African Fatigue

Catholic Archbishop Kaigama in Africa comments that the world mourns 17 dead in Europe but overlooks the recent slaughter of 2,000 in Africa by the Boko Haram.

Of course, he is right, but he might have also remarked about the capture, rape and sexual slavery of the 200 schoolgirls a few months ago that momentarily brought the First Lady to Hashtag Heaven!  #Bring Back Our Girls.

And that was nine months ago, now forgotten.

Of course racial concerns might be the problem, but may I suggest another explanation: African Fatigue.

It was more than 20 years ago when the Editor of a newspaper I was then writing for, decided that a good headline for an article I submitted should read, “Let the Ethiopians Die.”   that was a harsh but approximately correct reading of my column.

There are some parts of the world where situations are so bad because of constant floods, tsunamis, or geographic terror that nature is telling man that he should not continue to live there. There are other places that have such systemic political terror combined with abject poverty that Western nations could not find financial pockets deep enough to solve.

The continent of Africa has both situations simultaneously. There is a reason that several waves of proto humans led the Out of Africa movement, developing first in the Mediterranean, then on to Europe, Asia and eventually the American continent.

The Continent of Africa contains the seeds of its own destruction, and no Western nation — or combination of nations — has the financial, medical, agricultural, or military resources to solve the multitude of problems.

The Archbishop is correct when he says Boko Haram has within it the seeds of the destruction of Europe, but Europe — which is not capable of solving the African problem — does have the capability of containing the problems to Africa, and that has always been the strategy.

I have looked at the international situation for more than 60 years, ever since I entered the Naval Academy as a Plebe and was forced to read the NY Times and the Washington Post before breakfast every morning, and answer many questions from Upper Classmen. Those Upper Classmen were the Genesis of my Infomania.

Looking at the world from a 50,000 foot view, it is apparent that the archbishop cannot count on the West to save Africa from Boko Haram. Yes, the West will always do something…just not much. The West will do enough to contain Boko Haram, and indeed EBOLA or any other threat, but not ever enough to save Africa…not necessarily because they are Black, but because sub-Sahara Africa is too big a bite for anyone, or “anyones”, to chew.

So the strategy will be to keep EBOLA, Boko Haram, and other threats in Africa, while trying to slowly bring tribes who never developed the wheel or a written language to at least have clean water. Africa is not the only aboriginal group that never developed — the American Indians, tribes in Asmat in Dutch New Guinea, the Hawaiian Polynesians, the Aborigines of Australia, and several tribes in the upper Amazon also never developed “civilization”, but nowhere are there so many, so poor, so mismanaged as in Africa.

Archbishop Kaigama is correct, but can’t count on help. Not all things have a solution.

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