With all due respect, Frank, that’s not exactly standing by your prose is it?
I agree that adding the [color=red]red[/color] part helps narrow things down considerably (by essentially defining ‘the international slave trade’ as ‘the international slave trade that the Europeans were responsible for’), but the [color=red]red[/color] part was not present in the original ‘prose’ that you say you stand by, right?
Anyway, if we stick to the [color=blue]blue[/color] part, which you wrote originally, then, at the very least, Dr. Evil would not be alone in disagreeing with you.
I have no idea whether this person knows as much about the subject as you do, Frank (although presumably Johns Hopkins would not have hired him away from Yale to establish their anthropology department unless he was at least reasonably well-informed…), but he seems to think that slavery in Africa was hardly ‘a local phenomenon’, and that African slaves were being traded internationally with buyers in India, Persia and elsewhere in huge numbers (as many as or more than those who crossed the Atlantic) starting almost 1000 years before the Europeans arrived.
Who knows… he may be wrong.
Yup. Muslim privateers acting with the permission of the sultans/pashas/independent kings of the Ottoman caliphate and Berber territories, together with Muslim rogue pirates, captured tens of thousands white European Christians traveling through the Mediterranean and West African waters beginning in the late 15th century. Thousands more were captured in the Indian Ocean. The famous Turkish harems were not filled with Muslim women – that would have violated Islamic law. The harems were graced by Christian women, both European captives and native Turks and Arabs. Indian Moghuls prided themselves on owning at least one blond or red-haired European slave-girl. By the late 17th century the British Admiralty had formally taken on the role of paying the ransom for captured British subjects. Ransomed males were often returned somewhat less than whole, having been forcibly converted to Islam and circumcised. Public apostasies from Islam and reconversions to Christianity were common occurrences throughout the 16th and 17th centuries in Old Britannia and elsewhere in Europe. The white slave trade is one of the most under-reported atrocities in world history. Guess our self-effacing white liberal intellectuals can’t quite square off to the fact white men haven’t been the only humans in the world to commit evil, eh?
Notice the date there? The international slave trade as Frank calls it began when Islamic armies spread out from Arabia in the mid-7th century and started importing slaves back to their home territory of Arabia and their new colonies in Persia and India. Err…wait. I’m sorry. What I meant to say was the Israelis are going to build a time machine in the future, travel back to the 7th century, dress up like Arab raiders, and conquer and enslave Christians and Pagans in Anatolia and North Africa. Yes that’s what I meant. Any violence from the Religion of Peace™ is because of the Israelis. Yes bob it is all clear now.
What do you guys make of this comment:
I got that from this article: foreignpolicy.com/story/cms. … ry_id=3419
I think the author’s last statement is a bit of a non sequitur. I don’t know why she concluded with that. The West hasn’t been “neglecting” Africa, but as she says in the article has rather imposed conditions of accountability, human rights, and open markets to aid and political ties. I wonder if the author would rather us go back to the 70s when we supported every crackpot dictator that came to the fore in Africa.
Yeah. So the West and even the African Union refuse to build ties with this tyrant and China moves in with open arms because it wants oil, timber, and a new friend. Should we instead have been the ones to welcome him? I personally am happy when the African Union, the EU, or the US shuns dictators. As for China and its new friend…let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out. A happy face award goes to whomever can name where that quote comes from.
More of the same. Cutting deals with scumbags kinda makes them scumbags too, no? Not that they aren’t already in the first place. Guess they deserve each other.
That evil IMF. It would be so much better if they would just let the oil profits be stolen by government cadres and private warlords.
So in other words China shares some of the responsibility for the Darfur genocide. I wonder if Lombard thinks we should stop “neglecting” the Sudanese government and contribute to the genocide ourselves by blocking UN security council measures against Khartoum?
