Escape from Elba

International => Africa => Topic started by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 09:01:18 PM



Title: Africa
Post by: Admin on April 16, 2007, 09:01:18 PM
Discuss African politics.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: playa on May 10, 2007, 07:00:08 AM
Hello, I was just wondering when will africans reap the benefit of their own resources jewels, diamonds etc... ?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on May 10, 2007, 01:34:46 PM
Hello, I was just wondering when will africans reap the benefit of their own resources jewels, diamonds etc... ?


When African people stop letting tyrants and despots, who rape the land of its resources for their own financial gain,  rule over them.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on May 11, 2007, 04:52:23 AM
Is there much choice in the matter?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on May 11, 2007, 10:51:46 AM
Dzimas, remember the old western movie formula where the mob is held off by one man with a shotgun telling the crowd, "You gotta come over me.  Who wants to be the first to die?"

Well, when a citizenry decides that collectively they will prevail even though individually some of them may die in the process, then tyrants and despots will come down.  Some places in Africa are worse than others, but mainly I think it can be said the people there are too rickety from poverty, malnutrition, AIDS, and bad water disease (not to mention "it's the will of Allah" where applicable) that the idea of the rising up against their rulers seems far fetched.  But, as history shows, it does happen now and then.

What I hate is the so-called revolutionaries that take advantage of what little hope the people have, and after the struggle comes to fruition (if it ever does) the people find the revolutionary "savior" is as bad as what they had before, and that all the promises of a better life were lies.

Hell, Dzimas, we don't have real Democracy anymore here in the U.S.  Our leaders are allowing the rape of our land and resources and bankrupting our national treasury.  I can see a future (long after I'm dead) where we are in the same fix as some African nations are now.  Then we will have to decide whether it's worth dying for to put our nation back to rights.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on May 11, 2007, 11:40:46 AM
DNR, you seem to be implying there is a certain amount of defeatism.  I don't think that is the case at all.  As hopeless as some situations seem, Sudan, countries eventually do find ways out of their quagmires, Uganda.  I think South Africa is proving to be a dynamic success story, as its economy is now attracting a lot of foreign investment.  I think opening up more markets will help create a greater sense of self-empowerment and this can only be achieved if the West is willing to do business with Africa on equal terms, not continue to view itself in a paternalistic role.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Kam on May 11, 2007, 11:46:58 AM
South Africa is proving to be a dynamic success story

Thats not what i hear from white south africans.  Many have already left due to high crime and the high rate of AIDS. 


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on May 11, 2007, 03:14:23 PM
Well, a lot have stayed as well.  I guess it depends on whose side of the story you listen to.  But, South Africa is enjoying a high economic growth rate, even if jobs and salaries aren't necessarily keeping up with that growth rate, but then what else is new.  Here's what The Economist has to say about South Africa in a nutshell:

http://www.economist.com/countries/SouthAfrica/profile.cfm?folder=Profile-Forecast


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on May 11, 2007, 03:37:16 PM
Dzimas, thanks for the link.  yes, Zimbabwe is exactly what I had in mind when I was writing the above post.  And, for every successful South Africa, there are two others that are nearly like Zimbabwe.  By Jove, Dzimas, you can't deny that a lot of Africa is full of woe, and the rank and file of citizenry are living in a sorry state.  For the poor and uneducated (or badly educated) in Central and South America, the same can be said, no matter which country we're talking about.  Even a success story like India has the bulk of its population living in misery.

The poster to whom I was replying asked how long before the common African could share in the resources of his country.  At the rate we're going . . . 300 years might do it.  Call me pessimistic if you want to.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on May 12, 2007, 12:42:28 AM
There is plenty of woe in Africa, but it is not entirely of its own making, and our continued support of regimes in Africa helps them stay in power.  Russia and China continue to supply arms to the Sudan and the US has propped up some pretty ugly regimes in the past as well, and continues to meddle where it shouldn't in Africa.  Case in point being Somalia, where it extends it influence through third-party countries like Ethiopia.  I would say at this point that the successes and failures pretty much balance themselves out, it is just that the media is filled with stories of Zimbabwe, the Sudan and Somalia, and pretty much ignores South Africa, Ghana and Tunisia.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: playa on May 17, 2007, 11:24:12 AM
Hello, I was just wondering when will africans reap the benefit of their own resources jewels, diamonds etc... ?

