Soros, France and the War on Africa: The New Scramble for Africa [Part 1]
GEARÓID Ó COLMÁIN
Part one of a six-part series
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio recently accused France of profiting from Africa’s exploitation, while neglecting to contribute towards the continent’s economy — a negative perception of French foreign policy widely shared among Africans.
However, speaking in 2017 about corruption allegations against Presidential candidate Francois Fillon, former director of Transparency International Daniel Lebegue (pictured below) said that there had been a “change of culture” in France. Henceforth, he argued, citizens would no longer accept corruption in any form. He credited his organization for that change.
The history of French involvement in Africa since independence is a veritable cesspool of corruption. During the Cold War, leaders who favored national development over the corporate interests of Parisian elites were regularly denounced as Soviet stooges and overthrown. Today, international anti-corruption agencies operate at the highest level of global governance.
But what if the global anti-corruption agencies are themselves the root of a far deeper corruption in the world? In the words of Juvenal, “QUIS custodiet ipsos custodes – who guards the guardians themselves?”
On 26 January, an international arrest warrant was issued by the government of Equatorial Guinee against Daniel Lebegue and French lawyer William Bourdon. The two men are being charged with terrorism. In any functioning democracy, the arrest warrant would have made front-page news, given the gravity of the accusations. But apart from a short report in Radio France Internationale, the news was largely ignored by the French media.
*(Daniel Lebegue. Image courtesy of PRODURABLE/YouTube)
What exactly is the government of Equatorial Guinee accusing these men of? Is there any evidence to back up their claims? Could there be a conspiracy by the French government and international agencies to destabilize certain African governments? What would the geopolitical and cultural implications of such a conspiracy be?
As accusations of terrorism are made against top French judges and politicians, Vincent Bolloré, the “all-powerful” French tycoon who controls most of Africa, is being investigated by the French judiciary for corruption. Unlike the extremely serious and scarcely-reported arrest warrants against Bourdon and Lebegue for terrorism, the accusations against Vincent Bolloré for corrupting African officials are receiving extensive media coverage. Is there a link between the two stories? I will prove that there is, and understanding why will enable us to project how French policy in Africa is likely to develop in the near future.
The name Vincent Bolloré has become synonymous with “La Franc-Afrique” or French-Africa, a pejorative term used to describe the incestuous relationship between corrupt African elites and their French counterparts. It is a situation which has perdured since decolonization in the 1960s. The French industrialist owns most of West Africa’s ports and has invested heavily in transport, new technologies, media and cinema.
*(Vincent Bolloré. Image credit: Wikimedia)
But in recent years, Bolloré’s African empire has begun to decline and many are now predicting the beginning of the end for France’s prodigious billionaire. Press reports accuse the magnate of “corruption” in the obtention of African port concessions, and demonstrations in Paris against “la France-Afrique” have morphed into demonstrations against Vincent Bolloré. He is being accused of propping up African dictators who rob and oppress their people. Bolloré has even been placed under house arrest.
But is Vincent Bolloré really to blame for all of Africa’s woes? Bolloré is certainly a ruthless capitalist whose influence over French politicians has helped his African interests. Given his prominent role in Africa during successive French interventions, his dossier of corruption could be far more serious than what he is being currently charged with. But I will argue that there is another network of billionaires who want to destroy Bolloré and their social, political and cultural agenda is more detrimental to Africa’s future than that of Vincent Bolloré. The billionaires in question are drumming up public outrage against Bolloré while using a vast and well-organized galaxy of NGOs and civil society networks to dismantle the French oligarch’s African empire — maneuvers which could plunge several African states into chaos. At the head of this international effort is hedge-fund billionaire and philanthropist George Soros.
In order to understand why this is happening, we need to consider the economic and geopolitical importance of Africa for the great powers and, more importantly, the globalist oligarchs who control them. We will then examine three African countries in particular, namely Equatorial Guinee, Guinee and Togo where globalist elites are waging hybrid warfare using juridical, ideological, media and military tools to destabilize those governments. In reality, however, almost every nation in Africa is being targeted by these elites. If their efforts succeed, the chaos will not just spread throughout Africa; it will cross the Mediterranean into the heart of Europe, accentuating a migration crisis which is already out of control.
