Monday, June 06, 2005

The Sound of Silence

Samizdata asks a foolish, foolish rhetorical question.

Robert Mugabe continues his insane demolition of houses and businesses as he increasingly starts to look like Pol Pot reborn, seeking to depopulate the cites and drive the now homeless and unemployed population into the countryside to eke out an even more miserable living, thereby dispersing and isolating people from communities which might oppose his tyrannical rule.

And where are the marchers in the west? Where are the protesters calling for justice in Zimbabwe? Where is the outrage from those tireless tribunes of the Third World, the UN? Why can I not hear the snarls of fury from the alphabet soup of NGOs? What of the legions of Guardian readers finding out about all this? What are they going to call for? Amnesty International is getting a lot of (bad) publicity from having called Guantanamo Bay 'a gulag' whilst now admitting they do not actually know what is happening there, yet why are they not straining every fibre of their being in opposition to this African horror? There is tyranny aplenty to be opposed without having to invent any.

Zimbabwean Pundit has a report is written by Sister Patricia Walsh of the Dominican Order of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe, which describes what is actually happening on the ground. It isn't exactly the expropriation of rich white farmer's land that we are told not to worry about. It is reprinted below without comment. None is needed.

"Family and Friends, thank you for your telephone calls, your e-mails and all your support and encouragement in these dreadful days and hours - it is a great help.The international press says that the police are destroying "illegal structures" in Zimbabwe. Let me share with you a little of what is very legal but has been destroyed.In 1992 many thousands of people were put into a Holding Camp at a Place called Hatcliffe Extension, they were not allowed to build permanent structures because this was going to be temporary.

In 1995 one of our student Sisters, Tarisai Zata who was a student at the School of Social Work and was doing some studies for her degree, one evening she came back Home and said "we must do something to help these people to live like human beings" and that was the beginning of the Dominican Missionary Sisters involvement in Hatcliffe.We have worked with the people there for the past 10 years, peoples of all religions and none, people of all political persuasions and none.Over the years through the generosity of you all we were able to sink 8 bore holes, help to feed thousands of people, build and run a crèche for AIDS orphans (180) of them. We visited once a week and two of our nursing Sisters, Gaudiosa and Carina treated people, helped to get about 100 People on to an Anti-Retroviral medicine programmers etc do home based care, took people to hospitals etc.The people of Hatchliffe have become friends and family of us the Dominican Sisters.

Yes, some people had moved in illegally, but the majority were there because they were put there and were repeatedly told that they would be moved to a better place at some time, most of them paid their monthly "rent" for The little square patch.

On Friday morning last week I got a call that the riot police had come into a section of the area and demolished everything - most of the wooden Shacks are just broken to pieces. I went out on Friday and Saturday - people were sleeping out in the open, many of them sick, cold and hungry. On Saturday I visited again some had managed to leave (those who have Z$500 000 - and have some relatives in "legal" places".On Sunday morning I got a call that the police had given instructions That all structures in the original section have to be demolished within 24 hours, including the crèche, clinic and other structures which we had built with and for the people. Where do I get people on Sunday to come and dismantle all the buildings. I decided to wait until Monday. On Sunday evening I received one phone call after another saying "come quick they are going to kill us" - others would say "don't come you might be killed".Early on Monday morning I drove out to Hatcliffe, already in the distance I Could only see smoke rising up - nothing else. I arrived, I wept, Sister Carina was with me, she wept, the people tried to console us - they were aLL outside in the midst of their broken houses, furniture and goods all over the place, children screaming, sick people in agony. Some of the people who are on ARV drugs came to us and said we are phoning Sister Gaudiosa (Sister is doing the ARV programme) but she is not answering us, we are going to die". We explained that Sister was on Home leave but that we would help in whatever way we could.

It was a heartbreaking situation.The structures "mentioned above" that we the Dominican Sisters were working from were left untouched but had to be dismantled immediately otherwise They too would be destroyed. Sister Balbina from the House of Adoration came with carpenters and other staff members and started dismantling the structures.We are distributing all of them to people who have nothing, they will be OK if we leave them lying on the ground. Some friends arranged for a crane to come in to lift out two containers where we had medicine and food stored - it was one of the saddest days of my life.How does one say that Peter aged 10 and his little brother (John) aged 4 (not their real names) are "illegal". We had provided them with a wooden hut when their Mother was dying, she has died in the meantime, these two Little people had their little home destroyed in the middle of the night, we get there, they are sitting crying in the rubbish (that was their home until Sunday) - what do we do with them? They are only one example of the many vulnerable orphans whose little lives are destroyed.Veronica (not her real name) is an elderly widow who is chronically ill herself, she has 3 young grandchildren from her dead daughter - her home is destroyed. She is wearing a Rosary Beads around her neck, an apron with the picture of the Sacred Heart and a tee shirt with President Mugabe's photo - she has tried all means to survive!Some people came and said, "Sister there are two people who are dying, please come." One of them Mary (not her real name) who is out in the open all night lying on an old damp mattress can't move with pain, she has shingles, which is open and bleeding. What is worse her tears or her bleeding wounds?

I felt/feel paralyzed.Anne (not her real name) delivered a baby a week ago, she is Critically ill and is on the verge of death, what do we do with her? We give her pain killers, we give her blankets, we give her food (which she in unable to eat) - what is going to happen to her baby?Some of you have asked if I am safe, don't worry we are well "protected" by the riot police who are cruising around this disaster area all day, I was so relived to see them eating sugar cane which means that they are not hungry and will have the strength to "protect us", I don't for a minute believe that they accepted this sugar cane from "illegal people" on an "illegal settlement".A Grandmother asks, "Sister why has God abandoned us? I do not try to answer. People call out "Sisters pray for us".

An emergency taxi (mini bus) stands in the middle of this "war zone" with the words "God is Faithful" written on it!Just now we are going back there with food, clothing, medicine and cash, we can only try.I am NOT cold, I am NOT hungry but I am very ANGRY. I pray that this will pass.We stand in shock and cry with the people but we also have to try to keep them alive. When will sanity prevail?Where is the outside world? Busy talking about a "NO vote by France".How can the "little ones of this world be brutalized in this way"? Their only crime - they are poor, they are helpless and they happen to live In the wrong part of town and in a country that does not have oil and is not very important to the West.One bystander told me that he had phoned the Red Cross asking for help but was informed "it is not a war situation" so there is nothing we can do!PRAY FOR US.

God bless and reward you for your concern.
 

109 Comments:

Blogger Karridine said...

Another terrible reality, unfolding petal by petal, ignored by news media and decision-makers alike!

Shame, eternal shame be yours, cowards! May you reap what you sow!

6/06/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger larry polon said...

Wretchard,

Where can one contribute to assist them in their work?

6/06/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/06/2005 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

I have sent the letter on to everyone (and thing) on my mailing list, and hope they get through;

and would like to second Larry Polon's question: is it possible to send $$$, or if not, what help can I offer??

6/06/2005 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

If you go to Zimbabwean Pundit, I think you will find ways get in touch with the Sisters. One of the things they ask for is help in getting word out.

6/06/2005 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger George1776 said...

This comment says it all:
"One bystander told me that he had phoned the Red Cross asking for help but was informed 'it is not a war situation' so there is nothing we can do!"

Ayn Rand noted this moral inversion nearly 40 years ago: "Observe the nature of today's alleged peace movements. Professing love and concern for the survival of mankind, they keep screaming the the nuclear-weapons race should be stopped, that armed force should be abolished as a means of settling disputes among nations, and that war should be outlawed in the name of humanity. Yet these same peace movements do not oppose dictatorships; the political views of their members range through all shades of the statist specturm, from welfare statism to socialism to fascism to communism. This means that they are opposed to the use of coercion by one nation against another, but not by the government of a nation against its own citizens; it means that they are opposed to the use of force against armed adversaries, but not against the disarmed.

"Consider the plunder, the destruction, the starvation, the brutality, the slave-labor camps, the torture chambers, the wholesale slaughter perpetrated by dictorships. Yet this is what today's alleged peace-lovers are willing to advocate or tolerate-in the name of love for humanity"

From Caplitalism the Unknown Ideal. 1966.

6/06/2005 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Cecil Rhodes must be weeping in his grave. The racist white men that ran Rhodesia would have never permited this type of atrocity to occur. It was the breadbasket of Africa in that era. No one starved to death in the bad old days

Dafur and Zimbabwe the blights of Africa, the shame of our civilization.

Where is Mandela, Tutu and the other South Africans? Where is the outrage? Where is Blair?
If Mugabe is not a terrorist who is? Where is the US and our vaunted War on Terror?
Tin horn dictators kill thousands and we worry about Korans and water balloons. People are raped and starved as matters of Govenment policy and we worry about naked prisoners with panties on their heads.
Where is Mike Hoare or his 21st century replacement, now when he is needed?

Never Again...right

6/06/2005 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"My personal political views have nothing to do with Amnesty's position," claimed William Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International, regarding the "gulag" comment"

6/06/2005 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The racist white men that ran Rhodesia would have never permited this type of atrocity to occur."
---
This is none of your business Whitey:
I heard a black lady on the radio say that we have no right to interfere, and black rule is what they wanted.

6/06/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Who is they?
Not those poor children the Sister wrote about. Nor, I think, the woman dying of shingles. The lunatics are running the asylum.
The Brits wanted Black rule in Rhodesia, back in the day when they were embarrassed by white rule and black prosperity. Now there are black rulers and black death. It is worse than the Plague
Will South Africa follow down this path? One hopes not.
If this is not on the top Blairs action today list he should resign.
Zimbabwe is in England's sphere of influence, they had better excert some.
What is the SAS up to nowadays any way?

