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Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"

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  • bobutne
    I strongly believe that President Bongo is a great leader.. Please explain why you strongly believe President Omar Bongo is a great leader. ... think ...
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 26, 2003
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      "I strongly believe that President Bongo is a great leader.."

      Please explain why you strongly believe President Omar Bongo is a
      great leader.





      --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, dupont3@j... wrote:
      > Ok, so you can now attack me, but it seems like you do not even
      think
      > about addressing the real issues at hand, other than to say
      that, "the
      > reality of life is not ideal." I am not attacking you personally
      but
      > exposing what I perceive to be your lack of knowledge about what is
      > really going on and throwing that back in your face everytime you
      spread
      > naive innuendo about Bongo as if getting rid of him will change
      the lives
      > of Gabonese for the better.
      > If you get off of your Bongo inquisition then maybe you will see
      the
      > light and actually make some attempts to address the real
      challenges that
      > the Gabonese people face.
      > Now on to your response which was equally naive:
      > 1. Iraq before the UN sanctions had no problem with lack of access
      to
      > healthcare or malnutrition of its people. Iraqis are a very
      intelligent
      > people
      > with some of the most capable medical professionals in the region.
      As an
      > oil rich trading nation they had no problem importing enough food
      for
      > their needs. That is until the UN choose to destroy their
      livelyhood for
      > the sake of what?
      > 2. Yes, Bill Gates made his money in the private sector, but he
      has also
      > paid off many a politician to the point where he was able to elude
      > federal anti-trust prosecution. Microsoft is still under
      prosecution by
      > the European Union and they have already stated that he will not
      get away
      > with them. Any Billions that he may have donated to charitable
      causes is
      > most surely covered by tax breaks and in no way cover up for the
      aspiring
      > companies and promising technologies that he has squashed on the
      way to
      > world domination.
      > 3.The Queen of England has no political power in England?
      Political power
      > lies in the support of the people and the Queen and the Monarchy
      enjoys
      > overwhelming support among the populace of the United Kingdom.The
      Queen
      > wields enormous power behind the scenes should she desire to use
      it.
      >
      > Sure I am assuming that my point is the best because I strongly
      believe
      > in what I am talking about. I strongly believe that President
      Bongo is a
      > great leader who succumbs to probably what every great leader in
      the
      > history of the world has succumbed to.The amassing of power and
      wealth.
      > I will take a great and capable leader who is amassing power and
      wealth
      > anytime over an intellectual lightweight playing with war toys
      like Bush
      > or a business tyrant like Bill Gates. I also respect you
      differences of
      > opinion and whatever cultural bias play a part in that. But lets
      get real
      > about the people causing the most damage to the the fabric of
      democracy
      > in this world and lets not turn our backs when "the chickens come
      home to
      > roost."
      >
      > Ciao,
      > dupont
      >
      >
      > On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 17:18:00 +0000 "C Yombi" <c_yombi@h...>
      > writes:
      > > The point is that you assume you know what everybody else is
      doing
      > > and
      > > thinking. Before getting on your soap box, may be you should
      find
      > > out about
      > > the people you are accusing of collusion. You don't know me or
      have
      > > any
      > > information about my personal beliefs. You have no idea how I
      voted
      > > in the
      > > last elections or even if I am a registered voter. You know
      nothing
      > > about my
      > > background or my lifestyle.
      > >
      > > You bash the UN but seem to glaze over reality of life in Gabon
      for
      > > the
      > > majority of the population. How many children die each day in
      Iraq
      > > because
      > > of malnutrition and lack of access to healthcare? How many NGOs
      deal
      > > with
      > > the everyday care of the world's population? The reality of life
      is
      > > not the
      > > ideal. Often, we must choose between the lesser of two evils.
      > >
      > > No one has disputed your points about the Bush administration.
      You
      > > bring up
      > > billionaires like Bill Gates. He has made his money in the
      private
      > > sector,
      > > and he has given BILLIONS away to help with research and
      development
      > > of
      > > needed vaccines and HIV medications in Africa and elsewhere. The
      > > Queen of
      > > England has no political power in Great Britain and the people
      > > choose to
      > > support the royal family monetarily. Bongo on the other hand is
      > > directly
      > > responsible, just like Bush, for the policies and corruption in
      his
      > > country.
      > >
      > > You assume your point is the best and leave no room for the off
      > > chance that
      > > you could be wrong. In the end everyone is entitled to their own
      > > opinions,
      > > but this should be a discussion forum and not a crusade to
      convert
      > > those to
      > > your view of the world. There is no single correct point of view
      on
      > > any
      > > issue. Our own cultural biases and upbringings play a part in
      our
      > > understanding and interactions with those that are different
      than
      > > us. This
      > > is very apparent with you.
      > >
      > > (And by the way, I used to live down the road from the crook's
      house
      > > - I
      > > know how he lives the one day a year he chooses to reside there.)
      > >
      > >
      > > >From: dupont3@j...
      > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"
      > > >Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 15:51:03 -0700
      > > >
      > > >Why are you so focused on this? Like I said before, we have the
      > > similar
      > > >stuff going on here in the US. Maybe you forgot how Bush became
      > > >President. Yet, maybe you even voted for Bush or support him
      still.
      > > In
      > > >Bongo's case it is good for Africa that he is still in power.
      > > Meanwhile
      > > >the Bush administration has been a disaster for the democratic
      > > process.
      > > >You seem to make a lot of fuss about Bongo's accounts but I
      will
      > > wager
      > > >that you do not blink an eye at the accounts of the many
      > > billionares in
      > > >America who are involved in shady business deals or the
      politicians
      > > who
      > > >are on the payroll of them. What hypocrisy! to point a finger
      at
      > > Bongo
      > > >and then indirectly benefit from all the shady crap going on in
      the
      > > US.
      > > >Speaking of the UN, we all know how much they are in the pocket
      of
      > > the US
      > > >and the trouble that is causing them around the world. The
      last
      > > time
      > > >that I checked, the US owed them billions of dollars in back
      dues.
      > > Also,
      > > >how many young kids were killed in Iraq because of UN
      sanctions?
      > > Did you
      > > >make any noise about that? Bongo needs as much money as he can
      get
      > > to
      > > >just put a word in for Gabon at the table of the corrupt
      Western
      > > leaders.
      > > >You seem brainwashed because you blindly follow those big
      crooks
      > > who have
      > > >you chasing down the wrong road, when you should be driving
      down
      > > the road
      > > >that leads to their house.
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >Ciao,
      > > >dupont
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 01:57:20 +0000 "C Yombi" <c_yombi@h...>
      > > >writes:
      > > > > May be it's just you who is brainwashed... Or may be people
      like
      > > the
      > > > > UN are
      > > > > just making it all up.....
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Vol 43 Number 25 - 20 December 2002
      > > > >
      > > > > Hear those drums
      > > > >
      > > > > For want of opposition, President Bongo can plan to rule
      until
      > > 2012
      > > > > After three decades at the head of one of Africa's worst
      managed
      > > and
      > > > > most
      > > > > corrupt oil economies, President Omar Bongo might well
      expect
      > > some
      > > > > political
      > > > > trouble. Quite the opposite. His ruling Parti Démocratique
      > > Gabonais
      > > > > (PDG)
      > > > > will sweep the board in the local elections on 29 December
      and
      > > Bongo
      > > > > (health
      > > > > permitting) could win yet another seven-year presidential
      term
      > > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > election due in 2005. The oppositionists of the early 1990s
      have
      > > > > been
      > > > > exiled, crushed or coopted.
      > > > >
      > > > > Gabonese have lost interest in the perennially rigged
      elections.
      > > > > Turnout at
      > > > > the legislative polls last December was under 20 per cent
      and
      > > may be
      > > > > lower
      > > > > still in the local polls. Electoral registers have been
      doctored
      > > > > down to
      > > > > 523,000: there were 775,000 names on the lists for the 2001
      > > > > elections. Many
      > > > > nominal political opponents are in Bongo's pay, the rest are
      > > divided
      > > > > and
      > > > > lack national support. For wealthy Gabonese, elections are a
      > > > > patronage
      > > > > competition which shares out jobs and resources from 250,000
      > > barrels
      > > > > of oil
      > > > > a day, plus smaller timber and manganese exports.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > >
      > >------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      > -
      > > >-------
      > > > >
      > > > > Vol 42 Number 16 - 10 August 2001
      > > > >
      > > > > Hey big spender
      > > > >
      > > > > The fuss over how President El Hadj Omar Bongo came to
      deposit
      > > over
      > > > > US$180
      > > > > million in three private Citibank accounts in New York won't
      go
      > > > > away. First
      > > > > raised in United States Senate hearings in November 1999, it
      is
      > > now
      > > > > the
      > > > > subject of an embarrassing law suit against Bongo in the US
      > > Federal
      > > > > Court,
      > > > > Washington. Bongo's lawyers are trying to establish
      diplomatic
      > > > > immunity for
      > > > > him as a serving head of a state recognised by the US
      > > government.
      > > > > And with
      > > > > another US legal suit from a scrap metal company pending,
      > > Bongo's
      > > > > big-spending habits Stateside ­ he bought four Boeing
      passenger
      > > jets
      > > > > in June
      > > > > ­ won't win him any respite from his legal adversaries there.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > >
      > >------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      > -
      > > >-------
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > >
      > >------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      > -
      > > >-------
      > > > >
      > > > > Vol 40 Number 22 - 05 November 1999
      > > > >
      > > > > Digging deeper holes
      > > > >
      > > > > A massive hole in Gabon's public finances - some say of more
      > > than
      > > > > US$350
      > > > > million - is at the heart of its growing financial and
      political
      > > > > crisis. By
      > > > > the end of last year, arrears to foreign creditors were
      > > estimated at
      > > > > 160
      > > > > billion CFA francs ($256.4 mn.) - and have probably doubled
      this
      > > > > year.
      > > > > President Omar Bongo's government also has arrears of CFA
      100
      > > bn. to
      > > > > local
      > > > > banks. With an oil-fired GNP per head of $4,000, Gabon is
      one of
      > > > > Africa's
      > > > > wealthiest states. Yet most people live in poverty and a
      damning
      > > new
      > > > > report
      > > > > from the United Nations Development Programme says social
      > > services
      > > > > are
      > > > > collapsing. Tracing the missing $350 mn. preoccupies both
      > > foreign
      > > > > creditors
      > > > > and Gabonese who worry about government corruption and
      > > > > mismanagement. And
      > > > > President Bongo is no longer able to rely on Paris nor
      > > Washington to
      > > > > block
      > > > > exposure of murky areas in his government. He tried
      everything,
      > > > > including a
      > > > > personal call to French President Jacques Chirac, to stifle
      the
      > > > > inquiry by
      > > > > magistrate Eva Joly into Elf-Aquitaine's unorthodox financing
      > > > > operations.
      > > > >
      > > > > This focussed on Bongo's relationship with André Tarallo,
      > > > > Elf-Gabon's
      > > > > disgraced and ousted Président-Directeur Général. Late last
      > > month,
      > > > > Joly's
      > > > > inquiries moved on when a Swiss magistrate, Paul Parraudin,
      > > produced
      > > > > bank
      > > > > records showing that over 600 mn. French francs ($97 mn.)
      had
      > > been
      > > > > channelled through Tarallo's Swiss account from the Gabonese
      > > > > presidency.
      > > > > Back home, after a year of strikes, demonstrations and the
      > > payments
      > > > > crisis,
      > > > > Bongo's government needs a new deal with the International
      > > Monetary
      > > > > Fund.
      > > > > Last year, the Fund suspended its Extended Financing
      Facility
      > > for
      > > > > several
      > > > > reasons, including 'lack of transparency in public finance'
      > > > > (Fundspeak for
      > > > > corruption). Libreville's negotiating team is led by
      respected
      > > > > Finance
      > > > > Minister Emile Doumba, who has been trying, with limited
      > > success, to
      > > > >
      > > > > persuade his ministerial colleagues and the presidency to
      > > implement
      > > > > an
      > > > > IMF-inspired austerity programme.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > >
      > >------------------------------------------------------------------
      ------
      > -
      > >
      > >------------------------------------------------------------------
      -----F
      > r
      > > >eedom
      > > > >
      > > > > in the World 1998-99: Gabon
      > > > > Freedom House Survey 1999
      > > > > Economy: Capitalist (highly corrupt)
      > > > > Population: 1,200,000
      > > > > PPP: $3,766
      > > > > Life Expectancy: 54
      > > > > Ethnic Groups: Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke, other Bantu,
      > > other
      > > > > Africans,
      > > > > Europeans
      > > > > Polity: Dominant party
      > > > > Capital: Libreville
      > > > > Political Rights: 5
      > > > > Civil Liberties: 4
      > > > > Status: Partly Free
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Overview
      > > > > In December, President Omar Bongo was returned to office for
      a
      > > > > seven-year
      > > > > term. The polling, which was partially boycotted by the
      > > opposition,
      > > > > was
      > > > > marked by serious irregularities. The nominally independent
      > > National
      > > > >
      > > > > Election Commission, which was created under the new
      > > constitution
      > > > > approved
      > > > > by referendum in 1995, proved neither autonomous nor
      competent.
      > > > > Behind a
      > > > > facade of democratic institutions, Bongo used patronage,
      > > > > manipulation, and
      > > > > intimidation to retain power. In Libreville in May, student
      > > riots
      > > > > prompted
      > > > > by deteriorating economic conditions were quickly
      suppressed. At
      > > > > least ten
      > > > > students were seriously hurt. Three decades of autocratic
      rule
      > > have
      > > > > made
      > > > > Bongo among the world's richest men and left the vast
      majority
      > > of
      > > > > oil-rich
      > > > > Gabon's 1.4 million people mired in poverty. Bongo is
      strongly
      > > > > backed by the
      > > > > army and by France. The highly profitable French ELF oil
