Maxiavelli: Fight Terror & we'll Remit

The Portrait of an African Gentleman by Jan Mostaert

Hi, my name is Max and I am a politicoholic. - Hi, Max!
Yet, sometimes, politics can get to my wits…

In less than a month the world has witnessed two strong examples of why some say politics is dirty.

The Demise of Meles Zenawi
Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, died on the 20th of August 2012.  Upon his demise world leaders praised what they called “one of the greatest African leaders”:

“Prime Minister Meles (..) demonstrated his strong personal commitment over many years to improving the lives of not just his own but all African peoples, through his work on African unity, climate change, development and in promoting peace and stability, particularly in the Horn of Africa.” José Manuel Barroso, European Commission president

“His personal contribution to Ethiopia's development, in particular by lifting millions of Ethiopians out of poverty, has set an example for the region.” David Cameron, British PM

Since 2000, Meles Zenawi assaulted the Ethiopian democracy; he incarcerated journalists and bloggers who would criticise his government; he imprisoned his political opponents; he violated the Ethiopians’ human rights. Yet he was dubbed as “the greatest leader” simply because he served the West – after all he did send troops to Somalia to fight Islamist militants.

Presidential Elections in Angola
On the 31st of August 2012, 72.24% of the Angolan electorate re-elected José Eduardo dos Santos. The African Union deemed the elections “free and fair” and the Portuguese President, Cavaco Silva, congratulated Angolans for their “civic spirit and democratic maturity” – I can only imagine similar reactions from other nations with whom Angola keeps close trade ties; however, when before elections people are 100% certain of who will win, something is wrong.
Angola is the new darling. Portugal is selling its banks, newspapers and companies of national interest to José Eduardo dos Santos (?). Brazil’s interests, in Angola, led President Dilma Roussef to praise the new Angolan Constitution as “the bastion of the democratic consolidation” – this constitution, approved in 2010, served the main purpose of allowing dos Santos to kick democracy around and add 10 more years to his 30-year-rule (read how Here).
José Eduardo dos Santos was accused, by Human Rights Watch, of “numerous incidents of political violence, intimidation of protesters, and crackdowns on peaceful demonstrations,” still, if one of these days he decides to tackle Hezbollah members operating in his territory or offers troops to fight Islamist militants in Guinea-Bissau, he might earn the right to be called “one of the greatest African leaders”.

The stark reality is that sometimes politicians have to compromise with the devil; but to publicly praise Lucifer as the kindest angel of all is proving those who claim that politicians are scum right… 

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      Thanks for your interjection.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. Although I understand what you mean, we must give credit to Zenawi: he did lift millions of Ethiopians out from poverty and hunger (I still remember the images of Ethiopians starving to death). He developed his nation, which caused many Ethiopian emigrants to return home and invest there. I wonder whether the new government will be able to keep thing stable there (socially and economically speaking). Furthermore, Zenawi was trying to include a different tribe into the power to avoid situations such as in Rwanda, Bahrain, Syria, Saudi Arabia etc where only one "tribe", usually the minority, ruled/rules over the others - usually the majority.

    About José Eduardo dos Santos: he is a thief. News outlet will show us that he is building infrastructures; they will show us that he puts the Chinese in their place; they will tell us all sorts of things, but the reality is Angola doesn't have schools for the poorest; it barely has hospitals, freedom of speech is a joke; every housing complex built means that hundreds of people have been thrown out of their homes without a compensation.

    Portugal is a sell out!

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      So, you are saying that because he lifted Ethiopians from poverty (which was his job, in the first place), we should turn a blind eye to his human rights violations?
      I am happy that he developed his nation and I hope that the following government is able to continue his economic policies. However, I also hope that they stop being afraid of criticism and learn from it - like those in true democracies.

      "Furthermore, Zenawi was trying to include a different tribe into the power to avoid situations such as in Rwanda, Bahrain, Syria, Saudi Arabia etc where only one "tribe", usually the minority, ruled/rules over the others - usually the majority."

      True, true.

      "About José Eduardo dos Santos: he is a thief."

      Unfortunately I must agree with you. He and his family (his children should be ashamed of themselves).

      "Portugal is a sell out!"

      I, too, am worried about the stance that Portugal is adopting concerning Angola. Especially because we are not sure about the origins of the funds that are buying Portuguese assets - we are not sure that Sonangol is the real face behind these acquisitions.
      But that is for another article...

      Ana, thank you so much for your fantastic comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I have to admit that I am sick of politics. I feel like politics has become so dirty, and the media so unfair that it is impossible to really know what is going on. It is very difficult for the average citizen to know which party is really the better choice, since so much mud is being slinged. I think that in this way, the world has lost it's moral compass.

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    1. Hi D! :D

      I understand where you are coming from. The media is high and obviously tendentious.
      It is true that the average citizen doesn't have access to certain information and, although there is a lot of reliable information online most do not have to time to go through it all and make a 100% knowledgeable decision.

      "I think that in this way, the world has lost it's moral compass."

      It has, unfortunately.

      D, thank you so much for your super comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. Hey, Max!
    African rulers, for years, have been missing the point: The People's well being!
    Why would they spent most of their time, in office, cracking down on opposition and silencing the critics? It's disapointing for, no one has the right to torture and kill, over criticism.
    Max,I dare to say: that such monkey business, it's, only, comparable to the one that is shown on National Geographic...

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    1. Hi Lenny :D!

      "African rulers, for years, have been missing the point: The People's well being!"

      True.

      "Why would they spent most of their time, in office, cracking down on opposition and silencing the critics? It's disapointing for, no one has the right to torture and kill, over criticism."

      Indeed, indeed. But at least the people is starting to speak out and against their actions, right? Things are improving little by little.

      "Max,I dare to say: that such monkey business, it's, only, comparable to the one that is shown on National Geographic..."

      LOL LOL *nodding*...

      Lenny, thank you ever so much for your super input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. Well as they say, in politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies. Its all about how it suits at that particular moment. One amazing thing that always has striked me is how cutting across nations even in such diversity, the core fundamentals of politics has remained the same and common people always are being taken for a ride even at today's date. Somehow politicians are taking people for granted and they are succeeding in their onslaught. I just wish how a global revolution takes place and there some sense and transparency returns in governance and politics rather than trying to keep it in a kind of Classified, secretive mode, just in the garb of national security, when it comes to governance.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      "Well as they say, in politics there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies. Its all about how it suits at that particular moment."

      It is expected, yes. The problem is when they exaggerate...

      "One amazing thing that always has striked me is how cutting across nations even in such diversity, the core fundamentals of politics has remained the same and common people always are being taken for a ride even at today's date."

      True. You know humans, they take long to change; but eventually change will catch up with them because old politics doesn't work any longer and people are not pleased (since they are more informed today, than 20 years ago).

      "I just wish how a global revolution takes place and there some sense and transparency returns in governance and politics rather than trying to keep it in a kind of Classified, secretive mode, just in the garb of national security, when it comes to governance."

      Wow...a global revolution? How messianic of you :).

      Kalyan, thank you ever so much for your super comment :D. Always a pleasure.

      Cheers

      Delete

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