Daily Archive for June 8th, 2007

What If NBC Cheered on a Military Coup Against Bush?

By William Blum
June 08, 2007

Venezuela and ChavezDuring the Cold War, if an American journalist or visitor to the Soviet Union reported seeing churches full of people, this was taken as a sign that the people were rejecting and escaping from communism. If the churches were empty, this clearly was proof of the suppression of religion. If consumer goods were scarce, this was seen as a failure of the communist system. If consumer goods appeared to be more plentiful, this gave rise to speculation about was happening in the Soviet Union that was prompting the authorities to try to buy off the citizenry.
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Africa and Its Discontents

What Does It Have to Do With Us?

By Paul Buchheit
June 07, 2007

AfricansWe hear about people dying in Africa because of civil wars, or because they didn’t have a few dollars for medicine or malaria nets. We regret that their corrupt governments cause these problems and make our aid ineffective. On the surface this is indeed the reason for their problems. But if we look more deeply at the effects of our need for oil and minerals, we arrive at a different conclusion. We find the existence of ‘rentier’ states such as the Republic of Congo, Chad, and Nigeria, where once-healthy and self-sustaining agricultural countries have effectively rented themselves out to a demanding western world by focusing on the sale of one valuable commodity that doesn’t offer any benefits to the masses.
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