Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why Aid Specialists & Nation Builders Hate Ron Paul

The last two decades have seen an unprecedented effort to rebrand the term "conservatism". A Plato interpretation by Andreas Kinnegin has focused on virtues to rebrand the word "conservatism" in the Netherlands. Among Christian Democrats Roel Kuiper and Jan-Peter Balkenende have been spreading this "virtues gospel" (liberal conservatives have an army of believers as well). However, when you take a closer look you notice how this approach could be summed up by paraphrasing Plato:
 "the man that feels just is happier than the man who feels unjust" 
Institutionalized arrogance if you ask me. In 2008 Lew Rockwell at Ron Paul's rally for the Republic might have called it an infection: it spreads.

Ron Paul's campaign should push back against communitarians and Obama supporters among self-proclaimed aid specialists who have staked their reputation on Rwanda as aid model. People Like Hugh Evans:

Ron Paul is ignorant, ill-informed and/or morally bankrupt when it comes to

Gerard van Mourik, a development consultant who has worked in Rwanda from 1994-1995 claimed in a tweet to former Dutch member of parliament for the conservative liberal peoples party, Arend-Jan Boekestijn:
Meer economische ontwikkeling in Afrika betekent minder genocide.
Which translates as "More economic development in Africa means less genocide." He, as many other development consultants, politicians and journalist just can't seem to fit Victoire Ingabire into their development model. The easiest solution is off course to just ignore her story or paint her as a naive, incompetent or crazy individual.
Victoire Ingabire's invaluable contribution to great lakes politics is the fact that she has forced politicians in Rwanda, but also in Europe and the US to show their real colors. She has thrown on the table the question everyone should ask: Can the African nation have peace and prosperity without freedom?

Off course Museveni, Kagame, Zuma and others would argue that the war against Mobutu was part of the liberation of Africa and that critics are in fact the metastase of the former colonizers.

This liberation narrative has not been challenged by US politicians. Instead US foreign policy consensus has been to integrate it into the larger "war on terror" narrative. Paul Kagame comments supporting the war against Ghadaffi and his comments on the Burundian FNL illustrate this. 

Donald Tusk did not support the war against Ghadaffi! However, the platonic happy crowd of European politicians jumped on this bandwagon in the name of universal human rights or the notion of a boring and predictable cosmopolitan village.

 Leading up to the 2008 presidential elections Cindy McCain led a bipartisan visit to Rwanda that was supposed to showcase how well-intentioned, caring and good people Americans are when helping, through organisations such as the ONE campaign, the poor in Africa.



It's in Ron Paul's campaign's interest to broaden the scope and move away from the unhealthy focus on the middle east.

The last election cycle both democrats and republicans visited Rwanda to show how much they cared for development (make them feel just and they will be happy). It played an important role in the campaign, I remember. And it symbolized the consensus on foreign policy in the US. A superficial feel good message in a country ruled by a ruthless dictator. This bipartisan foreign policy consensus came together with Rick Warren at the swearing in of Obama.



To just ignore debates on development and nation building in Africa isn't an option. As I mentioned above, Ron Paul's ennemies/adversaries ( the likes of Romney advisor Pierre Prosper and Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson and Hugh Evans) are bringing them up.

To broaden the appeal to compassionate conservatives or evangelicals it's important to counter the superficial perception that somehow Ron Paul's campaign doesn't care about development in Africa.

The war on terror in Africa has ugly consequences and US citizens would do well to find out what these consequences are for citizens of regimes that have these cozy ties with US administrations. So if people don't know about Sudan, Rwanda and Congo, it's time they get educated. I support Ron!

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