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Tags ethnic cleansing , Sudan incidents , Sudan issues

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Old 8th May 2004, 04:27 AM   #1
zenith-nadir
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Sudan Redux

March 19, 2004 - A senior U.N. official said Friday that fighting in western Sudan has intensified in recent weeks, accusing Arab militia of systematically attacking villages and raping women.

March 19, 2004 - Sudan has accused a senior UN official of fabricating allegations of human rights abuses in the troubled western province of Darfur. The Humanitarian Affairs Ministry said claims by Mukesh Kapila were "a heap of lies", Sudanese radio reported.

March 22, 2004 - Sudanese pro-government militias have attacked a town in the western Darfur region, executing hundreds of people.

March 25th 2004 - Vicious ethnic cleansing is unfolding in the southeastern fringes of the Sahara Desert. It's a campaign of murder, rape and pillage by Sudan's Arab rulers that has forced 700,000 black African Sudanese to flee their villages.

March 26th 2004 - The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has said he could and should have done more to stop the genocide in Rwanda 10 years ago. At a memorial conference at the UN, Mr Annan said he realised he personally could have done more to rally support for international efforts to stop it. The genocide - in which some 800,000 people died - occurred when Mr Annan was head of UN peacekeeping forces

April 2nd 2004 - The Acting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan, said he was alarmed about the human rights situation, calling for all parties to stop the violence immediately.

April 2nd 2004 - UNHCR said it is now looking for sites to set up more camps inside Chad as demand is outstripping the facilities currently available.

April 2nd 2004 - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meanwhile, announced it has now transferred more than 20,000 people away from their temporary shelters along the border zone to five safer camps in Chad's interior.

April 2nd 2004 - Press statement by Security Council President Gunter Pleuger; "The members have expressed their deep concern about the massive humanitarian crisis. Council members call on the parties concerned to fully cooperate in order to address the grave situation prevailing in this region, to ensure the protection of civilians, and to facilitate humanitarian access to the affected population."

April 3rd 2004 - Thousands of people are being driven from their homes in Sudan's western Darfur region in an "ethnic cleansing," a U.N. official said Friday, calling it "one of the worst humanitarian crises." Most of the attacks have been committed by a militia group, reportedly with government participation including aerial bombardment, Egeland said, adding that the government was doing little to stop it. "Therefore, it seems that it's being condoned," he said.

April 7th 2004 - GENEVA - The world must stay alert for warning signs of future genocides to prevent a repeat of massacres like that in Rwanda, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday. "The genocide in Rwanda should never have happened. But it did," Annan told the U.N. Human Rights Commission. The United Nations, governments and the media paid too little attention to "gathering signs of disaster" in 1994 in the central African nation, he said.

April 24th - KHARTOUM, Sudan - Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail hailed a U.N. decision not to condemn his government for alleged rights abuses in pursuit of rebels in western Sudan, saying it was a victory against a "vicious" campaign. Earlier Friday, the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva voted to express concern about the overall situation in Darfur, but it stopped short of formally condemning Sudan.

May 4th 2004 - UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Sudan won an uncontested election Tuesday to the United Nations' main human rights watchdog, prompting the United States to walk out because of alleged ethnic cleansing in the country's Darfur region. "The United States will not participate in this absurdity," Siv said. "Our delegation will absent itself from the meeting rather than lend support to Sudan's candidacy," he said before briefly walking out of council chambers.







The U.N. knew about the ethnic cleansing in Sudan, Kofi Annan promised on March 26th and April 7th never to repeat the mistakes he learned in Rwanada. Guess what the Annan and the UN did? Repeated the mistakes learnt in Rwanada. In fact the U.N. failed to condemn the Sudanese government and instead elected Sudan to the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission based in Geneva.

