Democracy Isn’t The Issue
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  • Charles R. Williams

    In 1967 I asked Nicholas Katzenbach why we were boycotting and sanctioning Rhodesia when democracy everywhere in Africa was failing. He disputed my premise. Well times have changed. The people of Zimbabwe are starving but at least they have a home-grown tyrant. Apartheid is gone but democracy in South Africa is shakier every day.

    Some things don’t change. Katzenbach must be in the grave by now but his successors are just as addicted to politically correct lies – even some of the same lies.

  • Anthony

    To quote Peter Thiel WRM: “we always have this question of how to build a society in which important problems can be thought through and tackled.” In Africa, given its history, incipient democracy and rules of law are just a few of many important problems yet to be thoroughly tackled and viewed in their native terms – but time is getting late.

  • JM Hanes

    “[M]any of those rioting against a new term for Wade would not be unhappy if their own favored candidate could stay in office forever.”

    I’m not sure what’s particularly African about that. Democrats reviled Unitary Executive Bush, for putative incursions on the Constitution. Imperial President Obama? Not so much.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “If we want to help Africa, the first thing we have to do is to understand it on its own terms.”
    The problem is not with American or the West’s understanding, and we should not in anyway accommodate the backward African cultures. It is they who must change their culture’s to more resemble the successful American and Western cultures, not we that need to understand and tolerate their ignorant and backward African cultures.
    I am pleased to see the rioting because of the constitutional violation of term limits. It indicates significant cultural progress, and I hope it gets as violent as necessary to end the rule of a dictator, and reinforce the Rule of Law.

  • “If we want to help Africa, the first thing we have to do is to understand it on its own terms.”

    And just what would those be? And how would they help? Help me. I don’t have a clue.

  • Walter Grumpius

    “…who gets what and who rules whom.”

    You don’t say! Good heavens, you’ll discover steam next.

    “If we want to help Africa…”

    Who d’ye mean by “we,” Kemosabe?

  • The reason it is important to understand how AfricN cultues work is becUse they operate by cultural rules that don’t play well with democracy. For example Mugabe is president in Zimbabwe despite losing the last election and probably the one before that. To oversimplify he is still in power because he is the king in local terms and you can’t unelect him and since he owns everything by definition he can’t steal. Etc. This says noting about Senagal and Wade. That is it’s own situation.

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