Whats your opinion on Marcus Garvey?

Garvey was the Jamaican-born black militant of the 1920s who emphasized the unity of all Africans along with that of all people of African descent in the worldwide Diaspora.
He was both a visionary and a manipulator, a brilliant orator and a pompous autocrat. In just ten years following his emigration to the United States as a laborer in 1917, Marcus Garvey rose to lead the largest black organization in history, was taken to prison in handcuffs, and was eventually deported. Marcus Garvey is the dramatic story of the rise and fall of an African American leader who influenced politics and culture around the world.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: playa on May 17, 2007, 11:35:30 AM


Hell, Dzimas, we don't have real Democracy anymore here in the U.S.  Our leaders are allowing the rape of our land and resources and bankrupting our national treasury.  I can see a future (long after I'm dead) where we are in the same fix as some African nations are now.  Then we will have to decide whether it's worth dying for to put our nation back to rights.

A new government for North America

Many Americans simply do not believe that the United States would voluntarily give up its sovereignty to a North American Union. Those who think this way somehow believe that there will be a vote of the American people to decide.

It is little understood that such actions are done incrementally, behind closed doors, until the plans are so far along that stopping them becomes nearly impossible. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was sold as simply a way for American producers to broaden their markets. So too, was the European Union sold to the proud, ancient nations of that continent. Today, a new, socialist government rules them, complete with a ruling body, a new currency, a tax system, court system and a defense system -- all the ingredients necessary for a government.

Operating in secret, SPP working groups are efficiently laying the groundwork for the destruction of the United States of America as an independent, sovereign nation. Once the North American Union is in place, we will then have to compromise our very unique nation of protected freedoms with the socialist nations of Mexico and Canada, where property rights, justice, economics and natural rights are not necessarily recognized. Government decides.

The Security and Prosperity Partnership is about neither. It is not a plan to simply help sell American goods to larger markets. It is not a plan to help keep our nation safer in a security partnership with Mexico and Canada. Shutting our borders, not opening them, would do far more to accomplish that goal. The SPP is about creating a continental government which would eventually contain its own court system, its own ability to collect taxes (including some sort of military or police ability) and its own currency.



Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on May 17, 2007, 05:56:33 PM


It is little understood that such actions are done incrementally, behind closed doors, until the plans are so far along that stopping them becomes nearly impossible. 



Playa, you're right on the money about things being decided behind closed doors.  By the time the American public is convinced about a thing it's usually too late to do anything about it, except maybe reverse it, which is very hard to do.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: playa on May 17, 2007, 09:29:53 PM


It is little understood that such actions are done incrementally, behind closed doors, until the plans are so far along that stopping them becomes nearly impossible. 



Playa, you're right on the money about things being decided behind closed doors.  By the time the American public is convinced about a thing it's usually too late to do anything about it, except maybe reverse it, which is very hard to do.


Over the past two years, at least 20 SPP working groups have produced a number of memorandums of understanding and trilateral declarations of agreement. These agreements cover a wide variety of issues including, energy, transportation, financial services (including loan and foreign aid policy), communications, technology, environmental policy, rules under which businesses will operate, food and agriculture policy, health policy, e-commerce, aviation policy, border and immigration policy, and the means for multiple governmental agencies to interact. They may be viewed on the Internet at http://www.spp.gov. The Bush Administration has denied that the SPP is operating in secret. Yet it has not released the names of those in the working groups.

Meanwhile, officials of the three nations quietly met in Alberta, Canada September 12 – 14, 2006. Former Secretary of State George Shultz was a joint chairman of the meeting with his counterparts from Mexico and Canada. Also in active attendance were Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield, Admiral Tim Keating, Commander of NORAD, and Robert Pastor, a key advocate of the creation of a North American Union. Discussions at the conference included “A Vision for North America,” “Toward a North American Energy Strategy, and “Demographic and Social Dimensions of North American Integration.”

It is also important to note that the Bush Administration has denied that the President ever signed an agreement with Canada and Mexico. The Administration has established a “Myths and Facts” section to the Security and Prosperity Partnership web page to attempt to counter the arguments of those now exposing the SPP. The site blatantly says “The SPP is a dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries. The SPP is not an agreement nor is it a treaty. In fact, no agreement was ever signed.” However, according to a report on the SPP written by Former Canadian Prime Minster Paul Martin, one of the three heads of state involved in the March 23, 2005 meeting with Bush and Fox, writes “Thus, on March 23, President Bush, President Fox and I signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America…” The full report by Mr. Martin may be read on the Internet at: http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cip-pic/ips/ips-overview2-en.asp. Why is the Bush Administration lying about this fact? The obvious answer is because they are doing this without congressional approval and it is therefore illegal.