What could possibly be the explaination for the UN's actions in this case? Or am I just naive, and most people are as apathetic as the UN is about ethnic cleansing?
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:30 AM   #2
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From: NGOs: Sudan crisis grave - Friday May 7th 2004
Quote:
WASHINGTON, May 7 (UPI) -- A top non-governmental organization official said Friday it was too late to prevent ethnic cleansing in Sudan, but there was still time to prevent famine. "We need to prevent famine in Darfur by any means necessary," said John Prendergast, special adviser to the president of the International Crisis Group. "It's unfortunately too late to stop the ethnic cleansing campaign."

Omer Gamareldin Ismail, of Darfur Peace and Development, compared the events is Sudan to the genocide in Rwanda a decade ago. Since last February, Darfur has been the scene of a conflict that has pit "black" rebel groups against Sudanese troops and government-backed Arab militias.

The death toll has been in the thousands and more than 1 million people have been displaced.


From: The UN will take no immediate action - Saturday, 8 May, 2004
Quote:
The UN will take no immediate action in the troubled Darfur region of western Sudan, Security Council members say.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mustafa Ismail has acknowledged there might have been human rights violations, but denies a campaign of ethnic cleansing is going on.
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:36 AM   #3
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This is the the war that has been going on for over a decade funded by oil and kept going be greed and relgion right?
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni
This is the the war that has been going on for over a decade funded by oil and kept going be greed and relgion right?
I cannot answer why it is going on, all I know is it has happened and the UN has done nothing.
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by zenith-nadir
I cannot answer why it is going on, all I know is it has happened and the UN has done nothing.
What excatly do you expect it to do?
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Old 8th May 2004, 04:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni
What excatly do you expect it to do?
Officially condemning Sudan would be good start, not electing Sudan to the U.N. Human Rights Commission would be a nice second, learn from the mistakes in Rwanada would be third, officially say ethnic cleansing is bad would be fourth, kooky moral things like that.
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Old 8th May 2004, 05:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by zenith-nadir
Officially condemning Sudan would be good start, not electing Sudan to the U.N. Human Rights Commission would be a nice second, learn from the mistakes in Rwanada would be third, officially say ethnic cleansing is bad would be fourth, kooky moral things like that.
Why any first-world nation supports the United Nations astounds me. It's almost as if the U.N. intentionally supports and promotes such acts.

Not only should the U.S. withdraw their membership from the U.N., we should evict them and put up some condos.
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Old 8th May 2004, 05:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Lister
Why any first-world nation supports the United Nations astounds me. It's almost as if the U.N. intentionally supports and promotes such acts. Not only should the U.S. withdraw their membership from the U.N., we should evict them and put up some condos.
It seems only you and I see the irony Rob. I am at a loss to explain why everyone looks to the UN to "save the day" when here is a perfect example how the UN really works. The Sudan evidence is proven, sound and well documented. Sudan is responsible for ethnic cleansing, the UN rewards Sudan with a refusal to condemn and gives Sudan a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

At this level of hypocrisy I could see the UN digging up Hitler or Pol Pot's corpses to preside over UNICEF...
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:01 AM   #9
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Ok what is your alturnative to the UN?
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:13 AM   #10
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Your question begs a bit, but I'll leave that for a later time.

Alternatives already exist.

One such alternative has several tens of member nations with several more having pending membership. Not only do these member nations have a direct say in the policies and leadership of the this alternative, but so too do the people of those nations.

So, not only is the leadership of this alternative actually held accountable by the member nations, but it also has teeth. When it makes resolutions, they are generally not empty threats. It is perfectly capable of enforcing those resolutions. It is, more often than not, also willing to enforce resoultions.

Dictatorships need not apply. They will not be accepted.
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:28 AM   #11
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I can think of at least 3 organisation that roughly fit your description. non of them could replace the UN. Which one are you talking about?
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni
I can think of at least 3 organisation that roughly fit your description. non of them could replace the UN. Which one are you talking about?

To 'replace' the UN means what, exactly?

'Alternative' and 'replacement' are not necessarily the same thing. In fact, the last thing I personally want is to eliminate the U.N. and then turn around and just replace it.

