virus: A sequel to the Open Letter to John Paul II (but much shorter :-) )

carlw (
Fri, 5 Feb 1999 10:43:12 -0600

I just realized I didn't send this letter to the virus list, so here it is :-)

Many Americans become upset when told that they have no foreign policy, only foreign interests. That the United States as a country has no “moral strength”, only an occasional obsession with middle class morality. No ethics, only expediencies. Maybe it will cheer them up when they realize that there is little difference between the United States and the Roman Catholic Church. Of course, other Americans will be confused as to why they seem
to be so involved with John Paul II and the Vatican these days, when there is
supposed to be an impenetrable wall between church and state. They shouldn't be, those of the religious persuasion hijacked America years ago. Today, Clinton needs the blessing of the Pope far more than the Pope needs Clinton. Clinton is besieged, not by young ladies seeking to give him blowjobs but by a congress looking for a way out of the imbroglio they find themselves in.

Meanwhile, the Pope in the hope of a profitable flow of contributions from the Roman Catholic Churches historical prey, the less affluent, in this case African-Americans, lambastes the human-rights record of the United States, not for current activities but for historical ones. Perhaps he has forgotten that basic courtesy suggests that one should not insult your host while under his roof. Meanwhile John Paul II stands in public alongside Clinton, giving his tacit blessing to the American leader's peccadilloes. What Clinton wants, Clinton gets. Cost to anyone else is immaterial. Just ask Paula Jones. So what did John Paul receive in exchange for his support to the beleaguered Clinton? Surely more than just a night in the Whitehouse? Perhaps the USA is now supplying missile technology to the Vatican State.

If John Paul II really meant something by his moralizing, he would do better looking at this century than the last. After all, so few Americans know anything about the history of this troubled planet. Even recent shameful episodes, like their involvement in the overthrow of the stable government of the Shah of Iran less than 20 years ago; which lead directly to the creation of the Ayatollah Khomeni government, which in turn lead to the US strengthening its “ally” Iraq. The consequent Gulf war reversed the USA’s policies in the region and that and Clinton’s political problems have ultimately leading to the situation where the USA is attacking Iraq with missiles on daily basis. Have people forgotten that missiles, designed to kill were deployed to distract attention from Clinton's impeachment farrago in much the same way as America's earlier missile attacks one of the few pharmaceutical drug factories in Africa which was still functioning. Nobody in the USA seems to be complaining about it any more. Clinton seems to have forgotten that he started this latest round. How it will be terminated seems to be more of a problem. Fortunately, or not, a petty consistency is not required for the sound bite driven, Clinton supporting, American populace. Perhaps John Paul II and the citizens of the USA should examine their wonderful leader in the light of his performance as leader of the only super-power left on earth, rather than as a successful seducer of maidens, self admitted but very successful liar and purveyor of exactly the kind of television pap that American voters wish to hear. While they do this, they could maybe examine the churches role too.

I don't want to talk about the ghastly events in Yugoslavia, where the Serbs and the Croats are doing their best to pound each other into the dust. After all, it is not really important to America. They have no oil. They aren't important to the Pope either. While the one side is attempting genocide, they are “Christians”, while the people being slaughtered are “only” Muslims. Neither Clinton nor John Paul expects support in the form of money or votes from either group, and they don't have a block of interested people elsewhere in the world that could possibly make them significant. Instead, I suggest that we examine the only place on earth which generates even less interest than the Balkans. Africa.

If we listen to John Paul II he thinks that American’s of African heritage are a group worth wooing. How much he and Clinton have in common. Last March, President Bill Clinton went hunting for black votes back home by staging a highly publicized safari to Africa. Clinton, who was accompanied by a 1,000-strong entourage, more fitting to a Chinese Emperor, than a modern president, proclaimed “a new African renaissance.”

“Africa's accomplishments”, Clinton effused, “grow more impressive each month”. Ten months of impressive accomplishments later, more than half of black Africa is convulsed by war, slaughter, or famine. Sudan, the largest nation, is torn by civil war. So, too, Sierra Leone, where drug-crazed rebels chop off the hands and feet of their victims. Eritrea and Ethiopia are warring over a barren border region - like two bald men fighting over a comb. Tribal warfare rages in Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Congo Brazaville, and Liberia. Rwanda is a mountain of bones. But the most interesting conflicts are in Congo (once Zaire and before that the Belgian Congo), and Angola. They offer a striking sense of deja vu.

