Banjul, May 5, 2012 – When Europeans went to Berlin with their scissors in 1884 to cut up the map of Africa, they played a sick joke which is still felt today. The British wanted the Palm oil from the Gambia River so they took that out of French West Africa and today the place is called a country: 60 kilometers wide at the Atlantic it snakes 338 kilometers up river where it is just a dozen kilometers wide. French diplomats like to refer to it as the finger in the ass of Senegal. The metaphor is à propos this year as the country obsesses over all things anal.

The silence of the western press on the situation in Libya is deafening. This is no surprise as the pessimistic predictions of the critics of NATO’s war to oust Qaddafi become reality.

If a nuclear reactor were to go into meltdown one would expect management to interrupt its vacation and get back to work to fix the problem. Not so with our elected officials who have gone into recess despite the fact our world economy is crumbling and cannot wait until September. Europe is no exception to the lets-go-on-vacation-and worry-about-it-in-September rule.

Recently elected President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, is a soft speaking man with a big problem not of his doing. He was in Paris Wednesday to speak to French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, about the problem: NATO’s war on Libya.

Mauvaise foi: that is what the French call a bare-faced lie you tell to a person you know is aware you are lying but you pretend everything is up front and normal. This year, in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, the French have demonstrated they are the masters at mauvaise foi.

Oh my God. He wrote words on a piece of paper ! Ah, but what words? Terrorist words! Words like ‘Taliban’, ‘Al Qaeda’ and ‘Mujahid’. He must be a terrorist. Quick, everybody run. Quick, pass new laws taking away more of our freedoms. We are not safe.

No sooner had Allasane Ouattara announced reconciliation and promised a government of unity in which all the country’s forces will be represented than he reneged on that promise by keeping New Forces rebel Leader Guillaume Soro as Prime Minister and Defense Minister. Is this because Soro has the backing of the rebel army and therefore has the guns to call the shots?

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said at a French Army base in Abidjan Saturday that French troops would remain in the Cote d’Ivoire “pour toujours” (for ever) while in almost the same breath saying French policy in Africa will change. But that is far from the only neo-colonial double speak in his important speech.