What three organizations were you thinking of, btw?
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:45 AM   #13
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Originally posted by c0rbin in http://www.randi.org/vbulletin/showt...highlight=Chad

Who shall weed an untended garden?

From Library of Congress Country Studies

Sudan
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+sd0028)


Chad
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+td0017)
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni
Ok what is your alturnative to the UN?
That's a bit like asking what's your alternative to Scientology, or what's your alternative to blood-letting. Since the UN does vastly more harm than good, simply disbanding it and having no organization in its place would be a vast improvement.

If nothing else, it would save a fortune in unpaid parking tickets; the UN owes the city of New York literally millions in such tickets. The UN diplomats, these paragons in telling everybody else how awful and unjust their actions are, and how to act morally and justly even when provoked, do not feel themselves bound to practice what they preach even to the extent of parking according to the laws that bound lesser mortals.

The ideal would be something like Kant's view of the united nations: not a union of ALL sovereign states, which is merely legitimizing the dictatorships' interests by treating them as equal to the democracies, but a union of all DEMOCRATIC states, with dictatorships excluded as representing merely the will of the dictator, not of its people.
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Lister
What three organizations were you thinking of, btw?
The EU, nato, and the british commonweath all fit your description.
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Old 8th May 2004, 06:59 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic


That's a bit like asking what's your alternative to Scientology,...
You express yourself well. The problem for most is a disconnect between what they 'wish' the U.N. was and what the U.N. actually is. A large disconnect indeed for most.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic


That's a bit like asking what's your alternative to Scientology, or what's your alternative to blood-letting. Since the UN does vastly more harm than good, simply disbanding it and having no organization in its place would be a vast improvement.


The WHO is part of the UN. You may need to rethink your statement

Quote:
The ideal would be something like Kant's view of the united nations: not a union of ALL sovereign states, which is merely legitimizing the dictatorships' interests by treating them as equal to the democracies, but a union of all DEMOCRATIC states, with dictatorships excluded as representing merely the will of the dictator, not of its people.
Democies only? Define the minimum a country has to have to be a democracy.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:05 AM   #18
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Originally posted by geni


The EU, nato, and the british commonweath all fit your description.
No. The United States is the only union that that fits my description. The EU and Nato come close, but they get no cigar. Still, they do remain alternatives.

The British Commonwealth 'would' fit better than the other two, except the number of member nations.

The error, as I see it, is assuming that there must necessarily be just ONE united nations. There should not. There should be several. With each competing with the others to effect a more 'betterest' result. Only then will it (they) actually get better instead of worse.

Yea, I'm a capitalist at heart and mind.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni
The WHO is part of the UN. You may need to rethink your statement
You need to look at what WHO has actually accomplished. Let's talk net lives saved. If you don't like that metric, pick another.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:10 AM   #20
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Full report from HRW here.
A typical account of an attack on a village, many other such cases are documented:


Quote:
4. Urum, near Habila: 112 killed in two attacks

Urum, which became a centre for Masalit civilians displaced from nearby villages, was attacked twice. “Why did they kill so many people in Urum – 122 in two attacks over a month? I don’t know. But many villages were burned before Urum and the civilians were in Urum. The villages burned included Gororg, Dureysa, Tirja, Maliam, Mororo, Gorra and Korkojok,” said thirty-seven-year-old Ahmad, a former Urum resident.20

On the first occasion, in November 2003, eyewitnesses reported that Janjaweed came without the army and burnt eighty of 300 huts. They took 3,000 head of cattle and killed forty-two men, most of them young men.

“There was a funeral that day for an eighty-year-old man, Yahya Abdul Karim, and people were in the mosque reading funeral prayers for him,” said eyewitness Ahmad. “Sixteen of the forty-two were killed in the mosque.” 21 The imam and his three-year-old grandson were killed, then the attackers chased after others fleeing and shot them down as well.

