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AfricaPundit's Regional Briefing: 2004-07-14

| 7 Comments | 1 TrackBack

Winds of Change.NET Regional Briefings run on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, and sometimes Fridays too. This Regional Briefing focuses on Africa, courtesy of AfricaPundit.


  • After each new genocide, the refrain of "Never Again" is repeated once more. Now genocide is happening again in Sudan. Initially ignored, the genocide launched by the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur has gotten more attention this month, thanks in part to a high-profile visit from Secretary of State Powell. I've linked to some blogosphere commentary below.
  • The Africa Union summit was held July 6-8 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Issues discussed included the ongoing violence in Congo and Sudan and the current crisis in Zimbabwe. Mostly Africa has a complete roundup. You can start here and follow the links at the bottom of the page.

Other Topics Today Include: More news and commentary on Darfur crisis; Zimbabwe press crackdown; Terror ties for Comrade Bob?; Uganda update; Final word on DDT.

Darfur: Background and Commentary

  • The Darfur genocide seems particularly disturbing due to the fact that it's actually the second genocide engineered by Bashir and Company. Nina Shea reviews the Sudanese government's pattern of behavior and makes some suggestions for what should be done.
  • Conrad, guest-blogging over at Head Heeb, has some thoughts about Sudan, slavery, and the root causes of Sudan's civil wars.
  • Meanwhile, Ethan Zuckerman fears that it may already be too late to save thousands (or millions?) of Sudanese.

Darfur: Powell's Visit

  • The Wall Street Journal published a lengthy editorial on Powell’s visit to Darfur, U.S. hegemony, and the role of the UN.

Darfur: News and Roundups

  • Jonathan Edelstein noted reports in June that Sudanese militias were recruiting Chadian Arab rebels to take part in the Darfur violence, raising fears that Chad could eventually be drawn into the conflict.
  • The French, erstwhile defenders of Saddam's dictatorship, are now opposing sanctions against Sudan. Abiola asks: "Is there any tyranny the French aren't willing to kiss up to for selfish national reasons, any bloodletting they aren't willing to overlook for the sake of "la gloire"?"
  • Gary Farber has regular Darfur updates (with links galore!) on Winds of Change; see here, here, here, and here.
  • Mostly Africa posts a roundup of Darfur-related news, noting that Libya may become a conduit for humanitarian relief.

Darfur: Useful Blogs


  • Comrade Mugabe continues his crackdown on the press, now targeting stringers for foreign media. As always, Head Heeb has the story.
  • Andrew at Southern Cross noticed that South Africa's freshly re-elected Thabo Mbeki has launched a new initiative to promote democracy, transparency, and responsible government in Africa.... Oh, wait; that's not right. Mbeki actually is trying to strengthen political ties between his ANC party and Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF. That Mbeki has a funny way of picking his friends.
  • Is there a link between al Qaeda and Zimbabwe? And does the South African government know about it? I'd like to know if there's anything more to this story.


  • A Ugandan court has nullified the results of a 2000 referendum on the country's "no-party" political system. "President" Museveni has rejected the ruling, saying that it usurps the people's power.
  • It seems that the President has just usurped the court's power.
  • After playing dictator at home, Museveni went abroad as a dynamic, progressive leader, touting the success of his AIDS prevention program at an AIDS conference in Thailand.
  • In more disturbing news, a Ugandan parliamentary committee reported that 8000 children were abducted in the past 12 months by the Lord's Resistance Army terrorist group.

Final Thought

  • Pro-DDT activists sometimes ask rhetorically if the lives of mosquitoes are more valuable than the lives of humans. Apparently the answer, for some environmentalists, is a most emphatic YES!

1 TrackBack

Tracked: July 14, 2004 4:05 PM
Africa Briefing from the Greater Nomadic Council
Excerpt: Get the latest news on what's happening in that most neglected of continents, Africa, here in Winds of Changes's latest briefing. There's a heavy dose of information about the situation in Darfur, as well as some news about other nations....


I think you misundertood.
When you think you are hearing

"Never Again" from some parts of Europe
what they are REALLY saying
is most likely

"Neville again"

I think you're missing Ethiopia.

Ethnic cleansing, too.

The new line on DDT is that the mosquitoes developed resistance, and that its use was declining even before the ban.

If anyone knows of a good discussion of this issue I would love to see it.

