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Old 06-07-2008, 11:18 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Interesting post.

As you may be aware, there is no Lisbon treaty referendum in most European countries (best not give ordinary voters the right to vote on this treaty, after all, they may make a mistake and come up with the wrong answer.)
And thank God for that. I remember the Dutch referendum for the EU constitution and the events leading up to it. The debates were of such a low standard that I had to take a bathroom break every ten minutes. Most people didn't seem to have a clue what was actually in the document.

Treaties like this are too complicated to have a simple yes or no vote on anyway. Representative democracy ftw!

Then again, I'm a big EU fan.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:20 PM   #77
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And thank God for that. I remember the Dutch referendum for the EU constitution and the events leading up to it. The debates were of such a low standard that I had to take a bathroom break every ten minutes. Most people didn't seem to have a clue what was actually in the document.

Treaties like this are too complicated to have a simple yes or no vote on anyway. Representative democracy ftw!
Yep.

Thank god for not letting the people decide.

Thank god for having a political elite that will decide things for us!

(Did you even think before you posted the utter drivel that you posted? )
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:34 PM   #78
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It does fit in well with these sort of dictates
Quote:
The European Union assembly’s political establishment is pushing through changes that will silence dissidents by changing the rules allowing Euro-MPs to form political groupings.

Richard Corbett, a British Labour MEP, is leading the charge to cut the number of party political tendencies in the Parliament next year, a move that would dissolve UKIP’s pan-European Eurosceptic “Independence and Democracy” grouping.

Under the rule change, the largest and msot pro-EU groups would tighten their grip on the Parliament’s political agenda and keep control of lavish funding.

”It would prevent single issue politicians from being given undue support from the public purse,” said Mr Corbett.

”We want to avoid the formation of a fragmented Parliament, deeply divided into many small groups and unable to work effectively.”

Mr Corbett’s proposals will also give the President of the Parliament sweeping powers to approve or reject parliamentary questions.

Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, claimed that the move goes hand in hand with the denial of popular votes on the new EU Treaty.

”Welcome to your future. This shows an EU mindset that is arrogant, anti-democratic and frankly scary,” he said.

”These people are so scared of public opinion they are willing to set in stone the right to ignore it. Freedom requires the governing elite to be held to account. They must be getting very worried if they are enacting such dictatorial powers for themselves.”
European Parliament to ban Eurosceptic groups - Telegraph
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:36 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by financeguy View Post
Yep.

Thank god for not letting the people decide.

Thank god for having a political elite that will decide things for us!

(Did you even think before you posted the utter drivel that you posted? )
If "the people" don't like the PoLiTiCaL eLiTe, then they should cast their vote for someone else. My EU representative is there because I voted for her. The irony is that the constitution that was voted out would have made the EU much more transparent and democratic. The debates I followed were more about the EU image than the actual contents of the document.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:52 AM   #80
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(Did you even think before you posted the utter drivel that you posted? )
Well that was completely uncalled for.
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:14 AM   #81
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hehe, hate to say it, but what Bono said just a perfect evidence for what my African friend told me: Westerners have no respect to Africa people, and they want to make their version of Africa, not African people's version of Africa.

Bono, did people in Africa said they want to be another America?
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:11 AM   #82
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Bono, did people in Africa said they want to be another America?
Just because he includes the words ' United states of... ' you think Bono wants another America ? Americans dont have a monopoly over those words.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:17 AM   #83
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Just because he includes the words ' United states of... ' you think Bono wants another America ? Americans dont have a monopoly over those words.
No, regardless it's United States of "America" or "India" or "Iceland", the point is that he has not right on planning the future for Africa. What he said is very offensive.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:59 AM   #84
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hehe, hate to say it, but what Bono said just a perfect evidence for what my African friend told me: Westerners have no respect to Africa people, and they want to make their version of Africa, not African people's version of Africa.
Lest you forget, China has its claws dug into Africa, as well.

China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States

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In recent years, Beijing has identified the African continent as an area of significant economic and strategic interest. America and its allies and friends are finding that their vision of a prosperous Africa governed by democracies that respect human rights and the rule of law and that embrace free markets is being challenged by the escalating Chinese influence in Africa.

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) aids and abets oppressive and destitute African dictatorships by legitimizing their misguided policies and praising their development models as suited to individual national conditions. Beijing holds out China’s unique development model—significant economic growth overseen by a disciplined, one-party totalitarian state with full authority, if not control, over all aspects of economic activity—as an example for others to emulate.

