“Divide and Rule”: Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni Is Biden’s “Political Asset”. U.S. Behind Niger Coup d’Etat. America’s Hegemonic Wars Against Europe and Africa/ By Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 15, 2023

Original Link Here: “Divide and Rule”: Italy’s PM Giorgia Meloni Is Biden’s “Political Asset”. U.S. Behind Niger Coup d’Etat. America’s Hegemonic Wars Against Europe and Africa – Global ResearchGlobal Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

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First published on August 14, 2023. Minor revisions on August 15, 2023


A year prior to Italy’s 2022 elections, Giorgia Meloni was invited to join the Aspen Institute, a Washington based strategic think tank with close relations to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Atlantic Council and the military industrial complex:

“The Aspen institute is also involved in the arms industry, with links to arms manufacturing giants such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It has typically supported the US’s “democracy-defending” or “democracy-propagating, humane and civilized” wars”

Prominent US politicians including Madeleine Albright, Condolezza Rice as well as Victoria Nuland have actively collaborated with the Aspen Institute.

The Aspen Institute is generously funded by the Gates Foundation, the Rockefellers, Carnegie and the Ford Foundation, not to mention Goldman Sachs, which over the years has played a key role in the “selection” of Italian politicians.

It is worth noting that on February 20, 2023, Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kiev, meeting up with President Zelensky. And on the following day, Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni promptly followed suit, traveling to Kiev to meet up with the corrupt Ukrainian president.

“She affirmed Italian support for Ukraine and said that her government intends to supply Spada and Skyguard air defence systems to the Ukrainian army”.

Is Italy’s Prime Minister Meloni an “Instrument”, Political Asset of Washington? The answer is obvious.

PM Giorgia Meloni Arrives in Washington, July 26, 2023
PM Meloni had arrived in Washington prior to the Coup d’Etat in Niger (26th of July), i.e. a day prior to the Biden-Meloni meeting in the Oval Office.

There was no White House record of a discussion or exchange pertaining to the crisis in Niger.

Bloomberg in a July 26, 2023 report confirmed that private conversations had already been scheduled:

One suspects that in addition to China, the Niger Coup d’Etat was also discussed behind closed doors, –e.g. with Victoria Nuland and Christina Segal Knowles.

27 July 2023: PM Meloni meets President Biden in the Oval Office.
Rome aligns with Washington implying an almost unconditional stance with respect to the war in Ukraine:

“Ukraine (and Italy’s new voice). PM Meloni and President Biden reiterated their support for Ukraine against Russia’s war of aggression and vowed to “provide political, military, financial, and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine for as long as it takes, with the aim to reach a just and lasting peace.” Later, at the presser, the Italian leader noted that Rome’s posture on the conflict “is extremely respected and held in high regard” by the US.

Oval Office

PRESIDENT BIDEN: “And as NATO Allies, the transatlantic partnership is the cornerstone of our shared security. And the Italian troops are playing a critical role in Europe, in the Mediterranean, and beyond.

Italy and the United States are also standing strong with Ukraine. And I compliment you on your very strong support in defending against Russian atrocities. …

PM MELONI: Thank you. I am very pleased to be here today to testify the deep friendship that bonds the United States and Italy.

… Moreover, after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, for all together we decided to defend the international law. And I’m proud that Italy, from the beginning, played its part in it. We did it simply because supporting Ukraine means defending the peaceful coexistence of people and states everywhere in the world.”

PM Meloni also (unconditionally) endorsed Washington’s stance pertaining to Africa, which broadly consists in “dollarizing” the entire continent (including francophone Africa) while concurrently imposing IMF-World Bank “strong economic medicine”.

PM MELONI: … And on the other hand, we also need to be fair with nations that feel they have been exploited of their resources and that they show distrust towards the West. President Biden knows I take care a lot about Africa, about the role that we can play in these countries that can help us, building with them a new relation based on a new approach, which is a peer-to-peer approach. Also to fight illegal migration and all the problems that we face. It’s all things that we will discuss in the G7 presidency of Italy next year.

Among those present in the Oval Office on July 27, 2023 were: Assistant Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, and National Security Council Director for International Economics, Christina Segal-Knowles.

Victoria Nuland Travels to Niamey, August 7, 2023
Victoria Nuland arrived in Niger on August 7, 2023 on an unannounced visit in the immediate wake of the coup d’Etat.