African states have no legitimacy
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s recent comment claiming fraudulence in the election of President Felix Tshisekedi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is another poignant example of France’s and the EU’s refusal to respect the sovereignty of African states. In the run-up to DRC elections, the European media had clearly favored Martin Fayulu, and it was, therefore, unsurprising to hear claims of fraudulence after Tshikekedi’s election.
Only international agencies approved by Western elites have the authority to say who the winner is in any African election. The objectivity of those agencies is never called into question. The sovereignty of the African states is invariably ignored, with the charge that African countries are incorrigibly corrupt and thus incapable of governing themselves. The deeply condescending and racist attitude towards Africa pervades all the mainstream media. The neocolonialist attitude of the EU and the United States contrasts conspicuously with the respect for sovereignty and international law observed by Russia and China. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that those countries are increasing their influence in Africa.
All experts agree that Africa will be among the great emerging powers of the 21st century. It is therefore inevitable that the great powers will vie for control of the continents abundant resources. The United States, China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil and increasingly Turkey are all competing for contracts in what many now call the “new scramble for Africa.“ But what role is France playing in the new geopolitical struggle for the continent?
As China and the United States deepen their involvement in Africa, France’s future “Great Power” status will depend on its ability to pursue an independent African policy to the United States, one which would promote stability and continuity of government, favorable loans for the construction of infrastructure and technological development, as well as the promotion of Francophonie as a cultural and civilizational space beneficial both to the “metropole” and Francophone countries. But above all, respect for the sovereignty of African states and the promotion of culture would allow France to gain soft-power in Africa – to the benefit of French and African companies.
France’s globalist nightmare
However, the control of France’s economy by international financiers prevents the government from developing coherent domestic and foreign policies which would serve the long-term public interest. The creditors and bond-holders of the French economy are encouraging mass immigration from Africa to reduce the cost of labor and dilute the domestic population’s desire for patriotic governance, while at the same time wresting political power from France to the European Union, the United States and the United Nations. In order to maintain mass immigration, African countries must be kept in subservience to the interests of the international power-elite. The result of this policy is the impoverishment of both France and African Francophone countries.
In his books, The Pentagon’s New Map and Blueprint for Action, Former Pentagon Strategist General Thomas Barnett argues that US foreign policy consists of ensuring a constant flow of migrants from African countries into Europe, where they would be encouraged to miscegenate with ethnic Europeans. Furthermore, Barnett contends that the diasporas of African countries in Europe could easily be manipulated into supporting military adventures against their own countries in the name of human rights and democracy.
It is all part of the ‘Five Flows of Globalization’ theory: the free flow of money, people, security, energy and food. According to neoliberal dogma, all of these flows must favor the interests of monopoly capitalism.
One of the central features of globalization since the fall of the Berlin Wall has been the proliferation of international NGOs. Thousands of NGOs operate in Africa and are often used as a cover for covert military operations. During the Nigerian Civil war (1967-1970), France backed the secessionist state of Biafra, while the USA, Britain and the USSR supported the Nigerian government. A young French doctor called Bernard Kouchner was accused of instrumentalizing humanitarian NGOs for war propaganda. The complex geopolitics and France’s military engagement in the conflict were ignored by the French press; instead, cries of “genocide” were used to justify French support for the Biafran separatists.
The “left-wing” Grand Orient Lodge of Freemasonry in France was instrumental in calling for French humanitarian intervention, while rabbis reminded the French public of the dangers of another holocaust. A new form of warfare had been invented, where human rights and humanitarian concerns would provide cover for military and geopolitical interests, through compliant media.
Since 2010 France has conducted a series of military interventions in Africa: Ivory Coast in 2010, Libya in 2011, Mali in 2012, and the Central African Republic in 2013. In each of these interventions, NATO intelligence agencies and special forces were instrumental in provoking internal violence as a pretext for intervention and regime change.
The ousting of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has left what was formerly Africa’s richest country in chaos, 8 years after the war. NGOs such as the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) played a key role in justifying the NATO bombing campaign in Libya. The organization provided misinformation concerning massacres of civilians by mercenaries working for Colonel Gaddafi and bombing of civilians by the Libyan air force, misinformation which was used as a pretext to justify a no-fly zone.