Moreover, China rewards its African friends with diplomatic attention and financial and military assistance, exacerbating existing forced dislocations of populations and abetting massive human rights abuses in troubled countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe. As a consequence, Chinese support for political and economic repression in Africa counters the liberalizing influences of Africa’s traditional European and American partners. China’s vigorous campaign to develop close ties with individual African nations also reflects Beijing’s global quest to isolate Taiwan diplomatically (seven of the 26 countries that have full diplomatic relations with Taiwan are African).

The most pernicious effect of the renewed Chinese interest in Africa is that China is legitimizing and encouraging Africa’s most repressive regimes, thereby increasing the likelihood of weak and failed states. The United States must also be alert to the potential long-term disruption of American access to important raw materials and energy sources as these resources are “locked up” by Chinese firms for the PRC’s domestic market to maintain China’s economic growth.
Putting aside, for a moment, the fact that this article was written as an outline of what America should do for American interests, it certainly outlines the fact that China's interest in Africa is certainly not charitable, nor in the interest of Africans itself.
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Old 06-08-2008, 11:25 AM   #85
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No, regardless it's United States of "America" or "India" or "Iceland", the point is that he has not right on planning the future for Africa. What he said is very offensive.
Hardly offensive, he's not even planning anything. He's not even in a position to implement any change.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:27 PM   #86
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Lest you forget, China has its claws dug into Africa, as well.

China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States



Putting aside, for a moment, the fact that this article was written as an outline of what America should do for American interests, it certainly outlines the fact that China's interest in Africa is certainly not charitable, nor in the interest of Africans itself.
I guess this is what the problem come from. I have never heard any one from China who came back from Africa say Africa needs charity, they often say that Africa need to develop social infrastructure and modern social system. Africa people needs schools, hospitals, football stadium. Chinese companies went to Africa to do business, not charity. Africa countries are our business partner, not our dependent.

If Bono could stop America from burning food for biofuel, I think he already solved the hunger in Africa, ironic, isn't it?

America certainly did alot more charity to Africa than China ever did in history. (at least that's what the western media made it looks like) Yes, China runs to Africa for the resources...blah, blah..Yes, China is the bad guy, and China received RMB4,000 donation (about $5714) from Mozambique, one of the world's poorest country, in the Sichuan earthquake, it's about 1% of the country's total GDP (2005). That's because China did too much bad thing to Africa, so the people wanted to help the bad guy? How much Mozambique donated to America for the Katrina?

Bono is a good person, it doesn't mean all he did/said was approperite.

BTW, China is the biggest importer of Sudan's oil, and China doesn't have troop in Sudan to kill Sudan people, and Chinese government doesn't control Sudan's oil money either. We have long way to go to catch up with some country, don't you think so?
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:42 PM   #87
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Putting aside, for a moment, the fact that this article was written as an outline of what America should do for American interests, it certainly outlines the fact that China's interest in Africa is certainly not charitable, nor in the interest of Africans itself.
That article's from the Heritage Foundation. Attacks on Western oil assets in Africa (Nigeria) are far more common than attacks on Chinese oil assets. The American oil companies do not really make arrangements that benefit economically the countries they operate in. The Chinese, on the other hand, help to develop infrastructure in countries like Angola which is a large oil exporter for them. This type of "South-South cooperation" is considered a threat by many in developed nations.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:40 PM   #88
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I guess this is what the problem come from. I have never heard any one from China who came back from Africa say Africa needs charity, they often say that Africa need to develop social infrastructure and modern social system. Africa people needs schools, hospitals, football stadium. Chinese companies went to Africa to do business, not charity. Africa countries are our business partner, not our dependent.
Yes, China does go in to do business, and all that entails. Apparently, that includes selling arms to repressive governments like Zimbabwe, whose leader, Robert Mugabe, has done more to starve his own people through sheer incompetence than any notion of biofuels.

I am not here for the mere purpose of bashing China and exalting the U.S. I am here to call for nuance. Nationalism, of any kind, concerns me, and I know that there is considerable Chinese nationalism currently. Couple this with an inherently non-free government that does not have a great track record with dissent (i.e., Tienanmen Square in 1989, for an easy example) and the worldwide damage Bush has inflicted on the American reputation, and I think it is very easy gloss over any and all imperfections, in favor of unquestioning patriotic nationalism--not just in China, but elsewhere worldwide.

