A Shift in Priorities - Sequel

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by rast, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I think we may class the lawyer in the natural history of monsters.
    (John Keats)

    Dakar was perhaps – well, doubtless – the largest city of Ala Ka Kuma, but not the capital; that was Bamako. For doing business, however, Dakar was the hot address. Oskar Kabinga had arrived by train. It was quite a trip: from Duala, you had to travel to Bangui on the Transafrican, then to Am Dafok on the Intercontinental, then to Bamako on the Westafrican, and finally from Bamako to Dakar on the Senegal Line. The last part was the worst. It was the old DN, the Chemin de fer Dakar – Niger, built by the French since 1885 – and hardly completed when French rule had suddenly ended.

    The Ala Ka Kumans were doing their best to keep the antiquated material rolling on the ancient 1,000 millimetres gauge line, but it was a rude shock to change from the fast air-conditioned Westafrican to the – well, vintage – Senegal. The Senegal was single-track, and the trains were slow. Yet, service – in the first class – was excellent – and you certainly got a better feeling for the country you were travelling in than in the speeding MARB trains. And it also prepared you for what to expect in Dakar…

    Luwele, Kabinga & Hamzi Solicitors had been hired by SEM, Miss Seidel-Sikuku that was, to broker the erection of a factory complex at – or rather near – Dakar. SEM, already producing in the WAU, was planning to expand to Ala Ka Kuma. Labour came inexpensive hereabouts, even if education of the workforce was rather underwhelming. But simple production processes could easily be transferred to Dakar. Labour in the WAU was becoming costly. Hence, basic production was to move to Dakar, while final assembly would remain at Sinoe – for the time being. Both locations were connected by sea, which was the most economic and efficient way of transport.

    Dealing with the Ala Ka Kumans was quite tricky. Their laws were strongly influenced by sharia, which wasn’t disadvantageous, but quite odd for a Middle African. However, once you accepted these – strange – procedures, they really made some things quite easy to solve. Of course, you had to grease several palms, but that was normal. Kabinga was satisfied. The contracts were almost ready for signature. Miss Seidel-Sikuku should be pleased…
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
  2. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    People trample over flowers, yet only to embrace a cactus.
    (James Joyce)

    Okay, the great show was about to begin. Jochen Zeislitz had arranged for pickled eggs, fassbrause and a meatball. NASA was indeed broadcasting live on TV – and German TV was relaying. Live coverage was something RRA still couldn’t do, a shame. Nevertheless, being able to watch – even if image quality was lousy – was tuff. Lunobegún-10 was circling around the Moon – and the Kikimora crew was ready for descent and touchdown. Right now, one was seeing the lunar surface as recorded from Lunobegún-10. It was a muddled pattern of grey and black spots. Jochen, who already had been up there himself, could make sense of it, or almost, but he wondered what ordinary citizens might be thinking of it.

    The Kikimora crew consisted of Viktor Nikolayevich Krylenko, Yelena Borisova Folkin and Anton Petrovich Chekhovsky. Obviously, the Russians were keen to have a Miss Luna of their own. Igor Vladimirovich Zamsolov and Ivan Ilyich Ipatiev were riding the Lunobegún. – All of them were seasoned kosmonauts; Jochen remembered having heard them named during several recent NASA missions. – Okay then: the Kikimora had decoupled and was sinking. For a short moment, the Lunobegún camera was showing the lander – a blob falling down and behind. Then, recording was switched to the Kikimora camera. The muddled grey and black spots were becoming larger now.

