My aunt is buried in Botswana, I remember well the Soweto uprising and how South African security services were permanently aligned to Moscow’s geopolitical ambition to thwart, divide, disrupt the Atlantic alliance. These were dangerous times, of Soviet subversion in Central, South America and throughout the Caribbean. The soft underbelly of the American regime was always south of the border. It remains so today.
My aunt was a Catholic nun, in third world nations like Africa the Church didn’t really acknowledge the non-aligned movement; it wasn’t that church officials ignored political realities, they openly sought accommodation. But then the problem of John Paul II split wide open the dogmatic allegiances of its religious orders. The Jesuits were known to openly seek insurrection throughout the Caribbean, and Central/South America. The ideal of a Christian revolutionary was real. And so was John Paul’s ambition to break the Warsaw Pact.
This story of insurrection, insurgencies and restoration isn’t well known. John Paul II won Poland but lost most Spanish dependencies in the Americas. The fault line that was El Salvador still burns today, even though Reagan won that terrible battle. The world longest genocide remains Guatemala, it began under the Eisenhower administration and ended with Clinton; that rage consummated more lives than any other civilian conflict in the world. Still, John Paul’s legacy remains intact, even if Vatican religious orders strayed.
The story of South African apartheid is just as ugly as the Vatican’s role in moving German Nazi’s after the war to new homes throughout South America. The reasoning is simple: the German Reich’s foundation was always thought of as conservative by European standards, while Russia’s growing atheism threatened all established order.
In the United States today and throughout the west, Russian Communism is depicted as benevolent because in distinguishes itself from the racial foundation of German fascism. But no one should be surprised to acknowledge the incipient social relation between Catholicism and European fascism.
Which brings me to Zuma and the African National Congress.
The embattled president (Zuma) has been hanging on to power for months; his entire presidency resembles Clinton’s; sordid tails of corruption, nuclear and fiscal deals with Putin, overt blackmail of colleagues, the wholesale moral depravity is well known throughout African political economies. What isn’t well received is the moral reserve that was given under Mandela and de Klerk.
The truth here is a very difficult one to acknowledge in South Africa, but it is playing out throughout other political economies throughout the world. Incompetent governance underwriting profound moral folly. Zuma is likely to survive, why? Because the mandarins in South African politics conceive of their writ outside the moral reserve hued by Mandela. It will take another generation of African leadership after Zuma before a true African solidarity emerges, and when it finally does, we should pray it NOT salvage those unfit to serve.
In our rage, we should only admonish ourselves knowing how vengeance is reserved for the Crucified one; and just as the Father demanded payment for sin on Good Friday, the Lord shall have his vengeance among those who were favorably positioned and openly fell short.
Don’t pray for Zuma, and don’t pray for peace in South Africa.