Thursday, February 15, 2007

Where the Truth Lies

Africa. The lost continent. You've heard all the cliches, but only one word describes the mess. Anarchy. Perhaps a portion of the blame lies with US President, George W. Bush. If bodies were not being blown this way and that in Baghdad and Basra, then perhaps the Western world would not be able to turn a blind eye to the deep-rooted problems of Africa. Virtually every nation in the continent has experienced some sort of rebel violence in the past century. From the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the Janjaweed in Sudan down to the APLA in South Africa, there has been premeditated bloodshed in most, if not all African states. And yet this is largely ignored, a sub-plot in the fight against AIDS, the battle against poverty and the struggle against starvation. Yet this, the violence, is our fault. As Leonardo DiCaprio's character, Danny Archer, said in the movie, Blood Diamond, whenever a valuable commodity is unearthed, people die. From rubber in the early 20th Century to gold in the later part of that century to diamonds more recently, foreign corporate investment has spelt trouble for a troubled region. When people are fighting for their lives, they do extreme things. Whole countries, such as Rhodesia, were established for foreign money-hunters to make a quick buck. So perhaps this is a plus for Western overseas responsibilty, with the Kimberley Process beginning to pay back some of the grief foreign investors have caused the continent. Whilst this is a good first step for Western world, it is only that, it is only one step. Something needs to be done to sort out the Middle Eastern mess, something constructive, not the army going in guns blazing. The truth? Africa's problems are more complicated than anyone would like. As soon as one dies down. Serious threats are coming at the continent in many forms, and there is little Africans can do about it. Physical help for the African continent must continue.

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