This twisted creature is Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, three decades Overlord & Dictator of Equatorial Guinea. He’s one of history’s most successful patrons of the arts of human torture and life extinguishment. So you’ll understand I really, really mean it when I say that even if the soldiers depicted in this photo had gone off script and bayoneted him in the kidneys, this US-Africa 2014 Summit would still have been a failure.
In 2012, China hosted 50 African leaders in Beijing. Then President Hu Jintao made it a point to play the gilded host as if he was a Ming Dynasty autocrat reborn. Maybe Hu actually thinks this? Who knows. The Reds even somehow conned Mr Ineffective himself, Ban Ki-moon, to make an appearance.
I wonder what they offered Ban for his services? He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who’s into loose women or rock. Maybe booze? A chance to be ambassador to Seoul for the New Chinese Empire after East Asia is conquered by the Red Army? Eh, maybe Ban just let himself get swindled into showing up as a hack pawn of the Reds internal self-interest by accident. I guess.
Anyways, China offered billions in loose (dirty) loans, pledged solidarity with Africa against the world’s evildoers (the West), and generally made it a point to inform those present that China was serious. Today, China does $200B in annual business with Africa. Expect this number to climb exponentially for the foreseeable future. Thus, the Chinese summit succeeded. Why? For two reasons, knowing your audience, and then delivering.
Hu knew enough to understand the gentlemen (and two women, I think) in that 2012 room. The message was quite clear:
We China, want cash, so do you, we’ll help you get that cash, and you’ll help us get that cash too. We do not care about anything else.
Are you an oil baron strongman who favors money, power, and widespread execution? The West won’t always do business with you. Or if they do, they’ll be difficult with you about silly values. But China will do the same business with you, and not ask any annoying questions.
Are you a kleptocrat so craven you’d rob gold from your grandmother’s tomb? China will bottom line the deal. And help you locate your great-grandmother’s tomb, and provide you with the necessary earthmoving equipment. For a price.
And what did China do? They backed it up. They made it happen. They haven’t significantly altered this policy since 2012. So effective has this been that the increasingly crucial power broker in Africa is China. Once upon a time the United States was the middleman between Sudan and South Sudan.
Yet when they needed a guy with leverage to pursue peace from the current South Sudanese civil war, they began to reach for China and not America. Why? Because China buys all their oil and doesn’t ask foolish questions like where does all the money go. They couldn’t care less how evil these guys are. They’re a customer. End of story.
This policy model works rather well for China. It fits their mindset and objectives to make China a world player both in politics and economics regardless of the damage done to the human race. But China is not the United States. So it begs the question:
Why did the United States essentially copy China’s model for an African summit? When the United States is not China?
It’s like a twelve year old got up in class, angry that the kid writing on the blackboard (do they even have those anymore) got all the attention, ran up there and stole the chalk and screamed, “me too teacher, me too!”.
Independent thought? Coherent policy objectives? Unique ideas to achieve them? No, that weak stuff is for amateur losers like your idiot blog author.
And before you one sided goons start to blame Bush & Cheney (valid) or Obama & Kerry (also valid) please don’t forget that this African process is run not by the temporary occupants of power inside the Beltway, but by the everlasting foreign policy establishment of Washington DC. Your average State Department thug will outlive like five administrations, of both parties, and maintains continuity of said policies. In theory.
The scum Obiang was brought back into the United States’ arms by the Bush administration. Now the Obama administration is still kissing his private parts. Why? Because apparently the United States needs Equatorial Guinea’s oil to keep the price of gas at the pump from rising three whole cents. The level of fail is pervasive and systematic.
Now there’s an argument to be made that the United States must live in the brutal world of national self-interest and realpolitik. That you have to do business with horrible human beings because it’s in the best interests of a country. Agree or disagree, there’s a legitimate argument in that worldview.
Okay. But there is not a legitimate argument that backs blatant incompetence and a complete lack of vision. By any definition, moral, rational, whatever, this summit is a failure. Why? Well, let’s have at it.
1) Failure of values
What is the United States? I have my ideas. I’m sure you do too. But what does the foreign policy establishment of Washington DC (hereafter Morons) want the United States to be in the eyes of Africans? Well, I guess the answer’s China. The Morons want Africa’s leaders (and people) to think America is like China. Thus, they invited most of Africa’s leaders as equals.
In other words, dictators, murderers, and goons were placed equivalently alongside legitimate democrats and freedom lovers. The United States’ intended message was thus the same as China’s. The United States doesn’t care who you are, we just love cash. Now is that really the message the United States wants to send? Well, I guess so. I guess the Morons want Africans to believe that the United States will do business with Satan. As long as the price is right.
2) Failure of delivery
So now that we’ve established that the United States is only interested in gold. The Morons figured they needed to do what China did and back it up. Thus we hear the oft mentioned figure of about $30B-$40B in business investment by American firms promised at this summit. But please observe how the American $40B is not a signed deal, but is “pledged”. Oh, and don’t forget that this investment is spread out over years if not decades depending upon the whims of individual American firms.
You see, the Morons seem to have forgotten (or actually hate) the idea that American companies are not instructed by bureaucratic government remote control. When Beijing says $200B a year, you’d better believe they mean $200B a year. When Barack Obama says $40B, he means nothing. He doesn’t have that power. You’d better believe that every single African leader in the room knows that. If they want actual cash, they have to talk to the CEOs of Exxon or Walmart. So the Morons structured a summit that at its base level cannot deliver upon the promises made.
