Monday, September 20

South Africa Angers Morroco

Head Heab points to South Africas recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and speculates that this will make South Africas diplomatic life a bit more difficult in the Middle East in coming months. Given that my first reaction was Gawd, I hope so you will not be surprized to learn that I think this is a good news story all round.

Who would have thought it? South Africa standing up to someone besides a western democracy?

African Trip

Dan from NeverBeComplete is planning a world trip, and Ive been an avid follower of his planning. He mails:

I’m currently planning my African portion and having some trouble deciding on everything. There is so much to see and do. My plan is to fly into Cape Town and spend 2 weeks there. Are there other things that just shouldn’t be missed before doing this? I plan to do some surfing, visit Table Mnt, Robben Island, and just enjoy the coast. After that I was planning to start north and head into Namibia and Windhoek.

Here is what a very basic breakdown looks like, keep in mind I planning roughly 5-6 months for the entire journey:
(Ed: Thats for his whole trip I think, not just Africa)

14days - SA, CapeTown
? – Namibia [Sand Surfing, Etosha NtlPrk, Windhoek]
? – Botwsana [Okavango Delta]
? – Zambia [Vic Falls, Zambezi NtlPrk]
? – Malawi [Lake Malawi]
? – Mozambique
? – Tanzania [Ngorongoro Crater, Kili, Zanzibar, Serengeti (may skip and just go to Masai Mara) ]
? – Rwanda [Mnt Gorilla’s]
? – Kenya [Masai Mara, Nairobi – fly out]

Do you have any tips for Dan on his trip? He is planning to travel on his own mostly, although Ive recomended going on an overland tour group for at least the Namibia, Botswana to Vic Falls part.

What should Dan not miss? What should Dan miss? And should he be taking a laptop along to blog his trip?

Biased Against Israel

A good article on bias against Israel.

...For the Israel-hating Left, Palestine has become a religious destination, not a political question; a world of fallen and risen angels, in which facts conform to molds and evidence yields to faith. At some point, however, it will become increasingly difficult to bridge the chasm between their faith and their values. If they're not careful, it is a chasm into which they will, eventually, fall.

Tuesday, September 14

Ashok in Uganda

Unganisha posts on his visit to Uganda. Have I said that he goes to all the interesting places?


Heh! Cool!

Lets hope my wife doesnt find out! (via Mshairi)

Welcome Them

I’ve been dreaming about a country that represent the best of Africa. Where Africans and the rest of the world dream to live and are welcomed when they come. It’s almost like South Africa, just slightly different. Its a South Africa where there is no control over who wants to live here and who does not.

It is a dream that seems almost impossible to imagine. Open the Gates? Let everyone who wants to come in? I’ve been told it is madness. That I’m a fool. We'll be flooded with people before the end of the decade! 200 hundred million Africans will stream to South Africa! Crime will rocket to levels even we cant imagine! South Africa will be a French speaking country in the next generation! (Now that’s scary!)

Xenophobia. Plain and simple.

If a person feels strongly enough and has hope that his future will be better in South Africa, why should we not welcome them? These are the people that make a community strong. The people with the drive to make this country even greater. Keep them out? Why? To protect the jobs that we don’t have? To stop the crime we cant control? To protect cultures that have already survived centuries of conflict? Fluff! Not that we can stop them coming anyway. There are millions of people living and working in South Africa illegally. These are the people that will not be stopped.

There are good reasons to let them come. Economics isn’t a zero sum game. If there is a winner it doesn’t imply that there is should be a loser. Immigrants bring drive and zest to a country. They create work, they create riches, they create solutions and finally their success makes us all more successful. South Africa at its heart is an immigrant country. We all arrived late to the party (some later than others granted). And like all immigrant countries we are stronger for it. Immigrants can create the wealth that we are going to need to achieve our dreams.

200 million people in South Africa? Is that likely? No. Most people wont immigrate. Most people will stay where they are, because rather the evil you know than the evil you don’t. Immigrants are a rare breed. If the borders are opened there will be no line of people up to Dar Es Salaam waiting to get in. (Refugees are another story entirely. But refugees should be welcomed in any case, and they hope to return some day).

Crime? Are immigrants automatically criminals? Of course not. Immigrants become criminals when society refuses to let them integrate with their new society. When society makes it illegal for them to work. Laws that force them to become criminals cause crime. Not that their are not plenty of criminals among immigrants, but their are plenty of criminals among any group of people. Our current system only makes it more likely that immigrants will become criminals.

Our laws currently are only making the success of the people that have decided they will come here less likely, and their lives more miserable. Our actions are self-defeating. The streets of my community are filled with the failures of our society. The people that have no hope and have no reason for hope. Next to these people are the young people from Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, Cameroon and Sudan. They are here illegally. Many of them have suffered to be here. The difference is the hope in their eyes and the spring in their step. They are alive and they are going somewhere, and if anyone can help the people who has lost their hope it is these people.

Fear them? We should celebrate that they want to come.

The Horror

The Sunday Times runs this story at the top of its web page.

