In political jargon, “useful idiot” is a pejorative term for people perceived as propagandists for a cause whose goals they do not understand, and who are used cynically by the leaders of the cause. That’s the wikipedia definition of “useful idiot” which is always attributed to VI Lenin.
But Sunridge Gold Corp CEO, Michael Hopley, is not an idiot, useful or otherwise. He knows exactly what he is doing. So, when he describes the Eritrean uprising of January 21 as: “It would seem the activity on Monday was a group of unhappy soldiers expressing their dissatisfaction with their domestic situation. Nothing more meaningful than that.” He has (or with minimum effort, can have) an understanding why the unhappy soldiers are unhappy. He knows, or can easily know, that the “domestic situation” includes miners who are mining with minimum or no pay, without ability to organize a labor union. He knows, or can easily know, that the “domestic situation” includes drinking wells poisoned and environment devastated. He knows, or can easily know, that the “domestic situation” includes one where the government has no accountability–no budget, no transparency, no reports of any kind. He knows, or can easily know, that if he, as CEO, ran Sundridge the way Eritrea’s CEO runs the country, he would be sued for corruption, fired for embezzlement, or asked to make restitution. For one thing, he can read the Human Rights Watch report on Nevsun and its Bisha project.
inform. inspire. embolden. reconcile.