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What is a life worth?
Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2004

By Linda Edwards

Any Afro-centric person wondering what a life is really worth must now compare some recent facts.

The government of Ivory Coast shot at some "peacekeepers", whether deliberately or accidentally we will not know, and nine Frenchmen died. France unleashed terror on the state, and created a panic, apparently, in which all expatriates who felt endangered fled. The UN Security Council imposed an arms embargo on Ivory Coast. No more weapons to shoot anybody with, including Frenchmen. Good.

Now in Southern Sudan, where government backed militia are exterminating the Christian and traditional religious people of that area, in favor of Moslems from the north, an arms embargo would be just the thing, wouldn't it? So do you think the Security Council imposes one? No, of course not. They are meeting in Kenya to talk, again.

Sudan has oil. Oil can buy many weapons, for both sides, from the large weapons manufacturers who are all white countries, with the US being the leader of the pack. They get rich. Darfurians die. Simple, nothing to fuss about other that some tut-tutting when someone twinges their consciences.

Someone should tell Kofi and Company that back in the 18th century, a French philosopher, Jean Jacques Rousseau said that "All men are created equal, all men are created free, but wherever I look, I see them in chains." Now Frenchmen are more free than Darfurians, and are certainly worth more on the international commodities market. Hundreds of thousands of starving and dead Darfurians are certainly not worth any UN arms embargo.

Remember the cry that "Saddam was killing his own people?" Well, if they were Africans, Saddam would still be in power, killing right along.

The world's pecking order seems to be still Europeans followed by everyone else, and Africans dead last. Kofi exempted, of course. By education, training and principles, he is an honorary white man, a title once conferred by apartheid South Africa on its Asian trading partners.

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