Gun Laws

Nationalism is a set of cultural aphorisms that allow the citizen inclusion into the fold of like-minded drones. It allows for the badge labelled 'patriotism'to be worn with pride.

Patriotism is a tool employed to generate consensus in matters of war

In 1962, the year I was born, the South African authorities were dealing with rising black discontent and, having brutally quashed protests in Sharpville, there were deep concerns about the blossoming influence of the African National Congress (ANC). Compulsory military service had been increased from 3 to 9 months in 1960.

The Nationalist Party (NP), as a fully functioning paranoid-fascist body who ensured itself continuously re-elected by any means necessary, operated a system of aggressive isolationism similar to that practiced by Israel. Under the perceived threat of looming Communism in Africa, the NP conducted campaigns of destabilisation against those neighbours it saw as immediate threats. The relationship with Mugabe’s Zimbabwe was tense but was not seen as an immediate threat since there was no hint of communist influence. Mozambique and Angola were, however a different story.
Strictly speaking Angola did not border on South Africa, but on South West Africa (now Namibia), a former German colony left under the caretaker-ship of South Africa. It all makes perfect sense.

The majority of South African’s remained oblivious to current affairs other than that which was fed to them via the NP propaganda machine, a narrow band of God-fearing patriotic trumpeteering and ever present threat of lurking Communism. A regime of blunt censorship excluded anything political, sexual or blasphemous.

By the time I was handed my conscription in 1980, the sentence had been upped to two years.
My fellow conscripts and I spent the first six months running, being shouted at, running, being woken at 3 in the morning after 2 hours sleep to… run, learning about the communist threat of the ANC, running, marching… did I mention running? – This was known as ‘basic training’.
The following six months were spent doing pretty much the same, only in a dry, thorny place far from any towns and dragging very big cannons around – this was called ‘bush training’ – to teach us how to fight a terrorist war against those bad communists.
One of the most disassociating things about all of this, for me, was that it was all done in Afrikaans. Shit, I started of with a rudimentary understanding of the language, gleaned from the last ten years of Afrikaans lessons in school, and by the end of it I was thinking in fucking Afrikaans! Durbanites in the army were mockingly called Soutpiele, which translates as ‘salty prick’, stemming from the observation that English Speaking South Africans have one foot in South Africa and the other in England, and their dicks were hanging in the Atlantic… very descriptive language Afrikaans. Very unforgiving people the Afrikaners.
The second year was spent in defence of the realm. Border Duty. The dread of every young white boy. There were a few psychos (there’s always a few psychos) who couldn’t wait to see some action, but in general, it was feared, this was the bit where you may not come back. As the name implies, Border Duty involved various activities, all unsavoury, on the South African Border… er… actually most of the activities were taken up either on the South West African Border , or inside Angola.
We were flown to South West Africa to take part in Operation Protea during which we spent 10 days deep inside Angola.

I learned about fear and lost a little weight in the process.

The military has no room for the creative urge and is no place for a questioning mind. The perfect soldier is a psychopathic adrenaline junky.
The Marxist Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) had taken Luanda in 1975 during the last months of Portuguese rule thereby gaining control of the relatively small oil supplies and therefore had the upper hand, and continued to sell this oil to the West.
Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA) meanwhile had the support of Zaire, which was a U.S. ally.
CIA financed forces invaded via neighbouring Zaire while at the same time South African troops, posing as Western mercenaries, attacked Luanda. Russia responded by subcontracting the Cubans to aid the MPLA.
Despite all efforts, the MPLA took power and thus began a long civil war, involving US, Chinese and Soviet interests and Cuban and South African soldiers.
The CIA, acting on the peace-loving Henry Kissinger’s determination to show the world who was boss, threw their weight behind the third faction - União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA). UNITA had at its head the proverbial power-hungry would-be dictator Jonas Savimbi and choosing him was, as we now know, consistent US foreign policy: the candidate’s morality is irrelevant as long as he remains compliant with US trade requirements.

After much bloodshed and about $40 funding, the U.S. congress cancelled the CIA operation in 1976. The CIA, however, managed to continue funding UNITA until 1981 when Reagan came into power. According to Mark Zaezauer in his book ‘The CIA’s Greatest hits’, from which the above information is taken, Angola was one of the CIA’s most pointless operations.
In an era when ‘democratic’ Europe was applying economic pressure on South Africa to end Apartheid, the USA was pouring money into South Africa’s program of arms supply and military support for UNITA.
After being thrashed in democratic elections in 1990, Savimbi restarted the Angolan war, initially with more CIA funding, but the U.S. finally recognised the MPLA and withdrew; the Cold War was, after all, finished. Savimbi was finally killed in 2002 leaving a country crippled by 30 years of bloodshed, killing and maiming with weapons and landmines supplied from the rest of the civilised world.

Appendix IV
- US involvement in Angola
Appendix V
- US NSC meeting Angola (Ford, Kissinger, Colby, Schlesinger, Jones)

        Pisces Iscariot (left) puts on a brave face
What is it Good For?
A fictionalised account of my time in Angola. The emotions expressed are as accurate as I can remember, the incident itself was a bit more complex, involving mercenaries and MPLA forces and the capture of Russian weaponary. The overall stupidity of it all remains true, whatever the facts.
Africa ~ A Continental Nightmare which goes some way to expound my feelings about the continuing plunder of Africa's resources by the white gods of greed-capitalism.


Laura Tattoo said...

finally, i get to see the real you. of course, the real you shown through your writing and i got to know some facts. but that face! such a face... :>>)))

very interesting stuff. i love this new (however new) idea of doing a bio. opens up a whole new world because, yes, we humans are a curious lot. too bad we haven't learned to question! but that's your strong suit. love. xoxoxoox

Laura Tattoo said...

oy... shone through... yes baby. xoxoxoxo

verif. word: "cousneon". the answer to the question, "why is it so bright in here?"

Garth said...

Hey Laura: thanks for reading - when writing about oneself it is difficult to know what it looks like without a little light from the outside world :)