Seven armies are battling over the Congo, Africa's treasure house of gold, copper, gemstones, and cobalt. The Congo's 30,000 man “army” has never been more than gangs of uniformed thugs. So current dictator, Lumumbaist-marxist revolutionary Laurent Kabila, called in troops from fellow, left-leaning African states: 4,000 Angolans, 3,500 Zimbabweans, 1,000 Chadians, 1,000 Sudanese, and 8,000 Hutus (the same people who led the massacre of 500,000 Tutsi in their native Rwanda). Opposing this leftist coalition are anti-Kabila Congolese, led by the delightfully named Wamba dia Wamba, backed by 4,000 Ugandan regulars, and 6,000 Tutsis warriors from the eastern Congo, and from the Rwandan army. All sides are employing white mercenaries from South African and Europe. Powerful US, Canadian, and European mining companies bankroll the Congo fighting.

War has erupted again in neighboring Angola. Though twice the size of France, oil, mineral, and diamond-rich Angola has only 11.3 million people. If properly managed and farmed, its lush central plateau could feed ALL of black Africa. Instead, wretched, dirt-poor Angola has endless civil war, armies of refugees, pockets of starvation, spreading HIV epidemic - which Cuban soldiers took back to their island in the 1980's - and millions of uncharted land mines. UN efforts to make peace and form a coalition government between Angola's two warring factions, the communist MPLA, and anti-communist UNITA, failed utterly. The Angolan civil war, which began in 1975, has resumed full force. Completing the deja vu, Cuban troops have once again landed in Angola to support the Marxist regime in Luanda. Does anyone else recall the last Angolan war, including big, fierce battles at Cuito Cuanavale, and Mavinga, that pitted Angolan communist soldiers, backed by 55,000 Cuban mechanized troops, Cuban piloted MiG’s, and thousands of Soviet, East German, and Bulgarian military advisors, against Gen. Jonas Savimbi's UNITA army (Unita being supported in a slender way by South Africa defence force and CIA assets)?

At the Cold War's end, the US abandoned its ally, Gen. Savimbi, and backed the communist regime in Luanda. Angola became one of America's most important suppliers of high-grade oil. Since then, the US has used the UN to try to disarm, discredit, and neutralize UNITA, whose anti-communism and free-market advocacy had become inconvenient. The Clinton Administration fed the US media a steady stream of anti-UNITA stories designed to isolate the movement and pave the way for its demise. Clinton’s black supporters railed against UNITA for having once accepted aid from white-ruled South Africa.

Savimbi, a multi-lingual PhD is one of Africa's most intelligent, impressive, capable leaders. He is of course shunned by the US, which is content to deal with the communist regime so long as it supplies them with oil at a price they like. Sustained by backcountry diamond fields, discreet aid from Zaire's late chief, Gen. Mobutu, and his Ovambundu tribe, which makes up nearly half Angola’s people, Savimbi soldiers on. However, Congo's new Kabila regime, quickly made an alliance with Angola's Marxists, blessed by the US, and Zimbabwe's leftist leader, Robert Mugabe, to crush Savimbi and UNITA. Now, we see the exceedingly curious spectacle of the US-backed communist regime in Luanda using US dollars from the sale of oil to America to hire anti-American Cuban communist troops to fight pro-American, anti-communist Angolans, and to resume buying arms from Russia, with American money.

In so far as any part of Africa can be called "Christian", Angola, Zaire and Rwanda were "Christian". Not just "Christian" but a significant portion of both populations claimed to be Roman Catholic. I have not seen John Paul II agonizing over this situation. I have not noticed him urging intervention. In fact, the only thing I have noticed is that he (just like Clinton) must be taking extraordinary measures not to notice what is happening in Africa. Now, as I have said before, maybe this is understandable in the case of Yugoslavia, but if John Paul wants us to believe that he cares about African people enough for him to point fingers at Americans, then his silence is more than confusing. It is inexplicable. Maybe it is because the troubles of Africa are turning out to be so much more complex than a few “evil Afrikaners” treating the South African black population badly. Maybe it is because the people being killed are “only black”. War, famine, socialism, and tribalism, as well as growing disease and corruption, have tuned black Africa into the world's worst human disaster area. The GDP of the region has declined over the four decades since most African countries achieved independence. Many parts of southern Africa are literally going back into the bush. Even the once prosperous South Africa is now engulfed by waves of violent crime and a declining GDP. Africa's former white colonial exploiters have lost interest in the deeply troubled continent. Half black Africa is at war; the other half in fast worsening economic distress. And nobody seems to mind.

So much for Bill Clinton's “African Renaissance.” So much for John Paul's “caring” attitude. As I have suggested before, they seem to deserve each other. For better or for worse they seem to be involved with each other. But why the hell should they be allowed to drag the rest of the world along with them?