Week 6 Blog

Jordan Petruska

February 10, 2015

 

 

This week’s readings focused on the U.S. government’s measures of counter terrorism and levels of control in certain stated in Africa. America’s method of fighting terrorism has been done through cooperation with African police forces. The pursuit of America’s security objectives has been critiqued as a flawed strategy by Alice Hillis. America’s notion of using an organization like the USAID to improve counter-terrorism through African police forces is truly distorted. Hillis points out that this new alignment of U.S. aid has been targeted to fight Muslim extremism and to manoeuvre resources from disadvantaged communities like infrastructure, education, and health care, which not only puts more economic and social stress on the people but also becomes easy recruitment for terrorist groups.

Unlike in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States generally pursues its interests by proxy in Africa, depending on aid to partner nations more than on direct American force. This strategy has created a conundrum reminiscent of America’s cold war–era engagements. Though the United States provides funding, training, and military hardware to its allies, success in the war on terrorism is largely determined by the priorities and internal socio- political dynamics of African partner states. I believe it is important for the Bush-republican agenda for the U.S. to become involved through assistance in Africa with socio-political issues involving the greater demand of African oil and America’s economic competition with China.

 

The second article by Prestholdt continued to look at counter terrorism in Kenya as the Bush administration designating hostility towards the Muslim minority and Somali decent populations. This resulted in countless civil and human rights violations against Muslim communities such as discrimination, segregation, and enmity from police authority. Prestholdt notes that British Colonists first implemented this as they discriminated against Muslim Kenyans and the U.S. counter terrorism force reinforced these behaviours. This in turn is spun in a way through the media, which troubles me as the North American media often portrays Muslims to be armed, radical, and dangerous, which is embedded in Canadians with the additional notion that Muslims are dangerous and they are to be feared which of course is not true. This same situation was evident in the Middle East when the Bush administration used this type of counter terrorism which resulted in greater brutality, alienation, and extremism.

The final article was on Keenan’s Banana Theory of Terrorism, which looked at the war on terror in the Sahara-Sahel region and examined the ways in which the U.S. and Algeria constructed false information. This was apparent in El Para during the horrific hostage situation where authorities from both parties led on fabricated news. This does not surprise me at all as the entire media outlets in the United States is controlled and operated by six families, so the warp of true news is not always consistent, as the U.S. government does not want its people to be informed of everything that goes on overseas. The U.S. government used this ‘banana theory’ to relate U.S. troops into sub-Sahara Africa after telling the media that terrorists were also located in Africa instead of telling the public that the Bush administration wanted to dip its political power into their resources.

 

Discussion Questions:

 

  1. How can the national media i.e. CBC, CNN, FOX, Global, etc. impede on our involvement or knowledge of global events?
  2. How does America’s counter terrorist objectives along with the media have a racist fabric towards Africans and Muslims?
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