“Desperate” Noland in Africa

A South African official met a “desperate” and unprepared Victoria Nuland, begging for local help in rolling back a popular coup in Niger. The latest BRICS conference may worry Nuland more, says Anya Barampil.

Noland. (US Department of State/Wikimedia Commons)

by Anya Parambil
in Johannesburg, South Africa
Gray area

wWhen Acting US Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland traveled to South Africa on July 29, her reputation as a blunt instrument of Washington’s dominant interests preceded her.

According to a seasoned South African official who attended meetings with a senior US diplomat in Pretoria, Nuland and her team were clearly unprepared to deal with recent developments on the African continent — especially the military coup that toppled Niger’s pro-Western government hours earlier. launched her multi-stop tour of the region.

“In more than 20 years of working with the Americans, I have never seen them so desperate,” the official said. Gray areaHe speaks on condition of anonymity.

Pretoria was well aware of Nuland’s hardline reputation, but when she arrived in Pretoria, the official described her as being “completely surprised” by the winds of change sweeping the region. The July coup, which saw a popular military junta come to power in Niger, followed military coups in Mali and Burkina Faso that were similarly inspired by mass anti-colonial sentiment.

Although Washington has so far refused to describe the developments in the Nigerien capital, Niamey, as a coup, the South African source confirmed that Nuland requested South Africa’s assistance in responding to regional conflicts, including the conflicts in Niger, as it confirmed that Washington does not maintain large financial resources. Just. investments, but also retained 1,000 of its own forces. For Nuland, the realization that she was negotiating from a position of vulnerability was likely a rough awakening.

Serve both sides and advance the empire, one regime change at a time

Over the past decade and a half, Victoria Nuland has established herself as one of the most effective agents of western-directed regime change within the State Department. As the wife of a neoconservative chief strategist, Robert KaganNuland, who has been an advisor to both Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and Democrat Hillary Clinton, epitomized the bipartisan consensus of the pre-Trump era. Indeed, her first high-profile job came under the watchful eye of Vice President Dick Cheney, when he appointed her to be his deputy chief of staff.

When Nuland returned to government as a Russia specialist in President Barack Obama’s State Department, she spearheaded the covert campaign to destabilize Ukraine, spearheaded the 2014 Maidan coup that sparked the country’s ensuing civil strife and, ultimately, a Western proxy war with Russia that raged until now. today.

Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the United States has supported Ukrainians in building democratic skills and institutions. splurge During a December 2013 talk to the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation in Kiev, surrounded by a Chevron promotional committee.

And she continued, “We have invested more than five billion dollars to help Ukraine achieve these and other goals,” explaining Washington’s support for what she described as “European aspirations” for Ukraine.

Nuland repeated this unintentionally revealing boast during a 2014 interview with CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour. Days before her speech, she and the then US ambassador to Ukraine, Jeffrey Pyatt, Distribution of “Freedom CookiesTo the Ukrainians occupying Maidan Square in Kiev to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to, in Nuland’s words, “pause on the road to Europe”.

Nearly three months later, a protracted campaign of riots in the Maidan unseated the Yanukovych government, leading to the installation of a pro-European Union (and overtly pro-Nazi) regime in Kiev that promptly won the title to power. “the most corrupt country in Europe” Days before Yanukovych’s overthrow. The sound leaked It revealed that Nuland and Ambassador Pyatt were actively working to choose the opposition figures who would take power in Kiev in the event of the success of the field.

“Fuck the European Union,” she infamously said during the February 7, 2014 phone call, in an apparent response to European leaders opposed to her government’s efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

However, nearly a decade after Nuland’s campaign in Kiev, Washington’s ability to dictate the sovereign policy of foreign countries has become increasingly limited—particularly in South Africa and the surrounding region.

In Africa, the sun sets on the unipolar world

The emergence of a new world order was clearly evident when the heads of state of Brazil, India, China and South Africa gathered for the 15th annual BRICS Presidential Summit in Johannesburg the week of August 21st. While Western media highlighted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s absence from the summit as evidence of deep divisions within the BRICS (Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attended the summit in Putin’s stead), the bloc eventually made a unanimous announcement on August 24 that it would extend full membership to include Argentina. Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and Iran. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

“BRICS is a diverse group of countries,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who chaired the summit, tweeted after announcing the results of the historic Johannesburg Declaration 2 to a room full of international press. “It is an equal partnership between countries that have different views but have a common vision for a better world.”

Indeed, BRICS leaders have emphasized the importance of the BRICS function as a “consensus-based” organization built on pluralism and adherence to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter. This is in stark contrast to alliances such as the G20, which, although ostensibly committed to multilateral exchange, are viewed by Washington and its allies as a forum through which they can impose their own worldview.

Western arrogance was particularly evident when India assumed the G20 presidency in 2023, when American and European officials launched a war on terrorism. futile campaign To pressure New Delhi to exclude Russia from the group’s meetings despite Moscow’s status as a permanent member.

We must not go back to the Cold War.

On the sidelines of the BRICS summit, I spoke with the South African Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, about the goal of the BRICS group.

“BRICS wants to defend a world where everyone benefits, and it is not about trying to get into a new Cold War,” Patel commented.

“The Cold War was not a good moment for humanity,” Patel, who chaired the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg, continued in response to a question about whether the United States and Europe could accept multilateral exchange as anything other than an attack on Western hegemonic interests. “We should not return to the Cold War with two polarized blocs, but we need the voices of the Global South to be there to help shape the structure of governance and the way people interact.”

So is the BRICS group an anti-Western alliance?

“There will be many misinterpretations, but we stand for a united world, realizing that countries and companies will compete,” Patel explained. “This is healthy, and to support competition should be deep cooperation between countries.”

Asked what makes BRICS’ commitment to multilateralism different from blocs like the G20, Patel offered a window into how BRICS really works.

“When heads of state sit down together, they say, ‘Okay, how can we move the dial forward?'” Building consensus is a slow process. It is an unequal process. But it does mean that the decisions that are made have strong support.”

After two days of deliberations in Johannesburg, where delegates considered membership applications from nearly two dozen countries, the BRICS reached consensus to accept six countries that would significantly expand their share of the international economy and resources market.

After the new members officially join the bloc next February, BRICS will include 6 of the world’s 10 largest oil producers, 50% of the world’s natural gas reserves, and 37% of global GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity. The G-20’s share of global GDP is currently 30 percent. With the addition of Argentina and Saudi Arabia, the BRICS will also include six permanent G20 countries within its membership bloc.

“It is a slow and time-consuming process of consensus building,” Minister Patel spoke of the success of BRICS. “But it’s more solid. It lasts longer.”

Thanks to BRICS, Robert Kagan’s infamous blueprint for the United States would be a compromise “goodness’ The developing world’s vision of a century that honors political independence, self-determination, and territorial sovereignty for all nations may trump global hegemony. Will the generation of American officials that comes after Nuland accept Washington’s place in this multipolar world, or will it insist on fighting?

Anya Parambil is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., and has produced and produced numerous documentaries, including field reports from the Korean Peninsula, Palestine, Venezuela, and Honduras.

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