      company
      > > > > plays a
      > > > > dominant role in the country's economic and political life.
      > > > >
      > > > > Straddling the equator on central Africa's west coast, Gabon
      > > gained
      > > > > independence from France in 1960. Bongo, whom France raised
      from
      > > > > soldier to
      > > > > president in 1967, completed his predecessor's consolidation
      of
      > > > > power by
      > > > > officially outlawing the opposition. France, which maintains
      600
      > > > > marines in
      > > > > Gabon, has intervened twice to preserve Bongo's regime. In
      1990,
      > > > > protests
      > > > > prompted by economic duress forced Bongo to accept a
      conference
      > > that
      > > > >
      > > > > opposition leaders hoped would promote a peaceful democratic
      > > > > transition.
      > > > > Bongo retained power, however, in rigged 1993 elections that
      > > sparked
      > > > > violent
      > > > > protests and repression led by his Presidential Guard. The
      1994
      > > > > Paris
      > > > > Accords claimed to institute true democratic reforms.
      Municipal
      > > > > elections in
      > > > > 1996 saw major opposition gains, including the election of
      Paul
      > > Mba
      > > > > Abbesole, the leader of the largest opposition party, as
      mayor
      > > of
      > > > > Libreville. Legislative polls delayed by decree until
      December
      > > 1996
      > > > > were
      > > > > again beset by fraud as Bongo's Gabon Democratic Party won an
      > > > > overwhelming,
      > > > > but unconvincing victory.
      > > > >
      > > > > Political Rights and Civil Liberties
      > > > > Despite a gradual political opening since 1990, Gabon's
      citizens
      > > > > have never
      > > > > been able to exercise their constitutional right to change
      their
      > > > > government
      > > > > democratically. Bongo's 1998 electoral victory with 61
      percent
      > > of
      > > > > the vote
      > > > > followed a campaign that made profligate use of state
      resources
      > > and
      > > > > state
      > > > > media to promote his incumbency. Legislative elections have
      also
      > > > > been
      > > > > seriously flawed.
      > > > >
      > > > > State institutions are influenced or controlled by Bongo and
      a
      > > small
      > > > > elite
      > > > > around him. The judiciary suffers from political
      interference.
      > > > > Rights to
      > > > > legal counsel and public criminal trials are generally
      > > respected,
      > > > > but the
      > > > > law presumes guilt. Judges may deliver summary verdicts, and
      > > torture
      > > > > remains
      > > > > a standard route to produce confessions. Prison conditions
      are
      > > > > marked by
      > > > > beatings and insufficient food, water, and medical care. The
      > > > > government
      > > > > often detains refugees without charge, and there are reports
      of
      > > > > forced labor
      > > > > by detainees. Rights of assembly and association are
      > > > > constitutionally
      > > > > guaranteed, but permits required for public gatherings are
      > > sometimes
      > > > >
      > > > > refused. Freedom to form and join political parties is
      generally
      > > > > respected,
      > > > > but civil servants may face harassment based on their
      > > associations.
      > > > > Nongovernmental organizations operate openly, although the
      > > Gabonese
      > > > > League
      > > > > of Human Rights has reported threats and harassment.
      > > > >
      > > > > A government daily and approximately one dozen private
      weeklies,
      > > > > which are
      > > > > primarily controlled by opposition parties, are published.
      The
      > > > > government
      > > > > overwhelmingly dominates the broadcast media, which reach a
      far
      > > > > larger
      > > > > audience. Only a few private broadcasters have been
      licensed,
      > > and
      > > > > their
      > > > > viability is tenuous. A 1998 crackdown on private media has
      > > raised
      > > > > serious
      > > > > concerns for free expression. In February, Radio Soleil,
      which
      > > was
      > > > > associated with the main Bucherons opposition party, was
      closed.
      > > In
      > > > > January,
      > > > > a cartoonist was sentenced to six months imprisonment for
      > > lampooning
      > > > > Bongo.
      > > > > Publication of his newspaper was suspended for one month. The
      > > > > president of
      > > > > the journalists' union was jailed for eight months. In
      August,
      > > the
      > > > > opposition newspaper La Griffe was closed, and three of its
      > > staff
      > > > > received
      > > > > eight-month suspended sentences after publishing allegations
      of
      > > > > ivory
      > > > > smuggling by the national airline. Soldiers raided La Griffe
      > > offices
      > > > > and
      > > > > seized equipment. Foreign newspapers, magazines, and
      broadcasts
      > > are
      > > > > usually
      > > > > widely available, but editions criticizing Bongo have been
      > > seized.
      > > > >
      > > > > Most of the small formal sector work force is unionized,
      > > although
      > > > > unions
      > > > > must register with the government in order to be officially
      > > > > recognized.
      > > > > Despite legal protections, the government has taken action
      > > against
      > > > > numerous
      > > > > strikers and unions and used force to suppress illegal
      > > > > demonstrations. While
      > > > > no legal restrictions on travel exist, harassment on
      political
      > > and
      > > > > ethnic
      > > > > bases has been reported. Religious freedom is
      constitutionally
      > > > > guaranteed
      > > > > and respected. An official ban on Jehovah's Witnesses is not
      > > > > enforced.
      > > > >
      > > > > Legal protections for women include equal access laws for
      > > education,
      > > > >
      > > > > business, and investment. In addition to owning property and
      > > > > businesses,
      > > > > women constitute more than 50 percent of the salaried
      workforce
      > > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > health and trade sectors. At the same time, there are only
      six
      > > women
      > > > > in the
      > > > > 120-member National Assembly and one woman in the cabinet.
      Women
      > > > > continue to
      > > > > face legal and cultural discrimination, particularly in
      rural
      > > areas,
      > > > > and are
      > > > > reportedly subject to widespread domestic violence.
      > > > >
      > > > > Little wealth from Gabon's oil revenues reaches the broad
      > > populace,
      > > > > most of
      > > > > which is engaged in subsistence farming. Corruption is
      endemic.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
      > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"
      > > > > >Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 20:18:18 -0700
      > > > > >
      > > > > >Whoever would say that the Gabonese are worse off now than
      > > > > independence
      > > > > >must be brainwashed or does not know a damm thing about how
      it
      > > was
      > > > > like
      > > > > >to reorganize institutions after a being under a colonial
      > > power.
      > > > > Also,
      > > > > >what a disrespect to all the people who worked hard for an
      > > > > independent
      > > > > >and for 40 yrs. stable Gabon.
      > > > > >To go on criticizing the government without coming up with
      any
      > > > > >convincing alternative ideas other than conspiracy theories
      and
      > > > > rumour is
      > > > > >with all due respect, disingenuous and insensitive
      poppycock.
      > > > > >
      > > > > >Ciao,
      > > > > >dupont
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >
      > > > > >On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 20:31:32 +0000 "C Yombi"
      > > <c_yombi@h...>
      > > > > >writes:
      > > > > > > Obvious point - Bongo has had almost 40 yrs to make a
      > > difference
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > Gabonese are worse off now than at independence - bad
      track
      > > > > record.
      > > > > > > If you
      > > > > > > think elections were fair and square then you do not
      agree
      > > with
      > > > > > > independent
      > > > > > > election observers form around the world. In the end, it
      is >
      > not
      > > > > what
      > > > > > > I want
      > > > > > > for Gabon - but what the GABONESE want for themselves -
      my
      > > > > husband
      > > > > > > included
      > > > > > > who is from Gabon.
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
      > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"
      > > > > > > >Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 12:59:19 -0700
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >Yes, I have seen how the some Gabonese people live. I
      have
      > > been
      > > > > to
      > > > > > > poorly
      > > > > > > >supplied hospitals and schools. I have seen what you
      > > consider
      > > > > to be
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > >obvious hypocrisy.
      > > > > > > >But I know that here in America the lifestyle of many
      poor
      > > > > people
      > > > > > > is no
      > > > > > > >different. It is just on a different scale. Most poor
      > > people
      > > > > here
      > > > > > > in the
      > > > > > > >US do not have health insurance. While rich people
      spend
      > > money
      > > > > > > lavishly
      > > > > > > >in the midst of a lot of pain and suffering. Homeless
      > > people
      > > > > abound
      > > > > > > on
      > > > > > > >the streets and our political system although 2 party,
      > > > > > > disenfranchises
      > > > > > > >many potentially great opponents. It is like. "been
      there
      > > done
      > > > > > > that" when
      > > > > > > >you try to focus on that type of stuff when talking
      about a
      > > > > > > nations
      > > > > > > >development in a capitalist system. Maybe a socialist
      > > system
      > > > > like
      > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > >Cuba would better achieve what you want in Gabon.
      > > > > > > >I think that a healthy dose of idealism is what it
      takes to
      > > > > jump
      > > > > > > start
      > > > > > > >any successful capitalist economy. There is nothing
      wrong
      > > with
      > > > > a
      > > > > > > healthy
      > > > > > > >dose of idealism, in fact, one can argue that
      idealistic
      > > values
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > >foundations of a healthy democracy. The hard part is
      > > getting
      > > > > people
      > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > >believe in the face of the harsh realities of
      capitalism.
      > > > > > > >Now to say that a majority of people do not support
      > > President
      > > > > Bongo
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > >not true. He has won elections fair and square, for
      all
      > > > > that's
      > > > > > > worth
      > > > > > > >and beyond that is the most capable person for the job.
      The
      > > man
      > > > > is
      > > > > > > a
      > > > > > > >national treasure! Why would you want him out?
      > > > > > > >If you can not work with leaders like President Bongo
      then
      > > you
      > > > > are
      > > > > > > not
      > > > > > > >being realistic about facing the challenges of such
      > > > > underdeveloped
      > > > > > > >nations in Africa.You might be afraid to deal with the
      hard
      > > > > issues
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > >instead choose to focus on the stuff that makes good
      soap
      > > > > opera.
      > > > > > > >I say lets look at the big picture when it comes to
      world
      > > > > poverty.
      > > > > > > Step
      > > > > > > >back and look at this picture and you will see that the
      > > > > difference
      > > > > > > points
      > > > > > > >to the policies of the so-called first world nations
      and
      > > not
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > of a
      > > > > > > >few seemingly wealthy(and well meaning) leaders who are
      > > still
      > > > > poor
      > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > >comparison.
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >Ciao,
      > > > > > > >dupont
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > >On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 19:36:16 +0000 "C Yombi"
      > > > > <c_yombi@h...>
      > > > > > > >writes:
      > > > > > > > > With all due respect,
      > > > > > > > > You have visited Gabon but have you lived on the
      > > people's
      > > > > > > level?
      > > > > > > > > Have you
      > > > > > > > > seen all of the largess that Bongo has spread to only
      > > > > > > his"friends"?
      > > > > > > > > Have you
      > > > > > > > > seen the prisons and the schools? Have you seen all
      of
      > > the
      > > > > > > obvious
      > > > > > > > > hypocrisy? Do you realize that Bongo only repaired
      the
      > > > > national
      > > > > > > > > train
      > > > > > > > > service so he could send his fleet of expensive cars
      to
      > > > > > > Franceville
      > > > > > > > > for his
      > > > > > > > > annual vacation? How many Gabonese can take a
      vacation
      > > to
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > capital
      > > > > > > > > annually? Any nation that has to rely on Peace Corps
      to
      > > > > > > distribute
      > > > > > > > > condoms
      > > > > > > > > while trucks get to every corner distributing soft
      > > drinks
      > > > > has a
      > > > > > > > > problem and
      > > > > > > > > it starts with the government.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Also, when a majority of the population does not
      support
      > > the
      > > > > > > > > president and
      > > > > > > > > had little or no voice to change this, is this a
      great
      > > > > > > democracy?
      > > > > > > > > Another
      > > > > > > > > principle of the United State's founding fathers was
      > > freedom
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > choice. Have
      > > > > > > > > you ever heard of Neo-colonialism?
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > How can individuals work toward supporting their
      > > governments
      > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > country if
      > > > > > > > > the government is taking food out of their mouths and
      > > > > spending
      > > > > > > it on
      > > > > > > > > lavish
      > > > > > > > > trips to Paris? Have you been to rural health
      clinics
      > > where
      > > > > > > women
      > > > > > > > > struggle
      > > > > > > > > to keep their children healthy or talked to primary
      > > school
      > > > > > > students
      > > > > > > > > who have
      > > > > > > > > no teachers? May be a less idealistic and more
      realistic
      > > > > > > approach to
      > > > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > reality of one party governments in Africa would be
      a
      > > better
      > > > > > > > > approach.
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > Carol
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
      > > > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on
      > > Terrorism"
      > > > > > > > > >Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 10:05:13 -0700
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >Well , with all due respect, I think that
      concentrating
      > > on
      > > > > > > Bongo's
      > > > > > > > > bank
      > > > > > > > > >account will get you nowhere.
      > > > > > > > > >Ever thought about working with the President to
      solve
      > > some
      > > > > of
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > >nations problems?
      > > > > > > > > >Here in America we have many of the same problems
      and
      > > this
      > > > > is
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > >wealthiest country in the world!
      > > > > > > > > >We have an epidemic of homeless people, decaying
      > > schools
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > inner
      > > > > > > > > cities
      > > > > > > > > >and a railroad(Amtrak) that cannot get its thing
      > > together.
      > > > > We
      > > > > > > are
      > > > > > > > > >spending 4 Billion dollars a month in Iraq at a
      time
      > > when
      > > > > our
      > > > > > > > > schools
      > > > > > > > > >need books.
      > > > > > > > > >I would also like to ask how is it that having
      > > President
      > > > > Bongo
      > > > > > > step
      > > > > > > > > down