6/06/2005 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

AI doesn't want e-mail. Here are their current projects.
AI

6/06/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Michael McCanles said...

The great American literary critic, social analyst, political prober and all-round insightful guy Kenneth Burke once made a point about the "dialectics" of political assertion: something is asserted to be the case precisely because it isn't.

This is not a lie, something which Jonathan Swift's talking horses in "Gulliver's Travels" call "saying the thing that is not."

No: it's saying something is the case specifically in order to negate the fact that it is not the case. In short, what I tell you once, is true; what I keep on telling you, and make a big thing of telling you, is not.

Thus: peace protesters are not in favor of peace; progressive liberals are neither progressive nor liberals; bleeding-hearts don't give a damn about the downtrodden; Amnesty International couldn't care less about violations of "human rights," etc.

The opening query about why these people don't carry out the agenda they say they are committed can be answered with brutal exactitude: they don't carry out what they say they're committed to, because carrying out what they're committed to is precisely and exactly what they're not committed to.

I write the above in this border-line tautological manner to emphasize that international liberal orgs daily enact absurdities so breathtakingly blatant that no one really wants to believe that they can do such things, and do them in public, and still keep a straight face.

6/06/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...so breathtakingly blatant that no one really wants to believe that they can do such things, and do them in public, and still keep a straight face.
"
---
That way, with the passage of time and it's ravages on the public memory, (or mere "normal" ignorance) when a critic makes a claim against these well meaning do gooders, one can sound reasonable in calling the critic mean spirited, because "obviously" these nice folks would never engage in such shameless acts.

6/06/2005 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger zimpundit said...

I can't comment on the wealth of different topics that have become a part of this discussion right now. I appreciate the discussion.

For those who want real practical ways to help, please come over to http://zimpundit.blogspot.com and click on the "Zimbabwe NGO Network" link or just go directly to http://www.kubatana.net There you will be able to pull up lists of relief organizations according to their specific focus. There's details about how to contact the organizations there too. If all else fails, email me at zimpundit@gmail.com As much as possible contact the organizations directly, they need your help now.

6/06/2005 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

We, meaning the West and the rest of the civilized world, have sat by and watched as genocide unfolds in Africa, our only action the shaking of our heads and saying "How sad." I am afraid that until Western interests are threatened in some way this will continue as millions are starved, tortured, raped and murdered.

6/06/2005 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I'm going out on a limb by saying this, but here goes ... World Wars break out when the Great Powers run out of pitiful and inferior races to feed predators. On that day, as on Sept 1, 1939 or Dec 7, 1941 or Sept 11, 2001 the predators finally attack us and war begins. The shame of Munich, the ignored rape of China and the willful blindness towards the poison the Saudis were spreading were all various forms of appeasement. It didn't seem to matter so long as the victims were gomers somewhere far away. Then one day it mattered.

I wonder if the world will ever have to pay the price for letting Africa suffer so. Europe and the UN think not. But we should know better because they are going to pass on the bill when it comes due and hand it to us.

6/06/2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger husker_met said...

Reading this kind of thing just makes my blood boil.

We could go in there and unf*ck that country. But then again so could France, Germany, the U.N. or the African Union.

Not that that excuses us from doing nothing, but a little help here and there from the people bitching about "American hegemony" would sure be nice.

Anyway, I've done my small part in forwarding this on in my circle, as well as contact info on donations. Perhaps tomorrow I'll forward it to my Senators and Congressmen as well.

Does anyone have Kofi Annan's email? Seems like he ought to know about what's going on over there...

6/06/2005 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Mugabe is NOT a terrorist, rat; he is far worse, a dictator and a coward. At least murderers get to suffer the shakes when hell-bound vice rend their souls, to dictators there is nothing but elusive words and effusive rationalizations when triggers are pulled and steel unsheafed.

Black as a color of skin does not represent Africa and the point is beyond parody. If the color of skin matters so much ask a leftist whether G.W. Bush, representative of the American majority faith and ethnicity represents their affiliation. The representation of skin color is no substitute for the solid principles of democracy and civil society; anything more is the slaver’s racism in photographic negative.

Yet the point that the predators of geopolitics must be fed, I think, is a false one. This is human nature, neither bad, nor good, but both at the same time. Humans can kill and we are damn good at it to, but we also share and in sharing have things of limitless value; our women, but families all, and friends, literature, sports, and religion. We are damned from the get go, but original sin may be polished away with discipline and courage founded in character, integrity, honor.

Still, if ever Africa wakes up from her fever-nightmare, she will not look to Europe for relief. Europe and the UN have long since ceded moral authority to comment on Africa.

6/06/2005 11:19:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

I've often wondered why appeasement was so easy. Every generation seems seduced by it. Maybe it's because the apparent marginal cost of appeasement seems so low. Extortion often begins with pennies. But the real cost is deferred because the cumulative implication of acquiescence to the principle doesn't manifest itself until the very end, like a bad installment plan.

The UN was supposed to address problems like Mugabe, but by some cruel historical twist, it has become a club of the very sorts it was designed to guard against. It has lost its way as an institution, but the real shame is that the liberal intelligensia, the ones who should know better, have come to shepherd it further into the dark. That makes my blood run cold because although I don't believe in karma as a religious prosposition, it's weaker American form, the idea that "what goes around comes around", seems to have a certain validity. Someone will pay for the horrors inflicted on Africa one day.

6/07/2005 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Email is possible.
Start here
and find your country. Then insert this permalink to the letter, and add your message. Mine was, "Act, you swine!"

6/07/2005 12:33:00 AM  
Blogger cryinginthewilderness said...

People,
Black Africa is home to one vote one time. Elections in Rhodesia are no worse than Elections in East St Louis in the USA. You advocate military intervention when in Iraq the loyal opposition in the United States is calling dailey for withdrawal of US troops? The Catholic Sisters (The brides of Christ) should look to the scriptures to Christ's calls for the overthrow of Ceaser. (There are none). Send aid by all means, children do not deserve this treatment. Send more volunteers to help as much as possible on the ground. But the people of Rhodesia have spoken, they have their government that they died to put in place. Good luck to them and theirs.

6/07/2005 05:01:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Blair said...

Unfortunately, there's not going to be any accounting for Africa. Period. Nobody cares. Apparently not the Africans themselves, not the UN, certainly not the 1st World.

A friend mine who was on the ground in Rwanda during the genocide, (and got shot at by French Commandos) said to me, "you don't forget the smell of 300,000 people crapping in the jungle".

It's simply too big and too broken. The Blogger (and ex-South African) Kim du Toit suggested that the best thing for Africa would to be to simply build a wall around the place and walk away.

He might be right.

6/07/2005 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Someone once said that, 'being fond of the intellect, I abhore intellectuals.'

Most of the fiction I grew up with had the future run by rational committees made up of scientists, because of course, scientists are 'smarter' than the rest of the plebes. But courage comes in many forms, and only through courage, moral and physical, do great men do great things (and the rest of us muddle through).

Yet is the strong man courageous? The man who rides the crest of a human wave? The man who packs an automatic pistol to a prize fight? A fool that doesn't know any better, is he a hero or just a lucky fool?

None of them are courageous, for the strength of a man isn't in his arms, it is in his gut, to stand for just a little longer when all else has been ripped from him; hold the line, hold the line, hold the line until the line holds.

The fool will sober up with wisdom and become a coward again, as the man once surrounded by his compatriots will fear and be subdued by fear when isolated and alone, or the man who gets there with the best and the most. And so what is apparent is actually chimerical; true courage is founded upon the bedrock of integrity, true courage is in principle foremost, material only latterly.

If appeasement is so delicious an option, it is because our social betters view the life of the mind and the fundamental nature of man as being simplisme and materialistic to an extent that would shame their fantasies on Capitalism. If appeasement is so popular, it is because some people will sell their souls for pennies on the dollar and the rest is worthless.

6/07/2005 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Ok, that does it, Verc:
You're stealing that stuff, right?
Fess Up!
(tries to remember Verc's url to see if there's more over there)

6/07/2005 05:26:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Verc's Place

6/07/2005 05:32:00 AM  
Blogger Don Black said...

I thought I would comment on the comments, not because I disagree with all that has been said but because the nature of who we are allows us the chance to do something. It can be nothing more than e-mailing or it could be a phone call to a congressman, the point is, small things help in small ways until the small things combine into big things.

desert rat said:
“If Mugabe is not a terrorist who is? Where is the US and our vaunted War on Terror? Tin horn dictators kill thousands and we worry about Korans and water balloons. People are raped and starved as matters of Govenment policy and we worry about naked prisoners with panties on their heads.”

As much as the MSM and the progressives would like to blame the USA for everything, desert rat has pointed out the path taken that fails these people in Africa. The finger pointing at us as the last superpower will be the easy way out. We can bet that Tony Blair will do his best this week to somehow get the United States to lead at putting a stop to crimes against humanity in Africa. Failing that, he will try to get us to allow the UN to stick its hand in our pockets even more deeply. He will be serving the UK and the interests of his EU friends by saying, “After you.” This will happen while pressure is placed on us by the UN and the EU to stay the hell out of it.


doug said:
“I heard a black lady on the radio say that we have no right to interfere, and black rule is what they wanted.”

