Jaf, I have dug up some profound remarks you wrote three years ago on this important issue. It is a powerful text in my opinion, and that is why I decided to bring it to the forum's attention as a topic of discussion. However, since it has been a while, please feel free to update your thoughts, as they may have evolved over the past three years in response to the global and local politics of our times.
[quote]Regarding the question of whether foreign «aid» gets stolen by crooked politicians: I believe it IS true. But I also believe this so-called «aid» usually goes exactly to those for whom it was truly intended in the first place: i.e crooked politicians in the empoverished «receiving» country and crooked politicians in the enriched «donor» country.
I see no evidence that thos
e who have the means and reasons to pay reparations understand the need to do so. People have been sent to the moon and back. I think it is obvious that implementing proper administrative practices is a much simpler task than rocket science.
The question of corruption in government is an international plague. Be it the mafia's influence on Italian government and on the Vatican, the drug lords' corrupting influence on Colombia's government, the multinational corporations, the drug lord's and even the KKK's corrupting influence on many levels of U.S. government (not only where David Duke lives but in the LAPD, in Washignton etc...), the Granmanjè's corrupting influence on Haiti's current government etc... corruption of government officials is a major problem that peoples around the world are facing. Yet, I see no one questioning whether Italy is apt to manage money from the World Bank. The main difference is in the strength of each country's infrastructure (poverty, strength of institutions are
all important factors of influence) and in the «color» with which scandals from each country are covered in the international press.
My general perception is that, unlike his/her European counterpart, an Afrikan leader is presumed corrupt or corruption-prone and treated as such by the eurocentric media which spills over on the so-called mainstream society and is applied to an entire race of people. Even with the scandal involving the International Olympic Committee one could see how the «race» factor heavily influenced how the issue of IOC corruption was suddenly «discovered».
In other words, we have been conditioned so that every time any issue of reparations of any kind to Afrikan people is raised, alledged corruption of black leaders suddenly pops up as a side issue that clouds the environment and helps many to make a quick and easy get away.
For instance, when millions of Afrikans stood up in Zimbabwe to demand restitution of the land stolen from them by European squatters, everywh
ere in the eurocentric press, stories started to surface about president Mugabe's dictatorial and despotic tendencies, and manipulation of black «squatters». Marronage! The world turned upside down to deflect attention away from the real issue, i.e. the necessity to return land to those from whom it was stolen and who are in dire need of land to sustain their empoverished families.
Yes, Mugabe is no angel. And, yes there are thieves in Afrikan countries, including Ayiti. That is precisely why peoples of these countries have been struggling for years, against all odds to deal with their thieves the way that other civilized people have had the privilege to deal with thieves in their midst, i.e. arrest them, judge them, put them in jail.
What have we observed in fact? The Lumumba, Machel, Mandela, Mbeki, Bishop, and Aristide of our countries are always the ones who are attacked, demonized and eventually destroyed by the neo-colonial powers (Mandela survived with bruises, Mbeki is trying to stay al
ive and Aristide is barely surviving and still under heavy pressure to sell out), while the Jean-Claude Duvalier, Jean Bedel Bokassa, Mobutu Sese Seko, Raoul Cédras and Prosper Avril's are groomed, protected and financed by our self-claimed friends of Haiti, friends of Africa, friends of this and that. Is it because, the Avril gang is more apt to combat the corruption that seems to make it so difficult to channel «aid» to our people? Or is it because with croonies such as Avril, the so-called «aid» is guaranteed to return north with compounded interests? History seems to suggest the latter. Also, the Mugabe and Kabila of our world seem to become evil rather suddenly when they become recalcitrant about crooked diamond deals, for instance.
And, let me end by pointing out that paying reparations due to a people is not comparable to sending tainted «aid» to that people. Reparations means you acknowledge having benefited from the wrong done to the people. Therefore, the one paying reparations is ill-plac
ed to take a paternalistic stance where he is dictating to the recepient how it is best to receive or use this reparation. And, of course, reparations will never take place in an era of continued world-wide racism (i.e. organized collective racial domination - I am not talking about benign racial prejudice or intolerance exhibited by individuals - that also is a scapegoat).
I think we can all agree that the caliber of humanity exhibited today in the eurocentric world is nowhere near what would be sufficient to see real reparations made by these countries to the benefit of the empoverished peoples of this world. Aren't we already quietly watching the hypocritical game whereby those who do owe reparations are «graciously» offering to cancel (some of the) so-called debts owed to them by the very people they continue to rob blind?[/quote]
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