    Was it really clever to feed the public with these wishy-washy pictures? The sound was awful as well. Jochen’s Russian wasn’t high-grade – he didn’t understand much, just some numbers and phrases. Prerow was getting the original sound. For the wider German audience, simultaneous translation was supposed to occur. What might that sound like? – The lunar surface was coming closer and closer – on the screen. Yep, touchdown, the Kikimora had landed on Mare Tranquillitatis… The Russian chatter was getting rhapsodical. Jochen sighed. It would take several hours before anything else was going to happen. The lunar landscape looked like – grey pudding…

    He would go to the gym now and do some exercises. That ought to allow him to be back when Krylenko and Folkin were leaving the Kikimora. Yeah, nothing happening, except Russian speed-talking, which he didn’t copy. He rose and left the TV room, taking the plate with eggs and meatball and the bottle with him. – It was Wednesday, February 18th, 1959.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  3. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    This is the goal: To make available for life every place where life is possible. To make inhabitable all worlds as yet uninhabitable, and all life purposeful.
    (Hermann Oberth)

    All right, so the Russians had carried out a manned landing on the Moon – and had safely retrieved the kosmonauts. What did this mean for the Ottoman Empire’s space programme? Wernher von Braun had tried to sketch the way ahead. RRA and NASA were the big players, both entertaining a space station and capable of landing men on the Moon. The Indian Federation and Middle Africa were only toying about with old DELAG stuff; they were insignificant. If OŞU was to draw level with RRA and NASA, establishing a space station had to be the first step.

    Gökyüzü Atılgan Üç, Sky Charger Three, was in the testing phase now. One had already busted two of them. They were good. The capsule, called Göktaşı – Shooting Star, ready at long last, could accommodate three kosmonauts. Alternatively, a load of 3.5 metric tons could be lifted. That was sufficient for constructing a space station. – After a series of successful orbital missions, one would be able to start building a space station – and man it permanently. While this was being accomplished, Sky Charger Four could be developed, which should be capable of lifting a lunar lander into orbit.

    It could go at a good pace. Money was not a problem – as long as the Grand Vizier was supporting the space programme. Manufacturing standards were adequate. In fact, OŞU was buying the bulk of the rocket parts in Germany. The German government had endorsed this early on, while RRA had still been in hibernation. It had helped to preserve jobs in the space industry. There seemed to be no intention to cancel that export permit. That was fine. It helped to save a lot of precious time. Training of the kosmonauts was proceeding finally – after he had ultimately succeeded in erasing the notion of Ramadan for kosmonauts…

    Yes indeed, progress and success were within reach. Uzay İstasyonu – the Ottoman space station – could become ready in 1960. A lunar landing in 1961 was not impossible. – At the same time, by the way, effective intercontinental missiles, based on Gökyüzü Atılgan İki – Sky Charger Two, were being delivered to the armed forces. The OE was moving forward.
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  4. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    He knows nothing and thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
    (George Bernard Shaw)

    Scandal! Some rascal had leaked confidential information to the press. And the dirty hacks had shown no scruples to publish the stuff. – Fighting fit to a limited extent only! It was an attack on him in person. Someone wanted to discredit him. Who? Why? Franz Josef Strauß was as mad as hell. He was the minister responsible for the armed forces. Every publicised offence against the military was an attack on him. – And, of course, it was compromising national security.

    The leak had to be somewhere in his ministry, high up, where the weekly overview of the situation was circulating. The Abwehr was frantically searching for the traitor. One had already raided the editorial office of the news magazine, but these pressfolks knew how to shield a source and conceal a secret. Okay, they were in jail now, as was right and proper. But the damage had been done. And he was the laughing stock of the nation…

    The principal curse was, however, that the published information was basically correct. The armed forces were in a bad shape indeed. The navy was overextended by the renewed blockade of the British Isles. The fact that he had pushed the new navy structure through parliament recently was getting lost in the plethora of reports about damages and ailments which were vexing the blockade force. And the blockade force was the complete Kaiserliche Marine – minus the nuclear missile submarines.

    The army was still suffering from the repercussions of fighting the pest. The battles – and the antidote – had killed quite a lot of soldiers – and many more were traumatised and unfit for duty. It was generally so that young men were much more sensitive today than their grand fathers had been in the Great War. That couldn’t be helped, but it made the army look weak. Yeah, and the equipment had also suffered – and there was still a huge backlog of overhaul and repair.

