/canada-mali-peacekeeping-mission-general-jonathan-vance-1.4720215
#53
well, i guess shennong's question has been answered
#54
wow i tpyed up this big long shit and when i hit the post button it asked me to log in again and my post, was no more. maybe i'll get back to it tomorrow or someting im p discouraged and tired frankly
#55

ialdabaoth posted:

wow i tpyed up this big long shit and when i hit the post button it asked me to log in again and my post, was no more. maybe i'll get back to it tomorrow or someting im p discouraged and tired frankly


having your login cookie expire the moment before you hit post is like hitting the internet jackpot, congratulations

#56

shennong posted:

bonclay do you have a sense of what the military objectives of the MNLA are? i see stuff in some of the articles you've linked about the MNLA "advancing on" settlements, implying that they're operating like a traditional seize-and-hold army, but it seems unlikely that a primarily tuareg group has decided to abandon their traditional culture and start up a state-building project. you've mentioned the ongoing drought a few times, do you think that the MNLA push south could partly a result of the ecological pressure on tuaregs to free up some of the state space to the south for nomadic pastoralism? like is it more likely that they basically intend to keep the malian state on its heels in the northern part of the country in order to prevent it from excercising direct control over the land, rather than to actually exert state-like control itself?



tuareg society was traditionally regimented into castes; for the most part only the elite castes were nomadic. the bulk of the tuareg population were serfs who maintained settlements between which upper castes would travel, sort of like medieval english nobility. MNLA was primarily composed of upper caste tuaregs who felt their lot in life has substantially diminished since mali's independence. they're not wrong, both in that they are no longer freeranging slavelords and that the federal govt in bamako has severely neglected the north since independence. i think the latter was the primary motivating factor in their rebellion. caste nobles of other ethnic groups are afforded privileges and power by the federal govt that have been denied to tuareg

nomad pastoralism is markedly less common today that it has been in the past, and even in that field tuareg herders run into competition for resources with fula people (also herders but they like cows not camels). there are many, many more fula than tuareg, even in the area that tuaregs separatists were claiming as their own, excepting the far deserty north. nomadic pastoralism still a source of subsistence for many people, even if its economic importance has declined. the encroachment of the sahara does lead to conflict between herders, as well as between herders and farmers and fishers. but this resource conflict as old as time and no one who has money enough for a land rover and a home with air conditioning cares

the real economic potential in the north of mali today is resource extraction, which is still speculative but seems imminent regardless. there's uranium in them hills and there's probably a lot of oil out there too. once global corporations aren't scared of throwing down capital investment due to uncertain political and military climate, they will require a workforce and will be paying the local compradore class out the ass for compliance. who will these shills be? folks from the south with government connections will probably be the answer if local assholes don't secure the opportunity for themselves.

regarding urban areas and the potenital industrial workforces therein, kidal is the largest majority tuareg city in north mali, but it has a mere fraction of the population of gao and timbuktu which are ethinically dominated by songhay

for decades the federal govt has favored funding personall corruption instead of high tech military supplies like idk bullets, food, and gas. MNLA would have had no chance of securing any territory with mentionable habitation otherwise; it's real easy to kill a lot of soldiers from bamako when they are starving, have no ammunition, and can't hardly go nowhere. this neglect of the military then led to the collapse of the malian state. the majority of the population centers in north mali were opposed to MNLA and independence but were too busy staying alive and being poor to be able to affect the situation. nevermind that the real weight behind MNLA's military power came from their one-time allies: the various salafi groups staffed with foreigners with lots of guns and gulf money, and kids lured by the mention of any sort of pay. as soon as MNLA completed their standard national liberation tasks of securing territory and declaring independence, they were told to go home at gunpoint

somehwere in this mess, fula revanchists launched their own salafi-branded militia before merging back into the AQIM / ansar dine / al morabitun set. this is why attacks have moved closer to the south over the last few years. fula are p much everywhere but they did used to have their own empire in central mali and they are disliked by most sedentary peoples due to same-old resource conflicts. and also history of slave raiding which you will definitely hear a lot about if you tactlessly ask p much any bambara, bozo, malinke etc over three cups of tea. anyway there's a lot of pissed off fula teenagers with v few economic prospects and a lot of grudge

predictabbly, the junta in bamako quickly succombed to economic and military threats by the regional compradore organization ECOWAS. the new federal government then availed itself of the suddenly proffered international military aid and resumed its little death spiral of debt with the IMF et al. foreign troops removed AQIM and friends from the major cities and built huge military bases that could potentailly be used to "project force" across west africa. and there we are five years later

