The evil of innocents abroad

Sometimes, it doesn’t turn out as well for the do-gooders as it did in the #1 bestselling literary satire, The Missionaries, as Peter Grant, South African military veteran and witness to many an atrocity in Africa, testifies:

I’ve seen this so many times in Africa that the memories are seared into my mind . . . yet the ‘innocents abroad’ keep on going there in the expectation that because they’re aid workers, they’ll be respected by the locals.  “In the event of trouble, the people we’re helping will protect us.  Everything will be fine.”  I was told that, in those specific words, by a medical volunteer in West Africa . . . two weeks before she was raped to death (including being raped vaginally and anally by multiple bayonets, after her assailants had had their fun) by Foday Sankoh’s RUF thugs in Sierra Leone.  She was an attractive woman when I last saw her.  Two weeks later, her torn, burned, sliced-open corpse was a nightmare.  I could not identify her by sight.  It took dental records and a forensic pathologist to do that.

People, if you visit a part of the world – not just Africa, but anywhere – where human life is cheap, where torture and rape are everyday occurrences, where tribal and/or religious and/or ethnic divisions are excuses for savagery and bestiality of the worst kind, then the odds are pretty good that you’re going to experience those realities for yourself.  The locals don’t care that you’re there to help them.  They don’t care about your high-minded ideals, or your purity of vision of the new Utopia you’re trying to build for them.  To them, you’re “other”.

Helping Africa is one of the very worst things any Western individual can do. Possibly the most evil individual of the 20th century is not Hitler, Mao, or Stalin, but Norman Borlaug, the so-called Father of the Green Revolution, who is credited with saving one billion Africans Indians and Pakistanis from dying of starvation.

Guess what the consequence of that particular piece of idiocy is going to be? Borlaugh’s Nobel Peace Prize will eventually come to be seen as far more ironic than Barack Obama’s.

In 1971, the population of Nigeria was 51 million. Thanks to Borlaug’s innovations and Western assistance, it is estimated that the population of Nigeria will be 400 million. The UN estimates that it will be the world’s third-most populous country, behind China and India.

With the highest rate of population growth, Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050. During this period, the populations of 28 African countries are projected to more than double, and by 2100, ten African countries are projected to have increased by at least a factor of five: Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Somalia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia.

My expectation is that considerably more than one billion people are going to die as a direct result of the do-gooders interventions in Africa. And not all of them are going to be Africans either.