Who does not remember Nicolas Sarkozy’s elegant outing in Dakar on July 26, 2007: “The tragedy of Africa is that the African man has not entered history enough…” Most commentators had pointed out that this type of very “French-African” cliché contributed to degrading the image of France in Africa. This evidence did not prevent Emmanuel Macron from reoffending, fifteen years later, to the day, on July 26, in Yaoundé (Cameroon) by accusing “in particular” Africa of “hypocrisy” about the war. Russian-Ukrainian, for not having chosen to side with the Western camp against Russia. “I’m not fooled”, even adds the French president, putting the African refusal to align itself with Western positions on the sole account of “diplomatic pressure” to which Africa would have had the weakness or the naivety to yield.
However, the Head of State could not ignore that the African Union had, on February 25, condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for an immediate ceasefire, being alarmed at the risk of seeing this conflict degenerate into a “planetary conflict”. Never mind, the next day, in Benin, Emmanuel Macron will condescend to the point of wanting to enlighten his interlocutors on the colonial nature of Russia in terms worthy of “Tintin in the Congo”: “When you see them poking their heads , he declared as a good schoolmaster, don’t see anything else, even if they tell you the opposite! Is it then so difficult for the Western “elites” to understand that it is precisely these marks of arrogance that push Africans – the people more than the leaders, for that matter -, whatever they think of Russia or China, to refuse to side with their former colonizers and the dominant powers in general?
On a different note, but almost at the same time, across the Atlantic, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, announced her intention to go to Taiwan, fully aware of the fact that this act would be seen by Beijing, in the current context, as a sufficiently dangerous provocation to incite President Biden to publicly warn his ally that “the (American) military thinks it’s not a good idea now”! Is this indeed, for the American Congress, the diplomatic priority of the moment? Especially since, let us remember, Washington, like almost all the governments of the world, while it legitimately opposes any attempt to “reconquer” the island by force, recognizes the principle of “a only China”, denying any idea of independence to the rebel island…
This type of initiative was, until now, reserved for the most extreme Republicans, always in search of adventures capable of showing the world that “America” does what it wants, where it wants, when it wants, even if it means widening the gap which increasingly separates Western States from countries representing the majority of humanity but which make the great mistake of wanting to follow a path other than that marked out by the currently dominant power and its docile allies.