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Re: Dr. Schweitzer

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  • 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 1 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
      --- 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 2 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
        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 3 of 12 , Aug 11, 2004
          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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