Deluded as hell, but the propaganda battle must go on
“We also condemn the illegal unilateral economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe and Iran by the West. We call for the immediate and unconditional removal of these illegal measures.” – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Utoni Nuyoma addressing a meeting of the non-aligned movement in Iran.
“So the mobile wave is about the rise in power of American software companies exporting their ways in English, sold in dollars, running on American technology controlled by companies like Apple and Google to everybody else on Earth. And by the way, we’re going to spread the American language, the American currency, and also American values.” Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ:MSTR), a business intelligence company, explaining his future investment views in an investment newsletter.
Home-grown delusions are part and parcel of the psyche of any nation. Using the two quotes above, it should be fairly easy for the average, competent, rational man to see that our foreign policy has grown its own delusions as exemplified by quote No. 1. But quote No.2 illustrates just as vividly, that all individuals are subject to some form of delusion. I think Freud often referred to auto-suggestive delusions when discussing the pathologies of his colourful patients.
But lets start at the facts. The sanctions against Zimbabwe and Iran are NOT illegal. They were instituted following due international process. The fact that the outcome of that process does not fit the views of our Foreign Ministry, does not make them illegal. The further fact that we have been protecting an unholy alliance with an illegitimate ruler of an outdated oppressive regime, in a neighbour’s territory, does not suddenly make that government legal. If there is one institution that qualifies for the label “Illegal” it is the Zanu-PF party government in Zimbabwe and its geriatric leader is the epitome of “illegal”. That was proven by the independent international electoral observers during the last election. A similar judgement against the Mugabe regime was later, in a different matter, delivered in the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek when it was found by a competent bench of judges, Mugabe was in violation of both his own laws and international legislation, when he unilaterally drove farmers off their land without compensation. There must be reasons, as yet unknown to me, why our government insists on publicly supporting an illegal regime, but I suppose only those in the lead, will know. It often breaks my heart when I realise political leaders will rather look stupid, than admit to the absurdity of the convictions they hold.
But we in southern Africa are not the only people prone to distortions and delusions. When I read the quote by Mr Saylor, I nearly choked on my sandwich. Over the years, I have made peace with the ignorance and audacity of the average American, but hearing such drivel from the mouth of an individual who, supposedly by his position and title, must be better informed than the average guy in the street, made me realise delusions are a universal part of the human psyche. People believe what they choose to believe and then they try to convince everybody else that only their own beliefs have any merit. Talk about top notch delusions.
The last thing I want in my life if for anybody, even if it is “Father Crismis” himself, to export American values to us. When I hear this hollow but potentially explosive statement, I am forced to reconsider exactly what American values are. My list would include the futile search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Certainly after watching a dozen times or more, Mr Bush junior fervently trying to convince an unbelieving world that Armaggedon is located in the vicinity of Bahgdad, I can come to no other conclusion that it must be a core American value. Otherwise, how come would he have repeated it so many times.
Then, when I look at statistics reflecting the state of the American consumer, I realise debt must also be pivotal to the New World psyche. If it is not the case, how is it possible to bump up economic growth for 20 years based on more and more debt, and then trying to convince all outsiders, that is the economic solutions for the entire world.
I find myself smirking when I recall all the vociferous sentiments against Africans and African governments, crucified for our inability to repay national debt, conveniently averting the eyes from the horrors perpetrated in many parts of Africa by international mining conglomerates, just to make a profit, no matter how many people died in the process. If I have to choose, I’d rather choose our own delusions. After all, they are rather insignificant, unfounded and infantile.