Tuesday, August 11, 2009

South Africa, Not Much of an Ally

Jamie Kirchick has an article in Newsweek asking why South Africa is "acting like a rogue state." Does that sound too harsh? Here's what our supposed ally has been up to.

peddling arms to police states and terrorist havens (in deals that were revealed just a week before Clinton's arrival); continuing, as Mbeki did, to prop up the despotic Mugabe; and even doing China's bidding to keep trade relations intact
It's been selling weapons to Libya, Syria and Venezuela, and is considering arms sales to Iran, Zimbabwe and North Korea. At the UN it has opposed resolutions aimed at totalitarian states, and has a particularly cozy relationship with China.

Speaking only for myself, I've personally never considered South Africa an ally, although I wasn't really well-informed about all the things they've been doing. I've always been highly suspicious of the ANC, because of its communist influences, ties to various enemies of the U.S., and its use of terrorism in the fight against apartheid. As Kirchick writes, the idea of South Africa as a U.S. ally is little more than a "comforting facade." But no doubt we'll continue to pretend that the South African government is a friend of the U.S. for as long as possible.

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