Dr. Hakeem Tijani responds to No. 652 by Prof. Thompson:

Permit me to commend Prof. Thompson on his recent piece. His work and that of Norman Davies are seminal. However, there are many studies about Russian interest in Africa; and its activities are well documented (See Matsuvitch - 2004, Drury University; and Tijani - 2002, 2003, 2005, Henderson State University). One must stress that it's time for scholars to double check information or conduct a thorough research across disciplines before making conclusion. It's mythical; indeed a conjecture to state that "for African not to know about this is lamentable" as it relate to Soviet or Russian colonialism. Perhaps what is lamentable is Ewa's deduction based on conjecture and personal deduction.

Suffice it to say that Africans are aware about the former Soviet Union; they studied in the East; there are many trained behind the iron-curtain; there are professed communists, Marxists, and leftists of many variations in Africa. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, African students in former East bloc nations were not insulated about the double standard of ideology and practice; its utopian, or reality, and their future.

In addition, it is not necessary to state that Western form of colonialism is better than the Soviet; I submit that colonialism in any form is evil. That aside, the battle for the minds of Africans and all colonized people transcend physical institution, administrative structures, and "civilizing mission". It was a battle for the soul of Africans; it was a mind bending. The ideology of the West or East strived for one thing; Win the soul and heart of the Africans (colonized), and ensure a special relation for the future. Perhaps the West were more careful; perhaps the East was careless; the psychology of the colonized was forever changed. Africans know these; wrote about it; lived it; and survived it. There is no doubt that Russian colonialism was no better than Western colonialism - Africans know that....