      > > > > > > > > >be good for Gabon or change the current situation
      for
      > > the
      > > > > > > better?
      > > > > > > > > >I have been to Gabon and it seems like the country
      is
      > > > > dependent
      > > > > > > on
      > > > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > >French for many things. If the French were to leave
      > > would
      > > > > it
      > > > > > > make
      > > > > > > > > >anything better? I think not, it would not make
      > > anything
      > > > > > > better
      > > > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > >getting rid of President Bongo would probably
      > > destabilize
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > country and
      > > > > > > > > >the region has the resulting power grab would be
      like
      > > going
      > > > > > > back in
      > > > > > > > > time.
      > > > > > > > > >I think that it is a shame that many Africans seem
      to
      > > think
      > > > > > > more
      > > > > > > > > about
      > > > > > > > > >fighting for power than the issues important for
      > > developing
      > > > > > > their
      > > > > > > > > >country.
      > > > > > > > > >It is time to look beyond forced power sharing as a
      > > > > solution.
      > > > > > > In
      > > > > > > > > Gabon
      > > > > > > > > >each citizen must first make an effort to support
      the
      > > > > state.
      > > > > > > Only
      > > > > > > > > then
      > > > > > > > > >will you find the necessary energy to tackle major
      > > > > issues.The
      > > > > > > > > founding
      > > > > > > > > >fathers of the US went by a decree "United We Stand
      > > Divided
      > > > > We
      > > > > > > > > Fall"
      > > > > > > > > >Every nation that aspires to economic success must
      > > first
      > > > > find
      > > > > > > a
      > > > > > > > > common
      > > > > > > > > >ground to stand on.
      > > > > > > > > >The Gabonese are a beautiful and special people and
      > > sure,
      > > > > there
      > > > > > > are
      > > > > > > > > many
      > > > > > > > > >who disagree with the President. But there are also
      > > many
      > > > > who
      > > > > > > do
      > > > > > > > > not
      > > > > > > > > >understand what a great leader that they have in
      Bongo.
      > > > > Many
      > > > > > > who do
      > > > > > > > > not
      > > > > > > > > >understand the complete geopolitical challenge that
      not
      > > > > only
      > > > > > > > > Africans,
      > > > > > > > > >but most 3rd world nations face when trying to
      develop
      > > > > their
      > > > > > > > > economies in
      > > > > > > > > >this new world order.
      > > > > > > > > >Lets discuss bold new ideas and initiatives that
      can
      > > help
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > President
      > > > > > > > > >lead Gabon into the 21st century.
      > > > > > > > > >I love the famous quote in President John F
      Kennedy's
      > > > > > > inauguration
      > > > > > > > > speech
      > > > > > > > > >when he said, "ask not what your country can do for
      > > you,
      > > > > but
      > > > > > > what
      > > > > > > > > you can
      > > > > > > > > >do for your country."
      > > > > > > > > >Yes, those are just words, but words, if understood
      > > > > correctly,
      > > > > > > can
      > > > > > > > > >inspire man to great heights.
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >ciao,
      > > > > > > > > >dupont
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > >On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 20:46:21 +0000 "C Yombi"
      > > > > > > <c_yombi@h...>
      > > > > > > > > >writes:
      > > > > > > > > > > After having lived in a small town - Leconi -
      with a
      > > > > "Bongo
      > > > > > > > > house"
      > > > > > > > > > > while my
      > > > > > > > > > > neighbors could hardly afford to send their
      children
      > > to
      > > > > > > school
      > > > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > > > riding on
      > > > > > > > > > > the trans-gabonese railway wondering if we were
      > > going to
      > > > > end
      > > > > > > up
      > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > > the water
      > > > > > > > > > > because of track neglect, I tend to think words
      are
      > > just
      > > > > > > that -
      > > > > > > > > > > words. Don't
      > > > > > > > > > > forget that Bongo is bankrolled by the French
      > > government
      > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > order to
      > > > > > > > > > > have
      > > > > > > > > > > control over Gabon's dwendling oil wealth. Look
      at
      > > > > Bongo's
      > > > > > > bank
      > > > > > > > > > > accounts and
      > > > > > > > > > > then at the decaying state of Bongo University
      in
      > > LBV.
      > > > > If
      > > > > > > Bongo
      > > > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > > > such a
      > > > > > > > > > > good leader, why did he feel the need to renig
      on
      > > his
      > > > > > > promise
      > > > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > > > step down
      > > > > > > > > > > in 2005 by ammending the constitution to rule
      > > forever?
      > > > > Ask
      > > > > > > many
      > > > > > > > > > > Gabonese and
      > > > > > > > > > > they would vhemently disagree with you.
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >From: "dupont6" <dupont3@j...>
      > > > > > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > > > > > > > >Subject: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on
      > > Terrorism"
      > > > > > > > > > > >Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 17:51:43 -0000
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >Hello:
      > > > > > > > > > > >I think that stability in any country in Africa
      > > depends
      > > > > > > more
      > > > > > > > > on
      > > > > > > > > > > just
      > > > > > > > > > > >military troops and Presidential guards. Of
      course
      > > all
      > > > > > > leaders
      > > > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > > > >states have serious amounts of protection, but
      does
      > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > "keep"
      > > > > > > > > > > them
      > > > > > > > > > > >in power? I am more interested in what Bongo
      has to
      > > say
      > > > > > > about
      > > > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > >political challenges Africans have to face. I
      think
      > > > > that it
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > > > >important to focus now on economic development
      and
      > > aid
      > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > African
      > > > > > > > > > > >countries. I like what Bongo has to say about
      how
      > > the
      > > > > > > marketing
      > > > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > > > >resources coming out of most African states are
      not
      > > > > > > controlled
      > > > > > > > > by
      > > > > > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > >states themselves but by external entities.
      > > > > > > > > > > >For example, it is important to develop the
      > > > > infrastructure
      > > > > > > > > where
      > > > > > > > > > > oil
      > > > > > > > > > > >producing states are actually refining the oil
      that
      > > is
      > > > > > > > > produced.
      > > > > > > > > > > Or
      > > > > > > > > > > >where companies marketing the by-products of
      > > resources
      > > > > > > like
      > > > > > > > > > > timber,
      > > > > > > > > > > >gold and diamonds are actually based and run by
      > > > > Africans
      > > > > > > native
      > > > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > > > >the region where they are produced. These
      things
      > > are
      > > > > more
      > > > > > > > > > > important
      > > > > > > > > > > >to the development of peoples lives than who is
      in
      > > > > > > political
      > > > > > > > > > > control
      > > > > > > > > > > >or what politician has the most money stashed
      away.
      > > I
      > > > > > > think
      > > > > > > > > > > arguably
      > > > > > > > > > > >that an intelligent and capable African head of
      > > state
      > > > > > > deserves
      > > > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > > > >have as much money as the Queen of England or
      Bill
      > > > > Gates
      > > > > > > for
      > > > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > > > >matter. Here in America, individuals
      speculating in
      > > the
      > > > > > > stock
      > > > > > > > > > > market
      > > > > > > > > > > >can amass wealth and power beyond that of a
      > > resource
      > > > > rich
      > > > > > > > > African
      > > > > > > > > > > >country!
      > > > > > > > > > > >I agree that Bongo is a better leader to his
      > > country
      > > > > than
      > > > > > > Bush
      > > > > > > > > or
      > > > > > > > > > > >Blair. His political intelligence seems to be
      > > leaps
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > bounds
      > > > > > > > > > > >beyond what Bush has to offer for instance.
      That is
      > > why
      > > > > I
      > > > > > > > > think
      > > > > > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > > > >he is extremely important for Gabon and for
      Africa
      > > at
      > > > > this
      > > > > > > > > time.
      > > > > > > > > > > >We have seen in America how term limits
      together
      > > with
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > influence
      > > > > > > > > > > >of special interest in campaign politics has
      eroded
      > > the
      > > > > > > quality
      > > > > > > > > of
      > > > > > > > > > > >leaders that are put in the positions of power.
      We
      > > are
      > > > > > > seeing
      > > > > > > > > that
      > > > > > > > > > > it
      > > > > > > > > > > >is the "quality" not quantity that is important
      > > when it
      > > > > > > comes
      > > > > > > > > to
      > > > > > > > > > > >political leadership.
      > > > > > > > > > > >Also, what does it say about the leadership of
      > > African
      > > > > > > states
      > > > > > > > > if
      > > > > > > > > > > it
      > > > > > > > > > > >is so easy for Chinese or any other powerful
      > > nation to
      > > > > > > gain
      > > > > > > > > > > economic
      > > > > > > > > > > >or political control?
      > > > > > > > > > > >So I support President Bongo and hope that his
      > > agenda
      > > > > > > reaches
      > > > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > >ears of those world leaders in power who truly
      > > care
      > > > > about
      > > > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > >development of the African continent. Maybe
      after
      > > the
      > > > > > > debaucle
      > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > > >Liberia, politicians(especially black leaders)
      here
      > > in
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > states
      > > > > > > > > > > >will put more effort into understanding what
      > > economic
      > > > > > > > > development
      > > > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > > >Africa means to world stability.
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >Ciao,
      > > > > > > > > > > >dupont
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > >On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 02:16:49 -0000 "bobutne"
      > > > > > > <bobutne@a...>
      > > > > > > > > > > writes:
      > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > M'bolo dupont.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > President Omar Bongo must share (and,
      probably,
      > > > > > > abdicate)
      > > > > > > > > > > > > the "stability to Gabon" mantle with the
      French
      > > > > (5,000
      > > > > > > > > troops
      > > > > > > > > > > in
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Gabon and a large garrison
      > > surrounding/protecting
      > > > > the
      > > > > > > > > > > Presidential
      > > > > > > > > > > > > palace) who have worked to assure that he is
      > > kept in
      > > > > > > power.
      > > > > > > > > The
      > > > > > > > > > > 500
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Moroccan Presidential Guard helps, too.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > Bush and Blair are actually debasing the US
      and
      > > > > Britain
      > > > > > > > > world
      > > > > > > > > > > > > hegemony by their unilateral actions.
      President
      > > Omar
      > > > > > > Bongo
      > > > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > > > doing
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > a better job for Gabon than GWB is doing for
      the
      > > US
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > world.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > The door to Africa is becoming closed to the
      > > West
      > > > > and
      > > > > > > is
      > > > > > > > > being
      > > > > > > > > > > left
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > > wide open for the Chinese to walk right in
      to
      > > gain
      > > > > > > economic
      > > > > > > > > and
      > > > > > > > > > > > > political control. I could expound on this
      for
      > > many,
      > > > > > > many
      > > > > > > > > pages
      > > > > > > > > > > on
      > > > > > > > > > > > > here but will desist for now.
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
      > > > > > > > > > > > >
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    • dupont3@juno.com
      I think that I explained why in my first post to this group. Again I will say that Bongo is a great leader for Gabon because: 1. The country has been a stable
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 26, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        I think that I explained why in my first post to this group. Again I will
        say that Bongo is a great leader for Gabon because:
        1. The country has been a stable country with no wars or political strife
        for 40 years since independence. Central Africa has seen much violence
        throughout the years and yet Gabon is stable.This can be attributed to
        the leadership of President Bongo. During the Cold War when East and West
        powers were fighting for influence in the political affairs of many
        African states, Gabon was able to avoid being used has a pawn in the
        political conflict. If you take for example what happened in the Ivory
        Coast after the death of President Houphouet-Boigny(another great
        african leader,) you can get an idea how important it is to have
        stability. I believe that stability is a testament to a great leader and
        Bongo deserves credit for that.
        2. His ability to deal with the former colonial power France while still
        retaining a strong sense of sovereignty and independence. Many African
        countries after independence have not been able to retain ties to the
        former colonial power necessary for a smooth transition to incourage
        foreign investment while preserving the integrity of the currency. During
        Bongo's rule Gabon has been able to take advantage of French
        intellectual resource while the CFA has remained strong.
        3. The environment is healthy, Throughout the years when many
        environmentalist have expressed concern about the shrinking rain forrest.
        Gabon is one of the few countries with relatively untainted natural
        resources.It has been widely reported that much wildlife in Gabon is not
        accustomed to interaction with humans and there are even some unexplored
        regions. Gabon is a bright spot on the map of many who are concerned
        about the ecology of the planet. President Bongo deserves much credit for
        his leadership during a time of the greatest commercial exploitation of
        African resources.
        4.His astute knowledge of geopolitics, especially concerning the African
        continent. President Omar Bongo is considered one of the smartest leaders
        on the planet. His leadership and diplomatic skills have been called on
        to mediate many conflicts among nations in Africa. He is one of the few
        African leaders to consistently speak about the challenges of economic
        development in Africa. I think that because of the French language native
        to Gabon, many of his points of view have gone unnoticed by those in the
        English speaking world. Yet, make no mistake about it, Bongo's leadership
        is a source of pride in Africa. I have been fortunate to stay informed on
        the policy of President Bongo and I have been impressed with his ability
        to digest the intense geopolitical situation while staying focused on the
        needs of the state.


