It would be nice if the entirety of this book is as good as this review but I suspect many of the more forthright sentiments are not quite those expressed in the book, but rather those of Jared Taylor, because I doubt it could have been published otherwise.
One paragraph towards the end (that JT strangely doesn’t dispute) that SAS readers will rightly call “utter liberal rubbish” is where Mandela is dutifully praised as being “among the tiny number who have not enriched themselves”. I wish the author had told us who the others are.
Now let me think of other leaders of African countries who did NOT get filthy rich. By far and away the least corrupt was Ian Douglas Smith who, at one time, even rode a bicycle to office. (If he was such a racist bastard how come a black bus or truck driver didn’t run him over?) Later he drove himself in an old Peugeot 404 without any security whatsover..! But we must also not forget the unfairly slandered Hendrik Verwoerd. PW Botha retired to a house in Wilderness but that’s not exactly Constantia or Cannes is it? Who else? Ah, I’ve just been told that whites were racist rulers and not “African leaders”.
Sorry..! Then all I can say is that the "tiniest number" one can get is ZERO..!
Review by Jared Taylor, American Renaissance, February 2006
The Fate of Africa: From the Hopes of Freedom to the Heart of DespairBy Martin MeredithPublic Affairs Press, 2005752 pp., $35.00
At close to 800 pages, The Fate of Africa is a huge book about a huge subject: the history of Africa since independence. Martin Meredith, who worked for years as a journalist on the continent and who has written eight other books about Africa, carries off this nearly impossible task with just the right combination of style and scholarship. At the same time, he sugarcoats nothing and spares no one. As any honest contemporary history of the continent must be, this is largely a story of greed, corruption, oppression and massacre. There may be no better and more up-to-date single-volume account.
The Fate of Africa covers North Africa as well, but this review will concentrate on the continent south of the Sahara. Although Mr. Meredith draws few broad conclusions, he offers a wealth of evidence for anyone who wishes to.
Untouched by Europe
As Mr. Meredith explains, even though in some cases colonization had lasted 200 years, most blacks were essentially untouched by Europe. The French ran their West African empire with only 385 white administrators, and the British were famous for equally thin-stretched, indirect rule. At the end of the Second World War, only the British even thought in terms of eventual independence for these untutored lands, and did not foresee it until the end of the 20th century. It was pressure from the United States, post-war exhaustion, and militant independence movements that forced a pace no one anticipated in 1945.
Whatever the timetable, because it was West Africa that had been in closest contact with Europe, it was thought best prepared for self-government. By 1920, for example, the Gold Coast (future Ghana) had 60 practicing black lawyers, whereas Kenya did not get its first lawyer until 1956. The first black deputy to the French National Assembly came from Senegal in West Africa in 1914. Leopold Senghor, another deputy from Senegal, helped draft France’s Fourth Republic constitution in 1945. His French was so good he was in charge of policing the constitution’s grammar.
Independence consequently did come first in West Africa, with Kwame Nkrumah as leader of Ghana. Nkrumah’s career set so many patterns for the new Africa that it is worth following in some detail. What began with great promise ended in tears, in a cycle so often repeated that Mr. Meredith has adopted it as the subtitle of his book.
Nkrumah had one of the most sudden rises to power of any politician in history—from prisoner to prime minister in a single day. Held in a Gold Coast prison for stirring up anti-British riots, his party managed to win 34 of 38 contested seats in a 1951 election. The British governor, Charles Arden-Clark, stiffened his upper lip, summoned his prisoner, and asked him to form a government.
Ghana went on to six years of democratic self-government under the close supervision of Arden-Clark. It seemed to be perfect training for sovereignty for the perfect candidate for independence. Ghana had a sound educational and economic infrastructure built by the British, excellent natural resources, and healthy foreign currency reserves due to cocoa exports.
(I recall they had 200 million sterling in reserves, more than Britain at the time)
The Cold War was raging, and both the United States and the Soviet Union were eager for new clients. Mr. Meredith writes that when independence came in 1957, there was world-wide hope and optimism on a scale now difficult to imagine. The six-day gala was a love-feast of goodwill and high expectations.