I am very afraid that the race card will be played. The USA had slaves, stolen from Africa. Therefore it is our fault that crimes against black skinned people happen. This is just one more way to blame the United States for everything bad that has happened, is happening, or will happen anywhere in the world. Doug is right to point this out, but now both he and I will be labeled “racist” and therefore any opinions we have can/will be ignored.

tarnsman said:
“I am afraid that until Western interests are threatened in some way this will continue as millions are starved, tortured, raped and murdered.”

While I agree with what tarnsman is saying, it is not taken far enough. I make the assumption that the EU is “Western” as well as the USA? I would have to ask what about India and China, both are the latest “rich” powers. What about Russia and Japan? I want to know why we continue to waste time and money on a UN that steals the money that could help and in the end passes the burned out torch on to the Western interests?

Wretchard said:
“I wonder if the world will ever have to pay the price for letting Africa suffer so. Europe and the UN think not. But we should know better because they are going to pass on the bill when it comes due and hand it to us.”

Wretchard knows that the price will have to be paid. The cost of appeasement compounds rapidly as he has stated over and over. The question is who is being appeased? The answer is not so simple. The EU is being appeased. They refuse USA leadership in Africa because they as a group are fearful of our power and wealth. We would be allowed to pay for any relief, send troops under command of the UN, but they look at the lost role they once had in the Middle East and will be damned if they let that happen in Africa.

vercingetorix said:
“…if ever Africa wakes up from her fever-nightmare, she will not look to Europe for relief. Europe and the UN have long since ceded moral authority to comment on Africa.”

I find myself wondering what would happen if Africa did stop looking to the UN and the EU. At the same time, I wonder if the question goes deeply enough. Anyone who has taken a vacation in the Caribbean has been driven from the airport right past some of the worst poverty in the world. The roots of those people are deeply imbedded in Africa. There are centers of poverty in all corners of the globe and not all have ties to Africa but ties of poverty will have to be dealt with. We must hope that the example of democracy spreading in the Middle East will become the driving force next in Africa. At the same time, the seeds of democracy must be planted in the rest of the poverty centers around the world.

We must use our small bits of help as a force for world change, one country at a time, one problem at a time. What a daunting task!

6/07/2005 05:34:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

The
Chinese
are in the process of taking over in Zimbabwe. They are the new merchant class

In the short term, they may bring some order. On the long term, they are likely to decide that the current inhabitants are a nuisance and eliminate them entirely

6/07/2005 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

desert rat said:
“If Mugabe is not a terrorist who is? Where is the US and our vaunted War on Terror? Tin horn dictators kill thousands and we worry about Korans and water balloons. People are raped and starved as matters of Govenment policy and we worry about naked prisoners with panties on their heads.”

Deserves to be repeated. The MSM is studiously ignoring the whole thing. It does not fit their political agenda

6/07/2005 05:40:00 AM  
Blogger Mark in Texas said...

How many Marines would it take to effect regime change in Zimbabawe? My guess is about three companies worth with air support.

Treat Zimbabawe like Haiti. Whenever the people running the place get so completely offensive to normal sensibilities we go in and get rid of them so that the locals have another chance to start over and build a better life for themselves. Maybe this time they will get it right.

In about 30 years, we go back and do it again.

6/07/2005 05:41:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

Wretchard:

I wonder if the world will ever have to pay the price for letting Africa suffer so.

Sorry, Wretch, but I can't let that one pass. You are a wise person and have written much that is wise, but this is a really silly thing to say.

The world did not "let" Africa suffer. The Africans are not children, nor are they helpless actors in their own tragedies. If we ever want Africa to emerge from the endless cycles of chaos and destruction, we are going to have to do something we've never done before: make the Africans solve it themselves.

It's no longer appropriate to blame colonialism or exploitation for sub-Saharan Africa's woes -- other ex-colonies like Singapore have emerged and even thrived. Japan was almost totally destroyed after World War II, but (with significant American aid, to be sure) became a world economic power in just a few decades.

But Africa suffers from the same ills, year after year. The NGOs pour in money, and all that comes back is misery, broken dreams, and failed hopes. It is the NGOs, in my view, that have enabled the African states to continue playing the victim -- with aid and foodstuff pouring in, they are under no real pressure to reform.

We are seeing the wages of tribalism, cronyism, and backwardness. And you cannot blame America or the UN or even the NGOs (who have done much harm in the name of doing good). You can only look to the Africans themselves. We in the West have a lot of evils to atone for in Africa, but we are not responsible for much of the chaos that reigns there now, and it is useless self-flagellation to suggest that we are.

Res Ipsa Loquitur.

6/07/2005 05:44:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

"Anyone who has taken a vacation in the Caribbean has been driven from the airport right past some of the worst poverty in the world. The roots of those people are deeply imbedded in Africa."
---
Don,
I have not vacationed there, but have several friends from Haiti.
Seems what has allowed things to remain as bad as they are is an extreme elitist (French) view of the world.
A view that would be characterized by us as reminiscent of Robert Byrd's glory days in the kkk.

But to the intelligentsia, the French view is much superior to ours.

6/07/2005 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

I always enjoy wretchard's work, but I cannot agree on Africa. There is not once country on the entire African continent that is as honestly administered or the people as well-off, as they were in 1958 or so when colonial governments (or their successors such as in the Republic of South Africa) ran almost the entire continent.

With the best of intentions and hundreds of billions over the past 50 years, the indigenous population (abetted by their European socialist educated elites) have screwed Africa up to a fare-thee-well.

Look at Rhodesia! A complete shambles in what was a significant exporter of food and agricultural products. Ian Smith was right about Mugabe!

While the misery of the African populations is truly heart-rending, it is difficult to have much sympathy for any of these societies. There really seem to be only two choices: reimpose colonial regimes on (at least sub-Saharan) Africa and put the continent in order, using its own resources to pay for it, or, as Kim du Toit suggests, essentially building a wall around the continent (except where we need resources which we'll pay for in cash), getting all the Europeans and Asians and their descendents out, and waiting 50-100 years to see how it sorts itself out.

I suspect there won't be much left after 25 years, let alone 50-100. Personally, except to pay for resouces purchased, and for military bases or operations for our own security, I would not put a penny into Africa.

6/07/2005 06:29:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Appeasement is easy because it puts off the day of reckoning. I think that is human nature; you see it in the day-to-day actions of many people as well as nations. (Studying for tests, doing chores around the house, coming up with a real energy policy, fixing Social Security, facing the reality of Islamo-FAscism, doing something about Africa.)

6/07/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Agree with Monty and the others noting the long long history of African poverty, disease, famine, and genocide. I have African fatigue when it comes to being asked by Tony Blair, once again, to throw money at the problem.

If Mr. Bush *were* to contribute buckets of nice green American dollars, why would any sane person think it would make the slightest difference, and that Zimbabwe will be able to pull itself out of its self-imposed downslide?

Every 3 to 5 years, some new dictator steals the headlines in Africa, as they seem to pass the horror around from one country to another. South Africa. Uganda. Sudan/Dufur.

The story of the nuns above is heart-tugging, but it's nevertheless just a microcosm of the overall anarchy there. Until the Africans can figure out how to live with one another and how to feed themselves and how to grow up and be adults, I *really* am not interested at all in contributing towards keeping them alive so they can breed and replenish their stocks of self-annihilators.

Before they get another red American cent, they need to show how at least one dramatic change has been accomplished, so there is at least a chance that the outcome will also be different.

6/07/2005 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Besides, we're sort of busy re-fashioning the Middle East right now. Can we *really* be responsible for leading TWO continents into the 21st Century kicking and screaming? We're rich and we're powerful and we're wayyyyy smart ... but this is getting ridiculous.

Next, someone will want us to help France grow up.

6/07/2005 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Look honestly it would be better for everyone involved if our leading political lights started reading Livy, a lot, at about the time of the suicide of Hannibal onward.

Why, in the name of God, do we not just send a couple stealth fighters in there and kill Mugabe where he sleeps? What could possibly be the drawback to it? Must everything be preceded by some goddamn media campaign, only to be inevitably subverted by the left-Islamist/post-colonial buffoons? What is happening here? Enough: send in the fighters, call Kofi out of his faberge little perch and say "Well get the F in there and do something about it now, big mouth."

It would do well for the prime power in the world to shake off the ennui and by now mock-despair left over from WWI and the suicide of Europe. Let the resentments of the conquered third world--resentments springing from what are utterly normal and in many cases beneficial events, historically speaking--have their little carping session and go back to their somnolent barbarism.

At least, however, we will have secured them a respite from their moral-monkey leadership, and perhaps allow a better man or woman to rise to the helm. And, in any other case, it is simply immoral to sit idly by when--although I know little about such ordinance--1 or 2 tons of high explosives surgically placed would end it all in two seconds.

6/07/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The UN, by the way, is nothing but a symptom of the self-destruction of Europe in World War I. Perhaps honorable mention out to go to the Hague Convention and demilitarization talks sponsored by Nicholas.

It is beyond time, or it as at least time, to shake it finally off, and start throwing our weight around a little more conspicuously, and to talk a little more loudly about who we would like to see elected and why in places like Germany, France, Russia, Turkey, China and Japan. This reticence may seem prudent, but it is in reality a shadow of the appeasement psychology that prevailed in the aftermath of the war. So the Great Powers screwed up thinking it would be a quick victory. Well we're three generations away from it, and utterly separated by it and World War II from that old, ended world. Enough already. I propose we start pushing the UN much, much harder. African despots should be merely annihilated, without apology. They should not be left to merely simmer and slaughter in their racial-ideological cul de sacs when we have such an indomitable air force.

