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Toward a radical middle

a time for fear
Saturday, July 05, 2003  
Obviously impressed by their form in Aceh and East Timor, the International Community has invited the Indonesian Military to join a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping mission to sort out the civil war currently ripping apart the Republic of Congo.

Christ. Well if anyone can match carnage for carnage...

Coming soon then, a potted history of the West's complicity in Mobutu's venal reign in Zaire - taking in the Cold War US, Belgium, the Switz banking system, and the world's diamond market - and its subsequent descent into pseudo-tribal barbarity and chaos. It's a bloody tale of avarice, vanity, unimaginable violence, corruption, and duplicity. We have another Rwanda on our hands, ladies and gents, and another decade of African Apocalypse, intensified by the new oil rush (be afraid for Angola, things will get worse again soon, unbelievably, and also Nigeria, which is currently unravelling at an alarming pace).

When I said that Guyotat's novels presaged the genocidal devastation of Eastern Europe and the Balkans in the 90s, I should have also - and more accurately - mentioned the Africa of Rwanda, Liberia, Angola, Zaire, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and so on. The scale of tribal, holy and state genocide and corruption in these countries during their post-colonial and post-Cold War eras is ancient and unimaginable (between 3.1 and 4.7 million people are estimated to have died in Congo's recent civil war alone, the largest death toll in any single conflict since the second world war). And it's there in our news reports and everything, but then it's hard to quantify the impact on humanity and all our supposed standards and principles of civilisation when
1. The press is seemingly unable to convey the details and atmosphere of these conflicts and complex networks of tribal/political hatred, fear and brutality, except for the occasional, singular journalist who can report and articulate these things (step up Mark Huband). And..
2. ...when our governments and leaders are absolutely complicit in and responsible for creating the political conditions for Africa's dark age, so obfuscation of events and facts is mandatory. It takes incisive, patient and courageous reporting to unravel the machinations and history behind the confusion and division of Africa in the 20th century. (Step up, uh, Mark Huband.)

Iraq is about oil? Forget it, no way, this is the real Oil Story, the new oil rush, the new insult to human diginity. Coming soon, actually, right now.

1:34 AM

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