September 30, 2003

Interesting comparison...

An interesting article on British nation-building efforts in Sierra Leone.

...The similarities between the two African nations are countless: from their beginnings (as havens for former slaves and harbors where Britain and the United States could unload free blacks), to their size (tiny) and strategic significance to the West (minimal), to the longing of their people for Western intervention (just as Sierra Leoneans welcomed back "our fathers" when the British landed in 2000, Liberians are calling out to their "big brothers," the Americans who founded their country two centuries ago). And the implosions of the two nations are intertwined. Sierra Leone's civil war began with a rebel army based in Liberia. That army set off a decade-long conflagration, mostly devoid of ideology or even tribal logic, in which Sierra Leonean government troops as well as rebel soldiers raped and incinerated civilians on a massive scale...
The good part is that the British, with only 800 soldiers, have, in three years, and with only one combat death, pretty much ended the horrific violence in Sierra Leone. This is a splendid humanitarian success, and stands in glaring contrast to the utter fecklessness of the UN.

The bad part is that this is Africa. They are never going to really get their acts together; no African country ever has... Sisyphean ain't in it.

(Via Oxblog)

Posted by John Weidner at September 30, 2003 9:04 AM
Weblog by John Weidner