[quote=“miltownkid”]What do you guys make of this comment:
I got that from this article: foreignpolicy.com/story/cms. … ry_id=3419[/quote]
If the competition for allies and resources in any way resembles the competition between the US and the USSR in the Third World during the Cold War, with each side covertly funding military juntas and whatnot, I’m pretty sure the average African person is going to get screwed over.
[quote=“alidarbac”][quote=“miltownkid”]What do you guys make of this comment:
I got that from this article: foreignpolicy.com/story/cms. … ry_id=3419[/quote]If the competition for allies and resources in any way resembles the competition between the US and the USSR in the Third World during the Cold War, with each side covertly funding military juntas and whatnot, I’m pretty sure the average African person is going to get screwed over.[/quote]
Wll, this brings up the debate over the ‘evils’ of colonialism vs. independence.
For resources to be developed and made profitable, technology and logistics must exist. After all, a resource laying in the ground, for example, does the country no good. If a framework of societal organization can be put in place that allows this resource to be extracted or developed and is done so by a colonizing actor - Is this to the countrys’ and countrys’ populace benefit?
I have seen a lot of hospitals, universities and power plants in east Africa in ruins since de-colonization. No one is benefiting now.
As to the cry of “military juntas”, well its Africa. That about covers it.
Look at its history. I can’t think of mush thats ever been accomplished there, up until about 1995(and even that may be a poor time line), with out the backing of a military group.
Take away Africa in its entirety and no one would miss it. What exactly has Africa contributed to the world? How much has the world contributed to Africa? Take away the rest of the world which is supposedly neglecting and “oppressing” and “exploiting” Africa with all those evil charities, loans, medicines, technology, investment and Africa would disappear as well. Nothing to do with debt or anything else. There is a reason why Africa was called the dark continent. It remains or is returning to the levels of savagery that always existed there minus a few good years during colonialism. The levels of civilization needed to support a high standard of living are simply not in place in Africa and things are getting worse not better. Short of wholescale recolonization (and who would do it and for what?) Africa is going to go back to what it was before the evil Europeans arrived to “exploit” it. Rwanda will have another massacre when population pressures reach the breaking point again. Congo will fall apart again and war against itself. Zimbabwe was the final sign for doubters. South Africa will be next. I give it less than 20 years. The only good thing about the Chinese presence is that it will underline the fact that it is not Western oppression but Western “nation building” that was important. At least the Chinese investment will create jobs and one assumes that the Chinese are going to be less sensitive to being ripped off because of their past “exploitation” of the “poor, oppressed, down-trodden” African peoples. And that’s all for the good. Just goes to show history does not always mean that we can assume progress. Some places, including the Middle East, are not going ahead and when Europe is gray and dead… well, it too may join the list of unfortunate spots that are no longer economically or culturally significant.
And so it goes. I remember reading Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged while going overland from Addis to Capetown. It made for a very powerful read. Zimbabwe now would be a good mirror of the kinds of things that Rand was railing against. Unfortunately, we will be reading the same things in South Africa say in five? 10? 15? 20? years.
[quote]JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 6 — For close to seven years, Zimbabwe’s economy and quality of life have been in slow, uninterrupted decline. They are still declining this year, people there say, with one notable difference: the pace is no longer so slow.
In recent weeks, the national power authority has warned of a collapse of electrical service. A breakdown in water treatment has set off a new outbreak of cholera in the capital, Harare. All public services were cut off in Marondera, a regional capital of 50,000 in eastern Zimbabwe, after the city ran out of money to fix broken equipment. In Chitungwiza, just south of Harare, electricity is supplied only four days a week.
The government awarded all civil servants a 300 percent raise two weeks ago. But the increase is only a fraction of the inflation rate, so the nation’s 110,000 teachers are staging a work slowdown for more money. Measured by the black-market value of Zimbabwe’s ragtag currency, even their new salaries total less than 60 American dollars a month.
Doctors and nurses have been on strike for five weeks, seeking a pay increase of nearly 9,000 percent, and health care is all but nonexistent. Harare’s police chief warned in a recently leaked memo that if rank-and-file officers did not get a substantial raise, they might riot.
