The Concoction

An Ethiopian woman's musings on Africa, the world and everything in between

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        Sunday, June 25, 2006
        Either do or don’t – whatever you do make your mind up!

        It is the cutest thing to watch kids play house or school. Most of the time at least - until one of my kids start playing me... Gee – is that how I sound? But you don't see me playing house because it's not fun to play my real role. What's the point?

        NATO prefers to play war in Africa than really get involved in Africa's problem. It has been playing war in Cape Verde, Africa. The irony of it all is that the 7,000 NATO allied troops were playing war by "pounding pretend terrorist bases, grappling with rioters and separating factions in a mock war over oil…" Because Africa doesn’t have any of these problems, the NATO kids have to play war?

        The game is called "Steadfast Jaguar". Right there is the problem. The minute somebody says "steadfast", things start going down the drain. Remember Bush has been steadfast about weapons of mass distraction, Iraq, free trade, the economy, global terrorism, family values… Name it, he has been steadfast about it. And where did it get the US and his presidency?

        The war game is to prepare a new NATO Response Force, "a spearhead unity designed for rapid deployment around the world for missions ranging from humanitarian relief to lightning combat strikes." Don’t forget this fact – it is important.

        Despite the exercise and the 'mandate'of the Force, the Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, is adamant that his organization is not planning to be a "global policeman" and kept on downplaying NATO's involvement in Africa. What the…? How do these people justify earning their salary if they just play and don't actual work? Have they learnt anything from "playing" police in Bosnia?

        The real interest of the organization lies somewhere else. NATO is stepping up a debate on how it can better contribute to the defense of energy supplies from threats posed by terrorist, rebels groups or common criminals. NATO's top operational commander, Gen. James L. Jones, has suggested such a role could have a focus on production, storage and transport facilities in West Africa.
        "There is no question that in the West African region, the security of the energy infrastructure in the Gulf of Guinea is important," Jones [COMMANDER OF us FORCES IN Europe and much of Africa] told reporters Thursday on Sao Vicente. "I think that's an important mission in the 21st century."

        "This is an important piece of real estate in the modern world," said Victoria Nuland, the U.S. ambassador to NATO. "They are now pushing NATO, which I think is exciting."

        Ah, silly me. Now I get it. OIL + geopolitics = sleepless night in Washington. Thanks to Americans to blurt out the bottom line. These Europeans make you dizzy with their beating around the bush. They also get nervous about losing their traditional grip on Africa if the US gets involved in the continent. I wonder what they think about China's march into Africa. It will be interesting to find out what they will be really bickering about behind the façade of human rights concerns. I don't think they would have wasted time whining and bickering about the involvements of the US in Darfur if they were so concerned about human rights abuse.

        This has been brought to you by a very frustrated blogger whose weekend flew by doing things for others. So excuse the "I hate everybody tone".
        posted by Fikirte @ 9:20 PM   Digg!
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