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Africa Issues of modern Africa.

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  #16  
Old 03 Jul 08, 09:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberknight View Post
It would seem that the answers that solely blame colonialism bear an assumption that without European colonization, Africa would have been peaceful and free for all of its history. I would challenge anyone to make that case.

While Europe and Asia have led the world in deadliest wars and revolutions and the US Civil War was easily its most destructive, there is nothing to make me believe that the African tribes or any other entities would not be just as violent and warlike were they independent for the last two centuries.
I don't think anyone in their right mind would even try to make that case.

The point is the African continent doesn't, as was suggested, have the monopoly on despotic regimes, nor is it devoid of democratic governments. In the end it has nothing to do with african's race but the fact that they are human just like the rest of us.

Bear in mind while we sit in our moral ivory towers that it hasn't been that long since the holocaust, or the purges, or the Spanish civil war, or the Khmer Rouge, or the Contras, or the seemingly interminable wars in the Balkans.

There are many reasons why the African "powerhouses" aren't world players from culture to downright criminality but race isn't one of them.
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  #17  
Old 03 Jul 08, 11:44
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Originally Posted by Fodder76 View Post
I don't think anyone in their right mind would even try to make that case.

The point is the African continent doesn't, as was suggested, have the monopoly on despotic regimes, nor is it devoid of democratic governments. In the end it has nothing to do with african's race but the fact that they are human just like the rest of us.

Bear in mind while we sit in our moral ivory towers that it hasn't been that long since the holocaust, or the purges, or the Spanish civil war, or the Khmer Rouge, or the Contras, or the seemingly interminable wars in the Balkans.

There are many reasons why the African "powerhouses" aren't world players from culture to downright criminality but race isn't one of them.
I had hoped that by pointing out examples of American, European and Asian violent episodes in our own national/cultural development, I was doing te opposite of sitting in judgement from an ivory tower on the development of the African nations.

OTOH, I would also hope that the world would have learned from some of the mistakes that we made in that development. IOW, it is not reasonable to say that we should accept that all nations or regions should go through slavery as did the US or the Long March, the Holocaust, Final Solution, Five Year Plans, etc in order to find their own place.
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Old 03 Jul 08, 12:52
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Quote:
by Fodder76: There are many reasons why the African "powerhouses" aren't world players from culture to downright criminality but race isn't one of them.
Then what are the reasons? Blaming the colonial powers for arbitrarily disrupting old tribal boundaries is a weak position that can only take the argument so far. Those events, after all, are long over and past history; yet reclaiming their freedom and soverweignty has not bettered their positions, only made thme far worse that were, in some cases far worse than were before colonialism.

So how to we explain the failure of any culture to set aside cruelty, torture, genocide and other forms of mindless mass violence, advance into the 21st century and begin behaving responsibly?
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Old 03 Jul 08, 15:18
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Old 04 Jul 08, 17:47
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  #21  
Old 05 Jul 08, 13:01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
Then what are the reasons? Blaming the colonial powers for arbitrarily disrupting old tribal boundaries is a weak position that can only take the argument so far. Those events, after all, are long over and past history; yet reclaiming their freedom and soverweignty has not bettered their positions, only made thme far worse that were, in some cases far worse than were before colonialism.

So how to we explain the failure of any culture to set aside cruelty, torture, genocide and other forms of mindless mass violence, advance into the 21st century and begin behaving responsibly?
MountainMan
I think you underestimate the resilience of languages, kinship ties, and social systems, and various other factors that create nationhood. The "events" of colonialism are over (more or less), but the consequences remain--One of those consequences is the existence of multinational multi-ethnic nations. Get over the "tribe" terminology, these are ethnicities. Try this analogy for an area that has different ethnic groups trying to create stable nations--the Balkans.

You seem to want a non-historical explanation, one that skips over in-your-face historical facts into some other realm. So what is the explanation that you are reaching for here?

