The Militant (logo)  
   Vol. 67/No. 25           July 28, 2003  
U.S. hands off Liberia!
As U.S. president George Bush conducts a five-nation visit to Africa, the Pentagon has begun the deployment of what could be up to 2,000 troops to the West African country of Liberia. The troops are supposedly sent for “humanitarian relief” or “peacekeeping.”

Neither is true. The purpose of the deployment is to safeguard and extend Washington’s domination in West Africa, where Paris has been until recently the main power with former colonies and a sizeable military presence. When added to the several thousand Marines now training at a U.S. base in the former French colony of Djibouti, U.S. forces readied for Liberia will augment the number of “boots” on the ground—Pentagon parlance for troops—in Africa.

Washington is using Liberia as a cover for gaining a stronger foothold throughout Africa, eyeing particularly the oil fields in West Africa and off the coast there, and in the rest of the continent. This is what is behind Bush’s Africa tour, like that of his predecessor William Clinton in 1998. Under the pressure of sharpening interimperialist rivalry, the U.S. rulers aim to redivide control and influence over Africa’s natural resources and human labor in favor of U.S. imperialism.

The Liberia civil war has lasted 14 years. Washington is intervening now, selecting carefully an easy political target—President Charles Taylor, who has been branded a “war criminal”—to gain an edge on its rivals.

That’s the hidden reason behind Condoleeza Rice’s statements that Liberia is an example of a “failed state” becoming one of the “greater sources of terrorism.”

During his Africa tour Bush will dangle the carrot of a few billion dollars—a pittance compared to the need—to fight AIDS for a select groups of countries with which Washington has increasingly “cooperative” relations. That’s the same government whose policies result in reinforcing the imperialist domination and superexploitation of the African people, thus contributing greatly to the spread of AIDS!

All these moves, including intervention in Liberia, aim to alter the relationship of forces between Washington and its imperialist competitors in Africa and to reinforce the debt bondage of the continent’s peoples—a key means for siphoning off the wealth produced by Africa’s toilers and nature into the coffers of the imperialist ruling families.

These are the interests Washington is planning to safeguard by sending troops to Liberia. Working people should demand: U.S. hands off Liberia! All imperialist troops out of West Africa! Cancel the immoral and unpayable Third World foreign debt!
Related articles:
Washington prepares intervention in Africa
Troops send to Liberia aimed at stronger U.S. foothold on continent
French troops extend combat role in Congo  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home