        Ciao,
        dupont




        On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 22:27:14 -0000 "bobutne" <bobutne@...> writes:
        > "I strongly believe that President Bongo is a great leader.."
        >
        > Please explain why you strongly believe President Omar Bongo is a
        > great leader.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, dupont3@j... wrote:
        > > Ok, so you can now attack me, but it seems like you do not even
        > think
        > > about addressing the real issues at hand, other than to say
        > that, "the
        > > reality of life is not ideal." I am not attacking you personally
        > but
        > > exposing what I perceive to be your lack of knowledge about what
        > is
        > > really going on and throwing that back in your face everytime you
        >
        > spread
        > > naive innuendo about Bongo as if getting rid of him will change
        > the lives
        > > of Gabonese for the better.
        > > If you get off of your Bongo inquisition then maybe you will see
        > the
        > > light and actually make some attempts to address the real
        > challenges that
        > > the Gabonese people face.
        > > Now on to your response which was equally naive:
        > > 1. Iraq before the UN sanctions had no problem with lack of access
        >
        > to
        > > healthcare or malnutrition of its people. Iraqis are a very
        > intelligent
        > > people
        > > with some of the most capable medical professionals in the region.
        >
        > As an
        > > oil rich trading nation they had no problem importing enough food
        >
        > for
        > > their needs. That is until the UN choose to destroy their
        > livelyhood for
        > > the sake of what?
        > > 2. Yes, Bill Gates made his money in the private sector, but he
        > has also
        > > paid off many a politician to the point where he was able to
        > elude
        > > federal anti-trust prosecution. Microsoft is still under
        > prosecution by
        > > the European Union and they have already stated that he will not
        > get away
        > > with them. Any Billions that he may have donated to charitable
        > causes is
        > > most surely covered by tax breaks and in no way cover up for the
        > aspiring
        > > companies and promising technologies that he has squashed on the
        > way to
        > > world domination.
        > > 3.The Queen of England has no political power in England?
        > Political power
        > > lies in the support of the people and the Queen and the Monarchy
        > enjoys
        > > overwhelming support among the populace of the United Kingdom.The
        >
        > Queen
        > > wields enormous power behind the scenes should she desire to use
        > it.
        > >
        > > Sure I am assuming that my point is the best because I strongly
        > believe
        > > in what I am talking about. I strongly believe that President
        > Bongo is a
        > > great leader who succumbs to probably what every great leader in
        > the
        > > history of the world has succumbed to.The amassing of power and
        > wealth.
        > > I will take a great and capable leader who is amassing power and
        >
        > wealth
        > > anytime over an intellectual lightweight playing with war toys
        > like Bush
        > > or a business tyrant like Bill Gates. I also respect you
        > differences of
        > > opinion and whatever cultural bias play a part in that. But lets
        > get real
        > > about the people causing the most damage to the the fabric of
        > democracy
        > > in this world and lets not turn our backs when "the chickens come
        >
        > home to
        > > roost."
        > >
        > > Ciao,
        > > dupont
        > >
        > >
        > > On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 17:18:00 +0000 "C Yombi" <c_yombi@h...>
        > > writes:
        > > > The point is that you assume you know what everybody else is
        > doing
        > > > and
        > > > thinking. Before getting on your soap box, may be you should
        > find
        > > > out about
        > > > the people you are accusing of collusion. You don't know me or
        > have
        > > > any
        > > > information about my personal beliefs. You have no idea how I
        > voted
        > > > in the
        > > > last elections or even if I am a registered voter. You know
        > nothing
        > > > about my
        > > > background or my lifestyle.
        > > >
        > > > You bash the UN but seem to glaze over reality of life in Gabon
        >
        > for
        > > > the
        > > > majority of the population. How many children die each day in
        > Iraq
        > > > because
        > > > of malnutrition and lack of access to healthcare? How many NGOs
        >
        > deal
        > > > with
        > > > the everyday care of the world's population? The reality of life
        >
        > is
        > > > not the
        > > > ideal. Often, we must choose between the lesser of two evils.
        > > >
        > > > No one has disputed your points about the Bush administration.
        > You
        > > > bring up
        > > > billionaires like Bill Gates. He has made his money in the
        > private
        > > > sector,
        > > > and he has given BILLIONS away to help with research and
        > development
        > > > of
        > > > needed vaccines and HIV medications in Africa and elsewhere. The
        >
        > > > Queen of
        > > > England has no political power in Great Britain and the people
        > > > choose to
        > > > support the royal family monetarily. Bongo on the other hand is
        >
        > > > directly
        > > > responsible, just like Bush, for the policies and corruption in
        >
        > his
        > > > country.
        > > >
        > > > You assume your point is the best and leave no room for the off
        >
        > > > chance that
        > > > you could be wrong. In the end everyone is entitled to their own
        >
        > > > opinions,
        > > > but this should be a discussion forum and not a crusade to
        > convert
        > > > those to
        > > > your view of the world. There is no single correct point of view
        >
        > on
        > > > any
        > > > issue. Our own cultural biases and upbringings play a part in
        > our
        > > > understanding and interactions with those that are different
        > than
        > > > us. This
        > > > is very apparent with you.
        > > >
        > > > (And by the way, I used to live down the road from the crook's
        > house
        > > > - I
        > > > know how he lives the one day a year he chooses to reside
        > there.)
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > >From: dupont3@j...
        > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"
        > > > >Date: Mon, 25 Aug 2003 15:51:03 -0700
        > > > >
        > > > >Why are you so focused on this? Like I said before, we have the
        >
        > > > similar
        > > > >stuff going on here in the US. Maybe you forgot how Bush
        > became
        > > > >President. Yet, maybe you even voted for Bush or support him
        > still.
        > > > In
        > > > >Bongo's case it is good for Africa that he is still in power.
        > > > Meanwhile
        > > > >the Bush administration has been a disaster for the democratic
        >
        > > > process.
        > > > >You seem to make a lot of fuss about Bongo's accounts but I
        > will
        > > > wager
        > > > >that you do not blink an eye at the accounts of the many
        > > > billionares in
        > > > >America who are involved in shady business deals or the
        > politicians
        > > > who
        > > > >are on the payroll of them. What hypocrisy! to point a finger
        > at
        > > > Bongo
        > > > >and then indirectly benefit from all the shady crap going on in
        >
        > the
        > > > US.
        > > > >Speaking of the UN, we all know how much they are in the pocket
        >
        > of
        > > > the US
        > > > >and the trouble that is causing them around the world. The
        > last
        > > > time
        > > > >that I checked, the US owed them billions of dollars in back
        > dues.
        > > > Also,
        > > > >how many young kids were killed in Iraq because of UN
        > sanctions?
        > > > Did you
        > > > >make any noise about that? Bongo needs as much money as he can
        >
        > get
        > > > to
        > > > >just put a word in for Gabon at the table of the corrupt
        > Western
        > > > leaders.
        > > > >You seem brainwashed because you blindly follow those big
        > crooks
        > > > who have
        > > > >you chasing down the wrong road, when you should be driving
        > down
        > > > the road
        > > > >that leads to their house.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >Ciao,
        > > > >dupont
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 01:57:20 +0000 "C Yombi" <c_yombi@h...>
        > > > >writes:
        > > > > > May be it's just you who is brainwashed... Or may be people
        >
        > like
        > > > the
        > > > > > UN are
        > > > > > just making it all up.....
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Vol 43 Number 25 - 20 December 2002
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Hear those drums
        > > > > >
        > > > > > For want of opposition, President Bongo can plan to rule
        > until
        > > > 2012
        > > > > > After three decades at the head of one of Africa's worst
        > managed
        > > > and
        > > > > > most
        > > > > > corrupt oil economies, President Omar Bongo might well
        > expect
        > > > some
        > > > > > political
        > > > > > trouble. Quite the opposite. His ruling Parti Démocratique
        > > > Gabonais
        > > > > > (PDG)
        > > > > > will sweep the board in the local elections on 29 December
        > and
        > > > Bongo
        > > > > > (health
        > > > > > permitting) could win yet another seven-year presidential
        > term
        > > > in
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > election due in 2005. The oppositionists of the early 1990s
        >
        > have
        > > > > > been
        > > > > > exiled, crushed or coopted.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Gabonese have lost interest in the perennially rigged
        > elections.
        > > > > > Turnout at
        > > > > > the legislative polls last December was under 20 per cent
        > and
        > > > may be
        > > > > > lower
        > > > > > still in the local polls. Electoral registers have been
        > doctored
        > > > > > down to
        > > > > > 523,000: there were 775,000 names on the lists for the 2001
        > > > > > elections. Many
        > > > > > nominal political opponents are in Bongo's pay, the rest are
        >
        > > > divided
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > lack national support. For wealthy Gabonese, elections are
        > a
        > > > > > patronage
        > > > > > competition which shares out jobs and resources from 250,000
        >
        > > > barrels
        > > > > > of oil
        > > > > > a day, plus smaller timber and manganese exports.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >------------------------------------------------------------------
        > ------
        > > -
        > > > >-------
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Vol 42 Number 16 - 10 August 2001
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Hey big spender
        > > > > >
        > > > > > The fuss over how President El Hadj Omar Bongo came to
        > deposit
        > > > over
        > > > > > US$180
        > > > > > million in three private Citibank accounts in New York won't
        >
        > go
        > > > > > away. First
        > > > > > raised in United States Senate hearings in November 1999, it
        >
        > is
        > > > now
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > subject of an embarrassing law suit against Bongo in the US
        >
        > > > Federal
        > > > > > Court,
        > > > > > Washington. Bongo's lawyers are trying to establish
        > diplomatic
        > > > > > immunity for
        > > > > > him as a serving head of a state recognised by the US
        > > > government.
        > > > > > And with
        > > > > > another US legal suit from a scrap metal company pending,
        > > > Bongo's
        > > > > > big-spending habits Stateside ­ he bought four Boeing
        > passenger
        > > > jets
        > > > > > in June
        > > > > > ­ won't win him any respite from his legal adversaries
        > there.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >------------------------------------------------------------------
        > ------
        > > -
        > > > >-------
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >------------------------------------------------------------------
        > ------
        > > -
        > > > >-------
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Vol 40 Number 22 - 05 November 1999
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Digging deeper holes
        > > > > >
        > > > > > A massive hole in Gabon's public finances - some say of more
        >
        > > > than
        > > > > > US$350
        > > > > > million - is at the heart of its growing financial and
        > political
        > > > > > crisis. By
        > > > > > the end of last year, arrears to foreign creditors were