African Parliament to cost SA R61m
Hosting the Pan African Parliament (PAP) would cost South Africa R61 million for the first year, the Foreign Affairs Department said. Of the total, R18 million would go towards the institution's temporary accommodation as well as the construction of a more permanent building and offices at Gallagher Estate in Midrand...

I know. I know. The Costs! Horror! Its almost a cliche in South Africa that whenever the government organizes something the press is going to run a story on its costs. I think its diplomacy on the cheap. R61 million? Bargain. I'll take two of those!

If South Africa is going to take its rightful place in Africa, were going to have to pay our way. Given our situation in comparison to the rest of Africa that's going to mean that we should be paying a lot more than any other African country for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 8

Security Consultant

South African security consultant photoblogs his stay in Iraq (via Fifteen Minutes).

Tuesday, September 7

Death Cult

In response to a post at Fifteen Minutes, Opinion by David Brooks in the New York Times:

They're still victims of the delusion that Paul Berman diagnosed after Sept. 11: "It was the belief that, in the modern world, even the enemies of reason cannot be the enemies of reason. Even the unreasonable must be, in some fashion, reasonable."

This death cult has no reason and is beyond negotiation. This is what makes it so frightening. This is what causes so many to engage in a sort of mental diversion. They don't want to confront this horror. So they rush off in search of more comprehensible things to hate.

Blaming Muslims and Islam for the horror is easy. The real blame lies at the feet of the people who profit from this carnage. These are the terrorist leaders who live in luxury while they send children to blow themselves up. These are the demented Saudis and their 10th century society that lets girls burn in their school rather than let them be seen by men while they make brothels rich all over the world. Its the clerics in Iran that wish to see the west divided and in chaos. Its the Syrian Baathist trying to hold on to power and its the Muslim clerics all across the world who are paid to preach hate instead of Islam.

There is only one solution. Their wish must be granted.

Wednesday, September 1

Nothing less than Propaganda

The SA press continues to misrepresent the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. To call it bias would be a joke. The reporting can only be described as Palestinian propaganda. The latest "news" is the two suicide bombers that killed 16 people and injured more than a hundred. Were gleefully informed that:

It had been almost six months since that scene last played itself out.

Israelis were jerked back into reality on Tuesday when Palestinian suicide bombers blew up two buses in Beersheba, killing at least 16 passengers.

It was the first suicide attack since March 14, when 11 people were killed at the port of Ashdod.

"Jerked back to reality"? I like that. Almost like a "hoozah!". Mission accomplished. Only its wrong;

Apr 17, 2004 - Border Policeman Sgt. Kfir Ohayon, 20, of Eilat was killed, three others wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up at the Erez Crossing. Hamas and Fatah claimed joint responsibility for the attack.
May 22, 2004 - A suicide bomber was killed when he detonated an explosive device at the Bekaot checkpoint in the northern Jordan Valley. The commander of the IDF checkpoint was lightly injured, as well as several Palestinians. The PFLP claimed responsibility for the attack.
July 11, 2004 - Sgt. Ma'ayan Na'im, 19, of Bat Yam, was killed and 33 wounded when a bomb exploded at a bus stop in downtown Tel Aviv at about 7 a.m. One person was critically wounded, four were moderately wounded, and the rest were lightly hurt.
Aug 11, 2004 - Two Palestinian bystanders were killed and 18 people were wounded, including six Border Policemen, when a bomb was detonated south of the Qalandiyah checkpoint at the northern entrance to Jerusalem

It also ignores the large number of attempted attacks that were not successful. See, the only attacks that count are those that actually kill Israeli civilians. Trying isn’t a crime. It’s only natural after all.

I first heard the report on SAFM. An Israeli journalist from Haaretz was interviewed and asked to describe the horror of the bombs. A Palestinian described as an MP was then given free reign to say they regret all violence but that Israel is responsible for the attack. SAFM decides too interpret this as she saying that they regret the attack. Not even close, but then they think were so stupid they need to explain what she said anyway.

Why is the news being spun to make us believe that this is the first attack in 6 months and now suddenly the pressure is back on? It’s because of the wall that is being built of course. It works. Were supposed to believe that there have been no attacks because the terrorists haven’t been trying, not because the wall works.

The terrorists haven’t stopped trying. They are just not succeeding. But after months of trying, the terrorists have their big success. They can now sit back and have their sycophants around the world spin the story that "The Wall" not only creates an "Apartheid barrier" and it doesn’t even work! It’s of no consequence except to oppress the Palestinians. That they can strike whenever they want to, to jerk those Israelis back the reality that they're all going to die if they don’t surrender.

It also makes Sharon’s job much harder of course. Sharon looks set to "unilaterally" withdraw all the settlers from the west bank. This will completely isolate the terrorists, give the Palestinians what they've been asking for and completely ruin a perfect situation for Arafat, Hamas and their ilk. An Israel withdrawn behind a defensive wall creates a situation where only good governance can help the Palestinians, and mass murdering dictators don’t do "good governance".