While the rest of the world celebrates the lives of saints and princesses such as Mother Teresa and the Princess of Wales, here at The Outrage we are thrilled to mourn the death of one of the great sinners of all time.
Yes indeed. Let pathetically optimistic web sites like the Positive Press mourn Diana and Teresa; we are thrilled to wave farewell to Mobutu SeseSeko, one of the most destructive men to ever walk the face of the earth.
At age 66 Mobutu has finally died of prostate cancer, after 32 years of despotism over the people of the Congo. While better known villains such as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao have killed more people, no one has personally enriched themselves so hugely, with such regal disregard for the citizens of his own country. At least Hitler liked Aryan Germans. Mobutu did not discriminate — he treated all of his subjects with equal contempt.
In order to follow the saga of Mobutu it is necessary to understand his passion for renaming things. In 1971 he changed the name of the country he ruled from the Congo to Zaire. (When he was recently forced out, the new government changed the name back.)
In 1972 he changed his own name from Joseph-Desire Mobutu to Mobutu SeseSeko Kuku Ngbendu wa za Banga. His new name modestly translates as “The all-powerful warrior who, because of his inflexible will to win, will go from conquest to conquest leaving fire in his wake.” Might be a good name for the next NFL expansion team.
The ruling passion of Mobutu’s rule was corruption, and the ruler was the chief beneficiary. Mobutu amassed a fortune estimated at $5 billion to $10 billion. He owned villas and mansions throughout Europe. When he had the urge to travel abroad he would occasionally charter a Concorde.
During the 1980’s Mobutu wanted to add some sheep to one of his ranches, so he did what any other sheep farmer would do. He had a government owned DC-8 make 32 round trip flights to ferry the sheep from Venezuela to Zaire.
While Mobutu lived a life of luxury that would make a king blush, the 48 million people over which he ruled fell further and further into an abyss of horrible poverty.
The Congo is a naturally rich country. It is half as large as the U.S. and has vast mineral wealth. 65% of the world’s known reserves of cobalt are located in the Congo, as well as very large deposits of copper, tin, uranium, gold, oil, and diamonds.
In 1960 Belgium, the colonial ruler of the Congo, transferred power to a local coalition. Within five years Mobutu had become the undisputed ruler of the Congo. By the late 1980’s, under Mobutu’s incredibly corrupt rule, per capita income in his country was one-tenth what it had been at independence. By the 1990’s poverty dropped below measurable levels. For every ten roads that existed at the time of independence only one was still functioning in this decade.
We’re sad to report that the United States was a major Mobutu ally, funneling $2 billion in “foreign aid” to the dictator. Mobutu’s anti-Communist stance seemed to be all that mattered to Washington.
Mobutu was widely known to have tortured and killed political opponents. In 1983 then-President Reagan called him “A voice of good sense and goodwill.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT
Read more about today’s Outrage in the Washington Post story.