        > > > estimated at
        > > > > > 160
        > > > > > billion CFA francs ($256.4 mn.) - and have probably doubled
        >
        > this
        > > > > > year.
        > > > > > President Omar Bongo's government also has arrears of CFA
        > 100
        > > > bn. to
        > > > > > local
        > > > > > banks. With an oil-fired GNP per head of $4,000, Gabon is
        > one of
        > > > > > Africa's
        > > > > > wealthiest states. Yet most people live in poverty and a
        > damning
        > > > new
        > > > > > report
        > > > > > from the United Nations Development Programme says social
        > > > services
        > > > > > are
        > > > > > collapsing. Tracing the missing $350 mn. preoccupies both
        > > > foreign
        > > > > > creditors
        > > > > > and Gabonese who worry about government corruption and
        > > > > > mismanagement. And
        > > > > > President Bongo is no longer able to rely on Paris nor
        > > > Washington to
        > > > > > block
        > > > > > exposure of murky areas in his government. He tried
        > everything,
        > > > > > including a
        > > > > > personal call to French President Jacques Chirac, to stifle
        >
        > the
        > > > > > inquiry by
        > > > > > magistrate Eva Joly into Elf-Aquitaine's unorthodox
        > financing
        > > > > > operations.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > This focussed on Bongo's relationship with André Tarallo,
        > > > > > Elf-Gabon's
        > > > > > disgraced and ousted Président-Directeur Général. Late last
        >
        > > > month,
        > > > > > Joly's
        > > > > > inquiries moved on when a Swiss magistrate, Paul Parraudin,
        >
        > > > produced
        > > > > > bank
        > > > > > records showing that over 600 mn. French francs ($97 mn.)
        > had
        > > > been
        > > > > > channelled through Tarallo's Swiss account from the
        > Gabonese
        > > > > > presidency.
        > > > > > Back home, after a year of strikes, demonstrations and the
        > > > payments
        > > > > > crisis,
        > > > > > Bongo's government needs a new deal with the International
        > > > Monetary
        > > > > > Fund.
        > > > > > Last year, the Fund suspended its Extended Financing
        > Facility
        > > > for
        > > > > > several
        > > > > > reasons, including 'lack of transparency in public finance'
        > > > > > (Fundspeak for
        > > > > > corruption). Libreville's negotiating team is led by
        > respected
        > > > > > Finance
        > > > > > Minister Emile Doumba, who has been trying, with limited
        > > > success, to
        > > > > >
        > > > > > persuade his ministerial colleagues and the presidency to
        > > > implement
        > > > > > an
        > > > > > IMF-inspired austerity programme.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        > >------------------------------------------------------------------
        > ------
        > > -
        > > >
        > >
        > >------------------------------------------------------------------
        > -----F
        > > r
        > > > >eedom
        > > > > >
        > > > > > in the World 1998-99: Gabon
        > > > > > Freedom House Survey 1999
        > > > > > Economy: Capitalist (highly corrupt)
        > > > > > Population: 1,200,000
        > > > > > PPP: $3,766
        > > > > > Life Expectancy: 54
        > > > > > Ethnic Groups: Fang, Eshira, Bapounou, Bateke, other Bantu,
        >
        > > > other
        > > > > > Africans,
        > > > > > Europeans
        > > > > > Polity: Dominant party
        > > > > > Capital: Libreville
        > > > > > Political Rights: 5
        > > > > > Civil Liberties: 4
        > > > > > Status: Partly Free
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Overview
        > > > > > In December, President Omar Bongo was returned to office for
        >
        > a
        > > > > > seven-year
        > > > > > term. The polling, which was partially boycotted by the
        > > > opposition,
        > > > > > was
        > > > > > marked by serious irregularities. The nominally independent
        >
        > > > National
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Election Commission, which was created under the new
        > > > constitution
        > > > > > approved
        > > > > > by referendum in 1995, proved neither autonomous nor
        > competent.
        > > > > > Behind a
        > > > > > facade of democratic institutions, Bongo used patronage,
        > > > > > manipulation, and
        > > > > > intimidation to retain power. In Libreville in May, student
        >
        > > > riots
        > > > > > prompted
        > > > > > by deteriorating economic conditions were quickly
        > suppressed. At
        > > > > > least ten
        > > > > > students were seriously hurt. Three decades of autocratic
        > rule
        > > > have
        > > > > > made
        > > > > > Bongo among the world's richest men and left the vast
        > majority
        > > > of
        > > > > > oil-rich
        > > > > > Gabon's 1.4 million people mired in poverty. Bongo is
        > strongly
        > > > > > backed by the
        > > > > > army and by France. The highly profitable French ELF oil
        > company
        > > > > > plays a
        > > > > > dominant role in the country's economic and political life.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Straddling the equator on central Africa's west coast, Gabon
        >
        > > > gained
        > > > > > independence from France in 1960. Bongo, whom France raised
        >
        > from
        > > > > > soldier to
        > > > > > president in 1967, completed his predecessor's consolidation
        >
        > of
        > > > > > power by
        > > > > > officially outlawing the opposition. France, which maintains
        >
        > 600
        > > > > > marines in
        > > > > > Gabon, has intervened twice to preserve Bongo's regime. In
        > 1990,
        > > > > > protests
        > > > > > prompted by economic duress forced Bongo to accept a
        > conference
        > > > that
        > > > > >
        > > > > > opposition leaders hoped would promote a peaceful
        > democratic
        > > > > > transition.
        > > > > > Bongo retained power, however, in rigged 1993 elections that
        >
        > > > sparked
        > > > > > violent
        > > > > > protests and repression led by his Presidential Guard. The
        > 1994
        > > > > > Paris
        > > > > > Accords claimed to institute true democratic reforms.
        > Municipal
        > > > > > elections in
        > > > > > 1996 saw major opposition gains, including the election of
        > Paul
        > > > Mba
        > > > > > Abbesole, the leader of the largest opposition party, as
        > mayor
        > > > of
        > > > > > Libreville. Legislative polls delayed by decree until
        > December
        > > > 1996
        > > > > > were
        > > > > > again beset by fraud as Bongo's Gabon Democratic Party won
        > an
        > > > > > overwhelming,
        > > > > > but unconvincing victory.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Political Rights and Civil Liberties
        > > > > > Despite a gradual political opening since 1990, Gabon's
        > citizens
        > > > > > have never
        > > > > > been able to exercise their constitutional right to change
        > their
        > > > > > government
        > > > > > democratically. Bongo's 1998 electoral victory with 61
        > percent
        > > > of
        > > > > > the vote
        > > > > > followed a campaign that made profligate use of state
        > resources
        > > > and
        > > > > > state
        > > > > > media to promote his incumbency. Legislative elections have
        >
        > also
        > > > > > been
        > > > > > seriously flawed.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > State institutions are influenced or controlled by Bongo and
        >
        > a
        > > > small
        > > > > > elite
        > > > > > around him. The judiciary suffers from political
        > interference.
        > > > > > Rights to
        > > > > > legal counsel and public criminal trials are generally
        > > > respected,
        > > > > > but the
        > > > > > law presumes guilt. Judges may deliver summary verdicts, and
        >
        > > > torture
        > > > > > remains
        > > > > > a standard route to produce confessions. Prison conditions
        > are
        > > > > > marked by
        > > > > > beatings and insufficient food, water, and medical care.
        > The
        > > > > > government
        > > > > > often detains refugees without charge, and there are reports
        >
        > of
        > > > > > forced labor
        > > > > > by detainees. Rights of assembly and association are
        > > > > > constitutionally
        > > > > > guaranteed, but permits required for public gatherings are
        > > > sometimes
        > > > > >
        > > > > > refused. Freedom to form and join political parties is
        > generally
        > > > > > respected,
        > > > > > but civil servants may face harassment based on their
        > > > associations.
        > > > > > Nongovernmental organizations operate openly, although the
        > > > Gabonese
        > > > > > League
        > > > > > of Human Rights has reported threats and harassment.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > A government daily and approximately one dozen private
        > weeklies,
        > > > > > which are
        > > > > > primarily controlled by opposition parties, are published.
        > The
        > > > > > government
        > > > > > overwhelmingly dominates the broadcast media, which reach a
        >
        > far
        > > > > > larger
        > > > > > audience. Only a few private broadcasters have been
        > licensed,
        > > > and
        > > > > > their
        > > > > > viability is tenuous. A 1998 crackdown on private media has
        >
        > > > raised
        > > > > > serious
        > > > > > concerns for free expression. In February, Radio Soleil,
        > which
        > > > was
        > > > > > associated with the main Bucherons opposition party, was
        > closed.
        > > > In
        > > > > > January,
        > > > > > a cartoonist was sentenced to six months imprisonment for
        > > > lampooning
        > > > > > Bongo.
        > > > > > Publication of his newspaper was suspended for one month.
        > The
        > > > > > president of
        > > > > > the journalists' union was jailed for eight months. In
        > August,
        > > > the
        > > > > > opposition newspaper La Griffe was closed, and three of its
        >
        > > > staff
        > > > > > received
        > > > > > eight-month suspended sentences after publishing allegations
        >
        > of
        > > > > > ivory
        > > > > > smuggling by the national airline. Soldiers raided La Griffe
        >
        > > > offices
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > seized equipment. Foreign newspapers, magazines, and
        > broadcasts
        > > > are
        > > > > > usually
        > > > > > widely available, but editions criticizing Bongo have been
        > > > seized.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Most of the small formal sector work force is unionized,
        > > > although
        > > > > > unions
        > > > > > must register with the government in order to be officially
        > > > > > recognized.
        > > > > > Despite legal protections, the government has taken action
        > > > against
        > > > > > numerous
        > > > > > strikers and unions and used force to suppress illegal
        > > > > > demonstrations. While
        > > > > > no legal restrictions on travel exist, harassment on
        > political
        > > > and
        > > > > > ethnic
        > > > > > bases has been reported. Religious freedom is
        > constitutionally
        > > > > > guaranteed
        > > > > > and respected. An official ban on Jehovah's Witnesses is
        > not
        > > > > > enforced.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Legal protections for women include equal access laws for
        > > > education,
        > > > > >
        > > > > > business, and investment. In addition to owning property
        > and
        > > > > > businesses,
        > > > > > women constitute more than 50 percent of the salaried
        > workforce
        > > > in
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > health and trade sectors. At the same time, there are only
        > six
        > > > women
        > > > > > in the
        > > > > > 120-member National Assembly and one woman in the cabinet.
        > Women
        > > > > > continue to
        > > > > > face legal and cultural discrimination, particularly in
        > rural
        > > > areas,
        > > > > > and are
        > > > > > reportedly subject to widespread domestic violence.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Little wealth from Gabon's oil revenues reaches the broad
        > > > populace,
        > > > > > most of
        > > > > > which is engaged in subsistence farming. Corruption is
        > endemic.
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > >
        > > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
        > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on Terrorism"
        > > > > > >Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 20:18:18 -0700
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >Whoever would say that the Gabonese are worse off now than
        > > > > > independence