The imam, Yahya Warshal, ran from the mosque to his home to get his three-year-old grandson, who was an orphan. The Janjaweed followed him and killed him and the child. The youth of the village didn’t fight. They were running to save themselves. The Janjaweed galloped after them and killed them. More than 3,000 cows were stolen and goats and sheep, horses and donkeys. The Janjaweed wore khaki – the same as the army.22

A second, joint attack by army and Janjaweed followed in the first week of December – variously reported as December, 6 or 7, 2003. The Janjaweed returned, this time with the army, at 6:00 a.m. Eighty people, including women and children, were killed in the second attack, which lasted four days while the army watched.

The soldiers were in Land Cruisers with doschkas mounted on them. They had one lorry too. The Janjaweed came on horses and camels. The government stayed on the edge of the village. The Janjaweed went in and killed eighty people including women and children in a four-day period. The army saw everything.

“I went back at night and stayed for three days. Bodies were everywhere. I buried twenty-three people. But the Janjaweed returned after four days,” 23 said Ahmad.
So surely the UN must be in crisis mode over all this, right? Let's see:
Quote:
The Commission vote on Sudan was postponed until the last day of the yearly Commission session, April 23. At the last minute the E.U., which had co-sponsored a strong resolution condemning the abuses and re-establishing the mandate for a special rapporteur for human rights, backed down. E.U. members reportedly feared insufficient support from key African and Arab members of the U.N. body, who had bowed to Sudanese pressure. Instead, a weaker decision eventually passed. This decision included the appointment of an independent expert on human rights but failed to condemn the crimes against humanity and war crimes or other violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Sudanese government. Only one member voted against this watered-down statement—the United States—and two members abstained, Australia and Ukraine.

The U.S. asked for a special session of the Commission to consider the situation in Darfur following the return of the OHCHR from Sudan in early May. In a speech to the Commission, U.S. Ambassador Richard Williamson warned:

ten years from now, the 60th Commission on Human Rights will be remembered for one thing and one thing alone: Did we have the courage and strength to take strong action against the ‘ethnic cleansing’ in Darfur. We will be asked, ‘Where were you at the time of the ethnic cleansing?’ ‘What did you do?’164

The world’s preeminent human rights body failed to perform the role for which it was created, limiting itself to expressions of “deep concern”—rather than condemnation—over the situation in Sudan. It appointed an independent expert to assess Sudan’s human rights performance rather than the stronger special rapporteur.
No help from the UN thern. What about the EU?
Quote:
Despite some strong public statements from the European Union, however, there has been little public condemnation from key individual European governments such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and France, all of which have embassies in Khartoum, relations with the government of Sudan, and longstanding interests in the IGAD peace talks taking place in Naivasha, Kenya to end the war in southern Sudan. Indeed, despite growing awareness of the scale of the abuses in Darfur, European governments until April appeared loath to apply serious pressure on the Sudanese government, at the risk of allowing Darfur to undermine two years of Naivasha talks.
Don't want to criticize the ongoing slaughter if it might jeapordize the precious Naivasha talks.

Well, this is an African counmtry. Surely, African nations have been taking a much more active role?
Quote:
Individual African member states have made little or no public condemnation of the government of Sudan’s abuses. African members of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, acting as a group, helped to undermine the resolution proposed at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in April to appoint a special rapporteur and to condemn the Sudanese government’s abuses in Darfur.
Stupid me. They have no interest at all in peace in the Sudan.

