On donors and doughnuts [Archives:2007/1106/Opinion]

November 26 2007

“I am not sure that the world is getting safer as life goes on. It certainly is not getting any more peaceful. That is for sure.” Khalid was in the mood of opening up a political discussion.

His friend Aziz was trying to see what point was Khalid getting at: “Khalid, with the world population getting crowded in a world with limited space and resources and deteriorating air, how can you expect such cutthroat economies that the West has built up over the centuries to leave anyone alone, if the latter happen to be living where the vital resources that keep those economies humming are found. There is no question about it, friend, it is a dog-eat-dog world. In such a world there is not enough time to discern the logic of cohesiveness and human integration, let alone the right of equal access and equal benefit from the world's resources.”

Khalid was trying to find fault with his world as well: “Aziz, you know and I know that we should not simply point our fingers at the West and say, 'those are the villains of the world', who are out to starve the already malnourished peoples of the world to death. In fact, I can pretty much tell you that it is we who are letting the West get away with so much for so little. It is we who are forgetting that we must catch up to them, if we ever hope to enjoy life the way they are enjoying life and to be able to impose our will on them or at least to reach some kind of conciliation with them on how to go about sharing the bounties of the Lord”.

“No, Aziz the West has no interest in sharing anything with anyone. How can they? They have built up economies and developed societies that can only be sustained by geometrically progressive consuming economies and societies and if they are unable to sustain the way they are devouring the world's meager resources, then they will have no time to see how they can give us the crumbs that many a developing country has had to rely on to keep its people from going into extinction.

So, they will insist to us that, if you are not going to allow us to bleed your resources, then you simply will not have any more blood to circulate those crumbs we give you to keep your bodies going. You see there used to be the 'haves and the have nots” in the world. Now they are more diplomatically labeled as the “donors and the donees”. Khalid was apparently trying to evolve the classification of states in our current global scene.

“No, Khalid. There is no such term as 'donees'. They are actually recipient states. Surely, you haven't forgotten our last international relations course in College, when it was only just three years ago. I hope you are not going to say 'donees' when you have to give our country's statements at the United Nations General Assembly, are you?” Aziz was getting his friend's terminology in proper order.

Khalid had a quick adjustment to make in his terminology. At least the term would be more widely used: “How about calling these recipient states doughnuts? Actually, I would prefer to use that for the leaders of most of these impoverished states. The people of the world really have nothing to gain anyway from the billions of dollars that the West keeps hassling us about that they provide in aid. If you ask me, about the only people who benefit from the bread crumbs provided by the donors, as well as all the wealth they are hoarding from selling our resources so cheaply, are the doughnuts that drive the killing tools of our armed forces, and effectively control our destiny, on behalf of their masters in DONORLAND (Europe, North America, some pretenders of wealthy states, who are not aware that as far as the real donors are concerned they are nowhere near their class).

In fact, even the wealth of the latter is in the control of the donors and they can only direct their wealth where the donors tell them to, if the pretenders wish to see if they can make use of some of it. So, they go about arranging big weapons purchase contracts, which will never be used in any battle against 'foreign aggressors', but rather on the people the buyers rule.

Otherwise, the wealth is in the hands of Western bankers, who continue to channel even the money of these pretenders to places the latter never even know about.”

Aziz wanted to tell another side of the same horrendous waste story that Khalid was driving at: “You know I saw how one of the members of one of these families that rule one of these pretentious states to wealth boasting how he furnished his living room for US $ 600 million. They even showed it on CNN. I was so stunned by the figure that I decided to call this doughnut the doughnut with the most frosting on it, because this kind of extravagance is simply unbelievable and defies all sense of reason, logic and taste.

When he was told that he was nothing more than a doughnut, he explained that he wanted to fulfill the taste requirement at least, no more no less, because it would be ludicrous to try to fill anything else. No one in the West would allow him to even try to invest those funds in worthwhile ventures that bounce back with benefit to the citizens of his country.”

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.