In the past eight months, “there’s been a huge collapse in living standards,” Iden Wetherell, the editor of the weekly newspaper Zimbabwe Independent said in a telephone interview, “and also a deterioration in the infrastructure — in standards of health care, in education. There’s a sort of sense that things are plunging.”
Mr. Mugabe’s fortunes appear to have dimmed as well. In December, the ruling party that has traditionally bowed to his will, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, balked at supporting a constitutional amendment that would have extended his term of office by two years, to 2010. The rebuff exposed a fissure in the party, known as ZANU-PF, between Mr. Mugabe’s hard-line backers and others who fear he has brought their nation to the brink of collapse.
The trigger of this crisis — hyperinflation — reached an annual rate of 1,281 percent this month, and has been near or over 1,000 percent since last April. Hyperinflation has bankrupted the government, left 8 in 10 citizens destitute and decimated the country’s factories and farms.
Pay increases have so utterly failed to keep pace with price increases that some Harare workers now complain that bus fare to and from work consumes their entire salaries.
Citing a leaked central bank document, Reuters reported Tuesday that prices of basic items like meat, cooking oil and clothes had risen 223 percent in the past week alone.
Soaring costs have made it impossible for both national and local governments to meet budgets and for businesses to afford raw materials, while subsidies for basic commodities have drained the government treasury and promoted corruption.
Seeking to revive farm production, for example, the government sells gasoline to farmers at a bargain rate of 330 Zimbabwe dollars per liter — and farmers promptly resell it on the black market for 10 times that, leaving their fields idle.
Mr. Mugabe, who blames a Western plot against him for Zimbabwe’s problems, has rejected all calls for economic reform. The government refuses to devalue Zimbabwe’s dollar, which fetches only 5 to 10 percent of its official value on the thriving black market. As a result, foreign exchange to buy crucial imported goods like spare parts and fertilizer has effectively dried up.
Despite acceptable rains, one international aid official said, Zimbabwe’s corn crop is currently lagging behind last year’s — and that harvest was among the worst in history. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the assessment had not been made public.[/quote]
Read more at
[quote=“fred smith”]And so it goes. I remember reading Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged while going overland from Addis to Capetown. It made for a very powerful read. Zimbabwe now would be a good mirror of the kinds of things that Rand was railing against. Unfortunately, we will be reading the same things in South Africa say in five? 10? 15? 20? years.
This might give you a chuckle, if you haven’t seen this early 90s interview w/ Mugabe.
[quote]Mr. Mugabe, who blames a Western plot against him for Zimbabwe’s problems, has rejected all calls for economic reform. The government refuses to devalue Zimbabwe’s dollar, which fetches only 5 to 10 percent of its official value on the thriving black market. As a result, foreign exchange to buy crucial imported goods like spare parts and fertilizer has effectively dried up.
I guess the guy is in a very late stage of syphilis … brain damage …
Mbeki is just about as brain damaged and his nation is starting its long slow good bye to sanity and economic stability. What is it about Africa anyway? At least, they are not out blowing things up in the name of Allah like their equally down-trodden, perpetually being oppressed counterparts in the Middle East aka Africa with Oil.
One thing that saddens me about the above conversations is the apparent satisfaction that much of Africa is in such a mess. While you may celebrate the fact that most African countries are not very well governed perhaps you could at least spare a thought for the children who are going to bed hungry, the aids orphans, the people struggling to live under some of the worst governments in the world, the people of Nigeria who should be enjoying at least a moderate degree of prosperity and instead have had their natural resources plundered by probably the most disgracefully corrupt government in the world.
You might express some regret that in addition to bad government, endemic disease, appalling climate, poor infrastructure and being caught in the crossfire of the cold war the Africans are now being “befriended” by a government that showed how much regard it had for its own people in Tiananmen Square.