    The air force was least afflicted – one should think. But unfortunately, the material shortcomings revealed in a recent exercise had also found their way into the coverage. The strategic missile force was suffering from communication problems as their equipment wasn’t fully compatible to the new stuff used by LKL and OKW. There had been a transmission error that had led to a – mock – attack on Moscow. No real damage had been done, but it was quite embarrassing nevertheless…

    Chancellor Schmidt had already warned him. If the press hype – the whole pack was ganging up against him – shouldn’t abate, he might be forced to drop him. The political enemy was in no position to challenge the government, but public opinion couldn’t be disregarded.
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  5. traveller76 Member

    Jul 29, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    Can women serve in the German military?
  6. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    No, they can't. Not even auxiliary service is foreseen.
  7. Pera Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2016
    Reminds me a lot of the OTL Spiegel affair in 1962.
  8. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.
    (Friedrich Nietzsche)

    The medics said everything was okay. The trip had been too short to do any serious damage to the human organism. One just had to sit tight until the quarantine ended. Silly quarantine, three weeks of isolation for an excursion taking just seven days… It had been a brief foray indeed, a tumbling flurry of impressions. Viktor Nikolayevich Krylenko was glad one had filmed all of it. – Not the horror pixel movie show that had been shown live on TV; no, one had shot excellent colour films on 16 mm.

    The kosmonauts were spending a lot of time viewing and commenting these films. What else could they do – except keeping fit? Quarantine was a serious affair; no kidding was allowed. NASA would not risk a moon bug epidemic. So, sorry, no kin, no journalists – incarnate, only via video. Well, who said a bug from outer space was adhering to earthly quarantine standards? Krylenko knew better than vocalising his thoughts. But it was true. Why shouldn’t a space bug keep quiet for several weeks or months – before finally breaking out? It possibly had been out and about for millions of years; there was no need for hurry…

    But these were ugly musings, better kept private. Although… Krylenko couldn’t believe nobody else shouldn’t have arrived at such wacky ideas. The scientists were no fools. – Well, three weeks were enough, really. One had been on the moon. What now? A series of landings was scheduled to follow. Luna would be scrutinised – for water in the first instance. There was none in Mare Tranquillitatis, at least not in the stones and the debris one had collected. It was a godforsaken desert. Could he imagine to be in charge of a lunar base some day? Polkovnik Krylenko, commander of Moon Base Volshébnaya Straná. Good grief…

    Until then, however, he would have to spend his time training recruits. He was the first Russian – man – to have stepped on the Moon. That had to suffice for the time being. All slots in the follow-up missions were assigned to other kosmonauts. – But once it came to establishing a permanent base, he would be back in business, for sure.
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  9. altamiro Well-Known Member

    May 20, 2008
    Where the streets have no names
    So what actually did kill the other three kosmonauts? Probably not radiation sickness (that would be probably easily recognised, and shielding is not exactly unknown ITTL). Muscle degeneration in zero-G?
  10. Tuna-Fish Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    They had a radiation shield made of lead on a long space voyage. In space, thin sheets of metal are effectively radiation amplifiers, not shields, because they effectively stop high-energy cosmic rays (which would pass harmlessly through unshielded humans), and scatter their very high energy into hundreds of secondary particles, many of which they won't stop.
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  11. Dain Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    It was not radiation sickness as such. Acute radiation sickness is a symptom for a fatal or near-fatal dose suffered within a short time frame.

    I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be a combination of:
    a) long-term health effects of elevated levels of ionizing radiation, which is known to increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases
    Basically radiation can cause damage to the heart in particular - disruption to the fine capillary framework by radiation damage permanently weakens the muscle, post-injury deposition of collagen and fibrosis forms scar tissue in place of muscles... similar to what happens after heart attacks - all the stuff you do not want to happen to it.

    b) long-term health effects of zero-g, also known to cause muscle loss and consequently cardiovascular problems

    The hypothesis was that due to the two causes coming together to weaken their cardiovascular system the kosmonauts became steadily more fatigued up to eventually losing consciousness entirely.
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  12. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Africa has no history and did not contribute to anything mankind enjoyed.
    (Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel)

