Government hypocrisy on Mali

Ireland must not be part of EU's "Resource War" in Africa

Mali's gold and other resources - the real reason for war

The Workers’ Party has said that the stance of the Irish government in relation to France’s neo-colonial imperialist military adventure in Mali was extremely dangerous. It was also hypocritical in the extreme when compared with Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore’s condemnation of Syria for defending its sovereign territory against mostly foreign fundamentalist militias.

 The Party said that Minister Gilmore’s demand for the International Criminal Court to investigate the situation in Syria was in stark contrast to his tacit support for France’s indiscriminate bombing of similar insurgents in Mali, a former French colony which had supposedly gained its independence from France in 1960 and which is 2,500 miles from Paris.


While the kidnapping of oil workers in Algeria, with its tragic outcome is to be deplored, can it be any surprise when we see a resurgence of old European imperialism in Africa?  The European Union, of which Ireland currently holds the presidency, seeks to portray itself as an upholder of peace and international law but is in fact now established as a new imperialist force.  A century after the start of the First World War, Europe’s former colonial powers have regrouped as a single imperialist alliance.  As former French politician and EU President Jacques Delors proudly predicted in 1989, the “resource wars” of the 21st century have begun with Europe once again using its might to plunder Africa.  


Sadly, Ireland, which suffered more than its share under imperialism, has signed up to the new Empire and has been a most wiling mouthpiece and advocate of this new 21st century adventurism.


Syria, a sovereign nation, has every right in international law to defend itself.   It is up to the people of Syria to decide what type of government they want and it is clear that the majority of Syrians do not wish to be governed by the rag-bag of Islamist fundamentalists and jihadists who seem more acceptable to the US and EU than a secular government which has guaranteed religious freedoms to all. It is particularly appalling that the EU, NATO, and Ireland are complicit in the use of the Kosovo enclave as a base for the military training of jihadists by international mercenaries to foment even worse civil war in Syria.    


Despite possessing massive deposits of mineral wealth, and being the third largest exporter of gold in Africa and with significant deposits of rare and valuable uranium, Mali, a country with an extraordinarily rich cultural history, is an incredibly poor country. Like neighbouring Congo it has been raped and plundered for more than a century by the great powers of Europe,  and the EU, led by France and supported by Ireland, is clearly determined to keep it in a subservient position.


Why is it wrong for Syria to fight against fundamentalists when France can come in and bomb another country, on another continent, at will?    The Syrian insurgents would turn that country into another Afghanistan with the local equivalent of the Taliban dictating against women’s rights and enforcing extreme Sharia law.    It would seem that this would be more amenable to the EU and US because the current Syrian government has a record of protecting the country’s assets and using them to better the lot of its own people, as it also has a record of defending the rights of the Palestinian people against the militarism of the US-backed Israeli state.


The Workers Party condemns any attempt by the government to entangle Ireland in the European Union’s new imperialist project in Mali or anywhere else.


Issued 18th January 2013


Peace, Work, Democracy & Class Politics