        > > > > > >must be brainwashed or does not know a damm thing about how
        >
        > it
        > > > was
        > > > > > like
        > > > > > >to reorganize institutions after a being under a colonial
        > > > power.
        > > > > > Also,
        > > > > > >what a disrespect to all the people who worked hard for an
        > > > > > independent
        > > > > > >and for 40 yrs. stable Gabon.
        > > > > > >To go on criticizing the government without coming up with
        >
        > any
        > > > > > >convincing alternative ideas other than conspiracy theories
        >
        > and
        > > > > > rumour is
        > > > > > >with all due respect, disingenuous and insensitive
        > poppycock.
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >Ciao,
        > > > > > >dupont
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >
        > > > > > >On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 20:31:32 +0000 "C Yombi"
        > > > <c_yombi@h...>
        > > > > > >writes:
        > > > > > > > Obvious point - Bongo has had almost 40 yrs to make a
        > > > difference
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > Gabonese are worse off now than at independence - bad
        > track
        > > > > > record.
        > > > > > > > If you
        > > > > > > > think elections were fair and square then you do not
        > agree
        > > > with
        > > > > > > > independent
        > > > > > > > election observers form around the world. In the end, it
        >
        > is >
        > > not
        > > > > > what
        > > > > > > > I want
        > > > > > > > for Gabon - but what the GABONESE want for themselves -
        >
        > my
        > > > > > husband
        > > > > > > > included
        > > > > > > > who is from Gabon.
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
        > > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on
        > Terrorism"
        > > > > > > > >Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2003 12:59:19 -0700
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >Yes, I have seen how the some Gabonese people live. I
        > have
        > > > been
        > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > poorly
        > > > > > > > >supplied hospitals and schools. I have seen what you
        > > > consider
        > > > > > to be
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > >obvious hypocrisy.
        > > > > > > > >But I know that here in America the lifestyle of many
        > poor
        > > > > > people
        > > > > > > > is no
        > > > > > > > >different. It is just on a different scale. Most poor
        > > > people
        > > > > > here
        > > > > > > > in the
        > > > > > > > >US do not have health insurance. While rich people
        > spend
        > > > money
        > > > > > > > lavishly
        > > > > > > > >in the midst of a lot of pain and suffering. Homeless
        > > > people
        > > > > > abound
        > > > > > > > on
        > > > > > > > >the streets and our political system although 2 party,
        > > > > > > > disenfranchises
        > > > > > > > >many potentially great opponents. It is like. "been
        > there
        > > > done
        > > > > > > > that" when
        > > > > > > > >you try to focus on that type of stuff when talking
        > about a
        > > > > > > > nations
        > > > > > > > >development in a capitalist system. Maybe a socialist
        >
        > > > system
        > > > > > like
        > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > >Cuba would better achieve what you want in Gabon.
        > > > > > > > >I think that a healthy dose of idealism is what it
        > takes to
        > > > > > jump
        > > > > > > > start
        > > > > > > > >any successful capitalist economy. There is nothing
        > wrong
        > > > with
        > > > > > a
        > > > > > > > healthy
        > > > > > > > >dose of idealism, in fact, one can argue that
        > idealistic
        > > > values
        > > > > > are
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > >foundations of a healthy democracy. The hard part is
        > > > getting
        > > > > > people
        > > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > >believe in the face of the harsh realities of
        > capitalism.
        > > > > > > > >Now to say that a majority of people do not support
        > > > President
        > > > > > Bongo
        > > > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > >not true. He has won elections fair and square, for
        >
        > all
        > > > > > that's
        > > > > > > > worth
        > > > > > > > >and beyond that is the most capable person for the job.
        >
        > The
        > > > man
        > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > a
        > > > > > > > >national treasure! Why would you want him out?
        > > > > > > > >If you can not work with leaders like President Bongo
        > then
        > > > you
        > > > > > are
        > > > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > >being realistic about facing the challenges of such
        > > > > > underdeveloped
        > > > > > > > >nations in Africa.You might be afraid to deal with the
        >
        > hard
        > > > > > issues
        > > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > >instead choose to focus on the stuff that makes good
        > soap
        > > > > > opera.
        > > > > > > > >I say lets look at the big picture when it comes to
        > world
        > > > > > poverty.
        > > > > > > > Step
        > > > > > > > >back and look at this picture and you will see that
        > the
        > > > > > difference
        > > > > > > > points
        > > > > > > > >to the policies of the so-called first world nations
        > and
        > > > not
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > of a
        > > > > > > > >few seemingly wealthy(and well meaning) leaders who are
        >
        > > > still
        > > > > > poor
        > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > >comparison.
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >Ciao,
        > > > > > > > >dupont
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > >On Tue, 19 Aug 2003 19:36:16 +0000 "C Yombi"
        > > > > > <c_yombi@h...>
        > > > > > > > >writes:
        > > > > > > > > > With all due respect,
        > > > > > > > > > You have visited Gabon but have you lived on the
        > > > people's
        > > > > > > > level?
        > > > > > > > > > Have you
        > > > > > > > > > seen all of the largess that Bongo has spread to
        > only
        > > > > > > > his"friends"?
        > > > > > > > > > Have you
        > > > > > > > > > seen the prisons and the schools? Have you seen all
        >
        > of
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > obvious
        > > > > > > > > > hypocrisy? Do you realize that Bongo only repaired
        > the
        > > > > > national
        > > > > > > > > > train
        > > > > > > > > > service so he could send his fleet of expensive cars
        >
        > to
        > > > > > > > Franceville
        > > > > > > > > > for his
        > > > > > > > > > annual vacation? How many Gabonese can take a
        > vacation
        > > > to
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > capital
        > > > > > > > > > annually? Any nation that has to rely on Peace Corps
        >
        > to
        > > > > > > > distribute
        > > > > > > > > > condoms
        > > > > > > > > > while trucks get to every corner distributing soft
        > > > drinks
        > > > > > has a
        > > > > > > > > > problem and
        > > > > > > > > > it starts with the government.
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > Also, when a majority of the population does not
        > support
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > president and
        > > > > > > > > > had little or no voice to change this, is this a
        > great
        > > > > > > > democracy?
        > > > > > > > > > Another
        > > > > > > > > > principle of the United State's founding fathers was
        >
        > > > freedom
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > > > choice. Have
        > > > > > > > > > you ever heard of Neo-colonialism?
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > How can individuals work toward supporting their
        > > > governments
        > > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > country if
        > > > > > > > > > the government is taking food out of their mouths
        > and
        > > > > > spending
        > > > > > > > it on
        > > > > > > > > > lavish
        > > > > > > > > > trips to Paris? Have you been to rural health
        > clinics
        > > > where
        > > > > > > > women
        > > > > > > > > > struggle
        > > > > > > > > > to keep their children healthy or talked to primary
        >
        > > > school
        > > > > > > > students
        > > > > > > > > > who have
        > > > > > > > > > no teachers? May be a less idealistic and more
        > realistic
        > > > > > > > approach to
        > > > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > reality of one party governments in Africa would be
        >
        > a
        > > > better
        > > > > > > > > > approach.
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > Carol
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >From: dupont3@j...
        > > > > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > > > >Subject: Re: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on
        > > > Terrorism"
        > > > > > > > > > >Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 10:05:13 -0700
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >Well , with all due respect, I think that
        > concentrating
        > > > on
        > > > > > > > Bongo's
        > > > > > > > > > bank
        > > > > > > > > > >account will get you nowhere.
        > > > > > > > > > >Ever thought about working with the President to
        > solve
        > > > some
        > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > >nations problems?
        > > > > > > > > > >Here in America we have many of the same problems
        > and
        > > > this
        > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > >wealthiest country in the world!
        > > > > > > > > > >We have an epidemic of homeless people, decaying
        > > > schools
        > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > inner
        > > > > > > > > > cities
        > > > > > > > > > >and a railroad(Amtrak) that cannot get its thing
        > > > together.
        > > > > > We
        > > > > > > > are
        > > > > > > > > > >spending 4 Billion dollars a month in Iraq at a
        > time
        > > > when
        > > > > > our
        > > > > > > > > > schools
        > > > > > > > > > >need books.
        > > > > > > > > > >I would also like to ask how is it that having
        > > > President
        > > > > > Bongo
        > > > > > > > step
        > > > > > > > > > down
        > > > > > > > > > >be good for Gabon or change the current situation
        > for
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > better?
        > > > > > > > > > >I have been to Gabon and it seems like the country
        >
        > is
        > > > > > dependent
        > > > > > > > on
        > > > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > >French for many things. If the French were to leave
        >
        > > > would
        > > > > > it
        > > > > > > > make
        > > > > > > > > > >anything better? I think not, it would not make
        > > > anything
        > > > > > > > better
        > > > > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > >getting rid of President Bongo would probably
        > > > destabilize
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > country and
        > > > > > > > > > >the region has the resulting power grab would be
        > like
        > > > going
        > > > > > > > back in
        > > > > > > > > > time.
        > > > > > > > > > >I think that it is a shame that many Africans seem
        >
        > to
        > > > think
        > > > > > > > more
        > > > > > > > > > about
        > > > > > > > > > >fighting for power than the issues important for
        > > > developing
        > > > > > > > their
        > > > > > > > > > >country.
        > > > > > > > > > >It is time to look beyond forced power sharing as
        > a
        > > > > > solution.
        > > > > > > > In
        > > > > > > > > > Gabon
        > > > > > > > > > >each citizen must first make an effort to support
        > the
        > > > > > state.
        > > > > > > > Only
        > > > > > > > > > then
        > > > > > > > > > >will you find the necessary energy to tackle major
        > > > > > issues.The
        > > > > > > > > > founding
        > > > > > > > > > >fathers of the US went by a decree "United We Stand
        >
        > > > Divided
        > > > > > We
        > > > > > > > > > Fall"
        > > > > > > > > > >Every nation that aspires to economic success must
        >
        > > > first
        > > > > > find
        > > > > > > > a
        > > > > > > > > > common
        > > > > > > > > > >ground to stand on.
        > > > > > > > > > >The Gabonese are a beautiful and special people and
        >
        > > > sure,
        > > > > > there
        > > > > > > > are
        > > > > > > > > > many
        > > > > > > > > > >who disagree with the President. But there are also
        >
        > > > many
        > > > > > who
        > > > > > > > do
        > > > > > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > > > >understand what a great leader that they have in
        > Bongo.
        > > > > > Many