Once the British were gone, Nkrumah stamped out the opposition, built up a personality cult, squandered money on gold-plated projects, and ran the economy into the ground. He built the largest dry dock in Africa, which was almost never used. He set up a national airline and insisted it fly to politically fashionable places like Cairo and Moscow for which there was no commercial demand. He set up state-run corporations and state farms that only spread failure and corruption. He made it a crime for anyone to “show disrespect to the person and dignity of the Head of State.” Foreign businessmen learned that anyone with a glib tongue and a bright idea—the more grandiose the better—could get a fat government contract. The head of state himself signed deals.
Nkrumah had ambitions for the entire continent. In 1958 he hosted an All-African People’s Conference to promote anti-colonial agitation. Among his guests were many who later became heads of state: Julius Nyerere (Tanzania), Kenneth Kaunda (Zambia), Hastings Banda (Malawi), Patrice Lumumba (Congo), Amilcar Cabral (Guinea Bissau—assassinated shortly before independence), Holden Roberto (Angola), and Joshua Nkomo (never quite made it to the top in Zimbabwe). Nkrumah is still something of a saint for many Africans and American blacks because of his militant anti-imperialism. He dreamed of an Africa as mighty as the United States, and squandered millions on a huge complex of buildings he hoped would become the capital of a continent united under his leadership.
Nkrumah’s follies had predictable results. By 1965, just eight years after independence, what had been one of Africa’s most prosperous countries was bankrupt. Increasingly deluded and anti-white, Nkrumah blamed every failure on imperialists and neo-colonialists. He might have gone on wrecking Ghana had he not tried to clip the wings of the army. In 1966, while he was junketing in Peking, the generals took over and told him not to come home. School children who had been taught to chant “Nkrumah is our messiah,” now chanted “Nkrumah is not our messiah.”
The cashiered messiah found refuge in a clapped-out house in Guinea Conakry, where he received ever-dwindling bands of admirers, and spent his days drawing up impossible plans for Ghana. He was convinced that a popular movement would rise up to bring him back to power. By the time of his death in a Bucharest hospital in 1972, he was a pathetic figure.
Nkrumah was also typical of a surprising number of independence rulers who had been jailed or banished by the white authorities before taking power: Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Bourghiba of Tunisia, Banda of Malawi, Mohammed V of Morocco, and Patrice Lumumba of Congo (convicted of embezzlement, not independence activity).
Accra - Monumental Mausoleum of Kwame Nkrumah
In many respects, therefore, Nkrumah set the pattern for the continent: dictatorship, corruption, mismanagement, quirks bordering on madness, and involuntary departure from office. In particular, his example of one-man rule caught on almost everywhere. A few dictators explained that nation-building required unity of purpose, but most simply siezed power without explanation or apology. When someone once asked Habib Bourghiba of Tunisia what kind of political system his country had, he relied, “System? What system? I am the system.” Hastings Banda of Malawi once observed, “Everything is my business. Everything.” He also said, “Anything I say is law. Literally law.” In 1965 he went further: “If, to maintain the political stability and efficient administration, I have to detain ten thousand or one hundred thousand, I will do it.” Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, whose attempt at African socialism will be examined later, explained that political parties arose in the West because there were economic classes. In Africa, there were no classes, so only one party was necessary: his.
Also, like virtually the entire first-generation of independence leaders, Nkrumah had lived and studied in Europe or the United States. Men who went abroad were undoubtedly a better sort to begin with, and some experience of the West probably tempered their excesses, at least at first. In the next generation, semi-savages like Idi Amin (Uganda), Samuel Doe (Liberia), and Jean-Bedel Bokassa (Central African Republic) would shoot their way into presidential palaces, and go on to ever-more gruesome antics.
Unlike most African rulers, however, Nkrumah did not surround himself with toadies and mistresses, and seems to have been lonely and isolated. He decided, apparently on a whim, to marry, and asked Gamel Nasser of Egypt to find him a wife. Nasser did: an Egyptian girl who spoke only Arabic and a bit of French; Nkrumah understood neither language. He married her the same day he met her, and she gave him three children but little companionship. The only real friend Nkrumah seems to have had in power was a British woman, Erica Powell, whom he met when she was Governor Arden-Clark’s private secretary. He hired her away, with the governor’s blessing, and always said she was the only person who gave him unbiased advice. (He didn’t take the advice presumably?)
