the story i am going to tell is not news. but it is a largely untold story that has been widely overlooked. it is a story of western hypocrisy, double standard, and breaching of international law and values.
in october last year, a coup d’etat ousted the president of burkina faso. what was largely (if at all) reported as a military coup actually went down a little bit different: this “president” himself had come to power in an (actual) coup and then led the country in a military regime until he realized that support by western powers was given to democracies rather than dictatorships. he went and changed his clothes. cloaked in elections, he won the presidency again and again and again. in 2014 he had been in office for 27 years. what a democracy! more than that, he was considering to change the constitution, so he would be able to get “elected” another term. in the democratic spirit he asked the population for a vote on this idea. the people denied his request. so, in an equally democratic spirit, he ignored the wishes of the people, turned around and had the national assembly vote for his idea. thereby he conveniently “sponsored” a small party that would join his claim to put the vote over the necessary percentile edge.
at this point, however, the people had enough of their presidents moves and began moving themselves. they marched on the streets and demanded him to leave for good. this opinion grew more popular and despite all attempts by the president, even the burkinabe army refused to turn against the people. instead, the president invited a “delegation” from togo, which was conveniently made up of the military leaders and experts trained in repressing the population. what a lucky, diplomatic coincidence! and in an act of true democracy, the togo army shielded the burkinabe president and shot the burkinabe protestors on the streets. 16 people died.
if you think the story of true democracy cannot get any better than that, then buckle up your seat belts. the thing about a furious population is that shooting at them can also trigger them to become more furious. they set the national assembly on fire and kept demanding the president to leave. eventually he did – with the help of the french army who aided evacuating the democratic dictator. the evacuation however came known to the burkinabe army, who intended to try the ousted president in court, so they rushed to the airport to stop the president from leaving the country. and it was there that the french and the burkinabe forces got caught in a fire fight.
now dear reader, don’t be too hasty to judge. this is no foreign intervention, but merely a democratic country that aids a fellow democratic president to not be put in front of a democratic court of his own democratic country. it fully qualifies them to shoot at the local military force who try to enforce the laws of their country and the wishes of their people! how could you even question that? oh, just wait to see what a heroic story for the french love to liberty and justice this episode will be in the french press, particularly to honor the four french soldiers that died in the evacuation process! glory for democratic fraternité!
yet, curiously, the french press never reported how their country sacrificed their men for saving the democratic 27-year-long president of burkina faso from being put on trial in his own country. i wonder why…
so, dear reader, the lesson of this story is simple: in this world you can do whatever the fuck you want, as long as you stick the correct label on it. cross out the dictator and write “president” instead. reek some elections and pay off your clients, as long as you call it democratic, you’re good. you’ll even get a free lift to the cote d’azur if you’re lucky. so, if you don’t mind, i will go now to write “apple” on my chocolate. one intends to live healthy, after all…