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It would seem that the answers that solely blame colonialism bear an assumption that without European colonization, Africa would have been peaceful and free for all of its history. I would challenge anyone to make that case.
And I would challenge you to find where anyone is arguing that case .
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  #22  
Old 05 Jul 08, 17:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zemlekop View Post
MountainMan
I think you underestimate the resilience of languages, kinship ties, and social systems, and various other factors that create nationhood. The "events" of colonialism are over (more or less), but the consequences remain--One of those consequences is the existence of multinational multi-ethnic nations. Get over the "tribe" terminology, these are ethnicities. Try this analogy for an area that has different ethnic groups trying to create stable nations--the Balkans.
While I agree with you up to a point, I find the concept of carrying grudges around for events up to a millenia or more in the past indefensible.

Given that any group of human beings does not wish to be slaughtered or brutalized by any other, the sheer irrationality of the whole thing, particularly the concept of victimizing but somehow not expecting victimization in return, calls human intelligence and motivation severely into question.

How many thousands of years is it supposed to take to grow up? And where is it written that the rest of the world has to put up with these groups while they do?
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Old 05 Jul 08, 18:08
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Ethnic conflicts are hardly limited to Africa.
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Old 05 Jul 08, 18:33
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MountainMan,
While I have the height of respect for your opinion I have to completely disagree with you on this. Africa gained independence between the late 40ís and the mid 70ís but (and itís a big but) it was then the place where the cold war was fought by proxy as a hot war for 40 years. With the USSR, USA and China all supporting different sides, and sometimes the same side at different times, as well as former colonial powers attempting to maintain their sphere of influence, it is amazing that any stability existed anywhere in Africa before 1990.
Since an Irishman was instrumental, along with one E.D. Moral from England, in stopping the mass murder in the Congo in the late 19th and early 20th century I have more than a passing interest in the subject. Despite the Congolese civil war being the bloodiest war since the Second World War I also agree that the country is better off now than it was under Leopold the Second of Belgium (a man I refer to as the forgotten mass murderer of the modern age).
Rwanda in 1994 can be linked directly to the actions of the Belgians in the 1950ís and the first attack on Tutsiís which killed about 50í000 and drove another 250í000 into Uganda. These dispossessed were key to the overthrow of Idi Amine and so were supported by Museveni (now and then President of Uganda) when Paul Kigali led the Tutsi dominated rebel army from Uganda into Rwanda. After the genocide the UN moved in the support the biggest gathering of murderers ever to congregate in one place (the Hutu militias known as the Interahamwe). Over 100í000 of them drove the cars and trucks they stole from their murdered neighbors into the Congo and organized murderous raids back into Rwanda. The UN, by renting vehicles from these guys, funded the murders. The reaction of the Rwandans destabilized the Congo and Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania either directly by deploying troops or indirectly by arming factions, attempted to carve up the carcass of one of the richest countries in the world for natural resources (the uranium for the A-bombs dropped on Japan was mined in the Congo).
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Old 05 Jul 08, 18:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.D. Morel View Post
MountainMan,
While I have the height of respect for your opinion I have to completely disagree with you on this. Africa gained independence between the late 40ís and the mid 70ís but (and itís a big but) it was then the place where the cold war was fought by proxy as a hot war for 40 years. With the USSR, USA and China all supporting different sides, and sometimes the same side at different times, as well as former colonial powers attempting to maintain their sphere of influence, it is amazing that any stability existed anywhere in Africa before 1990.
Since an Irishman was instrumental, along with one E.D. Moral from England, in stopping the mass murder in the Congo in the late 19th and early 20th century I have more than a passing interest in the subject. Despite the Congolese civil war being the bloodiest war since the Second World War I also agree that the country is better off now than it was under Leopold the Second of Belgium (a man I refer to as the forgotten mass murderer of the modern age).
Rwanda in 1994 can be linked directly to the actions of the Belgians in the 1950ís and the first attack on Tutsiís which killed about 50í000 and drove another 250í000 into Uganda. These dispossessed were key to the overthrow of Idi Amine and so were supported by Museveni (now and then President of Uganda) when Paul Kigali led the Tutsi dominated rebel army from Uganda into Rwanda. After the genocide the UN moved in the support the biggest gathering of murderers ever to congregate in one place (the Hutu militias known as the Interahamwe). Over 100í000 of them drove the cars and trucks they stole from their murdered neighbors into the Congo and organized murderous raids back into Rwanda. The UN, by renting vehicles from these guys, funded the murders. The reaction of the Rwandans destabilized the Congo and Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania either directly by deploying troops or indirectly by arming factions, attempted to carve up the carcass of one of the richest countries in the world for natural resources (the uranium for the A-bombs dropped on Japan was mined in the Congo).
I agree that is why I posted this

