Behind the spectacle that is the show-trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor in The Hague, on charges of genocide, is the hidden tragedy of African countries torn apart by brutal civil conflict for the continent’s mineral wealth.
These often brutal wars financed, in no small measure, by the West’s insatiable greed for Africa’s mineral resources such as: oil, rubber, gold, diamonds and columbite-tantalite, has literally been at the root of millions of African deaths.
And whilst the UK press gorge themselves on the ‘evil dictator’ – Charles Taylor – the ‘egotistical’ and ‘dumb’ model – Naomi Campbell – and perhaps the ‘slick’ defence lawyer – Courtenay Griffiths – many key figures who, in many ways, bank rolled and or profiteered in this and other conflicts will walk away unscathed.
Why, for example, do European and off-shore bankers who are able to hide ill-gotten gains – critical to the chain of murder and mayhem – never get brought to book?
Or those ‘respectable’ nation states that sold arms via a third or fourth party, well aware of where the weapons would end up, never get held to account?
This trail has all the glitz, glamour and bogeymen to satisfy our celebrity fix, whilst consolidating our world view of who the good the bad and the ugly are.
But scratch the surface of this tawdry spectacle and you’ll see more. Much more.
Filed under: Celebrity |