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This probably doesn't count as a diary, and if that's the case just consider this an open thread, but anyhoo....

Does anybody know just what the hell we're doing in Niger?  Does it have anything to do with the "yellowcake"?  Was a connection found between Niger and 9/11 that makes whatever  we're doing over there nice and legal?  Should we just trust the Commander In Chief on this because he knows what he's doing?  Can we afford to be doing shit like this when our economy's supposedly in the shitter and we have to trash the New Deal to make ends meet?

As you can see, I've got a lot of questions and no answers.  Enlighten me if you can.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Toss your empties here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Avila, Azazello, Pluto, Gardener in PA

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:04:53 PM PST

  •  Pres Obama is dealing with (0+ / 0-)

    global terrorism in this case in the right way. He's going to where Islamic militants are (in Central Africa) and especially in Mali and forging relationships (such as the treaty just signed with Niger) and conducting surveillance. We are setting up drone bases and (at least for now) all drones are unarmed spy drones. This is the smart way to protect us; sending troops into battle in places like Iraq is not. It doesn't matter if we trust President Obama or not - he was duly elected and has the power to do this. Sounds like a reasonable plan to me though.

  •  As for our interests in Niger, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I believe we now cue Chevron. A lot of oil there, with a LOT of environmental damage being done by US companies.

    Kind of a classic banana war of the early  1900s - we go out to protect US interests.

    "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

    by nzanne on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:46:08 PM PST

  •  here is what the news reports (0+ / 0-)

    Question is if we are making the right friends and fighting the right enemies.  The US does not have a great track record at this as seen by our track record where we go from aiding mujaheddin to fighting groups of them by proxy to invading the country to now, it seems, making a deal with them

  •  I still don't know why... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    ...we're in 90 percent of the countries we're in for that matter.  Including Japan.  Maybe with Japan we want to make sure they're not planning another Pearl Harbor.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:51:15 PM PST

  •  Africa is all about resources. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    I always look for an economic explanation, and that approach is not often wrong.

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:06:01 PM PST

  •  I keep a Google News service (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...pointed at AFRICOM -- the next front in the War on Terror.

    Enjoy. It's a front row seat, for now.

    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:13:20 PM PST

    •  The fun never ends because oil. (0+ / 0-)
      Primarily active in Nigeria’s largely Muslim north, Boko Haram grew out of a religious movement founded by Islamic sect leader Mohammed Yusuf. The group, whose name means "western education is sacrilegious," rejects Western-style democracy and calls for the implementation of Sharia law. Support for Boko Haram is rooted in crushing poverty and the marginalization of northern Nigeria, which has not benefitted from the introduction of democracy in 1999 in the same way as the political and business elite in the country have.

      Although Boko Haram remains a largely localized threat, General Carter Ham, commander of the U.S. military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), has warned that if left unchecked the group could become a broader threat. In light of these concerns, earlier this month General Ham confirmed that AFRICOM is providing intelligence support to the Nigerian Army to help combat the group’s activities. Furthermore, defense officials have also said that the U.S. is setting up a drone base in neighboring Niger to spy on suspected terrorists in the region. 40 U.S. troops arrived in Niger on Wednesday to help support drone flights, with operations said to be "imminent." Although the drones will only conduct surveillance missions initially, officials have also said that the Obama administration has not ruled out arming them in the future.

      The establishment of the drone base in Niger is particularly significant, given that it will open another front in the "global battlefield" by providing the Pentagon with a launching pad for operations in a region that is currently beyond the reach of its other drone bases. This deepening of U.S. involvement in Africa also carries with it the risk of further escalation in the future, potentially leading to the expansion of America’s accountability-and-due-process-free targeted assassination program. While no one should deny or condone Boko Haram’s activities, it remains important to highlight the increasing ability of the U.S. to pursue suspected terrorists with impunity around the globe.

      Denial is a drug.

      by Pluto on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:25:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  • (0+ / 0-)

    Has lots of information about the U.S. presence across the globe. Empires require lots of force.

  •  Still not seeing (0+ / 0-)

    any good reason for us to be there.  Perhaps the MIC is expanding now because a Republican would never get away with such things.

    You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

    by Johnny Q on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:16:31 PM PST

  •  'Yellow cake" that's stuff you can extract uranium (0+ / 0-)

    from to construct an atomic bomb with, right?

    •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

      and its nonexistence vis a vis Iraq is what tipped off the whole Valerie Plame thing that we decided to "look forward, not backward" on.  Same place and everything.

      Surely you heard about it.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:17:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The uranium mining in Niger (0+ / 0-)

        IIRC is done by the French and they keep a very close eye on how much is produced and where it goes. That was the information that Wilson came back with.
        I can't imagine that it now would turn out that he was wrong and the Bushies were truthful on this.
        But the establishment of a drone base is worrisome. Spying is one thing, bad enough, but if they start with armed drones there, that adds a whole new source of people with a major bone to pick with US.
        The whole armed drone idea needs to be scrapped.
        And at this point, I don't see any way to effect this.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 06:13:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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