The US response:
Quote:
The U.S. government has taken the strongest public stance on Darfur of any individual government, with repeated statements condemning the human rights abuses and calling on the government of Sudan to address the situation. On April 7, U.S. President George Bush condemned “atrocities” in Sudan and called for unrestricted humanitarian access.170

The U.S. House of Representatives held hearings on Darfur, or in which Darfur was prominently mentioned.171 U.S. aid officials have frequently drawn attention to the enormous humanitarian needs in the region, with repeated visits to Darfur and statements. U.S. AID’s chief executive Andrew Natsios held a press conference to denounce the Sudanese government’s stalling on visas for twenty-eight U.S. emergency relief workers.172

The fact that the U.S. and European policy-makers have not been unified in their approach to Darfur, however, permitted the government of Sudan to play various governments against each other to its own advantage, with the Europeans implicitly criticizing the U.S. for being too aggressive and perhaps threatening the Naivasha talks. As momentum gathered, however, the U.S. pushed for having Darfur before the Security Council while both the E.U. and U.S. have deferred on the ceasefire commission to the A.U.
Unbelievable! To think that the EU holds so dearly their precious Naivasha jaw-jaw that they'd put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

This whole Sudan episode makes abundantly clear the impotence of the UN, the hand-wringing unwillingness of the EU to get seriously involved and the complete lack of concern of other African nations to stop a holocaust in their own back yard.

I don't know what else to say on this matter.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:12 AM   #21
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Originally posted by Rob Lister


No. The United States is the only union that that fits my description.
Who are the pending members? The US whether you like it or not is one nation. By definetion two nations can't have a civil war.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:15 AM   #22
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You need to look at what WHO has actually accomplished. Let's talk net lives saved. If you don't like that metric, pick another.
Sure lets start with removing small pox from the wild. While we are about it we can add the near ilimination of polio.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:21 AM   #23
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Originally posted by geni


Who are the pending members? The US whether you like it or not is one nation. By definetion two nations can't have a civil war.

The Civil War was an attempt of some member states to leave the Union. A war ensued. It should not have, constitutionally speaking. Still, while you may see it as 'one' nation, it is, constitutionally speaking at least, a union of nations.

If you'd like a list of the pending nations, do a web search. Puerto Rico is but one but there are several others.

My bet is that before the end of this century, so too will be one or more parts of what is now Canada.
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Old 8th May 2004, 07:53 AM   #24
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Originally posted by geni


Sure lets start with removing small pox from the wild. While we are about it we can add the near ilimination of polio.
Fair enough. They did do that. Then. Ignoring what would have been (better) accomplished in their absence, what are they doing lately?


Quote:
Nothing condemn's WHO's current agenda more than some of its own pronouncements. In a 1999 press release, WHO declared that six illnesses accounted for 90 percent of all infectious disease deaths among people under 44 years: malaria tuberculosis, measles, diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections (including pneumonia), and AIDS. The same press release declared that "the tools to prevent deaths from each of these six diseases now cost under $20 per person at risk, and in most cases under $0.35. Yet these diseases still caused over 11 million deaths in 1998."

. . . we have WHO declaring that 11 million deaths -- 90 percent of all infectious disease deaths for people under 44 years -- could have been easily prevented with an expenditure of, at its lowest, $3.9 million, and at its highest, $220 million. That is, anywhere from 0.4 percent to 20 percent of WHO's budget for one year.
Source:

http://reason.com/0201/fe.bd.who.shtml

In short, they are, or have become, a reflection of the organization that controls them.

Bill Gates will do more for world health than will WHO, and he's just one person (albeit a very wealthy one...whom I love to hate and hate to love)
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Old 8th May 2004, 08:14 AM   #25
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European Imperialism is what made Africa what it is.
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Old 8th May 2004, 08:22 AM   #26
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Originally posted by c0rbin
European Imperialism is what made Africa what it is.
More to the point: where would Africa currently be without European Imperialism.

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Old 8th May 2004, 08:35 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Lister


Fair enough. They did do that. Then. Ignoring what would have been (better) accomplished in their absence,
Please provide evidence for this stament.
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Old 8th May 2004, 08:39 AM   #28
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Quote:
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The Civil War was an attempt of some member states to leave the Union. A war ensued. It should not have, constitutionally speaking. Still, while you may see it as 'one' nation, it is, constitutionally speaking at least, a union of nations.
My country is still technicaly a monarchy. The US is one nation. Accept it.
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Old 8th May 2004, 08:46 AM   #29
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The WHO is part of the UN. You may need to rethink your statement

(Shrug)

I thoght it was obvious we were dealing with the UN's political organizations--the Security Council, the general assembly, etc.--not its various sub-organizations like the WHO.