6/07/2005 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

This would, by the way, have the effect of terrifying potential future dictators, as nahncee rightly describes, into at least being more circumspect and perhaps, in the best of all possible worlds, even sincerely well-behaved. Necessity is the mother of invention. Thus spake Frank Zappa.

6/07/2005 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger erp said...

CatoRenasci said: "There is not once country on the entire African continent that is as honestly administered or the people as well-off, as they were in 1958 or so when colonial governments (or their successors such as in the Republic of South Africa) ran almost the entire continent."

Don't you hate it when the answer seems so clear and yet the rest of the world either can't or won't recognize it? The leftwing nonsense of the noble savage being able to manage the affairs of the 20th century with absolutely no training or experience has proved disastrous and deadly to the entire African continent.

If the U.N. was doing it's job, there would be management teams in all the out-of-control African countries plundered and decimated by their own leaders. These teams would be there for the long term to setup an infrastructure and train the native population in how to govern. At least one generation must pass before any progress can be made and the fiction that socialism is a viable way of running a country must be put to rest.

Since that won't happen, I'm beginning to lean towards the "let them kill each other and we'll declare the last man standing the winner" approach with the proviso that we send no more aid. There is no way to keep the aid from reaching the retirement fund of the strongman, so other than making a lot of liberals feel good about themselves, why bother?

People like these courageous compassionate nuns are to be commended for their good intentions, but nothing they or we do will make a difference. We're a long way from seeing the problem as it is. Africa was sacrificed on the altar of world socialism. Colonial powers were shamed by world opinion into giving their colonies their freedom knowing full well they weren't ready to go it alone.

The results fifty years later are only too painfully clear, yet the liberal monolith still can't or won't see it, so organizations like Amnesty International are grabbing headlines about Gitmo and idiots like Biden are demanding that we raze the prison and put the prisoners into our criminal justice system so each and every one of them can have a trial like the one coming to a close in California.

The world has gone mad and we're helpless to do more than lament about it.

6/07/2005 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I agree that sending aid to these nations makes the long term situation worse; the problem is that no one is willing to state that as a matter of policy.

I would favor air/commando strikes against the governments/military involved; I do think that that would make them think twice about these actions. But then, of course, we would need to do the same to the other side in six months or a year, because they'll just do the same thing back if they have the opportunity.

6/07/2005 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Were President Bush to announce a massive aid program for Africa, to be preceeded by military strikes designed to eliminate the biggest problem on the continent - and the ultimate cause of the other problems - the Mugabes and their ilk - such action would be denounced as racist.
The current policy of looking the other way and giving tyrants a pass based on their skin color is not seen as racist - depite the fact that the disasterous consequences fall largely on one particular race.
Ever since Orwell wrote 1984, we have feared the arrival of the Ministery of Truth.
Who could have ever guessed that the hated twister and inverter of words would come in the form of private news companies, NGOs, and "human rights" advocates?
Maybe the book should be retitled 1984inc or Move On To 1984.Com

6/07/2005 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

go dan go

Lo those many years ago, sitting on a hill above Fort Kobbe, Canal Zone, the truth of American Colonialism came to me.
The power from afar believes it is doing good things by assisting the locals, improving public works, curing malaria, injecting huge sums of cash into the local economy. The Locals believe they are being exploited. Their Rights abused, their manhood dissed and their money stolen.
When left to their own devices the Locals will, without fail, sink to the lowest common denominator. Violence. Usually State Violence aimed at the local population.
In Panama it did not take a long US campaign to remove the "Bully Boy" and replace him. There is a real civil society in Panama and those people stepped up, when safe to do so. They could not, however, have removed their little despot themselves.
In Iraq it has taken longer to develop a civil order to hand off to. The scale of the project is much larger and the distance to be traveled further. In Iraq the Civil Order had been suppressed for a much longer time.
In both countries the Religious Community provided a moral core.
In Africa it would take little time to remove the despots. We would not be rebuilding the societies but having to create them whole cloth from the wreckage of the current situation.
The question of who to hand off to is of secondary import, today.

Today in the Sudan and in Zimbabwe the situation demands action. If we have to burn the village to save it, well there are worse courses of action. To do nothing, to have 'stability' is a disaster, both now and in the making.

This is no ideologue project, not spreading Democracy or Freedom, this is saving peoples lives, like rescuing a drowning child. We do not ask what will become of the child, what schools will he attend, what occupation will he choose, no, we jump into the water to save the life.

6/07/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

A good book on this very topic is Dark Star Safari by the travel writer Paul Theroux. I disagree with his politics, but he sees the problems with the NGOs in Africa very clearly. I'd recommend this book very highly to anyone who's interested in the "Africa Problem".

6/07/2005 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Papa bear hints at what I believe is the case:

Obsessive focus of late on America's human rights misdemeanors has had the effect of distracting the world's attention from wholesale genocide by China's client state, Sudan, and China's brutal grab for Zimbabwean influence.

Where are the critics of 'propped-up' dictators and 'interference with sovereignty'?

Just as the Soviet-financed anti-war and nuclear freeze movements kept the West on the defensive, let's not be surprised to find China's hand behind the outsized attention presently being paid to America's shortcomings.

The Cold War is back, and Africa is, once again, a battlefield.

6/07/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

In other words, whipping the press into an anti-American frenzy provides excellent cover.

6/07/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Too late.

I follow the Kim du Toit school of thought on Africa, although I find Wretchard's "karma" argument compelling. It seems clear enough to me that the withdrawal of colonial power from Africa was an evolutionary death-knell for the continent; mirroring, perhaps, a hypothetical withdrawal of American colonists from North America. The natives simply do not have the statist initiative to build their own modern, civil societies. It hasn't evolved there yet.

6/07/2005 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger Mark in Texas said...

Some decades back, Bob Geldof got a bunch of his celebrity friends worked up about providing food to people who were starving in Africa. The experience left him somewhat disilusioned as the governments of the recipient nations tended to provide the food to their supporters and starve their opponents.

My modest proposal would be for Mr.Geldof and his well off celebrity buddies to invest in those places in Africa that are not too chaotic. Ghana and Mozambique, for example are semi stable countries, although desperately poor and grotesquely mismanaged. Geldof could finance a plant to produce fuel ethanol from sugar cane either to sell locally to mix with gasoline and improve the local foreign exchange situation or to export to Europe to help them achieve their oft stated and never achieved goal of 2% biofuel.

It's better to light one candle than curse the darkness, but it is easier to keep your candle going if you are not standing outside in a hurricane.

6/07/2005 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Treat Zimbabawe like Haiti. Whenever the people running the place get so completely offensive to normal sensibilities we go in and get rid of them so that the locals have another chance to start over and build a better life for themselves.

Yep; that's exactly what happened in the case of Uganda, except in that case "we" was actually Nyerere of Tanzania (not normally thought of as part of The West.) Not soon enough, mind you, not nearly soon enough--but far better than "never".

6/07/2005 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Back in the 1960's, there was a movie called "The Mouse That Roared". It was a comedy and its premise was that if you're a bankrupt country and can't feed yourself, declare war on the United States. And then immediately lose. Because it's well-known that historically after the U.S. wins a war, it then pumps massive amounts of money into the defeated country to help it get back on its feet.

I would like to propose a new meme for American hegemony in the 21st Century. To wit, if a country wants massive amounts of money pumped into it to get back up on its feet, it needs to indicate its willingness to be a participant in the bargain by first removing whatever dictator, tyrant, or nut-case has got it in that position in the first place. And by removing, the more permanent the removal, the more likely said country is to be rewarded by Uncle Sam.

This means that if the Iraqi's had been *serious* about their personal freedoms they would have found a way to kill off Saddam. Same with Mugabe. Is Syria interested in becoming rich, educated and well-fed? Well, it, too, has a figurehead who could be summarily removed at which point the US would send in whatever is necessary to help Syria achieve state-hood.

It would have worked, too, with the Plighted Palestinians and *their* dreadful figurehead, Arafat. He needed to be removed before the process could go forward. Too bad the Palestinians would rather starve to death than figure that out and help themselves.

The French aren't too well off right now either. And guess who *they* have as a figurehead whom I think it would be swell to watch swinging from a lightpole.

You want our help? Prove it.

6/07/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I have been fascinated with Africa since my teens. I believe it was Dr. Livingstone who opined 150 years ago that Africa seemed to be a place where life, rather than growing and pressing forward, rose up, peaked and folded upon itself in a continuous, often destructive cycle. I traveled to east Africa 6 months ago for the first time, and whether it was Dr. Livingstone that planted the seed of my observations or not, this did appear to be the case.
Recently Dutch MP Hirshi Ali was discussing her early years growing up in Somalia in an interview (I may have found the link to the interview on an earlier Belmont Club post--can't recall). To the western ear she painted quite a bleak picture, and the interviewer was attempting to get her to admit as much (admit her victimhood it seemd to me). To Ms. Ali's credit she didn't take the bait, rather she pointed to the fact that by African standards her upbringing was quite normal and comparatively better than many others.
I guess the point that I am trying to make in a roundabout way is it seems to me that the way adversity is often met with a shrug of the shoulders and resigned to fate seems to be woven into the fabric of Africa. Maybe nothing can be done that will have a lasting effect--maybe a wall around the continent is the answer as an earlier poster suggested. Whatever the answer is, it has to be home grown. And as long as Mr. Mugabe's neighbors continue to turn a blind eye to his shenanigans, and upstanding world citizens like Mr. Chirac continue to invite despots like Mugabe to Paris immediately after an EU travel ban expires (thereby conferring legitimacy in Mugabe's eyes no doubt), nothing will change.
Too bad the Selous Scouts have effectively been disbanded... http://www.regiments.org/regiments/africacentral/regts/zw-selou.htm

6/07/2005 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Major John said...