It’s true that in general Africans are not the most dynamic people in the world but that is due to unfortunate aspects of their culture and, I think, to the general demoralisation that has set in since independence when, with a very few exceptions, their leaders have shown themselves to be a bunch of tyrannical asswipes.
In any case, to say that the whole of Africa is a hopeless case is to ignore the admittedly few sparks of hope. Botswana has had a democratic government, fairly low levels of corruption (they are extremely strict about rooting it out) and a decent level of economic growth since independence and has never faltered. Ghana has had trouble developing democratic government but I understand it has posted an average of 5% growth a year since independence. Towards the end of the 1990s Mozambique was growing at about 10% a year - Celtic/Baltic/Asian Tiger rates of growth - until a massive storm wrecked what infrastructure they had.
Moreover, I’ve heard that many African-Americans are going back to Africa to give their skills. They’re coming up against certain cultural attitudes which militate against working consistently but they are sticking in their. determination to stay in Africa and help. I’m a great believer in sheer tenacity and I’ll stick my neck out here and say that Africa-or parts of it at least, will surprise you in the coming decades. But let me say this, if it continues to be bad there then at least I’ll feel sorry for the innocent people who suffer and not subject them to contemptuous attitudes simply because I’ve been fortunate enough to have been born in a more developed part of the world.
When did exasperation ever sound like satisfaction. Seriously? WTF???
Celebrate? Dude. You need to climb off of whatever morally outraged horse you just rode in to town on. Nigeria’s government is NOT exceptional. It is the norm. And who the hell is celebrating that?
I literally had to go back and reread the thread to try to understand how you are getting this view that anyone here is glad that Africans are suffering.
The level of civilization is simply not advanced enough in Africa. This is going to take a lot of time. Essentially, as I have said before, Africa minus the North and Ethiopia, has just been given a 2,000 year ride up the elevator of civilization. People from prehistoric rural villages are now facing modernity and having to adjust all in 50 to 100 years. This is not going to be easy.
Despite all the good news out of Ghana, Mozambique, Uganda, or wherever development specialists are trying to shine their beacon of optimism this week, the continent is in serious trouble. I take exception to the claims that the West has been bad for Africa, that we have not done anything to help, that our companies are “exploiting” Africa and that we “have to do more to help.” Africa was never more developed and advanced with civilized rule of law (relatively) than it was under colonialism. Giving more money to “aid” or “development” is not the answer given the absolute shit leadership that these nations possess. The answer is nation building (read: colonialism) all over again. No nation, however, is going to take on these onerous responsiblities. I am merely pointing this out.
Bully for them but they will be following in the footsteps of many thousands, hundreds of thousands of other would-be helpers. Up to them. I am not interested in doing so. Not in the least.
I have no doubt that they will continue to “surprise” but only if it means suprising already hardened cynics such as myself about the levels of corruption, incompetence and savagery that man is capable of.
Well give you a gold star for being a far superior human being to the riff raff here who are gloating about Africa. Pompous ass.
Those, including myself, who posted on this thread to take exception to the view that the West has been bad for or exploited Africa have a point. Its present mismanaged economies and basket-case societies are not the fault of Western “oppression.”
Have you ever been to Africa? I have many many times. Pretty much all over minus four or five nations. I have very little faith or optimism that we will be seeing any pleasant “surprises” out of Africa.
I have not the least interest or desire in providing more “aid” or “development funding” for these nations. Throwing good money after bad is not the answer.
I do not know what the answer is for Africa. I am assuming, however, that maybe in 200 years, its people will catch up with the huge lurch that they have had to take on the elevator of civilization.
Lest this seem to be a “racist” conclusion, let me point out, this situation is not unique to Black people. The Hmong (Asian) are facing the same problems as are many Pacific Islanders (Asian) as well as Solomon Islanders and aboriginals in Australia (Black) as are many poor Whites in Apalachian America and even those in rural Eastern Europe and the nations of the former USSR as our our Native Americans (yellow) and inner-city Blacks. The problem is one of both IQ and level of civilization. How to provide the necessary nutrition at the early stages of life (lack of protein can lead to lower, slower brain development) along with a culture that rewards initiative and places strong importance on family and education. These are challenges faced by many groups: White, Yellow and Black, and they are going to be the major obstacles to development in a number of societies both in the undeveloped world as well as the developed one.
