Imagine what would happen if America barged its way into a developing country, buttered up its homicidal dictator and agreed a back-of-the-envelope deal in which he signed over his nation’s mineral wealth in return for roads, railways and sports stadiums. Everyone would benefit, no?
No. The problem is that the infrastructure turns out to be worth a hell of a lot less than the minerals. Fortunately, Washington has had the foresight to top up the dictator’s Swiss bank account. Problem solved! As for the mining operation, the Americans really don’t want to be bothered by minimum wages or trade unions. They’re banned. And no complaints from the workforce, please, because no one wants a repeat of that “misunderstanding” in which an American mine supervisor opened fire on stroppy employees.
If the United States embarked on this sort of colonial experiment, it would produce a furious “Occupy Grosvenor Square” camp outside the US embassy and a withering play by Sir David Hare at the National. But since these things are actually being done not by America but by the People’s Republic of China across the entire African continent, the “anti-colonialist” Left just yawns.