Unpopular Opinion Ep. 214 – “Coming To Africa”

Oh hey look! I haven’t written a column in forever and now I am here today! Something about the words “Trump human rights” tends to bring it out of me. Except just barely. What’s posted below is actually just the notes for the most recent episode of the Unpopular Opinion podcast:

If you haven’t listened yet, first off, you damn well should. Your guests are my friends and Unpops co-hosts Quincy Johnson II and Danger Van Gorder. The topic of conversation is the Trump administration’s newfound focus on human rights. I came up with the idea for the episode after reading…

Nikki Haley’s CNN Opinion Piece

So this will be an interesting look into how a seemingly innocent story about Trump almost always has darker implications if you dig even just a little bit below the surface. Take this CNN article, for example. It’s an opinion piece written by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, which right off the bat is weird, because I thought the Trump administration hated CNN.

Anyway, it’s all about how there’s a brewing human rights crisis in Africa that we as a country need to address.

Alarm bells! Trump does not care about human rights and he’s made that abundantly clear time and again, so whenever I see a Trump administration story about human rights, I get suspicious. This is literally the first thing that tipped me off that we’d be talking war with Venezuela as well. There was a New York Times article earlier year about how Trump was worried about the human rights situation in that country.

So back to this opinion piece. She talks about human rights and suffering happening in Africa, but weirdly, she only brings up two places: South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

I say that’s weird because, on the list of places with active armed conflicts that are claiming lots of lives, whether we’re talking just in Africa or all around the world, both of those places are way down the list.

If we’re gonna play good cop anywhere in Africa right now it should probably be in Somalia, where 5,701 people were killed in 2016 alone as part of a conflict that has claimed more than 500,000 lives since 1991. Instead of helping there, we send the Coast Guard in to fight off Somali “pirates” trying to keep their coastlines and marine life from being pilfered by actual pirates.

But no, we’re going to South Sudan, a place that literally didn’t even exist before 2011, and the DRC. Why?

Because Resources! And Not Just Oil This Time!

I mean, obviously part of it is oil. That’s especially true in South Sudan. Since at least 2011, the government of China has been trying to broker a deal that would allow South Sudan to export oil through Kenya. That’s important because right now they have to export through an area near the Red Sea in North Sudan, aka the country they declared independence from in recent years. The government of Regular Sudan demands 50 percent of all oil profits in return for allowing South Sudan access to their infrastructure. The deal with China would allow them to bypass all that and keep more profits for themselves, something the country desperately needs.

This is one of China’s first attempts at intervening in the affairs of a foreign government in the name of securing their own interests. The budget of the government of South Sudan is 98% oil profits, and China is their biggest trade partner in that respect. This would be good for both of them, so of course now we want to intervene.

I’m sure it’s nothing, but China is trying to do pretty much the same thing to help rebuild and strengthen ties with Venezuela.

As far as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, what they’ve got in abundance is copper and cobalt, which people certainly want. But more importantly, they’ve got a shit ton of gold. Probably more than a shit ton if I’m being completely honest. Now, can you guess which country is a key trading partner with DRC and actively trying to strengthen that relationship every single day?

Of course it’s China! They’ve been aggressively buying up gold mines all around the world. And here’s the thing, it’s not as innocent as them needing resources to build our iPhones. What they’re doing is launching a massive plan that would allow countries to circumvent the US dollar altogether in commodities market.

Here’s the elevator pitch. Right now, oil prices are backed by and priced in US dollars. What this means is that at the end of the day, even if we don’t own the oil, we control the flow of the oil in a very major way. China wants to set up a crude oil futures contract that would be priced in yuan and backed in actual gold. As in if you decided to cash in your contract at some point, you have the option of being paid in yuan or an actual goddamn brick of gold, which in theory is spendable in every part of the globe.

Obviously we don’t want that shit, so we’re sending our war machines to all the places China is currently trying to set it up. South Sudan and DRC are two of those places. So is Venezuela. It all makes sense now. Yay!

The North Korea Connection

Hey! Speaking of Africa and its relation to Asian nations that hate us, as it turns out, North Korea also has deep ties to vast swaths of the continent. One company in particular, Mansudae, has set up construction projects in 13 different African nations, including DRC. They’ve building everything from ammunition factories to apartment blocks to huge North Korea like statues of former African leaders.

One structure that especially aroused suspicion was the Mansudae headquarters building in the Namibian capital city of Windhoek. It’s a weird complex that includes warehouses, vegetable gardens, and a scarecrow dressed in a gray-blue uniform typical of North Korean workers.

In other words, it’s probably a labor camp of some sort. The concern is that Namibia is or was actively helping North Korea develop its nuclear program. Apparently, the North Koreans left the facility a few weeks ago. I’m sure it’s not just because they finally built the bomb they wanted to build or anything.

The Inevitable Nazi Connection

Here’s a really underrated aspect of the Nazi ideology…expansion. They didn’t start trying to take over lands near and far for no reason. That idea actually began way before HItler. In the 1870s a German writer named Friedrich Ratzel twisted Darwin’s theory of evolution to argue that migration was essential for a race to survive. To stop migrating was to stop advancing and risk being overtaken by a race better suited for survival.

In the early 1900’s Germany put this idea to the test when the Kaiser issued an imperial decree expropriating the land from the people who lived there. Most people surrendered right away, some fought, either way most were rounded up and thrown into labor/death/concentration camps. They were put to work building railways. Beating and rapes were routine.

In the most notorious camp, located on the awesomely named Shark Island, a physician named Dr. Bofinger decapitated the bodies of 17 prisoners, carefully removed their brains, weighed them, then sent everything to Berlin to be studied. Why? So they could prove the similarities between the Namibian natives and apes, thus justifying their assertion that Africans are an inferior race and subject to extermination at the hands of Germany. I say Germany because this all predates the Nazis and even World War I. But please, tell me more about how we need to hear the white supremacists out. Any Trump administration plan that even remotely involves intervening in the affairs of Namibia is big no thanks from me. Even if it involves stopping North Korea from building a nuclear weapon.

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