Nuland did not meet General Abdourahamane Tiani who had been declared head of the ruling military Junta on July 28, 2023.

It is worth noting that Tiani studied in Washington D.C at the National Defense University’s (NDU) College of International Security Affairs (CISA). CISA is the U.S. Department of Defense’s “flagship for education and building of partner capacity in combating terrorism, irregular warfare, and integrated deterrence at the strategic level”

Nuland’s meetings were with a team led by Brig. General Moussa Salaou Barmou

“The Secretary asked me to make this trip – as you may know, I was in the neighborhood last week and then in Jeddah – because we wanted to speak frankly to the people responsible to this challenge to the democratic order to see if we could try to resolve these issues diplomatically, if we could get some negotiations going, …

And then we met with the self-proclaimed chief of defense of this operation, General Barmou, and three of the colonels supporting him. I will say that these conversations were extremely frank and at times quite difficult because, again, we were pushing for a negotiated solution.” (emphasis added)

Tacitly acknowledged by Nuland, both General Abdourahamane Tiani and Brig. General Barmou in terms of their military profile and background are “friends of America”.

Brig. General Barmou undertook his military training in the U.S. at Fort Moore, Columbus, Georgia and at the National Defense University (ND) which operates under the Guidance of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He also collaborated with U.S. Special Forces. Brig. General Bardou and his team are categorized by The Wall Street Journal as “the good guys”:

“At Center of Niger’s Coup Is One of America’s Favorite Generals: Brig. Gen. Moussa Salaou Barmou, long courted by Washington as a partner against Islamist extremism, has emerged as the main diplomatic channel between the U.S. and the junta (emphasis added)

“Speaking during a question and answer session [August 8 report], Victoria Nuland, hinted “in so many words” (of course not officially) that the Coup d’Etat could have been undertaken with the tacit approval of Washington:

“With regard to the – to us, interestingly, General Barmou, former Colonel Barmou, is somebody who has worked very closely with U.S. Special Forces over many, many years.”

Ms Nuland stated this following a crucial first meeting of U.S. officials with members of the military junta in Niger in a significant diplomatic push to restore democratic rule to the country.

Ms Nuland said the U.S. was pushing for a negotiated solution in Niger and went “through in considerable detail the risks to aspects of our cooperation that he has historically cared about a lot.”

“So we are hopeful that that will sink in,” added the U.S. undersecretary.

While noting several regional meetings are going on to negotiate with coupists to release President Mohamed Bazoum and step aside, Ms Nuland said the U.S. would continue to watch closely with allies and partners needed to make the negotiations successful.

“If there is a desire on the part of the people who are responsible for this to return to constitutional order, we are prepared to help with that. We are prepared to help address concerns on all sides,” Ms Nuland stated.(emphasis added)

Let us be under no illusions, The architects of the coup “against the democratically elected government of Mr Bazoum” were most probably acting in coordination with Washington.

According to a carefully researched article by Nick Nurse, “At Least Five Members of Niger Junta Were Trained by the US”.

The unspoken objective is “Paris out of Africa”.

To the People of Africa
“France never stopped looting Africa, now the tables are turning”.

In a bitter irony, the process of “French Decolonization” (i.e “Paris out of Africa”) does not ensure the instatement of democratic forms of government. Quite the opposite, it tends to favor the hegemonic development of U.S. neocolonialism and the militarization of the African continent, which must be forcefully opposed.

A pattern of US militarization (coupled with the imposition of neoliberal “shock treatment” macro-economic policies), has unfolded in several francophone countries of sub-Saharan Africa. (See US-Senegal Defense Cooperation Agreement).

The US sponsored Coup (which is the object of this article) is not limited to Niger. Several countries in Francophone Africa have military governments which are directly supported by the Pentagon. A case in point: Mali.

Mali with a population of more than 20 million people constitutes from Washington’s standpoint a geopolitical and strategic hub (see map below). The current (Interim) Head of State Colonel Assimi Goita, received his military training in the US, while also actively collaborating with the U.S. Army Special Forces (“Green Berets”).

