US forces exiting Iraq, Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize winner losing war, Islamic State flexes muscles in Mozambique and DRC
It is impossible to cover all the wars that have raged on planet earth in one short show, seeing that the year 2021 delivered its own critical mass of violent evidence from all corners of the globe. But, for those who do not believe multiple blindspots exist on planet political earth, let us quickly run through the Blindspot themes from number five to twenty.
Whether war takes Cognitive form, as covered in Blindspot #017, or war waged from the comfortable distance of a remote control pod from where missiles are launched via unmanned drones to kill and maim from high in the sky as covered in Blindspot #010 on Drone kill strikes and posthuman geopolitics, war has clearly taken centre stage and rooted itself deeply in the covered blindspots from past months.
Blindspot asks whether a reality of war is presenting itself as perpetual motion machine that keeps the wheels of deception turning, wrongly, or rightly so?
Nevertheless, fresh from Blindspot’s Bunker 42 editorial desk, today we choose to visit a few controversial battlefronts lining the landscapes of planet earth, being:
1 – Mozambique & DRC Islamist insurgencies
Sometimes it is necessary for Blindspot to say ‘we told you so.’ In the last weeks it was warned that troop contributing countries to the fight against the Islamist insurgency in northern Mozambique, will paint invisible targets on those country’s backs. Well, this week we look at a report form the Soufan Center indicating how Islamists from northern Mozambique are staging incursions into southern Tanzania.
In an IntelBrief the Soufan Center draws attention to the increased levels of activity of the Islamic State in Northern Mozambique, and the Eastern DRC. Actions taken by forces in both countries include attempted- as well as successful prison breaks. In the Congo ISCAP freed more than 1,300 prisoners, among them hundreds of Islamist fighters with the goal of replenishing ranks. Islamist forces in Mozambique similarly staged a brave but, for now, fruitless attempt, to break prisoners free in Cabo del Gado province.
To illustrate the coordinated actions taken by the two Islamic State outfits in DRC and Mozambique, the Soufan Center argues:
“One of the reasons why Islamic State recognized ISCAP as a province in April 2019 is that the militants in Congo and Mozambique had already pledged loyalty to then ‘caliph,’ Abubakar al-Baghdadi, and demonstrated they were capable of holding territory. Since April 2019, Islamic State has certainly not regretted naming them as a province. The jihadists in Mozambique have seized territory in the north of the country, especially around Cabo Delgado province, and even increasingly incurred into Tanzania since October. This has most recently prompted South Korea to issue a travel warnings to its citizens about southern Tanzania. Other countries are likely to follow. Meanwhile, the jihadists in Congo have carried out sporadic high-profile attacks, even though they have not seized as much territory as their allied fighters in Mozambique. The prison break in Congo will, however, lead to not only formerly imprisoned jihadists rejoining ISCAP, but also other criminals who have now been freed. This boost in ISCAP’s manpower can be expected to lead to an increase in attacks in Congo in the weeks and months ahead. Islamic State, which is no longer as strong as it once was in the Levant, will no doubt relish claiming more of these ISCAP attacks to portray the caliphate’s continued global reach.”
2 – USA withdrawing from Iraq
Following hot on the heels of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, come the news that the USA aims to have withdrawn its forces from Iraq by 31 December 2021. According to the Middle East Monitor a contingent of ‘advisors’ will stay behind in the country to provide training, for intelligence purposes, arming and equipping Iraqi forces. But, for an interesting perspective on this withdrawal plan, and its implications, let us look at a clip from PressTV.
3 – Ethiopia’s Nobel Peace Prize winner waging war from the frontlines against TPLF
It seems as if a Nobel Peace prize is the main qualification needed to wage war. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced that he will lead military forces from the frontline in the life-and-death battle for control over territory and ultimately the state.
As recently as 12 December it was reported by AFP that Tigray rebels had re-taken the town of Lalibela. AFP reports:
“Tigray rebels have recaptured the north Ethiopian town of Lalibela, home to a Unesco world heritage site, 11 days after Ethiopian forces said they had retaken control, local residents have said. It marks another twist in the 13-month-old conflict that has killed thousands of people and triggered a humanitarian crisis in the north of Africa’s second most populous nation. Lalibela, 400 miles north of Addis Ababa, is home to 11 medieval monolithic cave churches hewn into the red rock and is a key pilgrimage site for Ethiopian Christians. Tigrayan fighters “are in the town centre, there’s no fighting,” one resident said on Sunday afternoon.”
