I published an (inadvertently incomplete) comment by b real in an earlier post, AFRICOM offers Africa 3 shiny new Ds. As b real points out, the US via AFRICOM is now offering Africa 3 Ds, defense, diplomacy and development, after the fashion of the 3 Cs of the nineteenth century, commerce, christianity, and civilization. The 3 Cs didn’t exactly work out as promised.
To paraphrase Kenyatta’s allegory, “when the Whiteman came to Africa, he was holding a Bible in one hand and asked us to close our eyes and pray. When we opened our eyes after the prayer, his other hand was holding a gun and all our land was gone!” Africa’s colonial history was characterised by military occupations, exploitation of its natural resources and suppression of its people. After testing decades of independence, these countries are now jealously guarding their sovereignty and are highly suspicious of foreigners, even those with good intentions.
I copied the critical piece I omitted when I first published my earlier post, and am reproducing it below here, linked to the entire comment.
. . . the USAID official stated
We believe that AFRICOM can significantly advance the “Three D” concept, and facilitate the coordination of defense, diplomacy and development to advance American foreign policy interests on the continent of Africa.
the “3 D’s”? well, that’s hardly a step above the “3 C’s” of the earlier scramble, isn’t it? whereas livingstone’s plea for bringing commerce, christianity and civilization to the indigenes led to a plethora of euro humanitarian colonizers in the late nineteenth century, even bringing up the idea that the u.s. would like to bring “3 D’s” to the continent strikes me as an inside joke on their part.
so they’re gonna tell the peoples of africa that this unified combatant command will have a humanitarian face that really wants to “help africans help themselves” (more like “helping u.s. american elite to help themselves to africa’s resources”) and this will entail bring three shiny new D’s?
are they serious? this project seems to be failing rapidly. they have many weaknesses that need to exploited both domestically & internationally. the negative reactions across the globe are having some real effect. part of their problem is that those who actually know what the real impetus was behind the formation of the command have to find other reasons for public dissemination (or risk an even greater public fury) and those that don’t know are struggling to fit a square peg into a round hole & make sense of their nonsense rational & ignorance of the real africa.
i’ll tell you what though, if they do suceed in establishing a larger military presence (w/ civilian trimmings), it will not be used to bring those 3 D’s to the peoples of africa. it will be used to take another set of 3 C’s out of africa — crude, capital and china!