Central Africoon Emperor Bokassa
Nkrumah’s interest in a European woman did not lead to marriage, but for many rulers it did. Kenyatta, Bourghiba, and Banda had white wives, as did Leopold Senghor of Senegal and Seretse Khama of Botswana. Jean-Bedel Bokassa, who crowned himself “emperor,” had 17 wives, including a blonde Rumanian cabaret dancer, a German, and a Swede. (He kept wives in separate houses and left his office several times a day to call on them.)
(Emperor Bokassa had a good sense of humour – don’t know if its repeated in this book but I recall reading that he carried out public executions in a football stadium whilst the loudspeakers blasted out Mary Hopkins’ “Those were the days my friend, we thought they’d never end..”)
Finally, Nkrumah differed from other African rulers in another important way: He does not appear to have looted the treasury. He enjoyed the privileges of office—his secretary Powell wrote that he was “a-gog with excitement” at the prospect of meeting the Queen of England—but his own greatness was to come not from bank accounts but from a spectacular new Ghana.
All things considered, by African standards, Ghana’s transition to independence was a great success.
Elsewhere, there were failures, some so spectacular the West could not ignore the mess. Mr. Meredith’s account of the Congo’s almost immediate implosion is worth summarizing.
The Belgians have long been derided for failing to prepare the Congo for self-rule, and there is some truth to the accusation. In 1960, the country had only 30 university graduates and no black doctors, secondary school teachers, or army officers. However, the Belgians had built good basic infrastructure, and a broad base of elementary schools. They simply had not foreseen independence, but did not try to thwart it when times changed. After riots in 1959, they proposed a four-year transition to self-government. It was the Congolese who insisted on a quick handover.
Mr. Meredith points out that the independence ceremony of June 30, 1960 set the initial jarring note. King Baudouin of Belgium praised the early colonizing work of his great uncle, Leopold II—whose exactions were so ruthless that the Belgian government took over in 1908 what had been his private preserve—and talked down to the Congolese: “It is up to you now, gentlemen, to show that you are worthy of our confidence.” Patrice Lumumba, prime minister to be, replied with a rant against “exploitation,” “terrible suffering,” and “humiliating slavery that was imposed on us by force.” “We are no longer your monkeys,” he added. (not Belgium’s monkeys maybe, but still monkeys..!)
Just a few days later, black soldiers revolted against their white officers, and went on a rampage, beating and raping whites, singling out priests and nuns for particular abuse.
(Unless he says more in the book this is somewhat glossing over the reality – I heard from a friend who lived just over the border in Mufulira that pregnant white women had their babies cut out. And probably eaten too.! And what exactly happened to the white officers? Presumably the same fate as white SA officers when the day comes)
Thousands of whites fled the country—setting a model for what was to happen with dreary regularity elsewhere. The Belgians asked Lumumba for permission to use force to save whites. When Lumumba refused, Belgium acted unilaterally. The southwest province of Katanga seceded. The Congo was just two weeks old and already in chaos.
Lumumba called on the UN for help, which arrived in July, but what he most wanted UN soldiers to do was kick out the Belgians. He gave the UN two days; otherwise he would turn to the Soviets. Ralph Bunche, the black American head of the UN mission described Lumumba as “crazy” and acting “like a child.” (“half-devil, half-child” noted Kipling) Later that month, Lumumba visited the United States. Under-Secretary of state Douglas Dillon thought him “an irrational, almost psychotic personality.” (only “almost”???) Lumumba telephoned the Congo desk at the State Department and asked for a blonde companion. The CIA found someone to send over, but the White House quashed the tryst.
(Lumumba was before his time – he would have gone far in the ANC..!)
Belgian troops eventually left the Congo after they had evacuated whites, but Lumumba then insisted that the UN put down the Katanga rebellion. When another province, South Kasai, went into revolt, Lumumba really did call in the Soviets, who sent technical assistance. His attempt to put down the Kasai rebellion resulted in massacre and produced 250,000 refugees. By now, both Belgium and the US were convinced Lumumba was a menace, and both governments wanted him assassinated.
