Friday, October 05, 2007

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite - France's secret war

Johann Hari of the Independent has written an excellent expose of French involvement in Central Africa. I am becoming more and more convinced that the period of decolonisation in the mid-twentieth century was a sham. Now that there is no Soviet Union, there is a new form of colonisation taking place on all levels throughout the world. In this new colonisation, there is no need for the colonisers to go and live amongst their subject peoples. Instead, they pay off corrupt locals and dictators to do the dirty work for them. When a problem arises, they can get involved as humanitarians to resolve the crisis, installing a new dictator. More advanced countries are slowly taught to internalise the arguments of these colonisers so that the people themselves no longer realise they are being chained to a giant wheel where wealth is siphoned out of their homes and bodies through their labour. The horror of the local dictators' treatment distracts the locals from those who really hold the leash.

"I watched my parents forced to work in the fields when I was a child," he says in Sango, the local language. "When they got tired, they were whipped and beaten and made to go faster. It was constantly like this." The French flag was first hoisted in the heart of Africa on 3 October 1880, seizing the right bank of the Congo for the cause of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité – for the white man. The territory was swiftly divided up between French corporations, who were given the right effectively to enslave the people, like Zolo's parents, and force them to harvest its rubber. This rubber was processed into car tyres for sale in Paris and London and New York. A French missionary called Father Daigre described what he saw: " It is common to meet long files of prisoners, naked and in a pitiful state, being dragged along by a rope round their necks. They are famished, sick, and fall down like flies. The really ill and the little children are left in the villages to die of starvation. The people least affected often killed the dying, for food."

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