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Charites working with the starving in Africa. Full essay.
No one can fail to share a sense of heartbreak at the pitiful sight of starving African peoples in Africa, the wasted human tragedy and sorrowful sight which plagues every TV screen throughout the western world. Who can help but feel sympathy for the ragged children, the skeletal images of thousands of people, the desperate plight of refugees, or the civil war torn mutilated victims of a continent lost to the savage in-fighting of tribal factions? Most certainly not me, and I guess, not you either.
All too often we watch images of refugee camps, fly covered people, and disease ridden souls and instantly leap to one automatic conclusion: these people need our help. But do they? Do they really need our interfering ways, or is it part of the interfering liberal elite that have brought about this affront to humanity?
No doubt most of you, like myself have donated to one of the various charitable organisations after their envelopes have fallen through your letter box, their appeals with doe eyed celebrities have manifested through your television, or some halfwit pop star, has demanded in a foul mouthed four letter tirade, that you hand over your dough. And like any individual suffering the rampant indignity of emotional blackmail you've coughed-up. I know I most certainly have. But if we're honest with ourselves, are we not just exacerbating the situation and perpetuating the misery.
I know it's hard to see such heart wrenching images and not feel an element of contrition, but isn't it this very contrition which motivates and perpetuates the whole vicious cycle? Money buys food, food keeps people alive, people produce more people and the whole damned circus of depravity continues unabated.
Africa's problems really gathered momentum in the late forties.
With the second world war at an end, Nazi Germany and her allies defeated, the western world practically bankrupt and a new world order of Starlinist Russia and America taking over from the old world order, a new vision was developed along ideological lines: Communism and Capitalism.
The Africans would be forced to choose one of the other, as the old Imperial empires marched lethargically towards the sunset of Colonial rule. Unbeknown to the Africans, they never had it so good. The complaints about the British and French empires was no more than outside motivation by other nations, to a backward, illiterate peoples whose belief was motivated more by corruption than any semblance of achievement.
Quite simply these people were, and still are, incapable of governing themselves or their respective peoples. To replace the old Empires, a new body was formed in the shape of the UN, a hurriedly cobbled together bunch of compromise candidates from countries who couldn't fill their rice bowls.
With all the pomp and pageantry of empire, the UN building was opened in New York to great acclaim by a nation, the USA, who believed in their naivety, they'd found a panacea for world domination.
Unfortunately for the rest of the world, what they got was a mighty superpower unprepared to back its words with deeds. Where as the old imperial empires of western Europe were prepared, where necessary to commit combat troops, civil servants and administrative staff, the UN and its puppet master the US were prepared to commit nothing except an abundance of hot air. The Americans planned to inflict a twentieth century plan on a people barely beyond a medieval epoch. Africa would be left to their own device, with just a watchful eye from a distant US administration. It was a recipe for disaster, a predictable fiasco for a people who, politically were not even out of short trousers. The Africans were about to experience the greatest indignity any nation can suffer: abandonment. They finally had what they and the US always wanted: freedom, liberty, justice. Unfortunately, words on their own are not enough. Words do not tend the crops, raise revenue, put money in the economy or food on the table. But unperturbed by the obvious, the UN and US pushed on regardless only to find their grandiose scheme gradually fall apart.
The Africans in their ingratitude decided in the majority not to back the US grand design. Marxism looked a much better prospect than Capitalism. Whereas the empire countries would have intervened quickly, and brought any rebellion or civil disobedience to an abrupt conclusion, the US hesitated.
Frightened of public opinion back home, scared of black plastic body-bags returning to the US from small tribal conflicts, they decided to play the long game: they'd punish the Africans with sanctions, and halt any funding or investment.
If Africa wouldn't play the game, it was exclusively on its own.
However, it should be remembered that no politician likes to be seen as the cause of these problems, and so an element of contrition was offered. The Americans would wash their hands of the problem they created and let aid charities step into the breech.
The great liberal invasion was under way. Africa would be smothered in love by a class riven society incapable of collective or individual thought. What the hell, their intentions were honourable and it suited the chattering classes around their opulent dinner tables.
Africa would be allowed to d rowned in a middle class pursuit of conscience cleansing and do-gooders who believe problems are resolved if you just believe hard enough and say enough prayers. Common sense allude them.
By the mid sixties, charities like Oxfam, the International Red Cross, Christian Aid and a host of others too insignificant to mention had mobilised. With as many troops as any good Panzer division these people prepared to invade a continent they neither asked for their help, or wanted it. Not guns and bullets this time, but blankets and food, not tanks or armoured cars, but trucks and ambulances. And the irony was, they were about to commit genocide on a scale the Nazis could only dream of.
The Nazis gassed six million Jews during the 1939 - 1945 conflict, where as the liberal elite were about to resign a hund red times that many to the waste bin of human suffering. Their rampant approach wouldn't just slaughter those already alive, they'd also breed generation after generation for the cull.
To comprehend what I say, you need to understand how the analogy works, and so I'll briefly digress, create a scenario and showa hypothesis of what happens based on a logical model.
Let's create an imaginary African city with say two million people. We'll call it Mardy.
In the centre of Africa is a small country, Mardy with its two million population is the capital. The ambient country side is made up mainly of inhospitable terrain, that has in the past sustained the population well. Food is not abundant - but it is adequate.