In any case, since since 99% of the WHO's work is supported by the western democracies anyway, it would suffer very little is Cuba or Libya will stop sending it money.

Democies only? Define the minimum a country has to have to be a democracy.

Like Pornography, it's hard to define, but "you know it when you see it". The US, Britian, or Japan are democracies. Cuba, Iran, or North Korea are not.
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Old 8th May 2004, 08:51 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Skeptic
Like Pornography, it's hard to define, but "you know it when you see it". The US, Britian, or Japan are democracies. Cuba, Iran, or North Korea are not. [/b]
Iran has some elections (certianly more than many of it's naibours not that that means much). Britian is still a monarchy. The closest you can get is a club of nations wich can be joined by invite only which tends to limit your size somewhat.


In some cases you have to work with dictators whether you like it or not. Healthcare and trying to limit the spread of nuclear wepons are a couple of examples (there are propbaly two dictatorships at the moment that have nuclear wepons).
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Old 8th May 2004, 09:32 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by geni


Iran has some elections (certianly more than many of it's naibours not that that means much). Britian is still a monarchy. The closest you can get is a club of nations wich can be joined by invite only which tends to limit your size somewhat.


In some cases you have to work with dictators whether you like it or not. Healthcare and trying to limit the spread of nuclear wepons are a couple of examples (there are propbaly two dictatorships at the moment that have nuclear wepons).
Why do you 'have to' work with such dictators? Is that your only option? Clearly, it is not. Working directly against them seems much more effective...even cost effective...in the long run.
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Old 8th May 2004, 09:41 AM   #32
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Why do you 'have to' work with such dictators? Is that your only option? Clearly, it is not. Working directly against them seems much more effective...even cost effective...in the long run.
Because if you refuse to talk to pakistan in any way shape or form wahts to stop them selling a few nukes to say Saudi arabia. If you need to carry out a vacination program you need to make sure every counry is vacinated which means you have to deal with the people in those countries who have the power.
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Old 8th May 2004, 09:42 AM   #33
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The US is one nation. Accept it.
You seem to be stuck on that so lets see if we can establish why.

Please define 'nation' as you see it.

Please explain the difference between your idea of a nation and what you'd like to see from a member state of the U.N.

How does a member nation of the United States differ from a member state of the United Nation?
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Old 8th May 2004, 09:48 AM   #34
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Originally posted by geni


Because if you refuse to talk to pakistan in any way shape or form wahts to stop them selling a few nukes to say Saudi arabia. If you need to carry out a vacination program you need to make sure every counry is vacinated which means you have to deal with the people in those countries who have the power.
Pakistan may not have been your the best example, but I know what you mean. Still, why not work directly against dictators. When I say 'directly against', that's exactly what I mean. Need I spell it out? Why do you think it would be less effective than working with them -- i.e. subsidizing their dictatorships?

Has 'working with' North Korea helped? Has working against them (him) worked better?

Did 'working with' Saddam help? In that case one could argue that working 'directly against' hasn't helped either, but I would argue that it has helped greatly. Then again, I'm using human life as a metric, not necessarily first-world life.
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Old 8th May 2004, 10:06 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rob Lister
Pakistan may not have been your the best example, but I know what you mean. Still, why not work directly against dictators. When I say 'directly against', that's exactly what I mean. Need I spell it out? Why do you think it would be less effective than working with them -- i.e. subsidizing their dictatorships?
Pakistan is the country that I'm certain has nuclear wepons.