And just so we’re clear, $40B, this is what China burns on Africa every two and a half months. So now the United States has sold out its morals in order to one up China for the equivalent of less than three month’s business.
3) Failure of vision
Apparently the Morons are stuck in a mindset that was already irrelevant by 1992. The overall purpose of this summit, I think, was to get African cash in American pockets and to increase United States influence on the continent. I think. With these Morons you can never be sure. So how did the Morons decide to achieve that? By inviting heads of states. In other words, by inviting the ole Big Men of Africa to help solve the problem.
But in case the Morons haven’t been paying attention, with some rare and awesome exceptions, the Big Men are the problem. The Morons completely left aside any vision of how they were going to achieve their objectives, other than the same fossilized tired diplomatic grip-and-grin. Where poor Obama and Kerry have to legitimize and stand side-by-side with disgusting men in the mere hopes that it’ll build the kind of influence America requires.
But why would a bad dude African leader choose America over China? Take the likes of Obiang. He’ll eat tasty White House food any day. And still sell America a lot of oil. But do you think he’s ever going to trust America. Why would he? He’s probably smart enough to know that in the crunch of darkness, that China will back him and America won’t.
I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that it seems the Morons tried to copy China’s summit model, when it simply does not apply. It’s like the Morons don’t even understand their own nation let alone the world. They’re trying to beat China at a game where the rules were written by China. How do they possibly expect to succeed under such a construct?
– Lady Obama and Lady Bush promoted girl’s education, to a bunch of guys who rob the educational ministries to buy their new boats. Or sit back and drink $300 a bottle whiskey while their armies fail at their mission to protect their people from lunatics.
– President Obama mocked China for being interested only in Africa’s resources, while his subordinate Morons did everything in their power to put on a summit that expressed America’s desire to do just that.
– The President expressed a hope to tap Africa’s “talents and its potential” by inviting a bunch of guys whose talents include human misery, incompetence, and playing the world’s biggest leaders for fools.
The way I see it, there are two ways you could have made this summit a success:
1) Only invite the African leaders who aren’t children of Satan
I’ve generalized in the negative sense above, referring to the leaders who showed up with blood & dirt on their hands and cash in their pockets. Certainly, not all of Africa’s leaders are like that. I won’t hazard to guess on a percentage because everybody would disagree with my methodology anyways. But they still should have cut down the list and invited only the good guys.
It seems the Morons tried to do this, for instance Mugabe wasn’t invited. But their methodology fell short. A whole slew of evil dudes were invited. They didn’t move the bar far enough. Everybody can’t be Ghana or Senegal or Mauritius. But this is just ridiculous. Obiang? Kabila? [shakes head]
2) Hold an African summit with people who actually matter
What portion of Africa’s Big Men made sure that millions of Africans can do all their banking on mobile phones? Did Africa’s overlords bring high speed internet to some of the world’s most remote places by command orders? The wrong audience was invited and the wrong message was sent to them.
Instead, they should have invited thousands of successful small, medium, and large African businessmen. Then put them in a room with American businessmen. You build relationships, exchange ideas, network, and build slowly for the long run.
– Put the CEOs of Safaricom & Apple in the same room to talk about how they’re going to make machines our masters. They can bring their staffs and some bright, young underlings to learn from each other. Then they’ll go hit the bar, get drunk, and Tim Cook can clobber a teenage waitress in the forehead with his new iPhone 5s.
– Put the gang from SABMiller in the room with a few dozen American microbrewers so they can hash out ideas, concepts, and good times. SAB can explain how they conquered the planet’s beer market and pitch ideas for how they’re cornering small emerging markets with Africa’s growing number of beer drinkers. The Americans can sample some of SAB’s new sorghum brew. Then SAB can sample a California micro’s blueberry and pear brew and the SAB guy will viciously break the bottle over the Cali’s head as an insult to beer being beer.
– Put teenage coding freaks from Nairobi and Silicon Valley together so they can talk about what it’s like to be a loser in their own independent cultures. And then how they’ll be the ones laughing when they’re all billionaires and those who beat them up when they were younger are pumping their gas.
– And so on.
Now the Morons would instruct you that my ideas would not accomplish the objectives of the United States. That I’m just a creepy, ranting jerk who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Maybe. My way sucks if you’re a Moron because it’s slow, doesn’t have any sexy diplomatic grip-and-grins, and generally can’t make an immediate splash.
But at least my way the United States gets to keep its honor. And I contend my way would at least ensure the summit didn’t fail up front, before it’s even finished. Plus, at least by trying my way you’d have a chance at not failing. Fail.
[unintelligible muttering] Yeah, I’m done. I guess. [unintelligible muttering] What do you mean? [unintelligible muttering] The State Dinner? [unintelligible muttering] White House. Yeah? [unintelligible muttering] African ingredients? [unintelligible snickering] Really? [unintelligible snickering] Really?! They used African ingredients? [throws chair] You’ve got to be . Idiots! [unintelligible snickering] That’d be like Obama showing up to Kampala and they shove a burger in his face and call it classy! [unintelligible snickering] What kind of dirt bag patronizing move is that? You fly them out here and then get your million dollar chef to use their native ingredients for dinner? Who’s running this derailment?! [unintelligible profanity] [unintelligible profanity] [unintelligible profanity]
Uh, Mr Dictator, Sir, you’re invited over to my place. My guests want to have a chat with you about some things. Please don’t refuse. Unlike you, we desire to keep liquidation to an absolute minimum.