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Trump and secessionism

While the neo-conservatives were hoping to create a « world revolution » by exporting their form of « democracy » by means of war, President Trump is basing his foreign policy on the respect for State sovereignty. Consequently, he has put a stop to all US support for separatism. Thierry Meyssan reminds us here of the ambiguities in the US position on secession, then demonstrates the common features of the events in Kenya, Iraq and Spain.

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Over the last few years, the CIA has supported secessionist movements in favour of the Luo people in Kenya, the Kurds in Iraq and the Catalans in Spain. These groups, which still believed only recently that they could create new artificial independent States, have been abandoned by the United States since Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House, and are now on the brink of collapse.

United States - secession, entirely at the service of organised pillage

The United States have always maintained a variable concept of the right of peoples to self-determination.

In 1861, Washington would not accept the will of the Southern States to continue living as a Confederation, while the Northern States intended to impose a Federation with customs duties and a single central Bank. As soon as he was elected to the White House, President Abraham Lincoln put down the secession. It was only during the civil war that followed that the moral question of slavery progressively identified the two sides. It is very easy today to forget the million people who died in this war and condemn the Confederates as racists, while at the beginning of the conflict the question of slavery had nothing to do with it, and the Federation also included several « slave » states.

During the construction of the Panama Canal, just before the First World War, Washington invented a Panamanian people, supported their movement to separate from Colombia, and was the first country to recognise their independence. Washington then installed an important military base and took over the construction of the Canal, de facto, right under the noses of the French investors. As for the pseudo independence, President Omar Torrijos, who renegotiated the sovereignty of the Canal in 1977, never saw it come to fruition, and was murdered in a plane crash. The Chief of Staff, General Manuel Noriega, never saw it either, when Washington decided to get rid of him at the end of the war against the Sandinistas (Iran-Contras). Accused of having been responsible for the death of a US soldier in 1989, he was imprisoned by the United States Army, and his country was then devastated during Operation « Just Cause » (sic).

Washington therefore has no moral authority concerning the right of people to self-determination.

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Kenya - the « good use » of racism

Kenya has only been independent for 53 years. Despite the influence of the Communist Party during the struggle for independence, the population remains organised along tribal lines. From then on, the conflict opposing outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his perennial challenger, Raila Odinga, has been a rivalry between the Kikuyus, who represent 22 % of the population, and the Luos, who represent only 13 %, but who, allied with the Kalenjins, can unite 24 % of the electorate. Over the last few years, the majority has been fluctuating ceaselessly with every change in the ephemeral alliance between the Luos and the Kelanjins. Historically, it was above all the Kikuyus who obtained the independence of their country and had to face, in the 1950’s, the terrifying barbarity of the British repression [1]. It was the Kikuyus who won the Presidency in 1964, with Jomo Kenyatta. He chose as his Prime Minister a Luo leader, Oginga Odinga, who stood with him against apartheid and the monopolisation of the agricultural lands by the colonists. However, the tandem did not work, and now, half a century later, they are faced with an enduring conflict which sets their children one against the other.

Any political reading of this rivalry quickly reaches its limits, because the leaders of both sides have frequently changed their minds and their alliances – the only constant fact being their ethnic difference. No democracy can function in a tribal or ethnic society, and it takes a minimum of a century to evolve from clan-based allegiance to personal responsibility. Everyone must therefore accept Kenya for what it is – a society in transition within which neither ethnic nor democratic rules can fully function.

In 2005, the Kikuyu President formed an alliance with China. In reaction, the CIA gave its support to his Luo opponent. When they discovered that a US parliamentarian was a Luo, and that his father had been an advisor for Oginga Odinga, the CIA organised a trip to Kenya in support of Raila Odinga. Inserting himself into local political life, the senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, held electoral meetings with Raila in 2006, and went so far as to affirm that he was his cousin [2].

Since the United States organised a vast provocation by sending racist SMS messages to the Luos when the results of the Presidential elections were made public, and events degenerated, causing the death of more than a thousand people and 300,000 displaced, this operation has been expunged from memory.

Cambridge Analytica (CA), a firm close to the Pentagon which participated in the US campaign of Ted Cruz and then that of Donald Trump, acted as the advisor to Uhuru Kenyatta during the Presidential campaigns of 2013 and 2017 (in other words, while Steve Bannon was briefly a share-holder of the company) [3]. As for Odinga, he called on Aristotle Inc., a company which is possibly linked to the assassination of Chris Msando, the number 2 of the IT service of the electoral committee, who was killed by persons unknown on 29 July [4]. .