President of the Congo, Joseph Kasa-Vubu, dismissed Lumumba, who in turn dismissed Kasa-Vubu. In September, Joseph Mobutu, chief of staff of the army, ousted all politicians in a military coup. Lumumba stayed on in the prime minister’s residence in Leopoldville, guarded by an inner ring of UN troops to keep Mobutu’s men from arresting him. An outer ring of Mobutu’s soldiers made sure he did not escape. In pouring rain on the night of Nov. 27, Lumumba slipped out and headed for Stanleyville, where he had support, expecting to form a rival government. He might have reached Stanleyville, except that he kept stopping to harangue villagers. Mobutu’s men caught him and brought him back to Leopoldville, and his supporters in Stanleyville set up a government without him. That made a total of four competing governments, along with Mobutu’s, and secessionist regimes in Katanga and South Kasai.
Mobutu had Lumumba hauled before him and spat in his face. With the approval of the Belgians, he flew him off to the leader of the Katanga revolt, Moise Tshombe, who was certain to kill him. Tshombe helped torture him for hours, returning home, according to his butler, “covered in blood.” The next day, Belgian officers commanded a firing squad that executed Lumumba. The Belgians began to worry about bad press, and concocted the story that Lumumba escaped from detention and was killed by “patriotic” villagers. To cover their tracks, they cut up Lumumba’s body and dissolved it in sulfuric acid. Still, word of his murder prompted anti-Belgian demonstrations all over the world.
To this day, Lumumba is a hero to nutty leftists because he called in the Soviets, and to nutty blacks because he was rude to white people.
The UN eventually put down the Katanga rebellion in 1963, and by the time Joseph Mobutu consolidated power in 1965, he could almost be seen as the savior of his country.
Far less well known is the independence disaster of the tiny country of Equatorial Guinea, which was a Spanish colony until 1968. The Spanish had groomed Francisco Macias Nguema to be leader, but like so many whites, had no idea how much he hated them. One of his first acts was to stir up anti-white violence, and most of the country’s 7,000 Spaniards left their businesses and farms and were gone in the first six months.
Nguema was a real monster. When a director of statistics published figures that displeased him, Nguema had him cut into little pieces to “help him learn to count.” On at least two occasions, he ordered the killing of all known former lovers of a mistress. Whenever he wanted a new woman, he had her husband killed. Of his 12 original ministers, only two escaped murder.
Nguema ran out of money and started paying only soldiers and the police. (This would't happen today - the tiny country is swimming in oil..!) Every other part of the government shut down. Nguema closed all libraries, newspapers, and printing presses, and in 1974 emptied the country’s last school. He outlawed Christianity and turned churches into warehouses. To raise money, he started holding foreigners for ransom: $57,600 for a German woman, $40,000 for a Spaniard, $6,000 for a dead Soviet. He held hostage the last Claretine missionary, age 85, until he got a ransom. Nguema carried on for 11 years until a nephew deposed him in a 1979 coup. When it came time to execute Nguema, blacks were so afraid of his rumored supernatural powers they refused to pull the trigger. Moroccan soldiers had to be found for the firing squad.
The new man, Teodoro Obiang, is still in power, and the country still has no newspapers. A recent statement from an aide hints at the flavor of his regime: “He can decide to kill without anyone calling him to account and without going to hell because it is God himself, with whom he is in permanent contact, who gives him this strength.”
A few African leaders have sincerely tried to help their people. A curious and genuinely tragic figure, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania stole nothing, fought corruption, and worked tirelessly. The trouble was, his schemes were all wrongheaded. With his “Arusha Declaration” of February 1967, he set out to nationalize everything in sight, even private houses that were rented out. He wanted the whole country run on the principle of ujamaa or “familyhood,” which was supposed to capture the ancient spirit of “African socialism.”
His state corporations posted huge losses, but his greatest folly were collective farms, or ujamaa villages. Joining up was supposed to be voluntary, but eventually 11 million people were herded onto collectives in the largest mass movement of people in African history. When farmers fled back to their old fields, government workers burned their houses. (Imagine the international condemnation if this had happened under white rule..!)