Quote:
Has 'working with' North Korea helped? Has working against them (him) worked better?
More North koreans would have died if we had worked against him to a greater extent
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Old 8th May 2004, 10:38 AM   #36
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Originally posted by Rob Lister


More to the point: where would Africa currently be without European Imperialism.

Better, Worse, It all depends on your goals.
From what I hear, imperialism is bad, interferance is bad, torture is bad, and nation building is bad. Why does Europe get a pass?

If American capitalists are the root of all evil, why is Bill Gates (and his wife) giving away so much money?
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Old 8th May 2004, 10:46 AM   #37
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European Imperialism is what made Africa what it is.

Incorrect. Africa's, ahem, limitations are largely home grown. It might have been better off if European Imperialism had survived another 40 years or so.

To understand this look at India and Pakistan.

Both countries were formed from British India ( originally a patchwork of semi independent states and principalities ). They were at much the same level of social development and were run by the same British adminiatrators in the same way and treated as one political entity. A major objective of this administration was the creation of an educated, anglicised political and intellectual elite. In the case of India which was largely Hindu this elite went on to create the world's largest functioning ( albeit erratically functioning) democracy. In the case of Muslim Pakistan there was instability and one military coup after the other. It is now one of the world's poorest countries.

Clearly it makes no sense to argue that European Imperialism made India a success and Pakistan a failure. The different patterns of development are due to cultural and historical differences between the peoples forming the two states.

The lesson of Africa is that, no matter who is in charge, a pre civilised iron age culture cannot be transformed and expected to assimilate new cultural standards in a few decades.

It's noteworthy that the most prosperous country in Africa is South Africa which was completely dominated by European Imperialists until quite recently.

Just a thought, but do you think that US Imperialism has made Cuba what it is today?
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Old 8th May 2004, 11:15 AM   #38
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Originally posted by Rob Lister


Pakistan may not have been your the best example, but I know what you mean. Still, why not work directly against dictators. When I say 'directly against', that's exactly what I mean. Need I spell it out? Why do you think it would be less effective than working with them -- i.e. subsidizing their dictatorships?

Has 'working with' North Korea helped? Has working against them (him) worked better?

Did 'working with' Saddam help? In that case one could argue that working 'directly against' hasn't helped either, but I would argue that it has helped greatly. Then again, I'm using human life as a metric, not necessarily first-world life.
Why does working "against" dictators necessarily bring desirable results. Both South Korea and Taiwan in the early days could have been described is dictatorships. Both had US support and both developed into prosperous democracies in their own time.

On the other hand Iran was a "dictatorship" ( monarchy actually ) which had strong western support, but this couldn't stop a popular revolution and the resulting power struggle led to an Islamic regime much worse than the rule of the Shah.

Working with Saddam kept the Islamic revolution in Iran in check long enough for decay and disillusion to set in there. Not a bad result really.

The unfortunate truth is that trying to manipulate other people's societies even with the best of intentions can easily have unpredictable and unfortunate results. There is no "one size fits all" policy as you seem to suggest.
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Old 8th May 2004, 11:20 AM   #39
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double post.
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Old 8th May 2004, 11:38 AM   #40
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Originally posted by Nikk



Incorrect. Africa's, ahem, limitations are largely home grown. It might have been better off if European Imperialism had survived another 40 years or so.

Just a thought, but do you think that US Imperialism has made Cuba what it is today?
Perhaps I painted too broad a stroke by saying: "European Imperialism is what made Africa what it is." Africa is a continent, after all comprised of diverse peoples and situations.

The statement was prompted by folks here who claim that the US is responsible for the bad turns by the regimes we help set up in the middle east and we are getting spanked in the world-view realm for it.

I was curious as to why people would be more forgiving of European empire building and less so of American empire building.

Regarding Cuba, I think the tiny population suffers from a US anti-communist hard-line. Castro will not live for ever and I am curious to see if Cuba becomes another Haiti, or if the huge anti-Castro folks in the US (in Miami, if you get the jokes) will mount and effort to relieve the place.
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