Fine, I’m glad we cleared that up. It’s exasperation and not satisfaction expressed in"Africa is going to go back to what it was before the evil Europeans arrived to “exploit” it. " I just felt that while you were outlining the long litany of woes that there could at least, have been some expression of regret that things were as bad as they were. I accept that now that the Europeans are gone the Africans are resposible for their own destiny and that the Europeans may have brought certain benefits. But do you deny that there was also exploitation and that Europeans could have done a lot better while they were there? It’seems to me that if the White governemtn of South Africa had spent the time used for apartheid I’m surprised Fred, that you have nothing to say about what King leopold did in the Congo for example.as you usually enjoy hammering us Europeans en masse.
Nigeria’s government is the norm. Well that’s what I thought. I just put it forward as a particularly sad example of what’s happening there.
So you’ve been to Africa and I haven’t. So educate me Fred, you see no hope at all for the place? So Nigeria is the norm. What about the abnormal areas such as Botswana and Ghana? Have I been misinformed? Just like the tigers in Asia when the surrounding countries were hopelessly caught up in Maoism etc are there no sparks of hope that could be supported in the hope that someday things can change?
So you’ve been to Africa and I haven’t. So educate me Fred, you see no hope at all for the place? ?[/quote][/quote]
I suggest you take a year off, live in Africa and get some first hand experience before you post such clueless drivel.
We’re still waiting on an explanation as to why you believe we’re satisfied with Africa’s poor condition.
Even if true, this sounds to me like someone who has a certain satisfaction that Africa has not prospered since decolonization. It’s certainly often said in right wing papers in Britain and they are most certainly not sympathetic to Africa (Or any country that had the temerity to break away from the British Empire except possibly the US)
No, Africans are also capable of evil. it seems to me the writer takes satisfaction in the disappointments of Africa to score points against his political opponents. A little callous, is it not?
Now, if you’d said “it seems to me we will be reading the same things” I wouldn’t be bothered. But the use of “will” seems to me that you’ve completely written off the country. You may well be proven right and certainly Mbeki is no Mandela but let’s wait and see.
I wouldn’t have thought the word “chuckle” was the appropriate one. I would think the words “anger” and “sense of despondency”.
Perhaps the word “satisfaction” was unfair (except for the first post above which I certainly associate with a feeling of satisfaction) but some of the language used doesn’t seem to show any great compassion for the place. I understand the feeling of exasperation mentioned by Fred but I think you can be exasperated (as I am too) and at least mention that you feel some sense of dismay that Africa has ended up so badly - assuming that you do.
J Hsieh, I wasn’t posting drivel, I was asking a question. Yes Africa is in an awful mess as I think I indicated in my original post. However, it is sometimes claimed in the newspapers in Britain that if there is any good news about Africa, it is never or rarely mentioned in the media there. I have also read that as I have mentioned above, Ghana, Botswana, Mozambique, have shown that Africa is not a monolith and there is some occasional good news in parts of the continent. So, what’s the truth?
Nonsense. Nobody but you is making that inference.
Wrong. I wrote that, and I was obviously referring to the Arab, Berber, Turkish and Indian pirates who enslaved black Africans and white Europeans. How could I be taking “satisfaction in the disappointments of Africa” when I am decrying the enslavement of black Africans (and Europeans)?
You are really reaching here, and it’s pathetic. Once again you are the only who inferred a “satisfaction” in the troubles of Africa.
Are you implying he “chuckled” at Africa’s woes? He was laughing Mugabe, not the pains of the African masses. That is obvious.
Now you’ve finally said something intelligent.
…but then you blew it.
Well we cannot all be paragons of empathy like you.