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Re: Dr. Schweitzer

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  • bobutne
    When I visited the Schweitzer Hospital, in 2002, I was surprised to have seen the great growth of the complex. The number one disease being treated was
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
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      When I visited the Schweitzer Hospital, in 2002, I was surprised to
      have seen the great growth of the complex. The number one disease
      being treated was malaria. According to WHO, Gabon has one of if not
      the highest rates of malaria in all of Africa.

      While Gabon is no Nigeria, Congo or Zimbabwe, the vast majority of
      its citizens have not benefited from its resources. The partnerships
      of foreign companies and political elites continue to rape the
      country. It's too bad that more countries in Africa did not follow
      the Botswana path.

      On the positive side, Gabon is a very young nation with tremendous
      human and natural resources. With future enlightened leaders such as
      Francois in the wings, there is great hope for all Gabonese.
    • Howard Lee Duncan
      ... Sorry if I was not clear. My point is this; I percieved that you felt racially slurred by the doctor. That he felt that black peoples were naturally
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
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        --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "Francois Gouahinga"
        <francois@e...> wrote:
        > Dear Mr. Duncan,
        >
        > I'm not sure I understood your point.

        -------------------------

        Sorry if I was not clear. My point is this; I percieved that you felt
        racially slurred by the doctor. That he felt that black peoples were
        naturally inferior in unspecified ways compared with Europeans. I may
        have misinterpreted your comment. A reference by you to Nazi like
        human experiments by him made me think of the conspiracy advocates.
        It seems that every event in history has an alternate version and
        every person of note had deep personal problems. All this gossip
        clutters the mind.

        What really prompted me to respond was the film that you referred to.
        I have schooling in film making and work experience in Hollywood, my
        sister was in the movie business in New York. I feel competent to
        comment on this film.

        We have seen a trend in the U.S. toward conspiracy topics and
        personal attack stories in the press and in film/TV/video. This used
        to be the provence of books. A relatively small audience with books
        but with video a film like Michael Moore's Farenheit 911 can gross
        over $100,000.00 with a one million investment. Blockbuster status.
        Objectivity is suspect.

        If you access the web site to this film you find it has a
        motto. "Film and Video for Social Change since 1968". Again,
        objectivity is suspect.

        The description of this film says it is a "revisionist perspective".
        This kind of film starts with a point of view then makes an effort to
        convince by the appearance of reality.

        The only sources for the truth that I would trust are his writings
        and writings of those who worked with him and knew him well. I am not
        one of those however.

        I am sure he was human and not super human. I remember thinking at
        the time I visited him at the hospital; "..what a life. Follow your
        dreams, do some good, live an active life!". I learned 20 years later
        from the teacher Joseph Campbell that this is called "following your
        bliss".


        Lee Duncan
      • bobutne
        Some say that Schweitzer outlived his time since he could not come to grips with a non-colonial Africa. How different was Schweitzer s mentality towards the
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
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          Some say that Schweitzer outlived his time since he could not come to
          grips with a non-colonial Africa. How different was Schweitzer's
          mentality towards the Gabonese than the typical Frenchman living in
          todays Gabon?

          I well remember, when we first came to Gabon in 1963, that the
          Gabonese called us "the whites who work". Never had they seen a white
          man work shoulder to shoulder with a Gabonese performing manual and
          semi-skilled labor until the arrival of the US Peace Corps.

          When questioned by the Gabonese on why we performed manual labor, we
          sometimes answered, "America is the strongest nation in the world
          because everyone works hard and helps each other. We work with you to
          build schools to show you the American way." Of course this was a
          stretch of the truth since America had and still has huge race and
          economic class issues. With Bush, I fear that the problems are
          getting worse with only the underclass of the US fighting our wars
          and our nation growing into serious debt status all to support the
          additional wealth of the ultra rich. We are losing our Constitutional
          liberties and ability to disagree with the necons in power since our
          citizens are daily threatened through the political arena and media
          by images of "terrorism".

          We Americans have a lot to do to set our country back on track and
          become a full member of the international community and not a rogue
          imperialist state. On the same hand, its only the Africans,
          themselves, who can pull the continent out of its sorry state to the
          point where, some day, Gabon sends its own Peace Corps to the US!

          I realize this is a radical post and will probably delete it within a
          week. Sometimes I just need to vent....
        • bobutne
          Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) August 11, 2004 Julio Godoy Paris France and the United States have begun a new race to compete for favours with
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
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            Inter Press Service (Johannesburg) August 11, 2004 Julio Godoy
            Paris

            France and the United States have begun a new race to compete for
            favours with undemocratic regimes in Africa. The competition is
            growing particularly in the oil-rich North and West Africa...

            France has been building diplomatic relations across oil-rich West
            Africa. This includes Gabon ruled by Omar Bongo since 1966, Congo
            Brazzaville ruled by Denis Sassou-Nguesso who came to power in 1997
            following a civil war that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and
            Angola where former independence hero José Eduardo dos Santos has
            been in power since 1979. In a recent instance of new 'cooperation'
            the French government dealt with dos Santos to protect French citizen
            Pierre Falcone charged with transfer of weapons to Angola. Dos Santos
            named Falcone Angolan ambassador to the United Nations Educational,
            Scientific and Cultural organization (UNESCO) headquartered in Paris.
            The appointment would provide him diplomatic immunity.

            It is no coincidence that the United States has been following a
            similar strategy of supporting military dictators in Africa while
            seeking access to natural resources in their countries. U.S.
            Secretary of State Colin Powell visited Angola and Gabon in 2002 in
            the first trip ever by such a high-ranking U.S. official to these
            countries. Last year U.S. President George W. Bush visited Senegal,
            Nigeria, Botswana, Uganda and South Africa.

            In March this year the U.S. government invited top ranking military
            officials of Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Senegal and
            Tunisia to the U.S. European command headquarters in Stuttgart,
            Germany. The command centre also covers 48 African countries. The
            Stuttgart summit covered representation from the Middle East through
            the Maghreb (Arabic North Africa) to the Gulf of Guinea. This is a
            region sitting above a giant sea of underground oil. Two weeks before
            the March meeting Gen. Charles F. Wald, deputy commander at Stuttgart
            had toured Angola, Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, South Africa and
            Gabon among other African countries.

            "Every place I go in Africa, where we talk about the war on
            terrorism, there is a resonance and an agreement that we have
            something in common," Wald said during the visit. The threat
            extremists pose to democratically elected governments is "universally
            understood," he said. But of the countries he visited, only South
            Africa has a democratically elected government.

            Earlier this week the U.S. government indicated its interest in the
            oil-rich Gulf of Guinea in announcing a military cooperation
            programme with Nigeria. Gen. Robert Fogleson, commander of the U.S.
            air force in Europe said at the announcement: "This region is
            important to the stability of the United States because of the
            petroleum and so it's no surprise to me that if the U.S. Navy, the
            U.S. government wanted to exercise, that they will take the areas
            that are of great importance to them."

            Analysts believe that over the next five years a quarter of non-Gulf
            oil on the world market will come from sub-Saharan Africa.

            http://allafrica.com/stories/200408110821.html
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