Time was when Great Britain (GB) was admired for its famous stiff upper lip, when it could not be rattled by “jolly little things, old chap.” Those were the days when a Sir Winston Churchill could not go back on his word and would keep going even when it meant “going through hell”. And an “Iron Lady”, Baroness Thatcher, was “not for turning” in the face of whatever adversity. Then the motto for Britons was “my word is my bond” and Rwandans admired it and took it up with gusto.
Alas, those days are no more. No longer is GB unshakably reliant on its information on what’s happening, within the country or without. It no longer trusts its intelligence institutions: MI5 on national affairs and MI6, international. So today the once-powerful London Metropolitan Police quivers at a wee rumour about “death squads from Rwanda” and calls upon Londoners to fend for themselves!
We are verily at a loss when we see the once iconic British government discard its quintessentially smooth diplomacy and courtesy and behave like other rogue powers of the world. During its heydays, GB would not have thought of going back on its word and cutting aid to a close friend like Rwanda, a fellow Common Wealth member, without conferring. In any case, it would not have contemplated it over a heap of hearsay gathered by some doubtful FDLR sympathisers like Hege.
GB would have considered, in its ever sober manner, and thought twice. Rwanda “fighting” the phantom army – no, band of looters – of D.R. Congo? An ‘army’ that takes to its heels at the sound of a shot? What contempt, to think that the hardened Rwanda army can engage in cheap games of fighting this ghost of an army! Even Her ‘cool’ Majesty Queen Elizabeth would have protested!
For, while this insult of cutting aid over untenable allegations can slightly hurt Rwanda, think of the massive damage it’ll inflict on the reputation of ‘imperial’ GB.
I was musing over all the aforementioned and asking myself what has befallen GB when I realised I was holding the answer in my left hand: my third-rate Samsung phone handset!
It will be remembered that giant Apple and Samsung companies are engaged in a legal fight. Apple accuses Samsung of copying the design of its prized iPad and iPhone. Depending on who finally wins, imagine the patent battles that a case like this will set off. Literally everything that’s being manufactured originated from a single idea of somebody who may not be known today. From satellites to bombs, cars to computers, each is a product of an idea of a single person. And look at the varieties of each of them.
But, the significant catch! The originator of the idea is most probably European or American.
Now consider the economic doldrums that the corporate West is increasingly finding itself in. Could this case be an example of a corporate West that’s trying to seize on this thin chance (being originators) to shut out the rising corporate giants of the rest of the world? And, remember, when the corporate giants go down, they go down with their countries. That’s how, the panic in all these wealth-strapped Western countries.
So, the battle lines are drawn. Now that the whole Arab world is almost in the desired ‘oil-rich shambles’, DRC must be guarded at any MONUSCO cost to keep it in its ‘mineral-rich shambles’, too. After all, everything that’s manufactured needs some mineral or other. And so, whoever is perceived to be capable of influencing DRC positively is an enemy and must be nipped in the bud. Woe unto Western powers if DRC were to be organised and choose to deal with the rising corporate giants of Asia, South America!
That’s how this is survival of the fittest. And in the war for survival there are no scruples. Not even for the model of “good old gentlemanly conduct”, GB. For survival, Common Wealth bonds can be cast aside. Blood becomes thicker than water and GB must look to kindred in Europe and North America.
All of which results in comical scenes, as a one-time fly on the wall intimated to me.
Remember when in this column we talked of how a top Rwandan politician was ambushed in New York? Top diplomats of USA, UK, France, Belgium, the horde, besieged him and demanded that he denounce M23 in their presence and that of President Kabila. Well, they hadn’t bargained for what they got!
The lone Rwandan, staring them all down, stated: “You all, gathered here, started this war between M23 and Kabila. If there is any denouncing to be done, it should start with you being denounced!” They were all stunned! But that was not all. Singling out the UK diplomat, the Rwandan spilled the beans of the conspiracy that the British diplomat had wanted to involve him in. By the time the Rwandan was through, the diplomats and Kabila were all shifting in their chairs, unable to look at one another.
But it made one thing clear. Considering that these powers were calling for the arrest of Ntaganda as a way of getting Kabila back in their grip. That that way the negotiated reintegration was put asunder and the suffering of our DRC brothers and sisters prolonged. That for that these powers brand M23 a terrorist group while working with the looters and rapists that are the DRC army and sundry other insalubrious terrorist groups like FDLR. That an innocent country, Rwanda, for being its unshakable self, should be put in cross-hairs. That……….
Surely, why is The Hague there, if not for this monstrous criminal syndicate?
Whatever the case, the world powers had better be prepared for the impending tectonic readjustment of the centres of power, financial or otherwise. It seems they are in for some good rattling!
As for Rwandans, they are “not for turning”, even when it means “going through hell”. Aid or no aid, they’ll sing: “Hata tukonde kama misumari, hatuwezi kurudi nyuma!” Even if they were to grow pin-thin, they’ll not be diverted from their course. Their country may be tiny but they are not tiny people!