It is notable that the military confrontation in the country has far reaching regional implications, not only in terms of stability. The weakening, and ultimate fragmentation of the Ethiopian state raises the spectre of increased regional impact, and global involvement. It is for example to be expected that Egypt, already vehemently opposed to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, under construction in the upper Blue Nile. The dam is located close to Tigray territory. Both Egypt and Sudan’s reliance on the Nile as water source makes it likely that it could attract involvement from these countries to halt, and in their eyes, ideally stop work on this project altogether.
F William Engdahl, writing in the New Eastern Outlook, argues that there are rumours doing the rounds that US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Feltman, has been playing a shadowy role in Ethiopia. Engdahl argues:
“Washington and several EU states are playing a covert role in fanning the war, while posing as “neutral.” The Biden Administration, guided on its Horn of Africa policies by Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman, sanctioned Isaias and his Eritrean military for its role in the war on November 12, tilting the odds to advantage potentially of the TPLF.
On November 21, a secret meeting via zoom took place moderated by Ephraim Isaac.
Ephriam Isaac was close to the late TPLF Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, and was instrumental in helping to bring the TPLF to power in 1991. Present at the recent zoom meet were also Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for African Affairs during the Zenawi era, along with Donald Yamamoto, one of the US government’s most senior Africa experts who just retired. And former and present senior diplomats from UK, France, and the EU. They all agreed that as Huddleston said, “Abiy should step down, there should be an all-inclusive transition government.” The secret video conference suggests that NATO countries, led by the US, are going out of their way to favor the TPLF.”
The list of Blindspots from number 5 to 20
Blindspot 005 – Showdown between Terminator and Alex Jones on freedom and vaccine mandates
Blindspot 006 – Will the Kabul syndrome of imperial collapse hit a US dollar close to you soon?
Blindspot 007 – Multi-domain and Chemical warfare – the non-Arab Spring edition featuring James Bond
Blindspot 008 – The Searching for Madness in the Method 008.001 special
Blindspot 009 – Turkey’s Africa gambits, and, is the next US, World civil war looming?
Blindspot 010 – Drone killstrikes and posthuman geopolitics
Blindspot 011 – Why did the EU tell Russia, Stay Out, Africa is ours?
Blindspot 012 – China’s Collapse [NOT], and its 2022 Taiwan take-down
Blindspot #013 – Rise of Iran, and, is Aukus as Braindead as Biden & NATO?
A Blindspot Short – Searching for Madness in the Method #01
Blindspot #014 – Russia severs ties with NATO & Australia’s Authoritarian [VAX] Apartheid
Blindspot #015 – Coup’s stage African comeback & Swamp creatures in the White (out)House
Blindspot #016 – War drums roll in Addis Ababa & Ethiopia; South Africa’s local stay-away vote!
Blindspot #017 – Cognitive war, supply chain breakdowns & China warns citizens: Stockpile Food!
Blindspot #018 -Gaddafi comeback in Libya & US diplomats held hostage in Yemen (Benghazi?)
Blindspot #019 – Africa targeted with the most terror strikes of all continents in 2021
Blindspot #020 – Iron Maiden says all on 2021 & If you meet Buddha along the way, Kill Him!
Rachel Marsden. 2021. Biden’s Democracy Summit suggests that things are about to get a lot worse for democracy. Tribune Content Agency, MSN News. 13 December, 2021. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/rachel-marsden-bidens-democracy-summit-suggests-that-things-are-about-to-get-a-lot-worse-for-democracy/ar-AARO1Zl?ocid=winp-st
Press TV. 2021. Occupation of Iraq to end, featuring E Michael Jones. 14 December, 2021. https://tv.gab.com/channel/emichaeljones/view/presstv-us-occupation-of-iraq-to-61b8c8518625c9172c7e5157
F William Engdahl. 2021. Who gains from Ethiopia Tigray war? New Eastern Outlook. 29 November, 2021. https://journal-neo.org/2021/11/29/who-gains-from-ethiopia-tigray-war/
Viktor Mikhin. 2021. Ethiopia: the tragedy of the country and Abiy Ahmed personally. 7 December, 2021. https://journal-neo.org/2021/12/07/ethiopia-the-tragedy-of-the-country-and-abiy-ahmed-personally/
AFP. 2021. Tigray rebels retake Ethiopian heritage town of Lalibela. 12 December, 2021. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/12/tigray-rebels-retake-ethiopian-heritage-town-of-lalibela
Farouk Chothia. 2021. Ethiopia civil war: how PM Abiy led fight-back against rebel advance. 15 December, 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-59552888
The Soufan Center. 2021. IntelBrief: The Islamic State remains active throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. 18 November, 2021. https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbrief-the-islamic-state-remains-active-throughout-sub-saharan-africa/
Middle East Monitor. 2021. US forces begin withdrawing from Iraq. 8 October, 2021. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20211008-us-forces-begin-withdrawing-from-iraq/