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Decolonizing Aid? What could possibly go wrong?
The New York Times hits unprecedented levels of delusion
America’s Democratic Party and its media, like The New York Times, are now expanding the circle of decolonization, the new codeword for rolling back global Western influence and handing the world over to the “global south.” Since the “global south” has historically been a victim, this must automatically mean that it knows better how to manage its affairs, or so does the Democratic thinking goes.
In the minds of white people oozing with “white guilt,” the problem is clear: White man (America and Europe) is managing, from faraway places, the aid it is giving. Therefore, what “white man” ought to do is to hand over the aid to the natives of the “global south,” who know better where to spend it. This way, the Times believes, problem solved.
What the “decolonization” crowd fails to understand is that managing aid is not only about knowing how and where to spend the money. It is also about accountability, without which, aid could amount to helping nobody. As a brown person who was born and raised in Iraq and Lebanon, I can say — with high confidence — that the majority of those who manage Lebanese non-government organizations (NGO)s are among the most corrupt in the world. Just like Western aid to “global south” governments ends up buying luxury for rulers, their families and their cohorts, so does aid to “global south” NGOs end up funding a luxurious lifestyle for the managers of these organizations.
White people with white guilt seem oblivious to the fact that a major part of the failure of the “global south” is its inability to govern itself. Western aid to non-Western countries would not have been necessary, in the first place, had countries of the “global south” been able to manage themselves properly, at both the governmental and non-governmental levels.
The New York Times concludes its editorial with the following gem: “Aid is not all about saving those in need.” It’s not? One would wonder. “Aid,” to the woke West, is development assistance that “is one of the three D’s — alongside diplomacy and defense — considered crucial to cementing alliances and advancing donor countries’ interests around the world.”
But alliance with who? With tyrants ruling countries of the “global south?” Or with corrupt NGOs where accountability is impossible? Maybe the New York Times and its editorial board better remember that the most essential part in “development” is capacity-building in these countries, which makes them better equipped to manage their resources, as well as the aid that they receive. Such help requires intensive Western supervision and involvement. And now that the West is diversified enough and not only managed by “white man,” Western people of color can play the best role in identifying the best way to help the “global south,” and yet remain accountable to those who are funding global aid, including tax payers.