tonight the mind goes back to africa again and again. its because i've been reading this book called The State of Africa: A History Of Fifty Years of Independence by Martin Meredith. hardly light bedtime reading. i am more than half way through it and i can assure you its one very fat epic with tiny print reeling off about much madness and about a lot of fat, murderous, thieving bastards. who all committed unspeakable atrocities under the banner of lenism and marxism (apart from the south africans who practised their own special brand of heinous apartheid) and became the biggest fattest capitalist pig bastards the world as ever known. no wonder the continent is as it is. we are only starting to feel the repercussions now.
it's about men who went mad with power; men who became paranoid of being overthrown which drove them to torturing and murdering the innocent who dared to speak up. the innocent who had no voices. the silent ones. it's about those who managed to overthrow the "big men" and became one themselves. its about sheer greed. ulitmately.
one of the most haunting tales is of mengistu (along with idi amin, mobuto, gaddafi just to name a few) in ethiopia who overthrew haile selassie , the emporer of ethiopia, a direct descendant from the marriage of Solomon and Sheba. the following quote is from the book. mengistu replying to his minister's concern over the ravages of drought and displacement and the impending tragic disaster which eventually killed thousands of people - documented in the book in the chapter entitled Red Tears:
- YOUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO WORK TOWARDS OUR POLITICAL OBJECTIVES. DON'T LET THOSE PETTY HUMAN PROBLEMS THAT ALWAYS EXIST IN TRANSITION PERIODS CONSUME YOU. THERE WAS FAMINE IN ETHIOPIA FOR YEARS BEFORE WE TOOK POWER - IT WAS THE WAY NATURE KEPT THE BALANCE. TODAY WE ARE INTERFERING WITH THE NATURAL MECHANISM OF BALANCE, AND THAT IS WHY OUR POPULATION HAS SOARED TO OVER 40 MILLION...LET NATURE TAKE ITS TOLL. (sic ed repeat let nature take its toll.) JUST DON'T LET IT OUT IN THE OPEN. WE NEED A FACADE FOR THE OUTSIDE WORLD, SO MAKE IT LOOK LIKE WE'RE DOING SOMETHING..."
so make it look like we're doing something.