Quote:
As bad as the Congo is now I am not sure it was better when it was owned by Belgium as the Congo Free State.
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Old 06 Jul 08, 02:54
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I've just read a great article on the National Geographic Magazine about what happened to the Virunga's Silverback Gorillas and I could have a glimpse of how complicated things are in Africa. Has anyone else read this?
In my opinion ethnic issues are strong, but there's a lot of people "milking" the situation and most of them aren't white...
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Old 06 Jul 08, 04:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E.D. Morel View Post
MountainMan,
While I have the height of respect for your opinion I have to completely disagree with you on this. Africa gained independence between the late 40ís and the mid 70ís but (and itís a big but) it was then the place where the cold war was fought by proxy as a hot war for 40 years. With the USSR, USA and China all supporting different sides, and sometimes the same side at different times, as well as former colonial powers attempting to maintain their sphere of influence, it is amazing that any stability existed anywhere in Africa before 1990.
Since an Irishman was instrumental, along with one E.D. Moral from England, in stopping the mass murder in the Congo in the late 19th and early 20th century I have more than a passing interest in the subject. Despite the Congolese civil war being the bloodiest war since the Second World War I also agree that the country is better off now than it was under Leopold the Second of Belgium (a man I refer to as the forgotten mass murderer of the modern age).
Rwanda in 1994 can be linked directly to the actions of the Belgians in the 1950ís and the first attack on Tutsiís which killed about 50í000 and drove another 250í000 into Uganda. These dispossessed were key to the overthrow of Idi Amine and so were supported by Museveni (now and then President of Uganda) when Paul Kigali led the Tutsi dominated rebel army from Uganda into Rwanda. After the genocide the UN moved in the support the biggest gathering of murderers ever to congregate in one place (the Hutu militias known as the Interahamwe). Over 100í000 of them drove the cars and trucks they stole from their murdered neighbors into the Congo and organized murderous raids back into Rwanda. The UN, by renting vehicles from these guys, funded the murders. The reaction of the Rwandans destabilized the Congo and Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania either directly by deploying troops or indirectly by arming factions, attempted to carve up the carcass of one of the richest countries in the world for natural resources (the uranium for the A-bombs dropped on Japan was mined in the Congo).
Actually, a lot of the uranium mined for the American A-bomb was mined right here in Colorado, USA. My wife has relatives who worked in the Cotter uranium mill, and a couple who died there, during that time. The Cotter mill is still present, and is likely to go back into operation, if McCain goes through with his promise to build 45 nuclear power plants.