Probably the best and most objective work on malaria has been done by Jeffrey Sachs. There's a host of propaganda on both sides of this issue, so stick to Sachs and you'll be okay.

there is lots going on overnight in regard to the Sudan genocide. Congress is finally stepping up to define the situation properly, as (apparently) the administration wants. Once Darfur is defined as a genocide, action will need to be taken under the Genocide Convention. For those who are interested, a small group of us have a blog on the situation in Sudan, at

best, Jim

The new line on DDT is that the mosquitoes developed resistance, and that its use was declining even before the ban.

If anyone knows of a good discussion of this issue I would love to see it.

#24454 Posted by praktike on July 14, 2004 05:56 PM
Try or this site

Here's some info from James Hogan's site.
MY favourite it the "Yes mice feed DDT
developed cancer,but the mice NOT fed
DDT got even more cancers???"


In the days of the Aztec empire, priests convinced the people that severe weather changes and losses of crops and livestock could be prevented by ritual human sacrifice. One of the biggest human sacrifices of modern times is the estimated 100 million deaths a year caused by malaria, almost exclusively in tropical regions, mainly of children (30% of childhood deaths in Africa). Yet in 1945, after the introduction of DDT, the eradication of malaria was seen as an achievable goal, and by 1969 was achieved in 36 of 143 countries. In 1963, the number of new cases reported in Sri Lanka was down to 17, only to rise back to 2.5 million in 1968-69 after the U.S.- initiated ban on DDT was adopted. It is now reported that the world's elites are contemplating a total ban on DDT.

An article by Dr. J. Gordon Edwards, professor of entomology at San Jose State University, CA, refutes the major myths circulated at the time of the ban in 1972 and still widely accepted today. "Remembering Silent Spring and Its Consequences," available from the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness archives at, presented at the DDP annual meeting 1996. , Audio and image files available on CD-ROM, $5 postpaid, DDP, 1601 N. Tucson Ave., Suite 6, Tucson, AZ 85716, Tel: 520-325-2680


DDT kills birds.
Just not so. Bird counts in 1960, after almost 20 years DDT use , vs. 1941 showed 12 times more robins, 21 times more cowbirds, 38 times more blackbirds, etc. The effects could actually be beneficial, e.g. by increasing plant yields resulting in more food and protective cover, and reduction of mosquito-borne bird diseases.

DDT causes eggshell thinning.
Shown to be due to zealous "scientists" exposing DDT-fed birds to agents known to result in thinner eggshells to achieve the desired result, such as lower illumination, water deprivation, and reduced calcium diets. Experiments since repeated with control and test groups treated identically show no thinning.

DDT undergoes "biological magnification" in food chains.
To "prove" this, propagandists selected figures for DDT concentrations found in hawk brains, where they are highest, fish muscle, where it is lowest, and duck fat, which is intermediate. Comparison of muscle tissue from crustaceans, fish, duck hawk shows no magnification.

DDT persists in the environment
Dr. Edwards cites more than 140 articles demonstrating breakdown. Many of the myths arose from contamination of the samples from substances contained in tubes and measuring apparatus, never retracted. One GLC result showed five kinds of chlorinated hydrocarbon insecticides present in soil samples, although none existed until 30 years after the samples were sealed.

DDT causes cancer
A much-quoted item in Science from testimony at the pre-ban hearings stated that DDT-fed mice developed cancer. This was true. It was also true, however, that mice that were not fed DDT developed more cancers (83 vs. 68). This omission was never clarified. Laboratory mice tend to be cancer prone. Workers at the Montrose Chemical Company absorbed 400 times as much DDT as the average American, yet 1300 man-years of exposure resulted in not one reported case of cancer.

The scientific committee that evaluated the 9,000 pages of testimony declared DDT to be one of the most beneficial chemicals ever produced and were unanimous in finding no case for banning it. But the EPA secretary at the time did not attend the hearings and admitted to not even reading the summary findings because the decision to ban DDT had already been taken for political reasons, whatever the evidence said.

A comprehensive coverage of the bad science and political shenanigans surrounding the issue is given in George Claus and Karen Bolander's 1977, Ecological Sanity (David McKay & Co., NY 592 pp., ISBN 0-679-50388-9). As far as I know, this book is no longer in print. I tracked a copy down in a used book store in New Jersey. Silent Spring, the popular treatment of the subject that started the bandwagon rolling and contains the untruths listed above, is still available and reprinted regularly, of course.

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