    One couldn’t call Luanda a backwater; after all, it was a buoyant town of 220,000 inhabitants. What for centuries had been the centre of slave trade to Brazil today was a commercial hub dealing in palm and peanut oil, copal, timber, ivory, cotton, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, sugar, meat, copper, wax, and many other natural resources. But to call Luanda a metropolis certainly meant exaggerating. One almost felt moved back to the last century. Drowsy was perhaps the apt word to describe it. Portuguese colonial rule was known to be facile – and quite ineffective…

    Somehow, the Portuguese were always managing not to get involved. Their colonial possessions in Africa had come unharmed through all adversities. Not even the Congo Line, the double tracked Middle African rail line from Boma to Windhuk, which went by Luanda in a distance of only twenty-five kilometres, had changed much. During the Southwest Independence Crisis, the Portuguese had simply yielded right of passage to the Middle African military – and had turned the other way, pretending to be oblivious of the strife.

    It was uncanny: nobody ever seemed to have considered annexing Portuguese colonies in Africa. Guinea-Bissau had neither been touched by the WAU nor by Ala Ka Kuma, both successful gobblers of old structures. The Middle Africans had strictly refrained from grabbing Angola in the SIC, although securing the land link to the rebellious province would have been of principal importance. And Mozambique was the cloud-cuckoo-land per se. How were the Portuguese doing that? Anton Mbwesi had come to Luanda to learn more about this very efficient policy.

    Luanda, founded as São Paulo da Assunção de Loanda in 1576, was perhaps the most ancient colonial city of Africa. It was nice, even nicer than Cape Town, although the landscape down there was much more magnificent. One couldn’t sense the misery of the slave trade any more. The local bourgeoisie was prosperous and snug. In theory, the Portuguese were encouraging assimilation, enabling the natives to gain the legal status of trueborn Portuguese. De facto, this was only applying to a small local minority, as the hinterlands were hardly developed. But it seemed to keep people placid.

    The Portuguese had never really cared for the interior of their colonies. In the hinterlands, folks were living like in the olden days, more or less. Yes, it was like a big open air museum. Was this the secret of Portuguese durableness?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  13. RakhaAthaya Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2018
    I guess it's because Portugal is more stable compared to the other Colonial powers like Britain and France, so there's fear of retaliation if the Africans try to move against their colonies.
  14. Dain Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    Nah, I don't think Portugal has any power projection potential against the militaries of Middle Africa or the WAU. I guess it's more that the colonies are such undeveloped backwaters that there isn't much temptation, and that the Portuguese seem to have had a string of capable diplomats. Evidently you might as well treat the areas as natural parks / open air museums.
  15. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    A Portuguese colonial empire that stays away from the development phase of the 1960's/1970's, and without armed movements, won't seek to actively develop the colonies, following more a local based slower development.
    Considering historical views, depending on whether the government in Lisbon follows a more liberal or conservative line, there might be laws to retain some of the taxes for local use, and some MPs representing people with the franchise (regardless of colour).
  16. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    The African is my brother, but he is my younger brother by several centuries.
    (Albert Schweitzer)

    Travelling to Luanda hadn’t been easy. MARB trains were put under seal at Boma and were passing through Angola without stop. The Congo Line had been designed for transit; it had no stations on Angolan soil, not even were the three indigene rail lines were being crossed. Anton had finally decided to take the boat. Once a week, a ferry was leaving Boma for Luanda. It was a fascinating trip down the mouth of Congo River and along the Angolan coast to Luanda. The ferry was operated by a company based in Luanda. All the same, it had provided ample opportunity to get used to the Angolan way of living.

    In the Scramble for Africa, in the last century, the Portuguese had expanded their hitherto coastal holdings into full-scale colonies. But the grand scheme to create a continuous territory from the Atlantic shore to the coast of the Indian Ocean had foundered in the face of stiff British opposition. Thereafter, Portuguese enthusiasm had faded away fairly fast, leaving the African colonies more or less to themselves. Well, Portugal in the last eighty years couldn’t be called a story of success. Two national bankruptcies, umpteen governments within a handful of years, a weak economy – no wonder the colonies had been neglected.