I am sorry folks - I can't just shrug and say "they made their bed, let 'em lie in it". What did 4,6,8 and 10 year old children do to desrve this. I intend on helping the nuns with a bit of money and trying to spread the news. I can do little to pressure decision makers, but I will try.

I have already had to put up or shut up before. This seems like time to put up.

6/07/2005 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Monty said...

major john:

I certainly understand your sympathy for the children; can anyone with a heart feel otherwise? And yet the various aid organizations -- CARE, UNICEF, all the other NGO alphabet soup crew -- have been in operation for half a century, and to what effect? The poor children of a former age live only to sire more poor children with no more future than they themselves had.

If I could magically make it so that I could give a cow or several bags of maize directly to a needy family in Africa, I'd do it in a moment. But I refuse to give money to the NGOs -- it goes only to perpetuate this sad and sorry spectacle we see in Africa today.

Money will not help Africa. Welfare states do not teach people self-sufficiency and a work ethic; it simply trains them to be professional victims, generation after generation. As Thomas Paine said, "What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly." If the African people can be made to understand that they -- and they alone -- are responsible for their own lives and destinies, then perhaps some forward movement is possible.

The strategic concern for the U.S. is the "failed state" problem, the very same that drove us to invade Iraq. Failed states are havens for terrorists, and foment discord and warfare not only inside their own borders but in neighboring areas as well. I would support military action in extreme cases like Darfur or Rwanda (I will hate Madeline Albright forever for her cowardice and lack of moral vision in that slaughter), but I am absolutely convinced that any effort to "stop poverty" in Africa via NGOs is doomed to come to tears.

6/07/2005 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...

"And where are the marchers in the west? Where are the protesters calling for justice in Zimbabwe? Where is the outrage from those tireless tribunes of the Third World, the UN?"

What was it the carpenter's son said about stuff like this? Something about straining the gnat and swallowing the camel?

6/07/2005 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Wretchard is right.

"I'm going out on a limb by saying this, but here goes ... World Wars break out when the Great Powers run out of pitiful and inferior races to feed predators. On that day, as on Sept 1, 1939 or Dec 7, 1941 or Sept 11, 2001 the predators finally attack us and war begins. "

Once a nation begins to feed on its young, it should be declared a pariah and invaded by its neighbors. South Africa could make short work of Mugabe with armored columns and cavalry and the whole population would rise up to support it. One Modern Battalion of free men would do him in.

A man begins by hurting and controlling those around him and gains wider ground by doing it to more and more people. One day he is made a governor then a president, but the seeds have to sprout and grow. All he needs is legitimacy to obtain the final stage for his horror.

If a serial murderer is elected president, does that somehow absolve him of his sickness and thus free him to commit greater crimes?

I do not know why dictatorships are tolerated in this day and age. We know so much about the psychology of the sociopath and the evolution of dicatorship that we sould be able to prevent it or stop it.

Its disgusting. The Moral Relativism of the left blinds them and makes them incapapable of acting.

Mugabe is getting support from Chavez and North Korea as well.

6/07/2005 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Anne Haight said...

You can send a message to Amnesty International at this web form:

http://web.amnesty.org/contacts/contact_us/eng-000

I just did.

6/07/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

red river
You are right on
There is a Global War, has been for decades. Some Axis powers drop out, others drop in.
Kim, Mugabe, Saddam, the Mullahs, the Sudanese, Chavez and Castro to name the ones on the top of my head all constitute an AntiAmerican Axis. In many ways they are aided and abetted by the Chicoms and to a lesser extent the Russians.
The War has many fronts and avenues of attack, not all military.
We cannot turn our backs to the conflict, it will not just go away, and wishing will not make it so.

6/07/2005 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

i was a young rhodesian infantry officer at the time of the bush war of the seventies. mugabe was a terrorist then just as he is now. the rest of the world wasn't that interested. the west had the cold war on its plate. south africa had its own problems. mugabe murdered his way into power in almost precisely the same way the sunnis might conceivably murder their way into power in iraq. the rhodesian whites had run out of money after over ten years of un sanctions. they mistakenly thought that they could remain productively in rhodesia post black majority rule because who would be stupid enough to kick them out and kill the goose that laid the golden egg. (we are too valuable an asset! wrong!) the rhodesian african population's attitude was "anything for a quiet life". so they voted in mugabe - who has become progressively more despotic and is now obviously mad.

the weird thing is when i lived there there the place - and south africa - was wall to wall with selous scouts, sas, paratroopers, the entire country was armed and everyone over 18 was an experienced soldier - all of whom used to say they would personally give mugabe a third eye if necessary. we all dug holes all over the country and cached all kinds of arms, mines, rpg 7s, etc. and yet i've never heard of any incidents at all. not a single land mine, not a single bullet. i guess talk is cheap.

6/07/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

foxenburg your observations have alot to say about The Fourth Conjecture

6/07/2005 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

CITW,
“Black Africa is home of one vote one time”. Give me a break.

DR,
In October, 2004; “Mr Blair said building stability in Africa would be to the West's advantage, as "we know that poverty and instability leads to weak states which can become havens for terrorists and other criminals"”.

“He also said Britain hoped to train 20,000 African peacekeepers over the next five years.”

Just this week Blair announced his intentions of “doubling” the monetary aid the UK is allocating to the region.

“UK renews calls for Africa debt plan
Proposals by the UK to write off debt as part of moves to reduce poverty in Africa face US opposition ahead of July's G8 meeting.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/africa/2005/africa/default.stm

“North Korea. In the early 1980s, North Korea sent elite troops to Zimbabwe-Rhodesia to train Mugabe's notorious 5th Brigade. Once trained, Mugabe's troops went on to slaughter 30,000 anti-communist black Matabele tribesmen who opposed his rule.”
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=19102

“There are 40,000 white farmers in South Africa. Over 1,200 have been murdered since 1994 – the year the Marxist African National Congress, backed by the United Nations, European Union, Russia, China and the U.S. State Department, took power.”
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=27892

6/07/2005 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

What would follow a bombing, preceded beforehand by only a diplomatic cable to any sensitive individuals? International denunciation; increased terror-recruiting success among the Islamic mafiosi in Africa; probable increased cooperation among China, its client North Korea, their clients Pakistan and Iran, with the various dictators in their orbit in Africa; more NGO studies proving their Lenin-derivative theses concerning the soul-less imperial materialism of the USA; possible sanctions against the USA, depending how deeply the resentment/panic runs, and how slow everyone is to point out the brutality of Mugabe; in the event of widespread self-destruction of the populace following an air-strike, there would be no short-term rhetorical quarter for the USA and Bushitler.

On the pro side, the government would be forced into emergency mode, Mugabe's forces would be paralyzed to some extent while anti-Mugabe forces, presuming they exist (since it's Africa, they must). A precedent would have been established concerning the unpredictability of the USA, and a new consistency among the targets would bolster our own rhetoric concerning the criteria for destruction-from-the-air. Chaos would ensue to some extent. The USA would sponsor regional talks among the relevant African treaty organizations. USA would be denounced, but the surrounding nations would be forced to consider exactly who they were going to appoint in place as a provisional government. Should we dislike the new choice, unless it was democratically elected, we would give them a grace period, and, when the inevitable resumed, would repeat Plan A.

Also I'd think we'd gain an enormous number of converts from super-enthusiastic Africans.

Meanwhile, the same problems would persist but hardly be exacerbated (not like the enemies require any additional reasons what with their thuggish views of history and language in general). And dictators everywhere would wonder with a certain intimate and profoundly personally anxiety, "am I next?"

The problem with the Iraq threat is that, although it estalished our willingness and ability to utterly silence a dictatorial regime, it did do so in a way that a given dictator would think would occur apart from a land invasion.

In fact, just for practice, and given the abject desire of our target, we should try it out just as an experiment. Who knows--if a country like Zimbabwe didn't dissolve into cannablistic chaos, we could reconsider such options with respect to Iran, Syria, Venezuala. Of course Russia and China would go into overtime, but the smooth competence the Left tacitly attributes to our enemies is never borne out in reality; there's no reason to believe they're not Always Already going balls-out in whatever anti-USA plots they're continually hatching.

The ordinary course is diplomacy, international diplomacy, sanctions, provoke a war, declare war. There's no chance with the first four options. Let's just kill them a la Reagan v. Qaddafhi.

6/07/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

As usual, there are a couple typos in there. Apologies.

6/07/2005 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

it's the thought that counts

6/07/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Dusty Rhodes to Doom and Gloom.
DR said,
“This is no ideologue project, not spreading Democracy or Freedom, this is saving peoples lives, like rescuing a drowning child. We do not ask what will become of the child, what schools will he attend, what occupation will he choose, no, we jump into the water to save the life.”

Amen.

The fight was lost in Angola long ago. With Cuba and the soviets on same side as the UK, UN and the US state department, anti-white racism has succeeded in turning Africa into a socialist paradise. Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Rhodesia and others have been had. Face it, killing whities is good and it’s about time according to the apologists of the UN. But they never expected those killers to start killing their own.

"It's politically correct to kill whites these days. What is so strange is the fact that we white farmers feed the black population. But look at Zimbabwe. The black leaders have engineered a famine against their own black citizens. It's as if it's all part of some horrible 'master plan.' Apparently, getting blacks to starve blacks to death doesn't really bother anyone in the Western world."

