Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
[asset|aid=1027|format=image|formatter=asset|title=30giri.xlarge1.jpg|width=279|height=161|align=left|resizable=true]"This was not terror — not as Indians understood it. This was war. The killers stormed the streets of Mumbai, India’s financial capital, with machine guns and bags of grenades. They did not strike with the terrorist’s fleeting anonymity. Their work was fastidiously deliberate. It went into a second day, then a third. They took time to ask your nationality and vocation. Then they spared you, or herded you elsewhere, or shot you in the back of your skull." --NYT
From the so called great scramble to the new scramble, I believe that there never really is any difference or change in scrambling. The imperialist tendencies and actions towards Africa have been concentrated in one continuous scramble - for resources: land, people, minerals, diamonds, timber, markets, etc. A continuous scramble and a systematic exploitation and looting of the African continent. Globalization and the global political economy are generally not looked at through the African perspective. While I can hardly offer that perspective, I work to understand.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is the Zimbabwean political party focused on promoting democracy in a country where it has become very dangerous to associate with politics. Formed as an opposition party to the Zimbabwean African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which is led by current President Robert Mugabe, the MDC brings together a number of civil society groups. The MDC is now labeled as a terrorist organization by Mugabe's government, political activists are regularly beaten and arrested, and known members of the MDC disappear. The MDC front webpage tells of three recent deaths of people closely affiliated with the MDC. The site notes that this is becoming an all too common.
CNN has a story today on the Real ID act of 2005, which is an effort to create a national database of drivers' license information.
Some states have passed symbolic measures condeming the centralization of what is meant to be in state control, with some going so far as to make compliance illegal. Other states have passed legislation praising the system...and most states are still somewhere in between.
For citizens of states who do not comply with the program, they'll be required to use a passport for any federal purpose...entering a federal building, boarding a plane...or having a picnic in a national park.
The title of this entry is a question that very often crosses my mind as I continue to read the news and stay up to date on the various African conflicts across the continent. How can the country with the most power sit idly as conflicts that tear nations and governments apart worsen? How can the country with the most power get involved in its own political war games and ignore the dying?
"If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will."
What is the US's policy on Africa? Do you know? Many people do not and now is your chance to find out. On the US government page on African Policy the first thing I notice is the picture displayed on the top of the page, not just because it is a picture, but because it is President Bush and President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia at a 'Partners in Democracy' forum.
As you can see Bush is pointing off into the distance and Ellen looks quite fed-up and dismayed. First, is this the US policy on Africa point to the distance and not involve the African leadership. Second, did we forget that Africa is not a country and that there are 54 countries within the continent. Africa as a whole does not have one policy on the US, each different country has a policy - why doesn't the US have a policy for each country in Africa? Maybe it is just not strategic enough or worth the US's time? Whatever the case I find the picture very telling of the US goverment approach to Africa. They then jump right into the Darfur conflict and the subsequent peace agreement in the works. This I find very disturbing as all the US government has done for the Darfur conflict is give it lip service and some nicely written statements. After scrolling down the page, to what is almost the bottom, you will find the outline of the US policy on Africa:
You know, its election season, and everyone seems to be caught up on national security issues - Who is going to protect us better? How do we defeat terrorism? Should we torture detainees? Etc, etc.
But I think we are missing the big picture. As the nation's largest retailer has pointed out, there's an even bigger threat to our homeland security - and that's workers who live high on the hog with such ostentatious luxuries as "living wages," "healthcare," and "full-time employment."
In today's Washington Post there's an article World Bank Lists Failing Nations That Can Breed Global Terrorism showing just successful this little Global War on Terror has been so far.
How successful you may ask? Thanks in part to our foreign policy (or lack there of) in only the past 3 years the World Bank's list of "fragile" countries increased all the way to 26 from 17. According to the World Bank, fragile countries are where "deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease."
Read more after the break.
Last week's news of the British authorities thwarting a terrorist plot seemed positive in so many ways. The obvious way being that they thwarted a terrorist plot, of course, but beyond that it also provided support for recommendations that rational people have been putting forth for years. The best tools we can use to combat terrorism are intelligence and police work, not wars, which tend to create more terrorism. Even George Will conceded that John Kerry was correct in making this assertion in the 2004 presidential campaign, and that's saying something. And better yet, the British police managed to do it without infringing on civil rights; they obtained warrants for all of their investigations.
Far be it for the Bush administration to not meddle though. NBC reported that both British and US officials have admitted that the US pressured Britain to move forward on the arrests earlier than they had wanted.
British officials knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. ... In contrast to previous reports, one senior British official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.
Poor Joe Lieberman. A new poll out today shows Lieberman only leading challenger Ned Lamont by three points in this fall's general election for U.S Senate in Connecticut. Although some may disagree, I think that's bad news for Lieberman. At this point Lieberman should be blowing Lamont out of the water. His campaign for re-election will not be able to stand two months worth of poor fundraising and dropped endorsements while big name Democrats continue to cut checks to the Lamont campaign.
Lieberman knows this. He also knows that telling scaring the public into voting by constantly saying that the whole country will be blown up by terrorists if Democrats are elected has worked for extremists for the past few years. However, as I argued in my blog yesterday, I think those days are quickly coming to an end.