Respectable NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch were also instrumental in creating a media consensus that Colonel Gaddafi was “killing his own people. ”Former French ambassador to Libya Christian Graeff told France Culture in October 2011 that the lies and disinformation of the French media during the war were so extreme as to constitute a “miserable and contemptible farce”.
The French interventions created a massive wave of immigration into Europe. Countries such as the Central African Republic are still under the control of the militia, while Libya remains in chaos.
Many political scientists believe Western powers do not destabilize developing countries because investors want peace and stability. It is true that most industrialists want stability. For example, French industrialist Vincent Bolloré has profited from the relative stability of West African states where his companies are currently operating in. One of the world’s richest men, Bolloré controls most of West Africa’s ports. Stability is extremely important for an investor in transport and logistics. The network of companies and commercial contracts which depend on the Bolloré Group is also a factor of stability in France’s ailing economy. But France, like the United States, is a military-industrial-media-intelligence complex. When the powerful military wing of the system decides on war, clever industrialists know how to maintain their interests in the countries targeted by the war lobby. Thus far, Bolloré has not been too affected by French interventions in Africa, but that situation may be about to change.
One of the key weaknesses in French foreign policy is the absence of long-term planning: policies tend to change according to the particular networks or syndicates of interests in power. We have already mentioned that the Bolloré Group, which hitherto seemed invincible, has begun to lose important contracts in West and Central Africa. Indeed, many are now predicting the end of the Bolloré empire. Vincent Bolloré is coming increasingly under the spotlight for corruption allegations regarding the obtention of port concessions. Bolloré’s close relationship with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy will not plead in the French magnate’s favor. Sarkozy should be indicted for war crimes and crimes against humanity, particularly for his role in destabilizing the Ivory Coast, Libya and Syria.
But unbeknownst to the public, there are significant geopolitical and ideological forces behind the attempt to bring down the Bolloré Group. Another network of commercial, financial and geopolitical interests is trying to eject Bolloré from Africa. It is a network linked to one of the world’s wealthiest and most notorious oligarchs: George Soros.
We will come to Soros in a moment. But first, let’s take a closer look at Bolloré.
Who is Vincent Bollore?
The Bolloré business began as a paper paper manufacturing firm in 1822 near Quimper in Britanny and was founded by Nicolas Le Mairie. The company known as ‘papeteries d’Odet’ was taken over by Le Mairie’s nephew by marriage Jean-René Bolloré (1818-1881). Vincent’s uncle Gwen-Ael Bolloré was vice-president of the company from 1952 to 1974. A French patriot, Gwen-Ael was among the first troops to serve in the liberation of France in 1945. He was also a poet, novelist, oceanographer and filmmaker.
The business produced paper for cigarettes and scritta paper for Bibles, dictionaries and encyclopedias. Vincent Bolloré is said to be a fervent Catholic.
A former co-director of the Rothschild company, Bolloré took over the business in 1981 and is currently the sixth generation to run the family business. Bolloré became a protégée of one France’s most important bankers Antoine Bernheim and is close to influential French businessman Claude Bébéar.
The Bolloré Group is now a massive paper-energy-plantations and logistics conglomerate, employing 28,000 people around the world. In 2014, Bolloré became president of Vivendi, the French mass media conglomerate. The company controls Canal Plus Group, Universal Music Group, Havas, Flavors, Gameloft, Dailymotion (90%), Mediaset (28.80%), Banjay Group (28.4%) and Telecom Italia (23.94%). The media acquisitions have made Bolloré a mass media mogul. We will see later how Bolloré’s increasing control over the mass media poses problems for elites of an entirely different philosophical persuasion.
Bollore’s involvement in Africa began towards the end of the 1980s when he took over the French Maritime company Delmas. The old French colonial networks associated with the Rivaud Bank are also said to have helped Bolloré to get a foothold in the continent.
Long considered to be the bank of the right-wing UMP party, the Rivaud Bank is among the most secretive companies in France. Founded by Eduard de Ribes and Jean de Beaumont during the Third Republic, the bank is close to the French aristocracy and rentier bourgeoisie and was the principal motor behind French colonialism in Africa. Vincent Bolloré is currently the chief shareholder of the bank.