    But exactly that seemed to have stabilised Portuguese rule hereabouts. There was no pressure to turn modern. One could live like the ancestors had done. And most Angolans were doing just that. – Who was keen on it was free to learn Portuguese and apply for full citizenship. Who wasn’t could just carry on as ever. – For a Middle African it was a strange way of living, but the locals seemed to like it. Anton had enquired: there was a small movement working for independence, but one really couldn’t call it popular. Most Angolans were happy with the existing system.

    The Portuguese, however, though hamstrung by economic weakness, had shown considerable diplomatic prowess. By conceding the construction of the Congo Line, they had appeased any Middle African covetousness to appropriate the Angolan land link to Southwest. Of course, Middle African xenophobia was a lucky chance for continued Portuguese rule, as was the indifference of the rulers in eThekwini. Yeah, that was probably the great game going on behind the curtains: having neutral – and inert – buffer zones suited both great powers, Middle Africa and the Union of South Africa.

    The same should also apply to Guinea-Bissau in relation to the WAU and AKK. Yes, it appeared possible. There was no outright enmity between the great powers – and having neutral ground between them was seen as an opportunity and not as an impediment. Anton was confident to have solved the riddle. Now, he could turn to relish the situation. The Portuguese-Angolan cuisine was excellent, this he knew already. Nature and wildlife in the hinterlands were said to be unspoilt. This was Africa as it had been – before the Europeans had arrived…
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  17. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Make your vocation your vacation. That is the secret of success.
    (Mark Twain)

    More soldiers had arrived, well, former soldiers. It was a proper non-compliance movement, Otto Falabeke had learnt. In Middle Africa, soldiers were resigning in droves. Many were simply quitting and going home, but some were engaging abroad. The WAU was absorbing the brunt of these, but quite a number had gone to serve in the Union of South Africa – and another troop had now come to Venezuela. The investors had paid for the voyage – and Venezuela had hired them.

    Currently, they were busy setting up a camp in the north of the island. Otto had sounded out his contacts among the security folks, who were former soldiers themselves – and known to be in close contact with the incomers. The new arrivals were aviators and sailors. They were destined to form special units within the Venezuelan armed forces. – But… wasn’t there a language barrier?

    No, not within the future units – and not with the staff of the refinery. There might be problems in cooperation with regular Venezuelan formations, but that was an issue to be dealt with later. – This was all information Otto had been able to eke out of his security friends. Well, aviators and sailors without matching hardware were not very impressive, just harmless gangs of men in uniform.

    But then it had become known – again through the grapevine – that Venezuela was in train of buying stuff the Germans were phasing out because of their new naval structure – among other things old submarines and antiquated piston engine surveillance aircraft. And suddenly the whole arrangement had begun to make sense – to a degree…
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  18. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    A new dynasty is never founded without a struggle. Blood makes good manure.
    (Emile Zola)

    The Askaris were gone; all of them. People were still busy ransacking the camps – and were trying to restart their former lives. Everybody had become poorer, but one would manage – somehow, like one always had done. At the same time, the fighters were coming back, those still alive. Most of them belonged to a clan; they could be trusted to bow to clan discipline – in the end. But there were three groupings that had formed apart from the clan structures; holy warriors they claimed to be.

    It meant potential for conflict. The clans were used to balancing out their interests. These holy warriors had no hereditary place in the system. Would they attempt to align? Or try to overthrow heirloom order?

    The Ardayda had formed from adrift children and adolescents; they were known as ruthless fighters – and as utter yokels. This grouping was the strongest, counting more than 5,000 warriors.

    The Aardoonka were outcasts, erstwhile communists, collaborators and profiteers turned insurgents. They had made a name as gory assassins. They were estimated at 2,000 individuals, mainly spread around Mogadishu, Marka and Kismaayo.

    And the Ilaah Ilmaha were something like warrior monks, violent anchorites, experts in bombing and booby trapping. One thought they numbered less than 800 fighters, but that was only an assumption. These folks were resenting to reveal themselves.

    Indeed, Somalia’s future didn’t look bright. The country was in ruins. The Askaris had left in anger, leaving behind nothing but scorched earth in many places. The Italians – before them – had, at least, sold their equipment upon leaving – and hadn’t blown up the infrastructure they had created. The Askaris had left behind nothing. Even the rail line had been dismantled.