Title: Re: Africa
Post by: thebizneverloses on June 06, 2007, 05:27:21 PM
Kam - I've definitely received mixed comments on South Africa's current state from white South Africans (granted, not always pessimistic). But in terms of transition, South Africa is absolutely a success story. It amazes me that there was no civil was following the transition from apartheid to majority rule. The ANP's poltiical strangehold is unfortunate, and not everything Mbeki has said (especially vis-a-vis AIDS) has been ideal, but I would suggest that his work before and since his presidency has been remarkable given the context. The next challenges appear to be leadership post-Mbeki (hopefully not Zuma), as well as reconciling the large income gap and building a viable middle class. The popularity of the ANP has afforded them more than ten years to get the books in order and make some reasonably tough decisions (and they've acquitted themselves well in this area), but soon enough the populace will tire of judicious macroeconomic policies and will demand greater economic equity.

The middle-class thing is really a daunting, multi-generational challange for so much of sub-saharan Africa, even for the countries that have done relatively well (Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Botswana etc). Same thing for corruption.  I think these things will probably take longer than demilitarisation.

The real question is how long will it take to get AIDS under control. One generation? Longer? Much, much longer?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: sumen on June 09, 2007, 07:42:18 PM
I'm reading an excellent book on the situation in Darfur: Not on Our Watch by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast. Darfur is undergoing a vicious genocidal cleansing. This book has a foreword by Elie Wiesel and an introduction by Senators Barack Obama and Sam Brownback. A good internet site is (www.enoughproject.org). Wiesel quote: Remember, silence helps the killer, never his victims. Susan


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on August 18, 2007, 02:28:45 AM
I see the the Bush Administration has decided to declare poor Eitrea a terrorist country.  That's a joke.  Eitrea has been used and abused by every Tom, Dick, and Harry for so long there's probably no Eitrean citizen alive who remembers when things were normal.  Ethopia constantly agitating and making up reasons to attack because they want Eitrea's coastline (with the U.S. helping them at every turn.)

If you want to know something about the history of that much maligned little country, read, I Didn't Do It For You, by Michela Wrong and weep.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on August 19, 2007, 04:12:31 AM
Supposedly, the government of Eritrea is "Islamicist," therefore an enemy of America. Of course, we know little or nothing about the Eritrean government, but since Ethiopia calls itself a Democracy, we throw our support behind Ethiopia.  Can't have any more of those "Islamicist" nations sprouting up, and there is nothing Ethiopia wants more than to re-annex Eritrea.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on August 19, 2007, 03:17:42 PM
Dzimas, how true.  And, thanks for showing me that I left one of the "r"s out of Eritrea.  Oh me, I got so fired up after reading that . . .  I keep hoping some virulent disease will run rampant through the members of the Bush Whitehouse and they will begin dropping like flies to be swept up and sent to the municipal dump where they belong (consigned to the Biblical-like Hades--too delicious.)

