Saturday, May 06, 2006

Rigging elections in Chad -- send them more aid.

Africa has been one of the most unfree regions of the world for decades. Ruled by petty tyrants, incompetent and corrupt, it has suffered from the malevolent leaders that "govern" that continent. And here is just example of the utter levels of corruption suffered there.

The people of Chad were supposed to vote in an election. They don't bother. The opposition and various civic groups had called for a boycott of the election. And observers in Chad were hard pressed to find very many people flocking to the polls. Diplomats in the capital said that turnout was no more than 10% and the rest of the nation had a lower turnout. But the government has announced a massive voter turnout of phantom voters who visage apparently can not be seen by the naked eye. The president of the electoral commission said voter turnout exceeded 70% of the population.

When an African nation plans a corrupt election they always invite "observers" from other corrupt African nations to verify the results. And the faux observers always oblige. A clear example of this was the violent intimidation campaign waged by the dictator Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. After months of systematically beating and killing opposition figures and voters Mugabe racked up another predictable victory, predictable because he rigged the election for precisely these results. Observers from South Africa's African National Congress immediately proclaimed the election "free and fair". One observer made the error of doing so before the polls had opened.

Now observers from various African kleptocracies have confirmed that Chad had a clean election with "brisk and enthusiastic" voting. Right!

The real question is why Western government continue to pour foreign aid on these dictators. Such funds are not used for the benefit of the people. But "feel good" rock musicians, left-wing intellectuals, and special interest groups continue to demand more and more aid to these violent, corrupt regimes.

Without exception the aid industry will show pictures of starving African children to justify dumping billions in aid money on corrupt regimes. But aid so often does not go to starving children but fat, corrupt dictators.