While your explanation is interesting, it goes back to blaming the white colonials, a defense which is sadly lacking in depth or much of anything else as far as the native population is concerned. A lot of present day nations either began or were under colonial rule at one time or another, including the United States of America, and they aren't running around working off thousand year old tribal or ethnic hatreds as justification for mass atrocities and genocide.
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Old 06 Jul 08, 06:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainMan View Post
While your explanation is interesting, it goes back to blaming the white colonials, a defense which is sadly lacking in depth or much of anything else as far as the native population is concerned. A lot of present day nations either began or were under colonial rule at one time or another, including the United States of America, and they aren't running around working off thousand year old tribal or ethnic hatreds as justification for mass atrocities and genocide.
Who's talking about 1000 year old hatreds? It's less than 20 years since most former colonial powers stopped their direct involvement Africa. In some case they are still at it.
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Old 06 Jul 08, 12:05
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Who's talking about 1000 year old hatreds? It's less than 20 years since most former colonial powers stopped their direct involvement Africa. In some case they are still at it.
Earlier in the discussion the subject of Bosnia was briefly brought up. The hatreds and ancient grudges that fuel that particular little exercise in human inhumanity go back something like 1200 years or more.

The ethnic, tribal and linguistic intolerances that abound and prevail throughout major portions of Africa go as far back as two thousand years in some cases.

We tend to see Africans as balck people from Africa; they see themselves as distinct members of a particular grouping, physically, ethnically, socially, linguistically and politically different, distinctive and easily recognizable as such to one another. A Bantu is a Bantu, totally different from a Swahili, a Zulu or anyone else from another grouping - it's been that way for as long as they remember, but it is out of step with modern realities, and with African history itself.

The problem with African history and old ethnic and tribal boundaries as a reason for today's problems, conveniently blamed on white colonialism, is that those boundaries were established, altered, expanded and contracted by centuries of constant tribal warfare long before a single white man or colonialist ever set foot there.

Nature has established an absolute dictum for survival: adapt or perish. So what prevents Africans from adapting? Why is the West making the situation worse rather than better? And if European colonialism is the actual reason for unremitting hatred and violence in Africa, why should America be involved at all - at our own expense?

Sorry - I don't buy it. It sounds way too much like the prevalent excuse used by too many American blacks: "Our-ancestors-were-brought-here-as- slaves-and-repressed-by-Whitey-so-nothing-is-my-fault-or-responsibility."

The answer: "Your-ancestors-are-dead-and-gone-and-everything-that-has-taken-place-since-then-is-entirely-your-responsibility-and-no-one-else's."

The United States of America began as European colonialism and revolted against repressive British Colonial rule, so the American problems of today are the fault of Britain, France and Spain? 9/11 was the fault of the Dutch?

I don't think so. The second you "grow up" and leave the nest, everything you do is your own responsibility. Africa either needs to accept their responsibility for their own actions and problems or finish growing up. Violence and killing do not solve personal, tribal, ethnic or national problems. Never have - never will.
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Old 06 Jul 08, 13:38
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The United States of America began as European colonialism and revolted against repressive British Colonial rule, so the American problems of today are the fault of Britain, France and Spain? 9/11 was the fault of the Dutch?
The key difference for me is that the colonists were not aboriginal. The State boundaries were drawn up by the people who lived in the colonies, as I understand it, and were not counter to existing ethnic boundaries. Well, they were but given what happened to the indigenous population it didn't really matter.

Take a modern European example, German expansion prior to WWII. Regardless of Hitler's motives there was popular approval in Germany and the German speaking areas of Austria and Czechoslovakia for moves to unify people of the same ethnicity who tranceded the national boundaries of the time.

Take Iraq, a modern nation whose boundaries were set by colonial powers with several ethnic and religious groups held together by an authoritarian government. Take away the government and you find the various groups desperate to fill the political vacumm with their people.

As long as ethnic ties mean more to a group than national identity then you're in for trouble and why would national identity mean anything to you if your nation is an alien construct imposed by a culture from another continent?

I hasten to point out that I don't believe there is any defense for the way Mugabe has run Zimbabwe, nor for the limp way that the AU has dealt with the situation, or not dealt with as the case may be.

I still say though that it has nothing to do with race, some kind of barbarism hard coded into the DNA of Africans, but something that all humans have displayed and will continue to do so despite Gene Roddenberrys utopian dream of planetary harmony.
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