Lawrence Twigg
Lawrence Twigg

The dogs of war

I’m shocked and saddened by the loss of 14 of our soldiers in the Central African Republic. It sounds like the Wild West. And it doesn’t matter how many of “them” our forces killed, it’s all just bullshit. How do 200 of our troops get attacked by a rebel army of some 3 000? And nowhere near our own borders?

I am a white South African who lived through the conscription days, did the two years (15 months of which was on the border over five trips) and did camps for 10 years after. So I think I can speak with a small amount of knowledge about this topic. And I am really angry that we lost soldiers in a foreign fire fight. In my days in Namibia and Angola we also brought body bags home. What a useless, senseless reason for a parent to face their worst nightmare. On both sides the losses were regrettable and meaningless in today’s context. But that was a different world and a very different South Africa. So why do we have to re-live that scenario again in someone else’s war?

I’m willing to bet my last R4 rifle that 99% of us in this country don’t even know why the hell we’ve sent troops to the CAR. Do you know?

Never mind the fact that we can’t even protect our own citizens from daily events of rape, murder, robbery and God knows what else. But we can send troops to the middle of Africa? I would also love to know how much this exercise in breast beating is costing our country. Who is paying for our esteemed armed forces to guard some dodge president in Africa? You guessed it. We are! As usual.

I wonder what the shell-shot soldiers who were under attack for 13 hours think of that. I also wonder what deal Zuma has made with Bozize. The reality is that we are again being bamboozled by an inept ruling party. I do not want any more of OUR soldiers to die in combat under any circumstances. These are OUR boys. We should protect them.

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    • The Creator

      Good points. Except that I suspect that far more than 99% of the country don’t know why troops were sent. I suspect it’s more like 99.99%. And maybe 100%, if the army generals and the President are as clueless as they seem.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Then why do we need an army or soldiers at all? It would have saved us all the wasted money of the Arms Deal if the ANC had decided that in the beginning.

    • abrham

      our commander in chief Jacob idi zuma amin – playing ngingane ndingann !!!

    • Richard Young

      A good article with a relevant and correct viewpoint.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      My analysis of the facts presented by the media is that ECOWAS under the chairmanship of Chad has kicked South Africa out of the region anyway. They want to rid the area of dictators not have South African forces replace Mugabe’s Zimbabwean forces in propping them up.

      Considering the History of the Congo region it is not surprising they don’t share the ANC Pan Arab -Africa/PLO/Malcolm X/Black Panther vision for Africa.

    • nguni

      Until we know better, the reason for the deployment was to train the CAR military and to protect ANC I mean South African interests. 90% of South Africans know that. If its not the truth the question is why are we being lied to? Our ANC mouthpiece here has been very quiet on this issue. Trying desperately to find an angle that can blame it on apartheid no doubt..

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      I think South Africans should make up their minds what they mean by a “Peace Keeping Force”

      As the American Generals have pointed out ever since Libya is that you can’t have a “Peace Keeping Force” in a War Zone. A “Peace Keeping Force” can only be sent in AFTER the war is OVER!

      Which is why America wants no more involvement in foreign wars.

    • Charlotte

      @ Lawrence. Your shock and outrage reverberates; your questions are valid and to the point: ” – why do we have to re-live that scenario in someone else’s war?” …99% of us …don’t even know why the hell we’ve sent troops to the CAR. Do you?”

      What a cheek for Zuma to tell us to ‘back off’ from yet another – and such a disastrous ANC muck-up like this!

      The ANC hang onto the word ‘liberation’ as it ennobles their purported ‘cause’ – even with their blatant government graft, dishonesty and inefficiency..
      The ANC acronym has simply been hijacked for political expediency and duplicity. The Zuma-led ANC now stands for ‘Arrogance, Nepotism, Corruption’ – (or, and particularly after what has happened in the C.A.R.), putting it simply: ‘A National Calamity.’

    • Comrade Koos


      “Which is why America wants no more involvement in foreign wars.”

      So which American policy dictates they will stay out of foreign wars?

      Why are the CIA delivering arms to the Syrian rebels if they have a policy of staying out of foreign wars?

      The only reason America gets involved in anything or stays out of anything is for their best interests.

      They are capitalists, totally mercenary, only interested in peace if it suites Wall St and American business, otherwise they sponsor wars covertly or in the public eye depending on what suites their public image.

    • Sterling Ferguson

      @Beddy, as a history person like you, you should know that after the fall of the Roman Empire private armies sprung up in Europe just like in Africa today. Most of the African countries are failed states and there are no order in these countries. SA should be focusing on keeping her head above the water because she doesn’t have the resources to solve all the problems in Africa. Many of these people have been commenting about the white settlers, an African man told me that the blacks in SA were blessed because many white stayed in SA. When the blacks from Africa go north and see what kind of conditions that exist in these countries most of them go into shock.

      Moreover, when you talk about the black Americans preaching pan-African, you should read Keith Richburg book “Out Of America”. In that book he talks about his four years stay in Africa writing for the Washington Post, and he says he is still suffering from trauma from his stay in Africa.

    • Lungile Sojini

      Soldiers are supposed to fight (doesnt matter whether it’s for a noble cause or what)

      And in fighting, some will die.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      Komrad Koos

      America has said it has a “no feet on the ground” and only using unmanned drones as future policy in foreign countries.

    • http://none Lyndall Beddy

      @ Sterling

      The only period of peace and prosperity Central Africa ever had was the brief period, of less than 100 years, of British and French colonialism, between them stopping the 1000 year old Arab Slave Trade, and France and Britain being kicked out themselves in the Cold War. Any towns, roads, schools, clinics, railway networks that exist were built then.

      Once the Cold War started, and opposing sides armed opposing tribes, Central Africa has been a War Zone.