AFRICOM, American Imperialism and Media Control

17 Feb

The US government has military based operations in Africa due to a deal they made with the government of Algeria to create terrorist activities. Algeria is aided by the US military and in return, the US gains access to oil for corporations overseas in the Saharan desert. The events leading up to the creation of the US Military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), were stirred up by a planned terrorist plot between Algeria and the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC). Prior to the September 11 attacks in the US, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika met with President George W. Bush in an attempt to gain military assistance to counter terrorism.

The request was denied, until Bush announced his new global war on terror. In February 2003, the GSPC led by El Para abducted 32 Europeans touring the southern Sahara in Algeria. El Para took the Europeans in a convoy headed toward Mali, supposedly undetected by US and Algeria. Later hostages claimed they witnessed US Air Force Boeing E-3 Sentry planes hovering over the convoy while it was in route.

US Special Forces and troops from Chad and Niger captured the leader of El Para, but he was somehow let go by the Algerian military. One Algerian official said he was no longer needed. US propaganda began with Air Force Magazine describing the Sahara as “a swamp of terror.” Now the US had enough terrorist activity in Africa to report to Congress, in order to push forth US government involvement in Algeria. Since AFRICOM was created, US military has been based in Africa and planned terrorist attacks such as terrorists overtaking the nation of Mali justifies their reasoning for occupying Africa.

The US media is forbidden to report on suspected hidden agendas by the government, as demonstrated in War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning US to Death Pt. II. Colin Powell presentation of reports on weaponry in Iraq were later declared false, but were not to be questioned at that time. Reporters who raised suspicion on US claims were often fired from television stations, as Phil Donahue was censored by the NBC network. Journalists were encouraged to be silent on speaking against the war.

The US did find a way to manipulate the public, and embedded trained journalists in Iraq to report on a pseudo-environment created for propaganda and PR purposes. The embedded journalists showed no objectivity of the war in Iraq, and became biased due to the special attention and bonding the troops gave them. In contrast, journalists covering the war in Vietnam depicted the reality of the situation.


Martin Murphy. Brian. “The ‘New’ American Imperialism in Africa: Secret Sahara Wars and AFRICOM.”

Earp, Jeremy. Alper, Loretta. 2007. War Made Easy – How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death


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