Nyerere tolerated no dissent from socialism, and under his rule Tanzania went from being the largest African exporter of food to the largest importer. Always the darling of Western leftists, he got enough foreign aid to keep the country from starving. In 1985, after 23 years of familyhood, he gave up and left office. With a frankness unusual in politicians anywhere, he announced, “I failed. Let’s admit it.”
Nelson Mandela is another exceptional figure (???). He, too, is among the tiny number (zero?)who have not (???) enriched themselves, who genuinely tried to better their people, and who sought true racial reconciliation (???). With his successor, Thabo Mbeki, South Africans are discovering what black rule is really like. Those who follow are likely to be worse.
The Facts As He Finds Them
Mr. Meredith records the facts as he finds them, and the result is largely a litany of horrors. He gives us full accounts of the complex and sordid events surrounding the Hutu/Tutsi genocide of Rwanda, the wars of extermination in Sudan, the chaos and barbarity of “liberation” in Angola and Mozambique, and the downfall of white regimes in Rhodesia and South Africa.
Still, a few of Mr. Meredith’s observations stand out: In Kenya, a popular saying is “Why hire a lawyer when you can buy a judge?”
Omar Bongo of Gabon, who ran the country for 22 years and had a penchant for trying to seduce American Peace Corps volunteers, spent no less than $500 million on his presidential palace.
Nigeria spent $8 billion on a steel industry that never produced steel.
During the civil war in Chad in 1982, mobs sacked and burned both the national museum and the national archives.
President Siaka Stevens of Sierra Leone once spent two thirds of the country’s annual budget to host a meeting of the OAU.
When AIDS was discovered, Africans widely derided preventive measures as a racist plot to keep them from reproducing.
In 1973, Juvenal Habyarimana of Rwanda forced everyone, even babies, to join his political party.
And how is this, asks Mr. Meredith, for an absurdity: In the late 1980s, Cuban troops were protecting American-owned oil fields in Marxist Angola from attacks by US-supported guerillas.
Here are more vignettes from The Fate of Africa:
Abeid Karume became ruler of Zanzibar in 1964 before the merger with Tanganyika that produced Tanzania. One of his first acts was to supervise the slaughter and expulsion of Arabs and Asians. (one of the most memorable scenes in “Africa Addio”) Somewhat more unusually, he stopped all anti-malaria measures, claiming Africans were “malaria-proof.” There was a huge upsurge in malaria. An army officer shot Karume to death in 1972, not for political reasons but over a personal grudge.
In 1984, Haile Mariam Mengistu of Ethiopia spent $150 million on the 10th anniversary of his Marxist-Leninist “revolution” rather than do anything about a terrible famine ravaging his country. As he explained to an aide, “There was famine in Ethiopia for years before we took power—it is the way nature kept the balance.”
Liberia has had a particularly colorful history, but a few episodes stand out. Thomas Quiwonkpa led a revolt against tyrant Samuel Doe in 1985. When Doe’s men caught and killed him they publicly castrated him, cut him in pieces and ate him. Five years later, it was Doe’s turn. Prince Johnson ate at least one of his ears while he was still alive. After suitably torturing him, (needless to say this included castration..!) Johnson’s men paraded Doe’s mutilated body through the streets of Monrovia in a wheelbarrow. Doe had been a guest of Ronald Reagan at the White House in 1982.
In 1996, one of the groups fighting in the streets of Monrovia earned the nickname the Butt Naked Brigade, from its belief that fighting naked gave protection from bullets. In 1997, when Liberia held elections of a sort, warlord Charles Taylor announced there would be killing if he lost. He campaigned on the slogan “He killed my ma, he killed my pa, but I will vote for him”—and won.
Nigeria, with its oil revenue, should be one of the richest countries (if it were run by whites there can be no doubt it would have been THE richest..!) on the continent, but hundreds of billions of dollars have disappeared. In 2000 and 2001 in the eastern part of the country, crime was so bad and the police so corrupt that vigilantes took charge. A group known as the Bakassi Boys liked to herd criminals into a public square, where huge crowds watched while they hacked away with blunt machetes. If some of the condemned men were still alive, writhing on the ground, the boys would finish them off by tossing gasoline-doused tires on them and setting them on fire. Street crime disappeared, and the Bakassi Boys were hugely popular.