        > > > > > > > who do
        > > > > > > > > > not
        > > > > > > > > > >understand the complete geopolitical challenge that
        >
        > not
        > > > > > only
        > > > > > > > > > Africans,
        > > > > > > > > > >but most 3rd world nations face when trying to
        > develop
        > > > > > their
        > > > > > > > > > economies in
        > > > > > > > > > >this new world order.
        > > > > > > > > > >Lets discuss bold new ideas and initiatives that
        > can
        > > > help
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > President
        > > > > > > > > > >lead Gabon into the 21st century.
        > > > > > > > > > >I love the famous quote in President John F
        > Kennedy's
        > > > > > > > inauguration
        > > > > > > > > > speech
        > > > > > > > > > >when he said, "ask not what your country can do for
        >
        > > > you,
        > > > > > but
        > > > > > > > what
        > > > > > > > > > you can
        > > > > > > > > > >do for your country."
        > > > > > > > > > >Yes, those are just words, but words, if
        > understood
        > > > > > correctly,
        > > > > > > > can
        > > > > > > > > > >inspire man to great heights.
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >ciao,
        > > > > > > > > > >dupont
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > >On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 20:46:21 +0000 "C Yombi"
        > > > > > > > <c_yombi@h...>
        > > > > > > > > > >writes:
        > > > > > > > > > > > After having lived in a small town - Leconi -
        > with a
        > > > > > "Bongo
        > > > > > > > > > house"
        > > > > > > > > > > > while my
        > > > > > > > > > > > neighbors could hardly afford to send their
        > children
        > > > to
        > > > > > > > school
        > > > > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > > > riding on
        > > > > > > > > > > > the trans-gabonese railway wondering if we were
        >
        > > > going to
        > > > > > end
        > > > > > > > up
        > > > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > > > > > the water
        > > > > > > > > > > > because of track neglect, I tend to think words
        >
        > are
        > > > just
        > > > > > > > that -
        > > > > > > > > > > > words. Don't
        > > > > > > > > > > > forget that Bongo is bankrolled by the French
        > > > government
        > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > > > order to
        > > > > > > > > > > > have
        > > > > > > > > > > > control over Gabon's dwendling oil wealth. Look
        >
        > at
        > > > > > Bongo's
        > > > > > > > bank
        > > > > > > > > > > > accounts and
        > > > > > > > > > > > then at the decaying state of Bongo University
        > in
        > > > LBV.
        > > > > > If
        > > > > > > > Bongo
        > > > > > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > > > > > such a
        > > > > > > > > > > > good leader, why did he feel the need to renig
        > on
        > > > his
        > > > > > > > promise
        > > > > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > > > > > step down
        > > > > > > > > > > > in 2005 by ammending the constitution to rule
        > > > forever?
        > > > > > Ask
        > > > > > > > many
        > > > > > > > > > > > Gabonese and
        > > > > > > > > > > > they would vhemently disagree with you.
        > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >From: "dupont6" <dupont3@j...>
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Reply-To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > > > > > >To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Subject: [Gabon Discussion] re: "Bongo on
        > > > Terrorism"
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 17:51:43 -0000
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Hello:
        > > > > > > > > > > > >I think that stability in any country in Africa
        >
        > > > depends
        > > > > > > > more
        > > > > > > > > > on
        > > > > > > > > > > > just
        > > > > > > > > > > > >military troops and Presidential guards. Of
        > course
        > > > all
        > > > > > > > leaders
        > > > > > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > > > > > >states have serious amounts of protection, but
        >
        > does
        > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > > > "keep"
        > > > > > > > > > > > them
        > > > > > > > > > > > >in power? I am more interested in what Bongo
        > has to
        > > > say
        > > > > > > > about
        > > > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > >political challenges Africans have to face. I
        > think
        > > > > > that it
        > > > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > > > > > >important to focus now on economic development
        >
        > and
        > > > aid
        > > > > > for
        > > > > > > > > > African
        > > > > > > > > > > > >countries. I like what Bongo has to say about
        > how
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > marketing
        > > > > > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > > > > > >resources coming out of most African states are
        >
        > not
        > > > > > > > controlled
        > > > > > > > > > by
        > > > > > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > >states themselves but by external entities.
        > > > > > > > > > > > >For example, it is important to develop the
        > > > > > infrastructure
        > > > > > > > > > where
        > > > > > > > > > > > oil
        > > > > > > > > > > > >producing states are actually refining the oil
        >
        > that
        > > > is
        > > > > > > > > > produced.
        > > > > > > > > > > > Or
        > > > > > > > > > > > >where companies marketing the by-products of
        > > > resources
        > > > > > > > like
        > > > > > > > > > > > timber,
        > > > > > > > > > > > >gold and diamonds are actually based and run
        > by
        > > > > > Africans
        > > > > > > > native
        > > > > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > > > > > >the region where they are produced. These
        > things
        > > > are
        > > > > > more
        > > > > > > > > > > > important
        > > > > > > > > > > > >to the development of peoples lives than who is
        >
        > in
        > > > > > > > political
        > > > > > > > > > > > control
        > > > > > > > > > > > >or what politician has the most money stashed
        > away.
        > > > I
        > > > > > > > think
        > > > > > > > > > > > arguably
        > > > > > > > > > > > >that an intelligent and capable African head of
        >
        > > > state
        > > > > > > > deserves
        > > > > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > > > > > >have as much money as the Queen of England or
        > Bill
        > > > > > Gates
        > > > > > > > for
        > > > > > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > > > > > >matter. Here in America, individuals
        > speculating in
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > stock
        > > > > > > > > > > > market
        > > > > > > > > > > > >can amass wealth and power beyond that of a
        > > > resource
        > > > > > rich
        > > > > > > > > > African
        > > > > > > > > > > > >country!
        > > > > > > > > > > > >I agree that Bongo is a better leader to his
        > > > country
        > > > > > than
        > > > > > > > Bush
        > > > > > > > > > or
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Blair. His political intelligence seems to be
        >
        > > > leaps
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > bounds
        > > > > > > > > > > > >beyond what Bush has to offer for instance.
        > That is
        > > > why
        > > > > > I
        > > > > > > > > > think
        > > > > > > > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > > > > > >he is extremely important for Gabon and for
        > Africa
        > > > at
        > > > > > this
        > > > > > > > > > time.
        > > > > > > > > > > > >We have seen in America how term limits
        > together
        > > > with
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > influence
        > > > > > > > > > > > >of special interest in campaign politics has
        > eroded
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > quality
        > > > > > > > > > of
        > > > > > > > > > > > >leaders that are put in the positions of power.
        >
        > We
        > > > are
        > > > > > > > seeing
        > > > > > > > > > that
        > > > > > > > > > > > it
        > > > > > > > > > > > >is the "quality" not quantity that is important
        >
        > > > when it
        > > > > > > > comes
        > > > > > > > > > to
        > > > > > > > > > > > >political leadership.
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Also, what does it say about the leadership of
        >
        > > > African
        > > > > > > > states
        > > > > > > > > > if
        > > > > > > > > > > > it
        > > > > > > > > > > > >is so easy for Chinese or any other powerful
        > > > nation to
        > > > > > > > gain
        > > > > > > > > > > > economic
        > > > > > > > > > > > >or political control?
        > > > > > > > > > > > >So I support President Bongo and hope that his
        >
        > > > agenda
        > > > > > > > reaches
        > > > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > >ears of those world leaders in power who truly
        >
        > > > care
        > > > > > about
        > > > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > >development of the African continent. Maybe
        > after
        > > > the
        > > > > > > > debaucle
        > > > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Liberia, politicians(especially black leaders)
        >
        > here
        > > > in
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > states
        > > > > > > > > > > > >will put more effort into understanding what
        > > > economic
        > > > > > > > > > development
        > > > > > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Africa means to world stability.
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >Ciao,
        > > > > > > > > > > > >dupont
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > >On Mon, 18 Aug 2003 02:16:49 -0000 "bobutne"
        > > > > > > > <bobutne@a...>
        > > > > > > > > > > > writes:
        > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > M'bolo dupont.
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > President Omar Bongo must share (and,
        > probably,
        > > > > > > > abdicate)
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > the "stability to Gabon" mantle with the
        > French
        > > > > > (5,000
        > > > > > > > > > troops
        > > > > > > > > > > > in
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > Gabon and a large garrison
        > > > surrounding/protecting
        > > > > > the
        > > > > > > > > > > > Presidential
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > palace) who have worked to assure that he is
        >
        > > > kept in
        > > > > > > > power.
        > > > > > > > > > The
        > > > > > > > > > > > 500
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > Moroccan Presidential Guard helps, too.
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > Bush and Blair are actually debasing the US
        >
        > and
        > > > > > Britain
        > > > > > > > > > world
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > hegemony by their unilateral actions.
        > President
        > > > Omar
        > > > > > > > Bongo
        > > > > > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > > > > > doing
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > a better job for Gabon than GWB is doing for
        >
        > the
        > > > US
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > world.
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > The door to Africa is becoming closed to the
        >
        > > > West
        > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > is
        > > > > > > > > > being
        > > > > > > > > > > > left
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > wide open for the Chinese to walk right in
        > to
        > > > gain
        > > > > > > > economic
        > > > > > > > > > and
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > political control. I could expound on this
        > for
        > > > many,
        > > > > > > > many
        > > > > > > > > > pages
        > > > > > > > > > > > on
        > > > > > > > > > > > > > here but will desist for now.
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
        > > > > > > > > > > > > >
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      • bobutne
        Mr. Dupont has unique criteria for measuring the leadership abilities of a head-of-state. Mine are quite different. In my book, a great state leader does not
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 27, 2003
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          Mr. Dupont has unique criteria for measuring the leadership abilities
          of a head-of-state. Mine are quite different. In my book, a great
          state leader does not steal the wealth of his nation for his own self-
          serving greed/ego but works to increase the well-being of his people.
          My suggested criteria for evaluating President Omar Bongo are
          measured upon his leadership abilities in the following areas that
          affect every life in Gabon:

