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Carter Blogging from Africa

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Carter Blogging from Africa2004-02-24 17:34
17 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Jimmy Carter has a blog. Well, at least he had one for some days while traveling in Africa this month. A few words:
"It is disturbing to observe the adverse effect of some U.S. policies on the less-developed nations. Despite helpful contributions of USAID and military assistance in Mali, for instance, the grossly exorbitant cotton subsidies for mega-farms in America cost the country far more than all the combined assistance from rich nations. Malians produced more cotton last year than any other African country and it is their number one export, but they had to sell it with no profit in order to compete with the heavily subsidized U.S. crop. Also, there is a heavy-handed effort by Washington to force other countries to violate the basic premises of the newly established International Criminal Court. Our government threatens to withhold military assistance unless they will guarantee that U.S. citizens be immune to possible punishment for war crimes or other atrocities. Another interesting development has been the efforts from Washington to elevate the issue of terrorism, and American diplomatic officials are forced to participate in this over-emphasis. We were warned strenuously about the new terrorist dangers that had arisen when we planned our visit to Timbuktu and Mopti. I decided that we would take a chance, and when we met with representatives of a dozen donor agencies in Bamako, I asked if any of them had any evidence of increased violence in the area or terrorist threats. The unanimous response was laughter."
How about running for president again, Mr.Carter. It is apparently hard to find humble and knowledgable folks who're willing to roll up their sleeves.


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17 comments

24 Feb 2004 @ 17:38 by martha : Carter...
I like what he says. At the moment I'm listening to a book on tape by Jimmy Cater called An Hour before Daylight (memories of a Rural boyhood). Highly recommend the book. Jimmy is one humble person starting with his roots.  


24 Feb 2004 @ 23:09 by Ashanti @196.21.43.5 : Mali
Yep, we're very involved with a project in Mali at the moment - some of our staff have been to Timbaktu a few times to lead a project. Based on their reports as well, what Carter says above is spot on. The key threat in Mali, according to one of my colleagues, is not "terrorism" (that elicits laughter in most places in Africa, for a variety of reasons), but the sewage that goes into the streets, close to where people bathe and wash, sometimes mixing with it. My colleague was so perplexed by that, he brought back photos to show us all. Mali is a majority Muslim, and Francophone country, and South Africa has good diplomatic and project-based links with Mali. (It is also home to one of the finest musicians ever, Salief Keita). And the effects of US foreign policy have indeed prevented the country thus far from reaching its full potential.

Funny, I never used to like Carter - felt him to be cold, and later, David Icke called him one of the "reptilians", but what he writes here definitely makes me look at him again. Thanks a bunch for this, Ming.  



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