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August 06, 2003


Anthony Daniels has a good (albeit short) article in the August 11 issue of National Review ("Big Men, Big Corruption") in which he, among other things, agrees with my assertion that current borders should be maintained:

Countries whose borders approximate social and ethnic realities, such as Burundi and Rwanda, have not exactly been beacons to the rest of the continent. The manifold problems of Africa could not be settled, therefore, by a little judicious redrawing of the maps - on the contrary, the Organisation of African Unity, recognizing the endless violent disputes to which such redrawing might give rise, wisely decided at its inception to accept the boundaries bequeathed by colonialism. Post-colonial Africa has had more civil wars than wars between states.

The article makes more important points than borders, however. Daniels posits the financial aid the west has recklessly thrown into Africa has actually prolonged strife and war in many instances, because the no-strings-attached policies accompanying this aid has merely funded the kleptocrats.

Daniels furthers the point by stating that only Botswana and Uganda have taken up the offer of a German pharmaceutical company to provide free neviraparine, the drug that prevents transmission of HIV from mother to infant during childbirth. Why? The company insisted on controlling the drug, so the kleptocrats could not deny it for political purposes or resell it.

The overarching tenor of the article is that the Bush aid package could provide unprecedented funds to warlords and agenda-seekers at the fatal expense of the people.

Posted by at August 6, 2003 01:06 AM

That's the problem I have with the current borders: they really only serve to help the warlords and agenda-seekers at the fatal expense of the people...
...on the other hand, redrawing the borders would probably also only serve to help the warlords and agenda-seekers at the fatal expense of the people.

I guess what I'm saying is that the society and concept of society itself in Africa is still immature, and there will be much blood, sweat, toil, and tears, until they finally understand the idea of largely peaceful, state-to-state relations and govt responsive to the people. But I guess even that isn't a universal situation, as the the Mediterranean states are much more stable...
Gosh, Africa is a mess!

Posted by: nathan at August 6, 2003 03:56 AM
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