The population of Mardy compose one million women, all aged twenty, and one million men all aged twenty. Mardy's a happy place, they don't have much, except basic dwellings made of baked clay, the women go about their chores, cooking, cleaning, washing and tending to their men folks needs. The guys substantiate their meagre crop rations with fresh meat caught through hunting and trapping. They're a happy contented people.
Things could be better but they're not going to complain. Unfortunately for Mardy and a thousand other African towns and cities, things are about to get a damned site worse.
It's been a hot spring, the promised rains haven't come, the skies are clear blue and not a cloud in sight.
The arid dusty floor is parched, the usually flourishing crops are wither on the stalks and you can pick handfuls of dust from the floor. The reserves of grain which they conscientiously squirrel away in year in the store houses are running low. If the rains don't come within another month, Mardy is going to be in serious trouble. A month passes, each day breaks with a powder blue sky, clouds remain obvious by their absence and the only thing on the horizon is more, unforgiving sunshine. The heat seers into the high 90s, then the hundreds.
The wells begin to run dry, the women worry, the men become anxious. Even the animals what punctuate their meagre rations have either died or left for pastures new. Mardy is on the brink of destitution. What will the people of Mardy do?
As this takes place, a roving Aid charity has come across Mardy. A team in three land Rovers have swept into town, the arid dust exploding beneath the wheel arches of their vehicles as the arrive. Once in the town proper, the aid workers alight their vehicles, straighten themselves and scan the immediate area panoramic. It's horrendous, women lie destitute in the streets their bellies bloated, the men lie limp and lethargic by their sides, the entire town lies beaten and demoralised under the hot, unforgiving African sun. This is the moment the aid volunteers have been waiting for. At last they can fulfil their ambitions, satisfy their conscience.
They will make a difference. From the rear of the first Land rover a cine-camera is taken out and the indignity of human suffering is recorded in minute detail so the waiting world can witness the tragedy as it unfurls. People lay defeated, the bodies are piling up on biblical proportions, and the only thing multiplying is the flies.
They're everywhere, swarms of them racing away as the aid words approch like black clouds. Outside buildings, in the streets everything has ceased. It's too hot, they're too hungry to summon the energy to do anything.
The head of the aid assistance programme tells the good people of Mardy not too worry: Aid is on its way... he pledges after a brief phone call.
Three days later the first people from the outside world begin to arrive: a camera crew from a western TV station.
The images are transmitted globally and the viewing public from the US and UK, from Europe to Australasia are shocked.
The UN makes a plea to the world's peoples, as do individual world leaders.
Presidents are Prime Ministers appear on national news bulletins and ambitious pop stars and movies stars whose careers are not doing quite as well as they should be are motivated to head out to Mardy. They'll make appeals for cash, food, money, blankets and medical supplies from the point of impact.
Two weeks after the first aid team arrived in Mardy, the first aid aircraft begin to arrive. Huge C130 Hercules transporters are landing like vultures on the arid ground where crops once grew.
From the enormous bellies bag of grain are extracted and the people of Mardy are individually fed. A makeshift hospital is constructed and the sick, those unable to even stand are carried to it. Drips and high protein rations are provided and hundreds of thousands of people are saved from the impending clutches of a natural disaster. It's a miracle
Back home the celebrity circuit is haunted by pop stars and politicians desperate to inflate their egos, to tell anybody who wants to listen how the tragedy was averted, how they stepped in and saved the day.
Ad agencies use Mardy as an example to continuously raise cash. In fact, the good people of
Mardy's pain is graphically reproduced, printed on countless T-shirts and posters, stuck in shop windows and plastered over cash tins. Their suffering is pictured on copious amounts of little envelopes and pushed through millions of front doors.
All down the high street little shops open and the generous nature of the donating public is exemplified in second hand clothes, shoes and discarded blankets. Mardy is quietly forgotten about, after all, there's hundreds of other African tragedies to worry about. The crusade needs to continue.
Over the coming years Mardy itself, somewhat transformed by the aid agencies and celebrities do-gooders begins to regenerate itself. The local inhabitants decide each man should take a bride.
One million weddings take place to celebrate their survival.
In the first year after the weddings have taken place, each couple gives birth. Mardy's population expands to three million in the first year, four million in year two, five million in year three. By year four Mardy has six million people, seven million in year five, and eight million in year six. Year seven sees the population continues to rise. It's reach nine million now, but what the hell, the rains have fallen each year, the men are working at a relentless pace and life couldn't be better.
God bless those charitable organisations and their kind benefactors. In year eight, the good people of Mardy are starting to worry again. It's late spring, the rains haven't come, the land is as dry as a bone and the crops are failing.
In year eight Mardy experiences the hottest summer in living memory.
In fact, they can't remember it this hot since that time some years ago when the Aid people came. Perhaps they'll come again, perhaps they won't.
Already the babies of Mardy are dying. Last month sixty thousand of them perished. The people of Mardy continued to wait for the aid people, but they never turned up this time.
Instead, the good people of Mardy had to evacuate the ambient countryside and make for the nearest city. No one knows how many people of Mardy actually died during the great drought, but it's estimated they lost sixty percent of their population, nearly five million people. And the morale of the story is this, when you constantly place food in to the equation, all you get is an explosion of people and death on a more biblical scale.
No matter how well intended the intention, food programmes create the problem we see aroubnd us today. The only way for Africa to regain some sense of dignity is to do nothing, to switch off the cameras and walk quietly away.
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