China is now taking the lead in exploiting the region. See their oil developments in Namibia and elsewhere. The self hating whites of Britain, France, and the guilt ridden Anglophobes of the US state department have given up on Africa cuz the whities gotta go. Murder in the name of hating whites is not racism, it is how the 21st century is going to be played out. Africa is the theater of a proxy war that the West has already surrendered.

So Foxenburg, are you now an African American?

6/07/2005 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger ssloth said...

Amnesty International's 2005 Report does cover events in Zimbabwe.
http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/zwe-summary-eng

6/07/2005 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger ssloth said...

Amnesty International did report on Zimbabwe in the same report that it refers to Gitmo as an "American Gulag."

http://web.amnesty.org/report2005/zwe-summary-eng

6/07/2005 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

the timing was all to pot. had rhodesia, and maybe even south africa, been able to hold on another fifteen years until the ussr collapsed and china become more interested in developing trade with the rest of the world and less interested in fomenting trouble in the third world...who knows? ian smith and the rhodesian front (main white political party) weren't so much against black power per se as against immediate
overwhelming black power. i suppose you might say they wanted to ease into the situation, excercise a bit of control.
anyway, that didn't happen.

on a funnier note, of late the chinese have been swapping fighter aircraft, tractors, fuel, etc for large tracts of agricultural land in zimbabwe. the chinese are in a strong bargaining position because no-one else will trade with zimbabwe because it's got no money.

what will they do with all this land? grow mealies (corn) and suchlike. but none of the population has any money to buy the produce. not to worry. well meaning westerners will send money to aid agencies who will source their food aid...where? ideally locally. from chinese owned farms in zimbabwe. if tony blair manages to do good job of shaking down george bush as we speak, the chinese will do very well.

6/07/2005 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

With Chinese managment the farms of Rhodesia will bloom once more. With all the fewer mouths to feed there will be all more to export for cash.

Just because you're paranoid does not mean they are not after you

6/07/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger NemoDatQuod said...

Wretchard..."The UN] has lost its way as an institution, but the real shame is that the liberal intelligensia, the ones who should know better, have come to shepherd it further into the dark."

Right on. And points to what we (individually) can do (attempt) in order to fix things: Push our own politicians towards cutting funding, not just of 'liberal' NGO's etc. but for ALL NGO's and ALL institutions which refuse to attempt to adhere to their 'commitments'.

6/07/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

The Gun first, then the care package.

Either you go in with the rule of law, backed by force, and then feed the starving, lonely masses, or you back tyrants that butcher now with your consent. Would we consider it a moral choice to remain quiet when your neighbor's husband beats her to an inch of her life every night? Would we consider it moral to do nice things, throw parties for the psychopath in order to calm him down? How moral is it to cheer up the downtrodden every once in a while, "it's okay, buckaroo, you're still a pretty girl...?"

In the end, the question is not whether aid does anything at all, good, bad, neutral, whatever, because it is fundamentally not a question of ethics. The ethical question is whether you will do anything at all to put the butchers in boxes, not to console the latest, and the next, victims. One is a moral quandary, the other is just a designation of humanity.

6/07/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

How is it so easy for many to write off Africa?

Maybe they are just in a different time and place from what are- our cultural norms-and from where we get our bearings and make judgements.

Is it not a form of racism-yes I am being provacative- to say that they are perhaps under more corrupt forms of government than the corrupt historical monarchies of Europe or-heck,today's Chirac?

The UN Oil for Food deal proves that those we feel to be more sophisticate and capable of self rule are no less masters of corruption.

The tribal difficulties just in numbers, language and religious differences are they that much more complex than say the Balkans?

The colonist imposition of false nations and non-organic derived borders in Central Africa-again do they differ from the geographic center of Europe-the Balkans?

I am sure that the conflicts of the Balkan region at one time looked just as hopeless and even though there is still conflict there it does not match the scale of what it once did.

The ignoring of these conflicts and appeasement at the cost of principles eventually cost Europe WWI and perhaps the sloppy resolution of that lead to the continuation- WW II.

6/07/2005 05:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Madawaskan,

The colonist imposition of false nations and non-organic derived borders in Central Africa-again do they differ from the geographic center of Europe-the Balkans?

I have the same question, but in Central Europe there are castles, ancient roads, mentions in history books. In sub-Saharan Africa there is precious little if any ancient history of civilization. It's like North America in that sense.

------------

Verc,

Tremendous posts!

Would we consider it moral to do nice things, throw parties for the psychopath in order to calm him down?

The problem there is not just one psychopath per country. I'm afraid there are entire psychopathic countries, and they all have AK's.

When I got stuck in Johannesburg for a few weeks in '79, only one class of citizens had guns, and every man one of them of that class carried guns at all times. I got a kick out of asking guys in bars about their gun, they'd pull up their trouser leg and show me their Star 45 on their ankle like it was a nice pair of cufflinks. It was like they were all cops, and there was very little crime. Heck, when I was there I read a story in the paper where some guy heard a burglar alarm go off so he grabbed his hunting rifle. He shot the three miscreants as they were running away. The thing that struck me is that they got two or three blocks away before he got them. Whoa.

That model is broken, the AK genie is out, literally millions, like locusts on the land.

Smart bombs don't break all the AK's.

Smart aid might be the best we can do.

6/07/2005 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

It's interesting-do you ever see one Liberal blog concerned about this?

Why do they always- in my lifetime seem to enable genocide-right down to Ben Stein's article on how Watergate prevented Nixon from being able to un-do Pol Pot-I think the Ayn Rand quote and the analysis of Liberal's false motives explains it somewhat.

It's noticable how they strive to distance themselves from the religious-such as the nuns who do the work of these talkers...

The comments of some from- who have been in the area- does make it sound like the wild, wild west.

Tony- I agree with you they might have more of a oral history but I also think that maybe they can rapid develop much as North America did.

I think they are capapble of it-unlike Liberals who seem to feel they need or want Communism because they like strong rule or feel a need for enforcement/security-remember those arguments about the Soviets?

It's an arrogance and this is kind of funny- but I think it can be un-done by the Liberal's own noble savage syndrome...

Cultural anthropological studies of [-wow- I've said this before- but] the Mbuti pygmies have come up with a surprisingly democratic system that gives power to the children[ I agree with Major John] and might be rare for nomads but yet it happened with no exposure to Western Civilization's societal norms.

6/07/2005 06:58:00 PM  
Blogger Monty said...

Mark Steyn weighs in on this issue.

6/07/2005 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger Tokyo Tom said...

CatoRenasci and Dan are right:

We are looking at a failed world order. The obvious solution for many parts of Africa is for the donor countries to empower the UN or its members to administer failed countries like Zimbabwe. Otherwise our aid just enables corrupt leaders to carry on as before.

The UN Security Counsel can authorize action (not a strong case since Mugabe is terrorizing only his own people, not threatening his neighbors), but there is no institutionalized mechanism for "nation-building". But when we see the Bush administration push guys like Boulton to be ambasssodor to the UN, you can see that the US has no apetite for using the UN as a multilateral tool to solve problems like in Zimbabwe, the Sudan or Myanmar.

Mugabe has turned a bread basket into a basket case, and the world has stood idly by. Mugabe plays us all for fools, who will wring our hands at action, but then step up with food relief as he forces his own people into starvation.

Action to remove Mugabe would require a resolution of the UN Security Council; but Mugabe is not threatening his neighbors with WMDs, so the rest of the world prefers not to establish precedents for interfering in the internal affairs of sovereign nations.

By the way, another problem here reflects the steady growth of Chinese influence globally, including noticeably in Africa and Zimbabwe, at the expense of the US and its occasional Western allies. Mugabe is a Marxist, and has craftily turned to China for support, as Roger Bales of the American Enterprise Institute pointed out last week in the Weekly Standard: http://aei.org/publications/pubID.22581,filter.all/pub_detail.asp.

We can expect that China would veto any Security Counsel resolution authorizing action against Mugabe.

The only other decent option is to move to have Mugabe indicted by the International Criminal Court, in the same manner that cases are now being brought against Sudanese leaders.

Although Condoleezza Rice calls Zimbabwe one of the "outposts of tyranny", her words are empty. This Administration has no interest in insisting that the UN Security Council do anything about Zimbabwe. The US, although originally a chief driver of the ICC, now is firmly against the court, and so cannot push the court to take action against Mugabe. Britain or someone else, can, however.

No one has seen fit to request the Security Council to consider action against Zimbabwe. It seem that the hope has been that Mbeke of South Africa would persuade Mugabe to step down, but whatever "quiet diplomacy" Mbeke has been apply certainly is having no effect.

This is a real hole in the international system, as has been pointed out in this recent discussion in the UK House of Lords: http://skidelskyr.com/index.php?id=2,48,0,0,1,0.

Clearly the world would be better off if the UN were strengthened and given a mandate to act more proactively to deal with regimes such as Zimbabwe, but arguable there are many places where an intervention may be justified, and very few clear criteria to limit the potential scope.

Zimbabwe, the Sudan, Myanmar and Iraq are all necessary consenquences of the fact that the internation community is still compose of sovereign countries - each of which prefers to allow bad things happen elsewhere than to take the bull by the horns and tie themselves down to a system that demands more responsibility from each of its members. The big countries could of course protect themselves (and their allies) by allowing a veto at the UN Security Counsel level.

6/07/2005 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

I'm late to the dance with this but Catholic Charities is who I donate to. Not because of religious reasons but cpitalist ones -such as they are the most efficient.