#57
AQIM/Al-Murabitun occasionally cross over the border and get into fire fights with Mauritanian security forces and take their shit. In Mauritania AQ is usually just means a smuggler or ransomer with loose affiliations across the border. The politics surrounding Amazigh (Berbers like the Tuareg) autonomy is something I know very little about, beyond some stuff about the Polisario, but I'm very interested in it. I met a few Berber nomads somewhere between Nouakchott and Rosso but I couldn't distinguish between them and other bidhan Mauritanians since they all speak hassaniya these days. Most live in abject poverty amd I hear lots of the ones in Mauritania are migrating or failed migrants since there isn't much for them in Nouakchott and every year is becoming tougher for rural and nomadic peoples, and its a wonder AQ didnt take hold much earlier. When Europe's fascists inevitably get the vote and start seriously closing its borders to all of the climate, war and economic refugees migrating North, they will coalesce in North African slums in even greater numbers than now and some will find these various movements appealing.

I had no clue that Pulaar and Wolof were Fula languages, they're spoken among the "l'kwar" non-Arabized Africans in Mauritania. The other main language is Soninke, which I think is Senegalese in origin.

If you can point me to something about the French role in all of this I would really appreciate it.

Edited by Fayafi ()

#58
i don't really know too much about the french role in all of this unfortunately. i heard cynical suppositions from folks i know but that's about it. i never ran into (that i remember) a decent source/article that didn't simply observe how kind france was being to reoccupy its former colonial possession for its own good, once the nogoodnik putschists stepped down
#59
the only thing i know is that samir amin supported the french and it was... disappointing
#60
Thought people might be interested in this

https://www.africanexponent.com/post/10395-west-africa-is-ready-to-ditch-the-colonial-cfa-franc-and-establish-a-pan-african-currency

Since few people even know the West African and Central African Francs exist. Haven't been able to find much analysis, just this basic overview

http://roape.net/2017/05/18/cfa-franc-french-monetary-imperialism-africa/

Since we've been discussing Mauritania, it's worth noting they dropped the CFA franc in 1973 while Mali dropped it in 1961 only to restore it in 1984 in a sad story of the failure of third world delinking. As for the CFA franc itself, the idea of a West African currency gets floated every couple of years, I'll believe it when it happens. But it is inevitable, the only question is will progressive forces in Africa force the issue or reactionaries in France?

That doesn't mean Mauritania is less under the thumb of imperialism but it does mean there's a complicated relationship between the vestiges of colonialism and "post-colonialism" which can lead to major ruptures. I've been thinking about what effect this has on the French working class, since the only real first world anti-imperialist revolution was in Portugal which was characterized by its economic backwardness and dependence on a historically obsolete form of colonialism to support Salazar era Bonapartism. France is much more advanced of course but it is still backwards, as if Britain had never abandoned the sterling area for the eurodollar market and global finance. Chapter 2 of Tony Norfield's The City covers that well, interested if anyone knows anything good about France, the relationship of the French welfare state to imperialism, and France's contemporary integration into global finance. We know the EU is Germany's imperialist project, though CFA franc is now tied to the Euro, meaning I expect a break between Germany and France to follow Brexit. Not satisfied with "tradition" as an explanation for radical politics in France compared to the UK.
#61
I've noticed that for former French colonies in Africa, all the Arab nations have renounced the Franc while almost all the rest maintained it. It may be rooted in Islamism and Arab nationalism.
#62

i was speaking to a senegalese political economist a while ago and they explained to me something like 15 african countries still have their currency directly synced to the value of the franc (now euro) through the CFA, and their national reserves are obliged to be held in the french central bank. so when france buys resources (like uranium from chad) no money is actually paid, instead france issues a note of credit at the central bank of france which holds that money. very importantly, these countries are forbidden from accessing more than 15% of their reserve in any given year, if they need more they have to borrow a limited amount from the french central bank at high interest. french board members are required to be on the board of these african banks. so all public infrastructure projects etc essentially need french approval to be carried out.

