Thursday, December 02, 2004

Dimbleby - Part 2

Jonathan Dimbleby's New World War' (Part 2 ). He shows Blair, leaving Bush's side 'for once', talking about the scar that is Africa (*). Devon Cross talks about kleptocratic regimes. Dimbleby helpfully translates this for us as, 'The neo-cons believe that aid is money down the drain'. 

But non-democratic governments that misappropriate money are an issue, part of the problem. Even Clare Short, when she was International Development Minister, spoke of the importance of good governance. Devon Cross actually said, 'I worry about kleptocratic regimes', not that all regimes in Africa are kleptocratic.

Africa cannot  afford to indulge in the luxury anti-Americanism in the way Europe does. There was somebody on BBC WS a week or two ago, a Ugandan journalist I think : in the south of Sudan, prospects for a political solution were looking quite good and the Sudanese government finally seemed to be starting to take its obligations in Darfur seriously. But it needs continued pressure from the international community, especially the United States.

Having shown the seriousness of the situation, the bind we are in between alleviating poverty and preventing global warming, Dimbleby then simply says that solutions are a matter of  'political will'. But even if the US reduced its energy consumption to European levels (say, by 30%), this would hardly compensate for increased economic activity in China and the rest (doubling, perhaps).

Update : (*) 'The state of Africa is a scar on the conscience of the world.'


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