In any case, in the context of the disorder of the IT service of the electoral committee, Raila Odinga managed to have the 2017 Presidential election cancelled and then refused to present himself when the time came for a new election. The idea was to launch the secession of the Luo territory. Odinga then claimed the annexation of the Luo territories of East and Central Africa in the name of the work already completed by his father, the Ker (spiritual leader) of the Luos, Oginga Odinga.

However, the US embassy suddenly backed away from its ex-protégé. Having boycotted the second ballot of the Presidential election and discovering that he had been abandoned, Raila Odinga demanded a new cancellation and a third ballot.

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Iraqi Kurdistan – as in Israël and Rhodesia, independence for the colonists

In the framework of its plan for remodelling the Greater Middle East, the Pentagon had envisaged, as from 11 September 2001, to dismember Iraq into three distinct States, one of which was to be awarded to the Kurdish population. A variation of this idea rose to prominence after the proposition by the Council on Foreign Relations, in 2006, to federalise the country into three autonomous regions [5]. The project was presented as a bipartite proposition to the US Senate by Joe Biden (D.) and Sam Brownback (Rep.). However, the Israëli Chief of Staff pushed to make these three entities effectively independent so that they could install missiles on the frontiers of Northern Syria and Western Iran.

The word « Kurd » designates a nomad people who lived and travelled all over the Near East. In the 19th century, some of these people settled in what is now Turkey, in a region where they became the majority. During Operation Desert Storm, in 1991, the United States and the United Kingdom created two no-fly zones, one of which became the refuge of the Kurds opposed to President Saddam Hussein. Iraqi society was organised along tribal lines – the Sunni Kurds followed the Barzani family, while the Chiite Kurds followed the Talabani family and the Yazidi Kurds followed the Baba Cheikh (spiritual leader). With the regrouping of the population in the no-fly zone, a rivalry blew up between the Barzanis and the Talabanis. The former called on President Saddam Hussein, asking him to get rid of the latter, but Hussein was following a different agenda. In any case, when « Saddam » fell, in 2003, the United States placed the Barzanis at the head of the region which was now known as « Iraqi Kurdistan ». During the second war against Syria, the CIA used Iraqi Kurdistan in particular in order to supply the jihadists with weapons. In 2014, when it organised the Caliphate, it authorised the Barzanis to profit from the confusion and conquer new territories. Their stronghold grew progressively by 80 %, annexing the Muslim Arab and Christian populations. On their way, the Barzanis allowed the jihadists to massacre or enslave the Yazidi Kurds.

When, in contradiction of his country’s imperialist policy, President Trump decided to destroy Daesh, and set his armies to work, the non-Kurdish populations living under the yoke of the Barzanis asked to be connected with Baghdad once again. In order to maintain his grip on power beyond his term, President Massoud Barzani pretended that it was impossible to organise elections during the war, and organised a referendum on independence. This was a way for him both to regularise his power and also recognise his territorial conquests.

During the referendum campaign, the Barzanis assured that they enjoyed the support of 80 States, including the USA and France, who would come to their help if Iraq and its neighbours refused independence. Barzani’s allies, although they assured that this was not the right moment for independence, nonetheless avoided denying the position that the Barzanis had allotted them – with the exception of Israël, which publicly supported independence. Many States were more subtle, and sent high representatives to the region, thus showing by deed rather than words that they did indeed support the Barzanis.

However, once the results of the phony ballot were in, and the Barzanis announced that the people were 92 % in favour of independence, and thus de facto in favour of their dictatorship, Iraq, Turkey and Iran threatened military intervention. But none of the 80 States named by the Barzanis reacted. This was because in the meantime, President Trump had opposed both the project for the partition of Iraq and the recognition of the conquests of the Iraqi Kurds.

All of a sudden, the balloon deflated. Turkey and Iran, who were preparing a joint invasion of the new State, were suddenly overtaken by the Iraqi intervention. Within 48 hours, the troops from Baghdad freed the territories annexed by Erbil, while more than 100,000 Kurdish colonists fled the scene. However, they did not continue their progression to Erbil, thus admitting the legitimacy of the historical claims of the Kurdish people, but rejecting the pretentions of the Barzanis concerning an alleged Kurdistan on Arab territory.

A great number of Iraqi Kurds refused to support the independence of the pseudo Kurdistan. This was first of all the case of the Yazidis, who, on 25 July, created their own autonomous province, named Ezidikhan [6], and this was followed by the cantons of Germian and Souleimaniye, once the most severely repressed by Saddam Hussein, which boycotted the election [7], and then the Chiites and the Talabani family, who welcomed General Qasem Soleimani of the Revolutionary Guards, who had come to prepare the liberation of the Arab territories, and finally the colonists, who left to settle in Kirkuk, and who find themselves today in a similar situation to the French pieds-noirs during the independence of Algeria.