Bolloré African Logistics control 14 ports in Africa and 23 dry ports. Due to the structural reforms imposed on African countries by the International Monetary Fund during the 1980s, heavily indebted African countries had to privatize their ports. Known for his aggressive business tactics, Bolloré managed to obtain concessions in many strategic ports in West Africa and the Gulf of Guinee.
It is important to consider the above information when assessing the hidden agenda behind the current accusations of corruption against the French magnate the media routinely call “authoritarian”. Current French policy in Africa is based on opposition to all forms of “authoritarianism” and support for “revolutionary” movements. It is a new type of warfare which hides behind political correctness. President Macron recently said in Algeria that colonialism was a crime against humanity. Macron’s comments are deeply dishonest given his support for neocolonial wars in the Middle East and Africa. Macron is close to the Grand Orient Lodge of Freemasonry. This “left-wing” section of the French bourgeoisie is the most outspoken proponent of humanitarian wars and regime change, while at the same time militating for the annihilation of what little remains of old Catholic France, in the name of human rights, bienpensance and global governance. Macron has even said that French culture does not exist. There is nothing the liberal media love more than the spectacle of practising Roman Catholics like Bolloré prosecuted for corruption. For, as the title of his recent book reveals, Macron is a proponent of revolution George Soros-style. And the time has come to install a new generation of African rulers.
Who is George Soros?
George Soros’ name has become synonymous with globalization. Born in Hungary in 1930 Geörgy Schwartz’s father made a living by confiscating Jewish property before they were sent to concentration camps. Soros has said he has no regrets about his Nazi collaboration – which might give us some insight into how this man thinks!
After the war, Soros attended the London School of Economics where he followed the lectures of Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, author of the seminal book The Open Society and its Enemies. Popper insisted that only a free market economy would guarantee the rights and freedoms of individuals. Popper argued that the philosophy of Georg Frederich Hegel had led to the formation of modern totalitarian states. The Austrian philosopher’s work became popular during the Cold War as an ideological tool against the Soviet Union and China. Soros’ interpretation of Hegel forms the basis of much neoliberal and left-libertarian politics today.
Soros used Popper’s work to pursue his own financial interests: wherever there were states which prevented unfettered access to markets by international investors, Soros would finance organizations which would break down those states: they would be labelled “closed states” and “authoritarian”. Soros’ organizations would endeavor to make them “open societies.”
He also realized that financing social movements would gain the billionaire political soft power as a “philanthropist.” By investing in philanthropy foundations, Soros would be exempt from tax; thus, the more money he spent on civil society organizations, the more money he would make through revolutionary political transformations. Soros’ Open Society foundations soon spread throughout the world. They were instrumental in bringing down the Soviet Union and the popular democracies of Eastern Europe – opening up those societies to vulture capitalism and neoliberal political economy.
Since the 1990s, Soros has been instrumental in the financing of a galaxy of international NGOs from Human Rights Watch to Reporters without Borders, who endeavor to bring down “authoritarian” rulers inimical to Soros’ expanding power. In most cases, the interests of Soros coincide with those of the US Council on Foreign Relations and other US globalist think tanks. The Soros empire therefore tends to operate through the US foreign policy establishment and military-industrial-media complex. But in recent times, it has taken aim against the Trump administration.
An important financer of President Obama in 2008 and of Hillary Clinton in 2016, George Soros is a Maecenas of left-liberal causes. He finances radical “anti-neoliberals” such as Naomi Klein and Amy Goodman, while also championing the work of neoliberals such as Jeffrey Sachs. The influence goes all the way to the Vatican. In fact, some Catholic writers believe Soros and the Obama administration may have been involved in forcing Pope Benedict XVI to resign.
In part two we will expose the three principal tools used by Soros and the globalists to destabilize Africa: Juridical, military and civil society. What will emerge is a complex international network of interests attempting to destabilize West African states who are moving closer to Russia and China. A key target of that destabilization is Bollore’s African empire. Our enquiry will show that Vincent Bolloré, though certainly no angel, is becoming a scapegoat for an international syndicate of globalists whose corruption is hidden by the media outlets they control.
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