          1. Quality of health.

          2. Personal freedom including freedom of the press and free
          elections.

          3. National infrastructure.

          4. Public safety.

          5. Standard of living

          6. Quality of the urban and rural environments.

          If you want to debate these six points Mr. Dupont, I'd be glad to
          oblige.
        • dupont3@juno.com
          It seems like you have a very narrow view of a great leader. You seem like you know more about what the people of Gabon need than President Bongo. You see, I
          Message 4 of 24 , Aug 27, 2003
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            It seems like you have a very narrow view of a great leader. You seem
            like you know more about what the people of Gabon need than President
            Bongo. You see, I believe that President Bongo knows whats best for the
            Gabonese people. He has a great character and intellect. He is a
            benovoloent character. The Gabonese are a benovolent people.
            I look at Gabon has an American and dont pretend to know what is best
            from a Gabonese perspective.
            I do know that it would be a great idea for the IMF and World Bank to
            give Gabon an aid package that will invest in the infrastructure of the
            country. This would address a lot of your concerns and points. It would
            have to be well thought out so as not to harm the precious environment.
            The money to do these things is available. Rather than waste billions on
            war society like ours should invest in stable countries that are ready
            for development as an alternative to destabilizing war.

            Ciao,
            dupont


            On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 00:54:59 -0000 "bobutne" <bobutne@...> writes:
            > Mr. Dupont has unique criteria for measuring the leadership abilities
            >
            > of a head-of-state. Mine are quite different. In my book, a great
            > state leader does not steal the wealth of his nation for his own
            > self-
            > serving greed/ego but works to increase the well-being of his
            > people.
            > My suggested criteria for evaluating President Omar Bongo are
            > measured upon his leadership abilities in the following areas that
            > affect every life in Gabon:
            >
            > 1. Quality of health.
            >
            > 2. Personal freedom including freedom of the press and free
            > elections.
            >
            > 3. National infrastructure.
            >
            > 4. Public safety.
            >
            > 5. Standard of living
            >
            > 6. Quality of the urban and rural environments.
            >
            > If you want to debate these six points Mr. Dupont, I'd be glad to
            > oblige.
            >
            >
            >
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          • bobutne
            I do know that it would be a great idea for the IMF and World Bank to give Gabon an aid package that will invest in the infrastructure of the country. Mr.
            Message 5 of 24 , Aug 27, 2003
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              "I do know that it would be a great idea for the IMF and World Bank
              to give Gabon an aid package that will invest in the infrastructure
              of the country."

              Mr. Dupont appears to be a Bongo shill who refuses to address the
              critical issues confronting all Gabonese and to "beg" for more aid
              to benefit his and President Omar Bongo's pockets.

              As you know, Mr. Dupont, President Omar Bongo has expatriated
              hundreds of million dollars of Gabonese funds to his personal bank
              accounts, French real estate, auto dealerships, etc. at the
              expense of all Gabonese.

              So be it. President Omar Bongo has sufficient time to establish a
              very positive legacy that will benefit all Gabonese. May he make the
              right choices....
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