Isolated, Massoud Barzani has just resigned, probably to the profit of his nephew, Nechirvan Barzani.

Catalonia – false secessionists and real conspirators

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“Catalonia Today”, Carles Puigdemont’s English-language magazine, targets his Anglo-Saxon supporters.

Some people believe that Catalan independency was forged in the resistance to fascism. They’re wrong. The first Catalan independent party, Estat Català, was founded in 1922, in other words, just before the dictatorships of Miguel Primo de Rivera and Francisco Franco in Spain.

Some people believe that its founder, Francesc Macià (the « grand-father »), intended to create an independent State which had never existed, in order to save the region of Barcelona from fascism. They’re wrong. He hoped to annex Andorra, the South-East of France and a part of Sardinia because, according to him, « Catalonia » is oppressed by Andorra, Spain, France and Italy.

Some people believe that Catalan independentists are pacifists. They’re wrong. In 1926, Francesc Macià attempted a coup d’État after having enrolled a hundred or so Italian mercenaries and organising an army.

Some people believe that the Catalan independentists are historically left-wing. They’re wrong. In 1928, in Havana, Francesc Macià, founded the Catalan Revolutionary Separatist Party, with the help of the pro-US Cuban dictator, Gerardo Machado,..

The Catalan independentists have never been supported by the anti-imperialist States, and in particular, not by the USSR during the Spanish war (although Francesc Macià went to ask for help from Moscow as early as 1924, where he gained the support of Boukharine and Zinoviev). At the most, Macià was able to form alliances with members of the Second Internationale.

Claiming to be inspired directly by Macià, (and not his ex-leader, Jordi Pujol), and thus implicitly supporting the project for the annexation of Andorra and parts of France and Italy, Carles Puigdemont has never attempted to hide his Anglo-Saxon supporters. He is a journalist, and created a monthly magazine in order to keep his sponsors up to date with the evolution of his combat. Obviously enough, it is not in Catalan, but in English - Catalonia Today, of which his wife, the Roumanian Marcela Topor, has become the editor in chief. He also animates associations which promote Catalan independency, not in Spain but overseas they are financed by George Soros [8].

The Catalan independentists, like their Luo and Iraqi Kurd counterparts, have not integrated the change that has taken place in the White House. Relying on the Parliament, where they occupy a majority of seats, although they registered a minority of the votes cast during their election, they proclaimed independence following the referendum of 1 October 2017. They believed they could count on the support of the United States and consequently that of the European Union. But President Trump did not support them any more than he supports the Luos and the Iraqi Kurds. As a result, the European Union remains opposed to this new State.

Conclusion

The above examples of secessionism have no connection with decolonisation, which gave birth to the right of peoples to self-determination. Indeed, in these three cases, the States mentioned are not viable unless they annex other territories which have asked for nothing, as is hoped by Raila Odinga and Carles Puidgdemont, and as Massoud Barzani had anticipated.

It is common today to hear the claim that President Trump is mentally ill, that he supports those nostalgic for racist Confederacies, and that he has no foreign policy. Nonetheless, we note that he has managed for the moment to halt the operations launched by his predecessors and maintain relative stability in Kenya, Iraq and Spain. That’s worth pointing out.

Translation
Pete Kimberley

[1] Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Foreign Policy, Mark Curtis, Random House, 2008.

[2] « L’expérience politique africaine de Barack Obama », par Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, 9 mars 2013.

[3] “Uhuru hires data firm behind Trump, Brexit victories”, Gideon Keter, The Star (Nairobi), May 10, 2017.

[4] “Canadian working with Kenya opposition party detained, to be deported”, The Globe and Mail, August 5, 2017. “An American working for the Kenyan opposition describes his harrowing abduction and deportation”, Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times, August 10, 2017.

[5] “Unity Through Autonomy in Iraq”, Joe Biden & Leslie H. Gelb, The New York Times, May 1, 2006.

[6] “Establishment of the Provisional Government of Ezidikhan”, Voltaire Network, 25 July 2017.

[7] «Le Kurdistan n’a pas besoin de grands propagandistes», Aras Fahta & Marwan Kanie, Le Monde, 18 mai 2017.

[8] “George Soros financió a la agencia de la paradiplomacia catalana”, Quico Sallés, La Vanguardia, 16 de agosto de 2016.

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