One of my very favourite movies when it comes to the more general situation in Africa even today is Lord of War with Nicolas Cage, directed by Andrew Niccol. Reminds me of Blood Diamonds as well, with Leonardo DiCaprio. It also reminds me of my own days as a front line journalist and the aimless wars I had the dubious honour to witness in my life so far.
From the incursions of battalions 302 / 303 in northern Namibia to battle SWAPO terrorists on the borders to Angola, the wars for the liberation of Eritrea and Southern Sudan, the refugee crisis of Sudan in 1985 the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and the equally meaningless death of half a million people during the refugee disaster in the DRC thereafter.
Then, the other day, I re-read Antony Beevor’s account of the sinlge largest tragedy in human warfare – with a total military and civilian casualty count of anywhere between 3 to 6 million – as represented by the World War II battle over Stalingrad and related front lines. I must admit that this book plus my own exposure to similar events in Africa still baffles me! I often tend to think that I had seen it all – the never-ending misery we inflict upon our fellow human beings out of pure and uninterrupted greed and desire – and I should somehow be able to comprehend it all in the context of human evolution and civilisation.
But I can’t. Or, perhaps to be more precise, I don’t want to! If this is all there is to human societies and our conquest of this planet driven by pure greed – the ransacking of nature and its amazing reservoir of life forms and resources, combined with our inherent misapprehension of the True Nature of Reality – then we deserve what’s coming our way.
More of the same… forever!
Here therefore a few quotes from Lord of War… if only as a historic reminder of what we are now witnessing in Egypt, Syria, Libya and a dozen other countries worldwide:
There are over 550 million firearms in world wide circulation. That’s one firearm for every twelve people on the planet. The only question is… how do we arm the other eleven?
I have a feeling this wasn’t exactly what comrade Lenin had in mind when he advocated the “redistribution of wealth”.
And I promise you I won’t spent a single second in court. Let me tell you what’s gone happen. Soon there will be a knock on the door and you will be called outside. In the hall there will be a man who outranks you. First he will complement you on a fine job you are making the world a safer place. That you are to receive a commendation or promotion. And then he will tell you that I am to be released. And the reason I will be released is the same reason you think I should be convicted. I do rub shoulders with some of the most vile and sadistic men that call themselves leaders today. But some of those men are the enemies of your enemies! And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the Unites States, who ships more merchandise in a day, then I ship in a year, sometimes its embarrassing to have his fingerprints on the guns. So, you call me evil… but unfortunately for you, I am a necessary evil.
I would tell you to go to hell! But I think you are already there!
You know who is going to inherit the earth? Arms dealers! Because everyone else is too busy killing each other! That’s the secret of survival! Never go to war! Especially with yourself!
And that leaves us with just one question:
How do we arm the other eleven? TIA, right? This is Africa…
Welcome to the real World!