Western news media have long functioned as a propaganda arm of the state, concealing elite corruption at the heart of government: the collusion between corporate, financial and ruling power and the deeply anti-democratic nature of that power. Despite the formality of recurring elections and parliamentary style appearance, Western states are in the nuts-and-bolts of working power more accurately described as fascist corporate entities with a patina of popular democracy for window-dressing.
This week the world rewound more than a century – with the announcement that the European Union is to send troops to Central Africa.
This development has ominous resonance with how imperial rivalry historically played out in Africa and which eventually led to world war.
“Forcefulness seems to come easily to Mr Hollande abroad”, noted one commentator for the New York Times, who contrasted the French president’s ailing political performance at home with his robust foreign policy.
Where Francois Hollande looks weak and beleaguered on the national stage, registering as the most unpopular French president ever, his fortunes seem to rise abroad with a strident interventionist foreign policy. We saw that in September when the French president unseated the British as America’s “special friend” by declaring his country’s readiness to join Washington in a military assault on Syria.
For 40 years, the French government has been fighting a secret war in Africa, hidden not only from its people, but from the world. It has led the French to slaughter democrats, install dictator after dictator – and to fund and fuel the most vicious genocide since the Nazis. Today, this war is so violent that thousands are fleeing across the border from the Central African Republic into Darfur – seeking sanctuary in the world’s most notorious killing fields.