    The north, former British Somaliland, was still occupied – by the Emirate of Egypt. The Egyptians had come to stay. Guarding Bab al-Mandab and the Gulf of Aden was their objective. Even so, they were no infidels, but devout believers. That made possible approaches which never had existed opposite the Askaris.

    Well, traditional life didn’t require towns. Animals were still abundant. That should allow a new start. At least among the clans there was no desire anymore to fight it out. Respite was required. Could the three groupings be persuaded to agree to a truce?
  19. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I can make a General in five minutes, but a good horse is hard to replace.
    (Abraham Lincoln)

    That Venezuela should field a foreign legion was – in itself – no big deal. Foreign legions were certainly attracting a lot of romantic – and artistic – interest, but their actual size and combat value had never made them particularly remarkable. That, however, the foreigners currently gathering to serve under the Venezuelan flag were Middle Africans only, was conspicuous – to say the least.

    There had been Middle Africans active in Venezuela before – and they had meant nothing but trouble and toil for the US forces operating in the Caribbean, even if real damage done had been fairly slight. Did the bloody communists ruling in Caracas want to reenact the old drama? – Having been ordered to stand sentinel over all those depopulated islands, the US armed forces were pitifully overextended and woefully undersupplied. They could be palpably hurt by determined pin-pricks served by a small but highly mobile elite force.

    Yet, the man who – back then – had led the Middle African mercenaries was considered a friend today: Musa G’Norebbe, the acting master of the WAU. Did he know what was going on there? Could he offer an explanation? – Sorry, no. The WAU had no stakes in this enterprise – and no intimate knowledge of it. The field marshal thought it might have to do with the disappointing end of the engagement in Somalia and the chagrin of the soldiers, but that was only his private conjecture.

    The agents operating in Venezuela could shed no light on the objectives and intentions behind the formation of the foreign legion. But they did produce a list of items Venezuela was about to procure for her Middle African soldiers. This didn’t look nice: long-range aircraft, submarines and light patrol craft; just what was needed to drop off commandos… Should one start planning for a pre-emptive strike?
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  20. rast Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    People of higher talent work, even if they seem to do nothing.
    (Leonardo da Vinci)

    Ciudad de Panamá – or Panama City for your average Yankee – was a bustling town of approximately 300,000 inhabitants. One was profiting greatly from the Panama Canal and the Canal Zone, both run by the US, but kept working by local labour. Malcolm Little had been sent here to assess the feasibility of staging a revolution. The US had chopped off this piece of real estate from Colombia in 1903, when building the canal had become imminent. And today, the comrades in Bogotá were keen to get the isthmus back.

    Of course, there were many spies active in Panama and the Canal Zone already. But they were counting US soldiers and warships, or goods in transit, or whatever. Malcolm, with his ample political experience, was to take a close look upon the local working class. The urban proletariat was made up from negroes, mulattoes, mestizoes, and zambos – with a number of decrepit whites in-between. Many were daytallers, some were regular workers – and quite a lot were not having any work at all.

    Was there a revolutionary understanding? Not a mite. Everybody knew the government was a puppet of the Yanquis – and corruption to be ubiquitous. So what? The Yanquis were good. They were providing employment – and they had saved Panama from the pest. Without the Yanquis, the country would be as dead as the lands in the north. The local rich, the traders, the land barons and the ship owners, always had stuck with the Yanquis, had even helped them pry loose the state from Colombia.

    Creating revolutionary awareness would not be easy – if it wasn’t impossible anyway. These people did not believe they could change anything. And they had no urge to do it. – Perhaps he should turn to the children of the rich… That commonly was the one group where revolutionary ideas were popular. His experiences with the Texan youth were corroborating this impression.

    And so Malcolm Little set out to create a plushy revolutionary circle in uptown Ciudad de Panamá. He was a genuine Yanqui, without doubt, a man from Detroit, a true son of the working class. And he knew enough communist slogans to impress these languid children of the wealthy. Yeah, that was his world… The great revolutionary leader to whom the hot dolls came crawling…