You can put where you want it to go on the form-like to the nuns exampled by Wretchard.

They mailed me a receipt within two days and also let me know that my e-mail was not working-ha.

Here is the link-wish I would have found Wretchard's post earlier-they do not show up on bloggator lately.

http://www.catholiccharitiesinfo.org/

6/07/2005 08:20:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I agree with you they might have more of a oral history...

I don't think that's quite what he meant. My own assessment, which I presume agrees with Tony's, is more poetically described by Conrad. That is to say, Africa is essentially a "heart of darkness" in which the hallmarks of civilization are remarkably sparse. Your example of the Mbuti pygmies is possibly one indicator of societal progress, but the fact remains that they are still by and large an isolated tribal society, are they not?

... but I also think that maybe they can rapid develop much as North America did.

I will address this after dinner.

6/07/2005 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

tokyo tom-

You have got to be kidding...

The obvious solution for many parts of Africa is for the donor countries to empower the UN or its members to administer failed countries like Zimbabwe.

Three words for you...

Oil for Food.

Also unfortunately the UN is not backed by anyone more willing than the US, Britain and Aussies to apply force.

Unfortunately for what its worth the countries of France and Germany, and China tie their own hands. The UN to be blunt is an extension of our will-Clausewitz-and the invasion of Inchon illustrates that pretty well in particular with regards to balancing China- of which Africa is a present and future theater.

6/07/2005 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

Nathan-

Oh touche on the oral history line I was trying to enjoin him as to that being his idea-sort of a leap of inference on my part.

The Mbuti pygmies are nomadic so isolated....hmmm given the various tribes in Zaire-I don't know if I will concede that...

Something has to be hoped for and the heart of darkness doesn't seem like a light toward that end.

After dinner it is!

6/07/2005 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

As we are talking about how the Mbutis developed then given the nature of the Ituri forest at that time-

Ya I will have to give you the isolated.

In the present day-no- but that was not the environment of my own argument.

6/07/2005 08:46:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Thank you for clarifying the situation of the Mbutis.

Regarding North America, the rapid development of the continent can only be attributed to the aggressive colonialization efforts first of the major Western European powers, particularly the English, and then the first "Americans" following 1776. Manifest Destiny persisted throughout the 19th century, transforming the landscape from the untamed wilderness of the hunting-and-gathering native Americans, to fully agriculturalized land and industrialized cities virtually overnight.

But! The human costs were twofold: first, the displacement of the native Americans by force; second, the conditions of slave and immigrant labor upon which the agricultural and industrial bases were built.

If and only if those costs are considered acceptable and worth repeating, does the "rapid development" of the African continent approach any level of feasibility. Then, some agent willing to accept those costs must be found for the undertaking. Consensus in this thread points (rightly, I think) to China.

Will China seek to become an imperialist power? Time will tell.

6/07/2005 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

I think they are capable of it.

My argument above was predicated on the lack of agency of the Africans themselves, which I failed to address.

I don't know if they're capable of it, and I wouldn't put much faith in it either. Africa is not exactly a hotbed of native intellectualism developing the moral responsibility needed to accompany societal and technological modernization.

6/07/2005 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

"we all dug holes all over the country and cached all kinds of arms, mines, rpg 7s, etc. and yet i've never heard of any incidents at all. not a single land mine, not a single bullet. i guess talk is cheap."

Q: Why does the Ukranian^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Rhodesian pour oil in his garden?

A: To keep his guns from rusting.

6/07/2005 11:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Cmon, they've given us Kofi Annan, haven't they?

Surely they're just ready to explode into the 21st century with such leadership.

6/07/2005 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Above sarcastic comment was to Nathan.

6/07/2005 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

The Left has half-managed to convince the world of the Inevitability of History. That is why a superstate EU is depicted in terms of Destiny, a thing too foreordained to be derailed by anything as insignificant as voter choice. Other things are our inescapable fate: a UN, a growing secularism and whatnot. The tide of history. What I am afraid to add to that list is the certain doom of Africa and am most afraid because I half-believe in it myself.

The "Last Valley" post talked about the ancient battle of Dien Bien Phu. I had not mentioned an incident where a Viet Minh porter threw himself under a gun carriage to keep it from slipping back down the hill. If that Communist porter had really believed in the foreordination of history he would have let it slip. History would have rolled the carriage up the hill again or something else would have happened, because the Viet Minh triumph was foreordained. But of course that is ludicrous: that poor porter made history and by his choice and action kept that gun from sliding back down the mountain, disproving with his life the very tenet upon which his Communist faith rested. Nothing is foreordained and we are free to reach heaven or descend into hell. We are also free to help Africa, whether or not they "deserve" it and even if they cannot preserve the gift. But the only lasting gift one man can give to another is to awaken his deepest reserves of humanity. "For we hold it to be self-evident that ..." nothing is foreordained.

6/08/2005 01:43:00 AM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

Too many comments to even skim through in the time allotted, so I appologize if this has been suggested already. Instead of sending $$$ that'll only be stolen by Mugabe's thugs, send these people Kalashnikovs & ammo to turn Mugabe & his thugs into fertilizer.

6/08/2005 01:57:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Boston said...

The problem isn't Mugabe, although that particular individual and eveybody close to him is deserving of a 500# through the window, it's the whole friggin' continent. Ethnic and tribal competition existed for thousands of years before the historical blip of Western colonialism and it may continue for hundreds of years thereafter. Technology may make the carnage more intense and more visible but for so long as sub-Saharan Africans choose or are compelled by self-interest to organize themselves along ethnic and tribal lines it shall continue.

Democratic governments and their citizens can help speed the process of democratization across Africa by offering trade, technology, and support only to individuals, groups and the occasional government that value democratic principles and institutions, and by calling out and shunning those, like Mugabe, that do not. Why would anybody expect tyranny to stop when the the worst penalty a tyrant can expect from the western deomcracies is a villa in Southern France?

6/08/2005 04:09:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Madawaskan,

My comment comparing Africa to North America was only pointing out the fact that no ancient civilizations, no functioning remnants at least, still stand, unlike Europe, unlike Asia. I appreciate your "leap of inference" and I wish I could be as hopeful as you.

The dark side of the analogy, as Nathan points out, is that in North America, the indigenous population benefitted very little from the explosive development of the previously lost continent. That won't happen in Africa, there are too many people, to say the least, and they aren't armed with bows and arrows against which settler could prevail, they all have AK's.

Unlike our ongoing world war with the Islamofascists, our military is not the answer. Multiplying those nuns a million-fold would be the short-term answer, but only the angels could deliver that. Too bad Chicommunism doesn't produce nuns and charity.

------------

Off topic, but interesting ancient note on the spread of WMD's: The Vela Incident 1979

6/08/2005 05:38:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

re foxenburg's comment: "on a funnier note, of late the chinese have been swapping fighter aircraft, tractors, fuel, etc for large tracts of agricultural land in zimbabwe. the chinese are in a strong bargaining position because no-one else will trade with zimbabwe because it's got no money.

What will they do with all this land?"


Why, LIVE on it, of course

A question the Indians should have asked themselves when the first British colonies started establishing themselves in what later would become the US

China is over-crowded. That's why they implimented the "one child per couple" rule. But the rule is having adverse effects in China, with couples aborting females in favor of male children, leading to a shortage of potential wives for the current generation of young men. Having lots of frustrated young men is not good for the stability of a country. What to do with them all?

The answer, of course, is to do what nations have engaged in for thousands of years: go out and conquer. Seize more land for the excess population to go to. Zimbabwe and South Africa are fairly temperate regions in Africa. Farming is viable there, if you have people who know how to farm and are willing to work.

China has lots of peasants who would love lots of good land to farm on. Export a few million of them (over time -- don't want to alarm the locals too soon), and let them take over. The excess single men will have no problem acquiring wives among the local population -- the Chinese will be the only ones with food. Among the crates of agricultural supplies will be AK's and RPG's in case the locals get annoying

The locals will suffer the same fate as the American Indians.

And the Chinese have never cared what anybody else said about their actions

6/08/2005 06:14:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Or the same fate as the Argintine, Uraguyian and Brazilian Indians.
The Chinese care about the Chinese. They are a Nationalistic and Racist Culture. Always have been, may always be so. I am sure THEY see no reason to change.
The Chinese could not stop US from toppling the despot. Again, we should not worry to much today about the'end game' or 'exit plan'.
The Powell Doctrine of demanding both Over Whelming Superiority and 'If you break it, you own it' were great for the 20th Century. Time and Challenges march on. In the 21st Century we will need a doctrine of Minimal Force for Success and We broke it, Good luck.

6/08/2005 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

Oh no you guys are killing me with realism...dinnertime was my bedtime in Las Vegas...

Which the gangs here remind me of Braveheart...so we came from as violent a start.

The rapid wild west development was an idea I acquired by reading the comments here-I think Africa has to follow its own template and to super-impose an answer from our environment would be simplistic. But yes the Chinese-no problem!

Boy does Wretchard leave a lovely comment and I came close to dispair when I read this-

What I am afraid to add to that list is the certain doom of Africa and am most afraid because I half-believe in it myself.

But-thank God he continues from that point.

How is it to live in a hopeless society?

That would be one that would never reach the stars-never reach the moon...

Is Africa harder than that?

The Heart of Darkness by Conrad- I thought was a critique of imperialism and on low expectations of other races- the dark African. Of course I understood it backwards? I do have dyslexia....and to say that in college I read the book well....would be a stretch...I mostly rely on listening.