Mr. Meredith tells us that even the fabled revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara had an African mishap. In 1965, he went to north Katanga in the Congo to test his “detonator theory” that revolution could be kicked up with a little violence. It was a complete failure. He was supposed to be helping Laurent Kabila (who was still knocking about 30 years later and had a brief stint as Mobutu’s successor) but Guevara found him “addicted to drink and women.” “The basic feature of the People’s Liberation Army,” he wrote later, “was that it was a parasite army; it did not work, did not train, did not fight, and demanded provisions and labor from the population, sometimes with extreme harshness.” It was worthless as a fighting force: “Often it was the officers who took the lead in running away,” he wrote. Guevara gave up in disgust after seven months. (sounds a lot like the ANC's so-called liberation ummy - Umkhonto Ve Sizwe)
The French, who had been in Africa for a long time, seem to have understood that European forms of government are not natural to the continent. They kept bases and soldiers in Africa, and used them frequently to keep order. As one spokesman explained, it just wouldn’t do “for a few men carrying machine guns to be left free to seize a presidential palace at any time.”
Even with Europeans around to spoil the fun, African politics have been a gaudy business.
By the end of the 1980s, of the 150 heads of state the continent had boasted, only six had left office voluntarily, three of these after more than 20 years in power. Not one had been voted out of office.
That did not come until after the Cold War, when the US and the Soviets stopped propping up thugs for ideological reasons. Western donors began to pressure the Big Men to hold multi-party elections, and in 1991 Benin became the first country to see a ruler voted out. Democratic change hardly caught on. By 2000 only three others had been voted out.
When pressured to produce “democracy,” Africans showed considerable resourcefulness. In 1989, General Babangida of Nigeria set up two parties. His government wrote their constitutions, gave them their emblems, and most of their cash. One was to be, in the general’s words, “a little to the left” and the other was to be “a little to the right.” Three years later he got tired of them, and abolished both. Sani Abacha, also Nigerian, did even better. In the mid-1990s, under yet more pressure to democratize, he set up five political parties. Each duly chose him as its candidate for president.
The idea of elections makes no sense to the average African ruler. The whole purpose of government is to make him rich and powerful. (But black rule in South Africa would be an exception because we have Mandela…!) An election, of all things, is the stupidest reason to step down. For the huge majority of Africans, political activity is therefore palace politics; the closer you are to the Big Man, the better your chances for patronage, kickbacks, payoffs, and outright theft. (and now BEE which is essentially all those rolled into one package..!)
Mr. Meredith writes that almost without exception, government jobs mean legalized theft. Public service is an empty concept on a continent of what he calls “vampire governments,” where nepotism and corruption are as natural as breathing. (Vampires are far preferable – at least they are only active by night..! The ANC are 24/7looters..!)
Like all experts on Africa, Mr. Meredith notes that Botswana is the great exception. Independent in 1966 under Seretse Khama, it has little corruption and regularly-contested elections. Diamonds supply half of all government income, but the Big Men have kept hands off. By the end of the 1980s, careful use of diamond income had given the country a per capita GDP that hardly sounds like black Africa: $1,700. Like other experts, Mr. Meredith ventures no explanation as to how Botswana does it. (I don’t know Botswana but I dont think its the success it is often claimed to be, and if it is then I would venture it is probably due to all the white – mostly South African – expats helping to run the show)
Elsewhere, the picture is bleak. Since independence, the continent has swallowed more than $300 billion in Western aid with, as Mr. Meredith puts it, “little discernable result.” Corruption eats up an estimated one quarter of the continent’s gross domestic product. Although sub-Saharan Africa has ten percent of the world population, it has 70 percent of the AIDS cases, and accounts for only 1.3 percent of world GDP. By the end of the 1980s, per capita GDP was lower than in 1960, when many countries became independent.
