a bit repetitive
Do you ever get that feeling that American politicians and diplomats say pretty much the same thing every time they go to Africa, regardless of whether they're representing Democratic or Republican administrations or whether it's 2009 or 1993? Yeah, me, too.
Apparently it's not just us:
That awesome graphic was compiled by contributors over at the Christian Science Monitor to accompanyTracey Samuelson's excellent summary of Hillary Clinton's trip around the continent. What we learn from her comparison is that yes, American politicos only have a few things to say about Africa and they feel compelled to say them over and over and over and over and over and over again.
As you can see above, popular themes in HRC's trip included security, America, and corruption. Angola almost hit the ... neufecta of themes, except for not being an example of good governance or playing a leadership role in Africa, but it's amazing how U.S. policy makers are willing to overlook those sorts of thing in particularly oil-rich states. (Never mind that the place was such a mess just a few short years ago that the American embassy had to be located on the beach so as to allow for easy evacuations.)
Also, either somebody at the State Department had a really nice vacation in Cape Verde last summer or they know something about offshore oil exploration that the rest of us don't, because, really, what was the point?
Secretary Clinton focused in on just a few issues in Congo, which I think was a good decision. Agricultural development, HIV/AIDS policy, and trade relations with the U.S. are all issues in the DRC, but they are secondary to the country's absolutely crucial security and governance sector needs. Still, I wish we'd gotten more from the trip than the same old broken record American policy makers have been playing in Africa since the end of the Cold War.