We love African countries. We love them even more if they are recent, chaotic, in conflict (preferably armed) and with huge human suffering, death and destruction. Have we gone mad? Did we torture kittens in our childhood? Not at all. We love such countries because they provide undeniable, in-your-face, actual, incontrovertible evidence of the nature of politicians; serious as fist in your face.
We weep for all those who suffer and we only wish we could do something for them, alas we can't. Well… that is not entirely true. We can use their suffering and misery to illuminate other people about the reality of politics and politicians. This isn't much, but at least it is something.
The background story is simple. South Sudan is a new country. Its president Mr. Mayardit dismissed his entire cabinet in 2013 including the vice-president Mr Machar. Mayardit says that Machar staged a coup and failed. Mayardit then proceeded to send his private army to kill, maim, rape, but mostly kill innocent people (you know, all the standard dictators' hobbies). In retaliation, Macahr did the same but using his tribes and an existing revolutionary armed organization called SPLM. Since then they have been killing happily (or un-happily) each other's followers ever after. No, this is not the end.
As a consequence of all these sporting events, Mayardit and Machar (M&M) are doing fine thank you very much; unfortunately we cannot say the same for the rest of the South Sudanese people.
One in two will be dead, displaced or facing starvation by year's end.
4 million of them are facing food and security shortages
1.5 million of them have been internally displaced
Facing this disaster, the OECD, UN and an alphabet soup of government and NGO organizations stepped-in to help South Sudanese people to the tune of 600 million USD, short of the required 1.8 billion USD to prevent "the crisis from becoming a catastrophe". Or at least so the newspaper The Star - South Africa reported in its article "Donor countries walking on broken glass".
FROM THEIR POINT OF VIEW
According to South Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister, the country was like a child who broke a glass and therefore it deserved to be forgiven not punished. In other words, send money.
FROM THE OTHER POINT OF VIEW
In response to such eloquence, other politicians uttered that "the situation was a lot more severe than a child breaking a glass" and the South Sudan had to "deserve our help".
The problem is that "we need leadership", but the donors had no choice. South Sudanese people will soon be dropping like flies sprayed with DDT if help is not forthcoming.
The newspaper's article contains a paragraph which is unusually clear; it states "That they [M&M] don’t see their people as autonomous human beings, but merely as agents of their own ambitions?"
The newspaper is absolutely right. M&M they don't see South Sudanese people as people, but as cannon fodder to further their ambitions. The only problem with the statement is that it was made in a question format. But why should M&M be using South Sudanese people? They are politicians after all. They send their minions to kill, rape and kill some more and also to lie to international organizations, knowing full well money will be forthcoming anyhow.
M&M's only ambition is power, just like any other politician. The only difference is that since this is happening in a remote and unknown corner of Africa, nobody cares and nobody gives a damn. At least not sufficiently to assemble a meaningful international armed force to bring control to the area. And why should other countries intervene? South Sudan has no oil or diamonds or uranium or ICBM's and therefore no strategic or economic value.
Most countries that donated did so at a token level. Politicians did so just enough to rack-up a few points with local voters in order to make them feel good because they helped "avert a catastrophe". And why wouldn't they? It's not their money.
And M&M? They know full well that possession (of the presidential chair) is 100% of the international law. When was the last time that a dictator, any dictator, was internationally repudiated just because he was a dictator? We seem to remember that never, but that's just us. It's not how you got there, it's that you are there. And M&M know this.
THE ROOT CAUSE
Most people will look at this tragedy and think that it happened because it is Africa; because their politicians are corrupted; because their politicians have a history of killing each other; because they are uncivilized; because… because… because…
Dead (or deadly) wrong.
Look at the enabler.
Why is that so many people are dying or will be dead soon? Because of the armed conflict.
Where did the money to support either army came from? The government.
Who provided such money? M&M while in government.
And there you have it. The money came from the government. Remove the government and there is no money to be had. Had the South Sudanese government not existed, in all likelihood M&M would have never even heard of each other's name and most South Sudanese people will be trying to make a better living for themselves instead of running for their lives.
And what about the other side? Who or what is the enabler of such catastrophe? Other politicians. Why? Because getting into a war, even worse, un unknown war, an unpopular war decreases votes. Hence, other politicians make token contributions to increase votes instead of looking for a real solution. But why would they do so? Because votes keep them in power, votes keep them in government. Again, remove the governments and politicians disappear and with them people become free to act seeking real solutions, not token contributions for vote purchases and conscience appeasement. How do we know this? Simple, look at charities; they go out of their way to demonstrate results because they know that without concrete results support will evaporate. Not so with politicians.
And there you have it. Government action in its full gory. Governments are war and conflict enablers, but they also enable the blocking of real solutions. A double hit that keeps hitting. Do you honestly believe that all world problems have no solutions and that human ingenuity cannot solve them? That the human race is so incompetent? That economic conditions "just happen"? That our standards of living keep dropping because we are running out of oil or because of global warming? That we now live under the permanent threat of so-called "terrorism" because there is an actual, widespread, world-wide terrorist threat? And why would that be? Think again. Think back to the industrial revolution and the 1800's where all problems seemed solvable. Why is that now, 200+ years into the future we believe the opposite? Why is that we can't see an even brighter future? What has changed? In a word: governments. Governments have become all-pervasive and all-possessive. That's the key difference.
Next time you look at a problem, any problem, ask yourself this question: what has the government (politicians) done to prevent it from being solved? Chances are, you will find the answers quite readily; and if you cannot, it only means you are not looking hard enough.
The Government is the ultimate big enabler of problems; free people are the ultimate troubleshooters. You now have a choice to make; you can side with either them or us. It is entirely your choice, but be aware that the future of the human race depends upon this decision. No pressure.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.