A RECRUITING advertisement for the British army shows a group of combat soldiers rescuing starving African babies. That, however, is an improbable happening: the days when European or American frontline troops intervened in Africa, even for humanitarian purposes, may well be over. The deaths of American soldiers in Somalia in 1993, and the more recent deaths of French soldiers in the Central African Republic, seem to have convinced western governments that Africa is not worth their soldiers' lives. They hope to train an African peacekeeping force instead.
Because of my IP, I even get British adverts while surfing my good old true-blue American web sites. Most common are the tragic children; the perennial starving African babies, the tight close-up of an Asian child with cleft palate, the little girl with the stumps for legs. Picture of sad-eyed child with horrible parental insults superimposed in text. Scared teenager on the streets with shadowy figures closing in. Oh, and the animal charities — ye gods! All those filthy one-eyed puppies and mangy bears.
The saddest Video you will ever see
I left school at 16, 35 years ago, and there are still the same annual charity drives to help the same Africans, in the same places. Just the facesof the pot bellied fly encrusted starving African babies have changed.