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It’s sad. A once prosperous country with a thriving economy is turning into a bloody mess and sliding into a 21st century Third-World status.

No, not Zimbabwe, which after becoming “free” devolved into chaos, starvation and economic helplessness under its “elected” dictator, Robert Mugabe.

It echoes Iraq, now that it’s “free” and has “elections” and, of course, there’s the ongoing “Arab Spring” touted by the U.S. and the West as a move to democracy and freedom.

Right.

The one person I’ve met who has the clearest vision of the truth about South Africa, before and after apartheid, and the implications for the United States is writer, commentator and, yes, philosopher of reality, Ilana Mercer.

She lays it out in explicit and, quite honestly, frightening detail in her new book, “Into the Cannibal’s Pot – Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa.”

Mercer’s book sees the patterns in the dissolution of a government and a country supposedly on the road to democracy as the politicians and power brokers embraced socialism/Marxism. She doesn’t pull any punches, whether writing about blacks or whites.

Mercer was born in South Africa and lived there until the 1960s, when her father, Rabbi Ben Isaacson, moved the family to Israel because of harassment by the apartheid government.

In the ’80′s, she returned to South Africa. She married, had a child and then emigrated to Canada. Ultimately, the family settled in the United States.

I was especially interested in her book because I’ve been to South Africa twice, not as a tourist, but spending time with people who live there, talking with them, seeing how they live, reading local newspapers and seeing it, not through rose-colored glasses, but as it is. It led me to pursue the horrors of Zimbabwe as well. The pattern is clear and almost identical.

Unfortunately, the blindness of our country continues, most recently with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg traveling in Africa.

She visited Tunisia and especially Egypt, where she aimed to “listen and learn” as that country makes a “constitutional transition to democracy.”

Has she seen the rioting, burning and beating as the Arab Spring “flowered”?

During an interview with Al Hayat Egyptian television, Ginsburg ventured her opinion and advice to Egyptians as to how to structure their new constitution.

This woman, a justice on the United States highest court, who took the oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” advised Egypt not to pattern its government after ours.

Ginsburg said she “would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012. …”

She said they should use South Africa’s constitution as a model.

Leaving aside the propriety of her demeaning her own country, it’s clear her South African sympathies blinded her from the reality of that “free” country.

Has she seen South African crime statistics? There are more than 50 murders a day. It leads the world in child and baby rapes, to say nothing of adult rapes. The number of white farmers and their families, including children, targeted, brutally tortured and sadistically murdered on their own farms or in their own houses, some 4,000 since apartheid ended in 1994, literally making farming in South Africa the most dangerous occupation in the world. Car-jackings are a daily occurrence with drivers frequently kidnapped and murdered. Commonplace home invasions and robberies force people to live like prisoners in homes protected by walls, electric fences, trained dogs, hired guards, alarm systems, motion detectors inside and out, safe rooms and, if they’re able, weapons – although they’re illegal.

I’ll never forget the South African newspaper report I read while I was there. It was about a white driver carjacked by blacks, taken from his car and thrown off a cliff before his car was stolen.

So much for a modern constitution governing a free country. Words on paper mean nothing if the rule of law doesn’t work. Clearly, South Africa, no matter what government press releases or the travel brochures say, is a dangerous country for visitors, businesses and for its own citizens, regardless of skin color.

The overall body count in that country since the people were “freed” from white rule is estimated to be more than 300,000 and increasing every year. There’s black-on-white crime, black-on-black crime and black-on-every-other-skin-color crime. It’s crime often perpetuated with police and government acquiescence. So much for life under “free black rule.” Corruption is corruption.

The enormity of what’s happened in South Africa since Nelson Mandela took power after apartheid may be shocking in its violence, but it didn’t surprise Mercer. She knows history and sees the transition from the goal of democratic freedom to the form of dictatorship and slavery existing there now.

In introducing her book, Ilana Mercer calls it “Rambo Nation,” and she doesn’t pull punches:

“When South Africa was governed by a racist white minority, it was scorned by the West and treated as Saddam Hussein was, with boycotts and sanctions. Now that a racist, black-majority government controls the country; that it is as violent as Iraq, Liberia, or the Congo and rapidly becoming another Islamist-friendly, failed African state, it is the toast of the West.”

Mercer’s book shows the dissolution of a government and country supposedly on the road to democracy as the politicians and power brokers embraced socialism/Marxism. She sees parallels in our country.

Ironically, Feb. 11, was the 22nd anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison and the beginning of his elevation to the presidency and now, virtual sainthood.

Nothing negative can be written about him, and world media are complicit in the massive, politically correct cover-up of the gradual destruction of that country.

But Mercer lays it all out. If you can handle the truth, read her book. She is one brave woman.

Follow Barbara Simpson on Facebook.

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