So, Jenna's getting married (a Whitehouse wedding diversion?).  Sounds like a scene from The Birdcage, eh?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on August 22, 2007, 05:04:41 AM
Yea, DNR, the media should fawn all over that one.  Was Julie Nixon the last one to have a marriage reception at the White House?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on August 22, 2007, 01:02:50 PM
Dzimas, I believe so.  Reagan's son married while Reagan was president but the wedding was held elswhere.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on August 23, 2007, 02:10:36 AM
Zimbabwe's inflation rate is staggering.  There is talk now of South Africa financing Zimbabwe's debt if they agree to go on the rand, but it doesn't seem that dear Bobby is biting.  Like Capt. Ahab he seems determined to take the country down with him.  It appalls me to see Zimbabwe in such a ruinous state of affairs.  I was there some 15 years ago, and I thought it had a pretty bright future, with market reforms apparently forcing Mugabe to turn away from his hardline Communist views, especially in the wake of the ANC adopting a more open view to free market principles, and the virtually demise of the Communist party in South Africa, once led by Joe Slovo.  But, sadly, Mugabe seems more entrenched in his views than ever.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on August 23, 2007, 02:41:06 AM
Mugabe has lotsa bucks stashed in Swiss banks.  Money from IMF and World Bank for projects that never quite got done, other than a showpiece here and there.  He'll fly the coop when he figures all is lost.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on August 23, 2007, 05:49:35 AM
At 83, it would seem Mugabe is holding onto the bitter end.  Whatever money he has socked away in Swiss bank accounts and other overseas holdings are for his kids and grandkids. The guy simply doesn't know how to let go, and unlike Castro and Qaddafi, appears incapable of changing with the times.  I remember years ago, watching a pickup truck pull into the courtyard of a roadside restaurant and hotel, and project a documentary onto a whitewashed wall showing Mugabe shaking hands with Soviet, Cuban, Libyan and exiled Palestinians and South African leaders in a show of unity.  Most of the persons watching were drinking beers and making jokes about the black and white news reel.  But, sadly, this bit of iconic propoganda film making was apparently very dear to Mugabe, and he has been unwilling to change his views one iota.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Donotremove on August 23, 2007, 12:19:12 PM
Dzimas, what is it about the poor (and a lot of the rest of us) that will cause us to keep adjusting and adjusting and adjusting to injustice, dying at an early age (an average Zimbabweans' life expectancy is less than 40 years) after a completely miserable life, rather than taking to the streets, with a good chance of dying there, to protest (or overthrow) despots like Mugabe?


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on August 23, 2007, 06:32:24 PM
Easier to flee to South Africa, which has been the case for many Zimbabweans, which I guess is why South Africa feels that assuming Zimbabwe's debt burden would be a beter solution to the problem.  Zimbabweans were faring reasonably well in 1990, DNR.  Literacy was, and I imagine still is, very high.  They tried to overthrow Mugabe through the election process, but intimidation and voter fraud by the ruling ZANU-PF seems to have taken its toll on the people.  Now they fight for whatever scraps there are left in this once rich agricultural country.  The decline has been rapid and severe but I don't think it is irreversable.  Zambia was going through a similar crisis when I visited the country the same year.  Kenneth Kaunda, like Mugabe, refused to let go of power, until he was driven from office.  It seems revolutionary leaders like to project themselves as father figures, which is what makes Nelson Mandela something special, since he knew when to step down and pass over the reins to other leaders in his party.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on November 09, 2007, 05:23:13 AM
Saw Amandla! the other night on the History channel.  Beautiful documentary on the role of music to free South Africa from apartheid.  The DVD is worth getting so that you can better remember the many musicians and songs that appear in this film.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51M751A5TZL._AA240_.jpg)


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on January 07, 2008, 10:15:37 AM
Of all the countries in Africa, I least expected Kenya to descend into such an awful post-election chaos,

http://www.imcworldwide.org/microsites/kenya_crisis/kenya1.html?gclid=COvV6pW15JACFQrAaAodmzKzXA


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: madupont on January 07, 2008, 05:03:07 PM

Of all the countries in Africa, I least expected Kenya to descend into such an awful post-election chaos,

http://www.imcworldwide.org/microsites/kenya_crisis/kenya1.html?gclid=COvV6pW15JACFQrAaAodmzKzXA


Ironically, this is the kind of habitual response that Barack Obama spoke about during his homeland trip in August of 2006 when he addressed the villagers in his father's village near Lake Victoria in Western Kenya.  He spoke about resisting falling into that preferential loyalty to tribe or family first because it worked against cooperation in times of stress such as  epidemics or genocidal conflict being initiated by no one remembers whom.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: madupont on January 07, 2008, 05:06:05 PM
Dzimas,  on the other hand, I could expect post-election inability of disturbed factions to accept election results in this country. Americans are no longer civilized. They are at their petty worst, after already having demonstrated their inhumane nonchalance.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: Dzimas on January 08, 2008, 03:59:48 AM
From what little I know of the matter, it strikes me that the opposition leader stirred up this mess by appealling to the most base elements within his constituency.  I think you have to work within the constitution, but it seemed that Odinga was hoping to stage a coup.


Title: Re: Africa
Post by: madupont on January 09, 2008, 05:39:25 PM
Dzimas,

http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/45210

This is quite long, posted by a professor at Syracuse in the U.S. on-line community for the benefit of Black-American understanding of the news.

I've only read it about 3/4's of the way through, and it will take more readings before I get a grasp of the entirety.