STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Illegally Accused, Ivory Coast President Gbagbo Begins ICC Hearing
By Staff News & Analysis - February 19, 2013

Ivory Coast ex-president Gbagbo present as ICC hearing opens … Laurent Gbagbo's pre-trial hearing on charges of crimes against humanity opened at the International Criminal Court on Tuesday, with the former Ivorian leader present. Presiding judge Silvia Fernandez de Gurmendi opened the confirmation of charges hearing while Gbagbo, the first former head of state before the court, greeted journalists and supporters in the gallery. – Voice of Russia, AFP

Dominant Social Theme: Laurent Gbagbo is a genocidal murderer and deserves whatever he is going to get.

Free-Market Analysis: Unlike many in the alternative media, we spent a lot of time covering the civil war that overtook Ivory Coast after the botched election between Laurent Gbagbo and the country's current president, Alassane Ouattara.

Ouattara is Muslim and Gbagbo is Christian. During that civil war was when we first began to ask why the West was forcefully taking a secular state (one trending Christian) and giving it over to an Islamic politician.

Since we began to wonder about this state of affairs, other Northern African states have suffered similar fates: Tunisia, Libya and Egypt come to mind. We've written about this at length; you can find articles just by searching for "Daily Bell" and "Ivory Coast" or "Gbagbo."

Syria is now facing the same fate as Northern African countries – with a faux-army of rebel mercenaries and Qatar troops that have apparently been funneled into that country to portray a "rebellion" against the Assad government, also secular, or at least not theocratic.

And these days, with Libya destabilized, the Western "war" (or whatever it is) has spread to large countries like Mali and its environs. As we've pointed out, the West has set all of Northern Africa ablaze, from Somalia to Ivory Coast and beyond.

This battlefield is probably one-and-a-half to two times the size of the entire lower United States and encompasses hundreds of millions of people.

We focus on Western incitement because despite promotional claims that various revolutions are being sparked by disaffected youth, the youth in question have been cultivated and trained by the US State Department's AYM in conjunction with the CIA. This is not debatable. You can do the research for yourself.

An ally of the US, Qatar has also participated in the various "color" revolutions that supposedly took place in Northern Africa and the Middle East – or at least two of them anyway, Libya and Syria.

Originally, we believed that the chaos accompanying these various proto-wars was a miscalculation, for in no region – not Somalia, not Ivory Coast, not Egypt and certainly not Libya – has the violence died down.

Logically, it would not, of course. With the briefest of fig leaves – justifications that are only credible to Western ears – the power elite has attacked North Africa with a vengeance, overturning governments and leaving behind thuggish mercenaries who are being rejected outright by the victims of these wars.

We now believe that the top elites don't care about the chaos that they have just inflicted on a continent-sized part of Africa. In fact, judging from what's going on, we figure they are not going to stop. They are going to continue to widen the violence, though why this is we are not sure.

For us, it just speaks to their desperation. Deprived by the Internet of the effectiveness of dominant social themes that tricked people into giving up power and wealth to globalist solutions, the elites have turned increasingly to war, economic depression and authoritarian regulation to retain momentum. They are determined to achieve world governance it seems.

Why throw Africa into chaos? We speculated about that yesterday, here: "Counterpunch African Paradigm Leaves Much to Be Desired."

Gbagbo's deposing was the first shot fired in this strange war, in retrospect. It was very odd what happened, we thought at the time, not knowing it was the first in a chain of increasingly violent events. After Ivory Coast, Tunisia toppled, then Egypt, etc.

Laurent Koudou Gbagbo, a former history professor who liked to quote Latin authors in their mother tongue, had served as president of Ivory Coast for most of the first decade of the 21st century. As part of his political ideology, he'd cultivated an anti-colonial, "Ivorian" political approach.

Very popular among his Christian constituency, Gbagbo nonetheless had a great rival in the Muslim Ouattara. Perhaps because of his IMF background, perhaps for other reasons, French officials preferred Ouattara.

France – Ivory Coast's aggregate national godfather – harried Gbagbo into elections and then after considerable electoral fraud on both sides, Ouattara declared victory.

The trouble with Ouattara's victory was that it was not sanctioned by legal means. Gbagbo approached Ivorian legal facilities and had himself declared the winner based on substantive and seemingly legitimate voter fraud carried out by Ouattara's forces.

This was the standoff then. Ouattara had simply announced his victory while established legal facilities had bestowed victory on Gbagbo. Gbagbo was duly sworn in and announced he did not recognize Ouattara's declaration.

The trouble for Gbagbo was that first France and then, somehow, the UN decided that Ouattara was the winner. Hiding behind the UN's skirts, French officials began to muster Ouattara's troops and marched on the presidential palace.

Eventually, Gbagbo had no chance. UN and French troops extracted him from the palace and turned him over to Ouattara. The Muslim technocrat briefly tortured Gbagbo, his wife was raped and his associates murdered. Eventually, he was turned over to the George Soros-funded International Criminal Court.

Gbagbo's daughter, among others, continues to protest Gbagbo's treatment – and a shadow war in Ivory Coast continues to this day. What made French officials sure that they could lift up one half of the Ivorian population while delegitimizing the other half is not certain, even in retrospect.

Ivory Coast seems irreparably rent. Ouattara makes occasional pleas for reconciliation but what took place in Ivory Coast will be remembered for generations, and not fondly.

Now the ICC is about to take up Gbagbo's "crimes against humanity." It is alleged that he supervised mass murder, though surely Ouattara did the same. It was a horrible election and a worse aftermath. The French are to be blamed for forcing the election, the UN for insisting on Ouaterra's legitimacy.

Gbagbo will be tried, it seems. He professes his innocence. If he is convicted, Ivoirian chaos will deepen. If he is somehow exonerated, it will look very bad for the UN and France.

After Thoughts

We doubt there is any exoneration in store for Gbagbo – just as we doubt there is any reconciliation for Ivory Coast or even for the larger region that is now struggling with ongoing violence. Watching the maneuverings of the power elite in real time instead of via the historical narrative is an unpleasant sight, indeed.

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