Africa, frankly, has turned into the new global tug-of-war, and the superpowers of the world, both de facto and "wannabe," are using Africa to fuel their growth. I do not believe that U.S., Chinese, Russian, or Indian interest in Africa is at all the same as the interests of Africans. It about each nation's own respective cravings for oil and other minerals, which are becoming increasingly valuable and scarce in the modern world. To decry American activities in Africa, while simultaneously exalting Chinese activities in Africa, screams to me of self-interest.

I agree very much that Africa needs a developed infrastructure--which is what very many Western economists have stated too for years. That's why Bono's charity overtures are not going over as well as they have in the past. To argue that only the Chinese are (supposedly) interested in building Africa's infrastructure is misinformed.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:23 PM   #89
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Yes, China does go in to do business, and all that entails. Apparently, that includes selling arms to repressive governments like Zimbabwe, whose leader, Robert Mugabe, has done more to starve his own people through sheer incompetence than any notion of biofuels.

I am not here for the mere purpose of bashing China and exalting the U.S. I am here to call for nuance. Nationalism, of any kind, concerns me, and I know that there is considerable Chinese nationalism currently. Couple this with an inherently non-free government that does not have a great track record with dissent (i.e., Tienanmen Square in 1989, for an easy example) and the worldwide damage Bush has inflicted on the American reputation, and I think it is very easy gloss over any and all imperfections, in favor of unquestioning patriotic nationalism--not just in China, but elsewhere worldwide.
Africa, frankly, has turned into the new global tug-of-war, and the superpowers of the world, both de facto and "wannabe," are using Africa to fuel their growth. I do not believe that U.S., Chinese, Russian, or Indian interest in Africa is at all the same as the interests of Africans. It about each nation's own respective cravings for oil and other minerals, which are becoming increasingly valuable and scarce in the modern world. To decry American activities in Africa, while simultaneously exalting Chinese activities in Africa, screams to me of self-interest.

I agree very much that Africa needs a developed infrastructure--which is what very many Western economists have stated too for years. That's why Bono's charity overtures are not going over as well as they have in the past. To argue that only the Chinese are (supposedly) interested in building Africa's infrastructure is misinformed.
I believe you are coming with a good will for Africa and majority people in the rest of the world.

About the Chinese nationalism, I have discussed it in another thread sometimes ago, in this forum. The definition of "nationalism" in Chinese culture is completely different to the west. China initially was a united state of many different kingdoms and people from many different culture background, you could see it as an much better developed version of EU, only we did it 2500 years ago, and carried the process through the history. The world "China" in Chinese has never been the name of the country until the last century. Unless you have completely understood the what & why question about that part of the culture history, I don't think you qualifying in given any criticism to another culture.

I have never said China is the only country who build infrastructure for Africa. As I said before, America sure have contributed a lot in Africa's development, but the question is how it was done, it's the problem of the attitude towards the land, and it's people. Remeber what Bono said? "Africa people don't need charity, they need justice." I laughed when I first heard it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good term, and I agree with him in some extent, but it still has the the "how to" problem, and an unfair attitude. Have you ever heard anything like "one nation had brought justice to another nation", when they actually in the competitive condition? Sorry, I'd say Africa's got luck, only because the piece of land is too big, the culture is too "scary" to the western world since a lot of African coutries are Islamic, the infrastructure is too bad, the west's history in Africa is too ugly, therefore Africa haven't got invaded again like Iraq. What's the same in Bono's term for "charity" and "justice"? They all have to be GIVEN by the west. Therefore, if the west doesn't nod, African people could have no charity, nor justice. Funny isn't it? When he also said every one is equal.

As for Bono, criticism is one thing, but I don't want to pull back any of his effort, since it comes from a good will.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:05 PM   #90
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Lest you forget, China has its claws dug into Africa, as well.

China's Influence in Africa: Implications for the United States



Putting aside, for a moment, the fact that this article was written as an outline of what America should do for American interests, it certainly outlines the fact that China's interest in Africa is certainly not charitable, nor in the interest of Africans itself.

I'm in agreement with what the article say regarding Chinas interest in Africa. The country has only one charitable interest going on and that is with itself.

I also understand what Bono's thought was and I don't think it should be taken as a grievance, the main theory of his "utopia plan" is to have all the rulers outsted and set of government on the concept of the United States with one person leading the entire continent.

And when I mean utopia, I think its a plan that would never really come into existence.
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