For the second time in eight years, a U.S.-trained military officer has emerged as the leader of a coup in Mali, [August 2020] … Colonel Assimi Goita, who participated in a U.S.-led training exercise last year [2020] and graduated from a separate U.S. training course in 2016, has declared himself the chairman of the junta that arrested Mali’s president and prime minister and seized control of the West African country this week (Global and Mail, August 21, 2020)

Confirmed by the WP, Colonel Assimi Goita participated in a USAFRICOM training program known as Flintstock. He has also studied at the Joint Special Operations University at the MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Niger “Regime Change” on Behalf of Uncle Sam. “Paris Out of Africa”
Washington’s unspoken foreign policy objective is to remove France from Africa.

Niger is strategic. It produces 5% of the global supply of uranium, which is in part exported to France for use in its nuclear energy facilities. Is Blackrock style privatization an option?

USAFRICOM has a military base in Niger. The US military has been routinely collaborating with their Nigerien counterparts

The unspoken objective of Victoria Nuland’s mission was to ultimately “negotiate”, of course unofficially Niamey’s “alignment” with Washington against Paris:

” The United States flies drones out of a base in the country’s arid heartland. French peacekeepers, effectively chased out of Mali, withdrew to outposts in Niger last year. Now, their status [France] and role in a country run by the junta’s transitional regime remains up in the air.” (WP, August 9, 2023, emphasis added)

“Divide and Rule”: Propaganda Against France’s President Macron
Washington not only endorses “good guy military governments” in Africa, it also controls several (corrupt) European heads of State and heads of government, including Germany’s Chancellor Scholz, France’s President Macron, Italy’s Prime Minister Meloni and the President of the European Commission, Ursula von Der Leyen, among others.

The US is at war with both Europe and Africa. It’s an act of economic warfare. Washington is also quite deliberately creating political divisions within the European Union.

With regard to both Ukraine and Africa, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is aligned with Washington. Despite her fake humanitarian rhetoric, she has casually endorsed America’s hegemonic agenda in Africa, including the dollarization of the entire continent:

PM MELONI: “President Biden knows I take care a lot about Africa, about the role that we can play in these countries that can help us”

Washington is currently involved in a “soft coup” against French colonialism, coupled with a (strategic) smear campaign (with the support of PM Meloni) against France’s president Macron.

In the video below, which was recently released, Italy’s PM Meloni rightfully focusses on the exploitation of child labourers in Burkina Faso’ gold industry, while casually placing the blame on France’s President Macron for the payments system in CFA francs coordinated by the French Treasury.

What she fails to mention is that the gold industry in Burkina Faso is “dollarized” and controlled primarily by large Canadian mining companies. See also here. Major French colonial companies are not involved in Burkina Faso gold mining.

Is the video below part of Washington’s agenda which consists in throwing France out of Africa?

Video: “You Messed Up Macron”

A Brief Note on the History of U.S.- France Relations
There is a long history of US-France relations going back the Louisiana purchase (1803), The Monroe Doctrine (1823), the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) organized by Germany’s Chancellor Otto van Bismarck. The U.S was politely excluded from participating in the colonial scramble for Africa. (Most of those former colonial powers have been progressively shoved out of Africa, starting in the 1970s).

The Wars against Indochina and Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos (1946-1975), Charles de Gaulle “Pulls the Plug on NATO” (1966-67), NATO Headquarters move from Paris to Brussels (1967).

Since the early 1990s, Washington has extended its sphere of influence: the entire African continent is currently in the stranglehold of a dollar denominated debt which has led to mass poverty, not to mention the imposition of “strong economic medicine” by the IMF-World Bank. The U.S has numerous military bases throughout the continent.

There are many other dimensions. Washington’s current objective is to eventually eliminate “francophone countries” and exclude France from the African Continent.

Rwanda in 1990 is the model. The president of Rwanda Juvenal Habyarimana dies in an air crash. A former Belgian colony largely within the political sphere of influence of France was from one year to the next transformed into a de facto English speaking colony dominated by the U.S, French was eventually scrapped as an official language. Major General Kagame –(who subsequently became Vice-President and then President) was instrumental in leading the military invasion from Uganda. He does not speak a word of French.

The civil war in Rwanda and the ethnic massacres were an integral part of US foreign policy, carefully staged in accordance with precise strategic and economic objectives.

Major General Paul Kagame had been head of military intelligence in the Ugandan Armed Forces; he had been trained at the U.S. Army Command and Staff College (CGSC) in Leavenworth, Kansas which focuses on warfighting and military strategy. Kagame returned from Leavenworth to lead the RPA, shortly after the 1990 invasion.