But that is how I understood it -but most poets and writers are dark brooders and you probably have the right interpretation after all Hemingway shot himself-and Conrad-I don't know.

6/08/2005 06:44:00 AM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/08/2005 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

regarding Tony's comment "That won't happen in Africa, there are too many people, to say the least, and they aren't armed with bows and arrows against which settler could prevail, they all have AK's."

Zimbabe's total population is under 13 million, total. China's population is a little over 1.3 billion. In China, a little over 10 million men a year turn 18. China could send over 10 million military-age men, armed with AKs, and not even notice their absence.

Once they have a foothold in Zimbabwe, they will bring over several million people who can support themselves by farming, and generate a profit via the mines.

Once that is done, they can walk into South Africa and take over the richest mineral area in the world

6/08/2005 06:49:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

While there are reports of Political persecution in Tibet, I do not recall reports of starvation or genocide.
Topple Mugumbe and let the Chinese administer the place, if they want. Let them understand that the people must eat and be allowed shelter. I'm pretty sure they'd take that deal.
The Zimbabwians would be better off, they'd be alive.

6/08/2005 06:50:00 AM  
Blogger madawaskan said...

desert rat-

The Powell Doctrine of demanding both Over Whelming Superiority and 'If you break it, you own it' were great for the 20th Century. Time and Challenges march on. In the 21st Century we will need a doctrine of Minimal Force for Success and We broke it, Good luck.

Powell gets on my last nerve but it's because of all of his excuses for inaction....Bosnia...the Balkans...

He was the king of the bon mot -QUAGMIRE back then.

I hate that word it is so French...

6/08/2005 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

papa
They have the man power to do that but not, I think, the inclination.
They like their people closer to home, where they are easier to watch.

6/08/2005 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

That, I think, is my point. There are times when action is required and the outcome cannot be preordained. Semper Gumby thinking is sometimes required.
As much as I disapprove of Ms. Albright she did ask Powell a pertinent question
"What good is this Military if we can't use it?" (paraphrased)
To engage only when there is NO chance of failure is, often, to not engage at all. That can sometimes lead to a worse outcome than muddling thru to a somewhat acceptable, but unknown at the start, conclusion.

6/08/2005 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

Papa,

I have to second Desert, modern China might have the troops, but they don't have a history of imperialism outside the Middle Kingdom. Tibet is a special case, it’s contiguous.

It could change, I suppose. And I do agree with Desert, who I think has posted on China as our most serious, long-term strategic threat. Unlike Islamofascism, we are facing a real civilization.

(Way off topic - That strategic treason is what annoyed me most about the Clinton Administration, the 'Chinagate' scandal that Reno refused to investigate. How could Loral, Hughes, dozens and dozens of other players be admitting crimes and paying (lightly) for them, and the Heart of Darkness at the center be pure? Arrrgghhh.)

6/08/2005 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Tokyo Tom:

We've already seen what turning swaths of humanity into permanent dependencies looks like. From the absence of elections in Kosovo to generational welfare dependency in the West, bureaucrats get to rule an infantilized, passive population of tax slaves. I wouldn't want it here, why would I wish it on someone else.

Papa bear:

Right again. You see the long term problem of China's male-to-female birth ratio. I'd thought of this army as a natual occupation force for portions of the middle east, but why not Africa, with its riches.

As for marrying the locals -- maybe -- but having spent a great deal of time in Asia (China in particular) I can tell you that you ain't seen racism till you get a dose of northeast Asian 'purity of the race' nonsense.

And you're right. China doesn't give a damn what the world thinks of it. There will be no Western television cameras on a Chinese battlefield -- and little carping from Western politicians afraid of losing contracts with Beijing.

I'm afraid jihadis are only the 21st century's warm-up act.

6/08/2005 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Wretchard's point about preordination reminded me of an argument I had last year when a colleague, following the news in Iraq, despaired of the "quagmire," the inevitable victory of the Black Pajamas, and similarly the inevitable obsolescence of the United States.

I reminded him of the highly successful geopolitical strategy of the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century; a strategy and an Empire that was only undone by the Great War with the other European superpowers.

If we regard the United States now as strategically positioned somewhat similarly to the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century, perhaps China is now positioned where the United States was then. And we hope that nothing is foreordained and that history does not repeat itself.

6/08/2005 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmo said...

Nathan:

Yes, and no.

In the late 1980's, when conventional wisdom held that we would become a vassal state of Japan, I wondered why the amibitious, the creative and those seeking opportunity weren't flocking to Tokyo they way they once did from all over the Continent to Paris, then from all points of the globe to the UK, and then, from all over the world to the U.S. Today, nearly 40% of the population of New York City was born outside the U.S.

But closed, mercantilist Japan was built for Japanese, just as China isn't being built as a global melting pot -- no matter how much the mandarins in Zhongnianhai want the rest of the world kowtowing to Beijing.

The future is entirely in our hands.

6/08/2005 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The Chinese will become more and more Economicly competitive as 21st century tech is laid over their existing and soon to be completed infrastructure. While their internal banking is weak their foriegn holdings in US debt is substantial.
Cal Thomas discusses the Chinese challenge here:
http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/ci_2786019
Their combat power off their mainland is negligable, except that Cal writes, quoting
"a brilliant new book by the late Constantine Menges, Ph.D., titled China: The Gathering Threat"
that
"...estimates by 2008, China will have more than 400 warheads capable of reaching U.S. territory"
Fight them on the fringes of each other sphere. That was the Cold War and if you thought is was over with the collapse of the Soviet Union you never really understood Mao, the PRC or Communists.
China is working clandestinely in Central & Southern Africa, Cuba and Venezuala and through Chavez supports insurections in Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia. I discount the Chinese commercial interests in the old Canal Zone, but many do not.
Mao was the Master of Revolution, much more so the Stalin. Read his Little Red Book. Like with Mein Kempf, it is all laid out for the reading and just requires a little understanding and knowledge that he was more than serious.

6/08/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

I think that Japan will build an increasingly large military presence, which will be very helpful to us; CHina is much more of a threat to the Japanese than to us.

6/08/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

One should hope so. The Japanese can afford it and are hated by the Chinese, with good reason.
I would hate to be dependent on the US for my survival, our track record of military success is not all that great when it comes to helping our Allies survive and prosper in Asia.

6/08/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What do you think, would President Hillary or Kerry or Newt chance a nuclear exchange with China in defense of Japan or Taiwan?
The Chinese well may. Remember these are the guys who lost 65,000 KIA in just 20 days in Korea. More than all our loses in either the Korean or Vietnamese Campaigns.

6/08/2005 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger J. Random American said...

"China is over-crowded. That's why they implimented the "one child per couple" rule. But the rule is having adverse effects in China, with couples aborting females in favor of male children, leading to a shortage of potential wives for the current generation of young men. Having lots of frustrated young men is not good for the stability of a country. What to do with them all?"

I think that is more likely to result in greater age disparity in marriages instead of a war. The 1 child policy has other effects; Western gov'ts aren't the only ones whose policies have unintended consequences. Since parents can't have many children, they pamper the one(s) they do. Scarcity increases their value, like anything else. I have seen 1st hand how Chinese parents and grandparents spoil and dote on these "Little Emperors." It will be much harder for the PRC to sustain the attrition wars of its past without creating huge domestic unrest now that most of those KIAs are the family's one and only precious baby boy. We think of our baby-boomers as the "me" generation. I wonder what the long term effect of China's own spoiled youth will cause. Perhaps their 1968 is just ahead. :)

6/08/2005 06:00:00 PM  
Blogger Pyrthroes said...

Less than a year ago, in a fit of proto-fascist pique, President Jacques Chirac invited Mugabe to Paris and sat with him aboard a motorcade up the Champs Elysee on Bastille Day. Did this desecration elicit even one comment from French sources? If so, it was not well-publicized. But then, Saloth Sar (aka Pol Pot) was resident in la belle France for years, imbibing the post-WWII nihilism of Sartre et.al. before returning to Cambodia to fulfill his destiny.

6/09/2005 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kent said...

Wretchard,

I've often wondered why appeasement was so easy. Every generation seems seduced by it. Maybe it's because the apparent marginal cost of appeasement seems so low. Extortion often begins with pennies. But the real cost is deferred because the cumulative implication of acquiescence to the principle doesn't manifest itself until the very end, like a bad installment plan.

... has to be one of the most lucid assessments of appeasement I've ever read. Financial debt is insidious because it conceals the true costs of a thing. The insight that appeasement is a kind of political recapitalization, which must be repaid later with blood and treasure, is brilliant.

This is a bit of a tangent, but it makes me think of the increasing willingness of some large corporations to take the risk of fighting frivolous lawsuits rather than settling.

publius jr's comments are also tangential, but spot-on. It will be interesting to see how 1968 replays in the Chinese context.

6/09/2005 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Sokwanele said...

The original post, picked up by zimpundit and then referenced here, came from Sokwanele.

Please visit our blog to read regular updates contributed by Sokwanele human rights activists.

We've also added a set of images recording 'Operation Drive Out Trash'. These have been taken by activists, and sent in to us by brave concerned members of the public desperate to call attention to the plight of Zimbabwe's poorest. Available via a link from our blog, or here on Flickr.

Please do what you can to ensure that the snowball of information keeps rolling and growing. Use these images and spread our news.

We'd appreciate if you provided a link back to us whenever possible. Getting information out - especially the truth - is difficult and not without risk. A growing audience makes it all worthwhile. Besides, it gives us all a massive boost to know that what we're doing is being heard.

You can read more about us on our website.

6/13/2005 06:47:00 AM  

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