so what happens to all that wealth? france invests in its public services and buys the debt of portugal/spain/etc improving conditions for locals. the person i spoke to mentioned that in a certain irony they are more entitled to benefit from state support such as healthcare or housing than the national population that was complaining about their presence in france. around 34billion yearly on military operations and an enshrined legal requirement for french standing army on african territory ensures their interests are protected.
#63
*opens door of my thatch hut* so all that Libya currency stuff was about uranium in Chad..... i knew it... they tried to fool me but i never gave up... *im walking back in the hut muttering and the door is still open*
#64
situation normal,
#65

Gssh posted:

i was speaking to a senegalese political economist a while ago and they explained to me something like 15 african countries still have their currency directly synced to the value of the franc (now euro) through the CFA, and their national reserves are obliged to be held in the french central bank. so when france buys resources (like uranium from chad) no money is actually paid, instead france issues a note of credit at the central bank of france which holds that money. very importantly, these countries are forbidden from accessing more than 15% of their reserve in any given year, if they need more they have to borrow a limited amount from the french central bank at high interest. french board members are required to be on the board of these african banks. so all public infrastructure projects etc essentially need french approval to be carried out.

so what happens to all that wealth? france invests in its public services and buys the debt of portugal/spain/etc improving conditions for locals. the person i spoke to mentioned that in a certain irony they are more entitled to benefit from state support such as healthcare or housing than the national population that was complaining about their presence in france. around 34billion yearly on military operations and an enshrined legal requirement for french standing army on african territory ensures their interests are protected.



You've described the process well. It's worth pointing out that this is how finance imperialism worked in the era of British imperialist hegemony generally. For example for Japanese capitalist development to be possible it needed access to loans and the ability to assure international investors and governments that it was a safe business investment for advanced manufacturing. This meant going on the gold standard which meant getting gold from London which meant keeping gold reserves in the UK financial market and doing actual business in gold-backed British sterling. This was only possible because Japan won the Sino-Japanese war, the indemnity going straight into the British banks at the gold:silver exchange rate. Britain, as you point out, gets a piece of the action every time through interest and supports its labor aristocracy at the expense of the whole world.

Basically through the gold standard Britain controlled the world's money. Just like in the case of West Africa, it was a trap. Go on the gold standard and you lose the ability to devalue money, meaning your exports are vasty overvalued while you become dependent on imports. Avoid the gold standard and you lose monetary sovereignty as the price of silver wildly fluctuates based on its relationship to gold (thanks to Grisham's law). The same trap exists today in choosing the Franc or sovereign currency: either France controls your currency or global currency markets do. We all know the political consequences:

But the manufacturing monopoly of England is the pivot of the present social system of England. Even while that monopoly lasted, the markets could not keep pace with the increasing productivity of English manufacturers; the decennial crises were the consequence. And new markets are getting scarcer every day, so much so that even the Negroes of the Congo are now to be forced into the civilisation attendant upon Manchester calicos, Staffordshire pottery, and Birmingham hardware. How will it be when Continental, and especially American, goods flow in in ever-increasing quantities — when the predominating share, still held by British manufacturers, will become reduced from year to year? Answer, Free Trade, thou universal panacea.
...
The truth is this: during the period of England’s industrial monopoly the English working-class have, to a certain extent, shared in the benefits of the monopoly. These benefits were very unequally parcelled out amongst them; the privileged minority pocketed most, but even the great mass had, at least, a temporary share now and then. And that is the reason why, since the dying-out of Owenism, there has been no Socialism in England. With the breakdown of that monopoly, the English working-class will lose that privileged position; it will find itself generally — the privileged and leading minority not excepted on a level with its fellow-workers abroad. And that is the reason why there will be Socialism again in England



