Our recent trip to several countries in southern Africa was my second. My first was in 1984, before apartheid ended and the revolutionary pot was boiling.
We were under armed guard every minute.
Africa, the second-largest continent had a population of 221,000,000 in 1950 and is now estimated at 1.1 billion.
That substantial increase is in spite of the recent history of the continent which is steeped in blood.
In the late 19th century, European countries still believed in the mercantilist theory of international economics, which features closed trading systems where the dominant country receives raw materials, and exports finished goods to a colonial rural population that is not permitted such manufacture.
Thus Great Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy and others rushed to carve up an Africa hinterland to be mined for resources and to consume the “mother country’s” manufactured products.
Upon arriving, the conquering powers found an endless number of ancient tribes that lived through constant warfare about their boundaries and by subsistence or the slave trade.
Invading Europeans had their hands full bringing order out of this historic chaos. Much of Africa has again returned to chaos.
Each colonial power had differing success in “civilizing” their hinterlands while developing a loyal indigenous corps that could supplement their administration and regularizing indigenous markets and supply chains with an eye to eventual quasi-independent colony status.
Adam Smith’s notions of free trade among free nations had not yet penetrated European economics, so total independence of captive territories was not discussed … until it was too late.
By the late 20th century, the communist disease was running rampant throughout the Soviet territories, Eastern Europe and China.
China foresaw its population needing vast resources and viewed the destabilization of Western-oriented capitalist Africa as a major opportunity to not only spread the curse of communism, but also gain hegemony over sources of oil, gas, bauxite, iron ore and an array of other resources.
So Soviet and Chinese Communists aided by their captive allies in Eastern Europe undertook to train, dispatch, arm and finance wars of independence throughout Africa.
Even the sainted Nelson Mandela was a trained terrorist bomber. He wasn’t in prison for distributing political tracts. His vice president and successor, Mbeki, was president of an African Communist party.
While the American press reported wars in Africa as black-against-white, thereby freezing out American intervention, they were actually communist vs. capitalist wars.
Black capitalists in Africa were as much targets as were white settlers or colonial officials.
The disgusting hypocrisy of communism as seeded in both Russia and China is that while it claimed to be for the people it instead murdered or starved them by the millions.
Communist overlords exported their virulent rot to Africa and the murderous lawlessness that those two pariah nations ignited continues to this day.
Fully half of African countries are still involved in internal violence in which no one is safe.
While on this trip, I read several additional sources on pre- and post-colonial Africa.
Martin Meredith’s “The State of Africa” documents and recounts how a relatively peaceful continent, which was self-supporting, exported food and enjoyed an ever-rising standard of living, was wrenched from that path and plunged into horrendous savagery and starvation.
What pains me is that the American press, with apparently only one exception, has been useless in reporting the agony of Africa.
What little we hear is so incomplete that we don’t know what to believe.
The state of Africa is so vicious and savage that Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Jeffery Gettleman says that “instability, corruption, violence, and horror are a way of life for most Africans right up to today.”
Gettleman says that the current violence is worse than the revolutionary version because it is now without purpose, other than looting and murder.
African war leaders do not want to sit down at the bargaining table to become ministers of state in a peaceful coalition.
What would their child soldiers do? Turn on them!
“These are not armies fighting armies for control of countries; these a huge marauding bands of armed children seeking only booty, rape, slaves for sale or control for their leader of some major natural resource that he can barter off to willing buyers like the Chinese,” Gettleman reports.
Even tame Kenya has now been put on a traveler’s warning by the State Department because of violence stirred up by the political friends of President Obama’s father.
Space does not permit me to recount the country-by-country death toll to date.
In several countries, such as Algeria and Ethiopia, the totals exceed a million. In all the rest save tiny Botswana, the totals are still mounting and exceed hundreds of thousands.
Not much can be said for our craven U.S. foreign policy in regards to Africa. We tried foreign aid (really bribes) to the “big man” leaders of these countries.
Most of our money went immediately into the pockets of the dictators’ cronies and the balance was deposited in their own French or Swiss bank accounts.
Poor Americans subsidize rich dictators and our State Department calls it secret diplomacy.
Blood, blood, rivers of Blood: Africa
Stirling, a former U.S. Army officer, has been elected to the San Diego City Council, state Assembly and state Senate. He also served as a municipal and superior court judge in San Diego. Send comments to [email protected]
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