Mr. Meredith generally refrains from drawing larger conclusions, (because to do so would of course be “racist”) but does note near the end of the book that “in reality, fifty years after the beginning of the independence era, Africa’s prospects are bleaker than ever before.” At the beginning he writes of “the extent to which African states have suffered so many of the same misfortunes.”
Why the mess? Mr. Meredith does not say. (if he had been as honest as a Jared Taylor, the book would never have been published) Perhaps the closest he comes is to note that tribalism has been a continuing curse. Ancient enemies sometimes buried the hatchet during the independence struggle but dug it up again once the common enemy was gone. The simplest conclusion is that Africans are simply not like Europeans and cannot build European-style societies. (but they are very good at destroying them..!)
Another conclusion Mr. Meredith could have drawn but did not is that white relations with post-independence Africa have been naïve and stupid. Interventions have been consistent failures. Whether it is Americans in Somalia or Liberia, the British in Sierra Leone, the French in Rwanda, the Soviets in Ethiopia or Somalia, no one gets what he expected. Even semi-Third-World people like the Cubans, North Koreans (in Zimbabwe) or Chinese (in Tanzania) got nothing for their efforts. When Europeans ruled Africans outright, without illusions that they were dealing with people like themselves, they had modest goals and achieved them. As soon as they started reading cultural anthropology, they lost their bearings.
Mr. Meredith writes that not until 1989 did the World Bank acknowledge that Africa’s problems were not all economic, that there were also leadership problems. (no mention of quality of people I suppose ) Men from 100 years earlier like Lord Lugard or Sir Garnet Wolseley would have been amazed by such stupidity.
Another remarkable aspect of recent African history is how easily one thug after another duped the white man. Both the United States and the Soviet Union funneled enormous sums to people who claimed to be either capitalist or communist but were really just thieves. (its the nature of the beast..!)
Samuel Doe was not the only White House or Kremlin guest to end up in a wheelbarrow.
Mengistu of Ethiopia, who let his people starve while he celebrated ten years of “revolution,” also played whites for fools. Once word got out about the famine, whites shipped in tons of food. Mengistu learned that it made no difference what he did with it—sell it on the black market, dole it out to friendly tribes, deny it to starving enemies—it kept coming. Gaafar Numeiri of the Sudan learned the same thing. The famine of 1984 did him a lot of good. White people showed up with boatloads of food he could use as a weapon. Whites fed his people while he bought guns and kept killing his enemies.
Perhaps saddest of all is that time and again—in Congo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the Guineas, Angola—whites who spent their lives in Africa and should have known better, underestimated the hatred of blacks.
Whites everywhere think blacks will love them if they treat them kindly.
They do not realize that kindness or fairness are not enough;
many blacks hate whites because they cannot be like whites.
No matter how they are treated, blacks will blame their failures on “racism.”
Some of the whites who fail to understand this end up in piles of bloody corpses. Others get out while they can. Two hundred thousand fled Mozambique, 300,000 left Angola, many thousands fled the Congo, Zimbabwe lost half its population immediately after black rule, and a steady flow of whites is now escaping South Africa. It was 40 years after independence, but thousands of French left the Ivory Coast when blacks started running through the streets shouting “Kill the whites.” There are pockets of friendliness and lulls in the process of dispossession, but
once blacks take power, they do not like to live with a minority whose success highlights their own failure.
Despite the rotting bodies and mountains of evidence, despite the chronicle of barbarism Mr. Meredith tells so well, whites have an inexhaustible capacity to deceive themselves about the motives and behavior of Africans.
Columnist Mary McGrory was fully exercising this capacity when she wrote in the Washington Post on May 12, 1994 about how wonderful black rule in South Africa was going to be:
“Newspaper readers will think they are reading scripture when they read dispatches from South Africa that cannot be read except through tears.”
People wrote rubbish almost as bad about Kwame Nkrumah. Whites will never understand Africa—or the blacks in their own countries—until they cease being capable of writing and publishing such nonsense. The Fate of Africa is an excellent corrective.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Will Whites Never Learn?
ONLY ONE OF THESE AFRICAN LEADERS WAS NEITHER A LOOTER NOR A PSYCHOPATH - CAN YOU GUESS WHICH..?