Mainstream Media’s new narrative: Niger global epicentre of terrorism
by Andrew Korybko on 05 Aug 2023 0 Comment

Few people across the world ever heard of Niger before last week’s patriotic military coup in this landlocked West African nation and even fewer could have placed it on a map, yet now the Mainstream Media (MSM) wants everyone to think that it’s suddenly turned into a global epicentre of terrorism. This narrative is nothing but information warfare aimed at scaring the public into supporting the planned NATO-backed Nigerian-led ECOWAS invasion of that country which is expected to begin later this month.


It’s basically turned into the New Cold War’s latest proxy conflict between NATO and Russia. The Western public doesn’t understand the geostrategic reasons why their side’s military bloc is meddling in this part of Africa and urging the continent’s most populous country to invade its northern neighbour. That’s why the MSM is spinning the tall tale that Niger has suddenly turned into a global epicentre of terrorism since they hope that their targeted audience will become so afraid that they’ll blindly support whatever course of action their governments ultimately decide upon for addressing this.


Here are three high-profile examples of the MSM spewing this newly invented propaganda narrative:

* Voice Of America: “Sahel Region Coups Make Room for Terrorist Groups: Analysts”

* The Economist: “Why the nightmare in Niger is the world’s problem”

* Associated Press: “The coup in Niger will only embolden extremists, says a former jihadi fighter”

They collectively claim that a distracted military and popular dissent will lead to a surge of terrorism.


To briefly elaborate, the first half of this artificially manufactured infowar product alleges that the armed forces of post-coup regional states are too focused on retaining power and snuffing out rivals that they inadvertently create space for terrorists to expand. As for the second, it unbelievably implies that supposedly peaceful pro-democracy protesters will soon become so radicalized by military rule that they’ll turn into violent extremists en masse and thus pose an imminent threat to the whole world.


Ironically enough, despite running Voice of America, the US Government (USG) doesn’t even believe that outlet’s propaganda nor the related claims pushed by its peers as proven by Tuesday’s decision to suspend counterterrorism training with Niger. If there was even a remote chance that either of the abovementioned factors could risk turning Niger into a global epicentre of terrorism, then there’s no way that the US would risk its own security and that of its regional vassals by letting this threat fester.


Accordingly, the USG either accidentally signalled that all such fear-mongering is totally groundless propaganda or it’s showing the world that it cynically prefers for Niger to supposedly become / remain a global epicentre of terrorism than to jointly fight against this with its post-coup military. Since there’s no truth to the second scenario being bandied about by the MSM, the first explanation is the only credible one, which in turn confirms that such claims are just lies intended to disguise geopolitical motives.


To be fair, there’s some truth to their allegation that the combination of military failures and systemic poverty plays a role in accelerating the spread of terrorism in developing countries, but this is attributable to poor / insincere Western training and French neo-colonialism respectively. It was precisely due to these interconnected factors plus the regional consequences of NATO’s 2011 War on Libya that terrorism exploded across the Sahel and subsequently set the stage for its recent patriotic military coups.


These regime changes are aimed at refocusing their armed forces’ priorities and rebalancing their countries’ ties with the West / France in order to resolve those corresponding problems that caused their security and economic situations to so drastically deteriorate over the last decade. Had no serious effort been made to thwart these trends in Mali, Burkina Faso, and now Niger, then those states’ very existence would have inevitably been threatened with time.


Their military rulers are sincere in their stated goal of fighting terrorism not only because it aligns with their patriotic devotion to their countries’ national interests but also because it’s in their institution’s self-interests since they’re the ones fighting on the frontline against this scourge. Without improving their associated capabilities, which Wagner is helping them with as explained here and here, their comrades will continue dying in vain and the threat to their families will keep growing.


In closing, it’s full-blown fake news to claim that Niger is now a global epicentre of terrorism, but the MSM is expected to maximally amplify this false narrative in an attempt to scare the public into supporting the planned NATO-backed Nigerian-led ECOWAS invasion of that country. This approach risks discrediting itself, however, if it triggers the wrong memories from the so-called “Global War on Terror” by reminding the public of how skeptical they eventually became of it by the end of Bush Jr.’s rule.



User Comments Post a Comment

Back to Top