Engels is too positive, there were still plenty of colonial spoils to go around to generalize the model beyond just England. Japan escaped the trap through its colonies as well: not only did it get on the gold standard at their expense, it then forced Korea, China, and Taiwan to buy its manufactures which were uncompetitive in Europe in exchange for raw materials. Japan literally mimicked Britain in India from a century earlier. It bought Indian cotton through Gold sterling backed Yen, made textiles which were rough and labor intensive, and forced Korea to buy them, a natural result of the free market once the possibility of native manufacturing had been destroyed. In terms of money, China remained on a silver standard while Japan attempted to bring Korea into a gold standard based on the Yen to set up a similar relationship between the Korean economy and Japanese banks as existed between Japan and Britain.

The relationship between the Euro, the Franc, and the CFA franc reminds me of this relationship (Britain:Japan:Korea) which is what I mean by relative backwardness. Japan was forced into war and fascism once the British gold standard collapsed. WWI ended gold convertability everywhere as the European countries took on too much debt while Japan experienced a huge economic boom. Once the war ended the boom became a bubble as Japan continued to prevent gold convertability (meaning gold could flow in but not out) in order to avoid the inevitable crash that would follow from the restoration of European competition and the new competition of America. The two options were restore gold convertability, letting Japanese prices actually correlate to their competitiveness rather than the inflated value of wartime necessity, which meant massive austerity and going back to the subordinate position to European advanced manufacturing, or abandoning the gold standard altogether and accepting a permanent subordinate position on global finance. Britain chose austerity and subordination to American manufacturing while Germany "chose" subordination and eventual monetary collapse, the US chose to reestablish the gold standard but based on the dollar and American gold reserves while Japan chose neither with partial measures, combining some austerity with some bailouts (similar to Abenomics or world stangation in general today) until fascism forced military Keynesianism and the abandonment of the gold standard entirely in 1931 and head for a conflict with America for global hegemony (which they knew they couldn't win but had no choice but to hope for a compromise in the face of communism, similar to Nazi German policy in the face of American hegemony as Adam Tooze points out in detail). It's worth pointing out that the "roaring 20s" only roared in America, everywhere else there was stagnation and recurrent recession as is the case in the world today. Arigghi also points out correctly that WWI was about the struggle for hegemony between Britain and Germany based on the British free trade system while WWII was about the struggle for hegemony between America and Germany/Japan based on the new, far greater potential of American manufacturing which is why both countries attenpted to reproduce the formation of America through genocide and slavery though both were too late. China clearly dwarfs the manufacturing potential of America with a much larger population, more stable national formation and political system, and ability to create a new system of world hegemony encompassing a much larger portion of the world as "developed."

Just like the 1895 Venezuela crisis marks the moment when Britain stopped enforcing the Monroe Doctrine in America, which America could not do, for the stability of British hegemony and America started enforcing the British world order for America's new hegemonic benefit, maybe Venezuela today will mark the moment when America stops using its own global finance institutions and international law for its benefit and China starts to defend them for its future hegemony. Of course the proletariat doesn't sit idly by, like Mao said every world war makes more of the world socialist. Regardless, there's a lot to learn about the global finance system then and now in terms of politics and the new fascism (and the likely future socialist revolutions) and little to learn from the particular nature of monopoly competition in the lead up to WWI.

If you're interested, besides Tooze's Wages of Destruction and Arrighi's Long 20th Century Mark Metzler's Lever of Empire goes into all the Japan stuff.

E: Engels quote is from here https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1892/01/11.htm which really covers it all.

Edited by babyhueypnewton ()

#66
In addition to France having veto power over African banks, the European Central Bank also just outright controls their monetary policies. It's an astoundingly blatant colonial system.