Prior to the outbreak of the Rwandan civil war, the RPA was part of the Ugandan Armed Forces. Shortly prior to the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda, military labels were switched. (Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty, Chapter 7)

Click below to access Chapter 7.

Rwanda: Installing a US Protectorate in Central Africa

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, April 06, 2021


On a personal note
In a United Nations mission to Rwanda in 1996-97, the author together with Belgian economist and Senator Pierre Galand submitted the following report to the Government of Rwanda:

Michel Chossudovsky and Pierre Galand, L’usage de la dette exterieure du Rwanda, la responsabilité des créanciers, mission report, United Nations Development Program and Government of Rwanda, Kigali, 1997.

We were subsequently advised by Vice President Paul Kagame (currently president of Rwanda) that the report had to be submitted in English.

My response to Vice President Paul Kagame:

“You should have told us that, and we would have drafted the report in English, We suggest that you get it translated”.

Rwanda had become a U.S. Protectorate in Central Africa with a proxy President, head of military intelligence of the Ugandan Armed Forces. He had received his military training at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

General Kagame was dispatched back to Kampala by the Pentagon to lead the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPT) October 1990 invasion out of Uganda (which had already commenced).

Upon my arrival in Kigali as part of the UNDP mission in 1996, with some doubts, I endorsed the official story.

In the aftermath of our mission (second UNDP trip to Kigali in early 1997), I undertook extensive research on Rwanda which was then published as a chapter in the second edition of Globalization of Poverty.

I also came to understand how “the French language was thrown out” of Rwanda.

In “America’s Protectorate” in Central Africa, English became the official language in schools, colleges and universities.

In October 2008, The Guardian reported the following:

The Rwandan government is to switch the country’s entire education system from French to English in one of the most dramatic steps to date in its move away from Francophone influence.

Officially the change is to reposition Rwanda as a member of the East African Community, an organisation made up mostly of English-speaking countries such as neighbours Uganda and Tanzania.

However, the shift to education solely in English is part of a wholesale realignment away from French influence that includes applying to join the Commonwealth – if accepted Rwanda would be only the second member, after Mozambique, that has not been a British colony – and establishing a cricket board.

Underpinning the move is a long and bitter dispute with France born of its [alleged] support for the Hutu regime that [allegedly] oversaw the 1994 genocide of 800,000 Tutsis, which has seen the French ambassador expelled and the closure of the French cultural centre, international school and radio station. (The Guardian, October 2008)

Above is the “official story”. What happened is that Washington (with the support of London) engineering the RPF invasion out of Uganda. Concurrently a propaganda and smear campaign was launched against France. I should mention that Rwanda developed under the Habyarimana government good relations with France in the post-colonial period. Rwanda was a former German and then Belgian colony. Rwanda had its own currency. It was never under French colonial rule.

Rwanda’s Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana was assassinated and the RPF invasion out of Uganda was led by General Paul Kagame.

In the wake of the 1990 invasion, Kagame became Washington’s faithful and obedient proxy first Rwanda’s Vice-President and then President.

At the time of writing (August 2023) more than thirty years following the RPF October 1990 invasion, Kagame remains President of Rwanda:

“In a referendum held in 2015, voters approved amendments to the constitution that would allow Kagame [on behalf Washington] to serve a third seven-year term; in addition, he would be eligible to serve two five-year terms after that, giving him the potential to hold the office until 2034.

Shortly after the constitution was amended, Kagame announced that he would indeed stand in the upcoming 2017 presidential election; He easily won reelection in the August 4, 2017, poll, taking more than 98 percent of the vote in a landslide victory against the other two presidential candidates.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, emphasis added)

Michel Chossudovsky, August 15, 2023

The original source of this article is Global Research
Copyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2023
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Articles by:
Prof Michel Chossudovsky
About the author:
Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, Editor of Global Research. He has taught as visiting professor in Western Europe, Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. He has served as economic adviser to governments of developing countries and has acted as a consultant for several international organizations. He is the author of eleven books including The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003), America’s “War on Terrorism” (2005), The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the Twenty-first Century (2009) (Editor), Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011), The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity (2015). He is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. In 2014, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit of the Republic of Serbia for his writings on NATO’s war of aggression against Yugoslavia. He can be reached at crgeditor@yahoo.com
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